>>/ Ronin

/ Ronin ( 2)

: / Ronin.

/ Ronin

EXT. A REST STOP ON THE HIGHWAY - MEANWHILE

THE CITROEN is parked among a number of other cars. Sam is sleeping in the back seat, while Vincent is seen on an outdoor pay phone at the other end of the parking lot. Deirdre and Larry sit at a nearby picnic table, eating French fast food, which we get a good look at as we - PAN THE LENGTH OF THE TABLE, which is covered with pasta, grilled sausages with dijon mustard, really good fried potatoes.

In fact, everything that's on this table is so far beyond the imagination of your average American truck driver that Larry can't contain himself. He's stuffing himself, washing everything down with the wine which is also sold at these road-side rest stops. Deirdre drinks coffee.

LARRY (mouth full) This...this is incredible. Is the rest of Europe like this?

DEIRDRE (with a laugh) Some places, not all. Italy, for instance, they're serious about their food. But try bloody Britain, anywhere in the U.K., you don't get much fancier than a deep-fried bar egg. Food's not our thing, you see.

LARRY What is?

DEIRDRE (everybody knows this) Best beer in the world known to man or God.

LARRY (with a snort) Best beer in the world? Budweiser for me, thanks.

DEIRDRE (with unconcealed scorn) Budweiser? You talk to me of beer and you've the unbridled gall to mention Budweiser in the same sentence? That's not beer! Christ, it's not even a poor excuse for rabbit piss.

LARRY Oh yeah? Whatta you drink, then?

DEIRDRE I drink what every civilized man, woman and child in the world drinks: Guinness.

VINCENT (O.S.) I hate to interrupt a conversation of such cultural depth...

CUT AWAY TO REVEAL: Vincent -

Who has finished his phone call and returned to join them.

VINCENT ...but we've got to get back on the road.

Vincent raps lightly on the car window next to Sam's head -- Sam's eyes shoot open: a light sleeper. All eyes are on Vincent, who waits for a BEAT before he reveals his news.

VINCENT We've got him.

LARRY I'm driving.

EXT. THE TOWN SQUARE - A LITTLE LATER - DAY

Gregor is seated where we saw him last -- at the little table in the corner cafe. He's been here for hours, observing the Town Square, and now, he finally sees what he's been looking for - TWO MEN, definitely not tourists here for the music, have entered the Square -- everything about these guys screams GUNMEN. Now, as Gregor watches - A PUNKED-OUT TEEN comes up to the men and hands them a small envelope. The Gunmen look around the Square, trying to see where Gregor is, but he's too far back in the shadows. The Gunmen ask the Teen a question, to which the Teen can only shrug his shoulders. Now - The Teen walks away, leaving the Gunmen to open the envelope and look at its contents, which are quickly read. From OFF SCREEN we hear the sound of Gregor punching in a number on his cell phone. Simultaneously, the Gunmen finish reading the instructions Gregor has sent them, and turn around to face - A PAY PHONE. The phone rings, and one of the Gunmen goes to pick it up.

EXT. ANOTHER STREET - MEANWHILE

The Citroen pulls into town and slows to a crawl, cruising the streets, looking for Gregor.

INT. THE CITROEN - SAME TIME

Vincent stares out of the window and sees something that causes him to swear under his breath in French. It's -

The Gunmen walking down the street.

VINCENT I know those men.

Sam frowns: he also seems to recognize at least one of the gunmen. None of the others in the car notice Sam's reaction, but we do. The Gunmen are heading straight for -

EXT. THE ANCIENT ROMAN THEATER - MEANWHILE

THE MID-AFTERNOON SUN shines down on the open air Roman Theater. The theater itself is almost two thousand year old. A semi-circle of seats surrounds a huge Stage Wall, a massive structure which is one of the best preserved of its kind in the world. THE GUNMEN enter at the bottom of the theater, holding ticket stubs. They are with a Tour Group led by an ANCIENT GEEZER who speaks in rapid-fire French. As the tour moves off to see the Stage Wall, the Gunmen hang back and then separate from the crowd.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE THEATER - SAME TIME

THE CITROEN sits at a curb. Larry sits behind the wheel of the car, the getaway driver with the motor running. Vincent and Deirdre are already walking towards the Theater. Sam stays behind for a second to say something to Larry.

SAM Whatever you hear, whatever happens, when your partners come back out, you make sure you're here with the motor running.

And on that note Sam follows after Vincent and Deirdre. Larry doesn't notice it, but - THE WATCHER has found them. He's a block or so away, wearing a two-day stubble of beard and hugging the shadows of back alley. Cradled in one hand, barely visible but ominously present: his knife, which for one moment catches a glint of sun that hits our eyes as we -

CUT TO:

EXT. INSIDE THE ROMAN THEATER - MEANWHILE

The Gunmen have reached a point about midway up the coliseum- like staircase. Behind them we can see the Tour Group, standing on the stage, being lectured to by the Ancient Geezer. In front of them the Gunmen find -

AN EXIT which leads to an interior hall. Inside the exit it's dark, while a bright sun falls down on the Gunmen. They look into the dark, unable to see a thing, while a voice come at them from out of the dark.

GREGOR (V.O.) Thank you, gentleman, that will do nicely.

IN THE HALL -

ON GREGOR. It's dark in here. There are no lights, no torches. From the dark in here, he can look out and see - THE GUNMEN, who make plain targets, backlit as they are by the sun. Now we CUT BACK AND FORTH between these two ANGLES, and it becomes clear that Gregor has chosen wisely -- he can see his quarry, but they can't see him.

GREGOR Edvard, is that you?

EDVARD, the more dangerous looking of the two Gunmen responds.

EDVARD Yes, Gregor, they sent me.

GREGOR I'm touched, really, that they'd send someone of your caliber. It's nice to know that they didn't make the mistake of underestimating me twice.

EDVARD That was a mistake, trying to kill you. Mikhi did it without consulting me, I'd have never allowed it.

GREGOR I'm sure. But I'm sorry to say that it's too late for trust: we have a serious problem.

EDVARD We'll double your price.

GREGOR (now that's interesting) Really? Do you have the money with you?

EDVARD Do you have the material?

GREGOR You first, Edvard.

EDVARD Perhaps we could both go at the same time...

GREGOR (a short laugh) I think not. (with a flourish) After you...

A GUN COMES INTO FRAME, trigger cocked, the barrel placed to Gregor's temple.

SAM (O.S.) After you, asshole.

Gregor stiffens, as we PULL BACK ON Sam, who has snuck up on Gregor and gotten the drop on him.

SAM You might have been one mean technical spook, Gregor, but you wouldn't have lasted a week in the field.

CUT TO THE GUNMEN'S POV: Looking into the Tunnel - It's dark, they can't see a thing, but they've heard Sam's voice and they know something's wrong.

EDVARD Gregor, are you alright?

DEIRDRE (O.S.) Gregor's fine...

CUT AWAY TO REVEAL: Deirdre -

She's snuck up on the Gunmen, weapon drawn.

DEIDRE (continuing) ...but I think you're in a bit of trouble.

The Gunmen reach for their pieces and as they do -

VINCENT (O.S.) Don't even think it.

CUT AWAY TO REVEAL: Vincent - And his piece is also out -- the Gunmen are trapped, and they know it. Now we notice that - The Ancient Geezer and his Tour Group are coming towards us. Meanwhile, back in -

THE TUNNEL -

Sam is grilling Gregor furiously, his gun still to Gregor's head.

SAM Don't talk to me unless you tell me what I want to hear, understand?!? You have no choice in this, don't think about winning, think about staying alive. I want the item, and if you don't give it to me, I'm gonna kill you.

GREGOR (a panicky hiss) I don't have it with me...

SAM Bullshit!

GREGOR I swear...

SAM Then where is it?

GREGOR I sent it to myself in Paris.

SAM Sent it where?

GREGOR A post office box.

Suddenly Gregor runs forward, towards the exit. Sam runs after him, tackling him just as they reach - THE OUTSIDE, where the two men roll into plain sight of - The Gunmen, who are still covered by Vincent and Deirdre. Now we notice - That the Ancient Geezer and his Tour Group are really close, no more than ten yards away, as - Sam has Gregor pinned face first on the ancient stone of the theater. He looks up at the others, and that's when it happens - Edvard looks at Sam and recognizes him.

EDVARD (stunned, announcing to the group) Do you know who he is? He's with Interpol, the Internation Police. He's a cop.

A SLOW MOTION BEAT.

Vincent and Deirdre don't know what to make of this, their heads turn to look at Sam, and in this instant - The Tour Group walks into their midst and - The 2nd Gunman reaches for his piece and - Sam FIRES his gun at the 2nd Gunman, and with the sharp report of the pistol we move back to REAL TIME, as - The Crowd panics, screaming, and now Edvard is reaching for his weapon, as - Sam shoots again, killing the 2nd Gunman, and now - The Crowd is still screaming and running as - Gregor shoves through the crowd into the exit, as -

Deirdre pushes through the crowd, and now she's made it into the tunnel. Now we go -

OUTSIDE THE THEATER -

Where Larry has heard the shot -- his piece is drawn, but he's been ordered to stay in the car. In frustration he slams on the steering wheel, as we see that - Behind Larry, the Watcher is slowly closing in, knife poised to strike as we go back -

INTO THE THEATER -

Edvard tries to get to the exit, but there are too many Tourists in his way, and he proceeds to shoot several of them, including the Dad we saw earlier. Seconds later, Edvard has vanished into the tunnels, and now - Vincent and Sam meet in the middle of the crowd. There is time for a QUICK BEAT, while Vincent glares at Sam.

VINCENT You're a cop...you're a fucking cop...I should kill you.

SAM But you can't.

And now Sam runs into the tunnel, after the others, leaving Vincent for a fraction of a second to sigh, and then follow Sam into -

THE TUNNELS -

It's like being in the tunnels and ramps of a sporting arena. Except that everything here is made of stone and the only light comes from the sun which streams in through the exit openings which are spaced far enough apart that they provide just barely enough light for us to see. Now we do a SERIES OF QUICK CUTS - Sam running, followed by - Vincent, while - Edvard takes a wrong turn down a dark hall and comes to a dead end. He turns around, looking for a way out as - Gregor sees the final exit ahead of him as we go -

OUT IN THE STREET - Larry is still behind the wheel of the Citroen, anxiously looking at the exit, not realizing that - The Watches is almost on him, and now we're back -

IN THE TUNNELS -

Deirdre comes running around a corner, and now she's almost reached the exit as -

OUT IN THE STREET -

Gregor hits the street running. He doesn't notice the Citroen parked ahead, because he's never seen it before, but as he runs by -

The car door swings open and Gregor runs straight into it. He smashes into the door and falls to the ground, injured. Strong Hands reach out of the car and pull him in. It's the Watcher, and let's give him a name now because he needs one: SEAMUS REILLY. Seated in the front seat is - A very dead Larry. Seamus has cut his throat from ear to ear.

SEAMUS (to Gregor, with an Irish accent) If you want to live you'll do exactly as I tell you.

THROUGH THE BACK WINDOW - Deirdre appears, exiting the theater and running towards the Citroen as we go back to -

INT. THE TUNNELS - SAME TIME

Vincent, gun drawn, moves warily down one of the tunnels. Outside we can hear the dim sound of an approaching siren. Vincent turns a corner and - A GUN jams itself into his face. It's Edvard.

EDVARD Where do I know you from?

VINCENT Vienna.

EDVARD Of course...I remember. I quite liked you, I'm sorry to have to do this.

Edvard's finger tightens around the trigger, when -

SAM (O.S.) Hey...

Edvard is startled by the sound of Sam's voice. Even as he squeezes off the shot, Edvard turns to look at Sam, and as he does so, Vincent strikes out at the gun, sending the shot awry, causing it to - RICOCHET wildly, whining around the room, until it - Rips through Sam's side, a nasty wound but not fatal, as - Edvard tries to fire another shot but it's too late, because - Vincent fires a single shot to the head that kills Edvard.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE THEATER - MEANWHILE

Deirdre has reached the Citroen. She looks in and sees Seamus and Gregor. Lastly she looks at the dead Larry. She sighs in disgust, but otherwise doesn't react as if surprised.

DEIRDRE Cold cocking the poor son-of-a-bitch would have sufficed, Seamus, don't you think?

SCANT SECOND LATER -

Larry's body hits the street as the Citroen drives off, Deirdre behind the wheel just as - Sam and Vincent run out of the theater, with Vincent helping a wounded Sam who bleeds from the wound in his side. They arrive at the street only to see - Larry, lying dead in the street, even as the Citroen speeds away from them, turning the corner before they can even think to raise their guns.

VINCENT That double-crossing bitch.

Sam isn't even capable of saying that much -- he just stares after the departed Citroen with a look on his face unlike any we've seen in the film: "how the hell did that happen?" But there's no time to ponder this because they've been joined by - A COP. He's a local guy, he directs traffic and busts drunks in the town square -- and he's scared shitless, holding his gun in both hands, trying not to tremble, as he stares back at - TWO GUNS, Sam's and Vincent's, and they're both pointed at the Cop. LONG BEAT. In the way off distance, another siren can just be heard. Sam and Vincent glare at the Cop, who strains with all his might to control himself, but he can't because Sam and Vincent are death waiting to be served. The cop knows he has three seconds to make up his mind. Two. One. The Cop puts his gun on the ground and steps back, raising his hands in the air. Now - Sam and Vincent stumble into the street, and are instantly almost hit by - A CAR speeding around the corner, its Driver oblivious to what's going on. The car screeches to a halt, and the Driver curses loudly in French. And then the next thing the Driver knows - A Gun is in his face. The door is yanked open and the Driver is yanked out, as we -

CUT TO:

EXT. A BACK ROAD - LATER/EARLY EVENING

The town of Orange is just visible below us as the commandeered Car drives up into the hills. Vincent is behind the wheel, while the wounded Sam sits in the passenger seat. Gritting his teeth, Sam peels back his shirt to get a look at - THE WOUND, and it's small but bad -- the ricochet ripped a small raw hole in Sam's side. The wound bleeds, but moderately so -- no major organs or arteries have been hit.

VINCENT That makes twice now you've saved my life.

SAM I didn't save your life back there. Risked it, maybe -- but I didn't save shit.

VINCENT You see it your way, I'll see it mine. You need a doctor.

SAM (hopeful) You know one around here? Somebody you trust?

VINCENT No...I thought I'd take you to the hospital.

SAM (sharply) No hospitals. I'll fix this myself if I have to.

VINCENT (he can't believe this) Fix it yourself? (a thought comes to him) Why are we even doing this? There's no need to run, Christ... (he can't disguise his disgust) You're a cop.

SAM Not exactly.

VINCENT You're with Interpol -- you're a cop.

SAM If I was a cop, a real cop, I'd have busted you a long time ago. This isn't about you, it's about the job I have to do.

VINCENT And what job is that?

SAM My job, Vincent, a job you don't need to know about. I can't go to the local cops -- they'd never be able to get close enough at this point. It's me or nobody, and I've been on this job too goddamned long not to finish.

BEAT. Sam takes out his own pack of cigarettes, offers one to Vincent and takes another for himself. They smoke for a second, before Vincent speaks.

VINCENT It looks to me like we're all that's left of our group.

SAM We? There is no we in my world now, Vincent, just me.

VINCENT I'm going with you.

SAM This doesn't involve you, don't you understand? I can't even guarantee you any money out of all this.

VINCENT It isn't about money for me, not anymore.

SAM You don't have to do this.

VINCENT (with great finality) Yes I do.

Sam gives Vincent a look and shakes his head in disbelief -- Vincent's loyalty and sense of honor is something he's never seen before, and Sam can only smoke in silence and consider this as we -

CUT TO:

INT. A CHEAP BACK ROOM - NIGHT

A PEEPHOLE slides open, and we look through it into -

INT. AN ADJOINING ROOM

where Gregor sits, bound and gagged in a chair, his eyes wide with fright. Now - The Peephole snicks shut, and Deirdre turns to face Seamus Reilly.

DEIRDRE When we're done with this, I want to do for that one myself.

SEAMUS Now there's the Deirdre I know.

DEIRDRE And what's that supposed to mean, Seamus Reilly?

SEAMUS It means I was worried that all the time you spent away from the fold might have affected you. You've been living the life of the hired gun -- the well paid hired gun, I might note. There's no glory to it, but there are those that like it.

DEIRDRE So you thought that maybe I'd grown too attached to this charade I've been playing, is that it?

SEAMUS It's been known to happen.

DEIRDRE Not to me, you know that.

SEAMUS (goading her) I thought I did.

Seamus's taunt works: Deirdre whips out her gun and puts it to his head.

DEIRDRE I guess you don't know me, then, if you think I won't kill you for an insult like that!

Seamus glares at Deirdre for a moment, and she glares back at him until he starts to laugh.

SEAMUS Just testing, lass. Forgive me, but I had to do it.

Deirdre glares a moment more and then puts away her gun.

DEIRDRE Remember what we agreed on, Seamus: when we get home, I don't play "the girl" again.

Deirdre gives Seamus a look to make sure this last point is clear and we -

CUT TO:

EXT. A FARMHOUSE - THE COUNTRY - NIGHT

The Stolen Car parks behind a BARN, and Sam and Vincent get out. Waiting for them is a friend of Vincent's - JEAN- PIERRE, a Frenchman in his forties, hearty, burly, friendly.

VINCENT Hello, Jean-Pierre.

JEAN-PIERRE Hello, my friend. (with a look at Sam) He doesn't look French to me, Vincent.

SAM American.

JEAN-PIERRE Well, Vincent's American friend, shall we see what we can do for you?

INT. THE FARMHOUSE KITCHEN - LATER/NIGHT

SURGICAL IMPLEMENTS - Are laid out on a clean cloth. Scalpel, forceps, a clamp, a sponge, medical thread and needles. We PULL BACK TO REVEAL: Sam, stretched out on the kitchen table. Around him we see - Vincent and Jean-Pierre, who are wearing rubber gloves and examining Sam's wound. Jean-Pierre holds a mirror up so that Sam can see what's going on. Sam, with his medical training, is treating himself.

VINCENT (to Sam) It's right there, beneath the surface. I can just make it out.

Sam is in terrible pain, but necessity dictates that he focus on what's going on so that he can talk Vincent through this next procedure.

JEAN-PIERRE Are you sure you won't have a drink?

SAM (sharply) No booze...Pain's in the mind, and the mind I can control. (quick beat) Alright, let's do it.

During this next sequence, we CUT BACK AND FORTH between Sam's reactions to the surgery, and the mirror itself where he's watching.

SAM Douse the wound with alcohol.

Vincent pours a healthy splash of rubbing alcohol onto the wound and - Sam grits his teeth as the pain explodes up his central nervous system.

SAM (to Jean-Pierre) Take that sponge and wipe away as much of the blood as you can, keep it clean so I can see.

Jean-Pierre does as Sam says, wiping away the blood that keeps filling the wound. Throughout the procedure Jean- Pierre will do this; every time the sponge is saturated he squeezes the excess blood into - A BUCKET which sits on the floor, slowly filling up with drippings from the sponge.

SAM (to Vincent) Take the clamp...

Vincent picks up the clamp.

SAM Peel back the skin and attach the clamp.

Vincent attaches the clamp to Sam's wound. It takes perhaps fifteen seconds, and everyone of those seconds is agonizing for Sam. He sweats, he grits his teeth, he grunts the smallest of grunts. But he doesn't move. Finally Vincent is done.

VINCENT Alright, it's done.

SAM You see the bullet?

VINCENT Clearly.

SAM Good. Now take the forceps, and remember, Vincent, what we're doing here is routine. I've done stuff like this at least twenty times in the field. There are no vital organs where you're working, no major muscles or arteries -- you can't kill me. Just make sure you've got the bullet before you try to pull it out.

Vincent probes the wound with the forceps. This takes probably thirty seconds, and it hurts even more then when the clamp was attached.

Several times - Vincent seems to have the bullet in his grasp, but it slips, and each time it slips - Sam makes the smallest of noises, as if to indicate the level of the pain. Finally - The forceps firmly grasp the bullet, and with a single tug, Vincent extracts it.

VINCENT (holding the bullet aloft) A souvenir...

He tosses the bullet through the air, and we FOLLOW IT IN SLOW MOTION as it lands in - A SAUCER, which sits on the kitchen counter. We're back in REAL TIME, as the bullet rolls around the plate for a second before coming to a halt. Now - Sam breathes the hugest of sighs, and his face relaxes. Instantly, Vincent puts a lighted cigarette in Sam's mouth, and he drags deeply on it.

SAM (to Vincent) You think you can stitch me up on you own?

JEAN-PIERRE Don't worry, we'll take care of it.

SAM Then if you don't mind... (he hands the cigarette back to Vincent) I'm gonna pass out.

And that's exactly what he does.

A TIME CUT TO:

INT. FARMHOUSE LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT

Vincent and Jean-Pierre sit on easy chairs. An open bottle of wine sits between them, a FIRE burns in the fireplace, and they smoke in a contented silence for a moment. When they speak, it is in FRENCH, with ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

JEAN-PIERRE He's tough, your American friend.

VINCENT Yes, Sam's tough alright.

JEAN-PIERRE And you respect him.

VINCENT Of course. Don't you?

JEAN-PIERRE I've never seen a man who could have taken what he just went through. (beat) He's a cop?

VINCENT (beat, trying to find a way to say it) Not exactly.

JEAN-PIERRE Not exactly? But close enough, eh? (beat) So he saved your life, then?

VINCENT How did you know?

JEAN-PIERRE If he hadn't you'd have put a bullet in his head a long time ago.

Both men stare back into the fireplace and we HOLD FOR A BEAT before we -

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. THE FARM - KITCHEN - DAWN

Sam is awake. Pale from the loss of blood, he moves softly around the kitchen, searching professionally for something, giving the moment a slightly dangerous feel because he seems so intent on what he's doing and then he finds it - THE COFFEE.

TEN MINUTES LATER -

A stream of Hot Coffee migles with a stream of Steamed Milk.

EXT. THE FARMHOUSE PORCH - SUNRISE

A STEAMING CUT OF COFFEE sits in Sam's hands as he lights a cigarette to go with the coffee. He sits on an ancient chair, smoking in silence, looking out at - THE WOODS around the house, and this place is postcard-beautiful, the French Farmhouse you see only in pictures. But Sam's mind is elsewhere, he's staring into space, lost in thought.

JEAN-PIERRE (O.S.) You're feeling better?

ANOTHER ANGLE - Jean-Pierre stands in the open front door of the farmhouse, with a cup of coffee. Now, Jean-Pierre moves out to join Sam, sitting down on another chair opposite him.

SAM (responding to the question) Some, thanks. Enough to move on, for now.

JEAN-PIERRE (pointing at Sam's wounded side) You should really let a doctor look at that.

SAM Soon.

JEAN-PIERRE But first you have something to take care of?

SAM Yeah.

JEAN-PIERRE Something important? A thing that cannot wait?

SAM It gets done now or not at all. Another couple of days and the parties concerned are gone where I can't get them.

JEAN-PIERRE Forgive my intrusion into your affairs, but I am the one who connected Vincent to this job, his agent, if you will. He is one of my oldest friends and I owe him a great debt, much like the debt I suspect he owes you.

A QUICK CUT TO:

INSIDE THE FARMHOUSE

Where Vincent has just poured himself a cup of coffee and lit a very satisfying cigarette when he hears the voices from outside.

SAM (O.S.) Vincent doesn't owe me a thing.

Vincent looks up when he hears his name and he moves towards the sound of the voices.

JEAN-PIERRE (O.S.) He sees this differently, as you well know.

SAM (O.S.) I didn't expect that he would.

BACK ON THE PORCH -

JEAN-PIERRE You suffered through an agonizing pain last night, pain you could have avoided by declaring yourself an agent of the law.

SAM Vincent told you that I'm a cop?

JEAN-PIERRE Not a word. But no ordinary criminal would have the extensive military and medical expertise you do. And so I place the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that makes sense to me. You work for some government agency and you carry a gun, and in my world, that makes you a cop.

And now Jean-Pierre produces a LONG BARRELED REVOLVER which he places loosely in his lap -- a gesture which seems to say, "you'd better explain things to my satifaction or we're gonna have a problem." Sam notices the weapon, but he doesn't react overtly.

SAM So this is what, a test?

JEAN-PIERRE Call it a reckoning of character.

BEAT. Sam looks at the Revolver again.

SAM If I was healthy, I could take that away from you.

JEAN-PIERRE Perhaps. But you are not healthy, and if you try I'll kill you.

QUICK CUT TO: Vincent - Who stands inside the house, out of sight, but not out of ear shot. He's listening to everything, and we notice that Vincent has taken out his own gun.

BACK ON Jean-Pierre and Sam. By now Jean-Pierre has raised the pistol. He doesn't point it at Sam, but his finger cocks the hammer.

SAM So what is it you want to know?

JEAN-PIERRE I suppose I want to know how a man like you is created.

SAM Created?

JEAN-PIERRE Perhaps forged is a better word. Like steel. Like a sword. You're a modern Samurai. I've spent my life around extraordinary men -- men like Vincent. But I've never seen anyone like you. (beat) I'm afraid Vincent will die if he goes with you.

SAM Vincent's life is his own burden; he'll have to carry it for himself. And I'm not any kind of Samurai.

JEAN-PIERRE You seem one to me.

SAM A Samurai has honor, a Samurai live by the code of Bushido, the way of the warrior. I'm just a killer for hire. (beat) The world isn't about honor, anymore. It's about survival.

LONG BEAT. Something in Sam's speech touches Jean-Pierre. He relaxes his finger on the hammer.

JEAN-PIERRE Survival. I suppose that's as good a cause as any.

BACK ON Vincent - Who relaxes his grip on his gun. BACK ON Sam and Jean-Pierre - And we're PULLING BACK, AWAY from the Farmhouse, which glows in the morning sun as we -

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A PARIS STREET - DAY

A BLACK COMPACT CAR sits in front of a Parisian Post Office. Inside the car, behind the wheel, we see Deirdre. Now, coming out of the Post Office, we see - Gregor and Seamus Reilly. Seamus has a coat slung over his arm, hiding the gun which he keeps pressed to Gregor's side. There's no sign of the Briefcase as Seamus and Gregor get into -

INT. THE CAR - SAM TIME

THUNK! The door slams shut. Gregor and Seamus are in the back seat. Almost instantly Seamus angrily snaps a pair of handcuffs on Gregor. Immediately, Deirdre pulls out.

DEIRDRE Where's the case?

GREGOR (nervous) There's a problem...

SEAMUS (jumping all over him) Problem my ass! I think you're lying to me, and if you are you're a dead man!

DEIRDRE Would somebody tell me what fucking well happened in there?

SEAMUS (disgusted) Nothing.

GREGOR (eager to explain) The package didn't come. I'm sure it will tomorrow.

Suddenly Seamus seems to lose it. He grabs Gregor and slams a gun against his head.

SEAMUS (he's almost foaming at the mouth) If you're lying to me you poor excuse for a human being, I'm gonna blow your brains all over this car.

GREGOR (beyond desperate) I swear, it has to come here! It has to...

BEAT. For one tension-filled moment, we think Seamus is going to splash Gregor's brains all over the place. But then he smiles, puts his weapon away, and pats Gregor gently on the face.

SEAMUS Ease up, man...I'm just checking to make sure you're on the level.

Gregor is beyond speech -- he can only whimper.

SEAMUS And it seems to me I saw a sign in there that says they got a late afternoon delivery. Why don't we come back later today and do this all over again, huh?

Seamus smiles a smile that is more than a little bit sadistic. Neither Gregor nor Deirdre smiles in return as we -

CUT TO:

EXT. ANOTHER STREET - PARIS - DAY

THE EIFFEL TOWER fills our eyes. And then we PULL BACK TO REVEAL that it's a tacky, flyblown poster on a dingy street. And now we're -

MOVING DOWN the Street, until we come to a store whose sign advertises in English - HONG KONG MOVIES. The windows of the store are filled with posters. We MOVE THROUGH TO

INT. THE STORE - SAME TIME

TONY SIMON, an expatriate black American, runs this place and lives above it. His shelves are lined with action films made in the Far East. Tony knows everything there is to know about the films he sells -- but he also knows quite a bit about what's going on in the Parisian Underworld. he's a professional information broker. Right now he's talking to a CUSTOMER in perfect French, with English Subtitles.

TONY Hey, man, they're both great movies. One is more of a character study, the other is more of a straight action thing, but they're great movies, and he's an amazing fucking filmmaker.

Tony looks up and sees something that catches his attention.

TONY Excuse me...

Vincent and Sam have entered the store. Sam's ability to be back on his feet in such a short time is amazing -- but we can see that he's not the same guy he was at the start of the film. what he does from here on in he does by sheer force of will. Now - Tony moves to join them, and the conversation immediately turns to English.

TONY (to Vincent) My man, how you doing?

VINCENT I'm alright. And you?

TONY Doing well. (with a look at Sam) This is?

VINCENT A friend. I was telling him about how you always have the latest tapes.

TONY Why don't we step into my office...

Tony's office, it turns out, is the area behind the COUNTER. Tony raises a section of the counter that allows him to get to the other side, and then he closes it behind him.

TONY So what can I do for you?

Vincent checks out the store before he starts speaking. The place is empty except for - The single Customer Tony was just talking to. The Customer is still considering the two films Tony was showing him.

VINCENT I was wondering if you had any movies that were particularly new.

TONY Matter of face there's this flick I've been hearing about. I haven't seen it, but from what I hear it's pretty cool.

SAM What's the story?

TONY It's an international thing. Several different peoples involved, criminals from all over the world, experts brought together to do a job. But maybe the most interesting thing about it is that preeminent in the plot we find the Russian Mob and the IRA in bed together. An unlikely group of partners.

VINCENT Do you have the tape?

TONY I might know where you could get a copy.

The Customer approaches the counter. He has both tapes with him.

TONY (to Vincent and Sam) Let me do some business with my boy here, and I'll meet you across the street in five. I gotta make homes here feel like he's getting a good deal while I give him the pleasure of overpaying me for a couple of second generation pirates.

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE - A FEW MINUTES LATER

The Customer exits, smiling and carrying his tapes -- what a great fucking deal he just got! A few seconds later, Tony comes out and locks up the store front. He crosses the street towards -

INT. A FALAFEL JOINT - A FEW MINUTES AFTER THAT

A HUGE FALAFEL drips lettuce and tahini sauce from its end. We PULL BACK ON - Tony, who's just taken a bite out of the falafel. He sits at a table in the back with Vincent and Sam.

TONY (his mouth full) What I've heard so far, it's all a lot of talk. I wasn't so sure what to make of it at first, cause, like I said, the Irish and the Russians are an unlikely mix.

VINCENT You said you might know where we can get a copy of this tape?

TONY All depends on whether you want the Russian or the Gaelic language version.

SAM (instantly) Gaelic.

TONY You sure?

SAM I'm sure.

VINCENT (to Tony) Can you get it?

TONY The Russian would be easier.

SAM Why's that?

TONY Cause the Russian production company would be easier to find.

SAM It's the Irish tape we want.

TONY (with a sigh) Gonna be tough.

Tony scribbles something on a piece of paper.

TONY Last I heard there was a film rep for the Irish players staying at this address, name of Seamus Reilly.

SAM (repeating it, he knows this name) Seamus Reilly.

VINCENT (to Sam) You know him?

SAM I know of him.

TONY Seamus Reilly, boy's a serious Irish Auteur -- a real firebrand. Thinks his more moderate filmmaking brethren have turned to making movies for peace-loving pussies, if you see what I'm saying.

VINCENT I get the picture.

Sam reaches for the piece of paper, but Vincent puts his hand on top of it.

VINCENT Tony and I have to talk some business, first.

TONY I gotta try and overcharge him, he has to moan about the price, we settle somewhere in the middle.

VINCENT It's a matter of respect. (to Sam) Why don't you wait outside, this won't take long.

Sam smiles slightly and rises from the table, moving towards the exit. Behind him in rapid-fire French, Tony and Vincent are now discussing the price of the information. They are both loud and abusive, and obviously they're enjoying themselves immensely.

EXT. THE FALAFEL SHOP - A LITTLE LATER - DAY

Vincent exits the shop and gets into -

INT. THE PEUGEOT

Where Sam sits in the passenger seat as Vincent slides behind the wheel. Vincent tosses Sam a piece of paper.

SAM The Irish representative?

VINCENT Yes.

Vincent gives Sam another piece of paper.

SAM What's this?

VINCENT The address of the Russian production company. Just in case we need to find them.

SAM Thorough man.

Vincent starts the car and we -

CUT TO:

EXT. A PARIS STREET - LATER - AFTERNOON

The Peugeot sits, parked at a cub, a discreet distance from - AN APARTMENT HOUSE: 35 Rue de Glacon. We PUSH IN on the -

INT. THE PEUGEOT - LATE AFTERNOON

A PIECE OF PAPER scarwled with the same address: 35 de Glacon. We PULL BACK TO REVEAL -

Sam, holding this paper and looking out at the apartment complex.

SAM You sure your friend got the right place?

VINCENT If Tony says this is it, then it's it.

BEAT. Vincent wants to know something important.

VINCENT Tell me, Sam: why do you do this?

SAM Do what?

VINCENT Continue when it would be so much easier to give it up.

SAM It's my job.

VINCENT Then quit. (beat) You don't work for Interpol, Sam.

SAM Sure I do. You heard him, you heard the guy -- that's what he said, what Edvard said.

VINCENT It's a cover, then. A cover within a cover, a feint within a feint. (quick beat) You work for the CIA, it's the only possible answer.

LONG BEAT. Sam considers what to say, and then decides he owes Vincent the truth.

SAM I'm a field agent -- last of an already extinct breed. I do dark ops.

VINCENT Dark ops?

SAM Dark operations. Wet work. Kidnaping. Assassination.

VINCENT Very ugly.

SAM It is at that.

VINCENT Not very zen of you, huh? Not so much the modern Samurai after all.

SAM I never made that claim.

VINCENT I know. Jean-Pierre did.

SAM You were behind the door?

VINCENT I was waiting to see what would happen. I didn't want to kill him if I didn't have to.

SAM You would have done that?

VINCENT I would have tried not to. But yes, if it would have kept him from shooting you, I would have.

SAM (almost to himself) How could you have done that?

VINCENT Because I owe you. (he sees something) Look at that...

THEIR POV: Through the Windsheild - Deirdre exits the apartment building.

SAM (O.S.) (quietly exultant) All things come to those who wait.

Now Deirdre is followed by Seamus and Gregor.

VINCENT (O.S.) (really surprised by this) He's not dead.

BACK ON Sam and Vincent.

SAM (figuring it out) They don't have the package.

VINCENT You think?

SAM You said it yourself: Gregor's not dead. If they had the package, they'd have killed him.

Vincent and Sam exchange a look -- now they both figure it out.

VINCENT & SAM (simultaneously) They're going to get it.

CUT TO:

INT. THE POST OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON

A HAND signs a receipt, and we PULL BACK TO REVEAL Gregor at a counter, signing for his package, which slides across the counter. It's the Briefcase, although it's been wrapped in BROWN PAPER for its journey through the French Postal System. Now we see that - Seamus is still right beside Gregor; is, in face, almost on top of him, with a hand in his coat pocket which lets us know where his gun is. Now - The two men start to move towards the exit as we -

CUT TO:

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE - A MINUTE LATER/LATE AFTERNOON

The Black Compact Car idles at a nearby curb, with Deirdre behind the wheel. She's staring so intently at the front of the post office, that she's surprised when a SHADOW falls across her. She looks up to see - Sam, standing next to the car. Deirdre starts to reach for her weapon, but Sam cuts her off with a word.

SAM Don't do it...

Something in his voice conveys enough of a threat that she backs off. Now she and Sam exchange a long look.

DEIRDRE Well, if it isn't Mr. Interpol himself. (she really sounds betrayed) I can't believe I misjudged you like I did.

SAM Oh please..you're on some sort of holy mission?

DEIRDRE I'm a patriate.

SAM Don't even think that I'm buying that.

DEIRDRE Where do you get off saying word one? All the time pretending to be one of us, it's the same thing we were doing, Seamus and myself. And here you are so high and mighty, like you're so different from the rest of us.

SAM I didn't say I was.

DEIRDRE (she sees something) Bloody fucking hell...

CUT AWAY TO: Gregor and Seamus are leaving the post office. By now, Seamus has taken the package away from Gregor. Unseen by these two men - Vincent is approaching from the side, on an intercept course, his hand inside a bag which he carries with him. Now - Deirdre turns and shoots Sam a look. He's still watching her keenly, and we can see that she's aching to reach for her piece, but she can't because Sam is still on her like a hawk.

SAM Don't even think it.

He pulls back the folds of his suit jacket, revealing his gun, putting his hand comfortably on the pistol grip.

SAM I'd kill you before you had it halfway out.

Vincent is closing on Gregor and Seamus, another ten seconds and he'll have them.

Now - Deirdre looks back at Sam, then back at the situation developing in front of her, and then suddenly - She slams the car into gear and drives off, tires squealing while - Sam pulls his piece, sighting down the barrel and - He can't do it, can't shoot Deirdre. Now - The sound of the car alerts Seamus, who turns in time to see - Vincent, who is raising the bag wrapped around his hand as - The car flies directly at - Vincent, who if forced to jump out of the way even as he pulls the trigger of the gun hidden within the bag. The end of the bag explodes in a burst of fire, but the shots are off the mark - Missing Seamus and Gregor as - Vincent rolls out of the way, just in time, while - Deirdre brakes the car to a screaming halt, as Seamus pushes Gregor in ahead of him and then gets in. Seconds later, the car pulls out, even as - Sam drives up in the Peugeot to Vincent, who picks himself up off the ground and leaps into the car. The last thing we hear is the sound of Sam's Voice as the Peugeot drives off.

SAM (V.O.) Put your seatbelt on.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. - CAR CHASE MONTAGE

During this SEQUENCE, we'll JUMP CUT BETWEEN the two cars and the streets they travel through. Now - The Black Compact Car flies down a small street, followed closely by - The Peugeot, where Sam is driving as Vincent tries to steady his gun to get a clear shot at the other Car.

INSIDE THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT What the fuck happened?

SAM I don't know...

VINCENT You don't know? Bullshit, you had her, there was no way out.

IN THE COMPACT CAR -

Where Deirdre is driving for dear life, while Seamus is freaking out.

SEAMUS What in bloody hell is going on?

DEIRDRE They're part of the team. One of them's the guy I told you about.

SEAMUS From Interpol?

DEIRDRE That's him.

IN THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT Why didn't you kill her?

IN THE COMPACT -

SEAMUS Why didn't you kill him?

OUT IN THE STREET -

The two cars SLAM through the traffic, heading for a HIGHWAY RAMP which appears now perhaps two blocks away.

IN THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT (figuring it out) You slept with her!

IN THE COMPACT -

SEAMUS How is it these fellahs managed to get the drop on us?

DEIRDRE I told you: they're good...

OUT IN THE STREET -

THE TWO CARS have reached the highway ramp, and as first one, and then the other pulls onto the highway, we PULL BACK AND UP TO REVEAL:

THE PERIFERIQUE -

The massive and confusing highway system which encircles the city of Paris. Right away we notice that this entrance ramp leads to a traffic circle, filled with various off ramps which lead to no less than four different sections of the Periferique.

IN THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT (slamming the dashboard in disgust) You slept with her!

IN THE COMPACT -

SEAMUS (lecturing Deridre) You should have kill him when you had the chance. But no...

IN THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT You put everything on the line because you...

IN THE COMPACT

SEAMUS (as if finishing Vincent's sentence) You slept with the fucker!!

ON THE PERIFERIQUE -

THE PEUGEOT cruising on an upper part of the traffic circle, while down below them - THE COMPACT turns towards one of the roadways.

VINCENT (O.S.) Fuck...

IN THE PEUGEOT -

VINCENT Left left left!!!

Sam looks up and sees - Three possible ramps: one to the right, one to the center, and one to the - Left. At the last second he takes the left turn as we go back to -

IN THE COMPACT CAR -

Where Seamus has turned from lecturing Deirdre to threatening Gregor. Seamus holds the package in one hand and his gun in the other.

SEAMUS (waving the package) This better be the real thing or you're a dead man!

GREGOR It is, I'm telling you it is!!

SEAMUS You've told me a lot of things, boyo...

ZING-SHATTER! A BULLET blows a hole in their back windshield as - The Peugeot is catching up, and Vincent is leaning out of his window, firing away. Now - Seamus turns to Deirdre.

SEAMUS Lose them!

DEIRDRE You lose them!

Deirdre swings the wheel wildly, and the Compact takes a screaming turn, followed by - The Peugeot, and now they're both speeding towards another junction, where several other roadways of the Periferique run together. Now we see that - Seamus is returning Vincent's fire, even as - The Junction approaches, and now - Seamus screams at Deirdre.

SEAMUS To the right!!!

Deirdre swerves to the right only to discover that she's now on an -

EXIT RAMP, going against heavy traffic. Now -

Deirdre swerves her car around, side-swiping several cars, but avoiding a major crash while - The Peugeot follows along, and now -

One of the cars that Deirdre side-swiped careens wildly down the ramp, crashing into - The Peugeot, which grinds to a halt as Vincent and Sam bounce forward in their seats, restrained by their seatbelts. The car has stalled, and Sam has to start her up again and slam it into gear before following after - The Compact, which now has a lead of perhaps fifty yards -- but at least it's possible for the Peugeot to follow after the Compact, because it's the only car on the highway ahead of them that's GOING THE WRONG WAY, and now we - PULL BACK, LOOKING DOWN FROM ABOVE, and the two cars are flying through the rush-hour traffic, going the wrong way, and now - The Peugeot is gaining ground as Sam turns to Vincent.

SAM Give me a cigarette.

VINCENT Right now?

SAM Gimme a goddamn cigarette!!!!

VINCENT (fumbling with a cigarette) Why are you driving? (rapid fire) You're not French, you don't live here, you don't know these roads. Why are you driving?

He puts the cigarette in Sam's mouth and as he does - The Peugeot weaves in and out of the traffic, gaining ground on the Compact, and now - SCREEEEECCHHH!!!! About fifteen cars pile up, crashing into one another, and yet somehow - The Compact Car emerges from the pile up unscathed, and Seamus breathes a hugh sigh of relief.

SEAMUS About time!

DEIRDRE (glancing in her mirror) Not yet...

The Peugeot has also managed to avoid the pile-up, and it's back on their tail.

SEAMUS (practically tearing his hair) Good Christ! Can't you lose these jokers?

DEIRDRE (through clenched teeth) They're good!

And now the Peugeot SLAMS into the side of the Compact Car, and as it does - Seamus opens fire with his gun, even as - Vincent unloads the better part of a clip as - Glass shatters in both cars, and now Deirdre looks up to see -

A FORK IN THE ROAD, and the left side of the fork is closed off, blocked by - A SERIOUS CONCRETE BARRICADE, and the Compact Car is headed right for it, and now -

Sam has the Peugeot pinned right to the side of the Compact Car, metal against metal, a scream of steel as the Barricade rushes straight at them and at the last second - Deirdre slams on the brakes as -

Seamus fires one last shot that - blows out the window in front of Sam's eyes, causing Sam to - Jerk the wheel of the Peugeot wildly, spinning out of control onto the exit ramp as Gregor reaches over and unbuckles Seamus's seatbelt right as - The Compact Car slams into the Barricade and CRASHES, and we're in SLOW MOTION as -

Deirdre is driven forward by the force of the impact, but there's a driver's side air bag, and it explodes, cushioning her, even as -

Seamus is hurled form the car, crashing through the windshield and flying through the air as -

The Compact Car flips over and over and over while -

Gregor, who is wearing his seatbelt, hangs on for dear life to the Briefcase, which he grabbed back from Seamus before the crash, and now -

Seamus hits the ground with a terrible thud, his face sliced to ribbons by the windshield, but somehow still alive as -

Sam tries to control the Peugeot, which is in a spin on the exit ramp as -

Gregor kicks open the back door and slides out of the Car, carrying the Briefcase with him, as -

Deirdre struggles to free herself from the wreck, which is now - On fire, and now -

Sam has managed to stop the Peugeot, but it's too late to go back, because -

A VERITABLE FLEET OF COP CARS is now closing on the accident, and it's too late to turn around, and even as -

Deirdre manages to pull herself out of the wreck, it - EXPLODES into a ball of fire, and the blast wave of fire - Hits Seamus, knocking him down, covering him for a second, even as - Deirdre hurls herself through the flames and comes out - Rolling away with Seamus, who is now not only cut to pieces, but his face is covered with some hideous burns.

Now Deirdre pulls Seamus over the side of the embankment, right before the cops arrive, and the two of them roll/fall almost thirty down a steep incline, even as -

Sam catches a quick glimpse of -

Gregor, scurrying away from the highway, carrying the Briefcase, and now Sam has to gun his car and get gone, because the Cops have reached -

The Wreck, which is quickly burning itself out, and as the Cops look into the debris they see that -

THERE'S NOBODY LEFT. Everybody's gone.

FADE OUT.

VINCENT (V.O.) We don't have much time.

FADE IN ON:

INT. VINCENT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

A FRONT DOOR, guarded by about five heavy locks, opens and Vincent and Sam enter. Sam looks around and surveys the apartment.

SAM Nice place.

ANOTHER ANGLE - And we see the rest of the apartment: there's practically nothing here. A table with a couple of chairs, a fridge. An open door leads to a bedroom with a small, spare bed and a nightstand with a cheap lamp.

VINCENT (by way of explaining) I'm not here very much.

SAM Business keeps you on the road?

VINCENT Something like that.

The two men crass the room towards - A METAL CABINET which is tucked into a nook in the wall - VINCENT'S HAND turns a heavy- duty COMBINATION LOCK and then: Click, the cabinet opens and we see -- WEAPONS. An endless cache of guns, knives, explosives, surveillance devices, gun scopes -- you name it, it's here. Now Vincent's Hands reach into the cabinet and start taking out weapons. We PULL BACK ON -

Vincent, who gives the weapons to Sam. Sam checks to make sure the weapons are loaded and/or ready for use, and then piles them, one on top of the other.

SAM I know I don't need to say this to you, but I need to say it to you. (beat) This is my job, I have to do it.

VINCENT So I do it.

SAM No you don't, and you know it.

VINCENT If our positions were reversed, would you leave me?

SAM (he says this too quickly) In a minute.

VINCENT I think not.

BEAT. Sam can't say anything, because he knows that what Vincent is saying is true.

VINCENT (considering the weapons) Do we need anything else?

SAM Yeah. We need out fucking heads examined.

Vincent thinks about this for a seoncd -- and then burst out laughing as we -

CUT TO:

INT. ANOTHER CAR - MEANWHILE/NIGHT

Deirdre once behind the wheel. The passenger seat next to her is empty, but as she drives we can see her eyes as they flick from the road in front of her, to the rearview mirror, which reveals -

A glimpse of the HIDEOUS FACE of Seamus Reilly. Crashing through the windshield and the blast of fire have forever changed the way he looks: his face is now a mass of oozing wounds and burn tissue. In his eyes we see the light of a sick, twisted man who's gone over the edge.

DEIRDRE You better be careful, Seamus, before something happens a plastic surgeon can't fix.

SEAMUS (a hideous laugh) Plastic fucking surgeon? (indicates his face) You think I'm going to fix this, Deirdre lass? It's the mark of the patriot, and I'll wear it like a badge. As for those who done it to me, I'll take my pound of flesh before this is all over.

DEIRDRE You're thinking with your gun, Seamus, and not your head...

SEAMUS (losing it) Shut up!!! (he puts a gun to her head) Shut up and drive! I'm your superior officer and you will do as I goddamn well say, is that understood?!?

BEAT. Deirdre bristles at Seamus's words but says nothing.

SEAMUS Do I need to repeat myself?

DEIRDRE No, Seamus. I heard you the first time.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE CAR - SAME TIME

THE CAR zooms off into the night and as it does -

A LIGHT RAIN starts to fall and we -

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A CHATEAU OUTSIDE OF PARIS - NIGHT

THE SAME RAIN falls, more of a steady mist than a rain. The mist GLEAMS electrically in the THOUSAND WATT LIGHTS which shine from - THE CHATEAU. Hundreds of years old, it sits far back from its own MAIN GATE. In front of the Chateau - ARMED MEN. Lots of them. Whatever this place is, it's not one that invites company. Now we're - MOVING TOWARDS the Chateau, and as we MOVE we get a glimpse of the surrounding environment: ancient statues, sitting benches in private gardens, small pools of fish -- you name it, this place has it. We hear VOICES, and they're talking in - RUSSIAN. Heavy, thick Russian, punctuated with words like "Da!" and "Nyet!" -- making it clear that we've reached the address of the Russian Production Company. BEHIND THE CHATEAU - MORE GARDENS, more everything. It's well-patrolled, but there aren't quite as many guards back here as there are out front, because bordering the chateau is a natural fotress -

A WOODS -

A forest, really. Filled with ancient trees, almost mythic in appearance, and for all the light of the chateau this place is darkness visible -- light comes here and dies. And in this woods, looking out, we find - Vincent and Sam. Heavily armed, they've just humped God knows how many miles through the woods to get here. Both men exhausted from the walk -- Sam from his wound, Vincent from his smoking habit. They collapse and Vincent takes out his cigarettes. Even though they're screened from the chateau back here, Sam reaches over and takes the cigarettes out of Vincent's hands.

SAM Not here. They might see it.

VINCENT If I'm going to die for the CIA, I'm going to go out smoking. (takes the cigarettes back and lights one) Besides, there's half a forest between us and them, they can't see a goddamned thing.

Vincent offers one to Sam, who declines with a shake of his head.

SAM Time to quit.

VINCENT Just like that?

SAM Not just like that... Just before I turn around and it's six months from now and the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is light a cigarette.

VINCENT (obviously he does this) What of it? (almost to himself) Samurai pain in the ass.

SAM (he hates this) Would you stop with that...

VINCENT Why? You've got more force of will than anyone I've ever seen. You handle a gun like it's a part of you, you perform surgery on yourself without anesthesia... (quick beat) And most amazing of all, you quit smoking, just like that.

SAM (qith a cynical laugh) The mark of a true Samurai. (seriously) What I do for the Company, Vincent, is no different than what you do. We're both hired guns, and this is a job -- like any other job.

VINCENT Why then, Sam, don't you act like this is a job like any other? Surely, if you are a hired gun, you realize that some times you just have to walk away without getting what you came for.

SAM Because I don't walk away.

VINCENT Why not?

SAM It's the one thing I've got left to hold onto. (beat) Jean-Pierre is one of your closest friends, is he not?

VINCENT Closest and oldest.

SAM And yet you would have killed him to save my life. (quick beat) You have a sense of honor, Vincent, that I can't even remember anymore. I don't know that I ever even had it to begin with. All I know to do, Vincent, is to finish my job.

VINCENT And when you finish? What then? This package, whatever it is, do you give it to the CIA? Do you really think they deserve it?

SAM That's a good question.

VINCENT Do you have a good answer?

SAM (he's really just considering this) No, I don't.

INT. THE CHATEAU - MEANWHILE

ARMED RUSSIAN MOBSTERS everywhere -- a convention of the goon squad.

MOVING THROUGH the Chateau itself, and from in here we see the side of France we haven't yet seen in this film: culture. Each room could be a museum, as we move through -

A GALLERY, filled with paintings by Renaissance Masters -

A PARLOR, with antique furniture, the youngest piece of which is two hundred years old -

A BALLROOM, empty and barren, but lit by the dazzling light of an exquisite chandelier -

A KITCHEN, where a cigarette smoking CHEF is putting the finishing touches on what is perhaps the most amazing meal you've ever seen. Now - A SERVANT takes the tray and carries it out to -

A DINING ROOM, and the table is set for a formal dinner for twenty, with crystal and china at every place setting, and yet the table is occupied by only one man -

MIKHAEL RACHEV, Russian Gangster Supreme, called Mikhi. Now -

The Servant sets the food down in front of Mikhi, and as this chief hood starts to eat a lonely and solitary dinner we PULL BACK, MOVING DOWN the length of the way-too-long table.

EXT. THE CHATEAU WALLS - NIGHT

A TAXI pulls up to the Main Gate and Gregor gets out. Attached to his wrist, by that same handcuff: the Briefcase. Gregor is admitted by a Guard as we -

CUT TO:

INT. THE DINING ROOM/CHATEAU - A LITTLE LATER

Mikhi the Gangster is eating his dinner as Gregor is ushered into the room. THREE THUGS hang back behind Gregor, watching to see what Mikhi wants. Now -

Mikhi waves the Thugs out of the room, leaving Gregor alone with the gangster. Mikhi takes a last few bites of dinner as he motions for Gregor to sit.

MIKHI (in Russian, English subtitles) Sit, sit... (offering a cigarette) Would you like one?

GREGOR (in English) No, Mikhi, I wouldn't. (letting that sink in for a minute) Since I won't speak your language, and you can't speak mine, English will do nicely.

MIKHI (makes no never mind to him) Whatever you wish... (lights his own cigarette) This has all been a terrible mistake, Gregor. I wanted to play straight with you, but Edvard insisted we try and kill you.

GREGOR Edvard said the same thing about you before he died.

MIKHI I'm shocked, shocked to think that you'd believe him.

GREGOR (suddenly sharp) Enough!

Gregor raises the Briefcase which is still attached to his wrist via the handcuff. Gregor rests the Briefcase on the table.

MIKHI Ahh...

The moment of truth. Before this scene can develop any further, a VOICE comes from Off Screen, and as the Voice speaks, Gregor blanches.

SEAMUS (O.S.) The moment of truth, is it?

ANOTHER ANGLE - Deirdre and Seamus have entered the room. And we notice something unusual: nobody is alarmed (except for Gregor, that is). It's as if they were expected.

GREGOR What is he doing here?

As Seamus speaks he walks through the room, examining the valuable china and crystal, all the while moving inexorably closer to Gregor. His face is, if anything, even more horrific than it was a short while ago, as his formerly fresh wounds have started to scab over.

SEAMUS What am I doing here? Why, I'm here to see my partners, Gregor, the boys in the Russian Mafia. See, your bosses had hoped to screw me by hiring you to pull your thieving double cross. But they only just found out that what's in the briefcase is completely useless without me. I can't fight them, and they can't kill me -- that means we're gonna have to do business together.

GREGOR But you hate each other!

SEAMUS What's a little hate between business partners?

EXT. THE WOODS - MEANWHILE

Vincent's CIGARETTE is stubbed into a rock and the two men rise with a slow purpose. They exchange a look and then Sam steps forward, leading the way

SAM I'm on point, Vincent.

A WIDE ANGLE - THE BACK LAWN OF THE CHATEAU -

Pure Kurosawa. The JAPANESE DRUM we've heard before starts to play again as -

THE LONG SHADOWS of Sam and Vincent come out of the woods and into the brilliant light of the back lawn. For one minute they stand still, and among the many weapons that Sam carries is a long automatic rifle, strung over his back, and in the SILHOUETTE for one minute it looks like a Samurai sword. Now the two men start to move across the lawn, hugging the shadows of the various statues and hedges, trying to keep from being discovered for as long as possible.

BACK IN THE DINING ROOM -

GREGOR (to Seamus) So, you've got it all figured, do you?

SEAMUS Figured enough to know there's an odd man out and I'm looking at him.

GREGOR I think not. (holds up the Briefcase) I have, of course, taken the precaution of wiring the briefcase to explode five seconds after it opens. Unless, of course, I deactivate it before it goes off.

DEIRDRE (under her breath) That fucking figures...

GREGOR Should any of you decide to rush me, I'll kill myself and whoever happens to be near me at the time.

MIKHI And more importantly --

GREGOR I'll destroy whatever's in the case.

BEAT. Nobody moves. Nobody speaks. Until finally -

SEAMUS It looks, Gentlemen, as if we're gonna have to sit down to table and work out an agreement.

Before this entirely too-weird scenario can play itself we go back to -

THE BACK LAWN OF THE CHATEAU -

Sam and Vincent are closer to the Chateau, moving in stealth, avoiding any entanglements and then Sam turns a corner and comes face to face with - A GUARD, and his gun is aimed at Sam's head: Sam's a dead man as we go -

BACK TO THE DINING ROOM

AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE splits the night, and everyone in the room looks at one another, before Mikhi speaks.

MIKHI What was that?

BACK OUTSIDE THE CHATEAU -

The Guard who had Sam in his sights falls down, dead, shot by - Vincent, whose smoking weapon is cradled in his arms. Vincent smiles at Sam.

VINCENT That's one less I owe you...

Sam smiles, but it's no time to get satisfied. their presence revealed, there's no point in moving quietly. Sam draws his weapons and as he and Vincent charge across the lawn towards the Chateau while -

BACK IN THE DINING ROOM -

MORE GUNSHOTS from outside -- not a war, but enough to cause serious alarm. Deirdre, ever the soldier, draws her two automatic pistols.

DEIRDRE (to Seamus and Mikhi) You two stay here and watch our mutual interest.

She nods at Gregor and his Briefcase, indicating what this mutual interest is. Then she turns and bolts the room, and as she does we're -

BACK OUTSIDE THE CHATEAU -

Sam and Vincent are running along, hugging the ground and whatever darkness they can find, while blind weapons fire rips into the ground around them, Russian thugs not even sure what they're shooting at, but shooting all the same as Sam and Vincent hurtle towards -

A BACK ENTRANCE TO THE CHATEAU -

Some kind of kitchen storage area, and as Sam and Vincent burst in from outside - FIVE RUSSIAN HOODS come flying in from an interior entrance, and this is it, Sam and Vincent are outnumbered, outgunned, they're going to die and then - They take out the entire room - Sam holds an automatic pistol in his left hand, and a submachine gun in his right, and when he fires, he does so in short controlled bursts, firing only when he has the target in his sights, while - Vincent fights with a kind of sheer force, a shotgun in one hand, an Uzi in the other, he fires at anything and everything that moves, and he hits almost all of it - And suddenly the room is quiet. Everybody's dead except for Sam and Vincent. They drop their spent weapons and take out fresh ones even as they move towards - THE DOOR - It leads to two passages, each one leading to a separate wing of the chateau.

SAM Let's work our way through the building. I'll take one wing, you take the other.

Vincent and Sam split up, moving into separate WINGS of the Chateau, and as they move off Sam speaks a word of warning.

SAM Watch your back, Vincent.

And then they're gone, and we're with -

Deirdre, who's running through the house, going from room to room, and we're with her for a minute, the JAPANESE DRUM starts to play again, and now it's joined by more and more drums, and they continue for the test of this sequence and suddenly - A HUGE BURST OF GUNFIRE is heard, dragging Deirdre's attention towards -

THE BALLROOM -

And Sam's in the middle of a pitched battle with three Gunmen. He kills the first, and then the second, and then - No third. The Third Gunman rolls out of the way as Sam fires, the Third Gunman fires back and - Their shots go wide, ripping into mirrors and chandeliers, littering the floor with glass. And now we're -

ON DEIRDRE -

Running through the halls as we hear one last burst of gunfire: somebody in the ballroom is dead. Deirdre has almost reached the ballroom when - Sam comes flying out, and the two of them CRASH TOGETHER, sending the two of them sprawling into - The shot-up mess that used to be the Ballroom - And as they crash to the ground, Sam loses his weapon in the fall, but Deirdre manages to hold onto one of her two guns. Now the two of them roll to their feet, and as they do we're back in -

THE DINING ROOM -

Seamus the Madman is pacing the floor, his face even worse than before: with each minute the mask of flesh that is now his face is becoming more grotesque. Little pustules have started to form all over its surface, oozing a whitish viscous liquid. A NEW BURST OF FIGHTING SOUNDS can be heard, and Seamus, who is no longer capable of thinking straight, loses it.

SEAMUS I can't take it anymore. (to Mikhi) Watch him, man, I'm going out and finish what needs finishing!

And Seamus is gone, and so are we -- back to -

THE BALLROOM -

Where Deirdre has her two guns pointed at Sam and - Does nothing. BEAT.

SAM Go on, them...

But Deirdre can't do it. There's something between these two, and now - Sam looks around and sees Deirdre's other pistol lying on a broken chair, and now he -

Kicks out with his foot and hits the chair leg, causing it to function as a lever, sending the gun - THROUGH THE AIR in a graceful SLOW-MO arc until it - THWACKS into Sam's Hand. Now he's armed and he looks back at - Deirdre. Her FINGER tightens on the trigger, she's almost ready to shoot -- if Sam raises his piece, he's a dead man.

DEIRDRE Let it go, Sam, walk away.

In response Sam stares at Deirdre for a BEAT and then he smiles an enigmatic smile and - He steps sideways, into a nearby corridor, vanishing.

DEIRDRE God damn it!

She runs after him but she's too late -- The corridor outside is empty. Now we're back in -

THE DINING ROOM -

With Gregor and Mikhi, and the tension is unbearable, because they can hear the sounds of the fighting as it starts and then stops, but they don't have the least idea of what's going on. Still, Mikhi won't let Gregor leave without giving up the Briefcase. Mikhi has a gun on Gregor, who in turn holds the Briefcase close, ready to open it and set off the 5 Second Timer that will blow it up.

GREGOR (a feral hiss) We'll die if we stay here!

MIKHI (threatening with the gun) You'll die if you leave here.

Gregor sits back down, fairly close to Mikhi. Then, in a manner so deft that Mikhi never even notices, Gregor extracts a wickedly thin stiletto blade from the leather lining of the Briefcase. Before Mikhi can even react, Gregor stabs his arm forward in a savage arc - JAMMING THE BLADE into Mikhi's throat. Mikhi drops his gun and reaches for the blade, already gagging on the blood spray which shoots from the slashed artery. Within seconds - Mikhi falls to the ground, jerking viciously in his death throes as - Gregor picks up the pistol and runs to leave the room, and as he does we move to -

THE GALLERY -

Filled with Paintings and Sculptures, nothing less than 200 years old. This place is a maze, what with it's walls of paintings that jut out here and there, the various corridors which lead from room to room, and the sculptures which block sight lines. Now we find - Vincent, pressed against a wall, a gun in each hand, while - FIVE RUSSIAN MAFIA GUYS are hunting him down. We do a SERIES OF QUICK CUTS as the Five Guys split up and look for Vincent, all the while speaking in low Russian voices. Suddenly one of the Guys turns a corner and sees - Nothing. No Vincent. Now he turns back and - A FIST CRASHES through a painting which hangs on a makeshift wall. It's Vincent. His hand wraps around Mafia Guy's neck, pinning him in place. Seconds later - Two quick shots rip through the painting, hitting Mafia Guy in the head. Now - The other men are alerted by the shots, they come running and - Vincent steps out firing -

And now it's a bullet-fest, as he gets the drop on them, using the maze of the Gallery to his fullest advantage, gunning them down - First one - Then two - Three, and then - No four. Vincent turns, surprised that his man wasn't where he expected him to be when - A SHOT RINGS OUT, hitting Vincent, a flesh wound that disarms him. The Last Guy has the drop on Vincent. Now - The Last Guy smiles a nasty little smile at Vincent and - A PISTOL spits fire and - A BULLET bursts out of the Last Guy's chest. It's Sam. Now Sam and Vincent exchange a look: Sam has, once again, saved Vincent's life.

VINCENT You have to stop doing that!

SAM I'll work on it...

The two men don't have time for any more words, they move from the Gallery and find themselves in -

THE DINING ROOM -

Where they find nothing but the bloody remains of Mikhi the Gangster. Sam and Vincent are surveying the room when a VOICE comes from BEHIND them -

SEAMUS (O.S.) Turn around real slow, and try hard not to breathe when you do it.

ANOTHER ANGLE - Seamus Reilly has come in behind them, and he's got his gun pointed straight at Sam's heart. If Seamus is enraged at discovering Gregor's absence, he's overjoyed to find Sam in his place.

SEAMUS It's you... (touches his face) You're the one did this to my face, are you?

SAM That's me.

SEAMUS Have a nice afterlife.

Seamus pulls the trigger and his BULLET spins out towards Sam, ready to blow a hole through him except that - Vincent leaps forward and takes the bullet -- it rips into his side, a huge splash of red against his white shirt. He falls to the ground, horribly wounded, but he's given Sam enough time, and now - Sam and Seamus open fire on one another - BULLETS RIPPING into the table, chewing up the china and crystal, taking glass shattering bites out of the CHANDELIER above the table, turning the Dining Room from a primo Louis XIV showpiece into shit as the two men move about and then suddenly - They're face to face, each with a gun to the other - Mexican Standoff. Suddenly, from Off Screen -

DEIRDRE (O.S.) Seamus!

ANOTHER ANGLE - Deirdre has appeared, her gun leveled at the two men.

SEAMUS Deirdre, do for him, woman, put a fucking bullet in his head!

Deirdre hesitates, uncertain.

SEAMUS Do it, for Christ's sake, do it so we can find that stinking Gregor, he's got the bloody package! For God's sake, you're a soldier...

These last words sink into Deirdre: she is a soldier. Her gun swivels towards Sam.

SEAMUS (sensing he's getting to her) You're one of us...You been born and bred with your own people, you can't go against your nature. C'mon, girl, I'm you're people.

Deirdre makes up her mind.

DEIRDRE I'm no girl, Seamus...

She fires a shot - Blowing Seamus off his feet and through a huge PLATE GLASS WINDOW.

DEIRDRE And you ain't nobody's people.

She moves with Sam to Vincent, who is seriously wounded -- perhaps life-threateningly so.

SAM (to Deirdre) Let's get him out of here...

VINCENT Finish the job...

SAM And now...

VINCENT (a commanding whisper) Finish it!

Sam considers, but before he can make up his mind, Deirdre sees something through the wreck of the Dining Room Window -

OUT ON THE BACK LAWN - We've already seen that it's bordered on one side by the woods, for the first time we notice - A LAKE, which laps against a PRIVATE DOCK, where a row boat is tethered. Now - BENEATH A VERY FULL MOON, the stark figure of Gregor makes its way toward the Dock.

DEIRDRE (calling out) Sam...

Sam turns at the sound of her voice and sees Gregor making his escape. Sam looks back at Vincent, who is almost passed out from blood loss.

VINCENT I'm really sick of you saving my life. Go out and get the bastard.

Same makes up his mind, and as Vincent passes out, Sam runs out after Deirdre and towards -

THE PRIVATE DOCK -

And as the two of them run we MOVE WITH THEM.

DEIRDRE He's got the briefcase rigged to explode five seconds after anybody other than himself tries to open it.

And now they reach the Dock and they find - Nothing -- no Gregor. And the Boat is still there. Before Sam can restrain her - Deirdre stps out towards the Boat.

SAM Deirdre, wait up --

But it's too late: Gregor steps out from behind -

A BOATHOUSE, and before Deirdre can even figure out what happened, Gregor has her in an arm lock, a gun to her head. His free hand sticks out and we see the Briefcase, which is still handcuffed to his wrist.

GREGOR You might have made a good field agent you arrogant American prick, but you're not smart enough to go up against me.

Gregor and Deirdre are poised at the edge of the lake. This Private Dock is made completely of stone, and the drop to the water is nearly five feet. Sam has reached a position where there is no right answer. Still, he points his gun at Gregor, who in turn shields himself with Deirdre's body.

GREGOR Go ahead, shoot... Shoot and kill the bitch, I don't care. (beat) And yet you don't shoot. Interesting. Put down your weapon and walk away.

DEIRDRE Don't do it, Sam!

GREGOR Shut up!

DEIRDRE He'll kill me anway, Sam, shoot though me and kill this fucker.

SEAMUS (O.S.) (a horrible croak) If you don't, I will...

ANOTHER ANGLE - Seamus is somehow still barely alive -- he's not long for this world, but the will for revenge has driven him this far.

SEAMUS (to Sam, in a cold pale rage) Shoot that traitorous bitch and I'll let you live.

THE TOP OF SEAMUS'S HEAD explodes, finishing him off once and for all, killed by -

Vincent, who has staggered out to make this one necessary shot. But he can go no further, and he collapses in his own blood, near death, just as - Gregor takes a step towards the boat and - Sam makes up his mind and shoots - THE BULLET FLIES ACROSS THE SCREEN -

IMPACT - The Briefcase bursts, shot open by Sam and now we're in SLOW MOTION as -

Gregor relaxes his grip on Deirdre as he struggles to close the case and - Deirdre takes the opportunity to dive the other, into the lake, while -

BABOOM! The case EXPLODES, a flash of phosphorescent white light that incinerates Gregor and the case and whatever was inside it with an explosion that knocks Sam to the ground and when the light clears - Gregor and the case are gone, while - THE EXPLOSION ECHOES out over the lake, booming again and again until finally there is - SILENCE. Sam looks out over the lake for any sign of Deirdre - But there is none. And then, after we've held for a BEAT longer than it should be possible for her to have survived - her head splits the surface and she emerges, coughing. Sam reaches down to help her out.

SAM Are you alright?

DEIRDRE Alright? It's bloody fucking freezing in here!

Sam pulls Deirdre out of the water and then the two of them immediately turn and move towards Vincent, and as they do we start to PULL BACK on them, and now the SOUNDS of SIRENS can be heard, one, then two more, and then a symphony of noise. And we're STILL PULLING BACK ON -

THE CHATEAU - Or what's left of it, because it's started to burn, and quickly the flames start to rise into the night, like something out of medieval times as we -

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. A HOSPITAL WAITING AREA - NIGHT

Sam waits outside a hospital room, inside of which we get a glimpse of - A DOCTOR tending to a heavily bandaged and sedated Vincent. As Sam waits - TWO GENDARMES and a PLAINCLOTHES DETECTIVE approach. The Detective looks at Sam for a BEAT, and then goes to push past him. Sam blocks his way.

DETECTIVE I need to speak with that man.

SAM I'm sorry, I can't allow that.

Sam reaches into his coat, and for a moment everybody thinks he's going for his gun, but instead he comes out with - A PIECE OF PAPER. He hands it to the Detective.

SAM Call that number and ask them what you should do.

The Detective eyeballs the number suspiciously.

FIVE MINUTES LATER -

The Detective hangs up a nearby wall phone and then looks over at Sam in disgust. Without another word, the Detective signals to the two Gendarmes, and all three men exit. Now -

The DOCTOR, a beautiful French Woman, comes up and speaks to him in FRENCH -- and the amazing thing is that Sam speaks back. Everything in SUBTITLED.

DOCTOR You can see your friend, now.

SAM Thank you very much.

DOCTOR The field dressing you put on saved his life. (giving him a look) Where di you learn to do that?

SAM Here and there, I guess.

The Doctor isn't entirely satisfied with this answer, but it's the only one she's going to get, because Sam moves past into -

INT. VINCENT'S ROOM

He's barely alive -- but alive nonetheless. And he's heard Sam speak in French to the Doctor.

VINCENT You son-of-a-bitch...

SAM What?

VINCENT You speak French.

SAM What of it?

VINCENT (in mock exasperation) Nothing...

He lies back on his pillow, pissed and yet amused.

VINCENT (repeating the Doctor's words in English) "Your field dressing saved his life." That's three I owe you.

SAM You don't owe me a goddamned thing, Vincent, and you know it. You stepped in front of a bullet for me. (very seriously, he now believes this) I owe you a heavy debt.

VINCENT (relishing this) I know.

SAM (rising to leave) You better get some sleep, alright?

VINCENT Tell me something first. (a quick beat) The package: what was it?

SAM I don't know. Nobody knows, except a bunch of people who are too dead to tell us. There's probably a couple of guys back at the Company who know, but I don't think they plan to tell me anytime soon.

VINCENT What happened to it? SAM Gone. Destroyed.

VINCENT (sighs, then a beat) I guess that's for the best.

Sam turns for the door but Vincent has one last thing to say.

VINCENT Sam, when Gregor had Deirdre by the lake, you could have killed the two of them with one shot. You could have had the package, finished the job. But you didn't, you sacrificed the job to save her life. Why?

Same has to think about this for a second, and his answer reveals just how full circle he's come.

SAM It's what you would have done.

And on that note Sam exits the room, leaving a bemused Vincent behind.

EXT. THE BANK OF THE RIVER SEINE - EARLY MORNING

A WISPY FOG atmospherically rises off the river -- not too thick, not too thin.

A TITLE: One month later...

We're MOVING along the cobble-stone walk next to the river as a VOICE cuts through the fog.

VINCENT (V.O.) Would you just smoke already...

A RIVERSIDE CAFE - Where Sam, Vincent and Deirdre are having morning coffee. A mostly-healed Vincent is smoking a cigarette, trying to get Sam to light up.

SAM I told you, I quit.

VINCENT Just to keep me company, Sam -- I hate smoking alone. (turning to Deirdre) How about you? I thought all you IRA types smoked.

DEIRDRE Only the stupid ones. Cigarettes kill more patriots than bullets. (a quick beat) Besides, I'm not IRA no more.

VINCENT So where do you go from here?

DEIRDRE I don't know. I was thinking...Maybe the three of us might partner up -- guns for hire, that sort of thing.

VINCENT I'm up for that...

The two of them turn to Sam, but he shakes his head.

SAM Not me. You work too often with the same people and you become friends -- clouds your judgement.

DEIRDRE Come off it, Sam -- if we weren't friends already we wouldn't be here now, would we?

VINCENT She's got a point. (playing a trump card) Besides, I know of a job that's available.

Sam can't help it -- he's interested.

SAM How much does it pay?

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. OUT ON THE RIVER SEINE - MEANWHILE

SILENCE AND FOG. A RIVER FERRY does a slow ghostly glide down the river, and in seconds it approaches -

THE RIVERSIDE CAFE, which appears through the mist, looked at by --

A SLEEK PAIR OF SUN GLASSES attached to a young PUNK in a leather coat, and the Punk is looking at - Sam, Vincent, and especially: Deirdre. Sam looks up and shouts a warning as - The Punk pulls a shotgun from beneath his leather coat, pumps the gun and screams out at Deirdre with an Irish accent -

PUNK This is for Seamus!

BOOM! The Punk pulls the trigger, a blast of fire as - Sam's gun is already out, TWO QUICK SHOTS squeezed off and - The Punk is capped twice in the head, dead, sailing away on the Ferry which never stops as -

THE CAFE goes wild, CUSTOMERS running, screaming, WAITERS dropping their trays. But - Sam doesn't run, and neither does Vincent. Sam stands, stunned by what he sees - Deirdre lies on the ground, hit full on in the chest: she's dead. A BEAT OF PURE SILENCE - Broken by SIRENS in the distance, but quickly growing closer. Now - Vincent looks at Deirdre's corpse, then at Sam, who is unable to move. For maybe the first time in his professional career, Sam is staggered by the loss of a life. Vincent gently takes Sam's arm.

VINCENT (soft yet urgent) We have to go, Sam, we can't be here.

Sam looks at Vincent, and for a moment Sam struggles to find something to say, but he can't find a goddamned thing. The SIRENS are getting louder -

VINCENT (a little louder, bordering desperation) Let's go!!

Vincent literally drags Sam away and now the SIRENS have arrived, followed quickly by - THE GENDARMES, who come running into the Cafe but - It's empty except for Deirdre's body. Now -

THE STREET ABOVE THE RIVER -

Sam and Vincent are running through patchy fog, Vincent leading the way, and now -

We're CLOSER ON Vincent as he runs and runs and runs until he feels he's far enough away from the scene of the crime to relax. He collapses against a stone wall, chest heaving, shaking out two cigarettes, one for himself and one for Sam.

VINCENT (thrusting the cigarettes out to Sam) Doctor's orders...

But Sam isn't there to take the cigarette -- Vincent looks around, trying to see what happened to his friend, but the fog has covered any sign of Sam. Vincent stands there, stunned, alone, the cigarettes in an outstretched hand that slowly falls back to Vincent's side as he realizes that Sam has left him on purpose. Then - Vincent lights both cigarettes at the saem time and throws one of them over the stone wall - THE GLOWING CIGARETTE arcs through the air until it lands in the river where it extinguishes with a hiss.

VINCENT (O.S.) Goodbye, Sam...

BACK AT THE CAFE -

The Gendarmes have secured the scene (there isn't much to secure since everyone has run away). A majority of cops surround Deirdre's dead body, but - One GENDARME wanders around the cafe, looking about, and then he sees something -

ON THE STREET ABOVE -

A SHAPE IN THE FOG. The wind blows and the fog clears for a second, and we see that it's - Sam. Getting one last look at Deirdre. Quickly - The Gendarme points Sam out but as he does the wind continues to blow and - THE FOG swallows Sam. Seconds later the fog clears again, and when it does - Sam is gone.

FADE OUT.

<<<

/ Ronin.
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