Based on the Novel by Kent Jacobs / Copyright 2014
WGAw Registered # 1751249
Contact: James Clois Smith Jr., Sunstone Press / (505) 988-4418
Log Line: A Zuni medicine man’s sacred beliefs and magical powers explode cinematically across the vast New Mexican landscape to help a newly-minted doctor outrun a sinister philanthropist and two felonious US senators.
1973. [Montage] Vietnam War ends. The draft is discontinued. Nixon begins his second term. Lyndon Johnson dies at his ranch in Texas. Picasso dies at his villa in France. World Trade Center Tower Number Two opens in New York. The GODFATHER wins Best Picture. Led Zeppellin plays to record crowds, outdoing the Beatles. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown. Haldeman and Ehrlichman resign as the result of the Watergate scandal. A young doctor completes his internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and is almost run over by an ambulance.
West of Gallup, New Mexico, 1974, afternoon. JACK D’AMICO guns the old Jeep south toward the Zuni reservation. Cresting a hill, he hits the brakes, swerving to miss a herd of sheep. Spots an overturned pickup, wheels still spinning, an arm dangling out the driver’s window. Jack races to the truck, wrenches the unconscious body from the cab, drags him through pooling gasoline, thrusts him into the back of the Willy. Gears grind in reverse, the Jeep surges backwards. His hand on the horn, the sheep respond, tumbling down the arroyo like ball bearings just as the truck explodes.
Four days before, night. In a North Chicago suburb, Jack and his brother NIC dodge a sprinting valet parker and run up sweeping stairs into their father’s tony restaurant. The private dining room fills with family waiting to congratulate Jack. PASQUALE D’AMICO closes the doors, crosses the room to kiss his wife ROSE, bear-hugs his two sons, and shakes hands with GABRIEL D’AMICO, his half-brother. A five course dinner begins. As dessert arrives, the maître d’ whispers a short message to his boss. Pasquale responds in guttural-toned Italian and storms out.
Gallup Hospital, afternoon. Jack paces as the policeman fills in admittance papers. Name: Tito Jahata. Zuni Pueblo. Next of kin – Louis Paul Jahata. Occupation – A:shiwani. Jack raises his eyebrows. The policeman responds, “Medicine man.” A surgeon in greens approaches, saying, “Tito will lose that arm.”
Winnetka, early morning. Two men enter the D’Amico home, slash the maid’s throat, stab a trocar into Rose’s neck, spraying Pasquale with pulsating blood. The killer yanks the trocar out and jams it up Pasquale’s nostril, embedding it in his brain. Upstairs, twin sisters, TRISTINA and GIOVANNA are stabbed. In the adjacent bedroom, Nic is knifed. Next to him, WOOLY, the family dog, is eviscerated. An urgent search for the missing son is useless.
Dirksen building, Chicago. Special Agent LORI MAY WILSON meets fellow agent YOLANDA CERVANTES, executive secretary to the head honcho, Special Agent MACK BROOKS. Arrogant and dismissive, Brooks tosses a stack of files on the conference table, all grisly photos of the D’Amico carnage. Lori is assigned the case. First task: attend the private funeral. Brooks, munching on ice, pronounces the case is a need-to-know-only. No one out of this office can know a thing. Throwing one last photo of a pale blue-eyed Jack D’Amico in front of her, he says, “He’s missing. Find him. Dismissed.”
Zuni Reservation, Black Rock Hospital, dusk. Jack, late and unnerved, meets DR. BILL NEWMAN, Service Unit Director, a West Texan and private pilot, and his pregnant Newfoundland, FLAPPER. Initial conversation is interrupted by honking horns at the ER. Next morning, Bill takes Jack up in a Piper Cub for a look-see of the rez. The tiny plane is engulfed in a vortex of spectacular light [SFX]. “Welcome to New Mexico.”
Flossmoor estate, southeast of Chicago, noon. Poolside, two children are splashing while ANTHONY KNAPP, in a white terrycloth robe, orders MARIO BELLA to find and kill the doctor. A beach ball lands in a rose bush and explores. A child screams.
Black Rock Hospital, afternoon. Bill puts down the receiver, orders Jack to immediately leave for the Dulce Apache reservation. Jack’s response: “Shit! I just got here!” STAN, the pharmacist, drives Jack to Gallup, stopping at Whitewater Trading Post. Jack buys fry bread and beer, stumbles over a drunken Indian as he sidesteps a line of Navajo women waiting to pawn.
Chicago FBI, late afternoon. Brooks leaves for the country club. Yolanda has Lori’s tickets to fly to Albuquerque the next day. After a rat-ta-tat diatribe on her bass, Yolie tells Lori about her backup, an ex-FBI, JOSH FLORES, who will meet her. Yolie asks how the funeral went. [Flashback] Lori stands by Gabriel D’Amico, the only family member present, and a smattering of FBI agents – no local authorities.
Albuquerque Sunport, late afternoon. Josh, in a green Forestry Service truck, drives Lori to his home, a former drive-in bank in Grants, outfits her with gear, keys to a Scout with a Forest Service radio. She drives in darkness to Gallup. El Rancho Hotel, like a faded postcard. She eats in the 49er Bar. A pair of inebriated Indians shout at TV footage of FBI at Wounded Knee.
Zuni Pueblo, night. LOUIS PAUL JAHATA sits cross-legged, eyes closed, slips into a trance, open to Zuni cosmology, [FX] connecting to a power greater than humans. Following inner directions, he takes his son from the Gallup Hospital against medical orders, back to the pueblo where he removes the arm cast and sees major infection.
Black Rock Hospital, next morning. Lori pleads with Bill to divulge Jack’s location. She says she is pregnant with Jack’s child.
El Rancho Hotel, morning. Mario reports to MR. K (aka KNAPP) by phone. [Montage] He details near-misses with Jack: A chase with a Thunderbird, Jack’s graduation gift, the car thief killed, car burned. Willy Jeep that Jack bought is nowhere to be found. Knapp is furious. Mario complains about drunks, shitty food, bad motels. Mr. K interrupts, saying, “Next move?” Mario tells him a drunk outside a trading post saw a blue-eyed doctor enroute to Dulce. Knapp doubts it. Mario: “Better be right, cost me a six-pack of Bud.”
Driving from Gallup to Dulce, NM, high noon. [Montage] Jack experiences mind-boggling clear-headiness while driving. [FX] Highway shimmers/mirage/Hogan next to a single-wide/Shiprock/mirage/solitary man walking alone/ rusted out old pickup/ ghosts/ oil refineries/ pumpjacks/ narrow mountain road/ steep cliffs/ altitude change.
Dulce, NM, PHS clinic, Jicarilla Apache Reservation late afternoon. Jack enters the clinic which is crammed with sick kids. Charge nurse GLORIA suspects strep throat. Jack does a throat culture on a stoic kid, swipes swab on a glass slide, prepares stains, microscope reveal streptococcus myriads. “Penicillin?” “Not much.” They lockup the clinic, walk across the street to the doctor’s quarters who is on sick leave. Jack opens a warm can of Coors and pries open a can of soup, yanks off a piece of fry bread and stretches out on a dingy lounge chair on the back porch. He studies brilliant stars. Suddenly the night sounds vanish. A monstrous cracking accompanies violent shaking. “Christ! An earthquake!” He crawls under a table inside, lights go out. Walls move in / out [FX] / in again. Gloria hammers on the front door, calmly hands him a battery-powered lantern, takes him to the massively damaged clinic.
An Albuquerque suburb, late night. [Montage] Admiral Zeller is awakened by State police, saying Dulce sustained a 5.9 earthquake, all communications are down / In a Farmington motel, Mario wakes up cursing NM / Down the street, Lori feels the rumble / Louis Paul holds a hand over Tito, saying, “Still my son, the gods are angry. Listen.”
Mile marker 127, early morning. State police detour travelers around buckled pavement. Mario’s car drags bottom, producing a steel-screeching scream. Constantly whips the wheel to avoid boulders.
Before noon Lori is in Dulce. She tells Gloria she’s a field medic from Taos. She gets the same story a man from headquarters was given: “The doctor is out making house calls. He won’t be back until very late.”
Back in his car, Mario watches Lori come and go.
Dulce, night. Still posing as a medic, Lori bangs on Jack’s warped door in the darkness. Groceries in hand, she introduces herself. No electricity, so Jack will grill the steaks. Lori brings a salad out. They sit at a rickety table, sharing the one knife in the doctor’s kitchen.
Mario moves closer through the pines. Silencer on, he raises his pistol and fires at Jack. Simultaneously, snarling growling precedes milliseconds just before the massive arm of a huge grizzly bear rips off Mario’s face and disappears.
They maneuver the body to the clinic. Lori recovers the gun and bullet fragment, then radios tribal police.
A State policeman intercepts the call and joins the Apache officer, PAUL CHINO at the clinic. Territory and jurisdiction battle ensues. Jack is obsessed with the gold watch on the body, reaches for it. Lori shouts, “No!”, then is forced to admit that she is an FBI agent. Jack is livid. Lori radios FBI, reports directly to Brooks. Mario’s car and body are hauled away with a police escort. Lori orders Jack into the Scout.
[Cut to] A damaged dam breaks in the mountains above Dulce. Chino tries to radio them but the reception is too bad.
[Cut to] They begin the treacherous drive back to Zuni, and are immediately swept off the road into a ravine by a mudslide. Branches, foam, churning black water and mud. The Scout begins a sickening spin out of control. The windshield explodes. Water pours in the back window. Her gear is swept away. Suddenly traction. Lori grinds the gears and the Scout lurches on to the bank. The Scout limps into Gallup where at a stoplight at the rail crossing, Lori begins to cry. Driving on to Zuni, she suddenly pulls off the road. She tells Jack, “Days ago, something terrible happened in Chicago.”
Flossmoor estate. In a darkened office, a man sits in front of Mr. Knapp. An informant has advised Mr. K that Mario is dead. Man in the wingback chair starts to leave, but is blasted by Knapp and threatened. Knapp then calls SENATOR JOSEPH TRASK (Illinois) warning of exposure and demanding legislation immediately.
Black Rock ER. Jack storms into the hospital, stopped by Dr. Newman who tries to convince Jack to go into hiding. Devastated with grief, Jack finally gives in and is taken to the pueblo. A healed Tito and Louis Paul greet him. Jack reluctantly eats a bowl of Zuni stew. [FX] Kaleidoscopic images explode in his brain. Louis Paul feels his breath and his pain. Suddenly, mysterious calm. Jack is alert. Clear-headed. Feels power. His anger, his angst are gone.
A dirt road on the reservation, late afternoon. Jack finds himself in a dusty truck barreling down a corrugated road. Tito swings the truck out onto a rugged mesa. At the base of a cliff, [FX] Louis Paul silently calls upon Universal Spirit. Above them, the cliff face is pure granite, filled with jagged crevasses and outcroppings. [FX] Darkness engulfs them. Jack finds himself sitting on a finely woven blanket in a cave. Alone.
Dr. Bill Newman’s office, early AM, after working all night. Exhausted, Bill looks up to see Lori and his dog. She has fed and walked Flapper. She wants to know where Jack is, but he swears he doesn’t know. She tells him she has the ballistics report. The dead man was a contract killer from Chicago. The D.C. office is showing interest. “This is a big deal. Where is Jack?” Bill doesn’t know, but he does have an idea about why Washington would be interested. Uranium. Radium. Radon gas. Mines. [Flashback] Bill testifying before Congress. Louis Paul Jahata tried to testify but was ridiculed by a senator.
Jack’s hiding place. No sleep, yet extremely alert. He stands erect on the narrow ledge, pulls off his shirt, and with surprising strength swings from rock hold to rock hold to the top of the cliff. Orienting himself using the sun, he stretches his arms out east and west, visualizing the location of the pueblo. Wind blasts from the south. His heart pounds, his eyes flood with tears. [FX] He screams the names of his family.
Zuni pueblo. With Bill’s sketchy directions, Lori finds the Jahata home. Uneasy and tense in surreal surroundings, Louis Paul says little but gives her a mirror.
El Rancho Hotel, Gallup. That evening Yolie calls Lori, tells her to meet a courier, who turns out to be Josh, delivering intel. Lori realizes something was very wrong. Back in the hotel lobby, she catches a glimpse of an older man reading a newspaper while his shoes are shined. He lowers the paper, Lori shivers.
Black Rock, night. A stranger’s face, cobalt blue against the darkness of the room. Bill looks up. The man ID’s himself as Gabriel D’Amico, and he needs to tell Jack about his mother’s illness. Bill freezes.
Zuni reservation, early morning. Louis Paul told Lori to begin at dawn, walk from Black Rock Lake, up the canyon, constantly reflecting flashes of light against the cliff face. She climbs, crosses lava flow, sweating. Falls, scrapes. Blood. Facial cuts, bloody knees, shirt torn. A flash comes from higher up.
Lake Calumet Harbor. Knapp watches a laker maneuver into its slip. [SFX] Gantry cranes begin unloading the bulk carrier, one hundred tons per hour into waiting dump trucks. Bills of lading show the cargo is fossil-rich shale, but in fact, the ore is high grade uranium from the Athabasca Basin in Canada.
Flossmoor. Knapp calls Senator Trask to tell him a huge shipment has arrived, worth millions. They need to move it, pronto. “What’s the status of the Bill?”
Jack’s hiding place. Lori scrambles to the cave. Jack’s blue eyes look like pinholes in the darkness. She touches his beard.
Bill’s residence. Restless night of sleep. Bill showers, puts on a Class A uniform. Calls for Flapper, finds her stabbed to death.
The cave. Lori climbs back down to the cave, tells Jack she has found a new hiding place. If she found him, others could. Approaching a small lake, Lori begins a line of questioning emanating from Yolie’s intel. ID of contract killer, worked for big shots in Chicago and/or D.C. Big time international uranium peddlers. Why would they kill your family? Why are they after you? Was your family a part of this? Backing away, Jack breaks into a run, cursing her. A loud voice stops him. Tito looms over Jack, drops a knapsack, leaves without a word. They see his shape silhouetted [FX] a mile away in mere seconds.
Sheepherders hut at nightfall. Protectively tucked into a rock wall, they eat from jars of Zuni stew. Jack calms down, they swim, disappear into the hut.
Knapp Chemical Processing Company. Agitated, Knapp watches new Peterbuilt trucks disappear in near darkness through the security gates. Bills of lading would clear interstate commerce checkpoints, though the secured barrels weren’t filled with stone/brick aggregate, but in fact, the blue barrels contained yellowcake, concentrated natural uranium ready for smelting into purified UO². Dirty bombs. He signals his driver, checks off the last truck. Each pair of drivers have been drilled: no stops except for fuel, no communications except with Knapp headquarters at specified intervals.
Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C. SENATOR RICHARDS PHILLIPS joins Illinois Sen. Trask and hangs his two canes on the booth coat hook. Martinis arrive. Trask tells the senator from New Mexico that he told Mr. K to move his trucks, all is good to go, and compliments him on a job well done. Phillips responds angrily, knocking over a silver tower of seafood.
Next morning. Jack awakens, slips into the shallow lake. Lori starts a fire, filling tin cups with tea leaves. Talking with about last night, both realize they don’t remember much, so they do it again.
Black Rock Hospital. Gabriel threatens Bill, giving him until noon to find out Jack’s location. Adding, “Sweet dog, we Italians appreciate a good bitch.”
Black Rock Lake. Gabriel waits in his car parked near the dam, spots a man carrying a heavy backpack, grabs his army-issue rifle scope. He instantly recalls [Flashback] Tito from the newspaper in Gallup, as the man who was saved by Jack D’Amico days before. Gabriel follows him on foot, dropping into a deeply eroded arroyo. Scraping, falling. Tito spots Gabriel, removes his boots, sneaking up steep shale into a cholla-choked channel into dense forest. Suddenly, a powerful hand grabs Tito’s left foot. A knife severs the Achilles tendon. Tip of the blade at Tito’s throat, Gabriel orders him to crawl, take him to Jack.
Knapp Chemical, Knapp’s office. Intercom flashes green. A soft voice reports that TODD MURPHY reported all trucks were in place, destination a day away. Mr. K orders the secretary to get two first class tickets to Albuquerque.
Black Rock FAA. Crackling static surrounds JEFF, who is monitoring air traffic in the region when Bill jerks the door open. Bill tells him someone killed his dog, some bastard he knows. Jeff tells him he had seen a guy parked by the dam head south on foot. Bill ran behind Jeff to the Piper Tri-Pacer. All checked out, hand on throttle, he starts taxi. The air search begins. He turns on the windshield wipers.
Cibola Forest. Clouds erupt, a deluge beings. To move faster, Gabriel thrusts a crude crutch to Tito who swings it at Gabriel’s legs. With a savage grunt, off-balance, Gabriel jerks the crutch away, viciously hitting Tito’s shoulder. Gabriel threatens to kill him if he does it again. Bare-footed, bloodied, Tito hops /drags / hops. Nearing the shelter by the lake, Gabriel points his gun at Tito’s head and tells him to call out. Tito manages a step, collapses in the mud.
At the hut, Jack and Lori hear the cry and step out into the blasting rain. Gabe calls out to “Jacko” to help the poor kid. After Jack’s initial shock, a vehement battle of vindictive accusations from Gabe escalates into a vicious fight. Crashing limbs, staccato daggers of rain, ice [FX] metamorph into twisting, writhing snakes. Gabe shoots. A hideous sound roars as the bullet strikes the shoulder of an enormous grizzly. The giant bear swings his claws into Gabe’s face, gouging out his eyes and gutting his skull.
Zuni pueblo. At his workbench, Louis Paul grabs his right shoulder in pain.
Valverde Hotel, Socorro, New Mexico, late night. Having rented a black sedan at the Albuquerque Sunport, Knapp takes a seat in the crowded bar packed with hippies from NM Tech and bikers. Juke box blares, smoky smell of stale beer. Still incredulous about being told of the second contract hit man killed by a bear, he tells his driver, MIKE, that the advance team should have already begun digging.
South-by-Southeast of Zuni, above Sacred Lake, next morning. Louis Paul jumps from his truck near the top of a mesa overlooking the salt flats. A hawk circles above. Squinting in the brilliant sun, he kneels, focusing on a line of trucks moving along the south edge. Yellow backhoes were digging, belching exhaust. Louis Paul reads the sign of another man in the sand. A man with a limp, the right print showing weight on the heel. A man about 160 pounds.
At 5,000 feet above Fence Lake and Circle Butte. With clearing skies, Bills flies a crisscross search pattern. He spots trucks at salt flats approach waiting Caterpillars. The heavy sidelifters begin unloading giant containers. A black sedan is driving toward a trailer at the site. Bill needs fuel. And Louis Paul.
At the hut. Jack sews up Tito’s Achilles tendon. No anesthesia. Lori goes outside, stands beside the blood-soaked ground. Rain had stopped, still some low clouds in the forest. She begins [Montage] to sort out Gabriel’s diatribe. Brooks, Mr. K, a major philanthropist on the Chicago scene. Yolie’s intel, the Port Authority report. Josh.
In the Piper. Bill spots Louis Paul and his truck. Crash lands. They make their way via a narrow slit, meet up with Jack, Lori, Tito at the hut.
At the hut. Between Lori’s deductions and Bill’s observations, the team begins to suspect who is behind the murders and why.
FBI Headquarters, Washington, DC. DIRECTOR CLARENCE KELLEY is fuming over confidential intel. Falsified bills of landing. Illegal shipments. It wasn’t some petty thief working out of Canada. Athabasca quality uranium ore. Someone inside FBI is greasing the way. Get an agent from Cointelpro. Then the matter of a re-located boundary in Northwest New Mexico. Changes the ownership of Sacred Lake. Salt is excellent material for controlling naturally released radium from purified uranium. Kelley demands to know who sponsored the boundary legislation.
Scared Lake. 104°, afternoon. Wavy light. Heatwave mirages. Dressed like his crew, khakis, tan shirt, black cap, dark glasses, desert boots, Knapp studies his blue prints in the Ops trailer. Mike waits at the black sedan, hands a leather pouch of bluish salt to Knapp.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, early evening. Senator Phillips arrives at the Santa Fe airport in a constituent’s Beechcraft King Air 90. Scent of recent rain. He lifts his crippled legs into his car. Two canes hit the passenger seat. He needs a drink.
FBI, Washington, D.C. A thirtyish kid stands in front of Director Kelley. The Special Agent Threat Team member tells Kelley that Senate Government Ops has oversight of the AEC. Kelley questions, “Who heads that up? Response: “Senator Joseph Trask of Illinois.” “Crap! First Watergate. Now this!” snaps Kelley.
The Compound Restaurant, Santa Fe, night. Phillips waits in the bar for his guest, a coal executive. The maître’d escorts the senator to his table. Their conversation is tense. 18,000 acres ready to strip-mine and processed using 600 gallons per minute. The coal executive is upset -- someone from BIA filed a suit with Equal Opportunity Office. The complaint states hydrological studies from his mining company has damaged Zuni Sacred Lake, further, that info was leaked from Phillip’s own office. Phillips says he got them their water rights. The coal executive has info that giant trucks and digging equipment are burying uranium- radioactive containers in Sacred Lake contaminating the aquifer. Everyone working their mining op will glow in the dark.
Night. Leaving the hut for Zuni Sacred Salt Lake. Louis Paul scrambles up the shale deposit, throws a rope back to Jack, then Lori. At the mesa ridge they spot the excavation, hydraulic removal and burial of barrels. Jack passes the binoculars. [Montage/Flashback] The encounter with a man at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Jack tells Lori he recognizes the man beside the dark sedan.
The showdown. Bill and a pale Tito join them. Louis Paul motions to Tito, who instantly slams Jack to the ground. They all refuse to let Jack go – he is the magnet, the bull’s eye. Louis Paul moves silently. Lori approaches a backhoe, grabs the sidebar. The Caterpillar coughs. The driver leaps on her. She shoots. Another machine roars, its extended bucket teeth mashing. Shots fired. Louis Paul stands in the headlights, close enough to see the day-old beard of the driver. [SFX] Trenching bucket snaps, screeches. [FX] [SFX] Lightning. The earth opens, water foams. The giant machine is swallowed into the massive teaming pit. In seconds, salt crusts over, sealing the pit shut. At the Ops trailer, Knapp sees it all. Bill sees him at the window, fires. Glass shards embed in Knapp’s shoulder, neck. Mike fires at Bill, misses. Knapp crouches behind the trailer steps, fires at Bill. [FX] The bullet shreds a kaleidoscope of nerves in Bill’s neck, instantly paralyzing him. Louis Paul signals the release of Jack. They spring into action, leaping over the perimeter and [FX] flying. They knew they were flying. Jack scoops up Bill’s pistol and fires at Knapp’s car. A driver aims and fires at Lori as he pulls his Sidewinder in a wide arc. Taillights disappear in the darkness. Jack dodges right/left/right, somersaults to the corner of the trailer. Knapp runs, dives into the back seat of his car. Jack fires, the back window shatters, Mike’s right ear is blown off. Mike floors the gas, swerving wildly. Lori goes down, the tire missing her head by mere inches.
90°. Phone booth, downtown Washington, DC., morning rush hour. Senator Trask calls Brooks in Chicago. Somehow Director Kelley has seen a copy of the Port Authority reports.
Chicago FBI. Brooks panics, slams down the receiver so an oriental vase shatters. He screams for Yolanda.
Sacred Lake. Jack and Louis Paul tear out a seat from a semi cab, load the barely conscious Bill on to the makeshift litter. In the growing light, Tito scans the horizon, noting a faint trail of dust approaching fast.
Chicago FBI. Brooks crunches ice, demands Yolie explain tags/channels.
State Road 60 heading toward Magdalena. In the backseat, Knapp rips off his work shirt and t-shirt, compacts the undershirt against Bill’s head and the driver’s window. Bleeding profusely from the hole in his head, Mike steps out into a blast of rain at a dingy station. With one hand holding the gas pump handle, gasoline pours onto the sodden ground. Lightning arcs and explodes [FX, SFX], sending electricity through the car and Mike’s body, grounding in the mud. A fireball engulfs the scene.
6011 4th St. Washington, DC. Trask is escorted to Director Kelley’s office, where he is bombarded with questions. A Senate in-depth investigation looms.
Sacred Lake. A dusty Jeep Wagoneer pulls up. Lori recognizes and vouches for Josh Flores. Jack asks him to take Bill to Gallup. As they climb into the Jeep, a Geiger counter crackles and goes berserk. Beta gamma probe lets them know they’re in the middle of radiation death soup.
Louis Paul is exhausted, the lake desicrated. He sinks to his knees.
Remains of a dingy service station on Highway 60. A semi-truck driver circles the burned-out car, and the hissing, dismembered skeleton of Mike. Driver and Ops head, TODD MURPHY, find Mr. K severely burned, load his nude body, now a mass of raw pulp, into the truck sleeping cab.
1800 Old Meadow Road, McLean, Virginia. Over coffee, Director Kelley reads the Washington Post headline: SEN. JOSEPH TRASK FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME. A maid served his breakfast. Kelley thanks her, saying, “I’m famished.”
Zuni Pueblo. Walking to the pueblo, Louis Paul leans on his son. He declines food, asks only for a glass of water. LINDA, his wife, hears the glass shatter. Louis Paul tells her the senator that ridiculed him years ago is dead.
USPH Hospital in Gallup. Exhausted, Lori and Jack collapse on twin beds in a private room. [Backflash] Jack has tormented nightmares. Vomits, sees the way he looks in the mirror: older, long hair, beard, sunken eyes. Doesn’t recognize his own voice.
Bill is moved into the room. Lori drags a screeching chair to his bedside. A nurse tells Lori she has a phone call. It is Yolie, who is in Albuquerque. She quit. She responds to Lori’s question, “Pues, I wonder. Who would ever want to burn Special-Agent-in-Charge-Asshole-Brooks?”
Phillips’ Ranch near Taos. Sen. Phillips reads the headlines in the Albuquerque Journal. News of Senator Trask’s death. Phillips drops it on the floor, pulls himself up using two canes, moves slowly to his map table. He studies new boundaries delineating the Sacred Lake. Interrupted by RAY, his foreman, who spotted a bear earlier in Box Canyon. Phillips orders the bear tracked and killed. A single sentence on NPR news makes him choke.
Semitrailer truck cab enroute to Taos. A dying Knapp, encased in plastic wrap, lies unconscious in the sleeping compartment. Murphy radios Knapp Chemical Company headquarters, reports that Knapp is near death.
Knapp Chemical Processing Co. FBI agents are raiding the main office.
Zuni Pueblo. Louis Paul washes his hair in amole suds. [Montage/Flashback] Bad memories / stolen land, now barren/ dry rivers / poisoned water. The lifeline of the bear fetish in his hand [FX] is glowing red. Aloud, he says to Sacred Mountain, “I am ready to leave my body.”
A diner in Gallup. Yolie and Josh join Lori and Jack. Eggs, chile sausage, biscuits, coffee. Yolie tells them of hanky-panky deals about boundary lines. The bastard senator from NM has tried to get in touch with Knapp. The FBI intercepted Phillips’ call. They were at Knapp’s headquarters looking for bills of lading for Canadian ore, uranium-rich ore. Trask is dead. Knapp is near death. Only Phillips is alive. Let’s go get the bastard.
Zuni Pueblo to Taos to the Phillips Ranch. Louis Paul, a bag tied to his belt, leaves the pueblo through narrow side channels. A pack of mongrel dogs encircle him. Occasional whimpers, no barking. At the parking lot in front of the old Mission, the dogs leap into his truck. Louis Paul hasn’t said a word.
Highway 66 to 285 to 68. Long deep shadows lengthen as he drives [Montage] – Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Pojoaque, Espanola, Velarde, Ranchos de Taos, a shortcut turning right just past the church, following the Rio Fernando to Valle Escondido.
Above Box Canyon. The dogs surround Louis Paul. He gives them grease cakes for stamina, then sweeps his hand. Each dog finds shelter: sage brush, chamisa, boulders, junipers, and disappears into their own camouflage, awaiting new instructions.
Highway 66. Jack sees him first. They pick Tito up, who tells them that his father took the truck. Louis Paul will need help where he’s going.
Josh’s house in Grants. They arm themselves from Josh’s arsenal.
Phillips’ study. Sound bites as a TV anchor announces a breaking story involving enriched uranium. Phillips’ name is not mention…yet. He schedules a press conference and orders Ray to spread the men high and low.
Near Valle Escondido. Murphy spots the gates and pulls the semitrailer onto the rutted road. Wearing a yellow slicker, rifle barrel visible, Ray stops them. He takes them up to the ranchouse, and the drivers begin to move Knapp down from the cab. Despite the burns over 60% of his body, Phillips immediately recognizes his former partner. Paranoia and rage engulf Phillip’s mind [FX]. He orders Ray to shoot all of them, then attacks the foreman himself, slashing Ray with his canes.
Above the ranchouse. Lori takes control. They see the bodies, and a glimpse of the maid, MARIA. They move in low and loaded. Jack recognizes the partially burned corpse. Josh takes the wheel of the Wagoneer, and following Maria’s directions, heads down into the canyon under the menacing eyes of mounted riflemen above. Wearing FBI vests, they descend from the SUV, arms in the air. The riflemen and horses disappear. [FX] The air fills with sounds of baying dogs ricocheting across the canyon walls.
Canyon shadows, darkness approaching. A wild-eyed Phillips crouches behind boulders blocking an exit. Seeing the FBI vest, he fires wildly. [SFX] A giant mammoth grizzly roars, an enormous menacing roar.
Tito screams for his father. [SFX]The bear disappears [FX].
The team catches up with Tito, spot the mutilated body of the senator. Tito lets out a deep pitiful moan. His body twitches involuntarily. Lori taps Jack’s shoulder. Twenty feet away, dogs are sitting silently, all looking at Tito.
A freezing blast of air, lenticular clouds condense. A split second after the sun drops below the horizon, the polished pearl-like clouds condense, diffract. [FX] A flash. A high-pitched scream comes from above. Jack sees a huge bird diving at him. No. Diving at Tito. [SFX, FX] Charged air envelopes them. The peregrine falcon’s wings whip viciously as it whirls past. At lightning speed, the raptor becomes a tiny black dot. Tito faints. Jack yells at him to breathe. Tito blinks. Lori spots the bear fetish in his hand. Tito eyes fill with tears, says that his father just gave it to him…”As his Spirit passed.”