EXT. THE NEXT MORNING DOCKSIDE- THE DAWN
It is calm and sunny. Mike lowers Scuba tanks and wetsuits to Ken. Mike fires up The Dawn. Anna has hooked up the coffee & bagels and they eat as they pull into the bay. She passes it around.
Thank you. Good job on breakfast, Rookie.
(Chewing her bagel. Smiling.)
Welcome. Ya’ can’t sail on an empty stomach, Captain. Bad luck.
Well, ye may have some pirate in ye after all!
Mike grins and walks to the console. Ken secures the extra life jackets and rest of the gear. The Dawn roars to life.
EXT. THE DAWN- EAST RIVER, MANHATTAN SKYLINE
The Dawn rushes upriver on a favorable tide. A Circle Line boat passes, tourists wave and take photos.
That is some tidal rip, huh?
Yeah, we are riding the tide. It will be stiller where we dive.
Anna takes off her shirt. She sports a sexy, colorful bikini top. Mike tightens up and puts on his sunglasses.
Do you remember the spot?
Yep. Saved it on the GPS. About 15 minutes. Enjoy the ride.
Mike turns on the marine radio and pretends to listen to the routine chatter. Anna joins Ken at the back of the boat. Ken is checking air tanks.
He’s a bit touchy, huh?
Mike? It’s all an act. He thinks he’s Steve McQueen.
Ha. I remember you guys from summer I spent with my Aunt and Uncle. I was 12.
Mike said the same thing.
Really? My uncle says that you two are like family?
Yeah, we are family. His Uncle Pat taught us to fish. We have been doing it ever since.
Still in Brooklyn?
Mike lives in Manhattan. My wife and I just had our first kid. We are in Bay Ridge. You?
I grew up in Brooklyn Heights. I’m still there.
Very posh. You rich?
A little. Inherited. My father died a couple of years back. My Mom died that summer. My Uncle and Aunt are all I have.
The shadow of the bridge passes over the boat. Anna looks up at Mike. Mike slows the engine. He takes off his sunglasses.
EXT. UNDER HELL’S GATE BRIDGE
Mike circles the spot and signals to KEN. KEN sets anchor and drops a diving marker. It is slack tide. The water is about 50 feet deep on the depth finder. The water is fast and emotions are high. Mike and Ken pull on their wet suits. They carefully check each other’s equipment.
This is just a quick dive. I want to see what we’re dealing with down there.
Ken & Mike synchronize watches.
We gotta’ stay close. These currents are tricky.
Check. Follow the anchor line down, right?
First sign of trouble, we surface. Nice and slow. No stupid mistakes.
This line is tied to my belt. Ken is tied to me.
Give three sharp tugs if there is trouble topside.
I will. Be careful.
Mike smiles awkwardly. Anna smiles back. The two men dive backwards into the water. They swim to the anchor line and descend into the dark water.
The water is cloudy. Visibility is low.
Mike goes first and Ken follows, they pull themselves along the anchor line to the bottom.
EXT. BOTTOM OF HELL’S GATE CHANNEL
This is not the sunny Caribbean. The water is not a bright blue, but a dirty green/gray.
The water is murky and the bottom covered in muck.
The men come upon the wreck of a rusty barge, clearly not the treasure.
An eel slither out of the wreck. As they probe the edges of the barge Mike finds an old-looking, muck-covered jug. It is too dirty to find any markings. Mike puts the jug in his bag and signals to Ken.
They poke around a bit more and find nothing else.
Time is up. They ascend.
EXT. ON A SMALL MOTORBOAT ACROSS THE WATER
Ramon & Flaco (Latino, early 20’s) are lazily fishing and smoking a joint.
They are watching the activity on the Dawn through binoculars. He is on his cell phone.
Yo! You ain’t gonna’ believe what I’m seeing. Check this out.
Snaps a photo on his phone)
(Reaching for the binoculars)
Holy Shit! Let’s roll up on them.
The boss says to chill.
Ramon listens to instructions. Flaco stews.
Ah-ight. I’ll follow. I’ll write it down. I got you.
(Hanging up the phone)
Pull it up, Flaco. We are going to see where they go with this. Stay low.
I still say we jack ‘em now.
We’ll get to that. Right now, Boss says to chill.
EXT. THE DAWN- AFTER THE DIVE
Mike breaks surface, Ken shortly after. Mike hands his bag to ANNA. The two men climb aboard.
Go figure. A fuckin’ jug.
Let’s see. It could be the next clue.
There is an old garbage scow down there. It is not the Hussar.
If we can trace this old jug to the Hussar we have the second piece to the puzzle.
(Cracking a smile)
How bad do you want it?
Now you’re starting to talk like a pirate.
I am what I am.
I’ll take this to the lab.
Let’s go home now.
Mike hits the engine and they head back to the harbor. A crisp wind picks up.
EXT. ON A PIER, IN THE SHADOWS
The Keeper is watching them through his old telescope. He snaps it closed and harnesses it on his belt.
CLOSEUP- The Keeper’s skeletal face covered in mummified skin. His leathery lips move as he talks.
Insolent, greedy bastards! Stirring up the bottom, waking the dead. No, this won’t stand. FAUSTO!
Fausto is of this world. Barely. He is thin and creepy, quick and nimble.
Reserve my table at La Esquina. Reserve the whole place.
Yes, Captain. Anything else?
Please lay out my dress uniform and broadsword.
(Smiling to himself)
Oh, dear. Here we go.
The Keeper is licking his lips.
INT. ANNA’S LAB- LATER THAT EVENING
Anna puts on rubber gloves and removes the jug from a tub of acid. The jug is fizzing. She rinses it with a small hose. It is now nearly white.
Flaco is watching her from a shrub near the window. Anna turns quickly, but she sees nothing. Flaco slinks away.
INT. LAB COUNTER
Anna’s gloved hands lift the jug from the dirty acid water.
CLOSEUP ON THE JUG- The imprint at the bottom of the jug is clear- “HMS HUSSAR Made in England”. ANNA peels off the gloves and reaches for her phone.
INT. MIKE’S APARTMENT
Mike is in the kitchen beginning to cook his dinner. He is chopping vegetables and singing along with the radio when the phone rings.
Hey, Anna. What’s up?
MIKE, we’ve got a match!
What do you mean?
There is a marking on the jug. It is from the Hussar!
That’s great. I’ll call Ken. Are you at your office?
I’m in the lab right now. I’ll call security to let you in.
Wow. See you in few.
Mike turns off the stove and wraps up his kitchen and calls Ken.
INT. ANNA’S OFFICE- BROOKLYN COLLEGE
Mike walks in alone. Anna sits with the cleaned jug on her desk. Mike picks up the jug.
Look at the bottom of the jug, pirate.
Mike turns it over to reveal the clear markings- “Made in Great Britain”.
This is real evidence that there could be more down there.
How much more?
Hard to say.
Let me ask you a question, what do we know about the Hussar’s travels prior to coming to New York?
Not much. She came over sailed over with the Cork fleet, fought with and defeated pirates in the Atlantic. Why? What are you thinking?
I’m thinking about “double hulls”. Let’s find out where she was.
Wow. We’ve got some work to do. Want to order in some food?
Yeah. Sushi seems appropriate. Good by you?
Sure. That’s fine with me.
Anna smiles and hands Mike a stack of menus. Anna sits at the computer and starts to type. Mike picks up the phone to call for food.
EXT. A SMALL, DARK SPANISH RESTAURANT SUNSET PARK BROOKLYN, NIGHT
A modest, dimly lit storefront. Candles glow through the curtains. Silent.
CLOSE UP- A sign hanging from the door reads-
“Closed tonight for private party”.
EXT- A BLACK SUV PULLS UP IN FRONT AND STOPS
The driver’s door opens.
Fat Joe (Big, Latino, 30’s and blinged out to the hilt) climbs out. He is alone. He strolls slowly toward the door.
INT. THE KEEPER SITTING AT A LARGE BOOTH
Fausto appears out of the shadows to lead FJ to the table. FJ joins The Keeper seated at a large booth. Terrified wait staff and the owner of the restaurant stand silent in the shadows. The Keeper motions for FJ to sit. The Keeper is in full regalia, boots and medals shining. The Keeper rises and bows. FJ bows awkwardly. The table is set with vast portions of many covered dishes. FJ sits.
Thank you so much for joining me, Joseph.
No problemo. Glad to be of service.
Grand. I know how, socially uncomfortable it must be to dine with, hmmmm, the likes of me.
Yo, I’m from Brooklyn.
I’ve seen every freaky fuckin’ thing on this planet. You’re cool wit’ me, boss.
The Keeper leans into the light. We see his evil face in full. FJ meets his glare.
Good, because the horrors you’ve seen will pale in comparison should those fools get their hands on my gold. Are we clear?!
Yes we are. I hear you, Captain.
Good. These bastards are not worthy of this treasure.
Keeper’s gloved hand pushes a stack of gold coins across the table. Joe pulls the stack towards him with a smile.
There lives have just become more complicated. Consider it done.
The Keeper waves his hand. Dishes over-flowing with Spanish food are presented.
With that ugly bit of business out of the way, I will live vicariously and watch you enjoy your meal. Dig in, Joseph.
I will. I brought my Sunday appetite with me.
I’ll enjoy a little vintage red wine. Lovely vintage. It goes right through me. Perhaps a taste?
Looks like blood to me. I’ll stick with Heineken.
A waitress quickly brings Joe his beer and fills The Keeper’s glass with deep red liquid. She sneaks a look at the Keeper. He teasingly flicks his serpentine tongue. It glances off her cheek. She jumps back with a muffled scream, knocking dishes over. Others rush her away and clean up the mess. The Keeper cackles with glee. Joe watches feasting with relish, keeping one eye on his creepy benefactor.
EXT- STREET OUTSIDE THE RESTAURANT
Brennan’s brown Charger cruises by unnoticed. He looks over the top of his glasses. He notes the license plate number of the idling SUV.