Urban Pirates- an original screenplay by James K. Shaffer- Part Five

INT. WATERFRONT- LUNCH TIME- NEXT DAY

Mike and Ken are eating Italian heroes on a bench near the water. A laptop sits between them.

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Mike
So now we have clear evidence that we are onto something. ANNA and I stayed up late figuring it out.

Ken
Rewind. You and Anna stayed up late, huh?

Mike
Yeah, we were at her office.

Ken
Sounds like a little date.

Mike
It was work, jerk.

Ken
I’m busting your balls, man.

Mike
Come on, Ken. You know I’m not ready for any of that shit yet.

Ken
I just want to see my friend happy. Dawn has been gone for four years, Mike.

Mike
Three and a half years. Hey, I thought we were talking about treasure here.

Ken
We are ya’ knucklehead.

MIKE pulls up a second map.

Mike
Cool. Dig this.
The HMS Hussar is under the barge. I’m sure of it. I feel it in my bones.

Ken
Oh, boy. Here we go again.

The bright blue sky hosts a golden sun. The shadow of a large black bird crosses the beautiful postcard day.

EXT. OUTSIDE PAT’S BAR- LATER THAT EVENING.

up hummer

A tricked out Hummer pulls up out front.

Ramon is driving and parks the truck, walks around and opens the door. Flaco gets out and looks around.

Fat Joe steps out into the glow of the neons.

INT. BIGSHOT GANGSTER, FAT JOE OPENS THE DOOR AND ENTERS

The bar is nearly empty. Fat Joe walks down the bar with a gangsta’ stroll. There is a young redhead girl working behind the bar.

FJ
How you doin’, Mommy?

She does not smile or reply, but holds his gaze. FJ keeps walking. Pat is sitting at the grand booth at the rear of the bar. A small glass of whisky neat is in a glass beside him.

Pat
You want something, Joe?

FJ
(beat)
Yeah. I want something. I have a client with a vested interest in this fuckin’ treasure. He says there will be a curse attached to whatever they find.

Pat
(a little ruffled)
Tell him to go to hell. You can drive him there.

FJ
I know the road.
I know what’s going on with your nephew, and his crew. Playing half-assed pirate shit in Brooklyn. Shit, maybe you find a million dollar treasure in Hell’s Gate.
Doesn’t mean you get to keep it.

INT. THE HUMMER

Ramon & Flaco are getting high inside, Reggaeton music is BLASTING.

EXT. UNDER THE HUMMER

BRENNAN moves with surprising skill, sliding on his back on a thin sheet of plexiglass beneath the Hummer. He attaches magnetic tracking device under the bumper of the vehicle with a magnetic CLICK. He slides away.

INT.PAT’S BAR

FJ
The claim is legit. I’ve seen the paper. I am giving you a fair warning.

Pat
Go to hell.

FJ
Been there. Who the fuck do you think I’m working for?
(beat)
You’ll all die. This ain’t a threat. This is reality, old man.

INT. A BOOTH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BAR

Murphy & Jackson are two youngish plainclothes detectives. They sit in a booth across the room drinking a pitcher of beer. The two men look directly at each other. They are wearing earpieces. They are wired into Pat & FJ’s conversation. They watch FJ rise and walk towards the door.

EXT. A HALF BLOCK AWAY

Brennan clumsily removes his black jumpsuit, folds it and puts it in the back of his Charger.

He closes the back door and walks towards the driver’s side, looks both ways and enters.

INT. BRENNAN’S CHARGER

Brennan watches FJ exit as two men jump out and open his door. He switches on a computer, which activates the tracking device with a BEEP. Murphy & Jackson enter the back seat joining Brennan in the car

Brennan
How’d you guys do?

JACKSON
Good. Joe threatened PAT loud, clear and in our ears.

Brennan
I wonder who the hell put FJ up to this?

MURPHY
The chatter I dug up today is about some English dude. Treasure. My report is on your emails.

Brennan
What do you mean “treasure”? Code for drugs?

Murphy
No. “TREASURE” treasure. Gold, emeralds and shit.
We checked the phone logs and Fat Joe has made a few calls to England recently.

Brennan
Really? Where to?

Murphy
The Royal Navy headquarters.
Top secret division.
(beat)
I called them.
They told me to take it up with the State Department. They were a bit testy.

Brennan
Mix in the drug trafficking and we might get a R.I.C.O. charge. This is heavyweight extortion.
(beat)
This shit with the British Royal Navy has to be figured out. Unbelievable! Let’s go.

They drive away into the night.

INT. MIKE’S APARTMENT

atocha 2.jpg

There is a stack of library books piled high on the desk. Mike rubs his face in the computer screen and takes a sip of coffee. He clicks on a photo

Mike
Gotcha, you tricky sonofabitch! That’s a match.

He picks up the phone and calls Ken.CLOSEUP- It is the exact match of a cross they found.

INT. NYC FIREHOUSE

Ken is on duty. He is sitting in the TV room of the firehouse watching a baseball game with 2 other firemen. His cell phone rings.

Ken
What’s up, Mike?

INT. MIKE’S

Mike
Ken, I think I found out where the cross comes from.

INT. FIREHOUSE

Ken
Get the hell out of here. Where?

INT. MIKE’S

Mike
I found out about where the Hussar was before New York. There was a rendezvous with another ship.

INT. FIREHOUSE

The two other firemen are looking sideways at Ken.

Ken
Where? What does this other ship have to do with ours?

INT. MIKE’S

Mike
It comes from a Spanish ship that sank in Florida in 1622.

INT. FIREHOUSE

Nuestra-Senora-de-Atocha

The two other firemen look oddly at Ken.

Ken
What? 1622? Florida? Damn, that necklace did some traveling before we found it. This is like the History Channel.

INT. MIKE’S

Mike
Yeah. And now we’re part of history!

INT. FIREHOUSE

The bell CLANGS and the firemen spring into action.

Ken
Shit! Gotta’ go, bro. Duty calls. Call Anna and Pat. I’ll ring you back in a while. I get off at 6 p.m.

INT. MIKE’S

Mike
Cool. Let’s meet at PAT’s around 6:30.

Mike rings Anna, but gets her voicemail.

Mike
Anna, you aren’t going to believe this. I think I found out where the cross is from. Meet us at PAT’s at 6:30.

INT. PAT’S BAR- EVENING

Mike, Ken, Anna and Pat are sitting at the booth near the back. The redhead is behind the bar.

Mike opens his knapsack and pulls out pages of printed material and a couple of books.

Mike
The one in the picture is from The Atocha. It is identical to ours.

Anna
That makes no sense. The Nuestra Senora de Atocha went down north of Havana near the Florida Keys in 1622.

Mike
Right. The Hussar had just returned from The Caribbean.

Anna
Mel Fisher found the Atocha and much of her treasure off the Keys in 1985. Holy shit! The Atocha had a stash on board, too.

Ken
Another Double-hull. Those sneaky bastards!

Anna
We could be sitting on a major mother lode.

Mike
This could be the greatest thing ever.

Pat looks at Mike.

Pat
I’m not trying to stop you from chasing your dreams. Just watch your asses.

Mike
I swear we’ll be careful, Pat. Come on. We learned from the best.

INT. KEEPER’S QUARTERS

The Keeper sits in his chair relaxing. Classical music plays softly in the background. He sips blood and smokes from an exotic pipe. Fausto sits across from him, notepad at the ready.

The Keeper
Tell Joe to get the girl. It will tangle our boy up a bit. His pluck and guile are starting to get on my last nerve.

EXT. WRECK SITE- THE DAWN

hellgate

The boat is anchored and Mike & Ken are preparing to dive. Anna looks around and spots an SUV near the water.
CLOSEUP- Ramon & Flaco sit in the front seat wearing sunglasses watching the boat.

Anna
Check out the black SUV.

Mike & Ken both look. It is too far to see the license. Mike picks up a pair of binoculars and looks. He jots down the number.

Mike
Let them watch. I got their license plate.

Anna
I don’t think those guys are just sitting there taking in the view.

Mike
Whatever. We bring up nothing today. It’ll throw them off.

Ken
Feeling pretty confident there, Captain?

Mike
Yeah. In my bones.
It is under the barge. I know it is.

Anna
That is some theory, Mike. Love to prove it, wouldn’t you? Get your Pulitzer Prize for telling the story?

Mike
(Smiling)
Yeah. Sure, why not. We are finding this treasure. It is a hell of a story, too.

Anna
I believe you. I really do.

They ready themselves for the dive.

EXT. THE DAWN

Ken is in the water, having already secured the line to the barge. Ken climbs aboard. Mike is at the helm with Anna. The Dawn strains trying to pull a line tied to the barge.

Mike
We only need a few feet to reach the deeper section of the boat. Come on, baby!

The engine spits and smokes. The barge moves a few feet. That’s what they needed. Mike cuts the engine. Mike suits up and prepares to dive.

Anna
Be careful.

Mike
We will. Give me a tug if there is trouble.

Mike hands Anna the granny line. Anna is at the helm as Mike and Ken descend.

Mike
You be careful, too.

Anna
I will. Good luck.

EXT. UNDERWATER

A nasty looking, but harmless sand shark swims by the barge and away. At the front of the barge there are signs of broken wood. Part of the hull has been exposed.Several round stones, ballast from the ship, spill from the gash.

INT. UNDERWATER- INSIDE THE WRECK

They find an opening and move in. The first cabin they enter is bare. Mike uses a crowbar to open a seal to the next room. It is the dining area of the ship. Ken finds a fork. They find some dishes and a set of keys. Mike spots a gold coin and scoops it up. Mike loads up his goodie bag and they head toward the surface.

EXT- THE DAWN

up hells gate.jpg

Mike and Ken break the surface, swim towards the ladder and climb into the boat. Anna helps them up.

Mike
Bingo. We found a way in.

Anna
WOW.

Mike holds up a single piece of gold.

Mike
Yeah, wow!

Anna
This is the real deal.

Mike
(Cleaning off the gold coin)
You bet it is.

Ken reaches into the bottom of the bag, and pulls out something else.

ghosts9

Ken
What’s the hell is this?

Mike
It looks like a fucking foot bone. Human.

Ken
What are you, crazy? Mike you better put that shit back.

Mike
I didn’t mean to scare you, ya’ big girl.

Anna
Hey.

Mike
You know what I mean, I’m just busting his balls.

Ken
Dummy. Now, go return this bone right now while we still can.

They give each other a full inspection.

Mike
Done. Good we both have plenty of air. Let’s go. ANNA, we’ll be back with dinner.

Anna
You promised Randazzo’s for dinner. Everyone is meeting us there.

Mike
All right. The lobsters down here are a bit tough.

Anna
Hurry back.

Mike
Okay.

INT. THE PIER- KEEPER’S QUARTER’S

The Keeper watches as they descend for a second time. He is wearing his leathery human face today. He is furious and pacing back and forth

The Keeper
Oh, dear you should have cashed in while you had the chance. No mercy now.

He slams his gloved fist down on the table.

up bad pier.jpg

EXT. UNDERWATER- HUSSAR

The men descend and the sunlight fades above them. The current is moving a little quicker now. They approach the exposed wooden bow of the HMS Hussar. A large blue crab stands guard snapping his claws for a moment before swimming away.

Mike enters first, Ken right behind. They make their way through the tight spaces of the wreck. Mike spots the area where the found the coin. He places the bone back. Something catches Mike’s eye.

Mike signals to Ken that they look closer. Ken waves him to go up. Mike signals 1 minute. Ken reluctantly follows. There is a glimmer of light. A thick gold chain is caught under a piece of debris. Mike grabs it and tries to tug it free. Debris from the wreck falls around him. The entire wreck MOANS and shakes.

Mike tugs again. The chain comes free and they escape as the wreck trembles from the shift. There is a clamshell ornament attached.

EXT. UNDERWATER OUTSIDE THE WRECK

Mike parades the chain like a heavyweight belt. Ken gives him the bird and they rise. Light increases as they make their way to the surface.

EXT. THE DAWN

Anna picks up the binoculars and looks around. The SUV is gone. A sudden breeze picks up and Anna turns around. Her eyes stop on a distant pier. Anna catches a glimpse of figure of The Keeper stepping into the shadows. He is gone.

EXT. SURFACE

The two men surface and take off their masks

Anna
God. What took you so long?

Mike
We found something else. Anna, I’ve got a present for you.

Anna
What are you talking about? What did you find?

The two men climb the ladder and board the boat. Mike hands her the gold chain.

Mike
Here you go, Anna.

Anna
This is the same chain as the necklace. This might have some markings on it.
We’ll soak it overnight.

Mike
Cool. I think the rest of the treasure is nearby. It is a tight squeeze, but we can work it.

Ken
You think it is behind that wall, huh?

Mike
Yes. Maybe the whole thing.

Ken
Really?

Anna
Listen, guys. Let’s get out of here. Those two morons left, but someone else was watching. It felt creepy.

Mike
What are you talking about?

Anna
Over there, on the pier. Some guy. I didn’t get a good look, but he was wearing some old fashioned uniform.

Mike
Probably a security guard or something.

Anna
No. Whatever. I’ll just feel a lot better when we get the hell out of here.

Ken
I’ll pull the anchor.

Mike
Okay. Let’s go eat.

Mike starts the boat and heads to port. Ken picks up the binoculars and looks. Nothing THERE.

EXT. SHEEPSHEAD BAY, EMMONS AVENUE.

It is a glorious twilight. Fishmongers and party boat barkers call out to the passing sightseers. And an orange sun descends over the Belt Parkway.

EXT. RANDAZZO’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT-SIDE PATIO

Mike, Ken, Anna arrive. The owner shakes Mike’s hand and guides them to a table.

Maya and Senor Suarez talk as Pat laughs with baby Khalid bouncing on his knee. They are seated at a large picnic table in the outdoor area. Khalid turns to see.

KHALID
Dada!

Ken scoops up the boy, hugs him and kisses his wife.

The feast begins. A pitcher of beer and a carafe of wine are brought out and glasses are filled. Waitresses bring out plates of shrimp, lobsters, clams and all oysters. Dishes are shared family style. Mike smiles, passing a dish to Anna. She smiles back. The waitresses treat them like old friends, joining with them in a toast. A jazz trio warms up on one of the evening tour boats across Emmons Avenue as the sun begins setting over Brooklyn. The long shadows creep in.

CLOSEUP- Ken calls for a toast and raises his beer.

Ken
Maya and I have some good news. We just got approved for our mortgage.
We are moving upstate. We will move just before Christmas.

All raise their glasses. Mike looks a bit surprised. Maya helps the baby hold up his bottle. Anna locks eyes with Mike, winks and smiles. Mike blushes.

Pat
(clears his throat)
An Irish toast for the new landlord:
“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.” You deserve only the best.

Mike
(surprised)
That’s great, you guys. Congrats.
(beat)
I’ll miss my old fishing buddy, but I know you’ll be happy up there.

Ken
There are lakes and streams everywhere up there. I’m sure we’ll find you a boat so you can boss everyone around, Captain.

Mike
Come on. I’m not that bossy.
(smiling)
I’d like to propose a toast.
“My friends are the best friends.
Loyal, willing and able.
Now let’s get to the drinking!
Yer’ glasses off the table!”

All toast. Mike & Ken man-hug. The sun sets behind them over the bay. The blackbird rises from the pier and swoops over the bay. Seagulls flee. Night comes.

JKS 12/22/17

 

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