Fiction, New York, NYC, Uncategorized

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

INT. PAT’S HOSPITAL ROOM

Pat is hooked up to an I.V. and a heart monitor. He opens his eyes as Mike enters.

Mike stands beside the bed. Ken just behind him.

Mike
Hey, how are you feeling, Pat?

Pat has trouble speaking, groggy with medicine.

Pat
Like a million bucks.

Mike
The Doctor says you’ll be fine.

Pat
I could walk out right now.

Mike
Yeah, right. I have the contractor at the bar fixing the damage. I’ll get her open tomorrow.

Pat
Good lad.
Mike
(Beat)
Pat I am so sorry.
This is all my fault.

Pat
No it is not. These are bad guys and they are responsible for this, not you.

Mike
But…

Pat
But nothing. I’ve told you your whole life to stand up to bullies.

Mike
Brennan says he knows who did it.

Pat
He’ll find them.

Pat motions for Mike to lean closer.

Pat
You have done nothing but follow your heart. You need to do only one thing for me.

Mike
Anything, Pat.

Pat
Find it. Find the treasure.
(Beat)

Mike
I will.

up hells gate.jpg

EXT. THE DAWN- HELL’S GATE

Ken and Mike prepare to dive. Anna is nervous.

Mike
We won’t be long.

Anna
Just be careful

Mike
We will.

Mike and Ken work their way down to the spot via the anchor line. The exposed bow comes into sight. On the newly gashed bottom, “H.M.S. Hussar” can be read on the rotted hull. It is sticking out of the bottom about 10 feet. They are diving in shadows. They signal to each other about how they must dig below the wreck to get to the right spot.
They reach the inner cabin. Ken move in with a crowbar and pries at the wood. The wreck lets out a MOAN as the weight shifts. Ken’s eyes go wide for a moment.

Mike signals to move on. The door now opens with ease. Mike shines his flashlight inside. Piles of treasure; chests of coins, gold chains, rubies- all lay in a heap.

They find The Hussar’s bell just outside the entrance.
Ken ties a rope to it and tugs. It is their proof for the wreck.

EXT. THE DAWN

Anna raises the heavy load from the bottom with an electric winch. It struggles. It comes to the surface.

Anna
YES!

EXT. DAWN, WRECK SITE- LATER

Mike and Ken admire the cleaned up bell. Anna points out the HUSSAR marking.

Mike
Anna, it is all down there. More than we ever dreamed of.

Ken
It’s true. I saw…

A Horn BLASTS.

EXT. SLEEK WHITE BRITISH NAVY SHIP HEADING NORTH UP THE EAST RIVER TOWARDS HELL’S GATE

HMS-Edinburgh-Sails-into-New-York-USA

The young captain in dress whites directs the ship towards The Dawn. He speaks over the ship’s p.a.

CAPTAIN YOUNG
Attention Dawn.
We are the British Naval vessel, Revenge. We are in these waters with the permission of the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and State Department. We request permission to board.
(beat)
Do you accept?

Mike
YES. PERMISSION GRANTED!

ANGLE- Revenge launches Young and two officers on a rubber dinghy. They pull up alongside and Mike helps Young aboard. He carries a leather dossier.

Young
(Saluting)
Thank you, Captain.
(Brushing himself off)

Mike
You are welcome. What the hell is this?

Young
Yes, to the business at hand.
By agreement between the governments of the USA and Great Britain, this site has been deemed a British Naval burial site.
You must leave here at once.

Mike
What the hell are you talking about?

Ken
This is America.

Young
Yes. Be that as it may, Britain exercises her sovereign right to reclaim our dead and their belongings.
Your government agrees.
No appeal.
The treasure belongs to us.

Mike
Bullshit. Let me see the papers.

Young
On behalf of the crown, and in agreement with your State Department, I am afraid, Captain, that you must cease and desist your search immediately.
(handing MIKE an official envelope)
You’ll find all the papers are in order.

Mike
Are you fucking serious?

Young
Quite.
We will contact you regarding an appropriate finder’s fee once the hearing is concluded.
Good day, men. Get good lawyers.
This duty brings me no joy.

Anna
I’m afraid he is right, MIKE.

Mike
You knew this would happen all along, didn’t you?

Anna
MIKE, this is beyond anything I ever figured on.

Young
Our excavation firm will be arriving with equipment tomorrow.
Again, we are grateful.
Here is a check for $100,000 as a good faith advance.
Good luck.

Captain Young boards the dinghy and they motor back to The Revenge.

MIKE is devastated.

Mike
I don’t believe this shit.

Anna
Mike, we made history. You are blessed.

Mike
No. I feel screwed. Screwed by them, screwed by you. You knew this would happen.

Anna
Bullshit. That’s not fair, Mike.

Mike
Fuck fair. I just lost everything.

Ken
No you didn’t. Pipe down, son. Let’s talk to a lawyer and see what happens.
There are no bad guys here.

Mike
(swallowing his pride)
It’s my fault. All of it. I wanted it all.

Anna
We all wanted it.

Ken
Mike, say what you want. This is a good thing.

Mike
I don’t know anything. I gotta’ stew on this.

EXT. FROM THE EAST RIVER, MANHATTAN- SUNSET

The twilight’s last reds and golds play on the glass and steel of the New York skyline.

EXT. EAST RIVER, MANHATTAN, SOUTHERN TIP OF ROOSEVENT ISLAND

A Police boat pushes hard up the river, against the rush of the outgoing tide. Lights are flashing, but no sirens. Sea spray flies up and SPLASHES the boat’s windshield.

Mulligan is holding tight to the wheel, Brennan beside him looking a little seasick.

Brennan
It will be dark soon.

Mulligan
You drag me up to Hell’s Gate after sunset to chase a fuckin’ vampire, pirate lunatic. Yes it surely will be dark, Detective Brennan.

Brennan
(Feigning cockiness)
Where is your sense of adventure, Mulligan?

Mulligan
I could be home eating my wife’s good cooking and watching the Mets.

Brennan
I won’t keep you long. I’m not here to pick a fight with him. I just want to see what happens here after dark.

Mulligan
Well, judging from his body of work, I’d say chopping up a couple of moron cops might sound like a fun activity to him.

Brennan
Keep a good thought, Mulligan. It’ll be okay.

Mulligan grunts in disgust. Brennan blesses himself.

EXT. UNDER HELL’S GATE BRIDGE- DARK

up hg channel.jpg

The boat passes through the wicked currents of the channel during a tide change. As they pass through, the water calms. The boat slows.

Mulligan cuts the lights. The glows of the control panel lights bathe the men’s faces in spooky red.

EXT. KEEPER’S PIER
A Jolly Rancher flies on the flagpole. The Police boat is 30 yards off the pier.

EXT. POLICE BOAT
Mulligan lowers the radio and slows the boat to a stop just off the tip of the pier.

Mulligan
What now?

Brennan
Give me the spotlight.

The spotlight cuts a strong beam onto the pier. As Brennan pans the light, something large moves just beyond the light’s reach. Rats scurry into the cover of darkness.
The ghost ship Hussar appears for a second. The Keeper waves to them. Brennan cannot believe his eyes. He fumbles for his binoculars. Out of nowhere, the giant black bird SWOOPS past SCREECHING. The lights of the control panel flicker and go dark. Mulligan tries and fails to get it restarted.

Mulligan
Oh, shit. This does not happen.

Brennan
Try again.

He does. No luck.
EXT. UNDER HELL’S GATE BRIDGE
A giant ROARING whirlpool forms in the channel. The Police boat is being SUCKED into the funnel. Mulligan tries the lights and they come on. He tries the engine and it is dead.

EXT. DECK OF THE DISABLED BOAT
Brennan’s eyes are wide with fear. Mulligan moves with the confidence of a true pro. He secures two life jackets and an inflatable raft. He helps Brennan on with his and tosses his on and carries the deflated raft over his shoulder. The drifting boat is nearly under the bridge now. The hull of the doomed vessel moans horribly and begins to dip at the stern, the bow rising out of the water. Brennan and Mulligan tumble backwards. Mulligan throws on end of the raft to Brennan.

Mulligan
Now matter what, do not let go of the raft.

Brennan
Holy shit, we are going under.

The raging whirlpool GROWLS with the ferocity of a tornado. The boat powerful boat struggles, but it is no match for the hungry, dark water.Out of nowhere the siren SCREAMS on and the lights are all flashing as she starts going under.

EXT. SURFACE
Brennan and Mulligan begin to get sucked down. They hold tightly to the raft.

EXT. UNDERWATER
10 feet…15 feet…20 feet…

The lights on the sinking boat are visible blow them, fading as it goes deeper. The whirlpool eases as if fed.Mulligan pulls the cord on the raft. Nothing. Brennan begins to panic Mulligan stays cool, working the problem.

The whirlpool calms. The lights of the sinking boat fade to nothing. Silence.

EXT. SURFACE
The raft breaks water. The men GASP for air as they bob under the bridge. They begin to doggy paddle toward a ladder up the base of the concrete and metal bridge. They climb to a landing. Police sirens and lights appear on the land. A spotlight shines on the shivering men.

Mulligan
I’ve never seen anything like this. Ha. Just imagine the goddamned paperwork on this!

Brennan
Do you want to forget what we saw on the pier for the report?

Mulligan
Brennan, I have to forget what I saw just so I can sleep at night.

Brennan
Yeah. I owe you a bottle, Mulligan.

Mulligan
A bottle? You owe me a case.

Brennan
You got yourself a deal. Now let’s get the hell out of here.

From the land, a Police raft pushes toward the stranded men.

INT. FJ’S BAR- BACK ROOM
Ramon is in pain and sweating. FJ throws him some pills.

Ramon swallows a handful.

FJ
Listen to me, you gimpy fuck, you really screwed this thing up.

RAMON
I did everything I could.

FJ
But you never fired your gun

(beat)

Ramon
Wha’ happened?

The door slams shut and The Keeper steps out, sword drawn and raised. He slashes down and connects with a THUD.

INT. HOSPITAL- HALLWAY- LATE NIGHT

The Keeper’s boots CLICK-CLACK down the hospital corridor, away from Pat’s room. He is whistling a happy tune.

CLOSEUP- Outside Pat’s room, a police officer sits. He looks to be asleep, but one eye is open. He is dead. His throat has been slit.

CLOSEUP- The Keeper wipes his bloody blade on a handkerchief and harnesses it in the leather sheath. He tosses the fine handkerchief aside. A tiny bead of blood drips from the corner of his leathery mouth.

INT. PAT’S ROOM

Moving closer we see Pat is dead. A small trickle of blood runs down his neck.

EXT. HOSPITAL EXIT

The Keeper strides out with a spring in his step.

The Keeper
Yo, ho, yo, ho, a pirate’s life for
me.
Yo, ho, yo, ho, it’s a pirate’s life for me …

The Keeper walks out of the building unnoticed. FAUSTO is waiting in a dark sedan. They leave.

ANGLE- HIGH SHOT- HOSPITAL

A nurse SCREAMS inside the hospital.

It echoes out into the night.

JKS 2/17/18

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