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FADE IN:

INT. UNABLE TO DISCERN ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE THE SCENE IS DARK AND BLURRED.

The surroundings slowly begin to come into focus. But the dim, yellowish light cast by the single overhead bulb doesn't allow us to make out much except ashen stone walls and a rusty metal door with a small barred window. A rat scurries across the floor. Then we hear...

             NICK
        (Voice over)
Aww, man. Room service? Can you send up an exterminator, please?
 

 

Nick is holding his head as he sits up on the "bed", which is actually just a slab of concrete jutting out of the wall. Then another voice echos through the empty hallways...

 

            BRU
        (Off screen)
Nick? Are you OK?

            NICK
If you call getting my head bashed
in and waking up in a rat infested
dungeon OK then, yeah, I guess I'm
OK. But who are you? How do you
know me?

              BRU
         (Off screen)
It's me, Bruni. Agent Rasche from
the D.E.A.

              NICK
Bru? Hey, what's going on?

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Ortiz got our whole team. Shiho,
Amal, me, and now, you.

              NICK
Ortiz? Miguel Ortiz? We busted his
whole cartel and put him away for
life. What's he doing out?

              BRU
        (Off screen)
I don't know. He must have escaped
somehow. Then he came after us...
for revenge.

              NICK
Where are the other guys? Are they
being held here, too?

              BRU
        (Off screen)
No... They're dead. Ortiz tortured
all of us trying to get intel on
your whereabouts. But none of us
knew anything about your new
assignment. It was too highly
classified. Not that we would've
told him if we did.

              NICK
I know you wouldn't. But the
bastard found me anyway. So they
died for nothing. Damn! When I get
outta here, Ortiz is gonna pay for
that. And not by going back to
jail.

              BRU
         Off screen)
Don't worry about that now. Just
concentrate on getting out. Do you
know how they traced you?

              NICK
No. But I probably got careless,
just like when they took me down.
Stupid! They just rang the
doorbell. I figured it was some
kids out trick or treating so I
didn't even check. As soon as I
started to turn the knob, they
kicked the door in on me.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
An easy mistake. It could've
happened to anyone.

              NICK
Maybe. But when you work with the
kind of people I do... They're
always telling me I should pay
closer attention to stuff.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Sounds like you've been keeping
some serious company.

              NICK
You could say that. And I think
they'll be coming after me. If they
can figure out where I am. Where
are we anyway?

              BRU
        (Off screen)
An abandoned mental institution in
Mexico.

              NICK
Mexico?! No wonder my head's all
foggy. They must've drugged me,
too. How long have I been here?

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Three or four hours.

              NICK
OK, add travel time to Mexico and
they should've noticed I'm missing
by now.

 

 

INT. HALLWAY OF NICK'S APARTMENT BUILDING.

Matt, Margo and Benny Ray exit the elevator and begin to walk down the hall toward Nick's apartment.

 

              BENNY RAY
This better not be a stupid
Halloween prank. I'm supposed to be
working a haunted house fund raiser
for my boy's hockey team.

              MATT
I don't think it's a prank, Benny
Ray. Nick may not be as frosty an
op as we're used to but he's never
missed a check in before.

              MARGO
I agree. Despite his...
imprudent... demeanor, he knows our
work is serious business.

 

 

As they reach Nick's apartment, The Team notices that the door frame is cracked. Instantly, they are on alert. The experience of years together, facing deadly situations, kicks in. They silently draw their weapons and, without a word, Matt takes point while Benny Ray backs him up and Margo covers their six. Matt shoves the door open and enters the apartment, followed by Benny Ray and Margo. The living room is unoccupied but in complete disarray. Matt and Benny Ray proceed to sweep the rest of the apartment while Margo begins to investigate. When Matt and Benny Ray return to the living room...

 

              MATT
All clear. No one on site and
everything else seems to be in
order.

              BENNY RAY
Looks like the maid forgot to
finish up in here, though.

              MARGO
Definite signs of a struggle,
including some blood on that broken
lamp. No brass or bullet holes. But
there was one message on the
answering machine - A female voice
asking for help with something down
in Mexico. But oddly, her accent
was German, not Mexican.

 

 

INT. NICK'S CELL

 

              BRU
        (Off screen)
So you think these friends of yours
will be able to get you out?

              NICK
Get us out. Yeah, I do. If they
make it here in time. Strange that
Ortiz hasn't been by to check on us
yet.

              BRU
       (Off screen)
He may not be by for a while.
Halloween is an important religious
occasion in Mexico. They believe
that on El Dia de Los Muertos
spirits of the departed return to
earth. It's important for families
and loved ones to celebrate
together in sort of a reunion of
both the living and the dead. Or it
could be that Ortiz plans to leave
you here to rot in your cell, like
he feels we left him.

              NICK
Now there's a cheery thought.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Sorry, this place gets to you after
a while.

              NICK
C'mon, this place may not be the
Ritz Carlton but it ain't that bad.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Don't be so sure. It can get pretty
bad after a few weeks with nothing
to eat except the rats and nothing
to drink except...

              NICK
Oh, God. I'm sorry. I didn't think
even Ortiz would stoop that low.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
It's not your fault. The worst
thing is the isolation. At times, I
wished they would torture me again,
just so I'd have someone to talk
to.

              NICK
It must've been terrible for you
here by yourself. I'm glad I don't
have to go through this alone.

              BRU
        (Off screen)
I'm glad I can be here for you.

              NICK
Ya know, I never told you this
'cause I was seeing someone at the
time. But if it weren't for her...

              BRU
        (Off screen)
Nick, you were engaged. But even
though you didn't say anything, I
knew. And I felt the same way. But
the timing wasn't right back then.
And it's too late now. But there's
something else you can do for me -
When your friends come to get you
out, take my badge. I want you to
have it.

              NICK
What are you talking about? I'm not
gonna leave you here. You're coming
with us.

              BRU
         (Off screen)
Just promise me. I don't want my
badge rusting away in this cell
with the rats. Please?

              NICK
OK, your badge won't rot in this
cell. But you'll be the one to take
it with you. I promise.

 

 

The conversation is interrupted by the sound of automatic weapon's fire echoing through the corridors, followed by muffled shouting in Spanish. More gunfire and sounds of chaos. Then, as suddenly as it started, the bedlam stops and the hallways, again, fall silent. Nick waits, poised and ready for anything. A key turns in the lock to his cell. The door creaks open revealing...

 

              MARGO
Can you walk?

              NICK
Yeah, I'm fine. But there's a
friend of mine in one of the other
cells down here.

              MARGO
(Double checking her equipment)
Nick, there aren't any other heat
signatures down here. Yours was the
only one.

              NICK
Well then your gear's hosed. She's
here. I was just talking to her.
I'm not leaving without her! Bru!

              MARGO
Shh! OK, calm down. I'll find her.

 

 

Margo opens the door to the next cell and is taken aback at what she sees.

                NICK
Well? Is she in there? Does she
need help?
 

 

Nick starts to rush past Margo to Bru's aid but Margo catches him.

                MARGO
It's not a pretty sight.
 

 

Nick looks at Margo, confused.

                MARGO
            (Continues)
She's been dead for some time. And
the rats...
 

 

Margo lets her voice trail off, hoping to spare both of them the gruesome details. But Nick, not wanting to believe it, prepares himself and enters the cell. Bru's decomposing body is a hideous sight but Nick kneels down next to it and pauses for a moment, trying, at once, to comprehend what has happened and to change it through the force of his will. Then he notices Bru's badge, tarnished with dried blood and bits of flesh, and, as promised, he picks it up and takes it with him. Margo has been standing guard at the cell door, more not wanting to intrude than anticipating any threat. When Nick exits the cell...

 

              MARGO
I'm sorry.

              NICK
I don't get it. I was just talking
to her.

              MARGO
When they brought you here, did
they knock you out?

              NICK
Yeah, they smashed a lamp over my
head. I think they drugged me, too.

              MARGO
Maybe you were hallucinating. A
concussion combined with whatever
drug they used...

              NICK
Hallucinating. Yeah, that must be
it. What about Ortiz?

              MARGO
He was real. He and his men didn't
go without a fight. But we took 'em
down.

              NICK
Dead?

 

 

Margo nods.

                NICK
Good. Then we're done.
 

 

They both turn to leave and, as they make their way out of the dungeon...

 

              NICK
So how'd you guys find me?

              MARGO
The message on your machine.

              NICK
What message?

              MARGO
A woman called and said she was
here and needed help. When I ran a
check on this place, I noticed that
it was purchased a few months ago
by a holding company that was
controlled by a perp you sent up.
The rest wasn't hard to figure out.

              NICK
A message? I didn't get any message
like that. Did the caller leave a
name?

              MARGO
No, but she had a German accent.
Does that help?

 

 

Nick freezes in his tracks and stares down at the soiled badge that he is still holding in his hand. He begins to carefully wipe it off as best he can and, as he does so...

 

              NICK
      (Softly, to himself)
El Dia de Los Muertos...

              MARGO
The Day of the Dead?

              NICK
Huh? Uhh, yeah. Nevermind.

 

 

We look down at the now shiny badge in Nick's hand and we hear...

                NICK
        (Voice over)
Thanks, Bru.
 

 

FADE OUT.

THE END.

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