A.W.O.L. — Георгий Гаврилов
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A.W.O.L.

13.11.2016 - Творческий портфель

G. Gavrilov

A.W.O.L.

(Samovolka)

Many of the circumstances described

in this story are based on true events

SCREENPLAY, FIRST DRAFT, August 25, 2005

New York, NY

©2004 Library of Congress, USA

All rights reserved.

Translated by Iliya Fridman.
FADE IN:

1. EXT. – AFTERNOON. MILITARY AIRFIELD IN GEORGIA.

Title — GEORGIA. TSHINVALI “HOT SPOT”… 6:00

It’s early morning, but it’s already hot and hazy. Everything is still. A military jeep carrying two passengers is speeding along a serpentine mountain road, raising a small cloud of dust. An eagle watches from above, soaring against a dark blue sky spotted with clouds. The serpentine road stretches into the mountains, breaking into blurry background. A row of sheep is crossing the roadway swaying their hips.

(Main titles)

The jeep is now in the scope of a surveillance device located at the top of a command post watchtower. A yawning Georgian guard is nestling on the barrel of a submachine gun.

 

DRIVER

Thank goodness…We finally made it…

 

The passenger nods, takes a swig from a flask, passes it to the driver and flicks a cigarette butt out the window. His winded sun-burnt face is devoid of any expression.

The driver pulls a missile-launcher from under his seat, and shoots, his arm high up over his head. The fiery dot disappears into the sky on a trajectory towards the watchtower. The guard waves his cloth hat in the direction of the jeep: permission granted.

The jeep brakes abruptly at the gate of the command center. The passenger jumps out with ease before the vehicle comes to a stop. Konstantin Yefremov, about 25, dressed in weathered birch-bark camouflage, his left arm in a cast.

THE DRIVER

(half-hugging the swaying passenger)

Take care… mate. Send us some news from the hospital. I am jealous … would love to go up North, get out of this furnace. Too bad my tour is over soon – you and I won’t get to celebrate.

 

They walk under the raised boom towards the checkpoint, past a pack of dusty tail-wagging mutts.

Flanking the Georgian guard is a tall soldier. A Captain of the Russian Border Guard.

GUARD

Gamardzheba… (introducing himself to the visitors)

YEFREMOV

(saluting formally)

Marine Corps Lieutenant Yefremov, proceeding to home base…

(hesitantly he hands over his ID)

CAPTAIN

(salutes, shaking his head)

OK, trooper, hand in your weapons — guns, knives, whatever. Let’s not play games; I don’t want to have to search you. Let’s not embarrass ourselves in front of the locals, though you seem to have managed that already today…(waving aside the smell of alcohol)

YEFREMOV

Negative, Captain. Not today, the day before … Maybe you heard – the ghosts cut up our boys, all fast asleep… a few were from my platoon.

The guard is trying to look official, peering at Yefremov’s ID and back at him. In the meantime, Yefremov is placing his weapons on the table – a submachine gun “Stechkin”, a handful of field grenades, a sword-bayonet, an AK-47, a pistol, and a pair of dynamite sticks taped together.

YEFREMOV

(Unloading the clip of his AK, with the barrel facing up; addressing the driver)

Remember, Seryogin, what chief Melnikov always said – check the last one in the barrel…

 

The driver smirks aloud, follows it up with a hiccup.

The guard, with a serious look on his face, examines a rare pistol, the officer stamps the weapons receipt; the driver quickly snatches the receipt and stashes it in the jeep.

CAPTAIN

You may proceed, Lieutenant. Say hello to the Motherland.

 

Yefremov salutes, turns around on his heels, swaying.

GUARD

(speaks broken Russian)

See you, officer. No hard feeling, brother.

(motions him through and immediately returns to his slumber)

CAPTAIN

(spitting on the grass)

Basayev’s men cut up seven of our men, boys really, just out of school.

GUARD

(with his eyes closed)

War turns man to animal.

Honking but not stopping, a Ural truck, with a red cross painted across its side, enters through the gate. The guard runs after it, cursing loudly, waving his gun. The Captain just shakes his head.

DRIVER

(staring after the truck)

The guys from yesterday…

 

Yefremov and the jeep driver step aside to the fence. The driver pulls out a flask, takes a gulp and hands it to the Lieutenant. Yefremov takes one sip, hides the flask in his bag.

YEFREMOV

(extending his hand to the driver)

Alright, grandpa. We are alive, that’s what matters. Don’t let up here, got it?

 

A modest handshake.

DRIVER

(starts the engine, honks twice)

Hey mate… don’t be sad, you’ll catch that dog… what’s his face, Alibek…most definitely! You’ll catch him soon…

 

YEFREMOV

(nods, walking away)

No doubt…

 

NARRATOR (off-screen)

Yefremov just finished another tour of duty, which lasted through Fall. His platoon was tracking down small, loosely connected groups of rebels commanded by Doka Kunarov. The rebels made Georgia their home base. The goal was to push them back to Chechnya. The bandits usually avoided direct engagement with professional soldiers. They feared the professionals somewhat and disliked them. At the end of the tour, just before demobilization, the rebels got their revenge, got back at Yefremov. The victims were very young. Yefremov felt personally responsible. They were contingency draftee fresh

fodder.

The following day, Yefremov’s company hunted down, surrounded, and, after a fierce fight, eliminated the rebels. This, however, did not make him feel any better. He never learned to appreciate killing.

 

(End of film titles)

2. EXT. – EARLY MORNING. AIRFIELD.

Several airplanes are sitting on the tarmac. A fuel truck pulls up near Yefremov. The driver jumps out and heads for the water fountain, wiping sweat off his face.

YEFREMOV

(to the driver, pointing at the IL-76 being loaded)

Is this the one for Murmansk?

FUEL TRUCK DRIVER

(a local, speaks broken Russian)

Nah. Charter for humanitaries. You is there.

(nods in the direction of the AN nearby, accompanied by the Ural truck with a red cross)

Stuck here couple hour, I bet. No kerosene.

Yefremov unhurriedly, confidently heads for the truck.

Next to it, under a tent, several wounded soldiers are sleeping on stretchers. A few are moaning.

Yefremov picks a spot in the shade, leans on his knapsack.

YEFREMOV

(to a wounded soldier with bandaged head)

Everything’s alright, my brothers – soon you’ll be in a hospital … cute nurses, loads of fun…

(hears only steady breathing in return)

He pulls out his flask, raises it in the direction of the wounded.

YEFREMOV

We are alive, they are not. To their memory…

(takes a swig)

Yefremov is napping, eyes half-closed. His memory is conjuring up images from a different not-so-distant past…

 

FLASHBACK-

A flash of light. Explosion in a subway car…

Yefremov — a bit younger – is walking towards the subway station holding a bunch of carnations. Ambulances pull up by the station. He sees black smoke rising from the tunnel of the stopped escalator, and groups of tattered, bloody people emerging.

And then – the profile of a bearded man turning around (fast-forward), baseball cap obscuring the face (Ali Bek), hastily leaving the square (caught on tape by the station’s surveillance camera)… and the unbearable ring lingering over the square.

NARRATOR (off-screen)

Kostya Yefremov never understood how the Moscow subway bombers got away. Despite the video footage and the witnesses. He was there himself. Could have done something. He has never forgiven himself.

Rumor had it, a particularly fearless terrorist named Ali Bek was the mastermind of that horrible slaughter.

Somehow he escaped undetected, and the man who had been apprehended at the scene, a foreigner, was quickly released and the case was closed. The official explanation was that he was a student from a friendly Arab nation and that it was against national interests to sour the relations.

Having lost his father and sister in the bombing, Yefremov radically changed his life. Dropped out of college where he was very highly regarded. Volunteered to join the special forces. Asked to be sent to the frontlines.

Deep inside, he hoped that, if there were justice in this world, he would find Ali Bek one way or another.

 

Yefremov takes off his beret, pulls a letter out of it, unfolds it, reads a few lines, folds it back up, shakes his head, and puts the letter back in the beret.

He glances at the chartered cargo plane IL-76. Speaks to the fuel truck driver.

YEFREMOV

(offering a pack of cigarettes to the driver)

Where is that one going?

(takes a swig from the flask and passes it to the driver)

FUEL TRUCK DRIVER

(putting a cigarette behind his ear)

That… for…Miami (singing) good bye … America, o-o

YEFREMOV

(drunkenly)

Say whaaat?

 

FUEL TRUCK DRIVER

(takes a sip, cringes)

Like I say, for a date with Monica Lewinsky… Cocksucking… Look, we fill it up to the brim!

 

YEFREMOV

(after a long whistle)

Wow! Here we go.

 

FUEL TRUCK DRIVER

(wiping his lips with his fist)

I have chacha (Georgian hooch) in car – let’s go.

(gets up, waves to Yefremov to join him)

The Lieutenant hesitates. He is making a decision.

He lowers his head, and swiftly, discreetly takes off his nametags. Then he leans over an unconscious wounded soldier and, just as swiftly, takes off that soldier’s nametags and replaces them with his own. Their identities are now switched. The wounded soldier is flying to Murmansk under Yefremov’s name.

Yefremov throws his tarpaulin knapsack around his shoulder, slides the beret down his forehead and confidently marches after the fuel truck driver to the IL going to Miami.

 

3. Title – MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA

EXT. – EARLY MORNING. MIAMI BEACH.

* dialogues are in English

The entire beach has become one big stage for Julia’s video shoot. She is a young aspiring pop-singer of Russian descent.

This is obviously a big budget production – equipped with a sky lift, talent rooms, tables laden with food. Everyone is in motion – the director, the producer, the stylist, the dancers, the bodyguards. Julia, dressed in a white Adidas track suit which favorably hugs her stunning figure, does several impressive ballet moves, eliciting applause from the director – Jim, a middle aged Latino with sharp features.

JIM

Stop the camera! Stop the music! One more time!

 

JULIA

(out of breath, playfully)

Is something wrong?

 

JIM

You are the best, you are number one… A star! Let’s rehearse some more!

(to the dancers)

Where is your class! I want to see more legs! You want to be dancing at the Bellagio or in a shitty strip joint in the Bronx?

 

The dancer girls lower their heads, barely holding back their tears.

JIM

One more time without Julia! 3-2-1…

Get me (snaps his fingers) an Alka-Seltzer! Fix the star’s makeup!

 

JULIA

(breathing normally)

I am OK!

 

JIM

(not taking his eyes off the dancers)

But you should be perfect!

 

A model-looking male assistant runs up to him with a pill, a glass and a bottle of Perrier.

JIM

Where’s the lime? (lowering his voice) Call the agency, tell them to send replacements for these two cows (nods in the direction of the dancers) anyone.

The assistant nods with a concerned look on his face, and gives instructions over a walkie-talkie.

Julia listens perplexed.

JULIA

(while her makeup is being fixed)

Maybe you can take it easy on them a bit? The dancers hate me as it is!

 

JIM

(reviewing video footage on a monitor)

You think I enjoy this? There’s just no other way!!!

This is the only way. We all want this to be a masterpiece, don’t we?

(continues in a serious, quieter tone)

Let them hate… Princess, that’s what I get paid for, I am the…Wicked Witch of the West! When your album makes the first million, they will adore you and sing your praises… like a (snaps his fingers in search of a name) Kournikova or Jovovich, you see?

JULIA (also seriously)

Mila’s awesome, and Anna too, but my name is Julia – and I’ll be great too!

 

JIM

(clapping)

That’s my star! (to the dancers) OK, let’s run the dance – 3-2-1. Go!

 

A black bodyguard hands an expensive purse to Julia. Without looking, her manicured hand reaches inside and extracts a persistently meowing cell phone (the latest trendy model).

BODYGUARD

(to Julia, sizing up her expensive toy)

Damn! I gonna get me the same one!

JULIA

(looks at the caller ID, cringes and says quietly to herself)

Get lost already, Brian, how many times…

(turns off the phone)

4. Title – A suburb of New York City, USA

INT./EXT. – MORNING. MANHATTAN BEACH, AN UPSCALE NEW YORK CITY SUBURB.

A hand is holding a cell phone. The screen is showing the call’s recipient – “JULIA” — and her number. Julia’s voicemail greeting comes on – “Hi I can’t come to the phone”.

MAN’S VOICE

(very young)

Shit!

Angrily closes his flip-top phone.

DIFFERENT VOICE

(speaks with a slight accent from the Caucasus – he is the gang leader)

Get rid of that phone, Blondie, and do something.

 

FIRST VOICE

OK, Boss… OK!

 

The camera pulls back – we are inside a minivan full of electronic equipment, including a digital telescope and a video camera with a deep-focus lens. The blueprint of a house is laid out on a foldout table. Several men crowd the table in the semi-darkness of the minivan, their faces obscured by sunglasses and layers of cigarette smoke. The men are making notations on the blueprint; they are obviously conducting clandestine surveillance of the house.

LEADER

Place the explosives here and here. If anyone rats us out and the cops come… they’ll get a surprise with fireworks… and we’ll have a cover.

 

A dog is barking off-screen.

One of the men looks out the window, slightly drawing the drape.

An elderly lady — a maid, judging by the white collar — is walking a dachshund barking incessantly and pulling on the leash. Instead of restraining the dog, the woman is looking scornfully at the blue minivan with a gas company sign painted on its side parked half a mile away from the mansion. She notices a pile of cigarette butts on the sidewalk next to the van, and frowns primly.

5. Title – Brooklyn, New York.

INT. – MORNING. CONEY ISLAND.

The old beachfront attractions park in a nearby Brooklyn neighborhood. There is nobody around. A tipsy bum with a cigarette butt in his mouth stumbles out of a deli through the squeaky gated door, holding a bottle in a brown bag.   He sits down in the sun, lights his cigarette, and takes a swig. Suddenly, a group of undercover police cars speed onto the square and brake with a screech, forming a perfect semi-circle. The cars don’t have police insignia or sirens, but it’s painfully obvious that they are cop cars.

The car doors open in unison, letting out big guys with walkie-talkies, all wearing identical numbered jerseys over bulletproof vests, armed to the teeth.

In a flash, they put the bum up against the wall, confiscate his beer (which is illegal in this hour), put him in a headlock, handcuff him, throw him in one of the cars and slam the door.

Tommy O’Hara, Chief of the C-18 Special Operations Unit of the New York City Police Department, a huge Irishman with a red meaty face, picks up a freshly-printed newspaper off the counter outside the deli, without paying, naturally.

To his right is his second-in-command, Patrick Fitzgerald, a seasoned cop who looks like a hooligan. He can certainly tell his Scotch from Irish whiskey with his eyes closed.

Other members of the unit are sitting nonchalantly on the hoods of their Chevy Caprice Classics, holding coffee in Styrofoam cups. Another cop steps out of the deli with a box of donuts. The atmosphere is not at all business-like.

O’HARA

(speaks with an Irish accent)

Alright, boys, quit stuffing your faces, or I’ll send you all for a physical.

 

The men laugh. The chief takes a seat on the edge of the hood of his car, looking everyone over.

O’HARA

So, gentlemen – I got news for you; just received it myself from above. An interview with our Assemblyman came out… Or should I say “Assman”.

 

Everyone roll their eyes.

O’HARA

(opens the New York Times and reads)

“…The NYPD, along with the recently formed Department of Homeland Security, continues to express concern about the racketeering gang operating in Brooklyn and Queens, which has blatantly and eh…. successfully burglarized and extorted money from wealthy immigrants for several years.

 

OFFICER #1

Pretty stinky news.

 

O’HARA

(raising his voice)

“It has been reported that the money is being funneled into the drug trade and even”… (pauses meaningfully) more dangerous activities…

(silence)

Any thoughts?

He shoots the rumpled newspaper, like a basketball, into a dumpster.

OFFICER #2

What are we supposed to do now – just deal with Russians? As far as I am concerned, they can all whack each other until they are all dead.

 

FITZGERALD

OK, but definitely leave ballet dancers and hockey players out of it. Larionov alone is worth our while. Or that other one – the Russian Rocket! He’s got a turbojet up his ass.

 

O’HARA (interrupting)

So, why are we here?

We got an anonymous tip that the gang is going for a hit today! Everyone, be alert and keep your eyes peeled. We’ll stay in this hood till we’re blue in the face, until we get’em. Search everyone and stay where…?

 

ALL AT ONCE (lazily)

… one step ahead of them!

 

O’HARA (slapping the hood)

… exactly! Let’s go!

 

They all get in the cars.

One of the policemen drags the bum out of the car, smashes his bottle against the wall, shoves the drunk into the middle of the street and sends him running with a kick in the butt… The bum hurries towards the ocean.

OFFICER

(getting behind the wheel)

These immigrants are nothing but trouble… Keep coming here like flies.

 

 

6. Title – SOMEWHERE OVER THE ATLANTIC

INT. – AFTERNOON. ON BOARD THE CHARTERED IL-76 AIRCRAFT.

Steady hum of the engines. Empty containers covered with tarp. The tarp starts moving. First, we see the eyes, then the rest of Yefremov. He carefully tucks in the tarp without a spare movement or sound, like his cot in a barrack.

YEFREMOV

(looking out the porthole, quickly sobering up)

Here we go…dear mother…

 

He takes a second to perform reconnaissance of his surroundings, Terminator-style, and heads for the lavatory, almost without swaying.

7. INT. – AFTERNOON. ON BOARD THE IL-76 AIRCRAFT.

A co-pilot is standing in front of the lavatory, staring blankly at the illuminated “Occupied” sign. Looks around the cabin – everyone’s in his place.

CO-PILOT

What the hell…

 

Pulls on the handle – no luck; tries again and again. Suddenly, the door swings open, slamming the co-pilot against the opposite wall. Yefremov appears in the doorway.

YEFREMOV

(not a trace of alcohol left)

Can I get some privacy?

 

CO-PILOT

(chin on his chest)

Who… who are you?

 

YEFREMOV

Your worst nightmare.

 

Not wasting any time, Yefremov professionally reaches for the gun holster on the co-pilot’s belt and removes the gun before the co-pilot has a chance to realize what happened. Yefremov takes off the safety.

YEFREMOV

Sshhh… Don’t take it personally, bro, OK?

Takes the co-pilot by the shirtfront, drags him into the lavatory and shuts the door.

8. INT. – AFTERNOON. ON BOARD THE PLANE

Yefremov is sneaking up to the entrance of the cockpit, stealthily, like a cat. Next to a carelessly hung coat, Yefremov sees a holster with a Makarov handgun sticking out. He removes the gun, takes out the clip and puts the bullets in his pocket.

He then returns to the tied co-pilot.

YEFREMOV

Whisper or it’s gonna hurt, got it?

 

The co-pilot nods.

Yefremov loosens the rag in his mouth.

YEFREMOV

Who else got a gun?

 

CO-PILOT (whispering)

Only Mihalych. What are you nuts?

 

YEFREMOV

Where are we going anyway?

 

CO-PILOT

To the States. To pick up humani….

YEFREMOV

Where in the States?

CO-PILOT

Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What are you up to?

YEFREMOV

How far is that from New York?

CO-PILOT

A three-hour flight.

Yefremov is considering something in silence.

CAPTAIN SEMYONOV (off-screen)

Kovalyov, did the local shish kebab make you sick again?

The two other pilots burst out laughing.

9. Title – NEW YORK. THE UPSCALE NEIGHBORHOOD.

(The scene opens as a panoramic view through a telescope, i.e., someone is watching from the draped van and gradually zooming in)

We see an expensive home with an open-air Olympic-size swimming pool. Julia’s father, Felix Borschevsky, 56, is strolling along the edge of the pool in a plain kimono, talking on the phone. Felix is a well-known, wealthy surgeon. He is in great shape – not an ounce of fat – and handles himself accordingly. His every movement is filled with pride in the social status he has fought so hard to achieve in America.

FELIX (on the phone)

Yeah, ok, “the new sensation” – soon you won’t have any time for your father at all! (listens)

Alright, that’s great

JULIA (off-screen)

Daddy, I only got a sec – listen, I’m gonna go on tour to promote my album with the guys… I’ll make a lot of money and buy your hospital… Then you won’t be stuck there all the time, yelling at me. And you’ll love me like other… fathers do!

Borschevsky’s favorite child, his14-year-old son, Mark, is running towards him from the house.

MARK

(English original in italics)

Daddy, daddy, look – what I got for my birthday! An X-box!

FELIX

(speaking to Mark)

One moment, dear.

(speaking to Julia)

I am happy for you, but you must be home by 2. These are your brother’s orders, not mine!

(listens with a sour look on his face)

Borschevsky’s youthful looking wife, Victoria, and their maid, Irena, follow Mark out of the house.

VICTORIA

Marik, don’t bother Daddy!

 

IRENA

(with Polish accent)

Pane Doctor!

FELIX

Julia, baby, I managed to clear my schedule for this occasion (i.e., “what about you?”).

JULIA (in Miami)

Daddy, you don’t understand – it’s such an important time for me…

FELIX

If I didn’t understand, would I keep subsidizing all this fun?

JULIA (in Miami)

Daad! That’s so vulgar!

 

FELIX

OK, sorry, baby…

I got a hospital plane to pick you up… I love you, OK?

And I want you to know — I believe in you…

Felix hangs up and looks at his family, satisfied. Everything’s under control, everything’s as it should be… He picks up his son.

FELIX

My blood…

10. EXT. – EARLY MORNING. MIAMI BEACH.

*all dialogue in English.

Julia throws the phone up in the air and catches it. She then hands it off to the mortified bodyguard.

JULIA (practicing her dance moves)

My daddy… he’s got my personality!

JIM

This is exactly why I don’t want to have children – I want everyone to get along…

JULIA (shouting over the music, dancing in ecstasy)

What are you talking about? My old man is a super…man!

JIM (jokingly raises his eyebrows in disbelief)

Will you introduce me?

Julia gives him a damning look and moves her lips as if to say Fuck You. She is walking around the set on the beach, following the beat, like an angry tigress. The set consists of huge color balls, on which the dancers are resting between the takes.

JULIA

Just one hit! One hit is all I need!

CAMERAMAN (looking at the sky through a piece of tinted glass)

It’s cleared up for a few minutes! The sea is a perfect shade. I am ready!

JIM (admiring Julia, catches the right moment and shows with his lips – Ready –

(snaps his fingers)

Baby?! Camera! Music! Action!

Everything comes in motion and Julia, transformed, leads the dance with a big smile, her face as bright as lightning.
11. INT. – AFTERNOON. ON BOARD THE IL-76 CARGO PLANE.

*in Russian

Inside the cockpit.

Captain Semyonov and Yefremov. Semyonov, a gray-haired colonel with a distinctly military demeanor, is keeping Yefremov at gunpoint. Two unarmed pilots are watching intensely, ready for anything.

Yefremov remains completely calm.

COLONEL SEMYONOV

You asshole. Do you know what you’ll get for this? A court-marshal.

YEFREMOV

I know, Colonel, sir. I am not a terrorist though.

Aren’t you tired of holding that gun? You better check the clip.

 

The colonel snaps the gunlock open in distrust. It’s true – the bullets are missing. He lowers the gun.

YEFREMOV

You are right, one often gets stuck in the barrel…

COLONEL SEMYONOV

I see, looks like a rookie, acts like a veteran.

YEFREMOV

Yes, sir. Lieutenant Yefremov… Marine Corps. Special Assault Unit, Navy Northern Command.

 

He pours bullets out on the table and extends his hand to the colonel who first shakes his head, then slaps Yefremov’s “low-five”.

SECOND PILOT

(discreetly)

Captain, sir, shouldn’t we contact the authorities on the ground so they give him a reception?

COLONEL SEMYONOV

Calm down, Pete…

(nods at Yefremov’s cast)

Did someone hit you with an oar?

 

YEFREMOV

I was opening a tin can. I’m a total klutz.

 

COLONEL SEMYONOV

Going AWOL, are you?

 

Yefremov nods. Looks the colonel in the eyes.

COLONEL SEMYONOV

That’s what I figured. Dying to paint the town red?

YEFREMOV

I got personal business to take care of. It’s important. Are you heading back tomorrow? If I’m not back in 24 hours, go ahead and report me.

COLONEL SEMYONOV

(stroking his gray moustache)

Business… Do you even know what business means.

 

YEFREMOV (nods at the tattoo on the colonel’s wrist)

Jellalabad? 56th Division?

 

COLONEL SEMYONOV

That’s right. How do you know?

 

YEFREMOV

From my old C.O. [commanding officer], Pyotr Zaytsev. You know him?

 

COLONEL SEMYONOV

I’ve heard the name.

YEFREMOV (bares his arm with a Black Cheetah tattoo)

Gudermes. The [PD] Special Unit. Heard of it?

COLONEL SEMYONOV

Sounds familiar… Lieutenant, lieutenant… What am I supposed do with you? Alright…

(pulls out a container and plastic cups, pours)

To us all, the fucking fools that we are. Wait! Hold on. Apologize to the co-pilot.

 

 

YEFREMOV

(handing a cup to the co-pilot)

Is that really necessary?

(looks the co-pilot in the eyes)

He knows full well I didn’t mean it.

 

CO-PILOT

It’s OK, no big deal…

(they drink [loudly], chasing the booze with Pepsi)

COLONEL SEMYONOV

This sugary piss-water … a pickle would be nice right about now… Oh well, whatcha gonna do, can’t bring grub to the States. They are strict about that.

(lights a cigarette)

Ok, Yefremov, now tell us what you’re really up to. So at least we know what they fire us for.

 

YEFREMOV (licking his dry lips)

Where do I start…

12. INT. – ANY HOUR – MOSCOW SUBWAY TUNNEL (A FLASHBACK)

Total darkness. A huge explosion rips through a subway car. Screams, shouting of the panicked passengers fill the train. Smoke instantly fills the car and the tunnel. One bleeding passenger is sitting down on the floor, another is desperately gasping for air… Silhouettes of people walking on the tracks in the tunnel. Loud moaning.

A woman is making her way through the crowd, her face covered in blood. With one hand she is holding the body of a 10-year old girl, with the other she is dragging a man’s body… Silence. The woman keeps going in a frenzy, in slow motion. She is on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion and a nervous breakdown. Only two sounds are audible – her heavy breathing and quickening heartbeat.

(The woman – Antonina – is Yefremov’s mother. The child is his sister. The man is his father. Antonina survived the blast; her husband and daughter did not.)

A train is heading straight at the woman, blinding her. The screeching of brakes. A flash of light… The disappearing shape of the bearded man with a backpack wearing a baseball hat.

13. EXT. – AFTERNOON – MIAMI – a highway along a canal.

A white stretch limo is speeding towards Downtown on a bridge across the canal, past rows of manicured yachts and million-dollar villas.

JIM

That one is Madonna’s, further up – Bill Gates’, Stallone’s. Celebrities from all over the world live here… even (snaps his fingers) who else… Nicolai?

THE LIMO DRIVER

(turns around; speaks with Russian accent)

You mean Russians – well, Pugachyova, Leontyev… oh, another one from U.S., what’s his name – Prince! Varum Agutin – like, Russian Sting…

 

JIM

(nods quietly, realizing that he doesn’t know these names)

See, Julia – Russians are loaded.   I should’ve doubled my fee!

 

Jim and Julia are sitting back next to bags full of footage.

Today’s footage is playing on a built-in overhead TV screen — beautiful images of Julia dancing.

JULIA

(sliding down into the seat)

That’s great – I can’t believe that’s really me. You are a genius! (slaps him on the knee) Don’t whine… I’ll give you a bonus!

 

JIM

(rubbing his knee)

Ouch, you act like a gangster rapper from the ghetto!

(grabs the remote remembering something)

Shit – Wu Tang’s tour starts today! I completely forgot – they’re gonna cut my nuts off! (flips through the channels, finds MTV)

The audience roars as members of the group appear on stage. They bow in jest, talking to the audience. The fans are going crazy.

JIM

(to the driver)

Hey, man – let’s go to City Hall! Gotta support these guys!

 

JULIA

You mean you’ll introduce me to them?

No shit!

 

13-A. EXT. THE SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE CLUB

The limo is slowly making its way through police barricades. Crowds of bystanders part in front of the car.

JULIA’s voice

(excited)

Oh my god, these guys went platinum 8 times! That’s 80 mil minimum…

The limo rolls up to the fenced-off service entrance of the concert hall, surrounded by scores of huge black bodyguards from the “Servants of Allah” security service.

Inside the limo.

JIM

(nervously cracking his fingers)

If you hit it off with them, your future is made!

JULIA

And yours too! If you can put them in my clip, you’ll get a Grammy!

The service door swings open and Wu Tang’s manager – Bonnie, a 30 year-old black guy covered in gold jewelry from head to toe – comes out to greet the limo.

BONNIE

(slapping fives the long way, locking fingers)

Peace!

Da show’s kicking yo. Can’t be takin’em to da airport now – damn paparazzi all over da place. Dey be staking it out yo.

 

JIM

You joking!

 

BONNIE

Can’t be taking no regular flight – ain’t no smoking in dat joint! Plus I’ve gotsta take da crew to Times Square, do or die, knowhatimean.

A crowd of paparazzi and groupies peek out from behind a fence. They start screaming when they see Wu-Ts leaving the building. The bodyguards use open umbrellas to hide the rappers from the flashing cameras. One would think we are witnessing the second coming!

BONNIE

Yo, in 3 hours we got a supa show – everyone be there, knowhatimean, MTV, ABC, DMX, Britney, Ricky…

JIM

Yo bro, wish I could help you – don’t have a private jet just yet. Why don’t you guys got one?

 

 

 

BONNIE

‘Course we got a plane – Boeing 707, yo! Wid all dis mess, it’s stuck in another town tho’. (the walkie-talkie on his belt speaks “Yo, Bonnie, wotz going on, we all by da exit – where da hell are you!”)

 

JULIA

(throwing down her fingers like a rapper)

Yo! We got a plane!!!! (looking out from inside the limo) Yo guys come in here!

 

Both men are startled. And the colorful procession of four duked-out black musicians – the superstar rap group The Wu Tang Clan in full effect – is coming up to the limo.

 

The four get inside the limo one-by-one.

Excited after the show, they are staring at Julia’s impressive package, up and down.

 

They take their seats and fall quiet.

 

JULIA

(shy in the presence of superstars)

I … I’d love to help you guys out … give you guys a lift on my … eh … plane. Do you … eh … have a lot of luggage?

WU-Ts

(altogether, ghetto-style)

Do we whaat?

JULIA

OK!

(dialing on her cell phone)

This is Ms. Julia – get my jet ready. (everyone in the limo shuts up)

 

 

14. Title – FORT LAUDERDALE AIRPORT. MIAMI

EXT. – AFTERNOON – THE AIRPORT

A plane’s chassis touch the ground.

The IL-76 cargo plane is rolling down the runway.

A view of the cockpit from the outside. The colonel’s face.

 

COMMANDER SEMYONOV

(preoccupied with steering the plane)

Alright, son…

Thoughts, anyone?

 

The cabin falls silent.

 

SECOND PILOT

If this guy gets caught, if we file a report, we’re gonna get slammed no matter what, Myhalych…

 

COMMANDER SEMYONOV

(off-screen)

OK. Won’t be the worst thing I’ve done…

Yefremov exhales with a smile.

 

COMMANDER SEMYONOV

Don’t get carried away now, Americans don’t joke around. See the postal Boeing loading portside? Don’t matter where to. I’ll slow down a bit, and you’ll … you know… Good luck, Lieutenant.

YEFREMOV

(also off-screen)

Thank you, my man, for everything.

COMMANDER SEMYONOV

And remember – be back here in 24 hours.

 

Yefremov jumps out of the moving plane through the chassis door, rolls over several times on the concrete tarmac and smoothly goes into a full run, so that the Boeing is shielding him from the border patrol jeep heading towards the IL-76.

 

Yefremov is looking around. The scene is about as quiet as at the airport where he boarded the plane. The only exception is the presence of palm trees lining the fence.

 

He spots a white limo standing next to a Hummer and a Learjet. Workers are carrying boxes from the truck to the plane. Yefremov takes off his camouflage jacket (he is now wearing a t-shirt), and puts on a bandana, turning into a typical Florida handyman.

 

He approaches the limo sideways, uses his t-shirt to wipe sweat off his forehead as if he was just carrying luggage. The other workers – Latinos who aren’t working too hard – don’t pay any attention to him. Neither do Wu-Ts who have just returned to their marijuana-induced tranquility. The border patrol has already passed. Yefremov picks up a box and carries it onboard the jet. He notices the destination marked on the side of the box – NEW YORK – and lets on a faint smile – things continue to go his way.

 

Laughing loudly over a heavy hip-hop beat, the wild party – the four Wu-Ts and Julia still visibly inebriated — stumble out of the limo. Yefremov sees them from afar and can’t take his eyes off Julia’s body.

 

14-A.

The picture-perfect Learjet lifts off the runway effortlessly elevating into the sky past the palm treetops towards the sun hanging over the ocean.

 

 

15. Title — New York. Manhattan Beach.

 

A group of people wearing all black, with ski hats on their heads, come out of the van clutching duffle bags and cross the deserted street towards the house.

A motorcycle rides up to the gate, letting off a boy who sneaks into a hole in the fence and disappears in the shrubbery. The motorcycle speeds off.

 

The Leader

(speaking decent English as he is walking)

Stay together and – quick. In and out!

He catches up with the tall, obviously young partner.

 

THE LEADER

(impatiently, to Blondie)

I saw you call somebody…

Try something stupid and it’s your own fault – I rip you up like paper doll…

 

The group approaches the front door and walks up the stoop, taking guns out of the bags.

 

THE LEADER

(to another mobster, quietly)

Keep your eyes on him.

 

They lower the muzzles of their ski hats, turning them into Ninja masks.

 

 

15-1 INT. — AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHEVSKY RESIDENCE IN NEW YORK

 

Happy, jittery excitement in the air – Victoria (the wife), 40 years old, looking 30, and Irena, the maid, are setting up for Mark’s birthday party.

 

IRENA

(to Victoria) Oy, vot good shooz!

(carrying a set of fine China)

Pani Doctor, China set from Tiffany?

 

VICTORIA

Oh, no, use the German one please. The kids will break everything.

The camera rolls out into the backyard, where, out of the blue, the 13-year-old Mexican boy in a baseball hat is crossing the yard towards the house (the boy is not much younger than Marik).

 

FELIX

(to the uninvited visitor)

Excuse me, young man! Excuse me!

THE BOY

(waiving a notebook in response, with a heavy accent)

I’m from school – homework!

The boy – he obviously knows his way around – walks through the kitchen and as-a-matter-of-factly unlocks the front door.

 

Four masked gunmen barge in the front door and nonchalantly go through the kitchen. They pet the boy on the head and send him off with a $20 bill.

 

BURGLAR #1 (Ahmed)

Down! Everyone get down!

 

Irena and Victoria, stunned, mechanically obey the orders.

 

The burglar quickly tapes their mouths, while another one immediately ties their hands behind their backs. Silently, they motion the hostages to the terrace – where Felix is standing. The Leader is directing traffic, not saying a word.

The dachshund attacks the unwelcome guests. They quiet her down with a kick of a boot.

 

16. INT. – AFTERNOON. ABOARD THE LEARJET.

 

The party is in full swing. The Wu-Ts are rolling joints and open bottles of champagne.

 

WU-T No.1

(on the phone)

Yo, Ricky, I got me a dope girlfriend… She wanna be a record artist. Great voice, sexy as hell… She even got money. Trouble is – she white.

 

JULIA

I’ll dye my hair!

WU-T No.1

(on the phone)

Monday? Excellent. Peeace out!

(hangs up)

(to Julia) Don’t know about an album, but a single he’ll do…

JULIA

(squeals wildly)

Somebody pinch me!

 

She hugs Wu-T No.1, pecks him on the cheek.

 

WU-T No.2

(gagging with laughter)

Don’t worry, Barbie, we’ll pinch you alright…

 

He makes his move; Julia deftly gets away and walks towards the lavatory at the back of the plane, grabbing a bottle of Crystal off the bar; she takes a swig and falls into a chair next to Yefremov who just happens to be sitting there.

 

YEFREMOV

I hate Ricky Martin!

JULIA

(frightened)

Oh my god! Who are you?

YEFREMOV

I am your fan. Can I have autograph?

JULIA

(listens carefully to Yefremov and switches to Russian)

Who are you trying to fool? How did you get here?

YEFREMOV

Is my accent that bad?

JULIA

Ah-ha. A mix of British and Byelorussian…

 

YEFREMOV

In school, they told me it’s from London and gave me A’s.

JULIA (touches the cast on his arm)

And they gave you this instead of a diploma?

 

For a second, Julia leaves her hand on Yefremov’s muscular arm. He palms her hand with his.

 

YEFREMOV

I give up. You got me. I am a spy. I was wounded in a shootout with the FBI.

JULIA

(laughing)

You must be illegal! I thought you only got in from Mexico…

YEFREMOV

Couldn’t get a flight via Mexico. So, should I get off the plane? Will you give me a parachute or should I do without?

JULIA

(takes her hand back)

What’s your name?

YEFREMOV

Konstantin.

JULIA

Consider yourself lucky, Kostya. Today is my lucky day. You got a free ride to New York. Let’s have a drink.

Pushes Kostya into the cabin.

The Wu-Ts seem surprised.

 

WU-T No.3

Who he be?

JULIA

My bodyguard.

WU-T No.1

That’s some funny shit! A one-armed bodyguard.

They laugh.

 

YEFREMOV

The cast is fake, undercover. Inside is shotgun. For work I only need one arm.

WU-T No.1, who is a big guy, puts one arm on the table.

Come on, boy, let’s see what you’re made of…

 

Yefremov sits across the table from him and puts his elbow on the table. The fight is a joke – Kostya wrestles the big guy’s arm down in three seconds.

 

WU-T No.1

Fuck! Let’s do it ova! I put up da works – my gold Rolex!

Same result.

 

 

 

WU-T No.2

He got you, bro

(Rolling his eyes)

Ochi Chyornye…

 

WU-T No.1 (takes the watch off – clearly reluctantly)

Must pay your bets… it’s yours. Remember Wu-Tang!

YEFREMOV (confused)

No, brother – it’s not for me, not my style.

WU-T No.1

A twanny gran diamond watch don’t cramp nobody’style. Tough guy, eh!

JULIA (smacks Kostya’s shoulder)

Wouldn’t hire him otherwise!

WU-T No.2

Yo, you like rap? Let’s hear some Russian rap!

YEFREMOV

Nah, I like rock. Gorky Park, Lyube and stuff…

Don’t you know? (condescendingly) What about Metal Corrosion, Shevchuk…

 

All four smoke in silence, totally stoned.

 

JULIA (diplomatically)

These guys don’t hit Europe too often…

YEFREMOV (as if speaking to retards)

You have to know this stuff… Credence, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones.

JULIA (to her friends, jokingly)

He means the magazine where you top the Hit Parade!

WU-T No.2

Mick Jagga’s cool. His lips are thickah than a niggah!

 

YEFREMOV

He is ugly, but so cool. And totally himself, no bullshit.

 

The rappers burst out laughing again, roll another huge joint, and pass it around, skipping Julia.

 

JULIA

You are so funny! Where did you hear the Rolling Stones?

 

Yefremov nods with a smile. They pass him the joint and he takes a drag, not to offend them. Julia notices the serious look in his eyes.

 

YEFREMOV

My father loved it. When I was little, he’d sing it to me as a lullaby…

JULIA

How come you sorta got a British accent?

WU-T No.1

Ain’t never heard shit like this in my life – The Stones as a lullaby!?

(jokingly, they rap a version of Jumping Jack Flash)

 

Gradually, the song fades away, replaced by “It is the evening of the day…” sung with a heavy Russian accent…

 

 

17. INT. – NIGHTTIME. THE YEFREMOVS’ MOSCOW APARTMENT.

 

A FLASHBACK (the song continues in the background).

Yefremov’s father (with his back to the camera) is leaning over Kostya’s dimly lit crib.

 

CUT TO:

 

A black-and-white photograph of the Yefremovs: father, mother, son, daughter…

 

 

18. Title – A NURSING HOME IN BOSTON.

INT. – AFTERNOON.

 

The same photograph, neatly framed.

(the song ends)

 

The camera moves slowly over family photos on the wall, in reverse chronological order: frowning men wearing shoulder belts, stoic-looking women in berets, children dressed in sailor shirts, all the way back to 1900s – Smolny graduates, men with big moustaches in Tsarist army uniforms studded with medals …

 

Konstantin’s AUNT (off-screen)

…Kitten, I know you are a difficult person, which, Lord knows, runs in our family…

 

…the camera pulls back, revealing a bright, modest, clean room in the nursing home. Field flowers in a vase. White linen curtains gently flapping in the breeze.

 

Konstantin’s AUNT (off-screen)

…I remember very well how stubborn your late father was, and I am not going to question your decision.

An elderly woman (the Aunt) is sitting in a rocking chair. She looks strict, with signs of past beauty, glasses on a chain, minimal but carefully applied makeup. A canopy hat.

She is writing a letter (using an old-fashioned “Mont Blanc” fountain pen, in tidy, calligraphic handwriting…)

 

Konstantin’s AUNT

I would never bother you vainly, but if I remain silent at this time, you would reproach me later… It’s about your mother, Konstantin.

 

(she stops writing, takes a deep breath, slowly reaches for a cup on the side table with her atrophied left arm. She is staring into space … another person would get teary, but it’s not acceptable in their family. Only her eyes get red…)

 

 

19. INT. – AFTERNOON. ABOARD THE LEARJET.

 

A postcard view of Manhattan through a plane window.

Julia opens her eyes, awakening on Yefremov’s shoulder. He has not slept for a minute, afraid to move.

 

JULIA

(stretching as if she hasn’t slept)

You like it?

YEFREMOV

It’s alright. Looks like Moscow…

JULIA

By the way, you Russian, do you need any money?

YEFREMOV

Thanks, we, Russians, are proud people. I’ll make it on my own.

JULIA

OK, make it on your own.

(gives him her CD and… writes down her phone number on his cast with a magic marker.)

 

 

 

YFREMOV

(checking out the CD)

This must be you? I even got an autograph. Thank you.

(glances at his arm)

JULIA

If you want to get together, give me a call. I’ll hire you as a bodyguard.

YEFREMOV

Only if I am in charge.

YEFREMOV

(unbuckling the watch band)

Listen, can you give it back to them please … doesn’t feel right.

 

JULIA

What are you nuts? He’s got plenty. Gets them custom-made, engraved with the WU logo.

 

YEFREMOV

Oops… sorry, I took him for a bum.

JULIA

(touching Yefremov’s hand)

You are funny. Been a while since I met a real Russian.

 

YEFREMOV

You are funny, too. Too bad we won’t see each other.

JULIA

(shaking his hand, Russian-style)

What a paw!

 

YEFREMOV

(holding on to her hand)

Like a bear’s…

 

JULIA

Wait –

(takes her cell phone out of her purse)

Cheeeeeeese!

(snaps a photo)

 

Yefremov makes an “SOS” sign with his hands, making Julia laugh.

 

YEFREMOV

(smiles back, makes the sign as if with flags)

SOS…

 

 

20. EXT. – AFTERNOON. WU-TANG’S STUDIO IN MANHATTAN

 

Julia’s Tahoe drives up to a glass building in Manhattan’s financial district. The Wu-Ts stumble out of the truck, the crew carries their boxes from the back of the truck inside.

 

JULIA

(waiving from inside the truck)

Bye, guys! Peace! Later!

WU-T #1

C’mon, girl, come check our crib!

JULIA

(looking at her watch in hesitation)

Only for a second – got a family gathering to go to, promised my parents…

 

 

21. INT. – AFTERNOON. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ NEW YORK RESIDENCE.

 

Living room, carpets, light-colored furniture, paintings, prints, a Steinway grand piano, souvenirs from trips abroad – Chinese vases, golden statues of Buddha and Ganesha.

Felix – the head of the household – is sitting on the sofa with his hands tied. The gang leader – tall and broad-shouldered – is standing in front of Felix. The leader is still wearing his mask, which makes him look a bit comical amidst the luxurious surroundings. At least that’s what Felix is thinking, judging from his expression.

 

FELIX

I repeat: I don’t have a million bucks. You were misinformed. This is all I got —

(pointing around the house)

— I might be able to scrape together five thousand or so — my wife probably has a stash somewhere…

 

Snap!

The leader loudly slaps Felix across the face.

 

Mimi — the old dachshund — runs into the room straight at the gangster and bites his ankle.

 

LEADER

Fuck… you ask for it!

(hits the dog with his machine gun and kicks her across the room in a corner)

 

The dog lets out a horrible squeal, whines for a bit, and falls silent.

 

FELIX (not losing his cool)

Hitting the poor dog-

(The Leader is rubbing his ankle)

— will not increase the amount of money in the house.

 

LEADER

Forget dog… you have wife.

(Felix is quiet)

Doctors rich in America. You got safe in the house?

 

FELIX

You don’t understand. Doctors are not cab drivers; they are not paid cash.

 

LEADER

Maybe American doctors not cab drivers. You — Russian. You have Russian patients. Means you have cash.

 

FELIX

That’s not exactly right. I get paid by check and keep my money in the bank. Like all normal people.

 

LEADER

OK, you normal. We not normal.

(he notices a golf club carelessly left behind on the terrace. Goes out and brings it inside.)

You play golf. You know how not normal people play golf?

(Whack! A large Chinese vase shatters into smithereens. Whack! The golf club leaves a dent on the Buddha’s chest. He lifts open the piano cover. The dachshund is yelping incessantly.)

(to the dachshund)

Wait, you next.

(to Felix)

You like music?

 

Whack! He clubs the piano keys.

 

LEADER

(speaking to himself)

I like it. Maybe buy golf lessons…

(to Felix)

You get it? Not yet?

 

Before Felix has a chance to answer, the Leader shoots a round out of his Uzi, cutting down the huge crystal chandelier which falls down on the carpet in a rain of glass.

LEADER

 

You see how we not normal?

 

(comes closer to the dachshund)

 

I promised…

 

He makes a noose, throws it up on the empty chandelier hook at the ceiling, lifts the barely breathing dog, ties a knot around her leg, and pulleys her up.

 

Hang out and think about life…

 

FELIX (wincing)

OK, I was wrong to use the word “normal”. But all this stuff is insured anyway…

 

LEADER

All insured?

(yells towards the room next door)

Bring the maid!

 

Another gangster drags terrified Irena by her hair.

 

LEADER

She insured too?

 

Without any theatrics, he puts the gun to her temple and pulls the trigger.

The poor woman falls down on the beige carpet. For a few seconds, everyone is frozen in fright. Blood is spreading on the carpet…

 

LEADER

Sorry, didn’t think … who gonna clean up now?

 

 

22. INT. — AFTERNOON – THE WU TANG STUDIO IN MANHATTAN.

WU-T #1

Damn mess again!

(to Julia)

Sorry – he whoops – good housekeepers are hard to find these days.

 

The Wu-Ts are showing Julia their studio which is laid out as a series of large open lofts. The place really is a mess – full of butts, empty bottles, pizza boxes and Chinese food containers… There are plasma TVs and speakers. The walls are covered with silver and platinum albums which record labels present to hit artists, concert posters, and numerous photographs of The Wu Tang Clan in concert and posing with celebrities.

 

Julia is looking at all this with due reverence, while the Wu-Ts are savoring her reaction, naturally having uncorked another bottle of “Crystal”.

 

WU-T #1 (nods at a concert photo)

Dat be Covent Garden. London, ya’know?

A royal concert or some shit… You ever been to London?

JULIA (looking more at the crazy crowds in the pictures than at the rappers)

Yes, but not on stage in Covent Garden.

WU-T #3

Yo, hang with us, girl, and you’ll have it all.

JULIA

How did you hook up with that commando guy? He’s so funny…

WU-T #3

What, us? We thought he was with you!

 

JULIA

No, he wasn’t.

(a pause)

The Rolling Stones – that was cool… for a Russian.

 

WU-T #1

My man got taste though!

(starts swaying to the rhythm of Jumpin Jack Flash)

Gradually the others join in, including Julia with her big passionate voice – fooling around at first, and then really trying… A couple of minutes go by –

 

JULIA

By the way, what did he come to New York for?

 

WU-T #1

Everybody comes here for something. Yo, let’s record this shit?

 

CUT TO:

 

A musical medley of recording scenes – time is flying fast.

All four are in the recording room – Julia is full of energy, hopping, yelling, dancing around…

They come out of the room tired but happy. Julia checks her watch and screams – she promised her father she’d be home an hour ago. The Wu-Ts also check their watches and scream – they forgot about their shoot at Times Square!

Her hand trembling, Julia dials her home number on her cell. Long beeps — nobody answers.

 

 

23. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL, NEW YORK.

 

Yefremov approaches the information desk.

 

YEFREMOV

I look for patient. Russian. Yefremova.

NURSE (turned off by his sloppy appearance)

We have patients from 90 countries. Name?

YEFREMOV

An-to-nina.

NURSE

Are you related? Can I see some ID?

YEFREMOV (endearingly)

No English.

NURSE (looking at her computer)

Room 711. The elevator is right over there.

(pointing)

 

On the way to the elevator, Yefremov catches a glimpse of an extended Latino family carrying flowers and balloons. Would be nice to get something like that… but Yefremov doesn’t have a cent, only the Rolex. Yefremov approaches the Mexican flower seller and picks up a dozen roses.

 

YEFREMOV

How much?

SELLER (strong Mexican accent)

Fifteen dollars, juey. [“juey” is the Mexican equivalent of the Puerto-Rican “papi”].

 

Yefremov shows the Rolex to him. The flower seller glances at the watch, then at Yefremov’s tattered boots, and returns the watch shaking his head and smirking distrustfully.

 

SELLER
I’m not interesting…

YEFREMOV

(showing embarrassment, pointing at the roses)

Listen. This is for woman. She here –

(nods at the elevator)

I am soldier. No money. Take this, no?

(gives him a paratrooper’s badge)

This from war, you understand?

MEXICAN

(pointing at his heart)

Your… loved one, she sick?

 

(Yefremov nods and also points at his heart)

 

YEFREMOV

Heart.

 

The flower seller thinks for a second, takes back the dozen roses and gives Yefremov a smaller bunch.

 

MEXICAN

For your womeen. Free – no money. Vaya con Dios. (Go with God)

 

He blesses Yefremov with a cross. An uncomfortable pause follows.

 

YEFREMOV

(the only word he remembers in Spanish)

… Gracias!

 

24. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST.LUKE’S HOSPITAL, NEW YORK. – HOSPITAL HALLWAY.

 

The hallway is busy. Nurses and patients scurry about … Yefremov pauses in front of room 711, straightening his hair and pants. He takes a deep breath and knocks.

 

(a voice from inside the room)

Come in!

 

25. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST.LUKE’S HOSPITAL, NEW YORK. – HOSPITAL ROOM.

*all dialogue in Russian

 

The single room is tiny but clean and comfortable, with a small table, a visitors’ chair, and a lot of medical equipment.

Antonina is lying in bed, a small book of poetry in hand (by Akhmatova). She looks exhausted – pale like a wax statue, her eyes tired…

 

YEFREMOV

Hi there, Mom.

(nervously tousling the flowers)

 

ANTONINA

her breathing stifled)

My little Kostya! How did you…?

 

(They hug)

 

ANTONINA

Careful … your arm… Oh, dear, what happened?

 

YEFREMOV

It’s nothing, mom, playing Volleyball.

 

ANTONINA

Volleyball, sure, like I believe it. How did you manage to get time off?

YEFREMOV

With my exemplary service, of course. How are you?

(just now notices her round belly, protruding under the sheet)

Mom, what’s that?

 

ANTONINA

(lowering her eyes in embarrassment)

This… you are going to have a little sister, God willing.

 

Yefremov gets up, takes a few steps towards the window. He is perturbed…

 

ANTONINA

They still don’t know what to do with me. With my heart problems… anything can happen. I tried so many times without luck… and finally (wipes a tear off her eye) … I need a C-Section, but my heart might not….

(her eyes fill up with tears)

I couldn’t let them kill her… only together… losing one was enough…

YEFREMOV

Who is he? I mean, the father?

 

 

 

ANTONINA

What do you mean who? My American husband — we are married… We haven’t been getting along too well. He works too much, like everyone here, but he does want a child.

(Yefremov nods, but his jaws are still clenched – he doesn’t believe in her husband’s good intentions…)

My boy, don’t think …

(takes a deep breath – a bit like her son before entering the room – and clears her nose)

Kostya, you are all grown up. Nobody – not my husband, not the child (touching her belly) can ever replace your father and Natasha. But we can’t bring them back. I am a woman. Kostya, I still want to live, too – you can understand that, right?

YEFREMOV

Yes, mom, I totally understand. But why… why here in New York?

(comes up to the window again)

ANTONINA

(after a moment of silence)

I’ve been thinking about that too… I hoped I would be safer here, more secure – and now that… I am thinking … if it doesn’t happen again this time – if they tell me I can’t pull it out, I’ll come back. Dying is easier at home…

 

More tears. Firmly squeezes his hand.

 

YEFREMOV

Mom, what are you talking…?

(raising his voice)

Enough of this! As you were!

ANTONINA

Don’t yell. This is not the army.

YEFREMOV

Sorry, I won’t do it again.

ANTONINA

Or you won’t get any compote.

YEFREMOV

You never left me without compote. And your kissel – you know how much I miss it.

(A childish look runs across his face. Although a warrior, he is still a child at heart)

ANTONINA

I’ll be making kissel for your entire platoon, just let me get out of here…

 

 

25-1.        CITY STREETS. A BAD NEIGHBORHOOD.

 

Police cars are combing the city streets. They pull up in front of delis and pubs, chat with informers and speed off again. They make arrests, question a transvestite bartender, and escort hookers out of a strip club. They ask lots of questions, spying and sniffing around. Judging from the concerned looks on their faces, however, they have not had any luck so far.

 

 

26. INT. — AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE, NEW YORK.

 

The gang is walking around the house planting explosives, spooling wire and taping it to the floor, etc.

 

GANGSTER (ANWAR)

(quietly)

Boss, we have problem – that cowboy Blondie broke remote control for outside (shows him a plastic box) for bombs in backyard. I don’t think I should go there with wire like this, right? (points at his mask)

LEADER

(annoyed)

You bastard… I told you – be careful, and keep an eye on him, you idiot. Instead of laying mines, you should be washing sheep’s tails.

(takes the box, chuckles and returns it)

Alright, listen, go pray and think it over – find a solution… (a bit louder) in the meantime, we wire everything here.

 

The Leader looks at the monitor on the table, which is showing the garage. Anwar is there arguing with another gang member – Brian. The Leader shakes his head.

 

The Leader is doing all this while keeping an eye on Felix, Victoria and Mark who are crouching in a corner of the room.

 

VICTORIA

(whispering in Russian)

Felix, I beg you – don’t you realize this is serious? Can’t you just give up? Jesus, we can build another house, as long as we are alive! How much do we need anyway? Fe-lix! Are you listening? Can’t we do without all this stuff? Was life so bad in Moscow?

FELIX

(his face darkening)

I don’t operate for 10 hours a day to give everything away to this scum. Anyway, it’s not about money… Vica, you are a woman, you don’t get it.

VICTORIA

I get it: it’s your damn male pride! You’ll take it to the grave with you, don’t you get it?

 

Across the room, the Leader is smirking.

 

FELIX

(pausing for a second or two, switching to English)

Does it make you happy to watch a woman suffer?

 

The Leader walks up to them slowly, in a threatening way… waits.

 

FELIX

Oh, fine, we do have a safe, but there isn’t a million there.

LEADER

Allah, thank You!

(he calls over one of his associates – a lanky Albanian named Enver)

Follow him.

 

After Felix and Enver leave the room, the Leader turns to Victoria.

 

LEADER

(takes jewelry out of a lacquered box and weighs it in his hand)

Your husband doesn’t really love you. This is 30 grand, no more — pretty stingy for such rich man. You deserve better.

VICTORIA

(suppressing her rage)

Thank you very much for the compliment.

 

The Leader grabs her by the shoulder and pulls her in. Looking her straight in the eyes, he starts squeezing her breasts. Victoria tries to get away, but he is too strong.

 

LEADER

Why you fuss? I tell you he has other woman. Why play virgin?

 

Felix and Enver return, carrying a briefcase.

 

ENVER

Boss, there really isn’t much here – 20 grand, if that.

 

FELIX

Leave my wife alone right now!

LEADER

Come on. Let me play some more, OK? Not everything for rich. I am poor.

 

 

 

FELIX

That’s because you grew up with only … your dick for a toy!

 

The Leader turns sharply and punches Felix so hard that he’s thrown against the wall. Victoria screams.

 

LEADER

You don’t like I grab your woman, uh? Be thankful I don’t fuck her yet – got it? Where’s the money, shithead!

 

FELIX

(feeling his bloody lip)

Listen please, I have money in the bank —

Felix rummages through drawers; his hands shaking violently, he takes out his bank statements, tries to show them to the Leader, and drops them on the floor. He is a sorry sight.

 

FELIX

— I can go get it, but it’s not going to be a million, all our money is in real estate, and today is Saturday…

 

LEADER

So go! While we talk about how much you love your wife.

 

Their eyes meet. Felix realizes that this man is not leaving without his money.

 

 

27. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BROSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. NEW YORK.

 

Julia’s “Tahoe” pulls up to the house. The automatic garage door opens to the hip-hop beat coming out of the car. The car dips into the dark opening. Julia opens the door and immediately feels the cold barrel of a gun at her head.

 

GANGSTER (AKHMED)

(lustfully draws the barrel down her neck, across her chest)

Let’s not cause problems, princess.

 

 

28. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL. NEW YORK. HOSPITAL ROOM

 

An Indian doctor is looking at pictures of a heart, shaking his head.

 

YEFREMOV

Doctor, is everything OK?

DOCTOR

Your mother’s heart is very weak. I am not sure we can carry out the delivery… eh … successfully. Under the circumstances, we advised her not to take the risk, especially at her age. But your mother doesn’t want to listen.

 

Yefremov looks the doctor in the eyes, sighs and drops onto a chair that happens to be next to him. The doctor sits down, too.

 

DOCTOR
What we need is a highly qualified cardiologist to sign off on this… and we have the right doctor, an excellent specialist, Borschevsky – but he is off today… Do you know him?

YEFREMOV

(not batting an eye)

Of course. So call him up.

DOCTOR

I can be fired for this, but … I already tried – he is not answering my pages.

 

 

28-1. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. THE GARAGE.

A serious fight has broken out between Julia and Akhmed. Ignoring his gun, she punched him in the nose, causing blood to spill out on his shirt. He clearly did not expect such resistance. He grabs her hair, but receives a heavy blow in the head from the car door. Back inside the car, she kicks him in the chest, slams the door shut and presses the alarm button. A piercing ring fills the space.

She manages to get out on the other side of the car, but runs right into the Leader. He forcefully (as if fighting another man) knees her in the stomach, pushes her down the wall and pins her stomach down with his boot. He then sprays the hood of the car with bullets until the alarm stops, and moves the smoking gun onto Julia’s stomach.

 

LEADER

Excuse me, lady, did they not teach you at Cambridge — when you are robbed, you must be more cooperative?

 

 

 

 

 

29. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL, NEW YOR – A NURSE’S DESK

 

 

YEFEREMOV

Excuse me. I need a number for Doctor Borschevsky.

 

NURSE #1

(startled by the request)

We don’t give out this information. His office is in Building “B”.

 

YEFREMOV

Thank you.

 

Yefremov proceeds further down the hall and sees a door with a “Personnel Only” sign. Next to it is another nurse’s desk

(there is a desk for every 10-15 rooms).

 

YEFREMOV

Excuse me — a patient in Room 711 needs help. We called but nobody answered.

Shaking her head – how awful! – the nurse walks away in the direction of Room 711.

Watching her leave, Yefremov enters the personnel room.

 

 

30. INT. – AFTERNOON – SAME LOCATION. STAFF LOUNGE.

 

This is a room where nurses take breaks. There are chairs, a table, vending machines with soda and coffee.

Yefremov listens attentively: someone is moaning rhythmically behind a curtain in the back of the room. Next to it hangs a white robe. He takes the robe, puts it on and leaves.

 

 

31. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST.LUKE’S HOSPITAL – HALLWAY

 

Yefremov walks up to an elevator. A young pretty Latino nurse Jackie Gomes is waiting for the elevator.

 

YEFREMOV

Excuse me. Is this the elevator to go to Building B?

 

GOMES

Yes, you transfer on 10, then look for “B”.

(the elevator comes and they get in)

 

 

GOMES

You are new, right? Must be why I haven’t seen you around, doctor –

(reads his name tag)

—          Johnson.

YEFREMOV
Well, you’ll see me around.

GOMES

I hope so…

(smiles playfully)

…just not for medical reasons.

 

Yefremov gives her a puzzled look. Her eyes motion in the direction of his nametag. He looks at it, too. It says: “Department of Gynecology”

 

CUT TO:

 

Smiling, Yefremov comes out of the elevator, putting a card with the nurse’s number in his breast pocket.

 

 

32. EXT. – AFTERNOON – ABOARD A NAVY SHIP – THE NORTHERN SEA

 

It’s a cold, gray afternoon.

The crew is lined up on deck.

Commanding Officer Captain Motovikhin and First Mate Melnikov are facing each other in front of the lineup, with documents in hand.

 

PETTY OFFICER

May I report?

MOTOVIKHIN

Affirmative.

PETTY OFFICER
Captain, Sir! The personnel of the battle cruiser “Eagle” and the Marine Corps Special Unit are here! Seven people absent! Six are on leave, 19 on assignment, one hospitalized!

MOTOVIKHIN

(to his First Mate)

And Yefremov, your hero, how is he doing? Any better?

MELNIKOV

(not batting an eye)

He is getting better, Captain, Sir, undergoing prescribed medical procedures, regaining strength.

 

MOTOVIKHIN

Fine, keep me posted. The headquarters called… Turns out your lieutenant keeps writing requests to be sent to the frontlines… Apparently, the upcoming maneuvers are not enough for him… So the higher-ups (looking up at the sky) are considering granting it…

 

MELNIKOV

The higher-ups know better!

 

MOTOVIKHIN

(coughs, speaking sternly)

I’ve got those higher-ups right here. The admiral himself is coming on Wednesday. Melnikov, you better practice that joint landing with the marines real good, and Yefremov better be here with the bells on no later than 800 hours on Tuesday, or I’ll show him another Susima.

(takes one step forward, inhaling loudly)

Good afternoon, Sailors!

 

CREW

(altogether, loudly)

Good afternoon, Captain, Sir!

 

 

33. INT. – AFTERNOON – ST.LUKE’S HOSPITAL – HALLWAY

 

Yefremov, wearing a white robe and spectacles, is standing in front of a door with a sign “Dr. Borschevsky, M.D.” Four black security guards with automatic rifles pass by. Yefremov smiles at them politely.

 

SECURITY GUARD

Hey, Doc!

 

Yefremov nods in response. As soon as they turn a corner, he takes off his plastic nametag, pries the door open with it, and enters Borschevsky’s office.

 

CUT TO:

 

Yefremov ruffles papers on the desk, finds a credit card bill showing Borschevsky’s home address, and writes it down on a piece of paper. Suddenly, he notices a framed picture standing on the desk: the smiling Borschevsky family, including Julia. He picks up the photo, looks at it closely…

He takes out the CD Julia gave him, and compares the picture on the cover with the photo the desk.

 

YEFREMOV

(with a whistle)

Julia. We meet again…

 

 

33-1. EXT. – AFTERNOON – BRIGHTON BEACH, BROOKLYN

 

A black Caprice Classic pulls up at an intersection. Judging by its antennae and sirens, it’s an undercover police car.

 

A dispatcher’s report crackles on the police blogger

…a few violations, nothing serious, mostly parking offenses, other than that it’s quiet.

O’HARA

(angrily looking at his cell phone)

Does he think we’re gonna sit here all day waiting for his call?

O’Hara’s partner at the wheel shakes his head. O’Hara watches passers-by – elderly immigrants crossing the road.

…we called them “Pinkos” in Nam – they were enemies. Could I imagine I’d be working for them now, like some watchdog, even on my day off?

 

Burning tires, the cop car lunges forward spraying puddle water on angry pedestrians cursing in Russian.

 

 

34. EXT. – AFTERNOON – BRIGHTON BEACH, BROOKLYN

 

An ambulance (“Transportation of Seniors” written on its side) pulls up exactly where the cop car was just standing.

 

YEFREMOV

(jumping out of the van)

Thanks a lot. We’ll talk another time.

OLD BLACK MAN

(in a wheelchair, wearing veteran’s badges)

Elba is sacred! We kicked the Nazis’ ass!!!

YEFREMOV

That’s right. Stay healthy!

 

DRIVER
Not for long, doc! (noticing the white robe and name tag left behind) Hey, doctor! You left your stuff here… (Yefremov is already out of sight)

(A fast musical montage)

Yefremov crosses Brighton Beach Avenue, asks a cab driver for directions, walks in a crowd, past Russian signs and posters announcing concerts of his favorite Rock bands.

He makes a turn, looks up at the name of the street, and checks the address written on a piece of paper.

(fast-forward)

Yefremov sees the Borschevskys’ house at a distance, thinks for a moment, and goes to a phone booth. Smiling vaguely, he dials Julia’s number written on his arm cast. Long beeps…

He hangs up, looks at the cars parked by the house, redials and hears long beeps again.

Julia’s shape appears in a second floor window – she is motioning as if with flags (the way he taught her at the airport) and disappears abruptly, as if somebody yanked her away.

 

YEFREMOV

(reading her gestures)

S-O-S, that a girl!

 

Suddenly, the front door opens drawing Yefremov’s attention.

 

 

34-1. EXT. – AFTERNOON – MANHATTAN BEACH, BROOKLYN

The doors open; several figures are inside.

(Yefremov notices that one of them is wearing a mask)

 

LEADER

(handing a walkie-talkie to the doctor)

Call only me.

It has my number.

Remember, doctor. Their life in your hands. You bring cops, and we tear family in pieces. We have nothing to lose.

Felix walks over to his Lexus closely watched by the burglars and his tied-up family.

He starts the car and slowly drives off.

 

Inside the house, the Leader watches him through a window. The Leader then opens his cell phone and dials.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

A motorcyclist wearing a helmet and leather riding gear is parked around the corner. The rider presses a button on a clip-on receiver.

From afar, we see the rider nod, start the motorcycle and follow Felix’s Lexus, keeping distance.

 

 

CUT TO: * this scene is in Russian

(inside the Lexus)

 

Suddenly, someone places his hand on Felix’s shoulder giving him a jolt.

 

YEFREMOV

(leaning back on the floor behind Felix)

What’s up, Doc?

FELIX

(brakes abruptly at an intersection)

What? Who are you? What do you want?

YEFREMOV

Don’t turn around!

Having problems? Why aren’t you calling the hospital back?

FELIX

As if you don’t know. As if you are not with them.

YEFREMOV

With them? I am on my own, Mr. Borschevsky. I am not into groups. Don’t turn. You got a tail.

FELIX

OK, let’s assume you are telling the truth – what do you need from me then?

YEFREMOV

Looks like we need each other. Let’s go.

 

 

34-1. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. SECOND-FLOOR BEDROOM.

 

The Leader is standing by the window watching Felix’s car through a telescope. The car is standing still with a blinker on.

 

LEADER

Hey, buddy, why you not moving?!

(focuses the telescope on the driver’s face)

Is he talking to somebody?!

 

ANOTHER GANGSTER (Blondie)

He probably lost his mind – you scared him to death.

 

34-2. INSIDE FELIX’S CAR.

 

FELIX (trying not to turn around, moving the car forward)

Are you asking me to abandon my family who are being held hostage and tend to your mother? You are crazy!

YEFREMOV

I see… I guess I better check it out, see what’s going on there…

FELIX

(distrustfully)

Forget about calling the police… besides, you are not even armed, and your arm is..

YEFREMOV

(quickly slides down as they pass the motorcycle)

Don’t worry about it…

FELIX

Well, even if you are a psycho, I have no other help. Here’s what they look like.

(Shows photos in his wallet)

My wife – Vika, Mark – my son and … Julia…

YEFREMOV

(continues for Felix)

… your daughter – a star.

FELIX

(stunned)

You have – you’ve heard of her already?

YEFREMOV

(telling the truth)

Of course!

FELIX

(his voice breaking)

I have to warn you… these people are twisted, you can’t imagine what they are capable of… help her please – they can do things to her… you know…

Then, you have my word, I will save your mother.

 

YEFREMOV

(no longer surprised)

I see how it is… tit for tat… is that the Oath of Hippocrates?

FELIX

Please… don’t interpret it so literally…

YEFREMOV

(giving orders)

We interpret as best we can. Take a right.

Over there — 20 feet – the gas station, see it?

Drive in, get gas, your tank is empty.

 

The Lexus turns into the gas station.

 

FELIX

(steering)

I have none else to count on. My friend, Eddie Johnson, he is a private detective. Doesn’t matter – here is his number, take it with you.

YEFREMOV

I’ll remember…

 

Yefremov looks at the card, memorizes the number.

 

 

35. EXT – AFTERNOON – GAS STATION

 

A close-up of Felix’s face. His eyes are following Yefremov who, invisibly to us, clandestinely rolls out of the car onto a grass divider.

Felix pays with a credit card, gets in the car and drives off towards Manhattan. The motorcycles follows him.

 

Having made sure that both vehicles have left, Yefremov comes out from behind the gas station, passing a storage room. Inside, an Arab worker is taking a nap, snoring.

 

YEFREMOV

(talking to himself)

That’s true Communism… You get what you don’t pay for!

 

He picks up a plastic bucket, a squeegee and a couple of rags. Then he takes off his beret and hides it in his pocket.

 

 

38. INT — AFTERNOON – NEW YORK.

 

(Subtitle: A Citibank branch, 72nd Street and Broadway)

 

Felix is standing at a bank teller’s window.

The teller’s eyes get big when she sees the amount written on the withdrawal slip. She exhales audibly.

 

TELLER

(quietly, almost not moving her lips)

Sir, is anyone following or extorting money from you? If so, give me a sign – place your pen on the counter.

 

FELIX

(nervously, insistently, looking back, in a hushed voice)

What are you talking about it? Watched too many action movies lately?

TELLER
Excuse me, it’s our standard procedure.

(looks at the filled out withdrawal slip)

Anyway, I cannot cash this much in a single transaction.

Especially on a Saturday. We close at 2. You need to speak to our manager. Sorry – our rules are for customers’ benefit (smiles).

 

FELIX

(looking around – is he still being watched?)

Yes, I understand.

 

CUT TO:

 

A framed photograph of kids and a dog is standing on the manager’s desk. Felix and the manager are sitting in the corner cubicle by the window.

 

FELIX

Right, I understand… But it’s an emergency – perhaps you can give me a short-term loan secured by my real estate holdings?

 

SUPERVISOR

What exactly is the emergency?

(Felix hesitates)

Are you sure you don’t want to call the police? We could do it for you, confidentially.

(glances at his monitor)

You are a valued customer…

(after a pause)

SUPERVISOR(Cont.)

You know, every bank keeps a certain amount of counterfeit cash, just in case, which is like an invisible permanent marker for the criminals.

 

FELIX

(coming to life)

How much of that do you have?

SUPERVISOR

First, we would have to notify the police. As I am sure you understand, we cannot have clients walk around with counterfeit money.

(waits)

FELIX

No… thank you. I’ll just make a maximum withdrawal.

SUPERVISOR

Certainly. I can even increase the limit by 10,000.

(signs a form for the teller)

Considering that it’s an emergency.

FELIX

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

Sorry for the inconvenience. By the way, it’s not at all what you think.

(he gets up and leaves)

 

The supervisor watches him leave, then dials a number.

39. EXT. – AFTERNOON – IN FRONT OF THE CITIBANK BRANCH

The motorcycle is parked next to the Lexus whose hazard lights are blinking. The rider is watching Felix from behind the tinted helmet visor. The rider’s gloved hand is resting on the handle of an Uzi hidden in a shoulder bag which the rider keeps in front.

 

Felix walks out on the street, wiping sweat off his forehead. He sees the motorcyclist, walks up and hands over a pouch.

 

FELIX

This is all I could get.

 

 

The motorcyclist takes off the helmet letting her long red hair fall down her shoulders. She breaks the seal, looks inside and weighs it in her hand.

 

MOTORCYCLIST (VANESSA)

Not a whole lot.

FELIX

I swear they have these rules. If you could wait until Monday…

MOTORCYCLIST

We will be around on Monday. Your family on the other hand will not. Go see your golf partners – go ahead. You know how seriously our leader takes golf.

 

She starts the motorcycle and rides off.

 

Felix follows her with a stare full of hate and desperation. He gets in the car and starts driving. Less than a block later, his pager beeps again – “Emergency call!” He hesitates…

He looks around to see if anyone is following.

 

 

40.   THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE.

 

Julia locks herself in the bathroom and dials her cell.

 

CUT TO:

 

A gangster’s cell phone rings. He looks at the caller ID and says something (we can’t tell what) to another gangster who nods in the direction of the bathroom. Both of them are masked.

 

 

Julia is hiding in the bathroom holding her cell phone which is sounding long beeps. No answer.

 

JULIA

Pick up, Brian! Please… please…

All of a sudden, a young voice answers and fires off the prepared phrase:

VOICE

(on her cell phone)

Oh yeah, I see. Now the star needs something from me! Except I don’t care any more! I don’t have time to talk to you – I am very busy, you see, not a second to spare! Bye!

JULIA

Hello, Brian! Wait! Don’t hang up!!!

 

The bathroom door flies open, kicked by the Leader who is holding an Uzi. Julia is frozen, phone in her hand.

 

 

41. EXT. – AFTERNOON – MIDTOWN MANHATTAN.

 

Felix is dialing a number on the cell phone given to him by the gangsters.

 

FELIX

… please be there, please pick up…

 

 

His Lexus is parked in front of a glass skyscraper.

Excited that he found a way out, Felix fails to notice the silhouette of the motorcyclist standing right next to the car.

 

 

42. INT. – AFTERNOON – PRIVATE DETECTIVE AGENCY “JOHNSON INVESTIGATIONS”

 

Eddie Johnson – the aging former hard-nosed New York City cop who retired early and opened his own business – picks up the phone. He is wearing Hugo Boss – an old habit from the days he served in the elite NYPD counterintelligence unit, where it’s customary to overdress as a way of distinguishing themselves from street cops.

 

JOHNSON

Hey, Felix! What’s happening, buddy?

FELIX

It’s not a phone conversation. Could you come downstairs, right now?

JOHNSON

Got it, coming down.

(Shakes his head – something’s wrong… Takes his jacket from the back of a chair, pats the undercover holster on his belt and heads for the door.)

 

 

43. EXT. – AFTERNOON – MIDTOWN MANHATTAN.

 

Just as Felix hangs up, his cell phone rings.

 

LEADER

(on the phone, off-screen)

What you doing? You tink you go to bank and that’s it – you off the hook? Who you come to see? You forget what happening here (uncertain scuffle is heard)

 

Victoria’s guttural scream rings out – like a whip across the eardrums – followed by Mark’s scream.

 

VICTORIA

(fainting)

Felix!! He BROKE his pinky!!!

 

LEADER

What you tink, doctor! Who is better surgeon, ah? Did I warn you?!

 

Felix leans back in his seat closing his eyes.

 

He opens his eyes: Johnson is tapping on the window with his finger. Felix gives out a strained smile.

 

FELIX

(with the window rolled up)

Sorry, Eddie… I am totally confused… I have to go now… sorry!

 

He speeds off, leaving Johnson behind on the sidewalk

 

FELIX

Hello, hello! What’s going on there? Vika! What did they do?!! (punches the steering wheel, wipes off his tears)

 

The motorcycle continues to follow him unnoticed.

 

 

44. EXT. – AFTERNOON – MANHATTAN BEACH / NEAR BORSCHVSKY’S HOUSE

 

Yefremov nonchalantly walks towards Borschevsky’s house, noticing the trash lying along the curb, including an empty pizza box – “Domino’s – We Deliver in Ten Minutes or It’s on Us!

 

YEFREMOV

(chuckling)

We’ll see… and dials the number on the box.

 

He calmly walks up to Victoria’s Mercedes, deliberately unfolds the hose fastened to a garage wall, rolls up his sleeves and begins washing the car.

 

At once, a Domino’s van screeches to halt by the house. The driver (a black guy with dreadlocks) jumps out of the van and runs to the front door and rings the buzzer again and again.

 

DOMINOE’S DRIVER

(to Yefremov)

Hey, man, did you order pizza?

 

YEFREMOV

(scanning the house windows in his side vision, noticing one of the drapes open and close)

I don’t live here. I’m just washing car. I can wash your, too, if you want — 5 bucks.

(pretending)

OK, I do it for pizza, free.

DOMINOE’S DRIVER

White trash. Fucking foreigners! Always trying to cheat!

 

Julia’s face flashes in a window and immediately disappears as if somebody pulled her away.

Cursing profusely, the driver leaves.

 

Yefremov continues deliberately washing soap off the car as if nothing happened.

After the pizza van leaves, Yefremov wipes the car dry, calmly walks up to the front door of the house and rings the buzzer.

 

 

45. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

LEADER

(shouting)

Who is this guy? Anyone know him?

VICTORIA

(through tears)

Maybe, it’s my son’s classmates.

 

LEADER

Your son goes to Cambridge prep for 100,000 to be janitor? This guy too big for classmate! Maybe he is bad student – was held back a year! (yanks the gun bolt forward and back)

 

Victoria hugs her son (whose finger is bandaged) and shakes her head “No”. Julia looks away.

 

CUT TO:

 

(outside)

 

YEFREMOV

(screaming at the top of his lungs)

When need something – OK, go ahead, wash car! When time to pay, nobody home? Fucki Amerikaki… Come out, doctor, come out now, you want I stand here all day?

LEADER

(looking at the neighbors’ house – is anyone paying attention yet?)

Loud mouth … he gonna scare whole block.

(checks the monitors to see if anyone else is outside)

YEFREMOV (banging on the door)

I not leave – so you know – when order wash, you fun; when time to pay – you run!

 

 

LEADER

Alright…

(motions to Akhmed)

Let him in… careful though.

A button is pressed. The front door opens. Yefremov looks inside and immediately gets hit so hard that he is knocked out cold. As if someone turned the lights off.

 

 

46. EXT. – AFTERNOON – THE HOME OF ARTHUR VOINTIZ ON STATEN ISLAND

 

A huge 3-story house with a panoramic view of Manhattan and the New York harbor. Manicured lawns, flower beds, shrubbery, gazebos… Arthur is no less of a show-off than Felix, but cons a regular guy – worn out jeans with holes at the knees, a plaid button-down shirt… He slowly leads Felix to his stable, to boast his most recent acquisition – a new stallion.

 

ARTHUR

You’ll see, you’ll see. His father won 30 races all over the world. Maryland Mantra –you heard of him?

My Sonya is in heaven. She doesn’t care any more about Versucky and Barmani, Mothchino and Hoochi (intentionally mispronouncing the brand names)

The two men enter the stable. Arthur showcases the stallion.

 

ARTHUR

Here he is, my little boy…

(feeds the horse a sugar cube)

You know what I named him? “Marry Me” – you are supposed to keep the first three letters of the father’s name, so that everyone knows who he is and where he came from… It’s a science. Anyway, knock on wood, can’t spend three hundred grand any better.

 

 

FELIX

Speaking of money. I urgently need a large sum, up to a million. The more, the better.

ARTHUR

O-o… Problems?

 

 

46-1. BORSCHEVSKY’S HOUSE

Yefremov is standing in the middle of an empty hallway, opposite a replica of the Venus of Milos.

 

YEFREMOV

Come out, I not angry. (addressing the statue since none else is listening)

Just pay and alright.

 

The door behind him closes shut.

 

CUT TO:

(Arthur and Felix are walking back towards the house along a path between lawns)

 

ARTHUR

(in a serious tone of voice)

Yes-s, that’s a hell of a bind. I feel for you, man. But where am I gonna dig it up? We don’t have a business with this kind of cash.

 

FELIX

It’s risk-free – everything will be secured by my share in the Connecticut condos.

 

ARHTUR

Well, you know… real estate is not the most liquid investment. On Monday, we can go to the bank and do it right.

 

FELIX

On Monday, I won’t have a family.

 

ARTHUR
Ah, come on… they’re just bluffing… is this the gang that’s been working Brooklyn? You are not the first one…

 

FELIX

Are you afraid they’ll get to you, too?

 

Arthur’s eyes give away the answer – yes, he is afraid. He extends his hand to Felix who doesn’t reciprocate.

 

FELIX

OK, Jockey, when I make my next million, I’ll know with whom to invest it, or not.

 

Arthur’s wife comes out with a tray stacked with cups and shot glasses.

Felix passes her by with a slight nod.

 

ARTHUR

Don’t take it personally, bro. It’s strictly business, nothing personal…

(the last words are spoken at Felix’s back, as he quickly walks to his car)

 

 

47. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Remnants of a round of abnormal golf are scattered all around the living room. Yefremov, his hands behind his back, is sitting on the couch with two guns pointing at him.

 

YEFREMOV

(raising his shoulder to feel his jaw that hurts from the blow)

I’m a demolitions instructor, not this kind though…

LEADER

(looking at Yefremovs officer’s ID and the expensive watch)

“Demolitions”, eh, and a petty watch thief too…

OK, sailor, so you figured why not jump ship and breathe free American air, right?

 

YEFREMOV

I gotta fix my mom’s house… and wanna live a normal life, too…

LEADER

So she hired you, right?

YEFREMOV

Yeah, I saw her, that chick, out on the street, asked her, she seemed OK with it, nodded I thought, maybe by accident… she had that music on real loud, how you say, r-rap!

LEADER

(glances at Anwar who nods affirmatively)

Washing cars is not way to make money in this country, especially one-handed. Where did you break it anyway?

YEFREMOV

I was drunk…punched a wall… they are rotten here.

LEADER

Somebody pissed you off?

 

YEFREMOV

(angrily)

Yeah, my girl – fighting over music. She doesn’t like Russian rock, thinks American rock much better…

 

LEADER

(leans in closer to Yefremov)

She is stupid – this country weak, eat too much. Real power not here… (winks at the marine)

Maybe you want to do something real?

 

(Julia is standing in the doorway, listening to the conversation and cringing in disbelief. Can this be…?)

 

YEFREMOV

Oh you mean this stuff? Nah, I gotta be clean here, no good to run into cops.

 

LEADER

That’s what I mean. You choose: either go with us, or go to jail for illegals, with big black guys from Africa. Maybe you like it. (bursts out laughing)

 

YEFREMOV

You always recruit like this – by threats?

 

LEADER

What threats? No, no, no, my friend.

(dips his hand inside a pouch on the couch next to him and, without looking, throws several stacks of bills on the table in front of Yefremov)

All yours. For mom’s house. Don’t fret – when we flip this shit, you will live like man. Guy like you can’t wash cars.

I can use explosives guy.

 

Yefremov is thinking it over…

 

 

48. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE OFFICE OF JOHNSON INVESTIGATIONS

 

Johnson is nervous. E clearly didn’t expect Felix to behave this way.

Johnson redials Felix’s cell number and listens to Felix’s recorded greeting: “I can’t come to the phone…”

He then dials another number.

 

JOHNSON

This is Edward Johnson calling about Mrs. Johnson… Do you know if Dr. Borschevsky is going to examine her?… He hasn’t called back… I see. Thanks.

(hangs up)

OK, Felix, buddy, something doesn’t smell right here…

 

He dials another number.

JOHNSON

This is Eddie… I’m alright… Listen, you got anything on that extortion racket in Brooklyn?… You know, the gangs working that area?

No, nothing in particular… Might just have a link… it’s getting warmer. Right. OK, bye…

 

Johnson is sitting on the table, tapping his heel.

 

JOHNSON

What the hell is going on…

 

He looks Felix’s home address up on his computer, swipes his wallet, badge and keys off the table and exits the office.

 

 

49. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The Leader and Yefremov are in the same positions as before.

 

LEADER

(in a satisfied tone)

OK, it’s a deal. Guard the little bitch for now, then I tell you what to do.

 

The Leader walks around the room, notices a framed photo of Julia in her revealing show dress having fun in the company of two massive rappers. The Leader spits in disgust.

 

LEADER

What a father… mates his daughter with monkeys. What this people think… Take this.

(handing a knife to Yefremov)

Just in case. Tough guy like you don’t even need it, I am sure.

YEFREMOV
Got it.

(gets up and walks towards the door)

LEADER

Hey! Did you forget something?

(points at the money)

 

YEFREMOV

I haven’t earned it yet.

LEADER

(angrily)

Whatever…

 

The Leader follows Yefremov out to the hallway. Yefremov nearly trips over a wire (feigning clumsiness).

 

YEFREMOV

What’s this – another Beslan?

LEADER

Yeah, you heard, eh? That’s right — teeny-weenie Beslan. You sure you know explosives?

 

YEFREMOV

Yes, but mostly the maritime stuff.

 

LEADER

Don’t need yet.

 

The Leader returns to the living room, motions for Anwar to come over and nods in the direction of one of their small monitors.

 

LEADER

(conspirator-like, in Arabic)

You like spy movies?

 

On the monitor –Yefremov is entering Julia’s room.

 

 

50. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE – JULIA’S BEDROOM

 

Julia, her hands tied behind her back, is struggling to open a window. The window is inching upward… the opening is now almost large enough for her to climb out…

 

Yefremov walks into the room and, in one swift motion, knocks Julia off her feet and begins retying her hands.

 

JULIA

(panting)

You bastard… I see you weren’t on that plane by accident… you jerk!

YEFREMOV

(louder than usual)

Shut up! You are not supposed to talk.

 

He slams the window shut and blocks the camera with his body (Julia is not aware of the camera).

Yefremov tries to tell her something with his eyes…

The door flies open; the Leader and Anwar storm into the room.

 

LEADER

(cheerfully)

You guys escaping?

(moving his machine gun left and right from Julia to Yefremov and back)

 

Wham! The knife (which Yefremov got from the Leader in the previous scene) sticks into the door inches away from the Leader’s face, right in the center of a Ricky Martin poster.

 

YEFREMOV

I don’t run away from anybody. And I don’t miss with a knife.

 

LEADER

(pulling the knife out)

Well done… what a stud.

 

YEFREMOV

If I wanted to cut you up, you wouldn’t be standing here now…

 

LEADER

Do you have sense of humor? You know one can never be too sure…

 

Julia violently spits in Yefremov’s face.

Unphased, he slowly wipes his face.

The Leader, stunned, hands the knife back to Yefremov, motioning with his head towards Julia.

Yefremov shakes his head.

The Leader spits in disgust.

 

LEADER

Typical. Chick spits on him and he does nothing… All your life they’ll shit on you.

 

Yefremov remains silent with the same neutral expression.

 

LEADER

Alright, go… I think I offered you too much … You don’t deserve it.

 

 

51. INT. – AFTERNOON – FELIX’S CAR

 

Felix’s cell phone rings again. He glances at the screen and angrily rejects the call as if making a statement. He then makes a sharp U-turn.

 

Felix’s musical theme is playing off-screen. We see a rapid progression of images as Felix visits potential creditors –

1)

An art gallery in Chelsea with giant Op Art canvases on the walls. The gallery owner – a middle-age hippy with a ponytail – sadly shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head.

2)

Another small but lavishly decorated house. The host is well connected, judging from his appearance, tattoos and a barely visible scar. He listens to Felix with a steely expression. A young gofer brings him an envelope. Felix motions as if to say: “Is that all?” The host shrugs his shoulders – “What did you expect?”

 

Felix is sitting in his car clutching his head, swaying back and forth. On the passenger seat next to him, is a spread of loose $100 bills falling out of an open envelope – $30,000 altogether at the most.

 

 

52. EXT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Johnson parks his Lincoln Navigator outside the house, walks up to the door, meticulously examining the yard along the way, and rings the doorbell.

 

 

52-1. INT. – INSIDE THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

LEADER

(to Victoria)

Hey, bitch! You know this man?

VICTORIA

He is a friend of Felix.

 

OUTSIDE:

 

Johnson is dialing a number, trying to sneak a peek inside through the tightly closed blinds.

 

INSIDE:

 

The landline rings. Both bandits motion with their hands, asking the Leader what to do.

 

LEADER

(to Victoria)

What does he want?

VICTORIA
I don’t know.

LEADER

Must also come to play golf. Stupid American, nothing better to do. Tell him to get lost.

 

She picks up the phone. The Leader picks up a parallel line at the other end of the room.

 

VICTORIA

(her voice unsteady)

Hi Eddie… No, Felix is not… — Felix went to Miami for a couple of days. He has… an emergency appointment there. A serious procedure… I don’t know, maybe they turn cell phones off in the operating room… OK, I’ll let him know…

 

OUTSIDE:

 

JOHNSON

(as-a-matter-of-factly circles around the house looking at each window)

I was just near your house, so I thought I’d stop by – what a great job your architect did… and relatively inexpensively… I really like it… tell your husband to give me that guy’s number, will you? I’d like to hire him, too!

 

Johnson walks over to the basement window overgrown with ivy, and takes a quick look inside the dark space on the ground level. He sees a blood stain on the carpet and the maid’s body next to it.

 

JOHNSON

(unfazed)

That’s right, tell him, please. Take care of yourself, Vicky – OK? Take good care of yourself. I’ll talk to you soon, very soon.

 

He hangs up, goes back to his car, starts the engine, conspicuously slams the door and drives off.

 

INSIDE:

 

LEADER

Who is he? What does he do?

VICTORIA

Also… a doctor…

 

LEADER
What did he mean — “take care of yourself”?

 

VICTORIA

Well, I had problems, you know… female problems… and he is a gynecologist!

 

LEADER

Bitch, if you’re lying, I will personally cause you such female problems that no gynecologist will cure.

 

OUTSIDE:

 

Johnson parks his car around the corner at a safe distance from the house, pulls a pair of binoculars out of the glove compartment, and uses them to look inside the house. He then instinctively reaches for his cell phone. He is obviously making a tough decision.

 

 

53. INT. – AFTERNOON – THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

In one of the rooms, a bandit is guarding Julia and Mark. The boy is moaning holding up his bandaged finger.

 

MARK

Julia, I am thirsty…

 

Yefremov walks in the room, assesses the situation.

 

JULIA

(feeling Mark’s forehead)

(to the bandit – Akhmed)

Maybe you can bring the boy some water – he has a fever!

 

AKHMED

(to Mark)

Shut up. Not allowed.

 

Yefremov leaves the room shaking his head.

 

JULIA

Are you insane? You can’t give a child water?

 

AKHMED

(brandishing his gun)

Shut up, bitch!

 

Yefremov comes back and hands a can of Pepsi to the boy.

 

AKHMED

You can’t do that! They supposed to suffer, so they make concessions!

MARK

I don’t like Pepsi…

JULIA

Drink while you can!

 

Yefremov is keeping an eye on Julia and the boy.

 

YEFREMOV

(to Akhmed, with a shrug)

Concessions are your business. I am a simple man; I don’t know such words…

 

Yefremov crouches in front of Mark.

 

YEFREMOV

Listen to your sister. She wouldn’t tell you to do anything that’s bad for you.

MARK

Sir, whose side are you on? Like good guys or bad guys, us or them?

YEFREMOV

The good guys, of course. There are not as many of you and you are weaker – that means I am on your side.

MARK

Then why can’t you just kill them?

YEREMOV

You think killing is easy?

MARK

Yep. I got this game, “A Mission to Mecca” – last night I killed like 120 terrorists.

(he shows how he did it, with an imaginary joystick)

JULIA

Who buys you these games?

MARK

Nobody. I downloaded it myself on the Internet.

 

YEFREMOV
That means you won.

MARK

Almost. I got there late and one of them, like the most disgusting guy, blew up all the oil fields… Boom! Game over.

YEFREMOV

You see, how complicated things are, as it turns out. You think you beat everyone, when one disgusting guy can spoil it all.

YEFREMOV

(whispering to Mark)

Did you notice where they hid the bomb?

 

Mark rolls up his eyes, pointing at the ceiling, towards his bedroom.

 

(Yefremov leaves the room. Julia gives him a long stare… Who is this guy after all?)

 

 

54. INT – AFTERNOON. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. FELIX’S STUDY

 

Yefremov opens a redwood box and finds an expensive Remington rifle – a collector’s item, but he can’t find bullets for it. They must be hidden away somewhere separately, probably locked up.

The marine opens a few more boxes and finds an old cell phone, turns it on – it works (!) – and discreetly dials the number given to him by Felix.

While dialing, Yefremov is looking at a few photographs on the wall – one of them pictures Felix and Johnson in hunting outfits, holding rifles.

It’s signed: To my good buddy Dr. Felix from Eddie.

 

JOHNSON’S VOICE

(on the phone)

Detective Johnson here.

YEFREMOV

Is this Eddie? A friend of Dr. Borschevsky’s? The hunter?

JOHNSON

That’s right. Who is this?

YEFREMOV

Lieutenant of the Russian Navy, Yefremov, Konstantin Aleksandrovich…

 

 

 

 

55. INT – AFTERNOON. A STREET NEAR THE HOUSE

 

Johnson is inside his car. He hangs up and continues to watch the house using his binoculars, pondering something. Then he presses a speed dial button.

 

 

56. INT – AFTERNOON. POLICE HEADQUARTERS

 

O’Hara walks into his office and immediately answers the ringing telephone.

 

O’HARA

O’Hara here. Oh, you again? You don’t know what to do with yourself, do you? Did your wife kick you out or something? The Russian story again… You’re stuck on them like a fly on … Oh, c’mon, who’re you kidding… What? Oh, really… (taking notes)

 

CUT TO

 

JOHNSON

(inside his car)

Tommy, I beg you… There are at least three hostages in the house, and it’s stuffed with explosives. Let’s not force the issue, OK? Let’s do it the quiet way – no casualties. Don’t storm the house.

CUT TO

 

O’HARA

(motions to his subordinates – Let’s go!!!)

You know what, buddy, if you wanted to have it your way – the quiet way (making fun of Johnson), you shouldn’t have retired early, OK?

Since when does a private eye tell a Captain of the NYPD what to do on assignment?

 

CUT TO

 

JOHNSON

(watching the house through binoculars)

Understood, Tommy. Let me just say one thing: if you were the one parked steps away from this house, and I were at the headquarters, I’d take what you’re saying seriously. Because I know that I’m dealing with a 30-year veteran who had my back at the 81st Precinct in the Bronx.

 

O’HARA

(swallows)

(he catches a glimpse of a photo on the wall: Tommy and Eddie — two young, athletic, cocky beat cops)

Alright, take it easy… I ain’t your enemy… what? What made you think I’m gonna call the FBI? Those losers have nothing to do with this. OK, enough bullshitting – let’s go get the bad guys!

JOHNSON

And one more thing: I got a man inside – his name is Konstantin. So be careful…

 

O’HARA

OK, we’ll see… yes, yes, I remember about the motorcycle… still looking. (Hangs up)

Get in your vehicles!!!

We got our own informers…

Kon…konstan… who can pronounce this shit! Freaking Russian names…

 

 

57. INT – DUSK. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Yefremov is strolling down the hallway as a matter-of-factly, whistling. In fact, he is tracing one of the wires, which leads to Mark’s room.

As one would expect from rich parents, Mark’s room is a miniature Toys’Я’Us: armies of toy soldiers and Star Wars characters, computer, TV, stereo, PlayStation, basketball hoop, tennis racket, etc., etc. Yefremov’s boot follows the wire all the way to a black box with a blinking red light. The marine crouches next to it and examines the device… He takes a deep breath, carefully removes the rear panel and studies the tangled wires inside.

 

A clicking sound of a gun being cocked behind his back.

Yefremov does not turn around.

 

The Leader is pointing a gun at Yefremov’s back, breathing heavily down his neck.

 

LEADER

You spying, soldier?

 

Yefremov notices that the blinking red light is not connected to anything … The bomb is just a dummy.

 

YEFREMOV

No, no, just looking at how rich people live. Looks like a fun life, with lots of toys.

Ignoring the Uzi, Yefremov calmly gets up and wipes his hands on his pants.

 

YEFREMOV

You and I never had such things…

Toy bombs even. The stuff they come up with…

 

LEADER

Got that one too, eh? Good job.

 

YEFREMOV

Why would they have a real one? Unless, of course, you brought it here?

LEADER

Maybe it’s really a toy, maybe not. Anyway – Sshhh…

(puts his index finger across his lips)

keep your mouth shut – let’s keep it between us, OK? You don’t look like the talkative type.

YEFREMOV

I am a regular type.

LEADER

Hmmm… you not so simple, soldier. Alright –

(looks at his watch)

Enough playing with toys; time to get busy.

 

57-0. INT – DUSK. THE BASEMENT OF THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE.

 

A remote control for a toy Moon Rover is placed on the pool table.

 

YEFREMOV

(inserting batteries)

This thing doesn’t care if it controls a Rover or your doomsday machine.

LEADER

Are you sure it’s going to work?

YEFREMOV

(finishing the assembly)

Who are you taking me for? It’s easy like 1-2-3. This switch activates it. This one sets it off. Don’t mix them up.

LEADER

OK, fine, good job – you earned your dough!

YEFREMOV

Keep in mind, Alan, I trust you with this – use only in case of emergency – if they storm the house, right? Everyone here is afraid of you anyway.

LEADER

A promise is a promise – if anyone asks, you don’t know me, and I’ve never seen you before. So everything connected to the bombs around the house and we can (makes a press-the-button gesture) at any time if we need to…?

 

Honking, cheers, music and laughter are heard outside.

 

 

57-1. INT – DUSK. INSIDE JOHNSON’S CAR

 

Through his binoculars, Johnson sees five teenagers get out of a car with bags and balloons and briskly walk towards the house.

 

JOHNSON

Shit, where did they come from…!

After hesitating for a second, he grabs his radio.

Operator! Urgent! Give me the fire department!

 

 

57-2. INT – DUSK. A BEDROOM IN THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE.

 

The Leader is clutching the remote control. His finger is dancing on the activation button. Leaning on the shutters, he is staring at the teenagers’ silhouettes moving towards the house. Yefremov watches him intensely. The knife handle his slides out of his sleeve into his hand. He hides his hand behind his back, ready to pounce.

 

 

57-3. EXT – DUSK. OUTSIDE THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

An ice-cream truck comes flying onto the street, tires screeching, swerves sharply several times, jumps the curb and rams the teenagers’ car which slams into a hydrant knocking the top off and setting off a water fountain. Stunned teenagers watch from the doorsteps of the house with their mouths open.

 

ONE OF THE TEENAGERS (firing the words out in one breath)

My dad will kill me it’s his favorite…

 

Drunken cursing and singing are heard from the cab of the truck… We see glimpses of the driver’s hand and leg up in the air.

Neighbors start coming out of their houses, pointing at the scene.

 

 

57-4. EXT – DUSK. INSIDE THE ICE-CREAM TRUCK

 

Johnson, who, as it turns out, was the guilty driver, is half-lying in the driver’s seat. He looks up at the approaching teenager, shows his badge and whispers slowly and clearly

 

JOHNSON

Son, don’t say anything, just listen!…

 

 

57-5. EXT – DUSK. THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE

 

A fire truck drives onto the street, its siren blaring and flashing multi-colored lights like a Christmas tree.

It stops at the scene of the accident. The firemen quickly fence off the area in front of the house with yellow tape and move the teenagers, passers-by and neighbors to the side.

Johnson, playing the drunk driver, covers himself up with his jacket (ostensibly to keep dry, but really to obscure his face) and walks away from the lights towards the bushes. Several firemen give chase. A ridiculous scene of catching the perpetrator ensues.

 

JOHNSON’S voice

(leading the firemen away from the house; yelling)

Hey, guys, don’t call the cops, I’ll pay for everything – my brother is a fireman, too!

 

The procession takes off down the street…

 

 

58. INT – DUSK. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

ANWAR

(watching through the shutters)

Firemen come. Now they make repairs at least an hour!

 

LEADER

(gulps down a glass of whiskey, watches the monitors)

We are stuck here. All because of damn doctor…

ANWAR

The plan was to do it fast – in and out!

If we are busted, who are we gonna help? Not our brothers, that’s for sure…

LEADER

I am not leaving empty-handed. We wait if we have to.

(dials a call on his cell phone)

Still fucking around, doctor? A big cheese like you should have gotten a billion by now!

FELIX

(inside his car)

There is no billion. Nor a million yet.

 

LEADER

In that case in two hours we’ll be fucking around with your wife, and the little bitch, too. We’ll see what hits she sings for us.

(Felix pounds his head against the steering wheel in silence)

LEADER (Cont.)

Is that clear?

 

 

59. INT – DUSK. JOHNSON’S LINCOLN NAVIGATOR

 

Johnson, in headphones, is sitting in his car with a towel over his head, using a surveillance microphone to eavesdrop on the conversation between Felix and the Leader.

 

LEADER’S voice in Johnson’s headphones

Is that clear?

JOHNSON

(as if joining the conversation)

…yes, clear. What could be more clear?

(dials a number)

Tommy, it’s me. Thanks – your guys got here just in time. I suggest you locate the vehicle registered to Felix Borschevsky – a white Lexus, no more than a year old. Secondly, we have to keep off the air – they must be listening in on the police frequency…

 

 

60. INT – DUSK. INSIDE A MOVING POLICE CAR

 

O’HARA

(on his cell phone)

Alright, don’t worry, everything will be honky-dory

 

O’Hara turns to the driver and his deputy, Patrick Fitzgerald.

 

O’HARA

Pat! We’re firebombing Moscow! Eddie tipped us off, wise ass, as always. As if we didn’t know, as if we didn’t get a call from Citibank about a Russian doctor trying to withdraw a shitload of cash right away. You know Eddie and his mushy mambo-jumbo… anyway, shoot the shit out of that place…

 

(takes a cold pizza put of a box and tears off a slice)

 

… have you ever seen an innocent Russian, Patrick?

 

FITZGERALD

This is where I disagree with you, boss. I’d kick some butt for Oleg Kvasha – what a slapshot the guy got! If that idiot coach sells him to another team, the Islanders will suck.

 

 

 

 

O’HARA

Relax, nobody’s talking about your Kvasha. Not the figure skaters, not the chess players, not the Bolshoy…

What kind of names they all got anyway? This one is Borscchhh… hell if I can say it.

 

 

61. INT – EVENING. BRIGHTON BEACH. “NATASHA’S” RESTAURANT

 

Felix throws his car keys to a valet and runs inside.

The trailing motorcyclist watches from the outside. The lobby is already packed with dressed up patrons. A wedding and a birthday party at a minimum – plump ladies in dresses that reveal their bare shoulders and backs, and men in Italian suits… The air is festive, full of flowers and perfume…

 

The hostess recognizes Felix. Somewhat surprised by his worn out appearance and a black eye, she pretends not to notice.

 

HOSTESS

Long time, no see, Felix Edmundovich.

FELIX

(looking right past her)

Is Nathan in his office?

HOSTESS

Nathan Borisovich… he left five minutes ago to run some errands…

FELIX

What do you mean he left? I have an important matter to discuss with him… Are you sure?

I just saw him in the window a minute ago.

HOSTESS

(jokingly)

He must have seen you, too. That’s why he rushed out. Maybe I can get Natasha for you?

FELIX

(heading to the owners’ office)

I’ll just go in…

 

 

 

62. INT – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The Leader is pacing around the living room with the golf club, randomly hitting various objects, including the lifeless dachshund. Victoria is crouching in a corner watching him with an insane look on her face.

 

LEADER

What house you built…

(clubs the coffee table, shattering the thick glass top)

You thought you are so cool and don’t need to share…

(whacks the couch ripping open the upholstery)

You thought you could get away from real life…

(to Victoria)

Did you think so?

VICTORIA
We earned all this with hard work. Honest work.

LEADER

I know your honest work. All you know is how to take brines and steal from insurance companies. And you, Russian women, are all whores.

 

He stops in front of her and looks her in the eyes, then suddenly slams the golf club into the back of the couch, inches away from her head. She grunts.

 

VICTORIA

(quietly)

You are… an animal.

LEADER

What?!

(slaps her across the face)

That’s it – I am sick of all of you…

 

Dials a number.

 

 

63. INT – EVENING. “NATASHA’S” RESTAURANT

 

Natasha walks into the lobby — a beautiful, classy lady, Felix’s match, dressed less gaudily than her customers.

 

NATASHA
Felix, sweetie… What happened to you? Did you get into an accident?

FELIX

You can say that. I just spoke to Nathan –

 

NATASHA

So that’s who he was talking to? He ran out as if the IRS was after him…

 

(Felix’s cell phone rings)

He looks at the screen, hesitates, and presses “Ignore” instead of answering.

 

NATASHA

Well, come on in, let’s sit down, for God’s sake, as long as everyone’s alive and well.

 

Judging from how she is holding his arm as they leave the lobby, it’s clear that – at least in the past – there was something between them.

 

 

64. INT – EVENING. THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The Leader is staring at his cell phone, puzzled.

 

LEADER

Your husband went nuts? Or is he shtooping somebody? Does he turn off his phone when he’s shtooping?

VICTORIA

Don’t you speak like that in front of the children. I am sick of all this, too. Go ahead, slit our throats and get out of here.

LEADER

I decide when and whose throats to slit. You are getting attitude, bitch!

(brutally slaps her, grabs her hair and looks in her eyes)

You’ll be teaching me what to do!

 

 

65. INT – EVENING. “NATASHA’S” RESTAURANT

 

Felix and Natasha are in her “office” – a fenced off table on the restaurant floor. Judging from the look on her face, he has just told her what happened.

 

NATASHA

Oh my God… This is every immigrant’s nightmare… We were hoping this country would be as safe as a fortress. And now it’s one thing after another – first 9/11, now this… the world has gone mad. But how can I help, really? You know he keeps all the money…

 

 

FELIX

Which is why he fled.

NATASHA
Don’t judge him so harshly. I think he probably still suspects us. You know, I don’t have a lot (sarcastically looking around the restaurant), but I’ll do what I can… Despite everything I’ve heard – let’s hope for the best: what if they agree to take what you give them? There must be some reasonable gangsters. I’ll be right back…

 

 

65-1. INT – EVENING. THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE. A BEDROOM

 

Mark and Julia are sitting next to a wall.

 

MARK

I heard Tom and others outside … they know everything about us, do they?

JULIA

Don’t talk about that.

 

Yefremov peeks inside the room, throws a quick glance at Julia and winks. Julia turns her nose disdainfully.

Holding a machine gun at the ready, Anwar walks up and stares at her. She looks back with a fake smile.

 

LEADER’S voice

(from the kitchen)

Hey, djighit, get them all over here! (Victoria moans)

 

 

66. INT – EVENING. THE BORSCHVSKYS’ HOUSE / “NATASHA’S” RESTAURANT

 

The VIP room with a working fireplace and a wall-to-wall fish tank.

 

Felix sees on his cell phone that the Leader is calling him again.

 

This time, Felix answers…

 

LEADER

Listen, doctor, you got the money?

FELIX
You gave me two hours! There is still time!

 

 

 

LEADER

What, you thought you could trust me? I changed my mind!!! I got a bad feeling about this! I am an animal, so I feel everything! That’s why we’re always gonna fuck with your kind… You like movies? Here, take a look at what is happening here!

(texts a video file …)

 

His hands shaking, Felix opens the multimedia message, peers at the blurred image on his cell phone… Natasha is watching him through a window in her office — he is almost pitiful.

 

FELIX

(in a muted voice, suspecting the worst)

What is it? I can’t see…

 

Natasha comes back with a large envelope – she looks tipsy.

 

NATASHA

For my favorite man… Here you go!

(throws an envelope on the table and stares at Felix)

 

FELIX

(automatically)

I – I am grateful…

 

NATASHA

Grate-ful… You can do better than that. Dance with me, OK? For old times’ sake –

(drags him out onto the dance floor which is still empty at this hour).

 

FELIX

Without music?

 

NATASHA

Close your eyes and imagine that we are back in Yalta (noticing the look on his face) Jesus! I guess romance ends after the first million!

Points the remote control at the stereo system and turns it on.

 

Felix’s phone rings. He puts it to his ear.

 

(Natasha grabs him and leads him to the middle of the dance floor, rubbing up against him)

 

LEADER

(off-screen)

Having fun? I hear music!

 

 

 

NATASHA

(whispers kissing the lobe of Felix’s ear, making him switch the phone to the other side)

Listen, I can have the waiter bring them the money – he is not doing anything anyway.

LEADER

(with terrifying intimacy)

I’ll send you more pics, we’ll have fun together…

NATASHA

And we can go to my place, OK?

 

Felix is looking over her shoulder at his phone and starts shaking.

 

NATASHA

Fel, what’s wrong, baby?

(looks at his face)

Are you crying?

 

FELIX

They – they are …

(points at the phone)

 

Natasha looks at the screen

 

NATSHA

(gives out a scream)

Is that Vica?

 

Felix presses the “Zoom In” button.

 

Now we, too, see Victoria’s contorted face inside a plastic bag which is tied around her neck.

 

The camera zooms out – we are now in the Borschevskys’ house.

 

The Leader nods to Enver who obediently tightens the bag even further… The Leader is holding the phone right next to Victoria’s head, recording her inhuman rasps.

 

Felix and Natasha can both hear them now.

 

She immediately sobers up and lets him go.

 

NATASHA

Go. Forgive me, I’m a drunken fool… Run.

 

Standing motionless in the middle of the empty hall, she follows him out the door with her eyes.

 

 

67. EXT. – OUTSIDE THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The undercover S.W.A.T. team has taken position outside the house – behind the fire engine still busy with the hydrant, inside a deli across the street, inside their cars, etc.

 

Johnson and O’Hara are sitting inside a van with tinted windows, listening to the same raspy sound in their headphones.

 

O’HARA (lowering his binoculars)

What the fuck is that …? Don’t you get what’s happening in there? What are we waiting for- another corpse…?

JOHNSON (decisively)

You want another Beslan? The place is full of explosives. Let’s just wait. That guy might surprise us…

 

(O’Hara gets a call and takes out his walkie-talkie)

 

O’HARA

O’Hara here… you found it! Where?

 

CUT TO:

 

An overhead shot from a police helicopter zooming in from up high on a gas station deli.

 

HELICOPTER PILOT

…I got a visual of a Kawasaki motorcycle, license plate A32-98, parked outside the deli, corner Beach Highway and 33rdRoad… The rider’s not there, possibly inside. Any instructions? Over…

O’HARA

Maintain visual surveillance – you are far enough away from the subject, I hope? Make sure they don’t see you… Over.

(switches to another channel)

Pat, you know that deli on Beach Highway? We just ID’d that freaking Kawasaki there… yes, that Kawasaki…Take a team and get over there – I WANT THEM ALIVE!

(to Johnson)

OK, Eddie, we are about to find out if we can trust your Russian!

 

 

68. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Everyone is in the living room. The Leader’s cell phone rings.

He looks at the caller ID and nods to Enver – “you can take a break”. Enver immediately lets go of the plastic bag. The Leader steps aside.

 

LEADER

(in Arabic)

Salam, little sister.

 

69. INT. – EVENING. THE GAS STATION DELI

 

VANESSA (the motorcycle rider) is sitting at a table, drinking coffee out of a paper cup. Except for her and the sleepy Chinese manager, the place is empty.

 

VANESSA

(in Arabic)

Listen, something’s not right. I’ve seen lots of cars passing in the last 15 minutes. They seem civilian, but still this spot should be completely dead on a Saturday night… I am not worried about myself, I can always go home to California – my papers are in order, not like yours… I beg you, Ali, I have a hundred grand in the envelope, let’s pull out, I’ll pick you up – in 15 minutes we’ll be in another state, tomorrow in Florida with our brothers.   There are tons of these doctors down there.

LEADER

(switching to English)

Don’t panic! He’s gonna come now with the dough – don’t worry, nobody’s expecting a million any more – and we’ll go, to Florida if you want… sit tight for now and keep your eyes peeled! Is that clear?

VANESSA

OK, I got it, but you know my instincts don’t fail – remember Ramallah…

(her face turns gray)

OK, relax, sweetie… (whispering) I love you, too. (she smiles, her eyes tearing)

 

She sits in a stupor, catching the Chinese manager’s stare – he is mesmerized by the sight of a red-haired woman in a leather suit, talking to herself in Arabic.

 

VANESSA

What are you looking at? Could’ve made me a Turkish coffee – this stuff is for Chinatown dogs!

 

MANAGER

(offended)

Miss, if you want different coffee, go to coffee house. Here we sell gas and necessities.

 

 

 

 

70. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The family is in the kitchen with machine guns pointing at them.

 

LEADER

(Shakes his head and turns to Enver)

Well, should we start over?

 

The camera zooms out, showing Yefremov — not a drop of sweat on his face — staring at the Leader.

 

LEADER

(catches Yefremov’s stare)

Go ahead, you try now! Maybe you do better?

 

YEFREMOV

Don’t have the training. I can shoot, I can fight, I can use a knife. Not trained to torture women.

 

Brian, carrying a cell phone, approaches the Leader and whispers something in his ear.

 

LEADER

Show me.

 

JULIA

Hey! Put my phone back!

 

Brian presses buttons and shows the Leader a photo of Yefremov taken by Julia on the plane!

 

LEADER

Aha, now I see why you so shy. Afraid to offend your mother-in-law. Or you fucking them both – mother and daughter?

 

JULIA

What are you talking about? I just took a picture. There is nothing between us…

 

Yefremov, feigning indifference, turns to face the Leader.

 

YEFREMOV

Any more questions? I was getting sleepy…

In the corner of his eye, the Leader sees that his stooges have taken an interest in the standoff. No room to back down.

He takes out his gun and shoots at the marine.

Yefremov doesn’t flinch.

The bullet grazes a corner of his ear.

The Leader is staring at Yefremov with utter hatred. He’s seen these eyes before.

In two leaps, he crosses the room and slices Yefremov’s T-shirt with his knife. Yefremov can’t afford to flinch – two guns are pointing at him. The two bandits grab him from behind and push him face down on the table.

The Leader finds what he was looking for – the black panther tattoo (the numbered special forces symbol)

 

LEADER

(in Russian)

You Russian scum… donkey bitch!

 

In one motion, the Leader grabs a huge kitchen knife from the table and stabs it all the way into Yefremov’s cast, nailing his arm to the oak tabletop.

Looking right into Yefremov’s eyes, the Leader presses the knife further down inflicting severe pain. Yefremov moans but doesn’t break the eye contact.

 

LEADER

You not trained to torture your women, bitch – but what you do to our women? Did you not cleanse the Karakhan villages? All the mothers and old women?

 

Julia is watching them doe-eyed.

 

YEFREMOV

(sliding down to the floor in pain)

Not me.

 

JULIA

It wasn’t him! Did you hear? Leave him alone!

 

She lunges herself onto the Leader. Enver blocks and easily throws her aside.

 

LEADER

Not him? Then let him answer for his kind – just like I answer for mine!

 

He cocks his handgun and puts to Yefremov’s temple.

Julia screams in horror and throw herself onto the Leader’s arm: NOOOO!

 

 

 

 

 

71. INT. – EVENING. ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL

 

The steady beeping of an IV. Antonina Yefremova is in bed, moaning quietly, trying to bear the pain.

A nurse and the young Indian doctor are at her bedside.

 

YOUNG DOCTOR

How do you feel?

(she forces a smile)

Your file indicates that we are supposed to contact a cardiologist in an emergency. The best specialist works at our hospital. I’ve been trying to call him, but he hasn’t returned the calls… I may have to be the one delivering the baby – are you OK with that?

(she finds the strength to nod)

In that case, you need to sign some papers. (nods to the nurse) I can assure you that I will do my best.

 

72. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Two of the Leader’s cohorts have dragged Yefremov (who blacked out) to the garage and threw him on a pile of garbage.

 

Brian, blonde, 23 years young, takes off his mask and wipes sweat off his forehead. The other one – Enver, the Albanian – does the same.

 

Together, they handcuff Yefremov to a supporting pole. The Leader is yelling off-screen: Execute the hostages – he is first! Wait a bit, let him ask his God for forgiveness…

 

BRIAN

Let’s go!

ENVER

Wait, we should tie his legs, too.

BRIAN

What legs? One arm is broken, the other is handcuffed – what is he, Spiderman – where’s he gonna go?

 

 

 

 

ENVER

You don’t know these Slavs… I remember a Serb in our village, same thing – we didn’t pay attention, all went to pound his daughter, he freed himself and blew everyone up…

BRIAN

The Leader – he knows Russian?

ENVER

He’s been there, so learnt it! I know a grandpa who lived to 108 – knew all languages!!!

BRIAN

(frowning)

OK, Hill-Billie, let’s go already…

 

Having waited for a few moments, Yefremov opens his eyes and looks around. Then, suppressing a groan, panting heavily, he turns on his side and starts burrowing through garbage like a pig.

 

 

73. EXT. – AFTERNOON. THE NORTH SEA. ABOARD A NAVY SHIP

 

Captain Motovikhin, on deck, visibly upset, watches sailors supervised by their Petty Officer scrub equipment – armored vehicles and military trucks. First Mate Melnikov is passing by.

 

MOTOVIKHIN

Mikhalych, where is your hero, Yefremov – has he come back from the hospital yet?

MELNIKOV (saluting quickly)

No, Captain, sir, he is still there. I just checked – they are about to discharge him. He is in fighting spirits!

MOTOVIKHIN

Oh, come on. I’m sure he’s handled all the nurses by now. Ah, back in the day, I… Alright, dismissed. The marines and their metal junk are your committee, First Mate – time is short!

(walks away)

 

The marines’ Staff Sergeant, Panin, approaches Melnikov. Before the Staff Sergeant can say anything –

 

MELNIKOV

(waving his hand to cut him off)

At ease!

(nods at the cigarette pack in Panin’s pocket)

One.

 

STAFF SERGEANT (handing the pack to Melnikov)

Is Yefremov really in a hospital? I heard that…

 

MELNIKOV (taking a cigarette out)

You heard what? Your lieutenant is coasting all the way. He’s a youngster – it’s good for him, let him eat it up. We’ll do without him.

 

STAFF SERGEANT (cheerfully)

Let’s move it, brothers! All engines go!

 

 

74. INT. – EVENING. ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL.

 

A black nurse is at Antonina’s bedside, caringly wiping sweat off her forehead.

 

ANTONINA

I trying my best – yes, I know, contractions starting…

NURSE

It’s the medicine taking effect. Don’t worry – Dr. Rajiv is a good specialist, really. He treated the Mayor’s daughter and she is like new… let me check the signatures while you are still awake…

ANTONINA (switching to Russia)

The first time around, everything went so smoothly, I was young and healthy then… Kostik jumped right out, healthy little boy… But not cocky… He was so shy, a pushover even, never fought in the yard, like I say, quiet like the night…

The nurse is nodding compassionately, not understanding a word. Two ordinaries – Latino and Polish – show up in the doorway and wheel Antonina and her IV out in the hall, to the operating room.

 

 

ANTONINA
He loved his sister so much, fed her with a spoon, picked her up at the nursery, braided her hair… I tell him, Son, go play with your friends, I’ll take care of her… And he: it’s no big deal, Mom, go see a movie with Dad, I’d rather be with her, I tell her stories… And when she died, he changed overnight… something hardened inside him… that’s how I lost my son, too…

LATINO ORDINARY

(not understanding a word)

What is she talking about, man?

 

POLISH ORDINARY

She has a son… Keep going.

(to someone ahead of them)

Coming through!

(to Antonina, in Polish)

Hold on, hold on, Mama, you’ll be alright…

 

Long hallways, unfamiliar faces… The soundtrack: heavy breathing and quickening heartbeat, a suite for two instruments.

Gradually, the lights dim, the hallway turns into a subway tunnel…

(FLASHBACK) We see patients’ faces, or are they victims of the bombing?

One of them is a blonde six-year-old girl…

 

ANTONINA

(rambling unconscious)

It’s OK, we’ll pull it out, a little more, Tanya, baby, my love, don’t breath, hold your breath —

 

75. INT – EVENING. THE GAS STATION DELI

 

Fitzgerald and Kashinsky (another cop) walk in (both undercover)

 

FITZGERALD

Alright, Bruce Lee, give me a coffee!

 

Vanessa looks up from the Koran she’s been reading.

Fitzgerald shoots an “interested” look at her and winks to Kashinsky whose eyes roll in appreciation – “The bird’s fly.”

The Chinese manager pours coffee.

Fitzgerald, all fake swagger, comes up to Vanessa. It’s Saturday night and the ethnic chick’s ripe for the taking…

 

FITZGERALD

(sitting down on her right)

Tell me, the Chinese – are they funny, or what?

 

Kashinsky concentrates on the orange juice in the fridge, several steps to the left of Vanessa.

 

Vanessa looks at Fitzgerald, doesn’t say a word. Instinctively, she moves her backpack closer to her.

He grabs her hand; Kashinsky jumps over to help. Vanessa head-butts Fitzgerald, throws a chair at Kashinsky’s feet and glances at the side door, which flies open – two more cops run in.

 

VANESSA

Allah Akhbar!

(motions as if to open her jacket)

 

Everyone drops to the floor. The Chinese manager is praying under the counter.

Taking advantage of the moment, she pulls a machine gun out of her backpack, sprays a round left and right, clearing her way and heads for the back door.

 

FITZGERALD

She’s getting away!

 

Vanessa runs out to the backyard, confronted by several flashes of light – snipers’ fire. She responds with the machine gun, carelessly flooding the yard with bullets. She runs back inside the deli and opens a door to the toilettes.

Fitzgerald pulls on the handle – it’s locked. He shoots at the handle and the door swings open.

 

Vanessa is sitting on the toilet with her eyes open, yellow foam streaming out of her mouth.

 

Panting, the cops are trying to figure out what to do.

 

KASHINSKY

(mumbling)

The bitch poisoned herself…

 

Fitzgerald spits in her face.

 

FITZGERLAD

She went for the window… but there is no window.

 

He knowingly puts on a glove and stretches his hand towards Vanessa’s jacket, pulls out the Koran and opens it on the book-marked page – a photo of a girl by the seaside.

Somewhere under her clothes, a cell phone rings.

Fitzgerald jumps back, pulling his hand back. The others ready their guns.

 

The cell phone continues to ring…

 

76. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. THE GARAGE/THE KITCHEN

 

The Leader looks at his cell phone, puzzled.

The monitor in front of him shows Yefremov moving.

The Leader walks over to the sink, puts his cell phone down on the edge of the sink, turns on the cold-water faucet and sticks his head under it.

The cell phone stops ringing.

Operator’s voice:

“The person you are trying to reach is unavailable…”

 

The camera returns to the monitor where something is moving.

 

CUT TO:

 

Yefremov with a paper clip in his mouth is fiddling with the handcuffs…

 

The same image appears on the monitor in the kitchen.

 

Julia enters the kitchen, stares at the monitor and immediately moves between the monitor and a masked bandit (Enver) who has followed her into the kitchen.

 

Enver

Where you going?

 

Julia

It’s hot in here… I am thirsty.

(lowers a strap of her blouse revealing a part of her breast)

 

He looks at her with suspicion. Something’s not right… But damn it, he likes what he sees!

 

Julia’s perplexed – how else can she distract him?

 

JULIA

(clears her throat)

Excuse me please, I am a professional singer, I need to practice my aperture.

 

Enver looks at her like a total idiot – what is “aperture” and what does it have to do with her breasts?

 

Julia sits on a bar stool with her back to the monitor. After a second’s wait, she crosses her legs and assumes the pose of Marlene Dietrich from ”Blue Angel”, quickly realizing that she doesn’t know a single song from the star’s repertoire.

 

Enver is watching closely, not understanding what’s going on but enjoying the sight of her bare legs.

 

In desperation – you are up on stage, do something – Julia begins:

 

Love me tender, love me sweet,

Never let me go.

 

It’s not exactly Elvis, but what began as a joke, turns into a passionate ballad.

 

As seen on the monitor behind her, Yefremov has already freed himself. He folds a hubcap and hoists it up to his arm with Scotch tape as a temporary cast.

 

Brian (wearing a mask) walks in and yanks Julia off the stool.

 

ENVER

What’s wrong with you, Blondie?

 

Brian walks up to Enver, staring him down. Enver throws him to the side.

 

Julia sneaks a peek at the monitor where Yefremov is… already gone.

 

She walks away from the monitor, pulls up her tank-top, throws a pissed-off look their way and sits down at the table.

 

ENVER

You gonna get it, stupid American. I am going to take piss.

 

Pushes Brian aside and leaves.

 

 

76. INT. – EVENING. OUTSIDE THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

The sound of running water comes out of … Johnson’s headphones.

Johnson and O’Hara, both wearing bulletproof vests, are hiding behind the bus.

 

A cell phone rings. O’Hara answers.

 

O’HARA

That little bitch!… Fucking hell… And they call you an elite unit.

 

(Johnson is looking at him inquisitively)

Your motorcycle lead came through.

 

JOHNSON

And…?

 

O’HARA

(silently points a finger up at the sky)

My guys got a satellite scan of the house – the whole place is wired. Storming the house is out of the question… Looks like all the places you mentioned really are packed with explosives, and there may be others.

 

 

JOHNSON

We can’t take risks. You’ll get slammed with citations!

O’HARA

Alright, wise guy, tell me something I don’t know. Why don’t you go work for the FBI…

JOHNSON

I could care less about the FBI. I am a free man now.

O’HARA

I’ll tell them to take another look.

(barks into the walkie-talkie) Attention, Tech Unit!

JOHNSON

(reaches for the walkie-talkie)

Did you forget… radio silence!

 

78. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. BATHROOM

 

Looking relaxed, Enver is sitting on the toilet paging through Julia’s school album, occasionally giggling at group photos of Julia and other children… He hears chattering on the radio and reaches for the receiver standing on the edge of the bathtub.

 

ENVER

Can’t even crap in peace…

 

The receiver transmits encoded police communications.

The bathroom door swings open, and Yefremov walks in.

 

YEFREMOV

You are not in your home village — lock the door.

 

The marine quiets the Albanian with a kick to the forehead. He then grabs Enver by the collar, throws him into the bathtub and slams his head against the tub – to be sure. Enver is out … for a couple of hours at least. Yefremov picks up the photo album and flips through it. Funny faces of children, the future singer among them.

 

YEFREMOV (through his teeth)

Freaking pedophile…

 

Yefremov gets a whiff of the stench and flushes the toilet.

 

Yefremov picks up the radio and, after thinking for a moment, lowers it into the toilet. The racket stops. He puts on the Albanian’s black sweater and mask, and checks himself out in the mirror.

 

Yefremov takes out a pair of handcuffs and cuffs Enver to the faucet.

 

The Leader is in the kitchen, looking at the monitor which shows one of his fighters (it’s actually Yefremov) walking up to the black box which controls the video surveillance system.

 

YEFREMOV

(in a raspy voice)

Hocus-pocus, out of focus!!

 

He decisively flips down the switches, one by one. The monitors throughout the house go dark.

 

79. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. THE LIVING ROOM/THE GARAGE

 

LEADER

What the hell… Hey, Ahmed! Go take a look!

 

Ahmed, armed with an Uzi, kicks open the door to the garage and walks in looking around at garbage bins and propped up garden tools…nobody is around.

 

Julia’s SUV. Ahmed circles it unhurriedly, looks underneath and sees a pile of rags in place of the prisoner.

 

AHMED

Hey Alan! The son of a bitch escaped!

 

Ahmed grabs the doorknob to go back in… but the door is locked. He grabs his machine gun and receives a heavy blow on his hands with a shovel.

 

Ahmed screams in pain and, with a huff, assumes a Kung-Fu fighting stand. Yefremov jumps off the roof of the SUV, straightens himself out, fakes a move to one side and again slams Ahmed with a shovel. Ahmed slowly sinks to the floor…

 

79-1. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. THE HALLWAY

 

The Leader walks towards the garage, carefully stepping over broken glass. After several tries, he pries the door open, carefully steps inside and gets hit in the head with a heavy canister swinging on a string from the ceiling. The Leader falls down but immediately gets back up and rushes to the kitchen, cursing.

 

80. INT. – EVENING. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE. THE LIVING ROOM

 

The Leader drags Julia out into the hallway at gunpoint. He walks down the hall pointing his gun from side to side in front of him. He opens a pantry door – Ahmed falls out. The Leader hears a sound, turns around and sprays the bathroom door with bullets. He swings the door open and sees Enver with a rag in his mouth convulsing in the bathtub – the bullets hit his chest. Julia screams.

 

LEADER

Brian!

(Julia tenses up when she hears the name)

Bring the kid here.

Hey, Soldier! Are you gonna keep running around the house all night? Come on over, we’ll decide what to do with your bride.

 

Brian drags Mark into the hallway. The Leader, not seeing who it is, instinctively uses Julia as a shield and points the Uzi onto Brian.

 

BRIAN

Wait, wait, we had a deal – you let her go no matter what…

LEADER

(lowers the Uzi)

Shut up, you moron. The deal was a house with a million bucks in a safe, remember? Do as I tell you — you’ll come out of here alive.

 

Brian points the gun at him and pulls the trigger. The bullet hits the Leader’s shoulder. The Leader, stunned, shoots back and hits Brian right in the chest.

Brian falls down on the floor and tears off his mask, gasping for air.

 

BRIAN

O, shit – blood!

JULIA

(recognizing her friend)

Brian!

BRIAN

Julia, I didn’t mean to – he promised – it’s all your fault –

JULIA

(with her mouth open)

Idiot… oh, God!

 

(cringing in pain, the Leader pulls her in closer and drags her out into the backyard, towards the pool, using her as a shield)

 

Suddenly, the lights outside and the fountain go on simultaneously. The Leader shoots aimlessly left and right, emptying his magazine and reloading on the way.

 

LEADER

Soldier! Sleeping at your post?

(He drags Julia back inside the kitchen and leans against a wall)

Come pick up your whore or what’s left of her…

 

(he grabs an electric mixer, turns it on, brings it close to Julia’s face, takes a huge knife out of a knife set holder and moves the blade across Julia’s shoulder, cutting the strap of her tank-top and leaving a bloody trail. He doesn’t notice that her hand is reaching for a cast-iron pan hanging above the sink.)

 

At once, Yefremov flies in through another door and dives under the table, floating inches above the floor, like a cat.

 

The Leader empties his magazine in Yefremov’s direction but Julia grabs a hold of the pan and hits the Leader on the hand, making him miss… the kitchen now looks like the living room.

 

Yefremov shoots twice from under the table – one bullet for each kneecap.

The Leader lets out a vicious scream.

The Leader is on the floor shooting back, but Yefremov is already on top of the table. His third shot from close range hits the Leader in the shoulder making him drop the Uzi.

 

LEADER

Good job, soldier. You won. Ok, take it… My money plus whatever the Americans reward you – you can build your mom two houses. Let’s call it even.

 

Yefremov slowly raises his gun to the Leader’s forehead.

 

JULIA

Don’t! The cops are here already… let them deal with it. You’ll see – they’ll put him away forever.

YEFREMOV

Ok, go tell your mother not to come up to the windows.

 

(She runs out)

 

LEADER

(pulls out the remote control not paying attention to the marine)

Forgot this! Fuck you!

(he presses the button and … nothing happens)

You lied, you bitch! (throws away the remote)

But… you wired the house – I’ll tell them you were with us!

 

YEFERMOV

You are the bitch. Should’ve checked the batteries… stupid!

LEADER

(bursting out laughing)

Listen man…in your stupid country I am a terrorist; here, I am a prisoner of conscience. Yes, they will now read me my rights; I’ll get a good lawyer

(bursts out laughing again, bordering on a nervous breakdown)

 

YEFREMOV

(still holding the gun up)

…you hate us so much, why did you learn our language…

 

LEADER

To fool you, idiots…

So anyway, see you in a couple of years… somewhere by Gudermes…

 

YEFREMOV

(looks to the side, turning his back on the Leader)

No you won’t…

 

LEADER

(reaching for his gun)

All your bullets are out. I counted.

Feels up the gun and slowly raises the barrel…

 

YEFREMOV

(takes an empty magazine in his hand, pretending that he is surprised and isn’t aware of the danger behind him)

Naah. You miscounted.

 

With a quick turnaround, he pulls the trigger simultaneously with the Leader. The marine’s bullet hits the Leader squarely between his eyes.

YEFREMOV

(as if speaking to Julia)

Sorry about that… I am not too good at this system of yours. Nor ours for that matter…

 

Yefremov straightens out his navy coat ripped by the Leader’s shot. He looks at a window and sees shadows moving in short spurts from tree to tree across the yard. Yefremov presses a button on the house alarm system.

 

81. EXT. NIGHTTIME. OUTSIDE THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

Police officers in snipers’ positions cannot believe what they are seeing – the house doors swing wide open.

 

82. EXT. – NIGHTTIME. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Felix drives up to the house in disbelief — the place is full of policemen, flashing sirens, video cameras, TV news vans… What happened?

 

POLICEMAN

Sir, you cannot go any further. The area is closed.

FELIX

(without stopping)

This is my house. I live here.

 

He gets out of the car, walks up to sobbing Victoria and hugs her. Mark runs up to them; then Julia joins them. The family idyll and the American dream are restored.

 

83. EXT. – NIGHTTIME. THE BORSCHEVSKYS’ HOUSE

 

Reporters are chasing O’Hara on the lawn.

 

REPORTER No. 1

Captain, a few words for Channel 5!

 

REPORTER No. 2

Captain, you promised me an exclusive!

 

O’Hara is looking in the direction of parked cars and sees that the star of TV news, a slender blonde accompanied by her entourage — producer, cameraman, etc., has arrived   Now, he can begin…

 

O’HARA

Alright, everybody calm down! I am going to make an official statement now.

 

CUT TO:

 

O’HARA

Acting upon a tip provided by one of our informers, as well as a timely call from Citibank, we were able to neutralize a criminal gang, which has terrorized residents of Brooklyn and Queens for a long period of time. The gang leader used aliases Allan Kab—Kabashev, or Ali.., his identity is being determined at this time. Excuse me, all these foreign names… born in United Arab Emirates, he was sought by Interpol and our colleagues in Europe and Russia.

The terrorist resisted arrest and was shot by the NYPD special forces. Also, two other members of the gang were arrested…

 

REPORTER No. 1

So, only three of them were in the house? Nobody else?

 

O’HARA

Correct.

 

REPORTER No. 2

Are you denying that one of the attackers was the son of a well-known businessman, who was taken to an undisclosed location by the police before the arrival of the media?

 

O’HARA’s VOICE (off-screen)

In the interests of the ongoing investigation, no comment…

 

CUT TO:

 

The Borschevskys are sitting on a lawn nearby listening to the press conference.

 

VICTORIA

Isn’t that the guy who always picked you up in a Porsche? His father was running for Congress…

JULIA

What an idiot. A real man points the gun at himself after a woman dumps him…

 

Victoria and Felix glance at each other – what a daughter we have…

 

JULIA

… this guy turned into a snitch for gangsters instead.

 

She is caressing the black beret which fell out of Yefremov’s pocket and is looking around for its owner.

 

Johnson walks up to them.

 

JOHNSON

How is it going, Felix?

FELIX

Couldn’t be better.

(he looks at his cell phone – all the missed calls – and the pager which is buzzing again)

I have to go to the hospital! Can you ask someone to give me a lift in a police car?

JOHNSON

I can do that myself.

 

Felix hugs his family whispering something to them.

 

Johnson pulls a siren out of his trunk and puts it on the roof of his Navigator.

 

O’HARA

Eddie! Can I talk to you for a second?

(in a quiet trusting tone of voice)

I don’t know what you saw, but there was nobody else in there, except for my informer.

 

JOHNSON

And the leader – did he shoot himself in the forehead?

 

O’HARA

Well, no. As I told the press – he was resisting arrest…

 

JOHNSON

(smirks)

You just don’t change, Tommie. Just like back in the Bronx — taking credit for others’ arrests…

 

O’HARA

You know what, Eddie? You are not with the police department, right? But for the sake of your business, you’d be well advised to stay on good terms with us. So, mind your own business. You get my drift?

 

O’Hara watches Johnson leave and dials a number on his cell phone.

 

 

84. EXT. – NIGHTTIME. INSIDE THE POLICE CAR

 

The car is racing to the hospital with its siren blaring.

 

Felix is on the phone with the hospital, giving instructions on how to prepare for the surgery.

When he hangs up, Johnson looks at him inquisitively.

 

FELIX

Everything’s under control. I’ll spare you the details – your wife still has problems – but I have a good feeling about this. The main thing is to make it there on time.

(after a pause)

My hands are shaking; I feel weakness in my fingers.

JOHNSON

Take it easy. What does a man have in this world except for his family? I’d do exactly the same.

 

FELIX

My family and I cannot even begin to repay you for everything that you’ve…

JOHNSON

Honestly, I didn’t really do anything. According to your family, that Russian did it all – got inside and took those assholes out, just like that, one by one.

FELIX
Oh God… I promised him I’d help his mother. This is terrible. Looks like I let him down. But your son will be alright, I am sure.

 

JOHNSON

Felix, you are just one guy. Like everybody else. We all get illusions of our own omnipotence. It goes away with age.

But this guy… I can only hope that my son grows up to be like him. I would really like that.

 

A caravan of official-looking black cars blows by them in the opposite direction with sirens blaring.

 

JOHNSON

You wanna bet those are the Feds? O’Hara couldn’t help calling them…

 

 

85. EXT. – NIGHTTIME. OUTSIDE THE BROSCHEVKYS’ HOUSE

 

O’Hara is conferring with his deputy, Fitzgerald, near his car.

 

FITZGERALD

There was gunfire. Throw a couple of shells inside the evidence bags. They’d have a hard time taking this away from us.

 

 

 

O’HARA

We gotta find this guy or else he can spoil our victory. Listen: go take a look at the footage from inside the house… he must have got caught on tape at some point. Print his mug and send to all units – but not a word to the media. Make some shit up, not related to this.

 

They are joined by Scarlatti, the head of FBI’s Brooklyn station. He is thin and looks like an accountant, as do many of his colleagues. Fitzgerald immediately takes off.

 

SCARLATTI

Tommy O’Hara. Congratulations, I guess? Not following procedures though – you know this is an organized crime case so you had to keep us in the loop. And instead of taking care of the crime scene, Tommy stashes away the wounded son of an oil tycoon – you think we are that dumb? I guess he promised you cushy retirement in the security department of his company.

O’HARA

Such inappropriate things you say, Bobby…

My informer must be placed in the witness protection program. The prosecutor will have an official report on this tomorrow. We are risking our lives here, and you …

SCARLATTI

Oh, yeah, you especially. How did you get inside the house anyway? I didn’t see any signs of breaking in. Not a single broken window. We’ll find out how that Leader of theirs got shot – he could’ve given us a ton of useful testimony. Why don’t you go ahead and retire already, Tommy. Things would really run much better without you.

 

O’Hara’s cell phone rings.

 

CUT TO

 

FITZGERALD

Tommy, I got all the tapes from the house. We’re sitting here in the van watching them… Listen, that Rambo, Eddie’s friend, he kicked some serious butt in there.

O’HARA

(turning away from Scarlatti)

All the more reason to deport his ass! This isn’t Russia!

 

 

86. INT. – NIGHTTIME. ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL

 

Felix quickly walks down the familiar hallways. People step aside letting him through, nurses bring his robe and gloves… even other doctors gather in front of a glass wall of the operating room to watch the famous surgeon in action.

 

A lone figure is hanging out outside the prep room. The camera zooms in – it’s our Kostya… pretending to be taking a nap, but in reality following every detail. He watches Felix and his entourage run by. Yefremov lets out a calm smile – everything is going according to plan.

 

CUT TO

 

Yefremov walks up to the nurse on duty to ask her something. She shakes her head, looks at her watch and nods. He nods back, returns to his seat, and palms his head with both hands in order to relax.

The nurse shakes her head.

 

THE OPERATING ROOM. The Indian doctor is looking concerned. A nurse rushes over to check the heartbeat.

 

NURSE’s VOICE –

Heart stoppage! No pulse. Zero.

 

FELIX’s VOICE –

Camphor! 3 cc. Massage. More. I’ll do it! Shock! Time!

 

NURSE’s VOICE –

7-9-11 seconds… Ah… Pulse!!! You brought her back, doc!

 

We hear a shuffling sound as the Indian doctor sinks to the floor.

 

MIDWIFE’s

VOICE – Are you alright, Dr. Rajiv? (holding his sleeve)

 

FELIX’s

VOICE – Smelling salts! Not for her – for the doctor.

 

The Indian doctor comes to, smiles and gets back to work.

Sighs of relief and applause erupt in the glassed-in viewing gallery above.

 

FELIX’s

VOICE – We are not heroes – that’s our job! Scalpel!

 

OUSIDE THE OPERATING ROOM, IN THE HALLWAY.

The nurse comes up to Yefremov and hands him a sandwich wrapped in plastic and coffee in a paper cup.

He nods, Thanks.

 

A close-up of the clock handles ticking out in the hall – 2 – 3 — 4…

A newborn cries. So loudly that everyone at the hospital (the few that are there this late at night) get up and cheer…

 

CUT TO:

 

Exhausted but happy, Antonina is hugging her baby son.

 

A knock on the window of her room: beaming Johnson is waving his hand – Show me my son!

 

Antonina has no strength left – she nods to the nurse: Help me, please

 

The nurse picks up the baby to show him to his father for the first time…

 

CUT TO:

 

Beaming Johnson comes out to the hall, handing out cigars to the staff.

 

Johnson walks up to Yefremov who is taking a nap with his eyes open and touches him on the shoulder.

 

JOHNSON

Sir, would you like a cigar?

YEFREMOV

(half-asleep)

What?

 

Johnson takes a closer look at him.

 

JOHNSON

I’ve seen you somewhere… on a photo – Konstantin. That’s you. You look so much like your mother… How did I not recognize… Not too many Yefremovs around, right?

YEFREMOV

Are you the one I talked to from the house?

 

Johnson takes a deep breath and exhales. He is overfilled with emotions – so much excitement all at once… He stares into Yefremov’s eyes, takes a soldier’s stance and salutes.

 

JOHNSON

Thank you, Lieutenant.

 

Yefremov also straightens up for a salute. His hand is reaching up, but he is not supposed to do it without the cap.

 

 

YEFREMOV

Ah, whatever, here I am a civilian…

Turistische-Rus… it’s a joke…

 

Yefremov shakes Johnson’s hand instead. Johnson smiles understandingly.

 

 

87. EXT. – DAYBREAK. HOSPITAL PARKING LOT

 

Yefremov is behind the wheel of Johnson’s Navigator.

 

JOHNSON

If they ask questions, tell them to call me – cops speak the same language. Anyway, when they see the siren, they’ll get it. There is a map in the glove compartment – get on I-95 and shoot straight down. Here is my address, put the keys in the envelope and mail it.

 

YEFREMOV

Don’t worry…

JOHNSON

I am not worried about you at all. Just explaining. Oh, and take this – for gas and coffee.

YEFREMOV

Thank you.

JOHNSON

And, ah, take care of yourself. Come visit us at some point. We’ll send you an invitation. You got family here, you know.

YEFREMOV

And you – in Moscow, OK?

JOHNSON

Definitely. Your mom really misses it. As soon as our son can fly, we’ll definitely come.

YEFREMOV

Good.

(they hug)

 

 

88. EXT. – EARLY MORNING – U.S. HIGHWAY I-95.

 

The Navigator is sailing down an even stretch of highway flanked by trees on both sides. The sun is shining through the foliage. It’s too early for traffic. Paradise…

Yefremov is basking in the cruising car. He takes a sip of coffee form the paper cup and lowers it into a cup-holder. Birch trees hiss and rock gently in the wind.

 

 

89. INT. BOSTON. A NURSING HOME

(a voice off-screen; we heard it before)

 

YEFREMOV’S AUNT – ANNA ILYINICHNA

I do hope, Kostyenka, that time will heal these horrible wounds… that you will find the strength to forgive your mother for what she has done – or at least understand her…

 

The camera gradually zooms out onto her room in Boston. Birch trees are hissing outside her window too.

 

AUNT

(manually moving her wheelchair away from the table to the window)

…when you come here, you will see for yourself that America is neither paradise nor hell – simply a country with the same trees, flowers and people as in Russia – some are good and some are bad, kind and angry – all kinds, Kotya. All kinds… And I also hope that one day we will all get together… and remember the family… Personally, most of all I would like to be healthy enough to come home… at least once. Your heart always stays home…

 

 

90. EXT. – EARLY MORNING – NORTH CAROLINA. A HIGHWAY SERVICE STATION.

 

All is quiet. The Navigator is the only car by the gas station selling newspapers, gum, cigarettes, sandwiches – with not a soul inside, except for an Indian man behind the counter and a couple of policemen, lazily pouring themselves coffee from a huge tank.

 

Yefremov has just paid for gas and walked inside to pour himself a coffee. The policemen are taking interest in his black-and-blue marks, scratches, broken arm and the unusual getup…

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

You got it good, man!

YEFREMOV

Ah, not too bad. The other guy is even worse off.

 

The policemen walk outside and examine the Navigator. A black driver walks in and drops a stack of newspapers on the floor. The headlines read in big bold letters: TERRORISTS BUSTED IN NYC.

Yefremov chuckles and throws in a few coins to pay for the paper – a souvenir!

 

The policemen look worried – something doesn’t smell right… One is talking on the radio.

Yefremov walks outside, opens the car with the key –remote.

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

Hey, where are you from anyway?

YEFREMOV

New York.

 

The other policeman sticks his head inside their car and pulls out a printout of a photo or drawing. He looks up at Yefremov and nods to his partner.

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

(to Yefremov)

Let’s have a talk in the car.

 

YEFREMOV

Anything wrong?

(He looks around. Damn, everything is so serene. I so don’t want to get involved again.)

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

Nothing special. Just a routine check.

 

CUT TO:

a bit later, at the same place.

 

Yefremov is sitting in the car handcuffed.

One of the policemen is quietly speaking to somebody on the radio.

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

Got it. OK, will get him there in tip-top shape.

(He cranks the steering wheel and gets on the highway)

(to his partner)

Those New York cops. That O’Hara guy – what a weasel. That’s alright, now he owes me big time! A New York steak won’t cut it.

 

 

90-1. EXT. –MORNING. AIRFIELD. BY THE IL-86

 

Semyonov and his crew are out on the airfield, clearing things up with the dispatcher. The mechanic is busy taking boots off the wheels.

 

DISPATCHER

No, I don’t take money! You can’t disrupt the lineup.

 

 

NAVIGATOR

(putting the boot away)

At least let us stay till 900. Unforeseen circumstances! The cargo’s on its way…

DISPATCHER

(walks away flailing his arms)

You postponed the departure twice already. You wanna get fined – you got it! We got you an opening at 7:30. Don’t try my patience – I’ll see to it personally that your plane is towed off the runway.

 

Semyonov stamps out his cigarette butt and waives to the navigator – keep bargaining! The navigator nods back and runs after the leaving official.

 

 

91. EXT. – MORNING – U.S. Highway I-95

 

The police car rolls down the highway with the siren on.

The landscape changes visibly – the birch trees are replaced by magnolias, the magnolias – by palm trees…

 

They drive in silence – Yefremov still handcuffed in the back seat. He still looks stoic, but his expression shows signs of desperation. Everything was going so well – and what do you know…

 

YEFREMOV

Are we there yet?

POLICEMAN No. 1

What’s the rush …

POLICEMAN No. 2

Don’t worry, you‘ll make it.

(pulling out the newspaper – speaking to his partner)

Hey, Irvin, they say O’Hara busted a big cheese – lived right around here – murdered in cold blood, too… Went by Alan A/K/A Ali bek…

YEFREMOV

(shuddering)

What? What’s his name!!!

 

The cop tosses the paper to Yefremov. He scans the front page, his face stiffening. Clenching his jaw, he turns aside and leans against the window. He looks at the contours of the highway enveloped in mist… like clouds of smoke… faces of his father and sister … Natasha, angelic …

The image is suspended; Yefremov is seeing double, overwhelmed by tears. Tears are streaming down his face. He does not wipe them off.

 

POLICEMAN No. 1

(banging on the steering wheel)

Our media kicks ass! They are not millionaires for nothing – they know what they’re doing… (to the arrestee) Am I right or what?

 

A barely visible smile stretches Yefremov’s lips.

 

THE NARRATOR

Kostya Yefremov realized that he just accomplished something important. He vanquished a villain and avenged the death of his relatives.

Even so, having known the horrors of war, he never learned to revel in the death of his enemy… They are human too, after all, their mothers labored to give birth to them.

But that was not why he felt an unfamiliar sensation. An unknown and yet unrealized joy flowed through him. That joy was LOVE.

 

 

92. EXT. – MORNING – MIAMI AIRPORT. SERVICE ENTRANCE (a separate runway for charter flights)

 

The car comes to a stop. The policemen roll out of the car looking important. One of them walks up to the checkpoint and talks to the guard.

 

The guard points at the plane that we know all too well.

 

The second policeman opens the door and shakes Yefremov to wake him up. Yefremov looks up at him dazed and confused.

 

 

POLICEMAN No. 2

You are the man, you, Russian.

(unlocks the handcuffs)

No hard feelings, OK? I don’t know why that Irish guy in New York badmouths you. Cops don’t like it when someone does their job for them, you know. As far as I am concerned, you are a good guy. Best of luck!

The cop leaves the door open and walks away.

For a moment, Yefremov sits there clueless.

The first policeman looks at him and nods in the direction of the plane – Go now, before we change our mind.

Yefremov nods back and marches on.

 

 

 

93. EXT. – AFTERNOON. ABOARD THE CARGO PLANE IL-76

 

Te plane is already steering onto the runway… Yefremov is running after it waiving his hand. A hatch opens and Semyonov appears in the opening. He waives to the marine and points to his watch urging him on. Semyonov motions to the ramp-truck driver – Come on back.

 

 

94. EXT. – AFTERNOON. ABOARD THE CARGO PLANE IL-76

 

Yefremov – smiling broadly – has taken the best seat holding a plastic cup and a huge bologna sandwich.

 

CAPTAIN SEMYONOV

Wow, Lieutenant, what a performance… The phone’s been off the hook – one cop after another, two from new York, one from Carolina or something like that… We were waiting a while!

NAVIGATOR

They worked you over, didn’t they.

YEFREMOV

I’ll be alright…

 

(the radio crackles)

 

SECOND PILOT

They won’t let us take off without hassle…

 

DISPATCHER

KC-171. Is there a Lieutenant Yefremov on board?

 

The Captain and Navigator exchange glances: It just doesn’t stop…

 

YEFREMOV

Yes, there is.

 

JULIA

(on the radio)

B

 

YEFREMOV

(a bit dumbstruck)

Hi…

 

(Onboard the plane: the entire crew is having fun listening)

 

JULIA

(standing beside a police car, next to Johnson, speaking on the police radio)

I just thought I’d call to wish you a safe trip and tell you that your mom sends her regards – she is feeling great by the way – and your little brother, too, and also your, what do you call it…

JOHNSON

Stepfather, and a friend for life.

 

JULIA

And all my family… and you left your black beret here

(points to the beret as if they are on a teleconference)

… and also I wrote a song about you and about everything that happened.. I’ll sing it for you… and also in case you don’t get all the lyrics, they are very simple – I LOVE YOU!!!

 

(inside the cockpit, the pilot jerks the steering wheel. Yefremov spills his vodka)

 

NAVIGATOR

(listening attentively to the radio)

Just like in the movies…

 

A close-up of Yefremov’s face. For the first time, he has let his guard down – he looks disarmed, perplexed and tender, as would any young guy who just heard a woman say “I Love you”.

 

 

95. EXT.– AFTERNOON. THE SKY ABOVE THE OCEAN

 

The plane soars up into the sky. A simple, lovely melody fills the screen – Julia is doing an acapella version of her new song…

 

 

96. EXT.– AFTERNOON. THE NORTH SEA. ABOARD A NAVY SHIP

 

The crew is lined up on deck.

Captain Motovikhin and First Mate Melnikov are facing the lineup. Melnikov has an open folder in his hands.

Marine Sergeant Panin is standing next to them.

Yefremov has stepped forward from the line-up. His face is still covered in black-and-blue marks and scratches; his arm is in a new cast.

 

MOTOVIKHIN

You may report.

 

 

YEFREMOV

Captain Motovikhin, sir! Lieutenant Yefremov, Navy Northern Command, reporting back after receiving medical treatment!

MOTOVIKHIN

(frowning)

And how is your medical condition?

YEFREMOV

Excellent, Captain, sir!

MOTOVIKHIN

Ready for active duty?

YEFREMOV

Affirmative, Captain, sir!

MOTOVIKHIN

(after a pause)

OK, Yefremov, are you telling us everything? Doesn’t look like you were cured. And you arm…

(to his First Mate)

has the Lieutenant really been in a hospital all this time?

FIRST MATE

(thumbing through the papers, speaks quietly, so that the crew does not hear)

He went A.W.O.L. Captain, sir…

MOTOVIKHIN (also quietly)

Absent Without Leave, is that right, Yefremov? Right on the eve of the maneuvers?

YEFREMOV

(completely unphased)

Affirmative, Captain, sir! Was absent without leave! However, I behaved as a true marine, did not sully the honor –

MOTOVIKHIN

Not necessary!

(barely suppressing a smile)

Line up! Carry on with your duties!

(salutes)

YEFREMOV

Yes, sir, will carry on with my duties, Captain, sir!

FIRST MATE

(quietly)

Too bad the Admiral canceled his visit – we are in great shape, got everything ready on time.

 

MOTOVIKHIN

(checking his officer’s watch and confirming time with the First Mate’s Rolex – the rappers’ gift)

You did it, First Mate! Earned yourself an extra leave. But for creatively lying to your superior – you get a citation with the leave canceled.

(clears his throat)

Good afternoon, my brothers!

 

ENTIRE CREW IN UNISON

…Good after…noon… Cap…tain, sir!!!

 

The camera rolls alongside the line-up – a hundred young, almost boyish, neatly groomed faces, looking appropriately proud.

 

The camera zooms out, showing the ship in open sea, sailing at full speed amidst a storm. A mighty yet romantic image set to the soundtrack of Julia’s song which picked up where it left off in the previous scene, except in full instrumental arrangement. Love, duty, valor – all combined.

 

 

 

THE END

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