This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.

        "Freezing Point" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.


        FADE IN:

        EXT. SEEDY HOTEL - NIGHT

        Two STREET PUNKS stop to admire a convertible parked in front
        of the hotel.  A STREET HOOKER notices their interest.

                              STREET HOOKER
                  Trust me honey, you don't wanna go
                  messing with that car.

        She makes the SIGN OF THE HORNED DEVIL with her hand, pinky
        and forefinger raised.  The Street Punks exit fast.


        INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

        A no-frills room with neon light shining through the blinds.

        LUIS PENNA, 20s, humps a beautiful Latina HOOKER.  It's tough
        to tell where Penna's scars end and his tattoos begin.  A
        grinning red horned devil's head decorates his left forearm.

        The Hooker gives an Oscar-winning performance.  Penna grunts
        and dismounts.  He sits up and sucks in air.

                              HOOKER
                  You got a lot of inner tension, baby.
                  You wanna go again?


        INT. HOTEL RECEPTION DESK - NIGHT

        Detectives CARLOS SMITH and FRANK SHERMAN talk to the CLERK.
        Sherman has age and experience on his side but the younger,
        smarter Smith has hair-trigger reactions.  Sherman grabs the
        Clerk, pulls him over the desk.  The Clerk waves toward the
        stairs.  Sherman lets him go and they head for the stairs.


        INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

        Penna sits on the edge of the bed, his eyes closed.

                              HOOKER
                  Any time you're ready, baby.

        Penna spins and claps his hand over her mouth.  His other
        hand closes about her throat.  Her surprise turns to fear,
        he's choking her to death!


        INT. HOTEL LANDING - NIGHT

        Smith and Sherman silently climb the stairs and reach the
        landing.  They draw their guns.


        INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

        Penna's eyes flick to the door.  He leaps to the chair, pulls
        a gun from a holster, aims at the door while he pulls on his
        clothes, swapping his gun from one hand to the other.

        The Hooker whimpers, clutching her throat.  Penna drags her
        off the bed and over to the door.  Whispers into her ear--

                              PENNA
                  One last thing you do for me, bitch.

        He pulls out a smaller .32, removes the bullets and forces
        the empty gun into the Hooker's shaking hands.  Penna grins
        and holds his loaded gun against her head.  The Hooker
        whimpers in fear.


        INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

        Smith and Sherman stand on either side of the door.  Sherman
        signals, "Let's go!"  Smith steps back, lines up on the door
        and kicks it open!


        INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

        The door bursts open!  The Hooker stands naked, in marksman's
        stance, pointing the empty gun.  Her eyes are wide and her
        teeth are bared.  Her terror makes her look crazy.

        BLAM!  Smith shoots the Hooker!  And instantly realizes his
        mistake.  Penna is behind her, crouching low and SHOOTING.
        BLAM!  BLAM!  Two bullets rip into Sherman who collapses,
        sliding down the wall.

        BLAM!  Smith staggers, shot in the guts.  Penna shoves the
        dying Hooker, she slams into Smith, the tangled collision
        takes them both down.

        Penna kicks Smith's gun away, slams his gun against Smith's
        head as he tries to get up, knocking him unconscious.

        Penna swings his gun back and forth between Smith and Sherman.
        He grins hugely, enjoying the moment.

        Distant VOICES from downstairs.  Penna sticks his gun into
        his waistband, gathers up the rest of his clothes and heads
        for the door.

        But wait... he's got one last thing to do.  He dips his finger
        into the Hooker's blood... and uses the wet finger to draw
        on her belly... a circle with horns.  A crude Devil's head,
        matching the tattoo on his forearm.


        EXT. SEEDY HOTEL - NIGHT

        Penna jumps into his convertible and zooms out of there.

                                                           FADE OUT:

        Title:  THREE MONTHS LATER.

                              DESK SERGEANT (V.O.)
                  Get this punk out of my face.

        FADE IN:

        INT. FRONT DESK, BUSY POLICE STATION - DAY

        The PUNK who annoyed the veteran DESK SERGEANT is taken away
        by two COPS, revealing Smith waiting his turn.  Smith shows
        his shield.

                              SMITH
                  Where can I find Captain Randall?

                              DESK SERGEANT
                  Upstairs, end of the hall.

        Smith heads for the stairs.


        INT. CAPTAIN RANDALL'S OFFICE - DAY

        A broom cupboard of a room.  CAPTAIN RANDALL, 50s, is jammed
        behind his desk, immersed in paperwork.  Smith knocks on the
        door, Randall gestures, "Come in."

                              SMITH
                  'Morning, Captain.  Detective Carlos
                  Smith.  Reporting for duty.

                              RANDALL
                  Come in and close the door.

        Smith does as he's told.  Randall gets up, squeezes around
        the desk and shakes Smith's hand.

                              RANDALL
                  Take a seat.

        Smith sits.  Randall perches on the edge of his desk.

                              RANDALL
                  Frank Sherman and me go 'way back.

                              SMITH
                  He told me you were at the Academy
                  together.

                              RANDALL
                  That's right.  It breaks me up to
                  see him in a wheelchair.

        Smith's hurt expression says "Me, too."

                              RANDALL
                  He speaks highly of you.  Says you're
                  the best detective he's ever worked
                  with.  You're smart.  You're clean.
                  I guess you know the Chief wanted
                  you busted all the way down to
                  civilian.  Frank vetoed that idea.
                  He said what happened could have
                  happened to anyone.

                              SMITH
                  I know, and I appreciate it.

                              RANDALL
                  You're starting here with a clean
                  sheet.  That doesn't mean I won't be
                  watching everything you do, because
                  other people will be watching.  You
                  get what I'm saying?

        Smith nods, "Yes."  Randall picks up a report from his desk.

                              RANDALL
                  Luis Penna.
                       (reads report)
                  Disappeared off the face of the Earth.
                  We think he's flown south for the
                  winter.  Organized Crime Task Force
                  is working with Mexican authorities,
                  trying to pin him down.

        Smith listens to every word.

                              RANDALL
                  If and when he shows up again, you'll
                  run the other way.  O.C.T.F. wants
                  to talk to our friend Luis.  They
                  don't want to lose him to some crazy
                  cop out for a vengeance killing.

        Naked anger shreds Smith's self-control--

                              SMITH
                  What does Organized Crime think
                  they're doing, making deals with
                  freaks like Penna?  He's a goddamn
                  psychopath.

                              RANDALL
                  That's the kind of reaction I didn't
                  want to see.

        Randall gets up, circles his desk and sits in his chair.

                              RANDALL
                  I'm pairing you with Ed Wagner.
                  Ed's a grade two with ten years in
                  plainclothes.  Take it easy and listen
                  to what he has to say.  That's all
                  you have to do.  Clear?

                              SMITH
                  Clear.

                              RANDALL
                  You been to see Frank lately?

        Smith looks away, he can't meet Randall's gaze.

                              SMITH
                  No.

                              RANDALL
                  I guess you got your reasons.  I
                  guess you're the one who has to live
                  with them.


        EXT. CITY - DAY

        The bustling city gets through another day.


        INT./EXT. WAGNER'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

        ED WAGNER, 30s, at the wheel, gives Smith a tour of his new
        neighborhood.  Old ladies walk in broad daylight, unafraid.
        Not a dealer or a crackhead in sight.  A whole new world.

                              SMITH
                  Nice place.

                              WAGNER
                  There hasn't been a murder or a major
                  robbery here in over a week.

                              SMITH
                  You sound disappointed.

                              WAGNER
                  I heard you got a rough deal.

        Smith considers Wagner for a moment.

                              SMITH
                  My ex-partner got a rougher deal.

        Wagner gives Smith a thoughtful look.

                              WAGNER
                  I heard that, too.

        The tour continues.  They pass by a church.

                              WAGNER
                  You a religious man, Carlos?

                              SMITH
                  Do I have to be?

                              WAGNER
                  A little prayer never hurt anyone.
                  You'd be welcome to come with us
                  anytime.

                              SMITH
                  Thanks.

        They pass a substantial house with high walls and electric
        gates.  It has the grim air of a well-protected fortress.

                              WAGNER
                  Every neighborhood has its rotten
                  egg.  That's Joey Santini's place.
                  You name it, Santini owns it or has
                  a piece of it.  We had eyes and ears
                  on him for six months before Organized
                  Crime Task Force took over without
                  so much as a do-you-mind?  Everyone
                  misses the overtime.

                              SMITH
                  Joey Santini.  I heard that name
                  before.

                              WAGNER
                  They call him Joey the Undertaker
                  because he's buried so many people.
                  If you thought mobsters were going
                  out of fashion, think again.
                  Santini's too young to be a godfather
                  but he's made his mark.  They might
                  lower the age limit just for him.

                              RADIO DISPATCH (V.O.)
                  Nine David Zero, receiving.

                              WAGNER
                  That's us.
                       (into radio)
                  Nine David Zero, go ahead.

                              RADIO DISPATCH (V.O.)
                  1-8-7 reported at 1-3-9-7 Bay View,
                  unit Five Charlie Six called in a
                  9-1-4.

                              WAGNER (into radio)
                  Nine David Zero responding.  Over.

        The radio call ends.

                              WAGNER
                  Hot damn.  We got a body.  Your first
                  day, too.  Talk about good omens.

        Grinning with boyish delight Wagner clamps a flashing bubble
        onto the car roof and switches on the siren.  Smith smiles.


        EXT. MORALES HOUSE - DAY

        A rich man's house with a garden that could double as a golf
        course.  A cop car sits in the driveway.


        INT. MORALES HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY

        Smith and Wagner enter.  Wagner talks to a female cop,
        GILLESPIE, 20s.

                              WAGNER
                  What've you got, Gillespie?
                       (making intro)
                  Detective Carlos Smith.  He just
                  transferred in from Central.

                              GILLESPIE
                  Howdy, Detective.

                              SMITH
                  'Morning, Officer Gillespie.

                              GILLESPIE
                  Aspen is talking to the wife, a Mrs.
                  Marie Morales.  The husband is Michael
                  Morales.  His body is upstairs in
                  the master bedroom.

                              WAGNER
                  Did the wife confess?

                              GILLESPIE
                  Wasn't down to her.  The maid
                  confirms.  The suspect walked in,
                  murdered the husband, then walked
                  out again.  They didn't try to stop
                  him.  Can't say I blame them.

                              WAGNER
                  You believe that?

                              GILLESPIE
                  No reason not to.  I gotta go hold
                  Aspen's hand.  He has a thing about
                  older women, 'specially when they're
                  packaged like Mrs. Morales.

        Gillespie exits to the living room.  Smith and Wagner head
        upstairs.


        INT. MORALES HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

        MICHAEL MORALES, 50s, tanned and handsome, lies halfway
        between the bed and the adjoining bathroom.  He's wearing a
        dressing gown and one slipper.  The other slipper is on the
        bathroom floor.

        Wagner pulls on a glove and goes down on one knee beside the
        body.  Morales' head lies at an unnatural angle, dark bruising
        visible around the neck.

                              WAGNER
                  Cause of death, strangulation.

        Smith looks around the room, spots the slipper in the
        bathroom.  A drawer on the table beside the bed lies open.
        Smith takes a look, there's a gun in the drawer.

                              SMITH
                  Looks like he might have tried to
                  reach a gun in the bedside drawer.

        Wagner gets up, tries to figure it out.

                              WAGNER
                  Whoever did the job came in.  The
                  victim sees him and goes for his
                  gun.  The assailant grabs him before
                  he gets to it, throws him off the
                  bed.  The slipper goes flying.  The
                  assailant sits on his chest and
                  squeezes the life out of him.

                              SMITH
                  Just one more thing.  He wasn't just
                  strangled.  His neck's broken.

                              WAGNER
                  That's what I call angry.


        INT. MORALES HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

        MARIE MORALES, 40s, sizzlingly attractive, an ideal model
        for the designer clothes and jewelry she wears, sits on the
        couch facing ASPEN, a young male cop.  Gillespie stands by
        the door.

        Smith and Wagner enter.  Marie studies them while talking to
        Aspen.  Aspen takes notes.

                              ASPEN
                  When was the last time you saw Mr.
                  Pierce?  Before today, that is.

                              MARIE
                  That would be... last Wednesday night.
                  We had dinner with the Pierces at
                  their house.  The lobster was overdone
                  but it was a pleasant enough evening.

        Wagner, Smith and Gillespie have their own private exchange.

                              GILLESPIE
                  She's fingered a guy named Pierce
                  for the murder.  Says he's a business
                  associate of her husband's.  He rang
                  the doorbell, the maid opened the
                  door, he pushed his way inside.  He
                  ignored Mrs. Morales, went upstairs
                  and did a number on the husband.
                  Then he walked out again without
                  saying a word.

                              WAGNER
                  Where's the maid?

                              GILLESPIE
                  In the kitchen.

                              WAGNER
                  You want to talk to her?

                              SMITH
                  Sure.


        INT. MORALES HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

        The maid, KAREN DARROW, 20s, sits at the table staring into
        an untouched cup of coffee.  Smith and Gillespie enter.

                              GILLESPIE
                  Miss Darrow, this is Detective Smith.
                  He'd like to ask you a couple of
                  questions.

                              SMITH
                  If that's okay.

                              KAREN
                  Sure.

        Smith sits down and takes out his notebook.

                              SMITH
                  Can you tell me what happened?

        Karen looks bewildered, as if she doesn't know where to start.

                              SMITH
                  The doorbell rang...?

                              KAREN
                  The doorbell rang.  I could see Mr.
                  Pierce through the glass.

                              SMITH
                  You know Mr. Pierce?

                              KAREN
                  He comes over maybe once a week.
                  Him and Mr. Morales do business
                  together.  Did business.  They did
                  business.

                              SMITH
                  That's the thing when someone dies,
                  people get confused with tenses.
                  Don't worry about it.  Just take
                  your time and tell me what happened
                  next.

                              KAREN
                  Mr. Pierce pushed the door open and
                  came in.  He wasn't rough or anything.
                  He just kind of swept me aside.

                              SMITH
                  What did you do?

                              KAREN
                  I called after him.  He didn't stop.
                  He looked in the living room, then
                  the kitchen, then he went upstairs.
                  I told Mrs. Morales that Mr. Pierce
                  was here, she said show him in.  I
                  told her he'd already shown himself
                  in.  Then we heard shouting and
                  banging noises from upstairs.

                              SMITH
                  You both heard this?

                              KAREN
                  Mrs. Morales said, "What the fuck
                  are they doing?"  She doesn't swear.

                              SMITH
                  Did either of you go upstairs?

                              KAREN
                  Not right away.  Mrs. Morales told
                  me to stay with her.  She called the
                  police.

                              SMITH
                  What did you think the banging and
                  shouting was about?

                              KAREN
                  They were fighting.  Mr. Morales and
                  Mr. Pierce were fighting.  That was
                  pretty obvious.

                              SMITH
                  Okay.  Mrs. Morales called the police.
                  Then what?

                              KAREN
                  Mr. Pierce came downstairs and left
                  the house.  He got into his car and
                  headed back down the driveway.  I
                  guess that was when I started
                  breathing again.  Mrs. Morales asked
                  me if he was gone.  I said yes.

                              SMITH
                  Where was Mrs. Morales?

                              KAREN
                  Still in the living room, sitting by
                  the telephone.  I think she was
                  frightened.  I know I was.

                              SMITH
                  How long before the cops arrived?

        Karen glances at Gillespie.

                              KAREN
                  Not long.  A couple of minutes.

                              SMITH
                  That's a good response time.

                              KAREN
                  I thought so.

                              SMITH
                  Did you know he was dead?

                              KAREN
                  Mrs. Morales went upstairs.  When
                  she came back down, she told me.

        The doorbell RINGS.

                              GILLESPIE
                  That's probably Crime Scenes.  I'll
                  point them upstairs.

        Gillespie exits.

                              SMITH
                  Do you have any idea why Mr. Pierce
                  would want to kill Mr. Morales?

                              KAREN
                  I wouldn't know.

        Smith flips his notebook shut.


        INT. MORALES HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

        Aspen stands by the door, Wagner sits facing Marie Morales.
        Smith enters.

                              MARIE
                  I hope I don't have to repeat
                  everything I've said all over again.

        Smith stays by the door.  Nods hello to Aspen.

                              WAGNER
                  I'll exchange notes with Detective
                  Smith later.  Is there anyone you
                  can call?  A close friend or a
                  relative, maybe.  You might want to
                  ask them to come over.

                              MARIE
                  That's very thoughtful of you, but
                  I'll be fine.

                              WAGNER
                  In that case... thank you, Mrs.
                  Morales.  We'll be in touch if we
                  need anything else.

        Wagner gets up and exits.  Smith follows him outside.


        EXT. MORALES HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY

        Smith and Wagner confer.

                              WAGNER
                  What did you get?

                              SMITH
                  A guy called Pierce pushed his way
                  in, went upstairs and had a big fight
                  with Morales.  Then he left.  No
                  interaction with the wife or the
                  maid.  The wife called the cops.

                              WAGNER
                  That's what I got, too.  Alexander
                  Pierce.  He's an exporter, Morales
                  owns a shipping company, they do
                  business with each other.  From what
                  the wife said there's social
                  interaction, too.  Dinner once a
                  month, that sort of thing.

                              SMITH
                  Do we have an address for Pierce?

                              WAGNER
                  Washington Heights.  That's where
                  we're going now.

                              SMITH
                  She's taking it well.

                              WAGNER
                  I wouldn't want to be here when it
                  sinks in.  Maybe we should tell the
                  maid to hide the plates and saucers.

        Gillespie comes downstairs and joins them.

                              GILLESPIE
                  They're bagging and tagging Morales.
                  I got a good look at his thing when
                  they opened his dressing gown.  The
                  guy's inhuman.

                              WAGNER
                  My wife says size doesn't matter.

                              GILLESPIE
                  It matters when you're hung like
                  this guy.  Last time I saw anything
                  that big, two guys with nets were
                  wrestling it out of a river.

        Wagner winces.  Smith grins.

                              WAGNER
                  Anyone ever told you, you have an
                  inappropriate sense of humor?

                              GILLESPIE
                  It's been said.  Are you done here?

                              WAGNER
                  We're going after this guy Pierce.

                              GILLESPIE
                  A patrol car's already on its way to
                  Pierce's house.  If he shows up there,
                  they'll grab him.

                              WAGNER
                       (to Smith)
                  Come on, let's switch on the siren
                  and pretend we're important.

                              GILLESPIE
                  Nice meeting you, Detective Smith.

                              SMITH
                  Same here, Officer Gillespie.

                              GILLESPIE
                  Samantha.  My name's Samantha.

        They exit.


        INT./EXT. WAGNER'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

                              WAGNER
                  I've known Gillespie two years, she's
                  never told me her first name.

                              SMITH
                  Special forces are taught how to
                  kill with their bare hands.  Pierce
                  either has training... or he's damn
                  strong.

                              WAGNER
                  Why'd he do it?

                              SMITH
                  Who knows?  If he doesn't give himself
                  up peacefully, I vote we call in a
                  SWAT team and blow him away.

                              WAGNER
                  You make him sound like the
                  Frankenstein monster.

                              SMITH
                  Until proven otherwise, that's exactly
                  what he is.


        EXT. PIERCE HOUSE - DAY

        No less impressive than the Morales house.  A patrol car
        sits out in the street, watching the house, male officers
        HARVEY and RIVERA sit inside.  Smith and Wagner walk up to
        the patrol car.

                              WAGNER
                  I take it Pierce hasn't shown up?

                              HARVEY
                  We knocked on the door.  The maid
                  said Pierce wasn't in.  The wife
                  confirmed.

                              WAGNER
                       (to Smith)
                  They have a maid too.  I think I'd
                  like one of those.
                       (to Harvey & Rivera)
                  This is Detective Carlos Smith, just
                  transferred in from Central.

        Everyone nods hello and makes friendly noises.

                              HARVEY
                  You want us to bug out in case we
                  frighten him away?

                              WAGNER
                  Yeah, we'll watch house until someone
                  tells us otherwise.

                              HARVEY
                  Yell if you need help, we'll be
                  listening.

                              WAGNER
                  Sure thing.

        Harvey and Rivera drive away, leaving Smith and Wagner looking
        at the house.

                              SMITH
                  Maybe we should wait inside.

                              WAGNER
                  Yeah, why not?  I'll let Dispatch
                  know what's happening.


        EXT. PIERCE HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY

        Smith and Wagner step inside.  The maid, ROSA, 50s, closes
        the door.

                              ROSA
                  If you'll wait here, I'll tell Mrs.
                  Pierce.

                              WAGNER
                  Thanks.

        Rosa exits.  Smith and Wagner admire the expensive decor.

                              WAGNER
                  I don't know how much an exporter
                  makes, but I'd like to divert some
                  of it into my bank account.

        CORINNA PIERCE arrives.  30s, "attractive" would be an
        understatement.  The song "Take My Breath Away" could have
        been written about her.

                              CORINNA
                  Hello, I'm Corinna Pierce.  I
                  understand you're looking for my
                  husband.

                              WAGNER
                  That's right.  I'm Detective Wagner.
                  This is Detective Smith.  When did
                  you last see your husband?

                              CORINNA
                  As I told the officers who already
                  asked me that question... about nine-
                  thirty this morning.

                              WAGNER
                  Did your husband say where he was
                  going when he left the house?

                              CORINNA
                  No.  I didn't know he'd gone out.

                              WAGNER
                  How so?

                              CORINNA
                  I thought Alex was in the gymnasium.
                  When the police arrived I asked Rosa
                  where he was.  She didn't know either.
                  He left without telling us.

                              WAGNER
                  So he just jumped in his car and
                  drove away?

                              CORINNA
                  Why don't you come in and tell me
                  what this is all about?


        INT. PIERCE HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

        Corinna sits in a chair facing Smith and Wagner, who sit
        together on a wide couch.

                              WAGNER
                  Nice place you got here, Mrs. Pierce.

                              CORINNA
                  I like to think so.
                       (to Smith)
                  Are you the silent partner?

                              SMITH
                  My mother always told me I should
                  only speak when I'm spoken to.

        Corinna's smile comes slowly, like all good things.  Only
        one sentence, and she likes him.

                              WAGNER
                  Your husband, Mrs. Pierce...

                              CORINNA
                  The police officers wouldn't tell me
                  anything.  Alex isn't answering his
                  cell phone.  Has he been involved in
                  an accident?

                              WAGNER
                  I couldn't really call it an accident.
                  Do you know Michael Morales?

                              CORINNA
                  Of course I do.

                              WAGNER
                  Mr. Morales was murdered this morning.

        They watch Corinna's uncertainty grow.

                              CORINNA
                  Where is my husband?

                              WAGNER
                  We don't know, Mrs. Pierce.  We were
                  hoping he'd be on his way back here.

                              CORINNA
                  Why do you want to talk to him?

                              WAGNER
                  We have witnesses who put him in the
                  Morales house at the time Mr. Morales
                  was killed.

                              CORINNA
                  That's the craziest thing I ever
                  heard.  Are you accusing Alex of
                  murdering Michael?

                              WAGNER
                  We're not here to throw unfounded
                  accusations around, Mrs. Pierce.  We
                  just want to talk to your husband.

                              CORINNA
                  So do I.

                              SMITH
                  Can you give us his cell phone number?

                              CORINNA
                  It's set up as a speed dial.  Help
                  yourself.

        Smith goes to the phone, picks up the receiver.

                              CORINNA
                  Press the second button.

        Smith presses the second button and makes note of the number.
        He listens...  Wagner and Corinna wait expectantly.  Smith
        hangs up.

                              SMITH
                  No answer.

                              CORINNA
                  I couldn't get an answer either.

                              SMITH
                  Who's on the first button?

                              CORINNA
                  My mother.  She died last year.  I
                  still can't bring myself to erase
                  her number.

                              SMITH
                  I'm sorry, Mrs. Pierce.

        Corinna holds on him a moment.  Smith sits down again.

                              CORINNA
                  Are you going to look for him?

                              WAGNER
                  That's very likely.  Do you have any
                  idea where your husband might be?

                              CORINNA
                  I really don't know.

                              SMITH
                  Anything at all, Mrs. Pierce.  We
                  want to clear up any misunderstanding
                  as quickly as possible.

        Corinna stands up.

                              CORINNA
                  Would you excuse me for just one
                  moment?  My husband keeps an
                  appointments diary in his study.
                  It's possible he's seeing a client.

                              WAGNER
                  Detective Smith can get it for you.

                              CORINNA
                  It's kept in a locked drawer.  The
                  spare key is hidden.  You'd need to
                  be clairvoyant to find it.

        Wagner holds up both hands, surrendering.

                              WAGNER
                  By all means, Mrs. Pierce.

        Corinna exits.

                              WAGNER
                  How'd you like to come home to her
                  every night?

                              SMITH
                  I'd never leave the bedroom.
                  Paramedics would have to hook me up
                  to a drip and give me oxygen every
                  hour.

        Wagner chuckles.  Just when we're wondering how long she's
        going to be, Corinna enters.

                              CORINNA
                  I'd like to make a telephone call,
                  if you don't mind?

                              WAGNER
                  Can we ask who you're calling?

                              CORINNA
                  I'll tell you in a moment.  Trust
                  me.

        Wagner opens his mouth to object--

                              SMITH
                  Go ahead.  Do you want us to leave
                  the room?

                              CORINNA
                  No, that's okay.

        She picks up the phone, punches in the number and waits.
        Smith drinks in every line and curve of her face and body,
        can't take his eyes away.  Wagner notices, and smiles.

                              CORINNA (into phone)
                  Hello, this is Mrs. Corinna Pierce.
                  I'd like to speak to Doctor Lofgren
                  please, if he's available?
                       (she listens)
                  Thank you.
                       (she listens)
                  Hello, Doctor Lofgren?  I apologize
                  for disturbing you.  My name is
                  Corinna Pierce.  I'm looking for my
                  husband, Alexander Pierce.  I wondered
                  whether you might know where he is?
                  He has your name and number listed
                  in his appointments diary...

        Corinna listens.  She becomes very puzzled.  Smith and Wagner
        exchange looks.

                              CORINNA (into phone)
                  Doctor Lofgren, let me see if I'm
                  understanding this.  My husband...
                  my husband arranged this with you,
                  when?
                       (she listens)
                  I don't quite know what to say, Doctor
                  Lofgren.  It's just too much to take
                  in all at once.  Probably the best
                  thing I could do right now is hang
                  up and think about it.  I'll be in
                  touch with you later.  Goodbye.

        She hangs up, and closes her eyes.

                              WAGNER
                  You okay, Mrs. Pierce?

        Corinna sways... and begins to fall.  Smith leaps off the
        couch and catches her.  He carries her over to the couch.
        Corinna gasps for breath, her eyelids flicker like she's
        having a fit.  Smith exits, running.

                                                        DISSOLVE TO:

        Corinna slowly comes out of it.  Smith, down on one knee
        beside her, offers her a glass of orange juice.  Rosa stands
        behind him, worried.

                              SMITH
                  Take a sip.

        Corinna takes a sip, swallows, takes another sip.  Realizes
        Smith, Wagner and Rosa are staring at her.

                              CORINNA
                  It's been a while since I felt so
                  stupid.

                              SMITH
                  You've nothing to feel stupid about.

                              WAGNER
                  Bad news?

        Corinna looks at him.

                              WAGNER
                  On the phone, I mean.

                              CORINNA
                  You might say that.

                              WAGNER
                  Who did you call?

                              CORINNA
                  Doctor Lofgren.  He runs the Latona
                  Institute.

                              WAGNER
                  I never heard of it.

                              CORINNA
                  It's a private clinic.

                              SMITH
                  Does he know where your husband is?

                              CORINNA
                  Oh he knows, all right.

                              WAGNER
                  You going to tell us, or do we have
                  to guess?

                              CORINNA
                  I think you should maybe pay Doctor
                  Lofgren a visit and ask him yourself.
                  The clinic is on Maybury.

                              ROSA
                  Mrs. Pierce is very tired.

        Wagner's about to argue--

                              SMITH
                  Will you be at home if we need to
                  speak to you again?

                              CORINNA
                  I have no plans to go anywhere.

        Wagner heads for the door.  Smith follows him.

                              CORINNA
                  Can I ask a question, Detective?

                              SMITH
                  Sure.

                              CORINNA
                  Do you think my husband murdered
                  Michael Morales?

        Smith hesitates.  Wagner stands by the door, waiting.

                              CORINNA
                  I've learned to take my medicine
                  straight, Detective.

                              SMITH
                  It's not looking good for your
                  husband, Mrs. Pierce.

                              CORINNA
                  Thank you for being honest with me.

        Smith wants to say something else... but exits with Wagner
        instead.  Rosa follows them out.


        INT./EXT. WAGNER'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

                              WAGNER
                  What do you suppose all that was
                  about?  With the fainting and stuff.

                              SMITH
                  She's diabetic.  Shock affects blood
                  sugar levels.

                              WAGNER
                  It could have been an act.

                              SMITH
                  Her maid was worried.  That wasn't
                  an act.

                              WAGNER
                  I guess so.  I like your style.
                  Smooth.  Another five minutes, she
                  would have given you access to her
                  Swiss bank account.

        Smith stares out the window, uncomfortable with that.


        EXT. LATONA INSTITUTE - DAY

        An impressive glass-fronted edifice.


        INT. LATONA INSTITUTE - RECEPTION AREA - DAY

        Chrome chairs and potted plants.  DOCTOR LOFGREN, 50s, tweed
        suit, distinguished, shakes hands with Smith and Wagner.

                              WAGNER
                  Thanks for seeing us without an
                  appointment, Doctor Lofgren.

                              LOFGREN
                  Mrs. Pierce's telephone call warned
                  me that something wasn't quite right.
                  Please, sit down.

        They sit.

                              WAGNER
                  Let's talk about Alexander Pierce.

                              LOFGREN
                  Under other circumstances I'd have
                  to deny you information that might
                  infringe my patient's privacy, of
                  course.  But since Mr. Pierce has
                  passed over...

        Smith and Wagner exchange a "Say what?" Look.

                              WAGNER
                  When you say he's passed over, does
                  that mean passed over for promotion,
                  or for some kind of medical procedure,
                  or what?

                              LOFGREN
                  How much do you know about what we
                  do here at the Latona Institute?

                              WAGNER
                  Very little, I'm afraid.

        Lofgren picks up a couple of brochures and gives them to
        Smith and Wagner. The cover shows the Latona Institute
        building underneath the bold title, "IMMORTALITY IS NOW
        POSSIBLE THROUGH CRYOGENICS."

                              SMITH
                  Cryogenics.  Deep-freezing, right?

                              LOFGREN
                  Our clients are laid to rest in baths
                  of liquid nitrogen.  They'll remain
                  in a frozen state until they're
                  awakened at some specified time in
                  the future.

                              SMITH
                  Define "specified time."

                              LOFGREN
                  For example... when a cure for
                  whatever terminal disease afflicts
                  them is available.  Payment for our
                  services isn't just a one-off fee.
                  A fund is set up to cover the cost
                  of the patient's resurrection.  The
                  fund grows year by year to keep pace
                  with inflation.

                              WAGNER
                  Are you trying to tell me...?

                              LOFGREN
                  Mr. Alexander Pierce is one of our
                  clients.  I have documentation that
                  will confirm this.  His lawyer has
                  duplicate copies.  In accordance
                  with Mr. Pierce's legal instructions
                  he has been placed in cryogenic
                  suspension.

                              WAGNER
                  Where is he?

                              LOFGREN
                  In a cryogenic crypt, in our
                  underground storage vault.

        INSERT - a gleaming steel hatch, like a bank vault.

                              WAGNER
                  Then let's wake him up and tell him
                  he's under arrest.

                              LOFGREN
                  I don't understand.

                              WAGNER
                  I don't care if Pierce is blue with
                  cold and his teeth are chattering so
                  hard they break off.  We're taking
                  him with us.

                              LOFGREN
                  That's just not possible.

                              SMITH
                  Do you have the means to revive him?

                              LOFGREN
                  No.

                              WAGNER
                  "No"?

                              LOFGREN
                  At the very instant of immersion
                  into liquid nitrogen, Mr. Pierce
                  became a solid block of frozen organic
                  material.  Removing him from the
                  bath will result in his eventual
                  thaw, but...  If you're expecting
                  him to open his eyes and say hello,
                  that's just not going to happen.

                              WAGNER
                  You're telling us he's dead.

                              LOFGREN
                  That's not a word we like to use at
                  the Latona Institute.  With cryogenic
                  suspension, death is postponed.
                  Perhaps forever.

                              SMITH
                  Was Pierce dead when you lowered him
                  into the liquid nitrogen bath?

                              LOFGREN
                  I have signed confirmation of his
                  death from three qualified medical
                  doctors, one of whom was selected by
                  Mr. Pierce's lawyer.

                              SMITH
                  How did he die?

                              LOFGREN
                  He told me he took poison.  I had no
                  reason not to believe him, especially
                  as he expired five minutes later.

        INSERT - closer on the hatch, covered with frost.

                              WAGNER
                  Where did this happen?

                              LOFGREN
                  In my office.

                              WAGNER
                  A man commits suicide in your office
                  and you don't call the police?

                              LOFGREN
                  Written notification of Mr. Pierce's
                  death has been sent to the District
                  Attorney's office.  You understand
                  that the Latona Institute played no
                  part in his suicide.  That was his
                  own doing.  We did not advise or
                  encourage him to take his own life.
                  I can't stress how strongly we would
                  refute any such allegation.  If the
                  slightest suggestion were ever made,
                  either verbally or in print, the
                  Institute would aggressively pursue
                  the offending party through the court
                  system until they were made destitute.
                  We take what we do here very
                  seriously.

                              SMITH
                  Save the speeches, Doctor.  What
                  kind of poison did he take?

                              LOFGREN
                  He left a sample.  I believe it's
                  known as a "heart stopper."  He
                  selected it very carefully.  It is
                  not a neurotoxin, therefore Mr.
                  Pierce's brain function remains
                  unimpaired.

                              SMITH
                  Assuming they can defrost him in the
                  future and bring him back to life
                  with brain function intact.

                              LOFGREN
                  Exactly.  Then again, the revival
                  procedure may be entirely different
                  by then.  Our best projections foresee
                  creation of a new body by cloning,
                  followed by block copying of the
                  neural pathways.  The subject's
                  personality and memories will be
                  transferred to the clone's brain,
                  and the old body will be discarded.

        INSERT - inside the crypt hatch - a bathtub filled with silver
        liquid.  A human HAND, frozen and motionless, protrudes from
        the liquid.

                              WAGNER
                  This is science fiction.

                              LOFGREN
                  I beg to differ.  The cloning part
                  is relatively easy and can be done
                  now.  We estimate we're ten, perhaps
                  fifteen years away from perfecting a
                  transfer process.  Our Russian
                  colleagues have already claimed some
                  success in this field using laboratory
                  animals.

                              SMITH
                  How much does all this cost?

                              LOFGREN
                  I'm afraid I can't divulge personal--

                              SMITH
                  Ballpark figure.  I'm dying, I want
                  to freeze my body until they find a
                  cure.  How rich do I have to be?

                              LOFGREN
                  For the extensive services we offer
                  here at the Latona Institute, I'm
                  afraid that if you have less than 20
                  million dollars in your bank account
                  you'll have to shop elsewhere.

                              SMITH
                  I've heard of places that only freeze
                  the skull.  It costs a lot less than
                  20 million.

                              LOFGREN
                  You should feel free to try it and
                  let me know how you get on.  Perhaps
                  we can compare notes hundreds of
                  years from now -- you floating in
                  your glass jar wired up to a voice
                  box, and me in my healthy new cloned
                  body.

                              WAGNER
                  I guess that's medical humor.  Did
                  Mr. Pierce say anything before he
                  died?

                              LOFGREN
                  Aside from asking whether everything
                  was in order, no.

                              SMITH
                  Do you know Michael Morales?

                              LOFGREN
                  I haven't met him personally.

                              SMITH
                  He was murdered this morning.  The
                  way things are looking, Pierce is
                  the killer.

        Lofgren takes this in.  He's surprised... but not shocked.

                              LOFGREN
                  If you're asking whether Mr. Pierce
                  confessed his crime, or confided in
                  me his reasons for murdering Mr.
                  Morales, the answer's no.  I'm afraid
                  I can't help you there.

                              WAGNER
                  I want to see those documents.

                              LOFGREN
                  Certainly.

                              WAGNER
                  And you'd better have videotape
                  evidence of Pierce being put into
                  his coffin, because if you don't,
                  we're going to thaw him out and take
                  DNA samples.

                              LOFGREN
                  We have cameras in every room.
                  They're used for procedural checks.
                  I can prove that Mr. Pierce currently
                  resides in cryogenic suspension.

                              WAGNER
                  Glad to hear it.  After you, Doctor.


        INT./EXT. WAGNER'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

                              WAGNER
                  What d'you think about Pierce?  He
                  sets everything up... then murders
                  Morales... then drives straight to
                  that place and signs himself into
                  cold storage.  Jesus, he wrote it in
                  his appointments diary.

                              SMITH
                  Takes a special kind of mind to plan
                  and execute something like that.

                              WAGNER
                  Captain Randall isn't going to believe
                  a word of it.

                              SMITH
                  Why not?  Pierce killed Morales.
                  Now he's dead too.  The case is
                  closed... unless Randall orders us
                  to go into deep freeze so we can
                  arrest Pierce when he wakes up 500
                  years from now.

                              WAGNER
                  You think he might do that?  Pierce,
                  I mean.  Wake up again.

                              SMITH
                  Anything's possible.  But I wouldn't
                  bet 20 million dollars on it.

                              WAGNER
                  Where'd Pierce get 20 million anyway?
                  Maybe his lawyer knows.  We should
                  talk to him.

                              SMITH
                  After lunch?

                              WAGNER
                  Sitting on your butt looking out the
                  window is giving you an appetite,
                  huh?  We're not too far from my place.
                  We can pick something up there.

                              SMITH
                  I was thinking maybe a burger.

                              WAGNER
                  My wife makes a good burger.

                              SMITH
                  I wouldn't want to impose.

                              WAGNER
                  She has a thing about cops.  She'll
                  want to meet you.  But you have to
                  impress her right off with your
                  honesty and integrity.  I go for a
                  beer after work and she calls to ask
                  where I am, she has to believe every
                  word you say.

                              SMITH
                  You expect me to lie to your wife
                  for you?

                              WAGNER
                  That's what partners are for.


        EXT. WAGNER'S HOUSE - DAY

        A pleasant little place in suburbia.


        INT. WAGNER'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

        LOUISE WAGNER, late 30s, girl-next-door type, sits at the
        table with Smith and her husband.  Louise and Wagner eat
        healthy salads while watching Smith attack an impressive
        looking burger.

                              LOUISE
                  How is it?

                              SMITH
                  Delicious, Mrs. Wagner, delicious.

                              LOUISE
                  You call me Mrs. Wagner again, I'm
                  going to have to shoot you.

                              WAGNER
                  She means in the shoulder.

                              LOUISE
                  Maybe.

                              SMITH
                  I'll try not to make that mistake
                  again... Louise.

                              LOUISE
                  So how come you're paired with Ed?
                  Did you draw the short straw?

                              WAGNER
                  Louise.  Must you embarrass me?

                              LOUISE
                  The last three partners Ed was
                  assigned all died in tragic
                  circumstances.  He says it wasn't
                  his fault, and God knows I believe
                  my husband, but sometimes I can't
                  help but think--

                              WAGNER
                  Dammit, Louise, I told you never to
                  talk about that!

        Absolute silence at the table.

                              LOUISE
                  Oh, gosh, I'm sorry.  I thought
                  everyone knew, what with the publicity
                  and all.

        The awkward moment goes on forever... then Smith realizes.

                              SMITH
                  Funny.  Very funny.

        He resumes eating.  Wagner chuckles and Louise smiles sweetly.

                              LOUISE
                  More juice, Carlos?


        EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

        A glass and chrome obelisk.


        INT. LAWYER'S OFFICE - DAY

        Smith and Wagner sit opposite HOBARTS, 40s, a shark wearing
        a business suit.

                              HOBARTS
                  I don't know what I can tell you
                  that Doctor Lofgren didn't already
                  tell you.

                              WAGNER
                  Did you know Mr. Pierce intended to
                  kill himself?

                              HOBARTS
                  Absolutely not.

                              WAGNER
                  That came as a surprise to you?

                              HOBARTS
                  When Mr. Pierce asked me to draft
                  the instructions Doctor Lofgren acted
                  upon, he intimated that he suffered
                  from a terminal illness.

                              WAGNER
                  Did he?

                              HOBARTS
                  Suffer from a terminal illness?
                  That's between Mr. Pierce and his
                  doctor.  I dealt with the legal side
                  of things.

                              WAGNER
                  Do you have any idea where Mr. Pierce
                  obtained the poison he took in Doctor
                  Lofgren's office?

                              HOBARTS
                  No.  I also had no idea he took the
                  poison there.  I wasn't present.

                              WAGNER
                  If you had been, would you have tried
                  to stop him?

                              HOBARTS
                  Assuming I knew he intended to commit
                  suicide...  I think I would have
                  tried to talk him out of it, at the
                  very least.  That's all hypothetical,
                  of course.

                              WAGNER
                  Do you also represent Mrs. Pierce?

                              HOBARTS
                  I'm her legal adviser, yes.

                              WAGNER
                  Do you think Mrs. Pierce knew what
                  her husband was planning?

                              HOBARTS
                  I can't answer that question.

                              WAGNER
                  Because you're her lawyer?

                              HOBARTS
                  Because I don't know the answer.  We
                  never discussed it at any time.  If
                  Corinna did know something she never
                  confided in me.

                              SMITH
                  What was he like?

                              HOBARTS
                  I only knew him in a professional
                  capacity.  Perhaps you should be
                  asking Mrs. Pierce.

                              SMITH
                  Professionally, what was he like?

                              HOBARTS
                  Clear-thinking.  Very decisive.

                              SMITH
                  Was Michael Morales the same?

                              HOBARTS
                  Given the fact of Mr. Morales' death,
                  there's no harm in my expressing an
                  opinion.  Mr. Pierce was by far the
                  more aggressive and talented of the
                  two.  That's not to say Mr. Morales
                  didn't bring his own strengths to
                  their partnership.

                              SMITH
                  Pierce was an exporter.  Any idea
                  what it was he exported?

                              HOBARTS
                  Mining machinery and equipment.
                  Most of it bound for the South
                  American market, I believe.

                              SMITH
                  And Morales owned a shipping company.
                  His ships carried Pierce's machinery?

                              HOBARTS
                  I'm afraid you've reached the extent
                  of my knowledge.

                              WAGNER
                  And we've wasted enough of your time,
                  Mr. Hobarts.  Thanks for seeing us
                  without an appointment.

        Wagner and Smith get up.  Hobarts presses the intercom button.

                              HOBARTS
                  Given the circumstances, asking you
                  to make an appointment would have
                  been inexcusable.

        His SECRETARY opens the office door and looks in.

                              HOBARTS
                  Susan will see you out.  Good day.


        INT. OFFICE BUILDING ELEVATOR - DAY

        Smith and Wagner watch the numbers change.

                              WAGNER
                  You got any other ideas?

                              SMITH
                  No.

                              WAGNER
                  Louise wondered if you're married,
                  engaged, girlfriend, or what?

                              SMITH
                  Your wife is very nosy.

                              WAGNER
                  Oh God, yes.

                              SMITH
                  Tell her I'm gay.

                              WAGNER
                  Won't work.  She'll just want to
                  invite you and your bodybuilder
                  boyfriend over for dinner.

        Smith sighs, defeated.

                              SMITH
                  Currently unattached.  Soon as I'm
                  attached, she'll be the second to
                  know.

                              WAGNER
                  Guess that'll have to do.

                              SMITH
                  What makes you think he'd be a
                  bodybuilder?

                              WAGNER
                  I just think you'd go for that type.

                              SMITH
                  That's encouraging.

        BING!  The elevator journey ends.


        INT. LATONA INSTITUTE - DARK CORRIDOR - NIGHT

        Moving toward the vault...


        INT. LATONA INSTITUTE - OUTSIDE VAULT DOOR - NIGHT

        Moving toward the door...


        INT. LATONA INSTITUTE - VAULT - NIGHT

        Moving toward the steel crypt hatch...


        INT. LATONA INSTITUTE - CRYPT - NIGHT

        Silver liquid fills the bathtub, calm, ummoving...

        A HUMAN SHAPE slowly rises out of the liquid, head and
        shoulders taking form, mouth wide open--


        EXT. SMITH'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT

        Smith awakens out of a nightmare, sweating.  He punches his
        pillows into shape and tries to get to sleep again.


                                                                 02/05
end excerpt

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