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The Passage Through

Categories: Case Histories

By John Tynes, © 1998

ROLL INTRO SCROLL W/VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER

Born of the federal government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day–but often at a shattering personal cost.

ROLL MAIN CREDITS

FADE IN:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

A digital clock reads 3:15 AM in the dark. After a moment, the number changes to 3:16 AM.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

MARTIN RICHTER lies asleep in bed. The clock is visible nearby. On a bookcase by the bed, a telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – REVERSE ANGLE

A figure is kneeling on the floor in front of the bed. In the dark we can see no details.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE

A purple glow illuminates the bed. The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – CLOSE UP

Martin’s face on the pillow. His eyes snap open.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE/SIDE VIEW MONTAGE

In a fluid motion, Martin pulls a handgun from beneath his pillow and flips off the safety while sitting up sharply. This motion is shown in several quick cuts from the original angle and from a side view. We end at the original angle. He’s aiming directly at the camera. The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – REVERSE ANGLE

We see the figure now in the purple light. It’s AGENT WILSON, kneeling in dress slacks and a bloody white t-shirt. His hair is dishevelled and he’s smiling wildly, his face crusted with dried blood. A bright white light comes from beneath, swiftly angling upwards, showing him in stark relief. As the light comes up, we

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE

Martin is still pointing the gun straight ahead. We ZOOM IN past the gun and down his outstretched arms until we come in tight on Martin’s EYES. The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – CLOSE UP/REVERSE ANGLE MONTAGE

Martin fires three shots into Wilson, shown in the following manner. First, we see Wilson in reverse angle, then cut to Martin’s eyes. We hear a gunshot and there’s a flash of light. We cut to Wilson, with a bloody hole in his shirt, flinching and screaming silently–he makes no noise in this sequence. Second, we cut to Martin’s eyes for another gunshot/flash, then back to Wilson for a reaction and another wound, then repeat the process a third time. This montage should take no more than a couple seconds–super quick, Martin’s eyes standing in for the image of the gun firing and the bullet striking.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE

Martin is sitting up in bed, pointing the gun. The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE, BUT FROM THE OTHER END OF THE ROOM

The purple light, the white light, and Wilson are all gone. Martin’s left hand swings out to the side and he turns on a lamp.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

A wide shot of the whole bedroom. Martin’s alone.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – CLOSE UP ON WALL OPPOSITE BED

Three neat bullet holes, tightly clustered, mark the wall where Martin’s shots landed.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – ORIGINAL ANGLE

Martin lowers the gun and shuts his eyes tight.

MARTIN RICHTER

Fuck.

The telephone rings. Martin lowers the gun and grabs the telephone from a nearby bookcase.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – CLOSE UP ON MARTIN’S FACE WITH THE PHONE

MARTIN RICHTER

Hello?

FEMALE VOICE

(sounds recorded)

You are invited to the opera at

(beat)

eleven

(beat)

A.M.

SFX

Click.

MARTIN RICHTER

Double fuck.

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

AGENT COX is at a backwoods shooting range, aiming down the barrel of an AK-47. He’s wearing shooter’s earphones and has a pair of binoculars hanging from his neck. We see him in profile. A moment passes, then he squeezes the trigger.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

At the far end of the range, a shot strikes the embankment. A beer bottle stands nearby, intact.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY – CLOSE UP ON MARTIN’S FEET

The spent cartridge from Cox’s rifle hits the ground next to Martin’s feet. His hand enters the frame and he picks up the shell. We PAN UP to his face as he brings the shell up for inspection.

MARTIN RICHTER

Agent Cox. Always pick up your brass, motherfucker.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY – ORIGINAL ANGLE

Cox lowers the rifle and looks down the range towards the missed beer bottle.

COX

Fuck you.

He brings the rifle back up, sights carefully, and fires again.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

At the far end of the range, it’s another miss.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY – CLOSE UP ON MARTIN’S FACE

His expression is blank.

MARTIN RICHTER

Amateur.

 

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY – WIDE SHOT

We see both men. Cox lowers the rifle, puts on the safety, slings it over his shoulder, and pulls the earphones down around his neck. He and Martin step towards each other and shake hands. Cox pulls out a pocket flask and offers it to Martin.

COX

Mister Richter. Vodka?

MARTIN RICHTER

It’s eleven o’clock in the morning.

(beat)

Oughta be bourbon.

Cox grins and takes a slug of the vodka.

MARTIN RICHTER (cont’d)

I’ll take a shot at it.

Cox holds out the vodka.

MARTIN RICHTER (cont’d)

I mean the rifle, motherfucker.

COX

Oh! Be my guest, mon frer.

He puts away the flask and hands the rifle to Martin.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

At the far end of the range, another miss, this one low and to the right.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

In profile, we see Martin aiming with the rifle towards the right. He’s now wearing the earphones. Cox is behind him and off to one side, looking downrange through the binoculars.

COX

You’re low and to the right, Martin.

Martin sights carefully.

MARTIN RICHTER

So what’s the rumpus?

COX

I need you to go to Fort Daughton.

MARTIN RICHTER

Motherfucker.

Martin squeezes off a shot.

COX

Still low and to the right. Kinda like your politics.

Martin fires again.

COX

High and to the left. You’re voting for Clinton now.

Martin fires again.

COX (cont’d)

Fuck, Martin, you’re in Jerry Brown territory. You gotta aim to the right and down.

Martin fires again.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

At the end of the range, the beer bottle shatters.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to our previous angle. Cox lowers the binoculars as Martin lowers the rifle and clicks on the safety.

COX

JFK, all the way. But you got no future in the schoolbook depository business, mon frer.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

The beer bottle again. We linger for a few seconds, seeing the broken glass and the miscellaneous debris left by other shooters.

MARTIN RICHTER

(off-screen, distant)

Motherfucker.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Cox and Martin are sitting on the ground in the midst of debris–mostly spent shotgun cartridges–and sharing the vodka flask.

MARTIN RICHTER

So why in the hell do you need me to go to Fort Daughton?

COX

You know the territory.

MARTIN RICHTER

What’s up?

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Cox, looking off-screen towards Martin.

COX

Cell W. Agents Wilson and Wagner took a trip to Fort Daughton a couple days ago. The park rangers responded to gunfire and found Wagner shot dead in the old bunkers. Wilson vanished–we think he killed Wagner.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Martin, looking off-screen towards Cox.

MARTIN RICHTER

(sarcastic)

Agents killing agents. That’s always a good sign.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the wide shot of the both of them.

COX

Ha fucking ha. Figure out what happened.

MARTIN RICHTER

What op were they on?

COX

After your little trip three years ago, we got one of our National Park Service friendlies transferred to Fort Daughton. Just to keep an eye on things. Last week a kid got into the old underground rooms and broke his ankle. The park rangers got him out, but our friendly found something weird down there. He shipped it to Alphonse.

Cox pulls a Polaroid photograph out of his jacket and hands it to Martin.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

We’re looking over Martin’s shoulder and can see the photograph. It’s in a dark room, showing what looks like a three-foot high pyramid made of some metallic material. It’s a lousy photograph.

MARTIN RICHTER

So what is it?

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to our previous wide angle. Martin hands the photo back to Cox, who pockets it.

COX

A pyramid, about three feet tall, made of an unknown impenetrable metal. It’s turned up before, on an op relating to the Army of the Third Eye in Britain.

MARTIN RICHTER

You’ve lost me.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Cox, looking off-screen at Martin.

COX

The Army of the Third Eye is some fucked-up British cult. They kidnap people and drill holes in their skulls, claiming it frees them from “mental tyranny.” The crazy part is, their victims usually approve afterwards, saying the “operation” cured a stint of abnormal behavior. Some claim demonic possession. Others say it’s UFOs. I say it’s fucking nuts, but this is the first instance of it we’ve had in the States.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Martin, looking off-screen at Cox.

MARTIN RICHTER

So do you think Wilson is still somewhere at Fort Daughton?

 

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the wide shot of both of them.

COX

His car was still there, but that’s no guarantee. It’s a big park. I’ve got the state troopers combing the woods and scoping the highways. I want you at the fort itself. This might be related to that haunting of yours from a couple years ago.

MARTIN RICHTER

That was no haunting.

COX

So what was it?

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Martin.

MARTIN RICHTER

Something alive down there. Waiting. Last time I was at the fort, it was too soon. Whatever it was wasn’t ready yet.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Cox.

COX

You sound like that chick on public access. You know, with the tits?

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Martin. He pauses to regard Cox.

MARTIN RICHTER

You’re a motherfucker, Cox.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the wide shot of them both.

COX

That’s not my real name, you know.

MARTIN RICHTER

But it’s an accurate description.

Martin stands up.

COX

So Richter, what’s with your recent flurry of resumes? Why’d the DEA fire your ass?

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

We just see Martin now, looking down at Cox off-screen.

MARTIN RICHTER

(deadpan)

Excessive enthusiasm.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the previous angle to show Cox sitting on the ground, shaking his head. He takes a slug of vodka.

CUT TO:

EXT. MARTIN RICHTER’S TRUCK – DAY

Martin is driving out to Fort Daughton. We’re in the passenger seat, looking at him in profile.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O)

Fort Daughton was a fossil. It was built at the end of the 19th century as a massive harbor gun emplacement to protect the naval yard at Bremerton. The fortifications were obsolete almost immediately and stayed that way, despite occasional improvements. During World War Two it served as a sonar and radar observation site for the northwest coastline. In 1953, the Army shut it down for good, and it became a national park.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORT DAUGHTON BUILDINGS – DAY

Martin is walking in the grass near the white-board buildings of the fort. This is a tracking shot.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

In 1981, the film An Officer and a Gentleman was made here. During the shoot, three crew members went off into the old bunker complexes. The bodies of two of them were found the next day at the base of a sea cliff. The third was never found.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORT DAUGHTON BUNKERS – DAY

This is a wide overhead shot of one of the rusting bunker alleys. Martin walks down the middle of the road beneath us, and we PAN UP TO FOLLOW.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

My father was stationed at Fort Daughton during the war, and up until the base closed. He worked nights.

(beat)

It broke him.

CUT TO:

INT. JACK RICHTER’S OFFICE – NIGHT

This is a flashback to about 1950. JACK RICHTER, in uniform, sits behind a desk in a dark room. A green banker’s lamp on the desk provides illumination. Jack has his hands folded and resting against his face, eyes cast downwards. There are papers on the desk and a pin-up-girl calendar on the wall behind him. A smooth black telephone sits right in front of him. The telephone rings.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

The call came about once an hour, every night, and only while my father was on duty, and only at his desk.

The telephone rings.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.) (cont’d)

He had the technicians work on it half a dozen times, but they never figured out the problem.

The telephone rings.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.) (cont’d)

Whenever he picked up the phone, there was nothing on the line.

Jack picks up the telephone and brings it to his face. As he listens, he closes his eyes.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.) (cont’d)

At least, that’s what he always said.

SFX

Whispering from the telephone.

CUT TO:

EXT. SEA CLIFF EDGE – DAY

Jack stands near the cliff, ramrod straight, gazing out at the sea, his back to us. His hair is gray and his shoulders are slumped. He’s wearing a shoulder holster with a handgun in it.

SFX

The whispering continues. We hear the sound of the ocean.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

Lately something goes wrong with me, when I think about my father. I don’t ever remember this as reality, but when I imagine my father in some situation, there is always another man present.

We PULL BACK slowly from Jack and the cliff edge.

CUT TO:

INT. JACK RICHTER’S OFFICE – NIGHT

We’re back in the office, same as before. Jack is still listening to the whispering on the phone, eyes closed. The MAN steps into the frame beside and slightly behind him; we can only see his waist and hands. The MAN puts his left hand on Jack’s left shoulder.

SFX

Ocean sound and whispering continue.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

He is dressed in a dark suit, with a white hat and sunglasses, and white gloves.

CUT TO:

EXT. SEA CLIFF EDGE – DAY

Back to the previous shot, where we’re still PULLING BACK from Jack on the cliff. As we PULL BACK the MAN enters the frame and strides up behind Jack. The MAN is wearing a dark suit with a white hat and sunglasses, though we cannot see his face. He stands just behind and to the side of Jack, and places his white-gloved left hand on Jack’s left shoulder.

SFX

Ocean sound and whispering continue.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

He simply enters my mind. His actions are his own. I don’t know who he is. The man first appeared in my thoughts after I visited Fort Daughton during a Delta Green operation, three years ago.

With the MAN standing by him, Jack draws his gun with his right hand and puts it to his own head. The MAN puts his white-gloved right hand on Jack’s right hand–holding the gun.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)(cont’d)

Thirty years after my father drove out to Fort Daughton National Park and put a bullet in his brain.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORT DAUGHTON BUNKERS – DAY

A different area, but again it’s a shot of Martin walking around.

SFX

Ocean sound and whispering end with a gunshot.

CUT TO:

EXT. SEA CLIFF EDGE – DAY

Same as before, but now Jack has dropped to his knees, arms limp, gun in the grass. The MAN is kneeling next to Jack, his hands on Jack’s shoulders. The MAN’s face is still away from us, staring off into the ocean.

SFX

Dead quiet–no location sound at all.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORT DAUGHTON BUNKERS – DAY – MONTAGE

Martin continues to poke around the bunkers. There will be several different shots here as the voice-over continues. The goal is to establish the peculiar visual aesthetic and alien mood of the fort’s ruins while Martin exposits.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

Delta Green sent me here back when I was still a DEA agent. I was to check out reports of ghost lights in the ruins. My DEA superiors thought I was investigating rumors of park rangers harvesting marijuana on federal property.

(beat)

Nothing came of it…at least, nothing I could put into a report. But I had a feeling . . . an awareness of something old, far older than the weed-ridden concrete and rusting metal.

(beat)

The natives of this area called it “Kah-Tai,” meaning “to pass through,” as they would haul their canoes overland from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Townsend Bay. I wondered if the name had another meaning, if perhaps more passed through this place than canoes.

(beat)

Most visitors to Fort Daughton wandered among the bunkers, had picnics on the main grounds, and sunned themselves on the nearby beach. They never learned the fort’s secrets. They never found the underground chambers, the old, moldering corridors and offices buried beneath the soil. I knew how to reach them. And I knew something else.

(beat)

I knew Agent Wilson was here. I knew he was waiting for me, underground, in the old chambers. It was Wilson that I’d seen in the vision last night. It was Wilson that I tried to shoot. He was down there, in the place the earth called home and reclaimed from the world of men.

We see Martin clambering into the entrance to the underground of Fort Daughton.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

(beat)

I had an appointment to keep.

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY – MONTAGE

Martin is in the underground chambers, poking around with a flashlight in one hand and his handgun in the other.

SFX

Whispering, the same as in the flashback, but melded with an insectile buzz. Both are low.

Once the sound starts, we switch to POV shots exclusively, the flashlight always probing ahead of the camera. Martin does not seem to hear or react to the sound; it’s there for the benefit of the audience. He continues to poke around for a bit. Someone seems to be lurking nearby. He occasionally hears movement, and heads down one passage or another in response. Lots of creepy, dark corridors and such here, but this scene can’t go on for very long–build tension and then move on. Maybe use flashlight sweeps to transition in and out of each shot. Finally we

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

Our POV shot is as Martin enters a room, and the flashlight just barely begins to sweep up a figure kneeling in the room as we

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

A CLOSE UP of Agent Wilson, as the flashlight sweeps up his body as in the vision. He’s on his knees with a curious sort of slouch, his back arched but his head still straight and his arms out and down a bit, fingers limp. He looks like a locust. As the flashlight illuminates him, he straightens up smoothly, as if shedding an invisible locust husk and becoming human. He’s wearing the same clothes as in the vision, though without the bullet holes, and likewise has dishevelled hair and dried blood on his face.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing continue, low.

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

We’re sort of behind and to one side of Martin as he moves cautiously towards Wilson, gun and flashlight outstretched. He begins to circle Wilson slowly.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing continue, low.

MARTIN RICHTER

Agent Wilson. What’s the rumpus?

WILSON

Humans are a maze of doors. They dare not release what lies inside. And so I am the key.

MARTIN RICHTER

And so I am the walrus. So fucking what?

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

A CLOSE UP of Wilson. Martin continues to circle, but we only see him occasionally over his own shoulder. Wilson, however, turns his eyes and head to follow Martin when convenient.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing continue.

WILSON

We have waited for you. Waited for so, so long.

MARTIN RICHTER

You must have missed me when I was last here.

WILSON

We did not miss you. We simply waited.

(beat)

In your country of South Korea, they choke dogs until the dogs void their bowels. Metal rods wired to a generator are driven down the dogs’ throats, shocking them repeatedly. Blowtorches are used to burn off all the fur from the dogs’ flesh. Once the dogs’ bodies are saturated with adrenaline from the pain, they are killed and cooked, then served to humans as an aphrodesiac.

(beat)

The same principle applies.

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

A CLOSE UP of Martin’s face.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing continue.

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY – MONTAGE

Martin shoots Wilson three times. This is a replay of the opening sequence, shot for shot. This is his vision coming true.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing continue throughout the shooting.

CUT TO:

INT. FORT DAUGHTON UNDERGROUND – DAY

We’re behind Wilson’s head. Martin is visible in the upper part of the frame, maybe ten feet away, gun pointing at Wilson and the camera. The camera LURCHES UP, WOBBLES, and then RUSHES straight into Martin’s surprised eyes. As the camera moves we hear him narrate.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing intensify.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

It came out of his head–

FADE TO BLACK.

SFX

Whispering and buzzing stop dead.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

(beat)

–and I was gone.

(beat)

FADE IN:

EXT. RURAL ROAD – DAY

A HITCHHIKER is thumbing for a ride.

CUT TO:

EXT. RURAL ROAD – DAY

A wider shot. Martin’s pickup truck pulls over and the hitchhiker gets in.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

On the floor in front of his bed, Martin has a sheet of plastic drop cloth laid out. The hitchhiker is kneeling on the plastic, ankles and wrists tied behind her back. She’s in the same pose as Wilson was in the vision. She’s bloody and battered, chest heaving with ragged breath. Martin steps into the frame from behind and begins to swing a baseball bat at the hitchhiker’s head. From this shot until stated otherwise, we’re using a handheld camera, appropriately herky-jerky.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

This is a close up of Martin’s face, flecked with blood.

SFX

Thwack.

The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

Different angle. Another VICTIM, same pose, same situation, same result–Martin swinging a baseball bat (now bloodied).

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

His eyes again, wild.

SFX

Thwack.

The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

Different angle. Another VICTIM, same deal.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

His eyes yet again.

SFX

Thwack.

The telephone rings.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

Martin, face still flecked with blood, picks up the phone.

MARTIN RICHTER

(tightly)

Hello?

FEMALE VOICE

(sounds recorded)

You are invited to the opera at

(beat)

three

(beat)

P.M.

SFX

Click.

Martin hangs up the phone without answering.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Another beer bottle explodes, much closer than the previous one was positioned.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S TRUCK – DAY

From inside the truck, we pull into the muddy ground adjacent to the shooting range. Agent Cox is already there up ahead, with a revolver and his earphones on, aiming downrange.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S TRUCK – DAY

We see Martin in profile, regarding the scene coldly. He pauses, then undoes the seat belt and opens the door.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A reversal. We’re looking at Agent Cox, pointing his revolver downrange. Behind him, we see Martin’s truck. Martin approaches. He begins to reach into his coat for a handgun. Cox suddenly starts to spin around.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

We see Cox in profile completing his spin, aiming in the opposite direction, towards Martin (who is off-screen).

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the Martin-from-the-front shot, only we’re closer now and can only see Martin. Cox is off-screen behind us. Martin raises his hands and smiles grimly.

MARTIN RICHTER

I didn’t know Hamlet was an opera.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the profile of Cox. He pulls the shooters’ earphones down to his neck. We see he has an earplug/wire unit beneath in one ear; the wire runs under his shirt collar.

COX

SHUT UP!

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to Martin. As Martin says the following line, AGENT CARSON–with a headset earphone/microphone unit on (like a telephone operator) and a wire running under his shirt collar–slips out of the tall grass and sidles up behind and to the side of Martin. He’s holding a handgun in one hand and a commercial taser in the other.

MARTIN RICHTER

I like this puppet. It has such interesting doors inside its little wooden head. When you open the doors, it’s all baseball bats and violated corpses. Wonderful what the human mind can come up with when the barriers are taken away.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Back to the profile of Cox aiming.

COX

SHUT THE FUCK UP!

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

This is a CLOSE UP on Carson’s hand. The taser sparks.

SFX

Taser crackling.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

The Martin-from-the-front shot again, with Cox off-screen. Martin hears Carson’s taser crackling behind him and starts to draw his gun, but Carson jams the taser against his back. Martin shakes and drops to the ground.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A WIDE SHOT of the three men. Carson kneels by Martin on the ground. Cox holsters the revolver and pulls a cordless drill out of his jacket.

COX

KEEP HIM DOWN!

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

DIFFERENT ANGLE. Carson is keeping the taser close by Martin, who trembles through gritted teeth, then speaks.

MARTIN RICHTER

My puppet–my puppet–

Carson tasers Martin again. Cox enters the frame and kneels on the other side of Martin. He briefly revs the drill.

SFX

Drill starts and stops.

COX

Fuck I hope this works.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

This is a CLOSE UP on Martin’s face.

MARTIN RICHTER

Not the sun–don’t let the light in–

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Carson’s face, looking at Cox off-screen.

CARSON

Do the fucker.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

A CLOSE UP on Cox’s face, looking at Carson off-screen. He pauses, frowns, then his eyes look down at Martin off-screen.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

We’re at the far end of the shooting range, looking from the top of the embankment towards the little tableau at the other end. We see the three men together. We PULL BACK slowly from the struggling figures. (Think of the closing sequence from Pasolini’s Salo.)

SFX

No location sound at all. Bring up the sound of the ocean as the camera PULLS BACK.

FADE TO BLACK.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

(beat)

I came back. They took care of me.

(beat)

FADE IN:

EXT. GRASSY FIELD – DAY

A shovel enters the ground and scoops aside some dirt.

SFX

No location sound at all. The ocean continues.

CUT TO:

EXT. GRASSY FIELD – DAY

A wider shot. Agent Cox is digging a hole. Agent Carson comes over and drops a very heavy bundle wrapped in garbage bags and rope–one of Martin’s victims.

SFX

No location sound at all. The ocean continues.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

They cleaned up the mess I had made.

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

Martin is standing in his bedroom at the foot of the bed with a shoulder holster strapped on, in a double echo of his victims and of his father on the sea cliff. There’s a bandage strapped over his head where the drill went in.

SFX

The ocean continues. Bring up whispering.

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

The nightmare was over.

(beat)

I waited for the dream to begin.

Very quickly, the MAN steps into the frame and reaches his white-gloved left hand towards Martin’s left shoulder. Almost immediately we

CUT TO:

INT. MARTIN RICHTER’S BEDROOM – DAY

This is a very quick CLOSE UP of Martin’s head and left shoulder. The MAN’s hand comes down towards Martin’s shoulder. Just before he touches him, we

CUT TO BLACK

MARTIN RICHTER (V.O.)

I waited for the door to open again.

ROLL CREDITS

THE END

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