"The Quality of Mercy" continued...


(Hospital, outside Intensive Care: Dr. Richardson exits Chuck's room, and Marissa's standing right by the door.)

Dr: Hi.

M: How's he doing?

Dr: (looks at chart) Not much change.

M: But you said we wouldn't know anything for another 24 hours, right?

Dr: Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Look, do you want me to walk you back to the waiting room?

M: No thanks. I can manage.


(In the waiting room, some soap opera is on the television. As Marissa walks in, a news bulletin comes on.)

Announcer: This is a Chicago newsbreak. News Two has learned there is apparently a hostage situation going on right now in the 4300 block of Marion in River Forest at the home of Assistant State's Attorney Rachel Stone. Details are still coming in; the details we're getting right now indicate a gunman is holding two hostages, one of whom may be the Assistant State's Attorney herself.

(Marissa exits.)


(McGinty's: Crumb is tending bar. He picks up the phone when it rings.)

Z: McGinty's.

M: Crumb? Turn on Channel Two. (Crumb punches a button on the remote.)

A: We're live now at the 4300 block of Marion; the identity of the gunman here is unknown, as are his apparent reasons for taking the hostages.

Z: Don't tell me--Hobson.

M: He went over there.

Z: How does this kid manage to get in trouble every single day?

M: Crumb, you know Gary.

Z: Don't worry. I'm on my way.


(Exterior of Stone house. Police are setting up barricades. Sarah and Mr. Stone are talking to the police captain in charge (Leon).)

Mr. S: Captain, let me go in there, let me talk to him, it's my wife.

S: No, Dad, don't go!

L: I'm sorry sir, I can't let you do that.

Mr. S: Well, I gotta do something, I can't just stand out here like this!

S: He's gonna kill her! L: No, honey, nobody's gonna kill anyone. Now, Mr. Stone, the best thing you can do for your wife is give us all the information you can about the house--phones, electrical, entrances, all that sort of thing. Now, that information is very critical at a time like this--now you keep talking to Officer Rufus here.

(Crumb approaches the barricade.)

L: What are you doing here, Zeke?

Z: Oh, you know old cops, Leon. Can't stay away. What do you got here?

L: Guy's got two hostages; ran two of my men out of the house.

Z: One of these hostages, good-looking fella, about six foot, brown hair, leather jacket?

L: Yeah, how'd you know?

Z: He's a friend of mine. Your gunman's an ex-con by the name of John Hernandez. He wants a piece of the prosecutor lady there.

L: Yeah, the kid said he seemed to know her.

Z: She put him away for ten years. So, you made contact yet?

L: No, he won't answer the phone. I've secured the perimeter, got snipers.

Z: Who's your negotiator?

L: He hasn't arrived yet. Hey, you want to take a shot at it?

Z: Me? Nah, I'm retired, you know that.

L: Hey, you were always one of the best, Zeke. Listen, we got a time bomb in there and the clock is ticking.


(Inside the Stone house, a hallway. Hernandez gestures at the alarm system pad with his gun, he's covering both Rachel and Gary.)

H: Alarm?

R: Yes.

H: Set it! (She punches the buttons.) That's nice, using the alarm system to keep the good guys from breaking in, huh? (He's pointing the gun at Rachel now; Gary is behind her. He motions them into the living room.)

H: Sit down! Sit down! (Rachel sits on the couch.) You, come here, pull the shades. Hurry up. (Gary pulls down the shades.) Pull down the other shade, let's go!

G: What do you want me to do now?

H: Sit down and shut up.

(Gary sits next to Rachel. Hernandez is pacing. Gary takes the paper from inside his jacket.)

H: Hey, hey, hey, hey! (Takes the paper.) What are you doing? Get up! (He pats Gary down.)

G: (hands in the air) It's a paper.

H: Sit down! (Gary sits.) You wanna die? What are you, stupid?

(Hernandez starts to open the paper when Crumb's voice comes over the megaphone.)

Z: John Hernandez! John Hernandez!

(Gary recognizes the voice.)

Z: Talk to us, pal.

(Hernandez goes to the window.)

Z: First and foremost, we want everyone out of there safely, including you. Now, my name is Crumb. My friends call me Zeke. I want to talk to you on the phone, John, see if we can get this straightened out. I'm gonna give you a call, John. Please, pick up the phone. We need to talk.

(The phone rings and everyone stares at it.)

Z: (in van) Come on, come on, pick it up, pick it up.

H: Hello.

Z: John, thanks for picking up. How is everybody in there? Nobody's giving you any problems or anything, are they? Everybody getting along? Everybody okay?

H: Just peachy, man.

Z: That's good, that's good John, because we wanna, we want to resolve this thing as peacefully as possible here. John, you there?

H: Yeah, what?!

Z: So what's going on, what--what's this all about?

H: This is about people are gonna die, you don't get those cops out of here.

Z: All right, all right, I hear you, I hear you. No one's in any rush here. In think we should talk about what it's gonna take to get you safely out of there, so tell me, how can I help?

H: You wanna help? Get rid of these cops!

Z: Now, John, you know it doesn't work like that. Why don't you let those people go? No harm done. Then we can talk.

H: I don't think so.

Z: Well, at least let me talk to them, make sure they're okay.

H: They're fine.

Z: Now, John, I'm willing to take your word on this but there are other people out here who need some proof. Nobody's talked to those hostages since this whole thing started.

H: You want to see them? Get up! (He points the gun at Gary, motions him up and over to the window.) You want to see them? Pull the shade! You see him? You happy now? (Gary's smashed up against the window, Hernandez has the gun on him.) Sit down, sit down! (He pushes Gary back on the couch.)

Z: What about the woman?

H: Oh, come on, stop playing games with me!

Z: We're not playing games here, John. We're trying to get this resolved, am I right? Right John? Now, what do you want? John, you there?

H: What?

Z: Tell me what you want. John, talk to me, pal, I'm listening, come on.

H: I gotta think about it. (He hangs up the phone.)


(Police van, Crumb looks at the headset.)

Z: He hung up.

Radio Cop: Snipers are in position, sir. Should we proceed?

L: Not yet.


(Near the Channel 2 News van)

S: I didn't mean it.

Mr. S: What?

S: About the tattoo. I don't need a tattoo.

Mr. S: Oh, Sarah, honey...

S: I just need Mommy. (starts to cry) I want Mommy!

Mr. S: It's all right, it's all right, we're gonna get her back, honey, it's all right. It's okay, hang in there, all right?


(Stone's living room--Gary and Rachel are on the couch, Hernandez is pacing in front of them.)

R: I guess I should have listened to you the other day, huh?

H: Yeah, I guess you should have listened to him the other day. How do you know so much? How do you know so much about me, huh? What are you, some kind of a supercop?

G: Friend of mine's a parole officer. He, uh, mentioned that you were getting out and that, uh, someone ought to keep an eye on you.

H: Good guess. (to Rachel) You remember me now? Oh, it was just another day at the office for you, huh?

G: Look--

H: Shut up! (to Rachel) You put me away for ten years and then you and your lawyer friends go out for lunch. You remember what you called me in court? An animal. A bloodthirsty animal.

G: Listen, why don't you put the gun down and we talk about this, huh?

H: I'm talking now, okay? And you shut your face, you shut your face or I shut it for you. You got that? (to Rachel) The charge was manslaughter. You made it second degree murder.

R: He had his back turned. He was walking away.

H: Oh, come on, you believe those lying witnesses?

R: I believe the coroner's report. You struck a defenseless man from behind. I call that murder.

H: That was no murder, and that was not worth no ten years.

R: Not according to the court.

(Hernandez grabs her by the jacket, hauls her off the couch, holds the gun at her neck.)

H: This is no court, all right? There's no judge, no jury, and *I'm* in charge, you got that?

G: (stands) Hey, what are you blaming her for? She didn't kill anyone; it was you.

(Hernandez shoves Rachel away and goes after Gary, pushes him down on the floor. Gary lands on his back. Hernandez has the gun in his face.)

H: You wanna die, huh? You wanna die?

G: No, do you? 'Cause you shoot her, you might as well shoot yourself. Is that what you want?

H: You don't understand. (He turns and walks toward Rachel, pointing the gun at her.) For ten years all I've been seeing is the look on this woman's face when I pull that trigger--Boom! (He mimics pulling the trigger; Rachel winces.)

G: That's gonna make you feel better? That's gonna make everything all right?

(The phone rings. Hernandez picks it up.)

H: What?!

Z: Hey, John, is everything okay in there?

H: Yeah, everything's just fine, okay?

Z: You sure now? Because if anyone gets hurt there's going to be trouble. I can't do anything about that, you understand that, right?

H: Yeah, I understand.

Z: Good. I was thinking maybe we could talk it over, see what it's gonna take to get you out of there okay.

R: (stands, approaches Hernandez) May I speak to my husband, please?

H: No.

R: My daughter, just for a minute, let them know I'm alive.

H: Sit down, shut up. Sit down! (She sits on the floor next to Gary.) (to Crumb) I want a van.

Z: A van? What kind of van?

H: A--a brand new van, right off the lot.

Z: Mazda? Chevy?

H: Yeah, something American, all right?

Z: Hey, what about a Chrysler? Those are nice.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's fine.

Z: What color?

H: What color? What are you, stupid, any color! Just get me a van, $25,000 in small bills, you got that?

Z: Chrysler van, 25,000 small bills, we can do that. It's gonna take a little while to get it organized, though. In the meantime, let me talk to the guy in there.

H: Why?

Z: It's procedure, John, tit for tat, you gotta show some good faith if you want me to help you. You want that van, don't you?

(Gary's sitting on the floor, head down. Hernandez shoves the phone at him.)

H: Here, talk.

G: (takes the phone) Hello?

Z: Hobson, you okay?

G: Relatively, yeah.

Z: Is this guy stable?

G: No.

Z: Do what you can to keep him calm.

G: Oh, well, I--I'm trying to do that.

Z: And no heroics, okay?

G: You don't have to worry about that. How--uh, how's Chuck?

Z: He's fine. He's still fighting. Now, don't worry (Hernandez takes the phone back), we'll get you out of there. And keep this guy calm, that's the most important thing.

H: Satisfied?

Z: Yes, John, thank you. You did the right thing there. Now I can do something for you. Now just hang on, keep calm, I'll get back to you.


(Outside, police van)

L: What do you think?

Z: Keep stalling him, keep him talking. This kid Hobson, he's our, he's our joker in the deck. This kid, somehow he, he knows things--I don't know, it's, it's spooky. But with him there I think we got a chance to pull this off.


(Hospital, outside Chuck's room. Marissa is standing in the hall, nervous and alone. A priest approaches her.)

F: Marissa Clark?

M: Yes.

F: I'm Father Dow. I understand that's your friend in there.

M: Yes.

F: I thought perhaps you could use some company.

M: (starts to walk down the hall) Thank you, Father, but I'm not feeling very spiritual right now.

F: It doesn't have to be spiritual. We could just talk.

M: (pauses) Father?

F: Yes?

M: Father, I've always been brought up with the belief that there's a reason for everything; everything has a purpose. But I may lose two of the most important people in my life and I can't understand why God would allow that to happen.

F: The world is full of mysteries, Marissa. We can't always see His purpose. That's why we need faith.

M: It's times like this it's hard not to lose faith.

F: Oh, I find that often, it's times like these when faith is renewed.

(Close-up of the cross Fr. Dow is wearing dissolves to cross hairs on sniper's gun and the window mullions. Shots of Rachel and Gary, sitting on the floor in the living room; Leon and Crumb at the police van; Mr. Stone and Sarah.)




(Living room, Hernandez is seated in a chair, Gary and Rachel are still on the floor.)

H: Where's that van?

R: Hey, uh, you mind if I get us all a drink?

H: I mind. You have any Baccardi?

R: Yes, it's, uh--(she nods at the credenza)--right up there.

H: (stands, walks over to the cabinet) What about you, party boy? Milk and cookies?

G: (finally looks up) No.

(Hernandez starts looking for bottles. His back is to Rachel and Gary. Gary slides the paper closer to him with his foot. The headline now reads: "Hostage and Captor Kill Each Other". In a B&W scene Rachel pulls out the gun from her purse and shoots Hernandez as he's turning around. He fires as he goes down, and Rachel falls back into Gary's arms.)

(Gary looks up. Hernandez is drinking the rum, his back to Rachel and Gary. Rachel pulls out the gun, aims; Gary grabs her arm and pulls it down.)

G: No!

(Hernandez sees what's going on as Rachel and Gary get up.)

R: Why did you do that?

H: Get up! Get over there! What are you doing? You crazy? (to Gary) What are you, a guardian angel or something?

R: I had a clean shot.

G: You were gonna kill each other.

H: If I was you, I would have let her shoot me.

G: Yeah, well you're not me, are you?

H: No, you're an idiot!

G: Oh, I'm the idiot. You're the one surrounded by the police right now, and I'm the idiot, explain that to me, John.

H: Shut up!

(Phone rings; Hernandez picks it up.)

H: Where's the van?!

Z: The van is coming, John. We're talking to the dealership right now. But you know how it is, you gotta get the right color, leather seats--

H: Look, I don't care about no seats!

Z: You don't mind the vinyl?

H: Look, just get me a van!

Z: Okay, okay, but if I could just talk to--

H: No, okay? No! (slams the phone down)


(Outside, police van)

Z: (to Leon) He's unraveling.

L: (into radio) Tell the snipers they have a green light. If they have a clear shot, take it.

Radio cop: Roger, SWAT is green-lighted. Sniper one in position.


(Inside the Stone house)

H: Where's my van?

R: You're not getting any van.

H: What do you know it?

R: They're not gonna let you just drive away, It ends here, John, one way or the other. Believe me, I know.

H: Look, I don't get out of here, no one does.

G: Whoa, John, take it easy now.

H: Oh, take it easy? Take it easy? There's 8 zillion cops out there waiting to blow my brains out and you want me to take it easy? Oh, that's really good.

G: John, listen, the cop that you're talking to on the phone, I know him. If you turn yourself in--

H: I'm not giving myself up. You got a car in the garage?

R: Yes.

H: Give me the key. (she goes for her purse) Whoa!

(He dumps the purse out, takes the keys, hauls her up by the back of her suit, motions Gary to get up.)

H: We're going for a ride.

G: Wait, wait, wait--let her go.

H: You crazy?

G: You can't take the both of us.

H: Watch me.

G: Look, you--you can't cover the both of us, who's gonna drive? Look I saved your life twice already, right? All you gotta do is listen to me, you--you let her go and we use her as a decoy.

H: C'mon, man, leave me alone, all right? (Phone rings.) Leave me alone! (He kicks over the phone table.)

G: John, don't lose it, John.

H: We're getting in the car and we're getting out of here, NOW.

G: No, no, no, look, what we can do is, you and I, we'll go to the garage, just you and me, and I-I'll drive and you can stay out of sight, because John, if the police can't see you they can't shoot you, right?

H: Look, I'm not letting her go.

G: Why?

H: Why? She's the reason I'm here, that's why! I won't let her *go*.

G: John, you are not gonna kill her. I did not save your life so you could take another one, you understand me?

R: He's trying to help you John.

H: Look, I didn't ask for your help, okay? I didn't ask for anybody's help.

G: Look, look, John, you got your whole life ahead of you--

H: My life? What do you know about my life?

G: I know you don't want to live in a little box with-with bars on it. I know you want more than what you got right now. You need to blame someone else for something that happened years ago, I understand that, I really do, I *swear* I do. But you can end all this right now, you really can, you can stop all this right now, John, all you gotta do is say so, you understand me? All you gotta do is say so, that's it.

(Hernandez looks from Gary to Rachel.)


(Exterior of Stone house, the garage door opens, SWAT team takes aim.)

Radio Cop: Confirm. If you see suspect, snipers have the green light.

(Rachel runs from the garage.)

R: Don't shoot!

L: It's her.

Z: Hold your fire!

R: Don't shoot! Wait! Don't shoot!

(She runs up to Crumb as the Grand Cherokee careens out of the garage and down the block.)

R: Hobson's driving, Hernandez has a gun on him.

Z: Don't shoot! Nobody shoot!

Megaphone Cop: Hold your fire. Hold your fire.

(Tearful reunion of the Stone family.)


(In the car)

H: C'mon drive man, let's go! Let's go! Take a right. Take a right!

G: All right!


(At the police van)

L: We'll box him in at the nearest intersection.

Z: No, no, no--

L: Zeke, you got a killer holding a gun on a civilian.

Z: I've seen Hobson get out of worse things than this. Now, he's come through this far, Let's, let's give the kid a chance.

L: (into radio) I want a long-range pursuit on that vehicle, understood? Long range only.

Radio cop: Roger, long-range pursuit.

L: I sure hope you know what you're doing, Zeke.


(In the car)

H: Take a right. Take a right!

G: All right, I gotta wait for this car to get out of the way.

H: C'mon. c'mon man, right here! They ain't following, man. (He gets up into the seat.)

G: I'm telling you, I know the cop in charge. I can get you out of this.

H: Man, what do you care, man? What you going saving me for?

G: I've been wondering the same thing ever since you put my best friend in a coma.

H: What? What are you talking about?

G: The guy you got the car from, that's my friend, he's in the hospital. So don't ask me why I'm helping you, 'cause I really don't know.

H: Right here, right here, take a right, c'mon.


(At the police van)

Radio cop: Captain, we've lost them.

L: What do you mean, you've lost them? *Find* them! Zeke!


(In the car)

H: You know, you must think like that prosecutor lady, right? You think I'm some kind of an animal?

(Gary looks at him but doesn't answer.)

H: Well, guess what? I never had the chance to do anything else, so there.

G: I know a lot of people that grow up tough and not all of them spend time in jail.

H: Yeah, what do you know about growing up tough, man, huh? You never done no jail time. Man, forget it man, you don't even understand, man, what am I talking to you for? Take a right, take a right over here, take a right on the left, man. Head for the tracks. Look, man, I can't let you go man, all right? I can't let you go, all right? Not yet. Not until I'm sure it's safe, all right?

G: What do you mean, you're gonna let me go?

H: What the hell man, I figure I owe that to you, right?

G: And what are you gonna do?

H: Look, man, what do you care what I'm gonna do, huh? You know, when I was in that court ten years ago, that guy's wife and kid, you know the guy I killed, you know I remember thinking, man, how--how can I undo that, you know, how can I bring that guy back? But you can't undo something like that, man, never. So I guess they're right, you know? I guess I am some kind of an animal. What do you think? You think I'm an animal?

G: You want to know what I think? I think you still got a choice.

H: Choice. Man, what choice?

(The car pulls into the rail yard.)

H: Get out of the car. Out of the car. Give me the keys, c'mon, c'mon. This way. (He motions Gary away from the car, toward the tracks, still holding the gun on him.) Don't move, okay? Stay until I get out of here, all right?

Dave: Help! Help! Over here! Help me!

(There are two boys down the tracks. One is caught in the rails.)

Tom: Help me! Hey mister help! (Gary looks toward them.)

H: Stay right here. Stay right here. I'm telling you man, stay right here.

(Gary looks at him again, then tightens his jaw and walks away, doesn't even look back.)

Tom: Help me!

H: Hey, come back. (He aims the gun at Gary. Gary starts running toward the kids. Hernandez decides not to shoot and jumps on the passing train.)

D: Pull, man!

T: I'm trying!

D: I'm trying too, man! (Gary starts trying to pull the boy's foot free.) We were just taking a shortcut, see?

G: Look, take it easy, will ya?

T: Agghhh! Help me!!

G: Get your foot out of the shoe.

T: I'm trying to it's too tight.

D: Man, I'm never cutting class again.

(Gary tries to throw the switch that moves the rails.)

D: I tried that its stuck, it's stuck.

(Gary goes back to trying to help the kid get his foot out, but can't get it free. The train is getting close.)

D: It's coming, it's coming!

(Hernandez comes up from behind Gary with a crowbar, pushes Gary away, and starts to pry the rails apart.)

T: I can feel it coming out, it's coming.

H: Get him, get him out.

(Gary pulls the boy free and gets him off the track. Hernandez looks at the oncoming train, very close now.)

D: He did it! Get off the tracks!

(Gary pulls the boys around and tries to cover their eyes so they won't see; Hernandez has been hit by the train.)


(Hospital corridor, Gary and Crumb enter.)

G: Marissa?

M: Gary--

Z: How's he doing?

M: He's going to be fine.

(Gary enters Chuck's room. Chuck still has a bandage on his head, but he stirs and opens his eyes when he hears Gary.)

G: Hey, buddy, how ya doing?

C: Hey. How'd the Bulls do?

G: You gotta be kidding me.

C: I have a headache.

G: You want some aspirin?

C: Yeah. I need a nurse.

G: Blonde or brunette?

C: One of each.

G: I'll get you that.

C: Thanks, buddy.

G: Sure.


(Cut to Rachel Stone reading the paper: "Ex-con Dies Saving Boy: Unlikely End to Hostage Drama".)

C: (voice-over) They say things happen for a reason.

(Rail yard, train is passing.)

C: But that reason might not always be clear.

(The train passes and we see Gary crouching by the tracks with four white roses. It's snowing.) Flashbacks, b&w: Gary saving Hernandez from the truck; from Rachel; Hernandez in the car, saying, "I remember thinking, man, how can I undo that, man, how can I bring that guy back? But you can't undo something like that, man, never. So I guess they're right, you know? I guess I am some kind of animal."

(Back to the rail yard, in color.)

C: In time, with faith, the meaning may emerge.

(Gary lays the roses on the tracks, close-up on the roses.)

C: What was, what is, what shall be. Pieces of a puzzle, falling into place.



Fanscribed by peregrin anna

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