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Written by: Howard Chaykin
Directed by: Michael Vejar
Transcribed by: Becky

~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show The Sentinel. They were created by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and belong to them, Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. This is not a novelization or a script. It is simply a transcript of the episode. It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where needed. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

Lead cast: Richard Burgi (James Ellison), Garett Maggart (Blair Sandburg), Kelly Curtis (Carolyn Plummer), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Jeff Kaake (Lee Brackett), Elizabeth Sandifer (Sonia Price), Alan Toy (Jack Kelso), Ken Earl (Taggart).

Summary: On the day Ellison is a guest lecturer in Sandburg's anthropology class, an intruder manages to steal a canister of Ebola virus from the university's nearby medical research lab. As soon as the smoke from the perpetrator's diversionaty explosion clears, it's evident that the thief is well-versed in police work, bombs and Detective Ellison's sentinel-like abilities. After he's identified as former rogue CIA agent Lee Brackett, he blackmails Ellison by threatening to unleash the Ebola virus into the atmosphere unless the detective uses his hyper-senses to help him steal an Air Force reconnaissance plane. In an effort to ward off widespread hysteria, Ellison pleads with Dr. Sonia Price of the Centers for Disease Control, to keep the terrorist's threats quiet until he can stop him. Left with no choice but to cooperate with the crazed demands, Ellison and his guide Sandburg are forced to help Brackett cross through an intricate grid of electronically triggered mines - some active, some dormant - which surround the airplane hanger. (Source: UPN Press Release.)

This episode was originally broadcast on May 8, 1996.
Last updated: 7/8/01


~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Opening monologue by Blair Sandburg: "In all tribal cultures every village had a sentinel. Now, a sentinel is chosen because of a genetic advantage -- a sensory awareness that can be developed beyond normal humans'. Your time spent in Peru has got to be connected with what's happening to you now. I've got hundreds of documented cases of one or two hyperactive senses but not one single subject with all five. You could be the real thing."~

~~~~~~~~~~ Act I ~~~~~~~~~~

~Loft. Day. Jim and Blair in kitchen in front of counter. Blair tying blindfold around Jim's eyes.~

Blair: All right, Jim, if we're going to hone your skills, you're going to occasionally have to take some of these sensory tests. Just think of them as pop quizzes.

Jim: Make it quick.

Blair: Okay. How many fingers am I holding up?

Jim: None, and if you don't move this along, I'll show you one of my fingers.

Blair: Okay, all right, all right, I'll hurry up here. In each one of the cups in front of you, there's water and a minute trace of another substance. Just identify the foreign matter.

Jim: Foreign matter.

Blair: Completely consumable. You ready?

Jim: Yeah.

A phone rings in Blair's room.

Blair: Oh, wait a second. That's mine. I'll be right back. (goes off to answer phone)

Jim takes a sip out of each of three cups.

Jim: Salt...

Blair: Hello? Yeah, hi. This is me.

Jim: Sugar...

Blair: Tonight? Yeah.

Jim: Vanilla extract. Damn kid's making a cake here.

Jim picks up a black mug and takes a swallow of it and promptly gags. He yanks off the blindfold and spits out the mouthful in the sink, then sticks his head under the faucet to get some water to rinse his mouth.

Blair: Really. You know what? I have an idea...

Jim: Hey, Sandburg! What the hell was in that fourth cup? (continues to eat his breakfast)

Blair: (comes back out to main room) What are you talking about? I only put out three cups. Oh, man, no. No, no, no. You just drank the bad milk.

Jim: I did what?

Blair: I was going to throw it out. Oh, man, I'm so sorry. I guess this is a bad time to ask for a favor? (pause) That was just my department chair on the phone and they need a sub for today's lecture and we're wondering maybe if you'd come down there and talk about the time you spent in Peru?

Jim: Give a speech?

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: I'd rather have route canal.

~Cut to University. Jim heading into Hargrove Hall, talking on cellphone.~

Jim: Yes, sir, I'm well aware of that. I'll get on that as soon as I'm done here. Well, Sandburg's asked me to help out for a project at the University. Yes, sir. Okay. Thanks, Simon. Talk to you in a bit

~Cut to Blair in front of lecture hall talking. Jim walking in outside hallway.~

Blair: Regardless of how much field work you do, very few of us have the opportunity to actually visit the objects of our research, let alone live among the indigenous people for any length of time.

Jim enters lecture hall.

Blair: Five years ago as a member of the United States Army, Detective James Ellison, now with the Cascade Police Department, spent 18 months in a Peruvian in forest living among the Aymara Indians.

Outside, someone puts a steel bar through the handles of the lecture hall doors, effectively locking them inside.

Blair: I've invited Detective Ellison here today to share with us some of his first-hand experiences with these tribesmen. So, if you'll help me welcome him. (everybody claps, Blair moves closer to Jim) Jim, what thye hell happened? I thought you blew me off.

Jim: Some of us have to work for a living.

~Cut to cyclist riding up to outside of another large university building labeled "Biomedical Research." He leaves his bike outside.~

~Cut back to lecture hall.~

Jim: Six and a half years ago, I undertook a mission that, um, as it turned out would profoundly change my perspective on life.

~Cut back to cyclist. He pulls out a small device about the size of pager and pushes a button which starts a countdown.~

~Cut back to lecture hall.~

Jim: What started out as a routine mission...

Charges go off at the high windows. Smoke starts to cloud the air. Panic ensues.

Jim: All right, everybody just calm down! Just stay calm.

Blair: What's going on?

One of the students pulls the fire alarm.

Jim: Cover your mouth if you can. Just stay calm.

~Cut back to cyclist. He waits until a security guard runs out of building, then heads inside, walking through another set of inner doors.~

~Cut back to lecture hall. Students are charging the doors.~

Jim: Folks, wait. Get back. Settle down. Just stay calm. Get away from the doors.

Blair: Calm down. Everybody relax.

Jim gets a sweater and ties it over his mouth.

~Cut back to cyclist entering a lab in the building.~

Cyclist: Excuse me. I'm looking for Dr. Price.

Woman: Uh, this is a restricted area. You shouldn't be in here.

Cyclist: I'm supposed to deliver this to her.

Woman: I'm Dr. Price.

Cyclist: Oh, great. If you could just sign right there.

He hands her a paper to sign, waits for her to begin to sign it, then hits her, knocking her out.

~Cut back to lecture hall where Jim is breaking the high windows, letting some of the smoke out.~

~Cut back to laboratory where man breaks into a locked refrigerator labeled with a biohazard sign. He steals a few large vials.~

~Cut back to lecture hall where Jim is working his way to the doors.~

Blair: Everybody, relax. Let him through.

Jim: Watch out. Stay calm. Try and cover your mouths.

Blair: Back up!

Jim kicks the door open, knocking the steel bar away from the outside.

Jim: All right, settle down. Let's go. Just stay calm. Everybody out. Keep your noses and mouths covered.

Students exit the room in a mass horde. Jim stands at the door, herding everyone out. He grabs Blair and pulls him aside as the students continue to exit.

Blair: What's going on?!

Jim: All right. (goes back inside lecture hall briefly) Is everybody out?

Blair: Come on, Jim.

They head down the hallway. Blair pauses for a moment, coughing, then they continue.

Jim: You all right?

Blair: Yeah.

~Cut to Simon in lab talking on cellphone. Jim and Blair enter through open doors behind him.~

Simon: Yeah, as soon as you can. Great. (hangs up)

Jim: Simon, what's going on?

Simon: Well, the attack on the lecture hall was just a diversion. While campus security was involved with that building, somebody broke into here and stole a canister of the ebola virus.

They go further into the lab where Dr. Price is sitting, a cold pack on her head.

Simon: Jim, this is Dr. Sonia Price. Dr. Price, I'd like you to meet Detective Jim Ellison, Blair Sandburg.

Jim: Can you tell me what happened here?

Price: This guy brains me, and when I come to, the refrigerator's open and the canister's gone.

Jim: What was the ebola virus doing in Cascade in the first place?

Price: It was transported by ship from the Sudan. I came in this morning from our lab to take it back to Atlanta.

Blair: Oh, man. The ebola virus is bad news. It's like the black plague on steroids.

Price: Exactly. And if released into the air, we are looking at a death toll in the thousands.

~Cut to Simon's office. Jim, Blair, Simon, and Dr. Price. A video of a village hit with the ebola virus is playing on the TV.~

Price: This particular mutation has already wiped out several villages. This strain has a 99% fatality rate.

Simon: And you expect us to shut down all access to this city -- airport, highways, waterways?

Price: Then we alert the military to start the quarantine procedures

Jim: Quarantine. Doctor, an African village is one thing, but to zip up a city this big...

Price: We are not talking about the flu here, Detective. This is an airborne virus that turns human beings into blood pudding.

Simon: As bad as the virus is, a quarantine would cause panic which is almost as big a disaster.

Blair: Right. And we don't even know if the virus is still in Cascade. This lunatic could be 100 miles away by now. Have there been any calls? Threats? Demands? Anything?

Simon: No.

Jim: Just give us 24 hours to nail this guy.

Price: No. It's totally against procedure.

Jim: Doctor, whoever pulled this off is no amateur. Now he's not going to go accidentally releasing the virus. I guarantee we're going to be hearing from him, one way or the other.

Joel and Carolyn come into office.

Joel: Here's the trigger from the tear gas found in the lecture hall. Whoever planted it went to a lot of trouble to keep it from being found.

Carolyn: It's a mini-transmitter.

Joel: And a white-noise generator to hide the sound of the timer, which nobody could hear anyway.

Carolyn: Which he then buried in the lecture hall windowsill under plaster and fresh coat of paint.

Blair: As if someone was expecting a security sweep.

Carolyn: I'll see what I can come up with.

Jim: Thank you. Good work.

Joel and Carolyn leave.

Jim: Doctor, I have seen triggers like that before. I was a military liaison to the C.I.A. counterinsurgency unit. Now, this guy is nobody to fool with.

Price: Look, I will lay off for 24 hours, Detective. But if you haven't found him by then, I will notify my people and start putting emergency procedures into action to seal to city off.

Jim: All right. Let's go.

~Cut to Jim and Blair entering loft front door.~

Blair: Are you telling me you didn't hear a thing over at the lecture hall?

Jim: I tell you, the white-noise generator blocked out all the sound. I couldn't even hear myself thinking...

Jim opens the door and a gun is pointed at him. Camera pulls back to show the cyclist from earlier.

Brackett: Take it easy, Detective. Move in.

Jim: All right. All right. Settle down.

Jim and Blair enter and stand in the middle of the room. Brackett shuts the door.

Brackett: Keep your hands where I can see them, both of you. Mr. Sandburg, would you mind handing me Detective Ellison's weapon.

Jim: Go on.

Blair gets Jim's gun from his shoulder holster and gives it to Brackett.

Jim: Who the hell are you?

Brackett: My name's Lee Brackett and I've got the virus you're looking for. (pause) Aren't you curious to know why I stole it?


Blair: Well, I am if he isn't.

Brackett: Of course, you are, Mr. Sandburg. I admire your insatiable curiosity. Without that, who knows? Maybe you wouldn't have uncovered Ellison's sentinel abilities. I know about your special talents.

Jim: Hence the white noise generator.

Brackett: Right.

Blair: So why'd you steal the virus?

Brackett: As a bargaining chip.

Jim: What do you want, Brackett?

Brackett: You're going to help me commit a crime. They'll be talking about you for years.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act II ~~~~~~~~~~

~Continuing scene in loft.~

Brackett: Well, gentlemen, do I have your cooperation?

Jim: You got to be kidding, right?

Brackett: You'd really kill several thousand people because of your pride?

Jim: Pride. Mr. Brackett, why do I think you're bluffing?

Brackett: Take a deep breath. Think about it.

Jim: That white-noise generator was pure C.I.A. But this couldn't be a sanctioned black op or you'd be long gone. So you must be rogue.

Blair: C.I.A.? Jim, what the hell is going on here?

Brackett: I was C.I.A. duty officer five years ago in Peru. I debriefed the Special Forces officer who pulled you from the jungle.

Blair: So, that's how you know about his sentinel abilities.

Brackett: His report on Ellison's hallucinatory behavior in the rain forest was fascinating. I filed away the information for future reference and kept an eye on his career here in Cascade -- yours too. I read an early undergraduate piece you wrote on primitive sentinels.

Blair (standing more or less behind Jim) sees Jim pointed at a lamp on the table, the only source of light in the room.

Brackett: The description fit Ellison to a "T". I'm glad you two hooked up.

Jim: Get to the point, Brackett.

Brackett: Well, the point is you two are going to help me steal something.

Blair: Wait a minute, both of us?

Brackett: Well, you're his guide, so to speak, so I'll need you too.

Jim: And you think you can blackmail us.

Brackett: Listen very carefully. The virus is hidden somewhere in the city. With it is an explosive charge. If I set it off, the virus will spread across a five-mile radius almost instantly. Imagine the effect that that'll have on the city. Thousands dead in less than a week, with at least as many deaths from travelers carrying the virus out of town.

Blair moves quickly, yanking the lamp off the table and plunging the room into darkness. Blair moves away. Brackett goes on the defense. Jim uses his sight to find Brackett and attack him. They struggle. Free for a moment, Brackett throws something toward Jim.

Brackett: Catch.

Jim catches a pack and unzips it to see a red LED timer.

Brackett: Now, you hear that detonator? Removing the pack deactivated a white-noise generator. You can chase me or you can save your neighborhood from instant urban renewal. (turns on the main lights near the door) Good luck, Jim. (leaves)

Jim stands and pulls out explosive -- 5 seconds are left and counting. Blair joins him, watching him. Jim studies it a moment, turning it around, then pulls one of the wires, disarming it.

Blair: I knew you could get it.

Jim smells the explosive, then drops it on the table.

Blair: What is it?

Jim: Check it out.

Blair picks up the explosive and smells it.

Blair: Jim, this is wacky dough. Are you telling me you couldn't smell it was a fake?

Jim: I was so focused on disarming that thing, I couldn't...

Blair: Man, this Brackett guy's a total dick!

Jim: Yeah, tell me about it. I got to find some way to get a hook into him, you know, something I can work with.

Blair: Can't we call the C.I.A.?

Jim: Nah, I've dealt with those guys before. Believe me, the cure is worse than the disease.

Blair: Jim, I got an idea.

~Cut to Major Crimes bullpen. Jim at his desk on the phone. Blair comes up to desk with a man in a wheelchair.~

Jim: Could you spell it for me? K-a-h-n. Got it. Yep. (hangs up)

Blair: Hey, Jim. This is Jack Kelso. He teaches foreign affairs over at the University.

Kelso: Detective.

Jim: Oh, it's an honor. I've been a big fan ever since your book blew the whistle on the agency last year.

Kelso: Really? Thanks. I didn't think I had many friends in the law enforcement community.

Blair: I asked Jack to help us out with this C.I.A. thing.

Kelso: Yeah. Brackett and his type are the reason I got out of the spy business.

Jim: You knew him.

Kelso: I... I thought you read my book.

Jim: Oh, the review and I bought it and I've been meaning to. It's just that with work and all I've been inundated so...

Blair: I think Jim's waiting for the "books on tape" version actually.

Kelso: It's all right. I'm resigned to the fact that I'm writing books that are read by the few and bought by many.

Blair: So, Jack, uh... What's this Brackett guy's story anyway?

Kelso: Well, I only met him a few times. I was on my out about the time he was coming in. But everyone knew about him, though. He was a real throwback.

Jim: What you mean by throwback?

Kelso: Well, we oldtimers used to call the job we did "the show." It attracted all kinds of marginal type -- actors, grandstanders, psychos, extremists.

Blair: Yep. That's Brackett exactly.

Kelso: Well, now, he was a varsity athlete recruited by the agency right out of Yale. The right combination of guts, brains, stamina...and complete amorality.

Jim: The perfect covert operations officer.

Kelso: Oh, absolutely. He was notorious for creating complex game plans that made it nearly impossible for the other side to catch up with him. And then, in the late '80s, he went into business for himself. He sold an urban warfare scenario to what he thought was a Puerto Rican nationalist and the guy turned out to be an F.B.I. agent. Brackett smelled a rat, killed the guy, and went underground.

Jim: Till now.

Kelso: Hmph. I kind of figured this wasn't an academic conversation. I don't suppose you guys can tell me what's going on?

Jim: I'm sorry, I...

Kelso: No, don't worry about it. I already know more than I want to. Listen, while I was doing research for the book, I compiled these profiles from the agency database -- some of the more notorious agents, Brackett included. Personal data, uh, modus operandi, patterns of behavior. The whole nine yards.

Jim: Wow. This is terrific. I really appreciate it, Mr. Kelso.

Kelso: Don't thank me. Brackett's a treacherous bastard. I hate to see him loose in my town.

~Cut to loft. Jim and Blair standing on either side of kitchen island looking at information from Kelso. Blair reaches over to turn a page.~

Jim: Do you mind?

Blair: Is there anything we can use?

Jim: I don't know. We're just spinning our wheels until we figure out what Brackett wants.

Blair: Maybe the answer's right here.

Jim: What do you mean?

Blair: Don't you always tell me to find a guy is to figure out where he came from?

Jim: Yeah. So?

Blair: So, maybe Brackett left something behind, a clue, to let us know where he's been.

Jim: Lab guys have been all over this place.

Blair: Jim, when are you gonna realize that forensic analyst doesn't have half the awareness you've got?

Jim: I wouldn't know where to begin.

Blair: Take a deep breath.

Jim: Don't patronize me.

Blair: Jim, I'm talking about using your sense of smell.

Jim: Oh.

Blair: Okay?

Jim: All right.

Jim walks around room, smelling and looking. He sees something on the floor.

Blair: Huh? What's that? You got something?

Jim: Give me your Swiss army knife for a second, Chief.

Blair gives Jim his knife and Jim uses the tweezers to pull a toothpick from between the floorboards.

Jim: Kelso's dossier on Brackett said he had a real jones for South American food, right?

Blair: Right, right. That stuff always gives me indigestion.

Jim: He must have tracked this in on his shoes. It's chile pepper. (smells and tastes it)

Blair: Oh, Jim, come on. You don't know where that's been.

Jim: There's something metallic in the mud. It's not much, but it could tell us where he's been.

Phone rings. Jim answers it as he puts toothpick into evidence bag.

Jim: Yeah. Ellison. Right. Be there in five minutes. (hangs up)

Blair: What's up?

Jim: Got a gas attack at the music center. (gives evidence bag to Blair) Get that over to forensics, have them do a complete analysis. Let's go. Pronto. Don't forget your keys.

Blair: Got them.

~Cut to music center. Jim, Dr. Price, and a bunch of others are in hazmat suits. People are on the ground everywhere.~

Price: Oh, my god.

Man: This way, doctor, please.

Price: All you wanted was 24 hours, Ellison? My god, I should have never listened to you.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act III ~~~~~~~~~~

~Continuing scene in music center.~

Jim: All right, I want two of you to check out the lobby, two to check out the auditorium. Dr. Price and I will stay here. Keep in communication. Move out.

Jim starts to hear a heartbeat.

Price: This is my worst nightmare.

Jim: Please, I need quiet.

Price: All these innocent people dead and you want a little quiet?

Jim hears more heartbeats.

Jim: They're not dead. They're asleep.

Price: What?

Jim: They're not dead. They're asleep.

Price: You're right. Must be some sort of airborne anesthesia. Far from harmless but certainly not lethal.

Jim and Price take off hazmat head covers, but leave on oxygen masks.

Jim: All right, Doctor, I'm going to need complete silence please.

Jim listens to heartbeats and finds a faster one -- someone who is not asleep and not with their group.

Jim: Brackett's here.

Price: How could you know that?

Jim takes off the rest of the hazmat suit (except for oxygen mask) and goes upstairs. He finds the anesthesia tank and turns it off. He takes out an ankle gun and tracks the faster heartbeat. He finds Brackett. Brackett knocks him backwards into glass shelving.

Brackett: I hope you get the point. This time, it was just sleeping gas. Next time, it'll be the virus. (takes off)

Jim chases him. They end up on the balcony. Brackett grabs a woman and holds her.

Brackett: One more step and I'll snap her neck. This is a demonstration of what'll happen if you don't do as I ask. Do it or it's instant replay across the city. Only next time, nobody wakes up.

Brackett drops woman off edge and Jim grabs her, hauling her back up. Brackett gets away.

~Cut to Simon's office. Jim, Blair, Simon, Dr. Price, and Carolyn sitting around table.~

Jim: He stole the virus to blackmail me into helping commit a robbery.

Price: We have to alert the military and the C.D.C. and start emergency procedures.

Jim: No, no, no. At least not yet.

Simon: Quarantining the city won't do a damn bit of good.

Carolyn: Yeah, we have to assume that as long as he thinks you'll help him, he won't set it off.

Price: What is so special about you anyway? That didn't come out right. I mean...

Jim: It has to do with my liaison work with the C.I.A .-- certain operational procedures I'm familiar with.

Blair: Bottom line. The only way we get the ebola virus back is if Jim and I go along with Brackett's plan.

Simon: At least until we figure out what Brackett wants to steal. Then, we can take him down.

Price: You've already lost him twice and you still have no clue where the virus is hidden.

Simon: Lieutenant Plummer from Forensics has been working on that. Carolyn?

Carolyn: We've analyzed what Jim found in his apartment. There were traces of chiles and cumin on the toothpick.

Jim: Now we already know that Brackett was a fan of spicy foods.

Blair: What about the metallic taste in the mud?

Carolyn: You tasted it?

Blair: (pause) Uh, yeah. I didn't contaminate your sample or anything, did I?

Carolyn: No. It's just that the iron oxide we found was so minute it would have been almost impossible for you to taste anything...

Jim: Carolyn, start checking out local South American restaurants that are near areas of highly concentrated iron oxides.

Carolyn: Good idea. And while you and Blair keep Brackett occupied, I can figure out where he lives.

Simon: With any luck, the canister will be there.

Price: What if it's not? Will you go along With whatever he says?

Jim: Of course not.

Carolyn: This is a transmitter.

Jim: A transmitter? Brackett's a pro. He's not going to fall for that.

Carolyn: He will for this one. It's state of the art. No metal, no plastics, no ceramic. It's made from a protein compound virtually indistinguishable by any electronic scanning device from human flesh.

Blair: So how does it work?

Carolyn: A piezoelectric crystal. It makes phonograph needles pick up sound from a record groove.

Jim: So it's not a radio transmitter.

Carolyn: Right. It's like a beacon or a homing device. It translates vibrations into sound waves with no moving parts. No power source. You put it between your cheek and your back teeth. It'll be invisible.

Simon: We'll be able to track every move you make.

Blair: Good.

Woman's voice over intercom: Captain Banks, line one.

Simon gets phone.

Simon: Banks. (pause) Jim. It's Brackett. He wants to talk to you.

~Cut to Jim and Blair pulling up in F-150 outside a small restaurant -- La Cueva. Day.~

Blair: Peruvian cafe. That would explain the chiles and the cumin.

Jim: Okay. Our wires are active. Just keep Brackett talking as long as possible.

Blair: Yeah, right. Like that's difficult.

They enter.

Waiter: Buenos dias.

Jim and Blair go over to table where Bracket is sitting.

Brackett: So I guess all that stuff about not being blackmailed was just tough talk, huh, Jim?

Jim: Cut to the chase, Brackett.

Brackett: If you two have any ideas about taking me out, forget it. That detonator I've wired to the virus is on a timer. And the clock is ticking. Now, we've got some unfinished business. Empty your pockets on the table. Keys, combs, coins, wallets -- everything.

They do so.

Jim: I'm not giving up my shield.

Brackett scans Jim's badge and okays it. Jim puts it back in his pocket. Brackett goes on to scan for other devices.

Brackett: Now the obvious things I'm supposed to find. (to Blair after pulling a native necklace from around his throat) I hope you didn't let them rig a valuable artifact with a mini-transmitter.

Blair: It's a replica

Brackett crushes necklace on the ground.

Brackett: (to Jim) I'll take the wire in your pants. Unless you want me to have Mr. Sandburg get it out for you.

Jim takes wire out.

Brackett: Thanks. Just drop it. (smashes second wire)

Brackett: All right, I'll take the protein transmitters. (pause) Look, don't waste my time or yours. That molecular protein transmitter may be new to you cops but it's been on the covert black market ever since the Russians stole it. And this scanner makes it obsolete. Now, no more games. The virus canister will explode in two hours unless I stop it. And all your best-laid plans just went to hell. So we'd better get a move on. Do as you're told and you won't have thousands of deaths on your conscience.

Jim: Our conscience.

Brackett: Well, certainly not mine. I'm parked out back. You drive, Mr. Sandburg. And remember -- the clock is ticking.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act IV ~~~~~~~~~~

~Simon's office. Simon, Carolyn, and Dr Price.~

Carolyn: They found the protein transmitters in a Peruvian restaurant on Balleyette Street.

Simon: Oh, that's just great. So you're telling me your virtually undetectable wire is virtually worthless.

Carolyn: Yes, but I think I've narrowed Brackett's block down to two possibilities.

Simon: All right, I'm listening.

Carolyn: I figured the iron ore meant a foundry or a smelting plant.

Price: So when you start looking for sources of iron ore within the vicinity of South American restaurants, the road becomes narrower.

Carolyn: Right. We cross-indexed South American restaurants with sources of iron ore and came up with two Latino neighborhoods. This one's around the corner from the Windemere Plating Factory. And the other's a block away from the Westside Waste Treatment Plant. The iron oxide in Ellison found in his apartment could've come from either facility.

Simon: All right. This better be good. I'm going to order a house-by-house search.

~Cut to outside of an army facility. Jim, Blair, and Brackett pull up outside a guard station at the front gate. Blair driving, Jim next to him. Brackett in back seat behind Jim.~

Jim: What are we doing here, Brackett?

Brackett: Well, as long as you're in the dark, I'm one step ahead of you.

Guard comes out.

Guard: Can I see some identification gentlemen?

Blair sees Brackett pointing his gun at guard.

Blair: Jim!

Jim kicks his door out, knocking the guard back and out. Then he stands in front of Brackett, blocking him.

Jim: There'll be no murder on my watch.

Brackett: Not so far. (to Blair) Get out and help him pull this guy into the shed.

Jim: Sandburg, get his feet. (to Brackett) This one of your "overthrow the government" scenarios?

Brackett: Someone's read my file. That traitorous bastard Jack Kelso bring you up to speed on that?

Jim: You've got a lot of nerve calling anybody a traitor.

Brackett: The republic that I swore allegiance to was overthrown years ago. The people in charge today -- they're the traitors. Let's go.

Jim: Just a patriot out to save us from ourselves, huh?

Brackett: You have no idea what your government's up to.

Jim: Maybe not, but last time I checked my government wasn't throwing women off balconies.

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Brackett standing in front of a checkerboard-looking bridge.~

Brackett: It's a grid of electrically triggered mines surrounded by a charged fence. They change the pattern every 24 hours. Your sentinel abilities are the only way to get across without a map. I figure you should be able to tell the difference between active and dormant mines. These banks are also charged. There's one way in, one way out. And I'm sure that it's unnecessary to remind you that unless I'm alive to turn off the timer, the virus blows. So I'd better get across safely.

Jim: (grabs Brackett and moves him aside) Shut the hell up and let me do it, okay?

Brackett: Okay, but you touch me one more time (points gun at Blair's head) and this guy never needs a haircut again.

Blair: All right, just let us work. (goes to Jim's side) All right, just remember our exercises. Focus and concentrate, okay? And turn it over and, please, stay out of your own way. You can do it, man.

Jim focuses on the tiles on the bridge and listens for differences underneath for active and dormant mines. He starts across with Blair and Brackett following him.

~Cut to SWAT team surrounding a house that could be Brackett's. Simon standing outside near a car running operation. Carolyn goes up to meet him.~

Officer on radio: Captain, I'm moving my team into position around the suspect's house. Hazmat is standing by in case we find the virus inside.

Carolyn: Are you sure this is Brackett's house?

Jim: All the other possibilities turned out to be dead ends. We'll move in soon as get an all clear from SWAT.

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Brackett on bridge. Jim zones halfway across.~

Brackett: What's happening?

Blair: Jim? Jim! Oh, man! Not now, not now! It happens when he focuses so intently on one of his senses he loses all of his others. I thought you read my paper! Come on, Jim. Jim, come on. Breathe, buddy. Come on. (Jim starts to come out of it.) That's it. Relax, man. Relax. Hey, watch your arms.

Jim: All right, all right, all right.

Blair: You all right?

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: Whoa

Jim: Don't move. It's mined. Okay, give me a second here.

Blair: Right.

Jim: Now step on my square. Good.

They continue across. Jim reaches the other side.

Jim: Got it. Watch your step.

Blair: Ooh!

Jim catches Blair as he jumps across the last few feet.

Jim: Easy. All right.

Brackett joins them.

Brackett: Not bad, Jim.

Jim: What next?

Brackett does something to the control box.

Brackett: There. That activated the entire minefield with a systems override. There's no safe path across the bridge. You see that door? Move.

They walk toward a building.

~Cut to SWAT team around house.~

Simon: All right. That's it. Let's move out.

Joel and Carolyn join SWAT team going into house.

Simon: All right. They're moving in. Everybody hold the perimeter.

Man: Ten-four. Holding.

~Cut to house. Inside, there's a bomb on the table. Joel sees it.~

Joel: Gotcha!

Joel starts to work on the bomb.

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Brackett outside a building with a combination lock on the door.~

Brackett: That's a motion sensor. Any jiggling with the lock will set off the alarm. So you'd better get it right the first time.

Blair: All right, now, Jim. I'd suggest not relying on your ears but on your fingertips. Just let the tumbler tell your sense of touch what to do. Ok?

Jim: All right.

Jim starts to work on the lock.

~Cut to Joel still working on the bomb.~

~Cut back to Jim, Blair, and Brackett.~

Brackett: Come on. Let's go. All right, all right. Get on with it.

~Cut to Joel working on bomb. He disarms it just before it's set to go off. When he cuts the wire, the TV comes on.~

Brackett: Welcome to my all-too-humble temporary residence. I've been expecting you. Searching for this place seemed to be the best way to keep you occupied. Now, if you're watching this, you found my little trigger and defused it. Sorry, but that bomb's a fake. I'd be running if I were you.

Joel: Move it! Move it!

Joel, Carolyn, and SWAT team run out. House explodes behind them. Simon hides behind his car.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act V ~~~~~~~~~~

~Continuing scene at house. Simon comes out from behind car and runs to Joel and Carolyn.~

Simon: Carolyn! Taggart. You guys all right?

Joel: Yeah.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Simon: Wh the hell happened in there?

Joel: It was a straight demolition charge,

Carolyn: But no signs of the cannister.

Joel: Where the hell is the virus?

Simon: Where the hell is Jim?

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Brackett as they enter hanger. A stealth jet is inside.~

Brackett: Gentlemen, the newest weapon in our country's arsenal -- the A.V.C.X.

Blair: Where are we, Jim?

Jim: This is a company skunk works -- a secret development lab for the C.I.A.

Brackett: That's right. And this a one-of-a-kind prototype. Even Congress only suspects that it exists and the classified surveillance technology on board is priceless on the black market. (gets into jet)

Jim: The Air Force'll be on your ass before you're out of local air space.

Brackett: I'll worry about that when it happens.

Jim: Well, what about the virus?

Brackett: As soon as I'm airborne I'll defuse the detonator and set off a beacon so you can find it. I've always been a man of my word, Jim. Now, move the ladder.

Hanger doors start to open. Blair moves the ladder from next to the jet.

Brackett: Emergency security should be arriving any minute now. If I were you, I'd be outside warning them not to cross that minefield unless they want their families to start collecting on their pensions.

Jim: Get out there and tell them!

Blair: We can't let him go!

Jim: Brackett got what he wanted and I'm through playing his games. Now he's not stupid enough to detonate that virus while he's in range, so he's not going anywhere. Now, get going!

~Cut to outside near mined bridge.~

Soldier over radio: I've deactivated the minefield. It's all clear.

Soldier: We're on our way into the hangar now.

Blair: Whoa, whoa, Hey, hey, stop! No, no! Wait! Wait! Wait! The whole minefield is live.

Soldier: On the ground! Now! (fires machine gun at Blair)

Blair drops to the ground on other side. Then he takes off a shoe and throws it on the bridge. A mine goes off.

Blair: He's put an override on the system.

Soldier: A security breach has apparently overridden the system.

Soldier on radio: Roger that. I'll eliminate it as fast as I can.

~Cut to hanger.~

Plane radio: You are not cleared for takeoff. Abort your takeoff now.

Jim jumps on top of plane and ejects seat top of plane. He and Brackett start to fight on top of the plane.

Brackett: Let me go or I'll detonate the virus.

Jim: Fine. It'll take you with it.

More fighting.

Brackett: You're out of your league, Ellison. Give it up and we'll both be better off.

They roll of the plane. Jim pins Brackett to the ground. Jim gets remote transmitter from Brackett.

Brackett: It's broken! This remote's the only way to stop the detonator and it's going to blow in less than five minutes.

Jim: Well, then, we're both running out of time. Now, where is it?!

Brackett: It's in the trunk of my car.

~Cut to outside where the army guys get across bridge finally.~

Blair: Well, it sure took you guys long enough to override that... override or whatever it was.

Soldier shoves Blair to his knees and holds a gun on him.

Soldier: Shut up... or I'll personally shoot you first.

Jim and Brackett come running up to bridge.

Soldier: Hands over your heads. You're both under arrest.

Jim: James Ellison, Cascade Police Department. I'm a detective. My shield's in my breast pocket.

Soldier gets his badge and looks at it.

Soldier: You're way out of your purview, Officer. (gives badge back to Jim)

Jim: I'll explain later, sir.

Soldier: You'll explain now.

Jim: There's a bomb with enough plague virus to kill half this city in a car parked just outside the gate. If you want to live to explain to the media how you saved the day, you'll get us over to that car now!

Soldier: Follow me.

~Cut to Brackett's car as Jim and Brackett get the bomb out of the trunk.~

Soldier: I've contacted your captain, sir. The hazmat unit'll be here in three minutes.

Jim: They'll be two minutes too late.

Brackett: Okay it's got dual triggers.

Jim: What does that mean?

Brackett: That means we have to defuse simultaneously or it explodes.

Jim: What's the defusing sequence?

Brackett: Blue, orange, red, yellow. We've got 26 seconds. Let's go with blue.

Jim: Ready and...

Both: Blue.

Jim: And...

Both: Orange.

Jim: Red.

Brackett: Wait. After we pull the red wire we've only got one second to pull the yellow wire from the charge.

Brackett: All right, ready? And...

Both: Red. Yellow.

Sirens can be heard in background as hazmat van and police arrives. Jim turns to Brackett and punches him once, knocking him out.

~Cut to Simon's office. Simon, Jim, Carolyn, and Joel.~

Jim: The beauty of it was Brackett never even planned on leaving local air space. Had one of his half-wits waiting for him on a small island out in the sound and a stolen chopper.

Joel: The Coast Guard found the pilot this morning still waiting patiently for Brackett. He spilled the whole story.

Carolyn: So Brackett figured the two of them could strip and destroy the plane, then disappear before the Air Force caught up with them.

Jim: Yeah, that's what he figured.

Simon: Score another one for the good guys.

Jim: Yeah.

Simon: All right, guys, out my office. Go.

Jim: All right, very good.

Joel, Carolyn, and Jim leave. Dr. Price joins Jim outside and they walk toward Jim's desk.

Price: Detective, I think I owe you an apology for losing my temper at the concert hall the other day. I was totally out of line.

Jim: Well, I kind of lost my temper there a couple of times myself. Sorry.

Price: Detective...

Jim: Call me Jim.

Price: Jim, I'm curious. Are your instincts always so on the money?

Jim: Oh, once in a while I get lucky.

Price: Really?

Jim: So, you're heading back to Atlanta.

Price: No, I ought I'd stick around a couple days, decompress.

Jim: Oh, that's a good idea. Lots to see and do around here.

Price: Really.

Jim: Yeah. You know, I, uh...

Blair comes in.

Price: Excuse me. Hi! (goes over to Blair)

Blair: Uh, hi.

Price: Hi. Um, look, I'm not usually this forward but I'm only in town for another couple of days and, well, I hear there's lots to see and do in Cascade, and I thought maybe...

Jim sits on the edge of Carolyn's desk.

Blair: Sure. Yeah, I'd love to show you around.

Price: Great. I'd love to hear all about your experiences with tribal medicines.

Blair: Sure. Hey, you know, there's a new exhibit on primitive cultures over at the Natural History Museum.

Price: Great. If you're not doing anything we could go now.

Blair: Love to. Yeah.

Price: Okay. Bye.

Carolyn: Bye.

Jim: Okay. Ta-ta.

Blair: See you later.

Jim: Bye-bye.

Carolyn: So... Were you going to ask her out?

Jim: Oh, I was thinking about it. Maybe. Yeah, kind of.

Carolyn: I guess that old Ellison charm is slipping, huh?

Jim: You know, slipping is one thing, but, uh...that's a...hundred-story drop.

~ The End ~