“HER MISSION INSIDE”
TREATMENT OF AN ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Houston and Galveston areas including the waterfront. Then, it moves on to the Los Angeles and San Pedro areas including the waterfront. Everything has a “To Live And Die In L.A.”-esque appeal and spin to it.
The unfocused dead of night slowly sharpens to crystal clarity as WE SEE the lights of the waterfront docks playing over the water. A boat slowly motors up to a lone dock with a single outbuilding. As the boat docks, the doors swing open and men start to throw boxes down to the boat. WE PULL BACK across the water and see that the men are being watched from another boat that is blacked out.
AUBREY (BREE) BLACKSTONE. stands behind her husband, JOHN (JACK) BLACKSTONE, who is at the wheel of the boat. Aubrey is in her late twenties and after being sequestered in the office these many months, she is finally out with the boys. She is highly qualified, perhaps more so than some of her co-workers. She is not bitter about the situation, just a realist. Jack, good looking and in his late thirties, has always fully supported Aubrey, wanting her to get the recognition she deserves. Both are watching intensely the clandestine activity across the water. Both are wearing Customs jackets and caps to identify them as agents.
“They better give the signal soon or we’re going to lose the whole shipment,” says Aubrey.
“A little excited, honey?”
“Well, I think I’m entitled, this is all a little new to me. I still say….”
The radio comes to life and the command, “move in,” is given. Aubrey and Jack are galvanized into action as the still night is split by sirens and filled with strobing blue and red police lights.
As the cars come down the dock preventing escape on foot, the contraband boat manages to slip its mooring but is stopped dead by a customs boat in front of it, soon joined by one along side. One man on the dock ducks under the pier to a boat that he has hidden for just such an emergency. Everyone is caught unawares as the motor powers to life and he speeds out from under the pier.
“He’s ours!,” cries Jack as he throttles up. Aubrey quickly calls over the radio that they are in pursuit. Elaborate boat chase ensues with lots of spine-tingling narrow escapes and exchanged gunfire that finally culminates in a fabulous explosion. As they pull the criminal from the cold water, Jack smiles and says to Aubrey, “well, I promised you a good time, didn’t I?” WE DISSOLVE.
The sun is just coming up when the Blackstone’s pull into their driveway. They are dead beat but arm-in-arm happy. Once inside, they find the babysitter, JANE, asleep on the couch doing some serious zzzzz. “Shh. Don’t wake her. I’m going to look in on TOBY,” says Aubrey. Toby, their precocious almost seven year-old son, is sleeping the sleep of the young. Aubrey pulls the covers back up over him and kisses him on the forehead. When she gets into their bedroom, she finds Jack already stripped for bed and in much the same position as Toby, sleeping the sleep of an exhausted man. Aubrey smiles thinking to herself that she really is raising two boys. She pulls the covers up over Jack and kisses him. WE CUT TO….
Establishing full daylight in Los Angeles as WE SEE the exterior and then wend our way through the interior of an enormous mansion as WE HEAR someone, very angry, speaking. We finally find the source, GEORGE GRAFF, venting to some poor unfortunate on the other end of the phone. Graff, in his middle fifties, is the ringleader of the smuggling organization. “I don’t care! This is the third shipment that that bastard Blackstone has gotten from me! I want it to be the last! Do I make myself clear! I don’t care how you do it but make sure he’s dead!” Graff slams the phone down. WE DISSOLVE.
WE OPEN on the interior of a bustling Customs Office. The spoils of the night raid — exotic coats and skins from contraband animals — is being sifted through. Aubrey is at her desk doing her own sifting through databanks via her computer terminal. She hits another key and reads intently. “Bingo! Jack, take a look.” Jack comes out of BILL JASPER’S office. Jasper, sixty-ish, is the boss of the Customs Agency, Houston division. He always seems put upon and how he should have retired five years ago when he had the chance. “I’ve finally traced all the cut-outs. Those last three shipments of furs were headed for Los Angeles.” WE DISSOLVE.
It is another sunny day as we join the Blackstone family on their day off piling into their car. It will be Toby’s seventh birthday in a few days and to celebrate, Aubrey and Jack are taking him to a Six-Flaggs-type amusement park. What they do not see is the sedan that has staked out their home. It pulls into traffic with them and follows. In the sedan are two enforcers sent by Graff. The enforcers find their moment and a short but high tension car chase ensues. The Blackstone’s car is run off the road where it rolls and catches on fire. Another motorist and his buddy witness the crash and climb down to the wreckage. They manage to pull the unconscious Aubrey and Toby from the vehicle, but before they can get at Jack… the car explodes. WE DISSOLVE.
When Aubrey awakes, we slowly PULL BACK to reveal her lying on a gurney in the emergency room. She groggily tries to sit up and thrashes around. NURSE DAVIS tries to calm her.
“Lie still, honey. You’re in a hospital and we think you might have a concussion. So, just you lie still.”
Aubrey finally focuses on Davis and asks, “where’s Jack and Toby?”
“You’ll have to wait for the doctor.” Aubrey is not comforted by the answer.
DOCTOR BECKER enters the room and gives Aubrey the answers she dreads to hear. Her husband is dead and her son is in a coma.
“We think he is paralyzed but we’ll know more after we have a chance to run more extensive tests. We’ll be taking you up shortly to your room where we’ll keep you under observation for twenty-four hours. But, before we do, there is a trooper who needs to ask you some questions.”
Becker motions someone standing outside to come in and TROOPER THOMPSON enters. She pulls out her clipboard and asks Aubrey to describe the accident. At first, Aubrey’s memory is a blank, but then WE SEE her flashes of memory as she slowly but shakily recounts the chase, how the car pulled alongside theirs – at which point she saw the faces of the men clearly — and the crash. It was no accident. It was deliberate murder. Aubrey breaks down completely as the full realization of her husband’s death and her son’s bare survival sink in. And, the small flame of hatred towards those responsible begins to flicker and take hold. It will later consume her to the exclusion of rationality. After Aubrey is released from the hospital and has buried her husband, DOCTOR YOUNG — who now has Toby’s case — finally tells her that there is nothing more that she can do for Toby. Young has been speaking with a DOCTOR KOENIG in Los Angeles.
“Koenig thinks that he can do something for Toby if you bring him to the children’s medical facilities there. If you want to give Toby every possible chance for recovery, you will take him there as soon as possible,” says Young in no uncertain terms.
That is fine with Aubrey, that means she does not have to struggle further with the decision to leave Toby behind when she pursues Graff in Los Angeles. And, she is going to Los Angeles with or without the blessings of the department.
When Aubrey confronts Jasper with her need to go to Los Angeles, she is at first congenially persuasive. She lays out all her reasonings — based on her hard research — to why she thinks that Graff is the man behind the illegal furs. She lays out all her reasons as to why she should be the one sent to Los Angeles to bring Graff to justice. She does not say that she knows Graff is the person responsible for destroying her family. Jasper may be old but he is not stupid and knows why she is arguing so heatedly. He refuses. Let the boys in Los Angeles handle it. It’s their town. Aubrey pulls out her last card.
“You can make this work if you push it through Bill. I haven’t a legal footing to go after Graff if you don’t. And, I’m going to go after him, make no mistake of that. I can do it with or without the department. My resignation can be on your desk in five minutes. What’s it going to be?”
“You’ve become a hard woman, Aubrey. What happened to that sweet girl I used to know?”
“Graff killed her.”
Jasper nods and picks up the phone.
The jet screams overhead and lands at LAX as WE HEAR O.S. instructions from Jasper telling Aubrey who to contact at the local customs office and what the game plan is to be. As Toby is loaded into an ambulance at the airport and Aubrey climbs in, WE CLOSE IN on Aubrey’s face as she looks out at the passing traffic. Aubrey is stoic but with traces of hatred and profound sadness playing over her features. WE HEAR her instructions CONTINUE O.S.
Aubrey is given a classy high-rise condominium and assumes the identity of Bree Daily, recently relocated escort from Texas. Only her new boss, DAVID TODD, knows who she is and what she is doing because there has been a leak in the department. She reports to him at regular intervals and they have set up a neutral meeting place.
Aubrey’s whole life now narrows down to two things, her son and revenge against those who destroyed her life. She knows that the key to the illegal fur organization is somehow connected to the escort service. She becomes obsessed with crushing the organization. She becomes obsessed in training herself physically and mentally so when she gets inside, she can enact her revenge. Each time we see her work out, we see her becoming more and more proficient with firearms and knives. She becomes more and more proficient at hand-to-hand combat. This culminates into a buffed body that is ready to kill her objective — Graff.
Aubrey finally gets an invite to an exclusive party with all the right people. This is to be her test for Graff’s organization. She is stunning and charming but every so often, we see what seethes underneath, especially when Graff makes an appearance. He is not the only one watching her, JACKSON KLINE, an agent also undercover who is trying to set up a buy, wonders who is the new girl. Could she be another way into the organization? The more he watches her at the party, the more intrigued he is by her. He sees her in her unguarded moments. What is going on?
Kline decides to put her under his personal surveillance. Unknown to him, Graff is making his final check to see if Kline is a legitimate buyer. The watcher is being watched.
On the second day of surveillance, Aubrey goes to visit Toby at the hospital. She has gone to great lengths these many days to make sure no one follows her to her son. This is the one rational thing in her life now, the continued progress and safety of Toby. He has finally come out of the coma but there is still a long road ahead of them.
However, despite Aubrey’s cautiousness, Kline is better at following then Aubrey is at ditching. And, Graff’s surveillance team is better than the both of them. Kline follows Aubrey to the hospital and leads Graff’s team there, too. Toby is now in dire jeopardy.
Kline has to duck into a lounge to avoid being seen by Aubrey. But, it turns out to be the perfect vantage point as he spies Toby’s gurney wheeled outside and Aubrey take a seat beside him. He also notices, much to his chagrin, one of Graff’s men taking pictures of Aubrey. They must have followed him.
The surveillance team reports back to Graff. Both the woman known as Bree Daily and the man known as Jack Connor are suspect. But, there is a bonus, we know where her kid is located.
“Good work, boys. With this big deal coming down the pipe, we just might have someone we can use that we know we can trust. Mother’s will do just about anything for their children.”
Kline reports verbally to Todd. In reviewing all the details, Kline makes a horrible discovery, his subject is a woman working undercover! And, because Graff’s men were following him, they now knew about Aubrey’s child.
Todd meets with Aubrey in a neutral place. He tells Aubrey that another agent accidentally lead Graff’s men to her son at the hospital. There’s also the possibility that she has been blown. Todd wants to pull her out. Aubrey holds her ground saying that if she were blown, they would have terminated her already.
“I’m this close to blowing the whole thing wide open.”
Aubrey has become very good at holding her ground. She persuades Todd to continue with the investigation. She also finds out that Kline was the one responsible.
During another “social gathering” Aubrey runs into Kline. He persuades her to step outside with him so they can talk. Once outside, the air becomes volatile.
“You bastard! How dare you endanger my son! He’s the only thing left in my life that gives it meaning,” says Aubrey, barely controlling her urge to strike out at Kline and trying hard to keep her voice to a whisper.
“Can’t you move him to another hospital?,” asks Kline, grabbing at straws.
“Don’t you get it? I can’t move him! This is the only one where he has a chance for a normal life.”
“We’ll put a guard on him.”
“What world are you living in? The department can’t protect him from people like Graff! I’ve already been over this with Todd…. God damn you!” Aubrey turns away from Kline and stalks off. She puts on her “happy face” as she re-enters the house.
The agent does some checking around and realizes that he has been watching the undercover agent, and he knows that he is the one that put the woman and her child in jeopardy.
Graff has a malicious — but for him — a brilliant idea. He orders Aubrey to escort Kline. Graff tells her to find out everything she can on Kline. That means everything. “You’re to meet him at the Regency Hotel.” Aubrey is seething at the thought of having to be with Kline but she can’t refuse because she knows that Graff will be watching.
Kline is waiting in his hotel room and he gets a big surprise when he opens the door.
“Do not say one word!,” says Aubrey. “This is strictly business. Graff sent me and I know he’s got someone watching. We’re going to follow through on your plans for the evening, ‘have a gay old time,’ and return here. You’re sleeping in the bathtub. Have I made myself clear?”
“Listen lady, I know we didn’t get off to an okay start….”
“You led them right to my son!”
“Will you let me finish! I’m sorry. I don’t know how to say it any different than that. But, we both work for the same people and we’re both working for the same goal — to get Graff. Let’s stop fighting and work together.”
There is a frigid silence.
“Well, let’s at least give Graff’s boys something to talk about. I’ve got Uncle Sam’s deep pockets to work with tonight to leave a big impression.”
Aubrey and Kline go out on the town. Slowly, Aubrey melts to Kline’s charm and she is no longer working at appearances of having a good time. By the time they return to the hotel room, they are both exhausted from all the fun. Aubrey acquiesces and Kline gets to sleep on the couch. Kline is completely infatuated with Aubrey.
During the might, Aubrey has a nightmare about the car crash and Kline comforts her. He makes a vow to help her.
Kline goes to Todd the next day and reports verbally. He also requests that he and Aubrey work together. Todd agrees and tells Kline how to contact her. At first, Aubrey is hesitant to work with Kline. He is evoking feelings in her that she thought she had buried with her husband. But, she sees the necessity for Kline’s aid. As the two of them work with each other over long hours, Aubrey’s feelings gradually sneak up on her until she realizes that she is in love with Kline.
Aubrey and Kline consummate their love in a tender, sweet moment as WE DISSOLVE.
WE OPEN with Graff finally having everything in place to his satisfaction. Just one more detail. He calls Aubrey into his office and “explains” things to her. She will escort a very special client. She will show him a good time and then take him to a particular pier, the whereabouts of she will be told later. She will make certain that the client arrives on time. Graff brings out a picture of Aubrey with Toby at the hospital.
“Need I remind you of the consequences?”
Kline leads the briefing for the men and women who will take part in the bust. Each member of the team has been cleared and can be trusted. Aubrey’s identity is revealed so she can be protected when the bust goes down. She will have a purse with a one-way radio built into it so she can reveal the site of the sale. Two men are going to move Toby secretly, to take him out of harms way and lay a trap for any of Graff’s men. Everything will be in readiness.
Aubrey meets her “date” as instructed and the fun begins. The two of them go from place-to-place until the cellular phone in her handbag rings. Aubrey answers and is given their destination. When she tells the limousine driver, the agency finally hears, too. Everyone is now on the move.
As the deal starts to go down, all hell breaks loose as Customs shows up in a big way. Graff’s men are not giving up and the bullets start flying. Aubrey takes out several men standing near her before she is able to grab a weapon. By this time, Kline joins her and she fills him in.
“He’s gone up to his office.”
“We can’t get at it, yet.”
“The hell we can’t!”
Aubrey moves back and then around her fellow agents. Kline calls after her and then follows her, ducking bullets the whole way. Aubrey sees her goal in front of her and she is not going to let a little thing like flying bullets stop her. She works her way around to another set of stairs, taking out one or two more henchmen. Kline finally catches up with her.
“Are you nuts?”
“No more than the rest. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. You ready? Go!”
Aubrey rushes forward just as a henchman comes around the corner and fires missing her but taking Kline out. She takes the goon out with more fancy hand-to-hand. Aubrey rushes on, not realizing that Kline has been hit. Aubrey bursts into the office and faces down Graff ready to pull the trigger. He is at first taunting, then pleading.
“So, you’ve got me. As soon as you arrest me, my lawyers will have me out. These are just petty charges in the great scheme of things.”
“Who said anything about arresting you? I want you for the murder of John Blackstone.”
Graff figures it out. “So, I have the pleasure of speaking to Mrs. Blackstone.”
“It’s going to be the last thing you do, too. You destroyed my family. I’ve destroyed your organization. You killed my husband,” she takes a firmer gun stance, “now, I’m going to kill you.”
Graff has been feeling around for his hidden gun and almost has his hand on it. Aubrey hears a movement behind and the sound of a gun being cocked. She dives and rolls, shooting the henchman. Graff has grabbed his gun but before he can kill Aubrey, Kline shoots Graff in the leg and he goes down. Aubrey looks for the source of the gunfire and turns just in time to see Kline fall. Is he mortally wounded and soon to die in her arms? As she administers first aid to Kline, Graff recovers his gun.
“Drop your gun!”
Aubrey has no recourse but to obey. She makes a big show of putting the weapon down. But, she has a trick up her sleeve. Aubrey uses Kline’s body to shield her movements as she reaches for Kline’s hunting knife.
“You and your boyfriend are dead!”
At that moment, two more members of the team starts to make noise outside the door and as Graff looks, Aubrey rolls out of the line of fire and throws, hitting Graff in the throat. He reaches for it, gurgling, and falls back through a window and out. WE SEE his twisted body lying on the pier. Aubrey is back with Kline rocking his unconscious, perhaps dead body, back and forth.
“I can’t lose you, too.”
WE OPEN on the hospital and Aubrey is in the middle of a conversation with Doctor Koenig as WE SEE Toby coming down the hall with his crutches being chased by a nurse with a wheelchair. Toby is awake and healthy but will never be able to walk normally, again. Aubrey mildly chastises Toby, you have to let the nurse push you in the wheelchair. It’s how all people have to leave the hospital. Ah, Mom. I’ve had it with wheelchairs. As we follow them down the hall, WE SEE a healthy and smiling Kline waiting for them. Aubrey and Kline walk arm-in-arm out the hospital doors with Toby “running” off ahead of them.
If you are interested in the Screenplay, email me.