THE RUNE-BEARER
ACT THREE

By DragonWriter17
 

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer/Spoilers/Pairings: Not applicable.  This is an all-original piece.

My Website: http://www.dragonwriter17.net/

Feedback: Yes, but only if itís of the non-flamey variety: DragonWriter17@aol.com

Distribution: Only here.  (If you are interested in posting this on your site, please contact me first for permission.)

Authorís Notes: This story is in screenplay format, not in fiction format.  NOTE: This screenplay is protected by registration with the Writers Guild of America, East: R14442-00.

Number of Chapters: 7

Complete: Yes

Summary: The Rune-Bearer is a two-hour Movie-of-the-Week that can also serve as the pilot for a one-hour weekly fantasy/drama series.  It features a female private detective who is suddenly bestowed with supernatural powers after a chance encounter with the dying victim of a serial killer.  She uses her skills and her new powers to fight evil and to solve mysteries in Memphis, Tennessee.  It's like Witchblade, only lighter and funnier.

 


ACT ONE      ACT TWO       ACT THREE       ACT FOUR

ACT FIVE       ACT SIX        ACT SEVEN       SERIES PROPOSAL

Return to the Home Page            Return to Original Stories
 

ACT THREE

INT. WILSON INVESTIGATIONS - CASEY'S OFFICE - RESUME

In a slightly flustered way, Casey glances around her office.  When she calms down, her eye catches a picture on her desk; it is a photo of herself with Jack.  She picks it up and looks at it.  Then she returns it and goes back to her computer work.

EXT. LOUIE'S TATTOO WORLD - DAY

Liz and Pete are outside Louie's, leaning against their car, waiting for Louie to open up.

The neon sign reading "Open" is dark. 

Liz is drinking cappuccino.  Pete is standing next to her, eating a barbecue sandwich loaded with coleslaw.

                        LIZ
            So, this murder weapon.  Double-edged,
            tapered, about an inch wide, 8-10 inches
            in length.  What are we looking at here,
            some kind of dagger?

                        PETE
                  (mouth full)
            Mmmm-hmmm.

Pete desperately tries to eat his sandwich without making a mess, but he fails miserably.  He drops a big dollop of barbecue and coleslaw on his suit.

                        PETE
            Damn it!

Liz rolls her eyes as Pete tries unsuccessfully to wipe his suit clean.  Liz sets her coffee down, opens her purse, and pulls out a moist towelette.  She hands it over with a teasing frown of disapproval.

                        PETE
            Thanks.

Pete puts down his sandwich and begins cleaning his suit.  When he's done, he poses before Liz for inspection.

                        PETE
            How's that?

Liz straightens Pete's tie and then pats his arm.

                        LIZ
            You'll do.  Come on.  Louie's open.

Liz leads Pete toward the door of Louie's, where the neon light is now lit up.

INT. LOUIE'S TATTOO WORLD - DAY

Liz and Pete enter the tattoo parlor.  Louie is not visible.

                        LIZ
                  (in a booming voice)
            Yo!  Louie!

Louie comes out from the back of the shop.  He's lean and wiry, forty-ish, dressed in ragged jeans, black sleeveless t-shirt, black combat boots.  His hair is shoulder-length, slightly wavy, thinning on top.  His arms are covered with multi-colored tattoos.  He's carrying a large mug of coffee.

                        LOUIE
                  (heavy southern accent)
            Liz, puh-lease.  Ah ain't even had mah
            first drank of coffee.

Louie takes a big drink of his coffee then sighs.

                        LOUIE
            Ahhh.  Now then.  Whatchya'll need?

                        LIZ
            We got a weird mark found on the body of
            a female murder victim.  We were hoping
            you could identify it.

                        LOUIE
            Lemme look on it.

Liz hands Louie the autopsy photo of the remnant mark.  Louie looks at the photo intently.

                        LIZ
            The ME said it was sort of like a tattoo
            that had been removed.  He had to take
            that picture under special lighting just
            to get the mark to show.

                        PETE
            We couldn't figure out what the mark was. 
            Any ideas?

                        LOUIE
            It's a Rune.

                        PETE
            A what?

                        LOUIE
            A Rune.  R-u-n-e.  Runes were part of an
            ancient Scandinavian alphabet.

Louie goes behind the counter and searches for something.

                        LOUIE
            They used to carve 'em into wood or etch
            'em into stone or metal.

Louie comes out from behind the counter with a book and hands it to Liz.  Liz takes the book from Louie. 

The cover lists the title "Runes" in a large angular text. 

Pete comes to Liz's side and peers over her shoulder at the book as she leafs through it.

                        LOUIE
            Ah do Rune tattoos ever' now an' then. 
            They ain't as popular as the Chinese
            characters, though.

                        LIZ
            Can we borrow this?

                        LOUIE
            Sure.

INT. THE PEABODY HOTEL - FREDERIC'S SUITE - DAY

On the table, the dagger sits next to the laptop.  The dagger has Runes etched into the blade.  The surface of the blade reflects the light emanating from Frederic's laptop screen.

On the screen of the laptop, a password decoder program is running.

Frederic watches the screen.  Then his eyes shift to the dagger.  He picks it up and rises.

He moves to an open area in the room.  He removes his robe, leaving him in only his silk pajama bottoms. 

He starts working out with the dagger.  When he reaches a stopping point in his routine, he holds the dagger in front of his face and smiles.

INT. POLICE STATION - HOMICIDE DIVISION - DAY

Liz and Pete are at their desks.  Pete is perusing the book on Runes.  Liz is on the phone, listening.

                        LIZ
                  (to phone)
            Okay.  Let me know if we get a hit.
                  (hanging up, smiling)
            Guess what?

                        PETE
            What?

                        LIZ
            Forensics found prints on the basement door.

                        PETE
            Usable?

                        LIZ
            Yep.  They're sending them through AFIS now.

The phone rings, and Liz picks it up.

                        LIZ
            Homicide.  McMahon.
                  (listening)
            Hey, Ross.  What's up?
                  (listening again)
            Okay.  We'll be right there.
                  (hanging up)
            Ross's got something for us on the security tape.

                        PETE
            The one from the hallway?

                        LIZ
            No.  The one from the autopsy room. 
            The one we didn't show to Callahan.

INT. POLICE STATION - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

ROSS HAMPTON is playing a video tape from the autopsy room and watching it carefully, the remote in one hand and a pen in the other.  A man can be heard screaming "No" and then crashing metal.

Pete and Liz enter the conference room. 

Ross looks up, then pauses the tape. 

Pete and Liz join Ross on the far side of the table where they can see the screen.

                        LIZ
            Hey, Ross.  What ya got?

                        ROSS
            It's German.

                        PETE
            German?

                        ROSS
            Yeah.

                        LIZ
            What's he saying?

                        ROSS
            Here, let me play it again.

Ross rewinds then plays.

ON THE SCREEN:

Frederic enters the autopsy room.  He finds the refrigerated drawer holding Mitzi's body and pulls it open.  He grins maliciously as he pulls the sheet back.  His smug expression changes quickly to shock.

                        FREDERIC
                  (in German)
            Wo ist es?  Wo ist es?!!!

The image is frozen as Ross pauses the tape.

BACK TO CONFERENCE ROOM:

                        ROSS
            Here, he's saying, "Where is it?
            Where is it?"

Ross presses the play button.

ON THE SCREEN:

Frederic touches Mitzi's body above her heart.  He begins frantically searching her body.

                        FREDERIC
                  (in German)
            Wo?  Wo?!!!

Again, the image is frozen.

BACK TO CONFERENCE ROOM:

                        ROSS
            There, he's saying "Where?  Where?"

Ross presses play again.

ON THE SCREEN:

Frederic drops his head to his fists on Mitzi's body.  He begins throwing his head from side to side. 

Then he straightens in a sudden fury.  He places his arms under the slab and lifts it with savage strength, ripping it out of place and throwing Mitzi's body onto the floor.

                        FREDERIC
            Noooooo!!!

Once again, the picture is paused.

BACK TO CONFERENCE ROOM:

                        ROSS
                  (smart-alecky with much drama)
            And there he's saying, "Noooooo!"

                        LIZ
            Very funny.

                        ROSS
            Wanna watch it again?

                        LIZ
            Please.  And without the dubbing this time.

Ross rewinds and plays the tape again. Pete and Liz watch the tape intently as it replays Frederic's movements in the autopsy room.

                        PETE
            It almost looks like --

                        LIZ
            Like what?

                        PETE
            Like he was looking for that mark.

                        LIZ
            But that doesn't make sense.  Why
            would he care about this mark?

                        PETE
            I don't know.

INT. POLICE STATION - HOMICIDE DIVISION - DAY

Liz and Pete are back at their desks, going through all the evidence and paper work the case has generated so far.  Pete appears energized, while Liz groans and slumps over her desk.

                        LIZ
            I think I'm gonna have to go home
            and get a few hours of sleep.  I can't
            see straight anymore.

                        PETE
            I didn't think you did anything straight.

                        LIZ
            Very funny.  Hear me laugh.  Ha, ha.
                  (getting her purse)
            You should probably take a break too. 
            Between court and this case, we've both
            been up for thirty-six plus here.  Besides,
            we've got a name for our suspect now, thanks
            to AFIS, and we've got an APB out for him. 
            We can start fresh in the morning.

                        PETE
            Sure. I have a few more things I want to do
            first. Then I'm outta here too.

Liz hangs her purse over her shoulder then holds up her cell phone.

                        LIZ
            I'll see you tomorrow morning then. Call me
            if anything comes up.

                        PETE
            Okay.

Pete watches as Liz walks away.  As soon as she's out of the office, Pete pulls out a piece of paper with Casey's cell phone number written on it.  He smiles.

INT. JACK'S GYM - THE WEIGHTS ROOM - DAY

Casey enters and scans the room until she sees Jack.  Jack is circling a bench press machine, where ZACHARY, a small nerdy wimp of a man, is struggling to lift the bar of weights.

                        JACK
            Come on, Zachary, you can do it.  Just
            one more lift.

Casey walks to the bench press machine.  Jack glances up and sees her and smiles then returns to his work.

                        JACK
            Remember, you're a bloody animal!

Jack roars in encouragement, and Zachary finishes the lift.  Zachary laughs in excitement and relief, and Jack helps him set the bar down.  Zachary sits up, and Jack pats him on the back.

                        JACK
            Good work!  Now move along to the next
            set, and I'll be right with you.

Zachary moves to the next weight machine.  Jack and Casey walk off a ways to talk privately.

                        JACK
            Well, if it isn't my favorite lovely
            lass.  What can I do for you?

INT. JACK'S GYM - THE WEIGHTS ROOM - DAY

Jack and Casey slowly walk away from the weight machines.

                        CASEY
            I was hoping I could pick your brain
            about something.

                        JACK
            About what?

                        CASEY
            What do you know about Runes?

                        JACK
            Runes?

Casey pulls a piece of paper out of her pocket and shows it to Jack.  It's a printout of one of the web pages on Runes.

                        CASEY
            Yeah.  It's the writing that the
            ancient Scandinavians used.

                        JACK
            Ancient Scandinavians?  And what would I
            be knowin' about something like that?  I'm
            a Scotsman, girl, not a bloody Viking!

                        CASEY
            I know, I just thought that maybe... 
            I'm desperate, okay?

                        JACK
            Now why would you be desperate about a
            thing like Runes?

                        CASEY
            It's a long story.  I'm not sure you --

Casey's cell phone rings.  She looks apologetically at Jack, then pulls out the phone and answers it.

INTERCUT - TELEPHONE CONVERSATION - CASEY (WITH JACK) & PETE

                        CASEY
            Hello?

                        PETE
            Casey?  This is Pete.

                        CASEY
                  (smiles)
            Oh hey, Pete.

Jack sees Casey's face light up, and Casey sees Jack see her reaction.  Casey turns matter-of-fact.

                        CASEY
            What's up?

                        PETE
            Oh, I've got some new information about the
            case.  I thought maybe we could meet for
            dinner, and I could ask you a few more
            questions.

                        CASEY
            Dinner? Yeah, sure.  Where and when?

                        PETE
            How about Cafe Night, seven o'clock?

                        CASEY
            Okay.  Sounds good.  See you then.

Casey hangs up.

INT. JACK'S GYM - THE WEIGHTS ROOM - DAY

When Casey looks up from her phone, she sees Jack standing with his arms crossed over his chest.

                        JACK
            Well, it's about damn time.

                        CASEY
            What?

                        JACK
            You getting back in the dating game,
            as they say.

                        CASEY
            It's not a date.  It's an appointment. 
            For a case.

Jack just stands there, smirking smugly.  Casey tucks her head, embarrassed, then strengthens her resolve and meets Jack's eyes again.

                        CASEY
            I gotta go.

                        JACK
            I imagine you do.

Casey glares at Jack, but he is unrelenting in his teasing gaze.  She puts ≠up the piece of paper and stalks away.

                        JACK
            Have fun on your date!

                        CASEY
            It's not a date!

INT. CAFE NIGHT - THE HOSTESS STATION - NIGHT

Casey enters the restaurant.  She has changed clothes.  She is now dressed in a nice pair of slacks with a button-up-the-front blouse; she's even wearing some jewelry and the slightest hint of makeup.  Her hair is down.  She's carrying a purse on her shoulder.

Casey looks around the restaurant until she sees Pete at his table.  He waves at her.  She smiles and waves back and heads in his direction.

INT. CAFE NIGHT - PETE'S TABLE - NIGHT

Casey walks to Pete's table.  Pete immediately stands up and runs his hand through his hair.  He's dressed in black jeans with a nice short-sleeved golf shirt.  And he's cleanly shaven.

                        PETE
            Hey.

                        CASEY
            Hey.

                        PETE
            You look nice.

                        CASEY
            Oh.  Thanks.  I...ummm...you look nice too.

                        PETE
            Yeah, I...uhhh...had a close encounter
            with a barbecue sandwich this afternoon. 
            The sandwich won.

They both laugh and sit down.  Casey sets her purse in the chair next to her.  In the chair next to Pete is a soft-sided briefcase packed with folders.

                        PETE
            So, can I get you something to drink?

                        CASEY
            That'd be great.  Thanks.

Pete makes a motion, and the WAITRESS comes toward their table.

INT. CAFE NIGHT - PETE'S TABLE - NIGHT

The table is now covered with dishes of half-eaten food as Pete and Casey are at the end of their meal.  The Waitress is removing dishes as they talk.  Pete and Casey are both smiling, clearly enjoying each other's company.  The briefcase still sits beside Pete, unopened.

                        CASEY
            So, you got divorced and moved all the
            way down here.  Leaving all of your family
            and friends behind with the ex-wife. 
            That's some pretty drastic decision-making.

                        PETE
            What about you?  Dumping a very lucrative
            law career to become a private investigator? 
            That qualifies as drastic in my book.

                        CASEY
            It does in my mother's book too.

                        PETE
            She didn't approve, I take it.

                        CASEY
            That's putting it mildly.

                        PETE
            Do you regret your decision?

                        CASEY
            No.  I enjoy what I do.  And I help
            people.  What about you?  Any regrets?

                        PETE
            Only that I didn't meet you sooner.

Flattered but embarrassed, Casey smiles uncomfortably, looks down, and leans back from the table.  After a moment, she clears her throat and looks back up.

                        CASEY
            So, you said you had some new information
            about the case.

                        PETE
            Yeah, right.  We've found out quite a
            few things.

Pete gets his briefcase and pulls out his stack of folders and sets them on the table.

                        PETE
            The victim's name was Mitzi Howard. 
            She's got a record for prostitution,
            possession.  No family that we know of.

                        CASEY
            Any leads on the attacker?

                        PETE
            Yeah.  Forensics lifted some prints off
            the basement door.  When we ran 'em, we
            got a hit.  His name is Frederic Johan. 
            He's German.

Pete pulls a sheet of paper out of the folder and hands it to Casey.  She takes it and looks at it.

It's a copy of a newspaper article.  A large photo of Frederic tops the article.  He is in a business suit, sitting on the edge of a huge desk in a posh office.  The headline reads "Computer Mogul, Frederic Johan, Changes the Face of German Manufacturing."

Casey looks at the article photo with a confused look on her face.

                        CASEY
            That's definitely him.  But why would
            someone like Johan be in Memphis killing
            a prostitute?

                        PETE
            I think he's a serial killer.  His
            occupation takes him all over the world. 
            And there have been two murders in Europe
            that are very similar to the one here, both
            unsolved.

                        CASEY
            Similar how?

                        PETE
            Here's where it starts getting really
            interesting.  When the ME did the autopsy,
            he found something very unusual on Mitzi's
            body: a mark.

                        CASEY
            A mark?

                        PETE
            Well, not a visible mark really.  It was
            more like a remnant mark, like when someone
            gets a tattoo removed.

Pete pulls the Rune book out of his briefcase and sets it face down on the table.  Then he starts searching his folders for the photo of the remnant mark.

                        CASEY
            Ummm...wh-where was it?  On her body, I mean.

                        PETE
            On her chest, the left side, right over her
            heart.

Casey rests her hand over her heart and closes her eyes.  She exhales a deep breath and lifts her eyes again, just as Pete finishes his search.

                        PETE
            Similar remnant marks were found on the
            European victims.  And guess what?  The
            marks were all types of Runes.

                        CASEY
            Runes?

Casey gets a worried look on her face.

                        PETE
            Yeah.  They're characters in an ancient
            Scandinavian alphabet.

Pete hands Casey the Runes book first.  She takes it, touches the cover.

                        PETE
            Here's what the mark on Mitzi looked like.

Pete hands the photo of Mitzi's remnant mark to Casey.  She puts down the book and takes the photo.  Then she looks at it.  Her face now shows total shock.

                        CASEY
            Oh, god...

                        PETE
            Casey, what is it?

Casey doesn't answer.  She just bolts away from the table toward the ladies' room, taking the photo with her.  Pete jumps up and follows, calling after her.

 

GO TO ACT FOUR
 

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