Paul Witt asked me to write a screenplay about a revolution in Bolivia. I asked him what else he had. “Nothing,” he said. “A revolution in Bolivia—that’s all I’ve got.”
I thought that was a sketchy idea and said so. But after the meeting, my ego began to talk to me: who else in Hollywood, my ego said to me, could write a better movie about a revolution in Bolivia?
This script is owned by Disney Pictures.
RECONNAISSANCE FADE IN: EXT. CAPITAL STREET - DAY A backwater street in this capital city of an Andean country. At the street's end, snowy peaks rise. A man in his 40s paces off, heel to toe, the distance between the streetcar tracks embedded in the pavement. He has a beard, a moustache--outside of his intense eyes, he looks like a shabby academic. His name is ANEAS HERTZOG. CUT TO: EXT. ANDES AND AEROBATIC BIPLANE - AERIAL SHOT - DAY The jagged, snow-capped mountains--and now, into shot, a shiny sport biplane, looping and rolling. ANGLE - PLANE - HERTZOG AND MAN In the front, Hertzog holds on for dear life. The pilot in the back is a wealthy industrialist. They yell back and forth on the intercom. MAN To answer your question, look at those mountains. What's in them? Tin. No more gold, no more copper. What's tin worth in the world? Five percent less every year! HERTZOG Develop other industries. MAN The banks won't loan us money until we pay off the debt we've got. We'd love to modernize. Where do we get the cash? You sure you're okay? Hertzog holds on upside down at the top of the loop, smiles through clenched teeth. CUT TO: EXT. MOUNTAIN PASS - FREIGHT TRAIN - DAY The train struggles up a grade. The caboose rumbles past.
2. INT. CABOOSE Hertzog at a table, taking notes and drinking coffee--an old CONDUCTOR sits with him. HERTZOG You have a union. CONDUCTOR We haven't had a raise in ten years. Some union. HERTZOG Go on strike. CONDUCTOR Carrasco won't let us. Vital national industry--they never shut down the railroads. What kind of union-- answer me this, because it's a good question--what kind of union is it that can't go on strike? CUT TO: EXT. MANSION LAWN - DAY Hertzog follows HECTOR CARRASCO, head of the Railway Workers Union, as he walks between wickets on his croquet court on the lawn of his hacienda outside the capital. CARRASCO People have asked me. Surprise you? HERTZOG A little. CARRASCO I tell them the same thing. Why should I? Hatch your little plot, kick out Ovando, then come to me. Until then, I don't want to see you. You can't run this country without the railroads, and I, Hector Carrasco, am the Railway Workers Union. CUT TO:
3. INT. HOTEL - HERTZOG - NIGHT A modest downtown room. Three men sit to one side, watching Hertzog as he looks through a stack of notes on index cards. One is PACHANGA, the country's Chief of Staff--beside him is REYES, Minister of Education, a nervous man, and ROJO DANTE, the burly head of the Mine Workers. They watch as Hertzog stands, crosses to a window, turns back to them. HERTZOG I don't see how. At least not your way. The faces of the three men sag. REYES Where else can we go? HERTZOG Besides, I'm not that well. ROJO DANTE Have you seen a doctor? PACHANGA (nudging him) He is a doctor. Hertzog regards their crestfallen faces, finally sighs. HERTZOG Let me keep looking. CUT TO: INT. CAR - CAPITAL CITY STREET - HERTZOG AND DETECTIVE - DAY It's pouring. Hertzog sits with a city DETECTIVE--through the wipers, they watch two more cops staked out in a doorway across the street. DETECTIVE The Army's supposed to handle this. HERTZOG Internal security. DETECTIVE They don't want to get their uniforms dirty. I should have joined the Army. My face is wrong. HERTZOG What's wrong with it?
4. DETECTIVE Flat nose. Indian. Look at the officers--pure Castilian. Ovando gives them raises every year. We work overtime for straight pay and we use our own cars. Does that answer your question? HERTZOG I'm not sure. DETECTIVE You were asking, say there's an uprising--what would the cops do? I know what I'd do--stay home and watch it on television. Excuse me. He hurries out. Hertzog sees two men exiting a building. The two detectives have jumped them, beat them brutally with saps. The third detective runs up, pulls a sap, joins in. CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET - MILITARY PARADE - DAY Crowds wave national flags. Tanks and trucks of soldiers roll past. Overhead, fighters roar past--now comes a deafening line of Army helicopters; the square trembles. On a viewing stand, GENERAL HUGO OVANDO, the country's dictator, handsome, trim in a suit, virile for his seventy five years, salutes his troops. Besides him, Pachanga, the man Hertzog met with in the hotel room; REYNOSO, the cruel looking Minister of the Interior; and two cronies, SISA, Chief Justice, and ARRANGO, Minister of Finance. EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - HERTZOG AND JORGE ORTIZ ORTIZ is a local journalist. His heart's not in the event- his cameras sit beside his beer. The back of the crowd obscures their view. ORTIZ Look at them. See any hope? Hertzog shrugs. Ortiz has to shout over the roar of the choppers. ORTIZ (CONT'D) There isn't any. They put up with it. They think it's the way it's supposed to be.
5. HERTZOG What if somebody showed up who told them otherwise? ORTIZ A liberator? A guy on a white horse? Hertzog nods. ORTIZ (CONT'D) First of all, no Marxist; they're afraid of Marxists-- they'd rather have the General. Secondly, he'd have to stay alive, and none of them do. You find them in ditches outside of town. So if he wasn't a Marxist and he could somehow stay alive, sure, maybe. One chance in a million. CUT TO: EXT. HILLSIDE - HERTZOG - DAY He's shaved his beard--he lies in tall grass with binoculars. Down the hill, beyond a wire fence, jets take off from the air base at Desaquederio. SECURITY GUARD He's spotted Hertzog by the glint of his glasses. He's left his jeep, crept within a few feet of him. HERTZOG AND GUARD Hertzog senses him, turns--but the GUARD lowers his rifle. GUARD On your feet. Hertzog puts his finger to his lips. GUARD (CONT'D) What do you mean, quiet? Get up. HERTZOG (motioning him down) A Darwin's Curlew. GUARD I don't know what you're talking about...
6. HERTZOG A Darwin's Curlew. You know what a bird is. GUARD I know what a bird is... HERTZOG And if I say bird sanctuary, does that mean anything? GUARD This is a restricted military area. Hertzog stands, takes out a wallet. HERTZOG If I show you my permit, will you go away and not bother me? Hertzog fumbles his wallet--his papers fly everywhere. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Now you're making me nervous. He kneels to pick up his papers. The guard is confused. In one move, Hertzog sweeps his feet from under him--as he falls, a blow to his throat makes him gasp, a curled knuckle, driven into his temple, kills him. Hertzog stands, brushes the dirt off. He looks around. CUT TO: EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - ARMY CONVOY - DAY Overcast. A convoy of four trucks has pulled off the road. One has broken down--two drivers curse in the mud beneath it. Hertzog is clean-shaven--he stands among the waiting soldiers. They're all conscripts, Indians just off the farm. Hertzog passes around a pack of cigarettes. HERTZOG You were saying... SOLDIER So I hid in the attic. My mom told them I'd moved to town. SOLDIER TWO But they came back. SOLDIER And there he was, knee-deep in corn.
7. HERTZOG How do you like the Army? The kid looks at his pals. They share a chuckle. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You're learning something. SOLDIER TWO Name it. HERTZOG To shoot a gun. SOLDIER I shot a gun once in training. One bullet. One. SOLDIER TWO They don't want us to know about guns too much. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - POTOSI - DAY The peaks ice-white beyond the shabby mining town. A shift lets out--exhausted workers trudge among rows of company housing. Hertzog pushes through the crowd after DORA CALDERON, a public health nurse. She won't stop.
8. DORA Fuck you and fuck your story. What are you going to say--the miners are poor? The miners have no health care--their lungs rot, they die when they're forty? There's been millions of stories--the whole world knows about the miners--they know about the miners in Fiji, they know about the miners in Madagascar, and what the hell good has it done? Has one child eaten one more bite off one rotten potato because some journalist came here and spent his day and talked to three people and flew back to wherever he came from in his air conditioned airplane and wrote his story and collected his check and went to bed thinking, my, what a great liberal I am? I sure haven't seen it, so if you don't mind me saying so, go fuck yourself and let me do my work and go bother somebody else. She leaves Hertzog standing there, speechless. He's smiling- he likes her. CUT TO: INT. POTOSI HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT The one hotel in this shabby mining town. Hertzog finishes one last index card. Tacked to the wall, circling the room, are a hundred others. He pins the last one in a hole he's left for it. He sits back down, looks them over, studying each intensely, from beginning to end. CUT TO: EXT. HOTEL - DAY Dawn spreads over the mountain peaks behind the hotel. Smoke drifts from the chimney of an upper room. INT. LOBBY - HERTZOG On the phone.
9. HERTZOG I can do it. I found a way. I'll be in touch. He hangs up, heads up the stairs. INT. ROOM As he enters. The walls are bare. He crosses to the fireplace, pokes with the tip of his shoe the pile of index cards burning there, a hundred of them, edges curling, turning to ash. FADE OUT. THE STATES FADE IN: EXT. BERKELEY CAMPUS AND HILLSIDE - DAY A winter storm lashes the bay. Students scurry to classes under ponchos and umbrellas. Camera closes on a Victorian shingle house, set among redwoods. Rain pelts the upstairs bedroom window. Behind lace curtains, a man and a woman make love. INT. BEDROOM - HERTZOG AND MAIA They're passionate, like people drinking before they cross a desert. Maia's beautiful--Hertzog, naked, is manly. CUT TO: INT. SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT - NIGHT Hertzog and Maia have stopped in front of a security gate. Maia starts to speak--she fights back tears. Hertzog touches her. HERTZOG If you don't stop, you'll get me going. But she can't, and now his eyes fill as well. MAIA Smart money says I never see you again.
10. HERTZOG You're the best single thing that's ever happened to me in my life. He lifts her chin. HERTZOG (CONT'D) I'm going to kiss you and I'm going to turn, and I won't look back. MAIA Can you do that? HERTZOG We'll soon see. He kisses her long, deeply. Now he turns, sets his bag on the conveyor, and walks through the security station. ANGLE - MAIA Watching him walk away. She suddenly calls out. MAIA I love you. ANGLE - HERTZOG Turning. He chuckles--he's broken his vow. He blows her a kiss. ANGLE - MAIA Blowing a kiss back. She watches as he disappears. HERTZOG AND STUDENT - TRACKING As Hertzog heads for his gate, a young STUDENT with a daypack falls in alongside. STUDENT Professor Urribe. HERTZOG Hi. STUDENT Kevin Foster--"The Military in Latin America."
11. HERTZOG Sure. STUDENT It was a big class. You taking off? HERTZOG For a while. You? STUDENT South to see my folks. HERTZOG South as well. The student waves, peels off--Hertzog keeps going. FADE OUT. BERNAL FADE IN: EXT. BORDER MILITARY POST - NIGHT High in an Andean pass, flanking a major road. Floodlights shine on its perimeters--soldiers patrol the gates. EXT. MOUNTAIN CLEARING - GUERILLAS Thirty motley men, breath misting, their dress a combination of Indian and guerilla; knit hats, rebozos over bandoliers. They carry new AK-47s. Among them, their commander, OSWALDO BERNAL, in his forties, a bundle of nerves. A man addresses them, a classic Cuban: leather coat, aviator glasses, a trim beard. Only when he speaks do we realize it's Hertzog. HERTZOG On October 15, 1958, Fidel Castro and ninety followers landed on a beach at Oriente Province. Five days later, sixty had been captured, ten were dead. The men shift their feet. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Three months later, Castro took Havana City at the head of a People's Army. They stiffen with pride.
12. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You are the vanguard. Greatness is your goal. Greatness is not difficult when it's greatness in the service of liberty, and men of the February Tenth, greatness will be your reward. They shout their approval. Bernal comes forward--Hertzog takes him by the shoulders. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Commander Bernal. BERNAL Commander Hertzog. God bless you. HERTZOG You kept the flame alive. BERNAL It burned in me like a torch. HERTZOG In ten days, the balcony of the Palace. BERNAL God willing. Victory or death. HERTZOG Victory or death. They embrace. Bernal turns to his troops--"Victory or death," they shout in unison. Bernal leads them off, into the trees. Hertzog waves as they go. HERTZOG AND DORA The clearing empty, Hertzog walks towards a car. A woman waits-- it's Dora, the nurse from the mines. From the trunk, the two of them spread objects around the clearing--Red stars, Cuban propaganda, a copy of Mao's Red Book. Done, he motions her to the car. They get in. INT. CAR They take a moment to regard each other. HERTZOG Did you like doing that? DORA Not especially.
13. HERTZOG You're not supposed to. Dora starts the car--Hertzog peels off his beard. EXT. HIGHWAY - CAR Hertzog's car speeds down the road. Something flies from it, lands in the bushes--the jacket, the beard, the glasses. Up the valley, near the border post, blinding flashes reflect off the mountainside. A second later, the booms of explosions, the distant rattle of gunfire. FADE OUT. FIERRO'S DAY FADE IN: EXT. POWER PYLONS - DAWN Marching across a mountain valley in morning light. An explosion at the base of one--men run away as it topples to the ground. The cables snap, sing as they whip about. CUT TO: EXT. GOVERNMENT ARSENAL - DAY Three guards tremble, hands high. Masked men load crates of dynamite onto a truck bed. The leader shouts--one man empties a clip over the guards' head. They fall flat as the truck grinds away. CUT TO: EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE AND CHURCH - DAY Peasants crowd around the cathedral door. A sheaf of papers has been nailed to it. An elderly National Police cop pushes through the crowd, rips the papers off, looks them over, hurries off. CUT TO: EXT. CAPITAL CITY - DAY Hunkering in its Andean valley. The early mist burns off. On the arterials, bumper to bumper morning traffic into the city.
14. EXT. HIGHWAY BRIDGE Below a freeway bridge where cars inch, a shantytown, the homeless among their cardboard shacks. INT. BMW - CARLOS AND FIERRO MARTIN FIERRO is in his thirties. His suit is like his car, tailored, the latest fashion; he rides the bumper of the car in front of him. Beside him, his eight-year-old son CARLOS, wearing a baseball jacket, a glove on his left hand. Fierro speaks into a car phone. FIERRO This is Martin Fierro, Carlos Fierro's father. Carlos won't be coming to school today. Carlos and Fierro swap grins. FIERRO (CONT'D) He's spending the day with me. Yes, he'll be back tomorrow. You're welcome. Fierro hangs up. Carlos happily pounds his glove. EXT. PLAZA MAYOR AND GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS The baroque Presidential Palace confronts the Ministry of the Interior across the formal square. Army trucks honk through the traffic--soldiers spill out, humping machine guns to sandbagged emplacements. Fierro's BMW cuts through traffic and dives into the Ministry's underground parking past two saluting guards. INT. MINISTRY - GARAGE Fierro exits his BMW, leads Carlos past attendants giving Mercedes and Porches their daily polish. Carlos is impressed. INT. MINISTRY - BASEMENT CORRIDOR - TRACKING Fierro leads Carlos down the hall. Suspects are dragged past them by uniformed cops and shoved through doorways--Carlos stares. They pass through a door at the hall's end marked "Census and Cartography."
15. INT. OUTER OFFICE Secretaries at desks, men working on maps at drafting tables. They greet Fierro--some know the boy is his son, some ask. They reach a door at the rear, guarded by a man at a desk. There's a security combination pad by the door. FIERRO Open it. CARLOS I don't know the number. FIERRO What's your birthday? Carlos gets it, punches in the code. The door buzzes open. He likes that. INT. INNER OFFICE A different look--computers, racks of files. Two secretaries, two file clerks, two sub-analysts, LARA, a quechua Indian, and SOTO, a young city kid. SECRETARY Carlos! FIERRO You remember Roberta? CARLOS Sort of. SECRETARY You going to work with your dad? FIERRO Time he sees what I do for a living. SOTO A state of siege, as of nine this morning. FIERRO I heard. Lara waits with a handful of papers by Fierro's office door.
16. LARA Flash reports. Dead dog on a lamppost at Ixiamas. Sign around his neck--"Ovando--son of a bitch." The manifesto from the church at Bom Destino. FIERRO Bernal's file? Lara hands it over, follows Soto into the office. FIERRO (CONT'D) Carlos, you remember Mr. Lara. LARA It's been a while. INT. FIERRO'S OFFICE Stylish, modern. Fierro sits at his desk, turns to Carlos. FIERRO I have to read these. Fierro glances over the flash reports, the manifesto. Lara and Soto wait. Carlos begins to fidget. CARLOS Can I see your gun? FIERRO I don't keep it here. CARLOS Where is it? FIERRO Never mind where. Carlos drifts to a cabinet, looks at framed photographs: one is of the General, signed, the next has Fierro at a banquet, wearing a tux. His father has finished the file, looks up. LARA What do you think? Fierro leans back, regards them. FIERRO It's not Bernal. LARA It can't be. SOTO We know him.
17. FIERRO Bernal can't write his own name. He used to get that woman to do all his pamphlets. Whatshername--the one he blew up. LARA Frieda something. SOTO Do we tell the General? FIERRO Where is he now? SOTO Staff meeting. LARA He's alerted El Jaguar. Fierro scowls. A beat--then he calls through the door. FIERRO Roberta, get me in with the General. ROBERTA He's in a staff meeting. FIERRO He'll see me. (to Carlos) Want to come? Carlos gets up as his father does. Lara looks surprised. FIERRO (CONT'D) The General knows him. Remember the General--he sent you a present. CARLOS A truck. Fierro takes the files and leads Carlos out the door. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - DAY Carlos waits on a bench in the ornamental hallway. He regards his father--Fierro looks like he's preparing for a fight. A door opens--Minister of the Interior REYNOSO motions them inside.
18. INT. CHAMBER Ovando and General Pachanga look up as Fierro and Carlos enter behind Reynoso. OVANDO What is it, Martin? Is this your boy? FIERRO You came to his christening. OVANDO I remember. Do you want to shake my hand? Carlos looks over at his father. Fierro nods--Carlos takes the General's extended hand. OVANDO (CONT'D) A nice-looking young man. Make it fast. FIERRO It's not Bernal. Reynoso and Pachanga exchange glances. OVANDO Prove it. FIERRO Oswaldo Bernal's a failure. He blew up his appliance shop and most of his cell when he lived here- he's been in the mountains three years, he's lost most of his men to sickness and desertion; the locals turn them in because they're more afraid of them than the police. Nobody in their right mind would back Bernal to lead a popular insurrection. PACHANGA Somebody gave him AK-47s. FIERRO I'm not saying that didn't happen. I'm saying whoever did it is using your well-known hate of Communists to distract you while he does something else behind your back. OVANDO Who is he?
19. FIERRO I don't know yet. PACHANGA The Americans? FIERRO Not the Americans, not Cubans. Nobody in your government, it's not students, it's not unions or miners- I'd know if it was. REYNOSO What do you know, Fierro? FIERRO General, I keep track of your enemies. I do a good job; I know Bernal better than his mother does. The only reason somebody would give him guns would be to bait you into a trap. PACHANGA Elements of El Jaguar are moving north. FIERRO That's a big mistake. The room goes silent--even Fierro suspects he's gone too far. Ovando walks up behind him, puts his hands on his shoulders. While he speaks, he jams his thumbs into Fierro's neck enough to make him wince. OVANDO Your father is a bright man, Carlos. Bright men, however, sometimes come up with complicated answers when simple ones will do. Bernal has guns--he's attacked me. I will crush him. PACHANGA I must admit, Fierro, I agree with the General. REYNOSO The General has always been right. FIERRO So have I, Minister...
20. REYNOSO Right for the government and right for the country. You look silly trying to be righter than he is. I could just as easily say it is Bernal, and he's planting rumors it's somebody else through his agent, the Director of Internal Security. FIERRO I'd be insulted if you did. REYNOSO You'd have every right to be. I don't know what I'm talking about- I'm making it up. OVANDO Gentlemen... FIERRO General, I know what I risk by telling you this. I didn't think about it when I stepped in front of you-- I'm not thinking about it now. Your greatest danger is that you do exactly what you're doing, and it's my duty to tell you you're wrong. Ovando puts his hands on Fierro's shoulders again. Carlos gets worried. OVANDO Martin, go back to your office and prepare an abstract on Bernal-- background, tactics, your best predictions what he'll do. Update it daily... Fierro starts to speak--Ovando puts his fingers to his lips. OVANDO (CONT'D) Have the first one on my desk by noon, although I may not read it. Bernal's on foot--he can't make more than twenty miles in the mountains. I should have his head on a stick by tomorrow morning. Fierro says nothing. OVANDO (CONT'D) Go on, Martin. I want to see you leave. A beat--then Fierro stands, motions to Carlos, and they exit. Reynoso can't resist a smirk for Fierro as he passes.
21. CUT TO: EXT. PLAZA - MAYOR - DAY A sound truck with loudspeakers circles the plaza, announcing the state of siege--the curfew, the suspension of political activities, no gathering of more than three people. INT. FIERRO'S OFFICE He's writing the General's report. The sound truck outside passes--he gets up, slams the window hard. It makes Carlos jump--he's never seen his father like this. Lara knocks, enters, reads over Fierro's shoulder. LARA Intensify intelligence gathering... FIERRO Expand government propaganda, increase televised public appearances for the General. LARA The obvious. FIERRO The obvious. He pulls the report out of the typewriter, signs it, hands it to Lara, turns to Carlos. FIERRO (CONT'D) Where do you want to have lunch? CARLOS Anywhere? FIERRO Your choice. CUT TO: EXT. CITY ZOO - DAY Fierro has just bought empanadas from a vendor--he hands one to Carlos as they stroll along the animal enclosures. CARLOS Does it still hurt?
22. FIERRO It never did. CARLOS Aren't you mad at him? FIERRO The General? CARLOS He hurt you. FIERRO I didn't feel it. You let things like that bounce off you. CARLOS How? FIERRO By being in control. By knowing yourself. That's Aristotle; you'll read him in a few years. Know exactly who you are, and things like that hit you and bounce off. You work on yourself until you're tough as steel. You know how they make steel? Carlos shakes his head. Fierro hesitates--his attention has been drawn across the street. POV - FIERRO Two students are spray-painting "Viva Bernal" on the wall of a building. BACK TO SHOT FIERRO (CONT'D) They take iron and boil it--the impurities come to the surface and they skim them off. You figure out your own impurities, you bring them to the surface, and you skim them off. You make yourself steel. Carlos isn't sure what he means. Fierro glances back across the street. POV FIERRO The kids are running off with two cops on their heels.
23. BACK TO SHOT He turns back to Carlos. FIERRO (CONT'D) The General didn't hurt me because I know who I am, and I know I'm right. CUT TO: NIGHT AT THE COUNTRY CLUB EXT. COUNTRY CLUB - NIGHT Silent tennis courts. In the stable, grooms curry horses. On the drive in front of the clubhouse, teenaged boys and girls lean against cars, talking, the radios playing. Guards with submachine guns patrol the electrified fence. INT. DINING ROOM - FIERRO AND ELENA Dressed for dinner, Fierro and his wife ELENA eat in the clubhouse dining room. Elena has a shy, quiet look. Fierro smiles at something across the room--she can't figure out what. POV FIERRO A blustery waitress serves a table--two old couples, the women in jewels, the men with medals on their tuxes. The waitress is loud, pushy--we realize it's a man in drag. FIERRO'S TABLE On either side of Fierro, other guests watch, smother their laughter. FIERRO It's Bobby Tedesco ELENA Why is he doing that? FIERRO Don't you get it? Elena shakes her head. Fierro exchanges smiles with others around him.
24. ELENA You took Carlos to work. FIERRO I called the school. ELENA You didn't call me. FIERRO I'm sorry--I forgot. ELENA I waited an hour outside. Finally I went in--they said he'd been with you. FIERRO Elena, I've had a hard day. ELENA I wish we could see somebody FIERRO A priest? ELENA A counselor. Fierro laughs out loud--so do others around him. ANGLE - WAITRESS AND TABLE The drag waitress has just spilled a drink into an elderly man's lap; he fumes and sputters while his wife tries to clean him up. The waitress blames the man, flounces away, rolling his mascara'd eyes to his friends in the room. FIERRO AND ELENA His laughter fading when he regards Elena. FIERRO I remember when we used to laugh at the same things. ELENA I disappoint you. FIERRO A man or a woman? ELENA A man.
25. FIERRO I'll try anything at this point. CUT TO: INT. CARD ROOM - POKER GAME - NIGHT BOBBY TEDESCO deals, his wig off, still wearing his waitress uniform, a cigarette dangling. Three other young men, Fierro among them, at the table in the smoky room. TEDESCO A low pair for the Minister of Recreation and Group Perversion. Garbage appropriately for the Deputy Minister of Trash and Tourism, and a ten for the Director of Gossip and Scandal, my former best friend. Pair of sixes bets. FIERRO Why do you say that? TEDESCO You never call anymore. FIERRO I'm busy. TEDESCO Hidden in the basement. The Phantom of the Opera. FIERRO It was a mistake. TOURISM Why? FIERRO I boxed myself in. It's a dead end. TEDESCO No scope for his vast abilities. You know Fierro could run the country better than anyone else. He tells us often enough. RECREATION Is that why you said what you said to Ovando? FIERRO You heard.
26. RECREATION My dear boy... TEDESCO You see what happens when you step in the path of an assassin's bullet and save the General's life? You get a taste for it--you want it to happen on a regular basis. TOURISM I've always wanted to ask you, Martin--you see the gun come out, you feel yourself moving, you see the smoke from the barrel, hear the shot--were you thinking, this could be a very good career move? FIERRO Are we playing cards or not? Recreation bets. Tedesco and Tourism fold. Fierro calls and raises. TEDESCO He's holding tens. RECREATION Are you? Fierro only smiles. CUT TO: INT. CLUB TELEVISION ROOM - FIERRO AND GENERAL - NIGHT ALFONSO BUNSTER, commander of the Los Liones division, and Fierro sit in overstuffed chairs, smoking cigars. At the other end of the empty room, a soundless television--on it, a government propaganda documentary, extolling the General, his benefits to the country, his virility. BUNSTER We had a constitutional government some years back but it didn't function well--the parties never got along, things went from bad to worse, into the gap stepped the General, who stopped the anarchy, but in doing so created his own abuses. So we've gone from a government everybody wanted but didn't work to a government that works but nobody wants. What would happen if somebody tried to change it? Fierro nods.
27. BUNSTER (CONT'D) By peaceful means, the General wouldn't allow it--he has the Army. By violent means--difficult to raise a popular army, training, weapons, secrecy, difficult to defeat our army in the field. FIERRO Say that happened. BUNSTER Speaking hypothetically. FIERRO Of course. BUNSTER In a country like this, people aren't loyal to the government because they had no hand in choosing it. They're loyal only to their jobs, their way of life, so if a new government threatens to take over, their first thought is not to defend the old government, or even to run out and join the insurrection. Their first thought is, how do I keep my job? If the government changes, will I still get paid Friday? So if there was an insurrection, I think you'd find most people sitting on their hands, waiting to see who was on top when the dust cleared and hoping they could make a deal with them. FIERRO But the Army. BUNSTER No, the Army will fight, and for that reason, the General is secure. Fierro nods. They both watch televisions. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Elena, in her robe, has just looked in on sleeping Carlos. She heads down the hallway to her bedroom. Entering, she expects to see Fierro--she finally spots him, out on the bedroom balcony.
28. EXT. BALCONY - FIERRO His is the penthouse balcony--surrounding his high-rise, shantytowns in vacant lots, swaddled in the smoke of hundreds of fires. Fierro stands in his robe, staring out at the smoky city. He clutches his hands. Abruptly, he turns and exits. INT. STUDY Fierro turns on the lights, takes a chart from a rack on a wall, lays it out on this desk and weights it down. It's a map of the central city, with the prominent buildings clearly marked. His finger traces the Palace, the Ministry of the Interior--over to the La Mura barracks. He takes a compass, puts the point on the Palace, and draws a ten block radius around it. CUT TO: EXT. LORETO RAVINE - NIGHT A scrubby wash bordering the city's railyard. Squatters live there--their fires dot the darkness. ANGLE - FIRE - HERTZOG At the ravine's bottom, among a circle of men warming their hands, sits Hertzog. He's talking with them, wrapped in an old blanket for warmth--they share some of their meager stew. Almost idly, he reaches down and takes a handful of dirt. He squeezes it between his fingers. FADE OUT. FIERRO BEGINS FADE IN: EXT. BARRACKS - LA MURA - DAY The dome of the Palace is visible ten blocks beyond the barracks of the elite Presidential Guard regiment. Tough troops and men, in a constant state of training--squads strip weapons, hoist logs, clean their tanks.
29. INT. OFFICE - COLONEL GORITTI His moustache tips waxed upward. He sits under the regimental seal, the subscript "Fey al muerte." He's pissed. GORITTI I'm not in the habit of defending the reputation of the Presidential Guard to a civil servant. (indicating seal) "Loyalty unto death." Every man in the regiment swears it, a sword in one hand, a Bible in the other. A traitor wouldn't last ten seconds- I probably wouldn't even know about it. The rest of the Army is another matter. FIERRO Tell me. GORITTI I don't know about the Fast Reactive Force. It's a new outfit- I hear they're good. Then there's El Jaguar and Los Liones. Fierro nods. GORITTI (CONT'D) First, the officers. Old, incompetent, passed over for promotion; they drink. The troops- conscripts, farm boys. Half of them sick or deserting--their equipment never works. Their strength on paper is 10,000 each. FIERRO Say you needed help. GORITTI La Mura has never needed help. FIERRO If you did. GORITTI That's my point. On paper, 10,000 each division, but they never meet their quotas, so say 12,000 actives between them. Half sick or over the hill, so we're down to 6,000. Trucks for 2,000, half of them in the shop. If I needed help, I'd be lucky to get 1,000 men. CUT TO:
30. EXT. SECURITY BARRACKS - DESAQUEDERIO AIRFIELD - DAY The airfield Hertzog scouted from the hill. Fierro walks with a nervous captain along a line of nervous troops at attention. CAPTAIN Start with the runway. You blow one hole in it--it doesn't even have to be a big hole, if it's in the right place. Or you drive a truck onto it and shoot out the tires. Then there's the control tower. FIERRO What about it? CAPTAIN It gives permission to land and take off. No permission, that's a major violation. FIERRO So one man in the control tower could theoretically ground the whole air force. CAPTAIN For a few minutes. Until we got him out of there. CUT TO: INT. MINISTRY OF INTERIOR - BASEMENT CORRIDOR - MORNING The chart from his study under his arm, Fierro hurries down the hallway. A rotund Army general named ZANUDIO, holding a teletype message, falls in step alongside. ZANUDIO You heard about El Jaguar. FIERRO What? ZANUDIO Two brigades moving north near Irupana. Land mines in the road-- blew away the first truck, rocketed the last one, trapped the whole column. FIERRO They knew they were coming.
31. ZANUDIO Somebody told them? Fierro nods--Zanudio hurries to keep up with him. ZANUDIO (CONT'D) Fierro, I have a way out. FIERRO You think you'll need one? ZANUDIO You can never tell. Me, the wife, the children. All I need is an hour's warning. FIERRO I'll keep it in mind. ZANUDIO You're a friend. (as Fierro heads off) My way out. There's room for a few more. Fierro smiles, shakes his head, enters Census and Cartography. INT. FIERRO'S OUTER OFFICE Roberta and Soto jump up and follow Fierro towards his office. ROBERTA Stoffer's been calling--they want today's Form 5. Soto's burdened with messages. SOTO Bernal has declared Francisco Province a liberated area. Declaration of support from a student group in Santiago calling for a popular front. El Jaguar's being reinforced with two regiments of Los Liones--the General's on his way north to take command personally. INT. FIERRO'S INNER OFFICE Lara leaps up from Fierro's chair--he's been watching a tape on the office VCR.
32. LARA DIC intercepted these. A PamAm pilot was taking then to the States. INSERT - TV SCREEN Ortiz, the journalist, is on camera, reporting the fighting up north. Behind him, lines of straggling refugees. ORTIZ Potatoes are the main crop of the region, but the winter has been unusually severe, and the roots planted last fall have not grown. The babies no longer cry when they go to sleep at night with empty bellies. On screen, Bernal's troops trudge past. ORTIZ (CONT'D) Now to unemployment and starvation, add the horror of war. This is Bernal's constituency- these are the people he is trying to rally to his side, and although all he can offer them is insurrection, for many, choosing between fighting and hunger, fighting is the lesser of two evils. BACK TO SHOT Fierro turns off the TV, sits back in his chair, thinking. ROBERTA Today's Form 5? FIERRO You write it. ROBERTA Me...?
33. FIERRO Make something up--I'll sign it. (to Soto) Get all of Ortiz's tapes--make transcripts of them, run them through a word frequency and habitual sentence program. Compare them to the church manifesto, the declaration of liberated area, and the call for a popular front. SOTO What am I looking for? FIERRO Didn't Ortiz sound familiar? LARA Not especially. FIERRO "Fighting is the lesser of two evils." The same phrase is in the church manifesto, also at the end. Everything's being written by the same man. He motions Soto and Roberta out. FIERRO AND LARA When the door shuts, Fierro stands. He folds his hands behind his back, begins to pace, now turns to Lara. FIERRO (CONT'D) Say I wanted to overthrow the government. Lara reacts. FIERRO (CONT'D) Say I decided one day this country was ready for a change. How would I do it? LARA I don't know. FIERRO Use your imagination. LARA It's hard to think. Kill everybody.
34. FIERRO Inefficient, and it takes too long. Say I wanted to do it quickly, in a matter of hours. LARA A coup. FIERRO A coup. Who would be in place to stop me? LARA The Army. The police... FIERRO And the various security departments. Start with them--they don't know I exist, and once I'm in the Palace, they're not a military force--they can't get me out. The police. Weak and lightly armed. They solve crimes and give tickets- they don't defend the country and they don't want to. LARA What about the Army? FIERRO I'll come back to that. I'd have to capture certain people and certain buildings. LARA The General. FIERRO Keep going. LARA We could go to jail for this. FIERRO Who else? LARA Reynoso. Sisa. FIERRO Reynoso because he's blindly loyal- Chief Justice Sisa because he's the brother-in-law. Who else? C'mon, Lara--Chief of Police Osorio. The rest don't count and we can assume some of them will go along with us. Generals?
35. LARA Pachanga. FIERRO Rudolph of the Air Force, and that's it--nobody else with any clout or any brains. So I'd need to capture what--five men. Lara shrugs as Fierro spreads out his chart. He points to the main buildings. FIERRO (CONT'D) Physical targets. The Palace... LARA This building. The Central Police station. FIERRO What else? LARA This is hard for me. FIERRO The television station. The five radio stations. The telephone exchange. The airport at Desaquiderio. The railroad station? Maybe, maybe not. So I'd need to capture twelve places, plus I'd have to control the streets around the Palace in case of a counterattack. LARA What about the Army? FIERRO The Army. I could never beat it face to face. LARA Never. FIERRO Say I didn't want to. Say I staged a phony guerilla attack on the northern border, as far away from the capital as I could. I wouldn't care if those guerillas never won, as long as they didn't lose. The General would commit his least effective forces first... LARA El Jaguar.
36. FIERRO But if they couldn't catch them, the General would be under more and more pressure to commit better troops. I'd make him send as much of the Army north as I could--at a certain point, I'd let him find my guerillas. Frustrated, hungry for blood, he'd send in his best unit... LARA The Fast Reactive Force. FIERRO And all that would be left to defend the capital would be La Mura and the Security of the President cops. Six hundred men. Meaning what? LARA I don't know... FIERRO Think! LARA I can't... FIERRO Meaning I could take over the country with 601. Lara is struck by the possibility. LARA Is that what's happening? FIERRO That's what's happening. He's brilliant. LARA Whoever he is. FIERRO That's what we find out next. Lara's never seen Fierro this excited. Fierro grabs his coat as he heads for the door. Lara follows. CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY HEADQUARTERS - DAY AGUIRRE, the portly chairman of the National Party, shows Fierro and Lara around his headquarters.
37. AGUIRRE The General knows I can deliver bodies. If there was a hostile move against the government, I could have 300,000 men and women in the Plaza Mayor within four hours. You're familiar with the concept of the telephone tree... Aguirre leads them through a door. INT. TELEPHONE ROOM Filled with desks, on each several phones. AGUIRRE Each of these is connected to regional party headquarters. In each regional headquarters, a similar room, with phones to each ward; in each ward, phones to block leaders. Figure it out mathematically--with 42 phones, each call five seconds long--"a demonstration in the Plaza Mayor at such and such a time"--I can call out more than a quarter of a million workers in four hours, and that is the service I perform for the General. CUT TO: INT. CENTRAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE RELAY ROOM - DAY A senior ENGINEER leads Fierro and Lara through a rats nest of patched wires, sparking equipment. ENGINEER The French equipment was metric- the English equipment was in inches. The solution's not very attractive, but what else could we do? FIERRO How often does it break down? The man's reluctant to admit it. FIERRO (CONT'D) We appreciate your problem.
38. ENGINEER Mr. Fierro, one wire--twelve strands of braided copper wrapped in plastic--breaks, and the capital is without telephone service, and that, to my shame and mortification, is the absolute truth. CUT TO: EXT. TRAFFIC INTERSECTION - DAY Rush hour--the intersection jammed with honking cars. Fierro and Lara talk with an ENGINEER in a hard hat. ENGINEER I've begged for a traffic circle. The merchants don't want to lose their footage, the police are afraid of accidents. FIERRO Say you wanted to stop traffic going to the Palace. ENGINEER Not another parade? FIERRO I'm thinking out loud. ENGINEER You barricade this, you barricade the Plaza 5th of July, you barricade Garribaldi. It happens every day--try to get from the Palace over the river at six o'clock. FIERRO Is this common knowledge? ENGINEER I'm not sure what you mean... FIERRO Have you ever talked to anyone about this? ENGINEER No... FIERRO Thanks very much. They shake hands. Fierro and Lara move off--the engineer calls after.
39. ENGINEER Yes. I spoke too soon. Somebody did ask me about it a few months ago. Traffic to the Palace, I mean. FIERRO Who? ENGINEER I barely remember. I think he was a reporter. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S OFFICE - DAY Now Lara paces as well as Fierro, both of them behind the engineer who sits looking at mug shots scroll past in computer files. ENGINEER Maybe a beard. All I really remember is the reporter part. FIERRO They're all the foreign journalists who applied for permits in the last year. WIDER ANGLE As Soto ushers in the security captain from the airport. Lara gets him a chair--Fierro sits him down beside the engineer. FIERRO (CONT'D) We're looking for a man, Captain. You might have seen him at the airport. CAPTAIN Lots of people at the airport. FIERRO You're a security officer. You're trained to look at people. ENGINEER I told them I barely remembered.
40. FIERRO He may have a beard--he may have glasses, be bald. Use your imagination. The two men stare at the scrawling mug shots. Fierro and Lara wait. CUT TO: INT. OFFICE - DAY Later. Coffee cups--the captain is chain smoking; his eyes are red. The engineer studies a face. ENGINEER Maybe him. In the eyes. FIERRO Captain? CAPTAIN I'm just guessing. Maybe a moustache. FIERRO Grease pencil. Lara looks around the office. Can't find one. FIERRO (CONT'D) (bellowing) Roberta--a grease pencil! She rushes into the office with one. Fierro takes it, draws a moustache over the face on the computer screen. CAPTAIN Maybe a hat. Fierro hurriedly draws in a hat. CAPTAIN (CONT'D) More like a cap. Fierro rubs out the hat with his finger, draws in a cap. FIERRO You saw him. CAPTAIN He said he was a journalist. FIERRO That's right.
41. CAPTAIN He was doing an article on the Air Force. Fierro bodily lifts the engineer out of the chair and sits in front of the computer. Lara escorts the two men out of the room. ANGLE - FIERRO Oblivious to everything but the computer. He prints out the file--while the printer feeds out the picture, he opens another file. It's marked Condor--its subscript is Interpol. He scrolls through the menu. A section of mug shots comes up-- international terrorists, revolutionaries, wanted criminals. He tears the picture from the printer, punches through the file, comparing faces. Then stops. WIDER ANGLE Lara re-enters, sees the look on his boss's face. Over his shoulder, on the screen, a file, a photo, and a name--Aneas Hertzog. LARA Nicaragua. FIERRO Aneas Hertzog. Walked into the Nicaraguan jungle one day in 1978, six months later walked out at the head of an army of 50,000 men. Took the capital in two days. Fierro claps his hands. CUT TO: IT'S HERTZOG INT. NATIONAL LIBRARY - DAY Like a cathedral, columns and high vaulted ceilings. Fierro and Lara at a table--Fierro has been taking notes from a stack of reference books.
42. FIERRO Born Filipo Klein, Sao Paolo 1941, father a teacher, mother Indian. Tested IQ 165. Scholarship, University of Havana, advanced studies University of Peking, 1964, dissertation, "Mao Tse Tung and Sun Tzu; The Tradition of Chinese Military Strategy." A LIBRARIAN brings him a book, whispers. LIBRARIAN Sorry it took so long. Fierro shows the book to Lara--it's the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu. FIERRO 1966 to '72, medical school, residency, Peking. 1973 to '76, private practice, Rio. In Rio, meets Nicaraguan exiles Ernesto Civera and Peter Aragon-- they convince him to lead the military arm of a popular revolt. He opens another book, shows Lara a photo of a younger Hertzog standing with his arms around the shoulders of two Latin men. FIERRO (CONT'D) Takes the nom de guerre Aneas Hertzog, defeats General Zuazo, sworn in as Minister of Defense, 1979. He opens another book--there's a photograph of Hertzog in fatigues, standing on top of a burned-out tank on a jungle road. FIERRO (CONT'D) Six months later, a Marxist purge of centrist leaders: Aragon kills Civera, tries to kill Hertzog who barely gets out of the country alive. Rumored to be teaching in North America, but we know otherwise. Lara looks impressed. FIERRO (CONT'D) His people loved him like a god. He used disguises, trusted only a handful. He never put anything in writing--it was all in his head. He scoops up the books and they move off.
43. ANGLE - LIBRARY TABLE Fierro and Lara exit past two people sitting at a table. One is Hertzog--across from him is Dora. She smiles faintly- Hertzog smiles back. Open in front of Hertzog is a government dictionary of biography. On the page, a photo of Fierro, and a few paragraphs of description. CUT TO: INT. CAFE - NIGHT It's late--Fierro and Lara are alone in the cafe. The owner wipes glasses. Lara can barely keep his eyes open. Fierro reads from Sun Tzu. FIERRO "The master strategist conceals his true dispositions and ultimate intent. When the enemy attempts to defend everywhere, he is weak everywhere, and at selected points, few will be able to do the work of many." Wake up, Lara. He nudges him. FIERRO (CONT'D) "The skillful strategist is able to subdue the enemy's army without engaging it, to take his cities without burning them, and to overthrow his state without bloody swords." LARA He sounds like a pacifist. FIERRO He lost 15,000 men in Nicaragua. LARA Maybe he's sick of blood. FIERRO I'm inside him, Lara--I see it through his eyes. He's come here, asked questions, he's looked over the terrain, he's measured the defenses. He knows what scares Ovando most--a Marxist insurrection--and he's given him one.
44. LARA Does he see you? FIERRO No, he does not see me. CUT TO: EXT. MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR REYNOSO'S VILLA - MORNING The Minister kisses his wife good-bye--his bodyguard falls in on either side as he heads towards his waiting limo. INT. FIERRO'S BMW - FIERRO AND LARA Parked up the street. Both watch through binoculars. Fierro's excited. FIERRO You do know what we're seeing. POV Parked on the street, a van, another car. Five young men approach from different directions, two from the van, one from the car, one passing on the street. They pass Reynoso and his bodyguards close enough to touch, but don't say a word. INT. FIERRO'S BMW Lara gets it. LARA A kidnap rehearsal. Fierro nods. POV Three of the men get in the van, two in the car. They drive off. Reynoso and his bodyguard haven't noticed them. BACK TO SHOT Lara is open-mouthed.
45. LARA (CONT'D) Jesus, you're right. Fierro nods. LARA (CONT'D) Do we tell the General? FIERRO We catch Hertzog. Lara reacts. FIERRO (CONT'D) I bring him in and what happens: gratitude, medals, Deputy Minister? Maybe Minister. LARA What if Reynoso finds out? FIERRO Reynoso who said I looked silly trying to be more right than Ovando? The Reynoso who just walked past his own kidnapping? We know who he is, we know what he's doing... LARA We're not cops. FIERRO Why are you resisting me? Lara wonders at the bark in his voice. FIERRO (CONT'D) I've been bored, Lara--I've been working at half speed, carrying out garbage for idiots. I know this man, I can smell him--he's my key to everything. Yours too--you should be thanking God for the opportunity. Lara doesn't look convinced. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S BMW -- MOVING SHOT The van is a block ahead of them. It turns at a corner. LARA What do we do--arrest them?
46. FIERRO They've never seen Hertzog. They wouldn't know him from Adam. He keeps going straight. FIERRO (CONT'D) Who do we know who does? Lara shrugs. FIERRO (CONT'D) C'mon, Lara--stay with me; who do we know that's met Hertzog? LARA I don't know. FIERRO He got scripts from him. LARA Ortiz? Fierro sighs--finally. FADE OUT. FIRST CONTACT FADE IN: EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE - LONG SHOT - DAY A mountain meadow, patched with snow, studded with rocks, the capital far in the distance. Two men are forcing a third to stand up on one of the rocks. THREE SHOT Fierro and Lara have bound and blindfolded Jorge Ortiz. FIERRO Tell me about him, Jorge. ORTIZ About who? FIERRO We do wonderful things with computers. We matched your tapes with his writings. Seventy-two percent probability--it might as well be a hundred.
47. ORTIZ Fierro, you're in a lot of trouble... FIERRO Jorge, remember Chapala Canyon? We used to hike up here. ORTIZ What about it? FIERRO We took a right at the mill house, we parked at the oaks, now we're out on the cliff. You're standing on the edge--feel it with your toes. ORTIZ Fierro, for Christ's sake... FIERRO Tell me about him... ORTIZ About who...? FIERRO Aneas Hertzog. Ortiz swallows. FIERRO (CONT'D) Good-bye, Jorge... Fierro pulls him off balance. Ortiz screams, terrified. FIERRO (CONT'D) Where did you see him? ORTIZ Potosi. At a bar. FIERRO What was its name? ORTIZ A bar. There's probably only one. FIERRO And he gave you scripts. ORTIZ He made me memorize them. He said they had to be in a certain order. Then he burned them.
48. FIERRO You memorized them, made your tapes... ORTIZ He said they were the key to everything. He had to get the States to recognize his government or it wouldn't last. He said if he didn't have popular support in the States, he might as well give up. FIERRO What was he like? ORTIZ Five foot ten. Balding, glasses... FIERRO I don't want description. What was he like? ORTIZ Smart. Very calm. FIERRO Keep going. ORTIZ You felt he knew everything about you. FIERRO What did you get out of it? ORTIZ Nothing. FIERRO Some wire-haired Commie broad... ORTIZ He's not a Marxist. FIERRO C'mon... ORTIZ He's split with them. He wants the constitution back. Elections, free speech. All that scary stuff. FIERRO And you believed him. ORTIZ He was convincing.
49. FIERRO How was he convincing? ORTIZ He was--you had to be there. Fierro, please... FIERRO You won't make any more tapes. ORTIZ On the head of my children. FIERRO Jorge, I believe you. He takes off Ortiz's blindfold. Ortiz blinks, realizes the trick that's been played on him. He sputters, beholds Fierro with a catbird smile. CUT TO: INT. MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR - BASEMENT - TRACKING - DAY Fierro and Lara stride down the hallway. Fierro's in a good mood. FIERRO Potosi. The mines. The stolen dynamite. Miners' sons in the Army get passed over for promotion. We're going to Potosi. Starting thinking about a code. LARA What code? FIERRO The one he uses to get in touch with his cells. Lara looks dubious--Fierro notices. FIERRO (CONT'D) Your heart's not in this. LARA I don't like what we're doing. FIERRO You don't. LARA I'm an analyst. I'm not a cop.
50. FIERRO Maybe you're not as ambitious as I thought you were, Lara. Maybe you should stay here and analyze. Maybe I should go myself. LARA Maybe you should. Fierro nods as he bangs through the door--so be it. INT. FIERRO'S OUTER OFFICE Roberta and Soto are waiting--Roberta has her hand over her phone. ROBERTA For you. He's been trying all morning. FIERRO Hold my calls. ROBERTA He says it's urgent. A Mr. Hertzog. Fierro stops short--he and Lara react. FIERRO Put a trace on it. And tape it. (to Roberta) Tell him I'll be right there. Roberta does so as Fierro hurries into his office, slamming the door. Lara and Soto bump into each other, trying to set up the trace and the tape. INT. INNER OFFICE - FIERRO The walls are now covered with blow-ups of Hertzog, pictures from the reference books at the library. Fierro sits, tries to calm his pounding heart with deep breaths, stares at the blinking phone light. FIERRO Lara! INT. OUTER OFFICE - LARA Trying to stick a suction mike on a phone. Soto is pleading with a telephone operator to set up a trace.
51. LARA We're working on it. INT. INNER OFFICE - FIERRO He can't wait any longer. He stabs the phone button. FIERRO This is Fierro. HERTZOG (V.O.) Martin. Aneas Hertzog. The voice is soft, yet intense. FIERRO The Lion of Nicaragua. HERTZOG (V.O.) You're fighting me. Why aren't you helping? FIERRO I suppose because I'm not a Marxist anarchist. HERTZOG (V.O.) You know I'm neither, Martin. FIERRO We had democracy once. You couldn't get any mail and the phones didn't work. HERTZOG (V.O.) You're not a bad man, Martin- you're a good man doing terrible things, hoping they will keep you and your family safe. But doesn't it hurt your heart? Fierro hesitates to reply. FIERRO I know all about you. HERTZOG (V.O.) I know you do, and I know about you, Martin. Hasn't it ever occurred to you you're on the wrong side? FIERRO You're a failure, Hertzog. You failed in Nicaragua... The line goes suddenly dead--Fierro swears. Lara knocks outside.
52. FIERRO (CONT'D) No! LARA (O.S.) They couldn't trace it. FIERRO I know. Fierro's visibly shaken. He stands, wanders around his office. His eyes land on his computer terminal. He turns it on, paces until it boots up, then sits in front of it. ANGLE - FIERRO AND COMPUTER Fierro opens a file, titles it, "General," writes quickly. FIERRO (V.O.) Out of a sense of loyalty and to document my intentions, I begin this file. Bernal is a diversion. The real plot against you is being led by Aneas Hertzog, a notorious radical who overthrew the government of General Zuazo in Nicaragua in 1978. The goal of the diversion is to make you commit the Fast Reactive Force--at that point, Hertzog will take over the Palace in a lightening coup. I am following Hertzog's trail to Potosi. If I do not return, I am leaving this on an unclassified disk where you can find it. Respectfully, Martin Fierro. He saves the file. He sits back. A beat--he heads for the door, stopping at a cabinet, unlocking it, taking from it a .45 automatic and a spare clip. CUT TO: EXT. RAILROAD STATION - FIERRO'S BMW - DAY The station is surrounded by shantytowns. Slum kids kick a ball made of rags in the street next to Fierro's parked car.
53. INT. BMW - FIERRO On his car phone. He's changed into worker's clothes. FIERRO Carlos--it's your dad. INT. FIERRO'S APARTMENT Carlos, in his baseball uniform, on the phone in the hallway, is out of breath. Behind him, the housekeeper EUPHEMIA takes off her coat. CARLOS Dad, we won. We're in the finals! FIERRO (V.O.) That's fine. Let me speak to your mother. CARLOS She's not here. FIERRO (V.O.) Tell her I'm going out of town. I'll probably be back tomorrow. If you need anything, call Mr. Lara, all right? INT. CAR - FIERRO FIERRO Kiss kiss. He hears Carlos kiss through the phone. FIERRO (CONT'D) I'm glad about the finals. I love you. He hangs up. A beat--then he exits, locks the car, heads towards the station. FADE OUT. TO THE MINES FADE IN:
54. EXT. POTOSI STREET - FIERRO - NIGHT Fierro walks down the mining town street away from the station-- the train that brought him chugs away. His breath mists--he tries to fill his lungs; he's 15,000 feet up. The sound of television from an open doorway down the street, light spilling. He passes through the doorway. INT. BAR Dark, smoky. Militant union banners on the wall, photographs of Guevera, Lenin, Gandhi. On television, a fashion show from the capital--ladies in mink parading. The room quiets as he enters. Fierro crosses to the bar, nods to the BARTENDER. FIERRO A beer. BARTENDER Where are you from? FIERRO The capital. BARTENDER Alcohol will make you sick. FIERRO Mineral water, then. And a beer. Fierro lays down a bill, takes the drinks, looks around. MINER AT TABLE Sitting by himself. Fierro sits across, pushes the beer towards him. The MAN eyes it, drinks. FIERRO (CONT'D) I want to find Hertzog. MAN Who's that? FIERRO I work for the radio. I was supposed to sabotage the transmitter. The cops started asking questions. I threw away my papers. MAN So what?
55. FIERRO I need to get over the border. MAN You're talking to the wrong person. Thanks for the beer. Fierro regards him--it's no use. He looks around. ANGLE - MAN AT TABLE Fierro sits across from a second miner. FIERRO Viva Hertzog. SECOND MAN Hertzog, I don't know. Bernal I've heard of--maybe viva and maybe not; remains to be seen. FIERRO The cops are after me. SECOND MAN That's a problem. FIERRO I need to get over the border. SECOND MAN First of all, you're from the city, so who gives a damn? Second of all, what could anyone do? You see how you're scaring everybody. Fierro follows his gaze--men around him are shoving back their chairs, leaving. The bartender casts Fierro a dirty look. EXT. STREET Fierro emerges into the street. He doesn't like this--it's not his style, random, arbitrary. He hears music coming from around the corner. He heads for it. ANGLE - CORNER As Fierro rounds the corner, people jump him from either side. He fights back but they wrestle him to the ground. CUT TO:
56. INT. MINE WORKER'S HOUSING - NIGHT They're giving Fierro back his shoes and his gun. The tiny, smoky room is packed--the lean man is CAPRIDE, the short woman his wife DOMITILLA, the stocky man TEOPONTE, the tenant they take in for extra income. The Caprides' six kids line the room, the youngest an infant, the oldest seventeen-year old Jesus--the others are girls and don't count. Capride has sillicosis--his voice rasps when he talks. JESUS This is a mistake. CAPRIDE It's my house. TEOPONTE That's not technically true. DOMITILLA He hasn't been here in weeks. CAPRIDE All we know is about the Palace. JESUS Father! CAPRIDE What? JESUS You're telling him everything. CAPRIDE He's in trouble. DOMITILLA We don't know who he is. CAPRIDE That's why we searched you. Even undercover cops have to carry papers. They put them in their shoes. FIERRO I'm not a cop. JESUS Maybe this one doesn't. CAPRIDE What is the movement about? TEOPONTE Staying alive long enough to enjoy it.
57. CAPRIDE Helping each other. FIERRO Can you help me? CAPRIDE I can send you with a letter to my cousin in Atocha. I don't know what he can do but at least it's twenty kilometers closer. JESUS I say wire him up and see how long he sticks to his story. Capride gestures his son away. JESUS (CONT'D) You always make the same mistake. Just because you're politically correct, you think you can be moral. CAPRIDE That's the best I can offer. FIERRO I'd appreciate it very much. CAPRIDE Doris--find the flashlight. Jesus- paper. Jesus fetches him paper and Capride slowly starts a note. Fierro goes to the window and opens it. The others yell- he's letting in the cold. He apologizes. FIERRO AND CAPRIDE Fierro sits beside Capride as he writes. FIERRO What is he like? CAPRIDE You know what your father's like? Fierro nods. Jesus groans, slumps in the corner--his own father's impossible.
58. CAPRIDE (CONT'D) Imagine the perfect father. The way men admire him, the way women watch him pass, how he seems to know what you're thinking before you say it. You know what I mean? FIERRO Yes, I do. CAPRIDE That's what he's like. The father you always wanted. He spins--behind him, the door bangs open. ANGLE Uniformed cops flood through the door. The girls scream- Domitilla throws a pot; Jesus tries to jump out the window but they haul him back. Yells and curses as the cops roust them out. The local police chief pushes through the crowd to Fierro, salutes. FIERRO Search the place. The chief shouts to his men--they start ransacking the place. ANGLE - FIERRO While the cops search, he does as well. He looks in a dresser-- inside a drawer, a stack of newspapers. What strikes him is that they're all from the capital. CUT TO: INT. POTOSI POLICE STATION - FIRST INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT Fierro watches from the back of the basement room. Teoponte the tenant slumps in a corner, bloody, unconscious. Jesus sits under a light, tied to a chair. Wires run from a torture box to his nipples. There are two COPS, one skinny, one huge. The big one works the machine--the other asks the questions. JESUS Pour it on, shithead. SKINNY COP What did you call me?
59. JESUS Whoreson maggot-faced shithead! And you're apparently deaf! He yells, writhes as they shock him. JESUS (CONT'D) Pour it on! More--turn it up! Go on, kill me--big deal! What are you afraid of? The two cops look back at Fierro--what should they do? Fierro doesn't know--he exits. INT. HALLWAY A local doctor waits there, dozing. Fierro passes him into another room. INT. SECOND INTERROGATION ROOM Confusion--Domitilla is wired up in a chair, the cops are pulling away Capride who's begging them to stop, at the same time wiping blood off her forehead with his handkerchief. CAPRIDE She doesn't know anything. I'm the one that spoke to him. DOMITILLA Now he's bragging. CAPRIDE She was there--I had the conversation. FIERRO Where, when, and who else was there? The cops turn--they didn't realize Fierro was there. Capride comes forward on his knees, hugs Fierro's legs. CAPRIDE The union hall at Salinas General Mendoza. El Negron, the secretary, was there--De Pareja, and Rojo Dante. FIERRO What did he tell you?
60. CAPRIDE I asked him, "Will it be bloody?" He said he hoped not--he said the people who brought him here expected it to be like Nicaragua... FIERRO Who brought him here? CAPRIDE He didn't mention names. He said this was different-- the Army was strong, there was no jungle to hide in, it was hard to move troops in the mountains. Besides, he was sick of blood; so many had died in Nicaragua... DOMITILLA He looked sick. CAPRIDE Not look sick--I said he was sick. DOMITILLA His eyes were yellow. CAPRIDE I asked him, do we get our laws back? He said, "If you help." I said, "I'm not much good--but my eldest is in the 3rd division, Los Liones." He said, "Tell your son when the time comes, he'll get a chance to fight." A thud against the adjoining wall to the next room, a shriek-- it's Jesus. His parents know--his mother screams, his father clutches Fierro. FIERRO (to the cops) El Negron, De Pareja, Rojo Dante. They nod as Fierro pries Capride off and exits. INT. FIRST INTERROGATION ROOM As Fierro enters, the big cop is hurling Jesus against the wall like a football. He splats, slumps to the floor. Fierro crosses to him. His open head oozes blood and fluid and pieces of skull. He's dead.
61. BIG COP He called us names. Fierro wheels, backhands the man, hard. FIERRO Useless! A split second, when Fierro fears the cop will turn on him- but the big cop flinches, and Fierro backhands him again, harder again, back-pedaling him against the cell wall. FIERRO (CONT'D) I did not want this to happen. BIG COP He was calling us names. FIERRO How will he confess if you kill him? BIG COP If we don't kill them, they never confess. SKINNY COP We can get you another boy. They're both afraid of Fierro. Fierro turns in frustration- the doctor appears in the doorway, blinking sleep from his eyes. CUT TO: EXT. CHAPALA CANYON - ORTIZ - DAY (MOS) Screaming, Ortiz tears at his blindfold as he tumbles head over heels into the rocky gorge at Chapala Canyon. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT (MOS) Fierro's son Carlos is wired to a torture box. A circle of cops beat him with clubs--he screeches. Now they jolt him with the juice--he flails about, crying out for his father. EXT. COUNTRY FARM - FIERRO AND MAN - DAY (MOS) Idyllic, sunny, birds chirp. Fierro is sponging the back of a man sitting in a tub of soapy water. The man turns to Fierro with a loving smile. It's Hertzog.
62. INT. FIERRO'S BEDROOM - NIGHT Shouting, Fierro wakes, sits upright in his bed. Elena rolls over besides him, half opens her eyes. He calms her down, catches his own breath. He throws back the covers. INT. SHOWER Beautiful tile--three shower heads focus on Fierro's back. He scrubs himself hard in the scalding steam. INT. BATHROOM He's drying himself off when he hears the doorbell buzz. He stiffens. INT. HALLWAY In a robe, Fierro heads for the door. Elena emerges sleepily from their bedroom--he stops her, guides her back inside, shuts the door, continues down the hall. The buzzer sounds again. INT. FOYER He takes the .45 from his jacket hanging on a hall tree, tiptoes to the door. He peers through the fisheye. POV - FIERRO Nothing--an empty hallway. BACK TO SHOT Fierro chambers a round--with trembling hands, he reaches for the doorknob, turns it, now flings the door open.
63. ANGLE - WITH GIRL A young slum girl is just putting an envelope under his door. She looks at Fierro, his gun in her face--she blinks. Fierro scoops up the envelope as he steps into the hall, looks up and down it. He rips the envelope open. Inside, two sheets of paper, a Xerox of something. He reads them. He bellows, pounds the butt of the gun in fury against the wall. The girl stares at him. INT. HALLWAY - ELENA AND CARLOS Peering out their doorways, staring at him as well. CUT TO: FIERRO'S PARENTS INT. FIERRO'S PARENTS' APARTMENT - DAY Homemade wooden furniture and knickknacks, too much for the small room. His mother and father are both small, timid. Fierro bellows at them. FIERRO How could you talk to him? FATHER He said you hadn't gotten the recognition you deserved... FIERRO And you let him walk in, you showed him everything, me in diapers, my room...! MOTHER He was interested. FIERRO He wasn't a reporter. MOTHER Who was he? FIERRO He's a criminal. He wants to kill me. FATHER Why would he do that? MOTHER You make maps.
64. FIERRO I don't make maps! His parents glance at each other--he doesn't? FIERRO (CONT'D) Maybe not kill me. The point is, I'm secret, my whole life is secret, and here the first man that walks through the door, a dangerous man, an enemy of the state, you show him everything! His parents look terrified. FIERRO (CONT'D) I'm sorry for yelling. I'm not mad. MOTHER He seemed fond of you. FATHER He knew all of your dates, when you graduated. MOTHER I don't see what's so wrong about showing him this. She takes the original of the pages Fierro got from a handmade wooden box with "Martin" carved on the top. MOTHER (CONT'D) (reads) "It is not enough to believe in freedom. In order to have freedom, every citizen in a country must stand up and protect it, and the best man in the country must lead them. I can think of no greater honor than leading my people in a defense of their rights." That's wonderful, considering it was the ninth grade. FATHER He liked it so much, he went across the street and made a copy. Fierro sighs--there's no blaming them. FIERRO What else did he ask about? MOTHER He knew more than we did.
65. FATHER He knew about Delia Taliaferro. FIERRO Who's that? His mother digs through the box, comes up with a faded snapshot of a young girl. MOTHER You remember--she lived next door on Via Manaus. FIERRO Barely. MOTHER You always played knights and ladies. FATHER She was the captured princess. MOTHER Remember when you broke your arm? She fishes out a snapshot of a boy in a cast. FIERRO Vaguely. MOTHER You were swinging from the roof. I'll never forget it. You knocked yourself out, your father ran for the doctor--I was shaking you. Your eyes rolled back, and the first thing you said was, "Did I get the Evil Paladin?" CUT TO: AT THE PSYCHIATRIST EXT. CITY SQUARE - DAY Busy daytime traffic. At one end, a monument to General Ovando, draped in flags. Portraits of him--in its center, a huge LED TV screen. On it flashes "Victory, Victory, Victory!", then "Bernal Lieutenant Captured!", then footage of Army troops interrogating a guerilla, the strobes of reporters. INT. PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE Fierro stares out a window at the monument. Elena is talking, hesitantly--listening, a middle-aged psychiatrist,
66. DR. ORELLANA. ELENA He has me wear things. ORELLANA Can you give me examples? ELENA A nurse's uniform. White shoes and a cap. A thermometer. ORELLANA And what happens? ELENA I come in and take his temperature. I say, "How do you feel today, Mr. Fierro?" And he says, "Not good-- I ache all over." And I say, "I know how to make you feel better," and I rub him with alcohol. Fierro squirms in his chair. ORELLANA Does this lead to sex? ELENA Yes. (a beat) I also dress like a nun. ORELLANA In a...? ELENA In a habit. With a cross. I say, "I'm Sister Penetentia, and I've been watching you come to the cathedral for months." Fierro squirms again. ORELLANA How does all this make you feel? ELENA Like I'm not good enough. That he wants other women, and he has me pretend to be them. ORELLANA How does he explain this? ELENA He says they're all aspects of me.
67. ORELLANA Does he have orgasms? ELENA Most of the time. Orellana turns to Fierro. Fierro won't respond. ORELLANA What else? ELENA He subscribes to women's magazines for me. ORELLANA Yes. FIERRO He enrolls me in courses at the university so I can hold up my end of a simple conversation. How terrible. He's given me a beautiful apartment and a wonderful child. What an ogre. He begs me to take money and buy something to wear so I can go out to lunch for once with the other wives of the people he works with. What an amoral, worthless, unlovable, reprehensible bastard he is. ELENA That's not who I am. FIERRO It was once. ELENA It never was. FIERRO The day I proposed, she said, "What you want, I want. Where you go, I go..." ELENA He wants me to be perfect. I never was. FIERRO You were once--you were the most perfectly beautiful woman I had ever seen. You lost interest. Orellana considers his response.
68. ORELLANA Mrs. Fierro, what I'm hearing from you is not uncommon. Many men like your husband, in important positions, under great pressure, need their wives to support them in a very real and specific sense. Everybody's sexuality is different. I'd be alarmed if I saw violence here, but I don't see that. Do you? Elena gets his drift. She shakes her head faintly. ORELLANA (CONT'D) Your husband seems to want you to keep up with him as he grows and changes. Perhaps he hasn't been as gracious as he could be, but it seems to me his intentions are positive. Do you agree? Elena looks from one to the other. It's no use. CUT TO: FIERRO CRACKS THE CODE INT. FIERRO'S APARTMENT - HALLWAY - DAY Elena enters, close to tears, Fierro right behind her. She hurries down the hall to the bedroom and shuts the door in his face. Fierro knocks. FIERRO Elena, I love you very much. I always have. He knocks again. FIERRO (CONT'D) Elena... No response. He puts his ear to the door, hears her crying. INT. KITCHEN Fierro crosses to the refrigerator, pours himself a glass of milk. Euphemia, the housekeeper, sits at the kitchen table, the day's paper in front of her--she's weeping into her hands. Fierro sits across from her. FIERRO These things happen. We'll work it out.
69. EUPHEMIA What do you mean? FIERRO Mrs. Fierro and me. EUPHEMIA It's not that. FIERRO What is it? EUPHEMIA Poor Ernesto. Don't you read the personals? Everybody's afraid he's going to kill himself. She indicates the classified section. Fierro reads, grabs the paper from her, hurries out. CUT TO: INT. BMW - DAY Fierro weaves through traffic--Lara sits with a stack of newspapers on his lap. The top one's folded to the personals section. FIERRO Chou En Lai used it at Hankow in 1928. It's simple, and everybody reads the personals. LARA (reading) "Beloved, why do you torture me? Your parents have gone south. Give me a hundred of your kisses and I don't care for life itself. I sleep with the book of Sevilla's poetry and my knife. Dying from passion, I await our day of union. Ernesto." FIERRO Sevilla. LARA Sevilla and a hundred something. Men? FIERRO "Your parents have gone south." Ovando's coming back to the capital. Parents mean government.
70. LARA Day of union? FIERRO The day of the coup. I saw a stack of those at Potosi--I knew they meant something. LARA (reading another) "Meet me tonight at the usual place- bring your brother Gonzalvo if you don't trust me. I die from passion." FIERRO Passion's the trigger word--it means it's code. LARA "Work takes me to Villaroel, but I'll return in time." FIERRO There's no town named Villaroel. Pair that with Gonzalvo--look for a Gonzalvo Villaroel--he'll be a soldier, a cop, somebody in the government. LARA And they're seeing him tonight. FIERRO Get three months' back issues. We'll chart every cell and its leader. He's pulled to the curb, now leaps out. Lara looks out the window--they've stopped in front of the newspaper office. CUT TO: INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICES - CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT - DAY Always a crowd at the counter--Fierro pushes through it, filling out a form, reaches the CLERK. The clerk reads his ad while Fierro plunks down money. CLERK "Ernesto, my passion. All love is surrender. Our union has failed. My parents know everything about you. Call me at the office." (looking up) You haven't signed it.
71. FIERRO Fierro. CLERK "Love, Fierro"? FIERRO Fierro. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S INNER OFFICE - DAY Fierro paces, excited. INT. OUTER OFFICE Back issues of the newspaper spread all over the office. Lara and Roberta read government directories--Soto writes on a blackboard covered with squares, some of the already filled. ROBERTA De Sejas, Alfredo--a Major in Los Liones, in command of Brigade Communications. Forty-four years old. LARA The son of a miner... ROBERTA Who's missed promotion for nine years. LARA Put him up. Soto puts his name in a square on the blackboard. LARA (CONT'D) Alvarado, Ruben, an assistant programmer at station BANT. SOTO Son of a miner. LARA His wife. Magdalena, Pedro-- sergeant in El Jaguar, squad leader, heavy weapons. Once jailed for anti-government activity. Soto puts them up.
72. ROBERTA You think he'll call? SOTO The paper's been out an hour. LARA He has to think it over... And the phone rings. Roberta hesitates--it rings again. She answers. The others look--is it him? Roberta nods. SOTO I've seen him do it before. Never this well. INT. INNER OFFICE - FIERRO He savors his moment of triumph. He practically hugs himself. He regards the blinking light--finally takes the call. FIERRO Hertzog. How are you? His voice is weaker than before. HERTZOG (V.O.) I've been better, Martin. I read your letter. FIERRO I know everything. HERTZOG (V.O.) I believe you do. We should meet. FIERRO Name the place. HERTZOG (V.O.) Independence Park--say, around six? FIERRO Alone? HERTZOG (V.O.) I'll be alone. FIERRO So will I. He hangs up. A beat--then he leaps out of his chair.
73. INT. OUTER OFFICE The three hear a whoop of victory, exchange grins. INT. INNER OFFICE - FIERRO He's turned on his computer--he drops into the chair, punches up the "General" file, types an entry. FIERRO (V.O.) It's my honor to report I've cracked the code Hertzog uses to communicate with his cells. In my office is a chart naming the traitors and their function in the plot. I have contacted Hertzog directly--I'm now leaving to put him under arrest. You will pardon me for pursuing this investigation without your blessing or the sanction of the Minister of the Interior. I expect no rewards, only the satisfaction of having done my duty to you and my class. Respectfully, Martin Fierro. He saves the file. He takes handcuffs out of a drawer, his jacket, and hurries out the door. CUT TO: INT. MINISTRY BASEMENT - TRACKING - DAY As Fierro heads through the garage towards his car, General Zanudio falls in alongside, puffing to stay up. ZANUDIO Bernal slipped the trap again. Ovando's in town for a staff meeting tonight. Lots of talk about sending in the FRF, mainly from Pachanga. Rivera's getting canned. He's lost half his command. FIERRO Casualties? ZANUDIO I mean lost. Three regiments up in the mountains and nobody's heard from them in two days. Fierro stops, puts his hands on Zanudio's shoulders.
74. FIERRO It will all be over tonight. ZANUDIO You know? FIERRO Have I ever been wrong? ZANUDIO What a friend you are. Fierro gets in his car and drives off. CUT TO: FIERRO AND HERTZOG EXT. INDEPENDENCE PARK - TWILIGHT Barren trees, a few kids playing. Walking through it, Fierro sees nothing that looks like Hertzog. There, on a far bench, alone, a man wrapped in a blanket. Fierro heads towards him. BENCH - HERTZOG AND FIERRO Hertzog looks up as Fierro approaches. He looks pale and ravaged since we last saw him, but his eyes still have their intensity. He smiles, pats the bench beside him. Fierro sits, regarding him. FIERRO You're not well. HERTZOG Disentio parahydolitus. One of those exotic bugs that gets in you and multiplies. You can filter the blood but you can never get rid of them. I picked it up in Nicaragua. FIERRO I'll see you get attention. HERTZOG That's good of you. Too late for that. Fierro realizes his meaning. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You didn't know I was dying.
75. FIERRO No. HERTZOG It was under control in the States- I figured if I came here, it would probably flare up. FIERRO Why did you come? HERTZOG This is what I'm good at. When they asked me... FIERRO El Negron. De Pareja. Rojo Dante... HERTZOG Yes. Also Reyes. Pachanga. FIERRO I didn't know. HERTZOG You would have soon enough. At first, I didn't want to--I was comfortable. I couldn't resist. The artist in me. The ham. A chance to try again and make it perfect. FIERRO But it's all in your head--without you, the plot collapses. HERTZOG Unless... FIERRO There's no "unless." HERTZOG Unless you take over for me. Fierro doesn't know what to thin. He chuckles--Hertzog does as well. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Consider it for a moment. Very few people know what I look like. We're about the same size. FIERRO You're serious.
76. HERTZOG Absolutely. Think it through. The only other mind the plot is in is your mind. You're the only one who found me; what better proof that you should take over? You're a natural leader, you'd look good on television, you'd make a first-rate president of a democratic government. You'd have to stand election, but look at the platform you'd be running on--the savior of the country. Fierro regards him, now slowly smiles. FIERRO You are desperate. HERTZOG I am. FIERRO You're trying to turn me. You're dying, your plot is in pieces, your last hope is to get me to take it over. HERTZOG Your country needs you... FIERRO You don't know anything about me. HERTZOG I know all about you. You hear your country crying out for change... FIERRO We tried democracy... HERTZOG And it failed, so you try again. The rule of progress is that monsters flee before angels. Five hundred years ago, most countries were like this one--now only some are. You know the General is obsolete--you know you hate him... FIERRO I don't hate him...
77. HERTZOG You do--you have nothing but contempt for him, but you smother it with penthouses and cars. Look at the price you pay for keeping your hate a secret--you trust no one, you piss away your talents, you dominate your wife, you want to catch me not to protect Ovando but point up his stupidity and further your own career. You're not stopping me. FIERRO I want to hear what you'll say. HERTZOG As long as it's about you. Martin, you're such a narcissist. But I'm inside you--I know how you feel. You didn't like what you did to your friend Ortiz. You didn't like what happened to Jesus Capride. You don't like death; real fascists do--it makes them feel healthy. Inside you are the embers of the boy who wanted to lead his country to freedom and kill the Evil Paladin. Fierro laughs. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You wrote that. FIERRO Every kid writes that. That's sentimental crap. HERTZOG And every kid is right, but they grow old, they lose touch with the best part of themselves. You hated evil once. FIERRO Good and Evil. Capital letters, like in college. HERTZOG Yes... FIERRO What if there isn't any?
78. HERTZOG The world is shit. I didn't make it. I can't fix it. There is no God. Nothing matters- they're going to drop the bomb anyway. How I despise those reductive philosophies... And he starts to cough. Fierro finds a handkerchief, offers it-- Hertzog nods his thanks, wipes his face, spits a clot of blood onto the grass. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Things always matter. It matters whether people are happy, proud of their leaders, or whether it's dog eat-dog, pure Darwin, where the smartest and the quickest do fine and the rest suffer. A government can't be only for the fortunate, because that would imply those who aren't lucky have no right to happiness. Fierro stands, takes out his handcuffs--he motions Hertzog to put out his arms. HERTZOG (CONT'D) And what about Carlos? FIERRO Leave Carlos out of this. HERTZOG What happens when he writes his paper about freedom and democracy? Will you stick it in a box? He loves you--will he thank you when he grows up in a world worse than this one? Fierro hesitates. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You flinched. This is a good area to work on. Think about Carlos, Martin. Do it for him, do it for the other sons of all the other fathers. They'll love you for it, you'll be in history--your picture in every classroom, hospitals and airports named after you, your statue in every village. You know it can work--you've seen it work in your mind. It's a thing of beauty. FIERRO It's clever.
79. HERTZOG Be generous, Martin. It's beautiful. Quick, a minimum of bloodshed. Yes, there's a risk, but you're no coward and think of the moment--you on the balcony of the Palace, the delirious crowds jammed in the plaza, shouting, "Hertzog, Hertzog." FIERRO My name's not Hertzog. HERTZOG Neither is mine. Fierro regards him--then smiles. FIERRO Five calls. I just thought it through. Five phone calls, and every one of you is in jail. HERTZOG Is that your decision? FIERRO Yes. Can you walk? HERTZOG If it's not too fast. Fierro helps him to his feet, puts the handcuffs on him. HERTZOG AND FIERRO - TRACKING They head slowly through the park towards Fierro's car. FIERRO Besides, you never got rid of the Fast Reactive Force. HERTZOG That would happen in time. FIERRO How do you feel about selling out Bernal?
80. HERTZOG Not good. Bernal's a romantic fool- he's tried unsuccessfully several times to go to Marxist heaven; I was willing to help him along. Don't press me--I know I'm on shaky ground. There's a bigger problem. I needed a mobile reserve, in case the roadblocks didn't hold and La Mura got to the Palace. FIERRO (realizing) The miners. The stolen dynamite. HERTZOG I couldn't figure out how to get them there. Then I found out the gauge of the railroad is the same as the city streetcar tracks--fifty years ago, trains used to run through the Plaza Mayor. If I built a bridge from the main terminal across the Loreto Ravine to the nearest streetcar line, I could bring a train of 1,000 miners all the way from Potosi to the steps of the Palace. FIERRO What stopped you? Carrasco? HERTZOG He's glued to the fence--nothing I could do would budge him. I could bring in the miners on foot--more time, riskier. Besides, nobody's ever done it with a train before. I'd like to see that. You would too. FIERRO Not especially. HERTZOG You would, Martin. All this is vanity. Your life is meaningless- you've been waiting all your life for something grand and wonderful to happen, and here it is, on a silver platter. If you pass it up, it will never come again. I know all about you--I did a file on you. He gestures ahead--Fierro looks. He reacts to the sight of Lara, leaning against Fierro's car.
81. THREE SHOT The two reach the car--Fierro regards Lara. FIERRO The thanks I get. LARA I was always loyal. FIERRO And I rewarded you for that. LARA I found somebody I admired more. He sticks out his arms for handcuffing. Fierro sighs--he motions him away. FIERRO Run away, Lara. Someplace far. He puts Hertzog in the front seat. Lara watches while they drive off. CUT TO: INT. CELL - MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR BASEMENT - DAY Beyond the bars, the hallway with cops and suspects. Fierro sits across the cell from Hertzog, regarding him. HERTZOG I know what you're thinking. Part of me believes him--part of me rejects. Do I love the poor? No, they scare me. What if he's making a fool of me? What if I'm making a terrible mistake? I did write that paper. Countries do change. Doubts, anger, tension. All right- look at it this way. Forget philosophy. Do it for your own ambition, for fame and personal power--forget anything that has to do with morality--and I'll admit that you're all I have left, and if I don't convince you, I fail. Can we be more honest than that? A beat--Fierro stands, heads for the door. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Martin, promise me you'll think about it. Fierro says nothing, exits, leaving him there.
82. CUT TO: FIERRO AT NIGHT EXT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - DOORWAY - NIGHT Shabby, in a shabby neighborhood. Fierro waits at the door-- a watchman with a flashlight appears in the glass. He waves Fierro away. Fierro takes out a red identity card, shows it through the window. The watchman fumbles with the lock, opens the door. INT. HALLWAY Fierro walks down the dark hall, the watchman following. He finds the door he's looking for, goes in. INT. CLASSROOM Fierro turns on the lights, sits. The watchman waits for orders--Fierro sends him away. He looks around the room. On the wall, posters of national heroes, flags, great documents from the country's history. He sits, waiting to see what he feels. CUT TO: EXT. INTERSECTION - OVANDO MONUMENT - NIGHT What Fierro saw from the psychiatrist's window. The usual propaganda on the huge LED screen--rows of loudspeakers blare martial music, but the sound is drowned out by the horns of the traffic jam at its base. The cars are not moving. INT. BMW - FIERRO Stuck in traffic with the rest. He honks, impatiently. LONG SHOT - DEMONSTRATION What's causing the gridlock? A crowd of students blocks the streets, sings marching songs, waves torches, pro-Bernal signs, mocks the police who spill from their arriving trucks.
83. ANGLE - POLICE With their shields, deploying into lines. They fire teargas into the student ranks. STUDENTS Some run--some stay, handkerchiefs over their faces, throwing stones at the cops. FIERRO Barely aware of what's going on ahead, his mind swirling with thoughts of Hertzog. He honks again. DEMONSTRATION Army reinforcements arrive, unload. Wedges of cops charge the students, beat them to the ground when they catch them. More kids throw rocks. TRAFFIC JAM The rocks that miss the cops are hitting the cars. BMW - FIERRO A dirt clod spatters on his windshield. Angry, Fierro leaps out. ANGLE - FIERRO He brushes the dirt off, looks around to see who threw it. POV Three kids throw rocks from the side. Into shot comes two soldiers, one with a flamethrower. One kid hits a soldier with a rock. The soldier with the flamethrower wheels, fires. The tongue of jellied gas bridges the darkness, engulfs the three kids. They shriek, writhe inside the flames as they melt to bone and ash.
84. ANGLE - FIERRO Starting forward, shouting. FIERRO No...! He wonders where the shout came from--it's a moment before he realizes it came from him. Firelight reflects on his face. He looks at the drivers of the other cars. POV Some meet his eyes, some look away, frightened of him. The ones standing by their cars get inside. DEMONSTRATION The police have broken up the demonstration. The lucky ones flee--the unlucky are dead or in custody. A policeman whistles, shouts, gets the traffic moving again. ANGLE - FIERRO Horns all around him. Trembling, he gets back in his car. CUT TO: EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM - PARKING LOT - NIGHT From the other side of the stands, floodlights, cheering. The lot jammed with Mercedes, Porsches, Rolls. Parking attendants watch the game on a portable TV. A line of limos drives into the lot. It's General Ovando and his cronies--they exit the cars, head for the stands. EXT. STADIUM Filled with the upper class, the parents and friends of the kids on these two Little League teams. They're making a night of it-- maids serve from hampers of food, fiascoes of wine. Fierro sits with Elena among other parents behind first base. Carlos plays first--he grabs a moment to wave. Elena waves back--Fierro is lost in thought.
85. INT. ANNOUNCER'S BOOTH An announcer and television cameras flanking him. ANNOUNCER The tying run on second, one out, and the Pirates struggling to hold their lead as center fielder Osorio steps up. Magdalena still on the mound--Manager Maisman must think his star hurler can pitch his team out of this jam. EXT. DIAMOND Magdalena pitches to Osorio, the young Cardinal batter. He takes a strike. The Pirate parents cheer. FIERRO AND ELENA She's aware something's troubling Fierro. ELENA Are you all right? FIERRO Fine. ELENA You're quiet. FIERRO Work. Everyone stands as Osorio hits a chopper to first. Carlos scoops up the ball, makes the play single-handedly. Elena and Fierro clap. ANGLE - ANNOUNCER ANNOUNCER Two outs--the Cardinals' last hopes ride on the second baseman, Freitas. His spotter nudges him--the TV cameras swing around.
86. ANNOUNCER (CONT'D) Just a minute. Looks like Cardinals manager Manriquez is putting in a pinch hitter. A heavy hitter, too, ladies and gentlemen--wearing number one- Ovando, utility outfield and the possible winning run, will be batting for Freitas. EXT. STADIUM The crowd breaks into laughter, happy applause as the General exits the dugout in a Cardinals uniform. OVANDO Waving his cap, stepping into the batter's box. He takes a few cuts, pats the catcher on the head--the crowd and umpires laugh. FIERRO AND ELENA Elena among those laughing. People yell to the General to get a hit. Fierro only stares. ANGLE - CARLOS AND TEAM Unsure what this means. Carlos shouts encouragement to the pitcher. PITCHER MAGDALENA Confused--is this serious or not? He looks to his manager. OVANDO Gesturing to the mound--pitch to him. He's up for it. EXT. STADIUM Magdalena gets his sign, throws. Way wide--the catcher has to lunge for it.
87. INT. NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Frowsy. Over the meager bar, a TV with the game on. The patrons watch. ANNOUNCER (V.O.) One and 0 to Ovando, who's made quite a few public appearances in the last few weeks. The outfield playing him straightaway and very, very far back. EXT. STADIUM Magdalena pitches. It's even wilder but the General chases it-- the catcher's so scared by his wild swing that he misses it and the Cardinal runner scampers to third. The catcher runs out towards the mound--so does the infield. MOUND Carlos among the others. Magdalena looks scared. CATCHER Pitch to him. PITCHER What's he doing here? SECOND BASE Who knows? CARLOS Throw him strikes. We'll get him out. The others nod. Magdalena takes a deep breath--he'll try. The players return to their bases. Magdalena gets his sign, winds up, fires. EXT. STADIUM The General gets a piece of it, dribbles a grounder towards short. The shortstop bobbles the ball. Ovando lumbers toward first. Carlos yells for the throw. The shortstop finds the handle, fires--Carlos traps it just as Ovando hits the bag. The umpire yells him out.
88. ANGLE - FIERRO AND ELENA Elena leaps up with the other Pirate parents. The kids jump in the air--they've won the title. ANGLE - OVANDO AND UMPIRE Back at the bag, the General gives the umpire a hard look. The man's no fool--he signals safe. ANGLE - STANDS As a cheer goes up from the Cardinal parents. THE GENERAL AND CARLOS Ovando clasps his arms in victory. The Pirates are speechless. Carlos hurls down his gloves, starts arguing with the umpire. ANGLE - FIERRO Suddenly standing FIERRO Out! He was out! He's the only one saying that--everyone around him shouts "Safe, safe." He yells louder. THE GENERAL AND CARLOS The umpire turns his back on Carlos. Carlos, eyes wet, looks up at the General. CARLOS You were out. As if he were a fly, Ovando brushes Carlos away, playing to the cheers of the house. ANGLE - CARLOS Turning to look at his father in the stands.
89. ANGLE - FIERRO Helpless at his son's look. Around him, the crowd chants "Safe." CUT TO: EXT. FIERRO'S PENTHOUSE - BALCONY - NIGHT Fierro stares unblinking at the lights of the capital below. Behind him, through half-open curtains, Carlos in his parents' bed, Elena trying to comfort him. Fierro turns. His son's eyes meet his through the window. Why, Carlos' eyes demand of his father--how could something like this happen? A hundred glib answers come to Fierro. He looks away. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S INNER OFFICE - NIGHT Alone in his office, Fierro stares at his glowing computer screen. On it, his file to the General. A long beat--he begins to type. FIERRO (V.O.) I've met with Hertzog but I've chosen not to arrest him. He's reluctant to name the high government officials in with him- in order to find out, I've pretended to betray you and become part of his plot. Once again I put myself at risk for you, but I have always gained by doing so in the past. The coup begins at six a.m. two mornings from now--if I do not report to you by midnight tomorrow, my office will be instructed to send you the contents of this file. With respect, Martin Fierro. He saves the file. CUT TO: INT. MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR - BASEMENT - NIGHT Fierro opens the door to Hertzog's cell. He helps him stand-- bored cops watch as he helps Hertzog down the hall and out the exit.
90. EXT. MINISTRY Held up by Fierro, Hertzog breathes deeply the cold night air of freedom. CUT TO: THE DAY BEFORE INT. RAILWAY WORKERS UNION HEADQUARTERS - DAY Carrasco's office is glass and steel. He sits behind a big desk, looking smugly at Fierro and Hertzog. CARRASCO No suitcases filled with cash? No beans, buttons...? HERTZOG The gratitude of your country. Carrasco chuckles. CARRASCO It's been amusing, as I thought it might be. Now, you will excuse me. He takes some paperwork, looks up--they haven't moved. He presses his intercom. CARRASCO (CONT'D) Thelma, call security. The gentlemen with me need help finding the exit. Fierro spreads an intelligence file open in his lap. FIERRO The General's illegal contributions to your retirement fund--your estate in Bolsa Chica, and your hundred thousand shares of national mining stock. CARRASCO Where'd you get that? FIERRO From the government files. Carrasco hits his intercom. CARRASCO Thelma, are they coming?
91. THELMA (V.O.) On their way, Mr. Carrasco. He folds his arms, defies them. Fierro turns the page. FIERRO False and fraudulent claims for workers compensation and health services over thirty years, totalling over seven million reales. Carrasco pounds his intercom. CARRASCO Thelma...! THELMA (V.O.) I hear the coming, Mr. Carrasco. CARRASCO Do they have guns? THELMA (V.O.) I don't know. They usually do. CARRASCO Because now these two are threatening me. You better call the cops as well. Fierro spreads some photographs on the desk. FIERRO Two years ago, a labor convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You met a Cuban boy on the beach. Your ninth floor room at the Dock 33 hotel--you carelessly left your drapes open. Carrasco grabs the pictures away, tearing them in shreds, looks up as two GUARDS bang through the door, guns drawn. GUARD Mr. Carrasco? CARRASCO Go away. GUARD They told us... CARRASCO Get out of here--and shut the door! They retreat. Carrasco glares at Hertzog and Fierro.
92. FIERRO Nothing fancy. A bridge across the Loreto Ravine. HERTZOG The bottom of the ravine is clay, by the way. Almost pottery grade. CARRASCO I know it is! CUT TO: EXT. RAILWAY WORKERS UNION HEADQUARTERS - DAY Fierro helps Hertzog through the door onto the busy street. Dora is waiting--she takes Hertzog's other side and they help him towards Fierro's BMW, at the curb with Lara at the wheel. HERTZOG I never would have thought he was that way. Brilliantly done, Martin. I feel better about you all the time. They get in. INT. CAR As Lara drives off into traffic. Hertzog notices Fierro's tentative look. HERTZOG Cheer up. FIERRO I don't know what I'm doing here. HERTZOG And you're used to knowing exactly what you're doing every second. Look upon it as a liberating experience. FIERRO You and your cheap optimism. DORA Better than your cheap pessimism.
93. FIERRO Martin, you remind me of those sluttish young girls you see on street corners. You give them a baby, and they turn into such wonderful mothers. CUT TO: EXT. ROADSIDE PAYPHONE - DAY A dusty road outside the city. Two parked cars, Lara's, Fierro's BMW. Hertzog, resting against Dora, and Lara watch Fierro place a call from the payphone--his voice is urgent. FIERRO It's an emergency. Tell him it's Fierro. INT. PALACE - CHIEF OF STAFF'S COMMAND ROOM Battle maps, the crackle of VHF radio. Reynoso and Pachanga among others in the crowded room, including COOPER, a buttoned down civilian from the U.S. Military Aid Group. Ovando takes a phone from an aide. REYNOSO Be careful. OVANDO You still suspect him. REYNOSO I always suspect him. He's not one of us. OVANDO (into phone) Martin, we've been looking all over for you... ANGLE - FIERRO He's taken out his .45. FIERRO They're after me, General... OVANDO (V.O.) Who is--Bernal...? FIERRO General, I was completely wrong...
94. OVANDO (V.O.) Where are you, Martin...? FIERRO Puerto Silas, but don't interrupt and listen carefully--Bernal's main force has slipped through your lines south of Rurrenbaque. They're in the Parama Valley they're worn out; he's been pushing them hard. Take infrared pictures; you'll see their campfires. He fires the gun twice near the mouthpiece. OVANDO (V.O.) Martin...! FIERRO General, I beg your forgiveness for ever doubting you. If I don't see you again, smash Bernal. Smash him hard... He fires the gun twice more, hangs the phone up. INT. COMMAND ROOM Ovando reacts--he barks to an aide. OVANDO He's at Puerto Silas. Go help him! (to Pachanga) Do we have a plane with an infrared camera? PACHANGA I think so. OVANDO Photograph the Parama Valley. He says Bernal is there. PACHANGA Do I alert the FRF? COOPER You've got them, General. They're a hot outfit--if there ever was a time... Ovando considers--nods. OVANDO Alert the FRF.
95. REYNOSO You believe Fierro? OVANDO He admitted to me he was wrong. When has Fierro ever done that? EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - BMW While the others watch, Fierro lowers his gun at his BMW, takes a deep breath, fires four shots into the door. Each hole makes him wince. DORA You look like your dog got run over. HERTZOG More, Martin. Put your heart into it. Hertzog's holding out another clip. Fierro loads the clip, aims, hesitates. HERTZOG (CONT'D) Martin, it's only a car. Fierro looks over at him--with his fingers, Hertzog is pushing the sides of his mouth up into a loony smile. Fierro chuckles, in spite of himself. Hertzog laughs--Fierro laughs himself, caught up in the absurdity of it. He blasts away six more shots--windows shatter, tires blow out and the car settles, side mirrors go flying, the horn starts to blare. For a finale, Fierro turns, bends over, and fires the last shot through his legs, and they all laugh at that. CUT TO: EXT. CAPITAL RAILYARDS - WORK CREW - NIGHT A work crew springs open a track running through the yard near the edge of the Loreto Ravine. Another crew has already laid a new roadbed leading towards the ravine's edge. EXT. CAPITAL STREET On a street on the opposite side of the ravine, a crew jackhammers up the pavement around the streetcar line.
96. EXT. LORETO RAVINE - CARRASCO Heavy equipment has been moved into the ravine. Piledrivers pound bridge foundations under the glare of work lights. New workers arrive on flatbed trucks. Carrasco is everywhere, prodding, yelling through a bullhorn. He checks his watch--there isn't enough time. CUT TO: EXT. APARTMENT - NIGHT A Mercedes parks in front of this rundown building on this silent street. Minister of Education Reyes gets out, checks the address, goes in through the doorway. INT. STAIRWAY As he climbs the stairs, Lara is there--he motions him to wait. A door opens--General Pachanga emerges. Each is surprised to see the other. REYES Pachanga. PACHANGA And you, Reyes. I'm very glad. The two men embrace each other. REYES What did you think of him? PACHANGA You're in for a surprise. Lara motions to Reyes from the open door. INT. APARTMENT ROOM As Reyes enters, he beholds two men. One is Hertzog, in a chair with a blanket over his shoulders, a shadow of the man he met months back. Beside him, Fierro, a man he faintly recognizes. Dora is shaving Fierro's forehead so he looks more like Hertzog--she's already clipped his moustache. Both gesture Reyes to sit. HERTZOG Good evening, Minister.
97. REYES General Hertzog. HERTZOG Mister, not General. This is Martin Fierro. REYES I know you. Director of something- Internal Security. HERTZOG Martin will be Hertzog tomorrow morning. Reyes considers that--then nods. FIERRO I put down some ideas you might use. He hands Reyes notes--he looks them over. REYES You wrote these? FIERRO Yes. REYES They're very good. You're the last one I would have thought. FIERRO We'd like you there at 5:30. REYES I'll be there. Is anyone else afraid? FIERRO Terrified. HERTZOG Think of all the things that can go wrong. Reyes does--and shudders. REYES I'll see you sometime tomorrow, God willing. HERTZOG God willing. Reyes shakes both their hands--Lara walks him to the door. CUT TO:
98. EXT. RAILROAD STATION - POTOSI - NIGHT With a shrill whistle, a freight train pulls out of the mountain station. Armed guards stand on the caboose, the boxcars. Men hide in shadows by the tracks. As the train passes, they chase it, grab ladders, swing aboard. TOP OF BOXCARS The miners jump one guard from behind, then another, throw them off into the darkness. CUT TO: THE NIGHT BEFORE INT. APARTMENT IN THE CAPITAL - BATHROOM - NIGHT Fierro holds up Hertzog in the cramped bathroom while he urinates. He helps Hertzog into the next room. INT. LIVING ROOM Dora and Fierro lie Hertzog down on a bed--Fierro makes him comfortable. HERTZOG Have you spoken to Elena? Fierro shakes his head. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You might. FIERRO She wouldn't understand. HERTZOG You underestimate her. She's bright, attractive--she has a good heart. You should confide in her, let her appear in public with you. This country's never seen a man and a woman working together. Fierro takes a towel, wipes the sweat off Hertzog's forehead. HERTZOG (CONT'D) You really should call her. CUT TO:
99. INT. EL JAGUAR MOTOR POOL - NIGHT A battalion motor pool, troop trucks bathed in fluorescent light. The enlisted man Hertzog spoke to on the road in the first sequence pours a handful of sugar into a truck carburetor. CUT TO: EXT. BARRACKS - LOS LIONES - NIGHT Troops whisper in the darkness, load onto three trucks, led by a major named Santesteban. They carry anti-tank missiles. CUT TO: INT. PALACE - FIERRO, ELENA AND CARLOS - NIGHT The ornate rotunda hall is empty, silent. Sleepy guards acknowledge Fierro as he passes. He's holding Elena's hand-- Carlos runs ahead, sliding for fun on the hallway wax. Elena wonders at Fierro's altered appearance, his somber look. FIERRO I have a chance to take over the government. Elena reacts. ELENA When? FIERRO Tomorrow morning. There's a coup planned--they want me to lead it. (a beat) Do you think I should? ELENA Why do you ask me? FIERRO Does that surprise you? ELENA A little. FIERRO I want your advice. Elena considers her answer.
100. ELENA Do you think you'd be any better than Ovando? FIERRO Probably. ELENA Then you should do it. The firmness in her voice surprises Fierro. He squeezes her hand. CUT TO: INT. FIERRO'S INNER OFFICE - NIGHT Carlos sits behind Fierro's desk, pretending to be on the phone. Across the darkened room, Fierro and Elena sit in front of his computer. He's scrolling through his file to the General so Elena can read it. They reach the end of the file. Fierro types in DELETE GENERAL. The computer responds, DELETE GENERAL (Y/N?). Fierro takes a deep breath, punches the Y key. The computer erases the file. CUT TO: EXT. PALACE - NIGHT There's a thundering racket as Fierro, Elena, and Carlos exit the Palace and head down the stairs. Overhead, they see the helicopters of the FRF, passing over the city. AERIAL SHOT - FRF CHOPPERS Loaded with armed troops, skimming the rooftops, heading north. ANGLE - FAVORING FIERRO Watching the choppers pass overhead. He is committed. CUT TO:
101. EXT. MINISTER'S MANSION - NIGHT In the capital's posh section. A kidnap team slips over the spiked wall. CUT TO: EXT. MANSION - KIDNAP TEAM - NIGHT The same neighborhood. A team of four creeps through a manicured garden. They freeze--a light floods a patio. A nude teenaged girl emerges, a man follows, his pleading tenor mixing with her complaining soprano; it's Bobby Tedesco, from the card game. A beat--he coaxes her inside, the light goes off. The team moves forward. CUT TO: INT. BOXCAR - TRAIN - NIGHT Dynamite crates are broken open. The sticks are passed around. FADE OUT. THE COUP FADE IN: EXT. MOUNTAINS - THE FRF - DAWN Dawn over the peaks. The FRF choppers drop over a ridge into a shadowed valley. INT. CHOPPERS The troops lock and load. The pilots talk to each other with hand signals. CUT TO: INT. COMMAND ROOM - PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - DAWN On the walls, color infrared photographs of the Parama Valley- Bernal's campfires white among the red trees. Ovando excited among his ministers, generals, aides.
102. AIDE Break radio silence in thirty seconds. OVANDO I should be there. GENERAL De Panoia knows what to do. Ovando isn't convinced. A radio operator looks out a window. Below, a garbage truck is cleared through a security checkpoint. PALACE ALLEY The truck stops by the Palace dumpsters. The chute door opens. A dozen men emerge, some in Security of the President uniforms, some in civilian clothes with suitcases. CUT TO: EXT. PARAMA VALLEY - BERNAL FORCES - DAY Bernal's scraggly troops feed their morning fires. One, then another hears the whomp-whomp of the incoming helicopters. Somebody shouts. INT. LEAD CHOPPER - DE PANOIA Colonel De Panoia leads his charge like a cavalry officer, shouting into his mike. BERNAL FORCES Some panic, some grab their weapons. The choppers descend all around them. EXT. CHOPPERS Some land where there's clear ground, disgorge. Others hover over the treetops--the troops rappel down on ropes. Non-coms chivy their men, advancing in skirmish lines on the panicked Bernal troops.
103. INT. PALACE COMMAND ROOM - OVANDO Filled with radio shouts, exultations, gunfire. Ovando shakes a radioman's shoulder. OVANDO Tell him to find Bernal. He pounds the table in his pleasure. OVANDO (CONT'D) How I wish Fierro was here. CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET - ROADBLOCK - DAY A streetcar tips over with a crash across the intersection. Uniformed soldiers divert the thin morning traffic. FIERRO AND MAJOR Fierro inspects the roadblock with Major SANTESTEBAN, Lara and Dora on either side. Above their heads, soldiers set up machine guns and anti-tank weapons in second-story windows. FIERRO You're Santesteban. SANTESTEBAN You know me. FIERRO Very well. You know what to say. SANTESTEBAN I have written orders from the General. FIERRO They'll say they have orders. SANTESTEBAN I'll say mine are later, and have priority. FIERRO What if they argue? SANTESTEBAN I'll say, you check your orders- I'll check mine. Fierro nods, takes a small walkie-talkie from Dora.
104. FIERRO All the roadblocks are in place. INT. APARTMENT - HERTZOG AND ELENA Fierro has brought Elena and Carlos to the apartment. She's tending Hertzog--now she holds a walkie-talkie for him. Carlos reads a comic, puzzled, not sure what's going on. FIERRO (V.O.) We're heading for the Palace. HERTZOG That's where they'll need you, Martin. CUT TO: EXT. MAIN ENTRANCE - PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - DAY Six Security of the President cops walk up the ornamental stairway, greet the four cops on duty at the entrance. In an eyeblink, the guarding cops are disarmed and dragged off. The uniformed cops step into their places, motion the civilians with their suitcases up the stairs. Once inside, they open them--submachine guns, satchel charges. They fan out. CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM - BOBBY TEDESCO'S HOUSE - DAY Tedesco throws off his bedcovers, wags a finger at the teenaged girl as he goes to the door. TEDESCO I told you, no interruptions... The door bursts open--a student kidnap team bursts in. CUT TO: EXT. RADIO STATION - DAY As the charge on the powerline blows and the cables sever. CUT TO:
105. EXT. RADIO STATION - DAY A second station, as the power pylon outside it blows. CUT TO: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY Students and soldiers hustle Reyes into the studio. They sit him down--somebody puts on makeup. Technicians line the walls, their hands being tied. INT. CONTROL BOOTH More technicians with their hands up. A director and a technician sit behind the panel. DIRECTOR Okay, we're on in three. Cue standby card. And...standby. The technician cuts the feed--Ovando propaganda--and a standby card shows on all the monitors. The director turns to the prisoners. DIRECTOR (CONT'D) Anybody want to help? A beat--a young tech sits eagerly at the board. CUT TO: INT. MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR - BASEMENT - TRACKING The quechua city cop Hertzog spoke to months before is opening cell doors. The conspiracy cops throw captured loyalist cops into the cells, drive out the prisoners. Many prisoners, scared, crippled, can't believe they're free. CUT TO: INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE GARAGE - STAIRWAY - DAY A fire team of conspiracy cops creeps up the stairs. It bumps into a group of loyalist cops heading down. There's gunfire--a loyalist runs upstairs, yelling a warning. CUT TO:
106. EXT. PARAMA VALLEY - BERNAL'S CAMP - DAY The FRF is mopping up. Prisoners are executed where they kneel. De Panoia yells into the radio of his command helicopter, Bernal in ropes at his feet. DE PANOIA I have him, General. Positive identification. INT. PALACE - COMMAND ROOM Ovando's on the radio. The room hangs on his words. Ovando signs off, turns to them. OVANDO His men have surrendered. Bernal's in custody. They're bringing him here. The room rocks with cheers--men crowd in to congratulate him. ANGLE - RADIOMAN Looking out his window again. RADIOMAN General? OVANDO What? RADIOMAN Something strange. O.S., the rattle of gunfire. Ovando cranes out the window. POV A fire team drives Security of the President cops across an inner courtyard. BACK TO SHOT The building shakes from an explosion. Ovando wheels. OVANDO Call La Mura!
107. EXT. PALACE ROOFTOP The VHF antenna is blown away. INT. COMMAND ROOM The radiomen can't transmit--the phones are dead. Somebody points to the television monitor on the panel. The standby card is gone--on screen is Minister Reyes. INSERT - TV REYES This is Minister of Education Reyes with urgent information for all citizens in the capital district. This morning at 5:43 a.m., forces of a freedom loving coalition launched an attack against the repressive and illegal government of General Hugo Ovando. BACK TO SHOT A major has gotten through to the Presidential Guard headquarters on a walkie-talkie, hands it to Ovando. MAJOR The Presidential Guard, sir. OVANDO Ovando. Who's this? VOICE (V.O.) Captain Calderon, duty officer, sir. OVANDO We're under attack. Call out your command and relieve the Palace. Relay a message to De Panoia--get him back here. VOICE (V.O.) He's on the border, sir. He'd have to refuel... OVANDO He's got one hour to get back here. He points to the TV.
108. OVANDO (CONT'D) And somebody turn off that idiot! Guns are being passed out--he grabs one, shoves men to posts, smashes out a window pane with his gun muzzle, fires. OVANDO (CONT'D) Look--they're children. That's all they are. CUT TO: EXT. LOS LIONES BARRACKS - DAY Miles north of the capital. Bugle calls over the loudspeakers-- troops muster in battle gear. INT. MOTOR POOL The trucks won't start. The enlisted man who sabotaged them last night pretends frustration. One truck rolls--but stalls a few feet away. CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL PARTY HEADQUARTERS - TELEPHONE ROOM - DAY Party leader Aguirre and his staff desperately try to call their regional headquarters. Every line is dead. INT. CENTRAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE RELAY ROOM Rows of electronics throw showers of sparks. The SUPERVISOR watches nervously--a STUDENT saboteur reassures him. SUPERVISOR You're sure we'll get new equipment. STUDENT You're very high on the list. CUT TO: EST. DESAQUERDARIO AIR FIELD - DAY Sirens on rooftops--pilots race from their ready rooms towards their fighters.
109. EXT. FIRE TEAM Three trucks and a road grader with their tires shot out block the runway. From behind the equipment, soldiers fire at anything moving. ANGLE - PILOTS Bullets strike at their heels. They halt, run back towards the ready room. INT. READY ROOM Windows blow out as the pilots hit the floor. They exchanged glances. No way. CUT TO: EXT. LA MURA BARRACKS - DAY In the capital--three truckloads of Presidential Guards grind towards the gates. INT. CAB LEAD TRUCK The gates come into view. They're closed--nobody in sight. EXT. GATES Soldiers run from the lead truck to the gates, discover they're chained together. Sudden withering fire cuts them down. EXT. FIRE TEAM Uniformed soldiers, behind cover across the street from the gates. They maintain a steady fire. CUT TO:
110. INT. CORRIDOR - PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - FIERRO - DAY Soldiers, cops, students, released prisoners, fire behind a barricade, taking heavy return fire from the command room down the hallway. Many wounded, many frightened--the advance has stalled. Fierro pushes through them with Lara and Dora. "It's Hertzog" is whispered, makes the rounds of the men. Fierro turns to the Army captain in charge. FIERRO Captain Villaroel. VILLAROEL General Hertzog. FIERRO Mr. Hertzog. VILLAROEL There's a lot of them. I've lost quite a few. Fierro glances around--the men look to him for inspiration. Down the hall, cowering in a doorway, he sees a young soldier- he's holding a satchel charge, but he's afraid to use it. Dora whispers in his ear. DORA You do it. Everybody's watching. Carry it off and you can take this country and shake it by the neck. FIERRO What if I get killed? DORA We'll find somebody else. Fierro looks around--they are all looking at him. He swallows, takes a deep breath, jumps over the barricade, rushes down the hall, slams into the doorway under a torrent of gunfire. FIERRO AND SOLDIER The SOLDIER knows who he is. Fierro looks over the satchel charge. FIERRO Is this the fuse? SOLDIER You just pull it. Fierro shouts back to the captain for covering fire.
111. BARRICADE - VILLAROEL Rallying his men--they lay down a hail of fire. ANGLE - FIERRO Racing to the far doorway, bracing behind it, pulling the fuse on the satchel charge, tossing it in the command room. He runs back down the hall through the gunfire and dives over the barricade. ANGLE - FAR DOORWAY The charge blows. Smoke, screams of pain. INT. COMMAND ROOM Shredded, many wounded. Ovando yells to his men. OVANDO Fall back into the kitchen! FIERRO AND MEN They congratulate him, slap his back. CUT TO: INT. TELEVISION STATION - CONTROL ROOM The director cues, points to Reyes through the window. ANGLE - MINISTER REYES Reading from copy.
112. REYES Communique number one. Our country was in peril. A Marxist-inspired invasion force threatened our border, an unloved and impotent government was unable to defend us. In this dark hour, a group of our finest leaders, comprising labor and centrist elements, under the command of provisional president Aneas Hertzog... INT. APARTMENT - CARLOS He's watching TV--he shouts to his mother and Hertzog in amazement, pointing. CARLOS Mom, look. It's Daddy--it's my dad! On screen, a headshot of Fierro--as Hertzog. REYES (V.O.) ...an internationally respected advocate of democratic change, has assumed control in the name of all peace-loving citizens. INT. CITY MILK BAR People watch Reyes on TV, breathless. REYES (V.O.) The fascist Ovando has been removed- President Hertzog pledges freedom of the press, free elections, a return to the constitution, a new dawn of hope and prosperity for our beloved country. EXT. CITY STREET As people thrown open their windows, cry for joy. EXT. CITY CHURCH Bells ringing. In the towers, priests haul mightily on the bell ropes.
113. EXT. STREET - ORTIZ The TV journalist and his crew, grabbing shots--crowds pour through the streets. He tries to get interviews--nobody wants to bother. It's a day of jubilee. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - FIRE TEAM OPPOSITE LA MURA BARRACKS - DAY Fierro with Lara and Dora, cowering behind cover with the officer in command. Heavy return fire from inside the gates has reduced his strength. OFFICER I don't know how much longer we can hold... A yell from down the line--they hear a clanking. Tanks are coming. LA MURA BARRACKS A line of armor wheels around the corner facing the main gate, stops. One cannon shot blows the gates away. EXT. FIRE TEAM Fierro and the others pull the men away from their position; they know what's coming. A cannon shell bursts among them. EXT. LEAD TANK COLONEL GORITTI, the tough moustachioed officer Fierro spoke to, leads the column from his turret. GORITTI Scatter them. EXT. LA MURA BARRACKS - GATE The fire team is chased by gunfire as the squadron of armor clanks out the gate and down the street. ANGLE - FIERRO With Lara and Dora, cowering in a doorway, on his walkie talkie.
114. FIERRO La Mura just busted out. INT. APARTMENT - HERTZOG Speaking into the walkie-talkie Elena holds. HERTZOG Fall back on the Palace, Martin- make your stand there. Where's the train? ANGLE - FIERRO Ducking as gunfire hits around them. FIERRO (V.O.) I don't know. Looking up, he sees Lara has been hit in the arm. Lara waves him off--he'll be all right. People dart from a storefront and pull him to safety. Fierro and Dora move out. CUT TO: EXT. TRAIN - DAY Its whistle crying, rumbling through the outskirts towards the capital. The miners crane for a sight of the city. EXT. LORETO RAVINE The rim is surrounded with people from the streets, the poor from the shantytowns. They know something is up--they also know the bridge the crews have been working on all night isn't finished. TOP OF BRIDGE - FIERRO AND CARRASCO Carrasco is mud-spattered, exhausted. CARRASCO You might explain it's got to carry 200 tons. Fierro's on his walkie-talkie with Hertzog.
115. FIERRO The pilings keep sinking. He doesn't think it will hold. INT. APARTMENT - HERTZOG His voice weak into the walkie-talkie Elena holds. HERTZOG Move the miners in on foot, if you have to. EXT. BRIDGE - FIERRO Shaking his head. He's looking around at the crowd lining the edge of the ravine. He takes Carrasco's bullhorn from him, speaks to the crowd. FIERRO Citizens of the capital, I'm Aneas Hertzog. You know what's happening in the city this morning. A train is on its way here--on it are miners joining the fight. This bridge is to get them to the Palace. We need help finishing it. You want to build a new country-- start by helping us build this bridge. ANGLE - EDGE OF RAVINE The people aren't sure. But someone recognizes Fierro from TV-- he yells to his friends and heads down the slope. More climb down--then a wave of them. BASE OF BRIDGE Carrasco rushes down among them, shoves the newcomers into work parties. CUT TO: INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - KITCHEN - DAY Ammo is low, but they're holding out. Ovando collars his radioman.
116. OVANDO Where is he now? RADIOMAN At a roadblock. OVANDO A roadblock? EXT. TANK COLUMN - GORITTI His tanks have pulled up half a block from the roadblock. From behind the barrier, Santesteban speaks through a bullhorn. SANTESTEBAN We have orders to hold this intersection. Goritti replies through a speaker on his tank. GORITTI Whose orders? SANTESTEBAN GHQ Army. General Pachanga. GORITTI Your orders are wrong. Move aside. SANTESTEBAN If you attack, my orders are to open fire. GORITTI My orders come directly from General Ovando. SANTESTEBAN My orders are in writing. Goritti knows his aren't. SANTESTEBAN (CONT'D) You want to see them? I'll show them to you. Goritti looks at his second in command in the next tank. Muttering, he climbs down, walks towards the roadblock. EXT. ROADBLOCK Goritti nods to Santesteban as he comes around the barricade.
117. GORITTI I know you. Santesteban. SANTESTEBAN We were at Command School together. GORITTI Another mess from the politicians. Let's see them. Santesteban hands over his written orders. SANTESTEBAN General Pachanga's signature. GORITTI I better check. INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - KITCHEN Taking fire--another satchel charge blows down the hall. The radioman grabs Ovando. RADIOMAN He wants confirmation. OVANDO Who? RADIOMAN Colonel Goritti says the officer at the roadblock has written orders. Ovando seizes the walkie-talkie. OVANDO Listen, idiot, does this voice sound familiar to you? GORITTI (V.O.) Yes, General, it does. OVANDO Your orders are to relieve the Palace. Can I make it any clearer? EXT. TANK COLUMN - GORITTI In his tank turret--his whole command has heard over VHF. GORITTI Yes, sir. He signals to the other tank commanders. They duck into their turrets--hatches are locked.
118. GORITTI'S TANK As it trains its cannon on the center of the roadblock. EXT. ROADBLOCK Santesteban and his troops see the cannon training, hit the dirt as a shall explodes among them. INT. SECOND STORY WINDOW Above the roadblock. A fire team launches a missile at the tank beside Goritti's. TANK Direct hit--it explodes. Gorriti's and the other tanks back up, laying covering fire. CUT TO: EXT. SWITCHYARD As the miners' train noses through the switchyard, turns onto the newly laid spur leading to the bridge. CUT TO: INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - KITCHEN - DAY Through a window, Ovando sees the first of Goritti's column enter a side street leading to the Palace. He shouts into his walkie-talkie. OVANDO I see you! La Mura, you'll be heroes for life... EXT. HALLWAY - FIRE TEAM A student in the fire team has ducked under return fire, gotten close enough to fire a rocket.
119. INT. KITCHEN As the shell explodes. Ovando and others are knocked down- many are bloody, some dead. OVANDO Into the bedroom...! EXT. PLAZA MAYOR Pandemonium--the crowds there have heard the clank of the approaching tanks. Soldiers and cops hurry to clear the square. EXT. SQUARE - ORTIZ Behind him, soldiers and citizens throw up frail barricades. He whispers into his mike. ORTIZ They can't be far away. The people, only a second ago, celebrating, laughing, have vanished. Those remaining wait without making a noise. CUT TO: INT. ENGINE CAB - DAY The crew stops the train at the ravine's edge, amazed by what they see. EXT. LOCOMOTIVE - CREW They climb down, shaking their heads. The bridge is being braced by an improvised rats nest of ropes running down from points all along the track bed, each hauled tight by crowds of volunteers on the ravine bottom. In addition, cable slings have been fixed to the track bed--two of the tall cranes used to build the bridge hoist the slings under tension, holding the track bed up like a pair of suspenders. The ENGINEER cups his hands. ENGINEER Is this thing going to hold? ANGLE - CARRASCO Hauling on a brace rope among a group of men, women and kids.
120. CARRASCO Try it. Then we'll all know. ANGLE - TRAIN The crew climbs back in the cab. With a chuff of steam, the train slowly inches out on the bridge. ANGLE - FIERRO, DORA AND CARRASCO Among another group on a rope. Overhead, the train moves out on the bridge. The track bed groans, sags--the rope is almost torn from their hands. ANGLE - TRAIN CREW AND MINERS Feeling the bridge sway, hearing it creak in protest, as it takes more and more of the train's weight. EXT. BRIDGE - FIERRO AND CARRASCO Watching the train inch overhead, he sees the weight of the train, pulling down on the two cranes, is starting to topple them over. He hollers. ANGLE - CRANES As scores of men clamber onto the cranes, adding their body's weight to them to keep them from falling over. EXT. TRAIN As the locomotive front wheels roll onto solid ground on the far side. The engineer hoots the whistle in triumph. CROWD Bursting into cheers, waving their hats, as they race up the slope towards the train, now almost all on the far side. The miners yell back.
121. EXT. TRAIN Fierro and Dora among others, racing up the slope, scrambling into boxcars. INT. BOXCAR Miners help them all aboard as the train starts to move. "It's Hertzog," they whisper, as they spot Fierro--the word spreads. EXT. STREET As the train crosses the connecting track from the ravine onto the streetcar tracks and turns downtown. EXT. STREETS People run clear, stare in amazement as the burdened train rumbles past them. INT. APARTMENT WINDOW Carlos has called his mother to see something unheard of--a freight train passing below his window. Elena hurries to look. ANGLE - HERTZOG He can't see it, but in his bed, he hears it, and he knows what's happening. INT. PALACE BEDROOM - OVANDO - DAY Dodging gunfire, leaning out a window, shouting in the walkie talkie. OVANDO Fire--what are you waiting for? EXT. GORITTI'S TANK COLUMN The lead tanks fire into the barricades in the plaza.
122. EXT. PLAZA MAYOR - BARRICADES Blown into flinders. Ortiz among others, running for their lives. ANGLE - OVANDO Directing the fire from his window. OVANDO Spread out. Keep line abreast! EXT. PLAZA MAYOR The barricades are deserted. Beyond them, the tanks approach side by side, firing. There's nothing to stop them. EXT. PLAZA MAYOR - TRAIN - HIGH ANGLE As the train bursts from a side street and plows into the plaza, squealing to a stop with brakes sparking. Miners and townspeople pour off it in a flood, Fierro among them. ANGLE - FAVORING FIERRO With Dora, shouting, forming the miners in a thin line across the plaza. They're all lighting cigarettes or cigars. ANGLE - OVANDO He can't see the train--all he knows is the tanks are suddenly silent. OVANDO What are you waiting for? POV - TANK PERISCOPE The miners in their line in front of the Palace. They hold their cigars and cigarettes to their dynamite fuses. INT. TANK The tankers are unsure. The commander shouts "Load!" The gunner hesitates. The commander shouts again--the gunner rams a shell into his cannon breech.
123. ANGLE - GORITTI Glued to his periscope, fingers sweaty on the cannon triggers. EXT. SQUARE Silent. People watch from the doorways. ANGLE - FIERRO Everyone's looking at him. He knows what he must do. He steps forward in front of the miners, waves to the tanks, walks towards them. FIERRO - TRACKING Watching the cannon muzzles follow him. He looks purposeful, but his heart is pounding. DORA Watching Fierro as he reaches the lead tank. EXT. LEAD TANK As Goritti bangs open his hatch. FIERRO Colonel Goritti. GORITTI Do I know you? FIERRO Aneas Hertzog. Those forces are mine. I think we should talk. GORITTI You want me to come down? FIERRO Yes.
124. GORITTI You come up here. Fierro nods, climbs up on the tank. EXT. TURRET - FIERRO AND GORITTI Goritti emerges from his hatch as Fierro reaches the turret top. GORITTI Well? FIERRO The General's trapped in the Palace. We hold the airfield--El Jaguar and Los Liones can't get here in time and the FRF is on the northern border. Those miners will go against you with dynamite. GORITTI We'll fight to the last man. FIERRO That would be a waste. GORITTI I'm willing to see what happens. FIERRO Do you have a family? GORITTI I'm married. Why? FIERRO You have something to live for. GORITTI Everybody has something to live for. FIERRO You wrote a paper at Command School- "Diplomacy and the Military in the Atomic Age." It was very insightful. Goritti shrugs it off. FIERRO (CONT'D) I could use someone like you in my cabinet. GORITTI Doing what?
125. FIERRO Minister of Transportation. You have a talent for it. Goritti regards him. FIERRO (CONT'D) It's the chance of a lifetime. It may never come again. GORITTI What guarantee do I have? FIERRO Me shaking your hand, the whole town watching. You'll be famous. They're probably put up a statue to you. GORITTI All right--shake my hand. They do. FIERRO We should embrace. GORITTI Do we have to? FIERRO It would be a good idea. They embrace. EXT. STREET The city goes wild. The tankers throw open their hatches. People climb onto the tanks--girls hug the soldiers. ANGLE - FIERRO Making his way back towards the Palace through a throng trying to grab him. ANGLE - AGUIRRE Aguirre and a small handful of supporters arrive in the square, holding pro-Ovando signs.
126. EXT. SQUARE Singing, circles of dancing--police with students, soldiers, miners. A mother finds her imprisoned son--they weep in each other's arms. Somebody grabs Dora and pulls her away. AGUIRRE AND FOLLOWERS Quietly ditching their signs as the dancing carries them away. INT. PALACE ENTRANCE Fierro pushes through the throng. Everybody wants to touch him, congratulate him--Reyes is there, Pachanga; ministers, bureaucrats fall over each other to proclaim their loyalty. He bumps into Ortiz, who's filming him. ORTIZ Fierro? You? FIERRO Come on--I need you. ORTIZ How'd you get into this? Fierro drags Ortiz after, up the stairs. INT. PALACE HALLWAY The front line--students and soldiers still trade fire with those in the bedroom down the hall when Fierro arrives. Somebody hands him a bullhorn--he motions to Captain Villaroel to cease fire. FIERRO General Ovando, this is Aneas Hertzog. La Mura has surrendered and the city is taken. The answer is gunfire--he ducks. FIERRO (CONT'D) Soldiers with the General. You've defended him bravely. Surrender now and you have my word of honor you won't be prosecuted. Gunfire--but less of it.
127. FIERRO (CONT'D) If you don't throw out your guns in ten seconds, I will burn down the Palace. VOICE (O.S.) You mean that? FIERRO I'm very serious. A beat--then one by one, guns clatter outside the bedroom door. Soldiers walk forward, collect the guns. One boldly kicks open the bedroom door. They see Ovando alone--his men stand apart from him. INT. BEDROOM Fierro enters at the head of his troops. The defenders are bloody, exhausted. Reynoso and other loyalists glare hatefully at him. Fierro turns to Ovando. OVANDO I thought you were dead. You're with this insurgent? FIERRO I am the insurgent. REYNOSO I warned you. OVANDO Judas. After all I did for you. He backhands Fierro across the face. It's a hard blow- Fierro's nose starts to bleed. Fury, years of repressed anger, rise in Fierro. He starts toward Ovando, who steps backwards until a wall stops him. Fierro regards Ovando--but all he does is turn to Villaroel and motions him to take Ovando away. He touches his nose- his hand comes away bloody. Dora leads him towards the bedroom window--he takes the walkie-talkie from her. EXT. BEDROOM BALCONY Fierro's stunned at what he sees--the plaza and converging streets an ocean of shouting, jubilant people, the entire city at his feet. Ortiz crouches, taping. Fierro wipes his nose, makes a tentative wave. The crowd bellows his name--"Hertzog." He speaks into the walkie talkie.
128. FIERRO Elena, I did it. Let me talk to him. EXT. SQUARE - HIGH ANGLE They scream his name louder. ANGLE - LARA Among the crowd, arm bandaged, shouting "Hertzog" with the rest. ANGLE - FIERRO A broader wave. And a greater shout in response--"Hertzog!" He tries the walkie-talkie again. FIERRO Elena--I need to talk to him. INT. APARTMENT Across the room, Fierro on the TV. Elena's holding Hertzog's hand. His face is calm, composed. He's dead. Elena speaks into her walkie-talkie. ELENA Martin, he's gone. ANGLE - BALCONY - FIERRO Stunned. The overwhelming voice of the crowd breaks on him-- "HERTZOG, HERTZOG, HERTZOG." INT. APARTMENT - CARLOS He's craning out the window. The roar from the square reaches him over the rooftops. He's never heard the people of his country all shouting the same thing at once before. LONG SHOT - THE CAPITAL The shouts rising to mix with the haze over this Andean city.
129. FADE OUT.