A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH
Schanke: Oh this is awful.
Schanke: Myra's cousin has a heart attack and guess who ends up paying for it? Moi! I mean the guy is fifty, huh? And his wife, Lenka is Hungarian. You know what that means? Everything that isn't dipped in butter is dipped in lard. High fat to the max.
Nick: Hey, not like what you eat.
Schanke: Hey a guy in my line of work can't go on a diet, mmm? Keep my energy up.
Nick: What do we have?
Schanke: Uh, the usual drill. A very dead hooker, a very posh hotel, and guess what? Nobody saw nuthin'. Vil coma bien and welcome to the wonderful world of police work.
Schanke: I hear the prince of Wales stayed here. I don't think any of the towels are very left.(?)
Nick: Look, what happened to the guy who found her?
Schanke: Oh, a guy named Barry Draper. He's in the john now, praying to the porcelain goddess. Banker type.
Nick: Not everyone can have your iron stomach, Schanke. Have anything interesting to say?
Schanke: Oh yeah. This is novel. Claims it was all a big mix up. He doesn't know how a dead hooker got in his bedroom.
Nick: Well, her name was Julie Beamer.
Schanke: Well, he ordered a bottle of champaign for himself. Ten to one he's here every Friday.
Mr. Draper: Detective, can I go home now?
Nick: I just have a few questions. The name's Detective Knight.
Draper: I'm sorry, Detective, but I can't help you.
Nick: You're not a suspect, Mr. Draper. The bellboy confirmed that you'd just arrived. We need to know what happened.
Draper: I have no idea. She was that way when I got here.
Nick: Are you a married man, sir?
Nick: Well, why don't we try to get you home to her nice and early, so we don't worry her too much. You were expecting her, weren't you?
Schanke: I bet you're a regular.
Nick: You knew her from before?
Draper: Detective, it was nothin' like that. Look, I gave this guy in the hotel bar three hundred dollars and he gave me the key to this room, all right? He promised I wouldn't be disappointed.
Schanke: This guy have a name? What did he look like?
Draper: What does anyone look like? I mean, I don't know what he looked like. He was young, he had blond hair, he was kind of my height.
Schanke: Well, did he have any distinguishing characteristics. like a scar, a tattoo, a mustache?
Draper: No, nothing like that. He looked more like a lawyer than anyone else...uh, clean cut. He started to admire my suit. We got to talking....
Nick: These are new.
Janette: Miklos' idea. He thought it was too quiet around here. He never was the low profile type, huh?
Schanke: We picked one of those off a hooker. A girl in a swanky hotel.
Nick: Julie Beamer.
Janette: She comes in her sometimes, yes.
Schanke: You know her pimp--young guy, dresses like a legal-eagle?
Schanke: You might want to take a look around before you answer.
Janette: He's not here, Detective Schanke. If you want to look around, please do, look around.
Schanke: We'll do that. Knight.
Nick: In a second. I didn't think that was one of the services you offered.
Janette: The women are welcome. The men who think that they own them, are not. I offer them a refuge. Some of them take it for an hour, or a day.
Nick: I didn't think you cared about their kind.
Janette: But they are my kind, Nicolas. We are all ladies of the night, hmmm.
Nick: And Julie Beamer, how well did you know her?
Janette: She'd dead isn't she? That's why you are here.
Anna: How's business tonight?
Janette: Oh, Daviau sent me four men. I hate him. Look what he's done to you. Is it very bad?
Anna: It's my fault. I should have gone away before he found out.
Janette: What's it like? This baby?
Anna: You'll find out one day. If I'd found out sooner, I'd still be married and living in England instead of a prostitute in Paris.
Janette: Well then you would be lying down for one man instead of twenty. Does it really matter? If it's not one master, it's another. At least this way we have each other.
Anna: My husband put me out because I couldn't receive a child. Now Daviau will put me out because I did.
Janette: No, no, he can't.
Anna: I can't earn my keep like this.
Janette: I can. I can earn enough for both of us.
Daviau: Then you'd better get started. If you want your next meal, you'll go where the customers are.
Janette: She needs a doctor.
Daviau: No, she'll need a priest.
Janette: How can you do this? You're killing her!
Janette: He killed her. Mason, her pimp.
Nick: How do you know that.
Janette: Julie used to be his favorite. Then she made the mistake of getting too old. He has a very large stable, and he likes to keep his girls young. She was twenty two. Last month, he hit her so hard she was in the hospital. She couldn't earn her keep that way, and so he kicked her out. I let her stay here.
Nick: You let her stay here?
Janette: Just for a few days. And then he came looking for her and she went back to him. I guess she shouldn't have.
Schanke: No luck. We might as well skedaddle. Thanks for your help.
Janette: Detective, why don't you to Celeste over there. She was one of Mason's girls and a friend of Julie's.
Schanke: And it's just that easy boys and girls. We might have an early night after all.
Janette: Nicolas.... Get this bastard.
Schanke: Which one of you ladies is Celeste?
Celeste: I'm off duty.
Nick: Excuse me.... Nick Knight...
Celeste: I could make an exception.
Nick: ...Metro Homicide.
Janette: It's all right. It's about Julie.
Celeste: Mason didn't do it.
Nick: Celeste, you're not helping.
Celeste: All right, what do you want?
Schanke: She really puts up quite a good front, doesn't she?
Cohen: It's part of her job description. What's with the rabbit food?
Schanke: The wife's on a cholesterol rampage. Want some?
Nick: Julie was a friend of yours, right. (Celeste nods) Then why are you trying to protect the guy who killed her.
Celeste: Because he didn't do anything. He would never hurt her.
Nick: What about the hospital record? Three cracked ribs, dislocated jaw.
Celeste: He didn't hit her that hard. She fell. He's not that bad.
Nick: Celeste, if you're scared of him....
Celeste: I am not scared.
Nick: Tell me where to find him. You don't have to be afraid anymore. I'll get him out of your life.
Celeste: Mason takes care of me. I was living on the street, I owe him everything. You couldn't understand.
Nick: Oh, I understand, all right. He made you what you are, and now he controls you. Don't do this for him, Celeste.
Celeste: He's all I've got.
Schanke: And what is the point of celery without the sour cream and onion dip, you know? Isn't that what the scoop part is for?
Cohen: Not even the most trivial matter escapes your enquiring mind, does it, Detective?
Schanke: You're absolutely right. No luck, huh?
Nick: I don't think she's gonna give him to us.
Cohen: I'll talk to my guy in vice in the morning. Maybe they know this Mason's turf.
Schanke: So what do why do in the mean time?
Cohen: Hit the pavement?
Nick: Jen(?) is processing her out right now. Let's go, Schank.
Schanke: What, are we going to follow her? What for? Think she's going to lead us straight to this Mason guy?
Nick: I don't think she has anywhere else to go.
Schanke: I told you this was a waste of time. She's going to work. (Then, Celeste sees them) Oh, oh....
Celeste: Are you just window shopping, Detective? Or are you following me?
Schanke: I'm um...I'm on patrol.
Celeste: Sure. Nice car.
Schanke: I think she made us. (Turning to find Nick gone.) Knight? Great!
Mason: Where were you? I've been back for over an hour.
Celeste: It was the cops. They wanted to know about Julie.
Mason: What about her? What did you tell them?
Celeste: I told them you didn't kill her.
Mason: (He hits her.) What are you talking about?
Nick: (barging in) Police! Let the girl go.
Celeste: So, now what happens?
Nick: Well, do you have any family, anyone you can go to?
Celeste: If I had someone to go to, do you think I would have wound up here in the first place? And don't tell me you're going to call social services and find me a place to stay. I've seen enough of that. I know how they treat my kind.
Nick: There are good people everywhere--even in social services. They could help.
Celeste: I don't need any help.
Nick: You're sitting in a police station at 4:30 in the morning with a black eye and no where to go. I'd say you need help. You could be dead.
Celeste: Look, my sister works in a donut store for minimum wage. She's never going to see a fur coat or a glass of champaign. Is that better? Once you get a taste of the good life, you don't every want to go back.
Nick: No. Really, huh? So this is what you want to be? I mean if you had a choice, this is what you'd choose for yourself?
Celeste: Well, does it matter? I've already chosen. You have to live the life you've got. There's no starting over.
Nick: (walking over to Schanke and Nat) Excuse me.
Schanke: You are not going to like this.
Nick: Mason's got an alibi?
Schanke: Says he was at George Selezki's(?) birthday party.
Nick: Look, George Selezki(?) isn't exactly a reliable witness.
Natalie: Look, you don't have a murder weapon, there are no prints that put him at the scene, and he tested clean--no gun powder residue, no blood.
Schanke: Tell him the good part.
Natalie: Entry angle. Best guess, the killer was about six inches shorter than your guy. I know, I know it's not an exact science, but it doesn't exactly help your case, either.
Schanke: We can try to get him for procurement, but Draper's not going to want to testify.
Nick: Mason killed her and he's gonna get off because he's too tall?
Schanke: No, no, no. Because we've got nada on him. Niente, bupkis. The guy's teflon. I don't like it any better, but this case is not gonna stick.
Celeste: Nice try, Detective. Thanks anyway. Can I go now?
Nick: No, I mean.... It's not over, you can still charge him with assault.
Celeste: No, thanks. I don't have a death wish yet. See you around.
Celeste: Hey Miklos. You got a double Tequila for me?
Miklos: We're closing up.
Janette: It's okay, Miklos. Go on.
Janette: I told you to stay out of my club.
Mason: And I've told you to stay out of my business. I knew you'd come here. Janette: Do you need a place to stay, Celeste?
Mason: She's got a place.
Janette: I asked her.
Celeste: I've got a place.
Mason: Where are you going?
Janette: *Have another drink.* (Janette leads Celeste away) You don't have to go with him.
Celeste: I know you don't like him.
Janette: It's not about who I like. It's about who you are, who you want to be.
Celeste: I'm a hooker, I'll stay a hooker. You get used to it.
Janette: Celeste, they say that when you're drowning, you can still see a light above you until you stop swimming.
Celeste: Or you learn how to breathe underwater and you don't remember how to breathe the air. I don't belong up there.
Mason: (coming over and holding out some money) Thanks for the drinks, honey.
Janette: (gripping his wrist) I am _not_ honey.
Nick: Janette, what are you doing here? It's still daylight.
Janette: Please! (He closes the blinds) How could you? How could you set him free?
Nick: We couldn't book him. He didn't fire a gun, we couldn't place him at the scene.
Janette: He kills these women every day, a little bit at a time. I thought you were the knight in shining armor come to rescue the damsels in distress, or perhaps whores don't count!
Nick: I want him just as much as you do. There was no proof.
Janette: He made this child a slave, what more's it going to take?
Nick: What do you care? This is my problem.
Janette: Then take care of it!
Nick: I haven't seen you like this before, not in eight-hundred years. What is it?
Janette: Whose asking? Is it Nicolas or Detective Knight?
Nick: I am.
Janette: You of all people should know what her life is like. Trapped in a world of darkness with no way out. No escape from the hold of the master over her. Yes, you've had a taste of it, but you have no idea what it is like to have every man believe he owns you!
Soldier: (Pushing Janette against a wall) How about a free one for a couple of veterans?
Janette: To believe it yourself.
Janette: Sisters, please I beg you help me!
Priest: Soldier! Now look here!
Soldier: What's wrong? She's a common woman.
Priest: Please...not in front of the sisters.
Janette: (The man drags her away) No. No! No! Help me! Help me! No. No!
Janette: Back then, a woman belonged to her father, and then to her husband, to be passed on to a servant if she failed to produce an heir, to be sold to the brothel keeper if she was in the way of another marriage.
Janette: A thousand years, Nicolas, a thousand years, and things have not changed. These women are still property. Another dead hooker, big deal. Am I right?
Nick: What do you want me to do? What are you asking?
Janette: I want him to pay.
Nick: That's not the way it works, not anymore. My hands are tied.
Janette: Mine are not.
Schanke: I thought we settled this yesterday. We got nothing on the guy.
Nick: Then we'll get something.
Schanke: You're wasting your time. She's been living that life. She doesn't know how to function in the normal world.
Nick: What are you saying, Schank? She's screwed up, okay. So you just write her off. No second chances.
Schanke: Whoa whoa...do not take this personally! You know, every cop gets involved every now and then, it's happened to me. You try to save one of these strays from the gutter.... They break your heart every time.
Natalie: Hey yourself. pull up a stool, have a seat, I will be done in a moment. (Nick takes a baggie off the counter) Or I suppose I could be done now. What's on your mind, she asks, sympathetically.
Nick: Celeste. Maybe I should have left it alone. Maybe Schanke was right.
Natalie: Now there's a concept.
Nick: I'd like to think she has a chance at a normal life. But even if I can get this guy away from her, maybe she's too far gone to come back.
Natalie: Now you can't really believe that. I mean, what is the point of no-return, Nick?
Nick: You tell me.
Natalie: All right. She's in a tough spot. It's not as if you haven't seen worse. If she wants to come back, she can come back. If she wants to.
Nick: If I can just get this Mason guy on this murder. That'll give her a chance to get out.
Natalie: You know, this good samaritan thing kind of suits you.
Schanke: (Coming in, at first on the phone) Yeah, I'll tell him, thanks. You're really not going to like this. The crown was trying to nail George Selezki(?) on income tax evasion for that gun business of his. Well, he had three guys on wires at his birthday party yesterday and guess who's on every tape?
Schanke: You got it, he was there all night. I hate to say this, partner, but he ain't our guy.
Nick: Where's Janette?
Miklos: You just missed her. She put me in charge and went out.
Nick: All right, when you see her again, tell her to forget about this Mason thing. It's not working out.
Miklos: Want to wait.
Nick: Where did she go, Miklos?
Miklos: I don't know.
Natalie: Two sluggs in the victim, one in the table. The killer had a pretty steady hand.
Nick: What time?
Natalie: Not long, the blood's barely congealed. Oops! Sorry. Janette wouldn't have....
Nick: She wouldn't have used bullets.
Janette: A rather tedious way to spend your evenings.
Nick: It's just procedure.
Janette: Hmm, of course. I suppose that you can afford to be patient, hmm?
Nick: Myra stopped checking your blood sugar every night?
Schanke: Well, the way I figure, if it happens it happens. A donut ain't gonna kill me and celery and apples sure as hell isn't gonna save me. This is Goodman from vice.
Nick: Nick Knight.
Goodman: Howdy. Dr. Lambert.
Schanke: You got anything yet?
Natalie: Yep, the bullet in the table was a 9mm, the same as the bullet in Julie Beamer.
Natalie: I'll get it tested tonight and let you know if its a definite match.
Schanke: What's the point spread on that?
Natalie: It'll match.
Goodman: This could be the beginning of something nasty.
Natalie: I would say that this is the end of something nasty.
Goodman: Oh...Mason had a nice little string. Nice client list. That keeps going without him. Someone just changed the name on the letter-head is all. You're looking at the 3rd street version of mergers and acquisitions. Hostile takeover.
Nick: Any idea who?
Goodman: Eh, another guy with some box(?) on the ready hand. These girls are like pilot fish. They'll fall in behind any shark that comes by.
Nick: Uh...I want to find Celeste.
Schanke: You think she knew something?
Nick: I think she could be in danger. Somebody kills her best friend, and now her pimp. They could be after the business or trying to wipe it out.
Natalie: Uh, Nick, isn't your shift ending?
Schanke: Oh come on, look at the time! If you're putting in for overtime do it without me, because Myra's going to have me skinned alive if I don't get home by dawn.
Nick: Yeah, I know the feeling. Uh...I think I should take Janette home.
Goodman: You found the body, Miss?
Goodman: Well, shouldn't we take her in for a statement, huh? Get prints, pictures, check her out for priors?
Schanke: Uh, look Goodman, she's a friend of Knight's. She's okay.
Goodman: How about a paraffin test, a polygraph?
Nick: She's not a suspect.
Goodman: No offense. It's just procedure.
Nick: *She's not a suspect.*
Goodman: She's not a suspect....
Nick: *I'm taking her home....*
Goodman: See ya.
Nick: *Oh, by the way, have your people found out where Celeste Morgan is.*
Natalie: You've gotta teach me how you do that sometime...please.
Janette: I think that I know just about everything I could possibly want to know about this fascinating little career of yours.
Nick: Well, it's a living. Thanks for just playing along. You could've just disappeared.
Janette: Believe me, I thought about it.
Janette: So what can it be like, living by their rules all the time? Does it make your life any easier?
Nick: Easier? No.
Janette: Then what's the point? My way is so much simpler. You chose a side, you act.
Nick: This way, it keeps us from choosing the wrong side. We didn't have any evidence on him because he didn't do it.
Janette: Oh, please. You're old enough now to know the difference between not guilty and innocent. Anyway it doesn't matter. We both have justice now. I'm just sorry I wasn't the one to drain his miserable life.
Nick: Well I'm not.
Janette: You saw the hold he had on that child. Someone had to free her.
Nick: This didn't free her. She'll just belong to someone else, that's all.
Janette: I know you. You've been following me.
LaCroix: You have no idea for how long. Daviau tells me that you are of noble blood. Is it true?
Janette: I am whatever you want me to be.
LaCroix: I want you to be so much more than mere nobility. Come with me.
Janette: If you meet Daviau's price.
LaCroix: Oh, no, no. What I offer cannot be bought or sold. You must choose. Stay here and die like your friend, as all these women will. Or come with me, and without your permission, no mere mortal will ever dare touch you again. You've heard it said that living well is the best revenge.... Au contraire, living forever is the best revenge.
Schanke: (On Nick's answering machine) Hey partner, rise and shine. Goodman's guys haven't seen our friend Celeste all day, so I guess it's time for us to cherchez la femme, so to speak.
Schanke: Not like she's going to tell us anything if we do find her. She hasn't exactly been little Miss co-operative, so far.
(They pull up to the curb)
Louise: Nice car.
Schanke: Yeah the critique seem unanimous. You guys seen Celeste tonight?
Louise: Are you looking for a two on one? Me and Miranda. Three-hundred flat. The same as what Celeste and Julie would have charged you.
Nick: Three-hundred for Julie and Celeste?
Louise: Okay. We'll go Two-fifty, but then you gotta pay for the room. Wait a minute, are you guys cops?
Schanke: You got it sweetheart.
Louise: Two-hundred, then. Professional courtesy.
(Schanke gestures her off)
Nick: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Schanke: Yeah, that Barry 'I never do this sort of thing' Draper was holding out on us. I hate that when that happens.
Nick: You know, Mr. Draper, I really hate the fact that we had to drag you down to the precinct tonight. And I hope your wife doesn't ask too many questions. But you see, the way it's supposed to work is that we're the good guys, and fine upstanding citizens like yourself are supposed to tell us the truth.
Nick: And when you don't, well, we start to wonder whether we made the right decision...giving you a break. We start to think well we'll have to drag you down here, maybe then your wife, maybe your neighbors, maybe your kids, hell, maybe even the family dog.
Draper: Please don't....
Nick: What is it you forgot to tell us Mr. Draper? What were you paying for?
Draper: Two. There were supposed to be two girls. Two girls, two hours. Three-hundred dollars.
Schanke: You ought to spend that money on therapy next time.
Schanke: She must have seen the guy off her friend, that's why she wouldn't talk to us, that's why she disappeared. She's got to be convinced he's coming after her.
Nick: He probably is.
Dispatch: 81, I have a call coming in--Srgt. Goodman from vice.
Schanke: 81 Kilo, go ahead.
Goodman: Yeah, I found your little bird in the nest at the Victory hotel, safe and sound. You want to come get her?
Schanke: We're on her way. And Goodman, it looks like she was there when the other girl was killed, so take care of her. She's our key witness.
Goodman: So you were there, huh? It must have been rough seeing your friend killed.
Celeste: What do you know about how it was?
Goodman: I'm just saying it, okay? Look, I've been in vice long enough to know that no matter how tough someone says they are, sometimes things get to ya. Now, you don't have to admit it, Celeste, I'm just saying I know it, and that's okay.
Celeste: A vice cop with a heart of gold, huh?
Goodman: Actually, no, just a father with a daughter about your age. Call me sentimental.
Celeste: What's going to happen to me?
Goodman: Oh, don't worry, we're going to nail this guy. What happens after that is up to you. Now, if you want, we can help you get a fresh start away from the business. But you've got to give us the shooter, Celeste. You know who did it, don't you?
Celeste: Yes, and Detective, you seem like a really nice guy, but...I'm going to have to turn down your offer for a head start.
Celeste: It's not in my plans. (She shoots him)
Celeste: (At the Rave, to Janette) Please, help me. Please!
Schanke: Dammit, I don't believe this. What the hell happened?
Nick: Shot three times, close range.
Schanke: They beat us. Killed Goodman and took Celeste.
Nick: I'm not so sure.
Schanke: It's got to be the same guy who wants to take over Mason's business, right?
Nick: Goodman never even got to his gun.
Nick: He never thought he was in danger.
Schanke: You mean the killer was in here the whole time?
Nick: Call it in.
Schanke: Where are you going?
Celeste: They guy who killed Julie...he came for me. He killed this cop, and...and he was going to kill me next.
Janette: You know who killed Julie? Celeste, tell me.
Celeste: No. Please, I've got to get out of town and a new start. If the cops find me, they'll make me testify. I know he'll find me, and he'll kill me. Will you help me?
Janette: A new start. I have friends who can help with that.
Janette: How about a truly new beginning. A new life. You will decide who is permitted to touch you, and who dies for even daring to try.
Daviau: Try it for a while. You'll see...you'll like it.
(LaCroix takes him and pins him against the wall. He then lets Janette take him.)
Janette: (After killing Daviau) The best revenge, is revenge.
Janette: Get out!
Celeste: What the hell....
Nick: Don't do this Janette. She killed him.
Celeste: I had to. I couldn't get away from him while he was still alive. He was too strong. I just wanted to start over.
Janette: What will this law of yours say of a woman who turns against the man who is destroying her? Of the victim who finds the strength to become the bird of prey?
Nick: What about Goodman? What about Julie? She's not killing to protect herself. She's killing because people are in her way.
Celeste: It's not true!
Nick: She wanted to take over Mason's business. She tried framing him by killing Julie and when that didn't work, she killed him. And when Goodman got too close, she murdered him, too. Who's next? Hmm?
Celeste: I earned it. After what I've been through! It's my turn and nobody is going to take this from me now!
(Celeste pulls her gun, Janette changes, and Celeste fires.)
Nick: Janette! (He stops Janette, moving in front of her.) No!
Janette: You betrayed me, Celeste! You betrayed you Julie, but ultimately you betrayed yourself, and here I was about to give you the greatest gift of all!
Celeste: What are you?
Janette: What you could have been, but not now, not ever. For what you've done I should tear out your throat. Don't worry, Nicolas, I'll let your justice deal with her. *Forget....*
Schanke: I'm telling you, Carrots and Celery are a thing of the past. Really. I'm not on the eat what you want diet. You guys sure are lucky, I mean how could she miss at that distance? If this thing doesn't match up, I'm in the wrong line of business.
Nick: Well now that you mention it....
Schanke: How's Janette?
Nick: She'll survive.
Natalie: Do you have any evidence for me?
Natalie: And where did I get these?
Nick: The...wall over the bar?
Natalie: The wall over the bar.
Janette: Thank you, Doctor.
Natalie: You're welcome.
Nick: Are you all right?
Janette: Your friend is an excellent surgeon. I saw so much of myself in Celeste--a woman who destroys her friends as well as her enemies.
Nick: You though you could help her start over. Nothing wrong with that. You're not like her, Janette.
Janette: You really think it's possible, don't you...to start over?
Janette: I hope you're right.
Nick: You do?
Janette: If that's what you want. I would have killed to set her free, and I would do no less for you.
Nick: You must never do that.
Janette: Nicolas, you've been so weakened by this human concept of justice, its lack of simplicity.
Nick: Celeste is going to jail for what she did, what could be simpler?
Janette: She's going from one prison to another. Her death would have been simpler.
Nick: At least this way she has still has a chance to start over again.
Janette: How, when her life is ruled by someone else?
Nick: We both know all about that, Janette. It's about how we live in captivity. We must escape, or die trying. Vampires and humans alike.