Downtown Los Angeles, CA. 12:18pm
It’s just another day in LA. People going about their daily lives: driving, shopping, eating, and working. At the intersection of 49th and Main Street, sewer line repair work has bottle-necked the southbound traffic flow. A police car with lights flashing sits in the right lane on Main Street’s north bound traffic snarling things even more.
Rick Anderson fumes impatiently stuck in the traffic several cars back from the police vehicle. He sits in his classic convertible that he drove all the way from his home in Montana. He had planned to be at the Western Rifles Gun Meet at 10:00 am but detours outside of Los Angeles and heavy traffic in the city have put him hours behind. He mutters to himself and keeps glancing at clock, which just irritates him more.
Peter Long exits the back room office of his pawnshop and he gives his food order to Eddie, one of his staff. Eddie grabs his jacket and smirks at Pepe who is ringing up a customer at the register. Peter readjusts some merchandise along one wall and spots the boxes of dvd’s that he told Pepe to put out this morning. He’s had enough. Pepe isn’t working out at the store; he needs to find better help.
Across the street, David sits on his bed monitoring his scanners and radios in the penthouse suite of the Grand Baltic Hotel . He has heard increased traffic all morning on the local emergency and police channels. A call to his handler, J. Bradley Lowethorpe, in D.C. went unanswered several hours ago. Tired of waiting for his actual orders, he decides to dress and check out the situation on the street below. He slips his silenced pistol into his belt pouch and presses the button for the elevator.
Thomas Wood is having a bad day. Arriving at work this morning, he discovered that the tool crib clerk didn’t order the needed welding supplies and repair parts that he gave to the clerk Friday morning. Thomas’ boss, Gino, gave him the go ahead to get the stuff from the local supplier. Thomas decides to get lunch before going to Seeley Metal Suppliers. Pulling into the back parking lot, Thomas walks out to the entrance of Little Italy Pizza Oven. He glances at the police car with flashing lights half a block away and slips into the restaurant with his thoughts elsewhere.
Rich stands under the customer’s car on the rack. He hopes to finish the new hydraulics and suspension by mid-day. He uses the torque gun to tighten the first bolts of the right side hydraulics package. He wipes his brow of sweat and is glad that he had Piko open the bay door to let a breeze in earlier. He picks up his torque gun and returns to work on the convertible. He knows that the customer, George, will be happy to have the car back and he hopes that he will refer his friends to Rich’s garage.
Max sits in his Toyota in stalled traffic and finishes his Taco Shack burrito. He was supposed to be off work after pulling four days straight with his L.A. Fire Rescue Squad unit. About an hour and a half ago, the Assistant Chief called him at home and woke him. Assistant Chief Yabronski ordered him to report to Squad 18 because they were short staffed after three of their crew became ill overnight. Max sees that a patrol car has created a situation at the intersection of 49th Street. Max considers flashing his rescue vehicle lights to get through this traffic snarl when suddenly he hears multiple gun shots fired in rapid succession from somewhere nearby.
Inside Little Italy Pizza Oven, Thomas is seated and looking over the menu. Across the dining area, a young couple have been dining. The female raises her voice in fear calling out, “Michael? Michael, are you ok?” Honey, what’s wrong?" Thomas glances up and sees that the male’s head is on the table and he is muttering or growling, he isn’t sure which. Thomas feels bad vibes and flashes back to that day in Afghanistan four years ago. He struggles to control the horrific feelings surging up inside. He is brought back to the present by the growling man suddenly snapping upright and sinking his teeth into the arm of his worried girlfriend. Thomas instinctively jumps up and rushes forward to deal with the threat.
Thomas strikes the rabid man several times swiftly with his fists but the 90210 punk isn’t even fazed, even when Thomas breaks several of the man’s fingers. The biting man pulls a huge chunk of the screaming girl’s flesh free with his teeth and he gobbles it down. Blood sprays from her artery and she slumps away from her very sick boyfriend. Thomas pulls his knife from his belt and assumes a defensive position waiting for the rabid blonde man to make a move. The man lurches at Thomas and he quickly strikes him in the right lung. The injury should disable him, but the dude does not go down. Instead he grabs Thomas by the arm and bites. Thomas quickly frees himself and is thankful that the bite did not pierce his denim work jacket.
Rich is sure that he heard gunshots just moments ago. He is about to step over to the bay door to see if he can spot anything when two men and a woman come running through the large door screaming and panting. The youths seem panicked and he is about to tell them to get the hell out of his business when he spots the white kid is holding a pistol and the Hispanic boy in the red shirt is yelling for him to mash the button on the door panel. The trio manage to get the door down and start looking around the garage bay and they suddenly spot him.
Rich throws his hand up in front him and waves them around nervously. “Look, I don’t want any trouble. I don’t keep a lot of cash here, most everything is debit or credit these days.” The young people look at Rich strangely, and the white boy says, “He didn’t go down, man. I emptied this into his chest and he didn’t even go down… he just kept coming at us!” Suddenly a flurry of fists beating on the metal garage door startles everyone and Rich snatches up a breaker bar from a rack and he silently promises that he will go to services with his elderly Aunt this Sunday if he makes it through this mess.
Rick Anderson climbs out of his classic red convertible and is about to approach the police patrolman who has been on his radio for the last fifteen minutes without letting anyone through the intersection. Rick hears multiple gunshots ring out maybe a block further up the street. He freezes for a moment, unsure of what to do. The officer waves Rick back and he turns back to release the driver that he pulled over an eternity ago. The ill-looking driver reaches out of his side window and attacks the officer. Backing up in shock, Rick retreats to his car. He never should have come to L.A. He knew he should have just attended the Gun Expo in Fargo. He prefers the solitude of Montana and his ranch, ever since his retirement three years ago. Reaching his trunk, he opens it. He considers the rifle, but decides that his tire iron will suffice against crackheads and new age hippies of Los Angeles.
Max hears the report of gunshots from somewhere behind his SUV. In his mirrors he sees several people dash into a garage and close the bay door. He looks up to see if the police officer is placing a call to dispatch. He sees that the officer is stumbling back from the stopped vehicle blood staining his left side and the face of the driver. He quickly snatches his radio and tries to report the shots and the officer under attack, but the channel is filling with frantic calls from radio cars and foot patrolmen and he cannot get through. Max grabs his kit bag and decides to take his fire axe in case the officer’s attacker is really on bath salts.
David takes the elevator down. He is antsy that his mission handler has not called him as scheduled. The Gulf Stream had landed at 3:30 am L.A. time and he checked in under the alias given to him last year during his stint in Mexico. David hopes that Lowethorpe calls soon. If not, he is concerned that someone high up in the agency might be trying to burn him for the incident in Halifax. If that happens, he knows there was little he can do to clear his name without pissing off half the U.S. intelligence agencies in the process.
The elevator stops at the lobby. David visually clears the room and heads for the street. He has his encrypted cell if Lowethorpe is going to call, but he needs to get out and walk to burn off some of the energy building up inside him. Looking through the glass panels outside, the government operative sees a crazed assailant maul a city cop on the street just across from the entrance. David reacts like he has on the many missions in places like Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, and 20 other nations. He pushes out the door and scans the street for possible threats. He sees that a mob is forming a block north outside a custom auto shop, but the officer needs aid now.
David moves near the cop and sees the sobbing lawman covered with blood. His attacker is still in his car, his face and hands covered red with the police officer’s blood. The man tries to attack them both, but he is still restrained by his seat belt. A sprinting figure appears on scene and moves to aid the officer. David sees he is a fire EMT and that he is not a threat. The snarling driver is though. David pulls his silenced pistol from his pack and fires once into his chest and second to his skull finishes the insane cop attacker.
Several people come running into Peter’s shop. Screaming and crying, they say that crazy people are murdering people on the street and they are headed this way soon. The patrons and the new crowd beg the middle aged store owner for his help. Fearing a riot is underway, Peter relents and agrees to harbor the people. He orders Pepe to get out several rifles and ammunition so that they can defend the store from looters and arsonists. The French born Pepe follows Peter’s orders. Peter locks the door and arms most of the crowd before shuttling them to the back rooms as a last ditch defense and tells them to wait. While he is in the back with the dozen fearful newcomers, Pepe screams and says that they are trying to get in.
Rick observes that an EMT and an undercover policeman have rushed to help the stricken officer. He walks towards the pizza shop across the street from his car. He can hear the screams of a woman and suspects that some other hopped up hippie is probably attacking a young lady. Rick won’t let that happen. Suddenly there is the shattering of one of the large windows on the front of the restaurant as a figure is violently hurled through the glass pane.
An angry looking young man stands on the other side of the broken window looking at Rick and the figure on the ground. Rick asks, “What the hell is going on?” The man inside the pizza shop shouts, “The guy attacked a woman, so I dealt with him.” Leaking blood from dozens of cuts as well as a major chest wound, the bloody prone man climbs back up to his feet and staggers to attack the Montana rancher. There is no way this man should be up walking; he should be comatose just based on the amount of blood on the ground.
Rick smacks the snarling bloody man and hears bones break, but he keeps coming.
Thomas rushes outside to aid the older man under attack. He can’t believe Michael is up on his feet. He stabs him in the neck, but blood only oozes out from the major wound. Michael turns and lashes out at the Army Vet. Thomas backpedals, trying to avoid slipping in the blood pooling on the glass strewn sidewalk. This fracking guy should be dead. Thomas knows it. He saw men expire from lesser wounds in the mountains of Afghanistan than this freak. The muscle bound redneck swings his tire iron at the guy again but he misses the guy’s head. Thomas is preparing to stab the bloody man in the spine when a stranger approaches the melee and fires a silenced pistol into brain of Michael. He turns to both men and tells them, “The head. Hit the brain and these guys are done. Now, I think I’m going to need some help if you guys are up for it.”
Several shots ring out from the front of the pawn shop’s main room. Pepe is firing out at the front of the store. Peter runs to the front to defend his property. He isn’t going to let anything happen to his business. He built up his stores for the last twenty two years and he is proud of his reputation as a trader and a wheeler dealer. Just two weeks ago he received a call from a producer of cable TV reality shows to discuss possibly setting up in his three stores in Los Angeles! Next Tuesday they will sit down face to face and hammer out a deal. Peter Long is about to become a big shot TV celebrity. Right now though, he has to keep murderers away from his shop.
Peter arrives at the main room of the store in time to see people fleeing the front of his shop in terror. The owner moves up to door and makes sure the door is still secure. The store alarm goes off indicating that the back door is open. Freaking out, Peter Long, future TV star, leaves Pepe up front and he hurries to the back to secure it against attack. Reaching the back storage area, he sees that the room has been ransacked and his army of armed patrons has fled out the door with several valuable items and his firearms. Cursing his luck, the store owner throws several items against the wall in a tantrum. Peter suddenly sees several crazy looking men and women stagger in through the open back door while the alarm still rings. One man’s face is halfway gone, including an eye. Peter manages to gather his wits and run away hollering for Pepe. He slams the steel door shut and locks it with his key. He looks for Pepe but he is gone. The front door is open and the register is empty.
At the garage, the attackers keep banging on the steel overhead door. The Hispanic young man runs around the shop trying to find a weapon. He finally snatches up a hammer and moves back near his friends. Rich slips over to the customer entrance and looks out, a huge knot of people are trying to get in the bay door but surprisingly not through the walk in door. He locks it and returns to the garage. The door is in danger of being breached. Rich, thinking fast, lowers George’s car from the rack and moves it back against the door. This stabilizes the situation and the four people hunker down and hope that the police are coming soon.
Peter rushes out the door of his pawn shop and spies Pepe two blocks West of his store. He steps out and fires the hunting rifle at his employee and misses. The fleeing Frenchman darts around into an alley and disappears. Peter curses and runs up to where Pepe fled. As he starts to turn the corner into the city alley, a shot hits corner of the building intended for him. Hesitating for a minute, Peter is intent on getting his money and the hunting rifle back even if it means Pepe goes home in a bodybag. He slowly tries to just peek around the corner when he sees a mob come up the alley behind his thieving employee clawing and biting him. Freaking out, Peter changes his mind about the money just then, and hastily beats retreat back to his unguarded store.
David returns to the police car after shooting down the crazed man from the pizza place. He recruited the older man wielding a tire iron and a combat vet with a knife, based on his footwork and attack stance. The vet follows him back over to the police vehicle and he pops the trunk. David checks with the EMT tending to the cop. The EMT gives a signal that the gasping officer isn’t going to make it. David turns on the sirens on the police car and motions for everyone to follow him around the corner of the hotel.
Thomas checks the cop’s car for weapons. He grabs a shotgun, ammo, and the vest from the trunk before heading back toward’s the tire iron carrying cowboy. On his way, he spots a teen boy standing on the sidewalk frozen in place. He yells, “You better get off the street!” The teen says he is waiting for his mom to pick him up, but Thomas points to the dying cop and the riot up the street and motions for him to jump into the cowboy’s red convertible. The EMT stands up from the dead cop as the red car pulls alongside and he tells them he is going to help some people just up the street and that he will meet them back at the intersection as soon as he can. He takes off back up the street towards an SUV.
Rick swings his car around the corner avoiding sewer repairs near the corner. He sees the undercover cop leading him over to a pawn shop that is just down the street. Avoiding several people who are running across the street, Rick pulls his convertible up onto the sidewalk and parks it in front of the store. The pistol wielding cop motions the others into the pawn store. Rick’s adult passenger tells him he will be right back. He jumps out and runs across the street towards an alley behind the hotel.
David begins scouring the pawn shop for guns, ammo, and any other weapons. He directs the cowboy and the kid to start loading these things into duffelbags. Suddenly a disheveled middle-aged man in dress slacks enters the store and threatens David and the teen with a hunting rifle. David defuses the situation by telling the store owner that he is helping him by removing these firearms from the coming rioters who are about to descend upon the business. He offers to take the angry merchant along. It works, and he helps the men pack the weapons and toss them into the convertible outside.
Thomas runs back to the parking lot behind Little Italy. He jumps into his 1967 yellow Camaro and quickly throws the car into reverse. He whips his ride around and is preparing to drive back to the pawnshop when a girl runs out in front of his car. Thomas slams on the brakes in time. The young lady comes to the passenger side just as a man exits the back of the Grand Baltic. The little man avoids an attacker by slipping under a rail and runs up to the revving car. Thomas looks at the middle-aged dwarf and motions for him to climb in. He then puts the car in drive and brushes the crazed hotel cook with a fender knocking him over.
Max having made it back to his Toyota, weaves around several abandoned cars and turns on to 49th Street and crosses across the gas station parking lot before finding the alley behind the car garage. He blasts his horn several times in an effort to get the attention of anyone inside the car shop. Hopefully, they would get moving, whatever was happening, Max knew that to stay was folly.
Rich hears the truck horn blast several times behind his shop. Looking out through the bars on the reinforced door, the mechanic can see an SUV idling and the driver motioning for him to come out. Rich yells at the trio still across the room to come and he opens up the back door. The four garage survivors climb in with the uniformed Fire Rescue worker, who backs down the alley. Rich stares at several people running in the streets while a handful of shambling people, some of them bloody, slowly give chase. The EMT seems disturbed by a police officer biting a man pinned against a nearby building.
Rick has loaded several duffel bags of weapons into his car. David, the man who led the pawnshop raid, looks over at the hotel. Rick sees that people are swarming it. Rick also notices that several rabid people are trying to get past the barrier of cars they have created to protect the store front with. Thomas then carries out a duffel and puts into the trunk of his Camaro. Having gathered what they can, the survivors of 49th and Main Street climb into their three vehicles. They head west and then north while avoiding the several fires near Taco Shack and the growing army of crazed biters.