DISCLAIMER: The Sentinel and its characters are the property of Paramount Studios and Pet Fly Productions. These stories are offered for the enjoyment of the fans. No money has exchanged hands.
Ryf Van Rij and Lois Balzer
1. EXT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING
Thunder and lightning. A brief glimpse of the Cessna plane against a backdrop of
dark clouds. The dialogue is over the sound of the engine and the background
rumble of the storm.
Cascade Flight Following. This is Cessna 172,
RAFE (V.O.)(speaking into microphone)
N81072. Experiencing severe turbulence. Will
be making an emergency landing at Pacific
2. INT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON
We see Detective RAFE piloting the Cessna, with ELLISON sitting in the co-pilot's seat.
SANDBURG is in the rear, one hand resting on Ellison's right shoulder, out of view of
Another flash of lightning has Ellison wincing and looking away out the side passenger
Rafe has headphones on and is looking at his instruments.
Reserve Radio. This is N81072. Coming
in for an emergency landing. Conflicting
traffic, please advise.
Rafe continues speaking but we can only hear him in the background.
Sandburg leans forward and speaks into Ellison's right ear. He speaks just loud enough for
Ellison to hear.
You okay, Jim?
Ellison winces again as THUNDER rolls.
Dial your hearing back. Can you do that?
Why did I let you talk me into this?
I didn't know we'd be flying in a storm, but
think of this as good practice, okay?
(he glances to the instrument panel)So how high are we now?
ELLISON(putting his hands over his ears)
Come on, Jim. There's a break in the clouds and
I can see the ground.
Sandburg looks out the window and swallows, looking queasy as plane goes through
turbulence. It's clear he isn't enjoying this, but is determined to continue with the testing.
Just open your eyes for a second and tell me how
high we are. That's the whole purpose of us coming
up here -- to test how much you can see from the air.
Rafe's voice can be heard again.
Thanks, John. I'll speak to you on the ground.
RAFE(still talking into his mic)
Rafe doesn't seem too concerned by the storm, rather seems energized by it. He glances over
to Ellison and can see he's in some discomfort.
It's pretty rock'n'roll in this weather. Listen, guys,
sorry for the rough ride, but it seems Mother
Nature had other plans for today. Cascade is
pretty well shut down by the storm. No one is
landing or taking off.
(to Sandburg)You picked quite the day to call in your marker.
3. EXT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON
Plane can be seen banking to the right and descending. Lighting flashes across the sky. Ominous thunder.
I'm heading over to the Pacific Spirit Indian
RAFE (V.O.)(loudly over the engine sounds)
Reservation. The pilot who maintains the
Reserve airstrip is an old aviator friend of mine.
I don't want to take a chance on the weather
4. INT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON
Ellison opens his eyes briefly, but a flash of light has him shut them again quickly. The plane
is buffeted by wind for a moment.
Sure, whatever. Just get us down. I've got a
I'm three miles out. We'll be on the ground in five
While Rafe is occupied with flying, Sandburg punches Ellison again.
Ellison sighs, but opens his eyes and peers down out the side window.
I don't know. Twenty-two hundred feet.
Close-up of instrument panel showing altitude, dials indicating the 2,200 mark.
That's excellent. I told you, man, you're a
natural at this.
5. EXT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON
Ellison is still staring out the window, frowning at something he sees.
6. EXT. SHORELINE AND TREES -- MOVING POV FROM AIR - AFTERNOON
There is a break in the trees, and in the clearing a group of trucks can be seen. Two
men can be seen unloading supplies from a fishing boat into the trucks.
HIS SENTINEL POV
ZOOMS in on the boxes they are loading into the trucks. ZOOMS in further on one man's
red and black plaid hunter's jacket and glimpse of handgun. Man is speaking on cellphone
and walking toward a dark-colored, late model 4X4 vehicle.. The view is suddenly gone
as clouds block it.
7. INT. CESSNA PLANE -- AIRBORNE -- AFTERNOON
Sandburg notices Ellison's frown.
What is it? Do you see something?
Ellison is concentrating on his sight and isn't listening. Sandburg taps his shoulder and
speaks a little louder.
Jim? Did you see something?
Ellison blinks and his attention is back.
Fishing boat down below -- It didn't look like
fish that they were unloading.
What was it?
I'm not sure. Boxes.
ELLISON(shaking his head)
How can you tell for sure? We're way too
RAFE(glances out his window)
high to see any details.
Like you said, it's too high to tell.
Sandburg starts to say something, then takes the hint and keeps his mouth shut. He closes
his eyes as the plane goes through more turbulence, grasping hold of the back of
Ellison looks down again at the ground, trying to memorize the location.
8. EXT. RUNWAY AT PACIFIC SPIRIT INDIAN RESERVATION - EARLY EVENING
Plane lands on gravel runway. It's growing dark and the storm is right behind them. Two
AMERICAN INDIAN MEN are standing at the edge of the runway, watching, faces devoid
GEORGE BLACKSTONE is 30ish, American Indian, tall and handsome, confident.
Clothing is casual, modern and stylish. He walks forward toward the plane once it lands.
The second man steps forward a few paces, then halts, off a look from Blackstone. JOHN
WILLIAMS is also 30ish, but is dressed in jeans and heavy jacket.
I'll handle this.
BLACKSTONE(looking at the plane)
He's an old friend -- I told you. We took
WILLIAMS(also looking at plane)
flight training together.
As the plane taxis toward them, it is obvious there is more than one person in it.
Who's with him?
He said some friends he works with.
(quickly)They're just here because of the storm, nothing
else. They'll be leaving in the morning.
A dark 4x4 vehicle pulls up and BRUCE FOLEY gets out. He is the man Ellison saw
before, wearing a red and black plaid jacket. Gun is still visible, but he pulls his jacket
closed. He's a tough redneck and the man in charge.
What's happening? I thought we couldn't get
a plane here.
Blackstone shakes his head, without taking his gaze from the plane.
Williams says the pilot radioed him for permission
to land because of the storm in Cascade. This
might work out to our advantage.
(to Williams)Go meet them. Do I need to remind you to be
Williams approaches the plane as it comes to a stop. Ellison gets out of the Cessna first,
followed closely by Sandburg, both relieved to be on solid ground. Ellison looks beyond
Williams to Blackstone and Foley.
ZOOMS IN on Foley's jacket. Ellison can see he's concealing a gun.
A movement beyond them, toward buildings of the village.
Again SENTINEL POV
ZOOMS IN on TWO AMERICAN INDIAN MEN standing far away on the edge of a rise.
One is in his late 50's, other appears in his 70's. The two are looking directly at Ellison.
Ellison's attention returns to his immediate area. Williams comes up, hand extended, and
shakes hands with Ellison.
Hi. John Williams. You friends of Rafe?
WILLIAMS (CONT'D)(slightly forced smile)
Yes, we work together. I'm Jim Ellison
and this is Blair Sandburg.
SANDBURG(shaking hands with Williams)
Rafe comes around the corner of the plane and sees Williams. He smiles and the two
exchange a congenial handshake and slap on the back.
Good to see you, John. It's been awhile,
hasn't it? Still flying?
Williams glances quickly to Blackstone and Foley, then looks back to Rafe.
I, uh, don't have access to a plane these days,
so I let my licence expire. Glad to see you're
still putting in your hours.
(to Ellison and Sandburg)I don't know if he told you, but we took our
training at the same flying school three summers
ago. I guess you are both insurance salesmen
Williams looks Ellison straight in the eye, as though daring the man to say otherwise.
Williams then turns to Rafe, also holding eye contact as though conveying something
Where were you headed?
We were just returning to Cascade but got
boxed in by the storm. Weather's unpredictable
this time of year.
Are you down this way often?
BLACKSTONE(still to Rafe)
Not lately. Are you from around here? I
don't remember seeing you before.
George Blackstone. Bruce Foley.
WILLIAMS(reluctantly introducing them)
I run one of the band's fishing boats.
Rafe glances toward Ellison, then puts a smile on his face and shakes hands with Foley.
Glad to meet you.
(glances up at the clouds)John, let's get inside before this downpour
The men agree and head off as Foley makes one more backwards glance to the plane,
then he follows them, thoughtfully eyeing the three visitors.
9. EXT. BLACKSTONE'S HOME - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING
The house, while not huge, is modern westcoast, cedar beams and glass windows,
looking over the ocean. The storm is raging. Dark clouds, wind-swept trees. Camera
moves from waves crashing on rocks up to the deck, where we can see Ellison,
Sandburg, Rafe, Blackburn, Foley, and Williams inside sitting around the table finishing
dinner. Fireplace is blazing in the background.
10. INT. BLACKSTONE'S HOME, MAIN ROOM - NIGHT
The main room compactly incorporates living, dining, and kitchen area. While not lavish,
the furniture is solid and well-crafted. Blackstone apparently lives alone.
There is considerable tension around the table. Ellison and Sandburg exchange glances,
then Sandburg looks around, spies some native art, and gestures toward it.
Those look rare. Are you a collector?
Blackstone looks over at the artwork and nods.
I used to deal in native art. It's just a hobby
Mind if I take a closer look?
Be my guest.
Sandburg moves across the room to study the art, nodding with appreciation at a series
of masks. We see him in the background during the scene, glancing at more than just the
artwork, glancing into the other rooms off-camera and generally snooping.
Ellison meanwhile draws the attention back to the table. He sets down his beer mug and
addresses their host.
I appreciate you putting us up for the
No problem. We don't get many visitors, but
I do have a few spare rooms. I'm renting the
place from a local teacher who's on sabbatical
for a year.
(to Ellison)So you sell insurance?
Ellison's head comes up at that. With a sideways glance at Rafe, he goes along with it.
Yeah. Life. Fire. Home. The usual.
(baiting them)We've just been in business a short time. It's
been slow, but I guess that's normal for the
first year, right?
(to Blackstone)So, you need any house insurance?
No. We're fine here.
Closeup of Sandburg picking up an artifact and looking at it closely, frowning, then setting it down.
What do you do?
I was a teacher for a while, but lately I've been
more interested in documenting native culture.
Sandburg hears this and comes over.
I took a few anthropology courses when I was
in college and I'm quite intrigued by some of your
art pieces. They aren't all from around here, are
I've collected them from all over North America
while doing research for other projects.
Blackstone and Sandburg move into the background, the conversation unheard as they
discuss the art. Ellison, Rafe, Williams, and Foley are still at the table.
What about you? What do you do? Need any
Foley shakes his head, his attention more focused on Rafe. Ellison persists.
You said you're a fisherman. I noticed a fishing
boat docked just north of here. Is that yours?
Foley's attention is back on Ellison at the mention of the boat. Williams stiffens at the
question, and Foley shoots a look at Williams, before answering.
Yeah, it's mine.
What's the catch this time of year?
Mainly salmon. Some cod.
Any money in that?
Blackstone re-enters the room.
John, you best see to your father. You
wouldn't want anything to happen to him
in his condition.
Williams stands quickly, then brushes past Blackstone angrily, not looking back at the
others as he goes past Sandburg and out the door.
His father is getting on in years and needs
BLACKSTONE (CONT'D)(in explanation)
to be monitored.
(he sits down)So what were we discussing?
I was asking if there was much money in fishing
this time of year.
Depends on the catch.
(turns to Rafe)I have a question for you. Do you do any
flying for hire?
Rafe nods, as though not sure where this is going.
We could use a pilot to fly into Cascade a few
times this month. Are you interested? The pay's
Rafe glances to Ellison for input, considering the idea.
What do you think? We could use the cash
Sounds good. Why not? I'd jump at it if I
had my license.
Then let's talk.
What's your cargo?
Just private deliveries. We're on a tight schedule
and my regular pilot called today that his plane is
out of commission until tomorrow afternoon. Bad
timing. I have a parcel I need to get in by ten o'clock.
What kind of money are we talking about? Is it
worth us taking a day off work?
One thousand for a delivery from here to Cascade,
providing it arrives at the airport on time.
One thousand? That's serious money. What's the
For you? Not much if it arrives safely. If you're
FOLEY(looking from one to the other)
interested, I really need that delivery made by ten
o'clock tomorrow. And I'll pay you an additional
thousand if you can do another trip for me tomorrow
I'd like to sleep on it. Can we let you know in the
RAFE(off Ellison's look)
I need to know now. I've got to make some calls.
FOLEY(his voice growing harsher)
Are you in or not?
He looks from Rafe to Ellison, his attention focused on Ellison as if he knows that Ellison
is calling the shots. The two men size each other up. Ellison's face is stony, giving away
Continue on to Act II...
Back to the FPP Home Page
E-mail Faux Paws Productions.
If you experience any problems with this page, please contact The Pagemaster.
This page last updated 2/2/01.