This doesn't follow the "novel" or "short story" format. I've tried to follow the "screenplay" format used for the DVD extras of the series by Anchor Bay. Some of that formatting got "lost in translation", but I've tried to compensate as much as possible. Hopefully it didn't lose too much, and you can still follow along.

Note: The rights to Sledge Hammer! and the characters from the series belong to others, none of whom are me. Hopefully I don't upset any of them.

Sledge Hammer!

Abbra Cadaver

An Original Fanfiction based on the TV series Sledge Hammer! (Created By Alan Spencer, Alan Spencer Productions)

Opening credits.

Approximately mid day.

High, wide angle shot of a city park on a warm sunny day. All is peaceful. Cut to a mid distance shot of Hammer and Doreau strolling along a path, then zoom on them as Hammer speaks.

HAMMER

Doreau, to be effective, police need to be proactive. We should be out looking for scumballs and maggots, not wandering aimlessly in the park.

DOREAU (patient)

Sledge, relax. It's actually possible for us to enjoy a quiet lunch break without criminal forces taking over the city.

At that moment we hear sounds of panic from off screen.

VOICE #1 (O/S)

Look out! He has a GUN!

VOICE #2 (O/S)

Run!

People begin to hurry by, first one or two, then a larger group, obviously panicked.

HAMMER (pulls Gun and gives Doreau a wild eyed look)

You were saying …?

DOREAU (draws own gun, resigned look on face)

Nothing, Sledge. Look! There he is.

Doreau points to an unshaven, scruffy looking man staggering to the top of small rise in front of them, a bottle in one hand and a gun in the other. He takes a long pull from the bottle, and then fires a shot randomly.

DOREAU (approaching, pointing her gun)

Police officers! Put the gun down.

Gunman pauses, looking at Doreau and Hammer, then waves his gun around.

GUNMAN (staggering, waving gun)

Why should I? I got nothin' left t' live for. Go ahead, shoot me. Or I'll just have to shoot you.

HAMMER (calmly drawing Magnum)

Doreau, the only way to deal with nut cases like this is to shoot before they do. We're already a couple shots behind. Let me …

DOREAU (to Hammer)

No! Sledge, he's drunk. We can calm him down and end this peacefully.

As Hammer and Doreau are having this discussion, in the background a reporter and cameraman are capturing the drama. The news reporter is a shortish, overly slim, overly fashionable, overly animated individual, who appears to be giving continual direction to the cameraman. The cameraman is shooting using a hand held mini video camera, not the traditional shoulder mount news camera rig.

DOREAU (continuing, to gunman)

Put the gun down NOW. We can talk about this. Nobody needs to shoot anybody.

HAMMER (re holstering Magnum)

Doreau, I agreed to the walk in the park – do you have to take all the fun out the morning?

DOREAU (aside, to Sledge)

Sledge, you're really not helping.

DOREAU (continuing, to gunman)

Please. Put the gun down so we can talk about it.

GUNMAN (suddenly bolder, sneering)

Lady cop – if you want to talk – talk to the gun.

As he speaks, he suddenly appears to be sober, and points his pistol unwaveringly at Doreau.

In one quick motion, Hammer draws his Magnum while simultaneously shoving Doreau to one side. Both he and the gunman appear to fire simultaneously. As the camera cuts to a close up of Hammer he is holding his gun as though speaking to it.

HAMMER (to Gun)

Well spoken …

Dissolve to:

Hammer helping Doreau to her feet. She brushes debris from her conservative but fashionable suit, obviously flustered with her close brush with death.

HAMMER (giving Doreau a hand)

Are you hurt, Doreau?

DOREAU (fussing over run in nylons)

It always hurts when a new pair of nylons gets ruined.

At this point the female reporter rushes up (although in her excessively high heels and excessively tight skirt, "rushes" is a relative term). The cameraman follows closely with his mini camera, trying to frame shots of the reporter and Inspector Hammer.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (somewhat affected tone of voice)

Inspector Hammer! Inspector Hammer! Ann "Twerp" Astoria with KDAFY News. Inspector, was it completely necessary to push your partner to the ground like a boorish oaf?

She shoves her microphone aggressively up to Hammer, who is significantly taller than she is, and waits for a response. Doreau attempts to come to Hammer's rescue.

DOREAU (indignant)

That man tried to shoot me. If Hammer hadn't pushed me out of the way, I could have been killed.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Inspector Hammer! Was it necessary to kill that lone gunman? Aren't you supposed to be trained in non lethal methods of controlling suspects?

Again she shoves her microphone aggressively at Hammer and waits for a response.

HAMMER

Suspects? Oh you mean innocent until proven guilty? I don't …

Hammer pauses.

HAMMER (continuing)

Don't I know you?

Hammer goes into a partial crouch, so that he appears shorter than the reporter.

HAMMER (continuing)

Yeah, I remember now. You're that Twerp who reads the news every night on TV. Look, Twerp …

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (touch defensive)

It's Ann "Twerp" Astoria actually …

HAMMER (continuing)

… Twerp, you read the news, and I'll make the news, comprehendo? Come on, Doreau, you've got paperwork to fill out.

DOREAU

Me? You shot him …

HAMMER (walking away from Astoria, with Doreau)

Yeah, and I saved your life, so you owe me.

As Hammer and Doreau walk away leaving Ann "Twerp" Astoria standing with her cameraman, Hammer half turns to offer parting advice.

HAMMER

Maybe if you had a bigger camera, you could shoot the suspects, and I wouldn't have to …

As Hammer and Doreau continue away, cut to a final shot of Anne "Twerp" Astoria, and her camera man. The camera man seems suddenly embarrassed by the size of his cameras and is trying to hide it behind his back.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (fuming at brush off)

We'll see about that Inspector. We'll just see …

Dissolve to:

Hammer and Doreau are talking together behind a large van (or other suitable coroner's vehicle).

HAMMER

Look, he left me no choice Doreau …

DOREAU

I know Sledge. The park was full of innocent people.

HAMMER

That, and if that standoff drags out we get stuck in rush hour and I won't be home in time to not watch Wipeout.

DOREAU (puzzled)

Sledge, if you're not home, you won't have to watch it anyway …

HAMMER

If I don't watch because I'm not home, it doesn't count Doreau, isn't that obvious.

DOREAU (rolling eyes)

That could only make sense to the ratings people Sledge.

She gives a small shudder.

DOREAU (continuing)

I'll just never get used to you shooting that Magnum at someone.

At this point Norman Blates rounds the van in a lab cat and with his evidence kit over his shoulder, pulling an empty coroner's gurney. His coat has the initials C.S.I. and in brackets beneath "Coroner's Services, Inc". He notices Hammer and Doreau.

NORMAN (casual)

Hi Doreau. Say Hammer, when did you get the new gun?

Hammer grabs Norman by the lab coat.

HAMMER (through clenched teeth)

I don't have a new gun you clown suited idiot. This ...

Hammer draws his Magnum, and holds it directly in Norman Blates face.

HAMMER (continuing)

… is the gun my Daddy gave me. It's the gun I'll carry until they pry it from my cold dead fingers.

NORMAN

OK, OK, Hammer. How many times did you shoot the guy then?

Hammer continues holding Norman, as he turns to consult Doreau.

HAMMER (looking at Doreau)

I don't know. Doreau, did I shoot him six times or only five?

DOREAU

Uh …

As Dori opens her mouth to respond, Hammer looks back at Norman and continues without even a pause.

HAMMER (through clenched teeth)

I shot him once, you crème suited imbecile. I never have to shoot anyone more than once. Right, Doreau?

NORMAN (referring to coat)

Uh, technically Inspector, it's eggshell …

Doreau finally manages to break in.

DOREAU (interrupts)

Sledge, let him go. Norman, what's going on? Why don't you have the body with you?

NORMAN

I know it's a shock, but there was no shooter on the grassy knoll. All that was up there was a gun and maybe some fingerprints. And I can't be sure about the fingerprints until I get back to the lab.

Hammer and Doreau look at each other with a mixture of surprise and puzzlement. Then together they hurry around the van and look up at a now empty knoll.

HAMMER

Doreau, when I shoot someone, they stay shot. And they usually stay (uncertain pause) stayed.

DOREAU (puzzled, looking around)

I don't know what to say Sledge. Norman's right, there's no body here.

To one side of the knoll, Ann "Twerp" Astoria is standing alone, with a smirk on her face, holding what appears to be a mini video camera.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (laughing hysterically)

How do you like my shooting now, Inspector? Ha, ha, ha, HA.

Norman pushes the gurney into the back of the van and slams the doors. He turns toward Hammer and Doreau.

NORMAN (opening door to driver's seat of van)

Looks like Hammer actually blew a suspect away …

Fade out.

Fade in.

Interior precinct offices. Hammer and Doreau standing talking beside Doreau's desk.

DOREAU

Sledge, did we have to arrest that street vendor and bring him downtown for booking?

HAMMER

Doreau, he was selling one kilo bricks of an unidentified white substance on the street in broad daylight. I had to run him in on suspicion of trafficking.

DOREAU

Sledge, you led the man by his tie and made me drive down the freeway all the way to the precinct.

HAMMER

Isn't that what they mean by "Run him in"? Besides, we used the curb lane, so, technically, he was on the sidewalk the whole way.

TRUNK (o/s)

Hammer! HAAMMMERRR!

Reverse angle to image of Trunk in office doorway.

TRUNK (continuing)

In my office! Right now, Hammer. And button your jacket first – I just got my ceiling replastered from last time!

Dissolve to interior view of Trunk's office. Hammer is present and Trunk is continuing his tirade.

TRUNK (pacing in front of Hammer)

You did it again Hammer. You really did it. Just when I thought there was no way you could make my life more miserable you go and exceed my expectations.

HAMMER

Thank you Captain. If it's time for our performance reviews, I'd like to point out that Doreau is still a little jumpy around loud noises, like gunfire ...

TRUNK (stops pacing, glares directly at Hammer)

Shut up, Hammer! This isn't a compliment! It's a disgrace. Is it enough that you shoot up a city park at high noon like Jesse James? No. Is it enough that you kill a man in front of dozens of children? Nooo. You have to lose the body. How do you loseabody in broad daylight Hammer? Answer that!

HAMMER

Well … I

TRUNK

It was a rhetorical question Hammer! If there is an answer I don't want to know what it is. This is how my migraines get started … there … I knew it.

Trunk sits in his chair and holds his head in his hands, massaging his temples as if in pain.

TRUNK (moaning)

Of all the police inspectors, in all the precincts, in all the cities, why does he have to be in mine? Why?

At this point there is a discrete knock and Doreau opens the door. She has a copy of the daily newspaper with her, and a file folder.

TRUNK (leaps to his feet)

Never open that door when I'm chewing out Hammer! (pause) Oh, it's you Doreau. What can I do for you?

DOREAU

I couldn't help but overhear Captain. I think I might know what happened.

Doreau unfolds the paper and places on the desk so Trunk can read the headline: TOP SECRET PROTOTYPE STOLEN.

DOREAU (continues)

I checked the report on the break in, Captain. It says a device called a "Prestidigitator" was stolen from a University Laboratory overnight. According to our files, they do a lot of work for the government on stealth technology. Maybe the same people who stole the "Prestidigitator" somehow used it to make the gunman's body disappear.

TRUNK

Good investigative work, Doreau. Now take Hammer, and get down to the University and see what you can find out.

As Hammer and Doreau leaving, Trunk is washing down a couple of antacids, and an aspirin with some Pepto Bismol.

Disolve to:

Hammer and Doreau, on the University campus.

DOREAU

Sledge, I think we need to find the Physics Department, not the Faculty of Medicine.

HAMMER

Any body could have made that mistake. Proctology seemed a likely place to look for that pesky digit thingy …

DOREAU (correcting Hammer)

Prestidigitator, Sledge.

HAMMER (changing subject)

Here we are, Doreau.

Hammer stops in front of a sign, announcing the building is the "Department of Physics". They go inside.

Dissolve to interior view of reception area

DOREAU (showing badge to receptionist)

Inspectors Doreau and Hammer. We're here to see Dr. Benjamin Ficus.

RECEPTIONIST (businesslike)

Please take a seat, I'll let him know you've arrived.

Doreau and Hammer take seats next to a fig tree in the waiting area. Then Dr. Ficus, a thinish man with wild hair, appears.

DR. FICUS

Inspectors?

Hammer and Doreau rise from their chairs.

HAMMER

I'm Inspector Sledge Hammer. This is my partner Inspector Doreau.

DR. FICUS

If you'll follow me please, we can speak privately.

Dissolve to:

Office interior. Dr. Ficus ushers the two officers inside and closes the door.

DR. FICUS

You can appreciate this is a very sensitive matter. We do a lot of classified government research, so we like to maintain a low profile in the community.

DOREAU

We'll do our best to keep the investigation discrete, Dr. Ficus. Now what can you tell us about the Prestidigitator?

DR FICUS

That's a top secret project we're working on for the Administration. Could I ask how you became aware of it?

HAMMER

It was in the morning paper.

DR FICUS

Of course. It's always the newspapers and TV being irresponsible with the news.

DOREAU

A free press is the basis for a democratic society …

HAMMER

Free? It's 2.50 at the news stand …

DR FICUS

Please! The point is that that when the press prints news that's embarrassing to our government, the only thing the President can do now is hunker down and hope it blows over before the next election. We were working on a machine to actually make bad news go away.

DOREAU

The Prestidigitator?

DR FICUS

Exactly, Detective. The Prestidigitator can make embarrassing things disappear so the press has nothing to report.

HAMMER (scoffing)

I've had that for years. It's called jail.

DR FICUS

You don't understand, Inspector Hammer. The Prestidigitator doesn't leave any bodies behind – no skeletons in the closet so to speak – to be discovered at inopportune moments by nosey reporters. No evidence, no problems, you understand?

HAMMER (shrugging)

No evidence has never been a problem for me.

DOREAU

That sounds exactly like what happened to the gunman's body this morning, Sledge.

HAMMER

You're right Doreau! So, Dr Ficus, how big a truck would you need to haul this Presto Dingy Thingy around?

DR FICUS

Prestidigitator, Inspector. We made it very light and portable. A single agent could easily carry it around – concealed in a purse, or a briefcase.

HAMMER

That's the problem with you scientists. If you just made things big and heavy, they'd be harder for you to lose – and easier for us to find.

DR FICUS

If that's all your questions, I have a class to teach in five minutes.

DOREAU

Principles of quantum physics?

DR FICUS

Ethics and science.

As Hammer and Doreau turn to leave, Doreau suddenly has one more question.

DOREAU

Dr Ficus, has there been anyone else inquiring about your research here?

DR FICUS

As a matter of fact, there was a reporter through last week. A Ms. Ramada? No, Westin, maybe?

DOREAU

Astoria?

DR FICUS

Yes, that's was her, Ms Astoria! She was here on Thursday, I believe.

On that note, Hammer and Doreau exit the room.

Dissolve to:

Hammer and Doreau walking up the front steps to the precinct. There is a crowd of reporters and newsmen pressing up to the front doors which they have to make their way through to get inside.

DOREAU

Sledge, aren't you at least curious? Ann "Twerp" Astoria was at the park this morning and she was asking Dr Ficus questions about his research just last week. I think we need to ask her some questions.

HAMMER

Doreau, the only question I want to ask that dingbat is "Where do you get those ridiculous outfits?" She couldn't follow a snail dressed like that, much less breaking news.

Brief cut to close up of Doreau, who rolls her eyes at this comment.

DOREAU (recovering)

What do you suppose is going on Sledge? I've never seen this many reporters.

HAMMER

Yeah, and I haven't even reported in yet.

Hammer draws his magnum and speaks to it.

HAMMER (to Gun)

Guess we'll have to do a little crowd control …

DOREAU (anticipating)

Sledge, no!

Hammer fires a round into the air, scattering the press of media, and allowing him and Doreau to walk unimpeded inside, as he reholsters his gun.

Dissolve to:

Hammer and Doreau entering the officers' bullpen area. The area is a buzz of activity. Uniformed and plain clothes officers are present, some in groups, others coming and going. As Doreau and Hammer pass the front desk, Officer Majoy calls to them.

OFFICER MAJOY

Hammer, the captain wanted to see you as soon as you got in …

HAMMER (to Doreau)

The Captain wants to see me? Gee, he probably wants to congratulate me on busting that drug pusher this morning.

DOREAU

Street vendor, Sledge.

HAMMER

Po TAY to, poTAH to, Doreau.

Hammer is jostled by a passing officer. He looks frustrated(?)

HAMMER (continuing, to Majoy)

Majoy, what's going on here? This place is busier than Congress during intern selections.

OFFICER MAJOY (uneasy)

I think the Captain wants to tell you himself.

HAMMER (shrugs, looks back to Doreau)

OK, let's go find out what he wants then.

Dissolve to:

Hammer, Doreau and Trunk in Trunk's office. Hammer is being chewed out again.

TRUNK

What is it with you Hammer? I let you out of my sight for one hour – ONE HOUR – and all hell breaks loose. And you Doreau – I thought I could trust you to keep an eye on him.

DOREAU (confused)

Captain, if I knew what this was about, maybe I could explain …

TRUNK

Explain!? You were with him when he arrested that street vendor this morning.

DOREAU

Captain, I tried to tell Hammer…

HAMMER

I can defend myself Doreau.

HAMMER (continuing to Trunk)

All those reporters outside – I must have really done it this time, right? What was in those white bricks he was selling – heroin? Cocaine?

TRUNK

Ice cream, Hammer. Vanilla ice cream. You arrested an ice cream vendor. He's been complaining about false arrest, police brutality, and threatening to sue the department.

HAMMER

Well, if there isn't a law against vanilla ice cream, there should be.

DOREAU

Captain, maybe if Hammer apologises to the man.

TRUNK (laughing)

Apologise?! That's a good one Doreau. His wife came downtown this afternoon to bail him out, and we can't find him. That makes two bodies Hammer's lost in less than 24 hours.

HAMMER

Captain, I …

TRUNK (continues)

Hammer, you are single handedly making the police department look like a South American dictatorship picking people up off the streets and making them disappear. His wife is screaming at the mayor. The mayor is screaming at the chief, and the chief is screaming at me. They all want your head.

For the first time, Trunk begins to smile.

TRUNK (continuing, smiling)

And I'm going to give it to them. Oh yes I am.

DOREAU

That's not fair, Captain. I was with Sledge at the University. He hasn't been any where near …

TRUNK

Doreau, it was all I could do to keep from having to suspend you, too, so stop making excuses for this lunkhead and get back to work

Cut to Doreau, who backs towards the door to leave, chastened.

Cut back to angle of Trunk and Hammer.

TRUNK (continuing, to Hammer)

Hammer, you're suspended. Indefinitely. Starting now! Until we can clear this up, I want you at home. In your apartment. Out of my hair. If I have hair left after today.

Dissolve to interior shot of police bullpen. Doreau at her desk, and Officer Majoy behind a counter in the background.

MAJOY

Hey, Doreau – look, it's Hammer – on TV.

Doreau turns to look.

Cut to close up of TV. Ann "Twerp" Astoria is trying to interview Hammer as he leaves the precinct. He is walking at a normal pace, while she skitters along in her heels, trying to keep up, and to place her microphone in his face.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Inspector Hammer – is it true that you've been suspended?

HAMMER (continues walking)

No comment.

Astoria is forced to continue following, hampered by her high fashion outfit.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Inspector Hammer, is it true that a man you arrested today has disappeared from police custody?

This time Hammer stops, removes his sunglasses and looks down at Astoria.

HAMMER

Why don't you find someplace else to gossip about police business?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (tossing head)

Inspector, I'm a serious reporter not a gossip columnist…

HAMMER

Lady, somewhere there's a turnip truck missing part of its load.

Hammer put on sunglasses, shakes his head, and walks off, leaving Astoria fuming once again.

Cut to interior view showing Doreau, who is looking thoughtful.

DOREAU

Majoy, was that reporter here earlier today?

MAJOY (flipping pages, checking visitor log)

Ms Astoria? I think so. Yeah, right here (points).

Doreau comes over to check the entry.

DOREAU (looking at entry)

This says she went down to the holding cells. Do you remember why?

MAJOY

Yeah. Ice cream guy has been screaming police brutality ever since Hammer brought him in. I think she went down to interview him.

DOREAU (thoughtful)

Thanks, Majoy. I think it's time for me to ask Ms Astoria a few questions.

Dissolve to exterior shot of KDAFY studio, with Doreau entering the front door.

Cut to interior view. Doreau at reception desk. She flashes her badge and introduces herself.

DOREAU

Inspector Dori Doreau. I have an appointment with Ms Astoria.

RECEPTIONIST

Just a moment please, I'll see if she's free.

A brief phone discussion follows.

RECEPTIONIST

She'll be right out.

Ms Astoria appears, overdressed as always. She is looking around as though expecting someone else.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Officer Doreau. Without your cave man partner? How refreshing.

DOREAU

Ms Astoria, I have just a few questions I'd like ask. Is there someplace we can talk?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (making a lame joke)

Usually I ask the questions.

Doreau does not respond. On seeing that she is serious, Astoria relents.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (continuing)

Very well. Follow me.

Cut to interior view of Astoria's office. She stands behind her desk looking taller than before. Not to be intimidated, Doreau also remains standing, looking a bit confused at Astoria's apparent gain in stature.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

You look surprised, Officer …

DOREAU (puzzled)

Doreau. And it's Inspector, not Officer. You look … taller … in here.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (smiling)

As a woman, surely you appreciate how difficult it can be to be to be taken seriously in a man's world. My height didn't help, so I had a small platform built back here.

Camera cuts to a view of the platform behind the desk. The platform plus the stilettos make her appear significantly taller. Camera cuts back to Doreau.

DOREAU

Ms Astoria, you were at the park the other day when a gunman was shot. Did you notice anything unusual before the body disappeared?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Other than your partner acting like an oaf, a boar, a crustacean?

DOREAU

That sounds like something Sledge, that is Inspector Hammer, would say.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (insulted)

Huh? Surely you're not comparing me to Inspector Chowder Head?

DOREAU (persisting)

Well, the Inspector does have a tendency to refer to people as seafood. And I was really wondering if you saw anyone go near the body?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (pretending to be thinking)

Nooo, I can't say that I did, Detective.

DOREAU

You also visited a man in our holding cells earlier today. Correct?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Yes, your Inspector Slammer was being accused of false arrest and brutality. I was following up on that story. Is it a crime to report the news?

DOREAU

No, but he also disappeared, right after your visit.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Really? I should add that to my report. It will make a good lead story tonight –

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA Continues, gesturing in the air)

"Two men disappear from under police noses – Inspector Sludge Slammer linked to both cases".

DOREAU

You were also present in both cases, Ms Astoria.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

So? What are you implying?

DOREAU (springing trap)

I'm not implying anything, Ms Astoria. But, I also know that you were at the University, asking questions about the Prestidigitator, a machine that can make things disappear. That's a bit of a coincidence don't you think …

At this revelation, Astoria panics. She opens a desk drawer and pulls out a device the size and shape of a mini video camera – the Prestidigitator.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

You nosey little cop. You couldn't leave it alone could you? You and that egomaniacal partner of yours, always getting in my way.

DOREAU

What does Sledge have to do with this?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Honey, the news is supposed to be about me, reading the news. Instead that Neanderthal Inspector is always grabbing my headlines. Making those men disappear was supposed to ruin his credibility. Instead it only made him a bigger story.

Astoria pauses, and then continues more thoughtful.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (appears thoughtful)

I suppose I'll eventually have to make him disappear – just like you.

Realizing that Astoria has the ability to make good on this threat, Doreau does the one thing she can think of. She uses her martial arts training to try to kick the camera from Astoria's grip. As she launches herself however, Astoria is just a bit faster, pointing and activating the Prestidigitator. Doreau vanishes. In the action, however, she loses one shoe. The camera follows as the shoe tumbles just under the front of Astoria's desk. The camera then zooms out to a view of a very smug looking Astoria standing behind her desk, with the prestidigitator. She laughs a semi maniacal laugh. One problem has been solved, leaving only Inspector Hammer to deal with now. Fade out

Fade in.

Early morning (9:00, Sledge is punctually late, even on suspension).

Interior of precinct, where Hammer is arguing with Trunk.

TRUNK

Hammer, you're still suspended. You shouldn't be here. I shouldn't even be talking to you.

HAMMER (embarrassed, uncertain)

Captain, it's just … Well … Look, I'm kind of concerned. About Doreau …

HAMMER (decides to blurt it out)

Look, I'm worried about Doreau. She didn't show for our bowling date last night, and she's not at her desk this morning.

TRUNK

Did it occur to you that she might be out conducting an actual investigation?

Reality sets in.

TRUNK (continuing, incredulous)

Hammer, did you say "Bowling date"?

HAMMER (uneasy, fumbling)

Well, not a date, date. Exactly. Ever since that piece of English earwax, Lionel Dishpan, took advantage of her, we've been meeting in the alley – bowling alley that is – every Thursday. The point is: Doreau's as regular as my landlady on rent day. She's never missed before. What I mean is: she's always on time. That is, she's punctual … about our … bowling …

Hammer runs down, as Captain Trunk is clearly amused at his unease.

TRUNK (Taking advantage of the moment)

Hammer, you do realize, if you and Doreau are having some sort of assignation; that would be against official department policy.

TRUNK (continues, looking intrigued by a possibility)

Why, I'd probably have to split the two of you up …

HAMMER (shakes his head)

Captain, I … that is, we … what I mean is Doreau would never …

TRUNK

Relax Hammer. I trust Doreau to maintain enough decorum for the both of you. Now go home. I'll have someone check on her.

HAMMER

Captain, I could just, you know, sort of swing by …

TRUNK

NO! Hammer! Go home! Get out!

HAMMER

But, sir,

TRUNK

NOW, Hammer!

Trunk approaches Hammer during this exchange, forcing Hammer backwards and out through the doorway. Trunk finally closes the door firmly in Hammer's face, ending the exchange. As Hammer is leaving, he deliberately walks past Doreau's desk. He attempts, with spectacular lack of success, to surreptitiously examine the loose papers on it. He spots something that catches his interest, but as he reaches for it, he knocks a photograph over. He attempts to right the photo, but in the process knocks some papers to the floor. Each attempt to correct things leaves a bigger mess. Finally, aware that a number of officers are now openly staring at him, he uses his foot to push stuff under the desk, while pushing other things on the desk into a pile in the centre.

HAMMER (clearly making excuses)

Did anybody else feel that? Must have been about 4.5 …

Hammer backs away from the desk, and then turns and leaves the area. As he does, he looks at the piece of paper still in his hand. The camera zooms, revealing a daytimer page completed in feminine handwriting: "5:00 Astoria. KDAFY office" and further down "7:00 Meet Sledge. Bowling". The camera cuts to a closeup of Sledge draws his Magnum and smiles.

HAMMER (to gun)

What do you think this note means?

Hammer appears to listen to a reply.

HAMMER

Me, too. I think it's time we paid that little newstwerp a visit.

Dissolve to:

Interior of KDAFY studios. Hammer is arguing at reception.

HAMMER

No, I don't have an appointment.

RECEPTIONIST

Then I'm sorry Inspector. Ms Astoria has a very busy schedule. If you want to make an appointment and come back later …

HAMMER (interrupting)

Look, my partner is missing. I know she came here yesterday.

RECEPTIONIST (checking log, flipping between pages)

Yes. Inspector Doreau did sign in. But there must be a mistake, I don't seem to have a record of her leaving.

HAMMER

A-ha. OK if my partner didn't leave, she must still be here. Now, either my friend (shows Gun for emphasis) and I get a little co-operation …

At this moment, Astoria enters the building and crosses the lobby on her way to her office.

RECEPTIONIST (calls across lobby)

Ms Astoria! The Inspector here would like to speak with you. Something about his partner.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

How can I help you Inspector Slammer?

HAMMER

That's Sledge Slammer – what I mean is Hedge Hammer.

Stops, confused.

HAMMER (continues)

Look, lady, don't confuse me – I'm Inspector Sledge Hammer. My partner, Inspector Dori Doreau was here yesterday to see you. Now she's missing. Unless I get some answers pronto, your next newscast will be on prison radio. Comprehendo?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (a bit flustered, nervous)

Please! Inspector. Calm down. I'm certain we can clear up this misunderstanding in my office.

She leads the way toward her office with Hammer following.

Dissolve to interior of Astoria's office.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (behind desk, regaining confidence)

Now Inspector, what makes you think I know anything about your partner?

HAMMER

You're the last entry in her calendar yesterday.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

That doesn't mean she kept our appointment …

HAMMER

So, you admit you had an appointment. She also signed in at the front desk.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Alright she was here. She left. I don't know where she was going next.

HAMMER

She didn't sign out.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Perhaps she was in a hurry and forgot. Really, Inspector …

HAMMER

Doreau never forgets anything. Not even our bowling night.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

Is, that's what this is about? Jilted boyfriend trying to locate his girl?

HAMMER (covering up)

No! I mean – she's a woman. Phhht. Who needs them?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA

I'm a woman …

HAMMER

You're a spineless news urchin. Doreau's my partner. Enough hide and seek … where is she?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (in control)

You're still on suspension, aren't you Mr. Hammer? This isn't police business is it? If you don't leave immediately, I'm calling security.

Astoria picks up the phone to follow through on this threat. Hammer takes a step backward, unprepared for this turn. As he does he catches sight of an object under Astoria's desk. He steps forward and stoops down to investigate. It's a shoe. Doreau's shoe! He picks it up off the floor, and steps back, a familiar wild glint in his eyes. Theme music begins to play in the background, building in intensity.

HAMMER

OK, now I know you're a lying little twerp. I know Doreau. This is her shoe. She never leaves home without it, (beat) or anywhere else for that matter. I know you've got her, and I'll tear this place apart if I have to, to find her.

Hammer starts opening doors and file cabinet drawers as though expecting to find Doreau inside one. Astoria reacts as she did with Doreau, by pulling the Prestidigitator out of her desk. Hammer looks at the device (which resembles a mini video camera) and smirks:

HAMMER (continues)

Still shooting in small format?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (triumph in voice)

It's not a camera, you fool! It's the Prestidigitator I stole from the University. And it will make you disappear just like your nosey little partner.

Tight focus shot of Astoria's finger slowly squeezing the "trigger" of the Prestidigitator. But before it fires, Hammer tosses Doreau's shoe in a casual arc into the air.

Slow motion shot of the shoe rising into the air and slowly rotating, alternates with shots of Astoria, mesmerized, eyes wide in rapture as she follows its path. The light glints off its smooth polished surface, accentuates the sculpted shape of heel, the smooth curve of the arch. (Music from the weightlessness scenes from 2001 plays).

There is the sudden sound of a gunshot! The slow motion scene ends with the shoe falling to the floor in normal speed, and Astoria looking suddenly startled. Hammer stands with his magnum, grinning wildly, dust falling from the ceiling.

HAMMER (through clenched teeth)

Reality show time, Twerp. Last chance: where's Doreau …?

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (frantic, defiant)

You'll never see her again, Slammer!

She makes one last effort to fire the Prestidigitator at Hammer, but he is quicker. A single bullet strikes the device, knocking it out of Astoria's hands. The camera follows it to where it lands on the floor, smoking and sparking.

ANN "TWERP" ASTORIA (screaming)

AAAaaahhhh!

Doreau suddenly reappears in the room, minus one shoe of course.

Camera cuts to a view of the police holding cells, where the street vendor reappears, still shouting about false arrest, police brutality, and lawsuits to follow.

Camera cuts to a view of the park, where a two day old corpse suddenly reappears, startling park patrons who run screaming from the site.

Camera cuts back to Astoria's office, where with just a moment's hesitation, Doreau produces her handcuffs, limps over to Astoria and begins to cuff her.

DOREAU (aware of Sledge)

Sledge? How did you get here?

HAMMER

Public transit. The Captain wouldn't let me take my car while I'm on suspension.

Hammer steps over to where Doreau's shoe has fallen, picks it up, and hands it to her.

HAMMER

I think this is yours.

Doreau takes the shoe and puts it on, as the camera pulls back for a full view of the office showing Hammer, Doreau and the now handcuffed Astoria.

DOREAU (still puzzled)

Thanks, Sledge.

Dissolve to:

Interior Trunk's office

TRUNK (speaking to Doreau)

So you have no idea where you were until suddenly you were back in Astoria's office?

DOREAU

None at all, Captain. I remember a flash from the Prestidigitator, and then nothing until Sledge showed up.

HAMMER

You're sure you weren't shopping Doreau? My ex always used to claim amnesia when she came back from a shopping bender.

Trunk and Doreau stare at Hammer, then back at each other. Trunk continues.

TRUNK

Hammer, you're still on suspension. The only reason you're in my office is that it's clear I can't let you out of my sight, so shut up!

Hammer appears ready to comment further.

TRUNK (continuing)

I mean it Hammer! Not a peep. Not a sound. Not one!

Hammer subsides

TRUNK (continues, to Doreau)

Thankfully you're back, unharmed. The prestidigitator has been returned to the University, the gunman's body is in the morgue, and the ice cream vendor has been released on bail. Unfortunately, Hammer is still with us.

DOREAU

Captain, I really can't take the credit. If Sledge hadn't disabled the prestidigitator, I wouldn't even be here.

TRUNK

Doreau, I can't tell the Chief that the man he ordered me to suspend is the reason this case is solved. So you can, and you will, accept full credit. Now …

TRUNK (addressing both)

… go home. Both of you. Report for your regular shifts on Monday.

HAMMER (excited)

Does that mean …?

TRUNK

Yes Hammer, you're off suspension – on Monday. Until then I don't want to see you, I don't want to hear from you, and I don't want to have to make excuses for you. So keep that cannon in its holster, or I'll have you demoted to University test subject. Dismissed!

Doreau and Hammer both exit Trunk's office.

Dissolve to:

Hammer and Doreau are seated in the bar as seen several times during the original show, each with a drink. The TV is on, showing the evening news which includes news anchor Ann "Twerp" Astoria being escorted by police to jail pending her trial. The news reader is Ann "Twerp" Astoria's former camera man. Close up of TV.

ANNOUNCER

Police today arrested local media celebrity Ann "Twerp" Astoria and charged her with one count of committing an indignity on a body. Charges of kidnapping and assaulting a police officer were dropped, as prosecutors stated they had only the word of police that the offences occurred.

Angle to shot of Hammer and Doreau.

DOREAU (thoughtful)

I guess she finally got her wish, Sledge.

HAMMER

How's that Doreau?

DOREAU

She didn't want to just read the news; she wanted to be the news. Today she got her wish. She's the lead story and you … (pause to sip drink) … you weren't even mentioned.

Hammer takes another sip of his drink, and seems uncharacteristically calm.

HAMMER

You're right Doreau, that little news leach didn't even mention me … or my Gun.

DOREAU (surprised at Sledge's calm)

You're taking it rather well …

HAMMER

You know Doreau, I arrested my first partner …

DOREAU

John Cogan?

HAMMER (introspective)

Yeah, him. It bothered me at first … arresting my partner.

DOREAU

I understand Sledge. Arresting someone you've placed your trust in must be really difficult … even for you.

HAMMER

Especially for me Doreau – since I don't trust anyone.

Cut to shot of Doreau, looking a bit disturbed by this comment. Cut to Hammer as he continues.

HAMMER (continuing)

I got over it. I realized I was actually helping him become a better person. That's what cops do … arrest people and give them a chance to become better people.

DOREAU (looking at glass)

This must be stronger than I thought. That almost makes sense.

HAMMER

But, you being gone … well, I didn't know how to get over that.

DOREAU (blushing, looking down)

Gee, Sledge …

HAMMER (continuing)

Being gone can't make you a better person. And I'd never get a chance to arrest you.

Doreau's attention snaps back to Sledge.

DOREAU (shocked/puzzled)

Huh?

HAMMER

Look, enough philosophy, Doreau.

Sledge finishes his drink and rises from his chair.

HAMMER (continuing)

Do you think we could maybe take one evening off without the criminal element taking over the city?

Camera cut to Doreau, looking astounded.

HAMMER (continuing)

So, if you do, maybe I, that is … we. Look, I'll just say it: Do you want dinner?

DOREAU (regaining composure)

Sure.

Dori stands, picks up her purse and walks toward the door.

Sledge stands as if frozen in surprise. Doreau stops, and turns to face him.

DOREAU (uncertain)

You're coming too, right?

HAMMER (recovering)

Oh, yeah, where's my head at?

As Sledge also heads towards the door, Dori falls in step beside him.

HAMMER (continuing)

It's just … this time you didn't ask if I was serious.

DOREAU

Sledge, I've learned there are some things I shouldn't question.

HAMMER

Like …?

DOREAU (places index finger on Hammer's chest)

Like – you drive. (beat) But I'll pick the restaurant.

As Sledge opens the door, she steps through.

DOREAU (without looking back)

And – be careful what you wish for …

As Hammer holds the door, and Doreau walks outside, we see a falling star against the darkness and …

FADE TO THEME AND CREDITS.