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Desert Quarry

Two mercenaries rob a former colleague's New York jewelry shop to even a score, but after the shop’s employees are found murdered, a deadly bank heist in Iraq begins to haunt them.

Raoul and Detective Mattei meet late in the evening in front of Raoul’s jewelry shop in Manhattan

They enter and find four of Raoul’s employees murdered

Jump back a week earlier.

Gu and Bob reunite nearby in a park for the first time since a roadside bomb separated them in Iraq two years earlier. Their colleague, Raoul, escaped with some of the money they had just robbed from a Baghdad bank.

Bob is anxious to avenge their losses. Gu wants to leave it in the past.

When Bob and Gu leave the park two Saudi assassins follow them.

Bobs shows Gu a SoHo loft he’s subleasing. The next day Bob points out Raoul's jewelry shop in the building next to Bob's loft. Gu sees Raoul enter the shop and suddenly tastes blood with Raoul in close proximity -- an opportunity Gu believed would never be possible.

Bob proposes they rob Raoul’s shop as vindication. Gu wants Raoul dead.

Bob introduces Gu to Eric, a model who works as a doorman at Raoul’s shop. Eric divulges the security and operation details of the store in exchange for a cut of the take.

Gu relents and agrees to the heist.

Still, Bob suspects Gu wants Raoul dead.

The narrative moves back two years in time.

Gu, Bob and Raoul are security contractors in Iraq. In addition to their day jobs, the three have hatched a plan to rob a Saudi-owned bank. Before leaving the money, Gu shoots dead the bank's manager. Gu suggests the bank is funding the insurgency against the American-backed Iraqi government to justify the killings.

Gu, Bob and Raoul take the cash, but a roadside bomb strikes their vehicle during the getaway.

Raoul escapes with some of the cash unscathed, Bob is left for dead and Mahmoud the Jackal — leader of a criminal gang linked to Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia — captures Gu.

Gu enriches Mahmoud by helping him plan more bank heists, but when a group of Saudi businessmen offer ransom money for Gu's release, Mahmoud accepts and frees his captive. Mahmoud hypothesizes the Saudi’s aim to hunt down and kill Gu, Raoul and Bob as vengeance for the Baghdad bank job.

Back to the present in New York.

Gu and Bob rob Raoul’s shop without a hitch but afterwards the two Saudi Assassins enter and kill the employees.

Gu and Bob stash the stolen jewelry in an abandoned building.

Bob returns later that evening to see the bodies removed from Raoul’s store. He runs off and makes a phone call.

Then Bob meets Raoul.

The two reveal their insurance scam and bid to sell the stolen jewelry.

They retrieve the merchandise but once Bob has it in hand Raoul shoots him, leaving him for dead.

Raoul returns to the SoHo loft while Bob wanders through the streets until he bleeds to death.

Meanwhile, Gu searches familiar spots for Bob.

The next morning Raoul waits in Bob's loft for Gu, aiming to kill him. However, the two Saudi Assassins enter and kill Raoul.

Later, Gu ends up at Bob's loft where he finds Raoul's body.

While Gu is distracted trying to figure out who killed Raoul and why, the two Saudi Assassins ambush and kill him.

The Saudis look over the dead bodies of Gu and Raoul confirming their mission of vengeance is complete then leave the loft.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Genres:
Budget:
Micro
Starring Roles For:
Native American 40 year old male
John Leguizamo
40 Year Old Rugged Actor
In the Vein Of:
Reservoir Dogs
Pulp Fiction
Mean Streets
Posted:
08/04/2018
Updated:
10/06/2021
Author Bio:
James Palmer is a former reporter and photographer who covered civil and regional conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. His stories and photos appeared in the Guardian, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Der Spiegel and Reuters, among others. He was awarded the Nicholas Blake Grant for international freelance reporting in 2007 for his work in Iraq. The Newark Star-Ledger twice nominated him for a Pulitzer Prize in foreign reporting for his work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Contest Results:
Inroads Fellowship (Finalist) [2019]
Barcelona Festival (Finalist) [2019]
Rome Independent (Finalist) [2019]
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