THE FIRE INSIDE

Season 2, Episode 16

Written by Marc Scott Zicree

Directed by Allan Kroeker

Guest stars:

Jonah............................... Tyrone Benskin

Jake.................................. John Bourgeois

Tom Phillips.................... Todd Stewart

Dr. Zang........................... Glen Bang

Angie Pappas................... Tracey Hway

Dragon.............................. Randy Butcher

Voice of the Dragon.......... Geordie Johnson

Margaret Phillips.............. Allyson McMackon

Fountain............................ Thoywell Hemmings

Billy................................... Ira Glasner

Beverly.............................. Serena Pruyn

As two cops walk their beat, they and are being watched through a grate. When they pass, a homeless man exits the grate and checks out the nearby trash. A ski-masked guy approaches him, calling him trash and rants about homeless trash. He tosses down a few coins and when the guy hesitantly takes it, the masked man tells him the best way to deal with trash is to burn it, and hits the man with the flame from his flame-thrower. The man screams in agony.

Nick is questioning the female beat cop who tells him that the scream was an unmistakable death scream. Natalie is scared, uneasy, unnerved, and hesitant about dealing with the body. When Nick asks her if she's okay and tells her she does not have to do it, she tells him that she's seen worse. He tells her that death by fire is his worst nightmare. Schanke tells them the guy was torched with a flame-thrower and that it is a first for him. Natalie tells them that it will take a dental cast to make the ID, and that she will do it as soon as she can. He comments that flame-thrower is not easy to hide. Nick shows him the open grate and tells them about the sewer and other service tunnels, pipes, etc that make an underground tunnel system where the homeless live. Nick asks for maps. Natalie tells them to be careful. Nick drags Schanke with him into the dark passageway to investigate; knowing that the killer is probably down there somewhere as it's the only way he could move around town wearing a flame thrower.

Nick flashes back to 1853-1860 South Carolina. Nick's inside a cabin out in the middle of nowhere. LaCroix and Janette arrive shortly as the sun's rising commenting on their enjoyable hunt, wishing Nick had been there. They hear heartbeats, open the trap door and discover a father and son hiding out, both scared slaves.

Nick and Schanke are walking through the dark tunnels; the only light is from Schanke's flashlight. Uniforms are coming from the other end and they will meet up in the middle. Nick teases Schanke about being afraid when he comments about feeling very vulnerable and that going to the middle of the earth to find the killer is not his idea of fun. They watch out for things to hit their heads on or trip over as they follow the pipes down into the bowels of the city. He is afraid of the PTA career day thing he has to do at Jenny's school, which surprises Nick. Schanke explains that to kids nowadays they are not heroes. When they turn a corner, they run into someone's laundry line and Schanke comment on it being an odd place for one. Nick tells him it is not, if you live there. Neither is happy when they realize the map is not accurate and they are not where it said they would be. They are lost.

In her office, Natalie is very nervous as she forces herself out of her chair and over to the body where she unzips the body bag but the zipper is stuck. She struggles to free it, and when it frees itself, it zips open in one quick zip, startling her. She is nearly hyperventilating, far more scared of the burned body than she is of death by vampire bite. Nothing has unsettled or scared her this much, since she was a child. She forces herself to slow her breathing down, then hesitantly looks inside and picks up the hand and her fear escalates. She shoves it back into the bag and rushes to close it, before retreating to her chair, very scared and deeply unsettled by the body. She stares at it as if it is going to attack her.

Schanke's comments about the tunnels constantly changing, making the maps wrong gets Nick asking him if he knows the tunnels. Schanke reluctantly, softly, admits his father was a sewer worker. That in school the kids taunted him by calling him ratboy, sarcastically commenting that he is making his daughter proud by being in the sewer like dad. Nick tells him that he is being too hard on himself, and insists that he stop it.

A blonde woman's filling her bucket with water when the flamethrower toting, ski mask wearing, killer approaches her and she nearly hyperventilates, backing up away from him. She lets out a blood-curdling scream as he torches her.

In the dark hallway, Nick shoves Schanke against the wall as a long flame rushes by them. It barely misses them.

The maniac turns off the flame-thrower and leaves behind a small fire where the woman had been.

Schanke is radioing in the latest attack, although he and Nick are freaked out by it, they run towards it, communicating that they are about half a block east of Bloor and Yonge. They do not realize that the person Schanke talked to was not an officer but the maniac himself, because they are too deep for the walkie-talkies to reach the surface. Schanke comments that backup should be arriving soon, unless they got lost. Nick tells Schanke cannot get down the closest shaft as it is too narrow and they have to look for another way down. Nick tells Schanke that they are being followed, and sends him off in the other direction. After a while, Nick discovers that their tail is a scared, teenage boy who escapes and runs into Schanke a short time later. Once they realize that the kid is no danger to them, tell the teen about the killings.

Nick asks the teen to show them the next level and the teen asks why he should. Schanke convinces him that they are there to help, not to arrest his friends. That they want to save everyone's lives.

Nick flashes back to the 1853-1860 South Carolina cabin. The father tells the three strangers to stay back, using a shovel to protect his son. He tells them that he refuses to let his son be sold to a different master far away. Janette whammies the father and learns that they are supposed to be meeting someone and are being hunted. Nick will not let them be killed, commenting on the cabin being a stop on the Underground Railway. LaCroix and Janette are not happy and comment on the slaves being a danger to them. They say that the two slaves are expendable. Nick tells LaCroix to back off because they have already had their fill. They reluctantly back off, leaving the slaves alone, for now.

Back in the present day, Nick and Schanke convince the teenage boy to help them. The teen starts leading them where to go as Schanke and the teen exchange wisecracks.

From the bullpen, Cohen tells three officers around her to get the Emergency Task Force members there ASAP, and that they'll cover the tunnels the hard way if they have to as she's studying a large map on the wall. She sees Natalie delivering a large stack of folders to various officers. Natalie tells her she caught up on her paperwork. When Cohen asks her about the autopsy, she tells Cohen she's letting the new guy, Dr. Zang, do it, even though he's never done one that bad before. Cohen sees there's more going on and asks an upset, scared, Natalie if she has ever done one that bad. Natalie tells her she has not and does not think she can, her fear clearly showing.

Nick, Schanke and the teen find the dead body. The teen knows who it is and tells them. Schanke's surprised to learn there are kids down there. Schanke tries to contact the surface but cannot. Nick sends Schanke and the teen to notify her family and learn the teen is Danny Weathers. Nick and Schanke arrange to meet in an hour at the three-way junction. Schanke and Danny head out.

The killer is walking through the tunnels. Nick senses this and heads out, lifting off when he cannot find anything the mortal way.

Schanke calls for backup, using his map to tell tem he's somewhere under Charles near Yonge and gives the map coordinates. A voice on the radio tells Schanke they are closing in fast, but it is hard to get their bearings. Schanke tells them to send in the Cavalry as things are quickly getting out of hand. The voice is else where in the tunnels and is actually the killer, who tells them to stay loose.

Danny and Schanke continue on their way, until they get to a curtained off area that's obviously someone's home, even if it is sparse. Danny comments that they probably took off when they heard him and Schanke coming. Danny taps on pipes, calling it a telephone call. The victim's husband comes out of hiding holding a baby. Schanke's shocked.

Nick is tracking the killer at the same time the killer is tracking him. The two men meet up in the subway tunnels. The killer notices that Nick's not homeless and asks what he is doing down there. The only thing separating them is the wall between them. The maniac tells Nick that he's down there on business, and must take care of the problem. When Nick tries to peek around the corner the maniac lets loose a stream of fire, forcing Nick to very quickly duck back to his side of the wall, barely avoiding being toasted. Nick agrees to the killer's request that they stay on their side of the wall. Nick introduces himself as a cop, Detective Knight and asks who he's talking to. The killer calls himself Dragon, and tells Nick that is a job description.

Nick flashes back to the cabin again. The armed hunters show up and Nick talks to the leader. The slaves' master wants them back and searches the cabin, finding only Nick there. Nick whammies the master to believe the slaves are not there and went to Charlotte. The master tells Nick to let him know if he sees the slaves, and that he had better not be hiding the slaves.

Dragon tells Nick that he is cleaning up the homeless because no one else can. They are still separated by the concrete wall. Dragon tells Nick how he has to get the nest, to treat it like Cancer. Dragon takes off right before Nick comes around the wall. Nick breaks the chain and enters the door Dragon went through, but before Nick can get through it, Dragon fires another stream of flame at Nick. Nick does not manage to get totally out of the way this time as his coat sleeve is on fire. He is able to struggle out of it in time.

Natalie's questioned by Cohen about if she cannot or will not do the autopsy. Natalie tells Cohen she is afraid, and how when she was a child on a family vacation she saw a family burn to death in their car, heard their screams. She tells Cohen that sometimes she still hears them screaming. Cohen tells her that she understands how she feels, but Natalie's tone as she asks if Cohen really understands, shows she does not believe Cohen. Cohen looks sad, as if she does truly understand.

In the tunnels, Schanke tactfully tells the husband, that he and his baby need to get out of there now. The husband tells Schanke that they had been saving up to move to Alberta, where his wife has family. Schanke gets him to leave, telling him that they will find him shelter. Schanke tells Danny that it is no way to live, which the kid confirms as well as commenting that he cannot do better.

Dragon is hunting.

Schanke's freaking out because Nick is not at the meeting place. Danny tells him to relax, that he needs to cut back on the caffeine, that he's getting all type A. Nick tells Danny he's said that for years, startling them both. Schanke scolds Nick for being late but he is excused when Nick tells him about his discussion with Dragon. Schanke notices Nick's burnt sleeve and inquires. Nick tells him he'll be fine, that he thinks he knows where Dragon is going, then asks Danny if he knows of a place called a nest, a nest of people. Danny tries to lie, but he is caught by Schanke. Danny tells them that if there were such a place, they would be able to take care of themselves. Schanke reminds Danny how dangerous Dragon is and Danny reminds him that he does not really know them, that he took them to one person and now they want everyone. Schanke tells Danny that Dragon will kill them all, given the chance. Danny realizes they are right and tells him about the camp at the lowest levels, about twenty people including a couple of families.

Nick flashes back to the cabin. It is that night. The father is telling his son it won't be much longer, then they'll be out of there. The master is back with the old man who was to help the slaves and kills him. The old guy was part of the Underground Railroad. Janette and LaCroix blame Nick for this. The master tells Jonah that he cannot take him home because it would give the other slaves ideas. He sets the cabin on fire to set an example to the other slaves. Janette and LaCroix are angered by this, and they know the man and his son must leave because of the fire.

Back in the tunnels, Nick gets Danny to take them to the camp. Dragon is still hunting. Schanke gives Danny his handcuffs gets Danny to call head on the pipes. Danny taps out a message as they head down to the lowest level. Dragon hears the banging, stops and listens to it. He feels the vibrations with his hand and heads off as if he knows exactly what the message was. Schanke finds a doll on the floor and picks it up unable to believe there are children living down there. Danny learns that Schanke has a daughter and makes nasty comments about Parent's Day at school. Danny realizes Nick and Schanke really do care. Nick comments that when you live long enough you learn that no one's expendable.

Back in the South Carolina cabin, the Master's men are still torching the ground, the exterior of the cabin is totally engulfed in flames, and the men cheer wildly. Inside the cabin, the fire is working its way in. Janette comments that the slaves cannot be their concern, to which Nick tells them, he cannot leave the father and son there to die. LaCroix angrily tells Nick that they only have seconds. When Nick refuses to leave the slaves, his vampire companions leave him behind in disgust and fear. They comment that the slaves are more important to Nick then they are. LaCroix and Janette take off through the roof. Jonah asks Nick to kill them before the fire breaks through, if he is going to kill them. Nick looks for a way out.

Nick tells Danny to keep signaling as they go. They pick up the pace. Danny is still signaling as they move.

The Dragon's still on the move, still listening to the banging as he starts reciting a twisted version of The Itsy Bitsy Spider, changing a line about fire burning the spider out.

Cohen tells Natalie that she understands fear. That everyone has incapacitating fears, ones that haunt them. She tells Natalie that she started her career as a Federal Agent. She tells her how when they broke up a drug ring, her partner was killed in a horrible firefight and they thought it might have been friendly fire, from her gun. That he was one of three agents killed. That she was quite scared when she returned to work. Natalie realizes that unfortunately Cohen does understand. Cohen comments that what does not kill you, makes you stronger. That if you accept it, it makes you stronger, but if you run from it, it destroys you.

In the tunnels, Dragon comes around the corner and whispers that he has them as he keeps moving.

At the morgue, the new guy, Dr. Zang, is trying to get a dental impression without luck when Natalie and Cohen arrive. With Cohen there for support, Natalie asks Zang if he has had any luck. When he tells her he has not, she tells Zang she will give it a try, trying to keep eye contact with the corpse to a minimum until she has to do the dental impression. She looks back at Cohen for reassurance and gets it as she grabs her latex gloves and stares at the body, her fear rising. Natalie takes a moment to steel herself then starts the dental cast, Cohen looking on as Natalie battles her fear.

Danny tells Nick and Schanke that they just have one more corner to go around. Nick and Schanke send him off to safety.

Inside the burning cabin, the slave master and his crew are still outside cheering the blazing fire as it works its way inside the cabin. Inside, Nick tells Jonah and his son that they have no choice but to leave immediately, that they have to face their fears if they're go get out. Nick vamps out, picks up the boy and carries him out, kicking down the door for their escape hatch. The father is right behind them. Outside the cabin, the master tells his crew that Nick is his as he aims and fires. It is a big mistake. Nick faces them fully vamped out and growling, angered by being shot. The crew is terrified. Nick grabs the master, punches him, and grabs his gun. Then after the crew runs off, drains the master dry. Nick's features are normal as he faces Jonah and his son. Nick tells them to get to the river as fast as they can. The son wishes Nick could come with them and Nick politely tells him he wishes he could, but he cannot. The two slaves run off as Nick watches.

Nick and Schanke enter the camp guns drawn and realize it is deserted, commenting that they must have heard Danny's message. Danny debates helping them for a moment before taking off for safety. Nick and Schanke decide to flank Dragon and be careful not to hit the flame thrower tank or the whole place will go up in flames. The two cops stay out of sight and behind cover.

Dragon's trying to entice them to come out by talking about a party, and when no one comes out he's frustrated, ranting about them having to pay. One old woman hesitantly, fearfully, comes out to get a coin. She barely gets back into her box, with the coin, as a stream of flame shoots by.

Schanke gets Dragon's attention and Dragon fire at both cops. Nick keeps flashing back to the burning cabin. Schanke is caught by Dragon and Nick gets Dragon's attention by stepping out into the open. Nick is forced to put down his gun or the old lady will be torched. Nick puts down his gun and Dragon is going to kill him. Nick has more burning cabin flashbacks as he fights his own fear of fire and his instinct to flee. Dragon comments that Nick is the type who feels compassion for the homeless trash. Dragon fires at Nick, who jumps out of the way, landing inches from the flames. Schanke nearly gets torched and shrinks back. Nick's had enough and jumps Dragon at vampire speed causing Dragon to drop to the ground, either unconscious or dead, after a brief struggle. Nick knocks on the old lady's box, telling her it safe. Schanke realizes that facing Jenny's class is nothing compared to his night with Dragon. Danny and the camp residents are looking at the devastation, fires still burn here and there.

Schanke is in the precinct on his day off with Jenny's class talking about the job, boring the twelve-year-olds. Jenny is home with the mumps as her classmates visit her father's workplace. Her classmates chant that they want to see the jail. Cohen steps in and tells the kids that Schanke is a real hero because he saved a lot of lives. The kids are impressed. Schanke tells them they are going to see the jail in a moment. He asks Cohen if he can take Danny to a game, unable to believe Danny has never been to one before. She reluctantly okays it and he heads back to the kids, to take them to the jail.

Nick and Natalie are at the loft, sitting before the lit fireplace. She is a little afraid of the fire as she stirs the logs, telling him she will probably never get fully over it. He is a bit afraid of the fire as well. She tells him how she is proud of herself for facing her fear. Nick repeats the line about what does not kill you makes you stronger and kisses her. He seems to be thinking about the burning cabin, fire and other stuff. They snuggle up next to each other and watch the fire.

Introduction
Killer Instinct | A Fate Worse Than Death | Stranger Than Fiction | Foward Into the Past
Faithful Followers | Hunted | Father's Day | Undue Process
Bad Blood | Can't Run, Can't Hide | Capital Offense | Amateur Night
Beyond the Law | The Fix | Be My Valentine | The Fire Inside
Blood Money | Partners of the Month | Queen of Harps | A More Permanent Hell
The Code | Curiouser and Curiouser | Near Death | Baby, Baby
Close Call | Crazy Love

SEASON 1 | SEASON 3

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