6x02 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 6x02
"Dreamworld"


[previously on CASTLE]

INT – FBI INTERROGATION ROOM

RICHARD CASTLE
What about an antidote? There has to be an antidote.

KATE BECKETT
The only existing vial was stolen with the toxin.

CASTLE
They can make more, right? They have to be able to make more.

BECKETT
It would take too long to synthesize.

CASTLE
How long?

BECKETT
A week.

That hits him.

CASTLE
That’s too long. (he pauses) Are you sure I was exposed? I mean, I feel fine. Maybe they were wrong.

He trails off when BECKETT doesn’t respond.

BECKETT
Look, there’s a doctor coming in from Walter Reed. He’s going to be able to answer any other questions you might have.

He’s trying to process.

CASTLE
No, I think you already did that.

BECKETT
Hey. (he looks at her) We’re going to find whoever’s behind this. And when we do we’re going to get that antidote, because I’m not letting you out of our engagement that easily.

That lightens his mood a little.

CASTLE
All right. So, where are you in the investigation?

BECKETT
We’re looking into every possible lead.

CASTLE
That’s what you say when you’re nowhere!

BECKETT
Castle –

CASTLE
The guy who abducted me –

BECKETT
Bronson.

CASTLE
Right. Was he military? Special ops?

BECKETT
Marine force recon, why?

CASTLE
Okay, because before he died he said something.

BECKETT
Valkyrie, yeah. We’ve been looking into it. There’s nothing in the databases –

CASTLE
Not that. He said something about “Dreamworld”. Now I didn’t think it was anything, but according to Esposito, Dreamworld is the code name of a special ops ghost base somewhere in the Middle East.

BECKETT
And you think that somehow relates to the theft of the toxin?

CASTLE
I … think … Bronson thought it did.

There’s a knock on the door and it opens.

DOCTOR GOLDBERG
Sorry to interrupt. I’m Doctor Goldberg, here to check on Mr. Castle.

CASTLE sighs and raises his hand. He mouths “that’s me” and gives BECKETT a scared look.

INT – FBI OFFICE

BECKETT leaves them and heads into the office. She’s stopped by RACHEL MCCORD.

RACHEL MCCORD
How’s he doing?

BECKETT
Better than I am. Where are we?

MCCORD
Well, we know whoever’s behind this framed Jack Bronson for the break in and then used the toxin to kill him.

BECKETT
Which means they would have had to cross paths with him in order to deliver it.

MCCORD
Exactly. Hendricks and his team are retracing all of Bronson’s movements to get a who and a when. It’s a needle in a haystack, but maybe we’ll get lucky.

BECKETT
Anything on Valkyrie?

MCCORD
Nothing that connects. Analysts are still working on it, thought.

MCCORD watches BECKETT. She’s thinking.

BECKETT
Have you ever heard of something called Dreamworld?

She walks away before she gets a response.

MCCORD
What’s Dreamworld?

INT – FBI INTERROGATION ROOM

DOCTOR GOLDBERG is giving CASTLE an injection.

GOLDBERG
The pralidoxime and atropine will stave off the effect of the toxin and buy you some more time.

He finishes and starts dressing the injection site.

CASTLE
How much more?

GOLDBERG
An hour, maybe two. I’ll give you another shot every four hours, but eventually it won’t be effective.

CASTLE
And then what?

GOLDBERG
Towards the end you’ll start to feel weak, experience shortness of breath.

CASTLE
Why did Bronson die so quickly and I’m still alive?

GOLDBERG
Bronson was in the car for hours so he got the motherlode. You were in the car just for a few minutes. Ingested in liquid form you go down in seconds, but based on your blood work you have at least another ten to twelve hours.

CASTLE
So then, apart from the part where I’m dying, I’m fine.

GOLDBERG
You’re asymptomatic. I’ll try to keep you that way for as long as possible.

It’s not really helpful.

INT – FBI TECH ROOM

CHIEF CARL VILANTE
A ghost base in the Middle East?

BECKETT
Look, I know this is a longshot, but Bronson may have been trying to communicate a message.

MCCORD
Or it’s just the ramblings of a dying man. Look, we checked the government and military databases. There’s no official mention of Dreamworld. If it even exists.

AGENT RICHMOND
Uh, I think it exists.

VILANTE
What did you find?

RICHMOND
A name just popped in a Pentagon archive. Brad Parker. A reported for the Washington Union.

VILANTE
What’s a reporter got to do with this?

RICHMOND
Six months ago he tried to publish an article called “Inside Dreamworld”, but it was quashed over security concerns.

BECKETT
What does the article say?

RICHMOND
I don’t have the text. They’ve classified it. I have the title.

He gestures in apology.

VILANTE
I’ll call my contact at the Pentagon, see what he can dig up. In the meanwhile, track down this reporter, find out what he knows.

CASTLE
You could also check Bronson’s phone records. He and this reporter might be connected.

BECKETT
Castle, you should be resting.

CASTLE
There’s plenty of time for that later, apparently. (he shrugs) Um, if it’s all the same I’d rather be helping.

VILANTE
Mr. Castle, I understand your desire to be involved, but –

CASTLE
No one is more motivated than me to solve this. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be out of your hair by the end of the day.

He’s making light of his situation. BECKETT steps closer to him. She’s on his side, literally.

BECKETT
You know, sir, Castle’s the only one who has firsthand experience with Bronson. He might be an asset.

VILANTE considers that. He looks to MCCORD. She nods once.

VILANTE
Okay. But Agent Beckett, he’s your responsibility.

BECKETT
(she nods) I know.

A computer beeps.

RICHMOND
Sir? It looks like Bronson and the reporter are connected. His phone records show calls to and from the Washington Union around the time the article was written.

MCCORD
Bronson must have been a source for the article.

VILANTE
(to BECKETT and MCCORD) Go. Find out what he knows.

CASTLE moves to follow after BECKETT.

VILANTE
Ah, Mr. Castle. You can assist us, but only from inside this building.

CASTLE
Right.

He waves halfheartedly to BECKETT. She returns it awkwardly, torn, but she eventually follows MCCORD out. CASTLE just has to wait.

EST – WASHINGTON D.C, DAYTIME

EXT – WASHINGTON D.C STREET

BECKETT and MCCORD pull up outside BRAD PARKER’S apartment.

BECKETT
Look, uh … thanks for backing me up with Castle.

MCCORD
Is he always such a character?

BECKETT smiles.

BECKETT
Yeah. It’s one of the things that I love about him, too.

MCCORD smiles, but she doesn’t have time to say anything before BRAD PARKER walks out of his apartment.

MCCORD
There.

They approach him.

BECKETT
Mr. Parker! Mr. Parker, excuse me. We’re from the Attorney General’s office. We need to ask you a few questions about an article you wrote, “Inside Dreamworld”.

BRAD PARKER
Really, we’re going to do this again? You people are unbelievable.

MCCORD
Excuse me?

PARKER
I wouldn’t give up my sources when you killed the article. So why would I give them up now?

BECKETT
Because it looks like one of your sources was murdered.

MCCORD
Do you recognize him, Mr. Parker?

She shows him BRONSON’S photo.

PARKER
Bronson. Wait, he was murdered?

BECKETT
Yes. And now other people’s lives are at stake. Now tell us everything that you know about Dreamworld.

EXT – WASHINGTON D.C CAFÉ, DAYTIME

INT – CAFÉ

PARKER
First time I heard about Dreamworld was in ’03. I was serving with the 173rd in Kandahar at the time. The story stuck with me so about a year ago I started poking around. Found out it was a forward operating base in northern Afghanistan launching covert special ops in the region.

BECKETT
Did Bronson work at that base?

PARKER
Yeah. Yeah, I’d heard his name a couple times so I approached him.

MCCORD
And what did he tell you?

PARKER
Nothing at all. In fact, he seemed pretty freaked out that I knew he was stationed there. He asked me how much I knew, about him, Dreamworld. About what he’d done.

BECKETT
Wait, wait. What did he mean by that?

PARKER
He never told me. Whatever it was he didn’t want it getting out. Next thing I know, my editor’s killing the story. At the personal request of Defense Secretary Reed.

MCCORD’S jaw drops.

BECKETT
These conversations that you had with Bronson, did he ever mention the word ‘Valkyrie’?

PARKER shakes his head.

PARKER
No, why? What’s Valkyrie?

MCCORD
Wait … the Secretary of Defense himself called to kill the story? That’s unusual.

PARKER
Try unheard of. But I’m guessing that the subject matter struck a nerve. Look, prior to his appointment as the Secretary of Defense, General Reed was in charge of central command, which ran all missions out of Dreamworld.

BECKETT
Are you suggesting the Secretary of Defense is hiding something?

PARKER
You have another explanation?

She doesn’t.

EXT – WASHINGTON D.C STREET

BECKETT
So a stolen military toxin and a secret government base. I mean, what do you think this is all about?

MCCORD
I don’t know, but I have a feeling Bronson did.

They keep walking.

BECKETT
Where are we headed?

MCCORD
To talk to the one person that might actually know what’s going on. Former commander of Dreamworld, Defense Secretary Reed.

EST – PENTAGON, DAYTIME

INT – DEFENSE SECRETARY REED’S OFFICE

DEFENSE SECRETARY REED walks towards his office. He doesn’t even have to open the door; a MARINE guarding it does it for him.

MCCORD
Mr. Secretary.

DEFENSE SECRETARY REED
This must be damned important if the Attorney General’s personally asking me to take this meeting.

MCCORD
It is. Three days ago a lethal toxin was stolen from a government lab. Our investigations led us to the murder of an ex-Marine Jack Bronson. Do you know him?

REED
It’s possible. A lot of men served under my command. Why? You think he was involved in this theft.

BECKETT
No, but he may have known who was. We believe this is connected to a military base named Dreamworld.

REED
Well I hate to break it to you, but Dreamworld’s a myth. It’s a military legend. It doesn’t exist.

BECKETT tries hard to not roll her eyes.

BECKETT
Are you kidding me? Are we actually going to play this game?

MCCORD
Sir –

REED
Agent Beckett, was it?

BECKETT
Whoever took that toxin, if they use it there will be mass casualties. So if you know something –

MCCORD
Sir.

She effectively breaks the fight brewing between BECKETT and REED.

MCCORD
Someone was writing an article about Dreamworld. You personally had that story killed. Why?

REED
Why? Because the enemy reads newspapers. And there’s no way in hell I’m gonna risk American lives by handing out operational details about a special ops base. (pointedly) If such a base existed.

BECKETT
What about Bronson. What’s his connection to that base?

REED just looks at her and she has to suppress another eyeroll and play along.

BECKETT
If it indeed does exist.

REED regards them. He takes a step back and finally answers.

REED
Everything I’m about to say is off the books, are we clear.

They don’t hesitate.

MCCORD
Yes.

BECKETT
Yes.

REED
Bronson was an outstanding Marine. But he only worked one mission out of there. A high value airstrike in Jalalabad that took out Anwar Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s number two.

MCCORD
What was Bronson’s role?

REED
He was our man on the ground, set up in a nearby building. He reported when Zawahiri went in the house. Then when the airstrike was launched he painted the house with a laser to guide the missile.

BECKETT
Did the word ‘Valkyrie’ have anything to do with this strike? Was it the name of a mission, or a code name?

REED
No. It’s not familiar. Look, that operation was a big win for us. It crippled Al-Qaeda’s entire command structure.

MCCORD
Was there any talk of Al-Qaeda retaliating?

REED
There was chatter. Always is. But we took out Zawahiri a year ago and they never hit us back.

BECKETT
Unless they just did. And this is just the beginning.

INT – FBI OFFICE

VILANTE
I have Homeland tightening security at every likely D.C target: government buildings, tourist attractions, transit hubs.

MCCORD
The bad news is the toxin’s versatile. It could be deployed through the ventilation system, it could contaminate a reservoir, it could be detonated with a bomb and release a toxic plume over the city. And if that happens we’d be dealing with a lot more than just a couple of deaths on our hands and - (she realizes what she’s said and turns to CASTLE) I am so sorry.

CASTLE
(he shrugs) No, it’s your job. And if we stop the next attack, it might mean saving me. But if this is Al Qaeda retaliation, how do they know about Bronson?

BECKETT
He was on the ground during the airstrike. He might have been seen by locals or Zawahiri family members.

VILANTE
Well let’s check for any Zawahiri family members, friends, or associates in the D.C area. If Al-Qaeda is about to strike, they must have people on the ground.

He leaves. MCCORD hesitates, but she excuses herself, too.

MCCORD
I’ll be in the tech room.

BECKETT turns to CASTLE.

BECKETT
Look –

CASTLE
I’m okay. I – (his phone rings and he pulls it out) – it’s my mother. She’s been calling all morning. Can’t avoid her forever.

BECKETT nods and he steps away to take the call.

CASTLE
Hello Mother. To what do I owe the pleasure?

MARTHA RODGERS and ALEXIS CASTLE are still at the loft.

MARTHA
Richard! You were ushered out of here last night like a common criminal, you don’t answer my calls, what the hell is going on?

CASTLE finds an out of the way area to sit.

CASTLE
No, Mother, I’m fine.

ALEXIS CASTLE
Dad, did they arrest you? Do you need us to bail you out?

PI jumps up from the couch.

PI
Ooh, what about a lawyer, Mr. C? I know a guy at the ACLU.

MARTHA
(scoffs) Oh, please.

She takes the phone off speaker and raises it to her ear.

CASTLE
No, I just has some … uh, special knowledge of a case that Beckett’s working on. She had them send down an escort, that’s all.

MARTHA
Oh. Well thank God. Um … oh, Gina called this morning. She has a bunch of books to sign for some company VIPs.

CASTLE
Right. Um … there’s in my office at the back bookcase. If I’m … (he struggles with what to say) … if I’m not there tomorrow she can come pick them up. And Mother? Thank you.

MARTHA doesn’t say anything, but something doesn’t sit right with her.

ALEXIS
When’s he coming back?

CASTLE hears her in the background.

CASTLE
Let me talk to Alexis.

MARTHA
He wants to talk to you, honey.

She holds the phone out but she’s distracted. Something isn’t right.

ALEXIS
Hey Dad.

CASTLE
Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow morning. And um … you know I love you, right?

ALEXIS
Of course.

He’s interrupted by DOCTOR GOLDBERG.

GOLDBERG
(whispered) It’s time for your next shot.

CASTLE
(low) Already?

ALEXIS
Dad? Everything okay?

CASTLE
Yeah. They’re calling me, so I have to go.

His voice wavers.

ALEXIS
Okay. See you tomorrow.

CASTLE
Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow.

Except he knows he might not. It takes him longer to hang up than it should.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

ALEXIS
Did Dad sound weird to you?

MARTHA wraps her arm around ALEXIS. She knew it wasn’t just her.

EST – WASHINGTON D.C, DAYTIME

INT – FBI OFFICE

BECKETT
Sir, we’ve got something.

MCCORD
Turns out you were right about Zawahiri’s family. We identified six members of his extended family living in the US. Four in California and two cousins living right here in DC.

BECKETT
We were in the process of running them down when Hendricks found this.

HENDRICKS plays a video.

HENDRICKS
In reconstructing Bronson’s movements prior to his death, we were able to track him to here, a coffee shop in DuPont Circle. A few seconds after he leaves … this man follows him out.

He pauses the video.

MCCORD
We’ve ID’d him as Waqas Rasheed, second cousin to Zawahiri.

HENDRICKS
And Agent Richmond is trying to track him down, but here’s what we know. He has duel American/Afghan citizenship, he’s a graduate engineering student at Georgetown.

BECKETT
And sir, he was in Jalalabad the night of the Zawahiri airstrike. Five of his other cousins were killed in the attack.

MCCORD
Burying that many family members, that could radicalize anyone.

RICHMOND
Got him. We got him. We have a live feed of Rasheed waling east on 14th Street between E and F.

RICHMOND plays the footage.

VILANTE
Backpack.

MCCORD
Could be the toxin.

BECKETT
And the antidote.

VILANTE
Let’s move.

They don’t waste any time.

EXT – WASHINGTON D.C STREET

WAQAS RASHEED is walking along the sidewalk. AGEST start to surround him and he gets nervous, but it’s not until BECKETT and MCCORD pull up and get out of their car does he make a run for it.

BECKETT
Stop!

MCCORD
Stop!

They chase him down the sidewalk and across the street.

BECKETT
Federal agent. Stop!

He doesn’t. Eventually BECKETT catches up with him enough to tackle him to the ground. MCCORD cuffs him while BECKETT rifles through the backpack. It has a computer and schoolbooks, but no toxin or antidote.

BECKETT
It’s not here. (to RASHEED) Where’s the toxin? (he doesn’t respond) Rasheed! Where’s the toxin?

He stays silent.

INT - FBI OFFICE

VILANTE and CASTLE watch RASHEED on the monitor.

CASTLE
What if he doesn’t talk?

VILANTE
He’ll talk. They always do.

CASTLE
What if he doesn’t talk in time?

VILANTE
We have teams combing his apartment. If he has the toxin and the antidote, they’ll find them.

CASTLE nods.

CASTLE
Thanks. For letting me be a part of this.

VILANTE
(smiles) When you write your next novel, maybe you’ll find a place for a dashing Colombian American federal agent.

CASTLE
Consider it done.

MCCORD and BECKETT walk in.

VILANTE
Anything at Rasheed’s?

BECKETT
We went over every inch of his place and there is no sign of the antidote or the toxin. He may have hidden it somewhere …

MCCORD
Either that, or it’s already out there, ready to be deployed.

It’s not what anyone wants.

VILANTE
Break him.

INT – FBI INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT and MCCORD walk into the room.

RASHEED
So why am I here? What’s this about, huh?

He gestures to his handcuffs.

BECKETT
You’re related to Anwar Zawahiri, is that correct?

RASHEED
A man doesn’t choose his family, okay? I had nothing to do with Anwar or his beliefs.

BECKETT
Yet you were in Jalalabad the night that he died.

RASHEED
Yes, but not to see him. I have relatives there. I was spending time with them for Ramadan.

MCCORD
I understand that five of your relatives were killed in that US missile strike.

RASHEED
And for that I blame Anwar and them for being with him. Now why am I here?

MCCORD
You studied engineering. Specifically electrical system designs for commercial buildings.

RASHEED
(laughs) You have a gift for making every fact sound sinister.

MCCORD
Well, you’d be able to break into a secure facility.

RASHEED
I didn’t break into anything. I want an attorney. I have a right to an attorney.

MCCORD
Enemy combatants don’t get attorneys. Or trials.

BECKETT
Where is the toxin, Rasheed?

RASHEED
I don’t know what you’re talking about!

BECKETT
I think you do. In fact, I know you do. (she slides a photo across the table to him) This is Jack Bronson, former US Marine. He was in Jalalabad the night of the strike. And this is you, following him outside of a coffee shop. Three hours later he was dead. You’re not going to tell me that’s a coincidence.

RASHEED takes a second to respond. Before he does, he looks from BECKETT to MCCORD.

RASHEED
This is about him? Well you have it wrong. (BECKETT waits) I wasn’t following him. He was following me.

MCCORD
Why would he be following you?

RASHEED
He wanted to know if I had talked to anybody about our secret.

He’s hesitant, almost like he’s ashamed.

MCCORD
Your secret? What secret?

RASHEED
The night of the missile strike I was at my brother’s home, just a block away from Anwar’s. I heard the explosion. I ran out. The house was destroyed. I was the first one there, so I wanted to see if there were any survivors. And that’s … uh … that’s when I saw Bronson standing there in the rubble, holding a body.

BECKETT
Whose body?

RASHEED
A young woman. One of the servants in the house. And when he saw me, he drew his gun. And I thought for sure I was a dead man. But then he spoke. And he knew my name, and where I lived, and what I did, and he told me that if I told anyone about what I had seen he would kill me. And then he left. With the body.

MCCORD
He took away a dead servant’s body?

RASHEED
I’ve done my best to forget about it all. Until he found me in the coffee shop and he kept asking me, ‘who did you tell, why are they setting me up?’ and I swore to him I didn’t tell anybody. Okay, whatever is happening here, whatever is going on, I swear to you I have nothing to do with it.

INT – FBI OFFICES

VILANTE
So none of the intelligence agencies can link Rasheed to known Al-Qaeda elements. And he’s got a solid alibi for the night of the break in.

MCCORD
He could still be involved. Is there any chatter about an imminent attack?

VILANTE
No more than usual. What’s your take on Rasheed?

He gestures to BECKETT and she sighs.

BECKETT
I don’t think he’s our guy.

VILANE
Based on?

BECKETT
His story. I mean, he said that he saw Bronson carrying a servant girl’s body? I mean, the only way that he’d come up with a story like that was if it was true.

CASTLE
So aside from the name Valkyrie, which no one you’ve spoken to seems to know anything about, we pretty much have nothing. Which means I’m a dead man.

BECKETT
No, Castle. Not nothing. We have what Bronson told you, what Rasheed told us. We know that this revolves around something that happened the night Zawahiri was killed. Something more than just the airstrike. Now what we have to do is figure out what it was.

It’s something, but it’s starting to wear on CASTLE.

VILANTE
I’ll have DOD send over the mission documents. Maybe something in there will help shed some light.

He leaves. CASTLE and BECKETT share a look.

INT – FBI TECH ROOM

BECKETT
These are the mission documents?

RICHMOND is tabbing through the images, but they’re mostly blacked out.

MCCORD
Is there even a sentence that doesn’t have redactions?

RICHMOND
Not a complete one. Somebody is definitely trying to hide whatever went on here.

BECKETT
(defeated) I’m sorry, Castle. This is … pointless.

CASTLE
(to RICHMOND) Can you do a word search for Valkyrie?

He tries, but nothing pops up.

RICHMOND
It doesn’t appear in the document. Probably because it’s redacted.

CASTLE
Right. But what about a search for blacked out eight letter words the same length as Valkyrie?

MCCORD gives him a pointless look.

MCCORD
Aren’t all eight letter words the same length?

CASTLE
Well, not in a proportional font like Times Roman. Um … (he gestures to the image) … each character will vary in size from the narrowest, the lowercase i, to the widest, the uppercase W. So the combination of characters in the word Valkyrie will create a very specific length, not unlike a typographical fingerprint.

RICHMOND
I may be able to work with that.

He gets to work.

BECKETT
If we can find the blacked out Valkyrie we might be able to figure out what it means from the words around it.

CASTLE
It’s a longshot, I know.

RICHMOND
Not that long. We’ve got some hits. These are thumbnails of the whole document. It’s everywhere, highlighted in red.

BECKETT
The last page seems to have the largest concentration. Can you enlarge it?

He does and they try to read it.

MCCORD
Target acquired. Missile engaged. Target destroyed. (she turns) This is the transcript to the missile strike.

CASTLE
Maybe Valkyrie is a code name for Zawahiri?

BECKETT
No, it’s gotta be more than that. But there’s not enough context to piece this thing together. What we need is an unredacted transcript.

RICHMOND thinks, then realizes.

RICHMOND
Or the original audio recording.

MCCORD
What are you thinking, Richmond?

RICHMOND
For a strike in Jalalabad, they’d probably use an F-16 out of Bagram Air Base. I did a year as Chief Technical Officer at Bagram. Part of my job was dumping the fighter jet’s flight data onto a central server. If I can access it, I might be able to get that audio.

BECKETT
What are we waiting for, McCord? (she shrugs) We played by the rules and that’s what they gave us.

MCCORD hesitates.

MCCORD
Do it.

She leaves and RICHMOND turns to get back to work. BECKETT’S phone rings and she pulls it out to check it.

BECKETT
Castle? It’s your mom. What do you want me to tell her?

He shakes his head.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

MARTHA waits, the phone ringing. Finally, BECKETT’S voicemail kicks in.

BECKETT
You’ve reached the voicemail of Special Agent Kate Beckett in the Attorney General’s office. Please leave a message.

MARTHA sighs. She doesn’t leave a message before she hangs up.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

KEVIN RYAN and JAVIER ESPOSITO exit the elevator.

KEVIN RYAN
I just always thought that you and I would have kids together.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Really? (he gestures) You talk to Jenny about this?

RYAN sighs.

RYAN
No, you know what I mean. They’d be on the same T-ball and pop warner teams. We’d co-coach.

ESPOSITO
Co-coach?

RYAN
You want to be head coach?

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

RYAN
Try getting a date first.

ESPOSITO gestures past RYAN.

ESPOSITO
Dude.

They stop short.

RYAN
Hey, Martha. What brings you here?

She startles. She’s still all in her head.

MARTHA
Look, I know you’re busy. But I’m – I’m worried about Richard?

ESPOSITO
Why?

MARTHA
Last night he was just whisked away by a couple of Federal Agent … thugs. Then when I talked to him today he was nice. Sincere. No smart ass quips. So something is definitely wrong. And Katherine isn’t answering my calls.

RYAN
Well … uh … I’m sure there’s an explanation.

MARTHA
And I need you to find out what it is.

INT – FBI BREAK ROOM

CASTLE sits as DOCTOR GOLDBERG gives him another shot.

GOLDBERG
Any trouble breathing?

CASTLE
Yeah, but I – I think that’s just anxiety.

GOLDBERG
I can get you a sedative.

CASTLE
No, I – thank you. I think I’d rather stay sharp as long as possible.

MCCORD walks in. She’s checking her messages on her phone and isn’t paying attention. When she sees CASTLE and GOLDBERG she startles.

MCCORD
Oh! Sorry.

CASTLE
No. No problem. We’re all done here.

GOLDBERG packs his things and leaves.

MCCORD
You want a coffee?

CASTLE
Ah, no. I’d rather die than drink any more of that sludge.

She turns from the coffee machine and gives him an ‘oohh’. He makes a face.

CASTLE
Too soon?

He chuckles to himself as she pours herself a cup.

CASTLE
Agent McCord, could I ask you a question?

MCCORD
Yeah.

CASTLE
How is she doing here?

MCCORD
Beckett? She’s good. She has a lot of potential.

CASTLE
(he nods, more to himself) So she’ll be okay.

MCCORD
Hey. She’s going to be great.

He forces a smile.

RICHMOND
Hey, McCord. I’m in.

INT – FBI TECH ROOM

RICHMOND
I cross referenced the flight recording database at Bagram with parameters from the mission documents. If that information was accurate, this should be audio of the Zawahiri strike.

He presses a few more keys and lets the audio play.

PILOT (AUDIO)
Alpha 1, Eagle’s contacted target.

REED (AUDIO)
Copy Eagle. Omaha, what’s your status? Over.

BECKETT
That’s Defense Secretary Reed.

MCCORD
As theater commander he’d be running the operation.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Alpha 1, Valkyrie’s still inside target.

CASTLE
That’s Bronson’s voice. So Valkyrie must be Zawahiri.

REED (AUDIO)
Eagle, prepare to engage.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Alpha 1, Valkyrie’s still inside. Signaling to get her out.

BECKETT
“Get her out.” Valkyrie’s not Zawahiri. Maybe it’s the servant.

REED (AUDIO)
Omaha, Valkyrie needs to get out now.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
I’m signaling, Alpha 1. No response. Stand by.

REED (AUDIO)
We’re not missing our window. Eagle, this is Alpha 1. Engage target.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Negative, Eagle. We have an American intelligence asset in there and we need to wait for her to get out.

CASTLE
Intelligence asset?

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Just give me two minutes.

REED (AUDIO)
Negative, Omaha. We can’t risk losing what we’re after. On my authority you are clear to engage target. Over.

PILOT (AUDIO)
Missile engaged.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
No, Valkyrie’s still in there!

They watch the screen as the video plays back. There’s a flash of white light where the missile hits.

PILOT (AUDIO)
Target destroyed. Eagle heading home.

REED (AUDIO)
Omaha, retrieve Valkyrie’s body and get her back to Dreamwold. Protocol boomerang. Over.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Roger.

They’re stunned.

CASTLE
Valkyrie was the servant. She was one of ours.

MCCORD
No wonder the transcript was so heavily redacted.

BECKETT
Secretary Reed killed an American operative.

CASTLE
And then ordered Bronson to cover it up.

INT – FBI TECH ROOM

PILOT (AUDIO)
Missile engaged.

VILANTE watches and listens to the audio BECKETT and MCCORD have already heard.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
No, Valkyrie’s still in there!

PILOT (AUDIO)
Target destroyed. Eagle heading home.

REED (AUDIO)
Omaha, retrieve Valkyrie’s body and get her back to Dreamwold. Protocol boomerang. Over.

BRONSON (AUDIO)
Roger.

VILANTE is as stunned as they were.

VILANTE
So, what are we saying here? That Bronson was murdered to cover up the death of an American operative? With the implication that General Reed is behind it? The sitting Secretary of Defense?

MCCORD
A position he got largely because of his success in taking out Zawahiri.

BECKETT
His political star was on the rise. Maybe he couldn’t afford to have damaging details out there.

VILANTE
But if he wanted to silence Bronson, why would he go to the trouble of setting him up first? And none of this explains the theft of the toxin.

BECKETT
Sir, he lied to us, about Valkyrie and about Bronson. Either he’s involved, or he knows a hell of a lot more than he’s telling us.

VILANTE
Only you have no proof. (she tries to school her face) Listen, Beckett, I know what’s at stake. For you and for Castle. But I can’t let you go at him without concrete evidence.

Except that hasn’t stopped her before.

INT – FBI OFFICE

BECKETT walks around the corner. CASTLE is coming down the stairs by himself. He’s leaning heavily on the railing.

CASTLE
Hey. So I’m guessing Vilante said no to the idea of waterboarding the truth out of Secretary Reed?

BECKETT
Yeah. Something like that. (she studies him) How are you feeling?

CASTLE
Ah – (he shrugs) – good. I think I’m just due for another shot.

He forces a smile and heads off. She watches him go, knowing that he’s covering how badly he’s really starting to feel.

EXT – SENATOR REED’S HOUSE

BECKETT parks her car and approaches the house on a mission. She’s stopped by his bodyguard, but she flashes her credentials.

BECKETT
I’m Agent Beckett from the Attorney General’s office. I need to speak with Secretary Reed.

BODYGUARD
Do you have an appointment?

BECKETT
No. This is a matter of national security.

BODYGUARD
I’m sorry, if you don’t have an appointment I have to ask you to –

BECKETT
I understand. Just please, get to the Secretary. I told you, this is a matter of national –

BODYGUARD
Ma’am, you need to stand down.

She’s not paying attention to him. REED comes out of his house with his wife, and she calls to him over the BODYGUARD’S shoulder.

BECKETT
Secretary Reed! Secretary Reed, Agent Beckett from the Attorney General’s office. We met earlier today, sir.

She tries to duck past his security, but she can’t.

MARY REED
Michael, who is that?

BODYGUARD
Ma’am, you seen to step back right now.

REED
I’ll take care of it.

BECKETT
Sir, we just need to speak. This is a matter of national security.

REED steps between his BODYGUARD and BECKETT.

REED
Joseph. (he gestures for him to leave. He waits until they’re alone before facing BECKETT) You show up at my home? Who the hell do you think you are?

BECKETT
I should ask you the same thing. You lied about Valkyrie. You obstructed a federal investigation.

REED
I told you all you need to know.

BECKETT
I need to know everything. What is going on and what are you hiding?

REED
You are barking up the wrong tree, Agent. And it’s gonna cost you.

BECKETT
There’s a deadly toxin out there. If so much as one person dies because you won’t cooperate, then -

REED
You’ll what? Look, whatever this is, it has nothing to do with me. You might want to remember the first rule of combat: you don’t ever start a war you can win.

He leaves her and walks back to his house. She watches him go before he phone rings. She checks it and sighs before giving up and turning to her car before she answers.

BECKETT
What?

ESPOSITO
Hey, Beckett. It’s uh – Esposito and Ryan. Is everything okay?

BECKETT
Fine. Why?

She’s short and terse and it’s not okay.

RYAN
Castle’s mom came by all worried about him.

That makes her stop. She sends one last look at REED’S house.

ESPOSITO
C’mon, Beckett. What’s going on?

BECKETT
Everything’s fine.

She hangs up.

INT – FBI OFFICE

BECKETT watches CASTLE meet with GOLDBERG.

GOLDBERG
… in through the nose, out through the mouth.

CASTLE
Like yoga.

She’s interrupted by VILANTE.

VILANTE
What the hell were you thinking?

BECKETT
Sir, I was just following a hunch.

VILANTE
Next time follow orders. I had to go to the mat with the Attorney General to keep your job.

BECKETT
Wait, Secretary Reed complained to the Attorney General?

VILANTE
If that’s surprises you then you’re not as smart as I thought.

BECKETT
No, sir, it’s just that if Reed was behind this he wouldn’t have made that call.

VILANTE
Right, because he wouldn’t have wanted to call attention to himself. (he realizes) Is that why you went out there? To force him to show his hand? (she doesn’t respond. they both know the answer is yes) I’m impressed.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, don’t be. Looks like I just ruled out our only lead.

She turns back to watch CASTLE.

MCCORD
Guys, I got something.

INT – FBI TECH ROOM

MCCORD
I was following up on Valkyrie to see if there was anything more to the story. This is a family photo we got from Rasheed. He identified this woman as the servant whose body Bronson took after the airstrike.

She enlarges and circles the woman’s photo.

MCCORD
And we’ve identified her as Farrah Usman.

HENDRICKS
She’s listed as a civilian contractor working out of the US consulate in Kabul.

MCCORD
It’s a typical cover for an intelligence operative.

HENDRICKS
She was supposedly killed by a roadside IED the same night as the Zawahiri attack.

VILANTE
Well, that makes sense. The injuries from an IED look a lot like those from an airstrike.

MCCORD
That’s not the story. Look at this. So Farrah Usman’s body was shipped back to Dover two days later and was claimed by this man. (she taps a key and turns to BECKETT) Recognize that name?

BECKETT
Brad Parker, the reporter?

MCCORD
One and the same.

MCCORD smiles.

BECKETT
I don’t get it. How is he connected to Valkyrie?

MCCORD
According to the paperwork he was her fiancé. He’s involved in this whole thing.

INT – FBI OFFICE

MCCORD
As a combat vet Brad Parker would have known his fiancée’s injuries weren’t from an IED.

BECKETT
That’s why he was doing the story on Dreamworld and why he tracked down Bronson. He was trying to figure out how she actually died.

MCCORD
And he’s ex-military. He would have had the skills to pull off that heist.

VILANTE
So what are we saying here? That Parker stole the toxin because of his fiancée? That this is about revenge?

CASTLE
Well, the toxin would be perfect for that. It’s deadly and undetectable by autopsy, unless you’re specifically looking for it.

CASTLE is looking worse. He’s tired and ashen and it looks like it’s taking effort to hold a conversation.

MCCORD
Which is why he tried to hide the fact that it was stolen by staging the other theft in the building and framing Bronson.

VILANTE
Where are we on tracking Parker?

HENDRICKS
He’s not at work. No one’s seen him all day.

RICHMOND
I can’t get a trace on his cell signal. He must have turned it off.

BECKETT
Sir, if there’s the slightest chance –

VILANTE
Hit his apartment. Go.

MCCORD and BECKETT move to leave. CASTLE tries to follow them.

VILLANTE
Castle. (BECKETT stops to watch) You stay here.

CASTLE
I was given less than a day to live just a little less than a day ago. If Parker has that antidote, I need to go with them.

VILANTE studies him.

VILANTE
Okay.

INT – BRAD PARKER’S APARTMENT

They break down the door and BECKETT enters first. She sweeps the room, gun drawn, and MCCORD and HENDRICKS follow. CASTLE staggers in after them and starts searching.

AGENT
Clear.

HENDRICKS
Bedroom’s clear.

MCCORD
Clear. Where the hell is this guy?

BECKETT
All right, guys, let’s get to work. If that toxin or antidote are in here I want them found.

They search. CASTLE reads a paper.

CASTLE
These are blueprints from the research building the toxin was stolen from.

BECKETT
A confidential file on the toxin. Parker’s our guy.

CASTLE
He’s got background on Secretary Reed. Research materials.

BECKETT
Reed’s his next target. (CASTLE nods) He’s going after the man that gave the order that killed his fiancée.

MCCORD
And I think I know where. This is confirmation of Parker’s press credentials for Reed’s address at the Naval Academy. Reed’s talking to new cadets at 5PM today.

HENDRICKS
That’s in 20 minutes.

BECKETT
We gotta lock Reed down. (into her walkie) Secure Parker and get that antidote.

They leave. CASTLE struggles to keep up with them.

EXT – NAVAL ACADEMY

SECRETARY REED gets out of his car and is greeted by ADMIRAL JOHNSON.

ADMIRAL JOHNSON
Thanks for coming, Mr. Secretary.

REED
It’s my pleasure, Admiral Johnson. It’s nice to get out of the office.

JOHNSON
I hope you don’t mind that we do the press line first.

REED
Oh, that’s fine.

EXT – WASHINGTON D.C STREET

BECKETT, MCCORD, and their team are racing to find REED. They’re not wasting any time.

INT – BECKETT’S CAR

CASTLE raises his hand to his head. BECKETT notices. He’s not looking too well.

BECKETT
Do you want me to get ahold of Dr. Goldberg and have him meet us there?

CASTLE
He already gave me my last shot. They only thing that can help me now is the antidote.

That’s not what BECKETT wanted to hear. Her walkie crackles.

MCCORD
Naval Academy set. The horn says Parker hasn’t checked in yet.

HENDRICKS
Security teams are already on site looking for him.

BECKETT
Copy that.

CASTLE
It doesn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t Parker be there yet?

BECKETT
There’s thousands of people there. Maybe they just haven’t spotted him yet.

CASTLE
Why go through the trouble of getting press credentials if you’re not going to use them?

BECKETT
Unless he’s pulling another headfake. (off his look) Like the encryption system was a cover for the toxin.

CASTLE
Military tactics. Always making sure we’re a step behind.

BECKETT
Except a step behind what? I mean, this has to be about revenge so this has to be about Reed.

CASTLE
And he wants to do to Reed what Reed did to him. Take away the person he loves most.

They share a look.

BECKETT
His wife.

CASTLE nods. BECKETT thinks for a split second before she pulls a hard u-turn and heads in the opposite direction.

MCCORD
Beckett, why did you turn around? Is it Castle?

BECKETT
No. We have a hunch.

MCCORD
What kind of hunch?

RECEPTIONIST
Defense Secretary Reed’s office.

BECKETT
This is Agent Beckett from the Attorney General’s investigative –

RECEPTIONIST
Hold, please.

BECKETT
No – (she’s already been put on hold) – wait. Hello?

CASTLE
Kate –

BECKETT
Castle, just stay with me. We’re almost there.

He’s trying, but it’s hard.

EXT – SECRETARY REED’S HOUSE

PARKER
Hi. Brad Parker, here for the interview.

BODYGUARD
Mrs. Reed’s expecting you.

PARKER
Thank you.

He follows the BODYGUARD inside.

INT – BECKETT’S CAR

BECKETT is trying to split her focus between getting in touch with REED’S wife and CASTLE. CASTLE looks worse by the minute.

RECEPTIONIST
Defense Secretary Reed’s office, how can I help you?

INT – REED’S HOUSE

JULIE
Excuse me, Mrs. Reed? Mr. Parker.

MARY REED
Thanks, Julie.

JULIE nods and smiles and leaves PARKER alone with MARY.

MARY
Please, make yourself comfortable, Mr. Parker.

PARKER
Thank you, ma’am.

MARY
Can I pour you some tea?

The phone rings and she checks the ID. It’s the Pentagon – her husband’s office – calling. She ignores it.

PARKER
Well, only If you’re having some.

MARY
That’s a deal. Do you take sugar?

INT – BECKETT’S CAR

BECKETT’S call has gone to voicemail. “You’ve reached the Reeds. We’re not available. Please leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.”

BECKETT
C’mon. Damn it.

CASTLE
Kate –

BECKETT
No, Castle. Just look at me. Just hang on, okay? We’re almost there.

EXT – REED’S HOUSE

BECKETT pulls her car into the driveway and parks. She gets out and notices that the door is left open. CASTLE gets out too, but falls to the grass before he can even shut his door.

BECKETT
Castle! No. No!

She rushes to his side, but he’s passed out.

BECKETT
Rick, look at me. Are you –

She runs her hand over his head before she stands and faces the door.

INT – REED’S HOUSE

BECKETT sweeps the area, her gun raised. There’s no one around as she moves through the house. She walks further down the hallway and sees JULIE and the BODYGUARD performing CPR on MARY.

JULIE
Mrs. Reed. (to the BODYGUARD) She’s not responding.

PARKER
(into his phone) Send an ambulance. She’s not breathing.

BECKETT takes her opportunity.

BECKETT
Parker, drop the phone.

He moves slowly to raise his hands.

BODYGUARD
What are you doing?

BECKETT
Where’s the antidote, Parker?

BODYGUARD
Lower your weapon.

He’s pointed his at BECKETT.

BECKETT
He poisoned Mrs. Reed!

PARKER takes the opportunity to make a break for it.

BECKETT
Stay with her!

They do. BECKETT follows after PARKER.

EXT – REED’S HOUSE

BECKETT moves slowly.

BECKETT
It’s over, Parker! We know everything. Now give us the antidote before it’s too late!

There’s no response. She moves around a corner, slowly, but something makes her turns around. PARKER is behind her. He smashes his elbow to her face and grabs her gun from her hands.

BECKETT
No, wait.

She raises her hands in front of her.

PARKER
Did Reed wait when he ordered the strike? No. No, now it’s his turn to see how it feels. She’s going to die, just like Farrah.

BECKETT
Please, Parker, she’s not the only one that you’ve poisoned. My fiancé’s dying. He needs that antidote.

PARKER
No. You don’t understand. You’re too late. It’s too late.

PARKER continues to back away. He’s stopped when there’s a click of a gun.

MCCORD
You better hope you’re wrong.

MCCORD has BECKETT’S back, her gun raised at PARKER’S head.

INT – HOSPITAL

BECKETT
Castle.

Her voice is soft over the beep of the machines. She reaches out to stroke his neck.

BECKETT
Castle.

He hums as he travels back into wakefulness.

BECKETT
Hey.

She smiles.

CASTLE
Hi. I had the strangest dream and you were there.

MARTHA
Oh, thank God.

ALEXIS
Hey Dad.

CASTLE
And you were there and you were there.

They grab is hand.

PI
Hey Mr. C. I did some healing reiki on you. Looks like it worked.

CASTLE
(dryly) And you were there.

MARTHA laughs with joy.

MARTHA
I think he’s going to be alright.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) Yeah, thanks to you.

MARTHA drops his hand.

MARTHA
Well, well, look. Why don’t we give you guys a moment. C’mon.

ALEXIS
We’ll be outside if you need us.

CASTLE
Okay.

She bends down to kiss is forehead.

CASTLE
I love you.

ALEXIS
I love you, too.

CASTLE shifts his attention to Beckett.

CASTLE
Mmm. Hey.

BECKETT
Hey.

CASTLE
How was your weekend?

She shrugs lightly, her soft smile never leaving her face.

BECKETT
You know. Uneventful. Yours?

CASTLE
Mmm… same.

BECKETT
Mmm.

CASTLE
But at least I got to see you.

Her smile falters and she stokes his forehead.

BECKETT
I’m so sorry, Castle. (she pauses) This wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

CASTLE
What, Washington? Or us? (she doesn’t say anything) Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing. Just because we haven’t figured it out yet doesn’t mean we won’t. Tell you what, though. Next time I say I’m dying to see you let’s keep it metaphoric.

She smiles.

BECKETT
(softly) Deal.

He hums again and settles into this bed. He’s alive, but he’s still weak. She keeps a hand on his shoulder, a connection, as he drifts back to sleep.

INT – HOSPITAL

BECKETT exits to the waiting room.

MCCORD
How’s he doing?

BECKETT
He’s okay, considering. What about Mrs. Reed?

MCCORD
Uh, she will pull through.

They sit.

BECKETT
And what about Secretary Reed? What’s going to happen with him?

MCCORD
What do you mean?

BECKETT
He withheld information to save his own ass. People almost died because of it.

MCCORD
Well, we both know it’s not that simple.

BECKETT
Well … there’s going to be an investigation at least, right?

MCCORD
You want everything to be black or white, I get it. But in this town it rarely is. And to do this job you have to make peace with that.

That doesn’t sit well with BECKETT.

MCCORD
But hey, that was a hell of a hunch about Mrs. Reed.

BECKETT sighs and stands.

MCCORD
You should feel really good about this.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, that was Castle.

MCCORD
But you were smart enough to act on it. That was your call.

BECKETT
You backed me up without even knowing my play.

MCCORD
(admirably) That’s what partners do.

She walks away and leaves BECKETT. BECKETT watches her go before turning back to the door to the patient rooms.

BECKETT
Yeah. That’s what partners do.

THE END

More pages