Sonny and Taggert Meet on the Docks
March 1997. The character of Detective Marcus Taggert has recently arrived in Port Charles. He has been harassing Sonny since he arrived. Sonny isn’t sure why his vendetta is so strong, so he has Jason do a background check. It turns out that Taggert was Deke’s partner. Sonny requests a meeting with Taggert at the docks. It is late at night.
Taggert: You wanted to seem me?
Sonny: Other way around. You’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time.
Taggert: Shoot yourself up with some bad smack, Sonny? Cause you aren’t making a lot of sense.
Sonny: You are. Finally. Sergeant Timothy Deacon Woods. Never made detective. Wasn’t smart enough. Just a dumb vicious beat cop till the day he died. When was that eight, nine years ago?
Taggert: Eight. Eight years, seven months. He died in October or don’t you remember?
Sonny: Oh, there’s not much I remember about him.
Taggert: You weren’t at the funeral. He was buried with honors, despite how he died. (Points to his head and heart). Bullet in the head and one in the heart. The rest of the force got the message loud and clear. They all thought he was dirty. Never occurred to them that his stepson was connected. How’d you do it Sonny? Did you send somebody? Or did you pull the trigger yourself. How did you kill the best man I ever knew?
Sonny: The best man you ever knew? That says a lot about you Taggert. Considering Deke was an animal who used his badge to shove people around. But, I could see why you’d like that. You do it yourself. But, even you, the freak that you are, how can you consider the guy that arrested you a role model?
Taggert: He saved my life that day. He got the D.A. to go easy on me. He told the state I’d be better off with my mother than in custody. He walked me out of the station that day and told me to meet him on the playground on Saturday.
Sonny: The playground?
Taggert: He was standing there with a basketball. I told him I was good. He watched me shoot for a while. And then he told me I better choose another profession.
Sonny: Police work.
Taggert: I chose that myself. You see, Deke, he wouldn’t care what I chose, as long as I stayed in school. See, Deke, he said no education, no life. And then he’d tell me about his wife and how her son ran away and broke her heart. I knew Deke two years before he ever spoke your name. And that was just to let me know you hooked up with some wise guy Scully. Joe Scully. Like you hadn’t done enough damage. Destroyed his marriage, trashed his house. Had to go and connect his name to organized crime.
Sonny: (Disgusted) I never carried that bastard’s name.
Taggert: Oh yeah. You made sure of that because you hated him.
Sonny: And you loved him. Well it all makes sense now. Deke taught you a lot didn’t he? How much fun it is to be a cop. You do what you want, anybody tries to stop you, hey they’re breaking the law. Arrest them. Lock them up or maybe even press charges. Or maybe even leave them in their cell until you get bored brutalizing them.
Taggert: Or their married girlfriend comes and bails them out.
Sonny: And what about the people that don’t have girlfriends? Do they trust the system? Justice isn’t blind, she’s a whore. And civil rights are just pretty words on a piece of paper. They don’t mean a damn thing on the wrong end of a Billy club. That’s what Deke taught me. Different lesson. Different methods.
Sonny: You think Deke saved you? I think he wanted someone to follow in his footsteps. Somebody to carry a badge, carry a gun, and kick people around. For what? A cut of the drug money? A citation from the mayor? A thirty-year pension and a chance to retire in Florida and spend your golden years looking back at all the people you brutalized who couldn’t fight back.
Taggert: Listen to little Ricko Suave go. The Cuban revolutionary. Wow. I never knew you lost so much sleep over social injustice. Does it bother you enough to coax you out of that Penthouse? What do you do . Do you stare out that window and look down at all the people and feel sorry for them. I guess you care enough about their plight to sell them heroin at a discount. Enough drugs in their veins and they feel no pain. What a humanitarian.
Sonny: Why do you need it to be me? So Deke will be right for a change? He was a bully and a coward and he’s burning in hell.
Taggert: The first day I wore this badge, I watched Deke talk down a domestic violence case. He took the gun out of the man’s hands before he had a chance to turn on his wife and kids. (Intense and passionate) He showed me that a good cop saves lives. I saw these things and I know them. Just like I know that you are a lying, good for nothing, drug dealing, smack pushing, pimp. You hold your life up to Deke’s? And you tell me what was lost when he died? You think justice is a whore? (Walks closer to Sonny and points his finger at him). You better brace yourself my man, cause justice is about to turn a trick on you. You murdered him and you’re going to pay.
Sonny: Deke was found dead in an alley. Shot with his own revolver. No prints, no witnesses. Nobody cares ten years after the fact how a bad cop died.
Taggert: Statute of Limitations doesn’t run out on a murder. Cop killers get the chair.
Sonny: Yeah? I was having dinner with the Cerullo family that night in Bensonhurst. Uh, Mom and Dad, five kids, two sets grandparents, about twenty cousins, who will all swear that I was there. As a matter of fact, they have pictures. But, thank you for asking. You have nothing, detective. Again. You know, I’m really starting to feel sorry for you. Spending years of you life trying to avenge an evil pig who poisoned the world by breathing. Seems like a waste of time, doesn’t it?
Taggert: I was studying you. You see, you’re not quite right, Sonnyboy. You’re kind of like your friend Morgan. Somebody says the wrong thing to you or they push you the wrong way and you go off. You go way off. You go to another planet. I mean hell, you don’t even know what happened when you were gone. I mean what do they call that? Blackout, flashback or just plane mental illness. Hmm? I mean, how close are you to the edge right now. (Walks up to Sonny and starts shoving him in his chest). How bad do you want to kill me?
Sonny: (Sonny falls back a few steps, but then steps up to Taggert). Is that how you’re going to get me? Assaulting a cop? I can beat your butt unconscious right now. I’d just call it self-defense. Valentine will have me out in twenty minutes. Because of the nice paper trail that you so kindly left. You got nothing. And now that I know the reason why, I can bring you down anytime I want to.
Taggert: Oh yeah, yeah. But, you don’t want to take me down. You want to kill me, because you see, I know the truth. Deke told me the truth. I know what you did to him and your mother.
Sonny: Say it again?
Taggert: Adella. I met her a couple of times. She was a pretty women. She kind of looks like you dead wife. You’re not really good with women are you Sonny? You don’t treat them too good. Let me ask you something. Did you smack your wife around before you got her killed? Off the record, did you do to her what you did to your mama? (Sonny has a distant look on his face and is not reacting to Taggert).
Taggert: Deke didn’t talk much about you. I knew he didn’t like you, but he wouldn’t tell me why. Just said you weren’t good to your mother and you hurt her when you left. Silly me, I thought hurt as in heartache. I didn’t get, I still don’t get, how a low life pimp like yourself could beat your own mother.
Sonny: You’re a lying bastard (softly).
Taggert: No lie. I saw it with my own eyes. You see, Deke called me the day of his wife’s birthday. Her damn birthday. You’re a freak He told me how you came after her. How you tore up the house and put her in the hospital. See, Deke didn’t want Adella to see how much he wanted you dead. So he asked me to sit with her. You did a hell of a job Sonnyboy. Her eyes were swollen shut, she had a broken jaw, along with a broken arm, and a couple of ribs. What did you do? Kick her? Did you kick your mother while she was lying on the floor? You know, I told Deke to swear out a complaint against you, but he said, no, no, no. She’d never sign it. And he was right. Your mother loved you, Sonnyboy. Even when you were beating her senseless. But, I guess you were afraid of Deke, or you thought maybe he’d get her to press charges, so you had him killed before she left the hospital. What was that? Your final gift of love? To make her a widow? After you almost killed her?
Sonny: Get away from me? (softly).
Taggert: What are you going to do? (taunting) Jump me? Come on, little big man. Bring it on. I’m a lot tougher than your mother was.
Sonny: No. I’m not going to jump you. I’m not going to hit you. I’m never going to let Deke win.
Sonny: You call yourself a detective. You’re even stupid for a cop. Or naive.(Talking calmly) Yeah, I put my mother in the hospital all right. After I found her on the kitchen floor. I went to visit her on her birthday. She didn’t answer the door, but I could see through the window that the house was a wreck. I knew what had happened. So, I kicked the door in and I found her. Found her hurt worse than he’d ever hurt her before. So, I called the ambulance and held her hand all the way to the hospital. I got her a private room and I sat with her all night. I guess when I left you must of showed up, because Deke would never show his face.
Taggert: You lie (disbelief, anger).
Sonny: What’s the matter? Taggert? Losing a piece of your childhood. All those rosy memories turning to the color of blood? HE HIT HER! He started three weeks after they got married and he kept on hitting her. But you know that already. He was like a father to you.
Taggert: Go to hell.
Sonny: I’ve been there. Courtesy of Deke. He was a hero to you, right. He taught you how to be a cop. Did you ever see how he would cuff a perp? He would fasten those bracelets real tight. Sometimes, so tight he would cut off the circulation. Did you ever see the way he put his gloves on right before he would pull out his Billy club, huh? Did you ever see him chase someone down, and just bam, bam, just beat him to a pulp and his partner would have to pull him off. He was great at what he did. He was great at his work. He had a technique. The type of technique that takes practice. And he practiced a lot. At home. I guess he felt me and my mother made better targets, than you know, a training dummy. At least we could really bleed.
Taggert: No more, okay. (Getting uncomfortable). You are not going to dishonor his memory the way you did his reputation.
Sonny: What reputation? He was dirt. Everyone knew it. That’s why no one cared how he died except poor little Taggert crying over his memory. I bet the cops are laughing at you. They’d laugh even more if they knew you came to Port Charles to take me down for nothing.
Sonny: You can’t touch me, Taggert. My lawyers have lawyers. I am out of your reach, you are out of you league and this conversation is over. (He starts walking away).
Taggert: Don’t you walk away from me?
Sonny: THEN BUST ME! Come on! Go ahead! Bust me. Take out you badge. Make up a crime. Hall me in for loitering. I’ll get out in three hours and you’ll be out of a job. You lost, Taggert. Just like Deke.
Taggert: (Sonny starts walking away again and Taggert pulls out a gun).
Sonny: Wait. Whoa, whoa, wait. Go ahead. Come on.
Taggert: I could kill you right now (pointing gun at Sonny).
Sonny: Go ahead. But, you better give it you best shot and make it count. ‘Cause see, I got people who will avenge me. And unlike you they get the job done.
(Luke Spencer walks onto the docks and interrupts them).
Luke: Pardon me boys, private shoot out or can any clown with a gun join in?
(Sonny and Taggert have a few more words. Then Taggert leaves. Luke walks up to Sonny).
Luke: What’s that idiot want now?
Sonny: (Sonny doesn’t answer him. He’s distant and lost in thought).
Luke: Sonny. Hey, Corinthos! What’s up?
Sonny: (Finally answers) I want Deke alive.
Luke: (Confused). Deke? Your stepfather?
Sonny: I want Deke alive so I can kill him. I want to pull the trigger myself.
Luke: What the hell are you talking about?
Sonny: Taggert’s grudge? So happens he was my stepfather’s protégé. My stepfather busted him when he was fourteen, gave him a dose of tough love and put his little feet on the straight and narrow path to cop hood. Taggert thinks, you’re going to love this, that my stepfather, the wife beating pig, is the best man he ever knew.
Luke: God, he doesn’t get out much.
Sonny: He looked me straight in the face and he accused me of hitting my own mother (disbelief). I guess Deke told him that and he believed it. I should have killed him . . . I should have killed him before (covers his face with his hands).
Luke: Who? Taggert?
Sonny: No. Deke. I thought about it so many times, you know. (He takes some steps away from Luke and looks towards the water). I’d be in class, with my back on fire because of the last beating. I’d cut P.E. so I wouldn’t have to change my shirt and have anybody see my marks. I’d think about where he would hide his gun and how easy it would be for me to pull the trigger before he could hit us again (talking softly, with sadness and regret).
Luke: Why didn’t you?
Sonny: I guess my mother (turns around and faces Luke again). Maybe I was scared. I was just a little boy, you know. Anyway, Deke’s dead. The only ways he’ll win is if I do something stupid.
Luke: So hire an independent contractor.
Sonny: I’ll just wait. Taggert’s right about the drugs. He’s all over them. Which either means he’s really dedicated . . .
Luke: Or he’s really dirty.
Sonny: And I have to find out which. If he’s bad I want to find out who he’s working for.
Luke: How many good cops that you know, who would be willing to just gun down a private citizen. Probably quite a few.
Sonny: (Changes subject) What are you doing here?
Luke: Oh. See, those fine Havana cigars I smoke in bulk. I don’t buy them at the supermarket.
Sonny: You have a source I don’t know about?
Luke: Yeah. Several.
Sonny: Well, I’ll give you a lift. I have my car parked . . .
Luke: No. I’m waiting for Lucky.
Sonny: You bring your kid along on black-market trips? (surprised)
Luke: Well sure, I figure it’s an important part of his education. (Luke gives Sonny a smile and shakes his hand). Good night, Mr. Corinthios.
Sonny: Thanks, buddy.