Former hitman. In a job gone bad, his teenage son was killed. Vowed never to kill again, but now other contract killers seek his life. Is in hiding, moving around, being a homeless man. Bitter. Won’t allow self to love anybody.
Given name: William. Lost his wife to cancer 4 years previous and has become increasingly angry. Has never had a good relationship with his son and now it is at an all-time low. Is a major player in a large corporation and discovers a financial scandal which is serving to make the CEO, CFO and lots of other CO’s very rich. They try to buy him off, but he refuses, so he is implicated and fired. However, he still has the goods on them.
16 years old. The only child of Brick and his wife, Ann, who died of cancer when Rocket was 12. Given name is Philip, but has gone by Rocket to his school friends since shortly after his mother died. Angry, silently rebellious, mostly a loner, though when he does socialize it’s usually to drink or get high. Father has been distant, critical, too busy since Rocket was small, but this has intensified since the death of his mother. Has a few warm memories of his dad from when he was younger.
After Brick is fired, he discovers his company is trying to frame him for activities illegal enough to send him to jail for 20 years. At the same time he discovers some pot in Rocket’s room. Takes it, confronts Rocket with a lot of yelling and cursing. Rocket mumbles something about his mother. Brick completely loses it and beats him. This has never happened before, but there has always been something ominous about Brick’s anger. This has almost been waiting to happen.
After Brick is asleep, Rocket takes his gun, planning to shoot his father as he sleeps. He goes into the bedroom and points the gun, but can’t do it. Frightened, he stuffs the gun in his waistband, shoves a few things into a bag in his room and runs.
Goes to downtown Seattle where he spends the night in a doorway, unable to sleep. The next day he steals six CD’s from a music store, but on his way to the pawnshop, he is stopped by gang members who take the CD’s and his gun and beat him up again. He is rescued by Theo, who takes him to the abandoned building where he is staying.
Theo wants Rocket to go home. He doesn’t want to have to care for him and he believes he is too naïve to survive on the streets. Rocket is too weak to go home, however, so Theo grudgingly offers to care for him until he is able to leave.
Meanwhile, Brick wakes up with a bad hangover and discovers his son missing. He is afraid to call the police, because of the beating he gave him. Instead he waits for Rocket to return. After a week has gone by, he finally calls his sister with whom he has not spoken in three years. She persuades him to contact the police, though he doesn’t admit to her what he has done.
Rocket is gone for several weeks, during which time Brick begins to come to terms with his life, his anger, his grief for his wife and how he has failed his son. His sister is instrumental in this. When the body of a teen matching Rocket’s description is found, Brick has to go and identify it. His relief at discovering it is not his son is followed by his despair that Rocket is still missing and will perhaps not return.
Theo looks after Rocket and finally agrees to let him stay with him as he moves from place to place. He never stays in the same location more than a week and they go from Seattle to Portland, to Vancouver to San Francisco depending on how close Theo’s pursuers appear to be. Theo only makes his whereabouts known to one person, Diego, who is still a contract killer, but whom Theo trusts (as much as it is possible for him to trust anybody). Diego tells Theo that he has a job for him if Theo will take it. It will get him back into the good graces of the network and he will no longer have to run. Diego gives him enough information that he thinks the target may be Rocket’s father. Theo has no intention of taking the job, but says he will think about it.
A week later, still feigning interest, Theo asks more questions. Diego gives enough info to confirm to Theo that it is indeed Brick who is the target. He agrees to take the job, aware that there will be a second triggerman and that he will have to have a pretty good plan.
Theo tells Rocket he has got to go home and warn his father. Rocket refuses and Theo is shocked. He determines that he will warn Brick himself, but before he has a chance, the date of the killing is moved up and he has to go into action.
Rocket doesn’t realize that Theo is directly involved in this hit; Theo has told him he will never kill again. On the night in question, Theo leaves. Rocket ends up following him and sees that he is going to his house. Now Rocket is really scared. Regardless how he feels about his father, he doesn’t really want him dead. And he is stunned that Theo would do this.
Upon arriving at the house, Rocket sees Theo meet up with the other gunman. It is Diego; this is the first Theo realized this. As they move into place, Rocket confronts Theo. Theo quiets him and lets him know he has got an escape plan for his father. He is not really planning to kill him.
Without a key, Rocket breaks into the house on Theo’s instructions, but as Theo is trying to execute his rescue, Diego sees Rocket, who he didn’t realize was there. He knows this is the son and, as there can’t be witnesses, he aims to shoot him. Theo takes the bullet for him, as Brick enters the room. Diego aborts his mission and gets out of there. Rocket kneels, stunned, by Theo’s body. Brick tries to lead Rocket away from the body, but Rocket turns on him and beats him hard. Brick does nothing to defend himself—just allows his son to beat him. Finally, as sirens are heard, Rocket collapses, sobbing in his father’s arms.