top of page


Dominque (Nica) Chery has sheltered her life into a trailer park on the Mississippi river, a refuge for bikers, trying to get past a hostage crisis she was involved in as a police officer. A case that went tragically wrong. She takes works as a karate instructor for kids and has a private investigator’s ticket. When her neighbor hires her to find his missing niece, she jumps at the chance to make real money.

    The girl she’s hired to locate, Yvella Albertine, is seventeen and somewhere on the spectrum. She’s also rebellious and doped up, thanks to her older sister Nadine. Nica visits the sister at a backwoods strip joint and learns of a place called Easy Street and a man named Toro. Nadine displays bizarre excision scars on her pelvis.

    Nica is assaulted outside the bar, but she’s not to be messed with. Her fighting skills are extreme and she takes out both attackers. Nica brings the case to her sometimes boyfriend Mark, a detective on the New Orleans police force. He gives her a couple leads and she tracks a young man that was giving Yvella rides after school. It’s a set up for two hired professional assassins to trail her back to her trailer, where they attack. Again, her fighting skills leaves one dead and the other fleeing on foot.

    The tone is sultry night and the endless rain of July in Louisiana. It’s hot and oppressively muggy. Nica loves the river deltas where she grew up but she hates the Mississippi itself, in which her autistic six-year-old brother drowned. That history imbues the search for Yvella with deeper meaning for Nica and defines some of her unresolved anger and anguish.

    As the case heats up with more leads from Mark and an over-the-top action scene in which the bikers go with Nica to raid Toro’s pimper paradise, the work of rogue scientist Raiden Cherenkov and his cutthroat enforcer Jarta, a Brazillian born female crime lord, comes to light. Yvella is one of many patients, all pregnant prostitutes whose reward for “volunteering” for stem cell research is heroine.

    All leads bring Nica and Mark to a makeshift hospital inside a shipping warehouse. Shoot-outs ensue, but Nica has been too deeply traumatized to ever use a gun again. And yet, after finding Yvella, she is defeated in hand-to-hand combat by Jarta, and has no recourse but to pick up a gun or let the woman go.  The decision to shoot, to take another person’s life by gunfire, is a conflict at the core of her being. Her rash impulse to shoot during a hostage crisis got four people killed. But Yvella is a teenager with mental disabilities, kidnapped off the streets. Nica shoots, killing Jarta.

    The final scene is a jazz funeral for one of the bikers, and Nica volunteers to wade into the Mississippi to distribute the ashes. She sees her kid brother there in the water one last time before pouring out the ashes.

bottom of page