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                                        AVATAR
          
          
          
          
                                      Written by
          
                                    James Cameron
          
          
          
          
          
          THE SOUND OF DRUMS, from a great distance, growing louder.
          
          FADE IN:
          
          WE ARE FLYING through mist, a dimly glimpsed forest below.
          
                               VOICE (V.O.)
                     When I was lying there in the VA
                     hospital, with a big hole blown through
                     the middle of my life, I started having
                     these dreams of flying.
          
          We are very low over the forest now, gliding fast, the drums
          BUILDING to a PEAK --
          
                               VOICE (V.O.)
                     Sooner or later though, you always have
                     to wake up...
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. CITY - NIGHT
          
          A SCREECH OF BRAKES as a vehicle WIPES FRAME, revealing --
          
          JAKE SULLY, a scarred and scruffy combat vet, sitting in a
          beat up carbon-fiber wheelchair. At 22, his eyes are
          hardened by the wisdom and wariness of one who has endured
          pain beyond his years.
          
          Jake stares upward at the levels of the city. MAGLEV TRAINS
          WHOOSH overhead on elevated tracks, against a sky of garish
          advertizing.
          
                               JAKE (V.O.)
                     They can fix a spinal, if you've got the
                     money. But not on vet benefits, not in
                     this economy.
          
          The traffic light changes and Jake pushes forward with the
          crowd, pumping the wheels of his chair. Most of the people
          wear FILTER MASKS to protect them from the toxic air. In a
          LONG LENS STACK it is a marching torrent of anonymous,
          isolated souls.
          
          INT. JAKE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
          
          The room is a tiny CUBICLE, prison cell meets 747 bathroom.
          Narrow cot, wall-screen droning away in the B.G. --
          
                               PERKY NEWSCASTER
                     The Bengal tiger, extinct for over a
                     century, is making a comeback. These
                     cloned tiger cubs at the Beijing Zoo
                     are...
          
                                                                       2.
          
          
          
          Jake laboriously pulls his pants off -- rocking to one side,
          pushing the fabric down past his hip, then rocking to the
          other, and so on.
          
          His legs are white and atrophied. Utterly useless. But his
          arms are tattooed and powerfully muscled. A "Born Loser"
          tattoo prominent on his shoulder.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I became a Marine for the hardship. To
                    be hammered on the anvil of life. I told
                    myself I could pass any test a man can
                    pass.
          
          Jake struggles with his pants a long time.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. ROWDY BAR -- NIGHT
          
          Not the kind of place you'd bring your mom.
          
          We find Jake near the pool table, BALANCING his chair, front
          wheels off the ground, while holding a tequila shot on his
          forehead. ONLOOKERS, including some other disabled vets,
          CLAP and WHOOP.
          
          Jake grabs the glass, SLAMS down the shot as they cheer.
          
          A WALL-SIZED SCREEN filled with the World Cup game -- men
          RUNNING on antelope legs.
          
          CU JAKE, watching what he can't have.    Expression stony.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Let's get it straight up front. I don't
                    want your pity. I know the world's a
                    cold-ass bitch.
          
          Jake's eyes shift   -- HIS POV, seeing the bar through gaps in
          the crowd. A MAN    on a barstool SLAPS the WOMAN he's with.
          Hard. She cowers    but he's got her arm, shouting, raising his
          fist. An eternal    tableau. People look away.
          
          CU JAKE -- not looking away.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    You want a fair deal, you're on the wrong
                    planet. The strong prey on the weak.
          
          TIGHT ON JAKE'S HAND as he starts pushing the wheel of his
          chair.
          
          TRACKING WITH HIM as he rolls forward.
          
                                                                        3.
          
          
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    It's just the way things are.   And nobody
                    does a damn thing.
          
          Jake stops, unnoticed, next to the bullying man. He leans
          down and grabs one leg of the man's barstool -- and YANKS.
          
          The chair flips.   The guy goes down HARD and --
          
          JAKE hurls himself from the wheelchair, toppling on the guy,
          getting a grip on him like a pit bull and PUNCHING the crap
          out of him, right there on the floor.
          
          THE BOUNCER jumps in, trying to drag him off and it goes into
          SLOW MOTION, everybody yelling and pulling...
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    All I ever wanted in my sorry-ass life
                    was a single thing worth fighting for.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          EXT. ALLEY BEHIND BAR -- NIGHT
          
          THE BOUNCER hurls Jake out the door, sending him SPRAWLING on
          the pavement. A moment later, his chair CRASHES down on him,
          banging across the alley, landing in the trash.
          
          Jake struggles to rise on one elbow. He's bleeding and
          bruised, but still crazed and ready to fight.
          
                              JAKE
                    I hope you realize you've just lost a
                    customer!
          
          He collapses onto his back, panting.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to himself)
                    Candy ass bitch.
          
          He stares upwards at the levels of the city. MAGTRAINS ROAR
          overhead. It starts to RAIN. He just lies there, blinking --
          then shouts jauntily to no one in particular --
          
                              JAKE
                    If it ain't rainin' we ain't trainin'!
          
          CAMERA PULLS BACK high and wide, as Jake lies spread-eagled
          amongst the trash, getting drenched.
          
          TWO LONG SHADOWS enter FRAME, coming to rest across him.
          
                                                                       4.
          
          
          
          Jake sees two pairs of SHINY SHOES stop next to him.   He
          squints up at --
          
          TWO MEN. Matching suits. Their features unremarkable and
          blandly threatening in the way of FBI agents and auditors.
          
                              AGENT 1
                    Are you Jake Sully?
          
                                JAKE
                    Step off.    You're ruinin' my good mood.
          
                              AGENT 2
                    It's about your brother.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. MUNICIPAL CREMATORIUM - NIGHT
          
          DOWN-ANGLE on a large rectangular cardboard box. HANDS ENTER
          FRAME, pulling open the top to reveal a DEAD MAN'S FACE. He
          looks EXACTLY like a clean-shaven version of Jake. His
          IDENTICAL TWIN -- TOMMY.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    The strong prey on the weak. A guy with
                    a knife took all Tommy would ever be, for
                    the paper in his wallet.
          
          WIDER, showing Jake and the two agents in a high tech
          CREMATORIUM -- a row of stainless steel furnaces. Jake
          stares down at his own face.
          
                              JAKE
                    Jesus, Tommy.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    The Suits' concern was touching.
          
                              AGENT 1
                    Your brother represented a significant
                    investment. We'd like to talk to you
                    about taking over his contract.
          
          The ATTENDANT closes the box and seals it with a tape
          dispenser, like it's a package for shipping. The cardboard
          coffin is rolled into the furnace.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    The egghead and the jarhead.   Tommy was
                    the scientist, not me. He was the one
                    who wanted to get shot light years out
                    into space to find the answers.
          
                                                                       5.
          
          
          
          PUSHING IN ON JAKE as he watches, bathed in orange light.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Me -- I was just another dumb grunt
                    gettin' sent someplace I was gonna
                    regret.
          
          INSIDE THE FURNACE the burners quickly eat away the
          cardboard; TOMMY'S FACE is, for a moment, wreathed in flame
          but not touched by it, as we --
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          JAKE'S FACE, in icy darkness. CLOSE ON his eyes -- they OPEN
          suddenly, and he takes a sharp breath.
          
          JAKE'S POV -- the inside of a metal coffin. A SERVO WHINE
          and we are moving, emerging into a large chamber --
          
          INT. CRYO VAULT
          
          JAKE'S POV -- A TECH in medical scrubs FLOATS WEIGHTLESSLY
          toward us. Wherever we are, we're not on Earth.
          
          Jake squints as the lights flicker on, revealing --
          
          WIDE SHOT -- the multi-tiered CRYO VAULT. Hundreds of CRYO-
          CAPSULES are opening like morgue drawers, as med techs pull
          themselves about in ZERO-G, tending to their patients.
          
                              JAKE
                        (a hoarse whisper)
                    Are we there?
          
                              MED TECH
                    We're there, Sunshine.
          
          TIME CUT -- SCORES OF PEOPLE emerge from their cryo-capsules
          in ZERO-G. Pale spirits of the dead rising from rows of open
          coffins.
          
          The MED TECH floats among them, using his announcement voice.
          
                              MED TECH
                    People, you have been in cryo for five
                    years, nine months and twenty two days.
                    You will be hungry, you will be weak. If
                    you feel nausea, please use the sacks
                    provided for your convenience. The staff
                    thanks you in advance.
          
                                                                        6.
          
          
          
          FOLLOWING JAKE as he pushes away from his capsule, gliding to
          the LOCKERS across the aisle, his paralyzed legs not an
          impediment in weightlessness.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. SPACE
          
          Against the cold infinity   of stars glides an INTERSTELLAR
          SPACECRAFT -- ISV VENTURE   STAR. As it moves past like an
          endless train, we realize   this thing is ENORMOUS -- over half
          a mile long. PAN WITH IT    180 to REVEAL --
          
          A GAS-GIANT PLANET called POLYPHEMUS, ringed with dozens of
          moons which cast beauty-mark shadows on its vast face.
          
          The ISV diminishes away from us toward the largest MOON-- a
          blue and surprisingly Earth-like world called PANDORA. The
          ship dwindles to a speck against the BLUE MOON.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. PANDORA ORBIT
          
          ISV Venture Star drifts above a spectacular vista -- the
          sapphire seas and unfamiliar continents of Pandora.
          
          CLOSE ON ISV -- two massive "VALKYRIE" SHUTTLES are mated to
          a DOCKING NODE. One of them separates from the starship and
          moves away, its thrusters FIRING in short bursts.
          
          As the shuttle moves away, descending toward Pandora, we hear
          the sound of DRUMS, building, louder and louder until we--
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - TWILIGHT
          
          FLYING OVER A LANDSCAPE of massive cliffs and towering mesas
          carpeted in rainforest. Great scarves of cloud swirl around
          the mesa tops. A primeval landscape, vast and forbidding.
          
          The trees are alien, the color too cyan. There are
          waterfalls, rivers, and distant flocks of WINGED CREATURES.
          
          Suddenly the carpet of virgin rainforest gives way to --
          
          AN OPEN-PIT MINE. A lifeless crater -- as if a giant cookie-
          cutter took a chunk out of the world. Down among the
          terraces are EXCAVATORS and TRUCKS the size of three story
          buildings.
          
          And beyond the mine is the HUMAN COLONY --
          
                                                                       7.
          
          
          
          EXT. HELL'S GATE - TWILIGHT
          
          HELL'S GATE is a cluster of squat concrete and steel
          structures surrounded by chain-link FENCE 10 meters high,
          topped with razor wire.
          
          At the corners are towers with automated SENTRY GUNS
          swiveling on servo mounts.
          
          Visible beyond the gun towers, the VALKYRIE SHUTTLE roars in
          across the treetops. VECTORING NOZZLES change angle,
          bringing the ship to a SLOW HOVER.
          
          EXT. RAIN FOREST - TWILIGHT
          
          Through a screen of jungle canopy, we see the VALKYRIE
          thunder overhead. Camera TILTS with it until leaves block
          the view.
          
          A BLUE INHUMAN HAND reaches INTO SHOT, parting the foliage to
          reveal the shuttle hover-taxiing across the compound.
          
          REVERSE -- ECU of two intense, cat-like golden EYES watching.
          
          INT./EXT. SHUTTLE
          
          The CREW CHIEF stomps down the aisle yelling --
          
                              CREW CHIEF
                    Exopacks on!
          
          Passengers don their EXO-PACK breathing gear with practiced
          moves. Everybody except JAKE, who's turning his this way and
          that trying to figure out the straps.
          
                              CREW CHIEF
                    Remember people, you lose your mask
                    you're unconscious in 20 seconds and
                    you're dead in four minutes. Let's nobody
                    be dead today, it looks bad on my report.
          
          The crew chief stops by Jake long enough to bark --
          
                              CREW CHIEF
                    Exopack on, let's go!
          
          BENEATH THE SHUTTLE air blasts outward for a hundred meter
          radius as it settles onto its landing gear.
          
          INSIDE everybody is queued up in the aisles, with duffles
          ready. Rows of tense, expectant faces in breathing masks --
          and we DIP DOWN to find Jake, wheelchair putting him at the
          level of everyone else's WAISTS.
          
                                                                        8.
          
          
          
          THE CARGO RAMP OPENS with a hydraulic whine.
          
                              CREW CHIEF
                    Go directly into the base! Do not stop!
                    Go straight inside!
          
          HAND-HELD, running with the arriving colonists who double
          time down the ramp. They jog across the exposed apron toward
          a walkway covered in CHAINLINK which leads to the complex.
          
          Inside the chain-link tunnel are a couple of SEC-OPS
          TROOPERS, CORPORAL LYLE WAINFLEET and PRIVATE FIKE. Sec-Ops
          is the colony's private security force. These guys are laid
          back, hardened, and haggard.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Look at all that new meat.
          
          THEIR POV -- Jake rolls down the ramp.
          
                              FIKE
                    Check it out, man.    Meals on wheels.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    That is just wrong.
          
          Jake, pumping his chair, looks around as --
          
          A huge TRACTOR, taller than a house, ROARS past on muddy
          wheels. He notices something sticking in the tires --
          ARROWS. The neolithic weapons are jarring amid all the
          advanced technology.
          
          Beyond the tractor, two VTOL vehicles take off. Armored and
          heavily armed, they are AT-99 "SCORPION" GUNSHIPS.
          
          MITSUBISHI MK-6 AMPSUITS -- human operated walking machines 4
          meters tall -- patrol the perimeter. They are heavily
          armored, and armed with a huge rotary cannon called a GAU-90.
          
          Beyond the outer fence stands a black wall of forest hundreds
          of feet high.   A SENTRY GUN OPENS FIRE from a tower. TRACERS
          light up the twilight. A shadowy SHAPE SHRIEKS and drops off
          the fence. It is an armed camp in a state of siege.
          
          WAINFLEET and Fike give Jake and his chair the hairy eyeball
          as he approaches.
          
                              JAKE
                    What're you two limpdicks starin' at?
          
          As Jake rolls past, SOMETHING SWOOPS down behind him and --
          
                                                                          9.
          
          
          
          K-KRASH! SMASHES against the chain-link right next to his
          head.
          
          A vicious AERIAL PREDATOR a meter across gnashes glass fangs
          against the steel. It STABS at him through the chain link
          with a tail ending in a glistening stiletto. A STINGBAT.
          
          WAINFLEET casually BLASTS IT with his PISTOL.   It drops off
          the fence, tail still lashing.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Seen a lotta guys leave this place in a
                    wheelchair. Never seen anybody show up
                    in one.
          
          Jake stares at the gnashing fangs of the dying alien.
          
          ON A WALKWAY of the OPS CENTER, seen from above, a UNIFORMED
          FIGURE grips the railing, watching Jake pump his chair
          through the tunnel below.
          
          The hair is clipped short. The scalp is etched by long
          parallel SCARS where some Pandoran denizen's claws raked
          across it. The bare arms, below tightly rolled sleeves, seem
          hewn out of some hard tropical wood. Criss-crossed by scars.
          
          The MAN raises his masked face to look at the sky.    He eyes
          are an icy steel gray.
          
          HIS POV -- the mighty POLYPHEMUS seems to fill the sky,
          beyond the clouds.
          
                              MAN (V.O.)
                    You are not in Kansas any more...
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMISSARY - TWILIGHT
          
          THE MAN from the balcony -- COLONEL MILES QUARITCH -- is the
          HEAD OF SECURITY for the Hell's Gate colony. A hundred new
          arrivals watch raptly as he paces like a panther across the
          front of the large cafeteria. He stops, stance wide.
          
          Without his mask, we see that Quaritch's features are rugged
          and handsome, except for the SCAR, which runs from scalp to
          jaw down one side of his face. On one hip he carries a very
          large PISTOL.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    ... You are on Pandora, ladies and
                    gentlemen. Respect that fact every second
                    of every day.
          
                                                                       10.
          
          
          
          JAKE ROLLS IN, watching from the back.
          
          COLONEL QUARITCH raises his hand and points out the window,
          toward the dark treeline.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Out beyond that fence every living thing
                    that crawls, flies or squats in the mud
                    wants to kill you and eat your eyes for
                    jujubees.
          
          The room gets very quiet.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    We have an indigenous population of
                    humanoids here called the Na'vi. They're
                    fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin
                    which can stop your heart in one minute.
                    We operate -- we live -- at a constant
                    threat condition yellow.
          
          PAN ACROSS the solid faces of miners, Cat-machine drivers,
          engineers, geologists, as they take that in.
          
                               QUARITCH
                    As head of security, it's my job to keep
                    you alive.    I will not succeed --
                        (pausing for effect)
                    -- not with all of you. If you wish to
                    survive, you need a strong mental
                    attitude, you need to follow procedure...
          
          PUSH IN ON JAKE, watching as the briefing continues.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Nothing like an old-school safety brief
                    to put your mind at ease.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. CORRIDOR
          
          People are roaming in both directions, looking for rooms,
          lugging duffels and cases.
          
          An eager young XENOANTHROPOLOGIST, staggering under an
          overpacked duffel, runs to catch up to Jake.
          
                              NORM
                    Hey, you're Jake right? Tom's brother?
                    You look just like him.
                        (off Jake's wary look)
                    Sorry, I'm Norm Spellman, I went through
                    avatar training with him.
          
                                                                         11.
          
          
          
          Norm offers his hand and Jake shakes it.
          
                              NORM
                    He was a great guy -- funny.     It was a
                    big shock to all of us.
          
                               JAKE
                    Yeah.
          
          Jake pumps the wheels of his chair, rolling on.       Norm walks
          with him.
          
                              NORM
                    And duh! -- obviously you look like him.
                    I mean, if you weren't genetically
                    identical, you wouldn't be taking over
                    his avatar.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's why I'm here.
          
                              NORM
                    So -- you want to go check it out?
                                                                      CUT TO:
          
          INT. BIO-LAB - DAY
          
          JAKE AND NORM enter the BIO-LAB -- a large lab complex with
          many adjoining rooms.
          
                              MAX
                    Me and Norm were out here to drive these
                    remotely controlled bodies called
                    avatars. They're grown from human DNA
                    mixed with DNA from the natives here.
          
          A scientist, DOCTOR MAX CULLIMORE, is supervising the
          uncrating of two SHIPPING CONTAINERS. The nearer has the
          sides removed, revealing -- a ceiling-height acrylic TANK.
          
          Norm stops to stare, and Jake rolls past him as if drawn by
          some unseen force, toward --
          
          THE AMNIO TANK. There is a FIGURE floating lanquidly inside,
          which looks like a man. A very large, very blue, man.
          
          Blood circulates through a synthetic UMBILICAL in the
          abdomen. As the figure turns in the amniotic fluid, we see
          that it has a lemur-like TAIL. The skin is cyan-blue. Long
          black hair drifts, graceful as seaweed.
          
                               JAKE
                    Damn.   They got big.
          
                                                                       12.
          
          
          
                              NORM
                    Yeah, they mature on the trip out.
                        (to Max)
                    So the proprioceptive sims worked pretty
                    well.
          
                              MAX
                    Yeah, they've got great muscle tone. Give
                    us a few hours, you guys can take them
                    for a spin.
          
          THE FIGURE'S sleeping face turns toward us, and the features
          are -- despite feline ears and a long feral snout --
          definitely JAKE'S.
          
                              JAKE
                    It looks like him.
          
                              NORM
                    No, it looks like you.   This is your
                    avatar now, Jake.
          
          ON JAKE, mesmerized as he stares into the tank.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    The idea is -- every driver is matched to
                    his own avatar --
          
          STEREOCAM VIDEO SHOT OF JAKE -- facing the camera, talking
          directly to the lens. JAKE'S VOICE-OVER up until now has
          been part of this VIDEOLOG.
          
                               JAKE
                    -- so their nervous systems are in tune.
                    Or something. Which is why they offered
                    me this gig, because I can link with
                    Tommy's avatar, which was insanely
                    expensive.
                        (looking off camera)
                    Is this right? I just say whatever in
                    these videologs?
          
          WIDER, showing Norm working nearby with Max.
          
                              NORM
                    Yeah. You just need to get in the habit
                    of documenting everything -- what you
                    see, what you feel -- it's all part of
                    the science. Good science starts with
                    good observation.
          
                                                                     13.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    Right.
                        (to camera)
                    So, whatever. Here I am. Doing science.
                        (looks around)
                    Never been in a lab before.
          
                              MAX
                    Log off. It's time to meet your boss for
                    the next five years.
          
          He leads Jake and Norm through the short corridor to the --
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. LINK ROOM - DUSK
          
          The LINK ROOM contains a dozen PSIONIC LINK UNITS, which look
          like coffins crossed with MRI scanners.
          
                              NORM
                    Grace Augustine is a legend. She's the
                    head of the Avatar Program, and she wrote
                    the book -- I mean literally wrote the
                    book -- on Pandoran botany.
          
                              MAX
                        (low, over his shoulder)
                    That's because she likes plants better
                    than people.
          
          DR. GRACE AUGUSTINE sits up in her link, stretching and
          cracking her neck after a long session. She's fifty, with a
          strong face and fiercely intelligent eyes.
          
                              GRACE
                        (YELLING)
                    Who's got my goddamn cigarette?!
          
          A TECH scurries to bring it to her, already lit.   Around here
          they jump when Grace barks.
          
          Grace stands, scowling, as Jake, Norm and Max approach.
          
                              MAX
                    And here she is, Cinderella back from the
                    ball. Grace, I'd like you to meet Norm
                    Spellman and Ja --
          
                              GRACE
                    Norm. I hear good things about you.
                    How's your Na'vi?
          
                                                                    14.
          
          
          
                              NORM
                        (Na'vi, subtitled)
                    May the All Mother smile upon our first
                    meeting.
          
          Grace nods approvingly, taking a drag on her cigarette.
          
                              GRACE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Not bad. You sound a little formal.
          
                              NORM
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    There is still much to learn.
          
          Jake waits while they ignore him, chattering in fluent Na'vi.
          
                              MAX
                    Uh, Grace, this is Jake S----
          
                              GRACE
                        (turning to Jake)
                    Yeah, yeah, I know who you are, and I
                    don't need you. I need your brother.
                        (to Max)
                    You know -- the PhD who trained three
                    years for this mission.
          
                              JAKE
                    He's dead. I know it's a big
                    inconvenience to everyone.
          
                              GRACE
                    How much lab training have you had?   Ever
                    run a gas chromatograph?
          
                                 JAKE
                    No.
          
                              GRACE
                    Any actual lab work at all?
          
                              JAKE
                    High school chemistry.   But I ditched.
          
          Grace wheels on Max.
          
                              GRACE
                    You see? You see? They're pissing on us
                    without even the courtesy of calling it
                    rain.
                        (turning away)
                    I'm going to Selfridge.
          
                                                                     15.
          
          
          
          She shoves past Jake.
          
                              MAX
                    Grace, that's not a good idea.
          
          But she's already out the door and clomping down the
          corridor. Max turns to Jake with a pained look.
          
                              MAX
                    Here, tomorrow, oh eight hundred.   Try to
                    use big words.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - DUSK
          
          It looks like an air-traffic control tower, with lots of
          screens and bay windows showing the whole complex.
          
          ADMINISTRATOR PARKER SELFRIDGE takes a ball from a newly
          opened case of TITLEISTS and sets it on the floor. Selfridge
          is young, charismatic, focused. Some would say ruthless.
          
          He assumes the stance and lines up his putt, toward a
          practice cup across the control room floor. He glances up as
          Grace strides toward him.
          
                              GRACE
                    Parker, I used to think it was benign
                    neglect, but now I see you're
                    intentionally screwing us.
          
                               SELFRIDGE
                    Grace.   You know I enjoy our little
                    talks.
          
                              GRACE
                    I need a research assistant, not some
                    jarhead dropout.
          
          Selfridge looks down and hits the ball.
          
          Grace kicks the practice cup aside, and the ball rolls past.
          Selfridge looks at her with a sigh.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Actually, we got lucky with him.
          
                               GRACE
                    Lucky?   How is this in any way lucky?
          
          As Selfridge saunters over to retrieve the ball --
          
                                                                    16.
          
          
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Well -- lucky your guy had a twin
                    brother, and lucky the brother wasn't an
                    oral hygienist or something. A Marine we
                    can use. I'm assigning him to your team
                    as security escort.
          
                              GRACE
                    The last thing I need is another trigger
                    happy asshole out there!
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Look, you're supposed to be winning the
                    hearts and minds of the natives. Isn't
                    that the whole point of your little
                    puppet show? If you look like them, if
                    you talk like them, they'll trust you?
          
          Selfridge crosses to his office, behind a glass wall nearby.
          Grace follows.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    But after -- how many years? -- relations
                    with the indigenous are only getting
                    worse.
          
                              GRACE
                    That tends to happen when you use machine
                    guns on them.
          
          On Selfridge's desk is a magnetic base, and hovering in mid-
          air, in the invisible field, is a lump of METALLIC ROCK.
          Pure UNOBTANIUM. He grabs it and holds it up between thumb
          and forefinger, in front of Grace's eyes.
          
                               SELFRIDGE
                    This is why we're here. Unobtanium.
                    Because this little gray rock sells for
                    twenty million a kilo. No other reason.
                    This is what pays for the party. And
                    it's what pays for your science.
                    Comprendo?
          
          He places it back in the magnetic field.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Those savages are threatening our whole
                    operation. We're on the brink of war and
                    you're supposed to be finding a
                    diplomatic solution. So use what you've
                    got and get me some results.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                         17.
          
          
          
          INT. LINK ROOM - DAY
          
          NEXT MORNING, GRACE, NORM and JAKE approach their link units.
          
          Jake glances through a PRESSURE WINDOW. In an adjoining
          chamber (the AMBIENT ROOM) JAKE'S AVATAR lies on a gurney,
          breathing slowly in PANDORAN AIR. NORM'S AVATAR is on a
          second gurney. Both are attended by med techs in exo-masks.
          
          Norm slips into his LINK CHAIR, expertly donning biometric
          sensors.
          
                              GRACE
                    How much link time have you logged?
          
                              NORM
                    Five hundred and twenty hours.
          
          Grace looks pointedly at Jake.
          
                              JAKE
                    Like -- an hour.
          
                              GRACE
                    Tell me you're joking.
          
          Grace opens the hood of Jake's link unit. Jake starts
          hauling himself across from his wheelchair. She reaches to
          help him but --
          
                               JAKE
                    Don't!   I got this.
          
          Grace steps back, hands raised.    He drags himself into the
          unit.
          
                               GRACE
                    So you just figured you'd come out here
                    to the most hostile environment known to
                    man, with no training of any kind, and
                    see how it went? What was going through
                    your head?
          
          He meets her eyes with a defiant glare.
          
                              JAKE
                    Maybe I was just tired of doctors telling
                    me what I couldn't do.
          
          Grace watches him laboriously pull his inert legs into the
          link chair by hand.
          
                                                                       18.
          
          
          
          Jake settles into the warm fluid gel packs lining the unit.
          It seems to enfold him. Grace adjusts his biometric sensors,
          then lowers the UPPER CLAMSHELL --
          
                              GRACE
                    Relax and let your mind go blank.    That
                    shouldn't be hard for you.
          
                              JAKE
                    Kiss the darkest part of my lily white --
          
          But the SLAMMING HOOD muffles the rest.
          
                              MAX
                    Initiate link.
          
          The LINK TECH touches some controls.
          
          ON A LARGE MONITOR a 3D SCAN of Jake's brain appears.
          Regions of activity flow with complex shifting colors.
          
                              MAX
                    That's a gorgeous brain.     Nice activity.
          
                               GRACE
                    Go figure.
                        (walking away)
                    Alright, I'm going in.
          
                              TECH
                    Phase-lock at forty percent.    He's in
                    transition.
          
          Max watches a display showing the avatar's nervous system
          aligning with Jake's -- two ghostly networks of light
          merging.
          
                                 MAX
                    That's it.     Find your way home.
          
          ECU JAKE, inside the link unit. His eyes move under the
          lids, like a dreamer in REM sleep as --
          
          INSIDE JAKE'S MIND -- radiant streamers coalesce into a
          pulsing TUNNEL OF LIGHT and --
          
          THE SCREEN FLARES WHITE -- ZZZWHAP! -- resolving into an
          overexposed, out-of-focus image -- two BLURRY FACES wearing
          masks, looking down.
          
          ECU JAKE'S AVATAR -- two very intense eyes FILL FRAME, the
          pupils contracting. Golden irises pulse with life.
          
                                                                       19.
          
          
          
                               MAX
                    He's in.
          
                               TECH
                    Phase-lock ninety nine percent. The link
                    is stable.
          
          Blinking, Jake slowly sits up on the gurney. He looks down
          at his AVATAR BODY, touching his chest with one hand.
          
                              MAX
                    Take it slow, Jake. We need to check
                    your motor control. Try touching your
                    fingertips together --
          
          But Jake isn't listening. He's staring at his legs.     He
          eases them off the gurney and --
          
          HIS BLUE FEET touch the concrete floor, taking his weight.
          
          JAKE STANDS, feeling the strength in his legs.    His
          expression is child-like with wonder.
          
          HIS POV -- looking down at the med techs, who seem the size
          of children next to his 9' tall frame.
          
          He sees something like a blue tentacle curl across his arm
          and he JERKS AROUND in alarm. HIS TAIL.
          
          As he turns to see it, the tail sweeps instruments off a
          table with a crash. Jake laughs and grins at Max.
          
                              MED TECH
                    Easy, Jake, I need you to sit down --
          
          But Jake takes a step, then another. The wires to the bio-
          monitors pull taut, and he yanks them off his chest.
          
                              MAX
                    Jake! Wait, we have to run some tests --
          
          But Jake pushes past the protesting med techs, toward the
          door and --
          
          EXT. AVATAR COMPOUND - DAY
          
          Jake emerges, blinking in the morning sun. He finds himself
          in the AVATAR COMPOUND -- a living and training area.
          
          Nearby, a couple of AVATARS are playing one-on-one in front
          of a (non-regulation height) basketball net. Others go about
          their daily activities around the compound.
          
                                                                       20.
          
          
          
          Jake flexes his legs -- JUMPS -- and lands a little
          unsteadily, but his expression is joyful.
          
          He takes a few steps and breaks into a RUN. People are
          calling to him, somehwere, but he doesn't hear them -- he's
          running. RUNNING!
          
          He finds himself in the COMPOUND GARDEN, and stops amid
          neatly tended rows of ALIEN PLANTS. He looks down, wiggling
          his toes in the warm soil. Then inhales deeply -- revelling
          in the alien smells -- earth, plants, the nearby forest. He
          looks at his bare footprint in the soil of an alien world.
          
                              GRACE (O.S.)
                    Hey Marine!
          
          Jake turns at the familiar voice to see --
          
          A statuesque FEMALE AVATAR walking toward him. AVATAR GRACE
          is magnificent, with panther thighs, flat muscular stomach
          and firm athlete's breasts. She wears shorts and a T-shirt.
          In human years she would be about 35.
          
                                JAKE
                    Grace?
          
                              GRACE
                    Well who'd you expect, numbnuts?   Think
                    fast!
          
          She throws him a piece of Pandoran fruit, which he catches.
          
                              GRACE
                    Motor control is looking good.
          
          Jake bites into the fruit, the juice running down his chin.
          
                              NORM (O.S.)
                    Hey, check it out.
          
          Jake turns to see NORM'S AVATAR posing like a bodybuilder --
          chest shot, back shot, bi's.
          
                              NORM
                    I am a living god.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. MINE PIT - DAY
          
          A WIDE SHOT of the terraced crater of the UNOBTANIUM MINE.    A
          quiet beat, then --
          
                                                                     21.
          
          
          
          K-WHOOOOM! The entire face of one terrace is blown skyward
          in a chain of EXPLOSIONS. The "shot" blasts hundreds of tons
          of rock loose.
          
          LONG LENS ANGLES of enormous WHEEL-LOADERS shovelling up ore-
          rich rock and dropping it into DUMP TRUCKS.
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          A wall of steel FILLS FRAME. The DOZER BLADE crushes
          everything in its path, reducing trees to kindling.
          
          WIDER, showing the CLEAR-CUTTING operation near the mine, as
          a road is cut through the jungle. Remotely operated DOZERS
          three stories tall rip into the tree-line.
          
          One of the dozers has rotating SLASH-CUTTER, a vicious
          spinning head, mounted on a hydraulic arm, that hogs through
          the enormous tree trunks in a spray of wood-shrapnel.
          
          The heavy machines are escorted by AMPSUITS. COLONEL
          QUARITCH, on foot, leads a squad of troopers wearing
          breathing masks and carrying almighty big AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.
          
          A BANSHEE -- a fearsome aerial predator -- HURTLES from
          above, diving toward them on wings 3 meters across. We get a
          glimpse of glassy fangs before --
          
          P-P-POOM! Quaritch cranks off three rapid SHOTS with his
          massive sidearm, and the creature drops with a SHRIEK.
          
          It crashes near them and Quaritch FIRES two more well placed
          rounds. The newbies stare at the thing's barracuda teeth.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    For you pogues, this is a banshee. A
                    small one. See, they like it when I
                    bring fresh meat out here. And this
                    clearcutting really stirs up the hornet's
                    nest. So keep your head on a swivel. If
                    it moves, shoot it. If you're not sure
                    it's moving -- shoot it! If it looks like
                    a bunch of flowers you want to take home
                    to Sally Rottencrotch -- SHOOT IT!
                    What're you gonna do?
          
                              TROOPERS
                    Shoot it, sir!
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Outstanding. Let's roll.
          
                                                                      22.
          
          
          
          Quaritch leads his squad into the gloom of the forest, his
          eyes scanning. Flanking the squad, LYLE WAINFLEET drives an
          AMPSUIT, his massive feet CRASHING through the underbrush.
          
          As his gaze comes down, he sees something ahead of him on the
          trail -- an intricate TOTEM of woven sticks, bones and
          feathers hanging across the trail like an orb-weaver's web.
          
          He tears it down with the barrel of his rifle, and stomps it
          into the mud as he moves on.
          
          INT. AVATAR LONGHOUSE - DUSK
          
          Jake sits on a wooden bed in a long hut of tropical-style
          construction -- beamed ceiling, open sides covered by screen.
          
          Around him the other avatars are bedding down for the night,
          pulling insect netting around their cots. In one hand, Jake
          holds the end of his long braided QUEUE of hair.
          
          CLOSE ON the queue -- the ends of the hair writhe slowly with
          their own life, like tendrils of a sea creature.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's kinda freaky.
          
          GRACE switches off the overheads.
          
                              GRACE
                    Lights out amigos.     See ya' at dinner.
          
          Jake sits in the twilight, listening to the SCREECHES and
          HOOTS from the forest. Finally he lies down, CLOSING HIS
          EYES and --
          
          INT. LINK ROOM - NIGHT
          
          ECU HUMAN JAKE -- his eyes OPEN.
          
          Jake blinks, disoriented, as Max opens the upper clamshell of
          his link unit.
          
          In the next chair Grace sits up, yawning and cracking her
          neck as the scared tech runs to her with a lit cigarette.
          
                              GRACE
                        (looking down)
                    Damn. Same old sack a' bones.
          
          JAKE struggles with the dead weight of his legs as he hauls
          himself out of the unit.
                                                                   CUT TO
          
                                                                    23.
          
          
          
          INT. COMMISSARY - EARLY MORNING
          
          JAKE sits with GRACE, NORM and the other avatar "drivers",
          while around them miners, troopers and other base personnel
          wolf their breakfasts. Grace is engaged in a heated
          conversation with another SCIENTIST.
          
          Jake, isolated from the conversations around him, notices --
          
          PILOT TRUDY CHACON approaching, dressed in her flight suit.
          She's a rock-hard former Marine with thousands of flight
          hours out in the badlands.
          
                               TRUDY
                    Sully -- Colonel wants to see you in the
                    Armor Bay.
          
          Jake gives Norm a puzzled glance and pivots from the table.
          He wheels away, led by Trudy.
          
          TIGHT ON GRACE, scowling as she watches him go.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. ARMOR BAY - MORNING
          
          JAKE AND TRUDY enter the ARMOR BAY, passing TILT-ROTORS under
          repair. There are the heavily armed SCORPIONS as well as
          several SA-2 SAMSON work-horses outfitted with door guns and
          rocket pods.
          
                              JAKE
                    You guys're packing some heavy ordinance.
          
                               TRUDY
                    Yeah, `cause we're not the only thing
                    flyin' around out there. Or the biggest.
                    I'm gonna need you on a door gun, I'm a
                    man short.
          
                              JAKE
                    Yeah, no problem.
          
          She extends her fist and he taps it with his.
          
                              TRUDY
                    See ya on the flight-line, zero nine.
                        (she points)
                    He's down there.
          
          Jake rolls his chair along the central gallery of the Armor
          Bay, passing rows of AMPSUITS standing in service racks.
          Techs clamber over the `suits, loading ordinance with cranes
          and lifts.
          
                                                                      24.
          
          
          
          At the end of the row is a makeshift GYM area.   QUARITCH is
          bench-pressing massive plates.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    This low gravity makes you soft.
                        (pushing the last rep)
                    You get soft, Pandora will shit you out
                    dead with zero warning.
          
          Quaritch racks the bar and sits up, sweating but not winded.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I pulled your record, Corporal. Venezuela
                    -- that was some mean bush. Nothing like
                    this here, though. You got heart kid,
                    coming out here.
          
                              JAKE
                    I figured -- just another hellhole.
          
          Quaritch chuckles appreciatively, claps him on the shoulder.
          The CHIEF MECHANIC yells from the nearest AMPSUIT --
          
                              MECHANIC
                    That servo's in, Colonel, if you want to
                    try it.
          
          Quaritch crosses to the `suit, with Jake following.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I was in First Recon a few years ahead of
                    you. More than a few. Two tours in
                    Nigeria, not a scratch. I come out here
                    and --
          
          He points to his scarred face.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    They could fix this if I rotated back.
                    But you know what? I kinda like it.
                    Reminds me every day what's out there.
                    Besides, I can't leave --
          
          He looks out, as if he can see through the wall to the tree-
          line.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    This is my war, here.
          
          Quaritch climbs the `suit and reaches into the cockpit,
          throwing some switches. The `suit's gas-turbine spools up
          with a rising WHINE.
          
                                                                       25.
          
          
          
                              QUARITCH
                    The avatar program is a joke -- buncha
                    limpdick scientists. But we have a
                    unique opportunity here, you and I. A
                    recon Marine in an avatar body could get
                    me the intel I need, on the ground, right
                    in the hostiles' camp.
          
          The WHINE is now a roaring WHOOSH as the `suit trembles with
          power. The air boils above the exhaust vents.
          
          Quaritch reaches in and operates the controls, flexing one
          huge hand. He nods to the waiting mechanic --
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Looks good.
                        (to Jake)
                    I need you to learn about these savages,
                    gain their trust. Find out how I can
                    force their cooperation, or hit `em hard
                    if they don't. Maybe you can keep some
                    of my boys from going home like you. Or
                    bagged-and-tagged.
          
                              JAKE
                        (NODDING)
                    That sounds real good, Colonel.   So -- am
                    I still with Augustine?
          
                              QUARITCH
                    On paper. You walk like one of her
                    science pukes, you quack like one, but
                    you report to me. Can you do that for
                    me?
          
          Jake nods. Quaritch brings the `suit to life. He steps
          forward and pivots smoothly.
          
          He balances the two ton machine on one foot while sweeping
          the arms in strong, graceful arcs. Jake realizes he is doing
          a WU-SHOO KATA. A flawless display of strength and control.
          He's impressive, and Jake is impressed. Quaritch is the kind
          of man he respects -- focused, hard. Determined.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Look, son -- I take care of my own. Get
                    me what I need, I'll see you get your
                    legs back when you rotate home. Your real
                    legs.
          
          He raises the `suit's hand, and slams the canopy shut like
          the visor of a helmet. Jake watches Quaritch walk past, huge
          feet CLANGING -- KUNG! KUNG! KUNG!
          
                                                                      26.
          
          
          
          INT. BIO LAB - DAY
          
          GRACE is on the move, gulping coffee, in a hurry to get their
          FIRST SORTIE started. She hands a clipboard to MAX.
          
                              GRACE
                    Start calibrating. We're on the flight
                    line in ten minutes.
          
          Max nods and jogs ahead toward the LINK ROOM. JAKE and NORM
          fall in with Grace as they enter the CONNECTING CORRIDOR.
          
                              GRACE
                    What did Atilla want?
          
                              JAKE
                    Just Marines comparin' tattoos.
          
                              GRACE
                        (not buying it)
                    Yeah. Well, listen to me, Marine --
          
          She stops, turning to drill him with a look.
          
                              GRACE
                    -- you're driving an avatar, now.     That
                    means you're in my world, got it?
          
                               JAKE
                    Got it.
          
          She turns and enters the LINK ROOM.
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          Grace crosses to the controls of Jake's LINK UNIT. As the
          others catch up --
          
                              GRACE
                    That son of a bitch has screwed up this
                    program enough. All this --
                        (indicating link room)
                    -- exists so we can go out there and
                    build a bridge of trust to these people,
                    who could teach us so much. But thanks
                    to Quaritch and his thugs the Na'vi won't
                    even talk to us anymore.
          
                              JAKE
                    Then how's this supposed to work?
          
                                                                     27.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    We have a new face.
                        (turning to Norm)
                    You're fluent, you've studied the
                    culture. You're non-threatening. The
                    ones we know best -- the Omaticaya clan --
                    may give you a chance. Maybe you can get
                    them back to the table before things go
                    tits-up for good.
          
                              NORM
                    This is failing as a pep talk.
          
          Jake hauls himself across from wheelchair to link.
          
                              JAKE
                    How do we contact them?
          
                              GRACE
                    We don't. They contact us. If they see
                    us taking our samples, treating the
                    forest with respect --
                        (pointedly to Jake)
                    Not trampling everything in sight --
                    they may reach out to us.
          
                              JAKE
                    Or they may skin us and make a drum.
          
          Jake lies back, lowering the sensor array over his body.
          
                              GRACE
                    Just keep your mouth shut and let Norm do
                    the talking.
          
          She closes his clamshell, HARD, and we --
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAIN FOREST / AERIAL - DAY
          
          FLYING over a carpet of rainforest, past sheer cliffs and
          cloud-wreathed mesas. TRUDY'S SAMSON TILT-ROTOR chases its
          shadow across the treetops. Though big as a Blackhawk, it is
          tiny in the vast primeval landscape.
          
          ANGLE THROUGH the open side doors of the Samson. Trooper
          WAINFLEET, in exo-mask and body armor, leans on his door gun,
          scanning for aerial predators.
          
          In avatar form JAKE, GRACE and NORM watch the forest
          unrolling beneath them, the wind blasting their clothes.
          Jake mans the other door gun, his feet propped on the skids.
          
                                                                       28.
          
          
          
          TRUDY flies from a pressurized cockpit. She banks to follow a
          shallow river.
          
                              TRUDY (INTERCOM)
                    Sturmbeest herd, one o'clock.
          
          Norm grins and points, excitedly. Jake looks in time to see--
          A herd of STURMBEEST -- massive six-legged creatures
          reminiscent of buffalo -- thundering across the river.
          
                               GRACE
                    Looks like a bull, six cows and some
                    juveniles.
          
                              NORM
                    The bull has the red on the dorsal armor?
          
          Grace nods approvingly.
          
          TIME CUT -- Hundreds of purple winged creatures take flight
          from a lake, startled by the Samson. They skim the water
          above their own reflections. TETRAPTERONS.
          
          TIME CUT -- the ground drops away as the Samson flies over a
          WATERFALL hundreds of feet high. Trudy banks hard, rolling
          in on the gorge below like it's a gun-run.
          
          Wainfleet WHOOPS while Norm looks like he's about to puke.
          
                                 WAINFLEET
                    Yo Chacon!     Get some!
          
          Jake grins into the airstream.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. CLEARING - DAY
          
          A small meadow among towering trees. The fern-like "grass"
          is beaten down in waves by the rotor-wash as the Samson
          settles to the ground.
          
          Jake pulls the massive door gun off its pintle mount and
          hefts it like an assault rifle.
          
          He and Wainfleet leap out to secure the LZ, scanning the tree-
          line warily, weapons aimed.
          
          Grace jogs forward to the cockpit, motioning Trudy to shut
          down. Trudy kills the Samson's TURBINES.
          
          Grace, towering over Wainfleet, motions him to hang back.
          
                                                                    29.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Stay with the ship.
                        (for Jake)
                    One idiot with a gun's enough.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Whatever you say, Doc.
          
          Jake takes point as they enter the jungle.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                        (LAUGHING)
                    Ya'll have fun out there.
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          The forest engulfs JAKE, GRACE and NORM in cyan gloom. The
          shadows are alive with the CHITTERING sounds of unseen alien
          wildlife.
          
          TRACKING WITH JAKE as he moves through the foliage, hyper-
          alert -- looking around like a tourist in Hell.A monkey-like
          PROLEMURIS leaping from limb to limb overhead, flashing
          through the sunlight streaming down in shafts.
          
          A PLANT with swaying tendrils which reach toward Jake as he
          passes.
          
          This forest is more alive than any on Earth, with plants that
          react and move like animals. Jake white-knuckles his rifle
          as if every shadow conceals razor-fanged death.
          
                              GRACE
                    Relax, Marine. You're making me nervous.
          
          She pushes ahead of him on the trail, forcing him to lower
          his muzzle as he follows her. Grace moves nimbly on the
          path, seemingly unconcerned.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. FOREST/ GLEN
          
          WIDE SHOT as the party moves between the huge trees, tiny as
          ants. The trail has gotten steeper, the going tougher.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. SCHOOL RUINS - DAY
          
          They enter a clearing with an OVERGROWN BUILDING made of
          timbers cut from the local trees, with a thatch roof. It is
          covered with vines as the jungle reclaims it.
          
                                                                     30.
          
          
          
                              NORM
                    How will they know we're here?
          
                              GRACE
                    I'm sure they're watching us right now.
          
          Norm gulps. Jake looks behind him as they approach the
          school, feeling unseen eyes.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. SCHOOL RUINS
          
          TRACKING WITH JAKE'S BOOTS as he steps among dried leaves and
          a few moldering CHILDREN'S BOOKS. Floorboards CREAK.
          
                              GRACE (O.S.)
                    The kids were so bright, so eager to
                    learn... they picked up English faster
                    than I could teach it to them.
          
          WIDER as Jake explores the room. Grace and Norm are selecting
          INSTRUMENTS from storage cases on a wooden table.
          
                              GRACE
                    Bring the soil probe -- right there,
                    yellow case.
          
          Jake looks up at a RUSTLING among the dark rafters. Roosting
          STINGBATS eye him warily, fluttering their wings.
          
          Grace picks up a moldering copy of "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
          from the floor and puts it back on a shelf.
          
                               GRACE
                        (WISTFULLY)
                    The stingbats knock them off. I guess I
                    always hope somebody will come back and
                    read them.
          
                              NORM
                    Why don't they come back?
          
                              GRACE
                        (GRIMLY)
                    The Na'vi learned as much about us as
                    they needed to know.
          
          Jake sees something, and approaches the blackboard -- reaches
          out to touch a pattern of holes blasted into the slate.
          Unmistakably BULLET HOLES.
          
                                                                       31.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                        (turning to her)
                    What happened here?
          
                              GRACE
                        (SHARPLY)
                    Are you going to help with this gear?
                    We've got a lot to do.
          
          She turns away.   Jake watches her as he jams equipment into
          his pack.
                                                                     CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          CLOSE ON Grace's blue hand gently brushing away soil,
          exposing a tangle of ROOT TENDRILS.
          
                              GRACE
                    See, right here where the roots of the
                    two trees interact.
          
          WIDER -- GRACE and NORM crouch among enormous octopoidal
          roots. She takes a tiny sample using a needle-like probe.
          Norm uses a digital DEVICE to scan the roots.
          
          JAKE, bored, scouts ahead a few meters.
          
          He comes to a GLADE filled with shoulder-high SPIRAL PLANTS
          called HELICORADIANS.
          
          He BRUSHES one and SHTOONK! -- it SUCKS DOWN into a tube in
          the ground so quickly it seems to simply vanish.
          
          Curious, Jake touches another -- SHTOONK! And another --
          like popping balloons after a party. SHTOONK! SHTOONK!
          SHTOONK!
          
          A chain reaction begins and the whole colony pulls down into
          the ground, REVEALING --
          
          A HAMMERHEAD TITANOTHERE. Like a six-legged rhinoceros, but
          twice that size. Its massive, low-slung head has projections
          of bone giving it the look of a hammerhead shark.
          
          Its baleful eyes lock onto him.   Jake raises his rifle.
          
          Grace, alerted by the creature's SNORTS, runs to where she
          can see the tableau. She presses her THROAT MIKE.
          
                              GRACE
                    Don't shoot. You'll piss it off.
          
                                                                       32.
          
          
          
          The bull HAMMERHEAD bellows and lowers its 3 meter wide
          sledgehammer of a skull.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's already pissed off!
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake, that armor's too thick. Trust me.
          
          Jake starts to back away.   The hammerhead bellows again,
          pawing the earth.
          
                              GRACE
                    It's a territorial threat display. Do not
                    run, or he'll charge.
          
                              JAKE
                    What do I do?
          
                              GRACE
                    Hold your ground!
          
          The hammerhead SLASHES its head sideways, splintering
          saplings. It bellows again, lowers its head and CHARGES --
          
          Jake SCREAMS at the top of his lungs, spreads his arms wide
          and runs straight at the thing.
          
          It STOPS abruptly, with an oversized BLEAT.
          
          ON JAKE -- amazed the gambit worked.
          
                               JAKE
                    Oh yeah!   Who's bad?! That's right.
          
          SOMETHING rises up behind him out of focus --
          
          A THANATOR. The most awesome land predator the universe has
          ever conceived This thing could eat a T-rex and have the
          Alien for desert.
          
          It is a black six-limbed panther from Hell, with an armored
          head and massive distensible jaws.
          
          JAKE, unaware of the advancing thanator, is still bracing the
          hammerhead --
          
                              JAKE
                    That's what I'm talkin' about, bitch!
          
          The bull wheels around, TRUMPETING in fear, and CRASHES away
          through splintering undergrowth.
          
                                                                       33.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    That's right motherf--
          
          A guttural SNARL behind him. Jake spins in time to see --
          
          THREE TONS of rippling thanator LAUNCH over him, landing
          between him and the hammerhead. The ground shakes.
          
          The thanator emits an earsplitting ROAR, enraged that the
          hammerhead got away. It twists on itself, turning to face
          Jake, and bares its fangs with a lethal HISS.
          
                              JAKE
                    What about this one?       Run, don't run?
                    What?
          
                                 GRACE
                    Run.     Definitely RUN!
          
          Jake BOLTS as --
          
          The thanator LEAPS after him and --
          
          Jake launches himself between two large trunks, forcing the
          beast to claw its way around to the side while --
          
          Jake scrambles up -- around -- over a tangle of roots and --
          
          SK-RASH!! CLAWS SLASH the air behind him, EXPLODING bark off
          a trunk as --
          
          JAKE wills himself forward in a frenzy. With rippling muscle
          the beast is airborne again, blacking out the sun but --
          
          JAKE dives under a massive root system, and --
          
          CRASH! Kindling rains around him as the beast tears into the
          root-trunks above him. Claws SLASH down next to him as he
          rolls and crawls --
          
          Glistening jaws SMASH and SNAP against the barrier trunks,
          sending chunks of wood flying. It's spittle sprays across
          Jake, jaws inches away as --
          
          He rolls onto his back, and FIRES his AR point blank but the
          rifle is SNATCHED out of his hands. The beast SCREECHES an
          ungodly WAIL of pain and rage and -- RIPS the ENTIRE TRUNK
          away. Jake scrambles to escape but --
          
          GLISTENING JAWS lunge downward, SNAP SHUT and --
          
          The creature rips Jake out of the tree, shaking him like a
          junkyard dog with a rabbit, only --
          
                                                                       34.
          
          
          
          It has him by the BACKPACK, so Jake unlatches it and --
          
          He FLIES FREE as the thanator crushes the pack with its
          teeth. Giving Jake a moment to sprint away, but --
          
          With a hideous BELLOW the thanator crashes after him,
          splintering trees.
          
          JAKE RUNS in a blur, dodging between trunks as a glistening
          black tornado shreds the forest behind him and --
          
          He sees WATER ahead and DIVES OUTWARD with all his might --
          
          The thanator's jaws SNAP SHUT inches behind him as he flies
          out into open space and --
          
          JAKE SPLASHES down into a swiftly moving river.
          
          The thanator LEAPS DOWN AFTER HIM, pursuing from rock to
          rock, its claws swiping like a grizzly fishing for salmon.
          
          Jake ducks under as -- FWHOOSH! -- black claws SLASH past
          his face amid turbulent bubbles.
          
          A WATERFALL ahead. Jake is swept over the falls, with the
          thanator SWIPING at him from a rock, just MISSING and --
          
          Jake disappears down the throat of the thundering cataract.
          
          EXT. RIVER BELOW FALLS - DAY
          
          The water boils below the cataract. Jake's head bursts
          through the surface, and he gasps for breath.
          
          He is carried along by the current, but manages to grab a
          limb on a fallen tree. He weakly pulls himself up, and just
          lies there gasping on the trunk.
          
          Above him, on the cliff, the THANATOR BELLOWS, a roar which
          echoes across the jungle.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          JAKE, wet and bruised, crouches under a screen of giant
          leaves.   He hacks manically at the end of a cut sapling with
          his knife, forming a crude but sharp tip.
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          TRACKING with Jake as he walks through the forest like it's a
          minefield, carrying his SPEAR white-knuckled. He is freaked
          and hyper-alert.
          
                                                                        35.
          
          
          
          The trees here are a hundred meters high, blocking out the
          sky. A few pencil beams of sunlight filter down into the
          cyan gloom.
          
          POV FROM ABOVE -- looking down through leaves we watch Jake
          move warily through the forest.
          
          ECU -- TWO GOLDEN EYES, bright in the shadows.
          
          DOWNANGLE as Jake passes under a tree limb. Invisible to
          him, draped on the limb like a leopard, is a striking NA'VI
          GIRL. She watches, only her eyes moving.
          
          She is lithe as a cat, with a long neck, muscular shoulders,
          and nubile breasts. And she is devastatingly beautiful --
          for a girl with a tail. In human age she would be 18. Her
          name is NEYTIRI(nay-Tee-ree).
          
          Jake passes less than 2 meters beneath her, oblivious.
          
          NEYTIRI rises soundlessly. In one fluid, sinuous movement
          she NOCKS an arrow to her BOW and DRAWS, aiming RIGHT AT
          JAKE. Utterly silent.
          
          Below her Jake is totally unaware of the arrow aimed at his
          THROAT.
          
          ON NEYTIRI as she follows him with the bow, muscles tensing
          for the shot --
          
          -- and SOMETHING drifts down in front of her, F.G.    She
          hesitates.
          
          RACK FOCUS to the tip of the arrow -- where a single
          WOODSPRITE floats down to land on the arrow-head.Like a
          dandelion seed, but larger, the WOODSPRITE waves its silky
          CILIA, feather light, as it balances on the deadly point. It
          glows faintly in the dark shadows.
          
          NEYTIRI frowns, puzzled, and LOWERS her bow slowly.   The
          woodsprite WHIRLS away into the gloom.
                                                                      CUT TO:
          
          INT./EXT. SAMSON - SUNSET
          
          GRACE and NORM peer down into the shadowed forest as TRUDY
          banks in a search pattern.
          
                              TRUDY (INTERCOM)
                    I'm going to have to call it, guys. We're
                    not allowed to run night ops. Colonel's
                    orders.
          
                                                                        36.
          
          
          
          Grace looks to the west.    The sun setting behind alien trees.
          
                              GRACE
                    Shit.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Sorry, Doc. He's just gonna have to hang
                    on `till morning.
          
                              GRACE
                    He's not going to make it till morning.
          
          Grace stares into the dark forest as the Samson banks hard,
          thundering away toward the setting sun.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - NIGHT
          
          LONG LENS-- POLYPHEMUS. The giant planet rises behind the
          black trees.
          
          Jake's got a new problem. He sees shapes moving with liquid
          grace in the NIGHT shadows behind him. He is being stalked by
          a pack of VIPERWOLVES.
          
          Jake catches only glimpses -- a glint of eyes, a slinking
          black movement -- then nothing. Darkness.
          
          TIME CUT -- TIGHT ON Jake's hands as he knots his T-shirt
          around the butt end of the spear.
          
          ANGLE ON THICK SAP trickling down a tree-trunk. Jake jams
          the makeshift torch into the sap, soaking the shirt with it.
          
          A WATERPROOF MATCH from his survival kit lights the torch.
          
          The torch creates a pool of light surrounded by pulsing,
          leaping shadows. Jake turns warily as he moves along the
          trail.
          
          Behind him are several pairs of reflective green EYES.
          Another pair flanking him beside the trail. Black-on-black
          SHAPES which seem to flow like liquid.
          
          He looks up -- sees one cross a limb overhead.   Another on
          his opposite flank.
          
          Then a hideous sound, like a hyena's psychotic LAUGH.
          
          The VIPERWOLVES can run like a dog and climb like a monkey.
          They are hunting Jake from the ground and the trees.
          
                                                                       37.
          
          
          
          JAKE RUNS by torch-light, on the edge of panic. He reaches a
          steep banked stream and -- without thinking -- runs across it
          on a horizontal trunk --
          
          -- and STOPS DEAD on the other side. The torch illuminates
          GREEN EYES cutting ahead of him across the trail. The
          viperwolves have him encircled.
          
          The psychotic BARKS become more intense as they signal each
          other, getting excited. ONE MAKES A RUN at him, angling on
          his legs from behind but --
          
          JAKE WHIRLS, jamming the torch in its face.   It yips and goes
          past, but ANOTHER moves in --
          
          He jabs it with the business end of the spear and it SNARLS,
          retreating, baring its fangs.
          
          Now half a dozen are circling him in the open, and he sees
          what he's up against.   The VIPERWOLVES are six-limbed with
          shiny chitinous skin, their paws leathery BLACK HANDS.
          Intelligent eyes. Glistening black teeth in dead white gums.
          
          Jake realizes that he is making his final stand.   He whirls
          the torch in an arc, keeping them at bay --
          
          And feels a rush of adrenaline. It goes through him like a
          lightning bolt and the fear is gone.
          
                              JAKE
                        (SCREAMING)
                    I don't have all goddamn night! Come on!
                    Come on!
          
          With snarls and a blur of motion THEY ATTACK.
          
          Jake CRACKS the spear down on one, then SPINS as --
          
          ANOTHER LEAPS at him and he plants the spear in it, striking
          true, but --
          
          Its momentum wrenches it from his hands, and the torch goes
          flying. Left in semi-darkness, Jake draws his KNIFE as--
          
          A WOLF LUNGES, sinking its teeth into his arm. He YELLS in
          pain and fury, SLASHING with the knife which --
          
          CUTS deep into the beast's shoulder and it lets go.
          
          JAKE SPRINTS, trying to escape, but a snarling viperwolf
          leaps, GRABBING him by the ankle with its fore-hand. Jake
          tears away, sprawling, SCRAMBLING to get up as --
          
                                                                       38.
          
          
          
          THREE WOLVES charge at once.     The nearest LEAPS at his throat
          just as --
          
          THUNK!! -- an ARROW appears in its chest.
          
          The wolf lands on him, already a dead weight.    He pushes it
          off in time to see --
          
          A BLUE AMAZON emerge from the trees, nock another arrow, draw
          and FIRE in one fluid motion. AN UNEARTHLY YOWL as another
          wolf falls.
          
          NEYTIRI LEAPS right over Jake, and CRACKS her bow down on the
          skull of a circling wolf.
          
          ANOTHER SPRINGS at her and she drops under its weight, but
          rolls, coming up on top of it with a knife in her hand.
          
          Her knife FLASHES down, buried to the hilt in its chest.
          
          SNARLING, a wounded wolf attacks Jake, and he KICKS it away,
          but --
          
          It SPINS and leaps back onto him, and Jake barely catches its
          throat in time to keep the SNAPPING JAWS away from his face.
          
          MEANWHILE Neytiri swings her bow in a big arc, CRACKING IT
          across the heads and shoulders of two remaining wolves.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Rrreeyaaah! Hyaaaah!!
          
          The wolves slink and circle, yelping as the bow whistles past
          them. Finally they break and run, with Neytiri chasing and--
          
          They bound away through the foliage as she SHOUTS after them--
          
                                 NEYTIRI
                    Raaaarrrr!
          
          Jake has his adversary pinned and is choking it with all his
          weight. Finally it stops thrashing. Panting, he releases it
          and looks up at --
          
          NEYTIRI. Her tail LASHES as she scans the forest, listening
          to the fading YELPS of the wolves. Satisfied the attack is
          over, she turns.
          
          She regards him coldly for a second, then walks past him.
          Neytiri picks up the torch and extinguishes it in a stream.
          
                              JAKE
                    Wait, don't --
          
                                                                       39.
          
          
          
          Jake blinks around at the darkness -- realizing he can still
          see. In fact, with the blinding torchlight gone, the forest
          is transformed.
          
          The jungle has come alive with BIOLUMINESCENCE -- spots and
          patterns, ghosts and galaxies of blue-green light.
          
          Jake scrambles to recover his spear.   Neytiri kneels beside --
          
          A DYING WOLF. It's CRIES are pitiful. It paws the air,
          trying to raise its head. She pulls her KNIFE from its
          chest.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (in Na'vi)
                    Forgive me, my brother.
          
          She cuts its throat, ending the pitiful cries. She touches
          its head gently, regarding it with sadness.
          
          Neytiri wipes the knife and returns it to the sheath at her
          waist. She crosses to another slain wolf and kneels, pulling
          the arrow from its heart.
          
                              JAKE
                    Look, um, I know you probably don't
                    understand this. But -- thanks. Thank
                    you. I owe you.
          
          Neytiri ignores him, assuming a prayer posture over the dead
          animal.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (in Na'vi)
                    Forgive me. May your spirit run with the
                    Great Mother.
          
                              JAKE
                    I would have been screwed if you hadn't
                    come along --
          
          She rises and walks away without looking at Jake.
          
                              JAKE
                    Hey, wait. Wait!   Where you goin'?
          
          He crashes through some plants, catching up to her.
          
                              JAKE
                    Slow down a second will you. I just want
                    to thank you for killing those --
          
          He makes the mistake of grasping her shoulder and --
          
                                                                     40.
          
          
          
          WHACK! She WALLOPS him upside the head with her bow in a
          fierce backhand swing, laying him out flat.
          
          He looks up to see a FURY standing over him. A Fury who
          speaks English -- accented, halting, angry English.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Don't thank! You don't thank for this!
                    This is sad. Very sad, only.
          
                              JAKE
                    Okay, I'm sorry.    Whatever I did -- I'm
                    sorry.
          
          She gestures at the bodies of the viperwolves.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    All this is your fault! They did not need
                    to die.
          
                              JAKE
                    They attacked me.   How'm I the bad guy
                    HERE--
          
          She silences him with the tip of her bow at his throat.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Your fault! You are like a baby, making
                    noise, don't know what to do. You should
                    not come here, all of you! You only come
                    and make problems. Only.
          
          Jake gets up, slowly, facing her.
          
                              JAKE
                    Okay, fine, you love your little forest
                    friends. So why not just let them kill
                    my ass? What's the thinking?
          
          CU Neytiri -- looking away. Finally, reluctantly, her eyes
          MEET HIS for the first time -- a riveting gaze with those big
          gold orbs.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Why save you?
          
                              JAKE
                    Yes, why save me?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You have a strong heart.   No fear.
          
          She leans closer --
          
                                                                       41.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    But stupid! Ignorant like a child!
          
          She turns away, stalking off, but Jake goes after her.
          
          TRACKING WITH Neytiri as she climbs nimbly along a huge ROOT.
          
          WIDER as she trots with perfect balance along the root, which
          forms an elevated walkway.
          
          Jake runs to catch up, realizing suddenly that he is far
          above the forest floor. Throughout the following they move
          through a GLOWING PHANTASMAGORICAL FOREST.
          
                              JAKE
                    If I'm so ignorant, maybe you should
                    teach me.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Sky people can not learn.   You do not
                    See.
          
          She leaps to another elevated root.   Jake follows, surprised
          that he made it.
          
                               JAKE
                    Whooaa.
          
          He runs to catch up with her easy jogging pace.
          
                              JAKE
                    Then teach me to "see."
          
          She stops and he almost runs into her.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    No one can teach you to See.
          
          Then she turns and trots on.
          
          EXT. GORGE - NIGHT
          
          They run across the elevated root of an enormous tree -- a
          horizontal trunk big as an oak.
          
          WIDE SHOT as they cross a DEEP GORGE. A waterfall shimmers
          silver in the Polyphemus-light. Vines hang down a hundred
          feet into the gorge, and among them swoop stingbats and other
          night flyers.
          
                              JAKE
                    Hey, slow down. Look, I think we just
                    got off on the wrong foot and --
          
                                                                       42.
          
          
          
          Jake looks down, suddenly aware of the height.
          
                              JAKE
                    --you just have to get to know me. I'm
                    Jake. Jake Sull--
          
          A vine catches his spear and spins him off balance.   He drops
          the spear and almost falls off the root.
          
                              JAKE
                    Whooaaa -- shit!
          
          Neytiri catches him with one hand, gripping his bicep. He
          watches the spear cartwheel down to splash in the river.
          
          She pulls him upright. Shouts at him in English and Na'vi.
          
                              JAKE
                    I need your help.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You should not be here.
          
                              JAKE
                    So take me with you.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    No. You go back.
          
          DOWN ANGLE FROM FAR ABOVE -- several WOODSPRITES float down
          through the trees. FOLLOW THEM as they descend silently
          toward Jake and Neytiri.
          
          NEYTIRI, sensing a presence, looks up to see --
          
          The WOODSPRITES, PULSING with purpose, float right towards
          Jake. They dance gently around his shoulders and head.
          
                              JAKE
                        (off her amazed look)
                    What?
          
          More woodsprites gather around him.   Several ALIGHT on him.
          
          Jake holds still, knowing he should be afraid -- but somehow
          he's not. He spreads his arms. More sprites come, landing
          all over his arms, hands, body.
          
                              JAKE
                    What are they?
          
          CU NEYTIRI -- reacting with a mixture of wonder and dread.
          
                                                                       43.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Atokirina'. Seeds of the Great Tree --
                    very pure spirits.
          
          Jake -- now a pulsing, glowing, fluttering MASS OF LIGHT --
          moves one hand slowly, not wanting to break the spell. He
          studies one of the sprites dancing on his palm until --
          
          -- WHOOSSHH! the woodsprites whirl up and away, scattering
          into the darkness.
          
                              JAKE
                    What was that all about?
          
          Neytiri seems shaken.   She seizes his hand and pulls him
          after her.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Come!
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - NIGHT
          
          TRACKING WITH JAKE as he gazes about him in growing wonder.
          He touches leaves as he passes, watching the bioluminescence
          shiver through them.
          
          Jake looks down as -- they cross a bed of purple MOSS which
          reacts to the pressure of their footsteps. Rings of green
          light, like ripples on a pond, expand outward from each
          footfall. Exploding rings of light where his feet touch
          down. Dream-like, surreal beauty.
          
          WIDE ON THEM as they run over a large root, across a mirror-
          like POOL at the base of a WATERFALL.
          
          Jake follows Neytiri, running along a raised root-trunk.
          
                              JAKE
                    What's your name?
          
          JAKE hears WHOOSH-WHOOSH and snaps a look as a BOLO flies at
          him, spinning end for end and --
          
          SHWHAP!! -- tangles around his legs.   He topples off the root
          and crashes into the foliage below.
          
          JAKE untangles himself, getting up to run just as --
          
          SEVERAL NA'VI RIDERS thunder toward him. They are riding
          DIREHORSES -- six-legged, armor-skinned alien Clydesdales.
          
                                                                       44.
          
          
          We see that the riders' QUEUES are connected to the horses'
          long moth-like antennae -- a neural-link with which they can
          command the horse, leaving hands free for weapons.
          
          The riders aim bows and spears at Jake as they approach. Jake
          turns to bolt, but --
          
          NA'VI HUNTERS melt out of the shadows, weapons aimed --
          blocking his retreat.
          
          Neytiri drops to the ground next to Jake and confronts the
          LEAD RIDER. She shouts sharply in Na'vi --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Tsu'tey, what are you doing?! He is my
                    captive!
          
          TSU'TEY(tsu-Tay)is young and powerfully built, with sculpted
          features and a proud jawline, piercing eyes. Tsu'tey swings
          off his mount with fluid grace.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    These demons are forbidden here. I will
                    kill this one as a lesson to the others!
          
          Tsu'tey draws his bow but Neytiri leaps between him and Jake,
          confronting him warrior to warrior.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Stop! There has been a sign. This is a
                    matter for the Tsahik.
          
          Tsu'tey clenches his jaw with frustration -- frustration with
          her as much as the situation. He turns and angrily remounts
          his direhorse, barking a command to the HUNTERS.
          
                               TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Bring him.
          
          They grab Jake and haul him to his feet. Encircled by spears
          and bows, he is shoved forward along the trail, as Tsu'tey
          and the others ride ahead.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. HOMETREE - NIGHT
          
          JAKE is hauled roughly toward Neytiri's village, which is
          sheltered inside one of the GREAT TREES. HOMETREE is 250
          meters tall, with a trunk four times the diameter of the
          largest Sequoia, and a base of massive mangrove-pillars.
          
                                                                      45.
          
          
          
          TSU'TEY rides inside the columns at the base of Hometree,
          shouting an ululating WARNING.
          
          Jake is force-marched through the pillars into --
          
          INT. COMMONS/HOMETREE - NIGHT
          
          An open CENTRAL AREA. The villagers gather to see the
          arriving hunt party. We see the people of the tribe --
          mothers with babies, old women, young hunters.
          
          They gawk at the alien, expressions ranging from curiosity to
          outright hostility. The huge eyes of the children follow
          him.
          
          Jake is amazed at the size of HOMETREE inside. By the light
          of the COOK-FIRES he can see up into a vast cylindrical
          gallery -- a living cathedral.
          
          Clear membranes -- sturmbeest bladders -- filled with
          fluttering bio-luminescent insects, act as area lighting.
          
          The central space is dominated by the SKULL of some enormous
          creature, mounted with much embellishment on a TOTEM.
          Standing in front of this, awaiting their approach, is --
          
          EYTUKAN (AY-too-kahn), the Clan Leader. Eytukan has deeply
          chiselled features and a long chest mantle of THANATOR CLAWS.
          His normally stern features are clouded further by anger.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Why do you bring this creature here?
          
          Neytiri addresses Eytukan in Na'vi.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    I was going to kill him, but there was a
                    sign from Eywa.
          
          He glowers at her as he responds, pointing at Jake.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    I have said no dreamwalker will come
                    here, to offend our home! His alien
                    smell fills my nose
          
          Neytiri stands her ground, answering in a respectful but not
          submissive tone.
          
                                                                       46.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Father, many atokirina came to this
                    alien.
          
                              JAKE
                    What's going on?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    My father is deciding whether to kill
                    you.
          
                              JAKE
                    Your father!?
                        (to Eytukan)
                    Uh, good to meet you, sir.
          
          Jake steps forward, offering his hand, and the hunters JUMP
          to restrain him, shouting. But they all FREEZE as --
          
          A commanding FEMALE VOICE echoes through the chamber.
          
                               MO'AT
                        (NA'VI)
                    Step back!
          
          Everybody looks up.
          
          MO'AT (MOH-aht) stands on the second level, looking down.
          She is a severe woman in her 50's. Her bearing is haughty,
          her expression friendly as a hanging-judge. Her outfit is
          elaborate, denoting her rank as CLAN MATRIARCH.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    I will look at this alien.
          
          There is an expectant hush as Mo'at descends the helical core
          of Hometree, a kind of natural spiral staircase.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    That is Mother. She is Tsahik -- the one
                    who interprets the will of Eywa.
          
                              JAKE
                    Who's Eywa?
          
          Neytiri kneels before her like an acolyte as Mo'at passes.
          
          The villagers stare silently as the Matriarch circles slowly
          around Jake, examining his tail and the end of his queue.
          
                                                                     47.
          
          
          
                              MO'AT
                        (thick accent)
                    What are you called?
          
                              JAKE
                    Jake Sully.
          
          She produces a long THORN between her fingertips. With a
          flourish she strikes his chest.
          
          Jake flinches. RED BLOOD wells up and Mo'at rubs some
          between her fingertips. She tastes it.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Why did you come to us?
          
                              JAKE
                    I came to learn.
          
                              MO'AT
                    We have tried to teach other Sky People.
                    It is hard to fill a cup which is already
                    full.
          
                              JAKE
                    My cup is empty, trust me. Just ask
                    Doctor Augustine. I'm no scientist.
          
                              MO'AT
                    What are you?
          
                              JAKE
                    I don't know. I was a Marine -- uh, a
                    warrior. Of the Jarhead clan.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    A warrior! I could kill him easily!
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    No! This is the first warrior
                    dreamwalker we have seen. We need to
                    learn more about him.
          
                              JAKE
                    What's going on?   What are they saying?
          
                              MO'AT
                        (to Neytiri, subtitled)
                    Daughter. You will teach him our way, to
                    speak and walk as we do.
          
                                                                     48.
          
          
          
          NEYTIRI looks shocked, then angry.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Why me? That's not fair!     I only--
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    It is decided!
          
          Neytiri subsides, turning to glare at Jake.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (to Jake)
                    My daughter will teach you our ways.
                    Learn well, Jakesully. We will see if
                    your insanity can be cured.
          
          She turns to Neytiri, her expression stern --
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    He is your responsibility.
          
          Neytiri nods, accepting, but she's not a happy camper.   She
          grabs Jake's arm and pulls him roughly away.
          
                              JAKE
                    So it's all good, right?   You and me --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Do not speak.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. SECOND LEVEL/HOMETREE
          
          LATER, Neytiri leads Jake up the spiral to the SECOND LEVEL.
          He now wears only a ratty LOINCLOTH. His wounds are bound
          with plant-fiber bandages.
          
          THE ENTIRE CLAN is squatting at dinner in a huge circle. They
          stop talking and turn to gaze at Jake as he enters the
          circle.
          
                              JAKE
                    Don't get up.
          
          Neytiri crosses the circle to the cook pit and returns with
          several large leaves heaped with food. She kneels next to
          Jake, placing the food in front of him almost DEFIANTLY.
          
                              JAKE
                    You never told me your name.
          
                                                                       49.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Neytiri te Ckaha Mo'at'ite.
          
                              JAKE
                    Okay, again, a whole lot slower.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (exaggerated slowness)
                    Neytiri. Nay-TEE-ree.
          
          Jake knows she's baiting him.   He smiles in response.
          
                              JAKE
                    Nay-TEE-ree. That's nice. Nay-TEE-ree.
          
          ACROSS THE CIRCLE, Tsu'tey, Mo'at and Eytukan sit together,
          glancing up occasionally from their food to the stranger.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    These aliens try to look like people, but
                    they can't.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    He seems dim to me.   And his eyes are too
                    small.
          
          NEYTIRI motions for Jake to take portions from the serving
          leaves onto his own leaf.
          
                              JAKE
                    Your mom likes me.    I can tell.
          
          MO'AT, watching Jake and Neytiri, leans over to Eytukan.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Neytiri will test this "warrior." Hey may
                    learn nothing -- but we will learn much.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                    You speak truth. We must understand
                    these Sky People if we are to drive them
                    out.
          
          Jake munches on a white shrimp-like thing.
          
                              JAKE
                    These rock. What are they?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Teylu. You call beetle larvae.
          
                                                                       50.
          
          
          
          Jake blanches. She heaps some more onto his leaf -- a
          CHALLENGE -- and Jake meets her eyes, takes a handful, and
          starts munching enthusiastically.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's some damn fine teylu. That's like
                    grandma's teylu.
          
          CU TSU'TEY, warily eyeing Jake --
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    I say she will kill him.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. THIRD LEVEL - NIGHT
          
          The sleeping level -- families nesting in groups on woven
          hammocks the size of trampolines. The hunters sleep along
          SPOKES joining the inner trunk to the tree's outer shell.
          
          Jake lies awake in a hammock, people rustling in the darkness
          around him. Neytiri is nearby, curled up like a little girl.
          She stares at him for a moment, then closes her eyes.
          
          Jake watches the glowing bugs fluttering inside a night-
          light, a pulse of life energy. A strange peace spreads
          through him. He closes his eyes and --
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. LINK ROOM - NIGHT
          
          GRACE is over JAKE in the Link, SLAPPING him, as Max and NORM
          hover.
          
                              GRACE
                    Come on back, kid, that's it.
          
                              JAKE
                    Wha --? Oh.
          
          He looks around, blinking.   Reality crashing in.
          
                              GRACE
                    Damn, you were dug in like a tick.
                        (she helps him sit up)
                    Is the avatar safe?
          
                              JAKE
                        (huge grin)
                    Yeah, Doc -- and you are not going to
                    believe where I am.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                       51.
          
          
          
          INT. COMMISSARY - MORNING
          
          BREAKFAST the next day. The other drivers lean forward,
          hanging on Grace's re-telling of the tale.
          
                              GRACE
                    -- so the kid's out there one night and
                    he's got the Queen Bitch herself offering
                    him the spare room and the car keys.
                    Unbelievable.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's not something you can teach.
          
          Some of the other scientists clap Jake on the shoulders in
          congratulation.
          
                              MAX
                    That's awesome, Jake.
          
          NORM chomps his bacon, fuming.
          
                               GRACE
                         (to Jake, getting serious)
                    For reasons I cannot fathom, the
                    Omaticaya have chosen you. God help us
                    all.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - MORNING
          
          JAKE has reported to SELFRIDGE and QUARITCH. Quaritch turns
          from gazing out at the wall of forest, displaying a feral
          grin.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Jarhead clan?
                        (he laughs)
                    And that worked?
          
                              JAKE
                        (GRINNING)
                    Yeah. They want to study me.   See if I
                    can learn to be one of them.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    That's how you seize the initiative. I
                    wish I had ten more like you.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Look, Sully -- find out what these blue
                    monkeys want.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                       52.
          
                              SELFRIDGE (cont'd)
                    We try to give them medicine and
                    education. Roads! But no -- they like
                    mud. I wouldn't care except --
          
          Selfridge turns to a large 3D GRAPHIC DISPLAY, pointing. A
          road runs from Hell's Gate to a proposed new mine miles away.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Their damn village is sitting right over
                    the richest unobtanium deposit for a
                    hundred klicks in any direction. Which
                    sucks -- for them -- because they need to
                    relocate.
          
                              JAKE
                        (taking that in)
                    Does Augustine know about this?
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Yeah, she does, and she's on the next
                    ship back if she tries to cock-block me
                    on it.
          
                              JAKE
                    So -- who talks them into moving?
          
                              QUARITCH
                        (TURNING)
                    Guess.
          
                              JAKE
                    What if they won't go?
          
                              QUARITCH
                        (ICY)
                    I'm betting they will.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Killing the indigenous looks bad, but
                    there's one thing shareholders hate more
                    than bad press -- and that's a bad
                    quarterly statement. Find me a carrot to
                    get them to move, or it's going to have
                    to be all stick.
          
          Jake is shaken by the enormity of this new responsibility.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    You got three months.    That's when the
                    dozers get there.
          
                                 JAKE
                    I'm on it.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                     53.
          
          
          
          INT. BIO LAB - MORNING
          
          JAKE pumps his chair across the lab, flanked by GRACE and
          NORM. Grace holds STEREO STILL PICTURES in front of him, one
          at a time -- images of clan members she has shot over the
          years -- a kind of flash card drill.
          
                              JAKE
                    Tsu'tey.
                        (next photo)
                    Mo'at.
                        (next photo)
                    Eytukan.
          
                              GRACE
                    He's the clan leader --
                        (indicating Mo'at)
                    -- but she's the spiritual leader.   Like
                    a shaman.
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          The dialogue is continuous as they enter.
          
                              JAKE
                    Got it. So who's this Eywa?
          
                              NORM
                    Who's Eywa? Oh, only their deity. The
                    Great Mother. The goddess made up of all
                    living things. You'd know that if you
                    had any training whatsoever.
          
          He hauls himself from wheelchair to Link.
          
                              JAKE
                    Who's got a date with the chief's
                    daughter?
          
                              GRACE
                    Knock it off. Jesus, it's like
                    kindergarten around here.
          
          As Jake settles into the soft embrace of the link, Grace
          inputs commands at the control station.
          
                              GRACE
                    Neytiri was my best student. She and her
                    sister Silwanin. Just amazing girls.
          
                              JAKE
                    I didn't meet the sister.
          
                                                                       54.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                        (QUIETLY)
                    No, she's dead.
                        (turning to him)
                    Okay, let's go -- village life starts
                    early.
          
                              MAX
                    Link is ready.
          
          Grace lowers the bio-sensor array over Jake's chest.
          
                              GRACE
                    Don't do anything unusually stupid.
          
          She closes the clamshell and we --
          
          INT. HOMETREE/ THIRD LEVEL - DAY
          
          CU JAKE'S AVATAR, blinking awake, staring up at --
          
          HOMETREE, like a gothic cathedral overhead.   Sunlight streams
          down through gaps in the towering vault.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMONS - DAY
          
          JAKE walks among the villagers, who go about their daily
          tasks.
          
          -- young girls sit together, weaving and SINGING.    They look
          up as he passes, then go back to work.
          
          --two men clean the fish they've caught.
          
          -- a young mother pounds seeds into meal, while nursing an
          infant.
          
          --children chase each other and climb like monkeys. One bold
          LITTLE GIRL runs up to Jake, stops -- staring -- then shrieks
          with laughter as she runs back to her playmates.
          
          GRINNING, Jake turns to see NEYTIRI cantering toward him on a
          DIREHORSE. She leads a second horse, an old sway-backed
          MARE. His grin drops.
          
          EXT. RIVER NEAR HOMETREE - DAY
          
          JAKE nervously grips the surcingle of the mare. Neytiri holds
          its nose-ring while Jake clumsily mounts.
          
          Jake bends one of its ANTENNAE down to the tip of his queue.
          He hesitantly touches them together and --
          
                                                                       55.
          
          
          
          TIGHT SHOT -- the tendrils INTERWEAVE.
          
          Jake's PUPILS DILATE and his mouth drops open. The horse's
          eyes also go wide and it HONKS nervously. Neytiri touches her
          fingertips to the neural interface.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    This is shahaylu -- the bond. Feel her
                    heartbeat, her breath. Feel her strong
                    legs.
          
          Jake closes his eyes, nodding.   One with the horse.
          
          TSU'TEY and another young hunter come out of the forest
          leading TWO DIREHORSES. The magnificent animals drink from
          the edge of the pool. Tsu'tey watches Jake's riding lesson
          with disdain.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You may tell her what to do --
                        (she touches her head)
                    -- inside. For now, say where to go.
          
                               JAKE
                    Forward.
          
          The horse LAUNCHES into a GALLOP. Jake flops around, with no
          idea how to sit the animal, and is promptly THROWN OFF. He
          lands painfully in the mud.
          
          He gets up, brushing mud off knees and ass, as Neytiri leads
          the horse back to him.
          
                               NEYTIRI
                    Again.
          
          SERIES OF JUMP CUTS -- Jake falls off the horse in various
          ways, seemingly landing harder each time.
          
          ON JAKE, face down in the mud of the riverbank. He painfully
          rises to hands and knees. Which is when he sees --
          
          TSU'TEY and another HUNTER thundering across the shallow
          river on their direhorses. Spray blasts up from their
          hooves.
          
          Jake stands, covered in mud, as Tsu'tey stops his horse next
          to him, looking down with disdain.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    You should go away.
          
                                                                       56.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                        (to Neytiri)
                    I knew this guy could speak English.
          
          Tsu'tey turns to Neytiri, who is leading the old mare back.
          
                               TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    This alien will learn nothing.   A rock
                    Sees more.
          
          She sighs in agreement. Tsu'tey and the other hunter wheel
          their horses around and THUNDER OFF into the woods.
          
          NEYTIRI gestures to Jake's horse.
          
                               NEYTIRI
                    Again.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          OPS CENTER - NIGHT
          
          Grouped around a table are JAKE, COLONEL QUARITCH, SELFRIDGE
          and few ENGINEERS and OFFICERS. Jake is talking them through
          plans he's made of Hometree's inner structure.
          
                              JAKE
                    You've got outer columns, then a
                    secondary ring here, and an inner ring.
                    Then a core structure, it's like a
                    spiral, that's how they move up and down.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I'm going to need accurate scans of all
                    these columns.
          
                              JAKE
                    Roger that.
          
          ANGLE ON MAX, at the stairwell. He's been watching Jake
          talking rapidly to Quaritch, but can't hear him. Frowning,
          he backs away, down the stairs.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. BIO LAB - DAY
          
          JAKE, GRACE and NORM are packing science gear and supplies.
          
                              GRACE
                    I'm not about to let Quaritch and
                    Selfridge micro-manage this thing.
                        (she looks pointedly at Jake)
                    We're going up into the mountains.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                       57.
          
                              GRACE (cont'd)
                    There's a mobile link up at Site 26 that
                    we can work out of.
          
                              NORM
                    The Hallelujah Mountains?
          
                              GRACE
                    That's right.
          
                              NORM
                    Yesssss!
                        (off Jake's look)
                    The legendary Floating Mountains of
                    Pandora? Heard of them?
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - AERIAL - DAY
          
          A SAMSON THUNDERS over the rainforest, climbing into the mist-
          shrouded mountains.
          
          In the SEALED COCKPIT, Norm is up front, sitting left seat so
          Trudy can talk him through the flight controls. Jake and
          Grace are behind them, in the jump-seats.
          
          Grace and Norm's UNCONSCIOUS AVATARS ride in the open back
          compartment.
          
                              TRUDY
                    It only takes tiny inputs.   Here, put
                    your hand on the cyclic --
          
          She points to the stick between her knees. Norm hesitantly
          reaches over and rests his hand on hers.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Feel how small the moves are? You barely
                    have to think it, and the aircraft
                    reacts.
          
          ON NORM -- reacting to tiny inputs from the hot lady-pilot.
          
          THE SAMSON is dwarfed by enormous ARCHES OF ROCK.
          
                              GRACE
                    See these magnetic formations.   We're
                    getting close.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Yeah we are. Look at my instruments.
          
          On the dash, many of the displays are fritzing out.
          
                                                                       58.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Yup. We're in the flux vortex.
          
          AHEAD, a cloud bank parts, revealing --
          
          THE HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS.   Right in front of them.
          
                              NORM
                    Oh. My. God.
          
          Jake leans forward between the seatbacks for a good look out
          the front canopy.
          
          JAKE'S POV -- enormous islands of rock are hovering a half
          mile above the ground. They are overgrown with rainforest,
          and straggly beards of vines hang down beneath them.
          Waterfalls stream down the sides and dissolve into spray at
          the bottom.
          
          ON JAKE, staring in amazement.   It is both awe-inspiring and
          disturbing.
          
          Trudy turns, grinning at Jake.
          
                              TRUDY
                    You should see your face.
          
          WIDE AERIAL -- the Samson is tiny as it approaches the
          floating islands of rock. An archipelago among the clouds,
          they cast great shadows over the forested slopes below.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Yeah, so what does hold them up? Grace
                    explained it to me -- some kind of maglev
                    effect because unobtanium is a
                    superconductor, or something. At least
                    somebody understands it. Just not me.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. SITE 26 - DAY
          
          A remote RESEARCH STATION -- TWO SHACKS and a few clusters of
          instruments perched on a promontory near the Hallelujah
          Mountains. The shacks are AIRLIFT MODULES the size of buses.
          
          THE SAMSON LANDS, beating the grass with its rotor-wash. The
          humans hop out, wearing MASKS.
          
          They move toward the Shack, taking in the spectacular
          panorama.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
                                                                    59.
          
          
          
          INT. SHACK - DAY
          
          NORM and TRUDY assist JAKE with his chair as they cycle in
          through the AIRLOCK. GRACE is already inside, starting the
          GENNY. She turns on the lights and equipment.
          
          There are 4 bunks, a clutter of science gear, and -- through
          a short connecting corridor -- THREE LINK UNITS in the second
          module.
          
          As Grace powers up the Link equipment, Jake stops to look at
          STEREO STILL PICTURES which are taped and tacked up around
          her workstation.
          
          CLOSE ON PICTURES -- Grace posing at the school with various
          grinning children. There is one of her with two lanky girls,
          a younger Neytiri and an older girl who looks much like her.
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake, take number two, it's the least
                    glitchy. Norm, I need you to operate
                    Jake's link.
          
          Norm glares at Jake as he passes.
          
                              JAKE
                    Hey. You got a problem?
          
          Norm turns to Grace, his frustration boiling over.
          
                              NORM
                    I trained three years for this mission.
                    I speak the language fluently.
                        (he points at Jake)
                    He falls off the frickin' turnip truck
                    and all of a sudden he's cultural
                    ambassador!?
          
                              GRACE
                    It's not our choice, Norm.
          
          He glowers at Jake.
          
                              NORM
                    Yeah, well I didn't come out here to wash
                    the dishes while you're on some
                    interspecies booty call.
          
          He stalks off.
          
                              GRACE
                    He can't go far.
          
                                                                      60.
          
          
          
          She points to Jake's link.
          
                              GRACE
                    Let's get you in.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT./EXT. HOMETREE - BANSHEE EYRIE
          
          LOOKING DOWN the central shaft of Hometree, 80 meters to the
          ground. Villagers are ant-like.
          
          Jake tries to keep up with Neytiri as she leaps up the core
          trunk like a lemur. He climbs the last section, arriving out
          of breath beside her. She leads him OUTSIDE, onto --
          
          A large branch. Through gaps in the foliage Jake can see
          other Great Trees scattered across the landscape, like
          enormous umbrellas above the rainforest.
          
          NEYTIRI strides out across the branch toward some kind of
          STRUCTURE -- a WEB made of thick woven fiber. DARK SHAPES
          clinging to it stir with a leathery RUSTLING SOUND.
          
          Neytiri makes a series of TRILLS and CLICKS. One of the
          shapes MOVES toward them, emerging into a shaft of sunlight.
          
          A huge MOUNTAIN BANSHEE. Much larger than the forest
          banshees, this thing is taller than a Na'vi with a 10 meter
          wingspan. A leathery FWHOOP, like the crack of sails, as it
          alights on the branch right in front of her.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Holy shit.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Do not look in her eye.
          
          Neytiri feeds it a large scrap of meat, which it SNATCHES and
          gulps down. She murmurs to it and strokes its NECK.
          
          It lets out a signature SHRIEK, and some of the others in the
          shadows nearby answer.
          
          Neytiri flip-catches her queue and gently connects it to the
          Banshee's ANTENNA. It shivers and stretches its wings as the
          neural connection is made.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Ikran is not horse. Once shahaylu is
                    made, ikran will fly with only one Hunter
                    in the whole life.
          
          She climbs smoothly onto the animal's back.
          
                                                                       61.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    To become taronyu -- Hunter -- you must
                    choose your own ikran. And he must choose
                    you.
          
                                 JAKE
                    When?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    When you are ready.
          
          The BANSHEE shivers with anticipation.
          
                                 NEYTIRI
                    Heeyaaahh!
          
          Jake ducks as the great wings EXPLODE OPEN and the banshee
          DROPS off the branch. It swoops down across the forest
          canopy, banks hard, lets out a CRY and beats its wings in a
          power climb.
          
          Completing the bank, Neytiri directs the banshee into a close
          SWOOPING FLYBY, and Jake instinctively ducks.
          
          ON NEYTIRI -- flying in perfect fusion with her winged mount,
          the rainforest rolling beneath her.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. SHACK - NIGHT/EXT
          
          STEREO VIDEO-LOG IMAGE -- Jake has just switched on the
          camera. He looks tired.
          
                              JAKE
                    Do I have to do this?   I need some rack.
          
          GRACE, behind him, looks up from her MICROSCOPE, scowling.
          
                              GRACE
                    No -- now, when it's fresh.
          
                              JAKE
                    Yeah, yeah.
                        (to camera)
                    The days are starting to blur together.
                    The language is a bitch, but I figure
                    it's like field-stripping a weapon.
                    Repetition.
          
          THIS THROWS US INTO A TEACHING MONTAGE:
          
          JAKE AND NEYTIRI kneel together inside Hometree. Neytiri
          touches her lips with her fingertips.
          
                                                                       62.
          
          
          
                                 JAKE
                    Seyri.
          
          She touches her nose, her ears, her eyes in quick sequence.
          
                              JAKE
                    Ontu, mikyun, nari.
          
          NEYTIRI stands next to him, correcting his position as he
          draws a longbow.
          
          BARKING commands, she SMACKS him on the shoulder, then the
          elbow, repositioning him roughly.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Neytiri thinks I'm some kind of retard.
          
          HUMAN JAKE emerges from the LINK to see --
          
          TRUDY and NORM caught IN THE ACT on Norm's bunk. Norm blushes
          and Trudy waves, pulling the blanket over their heads.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Norm's attitude has improved lately.
          
          NORM works with JAKE at the small table in the SHACK kitchen.
          
                                 NORM
                    Thank you?
          
                                 JAKE
                    Ireiyo.
          
          Norm comically exaggerates the pronunciation.
          
                              NORM
                    Irrrreiyo. Irrrreiyo.   You've gotta roll
                    the R, r-r-r-oll it.
          
          Norm makes Jake repeat the word, getting more frustrated.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    It's good he's back on board, but he
                    thinks I'm a retard too.
          
          TRACKING WITH JAKE'S FEET as he runs over rocks, leaping onto
          a thick root, running on across the rough bark.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    My feet are getting tougher.   I can run
                    farther every day.
          
                                                                       63.
          
          
          
          Neytiri leads him along a massive root, and soon they are
          running 30 meters above the ground.
          
          He sprints with her through the trees, trying to keep up.
          She CLIMBS and LEAPS with the ease of a spider monkey.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I have to trust my body to know what to
                    do. With Neytiri it's learn fast or die.
          
          Neytiri LEAPS off into space, falling, falling until --
          
          She catches an enormous palm leaf and, gripping it, allows
          its DROOP to slow her fall. She lets go, plummeting, and
          catches another.
          
          JAKE FOLLOWS in a leap of faith. THE CAMERA PLUNGES with
          him, from leaf to leaf, down and down in a dizzying kinetic
          rush.
          
          He drops down from the last leaf, landing next to her on a
          game trail. He is exhilarated to still be alive.
          
          Neytiri is surprised -- that he followed.   That he lived.
          
          TIGHT ON HUMAN JAKE, in the shack. Thinking as he looks at
          the pictures of Grace with the laughing kids at the school.
          
          IN THE COMMONS -- AVATAR NORM formally greets MO'AT. The
          Matriarch looks on as GRACE kneels to hug children she knows.
          Grace's eyes sparkle as she chats with them in Na'vi.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I sweet-talked Mo'at into giving Norm and
                    Grace a hall pass. Now Grace even makes
                    me coffee before link every morning.
          
          Grace looks up to see Neytiri approaching. It is an awkward
          moment between them. Grace makes the formal gesture of
          greeting.
          
                              GRACE
                        (Na'vi, subtitled)
                    I See you, Neytiri Mo'at'ite.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    I See you, Doctor Grace Augustine.
          
          ANOTHER DAY -- NEYTIRI kneels on a game trail, pointing out
          the tracks in the mud to Jake. She touches the edges of the
          plants around her, and sniffs the air.
          
                                                                      64.
          
          
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I'm learning to read the trails, the
                    tracks at the water-hole, the tiniest
                    scents and sounds.
          
          JAKE AND NEYTIRI watch through a screen of leaves as --
          
          A HERD of huge, armored STURMBEEST walks through the shallows
          of a lake. In the middle of the herd, the babies are
          sheltered from predators among their parents' legs.
          
          One of the BULLS trumpets, and a flock of TETRAPTERONS takes
          flight, an explosion of purple wings.
          
          Jake stares at the strange and wild alien tableau.
          
          ANOTHER PLACE -- NEYTIRI STANDS utterly still, except for her
          ears, which move with a life of their own. Her eyes are
          closed. She speaks very softly to Jake --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    When you hear nothing, you will hear
                    everything. When you see nothing, you
                    will See everything.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Sometimes I have no idea what she's
                    talking about.
          
          Jake and Neytiri creep quietly, stalking a large male
          HEXAPEDE -- a six legged deer-like creature.
          
          Jake expertly nocks an arrow and draws his bow as Neytiri
          watches. He takes a bead on the hexapede -- tracks it for a
          beat with the drawn bow, then RELAXES his arm. Zen archery.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    It's been a month and I'm still not
                    allowed to make a kill. She says the
                    forest hasn't given permission.
          
          OMIITED
          
          NEYTIRI and JAKE crawl through the undergrowth.   She points
          and he parts some leaves to see --
          
          A MOTHER VIPERWOLF bringing meat to her cubs, which frisk
          around her legs. She licks their faces.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    There's a lot of crap like that. She's
                    always going on about the flow of energy--
                    the spirits of the animals and what not --
          
                                                                        65.
          
          
          
          VIDEO-LOG IMAGE -- HUMAN JAKE talks into the lens.    He's
          changing -- un-shaven, cheeks hollow. Pale.
          
                               JAKE
                        (SMIRKING)
                    I just hope this treehugger shit isn't on
                    the final.
          
          Visible behind him, Grace is hunched over her samples.
          
                              GRACE
                        (without looking up)
                    This isn't just about eye-hand
                    coordination out there. You need to
                    listen to what she says. Try to see the
                    forest through their eyes.
          
                              JAKE
                    Excuse me -- this is my video-log here,
                    okay?
          
          NEYTIRI AND JAKE move through the NIGHT FOREST, surrounded by
          galaxies of shimmering bioluminescence. They move
          gracefully, soundlessly -- two forest spirits.
          
          CU JAKE -- the pupils of his cat eyes dilated. The night
          forest floods his brain with its million bio-sources.
          
          NIGHT SHOT, from overhead -- Jake and Neytiri bow-fishing
          from a dugout canoe over huge glowing ANEMONES at the bottom
          of a pool.
          
          A large fish swims silhouetted against the pastel glow.      ZAP!
          Jake drills it. He holds up the fish, triumphantly.
          
          ANOTHER DAY -- Neytiri stands close behind Jake, adjusting
          his position as he draws his bow. Only now her hands are
          GENTLE as they move on his arms, his shoulders.
          
          Aware of her touch, Jake's focus is broken.   Their eyes meet,
          and she pulls away quickly.
          
          NIGHT -- they enter a CLEARING filled with chest-high ferns.
          Neytiri signals him to move slowly. They approach a creature
          on one of the ferns. An ugly, stick-like LIZARD-THING
          perched on a frond. As he approaches --
          
          SNAP! A long spine whips in a circle, unfurling a
          bioluminescent membrane -- a disk a meter across, opening
          like a Chinese fan. It FLIES OFF, a living Frisbee.
          
          THE FAN LIZARD FLOATS across the clearing.
          
                                                                        66.
          
          
          
          Neytiri plunges among the ferns with a SHARP CRY. An
          EXPLOSION OF COLOR as dozens of FAN LIZARDS take flight.
          
          Grinning widely, she hops around like a little girl, until
          they are all flying. And for the first time, she is
          unguarded and joyful, totally herself with him.
          
          INSIDE THE LINK -- Jake's eyes open in the darkness. He
          doesn't know where he is. He weakly pushes open the lid,
          blinking at the light.
          
                               JAKE (V.O.)
                    Everything is backwards now. Like out
                    there is the true world, and in here is
                    the dream.
          
          TIGHT ON AVATAR JAKE silently drawing his bow, his eyes
          focused in intense concentration. A beat -- the arrow flies.
          
          JAKE PULLS the arrow from the twitching body of a hexapede.
          He dispatches it with his knife.
          
          He speaks haltingly, but with feeling, in Na'vi.
          
                              JAKE
                        (NA'VI)
                    I See you Brother, and thank you. Your
                    spirit goes with Eywa, your body stays
                    behind to become part of the People.
          
          NEYTIRI watches with approval.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    A clean kill. You are ready.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. SHACK - NIGHT
          
          Lying in the link, Jake looks exhausted, pale, thin.   Norm
          helps Grace get him to his chair.
          
                              GRACE
                    You're still losing weight.   Here --
          
          She hands him a microwaved burrito. He looks at the now alien
          food. Bites into it without enthusiasm.
          
                              JAKE
                    I made a kill today. We ate it.   I know
                    where that meal came from.
          
                                                                     67.
          
          
          
                               GRACE
                    Other body. You need to take care of
                    this body.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Yeah yeah.
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake, I'm serious -- you look like crap.
                    You're burning too hard.
          
          Jake takes the cigarette out of her mouth and stubs it out.
          
                              JAKE
                    Get rid of this shit, then you can
                    lecture me.
          
                              GRACE
                    I'm telling you, as your boss and someone
                    who might even consider being a friend
                    someday, to take some down time.
          
                              JAKE
                    Not now. Tomorrow we leave for Iknimaya.
          
          GRACE walks past Jake, starts making herself coffee.
          
                              GRACE
                    Yeah -- you're gonna go ride a banshee.
                    Or die trying.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's right, Grace. This is what I've
                    been working for.
          
                              GRACE
                    And this is your check up from the neck
                    up, Marine. You're getting in way too
                    deep.
                        (she turns away)
                    Trust me, I learned the hard way.
          
          Jake scans the pictures tacked up around Grace's workstation.
          
                              JAKE
                    What did happen at the school?
          
          GRACE looks up from making coffee.   Her eyes track across the
          pictures of the laughing children.   Finally --
          
                                                                     68.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Neytiri's sister -- Sylwanin -- stopped
                    coming to school. She was angry about
                    the clear-cutting.
          
          GRACE sips her coffee, grimaces at the taste.
          
                              GRACE
                    One day, she and a couple of other young
                    hunters came running in, all painted up --
                    they'd set a bulldozer on fire -- I guess
                    they thought I could protect them.
          
          GRACE'S voice stays oddly CALM as he tells this terrible
          story, while getting MILK out of the refrigerator.
          
                              GRACE
                    The troopers pursued them to the
                    schoolhouse.
          
          MACRO as she pours the milk -- her hand is SHAKING.
          
                              GRACE
                    They killed Sylwanin in the doorway.
                    Right in front of Neytiri. Then shot the
                    others.
                        (MILDLY)
                    I got most of the kids out, before they
                    shot me.
          
                              JAKE
                    Jesus.
          
                              GRACE
                    Yeah.
          
          Jake realizes that Grace is on the verge of tears and
          desperately trying to hide it.
          
                              GRACE
                    A scientist stays objective -- we can not
                    be ruled by emotion. But I poured ten
                    years of my life into that school. They
                    called me sa'atenuk. Mother.
                        (turning to him)
                    That kind of pain reaches back through
                    the link.
          
          GRACE sits down at the table, looks intently at Jake.
          
                              GRACE
                    It's a job. Learn what you can -- but
                    don't get attached.
          
                                                                       69.
          
          
          
          GRACE looks at him with real PAIN in her eyes.
          
                              GRACE
                    It's not our world, Jake.   And we can't
                    stop what's coming.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - DAY
          
          TSU'TEY leads three direhorse riders up the trail -- two
          TEENAGE HUNTERS and JAKE, who's riding well enough to keep
          up. The horses' hooves CLOP right next to a sheer drop into a
          misty canyon.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Iknimaya translates roughly as stairway
                    to heaven. It's the test every young
                    hunter has to pass.
          
          TSU'TEY signals a stop.
          
          UP-SLOPE AHEAD is an astounding formation. Thick vine-like
          trees have trapped large FLOATING BOULDERS of UNOBTANIUM in
          their gnarled grip.
          
          A hundred meters above them more boulders are WOVEN into the
          twisted vine-trunks. This is some sort of freak natural
          occurrence -- like the mythical beanstalk, going up into the
          clouds.
          
          There is a THUNDERING ROAR, like an artillery barrage, and
          the ground SHAKES. Jake looks around at --
          
          One of the FLOATING MOUNTAINS grinding against the flank of a
          nearby mesa. A huge rockfall is set loose. The mountain is
          drifting toward them, filling half the sky.
          
          The Hunters dismount.
          
          JAKE looks up at the beanstalk going into the clouds. He
          turns to Tsu'tey, who is checking the young hunters' gear.
          
                              JAKE
                    We doin' this?
          
          Jake leaps to catch up as Tsu'tey and the hunters swarm up
          the base of the beanstalk.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
                                                                       70.
          
          
          
          EXT. BEANSTALK - DAY
          
          200 METERS up the BEANSTALK, the hunters nimbly climb along
          the vine-trunks. They clamber over one of the unobtanium
          BOULDERS which is lifting this incredible tree.
          
          JAKE looks down -- the massive trunk dwindles to the size of
          a licorice stick. A chunk breaks off a boulder as he climbs
          over it -- it floats upward.
          
          They reach the upper branches of the beanstalk. Above them,
          the craggy underbelly of MONS Veritatis looms. Spray from
          one of the waterfalls hits them.
          
          Some of the HANGING VINES are brushing over the upper
          branches of the beanstalk with a crackling hiss.
          
          One by one the hunters grab onto vines as they pass.
          
          Jake shrugs and leaps to a passing vine, his feet dangling
          over nothingness. They climb toward the floating islands
          above.
          
          EXT. MONS VERITATIS - DAY
          
          TINY FIGURES cross a causeway of vines connecting a small
          island of unobtanium to the main mass of Mons Veritatis.
          
          WIDE SHOT looking down a rock face bigger than Half Dome --
          the sheer side of Mons Veritatis.
          
          Banshees circle next to the cliffs, flashing in shafts of
          sunlight. Waterfalls dissolve into nothingness below.
          
          EXT. GROTTO/BANSHEE ROOKERY - DAY
          
          A waterfall THUNDERS down into the void like a faucet of the
          gods. Jake looks down the sheer cliff at the world far below
          -- a view from Olympus.
          
          A SHRIEK and the THWAP THWAP of leathery wings -- NEYTIRI'S
          BANSHEE swoops in to perch at the edge of the grotto. She
          dismounts and, like a falconer, covers its eyes with a woven
          HOOD. It waits, docile, as --
          
          She joins Jake and the hunter party. Tsu'tey leads them
          through the cave until they emerge onto a CLIFF FACE. And
          Jake sees --
          
          The BANSHEE ROOKERY. HUNDREDS of banshees huddle on rock out-
          croppings as far as the eye can see. They cling to the walls
          with the fore-claws on their wings, or perch on ledges.
          
                                                                       71.
          
          
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    Jakesully will go first.
          
          Tsu'tey smirks at Jake, a challenge in his eyes. The two
          teenage Hunters are scared but trying to act tough.
          
          Tsu'tey scowls when Neytiri leads Jake out onto the ledge.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (WHISPERING)
                    Now you choose your ikran. This you must
                    feel -- inside. If he also chooses you,
                    move quick, like I showed. You will have
                    one chance.
          
                              JAKE
                    How will I know if he chooses me?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    He will try to kill you.
          
                              JAKE
                    Outstanding.
          
          Out of sight of Tsu'tey, Neytiri takes his hand and squeezes
          it. Jake feels a rush of emotion, but she breaks away like
          it didn't happen. He is on his own, on the ledge with --
          
          The BANSHEES. They eye him as he approaches. Several SHRIEK
          and take flight. Others flap their wings and yawn, showing
          rows of fangs, in a threat display.
          
          Jake unrolls a weighted leather strap, like a one-ended BOLO.
          
          A LARGE MALE spreads enormous wings, SHRIEKS, and glares
          straight at him.
          
          Jake looks directly into its eyes -- and strides toward it.
          
                              JAKE
                    Let's dance.
          
          The challenged banshee HISSES and leaps at him, jaws wide as--
          
          Jake times the lunge, swinging the bolo, feinting and then
          slipping aside as the banshee's jaws miss him, SNAPPING SHUT.
          
          Jake WHAPS the bolo across its snout. The weighted thong
          whips twice around its long jaws, tying them shut. A MUFFLED
          SCREAM and it SLASHES at his stomach with razor talons but --
          
                                                                      72.
          
          
          
          Jake is already leaping, over the talons and tackling the
          banshee around the neck. It topples on its side, and he
          SWARMS IT -- arms around its thrashing head.
          
          Jake grabs its whip-like antenna and brings it toward his
          queue but --
          
          The bony head SLAMS sideways, and BAM! -- clocks him right in
          the face, almost knocking him out and --
          
          IT WRITHES, flinging him to the ground. He slides on the
          rock and almost goes over the edge as --
          
          NEYTIRI gasps. Tsu'tey laughs and yells mockingly.
          
          The bolo is coming loose as the creature shakes its head, way
          pissed off now, but --
          
          Jake scrambles up and leaps straight at it. Claws rake his
          leg but he gets his arms around its head and CLAMPS DOWN
          HARD. They flop to the ground and he scrambles on top,
          pinning it and --
          
          Grabs its whipping antenna, locks it under his arm, and jams
          the end of his queue into it. They FUSE together and --
          
          The banshee stops struggling. It lies there panting.   They
          are locked together, literally eye to eye.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's right! You're mine.
          
          ECU BANSHEE -- the pupil like a deep black well.
          
          Jake relaxes his grip and slowly, warily, slides his leg over
          the creature's back.
          
          Neytiri runs to him.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    First flight seals the bond. You cannot
                    wait.
          
          Jake sits astride the creature, feeling its power.   He grips
          a hank of the beast's main, and --
          
                              JAKE
                    Heeeyyyaaaah!
          
          THWAP! THWAP! The banshee is off like a shot. Jake SCREAMS
          as they PLUMMET off the cliff -- the banshee WAILS and --
          
                                                                      73.
          
          
          
          They fall together, spiralling out of control, and he is
          almost tossed lose. The thing is SQUAWKING and SHRIEKING so
          much he can't think.
          
                               JAKE
                     Shut the hell up!!
          
          It does.
          
                                  JAKE
                     Level out!     Fly straight!
          
          It levels out. Jake cocks his head, only thinking "bank left"
          and the animal complies. He settles the banshee into an easy
          loping beat of its huge wings, while he catches his breath.
          
          NEYTIRI'S BANSHEE falls into formation with him.   She signals
          "follow me" and DIVES.
          
          Jake guides his banshee clumsily after her. Neytiri's
          banshee moves with precise movements of its wingtips, while
          Jake's wobbles and dips, almost falling out of the sky.
          
          THE CAMERA SWOOPS after them as Neytiri leads an arcing DIVE
          around the flank of Mons Veritatis. The scenery is stunning.
          They pass waterfalls and swoop between hanging vines.
          
          Neytiri leads Jake in a sharp bank, skimming close to the
          cliffs. They punch through streamers of cloud and emerge
          into sunlight.
          
          Jake is getting the hang of it. He jinks left, then right,
          then dives, tucking himself tight against the animal's back.
          He's reckless, fearless. Half in control and LOVING IT.
          
          Neytiri dives next to him as he lets out a long WHOOP of joy.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT./EXT. GROTTO/MONS VERITATIS - DAY
          
          FLIGHT MONTAGE:
          
          NEYTIRI squats with Jake, using her hands to explain flight
          principles like one fighter pilot to another.
          
          LOOKING DOWN a sheer cliff. SWOOOSH! Jake and Neytiri dive
          their mounts STRAIGHT DOWN PAST CAMERA, pulling out and
          soaring into a series of aerobatic turns.
          
                               JAKE (V.O.)
                     I may not be much of a horse guy.   But I
                     was born to do this.
          
                                                                      74.
          
          
          
          THEY FLY in close formation with TSU'TEY and the young
          HUNTERS, 5 banshees flashing through scarves of mist.
          
          ANOTHER DAY. Jake dives, playing hide and seek with Neytiri
          among the clouds. They are wild and free in a wild world.
          She grins and banks hard, diving -- catch me if you can. He
          DIVES after her.
          
          IN THE GROTTO, by firelight, JAKE'S BANSHEE snaps at a piece
          of meat which he playfully pulls back. He's teaching it to
          take the food more slowly. He strokes its long head.
          
          TSU'TEY is nearby with the young hunters.   He eyes Jake with
          frustrated hostility.
          
          ANOTHER DAY -- Jake and Neytiri fly abreast, soaring easily.
          She points and Jake sees --
          
          A BIZARRE GEOLOGICAL FORMATION. Arches of magnetic rock form
          rainbows of stone above a deep CALDERA. In the center of the
          caldera is a single, enormous WILLOW TREE, gnarled and
          ancient. This, we will be told, is THE WELL OF SOULS.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RIDGE
          
          JAKE flies with Neytiri along a forested ridge. She is
          teaching him to hunt from his banshee. They carry their bows
          at the ready, scanning below them for prey.
          
          A HUGE SHADOW covers him and Neytiri SHOUTS a warning.   Jake
          looks up to see --
          
          A LEONOPTERYX in a delta-dive, whistling straight at him.
          
          Like a banshee, only several times larger, it is the king
          predator of the air: the GREAT LEONOPTERYX.   Striped
          scarlet, yellow and black, with a midnight blue crested head
          -- it is both gorgeous and terrifying.
          
          The hunter has become the prey. JAKE snap-rolls and dives
          toward the forest canopy. He plummets into the gloom as --
          
          K-CRASH -- the leonopteryx tears through foliage, following
          him down, both diving like missiles and --
          
          JAKE yanks into a hair-pin bank, right through a gap between
          two huge branches --
          
          Forcing the leonopteryx to brake with a loud FWOOSH of wings.
          It banks away with a frustrated SHRIEK. Two flaps of its
          mighty wings and it is gone, back above the canopy.
          
                                                                    75.
          
          
          
          CLOSE ON THE LEONOPTERYX, as its fanged mouth opens in a
          bloodcurdling SCREECH which echoes among the mountains. The
          lord of its domain.
          
          ON JAKE, shaken. Neytiri flies up, her expression the Na'vi
          equivalent of Oh my God. A beat -- they both crack up.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. SHACK - NIGHT
          
          Jake ponders images Grace has called up at her workstation--
          science graphics of the Leonopteryx. Trudy and Norm are
          crowded around as well.
          
                              GRACE
                    The Great Leonopteryx is the apex aerial
                    predator. Not only rare, but the
                    sightings tend not to get reported.
          
          Trudy makes a clicking motion with her thumb.
          
                              TRUDY
                    There usually isn't time to key the mike.
          
                              JAKE
                    The People call it Toruk.
          
                              NORM
                        (TRANSLATING)
                    Last Shadow.
          
                              JAKE
                    Last one you ever see.
          
                              TRUDY
                    I saw one take out a gunship once --
                    WHAM! Total frickin' yard sale. Ate the
                    crew like peanuts.
          
          TIME CUT -- Grace is scanning through images and Jake stops
          her on one -- a 3D aerial shot of the strange arched
          formation.
          
                                 JAKE
                    That's it.
          
                              GRACE
                    Vitraya Ramunong -- The Well of Souls.
                    It's their most sacred place.
          
          She moves the virtual camera, and we seem to fly around the
          Well of Souls, catching only a glimpse of the interior.
          
                                                                      76.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Something big is going on in there,
                    biologically. I'd die to get samples, but
                    outsiders are strictly forbidden.
          
          TIME CUT -- Jake looks through the pressure window at HUMAN
          GRACE and NORM outside. Wearing masks, they are taking
          readings from some time-series experiments Grace has set up.
          
          As TRUDY watches, JAKE works fast to download Grace's images
          of the Well of Souls onto a memory chip.
          
                              TRUDY
                    They're coming back.
          
          Jake pulls the chip, then hesitates. Torn by what he is
          doing.
          
                              TRUDY
                    If you don't give him something, he's
                    gonna shut us down.
          
          He hands her the chip and she slips it into a pocket of her
          flight-suit just as Grace and Norm enter from the airlock.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Hey, guys.
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. HOMETREE - NIGHT
          
          JAKE STARES up at the TOTEM SKULL, which we now recognize as
          that of a GREAT LEONOPTERYX. NEYTIRI watches as he reaches
          up to touch the tall indigo crest.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    My grandfather's grandfather was Toruk
                    Macto -- Rider of Last Shadow. Toruk
                    chose him. It has only happened five
                    times since the time of the First Songs.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's a long time.
          
          Neytiri takes his hand, because that's what the Na'vi do when
          they're telling you something important.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Toruk Macto was mighty -- he brought the
                    clans together in a time of great sorrow.
                    All Na'vi people know this story.
          
                                                                       77.
          
          
          
          PUSH IN SLOWLY on the skull totem, then --
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RIVER BED - DAY
          
          JAKE, NEYTIRI and other FLYING HUNTERS swoop low above a HERD
          OF STURMBEEST -- a rapids of thundering muscle. Dust rises
          from this living river like steam from a python's back.
          
          TRACKING WITH the herd. A HUNTER appears in FG, astride a
          direhorse at full gallop. The sight is breathtaking. He
          hurls a 3 meter spear and one of the sturmbeest CRASHES down,
          flipping twice from momentum.
          
          JAKE ROLLS IN like a fighter jet, his banshee screaming. He
          draws and fires his bow. The arrow strikes true, in the
          plexus between the armored shoulders and --
          
          THE BEAST crashes to the ground. Skids to a stop in a cloud
          of dust.
          
          NEYTIRI swoops in next to Jake, arms raised and grinning
          wolfishly.
          
          CU TSU'TEY, banking around Jake's kill.   Jake looks up, and
          Tsu'tey SALUTES in grudging admiration.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMONS/HOMETREE - NIGHT
          
          The central space is lit by a BONFIRE, around which the HUNT
          FESTIVAL is in full swing. Wild dancing. People gnawing on
          massive sturmbeest ribs. A bowl of some kava-like intoxicant
          is passed around.
          
          NEYTIRI dances in a flowing costume as the BANSHEE SPIRIT.
          NORM is dancing seductively with his own tail.
          
          JAKE, surrounded by young hunters, acts out the leonopteryx
          attack with his hands. The leaping fire-light plays across
          the eye sockets of the TORUK SKULL, bringing it to life. It
          seems to watch Jake.
          
          TSU'TEY squats next to Jake, the usual scowl on his face.
          
          Jake braces himself -- and Tsu'tey holds up the KAVA BOWL,
          offering it to him. A challenge or an olive branch?
          
          Jake takes a long, hearty drink as some of the young hunters
          hoot and clap hands in a fast rhythm.
          
                                                                       78.
          
          
          
                               GRACE
                    Watch that stuff.   It'll knock you into
                    next week.
          
          Jake offers the bowl back to Tsu'tey.   They lock eyes.
          Tsu'tey drinks.
          
          LATER -- AN EMPTY BOWL drops, landing on a pile of empty
          bowls near the fire.
          
          WIDER ON JAKE and TSU'TEY, sitting amid the rowdy hunters.
          Tsu'tey looks a little blearily at Jake. Finally, he GRINS.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    I thought -- enough drink -- you would
                    not be so ugly.
          
                              JAKE
                    Sorry.
          
          Tsu'tey looks deep into the fire.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    Your warriors -- hide inside machines --
                    fight from far away.
                        (he looks at Jake)
                    I did not think a sky person could be
                    brave.
          
          Before Jake can answer, NEYTIRI'S lithe shape runs through
          the circle of silhouetted dancers toward them. She takes
          Jake by the hand and pulls him up --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You must dance! It is the way.
          
          TSU'TEY watches as she leads him away, his face darkening --
          the moment of connection to Jake lost to anger.
          
          The hunters WHOOP and CHEER as Jake joins the circle of
          dancers.
          
          Jake takes Grace's hand and pulls her up, protesting.
          
          JAKE lets the DRUMS and CHANTING flow through him. He lets
          himself go, dancing from the inside, channeling the primal
          energy.
          
          GRACE is rocking out, grinning. We see the young girl, so
          repressed, who lives within her.
          
          Jake and Neytiri flow amongst the dancers, but they are
          looking only at each other.
          
                                                                     79.
          
          
          
          A couple of the young girls watching from outside the circle
          are giggling and talking about them. Mo'at and EYTUKAN
          follow their look, seeing the obvious connection.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    We cannot let this seed grow. Her path is
                    with Tsu'tey.
          
          ON JAKE, dancing with abandon to the primal beat, eyes locked
          with Neytiri.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          WIDE VISTA -- mist blowing through the treetops as the
          morning sun burns it away. A spectacular panorama of a vast,
          primeval land.
          
          UP ANGLE TRACKING among the trees, the sunlight shafting down
          like light in a cathedral.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    It's hard to put in words the deep
                    connection the People have to the forest.
          
          HIGH IN THE BRANCHES of a tree, Jake watches as Neytiri
          gently bends a large pitcher-like flower toward her, sipping
          nectar which is sweet and thick as honey. An incredibly
          sensuous image.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    They see a network of energy that flows
                    through all living things. They know that
                    all energy is only borrowed--
          
          MACRO SHOT of a purple flower, beaded with raindrops.   A blue
          hand picks the flower.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    -- and one day you have to give it back.
          
          LOOKING DOWN into a hole dug among tree roots. The body of
          an old Omaticaya WOMAN lies curled there like an unborn baby
          in the womb of the earth. The purple flower is gently placed
          on her body, joining flowers, totems and beads.
          
          Mo'at recites a prayer as Neytiri, acting as acolyte, places
          a WOODSPRITE, a seed of the Great Tree, on the body.
          
          Earth is poured over the LENS and we CUT TO --
          
                                                                       80.
          
          
          
          JAKE WAKING UP in the Link. DARK as a coffin. He pushes the
          lid off, letting in light, and lies there. He looks pale and
          haggard, with a scraggly beard.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    Hard to believe it's only been three
                    months.
          
          JAKE SITS in front of the video log camera, late at night. It
          is many log entries later. He has lost a lot of weight. He
          looks like a junkie watching a test pattern.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to the lens)
                    I can barely remember my old life. I'm
                    not sure who I am anymore.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. COMPOUND - DAY
          
          Under a sky of thunderheads, the forest is a dark wall beyond
          the fence. SELFRIDGE, wearing an exopack, TEES UP while GRACE
          and JAKE approach from the direction of the Ops Center.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Good of you to stop by. How's it going
                    out there? Our blue friends all packed
                    up yet?
          
          Selfridge swings his DRIVER with good form.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    See, I keep hooking it.   It's the damn
                    pack.
          
          THE BALL drops into the mud just past a marker which reads
          220. A TROOPER walks over to retrieve it.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    The low gravity and the high air density
                    cancel out so --
          
                              JAKE
                    You called us back to report -- you want
                    to hear it or not?
          
                                SELFRIDGE
                    Go ahead.
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake is making incredible progress, years
                    worth in just a few months. But -- we
                    need more time.
          
                                                                    81.
          
          
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Not what I was hoping to hear.
          
          It starts to rain. Selfridge calmly pulls an umbrella from
          his golf bag and snaps it open.
          
                              GRACE
                    Parker, it's their ancestral home.
                    They've lived there since before human
                    history began. You can spare them a few
                    more weeks.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    This thing is inevitable. What does it
                    matter when it happens? I'm sorry, Dr.
                    Augustine. You're out of time.
          
          He leaves them standing there to get drenched.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. ARMOR BAY
          
          A break table, under a harsh overhead light. Quaritch pulls
          up a chair, turns it around, and sits astride it facing Jake.
          He studies Jake's pale, sunken face. The scraggly beard.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    You're not gettin' lost in the woods, are
                    you son?
          
          Jake can't meet his eyes.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Your last report was two weeks ago. I'm
                    starting to doubt your resolve. From what
                    I see, it's time to terminate this
                    mission.
          
          Jake eyes flare with alarm.
          
                                JAKE
                    No.    I can do this.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Look, you've given me plenty of usable
                    intel. Like this "Well of Souls" place --
                    I've got them by the balls with that,
                    when it turns into a shit-fight. Which it
                    will.
          
          Jake feels hollow inside, knowing what he's done.
          
                                                                      82.
          
          
          
                              QUARITCH
                    So you'll get your legs back, like I
                    promised.
                        (puts his hand on Jake's
                         SHOULDER)
                    It's time to come in.
          
          Jake ponders this. Isn't this what he was doing all this for?
          
                              JAKE
                    I've gotta finish this thing. There's
                    one more test -- the Dream Hunt. It's the
                    final stage of becoming a man. Then I'm
                    one of them. They'll trust what I say...
          
          It's hard for him to even form these words --
          
                              JAKE
                    ... and I can negotiate the terms of
                    their relocation.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Then you need to get it done, Corporal.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS - NIGHT
          
          Strange horizontal LIGHTNING branches through the floating
          mountains, twisted by the magnetic fields. The sky is black
          and heavy with clouds.
          
          INT. SHACK KITCHEN - NIGHT
          
          Jake is gulping black coffee like a tequila shot, looking
          pretty STRUNG OUT. GRACE is smoking furiously.
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake, I can't allow this.   You're just
                    not strong enough.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's the last door -- I'm going through
                    it. You can help me or get out of the
                    way.
          
          Jake pushes past her toward the corridor --
          
                              GRACE
                        (grabbing him)
                    Will you listen to me? Sometimes the
                    Na'vi themselves die in these vision
                    quests. The venom takes you to the edge
                    of death.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                        83.
          
                              GRACE (cont'd)
                    And the psychoactive alkaloid in the worm-
                    - we have no idea what that'll do in an
                    avatar brain.
          
          Jake breaks free and wheels away, down the corridor.
          
          GRACE follows JAKE as he crosses to the Link. A sheet of
          LIGHTNING flashes across the sky outside.
          
          Norm is initializing the Link.
          
                              NORM
                    Calibrating. Thirty seconds.
          
          She puts her hands on his shoulders.
          
                              GRACE
                    No matter what you prove out there-- you
                    are still in here.
                        (shaking him)
                    Right here.
          
                              JAKE
                    I have to go all the way -- become one of
                    THEM--
          
                              GRACE
                        (FURIOUSLY)
                    Goddammit, Jake, you can never be one of
                    them!
          
          Norm looks up, startled at the VEHEMENCE in GRACE' voice.
          
                              GRACE
                    Our life out there takes millions of
                    dollars of machinery to sustain. You
                    visit -- and you leave.
          
          During this, Jake pulls himself from his wheelchair, levering
          himself into the Link, hauling his useless legs inside.
          
                              GRACE
                        (SOFTENING)
                    You can never truly be with her.
          
          Jake stops, pinioned by the truth.   He seems suddenly very
          lost.
          
                              JAKE
                    You know why I'm here? Because Quaritch
                    sent me.
          
                              NORM
                    What?
          
                                                                      84.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    That's right -- to embed with the
                    Omaticaya. To find out how to screw them
                    out of their home. By deceit or by
                    force, he didn't care. And if it turned
                    out to be force, then how best to do it.
          
          Norm is in shock.   But Grace is eerily calm.
          
                              GRACE
                    And what about now, Jake?
          
                              JAKE
                    I'm not that guy any more.
          
          Grace nods.   She's been on his journey every step of the way.
          
                               GRACE
                    I know.
          
                              JAKE
                    But if I tell Quaritch the truth, he
                    yanks me out -- I never see her again.
                    And if I tell her the truth, the clan
                    throws me out -- that's if they don't cut
                    my heart out and show it to me.
          
          Jake looks hopelessly at the two of them.   In his own perfect
          Hell.
          
                              NORM
                    They won't understand what you've done.
          
                              JAKE
                    They don't even have a word for "lie" --
                    they had to learn it from us.
          
          Grace sees he is on the verge of tears.   Lost and alone,
          between worlds.
          
                              GRACE
                    I know. I taught it to them.
          
                              JAKE
                        (PLEADING)
                    Grace. I've gotta go.   They're waiting.
          
                              NORM
                    Link is ready.
          
          Grace stops him as he tries to close the lid.
          
                                                                      85.
          
          
          
                             GRACE
                    Jake. You can't carry this burden much
                    longer.
          
                              JAKE
                        (smiling wanly)
                    It's okay. Mo'at says an alien mind
                    probably can't survive the Dream Hunt
                    anyway.
          
          Grace closes the lid. It feels like closing a coffin. She
          watches his psionic patterns aligning to his avatar,
          somewhere out in the night.
          
                              GRACE
                        (to Norm)
                    Prep my link. I'm going in.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMONS/HOMETREE - NIGHT
          
          JAKE SITS, eyes closed, as Neytiri and another young hunter
          paint his face and body in preparation for uniltaron -- the
          Dream Hunt.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    When your Spirit Animal comes, you will
                    know.
          
          Their eyes meet with emotion neither can conceal any longer.
          
          TIME CUT. GRACE stands with the crowd at the ramp to
          HOMETREE'S LOWEST LEVEL. Jake barely sees her as he goes down
          the spiral. She tries to follow, but is barred by a hunter.
          
          BELOW, seemingly in the womb of the earth, Jake walks slowly
          into the center of a tight circle of seated elders and
          hunters. An ELDER is slowly rapping a large WATER DRUM.
          
          TIME CUT -- MO'AT purifies him with smoke from burning herbs,
          CHANTING in a low monotone. Jake, squatting, washes the
          smoke over himself with his palms.
          
          MACRO - MO'AT'S FINGERS unwrap a piece of wood riddled with
          holes. She catches the end of a glowing purple WORM, and
          draws it out of the wood.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Oh wise worm, eater of the Sacred Tree --
                    bless this worthy Hunter with a true
                    vision.
          
                                                                       86.
          
          
          
          MO'AT places the worm on Jake's out-stretched TONGUE. It
          twists on itself, lighting his mouth before he closes it. She
          indicates he should chew. He does.
          
          MACRO -- AN EARTHEN JAR is opened. EYTUKAN removes a
          writhing black ARACHNOID, the Pandoran equivalent of a
          scorpion.
          
          He places it against the back of Jake's neck and presses. The
          insect drives its stinger into Jake's skin and --
          
          Jake grimaces. Mo'at and Eytukan step back, leaving Jake
          alone in the circle.
          
          Neytiri watches intently, joining in the low chant.
          
          SLOW DOLLY IN on Jake. His eyes OPEN. He looks around at the
          faces -- they seem to TRANSFORM, becoming threatening.
          
          Jake looks down at the palms of his hands.
          
          JAKE'S POV -- his hands recede, his whole body, the ground
          and --
          
          INSTANTLY the circle of Na'vi recedes, as if to a distant
          horizon, leaving vast ground in between. SPACE is utterly
          distorted, and SOUND as well -- echoing, THUNDEROUS.
          
          ECU JAKE -- pupils DILATED black. He looks around and --
          
          The onlookers are gone, replaced by a ring of glowing trees,
          which seem miles high. The whole image is bathed in spectral
          radiance. Jake looks down --
          
          JAKE'S POV -- his body and hands transforming -- fingers
          stretching into tendrils, legs becoming roots which spread
          outward across the ground, a thousand glowing dendrites which
          connect to the roots of the trees and --
          
          CUT TO REALITY -- Jake is on his hands and knees, PUKING in
          the dirt. He contorts, crying out in agony as the venom
          contracts his muscles but --
          
          IN HIS VISION Jake stands serene on a FLOATING MOUNTAIN
          CLIFF. A GREAT BLACK SHADOW covers him, the unmistakable X
          silhouette of a diving LEONOPTERYX. The LAST SHADOW.
          
          CAMERA SCREAMS down on him as the shadow grows larger -- WE
          RUSH into his face, into the blackness of his pupil which
          FILLS THE UNIVERSE and --
          
                                                                       87.
          
          
          
          REAL JAKE writhes in the dirt, his back arched as his muscles
          seize. He foams and thrashes, his eyes rolled back in his
          head, while inside --
          
          TIME ITSELF HAS ACCELERATED -- clouds scream around the
          mountain tops, mist boils through the forest. He feels the
          wind of time blowing through him as --
          
          REAL JAKE claws the ground, moaning, staring blindly while --
          
          INSIDE, IN POV he FLIES over the landscape of Pandora --
          
          --but the forest is BLASTED. Fires flicker among trees that
          are BURNED black and lifeless in a smoky twilight.
          
          A great WINGED SHADOW is cast below, rippling over the
          devastated ground. AVATAR JAKE looks down at the shadow.
          Realizes HE is casting it, and we RUSH IN to his PUPIL and --
          
          PULL BACK from the eye of a GREAT LEONOPTERYX, flying lordly
          and terrible over the land. It lets out an almighty SHRIEK
          which seems to echo to eternity and --
          
          SLAM CUT to Jake, on his back, GASPING -- back in his body.
          He weakly rolls up to one elbow and looks around the room.
          
                              MO'AT
                    It is finished.
          
          Neytiri's face is flooded with relief.   The faces of the clan
          elders look at Jake expectantly.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Did your Spirit Animal come?
          
          Jake looks from Eytukan to Mo'at, Tsu'tey and the elders. How
          can he tell them what he has seen?
          
          Mo'at puts her splayed fingers against his face, seeming to
          peer into his troubled soul.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (to Jake)
                    Something has come.
                        (to the others, subtitled)
                    It will take time for the meaning to be
                    clear.
          
          She steps back, and Eytukan motions for Jake to stand. He
          gets up, weakly.
          
                                                                       88.
          
          
          
          OUTSIDE THE ENCLOSURE -- Eytukan emerges with Jake and the
          others. The entire clan is gathered, waiting to hear what
          has happened. Jake looks up at the Leonopteryx Skull Totem,
          which seems to stare down at him.
          
          GRACE watches, her eyes brimming. Proud. Relieved. Amazed.
          
          Eytukan places both hands on Jake's chest and holds them
          there.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    You are now a son of the Omaticaya.   You
                    are part of the People.
          
          All the members of the clan press forward, crowding around
          and putting their hands on Jake's shoulders, back, chest --
          hands upon hands, until he is connected to everyone.
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - NIGHT
          
          JAKE and NEYTIRI run silhouetted in the night. Behind them
          waterfalls cascade down in the silvery light. POLYPHEMUS
          RISES behind the trees.
          
          NEYTIRI DIVES from a rock, slicing into a mirror of water.
          Jake follows her and --
          
          UNDERWATER, they swim over glowing ANEMONES.
          
          They seem to float in a cosmic dance above a luminous garden
          of waving shapes. Tiny purple fish swirl around them.
          
          Their hands come together, fingers twining, as they float
          weightlessly, as if between worlds.
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE
          
          Laughing, they run together into a stand of WILLOWS. Their
          trunks are as gnarled as bonsai. Long faintly glowing
          tendrils hang straight down in pastel curtains.
          
          Underfoot, a bed of moss glows faintly. It REACTS to their
          footsteps with expanding rings of light.
          
          It is an exquisitely beautiful spot.
          
          The willows stir, responding to their presence. She holds up
          her hands, letting the TENDRILS caress her.
          
                                                                       89.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    This is a place for prayers to be heard.
                    And sometimes answered.
          
          Jake puts out his hands and the tendrils play over his
          fingers, his palms, his forearms. His eyes go wide. We hear
          the WHISPERING of ancient Na'vi VOICES.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's like -- a sound you feel.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    We call this utraya mokri -- the Tree of
                    Voices. The voices of our ancestors, who
                    live within Eywa.
          
          A few WOODSPRITES circle around them, some alighting on their
          shoulders and arms.
          
          They stand, very close together now. Her eyes are intense,
          almost luminous. He feels drawn into them.
          
          But she pulls back a little.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You are Omaticaya now. You may make your
                    own bow from the wood of Hometree.
                        (she looks away)
                    And you may choose a woman.
          
          The Amazon warrior trying so hard to sound casual.   Jake
          suppresses a smile.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    We have many fine women. Ninat is the
                    best singer --
          
                              JAKE
                    I don't want Ninat.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    There is Beyral -- she is a good hunter --
          
          Jake puts his fingers on her lips to stop her.
          
                              JAKE
                    I've already chosen. But this woman must
                    also choose me.
          
          She takes his hands and their fingers intertwine, moving
          gently over each other.
          
                                                                       90.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    She already has.
          
          He puts his face close to hers. She rubs her cheek against
          his. He kisses her on the mouth. They explore each other.
          
          Then she pulls back, eyes sparkling.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Kissing is very good. But we have
                    something better.
          
          She pulls him down until they are kneeling, facing each other
          on the faintly glowing moss.
          
          Neytiri takes the end of her queue and raises it. Jake does
          the same, with trembling anticipation. The tendrils at the
          ends move with a life of their own, straining to be joined.
          
          MACRO SHOT -- The tendrils INTERTWINE with gentle
          undulations.
          
          JAKE rocks with the direct contact between his nervous system
          and hers. The ultimate intimacy.
          
          They come together into a kiss and sink down on the bed of
          moss, and ripples of light spread out around them.
          
          THE WILLOWS sway, without wind, and the night is alive with
          pulsing energy as we DISSOLVE TO --
          
          LATER. She is collapsed across his chest.     Spent.   He
          strokes her face tenderly.
          
                              JAKE
                    Neytiri, you know my real body is far
                    away, sleeping.
          
          She raises up, placing her fingertips to his chest --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    This body is real.
                        (she touches his forehead)
                    This spirit is real.
          
          Her eyes are luminous, honest, infinitely deep.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    When I was first your teacher, I hated
                    all Sky People. But you have also taught
                    me.
                        (WHISPERING)
                    Spirit is all that matters.
          
                                                                       91.
          
          
          
          She lays her head down, against his chest, listening to his
          heartbeat.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    I am with you now, Jake. We are mated for
                    life.
          
                                 JAKE
                    We are?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Yes. It is our way.
                        (INNOCENTLY)
                    Oh. I forgot to tell?
          
          He rouses up, making her look at him.
          
                              JAKE
                    Really, we are?
          
                                 NEYTIRI
                    We are.
          
          Jake considers this.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's cool. I'm there.
          
          He lays his head down, and her arms enfold him, sheltering
          him as he sleeps.
          
          INT. SHACK - NIGHT
          
          Jake's eyes open in the darkness. He just lies there,
          thinking. In his coffin. In another world.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE - DAWN
          
          DAWN BREAKS in the sacred glade. Shafts of orange morning
          light. Jake and Neytiri asleep in each others' arms. Maxfield
          Parrish painting. But then --
          
          THE ROAR OF ENGINES. Neytiri awakens with a start. The
          SPLINTERING, CRACKLING of forest being crushed under enormous
          treads gets louder.
          
          SHE WATCHES in growing horror as the BLADE of a bulldozer
          becomes a dark wall behind the sheltering ring of willows.
          She shakes Jake, shouting at him in Na'vi to wake up.
          
                                                                       92.
          
          
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Jake! Wake up! Where ever you are, come
                    back to me now. Jake!
          
          INT. SHACK - DAWN
          
          HUMAN JAKE is in a hurry to get back to the link. GRACE,
          still groggy, chases him with coffee and microwaved eggs.
          
                              GRACE
                    Here -- eat this. I'd hate to have to
                    force-feed a cripple.
          
          She slams the lid shut before he can enter and sticks the
          plate under his nose.
          
                              GRACE
                        (GRINNING)
                    She's not going anywhere.
          
          He sighs heavily and starts wolfing the eggs.
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE - DAWN
          
          Neytiri SCREAMS as --
          
          The willows begin to fall before the blade, to be ground
          under the treads. AVATAR JAKE is directly in the path. She
          tries to lift him, but he is too heavy. She is screaming at
          him, frantically trying to wake him, as --
          
          INT. SHACK - DAWN
          
          Jake adjusts himself in the link chair. He hands Grace the
          empty plate.
          
                              GRACE
                    And when was the last time you took a
                    shower? Jesus, Marine.
          
          Jake pushes her hands away and pulls the lid down.
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE
          
          AVATAR JAKE wakes up to see --
          
          NEYTIRI dragging him, screaming.   He leaps up as --
          
          THE DOZER pushes inexorably into the glade, splintering the
          trees, plowing the earth before it.
          
          JAKE RUNS into the path of the bulldozer, waving his arms.
          
                                                                       93.
          
          
          
                                JAKE
                    Hey!    Heeeey! Stop! Stop!
          
          He positions himself where the camera-eyes of the robotic
          juggernaut will see him.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - DAY
          
          CLOSE ON MONITOR -- Jake shouts but there's no sound feed.
          
          WIDER as the TRACTOR OPERATOR sees him and pulls back on the
          remote throttles. He yells to his SUPERVISOR.
          
                              OPERATOR
                    Hey, I got one of the natives blockin' my
                    blade here.
          
          This attracts the attention of Selfridge, who comes over to
          the workstation.
          
          ON THE SCREEN -- Jake, in his Omaticaya loincloth and
          ceremonial body paint, is unrecognizable.
          
                              SUPERVISOR
                        (to Selfridge)
                    What do we do?
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Roll on. He'll move. These people have
                    to learn that we don't stop.
          
          TIGHT ON THROTTLES as the operator pushes them forward.
          
          ON THE SCREEN Jake stumbles back, tripping, disappears below
          the blade for a second -- reappears, running to the side.
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE
          
          JAKE grabs a rock and LEAPS onto the dozer.   He climbs
          quickly to the CAMERA MAST.
          
          SMASH! The rock crashes into the lens of the camera. Jake
          beats the rock furiously against it, pounding it to junk.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER
          
          CLOSE ON MONITOR -- as Jake's demonic face is replaced by
          noise.
          
                                 OPERATOR
                    I'm blind.
          
          He pulls back on the throttles.
          
                                                                       94.
          
          
          
          EXT. WILLOW GLADE
          
          THE JUGGERNAUT grinds to a stop. But the ROAR of engines
          continues because --
          
          MORE DOZERS and TRACTORS advance nearby, crushing the forest
          before them. Trees are slashed down by the PLASMA CUTTERS.
          Terrified animals flee before the onslaught.
          
          POWERSUITS and TROOPERS stride through the ravaged forest,
          blasting anything that moves. A trooper sees Jake on the
          dozer. He rips off a BURST and --
          
          Rounds CLANG into metal as Jake dives off the machine. He
          grabs Neytiri and they run into concealing foliage. From
          behind a screen of leaves, they watch as --
          
          THE DOZERS advance, obliterating the sacred site, leaving
          only mud and wood splinters in their path.
          
          CU NEYTIRI, stunned by the nightmarish, unfathomable
          wrongness of it. She sobs as the willows die.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER
          
          MINUTES LATER, the operator is playing back the CAMERA'S FEED
          for Quaritch and the others.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Freeze it, right -- there.
          
          ON MONITOR -- the image expands, until Jake's face is clear,
          frozen in an animal snarl.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Son of a bitch!
          
          PUSH IN ON QUARITCH as his jaw clenches in cold fury.
          
          He turns and strides toward the door, shouting to his WATCH
          COMMANDER as he passes.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Get me a pilot!
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMONS/HOMETREE - DAY
          
          A RAIDING PARTY of hunters, their bodies painted, raise
          weapons overhead. AVATAR GRACE watches with growing alarm.
          
                                                                        95.
          
          
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Tsu'tey will lead the war party!
          
          Tsu'tey steps forward, face full of hate, raising a war cry
          among the hunters.
          
                              GRACE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Please -- this will only make it worse --
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    You do not speak here!
          
          JAKE and NEYTIRI cross the commons toward them. Jake feels
          all eyes turn toward him. He takes her arm, stopping her.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to Neytiri, low)
                    Okay, listen. There's something I have to
                    tell you. It's gonna be hard. I just
                    need you to --
          
          He sees TSU'TEY striding toward them, his face a mask of
          fury.
          
                               TSU'TEY
                    You!
          
          Tsu'tey walks right up and SLAMS Jake in the chest with both
          hands. It is so unexpected, that Jake topples on his ass.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    You mated with this woman?!
          
                               GRACE
                    Oh shit.
          
          Jake stands. He reaches out for Neytiri.   She goes to him,
          clutching his hand.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Is this true?
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    We are mated before Eywa. It is done.
          
          Tsu'tey turns to Mo'at and Eytukan, his face anguished.
          
                                                                       96.
          
          
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Neytiri was promised to me! Everything is
                    changing. Everything is being destroyed!
          
          Tsu'tey points at Jake, his pain shifting to rage.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    These aliens kill everything they touch,
                    like poison.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Neytiri! If you choose this path, you can
                    never be Tsahik. Your life will be
                    wasted.
          
          Neytiri looks at her mother -- sees the grief in her eyes.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    I have chosen.
          
          Tsu'tey draws his knife and --
          
                                 TSU'TEY
                    Yeeeeeaaa!
          
          LUNGES AT JAKE, who's ready this time -- he sidesteps,
          blocking the knife, and elbows Tsu'tey HARD in the face.
          
          Tsu'tey reels back, nose bleeding. He starts forward on a
          second attack but --
          
          Eytukan grabs his arm and spins him around.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Stop! This is not a proper challenge.
          
          Tsu'tey glares at Jake while sheathing his knife.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    I challenge you.
          
                              GRACE
                    Jake, don't --
          
                                 JAKE
                    I accept.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                       97.
          
          
          
          INT./EXT. SAMSON - DAY
          
          QUARITCH rides left seat as Trudy pilots through the
          mountains. She glances at him, then toggles the aircom.
          
                                 TRUDY
                       Loveshack this is Samson One Six inbound
                       hot to your pos. I have Colonel Quaritch
                       with me and --
          
          But Quaritch SLAMS the switch, cutting her off.
          
                                 QUARITCH
                       Did I tell you to announce us?
          
                                 TRUDY
                       Sorry sir, it's procedure.
          
          INT. SHACK
          
          Norm punches buttons on the comms console.
          
                                 NORM
                       Samson One Six?   Trudy?
                           (no answer)
                       Crap.
          
          He looks helplessly at Jake and Grace's link units -- no way
          to warn them.
          
          INT. HOMETREE - DAY
          
          TSU'TEY AND JAKE square off. Each holds a long, solid staff.
          The entire clan crowds around them in a circle.
          
                                 GRACE
                       What the hell are you doing?
          
                                 JAKE
                       It's the only way to get him to goddamn
                       listen.
          
          TSU'TEY LEAPS at Jake with a sharp cry and Jake parries with
          his staff. The staves CLACK off each other as the two
          combatants LEAP, DUCK and STRIKE furiously.
          
          Tsu'tey sweeps Jake off his feet with a roundhouse hit to the
          ankles, but --
          
          Jake ROLLS out of it and catches Tsu'tey in the belly with
          the blunt end.
          
                                                                            98.
          
          
          
          EXT. SITE 26 - DAY
          
          TRUDY'S SAMSON lands. QUARITCH and a posse of troopers jump
          down and rush the Shack.
          
          INT. COMMONS
          
          TSU'TEY wades in with a series of short, sharp blows. Jake
          swings with equal fury. Both fighting from the heart.
          
          The staves whistle through the air, and CLACK together like
          gunshots. Jake presses hard, and Tsu'tey staggers back,
          stumbling as --
          
          Jake lands a SOLID HIT, dropping him to his knees, just as --
          
          INT. SHACK
          
          THE INNER DOOR bangs open and QUARITCH stomps toward Grace's
          Link controls.
          
                                 NORM
                       Hey, hang on, you can't interrupt a link
                       in progress, it's dangerous -- wait!
          
          Quaritch shoves him aside and SMACKS his fist down on the
          POWER switch. Grace's unit goes dead and --
          
          INT. COMMONS
          
          AVATAR GRACE'S eyes roll back and she keels over.       NEYTIRI
          barely catches her before she hits the ground.
          
          JAKE parries as Tsu'tey swings but then --
          
          Jake's eyes go blank just as -- K-RACK! Tsu'tey puts one
          alongside his head. Jake sprawls, completely inert. Tsu'tey
          pokes him with his staff, then raises it and lets out a
          piercing VICTORY CRY.
          
          INT. SHACK - DAY
          
          JAKE SLAMS OPEN the Link, amped from the fight, furious --
          
                                 JAKE
                       Are you out of your goddamn mind?!
          
                                 QUARITCH
                       You crossed a line.
          
          Quaritch PUNCHES HIM HARD. Jake flops back, dazed. The
          troopers yank him out and ZIP-TIE his wrists.
          
                                                                       99.
          
          
          
          INT. COMMONS
          
          TSU'TEY draws his KNIFE, and bends down, grabbing Jake by the
          hair.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    This is a demon in a false body. It
                    should not live.
          
          He puts his knife to Jake's throat but --
          
          NEYTIRI BLIND-SIDES him at full tilt. Tsu'tey sprawls, rolls,
          comes up to see --
          
          Neytiri crouched like a lioness over Jake, her KNIFE and
          teeth bared, her ears flattened. She SNARLS with primal
          fury.
          
          Tsu'tey stands panting. He pushes through the crowd and walks
          away, calling for his hunters.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - DUSK
          
          TIGHT ON MONITOR -- showing JAKE'S AVATAR FACE on the dozer
          camera, as he pounds a rock into the lens. The shot FREEZES
          on Jake's ANIMAL SNARL.
          
          WIDER -- HUMAN JAKE sits, bruised and bleeding, watching
          himself on the monitor. GRACE and NORM stand nearby, rubbing
          their wrists where the zip-ties bit in. SELFRIDGE and
          QUARITCH watch with disdain.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    You let me down, son. You got a little
                    local pussy and completely forgot what
                    team you play for.
          
          Jake meets his gaze with a defiant glare.
          
                              GRACE
                    Parker, listen, there may still be time
                    to --
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Shut your fucking hole!
          
          Grace is momentarily stunned by Quaritch's fury. But she
          meets it with her own intensity, not backing down an inch.
          
                                                                   100.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Or what, Ranger Rick? You gonna shoot
                    me?
                        (to Selfridge)
                    You need to muzzle your dog!
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Can we just take this down a couple
                    notches, please.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to Quaritch)
                    You say you want to keep your people
                    alive. Start by listening to her.
          
          Jake nods to Grace to continue.
          
                              GRACE
                        (to Selfridge)
                    This is bad, Parker. Those trees were
                    sacred to the Omaticaya in a way you
                    can't imagine.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    You know what? You throw a stick in the
                    air around here it falls on some sacred
                    fern.
          
                              GRACE
                    I'm not talking about pagan voodoo here --
                    I'm talking about something real and
                    measurable in the biology of the forest.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                        (FRUSTRATED)
                    Which is what exactly?
          
          Grace's nerve fails. A rush of conflicting emotions -- the
          need to act, to do something, colliding with her scientific
          rigor.
          
                              GRACE
                        (to Jake)
                    I can't do this. How am I supposed to
                    reduce years of work to a sound bite for
                    the illiterate?
          
                              JAKE
                    Just tell him what you know in your
                    heart.
          
          She turns to Parker, steeling herself.
          
                                                                   101.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    Alright, look -- I don't have the answers
                    yet, I'm just now starting to even frame
                    the questions. What we think we know --
                    is that there's some kind of
                    electrochemical communication between the
                    roots of the trees. Like the synapses
                    between neurons. Each tree has ten to the
                    fourth connections to the trees around
                    it, and there are ten to the twelfth
                    trees on Pandora --
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    That's a lot I'm guessing.
          
                               GRACE
                    That's more connections than the human
                    brain. You get it? It's a network -- a
                    global network. And the Na'vi can access
                    it -- they can upload and download data --
                    memories -- at sites like the one you
                    destroyed.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    What the hell have you people been
                    smoking out there? They're just.
                    Goddamn. Trees.
          
                              GRACE
                    You need to wake up, Parker. The wealth
                    of this world isn't in the ground -- it's
                    all around us. The Na'vi know that, and
                    they're fighting to defend it. If you
                    want to share this world with them, you
                    need to understand them.
          
                               QUARITCH
                    We understand them just fine.   Thanks to
                    Jake here.
          
          Jake shares a look of alarm with Grace as Quaritch selects a
          NEW CLIP on the main monitor --
          
          TIGHT ON MONITOR -- VIDEO-LOG IMAGE of Jake, looking haggard
          and borderline deranged, rambling in a late-night monologue.
          
                              JAKE (RECORDED)
                    They're not going to give up their home --
                    they're not gonna make a deal. For what?
                    Lite beer and shopping channel? There's
                    nothing we have that they want. We're a
                    horror to them. We're the monsters from
                    space.
          
                                                                   102.
          
          
          
          JAKE watches with a growing dread as his words condemn the
          people he has grown to love.
          
                              JAKE (RECORDED)
                    They're never going to leave Hometree.
          
          Quaritch FREEZES the recording.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Since a deal can't be made -- it gets
                    real simple.
                        (to Jake, icily)
                    So thanks. I'm getting all emotional.    I
                    might just give you a big wet kiss.
          
                              GRACE
                    Parker, we have to talk, like rational
                    people.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Well, I'd cherish that, but unfortunately
                    you're out of here on the next shuttle.
                    All of you. I'm shutting down the Avatar
                    Program, effective now.
          
          ON JAKE, GRACE AND NORM, speechless.
                                                       SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
          
          A WALL OF FIRE. Silhouettes of direhorse riders cross in SLOW
          MOTION, spears and bows held high.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - MORNING
          
          MONITOR SCREEN IMAGE -- WAINFLEET pans a camera across the
          smoldering hulks of BURNED DOZERS. The toppled remains of a
          charred ampsuit. Dead troopers bristling with arrows.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    They hit with banshees first. Set the
                    ampsuit on fire. Driver's toast.
          
          Quaritch and Selfridge look on grimly.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    The rest of the squad?
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Six bodies -- that's all of `em. And the
                    equipment is totalled.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Christ.
          
                                                                     103.
          
          
          
          INT. SELFRIDGE'S OFFICE - DAY
          
          Selfridge is stares soberly as Quaritch outlines the plan.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I can do it with minimal casualties to
                    the indigenous. We'll clear them out
                    with gas first. It'll be humane. More or
                    less.
          
          Selfridge sighs and rubs his face.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Hey, don't go limp on me now. This is
                    exactly the incident we needed.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Alright, let's pull the trigger.
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. BIO LAB
          
          MAX and the lab staff are glumly packing files and equipment,
          under the watchful eye of armed SEC-OPS TROOPERS. JAKE,
          GRACE, NORM stare bleakly at each other.
          
                              GRACE
                    They bulldozed a sacred site on purpose,
                    to trigger a response. They're
                    fabricating this war to get what they
                    want.
          
                              NORM
                    I can't believe that.
          
                               JAKE
                    Yup. That's how it's done. When people
                    are sitting on shit you want, you make
                    them your enemy. Then you're justified in
                    taking it.
          
          TRUDY RUNS into the lab, breathless. She's wearing full
          flight gear and carrying her helmet.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Sec-ops is rolling the gunships.   They're
                    gonna hit Hometree!
          
                                JAKE
                    When?
          
                                TRUDY
                    Now.    We're spooling up now! I gotta go.
          
                                                                    104.
          
          
          
                              GRACE
                    My God.
          
          Jake pumps furiously toward the door, Grace following.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - DAY
          
          SELFRIDGE surveys the airfield, where crews swarm over the
          gunships, loading ordnance. He turns as JAKE and GRACE
          charge toward him.
          
                              GRACE
                    Parker, wait. Stop! These are people
                    you're about to --
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    They're fly-bitten savages who live in a
                    tree! Look around -- I don't know about
                    you but I see a lot of trees. They can
                    move.
          
                              GRACE
                    For God's sake, there are children in
                    there. Babies!
          
                              JAKE
                    Look Selfridge, you don't want this kind
                    of blood on your hands. Let me try to
                    talk them out. They trust me.
          
          ON SELFRIDGE, considering this.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          SELFRIDGE and an escort of armed TROOPERS accompany Jake and
          Grace to the links. The two enter their units, as NORM and
          MAX prep the system.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    You've got one hour. Unless you want
                    your girlfriend in there when the axe
                    comes down, you get them to evacuate. One
                    hour.
          
          Jake lowers the upper clamshell. Norm starts the sequence.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMONS -DAY
          
          The entire clan is gathered, with Eytukan and Mo'at
          presiding. Jake looks around, feeling the gaze of the People
          upon him. He steels himself, and speaks in clear Na'vi --
          
                                                                  105.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Eytukan, I have something to say, to
                    everyone.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Speak, Jakesully.
          
                              JAKE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    A great evil is upon us. The Sky People
                    are coming to destroy Hometree. They
                    will be here soon.
          
          A murmur of fear and anger goes through the crowd.
          
                              JAKE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    You have to leave, or you will die.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Are you certain of this?
          
                              JAKE
                    They sent me here to learn your ways. So
                    one day I could bring this message, and
                    you would believe it.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    What are you saying, Jake? You knew this
                    would happen?
          
          He is unable to meet her eyes.
          
                              JAKE
                    Yes.
                        (ANGUISHED)
                    At first it was just orders. Then
                    everything changed. I fell in love--
                    with the forest, with the Omaticaya
                    People --
                        (he looks at her)
                    -- with you. And by then, how could I
                    tell you?
          
          Neytiri can barely breathe. She is shaking with the enormity
          of it, her voice cracking with rage and pain --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    I trusted you, Jake!
          
                                                                   106.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    Neytiri. Please, I only wanted to --
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    You will never be one of the People!
                    NEVER!
          
          TSU'TEY yells to his HUNTERS --
          
                               TSUTEY
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Bind them.
          
          They grab Jake, who doesn't resist. Others seize Grace.
          Both are driven to their knees, and their arms bound.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          SCORPION GUNSHIPS darken the sky as they come over the tops
          of the trees. At the head of the formation is one much
          larger ship, a monster 150 feet long -- the GENERAL DYNAMICS
          C-21 DRAGON GUNSHIP.
          
          Quaritch, next to the pilot of the Dragon, surveys the world
          below like Napoleon astride his horse.
          
          EXT. HOMETREE
          
          JAKE and GRACE are lashed to posts at the front entrance to
          Hometree. The People look up as --
          
          THE DRAGON and its escort of GUNSHIPS arrive over the trees.
          The DOWN-BLAST from their rotors creates a maelstrom of
          flying leaves and debris.
          
          IN THE DRAGON COCKPIT Quaritch watches a targeting screen --
          a telescopic image of Jake and Grace tied to posts.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Well, I'd say diplomacy has failed.
          
          TSU'TEY and another HUNTER hold knives to the throats of the
          two avatars, glaring defiantly at the gunships.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I think they mean to cut their throats if
                    we don't back off. Make sure you get a
                    nice close-up of that. I can tack it onto
                    the after-action report.
          
          JAKE YELLS to Neytiri, Tsu'tey, the others gathered nearby --
          
                                                                      107.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    You have to get out of Hometree! Run to
                    the forest! Please, I'm begging you!
          
          EYTUKAN scowls at Jake, then GRABS TSU'TEY and yells --
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Take the ikran! Attack from above!
          
          Tsu'tey grabs some hunters and runs up the roots of Hometree.
          
          IN THE COCKPIT Quaritch grows impatient.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Alright, let's get this done. Give me
                    forty millimeter gas rounds, right in the
                    front door.
          
                               GUNNER
                    Roger.   CS forties. Going hot.
          
                               QUARITCH
                    Fire.
          
          On the Dragon's stub-wings the 40mm ROCKET LAUNCHERS open up
          with a BARRAGE of leaping fire which FLASHES down and --
          
          K-WHOOM!K-WHOOM!K-WHOOM! -- the inside of Hometree ERUPTS
          with multiple EXPLOSIONS of TEARGAS.
          
          THE GAS rolls across the confused villagers. They begin to
          cough and gag.
          
          Eytukan and the remaining HUNTERS bravely fire at the
          gunships with their longbows.
          
          IN THE DRAGON'S COCKPIT, Quaritch laughs as arrows CLINK
          against the armored windows.
          
          AMID CLOUDS of teargas, the Omaticaya run, stumble, collapse.
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (yelling/subtitled)
                    Everybody outside! Go to the Forest.
          
          The villagers pour out of Hometree. Everyone is yelling.
          Piercing SCREAMS in the boiling gas.
          
          JAKE, eyes streaming, struggles with his bindings.
          
          KA-WHOOM! An INCENDIARY ROUND explodes inside the Commons.
          FLAMES ROAR through the base of Hometree.
          
                                                                     108.
          
          
          
          INSIDE HOMETREE it is a burning smoky HELL. Flames roar up
          the inside like a chimney. STRAGGLERS scramble outside,
          coughing and dragging wounded with them.
          
          High up in the trunk, TSU'TEY and his hunters leap rapidly
          from spoke to spoke, climbing barely ahead of the fireball.
          
          OUTSIDE the fire is driven by the rotor-wash toward JAKE and
          GRACE who are still bound tightly to the posts.
          
          Out of the smoke, MO'AT appears in front of Jake.    She raises
          a KNIFE and --
          
          SLASHES DOWNWARD. Jake looks down, surprised, to see his
          bonds falling away. He meets her eyes, which are filled with
          horror, but also something else. Call it faith.
          
                              MO'AT
                    You are one of us.   Help us!
          
          Jake takes the knife and cuts Grace free.
          
                              JAKE
                    We've gotta move!    He's gonna blow the
                    columns.
          
          As Grace realizes what he means, he grabs her and they RUN.
          Around them the Omaticaya flee in horror and confusion.
          
          IN THE COCKPIT, Quaritch watches as the Omaticaya stream away
          from the Great Tree, running along roots and branches.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    That's how you scatter the roaches. Okay,
                    switch missiles. Give me H-E's at the
                    base of the west columns.
          
                              PILOTS (V.O.)
                    Copy, switching missiles.
          
          IN TRUDY'S SAMSON -- she hears the other pilots acknowledging
          Quaritch's order.
          
                                TRUDY
                    Screw it.
          
          She takes her finger OFF the fire-control and pulls her
          aircraft out of formation.
          
          PUSHING IN ON QUARITCH, the Hometree reflecting in his
          glasses.
          
                                                                      109.
          
          
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Bring it down.
          
          MISSILES stream down from the DRAGON and the other gunships
          and --
          
          The base of Hometree VANISHES in a chain of HIGH-EXPLOSIVE
          BLASTS. The massive PILLARS fragment into matchsticks, and --
          
          The Omaticaya watch in horror as --
          
          HOMETREE GROANS and starts to MOVE.
          
          In a cacophony of cracking, splintering roots, the mighty
          tree TOPPLES with agonizing slowness.
          
          AT THE BANSHEE EYRIE, TSU'TEY and the other hunters spur
          their mounts into flight. They swoop among the branches as
          the tree, the one fixed thing in their lives, MOVES.
          
          It CRASHES DOWN through the forest canopy, crushing the
          lesser trees in its path, FALLING PONDEROUSLY.
          
          HOMETREE hits the ground like the end of the world, raising a
          great cloud of dust and pulverized debris.
          
          IN THE DRAGON cockpit, Quaritch surveys the destruction.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Nice work people. Alright, let's light
                    it up.
          
          INCENDIARIES launch from the gunships, EXPLODING into gouts
          of FIRE in the debris of Hometree.
          
          THE GUNSHIPS fan the flames through the trees like a fire-
          storm. The Omaticaya retreat as a WALL OF FIRE advances.
          
          JAKE SEARCHES for Neytiri amid swirling smoke and sparks.
          
                               JAKE
                    Neytiri!   Neytiri!
          
          GRACE is gathering crying CHILDREN, and herding them away
          from the fire-storm.
          
          NEYTIRI stumbles through the burning wreckage at the edge of
          the INFERNO. She sees --
          
          EYTUKAN. A large shard of wood is driven through him like a
          spear. He recognizes her as she kneels over him.
          
                                                                      110.
          
          
          
                              EYTUKAN
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Daughter -- take my bow. Protect the
                    People.
          
          In his last living moment he places his bow in her hands.
          
          She collapses over him, her face crumpling in grief.
          
          JAKE reels out of the smoke.    Kneels next to her.
          
                              JAKE
                    I'm sorry --
          
          She shoves him away and stands, screaming at him as tears
          stream down her face.
          
                               NEYTIRI
                    Get away from me, Jake. Go away! Never
                    come back!
          
          Jake stumbles back as she slumps down by her father's body.
          Sparks and smoke swirl around him. He watches as --
          
          NETYIRI kneels, grieving. Slumped over, clutching her
          stomach. Keening like an animal.
          
          SLOW MOTION -- Jake staggers lost and alone through the
          burning forest. Utterly shattered. Eyes vacant.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I was a warrior who dreamed he could
                    bring peace. Sooner or later though, you
                    always have to wake up...
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          SELFRIDGE watches a video feed of the destruction on one of
          the monitors. Max and NORM stare in shock.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Pull the plug.
          
          A TROOPER crosses to the console and grabs the handle of the
          MASTER BREAKER --
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST
          
          The strings are cut. Jake flops to the ground, limp.
          
          Elsewhere in the smoky Hell, Grace slumps unconscious. The
          crying kids pull at her. Mo'at, leading a group of
          Omaticaya, comes upon the scene.
          
                                                                     111.
          
          
          
          She grabs the kids and pulls them away, leaving Grace's
          avatar helpless in the path of the flames. She hesitates,
          then --
          
                               MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Bring her.
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          BLACKNESS. Then the top clamshell of Jake's unit is yanked
          upward, and troopers grab him, zip-tie his wrists as we --
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DUSK
          
          ON A HILLSIDE -- a grieving Neytiri stands with Mo'at and the
          Omaticaya refugees. Two hunters pull Grace's avatar on a
          travois.
          
          They watch as the flames burn like a funeral pyre below. A
          great pall of smoke darkens the landscape.
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          INT. LOCK-UP - NIGHT
          
          Jake, Grace, and Norm are in a common holding cell. They
          sit, staring in silence. Too wired to sleep, too emotionally
          drained to move.
          
                              GRACE
                    They never wanted us to succeed.
          
          AT THE DESK OUTSIDE, the lone TROOPER looks up as --
          
          TRUDY approaches along the corridor, pushing a stainless
          steel trolley.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Personally I think steak's too good for
                    these traitors.
          
                              GUARD
                    They get steak?    That's bullshit. Let me
                    see that --
          
          The guard bends to look into the hot cart and   --
          
          THE MUZZLE of Trudy's pistol presses behind his ear.
          
                                                                     112.
          
          
          
                              TRUDY
                    Oops.
                        (shoving him down)
                    All the way down, pendejo.
          
          She WHISTLES and MAX trots around the corner.
          
          Trudy binds the guard with one of his own zip-ties as Max
          grabs his KEY CARD and runs to the cell. Swipes the card.
          The door is rolling open when --
          
          ANOTHER TROOPER rounds the corner. Trudy takes him down with
          a sharp BLOW to the windpipe and a THAI KNEE to the ribs.
          
          Meanwhile the first TROOPER is getting up, but Max CLOCKS him
          heartily with a coffee urn. He goes down and stays down.
          
                              MAX
                    That was unexpectedly satisfying.
          
          Trudy plants a kiss on Norm as he runs out of the cell.
          
                              NORM
                    Baby, you rock.
          
          Jake wheels out, grabbing the sidearm from the fallen trooper
          as Trudy binds his wrists.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to Max and Trudy)
                    Thanks.
          
          Jake faces his motley group, chambering a round.
          
                              JAKE
                    So what do you say?    Time for a
                    revolution?
          
                                GRACE
                    I'm free.
          
          Trudy grins and taps his fist.
          
                                JAKE
                    Come on.
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. UTILIDOR
          
          In the utility corridor under the base, Jake pumps the chair
          furiously, as the others jog. They reach an AIRLOCK and start
          donning EXOPACKS.
          
                                                                        113.
          
          
          
                                JAKE
                          (to Trudy)
                      Get your ship fired up.
          
          Trudy nods. She grabs Norm and enters the airlock.     Jake
          turns to Max.
          
                                JAKE
                      Stay here. I need somebody on the inside
                      I can trust.
          
          Max nods.   Jake grips his hand tightly.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          EXT. AIRFIELD - NIGHT
          
          IN THE SAMSON, Norm is helping Trudy race through the
          preflight checks as the turbines spool up. A LIGHT hits
          them.
          
          An armored TROOPER approaches, aiming his AR at them.
          
                                TROOPER
                      I need you to shut down and step out of
                      the vehicle! Now!
          
          JAKE rolls up behind him, aiming his pistol.
          
                                JAKE
                      Take it nice and easy, troop.
          
          The trooper turns, sees the gun.
          
                                 JAKE
                      On the ground, face down. Hands behind
                      your head.
          
          The trooper hesitates.
          
                                GRACE
                      Do what he goddamn says!
          
          He does. Norm jumps down and grabs the trooper's rifle and
          side-arm, covering him, while Grace helps Jake from chair to
          the back bay of the chopper. She throws his chair in, and
          jumps in herself.
          
                                JAKE
                      Go! Go! Go!
          
                                                                     114.
          
          
          
          INT. OPS CENTER - NIGHT
          
          QUARITCH, watching a monitor, sees what's happening down at
          the airfield. He slams his palm down on an ALARM BUTTON.
          
          He draws his PISTOL.   Strides toward the EMERGENCY DOOR. He
          undogs it.
          
          EXT. OPS CENTER/AIRFIELD - NIGHT
          
          HOLDING HIS BREATH Quaritch yanks the hatch open and strides
          onto the outer landing. Inside people scramble for MASKS.
          
          THE SAMSON lifts off in a blast of rotor-wash just as --
          
          QUARITCH OPENS FIRE and --
          
          ROUNDS rake the ship. Trudy banks hard, using the bottom to
          shield them. Bullets WHACK into the ship as she climbs-out
          over the tree-line.
          
          Jake's fist pumps the air exultantly.
          
                              JAKE
                    Oh yeah, baby!
          
                              GRACE
                    Aaahh, crap. Not again.
          
          He looks over at Grace and freezes. She is looking down at a
          BLOODY HAND. She clutches her abdomen, covering the
          spreading stain. Looks at Jake, wide-eyed.
          
                              GRACE
                    This is gonna ruin my whole day.
          
                              JAKE
                    Hang on, Grace.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. SHACK / SITE 26 - NIGHT
          
          NORM'S AVATAR, with an AR slung over his shoulder, stands on
          the roof of the LINK MODULE. He gives a thumbs up signal.
          The lift cable goes taut and --
          
          The shack LIFTS OFF THE GROUND.
          
          Trudy's Samson beats the grass of the mountain meadow,
          straining to lift the module on a long-line sling. The shack
          sways as Trudy banks across forested slopes and heads deeper
          into the HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS.
          
                                                                    115.
          
          
          
          INT. SAMSON CABIN - NIGHT
          
          Outside the windows, clouds and cliffs pass by, lit by
          Polyphemus.
          
          Jake is yanking stuff out of the Samson's trauma bag, while
          Grace lies curled across two back seats, hugging her blood-
          soaked abdomen. She is pale and shocky.
          
          Trudy is flying on visual only, by the light of Polyphemus.
          Her instruments are showing gibberish.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Well, at least they won't be able to
                    track us up here. Not this deep in the
                    vortex.
          
                              JAKE
                    It's strongest at the Well of Souls,
                    right?
          
                               TRUDY
                    Yeah.
          
                              JAKE
                    Good, `cause that's where we're going.
          
                               TRUDY
                    Copy.
          
          He gives Grace an ampule of morphine for the pain.
          
                              JAKE
                    I'm gonna get you some help, Grace.
          
                              GRACE
                    Forget it, it doesn't matter.
          
          Jake grabs her shoulders.
          
                               JAKE
                    No!   The People can help you. I know it.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - AERIAL - DAWN
          
          Dawn light paints the massive ARCHES of magnetic rock above
          the Well of Souls.
          
          Tiny as an insect, the SAMSON passes.
          
                                                                     116.
          
          
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    The Well of Souls. The heart of the
                    forest. I knew the People would go
                    there.
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - DAWN
          
          The WELL OF SOULS is a deep caldera 100 meters across. It is
          ringed with enormous WILLOWS whose roots seem to pour down
          the sheer rock walls like candle wax.
          
          AT THE BOTTOM, in a natural amphitheater, the Omaticaya
          refugees are clustered around a central rock outcropping
          which forms a kind of dais and altar.
          
          Shafts of dawn light reach to the bottom of the grotto,
          lighting a single willow -- the MOTHER TREE. Ancient and
          gnarled, it grows in the center of the rock.
          
          Its ROOTS spread down to the grotto floor, where they merge
          with the roots of the willows ringing the Well -- forming a
          braided mat resembling the surface of a brain.
          
          Mo'at stands on the dais, leading them in a CHANT.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Wise ancestors who live within Eywa,
                    guide us. Give us a sign.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. FOREST CLEARING   - DAWN
          
          The shack descends from the sky like a gift from the gods.
          It bumps to the ground.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. SHACK -- DAY
          
          Grace lies, comatose, in her open link. Trudy gives Jake a
          look that says "not much time." Jake feels Grace's cold
          forehead, then crosses to his own link.
          
          As Trudy helps him in, Norm rapidly preps the system.
          
                              NORM
                        (LOW)
                    Tsu'tey is Olo'eyctan now. He's not
                    going to let you get near that place.
          
                              JAKE
                    I've gotta try, Norm.
          
                                                                      117.
          
          
          
          Jake pulls the clamshell down and we --
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RUINS OF HOMETREE - DAY
          
          CU JAKE'S AVATAR -- HIS EYES OPEN. He sits up. The forest is
          silent, shrouded in smoke that the sun can't penetrate. The
          animals have fled. Ash blows on the wind.
          
                                  JAKE (V.O.)
                       Outcast. Betrayer. Alien. To ever face
                       them again, I was gonna have to change
                       the rules.
          
          DISSOLVE -- JAKE reaches the top of a rise. The forest
          beyond is utterly DEVASTATED. The trees burned and fallen.
          Small fires still flicker across a landscape in Hell.
          
          JAKE stares. It is his vision, made real. He stumbles
          through the dark wasteland, sparks and ash swirling around
          him.
          
          A SCREECH.    Jake looks up as --
          
          HIS BANSHEE -- bonded for life -- flaps down to a landing in
          front of him. He steps to it, and strokes its head. It
          nudges his chest like a horse.
          
                                 JAKE (V.O.)
                       Sometimes your whole life boils down to
                       one insane move.
          
                                 JAKE
                       Come on, boy. Time to fly.
          
          OMIITED
          
          EXT. MOUNTAINS - DAY
          
          THE GREAT LEONOPTERYX glides effortlessly along the ridge
          where Jake and Neytiri first encountered him.
          
          It scans for prey below, its magnificent indigo-crested head
          cocking left, then right.
          
                                 JAKE (V.O.)
                       The way I had it figured, Toruk is the
                       baddest cat in the sky. Nothing attacks
                       him. So why would he ever look up?
          
          FROM ABOVE -- THE SMALL SHADOW of Jake's banshee falls across
          the back of the mighty Toruk.
          
                                                                    118.
          
          
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    But that was just a theory.
          
          JAKE DIVES and WE RUSH DOWN toward the great beast and our
          own shadow then --
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - LATE AFTERNOON
          
          The Omaticaya people lift their voices in a SONG filled with
          tragic loss and yearning for deliverance.
          
          CLOSE ON NEYTIRI, singing. A SHADOW CROSSES HER FACE.   She
          looks up, and her eyes go wide as --
          
          A TERRIBLE CRY echoes, turning all eyes skyward.   AN ENORMOUS
          SHADOW covers the crowd as --
          
          TORUK comes out of the sun, beating its huge wings to slow
          its descent. Its crimson and black wings, backlit by the
          sun, seem to glow from within.
          
          The People CRY OUT in alarm and scatter as the dreaded beast
          alights in their midst. And that's when they see --
          
          JAKE, riding high on its shoulders, plugged-in to its
          antenna. It folds its wings and stands calmly amid the
          paralyzed Na'vi.
          
          Toruk lowers its body. They stare in awe as Jake dismounts
          and strokes the magnificent animal's flank.
          
          NEYTIRI, TSU'TEY and MO'AT watch in stunned amazement as the
          legendary Rider of Last Shadow walks toward them.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (breathing the words)
                    Toruk Macto.
          
          Neytiri raises her arms.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                        (SHOUTING)
                    Toruk Macto!
          
          ON THE FACES of the Omaticaya -- new hope dawning in their
          eyes. WHISPERS flow among them, the words REPEATED --
          
                              CROWD
                    Toruk Macto... Toruk Macto...
          
                                                                      119.
          
          
          
          Jake walks through the crowd, straight to Neytiri at the foot
          of the dais. He looks into her enormous eyes, and the
          emotion between them is powerful and pure.
          
                                 NEYTIRI
                    I See you.
          
                               JAKE
                        (a hoarse whisper)
                    I See you.
          
          Neytiri's eyes brim with tears.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    I was afraid Jake -- for my people. I'm
                    not any more.
          
          Jake takes Neytiri's hand and climbs the steps of the dais.
          
          MO'AT steps back in awe as he approaches. He turns to
          Tsu'tey, who stares at him with fear and incomprehension.
          Jake plays to the rapt crowd as he says --
          
                              JAKE
                        (SUBTITLED)
                    Tsu'tey of the Rongloa, son of Ateyo. I
                    stand before you, ready to serve the
                    People.
                        (then just for Tsu'tey)
                    You are Olo'eyctan, and you are the best
                    warrior. I can't do this without you.
          
          Tsu'tey struggles with his emotions. Finally --
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    I will fly with you.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Ireiyo.
          
          JAKE turns to the MATRIARCH.
          
                              JAKE
                    Grace is dying.     I beg the help of the
                    Great Mother.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Bring her, Jakesully.
          
          TIME CUT -- AVATAR JAKE carries Grace's HUMAN BODY, lightly
          in his arms like a child. Jake walks through the crowd to
          the dais, followed by NORM, who carries GRACE'S AVATAR.
          
                                                                   120.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    Look where we are, Grace.
          
          Her eyes flutter open. She looks up wonderingly at the Mother
          Tree.
          
                              GRACE
                        (with a wan smile)
                    I need to take some samples.
          
          Mo'at directs them to lay both bodies among the roots on the
          altar-rock.
          
          Mo'at touches Jake's shoulder and he steps back.
          
                              MO'AT
                        (QUIETLY)
                    The Great Mother may choose to save all
                    that she is --
          
          Mo'at's hand indicates Grace's AVATAR --
          
                              MO'AT
                    -- in this body.
          
          CU JAKE, realizing the enormity of what she's saying.
          
                              JAKE
                    Is that possible?
          
                              MO'AT
                    Possible, yes. She must pass through the
                    Eye of Eywa -- and return. But Jakesully--
                    she is very weak.
          
          Jake kneels next to Grace, taking her tiny human hand in his
          avatar hand.
          
                              JAKE
                    Hang on, they're gonna fix you up.
          
          Grace is barely conscious.    She grips his hand.
          
                              GRACE
                    I -- always held back. But you gave them
                    your heart. I'm proud of you, Jake.
          
          Jake feels his throat close with emotion.
          
          Grace's eyes blaze with intensity though her voice is faint.
          
                                                                     121.
          
          
          
                                 GRACE
                    Help them.     You do whatever it takes. You
                    hear me?
          
                                 JAKE
                    I will.
          
          TIME CUT -- MO'AT stands in a kind of trance amongst the
          tendrils of the Mother Tree.
          
          NEYTIRI and the other acolytes dance hypnotically. All the
          Omaticaya sway and chant to the rhythm of the drums.
          
          MACRO SHOT -- fine, hairlike THREADS have emerged from the
          roots and are gently spreading over Grace's HUMAN skin.
          
          JAKE, still holding her hand, watches her body being fused to
          the root-floor by a thousand connections.
          
          GRACE'S AVATAR is gently connected by the same questing ROOT-
          CILIA-- they entwine with the QUEUE and spread over the body.
          
          The grotto is dark except for the spectral GLOW of the
          willows. The CHANT continues, hypnotically. MO'AT, on her
          knees beneath the Mother Tree, writhes her arms in the trance
          state. Her eyes are rolled back, showing only WHITE.
          
          GRACE GASPS and her eyes SNAP OPEN. Her expression is AMAZED,
          as if seeing something so beautiful it can never be
          explained.
          
          ON HER HAND -- GRIPPING Jake's convulsively, as she tries to
          anchor herself to this world for a few more seconds --
          
                              GRACE
                    I'm with her Jake --
                        (an amazed whisper)
                    -- she's real --
          
          Grace SHUDDERS, as pain shoots through her. BLOOD seeps
          through the silken white root-cilia growing across her
          abdomen. Drowning WHITE in shocking CRIMSON.
          
          She exhales a last shuddering breath -- and goes STILL.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Grace!
          
          He sees the roots falling away from her human body.
          
          JAKE TURNS hopefully toward her AVATAR -- but the roots are
          falling away from it as well. It sleeps -- VACANT.
          
                                                                       122.
          
          
          
          MO'AT stops the chant. She crosses to Jake and kneels with
          him, touching his shoulder.
          
                              MO'AT
                    Her wounds were too great, there was not
                    enough time. She is with Eywa now.
          
          NEYTIRI removes Grace's mask and gently closes her eyes.
          
          Jake stands slowly, barely holding it together.
          
          NEYTIRI comes to him and he sees the despair and hope
          conflicting on her face --
          
          -- and he raises his head.   TURNS to face TSU'TEY and the
          CROWD.
          
                              JAKE
                    With your permission, I will Speak now.
                    You would honor me by translating.
          
          Tsu'tey gestures assent, and they face the clan together.
          
          JAKE SPEAKS, the pain of Grace's death in the passion and
          fury of his voice. Tsu'tey TRANSLATES beside him.
          
                              JAKE
                    The Sky People have sent a message that
                    they can take whatever they want, and no
                    one can stop them. But we will send them
                    a message. Ride out, as fast as the wind
                    can carry you, tell the other clans to
                    come. Tell them Toruk Macto calls to
                    them. Fly now with me brothers and
                    sisters! Fly! And we will show the Sky
                    People that this is our land!
          
          TSU'TEY finishes with a bloodcurdling war-cry, and the entire
          CLAN responds, their shouts echoing across the forest.
          
          JAKE takes Neytiri's hand and runs to the leonopteryx.   He
          vaults onto its back and pulls her up behind him.
          
          THE HUNTERS run to their banshees, mounting quickly. Jake's
          leonopteryx rises on mighty wings into the night sky. With a
          thunder of wings, the banshees take off after it.
          
          LONG LENS -- POLYPHEMUS. Across its face, the banshees rise
          like a swarm of bats. Groups of riders peel off in different
          directions.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
                                                                    123.
          
          
          
          EXT. CLAN GATHERING - NIGHT
          
          JAKE and NEYTIRI stand before the gathered members of ANOTHER
          CLAN. Jake speaks as she translates. We don't hear the
          words.
          
          TRACK ACROSS the faces of the clan, a sea of eyes in
          flickering fire-light.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    We rode out to the four winds. To the
                    horse clans of the plain, to the ikran
                    people of the mountains. When Toruk
                    Macto called them, they came.
          
          VARIOUS ANGLES -- SLOW MOTION as riders vault onto their
          armored direhorses. Banshee riders raise spears and bows,
          spurring their mounts to leap skyward.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - DAWN
          
          With a WHOOSH and the crack of mighty wings, JAKE RETURNS.
          Jake and Neytiri alight from his legendary mount.
          
          Around them HUNDREDS OF BANSHEES are landing.   A gathering of
          eagles.
          
          FROM ABOVE we can see hundreds of Na'vi streaming down into
          the Well of Souls and many hundreds more camped in the forest
          above it.
          
          DIREHORSE RIDERS are arriving along many trails.
          
          BANSHEE RIDERS circle and swoop, darkening the sky above the
          grotto.
          
          JAKE, standing next to the Leonopteryx, watches his army
          gathering.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. COMMISSARY - DAY
          
          It's standing room only as all base personnel are crowded
          into the dining hall. A portable 3D GRAPHICS PROJECTOR has
          been set up, and the lights are down. QUARITCH stands in
          front of the display image -- a classic pre-mission briefing.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    People, you are fighting for survival.
                    There's an aboriginal horde out there
                    massing for an attack. First slide.
          
                                                                      124.
          
          
          
          The display shows an overhead image of the Well of Souls.    It
          looks like Woodstock in the jungle.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    These orbital images show the hostiles'
                    numbers have gone from a couple of
                    hundred to over two thousand in one day,
                    and more are pouring in. By next week it
                    could be twenty thousand. Then they'll be
                    overrunning our perimeter here. We can't
                    wait. Our only security lies in pre-
                    emptive attack. We will fight terror
                    with terror.
          
          TRACKING ACROSS the grim faces of the miners and troopers.
          Fear transforming to hatred in their eyes.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Next slide. This mountain stronghold is
                    supposedly protected by their deity.
                    When we destroy it, we will blast a
                    crater in their racial memory so deep
                    they won't come within a thousand klicks
                    of this place.
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. ARMOR BAY - DAY
          
          TROOPERS issue automatic weapons and magazines to a long line
          of mine workers. The miners lock and load like the red-
          blooded redneck NRA supporters they are.
          
          BLASTING TECHS are setting radio-detonated primer charges
          into two-ton stacks of EXPLOSIVE COMPOUND. The stacks are
          band-strapped together on pallets.
          
          TRACKING WITH SELFRIDGE, staring around him in growing dismay
          as he walks through the full-scale mobilization.
          
          He approaches Quaritch, who is barking orders amid a hive of
          activity around the ampsuits.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    This thing is completely out of control!
          
          Quaritch ignores him, turning away to focus on ordnance
          loading.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    Listen to me! I am not authorizing you to
                    turn the mine-workers local into a
                    freakin' militia!
          
                                                                     125.
          
          
          
                              QUARITCH
                    I declared threat condition red. That
                    puts all on-world assets under my
                    command.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    You think you can pull this palace coup
                    shit on me?! I can have your ass with
                    one call --
          
          Quaritch grabs him and PINS him against the side of an
          ampsuit.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    You're a long way from Earth.
          
          Selfridge is paralyzed. Physical force -- against him?
          Quaritch releases him and walks away.
          
                              QUARITCH
                        (to his men)
                    Get him out of here.
          
          Several troopers converge on Selfridge.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                    You touch me you're so fired.
          
          He pushes through them and they escort him toward the door.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. SHACK - DAY
          
          HUMAN JAKE, NORM and TRUDY are gathered around the comms
          monitor, talking to MAX.
          
                              MAX
                    I don't know how secure this channel is.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Talk fast.
          
                              MAX
                    It's crazy here, Jake. It's full
                    mobilization. They're rigging the
                    shuttles as bombers. They've made up
                    these big pallets of mine explosives.
                    It's for some kind of shock and awe
                    campaign.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Frickin' daisycutters.
          
                                                                       126.
          
          
          
                                 NORM
                    Holy shit.
          
                              JAKE
                        (to Max)
                    Can you talk to Selfridge? Maybe we can
                    cut some kinda deal before this thing
                    goes all the way.
          
                              MAX
                    No, Quaritch has taken over. He's
                    rolling and there's no stopping him.
          
                                 JAKE
                    When?
          
                              MAX
                    Oh six hundred tomorrow.
          
          Jake takes that in.
          
                                 JAKE
                    Thanks.
          
          Max signs off.
          
                              NORM
                    We're screwed.
          
                              TRUDY
                    You know he's gonna commit those bombers
                    straight to the Well of Souls.
          
                              JAKE
                    That's right. Because I gave it to him
                    on a plate.
          
                              TRUDY
                    We both did.
          
                              NORM
                    If he takes out the Well of Souls -- it's
                    over. It's their main line to Eywa, to
                    their ancestors -- it'll destroy them.
          
                              JAKE
                    Then I guess we better stop him.
          
          Jake looks like he's about to collapse.   He's gaunt, eyes
          deeply shadowed, hands shaking.
          
                              TRUDY
                    You need to get some rack.
          
                                                                      127.
          
          
          
          He grabs a packet of freeze-dried crystals and pours them
          directly into his mouth, chewing them up.
          
                              JAKE
                    Gonna have to settle for coffee.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. BATTLE CAMP - DUSK
          
          TRACKING through the warrior camp above the Well of Souls.
          Hundreds of hunters from many clans prepare their weapons.
          
          Hunters paint the wings of their banshees like war ponies.
          DIREHORSES are painted and ornamented with totemic streamers.
          
          The Na'vi paint and pierce themselves. Dance. Bathe in the
          smoke of cleansing herbs -- RITUAL PURIFICATION. HUGE DRUMS
          are beaten. A dark primeval energy. They are psyching
          themselves up for battle.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    I was a warrior who dreamed he could
                    bring peace. But there was only one
                    thing I was ever really good at. Ooh-rah.
          
          TIME CUT -- Jake, Neytiri a group of banshee riders squat
          around an animal skin on which he has drawn the silhouette of
          a Scorpion gunship -- like a hunt totem.
          
                              JAKE
                        (Na'vi/subtitled)
                    Strike here and here.
          
          Jake splats red dye at the centers of the circles symbolizing
          the rotors. The Na'vi absorb the lesson eagerly, like kids.
          
          He sees TRUDY approaching and breaks off. Neytiri stays with
          the hunters, talking about what they've learned.
          
                              TRUDY
                        (LOW)
                    You know our chances suck.
          
                              JAKE
                    Yeah.
          
                              TRUDY
                    Going up against gunships with bows and
                    arrows...
          
                              JAKE
                    What's your point?
          
                                                                      128.
          
          
          
                              TRUDY
                        (NODDING)
                    Right.
          
          She taps his fist and walks away toward her SAMSON.
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - NIGHT
          
          The cook-fires of the battle camp FLICKER like a
          constellation around the edge of the Well of Souls as --
          
          JAKE slips down into the darkened, empty amphitheater.
          
          He moves to the MOTHER TREE -- gnarled, ancient, MAJESTIC.
          The roots spread in all directions, like the center of the
          world.
          
          Jake steps forward. The willow-like tendrils SWAY toward
          him, moving in a breeze that isn't there.
          
                              JAKE
                    I've never done this in my life.
          
          He squats at the base of the tree.
          
                              JAKE
                    And I'm probably just talking to a tree
                    right now. But if you're there -- I need
                    to give you a heads up.
          
          He looks up into the tree. The hanging tendrils undulate
          softly. It's easy to imagine a presence.
          
                              JAKE
                    If Grace is there with you -- look in her
                    memories -- she can show you the world we
                    come from. There's no green there. They
                    killed their Mother, and they're gonna do
                    the same thing here.
          
          FROM UP IN THE TREE, looking down.   WOODSPRITES float in
          silence, moving around aimlessly.
          
                              JAKE
                    More Sky People are gonna come. They're
                    gonna come like a rain that never ends --
          
          Neytiri approaches silently behind him, listening.
          
                              JAKE
                    -- until they've covered the world.
                    Unless we stop them.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                      129.
          
                              JAKE (cont'd)
                    Look, you chose me for somethin'. And
                    I'll stand and fight, you know I will.
                    But I could use a little help here.
          
          Jake senses Neytiri and turns.
          
                              NEYTIRI
                    Our Great Mother does not take sides.
                    She protects only the balance of life.
          
          She comes to him, intertwining her long fingers with his.
          
                              JAKE
                    It was worth a try.
          
          They lean in, foreheads touching, bodies pressed together.
          Holding each other -- in this, the last moment of peace.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          TIGHT ON a turbine as it starts to turn. Its RISING WHINE
          carries over --
          
          A SERIES OF RHYTHMIC CUTS:
          
          MAGAZINES are slammed into automatic weapons. AMMO BELTS are
          fed into rotary cannons. MISSILES are attached to gunship
          stub-wings.
          
          TIGHT ON BLUE HANDS sharpening wooden arrows.   Stringing
          bows. Cinching direhorse harnesses.
          
          TROOPERS DROP into ampsuit cockpits. PILOTS close gunship
          canopies. TROOPERS run up shuttle ramps.
          
          LONG LENS STACK, tight and abstract on gunships as they rise
          in a swarm amid boiling turbine exhaust and blasting rotor
          wash.
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST/ AERIAL - DAWN
          
          WIDE SHOT -- TILTROTORS fill the sky. Deadly armored beetles.
          
          The DRAGON leads the formation, flanked by SCORPIONS. Behind
          that is a wave of SAMSONS, and last, the two enormous
          VALKYRIE shuttles, packed with troops and ampsuits.
          
          INSIDE THE DRAGON, Quaritch surveys his armada as they skim
          over the tree tops.
          
          THEY SWEEP toward the Hallelujah mountains in a thundering
          wave.
          
                                                                     130.
          
          
          
          EXT. MOUNTAINS/ AERIAL - DAWN
          
          SQUADRONS OF BANSHEES darken the sky in waves, led by a
          single GREAT LEONOPTERYX. Jake sits astride his mount,
          flanked by Neytiri and Tsu'tey on their banshees.
          
          EXT. MOUNTAINS - DAWN
          
          THE DRAGON DESCENDS on final approach to a large clearing --
          the LZ. The Samsons flair and touch down, disgorging troops,
          while the gunships hover protectively.
          
          THE VALKYRIES blast the ground with their powerful lift jets.
          They land. The ramps drop. Troopers pour out, weapons
          leveled, advancing in a cordon.
          
          UP ANGLE as AMPSUITS descend from the Dragon on cables.
          Their massive feet smash down, and they march forward,
          leading the army into the forest.
          
          LYLE WAINFLEET, walking point in his hydraulic suit, scans
          his cockpit screens. He sees movement on the FLIR display --
          ghostly THERMAL SIGNATURES.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Contact. Two hundred meters.
          
          A chilling SOUND echoes through the forest -- the ululating
          WAR CRIES of untold Na'vi. The troopers, look around,
          spooked. They can't tell where the sound is coming from.
          
          Then they feel it -- the GROUND ITSELF SHAKING.    They grip
          their weapons, bracing themselves as --
          
          THREE HUNDRED NA'VI HORSEMEN charge through the forest at a
          full gallop, their hooves POUNDING the earth. It is an
          awesome sight.
          
          NORM SPELLMAN rides with the Na'vi hunters, carrying an
          assault rifle.
          
          THE NA'VI CHARGE thunders toward the human line.   The hunters
          raise their bows as --
          
          THE AMPSUITS raise their GAU-90's.
          
          ON THE THERMAL IMAGERS target-cursors track the ghost riders.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Fire for effect.
          
          The entire line of troopers opens fire. TRACERS riddle the
          jungle, blasting foliage into confetti.
          
                                                                      131.
          
          
          
          CHARGING DIREHORSES crash down, flipping over. Riders are
          flung off. The withering fire continues, and the ranks are
          decimated as --
          
          RIDERS LAUNCH their arrows at a full gallop. A few hit their
          marks among the troopers. NORM FIRES his AR on full auto.
          
          TWO CHARGING DIREHORSES have a heavy log slung between them
          like a battering ram. At a full gallop they hit an ampsuit,
          FLIPPING IT onto its back with a blown-out canopy. Victory
          is short lived as the two riders are cut down.
          
          NORM'S HORSE is hit by tracer fire. He is flung off as the
          creature cartwheels. He hits hard, scrambling for cover as --
          
          A WARRIOR HURLS his spear a moment before his horse is cut
          down. It SLAMS through an ampsuit's canopy but --
          
          THE MERCILESS FIRE continues. Horses rear and collapse.
          Riders pivot their mounts to flee and --
          
          THE THERMAL SCREENS show the remaining ghost riders
          scattering.
          
          LYLE signals and the line advances, firing sporadically at
          moving targets.
          
          OVERHEAD, NA'VI HUNTERS stream through the trees, running
          along the branches.
          
          As the troopers advance into bow range, the NA'VI open fire
          and --
          
          TROOPERS SPROUT ARROWS in throat, legs, masks -- the targets
          Jake taught them, but --
          
          THE FIRING LINE aims upward, tracking the THERMAL TARGETS.
          TRACERS rip through the foliage and --
          
          NA'VI FALL while others retreat as bark and wood is blasted
          off the limbs beneath their feet.
          
          NORM sprints frantically through the woods, shouting into his
          HANDSET --
          
                               NORM
                    Jake!   Jake! We're falling back!
          
          SURVIVING NA'VI flee the horrific onslaught.   It is a total
          rout.
          
          IN THE DRAGON, Quaritch catches glimpses of the figures
          streaming through the forest below.
          
                                                                      132.
          
          
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Blue team, switch forties.   Fire at will.
          
          Led by the Dragon, the gunships FIRE streamers of 40mm
          ROCKETS ahead of them. The jungle EXPLODES with HE bursts.
          Circular SHOCK WAVES flash outward through the jungle --
          
          STROBOSCOPIC GLIMPSES of terrified horses rearing, Na'vi
          leaping, as the jungle rocks with the concussive onslaught.
          
          HUNTERS LOOK UP as a dark shape hovers overhead. The
          downblast of the VALKYRIE'S lift jets shreds the forest.
          
          INSIDE THE SHUTTLE'S cargo bay, a row of DAISYCUTTERS are
          lined up. Troopers roll the first pallet down the ramp.
          
          THE PALLET falls into the jungle below and --
          
          BA-WHOOOOOM! -- an enormous high-explosive blast rips a huge
          hole in the forest. A white concussion wave flashes out
          across the ground for hundreds of meters in all directions.
          
          AT GROUND LEVEL it is an apocalypse. Running Na'vi are
          blasted out of existence by fire and shock waves.
          
          IN THE CARGO BAY the troopers WHOOP and high-five.
          
                                 TROOPERS
                    Yeah baby!     Get some!
          
          GROUND TROOPS ADVANCE, firing flamethrowers, AR's and GAU-
          90's.
          
          EXT. FLOATING MOUNTAINS - AERIAL
          
          Quaritch's fleet flies into the shadow of the Mountain of
          Truth.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Blue team, stay with the ground units.
                    Red team, with me. We're punching for
                    the main target.
          
          Quaritch glances up to see --
          
          A squadron of WINGED SHAPES, diving out of the morning glare
          like birds of prey.
          
          CLOSE ON JAKE, rushing straight down, SCREAMING a war cry as
          he leads the charge and --
          
          SCORES OF BANSHEES SLAM into the gunships and Samsons like
          falcons hitting fat turkeys. The air battle is joined.
          
                                                                      133.
          
          
          
          JAKE'S GREAT LEONOPTERYX flairs into its signature crimson X
          shape just before --
          
          K-WHAM!! -- it knocks a Scorpion tumbling. It coils around
          the gunship, slashing furiously as they spin together. JAKE
          can barely hang onto the gyrating creature.
          
          The pilot of the Scorpion sees nothing but jaws slamming into
          his canopy.   Jake releases the gunship and it careens into a
          CLIFF, tearing off one rotor -- then plummets into the trees.
          There is a satisfying FIREBALL.
          
          SCORPIONS fall out of formation to pursue individual banshee
          riders, FIRING cannons and rockets.
          
          JAKE BANKS as the cliff face next to him explodes with
          cannon rounds. SCREAMING down on him is another Scorpion.
          
          JAKE tucks and dives along the cliff, feeling the rounds
          splitting the air around him and --
          
          The Scorpions bank after the furiously jinking banshees as
          they head for cover among the floating mountains, or dive
          down into the trees.
          
          DOOR GUNNERS in a SAMSON are shooting down banshees like
          Messerschmidts from a B-17 as --
          
          WE FOLLOW TSU'TEY'S BANSHEE in a full delta dive. He swoops
          in from its blind spot and --
          
          THE GUNNERS SWIVEL too late as Tsu'tey flashes past them,
          SHOOTING ARROWS with deadly accuracy.
          
          A SCORPION gunship dives after a banshee. It fires an air-to-
          air missile and the banshee vanishes in an EXPLOSION.
          
          WIDE SHOT as thirty ships and hundreds of banshees wheel and
          dive, like the Battle of Britain. Banshees are hit by guns
          and missiles, falling out of the sky. The occasional trail of
          smoke and fire marks the demise of a tilt-rotor.
          
          IN THE CENTER the Dragon is pouring out hellacious fire --
          tracer rounds from multiple turrets and missiles from the
          stub-wing pods.
          
          NEYTIRI BANKS hard as TRACERS flash past her.   A Scorpion is
          right on her ass as --
          
          SHE ROLLS inverted and dives under the edge of Mons
          Veritatis, then rolls out, zig-zagging through the dangling
          vines but --
          
                                                                     134.
          
          
          
          THE GUNSHIP stays on her. It rips through the vines, and
          tracers FLASH toward us as --
          
          SHE JINKS the banshee around a thundering waterfall but --
          
          HER PURSUER explodes right through the curtain of water. It
          launches an air-to-air missile. NEYTIRI jinks hard, diving.
          The missile hits a rock outcropping, pummeling her with the
          shock wave.
          
          THE GUNSHIP follows her through a narrow slit between Mons
          Veritatis and a smaller floating island. They run this slot
          rolled up on their sides and --
          
          THE SCORPION GUNNER locks up Neytiri for a missile shot but --
          
          A SHADOW crosses his canopy. Out of the sun comes a crimson
          demon, shrieking over the roar of the turbines, and --
          
          K-WHAMMM!! The leonopteryx SLAMS the gunship, driving it
          downward in a dive. The leonopteryx lashes at it with claws
          and teeth as they fall together out of control.
          
          Jake kicks the gunship loose and it falls like a brick,
          breaking its back on a rocky promontory and EXPLODING.
          
          FLYING WITH A SAMSON as a SECOND SAMSON falls in beside it.
          This one has its pilot door off, and the PILOT is wearing a
          breathing mask. The door gunners wave at --
          
          TRUDY, her expression grim behind her mask. She holds the
          cyclic stick between her knees while she RAKES the other ship
          with BURSTS from an AR in her lap.
          
          The pilot slumps over and the craft tumbles out of control.
          
                              TRUDY
                    You're not the only ones with guns, you
                    pricks.
          
          NEYTIRI JINKS her banshee hard, an enemy Samson right behind
          her. The pilot is a hotdog, following her down into the
          trees, under the canopy.
          
          They slalom among the trunks at high speed. The gunners hang
          half out the doors, firing. Bark and leaves explode around
          Neytiri as she zig-zags through the jungle.
          
          THE BANSHEE dives under a huge tree limb, and the pilot
          follows. He looks up at the last second, catching a glimpse
          of blue-skinned figures.
          
          THE HUNTERS drop a net of woven vines behind Neytiri and --
          
                                                                     135.
          
          
          
          The SAMSON hits it hard. The net fouls the ship, FLIPPING IT
          backwards. It crashes upside down to the forest floor.
          KABOOM!!
          
          NEYTIRI'S BANSHEE is hit by GROUND-FIRE. It folds up like a
          broken kite, crashing down through branches and --
          
          SHE SLAMS into the ground, stunned.
          
          IN THE DRAGON Quaritch looks ahead, seeing the WELL OF SOULS.
          He taps the pilot and points --
          
                              QUARITCH
                    There it is.
                        (into his headset)
                    Valkyrie One, this is Dragon. Target is
                    in sight.
          
          IN THE CARGO BAY of Valkyrie One, the troopers ready their
          deadly loads.
          
                              TROOPER
                    Target in sight.
          
          CIRCLING ABOVE, Tsu'tey falls in beside Jake, who talks to
          him by AIRCOM HEADSET.
          
                              JAKE
                    We have to stop the shuttles, no matter
                    what it takes.
          
          TSU'TEY nods. He signals, gathering other hunters, who fall
          in with him as he dives. Jake rolls in after them but --
          
          A GUNSHIP drops in behind him and he is forced to evade as --
          
          TSU'TEY LEADS the attack on the first shuttle. Hunters jink
          and weave through WITHERING FIRE from the escort ships.
          
          GUNNERS with jerry-rigged gun mounts ride the broad backs of
          the shuttles, picking off banshees who get past the escort.
          
          TSU'TEY is RAKED by a burst from the dorsal gunners. His
          mount crumples, plummeting with a dying scream and --
          
          WE SPIRAL DOWN with him, the forest rushing up and --
          
          A BLINDING BLIZZARD of green as he tears downward, catching
          at leaves and vines. He SLAMS to the ground, badly injured.
          
          NEARBY, ampsuits and troopers advance across the forest
          floor, firing their cannons and flamethrowers. The GAU-90s
          rip the forest to shreds.
          
                                                                     136.
          
          
          
          Norm, firing as he retreats, is HIT. He collapses, his avatar
          body mortally wounded as --
          
          HYDRAULIC FEET approach, passing the bodies of direhorses and
          Na'vi hunters. Norm painfully tries to load another
          magazine, panting in fear and pain as --
          
          AN AMPSUIT stomps up.    Aims its cannon point blank. B-BLAM!
          
          INT. SHACK
          
          The top of Norm's LINK bangs open. He reels out, collapsing
          onto the floor, clutching himself as if he can still feel the
          pain of death.
          
          He sits, huddled, shivering -- crazed.
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST
          
          TSU'TEY lies gasping, mortally injured. He looks up,
          grimacing, as an ampsuit looms over him.
          
          LYLE WAINFLEET reaches down and grabs Tsu'tey by his queue,
          lifting him painfully.
          
                                 WAINFLEET
                       I hear this is worse than death for you,
                       chief.
          
          WAINFLEET cuts Tsu'tey's queue off near the base. TSU'TEY
          SCREAMS in agony, his nervous system exploding on overload.
          Grinning, Lyle holds up the queue -- Tsu'tey's only
          connection to the world-consciousness which is his life.
          
          NEYTIRI -- bleeding, bruised -- staggers amid burning
          wreckage. AMPSUIT footsteps approach and she crouches behind
          a tree. Troopers are seconds from seeing her as --
          
          NEYTIRI knocks an arrow to HER FATHER'S BOW, and readies
          herself for a last kamikaze shot when --
          
          THE TROOPER on the far right of the firing line sees
          something on his screens.
          
                                 TROOPER
                       Right flank -- something's coming!   It's
                       all lit up out there.
          
          The troopers become aware of the GROUND SHAKING. A slow
          building thunderous ROAR and --
          
          AN AMPSUIT comes FLYING out of the trees, cartwheeling past
          them, and the SHAKING BUILDS --
          
                                                                      137.
          
          
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS
          
          Mo'at opens her eyes in sudden realization as --
          
          EXT. FOREST
          
          The troopers pivot to face --
          
          A WALL OF CHARGING HAMMERHEADS CRASHING out of the foliage in
          a shower of broken branches as --
          
          THE TROOPERS open fire but -- the stampede drives over them
          like a wave. Tree-trunk feet shatter the ampsuit cockpits.
          Troopers are crushed or asphyxiated.
          
          NEARBY the foot-soldiers see LIVING SHADOWS flow out of the
          gloom as --
          
          VIPERWOLVES race among them with flashing jaws. The troopers
          FIRE wildly as they go down, hitting each other as much as
          their attackers.
          
          The survivors break and run as more viperwolves bound out of
          the shadows.
          
          JAKE BANKS, watching as HUNDREDS of rider-less WILD BANSHEES
          converge on Quaritch's ships. They literally darken the sky.
          
                              JAKE
                    What the hell -- ?
          
          The wild banshees wheel among the ships, ripping into them.
          
          ON JAKE -- slowly getting it.   EYWA is in the fight.
          
                              JAKE
                    WHOO-HOOOO!
          
          A GUNNER fires from the door of a Samson. There is a CRASH
          and the head of a BANSHEE lunges in the open door, jerking
          him out. Other banshees tear at the pilot's windshield.
          
          NEYTIRI watches in awe as the ground troops scatter in
          disarray. The viperwolves flash past her, ignoring her.
          
          She senses something and turns slowly to see --
          
          A THANATOR emerging from the smoke behind her. A glistening
          black demon. She stands paralyzed before its stygian gaze--
          
          -- and the thanator lowers itself, until its head is just
          above the ground. It holds that position -- waiting.
          
                                                                    138.
          
          
          
          Trembling, she approaches the waiting demon.
          
          EXT. FOREST
          
          A smoky hell. Fires burn all around. The troopers are
          disorganized, falling back. Shooting at shadows. Panicked
          yelling fills the comm freq.
          
          WAINFLEET and another AMPSUIT are charging together through
          the smoky gloom.
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    A and C squads -- rally at my pos.   I
                    want --
                        (screaming on the comm)
                    Who's screaming God damn it?!
          
                              TROOPER (ON RADIO)
                    We gotta get outta here! Whoever's in
                    charge, call for extraction!
          
                              WAINFLEET
                    Shutup you crybabies!
          
          SOMETHING slams into the other `suit, tackling it OUT OF
          FRAME. Wainfleet whirls to see his squad-mate missing. He
          moves through a screen of foliage to reveal --
          
          The AMPSUIT -- ripped open. Driver gone. Blood inside the
          cockpit. He WHIRLS at a sound in time to see --
          
          A THANATOR LEAPING straight at him -- WAINFLEET raises his
          cannon but--
          
          WHAM!! It's on him, slamming him to the ground. The cannon
          goes flying. He's face to face with its nightmare jaws,
          right outside his canopy--
          
          On its back is NEYTIRI, and it's a toss up which one looks
          more pissed off. The thanator rears back, muscles rippling
          as it poises to strike and --
          
          K-KRAAACKK! Slams its teeth right through his canopy.
          Wainfleet's SCREAM is brief.
          
          Neytiri's demon mount rears up and its triumphant ROAR echoes
          through the forest.
          
          INT. CORRIDOR
          
          Max runs down the hall, leading the other scientists.   He's
          yelling into an AIRCOM HANDSET --
          
                                                                   139.
          
          
          
                                 MAX
                       Rogue One, Rogue One, this is Max.   Tell
                       Jake we are in motion.
                           (to the scientists)
                       Get in there. Barricade the door!
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          The door is hurled open and the SCIENTISTS charge in.
          
          Science geeks barricade the door as AVATAR-DRIVERS scramble
          into their link units, pulling the clamshells down.
          
          INT. CORRIDOR
          
          Max checks the door is secure from his side then runs down a
          connecting corridor.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. SHACK
          
          HUMAN NORM emerges from the airlock, wearing breathing gear
          and carrying an AR. He stumbles, dazed, toward the battle.
          
          EXT. MOUNTAINS/ AERIAL
          
          JAKE SIGNALS and a formation of hunters rolls in, diving at
          the lead shuttle, which is already besieged by winged
          creatures.
          
          THE CARGO RAMP is the scene of a pitched battle. Na'vi
          hunters hurl themselves off their mounts in waves,
          overwhelming the troopers.
          
          HUNTERS are shot, falling out of the ship, as others fly in.
          They shoot arrows and spears from the end of the ramp, and
          troopers fall back deeper into the fuselage.
          
          The panicked CREW CHIEF slams a switch and the ramp begins to
          close, a second before he is cut down by a spear.
          
          JAKE'S LEONOPTERYX plummets at the shuttle from behind. He
          swoops down, flairs to reduce speed, rolls off his mount and
          lands, tumbling on the shuttle's broad back as --
          
          GUNNERS try to swing their guns toward him but he RAKES them
          with his AR, still running forward and --
          
          JAKE PULLS two grenades from his battle harness, yanking the
          pins out with his teeth. He hurls them down the intakes of
          the VTOL turbofans as --
          
          HIS LEONOPTERYX BANKS in a tight arc back toward him and --
          
                                                                      140.
          
          
          
          HE SPRINTS ON as the grenades EXPLODE, shattering the
          turbines, which riddle the fuselage with shrapnel and --
          
          JAKE LEAPS INTO SPACE, landing on the back of his mount and
          reconnecting. They flap away, gaining altitude as fire
          BLASTS out of the bottom of the shuttle.
          
          ON THE FLIGHT DECK, the pilot feels the ship dropping.
          
                               PILOT
                     Mains to a hundred percent!   Get me
                     airspeed!
          
          The pilot and copilot slam the throttle levers forward and --
          
          The FUSION ENGINES BLAZE, thrusting the shuttle forward.    It
          still falls, its remaining lift fans screaming, until --
          
          IT'S CLIPPING the tree tops when it gets enough translational
          lift to fly and --
          
          THE PILOT PULLS back on the stick, lifting the nose.
          
                               PILOT
                     We're good!
          
          BEHIND HIM, a surviving Na'vi hunter runs forward and --
          
          THOONK!   ARROWHEADS sprout from the pilots' necks and chests.
          
          THE SHUTTLE CLIMBS out of control, at full acceleration. It
          SLAMS into the underside of MONS Veritatis. It EXPLODES, and
          hundreds of tons of flaming debris drop back into the forest.
          
          ON THE FLIGHT DECK of the other SHUTTLE, the pilots watch the
          wreckage falling.
          
                               PILOT
                     Valkyrie Two is breaking off. And if any
                     of ya'll want to get off this piece of
                     shit planet, you better cover our ass,
                     `cause we're the only way back to orbit.
          
                               GUNSHIP PILOT
                     Roger that.
          
          FROM THE DRAGON COCKPIT Quaritch watches the shuttle bank
          away, with most of the remaining gunships following.
          
                               QUARITCH
                     Get back here you worthless pukes!
          
                                                                     141.
          
          
          
                              PILOT
                    Are we breaking off?
          
          Quaritch draws his pistol.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    What do you think?
          
          He is over the edge-- no logic in his brain now.   Only death.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER/CORRIDOR
          
          Techs and troopers crowd around consoles, listening to all
          the yelling and confusion as they try to plot the
          disintegrating battle.
          
                              SELFRIDGE
                        (in growing alarm)
                    What the hell is going on out there?
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST
          
          Regular troopers and volunteers FLEE through the jungle,
          scrambling to board SAMSONS as they touch down.
          
          INT. DRAGON COCKPIT
          
          The pilot listens to comms from Hell's Gate.
          
                              PILOT
                    Sir, all ground units are falling back to
                    the LZ.
          
          Quaritch's jaw clenches.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Stay on target.
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS
          
          Mo'at LOOKS UP as the DRAGON appears over the trees like the
          shadow of Death. Around her, the Na'vi mothers clutch their
          children to them. We see AKWEY'S BOY among them.
          
          INT. DRAGON COCKPIT
          
          Quaritch sets the target cursor on the MOTHER TREE and what
          we recognize is the ghostly figure of Mo'at.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Switch missiles. Arm all pods.
          
                                                                      142.
          
          
          
                                PILOT
                      Arming.
          
                                QUARITCH
                      Let's see what these blue bastards do
                      when I bitch-slap their goddess.
          
          EXT. MOUNTAINS/ AERIAL
          
          JAKE'S LEONOPTERYX drops toward the Dragon like a Mig 29.     He
          pulls out, skimming over the ship. Uncoupling, he rolls
          backward off his mount and --
          
          JAKE HITS, skidding, on the hull of the Dragon. He rolls to
          his feet, already running as --
          
          QUARITCH sees the leonopteryx WHOOSH overhead and flap away
          with no rider. He snap-looks aft to see --
          
          JAKE SPRINTING along the spine of the ship, yanking two
          grenades from his battle-harness, pulling the pins with his
          teeth, then --
          
          QUARITCH's hand shoots out and SLAMS the pilot's CYCLIC STICK
          hard over. THE DRAGON lurches sideways, rolling sharply with
          a ROAR of protesting rotors and --
          
          JAKE IS FLUNG off his feet. The grenades miss the TURBINE
          INTAKES. One bounces off the ship. The other lodges against
          a cowling and --
          
          JAKE SLIDES OFF the ship, falling as -- K-BLAM! The grenade
          blows a two meter hole in the hull --
          
          WHOOOSHH!   Pandoran air swirls inside.
          
                                QUARITCH
                          (to the pilot)
                      Put your mask on.
          
          Quaritch leaps out of his seat, heading aft as --
          
          JAKE GRABS the edge of a weapons pod, his feet dangling over
          open space.
          
          HOLDING HIS BREATH, Quaritch blows a RESCUE HATCH and leans
          outside. Jake sees him aim his massive PISTOL.
          
          K-WHAM! K-WHAM! Rounds clang next to Jake's head. He LETS GO,
          plummeting into the trees --
          
          Jake plunges through jungle canopy. He catches a HUGE LEAF,
          as Neytiri taught him -- it bends down, breaking his fall --
          
                                                                     143.
          
          
          
          HE LETS GO, dropping again only to catch ANOTHER LEAF, and
          then another, and --
          
          WE RUSH DOWN with him through this green blur.   Jake drops to
          the ground in a feral crouch. Unhurt.
          
                              JAKE
                        (into his headset)
                    Quaritch is gonna take out the Well of
                    Souls! He's got a clear shot. Hit him,
                    anybody that can! Do it now!
          
          IN HER SAMSON Trudy Chacon is all business.
          
                              TRUDY
                    On it.
          
          SHE BANKS hard, pulling g's, coming around on the Dragon.
          She pours on the coal and the Samson leaps forward, straight
          at the WARSHIP.
          
          QUARITCH, DRILLS a stream of tracers at her, tearing through
          her canopy, ripping chunks off her fuselage.
          
          IN THE JUNGLE BELOW, Norm watches her kamikaze run --
          
                              NORM
                    No!
          
                              TRUDY
                        (clipped, pilot-like)
                    Norm, I love you.
          
          TRUDY DIVES, raking through treetops and then, at the last
          instant, YANKS BACK on the stick and --
          
          THE SAMSON leaps straight up and -- K-KRASH!! SHEARS OFF THE
          COCKPIT of the Dragon as --
          
          QUARITCH THROWS HIMSELF aft along the aisle and --
          
          TRUDY'S SAMSON disintegrates, the wreckage burning as it
          tumbles into the jungle.
          
          MILES QUARITCH grips the bulkhead as he stares out the open
          front of the fuselage. Wind howls through wreckage where the
          pilot used to be. The forest rushes up to meet him and --
          
          THE DRAGON CRASHES through splintering trees, IMPACTING in a
          lake with a WHITE BLAST of water.
          
                                                                      144.
          
          
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          Norm takes a few steps and drops to his knees.    Imploded by
          grief.
          
          INT. OPS CENTER/ HELL'S GATE
          
          ON THE PLOTTING DISPLAY as Quaritch's TRANSPONDER ICON
          disappears.
          
                                TROOPER
                      Dragon is down. It's off the board.
          
                                SELFRIDGE
                      What do you mean, off the board?!
          
          Selfridge is stunned.    Suddenly the ROAR of an ENGINE makes
          them all look up.
          
          OUTSIDE THE WINDOW, MAX sits in the cab of an enormous SLASH-
          CUTTER. Max flips Selfridge the bird and pushes a lever
          forward --
          
                                 SELFRIDGE
                      Oh shit.
          
          Selfridge DIVES as --
          
          K-RASHHHHH! The SPINNING TEETH of the SLASH-CUTTER tear
          through the window in a blast of glass and lethal air. Alarms
          go off. The technicians dive for cover in a blizzard of
          glass and shredded debris.
          
          The slash-cutter head pulls back, and AVATARS SCRAMBLE
          through the gaping hole into the Ops Center --
          
          The TROOPERS look up to see blue giants aiming weapons down
          at them. The battle is over in seconds. The avatars are
          holding the Ops Center.
          
          Selfridge lies there gasping, in his emergency mask.   In
          shock. How could this be happening?
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          EXT. LAKE
          
          THE DRAGON lies half submerged. Out of the water FG, a shape
          rises -- a AMPSUIT. Inside -- MILES QUARITCH, his face
          bloody, his eyes burning.
          
          He slogs out of the water, covered with mud, then strides
          into the forest.
          
                                                                      145.
          
          
          
          QUARITCH'S AMPSUIT THUDS relentlessly through the jungle.    He
          sees something through the foliage ahead -- the SHACK.
          
          INSIDE THE SHACK Jake is oblivious under the link. Through a
          window we see Quaritch's AMPSUIT step into the clearing.
          
          QUARITCH levels his GAU-90 at the shack. His finger goes to
          the firing button--
          
          WHAM!! A six-legged BLACK DEMON tackles him.
          
          Quaritch pivots as he falls, FIRING the cannon. It misses
          Neytiri by inches. He grapples with the THANATOR as its
          razor claws SCREECH over his metal armor.
          
          THE TITANS twist and struggle. QUARITCH UNLEASHES a long
          burst from the cannon. Rounds tear into the creature, which
          SHRIEKS but --
          
          NEYTIRI wills it to SMASH the cannon hard against a rock,
          tearing it loose from the `suit's hand but --
          
          Quaritch SLAMS the thanator back against a tree-trunk, almost
          crushing Neytiri.
          
          CLOSE ON one hydraulic hand, as it draws the `suit's KNIFE
          and --
          
          QUARITCH TWISTS violently, ramming the knife up under the
          thanator's chest armor. The creature ROARS and Quaritch flips
          on top of it, stabbing.
          
          QUARITCH STABS DOWN AGAIN. The thanator slumps, pinning
          Neytiri's legs under its great bulk. She is trapped.
          
          Quaritch looks down at Neytiri. She glares back at him,
          panting, scared but defiant.
          
                              JAKE (O.S.)
                    It's all over Quaritch --
          
          Quaritch turns, seeing Jake DROPPING from a tree limb. The
          `suit rises slowly, knife glinting in the morning sun.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    Nothing's over while I'm breathing.
          
                              JAKE
                    Kinda hoped you'd say that.
          
          QUARITCH SURGES forward. JAKE closes fast, snatching up the
          broken CANNON as --
          
                                                                      146.
          
          
          
          Quaritch SLASHES DOWN with the knife and Jake parries,
          blocking it with the cannon. He CLOSES faster than the suit
          can move and --
          
          K-CRACK! -- SLAMS the end of the cannon into the canopy,
          crazing it with a web of cracks as QUARITCH SLICES air with
          the huge knife. Jake ducks, coming up to meet the next slash
          and --
          
          SMASHES the knife hand with the cannon once -- twice -- again
          -- in a furious attack -- knocking the knife flying.
          
          QUARITCH catches him with the other arm, hurling him away.
          Jake rolls just before --
          
          THUDDD! -- the massive foot stomps down where he just was. He
          scrambles up as Quaritch CHARGES and --
          
          JAKE DUCKS another round-house, LEAPING forward to smash the
          canopy again -- then again -- until it is WHITE with cracks.
          Quaritch manages to GRAB the cannon barrel but --
          
          INSIDE THE COCKPIT, he sees nothing but the sun on the
          shattered glass. HE HURLS the cannon blindly, but Jake ducks.
          The massive cylinder cartwheels toward the shack and --
          
          FROM INSIDE we see it CRASH against pressure window, crazing
          it but not penetrating. Jake's link sits just inside.
          
          INSIDE THE COCKPIT, Quaritch yanks a yellow handle and --
          
          P-FOOM! -- the canopy BLOWS OFF, flying through the air.
          Quaritch can see again. He dons his breathing mask. Bends to
          pick up his KNIFE.
          
          NEARBY NEYTIRI struggles furiously, trying to get her legs
          free from underneath three tons of thanator.
          
          QUARITCH, panting, glowers at Jake.
          
                              QUARITCH
                    How does it feel to betray your own race?
          
          Then, inexplicably, he TURNS.   Walks away.
          
          FROM INSIDE the shack, we see him charge straight toward us
          and --
          
          CRASH! -- he puts his hydraulic fist right through the
          window. He is reaching inside for the Link when --
          
          JAKE HITS in a flying tackle with every ounce of force he
          has, knocking the ampsuit sideways and --
          
                                                                      147.
          
          
          
          JAKE REACHES around the suit, grabbing Quaritch's shoulder
          and, yanks him forward HARD, SMASHING his face into the edge
          of the cockpit but --
          
          QUARITCH flings him off with a sweep of his arm, and Jake
          slams to the ground.
          
          INSIDE THE LINK Jake is holding his breath as the toxic
          Pandoran air swirls in. GAS ALARMS SHRIEK.
          
          NEYTIRI shoves with one free leg, desperately trying to pull
          her other leg out.
          
          THE AMPSUIT charges, the knife flashing down and --
          
          JAKE just manages to catch it in both hands, but the force of
          the attack drives him to his knees as --
          
          QUARITCH pushes the knife down inexorably, until Jake is
          pinned against a rock, the blade now inches from his throat.
          
          INSIDE THE LINK Jake is straining to stay conscious, to stay
          connected as --
          
          THE KNIFE reaches his throat as --
          
          THWAP! AN ARROW APPEARS in Quaritch's chest.   He looks up.
          
          NEYTIRI STANDS -- a FURY released. A classic archer figure,
          she NOCKS another arrow. Then draws and releases smoothly.
          
          TH-WHAP! The machine TOPPLES off Jake and lies still.
          
          QUARITCH STARES at the two arrows in his chest. He touches
          the feathers of the ancient weapon, then -- with an ironic
          laugh -- he dies.
          
          NEYTIRI runs up, another arrow nocked, bow drawn. Seeing
          Quaritch, she lowers her father's bow.
          
          JAKE sees her, then goes limp, his eyes rolling back, and --
          
          INT. SHACK
          
          HUMAN JAKE EXPLODES out of the Link, slamming to the floor
          where he gags for breath. With his last strength, he claws
          toward an emergency breathing mask -- across the room.
          
          He scrambles toward it, on the edge of unconsciousness.
          
          NEYTIRI VAULTS through the shattered window, landing in the
          debris like a cat. She GRABS the mask and flashes to Jake's
          side -- puts the mask over his face and --
          
                                                                    148.
          
          
          
          JAKE drags in breath after breath. He looks up at Neytiri,
          studying him as she holds him -- seeing his human body for
          the first time.
          
          Jake touches her face, his pale human hand against the blue
          of her skin. There eyes meet across the glass of the mask --
          together, separate. Worldless.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          MO'AT tends to the mortally wounded TSU'TEY as AVATAR JAKE
          arrives with Neytiri. Mo'at has bound his wounds, but by her
          expression, it is clear he cannot be saved.
          
          Jake kneels and Tsu'tey opens his eyes.   Through a haze of
          pain, he recognizes Jake.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                        (NA'VI)
                    I See you, Jakesully.
          
                              JAKE
                    I See you, Tsu'tey te Rongloa Ateyitan.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    Are the people safe?
          
                              JAKE
                    They're safe.
          
          Tsu'tey weakly clutches his severed queue.
          
                               TSU'TEY
                    I can never ride again, or bond with my
                    woman -- or hear the voice of Eywa. I can
                    not lead the People. You will lead them,
                    Jakesully.
          
                              JAKE
                    No. I'm not officer material.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    It is decided. Now do the duty of
                    Olo'eyctan. Set my spirit free.
          
                              JAKE
                    I'm not killing you.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    I am already dead.
          
                                                                     149.
          
          
          
                              JAKE
                    No.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    It is the way. And it is good. I will be
                    remembered --
          
          Tsu'tey's voice is weak, but thick with emotion.
          
                              TSU'TEY
                    -- I fought with Toruk Macto, we were
                    brothers -- and he was my last shadow.
          
          TSU'TEY'S HAND clasps with Jake's in a fierce grip. Jake
          draws his knife.
          
          TSU'TEY'S POV -- Jake leans forward, blocking the sun.
          HIS SHADOW falls across Tsu'tey.
          
                              JAKE
                        (NA'VI)
                    Forgive me, my Brother. Go now to the
                    Mother Spirit.
          
          By his movement, we know that he has ended Tsu'tey's pain.
          Jake's eyes well with tears as he continues reciting the
          prayer for the dead, and his Na'vi words carry over as we --
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          EXT. HELL'S GATE -DAY
          
          Na'vi ride direhorses among the abandoned machines of Hell's
          Gate.
          
          Banshees roost on the roofs of the modules, and stingbats
          flutter about, unimpeded. The SENTRY GUNS are silent, and
          the GATES are open to the forest.
          
                              JAKE (V.O.)
                    A few chose to stay. Fewer were chosen.
          
          Max, Norm, and a few of the avatars hold AR's as the
          personnel of Hell's Gate file up the cargo ramp of the
          remaining shuttle. The evicted humans are sullen and angry,
          like POW's.
          
          JAKE and NEYTIRI stand together, watching the departure of
          the Sky People.
          
          PARKER SELFRIDGE shuffles up the ramp. His eyes -- the eyes
          of a lost soul -- meet JAKE'S. He disappears into the ship.
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                    150.
          
          
          
          EXT. SPACE
          
          ISV VENTURE STAR hangs suspended against the dark side of
          PANDORA. The ISV's antimatter engines BLAZE to life and it
          accelerates out of orbit.
          
          What remains IN FRAME is a virgin, primeval world. Spanning
          the black continents is a vast reticulated lace-work of
          BIOLUMINESCENCE -- a ghostly WEB connecting all of Pandora.
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. RAINFOREST - DAY
          
          The sun's rays shaft down through the layers of canopy.
          
                                 JAKE (V.O.)
                       The forest will heal, and so will the
                       hearts of the People. New life keeps the
                       energy flowing, like the breath of the
                       world.
          
          NEYTIRI, obviously pregnant, is bow-fishing in the shallows.
          Children jump and squeal with laughter in the river.
          
                                 JAKE (V.O.)
                       This is my last videolog.
          
          INT. LINK ROOM
          
          VIDEO IMAGE -- Jake sits in a chair, talking straight TO
          CAMERA. He is thin, pale. He looks around the high tech room.
          
                                 JAKE
                       The science guys will keep the lights on,
                       here. But I won't miss this place.
          
          EXT. WELL OF SOULS - NIGHT
          
          THE WILLOWS glow softly. The entire Omaticaya clan is
          gathered, seated in a prayer circle around the Mother Tree.
          
                                 JAKE (V.O.)
                       I better wrap this up. There's a funeral
                       tonight, and I don't want to be late. It
                       was someone very close to me.
          
          WIDE SHOT, moving in across the concentric rings of people,
          all plugged-in and softly chanting. MOVING toward the
          center, over the figure of Mo'at, to hover above --
          
          NEYTIRI, kneeling beside two FIGURES on the dais --
          
                                                                     151.
          
          
          
          JAKE and his AVATAR lie head to head. Human Jake is wearing
          an exomask. Both figures are still, hands folded, covered in
          translucent silken shrouds of ROOT-CILIA.
          
          CAMERA CLOSES IN as Neytiri removes the mask from Jake's
          human face. She gently closes his dead eyes with her
          fingertips. Then bends and kisses him.
          
          MOVE INTO CU on AVATAR JAKE as Neytiri's hand comes into
          frame, stroking his cheek. TIGHTENING slowly to--
          
          ECU JAKE'S EYES. Hold a beat, then --
          
          They open.
                                                            CUT TO BLACK
          
 


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Writers :   Damian Kindler
Genres :   Sci-Fi  Action  Adventure


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