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ALL SCRIPTS







   Platoon




   

PLATOON

FADE IN:

A QUOTATION AGAINST A BLACK SCREEN:

'REJOICE, O YOUNG MAN, IN THY YOUTH ...'

The sound now of a C-130 air cargo plane roaring over us and we 
cut sharply to:

EXT.AIRSTRIP - BASE CAMP - VIETNAM - DAY

As the C-130 coasts to a stop, the hatch rotating down on a hot, 
dusty lifeless airstrip somewhere in Vietnam.  Nothing seems to 
live or move in the midday sun.

TITLES RUN

A DOZEN NEW RECRUITS step off the plane, unloading their duffel 
bags, looking around like only the new can look around, their 
hair regulation-clipped, crisp, new green fatigues fitting them 
like cardboard.

CHRIS TAYLOR is just another one of them - as he turns into a 
tight closeup, to look at a motorized cart pulling up alongside 
... He's about 21.  Newmeat.  His face, unburned yet by the sun, 
is tense, bewildered, innocent, eyes searching for the truth.

They fall now on a heap of BODY BAGS in the back of the cart.  
Two soldiers begin loading them onto the plane.  Flies - hundreds 
of flies - buzz around them, the only cue to their contents.

			GARDNER
		(next to Chris, Southern accent)
	That what I think it is?

			SOLDIER 1
		(a look)
	I guess so ...

An uncomfortable look between them.

			SERGENT
	Okay, let's go ...

As they move out, Chris' eyes moving with the body bags being 
loaded onto the plane.  Moving over now to a motley HALF DOZEN 
VETERANS bypassing them on their way to the plane.  They look 
happy.  Very happy, chatting it up.

They pass the newboys - and they shake their heads, their eyes 
full of an almost mocking pity.

			VETERANS
	Well I'll be dipped in shit - new meat!  Sorry bout 
	that boys - 'sin loi' buddy ... you gonna love the 
	Nam, man, for-fucking-ever.

Chris looking at them.  They pass, except for the last man who 
walks slower than the rest, a slight limp.  His eyes fall on 
Chris.

They're frightening eyes, starved, hollow, sunken deep in his 
face, black and dangerous.  The clammy pallor of malaria clings 
to him as he looks at Chris through decayed black teeth.  Then 
the sun flares out on him and he's past.  And Chris looks back.  
Disturbed.  It's as if the man was not real.  For a moment there.  
As if he were a ghost.

Chris walking, duffel bag on the shoulder, looks up at the 
lollipop sun burning a hole through the sky.  A rushing SOUND 
now.  Of frightening intensity, an effect combining the blast of 
an airplane with the roar of a lion as we hardcut to:

EXT. JUNGLE - SOMEWHERE IN VIETNAM - DAY

The sun matches the intensity of the previous shot as we move 
down into thick green jungle.  We hear the sound of MEN coming, a 
lot of men.  The thwack of a machete.  Brush being bulled.  We 
wait.  They are getting close.

The CREDITS continue to run.

SUBTITLE reads: December 1967 - Bravo Company, 25th Infantry 
Division - Somewhere near the Cambodian Border.

A sweating white face comes into view. CHRIS - cutting point.  
Machete in one hand, whacking out a path for the platoon, M-16 in 
the other, he looks like he's on the verge of heat exhaustion.  
Breathing too hard, pacing himself all wrong, bumping into 
things, tripping, not quite falling, he looks pathetic here in 
the naturalness of the jungle.  An urban transplant, slightly 
neurotic and getting more so.

His rucksack is coming apart as well, about 70 badly packed 
pounds banging noisily.

Behind him BARNES now comes, the Platoon Sergeant.  Then the RTO, 
his radio man, humming lightly.  Others are behind, the column 
snaking back deep into the brush.

We cut around some FACES of the Platoon - all to be seen later.  
Young faces, hard and dirty after weeks in the field, exhausted 
yet alert, fatigues filthy, slept-in, torn, personalized, hair 
way past regulation length, medals, bandanas.  A jungle army.  
Boys.

Chris glancing down at his raw bleeding blisters. Transfers the 
machete to his other, slightly less blistered, hand.  The kid 
cuts on - struggling but trying, on his last reserves of 
strength, smashing almost straight forward through brush, not 
even bothering to look ahead.  He smells something, looks around, 
slows his pace, eyes working ... around to the base of a tree.  
He moves past it.

And as he does so, the camera from his POV comes around on a dead 
decomposing 10-day-old GOOK - eyes starting from its sockets, 
worms and flies feasting.

Chris draws his breath in, terrified.  Barnes suddenly appears 
alongside, his hard humourless eyes looking annoyed from the gook 
to Chris.

			BARNES
	What are you waiting for?  He ain't gonna bite you.  
	Move out.

Chris looks at him with pent-up hatred and crashes on.

EXT. PLATOON PC - DAY - MOVING

At the COMPANY PC, CAPTAIN HARRIS on the radio.

			HARRIS
	Bravo Two, Six.  What's the delay up there, move it 
	out on point.  We've got a link up at Phase Line 
	Whiskey at One Eight Zero Zero, over.

EXT. PLATOON PC - DAY - MOVING -- MORNING

At the PLATOON PC, LIEUTENANT WOLFE sweats heavily as he speaks 
in his radio.  He is also new to the field, a dark little feisty 
guy, about 24, very hairy, especially in the eyebrows, an intense 
get-ahead look.

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
	Two Bravo, Two move it out.  Six says we're jamming 
	'em up back there.  Over.

Barnes, upfront, turns to SAL, his radio man, under his breath.

			BARNES
	Tell that dipshit to get fucked.  Get that other 
	freshmeat up here.  Gardner.

As Barnes picks up his pace, irritated now at this reprimand from 
the CO - coming up on Chris, who is soaked now from head to foot 
in sweat, dizzy, feeling sick, about to vomit.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	What the hell's the matter with you Taylor!  You a 
	sorry ass motherfucker.  Fall back.

He grabs Chris's machete out of his hand and bulls his way into 
the foliage, tearing it apart, setting a new pace.

Chris being bypassed by the column, their eyes on him.  He is 
swatting at the red ants that are all over his neck.

GARDNER, another new recruit, fat, hustling up to replace him.

A big and black medic - DOC - comes over, gentle eyes and manner; 
with him is Sergeant ELIAS, concerned.

			DOC
	You okay?

			CHRIS
	Ants.  I got ants on my neck ...
		(shaking them out)

			DOC
		(helping him)
	Yeah, black ants are killers, you look sick man.  You 
	need a little salt.
		(reaching into his satchel)

Sergeant Elias, a handsome, graceful dark-haired Indian kid of 
23, the squad sergeant, is taking items out of Chris' pack - air 
mattress, extra unnecessary clothing, extra canteens, grenades, 
gas mask, books.

			ELIAS
		(shaking his head, amused)
	You're humping way too much, troop, don't need half 
	this shit.  I'll haul it for you but next time you 
	check it out with me okay?

Chris nodding, grateful, panting.

The men passing, watching.  Chris sorry about this, trying to 
keep up face.

BUNNY, a young 18 year-old with an angel's face, is pissing in 
the dead gook's face.

KING passes, glances at him.

			KING
	You're a sick mother Bunny.

Bunny laughing about it.

Chris standing there one moment, fighting for his breath, 
suddenly passes out, going over with his 70 pound rucksack, 
hitting the ground with a loud bang.

			ELIAS
		(concerned)
	Hold it up.

On Chris - his eyes opening.  He seems all right.

			CHRIS
		(trying to get up)
	I'm okay ... I'm okay.

Chris crumples backwards.  Elias helps him.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - DUSK

The COMPANY - about 100 men who seem insignificant amid the size 
of the surrounding jungle - is digging into a perimeter of some 
100-yard radius.  A RESUPPLY CHOPPER lifts off in a flurry of 
blowing leaves.  Bare-chested soldiers chop down trees, clear 
fields of fire, set out claymores, fill sandbags, chow down.  
Little fires snake up against the greying red horizon.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER 31 - DOC'S POSITION - DUSK

We cut close on a pair of grungy feet - the staple of the 
infantry - moving up to DOC, the Medic, bandaging them for FU 
SHENG, a Hawaiin kid.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - RHAH'S POSITION - DUSK

Rhah sets his tripflare.  Crawford, with him, putting out a 
claymore.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - RODRIGUEZ - POSITION - DUSK

Back in the perimeter RODRIGUEZ sets his M-60 in the newly dug 
foxhole.  SAL, next to him, is shaving in his helmet.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - KING'S POSITION - DUSK

KING looks like a king.  A lion of a black man but with a sleepy, 
gentle face, not to be roused, is painfully trying to scrawl a 
letter home with the pencil held awkwardly, mouthing the words.  
FRANCIS, a young baby-faced black with long lashes and soft eyes, 
peeks over his shoulder, shaking his head.

			FRANCIS
	Shit, King, it ain't d-e-r-e man, it's d-e-a-r, and 
	Sara don't have no two r's in it, fool.  Shame on 
	you.

King shrugs, a sleepy stoned voice.

			KING
	Don't matter, she knows what it means ... an she 
	don't read too good nohow ...

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - COMPANY PC - DUSK

Sgt. Elias washes himself, attentive to his body, slender and 
well-muscled, and extremely handsome youth.  Of Indian blood, 
with long black hair, generous smile, wide facial bone structure, 
gypsy eyes, and the cleanest white teeth, he could be a young 
Greek god.  He is given somewhat to panache, a silver wristband 
on his arm, a bandana of black parachute silk hanging from his 
neck, his fatigues tightened down at the ankle, he pulls his 
pants down, checking for crotch rot, applying talcum powder to 
the area, his buttocks facing us.

LERNER, a white kid, 19, from Florida, stopping to admire the 
frontal view.

			LERNER
	Mumm, any time sweetheart.

			ELIAS
	Lerner, you'd choke to death on it.

EXT. COMPANY PERIMETER #1 - COMPANY PC - DUSK

At the COMPANY COMMAND POST a beehive of activity with its four 
radios, personnel, some Vietnamese scouts milling around.  
CAPTAIN HARRIS is running down a field map with his THREE 
LIEUTENANTS.  Harris, a broad-shouldered fine-looking military 
specimen with the requisite Southern accent and football coach 
mannerism, is directing his remark to 2nd Platoon's LT.WOLFE, who 
looks a little nervous.

			CAPTAIN HARRIS
	Sky Six reports a fresh company of NVA moving across 
	from Cambodia to this blue line.
		(points to position)
	We got a good chance to light 'em up tonight.  All 
	platoons will set squad-size ambushes before full 
	dark.  Lt. Wolfe
		(glances at him)
	You 'bush in this area near that ol' Buddhist temple 
	we passed on the hump in.  Lt. Hawkins, you take this 
	area in the rubber plantation...

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
		(eager)
	No problem sir ...

EXT. PLATOON PERIMETER #1 - CHRIS' FOXHOLE - DUSK

Elsewhere, Chris scrapes out a foxhole, his shirt off, bandana 
around his head, the work hot and heavy.

TEX is out there setting the claymore as BIG HAROLD and JUNIOR 
start breaking down their C's.

			JUNIOR
		(a whining high voice)
	Hey Big Harold, gimme your peaches for the fruitcake 
	man.

			BIG HAROLD
		(laughes loudly)
	Fuck you bitch.

			JUNIOR
	C'mon man, didn't I do you right that time I give you 
	the turkey loaf for the ham and lima beans shit.

			BIG HAROLD
	Tricky bitch, reason you gimme dat turkey loaf is 
	nobody else can eat that shit 'cept me so don't start 
	your game playing with me Junior.

They're both black, Junior with huge goggle eyes and a face of 
pimples and pockmarks, his teeth yellowed and decayed, some of 
them missing.  Harold is about twice his size, about 250 pounds, 
a baby huey concentrating real hard on preparing his stove to eat 
with.

			JUNIOR
	Youse a pig man.  I hope Manny get dat laundry gig 
	for' you do.

			BIG HAROLD
	De fool think he's gonna get it but he ain't known 
	for his thinking.

			JUNIOR
	He's a fool alright but you a bigger fool.  Hey, 
	whiteboy, watcha waiting for - dat hole ain't gonna 
	dig itself ...

Chris looks up, continues working, as Junior chuckles.

			JUNIOR (CONT'D)
	Hey Taylor, you don't know it but I saved your ass 
	today.  I killed a shit-eating dog.
		(laughing)

			BIG HAROLD
		(getting up)
	That reminds me, I gotta take a shit.

			JUNIOR
	You gonna wipe your ass dis time?

			BIG HAROLD
	Yeah if you let me have your shirt.

			CHRIS
		(VOICE OVER, as he digs)
	Somebody once wrote Hell is the impossibility of 
	Reason.  That's what this place feels like.  I hate 
	it already and it's only been a week.  Some goddamn 
	week, grandma ...
		(checking his raw blisters)
	... the hardest thing I think I've ever done is to go 
	on point, 3 times this week - I don't even know what 
	I'm doing.  A gook could be standing 3 feet in front 
	of me and I wouldn't know it, I'm so tired.  We get 
	up at 5 a.m., hump all day, camp around 4 or 5 p.m., 
	dig foxhole, eat, then put out an all-night ambush or 
	a 3-man listening post in the jungle.  It's scary 
	cause nobody tells me how to do anything cause I'm 
	new and nobody cares about the new guys, they don't 
	even want to know your name.  The unwritten rule is a 
	new guy's life isn't worth as much cause he hasn't 
	put his time in yet - and they say if you're gonna 
	get killed in the Nam it's better to get it in the 
	first few weeks, the logic being: you don't suffer 
	that much.  I can believe that ... If you're lucky 
	you get to stay in the perimeter at night and then 
	you pull a 3-hour guard shift, so maybe you sleep 3-4 
	hours a night, but you don't really sleep ... I don't 
	think I can keep this up for a year, grandma - I 
	think I've made a big mistake coming here ...

As he speaks, we cut around to various shots of the platoon 
members on the perimeter - shaving, eating, cooking, playing, etc 
...

EXT. PLATOON PC - NIGHT

Towards the end of this voice over, we cut to Sgt. BARNES moving 
towards the PLATOON PC.  A powerful face, a quiet, angry fixed 
stare, a thick trimmed moustache that helps conceal a network of 
plastic surgery grafts and scars.  The distortion from the jaw up 
the left side of his face to his forehead, punctuated by a severe 
indentation above the left eye where a bullet once penetrated his 
skull.

Walking with him is Sgt. O'NEILL as they join WOLFE, Sgts. ELIAS 
and WARREN at the PLATOON PC where they're huddled over maps.  
Warren is a black, thin, tall, paranoid man with untrusting eyes, 
silent and bitter.

			BARNES
		(to all, almost pleased about it)
	We got boo-coo movement.  3rd Battalion just got hit 
	15 kliks north of here.
		(the MEN react with wary silence)

			O'NEILL
		(eager to elaborate)
	Yeah, they had claymores strung up in the trees, blew 
	a whole fucking platoon to pieces.  BAAD SHIT.

Barnes inflects his next words at Wolfe, who is worried.

			BARNES
	Yeah, they got two Lieutenants and a Captain.

			WOLFE
	Jesus.

Elias quiet.  Barnes studying the map.

			WOLFE (CONT'D)
		(to Barnes)
	Who do you want on ambush, Sergeant?

Barnes doesn't bother acknowledging the question, barely glancing 
at the Lieutenant, to him a necessary evil.  Everybody knows 
who's really in charge of the Platoon.  Barnes flicks his gaze to 
Elias.

			BARNES
	Elias - you take your squad and I'll take Tex and 
	Francis from your squad.
		(to Warren)
	We move out in two-zero mikes.
		(concluding)

			ELIAS
	I thought it was O'Neill's turn tonight.

They all look at each other.  O'Neill spits in the dust, a 
freckled, short red head with a hard worried face, a lifer, 30 
going on 60.

			O'NEILL
	Shit!  Morehouse and Sal are short.  Fu Sheng's going 
	on R&R, you don't want to send their asses out on an 
	ambush.  You got the fresh meat Elias.

			ELIAS
		(to Barnes)
	They don't know shit Barnes, and chances are we gonna 
	run into something.

			O'NEILL
	So what am I going to do!  Get one of my guys zapped 
	so some fuckface fresh from the World can get his 
	beauty fucking sleep!

			ELIAS
	Hey O'Neill why don't you cool it, you don't have to 
	be a prick everyday of your life, you know.

			O'NEILL
	Fuck you Elias.

			BARNES
	You get your men ready Elias ...

Concluding the debate, no further argument, Barnes rises.  The 
meeting's closed.  Lt. Wolfe hasn't said a word, looking as Elias 
departs, without a word.

			O'NEILL
		(watching him)
	Fucking guy's got 3 years in and he thinks he's 
	Cochise or something ...

His resentment directed partly at the way in which Elias carries 
himself, the natural sense of grace - and the dignity it bestows.

	CUT TO:

EXT. PLATOON PERIMETER #1 - SQUAD ASSEMBLY POINT - DUSK

Later.  On the very edge of the perimeter, darkness coming down 
fast, the men in the ambush patrol rustle into their packs, all 
of them bitching.

Tex, carrying the M-60, looks up at the glowering sky.

			TEX
	Shit, looks like rain.  All night too.  Gonna grow 
	mushrooms in your bad-ass crotch Junior.

			JUNIOR
		(under his breath)
	Goddamn ain't no justice round here, you break your 
	ass for de white man ... gonna get our act together, 
	do some rappin' wid de brothers, change things ...

			CRAWFORD
	What's O'Neill have a nose up the lieutenant's ass 
	already, how come we always get ambush.

			FRANCIS
	Politics, man, politics.  We always getting fucked 
	around here.

Chris is scared, nervous with his last-minute equipment 
adjustments, his pack obviously overweight for a night mission as 
he hauls it up.

Gardner, the other new boy, is jovial in contrast, his wallet 
extended towards Chris.

			GARDNER
	Hey Chris, I show you a picture of Lucy Jean?

			CHRIS
		(not to be bothered)
	No ...

Gardner shows him his girl.  She's real dog u-g-l-y, and what 
makes it worse is Gardner's put the standard photo of Raquel 
Welch alongside it, tits and all.  But he misses the irony of it.

			GARDNER
		(admiring)
	Yeah she's the one all right ... that's Lucy Jean.  
	She's a-waiting for me.

			CHRIS
		(nodding)
	Yeah she's real pretty, you're lucky ...

Gardner puts it away.  Elias appears alongside them, checking 
their packs out, takes out Chris's poncho liner and other items.  
He carries a modified M-16 with a short barrel and a collapsible 
stock.

			ELIAS
		(to both boys)
	Don't need this or this ... you're doing okay.  Just 
	stick close to Tex, do what he does.
		(calling out to Tex)
	Tex you got Junior and Taylor here on your position.

Tex is a sour Texas Ranger type, chews tobacco, spits.

			TEX
	Damn, 'Lias this gun's boss.  Put Taylor someplace 
	else.

Chris feels the words like lashes on him.

			ELIAS
	You got Taylor ...
		(to Gardner)
	... Gardner you go with me
		(to Chris and Gardner)
	 'Case somethin' happens to you, you get separated or 
	lost don't yell out okay.  Sit tight.  We'll get to 
	you.

His eyes.  Chris watching them.  A smile in them.  Elias moves 
off, a quality to the man that Chris admires.  A natural sense of 
leadership.

			BARNES
	Okay, let's move out.

As he follows King, on point, out the perimeter.  A single file.

EXT. THE AMBUSH NIGHT (RAIN)

Night is coming down.  The tone of the jungle sounds has subtly 
shifted - mellower, more sinuous and certainly scarier.

The file stops.  King, an experienced point man, listens.

Chris - carrying Tex's linked ammo - looks around, tense.  Behind 
him is Gardner, trying to smile, starts to whisper something 
('Hey Taylor ...') when he's abruptly shushed.

The file moves on.  Gardner's pack rattling a little too loud.  A 
weird rush of cold wind now rattles the trees and the MONSOON 
comes.  A hard slanting rain, sudden, tropic.

EXT. RUINS - JUNGLE - NIGHT (RAIN)

A piece of an old Buddhist temple, under a sulky moonlight now in 
a state of decay, the jungle surging to engulf it.

The Men are setting up quickly and relatively quietly in the 
ruins - alongside a miniscule trail.  The rain is coming down 
harder than ever.

Chris and Tex setting out their claymore mines, raveling back 
their detonating cords to their position, drenched.  In the far 
distance, an ILLUMINATION ROUND brightens the sky for a brief 
moment.  Various ad lib curses and directions are lost in the 
sound of the rain.

EXT. AMBUSH - BARNES' POSITION - NIGHT (RAIN)

At the Ambush CP, Ace whipsers into his radio.  A soft hissing 
sound.

EXT. AMBUSH - CHRIS'S POSITION - NIGHT (RAIN)

Later.  Close on Chris being shaken awake.

			TEX
	Taylor, you're on.

			CHRIS
		(groggy)
	Uh hunh.

The rain continuing to pelt them.  Tex hands him an infrared 
scope.

			TEX
		(suspicious)
	You sure you know how to work the claymore?

			CHRIS
		(offended)
	Sure.

Tex curls up as best he can in his poncho to sleep.

			TEX
	Okay ... don't catch no zzz's on me buddy or I'll 
	sling your motherfucking ass ... You hear me?

			CHRIS
		(grits his teeth)
	Yeah.
		(looking at his watch)
	Hey Tex - you're ten minutes fast.

			TEX
	Sin Loi.
		('tough luck', closes his teeth)

Chris lets it go, scans the jungle and trail with the scope.  The 
POV is greasy and blurred.  He puts it aside.

Suddenly a series of resonant SNORES crack through the jungle.  
Chris starts, then sees it's from JUNIOR lying out there, 
spreadeagled in the rain.  Chris prods him.

			CHRIS
	Junior!

			JUNIOR
	Unh? ... Unh.

			CHRIS
	Shaddup!  You're snoring ... Shhh.

Bending low into his eardrum.  Junior never wakes, rolls over 
with a growl.  Silence.

	CUT TO:

EXT. CHRIS' POSITION - NIGHT (RAIN)

Later.  A pool of muddy water has formed, in which a pair of 
buttocks sit.  Move up to Chris still on duty, looking at his 
watch, drawn, drenched, pathetic, rainwater coursing down his 
face.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
		(continuing his letter)
	... 'Course Mom and Dad didn't want me to come, they 
	wanted me to be just like them - respectable, hard-
	working, making $200 a week, a little house, a 
	family.  They drove me crazy with their goddamn 
	world, grandma, you know Mom, I don't want to be a 
	white boy on Wall Street, I don't want my whole life 
	to be predetermined by them.

A large RIPPING SOUND as the wind blows down a big tree branch 
onto the jungle floor.  He starts, peering out.  Nothing.  He 
looks at his watch again.

			CHRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... I guess I have always been sheltered and special, 
	I just want to be anonymous.  Like everybody else.  
	Do my share for my country.  Live up to what Grandpa 
	did in the First War and Dad the Second.  I know this 
	is going to be the war of my generation.  Well here I 
	am - anonymous all right, with guys nobody really 
	cares about - they come from the end of the line, 
	most of 'em, small towns you never heard of - 
	Pulaski, Tennessee, Brandon, Mississippi, Pork Bend, 
	Utah, Wampum, Pennsylvania.  Two years' high school's 
	about it, maybe if they're lucky a job waiting for 
	'em back in a factory, but most of 'em got nothing, 
	they're poor, they're the unwanted of our society, 
	yet they're fighting for our society and our freedom 
	and what we call America, they're the bottom of the 
	barrel - and they know it, maybe that's why they call 
	themselves 'grunts' cause a 'grunt' can take it, can 
	take anything.  They're the backbone of this country, 
	grandma, the best I've ever seen, the heart and soul 
	- I've found it finally, way down here in the mud - 
	maybe from down here I can start up again and be 
	something I can be proud of, without having to fake 
	it, maybe ... I can see something I don't yet see, 
	learn something I don't yet know ... I miss you, I 
	miss you very much, tell Mom I miss her too - Chris.

He moves towards Junior, shakes him, but Junior seems to be out 
of this world.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Wake up!

Junior opens one dead eye.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	It's your shift, man ...

Junior scowls, swears, looks around for his rifle in the mud.

Chris crawls back to his position, curling himself up in his 
soaked poncho, teeth chattering from the cold, rain splattering 
over him.  A long beat.  He sighs, the sigh kicking off the next 
image.

EXT. CHRIS' POSITION - NIGHT

Chris jerks awake - very suddenly, very frightened.  THE RAIN HAS 
STOPPED.  The jungle sounds are loud.  Cicadas, night animals, 
water dripping hypnotically from leaf to leaf.  And the whirr of 
a million mosquitoes out after the rains, chewing at Chris' face.  
He looks around, startled.

Tex is asleep.  Junior is asleep.  What happened?  He looks at 
his watch.  The mosquitoes are eating him alive.  He buries his 
head in his green towel which he wears around his neck, but he 
can't see.  A beat.  He moves again, miserable from the bites.  
Another beat.  Then suddenly the sounds of the jungle shift - 
some of the animals dropping out.  A different tone.  A piece of 
wood is stepped on, a rustle of bush ...

Chris sees something, lifts an edge of the towel to peek out.

A shoadow of a figure is frozen there in front of him about 15 
yards.  It looks like a man.  But it doesn't move.  At all.  It 
listens.

Chris, his heart in his mouth, tries to peer through it.  It's a 
bush.  It has to be.  No human being could stand that still.  His 
heartbeats are up.  The moments take forever.  But deep down - 
somewhere in his psyche - he knows who it is.

The figure now shifts, ever so slightly - and moves.  It IS a 
human being.  Oh my God!

Chris looks around.  Tex seems like a mile away.  Why doesn't 
anyone fire!  He casts a desperate look at his rifle, at his 
grenades encrusted with mud, but in spite of all his training, he 
is frozen with indecision and fear at the sight of his enemy.

The figure seems to whisper something back, then turns and comes 
down the trail.  Now a second and third figure appear behind him 
- all in helmets and packs.  All coming right past Chris' 
position.  Ten yards.  Nine.

Chris is rigid with terror.  Stark eyes.  Pleading with Tex to 
wake up, but out of reach.  He is about to have an anxiety 
attack, his heartbeats so far up he is sure they will hear him.

The first figure is now directly in front of Chris on the trail, 
looking left and right.  A rattle of his equipment, a creak of 
leather.  A smell.  The man's face now catches the moonlight and 
his eyes come around on Chris.

Oriental eyes.  Looking right at him.  Startled.  Chris staring 
back, hypnotized.  It all happens very fast.  The figure murmurs 
something in Vietnamese.  A warning.  He swivels.

A flash of muzzle fire.  A raking cough of automatic fire.  A 
grenade explosion.

Chris is hurled to the ground, helmet bouncing off, scattered, 
confused, jarred.  All hell breaks loose around him with NOISE 
and SHOUTS.

Tex, kissing the ground, is yelling at him.

			TEX
	THE CLAYMORE!  GET THOSE FUCKERS!

Chris, not knowing what he's doing, is fumbling with the claymore 
handles, presses them.  INSERT: They won't give.  He tries again 
and again to the squeeze the life out of them.  Tex is screaming 
at him.

			TEX (CONT'D)
	THE SAFETY! TAKE THE SAFETY OFF YOU ...

Lunges over and grabs the handle from Chris.  Clicks the safeties 
off and blows them.

Three EXPLOSIONS rip out into the night - and one of the ENEMY is 
caught in a brief instant looking like an X-ray, his body lifted 
and swirling in the air, then enveloped in swirls of smoke.

Chris, trying to keep up, grabs his M-16, lays out a stream of 
fire.  The sound all around him is deafening.

EXT. GARDNER'S POSITION - NIGHT

Gardner, freaking out, stands crouched, confused, tries to run, 
collapses.

EXT. O'NEILL'S POSITION - NIGHT

O'Neill throws a grenade, wild.

EXT. CHRIS' POSITION - NIGHT

An explosion.  Chris hits the deck.

Tex is now on the M-60 machine gun, yelling at Junior who is 
cringing on the ground.

			TEX
	Feed me!

He lays out red tracer bullets like laser beams, then suddenly 
reels back, whiplashed, screaming.  A grenade explosion rocks 
them.

			TEX (CONT'D)
	AAAAAGHHH! MY ARM! MY ARM!

His hand and wrist are gone, his face in the dirt.  Junior is 
fumbling around, trying to stay down and help him at the same 
time.

			JUNIOR
		(grabbing Tex's gun)
	DOC! GET UP HERE! TEX IS HIT!

Chris, looking out to his front, has no clue what's going on.  
Except the fire is slacking.  Relayed shouts of 'Medic! Medic!'  
Other SHOUTS.

			SHOUTS
	HOLD IT UP! HOLD IT UP!

The firing has ceased.  A silence, punctuated by occasional 
shouts and fast moments, has enveloped once more the cemetery.  
Doc crashes through the bush, kneels over Tex, who continues to 
howl in deep pain.

			TEX
		(freaked out)
	MY ARM! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!

			DOC
	Easy Tex easy boy!

Trying to sound calm but his voice is on the edge, examinging the 
mutilation with a pen flashlight, he whips out his morphine in a 
big hypodermic.

			VOICE
		(next position)
	Doc over here!  Gardner's hit.

			DOC
	'Right there.

As he slips the morphine into Tex's arm.

			TEX
		(muttering at Chris)
	... godamn!  Godamn!  DUMB FUCKER, DUMB FUCKER!

Chris watching, suddenly feels himself dizzy, instinctively runs 
his hands over the back of his neck.  Feels the warm blood there.  
A moan comes from his lips.  Junior looks at him.

			JUNIOR
	Oh shit, Doc he's hit too.

			CHRIS
		(weakly)
	I'm hit ...

Barnes and Big Harold come hustling up.

Doc finishes tourniquetting Tex, cradles Chris onto the earth, 
his flashlight probing the wound.  Tex in background continues to 
thrash and moan.

Chris waits, tensely for the verdict, his eyes big with fear on 
Doc, who takes out his morphine.

			JUNIOR
		(to Barnes, pointing at Chris)
	That dumb fuck didn't blow his claymore!

Chris hearing this.  Barnes looks at him.

			DOC
		(to Chris)
	... it's a scratch, nothing to worry about.

			CHRIS
		(suspicious)
	Doc ... tell me the truth, don't lie to me.

The needle goes in.  Tex lets out this strange keening moan that 
sets everyone's teeth on edge.

			JUNIOR
		(to Barnes)
	He let'em walk right up on us.  He was sleeping on 
	his shift.

			CHRIS
		(muttering weakly)
	I was not ... it was your ...

			DOC
		(leaving, to Harold and Junior)
	Self-preservation's the first law of nature.  Gotta 
	learn how to work your shit Taylor.  Watch me, don't 
	let'em go into shock.

Tex's moans are maddening and scary.  Barnes suddenly clamps his 
hand over Tex's mouth shutting him up and from way down deep in 
his throat, chokes out the words.

			BARNES
	Shut up!  Shut up - and TAKE IT!  TAKE THE PAIN!

Tex's eyes roll wildly, uncomprehending.  Doc and Big Harold 
looking at Barnes, wondering.  Tex is suddenly silent, shocked.  
Barnes stands, an icy glare, goes.  Junior scrambles over to 
Tex's side.  Doc runs off.

Big Harold cradles Chris, his big black hands like a mother, 
reassuring him.

			BIG HAROLD
	You gonna be okay Taylor, okay, don't you start 
	worrying now.

Chris looking up at him, eyes blinking slowly, dazed already by 
the morphine.  He's very scared.

			CHRIS
	Do you ... do you know you're gonna die ... Big 
	Harold? ... do you feel like ... like ... 
	everything's gonna be fine and then ...

			BIG HAROLD
	Bullshit man, you gettin outta the field, man.  Three 
	hots a day, white sheets, dem pretty white nurses 
	give you blowjobs too you pay em enough, I heard tell 
	bout dem white bitches.  Better save yo strength 
	Taylor.

			JUNIOR
		(muttering darkly)
	Don babytalk him man.  Cocksucker fell asleep.  They 
	walked right up on us, he don do shit.

			BIG HAROLD
	Shaddup bitch.

Chris is gettin woozier, feeling he is dying but starting to 
grin, not caring about it anymore.  Yet he is nowhere close to 
dying.

			CHRIS
	It's not ... so bad ... dying.  How long .. it ...

EXT. TRAIL - RUINS - POSITION #1 - NIGHT

Barnes stands over a moaning, ripped up ENEMY SOLDIER.  FIRES his 
M-16 point blank into the head.  The Soldier bucks and dies, 
quivering.

EXT. TRAIL - RUINS - POSITION #2 - NIGHT

ELIAS, checking out a blood trail some distance away, shifts on 
the shot, looks back.

EXT. TRAIL - RUINS - POSITION #3 - NIGHT

FRANCES, MANNY, BUNNY and KING are huddled over another mangled 
enemy corpse.

			BUNNY
		(stripping the corpse)
	That's no NVA man.  That's a chink - look at 'em, the 
	cocksucker's six and a half feet tall.  Look at his 
	gear - good as ours.

			FRANCIS
	Shit I blew my claymore right in one dude's face and 
	I seen him walking around afterwards.

			MANNY
	What we fighting here, vampires?

EXT. TRAIL - RUINS - POSITION #1 - NIGHT

Elias comes up to Barnes swiftly, indicating the blood trail 
leading off into the bush.

			ELIAS
	Blood trail just keeps going and going but no body.

			BARNES
	How the hell did he get away?

			ELIAS
	Fuckers returned fire soon as we lit 'em up.  Hard 
	core fuckin' NVA.  They got their shit together.

			RING
		(coming up to Barnes)
	Sarge - Doc wants you.  There's a problem with the 
	new man.

Elias and Barnes go with King.  Past Chris and Tex who are 
ambulatory and bandaged, being helped along.  As Barnes passes, 
the men look at him, everybody quickly senses something is wrong.

EXT. GARDNER'S POSITION - NIGHT

At one of the positions Doc is working feverishly to knock the 
life back into Gardner who lies there, his shirt stripped off on 
his cottage cheese belly.  A huge sucking chest wound.  He's 
dying.  You know it because he knows it.  The eyes do the 
talking, numb, terrorized yet strangely detached, accepting, not 
protesting or concerned any longer.

Most of the ambush has assembled and is watching, Chris moving in 
to see.  Doc is mumbling to him, low key.

			DOC
	Chopper's on the way Gardner, hang in there, you 
	gonna be okay ...

But Gardner seems unconcerned.  Things are going on in his head - 
who knows what.  And in his eyes there are big tears rolling.  
Then a morphine smile.  A sort of goofy Gardner smile, maybe 
thinking about Lucy Jean, who knows.  He's dead.

			BARNES
		(to all)
	Take a good look at this lump o'shit ...
		(motions to Gardner's body)
	Rmember what it looks like, all of you.  You fuck up 
	in a firefight and I guaran-goddamn-tee you, a trip 
	out of the bush - IN A BODYBAG.  Out here, assholes, 
	you keep your shit wired tight at ALL times ...
		(glares directly at Chris)
	and that goes for you, shit for brains.  You don't 
	SLEEP ON NO FUCKIN' AMBUSH.  Next sonofabitch I catch 
	coppin' z's in the bush I'm personally gonna take an 
	interest in seeing him suffer - I SHIT YOU NOT ...

He thumps Chris lightly but menacingly in his chestbone and moves 
on.

			CHRIS
		(drowsy)
	I didn't fall asleep, Sergeant, Junior ...

			BUNNY
		(pissed, cuts in, shoves him hard)
	Shut your face chicken shit!  You in big trouble boy!

			O'NEILL
	Excuses are like assholes, Taylor - everybody got 
	one.

			ELIAS
	Knock it off!  We got two men need attention here.  
	Police up your extra ammo and frags, don't leave 
	nothing for the dinks.  Hoyt, Junior, carry Gardner.

			JUNIOR
		(muttering)
	Let de white boy carry his ass, he this dude that got 
	him fucked up.  Who'd be hauling his ass if that was 
	a brother laying there?

Elias follows Barnes out of earshot of the others.

			ELIAS
	Man'd be alive if he'd had a few more days to learn 
	something.

Barnes, registering it, just keeps on walking.

EXT. BASE CAMP - DAY (WEEK LATER)

Chris is driven up in a jeep to his Company PC - marked 'Bravo 
PC' on a C-ration box.  It's midday on a hot lazy afternoon, few 
people out in the 102 degree sun.

Chris' Company is on the outskirts of the base camp, their 
barracks regulation wood, canvas, and fine mesh screening, red 
dust everywhere, bunkers down on the perimeter, reams of barbed 
wire and concertina, a sand-bagged MESS HALL and CHAPEL, 81 mm 
mortar pits, observation towers, recoiless rifles, 50-caliber 
machine guns.

Chris gets out of the jeep, stiff-necked, a bandage around it, 
still in some pain.  The first man he intersects is KING, 
carrying crates of beer.

			KING
	Hey Taylor, what's in the breeze?

In King's mild tone Chris tries to read his standing in the 
platoon.

			CHRIS
	Okay - got light duty, three days.

			KING
	Shit, too bad we in base camp anyway.

			CHRIS
	What you got there - beers?

			KING
	Yeah, just stole me some from the Top's supply but 
he's stealing it from us anyway.
		(sees somebody coming)
	Chucks are coming.  You better 'didi' man.

Too late.  Sgt. O'NEILL, the redhead lifer accompanied by Spec 4 
SANDERSON, a big handsome blond kid, not too bright in the face, 
both slightly drunk, come around a corner, beer cans in hand.  
O'Neill sees Chris immediately.

			O'NEILL
	Hey Taylor - you back?

			CHRIS
		(pause)
	Uh, looks like it?

			SANDERSON
		(spotting King's beer)
	Where'd you get that beer King?

			KING
		(a funny look)
	I found it ...

			SANDERSON
	You found it? ... Bullshit!  You going on report.  
Gimmee that shit.

			O'NEILL
	Awright, come here both of you.  You too Taylor
		(wags his finger)
	Got a little special job for you.

They advance toward him reluctantly.

			CHRIS
	I got light duty, Sarge.  Doctor said to take it easy 
couple days.

			O'NEILL
		(laughes)
	... ain't that tough shit now.

EXT. THE OUTHOUSE - DAY

A wooden cabin with some half-dozen seats built over half barrels 
cut from empty oil drums.  A guy is in there, pulling up his 
pants.

Chris, King and Crawford, a California blond with a handsome 
honeyed look, are sweeating heavily as they roll the barrels out 
from under the outhouse, the smell of human waste strong.  A hot 
midday emptiness, nobody around except the flies.

			KING
		(pissed)
	... Motherfuckah, motherfuckah, I'm too short to be 
	dealing with this shit!  They keep fucking with us 
	man, no letup ...

			CRAWFORD
		(equally pissed)
	Politics man, fuckin' politics.  That O'Neill man got 
	his nose so far up Top's ass he gotta be Pinocchio...

			KING
	Forty-two days man and a wakeup and I'm a gone 
	motherfucker.  Back to de WORLD.
		(dreaming in his eyes)

			CRAWFORD
	Broke a 100.  Got 92 to go.  April 17.  DEROS man.  
	California this summer.  Waves are good they tell me, 
	surfin's gonna be good ...

			KING
	March man in Tennessee, sniff the pines ... sniff 
	that crossmounted pussy walkin' down by the river.  
	What you got Taylor?
		(a snicker)
	Let's see three hundred and WHAT?

			CHRIS
	... 32. 332 days.

			CRAWFORD
		(groans)
	Oh man!  Sorry bout that.  I can't even remember when 
	I was 332.  You gotta count backwards like you got 40 
	days in - think positive.

			KING
		(to Chris)
	How the fuck you get over here man, you look like you 
	educated ...

			CHRIS
	I volunteered.

			KING
	You WHAT?  Say 'gain.

			CHRIS
	Yeah, I dropped out of college and told 'em I wanted 
	infantry, combat, and Nam ...

He grins, finding their reactions funny.  It's also the first 
time we've seen Chris crack a smile.

			CRAWFORD
	You volunteered for this shit man?

			KING
	You a crazy fucker, givin' up college man.

King has long sleepy eyelids and cat's eyes, a large pink tongue 
and big white-edged cotton picker's nails - a lazy, gentle 
nature, content with the world.

			CHRIS
	Didn't make much sense.  Wasn't learning anything ...
		(hesitates)
	And why should just the poor kids go to the war - and 
	the college kids get away with it.

King and Crawford share a smile.

			KING
	What we got here a crusader?

			CRAWFORD
	Sounds like it.

They pause, wipe the sweat off.  King lighting up a half-smoked 
joint, hitting a few puffs, eyes shooting around, making sure 
he's not spotted, passing it to Crawford.

			KING
	Sheeit, gotta be rich in the first place to think 
	like dat.  Everybody know the poor always being 
	fucked by the rich.  Always have, always will.

Noticing Chris is having trouble with his neck, picking at his 
bandage.

			KING (CONT'D)
	You okay man?  Neck botherin' you?

			CHRIS
	Nah ...

			KING
	Here have some of this.  Won't feel a thing.

Chris looking at the joint, a little apprehensive.  He's never 
smoked.

			CHRIS
	No, thanks ...

			KING
	Go on, whatcha gotta lose, yo' here now ...

			CRAWFORD
	Kills the smell of shit anyway.

The joint proferred.  Chris waits a beat, shrugs, takes it, 
smokes.

			KING
	Suck it in.  Hold it ... That's it.  Now let it out.

Chris blows it out.

			CHRIS
	Don't feel it.

King and Crawford chuckle, go on rolling the cans.

			KING
	Dat's what they all say.

	CUT TO:

EXT. OUTHOUSE - LATER - DAY

King, Crawford and Chris pour kerosene over the cans at a secure 
distance from the outhouse.

King lights it.  The cans pop and start crackling.  A line of 
burning barrels.  Rings of dirty black smoke rise against a soft 
blue sky.

They watch, stoned.  Chris turns to both of them.

			CHRIS
	... you know that night we got hit ... I ...
		(ashamed)

			KING
	Fuck it, don't mean nothing, no such thing here as a 
	coward, done your best man, next time y'do better.

			CRAWFORD
	History, man, history.

Chris surprised at their attitude.  The joint suddenly hits him, 
a look in his face, eyes looking around different.  Over at King.

			CHRIS
		(deadpans)
	I think I'm starting to feel that stuff ...

Crawford laughes.

			KING
		(laughes)
	Yo getting there Taylor.  You be cool now and I'll 
	introduce you 'round to some of the 'heads'.

			CHRIS
	What are the heads?

			KING
		(laughes, walks away with Crawford)
	Later ...

Chris alone, breathes deep, feeling the full effect.

EXT. BASE CAMP - NIGHT

A relief against the long harsh, hot day.  We see lights on all 
over the camp, sounds of music, laughter from the barracks.

INT. UNDERWORLD HUTCH - NIGHT

King leads Chris down to a specially constructed cellar-like 
hutch dug deep into the ground on an isolated edge of the 
battalion perimeter.  Ammo casing and canvas are piled over it, 
and sandbags surround it.  From the outside very little sound can 
be heard as they go down through a trap door made of ammo crates.  
Past a lookout (Adams) pulling security, hitting a joint but 
alert.  King motions to him, it's cool.

Inside is another world.  Chris looking around amazed.  It's like 
a private cabaret for the 'heads' who are there cooling out.  
Boxes of food from the States, beers, whiskey bottles, crates 
functioning as tables, hammocks hanging from poles, electric 
fans, tape decks, paraphenalia.

The boys are all dressed up in their Saturday night rags.  The 
clothes are clean, the headbands, the medallions are out, 
anything distinctive and individualistic.  On the tapedeck, 
Jefferson Airplane's 'Go Ask Alice'.

To Chris it is a new world.  And RHAH, the resident head, sitting 
there in all his finery puffing a huge burning red bowl in a 
three foot long Montagnard pipe, seems to be the lord of final 
judgement in this smoky underworld.

Across his naked chest, birds and snakes are tatooed.  Around his 
neck a black skull and white ivory cross side by side.  On his 
knuckles 'Love' and 'Hate' are tattooed.  In his eyes, a dancing 
Satanic fire.  A poor rural Southern white, in his grizzled late 
20's, he could be a Biker King.  Giving Chris the once-over.

			RHAH
	Whatcha doing in the underworld Taylor?

			KING
		(smiling)
	This ain't Taylor.  Taylor been shot.  This man Chris 
	been resurrected ...

Chris wondering what he's doing here.  His eyes roving over 
LERNER, CRAWFORD, MANNY, FLASH, FRANCIS, HOYT, TUBBS, DOC, other 
from the Platoon, about 9 or 10 of them.

Rhah eyes him back, hands him the bowl.

			RHAH
	You lame Taylor?

			CHRIS
	What?

			RHAH
	You lame or something?

			KING
		(smiling)
	... go ahead on, smoke it man.

Chris understands, takes the bowl.  Hesitates.  Then smokes it.  
The contact fumes are almost enough to knock him out.  He starts 
coughing.  They're all laughing.

			RHAH
	Your shit's in the wind troop.  Baaaaah!

Lerner replies, his tongue hanging out in parody.

			LERNER
	And Baaaaaaa! back on you.

			RHAH
		(looking at Lerner with distaste)
	If you're gonna do it man, 'least do it right.

Building up to it, his eyes shaking with conviction at the whole 
insanity of the world, he neighs with all the venom he can 
muster.

			RHAH (CONT'D)
	Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

They all laugh and applaud.  King smoking from the pipe passing 
it back to Chris who takes another hit, doesn't cough this time, 
looking around, wondering about these guys.

			LERNER
	I didn't like it.

			RHAH
	Bah, you're a child, Lerner.  Rhah don't waste time 
	on you.

They go on ad-libbing with each other, teasing Doc, who's fairly 
straight, saying he wants to go to med school in the fall.  'Be 
what?''A gynecologist, man.''What dat?' Francis suggests, 'Dats a 
pussy doctor, man - he's gonna be Doctor Feelgood, man!' They're 
all cracking up, finding every joke funny.  As Chris finishes his 
hit on the pipe, looks up across the smoke, already dazed, 
surprised to see ELIAS suddenly there - leaning out of his sling 
in a far corner of the hooch.  A Monkey is draped around his neck 
with silver bracelets, rings, a necklace - like a sensual little 
Egyptian whore, Elias playing with it, spaced out in a sleeveless 
vest, tiger pants.  Dancing eyes on Chris, he swings out the 
hammock, comes over with the monkey.

Meanwhile Manny has broken into a high falsetto snatch of blues 
directed at Chris, joined by Big Harold and Francis, all of them 
clicking their hands.

			MANNY & BIG HAROLD & DOC
	Oooh Chris, you look like you is high oh yeah, he 
	looks like he is high Ooooh Chris, you know you gonna 
	be that way all night oh yeah I think that you are 
	... Yeah! up now and up to par oh yeah.

Elias pulls out a Remington 870 shotgun, jacks it to the rear, 
points it at Chris.

			ELIAS
	Put your mouth on that.

Chris does so slowly, a little worried.  Elias takes a hit and 
blows it down the bore - 'shotgunning' it into Chris' lungs.  
Chris staggers back, coughing.  Everybody laughes 'hey dude - you 
done had your ass blown away' etc ...

Elias smiles his big white-tooth smile.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	First time?

			CHRIS
	Yeah.

			ELIAS
	Then the worm has definately turned for you man.

Chris puzzled by this expression.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
		(smiles)
	Feel good?

			CHRIS
		(a sense of euphoria now)
	Yeah.  No pain in my neck now.  Feels good.

			ELIAS
	Feelin' good's good enough.

As he sucks in a huge mass of smoke off the bowl.  His eyes 
performing a funny little hop, skip and jump, as he holds it, his 
face turning red.

The monkey jabbers and jumps around on his neck, worried.  Elias 
then blows the smoke out in its face, the monkey hating it.

The Group laughes.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	Hey Crutcher.  I hear you got a Dear John from your 
	gal.  Told you she wasn't getting 'nuff from you.

Lerner looks up, stoned out of his mind, wearing a ring in his 
ear.

			LERNER
	Shit.  Sold me out for some lame dude with a 4-F.

			ELIAS
	What'd you say her name was again?

			LERNER
		(recalling her image)
	Daisy Mae.

			BIG HAROLD
	Hey look at Charlotte!

The monkey is sitting quietly stoned, its eyes blinking.  
Laughter off.

			ELIAS
	Daisy Mae!  What Daisy Mae look like Crutcher?

			MANNY
	She look huge and got freckles on her ass.

			LERNER
	She look beautiful.

			FRANCIS
	How much she weigh man?

			BIG HAROLD
	She braid her hair under her armpits, Crutcher.

			FRANCIS
		(sarcastic)
	Daisy Mae what?

			KING
	Daisy Mae Highway, that's what.
		(laughing)
	Well whatcha want, Lerner, your dick been limp for a 
	year, 'cept when you're bopping your buddy Tony up 
	there.

			LERNER
	Fuck that.

			ELIAS
	I fucked this chick in Hawaii man.  Couple weeks ago 
	... Oooooh!  Wow - outasight.  Gracie Slick man, she 
	looked like Gracie man, I shit you not.
		(remembering)

The look on his face ensnares all of them, except perhaps Rhah.

			MANNY
	What happened man.  What whorehouse you go to?

			ELIAS
	No whorehouse man.  On the beach.

			FRANCIS
	Sure.

			ELIAS
	Yeah, sure.  She walked right by me.  Long black 
	hair, tits swinging.  Ass like French bread.  Legs 
	don't end right.

			LERNER
		(skeptical)
	You can plant that shit in Tennessee man, but it 
	won't come up in Texas.

			CRAWFORD
	So what she got, hair on her tits.

			ELIAS
	I just stopped man.  My heart's beating like a hardon 
	right I got a hardon sticking through my pants, my 
	bathing suit looks like a hutch ...

			BIG HAROLD
	I know dat feeling ...

			ELIAS
	So I'm thinking to myself - Elias you walk away from 
	this, you gonna regret this the rest of your natural 
	life.  So I go after her, follow her down the beach.  
	You know find out if she is what she is.

They're all hooked into this now.

			KING
	And?

			ELIAS
	Well she was picking up her kids.

			MANNY
	Dat's dat.

			ELIAS
	No, dat ain't dat.

			FRANCIS
	Get outta here, she married ...

			ELIAS
	Like two hogs in heat.  Boy.

Their throats knotting ...

			CHRIS
		(joining in)
	... But what'd she do?

			ELIAS
	What didn't she do.  She fucked the living shit outta 
	me, that's what she did!

			CRAWFORD
		(sucking in air)
	Jesus!

			ELIAS
	Couldn't get enuff ...

			CHRIS
	But what'd she actually do?

			ELIAS
	She was a crossbreed, Chinese and Polish.

			BIG HAROLD
	What dat?

			RHAH
		(finally hooked in)
	And living in Hawaii man?

			ELIAS
	Yeah - and has blonde hair and almond-shaped eyes.

			FRANCIS
	Hey man didn't you say she had black hair?

			ELIAS
	She had blonde hair man.  And long tan legs, in those 
	leather sandals you know, with those thongs up to her 
	knees, this musky oil on it ... mmmm smelled good 
	when they were wrapped around my face ...

They groan, dreaming of Hawaii.

			DOC
	Yeah!

			CHRIS
	God!

			BIG HAROLD
	Please, somebody hold my dick!

			ELIAS
		(in afterthought)
	... and a broken nose.

			DOC
	Broken man?

			ELIAS
	Yeah, otherwise she would've been too perfect, y'know 
	what I mean ... some woman.  Her name was ...

He forgets it.  A grass blackout.  Lerner urging him on.

			LERNER
	Susan?

			MANNY
	Tamara?

			CHRIS
	Elizabeth?

Elias shaking his head, trying to remember.

			KING
	Merle?

			RHAH
	Merle?  Jesus!  ... Patty?

			BIG HAROLD
	Inga?

			CHRIS
	Jennifer?

			HOYT
	Connie?

Elias snapping his fingers.

			ELIAS
	Dawn!  That was it!

			CHRIS
		(repeating it)
	Dawn ...

King listening to the sound of it.

			KING
	Dawn?

The others nodding, musing over it.

			BIG HAROLD
	Yeah, Dawn ...

INT. THE BARRACKS - NIGHT

In comparison to the darkness of the hooch, a highly lit 
atmosphere, attracting bugs ... dusty gear lying around a 
disordered hooch, loud and finger-snapping COUNTRY WESTERN MUSIC 
playing from a tape deck, a well-known tune, circa 1967.

BUNNY, the 18 year-old angel face, totters drunk with a Colt-45 
beer in hand, over to JUNIOR, the badass black kid with the zits, 
who just lies there on his cot sweating, doing nothing.

			BUNNY
		(listening to the music)
	Listen to that shit, that's good shit!

			JUNIOR
		(irritated as always)
	Fuck that redneck noise, dude.  All dem chicks be 
	rappin' how dey losin' der' ho's and how dey ain't 
	got no bread for beer.  Fuck dat honky shit.  Got to 
	get me some motown jams, dig it?

			BUNNY
		(doesn't understand a word of it)
	Whaddaya talking shit for man.  Hey Junior!  Y'ever 
	smoke any shit?

			JUNIOR
	Das right dude.  You be tryin' to string de black man 
	out on dat shit and keep him DOWN.  Time's be coming, 
	my man, when de black man's gonna throw off that 
	yoke.

			BUNNY
		(lonely in his way for company)
	Say I can dig it.  Smoke that shit everything kinda 
	gets weird y'know?
		(hiccups, sits)
	Y'hear that story the gooks is putting chemicals in 
	the grass so's we become 'pacifists' so's we don 
	fight
		(to no one in particular)
	Where the hell's everybody, they'se gettin high 
	that's what - bunch of hopheads, they think they 
	special ...

			JUNIOR
		(turns away, bored)
	Don you worry Bunny, youse a killer anyway.

			BUNNY
	Yeah but I still like a piece of pussy once in a 
	while - ain't nothing like a piece of pussy cept 
	maybe the Indie 500.

			JUNIOR
	Youse so fucked up man.

			BUNNY
	Y'ever look at yoself in the mirror Junior, youse 
	uglier than a dick on a dog man.
		(laughing)

			JUNIOR
	Yeah, you had a piece of pussy on a plate in front of 
	you, you'd probably kill it.

			BUNNY
	Shit, I bet I been laid more'n you have.

			JUNIOR
	Sure, you probably stick it in tween her knees and 
	think youse there.

			BUNNY
	Yeah?

			JUNIOR
	Only way you'd get some pussy is your bitch dies and 
	wills it to you - and then maybe.

Lt. WOLFE wanders down the aisle, beer in hand, slightly lonely, 
bypassing FU SHENG, the Hawaiin and TONY, a mustached hairy-
browed Italian kid from Boston, who are playing some kind of dice 
game.  They hardly acknowledge the Lieutenant who stops by 
RODRIGUEZ, the Mexican-American kid who is on his cot in his 
neatly arranged area writing a letter home with a pencil, forming 
his words with his mouth, as always minding his own business.  
Religious objects comprise his few decorations.

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
		(amiable)
	How you doing Rodriguez?

			RODRIGUEZ
	Good sir.

			WOLFE
	Need anything?

			RODRIGUEZ
	No sir.

Wolfe winks at him, continues on to the POKER GAME going on in 
the center of the barracks, the main action.  BARNES, 
Sgts.O'NEILL and WARREN, the quiet sullen black, SANDERSON and 
SAL play as ACE, the tiny radio kid, and MOREHOUSE look on; all 
of them drinking beer and bourbon chasers from a bottle.

			WOLFE
		(to O'Neill)
	How's it going Red?
		(using his nickname)

			O'NEILL
	Shit, cocksucker's got all the cards tonight.

			WOLFE
		(to Barnes)
	Looks like you're doing all right Sergeant.

Barnes, raking in the chips, is the big winner, a light bead of 
sweat on his forehead and a somewhat glassy look to the eye the 
only indication he is drunk - his shirt peeled off revealing a 
muscular, scarred body.

			BARNES
	Yeah, and I ain't even cheating yet.

			SANDERSON
		(the big blond kid)
	Have some Kentucky windage Lieutenant.
		(passes him the bottle of bourbon)

Wolfe takes a nip.

			BARNES
	Play Lieutenant?

			WOLFE
	Nah, I wouldn't want to get raped by you guys ...

			O'NEILL
	What are you saving up to be Lieutenant - Jewish?

Laughes.  Wolfe forces a smile, glad to move on.  There is a 
continual worried rodent air about him, an anxiety, a desire to 
fill the vacuum in his leadership with a false masculinity.

			WOLFE
	Catch you men later.  Enjoy yourselves.

As he goes, O'Neill shakes his head after him.

			O'NEILL
	Sorry ass motherfucker ain't he.  You think he gonna 
	make it Barnes?

Barnes plays a card, glances, a minute movement of his head.

			O'NEILL (CONT'D)
	Yeah that's what I figger.  Some dudes you jes' look 
	in their faces and you KNOW they just ain't gonna 
	make it.

Barnes looks - with some irony - at O'Neill.  The Country Western 
tune has reached a crescendo whine which now mixes into:

INT. UNDERWORLD HUTCH - NIGHT

Francis, the baby-faced black, and Manny, green shades covering 
his skinny face, lead with a high blues falsetto.

			FRANCIS AND MANNY
		(singing)
	'People say I'm the life of the party cause I tell a 
	joke or two  Although I may be laughing loud and 
	hardy  Deep inside I'm blue ...

The Hutch looks now like a Turkish bath with minimum visibility, 
the smoke fumes dense.  They are all up dancing on their feet - 
King, Tubbs, Big Harold, Hoyt, Lerner, Crawford, Flash, Doc, 
Elias - a few light gestures with their hands above shoulder 
level, passing around the grass pipes while they shuffle, fingers 
clicking.  The song - Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears" - 
accompanies them from a vintage tapedeck.

			ALL
	'... Since you've left me, if you've seen me with 
	another girl seeming like I'm having fun although she 
	may be cute she's just a substitute because you're 
	the permanent one ...'

King and Big Harold wave Chris into the Circle and he starts 
swaying with them, feeling as if he's being accepted into a new 
family.

Rhah watches it all, puffing away on his magic dragon pipe, the 
shadows dancing on the walls.

It looks like a Saturday night dance party.  A yearning for 
tenderness, for feminity, for a moment of peace in this nightmare 
life.  Their eyes closed, thinking of dance partners that can't 
be here tonight.  Singing their souls out.

			ALL (CONT'D)
	'... So take a good look at my face.  You'll see the 
	smile looks out of place.  Look a little bit closer.  
	It's easy to trace.  The tracks of my tears...'

EXT. JUNGLE - NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - DAY

An overwhelming 103 degree heat.  Chris is once more on point, a 
little better now but obviously struggling with a thick 
unyielding bamboo thicket that forces him forward in a caveman 
crouch.  Napalm jelly is hanging from the trees in great canopies 
of spider webs, obliterating the sky.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
	New Year's Day, 1968.  Just another day.  Staying 
	alive.  There's been a lot of movement neat the 
	Cambodian border, regiments of NVA moving across.  A 
	lot of little firefights, ambushes, we drop a lot of 
	bombs, then we walk through the napalm like ghosts in 
	a landscape ...

Chris working his way over twisted, broken stumps, branches.  On 
the back of his flak jacket he's written, 'If I die bury me 
upside down so the whole world can kiss my ass'.

			BARNES
	Pssst!

The signal for silence.  Chris freezes.  Barnes edging up to him.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
		(whispers)
	Bunker ...

			CHRIS
	Where?

Doesn't see it.  Following Barnes' imperceptible movement of his 
head.

The bunker, dug into the ground and camouflaged with brush, is 
staring right at him, not more than 20 feet away.  Chris is a 
dead man if ...

Barnes, checking the terrain, signals radioman Hoyt.

Barnes edging up to the bunker, eyes everywhere.  Chris 
following.  The tension builds.  They come up to the edge of it, 
peer in.  Nothing.

Barnes walks around it, slips in from back.  Chris covers him, 
other guys coming up now, making a small perimeter.

Chris now starts to see things he didn't see.  Right in front of 
his nose - there is a trench from this bunker to another and 
another.  There is now in his view a complex of bunkers and 
thatched hootches and lean-tos all blending into the forest.  A 
ghost city ...

Elias and others fanning out now, careful ... whispered 
conversations in the wind.

Chris moves past a rope with freshly washed laundry stretching 
between two trees, clothes stirring in the wind.  He looks up as 
King points out a treehouse, then looks down as Lerner whispers 
something and points - NVA rucksacks are laid out on the ground 
in an orderly platoon-sized pattern.

	CUT TO:

INT. NVA BUNKER - TUNNEL POSITION - DAY

Elias goes down into a dangerous-looking TUNNEL, on a rope with a 
.45.  Barnes watching him.  We sense Elias loves the danger, 
smiling.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - COMPLEX - MAIN POSITION - DAY

Lt. Wolfe signals Manny and Chris out onto the two flanks.

INT. NVA TREEHOUSE - DAY

Rhah and King explore a treehouse.  Rice stores.  Rhah, an 
experienced soldier, seems tense, moves cautiously, expecting 
booby traps.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - WARREN'S POSITION - DAY

Sgt. Warren cautiously explores another bunker, probing a little 
tunnel in the bottom of it with a stick.  Bunny, having a small 
frame, goes down into it, fearless.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - MANNY'S POSITION - DAY

Manny, the skinny black boy with the coloured beads, is out on 
flank - alone, smoking a cigarette, humming.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - CHRIS' POSITION - DAY

On the other flank, Chris, also alone, waits, listening to the 
sounds of the jungle.  He too is smoking a cigarette.  The 
eeriness is everywhere.  Rays of morning light peeking through 
the cathedral dome of the jungle.  Bird calls.

INT. NVA TUNNEL - DAY

Elias climbs deeper and deeper into the hole, a rope attached to 
his waist leading out to the surface, his flashlight now coming 
around on a shaftway demarcating a TUNNEL that seems to stretch 
for at least 100 yards.  The light revealing cobwebs all along 
it, but tall enough for a small man.

EXT. CHRIS' POSITION - DAY

It's quiet, weird.  Chris takes his pants down, squats.  He 
thinks he hears something, tenses.

There is a soft rustling sound now.  And as he focuses on it he 
realizes it is coming from very close to him.  Something light 
and sinuous moving over the leaves.  He looks down.

A bright yellow and orange-ringed krait viper is crawling right 
between his two legs.  It stops, senses another life standing 
over it.

Chris frozen with dread.

The snake crawls on, pulling its long, long 15 foot body behind 
it.

On Chris, eyes dilated, slowly regaining his breath looking 
around everywhere now.

INT. NVA TUNNEL - DAY

Elias moving down the tunnel, fearless.  We expect something any 
moment to come out and nail him but nothing does.  He stops.  His 
flashlight revealing a kitchen and an NVA hospital set up.  A 
hammock swings as if someone just deserted it.  In another 
hammock is a dead man.  Elias advances cautiously.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - COMPLEX - SANDERSON POSITION - DAY

Spec 4 Sanderson, the big handsome blond kid, is moving through 
an abandoned bunker.  With him is Sal, a tough street kid with an 
intense face, all whiskered.  Sanderson noticing now a metal box 
of 50-caliber ammo, U.S. marking, half-buried in the ground.

			SANDERSON
	Hey look at that.

He opens the case.  Official-looking documents are inside, they 
glance through them, lighting cigarettes, the search over, 
successful, they relax.

			SAL
		(a worried type)
	Leave it willya - it's gook shit.

			SANDERSON
	Nah this stuff's important.

He puts the documents back in the ammo case, lifts it.  It's the 
last thing he ever does.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - SANDERSON POSITION - DAY

The ensuing explosion shakes the ground, obliterating both boys, 
brances, smoke and dust flying out.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - CHRIS POSITION - DAY

Out on flank, Chris hits the ground, hugs it.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - COMPLEX - SANDERSON POSTION - DAY

Barnes runs up.  Black smoke sweeping through the trees.  Sal 
suddenly appears, stepping out of the smoke, stunned.  The front 
of his body is soaked in blood from a thousand shrapnel holes, 
his clothes shredded, he stares at Barnes, dazed.  Both his arms 
are gone and blood is geysering out like a water fountain.  He 
crumbles - dead or dying.

			BARNES
	Corpsman!

He runs over to Sal, gets a hold of his face in a vicelike grip, 
enraged, tries to yell some sense into him.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
		(directly to Sal)
	Goddamit!  Are you fucking kids ever gonna learn!  
	Don't you understand how easy it is to die!

The Doc running up - one look tells us all we need to know.

			DOC
	Holy Jesus!

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - MAIN POSITION - DAY

Lt. Wolfe, shaken, is on the radio with Cpt. Harris, words 
garbled through the air, trying to describe a primal horror.

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - SANDERSON POSITION - DAY

Barnes moving through the wreckage - sees severed limbs sticking 
in a sandbag.

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - MAIN POSITION - DAY

Rhah crouches over a piece of leg tied into a hipbone and a rib.

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - DAY

Elias coming out of the tunnel, filthied.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - MAIN POSITION - DAY

Elias coming abreast of Wolfe.

			ELIAS
	Tell Six we need engineers here, this pos. is 
	crawling with traps.

			WOLFE
	They're on their way ...
		(consulting his map)
	There's a gook village half a klik downriver, 
	Battalion wants us to move in and search it ASAP, 
	something's going on ... where's Barnes?

INT. NVA BUNKER - SANDERSON POSITION - DAY

Barnes is still there in the wrecked bunker, squatting there 
staring as if his mind has disconnected for a moment.  He reaches 
up, touches his scars.  The look on his face suggests he is 
deeply wronged by this tragedy, that he is taking it very 
personally.

EXT. NVA BUNKER - MAIN POSITION - DAY

Chris watches him from outside the bunker, awed.

Barnes notices Chris watching him, takes a breath, stands.

			BARNES
	You gonna sit there and play with yourself Taylor or 
	you gonna be part of my war ... Awright, saddle up, 
	let's go - Tubbs you got point.

The men moving into jungle formation, silently.

Chris walking over into line, stops for a moment - noticing a 
freshly-severed eyeball partially buried in dirt, staring up at 
him.  He turns away, sickened.

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - MAIN POSITION - DAY

			O'NEILL
	Where's Manny?

			WARREN
	Manny! ... Hey Buchanan.

There is no answer.  The men in the platoon start to look at each 
other, sensing more trouble.

Elias heads into the bush after him.  Barnes watches him go.

Francis, his friend, and Tubbs and King follow.

			FRANCIS
	Hey man whatcha doing ... where you at?  Get your 
	black ass back in here!

EXT. NVA BUNKER COMPLEX - MANNY'S POSITION - DAY

Out on the flank position, where he once stood, Elias walks out, 
looks.  The jungle is silent once again.  Francis, Tubbs, King 
follow.  The others - Barnes, Lt.Wolfe, Warren, Chris, Rhah ...

			FRANCIS AND OTHERS
		(whispering loudly)
	Manny? ... Manny?

Their voices trailing off.  Bird cries come back.

Elias combing the ground for clues ... nothing.

Chris looking on, can't believe it, none of them can, a 
collective chill running through the platoon.

EXT. JUNGLE - DAY

The Platoon moving downslope in the Jungle, their faces grim, 
quiet, deadly.  King is on point.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
	We had to get to the village before dark so we left 
	Elias with some men to keep looking and to wait for 
	the engineers ... But it was King who found him ... 
	about 1000 yards downriver, not far from the village 
	- It was the end of the mystery.

A moving shot approaching Manny.  He's trussed with rope, arms 
behind his back.  Throat cut, eyes startled open, mouth shaped in 
a scream of terror.

Barnes, the other men looking ... Chris.  Barnes says it for 
everyone, 'The motherfuckers ...'

EXT. VILLAGE - TRAIL - DAY

They come up out of the jungle onto the side of a CART TRAIL, 
where a tiny village overlooks the river.  The VILLAGE is poor, a 
series of thatched hutches made of C-ration cardboard and 
aluminum beer can sidings, faint whiffs of smoke coming from cook 
fires.  Pigs and dogs wander about.

An OLD VILLAGER watches them pass from his tillable plot, smoking 
a cigarette, one leg wrapped around his hoe, resting, no 
expression.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
	... the village, which had stood for maybe a thousand 
	years, didn't know we were coming that day.  If they 
	had they would have run ... Barnes was at the eye of 
	our rage - and through him, our Captain Ahab - we 
	would set things right again.  That day we loved him 
	...

A pig loiters along the trail, rooting.

Bunny coming up on it with a smile.

			BUNNY
	Hey pig, pig - come here, pig, pig.

The pig grunts.  Bunny leveling his shotgun, fires point blank.  
A horrible squeal.

Chris, directly behind him, looks disgusted.

EXT. VILLAGE - DAY

Tony suddenly points, excited, calls to Barnes.

			TONY
	There goes one!

Their POV - a young VILLAGER fleeing down the slope.

Barnes doesn't hesitate, nails him with a short volley of well-
placed shots.

			BARNES
		(to Tony)
	Check him out.

He turns back into the village.

EXT. VILLAGE - DAY

Troops fanning out over the village, some TWO DOZEN VILLAGERS 
scattering to collect their children, dogs barking.

			SGTS.O'NEIL AND WARREN
	Get em out!  Get em out!

EXT. VILLAGE TUNNEL - DAY

In another part of the village, Barnes hovers over a hole leading 
into some kind of tunnel.

			BARNES
	Get out of there you fuckheads move!  Move!

Fires a warning shot.  Three VILLAGERS climbing out of the spider 
hole, arms raised, but not showing any emotion.  Barnes turning 
to his radioman Hoyt and Big Harold accompanying.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
		(to Harold)
	Put'em in the pig pen.
		(to Hoyt)
	There's more down there.  Gimme your Willy Pete.

Hoyt, with reluctance in his eyes, hands over a specially shaped 
grenade.

Barnes stands over the hole, the grenade in hand.

The three VILLAGERS who just came out of the hole, yell from the 
distance, to others still in the tunnel, pleading with them to 
come out.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	FIRE IN THE HOLE!

Barnes throws the phosphorus in.  A muted EXPLOSION.  Then 
sizzling acidic fumes.  Frying sounds.  A hideous scream from 
somewhere deep in the hole.

Hoyt, watching, is sickened.  Barnes businesslike.

The Villagers, in grief, howl and tear at their faces.

			FU SHENG
		(hustling up to Barnes)
	Sarge, we found some shit!

Barnes going with him.

EXT. VILLAGE - OUTSIDE HUTCH - DAY

The sun is sittin there hot and high in the sky.

Chris, strangling in heat, a demented look on his face, staggers 
into a hutch with Francis.

INT. HUTCH - VILLAGE - DAY

Threadbare, poor, a typical Buddhist shrine in the corner, motes 
of light crisscross through the poor matting and c-ration sides.

Chris edges over, pries up a floorboard, flips it over, scared.

There's a tunnel inside.  A long dark dangerous hole.

			CHRIS
	La Dai! La Dai! GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE!

			FRANCIS
	Hey take it easy man.  They're scared.

			CHRIS
	They're scared?  What about me!  I'm sick of this 
	shit man, I"m sick of this shit!  They don't want us 
	here!  Who do you think they're fighting for!  GET 
	OUTTA THERE!

Francis doesn't recognize him in his rage.  Bunny now coming in, 
followed by O'Neill, drawn by the shouting.

EXT. VILLAGE - WEAPONS CACHE - DAY

Barnes stares down at a WEAPONS CACHE buried cleverly underneath 
the ruce urns.  Ace, Fu Sheng, Sgt.Warren, Lt.Wolfe, others, are 
digging it out.  It's in white plastic wrappings - a load of AK-
47's, rockets, grenades, claymores, carbines, flares, NVA 
uniforms.  A real find.

			SGT. WARREN
		(to Barnes)
	... and over here there's enough rice to feed a whole 
	fuckin' regiment ...

Barnes walking with him over to an undercover rice silo being dug 
out by Tubbs and Junior.  Barnes looks it over.

			BARNES
		(to Warren)
	... bring the honcho over here.
		(to Tubb and Junior)
	Burn it.

INT. HUTCH - VILLAGE - DAY

An Old Woman and her Son, a young man with one leg, throw up 
their hands, climbing out of the hole with stupid confused looks 
as Chris, shaking with his own sort of confusion and rage, cuffs 
them, hustling them out.  The Young Man uses a pair of crutches 
for his blown-off limb, hobbling like a mangy three-legged dog.

			BUNNY
	Hey look at this! Ma and Pa Kettle here.  Look at 
them - greasy gook motherfuckers!

			CHRIS
	Get up out of there! ... You see I didn't wanna hurt 
	you.  Why didn't you come out, when I said so hunh! 
	Why? WHY! WHY? DON'T YOU LISTEN ... WHAT ARE YOU 
	SMILING AT HUNH! FUCKING ASSHOLES!

The couple, hands raised, muttering things in Vietnamese, don't 
understand a word, shaking their heads stupidly and smiling that 
impassive Oriental smile which sends Chris into a rage only he 
can understand.

His finger closes on the trigger of his 16.

Francis, the baby-faced black, looks nervously, sensing the 
danger ...  Bunny amused, drawn in by Chris.  O'Neill watches 
passively from the lip of the hutch.

The Young Man continues to grin, not seeming to realize the 
degree of danger he's in, which is what Chris wants - a token 
sign of acquiescence.  There is also the added element of showing 
off his manhood in front of an audience now.

			BUNNY
	Do 'em man, do 'em.

Chris.  The trigger.  He pulls.  But he can't quite bring himself 
to kill.  The bullets exploding in the dirt at the edges of the 
young man's foot.

			CHRIS
		(demonic)
	DANCE YOU ONE-LEGGED MOTHERFUCKER, DANCE!!!

The Young Man hops up and down in a reflex fear of the sounds of 
the bullets as they thud into the dirt.  Yet his eyes remain 
fixed on Chris in wonderment.

Chris, firing out the magazine, seems to expend his bloodlust.  
He ceases, noticing - for the first time - the eyes of the Young 
Man.  They aren't stupid - nor fearful - but filled with 
resignation and despair - a despair that Chris, in disgust of 
himself, recognizes.

Chris lowers the rifle, silent.

The Young Man's impassive face shines now with tears.  That sad 
young look - as if death itself would've been a release.  Chris 
turns his eyes away, an awkward sense of shame.

			FRANCIS
		(leaves)
	Let's get out of here man.

But Bunny takes up the slack, moves forward on the young man.

			BUNNY
		(to Chris)
	You chickenshit man, they're laughing at you, look at 
	them faces.  That's the way a gook laughs.

The Young Man nodding affable to Bunny and mumbling ingratiating 
words in Vietnamese.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
	Yeah sure you are, you're real sorry ain't you.  
	You're just crying out your hearts about Sandy and 
	Sal and Manny - they're laughing at us!  Their family 
	is out there in the fucking bush blowing us away and 
	they're laughing at us!

			O'NEILL
		(checking out the hutch)
	Forget it will ya, let's go ...

Chris standing there, watching, sensing something awful is going 
to come and unable to do anything about it.  It comes - suddenly 
and without warning.  Bunny is looking at O'Neill, the Vietnamese 
couple are muttering something.  In one fluid move, Bunny swivels 
and with unbelievable savagery clubs the young one-legged man in 
the side of the head with the butt of his 16.

			O'NEILL (CONT'D)
		(stunned)

	Hey what are you doing!

			BUNNY
	Fucker!

The young man is groaning on the floor of the hutch.  Bunny 
smashes him - again and again.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
	That's for Sandy!  And this is for Sal!  And this is 
	for fucking Manny!  This is for me!

Chris watches, horrified.  Never in his life has he seen 
something so horrifying as this.  And yet he does nothing.  He is 
part of it.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
		(stepping back, examines what's left of the head, amazed)
	Wow!  You see his fucking head come apart?  Look at 
	that ... I never seen brains like dat before.  Jesus 
	fucking Christ ...

The Old Lady is shrieking, hovering over the body of her son.  
Bunny studying her.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
	Betcha the old bitch runs the whole show.  Probably 
	helped cut Manny's throat.  Probably cut my balls off 
	if she could.
		(to Chris)
	Come on, man, let's do her.

She cowers from him.  Chris steps back, horrified.  As is 
O'Neill, more puzzled than horrified.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
		(hitting her again)
	Let's zap all these motherfuckers!  Let's do the 
	whole village!

He backs out of the hutch, scared.  Evidently Bunny is 
temporarily insane.  But he spots O'Neill, yells at him.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
	GET BACK HERE YOU FUCKING COWARD O'NEILL.  THIS IS 
	FOR SANDY ... THIS IS FOR SANDY MAN! AND SAL! AND 
	MANNY!

As he clubs her to death.

On Chris' face, blood and brain tissue flying up into it.

EXT. CENTRAL AREA - VILLAGE - DAY

A tiny knot of men are ringed around Barnes who is questioning a 
sturdy-looking man who is the VILLAGE CHIEF.  He has been 
stripped of his shirt, scars all over his body, scared.  He has 
his ID papers out, trembling, showing them to Lerner who speaks 
some pidgen Vietnamese.

			BARNES
	Where'd he get these wounds?

Lerner translates, the man talking back.

			LERNER
	He says he was hit in a bombing raid.

			TONY
	He's a dink fosure.

			BARNES
	Ask him what the weapons are doing here?

			LERNER
	He says they had no choice.  The NVA killed the old 
	honcho when he said no.  He says the rice is theirs.

			BARNES
	Bullshit ... who the hell was the dink we just nailed 
	on the riverbank?

Chris and O'Neill come up, watch.  Others coming from different 
places - sensing the narrowing drama.  But half the platoon is 
still at work in the village.  We hear shouts, grenade 
explosions, occasionally gunfire.

			LERNER
	... He says he doesn't know, NVA haven't been around 
	in a couple of months.  Maybe it was a scout or ...

The men around Barnes grumble.

			BARNES
	Yeah sure it was.  What about all that fucking rice 
	and the weapons ... who they for?
		(looking at the Village Chief)
	Cocksucker knows what I'm saying ... don't you Pop?
		(a blank look)

			ACE
	You're goddamn right he does!

Lerner translating.  The Village Chief's WIFE is now on the 
scene, a middle-aged woman with angry features, yelling at Lerner 
trying to answer for her husband, a high-pitched barrage of 
indignant words directed mostly at Barnes, and interspersed with 
the spitting of her betel nuts on the ground.

The Village Chief trying to talk her down.  But things are 
definitely getting out of control.  And the heat from the sun is 
only aggravating the situation, pounding down on the actors in 
the drama, their fatigues soaked in sweat and anger.

			LERNER
		(finally)
	He swears he doesn't know anything!  He hates the NVA 
	but they come when they want and ...

			JUNIOR
	He's lying through his teeth!

			TONY
	Waste the fucker, then see who talks.

			BARNES
	What's the bitch saying?

			LERNER
		(overwhelmed)
	She's going on, I don't know - why are we shooting 
	the pigs, they're farmers ... they got to make a 
	living, all that crap ...

The Woman is still ranting when Barnes turns to her, quite 
casually levels his M-16, and puts a bullet in her head.  She 
goes down as if pole-axed.

A stunned pause.  The Chief looking at his wife.  The Villagers 
in background reacting.

Wolfe looking ... Chris looking, shocked.  Doc, possibly the 
straightest of them all, very uncomfortable.  They are all 
shocked insome way, but do nothing against the power of Banres.  
Barnes walks over to the pig pen with the other Villagers, very 
casually, confronts them.

			BARNES
		(to Lerner)
	Tell him he talks or I'm gonna waste more of 'em.

Lerner shaken up, muttering to the Village Chief who is in shock, 
kneeling next to the body of his wife, muttering in a high whine 
of pain.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Go ahead, Lerner, ask him.

A group of Villagers huddle to one side.

Lerner, shaken, is yelling at all of them, demanding an answer.

			LERNER
	They don't know Sarge, they don't know!
		(half believes it)

Barnes turns his attention on the other villagers, his intentions 
apparent.  Everybody feels them.  They're next.  Barnes is 
unperturbed, very much in command of the situation, no rage, no 
emotions expressed.

Chris has never seen such a thing in his life - but can't react.  
Can't stop it, just watches it like he's not quite there.

The same goes for Lieutenant Wolfe, for all of them.  The very 
outrageousness of Barns' killing seems to quell all protest.

			ACE
		(sensing the impending massacre)
	Hey Sarge can we get in on this.

Tony advances, the hairy Italian kid from Boston.

			TONY
	Let's go all the way, let's go for it!  Let's do the 
	whole fucking village.  Come on, Sarge.

Chris' eyes ... Rodriguez next to him, is neutral but willing.

Francis is hesitant.

Fu Sheng and Junior are ready to go for it.  Lt.Wolfe is 
powerless, frozen.

Sgt.Warren stepping up.  The massacre is just about to break.

The Villagers know it, kneel in prayer, mutter.

Barnes suddenly grabs and drags a young 19 year-old Woman, the 
Village Chief's daughter, across the pen, throws her down on her 
knees, in front of the stunned Village Chief.  She's screaming.

			BARNES
	This his daughter, right?

Lerner nods.  Barnes pulls his .45, puts it alongside her head.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
		(to Village Chief)
	You lie ... You Vee Cee ... I caca ado Vee Cee!

He chambers the .45, the Woman begging Barnes for her life, 
cradling his knees.  He sticks the gun down above her skull.

Chris wanting to cry out, to do something - but can't!

A FIGURE suddenly flares out in the sun, advancing on them.  It 
is Elias.

			ELIAS
	BARNES!!

Barnes looks around.  They all look around.

Elias walks right up to him, followed by his men - King, Rhah, 
Crawford, others from the rear party.  He looks around.  The 
corpse of the Wife ... the Young Daughter sobbing.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	WHAT THE FUCK YOU DOING!

			BARNES
		(pissed)
	Stay out of this Elias.  This ain't your show.

			ELIAS
	YOU AIN'T A FIRING SQUAD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!

The stock of his rifle swings up fast and hard smacking Barnes 
full in the face, breaking two teeth.

Barnes staggers back, hurt, bleeding.  Elias is on him like a 
leopard.  Battering him with his fists.

They struggle in the dust, two titans, their faces equally 
consumed with rage, clawing, spitting, punching, kicking, 
pounding each other's skulls in the dirt.  A dust storm swirls 
around them, the men closing around like excited apes at a 
bloodfeast.

Most of the men seem to be pulling for Barnes - Chris just 
watching neutral.

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
	BREAK IT UP!  ELIAS!  BARNES!

But they rool on, smashing each other's faces in.  Both quick, 
fast, agile, mean fighters.  Sgts.O'Neill and Warren drag them 
apart.

			BARNES
	You're dead, you're fucking dead Elias!

			ELIAS
	YOU - you're going to fuckin' jail, buddy, you ain't 
	getting away with this one!!!!!

			WOLFE
	All right!  All right!  All right!!!  NOW BREAK IT 
	UP.  LET'S GO ...

They compose themselves, the Villagers looking on, grieving over 
their loss.

			WOLFE (CONT'D)
	Alright, Six says torch this place!  Blow the weapons 
	in place.  Round up all suspected Vee Cees and shake 
	it up!  We ain't got much light left.

			ELIAS
		(to Wolfe)
	Why the fuck didn't you do something Lieutenant!

			WOLFE
	What are you talking about!
		(turns away, goes about his business)

			ELIAS
		(spins him around)
	You know what I'm talking about!

			WOLFE
	No I don't.  I don't know what the fuck you're 
	talking about, Elias!
		(goes)

Who wants to be reminded?  A silence of shame.  The Men moving 
away, Warren, Ace, Tony, Rodriguez, Barnes looking back once, a 
cold glare.

The Village Chief is a broken-looking man, huddled over his 
wife's body.

Elias stands there, frustrated.

Chris glances at him, moves out.

EXT. SMALL VILLAGE - DAY

A zippo cigarette lighter with the engraved initials: 'From Mai 
lin to my Bunny Boy'.  It sparks a thick flare as Bunny lights 
the dry straw on the roof of the Hutch where he killed the Old 
Woman and Young Boy.

Their legs sticking out at the threshold.  The hooch burning 
fast, aided by the strong sun.

Bunny watches with awe.

EXT. SMALL VILLAGE - DAY

Sgt.Warren and Rodriguez lighting another hooch on fire.

EXT. VILLAGE RICE STORE - DAY

Fu Sheng yelling 'FIRE IN THE HOLE!' throws white phosphorus into 
the rice stores.

EXT. VILLAGE - WEAPONS CACHE - DAY

Barnes and Huffmeister, a big German kid from Texas, are laying 
the cord to blow the weapons cache.

EXT. SMALL VILLAGE - WELL - DAY

Adams and Parker are poisoning the well with a white phosphorus 
grenade: 'FIRE IN THE HOLE!'

EXT. SMALL VILLAGE - DAY

Wolfe, Ace, Tubbs, Warren, Rogriguez rope the DOZEN SUSPECTED 
VILLAGERS together to take them back for questioning.

Elias watches the Villagers mourn their losses.  In the 
background, explosions, hooches popping with flames, the yells of 
the violations of the Village winding down.

EXT. SMALL VILLAGE - DAY

Chris wanders through this wreckage in the sun, like a dazed 
visitor from another planet, not believing it.  He sees 
something, goes towards it - knows what it is.

EXT. VILLAGE - EDGE OF WOODLINE - DAY

Hidden at the edge of the woodline, King hands back a bowl of 
grass to Rhah, the chief head.  They're puffing away.

			KING
	Whew! - where that come from?

			RHAH
	Found it.  Growing in a garden.

			KING
		(smokes)
	Sheeit, beats burning hutches anyway ...

They meditatively look out at the Village - burning hutches 
sending up spirals of smoke.  Shouts.  Shots.  Chaos.

			RHAH
	Yeah - stoned's the way to be ...

EXT. VILLAGE - DITCH - DAY

In a ditch running alongside the Village, partially concealed by 
foliage and anthills, Tony, Morehouse, and the ubiquitous Bunny 
have a 12-YEAR-OLD VIETNAMESE GIRL pinned to the ground, gagged 
and squirming, naked.  They are fucking her to death.  Junior 
looks on, both curious and disgusted, but doesn't take part.

			TONY
	Take her up the ass ...

As they roll her over, like excited dogs in heat.

Chris, coming up, sees their heads dipping up and down on the 
other side of the anthill, knows what they're doing.  He makes a 
conscious decision to do something.  He runs over.

			CHRIS
	LET HER GO!  YOU HEAR ME!  YOU ASSHOLE!  LET HER GO!

He strides right into them, shoves them off hard.  The girl is in 
tears.

			TONY
	What the fuck you want - she's a dink.

			CHRIS
	NO - YOU STUPID FUCK ... DON'T ... DON'T ... YOU TOO 
	BUNNY.  MOREHOUSE.  OFF!  NO!  DON'T ... DON'T!

He seems disconnected, dazed by the sun, like he's talking to 
dogs - loud, repetitive words coming out of an anger he can 
barely control, trying to restore some sanity to a world gone 
totally nuts today.  Don't they understand?  Don'tthey have any 
sense of a mind?  Any kind of decency?

The Men looking at him as if he's the one who's gone nuts, not 
them.  Bunny looking at Morehouse looking at Tony looking at 
Junior.  The irony is lost on them, as Chris pushes through to 
help the poor girl put her scanty clothes back on.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
		(to the girl)
	It's okay ... it's okay ...

Elias appears behind Bunny and the others, sees what's happened.  
He signals them to move out.

			ELIAS
	Get outta here.

The men grumble and slink off quietly.  Elias watching as...

Chris helps her to her feet, wounded in the intestines, she can 
barely stand, blood saoking in her nether regions.  Chris slings 
her up as gently as he can and carries her.

			CHRIS
		(as if to himself)
	It's okay, it's okay ...

EXT. VILLAGE - PIG PEN - DAY

Near the pig pen, a DOZEN SUSPECTS are being led away on ropes by 
Tubbs, Warren, Rodriguez.  The others left behind look back at 
their village in ruins, homes burning, livestock dead or 
scattered, belongings thrown and broken in the dirt.  BABIES 
wail, the adults squat there on their heels watching with 
absolutely no trace of outward emotion.

Past this Bosch-like canvas, Chris - carrying the girl - walks 
dazed by the horrors of this long afternoon.

EXT. VILLAGE TRAIL - DAY

The soldiers depart the village.  A huge EXPLOSION now rocks the 
earth and sends a spray of smoke into the blue sky as the weapons 
cache explodes in stages that sound like the end of the world.

EXT. PERIMETER #2 - JUNGLE - LATE AFTERNOON DUSK

The Company is digging into another overnight perimeter on a 
ridge with a view of the Valley where the Village was.  C-Ration 
fires all around the perimeter.

EXT. COMPANY CP - DUSK -- MORNING

At the Company,l Elias, Captain Harris, Barnes, Lt.Wolfe are 
huddled.  Close on Harris, looking from face to face, assuming a 
judicial attitude.

			CAPTAIN HARRIS
	... and you Lieutenant?

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
	I didn't see anything sir.

			ELIAS
	I did.

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
	That dink was reported to me as NVA sir by Sergeant 
	Barnes.  Sergeant Barnes.

Squirreling out of any responsibility.

			ELIAS
	My report sir, will include Lt.Wolfe as being witness 
	to the shooting ...

			CAPTAIN HARRIS
	All right, Elias.  Sergeant Barnes, I want a report 
	from you ...

			BARNES
	You got it sir - and I can throw in plenty of eye-
	witnesses if you want sir ...

			HARRIS
	Not now.  We'll get into this when we get back to 
	base camp.  Right now I need every man in the field, 
	I want your guys to stick together ... Elias?  
	Barnes? ... You hear me?  This is no time for 
	fighting with each other.
		(pause, they nod)
	Tomorrow we're going back into that bunker complex - 
	from the East.
		(continuing)
	First Platoon will lead ... Brigade thinks they might 
	be back there tomorrow.  That's all ... Get some 
	rest.
		(turns away)

Barnes, Elias eye each other and move off.

EXT. PERIMETER #2 - DUSK

Wolfe walks alongside Barnes.

			WOLFE
	Don't worry about it Sergeant, he won't be able to 
	prove a thing, he's a troublemaker but ...

Barnes is obviously worried, although he doesn't let on.

			BARNES
	Elias' a waterwalker ... like them politicians in 
	Washington.  Want to fight their war with one hand 
	tied round their balls.  Ain't no time or need for a 
	courtroom out here ...

Wolfe leaves him as Barnes turns into his foxhole where Bunny and 
O'Neill await him anxiously.

			O'NEILL
	How'd it go.

Banres shrugs.

			BUNNY
	Thataway Sarge, fuckin' Elias man, fuckin' squeal 
	that's what he is, gonna get everybody in the platoon 
	in shit.  Somebody oughta fix his ass ...

Barnes fixing his coffee.

			O'NEILL
		(worried)
	Gonna be an investigation or something Bob?

Barnes says nothing, a cryptic look.

O'Neill worried, Bunny, taking his cue from Barnes, slaps him on 
the back.

			BUNNY
	Ya worry too much O'Neill ...

EXT. PERIMETER #2 - CHRIS' POSITION - DUSK

Elsewhere on the perimeter, Chris is digging out a foxhole with 
Rhah, as King and Lerner prepare the C's for dinner.

			RHAH
	I know Barnes six months and I'll tell ya something - 
	that man is MEAN, red in his soul like a dick on a 
	dog.

			KING
	Barnes gets killed, his jaws'd go on clacking ...

			CHRIS
	Where's he form?

			RHAH
	Barnes comes from Hell.

			LERNER
	Tennessee someplace.  Hill country.

			RHAH
	Barnes took a bullet right there.  At Ia Drang Valley 
...
		(points to his forehead)
	And the cocksucker SURVIVED - that's BAAAD man.  
	That's his high, baby.  High on WAR!

His eyes flare out dramamtically.  Chris, enthralled in spite of 
himself.

			KING
	He done a year in Japan in the hospital, then when he 
	gets out, the first thing he done is re-up.  Four 
	years he been in the field ...

			RHAH
	... and you know how many times he done been shot?
		(Chris shakes his head)
	Seven times!
		(with his fingers)
	Seven.

			CHRIS
	And he still wanted to come back?

			LERNER
	Does a pee wee wanna take a wee wee?

			RHAH
	The Good Lord works his revenge in strange ways.

			KING
	Yeah, you done said it.  Revenge on US.

			CHRIS
	Does he have a metal plate in his head?

			RHAH
		(smiles)
	You mean he's crazy?  No more crazy'n the rest of us 
	been out in the bush too long.

			LERNER
	Well he ain't normal that's fosure.

			RHAH
	That's what he is ... Baaaa!

His hand flashes forward in front of Chris.  'HATE' is written 
across the left hand knuckles in a sloppy, purplish-black tatoo.  
Chris looking at it.

			RHAH (CONT'D)
	... and he's FILLED with it.  He's roaming these 
	jungles looking for little yellow devils to kill.  
	Remember the Devil does God's work too.
		(pause)
	... and this here's Elias ... Baaaa!

The other knuckle is out - 'LOVE' tattooed across it.  Rhah 
smiles his crazy smil.  Chris stares fascinated at the two 
knuckles side by side.  A moment on his face.

			KING
	Love, yeah!

			LERNER
		(makes a cuckoo sign)
	Here we go again with the crazy preacher stuff.  Rhah 
	seen too many movies.

			RHAH
	Baaa, got no time to go to the movies.  Love and Hate 
	too busy fighting for possession of my soul.

			CHRIS
	Where's Elias come from?

			RHAH
		(interjecting)
	'Lias come naturally.

			LERNER
	... don't know.  Done some time.  Heard he worked the 
	oil wells in Oklahoma, made some bread and washed up 
	in El Lay.

			KING
	Yeah, get married to some crazy El Lay bitch, an 
	actress or somethin', she blew all his bread - LSD, 
	gurus, all that California shit, and then she turns 
	him into the cops on a drug rap.

			RHAH
	Not the only man to meet his Jezebel either.

			KING
	So he got a reduced and come over here.  Nam's his 
	freedom man, Nam's his pussy.  Three years he been 
	here.

			CHRIS
	Three years, Jesus, he's crazy as Barnes ...

			KING
	Well sometimes a man jes don' wanna go back.  How you 
	gonna talk to civilians man?  People back in the 
	world just don't give a shit, y'know what I mean, to 
	them you're a fuckin' animal is all -

			LERNER
		(to Chris)
	I was home on leave y'know and everybody's just 
	worried 'bout making money, everybody's out for 
	themselves, they don't even want to talk about it 
	man, it's like the fucking Twilight Zone back there - 
	you wouldn't even KNOW there's a war on here.  My 
	sister says to me why you have to go there like I 
	started this ...

			RHAH
	Baaaa!  Fuck it, they sold us out - so what!  What'd 
	you'all expect?  Civilian life is phoney BULLSHIT 
	man.  They're ROBOTS man - watchin' dopey television 
	and drivin' dopey cars, and they fuck up, nobody 
	dies.  That's all right, you keep fuckin' up, 
	politicians keep lyin'.  Cause it don't really 
	matter.  Don't mean shit.  So what!  Whatcha want - a 
	parade!  Fuck that too!  No war time no grunt never 
	got no respect.  Till he was dead - and even THEN!  
	You're fighting for YOURSELF man!  You're fighting 
	for your SOUL, dat's all.  Remember dat.  And it's 
	some goddamn battle too - if you'se a man, wrestle 
	with that angel ...
		(swings his entrenching tool in a rhythmic chain-gang style)
	... Love and Hate - the whole shitbang show, that's 
	the story then and now and it ain't hardly gonna 
	change ...

EXT. PERIMETER #2 - JUNGLE - NIGHT

The stars are out in magnificent splendor.  A breeze rustling 
through the trees.

EXT. PERIMETER #2 - CHRIS' POSITION - NIGHT

Chris is turning in his sleep, perturbed, writhing.  The 
whispering is more and more urgent.  Death is all around.  He 
shoots up out of his poncho liner as if shot, stunned.  Scared.  
Looks around.  All is quiet.  Men sleeping.

Elias is huddled in his poncho on guard next to his foxhole.  
Chris joins him, sitting, wiping the sleep from his eyes.

			CHRIS
	... I can't sleep, why don't you get some sack time.

			ELIAS
	... don't feel like it either.

			CHRIS
	... beautiful night.

			ELIAS
	Yeah.  I love this place at night.  The stars ... 
	there's no right or wrong in them, they're just 
	there.

			CHRIS
	That's a nice way of putting it.

Elias cuffs a joint, keeping its glow hidden in the dark.  A 
pause, both of them meditative.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Barnes got it in for you, don't he?

			ELIAS
		(philosophically)
	Barnes believes in what he's doing.

			CHRIS
	And you, do you believe?

			ELIAS
	In '65 - yeah.  Now ...
		(pause)
	No.  What happened today's just the beginning.  We're 
	gonna lose this war ...

			CHRIS
		(surprised)
	You really think so ... us?

Elias' eyes seem to go to some inner place, his passion surging.

			ELIAS
	... we been kicking other people's asses so long I 
	guess it's time we got our own kicked.  The only 
	decent thing I can see coming out of here are the 
	survivors - hundreds of thousands of guys like you 
	Taylor going back to every little town in the country 
	knowing something about what it's like to take a life 
	and what that can do to a person's soul - twist it 
	like Barnes and Bunny and make 'em sick inside and if 
	you got any brains you gonna fight it the rest of 
	your life cause it's cheap, killing is cheap, the 
	cheapest thing I know and when some drunk like 
	O'Neill starts glorifying it, you're gonna puke all 
	over him and when the politicians start selling you a 
	used war all over again, you and your generation 
	gonna say go fuck yourself 'cause you know, you've 
	seen it, and when you know it, deep down there ...

He plants his fist in Chris' gut, expelling his breath such is 
the force of the blow - like a power passed between them.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	... you know it till you die ... that's why the 
	survivors remember.  'Cause the dead don't let em 
	forget.

His eyes blazing, reliving the deaths in the village, licking the 
wounds for the platoon, mourning the failure of its heroism.  
Chris looking at him, a little awed by his intensity.  Elias 
looks away, embarrassed that he has sermonized, looks back at the 
stars.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	Oh shit!  Sometimes there's things in my head ... 
	man.  Grass does that to me, fucks me all up like a 
	crazy Indian ...

			CHRIS
	Do you believe that stuff about ... knowing you're 
	gonna die?

			ELIAS
	Yeah, those are the guys that live.  I really don't 
	think Death gives a shit, it's like a giant garbage 
	can, I think it takes whatever it can get ... you 
	never know where it's gonna come from anyway ... so 
	why spin your wheels?

He shrugs, a certain bravado masking his own uncertainty.

			CHRIS
	... You ever think about reincarnation, all that 
	stuff?

A lightning quick movement follows.  Elias' hand passing over his 
face like a mime, a click of the fingers and he leans closer to 
Chris.  A new expression on his face.  Devil's eyes, mocking 
child, danger in his soul, excitement, sex - the Elias that Chris 
saw in the smoking session in base camp.  Chris smiles, sucked 
in, almost laughs and then the face is gone again.

			ELIAS
	Sure, goes on all the time.  Maybe a piece of me's in 
	you now, who knows.  But when you die - really die - 
	that's a big return ticket.
		(soft)
	I like to think I'm gonna come back as ... as wind or 
	fire - or a deer
		(likes the image)
	... yeah, a deer ...

He smiles at the thought.  Chris looks at him, looks away.  A 
shooting star falls suddenly and dryly through the cosmos.  Their 
eyes.

EXT. JUNGLE - STREAM - DAY (RAIN)

The Platoon moves along a shallow STREAM bordering the jungle.  A 
thick RAIN falls amid cracks of distant thunder.  Chris, Rhah, 
Francis, Big Harold, others are at the rear of the platoon, their 
ponchos pulled over them like big sad grey tents.  There's a 
holdup ahead and the Men rest on rocks or stand.  The rain makes 
a pointilistic pattern, the men collages of grey, their rifles 
slung upside down to keep dry.

Barnes is up ahead, out of the stream bank, on the radio.

EXT. JUNGLE CHURCH - DAY (RAIN)

Lerner's on point, resting in the shadow of a decaying old French 
Catholic Church from the 19th Century.  The jungle has long ago 
won the battle, vines creeping into the cracks, remnants of 
arches layered around the church at the epicenter.  Behind Lerner 
is Sgt.Warren and his radioman.

EXT. JUNGLE CLEARING - DAY (RAIN)

Elias, further back, is checking out the jungle alongside the 
clearing, noticing a number of old spider holes long since 
abandoned.  He goes over and checks them.

EXT. JUNGLE - STREAM - DAY (RAIN)

Back at the stream, Rhah, looking old and whiskered under his 
poncho hood, lights up a roach, puffs it.  Another crack of 
thunder.  Chris comes over, sits with him on his rock.  Rhah 
passes him the joint.  He smokes.

Big Harold pulls a leech out of his open crotch area.

			HAROLD
	Shit, lookit this little fucker trying to get up ma 
	glory hole.

			FRANCIS
	Hey Big Harold, put dat in your turkey loaf it won't 
	come out your back end.

			KING
		(ribbing)
	Yeah, big boy, thought you had that laundry gig all 
	laid out?

			BIG HAROLD
		(pissed)
	Shit, got to paint myself white get one of dem jobs.  
	Get ma request in for a circumcision.

			KING
	Gonna be a rabbi man?

			FRANCIS
	Gonna cut your pecker down to size hunh Big Harold?

			BIG HAROLD
	Dat's okay wid me, better to have a small one den no 
	one at all.

			KING
	Your girlfriends gonna look for new lovers, man.  
	Best thing a bro's got's his flap.

			HAROLD
	I'll drink to your flap in Chicago, King.  All I 
	gotta do is stretch it out to 15 days and I'll be 
	short 15 and the Beast just wouldn't dare send me 
	back to the bush.

			FRANCIS
	You gonna get some for me back in the World, Harold?  
	Whatcha gonna do?
		(dreaming of it)

			HAROLD
	The world's gonna be ma oyster man.  First's I gonna 
	EAT - all the hamburger and french fries and steaks 
	soaked in onions and ketchup I can get.  Then I'se 
	gonna FUCK and SUCK Sandy Bell till I sore all over 
	and can't fuck no more, and den I'se gonna SLEEP for 
	DAYS, for WEEKS!  Den I'se gonna think bout what 
	comes next ...

The words carry over Chris staring out at the rain, feeling a 
leaden fatigued high.  Passes the roach, down to a millimeter, 
back to Rhah who points to his face.

			RHAH
	... you got one right there.

Chris feels for, finds the leech on the edge of his lip, cursing 
under his breath.

			LIEUTENANT WOLFE
		(in the stream, on radio)
	All right move out.

The men start slogging on against the rain.

Junior is drinking from the stream, as Fu Sheng passes.

			FU SHENG
	Don't drink that asshole.  You're gonna get malaria.

			JUNIOR
	Shit I hope so!

EXT. JUNGLE - CHURCH - DAY (RAIN)

On point, Lerner moves out through a remnant of an old arch, 
somewhat casual in his approach to point.

			LERNER
	Hey Sarge, you wanna tell me which way or do I get to 
	figger it out?

Sgt.Warren, picking up a quick azimuth on his lensatic compass, 
points.  Lerner moves in the new direction.

EXT. JUNGLE - DAY (RAIN)

Lerner moves away from the clearing, working up a slight incline 
when the MACHINE GUN FIRE erupts out of the jungle, spinning him 
- throwing him into the dirt like discarded garbage.

The men are down, yelling.

			SGT. WARREN
	Ambush!  Incoming!  Fucking incoming!

Suddenly an RPG rocket breaks out of the bush, sounding like an 
atom bomb as it devastates the front of the Platoon.  Radio Talk 
is continuous now, back and forth between the three platoon 
radios, through the ambush.

			O'NEILL
	DOC, UP HERE!  Lerner's hit! ...

More machine gun fire.

			FRANCIS
	DOC!  Over here - we got ... one ... two down.  
	Warren's hit.

EXT. JUNGLE - CHURCH - DAY (RAIN)

Chris moving up with Rhah and the others out of the stream, they 
hit the ground next to Sgt.O'Neill, who looks pretty scared, 
obviously not about to move.

			CHRIS
	What's going on?

			O'NEILL
	Shit they got RPG's on our ass.  Fucking ambush - 
	they was waiting for us to break trail!

			KING
	WATCH OUT!  ROCKET!

Another rocket whistling in.  A huge roar.  Trees shredded, dirt, 
dust rising.


			CHRIS
	Who's on point?

			O'NEILL
	Lerner and Warren.

Chris uses his M-16 to lever himself up into a crouch and 
suddenly dashes forward, passing Rhah.

			RHAH
	Where you goin' man!

Chris tearing up.  Past Flash - the hip black head with the 
colored beads.  He's dead, torn and shredded, his face and eyes 
stuff with dirt.  Next to him Doc is frantically tourniqueting 
Tubbs, shot in the legs.  He's screaming.

Chris keeps moving to the front as if compelled.

EXT. JUNGLE - BARNES' POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Barnes is laying out fire.

			BARNES
	Goddamit, you assholes get fucking' firepower out 
	there!
		(to Hoyt on radio)
	Get Two Bravo up here.  Get me a gun.
		(to others)
	Spread it out!  More to the flanks!  Look for a 
	fuckin' target!

Another explosion.

EXT. JUNGLE - FORWARD POINT - DAY (RAIN)

Chris comes alongside Francis near the point, throws himself 
down.  Banging his head against his helmet as he falls.  The 
incoming rounds are tearing up the front of the platoon.

			CHRIS
		(to Francis)
	Where's Lerner?

			FRANCIS
		(terrified)
	Out there man - behind the log.

Looking.  A body - moaning, sort of moving, wriggling, as if 
trying to escape the pain.

			CHRIS
	Oh Jesus!

His eyes moving to Sgt.Warren lying alongside a tree - calmly 
trying to stack his intestines back into his ruptured stomach.  
Another RPG comes in.

Chris makes a conscious decision, moves up - bit by bit, 
shielding himself with tree stumps, ant hills, laying out fire, 
trying to get closer to Lerner.

Francis following his progress, bug-eyed.

Fu Sheng now comes up with his M-60 - Harold his loader, belts of 
ammo flapping against their bodies.  He fires from the hip, 
providing cover fire for Chris, then pops down.

EXT. FORWARD POINT - JUNGLE - DAY (DRIZZLING RAIN)

Chris, firing out another magazine, crawls closer to Lerner, 
trying to ascertain if he's still alive.

			CHRIS
	Lerner!  Lerner, can you hear me man?

Lerner groans.  A fresh burst of AK fire rakes the area.  Lerner 
jerks spasmodically with the impact of the rounds.

Chris spots the sniper.  In a hole in the ground.  Twenty-five 
meters off.  Snapping the magazine out of his AK to reload.  A 
live gook.

Chris tears off a volley at him but the gook disappears in the 
hole.  This is the moement, Chris realizes it, it's now or never 
if Chris intends to get the gook.  He's got to make a move before 
the man has reloaded his weapon.

He pulls his grenade, pops the pin.  He lets the spoon fly off, 
activating the grenade-timer, as he humps to his feet and runs 
for the gook hole, concentrating, concentrating.  That head is 
going to pop up any second with a freshly-loaded weapon and tear 
his head off.

Chris won't make it back to the hole.  The throw has to be 
perfect.  He won't get another chance.  He heaves the frag, drops 
and rolls away.  The throw is perfect, the golden arc of flight 
from the outfield nailing the baserunner.  It twists cleanly in 
the hole.  The explosion muffled but deadly.

Chris scrambles to his feet, a look of almost total surprise on 
his face.  He can't seem to believe he did it.  Pointing his M-16 
before him, he advances on the hole, looking over the muzzle to 
see the badly-mangled NVA man twisted at the bottom.

Chris hurries over to Lerner.  He's in bad shape, hit in several 
places, vaguely conscious.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Gator!  Gator!
		(Lerner groans)
	I'm gonna get you out man.  You're gonna be okay 
	Gator ... okay?

Fu Sheng laying out fire to protect them, Harold splitting off to 
get more ammo.

Chris getting Lerner to his feet, hauling him back with all his 
strength, past Francis ...

EXT. JUNGLE - WOLFE'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Lt.Wolfe seems disorientated, struggling with the rain water 
washing off his map, trying to read the coordinates for an arty 
fire mission.

			WOLFE
		(into the radio)
	Redleg, Redleg ... Ripper Bravo Two Actual.  Fire 
	mission.  Grid six-four-niner ... four-zero-two.  
	Direction six-one-zero-zero.  Dinks dug in bunkers.  
	Danger close.  Adjust fire, over ...

			RADIO VOICE
	Rog, Two Bravo.  Solid copy, stand by for shot, out.

			ACE
	Sir, Bravo Three is inbound from the Sierra Whiskey.  
	Should be here in two zero mikes if'n they don' hit 
	any shit.

			WOLFE
	Fuckin' A!

Elias runs up to him.  Fire all around, incoming and outgoing, 
makes them yell to each other.

			ELIAS
	Lootenant, they're kickin our ass, they know we're 
	gonna bring heavy shit on 'em pretty soon so they're 
	gonna get in tight under the arty.  I spotted a cut 
	running around to the left.  Lemme take some men and 
	roll up that flank ..
		(pointing)
	I can work right up on 'em ...

Wolfe unsure, looks up for the artillery.

			WOLFE
		(to Ace)
	Get me Barnes ... I don't know 'Lias, we got four 
	down up there, if I split you off, we ...

Elias grabs a stick, urgent, starts drawing their position in the 
dirt for Wolfe.

			ELIAS
	Look, Lootenant ...

Wolfe looks up, relieved as Barnes splashes into the CP group.  
Thunder peals.

			BARNES
		(yelling at Wolfe and Ace)
	Where the fuck is red platoon!  Tell 'em to get their 
	asses up here!  What the fuck you doin' back here 
	Elias?  Round up your assholes and move 'em up front, 
	we're getting chopped to shit.

			ELIAS
		(yelling back)
	Barnes, listen to me ... there's 5-6 spiderholes back 
	there
		(points)
	next to the church.
		(draws it into the ground as he talks)
	Third Platoon's coming up the stream to reinforce us.  
	Flank's wide open, dinks get 3-4 snipers in these 
	holes, when Third Platoon comes up, they'll get us in 
	a crossfire with 'em.  We'll shoot each other to 
	shit, then they'll hit us with everything they got.  
	It'll be a massacre!

Barnes looking at the drawing.

			WOLFE
	Sounds pretty far out to me 'Lias.

			ELIAS
	Maybe but I seen it happen at Ia Drang in '66, First 
	Cavalry and they cut us to fuckin' pieces!
		(back to Barnes)
	Give me three men, if I'm wrong, I can still roll up 
	that flank.

			BARNES
		(a look)
	Take off, but keep your radio here.

Elias goes, stops, looks at Barnes ...

			ELIAS
	... You keep pouring out that suppressing fire, 
	Barnes.  I don't wanna be caught out there with my 
	ass hanging out you hear me?

			BARNES
	Don't tell me how to fight this fucking war, 'Lias, 
	you go crying to fucking brigade on your time.  Out 
	here you belong to me.  Now move.

A look.  Elias goes fast.  More thunder peals.  As the 155mm 
howitzers - sounding like deep tom-toms some three miles distant 
- beat out their shells.  An ominous sound.  Closer.

			ACE
	Sir!  Shot out.  Arty's on the way!

			BARNES
		(hurrying back to the front)
	Get that asshole O'Neill up here willya!

EXT. JUNGLE - FU SHENG'S POSITION - DAY

Fu Sheng is laying out fire when he senses something, looks up.  
The artillery shell sounds too close.  Getting bigger and bigger 
on the horizon.  Too big, too loud.  A groan of fear on his face, 
then knowledge.  Then ... a huge EXPLOSION engulfs him.

EXT. JUNGLE - HAROLD'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

			BIG HAROLD
	Short round!  It's short, man!  They fuckin' got Fu 
	Sheng!  BARNES! OVER HERE!

EXT. JUNGLE - DAY (RAIN)

Barnes hearing it, starts forward.  Another huge shell starting 
to whistle in on them.

			BARNES
	That fuckin' idiot!

It explodes.  This is about three times the intensity of the RPG.  
The jungle floor shakes, trees splinter.  Barnes is knocked to 
his knees, rimaces in pain.  Hoyt, Barnes' radio operator, 
screams out as a fist-sized chunk of hot shrapnel sticks in his 
back.  He's screeching, frantically trying to shuck the radio 
from his back, his fatigue shirt smoking.

Barnes jerks the radio off Hoyt's back, knocks the man to his 
knees and unsheathes his bayonet.  Ripping off the back of his 
shirt, Barnes sets to digging out the shrapnel.

EXT. MOREHOUSE'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Morehouse is decimated by a third explosion, chunks of shrapnel 
whirring like battleaxes into the tree trunks.

EXT. JUNGLE - HAROLD'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Big Harold is tearing blindly away from the front, helmet gone, 
rifle dragging in the mud when he stumbles, sprawling face down.  
He jumps up, looks back, sees now the wire over which he tripped.  
It takes a second to register.  He shares a look with Bunny who's 
already on the ground.

			BUNNY
	Satchel charge!  GET DOWN!

Harold goes for the ground the same instant the satchel explodes.

EXT. JUNGLE - CHURCH - DAY (RAIN)

Chris, further back, dumps Lerner with Doc who's got more than he 
can handle.

			CHRIS
	Take care of him Doc!  Please!

Doc looking at him, a dark look of hopelessness.  Lerner is a 
mess, groaning, reaching for Chris' hand.

			LERNER
	... don't ... don't leave me man ...

A look between them.  Rhah instersecting.

			RHAH
	Taylor - get your ass over here.  Move!

			CHRIS
	Hang tough, Gator.  Hang in there, man, you're gonna 
	be OK ... just hang on.

Feeling like a liar, peeling the man's hands off him, leaving him 
there looking numb.  Chris is shaken, Lerner's blood all over 
him.

He tears out after Rhah, linking up with Elias and Crawford.  
Elias motioning them to hurry.  Another huge artillery round 
exploding out to the front.

EXT. JUNGLE - O'NEILL'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Sgt.O'Neill, scared out of his mind, hugging the earth, tries to 
crawl into a small cut in the ground but finds it occupied by a 
cringing Junior.

EXT. JUNGLE - WOLFE'S POSITION - DAY (RAIN)

Barnes rushes up out of the forest like Achilles, towering in his 
rage, at Lieutenant Wolfe, ripping his handset from him as the 
Lieutenant reads off the coordinates off his map.

			BARNES
	YOU IGNORANT ASSHOLE! - What the fuck coordinates you 
	giving!  You killed a bunch of people with that 
	fucked up fire mission!  You know that? ... ah shit!

Wolfe stares at him, open-mouthed.  Disgusted, Barnes hunkers 
down to read the coordinates from his own map into the handset.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Redleg Romeo .. Ripper Bravo Two.  Check your fire, 
	check fire, you're short on our pos!  I say again, 
	check your fuckin' fire! ... From Registration point, 
	add one five zero, left five zero, fire for effect!

New incoming fire drowns out Barnes.

EXT. JUNGLE - ELIAS' POSITION - DAY

Elias - a defiant look on his face - moves fast but cautiously 
back across the Church landmarks.  Chris following then Rhah and 
Crawford.  The RAIN has now settled into a mist hugging the 
ground.

			ELIAS
	Move it!  Move it!

Elias comes to a stop, looks.  Behind them we hear the sounds of 
battle, gauging their distance from the main body.

The spider holes are still empty.  But he listens, senses 
something out there getting closer.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	They're coming ...

Chris looking at Rhah.  How does he know?

Elias points out an imaginary line across the breaking mist.

			ELIAS (CONT'D)
	Stagger yourselves across this line, shoot anything 
	that moves.  They'll be coming from here.

			RHAH
		(team leader)
	Gotcha.

			ELIAS
	One of them gets through it's curtains.

			RHAH
	Where you going?

			ELIAS
	Down along the river 'bout 100 metres, 'case they try 
	to flank us there.  Third Platoon's coming up on our 
	rear so watch for 'em.

			CHRIS
	I'll go with you.

			ELIAS
	No ... I move faster alone.
		(a grin)

Elias, his pack stripped, is gone, like a fleet leaf, vanishing 
into the Jungle.

			RHAH
		(stringing them out)
	Okay Crawford - over here.  Taylor - down twenty 
	yards behind that tree.

EXT. JUNGLE - WOLFE'S POSITION - DAY (MIST)

Barnes has finished correcting the fire mission, hurls the 
handset back at Wolfe, a wild look in his eyes, studying the 
incoming fire.  Makes a decision.

			BARNES
	Let's move back, link up with Three.  Let the arty do 
	a little work.
		(to Ace on radio, ignoring Wolfe)
	Push Two Alpha and Two Charlie.  Tell'em to haul ass 
	and re-group at the church.  Tell'em NOT to fire.
		(Ace transmits)

			WOLFE
	What about Elias?  We pull back they'll be cut off.  
	He needs cover fire.

			BARNES
		(looks at him like he's stupid)
	I'll get him.
		(with a threatening undertone)
	You just haul ass too lootenant.
		(going, to Ace)
	... don't send Bravo Three up till I get back to the 
	CP.  Now move out, all of you.

As he snaps his weapon onto full auto and runs off after Elias in 
a crouch ... a man with a mission.

EXT. JUNGLE - RHAH AND CHRIS' POSITION - DAY

Next to the Church deployed in the jungle, Rhah looks on, silent.

Chris in his position, waits.  It is so silent in comparison to 
the racket from the battle across the forest.  The Mist clings to 
the trees, moist and lovely.  Then, a flicker of movement, sound.

Chris hears it, tightens.  His POV - at fifty yards.  An 
evanescence of beige and green uniforms moving towards him very 
fast, scurrying.  They look like headless ghosts.

Chris opens fire.

			CHRIS
	GET EM!!!!!

Rhah and Crawford open up.  A rachet of sound, one of the fiures 
seems to go down, then another but at this distance through 
jungle it is difficult to say.  The firing just as suddenly 
breaks off and the silence returns.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
		(ecstatic)
	Yeah!  I got two of them fuckers ...

			RHAH
	I got one ...

			CHRIS
	... See them go down?  Like fuckin' target practice 
	man, fuck you Charlie!!  Ho Chi Minh sucks dead dick! 
	... Crawford!
		(sees him, stunned)

Crawford, the blond-locked California beach boy, lies on the 
earth, hit in a lung, having difficulty breathing, moaning in a 
soft undercurrent.  Chris runs up on him.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Oh man!  ... man!

Attending him.  Rhah runs up.

			RHAH
	Looks like a lung babe.  But you're gonna be all 
	right, you only need one of them fuckers.

			CRAWFORD
	Oh shit man I never thought I'd get hit, I was ...
		(gagging)

			RHAH
	Stay cool.  We gonna carry you out.

Barnes appears, running towards them, looking down at Crawford, 
at Rhah.

			RHAH (CONT'D)
	Sarge, 'bout five gooks tried to ...

			BARNES
	Where's Elias?

			RHAH
	... came through right over there.  We got three of 
	them, we ...

			BARNES
	Didn't you hear the arty shift?  We're pulling back.  
	Get your wounded man and get the fuck back to the 
	church.  Get going.

			CHRIS
		(indicating jungle)
	... but 'Lias is still out there.

			BARNES
	I'll get him.  You get the man in, Taylor
		(indicating Crawford)
	NOW.  Or I'll Article 15 both your asses.  Move!

Chris and Rhah look at Barnes sullenly, then reluctantly start 
moving Crawford onto a poncho liner they use as a litter.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Move it, MOVE IT!

He's in his blackest rage, the force of his words almost 
physically pushing the men to move out with Crawford.  Barnes 
turns now to deal with Elias.

EXT. ELIAS' JUNGLE - DAY

Elsewhere, Elias stands silently, listens to the forest.  In the 
distance the firefight can hardly be heard.  His helmet gone, his 
hair hanging free, he is at his best now - alone.  He hears it.  
Somebody running through the jungle, about 100 yards, boots on 
leaves, coming towards him.

He begins to move lateral to the sound.  His steps unheard, 
better at this than the enemy.

THREE ENEMY FIGURES now appear, crouched and moving very fast 
with light equipment through the mist.

Elias swerves up in immediate foreground, his back to us, FIRING.  
All three Figures fall.

A quick glimpse of Elias, not bothering to stop, moving to his 
next position.

EXT. BARNES' JUNGLE - DAY

Barnes, moving through the jungle, reacts to the fire, resetting 
his course.  Like a hunter stalking a deer.  Suddenly there's 
more firing.  Then silence -

EXT. ELIAS' JUNGLE - DAY

TWO MORE ENEMY lie dead in the jungle.  A rustle of movement, 
then a CRY - chilling, jubilant, a war cry.

A pair of feet moving lightly over the jungle.  A glimpse of 
Elias.  In his full glory.  Roaming the jungle, born to it.

EXT. BARNES' JUNGLE - DAY

Barnes fixing on him, moving.

EXT. ELIAS' JUNGLE - DAY

An NVA SOLDIER, jungle-whiskered, dirty, smart, crouches, 
listens, looks to his PARTNER.  What are they fighting here?  The 
First One mutter something sharp and they split fast in the 
direction they've come.

They get about six steps when Elias suddenly rises up from the 
bush, not ten yards in front of them, his shots ripping into 
them, driving the surprised life from them.  Elias is gone.

EXT. NVA JUNGLE - DAY

Elsewhere, another three NVA stop, turn and flee back from where 
they came.

EXT. JUNGLE CHURCH - DAY

Chris and Rhah get Crawford back to the church grounds, lay him 
down.  No activity around them.  Chris plunges back into the 
jungle where they left Barnes.

			RHAH
	Taylor!

EXT. ELIAS AND BARNES' JUNGLE - DAY

Barnes moving, stops, listens.  Something is running towards him.  
But it's hidden by the bush.  He brings his rifle up smooth and 
quick, waits, then as the bush parts, Elias is standing there.  
Looking at Barnes.

Barnes sees him, starts to lower his rifle, but then stops.  He 
raises it back an inch, sights it.  Pause.  A cold searing look 
of hatred coming over his face.

In that moment, Elias understands.  Quick as a deer, he makes his 
move, trying to plunge back into the bush.

Barnes fires.  Once, twice, three times - the blast rocking the 
jungle.

Elias jerking backwards into the bush, mortally wounded.  Bird 
cries.  A crime against nature.

Barnes calmly lowers his rifle, and walks away from it.

EXT. CHRIS' JUNGLE - DAY

Chris, cutting through the jungle, hears the shots.  He stops, 
listens.  Someone is moving through bush towards him, leaves and 
foliage shaking.

Chris tightens, raises his rifle.

Barnes steps through into his sight - sees him.

Chris lowers his rifle.  Barnes walking past him as if he weren't 
even there.

			BARNES
	Elias is dead.  Join up with the platoon.  Move it.

			CHRIS
		(shocked)
	He's dead!  Where?  ... You saw him?

			BARNES
	Yeah.  Back about 100 metres.  He's dead, now get 
	going, the gooks are all over the fuckin' place.

Moving on quickly.  Chris has no choice but to follow, looking 
back one more time.

EXT. CHURCH GROUNDS - JUNGLE - DAY

TWO CHOPPERS are coming into a LZ in front of the Church.  The 
two platoons, Second and Third, reinforcing, are being evacuated 
as quickly as possible, one load (6-8 men, depending on the 
wounded) after other.  The choppers are spraying dust all over 
the place.  A scene of chaos, radio talk layering it.  Doc is out 
of supplies, making do with improvised bandages, etc.

			WOLFE
	MOVE IT MOVE IT MOVE IT.

Lerner goes by, horribly wounded on a makeshift litter, into the 
chopper, Doc attending, holding the IV.

Chris catching a glimpse of him, waiting to get on the chopper, 
turning to look as:

Hoyt and Sgt.Warren, both wounded, are hurried aboard on litters.  
The chopper lifting off.

Chris and others now running to the corpses of Flash, Morehouse, 
and Fu Sheng lying under dirty ponchos, their boots sticking out.  
The ponchos are blown away in a burst of wind off the chopper 
blades, revealing their faces - dirt stuffing their eyes and 
mouths, waxen figures.

Chris and the others lifting them and carrying them towards the 
next chopper now coming in.

They throw the bodies on.  Tubbs and Crawford, both wounded, now 
move past Chris, into the chopper.  Chris running back, with King 
carrying a litter - their eyes falling on:

Barnes talking with Wolfe and Ace, making signals under the 
roaring sounds of the chopper.  Shaking his head.  No.  No Elias.

Chris and King looking at each other, mute.  They numbly start 
loading Big Harold, minus his leg, onto the stretcher.

The Third Chopper is down now, waiting, roaring blades 
silhouetting off the face of the cathedral.  A ROCKET BLAST 
suddenly goes off not too far from the chopper, incoming fire.  
The DOOR GUNNER signaling for them to hurry, laying out fire.

INT/EXT. CHOPPER - JUNGLE - DAY

Chris and King hustling Big Harold's 250 pounds into the chopper.  
Climbing in with him.  Wolfe, Barnes, Ace running in with them.  
The perimeter is bare.

Chris' eyes flitting over Barnes as he jumps in.  The chopper 
lifting off as another explosion rocks the area.  The Door Gunner 
sees something, opens up.

Big Harold, cursing, looks chalky but hog happy as he manages a 
glance down at the jungle.  His right leg is gone.  Tears are 
rolling out of his eyes.

			KING
	Man, you gonna be in Japan this time tomorrow, Big 
	Harold.

			BIG HAROLD
	Yeah, I'se lucky dis time, what's a leg to get the 
	fuck outta here ...
		(at the NVA)
	Eat ma shit, you motherfuckers!

He sinks back, sick.  Chris' eyes sudenly fix on something.  He 
can't believe it.  He shoves King, points.  King sees it.  Both 
stunned.

Barnes is looking.  So's Lt.Wolfe, so's Ace.  So's the Door 
Gunner.

Elias is coming out of the jungle.  Staggering, blood disfiguring 
his face and chest, hanging on with all his dimming strength, 
looking up at them - trying to reach them.

Chris shakes Wolfe, his words drowned out by the roar.

The Chopper Captain looking down, dips.  His co-pilot pointing.

The NVA are coming out of the jungle, closing on the spot where 
Elias is.

Incoming rounds are hitting the chopper.  The Door Gunner 
maniacally firing.

Barnes looking down at the man, can't believe it.

Elias is on his last legs now, obviously being hit by the 
incoming fire of the NVA.  He falls to his knees, still 
stretching upwards for life.

The Chopper Captain shakes his head at Wolfe.

The Chopper dips one more time firing at the NVA, low and fierce 
over the jungle.

Chris looking back in horror.

Elias crucified.  The NVA coming out now by the dozens from the 
treeline.

Elias crumbling to the ground.  Obviously dead or dying.

			HELICAPTAIN ON RADIO
	... we still got one on the deck.  Bring the gunships 
	in.

Barnes drawing in.

Chris looking at him in revulsion.  He knows.  Barnes sees his 
look, ignores it, all of them sitting there silent, living with 
that final horrifying image of Elias.

EXT. UNDERGROUND HUTCH - BASE CAMP - NIGHT

The 'heads' are assembled - what's left of them.  Rhah, King, 
Francis, Doc, Adam, a quiet black kid, and Chris, who is 
impassioned tonight.

			CHRIS
	He killed him.  I know he did.  I saw his eyes when 
	he came back in ...

			RADIO VOICE
		(puffing on his bowl)
	How do you know the dinks didn't get him.  You got no 
	proof man.

			CHRIS
	Proof's in the eyes.  When you know you know.  You 
	were there Rhah - I know what you were thinking.  I 
	say we frag the fucker.  Tonight.

He looks to King who puffs on a joint, his eyes red.

			KING
	I go with dat, an eye for an eye man.

			DOC
	Right on, nothing wrong with Barnes another shot in 
	the head wouldn't cure.

			RHAH
		(to Chris)
	Shit boy you been out in the sun too long.  You try 
	that, he'll stick it right back up your ass with a 
	candle on it.

			CHRIS
	Then what do you suggest big shot?

			RHAH
		(to Chris)
	I suggest you watch your own asses cause Barnes gonna 
	be down on ALL OF 'EM.

			FRANCIS
	How you figger that?

			RHAH
	Shit man - Human nature.

Flashes the old knuckle - 'HATE'.

			KING
	Then you jes gonna forget 'bout Elias and all the 
	good times we done had?  Right in here.

			RHAH
	He dugged his own grave.

			DOC
		(correcting)
	He dug it.

			RHAH
	He DUGGED it too.

			CHRIS
	Fuck this shit!

			RHAH
	You guys trying to cure the headache by cutting off 
	the head.  'Lias didn't ask you to fight his battles 
	and if there's a Heaven - and god, I hope so - I know 
	he's sitting up there drunk as a fuckin' monkey and 
	smokin' shit cause HIS PAINS HE DONE LEFT DOWN HERE.  
	Baaaaaaaaa!
		(a vehement movement of his head)

			CHRIS
	You're wrong man!  Any way you cut it Rhah, Barnes is 
	a murderer.

			KING
	Right on.

			RHAH
	I remember first time you came in here Taylor you 
	telling me how much you admired that bastard.

			CHRIS
	I was wrong.

			RHAH
		(snorts)
	Wrong?  You ain't EVER been right - 'bout nothing.  
	And dig this you assholes and dig it good!  Barnes 
	been shot 7 times and he ain't dead, that tell you 
	something?  Barnes ain't meant to die.  Only thing 
	can get Barnes ... is Barnes!

Barnes stands there, silhouetted in the trap door, looking down 
at the men who are stunned to see him here.

He steps down into the hutch, his face now lit by candle light.  
A bottle of whiskey in his hand, drunk, ugly, sweating, but as 
always, with dignity, possessive of his silence.  He feels their 
fear in the silence, enjoys it.

			BARNES
		(soft)
	Talking 'bout killing?

He totters slightly as he circles the outer edge of the hutch.  
No one talks.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Y'all experts?  Y'all know about killing?

He takes the bowl from Adams, smokes it.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	You pussies gotta smoke this shit so's you can hide 
	from reality? ...
		(smokes again)
	Me I don't need that shit.  I AM reality.

Confronting Chris, he moves on, taunting them all.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	There's the way it oughta be and there's the way it 
	is.  'Lias he was full of shit, 'Lias was a crusader 
	- I got no fight with a man does what he's told but 
	when he don't, the machine breaks down, and when the 
	machine breaks down, WE break down ... and I ain't 
	gonna allow that.  From none of you.  Not one ...

Walks past Rhah, past King, throws the pot bowl into the dirt of 
the floor.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Y'all loved Elias, want to kick ass, I'se here - all 
	by my lonesome, nobody gonna know.  Five you boys 
	'gainst me?
		(pause, very soft)
	Kill me.

Almost an appeal - naked, intense.  Rhah, Francis, Doc look away.

King, the biggest one there, is about to say something, but the 
moment passes.

Chris waits, his anger on the rise.

Barnes takes a swigger from the whiskey, then turns away 
contemptuously.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	I SHIT on all o' you.

			CHRIS
	KILL YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!!

Chris slams into Barnes, rushing him off his feet.  Pounding his 
face, solid blows.

			KING AND OTHERS
	Get that mother, babe, go ... Kick his ass, kill that 
	cocksucker!!!

But Barnes is too quick and very strong and takes the blows, 
getting outside Chris' arm, twisting and flipping him in a 
wrestler's grip - throwing him hard onto his back on the dirt 
floor.

The expression of the Men watching slumps, their hopes dashed.

Barnes springs around on Chris, straddles him, one hand pushing 
his face back, hits him hard.  Once.  Twice.

Chris grimaces, groans, helpless now.  A flick of sound.

A knife whipped out of Barnes' boot and pressing against Chris' 
throat.  Chris bleeding from the nose and mouth.

Rhah suddenly spinning into action, fast now, realizing what 
Barnes intends to do.

			RHAH
	EASY BARNES, EASY MAN!!!

Barnes is on the verge - about to kill again.

Chris waiting.

Rhah coaxing him, moving closer.

			RHAH (CONT'D)
	You'll do dinky dau in Long Binh Barnes.  Ten years - 
	kill an enlisted.  Ten years, Barnes, just climb the 
	walls.  DON'T DO IT ...

Barnes' eyes tremble in the candle light, his scars ugly, a spasm 
clenching and locking his facial muscles.  Then suddenly he is 
calm again, very calm.  We sense a man of enormous self-control.

Suddenly he flicks his knife across Chris, leaving a mark below 
his left eye.

Chris gasps.  Looking up at Barnes rising off him.  The boots 
alongside his face.

The Men looking on, the tension lowering.

			BARNES
		(contemptuous)
	Death?  What do you guys know about it?

He walks out.  Quietly.

EXT. AIR SHOTS - JUNGLE, CHURCH - DAY

Chris sits at the very edge of a Huey Chopper, bandana around his 
forehead, long hair blowing in the wind, Barnes' mark below his 
eyes, slicked out now like a jungle veteran, looking down at the 
VILLAGE where the massacre occurred.

The Village is still a smoking ruin, a few peasants and water 
buffalo straggling like ants to reconstruct.

Bunny, next to Chris, pops his gum, indifferent.  Barnes, next to 
him, shifts, reads a map.

Rodriguez is praying, his mouth moving without audible words, 
getting ready for the drop.

King is making last minute adjustments in his pack.

Bunny now nudges Chris, points.  The Church in the Jungle where 
Elias was killed is visible.  An outline of the Cemetery.  
Uncomfortable memories play over Chris' face.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
	They sent us back into the valley the next day - 
	about 2,000 metres from Cambodia - into a battalion 
	perimeter.  Alpha Company had been hit hard the day 
	before by a sizeable force and Charlie Company had 
	been probed that night.  There were other battalions 
	in the valley, we weren't the only ones but we knew 
	we were going to be the bait to lure them out.  And 
	somewhere out there was the entire 141st NVA 
	Regiment.

The BATTALION PERIMETER now breaks in the clear ahead.  Smoke 
grenades of various colors are being popped on the cleared LZ.  
It's not big, its radius 200 yards, heavily sandbagged, deeply 
dug, rolls of barbed wire protecting it, radio antennas sprouting 
from the CP - and surrounded on all four sides by jungle.

The First Chopper rocking down, whipping up dust clouds.  Chris 
jumps out, moving out fast as the Second Chopper starts in.

EXT. BATTALION CP - PERIMETER #3 - DUSK

At the Battalion CP, the Major confers with Captain Harris and 
two other Captains.  Two NVA PRISONERS are sitting on their 
knees, interrogated by Vietnamese Kit Carson scouts and a U.S. 
Sergeant, their hands tied.

The Scout slaps the shit out of the NVA.

EXT. PLATOON CP - PERIMETER #3 - DUSK

All this is watched from a distance by Ace and Doc and Lt.Wolfe 
at the Platoon CP.  Ace and Doc are digging the foxhole, the ace 
of spades in Ace's helmet band, sharing the information with Tony 
and Francis.

			ACE
	... they caught 'em last night pulling some shit on 
	Charlie Company.  They found maps on 'em, man - got a 
	friend at Battalion says they had every fuckin' 
	foxhole here fixed on it.  Distances, treelines, our 
	claymores, trip wires, everything?  I shit you not.

			DOC
	Shit, so what the fuck are we doing here?  Why don't 
	we move ...
		(no answer)
	Bad vibes, man, I got bad vibes here.  Where are the 
	new guys they provided us anyway.

			TONY
	I heard we's in Cambodia right fuckin' NOW.

			FRANCIS
	You kidding man ...

Rhah comes up, a walking stick in hand, huge pirate kerchief on 
his head, semi-naked.

			RHAH
	You wanted to see me sir?

			WOLFE
	Jackson, looks like you got Elias' squad now.

			RHAH
	Squad?  I didn't know we was still referring to this 
	platoon in terms of squads sir.
		(with a snicker for Ace and Doc)

			WOLFE
		(indicating a rough drawing in the dirt)
	These two holes are yours ...

			RHAH
	Begging your pardon Lieutenant but my holes are far 
	enuff apart you could run a regiment through there 
	and nobody'd see them - I got five live bodies left 
...

			WOLFE
	I don't want to hear your problems, Jackson.  You'll 
	get new men any day.  Time being you make do like 
	everybody else.

			RHAH
	Hey Lieutenant I didn't ask for this job, I ...

			WOLFE
		(leaves)
	I don't want to hear about it Jackson.

			RHAH
		(amazed, looking off at him)
	You don't want to hear about it?

			WOLFE
		(turns)
	That's right.  I don't want to hear about it 'cause 
	to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit okay ... I 
	just don't give a shit anymore.

			RHAH
		(shrugs, to himself)
	Right ...

			WOLFE
		(passing Ace digging the CP hole)
	This is one time we could sure use Elias.

			ACE
		(to Doc)
	'Some people say I'm wishy washy.  Maybe I am.  Maybe 
	I ain't.'

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - CHRIS' FOXHOLE - DUSK

On the edge of the perimeter, King puts out his claymore, 
unraveling it back towards his FOXHOLE, intersecting MEN form the 
Third Platoon, who file out on a night ambush, skirting the trip 
wires, demoralized, silent.  Eye exchanges, but no words.

Chris sits on the foxhole watching the ambush go out, smoking a 
joint by himself, depressed.  King comes in with the claymore 
wires, attaching them to their detonators.  Their foxhole - as 
are all of the Platoon's - is positioned just inside the treeline 
bordering the LZ, so that they are quite isolated from the center 
of the perimeter where they first landed.

			KING
	Glad I ain't going with 'em.  Somewhere out dere man 
	is de Beast and he hungry tonight ... Man, what a 
	bummer.  Ten days and a wakeup and I'm still dealing 
	wid this shit - fuckin' etcetera and ad infinitum man 
	...

The LAST SOLDIER in the file recedes into the foliage.

			KING (CONT'D)
		(noticiing Chris' silence)
	What's the matter wid you? ... How come you ain't 
	writing no more?  You was always writing something 
	home.  Looks like youse half a bubble off, Taylor.

He doesn't answer, makes a futile gesture.

			KING (CONT'D)
	What about your folks?  That grandma you was telling 
	me about? ...

Chris shakes his head.

			KING (CONT'D)
	Girl?

Chris' eyes answer negatively.

			KING (CONT'D)
	Must be somebody?

			CHRIS
	... there's nobody.

			KING
		(shifts, uncomfortable)
	You been smoking too much shit babe.  Gotta control 
	that.  Takes a man down ... I remember when you first 
	come out to the bush, you was straight as a ...

			CHRIS
	Who gives a shit!

He shifts, annoyed, prepares his grenades along the sand bags.  
King shrugs, preparing his meal, sings himself a snatch of song, 
a good natured man.

			KING
		(soft)
	'People say I'm the life of the party cause I tell a 
	joke or two although I may be laughing loud and hardy 
	deep inside I'm blue ...'

			CHRIS
	Y'ever get caught in a mistake King and you just 
	can't get out of it?

			KING
	Way out of anything, man.  Just keep your pecker up, 
	your powder dry, the worm WILL turn.  How many days 
	you short?

			CHRIS
	Not just me ... it's the way the whole thing works.  
	People like Elias get wasted and people like Barnes 
	just go on making up rules any way they want and what 
	do we do, we just sit around in the middle and suck 
	on it!  We just don't add up to dry shit.

			KING
	Does a chicken have lips?  Whoever said we did, babe.  
	Make it outta here, it's all gravy, every day of the 
	rest of your life man - gravy.  Oh shit, superlifer!

O'Neill comes up, jerks his thumb at King.

			O'NEILL
	Get your gear together, King, your orders just come 
	through.

			KING
		(speechless)
	You jokin' me man? ... shit, you ain't kidding!  
	Cocksucker.  Oh wowww ... the lifers made a mistake, 
	they cuttin' me some slack, they cutting me some 
	slack Taylor!
		(dances)

			O'NEILL
	Collect your shit and move out King.  You got 10 
	minutes make the last chopper.  Cee ess em oh or your 
	ass is mine.
		(to Taylor)
	Francis is coming over.
		(hurries off)

King packing up, double time.  Chris comes over, helps him, 
trying to share his happiness but not succeeding.

			CHRIS
	Hey that's great King, that's great ... you take it 
	on home for me, you tell 'em King ... got your 
	address right?  You know where you can reach men, 
	man.  Anytime!

			KING
	I gotta didi man.  Don't wanna miss that chopper.  
	I'll send you a postcard.  After I get me some.  I'll 
	send you some tapes too man.  This new guy Jimi 
	Hendrix man, whew ... you okay Taylor?  Just 'member 
	take it easy now, don't think too much, don't be a 
	fool, no such thing as a coward cause it don't mean 
	nuthin.  Jes keep on keepin' on.  Okay my man ...

Chris, fighting his depression, slaps hands with King.  A brief 
moment, they look at each other.  A friendship that was forever 
and is now over.  They both sort of know they'll never see each 
other again.

			CHRIS
	I'll walk you out ...

Francis coming up, hauling his pack.

EXT.PERIMETER #3 - JUNIOR'S FOXHOLE - DUSK

On another foxhole, Rodriguez positions his M-60, brings up his 
ammo belts (no loaders left).  Tony eating, nervous, watches him, 
shakes his head.

			TONY
	Rumor goin' round is they got tanks.  Soviet shit, T-
	34's ...
		(pause)
	Hey Rodriguez, don't you ever say nothing?

			RODRIGUEZ
		(a thick Mexican accent)
	What do you want me to say, it's all the same ol' 
	shit.

Tony shrugs, back to his food.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - JUNIOR'S FOXHOLE - DUSK

On another foxhole, Barnes in full pack checks the soles of 
Junior's bare feet.  Bunny and O'Neill looking on.  Junior is 
moaning as if he's dying, overdoing it by a mile.

			BARNES
	So what's the problem?

			O'NEILL
	Says he can't walk.

			BARNES
	Shit.  Get your boots on Martin, next time I catch 
	you putting mosquito repellant on your fuckin' feet 
	I'm gonna courtmartial your nigger ass.

			JUNIOR
		(cracks)
	DEN COURTMARTIAL ME MOTHERFUCKAH, bust my ass, send 
	me to fucking Long Binh, do your worst but I ain't 
	walking no more.  De white man done got his last klik 
	outta me.  Get some chuck dude to hump this shit.

			BARNES
		(suddenly soft)
	Get me that centipede, O'Neill.

O'Neill is puzzled.  What centipede?

			O'NEILL
	Sarge?

			BARNES
	Yeah that long hairy orange and black bastard I found 
	in the ammo crate.  I'm gonna put it in this 
	asshole's crotch, see if he can walk.

Junior's eyes bulge with suspiscion and sudden terror, his 
demeanor totally alert now.

			O'NEILL
		(understanding)
	Oh yeah, right away Sarge.

			JUNIOR
	No!  Wait!  I'll walk, fuck you I'll walk, I don't 
	need this shit!  I don't need this shit!

			BUNNY
	Fucking pussy, fuck it Sarge, I gotta have him on my 
	hole?

Barnes going.  O'Neill catching up with him.

			O'NEILL
	Uh ... Bob.  Like to speak to you.  Take a minute.

			BARNES
		(stops)
	Yeah, what is it?

			O'NEILL
		(shuffles, reluctant)
	Bob, I got Elias' R&R ... It's coming up in 3 days.  
	Going to Hawaii.  See Patsy.
		(pause, no reaction from Barnes)
	I never asked you for a break, I was hoping you ... 
	you'd send me in on the chopper with King ... what do 
	you say Chief?
		(a friendly punch)

			BARNES
	I can't do that for you, Red ... We need every 
	swinging dick in the field.  Sorry bout that ...
		(starts to go)

			O'NEILL
		(pleads)
	Hey Bob, come on!  Talk to me hunh, it's your friend 
	Red, I'm only asking you for three days chief ...

			BARNES
	I'm talking to you Red and I'm telling you no.  Get 
	back to your position.

			O'NEILL
		(grabs him, desperate)
	Bob, I gotta bad feeling about this, I ... I'm 
	telling you I got a bad feeling, man, I don't think 
	I'm gonna make it .. y'know what I mean?

			BARNES
		(quietly)
	... everybody gotta die sometime Red ... Get back to 
	your foxhole.

A look in his eyes.  Very remote, very cold, silencing O'Neill.  
Barnes walks off.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - BATTALION LZ - DUSK

At the LZ, King runs out, gets on the last SUPPLY CHOPPER with 
some other men.  It lifts off, swirling dust, the last rays of 
daylight.

Chris watches from a Battalion CP area, waves back - the chopper 
sound receding in the horizon, the comparative silence of the 
jungle now creeping up on the perimeter.  He turns and starts 
back to his foxhole.

A man is watching him.  He's sitting on a sandbag, face in 
shadow.  It startles Chris, something about him.  Something 
different.  A deep West Virginia drawl.

			SMOKING MAN
	Got a light?

			CHRIS
	Uh sure ...

Goes over reluctantly, flicks his lighter, cupping it from the 
wind.  The flame catches a sudden, uneasy expression in Chris' 
face as he sees the Smoking Man.

We come around and see what Chris sees in the light of the flame.  
A face that smiles at him like a death's head, a large ugly 
blister on his mouth, whiskered, pale - but smiling.  A sick man 
wouldn't smile like this, but he is smiling too intimately, as if 
he knows Chris from way back.  But he doesn't.  Or does he?  
Perhaps it was the man Chris first saw at the airstrip when he 
came in-country.  The same expression of evil, of a man who has 
seen too much and died, but still lives.

Chris feels an unnatural fear passing through him.

The Man stands, sucking on his cigarette, stretches.  He is thin 
and very tall, towering over Chris.

			SMOKING MAN
	... later.

He goes.  Chris watches him, wondering.  The man never looks 
back, a leisurely, confident stroll.  In that moment, there is an 
EXPLOSION from way out in the jungle, about a quarter of a mile.  
Then another, then small arms fire.  Chris looks, knows.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - RHAH'S FOXHOLE - DUSK

On his foxhole, Junior listening to the distant firing.  Bunny is 
introspective - talking to Junior as if he were his best friend, 
although they have nothing in common.

			BUNNY
	... y'know some of the things we done, I don't feel 
	like we done something wrong but sometimes y'know I 
	get this bad feeling.  Not all that shit the 
	Chaplain's jamming up our ass 'bout the Good Lord ... 
	just a fucking bad feeling, y'know what I mean?  
	Don't know why.  I told the Chaplain the truth is I 
	really like it here.  You do what you want, nobody 
	fucks with you.  Only worry you got's dying and if 
	dat happens you won't know about it anyway.  So what 
	the fuck ...
		(chuckles)

Junior looks at him like he's really crazy.  Back to the distant 
firing.

			JUNIOR
		(pissed now)
	Fuck! I gotta be on this hole with YOU man.  I just 
	know I shouldna come!

Bunny finds it funny, laughs.

			BUNNY
	Don't you worry bout a thing Junior, you with Audie 
	Murphy here, my man ...

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - COMPANY CP - DUSK

At the Company CP, Captain Harris is talking urgently into the 
radio.

			HARRIS
	Bravo Three Alpha!  Send me a grid.  Send me a grid, 
	over!

A young inexperienced VOICE screams back into the radio amid 
intense background FIRING filtered by radio and sounding 
disembodied.

			RADIO VOICE
	We're pinned down sir, they're in the fucking trees!  
	The trees -

			HARRIS
	OK, Three Alpha, calm down now, son.  I'm gonna get 
	you a fire mission ASAP.  Smoke'll be first ...

			RADIO VOICE
		(panic)
	Lieutenant's dead sir, radioman look dead sir, I 
	don't know where the map is Captain!  They're all 
	around us sir.  They're moving!  Hundreds of em!  I 
	can hear em talking gook!!!  Jesus Christ!

			HARRIS
		(calming him)
	... Just spot the smoke son and tell me where to 
	shift.  We'll get you out of there.  Just hang tough 
	and tell me where the rounds hit, over.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - PLATOON CP - DUSK

At the Platoon CP, Barnes stands, legs akimbo, watching the 
jungle, anticipating the coming fight as overhead we now hear the 
155 SHELLS whistle from a 10-mile distance - passing above them - 
then pounding down into the jungle in the near distance.  Barnes 
turns, glances at Wolfe, smiles.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - COMPANY CP - DUSK

At the Company CP, Captain Harris is back on the radio.

			HARRIS
	Bravo Three Alpha six.  How bout those rounds son?  
	Can you adjust fire?
		(waits)
	Three Alpha, if you can't talk, just key the handset 
	twice over.
		(waits)

Silence, then a vague MURMURING - becoming clearer and clearer.  
It's in Vietnamese.  The radio is then bashed in, the sound like 
thunder in the Captain's ear.  He looks at his RTO, both of them 
shocked.

EXT. NVA JUNGLE - NIGHT/DUSK

In the Jungle itself, the ENEMY is moving.  Flurries of movement 
and sound, blurred visuals.  Hands taping a piece of cloth to a 
tree, moving on - revealing a luminous arrow pointing left ... 
Figures moving past it.

Hands unraveling a thin wire waist-high, backwards.

Hands sliding along another wire.  We now see a moving helmet 
with a luminous plaque on the back of it, leading a file up the 
wire.  To a Jump-off point about 50 yards outside the U.S. 
perimeter.  Figures crouch.  Whispers.  Movement.  A pen 
flashlight on a drawing of the foxhole positions.  The NVA moving 
out in several directions at once.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - CHRIS' FOXHOLE - NIGHT

On their foxhole, Chris and Francis wait anxiously.  Overhead the 
ARTILLERY keeps pounding into the ambush area.  Now SMALL ARMS 
FIRE can be heard picking up at random spots along the perimeter.  
The battle, like a tide, is obviously moving closer to them.

			FRANCIS
	Oh shit me I wish I was back in Memphis now, oooh 
	baby this is gonna be a motherfucker!

Chris says nothing.  Suddenly off to their right, about 80 yards, 
a BLUE FIZZLE of light erupts.

			CHRIS
	Trip flares! ... Rodriguez's hole.

Rat-tat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat.  Machine gun, outgoing, followed by 
a sharp explosion.  A ROCKET!

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	RPGs!  Shit!

			VOICE
		(crying)
	MEDIC!!  DOC!  DOC!

A FIGURE thrashes up through the foliage behind them.

			RHAH
		(a fierce whisper)
	Taylor!  Francis!

			CHRIS
	Over here!

Rhah jumps into their hole with them, out of breath.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Rhah!  What's going on.  Rodriguez's hole just got 
	...

			RHAH
		(gets his breath)
	Okay, here it is - one, we got gooks in the fuckin' 
	perimeter.

			FRANCIS
	Oh shit!  Dat's it, dat's it ...

			RHAH
	They got through Alpha Company!  Anything behind you 
	don't identify itself, blow it away.  Two - air 
	strike's coming in.  They gonna lay snake and nape 
	right on the perimeter so stay tight in your holes 
	and don't leave 'em.

FLARES now shoot up over the perimeter.  Reds, greens, yellows, 
squeaking as they float doen on their parachute hinges throughout 
the ensuing battle.  The perimeter is illuminated at spotty 
intervals - sometimes arctic bright, sometimes inexplainably dark 
til new flares shoot up.

Chris, Francis, Rhah all look up at the light, and hug their 
holes even tighter, feeling naked in the light.  Flares cut both 
ways.

			RHAH (CONT'D)
	... they're probing us, they gonna go up and down 
	this line all night trying to get through.  Stay cool 
	... I'll be back ...

Runs out of the foxhole.  Chris suddenly reacting to a noise out 
front, gripping Francis and pointing to the sound.

A BODY is thrashing towards them, about twenty-five yards, not 
yet visible but a little awkward and lungy in it's movement, as 
if desperate.

Francis, tense, is about to pop his grenade when Chris grabs him.

			CHRIS
	Hold it!
		(loud whisper)
	WHO IS IT!

But the body keeps coming, lurching now, falling.

			FRANCIS
	Come on man!

			CHRIS
	No!

A POP! - then a fizzle of BLUE LIGHT as the Figure hits their 
trip flare - revealing itself to be large, with no helmet, and 
gasping, terrified of the trip flare.

			TERRIFIED SOLDIER
	DON'T SHOOT!  DON'T SHOOT!

			CHRIS
	It's the ambush!
		(calling out)
	In here, man!  Hurry.

The SOLDIER now runs in like a fullback going down for the 
tackle, sprawling into the hole, knocking Chris and Francis down 
beneath him.

He is sweating, terrified, a white boy with an unrecognizable, 
filthy face, no rifle, no helmet, his fatigues torn all over.

			TERRIFIED SOLDIER
	Water!  Water!

Chris gives him his canteen, his shoulder and neck hurting from 
the collision.  The Soldier sucks down the canteen.

			TERRIFIED SOLDIER (CONT'D)
		(between gulps)
	They'se all over the place, hundreds of em moving 
	this way!  They wiped us out man, we didn't have a 
	chance!  Where's the CP?

			FRANCIS
		(points)
	Back there.

The Soldier struggling out of the foxhole.

			TERRIFIED SOLDIER
	You guys get outta here!  They're right on my ass and 
	they ain't stoppin' for shit!

He tears off, leaving Francis in a state of incipient panic.  He 
looks at Chris.

			FRANCIS
	Taylor, let's di-di man!

Chris adjusting position, facing the front, anger in his voice.

			CHRIS
	You go.

Francis hesitates, stays.

INT. PERIMETER #3 - BATTALION CP - NIGHT

At the Battalion CP, the Major is inside his BUNKER, busy between 
his radio nets.

			MAJOR
		(to RTO 1)
	Get me Bravo!

			RTO 2
	Charlie Company reports hand to hand on the perimeter 
	sir.  Three holes are down.  They need help!

			MAJOR
		(looks at his watch, to his XO)
	Okay move two squads from Alpha down there.  Where's 
	that goddamn air strike, you bet your ass if we were 
	the First Cav they'd be here now.

			RTO 1
		(handing him the transmitter)
	Bravo Six sir.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - BATTALION CP - NIGHT

Just outside the Bunker, a MASTER SERGEANT spots something in the 
flarelight.  TWO FIGURES with helmets running towards him at an 
angle.

			MASTER SERGEANT
	Hey you boys!  Which Company you ...

A sudden burst of FIRE cuts the Sergeant down in his tracks and 
the Figures fly by.

Soldiers in the immediate area spot them.

			SOLDIER #3
	SAPPERS!

			SOLDIER #4
	THE BUNKER!

A burst of fire.  One of the RUNNING FIGURES goes down.  An 
Explosion engulfs him.

INT. PERIMETER #3 - BATTALION CP - NIGHT

But the SECOND SAPPER runs right into the bunker in a kamikaze 
charge, the light from inside momentarily revealing a bulky 
satchel strapped on his person and the face of the astounded 
Major.

			RTO 3
	SIR!!

EXT. PERIMETER #3 BATTALION CP - NIGHT

The Bunker EXPLODES with a deafening roar.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - CHRIS' FOXHOLE - NIGHT

In their foxhole, Chris and Francis look at the curling ball of 
flame, stunned.

			CHRIS
	Oh no!

EXT. PERIMETER #3 COMPANY CP - NIGHT

In their foxhole, Chris points.

			CHRIS
	There!

SHAPES moving in the trees.  Chris blows his claymore handles.  
One explosion on top of the other out front.  Then return fire.  
Flashes from a muzzle, rak-a-tak, rak-a-tak, rak-a-tak, the 
heavier sound of an AK-47.

Chris opening up with his 16.  Then being blown down by a grenade 
explosion at the edge of the foxhole.  Then nothing.  A pause.  
Chris' ears ringing, slightly concussed.

Suddenly from down the perimeter there is the sound of a faulty 
LOUDSPEAKER crackling out from the jungle.  A pidgen English, the 
words mauled, then a snatch of patriotic North Vietnamese music, 
played from a scratchy old record.

Chris uneasy, looking at Francis who looks terrified.  The SOUND 
now of a whistle.  Two hoots, then a sharp third.  Then yelling.

Chris grabbing Francis' arm, pointing.  There is a VOICE directly 
out to the front of them - muttering something in Vietnamese, no 
more than 20 yards away but unseen.  It's like hearing a casual 
conversation from another room, then the sounds of several bodies 
moving in separate directions - encompassing the foxhole.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
		(to Francis, a whisper)
	Out of the hole!  Fast!

Chris crawls out, stops, looks back.  Francis won't leave, hugs 
the shelter.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
		(a fierce whisper)
	Goddamit Francis!  Move your fucking ass.  Now ... 
	THEY GONNA BLOW IT!

Reaches in and yanks him with all his strength half out of the 
hole.  Francis, finally sparked, now moves out.  Both of them 
bellying it into the brush behind the hole.

Not a moment too soon.  An RPG ROCKET whistling in.

The FOXHOLE takes a direct hit, caving in, whirls of smoke 
spinning off it.

Chris and Francis look back covered with debris.  They hear 
movement.

SHADOWS are swarming towards the foxhole, firing into it to 
finish them off.

Francis grabs Chris' leg, indicating they get out of there.  
Chris hesitates - a moment, a decision made now in angry passion 
- rises up and charges the NVA.

SHADOWS scatter and tumble, caught by his surprise close-range 
fire.

Chris moving forward into them, blasting, agile, his instincts 
finely tuned, and totally insane in this moment of time, 
indifferent to his life.  He YELLS insanities, pumping himself up 
with the adrenaline of courage.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	DIE YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!!! YAAAAAAAAA!!!

Screams from the dark shadows, they fall.

Chris smashing a wounded SHADOW with the butt of his gun down 
into the foxhole.  He jumps back into it, reoccupying it.  
Blasting the dead gook.

Opening fire out to the front, driving the Shadows back.

Francis watching this, amazed.  After a moment of doubt, he too 
tears back out to join Chris in the foxhole, unbelieving, as he 
jumps in with him.

			FRANCIS
		(joining in the frenzy)
	YAAAAAHHHH!!!!  KILLLLL!!!

Then stunned again to see Chris suddenly rise up out of the 
foxhole and charging forward into the jungle.  He is now over the 
edge.

			CHRIS
		(charging off into the jungle)
	DIE YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - BUNNY'S FOXHOLE - NIGHT

In his position, Bunny is experiencing the same 'high' as Chris, 
yells out at them.

			BUNNY
	Come on MOTHERFUCKERS, COME ON!!!

Junior, huddled in the hole with him, speechless and terrified, 
looks at him with huge eyes.  The guy is nuts.  An incoming 
grenade explosion shakes the hole.

			BUNNY (CONT'D)
		(laying out more fire)
	Come on you can do better than that!

			JUNIOR
	Fuck this shit!  I ain't dyin' in no white man's war!  
	Ise didi-ing this motherfuckah!

Junior freaks out, throws his rifle down and hobbles out of the 
hole on his damaged feet at an incredible speed.

			BUNNY
		(yelling after him)
	Get back here you gutless shit ...

A SHAPE suddenly out of nowhere, looms up fast behind Bunny, 
running at him.

Junior, insane now with fear, runs smack into a tree, knocked 
senseless and reeling to the ground.

Bunny turning back too late.  The crazy drug-high Shape is 
yelling something like:

			NVA SOLDIER
	Diiiiikaaeeeeeee!

And jumps right into the hole blasting Bunny point-blank in the 
chest.

Bunny struggling to consciousness at the bottom of the hole.  
THUCK!  A boot in the gaping hole where his chest was.  Bunny, 
his eyes uncomprehending.  A muzzle is jammed into his mouth, 
breaking his teeth with an ugly sound.  Another yell from the NVA 
trooper.  A flash of orange red light.  Bunny's face blown to 
bits.

Junior, dizzy from the blow to his head, looks up.

A yellow flare somewhere out there and a SHADOW above him digging 
a bayonet into his belly with a grunt.  A long oozing sigh of 
belly gas.

An explosion.  The Shadow with the bayonet staggering blind 
without eyes, holding his brains with his hands.

Barnes throws open the empty LAAW rocket casing he has just fired 
off and charges forward with a yell, cutting down another NVA in 
Bunny's old foxhole.  Jumping into the hole, the bottom of which 
is a liquid pit of guts, blood, ooze.  Another Enemy running in 
on him.  A short burst of fire.  Barnes hit.  Firing into each 
other.  Barnes draggin him down into the pit with him, grappling 
alongside the corpse of Bunny.  Barnes uses an entrenching tool 
to finish him off.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - PLATOON CP - NIGHT

At the Platoon CP, small arms fire is all over the place, the NVA 
closing the ring.  Ace, in the foxhole, yells to Wolfe.

			ACE
	Negative contact.  Can't raise Barnes, Two Bravo, Two 
	Charlie, nothin'!

			WOLFE
	Get me Six!

Nervously aiming his rifle as a man comes running towards them, 
staggering.

			ACE
	It's Doc!

Doc plops down, out of breath, drained, bleeding all over his 
chest.

			DOC
	They're coming through all over!  I can't ... I can't 
	do ...

			WOLFE
	Where's Barnes!

			DOC
	I think he's dead ... it's awful, they're all dying.

Wolfe is stunned, Barnes his last crutch against the chaos.  Ace 
handing him the handset.

			ACE
	Six!

			CAPTAIN HARRIS' VOICE
	Yeah!  Send traffic or clear this goddamn net!

			WOLFE
	We've been overrun Captain, we're pulling back.  
	Over!

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - COMPANY CP - NIGHT

At the Company CP, things are just as bad.  A Radioman is 
sprawled over a smashed radio.  Captain Harris is in a bunker 
working the radios himself, as his Radiomen fire at yelling, 
running FIGURES scurrying all over the inner perimeter.

			HARRIS
		(furious voice)
	Bravo Two, Six!  Goddamit where the hell you plannin' 
	to pull back to!  They're all over the perimeter.  Be 
	advised Lieutenant, you WILL hold in place and you 
	will FIGHT and that means YOU, Lieutenant.  Out!

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - PLATOON CP - NIGHT

At the Platoon CP, Wolfe is astounded by the message.  Ace 
looking at him straight in the eye.

			ACE
	You're an asshole Lieutenant, you know that.

As he abandons his radio, grabs up his 16 and moves to an 
adjacent position.  Doc, a quiet man up to now, is treating a 
wounded Parker who is now hit by bullets and thrashes wildly and 
jerks to a stop.  He is obviously dead but Doc goes on trying to 
finish the bandage.  Suddenly he goes beserk, grabs a 16, starts 
firing and yelling.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - COMPANY CP - NIGHT

At the Company CP, Harris gets on the radio with the air strike.  
One of the RTOs on a separate radio calls over.

			RTO #5
	Captain, Third Battalion Armoured's on its way with 
	tracks 'bout 2 kliks west!

			HARRIS
		(ignores it, into radio)
	Snakebite leader, Ripper Bravo Six, we're gonna need 
	you soonest be advised I've got zips in the wire down 
	here, over!

			PILOT'S VOICE
		(distorted high frequency)
	Roger your last Bravo Six, Snakebite lead we can't 
	run it any closer.  We're hot to trot and packing 
	snape and nape but we're bingo fuel.  It's your call, 
	Six actual, Over.

Harris looks around.  The decision made.

			HARRIS
	Snakebite leader, Bravo Six, for the record, it's my 
	call.  Dump everything you got left ON MY POS.  I say 
	again, I want all you're holding INSIDE the 
	perimeter.  It's a lovely war.  Bravo Six Actual and 
	Out.

Pilot's reaction.  Very calm.  A Farmboy twang.

			PILOT'S VOICE
	Roger your last Bravo Six.  We copy it's your call.  
	Get em in their holes down there.  Hang tough, Bravo 
	Six we are coming cocked for treetops.  Whiskey to 
	Echo ... Snakebite Two, this is lead.  Last pass on 
	zero niner.  Watch my smoke to target, expend all 
	remaining.  Follow my trace ...

The transmission drops out.  Harris now looking up into the 
darkened skies.  The planes in no way evident - but they're 
there.  And they're coming.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - PLATOON CP - NIGHT

At the Platoon CP, the NVA are sweeping fast, crouched, using 
cover, yelling.  Small fires are raging all over the perimeter.

Ace putting out fire, is hit.  The NVA are coming over his 
sandbags.  A burst of fire.  Ace goes down.

Doc has cracked up, firing at anything, indifferent to his 
safety.  One of the NVA goes down.  The Doc is hit in the side, 
wounded, struggles, is hit again, but keeps trying to fire.  He's 
hit a third time - in the jugular vein.  Nearby, Wolfe is firing 
madly at the oncoming NVA.  One goes down.  A second is wounded, 
yelling in pain.  Wolfe reloading his 16, popping up, too late.  
One of them is coming over the sandbags.  He sees Wolfe.  Wolfe 
sees him.  In the same moment.

Wolfe hesitates, frozen up.  The gook unloads his AK-47, a 
magazine worth, into Lieutenant Wolfe, who crashes down, sprawled 
unnaturally on the jungle floor.  A spasm shakes his body.  Then 
stops.  Dead.

Boots run by.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - O'NEILL'S FOXHOLE - NIGHT

At his foxhole, O'Neill peeks up out of the hole.  Several NVA 
are darting through the jungle 20 yards away, coming towards him, 
talking loudly to each other.  He quickly slips back down in the 
hole, entwining himself with the approaching NVA, clinking metal.

The NVA stop, glance in the hole.  Something is muttered.  They 
run out.

O'Neill opens his eyes, breathes.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - BARNES' FOXHOLE - NIGHT

BARNES swings his mashed M-16 full into the FACE of an enemy 
SOLDIER who screams and goes down, Barnes chopping at him with 
his club.  His helmet is gone, his shirt ripped to shreds, his 
shoulder bleeding, making his last stand against the hated Gooks.

Nearby HUFFMEISTER is hit in the shoulder by a running FIGURE and 
collapses into the bottom of the foxhole, crying out in pain.

The running FIGURE runs past right into the full force of BARNES' 
swinging rifle.  SMACK!  He crumples.

INTERCUT

Chris bellies into the area, see Barnes, recognizes him, amazed.

An ENEMY fires, taking Barnes high in the left thigh.  A patch of 
skin blowing off.  Barnes rigidly goes down on his left knee like 
a wounded horse.  Holds there, staring into the Enemy, waiting 
for the coup de grace.

A series of SHOUTS and the Enemy staggers dead as:

Chris lays out a curtain of fire.  A GRENADE goes off near him, 
blowing off his helmet.  Dazed, Chris rushes forward firing from 
the hip - sucked into Barnes' suicidal vacuum.  He cuts down an 
Enemy as:

Barnes, given a new lease, limps angrily forward and tackles a 
wounded Enemy trying to crawl away, terrified at the sight of 
Barnes coming after him.  Barnes lets out a vivid scream.

And beats the soldier mercilessly, half the stock of his M-16 
flying apart broken.

Chris swivels alert on his knees.  A pause.  No more enemy.  
Turns to Barnes, his back to Chris still beating at the dead 
corpse.

			CHRIS
	Barnes!

Barnes swivels instinctively off the corpse and for a petrifying 
moment Chris sees:

A maddened scar of a face, lips specked with foam.  The EYES - 
refracted in a red-green flare overhead - the pupils distorted 
into angry red points.

For Chris it is no doubt the most frightening single image he has 
seen in his life.  It will be in his nightmares forever.  The 
essence of evil: wrath, obsession, anger, fear, hatred, 
permanence - he is paralyzed.

Barnes smashes him full across the face with the broken stock of 
his M-16.  Not even conciously, for at this point, his mind has 
gone over the edge and the entire world is his enemy.  American 
or Vietnamese, it makes no difference as he strikes Chris harder 
and harder.

Chris struggles, moans, his teeth and nose cracked.  Barnes emits 
another chilling yell an springs like a humpback up on his good 
right leg, the left bent - set to deliver the killing blow, the 
mangled rifle pulled to its highest arc.

			CHRIS (CONT'D)
	Nooooooooo!

The PHANTOM FIGHTER JET comes now like a great white whale.  One 
big beautiful monstrous beat of deafening sound.  Its silver and 
white belly hurtling low over the treeline in one giant leap of 
sound momentarily illuminated by a flare.  Then a monstrous ROAR 
of anger.

The bomb ripping Barnes off the body of Chris and spitting Chris 
across the jungle floor - crashing into a tree some 30 yards 
away.

FADE OUT

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - CHRIS' JUNGLE - DAWN

FADE BACK IN.  Vague sunlight.  Blurry. Chris fluttering his 
eyes.  A sharp MOVEMENT in the bush.  His eyes fight their way 
open.

SOFT EYES are watching him from behind foliage.  A soft, furry 
head, alert, rigidly still.

Chris fights his way up to his elbow, in pain, looking at the 
eyes.  The head turns and in one fluid move, bolts.  Gone.  Like 
the wind.  A deer.  A big brown deer.  Or was it?  Chris will 
never be quite sure.  But whatever it was, it was surely a sign 
of grace - the grace of Elias.  This he knows as he feels himself 
for the first time alive.

And in pain.  His left hand torn and bleeding, shrapnel in his 
side, cuts on his face, dried blood caking him.  Looking around 
his garden of eden.  A messy jungle floor.  Cordite fumes.  
Burned bush and trees.  Torn sandbags.  Dead NVA.  Bird songs 
somewhere in the distance.  It is the very crack of dawn, a pink-
red sun casting long oblique light patterns through the trees.  A 
holy light.

Chris pushes himself to his feet, feels his weight and the pain.  
He walks.  In the near distance, towards the LZ area, there's the 
sound of Armored Personnel carriers grinding, men moving, calling 
out in Americanese.  But Chris is alone here.

He fishes up an AK-47 from a dead NVA.  Checks it, a weapon.  
Walks on.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - BARNES' FOXHOLE - DAY

Past scores of NVA bodies.  Past the Foxhole where Bunny lays 
dead in the bottom, faceless.  Looking over at Junior bayoneted 
to the ground, dead.  NVA everywhere around the hole, some of 
them still moving, badly wounded.

Chris looking around, then noticing a movement a little further 
out in the Jungle.  Then he sees who.

The uniform is shredded, the figure obviously hurt in several 
places (thigh, back, neck, hand) but not mortally so, now 
struggling to right itself, dragging its face up from a belly-
down position.  Streaked with dirt and blood, we see Barnes once 
again re-emerging from the dead.

Chris steps over to him, a solemn look on his face.  Barnes looks 
up, begs.

			BARNES
	Get me a Medic will ya.  Go on ...

Chris doesn't move.  Barnes looks at him again, reading the 
intention that has crossed Chris' mind.  An expression of 
surprise crosses his face, then amazement, almost shock.

			BARNES (CONT'D)
	Fuck you in hell ...

Chris shoots him.  Once.  Twice.  Three times.  Silence ...

Barnes is finally dead.

Chris looking at the corpse, numbed, no exultation in his 
expression.  Just cold satisfaction and little feeling left.

Behind him, the SOUND of a big machine moving.  He turns.

A huge Nazi flag on an antenna looms up in the bush, followed by 
the great belly of a turreted dragon crunching down a tree for 
its breakfast.

A big tough GERMAN SHEPARD comes boudning at him sniffs, followed 
by a flak-jacketed MONSTER MAN - filthy and greasy, unshaven 
face, earring in his left ear, 'DEATH CORPS' scrawled on his 
shirtless flak jacket and a drawing of a death's head, he looks 
like a cross between a pirate and a hell's angel.  Behind him, a 
SECOND MONSTER MAN and the ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER grinding its 
engine, a human skull hanging from its turret.

			MONSTER MAN
		(to Dog)
	Bozo!  Get back here!

His eyes passing on Chris like so much meat.

			MONSTER MAN (CONT'D)
		(to Chris)
	Can you walk outta here?

Chris nods.  The Soldier pointing to the LZ behind him as a sign 
he should go that way.  The other Soldier already stripping the 
NVA dead, as the APC grinds on into the jungle, reconnoitering.

Chris walks out of the jungle, head bowed, nauseated, mixed 
feelings roiling him.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - FRANCIS' FOXHOLE - DAY

In another foxhole, Francis waits, the sounds of the approaching 
APC cutting through.  He thinks about it a moment.  It must be 
fast.  It must be a hard cold decision.  Now!

He pulls out his K-bar and with one last anguished hesitation, 
drives it into his thigh muscle.

Francis yells out and collapses in his hole.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - O'NEILL'S FOXHOLE - DAY

In another foxhole, O'Neill, unscratched but covered with dirt, 
waits tentatively as SOLDIERS arrive at his hole.  They're a 
little awed by the sight of the tough-looking O'Neill emerging 
from his foxhole like Sgt.Rock, dozens of dead NVA littered 
around him.

			APC SOLDIER #1
	You alone Sarge?

			O'NEILL
	Fuck yeah.  They all left me, bunch of fuckin' 
faggots.

			APC SOLDIER #2
	Man, you gonna get yoself a silver star.

			O'NEILL
	Fuck the silver star.  You got any booze?

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - RHAH'S FOXHOLE - DAY

Rhah, alive and well, is poking around the NVA corpses with a 
long gnarled walking stick, looking like a crazy Johnny Appleseed 
with his pants rolled up on his thin hairy ankles and wearing a 
red bandana tied in a four-knot around his head.

As one of the APC SOLDIERS carves an ear off a dead NVA, Rhah 
works his way through the torn bloody pocket of an NVA Troop in 
full rigor mortis, extracting what he thought was there - a 
wrapped cellophane of heroin.

Rhah's face glows with satisfaction as he tastes it, then snorts 
it.  With a certain satisfaction of triumph over the grim 
circumstances.

			RHAH
		(to the powder)
	Yeah, that's good shit ...

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - LZ - DAY

CHRIS is hauled out on a litter.  Morphined, his eyes watching it 
all from somewhere deep in his brain.  Passing:

Groups of SOLDIERS looking like bowery bums and moving like rats 
through the smoke and garbage snooping for souvenirs with wheezy 
tired eyes and grunts of greed.

Passing a bulldozed PIT with heaps of NVA BODIES in them.  a 
BULLDOZER pushing another set of bodies in, like photos of a Nazi 
death camp.

Nearby, two burly SOLDIERS lift a WOMAN NURSE and with a once-
through build for momentum, toss the fresh body into the pit.

Chris, numb, goes by.

			RADIO OPERATOR
		(into radio, exhausted)
	- 37 U.S. KIA, 122 wounded and still counting.  
	Estimate 500 Victor Charlie KIA, 22 wounded and still 
	counting.  Over.

			2ND RADIO OPERATOR
	Sir, a television crew's coming in with the General -

CAPTAIN HARRIS doesn't respond; at this point he doesn't give a 
shit, standing apart from the radios looking numbly at the 
remnants of his boys filtering by on litters.

Chris intersects him now, Harris' eyes looking blankly, then 
nodding sickly trying to give him encouragement.  Just coming to 
the edge of tears, choking it back, and turning back.  These are 
his sons who are lost.  A good officer.

Rodriguez, wounded, is lifted up in his litter and moved out to 
the waiting MEDIVAC CHOPPER, a huge red cross painted on a white 
square.

Doc goes by on another litter, then Ace, Adams, Huffmeister, etc.

Then Francis is littered by, bandages around his leg, a big smile 
on his face.

			FRANCIS
	Hey Taylor, you okay man?

			CHRIS
	Yeah.  How 'bout you?

			FRANCIS
	Jes' fine man, jes fine!  Ain't never felt better!  
	Both of us two timers man, we're out.
		(gives him a slap as he goes by)
	See you at the hospital man, we gonna get high-high 
	yessir ...
		(goes off)

The Medic points to the chopper.

			MEDIC
		(to Chris)
	That's your ride man, you ready?

			CHRIS
		(tries a smile)
	You bet.

Chris starts towards it, the Medic assisting him.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - LZ - DAY

Sgt.O'Neill watches the loading process forlornly from the 
distance.  Captain Harris intersects him.

			HARRIS
	You got Second Platoon Sergeant.

			O'NEILL
		(reflexively)
	Yes sir -

And as Harris moves away, O'Neill is left thinking.  Finally 
there is a certain frustration to his actions; he has taken such 
great pains to stay alive that the tuition he pays is precisely 
to stay in this Jungle.  Inevitably his time will come - one way 
or another.

His eyes now follow the MEDIVAC CHOPPER upwards, whatever is left 
of his shrunken soul yearning to go with it.

EXT/INT: PERIMETER #3 LZ CHOPPER - DAY

As the Chopper rises off the battlefield, Chris, who is sitting 
at the edge so that he has a full view out the open door, waves 
back at Rhah.

EXT. PERIMETER #3 - DAY

Rhah, at the edge of the treeline, vigorously shakes his walking 
stick at him, his other hand a fist, waving them, emitting his 
cry.

			RHAH
	Baaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Defiance.  Pride.  Dig me, I'm Rhah - and there isn't nobody like 
me in the world.

EXT/INT: PERIMETER #3 - LZ CHOPPER - DAY

The chopper - with its huge red cross painted on - now rising to 
meet God.  Smashed on morphine, Chris looking out at the waving 
ants below.

Now the trees, the skyline and the chopper is moving fast over 
the devestation.  The jungle forever locked in his memory, Chris 
looks back, copious, quiet tears flowing from his eyes.

			CHRIS (V.O.)
	I think now, looking back, we did not fight the 
	enemy, we fought ourselves - and the enemy was in us 
	... The war is over for me now, but it will always be 
	there - the rest of my days.  As I am sure Elias will 
	be - fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called 
	possession of my soul ... There are times since I 
	have felt like the child born of those two fathers 
	... but be that as it may, those of us who did make 
	it have an obligation to build again, to teach to 
	others what we know and to try with what's left of 
	our lives to find a goodness and meaning to this life 
	...

The music surges now to its full strength as we replay bits of 
film with each actor's name listed - some with silly, clowning 
looks, others sober, haunted.  Gardner, Tex, King, Rhah, Lerner, 
Sanderson, Manny, Big Harold - all the boys ... and then Barnes 
staring quietly into the camera, and lastly Elias - shirt off, 
bowl of grass in hand, his big, beautiful smile.

	FADE OUT:


   

Platoon



Writers :   Oliver Stone
Genres :   Action  Drama  War


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