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                           THE HURT LOCKER



                         
                              Written by

                               Mark Boal



                         
                               Story by

                      Mark Boal & Kathryn Bigelow
                         
                         
                         
                         
          First Draft REVISIONS
                         
           "The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for
          war is a drug."
                         
                       Chris Hedges, WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING
                         
                         
                         
                         
          "The worst imaginable news: war thrives because enough men still
          love it."
                                       TIME
                          BLACK SCREEN
                         
          Over the BUZZING sound of an electric engine we--
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT STREET/DAWN
                         
          A grainy, low-resolution view, seen from sixteen inches above
          street level. And we're moving fast -- nauseatingly fast.
                         
          From this angle close to the ground we FLY down a road strewn
          with war garbage: munitions, trash, rubber, animal shit --
          all of which, from this odd, jarring perspective, looks
          gigantic, monstrous.
                         
          We zoom towards a crumpled COKE CAN, the white `C' growing
          enormous on the screen, filling the screen like a skyscraper.
                         
          We SMASH into the can and barrel ahead.
                         
          A RAG flutters, blocks the view, then tumbles away, as we --
                         
          -- zoom downhill, see nothing but gray sand, then zoom back
          up hill and off, catching air, a flash of the horizon line,
          BRIGHT SUN, and land hard on a packed road.
                         
          We close in on one particular pile of trash, which is topped
          with a white plastic garbage bag, and stop. Puffs of dust
          and fluttering plastic.
                         
          We glide across the fluttering plastic. Flies buzzing.
          Advancing slowly, inch by inch, to the edge for our first
          glimpse inside the bag:
                         
          A RUSTY ARTILLERY SHELL.
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT MIDDLE EASTERN STREET/DAWN
                         
          A military ROBOT (about 3 feet long and 2 feet high, aka `the
          bot') that rolls on tank-like treads and has a mechanical
          hand and an array of CAMERAS is moving around the bag.
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          BAGHDAD, IRAQ - JANUARY, 2005
                         
          This is all taking place on a dusty stretch of road in a
          quiet section of Baghdad, barren except for a few shops, some
          cement houses and a couple of parked cars.
                                                                                       2
                         
                         
                         
          THE U.S. MILITARY HAS CONTROL OF THE CITY, BUT INSURGENT
          GROUPS ARE MOUNTING FRESH ATTACKS IN AN ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT
          THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS ON 31 JANUARY 2005.
                         
          THEY'VE ADOPTED A DEADLY NEW TACTIC, USING I.E.D.s -
          IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES - TO AMBUSH AMERICAN TROOPS. THE
          BODY COUNT IS RISING.
                         
          IN RESPONSE, THE ARMY HAS DEPLOYED THE LAST OF ITS ELITE BOMB
          SQUAD UNITS, HOPING THAT THESE THREE MAN TEAMS CAN DISARM THE
          BOMBS BEFORE THEY EXPLODE, AND STEM THE TIDE OF DESTRUCTION.
                         
          SOUND of far off GUNSHOTS and CALL to prayer.
                         
          SEVERAL U.S. INFANTRY SOLDIERS are moving PEDESTRIANS away
          from the bag. Another group of SOLDIERS is clearing out all
          the shops: bakery, sandwich shop, and a butcher shop.
                         
          Next to a parked Humvee, THREE EOD (Explosive Ordinance
          Disposal, aka Bomb Squad) SOLDIERS are crouched over a laptop
          computer, looking at the screen and the same image of the
          metal artillery shell inside the fluttering plastic.
                         
          SERGEANT MATT THOMPSON wipes at the sweat on his forehead.
          This is summer in the desert and the median temperature on
          this bright clear morning is 110 degrees.
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                      It's to the left.
                         
          Thompson   tears open a mushy Snicker's. He is fleshy around
          the arms   and middle, but there's real muscle underneath the
          flab and   truth be told, after so many years in EOD, he's lost
          the need   to have a show-off build.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Going left.
                         
          SERGEANT J. T. SANBORN works the joystick on the laptop. He
          is a strapping Iowa farm boy, with a thick back from bailing
          hay. In contrast to his bulky frame, his face is soft, open,
          kind. He has a relaxed demeanor. Which might lead you to
          think nothing ever bothers Sanborn. But if you thought that,
          you'd be mistaken. Before joining EOD, Sanborn was in
          Military Intelligence. He quit. Military Intel was too easy.
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                      Up a little.
                         
                         
                         LAPTOP SCREEN
                         
          Rusty artillery shell now almost full frame.
                                                                                       3
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                               SANBORN
                    There?
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Closer. I want to see the ojive.
                         
          Zoom on the nose cone of the shell.
                         
          The third soldier leans in for a better look.
                         
          SPECIALIST OWEN ELDRIDGE is a tall, lanky young man, the
          youngest of the group. He's a fighter like the others but
          also a reader, and something of a thinker. Eldridge crouches
          behind the other two soldiers, sipping a bottle of water,
          eyes never leaving the screen.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Push it in.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I can't get it inside.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Pretend it's your dick.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (SMILES)
                    I'm pretending it's your dick.
                         
          Eldridge laughs.   He clearly likes the two men he's with.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Let me try.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Give me a second.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Give me a crack at it.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Shit. Okay.
                         
          They change places.   Thompson now on the controls.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Hello mamma. See that?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Looks like a one-five-five.
                                                                                       4
                         
                         
                         
          Eldridge gets up and goes to the Humvee, fishes around
          inside.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Yeah. That can do some damage.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    We're going to need a charge.
                         
          Eldridge is already on it, approaching with the four blocks
          of C4. He's done this enough to know what they need.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Figured four blocks. Hey with these
                    four blocks and the ninety pounds,
                    are we going to be far enough away?
                         
          Now we see the tiny toy robot in the far distance -- far, far
          away.
                         
          Behind the Humvee and on either side of the road INFANTRY
          SOLDIERS are still clearing civilian onlookers from nearby
          stores.
                         
          Thompson stands and takes a good look at his surroundings.
                         
                                              THOMPSON
                    The blast is going to roll out
                    there (pointing) the shell will
                    probably kick out there (pointing),
                    and most of the shrapnel is going
                    to rain up in an umbrella pattern.
                    Some smaller pieces and shell
                    fragments will come out this way --
                    but we'll be okay if we are behind
                    the truck.
                         
          The idea that he would be standing in the open amuses
          Eldridge.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    You know I'll be behind the truck.
                         
                                              THOMPSON
                    Nothing wrong with that, Owen.
                    Let's get the area cleared--
                         (looks around at the crowd
                                         OF ONLOOKERS)
                    --as best we can, then load up the
                    bot.
                                                                                          5
                         
                         
                         
          Eldridge double times it over to a nearby soldier. Together
          they herd away various bystanders.
                         
                                                                               CUT TO:
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          The bot dutifully makes its return voyage to the plastic bag,
          this time towing a cart which is loaded with C4 and a
          blasting cap, and a coil of unspooling detonation wire.
                         
          The robot hits a bump causing the blasting cap to tumble to
          the ground, where it begins to roll --
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Everyone cringes.   The cap doesn't explode. Close call.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Damn.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          The blasting cap has rolled into a gully, out of reach of the
          robot hand.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn wiggles the stick.      It's not happening.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Matt, the bot's not going to do it.
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                      Keep trying.
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          The robot hand tries again. No dice.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                      Okay, you're right. I have to go
                      down there - don't you think?
                         
          Sanborn nods.
                                                                                      6
                         
                         
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    I don't want to wait around here in
                    this neighborhood anyway.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (WRYLY)
                    What, you don't like it here?
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Let's just get me dressed.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          Sanborn unpacks "THE SUIT." A bizarre contraption that looks
          like an astronaut suit and helmet crossed with the Michelin
          Man. Because of its weight and complexity it takes two men to
          put it on - or one Sanborn.
                         
          Sanborn kneels down and guides Thompson's feet into the
          suit's black boots, then lashes up a series of Velcro straps
          to secure the armor, like a squire working on a knight.
                         
          A strap near the crotch prompts Thompson to wisecrack:
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                    Watch it.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (SMILING)
                    I thought you already had your
                    children, Sergeant.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Need to keep my options open.
                         
          Thompson twists to get his chest protector on. Eyes tight,
          brow furrowed, squints into the far distance. That's going
          to be a mean motherfucker.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                    Okay. I'm going to make my
                    approach. This area looks okay. No
                    power-lines. Clean line of sight.
                    If it looks alright when I get down
                    there, I'm going to plug it in and
                    we'll just blow it. Boom -- no more
                    bomb -- give these people something
                    to think about.
                                             (MORE)
                                                                                       7
                         
                                                 THOMPSON (CONT'D)
                        I want them to know if they're
                        going to leave a bomb on the side
                        of the road for us, we're going to
                        blow up their little road. Leave
                        them a crater and an ear ache.
                         
          Sanborn and Thompson put in their earplugs.
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                        Ready?
                         
          Thompson nods.
                         
                                                 THOMPSON
                        I'm craving a hamburger, is that
                        strange?
                         
          Next, Sanborn takes a metal helmet with a thick glass front
          and seals Thompson's face in. Sanborn attaches the breathing
          hose. Taps his boss on the shoulder.
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                        Not for you. (sealing him in)
                        Happy trails.
                         
                                                 THOMPSON
                                           (HEADSET)
                        This is Blaster One.
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                                           (INTO WALKIE)
                        Copy, that. Blaster One. You're
                        good to go.
                         
          Thompson turns to face the white bag and begins his walk
          toward it.
                         
                         
          EXT.   ROAD    DAY
                         
          Thompson's stride is slowed by the eighty-pound suit...He
          CLUNKS down the road. Dust clouding from his boots...
                         
          He moves past the same mounds of charred and rotting stuff,
          inner tubes, soda bottles, crumpled cans, steaming animal
          waste, and bits of fluttering plastic that the bot passed...
                         
          The question is not - do you see a white garbage bag? It's
          which of these bags is the BOMB?
                         
          Sweat slides down into his eyes.
                                                                                       8
                         
                         
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                                         (HEADSET)
                      200 meters. It's boiling in here.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Copy that. 200 meters.
                         
          The RASP of Thompson's BREATHING loud on Sanborn's walkie-
          talkie...
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          Thompson walks on.
                         
          A knot of flies floats in the air in front of his helmet.    He
          lifts an arm and they disappear.
                         
          The desert sun glints off a nearby car and momentarily
          bleaches his mask bright white.
                         
          A YOUNG GIRL with an INFANT BABY in her arms appears in a far
          off doorway, then withdraws out of sight.
                         
          He looks down, CAREFULLY watches his footfalls.   Garbage
          piled on top of garbage.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Eldridge and Sanborn are at the ready, scanning the area and
          watching Thompson.
                         
                                THOMPSON (0.S)
                                         (OVER WALKIE)
                      One hundred.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Copy, that. 100 meters out.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          Thompson: careful footfalls on sand.
                         
          Breathing. Heat.   Sun.   Sweat.   Flies.
                         
          Suddenly a DOG out of nowhere charges, BARKING ferociously.
                                                                                      9
                         
                         
                         
          Thompson is momentarily startled.    Then resumes his walking.
          The dog runs off.
                         
          Thompson blinks more sweat out of his eyes.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Twenty five.
                         
                         
          UPRANGE WITH SANBORN
                         
          Sanborn lifts the walkie.   Sweat in his eyes.   Wipes it away.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                    Copy twenty five. You're in the
                    kill zone.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Thanks for reminding me.
                         
          Eldridge nods.   Everything progressing nice and easy.
                         
                         
          DOWNRANGE WITH THOMPSON
                         
          Thompson is standing over the blasting cap.
                         
                                             THOMPSON
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Alright. I'm here. I'm gonna put it
                    in.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Copy that.
                         
          Thompson picks the blasting cap off the ground and looks up --
                         
          As distant THUMP of approaching chopper wash quickly becomes
          super loud in his ears.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Hold on. Bird coming in.
                         
                                              THOMPSON
                                       (HEADSET)
                    I hear it.
                         
          Thompson pulls the cap back out. He looks up to see the giant
          black shape passing over him.
                                                                                   10
                         
                         
                         
          [Note: we see now what Thompson is worried about: as it chops
          the air, a helicopter rotor produces static electricity. We
          see this electricity as a faint, nearly transparent rippling
          wave.]
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                                         (HEADSET)
                      Guy is trying to kill me.
                         
          The helicopter turns, and swings back around.
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                                         (HEADSET)
                      If he brings that electricity back
                      here, I'm going to put a bullet in
                      his tail.
                         
          The helicopter banks in the other direction, away from
          Thompson.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          A collective sigh of relief.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Jesus. (into walkie) I think he
                      figured out we were EOD. You're
                      good, Blaster One.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          Thompson inserts the cap back into the C4.
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                                         (HEADSET)
                      We're armed and ready to blow,
                      Blaster Mike.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (OVER WALKIE)
                      Copy that. You coming back?
                         
                                               THOMPSON
                                         (HEADSET)
                      Copy that, I'm on my way.
                         
          Thompson gets up. Looks around at the expanse of empty, still
          road under heavy guard.
                         
          The war has stopped for him -- and he knows it.
                                                                                   11
                         
                         
                         
          Thompson begins to walk back uprange, looking carefully at
          the ground around him.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge lower their rifles.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          Thompson carefully nudges a Coke can out of the way of his
          boots.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Eldridge turns away from Thompson and opens the HUMVEE trunk
          to stow the bot.
                         
          Sanborn swats a fly and takes a sip of water.
                         
          Eldridge loads the bot. Out of the corner of his eye he sees
          some movement in the butcher shop.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      Hey Sanborn --
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (TURNING)
                      Yeah?
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      Butcher shop - dude has a phone.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      He shouldn't be --
                         
          Eldridge is already moving towards the store.
                         
          Sanborn raises his gun and puts it on the store. The back of
          Eldridge moving in and out of his scope. He can't get a
          shot.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                          (shouting, waving his gun)
                      Hey - put that down--
                         
          The BUTCHER in a white apron nods and puts up his hand as if
          to say, `give me a minute.'
                                                                                   12
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         THOMPSON
                         
          --walking towards the Humvee away from the bomb. Lumbering
          steps.
                         
                                              THOMPSON
                                        (HEADSET)
                     50 meters. Why is Eldridge running?
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
                         --RUNNING HARD--
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Hey - put the phone down!
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          --bolting sideways trying to get Eldridge out of his line of
                         SIGHT--
                         
                                     SANBORN                         ELDRIDGE
             (shouting to Eldridge)        PUT THE PHONE DOWN!
          Burn him!
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
          --legs pumping, his thumb flicks the rifle safety--
                         
          The butcher smiles. Gives Eldridge the thumbs up sign. His
          other thumb is jamming a button on the phone.
                         
          Now Eldridge is panicked, shouting:
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     DROP THE PHONE!!!
                         
                         
                         THOMPSON
                         
          --starts to run.   Fear in his eyes.
                         
                         
                         BUTCHER
                         
          --smiles back at Eldridge--
                         
          MACRO: thumb on send button of the cell phone.
                                                                                    13
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         THOMPSON
                         
          --running full out now--
                         
                         BOOM ---
                         
          - Fireball blasts out from the bomb
                         
          -- flattening Thompson
                         
          -- Blood splatters the inside of his helmet.
                         
          -- thick cloud of particulate matter roils out in slow motion
                         
          -- hitting Eldridge and Sanborn -- turning them black.
                         
          With the roiling cloud we begin to float up and out over the
          entire city of Baghdad:
                         
          --we see intersections jammed with traffic; American Humvees
          and tanks idle next to red-and-white taxis, beat-up Opals,
          the military and civilian mixed up in one snarling line, all
          competing for space, advantage...
                         
          --we continue to rise until we take in the entire massive
          metropolis. Mosques and office towers ascend from a maze of
          dusty streets teeming with life despite two decades of war...
                         
          The roiling black cloud thins in a light breeze and we hard
                         CUT TO:
                         
                         BLACK
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT CAMP VICTORY   TRAILER   DAY
                         
          A shaft of afternoon sun creeps past a plywood-covered
          window, faintly lighting the interior of a narrow, low-
          ceilinged room.
                         
          In the dimness we see contours: desk, chair, a large locker,
          and the silhouette of a MAN moving a cot away from the
          window. On the cot is a small duffle bag.
                         
          We hear a knock from the outside.
                         
          The man moving the cot stops.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Yeah.
                                                                                      14
                         
                         
                         
                              SANBORN O.S.
                    Sergeant James?
                         
                                                JAMES
                    It's open.
                         
          The door opens and in the light we see Sanborn.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Sergeant James. (extending his
                    hand) J.T. Sanborn. Welcome to
                    Bravo Company and welcome to Camp
                    Victory.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Victory? I thought this was called
                    Camp Liberty.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (SHRUGS)
                    They changed it last week. Victory
                    sounds better.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    It's Will. Good to meet you J.T.
                         
          SERGEANT WILLIAM JAMES extends a hand. A former DELTA
          soldier is in his late twenties, good-looking, appealing
          face, solid build, one of the lucky ones. And yet, look
          closer. In the right light, there's an unusual depth to his
          expression, to his eyes and all-American face, as if he's
          guarding an inner chaos that could rush out at any time.
                         
          Right now, however, James is doing his best to act like a
          regular nice guy.
                         
          Sanborn looks around the empty room.   One duffle.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    So, is that all you brought from
                    Kabul?
                         
          James motions to the locker.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah. Here, give me a hand with
                    this.
                         
          Sanborn helps James move the locker against the wall.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    By the window.
                                                                                      15
                         
                         
                         
          They push the locker over the window, blocking the light.
          It's very dark in the room now.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    A mortar once hit near my trailer --
                    boom -- a two inch piece of frag
                    cut through the aluminum and flew
                    this far (gesturing with his hands)
                    over my head, past my balls and
                    landed in my computer hard-drive.
                    Where's the damn light?
                         
          Sanborn finds the switch in the corner. Then he comes back
          and taps the metal locker, testing its strength.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    This should stop any lateral
                    pieces.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah, I'm good unless it comes
                    through the roof (smiles) in which
                    case I'm gonna need a closed
                    casket.
                         
          Sanborn doesn't like the joke, tries to change gears.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    The accent -- you from Georgia?
                         
                                                JAMES
                    Tennessee.     Trailer park off I-5.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Oh, right. I'm from Vermont. You
                    know, "live free or die." Trees.
                    Snow. Maple syrup. Pot.
                         
          James gives him a polite smile.
                         
          Sanborn soldiers on:
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Well, if you need anything to get
                    squared away, just let me know.
                    Either myself or Owen -- Eldridge --
                    be happy to steer you in the right
                    direction for supplies, whatever.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Okay. (pause) Thanks.
                                                                                    16
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Anyway, the mess tent can be hard
                    to find the first time ... so ...
                    if you want ... we're going over
                    there now to grab chow ... come
                    along.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Thanks. But no.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    You want me to bring you back a
                    burger or something?
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (shaking his head)
                    Nah. I'm good.
                         
          James unzips his duffle and gets up to put his clothes on an
          overhead shelf. Sanborn watches him, then starts for the
          door. James turns to face Sanborn.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I'm sorry about Thompson, I heard
                    he was a good tech.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Yeah, he was. And he was a good
                    team leader too.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I know I can't fill his shoes, but
                    I'm here to try--
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Appreciate it.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    --but you know, if it's your time
                    it's your time. No man can change
                    that.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (PUZZLED)
                    Yeah, I guess that's true.
                                       (RECOVERING)
                    So, we roll at oh-six-hundred.
                         
          James smiles slightly as he contemplates the next day's
          mission.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Looking forward to it.
                                                                                      17
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT   TRAILER    MOMENTS LATER
                         
          Sanborn comes out and sees Eldridge, who has been waiting by
          the door.
                         
          They walk towards the mess tent. Sanborn is absorbed in
          thought. Eldridge doesn't want to interrupt.
                         
          After a moment.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                     So?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     A good `ole boy. You know, loves
                     the Army, blood runs green. Country
                     boy. Seems solid.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     I always liked southerners, for
                     some reason.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Then he's just your type.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Why is it always the gay jokes with
                     you. It's not even funny.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                         (growing serious, he
                          imitates James' accent)
                     It's your time it's your time.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                        (CONCERNED)
                     He said that?
                         
          Sanborn nods.
                         
                                                                               CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY     ELDRIDGE'S TRAILER   EARLY MORNING
                         
          The sand has completed its daily march across Eldridge's
          steps. His boots sweep a bit away as he steps outside in full
          battle gear, and kisses a photo of the Virgin Mary and slips
          it inside his helmet. He steps out into the bright morning
          sun.
                                                                                   18
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY     HUMVEE PARKING LOT
                         
          Sanborn is gearing up, strapping on a shitload of weapons and
          ammunition. Ready for anything.
                         
          Eldridge comes up.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       Where's the FNG?
                         
          [Note: FNG. Fucking New Guy.]
                         
                         
          EXT JAMES' TRAILER
                         
          Eldridge, surprised to see James is not outside ready to go,
          knocks on his door.
                         
          Beat.
                         
                                 JAMES (O.S.)
                       Yeah?
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       It's oh-six-hundred.
                         
          The door opens a crack, revealing James dressed in his
          skivvies and wrapped in a blanket, blinking awake.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Gimme a minute.
                         
          Before Eldridge can express the shock that's written all over
          his face, James has closed the door.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY
                         
          An American Humvee drives past a long line of parked tanks
          arranged in a neat rows, and gathering dust on all horizontal
          surfaces.
                         
                         
                         INT HUMVEE
                         
          Sanborn is behind the wheel, simultaneously driving and
          loading his rifle. James sits next to him in the passenger
          seat, loading his rifle and looking out the window. Eldridge
          is in the back seat.
                                                                                   19
                         
                         
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                         (looking out window)
                     Those Abrams have been parked ever
                     since I got here nine months ago,
                     and I ain't seen them move once.
                     They should put those on eBay.
                     Hey, J.T., how much you think one
                     of those would cost?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Ten million?
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Well I guess it makes sense.
                     Anybody comes alongside the Humvee,
                     we're dead. Anybody looks at you
                     funny, you're dead. Pretty much,
                     the bottom line, is if you're in
                     Iraq you're dead. How's a tank
                     going to stop that?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Gimme a break, Owen.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                        (SMILING)
                     Sorry. Just trying to scare the
                     new guy.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY/BAGHDAD OUTSKIRTS   MORNING
                         
          The Humvee moves out of the base and into the outskirts of
          the city. Heat and sand and little else.
                         
                         
                         INT   HUMVEE
                         
                                              JAMES
                     We had a few bombs up in Kabul too.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Sure, I bet you did. But you're
                     going to be real busy here, boss.
                         
          James smiles, settles back in the seat.
                         
                         
                         EXT   HUMVEE
                         
          The Humvee is now approaching a cluster of cars.
                                                                                      20
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         INT   HUMVEE
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Hey Owen -- watch the fucking road.
                         
          Eldridge moves up to the gunner's seat on top of the Humvee.
                         
                         
                         EXT   HUMVEE
                         
          Eldridge has a collection of rocks he keeps in the gunner's
          nest and now he throws one at the car in front of him. The
          passenger turns around.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Imshee -- Imshee !
                         
                                                                            CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD STREET   EARLY MORNING
                         
          The Humvee grinds to a stop on the outskirts of town. It's a
          place teeming with trash, with dwellings that look as beaten
          down as the people. The ghetto of the ghetto.
                         
          James is first out, Sanborn comes up behind him.
                         
          Eldridge climbs out of the turret.
                         
          They are now out in the open -- standing on Iraqi sand --
          where anything can happen.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                        (TO ELDRIDGE)
                     Clear here.
                         
          Eldridge nods and begins turning suspicious bits of plastic
          over with the tip of his boots.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Clear here.
                         
                                              JAMES
                         (looking around at the
                                         EMPTY STREET)
                     Where are the guys who called this
                     in?
                         
          James walks on. Sanborn and Eldridge exchange a glance `what
          the hell,' and follow him.
                                                                                   21
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Victory Main, Victory Main, this is
                    Blaster Mike. Interogative, Do you
                    have an updated poz for the link-
                    up? Has their position changed?
                         
          After a moment a scratchy voice over his walkie.
                         
                               DISPATCH O.S.
                                        (OVER WALKIE)
                    Blaster Mike, this is Victory Main.
                    Negative. Figures to follow. Three-
                    four-five-three is your grid. You
                    should have a visual on them right
                    now. They're waving an American
                                   FLAG
                         
          Sanborn keys his GPSw unit.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Negative, Main. No one in sight.
                         
                              DISPATCH O.S.
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Blaster Mike. You should have a
                    visual, waving a flag.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    (looking at empty space) Well,
                    that's were I am and I don't see
                    any guys in fatigues, and I sure as
                    hell don't see any American flag,
                    Over.
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge continue their slow walk down the
          street. An empty Humvee comes into view.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    They abandoned their vehicle?
                         
          James walks forward. Unconcerned. Takes out a cigarette and
          lights it. Sanborn's walkie comes to life.
                         
                              DISPATCH O.S.
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Roger, Blaster. I copied you the
                    first time.
                         
          James approaches the empty Humvee.
                                                                                   22
                         
                         
                         
          Stops. Turns to see a tiny American flag being waved in the
          window of a nearby building. James jogs over to the building,
          opens the door.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Hello boys --
                         
          Looking into a room full of SOLDIERS who are trying not to
          look afraid.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Yeah, thanks. Roger that.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO SOLDIERS)
                    Don't tell me the bomb is in there
                    with you.
                         
          A SERGEANT, slightly embarrassed, climbs out into the open
          and tries to act nonchalant.
                         
          He points down the block, which is a sea of trash and white
          plastic bags.
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                        (pointing far down the
                                        ROAD)
                    Down on that block, one of our
                    informants says there is an IED in
                    a white plastic bag.
                         
          James has heard enough and even though the Sergeant may have
          more to say --
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I'll get it.
                        (turning to Sanborn)
                    Break out the suit.
                        (turning back to the
                                        SERGEANT) )
                    Keep your guys back.
                         
          Sanborn is already unloading the robot.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    What about the bot?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Don't need it.
                                                                                      23
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (SURPRISED)
                    What? Aren't we going to send the
                    bot down to take a look?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Nah, I'm going to take care of it.
                         
          Sanborn shoots Eldridge a look. Is he an FNG or what?
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge kneeling before James, buckling on the
          suit.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I was thinking if we sent the bot
                    down first --
                         
          James ignores him.
                         
          As soon as he's enclosed in the suit, James moves quickly
          toward the rubble pile.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    He's a rowdy boy.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    He's reckless.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Somebody should tell the U.N. to
                    send the rice in clear plastic bags
                    so there's no place to hide the
                    IEDs. The insurgent would be like,
                    `Allah has forsaken me all the bags
                    are clear'.
                         
          [Note: IED Improvised Explosive Device. A homemade bomb. The
          number one weapon of the Iraqi insurgency.]
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (SMILING)
                    I've seen so much garbage I'm
                    starting to like the smell.
                         
                         JAMES
                                                                                      24
                         
                         
                         
          As he advances downrange, he passes a line of bushes and
          tosses an incendiary grenade at it, setting the foliage
          ablaze.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn looks on in confusion.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                                          (INTO WALKIE)
                       Blaster One, what are you doing?
                         
          No answer.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                                          (INTO WALKIE)
                       Blaster One, this is Blaster Mike,
                       what's with the fire on the side of
                       the road, over?
                         
          No answer. Sanborn and Eldridge struggle to get a visual.
          They dash to a better vantage point.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                                          (INTO WALKIE)
                       Hey James, can you hear me? What's
                       with the fire on the side of the
                       road, over?
                         
                         JAMES
                         
                         FINALLY:
                         
                                                JAMES
                                          (OVER HEADSET)
                       Creating a diversion.
                         
          Sanborn can barely see James through the flames and smoke.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          He climbs up on top of the Humvee to get a better look but
          gets only a partial view.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                                          (INTO WALKIE)
                       From what? Is there a threat?
                         
          Eldridge scans the area with his rifle, tense, trying to
          figure out how to behave.
                                                                                   25
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    Get up on that wall.
                         
          Eldridge hustles over to the wall, but can't manage to pull
          himself up with all his gear on, so dashes down to a mound of
          dirt, which gives him a leg up.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    James, I can't see you, over.
                         
          The last thing he expects is James' laconic reply:
                         
                               JAMES O.S.
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Copy that.
                         
          Sanborn shoots Eldridge a look - what the fuck.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    Tell me what you see, Specialist.
                         
          Eldridge, on the wall, feels awfully vulnerable and in the
          open. The wall is quite narrow. His feet are precariously
          balanced. His view of James is not much better
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    I see his back. He's walking
                    downrange. Oh, I lost him.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Eldridge, move down that wall and
                    maintain a visual. Move. Move.
                         
          Eldridge teetering down the wall.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Roger, roger. I'm on him. He's
                    still walking.
                         
          SOUND of BREATHING in Sanborn's walkie.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    James, the smoke is killing my
                    visibility. Where are you in
                    relation to the IED? Are you 100
                    meters, yet?
                                                                                      26
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Hell, I don't know. I'll let you
                    know when I'm standing over it.
                         
          We see the world from James' point of view now, the city of
          Baghdad has taken on an intense and dreamy hue, as if we're
          in some sort of fugue state:
                         
          --He looks down the strange, threatening Iraqi street.
                         
          He walks on. The suit is heavy, little puffs of sand with
          each footfall. The sun beats down.
                         
          James nears an intersection guarded on either side by a
          Humvee and several SOLDIERS, when...
                         
                         
                         INTERSECTION
                         
          Suddenly a red-and-white TAXI swerves past the SOLDIERS on
          the left side of the intersection. The soldiers take cover
          and shout contradictory commands - Get Down Motherfucker!
          Don't Move! Back up! Out of the vehicle!
                         
          The TAXI BRAKES in front of James.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge can hear the shouting but the lingering
          smoke still obscures their sight.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                                   JAMES --
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                         (shouting to Sanborn)
                    Car! Car! A car stopped in front of
                    him.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          James' HEADSET WALKIE barks to life:
                         
                               SANBORN O.S.
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Come back.
                                                                                      27
                         
                         
                         
          James pulls a pistol from his holster, and --
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    I got it.
                         
          -- shoots two rounds into the dirt, near the car's front
          tire.
                         
                         DRIVER'S FACE
                         
          Impossible to read. Is he a taxi driver annoyed by the
          roadblock, or an insurgent fighter getting ready to blow a
          suicide bomb?
                         
                         
          ONE OF THE ARMY SOLDIERS
                         
          With field glasses on the intersection he speaks into the
          walkie.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    EOD has a nine on this Haji in the
                    car. I'm going to get two guys
                    over there to back him up.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          Still can't see clearly. Processing this information.   Turns
          to Eldridge.
                         
          Eldridge using his rifle scope as well - shakes his head.    No
          visual.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                        (into walkie to soldier)
                    Negative, negative. You're too
                    close to the IED--
                                       (HESITATING)
                    Stand down. EOD has the situation
                    under control.
                         
          Sweat on his forehead.
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Now aiming at the windshield. But the driver is impassive.
                                                                                      28
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Eldridge looks through his rifle scope.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                        (shouting to Sanborn)
                    We're in a kill zone!
                         
                         
                         INTERSECTION
                         
          James fires, shattering the windshield. But the car doesn't
          budge.
                         
          James is pissed. He lunges through the windshield and jams
          his gun into the driver's forehead.
                         
                         SOLDIER
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Three or four rounds fired. The
                    nine is now pressing into the
                    Haji's forehead.
                         
                         INTERSECTION
                         
          The gun digs into the driver's forehead. Beat. The driver
          shifts into reverse.
                         
          He rolls back to the soldiers, who then rush the car, yank
          the driver out, and deliver a savage beating as James looks
          on.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (chuckling into his
                                        HEADSET)
                    If he wasn't an insurgent he sure
                    as hell is now.
                         
          And he resumes his walk towards the white garbage bag and the
          rubble pile, noting possible threats -- a MAN in a window
          down the road.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                              SANBORN
                        (coolly, into walkie)
                    Copy that.
                                              (MORE)
                                                                                    29
                         
                                             SANBORN (CONT'D)
                    But I have no idea what you're
                    talking about, Blaster One, since I
                    can't see you. Over.
                         
                              JAMES O.S.
                                       (HEADSET)
                    I'll tell you later. James out.
                         
                         
          PILE OF RUBBLE
                         
          One of a million in this city. James draws near. Two wires
          protrude from the mess.
                         
          Moving quickly, he deftly removes rubble and trash to expose
          the wires and the artillery shells they are attached to --
          sees out of his peripheral vision the MAN in the window --
          reaches for his pistol -- but the man disappears from view --
          he then goes back to work, with swift sure hands. He loves
          this, loves being close to oblivion.
                         
          The wires are exposed. He cuts one. Then flips the artillery
          rounds over and cuts the other wire.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    We're done.
                         
          He stands and uses his big boot to clear more rubble. A
          banana peel is pushed away, revealing:
                         
          Another wire snaking out of the ground.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Secondary!
                         
          James spins to look uprange. Sees Sanborn motioning for the
          men to get down.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    Off the wall, Owen!
                                       (TO SOLDIERS)
                    Get behind something. Find cover.
                         
          Soldiers scrambling to find concrete to hide behind.
                         
                         JAMES
                                                                                      30
                         
                         
                         
          James YANKS the wire out of the dirt but it turns out to be
          buried like a root, and the more he rips the more the wire is
          revealed. He rips and rips, going back ten feet.
                         
          ---The wire is stuck in the ground, and it will not come out
          anymore. James digs with a knife -- FURIOUSLY moving earth --
          until he reaches a third artillery shell, which he pulls out
          of the ground.
                         
          --CU knife blade inside the shell --
                         
          --CU James' helmet - glass clouding over from condensation --
          losing visibility.
                         
          --ECU blasting cap --
                         
          --ECU knife tip separates the wire...
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          UPRANGE   MOMENTS LATER
                         
          James strides uprange. Eldridge isn't sure what to make of
          James. Sanborn is, but not ready to show it.
                         
                                              JAMES
                         (gulping air as the helmet
                                         IS REMOVED)
                     Did you see that guy?
                         (smiles, recovers his
                                         MACHO)
                     Man, I need a beer.
                         
          Sanborn begins the bomb suit removal ritual - unstrapping
          Velcro.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     We can arrange that.
                         
          He yanks at the strap - a little roughly.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     What do you like?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Colt.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Nice southern brand.
                         
          Yanks at another strap.
                                                                                     31
                         
                         
                         
          James looks down, the tone of Sanborn's voice and the force
          of the strap gets his attention.
                         
          Eldridge picks up the pieces of the suit and places them into
          the Humvee. Listening to this exchange.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       I'd take a beer.
                         
                                                JAMES
                                          (SMILING)
                       Hey, that wasn't too bad, for our
                       first time working together.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       I think working together is I talk
                       to you. And you talk to me.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Are we going on a date, J.T.?
                         
          Sanborn stands, removing the last piece of the suit.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       No, we're going on a mission. And
                       it's my job to keep you safe, so we
                       can keep going on missions.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Hey, this is combat.
                         
          With that James walks to the Humvee and gets inside.
                         
          Sanborn closes the trunk, hard, startling Eldridge.    Eldridge
          comes close, speaking out of James' earshot.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       It's just thirty nine days.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       Thirty eight. Assuming we survive
                       today.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       Tick-tock. Tick-tock.
                         
                         
                         INT HUMVEE
                         
          James is in the passenger seat, waiting impatiently. Sanborn
          and Eldridge get in.
                                                                                   32
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I don't mean to mix it up. But the
                    situation dictated it.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (COOLLY)
                    Roger that.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I'm serious. We're gonna work
                    together. You'll get used to my ops
                    tempo.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Your ops tempo?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I don't always stop to chat, and I
                    like to go fast. You know, so the
                    insurgents don't have time to plan.
                    I don't want them make any cell
                    phone calls.
                         
          Off Sanborn's face.
                         
                         
          INT. CAMP VICTORY    MESS TENT   DAY
                         
          Eldridge and Sanborn chowing down - two guys among a sea of
          SOLDIERS. Behind them in the mess tent hang the signs of
          various fast-food restaurants that cater to the troops: PIZZA
          HUT, SUBWAY, BURGER KING.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                    Ketchup?
                         
          Eldridge passes his ketchup over to Sanborn.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                    This is not Pizza Hut.
                        (removing a slice of
                                        PEPPERONI)
                    And this is not pepperoni. It's
                    round and meaty, but it ain't
                    pepperoni.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Goat meat, probably.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Goat meat pepperoni? I'd be glad if
                    this was goat meat pepperoni.
                                             (MORE)
                                                                                   33
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE (CONT'D)
                    I'd eat a truckload of goat meat
                    pepperoni. No, this is something
                    else. (slapping the fake pepperoni
                    on the table) This is unholy.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Pray for something better -- and
                    while you're at it, pray for a new
                    team leader.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    You sure you want to be the guy in
                    the bomb suit?
                         
          They see James at a food station.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Be better than him.
                         
          James approaches the table.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Hey, James.
                         
          James sits down to an awkward silence. Eldridge stops eating.
          Considers him.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                       (TO JAMES)
                    That was some crazy shit you pulled
                    out there.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah?
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Hell yeah. You're either really
                    lucky or really good. Right up on
                    the car like that. Gun to the head.
                    Crazy. You know it might backfire
                    on you someday. You know that. You
                    might actually die. And then what?
                         
          James is puzzled.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I don't know, what?
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    You don't meet your maker. You just
                    get vaporized into little bits of
                    DNA.
                                                                                      34
                         
                         
                         
          Sanborn watches Eldridge closely. Is he referring to
          Thompson?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                         (trying to be helpful)
                     He asks everyone what they think
                     about death. Ever since Thompson
                     was KIA.
                         
          James nods, turns to Eldridge:
                         
                                              JAMES
                     I don't think about it. Waste of
                     time.
                         
          James goes back to eating.     Eldridge keeps looking at him,
          then lets it go.
                         
                         
          EXT. CAMP VICTORY   MESS TENT   DAY
                         
          Midday in Iraq. The heat is oppressive, biblical.
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge emerge into the blazing sun and
          the tumult of the base. Trucks barrel by. And troops --
          everywhere, troops.
                         
          James stops in front of young Iraqi KID selling pirated DVDs,
          while Sanborn and Eldridge continue on to the head shed. The
          kid, whose name is PELE, has DVDs fanned on a table.
                         
                                              PELE
                     One for five, two for nine.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (HAVING FUN)
                     Three for twelve?
                         
                                              PELE
                     Three for thirteen. And for you, no
                     tax.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     (laughing, fishes out a five) Keep
                     the change.
                         
                         
          EXT   HEAD SHED   PORCH
                         
          Sanborn is smoking a cigarette and watching James buy DVDs,
          weighing him, when the team's FIRST SERGEANT, stocky with a
          paternal way about him, holds out a white envelope to
          Sanborn.
                                                                                   35
                         
                         
                         
                                              FIRST SERGEANT
                     The tags finally came. Figured
                     you'd want to be the one to take
                     them over.(handing Sanborn the
                                    ENVELOPE)
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Thanks, I will handle it.
                         
          The Sergeant nods. Sanborn stuffs the envelope in his back
          pocket. And the Sergeant heads inside, walking past --
                         
                         
          INT   HEAD SHED   SIDE OFFICE
                         
          A small office space with the door opened a crack. Behind the
          door, Eldridge is sitting on a swivel chair, looking at a
          computer screen, playing a computer game. Next to him in
          another swivel chair is LT. COL. JOHN CAMBRIDGE, a MILITARY
          PSYCHIATRIST, who is looking at Eldridge and the screen.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                         (singing the jingle)
                     "Be all that you can be," right?
                     But what if all I can be is dead on
                     the side of an Iraqi road?
                         
                               LT. COL CAMBRIDGE
                     I'd like to see you move past this
                     feeling that you're going to die,
                     Owen.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                         (looking at the screen)
                     Why? I think it's logical. This is
                     a war, right Doc? People die all
                     the time. Why not me?
                         
                               LT. COL CAMBRIDGE
                     That's true. But what concerns me
                     is how much you think about it. You
                     have to change the record in your
                     head, think about other things.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     What do you think about?
                         
                               LT. COL CAMBRIDGE
                     I don't dwell on death.(looking at
                     his watch) I don't obsess. You
                     understand what I'm getting at?
                         
          Eldridge looks up at last.
                                                                                       36
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY JAMES' TRAILER    NIGHT
                         
          James stands before the open door of his trailer with the
          satellite phone in hand. Overhead a canopy of stars blinks.
                         
          Through the earpiece of the phone the faint but unmistakable
          BEEP of an answering machine.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO PHONE)
                    Hey, guess you're out...wherever
                    you are you're probably wearing
                    those tight jeans, damn those look
                    good... Anyway, Baghdad's alright,
                    guys are a little uptight down
                    here, but then they just lost a
                    brother so I understand...
                    uh...(looking up at the
                    stars)...really beautiful night,
                    wish you could see these
                    stars...miss you...bye...
                         
          He disconnects.    Sits in the darkness.   Distant WASH of
          engine noise.
                         
                         
          INT CAMP VICTORY   SHOWER STALLS   NEXT MORNING
                         
          Sanborn is shaving in a mirror, otherwise dressed for combat
          and ready to go, when James shuffles in wearing a T-shirt and
          boxer shorts, looking like he just woke up.
                         
          Sanborn can't believe James is this relaxed.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                    Hey.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    Hey.
                         
          James starts to brush his teeth.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I gotta talk to you about something
                    before we roll out.
                         
          James keeps brushing.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    Shoot.
                                                                                   37
                         
                         
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       Yesterday -- that was not cool.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       I know. We'll get it.
                         
          More tooth brushing. Face cleaning.
                         
          James notices a tatoo on Sanborn's forearm.
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                       I was in Military Intel for seven
                       years. Before EOD. We ran combat
                       missions in every shit hole on the
                                      PLANET
                            (beat, smile on his face)
                       So I'm pretty sure I can figure out
                       a dumb trailer park redneck like
                       you.
                         
                                                JAMES
                           (spitting out water,
                                           SMILES BACK)
                       Looks like you're on the right
                       track.
                         
                         
          INT HUMVEE    SOMEWHERE IN BAGHDAD   MORNING
                         
          Sanborn drives. James in the passenger seat. Eldridge is in
          the gunner's turret. They ride in silence, each man alone
          with his thoughts.
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 37
                         
                         
          EXT ROAD BEHIND BRITISH EMBASSY      DAY
                         
          A faded blue Opal sits by a high wall laced with concertina
          wire. It's at the end of a narrow cul de sac which backs onto
          the embassy.
                         
          The narrow cul de sac dog-legs into another street. At the
          entrance to the cul de sac, there is a phalanx of SOLDIERS
          and our EOD techs.
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge are unloading the robot from the Humvee.
                         
          Other soldiers are evacuating OFFICE WORKERS from the
          embassy.
                                                                                      38
                         
                         
                         
          James seems frustrated with the situation - frowning into the
          face of the SERGEANT in charge.
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                     An office worker called it in. The
                     car doesn't belong to anyone who
                     works at the building. It's been
                     parked there for an hour. No
                     license plate and the suspension is
                     sagging, so there's something heavy
                     in the trunk -- three or four
                     hundred pounds. Could be a bomb.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Did you evacuate?
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                     We're trying. But the English
                     Ambassador said we're supposed to
                     guarantee his safety.
                         
          Sanborn approaches, lap top in hand.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Bot is ready.
                         
                         
          EXT   ROAD BEHIND EMBASSY
                         
          A WOMAN in a Bhurka on a motorcycle rides past the Soldiers
          and towards the Opal --
                         
                                              SOLDIER 1
                         (raising his rifle)
                     Shit -- What do you want me to do?
                         
                                                 SOLDIER 2
                     Shoot her.
                         
                                              SOLDIER 1
                     We can't shoot her for riding a
                     bike...
                         
          -- CU the motorcyclist's hands, holding a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL.
          It's hidden from view of the soldiers.
                         
          -- She rolls the cocktail under the car and darts down an
                         ALLEY
                         
          The car BURSTS into flames, and the scene breaks into --
                         
                         PANDEMONIUM --
                                                                                    39
                         
                         
                         
          -- Eldridge frantically straps James into the suit, as the
          car burns.
                         
          -- James takes off his sunglasses, cleans them, calmly.
                         
          -- Sanborn runs to the truck and returns with a fire
          extinguisher, which he hands to James.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Eldridge - I want you in that
                    window - keep the alley clear.
                    Sanborn, cover it from the street.
                         
          Sanborn looks at the alley: not a happy place. Eldridge takes
          off towards the Embassy entrance.
                         
                         
          INT. AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE
                         
          AMBASSADOR SIR AUCKLAND GEDDES, the epitome of the old style
          of British foreign service: elegant, self assured, a
          gentleman adventurer in Seville Row, hoping to improve the
          world, certain he'll profit in the attempt.
                         
          He's holding court with a group of EXECUTIVES. The executives
          are seated around a conference table under the Ambassador's
          sway. There's a model of a British Petroleum gas
          station/convenience store, in English and Arabic, in the
          center of the table.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    ...So in sixteen months time I
                    believe five million gallons per
                    day is in fact rather conservative.
                         
          SOUNDS out the window. An Executive turns his head nervously.
                         
                                             EXECUTIVE
                    But security is still the big
                    variable?
                         
          The Ambassador brushes his hand in dismissal.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    Only on the margins.
                                       (SMILING)
                    Everyday, the risks diminish and
                    the rewards multiply--
                         
          Eldridge enters.
                                                                                    40
                         
                         
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    Ah, and here is EOD. You see
                    gentlemen, everything is fine. The
                    site is secure. The bomb -- if
                    there even is one -- will easily be
                    dispensed by the crack American
                    team.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                    Excuse me.
                         
          Eldridge rushes over to the window to see the street.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Blaster Mike, I'm at the window.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          He's stationed himself near the mouth of the alley.   Wisps of
          smoke and flames in the air.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Copy that. How's the fire look from
                    up there.
                         
                         
                         AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Flames a meter high, over.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Close to the burning car. SMOKE rising from the hood and the
          under carriage awash in FLAMES, like a sleeping dragon.
                         
          James sprays the fire-extinguisher and the fire subsides. He
          inspects the interior - looks normal enough - and tries to
          open the trunk with a pair of pliers, but the handle doesn't
          give and snaps off under his effort. He kicks the trunk but
          it remains shut. He turns and lumbers up range, jaw set.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          Watching James walk back uprange.
                                                                                   41
                         
                         
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Blaster One, what is going on?
                         
                                JAMES O.S.
                                         (HEADSET)
                      Stay put, I'll be right back.
                         
          Standing alone in the kill zone at the mouth of the alley.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                                         (OVER WALKIE)
                      What's happening?
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Good question. But I'm not liking
                      it.
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          James is buried inside the Humvee, searching. He tosses what
          he doesn't need, and a succession of items comes flying out --
          food, clothing, a tarp. Now James walks back towards the Blue
          Opal without saying a word. In his hand is a crowbar.
                         
                         
                         BLUE OPAL
                         
          James winds up and swings hard at the door. Wham! Nope. Wham!
          Wham! Wham!
                         
          He drops the crowbar and tries the trunk. Presto, it opens,
          revealing: a trunk overflowing with EXPLOSIVES -- ten times
          what we've seen before. James is taken aback.
                         
                                                JAMES
                                          (HEADSET)
                      We're all in the kill zone on this
                      one.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          Sanborn stares at James and the car. Great.
                                                                                   42
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Now inside the car, slipping on the slimy seats, he cuts the
          seat cushions with his knife, and rips out the foam
          upholstery, and finds more bad news buried underneath: SIX
          ARTILLERY SHELLS and a WIRE that leads to the floorboard and
          goes under the carpeting.
                         
          James DIVES to the wire and cuts it, then rips open the
          carpet to reveal more wire -- and follows the wire through
          the car, ripping apart the car PIECE by PIECE, cutting wire
          as he goes.
                         
                         
                         AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE
                         
          An executive gets up to look out the window.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (TO EXECUTIVE)
                    Sir, I'm going to need you to stay
                    away from the window.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    Yes, please, sit down. It's safe.
                         
                                             EXECUTIVE
                    Why is he here, if it's safe?
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    He is just an observer.
                         
                                             EXECUTIVE
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    Is that true, we're safe here?
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (DISTRACTED)
                    In my opinion, no.
                         
          Executives take this as a cue to leave. Getting up, shuffling
          out of the room. The Ambassador is furious at Eldridge,
          advancing on him.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    This is idiotic. Why not tow the
                    vehicle away from the building?
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    I believe the lane is too narrow
                    for a Humvee, Sir.
                                                                            43
                         
                         
                         
                                              AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    Donkeys.   Use donkeys.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    I don't believe we have any of
                    those on hand, Sir.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    Jesus, Lord. You Americans really
                    are incompetent. No donkeys on
                    hand? What do you think I'm
                    talking about, a full squadron of
                    farm animals?
                         
          Eldridge trying to stay on task.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                   SIR--
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                        (cutting him off)
                    Go downstairs, grab a farmer or one
                    of those street vendors and procure
                    - meaning purchase, buy - several
                    donkeys. Then tow this car bomb
                    away from my office.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (STEELING HIMSELF)
                    Sir, I'm going to need you to step
                    away from the window.
                         
          Geddes looks out the window at the burning car.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          His walkie barks to life.
                         
                              JAMES O.S.
                        (over Sanborn's walkie)
                    Lot of pink Det cord here.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO TALKIE)
                    Where's the switch?
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Not in the back seat.
                                                                                   44
                         
                         
                         
          James is now in the front seat, tearing up the upholstery.
                         
                                             JAMES CONT'D
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Not in the front seat. Doors. Dash.
                         
          A WISP of smoke curls out of the heating vents. James doesn't
          notice.
                         
                              SANBORN O.S.
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    If you haven't found it yet, it's
                    probably under the car.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    None of the cord goes under. It's
                    up here -- somewhere.
                         
                              SANBORN O.S.
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    Try the weather-stripping.
                         
          James rips off a chunk of weather stripping. Just bare metal.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    It's been thirty seconds. You need
                    to bail.
                         
                              JAMES O.S.
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    I can find it.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          He crawls to the back seat, slipping on the foam and slime.
          More smoke escapes from the vents.
                         
                              SANBORN O.S.
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    James, seriously, you need to bail.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Roger that. Be right out.
                         
          James retraces what's left of the wire, yet again, ignoring
          Sanborn. He sits back in the seat, strangely relaxed.
                                                                                      45
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. ALLEY
                         
          A shadow comes into Sanborn's sight. It's an IRAQI on a
          bicycle, riding straight towards him.
                         
                                 ELDRIDGE O.S.
                                          (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                       Incoming.
                         
          Sanborn raises his rifle. The man peddles on, waving his
          hand.
                         
                                                BICYCLIST
                                          (IN ARABIC)
                       Where is the entrance to this
                       building?
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       Imshee! Imshee!
                         
          The bicyclist looks at the car.
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
          Trains his scope on the head of the bicyclist.
                         
                                                 ELDRIDGE
                                           (INTO WALKIE)
                       I'm going to burn him on three.
                       One.
                         
          Geddes just looks at the big man at the window.
                         
                                                AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                       Oh, that's rich. Give him a count.
                         
          Through Eldridge's scope the bicyclist grows.     He flicks off
          his safety.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                                          (INTO WALKIE)
                       Blaster Mike, do you copy?
                                          (TO HIMSELF) )
                       Please don't make me kill you.
                         
                                                AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                       Been in combat very long?
                                                                                   46
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                              SANBORN
                        (into walkie to Eldridge)
                    Copy that.
                                       (TO JAMES)
                    James, you need to get out. There's
                    another potential bomber here.
                         
                         
          BACK TO JAMES
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO SANBORN)
                    So shoot him.
                         
                         
          BACK TO SANBORN
                         
                                             BICYCLIST
                                       (IN ARABIC)
                    I need to make a delivery down
                    there. Please let me through.
                         
                         
                         AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE
                         
                              ELDRIDGE O.S.
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Two!!
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Negative, Negative. Hold your fire.
                        (shouting at bicyclist)
                    Get the fuck out of here!
                         
          The bicyclist does an about face, but not before casting a
          last suspicious glance back at the car bomb.
                         
          Sanborn refocuses on the Opal; he's losing his cool.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Blaster One, do you copy, over?
                                                                                     47
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Still sitting in the back seat. Now he sees the smoking vent.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (HEADSET)
                     Gimmie a minute.
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
          Eyes never leaving the street below, flicks the safety of his
          rifle back on.
                         
          Geddes notices the sweat on Eldridge's face, and feels a
          sudden surge of sympathy for the younger man.
                         
                                                 AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                     Well done.     That took great self
                     control.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Thank you, sir. Again, I apologize
                     for the intrusion into --
                         
                                              AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                     Yes, but I doubt the insurgents
                     will appreciate your restraint.
                     (in a kindly, paternal tone)
                     If I may give you a piece of free
                     advice, next time, pull the
                     trigger.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Well, actually, the uh--rules --
                         
                                              AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                     That's the only way out, I'm
                     afraid. When you're in a losing
                     battle, you have to draw blood. No
                     insurgency in modern history has
                     ever been truly defeated, so all
                     you can do is manage your exit.
                     Clear a wide swath of bodies so you
                     have room to withdraw.
                         
          Suddenly the office door opens and a YOUNG AIDE appears.
                         
                                              AIDE
                     The building is empty, Sir, except
                     for you.
                                                                                      48
                         
                         
                         
          Geddes nods, grabs his coat and moves to Eldridge for one
          last jab.
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                    I'm sorry to say it, but that's
                    just how it's done. You need to
                    show some vigor. In Kenya, we
                    executed the insurgents in their
                    beds, until they gave us room.
                    Falklands, the same. That's just
                    how it's done.
                         
          Eldridge looks up, he's had enough.   Swings around.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Is that how you did it in Northern
                    Ireland? With murder?
                         
                                             AMBASSADOR GEDDES
                                       (SMILING)
                    There you are. Now you're showing
                    some vigor.
                         
          And leaves.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    J.T, the building is clear now. We
                    can pull out.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Roger that. (to James) Will, we can
                    pull out. The building is
                    evacuated.
                                       (NO ANSWER)
                    James?
                         
          Still no answer.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Blaster One, we are cleared to
                    leave this fucking site. Walk away.
                    Do you copy, over?
                                                                                   49
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
                                               JAMES
                                         (HEADSET)
                      Stay where you are, Sanborn. I'm
                      not done.
                         
          And with that, James turns off his walkie.      CLICK.
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      J.T., are we moving?
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Negative. Negative.
                         
                                ELDRIDGE O.S.
                                         (OVER TALKIE)
                      I didn't copy that. Did you say
                      negative?
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Roger. We are staying until James
                      is finished.
                                         (NERVOUSLY)
                      James, what's the situation?
                                         (NO ANSWER)
                      Goddamn, Will, I need a report.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          James' POV. He sees in the corner of the back seat, having
          just wiped away a puddle of fire retardant, a little black
          box, with a wire leading out of it. He grabs the box.
                         
                                               JAMES
                      Got it.
                         
                         
                         BLUE OPAL
                         
          The black box goes flying out of the car.
                                                                                     50
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT   MOUTH OF CUL DE SAC
                         
          Sanborn is furious, stalking ahead of James as they return
          uprange.
                         
          Sanborn passes Eldridge, who has come down from the
          ambassador's office.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Take the suit.
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          James' face looks flushed, red, sweat dripping. Eldridge
          begins ripping apart the Velcro from James' legs.
                         
                         
                         MOMENTS LATER
                         
          James sits in the car, smoking.
                         
          Sanborn leans into the window.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Hey, James.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Yeah?
                         
          Sanborn JABS him in the jaw, knocking the cigarette out.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Don't you turn off your walkie
                     again.
                         
          Sanborn stalks off and James explodes out of the car.
                         
          He crouches down -- searching the floor of the Humvee. Sees
          his cigarette, damaged and dirty on the mucky floor, but
          still burning. He extracts it and carefully cleans it off,
          then jumps on the hood of the Humvee and goes back to his
          smoke. He's calm as can be. The Marlboro man.
                         
          As he puffs away, watching Sanborn converse with a group of
          SOLDIERS, a JEEP drives up.
                         
          COLONEL REED jumps out wearing a uniform covered in army
          bling - medals he won a long time ago, before he traveled up
          the food chain. An AIDE trots along beside him.
                                                                                    51
                         
                         
                         
                                               COLONEL REED
                    Hi boys.
                         
          James turns around.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                       (UNCHARACTERISTICALLY
                                        AWED)
                    Hello, sir.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                        (points to James)
                    That you in the bomb suit?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yes, sir, it was.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                        (reading his name tag)
                    You were the guy in the flaming
                    car, Sergeant James?
                         
          James is concerned.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    Yes, sir.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Well hot damn, that was some hot
                    shit. You're a wild man, you know
                    that?
                         
          The Colonel spins his head around to Eldridge.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    He's a wild man, you know that?
                        (back to James)
                    Let me shake your hand.
                         
          Extending his meaty paw.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Thank you, sir.
                         
          Slapping him on the back.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    How many bombs have you disarmed,
                    Sergeant?
                         
          James seems slightly self-conscious.   Eldridge listens in.
                                                                                   52
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Hell, I'm not sure.    A lot.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Sergeant, I asked you a question.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    One seven three.   Counting today,
                    Sir.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Holy shit. One hundred and seventy
                    fucking three bombs. God damn. That
                    must be a record. So tell me,
                    what's the best way to go about
                    disarming one of these things?
                         
          James doesn't answer as he looks at the black box. Finally:
                         
                                             JAMES
                    The way you don't die.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                                       (LAUGHING)
                    Good one, spoken like a wild man.
                                       (LOOKING AROUND)
                    I'd like a picture with this man -
                    anybody here have a camera?
                         
          A nearby soldier holds a digital camera up to his eye.
          Colonel Reed smiles big, arm draped around James's shoulders.
          SNAP.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Thanks, sir, thank you very much.
                    Sir, couldn't do it without my team
                    (looking around for Sanborn) Hey,
                    Sanborn! Get over here!
                         
          Sanborn trots over, glowering.
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (to Col. Reed)
                    This here is Sergeant Sanborn, the
                    key to the whole team.
                        (rubbing it in)
                    And Specialist Eldridge.
                         
          Colonel Reed extends his hand. Sanborn is shocked.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    You guys should all get Bronze
                    stars and I'm gonna recommend it.
                                                                                     53
                         
                         
                         
                                     JAMES                          ELDRIDGE
          Thank you, Sir.                 Thank you, Sir.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Thanks, Sir.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Good luck, boys. Keep on keeping
                    on.
                         
                         
          FEW FEET AWAY
                         
          Out of earshot Colonel Reed addresses his aide.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    You wouldn't catch me walking down
                    on no fuckin' bomb. Hell no,
                    you're not gonna get me in that
                    monkey suit.
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          James sits in the front with his IPOD earphones on.   Lost to
          the world.
                         
          Eldridge starts to climb into the turret.    Before he does he
          speaks softly to Sanborn.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Bronze star?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I don't care, (not caring that
                    James may overhear) the guy is not
                    safe. You can have mine and I'll
                    pin it on your coffin.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    So you do think I'm going to die.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Fuck, Owen. I don't know. Probably
                    not.
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                                                                                     54
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY   WEAPONS DISCHARGE STATION   AFTERNOON
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge are discharging their weapons,
          dry firing them into steel drums. Clicking of ammunition.
          Long shadows.
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY   FIRST SERGEANT'S TRAILER    AFTERNOON
                         
          James steps out, grabs a smoke, as a soccer ball rolls beside
          him. It's Pele's. Inviting James to play.
                         
                                             PELE
                                       (SHOUTING)
                    Ball! Ball!
                         
          James picks it up, and carries it over to a pile of sandbags
          and sits down. Pele runs up.
                         
                                              PELE
                    Give it.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Give me my five bucks and I'll give
                    you your ball.
                         
                                             PELE
                    Five dollars - for what?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Those DVDs were crap. They were so
                    fuzzy I couldn't see a thing.
                         
                                             PELE
                    No, impossible.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I'm telling you, they were fuzzy.
                         
                                             PELE
                    That's Hollywood, my man. Special
                    effects.
                         
          The boy's chutzpa amuses James. He's starting to like this
          kid.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    What's your name anyway?
                         
                                              PELE
                    Pele.
                                                                                       55
                         
                         
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Oh yeah - like the soccer player?
                         
                                              PELE
                     Yes, the great Pele
                         
          James gets up. Motions for the kid to give him space.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Ready? One, two --
                         
          He smashes the ball in Pele's direction -- it flies up. Pele
          blocks it easily, kicking high in the air.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     -- three. Shit.
                         
          Pele comes back over to James, who has sat back down.   He
          notices the bomb patch on James' uniform.
                         
                                              PELE
                         (pointing to the patch)
                     So you are EOD -- boomala boomala.
                     It's fun, no?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     I like to disarm them. Tell   you
                     what, kid, I'll buy another   DVD
                     from you but if this one is   fuzzy
                     you better watch out. Cause   I'm
                     coming for you.
                         
                         
          INT   CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT    DAY
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge eat together. In the corner of the room,
          James is eating alone in a sea of soldiers.
                         
                         
          INT CAMP VICTORY   HEAD SHED
                         
          Eldridge and the psychiatrist are back in session.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                        (LEANING FORWARD)
                     What if I should be pulling the
                     trigger more often? Killing people?
                     Bomb makers.
                         
                               LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE
                     That's not your mission. Your
                     mission is to protect life. Render
                     safe.
                                                                                     56
                         
                         
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    But what if I need to change the
                    mission - to survive? That
                    bicyclist I told you about? I'm
                    ninety percent sure he was an
                    insurgent. I could have shot him.
                    Not my mission. But it would have
                    been legal.
                         
                              LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE
                    You don't have to turn into an
                    animal just to protect yourself.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                    You don't?
                         
                                 LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE
                    No.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    And you know this from your
                    extensive work in the field.
                         
                              LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE
                    I've done my field duty.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Where was that? Yale?
                         
                              LT. COL CAMBRIDGE
                    Look, Specialist, if you want to
                    stop talking to me, you can. These
                    sessions are voluntary. You chose
                    to be here, talking to me, just
                    like you chose the Army, just like
                    you chose EOD. You're in an elite
                    volunteer unit. Not many guys have
                    the IQ or the nerves to do it. Be
                    proud of it.
                         
          Eldridge considers this.    The psychiatrist taps his pencil.
          Waiting.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Keep the soldier in the fight and
                    the fight in the soldier, right
                    Doc?
                         
          Eldridge puts out his hand, and they shake.
                                                                                      57
                         
                         
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Seriously, I appreciate what you're
                    saying. But you need to get out
                    from behind this desk more.
                         
                         
          INT CAMP VICTORY   LAUNDRY ROOM   NIGHT
                         
          James is watching his clothes dry as they tumble around the
          machine.
                         
          Sanborn comes in with a pile of laundry. Sees James.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                    Hey.
                         
                                              JAMES
                    Hey.
                         
          Sanborn stuffs his laundry into a machine. James is still
          watching the drier, starts to speak.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (QUIETLY)
                    If you ever get in my shoes and put
                    on the bomb suit you'll see your
                    whole mind changes when you're in
                    front of a bomb. You lose 20 IQ
                    points just from the weight of the
                    suit. Your brain gets so much
                    adrenaline that you hallucinate.
                    Turn off the walkie?
                         
          Sanborn stares straight ahead.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You'll be lucky if all you do is
                    turn off the walkie.
                         
          Off the spinning dryer, we --
                         
                                                                               CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD   SOMEWHERE IN THE CITY   MID AFTERNOON
                         
          Heat playing tricks with light on the ribbon of road -
          imaginary water pooling on the surface.
                         
          Again, the auditory landscape of Baghdad: distant CALL to
          prayer and the incessant RAT-TAT-TAT of gunfire.
                                                                                      58
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 23
                         
          James is walking uprange with a large artillery shell. It
          looks very heavy and he's sweating profusely.
                         
          He brings the bomb to the Humvee where Sanborn and Eldridge
          are waiting. They're also suffering in the heat. They take
          the shell from him, and stow it in the truck.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     How are we on water? I'm dying.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     J.T.'s got some.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (TO SANBORN)
                     Water?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     No. I'm all out.
                         
          James just looks at him.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT   BAGHDAD   PURGATORY   DAY
                         
          We're at the south end of an EXPLOSIVES DISPOSAL RANGE,
          nicknamed, `Purgatory' -- an empty expanse of dirt pockmarked
          with craters and bordered on one side by a small number of
          dwellings.
                         
          BOOM!!! A huge bomb explodes, sending dust and debris into
          the air in a mini mushroom cloud...We move across the field
          with the cloud, and settle where our EOD team is positioned
          by their Humvee.
                         
          Sanborn has a remote detonator in his hand and is about to
          blow it.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Fire in the hole. Fire in the hole
                         
          James interrupts --
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Hold on a second. I think I forgot
                     my gloves back there.
                                                                                      59
                         
                         
                         
          James jumps into the Humvee and drives down range, reversing
          the course we just took. It's a long way to the explosives,
          at least half a mile, and Sanborn and Eldridge watch him
          recede in the distance.
                         
          James is a tiny figure, ambling around the explosives pile.
          There's nobody else around.
                         
          Sanborn looks down at the detonator in his hand. Eldridge
          notices the look.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Those detonators break all the
                    time. Accidental misfire.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    With that shot laid out like that,
                    it could be a UXO that just cooks
                    off.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Boom.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Boom.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    A shot that size would obliterate
                    everything in its path.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    His helmet, you'd have that.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                    Oh yeah, there'd be half a helmet
                    somewhere.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    And little bits of hair stuck to
                    it.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Little bits of hair.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    We'd have to recommend a major
                    change in techniques and protocols
                    so that kind of accident never
                    happens again. You'd write the
                    first draft of the report.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Are you serious?
                                                                                     60
                         
                         
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      I'm not going to write it.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      No, are you serious about killing
                      him?
                         
          -- Sanborn looks up at Eldridge. Smiles.
                         
          James starts driving back uprange.
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT   FIELD OUTSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD   LATE AFTERNOON
                         
          Another dusty nowhere. The EOD team is stopped in the middle
          of a road that cuts through a swath of desert.
                         
          At the roadside are several SOLDIERS and their vehicles. The
          soldiers look sunburned, tired.
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge are near the soldiers, looking down the
          road where --
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 17
                         
                         
                         CRATER
                         
          James is inside a CRATER in the middle of the road, working
          on an EIGHT-FOOT MISSILE. He attaches A ROCKET WRENCH, a
          metal band with two explosive tubes, to the nose of the
          missile -- and flips a switch.
                         
          The two   tubes ignite like a firecracker, shooting small
          flames.   Then the flames grow and band spins and FLIES off,
          ZIPPING   into the air above James' head like a metal frisbee,
          landing   fifty feet away.
                         
          James peers into the nose cone.    A hollow void.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (OVER WALKIE)
                      James? Do you copy? James?
                         
          He climbs to the top of the crater.
                                                                                    61
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO HEADSET)
                    It's empty.
                         
                         
          EXT/INT CRATER   MOMENTS LATER
                         
          The soldiers are gathered around the pit to see EOD work.
          It's not everyday you get to see an eight foot missile towed
          out of a hole.
                         
          James is down in the pit. Sanborn hands him a chain. Working
          together, they wrap it around the missile. When they're done,
          Sanborn signals Eldridge, who is behind the wheel of the
          Humvee, ready to tow the missile out of the crater.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    Rock it out, slowly.
                         
          The chain creaks, then stops. The tires spin uselessly.
                         
                                             SANBORN (CONT'D)
                    Try gunning it.
                         
          The tires only spin faster.
                         
          Sanborn moves to get a closer look. His knees come very near
          to the creaking chain.
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (seeing this from the pit)
                    Sanborn, watch that chain.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    It's alright.
                         
          When...
                         
          KA-BOOOOM -- the sky flashes orange overhead --James flat on
          his back, dazed. A shard of metal ZOOMS into the pit, missing
          him by inches -- as the soldiers dive into the pit for cover,
          shouting "RPG, RPG!"
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          Eldridge, who is in the driver's seat, starts shooting his M4
          rifle.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (SHOUTING)
                    What am I shooting at?
                                                                                   62
                         
                         
                         
          Sanborn jumping into the Humvee.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                       (SHOUTING BACK)
                    I don't fucking know! -- but James
                    is down!!!
                         
          He fires in the same direction as Eldridge. The Humvee gets
          peppered with bullets. The armor holds. But it doesn't look
          like it's going to last for much longer.
                         
          Sanborn grabs Eldridge. And they dive back into the pit,
          joining James and THREE SOLDIERS: a SERGEANT one PRIVATE and
          a CORPORAL who is a SNIPER.
                         
          James is sitting up, taking off his bomb suit. He appears to
          be unharmed.
                         
                         
                         ROAD
                         
          One of the soldiers is in the turret of a Humvee, firing the
          big .50 machine gun in all directions.
                         
                         
                         CRATER
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                                       (TO SNIPER)
                    Get up there with your Barret and
                    help him out.
                         
          [Note: Barret is the large .50 SNIPER RIFLE carried by one of
          the soldiers, a specialty gun with an extremely long range.]
                         
          The SNIPER hoists the heavy gun to the edge of the crater and
          looks down the scope.
                         
          As he does, Sanborn, Eldridge, and James, and the other
          soldiers pop up and lay down covering fire. Then they quickly
          pop back down.
                         
                         
                         ROAD
                         
          The soldier in the Humvee is still churning his machine gun,
          shooting in all directions, expending hundreds of bullets a
          minute.
                                                                                   63
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         CRATER
                         
                                             SNIPER
                                       (TO SERGEANT)
                    I don't see nothing out there.
                    Chris is shooting wild.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Hey Chris - can you hear me? Chill
                    out on the fifty man.
                         
                         
                         ROAD
                         
          The soldier in the Humvee fires a few more seconds. Picks up
          his walkie.
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Copy that.
                         
          -- As a bullet hits him in the neck, killing him instantly.
                         
                         
                         CRATER
                         
                                             SNIPER
                    Holy shit. He killed Chris.
                         
          Everyone in the pit pops up and fires in every direction, a
          knee-jerk response.
                         
          A soldier picks up his walkie and keys it. We can't hear him
          talking over the retorts of the soldiers firing rifles.
                         
          The men are pinned down, paralyzed by fear. Sniper fire from
          one of the buildings rakes the top of the crater.
                         
          -- Bullets kick up sand on the far side of the crater,
          opposite the men.
                         
          -- Eldridge looks like he's having a heart attack. This is
          how it ends, he thinks.
                         
          --James seems preternaturally calm.
                         
          After a while --
                         
                                             JAMES
                    We should save our ammo at least
                    until we can see these bastards.
                                                                                      64
                         
                         
                         
          The Sergeant takes off his pack, and pulls out a pair of
          binoculars. Inching up to the edge of the crater, where he
          joins the SNIPER
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                                       (TO SNIPER)
                    Do you see anything.
                         
                                             SNIPER
                    It's got to be coming from those
                    buildings. Somebody moved on the
                    roof of the tall one there.
                         
          We see the buildings in the distance. They look too far away
          to be threatening.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                    Hit him if you see him again.
                         
          As suddenly --
                         
          The SNIPER is hit in the breastbone.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                    Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Jesus.
                         
          In the pit: total meltdown. This is it. The day you die.
          Everyone starts talking at once.
                         
                                    SOLDIER                          SANBORN
          Man we got to get out of         I'll get on the Barret.
          here.
                         
                                    ELDRIDGE                         SERGEANT
          Don't do that J.T.               Shit. Okay. We need help.
                                                             (INTO WALKIE) )
                                           This is Alpha Nine. We're in
                                           deep shit. Over.
                         
                 DISPATCH (O.S.)                        JAMES
          Roger that, Alpha Nine. Go          (to Sergeant)
          ahead.                           Let me see those binocs.
                         
          The Sergeant hands the binocs to James.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    We are taking incoming fire. I have
                    two KIA. The grid --
                         
          James gives Sanborn a look. He leans in to say something to
          Sanborn, which we can't hear.
                                                                                    65
                         
                         
                         
          Over the Sergeant's walkie:
                         
                              DISPATCH (O.S.)
                    I know where you are Alpha. Go
                    ahead.
                         
          Sanborn crawls into the SNIPER's position, moving the dead
          body out of the way. James follows next to him to observe
          with the binocs
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Copy that. Okay. Can you get us
                    some help.
                        (to James and Sanborn)
                    Don't do that fellas.
                         
          Sanborn is already shooting. The SNIPER RIFLE puts down
          bullets slowly. It has a clip of six rounds. One by one
          Sanborn expends them.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Eldridge, I need ammo.
                         
          Eldridge pulls two clips of ammunition off the bloody chest
          of the dead sniper.
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (looking through the
                                        BINOCS)
                    You're shooting high.
                         
          Eldridge hands the ammo to Sanborn, who jams the clip in the
          rifle, and then adjusts the sight. He pulls the trigger. The
          gun jams.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO SANBORN)
                    Clear it, clear it. (the clip is
                    removed, passed to James) Eldridge
                    clean the bullets. The blood is
                    making them jam.
                         
          Eldridge is handed the bloody clips. He pops the bullets out,
          one by one, and tries to clean them. But the blood is sticky.
          A bullet slips out of his hand, rolls down the crater. The
          soldier helps him by picking up the bullet and cleaning it.
                         
          James looks back to see Eldridge's progress.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Spit on `em Eldridge. Spit. Rub.
                    Spit rub.
                                                                                   66
                         
                         
                         
          Eldridge is trying. He's really trying.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Come on, Eldridge. I need ammo.
                         
          James sees that Eldridge is not getting it and he draws close
          to him.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You're doing good, man. (putting
                    his hand on Eldridge's shoulder).
                    You're okay.
                         
          Eldridge nods. His mind is there but his hands are disobeying
          him. James attempts to clear his head.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I will keep you safe, Owen, that's
                    my job.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Roger.
                         
          The soldier hands the ammo to James.
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (to both of them)
                    Alright. Scan your sectors.
                         
          Then Eldridge positions himself so he's looking in the
          opposite direction that James and Sanborn are looking.
                         
          Sanborn fires two more rounds.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                       (CALMLY)
                    Still high, adjust your windage.
                    Elevation.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Got it.
                         
                         
          SNIPER RIFLE POV
                         
          The roof of the tall building in the distance bobs in and out
          of view. At this great range, the scope dances.
                                                                                   67
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         CRATER
                         
                                             JAMES
                    He's on the left by the smoke
                    stack. Guy in white.
                         
          Sanborn fires once. He turns his head away from the gun and
          makes an audible exhale to release tension -- the sniper
          breath control technique.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Good. There's another one just
                    behind him. Up a meter.
                         
          Sanborn fires once. Audible exhale.
                         
                                                JAMES
                    Good.
                         
          James scans the area. Silence.
                         
                         
          CRATER AN HOUR LATER
                         
          The sun lower in the sky. Around the pit, the fallen soldier
          has been pushed to one side, and the living are hanging on to
          their sanity.
                         
          Eldridge and the remaining soldier have exhausted their water
          supply.
                         
          Sanborn and James are in EXACTLY the same position as when we
          left them. Focused. Sanborn's finger on the trigger. Sanborn
          breathes out, the sniper breathing. He's been doing this for
          an hour, time and the desert heat have taken their toll.
                         
          Sanborn blinks sweat away.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN POV
                         
          The scope BLURS. He regains focus.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Noticing Sanborn's fatigue.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Eldridge, grab me the juice out of
                    an MRE.
                                                                                      68
                         
                         
                         
          Eldridge digs around the DEAD SOLDIER'S backpack and
          retrieves a packet of juice, which he passes to James.
                         
          James inserts the straw into the juice pack.
                         
          He hesitates, not sure if Sanborn will accept the gesture
          after all the hostility that's passed between them. But he
          brings the straw to Sanborn's lips.
                         
          At first, Sanborn keeps his attention on the rifle scope. But
          then he opens his parched mouth, and sips.
                         
          --Suddenly, there's movement, a flutter of fabric, in the
          distance off Eldridge's shoulder. He stiffens.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                    Uh, Will.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    Yeah.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    At my one o'clock. Two hundred
                    meters. Something moved behind a
                    parked car. Either a tan dog or a
                    man in a light-colored shirt.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Deal with it.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                    Uh--Ok.
                         
          Eldridge looks down his scope, unsure. James keeps his focus
          forward on the building.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    I don't think it's a dog.   Should I
                    fire?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    It's your call.
                         
          Eldridge shifts his weight onto his rifle.
                         
          There's a flutter of movement in the distance.
                         
          Eldridge pulls the trigger. Spraying the car in the distance.
          Empties his entire magazine.
                         
          From behind the car, something falls to the ground, and the
          tiniest sliver of a rifle clatters after it.
                                                                                      69
                         
                         
                         
          The soldier in the pit comes over to Eldridge to see what
          he's done.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    Good hit, man.
                         
          James and Sanborn don't turn around.
                         
          Eldridge slumps, spent.
                         
                         
          CRATER TWO HOURS LATER
                         
          Sun casting long shadows.
                         
          James and Sanborn in the same focused position. Eldridge
          still watches the rear.
                         
          The soldier in the pit reaches his breaking point.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    I'm going to go for the Humvee.
                    What do you say?
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                    I don't know.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    We've been here two hours and they
                    ain't seen nothing. I'm going to go
                    for it.
                         
          And with that he dashes up and out of the crater.
                         
          Sanborn keeps his eye on the scope.
                         
                         ROAD
                         
          The soldier runs to the Humvee, gets in, and turns the
          vehicle around, driving it back to the pit.
                         
          He dives out of the vehicle and back to the pit.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                                       (EXCITED)
                    Those fuckers are dead.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                    What if they hit us with an RPG
                    when we get out? What if they were
                    just waiting for us to get in the
                    Humvee.
                                                                                     70
                         
                         
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                     It's safe. I'm telling you
                                        (TO SANBORN)
                     You got those fuckers.
                         
          The soldier jumps out of the pit. Stands in the middle of the
          road. A sitting duck.
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                         (to men in the pit)
                     See? You got them.
                         (turning to building,
                                         SHOUTING)
                     We got you mother fuckers. You're
                     fucking dead Hajis. Haha.
                         
          The soldier pulls down his pants and moons the building.
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                     Kiss this mother fucker!!!
                         
          James lowers his binocs. Sanborn lowers his rifle.
                         
          They exchange a mirthful look.
                         
                                                                              CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT   CAMP VICTORY   JAMES' TRAILER   NIGHT
                         
          James and Sanborn face each other; both men are red-faced,
          drunk, swaying.
                         
                                               JAMES
                     Ready?
                         
          Sanborn nods. Wham! Sanborn reels back from the punch. James
          is standing over him. Glowering. He looks good. The rage is
          like a vitamin.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Now we're even.
                         
          Sanborn stumbles back, recovers. Around them in James' room
          are the remains of an Irish wake: two bottles of Scotch,
          already empty. A third half gone. Cigarettes burned down in
          an ashtray.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Be right back. I gotta piss.
                         
          As Sanborn stumbles out, James turns to Eldridge
                                                                                   71
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    One more, boy.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                        (imitating a young
                                        RECRUIT)
                    Yes, Sir, Sergeant James Sir.
                    You're not very good drunk are you
                    SIR!! You're a good fighter, Sir.
                    Natural born warrior, Sir.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (SEMI-SERIOUSLY)
                    You acquitted yourself well on the
                    field of battle today.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Really? I got scared.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Everyone is a coward at some point
                    in their lives.
                         
          Sanborn comes in. He sees a box under James' bed. Sanborn
          picks up the box under James' bed and plops it on the table,
          intentionally breaking up the love-fest between James and
          Eldridge.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Hey Owen, look! Will has
                    possessions! I didn't know you
                    owned anything, Will.
                         
          Sanborn pulls a picture frame out of the box. It's a picture
          of a baby boy. Eldridge leans in.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    That's my son. A real tough little
                    bastard. Like me.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    So you're married?
                         
          James is uncomfortable with the subject. Intimacy isn't easy
          for him. He rolls his eyes, nods.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Well, she was my girlfriend, we had
                    a baby, then she became my wife,
                    then we got divorced. (pause) I
                    thought we got divorced. (pause)
                    But she's still in the house, and
                    she says we're still together.
                                             (MORE)
                                                                                   72
                         
                                             JAMES (CONT'D)
                    So, I don't know. What does that
                    make her?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Dumb, to be with you?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    She ain't dumb. She's loyal.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    My problem is the one girl who I
                    like keeps talking about kids.
                    Kids. Kids.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO SANBORN)
                    Give her your sperm, stud.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Nah. I'm not ready.
                        (looking around the box,
                         finds a circuit board.) )
                    And what's this?
                         
          Sanborn sees there are many such parts in the box.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Bomb parts.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    No shit. Why do you have them?
                         
          James reaches into the box. Pulls out a circuit. Looks at it
          admiringly.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    This is from the Blue Opal. (to
                    himself) It's wild, isn't it, to
                    hold something in your hands that
                    could have killed you. (he tosses
                    the board to Sanborn)
                         
          Eldridge leans over, pulls another board out of the box. He's
          fascinated by James' obsession.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    What's this one from?
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (warming to the attention)
                    That was one of our early roadside
                    bombs we disarmed, the one with --
                                                                                   73
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                        (looking at the board)
                    --it's a piece of junk from Radio
                    Shack.
                         
          James shrugs. He reaches over to get the circuit board from
          Sanborn, who clearly doesn't share his fascination.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                   IT'S INTERESTING
                         
                                              JAMES
                    I agree.
                         
          In the distance, sound of BOMBS going off. The men pause to
          listen.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (TO ELDRIDGE)
                    The only reason he likes you is
                    because you act like his bitch, and
                    you look up to him, and he likes to
                    be the top dog.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I agree with that too.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Oh no, (picking up James' pistol)
                    The humiliation is too great to
                    bear. (he pulls the trigger while
                    slipping out the clip). Good-bye
                    world.
                         
          The gun clicks harmlessly. Eldridge laughs.
                         
          A gust of wind rattles the front door.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    That punch was harder than I hit
                    you. I'm owed a good one.
                         
                                              JAMES
                    Alright.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Hold on, we need some rules. No
                    face shots.
                         
          James lifts off his shirt, getting into fighting mode.
          Eldridge picks up a marker and begins to draw a bulls-eye on
          James' stomach, stopping when he sees a cluster of scars.
                                                                                   74
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Beauty mark, my mother dropped me
                    at birth.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Looks like frag scars.
                         
          Sanborn slugs James. James doubles over, loses his balance
          and falls back. James gets up, laughing so hard it hurts.
          Tears of laughter falling down his face.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Ahhhh! Excellent. Now your turn.
                         
          Sanborn braces for the blow. James gets ready to strike, then
          fakes a swing -- his fist stops just shy of Sanborn's cheek.
                         
          Sanborn's eyes go wide as -- James nails him with his other
          hand, right in the gut -- Sanborn doubles over.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (LAUGHING)
                    Looks like it hurt.
                         
          Moving forward aggressively, suddenly James looks like he
          could kill. A complete change in his demeanor, as wind rocks
          the trailer, causing the light bulb to rattle and cast a
                         STRANGE SHADOW
                         
          -- then James rushes Sanborn, tackling him -- they crash into
          the corner of the room -- in a flash James is on top of
          Sanborn, pinning him -- Sanborn moves to punch James but
          James pins his hands -- James taps Sanborn lightly on the
          cheek, caressing his cheek.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    There there. It'll be okay.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Get off of me you freak.
                         
          Sanborn tries to buck James off. Forcefully raising his hips.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Oh yeah, ride me, ride me.
                         
          Sanborn reaches for his boot knife. He flicks it open, brings
          the blade to James' throat. Their eyes lock. James dismounts,
          laughing. Stumbles back to the table.
                                                                                   75
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You're alright, Sanborn. Let's have
                    another.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY   LATER
                         
          The wind is blowing harder, kicking up sand. Overhead, a full
          moon is blazing.
                         
          James looks up at the moon. It's dazzling. James and Eldridge
          support Sanborn as they weave towards Eldridge's trailer.
                         
                                                JAMES
                    I got him.
                         
          Eldridge passes Sanborn off to James, and heads up the stairs
          to his trailer.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                    Later.
                         
          Sanborn sags. James pulls him back. They walk a little
          farther to Sanborn's trailer --
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Okay. Here we go big boy.
                         
          And half carries Sanborn up the steps.
                         
                         
          INT. SANBORN'S TRAILER
                         
          James eases Sanborn onto a cot, and as he falls onto the cot,
          the WHITE ENVELOPE falls out of his pocket.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Do you think I have what it takes
                    to get in the bomb suit?
                         
          James didn't expect this.
                         
                                                JAMES
                    Sure.
                         
          James picks up the white envelope and puts it on Sanborn's
          night table.
                         
          He looks back. Sanborn is already asleep.
                                                                                    76
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   AFTER MIDNIGHT
                         
          The whole camp is asleep but James is standing outside,
          holding a satellite phone. He's swaying. Drunk.
                         
                               CONNIE O.S.
                                        (SLEEPILY)
                     James, my God, what time is it? Are
                     you alright.
                         
          Pause.
                         
                                CONNIE O.S.
                     James?
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (SLIGHTLY SLURRED)
                     I'm doing fine, babe. How are you?
                         
                               CONNIE O.S.
                     Well, you woke me up. But - ah - we
                     - we're fine. (getting more lively)
                     Will junior said "bobba" He means
                     bottle, but he's talking, Will.
                         
          James looks around the camp. All he sees is its immensity,
          the tremendous scope of the operation. This is military
          might, raw power. As good as it gets.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Great. I'll call you tomorrow when
                     you're awake.
                         
                               CONNIE O.S.
                     Will, I can't wait until you come
                     home.
                         
          Silence.
                         
                                               CONNIE (CONT'D)
                     Will?
                         
                                              JAMES
                         (trying his best to mean
                                         IT)
                     Yeah, me too.
                         
                               CONNIE O.S.
                     Will you call me again soon?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Sure. Bye honey.
                                                                                   77
                         
                         
                         
                                  CONNIE O.S.
                     Bye honey.
                         
          James hits the END button on the phone and walks up the steps
          to his trailer --
                         
                         
          INT   JAMES TRAILER   LATER THAT NIGHT
                         
          He stumbles inside, drops the satellite phone down on his
          desk, next to his bomb suit helmet, and sinks into bed. He
          lies there, clothed and awake, and stares at the helmet,
          looking at his reflection in the polished glass.
                         
          Then James reaches over to the helmet and lifts it up, hefts
          it.
                         
          He puts the helmet on his head.
                         
          Alone in his bed, wearing his helmet.
                         
          Smiling behind the glass, for he now he can sense the bomb,
          and feel his nearness to death.
                         
          We hear the RASP of his breathing.
                         
                                                                            CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT SANBORN'S TRAILER     MORNING
                         
          Sanborn blinks awake to a painfully bright sun. He shifts his
          attention to the white envelope on the table.
                         
                         
          INT CAMP VICTORY   WAREHOUSE      DAY
                         
          A SOLDIER wearing glasses is talking to Sanborn.
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                     What can I do for you?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     I have something?
                         
                                                 SOLDIER
                     Remains?
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                     No.
                         
                                              SOLDIER
                     Personal effects?
                                                                                      78
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Yeah.
                         
          Sanborn reaches into his back pocket, withdraws the white
          envelope. He opens it. Inside are Thompson's DOG TAGS. He
          crumples the envelope, lets it fall to the floor. And grips
          the tags tightly.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    What's the name?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Thompson, Matt. Sergeant EOD. Baker
                    Company.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                        (looking at a form)
                    Okay let me see. He's at three-
                    three-eight. (looking) third aisle
                    down the hall.
                         
          Sanborn turns to look, and now we see where he's standing: in
          the MORTUARY AFFAIRS UNIT, in a large room filled with white
          boxes. It looks like an art installation, each white box
          spaced evenly in a cavernous space.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    I'll walk you over there.
                         
          They walk down the aisles, passing rows and rows of white
          boxes, and finally stop.
                         
          The soldier opens one.
                         
          Inside are a pair of boots. A stack of clothes. Books.
          Photographs. The remains of a life.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    Here you go. Did you know him?
                         
          Sanborn places the tags on the uniform in the box.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Yeah, I did. He was my team leader.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    Oh, I'm sorry brother.
                         
          They walk up the aisles, again passing the rows of white
          boxes.
                         
          At the entrance, Sanborn turns. The soldier offers his hand.
          They shake warmly.
                                                                                    79
                         
                         
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Thank you. Thank you.
                         
          The soldier, a little perplexed at Sanborn's gratitude,
          doesn't know what to say.
                         
          Sanborn leaves, notices the empty ENVELOPE on the floor.
          Litter. He picks it up and stuffs it back into his pocket.
                         
                         
          INT   MESS TENT   DAY
                         
          James and Eldridge eat in hung-over silence.
                         
          Tired.
                         
          After a while...
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Tough night.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Hell, yeah.
                         
          Eldridge nods.
                         
          Wind picks up.    The whole tent shakes.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Aren't you supposed to be at your
                     shrink?
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     I fired him. I said, Doc, shooting
                     a man had a salubrious effect on
                     me.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     What the hell does that mean?
                         
                                                 ELDRIDGE
                     Healthy.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     You're healthy? Well, why not.
                         
          They go back to eating.
                         
          Sanborn joins James and Eldridge.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     What's up team?
                                                                                     80
                         
                         
                         
          They nod silently as he sits. Sluggishly he throws his hand
          down on the table.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Can I get a Huu-haa?
                         
          Eldridge slaps a tired hand on top of Sanborn's. James
          follows suit. They wearily lift their arms in mock
          enthusiasm.
                         
          All at once:   "Huu-haa."
                         
          Sanborn wolfs down some food.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    I'm going back to sleep now.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Let's roll.
                         
          They get up to bus their trays. And nearing the dirty-tray
          bin, the flaps of the tent billow more and more vigorously.
          Outside, a storm is brewing.
                         
          Each man unfurls the checkered scarf around their neck and
          wraps their face for the wind.
                         
                         
          EXT CAMP VICTORY    DAY
                         
          Wind rakes sand and dust over the tent city, giving it an
          otherworldly aspect. Throngs of men and vehicles fight the
          swirl. It impedes their every move.
                         
          The three men continue onwards, as the intensity of the storm
          grows.
                         
                         
          EXT HEAD SHED DAY
                         
          The storm is HOWLING now. Visibility is reduced to a few
          feet. Red sand blows mercilessly. It's Mars.
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 16
                         
          As they approach the head shed, a Humvee comes blasting out
          of the storm from the other direction. It skids to a halt in
          front of them.
                         
          Three wounded EOD TECHS and an EOD TEAM LEADER tumble out.
                                                                                      81
                         
                         
                         
          They look awful. One step shy of death. One man's face is
          smeared brown. Blood oozes from a deep gash in his cheek.
          Another tech is covered in black soot. Their hands still
          clutch their weapons -- the battle still wages in their
          minds.
                         
                                                TEAM LEADER
                           (shouting to James)
                       It was a car bomb. Fucking nasty
                       one -- they had a decoy detonator
                       set up so that when I disarmed it
                       nothing happened -- then, I'm
                       walking back uprange to get some
                       more tools and boooom!!! If I
                       hadn't been wearing the suit, I'd
                       be dead right now.
                         
                                                ELDRIDGE
                       Get a Medic to look at your cheek.
                         
          The wounded TEAM LEADER touches his face and blood smears on
          his hand...he looks down...surreal to see your own blood.
          The First Sergeant trots over.
                         
                                                TEAM LEADER
                           (amazed at the sight of
                                           HIS BLOOD) )
                       It's no big deal.
                           (now turning his attention
                            back to James) )
                       Be careful. They're starting to
                       hide the detonator really well.
                         
          The FIRST SERGEANT turns his attention to James:
                         
                                                FIRST SERGEANT
                       Sorry to ruin your day off, but
                       your team is up.
                         
          James blinks back sand and dust blowing into his eyes.
                         
          So much for the nap.
                         
                         
          INT HUMVEE    CAMP VICTORY   PARKING LOT
                         
          Lt. COL. CAMBRIDGE knocks on the window. Startling the men.
          His face appears in the sand storm.
                         
                                 LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE
                                          (SHOUTING)
                       Are you guys about to go out?
                                                                                   82
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah.
                         
                              LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE
                    Mind if I ride along? I'm sick to
                    death of sitting behind a desk all
                    the time.
                         
          James shoots Eldridge a look.   Eldridge shrugs.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Anytime, Sir. It's a privilege.
                         
          The LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE gets in. As they drive out.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Don't mean to insult your
                    intelligence, Sir. But if the shit
                    hits the fan, please don't fire out
                    of these windows. They're bullet
                    proof and the round will just
                    bounce around the cabin.
                         
                         
          EXT. ABU GRAIB CENTER   BOMBED OUT BUILDING   DAY
                         
          A partially destroyed building fills the screen. A mess of
          bricks and rebar. Wind swirls sand up into the air.
                         
          Nearby, an OLD IRAQI MAN with a DONKEY drawn cart is
          unloading new bricks to repair the building.
                         
          Farther up the road, a good distance from the building, are
          two parked Humvees. Nearby, James and his team are talking to
          a small cluster of SOLDIERS.
                         
                                             SOLDIER 1
                        (pointing back at the
                                        BUILDING)
                    Right up those stairs.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You been inside already?
                         
                                             SOLDIER 1
                    In there? Fuck no. We've had
                    reports of all kinds of shit coming
                    out of that house -- and--
                         
          James takes his eyes off the building and turns to the
          Soldier.
                                                                                      83
                         
                         
                         
                                                 JAMES
                                    AND WHAT--
                         
                                                 SOLDIER 1
                     --bodies.
                         
          James turns to Cambridge.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Why don't you wait here? We'll
                     bring out anything of interest.
                         
                         
          INT BOMBED OUT BUILDING     LATE MORNING
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge enter a landing. The floor is
          very wet. They cross it, and come to a room that has been
          severely damaged by a bomb, with rubble everywhere and
          exposed electrical wires dangling from the ceiling, and
          busted pipes gushing water.
                         
          A tea pot sits on a STOVE, steaming hot, and a plate on the
          table has bread on it.
                         
          James bends the gushing pipe, stemming the flow of water to a
          trickle. Now the spitting wire hanging above the water pipe
          looks less ominous. But not by much.
                         
                         
                         CORRIDOR
                         
          They continue down a narrow corridor, light diminishing. They
          switch on the lights on their M4s. The corridor ends at a
          door.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     This would be a great place to put
                     a pressure activator.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Yeah, with like twenty pounds of
                     high explosives on it so you get
                     anyone in the room when you open
                     the door.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Rope trick?
                         
          Eldridge uncoils rope from his pack and hands it to James,
          who makes a lasso and tosses it over the doorknob.
                                                                                      84
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT BOMBED OUT BUILDING
                         
          James yanks the rope -- we follow the rope inside through the
          kitchen to the doorknob, watching it turn. No bomb.
                         
          They head back in.
                         
                         
          INT DOOR/STAIRS BOMBED OUT BUILDING
                         
          Ascending a staircase. James unstraps a flash grenade from
          his vest and heaves it onto the floor above. They stick
          their fingers in their ears...
                         
          Blinding FLASH and DEAFENING sound. Then silence.   No
          movement.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Guess no one's home.
                         
                              SOLDIER O.S.
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    Blaster One, what was that?
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Sorry, one of ours, just a flash
                    grenade.
                         
          They come to a landing that opens up to the second floor.
                         
                         
                         SECOND FLOOR
                         
          A large cavernous space filled with what looks like Santa's
          bomb making factory: A pile of motherboards. Batteries. Boom
          boxes. Electronics in various states of disassembly. In
          another corner, stacks of artillery shells. Blocks of C4
          plastic explosives.
                         
          In the back half of the room, there is a   work table, and on
          the table is a DEAD BODY of a young man,   wearing pants but no
          shirt. A JACKET draped is over its torso   and face. Even for
          these hardened EOD experts, the sight is   unnerving, and the
          copper smell of spilt blood and death is   staggering,
          sickening.
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge approach the body cautiously.
                         
          James pulls a retractable aluminum pole from his pack and
          telescopes it to its maximum length, about 10 feet, and uses
          the pole to lift the jacket. Gently. The FACE appears.
                                                                                   85
                         
                         
          All that we can determine about this face is that it is
          young. The distinguishing lines of the nose and cheeks are so
          covered by bruises and blood and further obscured by the
          shadows and dappled light, that it could be the face of
          almost any young man.
                         
          The violence done to the face exerts an odd pull on James.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    The kid at camp.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    What?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    He sells DVDs.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    No, that's not him.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You see him every day. He sells
                    DVDs by the mess tent. His name is
                    Pele.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Different kid.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    This is sick.
                         
          The dead young man's chest has been cut open. An artillery
          shell is shoved inside the cavity where the heart used to
          beat. Wires protrude from the shell. It's meant to be a booby
          trap, to be placed on a street and elicit as much damage as
          possible.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    You seen a body bomb before?
                         
          James shakes his head no.
                         
          Sanborn moves closer to the body and inspects the wiring in
          the chest.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Don't touch it. Let's blow it.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Positioning three blocks of C4 on the body, then plugs
          blasting caps into the explosives. James nods to Sanborn and
          Eldridge, and they leave him alone with the body.
                                                                                      86
                         
                         
                         
          James walks backwards out of the room, unspooling a roll of
          detonation cord as he goes. But before he gets to the door...
                         
                              SOLDIER O.S.
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Blaster, we've got a hold. I'm not
                    getting airspace clearance.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Copy that, How long?
                         
                              SOLDIER (O.S.)
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    Roger. Could be anything. At least
                    15 minutes is what they're saying.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Can you -- you need to explain to
                    them that we don't have 15 minutes.
                         
                              SOLDIER (O.S.)
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    Roger. I'll see if we can push this
                    ahead.
                         
          James squats down, rests his rifle, looks at the floor.
                         
          Moments pass and he feels a set of eyes on him.
                         
          He swivels his head to the left and makes eye contact with
          the dead kid on the table. The face doesn't have any of the
          markers of death; it looks alive.
                         
          James turns away, then is compelled to make eye contact
          again. He looks at his watch. The seconds tick by all too
          slowly. He grabs his walkie-talkie.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Fifteen is not going to work. I
                    need to do this now.
                         
                              SOLDIER (O.S.)
                                       (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                    Roger, I understand. If it was me,
                    I would go for it, but I don't
                    think command is going to budge
                    under the circumstances.
                                                                                   87
                         
                         
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (INTO WALKIE)
                     Tell command I'm in a fucking war
                     zone. And I'm going to blow now.
                         
          James gets up, clips his rifle, and takes the last few steps
          out of the room.
                         
                               SOLDIER (O.S.)
                                        (WALKIE-TALKIE)
                     Blaster One, I don't know who you
                     know, but you got your permission.
                     Ready to det any time you say so.
                         
          At the door he stops to look at the dead boy on the table. He
          looks and looks. Finally:
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (INTO WALKIE)
                     Cancel that det.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Reaching over the body of the boy. He pulls the artillery
          shell out of the boy's abdomen with his bare hands. He wipes
          his hands on his pants.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (INTO WALKIE)
                     This is Blaster One, I'm coming
                     down.
                         
                         
          INT   BOMBED OUT BUILDING
                         
          James carries the body down the staircase. The head and feet
          bump the sides of the staircase as he descends.
                         
                         
          EXT BOMBED OUT BUILDING     MOMENTS LATER
                         
          The BODY lies on the street, James standing over it. A blue
          and white pickup TRUCK emblazoned with the logo of the Iraqi
          National Police pulls up to their position.
                         
          A pair of POLICEMEN get out and after a few words with James,
          they load the body.
                                                                                      88
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         HUMVEE
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge sit across from each other, watching
          James.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      ...So you really don't think it was
                      the DVD kid?
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      No, I don't.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      You're positive?
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Yeah. Could it be? One in a million
                      chance.
                         
                                               ELDRIDGE
                      I don't know. Will seemed positive.
                      But that was weird.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                      Very weird.
                         
          They look out the window and notice Lt. Colonel Cambridge
          down the street surrounded by a crowd of IRAQI MEN.
                         
                         
                         CAMBRIDGE
                         
          Cambridge is trying to talk to several of them at once.
                         
                                               CAMBRIDGE
                      This is not a safe area for you.
                      Imshee!
                         
          They don't leave. Cambridge lifts his rifle, not quite
          shouldering it. Then one MAN, mid thirties, in a suit, steps
          forward.
                         
                                               IRAQI MAN
                                         (FLAWLESS ENGLISH)
                      Why do you talk to us like
                      children. We are not children.
                         
                                               CAMBRIDGE
                      Gimme a break, will you?
                         
                                               IRAQI MAN
                      Why should I?
                                                                                       89
                         
                         
                         
          Cambridge, suddenly not so sure of himself, looks back to the
          Humvee and sees --
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Watching the police truck drive away. He then moves for the
          Humvee, motioning for Cambridge to load up.
                         
                         
                         INT   HUMVEE
                         
          Eldridge guzzles some water.    Wipes sweat from his brow.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     But then Will's pretty weird. He
                     keeps bomb parts under his bed.
                         
          Passing the water to Sanborn.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     I bet you he doesn't put this one
                     under his bed.
                         
          Sanborn laughs.
                         
          James cracks the door, jumps inside.
                         
          He sees Cambridge walk past the brick pile that the OLD IRAQI
          MAN had created. The man is no longer there. Something
          crosses his mind when--
                         
          --The brick pile explodes in a A SICKENING BLAST,
          obliterating Cambridge and flipping the Humvee
                         
          --James, Sanborn and Eldridge SPIN upside down as the Humvee
          is buffeted by the blast - landing upside down.
                         
          --Suddenly CAMBRIDGE'S helmeted HEAD crashes into the
          windshield.
                         
          --Billowing smoke, dirt and debris smears the windshield
          blotting out the sun.
                         
          --Inside, a flurry of HANDS yank on the heavy armored Humvee
          door. It doesn't budge.
                         
                         
                         EXT   HUMVEE
                         
          A SOLDIER runs to the rescue. He reaches for the Humvee door,
          the metal sears his hand, and he pulls back in pain.
                                                                                      90
                         
                         
                         
          The soldier uses his rifle butt to jam the door open - but
          that doesn't work, because the butt doesn't catch the handle.
          From inside, the POUNDING and YELLS grow louder.
                         
          The soldier drops the rifle and grabs the searing metal with
          his hand, burning his flesh as he pries the handle.
                         
          The Humvee door finally gives. Three men tumble out onto
          blackened sand.
                         
                                                                              CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT   BOMBED OUT BUILDING    LATER
                         
          James is standing in the doorway into the building, dividing
          his attention between the outside and the interior -- where
          Sanborn and Eldridge are slumped against a wall.
                         
          Sanborn stares at a blank wall. Eldridge is running his hand
          over a cigarette lighter -- seeing how much of the flame he
          can bear. He looks as if he's hoping the physical pain will
          help put the psychic pain in perspective.
                         
          James, standing in the light of the doorway, is smoldering
          with rage and ungovernable purpose. He's smoking.
                         
          We stay here for a moment to watch as each man makes his own
          deal with himself.
                         
          Through the open doorway a Humvee comes into view.
                         
          James stomps out his cigarette.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Our ride is here.
                         
          Beat.
                         
          Sanborn and Eldridge remain in a trance.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     We're movin'.
                         
          He walks out into the glare. Sanborn and Eldridge rise to
          follow him.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   DUSK
                         
          Funnel of wind erases a tank tread in the sand.
                                                                                     91
                         
                         
                         
          More sand drifts and piles like snow up against a small
          mountain of sand bags.
                         
          Sand disappears the windshield of a parked Abrams as day
          moves into night.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   MESS TENT   MORNING
                         
          Dust. Wind.
                         
          James is stalking towards an OLDER IRAQI MAN who is selling
          DVDs at Pele's usual table.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Hey - you haven't seen that kid
                     around here by any chance - who
                     sells movies?
                         
          The man shakes his head.
                         
                                              DVD MAN
                     Sorry. No English.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     No English? Don't lie to me.
                     Where's that kid?
                         
                                              DVD MAN
                     Sorry, my man. Movie? Five dollars.
                         
          James shakes his head and walks away, heading towards a clump
          of SOLDIERS standing in the shade of a tree.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Are you guys responsible for this
                     area?
                         
                                                 GUARD
                     What's up?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     That motherfucker over there
                     (pointing to the Man) could be an
                     insurgent, watching the camp and
                     giving intel to his buddies so they
                     know where to launch their mortars.
                         
                                              GUARD
                     I think he's just a guy selling
                     DVDs.
                                                                                   92
                         
                         
                         
                                              JAMES
                     He's a security risk. You should
                     get rid of him.
                         
                                              GUARD
                     The merchants are cleared. I
                     couldn't do anything to him without
                     the say-so from my CO.
                         
          James realizes that he has no hope of prevailing. Agitated,
          he turns away, and we stay with him as he trudges down one of
          Victory's dusty roads.
                         
                         
          EXT. CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT DUSK
                         
          It's the end of the day and the DVD seller packs up his wares
          to go.
                         
          James, in sunglasses, sweatshirt covering his army fatigues,
          follows him to his car. James draws near, and points his
          pistol at the guy's crotch.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Does this change anything?
                         
          The DVD man looks stunned.
                         
                         
          INT   DVD MAN'S CAR   CAMP VICTORY GATE   DUSK
                         
          James leans across the DVD man and flashes his ID to one of
          two GUARDs.
                         
                                               JAMES
                     OGA.
                         
          The guard looks to his buddy who mouths "CIA"
                         
                                              GUARD
                     Are you cleared to leave the camp
                     through this gate, Sir?
                         
          James nods.
                         
                                              GUARD
                     I'm going to need to see your ID
                     again.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Don't fuck with me man, I'm having
                     a bad day already.
                                                                                      93
                         
                         
                         
          The guard stares at James. James stares at the guard. The
          guard shrugs, waves James through.
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD STREET     NIGHT
                         
          The truck goes down a series of streets. It comes into a poor
          neighborhood and stops at a house.
                         
                                                   DVD MAN
                       Pele.
                         
                                                   JAMES
                       Wait here.
                         
          James gets out.
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD STREET     HOUSE
                         
          The dwelling is set back behind a low wall. Hard to see much
          of it in the dim light.
                         
          James takes a step forward, toward the wall.
                         
                         SUDDENLY--
                         
          the DVD truck peels out.
                         
          James looks at its retreating tail lights. A moment of
          indecision as he considers his situation: alone in Baghdad.
                         
          Then he vaults the low wall, landing in
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD COURTYARD
                         
          A modest courtyard. Light comes from one window in the house,
          the rest is dark. Crickets.
                         
          James walks around to the back of the house. There's a door.
          He tries the knob. It opens.
                         
                         
          INT IRAQI HOUSE      HALLWAY
                         
          In a dark hallway. Murmuring of a television. James moves
          towards the noise.
                                                                                   94
                         
                         
                         
                         
          INT IRAQI HOUSE   ANTECHAMBER
                         
          James comes to an antechamber. Behind it is a very low stone
          archway. He goes through the archway, where -
                         
                         
          INT IRAQI HOUSE   LIVING ROOM
                         
          A MAN -- call him Kalim -- older, fifties, dressed in
          traditional garb, sits at a table drinking tea, watching an
          Egyptian game show on television.
                         
          James walks in, gun drawn.
                         
          The man is spooked. He spills his tea, looks wildly for an
          exit.
                         
          James puts his fingers to his lips.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Do you speak English?
                         
                                             KALIM
                    English, French, Arabic.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (QUIETLY)
                    I want the people responsible for
                    Pele.
                         
                                               KALIM
                    For whom?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Pele. The body bomb.
                         
                                             KALIM
                    Pele? I don't know. But please sit
                    down. I am professor Kalim, this is
                    my home. You are a guest. Sit.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Take me to the people responsible.
                         
                                             KALIM
                    Of course, whatever you seek, I
                    will help you find. Please, please
                    sit, down. You are CIA, no? I am
                    very pleased to have CIA in my
                    home.
                         
          James raises his gun to aim at the man's face.
                                                                                      95
                         
                         
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Maybe you don't understand?
                         
          The man is suddenly very afraid.
                         
                                                KALIM
                       Please, be careful. Be slow. A gun
                       can go off.
                         
          As the back door opens
                         
          -- James spins to see
                         
          -- a WOMAN, older, matronly. She sees James, his gun. And she
          starts shouting at James in Arabic, then English, "Get out,
          get out."
                         
          James swings his gun to her.
                         
                         SUDDENLY--
                         
          -- behind the woman comes Pele. He runs to his father's side.
                         
          -- James turns to the boy, to say something --
                         
          -- his mother is rushing James now, swinging a candlestick
                         
          -- he spins to the door, trying to get out of there --
                         
          -- SMASHING his head on the stone archway on his way out.
                         
                         
          EXT. IRAQI HOUSE
                         
          -- the street.
                         
          James is shaken. He looks around, down the street. It's
          murky. Dangerous. Even the shadows have shadows.
                         
          He runs...and runs...and we stay on his eyes. Blood runs from
          the wound on his head.
                         
          SOUND of far off EXPLOSION. The sky turns orange briefly,
          then fades into blackness.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY GATE   NIGHT
                         
          A blast of bright white light floods James. He's stunned -
          and raises his ID in his open palm over his head. A scrap of
          blood stained fabric is wrapped around his head wound.
                                                                                   96
                         
                         
                         
          Multiple rifles suddenly trained on his upturned face. VOICES
                         SLAP CONCRETE:
                         
                                              GUARDS
                     On your knees, on your knees!!
                         
          A big offish GUARD walks up and slams a rifle butt into the
          side of James' head.
                         
          He falls to the ground.
                         
                                              GUARD
                     What're you doing?
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (GASPING)
                     Ficke, ficke.
                         
          The guard sees the military ID splayed on the ground.
                         
                                               GUARD
                     Yeah?
                         
          James nods.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Whorehouse two clicks from here.
                         
                                              GUARD
                     If I let you in, will you tell me
                     where it is exactly?
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   NIGHT
                         
          James walking along a dark camp road. He walks up to the head
          shed porch, and goes inside. His walkie, sitting on a desk,
          comes to life.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                        (OVER WALKIE)
                     I repeat, do you copy? Do you copy?
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (INTO WALKIE)
                     Yeah, I'm right here. What's up?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                        (OVER WALKIE)
                     Oh nothing.
                                              (MORE)
                                                                                     97
                         
                                              SANBORN (CONT'D)
                     (sarcastically) Just wondering if
                     you might want to join us in the
                     Humvee for a little outing the Army
                     wants us to go on.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (INTO WALKIE)
                     Copy that. What's you're twenty.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                        (OVER WALKIE)
                     We're at the south gate, James.
                     We've been waiting for you for half
                     an hour. Where have you been? Over.
                         
                         
          INT   HUMVEE MINUTES LATER
                         
          James jumps in. Sanborn and Eldridge shoot him impatient
          looks.
                         
          Sanborn hits the gas.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     A tanker blew up near the Green
                     Zone about an hour ago. We're doing
                     a post-blast on it. To figure out
                     how the suicide bomber pulled it
                     off. So where did you say you were
                     again?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     I didn't. Sergeant. Let's go.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     What happened to your head.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Watch the road, Owen.
                         
          Sanborn looks at him, shakes his head. James stares out the
          window.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT   BAGHDAD STREET   LATE NIGHT
                         
          A pair of Humvee headlights, glowing orange in smoke filled
          air, come rapidly toward us. They stop, the Humvee groans on
          idle.
                         
          James' team gets out.
                                                                                   98
                         
                         
                         
          They walk down the street, guns low, combat flashlights on.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Sanborn, get the big spotlights.
                         
          Sanborn doubles back to the truck, roots around in the back,
          comes running back with two giant flash-lights. James hits
          the switch. Sanborn hits the switch.
                         
          A pool of intensely bright light opens in front of them,
          revealing a rubble strewn street. Concrete. Bits of glass.
          Metal. Everything that goes into a city -- pulverized.
                         
          We hear CRUNCHING sounds as the men walk down the street and
          their feet fall on the blast remnants. The crunching gets
          louder as they walk towards a GLOWING RED INFERNO at the end
          of the block.
                         
          A Soldier's head, then his shoulders visible in the distance.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Friendlies, coming `in.
                         
                                             SOLDIER
                    You guys the Medics?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    No, we're EOD.
                         
          They walk past, deeper into the gloom.
                         
          Two soldiers run past them, carrying a stretcher.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Hey.
                         
          They stop to see what he's looking at. Twisted metal.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    That's an engine block. A big one,
                    too. From a truck probably.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Oil tanker?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    It's what I'm thinking.
                         
          The men keep walking, and now the SOUNDS from the Inferno are
          louder.
                         
          Another man rushes towards them, his face shrouded in
          blackness.
                                                                                   99
                         
                         
                         
          Sanborn points his rifle at the man's head. Hits him with the
          Hi-Beam of his light. The man is wearing a black wool ski
          mask.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Stop! Wagef! Wagef!
                         
                              SKI MASKED MAN
                    No. I am working here.
                         
          Sanborn looks at him. Doesn't reply.
                         
          James puts his gun up on the guy. Now Eldridge does too. This
          guy is about to be toast.
                         
          When...
                         
          A face appears next to him.
                         
                                             FACE
                    He's with me.
                         
          Guns cover the face...
                         
          Then they see that above the face is a helmet...
                         
          And on the top of the helmet is a COLONEL'S INSIGNIA.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Okay fellas?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Sorry, Sir. I didn't recognize you.
                         
          Guns are lowered, fast.
                         
          Now that the Colonel is fully visible in the light we can see
          that he's shaken by the scene of destruction around him.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    We haven't found a body so it could
                    be a suicide bomber or some clever
                    bastard that caused all this -- and
                    slipped away to sip tea with his
                    mommie -- we just don't know.
                         
          As the Colonel struggles to define the horror he's just seen,
          James jumps in to save him:
                         
                                             JAMES
                    We'll take a close look, Sir.
                                                                                   100
                         
                         
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    This kind of situation we may never
                    know what happened. This is a mass
                    casualty situation - terrible
                    destruction.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Roger that, Sir. We'll do our best.
                         
          A stretcher comes by.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    They're cowards, you know. I wish
                    they would stand up and fight us,
                    man to man, instead of playing hide
                    and seek with me.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Roger, Sir. We better get moving.
                         
                                             COLONEL REED
                    Right, go ahead Sergeant.
                         
          The Colonel nods and moves off. His translator stands for a
          moment. Takes off his ski mask to reveal an intelligent face
          with deep set eyes and a dirty smear of five o'clock shadow.
                         
                              SKI MASKED MAN
                    I'm Ahmed. My name is Ahmed. Thank
                    you for not shooting me.
                         
          The men move on...
                         
          Advancing toward the plume of smoke and embers rising into
          the sky...smell of burning rubber and charred metal...
                         
          ...until they see it --
                         
          --the twisted steel carcasses of two small vehicles and a
          TANKER.
                         
          The image is biblical - the wounded and dead piled together
          in one Hieronymus Bosch maze of tangled limbs, body parts...
                         
          Palm trees burning at the top...like Olympic torches.
                         
          SOLDIERS secure the area.   GRIEVING FAMILIES swarm around the
          dead and dying --
                         
          James, Sanborn and Eldridge approach. Wind fans nearby
          flames into a fountain of embers that float up into the black
          desert night.
                                                                                  101
                         
                         
                         
          James moves through charred metal, stumbling over something
          sharp.
                         
          -- then something hits his leg... What? Flashlight, gun --
          DOWN! -- it's a CHICKEN, charred -- feathers burned off but
          still walking around - disoriented, dying...
                         
          James stumbles sideways to avoid the charred hens...
                         
          SOUNDS distant and near of wailing, MEDICS racing onto the
                         SCENE --
                         
          A WOMAN wearing Bhurka appears out of the distant flames and
          haze -- looking disoriented, in apparent state of shock --
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          A BODY lies trapped beneath a pile of rubble. Sanborn reaches
          down to remove one of the chunks of stone. It slides away,
          but another falls in its place.
                         
                         
                         ELDRIDGE
                         
          Shines his light on a concrete wall, stained with what looks
          like threads of black lace. He draws closer. What is it?
          Sanborn leans in.
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                     It's hair.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Approaches the woman in the Bhurka --
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Hey! Hey -- you alright? -- Keef
                     Halek?
                         
          She turns to face him...madness in her eyes.
                         
          James' flashlight illuminates a massive crater, black...and
          empty.
                         
          Eldridge swirls around.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                                        (CALLING)
                     James?!
                                                                                  102
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Hey, I'm right here.
                         
          James is shining his light into a orange tree. There's a
          PERFECTLY formed ORANGE, unharmed, nestled among the burnt
          leaves.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    This is where the blast stopped.
                    (beat) Look over there.
                         
          James is pointing to a building in the distance. It's past a
          row of houses and a field.
                         
          Sanborn comes into view. James nods to him and points again.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Perfect vantage point for a remote
                    det -- and I bet he's out there
                    right now watching us make fools of
                    ourselves. We could get him.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    You want to go out there?
                         
          James keeps looking into the distance.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah, let's go hunting.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    I could stand to get in some
                    trouble.
                         
          Sanborn stares at James and the bandage on his head.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    No.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    No?
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Man, this is bullshit. You got --
                    what?-- three infantry platoons
                    here. That's their job.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (FIERCELY)
                    You don't say No to me, Sergeant. I
                    say No to you -- and I'm not going
                    to let this bomber slink off while
                    the grunts get their act together.
                                             (MORE)
                                                                                     103
                         
                                             JAMES (CONT'D)
                        (on the move)
                    Let's go. Now.
                         
          James glowers at Sanborn and Eldridge and stomps off, down
          the alley toward an empty field.
                         
          Eldridge shoots Sanborn a sympathetic glance, and follows
          James. Sanborn watches them recede into the darkness.
                         
          Sanborn runs after them.
                         
                         
                         FIELD
                         
          They move three abreast across a dark field, guns raised
          commando-style. Poised to strike.
                         
          They walk in silence, alert to every decibel.
                         
          Gravel underfoot. Enveloping night.
                         
          They come to a high wall, behind which the ground raises to a
          gentle hill that looks out onto the tanker.
                         
                         
                         WALL
                         
          Sanborn gives James a leg up over the wall. James helps
          Sanborn over.
                         
          They lean over to pull Eldridge up but with the forty pounds
          of gear he's got on he's too heavy.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You got to work on your pull ups.
                         
          James and Sanborn drop over the other side, and we follow
          them as they crouch low and approach a building construction
          site.
                         
                         
                         WALL
                         
          Eldridge pushes his back against the wall and scans the area.
          It dawns on him that he's alone.
                         
                         
                         CONSTRUCTION SITE
                         
          Sanborn and James come to the edge of the site and find what
          may or may not be the remains of the trigger man's camp.
          There's a florescent lantern still glowing and cigarette
          butts in a pile.
                                                                                  104
                         
                         
                         
                                              JAMES
                     That little bastard. Let's torch
                     this spot so he can't use it again.
                         
          James pats his pockets down, looking for something.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Do you have an incendiary?
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                     No.
                         
          Three quick SHOTS ring out -- they sound very close.
                         
          Sanborn and James instinctively fall to one knee. They scan
          the area -- nothing.
                         
          As one man, they rise and start running back to the wall.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Eldridge!!!
                         
          There's no answer.
                         
                         
                         WALL
                         
                                                 SANBORN
                     He's gone.
                         
          They both drop to the ground on the other side.
                         
          They scan the ground with their flashlights.
                         
          The BODY of an Iraqi insurgent is lying close to where
          Eldridge had been standing. He's pulped from bullet wounds,
          and gasping for breath.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     This guy comes out of the dark -
                     Eldridge shoots.
                         
          He scavenges the ground looking for brass casings.
                         
          Nothing.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Three shots, close range. He takes
                     a step forward to see what he's
                     hit.
                                                                                     105
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Another guy comes from behind him --
                    gets the drop on him. You're a
                    hostage.
                         
          They look up and down the wall.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    That way is towards the tanker,
                    troops.
                         
                         
                         DARK STREET
                         
          They run about fifty yards when Sanborn TRIPS, stumbles,
          James catches him as he falls, and they keep going.
                         
          In the distance, they see Eldridge's back and the backs of
          two other MEN, just as they are turning a corner.
                         
          They SPRINT to the corner, and pause to catch their breath as
          James hands Sanborn his flashlight.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Hit `em with both lights on three.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Fuck. Okay.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    One. Two.
                         
          Sanborn shoulders his rifle and readies both spotlights.
                         
                                               JAMES
                    Three.
                         
          They spin around the corner - flash of light revealing
          NOTHING but an empty street.
                         
          They sprint to the next block, where Eldridge is being walked
          quickly at gun point.
                         
          The men's rifles are at his head.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Again. One two three. Do it. Do it.
                         
          Sanborn shines the lights on the backs of both men.
                         
          James fires. Three shots at the guy on the left of Eldridge.
          Three shots at the guy on the right.
                                                                                  106
                         
                         
                         
          Sanborn kills the flashlights.
                         
          James goes running towards the group, Sanborn running next to
          him. Both have their guns up but lights off.
                         
          They get to the group and all three men are on the ground.
          Both Iraqis are dead -- shot clean in the back.
                         
          Eldridge is bleeding profusely from his leg, but he's alive.
                         
          James and Sanborn pick Eldridge up and drudge back with him.
                         
                                                 ELDRIDGE
                     Am I dead?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     No. You're fine.
                         
                                              ELDRIDGE
                     Am I dead? Am I dead? Am I dead?
                         
          Off James' face --
                         
                         
          INT   CAMP VICTORY SHOWER STALLS   LATER THAT NIGHT
                         
          James walks in. The room is empty. Florescent lights hum.
          James is still wearing his fatigues. His whole midsection is
          red with Eldridge's blood.
                         
          James heads to the shower and steps inside, fully clothed. He
          turns on the water.
                         
          Aims the shower head to his stomach. Sinks down so it can hit
          the bloody stains.
                         
          As the uniform grows wet, then gets soaked, the pinkish water
          swirls down the drain --
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   FIRST SERGEANT'S TRAILER
                         
          James and Sanborn emerge into the wind.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     So how you doing with this?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Fine. I'm fine.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Fine? You know I lied to our
                     sergeant.
                                              (MORE)
                                                                                     107
                         
                                              SANBORN (CONT'D)
                     So Eldridge wouldn't have to go
                     around saying he was shot by his
                     own team leader.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Yeah. Thanks. I'm just tired.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     You want some sleeping pills?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Nah, I'm good.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   HEAD SHED   MORNING
                         
          James walks purposely out of the head shed toward a waiting
          Humvee. He passes Pele who looks up and shouts:
                         
                                              PELE
                     Hey, Boomala, Boomala!
                         
          James keeps walking.    Eyes straight ahead.
                         
                                                PELE
                                    HEY--
                         
          Running up to James, holding DVD's, walks next to him.
                         
                                              PELE
                                        (SMILING)
                     Look at these, best quality.    No
                     special effects!
                         
          James just keeps walking.     He gets in the car, Sanborn in the
          driver's seat.
                         
          Pele watches him go.    Hurt.
                         
                         
          EXT   CAMP VICTORY   TARMAC   MORNING
                         
          Eldridge is on a stretcher, being loaded into a military
          transport helicopter. Sanborn and James are there to say good-
          bye.
                         
          As Eldridge is being loaded in, James touches his shoulder.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     You'll probably be walking in a few
                     months.
                                                                                     108
                         
                         
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    My tibia is shattered in nine
                    places I don't think I'm going to
                    be walking soon. The doc said six
                    months if I'm lucky.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Wow. Six ain't bad.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    Not bad? It fucking sucks man.
                         
          Eldridge is jostled as he gets put down. And he cries out in
          pain.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                                       (ANGRILY)
                    You see that motherfucker. That's
                    what happens when you shoot
                    somebody.
                         
                                                JAMES
                    I'm sorry.
                         
                                             ELDRIDGE
                    You're sorry? Fuck you, Will.
                    (meaning it) Really fuck you.
                    Thanks for saving my life and all
                    but we didn't have to go hunting
                    for the trigger man. You invented
                    it, to get your adrenaline fix. You
                    war mongering fuck.
                         
          James is stunned.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                        (grabbing Eldridge's hand)
                    Take care of yourself, Owen.
                         
          A TRANSPORT SOLDIER looks at Sanborn and gives a hand signal
          to wrap it up. Time to go. The door is closed on Eldridge.
                         
          James and Sanborn watch as the helicopter takes off. The
          rotor wash chops the air.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Wind and sand buffet his face. He turns to say something to
          Sanborn.
                                                                                     109
                         
                         
                         
          But he's already walking away.
                         
                                                                           CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT BAGHDAD   STREET   LATE AFTERNOON
                         
          A new sand storm has begun.
                         
          And so it's in a cloud of dusty orange air that we find
          James, encased in his bomb suit, taking the first steps of
          his trek towards...
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          A WASHING MACHINE. Sitting in the middle of the street.
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 5
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn casts a nervous look around the poverty-stricken
          neighborhood. It has taken on a forboding vibe in the
          unrelenting storm.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          James approaches the washing machine.
                         
                                               JAMES
                          (headset, impish grin)
                      I hear ticking.
                         
          He uses a long pole to open the door of the washing machine.
          It's empty inside.
                         
          Getting closer, he sees the washing machine timer is at 30
          minutes. James rests his head on the timer, listening.
                         
          He turns his attention to the back of the washing machine,
          unscrewing the rear plate.
                         
          Inside, just a tangle of wires. He traces the wires with his
          hand. Shrugs.
                         
          Then he turns back to the front of the machine. He twists the
          timer with his hand, slowly, all the way back to zero.
                                                                                    110
                         
                         
                         
          It DINGS -- harmlessly.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Hey, Sanborn.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Copy. What's up?
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Send your skivvies down here on the
                    bot, I'll run a quick bleach cycle.
                    Somebody threw out a perfectly good
                    washing machine.
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
                                              SANBORN
                                       (RELIEVED)
                    Copy that.
                         
          --When, suddenly, the SOUND of SOLDIERS SHOUTING in the
          distance catches Sanborn's ear.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    Hustle back, something's going on.
                         
                         
                         MOMENTS LATER
                         
          James comes back sweating profusely from his run. Sanborn
          helps take his helmet off.
                         
          As two SOLDIERS come running over. More SHOUTING in the
          distance, louder now. "Hands on your head." "Don't move
          asshole." "Stop. Stop."
                         
          In addition, the sound of SHOUTING IN ARABIC. A loud jumble.
                         
          Over that, SOLDIERS YELLING: "Get back." "Form a perimeter."
                         
          A NERVOUS SOLDIER trots up to James and Sanborn.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    What's going on?
                         
                                             NERVOUS SOLDIER
                    We've got a situation with a
                    suicide bomber.
                                                                                     111
                         
                         
                         
                                              JAMES
                     We'll follow you.
                         
          They follow the soldier down the road. The soldier is
          sweating, terrified.
                         
                         
          EXT   BAGHDAD ROAD
                         
          The road has been cordoned off by SOLDIERS on all sides.
                         
          In the middle of the road an IRAQI MAN IN A NEW BLACK SUIT is
          standing with his hands above his head. He's distraught.
          Hair mussed.
                         
          A SERGEANT seems to have taken command of the situation, and
          now he alone is shouting to the man. "Stay still. Don't Move.
          If you keep walking we will shoot you."
                         
          A TRANSLATOR in a black ski mask is helping him get the
          message across.
                         
          The translator edges forward to talk to the BLACK SUIT man.
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                     Keep that translator back.
                         
          One of the soldiers grabs the translator.
                         
                                               TRANSLATOR
                          (to the soldier)
                     But the bomb was forced on him.
                     Against his will. He is not a bad
                     man!
                         
          James and Sanborn and the NERVOUS SOLDIER come onto the
          scene.
                         
          The Sergeant turns to James and explains.
                         
                                              SERGEANT
                     He came walking up to our
                     checkpoint, said he had a bomb
                     strapped to him. He was sorry. He
                     didn't want it to blow up. He
                     begged us to take it off him.
                         
                                              TRANSLATOR
                                        (TO JAMES)
                     Help this man. He's not a bad man.
                                                                                   112
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Not a bad man? You've got to be
                    kidding me.
                                       (TO JAMES)
                    This is a trap. He wants to draw
                    people close to him.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO TRANSLATOR)
                    Tell him to open his jacket. I need
                    to see the bomb.
                         
          The translator SHOUTS in Arabic and the MAN unbuttons his
          jacket, revealing several sticks of dynamite strapped to his
          chest.
                         
                                             JAMES
                        (to the soldier)
                    With that much bang, I'd need a
                    hundred meter perimeter.
                                       (TO TRANSLATOR)
                    Tell him to get on his knees.
                         
          The translator SHOUTS. BLACK SUIT complies.
                         
                                             SERGEANT
                    Can we just shoot him?
                         
          As James considers that option when --
                         
                                             TRANSLATOR
                    NO. He's not a bad man. He has a
                    family. The bomb was forced on him.
                    He is asking for help. Only help.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO TRANSLATOR)
                    I want you one hundred meters away,
                    like everybody else.
                         
                                             TRANSLATOR
                    But how will I hear?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You don't need to. I'm going down
                    there.
                         
          Meanwhile, the BLACK SUIT man is SHOUTING something in
          Arabic.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO TRANSLATOR)
                    What the fuck is he shouting now?
                                                                                    113
                         
                         
                         
                                                TRANSLATOR
                       He's asking you to hurry. He thinks
                       the bomb has a timer on it.
                         
          James turns to Sanborn
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Where's that helmet?
                         
          Sanborn pulls James aside.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       We've had our differences.
                       Eldridge? That's water under the
                       bridge. It happened. But this --
                       this is suicide.
                         
          James smiles at Sanborn. He just doesn't get it.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       That's why it's called a suicide
                       bomb.
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       It's suicide for you, Will.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Nah. That guy wants to catch an
                       American? I'll give him an
                       American.
                         
          Sanborn reluctantly hands him his helmet, and seals him in.
                         
          James grabs a nearby soldier's walkie then starts the walk
          downrange.
                         
          Soldiers moving back to their perimeter.
                         
          PEDESTRIANS gathering for a look.    Soldiers scattering them
          quickly.
                         
                         
                         BLACK SUIT
                         
          Smiles thinly as James nears.
                         
          James nods at him. The man nods, frightened.
                         
                                                BLACK SUIT
                       Inshalla. Inshalla.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       Uh-huh.
                                                                                    114
                         
                         
                         
          James kneels down to get a closer look at the bomb strapped
          to the man's belly.
                         
          He takes out his 9mm and puts it on the guy's forehead. Cocks
          the trigger.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    If I shoot you now, I can disarm
                    this bomb much more easily. Do you
                    understand?
                         
          BLACK SUIT stares at him blankly.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Sanborn, give your walkie to the
                    translator.
                         
                                                TRANSLATOR
                                          (OVER WALKIE)
                    Yes?
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    What the hell is this guy saying?
                         
          BLACK SUIT jabbers on in Arabic.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          The translator keys his walkie.
                         
                                             TRANSLATOR
                                       (INTO WALKIE)
                    He says, I don't wish to die. I
                    have a family. Please take this off
                    me.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Holds his walkie up for the man to hear the translator.
                         
                                              JAMES
                                        (HEADSET)
                    Hands have to stay behind his head
                    or I will be very happy to shoot
                    him.
                         
          Translator conveys this to BLACK SUIT in Arabic.
                                                                                     115
                         
                         
                         
          BLACK SUIT starts yelling in Arabic.   Forehead wet with
          sweat.
                         
                                             TRANSLATOR
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    He says, please hurry he has a
                    family.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (TO TRANSLATOR)
                    That's not what I asked you. Now
                    I'm going to shoot if he doesn't
                    understand that he can't move his
                    hands.
                         
          James holds the walkie up to the man's ear. Translator has
          another exchange.
                         
                                             BLACK SUIT
                    Yes. Yes. Yes!
                         
          Now James sinks to his knees and examines the bomb, all the
          while keeping his pistol on the man's head.
                         
          There is a FOREST OF WIRES. He pushes them aside, revealing a
          cheap Casio digital WATCH, which is counting down from five
          minutes.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Sanborn, I need to get this rig
                    off. There's too many wires here to
                    figure it out.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (OVER HEADSET)
                    Copy that, what do you need?
                         
          James feels around the bomb. It's strapped to the BLACK SUIT
          man with heavy gauge metal.
                         
          The man is shivering with fear.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (HEADSET)
                    Bolt cutters.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                                       (OVER WALKIE)
                    Copy that. I'll get `em.
                                                                                     116
                         
                         
                         
                                               JAMES
                                         (HEADSET)
                      You've got two minutes to get them
                      and get down here.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn is already running towards the truck when he hears
          James.
                         
                                               SANBORN
                                         (INTO WALKIE)
                      Fuck. Copy that.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          James presses his pistol harder into the man's forehead.
                         
                                               JAMES
                                         (TO MAN)
                      Don't move.
                         
                         
                         UPRANGE
                         
          Sanborn runs to the truck. He roots around looking for the
          bolt cutter. At last he finds it, and comes charging out with
          it.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          The Casio watch is at 4:30.
                         
                         
                         SANBORN
                         
          Running hard with the bolt cutters.
                         
          --Past a crew of soldiers.
                         
          --Down the road, sprinting now. Rifle flapping.
                         
                         
                         DOWNRANGE
                         
          Sanborn skids to a halt, hands James the cutters.
                         
          James hands his gun to Sanborn, who holds it on the man's
          forehead.
                                                                                   117
                         
                         
                         
          James sets to work, applying the cutters to the thick metal
          holding the bomb to his chest.
                         
          The man is crying now.
                         
          Sanborn sees the Casio. It reads 4:00
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Holy shit. You weren't kidding.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Nope.
                         
          James works the cutter blade.
                         
          CU: Bolt Cutter. It SCRAPS futilely against the metal.
                         
                                             JAMES
                                       (SOTTO)
                    What is this made out of?
                         
                                             BLACK SUIT
                    Please. Please.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Case hardened steel.
                         
          James doubles his effort.
                         
          CU: Bolt Cutter. The blade bites the steel, but it doesn't
          give.
                         
          James squeezes with all his might.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Motherfucker. What's our time?
                         
          Sanborn looks at the Casio.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Three minutes.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Shit. Ok. Let me think.
                         
          He puts the bolt cutter down on the ground.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    We'd need an arc welder to get this
                    off properly.
                                                                                     118
                         
                         
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I don't think we have one of those
                    in the truck.
                         
          CU: Casio Watch 2:30.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Let's try the back of it.
                         
          Sanborn nods. Keeps the gun on the man's head. His hand is
          starting to shake.
                         
          James goes behind the man, and rips open the back of his
          shirt, revealing the back of the bomb. Here too it is a
          welded band, but the metal looks thinner. Weaker.
                         
          James works it with the cutter.
                         
          CU: Casio Watch 1:30.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    We have to bail.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Go. I got the suit.
                         
          Sanborn looks at the guy.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    What do you want me to do with the
                    pistol?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Take it with you, that's a good
                    pistol.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    When do you leave?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    In forty five seconds.
                         
          Sanborn turns, and begins running uprange.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                        (shouting to soldiers)
                    Get back! Get back!
                         
          The soldiers turn and run.
                         
          James tries and tries to clip the metal. It's a no go. He
          comes around to face the man.
                                                                                    119
                         
                         
                         
                                                  JAMES
                      I'm sorry.
                         
                                               BLACK SUIT
                      Please, please.
                         
                                               JAMES
                      The metal is too thick.
                         
                                               BLACK SUIT
                      Help me. Help me!
                         
          James drops the bolt cutter, kneels down in front of the man,
          and shakes his head. That's it.
                         
          The man understands James' gesture. He reaches forward,
          grabbing James' suit.
                         
                                                  BLACK SUIT
                      No! No!
                         
          James clubs his hand away.
                         
                                                  JAMES
                      Sorry.
                         
          CU: Casio Watch: 45 seconds.
                         
          James gets up and starts running-- lumbers, really, in the
          suit -- as fast as he can towards a retreating Sanborn.
                         
          Sanborn hears James' boots thumping towards him and cranes
          his neck to see
                         
          --James running, arms akimbo
                         
          --The Black Suit man stands up
                         
          BOOM!!
                         
          -- He explodes and the blast spits out fire and dust.
                         
          --James is nailed with shrapnel and debris, knocked over.
                         
          --Sanborn is blown to the ground.
                         
                         
                         JAMES POV
                         
          --through the helmet a hailstorm of particulate matter flying
          at 22,000 feet per second straight at us --
                                                                                   120
                         
                         
                         
          --chunks of molten metal hitting his stomach, stopped by the
                         SUIT
                         
          --bits of shrapnel and body parts thump into him
                         
          --dust and blood splatters the outside of his helmet
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          --CU his face: White. No movement. Total silence.
                         
          --blood seeps from his nose
                         
          --then, as if overcoming great resistance, his heart turns
          over -- Daaaa--duuuunk
                         
          --sharp, loud inhale of breath. Like birth. The heart kicks
          in again. Da-dunk. Da-dunk.
                         
          James struggles to stand.
                         
          He looks uprange.
                         
          Sanborn is staggering towards the soldiers.
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT   HUMVEE   DUSK
                         
          The Humvee snakes along the desert floor.
                         
          Traffic thickening.
                         
          Shadows against a dimming sky.
                         
                         
                         INT   HUMVEE
                         
          Sanborn is in the passenger seat, shivering, and covered in
          grime and dust. James, in the driver's seat.
                         
          James looks over at Sanborn.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     You alright?
                         
                                               SANBORN
                     No.   I hate this place
                         
          Sanborn stares out the window at the unforgiving landscape.
                                                                                  121
                         
                         
                         
          James passes Sanborn some Gatorade.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Have a hit.
                         
          Sanborn drinks, grateful, and puts the Gatorade down. Then he
          looks at James.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    I'm not ready to die, man.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Bro, you're not going to die out
                    here.
                         
          Sanborn shakes his head. Unconsciously, his fingers touch his
          neck, finding the exposed area above the collar of his body
          armor.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                    Another inch or two difference.
                    Shrapnel goes zing (still touching
                    his neck). Severs my throat. I
                    bleed out in the sand.
                                       (BEAT)
                    Fuck. If I die now, nobody will
                    even really care. My folks, sure.
                    But that don't count. Who else?
                                       (BEAT)
                    I don't even have a son.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You got time.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    No... I'm done. I want a son, Will.
                    I want a son.
                         
          They drive on in silence. Then Sanborn looks at James, as if
          seeing him for the first time.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    Why do you do it? Take the risks?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Hell, I don't know.
                         
                                             SANBORN
                    But you know what I'm talking
                    about, right? Every time we go out,
                    you throw the dice. Live or die,
                    you just throw `em down. You
                    recognize that, right?
                                                                                      122
                         
                         
                         
          Beat.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Yeah. (softly) I do. But I don't
                     know why. Do you know why I am the
                     way I am?
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     No, Will, I don't.
                         
          Silence. Then after a while:
                         
                                              JAMES
                     This traffic is pissing me off.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     Where are we, anyway?
                         
                                              JAMES
                     I know where I am but I'm lost.
                         
          They drive on.   Dust off the desert floor blows into the
                         WINDSHIELD --
                         
                                                           TIME CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT   KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE   SUPERMARKET   DAY
                         
          A big one. Vast, hyper-hygenic, the aisles stretching on,
          loaded with glistening produce. Muzac. A cathedral to
          consumerism.
                         
          We find James walking through the supermarket, looking like a
          new man. His hair has grown, softening his features. He's
          scrubbed clean, dust free, and dressed in Bermuda shorts and
          a clashing Polo shirt. The All American Dad. A suburban
          softie. Pushing a shopping cart.
                         
          Welcome home, son, for you are no longer in Baghdad.     You're
          in the "big PX" -- America.
                         
          A beautiful young WOMAN approaches him from the other end of
          the aisle. She too, is pushing a shopping cart, and in it is
          a small BOY. She smiles at James, and says:
                         
                                              YOUNG WOMAN
                     Honey, you grab the barbecue sauce
                     and I'll meet you in aisle four.
                         
          And CONNIE JAMES smiles again, and pats her husband on the
          shoulder.
                                                                                     123
                         
                         
                         
          Now James knows he's really home.
                         
                         
                         JAMES
                         
          Pushes the cart over to the sauce section. Down the squeaky-
          clean aisle.
                         
          His progress is impeded by an OBESE WOMAN who is mulling over
          cat litter. Her overflowing cart blocks the aisle.
                         
          James stops. Hands tight on the shopping cart. He looks at
          her hard. She ignores him. Where's the 9mm when you need it?
                         
          James clears his throat. She sees him. Moves her cart.
                         
          He continues on, walking through the cavernous space.
                         
          At last, he's at the sauce section. He is rattled by the
          abundance after the bleakness of Iraq, and the array of
          choices is dizzying.
                         
          --He reaches for a bottle, then pulls back, unsure.
                         
          --Giving up, he picks a bottle at random and tosses it into
          the cart.
                         
                         
          INT KNOXVILLE   JAMES HOUSE   KITCHEN   MORNING SOME DAYS LATER
                         
          James is washing the vegetables they've just bought at the
          grocery store. Mushrooms bob in a pool of water at the bottom
          of the sink. James tries to clean them individually, but
          can't. They crumble in his hands.
                         
                                             CONNIE
                    Let's put the chicken on first and
                    the vegetables on last, so they
                    don't burn?
                         
          James struggles with the mushrooms. Makes no reply.
                         
                                              CONNIE CONT'D
                    Will?
                         
                                             JAMES
                    Yeah, okay. (beat) You know,
                    they're really short on bomb techs
                    over there.
                         
          Connie knows where this is going, but she fights the
          inevitable.
                                                                                    124
                         
                         
                         
                                              CONNIE
                     Well, good thing the army is
                     hiring, and they've got so many
                     great guys over there.
                         
                                                JAMES
                     Uh-huh.
                         
          James wipes his hands on the dish towel and walks out.
          Looking at his retreating back, she accidentally knocks a
          glass off the counter, and it shatters.
                         
                         
          EXT   JAMES HOUSE    LATER THAT DAY
                         
          A few NEIGHBORS have gathered for a barbecue in James'
          backyard. It's a simple, low-key affair. James is tending
          meat on a grill.
                         
                         
          INT   JAMES HOUSE    CONTINUOUS
                         
          The doorbell rings. Connie rushes to open it. It's Sanborn.
          She hugs him.
                         
                                              CONNIE
                     Thanks for coming. Maybe he'll
                     listen to you.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     I know how to talk to him.
                         
                         
          EXT   JAMES HOUSE    A LITTLE LATER
                         
          Behind the barbecue, Sanborn finds a moment to confront James
          privately.
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     What the fuck is the matter with
                     you? You got a family, kid, nice
                     looking burgers.
                         
          James studies the grilling meat.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     I know, it's crazy. So how's life
                     at home treating you?
                         
          Sanborn holds up his hand. He's wearing a wedding ring.
                                                                                     125
                         
                         
                         
                                              SANBORN
                     I made the plunge. (big smile) But
                     I thought we were talking about
                     you.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     We just did, buddy.
                         
                         
          INT   JAMES' SON'S BEDROOM   LATER THAT NIGHT
                         
          The boy is in a cradle, face up and wide awake. James comes
          in to tuck him in.
                         
          James pulls a book of fairy tales off the shelf, flips
          through it. Can't read that fluff.
                         
          He pulls up a chair. Begins to play with a Jack-In-the-Box.
          He winds it up.
                         
          He opens it for his son. The Jack POPs out.
                         
          His son squeals with delight, then his eyes go wide with
          fear. He's not sure what to make of the bobbing clown.
                         
                                               JAMES
                         (trying to settle him
                                         DOWN)
                     Well, let's see. I bet you don't
                     know the story of these magic
                     boxes.
                         
          James looks at the box. He stuffs the Jack back in and closes
          it.
                         
          The boy looks up at him with a son's pure admiration. Rapt.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Once upon a time, in a distant
                     kingdom, there were many magic
                                    BOXES
                         
          He stops to think.
                         
                                              JAMES
                     Every person had a magic box. But
                     you couldn't tell they were magic
                     boxes on the outside. Like this
                     one.
                         
          He brings the box close to the child's eyes. The boy is
          dazzled by the colors. He reaches out to touch it.
                                                                                  126
                         
                         
                         
                                             JAMES
                    It just looks like a plain old box.
                    Then a new king came along and told
                    all the people, you have to give me
                    all your magic boxes. But the
                    people, instead of giving away
                    their boxes decided to hide them.
                    And they put their boxes in secret
                    places all over the kingdom. They
                    put them in the roads. They put
                    them in cars. They put them in
                    buildings. And the King said, (does
                    a King's gravelly baritone) "Well,
                    how am I going to get my magic
                    boxes now?" And one of the King's
                    men said, "We have a special Knight
                    with special armor, and he can find
                    the boxes. And only he.
                         
          He tries to collect his thoughts.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    And this Knight gathered up all the
                    boxes, far and wide. And sometimes -
                    - when he wasn't sure if it was a
                    magic box -- he opened them.
                         
          James slowly opens the box, holding the clown in with his
          hand so it doesn't pop. Releasing it slowly.
                         
          The boy giggles and reaches up.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    And the King said to the Knight,
                    you have done a wonderful job. I
                    will grant you one wish. What do
                    you wish?
                         
          James thinks, struggles to find an ending.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    But the Knight didn't know what to
                    say.
                         
          James realizes he can't finish the story.
                         
                                             JAMES
                    You see, the thing is, son. One day
                    you'll understand that when you
                    start out like you are now, you
                    love everything. You love your
                    Mommy and your Daddy. You love your
                    bobba. You love your blanket.
                                             (MORE)
                                                                                  127
                         
                                                JAMES (CONT'D)
                       You even love your little crib, and
                       these dumb toys. But as you get
                       older some of the things you love
                       don't seem special anymore. That
                       bobba is one day just going to look
                       like an ordinary plastic bottle to
                       you. And the older you get, the
                       more this happens and the fewer
                       things you love. And by the time
                       you get to be my age, sometimes you
                       only love one -- or two -- things.
                         
          James pauses.
                         
                                                JAMES
                       With me, I think's it's one.
                         
                         
          EXT   KNOXVILLE   BUS STOP   DAWN
                         
          James waits for the bus. Wearing his camo. He's alone. His
          hair is shaved again.
                         
          The far off city BUS grinds its gears. James turns toward
          the sound when a Chevy PICKUP pulls ahead of the bus, and
          zooms to a stop in front of him.
                         
                         
                         INT PICKUP
                         
          Sanborn opens the passenger window.
                         
                         
          EXT BUS STOP
                         
                                                JAMES
                       You lost again, Sergeant?
                         
                                                SANBORN
                       Get in, before I change my mind.
                         
          They drive away.
                         
                         
                         INT   PICKUP
                         
                                                SANBORN
                                          (SMILING)
                       Couldn't risk letting you on a
                       public bus. Probably shoot the damn
                       driver if it wasn't moving fast
                       enough.
                                                                                    128
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         INT    AIRPLANE
                         
          A stewardess passing out glasses of water and packages of
          peanuts approaches James' aisle.
                         
                                               STEWARDESS
                      Here you are, Sir (noticing James'
                      uniform) Thank you for your
                      service.
                         
                                               JAMES
                      Your welcome, m'am.
                         
          The stewardess smiles lovingly, and waits for an opening to
          continue the conversation. When none comes, she moves on.
                         
          James turns to the window. In his hand he holds a photo of
          his son.
                         
          Tears well up.
                         
          The plane's ENGINE WHINE swells and merges with--
                         
                                                                             CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT    BAGHDAD    DAY
                         
                         --SONIC OVERLOAD:
                         
          Angry drivers SHOUT in Arabic - car HORNS blare - loudspeaker
          CALL to prayer - Humvee RUMBLE - incoming CHOPPER WASH - RAT-
          TAT-TAT of distant gunfire --
                         
          As James' feet hit the tarmac.
                         
          A SOLDIER is waiting for him, with a smile on his face.
                         
                                               SOLDIER
                      Welcome to Delta-Company.
                         
          A Middle-Eastern sun bathes James' upturned face lengthening
          into a smile.
                         
          His pace slows...the tarmac transitions to dirt as little
          puffs of dust lift off his continuous passage. He is now in
          the bomb suit and we are --
                         
                         
          EXT.    BAGHDAD OUTSKIRTS   DAY
                         
          -- in the desert.
                                                                                     129
                         
                         
                         
          The small CLUSTER of SOLDIERS at the side of the road parts
          to make way for James.
                         
          Hands pat his back as he begins the long walk down the street
          -- toward the bomb.
                         
          All SOUND telescopes down to just James' BREATHING...
                         
          --the view through James' eyes: the outside world of soldiers
          and Baghdad seems to pulsate with excitement --
                         
          -- James' face. As the SOUNDS of his breathing grow louder
                         
          -- The noon day sun beats brilliantly onto a car's
          windshield, the glass shimmering.
                         
                         
                         TITLE OVER:
                         
          DAYS LEFT IN DELTA COMPANY'S ROTATION: 365
                         
          -- James moves into the path of that reflected sunlight.
                         
          -- And vanishes into the glare.
                         
                         
                         END
                           


Hurt Locker, The



Writers :   Mark Boal  Kathryn Bigelow
Genres :   Drama  Thriller


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