"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"84 CHARLIE MOPIC"

Screenplay by

Patrick Sheane Duncan

SHOOTING DRAFT



LIEUTENANT DREWRY -- EL TEE

Bright green, brand new issue tropical fatigues, boots, M-
16, and .45 pistol. Just out of Officer Candidate School.
Crewcut, clean face, ambitious and full of the wrong ideas.
24 years old.

SERGEANT O'DONIGAN -- OD

Well-faded tiger fatigues, scuffed boots, a lot of trail
behind him. A black man from a large family, takes care of
his team. Carries a CAR-15, carbine model of the M-16, and a
Model 70 Winchester bolt action sniper rifle with scope,
both with long black muzzle flash suppressors. A natural
leader. An intensely serious man on the job, his rare smile
dazzles. OD is 21.

SPEC/5 -- CRACKER

Spotted camouflage fatigues, worn and faded. He never tans,
just gets red. Trace of a Southern accent and an old man's
eyes. Defers to OD. Carries a 12-gauge riot shotgun with
bandolier, and an M-14 sniper rifle with scope and flash
suppressor. Dry wit, likes to watch the interplay between
the others and wait for his opening. He is 24, but looks
older.

SPEC/4 BALDWIN -- PRETTY BOY

Handsome, all-American, clean cut, easy going, he keeps the
peace between Easy and Hammer. His tiger fatigues look
tailored. Carries an M-79 grenade launcher with two bandoliers
of grenades. Quick to smile, Easy's best friend and audience.
Pretty Boy is 20.

SPEC/4 THORPE -- HAMMER

Short, stocky, Fu Manchu mustache, too-small tiger fatigues
accented with black t-shirt and black leather gloves with
the fingers cut off. Swaggering macho style, carries his M-
60 machine gun like he's seen too many John Wayne movies.
Half immature teenager, half warrior, he is jealous of the
affection shown toward Easy. He is 19.

PRIVATE EASELY -- EASY

Skinny, homely, his tiger fatigues look baggy. He carries
the PRC-25 radio and M-1 carbine. Walks with a bounce, even
in the jungle, and talks like an urban, rock and roll speed
freak. Takes nothing seriously, least of all himself. Loves
Pretty Boy, admires OD, teases Hammer because he's an easy
target. He's been in the war too long and he is now getting
scared. Easy is 21.



VIETNAM - The Central Highlands - 1968

The CAMERA STARTS and focuses on the ground where the words --

-- have been scratched.

An M-16 bayonet is jabbed into the ground next to the letters.
The lettering goes fuzzy then sharp, fuzzy then sharp, as
the Cameraman focuses.

A hand reaches in and pulls the bayonet out of the ground.

The Camera pulls back and focuses on LIEUTENANT DREWRY. He
sheaths the bayonet and turns on the tape recorder that is
next to his rucksack. He fiddles with the dials and looks at
the Camera.

Sound on.

DREWRY
...turns this thing on? How do you
tell if it's working? Outstanding.

They stand outside a large tent with a sign in front of it --
"S-2/S-3". A soldier whitewashes a line of rocks that form a
square in front of the tent. Further away a soldier casually
guards four Vietnamese who are filling sandbags. Music plays
in one of the tents.

The Camera catches everything, including the rise of ground
in front of the tent, the helicopter pad.

Drewry finishes a cigarette as he tries to tighten the straps
on his pack. The Camera dwells on Drewry as he puts out the
cigarette on the heel of one shiny new boot, field strips
the butt and scatters the tobacco, balls up the paper and
pockets it and the filter. He is nervous.

He stands and faces the Camera, adjusts his gig line and
tries to look serious.

DREWRY
Ah... Drewry, Richard B., First
Lieutenant... Headquarters and
Headquarters Company, 173rd Airborne
Brigade... Vietnam.
(beat)
Lessons Learned Project, DASPO.

He pauses a moment and thinks.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
Mission.

DREWRY
Reconnaissance mission, Central
Highlands. Our goal is to record
procedures peculiar to this combat
situation. Uh...

The fluttering of a distant helicopter is heard. It gets
louder. Drewry looks into the sky and finds the helicopter.

DREWRY
That must be ours.

The Camera finds the helicopter, a Huey. It descends toward
the pad where a soldier helps it land, using hand signals.

The blades kick up a huge cloud of dust.

Through the dust walks the team with OD in the lead. Packs
on their backs, weapons in hand.

The Huey engine idles, the whoop-whoosh of the blades a slow,
steady beat.

OD halts the team and Easy gooses HAMMER with his thumb.
Hammer just grins.

HAMMER
Damn, Easy, you got a cold nose.

Drewry walks over to the team.

DREWRY
Which one of you is Sergeant
O'Donigan?

OD
Yo, sir.

The men play for the Camera. Easy cranks up a middle finger.
Pretty Boy waves, "Hi, Mom". Hammer pretends to jack off.
Cracker gurns. OD tries to ignore the Camera, but he is wary.

DREWRY
Glad to be working with you, Sergeant.
I'm your new Officer in Charge. Major
Nolin has briefed me on the mission.
We're prepared to move out.

OD looks at Drewry in surprise. He looks at the Cameraman,
then back to Drewry. The team is stunned.

OD
We'll see about that.

Angrily he drops his pack and weapons and strides into the S-
2 tent. Nonplussed, Drewry hesitates, then follows.

The rest of the team look at the Cameraman.

EASY
TV news?

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
Army. How about a roll call?

EASY
Easely, Private E-2! Soon to be
promoted to PFC... Private Fucking
Civilian! 27 days and a wake up! I'm
short, sir!

HAMMER/PRETTY BOY/CRACKER
How short are you?

EASY
I'm so short I can parachute off a
dime, sir!

Easy gives a half-assed salute.

The Camera focuses on Pretty Boy.

PRETTY BOY
Spec 4 Baldwin, San Bernardino,
California.

He straightens his hair and just stands there.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
Don't look at me, look at the camera.
(beat)
Say something.

PRETTY BOY
Something.

Easy grabs the microphone from the Cameraman.

EASY
Testes, testes, one, two.

HAMMER
"Jingle bells, mortar shells...

HAMMER/EASY
...VC in the grass...

TEAM
...You can take your Merry Christmas
and stick it up your...

They all laugh.

The Camera moves in on Hammer. He steps forward, at stiff
attention.

HAMMER
Thorpe, William. Specialist 4th Class.
US 16-848-107. Machine gunner.

EASY
What a lifer.

HAMMER
Put a liplock on my love muscle,
Easy.

EASY
Let me fuck you in the ear so you
can hear me coming.

CRACKER
I think they're in love.

EASY
We are, we're engaged.

Easy leaps on Hammer and sticks his tongue in his ear.

HAMMER
That's disgusting, man.

Easy tries to kiss Hammer. Pretty Boy, and Cracker join the
pile up on Hammer. They roll in the dirt.

The Cameraman singles out Cracker, who is a little worried.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
You want to sound off?

CRACKER
Uh, right. Spec 5 Frye, weapons
specialist. I'm hare-lipped, hump-
backed and half crazy. Not responsible
for my own actions.

Hammer stands behind Cracker and gives him horns. Easy puts
a wet finger in his ear, and Pretty Boy raises a clenched
fist between Cracker's legs.

Cracker ignores them.

OD and Drewry walk out of the tent accompanied by Major Nolin.

OD is looking grim. Drewry salutes Nolin.

OD
(to team)
Let's get our shit together. We got
a mission.

The team grab their gear and walk toward the helicopter.
Easy takes off his soft cap and puts on his steel helmet.

The Cameraman moves in on OD.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
How about your name and rank? Don't
look at me, look at the camera.

OD
I'm not talking to the camera, I'm
telling you. Get that thing out of
my face.

OD shoulders his gear. Cracker hands him his weapons and
looks at OD with a question in his eyes. OD shakes his head.

The team boards the Huey easily, they've done it a thousand
times, a casual ride in the country. Drewry and the Cameraman
wait to board last.

Drewry looks at OD. OD glares at him.

The Cameraman is helped in and he catches a shot of the S-2
tent. Major Nolin watches the chopper.

The engine revs and the Huey lifts.

BLACK. Sound off.

STOCK FOOTAGE -- Vietnam countryside from the helicopter
P.O.V., passing over a fire base.

CAMERA ON.

Hammer tries to talk with the door gunner. Easy blows into
his thumb, inflating his middle finger. Pretty Boy sleeps.
The Camera focuses on Easy, who looks nervous, but tries to
cover it.

The Camera turns and catches a view of the jungle below.
Rice paddies, peasants working, water buffalo.

STOCK FOOTAGE -- The Central Highlands, mountains, triple
canopy jungle.

BLACK.

The CAMERA STARTS as the helicopter hits the ground. Sound
on.

Cracker and Hammer drop first and wait for the rest of the
men to clear the helicopter. The wind from the helicopter
blades beats the brush with hard rhythm.

The men run through the brush, OD in the lead, followed by
Pretty Boy, Easy, Drewry and the Cameraman. The sounds of
the helicopter fade as it flies away off screen.

Drewry's rucksack and harness rattle and clatter, flopping
loosely on his back, straps flying.

The Cameraman turns and kneels to capture Cracker and Hammer
pulling up the rear. They run past him. The Cameraman gets
to his feet and follows. Cracker stops for a second and grabs
the Cameraman by the shoulder and shoves him ahead.

CRACKER
Move your ass, troop.

The Cameraman runs on. Branches whip at the lens as it breaks
through the dense brush. Sometimes the branches obliterate
the picture completely for a second.

The Cameraman loses sight of Hammer and he tries to catch
up. The Cameraman suddenly reaches Hammer and the others
stopped behind some brush at the edge of a clearing ten to
fifteen meters across.

OD crosses the clearing, running in a low crouch. Easy is on
the alert, watching intently as OD disappears into the brush
on the other side of the clearing. Cracker and Hammer watch
the flanks, Pretty Boy the rear.

Drewry sits on the ground huffing and puffing. He's not used
to this.

DREWRY
How long... we gotta... run?

PRETTY BOY
This is Indian country, sir. Dime to
a dollar, Chuck saw or heard that
chopper. He don't figure the pilot
stopped to take a piss. Best to put
some klicks between the LZ and us.
Can you dig it?

Pretty Boy doesn't look at Drewry, he watches the jungle
behind them.

OD comes into sight on the other side of the clearing, his
fist pumping in the air.

EASY
Clear.

Easy runs across the clearing. He makes it safely. Hammer
goes next.

Pretty Boy hits the top of Drewry's helmet.

PRETTY BOY
Quick, like a bunny fucks.

Drewry takes a deep breath and runs across the clearing.
Pretty Boy follows.

Cracker covers the rear.

CRACKER
(to Cameraman)
Your turn in the barrel. Go.

The Cameraman runs across the clearing.

The team is clustered together, each man facing a different
direction, alert. Drewry adjusts his pack straps. The
Cameraman turns and catches Cracker crossing the clearing,
then he tries to focus on the entire team.

They are gone. All the Cameraman catches is Pretty Boy's
back disappearing into the jungle.

The Cameraman runs after them. He trips and almost falls,
but runs on. Branches blind his lens.

More busting brush, just keeping Pretty Boy's back in sight.

The Camera explodes into a small circular clearing, an open
pocket in the jungle growth.

Drewry has fallen into a sweaty heap.

Hammer and Pretty Boy stand on alert.

Easy and OD crouch together. Easy is on the radio.

EASY
Stone Hombre, this is Outrider. Down
and happy. Say again, down and happy.
Sit Rep Alpha Oscar Kilo. Over.

RADIOMAN
(filtered)
Outrider, Stone Hombre. We read you
Lima Charlie. Down and happy. Sierra
Romeo checks Alpha Oscar Kilo. Over.

EASY
Outrider, out.

The Cameraman sits.

OD looks at the Cameraman and Drewry in disgust.

OD
You ever heard of noise discipline?
Easy, get these FNG's shit together.

OD opens his map. Cracker joins him.

EASY
Pretty Boy, duct tape.

Easy walks over to the Cameraman. Pretty Boy tosses him a
roll of olive green duct tape and walks over to Drewry.

EASY
OD says your shit's flaky, your shit's
flaky.
(laughing quietly)
You two are noisier than two skeletons
fucking on a tin roof...

PRETTY BOY
...using a soup can for a rubber.

CRACKER
Make more noise than a Chinese gang
bang.

HAMMER
Noisier than a baby in a blender.

EASY
No sweat, GI, we'll just square away
this load-bearing equipment.

Pretty Boy gets another roll of olive drab duct tape from
his pack and begins to tape down and tighten the loose straps
on Drewry's pack. Drewry helps where he can.

In the background, OD and Cracker consult the map and their
compass.

DREWRY
I didn't have time to do this myself.
I just reported in and they said I
was going out into the field. Barely
had time to go to Quartermaster and
get my issue and weapon.

CRACKER
You never been on line, sir?

DREWRY
No.

EASY
I can't believe they gave us an El
Tee, but, shit, a cherry El Tee.

HAMMER
Just what we need, an FNG. No offense,
sir.

DREWRY
FNG?

CRACKER
Fucking New Guy, sir.

Drewry has two grenades hooked to his harness suspenders.
Pretty Boy unhooks them and puts them into a pouch.

PRETTY BOY
A vine or branch could pull the pin.
Never "John Wayne" your grenades,
sir.

EASY
Yeah, the last thing you want to do
is blow yourself away, El Tee. A
chest wound is nature's way of saying
you fucked up.

DREWRY
What I heard, they had a man assigned
to you from one of the line units,
but his chopper crashed. So they
grabbed me.

OD looks at Drewry and shakes his head. Pretty Boy unclips
one of Drewry's dog tags and hooks it behind his boot laces.

PRETTY BOY
Just in case you get separated.

EASY
How long you been in-country, fresh
meat?

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
48 days down, 308 to go.

DREWRY
26 days. You?

EASY
Oh, El Tee, you're so new you ain't
been born yet. Me, I am short.

PRETTY BOY
(to Easy)
How short are you?

EASY
I'm so short you have to dig a hole
to kick my ass.
(to Cameraman)
What's your MOS?

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
84 Charlie MoPic.

EASY
No shit? 84 Charlie. Gotta be better'n
11 Bravo. MoPic? What's that stand
for? Like Motown?

PRETTY BOY
Maybe MoPower.

HAMMER
Or MoFucker.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
Motion picture.

Easy tapes the Cameraman's film cans together so they won't
rattle.

EASY
Damn, Breeze. Must be a nice getting
over job.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
I used to handle "grip and grins",
award ceremonies, change of command,
stuff like that...

Hammer starts to smile at the Cameraman, but he suddenly
hears something and freezes. Everyone but Drewry and the
Cameraman also freeze. Hammer is at the center, tense, braced
to fire, machine gun at the ready.

Easy slowly, noiselessly picks up his M-1 carbine and eases
the safety off. Pretty Boy looks around the brush. OD creeps
over to Hammer. Cracker is scanning the jungle on the other
flank.

DREWRY
What...?

OD's CAR is instantly at Drewry's forehead. Their eyes meet.
OD is hard, warning him to be quiet. Drewry looks at the
Camera, then away, embarrassed.

OD watches Hammer. Easy watches OD. Cracker and Pretty Boy
scan the jungle.

Hammer relaxes and grins foolishly.

HAMMER
Fuck-you-lizard.

Everyone relaxes.

OD
Let's saddle up.

Everyone gets ready to move out. Drewry glares at OD, anger
taking the place of his initial fear.

Cracker walks over to the Cameraman.

CRACKER
Don't ever get behind me. I pull the
rear.
(beat)
You don't want to be left alone out
here.

HAMMER
Roger that shit.

The Cameraman lowers the Camera to pick up his pack.

BLACK. Sound off.

Sound on.

DREWRY (O.S.)
I want this on the record.

CAMERA ON.

The team is stopped, guns outboard. OD is getting a compass
reading. Drewry walks over to OD followed by the Cameraman.

DREWRY
I won't let anything like that happen
again. You point a gun at me again
and I'll have you up in front of a
court martial.

OD
Dig this, Lieutenant, we ain't in
the rear no more. In order to have a
court martial you need more than one
officer. I don't see anyone with
brass, but you. Out here the bush is
the boss.

The team remains on guard, but takes in every word of the
confrontation.

DREWRY
I'm not walking in here off the
street. I've had infantry training.

OD
That stateside Mickey Mouse shit
don't cut it here, sir. This is
Charlie's game, his rules. We learned
how to play it, that's why we're out
here.

DREWRY
And that's why I'm here.
(indicating Camera)
And why he's here. To take back some
of that training.
(beat)
I'm ready to learn, but not at
gunpoint.

OD pauses. Drewry has made a peace offering.

OD
All right. Pay attention, El Tee,
we'll teach you. But we don't grade
on a curve, it's pass or fail. I
have to point my gun at you again
I'll pull the fucking trigger.

OD starts off into the jungle.

Drewry hits the Nagra switch viciously.

Sound off.

Drewry follows the team.

BLACK.

Sound on.

EASY (O.S.)
You don't want to hump all these
C's, MoPic. We'll lighten you up.

CAMERA ON.

Easy is rummaging through the Cameraman's pack.

Pretty Boy is preparing food.

Hammer is leaning against a tree, wary and on guard. OD and
Cracker aren't to be seen, just their rifles against a tree.

The team is stopped on a slope halfway up a hillside.

DREWRY
(to Camera)
Catch the food preparation.
(to the team)
Show the camera everything you do,
how you do it. DASPO wants all the
film it can get.

Easy holds up a can from the Cameraman's pack.

EASY
Lookit this, ham and limas. Number
ten, GI. MoPic, why you humping ham
and motherfuckers? You don't like
'em, do you? Even God don't like ham
and motherfuckers.

Drewry digs through his pack and takes out some rations.

PRETTY BOY
Lessons Learned, sheeit.

DREWRY
What do you men know about your
mission?

HAMMER
(shrugging)
Same old shit. Find Charlie, get S-2
their intell, shoot some gooks, put
the rest in a world of hurt.

EASY
Ham and motherfuckers. Looks like
cows ate it and tossed their cookies.

Easy starts fixing his own meal by opening a small can of
white bread and another of jam.

DREWRY
Same old shit? You people don't have
much respect for rank or your mission.

HAMMER
Don't get froggy, El Tee.
(beat)
You still pissed at OD?

Pretty Boy giggles.

Easy slices the bread lengthwise, puts jam on both halves,
water on the top and heats it over a fire he's made from a
white, clay-like substance.

EASY
(to Cameraman)
C-4, plastic explosive.

DREWRY
He put a gun to my head and threatened
to kill me. I don't forget that kind
of shit.

Easy makes himself a cup of hot chocolate using two packs.
Pretty Boy fixes pre-sweetened Kool-Aid. They both heat canned
rations over their own fires.

PRETTY BOY
You don't fuck with OD, he's a walking
razor blade. You only take a run at
him if you're thinking about suicide.
One tough dude.

Drewry eats his food cold. Pretty Boy feeds his fire with
more pieces of C-4.

EASY
He thinks you'll get in our way.

Easy eats his food and prepares more.

HAMMER
OD's so tough he eats the boogers
out of a dead man's nose.

PRETTY BOY
You're a gross fucker.

EASY
OD's a righteous dude. He was just
telling you to be quiet. Like "sshh".

HAMMER
Gross? You hear me rapping about
canned cow vomit? OD pulls a lot of
slack for us. We're all brothers.

Pretty Boy finishes eating and takes Hammer's place on guard.
Hammer crouches over the fire and fixes food for two.

EASY
Fucking "A".

PRETTY BOY
Family.

HAMMER
There it is.

They slap palms. Drewry looks around and shakes his head.

DREWRY
Hell, you guys act like this is a
picnic in the park.

PRETTY BOY
Man's got to eat, sir. You catch
your pecks when you can. Never know
when you can't.

EASY
Ain't no big thing, sir.

Easy repacks the Cameraman's pack.

HAMMER
There it is.

Easy holds up a ziploc bag of grass toward the Camera.

EASY
(to Cameraman)
I better hold this for you. OD's
death on the dew.

HAMMER
"Hold this for you"? Don't try to
shit me, Easy.

EASY
I wouldn't shit you, Hammer, you're
my favorite turd.

There is some real antagonism between Hammer and Easy that
underlies the joking. Drewry is uncomfortable.

DREWRY
(to Easy)
If you're RTO, why do you have that
carbine? I thought SOP for a radioman
was only a .45.

EASY
Shit, El Tee, everybody needs a gook
shooter.

CRACKER (O.S.)
Only trouble is, Easy can't shoot as
straight as I can piss.

Easy looks up. Cracker and OD have reappeared as if from
nowhere.

EASY
Hey, OD, chow's still hot.

Easy goes back over to his fire.

HAMMER
Cracker.

Cracker walks over to Hammer and takes some of the food. OD
spots the plastic bag of grass sticking out of Easy's pocket
and he pulls it out.

OD
We don't do dew when we do business,
right, Easy? You trying to get me
killed?

EASY
Aw, Breeze...
(quickly)
Been waiting on you. Food's on the
table and getting cold, Ward.

OD
So sorry, June. Has the Beaver been
acting up again?

They laugh. OD empties the bag of grass on the ground.

EASY
Aww, fuck. I'm coming back here in
six months to harvest.

Drewry pulls a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. Before he
can get one out of the pack Cracker grabs them out of his
hand, digs a hole in the ground with his heel and buries
them.

CRACKER
Sorry, sir, smoking light's out for
this operation.

DREWRY
(pissed)
Don't ever do that again, soldier.

OD
Don't get all bent out of shape,
sir. It's a habit. You'd forget and
one match at night could waste all
of us. On a good day you can smell
cigarette smoke a quarter mile away.
Especially menthols.
(beat)
Pretty Boy, salt tablets for the El
Tee, he's sweating like a fat whore.
No offense, sir. Lessons Learned.

CRACKER
MoPic, too.

Easy pushes some food toward the Cameraman, then gets a
container of salt tablets from his pack.

EASY
(to Cameraman)
Take two salt tablets and drive on.
Best chow down.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team humps the brush. Drewry has a lot of trouble. He is
sweating, tired, and looking haggard. The others still look
fresh.

They go up a steep incline. The team works as one, helping
each other automatically.

Their rhythm is interrupted to help Drewry and the Cameraman.

HAMMER
(to Camera)
Hey, man, why don't you DX that
motherfucker?

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team moves through heavy brush. The team moves easily,
each man threading his way through the jungle. Drewry is
stumbling along, each vine and branch grabbing him by the
shoulder or catching his foot.

Pretty Boy pauses long enough to show Drewry how to walk,
using his gun to probe ahead and make a path to move with
the terrain.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team rests. Everyone is hot and sweaty. Drewry shows it
most. Pretty Boy hands out salt tablets.

DREWRY
I can't even taste the salt.

PRETTY BOY
That means you need it.

EASY
27 days. I'm a double digit midget.

HAMMER
Pretty Boy, how about me and you
hitting Sin City when we get back?

PRETTY BOY
You know my motto. Never fuck a duck
or duck a fuck.

Easy makes a quieting motion. He listens to the handset.

EASY
Devil Dog Six is getting their shit
blown away.

HAMMER
(to Drewry)
6-1-6 Battallion, South Vietnamese,
our dinks. American advisors.

EASY
They're giving coordinates for Med
Evac.

OD pulls out a map and Easy checks his code book.

EASY
All their green monkeys skyed up.

DREWRY
How far away are they? Can we help
them?

OD
We don't have enough fire power to
do any good.

CRACKER
If we could get there in time.

DREWRY
But...

OD
Our primary mission is recon, sir.
Let's move out.

The team moves out.

BLACK. Sound off.

Sound on.

PRETTY BOY (V.O.)
I love the sunset in Nam.

DREWRY (V.O.)
It's gorgeous.

CAMERA ON.

Sunset.

Drewry and the Cameraman watch Pretty Boy string trip wires
around their camp. He uses the ration cans he stuffed in his
socks earlier. He drops a couple pebbles in each can and
hooks them to the wire and tests the rattle, then camouflages
everything.

PRETTY BOY
Fuck "gorgeous", it means the day's
almost over and I'm one day shorter.
I hate this fucking place. They ought
to DX the whole fucking country,
north and south. Turn it in to the
big quartermaster in the sky. Say,
"Hey, motherfucker, this place is
beyond repair."

DREWRY
It looks pretty some times.

PRETTY BOY
You should have seen it when I first
came over. You could still see tigers
and elephants on the Ho Chi Minh
Trail. Fucking elephants.

Pretty Boy shakes his head in disbelief.

They walk back to the main camp area on a steep slope. Drewry
stumbles.

PRETTY BOY
We night camp on a slope, away from
the trail. Even Chuck sticks to the
trails at night, so he ain't likely
to trip over us.

Hammer is boiling water in his canteen cup. Easy is monitoring
the radio. Cracker is on guard. OD is opening a pack of Lurp
rations.

PRETTY BOY
Line's strung.

HAMMER
Water's boiling.

OD tosses two Lurps to Drewry.

OD
Spaghetti and chili.

Everyone gathers around Hammer with their Lurps. He pours
water into the plastic bags.

OD has him fill two and he gives one to Cracker.

EASY
Number one chop chop.

Hammer boils more water for coffee and cocoa.

OD
First guard, Cracker, Hammer, me,
then Pretty Boy and Easy.

DREWRY
I can pull a shift.

OD
I don't know you.

Drewry and OD stare at each other for a moment. Drewry wants
to make something of the rejection.

OD
You're not used to humping, you're
beat. You'll need the sack time.

Drewry accepts the conciliatory gesture.

EASY
MoPic's got a can of fruit cocktail
and one of peaches that I saved.

PRETTY BOY
You sorry-assed motherfucker, you
let the poor dude hump those cans,
you're lower'n whale shit.

EASY
Bite my ass, Pretty Boy. It's good
training for him. Hey, MoPic, souvenir
me your pack.

OD
Peaches and fruit cocktail all around.

The Cameraman tosses Easy his pack, but before Easy can look
for the canned fruit, something calls him back to his radio.
He hears something through the static.

Easy holds the handset to his ear and listens intently. Pretty
Boy gets the cans of fruit from the Cameraman's pack.

EASY
Echo Company. Getting mortared,
calling in arty.
(beat)
Still haven't gotten their Med Evac,
weather's real bad inland. Choppers
can't get off the ground.

HAMMER
Monsoon season. A rat fuck.

Pretty Boy opens the canned fruit. He takes a spoonful of
fruit cocktail and passes the can to Hammer.

PRETTY BOY
Save a cherry for Easy.

Pretty Boy slurps up a peach slice and hands that can to OD.
Each man takes his share and passes it along.

CRACKER
Number one.

HAMMER
Not too shabby.

OD starts eating his Lurp ration, a sign for the others to
start. Easy and the Cameraman are the only ones not eating.

EASY
HQ's saying they might get choppered
out tomorrow, late. A definite maybe
so.

CRACKER
Better scarf up your pecks, MoPic.

The Camera starts to lower, but catches Easy taking two pills
from a ziploc bag and swallowing them. No one but the Camera
sees it. Easy sees the Camera on him.

EASY
Tetracycline. Got the clap last time
in Sin City.

HAMMER
There it is, the Nam. Where else in
the world can you get a contagious
disease for only five bucks a pop.

PRETTY BOY
Clap's no sweat, better'n crotch
crickets.

CRACKER
Crabs are no big deal. You get
yourself a bayonet and a can of
lighter fluid. Set fire to your pubic
hair and when the little fuckers run
to the high ground, like your dick,
you stab 'em to death.

The Camera starts to lower again, but...

HAMMER
Better'n the black syph.

The Camera reacts.

Hammer knows a sucker when he sees one.

HAMMER
(too seriously)
The black syph. You only get it in
Nam. It rots your dick off, like
leprosy. Just drops off. One day
you're walking along and you feel
something like a turd drop down your
pant leg. Next thing you know, you're
squatting to piss like a girl.

EASY
Yeah, and if you get it you can't go
home. They keep you here so you don't
infect the rest of the world. You
spend the whole rest of your life in
the Nam. No shit, the whole rest of
your life in the Nam.

Pretty Boy can't take it anymore, he bursts out laughing.

OD
Better chow down, MoPic.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Drewry snaps his fingers in front of the Camera.

DREWRY
Sound.

It is dark and the men are gathered around inside their night
perimeter. Easy fiddles with the radio. The others prepare
their sleeping areas.

Drewry approaches OD.

DREWRY
We need to do some background
interviews on each man. I thought
we'd start with you.

OD
What kind of interviews?

DREWRY
Where you're from? What you did before
the Army? Background stuff.

OD glares at the Cameraman.

OD
I ain't telling you none of that
stuff, that's my private life. The
Army's got no business in my private
life.

The Camera holds a tenuous moment and then focuses on Drewry,
who wonders whether to push it.

Drewry decides to drop it and he shifts his attention to
Cracker.

DREWRY
We'll do Sergeant Frye then.

CRACKER
Spec 5.

He looks at OD, then at Drewry.

CRACKER
Maybe later if it's all right with
you, sir.

DREWRY
Sure, soldier.

Drewry looks at the other members of the team and fixes on
Easy. Easy is smiling at him. Drewry walks over to Easy with
the Cameraman.

DREWRY
All right, Private. Let's talk.

EASY
Let me tell a joke first. C'mon,
just one. It's good training.

Easy grins into the Camera.

EASY
I could be the next Shelley Berman.
Is this on now? Sound.

He raps a magazine against his helmet.

EASY
How do you eat a frog?

There is laughter off screen.

EASY
C'mon, how do you eat a frog?

DREWRY (O.S.)
I don't know.

EASY
You put one leg over one shoulder,
then you put the other leg over the
other shoulder...

Easy laughs. He might be high. He is changing the battery in
his radio and cleaning it.

DREWRY (O.S.)
How long have you been in-country?

EASY
One year minus 28, 27 days. I worked
RTO for a line company first, then
with Forward Observers. I love my
Prick 25.

PRETTY BOY (O.S.)
Tell him how many FO's you went
through, Easy.

EASY
FO's don't have much of a life
expectancy here. Don't even come
with warranties. I lost eight in six
months. Three dead, two went home
all messed up, lost track of the
rest. That's the real bummer over
here. When your buddies get hit, not
zapped, but wounded bad, Medevaced
and gone, you don't know if they
die, or what... People you were real
close to, sort of gone into the
Twilight Zone...

Easy pauses a moment, his usual nervous energy subdued, but
he brightens.

EASY
You know why shit's tapered at the
ends?

DREWRY
No.

EASY
So your asshole don't slam shut.

Pretty Boy laughs off screen.

EASY
Did I tell you I was a drummer back
in the Real World? Lead vocals, too.
Boy, did we ever do some dope when
we were on the road. Stayed all fucked
up. But nothing like the Nam.

DREWRY
How long were you on line?

EASY
Forever. Got 4 Purple Hearts, two
Bronze Stars with "V". I got enough
Green Weenies to open a hot dog stand.
This radio antenna is like wearing a
target on your back.
(beat)
You know why pubic hair is curly? So
it don't poke you in the eye.

DREWRY
So, what will you do when you get
home?

EASY
I don't know. Hang out. Get high.
Check out my wife.
(beat)
She's probably fucking every Jody
that passes the house. That's okay,
though. She was 17 when we got
hitched, dead meat in the sack. Maybe
Jody can teach her how to fuck.

DREWRY
Why'd you join up?

EASY
The judge volunteered me. Either
that or he'd lock me up. Do you know
how you can tell the Nam sucks? It
leaves hickeys on the bottom of your
feet.

Pretty Boy laughs again.

DREWRY
The judge blackmailed you.

EASY
He did me a favor. Army saved me
from jail, unless I wind up in the
stockade. So far, they've just Article
15'd me to death, took my rank ad
pay. I can handle that.
(beat)
The bush saved me from the stockade
and OD's saved me from the bush.
Only thing I hate is the night. It's
starting to spook me. I'm too short
for this shit. You get short, you
get paranoid beaucoup.
(laughing)
Is it paranoid to think people are
trying to kill you when people are
trying to kill you?

DREWRY
Then why do you do it?

EASY
Why does a dog lick his penis?
(beat)
'Cause he can!
(beat)
And to be with my buddies out here.
They'd be shit out of luck without
me on the horn. My buddies.

Easy starts, he hears something on the radio.

EASY
Hey, hey. Dig this.

He cranks up the volume and faint music can be heard, Clarence
Carter's "Steal Away".

Static flickers through the music.

DREWRY
Is that the States?

EASY
Armed Forces Radio. VietNam, probably
Saigon.

PRETTY BOY
Nah, we're too far away. An Khe.

HAMMER
Nope. Sappers wasted An Khe radio
last Tet.

EASY
Now that pisses me off.

CRACKER
Shhh!

The men listen and lean unconsciously toward the radio. The
Cameraman focuses on each face in turn, half-shadowed in the
faint light. The song fades away before it is done.

The men settle into disappointed silence. Drewry turns off
the tape recorder.

Sound off.

BLACK.

Sound on.

DREWRY (O.S.)
Wake up and catch this. C'mon, c'mon.

The Camera comes on, jerking and swaying. It is night. Drewry
crouches near OD and Easy at the radio. The others are asleep.

EASY
(to Drewry)
Devil Dog's been getting NVA probes
all night. Sounds like sappers have
infiltrated their lines.

Easy turns up the volume.

RADIO
(ADVISOR)
...one giant cluster fuck. My green
monkeys are shooting the hell out of
each other trying to waste the
sappers.

There is the sound of gunfire and artillery explosions over
the radio. Men scream.

RADIO
(ADVISOR)
Werewolf One, tell the cannon cockers
to pop another illumination round.
Over.

RADIO
(HQ)
Devil Dog Six, this is Werewolf. One
illumination round on the way. How
many caps you got left? Status please.
Illumination round shot. Over.

RADIO
(ADVISOR)
I don't know, I don't even know how
many men are left. Right now I'm
doing...

The gunfire increases.

RADIO
(ADVISOR)
Oh, shit! Fuck! We're getting overrun!

Nothing but static.

RADIO
(VOICE #2)
Werewolf, this is Devil Dog Three.
We're in deep shit here. Help us!
Please!
(VOICE #3)
The Lieutenant's hit! Oh, God! Medic!
Medic!
(VOICE #2)
Oh, no! Colonel, Colonel! Six is
down! Again I say, our Six is down.
We got gooks inside our perimeter!
We need help!
(beat)
What, sir?
(beat)
Yes, sir. Werewolf One, request big
guns drop one hundred. Say again,
drop one hundred. Over.

EASY
They're calling artillery in on their
own position.

The other members of the team are awake now and looking at
the radio. Drewry reaches for his cigarettes.

RADIO
(VOICE #2)
Where's the fucking medic?! Somebody
give me a compress! Oh, Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus...

BOOM! An explosion, then static.

Everyone is silent for a moment.

EASY
Poor fuckers.

RADIO
(HQ)
Devil Dog Three, this is Werewolf.
Status report, over.

Silence.

DREWRY
We should have done something.

RADIO
(HQ)
Devil Dog Three, this is Werewolf.
Report status. Over.

OD just looks at Drewry.

DREWRY
We could have been there.

RADIO
(HQ)
Devil Dog, Werewolf. Please report
status.

OD
And gotten wasted with them.

RADIO
(HQ)
Devil Dog Three? Jimmy?
(beat)
For God's sake, Jimmy, report your
fucking status!

OD ignores Drewry. He reaches over and turns off the radio
and walks over to a tree. He leans against the trunk and
closes his eyes.

DREWRY
Go ahead, sleep. A hundred and twenty
men just died.

OD
I have a lot of dead men in here.
Plenty of room for more. Maybe even
room for one smartass lieutenant.

Drewry looks at Easy. Easy turns the radio back on and cruises
the frequencies. He pops a couple more pills.

EASY
Ladybird's getting scattered mortar.
Sixty mike-mike. Ruff Puff Advisor.
Texas Hat is cool, though. Ice cubes
in his armpits.
(to OD)
Everybody's catching some kind of
flack. Probes all over. Shit, sounds
like Tet again.

OD
Major offensive?

EASY
Little shit, ti ti action. Beaucoup
noise. Chuck's feeling everybody
out.

OD
Lot of over-reaction at night.

EASY
Night's the worst. I hate the night
like a motherfucker. Trees walk at
night if you stare at them long
enough. The Nam's a motherfucker if
you got any imagination.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON.

Morning. The Cameraman follows OD across the camp. OD and
the Camera stop next to Drewry, who is heating water in two
canteen cups. Drewry slips on his boots and turns on the
recorder.

Sound on.

OD
Oughta shake those boots out before
you put 'em on. All sorts of nasty
critters love to crawl in your boots
at night.

Drewry looks at his feet, stands up and stamps them.

DREWRY
I've heated water for coffee or cocoa
for everyone.

OD
You're our Mess Sergeant now, El
Tee.

DREWRY
Figured it's better than riding free.

OD nods, smiles, and leads Drewry and the Cameraman over to
Cracker.

Cracker is still asleep. Pretty Boy is awake, but still laying
down. He rolls over to watch.

Hammer is brushing his teeth. Easy is on watch, his rifle in
his lap, radio at his side.

OD stops next to Cracker and strikes a lecturer's pose.

OD
Lessons Learned. The first thing a
grunt learns is to be ready at all
times, night or day, asleep or awake,
to encounter the enemy.

OD brandishes a long stick. Cracker sleeps soundly, his mouth
open.

PRETTY BOY
Watch this.

OD
It's night. Bangedy, bangedy, rattle,
rattle, the enemy trips your early
detection devices. You don't have
time to wake up, stand and wander
around with your dick in your hands
looking for your weapon. The enemy
is ten yards away ready to waste
your ass.

HAMMER
OD oughta be a Drill Instructor.

EASY
Fucking Cracker sleeps like the dead.

OD
So you train yourself to wake with a
rolling motion, providing the enemy
with a low silhouette and, thusly, a
minimal target. You sleep with your
weapon in the same position every
night, to the right or left of you
depending on your preference, so
when the shit hits...

WHAP! OD whacks Cracker with the stick.

OD
BOOM!

Cracker rolls to his right, picks up his shotgun in mid-roll
and lands on hs stomach, sighting down the barrel and clicking
off the safety.

OD
...you land in a prone firing
position, ready to engage the enemy.

Everyone claps and laughs. Cracker looks pissed as he wakes
more and gets up slowly.

CRACKER
OD, the payback on this is gonna be
a motherfucker. I'm gonna shove that
stick up your ass and roast you over
a fucking fire. You wait.

OD laughs.

EASY
Oooooh, wolf talk.

Cracker glares at the Camera.

CRACKER
Turn that fucking thing off.

BLACK.

EASY (O.S.)
Hey, Cracker, 26 and a wakeup. I'm
so short I could tickle a pissant
under the chin.

CRACKER (O.S.)
If you live, you dinky dau
motherfucker.

Everyone laughs. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Pretty Boy brushes his teeth with salt from a packet sprinkled
on his brush. The rest of the team are preparing to move
out. Drewry interviews Pretty Boy.

PRETTY BOY
Hygiene. Clean mind, clean body,
take your choice. Let's see, I was
hanging out. Went to college for a
year, real drag. All those classes
got in the way of partying and pussy.

Pretty Boy grins and changes his socks.

PRETTY BOY
Work was worse, no fun there. Me and
a couple buddies joined together.
Army said they'd keep us together.
That lasted through Basic. One's in
Germany now, freezing his balls off.
Glenn's somewhere with the First
Cav, Engineers. lucky fucker.

Pretty Boy ties the dirty socks to the back of his pack.

PRETTY BOY
(to Camera)
Dry 'em out during the day.

EASY (O.S.)
Gas warfare, kills all the mosquitoes
for miles around.

PRETTY BOY
Some dudes get away without socks,
not me. During monsoon, dry socks
are better than sex.

DREWRY
You spent a lot of time in the field?

PRETTY BOY
Three months of hell. Every kind of
shit you can imagine, and a lot you
can't. I was Medevaced three times
when they thought I was dead. Once
they even zipped me into a body bag.
We'd get hit, you know, and I'd be
in a hole with three other guys. A
mortar round would come right in the
hole, blow everyone else to mincemeat.
Concussion would knock me out, I'd
have blood coming out of my ears and
nose, blood all over me, not all
mine... The medics would figure I
was dead and throw me on the chopper
with the bodies. No fun waking up
there.
(beat)
My luck is unfucking believable.
We're running across a paddy, fifty
caliber opens up and catches the
dudes on my left and right, wasted
them. Me, I was skipped.
(beat)
I got a hundred stories... scary.
Took a round in my helmet once, cut
a groove in my hair. Weird shit.

DREWRY
Luck.

PRETTY BOY
Luck... God... Karma. My karma ran
over my dogma.

There is laughter off screen.

PRETTY BOY
Got to be a pain in the ass. Dudes
hanging close like it would rub off.
Boonie voodoo. People get strange in
the bush, believe all sorts of things.
Lucky scarves, bibles over their
hearts, some ain't ever been to
church. Baldwin's luck. The Company,
the whole Brigade talked about it.
We get mortared, dudes stick around
me like a steel umbrella.

I even started believing it. I do. Makes you think God's got
something special planned for you.

DREWRY
Something special good, or special
bad?

Pretty Boy shrugs.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON.

The team has stopped. OD is talking to Hammer. A message is
passed from one man to the other. Drewry is last. He turns
to the Cameraman and switches on the Nagra.

Sound on.

DREWRY
Something he wants us to look at.
Sound.

Drewry snaps his fingers at the Camera and walks to the front
with the Cameraman. OD is kneeling on the trail. Drewry and
the Cameraman bend down to get a better look.

OD
Trip wire. See the old, dead
camouflage.

OD indicates a dead branch, then a wire. He follows the wire
with his fingers into the brush. There is a Chinese Communist
grenade tied to a stick with the wire in the pull string.

OD
Booby trap.

He gingerly releases the brush back into position. He stands
and walks back to Cracker. Drewry and the Camera follow.

OD
Point man trips the wire, the grenade
goes off, takes out him and maybe
his slack. The rest of the patrol
dives into the brush.

OD stops at the side of the trail and pulls the brush aside.
There are pointed bamboo stakes with barbs planted in the
earth.

OD
And they get perforated. Chuck's got
his shit together.

OD leads the team off the trail at a right angle.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is stopped by a stream. Everyone is on guard while
Pretty Boy fills their canteens.

PRETTY BOY
Always try for running water. Still
water's full of all sorts of ugly
stuff. Drop in your halizon tablets
and drive on.

HAMMER
Once we filled our canteens, then
found five dink bodies further
upstream, rotted all to hell, pieces
floating around. By then we'd drunk
half the water.

DREWRY
What'd you do?

HAMMER
Said, "fuck it", and drove on. No
big thing.

EASY
Called it soup.

DREWRY
That's a war story, isn't it?

PRETTY BOY
El Tee, you're all right.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is moving through the jungle at a good pace, but as
quietly as possible. There is heavy breathing, branches
slapping at the men, a muted rattle of equipment. The brush
is dense, visibility no more than five meters.

The team halts.

OD raises his hand and dives to the ground. The others hit
the ground after him. The Cameraman crouches.

Drewry raises up to look around. Hammer pushes him back to
the ground, hard. Drewry gasps, then mews with pain.

Someone pushes the Cameraman down and the lens hits the dirt.

BLACK.

Fast, heavy breathing from Drewry.

Footsteps and the swish of brush as something else moves
through the jungle nearby.

The Camera is raised and set horizontal. Feet in Ho Chi Minh
sandals walk by. Low Vietnamese voices. Drewry's prone body
is in view. A bamboo stake pierces his forearm. His face is
tense with pain.

Drewry's breathing seems to get louder.

A pair of feet stop a few feet from Drewry. Drewry holds his
breath. Louder Vietnamese voices.

A stream of yellow water trickles to the ground as the NVA
soldier pisses. He moves on.

Drewry's breath rushes out.

The noise fades as the soldiers move out of the area.

Soundlessly, the team rises and continued along the trail,
faster and quieter in a low crouch.

Drewry clutches his forearm.

BLACK. Sound off.

Sound on.

CRACKER (O.S.)
...get me a Ford, LTD or something.

HAMMER (O.S.)
I'm getting a speed monster, Dodge
Four-Forty.

CAMERA ON.

Rest stop. Pretty Boy is bandaging Drewry's arm. Hammer and
Cracker are on guard. Easy moves with nervous energy.

PRETTY BOY
Through and through. Looks like you're
Purple-Hearted, El Tee.

EASY
Man, that was something. I mean,
fuck me, Alice. First the booby traps,
last night the ARVN's shit gets flaky.
Now we just about get a Ho Chi Minh
sandal on our backs.

DREWRY
What about infection?

HAMMER
Can't hack it, Easy?

PRETTY BOY
No sweat, GI, I put on some sulfa.
And here's some Tetracycline, take a
couple every four hours, or four
every two hours.

EASY
Smoke my pole, Hammer. It's just...
there seem to be gooks everywhere.
I'm too short for this shit.

Pretty Boy uses a Kotex to cover the wound. Drewry looks at
it curiously.

PRETTY BOY
Kotex. My mom sends 'em. They're
better'n bandage packs.

CRACKER
I tell you, it gave me one mean pucker
factor.

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
Pucker factor?

HAMMER
Pucker factor. It's...

EASY
That's when...

CRACKER
When the shit hits, you kinda feel
your asshole pucker up, like it starts
sucking wind you're so scared.

EASY
Yeah, like an ambush. That's a pucker
factor of ten.

HAMMER
Hearing a mortar tube go "bloop" and
waiting for the shell to hit, that's
a six maybe.

EASY
Sniper is ten.

CRACKER
Back there on the trail, that was an
eight.

HAMMER
Seven.

EASY
Nine.

PRETTY BOY
Three.

They all look at him in disbelief.

PRETTY BOY
I fell asleep.

EASY
What a fucking John Wayne.

CRACKER
Hey, El Tee, you're the first man
ever blooded on one of our missions.
The first ever.

EASY
Bad omen.

Drewry looks down at the bandage. He pops two, then four
Tetracycline tablets.

PRETTY BOY
We'll be out of the boonies before
it gets too infected.

HAMMER
The only thing that's fast in this
country is rot.

EASY
And bullets.
(beat)
You know, this mission... This shit
ain't fun no more. Nam's giving war
a bad name.

There is a noise so slight it's almost indistinguishable.
The team grab their guns and face outward. Cracker calls out
quietly.

CRACKER
Swamp.

OD (O.S.)
Fever.

OD appears quietly out of the jungle. The team relaxes.

OD
Cracker.
(beat)
El Tee.

OD and Cracker confer over a map. Drewry joins them.

HAMMER
Fucking Cracker wants an LTD. Car's
such a pig they twist the antenna
into a curlicue.

OD
Never seen so many gooks around.
Mostly NVA regulars, FNG's like the
El Tee. We can get over on them easy.

EASY
Getting me a Mach One. 351, four-
barrel, Hurst four-speed,
positraction. Red on red. Ordered it
already at the PX. Be waiting for me
at home.

HAMMER
I want a Four-Forty. Big fucking
Chrysler engine. You see "Bullitt"?

CRACKER
Didn't have trouble finding them?

OD
Just stopped one and asked directions.

DREWRY
I could have done that.

PRETTY BOY
Fucking Chrysler's suck green donkey
dicks, fifteen cents a herd.

EASY
Trade my Boss 302 for the Mach One.

OD looks at Drewry's wound. Drewry tries to smile.

HAMMER
Thought you had a jacked '54 Ford
with a 390 hemi.

EASY
I do, I let my brother drive it.
Boss 302 he can't touch.

HAMMER
Yeah, I suppose you bought it when
you toured with the Four Seasons?
Man, you can always tell when Easy
is lying, his lips move.

PRETTY BOY
I want a Jag, XKE.

EASY
It was the McCoys, doofus. I want
any shit from you I'll squeeze your
head.

OD
We can camp here, or here. I figure
we recon and do it tomorrow, real
quick. Get this job done.

CRACKER
I don't like the high ground.

OD
Affirm. El Tee, where you figure we
can squat for the night?

HAMMER
You feel froggy, jump. You wanna
throw some hands?

EASY
I'll tear off your leg and beat you
roundly about the head and shoulders
with it.

HAMMER
I'll tear off your head and shit in
the hole.

The argument is starting to get serious. Hammer smacks Easy's
helmet. OD gives them the evil eye and they calm down.

DREWRY
This looks like it has a good back
door. We can camp on the hump.

OD nods and rewards Drewry with a smile.

Pretty Boy interrupts the argument between Hammer and Easy
and gets the conversation back to cars.

PRETTY BOY
El Tee, what kind of car you got?

DREWRY
Volkswagon Beetle. 65.

Everyone looks at Drewry like he's from Mars.

PRETTY BOY
Automatic?

DREWRY
Stick.
(beat)
But I'd like to get a Camaro or a
Firebird.

OD
Okay, let's get you hoodlums off the
streets for the night.

The team moves out.

HAMMER
VW Beetle. Stick. El Tee, you got
hair on your ass.

PRETTY BOY
One hard corps motherfucker.

DREWRY
My folks gave it to me for graduation.

There is a round of stifled laughter.

OD
Cool it.

Everyone shuts up.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team moves through the jungle, slower, more cautiously.
Drewry is traveling with less effort and he is quiet.

The men are beginning to move as a unit again.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The men are extremely alert. OD and Cracker aren't with them.

PRETTY BOY
(softly)
That booby trap was old. Left over
from the French. So were the punji
sticks I suppose. Any gook in the
last year or two would have left a
nice, new Chinese "Bouncing Betty".

HAMMER
Those Bouncing Betty's'll tear you a
new asshole. You trip 'em, they shoot
out of the ground and go off waist
high. Blow your balls off. That spooks
me the most.

EASY
Can't miss what you don't got.

Easy looks around the jungle nervously and pops a pill.

DREWRY
How long are they usually gone?

PRETTY BOY
Don't sweat it, El Tee. Cracker and
OD got beaucoup jungle smarts. Better
than those little rice propelled
bastards, right?

HAMMER
They can out-Chuck Chuck.

EASY
Dig it.

Silence. No one is convinced.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is gathered around OD. OD inserts small sticks in
the ground as he talks.

OD
First, intelligence. Regiment size
unit, NVA regulars. New uniforms,
new weapons, SKS's mostly. One AK
for every eight or ten SKS's. RPG's,
looks like one to a squad. Mortar
platoon. Plenty of ammo, haven't
cached it yet. Pretty green. NCO's,
officers, everything on down. Led by
a squad of hard corps VC.
(to Drewry)
Everyone's briefed in case we get
separated or something happens. The
intelligence has a better chance of
getting back.

PRETTY BOY
Army intelligence, now there's a
contradiction in terms.

Easy laughs.

OD
Here's the mission by the numbers.

CRACKER
OD does everything by the numbers.
He even fucks by the numbers. One,
insert member, two, thrust, three,
retract member, four, repeat two and
three rapidly.

OD
(smiling)
We move out just before dawn. There's
a hill on the east side of their
camp, we'll have the morning sun
behind us.

CRACKER
They'll be just waking up, slow and
sluggish before they have their
morning tea. Security's real lax.

OD
We'll set up at the military crest.
Easy will call the FDC. Range for
our long rifles is about 450 meters.
Primary targets are as follows --
CO, Radioman, First Pig, XO, Radio,
Mortar, then targets of opportunity.

DREWRY
Why shoot at all if you're going to
have Easy call in artillery?

OD
Confuse 'em, shake 'em up. If they
sit there and see that smoke round
coming they could get their shit
together and sky up. And...

DREWRY
And...

OD
If the Fire Direction Center fucks
up at least we get a few of the
bastards.

CRACKER
That's for damn sure.

OD
By the numbers. One, Easy calls fire
mission. Hold fire. Two, I commence
firing, CO.

OD knocks over the sticks one at a time.

OD
Cracker fires. Primary targets hit.
Targets of opportunity. Pretty Boy
pops a few blooper rounds for effect.
Easy lets go his smoke. Adjust. We
sky up.

CRACKER
Like a stripe-ed assed zebra.

OD
We head back to our camp here, make
a 90 here, about 50 meters before
the camp, and head for Ladybird.
Compass reading for Ladybird is 132
degrees. Got that, Hammer?

OD draws the route on the ground.

HAMMER
One-three-two.

OD
Questions?

DREWRY
What do I do?

OD
Stay out of our way.

OD picks up the sticks and throws them into the brush and
wipes the drawings from the dirt.

DREWRY
How about I walk on over to Thailand
and get laid? I promise to be back
in time for the pick up.

EASY
Hey, El Tee, dig it. Check it out.

HAMMER
We gotta get you a new name.

PRETTY BOY
How about "Big D"?

Drewry looks down at his crotch.

DREWRY
Somebody looked.

The men laugh.

BLACK.

HAMMER (O.S.)
I'm cleaning the M-60. Cover me.

PRETTY BOY (O.S.)
You got it.

DREWRY (O.S.)
You still have film?
(beat)
Turn it on.

CAMERA ON.

Hammer gets out his oil and shaving brush and starts to break
down the machine gun.

DREWRY
Feel like talking?

HAMMER
What the fuck, sure.

Hammer strips, cleans and reassembles his M-60. He even cleans
the belt of ammunition.

DREWRY
You enlist?

HAMMER
Nah, I'm a fucking US. Worked for my
old man. Couldn't cut that nine to
five Mickey Mouse shit. Rammed around.
I'm from a small town, but me and my
buddies own it. Nobody gives a shit.
We get a little static from the
Sheriff, but just little shit.
(beat)
I think my old man suggested to the
draft board it was my turn. Make a
man of me, he said. Shit. Drafted.
(beat)
I wasn't doing anything anyway. All
my buddies started copping out. Larry
got married. Ed went to Junior
College. I was painting houses, laying
linoleum, little of everything.

DREWRY
You volunteered for this unit, too?

HAMMER
The Green Line was getting to me.
Too much dope. Figured I might start
taking the hard stuff. Trip on LSD,
hash. It was so fucking boring. They
were starting inspections, spit-shined
boots in the Nam! See, we got it
dicked in the rear, this team. Nobody
fucks with us, no KP, details or
inspections. Nobody fucks with us,
not even officers. They think we're
crazy. Dinky dau, mad killers.

DREWRY
Are you?

HAMMER
We're the only sane killers the Army's
got, OD says.

DREWRY
You're a hard corps dude.

HAMMER
Damn right. Mercenaries kill for
money. Sadists kill for fun.
Paratroopers kill for both.

Hammer winks at the Camera.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Night camp. Drewry signals the Cameraman to follow him over
to where the team are talking.

EASY
The question is, did you get laid?
What I want to do, there's this
asshole where I live, owns all the
parking lots. In the morning he drives
to them all in his Continental, sees
that all his dollar-an-hour doofus
mother-fuckers are on the job. Then
he goes to the country club for the
rest of the day, rubs elbows with
all the other rich assholes. End of
the day, he drives by his lots again,
collects the money and makes his
deposit.
(beat)
What a fucking life. When I get back
the first thing I'm gonna do is buy
me a fucking parking lot. No building,
no maintenance, paint a few lines
once a year. I'm gonna get me a
parking lot, no shit, and lay back.

DREWRY
What about you, Cracker?

HAMMER
Cracker's a lifer. He ain't never
leaving the Army.

PRETTY BOY
He's been in since Christ was a
corporal.

EASY
Pulled KP at the Last Supper.

Cracker is cleaning and checking his M-1 sniper rifle.

DREWRY
(to Cracker)
You like the Army?

CRACKER
Yeah, been in six years. I come from
South Carolina. Up north they call
us hillbillies, but we ain't.
Dictionary defines hillbilly as a
Michigan farmer. We're white trash,
dirt poor, big family. I got four
kids myself, two boys, two girls
last time I checked.
(beat)
The Army helps a poor man pull himself
up. Feeds my family, good retirement,
gives me an education. I got my GED.
Black people, Puerto Ricans who don't
even speak English, Army's the only
equal opportunity employer I ever
saw. I could get to be First Sergeant,
even a Warrant Officer. Good money.

DREWRY
You figure what you're doing here is
right?

CRACKER
I don't figure right or wrong about
it. People like me go day to day,
spend our time figuring how to get
food on the table.
(beat)
My daddy was the best cabinetmaker
you ever saw. Didn't get a lot of
work 'cause of his hands, arthritis
twisted them up, but whenever he
made something, a cabinet, a three-
legged stool, it was the best goddamn
three-legged stool he could make. He
taught the same to me. You do your
job the best you can, no matter you
like it or not.
(beat)
Once he made a black oak china
cabinet, black oak, and when the
lady said he should paint it white
to match her floorboard trim, well,
my daddy painted it white. Beautiful
black oak, grain like running water.
He painted it the smoothest, cleanest
white you ever saw. Milk ain't that
white.
(beat)
You do your job, let the right or
wrong to others. You earn your pay.
OD feels the same. That's why me and
OD are this close.

Cracker holds up two fingers horizontally, one on top of the
other.

CRACKER
That's me on top.

DREWRY
Being from South Carolina, how does
it feel, being led by a black man?

Cracker's eyes narrow.

CRACKER
We don't ask those questions out
here, that's a Real World question.
Ask me that in South Carolina. Right
now ask me if OD isn't the best
fucking boonie rat I ever met. Ask
me if OD ain't the best human being
I ever humped a ruck with. Ask me if
I love him like a brother and if I'd
kill for him. I do and I have. If
I'd lay my life on the line for him...
I have. And if he ain't done the
same for me.
(beat)
We're finished here.

Cracker gets up and walks away.

Drewry sees the Camera on him. He looks away, embarrassed.

DREWRY
Turn that fucking thing off.

BLACK. Sound off.

Sound on.

EASY (O.S.)
Before it gets dark you lay in your
position, check out your fire lanes,
and most of all you memorize the
terrain in front of you.

CAMERA ON.

Easy lies on the ground and looks into the night. He talks
nervously.

EASY
Every tree, bush, and rock. Sometimes
you draw a picture in the dirt in
front of you. Then at night, those
shadows, you know what they are.
They're not the bad guys, you know?
(laughing nervously)
But then you think, the little dink
fucker replaced the bush with himself.
You know it moved, you know it did.
(beat)
I hate it just before a mission. See
that little berm, looks like a
crawling gook, don't it? Freaky shit.
Stare at it long enough, it'll move,
I wouldn't shit you.

Pretty Boy appears and lays a hand on Easy's shoulder.

PRETTY BOY
Hey, Breeze, what does the Jolly
Green Giant fear the most?

EASY
What?

PRETTY BOY
Avocado pickers.

They both laugh. The laughter fades and they stare out into
the darkness.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Easy grins into the Camera. He motions to the Cameraman to
follow him. Easy picks up Drewry's Nagra and walks across
the camp.

It is dark. There is some fog. OD is cleaning his long rifle.
Easy fiddles with the Nagra's knobs.

EASY
Like my TEAC fifteen hundred.

Easy and the Cameraman walk over to Drewry. Easy points the
microphone at him. Drewry looks worried.

EASY
Your turn in the barrel, El Tee.

Pretty Boy and Hammer laugh off screen.

DREWRY
I see. I've thrown some punches at
you guys and now it's your turn.

EASY
Now, El Tee, how long you been in-
country? Oh, never mind. How long
you been on line? Ooops. Wait, wait.
How long you been in the Army?

DREWRY
Active? Close to two years. I was
National Guard in college. Wanted
West Point, but I couldn't get in,
politics.

EASY
Ohhh, Regular Army. El Tee, I didn't
take you for a lifer.

Easy shakes his head and smiles.

EASY
So, El Tee, why you being such a
hard ass on us? We're just some
regular assholes trying to do a dirty
job.

Silence. OD gets up and walks over to Easy.

OD
That's enough, Easy.

DREWRY
No, it's a fair question. I think
you people treat the war like some
game. You dress up like GI Joe or
Sergeant Rock, play hard corps.

Pretty Boy and Hammer join them.

EASY
Bull-fucking-shit.

PRETTY BOY
Dig it.

HAMMER
Sergeant Rock, my ass.

OD
And how do you see the war, El Tee?

DREWRY
Business. Big business. The Army is
one big corporation, like Gulf and
Western.

PRETTY BOY
Engulf and Devour.

OD
And we're just cogs in the big
machine.

DREWRY
If you want. But there's opportunity,
like Cracker said. You can be a peon,
or, if you see yourself as executive
material, the advancement potential
is enormous.

Cracker, on guard, turns and looks at the other men.

CRACKER
You some kind of junior executive?

DREWRY
Exactly. In twelve months I can go
from Second Louie to First. And if I
play it right, I can leave Nam as a
Captain, with Major around the corner.

OD
If you play it right.

DREWRY
That's why I volunteered for this
unit.

EASY
You volunteered?

DREWRY
Volunteered and finagled. See, with
a line unit I'm just another shavetail
lieutenant. My only chance was if we
got hit bad and I pulled it through.
But there were too many people above
me making the decisions and they'd
take the credit.

OD
Of course.

DREWRY
With this unit I can show my stuff,
and spend a lot of hours in the rear
mingling with my superiors. Like
they say, it's who you know.

EASY
Or who you blow.

DREWRY
Of course, I could take you guys
with me. You watch, promotions,
medals, I'll get them for you. Slip
in a recommendation. Hooch maids,
more R&R.

OD
You're using the Nam to punch your
ticket.

DREWRY
It's the chance of a lifetime for a
career officer. Wars don't come along
very often. Combat duty is the
foundation for a successful career.

CRACKER
That's what's wrong with this war,
all that ticket punching. How can
you win when everybody's just passing
time for 12 months? Who ever heard
of a part-time war?

HAMMER
Who ever heard of a war where you
couldn't cross enemy borders? We
oughta invade. If you're gonna be a
bear, be a grizzly.

PRETTY BOY
It's like they're doing everything
they can to keep from winning this
one.

EASY
We're just rearranging furniture on
the Titanic.

There is a moment of silence.

OD
Better cut some "Z's", mission
tomorrow.
(to Easy)
Get your act together. Who's
monitoring the radio?

EASY
I was just having some fun.

OD
Is this fun?

EASY
Not even close.

Easy gives the Nagra to OD and walks away.

OD
(to Drewry)
There it is.

OD flicks off the sound and hands the recorder to Drewry.

BLACK.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Night. The team is sleeping. Pretty Boy is on guard. OD sits
near him.

They talk softly, unaware of the Camera.

OD
...big family. Lots of brothers and
sisters.

PRETTY BOY
Why don't you set me up with one of
your sisters?

OD
And you can set me up with your mama.

PRETTY BOY
I want to find a girl. Quit fucking
around. Just... you know... forget
all this shit.

OD
I had a girl. We were even engaged.
But... I've been over here two tours
and... every time I go home... The
land of the big PX... Things sure
change quick.

PRETTY BOY
You ain't a lifer are you, OD?

OD
Say what? You know what they say NCO
stands for... No Chance Outside.
(beat)
No. No future for me in it.

PRETTY BOY
There it is.

Easy starts in his sleep. Pretty Boy and OD look at him in
concern. Easy settles down.

PRETTY BOY
You know, OD, I can't handle much
more of this. My shit's getting flaky.

OD
Just one more time. So you just roll
your shit up into a tight little
ball and flick it in Charlie's eyes.

OD notices the Camera and looks at it with surprise, offended
at the intrusion. He gives the Cameraman the evil eye.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Dawn at the camp. The Camera is shaky and out of focus. It
centers on a new man, the Cameraman, leaning against a tree
and taking a leak.

HAMMER (O.S.)
Okay, MoPic, don't piss on me, piss
on the camera.

The Cameraman turns, surprised and embarrassed. He buttons
up. Pretty Boy and Easy laugh.

HAMMER (O.S.)
Wa, c'mon, MoPic, give the folks at
home a thrill. Haul it out. Let 'em
see a real soldier's weapon.

EASY/PRETTY BOY
This is my weapon, this is my gun.
With this I kill people, with this I
have fun.

They show the difference by brandishing their weapons and
cupping their crotch. They laugh.

The Cameraman tries to retrieve his Camera from Hammer. Hammer
backs away.

HAMMER (O.S.)
Hey, soldier, how'd you wind up in
this circle jerk?

CAMERAMAN
I was working in the lab back in the
rear, post-production. We used to
get these cans of film in, no
cameraman, just the reels. We'd hear
he got shot, or was dead. Spookiest
thing in the world, waiting for that
film to develop. Wondering what you
were going to see. Sometimes you saw
nothing. Other times... Real scary.

EASY
You think that's scary.

PRETTY BOY
Another volunteer. We're all crazy
on this bus.

Pretty Boy and Easy start grab-assing. Hammer follows.

BLACK.

HAMMER (O.S.)
What happened?

CAMERAMAN (O.S.)
You ran out of film.

HAMMER (O.S.)
Shit.

Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Hammer and Cracker drag their rucksacks across the ground,
making obvious marks.

Easy walks over to Drewry. Pretty Boy is rebandaging his
arm.

EASY
El Tee, Big D, give me all your bubble
gum wrappers.

Drewry is puzzled, but he complies. Easy scatters the wrappers
around the campsite.

OD leaves a full magazine on the ground.

OD
First two rounds are good. Third
round, gunpowder's been replaced
with C-4. Bang, bang, boom! Scratch
one enemy and one enemy gun.
(to Camera)
We're making it look like fifteen
men were here. Makes the gooks chase
us with a larger unit. The larger
the unit, the slower and noisier it
is. We need every edge we can get.

Cracker digs a small hole. He takes a smoke grenade and a
regular grenade from his pack and unscrews the fuses. He
swaps fuses and screws them down.

CRACKER
Regular grenade's got a three-second
fuse, gives you time to throw it.
Smoke grenade's instantaneous, better
for booby traps.

Cracker straightens the pin on the grenade, puts it in the
hole spoon up and hooks a wire to the pin.

CRACKER
(to Drewry)
Sir, you've been wearing that steel
pot too long. May I borrow it?

Drewry takes off his helmet and hands it to Cracker. Cracker
puts a couple handfuls of dirt inside the helmet to steady
it and sets it on top of the spoon. He checks the balance of
the helmet, the tension on the spoon, and carefully pulls
the wire and the pin.

DREWRY
I signed for that thing.

CRACKER
If you want it, sir, you'll have to
get it the way Mister Charlie will.
And I guarantee it'll ruin your whole
day.

Cracker wipes away all traces of his footprints and the trail
of wire. He stands back and admires his work.

Easy hands Drewry his own soft cap. Drewry puts it on.

OD
Let's do it to it.

The team slides into the jungle.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Further along the trail. Cracker strings a wire across the
trail to a grenade that has been inserted into a C-ration
can. He attaches the wire to the grenade and pulls the pin.
The can restrains the spoon.

Cracker and the Cameraman walk about fifteen feet up the
trail. Cracker takes off his bandana and ties it conspicuously
to a branch.

CRACKER
You stay here long enough and you
can out-Chuck Chuck.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is setting up on the side of a ridge. OD and Cracker
set up their long rifles using their rucksacks as gun rests.
They load their ammunition one round at a time, cleaning
each one with a rag. Everyone else wears their packs.

Pretty Boy and Hammer set up as spotters next to OD and
Cracker and get out their binoculars. Pretty Boy lines up
his M-79 ammunition in a neat row of six rounds.

Easy sits behind them with the radio.

The sun is rising at their backs.

Everyone whispers.

OD and Cracker look through their scopes.

OD
I see One, dead center, the tent.
Three and Six about two o'clock.

CRACKER
I see Two at nine o'clock, Five at
eleven o'clock and moving.

OD
Anyone spot Four?

Drewry takes out his binoculars and looks.

DREWRY
Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus, there's
hundreds of them.

The Cameraman gets behind OD and zooms down the rifle barrel
and focuses on the target area.

One hundred and fifty men, most sleeping in tents or bed-
rolls, a few on guard. In the center of the camp eight men
are performing tai-chi, graceful and uncaring.

OD
They must have gotten reinforced
overnight. Pretty Boy, see that
antenna? Can you reach it with your
Thumper?

The focus comes back to the team.

Drewry looks at OD, then back through the binoculars.

PRETTY BOY
No sweat, but I'm not sure of the
mortar. Really reaching.

DREWRY
That must be a quarter mile.

OD
More like a third of a mile, El Tee.
Secondary targets?

CRACKER
That dude wandering around, the VC
guide. People seem to listen to him.
I think the dude's got his shit
together. Lotta men down there, OD.

OD and Cracker get into position behind their rifles, prone,
and snuggle into the dirt.

EASY
(into radio)
Thunderbird Control, this is Outrider.
How do you read me? Over.
(beat)
I read you Lima Charlie. I have a
fire mission. Request artillery HE.
Stand by for coordinates.

OD and Cracker go through a silent run, making "pow" sounds
with their lips, jerking their rifles with each faked shot.

EASY
(into radio)
Enemy in the trees, single canopy.
Size, regiment. In my funny book I
read Delta Oscar Lima Echo November
Golf Foxtrot India Papa Tango Tango
Echo. Say back.
(beat)
Affirm. Fire one smoke on my order.

They plug their ears with plastic earplugs, cigarette filters,
whatever they have. Easy and Drewry use cartridges. OD
hesitates.

OD
Wait one.

Everyone looks at OD.

OD
Most of those dudes ain't the ones I
saw yesterday.

Cracker takes the binoculars and looks.

CRACKER
Must be out humping. Keeping a low
profile for air recon?

OD
I say we don't shoot. Call in arty
and just didi mau.

OD looks at each man in turn. Easy and Pretty Boy nod. Hammer
shrugs. OD looks at Drewry.

DREWRY
You're the boss of the bush.

OD nods to Easy.

EASY
(into radio)
Fire one.

Pretty Boy launches five quick rounds while OD and Cracker
get up and put their packs on. Hammer keeps his binoculars
on the camp. Everyone gets ready to move out.

Muffled explosions sound.

HAMMER
Got 'em! Chuck's hurtin'! Smoke round.
Drop one hundred, left fifty.

EASY
(into radio)
Drop one hundred, left fifty. Fire
for effect. HE and Wicked Picket.

HAMMER
Shake and bake.

OD
Move it.

The team moves out, fast.

The crest the ridge and the air above them is ripped by
artillery shells. Hammer looks up.

HAMMER
Get some.

Explosions sound in the distance.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team runs down slope, OD leading. He spots Cracker's
bandana and grabs it off the branch on the run. He makes an
immediate left off the trail and the men pass the bandana
back to Cracker.

CRACKER
I hate it when we don't shoot. Get
all the juices going...

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is stopped. They look behind them. Drewry is out of
breath. The others are all hyper.

DREWRY
...tripped your wire?

CRACKER
Sounds like. Wait one to see if your
helmet bounces.

Jets roar overhead. The men look up.

PRETTY BOY
Get some.

EASY
(listening on radio)
Fuck me, Alice. OP Ladybird's been
hit again. Texas Hat's on the horn
going apeshit.

OD
Then we make it the ville. Hammer?

HAMMER
The village. Got it, OD.

There are muffled explosions. Hammer looks back.

HAMMER
The jets are putting the damn damn
on the dinks.

EASY
Oh, Jesus. They're getting overrun.

DREWRY
I should call in my situation report.

OD looks at Drewry and nods to Easy. Easy gives Drewry the
handset and changes the frequency.

DREWRY
(into radio)
Stone Hombre, this is Outrider Six.
How do you hear me?
(beat)
Same here, Hombre. Sit Rep, mission
completed. Enemy sighted, now under
fire, arty, HE and fly boys.

CRACKER
I just hate it when we don't shoot.

EASY
Not me. Kind of like a personal risk
avoidance policy.

HAMMER
It's like a fucking dry hump. Gives
me the blue balls.

CRACKER
Not that. Just... every one of those
gooks we cut slack on might dust
some GI.

PRETTY BOY
I can dig that.

OD
Move 'em out.

The team moves out. There is another muffled boom. Cracker
grins at Drewry and flips his hat into the air.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team waits and catches their breath. Drewry reaches into
Pretty Boy's pack and gets salt tablets. Hammer is still
hyper. They all whisper.

PRETTY BOY
You get hungry, just chew on your
lurp rations. Eat it dry and suck up
some water. Not too much, you'll
swell your belly.

HAMMER
We won't be stopping long enough to
chow down 'til we hit the ville.

A click in the jungle. Cracker responds with a toy cricket.
Click, click.

OD appears.

OD
Gooks ahead, across our trail. Six
of 'em.

DREWRY
Ambush?

OD
Breakfast.

CRACKER
We go around 'em or through 'em?

HAMMER
Through 'em. Time to waste a few.

DREWRY
Can we go around?

OD
It won't be easy, and it'll be slow.

HAMMER
Let's hit 'em. It's our last gig,
let's take back some heads.

OD looks at the others.

CRACKER
What the fuck, can't dance.

HAMMER
You want to live forever?

EASY
You know me, Breeze, anything for a
joke.

Pretty Boy just smiles. OD looks at Drewry.

DREWRY
I can handle it.

OD sketches a diagram in the dirt.

OD
Okay. They're by the stream, about
50 meters up. We do an "L", me here,
Easy, Pretty Boy, and Hammer. Cracker
at the elbow, the El Tee.

PRETTY BOY
What about MoPic?

OD
He waits back here. I start, a
grenade, then we hit 'em. Hammer,
one carries an RPG, you waste that
motherfucker. Careful of the
crossfire.

EASY
Let's do it to it.

They move out.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The packs are on the ground. OD and Cracker lay their rifles
on the packs. Easy tapes two magazines back to back. Pretty
Boy arranges his grenades.

OD
We get split up, rally on the ville.

The men are stripped down and ready to move. OD looks them
over and nods. They start to move out.

DREWRY
(to Cameraman)
Stay here, just hang loose.

The men disappear into the jungle.

The Cameraman waits for a moment, then follows them into the
brush. He catches a few glimpses of Cracker's back.

Nothing but brush. The Cameraman moves slowly.

Suddenly, he is upon OD, Easy and Hammer. OD forces him down
fiercely. Vietnamese voices can be heard. OD, Easy and Hammer
crawl toward the voices.

The men wait. Easy looks scared. Hammer winks at him.

OD pulls out a grenade, then pulls the pin. He waits, pops
the spoon, silently counts to two and throws the grenade.

An explosion, a scream, and the team is up at the same
instant, charging and firing.

They burst into the clearing.

Two VC are prone. One kneels to fire, three are running away.

The team pours a rain of gunshots into the area. Mass
confusion. The three running VC fall. The kneeling soldier
is blown down.

Quiet.

Easy and Pretty Boy go on guard. OD and Cracker check bodies
and take papers. Hammer, pumped up, starts picking up the
enemy weapons.

OD
Hammer, guard 12 o'clock.

HAMMER
War souveniers, OD. First come,
first... This one's alive.

Hammer aims his machine gun at the VC's head. Drewry, a little
dazed by the shooting, wakes up and bumps Hammer aside.

DREWRY
Wait a second.

The Cameraman moves closer to catch the VC. The VC is coming
to. Blood comes from his nose and ears. His left leg is
wasted.

HAMMER
Let me waste him, sir. Sin Loi
motherfucker.

Hammer aims at the VC again, but Drewry blocks him.

DREWRY
He's a prisoner. We take him with
us.

HAMMER
Bullshit. No way.

OD
Can it, Hammer.

DREWRY
We don't murder.

OD
We kill. We just did a mess of it.

DREWRY
It's not the same, you know it.

OD looks at the VC, then at Drewry.

OD
Bring him back to the rear. We'll
decide there.

Drewry ties the VC's hands and he and Easy drag the prisoner
into the jungle.

DREWRY
We've decided.

OD
Move it, move it.

The team leaves the area.

BLACK. Sound off.

Sound on.

PRETTY BOY (O.S.)
Bac se. Doctor, Medic. Bac se.

CAMERA ON.

The men shoulder their gear. Pretty Boy bandages the VC's
leg. The prisoner's mouth is now taped shut.

DREWRY
We take him back to S-2 for
interrogation. Intelligence, that's
what we're out here for.

Pretty Boy is very gentle with the VC.

HAMMER
Are we bad motherfuckers, or what.
See that shit? We cleaned up. I ain't
shitting you. Zap!

EASY
Let's have a hymn for the Major.

EASY/HAMMER/PRETTY BOY
Hymmmn, hymmmn, fuck... himmmm.

OD looks at the VC.

HAMMER
Shit, sir, who's gonna carry the
fucker. It'll slow us down like...
He resists and it's a bitch and a
half. If you cold cock the sucker
he's dead weight. He can't walk.
We've done this before.

DREWRY
I'll carry him.

PRETTY BOY
I'll help.

Drewry and Pretty Boy strap two rifle slings to the VC's
shoulders and legs.

OD
He goes with us.

EASY
El Tee... "Big D", we're gonna get
you a medal. First time out.

CRACKER
Most grunts spend a whole year getting
shot at and shit on and never see
Chuck. You got one to take home.

OD
Let's go.

Drewry and Pretty Boy grab the VC. The team moves out.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is stopped. Drewry cuts a thick bamboo stalk.

HAMMER
(looking at VC guns)
Bet I get me a hundred bucks apiece
for these from some raggedy assed
chairborne commando.

EASY
How about you souvenier me one,
Hammer?

HAMMER
How about you kiss my hairy ass?

PRETTY BOY
For a little shit, ol' Luke the Gook
is fucking heavy.

CRACKER
Don't let him fool you. They stand
small, but fight tall. He's probably
playing possum.

OD
C'mon, we're losing time. You know
they're looking for us.

DREWRY
Done.

Drewry finishes trimming the bamboo and he and Pretty Boy
slip it through the VC's bindings.

They lift the pole onto their shoulders.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team moves quietly and quickly through the jungle. OD is
on point, Hammer, Easy, then Drewry and Pretty Boy carrying
the NVA between them. Drewry no longer carries the Nagra,
the Cameraman does.

There is a small break in the trees.

Easy spins in place and falls to the ground. A shot cracks
the air.

Pretty Boy's right leg collapses under him and he falls.
There is another crack.

The Cameraman runs. Cracker passes the Cameraman and grabs
Easy by the harness and drags him to cover with OD and Hammer.
Drewry pulls the NVA behind some cover with him.

OD and Hammer are already looking down their guns, searching
for the sniper.

Hammer fires his machine gun.

OD
Enough! Wait 'til you get a target!

Hammer stops.

OD looks at Easy. There is a big ragged hole in the radio.

EASY
I'm okay! I'm okay!

He says it to reassure himself.

CRACKER (O.S.)
OD! Pretty Boy!

They look down the trail.

Pretty Boy is about ten feet away, trying to get up on his
good leg. The other one is bloody at the knee. He gets partly
up and his other leg is shot out from under him. There is a
brief delay and another crack.

Pretty Boy screams.

HAMMER
Jesus, that guy is good. Did you
hear that delay? Must be 500 meters.

EASY
OD, you gotta help Pretty Boy!

HAMMER
Cover me, Cracker.

Hammer tosses his machine gun to Cracker. Cracker fires into
the jungle.

Hammer ducks down like a runner in the starting blocks and
jumps into the clearing.

A bullet tears into Hammer's shoulder and stops him dead. OD
and Easy grab his feet and pull him back. Crack!

Cracker stops firing.

They all look at Pretty Boy. He raises himself up by his
elbows and tries to drag himself over to the others, inch by
painful inch.

EASY
C'mon, Pretty Boy.

OD
You can do it, Baldwin.

Another shot tears Pretty Boy's right elbow to meat and
slivers of bone. He screams again. Crack!

EASY
Leave him alone! Goddammit! Leave
him alone!

Easy is about to cry.

Smack! Another bullet hits Pretty Boy in the thigh. Crack!
Hs body jerks with the impact and he screams again, a high
piercing wail that fades into a guttural moan.

CRACKER
Lord have mercy.

EASY
I'm giving it another try.

Easy gets up, but OD grabs him by the shoulder and pulls him
back.

OD
No.

OD
Get me FDC. Maybe we can get some
fire support.

EASY
Radio ain't working.

DREWRY
Look.

Pretty Boy is still alive. He reaches slowly behind him with
his left hand and gets a grenade from his canteen cover. He
tries to loosen the pin with one hand.

EASY
Pretty Boy, no! OD, do something!

OD
Cracker, give me your harness.

EASY
Pretty Boy, wait!

OD
Hold on, Baldwin.

Pretty Boy stops. OD links his belt with Cracker's, then
Drewry's. He creeps toward the edge of the clearing.

OD tosses the lengths of belt toward Pretty Boy. The end
lands about a foot from his head.

Pretty Boy reaches for the belt and a bullet tears through
his palm, throwing his arm in an arc. Crack! Pretty Boy
whimpers.

EASY
(crying)
Oh, goddamn. Fuck. Shit. Cocksucker.
COCKSUCKER!

Pretty Boy's face lies in the dirt. He painfully turns his
head so he can see the team. He wets his lips.

PRETTY BOY
(whispering)
OD, please.

Smack! A bullet hits him in the hip. He screams again.

DREWRY
(watching OD)
What are you doing?

EASY
OD, no, don't. OD.

OD takes Drewry's .45 from his holster and pulls back the
slide and makes sure it is loaded. Easy watches through his
tears. The slide snaps forward with an ominous click.

OD aims at Pretty Boy's head.

Pretty Boy looks at the gun and OD and smiles.

CRACKER
(softly)
OD, not in the head.

BOOM!

Pretty Boy's body jerks with the impact of OD's bullet. He
is dead.

Silence. Then the sound of Easy crying softly.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Pretty Boy's body is on a poncho. Cracker takes the dog tag
from around his neck, untapes them and puts one in Pretty
Boy's mouth and tapes it shut. He does it gently, as if it
were a ceremony.

Cracker pulls the poncho over Pretty Boy's face. Easy cries
off screen. He snaps the poncho shut, one at a time. The
sound of the snaps is very loud.

OD bandages Hammer's shoulder while Hammer remains on guard.

Easy shivers uncontrollably a couple of times and looks at
his dead radio.

Drewry looks at the NVA. OD finishes with Hammer and walks
over to Drewry.

OD
Gut shot. Looks like your gook's
broke, El Tee.

DREWRY
Will he make it to Brigade?

OD
No. We ain't taking him.

DREWRY
What?

OD
We got a choice. We carry your gook
or Pretty Boy. We can't take both.

DREWRY
But... he's dead.

Silence. The team looks coldly at Drewry.

HAMMER
Americans never leave their dead
behind.

Drewry looks at the team, the NVA, Pretty Boy, the NVA again.

DREWRY
You're not going to kill him.

OD
No, you are, El Tee.

Everyone looks at OD. His face is filled with anger.

DREWRY
You can't make me.

OD
We're leaving Luke the Gook. If his
people get to him before he dies he
can tell them all about us. We're
almost out of ammo, one of us is
hurt, everything. Intelligence, El
Tee, intelligence.

Drewry reaches reluctantly for his gun.

OD
No gun, El Tee. Noise discipline.
Your knife makes it personal.

OD takes Drewry's bayonet and slaps it into his hand. The
NVA stares up at Drewry, his eyes wide with fear and pain.

OD
It's time you were blooded, El Tee.
Your own private KIA.

Drewry looks down at the NVA.

DREWRY
He's going to die anyway.

OD
Maybe. C'mon, El Tee. No, wait a
second.

OD reaches into Drewry's shirt and pulls out the NVA's papers.
OD's eyes burn with cold, hard fury. Cracker reaches out to
stop him, but OD jerks away.

OD
You might want to know who you're
killing.
(reading)
His name's Truong, Nguyen Truong.
He's 19. Got a family, looks like,
wife, cute kid.

OD throws the papers onto the NVA's chest as he reads them.
The last is a black and white photograph of a woman and child.

OD
C'mon, El Tee, what're you waiting
for?

OD's voice has an edge of hysteria.

CRACKER
OD.

HAMMER
Kill the fucker, El Tee.

Drewry raises the bayonet and stabs the NVA clumsily in the
chest. He pulls it back out quickly and turns away.

OD
Damn, El Tee, can't you even kill a
man right?

The NVA's chest rises with shallow breaths and blood pumps
from the wound.

OD bends over the NVA with his Gerber knife and shoves it up
under his ribcage and slices the heart. The NVA dies.

OD wipes the blade on the NVA's sleeve. He cuts the ropes
from his hands and feet and slices the tape off his mouth.
Blood gushes out.

OD drapes the NVA flag over the dead man's face and kneels
there for a moment, almost like he is praying.

Cracker puts a gentle hand on OD's shoulder.

CRACKER
OD, we better move out. I'm going to
destroy the long rifles, Pretty Boy's
gear.
(to Hammer)
Give me a Willy Peter.
(beat)
OD?

OD nods and gets up slowly.

OD
Better melt down the radio, too.

Easy takes off the radio and gets a white phosphorous grenade
from his pack.

Drewry sits on the ground looking at his bayonet.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The team is stopped, all out of breath, facing outward on
guard. Easy and Drewry have been carrying Pretty Boy's body
between them, the pole through the poncho. OD's jaw muscles
flex as he stares into the jungle.

HAMMER
How much farther to the ville?

OD
Three, four klicks. Seven-niner
degrees. Remember that, Hammer, seven-
niner.

HAMMER
I got it, OD, no sweat. Anyhow, I
just follow you.
(beat)
Damn, I'd like a cold brew.

EASY
I could use some dew. No, no, hash.
Quick toke of hash, dreamland. Grass
makes me paranoid.

Easy laughs. It is forced. OD looks at him and almost smiles.

OD
You're one dinky dau ditty bopper.

EASY
And I'm short. 25 and a wake-up. I'm
so short I could parachute off a
dime.

HAMMER
I wish I had a cold brew.

CRACKER
Wish in one hand, shit in the other,
see which hand's full first.
(beat)
What kind of job you gonna get us in
the rear, OD?

OD looks at Drewry, who is self-absorbed and quiet.

OD
I don't know, some ghost job. One
thing I do know, it'll be air-
conditioned.

Their conversation is strained.

CRACKER
With my own little refrigerator.

HAMMER
For cold brew.

OD
There's a slot open at the rec room.
We'll sent Easy to Thailand on R&R
so he don't get into trouble before
he takes that freedom bird back to
the Real World.

EASY
Can you do that for me, OD? I'd dig
it. Love that Thai pussy, cheap,
too. Me and Pretty Boy... What about
Hammer?

CRACKER
Hammer's too tough for the rear.

HAMMER
Got muscles in my shit.

EASY
Bites the heads off animal crackers.

CRACKER
Last time I was in the rear I called
home on the MARS line. Got the wife
on the horn, she didn't believe it
was me calling from the Nam. After
we talked about that we didn't have
shit to say to each other. Dead
silence. Not word one.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The Camera looks over OD's shoulder as he consults his
compass.

OD
The tree, the big pine.

OD pockets the compass and Hammer hands him his CAR-15.

OD starts walking. The Cameraman stands to one side and lets
OD and Hammer walk by him. Drewry and Easy follow with the
body.

Suddenly, out of the trees, walk three NVA.

The NVA freeze, as startled as the Americans.

Drewry and Easy drop Pretty Boy. It's like a signal. The
team fires. The NVA fire back, but it's too late.

The Cameraman hits the ground as the team charges the NVA.
Drewry hits the ground, too, but he faces the rear, gun ready.

BLACK.

Gunfire.

The Cameraman lifts the Camera. OD and Easy come out of the
brush. Hammer stays behind and fires a slug or two into each
of the NVA bodies.

OD is furious. He heads over to Drewry, who is getting off
the ground. OD is holding his stomach and blood leaks through
his fingers.

OD
What the fuck are you doing?! Don't
they teach you shit in fucking OCS?!
You attack, fucker! Attack!

DREWRY
I was guarding our rear! That's what
I was taught. In an ambush... Fuck
it!

OD
That was Pretty Boy's job.

The fire in OD is suddenly gone. He looks off screen and
runs. The Camera follows.

Cracker is laying on the ground, three bloody holes in his
chest.

CRACKER
It hurts, Godalmighty, it hurts.
Hurts like nothing ever did, OD.

OD
Pretty Boy! Morphine!

Cracker grabs OD's sleeve and pulls him closer.

CRACKER
OD, Pretty Boy's dead.

Cracker's words are soft and gentle. OD chokes up.

OD
Cracker, don't you dare die on me,
motherfucker. I need you, you're my
friend. Frye?

Easy and Hammer join OD. There is blood pouring down Hammer's
leg.

CRACKER
No sweat, GI. Three slugs ain't
nothing. Guys catch worse and live,
I seen it. Funny, I counted them
when they hit. One, two, three. I
just fell back real slow, thinking,
"Shit, I been hit three fucking
times". AK?

OD
I guess.

Cracker lifts his head and looks at the foaming blood pumping
from his chest.

CRACKER
Jesus, looks like a sucking chest
wound, OD. Get something to plug it.

Easy rips the plastic cover from a bandage and OD places it
over the wound.

HAMMER
I got a morphine vial.

Hammer hands the morphine to OD. OD prepares it.

HAMMER
We gotta move it, OD. The gunfire,
the gooks must have heard it.

OD
You're gonna be okay, Cracker. We
been through some shit together,
huh, Frye? We'll get through this
one.

CRACKER
Three slugs ain't nothing, I seen
guys a lot worse.

OD pulls up Cracker's sleeve to inject the morphine.

CRACKER
Save it, OD, don't hurt no more.
Can't feel a fucking thing.

Cracker dies.

OD bends over Cracker's body, tears dripping onto Cracker's
face.

OD tips his head back to scream, but all that comes out is a
tortured rasp.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

The bodies of Cracker and Pretty Boy lay next to each other
under a tree. OD marks the spot on his map.

OD
We'll send a chopper back.

DREWRY
Americans never abandon their dead.

No one pays any attention to Drewry.

The team moves out.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Drewry is cleaning his M-16 carefully, methodically. Easy is
bandaging OD's stomach wound, wrapping duct tape around his
middle. He watches OD's face, trying not to hurt him.

Easy finishes and hands the tape to Hammer. Hammer tapes his
thigh while he remains on guard.

HAMMER
Gonna be a beaut of a scar.
(beat)
I been thinking, I think I got Pretty
Boy's luck. You figure that happens?
You know, that luck just visits
someone and then up and jumps onto
someone else?

He grins and looks at everyone. There is a bloody patch near
his ear.

The smile fades as he looks into the jungle. He thinks
something over, chewing his cheek. He looks into the Camera.

HAMMER
In case... if I don't... If my luck
jumps, you know...
(beat)
I want my folks, especially my old
man, my dad, to know I did a damn
good job. Maybe I wasn't any hero,
but I did the best job I could.

Hammer turns away, embarrassed. He looks back into the jungle.

HAMMER
But I got Pretty Boy's luck, I won't
worry none. You know, I could almost
feel it come onto me when Pretty Boy
got...

There is silence.

OD gets up, wincing with pain. Easy watches him, feeling the
same pain. Drewry watches them all, deep in thought.

EASY
Best I can do.

OD
It'll work.

EASY
OD, I'm scared. We're in deep shit.

OD
Stevie Wonder could see that, Easy.

Easy restlessly, unconsciously, works the bolt of his carbine,
jacking the rounds out of the magazine.

EASY
No, I mean, really, my shit's gotten
all flaky. I'm not cut out for this
shit no more. You gotta cut me some
slack, OD, I can't hack it no more.

Easy is intently serious, but on the verge of tears, trying
to express his sincerity through his panic.

EASY
I don't wanna die. I didn't give a
rat fuck before, but I do now. Maybe
I'm too short. OD, you gotta cover
my ass.

Tears fall from Easy's eyes. He sniffs and wipes his nose
with the back of his hand. He looks like a little kid.

OD
You out of pills?

EASY
(smiling)
Can't get nothing by you, OD.

Easy sees Hammer looking at him.

EASY
Don't look at me like that,
motherfucker. I'll kill you.

HAMMER
(softly)
It's okay, Easy.

OD hugs Easy, but gingerly because of his wound.

OD
I'll take care of you, Easy, I will.
I ever lie to you?

EASY
No sweat. I'm just a little fucked
'cause of Pretty Boy and Cracker,
you know.

Easy takes a deep breath and pulls back from OD.

EASY
Hey, OD, what's the difference between
fish and meat?

OD
What?

EASY
If you beat your fish it'll die.

OD smiles and playfully slaps Easy on the cheek.

OD
Dinky dau motherfucker. Now pick up
that brass.

Easy looks down and sees the cartridges and he's surprised.
He picks them up.

DREWRY
Easy, here. Maybe this'll make you
feel more secure.

OD and Easy look at Drewry. Drewry has taken off his flak
vest. He offers it to Easy. Easy takes it and shrugs off his
LBE to put it on.

Drewry and OD look at each other.

DREWRY
I think I should take over now, you're
incapacitated.

OD
Like shit.

DREWRY
I don't want to argue. You'll hardly
be able to walk with that wound.

OD is angry. He takes a step toward Drewry, refusing to show
the pain. Easy tries to help, but OD pushes him away with
Cracker's shotgun.

DREWRY
See. I'll take point.

OD
And get us all greased. No way, GI.

OD looks at Easy and Hammer for their reaction. Easy's fear
is evident. Hammer gives him an "I don't give a shit" look.

OD
Hammer'll walk point. And we move
now and fast. We got a pickup to
meet.

HAMMER
Out-fucking-standing. You're one
hard corps dude, OD.

EASY
And you're one silly, gung-ho fucker,
Hammer.

HAMMER
Yeah, no shit. Like Cracker says...
said... if you're gonna be a bear,
be a grizzly.

Hammer moves out first. The Cameraman waits for OD, who is
leaning on Easy. OD motions the Cameraman ahead of him.

DREWRY
I'll bring up the rear.

They follow Hammer.

OD
Watch out for booby traps, stay off
the trails. Stop every few meters
just to listen.

HAMMER
I can handle it, OD, cut me some
slack.

Hammer talks without stopping his progress through the jungle.

HAMMER
I ain't no cherry. I... Oh, shit.

BOOM!

Hammer is blown backward by the blast from a mine.

The Cameraman dives for the ground. BLACK.

The Cameraman starts to get up. Hammer's body is close to
the lens, face and chest torn by shrapnel. His mouth is open
and his wide, dead eyes stare at the Camera.

The Cameraman scuttles away from the body. Easy bends over
Hammer.

EASY
Oh, Hammer, I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry.

Drewry is suddenly standing over Hammer's body. He picks up
the M-60.

DREWRY
He's dead. C'mon.

Drewry leads the way. OD and Easy walk past the Cameraman,
looking at Hammer's body. Easy drops his rifle. OD picks it
up.

The Cameraman gets up and hurries after the others.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Drewry, OD and Easy are crouched at the base of a tree on
the edge of a small, burned village. There is nothing moving,
just smoke curling into the sky from the burned huts.

OD
Let's check it out. Choppers'll be
here soon.

OD gets up to lead the way, but Easy has to help him stand.
Drewry leads the way, his M-16 slung, carrying Hammer's M-60
at the ready.

They enter the village slowly and cautiously. Easy drags his
carbine behind him.

There are bodies of old men and women here and there, a few
children. There is a dead chicken, a dog. Drewry bends over
one of the bodies. Mortar craters pock the ground.

OD
Careful, El Tee, booby traps.

Drewry backs away from the body.

The three men stick close together, carefully checking each
body.

DREWRY
I wonder who did this, us or them.

OD
Does it make a difference?
(beat)
We wouldn't leave this much standing.
Must be Chuck's work.

OD tries to walk forward by himself as Drewry and Easy
continue checking bodies.

OD
Keep an eye out. Chuck's crowding
our ass.

OD collapses. Easy and Drewry run over to him.

DREWRY
(to Camera)
Put that thing down and give me a
hand.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

A lean-to made from a poncho has been propped over OD. Easy
watches him. Easy's tears have dried, but he is on the edge.
Maybe over.

OD
I'm not saying all gooks look the
same.
(coughing laugh)
It's just... I go to Sin City, all
the gook faces look like some gook I
shot. You know, spooky like. Ghosts.

OD is silent a long moment. Easy turns away. Drewry looks at
Easy with concern.

EASY
How about that morphine, El Tee?

DREWRY
No, we have to keep him conscious
for the chopper.

EASY
(joking feebly)
How about for me?

Drewry smiles.

OD
That ain't counting the other dead
men. GI's. The ones I didn't kill.

OD jerks his head up, suddenly alert, and looks at Drewry.

OD
I'll be okay, El Tee. Don't worry
about me, just keep an ear out for
the chopper.

EASY
OD? Am I gonna die?

OD
Who'd want to kill a doofus ditty
bopper like you?

Drewry looks at his watch.

DREWRY
Half hour to pickup. The NVA will
try something.

EASY
Chuck ain't shot his wad yet.

OD
We better prepare, set some fire
lanes. You got a red smoke, El Tee?

DREWRY
No.

OD
You pop a red smoke for a hot LZ. We
gotta let the choppers know Chuck's
waiting, too. Here.

OD hands Drewry one of his smoke grenades.

Drewry looks at the grenade.

EASY
Don't sweat it, El Tee. Hell, what
you want to do, live forever?

OD tries to get up. A spasm of pain runs through him and he
falls back down.

The Cameraman runs over to help OD.

BLACK. Sound off.

CAMERA ON. Sound on.

Easy and the Cameraman are inside a hut. OD sits in the
doorway with the M-60, his back to the Camera.

Across the village, Drewry is getting into position with the
M-16 and CAR-15.

EASY
How you doing, OD?

OD
Can't feel my legs, but it don't
hurt much if I don't move too quick.
Should be hearing the choppers soon.

EASY
One good thing about the Nam. You
hear a chopper, you know it's ours.

There is a moment of silence.

OD
Here they come.

Drewry starts firing.

OD fires.

Bullets rip through the hut. Easy and the Cameraman hit the
ground.

There is another sound that breaks through the gunfire.

EASY
Choppers! Pop smoke, El Tee! Pop
smoke!

Drewry readies the smoke grenade, but before he can throw it
another one lands in the middle of the village. Green smoke.

EASY
Oh, shit!

Drewry looks up at the sky and runs into the clearing toward
the green smoke grenade. OD increases his fire to cover him.
Bullets tear up the earth around him, but Drewry manages to
kick the green smoke grenade away.

Drewry dodges for cover and throws the red smoke grenade.

The sound of helicopters increases and the firing of mini-
guns is heard.

The helicopters fire rockets. There are sounds of battle all
around the village. Easy crouches down, his hands over his
head.

The ground fire ceases. There is the sound of helicopters
and the mini-guns firing in spurts.

The sound of helicopters is very loud. Easy is crying and
hugging the ground.

Drewry runs across the village and into the hut.

DREWRY
C'mon, move it! Move it! The choppers!

Drewry manhandles Easy out the door and toward a helicopter
hovering above the ground.

The Cameraman pauses next to OD, who fires sporadically into
the jungle. OD looks up.

OD
Move it, troop.

The Cameraman follows Drewry and Easy.

More gunfire sounds. The door gunner fires into the jungle.
The door gunner is hit and he slumps in his retaining sling.

The pilot waves Drewry and the others on.

They get to the chopper and Drewry pushes Easy aboard. Drewry
looks back and sees OD sprawled in front of the hut, trying
to get up. OD falls.

EASY
OD!

Drewry runs back for OD.

The Cameraman puts down his Camera inside the chopper and
runs after Drewry.

Easy mans the chopper machine guns and fires into the jungle.

Drewry and the Cameraman lift OD and drag him toward the
chopper. OD screams in pain.

The Cameraman is hit and falls, but he gets up and continues
toward the chopper.

Easy is screaming as he fires.

They reach the chopper and manhandle OD inside. The Cameraman
is hit again and he screams. Drewry steps onto the skid.

The Cameraman is hit again and falls back, dead.

The chopper lifts as Drewry, hanging onto the skid, reaches
hopelessly for the Cameraman. He finally climbs inside.

The helicopter lifts out of sight of earth. Only sky.

BLACK.

Sound off.

THE END

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