"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 ]

"BASIC"

by

Jamie Vanderbilt

First Draft

March 27, 2000



OVER BLACK:

The sound of HELICOPTER ROTORS slicing through the air.

STYLES (O.S.)
Jesus, God...

FADE IN ON:

An ARMY HELICOPTER as it soars over the thick LOUISIANA BAYOU.

Lush and green only a day ago, the foliage below has been
ripped to shreds. The kind of damage that can only be done
by nature.

SUPERIMPOSE:, FEBRUARY 2 - 0630 HOURS - 32 KILOMETERS NORTH
OF FORT MCKINLEY, LOUISIANA

INT. ARMY HELICOPTER (FLYING) -- SUNRISE

Sitting next to the PILOT is COLONEL WILLIAM STYLES. Mid-
40's, normally gruff, but completely cowed by the damage
below. The PILOT, unfazed.

PILOT
Hurricane Beth, huh? Had an ex-wife
named Beth, this is pretty much par
for the course. This area got the
worst of it, I hope these guys are
all intact --

STYLES
That's enough, Lieutenant.

SOMEONE'S P.O.V. - RUNNING through the underbrush -- ducking
branches, pushing through bushes, splashing through streams.

LABORED BREATHING wheezes over the sound track. We're headed
for a CLEARING...

INT. ARMY HELICOPTER (FLYING) -- SUNRISE

The Pilot pushes his stick forward, descending to tree level.

PILOT
Coming up on the pick-up.

EXT. CLEARING -- DAWN

TWO MEN emerge from the underbrush at a run. The BIGGER MAN
carrying the wounded SMALLER MAN over his shoulder. Both in
ragged army cadet fatigues -- ripped, muddy, and bloody.

The Bigger Man lowers the Smaller Man to the ground and
unshoulders his M-16. Face panicked.

The sound of the HELICOPTER approaching...

INT. ARMY HELICOPTER (FLYING) -- SUNRISE

The unmistakable SOUND OF GUNFIRE from below.

PILOT
Holy shit, that's live fire!

As the Helicopter comes over the clearing, Styles and the
Pilot squint down through the windscreen to see the Two Men,
huddled together as BULLET HITS kick up DUST around them!

STYLES
Who's shooting at them --

The Bigger Man raising his own his weapon and RETURNING FIRE.

The Smaller Man frantically waving the Helicopter down...

PILOT
I can't see --

Below, the Bigger Man still shooting and then he lowers his
rifle and there's only SILENCE. No return fire.

And then Styles sees why. A THIRD MAN. Lying by the treeline.
Chest torn open by gunfire. Obviously dead. His clothes --
the same fatigues the first two men are wearing.

STYLES
That was one of their own, he just
shot one of their own men --

PILOT
Who was trying to shoot them --

STYLES
Get us on the ground!

EXT. CLEARING -- SUNRISE

As the Helicopter comes in for a landing, the Bigger Man
kneels next to the Smaller Man, who bleeds from a bullet
wound to the arm. His face, pale, sweating. The Bigger Man
wipes the Smaller Man's brow and speaks softly and seriously.

BIGGER MAN
Are you ready for this?

The Smaller Man nods.

INT. ROADHOUSE -- MORNING

A full on shit-kicking dive. Nearly empty, given the hour.

A TELEVISION plays the morning news over the bar. Only two
inhabitants -- one a BARTENDER, the other the lone CUSTOMER,
smoking and picking at a plate of criminally runny eggs.

HARDY
Tell the truth, Vic. You made these
with a blender, right?

He grins and we get our first good look at TOM HARDY -- three
day stubble, dark rings around his eyes, but a with strong
jaw and steady voice. Not your average barfly. Somebody who
maybe used to be somebody.

BARTENDER
Don't like 'em, don't eat 'em, don't
make no damn difference to me.

HARDY
You know that was like a quadruple
negative?

The Bartender takes the plate away from him.

HARDY
Can I at least have a drink?

BARTENDER
It's ten thirty in the morning.

HARDY
Yeah, if you've slept.

BARTENDER
You know the law -- no liquor before
noon. Could lose my license.

HARDY
Don't you mean "don't need no liquor
license not taken away from me"?

The Bartender smiles.

BARTENDER
Hurricane kept you up, too?

HARDY
Yeah, and I could've used the sleep.
I'm supposed to meet people here
tonight, try and get some work going.

He stops, his attention suddenly on the TV. A NEWSCASTER:

NEWSCASTER
...is expected to announce the grand
jury indictments in the Guissepe
Torres police corruption case as
early as tomorrow afternoon.
Speculations abound that up to ten
former homicide detectives could be
named in the proceedings --

The Bartender turns the TV off hastily. Embarrassed:

BARTENDER
Sorry.

Hardy just looks away. The Bartender puts an empty glass
down and fills it to the lip with bourbon.

Hardy nods a "thank you" and reaches for the glass when the
PAGER on his hip goes off. He checks the number.

HARDY
Bill Styles...

BARTENDER
Who?

HARDY
Old friend. Haven't talked to him in --
911. Can I use your phone?

The Bartender hands him a cordless and Hardy dials.

HARDY
Hey, Bill, it's Tom. Long time no...
whoa, whoa, slow down. Yeah... yeah,
of course I'll come. An hour.

He hangs up and hands the phone back to the Bartender.

BARTENDER
What was that?

Hardy, obviously shaken by the call.

HARDY
I gotta go out to McKinley.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- MORNING

Establishing. A sprawling five square mile compound nestled
in the Louisiana backwoods. Also damaged by the Hurricane.

HELICOPTERS loaded with emergency supplies land and take
off, REPAIR CREWS work feverishly on damaged buildings, all
while CADET PLATOONS complete morning drills around them.

This is still a boot camp after all.

SUPERIMPOSE: 1130 HOURS - FORT MCKINLEY BASIC TRAINING CENTER

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- MAIN GATE -- MORNING

Styles stands waiting nervously just beyond the CHECKPOINT
with WARRANT OFFICER JULIA OSBORNE -- early 30's, attractive,
close cropped hair and icy eyes. In the middle of protesting.

OSBORNE
This is totally unnecessary --

STYLES
He asked to see a policeman, we're
getting him a policeman.

OSBORNE
But this guy you called, he's not
even Army --

STYLES
He's former Army and the best I've
ever seen in a room. Besides, he
knows the territory, we did Basic
together here.
(off her look)
You've had three hours with Dunbar
and haven't gotten a peep, we need
to take a different tack.

OSBORNE
He's not Army, it's not official --

STYLES
Then it's unofficial.

He takes a hit from an ASTHMA INHALER, as a '71 PONTIAC GTO
drives through the gate and pulls up. Hardy emerges.

OSBORNE
(re: his appearance)
Doesn't get any unofficialer than
that...

The two old friends embrace.

HARDY
How are you?

STYLES
Been better.
(pause)
I read about what's been happening
with you... I should have called --

HARDY
What kind of trouble are you in?

Styles looks at the ground. Momentarily flustered.

HARDY
That bad?

STYLES
Would I have called you if it wasn't?
If there was any other way --

HARDY
Tell me what I can do.

OSBORNE
You can get us some answers.

Hardy takes off his sunglasses, noticing her.

STYLES
This is Warrant Officer Julia Osborne,
the closest thing we have to an in-
house investigator.

HARDY
And here you are going out of house.
How's that make you feel, Jules?

OSBORNE
Hostile and uncooperative.

HARDY
Fantastic. You want to tell me what's
going on?

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDORS MORNING

Hardy follows Styles and Osborne. They pass SOLDIERS replacing
broken windows and sweeping up glass.

STYLES
The official term for it is
"Clusterfuck". By the time Beth hit
us, I'd canceled all off base
exercises save one -- a six man cadet
team and their Drill out in the bush.
We're missing three and the Sergeant.
The cadets are in their eighth week
of the cycle, nobody here knows much
about them, up to and including their
names. But the Sergeant...

HARDY
It's not West, is it? Tell me it's
not West.

Styles' look tells him it is.

HARDY
Ah, Christ

OSBORNE
You knew Sergeant West?

HARDY
He was our Drill here. Man's older
than sand.

STYLES
A few years ago, the Army picked our
good buddy as their go to non-com to
trot out to the press to talk about
the kinder, gentler military. He
even did the standard video greeting
played to all incoming Basic cadets
across the country.

HARDY
Well, he's a good soldier.

Osborne nods, agreeing.

HARDY
I didn't mean that as a compliment.

OSBORNE
Sergeant West's served for twenty-
three years. He's the public face of
the modern Army.

HARDY
And you notice I'm not in the Army
anymore.

They round a corner.

STYLES
The exercise was one of his Section
Eight "private sessions". Left around
2100 yesterday and were scheduled
for pick up at 0630 this morning.

HARDY
And the problem is you only got three.

STYLES
No, the problem is one's dead, one's
got a bullet in his arm, and one
won't talk. The one who won't talk
was trading live fire with the dead
one as we reached the pick-up.

HARDY
I'm assuming that's what made him
the dead one?

STYLES
Cadet Roberto R. Nunez. Killed right
in front of me.

OSBORNE
Search parties for the others are
fanning out in a ten click radius
from the pickup. If they're hurt and
we can get to them in time...

STYLES
I called the JAG Corps, the two cadets
we retrieved are to be flown to D.C.
on a transport leaving here at 1700 --

HARDY
Which gives us about five hours.
Why'd you call me?

STYLES
The guy in interrogation said he'd
only talk to a cop.

HARDY
And I'm the closest thing to it,
right?

Styles stops, turning to his friend.

STYLES
Tom, bottom line: I let those kids
go out there. If JAG shows up and I
don't have any answers for them, my
career is finished --

HARDY
I'm not gonna let that happen.

Styles exhales, relieved.

STYLES
Thank you. Osborne will brief you on
the cadets. And Tom?
(half-smile)
It really is good to see you.

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- OSBORNE'S OFFICE -- MORNING

Osborne and Hardy enter, stepping over broken glass and
hurricane debris. Hardy looks around.

HARDY
Gotta be honest, I love what you've
done with the place --

OSBORNE
You and the Colonel go back.

HARDY
He got me through Basic and a lot of
other stuff. I owe him.

OSBORNE
You're the Tom Hardy I've been reading
about in the papers, right? New
Orleans PD fired you for taking bribes
from Guissepe Torres.

HARDY
It was for suspicion of bribery,
it's really all in the wording --

OSBORNE
Wording and your friendship with the
Colonel aside, I'm not comfortable
having you involved in this.

HARDY
Subtlety really isn't one of you
finer points, is it, Osborne?

Osborne opens her mouth to reply but Hardy cuts her off.

HARDY
Three things. First -- You don't
have a choice. Second -- I've never
taken a bribe in my life. And Third --
I'm still a little drunk from last
night, so if I skip over the witty
banter and move forward to straight
hitting on you, try not to take
offense. Tell me about the two guys.

OSBORNE
Hurricane knocked out our Mainframe,
so all we have are their dogtags.
Cadets Raymond Dunbar and Levi Kendall --

HARDY
Levi? Who names their kid Levi --

OSBORNE
Senator Jonathan Kendall, of Ohio.

HARDY
Christ... Remind me to thank Bill
for mentioning that on the phone --

OSBORNE
Kendall Junior is still in surgery,
so he won't be available to answer
for his name or anything else for
another hour -- the cadet we're
talking to first is Dunbar.

HARDY
He's in interrogation?

OSBORNE
Yes.

HARDY
Move him.

OSBORNE
Why?

HARDY
Because interrogation rooms look
suspiciously like interrogation rooms,
which doesn't exactly put people at
ease. Is he cute?

OSBORNE
Excuse me?

HARDY
Is Dunbar cute?

OSBORNE
(pissed)
That is the most unprofessional --

HARDY
Is he handsome, self assured, carry
himself well, does he look you in
the eyes or down at the floor, does
he have good bones, suggesting good
breeding, does he slouch or sit up
straight -- these are important
questions, as they reveal a great
deal about this man's character so
please get over yourself for two and
a half seconds and tell me is he
cute?

Osborne stares at him. She finally nods.

HARDY
Thank you. At some point in there
I'm gonna rub my nose. When I do, go
at him with everything you got.

OSBORNE
Good cop/bad cop?

HARDY
Something like that.

She starts to go make preparations.

HARDY
Oh, and Osborne? You have any donuts
around here?

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDOR -- MORNING

As two M.P.'s escort RAYMOND DUNBAR (the "Bigger Man") into

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- MORNING

A small cluttered room with the shades drawn. A folding table
has been set up in the middle of it with a chair on each
side. Dunbar takes a seat in the far chair. Takes in his
surroundings as the MP's leave, locking the door.

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDOR - MORNING

Hardy and Osborne head towards the Coffee Room.

OSBORNE
I questioned him for three hours and
he didn't make a sound. You don't
have a badge, he won't talk to you.

HARDY
Ten bucks says I have him talking in
under three minutes.

Osborne starts the timer on her digital watch.

OSBORNE
Go.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- MORNING

Dunbar looks up as they enter. Hardy smiles, cheerily.

HARDY
Cadet Dunbar, good morning! I'm Tom
Hardy and I believe you've already
met Officer Osborne. I understand
you had a rough time of it last night?

No response. Hardy takes a seat across from the cadet.

HARDY
Not talking, huh? You probably just
want to get some food and some sleep.
They feed you yet?

No response. Hardy reaches into his pocket. Pulls out a DONUT.

Dunbar eyes it, wary but definitely wanting it.

HARDY
Go on. You can eat in front of someone
and still not talk to them -- my
parents did it for years.

Dunbar grabs the donut, wolfing it down.

HARDY
Want another one?

No response. Osborne looks to her watch -- it's been a minute.

HARDY
Maybe later. Ray, let me say this up
front -- I'm not a cop.

Dunbar turns away, no longer interested. Hardy continues:

HARDY
I used to be, but that's beside the
point. Who I am doesn't really matter;
what matters is that right now, you're
in a shitload of trouble. You
understand that, right?

No response.

HARDY
Now, I don't know if you did what
you did in self defense and frankly
I don't really care. I'm just doing
a favor for Colonel Styles because
he wants to know if anyone else who's
still out there is in need of
assistance. To be honest with you,
though, I don't care about that
either.

Dunbar looks up at this, surprised.

HARDY
I don't know those guys, you do.
They die, to me, it's like seeing a
couple people died in a fire on the
news -- tragic, but it doesn't affect
me. The only thing I care about is I
agreed to do a favor for a friend
and try and talk to you till your
transpo shows up. You like baseball?

No response. Osborne looks at her watch -- two minutes.

HARDY
I could talk baseball for days.
Batting averages, ERA's, I got
statistics in my brain, I don't know
how I remember them. It's freaky.
You wanna talk baseball?

Dunbar, completely confused.

HARDY
Come on Ray, we're gonna be here
five hours, we gotta talk about
something. So who do you like?

Long silence and then:

DUNBAR
I don't like baseball.

Hardy grins as Osborne stops her watch at 2:41.

HARDY
Why not?

DUNBAR
I asked for a policeman.

HARDY
You're under military arrest, it's
not gonna happen. What's wrong with
baseball?

DUNBAR
It's... too slow.

HARDY
Well, it's a game of anticipation,
that's the beauty.

DUNBAR
I just don't like it.

HARDY
What do you like then?

As they continue, we TRACK under the table to reveal a HIDDEN
MICROPHONE...

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- MORNING

Styles and an M.P. listening to the Coffee Room conversation.

DUNBAR'S VOICE, over the speaker:

DUNBAR (O.S.)
I don't know... I like the Army.

HARDY (O.S.)
C'mon, Ray, everyone hates the Army
during Basic. I'll tell you straight,
I hated it here.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- MORNING

DUNBAR
You did Basic here?

HARDY
Fifteen years ago under Sergeant
West. Piece of work, that guy. I
remember, he used to have these two
silver .45's with ivory handles and
if you weren't quick enough, he'd
knock you on the head with one of
them. He still carry those guns?

He Dunbar nods.

HARDY
I was also his "knife dummy".
(to Osborne)
See, West used to say he could slit
a man from stem to sternum in three
seconds. He'd use this length of
pipe to demonstrate and if you were
the knife dummy, you'd spend all day
getting a pipe rammed into your balls
if you weren't fast enough to defend
yourself. That was a loooong day.

Hardy laughs at the memory and turns back to Dunbar.

HARDY
Incidentally, Ray, I promised them
I'd ask where West and the others
are. Can we get to them?

He looks to the floor.

DUNBAR
There's no need...

HARDY
They're dead, aren't they?

Dunbar looks back up at Hardy.

DUNBAR
Yeah.

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- MORNING

Styles lowers his head at this.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- MORNING

HARDY
You kill them?

No answer. Hardy rubs his nose. Osborne steps forward.

OSBORNE
The Colonel saw you shoot Nunez,
you're a murderer --

HARDY
See, Ray, this is what we call "good
cop, bad cop". She shouts, I stand
up for you, you're grateful, a bond
of trust is established.

Osborne, stunned by this.

HARDY
But I don't want to play games. That's
why you're not in an interrogation
room, with one of those two way
mirrors -- everyone knows those things
are two way, right?

Dunbar looks at him good nods slowly.

HARDY
Right. Now, I'm gonna go get you
another donut and you think about
whether you want to talk more, okay?

DUNBAR
Okay.

Hardy smiles at him, gets up, and leaves.

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDOR -- MORNING

Osborne follows him out into the hall where Styles waits.

OSBORNE
Baseball?

HARDY
I believe somebody owes me ten dollars --

OSBORNE
You made me look like an idiot --

HARDY
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know the
object of the interrogation is to
make you look good -- Everyone knows
good cop, bad cop -- by admitting it
I appeared trustworthy.

STYLES
You think he did it?

OSBORNE
No --

HARDY
Yes --

They stop, looking at each other.

STYLES
You've got four hours and forty-five
minutes to find out.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- MORNING

Hardy returns, another donut in hand, Osborne behind him.

HARDY
Why'd you ask for a cop, Ray?

DUNBAR
I'm not telling you what happened.

HARDY
Okay... but I would like to know
about the other cadets. What they
were like -- nice guys?

Dunbar takes a deep breath.

DUNBAR
Some.

HARDY
Tell me about them.

As Dunbar begins to talk, we FLASHBACK...

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- PARADE GROUNDS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO

Row upon row of freshly shaven headed CADETS stand at
attention. Their first day of boot camp.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
First day was when I met Pike. Sarge
hated him from the beginning.

A man with a face of granite strides up and down the lines.

Two ivory handled pistols on his hips. His lifeless cobalt
blue eyes take in the Cadets. This is SERGEANT WEST.

WEST
You motherfuckers have just made the
worst mistake of your lives! You
have chosen to join my Army! This
Army is my mother, my father, and my
little virgin sister and I will not
allow anyone or anything that is not
up to my standards near her pretty
little virgin cooze, do you understand
me -- give me a sir, yes, sir!

THE CADETS
Sir, yes, sir!

WEST
Those who I deem unworthy to pass
through this camp will quit, and
those who refuse to quit I will kill.
You ever hear of a training accident --
give me a sir, yes, sir!

THE CADETS
Sir, yes, sir!

WEST
In my time I have killed sixteen men
for the good of my country, sixteen
men whose entrance into this Army I
could not condone, as it would weaken
the fabric of this nation's defense!
This base suffers an average of three
training accidents a year, unfortunate
incidents that I will not hesitate
to repeat if you cross me, understand --
give me a sir, yes, sir!

THE CADETS
Sir, yes, sir!

WEST
So forget what you've seen on Sixty
fucking Minutes about the kinder,
gentler military -- you will either
succeed, quit, or die by my hand!

He walks over to a tall black cadet in the front row. PIKE.

WEST
My power here is absolute, isn't
that right, nigger?

PIKE
Sir, yes, sir!

West hauls off and SLAPS Pike across the face!

WEST
I hail from Biloxi, Mississippi where
we string greasy coon necks up from
tree branches when the mood strikes
us you have a problem with that?

PIKE
Sir, no, sir!

West grabs Pike by the neck, CHOKING HIM. The others Cadets
GASP. Pike goes down on his knees, the loss of air is so
great. He reaches up automatically to try and save himself...

WEST
What the fuck is this? You lay a
hand on me while I'm trying to do my
duty and rid the world of you?

He KICKS PIKE IN THE BALLS and releases him. Pike goes fetal
on the ground, VOMITING, as West stands over him, screaming.

WEST
Get the fuck up, you're still in
formation, get the fuck up!

Pike somehow gets to his feet, vomit streaking his clothes.

WEST
What the fuck have you done to that
uniform, take it off, take it off,
take it off!

Pike, still gasping, can't move fast enough. West slaps him
again and tears the man's shirt off.

WEST
Get those fucking pants off, I want
you buck ass naked, you don't deserve
to wear these beautiful United States
Army issue clothes!

Pike struggles off the rest of his clothes until he is NAKED.

West turns and spies Dunbar in the line.

WEST
Cadet, what's your name!

DUNBAR
Sir, Dunbar, sir!

WEST
You know how to work a pistol, Dunbar?

DUNBAR
Sir, yes, sir!

West draws one of his PISTOLS and gives it to him.

WEST
Dunbar you are to stand here and
guard this nigger for the next twenty-
four hours! He is not to be given
food, water, or clothes! If he so
much as moves, you are to blow his
nigger brains out, is that clear?

DUNBAR
Sir, yes, sir!

WEST
The rest of you, fallout for
physicals!

The rest of the Cadets fallout, following West away to one
of the buildings, leaving Dunbar and Pike.

One with a gun, the other naked.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Fifteen guys quit that day. But not
Pike.

EXT. OBSTACLE COURSE -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- MORNING

The CADETS, navigating a log spanned over a PIT OF MUD.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Time went on and the Sarge started
singling people out.

One of the Cadets, a small man named ANDERSON, falls from
the log. Screaming, West dives into the pit and pulls Anderson
out, knocking him on the head with a pistol.

EXT. TARMAC -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- AFTERNOON

Anderson stands naked, his arms straining to hold up, TWO
PAINT CANS perpendicular to his body as West berates him.

DUNBAR
He'd zero in on a fella and ride him
till he quit.

EXT. MAIN GATE -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- NIGHT

Anderson, now in civilian clothes, gets into a TAXI. Quit.

EXT. FIRING RANGE -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- MORNING

West, screaming at a weasely looking cadet named CHILDS.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Those who wouldn't quit, he'd put in
what he called Section Eight.

INT. SECTION EIGHT BARRACKS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- NIGHT

A horribly dilapidated quarters. Four cadets, Dunbar, Pike,
Childs, and MUELLER sleep in rickety bunks.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Washout rejects, guys he said were,
"dumbfucks too stupid to know they
were dead". He separated us from the
rest. We slept alone...

INT. MESS HALL -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- MORNING

The same four Cadets, eating ON THE FLOOR as the other members
of the Cadet Corps chow at tables.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
...ate alone...

EXT. REGULAR BARRACKS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- EVENING

The four Cadets fallout on a run shirtless, with heavy packs
and rifles held over their heads as the rest of the Cadet
Corps files into their barracks for sleep.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
...and trained long after the other
guys got to turn in.

EXT. PARADE GROUNDS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO -- MORNING

The Cadet Corps, mustered. West zeroes in on NUNEZ (the "dead
one"), whose t-shirt has a spot on it.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Fellas lived in daily fear of being
Sectioned and with good reason, too.

West pulls Nunez out of line by his ear and kicks him over
towards a separate muster of our Four Section Eighters.

DUNBAR
They figured we were the boys who'd
meet with a "training accident".

Nunez takes a place among them. Looking absolutely terrified.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

Osborne leans forward.

OSBORNE
Are you saying Sergeant West tried
to kill you?

DUNBAR
No, ma'am, he just wanted us to quit.
Making it through was kind of an
honor. Some of the other guys on the
base told us that if you could hack
Section Eight, Command would consider
you at the top of the class.

HARDY
That's not exactly true...
(off their looks)
I'm living proof. How did you get
Sectioned, Ray?

Dunbar gives a look that almost resembles a smile.

DUNBAR
That first night with Pike. I made
the mistake of letting him sit down
at around 0300.

OSBORNE
Tell us about the other guys, the
ones West weeded out.

DUNBAR
There were six of us...

EXT. OBSTACLE COURSE -- ONE WEEK AGO -- EVENING

The six members of Section Eight on a forced run through the
rain. We focus in each face as Dunbar describes them. First
up is MUELLER a tall Aryan looking blonde with a square jaw.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Mueller was from Tulsa, a real good
ol' boy type. One of those "his
Daddy's Daddy's Daddy died at Bull
Run and no bleeding heart Yankee was
gonna take away his scatter gun". He
idolized West.

Muller, grinning, as West kicks his ass to pick up the pace.

Next to him is NUNEZ, a strapping hulk of a manchild.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
And Nunez idolized Mueller. Big fella
from New Mexico. After he got
Sectioned he just followed Mueller
around like a lap dog. He wasn't
mean like Mueller, though, didn't
have it in him.

Next to Nunez is CHILDS, small and weasely with feral eyes.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
But Childs did. Didn't talk to anyone,
but you got this feeling something
was wrong with him, like real wrong.
Type of guy you felt uncomfortable
going to sleep near.

Behind Childs runs Pike.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Pike I told you about. He took the
brunt of it from Mueller and West.
Once they found it out he was a
convict they were merciless. He'd
been busted for Auto Theft, judge
gave him the option of jail or the
Army. He made the wrong choice.

Next to Pike, Dunbar and KENDALL run side by side. Kendall
is short like Childs, but also weak. Wheezing.

DUNBAR
Finally Kendall and me. Kendall was
a smart guy, we got along okay. Pike
and I tried to help him, but...

Kendall falters and Pike stops to try and help him up. West
smacks the him away, practically kicking Kendall to his feet.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
He was sickly. Had that shaking thing,
whatd'yacall it, epoxy?

OSBORNE (V.O.)
Epilepsy.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Yeah. Spent half his time in the
infirmary. Only reason he enlisted
was his father. West didn't section
him till last week.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

HARDY
And those were the guys who went on
the exercise with you?

DUNBAR
Yeah. And that's all I'm saying.

Hardy leans back in his chair.

HARDY
You smoke, Ray?

DUNBAR
This is one of those interrogation
tricks, isn't it? You don't give me
a cigarette till I tell you more.

HARDY
No, actually, I just left mine in
the car and was hoping you had some.

Dunbar studies him for a moment and then pulls a pack of
Dorals from his pocket and puts them on the table.

HARDY
My brand. Must be my lucky day.

He takes one and lights it. Dunbar does the same.

HARDY
Let me ask you one thing. You seem
like a good guy, Ray. You carried
Kendall wounded to the pickup. So
what I don't get is what you did to
make Nunez want to kill you?

Dunbar just looks at the ground. A KNOCK at the door. Hardy
and Osborne turn to see an M.P. stick his head in.

M.P.
Sirs?

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDORS -- MORNING

Hardy and Osborne emerge to find Styles waiting for them.

HARDY
He's not done by a longshot, I can
get more out of him --

STYLES
He can wait. Kendall's out of surgery.

EXT. ARMY JEEP (MOVING) -- MORNING

Hardy and Osborne sit in the back of the open car as it
rumbles across the grounds, headed towards the Base Hospital.

They sit in silence until:

HARDY
Why'd you join the army?

Osborne looks at him, annoyed.

OSBORNE
You really want to make banal chit-
chat like that now?

HARDY
You're right. We should sit in
silence.

OSBORNE
We're in the middle of a murder case --

HARDY
Best time for banal chit-chat.

He slips something into his pocket.

OSBORNE
What is that?

HARDY
Microrecorder for Kendall -- didn't
have time to wire his room. Now tell
me why you joined the army or I'll
jab this pen through your neck.

Osborne smiles in spite of, herself.

OSBORNE
Typical army brat story. Dad was
noncom, Mom was a Nurse. There was
never any real doubt of joining up.

HARDY
You had a mobile of bayonets above
your crib.

OSBORNE
Something like that. You?

HARDY
I lost a bet.

Osborne laughs.

OSBORNE
You're kidding.

HARDY
Yeah. That's just the story I tell
the girls to get them into bed. Truth
is... I don't know. The whole honor
and duty thing. Make a difference in
the world, crap like that. Didn't
really work out.

Osborne studies him.

OSBORNE
I bet that's the second story you
tell the girls to get them into bed,
after you make them laugh with the
first one.

Hardy just smiles.

OSBORNE
This is the straight hitting on me
you were talking about, isn't it?

HARDY
The very same.

OSBORNE
You do understand that there's
absolutely no way I could ever be
attracted to you, right?

HARDY
I plan to grow on you.

OSBORNE
You're off to a late start.

HARDY
So noted.

They pass an OVERTURNED CLIMBING TOWER.

HARDY
You guys really got the shit kicked
out of you here.

OSBORNE
Imagine what it must have been like
for them out there. What do you think
of Dunbar?

HARDY
He's telling the truth, up to a point.

OSBORNE
What point?

Hardy doesn't respond, instead looking out as they pass the
SECTION EIGHT BARRACKS.

OSBORNE
Something wrong?

HARDY
Being back here. Gives me the willies.

OSBORNE
Not the happiest of memories?

FLASHCUT TO -- FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. A bunch of young Cadets,
Hardy and Styles among them, doing forced push-ups by the
barracks in the rain as West randomly berates and KICKS THEM.

BACK TO HARDY -- As he looks away and shakes it off.

HARDY
No.

INT. BASE HOSPITAL -- RECOVERY UNIT -- DAY

A NURSE leads Hardy and Osborne down a spotless white hall.

NURSE
Normally we wouldn't let anyone see
him this soon, but Colonel Styles
said it was urgent --

HARDY
It is.

OSBORNE
Remember, he's the son of a Senator,
so go easy. Kid gloves.

HARDY
Got it.

INT. BASE HOSPITAL -- KENDALL'S ROOM -- DAY

Kendall lies in a bed, a network of tubes in his arm. He is
awake but pale, still weak. He studies his visitors.

KENDALL
You... I've seen you around the Base.
But you...
(pointing to Hardy)
You're not Army, are you?

HARDY
Coast Guard, special detective detail.
We feel this incident may have put
the beaches of Florida at risk.

Kendall's laugh turns into a cough. Placing Hardy.

KENDALL
That's it. You're that policeman
with friends in low places. Tell me,
how's Guissepe Torres doing these
days? Those racketeering indictments
must have really been a downer --

HARDY
Levi, you got about four hours before
armed men show up here, put you on a
plane to Washington, and lock you in
a very small dark room. I suggest
you talk to us.

Kendall smiles again, not losing any of his cool.

KENDALL
I've done nothing wrong.
(gestures to his wound)
I'm the victim here.

HARDY
But not the only victim, right?

KENDALL
My, my, my, how did things turn so
hostile so quickly? If I didn't know
better, I'd say you two were out to
get me.

OSBORNE
We just want --

KENDALL
What, "The Truth"? Please. There are
degrees of truth, officer, always
degrees. Things are not what they
seem.

Hardy stares at him for a moment and then gets up to leave.

HARDY
It's too early in the day for me to
give a shit about some pissant cadet's
bad version of "intrigue". You want
to talk to us, send word over to the
brig. Let's go.

Nonplussed, Osborne follows. Hardy turns back at the door.

HARDY
You're working too hard, Levi. I can
tell cause you're sweating. And you're
sweating cause you have no idea what
Dunbar's already told us.

INT. BASE HOSPITAL -- CORRIDORS -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne walk to the NURSE'S STATION.

OSBORNE
That was kid gloves?

HARDY
Have no fear, Osborne, we have not
yet begun to fight.

He pulls a cigarette from his pocket and lights it.

OSBORNE
But we have to question him --
(noticing)
Thought you didn't have cigarettes --

HARDY
I lied. Wait for it...

Osborne just stares at him, not knowing what to say next.

The PHONE at the Nurse's Station rings and a NURSE answers.

Listens for a moment, hangs up, and turns to them.

NURSE
Cadet Kendall --

HARDY
We're on our way.

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne sit across from Kendall's bed.

HARDY
Sergeant West is dead isn't he?

Kendall nods.

HARDY
And the other three Cadets?

Kendall hesitates, then nods again.

HARDY
Feel free to elaborate.

Kendall takes a breath and begins, all trace of bravado gone.

KENDALL
My father is a powerful man. Over
the years he's used that power to
protect me, in one form or another,
from certain... unpleasantries.
(deep breath)
I am a homosexual.

HARDY
Senator Daddy must be thrilled.

KENDALL
He is not, shall we say, wild about
the idea. He has asked me on numerous
occasions to be more discreet about
my proclivities, and I have done my
best to oblige him. However, in the
last four weeks, I began a
relationship with another cadet.
What do you think of that?

HARDY
I think you just blew "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" out of the fucking water.

KENDALL
The Sergeant discovered this
relationship and wanted me expelled.
My father interceded, so instead,
West Sectioned me and made sure every
other cadet knew that I was gay.

OSBORNE
He couldn't kick you out so he wanted
you to quit on your own.

KENDALL
He wanted more than that.

HARDY
More intrigue, Levi?

Kendall stares at them, dead serious.

KENDALL
Yes.

INT. SECTION EIGHT BARRACKS -- LAST NIGHT

The six Cadets asleep, all except Kendall, who stares up at
the patchwork ceiling.

KENDALL (V.O.)
It was the regular Tuesday night
drill. He'd let us sleep for an hour
and then wake us up, drag us out to
the bayou, and work us all night,
separate from the others.

The door SLAMS OPEN, revealing West.

WEST
Get up, get up, get up! We're going
on a little night hike, boys -- muster
in five on the south tarmac!

He leaves as the Sectioners rise, groaning.

PIKE
Hurricane's due after midnight and
we're still going out?

MUELLER
Toughens us up, Pike. You don't like
it, quit.

Pike pulls on his pants and shoots him the finger.

KENDALL
Maybe we shouldn't go.

MUELLER
The faggot speaks.

KENDALL
You ever been in a hurricane, Mueller?

MUELLER
(mocking gay lisp)
You ever been in a hurricane, Mueller?

Mueller and Childs laugh, but Nunez looks concerned.

NUNEZ
You really heard this?

PIKE
You know Popham, works in the kitchen?
He told me it was on the radio.

He stops, listening. They all hear the WIND, HOWLING outside.

KENDALL
We should tell him we're not going.

MUELLER
Oh, yeah, "Excuse me, Sergeant, sir,
we don't feel like going out -- we
don't want to get rained on." He'll
kick our asses from here to Cleveland.

He pulls on his rain poncho and is out the door, Nunez right
behind him. The others, getting ready, all except Kendall.

Dunbar comes over and puts a hand on his shoulder.

DUNBAR
He's right. We don't have a choice.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- TARMAC -- LAST NIGHT

The six cadets, mustered in front of West and a TRANSPORT
CHOPPER. West hands out M-16's, sidearms, and grenades while
yelling above the wind.

WEST
A rifle, a pistol, and three
phosphorous grenades to a man! This
is live fire, so keep those safetied
until we touch down; I don't want
anyone shooting their dick off!

Some chuckling.

WEST
Some of you may have heard there's a
hurricane coming! American soldiers
do not wait for good weather -- they
do not wait for a bright sunshiney
day to do their duty! An American
Soldier learns to operate in the
worst conditions and turn said
conditions into an advantage against
their enemy! Anyone who thinks these
conditions are too harsh, feel free
to lay down and die, you get me?

THE CADETS
Sir, yes, sir!

WEST
LZ is two clicks North of a cabin,
you are to split into teams of two
and work your way through your
designated area blasting as many
targets as you can find! Each area
has twenty targets, first team to
take all twenty and find the cabin
wins! Teams are as follows -- Dunbar
and Nunez, Pike and Mueller, Kendall
and Childs!

Mueller groans.

WEST
I will be in the areas monitoring
your progress and if I see anyone
drag ass I will personally slit you
stem to sternum and leave you for
dead! Fall out!

The Cadets board the Transport Chopper. Kendall gets on last,
passing West who leans in and whispers to him:

WEST
You're gonna die tonight, faggot.

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

Osborne looks up.

OSBORNE
He said what?

KENDALL
"You're gonna die tonight, faggot".
Clear as day.

OSBORNE
No one else heard it?

KENDALL
He whispered it in my ear.

Hardy scratches his temple.

HARDY
Levi, I don't know if you're familiar
with investigative work, but we have
this little thing called "motive"
and you just gave yourself one.

KENDALL
You said you wanted to know what
happened -- I'm telling you the truth.

HARDY
What happened to "degrees"?

KENDALL
I didn't kill him --

HARDY
Then who did?

INT. ARMY TRANSPORT HELICOPTER (FLYING) -- LAST NIGHT

On Kendall, sitting among the Sectioners in silence.
Terrified, he looks like he's about to throw up.

KENDALL (V.O.)
I wanted to tell someone what he'd
said, but I couldn't. Mueller would
just laugh. Nunez and Childs wouldn't
care. Pike and Dunbar were okay,
but... When West outed me, he isolated
me. An outcast among outcasts. And
I'd just been told tonight was the
night I'd die.

The Chopper touches down on the edge of the BAYOU. The door
rumbles open as West points out different team directions in
the blackness.

WEST
First team, second team, third team,
go, go, go!

The click of rifles being unsafetied as the cadets pour out
of the helicopter.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- LAST NIGHT

We track with Kendall and Childs as they head away from the
Landing Zone, rifles up, heads down, side by side. Moving
the brush quickly and quietly, eyes scanning for targets.

KENDALL (V.O.)
I knew Childs a little, we worked at
the PX together.

The wind is picking up and it's started to RAIN. Their ponchos
flap loudly against the elements.

KENDALL (V.O.)
I started getting it in my head that
maybe West had paid him, maybe he
was the one who was supposed to give
me a training accident --

The ROAR of GUNFIRE! Kendall turns towards it, SCREAMING for
a moment... Until he sees Childs lower his smoking rifle, a
SHREDDED TARGET on a tree in front of them. He looks down,
noticing has his own weapon TRAINED ON CHILDS...

Childs steps forward, knocking Kendall's rifle away.

CHILDS
Don't you ever point a gun at me!

KENDALL
I'm -- I'm sorry...

Kendall, terrified. Shaking. A beat. Childs picks up the
rifle from the ground and hands it back to him.

CHILDS
Come on, let's move.

VARIOUS SHOTS -- Kendall and Childs, moving through the bayou,
Childs taking out targets. It's raining harder now.

KENDALL (V.O.)
All I could think of was West, out
there somewhere in the dark. Maybe
watching the others, maybe watching
me. And waiting to make his move.

Childs speaks, and Kendall almost jumps out of his skin.

CHILDS
Christ, am I alone in this world?
Shoot something --

A SOUND from the left. Kendall panics, pivots, and FIRES...

Into DARKNESS. No target, no West, no nothing. Kendall, really
freaked out now.

CHILDS
A target, Kendall, cap a fucking
target. What's wrong with you?

KENDALL (V.O.)
I thought I was gonna have an attack.
Go into a fit and bite off my own
tongue in the middle of the bayou.
Childs could tell I wasn't right.

CHILDS
Just safety your shit and get behind
me, okay? I'll take care of this.

Kendall nods and lets Childs walk ahead. Staring at Childs'
back as they move on. On Kendall's face, thinking...

KENDALL (V.O.)
Maybe it was a trick. Maybe this was
when they'd get me, when I felt
safest.

CLOSE ON KENDALL'S FINGER -- Clicking off the safety again.

Moving towards the trigger...

KENDALL (V.O.)
But if I struck first and took out
Childs, then maybe I could make it
out alive...

Kendall raises the rifle. Sights Childs' back. A moment of
utter silence and then...

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

KENDALL
Maybe I shouldn't tell you that.
Maybe I should tell you I wasn't
scared at all. But I was...
(long pause)
Enough to almost kill him.

HARDY
But you didn't.

KENDALL
No. Poetic justice, though.

OSBORNE
Why?

No reply. Hardy smiles, understanding.

HARDY
Because Childs is the one who shot
you.

Osborne looks up, surprised. Kendall nods.

KENDALL
But that came later.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- LAST NIGHT

As Kendall safeties his rifle and lowers it... The SOUND of
a tremendous EXPLOSION comes from their right! Kendall and
Childs knocked off their feet as the sky momentarily LIGHTS
UP with the blast as a MAN SCREAMS!

CHILDS
Over there!

Childs points to the right, where the dim shine of PHOSPHOROUS
can be seen through the trees. He drags Kendall to his feet
and the two take off running towards it.

Kendall panting and scared, ducking branches and leaping
ditches as the two sprint towards the dying glow.

CHILDS
Hello! HEL --

The sound of GUNFIRE! Childs TACKLES Kendall...

CHILDS
GET DOWN!

They hit the deck, face down in mud. It takes them a second
to realize the shots are not directed at them.

CHILDS
Fuck, what the fuck is going on --

KENDALL
What do we do?

CHILDS
Whoever it is isn't shooting at us...

He trails off. The gunfire and screaming have stopped.

Silence now, save for the wind and rain.

KENDALL
I don't want to go --

CHILDS
Fine.

Childs rises and heads towards where the sounds were.

Kendall, lying in the rain and mud, shivering. Alone. After
a moment he gets up and follows.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- LAST NIGHT

The SCORCHED GROUND and TREES smolder under the rainfall.

Kendall finds Childs, standing down by the creek.

Something lies by his feet.

KENDALL
What's --

He stops, seeing.

KENDALL
Oh, Jesus...

WEST. Literally spread out on the ground, dead. Eyes open,
face half blackened, he has been ripped in two at the torso.

A horrifying sight. Kendall stumbles back from it.

KENDALL
Did -- did you --

CHILDS
It was the grenade you fucking idiot.
Look at him!

Kendall can't. He sits, sobbing. Part horror, part relief.

CHILDS
This isn't our area. Whose area is
this --

MUELLER
Can anybody hear me!

Childs pivots at the sound of Mueller coming over the ridge.

MUELLER
Hey, I --
(seeing it)
Holy fuck... holy fuck, what the
fuck did you guys do?

CHILDS
We found him like this --

Mueller raises his rifle at the weeping Kendall.

MUELLER
You killed him you fucking faggot --

CHILDS
We found him like this! Kendall was
with me the whole -- Listen to me!

Mueller, finally seeming to understand. Lowering the gun.

MUELLER
Jesus, Jesus fucking Christ...

Muttering to himself, walking in circles.

CHILDS
Where's Pike?

No response.

CHILDS
Mueller, where's Pike?

Mueller looks up.

MUELLER
We got -- I don't know, we got
separated

CHILDS
Before or after the explosion?
(no response)
Mueller --

MUELLER
I don't know!

KENDALL
How can you not know --

Mueller comes at him, screaming:

MUELLER
Shut the fuck up, you fucking faggot,
You just shut the FUCK UP.

CHILDS
HEY!

Mueller stops, eyes crazed. Childs looks to the sky, which
is becoming worse by the second.

CHILDS
We have to get out of this. To find
the cabin.

He helps Kendall to his feet.

KENDALL
What about Pike?

CHILDS
Maybe he'll be there. Either way, we
have to go.

Kendall nods, slowly. The two start up the hill.

MUELLER
Shouldn't we -- I mean, we shouldn't
just leave him here.

He points down to West's body. Childs looks at it.

CHILDS
You can carry him if you want.

He and Kendall continue on. Mueller lingers a moment longer
and then turns, following them up the hill.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- LAST NIGHT

Kendall, Childs, and Mueller make their way through the bush.

The WIND and RAIN have conspired into a FULL BLOWN HURRICANE.

The three men are practically stumbling now, leaning in
against it to stay on their feet. Kendall spies something
through the maelstrom. It looks like WET WOOD. He points:

KENDALL
There!

THE CABIN -- Wooden, one story, and large, it resembles a
solidly built shack. It is being thrashed by the storm.

The trio stumble towards the front door...

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Obviously abandoned. Bare of any furniture save for two wooden
chairs next to an empty fireplace.

DUNBAR and NUNEZ shout in surprise as the three men
practically collapse into the cabin. Dunbar runs to bolt the
door against the elements as Nunez helps them up.

NUNEZ
What happened to you --

MUELLER
What happened to you?

DUNBAR
We finished the course and came here,
then heard an explosion --
(to Mueller)
Where's Pike?

CHILDS
We don't know. West is dead.

Silence. Dunbar and Nunez stare at him. Mueller jerks a hand
towards Kendall and Childs.

MUELLER
They found him. Poor fucker was
practically blown in half --

KENDALL
Poor fucker my ass...

MUELLER
You better watch it, faggot, I'm not
sure you and Childs didn't do him --

CHILDS
What about you, wandering around
alone? At least we have an alibi --

DUNBAR
What do you mean, alone?

MUELLER
Pike and I got separated --

KENDALL
Yeah and he doesn't know when --

MUELLER
I remember now, it was before the
explosion --

KENDALL
Oh, you remember now --

MUELLER
I'm about two seconds away from seeing
if fairies really can fly --

NUNEZ
What about Pike?

Mueller stops, as the others turn towards the big man.

Silence. They realize what the question means.

DUNBAR
He wouldn't kill anybody...

MUELLER
Oh, bullshit, he's a fucking convict.
You know how much he hated West --

DUNBAR
I hated West, Childs hated West,
everyone with a goddamn brain hated
West but that doesn't mean we killed
him!

NUNEZ
What if it wasn't one of us? What if
it was a local --

KENDALL
He was blown up by a phosphorous
grenade, they don't exactly sell
those at 7-11.

MUELLER
Look, here are the facts -- Roberto
was with Dunbar, Queen Kendall was
with Childs, and Pike's the only one
not here. He did it!

The others nod, becoming convinced.

CHILDS
He is the only one unaccounted for.

KENDALL
Maybe he's dead too. Maybe you killed
them both, Mueller --

DUNBAR
Shut up.
(to Mueller)
Let me see your grenades.

MUELLER
Why?

DUNBAR
We were each given three so whoever
killed West will be missing one.

Mueller angrily digs into his sack and pulls out his grenades.

MUELLER
See? Three. Now can we please --

He stops. Hearing a SOUND outside. Through the wind and rain,
FOOTSTEPS on the porch.

They all turn to the door. Waiting...

The DOOR SWINGS OPEN.. Pike. Covered in BLOOD.

PIKE
Hey, guys.

They stare at him as he calmly closes the door and walks
over to the empty FIREPLACE. Finally:

DUNBAR
Whose blood is that, Jay?

PIKE
West's. Any kindling for afire?

He looks around for kindling. A beat.

DUNBAR
What do you mean, West's?

PIKE
I mean I killed him.
(pause)
Isn't that what we all wanted?

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

HARDY
He admitted it.

KENDALL
Right in front of us. Mueller went
after him but we held him back.

Pike surrendered and volunteered to be tied up. So we roped
him to a chair and tried to ride out the storm.

OSBORNE
Why would he just surrender?

Kendall turns to her and smiles.

KENDALL
Because he had a plan.

INT. CABIN -- LIVING ROOM -- LAST NIGHT

Pike, tied to a chair by the fireplace while the others look
for, food in the KITCHEN. Alone, Kendall walks past Pike:

PIKE
Hey, Kendall, talk to you for a sec?

Kendall looks around -- there seems no harm in it.

PIKE
You hated West as much as I did. I'm
not saying what I did was right, but
you can't tell me you're not glad
the motherfucker's dead.

Kendall says nothing. Pike looks around, makes sure no one
is listening and then whispers:

PIKE
The thing is, we've got a real
opportunity here. You turn me in
tomorrow and we're both fucked --

KENDALL
What are you talking about?

PIKE
A gay Senator's son who let his Sarge
get fragged on a training exercise?
The press'll crucify you and your
father. His career will be over and
it'll be your fault. But we do this
different and you come out a hero.

On Kendall, thinking about it. A beat.

KENDALL
How?

PIKE
Mueller. He's as bad as West and we
both know it. Now I can't do it,
cause I'm tied up, but we get the
others to go along --

KENDALL
I don't think I want to hear this --

PIKE
Someone else can do the deed, it
doesn't have to be you. Maybe Nunez
too, he's got a tendency to follow
Mueller, but the rest of us can come
out ahead -- the guys who took out
their Sergeant's killers! We'll move
the bodies out to the creek and say
we came over the hill right as they
fragged West, all we gotta do is
tell the story right.

Kendall stares at him. Disgusted.

KENDALL
You're sick, Pike.

He turns and walks away. Pike watches him go.

KENDALL (V.O.)
Later on I saw him talking to Dunbar.

They had been close. I was in another room when it happened.

INT. CABIN -- KITCHEN LAST NIGHT

Kendall, looking through the empty cabinets for food when A
GUNSHOT -- From the living room. As Kendall bolts towards
the noise, the air is filled with the sounds of SCREAMING
and SHOOTING! He pushes through the door...

INT. CABIN -- LIVING ROOM -- LAST NIGHT

Kendall, coming through the door as we SLO-MO...

Mueller, sprawled out on the floor, dead... Pike, tied to
the chair, bullet hole in his forehead... Nunez, wounded,
stumbling out the front door into the hurricane...

And a badly wounded Childs, pistol out, TURNING towards the
SOUND OF THE DOOR and FIRING...

Kendall's arm, HIT with a SLUG, and he starts to go down...

FREEZE-FRAME -- On Kendall's form, falling.

KENDALL (V.O.)
I don't think he meant to do it. It
was just reflex -- he'd already been
gutshot. I must have passed out cause
next thing I knew...

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- DAWN

The sounds of RUNNING and HEAVY BREATHING. Kendall's eyes
flutter open. He's on Dunbar's back, being carried through
the woods. The sound of GUNFIRE and a TREE BRANCH SHATTERS
next to them. Someone is chasing them. Trying to kill them.

Nunez.

Dunbar bobs and weaves as another volley of bullets comes
from behind and we can now hear ROTOR BLADES APPROACHING...

EXT. CLEARING -- DAWN

As Dunbar bursts into the sunlight, carrying Kendall.

The entire thing dreamlike, what we saw at the opening, but
from KENDALL'S VIEWPOINT -- the helicopter overhead, Nunez
behind, Dunbar turning and shooting, NUNEZ GOING DOWN...

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

KENDALL
And that's it.

Hardy is silent. Staring at him.

OSBORNE
Nunez was chasing Dunbar.

KENDALL
Because he'd shot Mueller.

OSBORNE
But you didn't see it, right?

KENDALL
Like I said, I was in the kitchen.
When I came out, Mueller and Pike
were dead, Nunez and Childs were hit
and Dunbar was gone.

HARDY
Why did he come back for you?

KENDALL
I honestly don't know. Maybe to have
someone to cover for him. And I wish
I could, but there's no doubt in my
mind he killed those men.

Silence. Kendall's got nothing more to say.

HARDY
Okay. I think that's it. He rises
and walks to the door.

KENDALL
Mr. Hardy?

Hardy turns back.

KENDALL
What did Dunbar tell you?

Hardy smiles and pushes out the door...

EXT. STYLES' OFFICE -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne stand before the Colonel, filling him in.

HARDY
Pike killed West, Dunbar killed
Mueller, Childs, and Nunez.

STYLES
Who killed Pike?

HARDY
Someone must have got a shot off. He
wasn't exactly a moving target.

Styles turns to Osborne.

STYLES
What do you think?

OSBORNE
It's too neat.

HARDY
"Too neat." How long have you been
an investigator?

OSBORNE
I don't think that has anything to
do with --

HARDY
That means under a year. Let me
explain what ten years of police
work has taught me -- murder is basic.
There are no conspiracies, no grand
mysteries, and no evil puppet masters
behind it all, pulling the strings;
murder is shitty people doing a shitty
thing to other shitty people -- it
doesn't always make sense but it's
always neat. Dunbar's our guy.

Osborne struggles to put it into words.

OSBORNE
I just... He came back for Kendall.
I don't think he's capable of murder.

HARDY
Everyone's capable of murder, Osborne.

Osborne turns, making her case to Styles.

OSBORNE
Look, all we've got is what Kendall
says, and he didn't actually witness
any deaths except Nunez. He found
West, he saw Mueller and Pike, but
just their bodies -- he didn't see
any crime committed.

HARDY
Well, I'm sure if he'd known this
was all going to happen he'd have
tried harder to witness it for you --

STYLES
West's body isn't in the creek bed.

They stop arguing, turning to look at him.

STYLES
We've already been over the terrain
twice. Nothing.

HARDY
There was a hurricane, Bill, the
wind probably moved it.

STYLES
Habeas Corpus -- you have to have a
body to have a crime.

HARDY
Okay, then let's widen the search to
include the endzone in Giants Stadium
and the trunk of my car --

STYLES
Without the body we have no physical
proof. We need a confession.

HARDY
From Dunbar? I hate to break this to
you, but I don't think he's gonna be
all that psyched to put himself in
for the death penalty.

STYLES
Nevertheless --

HARDY
Nevertheless what'? Kendall will
testify and that'll be enough.

STYLES
Not for me.

Beat. Almost accusingly:

HARDY
You mean not enough to save you.

STYLES
JAG gets here in three hours. Try
for the confession.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- DAY

Dunbar looks up as Hardy and Osborne enter.

HARDY
(cheerfully)
Hey, Ray! Just had a nice talk with
your buddy Kendall -- seems you killed
three people!

DUNBAR
That son of a bitch.

HARDY
That'd be my reaction too --

DUNBAR
He's lying.

HARDY
Well, why didn't you say so? We'll
just drop all your charges, then --

DUNBAR
I'm serious --

Hardy leans across the table.

HARDY
Fuck "you're serious", Raymond, you
got exactly zero truck with us; right
now we'd take the word of a crackhead
over yours, so if you've got something
to say, say it.

DUNBAR
Did Kendall tell you about the PX?

OSBORNE
He said he worked there --

DUNBAR
No, did he tell you about it? About
the business Childs ran?

OSBORNE
What business?

DUNBAR
Pills, shots, you name it, Basic's a
lot easier when you don't feel pain --

HARDY
So Childs made some side money, so
what? People are dead, Ray, and the
only one we have to blame is you --

DUNBAR
I didn't shoot West --

HARDY
Yeah, we know, Pike did.

Dunbar stares at him.

DUNBAR
You think you know everything, don't
you? You haven't even scratched the
surface.

Hardy leans across the table, looks Dunbar dead in the eye.

HARDY
I know enough to know you got two
choices -- you can sign a confession,
in which case you'll probably spend
the rest of your life in a military
prison, or you can tell us to fuck
off, in which case you'll probably
get the gas chamber.
(smiling)
Am I scratching your surface yet?

Dunbar stares at him for a moment and then LAUNCHES HIMSELF
at Hardy, SCREAMING. Tackles him to the floor, CHOKING HIM...

Osborne, pulling her sidearm, and PISTOL WHIPPING Dunbar in
the head! Dunbar goes sprawling off Hardy as M.P.'s rush
into the room, RESTRAINING him.

Hardy gets up, gasping, and stumbles to the door.

OSBORNE
Hardy!

But he's already gone.

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- CORRIDORS -- DAY

Hardy, walking angrily towards the front entrance, wheezing
and massaging his neck. Osborne, running to catch up.

HARDY
Why the fuck wasn't he in restraints?

OSBORNE
I don't know.

Styles appears at the end of the hall.

STYLES
Tom, where are you going --

HARDY
Home, I'm done.

STYLES
What about the confession?

Hardy stares at him...

HARDY
You want a confession? Why don't you
confess, Bill: people are dead and
you don't give a shit about it! Only
reason you called me is to protect
your fucking job, you know this is
your fault --

STYLES
What the hell are you talking about --

HARDY
I'm talking about West! We had him,
Bill, we were there. You're the
fucking Base Commander, you knew
what he did to Cadets and you let
him go on the way he always he has --

OSBORNE
Styles couldn't reassign him, he's a
legend --

HARDY
You knew what he was capable of and
you just stood by. It was just a
matter of time till somebody fragged
his ass, and you know what? He
deserved it. There's your confession.

He pushes past a shocked Styles and walks out the door.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- PARADE GROUNDS -- DAY

Hardy storms across the grass. Osborne, still following.

OSBORNE
Goddammit, Hardy, you can't just
leave --

HARDY
Watch me.

OSBORNE
You said you owed Styles and now
you're gonna turn your back on him?

Hardy whirls on her.

HARDY
West was a monster! Fifteen years
ago, I was here, I was Section Eight,
I was Pike. Fuck being the knife
dummy -- that thing he did, stripping
Pike down, making him stand outside
all night? He did that every year,
he did that to me. Fifteen years
ago, I wanted him dead, and now I'm
supposed to care that somebody offed
him? Sorry, no can do. I tried.

OSBORNE
You did more than try. You cracked
Dunbar in less than three minutes,
as an investigator you're phenomenal --

HARDY
Phenomenal at taking bribes, right?

A beat. Osborne shakes her head.

OSBORNE
I was starting to believe you, you
know? That you weren't who everyone
said. I guess I was wrong --

HARDY
Oh, spare me the reverse psychology
bullshit! This isn't my "great second
chance", Osborne. Everyone thinks
I'm a piece of shit cop who took
money and nothing is going to change
that. Nobody will ever know what
happens here --

OSBORNE
But you will.

Hardy stares at her.

HARDY
Why do you care?

OSBORNE
Because it's my job. Because people
are dead. Because of the whole honor
and duty thing, make a difference in
the world, crap like that.
(pause)
We can do this, Hardy.

Hardy looks at the ground.

OSBORNE
Two and a half hours. That's all I'm
asking. Two and a half hours to maybe
get the truth.

Silence.

Hardy looks back up at her. Speaking softly:

HARDY
I didn't shoot West...

OSBORNE
What?

HARDY
Dunbar... He said he didn't shoot
West. West wasn't shot, Kendall said
he was blown apart by a phosphorous
grenade and Dunbar never saw the
body.

They stare at each other for a moment...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne enter to find Dunbar in SHACKLES.

DUNBAR
I apologize --

HARDY
You saw West's body.

DUNBAR
Of course --

OSBORNE
Where?

DUNBAR
The creek bed --

HARDY
And he'd been shot.

DUNBAR
Yeah --

OSBORNE
What about the phosphorous grenade?

DUNBAR
One went off, yeah, but it didn't
touch him -- I thought you knew this --

HARDY
Tell it to me.

INT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- LAST NIGHT

Dunbar and Nunez RUNNING towards the glow of phosphorous and
sound of GUNFIRE. They come over the hill to see Childs and
Kendall, standing over WEST'S BODY. Dunbar stops, shocked.

DUNBAR
Holy fuck... Holy fuck, what the
fuck did you guys do?

CHILDS
We found him like this...

Dunbar edges closer, looking at West. With BULLET HOLES.

His chest, riddled.

KENDALL
Somebody emptied a full clip into
him --

HARDY (V.O.)
Stop.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

HARDY
Kendall told us Mueller was the one
who found them with West's body.

DUNBAR
He's lying, then. We didn't see
Mueller till we got to the cabin.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Dunbar, Kendall, Childs, and Nunez push through the door to
find Mueller in his undershirt, a FIRE burning in the hearth.

MUELLER
Jesus, what happened?

DUNBAR
(breathing hard)
West... he's dead.

OSBORNE (V.O.)
Back up.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

OSBORNE
Mueller was alone in the cabin?

DUNBAR
Yeah.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

MUELLER
Pike and I got separated... then I
heard gunfire. Close.

DUNBAR
So did we. Why didn't you come?

Mueller looks down, scared.

MUELLER
I was afraid...

Mueller voice FADES OUT as he continues to talk.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
I didn't buy it. But Mueller had all
three of his grenades.

Mueller shows his three grenades to the others.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

OSBORNE
At least you and Kendall agree on
that.

HARDY
What happened next?

Dunbar shudders.

DUNBAR
Pike came back.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Pike, staggering in through the door. The others get up from
where they are sitting -- it's been awhile since they arrived.
Pike shouts at Mueller:

PIKE
What the fuck happened to you --

MUELLER
What the fuck happened to you? One
minute you're next to me and the
next you're gone and the sky lights
up like fucking Christmas --

DUNBAR
Where have you been, Jay?

PIKE
Wandering through a hurricane trying
to find this place. It's gettin' bad
out there --
(looking around)
Where's West?

CHILDS
Yeah, right...

DUNBAR
Shut up.
(to Pike)
West's dead.

A beat.

PIKE
What?

Silence. All of them staring at Pike.

DUNBAR
Where have you been, Jay?

Pike, suddenly understanding. Fear creeping into his face.

PIKE
Oh, no... no, fuck that --

He moves to the door, but...

NUNEZ
Hey!

Nunez, with his PISTOL out. Trained on Pike.

PIKE
Roberto, what the fuck?

DUNBAR
We just want to check your pack --

PIKE
Why?

MUELLER
Whoever shot the Sarge blew a grenade
first --

PIKE
Blame the nigger, then, huh? Someone
turns up dead, you just look for the
darkest face in the crowd --

DUNBAR
You know it's not like that --

PIKE
Do I?

The CLICK as Nunez pulls back the pistol's hammer.

NUNEZ
Let him check your pack.

Pike stares at them and then throws his pack down, angrily.

Dunbar goes to it, opens it, and reaches in. Pulls his hand
out. Only TWO GRENADES. Looks at Pike. Sadly.

DUNBAR
Tie him up.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Later. The fury of the storm has increased. Kendall, Childs,
Nunez, and Mueller, in the KITCHEN looking for food.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Pike, tied to the chair. Dunbar sitting in a corner, listening
to the hurricane rage outside. Pike watches him.

PIKE
Just like the first day, huh? You
standing guard on me.

A CREAKING as the cabin SHIFTS on it's foundation. Dunbar
looks up at the roof, scared. It holds.

PIKE
This place ain't gonna hold much
longer.

Dunbar doesn't reply. Still staring nervously at the roof.

Pike looks to make sure the others out of earshot, then:

PIKE
You and me are friends, right?

No reply.

PIKE
Right?

DUNBAR
Yeah...

Pike takes a deep breath.

PIKE
You gotta untie me.
(off Dunbar's look)
I didn't do this thing, Ray.

DUNBAR
You hated West more than any of us.

PIKE
Maybe, but that don't make me a killer --

DUNBAR
You're the only one missing a grenade.

PIKE
Which anyone coulda taken out of my
gear on the chopper. Were you watching
your pack on the ride in?

Dunbar starts to get up.

PIKE
Ray, this is my life here. I ain't
gonna pretend I'm not happy West is
gone, but you know I couldn't have
done this. It's not in me.

DUNBAR
If not you, then who?

PIKE
Mueller.

DUNBAR
Oh, come on --

PIKE
We're sweeping our area and suddenly
he's gone. Couple minutes later,
phosphorous grenade pops off about a
third of a click away --

DUNBAR
That's exactly what he says about
you.

PIKE
Who you gonna trust, Ray? Him or
your friend?

Dunbar stares at him.

DUNBAR
You hated West, Mueller loved him --

PIKE
Enough to go to prison? Childs' PX
scam, Mueller was in on it --

DUNBAR
Bullshit.

PIKE
Look in my pack.

DUNBAR
Why?

PIKE
Just look. Little pocket.

Dunbar walks over to Pike's pack and unzips it. Checks the
little pocket. Pulls out a VIAL and a SYRINGE.

PIKE
Combat grade morphine. Mueller sold
it to me.

DUNBAR
You're lying --

PIKE
Pull up my sleeve. Right arm.

Dunbar does to reveal a cluster of TRACK MARKS.

PIKE
That look like a lie to you? I been
using solid for the last eight weeks.

Dunbar sits down. Not knowing what to say.

PIKE
After that first night on the parade
grounds with you, I was bad --
exposure, malnutrition, the works. I
needed something to keep me from
crashing. Mueller found me.

INT. CADET SHOWERS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO

Empty except for Pike. He sits, nude, curled up on the tile,
as the nozzles blast STEAMING WATER down onto his shivering
form. FOOTSTEPS approaching. Mueller. He leans down next to
Pike, speaking to him. Kindly.

PIKE (V.O.)
He said he knew guy who had an in at
the PX, could hook me up. This is
before I knew what a dick he was.

As Mueller produces a SYRINGE from his pocket...

INT. BASE PX -- BACKROOM -- SIX WEEKS AGO

A covert meeting among stacks of supplies. Childs stands
with Mueller, talking to a gaunt Pike. Behind Pike are a
group of other SICKLY LOOKING CADETS, all jonesing.

PIKE
Later on Childs got assigned there,
started running the shit out to every
cadet who needed it. But I was our
class's first customer...

Pike hands the smiling Mueller a WAD OF CASH...

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Dunbar staring open mouthed at Pike. Shocked.

DUNBAR
Why... why didn't you tell me?

PIKE
Becoming a morphine addict during
Basic ain't exactly something you
want to broadcast. Only Mueller and
Childs know.

A beat. Dunbar gets to his feet.

DUNBAR
That still doesn't mean you didn't
kill him.

PIKE
You saw West, right? How was he
killed?

DUNBAR
Full clip to the body --

PIKE
From up close or far away?

DUNBAR
His chest was hamburger --

PIKE
That's close range. You go full auto
on a guy from close range, you're
gonna be swimming in blood. Look at
my uniform. Nothing.

Dunbar looks. Not a speck of blood on it.

PIKE
And where's Mueller's? When I came
in, he was only wearing a t-shirt.

Dunbar looks over to fireplace, where ashes are smoldering...

FLASHCUT TO -- When Dunbar first entered the Cabin: Mueller,
standing there in a T-SHIRT, a FIRE burning in the hearth.

PIKE
Way I figure it, West must have found
out about their little business and
was gonna bust them, so they decided
to get rid of him first...

DUNBAR
(softly)
They?

PIKE
Mueller and Childs. One of them
must've taken the grenade from my
pack on the chopper...

INT. TRANSPORT HELICOPTER (FLYING) -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

The Sectioners sit, stonefaced, staring out the window.

CLOSE ON -- Mueller's hand as it snakes into Pike's pack and
extracts a phosphorous grenade.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Mueller and Pike, twenty feet apart, scouring the brush for
targets. Mueller looks to Pike and then slips away...

PIKE (V.O.)
Then Mueller ditches me during the
exercise and heads for the creek.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Mueller stands on the hill and pulls the grenades pin, tossing
it down the embankment...

PIKE (V.O.)
He blows the grenade to frame me and
gets West to come running...

The grenade BLOWS, setting the entire area AGLOW...

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Kendall and Childs, turning towards the sound...

Note: Each shot of Kendall and Childs in this sequence should
correspond exactly to Kendall's Flashback.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- NIGHT

West emerges from the bush at a sprint.

WEST
What the fuck is going on?!

Mueller runs down the embankment toward him.

MUELLER
I don't know, sir.

Six feet away from West, Mueller suddenly raises his rifle
and PULLS THE TRIGGER.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Kendall and Childs, running in the direction of the grenade...

PIKE
Childs' job is easy, he only has to
delay Kendall long enough for Mueller
to get away.

Suddenly MACHINE GUNFIRE shatters the night!

CHILDS
GET DOWN!

He tackles Kendall into the mud.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Mueller, smoking rifle in hand, uniform covered in blood
stands over WEST'S DEAD BODY. He turns and runs off INTO THE
BRUSH. A moment later, Childs and Kendall come into view at
the top of the embankment...

PIKE (V.O.)
Now all Mueller has to do is get rid
of the evidence...

INT. CABIN -- EARLIER LAST NIGHT

Mueller, still covered in blood, enters the dark cabin. He
strips of his shirt and throws it in the fireplace. Striking
a match, igniting the bloody rag...

PIKE (V.O.)
And wait for everyone else to arrive.

Mueller, watching the evidence burn...

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Pike sighs, finished with his story.

DUNBAR
I... I don't know...

PIKE
What don't you know?

DUNBAR
This is a lot of information to be
getting... I have to think --

The hurricane outside GROWING LOUDER as the Cabin ROCKS again.

The sound of WOOD SNAPPING. Pike stares up at the roof.

PIKE
There's no time to think, Ray, we
gotta get out of here! You untie me,
we grab the guns, get Kendall and
Nunez, and make a run for it --

DUNBAR
No... no, we can just wait till we
get back and then tell the M.P.'s --

PIKE
We wait and I'm a dead man. I got a
black face, a criminal record, and
over a hundred other cadets who'll
testify how much I hated West -- my
court martial will take six minutes.
It's either me or them, Ray, and you
gotta decide right now.

The cabin SHIFTS again. Dunbar stares at him.

PIKE
Untie me.

Dunbar doesn't move.

PIKE
Untie me, Ray.

A long beat. The two men stare at each other.

And then Dunbar pulls his knife from his boot and leans down
to cut Pike's bonds.

PIKE
Thank God...

MUELLER (O.S.)
What the fuck are you doing?

Dunbar freezes. Caught.

He looks to the open kitchen door where Mueller stands.

MUELLER
Guys, get out here!

The others enter the room. Dunbar, kneeling there, knife
inches away from severing Pike's ropes.

PIKE
This place is going, Mueller. We
gotta move --

MUELLER
Shut the fuck up.
(to the others)
He was gonna cut him loose.

The others stare at Dunbar.

NUNEZ
Why?

PIKE
Cause I didn't do it.

Childs motions to Dunbar.

CHILDS
Get away from there.

He's serious. Dunbar moves away from Pike.

MUELLER
We all know what you did, Pike. I
don't know what kind of nigger voodoo
you been working in here, but --

PIKE
Where's your shirt, Mueller?

MUELLER
I used it to start the fire --

PIKE
Still got mine on, not a speck of
blood on it. Not a bad trick for a
murderer -- you said you burned yours?

The others begin to look at Mueller with new eyes.

MUELLER
I was freezing from the hurricane --

KENDALL
So you took off your shirt?

MUELLER
To start a fire, goddammit!
(pointing to Pike)
What about him, huh? Maybe he offed
the Sarge and changed shirts, brought
an extra one in his pack. Y'ever
think of that? Go ahead, cut him
loose! First chance he gets, he'll
waste the rest of us, that's how
they work --

The hurricane, reaching FEVER PITCH outside as WATER begins
leaking in through the roof.

PIKE
Goddammit, Ray, we gotta get out of
here --

MUELLER
We're not going anywhere.

Pike turns to Mueller:

PIKE
Cadet Michael Mueller, I hereby place
you under military arrest for the
murder of Sergeant Nathan West --

MUELLER
The fuck are you talking about --

PIKE
You are to be stripped of all weapons
and placed under guard --

MUELLER
Bullshit --

PIKE
Until we return to base, and
ballistics can match your weapon to
the slugs in Sergeant West's body --

MUELLER
Shut up!

Mueller pulls his SIDEARM and POINTS IT AT PIKE.

KENDALL
Mueller, what the fuck --

DUNBAR
Don't do this --

Pike, EYES LOCKED with Mueller. Continuing:

PIKE
A test will no doubt link you to the
killing --

DUNBAR
Put it down!

MUELLER
Tell him to shut up --

PIKE
-- failure to comply with this arrest
is a court martialable offense in
and of itself --

KENDALL
Pike, please --

PIKE
Although that won't matter much when
coupled with the murder charge --

MUELLER
SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKING NIGGER...

Pike leans forward.

PIKE
You stupid white trash motherfucker,
I saw you do it --

And Mueller FIRES.

Pike's head SNAPS BACK.

The gunshot, DEAFENING. Then, for an eternity, SILENCE.

Nobody moves. Nobody breathes. As if time has stopped.

KENDALL
Oh... my God...

Mueller lowers his arm, the pistol clattering to the floor.

His face, as shocked as the others.

MUELLER
He wouldn't... stop talking...

He takes a step forward towards Pike. A hole in the middle
of the black man's forehead.

DUNBAR
(softly)
So you killed him?

MUELLER
I...

Almost mechanically, Dunbar begins to reach for his own gun...

The unmistakable sound of a two rifles' magazines being RACKED
simultaneously. Dunbar turns to see Childs and Nunez, their
M-16's in hand. Levelled at him.

CHILDS
Get that hand away.

Dunbar does. Looks to Nunez.

DUNBAR
You too?

CHILDS
We can still come out of this okay.
Pike got free, he got a gun, he came
after us. That's the story.

Mueller collapses on the ground. Head in hands.

MUELLER
West was one thing, but this --

CHILDS
Shut up, Mueller.

KENDALL
You framed-him...

CHILDS
None of that matters now. We got two
dead bodies and a story that explains
them. You're either with us, or
against us -- which is it?

Dunbar and Kendall, looking at each other. It's clear what
the wrong answer will mean. A long beat, until

KENDALL
Okay --

He is cut off as the WIND outside ROARS -- the HURRICANE
mounting to it's FULL FORCE -- and the WINDOWS BLOW INWARDS,
showering Childs, Mueller, and Nunez with glass!

Dunbar's hand flies to his pistol, PULLING IT...

Mueller, SCREAMING, trying to claw the glass from his EYES...

Childs, seeing Dunbar move, PULLS THE TRIGGER...

And the cabin is filled with the THUNDER OF GUNFIRE as Kendall
goes down, clutching his ARM...

DUNBAR FIRES, hitting Childs directly in the chest...

Childs, still shooting, falls back, his random spray of
bullets PUNCHING INTO MUELLER who jerks like a marionette...

Nunez, drawing a bead on Dunbar, about to shoot, when...

A great CRESCENDO of WOOD SPLINTERING and SUPPORTS BUCKLING
overtakes them and the CABIN'S ROOF COMES DOWN ON THEIR HEADS.

EXT. DEMOLISHED CABIN -- FIRST LIGHT

Hours later. The rain has lessened and the Hurricane has
begun to lift as Dunbar pulls himself from the debris.

Hearing a FAINT CRY from his left.

Kendall. Half conscious, his arm, bloody.

Dunbar slings the man across his shoulders as the rising sun
begins to peak through the clouds overhead.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- SUNRISE

Dunbar, carrying Kendall towards the clearing when GUNFIRE
comes from behind. He turns to look...

Nunez. The only other survivor from the Cabin. A hundred
yards back, rifle in hand, coming after them with a vengeance.

Dunbar, sprinting towards the clearing, bullets at his heels
and as he bursts from the tree line he looks up to see a

HELICOPTER OVERHEAD

DUNBAR (V.O.)
And then I killed the last of them.

FLASHCUT TO -- Nunez, chest blown open, going down...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

And we're back to the interrogation. Dunbar, stubbing out a
cigarette and looking up at Hardy and Osborne.

DUNBAR
Can I have some coffee?

Osborne blinks, like a trance has been broken.

OSBORNE
Yeah... yeah, sure.

She goes over to the machine and pours a cup.

HARDY
You shot Childs and Nunez.

DUNBAR
They would have killed us both. You
want me to write a confession, I'll
write a confession.

HARDY
You saved Kendall's life --

DUNBAR
But not Pike's.

Osborne hands him the coffee.

OSBORNE
Why didn't you tell us all this in
the first place?

DUNBAR
Would you have believed me?

Their faces say "no". Osborne spreads a MAP out on the table.

OSBORNE
Where's the cabin?

DUNBAR
Don't know on a map. West told us it
was there, we just found it. Maybe
the hurricane took it away.

HARDY
Raymond, for you to have any chance
of coming out of this, we need to
locate the other bodies and examine
them to corroborate your testimony.
Otherwise this is just another story --

DUNBAR
Mr. Hardy, I joined the army for
college money. I didn't ask for any
of this -- I tried to do the right
thing out there and people got killed.
You say finding those bodies'll help
me, then go find them. I don't want
to die.

EXT. FOR MCKINLEY -- CORRIDORS -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne, walking and talking.

OSBORNE
Talk it through: Childs, Mueller,
and Nunez know they're going out on
the regular Tuesday Night drill,
hurricane or no hurricane, so they
plan it: Kill West, pin it on Pike.

HARDY
And they're smart about it. They
know when you commit a crime you
know is going to be investigated,
you need a fall guy and for that to
work, you have to have a witness.

OSBORNE
Dunbar.

HARDY
Exactly, someone who's not involved,
who's word can't be questioned. You
only let them see what you want them
to see, you make them believe, so
when the time comes, they've totally
bought into your version of events.

OSBORNE
They believe the innocent are guilty
and the guilty are innocent.

HARDY
And if they're asked, that's what
they'll tell the, world.

OSBORNE
So it's a good plan but it goes wrong;
Mueller flips out and shoots their
fall guy, which means they have to
bring Dunbar and Kendall into the
cover story --

HARDY
Kendall maybe would have agreed, but
the hurricane buttfucks the cabin --

OSBORNE
Buttfucks the cabin?

HARDY
And all hell breaks loose. A lot of
Good guys shoot a lot of bad guys
and whiz, bang, zoom, happy ending.

OSBORNE
So why, after Dunbar drags Kendall
out from under a house, does the
Senator's son try and get us to put
his savior in the gas chamber?

HARDY
That bugs you too?

OSBORNE
Little bit.

HARDY
Let's go talk to Bill...

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne stand in front of an agitated Styles. He
tries to take a hit off his asthma inhaler and gets nothing.

Frustrated, he tosses it away.

STYLES
Fucking asthma... This whole thing's
driving it nuts.

A beat.

HARDY
What I said before --

STYLES
Was dead right. You think Dunbar's
on the level?

HARDY
Yeah.

STYLES
Does Osborne agree?

OSBORNE
Yes, sir, I do.

Hardy lays a piece of paper on Styles' desk.

HARDY
Dunbar's confession. It should be
enough to get you out of trouble.

Styles looks at it and then slowly up to Hardy.

STYLES
You want Kendall, don't you?

OSBORNE
He tried to burn Dunbar to us. You
don't do that if you're not involved.

Hardy nods, agreeing. Styles stares at them.

STYLES
You both know if you do this, if you
go after a Senator's son and you're
wrong... it's not just me in the hot
seat anymore.

OSBORNE
We know.

STYLES
(to Hardy)
I'm giving you a chance to walk away.

HARDY
We know.

Styles nods and looks to his desk. Almost to himself:

STYLES
You don't get to be a Colonel without
compromising. Without getting out of
the way of the bigger dogs. You
politic, play it safe, think of the
career first. And when things get
dirty, you just look the other way...

He looks back up at Hardy. His eyes, steeled.

STYLES
Four of my men are dead. You think
Kendall had something to do with it,
then you go get the son of a bitch.

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY

Kendall lies in his bed, looking worse than before. Hardy
and Osborne enter.

OSBORNE
Pike never confessed.

KENDALL
We've been making progress, I see.

Osborne looks to her watch. Kendall notices.

KENDALL
Running out of time, are we? Tick-
tock, tick-tock, how long till your
witnesses fly the coop?

OSBORNE
Fifty minutes.

KENDALL
Not much time to solve the crime.
Tell me, detective, how did it feel
taking blood money from Guissepe
Torres? Did it weigh on your
conscience or did you just not think
about it?

HARDY
You tried to pin three stone murders
on Dunbar --

KENDALL
How many murders did you cover up?
One? Five? Maybe an even ten.

HARDY
(to Osborne)
Can I go to jail for punching a guy
who's been shot?

Kendall begins coughing.

KENDALL
I think they're giving me the wrong
medicine. This isn't a very good
hospital, you know --

Hardy sighs and goes to the sink to get him some water.

KENDALL
Epileptic attacks are murder on your
system. Rattle your internal organs
like a paint mixer.

HARDY
My heart weeps.

He returns with a GLASS OF WATER and hands it to Kendall.

OSBORNE
Pike never confessed.

KENDALL
No, but it got you interested, didn't
it? Got you to dig. Inspired Ray to
tell you terribly sordid tales about
drugs and creek beds and dead little
sergeants who stuck their noses where
they didn't belong.

HARDY
Is it the truth?

KENDALL
There's that word again.
(smiling)
As I told you, I wasn't in the room
when everyone started shooting.

OSBORNE
Dunbar says you were.

KENDALL
Then he's mistaken. You know, I really
don't think my father would approve
of this line of questioning --

HARDY
Why did you tell us he shot everybody,
Levi? You put him in for three
murders, the man saved your life --

KENDALL
So I should stay silent about his
misdeeds? The guns went off, I ran
in, Childs shot me, Pike and Mueller
were dead, and Dunbar was running
out the door with the smoking gun --

HARDY
Dunbar was running out the door?
Ohhhhhh... See that's where I was
confused, because I thought you said
Nunez was running out the door.

KENDALL
No. I said Dunbar.

HARDY
Huh. You know, I really thought you
said Nunez. I thought you said "Dunbar
was gone," My fault, I gotta check
the tape on that.
(off Kendall's look)
Oh, yeah we taped the last interview.
This one too. Cause it'd be a real
break for us to catch you in a lie.

Silence. They wait for Kendall's reaction. He looks
momentarily flustered by this... and then he smiles.

KENDALL
I believe your next line is "What
are you trying to hide?"

HARDY
Well?

KENDALL
Sorry to disappoint. I'm on
painkillers for the injury -- they
cloud the mind. You're right, it was
Nunez. Any more questions?

Hardy doesn't know what to say. That was his ace card.

KENDALL
Don't get me wrong, Mueller and Childs
were quite the pair, the type of
guys you didn't feel comfortable
going to sleep around. Completely
capable of murder. But as I said, I
didn't hear the exchange before the
shooting. I wasn't in the room.

Osborne furrows her brow at this as Hardy continues.

HARDY
Dunbar will testify that you were.

KENDALL
Then we'll leave it up to the courts --
His word against mine. What does his
father do again? Steelworker?
(smiling)
Doesn't matter, I'm sure justice
will be served. In any case, my father
will definitely want to talk to you
about all these questions, these
accusations on his son. He's quite
protective.

Osborne turns to Hardy.

OSBORNE
I need to talk to you outside.

EXT. BASE HOSPITAL -- CORRIDOR -- DAY

Osborne and Hardy, exiting the room. Whispering:

HARDY
We're fucked, I know --

OSBORNE
They got their stories straight.

HARDY
What?

OSBORNE
What Kendall said -- "the type of
guys you don't feel comfortable going
to sleep around." That's what Dunbar
said about Childs to the letter.

HARDY
Are you sure?

OSBORNE
Positive. Hardy, they planned this.

She grins. He grins back.

OSBORNE
Not bad for hostile and uncooperative,
eh?

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY

Hardy and Osborne reenter, smiling. Kendall chuckles.

HARDY
Something funny, Levi?

KENDALL
I was just thinking of what's going
to happen to your careers when my
father gets through with you.

Hardy pulls the out MICRORECORDER and hands it to Osborne.

HARDY
Why don't you talk to Levi off the
record for a second?

OSBORNE
Good idea.

Smiling, she stops the tape. Then turns to Kendall.

OSBORNE
You and Dunbar got your stories
straight. Little details, little
inconsistencies, designed to bounce
us back from one of you to the other,
asking questions, killing time, until
the transport arrives and whisks you
away to where Senator Daddy can
protect you. You think you're just
going to slide out of this? You're
an accessory to murder, Levi, you're
going to jail --

KENDALL
You can't threaten me --

HARDY
Jail if he's lucky, the gas chamber
if he's not --

KENDALL
I didn't do anything --

Osborne laughs.

OSBORNE
It doesn't matter, Levi. We're going
to find those bodies and when we do,
I'm going to make sure one of them
has a bullet in them that matches
your weapon --

KENDALL
What?

HARDY
That's a fantastic idea --

OSBORNE
See, I just take your gun to the
morgue and fire it into one of their
skulls; then I call every newspaper
in the country with the story about
how Senator Kendall's gay son went
nuts on a training mission --

KENDALL
(beginning to panic)
It won't work --

OSBORNE
It will and you know why? Because
you're not a person anymore, you're
a cadet in the United States Army;
you have no identity, no Miranda
warning, and no rights. So I'm gonna
throw you to the wolves, and unlike
you, I'm gonna get away with it,
because you're pissing me off!

She finishes, breathing hard. Kendall, totally cowed. Hardy,
trying to suppress a smile. Osborne rises for the door.

OSBORNE
Enjoy your flight to Washington --

KENDALL
Wait --

OSBORNE
What.

Silence. Kendall takes a deep breath.

KENDALL
Dunbar's telling the truth.

OSBORNE
Wrong answer --

KENDALL
We did get our stories straight, but
not because we killed anyone.
(pause)
It was because I threatened him.

HARDY
Why?

KENDALL
Because of what I saw.
(pause)
Who really killed West.

Osborne holds up the microrecorder and starts the tape again.

OSBORNE
Who killed Sergeant West?

Kendall stares at the recorder. A long pause.

OSBORNE
Who, Levi --

KENDALL
Childs.

HARDY
How do you know?

KENDALL
Because I was standing next to him.

He pauses, taking a shaky sip of water.

KENDALL
I was in on the PX thing. He and
Mueller and me, we were making
thousands. West found out. Childs
said we were just gonna scare him --
use my Dad's clout. I had this whole
speech prepared about how if he ratted
us, his career was over. We met him
in the creek bed but before I said
anything...

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- LAST NIGHT

West stands in front of Childs and Kendall, facing them.

Kendall opens his mouth to speak, but Childs steps forward
and raises his rifle, FIRING...

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

KENDALL
I swear, I didn't know he was gonna
do it. After, he told me we were
gonna pin it on Pike, one of our
biggest customers.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

As they TIE PIKE to the, chair.

KENDALL (V.O.)
Nobody'd believe the word of a black
junkie ex-con against ours.

Childs gives Kendall a look that says "Stay quiet".

KENDALL (V.O.)
He told me I'd better keep quiet, or
I'd end up the same as West.

Pan over to Dunbar, who binds his friend, sadly.

KENDALL (V.O.)
Dunbar didn't know anything about
any of it. Everything he told you
was true, except after...

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- LAST NIGHT

Dunbar pulls Kendall from the cabin's wreckage. As Kendall
begins to talk to him, Dunbar's eyes widen in shock...

KENDALL (V.O.)
I told him what had really happened
to West. Told him to keep quiet about
it or I'd destroy him. Because if it
came out that I was involved with
the whole PX scam, my father would
be finished.

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

KENDALL
I scared Dunbar into silence. He's
been trying to cover for me the whole
time. We got here, you came to see
me... I didn't know if I could trust
him with that kind of secret --

OSBORNE
So you framed him. The same way Childs
was going to frame Pike.

Kendall nods. Crying a little.

HARDY
Little advice, Levi, next time you
frame a guy, pick someone who can't
defend themselves.

Kendall says nothing.

OSBORNE
What happened with Nunez?

KENDALL
He came after us. And I told Dunbar
he had to kill him...

EXT. CLEARING -- EARLIER THAT MORNING

The helicopter, hovering overhead. Dunbar, carrying Kendall,
spinning his rifle to face Nunez, sixty yards away. Dunbar
hesitates before firing, not wanting to...

KENDALL
Do it!

Dunbar's rifle ERUPTS...

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- PRESENT DAY

KENDALL
And he did.

Kendall finishes, wiping his face. Osborne turns to Hardy.

OSBORNE
That's how you do good cop/bad cop.

Hardy smiles and gets up. Walking slowly to Kendall's bed.

HARDY
Childs did it, huh?

Kendall nods, still a little teary.

HARDY
First Pike, then Mueller, now Childs?

When are we getting to the others?

When are we gonna hear about Nunez?

FLASHCUT TO -- NUNEZ, in the creek bed, SHOOTING WEST.

HARDY
Or Dunbar?

FLASHCUT TO -- Now DUNBAR, SHOOTING WEST.

HARDY
Or you, Levi? When is it finally
going to come out that you were the
one who killed him?

FLASHCUT TO -- KENDALL, SHOOTING WEST.

KENDALL
I didn't --

HARDY
But you can't prove it! You can't
prove anything until we find the
bodies!

Kendall, crying harder now, beginning to shake.

HARDY
You lied to us, Levi, you're going
to the gas chamber unless you tell
us where to find them!

KENDALL
I don't know --

HARDY
Where are they!

KENDALL
Maybe --

HARDY
MAYBE WHAT --

KENDALL
Maybe he...

And then, his mouth SLAMS SHUT. Teeth cracking together over
and over again like a metronome on speed, and his body JERKS
HORRIBLY, going horizontal, SHAKING VIOLENTLY!

Osborne, leaping to her feet.

OSBORNE
Get something between his teeth!

Hardy grabs a fork from the bedside table and tries to shove
it into Kendall's chattering mouth. His teeth, CLAMPING DOWN
on the metal and Hardy's hand, drawing blood.

HARDY
Shit!

The Nurse bursts into the room.

NURSE
What is --

OSBORNE
He's an epileptic!

The Nurse runs to the bed, pushing Hardy aside. As more
MEDICAL PERSONNEL runs into the room, they usher Hardy and
Osborne to the door.

DOCTOR
You're going to have to wait outside --

OSBORNE
He's a witness!

DOCTOR
It doesn't matter, outside --

KENDALL
F-F-F-F-F-F-Fuh-

Osborne tries to move to him, but the Doctor blocks her path.

OSBORNE
He's trying to say something --

DOCTOR
Out, NOW.

KENDALL
Fuh-Fuh-Fuh-Fuh-Fuh-

Osborne knocks the Doctor down and runs to Kendall's side.

DOCTOR
SECURITY!

Kendall looks up, focusing on Osborne, a slight moment of
clarity in his eyes.

KENDALL
Fuh-Fucking Pike.

And relapses into ANOTHER FIT as SECURITY GUARDS drag Hardy
and Osborne from the room.

INT. BASE HOSPITAL -- WAITING ROOM -- DAY

Later. Hardy and Osborne sit in silence, eyes downcast.

Waiting. Hardy pulls his last cigarette from the pack, lights
it, crumples the pack and tosses it into a garbage can.

HARDY
I pushed him too hard.

OSBORNE
You couldn't have known --

HARDY
Yeah, I could've. Should've.

OSBORNE
You wanted to get the truth.

HARDY
No, I didn't. I wanted to humiliate
him. For what he did to Dunbar. For
fucking over the little guy.

OSBORNE
You mean the falsely accused?

Hardy looks up at her and nods.

OSBORNE
You wanted to break him.

HARDY
Yeah.

OSBORNE
So did I.

She looks back to the floor. Hardy takes a drag from the
cigarette, and then tosses that away too.

The door opens and Styles walks into the room. Somber.

STYLES
It's over. Time of death was 4:42.
JAG's been notified and I called the
Senator myself. My report will reflect
that his medical condition made this
unavoidable... you two had no
culpability in the matter.

HARDY
That's horseshit and you know it.

STYLES
Maybe. But it's my fault and I'll
carry it.

He sighs and takes a seat next to them.

STYLES
We found the cabin. Demolished, like
they said. No bodies. Hurricane like
that coulda scooped 'em up, dropped
them down two counties over. We'll
find them.

Hardy says nothing.

STYLES
You think you could explain all this
to me?

HARDY
I wouldn't know where to start.
(pause)
I guess it was about one man framing
another. He thought if the other guy
got blamed, people would over look
his own wrong doings.

Styles nods, understanding.

OSBORNE
What happens to Dunbar now?

STYLES
Gets on his plane in ten minutes,
which means you two are done. You'll
understand if I don't walk you out.

Hardy gets up to go and then stops. Realizing something.

HARDY
They're taking your command, aren't
they?

STYLES
The Senator...

He points to Kendall's hospital room.

HARDY
I'm sorry, Bill.

STYLES
Don't be. I'm not cut out to deal
with the West's of the world.

HARDY
You're a good soldier, Bill.

STYLES
I thought you said that wasn't a
compliment.

Hardy smiles.

HARDY
This time it is.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- PARADE GROUNDS -- EVENING

The sun, beginning to dip in the sky, as Hardy and Osborne
exit the hospital.

OSBORNE
Your car's in the motor pool. I'll
walk you over.

They walk in silence, for a bit.

OSBORNE
So what now?

HARDY
Now I go home, get drunk, and try
and forget this ever happened.

OSBORNE
Think it'll work?

HARDY
Nah.

They pass a GROUP OF CADETS doing drills. Hardy, watching
them. Almost looking wistful.

OSBORNE
You know, you never told me why you
left the army.

HARDY
It dawned on me one day that we were
supposed to be a nation founded on
the principle of questioning
authority... and all I did here was
follow orders. It didn't add up.
Plus, I got kicked out.

OSBORNE
For what?

HARDY
That's gonna stay my secret.

INT. MOTOR POOL -- EVENING

Hardy and Osborne make their way towards Hardy's car.

OSBORNE
We were close to something with
Kendall.

HARDY
Maybe... Maybe we were nowhere near.
Sometimes mysteries stay mysteries.
(pause)
I haven't by any chance grown on
you, have I?

OSBORNE
No.

HARDY
Good, just making sure.

Osborne turns to the DUTY SERGEANT.

OSBORNE
We're going need a vehicle release.

The Sergeant nods, walking up with a clipboard.

SERGEANT
Sign here and here.
(recognizing them)
Hey, ain't you the folks workin' on
that whole hulabaloo from last night?

OSBORNE
Yeah.

SERGEANT
Terrible tragedy. One of those Section
Eight boys worked in here. Pike.
Heard he got out okay.

Hardy signs the clipboard and hands it back.

HARDY
Hate to be the bearer of bad news,
Sergeant, but he didn't make it.

The Sergeant scratches his head.

SERGEANT
Funny. I swear I saw them bring him
and the smaller guy in this morning.

OSBORNE
No, no that was Cadet Dunbar --

SERGEANT
You mean Ray Dunbar? Well, that ain't
right.

HARDY
Why not?

SERGEANT
I saw 'em get off the chopper. White
guys, right? Two

OSBORNE
So?

SERGEANT
Ma'am, Ray Dunbar's black.

Hardy and Osborne stare at him. Shocked. A beat.

SERGEANT
Did I say something wrong --

HARDY
(to Osborne)
What runway's that transport leaving
from?

OSBORNE
Four --

HARDY
Get in.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- PARADE GROUNDS -- EVENING

CADETS SCATTER as Hardy's car ROARS OUT OF THE MOTOR POOL,
PEELING across the grass towards the far side of the base!

Hardy, white knuckling the wheel, doing his best to steer
around anyone who can't get out of the way in time.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY RUNWAY FOUR -- EVENING

A Large TRANSPORT PLANE sits on the runway waiting as three
M.P.'s and a JAG LAWYER lead Dunbar/Pike (who, for purposes
of continuity, we will continue to call DUNBAR) out to it.

The SQUEAL OF TIRES as Hardy's car SLIDES around the corner
of the nearest building and SCREECHES to a halt by the plane.

Hardy and Osborne, leaping out, running towards Dunbar and
the M.P.s.

OSBORNE
We need to talk to him --

JAG LAWYER
Sorry, Officer, we have a schedule
to keep --

OSBORNE
We need to talk to him now.

Hardy grabs Dunbar by the arm.

HARDY
We're not finished yet --

DUNBAR
You wanna bet?

JAG LAWYER
M.P.'s, escort this man off the base!

DUNBAR
(smiling)
Sorry, detectives. Time's up.

As the M.P.'s grab Hardy, dragging him away. Osborne, trying
to stop them. Dunbar, climbing the stairs onto the plane...

Osborne pulls her SIDEARM, levelling it at him as Hardy yells:

HARDY
James Randall Pike, COME ON DOWN!

Dunbar stops at the hatchway. Slowly turning back to them.

Seeing the gun. The M.P.'s release Hardy. Nobody moves.

OSBORNE
Let's go have a talk.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- EVENING

Hardy and Osborne roughly lead Dunbar into the room, the JAG
Lawyer trailing behind, shouting:

JAG LAWYER
This is your entire career here --

OSBORNE
Fuck off.

She slams the door and BARRICADES it. Turns to Hardy.

OSBORNE
We got maybe three minutes till they
break it down.

HARDY
Right back where we started.

DUNBAR
You want to talk about baseball now?

Hardy practically throws Dunbar into a chair.

HARDY
No more games, right, Pike? It was
you who West singled out...

FLASHCUT TO -- WEST on the parade grounds, now strangling
DUNBAR on the first day...

HARDY
You who got hooked by Mueller's
morphine...

FLASHCUT TO -- Now DUNBAR in the showers as MUELLER hands
him a syringe...

HARDY
You who did it all.

Hardy steps forward and RIPS OPEN Dunbar's right sleeve,
revealing the TRACK MARKS.

HARDY
You wanted revenge on West, revenge
on them all, so you killed them.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

Dunbar standing in the Cabin; Mueller, Childs, and Pike,
dead at his feet.

HARDY (V.O.)
But that wasn't enough. You needed a
new identity, because no one was
going to believe James Randall Pike,
convicted felon, had acted so nobly
in the face of danger -- you needed
a name people could trust, one that
hadn't been to jail, one that hadn't
publicly been West's bitch boy.

He stares down at the bodies in the cabin, his eyes focusing
on the black man's uniform. The name on it reads -- "DUNBAR".

As he reaches for it...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT EVENING

OSBORNE
You kept Kendall alive to corroborate
your story and he did it all they
way up to the end. You even gave him
his own motive in case we decided to
burn him, too.

DUNBAR
Can't do that now, though, can you?

HARDY
You walked into the army a convicted
felon with a sentence of five years
in a uniform and were going walk out
eight weeks later with a different
name, a clean record, and an honorable
discharge -- a guy who did "everything
he could" to save his friends.

Dunbar looks at them. One to the other. Slowly.

DUNBAR
Is that what I did, now? And of
course, you can prove all of it.

OSBORNE
We can prove that you're not Ray
Dunbar. Impersonating a fellow Cadet
is a court-martial in and of itself --

DUNBAR
Did I ever claim I was Raymond Dunbar?
Was I ever told to state my name
rank and serial number for the record?
No. You assumed who I was, because I
was wearing this uniform. Don't
believe me?

He reaches under the table and rips out the HIDDEN MICROPHONE.

DUNBAR
Check your tapes.

Hardy and Osborne exchange an uneasy glance.

HARDY
We don't need the tapes --

DUNBAR
Oh, you don't? What else do you have
on me? You haven't found any bodies
yet, have you?

HARDY
We've found all of them.

Dunbar chuckles at the bluff.

DUNBAR
Ohhhh, I don't think so...

OSBORNE
How do you know that?

DUNBAR
Just a guess. Maybe they're not where
they're supposed to be. Maybe somebody
moved them. Habeas Corpus -- no
bodies, no crime, and Nunez still
plays as self defense. Face it
detectives... you have nothing.

Hardy, knowing he's right. In a flash he reaches down PULLS
OSBORNE'S GUN and grabs Dunbar, SLAMMING him up against the
wall, pressing the weapon TO HIS TEMPLE!

HARDY
Not true, Cadet, I've got a gun --

DUNBAR
(terrified)
Jesus!

OSBORNE
Hardy, what are you doing --

HARDY
Isn't this how your story goes?

Pike annoys someone so much he gets shot in the head --

DUNBAR
Please, please don't --

A POUNDING on the locked door. Hardy ignores it.

HARDY
We can tie you to the chair if it'll
work better for you --

OSBORNE
Hardy, for Chrissakes --

HARDY
WHERE'S WEST'S BODY?

DUNBAR
(practically in tears)
You'll never find it --

Hardy COCKS the pistol as Dunbar screams:

DUNBAR
You'll never find it cause HE'S NOT
DEAD!

A CRASH as the door's lock SNAPS and M.P.'s POUR into the
room! Styles and the JAG Lawyer behind, taking in the scene.

STYLES
What in God's name is going on?

Hardy releases Dunbar, who slides to the floor, gasping.

DUNBAR
He -- He made me do it --

HARDY
Do what?

DUNBAR
Hunting -- we had to hunt him --

JAG LAWYER
Sergeant, arrest these men!

OSBORNE
You mean the exercise?

DUNBAR
There never was an exercise! Never
targets, never teams, I don't even
know if there's a creek bed out there --

As the M.P.'s grab Hardy and Osborne, pulling them away...

HARDY
What did you do?

JAG LAWYER
That's enough --

HARDY
Goddammit, what did you DO?!

DUNBAR
I COULDN'T KILL HIM!

He breaks down sobbing. Styles holds up a hand to the M.P.'s.

STYLES
Hang on.

JAG LAWYER
Colonel --

STYLES
No. I want to hear this.

The JAG Lawyer glowers as the M.P.'s stand down. Dunbar tries
to pull himself together. To Hardy:

DUNBAR
You're right. I was the one he singled
out. Beat me morning, noon, and night,
ran me ragged. When Mueller found
me, I was gone. He gave me a little
taste...

INT. CADET SHOWERS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO

Mueller showing the syringe to the naked Dunbar. Dunbar's
voice over speaks in unison with Mueller:

MUELLER AND DUNBAR (V.O.)
I got a friend with an in at the PX,
can hook you up...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT EVENING

DUNBAR
What I didn't know, was his friend
was West. He ran the whole thing.

STYLES
You're lying, son.

DUNBAR
You think it's easy to have all that
morphine just disappear without a
higher up authorizing it? Check the
requisition orders, I'll lay money
it's his signature on them.

INT. SECTION EIGHT BARRACKS -- EIGHT WEEKS AGO

Dunbar, alone, sleeve rolled up, arm tied off: Sliding the
needle into his vein...

DUNBAR (V.O.)
That was his game, see? Ride the
cadets so hard they'd need something
to stay on their feet. Then he'd
send Mueller or Kendall to them,
waving around their magic needle
promising to make it all go away.

He hits the plunger, injecting. His face goes tranquil.

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT EVENING

DUNBAR
It wasn't a new thing either. He'd
been doing this for years. Every
nine weeks, a new class of cadets,
new potential customers. The amount
of money involved over that period
of time... this was some high stakes
shit.

He takes a deep breath, looking at them.

DUNBAR
Dunbar moved his through the kitchen.
I worked in the motor pool and hooked
all the mechanics. By the time the
hurricane hit, we were all in. Some
using, some pushing, some both. But
then something happened. West heard
one of us was about to talk, to blow
his whole operation. He figured he'd
made enough money, had enough of the
army, maybe it was time to disappear.
But first he was gonna teach us one
last thing.

INT. SECTION EIGHT BARRACKS -- LAST NIGHT

West, entering the barracks, shouting the cadets awake.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
The Tuesday Night drill was the
perfect cover. The hurricane made it
even better.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- TARMAC -- LAST NIGHT

The cadets, climbing aboard the chopper.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
He put us on the chopper and flew us
to his cabin. And then he told us.

INT. CABIN -- LAST NIGHT

The six men stand in rigid formation, eyes on West.

WEST
Gentlemen! It has come to my attention
that there is a traitor in our midst.
Someone who was going to break the
code of fraternal brotherhood that I
have endeavored to create in all of
you. Perhaps that failure is mine.
But we take care of our own. And
this traitor must be made to pay.

He walks down the line of the six men, eyeing each of them.

Finally stopping at one. Putting a hand on his shoulder.

Nunez.

WEST
Run.

NUNEZ
Sir, I wasn't --

WEST
I know you were. Cadet Mueller found
the letter you'd written to the
Colonel in your locker. You were
going to betray us all. Now, run.

He points to the door. The hurricane, RAGING outside. Nunez
looks to the others, then the door, and understands.

He takes off running out the door. Gone.

West walks over to a table covered with a tarp. Pulls the
cloth aside to reveal M-16's, PISTOLS, and GRENADES.

WEST
Now we'll see whose training's paid
off the most. You are to hunt Cadet
Nunez down and bring his body back
to me. If you fail and he escapes,
we all go down together.

The remaining five cadets, understanding there is no place
for friendship or kindness here. This is life and death.

They walk to the table and gear up.

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- LAST NIGHT

Lightning, thunder, and rain as Nunez runs unarmed through
the thick brush.

SOMEWHERE BEHIND HIM -- The other five fan out, rifles up,
following his trail, ready to kill.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
It was insanity. We were hunting a
man down to kill him.

ON MUELLER

Making his way down embankment, M-l6 out, ready for anything.

From behind him, MOVEMENT...

DUNBAR (V.O.)
He got Mueller first.

Nunez TACKLES HIM at full speed, feet SLIPPING on the wet
hill, and the two TUMBLE head first into a GULLY. Punching,
kicking, biting, anything to stop the other man.

Nunez, CHOKING Mueller as he strains to reach his gun...

MUELLER
Roberto...

With a HEAVE, Nunez SNAPS HIS NECK. Mueller lies still.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
He took his gun. Used it on Childs.

Nunez spins, seeing CHILDS BEHIND HIM. He DIVES as Childs
fires! Hits the ground in a roll, comes up with Mueller's
rifle, and SHOOTS -- BLOWING CHILDS BACK against the wet
rocks.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
I can't imagine what it was like.
Having your friends try to kill you...

Nunez slumps against the gully's wall, breathing hard. In
agony over what he's just had to do.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
But you do what you have to survive.

Closing his eyes, Nunez steels himself. Wipes the blood from
his hands and climbs out of the gully.

ELSEWHERE

PIKE, creeping through the foliage. Trying to listen for
sounds of movement through the storm. His eyes narrow as he
hears a HIGH PITCHED WHINE...

The bullet hits his forehead dead center. He crumples.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL -- Nunez in a tree, thirty meters away.

Lowering his rifle. He climbs down.

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Kendall and I found Dunbar a couple
minutes later.

TIME CUT TO:

Dunbar and Kendall come upon Pike's fallen form. They gaze
down at the uniform emblazoned with the name "DUNBAR".

DUNBAR (V.O.)
It came to me in a split second.
Change clothes, change identities.
If James Pike gets discharged he
goes right back to jail. But if I
was Dunbar, I could walk away from
all this with a new life. But then...

As he reaches down for the uniform, a SHOT RINGS OUT.

KENDALL FALLS, wounded in the arm. Dunbar raises his rifle
to find Nunez, standing ten yards away, gun trained on him.

Yelling over the hurricane:

NUNEZ
Put it down!

A Mexican stand-off. The rain continues to fall.

DUNBAR
I just want to go!

Nunez shakes his head.

NUNEZ
You were gonna kill me, Pike! Thought
you were my friend!

Dunbar, torn. He can't bring himself to shoot, but he can't
surrender either.

DUNBAR
I have to get Kendall to a hospital!

NUNEZ
He was gonna kill me too!

Silence. The two men still facing each other.

NUNEZ
I snapped Mueller's neck! He was my
best friend and I had to snap his
neck because he was gonna shoot me
for drugs! For West!

DUNBAR
We don't have to do this! You go
that way, I'll go this way!

Nunez laughs.

NUNEZ
You'll shoot me in the back!

DUNBAR
You killed three people! Isn't that
enough for one night?

More silence. Neither moves. The sky above, a maelstrom.

DUNBAR
I don't want to die out here, Roberto!
Do you?

Nunez, staring at him. Deciding.

NUNEZ
If you even twitch...

Dunbar nods.

Nunez begins backing away, rifle still trained on him.

And then Dunbar spies something behind and to the left of
Nunez...

West.

Staring down at him from behind some brush. Watching.

Nunez, slowly backing away. He pauses as his foot catches on
a fallen branch. Looks away from Dunbar for a split second
to step over it...

West nods to Dunbar as if to say "Go on..."

DUNBAR
Forgive me...

And Dunbar FIRES.

Nunez, caught by the burst, GOES DOWN. The echo of the
gunshots, swallowed by the storm. Dunbar lowers his head in
agony. West walks down.

WEST
Congratulations, Cadet Pike. You get
the gold star.

Dunbar stares at his Sergeant through the rain.

DUNBAR
Fuck you.

West smiles. Tilts his head to Kendall.

WEST
You'd best get him out of here. Don't
worry about the bodies, they'll be
taken care of.

Dunbar doesn't move.

WEST
This is where we part ways, Cadet.
You tell them I died out here, or
I'll come back for you. Tell them
one of the others did me. Mueller,
Childs, I don't care who. You and
Kendall, you tell them a story.
(smiling)
You can tell a story, can't you?

Dunbar doesn't reply. West laughs and flips him a salute.

WEST
Dismissed.

And West turns and walks away, stepping over Nunez. Giving
Dunbar a clear shot at his back.

Dunbar raises his rifle, wanting, needing, dying to shoot
the old man...

But he can't. West disappears into the bayou.

A GROAN from the ground. Kendall. Dunbar's reverie broken,
he leans down, beginning to unbutton the Dunbar Uniform...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- PRESENT EVENING

Dunbar stubs out a cigarette, finished. Hardy, Osborne,
Styles, and the JAG Lawyer gaping at what he has just said.

DUNBAR
I guess Nunez wasn't dead after all.
He came after us with a vengeance.
(to Styles)
You know the rest.

HARDY
And the bodies?

DUNBAR
You won't find them. Won't find West,
either. He's too good.

OSBORNE
No bodies, no West...

HARDY
No death certificates. No crime.

DUNBAR
Just four people MIA. Silence.

The JAG Lawyer steps forward.

JAG LAWYER
You'll testify to this, the
corruption, the drug scam?

Dunbar says nothing.

JAG LAWYER
We can cut a deal for you on the
Nunez killing.

DUNBAR
I don't want any deals.

JAG LAWYER
If you're telling the truth, the PX
requisition records will prove it --

DUNBAR
All the proof you need will be when
West comes back and puts a bullet in
my brain. But I'll do it. I'm a dead
man, anyway. Like Kendall.
(looking at Hardy)
We both should have died out there
with our brothers. I know that now.

Silence. The JAG Lawyer looks to Hardy, all anger gone.

JAG LAWYER
I'll take him now if you don't mind.

Hardy nods. Dunbar rises and slowly walks to the door.

Turning back to Hardy.

DUNBAR
Tell me, detective. Did you get what
you wanted?

Hardy shakes his head, sadly.

HARDY
Not even close.

They leave. Styles walks over to Hardy.

STYLES
Tom --

Hardy holds up a hand, cutting him off. Styles nods,
understanding, and leaves, closing the door behind him.

Hardy and Osborne stand there. Not speaking. It's done.

INT. FORT MCKINLEY -- OFFICER'S CLUB -- NIGHT

Several hours and bourbons later, Hardy sits at the bar,
drunk and alone. Out of place, the only one not in uniform.

Osborne walks in, locates Hardy, and strides over to the
bar, a sheaf of papers under her arm. Her face, stoic.

OSBORNE
We need to talk --

HARDY
Seven.

He takes a slug of his drink.

OSBORNE
What?

HARDY
Seven guys. What was it you said?
You were "just starting to believe I
wasn't the guy people said".

He chuckles.

HARDY
That's the answer to Kendall's
question. How many? Seven.

Osborne looks at him. Realizing what he's saying.

OSBORNE
This isn't the time --

HARDY
This is the perfect time. You know
what makes a good detective? The
number of confessions they get. You're
a good detective, Osborne. So now
you get mine.

OSBORNE
What if I don't want it?

HARDY
Tough.

He pours himself another drink.

HARDY
Thing about taking money is, you
don't have to do anything. You just
sit there. Maybe you don't return a
phone call. Maybe you don't follow
up a lead. But that's it. Keep the
money, your work's done.

Osborne stares at him.

HARDY
Seven unsolved murders. And you know
what? It didn't weigh on my
conscience. Not one goddamn bit.

He takes a slug from his glass and grimaces.

OSBORNE
That's not true.

HARDY
There are degrees of truth, officer.
Always degrees.

OSBORNE
You're a good man, Hardy.

HARDY
Really.

OSBORNE
Far as I'm concerned, whatever you
did in the past can stay in the past.

Hardy stares at her.

HARDY
I may not be growing on you, but
you're sure as hell growing on me.

He motions to the bartender for another glass, but Osborne
takes his hand, stopping him.

OSBORNE
And because you're a good man, I
know you'll do the right thing.

Hardy looks at her, questioning. Osborne takes a deep breath.

OSBORNE
Pike never made it to D.C. Somebody
took him off the plane before it
left. My guess is he's already dead.

Hardy stares at her.

HARDY
West?

OSBORNE
Nobody saw. But I don't think so.

She puts the papers on the bar.

OSBORNE
These are the requisitions from the
PX, the ones used to release the
drugs to Mueller. West signed half
of them -- Pike was telling the truth.
Look who signed the other half.

She taps the bottom of the paper. Hardy, not wanting to
believe it. He looks up at her, pained.

HARDY
Do I have a choice in this?

OSBORNE
Yeah. I can wait till you're off the
base and do it myself.

Hardy stares at his glass. Deciding.

HARDY
Fuck it. Let's go finish this.

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- NIGHT

Styles, finishing his paperwork. He rises and turns off his
desk light, bathing the office in DARKNESS. He's about to
leave when he notices a SILHOUETTE in the doorway.

HARDY
"You have to get out of the way of
the bigger dogs". That was good.

Styles squints at the figure.

STYLES
Tom, is that you?

Hardy steps forward, into the office.

HARDY
It was so good, I actually forgot
you're one of the bigger dogs now.
The Base Commander. The one in
control. You couldn't let him testify,
could you?

STYLES
What are you talking about?

HARDY
If you let him testify then it would
have all come out. West was supposed
to take care of it out there, shut
Nunez up and then disappear. But it
got messy and people got killed. So
you called your old pal Tom Hardy,
figuring if worse came to worse,
he'd cover for you.

STYLES
You're drunk --

HARDY
I'm not going to cover for you, Bill.
Not for this.

Styles, realizing what Hardy's talking about.

STYLES
Look --

He begins to move from behind his desk.

HARDY
Stay where you are.

STYLES
Or what? You've gone round the bend --

HARDY
West had a partner. Someone who knew
how to get things done.

Hardy throws the papers onto Styles' desk.

HARDY
What I can't understand is why you
signed these. If you'd just let West
take care of the paperwork, no one
would have known, but you got
careless. So when Pike finally told
the truth you had to get rid of him,
too.

STYLES
That's preposterous --

HARDY
Toxicology report came back.
Kendall's attack was caused by a
drug known as anephadrine, maybe
you've heard of it. It's for
asthmatics. If an epileptic takes
enough, it kills them. I checked
with the nurses at the hospital --
you're the only other person who
visited Kendall.

STYLES
I wanted to see if he was okay --

HARDY
You poisoned him, Bill. You heard
our interrogation, you knew he was
ready to crack, so you killed him,
just like Pike.

STYLES
I'm not even going to dignify that --

HARDY
No! You will stand there and you
will listen! What happened to you,
Bill? You were the one who joined up
to do good in the world. You were
the one who believed in it --

STYLES
You want to get into a finger pointing
contest about character? The army
kicked you out for drugs, the cops
fired you for taking bribes from a
mobster, and you think you can stand
there and lecture me on codes of
conduct? There's only one criminal
standing in this room and it's you.

HARDY
Not for long.

He walks towards the desk.

HARDY
No more witnesses. West's a ghost.
But it doesn't matter because we
have your signature, the hospital
log, and Kendall's toxicology report.
And that'll be enough.

STYLES
You're crazy --

HARDY
You can't duck this, Bill. I may
have done every goddamn thing in my
life wrong but I won't let this
happen.

STYLES
For the last time, I have no idea
what you're talking about --

HARDY
(squinting)
Get your hands away from the desk!

In the darkness we see Styles MOVE SUDDENLY...

HARDY
Osborne, gun!

Hardy DIVES to the floor -- Osborne in the doorway, PISTOL
raised, FIRES TWO SHOTS! Muzzle flare lighting the room for
a split second as Styles is BLOWN BACK against the wall!

Hardy gets to his feet and flicks on the LIGHT. Styles lies
slumped in the corner, two holes in his chest. Dead.

Osborne lowers her weapon, shaking.

Hardy points to the top desk drawer, which is open. Inside
it sits an IVORY HANDLED PISTOL. Fully loaded, safety off.

It's presence tells them everything they need to know.

OSBORNE
It's West's, isn't it?

Hardy nods and then turns to look down at Styles' body.

HARDY
Now it's over.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- PARADE GROUNDS -- NIGHT

The aftermath. Flashing blue and red lights from parked
Military Police vehicles illuminate the grounds as M.P.'s
string crime scene tape around the front entrance of the
building, securing the site for investigation.

Hardy takes in the entire scene from afar. Standing by his
GTO, watching as several M.P.'s finish questioning Osborne.

When she's done she spies Hardy and walks over to him.

OSBORNE
What are you doing out here?

HARDY
Leaving without saying goodbye. What
are you gonna do?

OSBORNE
Go home, get drunk, and try and forget
this ever happened.

HARDY
Think it'll work?

OSBORNE
Nah.

HARDY
Want company?

Osborne smiles.

OSBORNE
A word of advice about women -- that
first hour or so after they kill
their boss? Probably not the best
time to hit on them.

HARDY
I should probably write that down.

OSBORNE
Yeah.

Hardy pulls a card from his pocket and hands it to her.

OSBORNE
Your phone number?

HARDY
In case you need me to testify about
the shooting. They'll clear you.

A beat.

OSBORNE
He was your friend.

HARDY
Yeah. But he was a lot of other
things, too. Thanks.

She nods. An awkward moment. Finally:

HARDY
I'll see you.

He turns away. Walking towards his car.

OSBORNE
Hey, Hardy!

He turns back. She walks up and holds something out to him.

A ten dollar bill.

OSBORNE
I owe you this.

He looks down at the money.

HARDY
You saved my life tonight. Keep it.
(pause)
Actually, don't keep it, I need the
money.

He takes the bill and Osborne laughs. He climbs into his car
and starts it. Grinning at her through the open window.

HARDY
You're one of the good ones, Osborne.
Don't sweat the details.

He puts the GTO in gear and drives off. She watches him go,
then looks down at his card. Smiling. Maybe she will call.

INT. OSBORNE'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

A bottle of Scotch at her side, Osborne slips a tape marked
"BASIC TRAINING INTRO - SGT. N. WEST" into her VCR. Settles
back to watch it. West's face fills the screen.

WEST
Welcome, Cadets. The art of warfare
is simple and complex. Simple in its
goal, complex in its execution.

INT. HARDY'S GTO (MOVING) -- NIGHT

It's started to rain. Hardy drives in silence.

WEST
As Sun Tzu writes, the true warfare
is deception.

A HITCHHIKER up ahead. Hardy pulls over for him.

INT. OSBORNE'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

Osborne, drinking and watching.

WEST
At all times you must confuse your
enemies, surrounding them with
uncertainty, giving them false hope.

INT. HARDY'S GTO -- NIGHT

The Hitchhiker gets into the car.

WEST
At all times, you must mask your
true intentions.

Hardy, smiling at him, because the Hitchhiker is not a
Hitchhiker at all...

HARDY (V.O.)
Why'd you ask for a cop, Ray?

The Hitchhiker is Dunbar.

OSBORNE (V.O.)
They got their stories straight...

EXT. LOUISIANA BAYOU -- CREEK BED -- LAST NIGHT

24 hours ago. The hurricane rages. A HAND pulls the PIN on a
phosphorous grenade and CHUCKS IT.

It blows, frying brush and nothing more.

West comes over the hill, running to investigate. He stops
at what he sees. Nunez stands unarmed in the creek bed,
SURROUNDED by the other Section Eight Cadets. A prisoner.

WEST
What the fuck is going on?

DUNBAR
Your weapons, Sergeant.

West doesn't move. Kendall walks over and DISARMS West,
pushing him into the circle next to the terrified Nunez.

WEST
Is this about that little drug
business you all are running? Yeah,
I know about that, Roberto told me --

NUNEZ
Shut up! Look, we won't say anything --

WEST
Fuck that. You little pissers really
think you can throw a scare into me?

Dunbar raises his rifle and SHOOTS NUNEZ. He goes down,
twitches once and lies still. Dead. West looks at Dunbar.

WEST
You're gonna have to do a lot better
than that, son.

HARDY (O.S.)
How about this?

And with that, Tom Hardy emerges from the brush carrying, a
COMBAT KNIFE. West's eyes sparkle with recognition.

WEST
Didn't I kick your ass out for this
drug thing fifteen years ago?

Hardy just smiles.

WEST
Should've known you were involved in
this. Come on then. Let's see you
try and stick me --

Moving faster than West thought imaginable, Hardy moves and
the knife FLASHES, CUTTING WEST OPEN stem to sternum. Hardy
grips the older man by the shoulders, lowering him to the
ground as he dies. Whispering in his ear:

HARDY
Stem to sternum. You taught me well,
Sarge.

And WEST DIES. A moment of utter silence and then VOICES
FROM THE PAST begin coming back to us:

STYLES (V.O.)
You think you could explain all this
to me?

Kendall walks over to Hardy and hands him a PISTOL.

HARDY (V.O.)
I wouldn't know where to start.

Kendall holds out his arm, gritting his teeth...

HARDY (V.O.)
I guess it was about one man framing
another...

And Hardy SHOOTS Kendall once, THROUGH THE ARM.

EXT. CLEARING -- THIS MORNING

Mueller and Childs lay NUNEZ's DEAD BODY out in the brush.

The sound of the Helicopter approaching...

TIME CUT TO:

Dunbar raises his rifle and FIRES towards the tree line.

Aiming at nothing. The Helicopter comes into view overhead.

DUST KICKS UP around Dunbar and Kendall -- bullet hits.

HARDY (V.O.)
When you commit a crime you know is
going to be investigated, you need a
fall guy...

ON STYLES' FACE -- Watching this through the windscreen.

STYLES (V.O.)
The one who won't talk was trading
live fire with the dead one as we
reached the pick-up.

RACK FOCUS TO -- Hardy, concealed in the woods, FIRING at
Dunbar and Kendall's feet to simulate Nunez shooting at them.

Dunbar, shooting towards where Nunez's body lies. Making it
look like he just killed Nunez.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- THIS MORNING

Hardy arriving at the Fort, EMBRACING STYLES.

HARDY
And for that to work, you have to
have a witness...

PAN OVER to OSBORNE, watching.

HARDY (V.O.)
Someone who's not involved, who's
word can't be questioned...

VARIOUS SHOTS -- Of Hardy and Osborne, investigating the
case, talking to Dunbar, talking to Kendall...

HARDY
You only let them see what you want
them to see, you make them believe...

INT. OFFICER'S CLUB -- EARLIER

Osborne, showing Hardy the requisition forms.

OSBORNE (V.O.)
They believe the innocent are guilty
and the guilty are innocent.

EXT. FORT MCKINLEY -- EARLIER

After shooting Styles, Osborne gives her story to the M.P.'s.

HARDY (V.O.)
And if they're asked, that's what
they'll tell the world.

INT. OSBORNE'S APARTMENT -- PRESENT NIGHT

Osborne, watching the taped West.

WEST
Your greatest weapon will by your
allies...

INT. COFFEE ROOM -- EARLIER

Hardy, taking a cigarette from Dunbar's pack.

HARDY
My brand. Must be my lucky day.

INT. KENDALL'S HOSPITAL ROOM -- EARLIER

Kendall, coughing fit. Hardy, getting him a GLASS OF WATER.

WEST (V.O.)
...some of which you may have to
sacrifice for the greater good.

Hardy, secretly dissolving a POWDER into Kendall's water.

HARDY (V.O.)
We got the toxicology report...

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- EARLIER

Hardy, confronting Styles in the dark.

WEST (V.O.)
Make no mistake, the innocent will
die...

Osborne, FIRING TWICE into Styles. As he hits the wall

HARDY (V.O.)
Next time you frame a guy, pick
someone who can't defend themselves...
But it will not be in vain. Sometimes,
you can trick the enemy into doing
your work for you...

Osborne, staring down at WEST'S PISTOL.

HARDY (V.O.)
He still carry those guns?

INT. STYLES' OFFICE -- EARLIER

Earlier. Alone, Hardy plants West's pistol in Styles' desk.

WEST (V.O.)
...if you engage in a clever enough
subterfuge.

INT. BASE PX -- BACKROOM -- EARLIER

Hardy stands behind Kendall and Dunbar, overseeing them as
they fill out requisition forms. Kendall signs West's
signature, Dunbar signs Styles'.

HARDY (V.O.)
What I can't understand is why you
signed these...

As we move into a CLOSE UP on Hardy:

OSBORNE (V.O.)
You never told me why you got kicked
out of...

STYLES (V.O.)
The army kicked you out for drugs...

MUELLER AND DUNBAR (V.O.)
I got a friend with an in at the PX,
can hook you up...

STYLES (V.O.)
There's only one criminal standing
in this room and it's you.

INT. OSBORNE'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

Osborne, watching the tape of West's speech.

WEST
Which brings us to the simple goal.
For the true warrior, the one and
only objective is to emerge from
conflict unscathed.

EXT. ROADHOUSE PARKING LOT -- PRESENT NIGHT

The GTO pulls into a space and Hardy and Dunbar get out.

HARDY (V.O.)
I promised them I'd ask you where
West and the others are...

DUNBAR (V.O.)
Washout rejects, guys he said were
"dumbfucks too stupid to know they
dead"...

HARDY (V.O.)
He's telling the truth up to a
point...

They walk towards the bar's entrance.

HARDY (V.O.)
You can't prove anything until we
find the bodies...

PIKE
All we gotta do is tell the story
right...

DUNBAR (V.O.)
You haven't found any bodies yet,
have you...

As Hardy and Dunbar push through the doors into the bar...

HARDY (V.O.)
WHERE ARE THEY?

INT. ROADHOUSE -- NIGHT

A table of FOUR MEN look up as Hardy and Dunbar enter.

Mueller, Childs, Pike, and the Motor Pool DUTY SERGEANT.

All drinking beer, having a grand old time.

STYLES (V.O.)
Habeas Corpus -- you have to have a
body to have a crime.

Hardy and Dunbar smile and go to join them.

INT. OSBORNE'S APARTMENT -- PRESENT NIGHT

As the taped West concludes his speech.

WEST
Thank you.

The screen cuts to STATIC. Osborne turns off the TV,
extinguishing the last source of light. OVER THE DARKNESS:

WEST (V.O.)
You can tell a story, can't you?

EXT. ROADHOUSE PARKING LOT -- NIGHT

Silence. We slowly move towards Hardy's parked GTO...

HARDY (V.O.)
Murder is basic.

Focusing on the TRUNK...

HARDY (V.O.)
There are no conspiracies, no grand
mysteries, no evil puppet masters
behind it all, pulling the strings.

INT. GTO TRUNK -- NIGHT

WEST'S BODY, stuffed into the trunk of Hardy's car.

HARDY
Everyone's capable of murder, Osborne.

EXT. CLEARING -- THIS MORNING

Dunbar lays the wounded Kendall down as the Helicopter
carrying Styles comes in for a landing. Dunbar wipes the
sweat from Kendall's brow and asks him seriously:

DUNBAR
Are you ready for this?

ROLL CREDITS

FADE OUT:

THE END

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