My Brother's Keeper
(Unproduced)

 

 


Teaser

Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

 



QUANTUM LEAP

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
APRIL 17, 1978



WRITTEN
BY
KELLEY MILES


EXEC. PRODUCER: Donald P.Bellisario
SUPV. PRODUCER: Deborah Pratt
PRODUCER: Harker Wade
CO-PRODUCERS: Paul Brown, Jeff Gourson, Chris Ruppenthal

 




QUANTUM LEAP

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER

APRIL 17, 1968


TEASER



FADE IN

QUANTUM LEAP TO

EXT. HILLY WOODED TERRAIN - DAY - ON SAM

A halo of cobalt blue radiates brilliantly around SAM before
it fades. Its raining, hard. Dressed in combat fatigues,
and holding a canvas satchel, Sam is crouched low in a soup
of mud. Behind him, to his left, THREE SOLDIERS fire their
M-16's from the womb of a natural trench at the base of a
steep, rocky hill. Up and down the terrain to his right,
SOLDIERS scramble for cover, YELLING and FIRING their
weapons. The chaos of noise is deafening. A single CRY is
barely distinct above the din of M-16 and RPD fire:

VOICE (O.S.)
Medic! Got a dogwood eight here! Medic!

Sam reacts as a grenade blast litters him with dirt and
debris. His disorientation doesn’t preclude self-
preservation, and in one swift motion he twists around and
takes a running dive into the trench.

EXT. IN THE TRENCH - DAY.

Sam nearly lands on a young RTO (radio-telephone operator),
DONNY GEFFIN, who was hidden in the recesses of the trench.
Sam scrambles to an edge and presses himself low against the
mud and root walls as Geffin yells into his radio handset:

GEFFIN
Viper-6 this is Viper-5’s Oscar. What is
your position, sir? Over.

The radio crackles but there is no response. Geffin presses
the handset button again --

GEFFIN
Viper-6 this is Viper-5. What is your
position? Over.

Again, shrill nothingness. Geffin looks up to the men
shooting from the trench --

GEFFIN
Lieutenant doesn’t respond Sarge!

Without turning and continuing his firing, one of the men,
SGT. ELI DURAND, a burly, rugged man in his mid-thirties,
yells back --

DURAND
Get the point man on the horn!

GEFFIN
(he presses the radio button)
Comanche this is Viper-5, what’s happening
up there? Over.

This time the radio comes to life with:

O.S. RADIO VOICE (Comanche)
Viper-5, Comanche... Charlie's breaking
contact here, looks like they’re pulling
back towards the east ridge... Sounds like
you still have some stragglers... Over.

GEFFIN
Roger that, Comanche. Can you support?
Over.

O.S. RADIO VOICE (Comanche)
Underwood and his team are on their way.
Comanche out.

Sam’s eyes go from Durand to Geffin to the radio, horrified
at the situation he has lept. into.

SAM
Oh boy. I’m a soldier.

As Geffin CALLS a “Roger and Out” into the handset, eighteen
year old, baby-faced VINNIE “TIGER” BRANIGAN, ducks down to
reload his weapon. He glances at Sam.

TIGER
(as he reloads)
Sal... buddy, you okay?

Sam takes a beat, registering his new name, then checks
himself over before responding uncertainly -

SAM
Yeah. I’m, uh, fine. I guess.

They all react as RPD fire skims the perimeter of the trench.
DURAND, and a scruffy looking, long-haired soldier called
WOLFMAN quickly duck down to avoid the barrage.

DURAND
You girls havin’ a nice chat?

Wolfman hoots a wild, bizarre laugh at this while Durand
pulls a spent magazine from his gun. Another CALL for a
medic is heard. Tiger looks up, concerned.

TIGER
That’s Tap. Man, I hope he ain’t hit.

DURAND
You and he plannin’ a wedding or something?

WOLFMAN
A wedding! That’s funny, Sarge. That’s cool.

Durand gives Wolfman an irate look and yanks a fresh magazine
from his bandolier.

DURAND
Sounds like Charlie's disengaging, but we
still got a pocket of ‘em in the trees up
there at eleven o’clock ... You guys may
have to move back and work up from the
rear... catch ‘em between you and
Underwood... i’m going to find the
Lieutenant... Geffin, you come with me.

Durand shoves the magazine home, then pulls a formidable 38
caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from the back of his fatigues.
He starts to move out, but another volley of fire from the
hill sends him back into the trench with a grazed arm.

DURAND
(grabbing his arm)
Damn! Sweep that freakin’ hill!

They all react, and as Tiger and Wolfman quickly toe up the
embankment and begin firing, Sam moves toward Durand who rips
back his sleeve to check his arm --

SAM
Are you alright? Let me look at that.

DURAND
Leave it. Its just a graze.

Durand tests his arm and readjusts his bandolier. Sam backs
off,. looks around, not knowing what exactly he should do.
Durand feels out the grip on his gun, and looks up at him --

DURAND
(glares at Sam)
Vecchio, what the hell you doin’?

SAM
Uh...

DURAND
You need a formal invite to join the war here?

SAM
(scans the trench)
No, I, uh... cant find my gun.

DURAND
Your gun? What, you got Viet brain rot7
Get your butt outta here... now!

SAM
(indicating trench)
Out of... here? Without a gun?

DURAND
I think you made that choice back in The
World, man.
(he sniffs his disgust)
Who ever heard of an Italian conscientious
objector?

Durand spits, then turns and punches Tiger with the side of
his handgun a bit harder than necessary --

DURAND
(as he moves out)
Get your butts up that hill!

Durand moves out, low and fast, with Geffin scooting behind
him. Tiger cuffs Wolfman and they drop back into the trench.
Tiger waits while Wolfman reloads his weapon, and, glancing
to where Durand took off

TIGER
He slings that Smith & Wesson like as if he
was a cowboy or something. And I hear he’s
from Kentucky.

Wolfman howls as he snaps a magazine into his gun.

WOLFMAN
A Blue-grass cowboy! Yeah... that’s
smooth, man!

TIGER
(heads off)
C’mon... let’s hit it Wolfman.

They all look up at the sound of another CALL for a medic.
Wolfman looks at Sam, then strikes a pose, hand cupped around
his ear --

WOLFMAN
Hey, Sal! They’re playin’ your song,
man... Yippee-yi-ay!

And with a grin, he takes off after Tiger. Another CALL for
a medic. Sam eyes the satchel next to him, turns it over.
It bears a large white cross.

SAM
(sardonic)
Oh, good. I’m a medic.

He takes a decisive deep breath, pauses, grabs the satchel,
and laying low, climbs out of the safety of the trench.

FADE OUT

END OF TEASER

 


 

ACT ONE


FADE IN

EXT. HILLY WOODED TERRAIN - DAY

The rain still pounds down as Sam bellies forward through mud
and foliage. A volley of fire crosses in front of him and he
rolls to the cover of a fallen tree. He is startled by --

VOICE
Medic! Sal! Over here!

Ahead, behind a tangle of twisted roots a SOLDIER motions to
him from a shallow ravine. Sam scans the area, then staying
low, sprints off toward the soldier’s position.

EXT. SHALLOW RAVINE - DAY

Sam slips across the barrier of roots and joins the SOLDIER,
a bespectacled man in his early twenties named TAP HARRISON.
A large red, white and blue Peace Symbol is crudely painted
onto the front of his helmet. On the ground next to him lies
a TROOP with a bloody chest wound. Sam crouches down to him.

SAM
Oh, God... he’s just a kid.

TAP
(watching the periphery)
Green too. Just hit the zone a couple days
ago. Been following me around like a
puppy.

The TROOP looks at Sam with agonized, panicky eyes - his
breathing is a shallow, raspy panting. Sam rips open the
kid’s shirt and flinches at the hopeless mess that used to be
his chest. The kid lets out a whimper and Tap glances over -
then, clenching against his emotions, turns quickly away.

SAM
What’s his name?

TAP
Joey something.

Sam throws open his satchel and rifles through it, growing
rapidly frustrated. Gunfire cracks the air, but farther away
now. Tap returns the fire anyway.

SAM
Isnt there anything in here?
(pulls out an eye
trauma kit)
There’s nothing in here...

Sam pulls out a bottle-in-a-can of albumin, looks at it and
tosses it back into the satchel. He grabs a couple of large
gauze pads..

SAM
(pressing a pad to
the gaping wound)
Joey... Joey, It’s okay. I need to try and
stop the bleeding...

In the distance another CALL for a medic echoes beneath the
now clearly dissipating gunfire. Sam looks toward the call.
Then back to Joey. His breathing worsens into a rattling
wheeze. Sam continues applying pressure with one hand while
searching through the satchel for some magic with the other.

JOEY
(with great effort)
Tap.... Tap...

Tap turns, but stays put. Sam looks over at him. Tap turns
away with sheilded despair.

JOEY
(to Sam)
My mom... please... tell my mom...

SAM
(feeling helpless)
Joey, you tell her... Stay with me, kid.

Joey lets out a rattling cough, wheezes, then quiets and
stills. Sam slumps in defeat. Tap turns toward them. The
kids death registers as a fleeting agony on his face.

TAP
Damn.

Then he lifts his M-16 and races, yelling and shooting,
toward the receding sounds of battle. A distant CALL for a
medic rings out again. Sam starts off, but then looks back
at the dead boy. Does he just leave him, or what? He whips
around as a voice calls “MOVE OUT! MOVE OUT!”, and a GROUP
of men, led by DURAND and GEFFEN, scramble up behind him.
With TROOPS racing forward on all sides, DURAND pauses to
bark at Sam --

DURAND
What are you standing around for Vecchio?!
We got a dustoff with a basket about zero-
five out, for your criticals. Get the rest
to the LZ! Geffin!

As Durand moves off, Geffin eyes him, then hangs back a
moment to discreetly add --

GEFFEN
Company B’s coming in from about a click or
so back. They’ll assist you to the LZ for
extraction.

And he quickly moves off to catch up with Durand, another
small GROUP runs by. TIGER is among them. SAM spots him and
calls out --

SAM
Tiger, what’s going on? Where’s everybody
going?

Tiger glances to Sam, and heads over. He stops. His eyes go
to the dead boy, then back to Sam --

TIGER
O-Deuce has taken the eastern ridge --
Bulldog’s about 15OO meters to the south.
All we gotta do now is run Charlie into
mama’s waiting arms.

He starts off, then turns back to Sam -

TIGER
You seen Tap anywhere's?

SAM
Tap? Oh, yeah.
(indicating forward)
He took off that way.

Sam watches as Tiger moves out, then turns. The rain has let
up to a drizzle, and the sounds of battle are now distant and
sporadic. A mixture of shock and despair play across Sam’s
face as he scans the muddy, smoking terrain which is dotted
with the wounded and the dead.

SAM
(quietly)
Good morning, Vietnam.

EXT. SMALL FLAT CLEARING (LZ) - DAY

CAMERA follows TWO outgoing CHOPPERS as they fly off, passing
an INCOMING, which we follow as it lands in a small clearing
next to a cluster of SOLDIERS. Some are sitting, a few lie
prone, some are shrouded in green plastic body bags. All are
filthy, bloodied, and weary. Those who can, get up and move
toward the choppers. Two soldiers, GONZALES and SCOPES carry
those that can’t. A second MEDIC, works his way among the
wounded. CAMERA FINDS Sam, crouched next to a TROOP,
expertly splinting and wrapping his wounded leg. He
finishes, and -

SAM
(getting up)
You’ll be walking on that in two or three
weeks.

TROOP
Yeah, right into another fire zone.

Sam quickly moves to another SOLDIER with an inside shoulder
wound. He kneels and rips open the Soldiers sleeve - and as
he checks, then dresses the wound --

SAM
What’s your name?

SOLDIER
(winces)
Hank. Hank Voskanian. Company ‘B’. You?

SAM
Sam... uh, I mean Sal.

HANK
(pulls back)
Jeez that hurts.
(deep breath, then)
So how long you been in ‘Nam, Sal?

SAM
All day.
(on his look)
Just kidding... I don’t know... sorta lost
track of time.

HANK
Yeah, I know what you mean.
(a beat, then)
So what do you think, Doc? Is it a good
one?

SAM
A good one?
(then, thinking he understands)
This? Yeah, you’re lucky. Didnt even hit
bone. Another inch and it would have been
your lung.

HANK
Damn! I knew it. It ain’t a ticket home,
is it?

SAM
(realizes)
Oh. Probably not. Sorry.

HANK
One inch. Just one stinkin' inch to the
lung and i’d be on my way stateside.

Sam finishes the dressing as Hank sighs, lowering his head in
dissapointment. Sam stands and looks at him, pondering the
twisted logic of wanting a hole in one’s lung, then shifts
his gaze to scan the area for anyone not yet attended to. He
heads over to a TROOP lying with his head on a rucksack. The
Troop’s shirt is ripped and bloody at his mid-section. Sam
kneels, checks for a pulse. Checks his pupils. A beat.
With a sigh, he signals to GONZALES --

SAM
Gonzales! This one... didn’t make it
either.

Gonzales nods, grabs a body bag and motions to SCOPES to give
him a hand. Sam turns away. This is getting to him, bad.
The other MEDIC, TERRY O’NEAL, is working frantically on a
TROOP nearby. He calls to Sam -

O’ NEAL
Sal! I can’t ventilate him! I can’t get
this sucker in!

Sam scrambles over to O’Neal’s side and quickly assesses the
problem. ONeal is agitated --

ONEAL
He was okay, then all of a sudden it’s like
he couldn’t breathe. I tried to tube him,
but...

SAM
(cuts him short)
O’Neal, hand me your blade... quick!

O'Neal gives Sam the scalpel, and with a smooth and practiced
mastery, Sam performs an o.s. tracheotomy on the Troop.

SAM
(as he works)
See, you cut too high... you gotta go in
just above the hollow here... there, like
that... give me the tubing.

O’Neal hands him a length of clear tubing, clearly impressed
as he watches Sam work.

SAM
You’ll feel some resistance at first, but
you gotta get it past the cartilage... then
run it down into the windpipe.., there.
Leave about an inch or so out so the tube
stays clear... like that.

Sam pauses, and takes a breath. Then he bends back down over
the Troop, listening, checking to make sure hes breathing.
He checks the Troops eyes, listens to his heart, checks the
tube again, and then satisfied, he sits up.

SAM
He’s getting air. He should make it.

O’ NEAL
(sighs)
Thanks Sal. That was amazing.
(then, with emotion)
I don’t know what i’m doin’ here. I’m no
medic. I shouldn’t have ever volunteered
for this crap. I’m better with a gun than
a damn scalpel.

Sam puts an understanding hand on O’Neals shoulder, then,
after a beat, he sits back on his heels and looks around,
exhausted. One CHOPPER takes off as ANOTHER lands nearby.

SAM
I guess that’s it.

O'NEAL
Tomorrow’s always another day.

Sam stands and calls out to Gonzales and Spokes -

SAM
Let’s get this man into the chopper!

O'Neal grabs his satchel and gets up --

O’NEAL
I’m gonna catch this dustoff with Boletsky
here. Keep his tube clear... make sure he
keeps breathin’.

GONZALES and SCOPES trot over and lift BOLETSKY onto a
stretcher. As O'Neal turns to follow them toward the
chopper, he nods to Sam --

O'NEAL
See ya back at the fire base.

Sam watches as O’Neal moves off and stops to help a LIMPING
SOLDIER to the CHOPPER, which is loaded with the last of the
wounded. The CHOPPER lifts off and hits the sky. Only Sam,
Gonzales, and the dead remain. Sam scans the area. A beat.
Shuffling NOISES. Sam looks toward the high grass at the
nearby edge of the clearing. He looks to Gonzales then back
to the grass. He holds his breath, listening. Another beat.
More noises, closer now.

Then a company of ELEVEN MEN, including TIGER, TAP, WOLFMAN,
GEFFIN, two others called COMANCHE and MIKEE, and DURAND,
break through the grass, heading towards Sam. Sam exhales,
relieved. Another two choppers break over the tops of the
trees and head into the LZ.

DURAND
(yelling to Sam)
What are these dogwood-Sixes still doing
here?

SAM
(not clear on the lingo)
Dogwood sixes?

DURAND
I got ten fighting men here to transport
back to fire base... eleven with Gonzales.
(indicates bodies)
And you still got dogwood here.

Sam looks at the five green-plastic-wrapped bodies of young
men around him.

SAM
Dogwood?

He looks back up at Durand incredulously. His exhaustion-
induced outrage ,takes control --

SAM
Dogwood?!

DURAND
You got a problem, Vecchio?

SAM
This isn’t “dogwood”, Durand... they were
kids... just kids...
(he holds up his hands)
And I’ve got their blood all over me...

Durand looks at Sam intensely for a beat, then shakes his
head, and as he turns away --

DURAND
What do you want me to do... give you a
bath?

That pushes Sam over the edge. He starts for Durand who
hears him coming, and spins around. Durand stands two
inches, fifty pounds, four stripes and one M-16 over Sam.
Tiger and Tap step up quickly between them -- Tap facing off
with Durand while Tiger grabs Sam by the arms --

TIGER
Hey, Sal. Sal. It’s just a word, man.
Just a word. It don’t mean a thing. C’mon
man, chill out.

TAP
(taps Sam on arm echoing)
It don’t mean a thing, man. Don’t mean a
thing.

Sam nods, and struggles to regain his composure. The TWO
CHOPPERS land behind them. Durand narrows his eyes at Sam,
makes a decision, then turns and sounds an order to his men -

DURAND
On the slicks men!
(to the helping soldier)
You too Gonzales! The dogwood can travel
on the next incoming.

The men hurry to the choppers, and climb aboard. The first
one fills quickly and takes off. Sam grabs his satchel and
heads to the remaining chopper, but is stopped short by
Durand at the opening.

DURAND
Sorry Vecchio. Slick only carries six.
Sides, somebody needs to guard our boys.
You know what the VC do to em when they
find em.

SAM
Guard them... ?

Inside the chopper there is an uncomfortable restlessness
from the troops. Tiger and Tap move forward to the door.

TIGER
Hey Durand, come on. He don’t even have a
gun.

DURAND
Well, he dont need one. He don’t believe
in war toys. Tell you what Vecchio. If
the VC come by, you just tell ‘em that
you’re a conscientous objector and you
don’t like all this fightin’. Hell,
they’ll probably surrender to ya right then
and there.

From inside the chopper WOLFMAN lets out a loud howling
laugh. Tiger punches him.

TIGER
Shut-up Wolfman. It’s not funny.

TAP
(pushing to the door)
I'll stay with him.

DURAND
(flares)
You stay put, Tap.

GEFFIN
(meekly)
Sarge, the C.O. told you to lay offa
Vecchio.

WOLFMAN
Hey, where is the Lieutenant anyways?

For a fleeting moment we glimpse something other than callous
animosity in Durand as he nods towards the bodies, and -

DURAND
Dogwood. Stupid West Point greenhorn.
(a beat, then)
Get this mother in the air! Let’s go!
let’s go!

The Troops reluctantly move back into the interior of the
chopper. Durand glares at Sam, then turns away. As the
chopper rises into the air, someone tosses an M-16 out from
the cabin doorway. Sam looks up to see a grinning Tiger
giving him a thumbs up as the chopper swings away. As it
disappears over the treetops, Sam retrieves the gun from the
brush nearby.

Sam holds the gun tentatively, looking it over, not sure how
it works... and accidentally presses on the sensitive
trigger. The sudden burst of fire scares the hell out of
him, and the gun’s kick nearly knocks him down. A beat. Sam
looks around uneasily. A flutter of birds in the nearby
trees spooks him. He paces nervously, turning at every
sound. He catches a movement out of the corner of his eyes,
spins toward it, gun at the ready. Certain it’s VC, and not
just a breeze that has sent the nearby high grass rustling
into motion, Sam slowly backs up -- right through -- Al.

OBSERVER
I sure never thought I’d see this part of
the world again.

SAM
Al... where’ve you been? You dont know
how glad I am to see you!

Al notices the bodies. He stops, looking down. A great
sadness washes across his face. He grits his teeth against a
very personal pain. Takes a deep breath and looks up,
forcing his thoughts elsewhere.

OBSERVER
Yeah. This sure brings back memories.

SAM
There was this battle... So much noise and
confusion... you couldn’t even think...
bullets and grenades and... these, these
kids...

OBSERVER
(a thoughtful beat, then)
Did I ever tell you about Kim Li?

SAM
Al, you’re not listening to me.

OBSERVER
Sure I am. There was this battle... right?
(turns, looks at Sam)
Hey, Sam. You’re a medic.

SAM
No kidding. How’d you guess?

OBSERVER
Your helmet.

Sam takes off his helmet and looks at it. A large white
cross is emblazoned on the front.

SAM
Oh. Great. A bullseye.

Al is back to taking in the sights, sauntering with a stride
like Patton at Palermo. Sam watches him with disbelief.

SAM
I hope you re not going to say something
like how much you love the smell of napalm
in the morning.

OBSERVER
(stops, looks at him)
Come on Sam, you know better than that.
(a beat, then joking)
You know I can’t smell anything.

Sam gives him a look. Al shrugs, acceding it was a bad joke.

OBSERVER
I spent a good chunk of my life over here.
Two tours... plus the POW years.

SAM
Oh, well, I can see why you’d be feeling a
little nostalgic then.

OBSERVER
I don’t know. Its pretty hard to explain.
It’s not the war... Boy, it sure isn’t the
war. it’s the thin line...
(almost to himself)
It’s the guys you leave behind.
(sighs, a beat)
I guess you had be there.

SAM
Al. I am there.

OBSERVER
(out of his reverie)
Okay. Okay.

Al whips out his hand-held computer and pushes a few buttons,
checks the readout, and pushes a few more.

OBSERVER
Hmmm.

SAM
So?

OBSERVER
(pushes buttons)
Interesting.

SAM
Al. Come on. What am I here for?

OBSERVER
Well, it seems there’s a, uh, sort of a
crisscrossing of potential outcomes here.
Ziggy’s thinking maybe there are multiple
objectives to this leap.

SAM
Do I get to live through any of them?

OBSERVER
(pushes more buttons)
Definitely multiple objectives.

SAM
(after a beat)
Okay. I give up... what are they?

OBSERVER
(looks at Sam)
Ziggy wants to sleep on it.

SAM
What?

OBSERVER
Well, see, he’s a little under the weather
at the moment. He downloaded a virus from
a BBS in Boston. Gooshie dosed him with a
vaccine program this morning, but it may
take a day or so before he’s back up to par.

SAM
Great. Just great.

OBSERVER
Well, now, wait a minute... I can give you
some history.
(punches buttons)
Okay. The date is April 17, 1968. Your
name is Sal, as in Salvatore, Vecchio.
(smiles at Sam)
Hey, Paison!
(back to computer)
Anyway. Sal is 21. Father deceased.
Mother lives in New Jersey. Three
brothers, two sisters. Blah, blah, blah...
He was in his third year at NYU when he got
drafted. Tried to fight it as a
conscientious objector... So naturally,
they made him a medic.

SAM
Naturally.

OBSERVER
(smiles, shrugs to Sam)
Little quirk of military vindictiveness.
(back to readout)
Let’s see... he’s been in country almost a
full tour now - he’s short just 47 days...

SAM
Do I... Does Sal make it home? Alive, I
mean?

Al punches a few more buttons, checks the readout, then --

OBSERVER
Wait a sec... here’s something. Yeah, this
has got to be it.

SAM
What... what?

OBSERVER
(pushes buttons, checks)
Bingo. Well, it seems our boy Sal here
gets himself court-martialed. They pull his
bronze, and give him a dishonorable along
with 10 years in the stir.

SAM
Jeez... What did he... what does he do?

OBSERVER
He and another guy, a Vincent Branigan -
nickname “Tiger? Well, less than two
months before they’re both due to ship back
home they try to frag their Sergeant.

SAM
Frag? I don’t suppose that means they
short sheet him or something?

OBSERVER
No, Sam. They try to kill him. Bang-bang.

SAM
So what’s his name? The Sergeant?

OBSERVER
(checking)
Sergeant... uh... Eli Durand.
(to himself)
Boy that sounds familiar-.

SAM
We’ve met. A real cold s.o.b. I wanted to
frag him myself just a few minutes ago...

OBSERVER
Uh, Sam. No, no. Sam no kill Sergeant
Durand.

SAM
(a look, then)
So I take it they don’t succeed...

OBSERVER
No. But they do spend the rest of their
lives paying for it. A real shame too.
They’re both basically real good kids.

SAM
So why do they do it? I mean, if they’ve
put up with Durand this long...

OBSERVER
I don’t know. But something sends them
over the edge, and we need to find out what
that is.

They both look up as they hear a chopper approaching.

OBSERVER
Look, here’s your ride... you, uh, go play
army for awhile while I check on Ziggy.
(heading for his "doorway")
Maybe scan him in a picture of chicken soup
or something...

A bright square of light appears behind Al. He steps into
it, then turns back to Sam --

OBSERVER
Oh, and Sam...

SAM
Yeah?

OBSERVER
(tapping computer readout)
In this history, Sal lived through the war.

SAM
Yeah...

OBSERVER
Your being here unsets that outcome. Be
careful.

SAM
Oh, yeah. Right.

Sam watches the bright square seemingly swallow Al as the
doors in his reality close behind him. A beat, then as the
chopper lands behind him --

SAM
Neither one of us may make it home.

And on Sam’s uneasy look, we...

FADE OUT

END OF ACT ONE


 

ACT TWO

FADE IN

EXT. HELIPAD - CLOSE ON SAM - DUSK

We fade in to the sounds of Creedence Clearwater’s “Who’ll
Stop The Rain”, which underscores the following. Sam’s hair
and fatigues are whipped by the wind from the chopper behind
him, as he looks through weary eyes at a crudely lettered
sign on a post at the edge of the helipad. It reads “Home
Sweat Home”. We follow his gaze past the sign to:

SAM’S P.O.V. - FIRE BASE - DUSK

The Fire Base is nothing more than a large, dirty, dismal,
quasi-circular area of bunkers situated at the top of a
hillside. A ring of four-man defensive artillery bunkers and
rows of barbed wire circle the entire perimeter, including
the helipad which is connected to the base by a short dirt
path. Smoke rises from a few containments of burning refuse
and waste. Soldiers go about their business - some on work
detail, some walking purposefully to and from the TOC
(Tactical Operations Center) bunker, but most nested into
small clusters in and around the many bunkers, talking,
eating c’s, sleeping, cleaning their weapons. In the fading
light it all looks a bit surreal, like Club Med gone wrong.

SAM
All in all Vecchio, maybe you shoulda gone
to Canada.

Sam sighs and, hefting his satchel and the M-16, walks
towards the encampment.

EXT. FIRE BASE - DUSK

In the quickly fading light, Sam walks through the camp,
looking for a familiar face. In a series of cuts between Sam
and various Troops - we see with him, not the faces of
soldiers; but the faces of kids, lost from their youth;
tired, dirty, and scared.

TIGER
Glad to see you could make it.

The MUSIC fades out and Sam turns to see TIGER, TAP, SCOPES,
GONZALES and a few OTHER SOLDIERS from his Platoon sitting
around an open bunker. Tap is leaning back against his
rucksack reading a handful of letters; Gonzales, Scopes and
TWO OTHERS are playing cards; Tiger and THE REST are chowing
down on c-rations and shooting the breeze. Sam heads over,
drops his satchel, and holding the M-16 out to Tiger --

SAM
I think this is yours. Hope you didn’t
catch trouble for it with Durand.

TIGER
(takes the gun)
Nah. Who cares anyway?

SAM
I appreciate it.

Sam suddenly notices the guys eating, and realizes he’s
starving. Where do you get food around here? After a beat
Tiger looks up at him --

TIGER
Hey man, don’t just stand there. Pull up
some dirt and crack open some C’s.

SAM
C’s?

TIGER
You all out?

Tiger reaches into his rucksack and pulls out a few metal
cans. As he tosses them to Sam who catches them --

TIGER
Sorry, no peaches.

TAP
(looking up)
Wolfman got yours again too, huh?

Sam sits at the edge of the bunker, slides off his rucksack,
and opens one of the cans -- then realizes he doesn’t have
any utensils. He looks around at the other guys who are
eating -- they have mess kit spoons. He opens up his
rucksack and starts searching, while --

GONZALES
So that’s where all the peaches go. I
thought maybe I was eatin’ ‘em in my sleep.

Sam pulls out a book, a poncho, a canteen, and a few bottles
of albumin --

SCOPES
What’s the Wolf stealin’ everybody’s
peaches for?

Sam pulls out a large bag of peanuts, another canteen, a
packet of letters, and... a few c-ration cans. He looks
around guiltily and quickly tucks them back into the
rucksack.

TIGER
Hes a vegetable-atarian.

TAP
(not looking up)
Vegetarian.

TIGER
Yeah, that's what I said.

Sam reaches deeper into the rucksack and finally pulls out a
mess kit. Gratefully, he removes a spoon --

GONZALES
(tosses cards down, stands)
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I
don’t see what religion has to do with it.
I’m gonna track down that hippie and get my
peaches back.

Tap chuckles, shakes his head, and continues reading. Tiger
looks slyly at Gonzales --

TIGER
Yeah, you do that Gonzales. Hey, and good
luck, man.

Gonzales gives him a quizzical look then moves off. Sam is
now examining the mystery contents of the c-ration can.

T I GER
(laughs)
I just love it when the new guys hassle the
Wolfman for peaches, man.

Sam pokes at the contents of the can and sniffs it
suspiciously.

SAM
Uh... what do you suppose this is?

TAP
(opening another letter)
You mean, really?

TIGER
Hey, its food, man.

SAM
(takes a bite, a beat, grimaces)
I wouldn’t bet on it.

TAP
0
(lets out a hoot)
Yeah! Hey, guys! Listen to this...

TIGER
(to Sam)
Here we go again...
(hands over heart)
Dear sweetie-pie honey-huggums darling
lover-boy. I can’t wait to kissy-smack
your mmm-mrnm good lips...

Sam laughs in spite of the juvenile quality of the humor,
nearly choking on his food. Tap feigns offense, and as he
folds the letter --

TAP
You don’t wanna be my son’s godfather,
that’s fine with me, Tige.

TIGER
(sincere now)
Alright Tap! You’re a daddy’
Congratulations man... what does she say?
(on Tap’s look)
No, really. We want to hear it... don’t
we, Sal?

SAM
Absolutely.

TAP
(enjoying it)
Well... okay. If you insist.
(opens letter, a beat)
Dear sweetie-Pie honey-huggums darling
lover-boy...

They all crack up, including Sam. Tap pulls a photograph of
his wife and baby from the envelope and passes it around --

TAP
(proudly)
Picked out the name four months ago.
Daniel Vincent Salvatore Harrison.

TIGER
Vincent? That’s me! Hey fellas, Tap named
his baby after me!

SAM
Wait a minute... I heard Salvatore in there
too, Tiger.

TAP
Even looks like I’m gonna get to see the
little rug rat. Word is, we hump the
boonies tomorrow, then catch a convoy outta
here next a.m.

TIGER
Wher'd you hear that, man?

TAP
Geffin was with the new Lieutenant in the
TOC when the orders came through from
Warhawk. They’re sendin us to Camp Cobra
for a few days to pick up some new greenies
from the repot depot. Then it looks like
we’re goin’ to Phan Thiet.

TIGER
Phan Thiet? On the coast? I hear it’s
pretty quiet there right now.

TAP
No sweat de-da. It’ll be a milk run. And
I’m so short, with any luck at all, by the
time this platoon sees more action, I’ll be
sippin’ iced tea and sleepin’ on sheets.

Suddenly, a blood-curdling scream fills the air. A long,
silent beat, then Tiger and Tap and a few of the other guys
start to howl with laughter. Sam looks at them, mystified --

SAM
What’s going on? What happened?

TIGER
(can barely speak)
That... was Gonzales, man...

SAM
(nods, not getting it)
Oh, yeah...
(laughs weakly, then)
You suppose he’s okay?

This makes Tiger and Tap laugh even harder --

TAP
That... all... depends...

SAM
On... what?

TIGER
(tears streaming)
On where... Wolfman... bit him.

Tiger and Tap explode even more violently with glee.

SAM
Wolfman bites?

CUT TO:

EXT. FIRE BASE - NIGHT

The fire base is quiet. Campfires burn by a few of the
bunkers, and generators power dim lighting for the TOC and
periphery search lights. Much of the camp is catching some
rare shut-eye, under the guaranty of those on watch.

EXT. BUNKER - NIGHT

Sam sleeps sitting up, his head resting on his rucksack. Tap
and Gonzales, semi-reclined, sleep on either side of him. We
see that Tap still holds his photograph, as if he fell asleep
looking at it. Stretched out on his back in the center of
the bunker, and snoring, is Tiger. Al steps into frame,
walking straight through Tiger, and crouches next to Sam.

OBSERVER
Sam. Sam.

Sam squirms, readjusts his position, and continues sleeping.

OBSERVER
Sam?
(no response)
Must be all this fresh air.
(then, louder)
Sam! Wake up!

Sam awakens with a start, suddenly pumped with adrenalin --

SAM
What... What... Oh. It's just you.

OBSERVER
Gee. I dont know... I liked it better
when it was “Al, I’m so glad to see you”.
(scrutinizing him)
You look terrible.

SAM
(a loud whisper)
Well, I feel great. Soldiering all day.
Come home to the castle here and eat a
canned brick for dinner. Camp out under
the stars with a bunch of guys. Oh, and
did I mention I get to get up at four a.m.
tomorrow for another fun-filled day in the
wilderness?

AL
Boy, are you cranky.

Tap and Gonzales stir. Sam gets up and motions for Al to
follow. They move away from the bunker, as --

SAM
I don’t like it here, Al. Tell me you know
what I have to do in order to leap.

OBSERVER
Ziggy went bananas for the chicken soup
bit. Said it made him feel loved.
(shakes his head)
I just wish he'd stop calling me mom.

SAM
So did you get anything out of him?

OBSERVER
Well, at least now we know why Tiger and
you try to get Durand.

SAM
You mean Tiger and Sal. Why?

OBSERVER
Bottom line is Tiger blames Durand for the
death of a guy named, uh...
(pulls out computer,
punches buttons)
Tap Harrison.
(on Sam’s look)
You know him?

SAM
Yeah, I know him. Damn. What happens?

OBSERVER
Killed in action on...
(buttons)
April 16, 1966.

Al and Sam share a look.

SAM
Tomorrow.

OBSERVER
(looks at his watch,
shakes his head)
Today.

And on Sam’s disquieted expression, we

CUT TO:

EXT. HILLY FORESTED TERRAIN - DAWN

The recon POINT MAN, called COMANCHE, warily pioneers a
route, weapon first, through the forested terrain. A SQUAD
of 10 SOLDIERS follow in single file. Among them are DURAND,
TIGER, WOLFMAN, TAP, GONZALES, SCOPES, MIKEE, the new Platoon
leader, LT. BOB MORSE, and the RTO, GEFFIN. As the men pass
BY CAMERA all eyes are alert, M-16’s held in readiness. TAP
wears the photo of his wife and baby tucked into the band on
his helmet. Third from the rear, CAMERA looks for and finds
SAM. AL marches beside him, ambling through obstacles
instead of over or around them. They both watch Tap
apprehensively, expecting destiny to blow him, and maybe all
of them, away any second.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORESTED TERRAIN - ANOTHER LOCATION - DAY

The SQUAD continues its trek, more spread out now, and ever
watchful for ambush. Sam keeps his eyes on Tap from a
prudent distance. A hand suddenly reaches out and yanks him
sideways. He turns to see Tiger, who grins and points to the
tip of a booby-trapped shell, buried plunger up in the
undergrowth. Tiger calls out --

TIGER
Hey, Mikee! Got a job for ya here!

As MIKEE heads toward them, Sam smiles a weak thank-you to
Tiger, then looks to Al, whispering through gritted teeth --

SAM
What happened to "I'll be right there with
you Sam... I know what to watch for...

Al shrugs penitently and we

CUT TO:

EXT. TRAIL BESIDE STREAM - DAY

The MEN drip with sweat as the SQUAD moves down a valley
trail which runs along a stream. A few pause to dip helmets
into the water, pouring the cool liquid over their heads.
Sam takes a long drink from his canteen, and slaps at the
bugs which buzz his face and neck. He looks jealously over
at Al who tramps along next to him, cool as a cucumber,
eating a thick deli sandwich and drinking an ice-cold beer.

SAM
That looks good. Is that good?

OBSERVER
(relishing each bite)
Nah... they put too much mustard on it.

CUT TO:

EXT. VALLEY GRASSLANDS - AFTERNOON

The SQUAD rests in tall elephant grass at the edge of a
clearing. Three burnt-out hooches barely stand a few hundred
yards away. More relaxed now after a full day with no enemy
contact, the men talk among themselves, munching on
concentrated ration bars and drinking from their canteens.
LT. MORSE and GEFFIN, stand OUT OF LISTENING DISTANCE from
the men -- Morse is speaking into the radio transmitter. SAM
sits crosslegged next to Al, chewing on tasteless peanuts.

SAM
I don’t know, Al. Maybe you got the date
wrong or something.

Al suddenly looks up to his left, reaches out, and a plate
holding a fork and a slice of pie appears in his hand.

OBSERVER
(looks at pie)
Mmmm. Apple-raspberry.
(up to his left)
Yeah, thanks, Gooshie.

Al takes a bite, closes his eyes with relish -- then looks up
to Sam’s annoyed and hungry frown.

OBSERVER
(contritely)
Uh... gee, those nuts look pretty good.

In the B.G. Lt. Morse hands the radio receiver back to
Geffin, turns toward the men and --

MORSE
Sergeant Durand!

DURAND, who stands near the rest of the men, turns and walks
over to LT. MORSE. Al watches him with interest --

OBSERVER
I wish I could place that Sergeant... I’m
sure I know him from somewhere.

ANOTHER ANGLE - WITH LT. MORSE AND DURAND

Durand reaches Morse and Geffin’s position --

DURAND
Sir.

MORSE
Let the men rest for another zero-five
minutes, then we’re heading back to base.

DURAND
What’s the sitrep from the rest of the
platoon?

MORSE
Same as us. No action at all. Looks like
the entire perimeter is clear.

Durand turns toward the men, but Morse calls him back --

MORSE
Durand... those hooches out there. Send a
couple of men to check them out. Could be
VC hiding in there.

DURAND
(almost laughs, squints at hooches)
Sir, ain’t nobody in those hooches.

MORSE
(patronizing)
Well, lets just find out for sure,
Sergeant.

DURAND
Excuse me, sir, but this zone was swept by
Company C yesterday, and air support
blasted hell out of the whole area. That’s
why it’s been so quiet...

MORSE
That’s why we are out on reconnaissance
today. Captain wants an all clear on the
area, Sergeant. And I want those hooches
inspected.

DURAND
Sir, you’re new to the ‘Nam, and to this
area. Now we’ve found an awful lot of
mines and booby traps in the clearings and
burn outs around here. The VC have chalked
up one hell of an absentee kill count. I
just don’t think it’s necessary to...

MORSE
I really don’t care what you find necessary
or unnecessary, Sergeant. I’m the new C.O.
here, and I gave you an order.

Durand glares at him, then turns and heads back to the men --

DURAND
Listen up! I need two volunteers to check
out those hooches over there. Scopes
and... you, Tap. The rest of you look
lively, we head back to base in zero-five.

The men grumble a bit as they rise to their feet. Scopes
looks unhappy. Tap exchanges a worried look with Tiger --

TAP
Oh come on, Sarge. There ain’t nothin’ in
those hooches...

DURAND
That’s an order, Tap!

Tap sighs, and he and Scopes turn toward the clearing --

DURAND
(calls after them)
Keep your eyes open boys!

As Tap and Scopes heed off slowly across the field, Lt. Morse
and Geffin join Durand and the others. Many of the men,
including Al and Tiger, are watching after Tap and Scopes.
Sam rises to his feet, aware of the uneasiness around him --

SAM
(subtly, to Al)
What? What’s the matter?

OBSERVER
Uh... nothing. Just... well, sometimes a
clearing like this is planted with mines
and booby traps.

SAM
Oh, great.

Sam joins the competition of concerned expressions as they
watch the two soldiers close in on the hooches. Tap reaches
the first hooch, and disappears inside. Scopes moves on and
enters the second. Tap reappears and waves, calling out --

TAP
All clear Sarge’ Like I said, nothin’
here!

Tap heads over to check the third hooch, and a few sighs of
relief are heard as the men get active now, readying to
depart. Sam bends down to grab his satchel and --

A deafening BLAST from the clearing! In SLOW MOTION Sam
whips around: the third hooch is flying apart -- Tap is in
mid air, thrown like a doll by the explosion. Scopes is
racing, screaming, across the clearing back to the Squad.
Tiger is racing the other direction towards Tap. BACK TO
NORMAL MOTION now, Sam instinctively takes out after Tiger,
followed by Durand, Wolfman, Comanche, and TWO OTHER TROOPS.
Durand yells to ‘Watch the ground!" -- Al quickly punches a
few buttons on his computer and disappears.

Tiger reaches Tap’s body, sprawled now, face down in the
dirt, and turns him over -- then screams his pain, as he sees
the damage inflicted by the mine blast.
Sam reaches Tiger and Tap. He pulls Tiger away, crouching
down to Tap’s body. There’s nothing he can do. Al appears
next to him. Durand and the others arrive, and Tiger leaps
up, going for Durand --

TIGER
You didn’t have to send him out here! You
killed him! You killed him!

Wolfman and Comanche grab Tiger and hold him back -- a
momentary shadow of despair crosses Durands face, but quickly
vanishes. He gives Tiger a warning look, then

DURAND
(pointing to two troops)
You and you... pick up the body.
(starts off)
And watch your feet!

As Durand walks back towards the edge of the clearing, Tiger
screams after him --

TIGER
He didn’t have to die! I’m gonna get you
for this, Durand! I’m gonna get, you for
this!

AT EDGE OF CLEARING

Durand reaches Lt. Morse, and stops, eye-to-eye. For a
second it looks like Durand might belt him. Lt. Morse backs
away almost imperceptibly. With a venomous look, Durand
pushes past him to Geffin.

DURAND
Call in a dustoff for Harrison.

BACK TO HOOCH AREA

Wolfman and Comanche keep a tight grip on Tiger as they walk
him away. Sam watches as the TWO TROOPS cover Tap’s body
with his poncho, heft him up, and start off. Sam starts to
follow and spots something in the dirt near his boot. He
reaches down and picks up a small square of paper. It’s the
photograph of Tap’s wife and baby. He exchanges a bleak look
with Al and we CLOSE IN ON THE PHOTOGRAPH AND

CUT TO:

EXT. DUSTY ROAD - DAY

A convoy of open-bed trucks filled with TROOPS travels slowly
down a well-used dirt road through a small roadside village.
CAMERA closes in on the next to the last truck --

EXT. BACK OF TRUCK - DAY

The TROOPS are dirty, tired and bored. They jostle and sway
in unison as the truck bounces over endless potholes. DURAND
sits at the front by the cab with GEFFIN. CAMERA finds SAM
who sits next to TIGER at the back. Tiger is sullen and
quiet, his inveterate cheer and perennial grin are gone. Sam
watches him, concerned, but there’s nothing to say. A ragged
little Vietnamese girl runs up to the truck holding out a
Cola bottle to the soldiers as they pass by.

GIRL
Cola? You buy Cola?

Sam looks at her compassionately, and digs into a pocket --

SAM
How much?

GIRL
One dollar... good deal!

A TROOP across from him frowns, admonishing --

TROOP
It’s prob’ly laced with battery acid.

Sam looks back at the girl, who trots alongside the truck,
watching him with anticipation --

GIRL
It good drink... G.I. like Cola! You buy,
you buy!

Sam considers, then tosses the girl a handful of change and
bills --

SAM
You keep the soda, honey.

The girl drops to the dirt to quickly gather the money. As
the truck pulls away she looks back up at Sam with a smile.

The TROOP shakes his head --

TROOP
Jeez. What are you, the Peace Corps?

SAM
She's probably hungry.

TROOP
She’s probably VC.

Tiger looks up and glowers at the troop --

TIGER
Lay off, idiot. it’s what Tap woulda done.

TROOP
Oh, xin Loi, xin loi. Excuse the hell
outta me.

The troop turns away, and Tiger looks at Sam, then up toward
the front at Durand. Sam follows his look, and reacts to see
Al standing, his lower half disappearing into the truck bed,
next to Durand, studying him. A beat, then --

TIGER
(quietly)
I'm gonna kill him, Sal. Frag the S.O.B.

SAM
(back to Tiger)
Come on Tiger, it wasn’t really his fault.

TIGER
Are you kidding me? He sent him out there.
Everybody knew there weren’t no VC around
them hooches. But he sent him out there
anyways.

SAM
But killing Durand won’t bring Tap back.
All it’ll do is...

OBSERVER
(o.s.)
Sam!

Sam looks toward Al who approaches from the front of the
truck, then back to Tiger --

TIGER
Who’s side are you on Sal? Tap was your
friend too. For God’s sake, man, he named
his baby after us... we owe it to him.

SAM
Owe him what? Durand’s blood? Ours?
Sitting by the truck railing next to Sam, Al adds --

OBSERVER
Mine?

Sam glances to Al then back to Tiger --

SAM
Tiger, Tap was our friend. Do you really
think he’d want us to spend the rest of our
lives paying for that friendship?

TIGER
Oh. I get it. We’re supposed to just
forgive and forget, right?

OBSERVER
Uh, Sam...

TIGER
I guess Durand was right about one thing.
You and your conscientious objector crap...
you're just a damn wop coward.

Tiger gets up to edge farther up in the truck, away from Sam.
Sam reaches out to him --

SAM
Tiger...

OBSERVER
Sam...

TIGER
Forget it, Sal. I don’t know you.

OBSERVER
Sam?

As Tiger squeezes in midway up the truck, Sam turns to Al --

SAM
(loudly, irritated)
What? -

The TROOP across from him looks over --

TROOP
I didn’t say anything.

SAM
(glares at him)
Well then shut up.

Sam turns to Al with a “what do you want” look --

OBSERVER
Sam... remember I said I thought Id seen
Durand before? Well, I was right.

SAM
(discreetly)
Yeah? So?

OBSERVER
Well, he looks alot different than he did
when I knew him... but then, we all did.
(a beat, then)
I didn’t know him that well, and he didn’t
go by Durand... he was real weird, drawn
into himself... some of the others called
him Cat... you know, for catatonic?

SAM
I’m not following you, Al.

OBSERVER
After I was nabbed by the NVA, I was sent
to a p.o.w. camp in the boonies on the Red
river up north... near Hanoi. Camp Son
Tay. Terrible place. Anyway, the camp was
being run by a Colonel Diem Le Dung. A
real charmer. Couple times a month he’d
get bored or something, and just blow away
one or- two of us. You never knew when.
About six weeks after I got there a bunch
of us were caged up to our chins in the
swamp, and Dung comes out there by himself.
Strolled up, pulled his handgun, shot the
guy next to me twice, then aimed it at me.
I don’t know where he came from, but
suddenly Cat was all over the guy. I don’t
think he even knew what hit him. They both
went into the water, and after about five
minutes, Cat surfaced. Dung never did.

SAM
What’d they do when they caught him?

OBSERVER
They didn’t. He took off. Disappeared.
I gotta have Ziggy trace him for me. Find
out if he made it. I’m sure he did, cause
just a few days later there were rumors in
the camp about a special forces mission
coming in to Son Tay to free us... so, the
NVA moved everybody out. I heard later
that the mission went without a hitch, just
one man wounded. But, of course, there
weren’t any prisoners there to save. I
ended up at the Hanoi Hilton for the next
three years.

SAM
So Durand saved your life.

OBSERVER
Saves. It hasn’t happened yet.

SAM
Yeah. Right.

OBSERVER
This must be what Ziggy meant by multiple
objectives.

SAM
Multiple Objec...
(it dawns on him)
Oh.

OBSERVER
If Tiger kills Durand...

SAM
Then Durand won’t be around to save your
life...

They look at each other for a beat, then --

OBSERVER
I wonder if  I’ll just suddenly vanish, or
what? Maybe I’ll sort of fade away
slowly... did you ever see that movie “Back
To The Future”? I guess you won’t even
remember me, cause we wouldn’t have ever
met, and...

SAM
Al, please. I’m not going to let Tiger
kill Durand. It’s not going to happen.
Okay?

Al shrugs in deference, and Sam gives him a thumbs up. But
despite their mutual bravado, they are both filled with
foreboding. Sam smiles, then turns away to hide his
uncertainty, and we...

FADE OUT

END OF ACT TWO

 


 

ACT THREE

FADE IN

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AFTERNOON

The CONVOY pulls into the camp -- which is basically just a
barbed-wire-fence enclosed encampment of bunker defended
prefab metal buildings and army tents, pitched along the
sides of a dirt road. Midway through the camp, two of the
trucks pull away from the convoy and stop. The men spill
out, lining up in formation in front of a long tent. DURAND
stands in front of the 6 remaining men in his squad: TIGER,
WOLFMAN, GONZALES, SCOPES, GEFFIN, COMANCHE, MIKEE, and SAM.
TWO OTHER SERGEANTS take their places in front of their
squads, which are equally low on men. LT. MORSE slides from
the cab of the first truck, and stands before the group --

MORSE
This platoon has been assigned the tent
behind you. Sergeants Durand, Underwood,
and Lightner, please see to it that your
men settle in, and clean their weapons and
gear. We hit the field again day after
tomorrow.

As Lt. Morse turns and heads toward the Tactical Operations
Center down the ‘road, Durand steps in front of the group --

DURAND
Listen up! We got hot B-Rations in the
mess tent, showers across the way, personal
supplies at the PX, alcohol in the camp
club, and a curfew of 22-hundred hours at
which time all-enlisted men will be in
their tents. Now, the sooner you stash your
gear and get those weapons cleaned, the
sooner you can partake in these luxuries!
So Mos Koshee! Move it!

The men scatter, grabbing their gear from the trucks and
heading into the tent. We follow SAM, who hoists his gear
and follows TIGER inside.

INT. PLATOON TENT - AFTERNOON

Sam ducks below the canvas folds at the entrance, and pauses.
TIGER moves directly to a nearby bunk, tosses his gear on the
floor, and lays down on the lower bunk with his M-16. He
methodically starts pulling the gun apart for a clean up.
Sam quickly moves to the lower bunk next to Tiger. Everyone
starts settling in, opening their packs, dismantling their
weapons for cleaning, and talking about the hot chow, cold
showers, and watered-down liquor to come.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Sam sits on his bunk, looks around, then looks at Tiger who,
after a beat, finally looks back at him --

TIGER
Tonite, late. Alter curfew. What do you
say, Sal... you my buddy?

SAM
Tiger... please listen to me. I know
you're hurt and I know you’re angry. And
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t feel
those things. It hurts... it hurts real
bad to lose someone that you care about,
and yeah, it makes you angry. But you
can't just let those feelings take over.
You can’t allow them to destroy you.

TIGER
They aint gonna destroy me. They’re gonna
destroy Durand.

SAM
And what’s that going to do for you?

TIGER
It’ll give me peace.

SAM
Tiger...

TIGER
(sits up)
Listen Vecchio. You don’t want to help me,
fine. But don’t get in my way.
Understand? Capish?

And with that Tiger grabs his gun and cleaning kit, and
storms out of the tent. Sam sighs. He looks up -- and his
eyes meet WOLFMAN’S. He’s been watching the exchange from
his upper bunk across the aisle. A pause, then WOLFMAN looks
away. Sam ponders what looked an awful lot like an
intelligent life-form looking out at him from the Wolf’s
usually slightly deranged eyes.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMP COBRA - LATE AFTERNOON - LONG SHOT

Sam walks through the camp, looking lost. He stops a passing
SOLDIER, asks him something, and the soldier responds,
pointing out directions.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - ANOTHER LOCATION

Sam passes by the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) building,
looking in curiously at the activity as he passes. He nearly
rams into DURAND who is heading into his small tent just next
door. DURAND glares at him, starts to say something, but
then shakes his head and Enters the tent.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - BEHIND A ROW OF TENTS

Sam rounds a corner between tents and spots his objective:

SAM'S POV - SHOWER AREA

Not the most modern facility, the showers consist of canvas
shower buckets filled from a water trailer, then hung from
pegs on tent poles which are set up behind two stretched out
tarps. A couple of MEN shower behind the tarps.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Sam watches a towel-wrapped soldier fill one of the canvas
buckets with cold water from the water trailer and head
behind the tarps.

SHOWER - CLOSE ON SHOWER BUCKET

A soapy hand reaches up and turns the valve on the shower
head at the bottom of the shower bucket. CAMERA PULLS BACK
as SAM, lathered with soapy steps under the fine spray of
water -- and gasps at the icy temperature --

SAM
Oh, boy, that’s cold...

The icy water makes him shiver, but the catharsis of washing
off layers of mud, sweat-and grime is almost spiritual.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHOWER AREA

Still wet, with a towel wrapped around his waist, Sam watches
as another SOLDIER stashes his razor and relinquishes the
space in front of a small mirror hung from a peg on a tent
pole. Sam steps up to the mirror and looks in -- A not-too-
bad-looking, spanking clean young Italian with a two-or-so
week growth of beard, looks back at him.

SAM
First you shave, then you eat, Soldier.

CUT TO:

INT. MESS TENT - NIGHT

Dressed in clean fatigues, Sam stands in the mess line
holding a tray. He steps up to the serving tables and the
two food handlers quickly slop spoonfuls of various mystery
foods onto his plate. Sam looks at his plate skeptically --
but, hey, it’s hot. He heads toward the rows of tables
already nearly filled with hungry G.I.'s, and spots an empty
seat -- next to TIGER. But as he sets his tray down, Tiger
throws him a look, grabs up his tray and leaves. Sam watches
him with a sigh, making eye contact with KATE NASH, a very
young, almost pretty nurse with tightly bunned brown hair,
sitting across the table and down a bit to his left. She
smiles and waves shyly at him. Sam smiles cordially in
return, then looking back to his plate, does a double take
when he sees Al now sitting in the spot vacated by Tiger.

OBSERVER
I think she likes you.

SAM
We need to talk.

Sam concentrates on his food. A few bites, and he peers back
up -- she smiles again, expectantly. He smiles weakly,
nodding a hello. Encouraged, she slides down closer.

OBSERVER
Yep. Here she comes.

KATE
Hi, Sal.

SAM
Uh, hi.

KATE
It’s nice to see you again.

OBSERVER
Uh-oh. You know her.

SAM
Yeah. Nice to see you too.

An uncomfortable moment passes --

KATE
I saw your company get in. I was going to
say hello, but... It’s been a while. I was
afraid you wouldn’t remember me.

SAM
Of course I remember you.
(she waits, expectantly)
So. Uh... how’ve you been?

KATE
Good. Good.
(a beat)
And you?

SAM
Me? Oh, good. I’ve been, you know,
real... good.

KATE
Good. That’s good.

OBSERVER
You really are a smooth talker, Sam.

She smiles. Sam smiles back. He takes a bite. Looks up.
Smiles again. She smiles back.

OBSERVER
Look at this. You’ve just about got her
eating out of your hand.

Sam throws him a look, as another nurse comes to the table --

NURSE
The Hatchet’s looking for you, Kate.

The nurse continues on, carrying her tray to another table.

Kate looks at Sam and shrugs --

KATE
Captain Hatch. Head Nurse. I guess I
better get back to the ward.
(she rises)
Maybe... I don’t know... maybe I’ll see you
later?

SAM
Yeah, maybe. Sure.

KATE
(starts off, then turns)
Oh. Are you going to the movie tonite?

SAM
What movie?

KATE
It’s a real good one. “The Singing Nuns”.
Starts at... Oh-nineteen.., urn, no,
twenty... It starts at 8:15..

OBSERVER
Debbie Reynolds in drag. You don’t want to
miss that one, Sam.

SAM
Maybe I’ll see you there, Kate.

She smiles hopefully -- Sam watches her go, then turns back
to his food and Al -- he takes a bite and discreetly --

SAM
I’ve made great headway with Tiger. He
won’t even talk to me now.

OBSERVER
I don’t know why... you re such a riveting
conversationalist.

SAM
(a look, then)
He says he’s going to get Durand tonite,
after curfew.

OBSERVER
Gee, ..... I hate to seem overly anxious
here Sam, but I have a date with Tina
tomorrow night and it would be awfully rude
of me to cease to exist.

SAM
Don’t worry. I hate to do it... Tiger
really is a good kid... but if  I can’t get
through to him, I’m going to have to talk
to Durand. Warn him. Tiger may find
himself in the stockade, but at least Sal’s
not involved and both you and Durand will
still be here in the morning.

Al considers, and nods in agreement and we

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMP COBRA - NIGHT

Sam walks through the camp, heading for the tent he saw
Durand go into earlier that day. He reaches it, and pauses.
The tarpaulin hangs loosely across the entrance -- a dim glow
of light comes from within. Sam reaches to knock, realizes
there is nothing to knock on, and clearing his throat --

SAM
Sergeant Durand?

All quiet. No response. He calls out louder --

SAM
Sergeant?

Still nothing. Sam waits a beat, then pulls back the
tarpaulin and looks in.

SAM
anybody home?

He glances around the small tent. Durand’s Smith & Wesson,
tucked in a worn leather holster, hangs conspicuously from a
peg on the center tent pole. Durands not here. As he turns
away he spots a familiar steel combat helmet sitting on a
table in the corner. It’s dented and fractured and bears a
large red, white and blue peace symbol on the front. Tap’s
helmet. He looks around, then enters the tent.

INT. DURAND’S TENT - NIGHT

Sam walks over to the table and picks up the helmet. He
looks it over. Why would Durand have kept it? He sets the
helmet back down, and a pile of partly-written and heavily
scratched out letters on USO stationery catches his eye. Sam
bends down to read the top one --

INSERT - CLOSE UP OF LETTER

It reads: “Dear Mrs. Harrison... I am so sorry about your
husband Tap. I feel...” and the next few words are
scratched out.

BACK TO SAM

He picks up the next letter and reads --

SAM
Dear Mrs. Harrison... By now you’ve
received word of your husband’s passing.
I’m writing to tell you how sorry...

And the next --

SAM
Dear Mrs. Harrison... My name is Eli
Durand. I was Tap’s Sergeant. I just want
you to know how sorry I am...
Sam sighs at Durands burden. He sets the letters down,
pauses, then turns and leaves.

CUT TO:

EXT. PLATOON TENT - NIGHT

Sam heads toward the long tent that houses his platoon.

INT. PLATOON TENT - NIGHT

SAM walks in and looks around. The tent is nearly empty. A
couple guys sit on their bunks, talking. Another plays a
guitar. A couple others sleep. WOLFMAN sits on his bunk
crosslegged, eyes closed. GONZALES, heading out, passes Sam --

SAM
Gonzales... you know where Durand is?

GONZALES
Durand? Who cares?

SAM
Well, how about Tiger... have you seen him?

GONZALES
Nope. Hey look, I'm hittin’ the club. You
wanna come?

SAM
No, Thanks.

Gonzales leaves. Sam pauses, then turns to leave. He is
stopped by --

WOLFMAN
Sal... hey, Sal...

Sam turns to Wolfman. He still sits with crossed legs and
closed eyes. Sam looks around, then back at the Wolf.

SAM
Did you, uh, say something?

WOLFMAN
(eyes closed)
C'mere, man. I'm almost done.

Sam rolls his eyes like he's been trapped into an encounter
with a talking avacado. He moves closer, but not too close.

SAM
(after-a beat)
Will I know... when youre done?

WOLFMAN
Shhhh.

SAM
I’m going to leave now...

Wolfman takes a long deep breath, exhaling loudly. He opens
his eyes and looks at Sam.

WOLFMAN
Whoa. Far out. That was cool.

Wolfman sort of stares into space for a moment. Sam shakes
his head and starts to turn away --

SAM
I’ll see you around, Wolf...

WOLFMAN
So when is the Tiger gonna frag Durand?

SAM
(turns back)
He told you about it?

WOLFMAN
Me? You kiddin’? Nobody tells me nothin’.

SAM
So how’d you know?

WOLFMAN
What, do I look stupid?

SAM
(now that you mention it)
No, I just...

WOLFMAN
Bull. Hey, but that’s cool.
(dropping down from his bunk)
Wanna hear something that’ll blow your
mind?

SAM
I don't know.
(on Wolf’s look)
Okay. Lay it on me.

WOLFMAN
(points to himself)
Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude.
Princeton. Physics major, Philosophy minor.
Full-ride scholarship for grad studies at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in Boston. Don’t that just kill ya?

SAM
M.I.T.? You were going to M.I.T?

WOLFMAN
Pretty far out, huh? Unfortunately the
Government pulled back on grad school
deferments. They decided to give me a
whack at a Ph.D. in blood and guts.

SAM
(a beat, then)
Why... the wild man act?

WOLFMAN
Survival, man. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I'm no soldier. I hate camping out. I
hate dirt, and filth, and bugs, and I get
dizzy at the sight of blood. Christ, man,
I’m a liberal. I knew I couldn’t survive
in this hell-hole. To be a soldier is to
be an animal... unburdened by morality or
conscience, unshackled from all but the
driving instinct to endure and to feed. So
I gave them the animal we both needed.
It’s the art of madness, man.

Wolfman meets Sams eyes. A moment of gut-level affinity
between them. Then Wolfman breaks the silence --

WOLFMAN
Lets go find Durand.

CUT TO:

INT. NCO CLUB - NIGHT

On one side of the metal building, stools line an L-shaped
bar tended by a UNIFORMED SOLDIER. Folding tables and chairs
fill the center of the room. The place is loud, smoky, and
as packed as Club 21 on a Saturday night. We recognize a
number of the GUYS from Sam's squad. Music blares from a
turntable behind the bar. A hot-blooded card game is in
session at a back table. Two troops are having a shoving
match near the door. A few soldiers dance with nurses. One
dances obliviously alone. SAM and WOLFMAN enter the bistro,
circumventing the two bickering troops, and wade their way
into the throng of G.I.’s. Sam searches the crowd for
Durand. He spots TIGER, sullen and alone, nursing a drink at
a back table. He elbows Wolfman, who glances over and nods
in acknowledgment. They pass a table shared by GONZALES,
SCOPES, MIKEE and a few others. GONZALES sees Sam and grabs
his arm, practically yelling over the clamor --

GONZ ALES
You still looking for Durand?

SAM
Yeah, you know where he is?

GONZALES
Off base. Word is Lt. Morse sent him and
Geffin to the airstrip about 20 clicks from
here. That should keep him off our backs
til after curfew. It’s party time, bro!

Sam nods a thank-you and looks to Wolfman --

SAM
You thirsty?

Wolfman shrugs and they head to the bar, grabbing a couple
empty stools. The bartender eyes them and comes over --

BARTENDER
Got Whiskey, Bourbon, Vodka, Gin...

SAM
Beer?

BARTENDER
Yeah, I got beer.

WOLFMAN
Make that two, man.

The bartender pops open two brown-glass bottles, sets them
down and waits. SAM digs into his pockets, and frowns --

SAM
Oh... I, uh... gave all my money away.

BARTENDER
Well, they aint free.

Wolfman pulls out some change and slaps it down --

WOLFMAN
I got it.
(as the bartender moves pff)
Just one condition, Sal.

SAM
Whats that?

WOLFMAN
(takes a swig, smiles crazily)
Don't you tell nobody about me. The
Wolfman lives!

SAM
(laughs)
I'll drink to that.

Sam swills down a gulp and casually looks around, scanning
the faces around him. Suddenly he freezes -- his hand
trembles as he sets his beer down, eyes fixed on a Sergeant
who sits facing him, talking and laughing with a couple of
guys at the other side of the bar --

SAM
Tom?

WOLFMAN
What?

SAM
Oh my God... that’s Tom.

WOLFMAN
Where? Tom who?

SAM
My brother... my God, thats my brother...
Wolfman looks across the bar to the sandy-haired, blue-eyed
Sergeant, then back at Sam. A complexity of disbelief and
joy plays across Sam's face and we...

FADE OUT

END OF ACT THREE

 


 

ACT FOUR

FADE IN

INT. NCO CLUB - ON TOM - NIGHT

Sam comes up behind them as the Sergeant, TOM BECKETT, chugs
a beer and turns to his buddy, SERGEANT GRECO, who pulls the
wrapper from a MARS candy bar and tosses it onto the bartop.
Sam watches Tom, listening as --

TOM
So it’s ninety-nine to ninety-nine with
three minutes on the clock. We have the
ball, and the Purdue coach sends in this
new guy... A giant... he must have been
over seven and a half feet, I swear...
hands the size of a side of beef... arms as
long as your whole body...
(he laughs, then)
The whole place got quiet. I mean nobody
even whispered. This guy was awesome. So
the ball’s in play. Jack passes to
Lambert, Lambert gets locked in and
between-the-legs to me... I get halfway
down the court and I’m roadblocked. In the
meantime the Giant positions himself right
in front of the damn basket, and I can’t
move. So I dance around a bit, find a
clearing, and go for it... twenty-two
feet. The whole Purdue team races to the
basket, eyes on the shot... the Giant
stands there, waiting...

GRECO
Oh, no... and he intercepted, right?

SAM
(steps in)
No... he barfed.

TOM
(bursts out laughing)
Yeah... he tossed his cookies three, four
times... Everybody was slippin’ and
slidin’... they didn’t know what hit ‘em...

SAM
And Tom’s shot soared across the court,
arcing into the basket and winning the
State Championship.

TOM
Boy, that was great...

As their laughter dies down, Tom suddenly looks at Sam --
Throughout the following, Sam visibly fights off the urge to
grab Tom and hug him, tell him who he is, make contact --

TOM
Do I know you? How’d you know that story?

SAM
Oh, well, I... uh, was there, Tom.

TOM
You’re kidding me. Who are you?

SAM
(a beat)
I’m... a friend.., of your brother’s.

TOM
Sammy? You’re a friend of little Sammy’s?

SAM
Yeah. Me and, uh, little Sammy... we go
way back.

TOM
Wait a minute. Sammy’s only 15 years old.

SAM
Fifteen? Oh yeah... well, what I mean is,
I’m, uh, the brother of a friend of his.

TOM
I’ll be damned.
(to Greco)
A fellow Hoosier.
(back to Sam)
So, uh... I’m sorry, what’s your
name?

SAM
(Tom, It’s me, Sam!)
...Sal. Sal Vecchio.

TOM
So, Sal... who’s your brother? I probably
know him.

SAM
(spots the MARS Candy wrapper)
Oh, his name is, uh... Mar...vin. Marvin.

TOM
Hmmm. Nope. Don’t remember any Marvin.

SGT. GRECO, bored with the direction the conversation has
taken, grabs his beer and rises --

GRECO
Well, I think I’m gonna go check out the
nurses... catch ya later, Tom.

Tom slaps Greco on the back as he leaves -- Sam slips onto
the stool he vacated --

TOM
Hey, you want another beer?
(to bartender)
Two more beers here.
(back to Sam)
They taste like river sludge, but...

The BARTENDER sets the beers in front of them -- Tom digs
down and pays him as --

TOM
So youre an Elk Ridge boy, huh? The land
of milk and... milk. I sure never thought
I would miss that place. When I was in
college, all I could think about was
getting drafted into major league, the
Celtics or the Lakers, and waving good-bye
to heifer-ville.
(he laughs at the irony).
Sure never thought I’d get drafted into the
101st instead.
(takes a drink)
Boy, what I would give to just milk a cow.
A hundred cows. But I’m real short now...
three weeks and I’m out of here. I can’t
believe I lived through it.

This stabs through Sam’s heart. A great sadness washes over
his face as he watches Tom finish his beer -- A beat, then he
remembers something --

SAM
Hey, Tom. Did you get that letter I... Sam
sent you?

TOM
(fondly)
Sure. One stinkin’ letter. That kid.
How’d you know about that?

SAM
Oh, Marvin... they were together when he
wrote it... That’s what he wrote to me.

TOM
Your brother wrote you a letter sayin’ that
Sammy was writin’ me a letter?

SAM
Well... you know... kids. They’re weird.

TOM
Yeah. Sammy’s weird alright... but what a
kid. He’s really something special. And
i’m not talking about how smart he is or
anything like that.
(shakes his head)
Man, he’s so smart, it’s scary. But it’s
deeper than that. It’s in his heart.
(a beat)
He’s a good kid. I miss him.

It’s all Sam can do to choke back tears --

SAM
Yeah... uh, Marvin wrote that Sam misses
you a lot, too. And, uh, that he’s sorry
he didn’t write you more. He thinks about
you all the time... just isn’t too good at
picking up a pen and writing it down.

TOM
Probably too busy thinking about, that piano
teacher of his. Shes about my age.
(thinking)
Nanette...

SAM
Nicole.

TOM
Yeah, Nicole. Has she broken his heart
yet?

SAM
Repeatedly.

Tom chuckles to himself. A beat, then he sighs, dismissing
the memories and checks his watch --

TOM
Almost Cinderella time.
(drains the bottle)
I got men to tuck in.

Tom rises, and slaps Sam on the back --

TOM
It was great talking to you, Sal. Maybe
I’ll see you around.

SAM
(doesn’t want him to go)
Yeah, sure. I’ll be seeing you.
(and as Tom turns)
Tom...?

TOM
Yeah?

SAM
(intensely)
Be careful.
(shrugs, realizes it sounds lame)
You know.

TOM
(laughs)
Yeah, sure. You too, Sal.

Tom smiles at him, then turns and walks toward the door. Sam
watches him go, his eyes hollow with sadness and futility -

CUT TO:
EXT. CAMP COBRA - NIGHT

Sam walks slowly, head down deep in thought, back to his
Platoon’s tent.

OBSERVER
(sarcastically)
Boy... who died?

Sam glances over at Al, who has appeared next to him.

SAM
(keeps-walking)
My brother. KIA in 1966. 1 don’t know
how, or when. Just that it’s soon.

Al is instantly sorry for his tactless comment -- Sam stops
and turns to him --

SAM
I saw him, Al. I was just talking to him.
(ardently)
I think maybe I’m here to save him. Maybe
he gets a second chance. Maybe I can give
that to him.

Trying to be sensitive, Al nods and whips out his computer
keypad --

OBSERVER
Well, yeah... maybe, Sam... let me see...

Suddenly Sam is angry -- he swipes at the keypad, his hand
running right through Al --

SAM
Put that thing away. I don’t need that
stupid computer to make a best guess at
something that’s perfectly obvious to me.

OBSERVER
(calmly)
And what’s that, Sam?

SAM
This is Vietnam. It’s 1968. I’m here.
Tom’s here. What else could it be?

OBSERVER
(quietly)
A coincidence.

SAM
(flares)
What’s your problem? Oh, I get it. You’re
busy worrying about your butt.
(bitter mockery)
Well, never fear. Quantum leaper’s here.
(he stops, rubs his face)
Look. Durand’s out of the Camp right now.
I can't talk to him until he gets back.
I’m on my way now to check on Tiger. Okay?
(a beat, then softer)
Don’t worry. I’m not forgetting about you.

OBSERVER
I know that, Sam.

SAM
Do me a favor.

OBSERVER
You got it.

SAM
Find out anything you can about when Tom
was killed. You know... where, when, how?

OBSERVER
Sure, Sam. I’m on it.

And with a punch of a button the glowing square opens and Al
steps into it -- he and Sam look at each other --

SAM
I have to try.

Al nods and the door to 1995 closes behind him.

CUT TO:

INT. PLATOON TENT - CLOSE ON SAM - NIGHT

Sam lies awake on his bunk, staring at nothing, but looking
deeply into himself. A beat. The CAMERA follows his gaze as
he looks over to the next bunk. Tiger lies on his back,
apparently asleep, but fully dressed. Sam watches him a
moment, then shifts his gaze back into the shadows where he
can see his past more clearly.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT THE GATES - NIGHT

A jeep pulls up to the camp’s entrance. It’s DURAND and
GEFFIN. The guards swing open the chain link gates and the
jeep proceeds through.

INT. PLATOON TENT - NIGHT

CAMERA PANS the sleeping soldiers, pausing at Tiger, then
over to Sam. Sam’s eyes are closed. Suddenly the tent's
tarpaulin is pulled back -- and Durand’s large silhouette
fills the entrance, his face barely discerflable in the dim
light. He stands there a moment, then releases the canvas
cover and walks away. A beat, then rustling from Tiger’s
bunk. Sam jolts awake in time to see Tiger slipping out of
the tent. Sam gets up and quickly follows.

EXT. PLATOON TENT - NIGHT

Sam exits the tent, and spots Tiger up ahead, rounding the
bend in the road, going the opposite direction from Durand’s
tent and the TOC. He starts after him when --

VOICE (0.S.)
Where do you think you’re off to, Soldier?

Sam turns to see SGT. UNDERWOOD coming towards him from the
other direction --

SAM
Oh... To... uh, the latrine, sir.

UNDERWOOD
Too many beers, huh7

SAM
Uh... yeah, I guess so, sir.

UNDERWOOD
Do you think I’m a panty-waist college boy,
Vecchio?

SAM
Probably not.

UNDERWOOD
Then you wanna stop calling me ‘sir’? I
got two up and two down... and I earned
em... the hard way. Now, carry on.

Underwood passes him, crossing the road. Sam takes off in
the direction of the latrines... and Tiger.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - TENTS - NIGHT

Sam stands at an intersection of tents by the showers and
latrines, looking one way, then the other. He’s lost Tiger.
He chooses a direction, and runs off --

EXT. CAMP COBRA - ANOTHER LOCATION

Sam rounds a tent near the hospital pre-fabs and looks
around. A few soldiers stand guard here and there, and a
couple officers are out shooting the breeze, but no trace of
Tiger. Trying to stay out of sight, he walks around the tent
and disappears around the corner.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - BETWEEN TENTS

Sam moves quickly between the tents, heading back to the road
that crosses through the center of the camp.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT CENTRAL ROAD

Sam stops. He looks down towards the TOC, and up towards the
motor-pool and the back periphery of the camp. Nothing.
Frustrated, he crosses the road --

EXT. CAMP COBRA - CENTRAL ROAD

Sam runs down the edge of the road, trying to stay in the
shadows -- he slows to a casual walk as he passes a few
higher ranking soldiers who obviously don’t have a curfew.
He comes to the brightly lit TOC building -- the door is open
and voices can be heard inside. He ducks into the shadows at
Durand’s tent.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT DURAND’S TENT

Sam listens. A beat. Then he pulls aside the canvas cover
-- nobody’s home. It’s all as it was when he was here
earlier. Stymied, he starts to turn.., then looks back
quickly, noticing --

ANGLE INSIDE TENT - CLOSE ON

The holster that held Durand’s Smith & Wesson still hangs
from the peg, but the gun is gone.

BACK TO SAM

Sam reacts, uneasily.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT THE NCO CLUB

Sam quietly tries the door - it’s locked. He cups his hands
and looks in through the grimy window. The club is dark and
empty. Suddenly a face appears on the other side of the
window, looking back at him --

OBSERVER
Sam...

SAM
Jeez, Al. Do you have to do that?

Sam turns and heads off -- Al steps through the building and
catches up with Sam -- he checks his watch --

OBSERVER
We have a... uh, little problem.

SAM
You’re telling me... I’ve lost Tiger arid I
don’t know where Durand is.

OBSERVER
(looks at watch again)
Ziggy’s feeling much better now, and...

SAM
I’m really glad to hear it.
(picks up pace)
Tiger must be waiting somewhere over by
Durand’s tent...
(a beat)
The TOC! Durand’s probably in the TOC!
Crnon, it’s right next to his tent...

Sam picks up the pace, turning onto the central road --

OBSERVER
Sam... would you stop and listen to me for
a second!

SAM
(stops, turns)
What?

OBSERVER
(checks watch, then anxiously)
No, uh... let’s get to the TOC...

Al moves forward, gesturing for Sam to hurry up --

SAM
You want to tell me what’s going on?

OBSERVER
The camp’s going to be hit by NVA ground
assault...

SAM
(he stops)
What? When?

OBSERVER
(checks watch)
Move it, Sam!

SAM
(running now)
Tonight?

Suddenly the high pitched whine from an RPG fills the air --
they both react -- they’re only yards from the TOC doorway --

OBSERVER
(yells)
Sam, dive for it!

Sam leaps toward the TOC doorway, just as the deafening
explosion from the grenade blasts behind them -- the
concussion catapults him inside.

INT. TOC - NIGHT

Sam flies into the room, slamming through tables and crashing
head first into a heavy metal desk. He is still for a
moment, then with blood trickling from a gash on his
forehead, he looks up dazedly at the shocked faces of TWO
OFFICERS and a UNIFORMED-CLERK. There is an infinitesimal
moment of utter stillness -- Then, instantly, everyone’s in
motion: The door to a back office flies open and A COLONEL,
LT. MORSE, and DURAND race across the room, simultaneously
yelling out their surprise. All but the CLERK run swiftly,
cautiously out of the building -- as DURAND sprints out he
sees Sam. A dumbfounded look crosses his face and he shouts
above the building noise outside --

DURAND
Vecchio?! What are you doing down there?

Without waiting for a response, Durand heads out -- where,
from the sound of it, all hell is now breaking loose: The
whine and blast of more incoming RPGs - men yelling and
screaming - the sound of troops running - frantic commands
being shouted from all across the camp - now the sounds of
automatic gunfire - and the deep belch of M-79 Grenade
Launchers as they release their deadly payload across the
fence and into the night.

An eerie, intermittant sparking of orange and yellow light
flickers through the building from outside. Sam pulls
himself to his feet. Reeling slightly, he looks over at the
CLERK who is frantically calling over a radio-telephone for
air and ground support. He starts toward the open doorway,
and reacts to the sudden appearance of a FAINT, WAVY IMAGE of
Al, which sputters and fuzzes, disappears, then finally eeks
it’s way into full clarity --

OBSERVER
Sam! The blast must have hyper-stimulated
the carbon quark/neuron alignment and...
(sees the blood)
Are you alright?

SAM
(nods, but in pain)
I’ve gotta find Tiger...

OBSERVER
(punching buttons on handheld)
Wait a minute... I think I can get a neuro-
lock on him...

Sam moves to the doorway, presses himself against the frame
and quickly looks out -- then back to Al. Al hits the
computer, shakes it, presses a few more buttons --

OBSERVER
Okay. Got him. Tiger’s about... three to
four hundred yards... uh... due west... and
moving.

SAM
(thinking)
That’s, uh...

OBSERVER
(pointing)
That way.

SAM
Yeah, right. Okay. That’s somewhere over
behind the club...
(a beat, then)
Oh, no...Tom! Al, this could be when...

OBSERVER
Let me lock onto him...

Al presses a series of buttons, reacts to the readout, slams
the computer against his hand, punches a few more buttons,
shakes it --

OBSERVER
...I’m getting a lot of ion interference...

SAM
(a beat, then)
Keep trying, Al... I’m going after
Tiger...

Sam looks out, prepares to run -- looks back to Al with
imploring, urgent eyes --

OBSERVER
I’ll find him.
And Sam heads out, sprinting low -- Al slams the computer
again, punches buttons, swears under his breath, and looks
out at the battlefield --

CUT TO:
EXT. CAMP COBRA - NIGHT

The cacophony of battle all around him, Sam runs, crouched
low, down the road and disappears around a bend.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT NCO CLUB

Soldiers race in all directions, most heading for the bunkers
that ring the camp’s periphery. Sam dodges toward the NCO
Club, reaches it, and edges around the side.

EXT. CAMP COBRA - SIDE OF NCO CLUB

Hugging the building, Sam runs to the far end and scans the
two or so hundred yards beyond it to the wire: A number of
SOLDIERS scramble around the semi-flat cleared area,
crouching behind sandbagged defensive positions and manning
the ring of artillery bunkers. Outside the wire, a number of
TRIP FLARES scream their colored lights into the black sky.
Sam REACTS as he spots --

EXT. CAMP COBRA - SAM’S P.O.V.

Tiger is crouched just behind a long, low block of sandbags.
He holds Durand’s Smith & Wesson straight-armed in both
hands, aimed not toward, but parallel to the perimeter
fencing -- CAMERA PANS RIGHT with Sam’s POV along the line of Tiger’s sight to find -- DURAND. He crouches behind a low
barricade of sandbags, firing an M-60 machine gun. Behind
him, three SOLDIERS fire a 105mm from an artillery bunker.

BACK TO SAM

Sam reacts, and races, crouched low and yelling, toward Tiger
-- but his voice is swallowed by the din of the ongoing
battle. As he nears Tiger’s position, a volley of RPD fire
sprays across Sam’s path -- he throws himself to the left and
rolls, then scuttles across the dirt to the cover of sandbags
behind Tiger. Without pausing he leaps forward and --

AT SANDBAGS - WITH SAM AND TIGER

Sam tackles Tiger, knocking the gun from his hands. Tiger
reacts with surprise, yells out, and kicks Sam backward. He
lunges for the gun. Sam grabs him from behind and they
scuffle, punching and rolling in the dirt behind the sandbag
wall. Sam manages to lock him into a hold from behind, his
determination straining against Tiger’s stocky strength --

TIGER
Whyre you doing this, Sal?! it’s
perfect... nobody'll ever know!

SAM
You have... no idea... how many people will
know. I can’t let you... do this...

TIGER
But he... killed Tap...

SAM
You want to know... what’s sad? He thinks
he killed Tap... too...

TIGER
(stops struggling)
He... admits it?

SAM
(relaxes hold a bit)
He agonizes about it.

A beat. Then suddenly Tiger lunges forward, breaking free
from Sam and grabs the gun. Sam tackles him again -- they
struggle, face to face, the gun somewhere between them --
then -- the gun fires!

They freeze -- looking at each other, both equally shocked.
Pain washes over both their faces --

SAM
You crazy bastard... you shot me!

TIGER
I shot you?! You shot me!

They pull apart, and the gun drops. Sam grabs his bleeding
right forearm -- Tiger grabs his bleeding left hand. They
fall back against the sandbags and examine their wounds --
(THROUGHOUT THE FOLLOWING, THE BATTLE AROUND THEM LESSENS)

SAM
You were holding the gun!

TIGER
You pushed against the trigger.

Sam glares at Tiger as he rips off his sleeve, tears it into
two strips, and wraps one tightly around the wound just above
his wrist --

TIGER
It just went off, Sal... It was an
accident.

SAM
(moves to Tiger)
Let me see that hand...
(wrapping it)
The mine that killed Tap just went off, too.

TIGER
But it was Durand who sent him out there.
He knew it was dangerous.

SAM
Are you kidding me? This whole place is
dangerous.

TIGER
But he killed him...

SAM
Tiger... Durand didn’t kill Tap. The luck
of the draw killed him. The mine killed
him. This damn bloody war killed Tap.

Sam finishes wrapping Tiger’s hand. They look at each other.
Tigers light is through. Tears fall silently from his eyes.
A beat, then they both look up as --

WOLFMAN (0.S.)
(to Sam)
Had a helluva time finding you. You guys
okay?

ANOTHER ANGLE - INCLUDING WOLFMAN

The WOLFMAN, brandishing his M-16, ducks into the cover of
the sandbag barricade. Random spurts of gunfire can still be
heard, but the battle seems to be moving away, toward the
front of the camp. Tiger looks at the Wolf --

TIGER
Damn war killed Tap. Damn war.

And he looks down, mentally isolating himself with his grief.
Sam meets Wolfmans eyes for a beat, Wolfman nods, and sits
next to them. Suddenly Sam reacts to --

OBSERVER
Sam, I found Tom... he’s okay... he’s with
his men back around... You’ve been hit!

SAM
No kidding...

WOLFMAN
Yeah, really... no kidding.

SAM
What?

WOLFMAN
I said... no kidding.

OBSERVER
Can he hear me?

SAM
I dont think so.

WOLFMAN
Well, whatever...

OBSERVER
How about Durand?

SAM
You're still here.

WDLFMAN
Yeah... so are you.

OBSERVER
Yeah! You are... you didn't leap!

SAM
(realizing, starts up)
Where'd you say Tom was?

They look up to the sounds of heavy footfall -- A group of
SOLDIERS run by, heading toward the sounds of the dissipating
battle up front. As they run past, Sam sees TOM -- Tom
glances over, spots Sam, and nods to him with a quick smile.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Sam looks at Al, then starts after Torn -- suddenly another
trip flare shoots up from the wire to their left. The
soldiers react and Torn spins his M-16 around yelling out --

TOM
In the wire’!

An immediate volley of RPD fire is met by return M-16 fire
from the scrambling soldiers -- Sam ducks and dodges, still a
few hundred feet from Tom -- another burst of RPD fire -- and
Sam watches horrified as Torn takes a number of bullets in the
chest -- he falls backward --

SAM
NOOOOOOO!

Sam races to Tom -- the return M-16 fire stops, and all is
quiet.

ANGLE ON TOM

He lies face up, his chest and gut a bleeding mass of bullet
wounds, blood trickling from his mouth. His eyes are open.
Sam reaches him -- frantic and helpless as he looks at his
brother’s dying body. Al appears next to him, aching for
Sam, Tom, and the multitude of other soldiers he left behind
years ago. Sam crouches next to Tom, hands working futilely
on the wounds, desperate for the power to do something --

SAM
Oh God... Oh God... Oh God...

Tom groans and coughs weakly, his eyes turn to Sam --

TOM
Hey... Sal.

SAM
Hang on Tom... hang on...
(looks up at Al)
Oh, God... Al...

TOM
I guess I... didnt... make it... home...
did I...?

SAM
No! Tom... you can make it! You can make
it! Look... I’m a medic... i’m a medic...
Tom, I’m a doctor...!

OBSERVER
(gentle.. .gentle)
Sam... it’s not what you were here for...

SAM
No, I can save him...! Look, I’m still
here... why am I still here?

TOM
(weaker)
Sal...
(coughs, chokes)
When you... see... Sammy...
(gasps for breath)
Tell him... tell him... I... love him.

And Tom’s eyes glaze with the emptiness of death. Sam scoops
him up, cradling him in his arms --

SAM
I love you too, Tom... I love you too...

With tears flowing down his face and holding Tom’s body
tightly he looks up at Al --

SAM
I wasn’t here to save him, Al... I was only
here... to say Good-bye...

He lowers his head, and as he rocks his brother’s lifeless
body, a shimmering radiance envelops him and he...

QUANTUM LEAPS

FADE OUT


END OF ACT FOUR