My Brother's Keeper
MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
APRIL 17, 1978
EXEC. PRODUCER: Donald P.Bellisario
SUPV. PRODUCER: Deborah Pratt
PRODUCER: Harker Wade
CO-PRODUCERS: Paul Brown, Jeff Gourson, Chris Ruppenthal
MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
APRIL 17, 1968
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:
Medic! Got a dogwood eight here! Medic!
Sam reacts as a grenade blast litters him with dirt and
debris. His disorientation doesnt 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:
Viper-6 this is Viper-5s Oscar. What is
your position, sir? Over.
The radio crackles but there is no response. Geffin presses
the handset button again --
Viper-6 this is Viper-5. What is your
Again, shrill nothingness. Geffin looks up to the men
shooting from the trench --
Lieutenant doesnt 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 --
Get the point man on the horn!
(he presses the radio button)
Comanche this is Viper-5, whats 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 theyre pulling
back towards the east ridge... Sounds like
you still have some stragglers... Over.
Roger that, Comanche. Can you support?
O.S. RADIO VOICE (Comanche)
Underwood and his team are on their way.
Sams eyes go from Durand to Geffin to the radio, horrified
at the situation he has lept. into.
Oh boy. Im 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.
(as he reloads)
Sal... buddy, you okay?
Sam takes a beat, registering his new name, then checks
himself over before responding uncertainly -
Yeah. Im, 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.
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.
Thats Tap. Man, I hope he aint hit.
You and he plannin a wedding or something?
A wedding! Thats funny, Sarge. Thats cool.
Durand gives Wolfman an irate look and yanks a fresh magazine
from his bandolier.
Sounds like Charlie's disengaging, but we
still got a pocket of em in the trees up
there at eleven oclock ... You guys may
have to move back and work up from the
rear... catch em between you and
Underwood... im 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.
(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 --
Are you alright? Let me look at that.
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 --
(glares at Sam)
Vecchio, what the hell you doin?
You need a formal invite to join the war here?
(scans the trench)
No, I, uh... cant find my gun.
Your gun? What, you got Viet brain rot7
Get your butt outta here... now!
Out of... here? Without a gun?
I think you made that choice back in The
(he sniffs his disgust)
Who ever heard of an Italian conscientious
Durand spits, then turns and punches Tiger with the side of
his handgun a bit harder than necessary --
(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
He slings that Smith & Wesson like as if he
was a cowboy or something. And I hear hes
Wolfman howls as he snaps a magazine into his gun.
A Blue-grass cowboy! Yeah... thats
Cmon... lets 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 --
Hey, Sal! Theyre playin your song,
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.
Oh, good. Im a medic.
He takes a decisive deep breath, pauses, grabs the satchel,
and laying low, climbs out of the safety of the trench.
END OF TEASER
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 --
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 soldiers 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.
Oh, God... hes just a kid.
(watching the periphery)
Green too. Just hit the zone a couple days
ago. Been following me around like a
The TROOP looks at Sam with agonized, panicky eyes - his
breathing is a shallow, raspy panting. Sam rips open the
kids 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.
Whats his name?
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.
Isnt there anything in here?
(pulls out an eye
Theres 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
(pressing a pad to
the gaping wound)
Joey... Joey, Its 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.
(with great effort)
Tap turns, but stays put. Sam looks over at him. Tap turns
away with sheilded despair.
My mom... please... tell my mom...
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.
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 --
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 --
Company Bs coming in from about a click or
so back. Theyll assist you to the LZ for
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 --
Tiger, whats going on? Wheres everybody
Tiger glances to Sam, and heads over. He stops. His eyes go
to the dead boy, then back to Sam --
O-Deuce has taken the eastern ridge --
Bulldogs about 15OO meters to the south.
All we gotta do now is run Charlie into
mamas waiting arms.
He starts off, then turns back to Sam -
You seen Tap anywhere's?
Tap? Oh, yeah.
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 Sams
face as he scans the muddy, smoking terrain which is dotted
with the wounded and the dead.
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 cant. 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 -
Youll be walking on that in two or three
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 --
Whats your name?
Hank. Hank Voskanian. Company B. You?
Sam... uh, I mean Sal.
Jeez that hurts.
(deep breath, then)
So how long you been in Nam, Sal?
(on his look)
Just kidding... I dont know... sorta lost
track of time.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
(a beat, then)
So what do you think, Doc? Is it a good
A good one?
(then, thinking he understands)
This? Yeah, youre lucky. Didnt even hit
bone. Another inch and it would have been
Damn! I knew it. It aint a ticket home,
Oh. Probably not. Sorry.
One inch. Just one stinkin' inch to the
lung and id 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 ones 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
Troops 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 --
Gonzales! This one... didnt make it
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 ONEAL, is working frantically on a
TROOP nearby. He calls to Sam -
Sal! I cant ventilate him! I cant get
this sucker in!
Sam scrambles over to ONeals side and quickly assesses the
problem. ONeal is agitated --
He was okay, then all of a sudden its like
he couldnt breathe. I tried to tube him,
(cuts him short)
ONeal, 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.
(as he works)
See, you cut too high... you gotta go in
just above the hollow here... there, like
that... give me the tubing.
ONeal hands him a length of clear tubing, clearly impressed
as he watches Sam work.
Youll 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.
Hes getting air. He should make it.
Thanks Sal. That was amazing.
(then, with emotion)
I dont know what im doin here. Im no
medic. I shouldnt have ever volunteered
for this crap. Im better with a gun than
a damn scalpel.
Sam puts an understanding hand on ONeals shoulder, then,
after a beat, he sits back on his heels and looks around,
exhausted. One CHOPPER takes off as ANOTHER lands nearby.
I guess thats it.
Tomorrows always another day.
Sam stands and calls out to Gonzales and Spokes -
Lets get this man into the chopper!
O'Neal grabs his satchel and gets up --
Im gonna catch this dustoff with Boletsky
here. Keep his tube clear... make sure he
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 --
See ya back at the fire base.
Sam watches as ONeal 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.
(yelling to Sam)
What are these dogwood-Sixes still doing
(not clear on the lingo)
I got ten fighting men here to transport
back to fire base... eleven with Gonzales.
And you still got dogwood here.
Sam looks at the five green-plastic-wrapped bodies of young
men around him.
He looks back up at Durand incredulously. His exhaustion-
induced outrage ,takes control --
You got a problem, Vecchio?
This isnt dogwood, Durand... they were
kids... just kids...
(he holds up his hands)
And Ive got their blood all over me...
Durand looks at Sam intensely for a beat, then shakes his
head, and as he turns away --
What do you want me to do... give you a
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 --
Hey, Sal. Sal. Its just a word, man.
Just a word. It dont mean a thing. Cmon
man, chill out.
(taps Sam on arm echoing)
It dont mean a thing, man. Dont mean a
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 -
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.
Sorry Vecchio. Slick only carries six.
Sides, somebody needs to guard our boys.
You know what the VC do to em when they
Guard them... ?
Inside the chopper there is an uncomfortable restlessness
from the troops. Tiger and Tap move forward to the door.
Hey Durand, come on. He dont even have a
Well, he dont need one. He dont believe
in war toys. Tell you what Vecchio. If
the VC come by, you just tell em that
youre a conscientous objector and you
dont like all this fightin. Hell,
theyll probably surrender to ya right then
From inside the chopper WOLFMAN lets out a loud howling
laugh. Tiger punches him.
Shut-up Wolfman. Its not funny.
(pushing to the door)
I'll stay with him.
You stay put, Tap.
Sarge, the C.O. told you to lay offa
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 -
Dogwood. Stupid West Point greenhorn.
(a beat, then)
Get this mother in the air! Lets 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
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 guns 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 its VC, and not
just a breeze that has sent the nearby high grass rustling
into motion, Sam slowly backs up -- right through -- Al.
I sure never thought Id see this part of
the world again.
Al... whereve 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.
Yeah. This sure brings back memories.
There was this battle... So much noise and
confusion... you couldnt even think...
bullets and grenades and... these, these
(a thoughtful beat, then)
Did I ever tell you about Kim Li?
Al, youre not listening to me.
Sure I am. There was this battle... right?
(turns, looks at Sam)
Hey, Sam. Youre a medic.
No kidding. Howd you guess?
Sam takes off his helmet and looks at it. A large white
cross is emblazoned on the front.
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.
I hope you re not going to say something
like how much you love the smell of napalm
in the morning.
(stops, looks at him)
Come on Sam, you know better than that.
(a beat, then joking)
You know I cant smell anything.
Sam gives him a look. Al shrugs, acceding it was a bad joke.
I spent a good chunk of my life over here.
Two tours... plus the POW years.
Oh, well, I can see why youd be feeling a
little nostalgic then.
I dont know. Its pretty hard to explain.
Its not the war... Boy, it sure isnt the
war. its the thin line...
(almost to himself)
Its the guys you leave behind.
(sighs, a beat)
I guess you had be there.
Al. I am there.
(out of his reverie)
Al whips out his hand-held computer and pushes a few buttons,
checks the readout, and pushes a few more.
Al. Come on. What am I here for?
Well, it seems theres a, uh, sort of a
crisscrossing of potential outcomes here.
Ziggys thinking maybe there are multiple
objectives to this leap.
Do I get to live through any of them?
(pushes more buttons)
Definitely multiple objectives.
(after a beat)
Okay. I give up... what are they?
(looks at Sam)
Ziggy wants to sleep on it.
Well, see, hes 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 hes back up to par.
Great. Just great.
Well, now, wait a minute... I can give you
Okay. The date is April 17, 1968. Your
name is Sal, as in Salvatore, Vecchio.
(smiles at Sam)
(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.
(smiles, shrugs to Sam)
Little quirk of military vindictiveness.
(back to readout)
Lets see... hes been in country almost a
full tour now - hes short just 47 days...
Do I... Does Sal make it home? Alive, I
Al punches a few more buttons, checks the readout, then --
Wait a sec... heres something. Yeah, this
has got to be it.
(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.
Jeez... What did he... what does he do?
He and another guy, a Vincent Branigan -
nickname Tiger? Well, less than two
months before theyre both due to ship back
home they try to frag their Sergeant.
Frag? I dont suppose that means they
short sheet him or something?
No, Sam. They try to kill him. Bang-bang.
So whats his name? The Sergeant?
Sergeant... uh... Eli Durand.
Boy that sounds familiar-.
Weve met. A real cold s.o.b. I wanted to
frag him myself just a few minutes ago...
Uh, Sam. No, no. Sam no kill Sergeant
(a look, then)
So I take it they dont succeed...
No. But they do spend the rest of their
lives paying for it. A real shame too.
Theyre both basically real good kids.
So why do they do it? I mean, if theyve
put up with Durand this long...
I dont know. But something sends them
over the edge, and we need to find out what
They both look up as they hear a chopper approaching.
Look, heres 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
A bright square of light appears behind Al. He steps into
it, then turns back to Sam --
Oh, and Sam...
(tapping computer readout)
In this history, Sal lived through the war.
Your being here unsets that outcome. Be
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 --
Neither one of us may make it home.
And on Sams uneasy look, we...
END OF ACT ONE
EXT. HELIPAD - CLOSE ON SAM - DUSK
We fade in to the sounds of Creedence Clearwaters Wholl
Stop The Rain, which underscores the following. Sams 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:
SAMS 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 cs, sleeping, cleaning their weapons. In the fading
light it all looks a bit surreal, like Club Med gone wrong.
All in all Vecchio, maybe you shoulda gone
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.
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 --
I think this is yours. Hope you didnt
catch trouble for it with Durand.
(takes the gun)
Nah. Who cares anyway?
I appreciate it.
Sam suddenly notices the guys eating, and realizes hes
starving. Where do you get food around here? After a beat
Tiger looks up at him --
Hey man, dont just stand there. Pull up
some dirt and crack open some Cs.
You all out?
Tiger reaches into his rucksack and pulls out a few metal
cans. As he tosses them to Sam who catches them --
Sorry, no peaches.
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 doesnt 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 --
So thats 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 --
Whats the Wolf stealin everybodys
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
Hes a vegetable-atarian.
(not looking up)
Yeah, that's what I said.
Sam reaches deeper into the rucksack and finally pulls out a
mess kit. Gratefully, he removes a spoon --
(tosses cards down, stands)
Well, I dont know about you guys, but I
dont see what religion has to do with it.
Im gonna track down that hippie and get my
Tap chuckles, shakes his head, and continues reading. Tiger
looks slyly at Gonzales --
Yeah, you do that Gonzales. Hey, and good
Gonzales gives him a quizzical look then moves off. Sam is
now examining the mystery contents of the c-ration can.
T I GER
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
Uh... what do you suppose this is?
(opening another letter)
You mean, really?
Hey, its food, man.
(takes a bite, a beat, grimaces)
I wouldnt bet on it.
(lets out a hoot)
Yeah! Hey, guys! Listen to this...
Here we go again...
(hands over heart)
Dear sweetie-pie honey-huggums darling
lover-boy. I cant 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 --
You dont wanna be my sons godfather,
thats fine with me, Tige.
Alright Tap! Youre a daddy
Congratulations man... what does she say?
(on Taps look)
No, really. We want to hear it... dont
Well... okay. If you insist.
(opens letter, a beat)
Dear sweetie-Pie honey-huggums darling
They all crack up, including Sam. Tap pulls a photograph of
his wife and baby from the envelope and passes it around --
Picked out the name four months ago.
Daniel Vincent Salvatore Harrison.
Vincent? Thats me! Hey fellas, Tap named
his baby after me!
Wait a minute... I heard Salvatore in there
Even looks like Im gonna get to see the
little rug rat. Word is, we hump the
boonies tomorrow, then catch a convoy outta
here next a.m.
Wher'd you hear that, man?
Geffin was with the new Lieutenant in the
TOC when the orders came through from
Warhawk. Theyre sendin us to Camp Cobra
for a few days to pick up some new greenies
from the repot depot. Then it looks like
were goin to Phan Thiet.
Phan Thiet? On the coast? I hear its
pretty quiet there right now.
No sweat de-da. Itll be a milk run. And
Im so short, with any luck at all, by the
time this platoon sees more action, Ill 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 --
Whats going on? What happened?
(can barely speak)
That... was Gonzales, man...
(nods, not getting it)
(laughs weakly, then)
You suppose hes okay?
This makes Tiger and Tap laugh even harder --
That... all... depends...
On where... Wolfman... bit him.
Tiger and Tap explode even more violently with glee.
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.
Sam squirms, readjusts his position, and continues sleeping.
Must be all this fresh air.
Sam! Wake up!
Sam awakens with a start,
suddenly pumped with adrenalin --
What... What... Oh. It's just you.
Gee. I dont know... I liked it better
when it was Al, Im so glad to see you.
You look terrible.
(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
Boy, are you cranky.
Tap and Gonzales stir. Sam gets up and motions for Al to
follow. They move away from the bunker, as --
I dont like it here, Al. Tell me you know
what I have to do in order to leap.
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.
So did you get anything out of him?
Well, at least now we know why Tiger and
you try to get Durand.
You mean Tiger and Sal. Why?
Bottom line is Tiger blames Durand for the
death of a guy named, uh...
(pulls out computer,
(on Sams look)
You know him?
Yeah, I know him. Damn. What happens?
Killed in action on...
April 16, 1966.
Al and Sam share a look.
(looks at his watch,
shakes his head)
And on Sams disquieted expression, we
EXT. HILLY FORESTED TERRAIN -
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-16s 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.
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 --
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 --
What happened to "I'll be right there with
you Sam... I know what to watch for...
Al shrugs penitently and we
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.
That looks good. Is that good?
(relishing each bite)
Nah... they put too much mustard on it.
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.
I dont 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.
(looks at pie)
(up to his left)
Yeah, thanks, Gooshie.
Al takes a bite, closes his eyes with relish -- then looks up
to Sams annoyed and hungry frown.
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 --
DURAND, who stands near the rest of the men, turns and walks
over to LT. MORSE. Al watches him with interest --
I wish I could place that Sergeant... Im
sure I know him from somewhere.
ANOTHER ANGLE - WITH LT. MORSE AND DURAND
Durand reaches Morse and Geffins position --
Let the men rest for another zero-five
minutes, then were heading back to base.
Whats the sitrep from the rest of the
Same as us. No action at all. Looks like
the entire perimeter is clear.
Durand turns toward the men, but Morse calls him back --
Durand... those hooches out there. Send a
couple of men to check them out. Could be
VC hiding in there.
(almost laughs, squints at hooches)
Sir, aint nobody in those hooches.
Well, lets just find out for sure,
Excuse me, sir, but this zone was swept by
Company C yesterday, and air support
blasted hell out of the whole area. Thats
why its been so quiet...
Thats why we are out on reconnaissance
today. Captain wants an all clear on the
area, Sergeant. And I want those hooches
Sir, youre new to the Nam, and to this
area. Now weve 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 dont think its necessary to...
I really dont care what you find necessary
or unnecessary, Sergeant. Im the new C.O.
here, and I gave you an order.
Durand glares at him, then turns and heads back to the men --
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 --
Oh come on, Sarge. There aint nothin in
Thats an order, Tap!
Tap sighs, and he and Scopes turn toward the clearing --
(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 --
(subtly, to Al)
What? Whats the matter?
Uh... nothing. Just... well, sometimes a
clearing like this is planted with mines
and booby traps.
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 --
All clear Sarge Like I said, nothin
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 Taps 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 Taps body. Theres nothing he can do. Al appears
next to him. Durand and the others arrive, and Tiger leaps
up, going for Durand --
You didnt 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
(pointing to two troops)
You and you... pick up the body.
And watch your feet!
As Durand walks back towards the edge of the clearing, Tiger
screams after him --
He didnt have to die! Im gonna get you
for this, Durand! Im gonna get, you for
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.
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 Taps 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. Its the
photograph of Taps wife and baby. He exchanges a bleak look
with Al and we CLOSE IN ON THE PHOTOGRAPH AND
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 theres 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.
Cola? You buy Cola?
Sam looks at her compassionately, and digs into a pocket --
One dollar... good deal!
A TROOP across from him frowns, admonishing --
Its probly laced with battery acid.
Sam looks back at the girl, who trots alongside the truck,
watching him with anticipation --
It good drink... G.I. like Cola! You buy,
Sam considers, then tosses the girl a handful of change and
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 --
Jeez. What are you, the Peace Corps?
She's probably hungry.
Shes probably VC.
Tiger looks up and glowers at the troop --
Lay off, idiot. its what Tap woulda done.
Oh, xin Loi, xin loi. Excuse the hell
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 --
I'm gonna kill him, Sal. Frag the S.O.B.
(back to Tiger)
Come on Tiger, it wasnt really his fault.
Are you kidding me? He sent him out there.
Everybody knew there werent no VC around
them hooches. But he sent him out there
But killing Durand wont bring Tap back.
All itll do is...
Sam looks toward Al who approaches from the front of the
truck, then back to Tiger --
Whos side are you on Sal? Tap was your
friend too. For Gods sake, man, he named
his baby after us... we owe it to him.
Owe him what? Durands blood? Ours?
Sitting by the truck railing next to Sam, Al adds --
Sam glances to Al then back to
Tiger, Tap was our friend. Do you really
think hed want us to spend the rest of our
lives paying for that friendship?
Oh. I get it. Were supposed to just
forgive and forget, right?
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 --
Forget it, Sal. I dont know you.
As Tiger squeezes in midway up the truck, Sam turns to Al --
The TROOP across from him looks over --
I didnt say anything.
(glares at him)
Well then shut up.
Sam turns to Al with a what do you want look --
Sam... remember I said I thought Id seen
Durand before? Well, I was right.
Well, he looks alot different than he did
when I knew him... but then, we all did.
(a beat, then)
I didnt know him that well, and he didnt
go by Durand... he was real weird, drawn
into himself... some of the others called
him Cat... you know, for catatonic?
Im not following you, Al.
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 hed
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 dont know where he came from, but
suddenly Cat was all over the guy. I dont
think he even knew what hit him. They both
went into the water, and after about five
minutes, Cat surfaced. Dung never did.
Whatd they do when they caught him?
They didnt. He took off. Disappeared.
I gotta have Ziggy trace him for me. Find
out if he made it. Im 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
werent any prisoners there to save. I
ended up at the Hanoi Hilton for the next
So Durand saved your life.
Saves. It hasnt happened yet.
This must be what Ziggy meant by multiple
(it dawns on him)
If Tiger kills Durand...
Then Durand wont be around to save your
They look at each other for a beat, then --
I wonder if Ill just suddenly vanish, or
what? Maybe Ill sort of fade away
slowly... did you ever see that movie Back
To The Future? I guess you wont even
remember me, cause we wouldnt have ever
Al, please. Im not going to let Tiger
kill Durand. Its not going to happen.
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...
END OF ACT TWO
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 --
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
As Lt. Morse turns and heads toward the Tactical Operations
Center down the road, Durand steps in front of the group --
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.
Sam sits on his bunk, looks around, then looks at Tiger who,
after a beat, finally looks back at him --
Tonite, late. Alter curfew. What do you
say, Sal... you my buddy?
Tiger... please listen to me. I know
you're hurt and I know youre angry. And
Im not saying that you shouldnt 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 cant allow them to destroy you.
They aint gonna destroy me. Theyre gonna
And whats that going to do for you?
Itll give me peace.
Listen Vecchio. You dont want to help me,
fine. But dont get in my way.
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 WOLFMANS. Hes 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 Wolfs
usually slightly deranged eyes.
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
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.
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 --
Oh, boy, thats cold...
The icy water makes him shiver, but the catharsis of washing
off layers of mud, sweat-and grime is almost spiritual.
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.
First you shave, then you eat, Soldier.
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, its 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.
I think she likes you.
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.
Yep. Here she comes.
Its nice to see you again.
Uh-oh. You know her.
Yeah. Nice to see you too.
An uncomfortable moment passes --
I saw your company get in. I was going to
say hello, but... Its been a while. I was
afraid you wouldnt remember me.
Of course I remember you.
(she waits, expectantly)
So. Uh... howve you been?
Me? Oh, good. Ive been, you know,
Good. Thats good.
You really are a smooth talker, Sam.
She smiles. Sam smiles back. He takes a bite. Looks up.
Smiles again. She smiles back.
Look at this. Youve just about got her
eating out of your hand.
Sam throws him a look, as another nurse comes to the table --
The Hatchets looking for you, Kate.
The nurse continues on, carrying her tray to another table.
Kate looks at Sam and shrugs --
Captain Hatch. Head Nurse. I guess I
better get back to the ward.
Maybe... I dont know... maybe Ill see you
Yeah, maybe. Sure.
(starts off, then turns)
Oh. Are you going to the movie tonite?
Its a real good one. The Singing Nuns.
Starts at... Oh-nineteen.., urn, no,
twenty... It starts at 8:15..
Debbie Reynolds in drag. You dont want to
miss that one, Sam.
Maybe Ill 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 --
Ive made great headway with Tiger. He
wont even talk to me now.
I dont know why... you re such a riveting
(a look, then)
He says hes going to get Durand tonite,
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.
Dont worry. I hate to do it... Tiger
really is a good kid... but if I cant get
through to him, Im going to have to talk
to Durand. Warn him. Tiger may find
himself in the stockade, but at least Sals
not involved and both you and Durand will
still be here in the morning.
Al considers, and nods in agreement and we
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 --
All quiet. No response. He calls out louder --
Still nothing. Sam waits a beat, then pulls back the
tarpaulin and looks in.
He glances around the small tent. Durands 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. Its dented and fractured and bears a
large red, white and blue peace symbol on the front. Taps
helmet. He looks around, then enters the tent.
INT. DURANDS 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
BACK TO SAM
He picks up the next letter and reads --
Dear Mrs. Harrison... By now youve
received word of your husbands passing.
Im writing to tell you how sorry...
And the next --
Dear Mrs. Harrison... My name is Eli
Durand. I was Taps 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.
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 --
Gonzales... you know where Durand is?
Durand? Who cares?
Well, how about Tiger... have you seen him?
Nope. Hey look, I'm hittin the club. You
Gonzales leaves. Sam pauses, then turns to leave. He is
stopped by --
Sal... hey, Sal...
Sam turns to Wolfman. He still sits with crossed legs and
closed eyes. Sam looks around, then back at the Wolf.
Did you, uh, say something?
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.
Will I know... when youre done?
Im going to leave now...
Wolfman takes a long deep breath, exhaling loudly. He opens
his eyes and looks at Sam.
Whoa. Far out. That was cool.
Wolfman sort of stares into space for a moment. Sam shakes
his head and starts to turn away --
Ill see you around, Wolf...
So when is the Tiger gonna frag Durand?
He told you about it?
Me? You kiddin? Nobody tells me nothin.
So howd you know?
What, do I look stupid?
(now that you mention it)
No, I just...
Bull. Hey, but thats cool.
(dropping down from his bunk)
Wanna hear something thatll blow your
I don't know.
(on Wolfs look)
Okay. Lay it on me.
(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. Dont that just kill ya?
M.I.T.? You were going to M.I.T?
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.
(a beat, then)
Why... the wild man act?
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,
Im a liberal. I knew I couldnt 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.
Its the art of madness, man.
Wolfman meets Sams eyes. A moment of gut-level affinity
between them. Then Wolfman breaks the silence --
Lets go find Durand.
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 --
You still looking for Durand?
Yeah, you know where he is?
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. Its party time, bro!
Sam nods a thank-you and looks to Wolfman --
Wolfman shrugs and they head
to the bar, grabbing a couple
empty stools. The bartender eyes them and comes over --
Got Whiskey, Bourbon, Vodka, Gin...
Yeah, I got beer.
Make that two, man.
The bartender pops open two brown-glass bottles, sets them
down and waits. SAM digs into his pockets, and frowns --
Oh... I, uh... gave all my money away.
Well, they aint free.
Wolfman pulls out some change and slaps it down --
I got it.
(as the bartender moves pff)
Just one condition, Sal.
(takes a swig, smiles crazily)
Don't you tell nobody about me. The
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 --
Oh my God... thats Tom.
Where? Tom who?
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...
END OF ACT THREE
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 --
So its 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 balls in play. Jack passes to
Lambert, Lambert gets locked in and
between-the-legs to me... I get halfway
down the court and Im roadblocked. In the
meantime the Giant positions himself right
in front of the damn basket, and I cant
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...
Oh, no... and he intercepted, right?
No... he barfed.
(bursts out laughing)
Yeah... he tossed his cookies three, four
times... Everybody was slippin and
slidin... they didnt know what hit em...
And Toms shot soared across the court,
arcing into the basket and winning the
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 --
Do I know you? Howd you know that story?
Oh, well, I... uh, was there, Tom.
Youre kidding me. Who are you?
Im... a friend.., of your brothers.
Sammy? Youre a friend of little Sammys?
Yeah. Me and, uh, little Sammy... we go
Wait a minute. Sammys only 15 years old.
Fifteen? Oh yeah... well, what I mean is,
Im, uh, the brother of a friend of his.
Ill be damned.
A fellow Hoosier.
(back to Sam)
So, uh... Im sorry, whats your
(Tom, Its me, Sam!)
...Sal. Sal Vecchio.
So, Sal... whos your brother? I probably
(spots the MARS Candy wrapper)
Oh, his name is, uh... Mar...vin. Marvin.
Hmmm. Nope. Dont remember any Marvin.
SGT. GRECO, bored with the
direction the conversation has
taken, grabs his beer and rises --
Well, I think Im 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 --
Hey, you want another beer?
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 --
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
(he laughs at the irony).
Sure never thought Id get drafted into the
(takes a drink)
Boy, what I would give to just milk a cow.
A hundred cows. But Im real short now...
three weeks and Im out of here. I cant
believe I lived through it.
This stabs through Sams heart. A great sadness washes over
his face as he watches Tom finish his beer -- A beat, then he
remembers something --
Hey, Tom. Did you get that letter I... Sam
Sure. One stinkin letter. That kid.
Howd you know about that?
Oh, Marvin... they were together when he
wrote it... Thats what he wrote to me.
Your brother wrote you a letter sayin that
Sammy was writin me a letter?
Well... you know... kids. Theyre weird.
Yeah. Sammys weird alright... but what a
kid. Hes really something special. And
im not talking about how smart he is or
anything like that.
(shakes his head)
Man, hes so smart, its scary. But its
deeper than that. Its in his heart.
Hes a good kid. I miss him.
Its all Sam can do to choke back tears --
Yeah... uh, Marvin wrote that Sam misses
you a lot, too. And, uh, that hes sorry
he didnt write you more. He thinks about
you all the time... just isnt too good at
picking up a pen and writing it down.
Probably too busy thinking about, that piano
teacher of his. Shes about my age.
Yeah, Nicole. Has she broken his heart
Tom chuckles to himself. A beat, then he sighs, dismissing
the memories and checks his watch --
Almost Cinderella time.
(drains the bottle)
I got men to tuck in.
Tom rises, and slaps Sam on the back --
It was great talking to you, Sal. Maybe
Ill see you around.
(doesnt want him to go)
Yeah, sure. Ill be seeing you.
(and as Tom turns)
(shrugs, realizes it sounds lame)
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 -
EXT. CAMP COBRA - NIGHT
Sam walks slowly, head down deep in thought, back to his
Boy... who died?
Sam glances over at Al, who has appeared next to him.
My brother. KIA in 1966. 1 dont know
how, or when. Just that its soon.
Al is instantly sorry for his tactless comment -- Sam stops
and turns to him --
I saw him, Al. I was just talking to him.
I think maybe Im 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
Well, yeah... maybe, Sam... let me see...
Suddenly Sam is angry -- he
swipes at the keypad, his hand
running right through Al --
Put that thing away. I dont need that
stupid computer to make a best guess at
something thats perfectly obvious to me.
And whats that, Sam?
This is Vietnam. Its 1968. Im here.
Toms here. What else could it be?
Whats your problem? Oh, I get it. Youre
busy worrying about your butt.
Well, never fear. Quantum leapers here.
(he stops, rubs his face)
Look. Durands out of the Camp right now.
I can't talk to him until he gets back.
Im on my way now to check on Tiger. Okay?
(a beat, then softer)
Dont worry. Im not forgetting about you.
I know that, Sam.
Do me a favor.
You got it.
Find out anything you can about when Tom
was killed. You know... where, when, how?
Sure, Sam. Im 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 --
I have to try.
Al nods and the door to 1995 closes behind him.
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 camps entrance. Its 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. Sams eyes are closed. Suddenly the tent's
tarpaulin is pulled back -- and Durands 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 Tigers
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 Durands
tent and the TOC. He starts after him when --
Where do you think youre off to, Soldier?
Sam turns to see SGT. UNDERWOOD coming towards him from the
other direction --
Oh... To... uh, the latrine, sir.
Too many beers, huh7
Uh... yeah, I guess so, sir.
Do you think Im a panty-waist college boy,
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. Hes 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 dont 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
EXT. CAMP COBRA - AT DURANDS TENT
Sam listens. A beat. Then he pulls aside the canvas cover
-- nobodys home. Its 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 Durands 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 - its 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 --
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 --
We have a... uh, little problem.
Youre telling me... Ive lost Tiger arid I
dont know where Durand is.
(looks at watch again)
Ziggys feeling much better now, and...
Im really glad to hear it.
(picks up pace)
Tiger must be waiting somewhere over by
The TOC! Durands probably in the TOC!
Crnon, its right next to his tent...
Sam picks up the pace, turning onto the central road --
Sam... would you stop and listen to me for
(checks watch, then anxiously)
No, uh... lets get to the TOC...
Al moves forward, gesturing for Sam to hurry up --
You want to tell me whats going on?
The camps going to be hit by NVA ground
Move it, Sam!
Suddenly the high pitched whine from an RPG fills the air --
they both react -- theyre only yards from the TOC doorway --
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, everyones 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 --
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
its way into full clarity --
Sam! The blast must have hyper-stimulated
the carbon quark/neuron alignment and...
(sees the blood)
Are you alright?
(nods, but in pain)
Ive gotta find Tiger...
(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 --
Okay. Got him. Tigers about... three to
four hundred yards... uh... due west... and
Yeah, right. Okay. Thats somewhere over
behind the club...
(a beat, then)
Oh, no...Tom! Al, this could be when...
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 --
...Im getting a lot of ion interference...
(a beat, then)
Keep trying, Al... Im going after
Sam looks out, prepares to run -- looks back to Al with
imploring, urgent eyes --
Ill 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 --
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 camps 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 - SAMS P.O.V.
Tiger is crouched just behind a long, low block of sandbags.
He holds Durands Smith & Wesson straight-armed in both
hands, aimed not toward, but parallel to the perimeter
fencing -- CAMERA PANS RIGHT with Sams POV along the line of Tigers 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 Tigers position, a volley of RPD fire
sprays across Sams 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
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 Tigers stocky strength --
Whyre you doing this, Sal?! its
perfect... nobody'll ever know!
You have... no idea... how many people will
know. I cant let you... do this...
But he... killed Tap...
You want to know... whats sad? He thinks
he killed Tap... too...
He... admits it?
(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 --
You crazy bastard... you shot me!
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)
You were holding the gun!
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 --
It just went off, Sal... It was an
(moves to Tiger)
Let me see that hand...
The mine that killed Tap just went off, too.
But it was Durand who sent him out there.
He knew it was dangerous.
Are you kidding me? This whole place is
But he killed him...
Tiger... Durand didnt kill Tap. The luck
of the draw killed him. The mine killed
him. This damn bloody war killed Tap.
Sam finishes wrapping Tigers hand. They look at each other.
Tigers light is through. Tears fall silently from his eyes.
A beat, then they both look up as --
Had a helluva time finding you. You guys
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 --
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 --
Sam, I found Tom... hes okay... hes with
his men back around... Youve been hit!
Yeah, really... no kidding.
I said... no kidding.
Can he hear me?
I dont think so.
How about Durand?
You're still here.
Yeah... so are you.
Yeah! You are... you didn't leap!
(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.
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 --
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 races to Tom -- the return M-16 fire stops, and all is
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
brothers 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 --
Oh God... Oh God... Oh God...
Tom groans and coughs weakly, his eyes turn to Sam --
Hang on Tom... hang on...
(looks up at Al)
Oh, God... Al...
I guess I... didnt... make it... home...
No! Tom... you can make it! You can make
it! Look... Im a medic... im a medic...
Tom, Im a doctor...!
Sam... its not what you were here for...
No, I can save him...! Look, Im still
here... why am I still here?
When you... see... Sammy...
(gasps for breath)
Tell him... tell him... I... love him.
And Toms eyes glaze with the emptiness of death. Sam scoops
him up, cradling him in his arms --
I love you too, Tom... I love you too...
With tears flowing down his face and holding Toms body
tightly he looks up at Al --
I wasnt here to save him, Al... I was only
here... to say Good-bye...
He lowers his head, and as he rocks his brothers lifeless
body, a shimmering radiance envelops him and he...
END OF ACT FOUR