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Neff Lind & Monika Lind
EXT. BAGHDAD STREET - DAY A group of 10 MARINES on patrol in Baghdad, heavily armed, moving cautiously. They have the ‘1000 yard stare’ of those who have seen death and dealt it out. An ARAB BOY sees the Marines approach, disappears down an alley at full sprint. He scrambles up a rickety ladder onto a rooftop, grabs a shard of mirror stashed there, signals with it. The Marines continue down the street, cautious, wary. WORRIED MARINE I got a bad feeling today. The other Marines grunt in reply. showing they share his feeling. Several give him looks
Several blocks down an ARAB MAN on a rooftop sees the mirror signal, signals back, rushes down another rickety ladder, runs down an alley to a mosque where a group of men pray. Praise Allah! ARAB MAN There is a patrol!
The praying men jump up, throw open a trap door, revealing a stash of assault rifles. They grab guns, rush out the door. ARAB MEN (scattered) All glory to Allah! Praise Allah! The Marines continue down the street which has emptied significantly. WORRIED MARINE This is weird Sarge. Where is everybody? The SERGEANT has noticed too, looks worried, sets his jaw. SERGEANT Just shut up and watch our ‘six’. (to the rest) Eyes peeled for I.E.D.’s! On the rooftops of the buildings flanking the Marines ARAB MEN crouch with assault rifles, waiting.
2. The Marines continue down the street, hyper vigilant. As they pass a parked car, it EXPLODES. Three of the Marines are killed instantly, one is badly wounded, a bloody mess. At the sound of the explosion the insurgents on the rooftops pop up, begin firing. The Marines should be panicking, bullets coming from all directions. They return fire. Three more Marines fall. Find cover! SERGEANT
‘Worried Marine’ grabs his wounded buddy, drags him behind a car. It’s the only cover and isn’t worth much. WOUNDED MARINE Tell my girlfriend... tell my girlfriend... tell myA spray of bullets finishes the wounded Marine off. Worried Marine returns fire, slides under the car. Sergeant and another Marine reach the car, hitting the ground hard, sliding underneath it. The bullets hitting the car sound like a typewriter from hell. SERGEANT (yelling into radio) Patrol seven under heavy fire. Heavy casualties. Black Hawk needed double quick. I repeatA bullet hits his exposed foot, he SCREAMS, drops the radio. On the rooftop a man appears with an RPG launcher, aims it at the car WORRIED MARINE Sarge! Wattawedo? Wattawedo? There’s too many! The RPG fires, hits the car, EXPLODES. silent. ARAB MEN (scattered, shouting in celebration) Praise Allah! The street is
3. INT. RURAL FARMHOUSE- MIDDLE AMERICA - EVENING ROBERT LARSON 38, beer belly, beaten down by the world, slouches on his couch, a bottle of whisky in one hand, a shot glass in the other. Next to him sits his son JOE, 12, skinny, looks like his dad. NEWSCASTER (o.s.) Another day of heavy casualties in America’s various Mid-East campaigns. Two hundred and three soldiers were killed in Iraq today as well as seventy-eight in Syria and sixty-one in Iran. Joe watches out of the corner of his eye as Robert pours a shot, swallows it down. Joe looks worried, knows better than to say anything, follows his father’s blank stare back to the TV: the evening news. NEWSCASTER (o.s.) Skyrocketing gas prices and another round of the draft have President Jeb Bush’s approval ratings at a record low of 31%. The house is cluttered, dirty, the lights low, a depressing environment. Framed pictures featuring a woman cover the end tables, mantle piece, walls. This is Joe’s mother. NEWSCASTER (o.s.) The President held an impromptu press conference to address the demands that Defense Secretary Cheney step down. The photos: the family smiling at the Grand Canyon, a much younger Robert with a standard military ‘high and tight’ haircut posing with his young bride, Joe blowing out birthday candles as his mother looks on, etc. PRESIDENT BUSH (on TV) To ensure the blessings of liberty at home, we must ensure liberty abroad. Our troops are performing heroically and valiantly and any suggestion that they are spread too thin is a slap in the face and a dishonor to their courageous service. Robert pours himself another shot, swallows it down.
4. NEWSCASTER (o.s.) We’ll have more of the President’s press conference after the break. Robert puts his glass down to mute the TV, goes to pick the glass back up, drunkenly knocks it over. Joe tries to distract him. JOE Do you think I should enlist? ROBERT (slurred) Your mother wouldn’t’ve approved, but you turn eighteen, you do what you want. Robert reaches for the shot glass again, manages to grab it. JOE What do you think I should do? Robert pours a shot with unsteady hands, swallows it down. ROBERT (slurred) You turn eighteen, you do what you want. Joe gets up without a word, goes upstairs to bed. INT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - MORNING Joe appears with his backpack, leaving for school. He sees Robert passed out on the couch, clutching a picture of Joe’s mother to his chest. Joe leaves, slams the front door. Robert wakes to the sound of the SLAM, pukes on his chest, also hitting the picture he holds. Shit. ROBERT
He tries to wipe the picture clean on his jeans. EXT. IOWA COUNTRYSIDE - DAY Joe sits next to a creek, a comic book open on his lap.
5. EXT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE - MORNING Robert staggers out the front door, looks like hell. The family dog BINGO paws at him, seeking attention. Robert doesn’t notice. A walkie-talkie buzzes to life in his pocket. best friend PHIL. PHIL (O.S.) (through walkietalkie) Robert? You out yet? I’m going to be walking beans all morningRobert pulls the batteries out of his walkie-talkie, trudges towards his truck. EXT. CEMETARY - DAY Robert stands at a grave, head bowed. The tombstone reads: “Mary Larson. mother.” Beloved wife and It’s his
INT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON Joe enters the empty house, the phone is ringing, the answering machine picks up. ROBERT’S VOICE You’ve reached the Larson's. BEEP. MS. GOLDEN (O.S.) This is Ms. Golden from the school, Joe was out again todayINT. SCHOOL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS We see MS. GOLDEN (30’s, pretty, down to earth) in the school office, leaving the message. She looks flustered. MS. GOLDEN -and I just wanted to call and see if you need anything because I made you a lasagna and I don’t know if you even like lasagna but I could bring it by or just give it to Joe at school or if you need any chicken soup for Joe or just some help around the house I just think-
6. BEEP. Her time ran out. Joe deletes the message. The answering machine blinks zero. He sits down to play video games. EXT. ROBERT’S FARMSTEAD - THE NEXT DAY Joe rides his bike down the gravel drive, one hand in the proper position, the other balancing a pan of lasagna across the handlebars. INT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - LATER Robert and Joe sit watching TV, lasagna on a TV tray. Robert’s untouched on the coffee table. in. On TV President Bush makes each eating a plate of shot glass and bottle sit Robert shovels the food a speech.
PRESIDENT BUSH Today I have the honor of announcing a great victory in the war on terror. The rogue Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has decided to come in from the cold. He has pledged seven million gallons of crude oil to help ease Americans’ troubles at the pumps, and his million man standing army will be an invaluable asset in supporting the heroic American soldiers who have fought so valiantly in the Middle-East. JOE Weren’t they our enemies? Robert grunts affirmation at Joe’s question, shovels in a bite of food. PRESIDENT BUSH In two weeks Kim Jong Il and his entire staff will make a historic visit to our great haven of liberty to see first hand the glory of a land that is truly free. ROBERT You tell Ms. Golden thank you for the lasagna. INSERT TEXT: 2 Weeks Later
7. EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - DAY A huge gala reception on the white house lawn. Fancy tables with expensive food, a band, etc. A large banner hangs across the white house: “America and North Korea: United in Liberty” A newscaster reports live from the scene. NEWSCASTER There is a buzz in the air here at the White House as the President and his guestsINT. RANDOM AMERICAN LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS A couple sits on the couch, eating chips, watching the newscaster on TV. NEWSCASTER (on TV) -await the arrival of the former rogue dictator Kim Jong Il, who is scheduled to land any moment at Washington Dulles International Airport. The TV goes blank for a moment, then a shot from the news desk. LEAD ANCHOR We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties with Laura at the White House. INT. RANDOM AMERICAN BAR - CONTINUOUS Several men sit at the bar, watching a trashy daytime talk show on TV. A breaking news bulletin interrupts the show. The bartender quickly changes to another channel, also news, another channel, he watches in horror as a video shot from a distance shows a 747 flying over D.C. and dropping a bomb, causing a huge mushroom cloud to erupt. A newscaster speaks over the images. NEWSCASTER The Korean presidential plane was used to drop a nuclear bomb on the capital. The president and his staff are feared-
8. EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN - CONTINUOUS Four oil super tankers churn towards a recreational beach, looming huge over surfers and swimmers. As the tankers approach, the ocean empties of people, rushing to shore a la “Jaws”. The crowd watches in awe as the huge tankers beach themselves in the shallows. Small boats lower over the sides. Korean boots hit American soil. In a matter of minutes
EXT. ELSEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC - CONTINUOUS Korean aircraft carriers head for U.S. shores. EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN - SUPER TANKER - CONTINUOUS One of the super tankers has a flight deck (like an aircraft carrier). Military transport planes take off in rapid succession. INT. MILITARY TRANSPORT PLANE- CONTINUOUS The plane is packed with Korean paratroopers. commander with a GPS tracks them as they fly. COMMANDER Scout team deployment! Team 1-A, ready! Seven soldiers rise, stage themselves at an open side door, preparing to jump. Team 1-A, go! COMMANDER A
In rapid succession the soldiers jump from the plane. COMMANDER Team 1-B, four minutes! EXT. IOWA COUNTRYSIDE - CONTINUOUS Joe is skipping school, wandering along a creek, kicking stones, daydreaming. He picks up a stick, brandishes it like a rifle, dashes from tree to tree fighting imaginary enemies.
9. EXT. IOWA COUNTRYSIDE - LATER Joe checks his watch, gets on his bike, pedals home. INT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON The message machine blinks “1”. Joe presses play.
ANSWERING MACHINE This is Ms. Golden from the school. I just wanted to call to check on Joe and see if you needed anything. That’s all. BEEP. Joe deletes the message. He turns on his X-Box, sits down to play. INT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Robert trudges in from work, finds Joe playing video games, heads upstairs. JOE I can turn it off dad. (beat) Dad! You want to watch some TV? No response. Joe goes back to his video games.
INT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- ROBERT’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Robert puts in a cassette tape of Roy Orbison singing sad country ballads. He takes a mostly empty bottle of whisky off the bedside table, drinks it down. INT. MILITARY TRANSPORT PLANE - LATER There are now significantly fewer soldiers. COMMANDER Team 3-F, ready! Seven soldiers approach the open door, prepare to jump. Team 3-F, go! COMMANDER
They jump from the plane in rapid succession.
10. EXT. MILITARY TRANSPORT PLANE - CONTINUOUS The soldiers free-fall towards the checkerboard landscape of agricultural fields that make the Iowa countryside, pull their rip cords, drift down to land in a field of soy beans. EXT. IOWA COUNTRYSIDE - CONTINUOUS The soldiers stash their chutes, start trekking cross country. EXT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE - LATER The scout team approaches Robert’s farm house. SOLDIER 1 What do you think? SOLDIER 2 It’ll do for tonight. They creep towards the house. Bingo smells them, starts BARKING. I/E. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Joe hears Bingo BARKING, goes to the door. Bingo! Quiet! JOE Bingo!
Bingo at the edge of the yard, BARKING like mad. He lowers his ears, lets out a GROWL, charges into the darkness. Bingo! Come! JOE
Joe hears a YELP, then silence. Bingo! JOE Here boy! Bingo!
Joe peers into silent darkness, goes back in the house, hurries upstairs, wakes Robert. JOE Dad, I think we might have a prowler.
11. ROBERT (groggily) Bingo will scare ‘em off. JOE That’s the thing, he was barking his head off and then he yelped and now he won’t come. Off Robert’s look. JOE I kept calling and he won’t come! Robert heaves himself out of his chair, staggers downstairs, grabs a shotgun off the gun rack, walks out onto the porch. EXT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- FRONT PORCH - CONTINUOUS ROBERT (yells) Bingo! Bingo! Anybody there!?! I reckon you better clear on out! He SHOOTS into the air. SOUNDS OF HURRIED MOVEMENT from the darkness. (yells) Clear on out! ROBERT
He aims the shotgun towards the sounds, clearly aims high, fires another warning SHOT. I saidROBERT Robert hits the
A BARRAGE OF MACHINE GUN FIRE erupts. deck.
For the first time his face shows more expression than a catatonic stare. He’s scared. Bullets pepper the house. Wood chips rain down on Robert, he hugs the porch, crawls on his belly into the house. INT. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Joe is lying on the floor with his hands over his head.
12. Joe! Joe! ROBERT Are you hit? The bullets stop.
Joe looks up, terrified.
JOE What’s going on? ROBERT When I say, I want you to run upstairs to my room, got it? Joe nods his head, wipes his eyes. Go! ROBERT
Joe jumps up, dashes up the stairs. Robert jumps up, grabs two walkie-talkies off the front shelf, follows Joe. INT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- ROBERT’S BEDROOM Stay down. Joe hits the floor. Robert goes to the phone, lifts it to his ear. Phone’s dead. ROBERT ROBERT
He goes to a chest in a corner of the room, opens it. On top is a glass case of medals, including a SILVER STAR FOR VALOR, among others. He tosses the case aside, shattering it, starts throwing things out of the chest: dress uniform, combat fatigues, scrap book, canteen, souvenirs from his time in the service. He puts a few things in his jacket pocket: a small mirror, a knife, etc. Finally he reaches a fiberglass case in the bottom of the chest, removes it, opens it. It’s a sniper rifle in four pieces. He assembles it like clockwork, not a wasted motion. ROBERT You think you can shoot straight?
13. At people? JOE
ROBERT Yeah, at people, bad people. JOE Did they kill Bingo? I think so. ROBERT
JOE OK, I can do it. Come here. ROBERT
Robert hurries to the window, motions Joe to follow. The window looks out on the barn. Robert thrusts the sniper rifle into Joe’s hands. ROBERT From here you can cover the whole barn. Me? JOE What about you? ROBERT
I’m the bait. Joe swallows hard.
ROBERT Remember, don’t pull the trigger, squeeze it, and this is going to kick like hell, way more than your ‘22’. Joe nods. Robert hands him a walkie-talkie. ROBERT Keep this where you can hear it. Joe nods. ROBERT I love you Joe. Joe nods. Robert turns, heads out the bedroom door.
Robert stops in the doorway, turns. I’m scared. JOE
Robert considers, goes to the shattered glass case on the floor, retrieves the SILVER STAR. He puts it in Joe’s pocket. ROBERT You’re a hell of a man Joe. Joe smiles. Robert ruffles his hair, disappears out the bedroom door. INT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- LIVING ROOM Robert hustles down the stairs, grabs two shotguns off the gun rack, loads them both, slings one over his shoulder, grabs a box of shells. He creeps towards the front door, peeks out. I/E. ROBERT’S FARM HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Robert’s POV: a lone Korean soldier creeps towards the house. Robert blasts him, makes a break for the barn as he fires. The soldier falls. The soldiers spot Robert running, open fire. Bullets kick up dirt around Robert, whiz past his head. He reaches the barn, dives through the door. Robert looks up at the house, makes eye contact with Joe perched in the window. (Robert and Joe’s conversation throughout this attack will be completely via walkietalkie) ROBERT They’re going to follow, you take one shot and then get down, got it? Yes sir. JOE
15. Joe’s POV: The Korean soldiers creep towards the barn. End POV. Joe waits, aims carefully, slowly squeezes the trigger. The recoil of the gun knocks him back as: BANG. A Korean soldier falls.
The soldiers turn, open fire at the window as they move towards the barn. Joe lies glued to the floor, gritting his teeth. plaster and broken glass rain down on him. Bits of
Robert pops out, SHOOTS another soldier. 3 down, 4 to go. The soldiers turn their fire to Robert, spray the barn with bullets. Robert ducks back inside. The soldiers sprint for the open barn doors. INT. THE BARN - CONTINUOUS The inside of the barn is filled with stacks of hay bales, old farm equipment awaiting repair, etc. Robert disappears into the shadows. INT. ROBERT'S FARM HOUSE- ROBERT’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Joe pops back up to see the soldiers disappear into the barn, can’t get a shot off. INT. THE BARN - CONTINUOUS The soldiers take cover in the barn. They start to spread out, creeping slowly in search of Robert. Robert is up in the hay loft, with a clear view of the soldiers. He fires, killing another soldier. 3 to go.
The soldiers open fire on the hay loft. Robert jumps onto a seven high stack of hay bales. His impact makes the stack tip. He rides the falling stack to the ground, jumps off at the last second, rolls out of sight.
16. He’s got cover, but now they know where he is. SOLDIER 1 I’ll cover the door and keep him pinned down, you two flank him. The other 2 soldiers nod. Soldier 1 stands with his back to the wall, just to the left of the open door, his gun trained on Robert’s position. Soldiers 2 and 3 take opposite sides of the barn, creep along the wall. Robert peeks up. Soldier 1 shoots a BURST OF FIRE, a narrow miss. Robert takes the small mirror from his pocket, uses it to peek over his cover. He locates Soldier 1 on the edge of the door, sees Soldiers 2 and 3 creeping along opposite walls. He’ll soon be caught in an inescapable cross-fire. ROBERT Joe, are you there? JOE Yeah dad, are you okay? ROBERT I’m pinned down, you ready to get some bad guys? Joe swallows hard. Yes sir. JOE
ROBERT Okay, put a bullet one foot to the left of the barn door, four feet high. Yes sir. JOE
Joe takes careful aim, slowly squeezes the trigger, again the recoil knocks him back as BANG, Soldier 1 pitches forward, a bullet in his back. Soldiers 2 and 3 open fire, catch Robert in a dangerous cross-fire. Joe hears the explosion of MACHINE GUN FIRE, picks up his walkie-talkie.
17. Dad! Dad! JOE Are you okay!?
ROBERT Great, you got him. Bullets whiz past Robert, kick up dirt around him. hears the CONTINUING FIRE. ROBERT Keep your head down. They’re on the east and west walls. I’ll tell you when you’ve got another shot. JOE No way dad, you need help. ROBERT Get your head down and stay put. JOE No way, I’m coming. Joe tucks the walkie-talkie into his pocket, rushes out of the bedroom with the rifle, down the stairs, out of the house, runs for the east side of the barn. Joe! No answer. ROBERT (to himself) God damnit. Joe settles himself flat on his stomach on the east side of the barn, takes out his walkie-talkie. JOE Okay dad, I’m on the east wall. Do not fire! there! ROBERT There’s no cover Joe! ROBERT Joe
Another burst of machine gun fire nearly gets Robert. Soldiers 2 and 3 advance cautiously, have almost flanked him. JOE Dad! Tell me where to shoot or I’m coming in. No! ROBERT Okay, hang on.
18. Robert takes out his mirror, spots the soldier on the east wall, scans the boards on the wall. ROBERT Okay, twelfth board from the south wall, and he’s crouching, so aim low. Yes sir. JOE
ROBERT One more thing, I’m going to fire three times in a row, you time your shot with my third one, cover the sound, got it? Yes sir. JOE
Robert uses the mirror to peek at the soldier. He hasn’t moved. Robert aims blindly towards the west wall, shoots: BANG BANG BANG in rapid succession. Joe hears the shotgun blasts, pulls the trigger with the third blast. The soldier on the east wall screams, falls. him. Help! SOLDIER 2 I’m hit! Help! Joe winged
Soldier 3 panics, runs for the open barn door. Robert easily picks him off, approaches the wounded Soldier 2. Soldier 2 manages to lift his gun enough to fire, but Robert’s too quick, blasts him with the shotgun. He rushes to the truck, shouts to Joe as he runs. Come on Joe! Joe runs to the truck. EXT. PHIL’S FARMHOUSE - MOMENTS LATER Robert fishtails into a farmstead, skids to a stop in front of the house. Robert and Joe jump out of the truck, burst in the front door. ROBERT
19. PHIL (38, built like a bull, Robert’s best friend), his wife SUSAN (37, pretty in an unassuming way), and daughter LUCY (13, innocent looking), sit on the couch around a radio, listening to the news Phil jumps up. PHIL Jesus Robert, you scared the piss out of me. Kind of jumpy you know, with all this shit going on. What shit? ROBERT What is going on?
PHIL Oh damn, you haven’t heard? North Korea nuked D.C. They got troops on both coasts. Off Robert’s dropping jaw. PHIL We’re being invaded. INT. PHIL'S FARMHOUSE- DINING ROOM - LATER Phil’s family, Robert and Joe sit around a big American meal, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, ham, green beans. ROBERT So all of the phones are down? Far as I know. And no TV? Nothing. PHIL ROBERT PHIL
SUSAN There’s still some radio though. PHIL That’s how we know what we do. ROBERT What exactly do we know? PHIL That our military is on the other side of the ocean, most of ‘em anyway, and the ones that are here been overrun.
20. ROBERT Aren’t the rest of ‘em coming? PHIL I reckon they are, but the Koreans had great intel, managed to seize our bases, we reacted real slow since the Pentagon was destroyed. They’ll be using our own jets and whatever else against us. ROBERT And we got no government. PHIL Nope, we handle this ourselves. We the people. Phil nods his head. We the people. PHIL ROBERT
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