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1. EXT. RIVERFRONT BENCH. DAY JOHN sits on the bench, looking at downtown in the distance.

(CRUCIAL NOTE: We do not see the upper half of JOHN's face until the very end.) GEORGE walks up to the bench and takes a seat. Though GEORGE and JOHN are both young men, JOHN appears to be much more rough and experienced--certainly angrier. GEORGE Thank you so much. JOHN It's not a problem. GEORGE I have no idea what I'd do if you weren't around. JOHN Anything for a fellow rat. We see a smile on the bottom half of JOHN's face from GEORGE's point of view. There is a grotesque but faded scar on his cheek. JOHN I understand you need a place for the night. GEORGE That would be great. JOHN takes out a card from his chest pocket and gives it to GEORGE. JOHN Ten o'clock. Knock once, don't be late, and don't start anything on your way over. JOHN gets up and leaves without looking back. GEORGE (quietly) Thanks. INT. LIGHTRAIL. DAY

2. GEORGE stand, looks over his shoulder cautiously. EXT. PAYPHONE. DUSK GEORGE talks into the headset. GEORGE Yea, I found him ... no, he said it was fine ... (chuckles) yea, you weren't kidding. INT. BUS. NIGHT GEORGE rides in the back corner. A sight outside catches his eye and he watches as they pass by. A spurt of gunfire and shouting is heard. The bus takes him away from it. EXT. JOHN'S DOOR. NIGHT GEORGE waits anxiously at the door, shaking because of the cold. He looks at his watch and then knocks on the door once. JOHN immediately swings the door open and GEORGE wordlessly enters the building. INT. BASEMENT WITH SOFA. NIGHT JOHN leads GEORGE into a dark room and turns the meager lighting on. A short, old sofa sits against the wall with a coffee table infront of it. JOHN goes through a cabinet and takes out a dusty blanket and puts it on the sofa. GEORGE stands at the doorway, not feeling invited. JOHN walks back to the cabinet and pulls out a bottle with dark liquor and two shot glasses. JOHN places them on the coffee table and pulls up a chair. JOHN gestures for GEORGE to sit down on the sofa and he does so cautiously. JOHN begins to pour into the shot glasses. JOHN How are they doing in St. Louis? GEORGE Pigs are backing off but the cows are taking their place. JOHN We lose any?

3. GEORGE Three last week. JOHN The brave die first. JOHN and GEORGE put their glasses together. JOHN Cheers. GEORGE Cheers. JOHN and GEORGE kick back the whole shot. GEORGE is repulsed by the taste. JOHN (smiling) Tough stuff, isn't it? GEORGE (still reeling) Very tough! JOHN Yea, think I might've grabbed the lighter fluid on accident. GEORGE laughs. CUT TO: MOST OF BOTTLE FINISHED. GEORGE is laughing heartily. JOHN (excitedly telling a story) The pig looks at the cow and says, 'You smell that?' And now my boy hiding in the back just thinks that's the funniest thing ever so he lets out this little snicker, y'know? Just a little one. But the cow notices! And you know those fuckers, they'll shoot the whole house down if they think there's even one rat in there and so the (MORE)

4. JOHN (CONT'D) guy gets his gun out and takes the safety off slowly--as if that's gonna make less noise--and just as he's raising his pistol--BAM-another one of my boys makes a run for it through the front door! Right there! And the pig turns around and lets one off and misses him but by this time we had our pieces out and all hell broke loose. I mean the walls start shaking and the cattle inside get confused and start shooting in all directions so me and my boys take a few out and get the hell outta there. And the best part--we get back to the hole and there's my boy who made a run for it, just sitting there, all in one piece. Got him the best cigar we have. GEORGE (barely getting himself together) What? That's ridiculous! JOHN (somberly) Yea. We've had a lotta of close calls. The whole damn thing is a close call. GEORGE (still jubilant) Oh man! I'm gonna have to remember that one. Wow! JOHN pensively takes a sip. GEORGE You have any more stories? JOHN Can't think of any now. GEORGE

5. Oh, come on. (pause) What about the scar? JOHN goes silent. GEORGE (apologetic) Unless that's personal. JOHN delays. JOHN That's a good story, too. No one's heard it yet. GEORGE No one? JOHN It's not the kind of story you can tell. JOHN takes another drink as GEORGE remains silent. JOHN But maybe it's about time I gave it a try. But you have to promise me something, on blood--that not a single soul besides you and me will know about it. GEORGE I promise. JOHN I wouldn't make you do that if morale around here wasn't so fickle. Any news of scoundrels or traitors--saboteurs--and half my squad would go AWOL. GEORGE I understand. JOHN lets out a sigh. INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT

6. JOHN and FOUR others, very well-dressed, sit around a dinner table, cordially talking to one another. JOHN V.O. It was a long time ago-- at the start of the troubles. We were told by Chicago that our region would be receiving a transplant. A young guy by the name of Tom Linden. Not much combat experience but apparently an extraordinary administrator. Supposed to balance our budgets, cut out non-necessities, make us more 'effecient.' TOM enters the room and places a stack of books at the end of the table and stands in place. JOHN V.O. We didn't buy that shit for a minute. TOM (loudly) This region will be bankrupt within a year! Your rats have been firing rounds into the dark as if prices are the same as they were in 2004! Your units are almost singlehandedly driving up rates in the upper Midwest, not only hurting us, but our brothers in Madison and in the boonies! JOHN Has it occured that the action is heavier up here? TOM Are you saying it's light over in Kansas City--or Chicago? JOHN (sardonically) Would you propose we implement a doctrine of 100% accuracy?

7. FOUR laugh softly. TOM (gritting his teeth) Well maybe a little more training and your rats would make it atleast into the double digits. FOUR become somberly quiet as TOM stares at JOHN. TOM I am your courtesy reminder from Chicago: go bankrupt and you're on your own. We've got a thousand wars to fight and don't make the mistake of thinking yours is-Gunfire rattles the room. [sound fades out] The FOUR, JOHN and TOM all collapse to the ground. JOHN V.O. I should have left. JOHN yells at the FOUR to run away. JOHN looks back to see TOM pinned against a corner, horrified and unmoving. JOHN V.O. I should've left him to die right there. He was frozen--fascinated-eternalized by terror. JOHN crawls over to TOM and grabs him by the arm. INT. BASEMENT WITH SOFA. NIGHT JOHN takes a sip of his drink. JOHN I saved him that night. And every night since ... I wish I hadn't. INT. CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT JOHN V.O. We went to a hideout. JOHN and TOM rush into the room. TOM collapses into a corner, gripping his forearm, as JOHN watches out the door

8. to make sure they weren't followed. JOHN is satisfied and turns to TOM. JOHN Are you okay? TOM I don't know. JOHN Are you bleeding? TOM I don't know, goddamn it! JOHN takes out a flip cell phone and checks the screen, then puts it up to his ear. JOHN (to himself) Oh please, come on, come on. (phone clicks on) Thank God, listen, Luke? The meeting got broken up ... yea, heavy gunfire. Too heavy to be a guess ... you been able to spot the other guys? ... yea, well that's what they're trained to do ... what? ... ah, shit ... corner of what and what? ... got it... no, you guys stay put. It's closer to me. I'll call if I need help. JOHN hangs up and turns to TOM. JOHN One of my guys ditched their phone on a sidewalk. Whoever shook us up finds that and they've go more info than we want them to have. JOHN hands TOM the phone. JOHN If I'm not back in ten minutes, call the last number and tell Luke or whoever picks up to send help, got it?

9. TOM nods. JOHN Ten minutes. JOHN leaves. EXT. GARAGE. NIGHT JOHN looks around a corner and steps out. EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT JOHN walks down the alley with his head lowered. EXT. SIDEWALK. NIGHT A cell phone lies on the ground. JOHN walks over and quickly picks it up and leaves. EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT JOHN goes up the alley, head lowered. Gunshots heard in the distance. EXT. GARAGE. NIGHT JOHN quickly turns the corner and speeds ahead. INT. OUTSIDE CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT JOHN slowly walks up the room. TOM (from inside, softly) No, he's alive ... Right, we moved into a hideout only a few blocks south. White building with green shutters ... No, I think I'll stay here for a while. INT. CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT JOHN storms in and grabs TOM by the collars. TOM stays on the phone. JOHN (growls)

10. Who is it? TOM It's Chicago, you prick! JOHN let's him go and takes the cell phone. JOHN (angrily into phone) Who is this? PHONE This is headquarters. JOHN Yeah? Cicero. PHONE Gracchi. Is everything alright over there? JOHN (calming down) Yes. It'll be under control in a few hours. PHONE I wouldn't be so sure about that. The call ends abruptly. JOHN is perplexed. He looks over at TOM. A CREAK is heard in the distance. (sound fades out) JOHN holds the phone at his waist and calls the last number dialed. JOHN V.O. As I made the call that would inform me of my fate, I remembered something strange about him I had noticed earlier that night, as the shooting had started. INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT In slow motion, TOM's collapse is reenacted as the shooting began. Only this time, he falls to the ground noticably earlier than the first gunshots and everyone else. INT. CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT

11. JOHN holds the phone at his waist. (sounds fades in) A quiet phone ringtone grows louder, accompanied by footsteps. JOHN walks over, drawing his gun, to TOM, who backs into the corner. JOHN V.O. I could see remorse in his eyes. Not that he was about to die, but that this was how he had lived. TOM's eyes grow wide and sad. JOHN V.O. I could imagine that this boy, if given another chance, would fight for good. Would fight harder than anyone else ... JOHN puts the gun into TOM's mouth. JOHN V.O. But I had to be sure he wouldn't forget. JOHN moves the pistol against TOM's cheek. INT. BASEMENT WITH SOFA. NIGHT JOHN puts his shot glass down. GEORGE is completely engrossed by the story and waits before asking for the ending. GEORGE And how did you make it out? JOHN can be heard sniffling, as if beginning to cry. INT. CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT [No sound in shot] Tears roll down TOM's eyes as the gun pushes against the inside of his cheek. JOHN V.O. (weak-voiced) Don't you get it? INT. BASEMENT WITH SOFA. NIGHT

12. JOHN leans out into the light [CRUCIAL NOTE: This is the first time we get to see JOHN's entire face]. It is revealed that TOM in the flashback scenes is JOHN in present time. JOHN (tearing profusely) I am Tom Linden. INT. CEMENT-WALLED ROOM. NIGHT [No sound in shot] TOM doubled over on the ground, bleeding heavily from the mouth. JOHN is shown to collapse to the ground. It is implied that he is shot from behind. INT. BASEMENT WITH SOFA. NIGHT JOHN's face is grotesque, covered in tears. JOHN Despise me. FIN

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