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Three Kings (Spoils Of War) Movie Script

Writer(s) : John Ridley

Genres : Action, Adventure, War

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                           SPOILS OF WAR
                                    
                                by

                            John Ridley



                                  

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                               WRITER'S FIRST DRAFT
                                                    JULY 26th, 1995











     OVER BLACK WE SEE OPENING CREDITS

                                                           FADE TO:

     VIDEO IMAGE
     
     President Bush in the Oval Office delivering an address to
     the American people.

                          PRESIDENT BUSH
                ...This act of naked aggression must be
                checked.  The United States, along with
                coalition forces from the Middle East,
                have drawn a line in the sand.  There is
                only one way for this situation to be
                satisfactorily resolved.  The belligerent
                forces from the Republic of Iraq must be
                removed from Kuwait, be it by choice, or
                by force...

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - DAY
     
     From a distance we see a Humvee sitting alone in the middle
     of a huge, empty desert.  Just the Humvee, nothing else for
     miles.  We hear the sound of a man making machine gun-like
     noises.
     
                          JAEGER (V.O.)
                At-at-at-at-at.  At-at-at-at-at.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     CU - HUMVEE
     
     There are three soldiers at the Humvee.  Second Lieutenant
     JOHN EPPS,                   who sweeps the horizon with a
     pair of binoculars.  PFC WES HAMMOND, who is behind the wheel
     looking very bored, and PFC MARK JAEGER, who is at the
     Humvee's thirty caliber machine gun, making the noises and
     shooting at phantom troops.  When Jaeger talks it's with all
     the swagger of a B-movie hero.

                          JAEGER
                At-at-at-at-at.  At-at-at-at-at.

                          EPPS
                What are you doing?

                          JAEGER 
                What does it look like I'm doing?  I'm 
                killing Iraqis.  At-at-at-at-at.  At-at- 
                at-at-- 

                          WES 
                Could you stop, please.  You're giving me
                a headache. 

                          JAEGER
                A headache? 

                          WES 
                Yeah, a headache.  My head hurts.  You're
                making me uncomfortable. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm making you uncomfortable.  Baking 
                away in a desert in the middle of nowhere
                facing three-hundred-thousand screaming 
                Iraqis with nerve gas scud missiles, that
                doesn't bother you.  But me making a 
                little noise is driving you out of your
                skull. 

                          WES 
                Yes.  Yes.  That's exactly it.  Yes. 

                          JAEGER
                Okay. 

     Jaeger goes right back to playing soldier. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                At-at-at-at-at. 

                          EPPS
                Knock it off! 

                          JAEGER 
                Don't get pissed at me, just 'cause I 
                want to be ready when this war starts.

                          EPPS 
                Ready for what?  What are you supposed to
                be doing? 

                          JAEGER
                I told you, I'm shooting Iraqis. 

                          EPPS
                No you're not. 

     Epps points in the opposite direction that Jaeger was 
     'firing.'

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                The Iraqis are that way.  Those are our
                troops you're shooting at. 

     With his binoculars Epps looks in the direction Jaeger was
     shooting. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                You know what?  I think you got 
                Schwarzkopf.  You did!  You got the 
                General right in the ass.  Now that's
                good shooting. 

                          JAEGER
                Blow me. 

                          EPPS 
                Another month in this desert and I might
                just. 

                          WES 
                Think we're going to do it?  Think we're
                going to war? 

                          EPPS 
                Not up to us.  Up to the Iraqis.  All
                they have to do is get out of Kuwait. 

                          JAEGER 
                We ought to kick their asses anyway.
                Even if they do get out of Kuwait we
                ought to kick their asses. 

                          WES 
                I don't think we'll go to war.  We 
                shouldn't even be here.  This isn't our
                fight, it's a regional conflict.  It
                should be decided regionally. 

                          JAEGER 
                People are suffering. 

                          WES
                People were suffering in Afganistan, and
                we didn't do anything.

                          EPPS 
                That's 'cause the Afganis weren't smart
                enough to be sitting on top of oil. 
                People suffering is one thing, but when
                the Yuppies aren't going to have enough 
                gas for their BMWs it's time to break out
                the tanks.  Come on.  Pack up.  We've got
                a whole lot of nothing to patrol. 

     As they pack up and get ready to roll on Jaeger says almost
     to himself:

                          JAEGER 
                We ought to kick their asses.  Either way
                we ought to.

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. STREET BAZAAR - EVENING 

     The bazaar is loud and colorful, a cacophony of Arabic fills 
     the air.  The bazaar is filled with vendors actively selling
     their wares to each passerby, literally shoving them in the
     faces of prospective customers. 

     Epps, Wes and Jaeger walk along side by side looking almost
     like the Three Musketeers, except that Wes is droning on. 

                          WES 
                ...And it's very important when you sit
                down never to point the soles of your
                shoes at anyone.  It's considered
                offensive. 

                          EPPS 
                You know so much about the Middle East,
                you know where we can get something to
                eat. 

                          JAEGER 
                When do you ever point the soles of your
                feet at people? 

                          WES 
                I'm saying don't do it accidently. 

                          JAEGER 
                Oh yeah.  Accidently. 

     Jaeger lifts his leg and purposefully points the bottom of
     his foot at a vendor. 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                I'm sorry.  My foot accidently jumped up 
                in the air where you could see the bottom
                of it.  I hate it when that happens.

     (Wes slaps Jaeger's leg down.) 

                          WES 
                Come on.  You're going to get us in
                trouble. 

                          JAEGER 
                It was an accident.  You saw it was an
                accident. 

                          WES 
                I'm just trying to help you guys out.  It
                doesn't hurt to know something about
                Saudi Arabia.

                          EPPS 
                Like learning Arabic?  You're gonna learn
                Arabic you might as well learn were we
                can get something to eat around here. 

                          WES 
                I didn't learn Arabic because we were 
                getting shipped here.  You don't learn it
                in a couple of weeks.  I studied it in
                high school. 

                          JAEGER
                Spanish wasn't hard enough? 

                          WES 
                I thought it would be good to know. 

                          JAGER 
                Yeah, if you ever need to buy a rug. 

                          WES 
                Hey, Jaeger.  Why don't you try this:
                Ashra Ka mahari dahra sahib.

                          JAEGER 
                What does that mean? 

                          WES 
                Don't shoot me, I'm friendly.  You can
                use that when you surrender.

                          JAEGER 
                How do you say "Come here, baby.  I'm
                horny."  I can use that now. 

                          WES 
                Don't even try it.  You offend a woman
                out here you're in serious trouble.

                          EPPS 
                Don't worry about Jaeger.  He uses his
                personality as a form of birth control. 

                          JAEGER 
                Blow me.  Have I said that to you guys
                recently?  Blow me. 

     As Epps and Wes walk on Jaeger notices something on a 
     VENDOR'S table.  It is a small, square box - slightly larger
     than a man's palm - fashioned of wood and metal.  It is not
     particularly ornate, but eye catching in its own way.  The
     instant Jaeger picks it up and begins to look it over the
     Vendor is giving him the hard sell in Arabic.  Jaeger holds
     the box up to the vendor. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                What is this? 

     All he gets is more Arabic.  Jaeger calls over to Wes. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Hey, Wes.  Wes! 

     Wes comes back over to Jaeger. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                What is this? 

                          WES 
                Now you need me.

                          JAEGER 
                What is it?  You know so much about
                Arabland tell me what it is. 

     Wes looks over the box carefully. 

                          WES 
                Well, based on my knowledge of the 
                region, its culture and her people I
                would have to say it's a box. 

                          EPPS 
                Can you eat it?  If you can't eat it I
                really don't care what it is. 

                          JAEGER 
                Ask him what it is.

     Wes says something to the vendor in Arabic.  The Vendor
     answers back. 

                          WES 
                He says it's a box. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, you're funny. 

                          WES 
                It's a puzzle box.  If you can figure out
                how to open it there's supposed to be a
                treasure inside.

                          JAEGER
                     (Excited)
                For real?  A treasure? 

                          EPPS 
                Oh, man, you're not going to fall for
                that. 

                          JAEGER 
                There might be something in there. 

                          EPPS 
                Yeah, the deed to the Brooklyn bridge. 

                          JAEGER
                There might be. 

                          WES 
                And you're the guy who's going to open 
                it.

                          JAEGER
                I could. 

                          EPPS 
                You could turn on a light if someone put 
                your hand on the switch. 

     Decisively, without even haggling about price, Jaeger whips
     out some money and pays the vendor for the box.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                Well, that showed me.  Now, can we eat? 

     The three men walk on, Jaeger starting to work on the puzzle box. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT 

     It's filled with young soldiers messing around, playing 
     cards, listening to music, whatever.  Jaeger lays on a bunk
     holding the puzzle box, probing it with his fingers, trying
     to find a way to make it open. 

     Wes crosses over. 

                          WES 
                You get it yet? 

                          JAEGER 
                Naw, nothing. 

                          WES 
                You will.  You'll get it. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'll show Epps.  He'll be sorry when I
                get this thing open. 

                          WES 
                You really think there's a treasure
                inside? 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't care if there's a lump of coal in
                here.  I just want to be able to rub 
                Epps' face in it when I crack this thing. 

     Wes watches Jaeger work the box for a beat.

                          WES
                Jaeger? 

                          JAEGER
                What? 

                          WES 
                You know the fifteenth is the deadline
                for the Iraqis to get out of Kuwait. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  So? 

                          WES 
                That's in two days.

                          JAEGER
                Like I said; so?

                          WES 
                They're cancelling all leaves, all 
                passes.  No more drills.  We stand at
                full ready starting-- 

                          JAEGER 
                What's your point, Wes?  You have a
                point? 

                          WES 
                We're going to war, aren't we.  If 
                they're doing all that it must mean we're
                going to war. 

                          JAEGER 
                It doesn't mean anything. 

                          WES 
                Why would they do all that if we weren't? 

     Jaeger, frustrated, finally looks up from his box. 

                          JAEGER 
                Okay, so we're going to war.  We're 
                supposed to go to war.  We're soldiers, 
                that's what we do.  The guns, the tanks,
                the planes; you're just now getting the
                hint we're in the war business? 

     Jaeger goes back to his box.  Wes stands over him for a beat
     longer, then: 

                          WES
                Jaeger? 

                          JAEGER 
                     (For sure aggravated)
                What!?

                          WES 
                You ever think about dying? 

                          JAEGER 
                Come on, man.  I almost had this thing open. 

                          WES 
                You ever think about it?  You ever worry? 

                          JAEGER 
                The only thing I worry about is how much
                Iraqi ass I'm going to be able to kick
                before this whole thing is over.  The 
                only people who I've got anything to worry
                about are the poor, dumb camel jockeys 
                who don't know enough to get out of the 
                way when I come rolling at them; an M-16
                in each hand, and a grenade between my 
                teeth.  Now if you'll excuse me, soldier,
                I'd like to get back to my box.  I've got
                a treasure to find. 

     Wes lingers over Jaeger for a few more beats, then walks off as we:

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     VIDEO IMAGE 

     President Bush in the Oval office addressing the Nation.

                          BUSH
                Just two hours ago, Allied air forces 
                began an attack on military targets in
                Iraq and Kuwait.  These attacks continue
                as I speak...Our objectives are clear. 
                Saddam Hussein's forces will leave
                Kuwait.  The legitimate government of
                Kuwait will be restored to its rightful
                place, and Kuwait will once again be 
                free. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - DAY 

     From a distance we see a Humvee sitting alone in the middle
     of a huge, empty desert.  Just the Humvee, nothing else for
     miles.  We hear the sound of a man making machine gun-like
     noises. 

                          JAEGER(V.O.)
                At-at-at-at-at.  At-at-at-at-at. 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     CU - HUMVEE 

     It's like the opening scene all over again.  Jaeger is at the
     machine gun, Epps sweeps the horizon with his binoculars, and
     Wes is behind the wheel.  Only difference is that Wes watches
     CNN footage of the air war on a Watchman. 

                          JAEGER
                At-at-at-at-at. 

                          WES 
                     (Re:  His TV) 
                This is so weird.  It's happening, but 
                it's not.  It's like a TV show, and we're
                part of it. 

                          JAEGER
                At-at-at-at-at. 

                          EPPS 
                Will you knock it off!  Damn, man. 
                You're going to annoy the Iraqis into
                submission. 

     Jaeger gets down from the machine gun, pulls out his puzzle
     box and starts to work on it again. 

                          JAEGER 
                This is stupid.  It's going on a month 
                now.  How long are they going to let the
                Air Force piss on those bastards?  They 
                can bomb them all they want, Saddam ain't
                going anywhere without a ground assault.
                What the hell is the army waiting for? 

                          EPPS 
                Why you in such a hurry to get to
                shooting? 

                          JAEGER 
                I've got to have something to tell people
                when I get home besides I protected a 
                stretch of dirt that nobody wanted for
                nothing in the first place. 

                          WES 
                The longer the air force hits the Iraqis,
                the safer it'II be for us when we have to
                engage. 

                          JAEGER 
                You know what, Wes?  If you get a note
                from your mommy they might excuse you
                from the war. 

                          EPPS 
                You all want to lay off?  God.  I hope
                the Iraqis shoot me; put me out of my
                misery. 

                          JAEGER
                OH MY GOD! 

     Startled, Epps and Wes each pull their guns and spin in 
     Jaeger's direction expecting to have to fire at something. 

                          EPPS
                What!?  What!? 

                          JAEGER 
                I did it!  I got the box open. 

     Jaeger has indeed opened the box.  We can see something
     inside of it. 

                          EPPS 
                You almost got yourself shot, that's
                what you did. 

     Wes excitedly goes over to Jaeger. 

                          WES 
                What's inside? 

     Jaeger pulls out a small tube sealed with wax.

                          JAEGER 
                It's...it's...I don't know what it is. 

                          WES 
                It's a container.  Break the seal. 

     Jaeger hesitates a beat, which heightens a bit of suspense.
     All three men can't help but be drawn closer to the container. 

                          EPPS
                Go on, man. 

     Jaeger pokes his finger through the wax and pulls it off the
     tube.  He sticks his finger back into the container and draws
     out a rolled up piece of paper. 

                          WES
                Paper. 

                          EPPS 
                It's a fortune box. 

     Jaeger unrolls it.

                          WES
                What's it say?

                          EPPS 
                Help, I'm being held prisoner in a puzzle
                box factory. 

     We see the paper.  Lines are drawn on it, large, crude 
     figures.  It's hard to make out exactly what it all is
     supposed to represent. 

                          JAEGER 
                It's a drawing, or something.  Some kind
                of art. 

     Epps takes the paper from Jaeger and gives it a once over. 

                          EPPS 
                Looks like something a kid would do. 

     Wes takes the paper and looks it over.

                          WES 
                It's a map, I think that's what it is.

                          EPPS 
                There you go, Jaeger.  Just find the
                buried treasure, and you're a
                millionaire. 

     Jaeger takes back the paper.  All excited like a kid on
     Christmas:

                          JAEGER
                You think? 

                          EPPS 
                Yeah, that's exactly what I think.  You
                and the five thousand other suckers who
                bought those boxes.  Let's get out of
                here.  We got sand to protect. 

     Epps and Wes load up and get ready to move out.  Jaeger just
     keeps staring at the map, eyes lit like candles.

                                                            CUT TO:

     INT. INTELLIGENCE ROOM - LATER 

     The room is filled with maps, recon photos, HUMINT reports.
     They're posted on the walls with various levels of troop 
     strength - allied and Iraqi - indicated.  More data is 
     constantly flowing in, analyzed and processed. 

     Jaeger enters, spots WOODS - a young soldier on intel detail
     - and crosses over to him. 

                          JAEGER
                Woods. 

                          WOODS 
                Hey, Jaeger.  What's up. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm looking for a favor.  I need a map of
                Iraqi. 

                          WOODS 
                A map?  All I got is maps.  I'm gonna 
                have Delayed Map Syndrome when I finally
                get out of here.  What kind of map you
                need?  Topographical, geographical,
                thermal?

                          JAGER
                I don't know.  A map map. 

                          WOODS
                A map map. 

     Woods pulls out a map and hands it to Jaeger.

                          WOODS(CONT)
                That shouldn't be too hard to read.  Iraq
                is the pink thing. 

                          JAEGER 
                I could use some recon photos too. 

     Woods gives Jaeger a sideways glance.

                          WOODS 
                Planning on going to war all by your lonesome? 

                          JAEGER 
                Just...want to be ready when we do. 

                          WOODS 
                Ready for what?  Sight-seeing? 

                          JAEGER
                The photos. 

     Woods starts to dig for photos. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Some good ones. 

                          WOODS 
                They're all good ones.  Satellites we've
                got can snap a shot of the boil on
                Saddam's ass. 

                          JAEGER 
                Saddam's got a boil on his ass? 

     Woods looks up at Jaeger with an expression that says:
     "What?"

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                I don't know. 

     Woods goes back to looking, pulls some photos and hands them
     to Jaeger.

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                Thanks, man.  Appreciate it. 

     Staring at the pictures like they held the secrets of the
     ages Jaeger starts to exit.  Woods mumbles after him: 

                          WOODS 
                Yeah.  You figure out how to win the war
                be sure to let us know. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     INT. BARRACKS - LATER 

     Maps and photos cover Jaeger's bunk the way autumn leaves 
     cover the ground.  He swings between studying the maps, and
     reading from a book titled A History Of The Ottoman Empire.
     Jaeger puts the book down, then slides the drawing from the
     puzzle box up next to one of the recon photos.  He looks at
     the mosaic he's put together, looks at it like it was having
     a dialogue with him.  Dig it:  It is talking.  A voice only
     Jaeger can hear.  Right now it's just a little whisper, but
     the voice is getting louder. 

     A crossing SOLDIER, carrying a football, calls to Jaeger.

                          SOLDIER 
                Come on, Jaeger.  We're playing ball.

     Jaeger fairly jumps as he comes out of his trance. 

                          JAEGER 
                No that's okay.  I'm gonna...I'm doing some...

     The soldier crosses off.  Jaeger goes back to staring at his
     maps, and photos and drawings and books.  "What were you
     saying?"

     As it all keeps talking to him we: 

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     VIDEO IMAGE 

     Once again President Bush delivers an address. 

                          BUSH 
                This evening, as I report to you, the
                military operation known as Desert Storm 
                enters its final phase.  The coalition
                forces that face the tyranny of Saddam 
                Hussein have launched an all out ground 
                offensive...as this last, and most 
                critical part of the campaign begins I 
                ask for your prayers that God may bless
                each and every one of the coalition 
                forces at our side in the Gulf, and that
                He may continue to bless our nation, the
                United States of America.

                                                           FADE TO: 

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO: 

     EXT. DESSERT - DAY 

     From a distance we see a Humvee sitting alone in the middle
     of a huge, empty desert.  Just the Humvee, nothing else for
     miles.  We hear the sound of a man making machine gun-like
     noises. 

                          JAEGER(V.O.) 
                At-at-at-at-at.  At-at-at-at-at. 

                                                       DISSOLVE TO: 

     CU - HUMVEE 

     It's our three boys again, just like we've seen them before:
     Jaeger at the machine gun, Epps working his binoculars, and
     Wes at the wheel watching his Watchman. 

     Jaeger jumps down from the machine gun pissed as all hell. 

                          JAEGER 
                They finally start the ground war, and
                where are we?  Same place we've been 
                since we got here.  Securing freedom for
                the dirt. 

                          EPPS 
                Everybody's got a job to do.  Figure it
                this way:  At least you get to go home
                alive. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'd like to go home alive with a couple
                of Iraqi scalps hanging from my belt.

                          WES 
                Hey, look at this! 

     Jaeger and Epps come around to Wes' Watchman.  We see CNN
     footage of some Iraqi soldiers - looking very tired, hungry
     and scared - surrendering to a CNN news crew. 

                          WES{CONT) 
                They're surrendering to a news crew.  You
                believe that?

     Jaeger tosses his hands in the air in defeat. 

                          JAEGER 
                That's it.  It's over.  Eighteen hours
                into the war and it's over. 

                          WES 
                Those soldiers have got loafers on.  What
                kind of army gives their soldiers loafers?

                          EPPS
                A casual one.

                          WES 
                Damn, this is sweet.  We are going to be
                home in no time. 

                          EPPS 
                Better grab up some sand to take home to
                your family.

     Jaeger bites at his lip.  He wants to say something, but 
     isn't quite sure how, if he should, if...  Fuck that, Jaeger.
     Just say it. 

                          JAEGER 
                We...we could go home with something
                else. 

                          WES
                What? 

                          JAEGER 
                With...with millions.  Millions of
                dollars. 

                          EPPS 
                What are you talking about?

     Jaeger pulls out the drawing from the puzzle box.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                Don't even.  You're not going to show me
                that tired map. 

                          JAEGER
                Wait.  Wait. 

     Jaeger starts to tear at his pockets like he's trying to get
     at a bee.  He pulls out his other maps, recon photos...  The
     guy's a walking atlas.

     Epps looks on in shock at the spectacle. 

                          EPPS 
                I think you've got some issues to deal
                with.  Really, when we get out of here 
                I'm pretty sure it's shrink time for you. 

                          JAEGER 
                Just listen to me!  I've been doing some
                reading.  In the Sixteenth century this
                region was invaded by the Turks.  It 
                became part of the Ottoman empire.  When
                the Turks rolled in they raped, they 
                pillaged, the usual stuff.  Anybody who 
                had anything wanted to hide it from these
                bastards.  They buried their treasures,
                drew maps, and hid the maps in puzzle 
                boxes.  I read about this, man.  I read
                about it. 

                          EPPS 
                     (Sarcastic) 
                Wellllll, if you read it it must be true.
                Was it in the Star, or the Enquirer? 

                          JAEGER 
                Christ!  Wes, tell him.  You know this
                stuff. 

                          WES 
                The Turks invaded, yeah. I guess people
                would have hidden what they had.  But 
                that doesn't mean what was in that box
                is-- 

     Jager holds up the puzzle box drawing to one of the maps.

                          JAEGER 
                Looks at this!  Look at it!  The drawing
                is a map of this area right here.  You
                can see it.  The geography, the
                landmarks.  It's the same area. 

     Epps grabs the map from Jaeger.

                          EPPS 
                And you know what that area is?  It's
                Iraq.  IRAQ!  We're doing a little thing 
                with them right now; Desert Storm.  Maybe
                you've read about it. 

                          JAEGER 
                What we're doing is kicking ass.  For 
                God's sake they got Iraqis surrendering
                to news crews.  The war is over.  We've
                just got to keep shooting people 'cause 
                the army spent all this money, and we've
                got to put on a show for the taxpayers. 

                          WES 
                You're not saying what I think you're
                saying.  I can't believe you're even
                thinking it. 

                          JAEGER 
                It's right here.  This region; an-Nagaf.
                I got recon photos.  There're no troops
                there, no fighting-- 

                          WES 
                You don't know where the Iraqis have 
                moved to.  And our forces haven't even
                engaged the Republican Guard yet, we 
                don't know--

                          JAEGER 
                It's about a hundred miles from where we
                are now.  How long do you think it would
                take us to-- 

                          WES 
                It's not a hundred miles.  It's a hundred
                miles through three different kinds of 
                terrain:  Pure desert, mountains, a
                river.  If the map is even real. 

                          JAEGER 
                It's real.  I'm telling you, it's real. 

                          WES 
                So you just want to cross into hostile 
                territory in the middle of a war on a 
                wild goose chase?  It's crazy.  Tell him
                it's crazy, Epps. 

     Epps thinks.  He doesn't say nuthin', just thinks.  It's the
     thinking that makes Wes nervous.

                          WES(CONT)
                Epps, tell him. 

     Epps gets a little more thinking in.  Wes sees which way this
     is going. 

                          WES 
                You're out of your minds, you know that?
                Both of you.  You don't even know if 
                there's anything out there.  What the
                hell are you thinking? 

                          EPPS 
                I'm thinking about when this war is over.
                Why you figure I'm here?  'Cause I got
                tired of being president of GM?  If a
                brother doesn't play ball, or deal drugs 
                there aren't too many big money prospects
                around, and I'm not particularly 
                interested in spending the rest of my 
                life fighting the oil companies' wars.
                So I say if maybe there's something out 
                there, what the hell, that's what I say. 

     Wes can't believe what he's hearing.  He pulls out the last
     card he has to play. 

                          WES 
                It's desertion.

     Jaeger sweeps a hand across the great nothingness.

                          JAEGER 
                Deserting what?  What the hell are we
                deserting? 

     Both Jaeger and Epps close on Wes for the hard sell. 

                          EPPS 
                It's war.  People get lost all the time
                in war, cut off--

                          JAEGER 
                We disappear for awhile.  We disappear,
                we came back; nobody knows nothing. 

                          EPPS 
                But we all got to be in for this.  We all
                go, or we do nothing. 

                          WES 
                Epps, you're smarter than this.  Jaeger I
                understand, but you're smarter. 

                          JAEGER 
                You know it's real.  You know it's real,
                and you know it's there.  You know it. 

                          WES 
                You're insane if you think you'll find
                anything, and sure insane if you think
                you can get us there and back alive. 

                          EPPS 
                If you say that, then I say you don't 
                know Second Lieutenant Epps very well, do
                you? 

     Wes buries his head in his hands.  He squeezes at it hard 
     like he'd rather make his brains ooze out his ears than say
     what he's going to say. 

                          WES 
                God!  I don't believe I'm doing this.  I
                don't. 

                          JAEGER
                Yes! 

                          EPPS 
                It's going to be cool, Wes.  It's all all
                right.

                          JAEGER 
                We go, we get rich, we go home.  It's
                that easy. 

     Jaeger and Epps start to pack up.  To no one in particular,
     and not too convincingly Wes mutters. 

                          WES 
                Yeah.  That easy. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     To strains of Hendrix's Wait Until Tomorrow the Humvee cuts 
     across the desert kicking up plumes of loose sand.  It looks
     more a dune buggy out for a joy ride than a military vehicle. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     I/E. HUMVEE - SIMULTANEOUS 

     Epps drives, Jaeger rides shotgun, relaxed, feet up on the 
     dash.  Wes is in back with a "what the fuck did I get myself
     into look on his face."  The Hendrix comes from a Walkman 
     hooked up to a pair of small speakers.  Basically these guys 
     are just kicking it.  War?  What war?  Our boys are just on a
     beer run.  Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all. 

                          EPPS 
                Now this is war. 

                          JAEGER
                Roger that. 

                          WES 
                We're going to get court martialed, you
                know that. 

                          JAEGER 
                Hell, we'll just buy our way out. 

     Epps picks up a map and gives it a read.  To Jaeger he says:

                          EPPS 
                Hand me the navicom.

     Jaeger hands Epps a piece of electronic hardware no bigger
     than a video box.  It's a navigational computer which can
     pinpoint its location, by satellite, within meters. 
     Basically the ultimate compass.  Epps compares the navicom's
     readout with the map. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Hold on boys and girls...hold on... 

     Epps watches the navicom...watches it... 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Yeah!  Welcome to beautiful Iraq.  Land
                of enchantment and riches.

                          WES
                Oh, God. 

                          JAEGER 
                You're such a pussy, you know that?
                How'd you get in the army? 

                          EPPS 
                Cool it, Jaeger.  Hey, Wes?  Wes? 

                          WES
                What? 

                          EPPS 
                I know you think this is crazy, but a 
                couple of hours from now you're going to
                be one rich dude trying to buy up every
                other puzzle box out there. 

                          WES 
                I'd settle for being alive.  Really.
                Alive would be fine. 

                          JAEGER 
                Epps, is that a sand dune. 

                          WES 
                Oh, no. 

                          EPPS 
                Why, yes, Jaeger.  I believe it is. 

                          WES 
                No, please, not again. 

     Epps punches the accelerator and the Humvee jumps forward
     like a horse out of the gate. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. HUMVEE - SIMULTANEOUS 

     The Humvee hits the dune and takes to the air.  As it arcs up
     and over the desert we hear.

                          WES(VO)
                Nooooooooo! 

     As gravity takes hold and brings the Hummer back to earth we:

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. HUMVEE - LATER 

     Epps is still taking it for a joy ride.  Wes is still getting
     sick. 

                          WES(VO) 
                Came on, I'm serious.  Knock it off. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     The Hummer hits yet another dune and takes flight. 

                          WES(VO) 
                This isn't funny, all right?  I mean it. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     I/E. HUMVEE - SIMULTANEOUS 

     The occupants jostle as the Hummer touches down.  Epps and
     Jaeger laugh and high five.  Wes is content just to go on
     looking sick. 

                          JAEGER
                Hey, Wes, what kind of treasure you
                figure these people buried? 

                          WES 
                If!  If there's a treasure. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  If.  Whatever.  What kind you
                figure it is? 

                          WES 
                I don't know.  It would be small, easy to
                transport and hide.  Gold or jewels.
                Probably gold.

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah!  Gold!  How much? 

                          WES 
                How the hell should I know how much? 

                          EPPS 
                But that's the great thing about Gold.  A
                little goes a long way. 

                          JAEGER 
                You know what I'm doing with my part of 
                the gold? 

                          WES 
                If there's gold.  If!

                          JAEGER 
                You know what I'm doing with my half? 

     Epps turns to Jaeger.  There's just the slightest, slightest
     hint of edge brushed across his tone.

                          EPPS 
                Third.  What you're going to do with your
                third. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  I meant... You know what I'm going
                to do with it?  I'm going to buy a Sixty-
                three 'Vette Stingray.  All tricked out
                and cherry.  I'm going to be so sweet. 

                          EPPS 
                A car?  You're going to buy a car? 

                          WES 
                This is too much.  You don't even have
                the money and you're wasting it. 

                          JAEGER 
                A car is not just a car where I come 
                from.  I had this friend, had this wicked
                candy apple red Sixty-four and a half
                Mustang-- 

                          EPPS 
                You're getting gold, and you're going to 
                blow it on wheels? 

                          JAEGER 
                What are you going to do with your third? 

                          EPPS
                Invest it. 

                          JAEGER
                Oh, that's fun. 

                          EPPS 
                It's not about being fun.  It's about 
                being smart.  You take that money, you
                take care of it, let it grow, and you 
                don't ever have to do anything again. 
                Ever.  That's freedom.  That's what I'm
                talking about.

                          JAEGER 
                And I'm talking about enjoying myself.

                          EPPS 
                You know, you sound just like a boy who's
                never-- 

                          WES
                What's that? 

     Jaeger and Epps look out the front windshield.  A plume of
     sand rises up from the desert several hundred meters before
     them.  So engrossed in their discussion previously they
     hadn't even noticed until Wes pointed it out. 

     Epps reaches over and kills the tape player.  A loud quiet
     comes with it.  All three men just stare at the plume as it
     drifts closer.  Finally: 

                          EPPS 
                Take the binoculars.

                          JAEGER
                Wh-what do you think--

                          EPPS
                TAKE THE GODDAMN BINOCULARS!

     Jaeger scrambles up the binoculars, and stares off into the
     distance.  Epps and Wes wait...they wait... 

                          JAEGER 
                Iraqis. 

                          WES
                Oh, God! 

                          JAEGER 
                Two vehicles.  They're not supposed to be
                here. 

                          WES
                Oh, Jesus! 

                          JAEGER 
                They're not...I had the pictures.
                They're not supposed to be here! 

                          EPPS 
                Shut up!  Both of you shut the hell up! 

                          JAEGER 
                We've got to do something.  We've got to
                turn around.

                          EPPS 
                We can see them, they can see us.  We
                run, they chase.

                          WES
                What are we going to do? 

     Epps thinks.  Thinking's not good enough for Wes.

                          WES(CONT) 
                What are we going to do!? 

                          EPPS 
                We're going to keep driving. 

                          JAEGER
                They'll shoot us! 

                          EPPS 
                We run they'll shoot us anyway.  If we
                keep driving they might think we 
                friendlies; Iraqis.  Or even if they know
                we're Americans they might get scared, 
                think we're part of a detachment and keep
                on going. 

                          JAEGER 
                They're not going to-- 

                          EPPS 
                It's the only way.  We drive!

     Epps is right.  Jaeger and Wes know it.  They shut up and 
     ride.  Dig that tension:  Wes sweating, Epps giving the wheel
     a white knuckle grip.  Jaeger reaches down and readies his M-
     16.  When he chambers it, it sounds like thunder cracking. 

     The plume draws closer and closer until it's not just a 
     plume, but two dots.  Then it's two jeep-like vehicles.  Next
     we can even make out the passengers.

     That doesn't do much to relax our boys.

     Us, the Iraqis, we're almost on top of each other now.  The
     vehicles are going to pass within feet.  Epps throws in one
     more thing:

                          EPPS 
                Wave at them.  Don't look, just wave.

     All three throw up some weak, forced waves.  THE VEHICLES
     PASS.  Look at that:  The Iraqis are waving back.  And that's 
     all they're doing, just waving.

     Our boys break out into cheers. 

                          JAEGER
                Yeah!  Yeah! 

                          WES
                I think I'm going to throw up.  I am.
                I'm going to toss. 

                          JAEGER 
                You see that?  Right by us.  They went 
                right by.  You had them Epps; you called
                it. 

                          EPPS 
                Figure they don't want to mess with us 
                anymore than we want to mess with them. 

                          JAEGER 
                Look at you, not even breaking a sweat.
                You're cool, boy.  You're cool. 

     They all have a good laugh, but Wes brings that to a crashing
     halt.  Looking back at the Iraqis, in a voice dead with fear: 

                          WES
                They stopped. 

                          EPPS
                Wha... 

                          WES 
                Oh, Jesus, they've stopped. 

     Epps and Jaeger look behind them.

                          WES(CONT) 
                They stopped, and they've turned around. 

     The two Iraqi vehicles have stopped, they've turned, and now
     they're racing towards our boys.  Epps momentarily freezes.
     Jaeger helps him right out of it. 

                          JAEGER 
                Go, go, go! 

     Epps punches it, and the Hummer takes off.  The Iraqis are
     right behind them. 

     The vehicles all do same hard driving:  They twist and turn
     like wild snakes over the loose sand; hit dunes, take 
     flight... It's the open desert, and our boys have nowhere to
     hide. 

     Inside the Hummer it's a rough, rough ride.  Our boys are
     thrown violently about the cabin.  For Epps controlling the
     Hummer is about as easy as riding a wild horse. 

     The Iraqis turn things up a notch and start sending gunfire
     our way.  Bullets kick up around the Hummer like angry, 
     little bees with a hell of a sting.  Epps yells at Jaeger. 

                          EPPS
                Shoot them! 

     Now it's Jaeger who's freezes.  Epps returns the favor.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Shoot 'em! 

     Jaeger climbs back to the Humvee's machine gun, works the
     action and starts firing.  Unlike before when he was playing,
     the real thing is much wilder.  The Humvee bounces around 
     like a cork in the ocean.  Taking aim is nearly impossible.
     The best Jaeger can do is squeeze off rounds in the Iraqis'
     general direction. 

     All Wes can do is cover his head, and stay down like a scared
     little girl. 

                          JAEGER
                Steady it out! 

                          EPPS 
                I steady it out, they blow us out of the
                sand! 

     It's like a dog fight in the dirt.  The vehicles weave,
     cut... One of the Iraqis starts to cut across Jaeger's firing
     line.  Jaeger swings the machine gun around hard and lets
     loose.  A hail of bullets rips into the Iraqi vehicle just
     above wheel level.  It kicks the vehicle up and back, 
     whipping and twisting it horribly in the air time after time,
     then smashing it back into the ground. 

     Jaeger is beside himself.

                          JAEGER 
                I got him!  You see that, I nailed him! 

     As if in answer the remaining Iraqi vehicle's gunner tears
     off a salvo that eats up the space right around Jaeger.  He's
     not hit, but it kicks him back down into the Humvee screaming
     with fear. 

                          EPPS
                Damn it!

     The boys are running out of options, and Epps knows it. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Wes, take the wheel. 

     No good. Wes is too scared to move.  Epps reaches back and
     literally pulls him up and over into the front. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Take it! 

     With little finesse Wes takes the wheel as Epps slides over.
     Epps takes up an M-16 with a grenade launcher.  He loads it
     up, and readies the weapon.  Crawling to the back he takes
     aim. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Keep it steady. 

     Wes does his best to give a level ride, but the Iraqi bullets
     coming at them don't help much. 

     Epps zeroes in on the target.  He takes aim and starts to
     squeeze back on the trigger.  He almost has a shot off when
     Wes hits a dune rocking the Hummer violently.  Epps loses the
     target. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Damn it!  I said keep it steady. 

     Epps tries to take aim again.  Careful aim.  One shot is all
     he gets.  The bullets keep coming, but he's in no hurry.
     Waiting...waiting...  The Iraqis are only getting closer. 

                          WES
                Shoot...shoot! 

     Waiting...

     Closer... 

                          WES
                SHOOT! 

     EPPS FIRES!  The grenade rips from the launcher, riding a 
     trail of white smoke, and slams into the Iraqis.  You know 
     the story:  Huge explosion, car parts flying a hundred feet
     into the air, bodies whipping through space, stuff Bob Dole
     would hate.  But maybe he would like it.  They were just
     Iraqis.

     Wes brings the Hummer to a halt.  A spastic, scared, relieved 
     laugh escapes him.  Jaeger, checking himself for wounds, and
     Epps, M-16 still in hand, get out.  Epps makes his way to the
     wreckage, sweeping it with his rifle ready to blast any
     survivors.  Yeah, like somebody's walking away from that
     bang. 

     Wes finally makes his way over to the others who stand and
     stare at the burning hulk of whatever it was.

                          WES
                I thought we were dead. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, well, we're not. 

                          WES 
                We got to get out of here. 

     Nobody says anything.  This really scares Wes.

                          WES(CONT)
                We have to go back. 

                          JAEGER 
                We're not going anywhere.  Not 'til we
                get what we came for. 

                          WES 
                     (Incredulous) 
                We just about got killed.  You know what
                happened?  We just about got killed, and 
                you want to go on? 

                          EPPS 
                Jaeger, go check out the Hummer for
                damage.

     Jaeger starts to cross back to the Hummer.  Wes gives him
     something to take with him. 

                          WES 
                You're crazy, you know that?  You're
                insane! 

     Jaeger goes leaving Epps and Wes all by their lonesome.  Wes
     turns to Epps.

                          WES(CONT) 
                You know that, right?  You know he's
                sick? 

     With a flip of his head Epps indicates the dead Iraqis.

                          EPPS 
                They shouldn't have been here.

                          WES 
                We shouldn't have been here, Epps.  There
                is a war going on! 

                          EPPS 
                This is miles from the battle lines.
                They were probably deserters. 

                          WES 
                Deserters would have run, they wouldn't
                have engaged. 

                          EPPS 
                They shouldn't have been out this way,
                that's all I'm saying. 

     Wes starts to get it.  It really doesn't matter what he has
     to say. 

                          WES 
                We're not going back, are we? 

     Epps has got nothing to say to the truth.  He turns and
     starts to walk to the Hummer.

                          WES(CONT) 
                You bastard!  You're trying to get us
                killed. 

     Like a whip Epps snaps around.  He grabs up Wes and pulls him
     close. 

                          EPPS 
                I'm trying to get us paid.  I'm trying to
                get us all paid!  As long as there's a 
                chance something is out there we go on.
                There's not going to be anymore trouble.
                If there is, we go back, but there won't
                be. 

     Almost as an afterthought Epps realizes he's got Wes, and
     lets him go.  Gently he puts it: 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                You'll feel different after we find the
                treasure.  Money has away of making
                people feel different. 

     Nobody's got anytbing to say to that, so they say nothing.
     Epps heads back to the Hummer.  A beat later Wes follows.

     Jaeger is already behind the wheel.  Epps rides shotgun this
     time.  Once again Wes is in back.  To Jaeger, Epps ask: 

                          EPPS
                She okay? 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  Yeah, she's fine. 

                          EPPS
                Let's go.

     Jaeger fires it up, and pulls out.  As they head off we: 

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK

                                                           FADE TO:

     I/E. HUMVEE - LATER 

     The sun beats down violently as the Hummer rolls along.
     Epps, Jaeger and Wes all ride along in an angry silence.
     Jaeger starts to smile.  He chuckles to himself.  Epps, 
     looking for anything to break the tension smiles a bit 
     himself. 

                          EPPS
                What? 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm just thinking, you know, if the rest
                of the boys knew what we're doing.  I
                mean if they knew what we were coming
                back with. 

                          EPPS 
                You can't tell anybody about this. 

                          JAEGER 
                I know.  I know.  But I'm saying, if they
                knew.  We're going to be millionaires,
                man.  Millionaires! 

     Epps joins in cackling like a Hyena. 

                          EPPS 
                It'd make their heads explode.

                          JAEGER 
                Millionaires, man. 

     He turns back to Wes.

                          JAEGER(CONT} 
                You know we're going to be rich.  Admit
                it.  You know.  Come on, admit it. 

     In spite of himself Wes gives a little smile.

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                Ahh, there it is.  There it is.  You know
                it. 

     Singing to Levert: 

                          EPPS 
                Money, money, money, money...MONEY. 

     Jaeger joins in. 

                          EPPS/JAEGER 
                Money, money, money, money...MONEY. 

     Epps starts to slow down. 

                          WES 
                What are you doing.

                          EPPS 
                Low on gas.  Got to refill. 

     A nervous look punches it way onto Jaeger's face.  Epps
     stops.  He and Wes jump out of the Hummer and go around back 
     to the reserve tanks.

     Jaeger stays in the vehicle looking all tense.  After a beat
     Epps screams for him. 

                          EPPS(O.C.)
                Jaeger...JAEGER! 

     Time to face the music.  Jaeger hauls himself out of the 
     Hummer and goes around to Epps who's got a look on his face
     like he's just had a spoonful of steaming shit.  He points
     angrily at one of the reserve tanks. 

                          EPPS 
                Look at it.  LOOK AT IT!  Shot to hell.
                It's been leaking gas since the fire 
                fight.  I told you to check for damage. 

                          JAEGER
                ...I know. 

                          EPPS 
                And you missed this?  How are you going
                to miss something like this? 

                          JAEGER 
                I didn't miss it.  I figured if you knew 
                one of the reserves got hit you'd want to
                turn back. 

                          WES 
                So, you just let us drive on knowing we 
                were losing fuel?  Knowing we were going
                to run low in the middle of nowhere? 

                          JAEGER 
                ...I figured...I figured you'd turn back. 

     Wes gets a slow boil on. 

                          WES 
                ...You stupid son of a bitch. 

     Wes lunges for Jaeger, but doesn't have the speed or the
     skills.  Jaeger counters, and sinks a fist into Wes' jaw. 
     Wes goes down, but he manages to take Jaeger to the sand with
     him.  They start to scrape, but it's obvious Jaeger has got
     the upper hand.

     Epps reaches down and yanks Jaeger off of Wes.

                          EPPS
                Get off him. 

     Jaeger comes up to his feet.  Wes wipes some blood from his 
     lips.  He looks down at his bloodied hand, then sneers at
     Jaeger. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                You two fighting's not going to get us 
                anything.

                          WES 
                Him getting us stranded out here doesn't
                do much good either.

                          JAEGER 
                We're not stranded.  We've got enough gas
                in the other reserve to get us back.

                          WES 
                Then lets go back while we still can.

                          JAEGER 
                As soon as we hit the mountain we would 
                have had to go on foot anyway.  We're not
                that far.  We can make it. 

                          EPPS 
                What do we do with the Humvee?

                          JAEGER
                We leave it. 

                          WES 
                What if someone takes it? 

     Jaeger throws his arms wide to the empty desert.

                          JAEGER
                Who?  Who's going to take it.  We mark
                the location with the navicom, we can
                come right back to this spot. 

     Wes has had enough. 

                          WES 
                You two don't even know how crazy you 
                are.  You want to go on your sick, little
                treasure hunt then go ahead, but mark me
                absent. 

                          JAEGER 
                You have to go with us, Wes. 

                          WES 
                Really?  What is that, an order, private? 

                          JAEGER 
                You have to go with us.  You can't walk
                back... 

     Jaeger dangles the keys to the Humvee from a finger.

                          JAEGER{CONT) 
                And you sure as hell aren't going to
                drive. 

     Wes burns a hole through Jaeger's head with his eyes.  Epps
     steps to him.

                          EPPS 
                Load what you can; water, tools, weapons.
                Anything you think we might need. 

     Wes burns on a bit more, then turns and heads for the Hummer.
     Jaeger watches him go, then smiles to himself.

                          JAEGER
                Who's he kidding?  He wants it as bad as
                we do.  We're going to be fat, Epps.  As
                soon as we get back to Saudivillie you
                and me are going to-- 

     Epps gets up in Jaeger's face.  The menace he projects is
     very real. 

                          EPPS 
                We're going to keep going 'cause I want
                some of whatever's out there.  But you 
                ever pull something like trying to get my
                ass stranded out here again, and I'll
                kill you myself.  You got that? 

     Jaeger just stands there, his fear swelling. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                SAY IT! 

                          JAEGER
                I got that...sir. 

     Epps storms over towards the Hummer leaving Jaeger to be all
     scared with himself. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     A long line of footprints works their way through the sand up
     to Epps, Jaeger, and Wes.  Epps and Wes trek side by side.

     Jaeger is behind them, having trouble keeping up.  Between
     pants he gasps:

                          JAEGER 
                Hey...hey!  Slow up.  You don't have to
                go so fast. 

                          EPPS 
                Faster we get there, faster we get back. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  I know.  I'm with you. 

     Jaeger struggles on just a bit more, then:

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                I'm gonna...I'm just gonna stop for a
                little water. 

                          EPPS 
                Don't drink up all of yours, 'cause you
                aren't getting any of ours.

                          JAEGER 
                I'm just going to have a little sip,
                that's all.  Just a sip. 

     Jaeger lets himself drop down into the sand.  He looks up.
     Epps and Wes are still walking. 

                          JAGER{CONT)
                Wait for me! 

                          EPPS
                You can catch up. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah...I'm right behind you. 

     Wes looks back at Jaeger sitting on the ground sucking on his
     water. 

                          WES 
                Thanks for straightening out Jaeger.

     Epps shrugs, like hitting Jaeger wasn't much of anything.

                          EPPS 
                Maybe we are crazy for doing this.  But
                if we do it, we do it right.  I just
                needed to explain that in a way I
                wouldn't have to do it again. 

                          WES
                Not much chance of that.  Jaeger's an
                idiot. 

                          EPPS
                He's not so-- 

                          WES 
                He's an idiot, and he's not nearly as
                hard as he thinks.

                          EPPS 
                How tough you have to be to make the 
                army?  All you've got to do is shoot a
                gun, and stop a bullet.

     Again Epps looks behind him as Jaeger struggles to his feet
     and stumbles after his two comrades.

                          WES 
                Look at him.  We ought to just leave him
                behind. 

     Epps gives a little laugh like he's just heard a mildly
     amusing punchline.

                          WES(CONT) 
                Like he said:  People get lost in wars
                all the time.  And out here?  Out here
                there are eight million ways to die. 

     All this talk starts to creep out Epps a little. 

                          EPPS 
                Okay, so he was riding you.  Get over it.

     Wes smiles a little smile. 

                          WES
                I'm just talking. 

     They walk on.

     Jaeger works to catch up, muttering to himself as he goes.

                          JAEGER
                Can't even slow up for me.  Wasn't for me
                they wouldn't even be here.  I'm the one
                that found the map.  Should have just 
                come by myself.  Should've.  Shouldn't
                even cut them in.  Shouldn't. 

     As Jaeger steps down be hears an audible clicking sound come 
     from under his boot.  He goes dead still.  Panic races up and
     down his spine.  In almost a whisper be says:

                          JAEGER
                Epps... 

     Again, louder: 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Epps! 

     Like he couldn't be more annoyed Epps turns around.

                          EPPS
                What!? 

                          JAEGER
                Mine. 

     Epps isn't sure of what he's heard. 

                          EPPS
                What? 

                          JAEGER
                Mine.  Land mine!

     Epps doesn't say anything, he just keeps on staring.  Scared,
     angry they don't get it: 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                I stepped on a land mine!

     Epps and Wes look at each other, then back to Jaeger.  Like
     he's got no time to mess around: 

                          EPPS 
                You didn't step on any mine. 

                          JAEGER
                I heard it click. 

                          EPPS 
                If you stepped on a mine you'd be dead by
                now.  Nobody uses delayed-fuse mines
                anymore. 

                          JAEGER
                I heard it.

                          WES 
                Maybe it's just a can, or something. 

     Jaeger loses it. 

                          JAEGER 
                JESUS CHRIST, I'M STANDING ON A MINE.
                SHUT UP, AND GET OVER HERE! 

     Just plain sick of all this, Epps and Wes trudge back over to Jaeger. 

                          EPPS 
                Paranoid, that's your problem.  You're
                just paranoid.  Why'd the paranoid one
                have to find the map? 

     Epps pulls a knife from his belt.  He sinks to the ground and
     probes the sand under Jaeger's foot.  Nothing...nothing... 
     WE HEAR THE SOUND OF METAL AGAINST METAL.  Epps goes white.
     For a second he doesn't move.  Tension falls like a steel
     curtain.  Slow, careful, Epps withdraws the blade and stands.
     Jaeger reads the expression on Epps' face. 

                          JAEGER
                Oh, God!  Oh God! 

                          EPPS
                Just be cool. 

                          JAEGER 
                It's a mine, isn't it? 

                          EPPS
                Just relax. 

                          JAEGER 
                How'm I gonna relax standing on a mine!? 

                          EPPS 
                We're going to get off, all right.  We'll
                get you off of there.  Just...be cool. 

     Epps goes to Wes.  The two start to move away from Jaeger. 

                          JAEGER
                Where you going? 

                          EPPS 
                Me and Wes are just going to talk. 

                          JAEGER 
                Why you got to move away to talk!? 

                          EPPS 
                We're going to be right over here. 

                          JAEGER 
                You're moving away because it's going to
                blow up, isn't it!?  It's going to blow
                up! 

                          EPPS 
                I said be cool, all right?  Now be cool! 

     Epps and Wes move over and huddle.

                          WES 
                What kind of mine? 

                          EPPS 
                I don't know, and I wasn't about to mess
                with it. 

                          WES
                Should have blown already.  Delayed fuse,
                that's Vietnam stuff. 

                          EPPS 
                Maybe that's all the Iraqis could afford,
                okay?  Maybe they got it on discount. 
                Maybe the fuse is messed up.  Or maybe 
                it's going to go off in two seconds, and
                we won't have to worry about getting 
                Jaeger down off there, all we'll have to
                worry about is finding the pieces. 

     Behind them, pathetically, Jaeger cries: 

                          JAEGER
                Epps... 

                          WES 
                Doesn't matter.  We're not going to be
                able to get him off it anyway. 

                          EPPS
                There's a way. 

                          JAEGER
                Epps...

                          WES 
                Can't do it.  Can't do it, and keep him 
                alive. 

     Epps' eyes narrow.  He doesn't want to hear this kind of
     talk. 

                          EPPS 
                I said nobody dies.  Nobody dies.

                          JAEGER 
                Epps, my leg is falling asleep. 

     Epps thinks, and thinks hard.

                          EPPS
                     (To Wes) 
                We've got rope? 

                          WES
                For climbing.

                          EPPS
                Break it out. 

     Epps crosses back over to Jaeger.

                          JAEGER
                My leg is falling asleep. 

                          EPPS
                It's not falling asleep.  You've only
                been standing there for three minutes. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm the one who can feel my leg, and it's
                falling asleep. 

                          EPPS 
                It falls asleep and you die, so wake it
                the hell up. 

     Wes crosses over with climbing rope.  Very, very gently Epps
     wraps the middle of the rope around Jaeger's waist leaving
     several feet dangling off each end. 

                          JAEGER 
                How's this going to work? 

                          EPPS 
                Me and Wes each going take an end of the 
                rope, run our asses of, and yank you off
                the mine. 

                          JAEGER 
                That's going to do it, right?  I'm going
                to be okay.

     Not too convincingly: 

                          EPPS
                You're going to be fine. 

                          JAEGER
                You're not going to let me die, are you!?
                Don't let me die! 

     Ignoring the question:

                          EPPS 
                When we start running suck up your 
                breath.  You're going to get the wind
                knocked out of you. 

                          JAEGER 
                Don't let me die, Epps.  I don't want to
                die. 

     Epps and Wes pick up separate ends of the rope, and take up 
     positions behind Jaeger.  Epps waits a beat, afraid of what
     might happen, but there is no choice.  He digs in ready to
     take off running.  Wes whispers to him:

                          WES 
                What if it's a Valloro 69?  Just going to
                bounce right up out of the ground, 
                explode in the air, kill him and us. 

                          EPPS
                You just go when I say go. 

                          WES 
                Should have at least gotten the map off
                of him.  Blows up with him then we did
                all this for nothing. 

     Ignoring him: 

                          EPPS
                Ready? 

                          WES
                Yeah. 

     Epps takes a couple of deep breaths, holds one: 

                          EPPS
                GO! 

     Wes and Epps are off the the races, churning up sand as they
     race away from Jaeger.  They scream like banshees as if to
     draw strength.

     Jaeger does a little chant: 

                          JAEGER 
                Oh, God.  Oh, God! 

     The rope goes taught.  Jaeger's body jerks violently backward
     as he gets the air punched out of him.  As his feet leave the
     ground the mine detonates.

                                                            CUT TO:

     POV - JAEGER 

     A fireball blossoms, and eats up the air towards the camera
     as THE CAMERA ITSELF RUSHES AWAY from the belching fire and
     smoke. 

                                                            CUT TO: 

     JAEGER 

     His feet just clear the outer edge of the fireball, but still
     get licked and burned by flames before he slams to the ground
     several feet from the explosion. 

     Epps runs to Jaeger.  Wes takes a casual stroll back over. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm all right.  Oh, Jesus, I'm all right. 

     All casual like, Wes says: 

                          WES
                The map okay? 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER

     We see a set of three very odd tracks across the ground.  It
     looks like something has been dragged through the sand.  THE
     CAMERA FOLLOWS THE TRACKS TO EPPS, WES AND JAEGER who crawl
     on their bellies.  They thrust knifes into the sand before 
     them searching for mines.  We get the feeling they've been at
     this for awhile.

                          WES
                How long we going to keep this up. 

                          JAEGER 
                Until we're out of the mine field is how
                long. 

                          WES 
                Haven't found a mine for half a mile, or more.

                          JAEGER 
                That don't mean nothing.  Iraqis could 
                have just spread them out like that; make
                us think we're in the clear. 

                          WES 
                You want to crawl, crawl. 

     Wes stands and starts to walk.  Epps waits a beat and follows
     suit.  Only Jaeger stays down. 

                          JAEGER 
                You're going to blow yourselves up. 

                          EPPS 
                Wes is right.  If there were any more 
                mines we would have found them.  Hell, 
                that one you stepped on was probably old 
                anyway; left over from the war with Iran.

                          JAEGER 
                You don't know that.  It could be a trick. 

                          EPPS 
                If we step on a mine we'll know it was.
                Let me see the maps.

     Jaeger stays down, afraid to get up. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                Get up and give me the maps.

     After a beat Jaeger stands and hands over the map from the
     puzzle box and a recon photo.  Epps compares the two, then
     takes out the navicom. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                We're on course.  Northeast, twenty-eight
                degrees.  When we hit the base of the 
                mountain we'll find a pass.  I can see it
                on the recon photo.  Shouldn't be too 
                hard to traverse.  That'll take us to the
                top and... 

     Epps points at a black dot on the puzzle box map with a
     smaller white dot in the middle. 

                          EPPS 
                This.  Whatever it is. 

                          JAEGER 
                It's the treasure, that's what it is. 

                          WES
                It better be. 

     Epps starts to pack away the map.  Real plain Jaeger says:

                          JAEGER
                The map. 

     Epps stops, like he almost not sure what Jaeger is talking
     about.  Jaeger extends a hand. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                The map. 

     Epps gets it.  He hands the map back to Jaeger who tucks it
     away.  Our boys walk on. 

                          EPPS 
                You're not losing trust, are you? 

                          JAEGER
                Just figure it's my map, I ought to hang
                on to it. 

                          WES 
                If all we wanted was the map out of you
                we could have taken it while you were
                standing on that mine pissing on
                yourself. 

                          JAEGER 
                Probably would've too if Epps wasn't
                around to stop you. 

                          EPPS 
                I didn't have to stop anything, 'cause 
                nobody was going to do nothing.  We're in
                this together, understand? 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, I understand.  Wes doesn't want to
                come along in the first place, but he 
                gets a third of the find.  That's a sweet
                deal. 

                          WES 
                I'm getting tired of you riding me,
                Jaeger. 

                          JAEGER 
                Anytime you want to do something about it
                just let-- 

     Epps stops dead in his tracks.

                          EPPS
                Quiet! 

     They all go quiet. Epps cocks an ear to the air and listens.
     They all listen.  Wind, but that's about it. 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't hear any-- 

                          EPPS 
                Shut up and listen!

     Again they listen.  Again they hear wind.  Then, there it is;
     the sound Epps is looking for:  A pop, like a big balloon
     being burst just over the next rise. 

                          WES
                Gunfire. 

     Quick like that Jaeger grabs his M-16 down off his shoulder
     and is about to ready it when Epps slaps down the muzzle.

                          EPPS
                Don't! 

                          JAEGER 
                It's a fire fight. 

                          EPPS 
                Single shots doesn't mean a fire fight.
                That's not a battle going on. 

                          WES
                What is it? 

     Epps thinks.  Yeah, what the hell is it? 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. DESERT - RISE 

     Epps, Jaeger, and Wes edge carefully up to the lip of the 
     rise on their bellies.  They're barely visible against the
     sand.  Epps takes out a pair of binoculars and zeros in on
     the ground below. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     POV - EPPS 

     THROUGH BINOCULAR LENSES we see a SHI'ITE CAMP:  A tent city 
     really.  There are several uniformed IRAQI SOLDIERS who are
     roughing up the Shi'ite men.

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS, WES, JAEGER 

                          JAEGER 
                What is it? 

     Epps hands the binoculars over to Jaeger.  Who looks down at
     the scene on the ground.

                          EPPS 
                Iraqis.  A bunch of them. 

                          JAEGER 
                What are they doing here? 

     Jaeger hands the binoculars to Wes.

                          EPPS 
                Well, it's Iraq.  I'm not sure, but I'm
                guessing that has something to do with
                them being here.

                          JAEGER 
                What are they doing in the middle of
                nowhere? 

                          WES 
                Maybe they're looking for gold. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     POV - WES 

     AGAIN WE SEE THROUGH THE BINOCULAR LENSES.  One of the Iraqi
     soldiers is pushing around a Shi'ite, having a good laugh 
     about it, then casual as rain pulls out a gun and gives him a
     bullet, gift wrapped, straight to the brain. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS, WES, JAEGER

                          JAEGER 
                Jesus!  What the hell did he do that for?
                They're Iraqis.  Why are Iraqis killing
                Iraqis? 

                          WES 
                Those people down there are Shi'ites.
                You've got Shi'ites in the south of Iraq
                and Khurds in the North.  Neither of
                them've got much love for Saddam. 
                Probably figured once the war started 
                there might be an uprising, so he sent
                his soldiers out to slap them around some. 

                          EPPS 
                They're doing more than slapping.

                          JAEGER 
                The Shi'ites are on our side?  I didn't
                know that. 

                          WES 
                Is there anything you do know? 

                          JAEGER 
                I know you're a pussy.  I know that. 

                          EPPS 
                All right.  Let's get out of here. 

                          WES 
                The soldiers are going to kill those
                people! 

                          JAEGER
                So? 

                          WES
                We have to do something. 

                          EPPS
                There's nothing we can do.

                          WES 
                We can fight.  That's what we're here 
                for:  To fight the Iraqis.  To help the
                Shi'ites, and the Khurds. 

                          JAGER 
                I didn't sign up to help any Shi'ites.
                All we were supposed to do is get the 
                Iraqis out of Kuwait, and if we aren't
                doing that then all bets are off. 

                          EPPS 
                We carrying any ordinance? 

                          WES 
                Some extra grenades.  A Claymore. 

     Epps thinks, then shakes his head.

                          EPPS 
                Not enough.  We're out numbered and out
                gunned.  They'd cut us to shreds.

                          JAEGER 
                So good bye, Shi'ites.  Thanks for 
                playing.  We have some lovely parting
                gifts for you as you go. 

                          WES 
                We're American soldiers.  We don't
                abandon people. 

                          JAEGER 
                Funny you should say that while we're out
                looking for gold. 

                          WES 
                You're the one wanted to kill Iraqis so
                bad. 

                          JAEGER 
                I've got a new agenda now, it's get rich.
                The only way the Iraqis figure into that
                is not at all. 

                          EPPS
                     (To Wes) 
                I don't want to see people killed any 
                more than you.  But we try to help out we
                die, and all we do is die. 

                          WES 
                We can't just go off and-- 

                          EPPS 
                There's nothing we can do.  We shouldn't
                even be here in the first place. 

     There's a big, loud quiet as our boys just hang there.  From
     down below comes another balloon burst; another gun shot.

     Epps lowers his head.  He wants to fight, but it's like he 
     said:  There's nothing they can do.  Epps slides back away 
     from the rise, then Jaeger, and finally Wes disappears back
     the way they came.

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. DESERT/MOUNTAINS - LATER 

     It's the kind of red rock and mesas one would expect to find 
     in a desert; not too steep or rough, but it looks as though
     they will definitely takes more than a little physical
     exertion to navigate. 

     Epps, Wes, and Jaeger approach a path at the mesa's base.
     Jaeger takes out his maps and looks them over.

                          JAEGER 
                This is it.  We're right on target. 

     Epps takes a long gander up towards the top of the mesa.

                          EPPS 
                All we've got to do is make it to the
                top.

                          WES 
                And find the treasure, and get it, and 
                get back to the Humvee, and get the hell
                out of Iraqi without getting our heads
                blown off, but that's about it. 

                          EPPS 
                We're not going to find anything standing
                here.  Let's get to climbing. 

     They ready their packs and weapons, then start up the mesa.

                                                           FADE TO:

     Our boys trekking along the pass.  They push onward and
     upward.

                                                           FADE TO:

     The pass has narrowed, and become more treacherous:  The
     rocks are loose and the footing unsure.  The going has slowed
     considerably as each man must be extremely careful of their
     steps.

                                                           FADE TO: 

     Our boys stop.  The pass has seemingly came to an end.  For a
     short ways the face of the mesa is almost sheer.  The three
     soldiers take it in. 

                          EPPS 
                Not much of a pass.

                          WES 
                Probably was a couple of hundred years
                ago when whoever drew the map came 
                through here.  Worn down to nothing now.

                          EPPS 
                Picks up again just on the other side. 

     They all take a good look at what little there is to cross 
     on, and how far down it is to the hard, jagged rocks below. 

                          JAEGER 
                Think we can make it? 

                          WES 
                We make it, or we go back empty handed.

                          EPPS 
                Looks like we make it. 

     Epps and Wes edge their way towards what's left of the pass.
     Jaeger just stands there staring down.  Way down.

                                                           FADE TO: 

     Epps, Wes and Jaeger inch along the pass hugging the face of
     the mesa.  Small rocks churn beneath their feet and tumble to
     the ground below.  No man says a word, they're too busy 
     trying to keep alive, and the air is filled with the sounds
     of labored breathing.

     Each step so very careful:  Testing the pass for purchase,
     making sure the footing is solid.  They inch one foot
     forward, then slide over the next.  Their hands probe the
     cliff face, fingers crawling like spider legs, looking for
     something, anything, to take hold of. 

     Sweat drips into Epps eye.  He blinks hard and fast trying to
     clear his vision.  Right now he can't really afford
     distractions. 

     Slowly, carefully, inch by inch the little death dance goes
     on. 

     Jaeger steps.  He steps wrong.  The pass gives way under his 
     foot and begins to slide down.  Instinctively Wes rockets out
     an arm grabbing Jaeger by the uniform.  At first Jaeger 
     smiles, glad for the save.  But then he realizes something: 
     Wes is literally holding his life in his hands.  All Wes has
     to do is loosen his grip, and...

     The color drains from Jaeger's face.  Wes stares back blank
     as a bowl of water. 

     Eternity goes on for a second. 

     Finally Wes yanks Jaeger back up against the mesa's face,
     then slides on.  Jaeger just hangs where he is for a beat
     clutching the rocks for dear life.

                                                           FADE TO:

     Epps makes it to the far side of the broken pass.  He holds
     out a hand to Wes and reels him in.  Together they both help
     bring in Jaeger.  Wes looks back over the path they've just
     crossed. 

                          WES 
                The US Army:  Always an adventure.

                          EPPS 
                Let me see the map.

     Jaeger hands the map to Epps who gives it a going over.  THEY
     WALK AS THEY TALK.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                Should be easy going from here.  Stay on
                the pass straight to the dot. 

                          WES 
                What do you figure it to be? 

                          EPPS 
                Got to be some kind of landmark;
                something distinctive.

                          JAEGER
                X marks the spot.

                          EPPS 
                Something like that.

                          JAEGER 
                But the white dot in the middle; that's
                got to mean something.

                          EPPS 
                I hope it means something, otherwise...

                          WES 
                Otherwise whatever we're looking for
                could be anywhere.

                          EPPS 
                Basically.  But the map has been pretty
                precise so far.  I don't think it'll be
                too hard to-- 

     Our boys step past a grouping of rocks.  They stop dead.
     Sitting before them, in what looks like a small camp, is FIVE
     IRAQI SOLDIERS.  Time clicks by real slow for an instant.
     It's a delayed reaction, like the beat it takes after you
     pick up a hot pan before you realize that, yeah, it is
     burning the flesh from your hand. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Take cover! 

     Our three soldiers turn and bolt back the way they came.
     They run like wild rabbits for a bit, jumping over a rock
     formation and hitting the deck using the rocks as cover. 
     Like well-trained warriors they peel their weapons from their
     shoulders, lock and load, and stand ready.  They wait a bit,
     taking several deep breaths like divers about to go under.
     Finally Epps gives the order. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Let's hit 'em! 

     Simultaneously they spring up from behind the rocks and bear
     down on the Iraqis with their M-16s ready to blow them to
     kingdom come. 

     One problem:  No Iraqis.

     For a beat our three don't move.  They hold position, breath
     coming hard like sprinters at the end of a race.  They're 
     eyes flint back and forth scanning for something...anything.
     There's nothing. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Cover me. 

     M-16 still at the ready, Epps raises up taking a tactical
     stance.  He inches forward, sweeping his weapon back and 
     forth before him for any potential target.  There is none.
     The Iraqis have vanished.  Epps lowers the M-16, but does not
     shoulder it. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Clear. 

     Wes and Jaeger come up from their cover and cross to Epps.
     They keep their weapons ready.  Eerily they all look around
     as if trying to spot ghosts.

                          WES 
                Where'd they go? 

                          EPPS 
                I don't know.  There's a lot of space up
                here.  They could be just about-- 

                          WES 
                Weird they didn't chase us.

                          JAEGER 
                Maybe they're as scared of us as we are
                of them. 

                          WES 
                Just seems weird they didn't chase us.

                          EPPS 
                What's weird is how they disappeared. 
                Doesn't make sense.  Doesn't...

     There is a sound; a steady swooshing that starts faint and 
     grows closer like a rolling thunder.  Our three start looking
     around, turning where they stand, trying to find the source
     of the sound as it rises to a near deafening pitch.  There's
     nothing.  They see nothing.  Still the sound races closer and
     closer.  Epps, Jaeger and Wes raise up their weapons in
     preparation to defend themselves against this unseen beast.

     From below the edge of the mesa a HELICOPTER GUNSHIP -
     probably a MIL MI-24 HIND-D ARMED ASSAULT HELICOPTER if you
     want to be technical - raises up very dramatically into
     sight.  It hangs in the air ominously before our soldiers.
     On board are the vanished Iraqis wearing nasty grins.  The
     PILOT brings the gunship about and levels her massive machine
     cannons at our boys.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Scatter! 

     Wes and Jaeger don't have to be told twice.  They bolt from
     their spots, and not an instant too soon.  The GUNNER lets
     fly a barrage of shells that literally tear up the ground
     where our boys were just standing.  We see what the chopter's 
     weapons will do to rock.  We can imagine what they would do
     to flesh. 

     Epps, Jaeger and Wes take cover behind some rocks.  The 
     gunship swings around, picks up speed and bears down on them. 

     More shells fired.  They punch into and through the rocks our
     boys use for cover.  Again the three scatter, and just in
     time as the shells rip their way through the rock.

     Our three go sliding down an embankment, crouching low.
     Their heads whip around looking for the gunship.

                          JAEGER 
                Where is it?  Where'd it go? 

                          EPPS
                Stay low. 

                          JAEGER 
                Where the hell is it!? 

                          EPPS
                Just stay down. 

     In answer to Jaeger's question the gunship comes swooping up
     behind them like a bird of prey.  Our three have all of about
     a second to get running before the Iraqis send more shells
     their way.  They kick up chunks of rock as they ping, ping, 
     ping around Epps, Wes and Jaeger who make a wild, evasive
     run.

     Dig it:  Up ahead is a narrow passage through rock face.
     They race for it, hurl themselves into it as the gunship
     sends a special delivery of white-hot metal their way. 

     Once inside the passage they have a bit of breathing space.
     It's too narrow for the gunship to get a good shot through. 
     Our three press themselves up against the rock walls and suck
     air.

     Beyond the opening to the passage the gunship swings back and
     forth like a junkyard dog patrolling its kingdom. 

     Jaeger's worked up a real scare. 

                          JAEGER 
                What are we going to do?  What the hell
                are we going to do? 

                          EPPS 
                We're not going to do anything.

                          JAEGER
                     (Panicked) 
                They're going to kill us!

                          EPPS
                They can't shoot us in here.

                          WES 
                And they can't fly around out there
                forever.

                          EPPS
                So we wait. 

                          JAEGER
                If they land-- 

                          EPPS 
                If they land, we can take them.  If they
                don't land, then we've got nothing to
                worry about. 

     Wes watches the gunship as it seemingly settles in the air.
     It floats very steady as if...  Wes' eyes key in on 
     something:  The gunship's missile pods rotating slightly, 
     coming in line... Wes' eyes go wide like someone just jammed
     an electric cattle prod in his ass. 

                          WES
                Missile! 

                          EPPS
                Move! 

     Epps, Wes and Jaeger sprint for the opening at the far end of
     the passage as a missile rockets from the gunship's pod.
     With a wild whine it rides the wind like a deadly arrow
     straight into the passage.  Slamming into the ground it
     sprouts a terrific fireball that rides on a massive 
     explosion.  It races through the passage, lifts our boys from
     the ground and tosses them out into the open like they were
     nothing more than discarded ragdolls.

     Jaeger takes cover and cowers.  He puts his panic into
     overdrive. 

     Wes pulls his rifle.  Grunting like an animal he sprays 
     bullets at the chopter, but it's like throwing snowballs at
     an elephant.  The gunship turns on Wes and fires in his 
     direction.  It doesn't hit him, but it sends him running.

     Epps has had enough of this shit.  He scrambles to load a 
     grenade in his launcher as the gunship comes about.  It races 
     for him, cannons at the ready.  This one is going to be 
     close.  Epps locks and loads just as the chopter swings down 
     on him.  Epps fires, but the gunship simply jukes up and away
     from the grenade the way someone might step over a bug.  The
     grenade impacts the rock face behind the chopter exploding
     harmlessly.  The chopter returns the favor by reining down a
     hail of shells that kicks Epps back FLIPPING HIM UP AND OVER
     the edge of the plateau.  His M-16 goes flying, smashing into
     the ground far below.  Epps manages to grab hold of the 
     plateau lip with one hand.  It swings him around, slamming 
     him hard against the cliff face.  He hangs there, suspended by
     his weakening grip, far above the ground.

                          JAEGER
                Epps! 

     Jaeger and Wes run to him, grabbing him by his arm.  They
     pull and pull hard until Epps can get some kind of purchase,
     and crawl his way back up to the plateau.

     At the same time the gunship lowers itself so that it hovers
     above and beyond our three.  It rotates so that the bay doors
     are facing Epps, Wes and Jaeger.  Three Iraqis are inside,
     weapons trained on our targets.  One of them yells something.
     Wes translates.

                          WES 
                They want us to surrender.

     The three share a nervous look.  Epps fairly growls:

                          EPPS 
                Yeah, I'll surrender. 

     Jaeger and Wes watch as, shielded by their bodies, Epps palms
     a grenade from his belt.  Wes and Jaeger don't quite smile,
     but they know now they at least have a chance.  As Epps
     stands the other two turn to face the Iraqis.  They all fold
     their hands behind their necks which, for Epps, hides the
     grenade from view.  Slowly they walk towards the gunship.
     One of the Iraqis starts to yell something.  He lifts his
     weapon and aims it at our boys.  With his thumb Epps yanks 
     the pin from the grenade and lets fly.  It's a perfect toss,
     landing in the chopter's bay.  The Iraqis see the grenade 
     land, they scramble for it.  One of them grabs it up and is
     about to throw it back out of the gunship. 

     Too late. 

     The grenade explodes in the Iraqi's hand killing him
     instantly.  It also touches off a fire ball that severely 
     damages the gunship.  It rocks, lists, spins wildly out of
     control. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Get down!

     Our three hug the ground as the chopter's rotors go whipping
     through the air like throwing knifes landing perilously among
     them.  Worse still the gunship, now a lame bird, drops from
     the sky towards Epps, Jaeger and Wes.  All they can do is 
     cover their heads, as if that would do any good against two
     tons of crashing steel.  The chopter rushes down...down, but
     it just misses them.  It slams into the ground skipping over
     the edge of the plateau, to the rocks below. 

     Our three pick themselves up.  They walk to the edge of the
     plateau and look down on the crash. 

     Jaeger, scared painted all over his face, sinks to his knees
     and looks as if he's about to go into shock.

                          JAEGER
                Oh, God... 

     Wes looks down at Jaeger with a bit of a disdainful sneer. 

                          WES 
                Yeah.  Just keeps getting better and
                better, doesn't it? 

     They stare for awhile, then one by one move off.  Us?  We:

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT/MESA - LATER 

     Epps, Wes and Jaeger trek to a large crevice that runs 
     straight down into the ground.  Jaeger takes out his maps and
     photos.  Epps consults the navicom.

                          WES 
                What do you think? 

                          JAEGER 
                Lines up with the map and the photos.

                          EPPS 
                We're right where we should be. 

     Epps tucks the navicom away on his belt and takes a look
     around.  Not much to see.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                I sure don't see much place else around
                here to hide anything.

     Wes pulls a lantern/flashlight from his pack.  Going to his
     belly he shines it down into the crevice.

                          WES 
                Can't see anything.

     He tosses a rock into it.  We can hear it hit the ground below.

                          WES(CONT)
                It's got a bottom. 

                          JAEGER 
                Guess we know what the next stop is. 

                          EPPS 
                All right.  Let's break out some utility 
                shovels, lanterns, and a claymore in case
                we have to do any blasting.  Me and 
                Jaeger'll climb down, and see what we can
                see. 

                          WES 
                What am I supposed to do? 

                          EPPS 
                Got to have someone here in case we need
                help making it back up.  Doesn't hurt to
                have a look out either. 

                          JAEGER 
                Think there might be more Iraqis? 

                          EPPS 
                Right now I wouldn't be surprised if 
                Eartha Kitt showed up singing Send In The
                Clowns. 

                                                            CUT TO: 

     WE SEE A FEW QUICK SHOTS of Wes securing a line down into the
     crevice, Epps and Jaeger clipping on rapeling harnesses, the
     two men lowering themselves down into the great unknown.

                                                            CUT TO: 

     INT. CREVICES - CONTINUOUS 

     The lantern punches a hole through the darkness as Epps uses
     it like a machete to blaze a trial.  He sinks down...down 
     until finally they touch bottom.  He unclips himself from the
     rope and Jaeger starts down.

     The space isn't that big, like a small cave really.  It's 
     tight enough that the lantern pretty well lights up the whole
     of it.  But it's big enough that one wouldn't have any idea
     where to start digging. 

     Jaeger makes it to the bottom.  Wes yells down. 

                          WES
                You down? 

                          JAEGER
                Yeah, we're down. 

                          WES 
                What do you see? 

                          EPPS
                Nothing. 

     More to himself:

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                A whole lot of nothing. 

                          JAEGER 
                So where do we start? 

     Epps takes a look around, then shrugs.

                          EPPS 
                Wherever you want. 

     Epps breaks out his utility shovel from his pack.  Jaeger
     follows suit.  He looks around, picks a spot and starts
     digging. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     WES - LATER

     He sits up top, weapon in hand, standing guard.

                                                           FADE TO: 

     EPPS AND JAEGER - LATER

     They dig furiously at sperate ends of the cave.  They dig
     with a determination to find something. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     WES - LATER 

     Still up top, he's given up on standing guard.  Now he
     stretches out on the ground sunning himself.

                                                           FADE TO:

     EPPS AND JAEGER 

     Their shirts are off, and they're caked with sweat and dirt. 
     They look like they've been digging for quite some time. 

     They certainly don't have the same enthusiasm they displayed
     previously.  Now they just seem to dig by rote. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     WES - LATER 

     The sun has begun to sink noticeably.  Wes leans over the 
     crevice. 

                          WES 
                Hey...Hey!  Sun's going down.  Epps!
                Jaeger!  It's getting dark up here. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS AND JAEGER - SIMULTANEOUS 

     It's obvious these guys have been digging for hours and come 
     up with nothing.  Epps keeps digging, but just barely. 
     Jaeger doesn't even bother anymore.  He just sits on the
     ground sulking.

                          WES(O.C.)
                Epps! 

                          EPPS
                I heard! 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     He rolls over and scoffs.

                          WES
                There's nothing down there.

                                                            CUT TO: 

     EPPS AND JAEGER

     Epps notices Jaeger just sitting there.

                          EPPS
                What are you doing? 

                          JAEGER 
                What does it look like I'm doing? 

                          EPPS 
                It looks like you're not doing anything. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm not.  And I'm not doing anything,
                because there's nothing down here. 

                          EPPS
                Get up and dig.

                          JAEGER 
                We've been digging.  We've been digging
                for hours.  If there was anything here to
                find we would have found it. 

                          EPPS 
                Get up off your ass and dig! 

     Sounding defeated as all hell, and very whiney:

                          JAEGER 
                What's the point?  There's nothing here.
                The map's a fake.  Christ, even I see 
                that now.  We're just wasting our time.
                We might as well give up and-- 

     Epps spins.  Like a bolt of lightning he's on Jaeger,
     grabbing him up and pulling him close. 

                          EPPS 
                You listen to me.  The whole reason we're
                here is because of you and that map of 
                yours.  I didn't do all this for nothing,
                and I'm not leaving with nothing.  If you
                think for a second I'm giving up just 
                'cause you're too tired to turn over some
                dirt, then you don't know John Epps too 
                well, do you?  So you dig, and you keep
                on digging 'til I say you don't have to
                dig anymore.

     Epps pushes Jaeger back and he goes down to the ground hard.
     A fire burns inside him.  A fire that burns out of control.
     Before he even knows what he's doing Jaeger springs to his
     feet, shovel in hand, bringing it down in a long arc for
     Epps' head.

     Epps bears him coming.  He deftly side steps the blow, grabs
     hold of Jaeger and forces him down.  They roll around
     violently like wild dogs trading blows and trying to work the
     other into a choke hold. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     He can hear the sounds of the struggle and yells down.

                          WES
                What are you doing...?  What the hell are
                you doing down there? 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS AND JAEGER 

     They fight on; down and dirty.  Locked together they roll
     around the ground, each trying to get the upper hand.  They
     smash into the lantern, sending the cave into near darkness.
     At the same time Epps works himself on top of Jaeger.  He
     lands a couple of solid punches, takes a rock from the ground 
     and lifts it high ready to send it crashing into Jaeger's
     skull.  All Jaeger can do is steel himself for the deathblow. 

     Something catches Epps' eye:  A glint of light flashes across
     his faces.  He stares at it; at an opening, a bare seem
     really, in the side of the cave wall where light seeps 
     through.  The rock slips from his hand.  Forgetting all about
     Jaeger Epps goes to the opening.  Jaeger himself, as if what
     just happened hadn't really happened, comes up along side
     Epps.

                          JAEGER 
                Must be a compartment. 

                          EPPS 
                I feel air.  Probably opens up outside 
                somewhere.  That's where the light comes 
                from.  Couldn't see it with the lanternon. 

     Jaeger says what they both must have guessed by now. 

                          JAEGER 
                The white dot; light in the dark. 

     That's all Epps needs to hear.  He starts clawing at the
     opening with his bare hands.  That gets him nothing. 
     Grabbing up a shovel he starts to whack at it.  Jaeger gets 
     the lantern working again, then picks up his shovel and joins
     in.  They keep hitting and hitting, picking up a rhythm like
     a southern chain gang. 

                          JAEGER (CONT)
                Maybe we should blast it loose with the
                claymore. 

                          EPPS
                It's giving. 

     The rock gives way enough for Epps to pry it free.  There's
     just enough space for a man to reach his arm through.  For a
     beat Epps and Jaeger just stare at the opening almost afraid
     of what mayor may not be in there.

     With some trepidation Epps begins to move his hand towards 
     the opening.  Slowly it extends closer...closer...  Just as
     it moves beyond the opening. vThere is a wild, screeching 
     hiss as some small, hairy thing leaps for Epps.

     Both Epps and Jaeger recoil, Jaeger going nuts with fear. 

                          JAEGER
                Jesus Christ! 

     Jaeger grabs up his M-16 and takes aim at...whatever it is.

                          EPPS 
                No, don't shoot! 

     Too late. Jaeger squeezes off a few rounds.  A couple of
     bullets hit the thing, but the rest ricochet wildly about the
     cave and around Epps and Jaeger.  All the two men can do is
     duck and cover - squeezing themselves into tight, fetal balls
     - as the bullets scream back and forth like little chunks of
     random death. 

     Eventually the bullets lose speed and die off.  Jaeger and
     Epps raise up off the ground.  They walk to the dead thing
     that jumped from the opening.

                          EPPS 
                It's just a mongoose. 

                          JAEGER
                Is it dead? 

                          EPPS
                Yeah, Bwana, you got it. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     Yelling down 

                          WES 
                What the hell are you doing!?

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS AND JAEGER 

                          JAEGER 
                I think we found something. 

     They go back to the opening.  Epps shines a light inside to
     make sure there are no more surprises, then reaches an arm
     in.  Jaeger looks on with great anticipation, licking his
     lips like a hungry jackal, as Epps twists his arm in the
     opening.  Searching...searching... 

     Epps' face freezes.  He goes perfectly still for a beat, then
     slowly draws his hand from the opening.  It clutches a wooden
     box.  It is similar to Jaeger's puzzle box, but slightly
     bigger.  The instant Epps sets the box on the ground Jaeger
     smashes his shovel into it shattering the ancient wood.  From
     the splinters pours a river of gold coins.  Jaeger and Epps
     are too stunned to do anything but look at it. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     He leans over the crevice.

                          WES
                What is it?  What'd you find? 

                                                            CUT TO: 

     EPPS AND JAEGER 

     Incredulous himself:

                          EPPS 
                Gold.  It's gold.

     Jaeger yells it at the top of his lungs:

                          JAEGER
                IT'S GOLD! 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     His lips flutter a bit before they land on the word 

                          WES
                Gold... 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EPPS AND JAEGER 

     They scoop up handfuls of the coins and let them run through
     their fingers.

                          JAEGER 
                It's not like I figured.  It's cold.  And
                it's heavier than I imagined. 

                          EPPS 
                I wouldn't know.  I never imagined this.
                Not in my whole life did I ever imagine
                this. 

                          JAEGER 
                You don't have to imagine it.  Not 
                anymore.  Now all you've got to think up 
                is what it's going to buy you.

     Epps grabs up one coin and stands.

                          EPPS
                Wes! 

     With all his strength Epps gives the coin an underhanded toss
     straight up. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     Wes catches the coin.  He turns it over in his fingers.  He
     smiles, and there's nothing pleasant about it.

                                                            CUT TO:

     JAEGER AND EPPS

     Epps yells up. 

                          EPPS 
                Wes, thrown down a pack.

     A beat later an empty pack comes falling down.  Epps picks it
     up and takes it over to Jaeger.  The two of them start
     loading the coins into it. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                I don't think the line will take the
                weight of a man and the coins.
                     (Yelling up.) 
                Wes!?  We'll send the gold up, then me
                and Jaeger'll climb back.

                          WES(O.C.)
                Ready when you are. 

     Epps is just about to attach the pack of gold to the line
     when Jaeger grabs his arm. 

                          JAEGER
                Wait. 

                          EPPS
                What? 

     Jaeger isn't sure how to say what he's thinking. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                What? 

                          JAEGER 
                We send the gold up what's to stop him 
                from taking off and leaving us down here? 

                          EPPS 
                He's not going to leave us. 

                          JAEGER 
                What's to stop him if he wanted to?  All
                he has to do is cut the line...

     Good point.  What is to stop him? 

                          WES
                You ready? 

                          EPPS
                     (To Jaeger) 
                All right.  I'll go up, then you send up
                the gold and-- 

                          JAEGER 
                Why do I have to stay down here? 

                          EPPS
                Jesus, Jaeger. 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't see how that plan's any better.

                          EPPS 
                Someone's got to send the gold up.  It
                can't get on the line by itself. 

                          JAGER 
                Why's it got to be me? 

     A tense moment passes.

                          WES
                What are you doing?  You ready? 

     Another moment, then:

                          EPPS 
                All right.  You go up, I'll send up the
                gold, then follow. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  Yeah, that'll work. 

     Jaeger goes over to the line and hooks himself on.  He's just
     about ready to climb up when Epps stops him.  Serious as a
     heart attack he says:

                          EPPS 
                If you're even thinking about leaving me
                down here, you better think again. 

     Jaeger stares at Epps for a beat, then laughs himself a
     little laugh.  He yells up:

                          JAEGER 
                Wes, I'm coming up.

     Jaeger starts to climb as Wes helps out by pulling on the 
     rope. 

     Epps watches him for a bit, then looks at the pack of gold
     and the rest of the equipment.  Suddenly he scurries about
     gathering up all the things they've brought down.

     Jaeger continues his climb, disappearing up into the crevice.
     A few beats later the rope comes snaking back down from, 
     above.  Epps brings over the pack of gold and attaches it to
     the rope.  Yelling up:

                          EPPS
                Okay! 

     The rope goes taught, slowly drawing the pack up, up into the
     crevice finally to be swallowed from view. 

     Epps waits for the rope to come back down.  He waits.  He
     waits a beat more.  No rope. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Wes?  Jaeger? 

     He tries to keep the apprehension from his voice, but it
     creeps in anyway.  He tries it again.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Jaeger? 

     Still more nothing.  What's that sound?  It's Epps' breath
     getting heavier and faster. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Jaeger!? 

     Nothing.  Then something.  The rope snakes its way back down.
     Epps can't help but let go of a little laugh, like a guy
     who's just been given a scare by his own shadow.  Taking up 
     his own pack Epps hooks up, then starts the climb to the top.

                                                            CUT TO:

     JAEGER AND WES 

     They work the rope, helping Epps up.  He gets to the lip of
     the crevice, and pulls himself over.  He's breathing hard,
     and lets his pack slide to the ground.  Trying not to sound
     too rattled.

                          EPPS 
                What the hell took so long.

                          JAEGER 
                Just had to get the pack unhooked from
                the line.  It didn't seem that long.

                          EPPS 
                Not when you're up here with the gold, I
                guess not. 

     Throwing Epps' own words back at him: 

                          WES 
                Not losing trust, are you? 

     Epps lets this go.

                          EPPS 
                It'll be too dark to make our way back
                now.  Let's bed down for the night and
                head out at first light. 

                          WES 
                What about the gold? 

                          EPPS
                What about it? 

                          WES 
                Maybe we should split it up now. 

                          EPPS 
                We started this together, and we're 
                staying together, so there's no point in
                splitting things up now. 

                          WES 
                What if we get separated?  Way I see it
                if something happens I want to be
                carrying my share.

                          JAEGER 
                Wes might be right about that. 

                          EPPS 
                It stays as it is.  We're halfway home
                now.  Let's not blow it by people getting 
                ideas. 

                          WES 
                You're the one with all the ideas.

                          EPPS 
                You've had your say, Wes.  Now leave it.

                          WES 
                Maybe you've got ideas of your own for
                the gold.  Maybe you've already got
                things worked out.

                          EPPS
                Maybe I do.

                          WES 
                Maybe I don't need your ideas.  Maybe I
                can do better on my own. 

     Epps sees trouble coming, and deals with it the only way he
     knows how.  Casually he turns from Wes as if he's about to
     let things go.  Suddenly he spins back around throwing a
     punch to Wes' jaw that sends him to the ground.

     Wes puts a hand to his mouth.  It comes back stained red.
     Wes goes on the boil. 

                          WES(CONT)
                You got no reason to do that!

                          EPPS 
                I told you:  When I straighten someone 
                out they stay straightened.  This is how
                it works:  Nobody touches the gold.
                Except when we're on the move and 
                someone's carrying it, nobody so much as
                opens the pack to get an eyeful of it.
                Agreed? 

     Jaeger wastes no time jumping in. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  Sure.  That sounds like a plan to
                me. 

     Wes, still on the ground, fumes. 

                          WES 
                You got no reason to hit me.  I'm getting
                tired of you and Jaeger pushing me around. 

                          EPPS
                Then get up and do something about it.

     Wes thinks about it, but that's all he does.  He's not ready
     to cross that line yet. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Then just lay there and bleed. 

     Epps takes up his pack and moves off to bed down.  Jaeger
     does the same.  Wes just lays on the ground...and bleeds.

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. MESA - EARLY MORNING 

     The first light of day barely begins to fight its way through
     the dark.  Our boys sleep in a circle around the pack filled
     with gold.  Surprisingly they seem to sleep pretty well, but
     then the last twenty-four hours has taken a lot out of them.

     There is a slight sound: Rocks crunching underneath a foot.
     Someone stirs, someone moves.  It's hard to tell who it is in 
     this bad light.  They creep towards the pack, inching their
     way closer and closer.  They reach out a hand, just about to
     grab the pack.

     Wes, who obviously wasn't asleep at all, lunges for the 
     person, and takes them down hard.  There's the ugly crunch of
     body against stone as they hit the ground.  M-16 in hand Wes
     straddles the intruder pressing the muzzle of the rifle
     against his head. 

                          WES 
                Stay down.  Stay the hell down, or I will
                rip your stinking head off! 

     Underneath him, an IRAQI SOLDIER - who already looks very
     badly injured; bloody, cut, slightly burned - babbles back in
     high pitched and frightened Arabic.

     This is enough to wake Jaeger and Epps. 

                          JAGER
                What the hell?

                          WES 
                I caught him!  I caught him trying to
                steal the gold. 

                          EPPS
                Get off him. 

                          WES 
                     (Slightly crazed) 
                He snuck in here thinking we were asleep,
                only I wasn't sleeping.  Would have slit
                our throats if I hadn't stopped him. 

                          EPPS
                Get off him! 

     Epps reaches down and physically pulls Wes from the soldier
     who still rattles on. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                What happened?

                          WES 
                I told you.  He tried to steal our gold.
                He tried to kill us.

                          JAEGER 
                With what?  He doesn't have a weapon. 

                          WES 
                He's a soldier.  He doesn't need a 
                weapon.  He's got rocks.  He's got bare
                hands. 

     The soldier goes on babbling.  Wes has had just about enough
     of that.  He gives the soldier a kick to the ribs. 

                          WES(CONT)
                Shut up! 

     Epps gives Wes a hard push. 

                          EPPS
                Stop it! 

                          WES 
                I told you; don't push me around. 

     Even now, frightened but more calmly, the soldier goes on.

                          EPPS 
                Tell me what he's saying.

     Wes listens, but with disdain.  He translates:

                          WES 
                Says he's one of the soldiers that was in
                the helicopter. 

                          JAEGER 
                He lived through that? 

     The soldier goes on, and so does Wes.

                          WES 
                Says they were deserters, they were 
                afraid to fight, don't believe in Saddam
                anyway.  They flew the gunship up here to
                hide out.  When they saw us they figured
                we were going to kill them, so they shot
                first. 

                          EPPS 
                Why'd he come in our camp. 

     Wes asks him the question in Arabic and gets an answer.  It's
     enough to give Wes a bit of a laugh. 

                          WES 
                Says he wanted food.  Liar.  He wanted
                the gold. 

                          EPPS 
                How's he going to want the gold?  He
                couldn't even know we had it.

                          WES 
                He...he could have been watching us.

                          JAEGER 
                Maybe we should give him some water. 

                          WES 
                All last night he could have been-- 

                          JAEGER 
                I think he wants something to drink. 

                          WES 
                I'm not wasting my water on him. 

     Jaeger gets his water and gives some to the soldier.

                          WES(CONT) 
                I don't care what he says, he wanted our
                gold.  Would have slit our throats if he
                had the chance.

                          EPPS 
                Doesn't matter.  Whatever he wanted he 
                didn't get it.  We've got no need staying
                around here.  It's light enough.  Let's
                pack up and head out. 

     Jaeger and Epps start to go for their gear.  Wes is still on
     the Iraqi soldier.

                          WES 
                What about him?  We...we have to do
                something.

     Epps gives an expression that screams:  What the hell are you
     talking about?

                          WES(CONT) 
                We can't just leave him.  He'll run back
                to his outfit, report our position... 

                          EPPS 
                You said he was a deserter. 

                          WES 
                That's what he says.  He could be a spy,
                or something. 

                          EPPS 
                You don't know that. 

                          WES
                You don't know he isn't. 

                          JAEGER 
                So we'll take him with us.  At least 'til
                we get back to the Hummer. 

                          WES 
                He'd just slow us down, and drink our
                water.  And if we ran into any more
                Iraqis you know he'd sell us out. 

                          EPPS 
                We don't leave him, we don't take him
                with us.  What does that leave? 

     By way of answering Wes lifts his M-16 and works the action.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                You're out of your mind.

                          WES 
                He's an enemy soldier.

                          EPPS 
                I'm not going to let you kill him.

                          WES
                We're at war. 

     The discussion starts to get real heated.

                          EPPS 
                We are not at war!  You and I and Jaeger
                are AWOL.  We have no authority-- 

                          WES 
                He tried to kill us.  If not just now,
                then in the helicopter.  That's all the
                authority I need. 

     Jaeger goes somewhere near panic.

                          JAEGER
                We don't need to do this.  We got the 
                gold, all right?  Let's just get out of
                here. 

     The Iraqi may not speak the language, but he's got a pretty
     good idea what they are arguing about.  He starts to plead
     for his life

                          WES 
                I'm not going to leave him be just so he
                can stab us in the backs the minute we
                turn around.  I have been through too
                much to lose it all now just because the
                two of you don't have the stomach to do
                what has to be done. 

                          EPPS 
                I've got no stomach for murder. 

                          WES 
                It's a combat action. 

                          EPPS 
                It's murder, and I won't be any part of
                it. 

                          WES 
                Then step aside. 

                          EPPS
                No. 

                          WES 
                Get out of my way. 

     The Iraqis begging goes into over drive.  Jaeger just about
     loses it.

                          JAEGER 
                For Christ's sake, we don't need this.
                Let's just go.  Let's just...let's just
                get out of here. 

     Wes yells down at the Iraqi. 

                          WES 
                Shut up!  Shut the hell up! 

     Wes moves menacingly for the Iraqi.  He thrusts his M-16
     forward.  Epps grabs it, and throws a punch.  Unlike before 
     with Jaeger, this time Wes ducks the blow and swings the butt
     of the M-16 back at Epps.  It's not much of a blow though, 
     and Epps keeps on coming.  He barrels into Wes and takes him
     down. 

     As the two men tussle the Iraqi sees his chance to get away.
     He springs up, knocking Jaeger to the side, and bolts past
     him.

                          JAGER 
                He's getting away! 

     Epps turns and sees this.  Maybe he's not for killing this 
     guy, but he certainly can't just let him get away.  He takes
     off running after the Iraqi, Jaeger a step behind. 

     The Iraqi, face flush with fear; eyes filled with terror like
     a hunted animal, makes it to the rock face and starts to 
     climb to the plateau above.  He knows if he can make it he at
     least has a chance of getting away.  It shows in the
     desperation he climbs with. 

     Epps and Jaeger are right behind him.  They claw at the
     rocks, but can't gain ground.

     The Iraqi gets closer and closer to the plateau; to freedom.
     Our two soldiers scramble up right behind him.

     The Iraqi gets a hand on the lip of the plateau.  He's just
     about to pull himself up.  He's just about to get away-- 

     WE HEAR A SHORT BURST OF GUNFIRE.  Three large, bloody holes
     mushroom open in the Iraqi's back.

                                                            CUT TO:

     WES 

     He stands, smoke curling from the muzzle of his M-16 like a 
     white snake, having just send the Iraqi some bullets special
     delivery. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     THE IRAQI 

     He arches, stiffens, then falls like a stone past Epps and
     Jaeger to the ground below like a sack of potatoes.

     As the two climb down Wes goes to the body and stands over it
     like the great, white hunter standing over his kill.  All
     business like he says:

                          WES 
                I had to.  You saw how he ran.  Would
                have given us away.  I had to. 

     There's a beat of quiet, then: 

                          JAEGER 
                Maybe we ought to...you know, bury him.
                Say some words over him. 

                          WES 
                You want to say some words? 

     He sneers down at the body.

                          WES(CONT) 
                Go to hell.  How are those words? 

     Wes moves off.  A beat later Jaeger walks away.  Epps just
     stands there looking at the body. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. MESA - LATER 

     Wes, Epps and Jaeger are making the trek back down.  Jaeger 
     is shouldering the pack with the gold.  Wes has got his M-16. 
     Epps stops, and puts his pack down.  He takes out the navicom
     and a recon photo. 

                          EPPS
                We should head Northeast. 

                          JAEGER 
                Northeast?  That's away from the Hummer;
                further into Iraqi.

                          EPPS 
                There's another pass on the photo.  We 
                can avoid that narrow one we had to cross
                on the way up, and it should get us back
                down. 

                          JAEGER 
                It should, or it will?  Least going back
                the way we came we know what we're up
                against. 

                          EPPS 
                You think you can make that pass weighted
                down when you almost fell the first time
                you're wrong, and you're not going to 
                take my share of the gold with you trying
                it.  We're heading Northeast. 

     Really calm, cold and direct Wes says:

                          WES
                You've got an awful lot of orders in you.
                Always giving orders. 

                          EPPS 
                I out rank you, that's why. 

                          WES 
                In the service you do, but we're not 
                particularly in the service right now.
                Way I see it, what we're doing, that 
                doesn't particularly give you the right
                to toss orders around. 

     Epps loads up his pack pretty much ignoring Wes. 

                          EPPS 
                We been down this road.  I told you how
                it is.  Unless you feel like there's
                something you want to do about it... 

                          WES
                What if I do? 

     Epps says nothing, so Wes tries it again a little harder. 

                          WES(CONT)
                What if I do? 

     He works the action of his M-16. 

                          WES(CONT) 
                You talk loud, and don't even have a big
                stick to back it up with. 

     Real casual Epps takes a grenade from his belt and flips the
     pin loose.  He stands with the grenade in one hand and the
     navicom in the other.  Real calm, like he was talking about
     the weather:

                          EPPS 
                Something happens to me I let go of this
                grenade.  I go, and I take the navicom
                with me.  And how do you suppose you're 
                going to find your way back to the Hummer,
                when you won't even know what's up or 
                down.  It's a big country, and you could
                be heading for the allies, or wandering 
                right into Bhagdad.  That's if you don't
                die of thirst before you even get that
                far.  How you like my stick now? 

     Epps and Wes have a stare down.  Jaeger, who's getting really
     good at freaking out, jumps in. 

                          JAEGER 
                Why don't you put the gun down, all 
                right, Wes?  You put the gun down and 
                Epps'll put the pin back in the grenade.
                Won't you Epps? 

     The stare down goes on a beat longer.  Finally Wes lowers his
     rifle.  He turns to Jaeger and vents what anger he can. 

                          WES 
                I'm starting to think you're a real
                bitch, you know that?

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     THE CAMERA PANS over the vast expanse of nothingness.  SMOKE 
     BEGINS TO DRIFT INTO FRAME.  THE CAMERA FINALLY LANDS ON THE
     SHI'ITE ENCAMPMENT, or at least what's left of it.  Tents are
     torn down and burned, goods scattered.  It looks like a ghost
     town.  Epps, Wes and Jaeger wander into it.  They look
     around, but see no signs of life. 

     Wes grabs up some Shi'ite garments, white robes, and starts
     to put them on. 

                          JAEGER 
                You're going to burn up in those. 

                          WES 
                The white reflects the sun; it keeps you
                cooler.  That's why they wear them. 

     Jaeger looks to Epps who just shrugs.  Jaeger gets some robes
     and puts them on.  Epps follows suit. 

                          JAEGER 
                Think the Iraqi's killed them all?

                          WES 
                Probably shot a few.  Scattered the rest.
                Murderers. 

                          EPPS
                     (Pointed) 
                Murder, or a combat action?  It's hard to
                tell them apart? 

     They keep on moving, passing straight through the camp.  Epps
     marches ahead, not wanting to even deal with the other two 
     men.  Wes talks after him.  Really he talks more to himself,
     and he's not sounding too lucid. 

                          WES 
                You saw how he ran didn't you?  First
                chance he got he ran out.  Would have
                gone straight to his CO, told him all 
                about the gold.  What do you think would
                have happened then, huh?  Then what do 
                you think would have happened?  Two 
                thousand screaming Iraqis bearing down on
                us.  You ought to thank me for killing 
                him.  I'll get a medal for it.  Watch and
                see if I don't get a medal. 

     Epps isn't even paying attention, he's just walking on. 
     Almost, as if he senses something is wrong, he stops in his
     tracks.  He looks down at his feet and sees the most curious
     thing.  SAND IS RUSHING AWAY FROM HIS FEET, ALMOST AS IF IT'S
     GOING DOWN A DRAIN.  He looks at it with the same wonderment
     that a dog watches television. 

                          EPPS 
                What the hell...? 

     Epps has got all of about two seconds to ponder this as a
     moment later the Earth literally drops from beneath his feet.
     He's standing on a sink hole that opens up swallowing him in
     loose sand.  Immediately he sinks to waist level.  He slows
     there, but still goes down with rapidity.  He screams to 
     Jaeger and Wes.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Help!  Help me! 

     Jaeger drops the gold and runs to the edge of the hole.  Wes
     doesn't move. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Help me!

     Jaeger is paralyzed by indecision.  He doesn't want to let
     Epps drown, but if he gets too close he could easily get 
     sucked into.  He flirts back and forth between rescue and
     safety. 

     Sand continues to pour in on Epps. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                For Christ's Sake, Jaeger!  Help me!
                Help me! 

     Jaeger can't fight himself any longer.  He lowers himself
     halfway into the hole, stretching spread eagle trying to keep
     some kind of grip on the firmer ground, and reaches for Epps. 

     Their arms twist and strain for each others.  First their 
     fingers meet, then they grab hands.  They work a grip down to
     their wrist, but that's all they can get.  Jaeger strains 
     like a field horse pulling Epps against the sand.  It may not
     be enough as he begins to slip down himself.  Jaeger twists
     his head and looks up at Wes.  Straining to say anything he
     pleads: 

                          JAEGER
                Wes...Wes! 

     His words fall on deaf ears.  Wes just takes a step closer to
     the pack of gold coins. 

     This only serves to energize Jaeger.  He digs deeper within
     himself finding an untapped reserve of strength.  He grunts
     and pulls, the veins on his neck puffing like balloons. 

     Epps finds same purchase.  He pulls, swims, his way up from
     the sand.  A little at first, but like hitting shallow water
     he's able to lift himself up. 

     Jager jerks him the rest of the way up to firm ground.  They
     collapse, chests heaving like pistons as they suck air. 

     As Epps regains strength he pats himself down.  Suddenly he
     goes back into a panic. 

                          EPPS
                The navicom!

     Epps rolls back over and thrusts his hands down into the soft
     sand frantically looking for the lost computer.  Jaeger joins
     in.  They dig and scrape as best they can, but daring to
     venture only so far into the soft sand.  It doesn't matter.
     The navicom is lost. 

                          JAEGER 
                What are we going to do?  How are we
                going to find our way back!? 

                          EPPS 
                We'll find our way. 

                          JAEGER
                How!? 

                          EPPS 
                We'll find our way!  We'll... 

     Epps wants to say how, but he's got no idea.  Wes grows a
     smug smile. 

                          WES 
                No navicom.  A lot of good you are now,
                Epps. 

                          EPPS 
                Lot of good you were when I was sinking
                in the sand. 

                          WES 
                Without that navicam looks to me like you
                forfeit the right to be in charge. 

                          EPPS 
                And let me guess who is. 

     Wes casually slides out his M-16.

                          WES 
                I'm the one's got the big stick. 

                          EPPS 
                Suppose I don't go for that? 

                          WES 
                Then I suppose it'd be insurrection, and
                I suppose I'd have to kill you.
                     (Beat)
                I suppose. 

                          EPPS 
                What about Jaeger? 

                          WES 
                Nothing about him, unless he's got a
                problem about me dealing with you. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, I got a problem with you killing Epps. 

     Wes turns and glares at Jaeger, who backs down. 

                          JAEGER(CONT}
                I mean, in principle. 

                          WES 
                     {Sneering) 
                You know, Jaeger, you really are a bitch. 

     Epps isn't wasting anymore time.  When Wes turns to glower at
     Jaeger he lunges up for him.  Wes side steps Epps and lands 
     the but of his rifle into the side of Epps' head.  It opens a
     wound, and sends Epps back down to the ground. 

     Epps looks up right into the muzzle of West M-16.  Full of
     poison: 

                          WES(CONT)
                You die! 

     Wes is just about to squeeze back the trigger when a shot 
     rings out.  Wes' body jerks like he's just been hit in the
     back with a truck.  The way cut timber falls he slams to the
     ground motionless. 

     Epps and Jaeger stare at the body for a beat, then snap their
     heads in the direction of the shot. 

     Up on a dune behind them are a group of SHI'ITES on 
     horseback.  One of them has a high powered rifle which he has
     just used to drill Wes.  He fires another shot.  It pings to
     the ground between Epps and Jaeger. 

     Our two remaining men scramble.  Jaeger dives for the gold 
     and snatches it up from the ground as bullets zip around it.
     The two take off running as best they can in the sand.  They
     run wildly, erratically, without looking back.  They run
     until their bodies scream no more, then keep going on 
     inertia.  Reaching a dune they tumble down the far side and
     collapse in a heap at the bottom.  They take a moment to
     catch what breath they can, then: 

                          EPPS 
                We got to go back.  We got to go back for
                Wes. 

                          JAEGER
                Forget Wes. 

                          EPPS
                We can't just leave him. 

                          JAEGER
                Wes is dead! 

                          EPPS 
                What if he's not? 

                          JAEGER 
                Then he will be when those Iraqis get to
                him.  He was going to kill you.  He was 
                one blink away from it.  He's dead, Epps,
                and I'm sure as hell not getting my head
                blow off over his carcass. 

     They sit there trying to catch their breath.  As they do a
     sound comes from the distance.  They freeze, ears cocked,
     trying to figure out what it is. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                It's a helicopter. 

     Quickly, desperately, as the sound of the chopter draws 
     closer, they scan the horizon looking for it.  Jaeger spots
     it and thrusts a finger in its direction. 

                          JAGER(CONT)
                There. 

     Epps scrambles out his binoculars.  He targets the
     helicopter.  Jaeger waits in high anticipation. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Ours, or theirs? 

     Epps can't make out for sure.  Jaeger asks again with growing
     anxiety. 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                Ours, or theirs?

     Epps takes a long, hard stare.

                          EPPS 
                Ours.  It's one of ours.  We've got to
                signal them; let them know we're down
                here. 

     The instant Jaeger hears this his face twists up like he's
     thinking something, and he doesn't like what it is he's
     thinking.  Quietly, almost to himself: 

                          JAEGER
                No.

                          EPPS 
                We need something:  A flare, a signal
                mirror. 

     Again Jaeger says it, this time including Epps too. 

                          JAEGER
                No. 

                          EPPS 
                What do you mean no?  They can fly us home. 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                They'll ask questions; want to know why
                we were out here. 

                          EPPS
                We'll lie. 

                          JAEGER 
                They'll search the pack. 

     Epps finds a mirror in one of his pockets.  He stands, ready
     to signal the chopter. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                They'll find the gold. 

     Epps turns sharply back to Jaeger.

                          EPPS 
                We're lost, you understand that?  We've
                got no navicom, and no means to find a
                way back.  So right now I don't give a 
                damn about the gold because if we don't 
                get off this desert, and out of Iraqi all
                it's going to be good for is buying us
                tombstones. 

     Epps is back around ready to signal the helicopter.  He's
     about to raise the mirror when he hears the sound of an M-16
     action being worked.  Epps turns to face Jaeger. 

                          JAEGER 
                I can't do it, Epps.  Not when we're so 
                close.  I can't let you ruin everything. 

     Epps just stares at Jaeger, not frightened, but surprisingly
     calm.

                          EPPS 
                First Wes, now you? 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm not like Wes.  Wes was crazy.

                          EPPS 
                     (Sarcastic) 
                And you; you've got it all together. 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't want it this way.  I wouldn't 
                kill you just to kill you, but I can't 
                let you lose the gold for me.  Not when
                we're so close. 

                          EPPS 
                That helicopter passes, and the only
                thing we're close to is death. 

     Jaeger is unfazed.  Very politely he says:

                          JAEGER
                Sit down, Epps. 

     Epps takes him up on the offer.  What choice does he have?
     THE CAMERA STAYS TIGHT ON THE TWO MEN.  They don't talk.
     They don't move.  They just sit as WE HEAR THE SOUND OF THE
     HELICOPTER GETTING CLOSER AND LOUDER.  IT REACHES A
     CRESCENOO, THEN BEGINS TO FADE UNTIL IT DISAPPEARS.  The
     chopter is gone, along with Epps and Jaeger's best chance of 
     getting out of the desert alive. 

     Jaeger lowers his rifle.  Very genuinely he says:

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                I'm sorry about that, Epps. 

                          EPPS
                Is it all right if I stand up? 

     Like he didn't know he was keeping Epps from something. 

                          JAEGER 
                Oh, yeah.  Go ahead. 

     Epps stands.  He looks around trying to figure things out. 
     Not much to figure.  There still in the middle of a desert in
     a hostile country same as they ever were. 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                I'm glad I didn't have to kill you.  I'm
                glad it didn't come to that. 

                          EPPS 
                Yeah.  Well, me too. 

                          JAEGER 
                I never killed anybody before.  I talk a
                good game, but I'm not like that. 

                          EPPS
                Sure. 

                          JAEGER 
                Really, I'm not.  Remember how I was 
                talking I wanted to blow away all those
                Iraqis?  That's all it was was talk.  I
                was scared out of my mind to go to war.
                I still haven't gotten over stepping on
                that land mine. 

                          EPPS 
                You still got a map on you? 

                          JAEGER
                What?  Yeah. 

     Jaeger takes out the maps he has and hands them to Epps. 
     Epps looks them over, then looks over the terrain.  Without
     any landmarks or navigating tools the maps might as well be
     finger paintings.

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Epps? 

                          EPPS
                Yeah. 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't want to die. 

                          EPPS 
                Makes two of us. 

                          JAEGER 
                I know what I did just now was crazy, but
                you got to understand how much I want
                that gold. 

                          EPPS 
                It's all right.  I don't like it, but
                it's over now. 

                          JAEGER 
                I never had anything before, Epps.  I
                never was anybody.  Not the kind of 
                somebody you can be with a pocket full of
                gold coins.  When I was in high school I 
                used to-- 

     Fed up with Jaeger Epps turns on him hard.

                          EPPS 
                Hey, you know what?  Can I be honest with
                you?  Right now I'm not all that 
                interested in how you're messed up 'cause
                you didn't get the bicycle you wanted for
                your thirteenth birthday.  What I'm 
                interested in is how I can keep from
                getting dead.  And listening to sob 
                stories from some           about how the
                system wasn't good to him because he had
                to work like everybody else instead of
                being born a Kennedy doesn't do a damn 
                thing to help keep me alive.  So do me a 
                favor; either shut up, or...just shut up. 

     Jaeger isn't sure what to say. 

                          JAEGER
                Sorry. 

                          EPPS 
                Damn. 

     Epps sits down in the sand, all out of ideas.  There's a long
     quiet before Jaeger says:

                          JAEGER 
                What do you think our chances are? 

                          EPPS 
                If we can find the Hummer, or some 
                friendlies by sundown we might be okay. 
                We've got enough water for that.  But we
                won't make another day otherwise. 

     Again they sit for a beat.

                          JAEGER
                Wonder how the war's going? 

                          EPPS 
                It's got to be going better than this.. 

     Epps stands and has a last look around. 

                          EPPS{CONT) 
                All right.  pick a direction. 

     Jaeger just gives a surprised look. 

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                We can't just sit here.  We've got to
                start moving, so pick. 

                          JAEGER 
                You sure you want me too? 

     Epps nods.  Jaeger stands and takes a good look around.  He
     considers things, although there isn't much to consider.
     Finally he decisively points in a direction. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                I pick that way. 

                          EPPS 
                Okay.  Then we go this way. 

     Epps heads off in the opposite direction. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     Epps and Jaeger make the long march across the sand.  There's
     so much nothing out there it's maddening. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - LATER 

     Epps drops down in the sand.  He lets his pack slide fram his 
     back, then pulls his water and takes a healthy swig.  He puts
     his pack back on and struggles to his feet.  As Jaeger
     crosses he takes Epps by the shoulder and helps to pull him
     up.  The two wade on. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT - EVENING 

     Epps and Jaeger are trekking as they have been doing all day. 
     They look worn out, but they keep moving.  Jaeger is several
     paces behind Epps. 

                          JAEGER
                Getting cold.

                          EPPS 
                It's a desert.  That's what deserts do at
                night; they get cold. 

                          JAEGER 
                Epps...Epps!  I'm gonna stop for a
                second. 

                          EPPS
                No! 

                          JAEGER 
                Just let me rest for a second. 

                          EPPS 
                We've got to keep moving while there's
                still light. 

                          JAEGER 
                You know what I'm going to do?  I'm just
                going to take a second.  I want to look
                at the gold. 

                          EPPS 
                Don't you touch it. 

                          JAEGER 
                I just want to look at it.  Remind me of
                what I'm dying for. 

                          EPPS 
                The deal was no one touches it until we
                get out of here. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, but we made that deal while Wes was
                still alive.  He's gone.  Time for a new
                deal. 

     Jaeger takes the pack from his back and starts to open it.
     Epps turns and races back to him grabbing him by the wrist
     and forcing Jaeger to let go of the pack. 

                          EPPS 
                You listen to me.  If, if we get out of
                this I don't care what you do with your 
                share, but until then you've only got one
                thing to think about and that's staying 
                alive.  So you leave that gold alone, or
                you and I are going to have to have a
                serious talk. 

     Epps waits for a response from Jaeger, but gets none. 

     Jaeger's eyes seem to be glazed, and his stare fixed on a
     point well beyond Epps.  He raises a hand, points off into 
     the distance. 

                          JAEGER
                Look. 

     Epps turns and looks.  Off a ways is a light in the window of
     what looks to be a shack-type building.  Epps stares at it as
     if it were the holy Grail 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                What do you figure it is? 

                          EPPS 
                Place all alone like that?  Must be a
                boarder check point. 

                          JAEGER 
                Which boarder?  Saudi?  Kuwait?  Syria? 

                          EPPS 
                Couldn't be Syria.  We couldn't have gone
                that far north.  It's got to be Saudi.
                Come on. 

     Epps heads for the shack doing double time.  Jaeger puts the
     pack back on and races to catch up. 

                          EPPS(CONT} 
                They've got to have water.  We'll get 
                same water, some directions, maybe they
                even have a vehicle. 

                          JAEGER
                Epps. 

                          EPPS 
                We can head back for our lines, and they
                don't even have to know about the gold. 

                          JAEGER 
                Epps.  What if they're not Saudi. 

     Epps stops dead, now not more than one hundred meters from
     the shack. 

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                If it's a checkpoint, it could be Iraqi. 

     Epps considers this.

                          EPPS 
                We've got no cboice.  Either way, we've
                got no choice. 

     Epps and Jaeger keep on for the shack walking with
     apprehension now instead of running.  Epps stops less than
     fifty meters away. 

                          JAEGER
                Well? 

                          EPPS 
                Well, we should identify ourselves. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, I guess we should. 

     Epps takes in a deep breath ready to yell to the shack.
     Instead he turns to Jaeger. 

                          EPPS 
                Even if they are Iraqis probably all
                they'll do is take us prisoner for
                awhile.  Got to figure we're still 
                kicking their asses in the war.  They
                don't want any trouble.

                          JAEGER 
                Hell, they'll probably just surrender to
                us.  Probably. 

     Again Epps takes a deep breath.  And again just as he's about 
     to cry out he turns to Jaeger. 

                          EPPS
                That's if the war is even still going on.
                Way things were shaping up it's probably
                long over. 

                          JAEGER
                Probably. 

     Epps takes a beat, then sucks in a breath.  He yells for the
     shack: 

                          EPPS
                Hellooooo-- 

     Before Epps can even finish getting the word out machine gun 
     fire erupts from the house and burns towards Epps and Jaeger.
     They dive for cover, hugging the ground as bullets whistle 
     and ping through the space around them.  They are forced back
     and down against a narrow stretch of rock, but it offers 
     little protection and is chipped away by the hot lead.  It's 
     just a matter of moments before nothing stands before them
     and death.  At the top of his lungs Jaeger starts yelling: 

                          JAEGER 
                Ashra Ka mahari dahra sahib!  Ashra Ka
                mahari dahra sahib!

     Just as quickly as it began the shooting stops.  From the
     shack we hear some chatter in Arabic, then the door opens.  A
     few MEN appear in the doorway.  They laugh and beckon for
     Epps and Jaeger to join them. 

                          EPPS 
                What did you say? 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't know.  Something Wes had taught
                me.  I think it means "Don't shoot.
                We're your friends." 

                          EPPS 
                They must be Saudis.  It's a Saudi 
                checkpoint.  Oh sweet, Jesus.  Come on.
                Come on! 

     Epps hurriedly stumbles in the dark for the shack.  Jaeger is
     just steps behind him. 

     They enter the dimly lit shack to the good nature of the FOUR
     men inside.  Epps and Jaeger see a fire in an open hearth and
     go right to it to warm their bands as the four men go on
     chattering behind them. 

                          JAGER 
                Oh, man, this is good.  What do you think
                the chances are they've got a whirlpool
                in this place? 

     As they rub their hands together Epps looks up.  He freezes.
     Hanging on the wall is a very handsome, nicely framed 
     portrait of Saddam Hussein.  Epps nudges Jaeger who also
     looks up.  He also freezes. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Oh, God... 

                          EPPS 
                They must have thought we were Iraqi when
                you yelled to them.  They couldn't tell
                in the dark. 

                          JAEGER
                What are we going to do? 

     Epps thinks.  What are they going to do?

                          EPPS 
                Slip out your M-16. 

                          JAEGER
                And then what? 

                          EPPS 
                And then shoot them. 

                          JAEGER 
                I...I never killed anyone before.  I told
                you that. 

                          EPPS 
                Well, you're going to start with a bang,
                'cause you've got four of them to take down. 

     Behind Epps and Jaeger one of the Iraqis asks a question of
     them in Arabic. 

                          JAEGER 
                Can't you-- 

                          EPPS 
                I don't have a weapon. 

     Again the Iraqi asks the question.  We can tell by the tone
     of his voice he expects an answer. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Don't go bitch on me now!  You were going
                to kill me.  Kill them! 

                          JAEGER 
                I just said I would.  I don't think I-- 

                          EPPS
                Shoot them! 

     The Iraqis sense that something is wrong.  They move
     menacingly for their weapons. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Shoot them, Jaeger!  SHOOT THEM! 

     Jaeger whips around at the same time pulling his M-16.  He 
     jerks back hard on the trigger spraying back and forth, back 
     and forth. 

     Dig it:  The Iraqis do a death dance in the strobe light of 
     the muzzle flashes.  They do the twist, they do the jerk,
     then they all fall down. 

     The bullets that miss do a nasty job of redecorating the
     place; shredding walls, eating up wood. 

     Jaeger keeps firing until his clip is empty.  He stands 
     huffing, eyes glazed like he's a million miles away from what
     he just did.  Epps steps up and takes the weapon from Jaeger.
     That's like an alarm clock that brings Jaeger back to the 
     land of the living.  Jaeger takes one look around at all the
     carnage, then doubles over and gets to puking. 

     Epps just watches this pathetic sight.  When Jaeger is all
     done: 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Let's get some sleep. 

                                                           FADE TO: 

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     INT. SHACK - MORNING 

     The sun has just pushed itself well above the horizon as 
     Jaeger comes awake.  The second he does he sees a MAN - Arab,
     wearing white robes - peering through the window.  Jaeger 
     gives a start, and the man disappears.  Jaeger quickly shakes
     Epps awake. 

                          JAEGER 
                Epp...Epps!  There's someone at the
                window!

     This wakes Epps up quick. 

                          EPPS
                An Iraqi? 

                          JAEGER 
                I don't know.  He didn't have a uniform 
                on.  He...he had on white robes, like the
                guys who killed Wes.

     Epps does some quick figuring, then staying low, scrambles
     across the floor to one of the dead Iraqis and grabs up his
     weapon.  He grabs another one tosses it to Jaeger.

     Carefully, still low, Epps creeps over to the window.  Slowly
     he raises up and looks out. 

                          JAGER(CONT)
                See anything? 

                          EPPS
                Nothing. 

     Epps lowers himself back down and does some thinking. 

                          JAEGER
                What do we do? 

                          EPPS 
                We can't stay here.  Even if that wasn't
                an Iraqi soldier it's only a matter of
                time before some show up.  Get all the 
                water you can carry, and we'll head out
                on foot. 


                          JAEGER 
                To where? 

                          EPPS 
                Sun rises in the East.  We go the
                opposite direction.  May not find 
                anything, but at least we'll know we're
                heading towards Saudi Arabia. 

     As Jaeger gathers up what water he can find, creeps for
     the door.  With the muzzle of his gun he pulls it open a
     crack and peers out.  Still nothing.  It's like the man
     vanished into thin air. 

     Jaeger, stocked up on water, comes over with the gold and
     Epps' pack which Epps shoulders.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Ready? 

     Jaeger nods.  Epps opens the door, and the two men carefully
     snake their way out weapons at the ready.  It seems, though,
     there is nothing to be ready for.  There is no one around. 

     Suddenly the man appears from around the shack.  Epps and
     Jaeger turn on him targeting with their assault weapons, but
     they do not fire.  The man just stands.  He doesn't say
     anything, he makes no threatening moves.  The three stay 
     still as statues for several beats until Epps jerks his head
     indicating to Jaeger they should move on.  That they do,
     weapons still on the man, until they are beyond his range.

     They walk on a little ways.  Jaeger spots something, and
     thrusts a finger in its direction.

                          JAEGER
                Look! 

     Mounted on a horse, riding on a dune that runs parallel to
     them, is ANOTHER ARAB MAN.  He makes no effort to draw nearer
     to Epps and Jaeger, but nor does he lose them.

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                What do we do? 

                          EPPS 
                We keep going, that's what we do.  We
                ignore them, maybe they ignore us.

     As if to be contrary to Epps' statement ANOTHER TWO ARABS ON
     HORSE BACK appear up over a dune before them.

                          JAEGER
                Jesus!  How many of them are there? 

     Epps doesn't know, and he doesn't want to find out.  They 
     change direction heading away from the Arabs.  But again MORE
     ARABS ride up over a dune.  Epps gets the feeling he and
     Jaeger are about to be boxed in. 

                          EPPS 
                I don't like this.  Let's go. 

     Epps breaks into a run.  Jaeger is only steps behind him. 

     Like something out of an old John Ford western dozens of 
     mounted Arabs suddenly appear over a dune.  They ride fast 
     and hard for Epps and Jaeger like Apaches heading for a wagon
     train.  They easily overtake our two, momentarily swallowing
     them amongst the thundering hoofs, and ride on a bit as if
     playing with them. 

     Epps and Jaeger stop, then bolt in the other direction.  The
     Arabs ride back, again past Epps and Jaeger swiping them to
     the ground; the horses kicking up a spray of lose sand over
     them.  It looks like a cattle round up, and our two are the
     cattle. 

     Epps and Jaeger get up to make another run of it, and again
     the Arabs bear down on them.  This time they mean business.
     They completely surround them, cutting off all means of 
     escape.  The Arabs start screaming something back and forth
     in Arabic.  We don't know what, but it sounds unpleasant. 

     Epps and Jaeger come skidding to a halt.  They turn in their
     tracks digging in the scene.  It goes like this:  They are
     completely outnumbered and out gunned by a mounted force.
     Doesn't get any simpler. 

     Epps and Jaeger drop their weapons.  Their hands go in the
     air. 

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. SHI'ITE CAMP - LATER 

     The mounted Arabs lead Epps and Jaeger, hands tied before 
     them and almost literally being towed by the horses, into 
     their camp.  It is similar to the Shi'ite camps we've seen
     before with several tent dwellings. 

     As the party enters groups of Shi'ites come over to stare at
     Epps and Jaeger.  They chatter amongst themselves, but our 
     boys have no idea what they're talking about, and that just
     makes things all the scarier.

     From our boy's point of view this is all like an unending
     nightmare:  Being dragged along through a desert, not knowing
     the language, not knowing what's going to happen.  Their 
     world skews and slides as if they were on a tilt-a-whirl. 

     Finally they reach a tent.  One of the Arabs tosses Epps and
     Jaeger's packs on the ground just before it.  Another cuts
     them loose and SHOVES THEM INSIDE THE TENT, then yells 
     something at them in Arabic.  He leaves, and our two are
     alone. 

                          JAEGER 
                What do you make of them? 

                          EPPS 
                Shi'ites, I think. 

                          JAEGER 
                Is that good, or bad? 

                          EPPS 
                I don't know.  They killed Wes. 

                          JAEGER 
                Why haven't they killed us!? 

                          EPPS
                I don't know! 

                          JAEGER 
                ...Maybe...maybe we can fight our way
                out. 

                          EPPS 
                With what?  Against how many? 

                          JAEGER 
                We can't just sit here waiting to die. 

                          EPPS 
                You come up with a better plan, let me
                know. 

                          JAEGER 
                Maybe...maybe if we traded them the gold.
                If we gave it to them they might let us
                live; they might not kill us. 

     From O.C. we hear a voice:

                          VOICE(O.C.)
                I always knew you were a bitch.

     Epps and Jaeger's hearts seize up and stop.  It's as if
     they've heard the voice of a ghost, and they have.  IT'S WES!
     He carries with him the pack of gold.  Epps can barely get
     his name out.

                          EPPS
                ...Wes...?

                          JAEGER
                You were shot.  We were standing right
                there, you were shot!

                          WES
                In the flack jacket.  Still like getting
                hit in the back with a baseball bat.
                Took the air right out of me, but I was
                just unconscious for awhile.  'Course,
                you didn't stick around to find that out.
                You left me for dead.

                          EPPS
                We thought--

     Like a guy who just took two steps over the edge:

                          WES
                YOU LEFT ME FOR DEAD!

     Ohhh, shit.  Somebody's crazy.  Epps gets the feeling there's
     not going to be much dialog going on here.  Wes gets real
     calm again, which is almost as scary as him acting nuts.

                          WES(CONT)
                When my Shi'ite friends saw that they had
                shot an American they were very
                apologetic.  Turns out we've been kicking
                ass in this little war.  They figure
                we've finally gotten Saddam off their
                backs.  They brought me to their camp,
                cleaned me up, fed me... I'm their new
                best buddy.  America number one, Joe.
                But there's something the Shi'ites can't
                figure out:  They can't figure out why my
                two buddies, two fellow Americans, left
                me out in the desert.  They can't seem to
                figure out what those same two guys were
                doing in an Iraqi outpost.  It's almost
                as if they were Iraqi spies, or
                something.  And I've got to tell you they
                hate anything that's got to do with the
                Iraqis.  See how I mean?

                          JAEGER 
                We had to take shelter in the checkpoint.
                Jesus, Wes, I killed the Iraqis in there. 

                          WES 
                You actually got around to killing 
                someone.  I'm impressed.  I guess you're
                only half a bitch. 

                          EPPS 
                Wes, we thought you were dead, and we 
                thought we were next.  Hanging around to
                get killed wouldn't have done anyone any
                good. 

                          WES 
                Sure, and I guess it was just convenient
                there was one less person to split the
                gold with. 

                          EPPS
                Wes-- 

                          WES 
                Look, I know you guys are telling the 
                truth.  It's just the Shi'ites don't know
                that.  I guess you could tell them...but 
                then you don't speak the language do you?

     Wes gets right up into Jaeger's face. 

                          WES{CONT)
                Do you!? 

     Of course Wes knows they don't.  He allows himself a very
     sweet, shit eating grin. 

                          WES{CONT) 
                They're going to kill you slow.  I'll see
                to that. 

     He steps away and starts to open the pack of gold. 

                          WES(CONT) 
                Thanks for taking care of this for me.

                          EPPS 
                Tell me something, Wes.  Are you crazy,
                greedy, or just stupid?  Jaeger says
                you're crazy. 

                          JAEGER 
                I didn't say that.  I never said-- 

                          EPPS 
                Me?  I say you don't have enough brains
                to be stupid. 

     For a second Wes is taken by surprise by the statement, but
     he smiles at Epps' boldness.  He sets down the pack of gold
     and gets right up into Epps' face. 

                          WES 
                You disappoint me, Epps.  Always figured
                you to be a man; a real bright guy.  I
                had respect for you. 

                          EPPS 
                That why you tried to put a bullet in my
                head in the middle of the desert.

                          WES 
                That's just what things came to. 
                Sometimes you can't help that.  It 
                doesn't change me respecting you.  And
                now you let me down.  I expected more
                from you, you know?  I really did.  I 
                expected you to-- 

     A KNIFE SLIDES UP INTO FRAME UNTIL THE THE TIP RESTS JUST
     UNDER WES' THROAT, CHOKING OFF HIS WORDS. 

     Now it's Epps' turn to go smug. 

                          EPPS 
                You expect this? 

     Wes' got nothing to say.  To Jaeger:

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Get the gold! 

     Jaeger grabs up the pack. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                     (To Wes) 
                Now let's try things another way.  Let's
                try this:  You and me and Jaeger are
                going to walk out of here.  We're going
                to walk out all smiling and friendly so 
                your little Shi'ite buddies won't suspect
                a thing.  Then we're going to hop on some
                horses, and ride away, and live happily 
                ever after.  It's all going to happen
                just like that, because if it doesn't 
                then I'm going to gut you like a fat pig.
                You understand me...soldier? 

     Wes says nothing.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                I'll take that as a yes. 

     Epps gruffly spins Wes around and presses the knife up
     against his back so that it is hidden. 

     EPPS MARCHES WES OUTSIDE THE TENT, stopping momentarily to
     grab up his pack with his free hand.  To Jaeger he says: 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Get the water.

     Jaeger does as he's told. 

                          WES 
                They'll kill you.  You won't make it ten
                feet before they cut you down. 

                          EPPS 
                You don't know John Epps very well, do
                you?

                          JAEGER 
                Can you ride a horse? 

                          EPPS 
                No, but I figure now's a real good time
                to start. 

     They walk on through the camp towards some saddled horses.
     They pass a Shi'ite who says something to Wes in Arabic.
     Epps gives Wes a poke in the back with the knife. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Don't say anything. 

     The Shi'ite, obviously expecting an answer, says whatever it
     was he said again. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Just keep quiet. 

                          WES 
                I have to answer him.

                          EPPS
                So you can give us away? 

                          WES 
                If I don't answer, he'll know something's
                up.

     Epps gives this a lot of thought in a very short time.

                          EPPS 
                You answer him, but you answer him wrong
                and you're going to be staring at your
                insides while you're dying. 

     Wes very calmly says something to the Shi'ite.  The Shi'ite 
     just stands there for a beat looking at the three men, then
     suddenly explodes in screams.  No way of knowing for sure
     what he's saying, but since he's going off like a Westec
     alarm it's a pretty good bet he's been tipped of.

     Epps rears back a fist and slams it into Wes' face.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Bastard! 

     Epps and Jaeger take off running for the horses, practically
     leaping into the saddles as Shi'ites come pouring out of 
     their tents.  Forgetting himself, Wes screams in English. 

                          WES
                Stop them! 

     Jaeger and Epps spur their horses and take off riding hard.
     It's amazing what you can do when a bunch of angry Shi'ites
     are chasing you.

     Wes grabs an assault weapon from a near by Shi'ite and mounts
     up with blood in his eyes.  He leads a charge of armed, 
     mounted Shi'ites that looks like a posse going after some bad
     men. 

     Out front Epps and Jaeger pull up for a second.

                          JAEGER
                They coming? 

     Epps takes a look behind him.  He can't hardly miss the
     sandstorm Wes and the Shi'ites kick up as they ride for them. 

                          EPPS 
                Oh, yeah.  They're coming. 

     Epps points off to some foothills in the distance.  It's the
     only thing close to cover for miles around.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                Ride for the hills.  We'll try to lose 
                them.

     They take the reigns to their horses and get to riding.

     Behind them Wes yells to his riders, and signals for them to
     split up, and try to cut off Epps and Jaeger.

     Epps and Jaeger hit the hills.  They ride up for a bit, then
     stop to spot Wes.  Wes and his crew are better riders and 
     have closed the gap.  All the two can do now is try to lose
     them in the terrain.

     Epps and Jaeger ride as best they can, and somewhat 
     erratically to cover their trail.  They head up a ways, then
     cut across in a parallel direction.  Jaeger looks back, but
     sees no sign of Wes. 

                          JAEGER
                We lost them! 

     Just as the words leave Jaeger's mouth a hail of bullets 
     explodes the ground before them.  Their horses rear up, and
     it's all they can do to fight them.  Just ahead are the
     Shi'ites who split off from Wes, having circled around Epps
     and Jaeger. 

     The two yank their horses back, and ride hard in the opposite
     direction with the Shi'ites just behind.  They fire on Epps
     and Jaeger, the bullets pinging off the rocks all around them. 

     Epps and Jaeger are little more than passengers on their
     horses as they run wild like stampeding mustangs.  And good
     for it, too, otherwise they might be dead by now.  They break
     for a trail that leads further up the mountain, but it
     does little to shake loose their pursuers. 

     As Epps and Jaeger level out they can see the trail below
     them, and Wes and his posse riding for them.  Our two start
     back the way they came. but the other Shi'ites crest the
     hill.

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Which way? 

     Epps looks from side to side.  Either way is certain death.
     Then he looks off towards an embankment.  It is VERY steep.
     VERY treacherous. 

     It would take an expert rider to make it down the embankment 
     safely.  All Epps knows is there aren't any gun totting
     Shi'ites in that direction. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Which way do we go!? 

                          EPPS
                We go this way. 

     Fear gives way to desperation.  Both men whip their steeds
     hard.  The beasts leap to the embankment and start the wild
     ride down.  Both Epps and Jaeger have to lean back in their
     saddles until they're almost parallel to the ground just to
     stay on their horses. 

     Wes sees this and swears.  He signals to his men to cut back
     the other way. 

     Epps reaches the bottom of the embankment.  Jaeger is almost
     there when he looses control of his horse.  Both rider and
     animal go tumbling in an ugly fall. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Jaeger!

     The horse gets up and bolts off before Jaeger can get to her. 

     Just then Wes and his men make it back down the trail, and
     start riding hard for Jaeger.

     Epps pulls his horse around and takes off for his fallen
     comrade.  As he rides in he leans to the side and low.
     Stretching out an arm Epps literally scoops Jaeger, and
     swings him up behind him.  A couple of rodeo performers
     couldn't have done it better. 

     Problem is with the extra weight they can't go very fast.
     Wes and his men close hard now.  The bullets fly fast and
     furious swarming all around our boys.

     Epps whips the horse, trying to get everything she's got to
      give.  This is it:  They get away now, or not at all.  Their
     horse finds a little something extra.  She goes faster,
     faster...

     Suddenly Epps pulls up hard on the reins.  The horse rears
     up, she goes wild.  It takes everything Epps has to control
     her.  But better that than if she'd taken another stride.
     They've come to the edge of a very, very sharp cliff.  Epps
     may be a good rider for a novice, but no way he could get
     this beast to fly. 

     Finally he calms the horse down, but it doesn't matter.  Wes
     and the Shi'ites ride up behind them cutting them off.  Wes
     stands down from his horse.

     Epps and Jaeger, with nowhere to go, do the same. 

                          WES
                The gold; give it to me.

     Epps takes the pack from Jaeger, but doesn't throw it to Wes.

                          WES(CONT)
                Give it to me! 

                          EPPS 
                If I give it to you, will you let us go? 

     Wes smiles and lies so badly he doesn't even bother trying to
     fake it. 

                          WES 
                Sure.  Whatever you want.  For old time
                sake.

     Epps has got no choice, really.  He tosses the pack to Wes' 
     feet who stoops to pick it up.  Wes starts to open the pack.

                          WES(CONT)
                Looks like at the end of the day we 
                finally find out who's better than who, 
                don't we, Epps?  Like I said; I expected
                more from you. 

                          EPPS
                It's like I said; you don't really know
                lieutenant John Epps very well, do you? 

     Wes rips open the pack.  He's got about one second to see
     what's inside.  NO GOLD.  JUST A BOOBY TRAPPED CLAYMORE MINE.

     Epps grabs Jaeger and yanks to him to the ground. 

     There is a horrific furry of sound and fire that easily
     destroys Wes and a few of the Shi'ite standing next to him.
     The rest, along with the horses, scatter for dear life.

     Epps stays down until the coast is clear, then gets up.
     Jaeger, to say the least, is stunned. 

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Damn it.  We lost the horses.

                          JAEGER
                The...the gold... 

                          EPPS 
                It wasn't the gold.  It was the claymore
                mine.  The gold's in my pack.

                          JAEGER
                When did you make the switch?

                          EPPS 
                It's always been like that.  When you 
                left me down in the crevice to send the
                gold up I figured I'd better...take 
                precautions.  I rigged it to blow if 
                anyone opened the pack.  Just in case 
                somebody thought they could do better on
                their own. 

                          JAEGER
                But...

                          EPPS 
                We had a deal.  No one touches the gold
                until we're out of here.  No one breaks
                the deal, no one had anything to worry
                about.

                          JAEGER 
                What if it hadn't been Wes?  What if...I
                mean, accidently, what if I had... 

                          EPPS
                You shouldn't think about things like
                that.  It'll just make you crazy. 

     We hold on the two men, on the smoking remains of Wes.  We
     hold on them, then:

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO:

     EXT. DESERT/ROAD - LATER 

     Epps and Jaeger come up to the road, a small highway.  It's 
     eerie; a road in the middle of the desert.  Quiet.  No cars.
     They just stand and stare at it for a beat.

                          JAEGER
                Well? 

                          EPPS 
                A car's got to come along sooner or
                later.  When it does, we jack it. 

                          JAEGER 
                How do we do that? 

                          EPPS 
                You lie in the middle of the road, look
                like you're hurt.  When the car stops I
                run over to the driver and put a gun to
                his head. 

                          JAEGER 
                Why do I have to lie in the road? 

                          EPPS 
                Somebody has to.

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, but why me?  What if the car
                doesn't stop? 

                          EPPS 
                Then I'm a rich man. 

     Epps sits by the side of the road waiting for a car.  The
     only thing he gets is more quiet.  Jaeger sits next to him.
     After a couple of beats: 

                          JAEGER
                Epps. 

                          EPPS
                Yeah. 

                          JAEGER 
                I want you to know... I don't know.  I
                just think you're a hell of a guy. 

                          EPPS
                Thanks. 

                          JAEGER 
                This whole time, you've kept your head.
                You didn't go money simple like me and 
                Wes.  You've just been trying to figure
                how to get us out of here.  And you've
                been fair too.  I mean, even after 
                I...you know... 

                          EPPS 
                Threatened to blow my brains out? 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah.  Even after that.  You didn't take
                it out on me, except for maybe making me
                lie in the middle of the road now.  But
                I'd say you've been very fair.  I just 
                think it's a hell of a man who can keep
                from going money simple. 

                          EPPS 
                Don't make so much out of it.  Only
                reason I haven't figured a way to get all
                that money for myself is because I've
                been too busy figuring ways to stay 
                alive.  Believe me; if I had a minute to
                catch my breath I might have played 
                things the way you and Wes had.  I'm no 
                better than anybody else.  I've just been
                busier. 

     They sit a while more.  Still no car.

                          JAEGER
                Epps? 

                          EPPS
                What? 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm thinking about taking a trip. 

                          EPPS 
                Thought you were going to buy a car. 

                          JAEGER
                Still am.  There's more gold than I 
                thought, and since there's only two of us
                now...  Where should I go? 

                          EPPS
                I don't know. 

                          JAEGER 
                I've never been anywhere.  I wouldn't 
                know where to go.  Where would you go? 

                          EPPS 
                How the hell should I know? 

     Another long beat.  Still no car.

                          EPPS(CONT)
                Australia. 

                          JAEGER 
                What?

                          EPPS
                I'd go to Australia.  Lot of land, not 
                many people.  I think after this I'd like
                to quit people for awhile.  And the girls
                go crazy for brothers down there.

                          JAEGER
                Really? 

                          EPPS 
                That's what I hear.  Don't matter.  Girls
                go crazy everywhere for a man with gold. 

     From the distance we hear the faint sound of a car motor.  It
     draws closer and closer. 

     Epps and Jaeger stand.  Knowing they're so close to the end
     of a long adventure they become very business like.

                          JAEGER 
                Well, this is it.  We get the car, find 
                some Americans.  We find Americans we'll
                be all right. 

                          EPPS 
                We'll make up some kind of lie.  They
                won't find the gold. 

     Epps and Jaeger just stand staring at each other as the car
     draws closer. 

                          JAEGER
                Okay.  See you in a minute.

     Jaeger goes out and lays in the car's path.  Epps goes to
     hide behind some rocks.

     The car keeps getting closer and closer.

     Jaeger yells over to Epps. 

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Epps, I don't think he's slowing down. 

                          EPPS 
                He'll slow down.

     The car gets closer. 

                          JAEGER
                He's not slowing. 

                          EPPS 
                He's going to slow down. 

     The car gets closer. 

                          JAEGER
                Epps...Epps! 

     The car barrels right for Jaeger.  Forget what Epps says,
     it's not slowing down and Jaeger knows it.

                          JAEGER(CONT)
                Aw, damn!

     At the last possible second Jaeger rolls out of the way.  The
     car doesn't slow, tearing across the stretch of road where
     Jaeger lay, but swerves to avoid him.  The DRIVER loses 
     control for a few seconds and is forced to skid to a halt.

     Epps runs to the car, rips open the driver's door, and
     presses the muzzle of an assault weapon to his head.

                          EPPS 
                You speak English?  DO YOU SPEAK
                ENGLISH!? 

                          DRIVER
                     (Frightened) 
                Y-yes. 

     Jaeger runs over and jumps in the car.  Epps gets in behind
     the driver, keeping the gun pressed to his head.

                          EPPS 
                Where were you going? 

                          DRIVER
                Baghdad. 

                          EPPS 
                What's in the other direction? 

                          DRIVER
                This road, it leads straight to Kuwait. 

                          EPPS 
                Turn the car around.

                          DRIVER 
                Please, I beg of you.  The American army
                is there.  I am Iraqi.  They will kill
                me. 

                          EPPS 
                Nobody's going to hurt you.

     Epps takes a gold coin from his back and gives it to the driver.

                          EPPS(CONT) 
                You see that?  Gold.  You take us to the
                Americans, and we'll give you another
                one.  Now drive. 

     The driver turns around the car and starts back in the
     direction he came. 

     They drive on for awhile, mostly in silence.  Epps and Jaeger
     are too anxious to have this all over to say much, and the
     driver is too scared.  Finally the driver starts to talk. 

                          DRIVER
                You are Americans, yes? 

     Neither Jaeger or Epps answer. 

                          DRIVER(CONT)
                We didn't not all want this war, do you
                know?  We didn't not all want to invade 
                our brothers and sisters in Kuwait.  Now
                your army crushes us.  So few days, and 
                so many have died.  And many fear we will
                all die.  Please tell this to your
                people:  We did not want this war.

     Still Jaeger and Epps say nothing.  Outside the car the 
     traffic flowing in the opposite direction gradually gets
     thicker and thicker.

                          DRIVER(CONT)
                I have a brother in our army.  When I 
                take you back, will you look for him?  If
                he is still alive, will you look for him
                and take care of him? 

     This last bit gets to Epps.

                          EPPS 
                Yeah.  We'll look for him.

     Outside the traffic away from Kuwait has gotten so thick 
     everything is at a stand still.  There are Iraqi military
     vehicles pulling out, as well as a good many civilian cars
     and trucks.  It clogs up both lanes, and envelopes the car.
     Some people try to make their way on foot as it is now much
     faster.

                          JAEGER
                Look at this.

                          DRIVER 
                Iraqis.  They are fleeing from Kuwait,
                from your military.

                          EPPS 
                See if you can't drive around this.

     The driver tries to work the car free of the congestion, but
     he's wedged in, and not going anywhere.

     From out of the sky swoop down a flight of AMERICAN F-15E
     FIGHTER JETS.  They swing down on the far end of the highway,
     engines roaring like angry lions.  For a second time stands
     still.  Everyone on the road stops and looks up at the jets.

     Time starts again, and with a deadly vengeance.

     The fighter pilots begin to strafe the highway:  Vehicles and
     people, civilian and military alike.  There is no
     distinction, only carnage.

     This is the infamous Al Jahra highway from Basrah to Kuwait
     City that was strafed with deadly accuracy over and over on
     the last day of the war by American forces.  It became known
     as the Highway of Death. 

     The huge shells rip a bloody path, shredding cars and trucks,
     igniting explosions, straight towards the car with Epps,
     Jaeger and the driver.  With barely seconds to go before they
     are shot to pieces as well.  They dive from the car, Epps
     dragging the driver out, and scramble for cover along the
     side of the road. 

     The planes turn back for another pass.

                          JAEGER 
                What the hell are they doing?  There're 
                civilians in there.

     Not even thinking about what he's doing Jaeger jumps up and
     screams at the jets.

                          JAEGER(CONT) 
                DON'T SHOOT!  DON'T SHOOT!  THEY'RE
                CIVILIANS! 

     Epps jumps up and drags Jaeger back down to cover as the
     shells fram the jets cut dangerously close to them. 

     The jets bank and swoop for another run.

     Epps realizes there is something wrong.  He looks around
     desperately, but doesn't see...THERE, BACK IN THE CAR! 

                          EPPS
                The gold! 

     Epps runs for the car, trying to beat the jets.

                          JAEGER
                No!

     Jaeger lunges for Epps but misses him.  Epps snakes his way
     through the burning hulks towards their car.  He dodges,
     jukes and weaves among shells, shrapnel and explosions that 
     go off all around him.  He just makes it to the car, grabbing
     up the gold, as the fighters once again swing low and cut
     loose. 

     A wicked hail of shells reigns down.  It sets off a series of
     violent explosions that knocks Jaeger off his feet.  It takes
     him a beat to recover.  By then the fighters have done their
     job, and fly off. 

     Jaeger stands.  He walks towards the road over the plaintive
     wails of the barely living.  The car, the gold, Epps... they
     are essentially disintegrated.

     AS THE CAMERA PULLS BACK AND UP WE SEE THAT IT ISN'T JUST
     THEIR CAR AND EPPS THAT ARE GONE.  There isn't much of 
     anything left on this road.  Just death, destruction and
     bloodshed. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 

                                                           FADE TO: 

     INT. MILITARY COURTROOM - MONTHS LATER 

     Jaeger is cleaned up, in dress uniform, and sitting at a 
     table before a MILITARY TRIBUNAL.  He looks very sullen, as
     if this whole adventure has robbed him of his soul. 

     The members of the tribunal just look pissed. 

                          CHIEF JUSTICE 
                The members of this tribunal have reached
                a verdict.  Based on the evidence 
                presented we find the defended guilty as
                charged of desertion, insurrection, 
                insubordination, and conduct unbecoming.
                Further the tribunal will recommend that
                the defendant be sentenced to life 
                imprisonment, and that from this day 
                forward he shall no longer walk as a free
                man.  You should consider yourself quite
                fortunate, son.  There was a time when 
                lesser crimes would have found you before
                a firing squad.  I don't know that a 
                person like you has much to say for
                himself, but it is your right say
                something. 

     Jager doesn't stand.  He doesn't look at the tribunal.  He
     just begins to talk. 

                          JAEGER 
                I'm sorry, I guess.  Not for looking for
                the gold, or leaving my post.  You know
                what it's like to have gold raining out 
                of your hands?  That'll give me enough to
                think about the rest of my days in the 
                brig.  I'm just sorry about Wes.  He was
                all right.  It was the gold that made him
                what he became.  If I hadn't found that
                map, if I hadn't talked them into going 
                searching...Wes just might have made it
                home after all.  I guess I feel
                responsible for him. 

                          CHIEF JUSTICE
                The way I view things you're responsible
                for the lives of two men:  Private First 
                Class Wes Hanmond, and Second Lieutenant 
                John Epps. 

                          JAEGER 
                Yeah, well, I've been thinking about 
                that.  See, there was an explosion and 
                everything, but I never really aaw Epps 
                get killed.  And nobody ever found the
                gold.  I guess they both could have been 
                burned to slag.  I guess.  But there were
                a lot of bodies out on that road.  A
                smart man could have found some 
                identification to use.  A smart man could
                have made his way up to Syria or Turkey.
                A smart man could have gotten himself
                right out of the Middle East.  A smart
                man with enough gold.  Way I figure, 
                right about now old Epps is sitting in a
                bar in Sydney, or Melboure, or maybe 
                Brisbane telling stories to one of the
                prettiest Aussies you ever saw. 

     The members of the tribunal just scoff.

                          CHIEF JUSTICE 
                I find it highly unlikely that anyone
                could accomplish such a thing.

                          JAEGER 
                Well, Sir, I guess you don't know Second 
                Lieutenant John Epps very well, do you? 

     Jaeger allows himself a slight smile as he leaves the
     tribunal with this question. 

                                                           FADE TO:

     BLACK 


                                  END