ARMSTRONG
                                    New York.

                                                            OMAR
                                                (smiles)
                                    Ah, the Big Apple, yes?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Well, yes, New York City is the Big Apple,
                                    but I live upstate in a small town called
                                    Phoenicia.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Phoenicia?  That’s an ancient civilization.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I know.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Are there ancestors of the ancient Phoenicians
                                    living there?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I doubt it.  It’s just a little artsy-fartsy town,
                                    right near Woodstock, where the big music
                                    festival was held in the ‘60s.
                                                (Omar looks blank)
                                    Jimi Hendrix?  Janis Joplin?  Canned Heat?
                                                (Omar still looks blank)
                                    Doesn’t matter.

                                                            OMAR
                                    The Phoenicians had the very first alphabet.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    No kidding.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes.  And they were great sailors.  You know
                                    where Phoenicia was?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Uh, actually, no.

                                                            OMAR
                                    You live in a town called Phoenicia, but
                                    you don’t know where Phoenicia was?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    No.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Weren’t you ever curious?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Honestly, no.  Was it near here?

                                                            OMAR
                                    No.  It was on the coast of the Mediterranean
                                    Sea, where northern Israel, Lebanon and Syria
                                    are now.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Well, what do you know about that.

                                                            OMAR
                                    When you go home you can now tell your
                                    fellow Phoenicians where ancient Phoenicia
                                    was.

                                                            ARMSTRONG          
                                    Thank you. 

Just then in the distance, behind the mountains, explosions begin going off – white flashes followed by distant booms.  One explosion after another after another.  Both men watch.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Another night strike on the insurgents
                                    south of Kandahar.
                                               
                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Now, what about Aziz?  Will he be
                                    guarded?

                                                            OMAR
                                    There were two men guarding him when
                                    I was there.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    What type of weapons did they have?

                                                            OMAR
                                    They both had Kalashnikovs.  That’s all
                                    I saw.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Short range, that’s good.  We just need to
                                    be outside their range, like 300 to 400 yards,
                                    then we’re safe.  An AK-47 is solid, durable
                                    weapon, it’s just highly inaccurate beyond
                                    100 yards.  At 300 yards they won’t be able
                                    to hit anything, unless they have some other
                                    weapons you didn’t see.

                                                            OMAR
                                    It’s possible.  I wasn’t there for very long
                                    and I didn’t see what they had inside the
                                    cave.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    We’ll have to chance it.  Let’s get some rest,
                                    we’ve got a big day tomorrow.

Armstrong rolls out a sleeping bag, Omar makes a bed out of his blankets and they both lay down under the vast canopy of stars.  The explosions continue detonating in the distance.

EXT. DESERT RAVINE – DAY

The blue Toyota drives slowly down a thin, snaking ravine beneath high rock walls.  There’s no track here, so the driving is very difficult.  The car bounces over deep ruts and winds its way between huge boulders. 

INT. MOVING CAR – DAY

Omar picks up the clunky satellite cell phone.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Satellite phone?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Yeah.

                                                            OMAR
                                    May I use it?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I can’t get it to charge.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Ah, that’s too bad.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Do you know anything about electronics?

                                                            OMAR
                                    No, I don’t.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Oh, well.  Maybe the car’s lighter is fucked
                                    up.  I don’t know.  I’ll try rigging it to the
                                    car battery on the way back, maybe that’ll
                                    work.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Then you’ll call your superiors and tell
                                    them you’ve killed Aziz?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Maybe.  Or I might order Chinese food.

                                                            OMAR
                                                (smiles)
                                    Yes, you are very amusing, Mr. Armstrong.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I almost went into comedy, but I chose
                                    the military instead.

Omar points at a rocky little trail leading out of the ravine and up a hill.

                                                            OMAR
                                    There it is.  From here we must walk.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Right.

Armstrong stops the car and turns it off.

EXT. DESERT RAVINE/ROCKY TRAIL – DAY

Armstrong and Omar unload their equipment from the car – it’s a lot of stuff for just two men to carry.  Armstrong opens the trunk and takes out a rolled-up tan camouflage net.  He and Omar pull the net over the car, holding the corners down with rocks.

Armstrong now wears the black backpack, and strapped over his shoulders are the big 50mm rifle and the Uzi.  Omar wears another backpack full of ammunition and has his AK-47.  They start walking up the rocky mountain trail.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE – DAY

Omar goes first making his way nimbly up the steep mountain trail, with Armstrong right behind humping his heavy load.  It’s a treacherous climb and Armstrong is having difficulty not falling down.  Omar begins to get ahead of Armstrong, who is pouring sweat and panting.  Armstrong stops to take a breath.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Hang on a second.

Omar turns and walks back down to Armstrong.

                                                            OMAR
                                    It’s very steep.  Let me take some of your
                                    equipment.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    No, no, I’ve got it.

                                                            OMAR
                                                (patiently)
                                    I appreciate that you are a strong, determined
                                    man, Mr. Armstrong, but if you simply let me
                                    help we’ll certainly go faster.

Armstrong considers this for a second, then nods.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Right.

Armstrong hands Omar the 50mm rifle which he puts over his shoulder.  Omar waits for more, but that’s all Armstrong’s giving him.  Omar turns, looks off into the distance, shades his eyes, then points his finger.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Bedouins.  Nomads.

Armstrong looks, doesn’t see anything, squints and still doesn’t see anything.  He takes out a pair of binoculars.

EXT. DESERT/POV THROUGH BINOCULARS – DAY

Through the binoculars, way in the distance, Armstrong sees a group of twenty nomads all dressed in black robes, leading camels and pack mules across the desert.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE – DAY

Armstrong turns to Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Who are they?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Wotapuri-Katarqalai.  The Shadow
                                    Men.  A fierce nomadic tribe.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Whose side are they on?

                                                            OMAR
                                    No one’s.  Their own.  Very little is known
                                    of them.  They have nothing to do with
                                    anyone else.  No one even knows what
                                    language they speak. 

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    How could you not know what language
                                    they speak?

                                                            OMAR
                                    No one has ever spoken to them and lived
                                    to tell about it.  What we do know is that
                                    they’re bandits.  And make no mistake, they’ll
                                    kill anyone who gets in their way and take
                                    whatever they want.  Best to avoid.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (nods)
                                    Right.

They both keep going.

EXT. ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TRAIL – DAY

Both men keep trudging up the thin mountain trail.  Omar is ahead, Armstrong behind.  Armstrong is really struggling with his load.  He looks up and sees that Omar has stopped and is kneeling down.  A look of confusion and concern crosses Armstrong’s face.  He takes the Uzi off his shoulder and holds it in his hands.

Armstrong steps up beside Omar to find that he’s kneeling beside a severely wounded DYING MAN.  There’s a bullet wound in the man’s chest and he’s bleeding profusely.  His face is covered by a scarf and there’s an expression of horror in the man’s eyes.  Omar looks up at Armstrong.

                                                            OMAR
                                    He’s very badly wounded.  We must get
                                    him to a doctor.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    We haven’t got time.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Then he’ll die.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Then he’ll die.  It’s not our problem.

Armstrong pulls back the scarf covering the man’s face revealing him to be a Caucasian.  The Dying Man looks at Armstrong and recognizes him.

                                                            DYING MAN
                                    Armstrong.

Armstrong recognizes him.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Why, Robertson.  As I live and breathe.

                                                            DYING MAN
                                    You son of a bitch!

Robertson reaches up, grabs Armstrong around the throat and squeezes as hard as he can.
Armstrong unceremoniously pulls out his 9mm Beretta, wraps it in the man’s scarf, puts the barrel to Robertson’s head, and to Omar’s horror, shoots him in the head killing him.  Omar’s eyes widen in disbelief.  Armstrong grabs Robertson’s dead hand, dislodges it from his throat and drops it on the dead man’s chest.

                                                            OMAR
                                    He knew you.

Armstrong unwraps his pistol from the bloody scarf.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Casually.

Omar still looks horrified.

                                                            OMAR
                                    That wasn’t casual.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    No.  He went and got serious on me.
                                                (shrugs)
                                    What are you gonna do?

Armstrong put his pistol back in the holster.  Omar goes through Robertson’s pockets.  He finds some local money, a photo of his family, and a wanted poster in Pashto for Aziz offering a $1,000,000 reward for his capture.  Omar holds the poster up for Armstrong to see.

                                                            OMAR
                                    What’s this?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Hey, that looks like Aziz.

                                                            OMAR
                                    It is Aziz.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Sorry, but the rest is Greek to me.

                                                            OMAR
                                                (correcting)
                                    Pashto.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Yeah, whatever.

                                                            OMAR
                                    It says that there’s a million dollar reward
                                    for the capture of Aziz.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Really?  No kidding?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes.  That’s a lot of money.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    It sure is.

                                                            OMAR
                                    You gave me a thousand U.S. dollars.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Uh-huh.

                                                            OMAR
                                    That’s a very small percentage of a million
                                    U.S. dollars.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Your point being?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Shouldn’t I be getting more?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Uh.  No.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Why not?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Because we all make our own deal, that’s
                                    why.  You made your deal, live with it.

                                                            OMAR
                                    What if I don’t want to live with it?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Then we’ve got trouble.  Omar Abdul Zahir,
                                    you don’t want trouble with me, of that I can
                                    assure you.

                                                            OMAR
                                    What if I don’t lead you to Aziz?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    That’s making trouble.  Omar, my friend,
                                    you’ve been paid to do a job, so just do your
                                    job, OK?  Now let’s get moving.

They both keep walking.  Omar throws a stricken glance back at the dead man, then a disgusted look forward at Armstrong.

EXT. ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TRAIL – DAY

The two men keep climbing the side of the mountain along a thin, rocky trail.  Once again, Omar is ahead and Armstrong has fallen behind, huffing and puffing, clearly struggling with his load.  Omar sighs, turns around and goes back.  He finds Armstrong sitting on a rock, panting and sweating.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I’m fine.  No problem.  Just give me another
                                    second here.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Seriously, Mr. Armstrong, I can carry more
                                    than I’ve got.

Just then they both hear a distant buzzing sound.  They both look all around, then up in the air.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    It’s a surveillance drone.
                                                (he points)
                                    Quick, let’s get behind that rock.

They both hustle behind a large boulder and duck down.

EXT. SKY – DAY

A little white airplane, a surveillance drone, flies across the blue sky, accompanied by the buzzing of a little motor.

EXT. BOULDER – DAY

Armstrong and Omar hide behind the boulder and peer up at the drone.  They watch as it flies  past.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    They’re getting close, but we’ll get there
                                    first.

                                                            OMAR
                                    “They” are the U.S. Military, correct?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Yeah. 

                                                            OMAR
                                    So, you’re not one of them?

Armstrong gives Omar a long serious look.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    What’s it to you?

Omar raises his hands.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Nothing.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Right.  Nothing.  So let’s keep going.

They keep climbing the side of the mountain.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

There is a cave entrance perched on the side of the mountain, approached by a thin trail.  Several hundred yards below it Omar comes crawling up, hidden behind large rocks.  He looks back and sees Armstrong huffing and puffing his way up the mountainside.  Omar waves at him, catches his attention, then indicates he should be quiet and duck down.  Armstrong squats down, then crawls up beside Omar, who points up at the cave.

                                                            OMAR
                                    There it is.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    There’s no one there.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Believe me, they’re there.

Armstrong digs into his pack and comes out with a small green, military telescope.  He looks through the telescope, which has distance markings visible on the side.  As he turns the focus ring it tells him how far away the cave is – 350 yards.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    OK.  This is a good position.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Now what do we do?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    We wait.  Unless an opportunity presents
                                    itself earlier, we’ll do this thing at first
                                    light.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Then what happens?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I’ll take out the sentries, then we’ll storm
                                    the cave and capture or kill Aziz.

                                                            OMAR
                                    What do you mean, capture?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I don’t mean capture, I mean kill.  But we
                                    might catch him first before we kill him. 
                                    Either way, he’s dead.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Correct.  We’re here to kill him.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Correct.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Not to capture him.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    No.

                                                            OMAR
                                    We’re not taking him back.  That wasn’t
                                    the deal we made.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    We’re not capturing him, and we’re not
                                    taking him back, OK?  We’re going to kill
                                    him, and that’s that.

                                                            OMAR
                                    All right.  I’m just making sure.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You’re very suspicious, aren’t you?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Not generally, but I don’t even know who
                                    you work for.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Whoever I work for, we want the same
                                    thing, so just cool down.  By this time
                                    tomorrow Aziz will be dead.

Omar nods, but he doesn’t look convinced.  The two of them quietly take off their packs and make themselves comfortable for the night.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – NIGHT

It’s dark, but it’s a bright moonlit night.  Omar is curled up asleep.  Armstrong sits awake holding the Uzi on his lap.  He looks up and there are a million stars.  He scans the vicinity and all is quiet.

Then wait, what’s that?  Armstrong’s brow furrows and he leans to his left, straining to hear.  Crunching.  Feet on gravel.  He reaches into his pack and comes out with a night vision scope.  He puts it to his eye and looks around.

EXT. TRAIL TO CAVE – NIGHT/NIGHT VISION P.O.V.

Through the night vision scope, in a green grainy image, we see five armed Afghani soldiers making their way up the trail toward the cave entrance.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – NIGHT

Armstrong lowers the scope.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (under his breath)
                                    Crap!

He turns and gently wakes Omar.  Omar opens his eyes and Armstrong puts his finger to his lips indicating to be quiet.  Omar looks around.  Armstrong points and hands him the scope.  Omar looks through it.

EXT. TRAIL TO CAVE – NIGHT/NIGHT VISION P.O.V.

Through the night vision scope he sees the five armed Afghani soldiers enter the cave.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – NIGHT

Omar lowers the scope and hands it back to Armstrong.

                                                            OMAR
                                                (whispers)
                                    Now what do we do?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (whispering)
                                    Same plan.  No change.

                                                            OMAR
                                    But now there are a lot more soldiers.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Doesn’t matter.
                                                (looks at his watch)
                                    Two hours till dawn.  Hopefully, no one
                                    else will show up.

EXT. CRAGGY MOUNTAINTOPS – DAY

The suns rises over the ragged edges of the craggy mountaintops, splintering the rays of light like a diamond. 

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

Armstrong and Omar both sit in their same positions below the cave entrance, well hidden behind rocks.  Omar peers through the small telescope.  Armstrong now has the big 50mm rifle set up.  On the end of the barrel is a foot long black silencer which rests on a small tripod.  Armstrong has his eye up to the rifle’s scope. 

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY/THROUGH SCOPE

Seeing through the rifle’s scope, Armstrong has a clear view of the cave’s entrance.

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY

An AFGHANI SOLDIER (#1) with an AK-47 over his shoulder steps out of the cave entrance.  He yawns, and begins fumbling with the front of his caftan like he’s about to urinate.

Down the hill in front of the man there is a muzzle flash.  A second later there’s a high-velocity hissing sound, we see a tracer round come straight at us, then a bullet slams into the man’s forehead leaving a hole the size of a fifty-cent piece and taking off the entire back of the man’s head.  Blood and brains spatter the rocks behind the man who drops to the ground dead. 

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

The smoking spent shell ejects from Armstrong’s rifle and clatters on the rocks beside him.  Without looking up he says to Omar . . .

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    That’s one.

Omar lowers the telescope and looks at Armstrong.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Good shot.

Armstrong never removes his eye from the scope.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Thanks.

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY

Another AFGHANI SOLDIER (#2) with an AK-47 groggily steps out of the cave.  He sees his dead comrade and looks up to see where the bullet came from.  Just then there’s the flash in the distance, then the high-pitched hissing noise.  A bloody hole appears in the middle of the man’s face where his nose used to be.  There’s a spray of blood and viscera, then he too drops to the ground dead.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

The smoking shell ejects from Armstrong’s rifle.  He looks up at Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    That’s two.  OK, now they probably know
                                    something’s going on.  You ready?

Omar has the black backpack on his back and is holding his AK-47.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes, I am.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Right.

Armstrong puts his eye back to the scope.  He sights back in on the cave entrance, then fires four quick shots.

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY

Four big bullets shoot into the cave, then ricochet around like mad.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

Omar and Armstrong both stand.  Armstrong has his Uzi in his hands.  Leaving the 50mm rifle behind, the two men dash from behind the cover of the rocks up toward the cave.  They run as fast as they can, zigzagging their up the side of the hill.  So far so good.

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY

As Armstrong and Omar get to the lip of rock beside the cave entrance, at least two, maybe three weapons open fire from inside the cave.  Bullets go flying all over the place.

Armstrong and Omar are flattened against the rock wall beside the cave entrance.  Armstrong reaches back and Omar hands him a smoke grenade.  Armstrong pulls the pin, reaches all the way back and throws the grenade with all his might into the cave.  They hear a pop come from inside the cave, then slowly bright yellow smoke begins to float out the entrance.

Armstrong turns back to Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Gimme another one.

Omar hands him another smoke grenade.  Armstrong pulls the pin and throws that one in, too. 

A moment later an AFGHANI SOLDIER (#3) comes staggering out of the cave, coughing and firing blindly with his AK-47.

Armstrong and Omar both open fire.  A line of bullet holes tear across the soldier’s chest and he falls to the ground dead.

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