ARMSTRONG
                                    That’s three.

Omar takes two gas masks out of the pack and hands one to Armstrong. 

                                                            OMAR
                                    Here.

Armstrong takes the gas mask.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Stay low.  Follow me.

They both put on the gas masks, squat down in a crouch, then dash over to the cave entrance.  At the entrance itself they both get down on their faces and crawl into the cave, past the dead soldier, yellow smoke billowing out over their heads.

INT. CAVE – DAY

Armstrong and Omar crawl into the cave wearing gas masks, their weapons in their hands in front of them.  Yellow smoke fills the air, although it’s somewhat clearer down at the floor.

They hear coughing, then see a man’s feet staggering toward them.  Armstrong fires off a short burst with his Uzi, then the AFGHANI SOLDIER (#4) drops to the ground in front of them with several bullet holes in his chest, although he’s still alive.  Blood gushes out of the man’s mouth. 

As Armstrong crawls past the wounded man he reaches out with the Uzi, puts the barrel to the man’s head and fires another shot, killing him.  Omar winces inside his gas mask, but keeps crawling along up beside Armstrong, who holds up four fingers.  They both keep crawling deeper into the cave.

They arrive at a rock wall that curves around leading to the next section of the cave.  Armstrong gets to the edge of the wall and holds up his hand indicating that they should stop, which they do.  Armstrong slowly sticks the barrel of his Uzi out past the edge of the wall. 

Suddenly bullets come spraying out from behind the wall, which then ricochet all around the cave.  Armstrong and Omar both flatten themselves against the floor as bullets come zinging right past them off the rock walls.  When there’s finally a lull in the shots and ricochets, Armstrong sticks the Uzi around the corner and fires off a long burst of automatic weapon fire.  Bullets begin ricocheting around the next section of cave and scream is heard.  Armstrong glances back at Omar, then cautiously peers around the edge of the wall.

In the next section of the cave lies a wounded AFGHANI SOLDIER (#5) who is riddled with bullets, his AK-47 on the ground beside him.  Armstrong and Omar come crawling up.  Armstrong reaches out with his Uzi, puts a bullet in the man’s temple blowing his brains out against the stone wall.  Armstrong holds up five fingers to Omar, then continues crawling past.  Omar watches through the gas mask with a look of disgust in his eyes.

As they get even further into the cave the smoke is much thinner and visibility has increased.  Armstrong pulls off his gas mask and so does Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (whispering)
                                    None of those guys was Aziz was it?

                                                            OMAR
                                                (whispering)
                                    No.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Then we have to assume he’s still in here,
                                    and maybe some more guards, too.

Armstrong replaces the clip in his weapon and Omar follows suit.

                                                            OMAR
                                    What if they’re just waiting for us further
                                    into the cave?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I expect they are.  I hope they are.  I’d hate
                                    to’ve done all this for nothing.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Do you have to kill the wounded men?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (nods)
                                    Yeah, I do.  I hate people sneaking up behind
                                    me. 
                                                (looks around)
                                    Look at all this shit.

Omar looks around and sees a camera on a tripod, a TV and a DVD recorder, as well as several pieces of medical equipment on metal stands – an EKG and an EEG.  There are also a number of wooden crates.  Omar doesn’t know what to make of it.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Huh.

Armstrong reaches back to Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Gimme another smoke grenade.
                                                (Omar hands him a grenade)
                                    It worked once, it’ll work again.

Armstrong pulls the pin and tosses the grenade around the corner.  They hear it pop, wait, but don’t see any smoke.  Armstrong looks at Omar in confusion, then moves forward in a crouch.  Omar follows behind.

They come around the corner to find the smoke grenade on the ground spewing yellow smoke, but the smoke is being sucked out of the cave through openings in the rock wall that obviously lead outside.  Beams of sunlight shine in through the openings.  There’s another cave corridor beside that one.  Armstrong puts his fingers to his lips for quiet, then listens intently, furrowing his brow and looking from one corridor to the other.  Omar watches as Armstrong concentrates.  Finally . . .

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I think there’s someone down both of these
                                    corridors.                    
                                                (he points down the
                                                to the left)
                                    You check out that one . . .
                                                (points to his right)
                                    . . . I’ll check this one.

Omar nods, then dashes down the corridor to the left, toward the beams of light.  Armstrong runs into the corridor to the right, which is much darker.

INT. CAVE CORRIDOR WITH LIGHT BEAMS – DAY

Omar cautiously makes his way up the corridor toward the beams of light.  He sees movement within the light beams – it’s someone squeezing their way through the space between two boulders.  By the time Omar gets there the person has gotten through.  Omar now squeezes himself through the opening.

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR – DAY

It’s really dark in this corridor.  Armstrong peers through the night scope attached to his Uzi.

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR/P.O.V. THROUGH NIGHT SCOPE

Through the night scope Armstrong’s view is reasonably clear in the dark corridor, but he doesn’t see anything.  He continues moving up the corridor very slowly. 

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR – DAY

Suddenly, bullets start flying out of the darkness at Armstrong, who immediately hits the dirt and flattens himself on the floor.  The bullets hit the rock walls and ricochet around over Armstrong’s head.  When the bullets stop for a second he brings his weapon up and fires back, although he doesn’t know what he’s shooting at.

INT. CAVE CORRIDOR WITH EXIT – DAY

Omar squeezes his way between the rocks and comes out in another cave corridor that leads to a back way out of the cave.  Bright sunlight steams in the cave opening causing Omar to squint.  He dashes to the opening and looks out . . .

EXT. ROCKY HILLSIDE – DAY

Omar sees a man in a robe and turban dashing down the rocky hillside, already at least 100 yards away.  The man is ducking in and out between boulders.

INT. CAVE CORRIDOR WITH EXIT – DAY

Omar brings his AK-47 up, sights in and fires off a burst of automatic weapon fire, but all of the bullets fall short.  In a moment the man has disappeared among the rocks.  Omar grimaces and stomps his foot.  He then lowers his weapon and heads back into the cave.

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR – DAY

Armstrong is still prone on the cave floor.  Another fusillade of bullets come whizzing over his head, hitting the rock walls and ringing around.  The bullets stop, then he hears the distinct sound of a weapon clicking empty, being re-cocked, clicking empty, then being thrown to the ground.

Armstrong stands, brings the scope up to his eye and slowly moves deeper into the dark corridor.

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR/P.O.V. THROUGH NIGHT SCOPE

Armstrong’s view through the night scope moves cautiously up the corridor until it reaches a dead end.  He finds a man in a turban and a robe, his face covered by a scarf, standing there with his hands up, obviously surrendering. 

INT. DARK CAVE CORRIDOR – DAY

Armstrong steps up to the man, sticks the barrel of his weapon under the man’s chin, then pats him down with his other hand.  Finding no other weapons, Armstrong grabs the guy’s robe, give him a yank, then puts the barrel of the Uzi in the man’s back and pushes him down the corridor.

INT.  CAVE – DAY

Armstrong arrives back at the part of the cave where he and Omar split up to find Omar just standing there.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Did you get him?

Omar shakes his head.

                                                            OMAR
                                    No, he got away.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You think it was Aziz?

                                                            OMAR
                                                (shrugs)
                                    I don’t know.

Armstrong pushes his prisoner toward Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Is this Aziz?

Omar pulls the scarf off of the man’s face revealing a thin, tall, Middle Eastern man in his 50s with a long beard streaked with gray.  Omar’s eyes widen and his mouth opens.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Well, is it?

                                                            OMAR
                                    No, it’s not Aziz.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (disgusted)
                                    Great!

Armstrong raises his weapon to shoot the man, but Omar reaches up and pulls the barrel down.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Wait!

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (impatient)
                                    What?

                                                            OMAR
                                                (quietly)
                                    This isn’t Aziz, this is Bin Laden!

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (in disbelief)
                                    Bin Laden?  You’re saying this is Osama
                                    Bin Laden?

                                                            OMAR
                                                (nods)
                                    Yes, it is.

Armstrong can’t believe what he’s hearing.  He looks closer at the man who arrogantly smirks back at him.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    How do you know?

                                                            OMAR
                                    I know him.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You know him?  You know Osama Bin
                                    Laden?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes, we were both Mujahideen.  We fought
                                    the Russians together.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You never mentioned you knew Osama Bin
                                    Laden.

                                                            OMAR
                                    You never asked.  It never came up.

OSAMA BIN LADEN stands there looking at both of them with an amused expression on his gaunt weathered face.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You’re sure?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes, I’m sure.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Osama Bin Laden?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    The one and only?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Correct.

Armstrong really looks at Bin Laden.  He squints his eyes.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Are you Osama Bin Laden?  Do you speak
                                    English?

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    Yes, I speak English, and who I am is of no
                                    concern to you.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    There’s a twenty-five million dollar bounty
                                    on your head.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    If I am who you think I am.  If not, then
                                    I’m worth nothing.

Armstrong turns back to Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    But it is Osama Bin Laden?  You’re sure?
                                                           
Just as Omar is about to speak, terrorists begin shouting from outside the cave in Pashto.  Omar listens to what they’re saying.

                                                            OMAR
                                    They’re at the cave entrance.  They’re
                                    worried.  They think Bin Laden is dead.

Armstrong reaches into the pack on Omar’s back, takes out a plastic zip-tie, grabs Bin Laden’s hands and binds them together behind his back.  He then looks closely into Bin Laden’s face.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Tell them to lower their weapons and we’ll
                                    come out.
                                                (Bin Laden hesitates.
                                                Armstrong pushes his gun
                                                into the back of his head)
                                    Tell them I will kill you if they don’t
                                    follow my orders!!

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                                (in Pashto; hollering)
                                    Yekhawul hati-yar!  Tapunah iza rasawul!
                                    Mungah watah!

Subtitle: “I won’t be harmed.  Lower your weapons.  We’re coming out.” 

They hear more chatter from outside.  Armstrong turns to Omar for translation.

                                                            OMAR
                                    They’re doing it.  Several are arguing,
                                    but it seems that one man is taking charge. 
                                    He’s telling us to come out.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (to Bin Laden)
                                    You’ll die first if I see a single weapon
                                    aiming at us.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                                (in Pashto; hollering)
                                    Ba-ham!  Adamaey ilyas-zaey ag halaey! 
                                    Yekhawul hati-yar!

Subtitle: “It’s OK my brothers!  I’m not harmed!  Lower your weapons!”

The three men move toward the cave entrance.  Armstrong pushes Bin Laden in front with his gun in one hand and unlatches his side pack with the other.

EXT. CAVE ENTRANCE – DAY

Yellow smoke is still wafting out of the cave entrance as Armstrong, Omar and Bin Laden step outside.  They all blink in the bright sunlight.  For a second it’s hard to see, but when they can see they find three terrorists with weapons held down at their sides.

Armstrong pulls Bin Laden close with his gun to his head.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (yelling)
                                    Anybody makes a move and I will kill him!

Omar and Bin Laden translate the command at the same time.

                                                            BIN LADEN / OMAR
                                                (in Pashto)
                                    Khuda-e, hits-kas pats-edal!

Subtitle: “Please, nobody move!”

A big ugly terrorist with a FLAT-NOSE speaks harshly to his men. 

                                                            FLAT-NOSE
                                    Hits-kas pats-edal!

Nobody moves.
 
                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    All right!  Now back the fuck up!  Over
                                    there!!

The terrorists back up.  Armstrong has Bin Laden close – Omar brings up the rear.  They slowly move to the edge of the trail.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (to Omar)
                                    Keep an eye on that big ugly motherfucker.

Omar tries to hide his fear as he aims his rifle at the flat-nosed terrorist who is giving him the evil eye.

Armstrong spins around as he walks looking for any snipers. He spots a terrorist hiding on a ledge above.

He pushes the gun into Bin Laden’s head.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (to Bin Laden)
                                    Get that son of a bitch down from their
                                    now!!

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                                (shouts in Pashto)
                                    Ba-ham!  Khuda-e alu-wal ika-mat.

Subtitle: “My brother!  Please come down.”

A TEENAGE BOY stands up from behind a bolder.  He starts down the cliff face with his weapon aimed forward.  Flat Nose shouts up to him.

                                                            FLAT-NOSE
                                                (in Pashto)
                                    Sunil.  Yekhawul hati-yar.

Subtitle: “Sunil.  Put down the weapon.”

The Teenage Boy lowers his weapon, comes down and joins the other terrorists.

Armstrong, Bin Laden and Omar position themselves next to the edge of the trail down. Armstrong uses Bin Laden as a shield.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (to Bin Laden)
                                    OK, tell them we’re going down this trail
                                    and I don’t want to see anyone following
                                    us.

As Bin Laden relays the orders, Armstrong whispers to Omar.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (softly to Omar)
                                    You  ready?

Omar throws a worried look to Armstrong.

                                                            OMAR
                                    For what?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    For this.

Armstrong raises his Uzi with one hand and fires off the whole clip, spaying 30 bullets right across the chests of all four terrorists.  They all fall to the ground in a heap.  Armstrong then systematically steps up to each of the dead and dying men and quickly puts a bullet into each one’s head.

Omar and Bin Laden watch with shocked expressions, wincing with each shot.

Armstrong comes back, pops out his empty clip and replaces it with a new one.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Come on, let’s get moving.

Armstrong starts down the hill.  Omar takes hold of Bin Laden’s arm and the two men exchange a look, then follow behind.

EXT.  TRAIL DOWN FROM CAVE – DAY/ LATER

Armstrong leads the way with Omar and Bin Laden following a few yards behind.  Bin Laden  speaks to Omar in English as they walk.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    Your name is Omar Abdul Zahir, correct? 

                                                            OMAR
                                    Yes.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    It’s been a very long time.

                                                            OMAR
                                    Twenty years.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    So, you’re now working with the Americans?
                                    Against your own people?

                                                            OMAR
                                    I’m not working against my own people.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    The Americans are the enemy.

                                                            OMAR
                                    They’re your enemy, not mine.  Al Qaeda
                                    is the enemy.  The Taliban is the enemy.                   

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    Not to a true believer.

                                                            OMAR
                                    When we were Mujahideen you were a
                                    great hero to the Pashtun people.  A freedom
                                    fighter.  Now you’re a terrorist.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    I’m not a terrorist.  I’m the leader of a great
                                    cause.  I’m doing the work of Allah.

Armstrong joins the conversation without looking back.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    So, you really are Osama Bin Laden, the
                                    great leader.  Well, guess what, you’re going
                                    to be worth a lot of money to me.  I’m going
                                    to get rich and famous for catching you and
                                    bringing you in.

Bin Laden shrugs, a look of deep disdain on his face.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    Just like a Yankee capitalist dog to see
                                    everything from a profit point of view. 
                                    That’s your biggest problem – you Americans
                                    never look at anything from the perspective
                                    of what’s best for your society, just what
                                    will make each of you the most money.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (looking back)
                                    Save your civics lessons for the press because
                                    they don’t mean shit to me.

Armstrong gives Bin Laden a push moving him down the trail.  Meanwhile, Omar looks troubled.

                                                            OMAR
                                    I thought we going to kill the al Qaeda
                                    leader, not capture him?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    That was Aziz, not Bin Laden.  This is a whole
                                    different deal.

                                                            OMAR
                                    All right, then what about me?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    What about you?

                                                            OMAR
                                    You wouldn’t know it was him if it weren’t
                                    for me.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Yeah?  So what?

                                                            OMAR
                                    So, I identified him.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE BELOW CAVE – DAY

The three men walk down the rocky hillside back toward where they were set up earlier.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    And you were paid for your services.

                                                            OMAR
                                    I was paid for leading you to Aziz.  As you
                                    say, this is a whole different deal.

They arrive at the spot where they had previously been set up and find the big 50mm rifle missing, as well as the extra boxes of ammunition.  All that remains now are some empty boxes and the refuse of used MREs.  Armstrong looks pained.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Oh, shit!  I loved that gun.  Fuck!

                                                            OMAR
                                    There must be others.

Armstrong and Omar both look around.  Bin Laden smirks.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    You’re in my territory now.  You two are
                                    never going to make it out of here alive.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (angry)
                                    Shut up!

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    You’re surrounded.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    I said shut up!  I’m going to take you back,
                                    you’re going to be tried and then hung, just
                                    like Saddam Hussein.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    If it’s the will of Allah, blessed be his name,
                                    then so be it.  But I don’t think so.
                                                (to Omar)
                                    Do you think so?

Omar doesn’t get a chance to answer, but he appears unsure.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Who asked you?
                                                (gives Bin Laden a push)
                                    Now move it!  Let’s get back to the car as
                                    fast as we can.

The three men keep moving.

EXT. ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TRAIL – DAY

They are going back the same way Armstrong and Omar came, down a precipitous, rocky mountain trail.  Bin Laden doesn’t walk fast and Armstrong keeps nudging him in the back with the barrel of his Uzi.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    I don’t feel well.  I’m diabetic.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    That’s too bad.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    I need to stop and eat something.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You’re breaking my fuckin’ heart.  Keep
                                    moving!

Omar looks disgusted and shakes his head.

                                                            OMAR
                                    If he passes out and we have to carry him
                                    will that make it any easier?  Let the man
                                    eat.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    You’re sounding awfully sympathetic.  Having
                                    a change of heart?

                                                            OMAR
                                    Are you questioning my loyalty?

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    How can I question your loyalty when I
                                    don’t know who you’re loyal to?

                                                            OMAR
                                    I’m simply being practical.  If he’s diabetic
                                    then he must eat or he’ll go into shock and
                                    pass out.  And very honestly, I don’t want
                                    to carry him, do you?

Suddenly, Bin Laden losses his footing and starts to slip down the side of the hill.  Armstrong reaches for him but misses. Bin Laden begins sliding  off the trail toward the edge of a cliff, his hands bound behind his back.

Armstrong scrambles after him trying to keep himself from falling, too.  Omar drops his pack and joins in the rescue.

With his hands tied behind him Bin Laden is unable to get a hold of the rocks he is bouncing off of as he slides down toward the cliff’s edge and certain death.

Armstrong does a belly dive and grabs a hold of the bottom of Bin Laden’s robe stopping him momentarily. Armstrong has one hand on Bin Laden’s robe and the other around a rock outcropping. The robe starts to tear and Armstrong is losing him.

Just then Omar reaches out with both hands and grabs Bin Laden by the shoulders. Together Armstrong and Omar haul Bin Laden to safety.

They sit on the edge for a moment catching their breath.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (catching his breath)
                                    All right, we’ll stop and eat.

Bin Laden grins – he won this one, even if he did almost die.  He glances over at Omar who looks back at him, shakes his head and sighs.  Omar whispers in Bin Laden’s ear.

                                                            OMAR
                                    All praise be to Allah, blessed be his name,  
                                    but I think your days are severely numbered.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    If it is His will, then so be it.

EXT. BOULDER – DAY

They are seated in the shadow of a big boulder eating lunch.  Omar eats his rice dish, Armstrong sucks on a green foil packet full of corned beef paste, and Bin Laden, whose hands are now bound in front of him, eats the candy and crackers from the MRE.  Meanwhile, it’s really hot, even in the shade.  Armstrong waves away some flies.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Who on Earth would want to live here?  We
                                    have deserts in America, but we don’t live in
                                    them.

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    What about Las Vegas?  Isn’t it the perfect
                                    example of corrupt, decadent American society? 
                                    Built in the middle of the desert for the explicit
                                    purpose of vice, sin and corruption.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                                (smiles)
                                    It sure is.  Have you been there?

                                                            BIN LADEN
                                    No.

                                                            ARMSTRONG
                                    Take my word for it, it’s pretty fun.  If you
                                    haven’t been there you shouldn’t judge it. 
                                    If I have to be in the middle of a desert, I’ll
                                    take Vegas over this shithole any day of the
                                    week.

Next Page >

1   2   3   4   5

 

[ Questions or Comments ]


BECKERFILMS SITE MENU

[ Main ]  [ Film & TV Work ]  [ Screenplays [ Old Stuff ]
[
Reviews ]  [ Articles, Essays & Stories ]  [ Ask the Director
[
Favorite Films ]  [ Scrapbook ]  [ Links (& Afterword) ]  [ Web Team ]