>> / The Men who Stare at Goats

/ The Men who Stare at Goats. .

: / The Men who Stare at Goats.

/ The Men who Stare at Goats

1 BLACK 1

SUPERED TITLES READ: More of this is true than you would believe.

FADE IN:

2 ...CLOSE ON A MAN'S FACE... 2 He is STARING at us with fixed concentration. He is sweating slightly in the summer heat. We hold for a moment. Silence, apart from the soft swish of an unseen ceiling fan. WIDE SHOT - the Man, wearing military uniform, sits at his desk in his office, still staring straight ahead. SUPERED TITLES appear, reading: General Putkin, United States Army Intelligence SED. Arlington, Virginia. 1983. The General's assistant, LIEUTENANT BOONE, sits at his desk, working. After a moment Putkin seems to come to a decision.

GENERAL PUTKIN

(SOLEMNLY) Boone?

LIEUTENANT BOONE Yes General?

GENERAL PUTKIN I'm going into the next office.

LIEUTENANT BOONE Yes sir.

The General stands up, smooths down his uniform, steps out from behind his desk and begins to walk. Boone watches, with some trepidation, as the General increases his pace. He quickens to a jog, his face set with determination.

He breaks into a run...

Then he slams into the WALL of the office, rebounds and lies splayed on the floor. He stares up at the wall balefully.

GENERAL PUTKIN Damn it!

2.

3 EXT. FORT BRAGG - DAY 3

General Putkin is being driven in a jeep through the vast military base. He has a band-aid over his injured nose. SUPERED TITLES read: Special Forces Command Centre, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

GENERAL PUTKIN (O.S.) I have been having ideas, gentlemen. Challenging ideas. And when I thought about these ideas I thought about who in the U.S Army would be most receptive to my challenging ideas.

The Jeep pulls up at the SPECIAL FORCES COMMAND CENTRE. The General gets out, a brief case in his hand and surveys the centre.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) (O.S.)

(CONT'D) Which section of the military is always straining to reach the peak of their physical and mental capabilities?

4 INT. SPECIAL FORCES COMMAND CENTRE - DAY 4

General Putkin stands in front of a room full of seated

SPECIAL FORCES OFFICERS.

GENERAL PUTKIN You are, gentlemen. Special Forces. The assembled Officers nod modestly.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) I want to talk to you about Mind Wars, gentlemen. War...With...

MINDS... His audience stare at him. With a flourish he produces a BENT FORK from his briefcase.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) How'd you like to be able to do this? What if you could teach soldiers to do this? Would you be interested? Silence.

(CONTINUED)

3.

4 CONTINUED: 4

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) (changing tack) Or, or let's say you have a unit operating outside the protection of mainline units. What happens if someone gets hurt? How do you deal with that? He surveys the blank faces.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) Psychic healing! Protect the unit with hands-off healing. Using the mind to heal. Silence. Putkin senses he is not convincing his audience.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) Let's talk about time! What if time is not a point but a space and at any one instant we can be anywhere in that space! (Laughing) Physicists go nuts when I say that! Silence. He is growing desperate.

GENERAL PUTKIN (CONT'D) Animals! Stopping the hearts of animals! This is the idea I'm coming to you with. You have access to animals right? Special Forces look like they've had enough. A tough looking officer - MAJOR JIM HOLTZ - stirs.

MAJOR HOLTZ No sir. We don't have access to animals.

5 EXT. SPECIAL FORCES COMMAND CENTRE - DAY 5

A dejected General Putkin climbs back into his jeep. Lieutenant Boone, in the driving seat, looks at him with sympathy.

BOB (V.O.) In 1983, when Special Forces told General Putkin that they weren't interested in his ideas...that was a lie.

6 INT. SPECIAL FORCES COMMAND CENTRE - DAY 6

The BENT FORK sits on the table in the EXTREME FOREGROUND, a window in the background.

(CONTINUED)

4.

6 CONTINUED: 6

BOB (V.O.) And when they told him they didn't have access to animals...that was also a lie. We FOCUS on the window - a shaky ZOOM taking us towards an abandoned looking HOSPITAL BUILDING half hidden by trees.

7 INT. ABANDONED HOSPITAL - DAY 7

We TRACK forward into the shadowy interior into a large space which we now see is full of...GOATS.

BOB (V.O.) The hundred goats in the disused hospital building had been secretly flown in from Central America so as to avoid customs. Special Forces weren't worried about the General hearing the goats because they'd been de- bleated. The GOATS stare at us, their mouths silently opening and closing.

BOB (V.O.) (CONT'D) This is the story of those goats. We CLOSE ON the unblinking EYES of one GOAT, then...

DISSOLVE TO:

8 INT. LOCAL NEWSPAPER OFFICE - DAY 8

Bob sits typing at his desk in the modest office. He wears glasses, is attractive in a fresh-faced, enthusiastic kind of way. SUPERED TITLES read: Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 2003.

BOB (V.O.) My name is Bob Wilton. Imagine me back in Michigan, where I was born and raised. I studied journalism at Western in Kalamazoo and then I got a job at the Ann Arbor Daily Telegram. I wrote a lot of stories about competitive food eating contests. He looks at the photograph of his wife Debora on his desk and up to where she stands, photocopying in DAVE the Editor's office. Dave is chatting to her. He has a PROSTHETIC ARM. Bob watches his wife, smiling.

(CONTINUED)

5.

8 CONTINUED: 8

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D)

(SADLY) Look at me. So young. "The past is a different country. They...do things there." We PAN to the next desk and Bob's over-weight colleague RON, who sits eating a hot-dog.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) This is Ron. Ron suddenly pitches violently forward, thudding face- first into his desk.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) He's the man who died.

9 INT. OFFICE - LATER 9

Bob is clearing Ron's desk, putting his possessions into a box.

BOB (V.O.) My wife, Debora, told me later that Ron's death had been like a wake-up call for her - what people used to call a memento mori. Bob sits down, feeling a little ghoulish, at the dead man's desk. He notices a large INDENTATION on the leather in front of him - the mark left by Ron's forehead. He touches it, fascinated.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) That massive coronary had reminded her that life was too short to waste any chance of true happiness. Bob rests his own forehead, experimentally, onto the indentation, and sits there, face down on the desk. His eyes wander over to where Dave and Debora are talking in Dave's office. BOB'S P.O.V - Debora's hand BRUSHES against Dave's, LINGERS just a fraction too long. Bob frowns.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) A week after the funeral she left me for my editor.

6.

10 INT. BOB'S HOUSE - NIGHT 10

Bob and Debora and Dave talking. Bob is drinking. We JUMP CUT to Bob crying, smashing a lamp, Debora shouting at him.

BOB (V.O.) (A sad chuckle) It seemed like such a tragedy at the time. We couldn't see beyond our little lives to the great events of history unfolding out there in the world. JUMP CUT to Dave holding Bob in a head-lock with his one good arm. Debora is sitting, head in hands.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) I was like a child. Or a Hobbit, safe in the Shire. JUMP CUT to Bob alone in the trashed room, exhausted and drunk, watching Bush's STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH on TV.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) Or a blonde farm boy on a distant, desert planet, unaware that he was already taking the first steps on the path that will lead him inexorably towards the heart of a conflict between the forces of Good and Evil.

PRESIDENT BUSH (on TV) Americans are a resolute people, who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world, and to ourselves... Bob wipes his eyes, stares at the screen.

BOB (V.O.) Had I known where that path would lead, had a soft wind from my future brought me the name of Bill Django, I might never have gone. But as it was, I did what so many men have done throughout history when a woman has broken their heart... I went to war. We hear the opening of a period song as we...

7.

11 TITLES 11 As the titles and song continue we see U.S TV footage from the Iraq War - a dizzying MTV montage, war made pop- video. Shots include... ""Shock and Awe" air attack on Baghdad Caravans of U.S troops snaking through the desert Fighter plane video of an Iraqi fighter jet being destroyed on the ground Oil Wells ablaze

PFC Jessica Lynch being rescued by Special Forces. MNBC Promo - American-flag-draped photomontages with the words "Our hearts go with you". Apache Helicopter attacks and destroys an Iraqi tank. TV Presenters debate "Who is the Hottest Scud Stud?" Soldiers plant an American flag with Iwo Jima-like

DETERMINATION American troops pull down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad. An American flag draped over the head is hastily replaced by an Iraqi flag.

BLACK

FADE IN:

12 INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY 12

Bob sits on the bed talking to Debora on the phone.

BOB Yeah, no it's been...well, I won't lie to you Debora - it's been pretty damn hairy.

DEBORA (O.S.) (over phone, not as concerned as Bob would like) Yeah. We've been watching it on Fox.

(CONTINUED)

8.

12 CONTINUED: 12

BOB Yeah, it's not, uh... I've seen things that you shouldn't, you know... He shakes his head sadly.

BOB (CONT'D) Pretty damn hairy.

DEBORA (O.S.) Well I don't even know why you're there. You're not exactly war correspondent material are you?

BOB

(STUNG) Well, I think it's important people get an accurate picture of what's...

DEBORA (O.S.) (to someone else) What? Yeah.

BOB

(LISTENING) ...what's, uh, happening, so...is that Dave?

DEBORA (O.S.) Yeah. He says Hi. Bob stares out of the window, nodding, afraid he might start to cry.

BOB Oh, that's, that's... He BEATS his head off the wall for a moment.

BOB (CONT'D) Okay. Gotta go. We're moving out - heading up north to cover the fighting there...

13 EXT. KUWAIT CITY - HOTEL - DAY 13

Bob walks out and puts his sunglasses on, staring around the quiet POOL-SIDE area. He sighs, sits down on a a sunlounger, starts to read his book. TITLES READ "Kuwait City, Kuwait, Spring 2003."

JOURNALIST (O.S.) You missed the war?

9.

14 INT. HOTEL LOUNGE - DAY 14

Bob is drinking coffee with two gung-ho type war correspondents.

BOB Yeah. They laugh.

SECOND JOURNALIST How?

BOB

(EMBARRASSED) I've been stuck here. They've only just given me the green-light. So I'll probably head over there soon. I'm just working on this story about American contractors coming over for the re-build. The Journalists look bored.

BOB (CONT'D) Yeah, I think they didn't want me going over because I'm not embedded.

SECOND JOURNALIST Yeah, they don't like the unilats. The troops think the unilats'll stab `em in the back. When you're

EMBEDDED you form a bond with the soldiers. You're like one of them.

FIRST JOURNALIST (to Second

JOURNALIST) You see action?

SECOND JOURNALIST Went into Baghdad with Charlie Company, Second Brigade, Third Infantry Division...

FIRST JOURNALIST The thunder run? Heard you had it pretty bad.

SECOND JOURNALIST Could say that. Technicals all the way, RPG's, fuckers were firing anti-aircraft guns at us...

(CONTINUED)

10.

14 CONTINUED: 14

FIRST JOURNALIST You know a Private First Class Zuchero?

SECOND MAN Zook? I was standing next to him when he took a hit... Bob sits ignored, feeling inadequate as they continue to swap war stories.

15 EXT. HOTEL TERRACE - NIGHT 15

Bob sits drinking more coffee.

BOB (To Waiter) So what's a useful phrase?

KUWAIT WAITER La termi, ana sahafi. Bob repeats this.

BOB What's that mean?

KUWAIT WAITER Don't shoot, I'm a reporter. He walks off. Bob sighs, continues DOODLING in his notebook. We see he has covered the page in stylized drawings of EYES. He notices a A MAN IN A BASEBALL CAP sitting at the next table.

BOB

(SHYLY) Hey.

MAN (without looking up) Hey. Bob reads the logo on the baseball cap.

BOB DeWitt Resources. Arkansas.

MAN

(BEAT) Right. We make trash cans.

BOB You over here for the conference? Looking for a contract right?

(CONTINUED)

11.

15 CONTINUED: 15

MAN I guess.

BOB What's your pitch? The man considers this. He looks up and we see his face for the first time - handsome, older than Bob, tanned, a moustache, a slightly haunted expression. This is LYN

CASSADY.

MAN Well...we're real cheap. Bob waits for more, but that's it. He holds out his hand.

BOB Bob Wilton.

LYN CASSADY

(SHAKING) Skip.

BOB Could I bum a smoke, Skip? Lyn shoves the packet across the table. Bob sits down across from him, pats himself down for a lighter, glances over to where the two embedded Journalists are joking with some Marines. Bob watches them jealously.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) I sat there watching those reporters and realized I didn't want to be me anymore. I wanted to be them. I wanted to face peril and stand witness to the fall and rise of nations. Suddenly the TERRACE LIGHT above them flickers and goes out. Lyn and Bob sit in the dark.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) Everyone gets everything he wants. Like the man said. I wanted a mission.

BOB (CONT'D) (patting his pockets in the dark) Oh crap, can't find my... A LIGHTER ignites in Lyn's hand, eerily lighting the lower half of his face, his eyes hidden by the brim of the cap. Bob leans forward to light his cigarette and finds himself staring at the CONFERENCE I.D Lyn has pinned to his shirt. The name on the badge reads LYN S.

CASSADY.

(CONTINUED)

12.

15 CONTINUED: (2) 15

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) And for my sins, Fate brought me one. He stares at the name as he puffs on the cigarette, vaguely troubled by a memory.

BOB (CONT'D)

(SUDDENLY) Lyn Cassady...?

DISSOLVE TO:

16 EXT. GUS LACEY'S HOUSE- MICHIGAN - DAY - THE PAST 16

Bob pulls up in a car outside. SUPERED TITLES READ: Monroe, Michigan, 1997

GUS LACEY (O.S.) This is the home learning course we're putting out, which is very popular.

17 INT. GUS LACEY'S HOUSE - DAY 17

Bob is interviewing Gus Lacey at Lacey's dining room table. Gus has a sun-bed tan and odd hair. His nervous looking MOTHER sits beside them. Gus is holding up a VIDEO CASE for Bob to see - the cover, illustrated with a picture of Gus, reads "Free To Roam - Learn E.S.P from the master!"

GUS LACEY Then there's the seminars. When I'm not teaching I spend a lotta time, right here, remote viewing.

BOB Right here?

GUS LACEY The kitchen table. That is correct. That's where my body is. But my mind...that's, you know... He gestures to the horizon.

BOB Wandering?

GUS LACEY Wandering. Roaming. Yeah.

BOB So what have you seen lately?

(CONTINUED)

13.

17 CONTINUED: 17

GUS LACEY Lately I've been watching the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, England - which it turns out is the ghost of a dinosaur. That's an exclusive for you.

BOB Okay. Wow. E.C.U of Bob's notebook - on which he has written You are Crazy.

BOB (CONT'D) So...when did this all start for you Gus?

GUS LACEY It started when I was a kid. I used to lie on my bed and RV my cousin, Irene, undressing at night. Then, when I was in the army I joined Bill Django's unit. He trained me and the rest, as they say...

BOB Right. I don't know who that is. Gus gives a dreamy smile.

GUS LACEY I can't really talk about Bill.

BOB So what did you do in the army?

GUS LACEY We were Psychic Spies mainly. That was our initial tasking but...once they realized what they were sitting on, the forces at work... He stops, his face darkening.

GUS LACEY (CONT'D) We were trained to kill animals.

BOB

(BEAT) You mean, what...with your...?

GUS LACEY With our minds. That is correct. Just by staring at them.

(CONTINUED)

14.

17 CONTINUED: (2) 17

BOB

(BEAT) Huh. What kind of animals?

GUS LACEY One of our unit stopped the heart of a goat.

BOB Wow.(Beat) I don't know what to say.

GUS LACEY The power they unlocked in us... (Beat, sorrowfully) Last week I killed my hamster. (Beat) You wanna see?

18 BACK OFFICE - LATER 18 TV SCREEN - playing a home video of TWO HAMSTERS in a cage. Bob and Gus sit watching the TV. Gus' mother hovers in the background.

GUS LACEY You ever seen a hamster do that before?

BOB Well, I've never owned a hamster Gus, so I don't know what...

GUS LACEY Look at the way it's glaring at its wheel. Usually that hamster loves its wheel.

BOB Maybe some of the readers have hamsters so...

GUS LACEY Good. Then they'll know how rare that is.

BOB Yeah, I guess any hamster-owning readers will know what's aberrant behavior and, uh, what's...Oh, shit, he's down! ON TV one of the hamsters has fallen over.

(CONTINUED)

15.

18 CONTINUED: 18

GUS LACEY Yeah, he's down. At this point I'd been staring at him for about three hours. The other hamster falls over.

BOB Oh my God! You've dropped both hamsters!

GUS LACEY No, the other one's just fallen over. They watch in silence. Then the hamsters get up and start eating.

GUS LACEY (CONT'D) (switching off the

TV) Bizarre. Right?

BOB Well...it didn't die. I thought you said you killed it?

GUS LACEY

(SHEEPISH) Yeah well...(He gestures to his Mother) Mother said no. She said you might be a bleeding-heart liberal. She said "Don't show him the hamster dying. Show him the tape where the hamster acts bizarre instead." Bob looks to Gus' Mother who manages to look nervous and defiant at the same time. Gus stares at the blank TV, sips his coffee.

GUS LACEY (CONT'D) This was nothing. You should have seen the Skipper at work.

BOB Who's the Skipper?

GUS LACEY Lyn Cassady. After Bill he was the most psi-gifted guy I ever met. He was like an Occultic force. (Beat) I think he runs a dance studio now.

(CONTINUED)

16.

18 CONTINUED: (2) 18

BOB'S NOTEBOOK - as he writes down the name LYN

CASSADY...

DISSOLVE TO:

19 EXT. HOTEL TERRACE - THE PRESENT - AS BEFORE 19

ON LYN'S NAME TAG Bob straightens from lighting his cigarette, stares at Lyn.

BOB Do you...do you know a Gus Lacey? Beat. Lyn gets up and walks away.

BOB (CONT'D) Lyn? (Beat) Skip? (Beat) Lyn?

20 INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER 20

Bob hurries to catch up with Lyn. He follows him around a corner and skids to a halt. Lyn is facing him, standing on one leg, hands raised above his head in an odd martial arts stance. He emits a threatening croon. Bob raises his hands nervously.

BOB Whoa!

LYN CASSADY You working for Hooper?

BOB Hooper? No. I work for the Ann Arbor Daily Telegram.

LYN CASSADY How do you know about Lacey?

BOB I interviewed him a few years ago. He'd been appearing on this radio talk show. Lyn relaxes his martial arts stance, shakes his head ruefully.

LYN CASSADY Little prick...what'd he tell you?

BOB He said he joined Bill Django's unit in the army and was trained to, to, uh remote view?

(MORE) (CONTINUED)

17.

20 CONTINUED: 20

BOB (CONT'D) And he said the Loch Ness Monster was the ghost of a dinosaur. Who's Bill Django?

LYN CASSADY (shaking his head in

DISGUST) Did he show you his "Home Study Course"?

BOB Yes.

LYN CASSADY (walking off down the

CORRIDOR) Yeah I bet he did.

BOB (hurrying after him) Are you...? Do you mean you corroborate his, uh...? Because, see, I thought he was just an idiot?

LYN CASSADY

(RUEFULLY) He is an idiot...or he was...he's dead now. He was a paranormal whore. Always trying to get into the spotlight, yak, yak yaking. We took an oath. We don't divulge...

BOB But you're saying there was a secret unit? Lyn stops, turns and stares at him.

LYN CASSADY We...don't...divulge.

21 INT. LYN'S HOTEL ROOM - LATER 21

Bob and Lyn are talking, passing a bottle of Scotch backwards and forwards between them. Both are drunk.

LYN CASSADY Okay. Let me ask you something. What color were the chairs in the hotel bar?

BOB

(BEAT) Uh...?

(CONTINUED)

18.

21 CONTINUED: 21

LYN CASSADY You were in there for hours. What color were the chairs?

BOB Um...brown?

LYN CASSADY They were green. How many lights are there in this room? Bob starts to look around.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) A Super Soldier wouldn't need to look. He would just know.

BOB A Super Soldier?

LYN CASSADY A Jedi Warrior. He would know where all the lights were. He could walk through a room and tell you how many power outlets there were. People are walking around with their eyes closed. At Level One we were trained to instantly absorb all details.

BOB

(BEAT) What's a Jedi Warrior?

LYN CASSADY You're looking at one.

BOB You're a Jedi Warrior?

LYN CASSADY That's correct.

BOB What does that...? I don't think

I...

LYN CASSADY

(PATIENTLY) I'm Sergeant First Class Lyn Cassady, Special Forces, retired. In the eighties I was trained at Fort Bragg in a secret initiative code-named Project Jedi. The objective of the project was to create Super Soldiers.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

19.

21 CONTINUED: (2) 21

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Soldiers with Super Powers. We were the first generation of the New Earth Army.

BOB

(BEAT) You've got super powers?

LYN CASSADY That's correct.

BOB Hold on, let me...let me just... He takes out his NOTEBOOK, fumbling, trying to get into journalist mode.

BOB (CONT'D) Okay, so, so you're saying you were a Psychic Spy, like Lacey?

LYN CASSADY We prefer the term Remote Viewer.

BOB How does that work?

LYN CASSADY Different Jedi had different techniques. Mel Landau used to visualize packing all his cares and worries in a little suitcase, to clear his mind. Steve Cuttle used to read Bible verse...

BOB What about you? Lyn thinks about it.

LYN CASSADY Well, I find drinking helps. Also if I'm listening to classic rock music.

BOB Yeah? (Beat) Like who?

LYN CASSADY I like Boston. Boston usually works. Bob jots this down in the notebook.

BOB

(WRITING) What other powers did you practise?

(CONTINUED)

20.

21 CONTINUED: (3) 21

LYN CASSADY Invisibility.

BOB (Taken aback) Invisibility?

LYN CASSADY Yup. That was Level Three.

BOB Actual invisibility?

LYN CASSADY Well...yeah, that was the goal. But after a while we adapted it to just finding a way of not being seen. When you understand the, the linkage between observation and reality, you learn to dance with invisibility. Bob tries to follow this.

BOB Like camouflage?

LYN CASSADY It's not like camouflage. We also practised Phasing. Crossing from particle to wave, from the physical realm to the plane of energy. Solid objects seem to pass right through you. It's starts with a breathing exercise... Lyn makes a weird shallow PANTING SOUND.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Then you think black. That's the nothingness. Bob watches him solemnly as he continues his weird panting.

BOB I don't...can I be honest, Lyn? I don't know what to make of this. I don't know what to say. This is amazing stuff. (Beat) How would you...I wanna...could I write a story about this? Lyn stops panting, takes a swig of whiskey, stares at the bottle, suddenly taciturn.

LYN CASSADY Not going to happen.

(CONTINUED)

21.

21 CONTINUED: (4) 21

BOB No, but see, I've been looking for a story Lyn. I was going to write about the re-build contracts but this...this is even better and

I...

LYN CASSADY Not going to happen.

BOB All I'm saying is we could talk some more tomorrow and...

LYN CASSADY I'm shipping out tomorrow.

BOB You're going home?

LYN CASSADY Going to Iraq. There's this factory we might be partnering with in Al Qaim. Bob's face falls.

BOB Oh. They sit in silence for a moment. Lyn passes Bob the whiskey. He takes a swig, his mind whirring...

BOB (CONT'D)

(SUDDENLY) I could come.

LYN CASSADY

(BEAT) What?

BOB I could come with you, maybe, and...

LYN CASSADY Bob, I don't want to be a story, okay? I don't need the attention and...

BOB No, listen, we could change names, stuff could stay off record and...

(CONTINUED)

22.

21 CONTINUED: (5) 21

LYN CASSADY It's a war over there Bob. Okay? A war. I can't be looking out for you. Bob flushes with annoyance.

BOB Well you know, you don't... I look after myself. Okay? I look after...And I've been in some pretty hairy situations before. I'm not, you know...I'm a journalist, Lyn. You understand? He slaps his notebook for emphasis.

BOB (CONT'D) A journalist. I go where the story is.

BOB (V.O.)(CONT'D) I was an American. I was Resolute. I wanted adversity to reveal my character to the world. And to my wife. And to that one-armed cunt Dave. Lyn is staring at Bob's notebook. He takes it from Bob and examines Bob's DRAWINGS OF EYES.

LYN CASSADY What's this?

BOB What? Nothing. I was just doodling. Lyn examines Bob - something DIFFERENT IN HIS ATTITUDE.

BOB (CONT'D) What's the matter?

LYN CASSADY

(BEAT) Nothing. He considers for a moment, struggling with himself, then seems to reluctantly come to a decision. He reaches into the bag on his bed and pulls out a dog-eared BOOK. He hands it to Bob. Bob examines the book - on the cover is a picture of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and the title Pentagon Report 92245. The New Earth Army Manual. Bob stares at the book. He opens the first page and reads...

(CONTINUED)

23.

21 CONTINUED: (6) 21

BOB (V.O.)

(READING) The U.S Army doesn't really have any serious alternative than to be Wonderful! Bob looks at the DISCLAIMER at the bottom of the page.

BOB(V.O.) (CONT'D)

(READING) This does not represent the official position of the United States Army at this time. Bob looks up at Lyn who nods gravely.

LYN CASSADY You wanted to know who Bill Django was? (Beat) He's the man who wrote that book.

22 EXT. EXPRESSWAY - IRAQ - MORNING 22

Lyn's CAR roars down the expressway into Southern Iraq, passing A TANK which sits by the road-side.

23 I/E. CAR - MORNING 23 Lyn drives. A hung-over Bob sits reading the New Earth Army Manual.

BOB

(READING) The New Earth Army is a banner under which the forces of good can gather. The courage and nobility of the Warrior, blended with the spirituality of the Monk.

24 EXT. ROAD - DAY 24

The car passes oil fields, beyond the buildings thinning out into the desert.

BOB The Jedi Warrior will follow in the footsteps of the great Imagineers of the past - Jesus Christ, Lao Tse Tung, Walt Disney...

25 I/E. CAR - DAY 25 Bob is still reading.

(CONTINUED)

24.

25 CONTINUED: 25

BOB

(READING) The role of The New Earth Army is to RESOLVE CONFLICT world-wide. Jedis will parachute into war zones, utilizing sparkly eyes technique, carrying symbolic flowers and animals, playing indigenous music and words of peace... INSERT: An illustration of a SOLDIER CARRYING A LAMB and some LILIES - with what appears to be some kind of loudspeaker strapped to his shoulder.

BOB (CONT'D) What's the sparkly eyes technique? Lyn raises his shades and twinkles his eyes at Bob for a moment.

BOB (CONT'D) Okay.

LYN CASSADY You see it?

BOB I think so. (Beat) Lyn?

LYN CASSADY Yeah?

BOB Who is this Bill Django? Lyn draws on his cigarette thoughtfully.

LYN CASSADY I don't know where to begin.

26 EXT. VIETNAM - DAY - THE PAST 26

LOW ANGLE - a YOUNG BILL DJANGO - military buzz cut and all - trips out of a HOVERING HELICOPTER and falls, head- first down towards us. WE FREEZE FRAME on his YELLING FACE just before it hits the camera.

27 INT. CAR - AS BEFORE 27

Lyn exhales smoke.

(CONTINUED)

25.

27 CONTINUED: 27

LYN CASSADY Bill always said it started for him when he fell out of a helicopter in Vietnam.

28 EXT. VIETNAM - DAY - THE PAST 28

Bill hits the ground, which is luckily mainly composed of MUD. He lies stunned as MORE HELICOPTERS lower around him and his PLATOON begin to debark. The Helicopters barely touch the ground before they take off again. SUPERED TITLES read: Vietnam, January, 1973. Bill gets up onto his knees and examines his M-16 - the barrel clogged with earth. He pokes his finger into the muzzle trying to clean it, then finds he can't get it back out again.

BILL DJANGO Oh, man... He tries to pull his finger free, glances up and FREEZES. Ahead of Bill and his Platoon is a WALL OF DEAD AMERICAN TROOPS - rotting in the sun. His men stand staring at the wall aghast. A PRIVATE beside Bill snaps and opens FIRE, yelling wildly.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) (over the gun-fire) Knock-it off! Chris! Knock-it off! Bill grabs him with his free hand and shakes him, his M- 16 hanging painfully from his other hand.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) Will you knock it off? (Climbing to his feet) Jesus. What do you think...? THUNK. A SOLDIER standing next to Bill drops, the back of his head sprayed over nearby soldiers.

SILENCE. Everyone stares at the dead man. Another shot rings out - another SOLDIER DROPS. The others flinch, scan the tree- line ahead of them.

SOLDIER

(POINTING) VC in black pyjamas! One hundred meters! It's a woman! The WOMAN is jogging across the tree-line ahead, weapon in hand.

(CONTINUED)

26.

28 CONTINUED: 28

BILL DJANGO (trying to free his

HAND) Okay! Silence. Long pause.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) Well!?

SOLDIER What?

BILL DJANGO What the fu...! Why isn't anyone firing? His men stare back at him, frightened.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D)

TAKE HER OUT! The Soldiers open fire - a deafening roar. The Woman keeps on running as the foliage above her head is shredded by bullets. NO SHOT COMES CLOSE. Bill watches amazed.

BOB (V.O.) Every single one of Bill's men fired high. They instinctively hadn't wanted to shoot another person. Later Bill would come across a study by General S.L.A Marshall, which revealed that only 15-20 percent of fresh soldiers shot to kill. The rest aimed high, didn't fire at all, or pretended to be busy doing something else. Bullets still flying above her head, the Woman stops running, crouches down and RETURNS FIRE. Bill is SHOT, stumbles backwards and falls into the mud, his finger still stuck in his M-16. He lies there, staring up at the sky, his expression one of puzzlement, as a huge blood stain spreads over his chest. BILL'S P.O.V - the edges of our vision darken down as the sound FADES OUT. The darkness flows inwards, as if an IRIS IS CLOSING DOWN - until only a PIN-POINT OF WHITE LIGHT remains in the centre of the sky. We begin to move towards the light, slowly at first and then faster and faster. Just as we are about to reach it, a VISION OF THE FACE OF the VC WOMAN appears, filling the white disc.

(CONTINUED)

27.

28 CONTINUED: (2) 28

VC WOMAN

(SOFTLY) Their gentleness is their strength. We begin to sink back down again, faster and faster until the circle of white light has disappeared all together and we are in DARKNESS...

FADE IN:

29 INT. MILITARY HOSPITAL - THE PAST - DAY 29

Bill lies in his bed, staring sadly at the other casualties in the ward - amputees, spinals, burns...

BOB (V.O.) Recovering in hospital, Bill wrote to General T.L Cornplow, Vice Chief of Staff for the Army, explaining that he wanted to go on a fact-finding mission to explore alternative combat tactics. The Pentagon agreed to pay his salary and expenses for the duration of the journey. We hear the opening of a period song as we...

CUT TO:

30 EXT. HIGHWAY - THE PAST - DAY 30

...as the track continues we see Bill in civilian dress, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway.

BOB (V.O.) What Bill hadn't told the Pentagon was that he was really looking for the answer to the riddle of his vision. How could his men's gentleness, their general lack of interest in killing people, how could this be turned into a strength? How could love and peace help win wars? Bill knew where to go to find out.

MONTAGE SEQUENCE BEGINS

31 EXT. GROUNDS - DAY 31

TRACKING past a row of HOT TUBS - each filled with naked people hugging.

(CONTINUED)

28.

31 CONTINUED: 31 We find an uncomfortable Bill in one tub filled with EMBRACING HIPPY MEN. Self-consciously he strokes his buzz- cut. SUPERED TITLES READ: Naked Hot Tub Encounter Sessions, Santa Rosa.

32 INT. ROOM - DAY 32

Bill and another MAN are arm-wrestling, SCREAMING. Other MEN stand around screaming also. TITLES READ: Primal Arm- Wrestling, Sacramento.

33 EXT. POOL - DAY 33

FOUR PEOPLE are floating on their backs breathing rapidly and loudly. Each one is supported by a partner. Bill, his buzz-cut growing out, floats amongst them, sobbing uncontrollably. TITLES READ: Reichian Rebirthing, San Jose.

34 EXT. HILL - DAY 34

A PLATINUM HAIRED WOMAN is leading a GROUP OF RUNNERS, including Bill, down the hill. They run in an odd way - prancing like horses, their eyes closed, arms raised, smiling ecstatically. TITLES READ Beyond Jogging Movement, Stockton. One of the group runs into a tree.

35 INT. ROOM - DAY 35

Bill lies on his side on a gurney, his hair longer now. We can't see what is being done to him, but he is sobbing uncontrollably once again. TITLES READ Higher Essence Colonic Irrigation Therapy, Monterey.

36 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 36

LONG SHOT - A GROUP OF BARE-CHESTED MEN, including BILL, stand on the roof of the house. TITLES READ The Whole Man Movement - Auburn. A LEADER gives Bill a signal and he jumps off, falls fifteen foot to the road below. He hurts himself quite badly.

37 INT. ESALEN INSTITUTE - DAY 37

Bill sits amongst a large MEDITATION GROUP, long-haired and bearded, indistinguishable now from the San-Francisco Bay area Hippies all around him. TITLES READ: Esalen Institute for the Advancement of Human Potential, Big Sur.

(CONTINUED)

29.

37 CONTINUED: 37

ARROWS POINT at various MEDITATORS around the hall, identifying them as BOB DYLAN, GEORGE HARRISON and HENRY

MILLER. Bill senses someone staring at him and glances over to the Meditator next to him - Aviator shades, a baseball cap pulled low, empty cigarette holder clenched between his teeth. The Meditator continues to stare intently at him. Then opens his coat to reveal the Magnum .45 strapped to his chest. Bill smiles nervously. An ARROW identifies the gunman as

HUNTER S. THOMPSON.

BOB (V.O.) Bill disappeared into the New Age Movement for six years. Bill feels Thompson staring at him. He smiles nervously.

38 EXT. FORT BRAGG - MAIN GATES - THE PAST - DAY 38

It's 1980. Bill walks down the road towards the entrance gates. His long hair is braided. He has an EYE painted on his forehead.

BOB (V.O.) Like all Shamen before him, he had traversed the wilderness. Now he was returning to his people, a changed man. The SENTRIES at the gate check Bill's PASS suspiciously.

BOB (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D) He brought with him his confidential report - The New Earth Army Manual. The Gates swing open and Bill passes through.

DISSOLVE TO:

39 EXT. DESERT - DAY 39

Lyn crouches revolving a curious aluminium CONE towards the sun. Bob sits by the car, reading the manual. He looks up, watches Lyn.

BOB

(BEAT) Does it direct your powers?

(CONTINUED)

30.

39 CONTINUED: 39

LYN CASSADY What?

BOB The cone. Does it direct your psychic powers or something?

LYN CASSADY No.

BOB What does it do? Lyn takes some BURGERS out of a cooler box and puts them into the cone.

LYN CASSADY It cooks supper. He examines the stove approvingly.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Solar. Utilizing the power of the universe - no pollution, totally renewable. This is like New Earth Army technology. Bob picks up the Manual and starts to read. Lyn watches him.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Pretty mind-blowing, isn't it? First time I read it, I was like...what the fuck?

BOB Yes. (Beat) But... He stops.

LYN CASSADY What?

BOB Nothing.

LYN CASSADY Go on - what?

BOB Well it's just...it's hard to believe the Pentagon paid for this. I mean, it's very interesting, but there's nothing in here that's actually about...fighting?

(CONTINUED)

31.

39 CONTINUED: (2) 39

LYN CASSADY The New Earth Army was tasked with preventing conflict. We're a force of peace, not war. Bill realized if you want to change the world, you've got to start by changing the armies. He was the one that started the research into non- lethals.

BOB Non-lethals? Lyn flicks away his cigarette.

LYN CASSADY Check this out. He takes a yellow PLASTIC BLOB from his pocket with a flourish.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) The Predator.

BOB

(LAUGHS) The Predator? (Beat) That's a plastic blob, Lyn. (Pointing at the blob) That's a... Before he can finish Lyn has slipped Bob's finger into a hole in the middle of the blob and twisted it.

BOB (CONT'D)

OH! OH FUCK! OH...FUCK!

LYN CASSADY You see? You're mine now. The Predator is completely biodegradable. It's friendly to the earth but it can hurt you in a hundred ways. He takes the blob off the finger and rubs it's serrated edge down Bob's temple.

BOB

OWWWWWW!

LYN CASSADY It has warrior functions.(Beat) And it looks a bit funny. This is New Earth Army technology. Lyn sticks the Predator in Bob's ear and hauls him to his feet. Bob yells with pain.

(CONTINUED)

32.

39 CONTINUED: (3) 39

BOB Stop it! Stop hurting me! Lyn stares at the blob fondly.

LYN CASSADY I bought it on line. What's cool about it is that you could see this lying on the ground and you'd never know it had such lethality. Bob holds his ear and pants for breath. Lyn's face lights up.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Eyeballs.

40 EXT. DESERT - DAY 40

An empty landscape, as Bob's shout drifts across the sands...

BOB No!!!!!

41 EXT. DESERT - SUNSET 41

Bob watches the RED DISK of the sun dip below the horizon. Lyn checks the meat on the stove looking pissed off. It's still raw.

BOB I think it's officially night now. Lyn kicks at the stove.

LYN CASSADY

(MUTTERING) Piece'a shit.

42 INT. CAR - DESERT - LATER 42

Bob and Lyn sit in the car. Bob is reading the Manual, eating cold beans from a can. Bob suddenly notices Lyn has taken a small black case from his bag and is preparing an INJECTION.

LYN CASSADY (Off Bob's look) ) I've got Crohn's. The steroids help.

(CONTINUED)

33.

42 CONTINUED: 42

Lyn injects himself, packs everything back away in his back-pack. Bob sits, shivering. Lyn finishes, stares up at the stars thoughtfully.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Sometimes there's a need, Bob. Sometimes people are calling out for something, even if they don't know it themselves. And then a man like Bill appears out of nowhere, because he heard the call....

DISSOLVE TO:

43 INT. FORT BRAGG - NIGHT - THE PAST 43

A CIRCLE OF OFFICERS including MAJOR HOLTZ sit around BILL who has surrounded himself with a pseudo-forest of plants. There are candles everywhere. His face is painted. SUPERED TITLES read Fort Bragg. 1980.

BILL DJANGO I'd like us to begin this with a mantra. If we could all breathe in and then out, holding a long "eeeeee." The OFFICERS stare at him. There are sniggers. Bill stares them down.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) Breathe in...(they comply) and out...

OFFICERS

(EMBARRASSED)

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ee. They finish. Bill nods, smiling, stares around at them.

BILL DJANGO We are a Hollow Army, gentlemen. Vietnam has crushed our soul. We are traumatized and melancholic. We are ashamed. That is why I have brought you to this place of Sanctuary. Here we can mend our wounds and dream our dreams. My dream is of an America that will lead the world to paradise, an America that no longer has an exploitative view of natural resources, that no longer promotes consumption at all costs. I believe this is America's destiny.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

34.

43 CONTINUED: 43

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) But to achieve it we must become the first Superpower to develop super powers. We must create Warrior Monks - men and women who can fall in love with everyone, sense plant auras, pass through walls, stop saying mindless cliches and see into the future. I want you to JOIN me in this vision. (Beat) Be ALL you can BE. Bill finishes. We TRACK along the OFFICERS' FACES - really not sure what to do or say. We reach one officer who looks like Lee Marvin. This is BRIGADIER GENERAL DEAN HOPGOOD. His eyes are shining with excitement.

BOB (V.O.) Amongst Bill's audience that night was Brigadier General Dean Hopgood, from the Defense Intelligence Agency. For some time the General had been concerned about information he had been receiving about Soviet research into psychic powers.

44 EXT. POOL - DAY - THE PAST 44

Wearing trunks, the Brigadier General lounges by his pool, engrossed in a PAPER-BACK BOOK titled Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.

BOB (V.O.) According to some stories the Soviets were psychically spying on American bases and had designed "psychotronic generators" - machines capable of bombarding the President with negative energy.

45 INT. LABORATORY - DAY - THE PAST 45

Two DIABOLICAL-LOOKING RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS are wiring up some KITTENS to a MACHINE.

BOB (V.O.) They were also conducting sadistic experiments to see whether animals had psychic powers.

46 ANOTHER LABORATORY 46 Another DIABOLICAL SCIENTIST is wiring up the KITTENS'

MOTHER.

(CONTINUED)

35.

46 CONTINUED: 46

BOB (V.O.) Could they, for instance, telepathically detect that their babies were distressed?

47 FIRST LABORATORY 47 With a gloating smile one of the Scientists approaches one of the KITTENS with a lit CIGARETTE. The kitten gives a pitiful MEW as the Scientists LOOMS over it.

48 EXT. POOL - DAY - THE PAST 48

Brigadier General Hopgood can't read on.

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD Sick bastards...

49 INT. OFFICE - DAY - THE PAST 49

Brigadier General Hopgood is briefing two senior Pentagon

OFFICIALS.

OFFICIAL But why did the Soviets begin this type of research?

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD Well sir, it looks like they heard about our attempt to telepathically communicate with one of our nuclear subs - the Nautilus - while it was under the Polar cap.

OFFICIAL

(BEAT) What attempt?

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD There was no attempt, sir. It seems the story was a French hoax. But the Russians think the story about the story being a French hoax is just a story sir.

SECOND OFFICIAL So, they've started psi research because they thought we were doing psi research, when in fact we weren't doing psi research?

(CONTINUED)

36.

49 CONTINUED: 49

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD Yes sir. But now that they are doing psi research, we're going to have to do psi research, sir. We can't afford to have the Russians leading the field in the paranormal. The Officials consider this gravely.

49A INT. FORT BRAGG OFFICERS QUARTERS - DAY 49A

Bill looks in a mirror as he admires his new insignia.

BOB (V.O.) Two weeks later the Army adopted the slogan Be All You Can Be and appointed Bill Commander of the first New Earth Army Battalion.

50 INT. CAR - THE PRESENT - DAWN 50

Bob wakes, stiff and cold, in the front of the car. He sits up and looks around, trying to work out where he is. Suddenly he realizes he is ALONE. Afraid, he scans the landscape around him - featureless desert stretches to the horizon.

BOB

(SOFTLY) Lyn?

51 EXT. DESERT - CONTINUOUS 51

Bob jumps out of the car, panicking and starts to run in a random direction.

BOB (As he runs) Oh God. Oh God. He stops, staring at the immense empty landscape ahead of him.

BOB (CONT'D)

LYYYYN!

LYN CASSADY (O.S.) What? Bob turns and sees Lyn in a YOGA pose on the roof of the car.

(CONTINUED)

37.

51 CONTINUED: 51

BOB I didn't...I thought...What are you doing?

LYN CASSADY Salute to the Sun. He finishes and jumps down.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Okay. We're Oscar Mike. (Getting up) That's "On the Move" soldier.

52 EXT. DESERT ROAD - EARLY MORNING 52

The car cuts across the vast landscape, the day already heating up.

53 INSIDE THE CAR 53 Bob is writing in his notebook as Lyn drives. He notices Lyn keeps looking up at the sky.

BOB What are you doing?

LYN CASSADY Cloud bursting. Keeps me in shape. Bob stares up at the clouds.

BOB Really? Which one?

LYN CASSADY

(POINTING) That one. Bob tries to work out which cloud he means.

BOB That one?

LYN CASSADY No. That one. The big one.

BOB Isn't that one too far away? Lyn looks at Bob like he's crazy.

LYN CASSADY They're all far away.

(CONTINUED)

38.

53 CONTINUED: 53

He concentrates on the CLOUD again. Sure enough, it thins and fades until it has DISAPPEARED. Bob stares - not sure what to think.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) And it's gone. Lyn, smiling up at the sky, doesn't notice that the car is veering off the road a little. BANG! The two men are slammed forward as the car hits something, Bob smacking his face off the dash.

54 EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY 54

We see the car has run straight into a large ROCK. This is pretty much the only vertical feature in the otherwise flat landscape. The two men stand staring at the wrecked front of the car. Bob is holding a handkerchief to his bloody nose. He looks at the car, stares around him at the desert stretching out.

BOB Jesus Lyn. You had like the whole desert to drive in... Lyn rubs his face ruefully.

LYN CASSADY Yeah. I'm sorry about that Bob. Must have got a little bi- locational there, you know? But don't worry. Someone'll come along soon.

55 EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY - MUCH LATER 55

A sweating Bob sits in the shadow of the car, tossing a COIN. Lyn sits smoking.

LYN WHEATON Heads.

BOB (checking the coin) Right. He tosses again.

LYN WHEATON Heads.

(CONTINUED)

39.

55 CONTINUED: 55

BOB

(CHECKING) Right. He tosses again.

BOB (CONT'D) What's your record at this?

LYN WHEATON Two hundred and sixty four. Tails.

BOB

(CHECKING) Right. That's pretty... He stops, listening. We hear the sound of an approaching ENGINE. The two men turn to see a WHITE PICK-UP TRUCK approaching.

BOB (CONT'D) (scrambling to his

FEET) Oh thank Christ. Bob scuttles into the middle of the road, waving frantically. The pick-up slows and pulls over. A YOUNG IRAQI MAN looks out at them.

BOB (CONT'D) Can you help us? We drove into a rock. Could you take us to a town or someplace? Smiling, the Iraqi gestures to the back of the pick-up.

BOB (CONT'D)

(RELAXING) Thank you! Thanks so much! He grabs his case and climbs up onto the back of the truck. Lyn stares at the driver, then, with a sigh picks up his bag and follows Bob.

56 EXT. DESERT ROAD DAY - BACK OF TRUCK 56

As the Truck bumps off down the road, Bob and Lyn sit down and find themselves facing TWO YOUNG IRAQI MEN.

BOB Hi! Hello there. Thanks so much for this. The two Young Men smile in a friendly fashion.

(CONTINUED)

40.

56 CONTINUED: 56

BOB (CONT'D)

(LAUGHING) Don't know if we would have lasted much longer. Phew! One of the Young Men nods, smiling. He reaches casually forward and takes Lyn's BAG from him. Lyn just sits there, resigned as the Young Man roots through the contents.

BOB (CONT'D)

(OBLIVIOUS) Yeah, it gets pretty hot out here, huh? The Young Man takes out a ROCK COMPILATION CD from Lyn's bag and inspects it.

YOUNG IRAQI (to the other) Deep Purple. They laugh.

BOB (laughing too) Oh, you speak English? Great. Deep Purple. Right. You guys like Deep Purple? You like rock or, or... He suddenly notices the Young Iraqi is holding a HANDGUN. The Driver leans out the window and shouts something over the roar of the engine. The Young Man next to Lyn takes off his scarf and starts to blindfold Lyn with it.

BOB (CONT'D) (smile fading) Lyn? Is this...is this...?

LYN CASSADY

(WEARILY) Yeah.

57 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 57

Bob and Lyn, their hands tied, sit on a mattress in the otherwise empty room, lit by a shaft of moonlight from the small window above them. From next door comes the faint sound of a period song playing. Bob is losing it.

BOB We're going to die! I'm going to be killed by Al Qaeda!

(CONTINUED)

41.

57 CONTINUED: 57

From the next room we hear the Young Iraqis start to sing along to the track, laughing. Lyn listens.

LYN CASSADY I don't think they're Al Qaeda.

BOB Oh what the hell do you know? You don't know! You don't know anything! And this is all your fault!

LYN CASSADY Bob, there's something I have to tell you. When I said I was retired from the unit, that was a lie. I'm on a mission. DeWitts was just my cover. I've been reactivated. I couldn't tell you because this is a Black Op, but...I think you have a part to play. I think that's why you're with me. Bob collapses face down on the mattress.

BOB

(MUFFLED) You're an idiot. You want to know why I'm with you? Because I got drunk. (Starting to cry a little) I got drunk and I just wanted to get into Iraq so I could prove to my wife I wasn't...just once that I...And now I'm going to die. She's right. I'm such a... He dissolves into misery. Lyn watches with sympathy.

LYN CASSADY Have you heard of Optimum Trajectory before? (No answer) Your life is like a river, Bob. If you're aiming for a goal that isn't your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Ghandi wants to be a stock-car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a High School teacher. Tough titty Anne. That's not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions. Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you. Now sometimes events in life give an individual clues as to where their Destiny lies.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

42.

57 CONTINUED: (2) 57

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Like those doodles you just "happened" to draw? He unbuttons his shirt and reveals an EYE tattooed on his chest - very similar to the one Bob had drawn. Bob looks up.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) This is the Ajna chakra - the third eye - the symbol of the Jedi. When I saw you'd drawn it...well, the Universe gives me a sign like that, I don't ignore it. You're meant to be here with me, Bob. The Jedi inside you sensed that. Bob stares at the EYE.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Now listen to me. I don't think these guys are FRL's or Mehdi Army... I think we're talking standard criminals here, okay? What they're gonna do is try and sell us on to another group. We can't let that happen.

BOB How are we gonna stop them? There's three of them! And they've got guns!

LYN CASSADY We're Jedi, Bob. The Jedi don't fight with guns. We fight with our minds.

BOB What do you mean?

LYN CASSADY Let's say we have no choice but to fight with these men. Then we use visual aesthetics to instill psychically in the enemy a disincentive to attack.

BOB

(BEAT) What do you mean?

LYN CASSADY Okay, you lock eyes with one of them, you go into a monotone and you say "No, I'm not going to attack you." You totally relax your body and your voice. And then you rip out one of his eyeballs.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

43.

57 CONTINUED: (3) 57

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Or you use a pen, stab him in the neck, create a fountain of blood, I mean really a fountain, get the blood to squirt on his buddies. That's a psychic disincentive, right there. Bob thinks about this, a little nauseated.

BOB We haven't got a pen.

LYN CASSADY

(SIGHS) You're missing the point. (Standing up) Here let me show you something. Stand up. Bob stands up reluctantly.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) Choke me.

BOB Oh...I don't want to Lyn.

LYN CASSADY Choke me. What am I gonna do? (pointing at his throat) Just here. Choke. Choke.

BOB I don't think I...there's sharp edges around here...

LYN CASSADY C'mon...(making quotation marks with his fingers) "Attack me." Bob stares at him, a little annoyed by this.

BOB What's with the quotation fingers? That's like implying I'm you know...only capable of ironic attacking or...

LYN CASSADY Quit jawing, Bob, and choke me.

BOB

(BEAT) Well, if I choose to choke you, what are you going to do?

LYN CASSADY I'm going to interrupt your thought pattern.

(CONTINUED)

44.

57 CONTINUED: (4) 57

Bob thinks about this then raises his hands to choke Lyn. Lyn THROWS him - sailing through the air. He crashes down into the floor behind Lyn.

LYN CASSADY (CONT'D) See? I hardly moved. Physics wise there's not much going on. It's the psychic energy that's important. (Beat) You okay?

BOB (in pain) Sharp...edges...

LYN CASSADY (helping him up) You felt fear didn't you? Before hand? Bob massages his back, impressed despite himself.

BOB Yes.

LYN CASSADY Would you say that level of fear was abnormal for you? Bob thinks about this.

BOB I don't know. I was pretty terrified anyway but the fear I felt on the run-up to the choking did seem, you know, unusual.

LYN CASSADY

(PLEASED) You know why? It wasn't you. It was me. I was inside your head. Fighting with the Mind. Suddenly the door opens and one of the Young Iraqis comes in, smiling.

YOUNGER IRAQI Okay. We go.

58 EXT. DESERT - EARLY MORNING 58

The White Pick-Up bounces over the sand. Bob and Lyn sit in the back with one of the Young Iraqis, who has Lyn's back-pack.

BOB

(SOFTLY) I'm sorry I freaked out, Lyn.

(CONTINUED)

45.

58 CONTINUED: 58

LYN CASSADY That's okay. You learnt a lesson. "Whatever you fear most has no power - it is your fear that has power."

BOB

(IMPRESSED) Huh.

LYN CASSADY Oprah.

BOB Uhuh. (Beat) You really don't work for DeWitts?

LYN CASSADY Just my cover.

BOB

(BEAT) Gus Lacey said you ran a dance studio. That was just cover too, right?

LYN CASSADY No. I do run a dance school. I love dance.

BOB Oh. Okay. (Beat) And you're really on a mission out here?

LYN CASSADY In time, Bob.

BOB

(BEAT) Were you just kidding me back there - about me having some Jedi in me?

LYN CASSADY We learn to recognize our own kind after a while. You ever dream about flying?

BOB Yes.

LYN CASSADY That's one of the signs.

BOB Do you really think so?

(CONTINUED)

46.

58 CONTINUED: (2) 58

LYN CASSADY Don't you? Haven't you always really felt you were different? Bob considers this.

BOB Yes. Yes I have.

LYN CASSADY That's the way it is for us. We're the ones who don't fit in as kids.

BOB Have you always had powers?

LYN CASSADY Kind of. They used to call me the Jinx.

BOB Why?

59 INT. GROOM LAKE, NEVADA - DAY - THE PAST 59

Two TECHNICIANS study COMPUTERS. TITLES READ "AREA 51" Groom Lake, Top Secret Test Flight Base, Nevada. 1983

TECHNICIAN (Excited. Into

MICROPHONE) Foxtrot-117 has launched. Tracking now. Charlie-Oscar 31.8066667... Lyn (30's), in uniform, walks past and both computers

INSTANTLY CRASH.

VOICE (over speakers) We just lost contact! Request status? Oh Crap! The TECHNICIANS turn to stare after Lyn. We hear a SIREN begin to wail.

60 INT. OFFICE - DAY - THE PAST 60

Lyn stands nervously to attention in front of a very grim looking Brigadier General Hopgood.

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD Did you crash those computers? Lyn opens his mouth to lie, but one glance at Hopgood's forbidding countenance changes his mind.

(CONTINUED)

47.

60 CONTINUED: 60

LYN CASSADY

(MISERABLE) Yes sir. Beat. A SLOW GRIN steals over the General's face.

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD

(SOFTLY) Far fucking out... Lyn blinks. This wasn't the reaction he'd expected.

BRIGADIER GENERAL HOPGOOD How'd you feel about a transfer son?

61 INT. EX-MESS HALL - FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA - DAY 61

A small group of JEDI RECRUITS, Lyn amongst them, stands facing a stern Bill Django in the abandoned-looking building. The walls have been decorated with COSMIC

MURALS.

BILL DJANGO I am Lieutenant Colonel Bill Django. From now on, you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your mouth will be "Sir, yes, sir!" Do you understand?

RECRUITS Sir, yes, sir!

BILL DJANGO If you complete this course you will be a Psychic Weapon, an Angel of Death, our enemies Worst Nightmare! Until then you are Nothing! Less than Nothing! Do you understand?

RECRUITS

SIR, YES, SIR!

BILL DJANGO

(CHUCKLING) Yeah, I'm only kidding with that shit. Okay, what shall we do now? He stares around the men, expectantly.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) (clapping his hands) Hey! Lets dance!

48.

62 INT. EX-MESS HALL - DAY 62

The Jedis are DANCING to some rock, encouraged by Bill.

BILL DJANGO Okay! Give it everything you've got! That's it! The Jedis start to dance more frenetically, eyes closed, jumping about the room, waving their arms... Bill notices Lyn, shuffling self-consciously from foot to foot.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) What's your name son?

LYN CASSADY Lyn Cassady sir.

BILL DJANGO Where you from?

LYN CASSADY Opelousas, Louisiana, sir. Bill stares at Lyn, taking in his orphan air, his hunted look.

BILL DJANGO Tough place to grow up?

Lyn shrugs, embarrassed. Bill nods.

BILL DJANGO (CONT'D) You've gotta free your feet before you can free your mind, Lyn.

LYN CASSADY

(EMBARRASSED) Not much of a dancer sir. Bill examines Lyn's face through narrowed eyes.

BILL DJANGO But that isn't true is it Lyn? You can dance. It's just someone told you not to.

63 BEDROOM - 1965 63 A TWELVE YEAR OLD LYN - is dancing away to a track on the radio. His FATHER weaves drunkenly past the door and stops, watching.

(CONTINUED)

48A.

63 CONTINUED: 63

LYN'S FATHER Stop acting so fucking QUEER! He throws his beer can at Lyn and walks on. Lyn stares after him, upset. The RADIO abruptly catches FIRE.

64 INT. EX-MESS HALL - DAY 64

Bill watches Lyn with compassion.

(CONTINUED)

>>>

/ The Men who Stare at Goats.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru