screenplay THE WAY WE WAR by Robert Patrick Part 3 of 3

VERY WIDE

The helicopter takes off from the ruins of the hut. Soldiers CHEER as it rises.

FOLLOW HELICOPTER

as it buzzes away over the mysterious jungle.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. THE HELICOPTER – DAY – CONTINUOUS

THE CABIN

Chiang stands at the PILOT’S side, speaking into a microphone.

CHIANG

…Because I say so! Have one

hundred thousand dollars American

at the heliport in a money belt.

And make no mistakes!

THE COMPARTMENT

Two GUARDS hold guns at ready, their eyes on

TONY AND MELANIE

bound together, Tony’s gun at Melanie’s head.

CLOSE ON TONY AND MELANIE

Tony leans over to whisper to Melanie.

BIG CLOSE UP

Tony’s lips at Melanie’s ear. Despite HELICOPTER NOISE, WE HEAR:

TONY

Don’t worry, baby. No harm is

going to come to you. Tony’s here.

BIG CLOSE UP

Melanie’s can’t believe what she’s hearing. She looks at —

MELANIE’S POV/A GUARD

–reacting to Melanie’s expression. Guard starts to raise his gun at Tony.

MELANIE

shakes her head, “No.”

GUARD

lowers gun with head-nod of obeisance.

MELANIE

MELANIE

Thank you, Tony. I feel so

safe with you.

TONY

nods with a “damn right you do” air.

MELANIE

cuddles close to Tony, smiles at her secret thoughts.

CUT TO:

EXT. SKY OVER JUNGLE – DAY – CONTINUOUS

The helicopter wings its way….to what?

FADE OUT.EXT. ESTABLISHING ANK-VAR – (LATER THAT) DAY

Ancient city in forbidding hills. Not devastated like Thain, but overgrown. You’d think it a dead city, if not for —

EXT. ESTABLISHING ANK-VAR HELIPORT – DAY – CONTINUOUS

— the heliport (sheds, a radio shack), with CROWD of SOLDIERS and CITIZENS of all races. All wear the armband. Crowd stares at sky. In b.g., high speaker’s stand with TV CAMERAMEN, OFFICIALS, A BAND, and a vast Oriental insignia banner.

CLOSER ON CROWD

A Citizen points at sky and SCREAMS. All look up, CHEER.

ANGLE ON SKY

The helicopter appears overhead, turns to reveal Oriental insignia.

VARIOUS ANGLES ON HELIPORT

Excited Crowd mobs helipad. Soldiers hold Crowd back.

ANGLE ON HELICOPTER

Chiang hangs out of door, waves.

ANGLE ON CROWD

Crowd goes crazy at sight of Chiang. BAND MUSIC blares.

CLOSE ON HELICOPTER DOOR

Tony and Melanie stand behind Chiang. Chiang waves at Crowd.

TONY

Don’t make any false moves.

CHIANG

You see far too many movies.

ANGLE ON HELIPAD

Helicopter lands. Tony steps back farther into helicopter. Chiang steps out. Crowd CHEERS. Twenty-one gun SALUTE.

ANGLE ON CROWD

closest to helicopter. A SOLDIER comes through crowd to helicopter, holding a money-belt, hands it to Chiang.

HELICOPTER

Chiang hands belt in to Tony.

CHIANG

Here’s your money. Go home.

TONY

Count it, Melanie.

Chiang sighs. Melanie riffles through money, nods at Tony.

TONY (cont’d)

Okay, put it on me.

CHIANG

Oh, really.

MELANIE

No, it’s all right.

She puts belt on Tony. It’s not easy; she’s tied to his wrist.

TONY

Okay. Now, we’ll want a car.

MELANIE

For God’s sake, Tony!

Melanie pulls free easily, dangles belt. Tony gapes.

MELANIE (Cont’d)

Campfire Girls. Slip-knot.

(to Guards)

Let him alone. He’s harmless.

TONY

Genuinely stung.

BACK TO SCENE

Melanie takes guns from Tony, hands them to Guards in helicopter.

MELANIE (Cont’d)

Tony. You have your values. I have

mine. If I promise never to step on

your jokes, will you get out of my way

so I can make a big entrance?

Tony, baffled, stands free of Melanie. She shakes out her hair, takes off her Rebel jacket, accepts a fresh jacket with Oriental insignia from Guard, moistens her lips, and nods at Chiang.

WIDE ANGLE ON HELICOPTER

among crowd. Guards hop out, flank the door. Chiang comes out, offers hand to Melanie. Melanie takes it, emerges, radiating beauty and dignity. Guards FIRE honorific VOLLEY in air. Crowd goes “OOOOOOOOOOH!” Tony in helicopter doorway is startled.

TONY’S POV.PAST MELANIE’S HEAD

The Crowd, and in b.g. the speakers’ platform where three TV cameras with Oriental insignia swing. Melanie starts forward, lets go of Chiang’s hand. The Crowd parts before Melanie like the Red Sea. It’s impressive.

FOLLOW MELANIE

through the awed Crowd, Chiang a little behind her. The Crowd flings flower petals. People reach out hands to brush Melanie. She touches hands, accepts numerous bouquets on her way to

STEPS OF SPEAKERS’ STAND

where Dignitaries and Officers of all races await Melanie. She mounts stairs. Chiang takes his (central) place among Dignitaries.

AT HELICOPTER DOOR

Tony stands ignored. A Guard comes to Tony.

GUARD

Chiang says give you anything you want.

TONY

I wanna watch.

Guard pulls up sleeve to reveal several watches. Tony grimaces.

SPEAKERS’ STAND

Melanie stands, a goddess, waiting for CHEERS to die down. WE SEE a TV camera moving into place to get good front angle on Melanie.

TONY

looks up at that camera, then back down to

ANGLE BESIDE SPEAKERS’ STAND

where another camera maneuvers for left profile shots, and

OTHER SIDE OF SPEAKERS’ STAND

where another camera works to catch her right profile.

TONY

ponders the trouble they’re going to. But he’s distracted as

MELANIE

begins to speak, as often as possible looking at Tony.

MELANIE

People of Ank-Var. People of the

Resistance Forces. People of Thain.

People of all nations, and —

(directed at Tony)

— people whom the curse of war has

left without a nation, without a

name, without a belief in anything.

TONY

if he was not in love before, is now. He turns to watch

THE ENRAPTURED CROWD

buying everything said by

MELANIE

MELANIE (cont’d)

I come from America, the country where

a new hope of freedom was born into the

world. I come here today to call for an

end to war, this war and all war!

Look at the devastation behind me! War

has done this. And who makes war? The

existence of nations! That makes war! The

Thainians, the English, the French, the

Dutch, the Resistance, the Rebels, the

Communists, the Chinese — every division

of the human race invites fear and war.

That is why we have come here, we citizens

born into a hundred races and nations and

religions we did not choose. We have chosen to begin a new world, one world.

There are those who profit from war, or so

they believe. But who profits from

war? Who wants it? Who needs it? Do the real Thainians, Chinese, French, Dutch,

Americans profit from war? No! The poor

countries suffer immediate devastation and

death and despair. But even the rich

countries suffer in unendurable guilt and

anxiety and eternal, unendurable distrust!

War ravishes everyone! War ruins the lives

of everyone! Fear is a disease that threatens everyone! Restricts everyone! I could not come here freely and openly, because the pitiable fear-crazed rulers of every nation have made that impossible!

THE TV CAMERAS

tightly focus on

MELANIE

MELANIE (Cont’d)

The world is our home! America is not my country. Thainia is not your country. Humanity is humanity’s country! One country, one world, can never again make war! Who wants war? Who wants fear? Oh, people of America! People of Thainia! People of the world! Stand up together with me against fear! The possibility of peace is here, now, in a world already united by airplanes and satellites! One world! Who wants one world? Who wants it? Who wants it now?

VARIOUS SHOTS OF THE CROWD

SHOUTING “We want it! We want it! Now! Now! Now!”

MELANIE

half-exhausted by the effort of her speech, but reinvigorated by the Crowd’s reaction, turns and keeps her attention on

TONY

who looks back at Melanie with no irony for once, but also sees

CHIANG

behind Melanie, checking with each of

THE THREE CAMERAMEN

who in turn give Chiang a high-sign and extract the cassettes from their cameras, toss them to

TV TECHNICIAN

who catches them and hops on a motorcycle with Oriental insignia and “TV” on it, and drives away toward the city.

TONY

looks back at the adoring face of

MELANIE

on the dais, accepting thanks of dignitaries, but still watching

TONY

who watches Melanie right back as we

CROSS_DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE HELIPORT – (THAT) NIGHT

Crowd is gone. COOLIES clear carpet and petals. TV TECHNICIANS stow equipment in trucks marked with ORIENTAL SYMBOL AND “TV.” Soldiers ready helicopter in b.g. Melanie, Chiang, Dignitaries, and ESCORT of motorcycles stand by a limousine, Tony by helicopter.

MELANIE

chats with Dignitaries by limousine. She holds long-stemmed roses.

TONY

in his Hawaiian shirt, and holding a crash helmet, stands by the helicopter, talking with SOLDIER, Tony’s size and coloring.

SOLDIER

We’re about set to go, Tony.

Tony lifts shirt, hands Soldier some money out of money-belt.

TONY

I got just one more thing to do.

SOLDIER

Don’t take too long.

Tony gives high sign. Soldier goes behind Radio Shed. FOLLOW TONY to Melanie.

TONY

Could I have a word with you?

MELANIE

(to Dignitaries)

Will you excuse me for just one moment?

Chiang observes as we FOLLOW TONY AND MELANIE to a secluded spot.

MELANIE

Well, nameless, now do you understand?

TONY

Yeah, oh, yeah, I understand.

MELANIE

You’ll be all right, won’t you?

TONY

Oh, sure, I’m always okay.

MELANIE

Maybe one day we’ll meet and —

understand each other.

TONY

Sure. Sure. We both got a lot to do.

MELANIE

Yes, I’m making more speeches. And

I’ll be photographed studying war damage.

TONY

Well, that’s very important. And I gotta

get outa here before everybody starts

asking why I came to Ank-Var without

their booze, and pot, and, well, you know.

MELANIE

(barely attending to him)

And tomorrow my speech goes out to the

whole world.

TONY

Tomorrow. Hmmm. It was a great speech.

MELANIE

I meant every word.

TONY

I know you did. Take care.

MELANIE

I’ll be taken care of. You take

care of yourself.

Melanie gives Tony a long-stemmed rose.

TONY

It’s what I do best.

Tony walks away, not looking back, puts on his helmet, sticks her rose in helmet jauntily. Tony pauses by Radio Shed, turns.

TONY’S POV/MELANIE

Melanie smiles at Tony. O.S. SOUND OF cycles revving up. A hand touches Melanie’s shoulder. It’s Chiang. Melanie smiles, turns.

FOLLOW MELANIE AND CHIANG

to limousine. Melanie keeps looking after Tony. Military Escorts take positions around limo, revving motorcycles. Chauffeur holds door. Melanie enters, then Chiang. Chauffeur closes door.

ANGLE ON BACK WINDOW OF LIMO

Melanie peers out after Tony. SOUND OF Chauffeur’s door, car starting. Melanie looks suddenly half-panicked, sad.

MELANIE’S POV/HELIPAD PAST TONY

Tony waves. SOUND of helicopter. Blades start to whirl. Pilot beckons from helicopter. Tony breaks into a gentle run and passes behind radio shed. In radio shed WE CAN SEE a RADIOMAN at work.

MELANIE

watches for Tony’s reappearance as limo and escort start to move.

MELANIE’S POV/HELIPAD

A FIGURE in Hawaiian shirt and helmet without a rose reappears from behind shack and jumps into the helicopter just as it lifts off.

CLOSE ON MELANIE’S FACE

her eyes moist, watching (as she supposes) Tony leave. Helicopter reflects in the window glass. Limo and motorcycles PULL AWAY and take a turn. As long as we can see the window, Melanie watches Tony leave her life.

CUT TO:

EXT. BEHIND THE RADIO SHED – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony, wearing underwear, money-belt, top part of a military uniform, and helmet with rose in it, transfers the cigarette pack containing his money-clip to pocket in military pants he holds, then starts to put on Soldier’s pants. In b.g., helicopter flies away.

DOOR OF HELICOPTER

SOLDIER in Tony’s clothes, holding money, waves.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREETS IN ANK-VAR – (LATER THAT) NIGHT

Dark, empty. Blackout prevails. Most buildings are barricaded with sandbags. Soldiers on motorcycles and then the limo (all with blackout lights only) drive INTO FRAME, ACROSS SCREEN, AND OUT OF FRAME. After a moment TV truck appears in their wake.

FARTHER DOWN STREET

Limo and motorcycles continue down street. TV truck appears in their wake, then takes a turn onto a cross-street.

ANOTHER STREET

FOLLOW TV truck as it continues to

EXT. TV STUDIO – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The familiar Thainian architecture: A half-ruin shored-up, barricaded, and fenced in. Satellite transmission dish prominent on roof. Trucks parked around building. Crates stacked here and there. A rack of bicycles. Truck approaches gate.

ANGLE ON GATE

Lazy GUARD reads Melanie magazine. At SOUND of truck, Guard waves it past without looking up. Truck passes.

ANGLE INSIDE FENCE

The truck pulls to a stop among similar trucks. Its DRIVER leaves it, lugging a crate, and walks away.

ANGLE UNDER TRUCK

Tony holds onto casing. He lets go, falls to ground.

ANGLE ON TRUCK

Tony, in uniform and helmet with rose, rolls out from under truck, crouches low, scuttles to hide behind bicycle rack.

ANGLE ON SIDE OF TV STUDIO

Tony scuttles behind a stack of crates. He glances out quickly to make sure he is unobserved, then darts to

ANOTHER ANGLE

Tony clambers up a drainpipe to

EXT. ROOF OF TV BUILDING – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony appears on roof, darts across using chimneys, drainpipes, satellite dish for cover, to opposite edge, swings over edge to

EXT. WALL OF TV STUDIO – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

featuring an open window. Tony swings over edge of building, into

INT. TV STUDIO – MEN’S ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

A dinky, stinky affair. SOUND of toilet flushing. Tony swings through window, lands, just as a TECHNICIAN comes out of a stall. Tony spins and stands at urinal. Technician tries to wash his hands at a sink, which doesn’t work. Technician exits, wiping his hands on his clothes. SOUND of door closing. Tony darts past mirror, glimpses it, steps back, takes long-stemmed rose out of his helmet, looks for somewhere to put it, jams it inside his uniform top, starts out door. Becomes aware of thorns on rose.

TONY

Ouch.

CUT TO:

INT. TV STUDIO – CORRIDOR – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Long corridor, dimly-lit. Tony emerges from men’s room, plasters himself against wall, checks things out.

TONY’S POV/THE HALL

Many doors, all closed except one down the hall, open and lit. INDISTINCT MALE VOICES come from it.

BACK TO TONY

Tony edges down the hallway. FOLLOW TONY to open door. Tony very carefully looks in to see —

INT. EDITING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

TONY’S POV/THROUGH OPEN DOOR

— two tired Asian EDITORS in smocks at work at a console. The face on all screens is Melanie’s, making her speech. The Editors run bits of tape back and forth, making splices. SOUND is silly squeaks.

EDITOR ONE

We get done with this, you wanna go hit

Kwan’s poker game? I need your money.

EDITOR TWO

So you can lose it to Kwan. I’d like to

see that, but the master tape has to

get to the master.

EDITOR ONE

I gotta stay and get this raw

stuff into the vaults.

INSERT

Editor One pats three cassettes marked LEFT, RIGHT, FULL-FACE.

TONY

registers the cassettes.

EDITOR TWO (V.O.)

— and give Kwan your paycheck. Okay,

that’s it. Run it for continuity.

EDITOR ONE (V.O.)

Or lack thereof.

EDITOR TWO

EDITOR TWO

It better be good. The world is

waiting for it.

INSERT

Editors’ hands work with buttons. All screens go dark. Editor One’s hand hits a button marked PLAY MASTER, right beside a button marked SATELLITE FEED. Central screen lights up.

ON TV SCREEN

Melanie at podium speaks. The three views of Melanie have been expertly intercut so that we SEE and HEAR her give the following speech:

MELANIE

People of Ank-Var. People of the

Resistance Forces. People of Thain.

People of all nations, and —

— people whom the curse of war has

left without a nation, without a

name, without a belief in anything.

I come from America, the country that wants war! I come here today to call for an

end to America! Look at the devastation behind me! War has done this. And who makes war? America! America makes war! That is why we have come here, we citizens born into a hundred races and nations and religions. Americans profit from war. America ravishes everyone! America ruins the lives of everyone! America is a disease that threatens everyone! America restricts everyone! I could not come here freely and openly, because the pitiable fear-crazed rulers of America have made that impossible! America is not my country.

Thainia is! Who wants war? America! Who wants fear? America! Stand up together with me against America! Who wants it? America! Who needs it?

TONY

watching and listening to tape. Tony’s face goes from bewilderment to disbelief to cynicism to rage.

EDITORS

listen with self-satisfaction, high-fiving one another.

ON SCREEN

tape ends with shot of Chiang stepping into frame with Melanie.

TONY

TONY

(mutters)

My country, ’tis of thee.

EDITORS

Editor Two gets out of smock and into American sports-team jacket.

EDITOR ONE

Good job, good job.

EDITOR TWO

Good yourself.

INSERT

Editor One’s hand presses a button. Tape marked “MASTER” pops out of console.

EDITORS

EDITOR ONE

You could still hit the game

after you deliver the master.

EDITOR TWO

(holds up tape)

— to the master. No such luck.

Clear the fuck across town.

Editor One pops tape into a case and hands it to Editor Two.

EDITOR ONE

Tough luck. See you tomorrow.

 

EDITOR TWO

Tell Kwan to leave you lunch money.

Editor One binds together raw tapes with a rubber band. Editor Two jams Master Tape case in his jacket pocket, puts on American team baseball cap, steps out into

CORRIDOR

where Tony waits with a broom raised above his head as a weapon.

EDITOR TWO

(casually)

Hey, Tony! Saw you on the heliport

tape. Sorry we had to edit you out.

You stuck working late, too?

Tony mimes “that’s okay,” lowers broom awkwardly.

TONY

Uh — yeah. Here to deliver

— brooms. Brooms —

Tony displays broom, riffles bristles, gets the hell rid of it.

TONY (cont’d)

Oh, and to pick up some fancy

fucking tape to deliver to —

Hell, you know where —

EDITOR TWO

(delighted)

To Chiang and the Committee?

TONY

(conspiratorially)

Ssssshhhhh.

EDITOR TWO

Hot shit!

(yells into editing room)

Hold on, Han, I’m making the

game after all!

EDITOR ONE (O.S.)

Don’t tease me, Kwo.

With some difficulty, Editor Two extracts bulky case out of his tight jacket pocket. Tony barely conceals his eagerness.

EDITOR TWO

Saw Chiang give you that money-

belt on the tape. Come back and get

in the game.

TONY

(trying for information)

Come back from…?

EDITOR TWO

Across town.

Editor Two gets the tape out and slaps it into Tony’s hand.

EDITOR TWO (cont’d)

There!

Editor One comes out of editing room, in snazzy jacket and cap.

 

EDITOR ONE

Toneeeee! You got that hot-shot

Panama Gold you promised me?

Tony comically pats his uniform, shakes his head, “No.”

EDITOR ONE (cont’d)

You staying at the Dragon House

with that movie star?

TONY

Dragon House. You bet.

EDITOR TWO

You gettin’ any of that?

TONY

Hey, I work for money.

Editors One and Two wink at this and head off down corridor.

EDITOR TWO

(sings mockingly)

Can’t buy me luh-uhve, everybody

tells me so…

EDITOR ONE

I’m through foolin’ with Kwan.

Tonight I’m gonna take it all back…

EDITOR TWO

— up your ass.

Editors One and Two disappear. Tony kisses videotape.

TONY

You are my lucky star.

CUT TO:

EXT. TV STUDIO – GATE – NIGHT – A FEW MINUTES LATER

Guard reads magazine, hears O.S. SOUND.

GUARD

Who goes there?

FOLLOW Guard to truck. Tony bends over it, hot-wiring it.

TONY

Oh, fuck, don’t go military on me.

I lost my goddamned keys to Kwan.

GUARD

Shit, he on another streak?

Guard automatically helps Tony fix truck.

TONY

Yeah, took Han’s whole check.

GUARD

A-fucking-gain?

Guard trips motor, it starts. Tony hops into truck.

TONY

A-fucking-gain. Thanks.

Tony slams truck door, starts away.

GUARD

Hey, halt!

Tony stops. Is it all up?

GUARD (cont’d)

Get me a pair of that poontang’s

panties, hey?

Guard and Tony exchange a series of winks and grimaces as Tony pulls away.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony drives along.

TONY

Why does everyone think I’m harmless?

He glances down.

TONY’S POV/LOOKING DOWN

On seat of truck, the magazine opened to Melanie’s fold-out.

TONY

TONY

Yeah, yeah, wave it in my face.

 

CUT TO:

EXT. ESTABLISHING DRAGON HOUSE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

A once-proud international hotel, now dark and surrounded by the usual barricading.

CUT TO:

INT. DRAGON HOUSE – MELANIE’S SUITE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Fancy Oriental suite, but with bleached squares on the wall which show treasures have been removed. A huge wardrobe against one wall, a matching unworn spot on another wall where once it stood. A TV set and VCR. Gorgeous drapes cover windows.

Melanie, in Asian dress, angrily listens to Chiang. TWO GUARDS with rifles stand at ready. [NOTE: Chiang’s Guards wear those fascistic brimmed caps that half-cover their faces, okay?]

CHIANG

…and the Committee is at this

moment planning your itinerary.

It must be decided when and where

you can do the most good.

MELANIE

The most good for whom?

CHIANG

It is best if you remain here.

MELANIE

Best for whom?

 

CHIANG

Experts from all sides will

determine your future. Why

not take this opportunity to

relax and refresh yourself?

Here is a television which

receives all satellite stations

except those we must blank out.

MELANIE

For the people’s good?

CHIANG

And there are videotapes of

all your films.

MELANIE

With the naughty parts cut out?

CHIANG

We must protect our people from

cultural shock. I must return to

the conference. You will be

comfortable and safe here.

MELANIE

Oh, I’m sure I’ll be safe.

Melanie trips a Guard, takes his rifle, stands with one foot on him. Melanie presents the rifle to Chiang, takes her foot off Guard. Fallen Guard stands with difficulty, rubbing his bruises.

CHIANG

(coldly)

I take my leave. There is danger

of air-raids. I recommend that

you do not try to open the windows.

Chiang goes to door, preceded by Guards.

MELANIE

What about the door?

Chiang snaps his fingers. A Guard opens the door, revealing another GUARD in hall.

CHIANG

Your door is guarded.

MELANIE

For whose good?

Chiang gives Melanie such a look. Chiang and Guards exit. The lock on the door turns, clicks. Melanie instantly goes to windows, throws back drapes. The windows are barred.

MELANIE

Oh, Mama, did you take lessons

from that guy?

CUT TO:

INT. DRAGON HOUSE – CORRIDOR – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Chiang stands fuming. Door Guard (Tony) stands at attention, his hat over his face. Chiang’s Guards call elevator. It opens with a DING! Another Guard runs it. Chiang addresses Tony.

CHIANG

Listen for any activity in that room —

Chiang looks at bruised Guard.

CHIANG (cont’d)

And don’t go in there for anything.

Tony clicks heels, swings rifle showily. Chiang and Guards enter elevator. Elevator door closes.

CUT TO:

INT. MELANIE’S ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Melanie stands fuming at TV. Idly picks up boxes of her tapes.

INSERT

Tapes in Melanie’s hands. Covers all show her nude or nearly, her breasts and crotch censored with big black squares.

MELANIE

MELANIE

That’s more than I wore in the

movies.

Melanie tenses at the SOUND of the door jiggling. A bayonet slides between door and frame. Melanie stands, arms full of videotapes. The bayonet breaks the door lock. Door swings open and Tony barges in. Melanie throws tapes, aiming expertly for maximum damage. Tony’s unable to defend himself, as he’s closing door.

TONY

Jesus, don’t throw your career at me!

Tony lifts cap.

MELANIE

Oh, Tony! Tony!

Melanie rushes to Tony, embraces him, kisses him copiously.

TONY

Ouch!

Tony pulls rose out of his shirt. Melanie takes it and looks at Tony adoringly, hugs him tighter.

MELANIE

You came back for me!

TONY

(struggling to free himself)

I never left.

MELANIE

You never left. You’re wonderful.

TONY

(freeing himself)

I’m worried. I’ve got to show

you something.

Tony goes to TV. Melanie follows, lays rose on TV. Tony takes tape from pocket, inserts it in VCR.

MELANIE

If that’s your audition tape, I’m

not casting right now.

TONY

Shut up for once and watch?

TV SCREEN

An American sit-com. ROSEANNE (or similar character) appears.

ROSEANNE

Well, I tell you, you fat (bleep),

you better get your fat (bleep!) out

of here or I’ll —

(another, DUBBED VOICE)

— turn you over to the decadent

western police!

Word “PLAY” appears on screen and Melanie’s tape starts.

MELANIE AND TONY

watch tape.

MELANIE

I don’t have time for —

TONY

Shut your beautiful mouth.

MELANIE

Beautiful, huh?

TONY

Please, ssshhhh.

MELANIE

Well, I’ve looked better..

(listens to tape)

Oh, god damn!

TONY

See what they are?

MELANIE angrily tears tape out of machine, rips it apart.

MELANIE

Oh, fuck! Oh, shit! Those motherfuckers! They’re worse than I thought.

TONY

You trusted them?

Tony goes to windows, throws back drapes, sees bars.

MELANIE

No, I just didn’t know they had the

technology.

TONY

How did you get so cynical?

MELANIE

I’ve made twelve features.

TONY

They’re holding you prisoner?

MELANIE

They’d like to think…Maybe you

could walk me out at gunpoint?

TONY

They’d shoot me in the back.

MELANIE

Could we pull the uniform switch again?

TONY

And leave me behind?

MELANIE

Don’t they all love you?

TONY

Not if you get away.

MELANIE

I could knock you out.

TONY

But what was I doing here?

MELANIE

Dead end….Kiss me.

Melanie grabs Tony — major kiss. They paw each other like kids.

MELANIE

Tell me that you love me.

TONY

It’d be a lie.

MELANIE

Then why did you come for me?

TONY

I never thought about it. How does

this come undone?

MELANIE

Tell me that you love me.

TONY

Okay. I love you.

Melanie’s dress falls away and she’s nude in Tony’s arms. They sink to the floor with Tony lowering his pants.

MELANIE

I love you, too. I love you, too, Tony.

Tony fumbles with a condom packet, tears it with his teeth.

TONY

Mo, view mon’t (No you don’t)

MELANIE

Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

Melanie grabs the condom, puts it on Tony, grabs him. They fuck.

MELANIE

I love you. You came back for me.

TONY

I’d have come back for anyone.

MELANIE

I know, that’s why I love you.

TONY

Everybody loves me.

MELANIE

Nobody loves you like I do.

They climax together, memorably. Tony rolls off of Melanie.

MELANIE

Well, that was fast.

TONY

I was fucking the most beautiful

woman in the world. What’s your excuse?

MELANIE

You’re the most wonderful man.

TONY

I’m a pimp and a pushover.

MELANIE

That’s as good as men get.

Tony and Melanie stand and dress.

TONY

Well, that didn’t get us anywhere.

MELANIE

I’ve been thinking. We need to get

into the next room.

TONY

You were thinking? While we did that?

MELANIE

Sex burns away the fog. I had an idea.

Come help me move this.

Melanie tugs wardrobe. Tony goes to help her. It’s really heavy.

TONY

You plan to hide in this and I’ll

carry it out?

MELANIE

Keep grunting.

They get it a bit out from the wall, and — voila! There’s a door behind it.

MELANIE

Will you open a door for a lady?

Tony uses the bayonet again. It’s tough in such a tight space, especially with Melanie hanging on him lovingly.

TONY

Who’s next door?

MELANIE

No one. I always get a whole

floor. It’s in my contract.

Tony succeeds in hacking the door open, and they squeeze through.

CUT TO:

INT. THE NEXT SUITE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

It’s pretty dark. Tony and Melanie squeeze through. Tony pulls wardrobe back into place — nearly. Melanie squints into the gloom. Melanie’s eyes grow wide.

MELANIE

Woops.

ANGLE ON BED

Two NUDE SOLDIERS in bed stare, startled, at the intruders.

WIDER

TONY

Love is in the air.

Tony skitters to hall door, peeks out.

FIRST SOLDIER

Melanie Marlowe! I love you!

MELANIE

That makes this all the harder.

Melanie efficiently rabbit-punches both Soldiers. They’re disabled. Melanie joins Tony at hall door.

 

MELANIE (cont’d)

I hope their relationship can

survive this.

INT. CORRIDOR – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony, gun at ready, and Melanie emerge from room. Melanie doesn’t close door behind her. They edge along the wall.

TONY

How can you be so casually violent?

MELANIE

They’re soldiers. They’re hired killers.

TONY

They’ve been suckered into it.

MELANIE

Me, too.

TONY

Where are we going?

MELANIE

I thought you knew.

TONY

Think again.

MELANIE

I thought men were smarter than women.

TONY

I thought women were smarter than men.

MELANIE

Well, one of us better be right —

Elevator red light comes on. There’s a Ding! SOUND.

MELANIE (cont’d)

— ’cause here comes the fun.

TONY

Quick. Back in there.

MELANIE

They may not like us in there.

Tony drags Melanie back into second suite, slams the door.

ANGLE ON ELEVATOR

Door opens. Chiang, Guards, and OFFICIALS of all factions [including a REBEL GENERAL] step out, gasp as they see —

CHIANG’S POV/THE SHATTERED DOOR OF MELANIE’S SUITE

CUT TO:

INT. THE SECOND SUITE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie lean against door. O.S. SOUND of Chiang and Officials shouting next door. Tony rushes to windows.

Soldiers in bed, just recovering, see them. Soldier Two ducks under the covers. Soldier One is delighted to see them.

SOLDIER ONE

Melanie Marlowe. Hit me again.

Soldier Two drags him under the covers. Tony throws back drapes. There are no bars on the window.

TONY

No bars for the enlisted men.

(To Melanie)

You first.

MELANIE

You do love me.

Tony holds drapes. Melanie clambers through window.

TONY

Love you? I’m still wearing the condom.

CUT TO:

INT. MELANIE’S SUITE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Chiang stands being berated by REBEL GENERAL. In b.g., Guards search in closets, behind drapes.

REBEL GENERAL

This is typical of your leadership,

Chiang. Perhaps it is time you step

down from the leadership of The People’s

Party for the good of the proletariat.

The movement cannot afford such slipshod

thinking from its leaders. For the

good of the people, the Committee may

find it necessary to select an alternative

candidate to guide the People’s Army in

its removal of foreign elements from the

sacred soil of Thain.

DURING THIS SPEECH, Chiang’s eyes dart about the room. He sees —

CHIANG’S POV/SCAN ROOM

— the ruined tape, the withered rose, the condom package.

CHIANG

keeps looking about. Chiang sees —

CHIANG’S POV/WALL

— the large unfaded rectangle on the wall where once the wardrobe stood, the wardrobe, the foot of the wardrobe on a snarled rug.

CHIANG

CHIANG

Quiet, you blithering conspirator.

Chiang draws a gun. Guards stop searching. Rebel General falls silent. Chiang snaps his fingers, directing Guards to move the wardrobe. Guards shove wardrobe aside.

CHIANG’S POV/BEHIND THE WARDROBE

The shattered door.

CHIANG

without a word, authoritatively signals Guards to go into the hall to the door of the adjoining suite. With a withering glance at the Officials, Chiang slips behind the wardrobe.

BEHIND THE WARDROBE

Chiang holds his gun at the ready, and kicks the door to the next suite open.

CHIANG

Now!

CUT TO:

INT. SECOND SUITE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

ANGLE ON CONNECTING DOOR

Chiang steps into dark room as Guards kick open hall door, flooding room with light. Chiang gasps to see —

ANGLE ON BED

— the two Nude Soldiers, bound and gagged back-to-back in bed.

WIDER

Guards stand stymied in doorway. Officials, frightened, peek over Guards’ shoulders.

CHIANG

(of bound soldiers)

Release them.

Guards pull gags off Soldiers.

SECOND SOLDIER

They went out the door.

FIRST SOLDIER

There were ten of them.

SECOND SOLDIER

At least.

FIRST SOLDIER

It was horrible!

CHIANG

After them!

Most Guards turn and rush out door, with difficulty because Officials are in the way. It’s Keystone Kops. Officials crowd into room. Some of Chiang’s Guards remain.

SECOND SOLDIER

They had huge guns.

FIRST SOLDIER

And masks! Masks!

FIRST SOLDIER

They were all in Rebel uniforms.

Chiang points at Rebel General.

CHIANG

(to Guards)

Arrest him!

Guards cuff stunned Rebel General and march him away. Officials follow. Chiang stands with gun, puzzled. Something’s not right. Nude Soldiers, still bound, blink at him innocently. Chiang steps on something, bends, picks it up. It’s a used condom. Chiang holds it up and looks questioningly at Nude Soldiers.

FIRST SOLDIER

(with a shrug)

Boys will be boys.

Chiang raises an eyebrow as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The “TV” truck bounces through the night. SOUND of alarms.

INT./EXT. THE TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony drives. Melanie cowers beside him.

MELANIE

(of sounds)

Jesus, they’re onto us.

TONY

Not yet.

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR – VERY WIDE – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Sirens SOUND and spotlights FLASH all over the city.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. THE TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

MELANIE

My God, it looks like a premiere.

TONY

If we get out of this, can I be

in your next movie?

MELANIE

Fat lot of movies I’ll make

after that tape airs.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony pulls the truck in amongst some shadows, stops.

INT./EXT. THE TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

TONY

Melanie, what you said to me back there.

Was that just acting?

MELANIE

You flatter me.

TONY

I feel the same way about you.

MELANIE

(tenderly)

That makes me very happy, Tony. Now

can we save our asses?

TONY

Which would you rather have

saved, your ass or your good name?

MELANIE

I don’t have a good name. I do

have an ass.

TONY

Can you be serious?

MELANIE

Christ, I’ve committed treason

and killed people. Is that frivolous?

TONY

Because if we can get your real

speech on the air before they show

that butchered version —

MELANIE

Is that possible?

TONY

Is it desirable?

MELANIE

More than anything else in the world.

TONY

More than your life?

Tony gives Melanie an extremely serious look. Melanie returns it.

MELANIE

More than my life…But not

more than yours.

TONY

I’ll decide that for myself,

thanks.

Tony starts turning truck around.

MELANIE

Well, well. Men’s lib.

EXT. THE STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony turns the truck sharply and heads down another street. The city is still going crazy with SOUNDS of alarms and sirens and FLASHES of searchlights.

INT./EXT. THE TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

MELANIE

It doesn’t make sense. Why would

they alarm the whole city just for us?

TONY

Either you underestimate your own

charm or there’s an air-raid coming.

MELANIE

They wouldn’t light up the city

if it’s an air-raid.

First bombs fall with tremendous SOUND, making truck leap.

TONY

Okay, so I’m wrong. That isn’t

an air-raid.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Truck barrels through streets. SOUNDS of bombs and planes and anti-plane artillery. Lights and sirens STOP.

INT./EXT. TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

MELANIE

Smart move, fellas.

TONY

We just have to get a few more

blocks. Just a few more blocks.

TONY’S POV/STREET

In truck’s headlights a tank and ARMED FLAHVAN SOLDIERS block the way. Behind Flahvan Soldiers is a huge barricaded building.

IN TRUCK

TONY

Oh, shit!

Tony brakes to a halt.

MELANIE

What’s happening?

EXT. STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Flahvan Soldiers swarm around truck.

INT./EXT. TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

MELANIE

Tony, what’s happening?

Keep moving!

TONY

(coldly)

Sorry, baby. Dead end.

Melanie, unbelieving, stares back at Tony, as door on her side swings open and Flahvan Soldier clasps her arm.

A FLAHVAN OFFICER peers through Tony’s window.

FLAHVAN OFFICER

Hey, Tone! You got ‘er, huh?

TONY

(genially)

Who ya gonna call?

Melanie, shocked, stares at Tony as Flahvans pull her from truck.

MELANIE

Tony —

A Soldier slaps a gag over Melanie’s mouth.

TONY

Don’t struggle, baby. It’s hopeless.

(to Flahvan Soldier)

I get a tenth of your take for her.

Tony starts truck. Flahvan Soldier nods matter-of-factly.

FLAHVAN OFFICER

Where do you want it sent?

TONY

Thainia, man. I’m gettin’ out of

here. You kids play too rough.

TONY’S POV/MELANIE (THROUGH TRUCK DOOR)

Through open passenger-side truck door. Melanie stands in street, held by Soldiers, staring at Tony. A Soldier slams passenger-side door, hiding Melanie.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Soldiers holding Melanie pull her away from truck. Tony turns truck around and drives away.

MELANIE

in grip of Flahvan Soldiers stands staring after Tony.

INT./EXT. TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony drives away, his face a mask. Truck GOES OUT OF FRAME, leaving us a b.g. view of Melanie still trying to stare after Tony as Flahvan Soldiers lead her away into barricaded building.

EXT. GUARD HEADQUARTERS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

MELANIE

her face a mask of bewilderment as she’s shoved into building. Melanie can’t believe Tony would desert her. Is Melanie lost?

CUT TO:

EXT. GUARD HEADQUARTERS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Big ugly building, completely fortified. Flahvan soldiers drag Melanie through gate and into building.

CUT TO:

INT. GUARD HEADQUARTERS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

There’s a crooked, maze-like, sandbagged corridor which runs clear through the building. Along the way are offices for each national contingent, each with a Radio Operator posted outside its door. We’re not going into any of the offices, just through the corridor.

FLAHVAN RADIO OPERATOR looks up to see Melanie dragged in by Flahvan Soldiers. He speaks into radio.

FLAHVAN R.O.

She’s here. Baggage delivered.

(listens)

Over and out.

FLAHVAN OFFICER comes out of office.

FLAHVAN R.O.

(to Flahvan Officer)

Chiang says he’ll send a truck

for her to the front door.

A bomb drops nearby. Plaster falls. Melanie struggles.

FLAHVAN OFFICER

Get her up front. And tell

Wing I get twenty percent of what

he gets for her.

Officer goes back into office. Soldiers hustle Melanie away.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Flahvan Soldiers hustle Melanie down corridor to an office where a THAINESE RADIO OPERATOR and THAINESE SOLDIERS wait at ready.

FLAHVAN SOLDIER

(to HEAD THAINESE)

Here she is. Fong says he gets

twenty percent.

HEAD THAINESE

(to his soldiers)

Take her.

(to Flahvan Soldier)

Tell him fifteen.

Flahvan Soldiers turn Melanie over to Thainese soldiers.

FLAHVAN SOLDIER

He’ll shit.

HEAD THAINESE

With my compliments.

(To Thainese Soldiers)

Get her up front on the double.

And tell Hang I want thirty

percent. Fong’s holding me up.

Thainese Soldier nods and hustles the still-struggling Melanie away.

INT. CORRIDOR – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Thainese Soldiers drag Melanie down the corridor. Melanie manages to wrest herself free and does some damage to the Soldiers in a quick flurry of violence. Soldiers subdue Melanie. One Solider is about to bring a gun-butt down on Melanie.

O.S. SOUND of a gun clicking stops Soldier. Melanie and Soldiers look at —

MAJOR HANG

a dangerous American brute, holding a gun leveled at Soldiers.

HANG

Like, halt.

Soldiers and Melanie freeze. Hang walks to them, takes Melanie’s arm.

HANG (Cont’d)

No damage to the merchandise.

THAINESE SOLDIER

Wing says he wants thirty percent.

HANG

Tell him my bank got bombed. He’ll

take what he gets.

(to Melanie)

Come with me, your majesty.

Hang leads Melanie away in no uncertain terms.

INT. CORRIDOR – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Hang marches Melanie along. He clutches Melanie’s arm with one hand, holding his gun to her temple with the other. Melanie shakes gag off.

MELANIE

Listen, I can offer you —

HANG

I got everything I need, lady.

Especially I got all the trouble

I need. Offer me no more.

MELANIE

I can give you money —

HANG

Not if you ain’t got it on you.

Hang tugs Melanie’s gag tighter, shoves her forward.

CUT TO:

EXT. GUARD HEADQUARTERS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

GUARDS at door. SOLDIERS pile up additional sand-bag barricades. In b.g., bombs fall. Melanie and Hang come out of front entrance. GUARDS strike postures of rigid attention. Hang is a tough customer. He shoves Melanie through sand-bag barricades to gate. Soldiers open gate for him.

Shadowy

HANG

(to driver)

Okay. Here’s the goods. Gimme

the goodies.

THE DRIVER

leans into view. It’s Tony.

HANG

Hey, Tone. You’re fast in

the dark.

TONY

That’s what the nuns always said.

MELANIE

registers Tony and starts to struggle. Hang jerks her.

HANG

Lady, you hurt yourself and I

get blamed for it. I don’t get

blamed for nothing, get it?

Melanie looks to Tony.

TONY

Hey, Hang, hold off. You bruise

her, I get blamed. Play fair.

Melanie subsides.

HANG

Gimme the money.

TONY

You’ll get it tomorrow.

Provided there’s a tomorrow.

HANG

Then she gets it tonight.

Melanie stares at Tony.

TONY

(with a sigh)

Oh, well, easy come, easy go.

Tony removes his money-belt and holds it out.

HANG

Give it to her.

Tony hands money-belt to Melanie with one hand, reaches for her with the other. Hang waves gun menacingly.

HANG

Huh-uh.

(To Melanie)

Count it, honey.

TONY

You see too many movies.

Melanie is about to open money-belt when a bomb falls very near. Soldiers and Guards dive for cover. Sand flies. Hang looses his grasp on Melanie. Melanie shoves Hang away and hops into truck cab with money-belt. Hang raises gun. Tony grabs money-belt.

TONY

Easy go, Melanie!

Tony flings money-belt in Hang’s face, digs out without closing passenger door. Hang claws belt from his face, aims gun.

WIDER

Truck containing Tony and Melanie screeches away. Another bomb explodes right where truck stood. Hang falls back, firing.

IN A CLOUD OF DUST

Hang comes up, sputtering and shooting. Soldiers grab for money-belt. Hang pistol-whips their hands, grabs belt.

HANG

Let the fuck go!

Hang starts to open money-belt. A truck pulls up. Asian DRIVER leans out.

DRIVER

Hang! Where’s the woman?

Hang registers this remark. He does a double-take after Tony’s truck. He opens his mouth. A bomb lands on the second truck.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. – TONY’S TRUCK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

O.S. EXPLOSION. Melanie almost falls out. Tony grabs her. She slams door, flings Tony’s hands away from her, rips gag off of her mouth, flails Tony.

MELANIE

You result of ten generations of rape!

How could you know I was safe?

TONY

They’re men, they do everything for

money.

MELANIE

You don’t do everything for money.

TONY

You kidding? I’m with you for money!

Stolen from orphans.

Tony takes cigarette-pack with money-clip from pants-pocket, waves it.

MELANIE

How did you get so cynical?

TONY

You taught me everything I know.

Melanie kisses Tony. They’re okay again.

MELANIE

Bastard.

Tony grins, her lipstick on his mouth.

TONY

And may I call you “Melanie?”

Tony stuffs money-clip back into his shirt pocket.

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR STREETS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The truck barrels through the booming, blazing night.

CUT TO:

EXT. GUARD H.Q. – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Much rubble, including ruined, smoking truck. Hang comes up out of rubble, bloody, waving his gun. He realizes everyone is dead. He kicks dead Soldiers aside until he finds the money-belt.

INSERT

Hang’s bloody hands open the money-belt. Inside are torn-up magazine pages with Melanie’s pictures on them.

BACK TO SCENE

HANG

(enraged)

Mayday! Mayday! Get the fucker!

Close every gate to this city!

CUT TO:

EXT. TV STUDIO – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The TV truck is inconspicuously parked among other vehicles outside the studio. In b.g., the air-raid goes on.

INT. TV STUDIO – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie, hand-in-hand, run down corridors past a few TECHNICIANS and SOLDIERS huddled under tables, behind crates, etc. as SOUNDS of bombs resound outside.

MELANIE

The bombs are getting closer!

TONY

We’ve got to get that raw footage!

INT. POKER ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

A storage room where gaming facilities are set up. Tony and Melanie burst in. It seems deserted. But –

— under poker table, the game goes on. SEVERAL TECHNICIANS plus Han and Kwo (our earlier Editors) huddle, playing poker.

HAN

Yo, Tony, wanna play?

Card Players register Melanie’s presence.

KWO

I like your stakes.

TONY

Yo, Han, Kwo. Chiang wants this

tramp’s tape aired right now.

KWO

Now? In an air-raid?

HAN

When I’m winning?

TONY

While our side still has a studio.

KWO

Do you have the tape?

TONY

He wants the raw stuff aired.

HAN

Are you sure?

TONY

Would I, of all people, be risking

my life if Chiang hadn’t ordered me to?

Han and Kwo look at each other uncertainly. Tony looks frustrated. Melanie places a cautionary hand on Tony, then smiles her Cinemascope smile and says to Han and Kwo —

MELANIE

As a personal favor to Melanie?

Han and Kwo melt from her smile.

CUT TO:

INT. DRAGON HOTEL LOBBY – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Chiang and Officers sit around a meeting-table. Armed Guards surround them. It’s tense. SOLDIERS enter through several doors. Chiang looks at them questioningly. Soldiers shake their heads negatively. Officers give Chiang dire looks. There’s clearly a stand-off of power going on, with Chiang’s prestige at stake. Chiang’s face remains imperturbable, but his hands nervously fuss with —

— the destroyed tape. Chiang muses on it, trying to buy time. The Officers exchange looks, one nods, then all stand at once as if to make an announcement. Could be a coup. Guards snap to attention. Chiang looks up at Officers, around at Soldiers, clearly cornered. Officers leer.

Suddenly Hang bursts into the room, a bloody monster. He waves the money-belt, pictures of Melanie dangling from it.

HANG

That pimp stole that whore!

Chiang looks back at the ruined tape, suddenly makes a connection. He stands with frightening purpose and authority. The other Officers, reacting to his virile dominance, sit.

 

CUT TO:

INT. TV BUILDING – BROADCAST BOOTH – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony, Melanie, Han, and Kwo are present. Other Poker Players huddle in doorway, ogling Melanie. Melanie signs a few autographs.

Han holds up three raw footage tapes.

HAN

Three angles.

MELANIE

Use the one shot from the front.

No, the left. No, the right.

No, front. We’re not selling tits.

Tony looks at her. She’s thinking about things like that?

Han inserts a tape marked “FRONT” into a deck. Kwo clicks a few switches. Lights on the board light and twinkle.

TONY

It’s going out now on satellite?

KWO

Going out now.

MELANIE

You’re all such clever men.

Melanie gives Tony a look a man could die for. And might, for SOUNDS of bombs are terribly near.

CUT TO:

EXT. T.V. STUDIO – MINUTES LATER – NIGHT

The truck. Tony and Melanie come running to it. They stop, look up at —

TONY AND MELANIE’S POV/T.V. STUDIO ROOF

— the satellite dish, a red light blinking on it.

MELANIE

kisses Tony. O.S. SOUNDS of shouts and motors. They turn, to see –

TONY AND MELANIE’S POV/ROAD TO T.V. STUDIO

— a convoy of jeeps and tanks bristling with SOLDIERS. coming up the road. An open jeep heads it, full of Chiang, Hang, and Officers, waving guns.

TONY AND MELANIE

MELANIE

It doesn’t matter. I love you.

TONY

It matters. I still have the

hundred thousand dollars! American.

MELANIE

You pimp!

TONY

You whore.

MELANIE

You drive.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROAD TO T.V. STATION – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The convoy barrels forward. Suddenly the familiar T.V. truck comes roaring through the fence. It’s seen from the low angle of the passengers in the jeep. We can’t see who’s driving it. In a crazy curve, it veers just past the head of the convoy and then wildly down the fronting road.

CHIANG

Stop them! Stop them now!

HIS DRIVER

But, Chiang, it’s Tony! We

Can’t kill Tony!

Chiang stares at the man in frustration. Then—

CHIANG

I’ll pay you.

HIS DRIVER

All right!

The convoy swerves to catch the truck. Truck continues to veer. It circles around and heads back for the convoy. The convoy scatters to avoid it. The truck smashes into a tank. Chiang leaves his jeep and runs to truck, gun drawn. He sees —

CHANG’S POV/TRUCK INTERIOR

It’s empty, its steering wheel tied in position with a man’s belt.

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR STREETS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie on a bicycle. Tony steers as well as he can while trying to hold his pants up.

MELANIE

You kept the money? You tool!

TONY

And it’s dragging my pants down!

MELANIE

Serves you right.

But Melanie holds Tony’s pants up for him.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADCAST BOOTH – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Kwo, Han, and other Poker Players have moved their game to the booth. Suddenly Chiang and Hang burst through the door, brandishing guns. Cards fly in the air.

CHIANG’S POV/THE SWITCHBOARD

–where suddenly a red light starts blinking, along with a sign saying, “Transmission complete.”

CHIANG

fires at the board.

THE BOARD

explodes in a shower of shrapnel and sparks.

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR HELIPORT – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie speed through the unguarded gates, screech to a halt by a small helicopter. GUARDS peek out from under it.

SOUNDS of bombs continue not too far away.

TONY

Yo! Hey! Get this thing going.

Chiang wants Ms. Marlowe flown to

safety!

Guards rush to do whatever it is they do to ready a chopper.

Tony and Melanie clamber into cabin, Tony clutching his pants.

A GUARD

Barely got your pants on, hey, Tone?

TONY

(to Melanie)

By the way, don’t ever call me

“Tone,” okay?

INT./EXT. THE HELICOPTER – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie clamber aboard. Tony heads for controls.

MELANIE

You know how to drive this thing?

TONY

(busy at controls)

“Pilot it,” Melanie, “Pilot it.”

CUT TO:

EXT. ANK-VAR STREETS – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

The convoy screams through the streets to the SOUND of sirens.

CUT TO:

EXT. HELIPAD – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Helicopter slowly comes to life. SIRENS O.S.. Guards pull out blocks or whatever they do. WE SEE the radio shack b.g..

TONY

Hustle it up, guys!

INT. RADIO SHACK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

SOUND: Radio starts buzzing. A frightened RADIO OPERATOR peers out from under a table, torn between duty and dread. SOUNDS of bombs are added to the sirens. SOUND of helicopter rises, but SOUND of radio bleeping is still audible. Operator reluctantly reaches up from under table, pulls ear-and-mouthpiece down to him.

OPERATOR

Yes, hello, helipad control,

and it better be good.

CUT TO:

EXT. RADIO SHACK – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Through a window we see the Operator suddenly snap to attention, salute, knocking over the table as he stands.

CUT TO:

INT./ EXT. – HELICOPTER – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony sees the Operator.

TONY

Oh, no.

MELANIE

What’s wrong?

Tony points at the Operator. Melanie looks at shack.

MELANIE’S POV/RADIO SHACK

Operator runs out of shack, yelling.

OPERATOR

Hey, no! Stop them! Stop

the chopper! Chiang’s coming!

WIDER AROUND HELICOPTER

The Soldiers look about uncertainly, but are not sure.

OPERATOR (Cont’d)

And he’s got Hang with him!

The Soldiers are galvanized by fear of Hang. Those at the helicopter stop working. Others come from hiding, with guns.

IN THE CHOPPER

MELANIE

Tony, hurry!

MELANIE’S POV/HELIPORT GATE

The convoy arrives.

WIDER ON HELICOPTER

starting to rise. Some Soldiers hold ropes dangling from it, keeping it back, making it wobble. Others converge with guns.

IN THE CHOPPER

MELANIE

Tony, get it up!

TONY

Put your hands in my pants.

MELANIE

Now?

TONY

Throw them money!

OUTSIDE THE CHOPPER

The Soldiers are succeeding in making the helicopter too unbalanced to take off. Suddenly a shower of bills comes out of the cabin window. Money flutters in the prop-wash. Soldiers let go of ropes with shouts and dive for the money.

ANGLE ON CONVOY

It’s suddenly blocked by heedless soldiers chasing money. Jeeps and tanks crash into each other. Soldiers in jeeps are thrown out. Others run to join the money chase.

THE HELICOPTER

Released, it wobbles — but a rope is still tied to a bollard.

IN THE CHOPPER

Tony and Melanie are jarred as the rope tightens.

OUTSIDE THE CHOPPER

Chiang and Hang crawl out of jeep, firing. Sufficient Soldiers run away to make a path. Chiang and Hang stride toward the chopper.

INSIDE THE CHOPPER

TONY

More money! Throw them more money!

Melanie dives to dig in his pants.

OUTSIDE THE CHOPPER

Chiang and Hang advance. They aim at the helicopter but — money flutters around them. Soldiers mob them, for the money.

THE ROPE

gives a sudden foot or two.

IN THE CHOPPER

Tony and Melanie scream with joy. But the SOUND of bombs hitting ‘way too near quiets them. They look out the window.

THEIR POV/THE SKY

–full of small bombers and fighter planes.

IN THE CHOPPER

Tony and Melanie look down.

THEIR POV/THE SKY

Strafing fire from the fighter planes kills many Soldiers. Chiang and Hang, however, superhumanly stand in the smoke, rubble, and flames. They take aim at the chopper.

IN THE CHOPPER

Tony digs in his pants-pocket, takes out his cigarettes, shakes out original clip of money Reynolds gave him.

TONY

Here, throw them my fee. You

couldn’t pay me to do this.

Melanie laughs, removes money from clip, throws money out window.

CHIANG AND HANG

Fluttering money blinds Chiang. His deflected shot hits Hang. Hang shoots Chiang. They shoot each other amidst smoke, fire, prop-wash, and wounded and dying soldiers fighting over money.

THE ROPE

breaks!

IN THE CHOPPER

Tony and Melanie are jarred as chopper ascends into sky.

CHIANG AND HANG

shooting at one another as we PULL AWAY into the sky. Dust and smoke quickly obscure the savage scene.

THE CHOPPER

straightens and rises above the fray.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. THE HELICOPTER – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Tony and Melanie relax. Not for long. Fighter-fire spits and rings around them. She shoves Tony aside and takes the controls.

MELANIE

Jesus, get on the radio and stop them

firing on us.

Tony grabs at the radio.

 

TONY

Calling all channels, or whatever

you call them. This is Tony Sunday.

Tony Sunday. Helicopter number —

— SW45689. Don’t fire on us. I’ve

got Melanie Marlowe in here. Bound for

Thainia. Don’t — Repeat, don’t shoot!

VOICE OVER RADIO

Loud and clear, Tony. Bring her back

to us.

TONY

You might have killed us.

VOICE OVER RADIO

No way. We hid a tracer in your money-clip.

Tony’s face is such a study.

VOICE OVER RADIO (cont’d)

Great speech, Ms. Marlowe.

MELANIE

Thank you, sugar.

VOICE OVER RADIO

Wish the world was like that.

MELANIE

Wishing will make it so, sugar.

Tony falls back in his seat, then sits up, startled.

TONY

You can fly this thing?

MELANIE

“Pilot it, Tony, pilot it.”

Daddy left me one.

TONY

How come you didn’t say?

MELANIE

You looked so brave at the helm.

Tony looks down.

TONY’S POV/ANk-VAR

–going up in apocalyptic fire.

BACK IN CHOPPER

TONY

Well, there goes your one world.

MELANIE

That wasn’t it.

TONY

Where in Hell are we headed?

MELANIE

We in Hell are headed for the first

plane out of here to Hollywood.

TONY

Hollywood? What in Hell will I do in Hollywood?

MELANIE

(with a big smile)

You in Hollywood will do me.

Melanie gives Tony a look that would melt Mount Rushmore. Tony looks at Melanie, bewildered. Melanie turns her beautiful eyes to the sky ahead.

CUT TO:

EXT. SKY – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS

Escorted by friendly fighters, the chopper zooms into the night as we

FADE OUT:

–end–

FADE IN:

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