This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.

       "Adjustments" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.

       FADE IN:


       Establish.  A beautiful Texas morning.  Clear blue skies,
       bright sunshine.

       The GAS STATION is little more than a cabin with an
       adjoining toilet, and a couple of pumps out front.  If
       anyone's here then they're inside, keeping out of the sun as
       the heat builds up.

       A CAR zooms along the highway, kicking up dust.  It SLOWS as
       it nears the gas station, pulls in and stops beside one of
       the pumps.

       The DRIVER climbs out.  He's wearing a black T-shirt that
       shows off a fit physique, slacks and trainers.  He's also
       wearing sunglasses so we can't see his eyes.

       He helps himself to the pump, sticking the hose into his gas
       tank.  While it's filling up, he looks up and down the road
       expectantly.  He also looks up, searching the skies.

       The cabin door opens and the PUMP ATTENDANT comes out.

       The Driver moves so fast we don't see it.  His arm is fully
       extended.  He's aiming a PISTOL at the Pump Attendant, who
       freezes on the step, his hands held palm outward.

                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 Jesus!  Don't shoot!

       The Driver lowers the pistol.  He sticks it back into his

                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 There's maybe twenty bucks in the cash
                 register.  You want me to get it?

                 Negative.  This isn't a stick up.

       They stay as they are until the tank is full.  The Driver
       removes the hose.  He walks over to the frightened Pump
       Attendant, takes money from his pocket and offers it.  The
       Pump Attendant reluctantly takes the notes.

                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 L-lemme get your change.

                 Keep it.  Seen anyone else today?

                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 Nossir.  You're my first and only
                 customer this morning.

                 How about unusual traffic?

                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 I don't know what you mean by "unusual."

                 Military vehicles.  Aircraft.

                           PUMP ATTENDANT

       The Driver looks up at the sky.


                           PUMP ATTENDANT
                 Nossir.  I don't believe I have.

       The Driver returns to his car.  He starts the engine and
       heads out.

       We stay with the Pump Attendant.  He looks down at the
       money.  His hands are trembling.

                           PUMP ATTENDANT (CONT'D)
                 Fuck you, you son of a bitch.  I hope
                 they get you.


       A clear stretch of highway bisects the desert.

       The same CAR zooms along.


       Engine noise.

       The DRIVER looks around, as if sensing something.


       As before, the CAR zooms along.


       The windscreen and side windows SHATTER.  The Driver is hit
       by several BULLETS.  He gasps in agony.  Wrenches the wheel


       The CAR comes bouncing off the highway and skids over rough

       It STOPS.  The driver's door is thrown open.  The Driver
       stumbles out.  He's BLEEDING from half a dozen wounds.  He
       should be falling down dead, but he's still standing.  He
       points his PISTOL, trying to find something to shoot at.

       More BULLETS strike him.  No sounds of shots -- the unseen
       snipers are using noise suppressors -- just the dull thud of
       metal penetrating flesh.

       The Driver falls to his knees, then pitches forward onto his
       face.  It's over.  Maybe.

                           COMMAND NET (FILTERED)
                 Target is down.  Hunter units, maintain
                 cover.  Do not approach the target.
                 Stand by, stand by.

       WIDER:  The site of the ambush from a short distance away.
       There's an eye-searing, ear-rattling EXPLOSION.  Billowing
       smoke obscures our view.

                           COMMAND NET (CONT'D)
                 Target is dusted.  Hunter units stand
                 by, helo transport is on its way.

       Near the site of the explosionů

       There's a SIGN beside the highway.  It reads,


                                                 DISSOLVE TO BLACK:

       A beat.  Bleed in sounds of aircraft engines.

       FADE IN:


       A moderately busy AIRPORT.  PLANES land and take off.
       PEOPLE enter and leave the terminal building, going about
       their business, doing airport stuff.

       At the airport's HELIPAD, a helicopter sits in the sun
       before a hangar.  A small, neat sign by the door says,


       A portly figure steps into view from inside the hangar.
       This must be JAKE.  He's reading from a clipboard, flipping
       over pages.  A KEYRING hangs from his belt.

       A young STRANGER wearing a sweatshirt, blue jeans and
       sunglasses walks toward the hangar.  Jake sees him coming,
       wonders who he is.

                 Morning.  You Jake Willings?

                 Willings by name, willing by nature.
                 What can I do for you?

                 I'm looking for a flying lesson, Mr.

                 That's funny, I give flying lessons.
                 Have you flown before?

                 Only in simulators.  This will be my
                 first time.

                      (he chuckles)
                 Well, I've got clients booked this
                 morning and this afternoon.  Tomorrow's
                 pretty solid, too.  Young bucks from the
                 sports club, want to tell their girls
                 they're chopper pilots.

                 I was kinda hoping to fly right now, Mr.

                 You rob a bank or something?  I admire
                 enthusiasm, but that's taking things a
                 little too far.  Come inside and I'll
                 take your details.  We'll figure
                 something out.

                 There's military airspace somewhere
                 around here, isn't there?

       Jake points into the distance.

                 You mean the missile range.  You can bet
                 your socks we don't fly anywhere near

       We stay with Jake as he turns to go into the hangar.  He
       STOPS when he realizes the Stranger isn't following him.

                           JAKE (CONT'D)
                 Son of a bitch!

       We see why Jake's mad.  His KEYRING is missing from his
       belt.  And the Stranger is already sitting inside the
       helicopter.  Jake RUNS to the helicopter.


       The Stranger powers up the electrics and starts the engine.
       He performs the routine quickly and competently.

       Jake runs up and starts banging on the door.  His lips move
       but we can't hear what he's saying -- though we can guess.

       The Stranger ignores him.


       The helicopter's rotors spin faster.  The engine noise
       becomes deafening.

       Jake has no choice but to retreat, buffeted by the wind.  He
       watches helplessly as his helicopter takes off and climbs

       INT. HANGAR - DAY

       Jake stumbles inside.  He finds a telephone and dials a
       number.  He's panting heavily.

                     (into phone)
                 Hey Mike, this is Jake Willings over at
                 the helipad.  Mike, you are not going to
                 believe this -- some son of a bitch just
                 stole my chopper!

       EXT. DESERT - DAY

       An empty stretch of desert.  Hardly even a cactus.

       Jake's HELICOPTER flies low overhead, rising and falling
       with the contours of the terrain.  It heads into the

                           OPERATOR (FILTERED)
                 Target is nine kilometers out and
                 closing.  We have a firing solution.
                 Request shoot confirmation.  Over.

                           COMMAND NET (FILTERED)
                 My authority is Majestic.  Bring him
                 down.  Say again, bring him down.

       The helicopter suddenly BURSTS INTO FLAMES.  It falls to the
       ground, a flaming wreck, and EXPLODES.

       Hold on the wreck.  Then slowly PAN AROUND to a length of
       chain link fence some distance away.  There's a sign hanging
       from the fence.  We zoom in until we can read:

       U.S. ARMY



                                                 DISSOLVE TO BLACK:

       A beat.  Bleed in wailful Country & Western music.

       FADE IN:

       EXT. BAR - DAY

       A dusty Texas street in a dusty Texas town.  Late afternoon.
       Among the sparse buildings is a BAR which opens onto the
       street.  Some CARS are parked out front.  Through the bar's
       windows, we see the outlines of CUSTOMERS inside.

       A MAN pushes the door open and steps out onto the street.
       This dude looks like he needs a shave and a haircut, not to
       mention a hot bath.  He's wearing an orange baseball cap (so
       he's easy to remember when he appears again later).

       He looks left and right as if trying to make his mind up
       which way to go, then sets off along the street, walking
       fast and angry.

       INT. BAR - DAY

       Dark, smoky interior.  The Country & Western music comes
       from a juke box in the corner.  It competes with a small TV
       on a shelf behind the bar.  The TV screen shows a NEWS
       ANNOUNCER reading from sheets.

                           ANNOUNCER (TV)
                 ...State Governor MacQueen insists there
                 is no cause for alarm.  Police and
                 National Guard units continue to hunt
                 the deserters, most of whom have already
                 been executed.

       Customers sit at the bar and at tables near the windows.
       They're trying not to be too obvious about it, but they're
       all looking at someone.

       The someone attracting all the attention sits at the bar
       with his back to the room.  From behind, he's nondescript,
       wearing ordinary clothes that appear a couple sizes too
       large.  As if he "borrowed" them from a clothes line.

       Behind the bar, the BAR OWNER and a BARMAID watch the
       customer like he's the only entertainment they're likely to
       get in this town.  Only they're not smiling.

                           ANNOUNCER (CONT'D)
                 Vigilantes who claimed to have caught
                 and killed one of the deserters in
                 Ridgeport have been arrested for
                 allegedly shooting a man dead.  The
                 victim, a traveling salesman, had driven
                 into Ridgeport and stopped to ask for

       The barmaid hits a switch on the remote, turning the TV off.
       She nudges the bar owner.  The bar owner is reluctant to
       move, but she hisses something under her breath, and all but
       pushes him forward.

       The bar owner comes to stand in front of the young man
       sitting at the bar.  He carefully places his hands on the
       bar so the young man can see them.

                           BAR OWNER
                 I don't want no trouble.  You can't stay
                 here.  Finish your beer and get out.

       We see the customer's FACE for the first time.  His hair is
       cropped short, military style.  He's wearing SUNGLASSES
       indoors.  The name's JOE BLESKOE.  He hasn't even touched
       the glass of beer that's sitting on the bar in front of him,
       getting warmer by the minute.

       Bleskoe pushes the beer toward the bar owner.  He gets up,
       turns and heads for the door without argument.

       The barmaid comes to stand alongside the bar owner.  They
       exchange relieved looks.  The other customers follow
       Bleskoe's movements.

       Bleskoe reaches the door, pushes it open, steps outside into
       bright daylight.

       EXT. BAR - DAY

       Bleskoe steps out of the bar.  He pauses on the step.

       A SHERIFF'S CAR stops in the middle of the street.  The
       doors open and the town SHERIFF and his DEPUTY emerge.
       They're not sure if Bleskoe is who they're looking for.
       They're cautious, but they don't draw their pistols yet.

                 Stop right there, son.  We need to see
                 some identification.

       Bleskoe doesn't move or say anything.

                 Something wrong with your hearing, boy?
                 Sheriff said we need to see I.D.  Don't
                 just stand there, answer him.

       Bleskoe still doesn't react.  The Sheriff and Deputy look at
       each other.

                 Take off your sunglasses.

       Bleskoe takes off his sunglasses.

       HIS EYES are an uncanny SILVER, gleaming in the sunlight.

       The Sheriff and Deputy place their hands on the butts of
       their pistols, but still don't draw their weapons.

                 Goddamn!  He's one of them!  He's a
                 freakin' deserter!

       The Deputy SLAPS the sunglasses out of Bleskoe's hand and
       STAMPS on them.

                           DEPUTY (CONT'D)
                 Your hiding days are over, you damn

                      (to Bleskoe)
                 Raise your hands above your head, boy.
                 I mean now!

       Bleskoe obligingly reaches for the sky.  The Sheriff pulls
       plastic cuffs from his belt.

                           SHERIFF (CONT'D)
                 Now turn around and put your hands
                 against the wall.


       The Sheriff and Deputy look at each other again.

                 I said, turn around!

                 Can't do that.

       The Sheriff and Deputy draw their pistols.

       A split-second later they're both DEAD, lying in the dust.
       Bleskoe stands with his hands by his side.  We didn't even
       see what he did, it happened so fast.

       Bleskoe looks down at them impassively for a moment.  Tough
       to tell what he feels, if anything.

       A PICKUP TRUCK roars down the street.  Two men sit in the
       cab and two others are standing in back.  The men in back
       are armed with rifles.  The passenger leans out -- it's the
       dude with the orange baseball cap who left the bar earlier
       after spotting Bleskoe.  He's armed with a PISTOL.

       Before the pickup even stops, Bleskoe picks up the Sheriff's
       pistol and shoots THREE times, BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

       The two guys in back with rifles tumble out onto the street
       -- DEAD.

       The dude with the orange baseball cap SLUMPS, his head and
       arm hanging out the window.  He's dead, too.

       The driver hits the brakes, the pickup skids to a halt.  He
       looks around and realizes he's the only one still alive.  He
       opens the door, jumps out and runs for his life, heading
       back up the street like an Olympic sprinter.

       Bleskoe SNAP-SHOOTS without even aiming.  The driver
       collapses, crying out in pain.  He rolls around, clutching
       his KNEE and wailing.  He's still alive!

       Bleskoe moves to the pickup and pulls the dead dude with the
       orange baseball cap out of the passenger seat.  He walks
       around to the driver's side and climbs in.

       Customers inside the bar crowd the windows, watching him.
       The bar owner and barmaid are among them.  They are stunned
       and horrified by what they've just witnessed.

       POLICE SIRENS wail in the distance.

       Bleskoe turns the pickup around and puts the pedal to the
       metal, getting out of town fast.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:


       Another town, much later.  It's dark, but a lot of lights
       are still on.

       Bleskoe's pickup rolls into town with its lights out.  No
       one is around to notice.  Bleskoe backs into an alleyway
       that gives him a good view of the street.

       He sits there for a while, looking across at a late night
       diner, watching the CUSTOMERS through the diner's windows.

       He gets out and crosses the street.  After a moment's
       hesitation, he enters the diner.


       A pleasant family environment, with subdued lighting and
       checkered cloth on the tables.

       Bleskoe moves to a corner table away from other customers
       and sits down.  He keeps his head down and hides his face
       behind the menu while watching everything that's happening
       around him.  With the subdued lighting, the customers don't
       even notice him.

       The waitress approaches.  Mature, attractive.  Her nameplate
       says BONNIE.

                 Hi, what can I get you?

                 Biggest steak you've got.  No fries or
                 trimmings, just steak.  Don't overcook

       She writes it down on her pad.  Doesn't even look up.

                 Sure.  Drink?

       Bleskoe looks outside.  Watches as a SQUAD CAR pulls up
       across the street.  A uniformed COP gets out and looks at
       the pickup.


                 Sure.  That all?


       Bonnie takes his order to the kitchen.

       The cop crosses the street, heading for the diner.  It's a
       she.  Her name's KATE TYLER.  Mid-twenties, 18 months on the
       job, competent, divorced, likes her work.

       Bleskoe watches her come inside.  She glances around the
       diner, smiles and waves when she sees a familiar face at the
       other end of the room.  A customer waves back.  Kate heads
       for the LADIES ROOM.

       While Bleskoe was distracted, two cars pulled up outside.
       Around half a dozen guys get out.  They're in a laughing and
       joking mood, clowning around.  Maybe they've been drinking.
       They make their way toward the diner.

       The group of men look at the menu displayed on the window,
       trying to figure what they want.

       One of them notices Bleskoe.

       The discovery provokes a reaction.  The guy who noticed him
       stays put and keeps tabs on Bleskoe while the rest run back
       to their cars.  They open the trunks and break out HUNTING
       RIFLES.  The lone observer keeps glancing over his shoulder,
       wanting his friends to get back here as quickly as they can.

       Bonnie comes out of the kitchen carrying a tray.  She puts
       the plate containing the mother of all steaks down on the
       table, then sets down a glass of water and a full pitcher.

                 There ya go.  Enjoy.

       Kate appears.  Bonnie looks round, just when she might have
       noticed Bleskoe's silver eyes.

                           BONNIE (CONT'D)
                 Hey, Kate.  You in for some pie?

                     (shakes head)
                 Trying to watch the calories.

                      (pretends to whisper)
                 You want me to keep you a slice?

                 Damn.  You know me so well.

       Kate is about to head for the door when she suddenly
       realizes who and what Bleskoe is.  She gives him a long,
       hard stare.

                 All I want is chow.  Then I'm gone.

       Kate doesn't say anything.  Bleskoe cuts up his steak and
       starts eating at top speed, jamming the steak down his
       throat.  As he eats, he keeps an eye on the men outside.

       Kate doesn't know what to do.  Arrest him?  Run to her car
       and radio for backup?  Her fingers twitch, but she doesn't
       touch her pistol.

       The half-dozen men are getting ready to come inside.  Their
       LEADER starts giving orders.  Two of the men stay outside.
       The others head for the entrance.  A couple of the guys give
       each other high-fives.  They're charged up and ready to go.

       Bleskoe keeps eating.

       The Leader and his three buddies enter the diner.  The other
       two guys stay out in the street, watching Bleskoe through
       the window.

       Kate holds up her hand, stopping them.

                 Hold it!  Where do you think you're
                 going?  Take those weapons outside!

       The Leader of the vigilante committee SCOWLS at her.  The
       other customers stop eating and watch in shocked silence.
       The vigilantes spread out.  They mean business, but they
       don't point their weapons at Bleskoe.  Not yet.

                           VIGILANTE LEADER
                 Emergency Law says we can kill this
                 turkey wherever we like.

                 The hell you say.  There are people in

                           VIGILANTE LEADER
                 Screw you, we'll take him round back and
                 deal with him there.
                     (to Bleskoe)
                 You, soldier boy!  Get up and keep your
                 hands where we can see them.

       The Leader aims his RIFLE at Bleskoe.

       He's DEAD ON HIS FEET an instant later.

       Bleskoe stands frozen in a moment of time, like a still
       frame, his rigid fingers sunk into the Leader's THROAT.  He
       leapt up from his seat and attacked the Leader so fast we
       didn't even see the movement.

       REAL TIME starts up again.  The Leader topples sideways like
       a felled tree, his throat crushed.

       The other vigilantes REACT.  Bleskoe goes through them like
       a whirlwind, sticking his steak knife into one guy's
       eyeball, smashing his elbow into another guy's head.
       They're dead before they can pull their triggers.

       The fourth vigilante panics and SHOOTS, but MISSES Bleskoe.
       BONNIE the waitress is hit instead.

       CLOSE ON Kate in marksman's stance, aiming at the fourth
       vigilante -- not at Bleskoe.

       Bleskoe drives his hand into the shooter's chest, snapping
       ribs and straight-arming him through the diner window.  The
       window SHATTERS as the vigilante flies into the street like
       a ballistic missile.

       Before Kate can do or say anything, Bleskoe leaps through
       the broken window after the flying vigilante.


       Outside the diner.  Bleskoe confronts the two astonished
       vigilantes who stayed in the street.  They stare at the dead
       man Bleskoe just launched through the window.  Realization
       hits them.  They bring their rifles up, ready to shoot.

       Bleskoe slaps their rifles aside and SNAPS THEIR NECKS like
       twigs.  The vigilantes fall dead.

       WIDE SHOT, LOOKING DOWN.  Bleskoe stands among THREE DEAD

       There's PANDEMONIUM inside the diner as customers flee out
       the doors in panic.  Kate moves to the broken window and
       stares at Bleskoe.  She still doesn't know what to do.  The
       violence she's witnessed has stunned her.

       Bleskoe JUMPS through the window, back into the diner.


       Bleskoe pushes past Kate and goes down on one knee beside
       Bonnie.  She's still alive, but there's blood everywhere.
       One look is enough to tell us she's had it.

       Kate stands over Bleskoe, still holding her pistol, but not
       aiming at him.  She looks at the bodies.  At Bleskoe.  At
       the bodies.  She holsters her pistol and gets down beside

       Bonnie whimpers in pain and gasps for breath.  Bleskoe
       presses his FINGERS into her stomach and neck.  Bonnie stops
       whimpering and her breathing slows.  He's made the pain go
       away.  She looks up at him, very calm, almost content.  His
       odd appearance doesn't bother her.

       Kate looks from Bonnie to Bleskoe, asking him without words,
       can't he DO something?  Bonnie's eyes close, she stops
       breathing.  She's DEAD.

                 Oh God, no.

       Bleskoe gets up and exits the diner.  Kate stays beside with
       Bonnie, ignoring him.  Through the window, Bleskoe moves
       across the street, to the nearest vigilante CAR.


       Bleskoe reaches the car.  Gets in.  No ignition key.  He
       cracks open the wheel housing with the heel of his hand and
       expertly hot-wires the engine.  The engine rumbles into
       life.  He puts the car into gear.

       Bleskoe REACTS as Kate opens the passenger door and climbs
       in beside him.  He relaxes.  Kate doesn't realize she has
       just avoided death by a nanosecond.  Bleskoe stares at her,
       not sure what she's doing.

                 Drive, for God's sake!

       Bleskoe does as he's told.  They head out of town, into the

       INT. CAR - NIGHT

       Bleskoe and Kate leave the town behind.  Bleskoe hasn't
       bothered to switch the car headlights on, never mind that
       it's dark outside.

                 Do you always drive at night without

       CLOSE ON Bleskoe's silver eyes...

       BLESKOE'S POV:  It's like looking through NIGHT VISION
       GOGGLES.  The landscape is a ghostly green, with every
       detail crystal clear.  Bleskoe doesn't need the headlights.

                 I'm doing okay.

       Kate swallows hard.  She's just beginning to realize what
       she's done, where she is.

                 You -- you must be wondering -- why I'm
                 here.  My brother is in the Corps.

                 What unit?

                 I don't know.  I didn't think you'd know
                 him personally.  But you were Out There,
                 weren't you?  You're one of them.

                 Yes Ma'am, I'm one of them.

       She takes a deep breath.


                 Bleskoe, Joseph Thomas, Corporal, KR-678-
                 436, 77th Assault Regiment, United Earth
                 Defense Corps.

                 That was automatic, wasn't it?

                 Affirmative.  Programmed response to low-
                 level query.

                 And that's how you kill?  A programmed

                 Yes Ma'am, that's how I kill.

       A beat.  We need time to take this in.

                 What if I told you to kill someone?

                 Insufficient authority.

                 What if an enemy soldier shouted
                 identify in the middle of a fight?

                 Battlefield conditions deactivate low-
                 level responses.  I'd shoot the enemy

       A beat.

                 You were aboard Vesuvius, weren't you?

                 Yes, Ma'am.

                 Tell me what happened.

                 Not much to tell, Ma'am.

                 Stop calling me that!  I'm not your
                 officer.  My name's Kate, Kate Tyler.
                 My brother's name is Randy.  Your ship
                 made it back to Earth.  How?

                 You already know.

                 No, I don't.  I only know what they told
                 us.  They said you'd stolen the ship.
                 That you were deserters.

                 That's a lie.

                 I know.  I know because Randy told me
                 everyone he met in the Corps was
                 prepared to die to defend Earth.  That
                 was why they volunteered.  They knew
                 that if they failed, we were all fucked.
                 The whole idea of "deserters" is just
                 crazy.  The moment I heard it, I knew it
                 wasn't true.  That's why I want to hear
                 your side of the story.  I want to know
                 what really happened.

       CLOSE ON Bleskoe as he REMEMBERS...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:


       We're thrust screaming into the middle of a SPACE BATTLE.

       Modified SPACE SHUTTLES fitted with missile racks and with
       industrial-sized LASER CANNONS crowding their cargo bays
       attack orbital FORTRESSES that EXPLODE violently, sometimes
       taking the attacking Space Shuttles with them.

       The fortresses are of bizarre alien design, as are the
       smaller ships that move out from the planet to engage the
       Space Shuttles.  These ships appear as squidlike as the
       aliens who are flying them.  We know instinctively that
       they're the BAD GUYS.

       The Space Shuttle forces take heavy casualities but they
       DON'T STOP.  Space is cluttered with drifting hulks
       hopelessly ablaze.  A Space Shuttle spins slowly past the
       camera -- it's recognizable as a NASA Shuttle, with the logo
       half-burned away; its entire nose section is missing.

       CLOSE ON one of the Space Shuttles.  It's a patchwork quilt,
       bolted and welded together in a great hurry.  Almost as if
       it rolled off the assembly line and was taken to the launch
       pad immediately.  Which is indeed the case.

       Slowly ZOOM inside the COCKPIT.  Three crewmen wearing
       starsuits and helmets are strapped in, operating their
       instruments.  Nearby EXPLOSIONS light up the cockpit.

       The Space Shuttle PILOT'S eyes are SILVER like Bleskoe's.
       He is an ADJUSTED TROOPER, Earth's last hope in an
       interstellar war gone badly wrong.

                           PILOT (FILTERED)
                      (into radio)
                 Negative, I say again, negative.  All
                 squadrons, continue with the attack.
                 This is the only chance we're going to
                 get!  Let's make it count!

       A huge SHADOW falls over the Space Shuttle.  The PILOT looks
       up.  A huge mother of a squid vessel hovers overhead.  It's
       shooting all kinds of shit at other Space Shuttles,
       transforming them into fireballs.

                           CREWMAN (FILTERED)
                 We're dry!  Missile racks are empty!
                 Laser cannon has taken a hit!

       The Pilot alters course and aims for the huge squid vessel,
       which grows uncomfortably larger with each passing second.

                           PILOT (FILTERED)
                      (into radio)
                 Attack squadrons, protect the transports
                 at all costs.  Get them down there.  Do
                 whatever you have to do, but get them
                 down there.  PRIORITY ALPHA, THE RACE
                 MUST SURVIVE!

       The Pilot deliberately steers his Space Shuttle into the
       huge squid vessel, which is BLOWN TO HELL by the kamikaze

       A dazzling NUCLEAR PULSE floods surrounding space like
       ripples in a pond.  The shock wave strikes the nearest squid
       ships and ignites them, an unforeseen chain reaction.  A
       couple of Space Shuttles are also caught and destroyed.

       Several Space Shuttles with their cargo bay doors closed --
       the troop transports -- fall toward the squid homeworld in
       tight formation, escorted by armed Space Shuttles that run a
       gauntlet of hellfire.  Many escorting Shuttles are
       destroyed, but the troop transports get through.


       Bleskoe blinks out of the flashback.  Kate looks at him,
       expecting an answer.

                 We blasted our way through the enemy's
                 orbital defenses.  Landed on their home
                 planet.  Fought our way into their
                 command nest.  Knocked out their battle
                 computers, or what passed for battle
                 computers.  Ended the war.

       As Bleskoe explains, superimposed BACKGROUND IMAGES
       compliment the scenes he describes.

                 We waited for evac.  Didn't happen.
                 Trapped on squid homeworld.  Casualties
                 started dying.  Captain Adams
                 commandeered supply shuttle, got us up
                 into orbit.  Boarded supply ship
                 Vesuvius.  Set course for Earth just
                 before they locked down the jumpgate


       1.  Surface of alien planet.  Wounded TROOPERS are tended by
       MEDICS.  Other troopers stand alert in guard position,
       surrounding the wounded.

       2.  CAPTAIN ADAMS, commander of Bleskoe's unit, speaks on
       the radio.  He's ANGRY.  He's not getting the answers he
       needs.  Medics frantically work on a wounded soldier.  It's
       no good, the soldier DIES.  Adams is deeply affected.

       3.  A SUPPLY SHUTTLE lands nearby.  Adams gives orders to
       the medics.  They stretcher the rest of the wounded to the
       shuttle.  The shuttle PILOT tries to argue with Adams.  No
       good.  Adams sees his men are taken aboard.  The shuttle
       hatches close, the shuttle blasts off.

       4.  An orbiting SHIP.  The supply shuttle approaches and
       enters through an airlock.  The ship's name is VESUVIUS.

       5.  The ship's BRIDGE.  Adams and Bleskoe enter and examine
       the controls.

       6.  The ship heads toward an ENERGY VORTEX -- a JUMP GATE.
       It plunges THROUGH the vortex.  The vortex folds in upon
       itself and VANISHES.

                 And -- when you got here?

                 Refused permission to land.  Ordered us
                 to stay in orbit until "decontamination
                 procedure" was worked out.  Captain
                 Adams said we'd have to wait.  We
                 waited.  No medical facilities.  No
                 coldsleep.  Had to eject our dead into
                 space.  Captain kept asking for update.
                 Communications blackout, no reply.


       7.  Ship's cargo bay.  Wounded troopers are still being
       tended by medics.  They're in a bad way.  Another soldier
       dies.  His buddies carry his body away.  Adams is enraged.

       8.  The ship's Bridge.  Adams talks on the ship's radio.  No
       response.  He tries again.  No response.  He slams his fist
       against the control panel, frustrated.  Denting the metal.

                 And then--?

                 Detected tugs coming in from Luna.  Said
                 they were going to tow us out of parking
                 orbit.  Didn't say to where.  Didn't say
                 why.  Captain Adams kept asking.  No
                 answer.  Sixteen of us dead by then.
                 Combat effectiveness of unit threatened.
                 Priority Alpha, the unit must survive.
                 Captain initiated emergency re-entry


       9.  The ship in orbit above Earth.

       10.  Adams and Bleskoe on the bridge.  They're looking at a
       DISPLAY.  Two SHIPS are visible, approaching their vessel.
       Adams tries the ship's radio again.  Doesn't like the answer
       he receives.  Adams gets into the pilot's seat.  The
       controls don't respond.  He TEARS THE PANELS OPEN to reveal
       circuits and cabling.  Bleskoe helps him to rig an override.

       11.  THE SHIP:  the main booster FIRES.  The ship DROPS
       toward Earth.  RE-ENTRY HEAT makes the hull GLOW RED.

                 Came down in Gulf of Mexico.  Ship sank
                 fast.  Most of us got out.  National
                 Guard gunships tried to shoot us in the
                 water.  Wounded men acted as live
                 decoys.  Brought down two gunships
                 before the others got them.  Nineteen of
                 us swam ashore and ran.

                                                      SMASH CUT TO:


       A nightmarish scene.  Dozens of desperate SOLDIERS are in
       the water, swimming for their lives, being hunted by
       HELICOPTERS.  The whup-whup of rotor blades is DEAFENING.
       Dazzling SEARCHLIGHTS stab down from above, sweeping back
       and forth, picking out swimming figures.

       MACHINE GUNS rattle loudly, executing the swimmers in cold
       blood.  A searchlight beam picks out a new target.  The
       target is CAPTAIN ADAMS.  Adams is backpeddling instead of
       swimming because he's aiming a ROCKET LAUNCHER.

       He FIRES.  The helicopter is BLOWN TO HELL.  The explosion
       lights up the night.  BURNING FRAGMENTS rain down.

       Around Adams, other soldiers backpeddle in the water and
       open fire at the other helicopters with small arms.  They
       aren't giving up without a fight.  More die as machine gun
       bullets stitch the waters.

       Adams is hit.  He throws his arms wide and disappears
       beneath the surface.  His men try to reach him, but it's too


       Kate stares at Bleskoe, stunned.

                 And you've been running ever since.

                 Affirmative.  The unit must survive.


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