C. A. E. Jones
(Fade in to…)
(The sun is beginning to rise in the distance, giving enough light to make the dawn a clear sky blue. Zoom in slowly and move forward slightly to reveal a line of soldiers in the distance, marching toward a row of tents in the background off to the left.)
Ext. Desert-Military camp-morning.
(Close up of the tents, newly set up and in ready condition. Pan to the right to view more tents, then pan out slightly as the soldiers arrive.)
(The light in the sky suggests that the sun has fully risen, although it is not visible. A military plane is flying to the right. Follow, keeping the plane in the center of the view as it descends smoothly, coming to an airstrip set up in the middle of the desert, landing to join several military aircraft that wait on the ground.)
Reporter (VO): Military sources say that…
Int. Royce's living room.
(Royce, a teenaged boy of about fourteen, sits on the couch, seeming a bit uncertain. The TV shows a news scene, the anchors on screen.)
Reporter (Cont. On Television): Ground forces are positioned near the border, and the forces in the airforce base fifty miles from the boarder are prepared for a possible strike. (The reporter continues talking as the scene focuses on Royce's disturbed and conflicted image. He is bothered by the news, this apparently not the first that he's heard of it, and is struggling to decide what to do.)
Reporter (Cont. Over Television): While this is a great step toward security, opposition of the movement has made it clear that it exists. Spokesperson John Hammleton, a leading opposer of the push for war, spoke to reporter…
(Royce gets up and goes to the TV, turning it off with the power button. He then sighs and heads out of sight.)
Int. Electronics store.
(The cashier, a man that could be anywhere from 18 to 30, has an uneasy look about him, his eyes turned off to the right [his left], looking at something inside the store. The commotion to the left and what can be seen of the opening reveals that the store is inside a mall, which seems to be filled with a mildly noisy and energetic plethora of people.)
(Royce walks from within the store and to the counter, placing some small items on the counter. The Cashier looks at the items for a moment, a bit nervous.)
Cashier: That'll be twenty five fifty six.
(Royce reaches into his pocket and brings out a few dollar bills. He extends his hand over the counter to the cashier.)
Cashier: Can I see your identification, please?
Royce: Identification? (He smirks, seeming more amused than annoyed.) I don't think I have any. It's part of being a minor. (He looks again at the cashier's uneasy expression and the things on the counter.) Is something I'm getting a controlled item? (He picks up something, what it is masked by the packaging.) I can get a safer one, if you'd like. (He goes off to the right and returns very quickly with another, almost identicle item and places it on the counter. The Cashier looks ready to sigh and has a look of resignation about him.)
Cashier (With a trace of resignation): Sorry about that. (He places the money into the register, still looking nervous. Royce gives a little, voiceless laugh.)
(Royce takes the stuff from the counter and holds it under his arm as he turns to leave. Before he reaches the threshhold, he turns back.)
Royce: If you're that worried, the name's Royce. (He turns to the exit and walks out of sight. The Cashier sighs and looks back into the store as a couple customers enter.)
(There are quite a few people out on this day, a nice diversity in the kinds of people walking the mall. A few businesses are set up in the walkway, which is plenty wide enough for everyone, a few common stores appearing on the opposite side of the walkway. Royce walks in from the left, still carrying his stuff from the electronics store, and continues down the walkway, finally coming to a turn into the food court area. The foodcourt is rather large, several more businesses lining the walls further down. Royce heads toward the right of the entrance and to a corner where there is a row of payphones. He pulls a few coins out of his pocket and puts them into one of the payphones, picking up the receiver with his other hand. Once the coins are inserted, he dials a number and waits as the phone rings.)
Int. Uasho's living room.
(The phone rings and a woman that could be in her thirties or forties answers.)
(Cut to the payphone at the mall.)
Royce (Distorting his voice to sound more professional and less like himself.): Hello. Is there someone there by the name of Uasho?
(Cut to Uasho's living room.)
Woman: Yes there is.
(Cut back to the mall.)
Royce: May I speak with him?
Woman (Over telephone): Just a moment.
Int. Uasho's living room.
(The woman puts down the telephone on the table and turns to face off screen, where a heavy rock music can be heard.)
Woman (Loudly): Uasho!
Int. Uasho's room.
(There is a rather loud song blaring from a powerful speaker system, the sound drowning out most else from beyond. A somewhat short and scronny teenager is jumping around to the music, making use of what energy and agility he has to spare.)
Woman (OS,): Uasho! (A knocking comes from the door.) Uasho!
Woman (OS, obviously yelling to be heard): You have at telephone call! (The teenmoves to the stereo and turns it downenough to use the phone. He picks up the telephone that sits on the desk near the stereo and holds it to his ear.)
(Cut to payphone in the mall.)
Royce: Uasho. Sti em.
(Cut to Uasho's room.)
Uasho (Looking confused, somewhat slowly, hesitating): What?
(Cut to Royce)
Royce: Sti em uoy toidi. Siht si tnatropmi.
(Cut to Uasho)
Uasho: Oh… hi.What's up…
(Cut to Royce)
Royce: Shh. Eht senil thgim eb deppat.
(cut to Uasho)
Uasho: Can't you go slower! (he sighs and turns off the music.) Stahw gniog no?
(In this scene, all of the lines from Uasho and Royce occur during a cut to the scene with the respective character unless otherwise noted.)
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) You know that the military is getting ready to go in over there, right?
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Yes, so what's your point?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) You can't tell me that you'll just sit here and let this go on, wasting the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands of innocent people, for no real reason at all?
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) It's not like there's anything we can do about it.
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) If you were going to die, and the only person that could save you said "There's nothing we can do," would you like it?
Uasho Are you actually paying for this call?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) We can't just let them go over there and hurt people just because the leaders don't like each other.
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) What are we supposed to do?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Routine drop off mission. We get in as the crew, bail once we're over there, and then…
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Then what?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) I was hoping you could come up with something.
Uasho How about we just not worry about it. Boy you're random…
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) I'm serious. I can't let this go on. You said you'd join me in the order of the seven. This is the reason it exists.
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) As a terrorist organization?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) No. I told you that in the beginning, remember?
Uasho How can I remember anything when you're talking…
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Can you tell me the location of a military compound near you?
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Can you tell me the location of a nearby military compound?
Uasho (Sdrawkcab subtitled) There is an airforce base not too far from here.
Royce (Over telephone) Probably just a decoy.
Royce (Sdrawkcab subtitled) Listen, I think I can make this work, and I'll do my best to keep us on the good side. All I need is your help. Just think of those people and tell me you're going to blow this off.
Uasho Yeah… but…
(back at the mall, Royce hangs up the phone, smirking a bit at Uasho's response. He takes his hand away from the telephone and his face turns serious again, a bit concerned, perhaps even scared, uncertain if he can accept the possible consequences of what he just did. He shakes his head and walks down the foodcourt.)
(Royce stands at the busstop, a rather fat duffel bag in his hand. Several vehicles pass before the bus arrives and stops for him. The door opens and he steps up to the entrance.)
Royce: Where's this bus heading?
Busdriver: Going down the interstate. We'll make a couple stops along the way, but then it's straight on to the line.
Royce: How much for just halfway?
Busdriver: We'll discuss that when we get there. I'm in a bit of a hurry though. (He eyes the bag cautiously.) Anything in that bag I should know about?
Royce: Just some clothes. You can check if you want.
Busdriver: No problem. Just take a seat. I've got to make the line in six hours.)
Royce (Somewhat doubtful): Good luck… (He steps into the bus and heads for a seat as the doors close and the bus takes off.)
Int. Central Mall-walkway.
(The mall is not the one that Royce was at. Uasho and a couple other teens are heading down the mall with the rest of the traffic, not being too quiet. They come to the turn for the exit corridor.)
Teen: I gotta get goin'. I'll catch you guys later.
Second teen: Hey, I need a ride to work. I can't be late again.
First teen: NO problem. (They both head for the exit.)
Second teen: Catcha later, Uasho. (The leave. Uasho watches them go, frowning, then prepares to head somewhere. He turns back to face into the walkway, thinking, trying to decide what to do.)
Royce (OS): Good afternoon. (Uasho is startled, his face showing it as much as his body language. He turns to face the newcomer. Royce is now visible behind him and to his right.)
Royce: It's amazing how easy it is to find you.
Uasho: Dude! You aren't actually trying to get into the military's business are you?
Royce: Wow, what a coward.
Uasho: No, I just consider it kind of stupid to try and sneak into a military operation going overseas.
Royce: Well then, I guess we have some stuff to take care of. (Pan down to reveal the bag that Royce holds. He grins as Uasho eyes the bag uneasily.)
Uasho: Why do I feel like I'm going to regret listening to you…