HIGH-PITCHED WHINES. LOUDER AND LOUDER. MORTARS race
through the air and EXPLODE in the distant jungle. Soldiers
-- black, white, Oriental -- curse and mutter in
French, German, Australian and American as they reload.
COMPUTER KEYS POUND -- the letters leap across the screen:
THE MOTABA RIVER VALLEY, BELGIAN CONGO (ZAIRE), 1960.
THE CAMP OF FORCES LOYAL TO MOISES TSHOMBE - DAY
BLACK MALE NURSE
carrying a bucket of water from the Motaba River rushes
past the Mercenary Army to -
Where he replaces the towel on the forehead of a feverish,
delirious AUSTRALIAN MERCENARY with a cold new one.
Gimme somethin' for the bleedin'
pain. C'mon, mate, help me.
The Mercenary tries to lift himself out of his stretcher.
Can't. He's too weak. His skin is yellow and covered
with blisters that look like chicken pox.
He's still over a hundred and
six. Why can't we bring it down?
The black African army physician, DR. RASWANI, looks on,
helpless. Suddenly, the Australian emits a sharp cry.
His eyes roll back, and he begins convulsing. Before
Raswani can even reach into his bag for medecine, the
Mercenary is dead.
Raswani and his Nurse stare with horror.
The DRONE of a CHOPPER grows LOUDER as a Bell Z180 appears
over the edge of the forest and kicks up a storm of
dust as it lands. Raswani and the Nurse run to meet it.
In their eyes, hope.
Two space-suited figures emerge from the chopper, their
faces hidden by thick green plexiglass shields. The U.S.
flag is emblazoned on the side of their helmets, which
also display their ranks. The much taller man is a
lieutenant whom we'll know as McCLINTOCK. Through his
visor, we can just make out his pock-marked, angular
face. The shorter, pear-shaped man is a CAPTAIN. We
can't see his features, only the reflection of horn-
Have you brought the medicines?
Why the hell didn't you bring
The two space-suited figures follow Dr. Raswani past
soldier after soldier infected with the same disease.
Thirty deaths yesterday, eighteen
the day before, the disease is
killing our men faster than enemy
The Captain stops at a young AMERICAN MERCENARY'S cot.
He's shaking with fever. His skin is mottled and looks
like the pulp of an orange. His voice is a whisper:
Take me home, Captain... Get me
outta this shithole. Please, I
wanna see my girl.
The American Mercenary reaches out with his arms to the
Captain, who shrinks back, not wanting to be
We'll get you home, soldier.
First, I need a tissue sample.
He pulls from his black bag a long metal syringe and
plunges the biopsy needle deep into the man's liver. He
places the needle in an aluminum test tube and seals it.
Promise me you'll get me home.
Promise me, Goddamit!
A long uneasy beat.
We'll get you home.
TWO SPACE-SUITED U.S. ARMY FIGURES
boarding their chopper, Dr. Raswani and his Nurse
Not just supplies, but doctors
and nurses. And suits like yours
to protect us. This disease
spreads too fast.
The plane tonight will bring
ascending above the camp.
Lt. McClintock and the Captain look out the window at the
It's viral. There's no way to
stop it. It could spread all
over the world.