Untitled Series, Working Title “Red”
Episode 104: “Operation: Red Scorpion”
EXT. RUNWAY – MORNING
I don’t understand.
You don’t need to. This is a dangerous operation and you’re not ready. You’ll be staying to help Deacon, get a better feel for the paperwork side of things.
But I was a cop for four-
You’re staying grounded. Give me your gun.
Rickie hands him the piece, pinching it limply between thumb and forefinger.
But... my gun...
Bruce does something quick, pulling the gun open then handing it back.
And you can keep it. But...
INSERT: CU OF BRUCE’S PALM
Bruce is holding the firing pin of the gun.
BACK TO SCENE
But I’m keeping the firing pin.
Bruce turns to leave, but stops.
I’ll have Deacons stop by your hotel room to pick up that ankle piece you carry.
But I don’t-
Your holster doesn’t fit right, and you walk with a limp when you have it on. You’re a terrible liar, Rick.
This is bull-
Yeah, but you stay.
Bruce boards the plane waiting on the runway. The rear of the plane shuts, and the plane starts to move. Rickie runs up and underneath the plane, and shimmies up the landing gear and into the plane.
INT. PLANE BRIEFING ROOM – MORNING
Sam and Bruce are standing on the opposite side of a situation map as GENERAL STARR. Starr’s speech is illuminated by diagrams similar to football announcer screens.
Our information on the operation arrived late, so at this point we’re playing catch-up. Soviet forces are already on the ground here and here.
On the map, across Uzbekistan border is a thick gray line symbolizing an oil pipeline originating in Iraq’s eastern side. A red x appears on one part of the pipe, with another six miles (to scale) from the other.
Intelligence indicates they’ve cut off the flow with plans to divert it north into Soviet territory. They’ve constructed a pipe underground, leading to a large petroleum storage facility in Qyzlorda. This is not the problem. We’ve spoken with local authorities, and they can restore order and the pipeline within hours.
Since we’re still airborne, I assume there’s a but.
There’s a third team the sting team, in place directly in the center of the other two teams. They’re going to set off a low-yield suitcase nuke- illegal per the treaties we signed
Treaties we routinely ignore... and I think we started the whole suitcase nuke thing, didn’t we?
Sam asks this question of Bruce, who nods slightly.
Regardless, they’re going to irradiate a 3-mile diameter circle of land along the line to disrupt the pipeline.
Why don’t they just shut down the pipeline?
That’s a negative. The engineers are guessing that, even given worst case scenario, they lose four to six weeks of worth of oil. If they have to shut down production they would lose three to four months, minimum, not to mention the additional costs of maintenance and restarting the infrastructure.
So we either shut this down or there’s a worldwide oil crisis with the Soviets sitting on a stockpile.
Yep, thems the stakes, gentlemen.
Do we know when they’re setting it off?
No, only that they haven’t pulled their stinger squadron out of the blast area.
Why do you keep calling it the stinger team?
These are the pincers, and they’re the stinger. Gentleman, this is Operation: Red Scorpion.
INT. PLANE CARGO AREA – SUNSET
Bruce and Sam are talking, while suiting up for their parachute jump in the cargo hold. They are putting on the same kind of red jumpsuits used by the Russians earlier, stolen from Petrov last episode.
Do you think Petrov realizes we took these?
I take a bottle of (fine Russian Vodka) every time we’re there, and he still hasn’t noticed those.
Oh, those? He doesn’t drink those. He urinates in them.
Bruce smiles, then jumps. Sam looks puzzled for a moment, contemplating whether or not to believe him, then follows. An ARMYMAN moves to shut the hatch them jumped from, but Rickie moves out of the shadows.
Sorry to trouble you, but this is my stop, too.
Who the hell are you?
Rather than answer, Rickie kicks him flat in the stomach (I believe it’s called a scissor kick), then jumps out.
EXT. EVENING SKY OUTSIDE THE PLANE
Bruce and Sam’s parachutes are below as the camera follows Rickie’s descent. He pulls his cord early, to put a little distance between himself and the other two. The sun falls over the horizon during his trip down, and it’s raining. When he lands he glides in expertly, releasing his straps and rolling out of the chute onto one knee in a crouch. This landing should be so smooth, so elegant and so kick-ass that the audience starts to wonder just what this guy’s deal is.
INT. MOSQUE – NIGHT
CU on an improvised sheet metal door. There’s a loud pounding, and a slit in the very center slides away to reveal a peep hole. CUT BACK to show a Russian GUARD with his eyes pressed to the peep hole.
Who the hell are you?
A silencer slides through the slit in the door. CU on the guard, looking at the silencer pressed between his eyes.
EXT. MOSQUE – NIGHT
Sam leaps away from the door, pulling a strip from a small explosive device he’s attached to the single overhead hinge on the improvised sheet-metal door.
Both Bruce and Sam duck away as the bomb goes, decimating the hinge.
INT. MOSQUE – NIGHT
With the hinge exploded, the sheet falls to the ground, and stands straight up for a moment before falling inwards on top of the guard.
Bruce and Sam rush in, guns drawn. In the room there’s the platform they were carrying the hidden object on before, which converts into a sturdy metal table. Underneath it is the object, still under the canvas. Sam and Bruce have enough of an advantage with surprise that they don’t fire, just quickly beat the hell out of the four men in the room. However, a FIFTH was standing by the door, and moves out of the shadows towards Sam’s back with a very big, very scary Russian knife. There’s a gunshot that hits him in the shoulder and he goes down. Sam turns to see Rickie outside the doorway, kneeling in a marksman position.
What’re you doing here?
Saving your life.
Sam and Bruce exchange a look, and a smile, an impish one.
Am I in trouble?
Sam walks over to where Rickie stands, just in the doorway, not crossing the threshold. He puts a hand on Rickie’s shoulder.
Nope. It takes the right combination of courage and stupid to do this job.
So this was a test?
No. You still shouldn’t have come.
Sam smacks Rickie on the back of the head.
But we aren’t mad.
Bruce eyes him suspiciously.
But where’d you learn to drop?
Oh, uh... I did some base-jumping in college.
Okay. But now what are you doing?
Rickie is kneeling in the doorway, taking his shoes off.
This is a mosque. It’s disrespectful to have your shoes on.
But we haven’t cleared-
QUICK-CUT CU of Sam, straining because he hears something.
Sam pushes over the metal table and pulls the other two behind it as a rocket-propelled grenade bursts through a mosaic window and hits the table.
How the hell did you-
RPGs make the same high-pitched squeal as my ex-girlfriend’s complaining.
Bruce is leaning out just a little, trying to see who fired at them.
Sam, whatta you think?
From that angle they’re probably on the adjoining roof. Since the window was opaque they must have thermal, possibly microwave.
I wonder if they have a shot from up there.
Let’s see. Throw a grenade through that window, but leave the pin in.
Bruce unclips a grenade from his chest and lobs it through a window to the right of the one that was blasted through. There’s an explosion a quarter second after it breaks through.
What does that mean?
First, it means he has a shot.
And second, it means he knows how to take it.
I don’t get it.
He shot the grenade while it was falling.
Without knowing it was coming.
Did you see who it was?
Anyone we know?
Yeah. An Ivan.
What’s an Ivan?
A Cossack. A big Cossack. What is he, 8’8”?
8’9”. Maybe more with the boots.
Twelve years ago he was the best Russian agent alive. He ate Special Forces for breakfast.
Literally once in Panama. Intel says they gave him the runs.
He’s still their best, only now he’s a cyborg, metal and dead meat.
And dying only made him meaner.
His entire skeletal structure is reinforced with steel, his movement augmented by servos. He has a malleable Kevlar exoskeleton beneath his epidermis, and five sensory upgrades we know about. He’s powered by a clean-burning internal combustion engine that runs on a high-proof vodka solution.
Sam starts to take off his bulletproof vest.
Sam, I think this is one of those times you’re going to want to keep that on.
Believe me, I do. Do you remember last spring, the Chechen border?
Sam flips his vest around and starts to tighten it again. Bruce smiles, catching on.
Bruce loosens his vest.
Bruce hands the vest to Sam, who slides it over his own.
Rickie starts to take his off.
Check these two.
Sam jabs the guards at their feet with his foot. While Sam puts on everybody’s vest and Rickie checks the Russians for armor (which they both have), Bruce speaks.
See, the thing about Ivan is he loves to shoot people in the back. If he thinks you’re running, he’ll wait for a clean shot from behind, beside the shoulder blade and through the heart. In Chechnya we had him boxed in with a contingent of marines, but we couldn’t get close. He was just picking off our guys, and tactical had decided screw the hostages, pull the men back and just carpet bomb the bastard. So everyone started running. Well Sam and I stood up out of the foxhole, and we noticed that none of the shots were hitting people who weren’t running the other direction. Ivan was busy picking off marines from behind. So we rushed him, and he never even saw us coming.
Sam finishes tightening the vests.
When he gets a bead on me, lob a grenade into his roost and be ready down below. He’ll either present a shot, or you’ll be able to get in the building and go up after him.
Wait. Give me the vests.
Bruce can’t do all that quick enough. And he may need help with the Russian. Give me the vests.
You do realize that the object of this is to get shot.
Well, I’m pretty good at getting set on fire, I figure this is the next logical step.
What do you think?
Well... he has a point. I may need you.
All right. You ever been kicked by a horse?
That’s okay; this is going to be much worse. It’ll hit you here.
Sam jabs his fingers into Rickie’s back, on the left side between the spine and shoulder blade.
Try to go limp. Ever been to a chiropractor?
This’ll be like someone doing that with a forklift. The force of the impact will knock you off your feet. When you hit the ground stay flat, don’t move. Try not to breath.
Right, don’t give him a reason to aim for your head.
Now with any luck, the shot won’t go through.
Wait. What kind of shot would go through five vests?
It’s a custom job. Only a little smaller than anti-tank. Hopefully he isn’t using depleted uranium shells today.
Once you’re hit, stay put til one of us comes to you.
Which shouldn’t be too much trouble, because you’ll probably be unconscious.
We’ve got a Huey stationed just outside the blast area, full compliment of medical. Worst-case scenario is twenty minutes of the all-clear; they’re usually here in under three.
You sure about this?
Yeah; but isn’t he going to be a bit suspicious of the 5 jackets... maybe be suspicious enough to break with tradition and just shoot me in the skull.
Bruce smiles and walks over to a chair.
He pulls an old, moldering duster off the chair. It’s huge, covered in stains of all colors, made of dark brown leather. There are obviously a great many bullet holes in it, some surrounded by dark stains, others not.
Because you’ll be wearing his coat.
Rickie walks over to Bruce, and about halfway there there’s a crunching sound as he steps on jagged rocks, glass and pottery from the shattered mosaic windows.
What the hell?
Ouch... they’re just- aah- ugh- mosaic stones; they don’t cut, they just poke.
Then why are you whining so loudly? I thought maybe there was another RP-
Bruce and Sam duck under the table as another RPG hits it. The room is covered in smoke.
INT. MOSQUE – NIGHT
Bruce and Sam are coughing through the smoke, beneath the metal table. Rickie was blasted against the wall, where he’s laying, also coughing.
You okay, kid?
Bruce helps Rickie to his feet.
Just let me get my shoes.
Bruce stops him.
He’s watching that area. You go over there, and he might hit us with another grenade.
So I have to-
But the sand’s hot.
It’ll probably make you run faster.
I’m going to die, aren’t I?
Sam pushes him through the doorway.
INSERT: SEEING THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE
Rickie can be seen in the crosshairs. He looks around, then huffs it. There’s a moment where the crosshairs land on the shoulder, but then the scope begins to trace the jacket.
BACK TO SCENE
EXT. ROOFTOP – NIGHT
Ivan pulls his face back from the scope and looks very very angry. Then he goes back to aiming.
INSERT: SEEING THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE
Rickie again, scared, running like a wild bastard, looking over his shoulder.
BACK TO Ivan on the rooftop, following with the rifle. TO RICKIE glancing over his shoulder. TO RIFLE SCOPE, crosshairs finding the sweetspot beside the shoulder. CU of the trigger being pulled.
EXT. DESERT TOWN – NIGHT
Rickie flies past camera as the bullet tears him off his feet.
EXT. ROOFTOP – NIGHT
Ivan’s P.O.V., starting in the rifle scope looking at Rickie, then there’s a dull metal clank, and Ivan looks down to find a grenade in his feet. Pull back to show Ivan as he picks up the grenade, almost like he isn’t sure what it is.
EXT. BUILDING ADJACENT TO THE MOSQUE – NIGHT
Bruce is standing against the base of the building. There’s a loud/bright explosion at the top o.s., and a smoking/smoldering Ivan falls past Bruce to the ground (also o.s.).
CU on Ivan as he pulls himself up out of the sand, sand spilling gratuitously from his mouth and ears and maybe even nose, muttering in Russian.
I hate sand more than Big Mac.
Pull out as Bruce steps in, putting his pistol to Ivan’s forehead.
Hello, Ivan; welcome to Bukhoro.
Bruce shoots him in the forehead with a big dull metal clank, leaving only a small dent. There’s an electric sputter, and Ivan’s eyes roll back as he passes out.
EXT. DESERT CITY – NIGHT
Sam cuts the vests off of Rickie.
You okay kid?
There’s a long pause. A very long pause. At least ten seconds.
The line should turn into a groan that continues over the scene break.
EXT. DESERT CITY – SUNRISE
Bruce, Rickie and Sam are standing near enough the helicopter that their hair is being blown around, but far enough away that it doesn’t disturb their ability to talk.
I don’t know what you’re whining about.
Your shoulder’s fine; spine’s intact. At worst all you’re going to have is a few fractured ribs.
Oh, and your whole back is going to be one gigantic bruise.
But I like my back.
Well, you should have thought about that before getting shot.
Sam slaps him on the back. This time Rickie’s response is much softer and more pitiful.
INSERT: INT. OF BRIEFCASE
This is a shot of a sophisticated suitcase nuke. Let someone who likes to draw weird, intricate machines do this, and just have fun with it.
BACK TO SCENE, pulling out as Bruce shuts the briefcase.
Well, I think that’s everything.
Bruce and Sam turn towards the plane.
Wait. Aren’t we going to take him?
He stinks of goat cheese and motor oil and weighs 500 pounds.
And we don’t have the right equipment to keep him contained.
And he has a tactical nuke in his torso hooked up to a global positioning satellite.
If we take him out of his mission clear zone he’ll go all Chernobyl on us.
So we’re not taking him.
But I’ve got the suitcase.
And I’ve got the detonator.
And you’ve got his jacket.
Oh yeah; I thought I just really needed a shower.
Rickie lets the coat slide off of his shoulders, then sniffs himself.
I think the smell has gotten into my clothes.
Sam and Bruce look at each other, roll their eyes, and then take off their equipment packs. The deliver their next two lines while boarding the Huey.
Sorry, but the Navy’s particular about what they let on their choppers.
Yep. I’m afraid you’re going to have to walk home.
Ha ha, very funny.
The door to the helicopter slides shut.
The helicopter door locks loudly. Rickie starts to panic, and tries the handle as the helicopter takes off.
As a final note, throughout the credits should be a montage of Rickie running across the sand after the helicopter (he still hasn’t had a chance to get his shoes), him gradually slowing down, and finally him crawling across the desert as the sun beats down on him, then finally TO BLACK.