4-02 Survival

4-02 Survival


Broots? Broots, you lovable moron, is that you?

Miss Parker


Broots? Broots, you lovable moron, is that you?

Miss Parker

Original air date: October 2, 1999

Written by: Mark M. Dodson

Directed by: Terrence O’Hara

Jarod impersonates an officer of the Criminal Investigation Division in order to investigate the hanging suicide of an officer at the Army Special Forces Survival Training Grounds in Texas.

Jarod’s Discoveries: Rambo, I Love Lucy, Fruit in Jell-o

Jarod’s Occupations: CID Agent

Jarod’s Aliases: Jarod Stevens


Behind the scenes insights and the Creator’s Take

Official Synopsis

Jarod investigates the mysterious suicide of an officer at an Army special forces survival training ground.


Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle follow Jarod’s trail to a container yard in Plano, Texas.  Junior, an obnoxious drifter at the yard, tells the duo that Jarod had locked himself inside the large container as a part of POW training for over three weeks.  Jarod paid Junior to periodically bring him bread, water and chain him up inside the box.  Junior gives Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle a tour of the now unoccupied container… luring them into a trap set by Jarod.  Junior locks the container and abandons the pair.

At the Army Special Forces Survival Training Grounds in Texas, Jarod poses as an officer for the Criminal Investigative Division (CID), which is investigating the hanging suicide of Warrant Officer Scott Rion.  Lieutenant Molly Kimbrell gives Jarod an orientation. The officer in charge, Colonel Dance, complains that the investigation of Rion’s death is a waste of time.  Dance maintains that Rion was in the “hole” during POW training, causing his mind to snap.  Lieutenant Kimbrell takes Jarod to the POW training area, where they encounter Master Sergeant Nick Reed and Captain Saunders berating Sergeant Ray Seelye, who has been tied to a pole for hours.  Jarod questions Reed, who was in charge of training the night Rion died.  Reed maintains that Rion stayed in the hole by himself the entire night and that his mind got the worst of him.  After mutilating himself with scratches, Rion hanged himself.

Meanwhile, still locked inside the container, Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle bristle under the Spartan survival game Jarod has laid out for them.  The pair view a survival video Jarod left behind.  It invites them to eat the military MRE of dried insects as food.  As Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle bicker, workers place the big container on a flatbed truck.  Back at the Centre, Broots and Sydney brood about the mysterious disappearance of the pair.  Suspecting a connection with Jarod and a Texas shipping manifest, Sydney sends a Sweeper search team to Texas.

Jarod accompanies a grieving Mr. and Mrs. Rion to the cemetery where their son is buried.  Mr. Rion emphatically tells Jarod that there was nothing wrong with their son’s mind and that he would never have killed himself.

Later that night, Jarod breaks into Colonel Dance’s office to search personnel files.  He discovers a file marked “Project Abyss,” which is linked to POW training.  As he leaves the office, Jarod sees Lieutenant Kimbrell approaching her car in the parking lot.  Jarod tells her that he took some files from Dance’s office.  As Lieutenant Kimbrell starts her car, Jarod sees a wire hanging from the ignition.  He jerks her out of the car moments before it explodes into flames.  Jarod wonders why someone would want to kill Lieutenant Kimbrell.

Back at his cabin, Jarod scrutinizes the autopsy photo of the scratches on Rion’s body. Suddenly, Jarod catches Kimbrell sneaking into his cabin.  Kimbrell tries to convince Jarod that she is still trustworthy.  She admits that she wanted to look at the files Jarod took from Dance’s office to uncover the truth about Rion’s death.  She reveals that Captain Saunders had sexually harassed her and blocked her career promotions.  Rion confronted Saunders about his actions.  As a result, Saunders made serious threats against Rion.  Jarod tells Kimbrell that Rion committed suicide after he was drugged.  He shows Kimbrell the photo of the scratches on Rion’s body.  The bloody scrawl reads “abyss.”  Jarod tell her that Rion was aware that Saunders was assigned to a secret research project to develop drugs for chemical interrogations of POWs.  The name of the project was ABYSS.  When Rion realized that Saunders had given him the drug, he threw him into the hole.  Rion then left a bloody message of incrimination.  Jarod decides to give Saunders a taste of his own medicine.

Jarod arranges for Sergeant Reed, Captain Saunders and Sergeant Seelye to hit the survival trail.  During a dinner break, Saunders unwittingly eats a MRE, Jarod’s version of “abyss.”  As the drug takes effect, Jarod throws Saunders into the POW hole.  As Saunders lapses in and out, he admits his sexual misconduct with Lieutenant Kimbrell, and also admits giving Rion the POW “abyss” drug that drove him to suicide.  Sergeant Reed, Lieutenant Kimbrell and MPs appear and take Saunders into custody.

Back at the Centre, Broots rushes into Sydney’s office.  The big container on the flatbed truck has reached its destination.  Jarod had sent the container with its special cargo back to the Centre.  Broots opens the container to discover a groggy, but intact, Lyle and Parker.

Jarod stands on the horizon at the cemetery.  He watches a military funeral in progress. As a bugle plays taps, officers in full dress hand a folded flag to Mr. and Mrs. Rion.

4-02 Survival

Survival Transcript

    Teaser Scene 1
Plano, Texas. A storage site for shipping containers.   Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle walk between two rows of them with a worker, Junior.
Junior   Jarod booked out of here a couple days ago. I sure miss that ol’ boy.
Mr. Lyle   To know him is to love him.
Junior   Amen, brother. I kind of took him under my wing, so to speak. Yeah, I kept my eye on’im.
Miss Parker   I’m sure that’s just like you, Junior, always thinking of the other guy.
Junior   I believe in helping those less fortunate.
    [They pause before a white shipping container with a red wing logo on it and a ladder leaning against it.]
Junior   Darwin Transport. Yep, this is it.
Miss Parker   This is what? Jarod stayed in that?
Junior   [climbing up] Yep. He’d lock himself in there for three, four days at a time, paid me to check in on him now and again, you know, bring him a little bread, some water, chain him up””
Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle   Chain him up?
Junior   Well, live and let live, that’s my motto. Specially when there’s cash comin’ my way. Hell, he’d even ask me to zap’im with a car battery now and then. Whatever turns you on, I guess.
    [Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle climb up after him. He opens a hatch at the top, looks in.]
Junior   Why, Jarod!
Miss Parker   Jarod?
Junior   I didn’t know you was in there!
    [Miss Parker runs over and looks in.]
Junior   I gotcha, didn’t I? [Laughs]
Mr. Lyle   [giving Junior a dollar] Buy yourself a fifth of happiness.
Junior   [disgruntled] I couldn’t get a shot at joy for this.
    [Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle go down into the container. It is strewn with assorted junk.]
Miss Parker   There’s no place like home.
Mr. Lyle   [looking at handcuffs hanging from the ceiling] Well, they say there’s a fine line between genius and insanity.
Miss Parker   Jarod’s line was erased long ago. Hmm, what’s a home without TV? [Looking at a TV hung from the wall.]
    [On the wall is a red button and a hand-lettered sign saying, “Danger””do not push.” Lyle puts out his hand to push it. Parker grabs his shoulder.]
Miss Parker   That’s Jarod’s handwriting.
Mr. Lyle   Since when do we follow his directions?
Miss Parker   There’s always a method to Jarod’s madness, so if it says don’t touch” [She grabs his arm again to keep him from pushing it.] Don’t. Touch.
    [She turns away to examine a red lever and a hand-lettered sign saying, “Danger””Do not pull!!” Mr. Lyle quietly pushes the red button. A buzzer sounds, lights flicker, and the trapdoor closes.]
Miss Parker   Lyle! Oh, no! [Tries to open the trapdoor.] It won’t budge. Junior! Junior!
Junior   [outside] See you later, Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle!
Miss Parker   Oh, dammit. He even told that scum-toothed idiot our names!
Mr. Lyle   Jarod set this up.
Miss Parker   Now we’re his prisoners.
    Scene 2
Fort Blaine, POW Training, Isolation Chamber.   Two soldiers, Sergeants Reed and Duval, walk to where a plank floor covers a deep hole in the ground.
Duval   Worst heat wave we’ve had in years, and this one’s been locked in the hole for three days. We’re gonna need to scrape him out with a shovel.
    [They open a small trapdoor into the hole and look in, open a door, and push a ladder down into the hole.]
Jarod   [in the hole] Thanks, but that won’t be necessary. I could use a shower, though. [Grins]
    [Reed and Duval stare at each other in disbelief.]
    Act 1Scene 1
Fort Blaine, Isolation Chamber   An Army vehicle pulls up and Lt. Molly Kimbrell gets out. Reed and Duval stare as Jarod climbs out of the hole, dirty and whistling. Kimbrell stares as well.
Jarod   Good morning, gentlemen.
Kimbrell   me, sir. If you don’t mind my saying, it’s kind of creepy that you just spent three days in the same hole where Warrant Officer Rion hung himself.
Jarod   Sometimes you gotta walk in somebody else’s shoes to understand what they’ve been through. Call it a”¦simulation.
Kimbrell   Is that something they teach you in Criminal Investigation Division training?
Jarod   It’s something I picked up as a kid. [Puts out his hand.] Lieutenant?
Kimbrell   Kimbrell. Molly Kimbrell. I’m with the Provost Marshall’s office.
Jarod   Jarod Stephens. [Begins to clean up.]
Kimbrell   Yeah, I know. The base grapevine is pretty much sizzling with word that the CID’s here investigation Rion’s suicide. Colonel Dance assigned me to escort you around. He wants to see you in his office ASAP. He’s a little pissed.
Jarod   [uncomprehending] Pissed?
Kimbrell   Ticked off. [Jarod still looks perplexed.] You know””mad?
Jarod   Why should he be mad? I’ve only kept him waiting seventy-two hours and thirteen minutes.
    Scene 2
Fort Blaine, Colonel Lee Dance’s office.   Jarod and Lt. Kimbrell stand at ease before Colonel Dance’s desk. Captain Saunders stands beside the colonel.
Dance   I am honored you finally decided to pay me a visit. Even if it did take you three and a half days.
Jarod   I was just doing a little recon, trying to be a good soldier.
Saunders   That’s an understatement. Top ten in your class at West Point, J.D. with honors, Georgetown Law”¦
Jarod   And I saw “Rambo” twenty-seven times.
Dance   Captain Saunders here is the leader of Rion’s training unit. He was there the night he died.
Jarod   We’ll be doing some talking, Captain.
Saunders   Most definitely.
Dance   You know, your file tells me damn near everything except your rank. I don’t even know if you’re supposed to call me sir.
Jarod   Well, that is the Army. Not only does it promote the incompetent, but it allows CID officers like myself to kick around any one from a private to general regardless of rank. But if it makes you feel any better, I’ll call you sir.
Dance   [to Saunders and Kimbrell] Would you excuse us for now?
Saunders   Gladly, Colonel. [To Jarod] Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Sir. [Jarod gives a dignified nod.] [To Kimbrell:] After you, Lieutenant. [She precedes him out.]
Dance   OK, Stephens, let’s just stop all this nice crap, agreed?
Jarod   Fair enough.
Dance   POW survival training is about the systematic breaking down of the man’s psyche, his identity, even his will to live. It’s about survival. Now it is my duty to see who can and cannot pass that test. If a man fails here, he goes down alone. But if he fails that test in war, he takes his brothers down with him.
Jarod   Now that’s all very noble, but let me tell you about my duty, Colonel.
Dance   Your duty is akin to a snake in the grass. Around here we protect and police our own. We don’t need some Pentagon copperhead slithering around our feet.
Jarod   Maybe the late Warrant Officer Rion does. [Hands the colonel Officer Scott Rion’s file.]
Dance   Rion’s death was investigated thoroughly. He was in the hole during POW training, and he snapped.
Jarod   And mutilated and hung himself.
Dance   He snapped! Now any further investigation will be a waste of your time and, more importantly, mine!
Jarod   Rion’s parents are convinced that their son’s death was not a suicide.
Dance   They can’t accept the fact that Scott killed himself. Now it ain’t pretty, but it is true.
Jarod   The truth is exactly what I intend to find out. Sir. [He takes Rion’s file and walks out.]
    Scene 3
The Centre, Blue Cove, Delaware.   Broots walks into Sydney’s laboratory and stops and stares. Sydney is walking behind a line of people eating watermelon, one normal-sized man, one dwarf-sized man, and one giant-sized man. They are wearing white uniforms and have electrodes strapped to their heads. Pleasant classical music plays in the background.
Broots   Woah!
Sydney   Yes, I’m studying the impact of unique physical characteristics on sensory processing.
Broots   I would have guessed that. Um, there’s something weird about this shipping invoice that Jarod left at his last lair.
Sydney   Weird how?
Broots   It’s such an obvious clue. It’s like Jarod wanted Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle to go down to Texas and investigate it.
Sydney   Maybe he did. What else did Jarod leave?
Broots   Some Army stuff, manuals, books, equipment, a worn-out “Rambo” video, but there’s just so much stuff I haven’t had time to go through it all yet.
Sydney   We need to alert Miss Parker and Lyle that this may be relevant to their investigation.
Broots   That’s the other weird part. No one’s heard from them yet. It’s like they just vanished.
    Scene 4
    Plano, Texas. The shipping container.
Miss Parker   [looking at her mobile phone] I can’t get a signal out through these walls.
Mr. Lyle   Screw signals![Pulls out his gun and fires at the ceiling. Miss Parker flinches and ducks.]
Miss Parker   Why don’t you just point it at my head? Huh?
Mr. Lyle   Don’t tempt me. What the hell kind of game is Jarod playing, anyway?
Miss Parker   Hmm, let’s see. He locks us both in here together for God knows how long with nothing but a bucket of stagnant water and a roll of toilet paper. [Points at a large red clock painted on the far wall with the words “Tick-Tock.”] It doesn’t take much time to figure out this isn’t just a game of survival. This is survival of the fittest.
Mr. Lyle   Well, at least he’s not a complete jerk. [Pulls an MRE out of a box.] He left us some Army rations.
    [The television clicks on, showing Jarod’s smiling face.]
Jarod   Miss Parker! Mr. Lyle. Welcome to your home away from home.
Mr. Lyle   Revise that last statement. He is a complete jerk.
Jarod   For all the years that I was locked away at the Centre and for the three years that I’ve been out, the key to my life has been survival, a fun little game. Now ask yourselves: What would you do to survive? I’ve found it’s important to know yourself and to know your family. Have a good time. Oh! By the way, I’ve whipped you up a yummy little meal. [Smirking] Hope you enjoy it.
    [The TV snaps off. Mr. Lyle opens the MRE.]
Mr. Lyle   Mmm mmm. Barbecued grasshoppers. [He pulls one out.] Bon appétit. [Miss Parker stalks away.] Actually they’re supposed to be very high in protein. [He eats one experimentally.] Tastes like licorice. What about you? What are you willing to do to survive, Miss Parker?
Miss Parker   [stalks over, takes a grasshopper] Mmmm. [Crams it in her mouth. Something crunches, and she bends over in pain. Something metal falls from her mouth.] A key. Clever. [She picks it up.] Another little piece to Wolfgang Puke’s puzzle. I think I chipped my tooth. Great. What next?
    [A beeping sound is heard outside. The container shakes, and Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle stagger as a forklift lifts the container and sets it on a semi-truck bed. The truck drives away.]
    Scene 5
Fort Blaine.   Jarod and Lt. Kimbrell drive along a wooded lane.
Jarod   So you’ve been here ever since OCS and MP school.
Kimbrell   You read my file.
Jarod   That’s the idea. I’m supposed to snoop. You’re a very capable officer. Shouldn’t you have your bars by now?
Kimbrell   The reason I’m not a captain yet has less to do with ability than it does with biology.
Jarod   It’s not easy to be a woman in this man’s army, huh?
Kimbrell   Chief Rion used to remind me of that.
Jarod   You knew Rion pretty well.
Kimbrell   We were friends. He treated me with respect. Not like some of these gung-ho idiots. He was nice. Really nice. Is it true he called his parents the night before he started POW training?
Jarod   Hey, I’m the one who’s supposed to snoop, remember?
Kimbrell   Sorry. It’s just, rumor is he told his father that someone on base committed a breach of conduct which he was going to report when he got back from the POW isolation test.
Jarod   I guess he never got the chance to make that report, did he?
Kimbrell   No, sir. I guess not. The training area is just up the road, but I doubt you’ll find Sergeant Reed any more help than Colonel Dance was.
    Scene 6
Fort Blaine training area   A hot, dry day. An Army tent and gear set up, soldiers sitting in the shade. One man is trussed to a stick in the blazing sunshine, while his sergeant paces in front of him.
Sergeant Reed   Seeley, Seeley, Seeley. Seeley! It’s hot out here, isn’t it, Seeley?[He drinks from a canteen.] Ahhh. That sure hit the spot. You want some? Want a sip? Huh?[He pours some on the ground in front of Seeley.] Damn, I been doin’ that all day!
Saunders   Hang tough, Airborne!
Another soldier   Don’t crack, Seeley!
    [The car approaches; Jarod gets out and watches.]
Reed   All you gotta do is quit, Seeley. Quit. Go over there and drink as much as you want. We’ll take you back to a nice air-conditioned room, you can take a nice, long, cold shower, and after that, you can call your mommy [grabs Seeley by the hair] and tell her to come pick you up at the airport on the first flight home! Is that what you want, Seeley?
Seeley   I’m not giving up, Sergeant!
Soldiers   Hang tough, Seeley! Don’t crack!
Reed   [turning to Jarod] The CID! Step into my office.
Soldiers   Don’t give up!
    [Jarod follows Reed to a table set up under a camouflage netting.]
Jarod   I understand that you were in charge of training the night that Chief Rion died.
Reed   Not only that, but I’m the on that opened up the hole the next morning and found him hanging by his belt. It’s all in the report.
Jarod   You must at least have a theory about what happened.
Reed   He went in there by himself. Stayed down there all night by himself. We were all right outside the whole time. The boy must have been scared of the dark, all I can figure. Let his mind get the best of him.
Jarod   Enough to mutilate and hang himself.
Reed   Never got a chance to ask him. You here to arrest me?
Jarod   Not today.
Reed   Good, “˜cause I got work to do. See, these boys are still alive. It’s my job to keep it that way.
    Scene 7
A military cemetery.   [Jarod, in a car, watches a man and woman put flowers on a grave. He opens his red notebook to an article that says, “Special Forces Officer Rion Takes Own Life. Military Refuses to Give Burial with Honors.” The next article shows Rion with his parents and reads, “Parents Allege Military Cover-Up.” Jarod sighs and opens to a photograph of Rion and his parents, with a letter Rion wrote to them.]
Rion   Dear Mom and Dad. We’re almost finished here. I can’t tell you how much this opportunity means to me. Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be in Special Forces, just like Dad was. Our talks about his experiences as a POW in Vietnam prepared me for what I’m about to go through in training. Like he always said, the most important survival tool is the mind. I miss you both very much and look forward to us being together again. Your loving son, Scott.
    [Jarod sighs and watches Mr. and Mrs. Rion crying at the grave.]
    Act 2 Scene 1
The Centre. Sydney’s office.   Broots paces up and down while Sydney sits contemplatively tapping a pencil against his mouth.
Broots   We should have heard something by now. There’s been no word from Miss Parker, no word from Mr. Lyle, no answer on their cell phones. Syd, I’m getting kind of freaked here.
Sydney   I’m concerned as well.
Broots   You think their disappearance has something to do with Jarod?
Sydney   All those military manuals we found in his lair, don’t they all have a survival component?
Broots   Yeah.
Sydney   I’m going to send another sweeper team to Texas immediately. Broots, dig deeper into that shipping manifest and all the other items we found.
Broots   Okay. I’m on it like a cheap suit. [Leaves hurriedly.]
Sydney   What are you up to, Jarod?
    Scene 2
Fort Blaine, Jarod’s hut.   Jarod watches a DSA of himself and Sydney walking and talking.
Young Sydney   Some POWs returned from the brutality and isolation of the prison camp intact, others as mere shadows of the men they once were.
    [They look down into the lab where a number of men sit huddled and isolated from each other in prisoners’ strips, one in a straightjacket.]
Young Jarod   They seem haunted.
Young Sydney   You’re right. Study these men, Jarod. Help us understand why some survive and some shatter.
    [Jarod looks at a male dummy he has dressed in Army clothing and hanging from a rafter by a belt around its neck. It has red marks on its stomach. Jarod looks at a photograph of the wounds Rion made on his own stomach, compares it to the dummy, sighs heavily, tosses the picture back on the desk. Then he pauses and looks at it. It is upside down, and something catches his attention. He takes a pen and traces the marks. A knock comes at the door, and he tucks the photograph in a folder, goes back to looking at the dummy.]
Jarod   Come in!
Kimbrell   [entering] I found Cap”” [She stops and stares.] Captain Saunders and, uh, the rest of Chief Rion’s unit. Sort of.
Jarod   Where?
Kimbrell   [going to a large map hung on the wall] Well, they finished the POW phase of their training and headed out to South Range for some kind of initiation.
Jarod   Initiation?
Kimbrell   Yeah. They could be anywhere in this fifty-square-mile area.
Jarod   Well, I guess I better bring my canteen.
Kimbrell   Uh, nothing personal, sir, but you’ll never find them. They are experts. They just go out there and disappear. [She turns back to him. He has disappeared.]
    Scene 3
Somewhere in the South Range.   [Jarod follows tracks along a river, up a steep slope, through rocks and brush, until he comes to the soldiers’ camp. Duvall is heating a complicated brand on a fire.]
Duvall   Brand is ready, Captain Saunders.
Saunders   [holding Seeley’s head and staring into his eyes] You’ve earned it, Soldier. Give me the bottle. [Takes a large bottle from Walker.] Take a hit. [Seeley drinks.] You ready?
Seeley   I’m ready, sir.
    [Saunders takes the red-hot brand. Seeley rolls up his sleeve and steadies himself. Saunders presses the brand to his arm, and he screams as it burns him. Duvall grabs his arm to steady him. Everyone whoops and cheers.]
Walker   You did it! Man, you did it! You in there!
Jarod   Is this what they all a “weenie roast”?
    [Everyone stares.]
Reed   How the hell did you find us, CID?
Jarod   I followed your tracks.
Saunders   We don’t leave tracks, Stephens!
Jarod   Well, call them what you will, but there was a pressure indentation by the creek bed, a stone was kicked over by the outcropping, and someone with a size eleven-and-a-half boot has a crack in their heel. Sending up a flare would have been less conspicuous.
Reed   You know, I’d be careful who the hell you’re sneaking up on, CID.
Jarod   And I’d be careful about violating regulations. [Gestures at Seeley’s arm.]
Saunders   [pulling up his sleeve to reveal a similar brand] This is tradition. And it’s voluntary. Right, Seeley?
Seeley   [nodding] Yes, sir.
Jarod   [looking at a tattoo of a skull with crossed dynamite on Seeley’s arm] Demolitions man.
Seeley   Yes, sir.
Jarod   You don’t find that very often in survival training.
Saunders   We all come from different disciplines. I was a medical officer, counter-intelligence, Rion was logistics. Duvall here took his place, and Walker’s our weapons expert. Different disciplines, one mind, body, and soul. We train to become a team.
Jarod   So you all knew Scott Rion pretty well.
Seeley   When your training’s about survival, it’s as important to get to know your friends as it is to get to know your enemies. Your life depends on it, sir.
Jarod   A whole lot of good that did Scott Rion.
Saunders   Yeah, well, Scott had his own problems.
Jarod   What kind?
Saunders   Personal. In fact, I sensed he was falling apart. There were times I even covered for him during training. Look, I wanted Rion to make it. We all wanted Rion to make it. And I guess I should have gone to the colonel, but I was afraid he would kick Rion out. Maybe if I had, he would still be alive.
Jarod   Well, like you said, it’s as important to know your friends as it is to know your enemies. [He and Saunders stare at each other.]
    Scene 4
The semi-truck on the road at night.   Miss Parker is huddled into her jacket. Mr. Lyle is trying to make a fire by rubbing a stick on a piece of board.
Mr. Lyle   We need fluids, or we’ll dehydrate.
Miss Parker   This tooth will kill me before then.
Mr. Lyle   When it comes to survival, Jarod doesn’t know the first thing about me. [Miss Parker snickers.] Too bad you quit smoking.
Miss Parker   Keep it up, Daniel Boone.
    [Mr. Lyle opens the small iron woodstove, and the television pops on again.]
Jarod   Brr. I bet it’s getting pretty cold in there. I hope you two are getting along okay. You know what they say when opposite polarities come together. Things can get hot pretty quickly. Oh, in case anybody’s interested, there’s a tube of Anbesol in there somewhere. Searching for it can keep you warm.
    [The TV clicks off.]
Mr. Lyle   No, matches for a fire would keep me warm.
Miss Parker   Shut up and find the Anbesol. [Lyle begins to look.] Opposite polarities.
    [She stares at the car battery beside her, grabs it. Moments later she has a fire going in the iron fireplace by touching raw wires from the battery together. Smoke pours out of the broken smokestack.]
Mr. Lyle   Oh, great, we’ll suffocate. [Begins to work on it.]
    [Miss Parker pulls out newspapers to put on the fire and stares at one of them, the Virginia Sentinel. It has pictures of two attractive Asian girls and a young Mr. Lyle and the headline, “Suspect Sought in Death of Exchange Students.”]
Mr. Lyle   Found the Anbesol. Bet you’re glad I’m here now. You can thank me later. We’re going to choke on this smoke if I don’t get this thing sealed. I need”¦duct tape. [He finds a large roll.] Perfect. [Tears tape as Miss Parker reads more newspapers.] Gotta hand it to Jarod. They say duct tape is the best thing to have in a survival situation. Very clever.
    [The second newspaper has a picture of a young Asian man and reads, “Boyfriend Sought in Slayings. Victims Bound with Duct Tape, Evidence Found in Suspect’s Car.” The third shows Mr. Lyle and says, “Original Suspect Cleared in Student Deaths.”]
Mr. Lyle   But he’s not as clever or smart as he thinks he is.
Miss Parker   Few people are. [She shows him the newspapers. He reacts, then throws them on the fire.]
    Scene 5
Fort Blaine, nighttime, Colonel Dance’s office.   Jarod breaks in with a flashlight, takes files from the filing cabinets, and sits down at the desk to read them. He examines Seeley’s and Reed’s and sets them aside. Saunders’ draws more interest. It lists him as having worked on an external project called Project Abyss.
    Scene 6
Fort Blaine, nighttime.   Kimbrell and Jarod walk toward Kimbrell’s vehicle.
Kimbrell   What are you doing here so late?
Jarod   I was going over files in Colonel Dance’s office.
Kimbrell   After midnight?
Jarod   Well, I guess you didn’t get the memo on the colonel’s new open-door policy. [Opens her car door for her.]
Kimbrell   [getting in] You do like to ruffle feathers, don’t you? You know, hop in. I’ll give you a ride home. [She turns the key. Nothing happens. Jarod sees wires.]
Jarod   Get out of the car. [Grabs her and yanks her out of the car.] Get out of the car![He drags her away, and they run. The car explodes, sending them flying.]
    Act 3 Scene 1
Fort Blaine, The Hole, nighttime.   Seeley walks toward the hole and stares at it.
Jarod   Taking a stroll down memory lane, Seeley
Seeley   [startled] You scared me, Stephens.
Jarod   There’s a lot of that going around tonight. Somebody tried to blow up me and Lt. Kimbrell. Somebody who knows their way around a firecracker.
Seeley   It wasn’t me. If it had’ve been, they’d be mopping you up about now.
Jarod   I see. So, you having trouble sleeping?
Seeley   I just thought I’d take a walk.
Jarod   To the place where Chief Rion died. Interesting. You can still hear him, can’t you? His screams, his pain.
Seeley   I was here when it happened. It was his last night in the hole. He was down there howling and screaming all night. Calling out Captain Saunders’ name, yelling all kinds of crazy stuff.
    [Scene flash to Rion in the hole, clutching his stomach and head and crying out. Soldiers outside sit uneasily around a fire.]
Seeley   It was horrible listening to him all night. Then around daybreak, he just stopped. I thought he’d passed out, till Sergeant Reed opened the door. Then we saw him”¦hanging from the ceiling. He’d cut and scratched himself all up, and he was just like something out of a horror movie. I don’t know who or what could cause someone to flip out like that. I swear I don’t.
Jarod   Why didn’t you get him out?
Seeley   I wanted to. We all did. But we were ordered not to.
Jarod   Captain Saunders.
Seeley   And Sergeant Reed! They said if we pulled Rion out, he’d be kicked out of training.
Jarod   So they just left him down there to die.
Seeley   It’s not like they knew he’d kill himself. How could anyone have known?
    Scene 2
The container on the semi-truck. Nighttime.   Lyle looks at one of the unburnt newspaper articles.
Mr. Lyle   It hasn’t been easy, trying to put the murders out of my mind.
Miss Parker   Looks like you’ve done a pretty good job.
Mr. Lyle   I met Sue at the University of Virginia. She was part of an exchange program with her sister Cindy. One night I stopped by their apartment. The door was open, so I went on in and”¦I found them””what was left of them””in the bedroom. I was a suspect at first. Then the police found a roll of duct tape in the trunk of Cindy’s ex-boyfriend’s car, the same tape that had been used on both sisters.
Miss Parker   [tossing the duct tape at him] Or maybe someone planted the duct tape on an innocent man. You know, to survive.
Mr. Lyle   [pulling a hot coal out of the fireplace and putting it in the bucket of water] Don’t you see what Jarod’s trying to do? Whether it’s in this trap or at the Centre, he’s trying to keep us from trusting each other. You’ve got to trust me, Parker. It’s a must for our survival.
    [Miss Parker sees a tiny box hidden high up and gets it down. She tries to open it.]
Mr. Lyle   What’s that? Parker? Parker!
Miss Parker   [pulling the tiny key she broke her tooth on out of her pocket] You think of everything, don’t you, Jarod?[She opens the box and finds a watch inside. It is stopped at 4:05. The back is etched with “Catherine Parker.”]
Mr. Lyle   What’s the watch about?
Miss Parker   [holding it with her eyes closed] Survival.
    Scene 3
The Centre, nighttime.   Sydney is talking to several sets of twins in the lobby. Broots runs up to him.
Broots   Sydney! Syd! That sweeper team you sent to Texas””they didn’t find them. But they interviewed some bum who had taken Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle to a shipping container where Jarod had been living.
Sydney   The shipping container””was it still there?
Broots   Oh, no! It’s gone! I can’t find it. All anyone seems to know is that it’s heading east.
Sydney   [beginning to chuckle] Along with Parker and Lyle?
Broots   That’s not all. For ten bucks, the bum told the sweepers that Jarod had turned the container into a kind of POW camp, and that he was the prisoner.
Sydney   Hmm. Survival.
Broots   Exactly! I sifted through everything from Jarod’s lair. Most of it is used in training at military and POW survival units across the country.
Sydney   Jarod may have been at one of these facilities.
Broots   Or still may be.
    Scene 4
Fort Blaine, Jarod’s hut, nighttime.   Jarod watches a DSA.
Young Jarod   I’ve evaluated the data, Sydney.
Young Sydney   And what have you determined?
Young Jarod   It’s not necessarily the prisoners who suffered the most physically or who were held in captivity the longest who experience the most significant trauma.
Young Sydney   Then what is the critical factor to their survival?
Young Jarod   Their minds, Sydney. Their will to survive. If the captor removes their hope, their ability to understand their fears and overcome them, the prisoner loses his grip on reality, self-destructs.
    [Jarod turns off the DSA with a sigh.]
    Scene 5
Outside Jarod’s hut, nighttime.   [Someone in Army fatigues approaches quietly. A dirty window reveals a fire burning, a lamp lit, and a figure asleep in bed. The person enters, approaches the bed. Jarod leaps down from a rafter, startling Lt. Kimbrell.]
Jarod   [imitating Ricky Ricardo’s accent] Oh, Lucy! You got some “˜splainin’ to do. [Smirks.] I saw that on a rerun.
Kimbrell   This isn’t what it looks like.
Jarod   I hope not. “˜Cause it sure doesn’t look very good to my friend over here. [Uncovers the figure on the bed to reveal that it is his dummy.]
Kimbrell   I came here to look in Chief Rion’s file. I can’t just sit back and hope this all goes away! I have to find out what really happened to Scott.
Jarod   You don’t believe that it was just a suicide either, do you?
Kimbrell   I don’t know what to believe. All I know is Scott’s family deserves the truth, and if that means risking my commission to get it to them, then so be it.
Jarod   What you’re risking is your life. That bomb in your car wasn’t meant for me. Why don’t you tell me about Captain Saunders? I see the way he looks at you.
Kimbrell   Well, when no one’s around he’s touched me inappropriately.
Jarod   How long has this been going on?
Kimbrell   A few months. At first it was just comments””suggestions. You get used to that kind of crap when you’re a female in the military. You just learn to ignore it and hope it stops.
Jarod   But it didn’t.
Kimbrell   No.
Jarod   And you told Scott about it.
Kimbrell   I made him promise not to tell anyone.
Jarod   What happened?
Kimbrell   About a week before Scott’s death, I went off base to meet some friends for dinner. Captain Saunders was there, with Chief Rion and the rest of the unit. Captain Saunders just kept staring at me, to the point that it was scaring me. So I got up and left. I just wanted to get out of there and go home. Captain Saunders grabbed me. He wouldn’t let go. I tried to fight him””I was yelling at him to let go of me, but it wouldn’t stop. I was so scared. He was trying to push me into the car. And all of a sudden someone pulled him off of me.
Jarod   Scott Rion.
Kimbrell   [nodding] He told Captain Saunders he was going to report him. They argued. Captain Saunders told Scott he’d forgotten the First Rule, that the unit always comes first. He said it wasn’t over between them, that he’d make sure Scott learned his lesson. When Scott committed suicide, I felt responsible.
Jarod   Scott did commit suicide, but it wasn’t by choice.
Kimbrell   I don’t understand.
Jarod   His psychological profile showed no signs of instability. Prisoner of war training is tough, but Scott knew he only had to endure one more night.
Kimbrell   Then what could have made him go out of his mind?
Jarod   Something I found in his mind.
Kimbrell   You’re saying he was given something to make him go crazy?
Jarod   That’s what he was trying to tell us. He wasn’t mutilating himself. He was writing a word. Scott knew he was drugged. He was attempting to tell us who did it and how.
Kimbrell   That seems so impossible.
Jarod   Rion knew that Saunders was involved in a secret research project to develop drugs to interrogate prisoners of war. [Shows her the upside down pictures of the marks on Rion’s body, traced over with red marker.] The name of that project was””
Kimbrell   [reading the marks] “Abyss.”
Jarod   Scott knew he was given the Abyss drug. As he became more psychotic and disoriented, he attempted to tell us.
Kimbrell   So what are you going to do about it?
Jarod   I’m going to give Captain Saunders a little taste of his own medicine.
    Act 4 Scene 1
The container on the semi-truck, nighttime.   Mr. Lyle sits by the fire and drinks water from the bucket. Miss Parker sits on the far side of the shipping container from him, under the huge clock drawn on the wall, staring at the watch in her hands.
Mr. Lyle   [bringing her water] It’s okay to drink now. [She stares at the water.] Trust me. [She drinks.] Tick-tock. Jarod wanted you to find that watch. He knew it meant something to you.
Miss Parker   It was my”¦our mother’s. She won it in a swim competition when she was little, and Daddy gave it to me for my twelfth birthday. I used to use it to time myself treading water when we would go to the lake. And this one particular morning, it was early, I took the skiff out alone, and I went way out into the middle. It started taking on water, and before I could make it back, it sank. I tried to swim, but it was just so far. All I could do was tread water and hope someone would find me. My legs were cramping and my arms were aching. It was terrifying. Every time I wanted to give in, to surrender to the pain, to let myself sink, I would hear the ticking of this watch, and it was like Mother’s voice whispering to me to fight for my life, to fight to survive. And I did. Anyway, eventually Daddy came and rescued me, but it was this watch that saved my life. I lost it a long time ago.
Mr. Lyle   Looks like somebody found it.
    [The truck comes to a stop.]
Mr. Lyle   What now?
    Scene 2
    Fort Blaine, Jarod’s hut, nighttime.
    Jarod works on his computer, writing a memorandum seemingly from Base Command to Sergeant Reed about new orders for a three-day solo survival exercise. He investigates Captain Saunders’ gear, makes changes to his MREs with a concoction from some leaves, and ties a noose in a rope.
    Scene 3
The Centre, Sydney’s office.   Broots runs into Sydney’s office.
Broots   Syd! Syd! I found it! I found the container. And you’re not going to believe where.
    Scene 4
The shipping container.   Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle sit waiting for something to happen. A knock comes on the wall near the “Do not pull this lever” sign. They hear a familiar voice.
Broots   Miss Parker? Miss Parker!
Miss Parker   Broots? Broots, you lovable moron, is that you?
Broots   Yeah! I guess.
Mr. Lyle   [pounding on the wall] Open the door!
Sydney   You have to do it.
Miss Parker   What?
Broots   It says out here, “To open, pull the “˜Do Not Pull’ lever inside–Really!”
    [Parker and Lyle give each other frustrated looks, and Miss Parker pulls the lever. The door opens, and they blink in the sunlight at a sign that says, “The Centre: Receiving.”]
Miss Parker   Jarod shipped us back to the Centre?
Sydney   Ironic, isn’t it?
Miss Parker   It’s a regular Junior Jumble.
Mr. Lyle   When I catch him, I’m gonna kill him.
Broots   Well, you may get your chance.
Sydney   We tracked him to an Army survival camp.
Miss Parker   Where?
Broots   Oh, it’s in Texas. Right next to the container yard where you started.
    Scene 5
Fort Blaine, the survival camp, daytime.   An Army vehicle pulls up with members of the unit.
Sergeant Reed   Welcome back, ladies! Sorry to ruin your R&R, but we have new orders to move up your three-day survival solo in the wilderness. You’ll be assigned separate quadrants. Your mission is to escape and evade for the next seventy-two hours. All that you need and all that you are getting is in your gear, which you can pick up at the table. Make me proud! Let’s go!
    [The soldiers give the quintessential Army cheer and pile out while Jarod watches from behind a rocky outcropping.)
    Scene 6
Fort Blaine, wilderness, Captain Saunders’ camp, evening.   Captain Saunders sits down to eat his MRE. Jarod, in camouflage and disguising face paint, watches. Saunders begins to feel hot. He thinks he sees “ABYSS” written at the bottom of his applesauce cup. He tries to get up and falls down. He clutches his head and screams.
    Scene 7
Fort Blaine, The Hole, nighttime.   Captain Saunders lies on the ground in the hole. Jarod sits in a shadow wearing night-vision goggles.
Jarod   Wake up, Saunders. Wake up!
Saunders   [getting up and staggering into walls] Where am I? What’s happening?
Jarod   I bet Scott Rion asked himself the same question.
Saunders   Who’s in here?
Jarod   [shining a flashlight on his face from below] Just demons in your mind. Victims from your past.
Saunders   [bumping into the hanging dummy from Jarod’s cabin] Ahh!
Jarod   What’s the matter, Saunders? Feeling a little crazy?
Saunders   Stephens, is that you?
Jarod   You look scared. Scared to death![Goes to Saunders and attaches his handcuffed hands to a beam in the roof.]
Saunders   This is gonna cost you your commission.
Jarod   Well, it can’t really cost me my commission because I don’t really have one. The truth is, my name’s not Stephens. I’m not even in the Army. [Smirks and chortles.]
Saunders   What have you done to me?[His vision and hearing are becoming shaky and echoey.]
Jarod   The same thing you did to Scott Rion.
Saunders   Rion hung himself! He couldn’t cope! I told you that!
Jarod   Because of the hallucinogens you put in his MRE! Drugs you designed to increase his feelings of fear and terror.
Saunders   Man, this is crazy!
Jarod   [shouting] Almost as crazy as Scott Rion must have felt when you left him in the hole all night! As the drug took control of his mind, he had two options: either go crazy or kill himself!
Saunders   No! No!
Jarod   You knew that he was going to report you for the sexual harassment of Lt. Kimbrell. You would have been court martialed, lost your precious career.
Saunders   You can’t prove any of it. You can’t prove it.
Jarod   That’s why I’ve whipped up my own little special batch of Abyss.
Saunders   [seeing “ABYSS” written in red on the stomach of the dummy] Ahh!
Jarod   As you know, it starts out slowly, and then it builds, getting stronger with each wave, until your mind slowly slips into insanity. It should be kicking in pretty well right now. Your eyes playing tricks on you, your skin crawling, your mind losing its grip. Oh, uh, the key to your handcuffs. [He puts it in Saunders’ breast pocket.] You should have your hands free in case you want to mutilate yourself. Well, gotta go now! Have fun in your own private little”¦hell. [Begins to climb out.] Oh, one more thing. Rion’s belt. Just in case you would want to, uh, hang around. Have fun.
Saunders   No, wait! Wait! Don’t leave me in here! Wait! Don’t leave![Whimpers.] Let me out, man! Look! You’re right! Okay, I did it! I did it! I drugged him! Come on, let me out!
Jarod   Hmmm”¦uh-uh. [Closes the hatch.]
Saunders   Let me out!
Kimbrell   [standing on top of the hole] How long should we leave him in there?
Jarod   The drug should wear off in a couple of hours. After that, he’ll just weep.
Saunders   Let me out!
    Scene 8
Fort Blaine, Colonel Dance’s office, daytime.   Colonel Dance reads a file, throws it down, turns to stare at Kimbrell. A black car squeals into a parking spot outside. Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle get out, run into the building.
    Scene 9
Fort Blaine, a hallway.   Kimbrell and Jarod walk and talk.
Kimbrell   The colonel assures me that Saunders will get everything he deserves. Twenty-to-life at Leavenworth, minimum.
Jarod   Rion’s family will get a full apology and a disclosure of what happened.
Kimbrell   From Colonel Dance personally.
Jarod   Thank you, Lieutenant. And I have a feeling those bars of yours won’t be long in coming.
Kimbrell   [smiling] You know, I don’t know your rank, Jarod, but I am honored to call you Sir. [She salutes him. He salutes back with a grin.] Thank you.
    [Jarod sees Miss Parker entering the hall.]
Jarod   Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to learn some of those escape and evasion skills I learned here. Good luck.
    [Kimbrell stares after him as he ducks down a corridor, then turns to stare at Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle walking in the opposite direction.]
    Scene 10
Blue Cove, Delaware. Miss Parker’s house, daytime.   The phone rings.
Miss Parker   [answering while brushing wet hair] What?
Jarod   Aside from the chipped molar, sounds like you survived.
Miss Parker   No thanks to you.
Jarod   Well, actually, everything you needed was there all along. All you had to do was open your eyes and see.
Miss Parker   What exactly was it I was supposed to see?
Jarod   That survival comes down to knowing the difference between your friends and your enemies.
Miss Parker   I suppose you’re trying to tell me that Lyle is my enemy and you’re my friend.
Jarod   Maybe. And you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to survive. You can sure bet that Lyle will. [He hangs up.]
    Scene 11
A military cemetery.   An honor guard surrounds a grave, and the gun salute is fired. “Taps” is played. Colonel Dance and Lieutenant Kimbrell are there. Jarod watches from a distance. Sergeant Reed brings the flag to Scott Rion’s parents. Jarod walks away through the lines of graves to the last notes of “Taps.”

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