On Turning Away (WT), ACT I, SCENE 3
SETTING: Iraq, MSR Tampa Northbound on the way from Balad to Speicher, approximately same place they had contact earlier
AT RISE: FLYNN, SMITTY and BARREL are in the truck
Slow down a bit SMITTY
What’s up Sergeant?
I don’t know, man. Something feels off.
I don’t see anything Sarnt
Yeah, good point BARREL. These streets are way too empty. Keep your eyes open up there and get that fucking gun scanning
2–1 this is 2–3, over.
2–3 this is 2–1 over.
2–1 this is 2–3, we’re slowing down to about ten miles per hour, over.
2–3 this is 2–1, what’s going on up there, over?
2–1 this is 2–3, I don’t know. Something just doesn’t feel…
(Load explosion. BLACKOUT. The lights come on dimly so that the three on stage are barely visible the vehicle is on SMITTY’s side. BARREL is in FLYNN’s arms and they are sprawled on top of SMITTY. There should be black dust settling on them and the front of the vehicle should look torn to shreds. BARREL is making gurgling noises)
2–3, 2–3 this is 2–1, status over.
(The lights brighten a little. BARREL’s neck and upper chest is covered in blood)
(Disentangles himself from BARREL and lays him on his back. He places he hands on BARREL’s neck)
Fuck SMITTY! BARREL’s hit.
SMITTY, are you hit?
2–3, 2–3 this is 2–1 I need a status, over.
Agh, god damn, my face. My face.
I need you to sit up and put pressure on BARREL’s neck.
(SMITTY struggles to sit. His face is covered in blood. He puts his hands over FLYNN’s hands and FLYNN removes his from BARREL’s neck)
2–3, 2–3, 2–3, this is 2–1, over.
2–1 this is 2–3. We’ve been hit, break.
Need medic ASAP, break.
Gulf element has taken shrapnel to his throat, fading fast, break.
Delta element taken shrapnel to face, break
I think I’m fine, over.
(SMITTY slumps to the side and FLYNN grabs BARREL’s neck again)
2–3 this is 2–1. 2–4 and 2–2 are in place as security and medic is on his way. Hang in there.
C’mon BARREL. Open your god damn eyes. Wake up you little shit-bag, wake the fuck up!
(Groans then raspy)
(Coughs violently and sprays blood all over FLYNN’s face. He then slumps back and his head drops to the side)
(Raises BARREL’s upper body up and wraps his arms around him. He speaks with a break in his voice)
I’m sorry man. I’m so fucking sorry.
(Lays him back down and crawls over to SMITTY. He reaches in and takes SMITTY’s carotid pulse. He sighs and pulls SMITTY into his arms)
(With a weak voice)
I’m still here Sarnt. I just hurt and feel really tired.
I know you’re hurt man but you stay the fuck awake, you hear me?
My face… is it…?
ENTER CHRISTIAN AND BRICK
(CHRISTIAN and BRICK enter and run to the truck. They place a stretcher next to the truck and CHRISTIAN lays his medic bag down then starts climbing up the side as FLYNN is speaking)
(Laughs through the tears)
You’re still the prettiest joe in the squad, buddy.
(Pokes his head through the window)
MURPH, are you able to lift BARREL up to me?
Take SMITTY, CHRISTIAN.
BARREL has worse injuries, I need him first.
Damn it Cleatus, BARREL is gone, take SMITTY.
Pass him up.
All right SMITTY, I’m going to stand and grab you by the armpits.
(Stands the best he can and grabs SMITTY)
On your count CHIRSTIAN
(Louder on the three)
One… Two… Three…!
(FLYNN lifts SMITTY and CHIRSTIAN reaches in, grabs him and pulls him out. SMITTY groans in pain. CHIRTSIAN maneuvers SMITTY to the edge of the truck and climbs down. BRICK positions himself at SMITTY’s feet and CHRISTIAN at his head as FLYNN searches around for his rifle then climbs out)
One, two, three
(Again louder on three. They transfer SMITTY to the stretcher as FLYNN climbs to the ground. CHIRSTIAN removes an IV package and hands it to BRICK. He then removes dressings and bandages. BRICK begins preparing and administering the IV as CHIRSTIAN begins treating SMITTY)
How is he doc?
He’s going to be fine, MURPH
(Turns to SMITTY)
You hear me SMITTY, you’re going to be fine.
Okay Doc. I’m starting to feel better already.
(The sound of a helicopter begins and slowly gets louder)
Stay with me damn it, the Medevac is almost here.
(With his rifle at the ready he begins walking past CHIRSTIAN and BRICK. He speaks in a dazed voice)
Good doc. I’ll pull security.
(He takes two steps, stops, sways back and forth then crumples to the ground right next to BRICK.
(Turns sharply toward FLYNN)
Doc! Murph’s been hit too.
Damn it, where?
Looks like a piece of shrapnel pierced his right shoulder guard and there’s a large piece stuck in his right thigh just above the knee. I’m applying a tourniquet.
(Pause and then angrily)
God damn you pig-headed stubborn fucking grunts!
(Keys coms and tersely)
2–1 this is 2–9. I need two more individuals and a second stretcher.
2–9 this is 2–1, they’re on the way. Status, over?
(Sighs then keys comms)
2–1, this is 2–9. 2–3 has taken shrapnel to the right shoulder and right leg and is unconscious. 2–3 delta has taken shrapnel to the face but is conscious, break.
2–3 gulf is Kilo India Alpha, I say again, 2–3…
(Voice breaks while speaking and he releases the mike.
This is 2–1; fuck. Stand by for medevac. 2–1 out.