And I Alone Survived to Tell Thee

Scene One: Loomings

In the dark, sounds of metal scraping on metal, the sick groaning of an immenant collapse. One voice, faint, speaks out. It’s hard to hear what the voice is saying, but it can be heard. Hello? Hello? Sounds of a human being in pain.

Scene Two: “I account it high time to get to sea”

Broad daylight, a group of film students are working on their project. They’ve got permission to film from Army helicoptors to see what it’s like for manuvering troops on training grounds, and how the practice missions help the troops. Also, they’ll be checking out the quality of the land, to see how teh manuvers destroy (or don’t) the area. What’s the Army doing to ensure the land will survive healthy?

The film students split into two groups, each loaded into Chinook cargo helicopter, and go through a short, pre-flight training.

Scene Three: Dusk

It’s still dark, the voice is growing more firm. A scream of agony and a quiet plea for help. Is anyone else alive?

Scene Four: “Shipmates, have ye shipped in that ship?”

The main character, a young woman, is in the second helicoptor. She is one of the two senior students and as such, is in charge of the other students in her chopper. Very smart and on the ball, she’s not what you wuold call a personable person. She’s more interested in telling the story than getting on well with her friends. Still, she’s getting the job done and making sure everyone does their part. She doesn’t chastize anyone for goofing off, and lets them be as she bussies herself.

Naturally curious, she sits up front to talk to the pilots as they fly out to where the troops are biovacked. Even though it’s early in the day, the troops are already out donig manuvers and they pass overhead. The troops don’t stop their work, and the choppers come in so the camera workers can get good views of the army in motion.

There’s a sound setup so the filmers in each helicopter can talk to eachother. We zoom in on one of the camera workers, leaning against his straps with the camera hugged close. The camera lense shines in the sun.

Scene Five: The Tail

That same camera reflects the light, just enough fo use to see that there is some light comign into the dark area. We’re inside something. The voice asks if anyone’s alive, and then we see an eye reflected in the camera. The voice, clearly a woman’s, asks if anyone can hear her. There’s something on her legs.

Scene Six: “We don’t want thunder; we want rum”

As the choppers move on to the edge of the training field, where they want to look at the quality of the land, there’s a popping sound. The pilot is calm and says that the engine’s sounding ‘funny.’ After some conversations, he turns the chopper back and says he wants to land back at the base and have it checked out.

The film crew’s dissapointed, but everyone agrees best to be safe. The chopper heads back, and our main character decides to keep filming. After all, strange problems are a way of life, and it’s good to see how the army reacts to them. The engine pops again, this time with a lot more metallic groaning. Some of the film kids are nervous and edge away from the tail. An experienced army fellow points out that if the engine goes, it’ll be a hard landing.

They all strap in.

Scene Seven: The Candles

Wavering between dark and grey, the camera waves and wobbles while the woman tries to move. She seems to have trouble moving her right side, which has a propeller pinned near it. While it’s obvious she’s in pain, she keeps talking to the camera. She can’t hear anyone, but that doesn’t mean they can’t hear her. It’s our main character. After freeing her foot, she appears to throw up and come near to passing out.

Scene Eight: “Don’t know where it is.”

Our woman has yet to strap in, looking out through the window and talking to the pilot. All seems well, and the pilots don’t seem worried. When the chopper starts to buck, our hero straps herself in and holds the camera so the camera man can do the same. The pilot announces they’re going to make a hard landing.

Scene Nine: All Astir

The light is grwing stronger as the woman pulls herself towards it. We see in the dark blood and death. Dirt and pain. No one else seems to have survived. The woman pulls the camera with her as she drags herself through the wreckage.

Scene Ten: “The involuntary consternation of the moment”

The camera jumps up and down, the people are thrown side to side, and through the open door we can see the ground coming up too fast to be safe.

Scene Eleven: Moby Dick – “Ahab’s quenchless feud seemed mine.”

Finally the woman gets to the light. Reaching back, she drags the camera with her and forces herself to get out of the chopper. She’s now on the side, which is on the top from the crash.

Scene Twelve: Queequeg in His Coffin – “a sick savage is almost half-well again in a day.”

Pulling herself awaty from the wreckage, our hero keeps the camera on and drags herself out. The whole time she gives the camera a running commentary of what’s gonig on, looking back we can see how nasty the crash was. It’s amazing anyone survived.

Not too soon after she gets away from the chopper, it explodes, the fire having hit the fuel line.

Scene Thirteen: Epilogue – “only found another orphan”

Lying on her back, the woman manages to stay safe until the other chopper can pick her up. The only survivor.

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