UnBooks:Dubanka

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The novel Dubanka is also available in paperback.

[Snare drum - military music. Stock footage of transport arriving at makeshift army base on tropical island. SUPER: SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC / 1942 - Dissolve to a Captain, with pointer and map, explaining plans to a group of uniformed servicemen.]

Captain: Okay, this is our objective, men. By destroying this bridge, we cut off their main supplies. Any questions?

1st Corporal: Yes. Sir, when does the rendezvous start?

Captain: Oh-one-hundred. Don't be late, Corporal. Okay, men, now look, this isn't gonna be a Sunday picnic. Gonna give it to ya straight. Some of you won't be coming back. Like, for example, you, Private Thompson. You won't be coming back.

Private Thompson: [confused] Uh, sir?

Captain: You won't be coming back.

Private Thompson: Uh, why not, sir?

Captain: [chuckles] Why not, Private? Well, I think perhaps being mowed down by enemy crossfire might have something to do with it. Just like, uh, Corporal Connors over here. He won't be coming back.

Corporal Connors: Sir?

Captain: You won't be coming back.

Corporal Connors: I'm gonna die, sir?

Captain: I just got done saying that, Corporal. Don't make me repeat myself, please.

Sergeant: Sir?

Captain: Yes, Sergeant?

Sergeant: Uh, am I hearing this right, sir? You know who's gonna die?

Captain: Well, yes. When you've been soldiering as long as I have, then you can predict these things.

Sergeant: Ever had a wrong prediction, sir?

Captain: No.

Sergeant: Am I gonna make it, sir?

Captain: No. You won't be coming back.

1st Man: Am I gonna make it, sir?

Captain: No.

2nd Man: Am I gonna make it, sir?

Captain: Nope.

3rd Man: Am I gonna make it, sir?

Captain: [high pitched, as if it were obvious] No-o-o.

Rogers: Am I gonna make it, sir?

Captain: What? I can't see. Is that you, Rogers?

Rogers: Yes, sir.

Captain: No.

Bloomfield: Uh, what about me, Captain?

Captain: Well, you're gonna be fine, Stokowski, uh, A-OK, don't worry about it.

Bloomfield: Uh, I'm Bloomfield, sir.

Captain: Oh! Bloomfield! You won't be coming back. Sorry.

2nd Corporal: Uh, wh-wh-what about me, sir?

Captain: Well, Corporal, I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you.

2nd Corporal: Bad - bad news, sir?

Captain: Yes, you're being demoted to private.

2nd Corporal: [relieved] I am? Is that all?

Captain: No. You won't be coming back.

3rd Corporal: Sir, my question is not about me. This is not a question about me. This is an unrelated question.

Captain: Fine. But before you ask it, let me just say, you won't be coming back.

3rd Corporal: Oh, come on!

Captain: Yes, you'll be killed by friendly fire. Thompson there is gonna shoot you.

Private Thompson: [puts a hand on 3rd Corporal's shoulder] Sorry, man.

3rd Corporal: Well, I - I won't let it happen! I'll make sure I never go near Thompson in the battle!

Captain: [amused] Yeah, okay, whatever. [to a soldier with a raised hand] Yeah, Private Mitchelson, good to hear from you.

Miller: Uh, Miller, sir.

Captain: Oh, Miller, right. You won't be coming back.

Miller: [unconcerned] Yeah, yeah, I know, sir. I kind of got that feeling. Listen, uh ... what I was wondering was, uh, I thought maybe it'd be faster if you told us who's not gonna die.

Captain: Who's not gonna die?

Miller: Yeah.

Captain: [thinking] Uh, well, I'm not gonna die, uh, and-- Sullivan! You're not gonna die.

Private Sullivan: I'm not, sir?

Captain: No. No.

Private Sullivan: [relieved] Oh, thank God!

Captain: But you are gonna be captured by enemy troops and you're gonna be tortured repeatedly for sport. Many, many, many years -- long after the war is over. In fact, among the natives you'll be known as "Dubonka" or "He Who Begs for the Death That Will Not Come."

Private Sullivan: "Dubonka," sir?

Captain: Dubonka, yes.

Private Sullivan: I, uh, I - I - I don't wanna be Dubonka, sir.

Captain: [amused] Look, Private, I don't want to be allergic to wheat but I have no choice. I've had to live with that. [to Bloomfield] Yes, what is it, Bloomfield?

Bloomfield: Uh, sir, wouldn't it be easier to bomb this bridge from the air?

Captain: [quickly] Probably. Okay, let's review! [turns to the map, uses pointer] ... We slip in here, oh-one-hundred. Oh-three-hundred, we take the bridge. Oh-four-hundred, Sullivan becomes Dubonka. Any questions? Dubonka, questions?

Private Sullivan: Uh, no. No, sir.

Captain: Okay, men, I'll see you back here at oh-one-hundred in full combat gear, okay? Okay. Fall out. [The men begin to disperse but the Captain points to the 1st Corporal] Ah, not you, Corporal. [The rest of the men exit. The Captain puts a hand on the corporal's shoulder] Listen, Corporal, I'm afraid I have some horrible news for you.

1st Corporal: Horrible news, sir?

Captain: Yeah, let's take a walk, son. [They start to walk off - military music pots up] Have you ever heard of the term "Wakatinku"?

1st Corporal: "Wakatinku," sir?

[They exit. Applause. Fade.]

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