WHO MONITORS THE BIRDS
On a mysterious planet with two moons, Cooper and Major JACK COLQUITT
assassinate a high level Chig officer from their hidden sniper nest. After
confirming the kills, Cooper and Colquitt consult a hand-held electronic device.
--End of Teaser--
"Extraction at 208884. 00.43"
With this information, Cooper prepares to follow Colquitt into the woods... but
they're attacked! Colquitt is killed! Cooper "rabbit runs" from the scene, but
is grazed in the head! He goes down! The last vision Cooper sees before losing
consciousness are three Chigs proceeding towards their position...
Cooper remains unconscious as the Chig soldiers advance on the downed Major
Colquitt. An Alien fires an insurance shot into Colquitt! Hawkes wakes up! He
can only watch as the Aliens butcher Colquitt into tiny pieces with a
horrible-looking machete. He carefully reaches for his rifle and when the
Aliens finish with Colquitt and advance on him, Hawkes leaps to his feet and
blasts two Chigs before his rifle jams. He removes his trusty K-bar field knife
and dispatches the third: quickly and quietly. The melee over, Cooper looks down
at his partner and finds his dogtags:
--End of Act One--
"COLQUITT. JOHN R. MAJOR"
This image takes Cooper into a flashback...
He's back on the U.S.S Saratoga, using the ship's firing range with Shane and
Nathan. To the side, decorated with several sharpshooter ribbons is Major
Colquitt. He watches intently as Cooper consistently hits the bulls-eye.
Colquitt turns his attention from Hawkes' impressive shooting... to Hawkes
Back on the planet, Cooper has buried Colquitt in a shallow grave. He places
all of Colquitt's equipment, including his rifle, into the grave. Cooper finds
Colquitt's satellite communications box and types in:
ENEMY ENCOUNTER. 1 CASUALTY. REQUEST NEW EXTRACTION #'S
To which the reply is:
EXTRACTION AT 201881. 02:15
Cooper navigates toward the new extraction point, then looks at his watch: It's
1:58. He has some time to kill... Suddenly gunfire explodes all around him!
His gear comes loose and he loses his flat black box -- his link to rescue! Six
Alien soldiers descend upon his position, firing! He looks to the lake,
thinking. Hawkes makes up his mind and takes a flying leap -- into the water!
As he ducks under the surface, evading Chig bullets, we flashback to ...
An In Vitro birthing facility, the year is 2057. Hawkes' birth. He slides out
of a recently depleted tank of amniotic fluid onto a cutting table of sorts.
The In Vitro facility is not a warm, cheery place... As the "doctors" cut the
umbilical cord that attaches to the back of his neck...
Hawkes screams for a breath! We're back in the present and Cooper springs from
the water and gasps for air. He's ringed by explosions. The Chigs are
searching for him... He finds a foxhole but his gun is wet. It's useless.
Suddenly, Cooper spots a WOMAN on the ridge. She simply stares down at Cooper
and the dire predicament he's in. Cooper shakes off the image, then looks up at
her again... She's gone!
Cooper hides in the foxhole as the Chigs continue to "walk in" their artillery
toward him. With each explosion, Cooper realizes he must make a run for it...
He goes! Hawkes runs through a clearing, gunshots and artillery fire strobing
around him. The strobing evokes another memory for Hawkes...
--End of Act Two--
Hawkes sits with twenty other In Vitros in a run down classroom. A strobing
projector displays propaganda on the wall like:
"To be monitored is to be free."
"America loves you. This is why you are monitored."
Cooper, along with his classmates, accept all of this as truth...
Cooper has reached a rocky area, and he hides from an approaching Chig soldier.
He looks to his hand and remembers back to his training. He jumps the Chig
soldier, twists his neck and kills him! Cooper tries to use the enemy's weapon
but can't seem to get it right. He even tries on the Chig's helmet! As the
enemy closes in on the defenseless Cooper, he looks down to the Chig rifle. It
sparks an idea...
Cooper digs up Colquitt's rifle, now he's ready to fight. As Cooper reads
Colquitt's name from the side of the barrel, he flashes back to the Saratoga...
Cooper sits in the interrogation room as Colquitt paces behind him. The Major
explains to Cooper that since he's the best shooter on the Saratoga, he's most
qualified to accompany Colquitt on his assassination mission. He offers Cooper
an honorable discharge certificate in exchange for his help.
"I know a judge sentenced you to the Marines," says Colquitt. "That's the
ticket. "Go on this mission... and the Old Man'll sign it."
The catch, however, is that Cooper will not be able to tell the 58th, his
friends, that he's on a mission. If he dies on the planet, they'll never know
what happened to him. The temptation of honorable discharge is too great. He
accepts the mission.
As Cooper hovers over Colquitt's grave, he sways from the head injury he
received earlier. Once again, the Whore of Death appears. She beckons Cooper
to come to her, teasing him sexually. Cooper responds until he sees her face:
the skin of a white worm with orange eyes. Cooper recoils with terror and runs
He runs into the woods, checking over his shoulder to see if the Whore of Death
is behind him when... he sees a flashlight turn on in the distance and hits the
deck! Cooper peers through his rifle barrel telescope to see a pair of Alien
sentries examining the area. One of them has found the satellite communications
box: Cooper's only means of returning to the Saratoga. He shoots them both dead
with his sniper accuracy. He crawls forward and retrieves the flat black box.
As before, he punches commands into it then examines the read-out:
"No Response. Satellite Out of Range."
This doesn't bode well for Cooper...
Morning. Hawkes hasn't moved a muscle all night. He checks his satellite box.
No luck. As the loneliness sinks in, Hawkes thinks back to the recent past and
how he stole away into the night (like the Baltimore Colts) from the Wild Cards,
his friends. He holds a look on Shane in particular. He doesn't know how to
say good-bye to her.
--End of Act Three--
A CAW from a pterodactyl, an indigenous life form of this strange planet, snaps
Cooper out of his trance. He watches it fly overhead, the memory takes him back
The In Vitro facility. From behind the bars of his dorm room window, Cooper
watches a bird fly. His expression reads fascination, then shifts as something
very troubling occurs to him.
Later, in the In Vitro classroom, Cooper raises his hand during a lesson. The
Monitors are not pleased with this unorthodox act. Cooper asks a question:
"Monitor? Who... who monitors the birds?"
The Monitor answers:
"I monitor the birds."
To which Cooper answers:
"Who... who monitors... you?"
The Monitors exchange looks. Cooper is going to be a problem...
A Chig soldier STEPS in front of Cooper! Cooper snaps out of his flashback!
The Alien, though, is unaware of the Marine's hidden position. It walks off
toward the woods. Cooper raises his rifle, ready to blast the Alien. The Chig,
a wandering foot soldier, takes a moment to look up at the pterodactyl. Cooper
hesitates. The Chig is watching the bird in the same way Cooper was earlier; he
can't bear to shoot him and lets him move off. He squeezes his eyes shut and
flashes back to the past...
In his In Vitro dorm room, Cooper receives an anonymous note warning him that it
has been overheard that he has been deemed "defective" and that he will be
"erased." Later that night, a Monitor brings Cooper into the Birthing Room.
They've "monitored" the onset of a head cold... The Monitor pulls a knife on
Cooper! Cooper reacts! He kills the Monitor with his bare hands, swipes his
pass card, then escapes into the harsh city.
Cooper wakes up from his flashback to find the Whore of Death sitting only
inches away from him. She shows Cooper that six Chig soldiers are approaching
his position from the front... and six more are approaching from behind.
Cooper's doomed. The Whore of Death smiles...
With twelve soldiers advancing upon his position, Cooper readies his rifle to
"semi-auto" position and prepares a smart grenade. He leaps out from cover and
takes on the Chigs! He manages to elude all but two when his rifle jams! He
makes a break for it, running for cover from the weapons fire erupting all
around him. He turns a corner to find... a lone Chig. Cooper knocks his weapon
away, but before they can get into it, a mortar shell sends them both flying
into a dry river bed. As they both recover, Cooper removes his K-bar knife and
prepares to make quick work of the Alien. The Alien throws up its hands:
"Please don't kill me." Cooper hesitates, then resheathes his knife. The Alien
and Cooper exchange mementos before going their separate ways to rejoin the
--End of "Who Monitors the Birds?"--
Cooper runs through a stream bed, then stops to administer the last of his
medication. He's on his last legs. As Cooper examines his surroundings (which
include a small, eight foot pool of water) an idea comes to him...
A few moments later, we see three Chig foot soldiers tracking Cooper, one of
which smells the repugnant human blood on a stray piece of Cooper's leftover
gauze: "The Human is near."
Indeed, Cooper is hunched behind a sapling waiting for the point Alien to come
closer... closer... The Chig trips a trigger branch and the K-bar swings and
nails it in the chest! Gas escapes! Cooper pulls the remaining two Chigs into
the pool of water! In the water he pulls one Chig's helmet off, killing it
instantly. The last Chig pulls its way out of the water and fights hand-to-hand
with Cooper. Cooper kills it! After taking a breath, Cooper notices that the
last Chig he killed was the same Alien with whom he swamped mementos. Cooper is
Later that evening, Cooper sits among the dead. The Whore of Death approaches
him -- she points out a pair of Alien troop transports preparing to land --
another nail in Cooper's coffin. She offers a hand to him -- come with me. He
reaches out to take it, resigned. Suddenly, the satellite communications box
comes to life:
"Extraction @ 205643. 18:42"
Cooper has a new lease on life! He struggles to pull away from the Whore of
Death but she fights him! He struggles with her, finally beating her off... She
leans in one last time:
"Until we meet again," she says in an unnatural voice.
Hawkes moves through the woods without regard for his safety. He's numb. He
returns to the spot where he and Colquitt cached equipment earlier.
A few moments later, we see Hawkes in the scuba gear we saw him wearing in the
teaser, preparing to enter the water. Before he descends, he holds the
"Honorable discharge" document. He looks at it for a few beats, then tears it
up. He moves into the lake and then dips below the surface, disappearing.