Column by Bradley Keyes.
Exclusive to STR
The Department of Homeland Security has apparently been too clever for its own good. They put together a Terrorist Interdiction Field Manual in the form of multiple scripts as an aid to their field agents to help them get into their undercover roles properly. It appears that some poor soul within the Department mistook the highly-classified document for a hopeful Hollywood script. The unknown soul shipped the manual to a well-known Hollywood agent who happens to be an acquaintance of mine.
My acquaintance, seeing that the script had little entertainment value, called me immediately. While faxing the contents of the manual, my acquaintance began to give me an overview of the contents. Unfortunately a concussive grenade and loud, angry voices interrupted my first question to him. The phone and fax went dead.
I have not heard from, or of, my contact since.
Only two pages made it through the fax machine. I am posting it here in the hopes that it will spread before it disappears, or I do!
--------------- TIFM - The Basic Script---------------
Our scenes play out with two primary actors.
Heroic Agent (HA) - That's you, the good guy
Mastermind Terrorist (MT) - The cold-blooded genius you will face, and ultimately defeat
Note: This script can easily be adapted to more than one MT. Detailed stagings of other alternatives are presented in subsequent chapters.
ACT 1 - Laying In Wait
Direction to Heroic Agent: Canvas the local mosques, cultural centers, student groups, online chatrooms, and forums. Pinpoint one or more angry young males (AYMs). Strike up a conversation with them. Here you'll need to use your improvisational skills. Often the best response it just to feed their own words back to them.
Mastermind Terrorist: Damn those drones. The bastards just hit another village by mistake, killed at least a dozen women and children.
Heroic Agent: Damn drones. Bastards shouldn't be allowed to fly 'em.
Mastermind Terrorist: Damn right. I wish we could stop them.
Direction to Heroic Agent: Here's your opening. Plant the seed.
Heroic Agent: Would you stop them if you could?
Mastermind Terrorist: Hell, yeah!
Direction to Heroic Agent: Now and over the next weeks and months, provide verbal support and encouragement. Also provide inflammatory material in the form of writings, videos, etc. Again, improvise.
ACT 2 - Grand Plans
Direction to Heroic Agent: Find a time when he is especially angry. Take him out for drinks, loosen his tongue.
Mastermind Terrorist: Man, thanks for the drinks. I've been so pissed off lately I feel like I'm gonna explode.
Heroic Agent: Man, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I could do something. You remember what you said when we first met. That you would stop them if you could?
Mastermind Terrorist: Yeah, I wanted to stop the drones.
Heroic Agent: Yeah, but the drones are far away. They'd be hard to get to. And no one would really even know if you succeeded.
Direction to Heroic Agent: This is a critical time. A Mastermind Terrorist's goals are usually small to begin with. Help build his confidence, encourage him to think bigger, bolder.
Mastermind Terrorist: Yeah, I'd love to take out just one of those damn politicians who cheers the drones.
Heroic Agent: Yeah, but that's just one person. They'd be replaced in a minute. People would hardly notice. You need something bigger.
Mastermind Terrorist: Like what?
Direction to Heroic Agent: Based on your observation of the MT's personality, you know his hot-buttons. Use them to grow the scope of the plan. Your best bets include a large building and lots of people, preferably in a city represented by politicians who are less than sympathetic to our cause. Give the MT options, don't pick one yourself. This should help avoid entrapment accusations.
ACT 3 - The Execution
Setting: Somewhere dark and quiet.
Direction to Heroic Agent: Speak only in hushed tones.
Heroic Agent: So our plan is set?
Mastermind Terrorist: Yeah. I think. But where do we get the stuff?
Heroic Agent: No problem, I've got a contact. I can get all we need.
Mastermind Terrorist: Cool. But how do we build it?
Heroic Agent: It's alright. I've got training. I'll walk you through everything you need to do.
Mastermind Terrorist: Awesome. It's going to be heavy, right? How are we going to get it to our target?
Heroic Agent: I've got a van. I'll drive.
Mastermind Terrorist: Man, I'd never be able to pull this off without you…
---------------- End of Fax Transmission ----------------
Unfortunately it looks like this will be an ongoing series.
I don't know what will happen. I hope my acquaintance will be freed soon. But it is possible that instead, I will be joining him in a cell somewhere. While I sincerely hope that is not the case, at least I will be able to ask him my previously interrupted question:
"Was the script sent in as a comedy or a tragedy?"