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This is a sample screenplay treatment - a kind of text trailer and syopsis for a film project. See screenplay treatment for a detailed examination of the format.


Dreamland

Copyright 2000


His name is Timothy James McVeigh and he is a scrawny punk ass white kid from a blue-collar suburb of Buffalo in Western New York state. He's six foot three inches tall and about one sixty-five dripping wet with a pocketful of spare change. He runs cross-country, in the snow, past rusting factories on half shifts that make stuff nobody needs and can't sell what they make anyway. Sometimes the lake effect snow is so wicked bad that it feels like everything he knows will be buried alive. His Dad works out at the auto plant and Buffalo is a shithole that none of his classmates have the brains to get out of. He can't understand why the Russians would want to destroy Buffalo with a nuke; Christ, they'd be doing him a favor, but if there was a war, then these factories would be going full-tilt cranking out M1 tanks to kick some commie ass. At night, exhausted from a day of running, his brain still overreved from the boredom of high school, he sees Soviet parachutes falling from the sky, each silk balloon a love letter from the Russian people to the weakness of the west. But they haven't counted on him. He would operate out of the sewer system, with his deer gun, a 12-guage slug gun, shooting from the storm drains. He'd stab drunken sentries in the kidney, because he'd read that a kidney wound was so painful that you couldn't scream. Stab them in the kidney and take their grenades, send them a fragmentation candygram from the freeborn citizens of the US of A that Buffalo, shitty as it is, is not available at any price.

But Tim waits and waits, and they never come. Instead, it's high school. It feels like he's on lockdown. He hardly sees his Dad, the guy works so hard. His Mom is splitsville, a cast-iron bitch. His older sister Patty lives in Florida. His younger sister Jen is a good kid that Tim does his best to take care of. Computer classes are OK. Computer games are better. There's BB-gun fights with his buddies, that's a good time. Paint your face with camo, slip into your BDU's, crawl around in the woods. Scream, yell, get hit, scream more. He's a good shot. OK, he's the best shot among all his friends. He practices every afternoon, sets up his old Star Wars figures in the distance and goes for a headshot, pretending he's a Delta Force sniper, the best in the world. Chewbacca catches one right between the running lights. He works in the basement on an old manual typewriter - making a newsletter for the neighborhood. Anything to stay busy. And then it's over - Tim graduates from Pendleton High and is his own man.

Community college sucks. It's the same dumb people that he went to high school with. He wants something different. Action. He feels protective of his kid sister, Jen, wants to stick around, so he takes a job driving an armored car for Brinks. He gets his hair cut short, wears ballistic body armor (civilians would call it a "bulletproof vest" but that 's not what the pro's call it), and carries a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver with two backup speedloaders. He drives the armored car, which is awesome. It's massively powerful, fast. Then he gets into a wreck, which really shakes him up. It was the woman's fault, but she was bleeding and he panicked a bit when she stumbled out of her car. He was ashamed of that - the panic.

He and Jen buy land out in the country, a place where he can do some shooting, maybe hole up when The Big One hits. But it never does. Buffalo is nowhere, going nowhere. Jen is doing good, doesn't need Tim hovering over her every second. Tim goes to see a US Army recruiter and three weeks later is finally free, on a bus to Fort Benning, GA. There are no slots open for the Rangers, but slots are available for Eleven-Mike, Mechanized Infantry, fighting with the 1st Infantry - the Big Red One. Tim becomes a soldier and he isn't just good at it - he's great. He's the best in his class. He's assigned to the gunner position on an M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which is a serious piece of fighting metal. With the main gun, he can engage man-sized targets out to nearly a mile away - in total darkness.

The guys he serves with are, for the most part, idiots. They don't give a shit about their jobs and they don't understand the importance of what they're doing. Being a soldier means you're a single green dot in the thin green line between freedom and tyranny, and every dot counts. But a couple of the guys are OK. One of his friends is Mike Fortier - a crazy desert rat from Arizona. His best friend is Terry Nichols - a grown man with a family that the other guys call "The Old Man". Nichols is one of the smartest guys Tim has ever met. Tim can talk about history and current events with him and not get called a faggot. Tim, Terry and Mike go bowling, hang out. These guys agree with him, that the country needs to wake up, that people are sleepwalking. The Continental Army didn't freeze it's ass off at Valley Forge so you could have your pizza in 30 minutes or less. Tim starts to write a book, but he doesn't tell anyone about it, not even Terry. The title of the book is "Perspective on America". It's kind of a diary, kind of a history book. He writes it in a loose-leaf notebook. Tim shoots a perfect 1000 out of 1000 points in the First Infantry's Divisional gunnery competition. They give him the Master Gunner medal. He does 200 push-ups a day. He can run an eight-minute mile in a full combat load. He's 2 weeks away from qualifying for the Special Forces and grabbing that coveted green beanie - becoming a Green Beret.

Then, finally, it hits the fan. Iraq has invaded Kuwait and the President has told the world that this aggression will not stand. It's not the Russians at all, but a bunch of ragheads that got greedy and wanted the oil, gold, toasters, and nudie magazines in Kuwait. There were pictures of Iraqis riding on tanks in Kuwait holding toasters over their heads. He had always imagined fighting 9-foot tall Frankenstein boots Ivan The Terrible as his 5000 tanks poured into Western Europe. The Eastern line would fragment under an armored iron heel, and Tim would finally get his guerrilla war - fought in Europe. He would shoot Soviet officers from the quaint steeples of 400-year-old German churches. He would blast command tanks with a man-portable TOW missile and then disappear into the night.

Forget all that. Forget the Special Forces Assessment and Selection. And forget Terry, he's dropping out to take care of his kid. Forget Mike, who screwed up and got assigned to some shit detail stateside. Sergeant McVeigh was off to fight the Iraqis. Forget Ivan's Big Red Wave. He was being sent to fuck-all nowhere to kill men that were fighting for toasters.

The "war" sucks. Months in the burning, freezing desert with his lazy assed crewmates, frying in the sun during the day, being eaten alive by sand fleas at night. Packing on a gut eating raghead "tacos" that taste like falafel. Nobody can be bothered to keep things maintained in the dust and sand. He keeps himself sane by cleaning his personal weapons, reading science fiction, and applying sunscreen. He pulls the 25 mike-mike cannon on the Bradley by himself and cleans it, all 400 pounds of it, just to see if he can do it. He's that bored. In the manual it's a 4-man job - maybe that means he's worth 4 regular soldiers. It feels that way. Waiting and waiting for the balloon to go up and somebody to fire the starting gun.

Then it's on. McVeigh rides in the command rig, because he's the best gunner in the division. He's part of the armored fist that's going to smash a breach in the "Kuwaiti Wall". The attack starts at 0400, total darkness. The time is so early that everything feels like a movie. Though his thermal sight, he sees a green blob, the enemy. He can see a guy with binoculars, looking at him. Deep inside their killbox. Tim is weapons-free, so he kicks off a high explosive round from his cannon and blows the top half of the guy's torso off. Pow, just like that - A shower of glowing green man pixels. Command had been thinking for weeks how to deal with the enemy infantry in the trenches. What they came up with is plowing them under with bulldozers. They call it "entombment." They plow the Iraqis under as the guys in the back of the Bradley shoot at every fucking thing that moves and the tank is filling up with cordite smoke. And that's it. The war is over.

He goes back to the States. He's exhausted and fat. They give him the Bronze Star for conspicuous gallantry in the face of enemy fire. Once he was as sharp as a straight razor. Now he's all worn out and dull as a butterknife. He comes back to try out for the Green Berets, but his heart isn't in it. His fat ass can't cut it, so screw it. He's a war hero, so they let him walk. Sergeant McVeigh becomes Citizen McVeigh.

Citizen McVeigh is at something of a loss. He comes home to discover his kid sister is working as a goddamned jello-wrestler at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Buffalo. It's not exactly the mom and apple pie he was supposedly fighting for in the desert. He gets a job working security, the 3rd watch. It sucks. He sees things differently now. He recognizes Buffalo as a desert now. He can see that there is an invisible desert in America, because he's seen the real thing. He carries it inside him now, like a reference card stamped with the silhouettes of the enemy.

He's driving down the road past his old shooting property one night and sees skid marks that track down over the shoulder. He sees steam from a busted radiator. No panic this time, this wreck. He's got a metal tank heart with a governor now that keeps him stone steady as he grabs his trauma bag out of the trunk and runs down to the wreck, where he finds the dazed driver bleeding out. He stops the bleeding, wraps him in a space blanket, and starts an IV to keep the victim's blood pressure from crashing out. The driver asks if he's a paramedic. Tim tells the guy he's a green beret, then rides off like the lone ranger. He told the guy he was a green beret just to feel what the words felt like in his mouth, and he knows with a telescopic certainty that he is his own special force engaged in a secret action progressing towards something significant and as of yet unknown.

He reads the newspaper everyday because despite the fact that he's nowheresville, he still cares about things. He runs into an old high school friend, his bb gun fight buddy, and realizes that in America the individual has the inalienable right to choose his mode of failure and that's about it. He writes a Letter to the Editor entitled AMERICA FACES PROBLEMS, and they actually publish it. It's enough to keep him working on "Perspective on America," so he adds another 100 pages to the 3-ring binder. He keeps reading The Turner Diaries. The racist stuff is off axis, and there's a lot of it, but he can't seem to get that idea of America at war with itself out of his head. The job is killing him in pieces as the desert inside him threatens to spread over everything, driving sand into his moving parts and turning the vital lubrication into an abrasive paste that is slowly grinding him to dust from the inside out. He calls Terry out of desperation, the one guy that ever seemed to understand him, even partly. Terry surprises him by telling him to quit and come up to the farm, and Tim is so wacked out that he does it. He splits from the program, hops in the car and drives to Michigan, to the Nichols Farm. Why not?

The Nichols farm is basically weird as hell. Terry has an 18-year-old mail order bride from the Philippines named Marife. His older brother James describes himself as the most dangerous organic farmer in the United States and keeps a rainmaking machine in his barn. Tim helps out by driving into town on errands, doing manual labor. He works farm chores during the day, works on "Perspective on America" at night, builds his own computer. They watch videotapes that Terry gets out of a mail order catalog. A guy named Tom Freedom in a tri-cornered hat and a ski mask talks about hanging IRS agents with nylon rope from the hardware store. The first month on the farm steadies him out, but now he's starting to go a little stir crazy. He and Terry have always talked about starting their own military surplus business. Tim has the walk and the talk so the road trips are Tim's end of the deal. Tim hits the gun show circuit and everyone's a winner. Terry is grateful to have Tim out of the house because Marife has taken a third world I-put-a-spell-on-you dislike to Citizen Tim.

Tim drives the gun show circuit. He sees the country and sees a lot of people just like him. People that also think America Faces Problems. He sells gas masks and books. He's something of a star - he was a professional asskicker and an obsessive researcher and is now considered something of a resource and touchstone. Word gets around and this German hardass named Hermann and three buffed up rednecks called the McKnight Brothers approach him at his table, sizing him up. He sizes them back and all parties face off at the tactical pistol competition.

During the competition, the shooters run though a wooded course and shoot at pop-up man sized targets. It's supposed to simulate close quarters combat with small arms. Matt McKnight, the German's head redneck, is the champion. Tim runs the course. From the sound of the starting gun, he's more alive than he's been since the war. He is clicked on and zoomed into another universe of acquiring, firing, reloading, finding the line, and respiration. He beats McKnight. The German gives him his card and tells him he is looking for a few good men. Tim says thanks but no thanks - but he doesn't throw the card away.

The drive to Arizona is a dream. He's back in the desert, but on his terms this time, his own man. He drives to Kingman, where he stops to visit his army buddy Mike Fortier, and a weekend visit turns into weeks. Mike's wife Lori is cute, a little-bitty blonde that cooks them spaghetti-o's and keeps an AK-47 in the bathroom of their double wide. Mike and Tim have a pretty good time. They shoot old cars out in the desert. They watch Red Dawn on cable. Mike introduces Tim to weed and Cap'n Krunch. Mike introduces Tim to the pure-as-the-driven-snow crank that a paraplegic named Willy cooks up out in his bunker in the desert. They crank up until all Tim can do is hammer out pushups and then all three rush into the desert air and shoot into the sky. Tim helps Mike make some deals up in Vegas. Tim supplies Mike with guns. Tim can feel all the junk and bullshit in his life being sandblasted away by the desert until there is nothing left but bare white metal and he can shoot himself into a new tomorrow like blowing out a sheet of plate glass. Then it's time to go. Mike gives him a big bottle of prescription speed as a parting gift.

His older sister Patty lives down in Pensacola, Florida, and his sister Jen is down there on break. Tim's got a present for her, something he bought with the roll he's built up from dealing guns and drugs. He's learned to keep a good roll going, and to keep rolling. Patty is kind of a bitch. She reminds him a little bit too much of his Mom. She's happy to see him, but thinks he's acting like a loser and not living up to his potential. It's exactly the kind of sleepwalker bullshit he expected to hear, but even with it being expected it really bugs him. She doesn't understand he's free, and that most people can't handle real freedom.

Hanging out with Jen is great. He waits till late one night, when Patty is asleep and he and Jen are having one of their talks about the fate of the nation to give her a special present - a brand new combat-customized Colt Commander .45 pistol and $1000 in cash for school. Jen gets so excited she cries. Tim gets really into talking up all the stuff he's been doing. He makes up some stuff about starting a secret team of his own, expanding on some ideas he's been having. Jen wants to join right away. Talking with her, it seems like it could be real. He tells her to finish school and keep working on her shooting.

It happens the next day. The ATF tries to serve a bullshit weapons warrant on this church in Waco, Texas. They come up real short when the people in the church start shooting back. The ATF looks like the keystone cops while the churchfolk really shoot the hell out of them with some serious cover-penetrating weapons. They kill several federal agents. It's a siege. Could this be the start of the roll up, when they come to take our guns? Jen is freaking out and yelling at the TV. Patty is freaking out and calling the Davidians child molesters with machine guns. Jen wants him to go there, to Waco. It's a good idea. Patty is glad to see him go. Jen cries and wants to go with him. Tim climbs into the car and drives to Texas in a straight shot.

He can't put into words what he sees at Waco so he doesn't. He doesn't really talk to anyone. He's camped out on Freedom Hill, a piece of property just outside the Federal perimeter around the Davidians. It's like the crazy right-wing mirror world of Woodstock. Old Korean War vets in their RV's are camping next to soapbox screaming bible pounders. Tim keeps his lid screwed on tight and his mouth shut tighter. He's here to work.

During the day, he watches the movement of the Feds through a spotting scope he sets up on the hood of his car. He watches Texas National Guard M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, his old machine, buzz around in the dusty grass near the compound. He writes everything down in a notebook. Army Specwar 6 is on scene, a detachment of the Delta Force. It's a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus act. It's the Army turned against the people. When the press gets a hold of his intelligence, they'll burn the Feds to the ground with this stuff.

At night he comes alive with a couple of Mike's magic copilots and a can of Mountain Dew. He cranks up so high that he can vibrate into near invisibility. The federal perimeter is a joke. A quick dogtrot takes him inside the line and then he low crawls to his observation post over the Compound. He watches the feds talk shop. He watches the National Guard deliver pizza with a tank. If he had a Remington 700 rifle and a Starlight scope, he could really wipe those smug looks off the faces of the federal ninja squad, but that's not his job. Sun up, slide out. Sun down, slide in. It's a rhythm. The feds play "These Boots Are Made For Walking", though a tank mounted sound system that would make Metallica smile. The feds play the sound of rabbits being slaughtered. The feds play Christmas carols. David Koresh fights fire with fire. David Koresh's system is even bigger. Koresh plays Van Halen's "Panama." He can really fucking rock. His people hold up a sign to the windows. In the bright Klieg lights, Tim can read it with his light gathering binoculars. It reads, "FLAMES AWAIT. ENJOY THE SHOW."

Tim can't get the press to pay attention to him. He writes out pamphlets on the computers at Kinko's. He makes up press packets. He offers to share his surveillance notes with the press corps. Nobody is interested. He's a wacked out geek in a camouflage hat who's been awake for days and days drinking Mello Yello and eating MRE's out of his trunk. He gets a college girl reporter to listen to him, but it's bullshit. He can't take it anymore. It's like beating his head against the wall. He's so strung out his hands shake like tuning forks. He throws down a can of beef stew, climbs into his yellow Mercury and drives back to Michigan in a single shot - then passes out in Terry's driveway.

Terry comes out to wake him. There is something important that Tim needs to see, inside, on the television. Marife doesn't want to let him inside. Tim walks into the living room like the living dead.

Waco is burning. To the ground. The Davidian compound burns while US Army tanks pump military-grade tear gas into the wounded building like giant rat exterminators. Gale force winds out of the high grasslands whip the fire into a storm that consumes the building and everything inside it. All 80 people - men women and children - inside it. Charred like meat.

It's overload. Tim freaks then collapses. He's given everything for something and it wasn't enough. Terry takes him upstairs to his old room and lays him out in bed.

Tim lays there for days. In a white room with white sheets. It's sunny outside. Every time he wakes up, Marife has hung another crucifix on the wall. He is a point in a 3-axis grid described by a series of crucifixes. He's changed. Before, he was like the diffusion of light in a vacuum, an extravagant waste of energy. Now he was like a laser - every particle moving in the exact same direction. What do you do when you've been attacked? You take the fight to the enemy. Attack their command and control structure. Make a demonstration of force. You endeavor to establish a balance of power. You hit them on the anniversary - April 19th, so they know why.

He makes bombs with the Nichols Brothers. The bombs suck. James says he has friends that know how to make bombs, fellow members of the Resistance. They suck too. He's had it with these losers. He needs to upgrade his team, big time. He needs money to operate, and men to operate with. Back in his notebooks, he has a business card. He calls Hermann the German.

The German lives in an Airstream trailer somebody buried with a backhoe in Southern Missouri. Hermann lives with a skinny little nazi fuck named Kinsey, and Tim is pretty sure the two of them are queer. Hermann hooks him up with the McKnight Brothers. The McKnight's are ambulatory pieces of racist cracker shit, but they get things done. They rob banks, and if they like you, they fund you with the proceeds. They think Tim's plan of blowing up the feds that torched those innocent little babies at Waco has balls. It sounds pretty goddamned good. They need extra men for their biggest bank job yet.

The bank job is amazing. They make off with thousands and thousands of dollars. Tim kicks ass. Tim gives a pogue hayseed security guard a butt stroke to his face with his AR-15 and the McKnight Brothers couldn't be happier. Tim shoots out the windshield of the cop car chasing them while he leans out the cargo door of the van. Mike holds his belt so he doesn't fall out at 60 miles an hour. The bad news is that almost everything Terry touched on the operation was a total failure. The McKnight's give Tim his cut, but lay down the law. No more Terry on future ops. Terry is Tim's best friend, but the guys he needs for his team have to be high-speed and high-impact. Tim needs to figure out a way to ease Terry into a support role.

Tim has a roll, with more coming in all the time. The guns he sends to Mike turn into drugs turn into money turn into supplies. The bomb is going to be big - a rented truck loaded down with 6000 pounds of Ammonium Nitrate and diesel fuel. The pros call it ANFO. You need a lot of ANFO to blow up a 10-story building. Tim stashes fertilizer and fuel in a dozen storage areas all over southern Kansas. They make a small test bomb out on the Nichols farm. No dice. Things are moving in the right direction, but Tim needs help.

The German says he can help. When Tim goes down to talk, Hermann's little friend Kinsey has a brand new flattop haircut - just like Tim. It's weird. Hermann says he has a colleague overseas. The German knows that Terry's wife is from the Philippines. Why not send Terry to the Philippines and have him meet with an expert? Sending Terry down to the corner store makes Tim nervous, but he has no choice. Tim drives Terry to Los Angeles and puts him on a flight to Manila.

Tim figures that Terry will come back with detailed plans, maybe even demonstration videotape. He does not figure on Terry coming back with two Arab motherfuckers. The main guy is a buffed up, college-educated asshole in a tracksuit and too much Polo cologne. Tim cannot believe that Terry has pulled this shit. He's never been angrier at Terry, but this is Terry's biggest fuckup yet. But Tim doesn't have much of an option and so it goes. On the drive back, in New Mexico, the main consultant corners him to say that Tim's plan won't work. The bomb design must be refined. The building needs charges planted inside to ensure success. As a soft, civilian target it should be easy.

It really chaps his ass to have to take advice from this guy, but Tim swallows his pride. He'll learn what he needs to know and then he and the McKnight's will execute this motherfucker out in the desert - shoot him in the back of the head and drop him down a mineshaft where the sand will erase all trace of him. He can use this attack as a template for future action. But for now there are the final preparations. Driving back across the desert alone, he camps out - sleeping under the stars. He's outside Edwards Air Force Base, in the Mojave Desert of California. Tim tucks his "Perspective on America" into an ammo can and hides it under a rock, then carefully paces off the distance to the road. The darkness is broken by a pillar of flame pushing heavenwards, an Air Force missile launch. The missile climbs into the emptiness of the sky alone, propelled only by itself.

The final team comes together and Tim is feeling it, the serious vibe coming down the line. He's really done it. Tim runs the operation out of the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, KS. It's away from the target area, good highway access, close to their supplies, with a big parking lot for the vehicles. He knows the area from his army days and the team can blend right in. Mike comes up from Arizona with a truck to help move things. Terry comes up from his rented farm with tanks for the fuel. The Consultant and his partner Sam come and go seemingly at random. Tim and the McKnight's slowly centralize the supplies. It takes a week just to move everything into a centralized cache, and the McKnight's are bitching up as storm because they're lazy white trash.

In OKC, Tim, the Consultant, and the McKnight's dress as telecom installers and walk into the Murrah Building in broad daylight. The building is being refurbished, and crews of workmen are everywhere. Tim is wearing a fake mustache. If he wasn't so goddamned nervous, he laugh. The "construction crew" looks like a cross between the Village People and Alabama. Mike calls it a "destruction crew." Tim's team drills into the support pillars of the Murrah building's north wall and installs a string of cutting charges that look like phone equipment. The McKnights actually bullshit with some of the lady office workers while they complete the installation, and Tim tells them to knock it the fuck off. He's wound so tight he feels like he could bring the place down with his bare hands. Just over 48 hours to go.

Eating breakfast at McDonalds, Mike tells Tim he's backing out. Tim is pissed, but nothing is more important than getting the device assembled and delivered on time and on target. He is past friendship now - it's about seeing the world as a workspace, filled with tools to be used. The Consultant is down the road renting the Ryder truck that they'll use to deliver the bomb. As Tim finishes his coffee, he sees a lanky, flat-topped white guy walk out of the rental shop. It's far off, no real detail is discernable. Tim shakes off the feeling of seeing a secret double. It's just nerves and he needs to stay on target.

Tim is making a unilateral change to the Consultant's plan, mostly because he doesn't trust the bastard. Tim is afraid the McKnight brothers may be working against him. It's all hinky, but he's not giving up this close to B-Day. Tim knows something's up, but there is only time for the task at hand. He can clean house when he has the luxury of time. Tim decides he'll exit the target zone on his own, not with the rest of the team. With his own getaway car, Tim can split from the target zone and give everyone the slip. He drives down to OKC and stashes the yellow Mercury behind the Oklahoma City YMCA, right across the street from the Murrah Federal building. He leaves a note under the windshield wiper that says he'll be back for the car on the 19th, then walks across the street to a payphone. He calls Terry and has him come pick him up. Terry still considers Tim his best friend. Tim stays quiet.

It's the morning of April 19th. Another morning of being awake so early that everything seems like a movie. In the darkness before dawn, the team looks like action figures in blue coveralls, mixing fuel oil and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in an electric farm mixer. Guys are moving drums of ANFO mix into the back of a yellow truck. The Consultant works inside the truck's trailer, carefully inserting PVC detonating cores into each drum. Tim can hear them banging the drums into place from the cab. Tim is carefully wiping down the cab with Windex and a paper shop towel. Anything to keep busy. He's wearing blue jeans, a work coat, leather gloves. He buckles up and toggles on the big truck's glow plugs. The dashbuzzer fills the cab with electric noise. There's buzzer going nonstop in his head, a clean angry signal, a single tone with only one meaning, like a laser. A quick look at his watch - 5 minutes till rollout.

The McKnights are sterilizing the shop. The Consultant and Sam climb into a brown Ford pick up, roll up the shop' parking bay door, and pull out. Tim turns the engine over. One of the McKnight's gives the fiberglass sidewall of the trailer two sharp whacks with his fist and Tim winces involuntarily, sponges the sweat from his forehead with the back of his leather gloves. Good to go.

Out of the garage and into traffic. 2 miles to the target. He makes a fast glance at the laminated map of downtown OKC laid out on the benchseat. Under 6000 pounds of explosive slurry, the truck is a real pig. The diesel engine shudders and Tim gooses it hard. He insisted on driving the truck - took the riskiest job for himself. A yellow Mercury rockets past from behind. No time to process it.

A go-code barks out from Tim's handheld radio. The interior team has activated the cutting charges. Tim grabs up the unit, rogers the code and throws the radio down onto the Ryder's bench seat. The stoplight in front of him goes red. The alarm on his digital wristwatch starts beeping. He pulls up an umbilicus of green safety fuse from under his seat and lights it with a butane mini-torch. The fuse sparks and thick smoke begins to fill the cab of the truck. He starts coughing. The alarm is driving him crazy, but there's no time to turn it off. Let the fucker beep.

Green light. The truck throttles up. The building is dead ahead. 0900hrs on the dot. It's time to go go go. Tim kills the ignition, his eyes watering from the smoke, pulls the keys and drops them behind the seat, just like he'd rehearsed. Double check the locks on the doors and then bail. Walk don't run, but he can't contain it. He breaks into a jog.

Tim jogs across the street, jaywalking, trying to keep cool. The glass of the federal building is bright in the morning sun. A yellow Mercury blasts past him. Why is his car out in the street? There's no option but movement. He cools out as he closes with the Y; his yellow Mercury is waiting there, just where he left it. There is little time left. He unlocks the door, slides in, turns the engine over. Starter grind. He hits it again. It catches, hard. Tim takes one fast look at the building and guns it out into traffic.

Timothy McVeigh drives off. He leaves the truck, and the building, and the people behind him.

He drives off alone.