[Scene I. A dimly lit room. A group of soldiers, along with Reiger, sit around a table playing cards.]

Soldier 1. Ten.

Soldier 2. Fifteen.

[The screaming begins again. Soldiers continue playing, indifferent.]

Soldier 3. Eight.

[Screaming continues. Reiger starts trembling imperceptibly.]

Soldier 2. Damn.

Soldier 1. Now look here –

Soldier 2. It may seem like I'm losing –

[The trembling gets worse]

Soldier 1. You owe me about –

Soldier 2. – but this is in fact part of my clever strategy.

[The cards slip out of Reiger's fingers. He slowly brings his hands up to his ears]

Soldier 3. Come, come, let's continue.

Soldier 1. [Crossing arms] I don't know if I want to. He already owes me like –

Soldier 2. Come on Niki, I'll win it back.

[Reiger lowers his head onto the table]

Soldier 1. Like hell you will, you said that two hours ago.

Soldier 2. Well you know, the only reason you're winning is –

Soldier 1. Yeah?

Soldier 2. Well you know –

Soldier 1. [Threateningly] Yeah?

Soldier 2. Well. [Considering] Let's just go on, shall we?

Soldier 3. Yes, let's go on. Reiger. [No response.] Reiger? [Turning] Reiger? [Shaking him.]

Soldier 1. He asleep?

Soldier 3. Hello, hello. [No response.] His heart wasn't in it anyway. [Leaves him alone]

[They continue playing for a while.]

Soldier 1. Ten. [Leaning back into his chair, listening to screaming] Impressive.

Soldier 3. [Laughing] Yeah.

Soldier 2. Seven. [Looking back at his cards] Damn.

Soldier 1. Now see here –

[The screaming abruptly stops.]

Soldier 2. It may seem like I'm losing –

[The door to the back room slams open.]

Soldier 2. – but I haven't lost.

Soldier 1. I've had about enough of this.

[Kass enters through the door, cleaning a knife on his shirt.]

Soldier 2. Come on –

Soldier 1. No.

Soldier 3. Come on Niki, just one more round.

Kass. Yo. [Soldiers look up. They stare at him.] What's the matter with you all? [Pause] Cat's got your tongue? [Soldiers avert their gazes]

Soldier 2. [Recovering a little] How's – how's it going, Kass?

Kass. How do you think it's going, you idiot? [Sitting down] That worm. He's a real piece of work, yeah. [Still focusing on the knife.] Where's the doctor.

Soldier 3. Here. [Nudges Reiger. He doesn't move.]

Kass. [Looking up briefly] The hell's wrong with him?

Soldier 3. He must be tired.

Kass. Fuck. [Standing up] Aren't we all. [Walks up behind Reiger] Hey. Hey. [No response] Hey! [No response] You! [Knocks Reiger's chair over]

[Reiger tumbles onto the ground, starts up dazed. He looks around, focuses on Kass.]

Kass. Now that I have your attention. [Reiger continues staring at him.] Yeah. What. [Spreading arms] You don't think it's pretty, do you. [Softly, dangerously] You're not used to it yet?

[No response.]

Kass. Well you know the drill. Doctor. [To soldiers] I'm going to lie down for a bit. [Indicating door with the knife] This fucker is giving me a real headache. [Exits]

[Reiger stands slowly.]

Soldier 3. Well, Reiger. You'd better get on with it.

Soldier 2. [Looking toward door] He's not going to last much longer at this rate.

[Reiger doesn't move. He stares ahead, at nothing in particular.]

Soldier 3. I know – they never tell you –

Soldier 1. Cut the shit. [to Reiger] Hurry up.

Soldier 2. Yeah. So we can sleep.

[Reiger's eyes move slowly toward them.]

Soldier 3. It'll be all right, you'll see.

Soldier 2. If anyone can do it, it's you.

[Reiger stands motionless.]

Soldier 1. I said move. [Rises threateningly]

[Pause. Reiger studies him.]

Reiger. [Softly] I'm going.

[He picks up his case and exits through the back door.]