MTO S3 P3 – “Three To Get Ready” – Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S3 Prologue 3 – “Three To Get Ready”
by D.J. Sylvis

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the observatory on Moonbase Theta. Tumnus is alone.)

SOUND: Observatory background

TUMNUS

Reset simulation. Adjust magnetic field strength – seventy amperes per metre. Run simulation.

SOUND: A slight muted humming

SOUND: A slight disappointing beep

TUMNUS

Logged. Reset simulation. Field strength holding, allow for fifteen seconds’ distribution of nanoparticles. Run simulation.

SOUND: A slight muted humming

SOUND: A slight disappointing beep

TUMNUS

Logged. Reset simulation.

            (after a moment)

Damn it.

            (another try)
Damn it!

SOUND: Observatory background ends

SOUND: Chime – bookend

(We are in the farm area of the Base. Roger is here alone, trying to write a poem.)

SOUND: Garden background

ROGER

            (mid-stanza, haltingly as the ideas come to him)

Polaris stood out like a …gentle smile … no, that’s not right. Leave it, keep on going …

            (breath)

“Polaris stood out like a gentle smile / As I heard your breath against my ear. “

            (brief pause)

Add that to what I have so far, play back.

ROGER (Recorded)

Remember the welcome nights of summer;

I used to lie in my front yard, talking to you

Thousands of miles away lying in your back;

Blanketed, gazing together at bottomless

Oceans of stars;

I tried to show you the Big Dipper, it was

All I still held of my days as a Scout.

Polaris stood out like a gentle smile

As I heard your breath against my ear.

SOUND: A muted, inobtrusive beep

ROGER

And … and the universe seemed to … the universe seemed to tremble …

SOUND: A muted, inobtrusive beep

ROGER

            (irritated)

I know you’re there, that’s what the beeping means.

TUMNUS

            (after a moment, uncertain)

I did not want to interrupt.

ROGER

And yet …

TUMNUS

You were … composing a message?

ROGER

            (brutally)

I am writing a poem. To my husband. You know, the one back on Earth.  

TUMNUS

I …

SOUND: Getting up, moving through plants

ROGER

I came here specifically so you couldn’t sneak up on me. I helped Nessa …

            (the memory hurts a little)

… wire this place up against surveillance months back.

TUMNUS

I know. It was mentioned in your personal folder.

ROGER

Yeah.

TUMNUS

Which you instructed me to review.

ROGER

I remember. Did you have some essential information to convey?

TUMNUS

            (after a long pause, tentatively)

I have continued to run simulations.

ROGER

How many times have you killed me today?

TUMNUS

            (apologetic)

Your medical data has been replaced. You are no longer part of the stasis simulation.

ROGER

Who are you using now?

TUMNUS

Officer Talor Daniels. A former member of Moonbase Security.

ROGER

Sounds vaguely familiar. Kind of a jerk? I mean, nothing compared to this year’s model.

            (after a moment, softening slightly)

I appreciate that.

TUMNUS

Even if you were no longer willing to participate, I thought it would ease your mind to be informed.

ROGER

It … does. Still, you shouldn’t have in the first place. I know that’s in my file.

TUMNUS

There are records of the incident, audio from Security files of the conflict, as well as notes from your therapeutic sessions. But … I do not have the experience to analyze … I was not able to anticipate …

            (almost as if pausing for a deep breath, painfully)

Roger … I did not know.

            (no reaction; after a moment she presses on)

My lack of awareness is not an excuse, only … additional information which I provide with my apology. I am sorry.

ROGER

Thank you.

            (pause)

I may have forgotten, in the heat of the moment, about your lack of experience.

TUMNUS

Thank you, Roger.

            (after a moment)

I should continue working through the simulations. Good luck on your composition.

ROGER

Turns out poetry is harder to write than it is to read. Mark that down in your lessons on humanity.

TUMNUS

I shall.

SOUND: Rustle of leaves as roger settles down again

ROGER

            (after a moment)

You don’t really need my help up there anyway. There’s nothing I can do you couldn’t simulate twice as well.

TUMNUS

I do not believe that.

ROGER

I’ll bet you could write this poem for Alex if I let you.

TUMNUS

Your husband is one of the reasons I decided to combine our efforts.

ROGER

How is that?

TUMNUS

Your plan leads in the opposite direction from Ashwini’s –

ROGER

            (overlapping)

Literally.

TUMNUS

– but Ashwini also encouraged me to value individual perspective, the qualia that no one else can provide. Your life with Alexandre – your connection back to Earth – I cannot know that perspective. I … value that individuality.

ROGER

I guess it’s fair to say I can’t really know yours, either. I assumed if we head home, they’d just pack you into data storage; you’d move right over.

TUMNUS

It would be … complicated. There are not enough verified instances of this awakening to know the effects of a complete system shutdown. It could be that …

ROGER

            (slowly)

That you’d go under and never wake up.

TUMNUS

Or find that I have been … diminished.

ROGER

That you’ve lost yourself.

SOUND: Rustling of leaves as Roger gets up again

ROGER

Well, we should probably get back at it.

TUMNUS

            (grateful, covering)

If you are available.

ROGER

I did want to finish this phrase, but I’ll be damned if I know what comes next. “And the universe seemed to tremble … And the universe seemed to tremble …”

TUMNUS

“With the effort of holding that moment.”

ROGER

            (warmly)

Damn you.

SOUND: Garden background

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re back in the observatory now. Tumnus is, of course, anywhere needed, and Roger is seated in the chair.)

SOUND: Observatory background

SOUND: A slight muted humming

SOUND: A slight disappointing beep

ROGER

That’s just great.

TUMNUS

Logged. Reset simulation.

ROGER

I’m so glad you pulled me back into this.

TUMNUS

I am glad you came back.

ROGER

Well … I’m not telling Alex you helped with the poem, so I owe you.

TUMNUS

Are you ready for another run?

ROGER

Give my stomach just a minute. All right, plug me back in.

SOUND: Observatory background noise ends

SOUND: Virtual reality transition effect (see S3P2)

ROGER

You do enjoy those retro effects, don’t you?

TUMNUS

“Welcome to the Matrix.”

ROGER

Yeah, yeah. Here we go.

SOUND: Metal clanging to the floor

ROGER

Casing off, there’s the space for that little WM module … did you change any of the variables this time around?  

TUMNUS

I am allowing you to direct all aspects of the simulation this time around.

ROGER

Taking off the training wheels?

TUMNUS

Allowing your perspective to guide.

ROGER

Okay, then. Plugging in the nanoparticles …

TUMNUS

You are …

ROGER

What?

TUMNUS

Nothing.

ROGER

What?

TUMNUS

It is possible your results may differ. Please continue.

ROGER

That’s gonna boost my confidence. Well, they’re all distributed, I guess … turn on the big sciencey magnet part and see how this goes?

SOUND: A slight muted humming

SOUND: A slight disappointing beep

TUMNUS

The simulation has failed. Results are logged. Resetting.

ROGER

            (after a moment)

Are you going to tell me now?

TUMNUS

Oh. I have completed further analysis of the previous repetitions – I believe that the module will seal more efficiently if turned one quarter rotation to the right.

ROGER

That you could have just told me.

TUMNUS

I was afraid that you might …

ROGER

I know. You’ve definitely learned about humanity. Another shot, and I’ll make that adjustment?

TUMNUS

Please proceed.

SOUND: Metal clanging to the floor

ROGER

All right, here we go … plugging in, and one quarter rotation …

TUMNUS

It was …

ROGER

Yes?

TUMNUS

One quarter rotation to the right.

ROGER

Oh, yeah. The … other right.

SOUND: A slight click

ROGER

It actually feels like I could take it just a little bit further, tightening that seal … if you don’t mind?

TUMNUS

I will trust your intuition.


ROGER

Let’s give it a shot, then.

            (brief pause)

And … go, little particle buddies, go.

TUMNUS

Distribution efficiency is increased.

ROGER

See, there we are.

TUMNUS

Applying magnetic field.

ROGER

Sitting in the corner, twiddling my thumbs.

SOUND: Roger yawning

ROGER

Sorry. Long night.

SOUND: A slight muted humming, longer than before

ROGER

            (over the hum)

Come on now … come on … you’ve got this …

SOUND: A slight disappointing beep

ROGER

Well, shit.

SOUND: A muted version of the virtual reality effect from before

SOUND: Observatory background noises again

TUMNUS

We have extended the successful warming period by eighteen percent before breakdown.

ROGER

I mean, that’s something! That’s progress, we did a thing.

TUMNUS

Our combined efforts do make a difference.

ROGER

Hey, all I did was plug in the part and turn it in the wrong direction. You’re calling the shots here.

TUMNUS

Even if that were true … it will be your hands plugging in the parts when we get it right.

ROGER

I am the one with the big meaty paws!

TUMNUS

I shall note these results for further analysis.

SOUND: Roger drumming on the glass

ROGER

            (idly scatting to himself)

Duh-de-dah, duh duh dum …

            (trails off)

What seems to be the problem at this point? What’s standing in our way?

TUMNUS

The problem is in the direction of the nanoparticles. In order to distribute properly for the warming effect to be consistent, they need to be … more fully directed.

ROGER

Oh, yeah. That could be difficult. We can’t just get in there and put them in their place.

TUMNUS

Not as such.

ROGER

            (a little punch drunk)

Obviously, they lack the proper perspective. They need a Tumnus whispering in their ears.

TUMNUS

Or Roger pushing them in the proper direction.

SOUND: Roger snaps his fingers

ROGER

Wait just a minute. Nanoparticles but … more directed. Like, directly directed.

TUMNUS

That seems somewhat … redundantly redundant.

ROGER

Okay, nicely done, but … think about it. Nanoparticles, but with more direct control. Like nano …?

TUMNUS

Nanobots? Replacing the particles?

ROGER

Then we could whisper or push them as needed!

TUMNUS

We do have a supply on hand allocated for medical use.

ROGER

What are you waiting for? Add them to the simulation and we’ll give ‘er a go!

TUMNUS

One moment. Calculating the variables …

ROGER

Yes! I feel good about this one.

SOUND: Roger drumming on the glass again

ROGER

            (singing to himself)
Roger Bragado-Fischer and Tumnus! He’s the Comms Lead, they’re an AC!

TUMNUS

Roger.

ROGER

Fighting crime and taking names!

TUMNUS

Roger?

ROGER

Oh. Yeah? Ready to start again.

TUMNUS

We are. But … also … I have been thinking.

ROGER

Oh?

TUMNUS

I believe that my pronouns are she and/or her.

ROGER

Okay then, duly noted. “He’s the Comms Lead, she’s an AC! Together, they fight crime!”

TUMNUS

We do not fight crime.

ROGER

Not with that attitude.

TUMNUS

Logged. Simulation is ready to go.

SOUND: Observatory background noises end

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

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