MTO S3 E5 – “Strategies” – Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S3 Episode 5 – “Strategies”
by D.J. Sylvis

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Moonbase Garden background (ongoing)

SOUND: Vegetation rustling

DR. JUST

Don’t tell me you’ve never been in here before.

DR. DAY

I try to avoid nature as much as possible.

DR. RINGLING

And I’m particularly sensitive to several of the chemicals in the nutrient solution –

DR. JUST

Yes, yes. We won’t be long. I’m told this is the best spot on-Base to avoid surveillance.

DR. RINGLING

Who told you that?

DR. JUST

A reliable source. Now, we need to talk about –

DR. DAY

            (as Dr. Raptor)
How reliable? What source? Where’s your facts?

DR. JUST

Did you have to bring that along?

DR. DAY

            (as herself again)

Are you talking to me or Kris?

SOUND: More vegetation rustling

DR. JUST

Jules. I was starting to think you didn’t get my message.

DR. SERANO

What message? I’m here for excess vegetation to feed my mealworms.

DR. RINGLING

            (a little disgusted)

You use live mealworms?

DR. SERANO

It keeps the hedgehogs active.

DR. DAY

I’ll keep them active!

DR. SERANO

And I’ll show you the wrong side of an airlock!

SOUND: Plants rustling a bit as they circle each other

DR. JUST

All right now!

DR. RINGLING

You and you – stay on opposite sides of the arbor.

            (they sneeze)

And I’m moving over here. We’re only waiting for Amal?

DR. JUST

I believe she’s in the mining tunnels this morning. We can just –

SOUND: More vegetation rustling

DR. SEMAAN

I’m here, whatever you’re plotting about. I did not get an invitation, but when I couldn’t find anyone in the lab I checked Kris’ calendar.

DR. JUST

You put it in your calendar?

DR. RINGLING

Nothing in your message said, “This is a secret meeting!”

DR. JUST

You didn’t think –

DR. DAY

            (pronunciation is “My-crow-pack-ee-sef-uh-low-saw-rus hong-too-yane-en-sis”)

Do we need code names? I choose Micropachycephalosaurus hongtuyanensis.

DR. SEMAAN

That’s a good one. I’ll go with Titanosauria – the first fossil I found back in my Red Sea days!

DR. JUST

Could we have one discussion that stays on topic? Now. In a few hours we have our first … Base Meeting. Presumably the agenda will include staff organization and what goals we are to pursue in the wake of the Consortium. I wanted to ensure we act as a collective when this occurs.

DR. SEMAAN

I’m always down to act as a collective. Enough corporate bullshit! I suggest we disband Security, move to an Ethical Socialist model, and see where that takes us.

DR. SERANO

I don’t think that’s a realistic starting point –

DR. RINGLING

 We did bring up the Freehold model, which I understand isn’t too far off from that.

DR. DAY

Can I vote for an anarcho-syndicalist commune?

DR. JUST

You absolutely cannot!

DR. DAY

Help! Help!

DR. DAY & DR. SEMAAN (together)

I’m being repressed!

            (Dr. Semaan snickers)

DR. JUST

This is serious, people! We all have extensive practical and theoretical work to protect! The Moonbase program was established in the name of scientific discovery –

DR. RINGLING

I’m not sure that’s entirely true.

DR. JUST

Of course it is! Why else would they put us on the Moon? Certainly, there’s mining and other … supporting endeavours, but the science is why we’re here!

DR. SERANO

Technically, science is why we’re anywhere.

DR. RINGLING

I’m just not sure the other departments would see things that way.

DR. DAY

Isn’t it your job to keep them out of our business?

DR. RINGLING

Pretty much full time thanks to some people.

DR. DAY

Anyway, I’m in. My vote always goes to science.  

DR. SEMAAN

I don’t see how science is antithetical to social responsibility.

DR. JUST

As long as the science comes first.

DR. RINGLING

I’m sure we can find a balance. But what are you saying, that we should wrest control for ourselves?

DR. SEMAAN

Just to check, who are we wresting control from? The Consortium? As I understand it, they walked away.

DR. JUST

My concern is with other factions within the crew.

DR. SERANO

Who? Wilder? The computer?

DR. RINGLING

 Who prefers to be called Tumnus –

DR. SERANO

Do what you want, but I don’t see any real opposition. No one’s ever trusted Wilder –

SOUND: Someone gasps – quiet but audible

DR. SERANO

You know it’s true, we’ve all read the papers on neurological control via cybernetics –

DR. SEMAAN

Wasn’t that shown to be –

DR. RINGLING

I’m certain that has been disproved –

DR. SERANO

So she’s not trustworthy. As for “Tumnus,” no matter how complex a program it was designed by one of us. There’s the medic, whatever zir name was; the nutritionist we woke so we could eat something besides raw proteins … which one of them is fit to challenge our leadership?

DR. DAY

Might anyone be interested in a dinosaurs-and-chocolate ticket? Because if I can find where Ashwini kept zir stash, I might throw my hat into the ring.

DR. RINGLING

What about Roger? He’s the reason we’re back to begin with.

DR. DAY

Mind you, I’d need a hat.

DR. RINGLING

He could whip up some public support.

DR. DAY

I’m thinking of a nice Outback – oooh, maybe even a Panama!

DR. JUST

He doesn’t want to be here to begin with! He still sits in his cubicle recording messages to his husband that can’t be sent. I agree with Jules, and it goes back to my original point. If we all stand together, there’s no reason we can’t keep this Base moving forward in the name of science. Are we all together?

DR. SERANO

Well put, Edwin.

DR. DAY

I mean, if I can’t convince you all to –

            (in the appropriate voice, of course)
“Vote Raptorrrrrr.”

DR. SEMAAN

I’m still doubtful – not about the raptor thing, that I liked. But the plan in general. Kris?

DR. RINGLING

I do still have some concerns, as well …

DR. DAY

Typical administrator.

DR. RINGLING

Will you let me finish? I have some concerns, but of course I’m not voting against science. 

DR. JUST

All right then. We should probably get back before we’re missed.

SOUND: Rustling vegetation again

DR. JUST

            (fading out as they go)

Kris, if we get in there and the meeting itself is too chaotic, perhaps you could take control in the name of administration and give us an extra step up …

(For another moment, we just listen to the garden background before Tumnus speaks.)

TUMNUS

Before they’re missed.

            (brief pause)

Thank you, Doctor Just, for trusting that reliable source.

SOUND: Moonbase Garden background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Kitchen ambience fading in (music – RAMP track TBD) – ongoing

SOUND: Various kitchen sounds (preparing oatmeal)

JAXON

            (singing to themselves)

We’re making oats, making oats, making soyyyyy oats …

            (speaking to themselves)

Too many bubbles, Jaxon, that is not a simmer. Turn it down. There’s work to be done.

            (singing again, same as before)

We’re making oats, making oats, making soyyyyy oats …

            (they continue to hum for a while)

SOUND: Spoon scraping the sides of the pot (simultaneous with humming above)

JAXON

Every bowl in the kitchen is filthy. Every bowl. Every spoon. Every mug. And none of them placed in the washer. I’ll have to make a bigger sign.

SOUND: Spoon in the pot again

JAXON

It’ll take so many cleaning cycles. Work to be done.

            (one more time)

Making sooooooy oats …

SOUND: Staggered footsteps (one person, walking with difficulty) approaching quietly

                                                            (We hear Jaxon humming a bit more.)

SOUND: Wilder coughs

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles

SOUND: Pot dropped to the heating element

JAXON

Shoot! Shoot.

WILDER

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean t’ sneak up on you. I’m movin’ slower than usual, makes it hard to know just when to say hi.

JAXON

Oh. Umm, hi.

SOUND: Stirring the pot some more

JAXON

            (singing under their breath)

Making soooooy oats.

WILDER

Oh my gosh, you’re makin’ somethin’ that’s not raw proteins. Are you Jesus?

JAXON

Jaxon. Nutritionist, Agriculture and Environmental Department.

WILDER

I know, I was just … I mean, I remember seein’ you around before, also … not a lot of folks out o’ stasis yet.

            (sniffs)
That does smell good.

JAXON

Cassia cinnamon, it’s very fragrant.

SOUND: Wilder steps closer and sniffs again

JAXON

The food was all right here, it was all …

            (breathing more heavily, Wilder is too close)

… right here, I made the soymilk but oats were on the shelf – you’re too close.

SOUND: Spoon clanging against the pot

SOUND: Wilder stepping back

WILDER

I’m sorry! Again. I can go if I’m makin’ you uncomfortable.

JAXON

No, you’re just too close. If you sit down it’ll be …

SOUND: The pan clatters 

JAXON

      (singing a bit faster now, but quiet)

Making soooooy oats, I’m making sooooy oats …

WILDER

Of course. I’ll be over here.

SOUND: Stool sliding out

WILDER

I was gettin’ tired of all my sustenance comin’ through a tube, and I got the okay to start walkin’ a bit today, so this was my first destination.

JAXON

I’m sorry, just … quiet, just a minute?

      (breathing heavily, but calming back down)

I didn’t expect anyone this early.

            (breathing is more steady now)

SOUND: Spoon against the pan one more time

JAXON

I’ve got this ready. Would you like a bowl?

WILDER

Oh, no, I didn’t mean t’ take your food away!

SOUND: Bowl sliding across the counter

JAXON

It’s why I’m here. I’ve got some sweetener if you want it.

WILDER

I can’t stand that artificial crap … which is not what this is. I take back the Jesus thing – are you a wizard?

JAXON

It’s brown rice syrup, I made it. It’s better than artificial sweeteners, pretty much like any other sugar – glucose instead of fructose, but it breaks down the same. And it looks like we don’t have other sugars left.

SOUND: Spoon against bowl

JAXON

We grew brown rice in the farming unit. Hydroponics. Aquaponics would be better but no fish on the moon. We might still be growing brown rice, I just … haven’t been to the farm to check.

WILDER

Yeah. I get that. I haven’t been down there yet, either.

JAXON

It was her place. She wasn’t in charge, but it was her place.

WILDER

You must have worked with her a lot.

JAXON

As much as I could. She was … easy to understand.

WILDER

Heart right there on her elbow, that’s our Nessa.

JAXON

We had a lot in common.

            (after a moment)

Tumnus – the AI – AC – told me, after I woke up. Nobody else said much. They thawed me out and pointed to the kitchen. There’s work to be done.

WILDER

Sounds just like ‘em.

SOUND: Spoon against bowl

WILDER

Sorry. This is just – really, really good.

JAXON

            (you can hear the smile)
It’s the simplest thing.

WILDER

I took care of the plants for a while, after. They’re probably not in th’ best of shape by this point. One of my thumbs is kinda special, but neither one is green.

            (laughs, turning a bit awkward when Jaxon doesn’t join in)

If you want some company, when you’re ready …

JAXON

I’ll have to go soon. There’s work to be done.

SOUND: Spoon and bowl again

WILDER

Okay, that was amazing. I’m never eating En-Soy-Ment again!

JAXON

You shouldn’t.

WILDER

Right?

SOUND: Stool sliding out

WILDER

I’ll let you get back to what you were doin’ … but let me know if you need company. And I guess I’ll see you at the big meeting?

JAXON

I saw the message. Is that mandatory?

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revving up a little

WILDER

I don’t suppose anythin’ is at this point, but … it’s where folks are talkin’ about what comes next.

JAXON

I don’t like crowds. And the laboratory is … there’s a lot of noise.

WILDER

I hear ya. I just don’t trust those science bros to make th’ decisions on how my Base will work movin’ forward. Who knows what kinda plan they’d come up with.

JAXON

They don’t need a plan.

WILDER

I hear ya.

SOUND: Stool pushing out

WILDER

Do I … put this in th’ washer? Looked like you were startin’ a load.

JAXON

Just – the counter. Not too close.

WILDER

Sorry. It’s a small kitchen. I’ll just …

SOUND: Bowl set down on the counter

WILDER

It was nice talkin’ with you. You’re one hell of a cook, I’m glad they woke you up instead o’ –

JAXON

They don’t need to come up with a plan.

WILDER

Somebody’s got to, I guess.

JAXON

            (more to themselves)

There’s work to be done.

WILDER

You’ve got that right.

JAXON

            (singing a little again, not really noticing her in that moment)

Work to be done, work to be done, work to be done …

            (brief pause, then flat out)

They don’t need a plan because there’s already a plan. Nessa’s plan. The plan.

SOUND: Bowl dropping into the sink

WILDER

I’m sorry. What?

JAXON

She didn’t leave instructions? Gods, of course she didn’t leave instructions, she couldn’t know …

            (breathing heavily, humming)

WILDER

I need y’ to … I’ll stay over here, but please explain what that means.

JAXON

These should all go in the washer.

SOUND: Putting dishes in the dishwasher (sporadic for the next few lines)

JAXON

            (after a moment)

Nessa was working on a sustainable plan. For Theta, and all the other Moonbases.

WILDER

Can’t those wait? I’m kinda … mind blown here. She never said a word.

JAXON

            (hums a little before replying)

I only know my part … really. We were working on improved, less reliance on supplements to boost calcium, reduce sodium … there are a few superfoods that are actually, umm, super. I need her notes to really show you.

WILDER

I think we can get to her notes. And it wasn’t just foodstuffs? It was …?

JAXON

Food, water, recycling, oxygen, muscle atrophy, bone mass, radiation … I thought she would have … she was going to tell people. There’s work.

WILDER

Tumnus? Are you hearing this?

SOUND: Dishwasher loading ends

TUMNUS

I was not actively listening. One moment and I’ll review. Hello, Jaxon.

JAXON

Tumnus.

TUMNUS

All caught up.

WILDER

Did you know about any of this? Is there anythin’ in her folders?

TUMNUS

I would not have looked. There was no reason.

            (brief pause)

It will take time to do a full search and then analyze.

WILDER

When’s that meeting start?

SOUND: Jaxon pressing buttons (setting dishwasher)

TUMNUS

Too soon.

WILDER

Shit. This could be big, though. Jaxon … Jaxon?

SOUND: Dishwasher starting a cycle (ongoing)

JAXON

I’ll do it.

WILDER

What?

JAXON

You’re going to ask me to go to the meeting.

            (loud breathing, humming)
You need me at the meeting to … I hate it, but I’ll go. I’ll do the work. For her.

WILDER

Thank you. I’m sorry, I’ll try t’ run interference. I gotta go check in with Doc Pacey, ze’s gonna put a leash on me if I don’t. I’ll meet ya over there.

SOUND: Stool sliding out, Wilder’s footsteps (staggered)

JAXON

Just one thing.

WILDER

What’s that?

JAXON

You should never eat that En-Soy-Ment. Not again. It’s not right.

SOUND: Kitchen ambience ends / dishwasher sounds end

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE THREE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Laboratory background (ongoing)

SOUND: Occasional people noises – shuffling, a cough, quiet background talking, about a dozen people (ongoing)

DR. RINGLING

… thus, as scientific discovery is the very foundation of the Moonbase program, it should remain the primary focus moving forward. I’m sure you have questions, but if we accept that hypothesis, I believe you’ll find that –

ZHONG

Wait, you want to stay here? Aren’t we going back to Earth?

ROGER

Hear hear!

DR. JUST

That’s a complicated question, and it is being discussed –

ZHONG

What’s to discuss?

DR. SEMAAN

To start with, the lack of a rocket on the landing pad topside.

ZHONG

So why can’t we work on that?

ROGER

I retract my, “hear hear.”

DR. RINGLING

Work on getting a rocket?

ZHONG

I mean, I know we can’t build one, but contact the Consortium! Make some kind of deal! What other plan is there?

ROGER

Hey, unfortunately, as the one who spent the most time talking to the Consortium … and as the guy who found out what happened on the other side … we’re right where they want us to be. I want going home to be our number one goal more than anyone, but …

DR. JUST

Thank you, Roger.

ROGER

I wasn’t agreeing with you.

DR. JUST

There are concerns regarding the other Moonbases, that’s a valid point to bring in –

DR. PACEY

If we could put that off for just a minute, Edwin – you folks started this discussion talking about a power structure, I think that’s too important to let go. When there’s a vacuum at the top – as we are not waking Administrator Howell, and I’m making it clear I’m on board with that –

ROGER

I mean, talk about a vacuum at the top.

            (after a brief pause)

What?

DR. PACEY

And you seem to be implying some sort of technocracy, where you’re benevolently accepting the reins of power.

DR. JUST

You make it sound as if we’re –

DR. DAY

I’d say “benevolent” is negotiable.

            (Dr. Raptor voice)
I’m more of a Rex Imperator girl myself.

DR. SEMAAN

            (enjoying all of this)

Whoa, whoa, that is not at all my form of government.

DR. RINGLING

Everyone, please! I assure you, in volunteering to offer … guidance on where to best concentrate our collective efforts, we are not instituting any sort of oppressive power structure.

DR. PACEY

What are you proposing as an alternative?

ZHONG

Yeah. What she said.

DR. RINGLING

Doctor Semaan and myself have actually been looking into the Freehold model back on Earth –

DR. SERANO

Hold on. If we’re actually arguing this – the Freeholds aren’t a viable model. Collectivism without the acknowledgement of individual excellence ends in stagnation!

DR. RINGLING

We aren’t arguing this. That wasn’t on the agenda to begin with, we merely meant to –

            (they snap)

You in the back, humming songs from Les Mis. I hear you and cut it out!

DR. PACEY

So let’s hear some debate on that! We deserve to know what your plans are. Even if we agree with your theory that the purpose of the Moonbase is scientific discovery, and the rest of us exist only to provide support for your untiring efforts to make our lives better –

DR. RINGLING

All right, we all hear the sarcasm.

DR. DAY

No, really, why can’t we agree with that theory?

DR. PACEY

Regardless, we deserve a fully open and visible process.

WILDER

If I could have th’ floor for a minute?

SOUND: Wilder walking heavily to center stage (staggered footsteps)

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs slightly

WILDER

I understand you’ve all got opinions on who should be in charge now that we’ve grown. But we’re focused on things that might not be … it’s like this. There’s this meme from back in th’ day called the Distracted Boyfriend – it’s of this fella holdin’ one hand but lookin’ away at someone else like, “Hey, who is that over there?” And that’s you right now – you’re all lookin’ at “Who’s gonna take charge?” while you’re hand in hand with somethin’ a lot more important.

DR. SERANO

I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

DR. RINGLING

We do have an extensive agenda, I’m afraid …

WILDER

My point is, you’re walkin’ side by side with some basic human needs. Food, and water, and bein’ able t’ breathe night and day –

ROGER

Three of my favourite things.

WILDER

And how long we can keep the power on as parts start wearin’ down and we can’t message Earth t’ ask for replacements.

ZHONG

Are we sure we can’t do that? I mean, Consortium, no, but is there someone we could message …?

ROGER

If you’ve got two tin cans and an awful lot of string.

DR. JUST

That’s a point. Has anyone else inspected the communications system?

ROGER

For the love of – what do you think I was doing while you all took a nap?

WILDER

All right, all right. First, I know you didn’t mean t’ insult Roger … and second …

            (rushing)

Of course I double-checked after things went down.

ROGER

Hey!

WILDER

But my point! It ain’t gonna matter who’s holdin’ the reins if the horse drops dead. That’s got to be th’ priority.

DR. RINGLING

Of course, sustainability is a part of our long term plan.

WILDER

It better be, or you ain’t got a long term plan.

DR. RINGLING

That’s why we’ve been judicious about the number of revivals to date.

ROGER

Also, because you have to ask Tumnus’ help every time.

DR. JUST

Yes, yes, that’s what it’s there for.

DR. PACEY

Wilder, granted, you have a point, though I still believe a workable power structure –

DR. SEMAAN

Or deliberately organized lack thereof –

DR. PACEY

– is necessary to pursue a solution. But do you have some alternate proposal?

DR. SERANO

Could we not prolong this?

WILDER

I think I do. Though it’s not purely mine. Jaxon?

SOUND: A few whispers in the background – ongoing

SOUND: Jaxon takes a tentative step or two

JAXON

            (humming quietly to themselves for a moment, then as the whispers don’t stop)

Could you please – it’s too loud. Work to be done.

SOUND: The whispers and other spontaneous noise quiets down

JAXON

I – I worked with Nessa – Nessa Cheong, Agriculturalist, Moonbase Theta –

DR. JUST

            (kindly, not patronizing)

We all knew Nessa.

JAXON

She was developing a plan for self-sustainable systems … throughout Moonbase Theta. These self-sustainable systems included improvements to water and waste recycling, expanding the farm footprint … the size of the farm to …

SOUND: Someone coughs

SOUND: Background whisper for a moment

JAXON

            (breathing gets louder)

The range of food that we can grow, replacing supplements and staples from Earth and … boosting oxygen …

            (brief quiet singing)

Boosting oxygen, boosting oxygen, boosting oxygen …

DR. DAY

How come they get to sing?

JAXON

I’m sorry. These, umm, self-sustaining systems included improvements to the water –

ZHONG

Umm, you said that part.

WILDER

Let them talk!

JAXON

Her plan included ways to counteract the … physical effects of Moonbase Theta, dietary and the loss of muscle mass, and radiation –

MEDIC PACEY

Who was her medical consultant on this?

DR.SERANO

Did she have advisory input from our department? I’m sure Nessa only had a Master’s degree.

JAXON

            (more anxious)

I don’t have all of her notes. I don’t have all of her notes yet. Tumnus is searching … in her files …

WILDER

We’re just now puttin’ the pieces together, y’ understand.

DR. JUST

Perhaps we should wait until someone can consult with … Tumnus …

TUMNUS

I am right here.

DR. SEMAAN

            (kindly)

Do you have … support, documentation, any background you can add?

TUMNUS

I’m compiling that information. But Jaxon’s outline should be enough to begin discussions.

DR. SEMAAN

Oh no, I’m not … Jaxon, here, go on.

SOUND: A few footsteps

JAXON

Not too close. Please.

            (after a tense moment)

I was part of the plan, both … directly as Base Nutritionist, and … Nessa told me things. I don’t have all of her notes, but I was … part of the plan, and …

            (more to themselves again)

There’s work to be done.

DR. SERANO

If you can’t tell us what work, how do we –

JAXON

            (singing to themselves)

Work to be done, work to be done, work to be done …

DR. SERANO

Kris? Edwin?

DR. JUST

Let’s just … move forward for now and when those results are available … Doctor Ringling?

DR. RINGLING

            (uncomfortable)

Yes, umm, on the agenda …

JAXON

            (quiet and fast, almost to themselves)

I’ll … we’ll compile the notes.

SOUND: Fast footsteps moving out

DR. SERANO

Moving on?

WILDER

You … you shitlords!

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revving up, Wilder walking away

DR. JUST

            (after a moment)

Doctor Ringling?

DR. RINGLING

            (a bit off, shaken)

Yes. Right. One moment.

            (after a slight pause)
Scientific discovery. If you accept … that hypothesis, I believe you’ll find –

SOUND: Laboratory background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE FOUR

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Kitchen ambience fading in (music – RAMP track TBD) – ongoing

SOUND: Dishes / silverware rattling together, drawers opening / shutting

JAXON

            (singing to themselves, calming back down)
Every bowl, every spoon, every mug … every bowl, every spoon, every mug … every bowl, every spoon every mug …

SOUND: Wilder walking in (staggered footsteps)

JAXON

Every bowl, every spoon …

            (pause)

I had to go. I’m sorry, I was … melting down. I didn’t want to show that.

WILDER

Oh my gods, no, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t a pushed you. It’s just … y’ know. Serious stuff.

JAXON

I know.  

WILDER

Can I help y’ put those away?

SOUND: Jaxon inhales sharply

WILDER

Sorry. Again. I’ll learn to back off a little, promise.

JAXON

Good.

SOUND: Stool sliding out

WILDER

We gave it a shot. Shoulda known that’s how it would go. Those pompous assholes.

TUMNUS

I liked ‘shitlords’. I’ve added that to my vocabulary. Shitlords! They could have been more understanding.

JAXON

I’m sure at least one of them does understand. Maybe more; I’ve heard them debate.

SOUND: Footsteps entering the room

ROGER

Hey. Is everything okay?

WILDER

You were no goddamn help!

ROGER

I didn’t know you had some big secret plan! I mean, Tumnus, you could have told me.

TUMNUS

You said, “I don’t want to hear about this meeting.”

SOUND: Stool sliding out

ROGER

Yeah, yeah.

TUMNUS

I don’t think there’s anything you could have done. I don’t think there’s anything I could have done.

ROGER

For being the big thinkers, they don’t seem very interested in the biggest brain we’ve got.

TUMNUS

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

WILDER

Well, I am. I know what they think o’ me, but the way they keep brushing you off … and then how they treated Jaxon, I was ready to kick every ass in that room.

JAXON

Does anyone want a snack?

ROGER

I don’t think I have the stomach for raw proteins after that.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs a bit

WILDER

            (quietly)

Trust me. Say yes.

ROGER

Okay?

SOUND: Jaxon starting to mix together ingredients

ROGER

Is that … gods, they’re making real food.

WILDER

I know!

SOUND: Jaxon spooning out cookie dough on a sheet (over next line)

JAXON

The ingredients were right here, correctly labeled. I even left recipe sheets.

SOUND: Placing the sheet into the oven

ROGER

So, what comes next?

JAXON

Eight to twelve minutes at one-seventy-five.

ROGER

No, with the … plan thing.

WILDER

I don’t know. I guess we …

SOUND: Wilders arm revs up angrily

WILDER

I’m just so damn mad about th’ whole thing! I just wish I knew what to do next.

JAXON

Yeah.

ROGER

You don’t know where … she wanted to start?

JAXON

She had started. I don’t know where she left off.

TUMNUS

This might be a good time for … I think I’ve found something. This is dated before the shutdown sequence began.

SOUND: Slight beep to indicate message playback

NESSA (Rec.)

Back now, sorry. I’m fighting a small aphid infestation – I was about to say minor but up here, it’s definitely not a minor thing. All the official supplies sent to us are sterilized, I’m guessing it came from Harold’s … side project, which is of course is as unofficial as you can get. But not unwelcome!

            (brief pause)

Resuming notes for MEEP – that’s the Moonbase Environmental Emancipation Project, that’s what I’m calling it and by the time anyone else hears these notes, it’ll be established. Meep! Just my little squeak into the void. But hopefully, one day, much more than that.

            (chuckles)

The concept came from the old-school Biosphere programs that started way back in the twentieth century – adapted, of course, to a truly contained and hostile environment! And I’m not just talking about the Consortium’s rules against modifiying the Base’s ecology! The Biospheres were ambitious projects in self-sustainability and cooperation … and the longer I live here, sharing this enclosed space with so many other lovely humans … the more I dream of something that self-sufficient, that cooperative and yes, that ambitious, that we could build together.

            (she sighs)

Bit by bit, I’m sorting out parts of the plan. It’s so much work in so many disciplines – engineering, agriculture, physical health, mental well-being, cooking – Jaxon’s been so, so much help – cleaning, managing the wear and tear on machinery – that reminds me, I really need to find a time to talk this all over with Wilder before … well, before. Add that to my list.

WILDER

            (sniffs, holding back tears)
Aw, hell.

JAXON

I’m … I’m sorry.

NESSA (Rec.)

She’ll probably have ideas about our power supply as well – a lot of the independent systems will run down eventually. At least we make our own rocket fuel.

            (she laughs)

Even Doctor Just’s little tardigrade friends could play their part! They’re good bio-indicators of any change in their surroundings, and we could use a pioneer species as we create a new and adaptive environment. I’m not quite ready to share my notes with the scientists, but I’ll talk to him when that time comes.

SOUND: In the recording of Nessa, we hear her trimming excess vegetation in the background

NESSA (Rec.)

            (hums just a bit, happily thinking of Elena in this next line)

Oh! I should send a … message down to a certain partner on Earth to integrate their results. We’ll need all that data before we ever try to make a real go of it. If we ever have the chance.

            (she sighs)

The irony is that I’m recording this right after they’ve told us that the Bases is shutting down. All my work, all the pieces I’ve been puzzling together on my own … it’s probably nothing but a dream at this point. I can’t let it go, this hope for a … future, this hope for some hope. That we won’t lose everything we’ve built here and what it could become.

            (pauses for a moment to breathe)

I guess that sounds … well, folks would say, typical Nessa! Nessa with the stars in her eyes. But I’ll keep adding to this as long as I can, this will be my little time capsule for whatever happens on Moonbase Theta next. I’ll try not to bury it too deep, just in case …

            (after a moment, she laughs)

None of that, now! The only just in case is if I’m a bit forgetful when they wake us all up again. We’ll find a way to get things started. I know we will.

SOUND: Slight beep to indicate message end

ROGER

            (after a pause)

Well.

WILDER

Yeah.

TUMNUS

There are … other notes. I’m still compiling a summary. She was special.

JAXON

Nessa always had a plan.

WILDER

So, there’s work t’ be done.

JAXON

Yeah.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles

WILDER

Even Eliza knows it. We have to find a way t’ get things started on our own. Tumnus, you’re on board?

TUMNUS

I am absolutely on board.

WILDER

Roger?

SOUND: Stool sliding out

ROGER

All right, look. I loved Nessa. More than … but I have to get home, you know? Alex, the dogs, my life … I have to get home.

            (brief pause)

Until that seems remotely possible, I want to eat and breathe as much as the next guy. So if we’re going to take Nessa’s plan and go full-on Freehold Theta, where else could I be but in?

WILDER

Freehold Theta. I like that.

SOUND: Opening the oven

JAXON

Cookies are ready.

WILDER

Welcome to the dark side!

            (laughs)

TUMNUS

I could make another joke about cookies, but I think only Wilder would get it.

SOUND: Everyone scrambling for cookies

ROGER

Meep. What an absolute dork. Jaxon? Do you remember her jokes? She was the queen of the mom jokes.  

JAXON

Sure. Queen of them.

WILDER

Here’s to the queen! Hand me that can o’ pop there.

SOUND: Can of pop opening

SOUND: Kitchen ambience ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

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