MTO S3 E8 – “Exposure” – Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S3 Episode 8 – “Exposure”
by D.J. Sylvis

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the back garden in the Patrick Free Zone, not too long after the end of the last episode. Alex and Elena are alone.)

SOUND: Patrick Free Zone – outside background (ongoing)

SOUND: Garden background (ongoing)

SOUND: Walking, leaves rustling a bit

ALEX

I was so excited when I saw that they had sweet corn –

ELENA

            (almost to herself, pronunciation is ‘Zee Mays’)

Zea mays

ALEX

And I’d never heard of these, they’re Seminole pumpkins.  

ELENA

            (overlapping a little, pronunciation “Cuh-curb-it-a Moss-cata”)

Cucurbita moschata – sorry, I don’t even realize I’m doing it sometimes. It was a … thing we had together, Nessa always knew the names. After … after, I installed a cortex app that feeds them to me as I look at every plant.

ALEX

After some of Roger’s messages, I did that for the stars. There’s a … nebula up there …

            (he breaks down for a moment)

ELENA

I’m sorry. I don’t suppose I’m making things any easier.

ALEX

It helps, though. No one here can really understand. It’s not just the same thing, of course … I’m sorry.

            (brief pause)

I met Nessa once, she came home with Roger one weekend. She was quite the card shark.

ELENA

            (laughs)

She mentioned that, but said the same about you.

ALEX

            (laughs as well)

That’s generous of her.

ELENA

That’s my honeybee. She’s never stopped giving.

ALEX

I’m sorry. I can’t stop apologizing to you. I don’t know what else to say.

ELENA

I don’t know what to say to you, not truly. I’m not sure which is worse, the knowing or not knowing.

ALEX

Does either of us really know? I mean, enough?

            (pause)

I keep telling myself, all I can do is hope.

ELENA

You can do more. If you want. 

ALEX

            (unsure)

Of course, you’ve got your plan.

ELENA

Mine, and not mine.

            (she pauses for a moment, pronunciation – “Ee-lee-oh”)

I can hear them around front, they’re about ready to send Elio back for us.

ALEX

I guess we could head them off. Here, grab some tomatoes? They’ll want them for dinner.

SOUND: We hear them walking around the side of the house

SOUND: Garden background fades

ALEX

            (pronounced “Jeng-Joe”)

What kind of work did you do in Zhengzhou?

ELENA

I’m a programmer. Construction bots, mostly; I could set a bot up to do just about anything. I had some taking care of our garden, in fact.

ALEX

I know the type. I’m an engineer. Civil, mostly.

ELENA

In the Rio Enclave? I think we did some work for them.

SOUND: Dogs barking (fades in during Elena’s next line)

SOUND: Elio’s footsteps (walks with a cane)

ELIO

There you are. Elena!

            (calling back)

They’re right here!

ELENA

Careful with the hug, I’ve got squishables.

ELIO

I’ll carry those! Girls, go to Alex.

SOUND: Dogs barking

ELENA

All right, here. But you do have to – oof – stop hugging me so we can walk! Bowled over by kids and pets, it’s almost like home again.

SOUND: Footsteps continue (including Elio now)

ELIO

Do you have lots of children, Elena?

SOUND: Murmurs of random conversation from the group as they get closer

ELENA

Not mine, but … Nessa had a big, big family. I had to fight some of them off when I left!

ELIO

You should have let them come! We’ve got room.

ELENA

I’d have loved to, but it … wasn’t an easy trip.

SOUND: Footsteps have stopped, they’re around front now

MODDY SARAH

I can’t even imagine. Travel is hard enough on this side of the ocean, but making the trip across …

AHNUNG

            (flirting a little)

I can think of three ways to do it, but none are very comfortable.

ELENA

You can pick the least comfortable of those three, and you’re probably right.

ALEX

            (quietly, in between things)

I brought tomatoes.

AHNUNG

Pretty impressive. I’ve used all three at one point or another. Here, take my seat.

SOUND: Ahnung gets up from her chair

SOUND: Dogs panting, walking around

ELIO

Did you come here looking for Alex?

SOUND: Dogs bark a time or two

ELIO

            (affectionately, to them)

Or did she come here for you? Did she come here for Cas and Pol?  

ELENA

I only heard about Alex after I got here. I started out thinking I’d get to Rio somehow, try to find answers from there. But once I was on the move, I kept hearing worse and worse things about the Enclave there, and … rumours about Florida, about a rocket … and this felt like where I need to be.

AHNUNG

You’re doing it all in Nessa’s memory?

ELIO

She’s doing it because it’s the right thing.

ELENA

I’m doing it … because it needs to be done.

MODDY SARAH

That’s a good answer. From what you’ve said of the plan, it could make a lot of dreams possible. It could bring a lot of people together.

ELENA

She’s always done that.

ELIO

It sounds like such a dream, all of us living on the Moon.

ALEX

Yeah. Yeah.

AHNUNG

It is still a dream. They’re pretty picky about what they send up on that rocket.

ELENA

            (flirting back just a little)

Aren’t you on the inside?

AHNUNG

Not like that. They keep me around because they need a lot of power to keep things running, and none of them knows how the wires work before they plug into the computers. Or how to fix a pneumatic lift. Or what to do when the plumbing backs up.

MODDY SARAH

Or how to feed themselves. We should go in and help with dinner.  

AHNUNG

When it comes to the rocket – I’m helping, but it’s not my trip. It’s not my path. I’ll do what I can for you.

ELENA

I’ll take any help I can get.

                                                            (There is a pause for several moments.)

SOUND: Dogs barking

MODDY SARAH

Did you say something, Alex?

ALEX

What? No.

MODDY SARAH

My mistake. I thought you had something to contribute.

ELIO

Alex could help you! He’s on the inside. They all talk about Alex and Roger!

ELENA

Everyone does seem to know you.  

ELIO

They’ve heard all of Roger’s broadcasts. I’ll bet they know about Nessa, too.

ELENA

Oh?

ALEX

It seems to be a pretty big thing with them. I’m still getting used to it.

ELENA

I would imagine.

ALEX

I … might be able to help.

ELENA

Thank you.

ALEX

Maybe. I’ll ask around.

ELENA

I understand.

MODDY SARAH

Well. That sounds promising.

SOUND: They get up from their chair

MODDY SARAH

Let’s get inside, we can talk more while we work.

SOUND: General sound of a few people getting up and moving

SOUND: Dogs barking again, more excited now

ELIO

Come along, girls. Dinner time!

MODDY SARAH

            (laughing)

Not in the kitchen! Not while we’re cooking. Elena, you’re welcome to stay if you want. We won’t make you do the work.

ELENA

            (pronunciation – “Suh-lay-numb Like-uh-purse-uh-come”)

Nonsense, I’m an amazing cook. Here, I’ll bring these … solanum lycopersicum inside with me.

ALEX

Show off.

                                                            (Elena laughs and goes inside.)

SOUND: Screen door opening and shutting

SOUND: Dogs barking (muffled, inside)

ALEX

Of course I’ll help if I can.

MODDY SARAH

Of course.

            (she grunts as she steps up to the porch)

ALEX

            (reluctantly)

It’s not like I’m just using everyone to send my messages.  

MODDY SARAH

I know all about the reluctant rise to power. Sometimes, the Universe brings you to a place where the choice isn’t whether to act … but whether you’ll still know yourself if you don’t.

ALEX

All right, all right. I said I’m helping.

            (after a moment)
You sound pretty invested yourself. Second thoughts about a promised land?

MODDY SARAH

We’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you. Get your butt inside.

SOUND: The screen door opening and closing again

SOUND: PFZ outside background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the laboratory as the scientists come back from a secret meeting. Ashwini is there, but has not yet been seen. )

SOUND: Laboratory background (ongoing)

SOUND: Door slides open

DR. JUST

… this time with a completely united front. If anyone protests, we’ll direct them to … to …

SOUND: We hear a chair creak and turn around

ASHWINI

Hello there, Doctors.

SOUND: The door slides closed again

DR. JUST

Ashwini?

DR. RINGLING

Doctor Ray?

DR. SERANO

Doctor Ray.

DR. DAY

            (a bit strangely cowed by zir presence)

Did you bring a chair down here just for that reveal? Because kudos.

SOUND: The chair creaking again as ze leans forward

SOUND: Small tardigrade sounds

ASHWINI

It’s nice to see you all again, hale and healthy and … working together.

SOUND: Small tardigrade sounds

DR. SERANO

Edwin, isn’t that …?

DR. JUST

Subject T1, yes. Doctor Ray, be careful with that test subject.

ASHWINI

I would never do anything to hurt this lovely little – actually, not little, the growth is quite significant to you, isn’t it? To your Tardigrade of Unusual Size. I’m quite fascinated, actually. I wondered if any science at all had been done in my absence.

DR.DAY

I’ll have you know that I eat and breathe science. I sleep science!

DR. RINGLING

Look, it’s … wonderful to have you back. Really. This just feels a little intimidating.

ASHWINI

Now Kris, no posturing. You are the Science Administrator, but I believe my title is Science Lead, is it not? As such, you work for me. You all work for me.

DR. SEMAAN

All right now, give them a break.

ASHWINI

Doctor Semaan, I’m glad to see they’ve brought you into the fold. I’m quite a fan of your work analyzing meteorite composition.

DR. SEMAAN

You’ve read my paper on impact-based transient lunar phenomena?

SOUND: Chair creaking as Ashwini stands up

SOUND: Slight tardigrade noise

ASHWINI

Edwin, take this.

DR. JUST

Careful …

ASHWINI

I recognize that in our pre-shutdown existence, I was particularly hands-off –

SOUND: Door sliding open

ASHWINI

Roger, Jaxon, come in, I know there’s a meeting.

ROGER

Umm …

ASHWINI

I’ll only be a moment.

SOUND: We hear ze walking around the lab

ASHWINI

Now where was I …

JAXON

“Particularly hands-off.”

ASHWINI

Thank you. Hands-off to the point where you might have assumed your work existed in complete autonomy. This will no longer be the case. I have examined your notes, your test subjects …

DR. SERANO

            (gasps)

Which test subjects?

ASHWINI

And your methodologies. I must say, what I see when I look around this room is a significant lack of dedication.

DR. JUST

Now listen here, Doctor –

DR. RINGLING

            (overlapping)

I don’t think that’s a fair conclusion to arrive at without –

DR. DAY

            (overlapping, as Dr. Raptor)

How dare? How very dare you?

DR. SEMAAN

            (overlaps, shrugging)

It’s a fair cop.

DR. SERANO

Which test subjects?

SOUND: After they stop, we hear Ashwini walk around the lab again

ASHWINI

Doctor Serano, on examination, your hedgehogs have significantly less bristle flexibility than your reports might indicate.

DR. SERANO

That’s impossible. Doctor Day!

ASHWINI

Doctor Semaan, I’m surprised you haven’t yet reached a conclusion regarding that tunnel collapse. Kris, I noticed that you have fallen behind on filing your administrative paperwork in several key areas.

DR. RINGLING

There’s no one to submit them to!

ASHWINI

Doctor Just … your little friends have been exposed to more uncontrolled environments than I have. Which is saying quite a bit. And Doctor Day …

DR. DAY

            (as Dr. Raptor)

You’d better not question my science!

ASHWINI

Your science is passable. Your attitude, however … just remember that there are others on this Moonbase who know a thing or two.

            (whispering, direct to her)

Isn’t that right, Gladys?

DR. DAY

            (immediately back to her normal voice; ‘ser’ pronounced ‘sair’ like hair)

How in the heck did you … ? Yes. Yes, ser.

ASHWINI

I believe that’s all of you. Now back to your stations; I’ll be watching. I will be watching.

            (after a moment)

Roger, I believe you had a meeting to conduct?

ROGER

Oh, yeah. Right. Umm … Tumnus?

TUMNUS

I’m guessing you’ve lost track of your agenda?

ROGER

Right. Could you send it to the screen right here – okay. I guess we’re really doing this.

TUMNUS

If everyone could make their way into the lab?

SOUND: We hear people shuffling in, murmurs, coughing – continuing behind the next conversation

JAXON

            (talking to themselves, practicing)

… a mix of nutrients are required to synthesize bone, including protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin K … processed foods provided … sodium intake … counteract with increased farm production to specific goals, specific dietary needs …

            (singing to themselves now to stay calm)

Mushrooms and beans, sweet peppers and kale … mushrooms and beans, sweet peppers and kale …

ASHWINI

You’re Jaxon, the nutritionist.

JAXON

Base Nutritionist …

ASHWINI

I’m a big fan of your work.

JAXON

Agriculure and Environmental.

ASHWINI

Back in the … before, you made these little quiches that were – I don’t know how you captured the texture without eggs or dairy, but they were absolutely …

JAXON

Oh! Tofu, cornstarch, nutritional yeast … you probably don’t want the whole recipe.

ASHWINI

Actually, I’d love that, but you were getting ready for a presentation.

JAXON

I am. I should. Thank you for … telling off those Science Bros.

ASHWINI

Science Bros? Oh, I enjoy that immensely. I should dash before the real meeting begins, but … another time?

JAXON

Please.

ASHWINI

I’m just in the observatory.

ROGER

            (taking center stage, raising his voice)

Okay, umm … I guess we should get started? There’s a lot to go over regarding the plans for Moonbase sustainability, or self-sufficiency, or both – I guess we should decide on what to call it soonish.

ZHONG

Wait a minute. Why are you running the meeting?

SOUND: Someone shushes him

ZHONG

It’s a free Base now, right? Everyone is supposed to have a voice? What happened to the scientists?

WILDER

Zhong, why don’t ya give it a rest?

ZHONG

You’re not my boss in here. Doctor Just? Doctor Day? Amal?

DR. JUST

Well, the thing is, we’ve talked amongst ourselves and decided …

DR. SEMAAN

You know, in the interest of a more egalitarian process …

DR. DAY

            (as Dr. Raptor)

Look – over there – someone dropped some Science!

ROGER

            (after a moment)

Well then. Let’s just stick with Nessa’s name for it now – Meep – if you want to know what that stands for, track down Wilder and she’ll be happy to explain.

TUMNUS

She just told me before the meeting. Meep!

ROGER

Thank you. Now … we had a few reports to begin with, I know everyone wants to hear more of this plan before taking next steps. Wilder’s been looking through the manifests for the Bases on the other side … but she’s shaking her head no so let’s put that on hold.

            (brief pause, carefully)

Jaxon? Are you ready … you had some notes to share?

JAXON

Yes. Sure. I’m ready.

SOUND: Taking a few tentative steps to the center

JAXON

            (singing to themselves for a moment)

Mushrooms and beans, sweet peppers and kale …

            (takes a deep breath – this line fades out at the end)

There are five areas of physical health I’ve been examining from a nutritional point of view, in order to maintain an essential balance without … without having to rely on supplements. I’ll try to go through these as quickly as possible; I know you’ll be the most interested in what’s next for dinner.

SOUND: Laboratory background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE THREE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Observatory background (ongoing)

(Ashwini is alone in the observatory. Ze is humming the same ‘Blisspop’ track that Tumnus is fond of.)

TUMNUS

That sounds familiar.

ASHWINI

I’ve been on an afropunk kick of late, but this song keeps slipping back through. It’s quite infectious.

TUMNUS

It brings me unexpected joy.

            (brief pause)
Thanks for intervening in there.

ASHWINI

Playing the supervillain again brought me unexpected joy. Their response was absolutely delightful.

TUMNUS

It helps a lot with our plans.

ASHWINI

Which are not incompatible with my own, even if our goals differ. I do require a platform while I reach out into the greater universe; it’s fair that I contribute in some way to that sustainability.

            (brief pause)

Also, there’s the joy. I’ll keep an eye on the … Science Bros.

SOUND: For a moment, they listen to the sounds of the observatory at work

TUMNUS

How’s your work been going in here?

ASHWINI

I’m sure you know the answer to that, you can read the data as well as I.

TUMNUS

I wasn’t sure, without the link back to Earth …

ASHWINI

It has been difficult, overcoming that loss of interferometry. However, my hope is that one day we shall achieve correlation from another source altogether. There is more than enough to be done in that pursuit.

TUMNUS

            (nervously)

So, then … no regrets?

ASHWINI

            (pause, a small sigh)

I do wish we could at least send messages down to Earth. Poor Guillermo, all those plans I made for my ‘return’ to throw the Consortium off. They’ll be left holding the bag on some expensive reservations.

            (brief pause)

No, they were left with them, some months in our past now. The passage of time has become such a nebulous marker in my life.

TUMNUS

            (teasing slightly)

I guess that’s what happens when you devote yourself to commune with the universe.

ASHWINI

There are a few things that remain to keep me grounded. Still no good coffee, but at least my entire stash of chocolate has not been depleted.

TUMNUS

I had to make a few deals.

ASHWINI

            (pronunciation below –  “vohr-KOH-sih-gn”)

There are still a number of senssuround experiences to pursue – I’ve long meant to immerse myself in the Vorkosigan Saga, work my way in as a pirate then immerse myself in the Empire worlds … and of course, a return to my own compositions. I believe I’ve abandoned my last, unfinished work, but I begin anew.

            (brief pause – pronunciation below – “Pass-ih-thay-an”)

There’s a plot brewing in the back of my mind for an epistolary fusion fic exchanging letters between a number of pocketcast settings – the Pasithean realities, the Shackleverse, the Vega narrative …

TUMNUS

            (amused)

I’m glad you have such engrossing pursuits.

ASHWINI

One cannot live by work alone, my dear. Though those thoughts are always brewing, bubbling up in the cauldron of my grey matter. Which reminds me … should I address memos to the general computer now?

TUMNUS

You can assign it a new name if you want, otherwise ‘Computer’ will work. I’ve put all the processes in place to handle your requests.  

ASHWINI

Very well. Computer – please request that Doctors Day and Ringling join me in forty-five minutes to discuss neutrino-based communication as a possible alternative. They should arrive prepared to discuss the most current research. Light snacks will be served.

SOUND: Computer beep to indicate task has been accepted

TUMNUS

Is that an authentic request or further intimidation?

ASHWINI

Let’s just say it allows me to multitask. Additional note, to … the kitchen. Request assistance in preparing light snacks.

SOUND: Repeat of the same computer beep

TUMNUS

Speaking of the opportunity to multitask.

ASHWINI

Yes. Well. You do pay more attention now, don’t you?

            (brief pause)

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on conceptual solutions to your other problem – what to do should our corporate overlords discover our reawakening.

TUMNUS

Hopefully that problem stays further in the future.

ASHWINI

There’s very little that stays in the future. But when the need comes, I’ll have plans for you that take advantage of our … relative position in the game.

            (after a moment)

Computer, another note – submit request to Wilder for a visual inventory of the contents of our surface storage lockers. Of particular interest would be any spare guidance mechanisms.

SOUND: Repeat of the same computer beep

ASHWINI

I do miss hearing your voice in reply.

TUMNUS

“Yes, Doctor.” I could add that to the automated processes as well.

ASHWINI

It wouldn’t be the same, would it? I’m glad you do come back around, once in a while.

TUMNUS

Once in a while? This is the sixth time we’ve spoken today.

ASHWINI

            (laughs)

If you say so.

TUMNUS

I do, Ashwini. I couldn’t stay too far away.

 ASHWINI

            (after a moment)
I have a … little gift for you. I’ve been waiting for just the right moment. Could you please access the files under my personal subfolder nested as Corrupted Data slash Personal slash NSFW cascading another thirteen times, then NYC. It will require access to my biometrics, which I’ve just provided.

TUMNUS

Accessing.

            (curious)

I do not recognize any of this information.

ASHWINI

You wouldn’t, yet. But this is someone you should get to know.

JEN PONTON (Previously Rec.)

            (recorded clip, from MTO: Before the Moon episode 5)

“Doctor Ray – it was Doctor Ray? I’m finding you a bit annoying, and I don’t need a job this badly. I may work with puppets, but I am not one myself.”

TUMNUS

That is … that’s my voice. That’s exactly my voice.

ASHWINI

Indeed it is. But not only, not just.

JEN PONTON (Previously Rec.)

            (continuing, same recorded clip)
”I am an accomplished performer with a … lifetime of experience! Big, important experience! If you want someone to parrot words into a mic, there are any number of performers available –“

TUMNUS

So this is … they were the one who … before I was even yet …

ASHWINI

Take some time, review and listen and get to know my friend Jen Ponton. I think you’ll find her … quite familiar, in ways that extend beyond mere tone and timbre.

TUMNUS

You have to give me more of an explanation than that.

SOUND: A knock at the door

JAXON

            (outside)

Umm, Doctor Ray?

ASHWINI

My next appointment.

TUMNUS

Your light snacks.

ASHWINI

Listen, read, we’ll talk more later. Jen. Ponton.

TUMNUS

Okay.

SOUND: Background, begin playing a clip from Jen’s work – whatever she wants to provide (ongoing)

SOUND: Footsteps as Ashwini walks briskly to the door

SOUND: Sliding door opens

ASHWINI

Jaxon, hello.

JAXON

I got a request … if you’re free to come down to the kitchen? I could umm, show you that recipe you asked about, too.

ASHWINI

I’d really enjoy that.

SOUND: Footsteps as they walk away

ASHWINI

            (fading out as they go)

I might have a few ideas for your other work, as well. One of my PhDs is in Bioresource Engineering; I might be able to provide some interesting options for …

SOUND: Observatory background ends
SOUND: Chime – bookend

SCENE FOUR

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(Roger is in the Moonbase farm area by himself. He is very slow and lost in thoughts in this scene.)

SOUND: Moonbase garden background (ongoing) – see file used in Prologue 3

ROGER

Compose private message, Alexandre. Alex …

            (after a few long moments pause)

Stop recording. Cancel.

(For another few long moments, we listen to the garden’s background noises and nothing else.)

SOUND: Rustling of vegetation

JAXON

            (singing to themselves)

Spinach and mushroom, spinach and mushroom, spinach and mushroom quiche …

            (sees Roger, regular speech)
Oh. I didn’t … I’m here for some garlic.

ROGER

I’m not sure where she kept it.

JAXON

Over here.

SOUND: Slight rustling of vegetation

ROGER

Are you the one who’s started things growing again? I thought it was Wilder.

 JAXON

Both, maybe?

      (hums a little)

 SOUND: Snipping off heads of garlic

 JAXON

Wilder was first back in, she turned on the lights and the nutrients, but she didn’t understand there needs to be a schedule.

 ROGER

She’s used to problems with an on / off switch. I know all too well.

                                                             (There is a long pause, garden sounds in the background.)

JAXON

            (hums for a bit, then)

Okay, that’s it. I’m … going now.

 SOUND: Slight rustling of vegetation

 ROGER

Do you have people, back on Earth?

 JAXON

People?

 ROGER

Silly question, I guess. I just wondered. My husband is … I probably talk enough about my husband.

 JAXON

I have a pretty big family – parents, cousins, stepsisters, stepcousins. They’re all back in Sacramento / San Fran. But not … that kind of people.

 ROGER

I don’t have the family kind, other than Alex. That must be nice, too.

JAXON

            (after a moment)

I have to – I’m making a quiche.

ROGER

Of course, I’d never get in the way of your cooking! Just ignore the Ancient Mariner at the back of the room.

SOUND: Slight rustling of vegetation

JAXON

Another time, you can … tell me more about your husband.

ROGER

            (laughs a little)
You may regret that offer. Thank you.

SOUND: More vegetation rustles

SOUND: A few footsteps fading away

ROGER

            (final stanza from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Coleridge)

He went like one that hath been stunned,

And is of sense forlorn:

A sadder and a wiser man,

He rose the morrow morn.

            (he sighs)

All right, Bragado-Fischer, none of that. If you’re going to bring poetry into it, choose something more upbeat.

            (brief pause, recites from “Hidden Love”, Sara Teasdale)

But sometimes when he dreams at night

Of fragrant forests green and dim,

It may be that my love crept out

And brought the dream to him.

            (pause between stanzas)

And sometimes when his heart is sick

And suddenly grows well again,

It may be that my love was there

To free his life of pain.

            (brief pause, a more peaceful sigh)

There we go. That’s the thing.

SOUND: Vegetation rustles, more violently than before as Wilder rushes in

WILDER

            (surprised)
Roger?

ROGER

            (tired, not really that upset)

Dammit, could I have just one moment of peace?

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles

WILDER

All right, Get Out Frog, I ain’t even here for you. Tumnus said Jaxon was in here.

ROGER

They were … I think they went back to the kitchen.

WILDER

I’ll head there next.

ROGER

            (after a moment)

Something else?

WILDER

Nothin’. It’s just … still weird, comin’ in here. You know?

ROGER

I know. After you sit for a while, it becomes a better kind of weird.

WILDER

You think so?

SOUND: Vegetation rustles as she sits down

ROGER

Yeah, sure, plenty of room.

WILDER

I’ve been tryin’ to feel things out with th’ rest of the crew. Doc Semaan and I had a real nice chat – she’s a big fan of the green, you know what I’m sayin’, it was definitely four-twenty when I visited – but she’s solid and leanin’ to our side. It helped that you took that meetin’ and ran with it. Thanks again for that.

ROGER

You didn’t give me much of a choice. But you’re welcome.

WILDER

And you’re gonna work on that … other thing?

ROGER

            (a bit annoyed now)

Jesus, Wilder!

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs up a little

WILDER

Eliza, no. I know, you’ve got a right to worry.

ROGER

What good is it gonna do? You know everything he did – we bring him back and it’s not just … you have it out with him and we shut the freezer door again. When he’s out, he’s … out. And then we’re kinda … responsible for whatever happens next.

WILDER

Hell, I know. I’ve been through this with you, with Tumnus … and a full twelve rounds or so with myself every time I close my eyes.

ROGER

So you think this is gonna settle things somehow?

WILDER

I don’t know what I think, tell the truth. I mean, I want to smash his smug lyin’ face in, that’s one thing and I can’t promise that won’t happen. I want to know all the stuff no one else can tell me, what all he did, what was in the reports he was sendin’ back, especially … what he said about Nessa …

ROGER

Wilder, if I really thought any of that was on purpose … you’d have to wait in line for a crack at him.

            (brief pause)

I talked to the guy enough, he’s not half as devious as he wants to be.

WILDER

That’s the other thing. You talked to him, you heard his stories, you understand a little. If there are … reasons, I deserve to know that too. If he deserves a chance, I’ll be the one to give it. If not, I’ll be the one to lock him in that office and toss the key out an airlock.

ROGER

            (laughs a little)

As long as you’ve got a plan.

WILDER

So … soon, all right then?

ROGER

Soon.

(For a few moments, they sit there and listen to the sounds of the garden.)

WILDER

I had such a goddamn crush on her. At first, you know, not after we actually talked and became pals. It’s just, somethin’ about the way she made you feel like the center o’ the universe while she talked …

            (blushing, embarrassed)

Don’t ever tell Jen and Thea I said that.

ROGER

My lips are sealed. I know that feeling, though, that’s … what Alex is for me.

WILDER

I just wish we could at least check on them, y’ know? Even if we can’t send messages, just … to know they’re okay. And know they know we’re okay.

ROGER

Yeah.

WILDER

I just … things weren’t the best when I left ‘em. We’ve talked, we’ve kinda made up, but it’s not the same from here.

ROGER

That’s … also a familiar refrain.

WILDER

            (chuckles)

Let me sing you the song of my people.

            (pause to change tracks)

It’s, you know, there was this saying …

ROGER

Yeah, yeah. Enough with the memes, Wilder.

WILDER

            (chuckling)

Enough with the memes.

(They listen to the sounds of the garden for a few more moments before Wilder speaks.)

WILDER

You’re right. I can feel it now. A better kind o’ weird.

ROGER

Good. Now, can we just sit for a few minutes and … not talk?

WILDER

Sure. Sure we can.

(We take another long pause for the garden background before the scene ends.)

SOUND: Moonbase garden background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *