MTO S3 E10 – “Volatile” – Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S3 Episode 10 – “Volatile”
by D.J. Sylvis

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the Infirmary. Michell is sitting on the bed.)

SOUND: Infirmary background (see Ep. 4)

MICHELL

Give me access to Base message logs. Search for my name.

SOUND: A slight spritzing noise (spray bottle)

MICHELL

            (breathes in)

Give me … surveillance footage as per previously set parameters.

SOUND: Very quiet recorded conversation, laughter

MICHELL

            (the laughter hurts)
Sound off.

SOUND: Infirmary background down

SOUND: Hallway background up (ongoing)

MICHELL

            (muffled a bit, we’re hearing from outside the door)

Jump forward … forward … forward.

ROGER

            (quietly, but we’re in his POV)

You didn’t give him back Security access?

TUMNUS

I’m feeding him dummy information, from before the shutdown. He doesn’t seem to know the difference. Or he doesn’t care.

SOUND: Slight spritzing noise again (muffled, hearing from outside the room)

ROGER

And he’s got olfactory in there?

MEDIC PACEY

He’s got my spray disinfectant. It’s lavender scented, it helps him calm down. Is there a reason you’re loitering in the hallway?

ROGER

Oh! Umm, well, that is …

TUMNUS

How is he doing, Doctor?

MEDIC PACEY

Medic.

TUMNUS

I’ve seen your file. You do have a doctorate in –

MEDIC PACEY

An unrelated field, so let’s stick with ‘Medic’. He’s … picking up the pieces. He’s fully revived, but … heart rate, adrenal levels, brain activity … keep jumping back and forth. Emotionally … you should ask him about that.

TUMNUS

I … wouldn’t know what to say.  

MEDIC PACEY

Roger. You should ask him about that. He needs your help as much as mine.

ROGER

Me? I’m not … I could see what was going on, I got him in here, but I’m not …

MEDIC PACEY

This isn’t my specialty, and your diagnosis – you don’t mind if I discuss this with Tumnus present?

ROGER

We’ve been through it all.

MEDIC PACEY

Even though we’re talking event-specific PTSD in your case, there are reasons you could identify his symptoms. Michell’s more complex trauma –

TUMNUS

Should I turn off my ears at this point?

MEDIC PACEY

He’s given his approval for both of you. Though he doesn’t quite know who you are yet.

TUMNUS

That’s fair.

MEDIC PACEY

Complex PTSD is based more in repeated or continued events, in this case extending back to childhood, but the way it affects him, the way he’s reacted to it …

ROGER

Yeah. When I saw him freeze up, and then there were big gaps in what he remembered … I got that. 

MEDIC PACEY

That’s why I need you in there. I’ve read the literature, but … you get it.

SOUND: Sliding door being opened

MEDIC PACEY

Are you coming?

SOUND: Hallway background ends

SOUND: Infirmary background (ongoing)

SOUND: Footsteps (Pacey uses crutches)

MICHELL

Oh. Medic Pacey. Roger.

            (under his breath)

Surveillance off.

SOUND: Slight spritzing noise

ROGER

Yeah. Hey.

            (after a pause)

How’re you … feeling?

MICHELL

            (businesslike, maybe a tiny bit panicky)

I’m all right. Having some trouble with accessing my files, but I’m sure, back at my post …

MEDIC PACEY

You are free to go, any time …

MICHELL

I’m not sure how they’re gonna like that, out there. Maybe one more day.

MEDIC PACEY

Your call … but if you stay with me, we do the work. Roger isn’t here for a social call, I found him out in the hall and dragged him inside.

MICHELL

You were spying on me?

ROGER

I don’t spy on people! Well, not now. Not ever of my own accord. You know that.

MICHELL

Right. Me either.

MEDIC PACEY

I’m calling a group therapy session. You two have been circling each other – don’t make that face, L’Anglois, like I don’t hear you doing those searches while I’m trying to work –

ROGER

“Right. Me either.”

MICHELL

What am I supposed to do? I hear things, even though no one’s talking to me I hear them. You’re apparently the head of this anti-Consortium revolution, I’m supposed to ignore that?

ROGER

What are you gonna do? They left you up here like the rest of us. You think you’ve got a job now?

MICHELL

Someone’s got to keep an eye on you perturbateurs

ROGER

Oh, I’m so glad you’re back, Michell.

MICHELL

You’re the one who brought me back!

ROGER

Because Wilder forced me! And as entertaining as it was to see her push you around, it doesn’t make up for what you did to her, or to Nessa or … all the bullshit you laid on me when you took the avoidance train to Stasis Town! “Roger, merde, I was a prick, I did this terrible thing and this terrible thing and now the blood is on your hands.” Thanks for that, buddy. None of that stuck with me at all when I was sitting all alone at night on this fucked-up moon.

SOUND: Slight spritzing noise

MICHELL

That was all your choice. Just because you couldn’t stand the thought of a stasis pod –

ROGER

It is so hard not to punch you right now!

SOUND: Footsteps with crutches – Pacey stepping in between them

MEDIC PACEY

All right, break it up, this conversation has passed the boundaries of therapeutic usefulness – as much as I’m tempted to grab a bag of popcorn and let you both have at it.

            (brief pause, cheerfully)

Did you know Jaxon can make us popcorn?

            (back to work here)

This might be a good time to remind you both that distrust of others and an extremely negative worldview are symptoms of the trauma you’ve suffered.

MICHELL

Aren’t they also symptoms of just … living in the world?

SOUND: Tumnus laughs

TUMNUS

Sorry. I never thought of that.

ROGER

He’s got a point. How can you tell if you’re suffering from a disorder or … the world is the problem?

MEDIC PACEY

Funny. But you do know, don’t you? Both of you. I’m not arguing against the world being a screwed-up place. But your reactions to those screwed-up moments … I can understand those, too …

MICHELL

            (muttering)

You’re doing a hell of a job guiding this session.

MEDIC PACEY

But it’s how they spin out of control, right? How they keep you from living your life. Folks sometimes describe it as waves coming in. The water’s always there, but sometimes it laps at your feet, sometimes it rises to your waist and you’re more concerned … sometimes the memories flood in and you can’t even breathe. That’s a lot more than just living in the world. That’s when you need outside help to cope.

ROGER

I’ve had outside help. Oddly enough, they didn’t prepare me for being this specifically screwed over.

MICHELL

You took a job on the Moon and you didn’t think about stasis pods, or spacesuits, or …

ROGER

You didn’t think betraying half the crew when we’re stuck here together might bite you in the ass?

SOUND: Michell getting up off the bed

MICHELL

I didn’t have any other foutou choice, okay? You’ve got a husband and a garden and those dogs you won’t stop going on about – the Consortium owns me. I wasn’t even fifteen when Maria and I sold ourselves to the company to get out. I do what they say or – there isn’t any or. I do what they say. And then they took her away too and lured me up here with the promise of finding her again … and someone couldn’t keep the goddamn comms towers working.

ROGER

You wouldn’t let me go to fix them!

MICHELL

I couldn’t! I had my orders and it was fucking killing me! Don’t you think I wanted to – don’t you think I would have given anything – and then you finally did get over there and it was all … you found out …

SOUND: Michell slumps back down again

MICHELL

            (flat, drained again)

That was the end. Maria … she’s my family. Since that day we ran away, she’s my world. Now I don’t even know … Base Gamma, one pod, critical failure. I don’t even know if she’s alive.

ROGER

Shit. I mean … shit. You even said Gamma, in that last message. I didn’t put it together.

            (rallying a little bit)

That doesn’t excuse what you did here, but …

MICHELL

I know.

            (after a moment, wearily)

I had my work to do, every message back and forth with more orders. I tried to quit when I got this assignment, did you know that? I was ready to resign my commission, first time I ever talked back to a superior and I was right in his face … the way I always wanted when I was a kid, the way I wanted to be to them. I was doing it and I was … now that I know what it is, in the middle of a triggering thing right there in his office, I would have made it through but then he brought Maria into it. And I can’t let her down.

            (a long pause, then)

I can’t let her down.

SOUND: Slight spritzing noise again

MEDIC PACEY

This is where we get to the ‘complex’ part of your complex trauma.

MICHELL

Ça explique tout, pas vrai?

ROGER

Wilder’s got a thing she says – “I know those feels.” At least, the triggering part. And someone I can’t let down.

            (brief pause)

But it wasn’t like running away, and your family …

MICHELL

We weren’t all lucky enough to grow up without parents.

            (after a pause)

She went into Security first, it was the only job they offered … and she needed to keep us going. Then I followed her lead. Shit, she’s got all this in her head too, and she had to raise me … we never talked about it, really. We thought we were free.

ROGER

Boy, did they sell you the short end of the stick.

MICHELL

It was a stupid thing to hope for.

MEDIC PACEY

Have a little more compassion for that Michell; he’d been through a hell of a lot. To come through that with any sort of hope is a big deal.

MICHELL

I wish I remembered how it felt.

MEDIC PACEY

That might take some time. But if all these other, more painful versions of yourself are still marching around inside making your life difficult … maybe that one’s in there, too. We’ll keep working, keep digging, until we find a way through.

MICHELL

If I can keep away from Wilder for that long.

ROGER

You’ve got a point there.

MEDIC PACEY

That’s probably not gonna be an end goal either, not if you really want to sleep at night.

SOUND: A few footsteps with crutches

MEDIC PACEY

But that’s for advanced learners, we’ll take the baby steps first. End of session. Pay my receptionist on the way out.

SOUND: We hear some various key tapping and beeps as ze updates zir records

MICHELL

            (after a while)
Look, Roger …

ROGER

What?

MICHELL

            (after a pause, more of a plea than a threat)

You better not tell anyone about all this.

SOUND: Roger gets up from the chair

ROGER

Right. Well, I’ve got a meeting starting soon. It’s been swell.

SOUND: Footsteps exiting the infirmary

SOUND: After a few seconds, we hear the spray bottle spritzing one more time

SOUND: Infirmary background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the Enclave Officer’s office back on Earth.)

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background (ongoing)

SOUND: The crackle of a soldiering iron for a moment

SOUND: Access panel being closed

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s got to do something … of course no one saved the manual, but that looks like the right circuit. Now, hold in the button for three seconds … three … two … one.

SOUND: Short booting up effect

RECEPTION BOT

            (in Italian)

Selezionare impostazioni – restrizioni generali. Prego inserire la password.(Press Settings- General Restrictions. Enter your password.)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What the hell? There’s not any password. Reset.

SOUND: Short booting up effect

RECEPTION BOT

            (switching to German)

Um Ihre Neuanmeldung abzuschließen, müssen Sie noch Folgendes tun – (To complete registration, you still need to-)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Stop, stop! Dammit. Reset.

SOUND: Short booting up effect

RECEPTION BOT

            (switching to Romanian)

Vă doriți o perioadă de probă, gratis? (Would you like a free trial period?)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

We’ve definitely voided the warranty at this point, might as well keep going. Reset again.

SOUND: Short booting up effect

RECEPTION BOT

            (switching to French)

Vous perdrez toutes les modifications apportées à vos documents ouverts n’ayant pas été enregistrées. (You will lose any changes made to your open documents that have not been saved.)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Nice try, darlin’. Si toute autre mesure échoue, redémarrez le système. (If all else fails, reboot the system.)

SOUND: Short booting up effect

RECEPTION BOT

            (switching to Portuguese)

E sim, vou ver a lua contigo. (And, yes, I will look at the moon with you.)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Dammit, English. English!

SOUND: Click, beep, bot swiveling to face him

RECEPTION BOT

Verbal command accepted. Communication setting – English – accepted.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Are you kidding me – never mind. It’s the results that matter. Less time talking to myself.

SOUND: Sitting down in an office chair

ENCLAVE OFFICER

All right, we’ve got a lot to do today, you and me, let’s start out with a cup of coffee. Coffee, double double?

RECEPTION BOT

That is not within my code authorization.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Coffee. Cof-fee. Double double – look it up if you’re stuck on that part.

RECEPTION BOT

That is not within my code authorization. Coffee subroutines have been locked down, authorization Parker-Monica-1.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That son-of-a … nicely played. Nicely played. What can you get me?

RECEPTION BOT

Your query is too broad. Please specify.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What can you get me … to drink?

RECEPTION BOT

Available beverages include Tea-Earl Grey-Hot –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Like washing my mouth out with soap –

RECEPTION BOT

Tea-Twinings Peppermint-Chilled; Water-Sparkling; Water-Still; and En-Soy-Milk in Regular, Chocolate and Durian varieties. 

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Durian?

RECEPTION BOT

Processing. En-Soy-Milk, Durian flavour.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

No, just hold on –  

SOUND: A dispenser spout filling a glass (like at a soda machine)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Never mind. Let’s get going, not enough day and a long task list. Set up a secure comm channel – not that it matters much these days, not another set of ears left in the compound. Regardless, record secure message for Agent Q36, NYC – we have successfully disrupted operations in the Detroit Enclave, hansom production is reduced forty-five percent. Continue sabotage on your end and we’ll slow the city to a crawl. Send message.

RECEPTION BOT

Message is sent successfully.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

All right, what’s the code for our rep in Zhoukou … 808 something … Darlin’, in my private directory, biometric access, look up 808 …

RECEPTION BOT

Agent 808.838, Zhoukou Prefecture. The current time in Zhoukou is –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I know, they’re sleeping, it’s just a message.

SOUND: Drinks from the glass

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s not too bad, really. Recording – Test numbers look good on the nanobee virus. Prepare for launch on my signal. Stock up on some of that special toffee first and ship it my way. Send message.

RECEPTION BOT

Message is sent successfully.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That one’s almost a shame, I like those nanobees. Message, Agent 6060-842, Coalition Green Headquarters … requesting confirmation that all shipments of En-Soy-Ment Gold have arrived in the target Enclaves. Make sure we’ve got a few medics on the inside, too, before that hits the streets. Send.

SOUND: Drinks from the glass

ENCLAVE OFFICER

How about another one of those, with an espresso shot?

RECEPTION BOT

Coffee subroutines have been locked down, authorization Parker-Monica-1.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Yeah, yeah. Access my subfolder, Advertisements-Pending, and play the most recent file? I want to see how those new actors worked out.

RECEPTION BOT

Accessing.

SOUND: A slight computer beep

AD VOICE 1

            (over a speaker)

Sweetheart, where are we going for our big anniversary dinner?

AD VOICE 2

Right downstairs! This year, I’m doing the cooking.

AD VOICE 1

Are you sure? I love you, but there’s a reason we order out so often.

AD VOICE 2

Oh, you!

            (to the ‘camera’)

My wife doesn’t know I splurged on En-Soy-Ment Gold for tonight!

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (in the room, overlapping a bit with the recording)

Not bad, not bad.

AD VOICE 1

This is amazing! Are you sure you cooked it?

AD VOICE 2

You’re lucky it’s a special night!

            (again, to the audience)

En-Soy-Ment Gold – for special meals and special moments.

SOUND: A slight computer beep

ENCLAVE OFFICER

They’ll do. Put it out on all the feeds.

RECEPTION BOT

All commercial feeds broadcasting from the Rio-Sao Paolo Enclave have been terminated.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Not here. You gotta go around the – send it off to 6060-842, they’ll know what to do.

RECEPTION BOT

Message is sent successfully.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Could you maybe change your response once in a while? Use more of that sweet vocabulary.

RECEPTION BOT

That is not within my code authorization.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (sighs)

Time for more adventures in bot repair.

SOUND: Chair creaking as he stands up

SOUND: Picking up tools, opening repair hatch

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Try to track down Daniels for a live call. They should be waiting to hear from me.

RECEPTION BOT

            (reverting back to Welsh)

Chwilio … (Searching …)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Oh, great.

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE THREE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the Bunkroom on Moonbase Theta – it feels more enclosed than the previous group meetings in the laboratory, and people are closer together.)

SOUND: Bunkroom background (ongoing)

SOUND: People filing in, background murmurs, very subtle footsteps

DR. JUST

            (conversationally, moving away as he speaks)

That is why I’ve suggested examining the Dsup nuclear protein for protecting chromosomal DNA. Of course, I’d need a fresh batch of test subjects.

DR. SERANO

            (following, fading into the background)

Oh, Edwin. There are other phyla within the kingdom, you know!

JAXON

I brought some snacks for everyone.

DR. SERANO

Here, there’s room on my footlocker.

JAXON

Okay, sure.

ZHONG

So where are we supposed to sit?

JAXON

Excuse me. Excuse me, this is my bunk.

SOUND: Sliding across mattress to sit

ROGER

            (fading in as he approaches)

Yeah, it’s been something, all right. Pacey’s with him now. I didn’t think this was a great time to throw him back in the mix.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs just a little bit

WILDER

Th’ best place to throw him is topside without a suit.

TUMNUS

This was all your idea.

WILDER

And it was worth it. Anyway, we got bigger fish.

ROGER

It would be a …you know, a gesture, if you’d at least fix his olfactory.

WILDER

Fine, I’ll look into it. He probably broke it himself.

JAXON

            (in the background)

Ashwini! There’s room over here.

ASHWINI

            (similarly)

Oh, excellent.

ROGER

I guess it’s time. Gotta say, I’m not sure at all about this one.

TUMNUS

It is the next step in the plan.

ROGER

I get that, but … shouldn’t we have one Base in working order before we …

WILDER

            (in the background)

Not a chance, buddy.

ZHONG

            (similarly)

Fine! I’ll sit on my own bunk.

TUMNUS

Can we really wait that long?

ROGER

Your point. All right then.

            (raising his voice to call the meeting to order)

Okay, folks, if everyone could settle in, I guess it’s time. Thanks for switching locations, I hope the bunks are more comfortable.

ZHONG

Where is Doctor Pacey?

DR. SERANO

I’m sure you mean Medic Pacey.

ROGER

Ze’s … got a patient at the moment.

ZHONG

Is somebody hurt? What happened? Who isn’t here? 

ROGER

We don’t have to take attendance, I’m sure we’ve got quorum. Doctor Ringling, am I right? Dr. Ringling?

            (after a brief moment)

Okay, let’s dive in. There’s only one big issue to discuss today – sending someone to the other side. When this came up the other day things kinda went … kablooey, so we took some time to think and reflect and hopefully you’ve done just that. Wilder, we could use a bit of a recap?

SOUND: A footstep or two

SOUND: Wilder banging her shins against a locker

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs up a little

WILDER

Dang it. Sorry, close quarters in here. Right. Tumnus, if you could start up the presentation I got ready?

SOUND: Presentation starting up

SOUND: Someone groaning

WILDER

I heard that. Don’t you think I don’t know who that was. Now, we’re gonna call what we’re talkin’ about Stage 2 of the Moonbase Environmental Emancipation Project, Stage 1 bein’ what we’ve all done up t’ this point. So thank you, next, am I right?

            (she laughs nervously, we fade out at the end of the next part of her line)

Fine. Tumnus, next clip? These are the factors Nessa identified for why we can’t depend on just one Base to get us through. There’s supplies, skilled personnel in vital areas …

SOUND: Bunkroom background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE FOUR

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re back in the Enclave Officer’s office back on Earth. He is on a call with Officer Daniels.)

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background (ongoing)

SOUND: Sipping his glass of milk

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Uh huh.

OFFICER DANIELS

            (over a speaker, calling in)

– and then I had to hide in a crate of bonito flakes for the border crossing into some Xinopec outpost – do you know what bonito are? Do you happen to know what bonito are?

SOUND: Chair tilting back

SOUND: Another sip of milk

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Aren’t they … some kind of fish?

OFFICER DANIELS

They’re fish! Six hours packed up in a box with –

            (she sniffs)
I still smell like fish a day later, and then when they finally let me out –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Look, not that I don’t enjoy your travel diaries, but this isn’t the report I called for.

OFFICER DANIELS

And you’re not the boss I report to on paper, we’re making this up as we go along. My point –

            (taking a breath)

My point is, that was when the Ryders said I’d damaged their shipment and they needed a credit authorization, and that’s when I found out that my credit levels have … “dropped below the acceptable minimum.” That’s the charge code you gave me, by the way.

            (she imitates his voice)

“The sky’s the limit, just get the job done.” Well, the sky turns out to be right about where I am now.

SOUND: Empty glass being set down

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Just a minute here.

            (talking to the Reception Bot)
Darlin’, I don’t think I can take another one of those. You said you’ve got tea …

RECEPTION BOT

Tea-Earl Grey-Hot –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Ugh.

RECEPTION BOT

Or Tea-Twinings Peppermint-Chilled.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I don’t suppose that last one’s got caffeine in?

RECEPTION BOT

Tea-Twinings Peppermint-Chilled is decaffeinated. Tè decaffeinato.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Don’t start that again. Fine … Earl Grey it is. Dammit.

RECEPTION BOT

Processing.

SOUND: A dispenser spout filling a glass

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Now, where were we?

OFFICER DANIELS

You’ve got that thing the whole way in your office now?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s none of your concern.

OFFICER DANIELS

You’re not … never mind, I can’t even ask that. We were talking about my credit, which has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Right. I guess I knew this day was coming –

OFFICER DANIELS

Nice of you to spread that information around –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

They must have found all the usual accounts. I can divert a bit of money I’d been saving from Rights Management, they always … funded my more outrageous projects, but …

            (brief pause, to Reception Bot)

Could you go into my files and find the subroutine marked “Gorman-G-III” and execute?

RECEPTION BOT

That does not fall within my proscribed areas of service.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What if I said, “Pretty please?”

OFFICER DANIELS

I’m so glad I’m not in that office.

RECEPTION BOT

Passphrase accepted. Subroutine engaged, accessing back door into Rio-Sao Paolo Enclave Payroll.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

There we are. Just give it a day or two.

OFFICER DANIELS

And how do I manage for that day or two?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Scrape by. We’re all making do, Officer. Now, your real report?

OFFICER DANIELS

Well, like I said I’m stuck until there’s money flowing. I’m about a full day’s journey from my final destination. But I sent some messages ahead, they know I’m coming and I’ve got a way inside.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Good, good. You won’t have much time to work your way up once you get there.

OFFICER DANIELS

And you’re welcome.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

How about our busy little bees on Base Theta? Any news from up there?

OFFICER DANIELS

Nothing to add since that last recorded message. That’s pretty much all I’ve got, so …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Which message was that?

OFFICER DANIELS

It would have been what, two days ago? Just before the Ryders said, “This is how we’re gonna sneak you over the border …” I swear, I’m gonna have to shave my head to get rid of the smell.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I don’t have anything that recent.

OFFICER DANIELS

Check your filters. Check your trash bin.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Did you schedule the action? Did you give them a date?

When did you schedule the action?

OFFICER DANIELS

Calm down, calm down, it’s got to be … wait, what day is it today?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (to Reception Bot)

Could you tell the Officer today’s date?

RECEPTION BOT

The date is Thursday, April Second, Twenty-Ninety-Nine.

OFFICER DANIELS

Shit! It’s Thursday? What time, what time is it – on the Moon?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Convert to Coordinated Universal Time?

RECEPTION BOT

The current Coordinated Universal Time is Thirteen-Thirty-Two –

OFFICER DANIELS

It’s now. Holy shit, it’s now.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What do you mean, it’s now?

OFFICER DANIELS

It’s happening right now. The last report from my agent was – action as of this date –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Are you trying to tell me it’s happening –

OFFICER DANIELS

Sign off! Sign off, shut up, I’ve got to go check in! I’ll – I’m gonna – back soon.

SOUND: Small beep indicating the end of the call

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background (ongoing)

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE FIVE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We rejoin the meeting in the bunkroom on Base Theta.)

SOUND: Bunkroom background (ongoing)

SOUND: Presentation still running

SOUND: Occasional muttering, whispers in the background

WILDER

Tumnus, explain that last chart one more time? I mean, for th’ folks at the back.

TUMNUS

Diagram Twenty-Eight A presents a comparison of available resources across the near-side Bases Alpha through Eta. The X axis indicates available physical supplies and the Y axis shows specialized personnel.

DR. RINGLING

Where did this data come from? Didn’t Roger say he wasn’t able to retrieve information on specific personnel?

TUMNUS

That’s true, but I was able to run a series of searches across archival news feeds and communications records –

ROGER

Before some unnamed corporation – or lunar cryptid – destroyed the comms towers.

WILDER

All of which was covered if you’d been here for the first half of th’ presentation.

DR. RINGLING

Oh. Of course. Sorry.

DR. SEMAAN

We were having an … important science conversation.

DR. RINGLING

About science.

ROGER

Tumnus, I believe you had the floor?

DR. RINGLING

Very nice.

ROGER

Thank you.

TUMNUS

Right. Diagram Twenty-Eight A allows us to analyze –

ASHWINI

Look here. As much as I enjoy the ambience and … agglomeration of odours we can enjoy here in the bunkroom, isn’t this all something we can distill to a single point? Are you going to send an emissary to the Bases on the other side?

SOUND: A few quiet footsteps in the background

SOUND: Any group noise suddenly quiets during the next line

ASHWINI

If we were to resolve that key issue, presumably the rest could be debated in … some sort of committee to which my attendance is not required. Might I call the question? I believe that’s the appropriate procedure. What’s everyone looking at?

SOUND: After a moment, an uncomfortable cough or two

SOUND: A whisper in the background again

ASHWINI

Officer L’Anglois. I was not aware you had rejoined us.

WILDER

            (whispering to Roger)

I thought y’ said he wasn’t comin’.

ROGER

            (similarly)

I don’t know what to tell you.

MICHELL

I … I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just …

DR. RINGLING

            (overlapping, whispering to Dr. Semaan)

I can’t believe they’d bring him back, not after Nessa.

MEDIC PACEY

We were just doing a few laps to check out basic mobility. Mine and his. Just … go about your business.

ROGER

Oooookay.

            (brief pause)

Last thing was, Ashwini called the question, that means … umm …

DR. SEMAAN

It doesn’t mean anything when you bring in Base Security to swing the vote your way!

WILDER

What are you talkin’? I didn’t want him here!

MICHELL

I’m not in any official … capacity.

DR. SEMAAN

That’s a likely story!

ZHONG

Hey, give the guy a break. He’s stuck up here like the rest of us.

            (in a stage whisper)
I’m on your side, buddy.

MICHELL

Uh, thanks.

ROGER

All right, I think we can have all our, “What about the new guy?” conversations after we adjourn.

DR. SEMAAN

But what about him? What? About? Him?

MICHELL

I can just go.  

MEDIC PACEY

We’re due for another few laps before dinner as it is.

WILDER

            (surprising herself)
No! I mean, no. That ain’t fair. We don’t throw people out o’ the meeting. At least, not when we’re decidin’ somethin’ this important. It affects everybody the same. Roger.

ROGER

All right, then … it looks like we’re ready to decide. Do we take this show of ours on the road? Umm … is there anything specific we do for the voting? Do folks have to close their eyes or anything? No? Well, then I guess we’ll just –

TUMNUS

Roger, something is happening.

SOUND: We hear running footsteps from far off down the hall, coming nearer over the next line and completing when Dr. Day comes through the door

SOUND: Background murmurs increase – EVERYONE please record a few reactions here – “What’s going on?” “Did Michell do something?” “Are we still voting?”

ROGER

Who is it? What’s going on? Who else isn’t in the room?

SOUND: The footsteps come to a halt as Dr. Day rushes in

DR. DAY

            (very out of breath)

What … are you doing? You’re not supposed to be in here! Get out!

WILDER

We’re not in th’ lab, y’ can’t have every place on th’ Moon.

DR. DAY

            (more forcefully)

No! Get out, now! Get out of the bunkroom!

DR. SEMAAN

I don’t get the joke.

DR. DAY

            (shouting, still half out of breath)

Go! Go! Now!

DR. RINGLING

It’s not a joke.

SOUND: We hear several people jump to their feet at once

DR. RINGLING

Get out! You heard her! We have to get out of here!

SOUND: People start to scramble for the door

SOUND: More of the background murmurs from before behind some of the next stuff

(All of the lines below overlap and repeat to a cacophony in the next few moments.)

SOUND: An emergency alarm repeats in the background (ongoing to the end of the scene, keep a little bit subtle so as not to overpower the dialogue)

TUMNUS

All crew exit the bunkroom.

ZHONG

What’s going on! Doctor –

DR. DAY

Just get out!

DR. JUST

I swear, if this is another practical joke –

DR. DAY

Edwin, go! Everyone, go! Go!

TUMNUS

All crew exit the bunkroom.

MEDIC PACEY

Clear the door! Don’t push!

DR. SERANO

My hedgehogs!

WILDER

What th’ hell did she do?

ROGER

Wilder, go! Run now, talk –

TUMNUS

All crew exit the bunkroom.

ASHWINI

(bury this one)
Fly, you fools!

DR. SEMAAN

Kris, what’s going on?

DR. RINGLING

Amal! Amal!

DR. DAY

Get out! Get out! Get –

(Suddenly, just as the room reaches pandemonium, everything else is eclipsed by the following sounds as one wall explodes, triggering the collapse of the lava tube this corner of the Base is built into.)

SOUND: An earth-shattering series of explosions that lasts several seconds

SOUND: Flying debris

SOUND: Screams and shouts from various crew

SOUND: Running footsteps in the hall, fading

SOUND: The hiss of escaping air

SOUND: Layered beneath, the tremors of a low-level quake

(Before anything else, the sounds of human beings fade – the screams, the footsteps – and we’re left with a moment at the end that is just the alarm, the aftershocks, and the sounds of furniture continuing to break apart inside the room before the scene comes to an end.)

SOUND: All explosion-related effects end

SOUND: Bunkroom background ends

SOUND: Chime – bookend

SCENE SIX

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re back in the Enclave Officer’s office back on Earth.)

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background (ongoing)

SOUND: Sporadic pacing back and forth

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What’s the time?

RECEPTION BOT

The current time is Twenty-Thirteen and –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

On the Moon?

RECEPTION BOT

The Coordinated Universal Time is Twenty-Three-Fourteen and seven seconds.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Do I have any messages? Any missed calls?

RECEPTION BOT

There are no messages or missed –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Dammit. Dammit!

SOUND: More pacing

SOUND: Picking up a glass and taking a sip

SOUND: Slight gagging noise

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I can’t. No matter how many times I try, I can’t. Get me that … peppermint tea. Very cold.

RECEPTION BOT

Please finish your current beverage or dispose in the appropriate receptacle. The Consortium appreciates your commitment to recycling!

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Obviously they do. What’s the time now?

RECEPTION BOT

The current time is –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Never mind. If she doesn’t call in soon …

SOUND: Crossing to the desk

SOUND: Sitting in his chair

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Let’s give it five more minutes. Another five minutes.

SOUND: Pen on paper for a minute or two

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (after a silent pause)

The quiet is killing me. Could you … I don’t know, read something?

RECEPTION BOT

Please select reading material. I have access to a variety of news feeds or periodicals, and your Level One Consortium Access –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’m back to Level One?

RECEPTION BOT

– includes all text media previously classified as ‘public domain’. A surcharge will be added to your account for text to speech translation.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Just pick something, will you?

SOUND: Drinking, pen on paper behind the next line

RECEPTION BOT

            (a bit more lyrical than their regular speech)

“As I sit down to write here amidst the shadows of vine-leaves under the blue sky of southern Italy, it comes to me with a certain quality of astonishment that my participation in these amazing adventures of Mr. Cavor was, after all, the outcome of the purest accident.”

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s nice. I don’t even care what the words are, just keep saying them.

RECEPTION BOT

“I fell into these things at a time when I thought myself removed from the slightest possibility of disturbing experiences. I had gone to Lympne because I had imagined it the most uneventful place in the world. ‘Here, at any rate,’ said I, ‘I shall find peace and a chance to work!’”

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (sounding drowsy)

That’s good. That’s really good.

SOUND: A computer beep that is a bit more strident than necessary

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (fully alert)
What’s that?

RECEPTION BOT

There is an incoming call from –

SOUND: Standing up suddenly from his seat

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Connect me!

SOUND: A slight computer beep

ENCLAVE OFFICER

What the hell happened to you?

OFFICER DANIELS

Nice to hear your voice, too, Ser.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Report?

OFFICER DANIELS

Well, funny story on that one …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Goddamn it, report!

OFFICER DANIELS

Okay! There’s nothing. Nothing. I know you’ve been waiting, I’ve been waiting on my agent to report back, I’ve got messages backed up in the queue, but no reply. I don’t know what’s happening up there.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Shit. Shit. That could be very, very bad or very, very good. Right?

OFFICER DANIELS

I … guess so. You’ve pretty much covered all the bases on that one. Oh, that’s a sports metaphor I used there.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Ha ha.

OFFICER DANIELS

They should have reported back by now if they were able to. That’s all I can tell you. A lone agent is always a risk.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Isn’t there some way to verify? That satellite –

OFFICER DANIELS

– is useless without someone to receive the message.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Right. Right, I get that. Well, I guess we wait and see.

OFFICER DANIELS

Meanwhile, that credit thing came through. I’ll be back on the road come morning, should reach my destination by end of day.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Of course. Get your ass down there. They’ve got to be close to completion, you’ve got to get inside.

OFFICER DANIELS

You can count on me, Ser.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (he sighs)

Whatever’s happened on the Moon, we’ve still got other options.

            (brief pause)

All right, enjoy your trip. Ask them for something gourmet this time around.

OFFICER DANIELS

I don’t even want to think about it. Good night.

SOUND: A slight computer beep

RECEPTION BOT

The call has been terminated.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Right. Is there a way ping that tracker for Officer Daniels without setting it off? I’d like to keep an eye on her progress.

RECEPTION BOT

That does not fall within my proscribed areas of service.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I never would have thought I’d say this, but I’m gonna get tired of having to say pretty please.

SOUND: A footstep or two.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Let’s work on liberating you tomorrow. See if we can break that coffee thing, too.

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background ends

                                                            (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 *