MTO S3 E12 – “Go, Cat, Go” – Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S3 Episode 12 – “Go, Cat, Go”
SEASON 3 FINALE
by D.J. Sylvis

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the Base’s bunkroom, a few days after the last episode.)

SOUND: Bunkroom background (ongoing) – somewhat back to normal but the a/c sounds a little off, etc.

SOUND: Bodies shifting around, occasional background murmurs

ROGER

            (sounding pretty tired)

Look, it’s been one clusterfuck of a week, let’s just do this. There’s stuff we have to get through.

            (brief pause)

Tumnus? There’s stuff we have to get through.

TUMNUS

I think Doctor Semaan has a report.

ROGER

Sure, let’s start there.

DR. SEMAAN

Umm, hey. First, I think we’ve gotta thank Wilder for getting things sealed off and safe so we can sleep in our own bunks again. Thank you, Wilder.

SOUND: A few coughs, a whisper in the back of the room

DR. SEMAAN

All right. I have a full record at this point of the seismic event which corresponded with the … you know. It does seem to have been a quake – a pretty minor one, but still – set off by the fusion device which Doctor Day –

ZHONG

Is she awake yet?

DR. SEMAAN

I’m not – that’s not my thing.

            (brief pause)

I didn’t have a lot of data to compare; most moonquakes are because of tidal forces from Earth or the impact of materials on the surface –

DR. SERANO

Can we hear from someone whose thing it is? Medic Pacey – what’s the current status of Doctor Day?

ZHONG

Yeah!

DR.SEMAAN

Umm … if I could get back to …

ROGER

If you’ll all just wait a few minutes –

SOUND: An alarm suddenly goes off

SOUND: People jumping to their feet

JAXON

Oh, shit –

ZHONG

Not again.

DR. SERANO

            (panicked)

Get out of the way!

WILDER

Hold on, hold on! That’s just … we’ve had a little problem with th’ alarm, all the dust that got into things. We’re workin’ on it.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles

ASHWINI

That is certainly comforting.

WILDER

You don’t say? It’s under control. Amal, if y’ could get back to –

DR. SERANO

Could we get back to the current status of, and any information that’s been gleaned from, Doctor Day?

TUMNUS

I promise, that is on the agenda.

DR. SERANO

From an actual person?

WILDER

Why, you –

TUMNUS

Wilder, it’s okay.

ROGER

If everyone could just calm down and we’ll get to that when it’s time. I mean …

SOUND: Pacey’s crutches as she stands up

MEDIC PACEY

It’s okay, Roger. I’ve got this. Doctor Day was unconscious when recovered and has remained so, with no response to stimuli or any voluntary movements. At this point, I’m declaring it a comatose state.

DR. SERANO

So you’ve got nothing. At all. Has Officer L’Anglois found anything in his investigation?

ZHONG

Yeah, where’s he at?

ROGER

Whoa, there is no investigation, and Michell is not acting in any official capacity.

ZHONG

But he knows stuff, right? He’s been into her files.

DR. SERANO

What? Those should be released to our department immediately! Edwin? Kris?

DR. JUST

            (still a bit scattered)

It’s being sorted out, I think we should let them … sort it out.

DR. SERANO

You were one of those injured by her actions! We have to examine the data, protect ourselves from any accusations of collusion …

ASHWINI

Doctor Serano, I think that’s enough.

DR. SERANO

Doctor Ringling?

DR. RINGLING

            (doing the Dr. Raptor voice)

You have to think of chaos theory – everything is interconnected! Rawr!

DR. SEMAAN

            (really concerned, gently)

Kris? Not the puppet again … okay?

JAXON

Chaos theory does apply to the plan. To sustainability. And to baking, if you think about it.

MEDIC PACEY

Is there even a plan at this point? Or are we just patching things up until the Consortium arrives?

DR. JUST

We don’t know that’s going to happen.

MEDIC PACEY

What do we know? Are we prepared for that eventuality? Is that part of “the plan?”

TUMNUS

It is something we’ve discussed.

MEDIC PACEY

And?

ZHONG

Whatever happened to going to the other side? Weren’t we voting on that?  

ROGER

All right, a lot of questions, but we’ve … definitely got answers for you. Just a minute and …

SOUND: More muttering from the background

DR. SERANO

The entirety of this meeting has been unacceptable. If you can’t keep control –

MEDIC PACEY

            (overlapping)

Could we go back to my previous question!

DR. SEMAAN

            (overlapping, trying to help)

Okay, my report, the short short version – we’re okay for now but we really ought to dig in here. Literally, deeper in. So you’re gonna need the earth sciences – well, the Moon sciences – for that. That’s my conclusion.

ROGER

Ooookay? I can add that to the agenda? Somewhere, there must be room at the bottom …

DR. SERANO

I insist that we start over again – from the top! Preferably with new leadership.

ZHONG

I’m with you, Doc.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs up powerfully

WILDER

            (Raising her voice)

All right! That is it! I am just like – seriously? – with you people! I’ve had enough.

            (almost an aside)
Roger, y’all can step aside. Thank you for your service.

DR. SERANO

What is happening now?

WILDER

What’s happenin’ is that Tumnus and I have been running this show for a while now, and it’s frustratin’ as hell to do that from behind th’ scenes. So here we are, we’re the ones in charge, and if you want to fight, well come at me, bro. Otherwise, sit down and deal with it.

SOUND: Wilder’s arm revs again

SOUND: All background noise quiets

DR. SERANO

I will not sit down and I will not deal with it! Edwin!

DR. JUST

Jules, don’t you think this might be for the best?

DR. SERANO

Medic Pacey?

MEDIC PACEY

It’s Meryl, if you’re going to use first names you can use mine. But as to Wilder … I’m listening.

WILDER

            (to herself)
I wish I’d had my sunglasses when I said, “Deal with it.”

            (back to everyone)

All right. We had a setback, a pretty damn big one. And everybody’s a mess because of it. We’re not a secret up here any longer.

SOUND: We hear a few footsteps across the room, and the door slides open

MICHELL

            (exhausted)
Sorry, I’ve been … busy. What did I miss?

WILDER

Sit your butt down, L’Anglois. Nothin’ you didn’t already know.

            (brief pause)

We’ve got t’ keep movin’ forward. If anythin’, we should move faster now. Figure out our next steps before they take theirs.

ZHONG

What about the vote to go to the other side?

WILDER

            (overlapping)

Of course we’re goin’ to th’ other side. That was always part of Nessa’s plan for sustainability. We can’t go it on our own.

JAXON

            (singing quietly)

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

WILDER

Damn right. We started this, but it can’t stay just us, or it’s gonna die before it really gets goin’. We need more – more people, more supplies, more points o’ view.

TUMNUS

More perspective.

WILDER

Exactly. When we put this plan together, Roger said a thing. He called what we were makin’ Freehold Theta.

DR. SEMAAN

I like the sound of that!

WILDER

That’s what I said. But at this point, I don’t think that goes far enough. With our plans, and the chances  we run into some trouble from planetside before too long … we got t’ make th’ goal Freehold Moon.

SOUND: After a moment, Wilder’s arm cycles decisively

WILDER

All right, squad, let’s get things sorted.

DR. SERANO

Well, you can sort yourselves without me.

SOUND: Hurried footsteps headed for the door

DR. JUST

Jules! Jules!

ASHWINI

I’ll speak to her.

WILDER

There’s a lot to put together and not much time. Where we’re headin’ on th’ other side, who’s gonna go, what’s our main priority –

TUMNUS

One thing still worries me after going through Doctor Day’s reports. What if there are … agents on those bases too? It stands to reason …

ROGER

Right. How do we know who to trust?

MEDIC PACEY

You don’t have that figured out?

WILDER

Give us a minute, all right? Let’s deal with each thing in a row.

MICHELL

I know at least one person. One for sure.

SOUND: A footstep or two as he moves forward

MICHELL

Base Gamma. Maria L’Anglois.

ROGER

Your sister? But what about –

MICHELL

            (stronger, more certain)

And I’m the one who should go. Send me.

DR. SEMAAN

Hold on just a minute.

DR. JUST

Agreed. I don’t mean to question the plan, not to the point where –

MICHELL

I’ll get the job done.

ZHONG

I’m with you!

WILDER

What are you gonna tell ‘em, hi, care to join th’ dark side?

MEDIC PACEY

Michell, do you think you’re ready for this sort of thing?

MICHELL

I do.

WILDER

What makes you think anyone here trusts you that much?

DR. SEMAAN

Yeah! Nothing personal, but yeah!

ROGER

Wait … I trust him. I don’t like the guy, but I trust him. He burned his bridges with the Consortium the same time he burned them with most of us. They left him up here just the same. I’ve talked to him more than anyone and … he’s fucked up and broken and made some pretty bad choices, just like me, just like most of the people in this room.

WILDER

Look, some of that might be true, but I’m not –

ROGER

He’s got a lot to make up – to you and to everyone. But that’s all the more reason he’ll get it done.

WILDER

What have you got to say for yourself? Change my mind.

MICHELL

All you’ve wanted since you woke me up – just to kick my ass, fair – was to get me out of the way again. How much further away could I get?

WILDER

You earned that!

MICHELL

I know. Let me earn this.

WILDER

God dammit. God dammit! We’ll talk about it later. In private.

MEDIC PACEY

That doesn’t seem very democratic –

ZHONG

If he’s going, I want to go.

WILDER

We’ll talk about it later! Tumnus, ain’t there other stuff t’ sort out?

TUMNUS

We did have a presentation, if everyone can hold on just a minute …

MICHELL

            (quietly)

Roger. I really need to talk to you about something.   

ROGER

I’ll bet you do. After this, all right?

TUMNUS

            (fading out at the end of this line)

This first chart is supplies – that’s supplies we need to get over to the far side. The second chart is …

SOUND: Bunkroom background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are outside at the Freehold launch site.)

SOUND: Launch site background (ongoing) – more random alerts, machinery, etc. – this is launch day

PAYLOAD

            (over speaker in the background)

Launch is at T minus six hours and counting. Complete pad inspection and clear of all personnel. Pad area lockdown in ten minutes.

TECH VOICE 6

            (in the distance)

Let’s finish up on this level! Clear it out, people.

ALEX

            (sighs)

Bom, parece que eu vou mesmo fazer isso. Roger, amor, espero que você esteja aí me esperando. (I guess I’m really doing this. Roger, love, I hope you’re up there waiting.)

SOUND: A few footsteps on concrete

OFFICER DANIELS

Excuse me, Mr. Bragado-Fischer?

ALEX

Alexandre. Alex.

OFFICER DANIELS

Right. They’re asking us to clear the launchpad.

ALEX

Just another minute. I’ll be inside.

OFFICER DANIELS

I’ll let them know. Crew should report in for prep soon.

SOUND: Footsteps moving away

ALEX

Time to get going. The other day, it took an hour just to get into the pressure suit, after three hours of fighting them on the right size. Everything I’m wearing now stays behind. This was one of your sweaters, love, I should have packed it in my bag. It’s probably chilly up there. 

            (brief pause)

You’re going to be so mad at me when you find out. The message I recorded where I told you I’m coming … is that on its way to you, or bouncing back and forth between satellites, or sitting in a folder somewhere? I’m assuming you don’t know already; even from the Moon you’d find some way to stop me.

            (he takes a moment, breathing deeply)

You’ll have to forgive me, meu amado. When I get there, you can shout all you want, I promise. As long as we get to make up afterwards, as long as I get to hold you when I say I’m sorry.

            (another pause)
I couldn’t not go. Even with all the risks – the rocket, the people, my heart … my heart. My heart is why I have to do this. I’ll see you soon, love.

            (a longer pause)

I guess I better go in.

ADDIE

            (a bit distant)

Abrigado!

SOUND: Running footsteps

ADDIE

            (nervous, jittery)

There you are. They’ve been playing our song, amigue.

ALEX

I’m just heading inside.

SOUND: Footsteps as they walk together

ADDIE

I haven’t had anything to eat or drink for like two days. I am not using the … system in those things.

ALEX

            (laughs)

I’m trying not to think about that part.

ADDIE

They say everybody pisses themselves on takeoff.

ALEX

How could they know that for sure?

ADDIE

Good point. Look, before we go in … you can still back out, right? If you’re not sure. I can pass along whatever information you’ve got, I can … you know, find Roger and … I wouldn’t let you down.

ALEX

I know.

SOUND: Heavy outside door opens

ALEX

I know. But I’m sure.

SOUND: The door closes again

SOUND: Launch site background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE THREE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in the Enclave Officer’s office in the Rio-Sao Paolo Enclave.)

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background (ongoing)

SOUND: A cup of coffee being poured

RECEPTION BOT

Do you require cream or sugar?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

No, but you just keep on asking me.

SOUND: Taking a sip of coffee

ENCLAVE OFFICER

All the gods in all the heavens, that’s what I’ve been waiting for. That is damn good coffee.

            (laughs)

This is a damn good day. How are you doing over there, darlin’?

RECEPTION BOT

I am operating properly and successfully.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Damn right you are.

SOUND: Taking a sip of coffee

ENCLAVE OFFICER

And after all, don’t we deserve this? A few moments to sit back and enjoy our accomplishments, a coffee break – with the coffee I had to break in for? I should program you for singing.

RECEPTION BOT

I am able to play music files. Your Level One Consortium Access –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s not necessary. But I do appreciate the offer. Everything is set in motion now. All I have to do is sit here, at the center of my web, and see which strings are pulled.

            (after a pause)

Have we gotten any reports in yet? Ping our folks in Detroit, NYC, Brasilia, Al Bayda, all the Freeholds, let’s find out what’s happening.

RECEPTION BOT

Sending as requested.

SOUND: Taking a sip of coffee

RECEPTION BOT

There is an incoming call from an unidentified sender.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (claps his hands together)

Now that’s service! Open the channel.

            (after a moment)

All right, what have you got for me?

MONICA

            (over a speaker for all her lines)

A lesson in etiquette, to begin with – who answers their calls like that?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (surprised, trying to cover)

Monica Parker, still out in the world! I thought you walked away.

MONICA

I did, but I still have eyes and ears. I still have contacts. I know what you’re up to there. You’ve got the freeholds all riled up, agents in almost as many megacorp hotstpots as I do, all ready to go after one another – if only they knew you were playing both sides? And that trick with the En-Soy-Ment Gold, after all I did to shut that down … I am impressed.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’m pretty proud of that one. That special emulsifier really ramps up the old anxiety. Did you see the numbers from our test run on the Moonbases?

MONICA

I even know about that financial trickery you’ve pulled to fill your accounts, imagine if the Consortium found that trail of breadcrumbs?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Is this why you called? Just to make a few threats like old times?

MONICA

Not at all. I admit, our relationship wasn’t the most cordial when we shared an organization, but there’s no reason we can’t be friends now. I just wanted to … check in.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Just in case I get lucky and wind up on top?

MONICA

            (laughs)

Of course! How do you think it works on our level? I want you to know I’m still here, that I see you, and if things go well … perhaps we can be of some mutual use in the future.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I thought you had your mountain?

MONICA

I do … but given the chance, I’d still rather have the world.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

And what about your little lost lamb?

MONICA

I’m still looking. Thank you … for putting the word out through your contacts.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Of course. Now, I should clear my channels, I’m waiting on a few calls.

MONICA

I’m sure you are. Best of luck … until next time.

RECEPTION BOT

Communication has been terminated.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’ll bet. Call our line into the Patrick Free Zone.

RECEPTION BOT

Attempting connection … rerouting … rerouting …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

This is a little bit urgent, darlin’.

RECEPTION BOT

Connected. Signal strength is degraded.

SOUND: We hear ambient noise from the other end of  the call, lots of dropouts, maybe sample a syllable or two of Addie’s voice from the next scene, but not enough to be identifiable

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Hello? Hello?

            (aside)

Keep trying to boost the signal.

            (back to the call)

I’m gonna assume you can hear me. You’ve got to be well into the countdown now; I hope that launch is going as planned. There’s a lot riding on you … riding that rocket. Let me know if any strings need to be pulled. And be careful, I just got an interesting call from Monica Parker. She might be on to us.

SOUND: Another sip of coffee

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’m gonna need another one of these soon.

SOUND: Enclave Officer’s office background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE FOUR

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re in the hallway outside the bunkroom on Base Theta.)

SOUND: Hallway background (ongoing)

TUMNUS

            (inside, muffled)

The next chart – I know, but this one’s important too, just a few more to go.

SOUND: The door sliding open, footsteps

TUMNUS

            (fully audible for the moment, read this line straight through to the next)

Jaxon, if you could help with –

SOUND: The door closes again

TUMNUS

            (muffled again)

– explaining how this all fits together?

SOUND: A few more footsteps, leaning against the wall, breathing

SOUND: After a moment, the door opens again

JAXON

Um, you know we’ve been monitoring your nutritional profiles –

SOUND: The door closes again

SOUND: More forceful footsteps

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles

WILDER

I saw you slip out th’ back there. We need to talk.

MICHELL

Look, Wilder …

            (he sighs)

Okay, I’m here. I don’t know what else to say, but I’m here.

WILDER

Not for long, right? That was pretty slick – y’ got Roger and Pacey eatin’ out o’ your hand.

MICHELL

I didn’t do anything.

WILDER

You’ve done plenty and you know it.

MICHELL

I’m just trying to help.

WILDER

Where were y’ tryin’ to help before? When someone actually needed your help? What about back with … dammit, dammit, dammit!

SOUND: Punching the wall; Wilder’s arm revving

WILDER

I’m searchin’ for a little faith here! Tumnus and Roger say t’ give you a chance, but why should I believe you’ve changed?

MICHELL

I – I haven’t changed. I’m not saying that. I’m trying to change.

WILDER

All right, whatever, but you don’t get to pick and choose how that happens! You don’t get to volunteer for th’ big mission and suddenly go from Gaston to th’ meme version of Gaston!

MICHELL

What are you saying?

WILDER

If you want t’ fix somethin’ and be a better man and all that, you gotta ask permission first! You have to ask me. I’m th’ one you messed up, at least the one that’s still here. You gotta ask me.

MICHELL

Wilder, my sister is over there! At least I hope … they damn well better not … my sister is there.

WILDER

I heard about all that. I’m … sorry. Assumin’ she’s better than you.

SOUND: Michell sliding down the wall to sit on the ground

MICHELL

She’s always been better. She’d come home from twelve hours of Security training, check I’d done my lessons, make a dinner – c’est une horrible cuisinière, but she insisted – and tell me all about her day. She got the highest marks, the best reports – she cursed them out behind their backs, but they loved her, and she did it all for me. She never had a choice.

WILDER

That’s … a tough life. But still, dammit –

MICHELL

You have to let me go! I can’t not go.

WILDER

We should have had this conversation before you made some big public statement.

MICHELL

Then why didn’t you say that in there? You love to shut me down, why not get it over with?

SOUND: Wilder’s arm cycles, a bit more gently

WILDER

Because, dammit … I do think it’s a good idea. I think it’s what y’ need to do.

            (brief pause)

You need somethin’ big to redeem yourself, but also … you need to not be here for a while. It’s too much, havin’ you walkin’ the halls every damn day. I think you ought to go.

MICHELL

Okay. All right, then.

WILDER

But you need to understand how this works. Y’ make these decisions with the folks you hurt. Not behind their backs.

            (sighs)

Dammit, L’Anglois. I know you had some shit to dig your way out of, but why do the things y’ did? It don’t make sense t’ me.

MICHELL

            (after a long pause)

I had a hard time learning a new language when we moved. Our Enclave was separatist – you could only speak French, even at home. No translations. When we got to Rio, I was so lost – I heard English, Portuguese, so many options I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t know how to start to learn, it took me … again, so much longer than Maria.

WILDER

All right. You think that’s an answer?

MICHELL

It’s … what I’ve got.

WILDER

            (whistles quietly)

I don’t get you. You are one hell of a mess. I hope t’ hell Roger’s right and you’re worth trustin’.

MICHELL

I do, too.  

            (a moment later)

Merde. Roger! Is he still – I really need to talk to Roger. Now.

SOUND: Hallway background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE FIVE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are inside the Space Wing building again now, getting ready for the rocket launch.)

SOUND: Space Wing building background – See S3E4 (ongoing)

PAYLOAD

            (over an intercom)

Close-out crew, you’ve got about fifteen minutes before we enter the orbiter. This is it, folks!

SOUND: Alex struggling to get into his pressure suit

TECH VOICE 7

All right, Alex, we’ve got to get you the rest of the way in. Wiggle your shoulders a little, let it settle in around you …

ALEX

            (grunting)

I’m doing my best here.

SOUND: The rustling of the heavy fabric of the suit (continues on and off for a bit)

TECH VOICE 7

There we are. I’ll help you make the connections.

SOUND: A few snaps and clicks as connections are made

TECH VOICE 7

Addie, we need you in yours –

ADDIE

            (pacing back and forth)

I’m with you, just … checking messages. I’ve got a lot of folks saying their sad goodbyes. And a few sending nudes. You can’t rush this kind of thing.

SOUND: A door opens, people come through, closes again behind the next line

PAYLOAD

Review their final checklist – all switches flipped, test the hatch is airtight, test the comm system.

OFFICER DANIELS

All that’s showing as green lights so far.

STEPHEN

What about the inertial measurement unit calibration? I had to tell them that was a thing.

OFFICER DANIELS

It’s on the list now and showing green.

STEPHEN

Alex, Addie, how’s it going in here? I admit I’m jealous.

ADDIE

            (pronunciation – “Ab-doo-lie-yay”)

Stephen Ab-dou-lay-ye! Haven’t seen much of you lately! And Ahnung, my brilliant beauty! Here to give your heroes a proper sendoff?

AHNUNG

Something like that. We’ve been shadowing to make sure everything goes as smooth as it can be.

PAYLOAD

Completely unnecessary, of course, but it looks good to have a few more skilled eyes on each step. Especially since I’ll have to get ready myself before too long.

ALEX

You’re the one taking that third seat?

ADDIE

Oh, we pulled the short straw! I kid, you know I kid. We love you.

PAYLOAD

Yes, well, the decision was reached fairly. Everyone had their chance.

OFFICER DANIELS

Absolutely, ser.

PAYLOAD

You pushed pretty hard yourself! But it’s all settled now. Is there another suit ready?  

TECH VOICE 7

All laid out over here. I’m just finishing with Alex.

PAYLOAD

I can handle it. I read through the manuals a dozen times last night, couldn’t sleep a wink.

OFFICER DANIELS

Are you ready to hand over mission management? I’ll need your code right here –

PAYLOAD

I think we better do one more walkthrough, check in with the task leads. I’ll be back in five.

OFFICER DANIELS

            (cut off by the door closing below)

Whatever you say, but you really need to enter your code –  

SOUND: Door opening, closing again

TECH VOICE 7

That’s it. Just zip up; you can wait on the gloves and helmet until the last minute. Addie, you’re up.

ADDIE

Just a sec, just a sec. Another picture for my fans.

AHNUNG

If you could give us just a minute to say goodbye to our friends?

TECH VOICE 7

Oh yeah, sure.

SOUND: Door opening, closing

AHNUNG

We’ve kept an eye on everything as much as we could. Having Stephen helped a lot.

STEPHEN

All I can do is look and make suggestions, but … I hope it makes a difference. There’s a lot invested in getting you two to your destination.

ALEX

Thank you for everything you’ve done. It means a lot.

ADDIE

We definitely owe you both big time. Shit, I better go make one last quick pit stop.

ALEX

            (laughs)

Again?

ADDIE

I told you before – not in the suit! Not happening.  

ALEX

You better hurry, then.

SOUND: Door opening, closing

ALEX

Stay safe down here, too. Keep an eye out. I’ve heard people here talking about what you said before, taking on the megas … keep everyone safe.

AHNUNG

You’ve got it.

STEPHEN

And I’ll do anything I can to help.

            (brief pause)
I do have one favour to ask of you, as well.

ALEX

What is it?

STEPHEN

This is not from me, but the entire Northern Africa Coalition. When you get to the Moon, tell them … tell them who we are, and that we have resources available. But if they wish to make contact, they should approach us carefully and publicly.

ALEX

I’ll, umm … pass that message along.

STEPHEN

Thank you.

            (to Ahnung)

We should continue our inspection.

AHNUNG

Yeah. Alex, I’m gonna bring the others up top before they seal you in. Elio would kill me otherwise. See you there.

ALEX

            (getting more distant as we follow Ahnung and Stephen from the room)

See you there. Dammit, how does this zipper come together …

SOUND: Door opens
SOUND: Footsteps

SOUND: Door closes again

SOUND: Space Wing building background ends

SOUND: Hallway background (ongoing)

SOUND: Footsteps as they walk

STEPHEN

When all of this is over, we should have a serious talk about backup plans.

AHNUNG

Is tonight soon enough? Oh, Addie.

ADDIE

Yeah, hey, just … headed back. Later on!

SOUND: Their footsteps continue and fade away, we stay now with Addie

ADDIE

            (on a call)

You still there? I hear you, I hear you, keep on going. Everything’s smooth down on this end, smooth as silk. You don’t need to have a care. I won’t be able to check in again, though, too many ears and eyes.

            (brief pause)

Oh, really? Well, too late for her to do anything about it, right? Everything’s on schedule. I gotta zip. I’m sure Daniels will give you a report. Ciao.

SOUND: Small beep for the call disconnecting

ADDIE

Connect with contact, “Mom.”

SOUND: Small beep for the call connecting

MONICA

Another call? You must have better things to do.

ADDIE

            (laughs)

Can’t I just miss you? This is my last chance to check in. I had a call from your old pal back at Rio-Sao Paolo. He still thinks I’m on his payroll; I’m still letting him think so.

MONICA

Excellent, you’re doing an amazing job as always. Be careful – he’s gathered more power than I expected from his little cave in the rubble.

ADDIE

Well, like I said to him, it’s too late now, right? It’s countdown time. Shit, almost for real, I gotta go.

MONICA

All right, dear. Safe travels and all that.

ADDIE

You don’t have any final instructions when I get to the Moon?

MONICA

Just do what you think is best, sweetheart. I trust your instincts. I trust your genetics.

ADDIE

            (anxious)

Yeah, I’m a peach. I’ve done one hell of a job here.

MONICA

You really have, you know.

ADDIE

Thanks, I just … you know. It wasn’t supposed to be Abrigado! Alex! That wasn’t the plan.

MONICA

That doesn’t affect us at all. If anything, he’s got to be easier to fool than Elena.

ADDIE

You’re right. I know. I just …

MONICA

Just what?

ADDIE

            (sighs)

Nothing. You’re right, it’s all a-okay. I’ll call you from the Moon!

MONICA

When you’ve got things sorted.

ADDIE

Of … course. I got this, M-O-M.

MONICA

I know you do.

SOUND: Small beep for the call disconnecting

ADDIE

Shit. Shit.

                                                            (We stay there for another moment or two before the scene ends.)

SOUND: Hallway background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE SIX

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re in the hallway outside the bunkroom on Base Theta. The meeting inside has just ended; the door is open and we can hear conversations inside.)

SOUND: Hallway background (ongoing)

SOUND: Random conversation in the distance, too quiet to make out

SOUND: Footsteps from the room and then fading away

WILDER

            (inside the room, so a bit distant)

Thanks, I appreciate th’ support. We’ll sort all that out.

TUMNUS

            (similarly, but in a different conversation)

Artificial consciousness. AC.

ROGER

            (still inside as well)

All right, if you don’t need me, I’m gonna …

SOUND: Quick footsteps approaching

MICHELL

            (urgent)

Hey. Roger.

SOUND: Footsteps hurrying to keep up; he doesn’t stop (ongoing)

ROGER

Hey. So, heading to the other side, huh? I’ve still got my map saved, I marked all the worst spots for the Rover –

MICHELL

Look, shut up. I have to tell you something. I’ve been trying to corner you for a day and a half.

ROGER

Okay. Have you been checking in with Doc Pacey?

MICHELL

It’s not about that.

ROGER

Medic, my bad.

MICHELL

Would you stop for a minute?

SOUND: Footsteps stop here

ROGER

All right, fine, I’m here. I’m listening. But let’s … great, I guess we’re at your office. At least you’ll be comfortable.

SOUND: Sliding door opens, after a moment closes again

SOUND: Hallway background ends

SOUND: Michell’s cubicle background (ongoing)

ROGER

Wilder’s gonna flip if she see us together.  

            (lowers his voice)

Hears us together.

SOUND: Both of them sit down

MICHELL

I just talked to her. I think we’re … I don’t know what, but we have an understanding about this trip to the other side.

ROGER

I mean, that’s something, right? You’re not – shit, this isn’t – she’s not sending me with you, is she?

MICHELL

What? No.

ROGER

Oh, thank goodness. I mean, not that I don’t enjoy our witty banter in session together, but –

MICHELL

Just – let me talk, okay?

            (after a moment of silence)

Do you mind if I … the olfactory?

ROGER

Hey, you do you, I’m not gonna judge.

MICHELL

Olfactory, give me … just lavender, point two strength.

SOUND: The little olfactory spritz, every 30 seconds or so the rest of the scene

MICHELL

            (breathes in before continuing, speaks intensely)

So. When we broke into Doctor Day’s files, there was a lot of back and forth with the Consortium.

ROGER

Right. Tumnus told me, some kind of secret transmitter? She’s got me trying to track down where the signal was headed, which is … not an easy thing to do. But it’s not like I’ve got a real job at this point.

MICHELL

We started with everything she was sending to them – mostly text messages, Tumnus reported those back to Wilder right away. But there was also a decent-sized folder of audio attachments. I’ve been listening through all of those, making notes, pretty much every minute I’m not asleep.

ROGER

That sounds particularly healthy.

MICHELL

We need to know what they know. There’s a lot in there. Everything you sent – without your edits, unauthorized broadcasts, reports on any connections crew members held to the Freeholds or other corporations … and private messages from practically everyone back and forth to Earth.

ROGER

Private messages?

MICHELL

Everyone, right up to Administrator Howell. Right down to … Nessa, before and after I made my report. Probably everything you ever sent them, they’d already got.

ROGER

Shit. Shit! Nice to know that was all utterly necessary.

MICHELL

But that’s not even – that’s not my point. They had – I found –

SOUND: Set an olfactory spritz right here

MICHELL

            (breathes in, calms a bit)

There are messages in there after we ‘lost contact’. After they turned off the satellite and abandoned us. There are … Roger, there are messages from Alex. A bunch of them.

ROGER

Wait. Wait. Alex? My Alex? From after we … Jesus, Michell, give them to me!

MICHELL

Why do you think I wanted to … they’re all in a folder, I set them up for you. Here – go ahead and listen.

SOUND: Both of them getting up from their chairs

ROGER

You’re letting me use your desk?

MICHELL

Just … listen. They’re all coded by time and date. Start from here.

ROGER

Yeah, okay.

SOUND: Michell moving around him to the door

MICHELL

I’ll be back. You’re right, it’s been a while since I checked in with Pacey. Don’t touch my stuff.

SOUND: The door slides open

MICHELL

Oh. Olfactory off.

SOUND: The door slides closed again

ROGER

            (almost afraid to begin, talking to himself)

Shit. Alex …

SOUND: He presses a key on the keyboard

ALEX (Rec.)

            (played over the speakers)

Roger. My love. If any of these messages make it through, I hope this is the one. Even though when you hear it you’re gonna kill me.

SOUND: Over the recorded message being played back, a dog barks

ALEX (Rec.)

That was Pol. Both our girls say hi. If they sound a little bit nervous, it’s because I just told them that their daddy is going on a trip.

            (he breathes in before continuing)

Now it’s time to tell you. Honey … I hope you’ve got room for one more up there …

SOUND: Michell’s cubicle background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE SEVEN

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We are in an elevator – think more of an exterior construction site elevator – bringing the crew up the rocket tower.)

SOUND: Launch site background (ongoing)

ADDIE

All right, all right! This is it, kiddos – we’re about to blast off! Is everybody ready? Payload? Abrigado? Let’s get pumped up!

ALEX

Shouldn’t we have our helmets on by now?

PAYLOAD

Well, there is a reason for that, it’s a little technical so I didn’t want to get into the details, but …

SOUND: Elevator stops, doors open

SOUND: Dogs barking

MODDY SARAH, ELIO, AHNUNG, ELENA

            (all somewhat simultaneous)

Safe travels, Alex and Addie!

OFFICER DANIELS

And Payload!

ELIO

            (not quite as buoyant as the words may seem, putting up a brave front)

And Payload! Alex, were you surprised? I got them to let Cas and Pol come up with me!

SOUND: Dogs barking

ADDIE

Look at you, girls! Are you here to give Addie kisses goodbye?

SOUND: Just a little bit of a growl

ADDIE

All right, all right, I apologize.  

ALEX

Ladies, be nice.

ELIO

They’ve been nervous, I don’t think they like being this far up.

OFFICER DANIELS

I’m telling you, I think I’m with the dogs.

PAYLOAD

Here, let’s see that final checklist one more time …

SOUND: Footsteps (across metal catwalk) away

SOUND: Dogs barking, licking, panting

ALEX

Girls, you know that I love you. I’d take you both with me if I could. I’m going to get our Roger back.

SOUND: More dog sounds for a moment

ELIO

Whoever’s taking care of them, I’ll be happy to take them on walks and throw their little piggy and –

ALEX

You better, because I’m leaving them with you.  

ELIO

You’re – truly? All the time?

ALEX

All the time. You can let Moddy Sarah help a little, if you want, but it’s up to you.

ELIO

Oh, Alex, I’ll be so good to them, I promise.

MODDY SARAH

Of course you will. You might have trouble getting her to let them go when you come home.

ELIO

That’s not true! They’re Alex’s dogs, and Roger’s dogs …

ALEX

And just a little bit, for a while, Elio’s dogs. I wouldn’t trust anyone else.

SOUND: Dogs barking, pacing back and forth

ELIO

Cas, Pol, come here … it’s okay, you’re very, very safe.

            (after a moment)

Elena! Elena, guess what?

AHNUNG

You know she’s not gonna let them out of her sight.

ALEX

With those two, that’s really for the best.

AHNUNG

            (lowers her voice a little)

We’ve done everything we could for you. Good luck up there.

ALEX

Good luck down here.

AHNUNG

Right. I better head back below – make sure they don’t forget how to count backwards.

ALEX

            (pronunciation is “Uh-nung”)

Take care of them. Thanks for everything, Ahnung.

AHNUNG

Yeah.

SOUND: Footsteps going away
SOUND: Elevator door opening – a bit distant now, then descending in the background for a bit

MODDY SARAH

Come over here, Alex, no one needs to hear me getting sentimental.

ALEX

Moddy Sarah, thank you for … everything. Thank you for bringing me in.

MODDY SARAH

Well, what’s a shepherd to do? It’s been a joy getting to know you.

ALEX

Take care of the garden for me. When you get a chance, look up at the moon.

MODDY SARAH

I surely will. Make sure you get there safely. Take care of your head.

ALEX

I have my pills.

MODDY SARAH

Take care of your heart.

ALEX

That’s … why I’m going.

MODDY SARAH

Not just your metaphorical heart.

ALEX

Oh. Oh. When did I tell you about that?

MODDY SARAH

Just now. But I also saw your medicine kit when you were packing. I’ve got the same pills on my bedside table.

ALEX

You didn’t say anything.

MODDY SARAH

This is your decision to make. Just … take care, as best you can. Remember you’re loved down here.

ALEX

Thank you.

MODDY SARAH

Tell Roger he’s damn lucky to have you.

ALEX

            (laughs)

That’s the first thing on my list.

OFFICER DANIELS

            (across the length of the catwalk)

All right, it’s time. We need the flight crew inside the orbiter.

PAYLOAD (Rec.)

            (over the PA system, echoing through the area below)

Flight crew is entering the orbiter. We are at T minus twenty minutes and holding.

PAYLOAD

            (live, right next to Alex)

I recorded all the necessary announcements; I wasn’t going to give that up. Alex, Addie, time to get those helmets locked.

ADDIE

I’m ready. I was born ready. Uh, show me how to do that?

SOUND: Footsteps away across the catwalk

PAYLOAD

            (fading as they move away from Alex)

Here, it’s fairly simple. You just turn counterclockwise to approximately …

SOUND: Dogs barking

ALEX

I guess it’s time.

ELIO

Alex, be careful. Say hi to Roger!

ALEX

I will. Good bye, everyone.

MODDY SARAH

Go into the Universe and be well.

SOUND: Footsteps away

ALEX

All right, helmet.

SOUND: Footsteps approaching

ELENA

Wait, wait, you’ve still got one goodbye. It’s a pretty important one.

ALEX

Elena. I’m sorry, everyone was …

ELENA

I know … everyone wants a piece of Alexandre Bragado-Fischer. Is a hug okay?

ALEX

I probably won’t feel it in here, but …

SOUND: Fabric squishing as Elena hugs him

ELENA

I know you didn’t do this just for me, but … it’s a little bit for me, and I’ll never forget.

            (brief pause, it’s getting harder for her to speak)
Give them my notes, they’re going to be … pretty exhaustive, everything I could think of, or ever extrapolated. Hopefully with what Nessa already had …

            (she can’t continue, sobs a little)

ALEX

I’ll give them everything. They’re going to make it work.

ELENA

You’re going to make it work. You’re part of the whole thing now. Part of the plan.  

ALEX

Thank you. Good bye, Elena.

ELENA

Good bye, Alex.

ALEX

            (overly cheerful, to everyone)

Okay, I’m putting on the helmet now. Good bye, Cas! Good bye, Pol! Take care, everyone!

ELIO

Good bye! Say good bye to Daddy!

SOUND: Various footsteps across the catwalk

SOUND: Dogs barking, fading a bit as they walk in their opposite directions

OFFICER DANIELS

All right, Alex. Good with your helmet?

SOUND: Alex slots his helmet into place and we hear it click

ALEX

            (voice filtered now, in the suit)

I’m good. Ready for launch.

SOUND: A few more footsteps

PAYLOAD

            (similarly filtered)

Watch your head. Watch your feet. I’ll be right behind you.

SOUND: Alex climbing into the capsule

PAYLOAD

You know, they did a nice job with the orbital access arm.

OFFICER DANIELS

Glad you approve.

PAYLOAD

Close the hatch after me, and it’s your show from there.

SOUND: Extended moment with the hatch being closed, a slight hiss of air as it pressurizes

PAYLOAD (Rec.)

The orbiter is closed and secure. All personnel retreat to fallback area. We are at T minus twenty minutes and counting.

SOUND: Footsteps across the catwalk

SOUND: A small beep for a call connecting

OFFICER DANIELS

Daniels, reporting in. I’ve only got a minute. The hatch is closed and they’re counting down to launch.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (on speaker)

Addie made it inside?

OFFICER DANIELS

Adlai is on board, along with Alex Bragado-Fischer and … Payload.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Sorry you didn’t get that third spot. I was rooting for you.

OFFICER DANIELS

Thanks so much … ser.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Still, having you in charge of Mission Control isn’t such a bad thing. And you got our … cargo on board as well, didn’t you?

OFFICER DANIELS

All according to plan.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Well, then we’re in good shape. The trap is set. The game is afoot!

OFFICER DANIELS

Now if you only knew what game that was.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Whatever you say. Go do your duty, time is short. Get the job done – and don’t forget to leave the doors open on your way out tonight, there’s company coming.

OFFICER DANIELS

Yes, ser.

SOUND: A small beep as the call disconnects

SOUND: A few more steps to the elevator

PAYLOAD (Rec.)

All personnel retreat to fallback area. We are at T minus eighteen minutes and counting.

SOUND: Elevator doors opening

SOUND: Launch site background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE EIGHT

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

(We’re in the garden/farm again on Base Theta.)

SOUND: Moonbase garden background (ongoing)

SOUND: Leaves rustling as someone moves around the vegetation

SOUND: Roger sitting down on the floor

SOUND: We hear Roger breathe for several seconds, just that and the background

ROGER

Play it again.

ALEX (Rec.)

            (clip from Scene 6, played over the speakers)

Roger. My love. If any of these messages make it through, I hope this is the one. Even though when you hear it you’re gonna kill me.

ROGER

Stop. Back to the beginning. Play again.

ALEX (Rec.)

            (the same clip, played over the speakers)

Roger. My love. If any of these messages make it through, I hope this is the one. Even though when you hear it –

ROGER

Stop.

SOUND: A muted, inobtrusive beep – See Prologue 3

ROGER

Skip ahead twenty seconds.

ALEX (Rec.)

            (again, from Scene 6)

Honey … I hope you’ve got room for one more up there …

SOUND: A muted, inobtrusive beep

ROGER

Stop.

            (brief pause)

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

TUMNUS

I remember. Roger …

ROGER

You can’t possibly have any advice for this situation.

TUMNUS

I don’t. I thought you might need a friend.

ROGER

            (after a moment)

Thanks.

TUMNUS

            (after another moment)

I have made a significant discovery. One with similar –

ROGER

            (breaking in without noticing, ranting, volume building)

What the hell does he think he’s doing? What kind of harebrained, muleheaded, third-animal-related-adjective-I-can’t-think of stunt does my fool of a husband … why would he do this? Why would anyone let him do this? How’s he in Rio-Sao Paolo one message and then he’s on a whole other continent and somehow hey, he runs across the only freehold in the world with a rocket and somehow he talks his way on board? How does a thing like that even happen? What kind of hackneyed plot device …

            (he’s half sobbing by this point, volume back to normal)

Why did you do this, love? What were you thinking? You know you can’t … you shouldn’t … why?

SOUND: The rustling of leaves

ROGER

Who is it?

SOUND: Rustling again, footsteps

JAXON

I just needed some microgreens.

ROGER

Jaxon. I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were there.

JAXON

I’ll just be a minute.

SOUND: Snipping sounds as they trim off some greens

JAXON

            (singing)

Greens on the Moon, greens on the Moon …

ROGER

Nessa sang in here all the time.

JAXON

I remember.

TUMNUS

I wish I’d been here sooner, to meet her.

ROGER

Oh. You were going to say something, before?

TUMNUS

I was?

ROGER

Before I lost what was left of my mind.

TUMNUS

Oh. Just a recent discovery, a bit of … common ground.

JAXON

            (across the room, still singing)

Greens on the Moon, greens on the Moon, greens on the Moon …

TUMNUS

I’ve recently found out that there is someone on Earth I am connected to. It’s been … distracting.

ROGER

            (laughs sharply)

Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely that.

            (he sighs, then cries out to the world)

Why would Alex do such a goddamned thing?

SOUND: The leaves rustling again

SOUND: Jaxon clears their throat

JAXON

            (after a moment)

Maybe he thought his husband was trapped on the Moon with no way to get home and there was a chance to get up to him and for them to be together again, and he knew it was risky but … living where he was was risky too, and there he didn’t have his husband, and it just made more sense.

            (after a pause of several seconds)

People have been talking.

TUMNUS

I mean, he’s not wrong.

ROGER

Oh, Alexandre. Shit. Where even are you by now? There’s no way to know if the thing even launched.

SOUND: Vegetation rustling

SOUND: A quiet footstep or two forward

ASHWINI

Actually, I might be able to provide some information on that.

TUMNUS

It’s a popular garden tonight.

ASHWINI

Hello, Jaxon.

JAXON

I’ve got my microgreens.

ROGER

Ashwini? Have you been drinking again?

ASHWINI

Of course not. Not yet. I was working on plans to deal with the Consortium should that day come, analyzing the encryption codes Tumnus removed from Doctor Day’s transmitter. With the help of my telescopic array, I’ve gained some limited access to the satellite network. My data shows that a launch was achieved from the right geographic area some hours ago, and so far it seems safely on course.

ROGER

You’re sure? You’ve seen the data … you know it’s safe?

ASHWINI

With the help of a certain artificial consciousness, I might be able to expand my access and track more directly.

TUMNUS

I am at your service, Doctor Ray. That is, Roger, if you don’t mind …

ROGER

What? Of course! Of course. Oh my gods. Alex. You’re on your way. You’re on your way.

SOUND: The rustling of leaves

ASHWINI

We’ll be in the observatory.

ROGER

Right. I might need a few minutes.

ASHWINI

Jaxon, will you join us?

JAXON

I’ll walk you as far as the kitchen.

SOUND: Footsteps fading away

ROGER

Alexandre Bragado-Fischer, my wonderful, infuriating love. What did you do?

            (a bit more afraid again)

What did you do? A homemade rocket, and your heart, and … your heart …

            (pause, pulling himself back together)

I can’t even … there’s no way to … not that you’d hear me anyway. No sending messages back and forth now. Just waiting.

            (after a moment)

Good thing I finally finished that poem I’ve been writing for you.

SOUND: He stands up, leaves rustling just a little bit

ROGER

Remember the welcome nights of summer;

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

Thousands of miles away lying in your back;

Blanketed, gazing together at bottomless

Oceans of stars;

I tried to show you the Big Dipper, it was

All I still held of my days as a Scout.

Polaris stood out like a gentle smile

As I heard your breath against my ear.

And the universe seemed to tremble

with the effort of holding that moment.

ROGER

            (pausing in his verse, a smile)

Damn you, Tumnus.

ROGER

But now it’s winter and the stars

have all moved. I can’t find the Big Dipper

and you don’t have to call in the wee hours

to find me, but I can’t think of the last time

I listened to you breathe;

Or when we talked until the dew had settled

on us both, bedded by grass and blanket;

until the dawn found us

as it erased starmarks

from the blue-blackboard sky.

ROGER

            (after a few moments)

Alex, get here safely. There’s so much more … there’s so much more. 

SOUND: Moonbase garden background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

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