MTO S4 P1-Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S4 Prologue Episode 1 – “I pass, like night, from land to land”
by D.J. Sylvis

ANNOUNCER

Moonbase Theta, Out – a Monkeyman Productions Podcast. Season 4, Prologue 1 – “I pass, like night, from land to land”

And, before we begin, a few words from our sponsors.

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Observatory Background (ongoing)

SOUND: A chair scraping back slightly across the floor, someone coughs

JAXON

            (mid-thought)

… a lot has, umm, happened, a lot is happening, a lot needs to happen. So we can keep doing the Plan.

ASHWINI

            (quietly, in the background)

Tumnus, ping that satellite again.

TUMNUS

It’s frustrating, I can’t get beyond passive access.

JAXON

            (yawns over the end of the Tumnus line)

I’m sorry. It’s been a long …

            (yawns again)

WILDER

Nobody’s been sleepin’ the way they ought to.

JAXON

Nobody’s eating, and I take the time to … work to be done, work to be done, work to be done. Umm, the next thing we’ve got is –

SOUND: A chair pushed back

MICHELL

You guys can sort out the next thing. I need to get the Rover checked and loaded. Zhong?

ZHONG

On it, boss.

WILDER

Excuse me?

JAXON

            (a bit intimidated but pushing through)

Officer L’Angois – Michell, there are points where we need your input –

MICHELL

Just shoot us details along the way. Zhong’s gonna set up those repeaters Wilder asked for –

WILDER

You were able t’ read those schematics?

ZHONG

Of course.

JAXON

We can’t just shoot you details. You’re … a part of the details. 

MICHELL

Je suis déjà restée trop longtemps. (I’ve stayed too long already.)

WILDER

Sit back down, bucko. You wanted to step up and take th’ hero’s journey, this is part of the process.

MICHELL

Well, do I sit down or do I step up?

SOUND: Zhong laughs at this

WILDER

Oh, don’t you start. And I’m your boss.

ASHWINI

Could you reduce the volume of your squabbling? I am engaged in several simultaneous tasks of importance, including the recalibration of an errant array antenna, composing a fiction within the Greek underworld to include a particularly charming self-insert, and wringing data out of a truly frustrating satellite network in order to follow the trajectory of the … well, I believe you’re aware.

WILDER

Right.

JAXON

How are things … looking?

ASHWINI

            (gently – Roger is in the room)

The rocket is close to hitting midpoint – just past two hundred thousand klicks. They’ve had to do several corrective burns to maintain trajectory, but I’m sure that was anticipated.

ROGER

‘The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,

Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the lighthouse top.

ASHWINI

Essentially.

WILDER

Roger, you know you don’t have t’ be … we can sort all this stuff without you.

ROGER

The Sun came up upon the left,

Out of the sea came he!

And he shone bright, and on the right

Went down into the sea.

MICHELL

Maybe you should get Pacey down here.  

TUMNUS

I can alert zir if required –

JAXON

            (the next few lines overlap)

If you want to sleep, there’s a cot in the corner I use sometimes.

ASHWINI

Oh yes, make yourselves more at home –

MICHELL

But if you’re all putting your heads down for nap time, I’ve definitely got –

WILDER

God dammit, Michell, this isn’t about you, think about Roger! 

ROGER

I’m fine! I’m fine. You don’t need to think about me. And this is nowhere near my record as far as … not sleeping is concerned. I may be a little distracted, I might not have the most constructive input as we discuss the intricacies of  “The Plan,” but … I’m here, okay? I’m still here.

TUMNUS

Of course, Roger.

ROGER

I’ve got to be here.

WILDER

Right.

            (after a moment)

Jaxon? You were talkin’ about next steps.

JAXON

Right. Umm, right, next steps …

MICHELL

            (quietly, grumbling)

Because some people need to step up.

JAXON

Before Officer – Michell leaves for the other Bases, we should decide how we want that to happen.

MICHELL

That’s easy. First, I get the Rover ready – Zhong?

ZHONG

On it – Boss.

JAXON

            (overlapping)

How we want things to happen over there.

MICHELL

I take the Rover, follow the comms towers and we set those repeaters, pass by Base Delta, Base Alpha, straight on until Gamma.

ROGER

            (muttering)

Straight on ‘til morning.

MICHELL

That’s how it’s gonna happen.

JAXON

But when you get there, whatever you find, how you … get things started …

TUMNUS

            (in the background, overlapping a little)

I don’t think the trajectory matches those figures.

JAXON

… we need to talk about that.

ASHWINI

            (background as well, overlapping)

I believe you’re correct.

ROGER

Wait, what? What’s going on?

ASHWINI

Just a miscommunication.

            (to Tumnus, quieter)

My error, friend. I meant to say centripetal, not centrifugal. Though it’s moot in either case, we cannot advise them on their flight path.

ROGER

I mean, that sounds like something.

ASHWINI

It’s just a minor variation.

            (ze yawns)

I beg your pardon.

JAXON

Don’t – you’ll make me –

            (yawns again as well, laughs a little)

I like that word. Centripetal, centripetal, centripetal force …

ROGER

As long as things are still …

TUMNUS

They are. Still.

MICHELL

So are we looking at the stars or is there work we’re gonna do?

WILDER

Well, you’re back to eleven even faster than predicted.

MICHELL

Look, I’m not – I just – everything over there is waiting. The other bases. Maria. I need to know.

WILDER

Yeah, I get ya.

            (brief pause)

Look, people, we’ve got a lot to figure out. But nobody’s makin’ really great decisions at this point – or a heck of a lot of sense, comes down to it. Why don’t we all just do our thing – take some naps, look over a certain set of schematics, polish th’ damn Rover if that’s your thing. We’ll have another face to face in the mornin’ and iron shit out.

ASHWINI

Prosaic as always.

JAXON

            (a little bit overwhelmed)

Thanks, Wilder. I’m still … together, they’re all a lot.

WILDER

You’re tellin’ me. We’re all still sortin’ ourselves out. And not even a week since Doctor Day went all …

JAXON

That’s on the list too … what if we wake up the other bases and … I should update my list. I should check on the kitchen. There’s work to be done, done, done … maybe muffins.

ASHWINI

Well, I’m sold. I’ll walk that way with you. Tumnus, you have the conn.

TUMNUS

Understood.

JAXON

            (quietly singing as they go)

Centripetal, centripetal, centripetal force …

SOUND: The door sliding open

SOUND: Footsteps walking away, fading

ROGER

Tumnus?

TUMNUS

Yes, Roger?

ROGER

Everything really is … okay, so far? It’s all copacetic out in space?

TUMNUS

There have been … minor difficulties in keeping on course, but each time they’ve corrected. Someone on board knows what they’re doing.

WILDER

Of course. They’ve gotta.

ROGER

Not Alex. He can’t find his way to the store without a navigator.

            (he yawns)

I might just … rest my eyes a minute or two, as long as you’re keeping watch.

TUMNUS

You can count on me.

SOUND: Chair sliding out, a few footsteps

ROGER

I’ll just be a few … I’m just gonna … oh Alex, that damn poem, you better be …

SOUND: Falling into the cot

SOUND: Gentle snoring

WILDER

Finally. I’ve seen toddlers go down easier than that one.

            (after a moment)

Weren’t you two fast and furious to get all your prep done?

MICHELL

Oh, yeah. No point in waiting around here. Zhong?

ZHONG

You got it.

SOUND: Footsteps as he leaves

MICHELL

I’ll be here in the morning. We’re on the same side, Wilder.  

WILDER

            (laughs)

Well, not for long. But I get you. We’ll see how it all goes. I’ve got my own little trip planned, once I know you’ve got things started.

MICHELL

You’re going to check up on me?

WILDER

In a hundred different ways, are you kiddin’ me? But not this one, this quest is my own.

TUMNUS

It does not have to be.

WILDER

We talked about this. Nobody’s done proper repairs on the solar panels at the poles since … whenever the near side shut down. But now it needs doin’, and there’s no better team for the job than me and Eliza.

SOUND: Eliza whirring to life

WILDER

That’s right, girl, we’ll give them what for!

TUMNUS

You only just took over, your leadership is vital, your safety is vital –  

WILDER

We can argue it all again later. Mx. L’Anglois here was just about to leave – ain’t that right, Michell?

TUMNUS

Actually, if you don’t mind, I needed a moment before that happens.

WILDER

Speakin’ of unapproved side projects.

SOUND: Tools jangle as she stands up

WILDER

You two have your talk; I’ll go check on whatever Zhong is doin’.

            (after a moment, fading as she leaves the room)

That’s right, Eliza. If that happens to take us by the kitchen, where Jaxon headed talkin’ about muffins, I won’t complain.

                                                            (There is an awkward silence.)

MICHELL

Umm, Tumnus? Hello?

TUMNUS

Hello.

MICHELL

What did you need? I’ve got to get suited up and out to the surface.

TUMNUS

Aren’t the Rovers currently docked within the mining tunnels?

MICHELL

Yeah. I’m just … going up to the surface for a minute, before that.

            (after an embarrassed pause)

What is it?

TUMNUS

Yes. Well … Mx. L’Anglois … Michell … we don’t know each other all that well, beyond the obvious –

MICHELL

            (smug)

Mine’s the one personnel file you haven’t read.

TUMNUS

Oh, no. I broke your Consortium Security encryption some time ago.

MICHELL

You did what?

TUMNUS

But I don’t … know you. And yet, because of your position and your … destination, I need to ask you for a very private, very personal, favour.

SOUND: Observatory Background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Office Background – ongoing

SOUND: Occasional racket from outside – faint shouting, large trucks moving in

SOUND: Knock on glass

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Come on in.

SOUND: Door opening, footsteps

SLIPSTREAM

Hi. They, uh, said you asked for … they didn’t tell me your name, which makes things a little bit awkward. You were looking for –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Someone who actually knows a thing or two, most of your folks are running spooked like cartoon characters. Your name is?

SLIPSTREAM

Slipstream. Umm, Ser.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (after a theatrical sigh)

Right. You may not know who I am, but I’ve been inside this facility for some time now, my influence if only recently my person, culminating in the … events of recent days. You must have been among the faction cooperating with Officer Daniels –

SLIPSTREAM

Daniels? Oh, you must mean –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Officer Daniels, whatever alias she was working under. You know who I mean, you were working for her, which means you were working for me. Pay attention, and we might extend that relationship.

RANDOM VOICE

Hey, is this where we’re supposed to –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Yes, right in here.

RANDOM VOICE

And it goes –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

You’re going to install them right behind that desk.

SOUND: Clanking noises as they wheel the Reception Bot in

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Careful! Give them some dignity.  

RANDOM VOICE

Uh huh.

SOUND: Various mechanical noises in the background as they work on the installation

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Where was I? Oh yes, our relationship. I find myself in the market for a liaison with your … technical personnel, and I was told you’d fit the bill.

SLIPSTREAM

Whatever … I can do to help, Ser. But why me in particular?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

First, I was told you’re agreeable, which I’d have to say checks out so far. But second, and maybe just a little bit more important …

SOUND: Chair creaking as he leans forward

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I heard you were quite involved in getting that rocket off the ground, the one that’s headed Moonward at this very minute.

SOUND: A sudden clank and rattle

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Gently, dammit!

            (after a moment, back to Slipstream, hits the name hard)

You were one of the big brains behind that launch. Which means you and I have a lot to talk about. Plans to make, webs to weave. We’ll be spending a lot of time together, Slipstream.

            (brief pause)

Now. While they finish up this very important installation, maybe you could point me towards some decent coffee in this place?

SOUND: Office Background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

PRODUCERS

Today’s episode featured Leeman Kessler, Cass McPhee, Cole Burkhardt, Jen Ponton, Tina Daniels, NayMyo Win, Tau Zaman, D.J. Sylvis, Glory Duda, and Robin Howell. 

Written by D.J. Sylvis; Cass McPhee is our audio engineer. Our theme music is “Star” by the band Ramp; our cover art is by Peter Chiykowski. 

Looking for more great audio fiction? Check out 1972, a historical drama telling the powerful story of Shirley Chisholm and Angela Davis. 

We’d like to take a second to thank our associate producers for this season. Marty Chodorek, June Madely, Timothy LaGrone, Marilyn Reid, Marissa Robertcop and Linda Boyer. We also want to make sure we thank our executive producers Sarah Mueller and Beka B. Thank you so much for helping us create Moonbase Theta, Out season four, we genuinely would not be able to do it without you.

Want to help make this show possible AND get early ad-free access to every episode? Support us at Patreon.com/MonkeyManProductions. For a full list of our cast and crew, as well as transcripts, official Moonbase Theta, Out merch and more, visit MonkeyManProductions.com. And, as always, keep watching the moon.

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