MTO S4 P3-Transcript

MOONBASE THETA, OUT – S4 Prologue Episode 3 – “The moment that his face I see”
by D.J. Sylvis

ANNOUNCER

Moonbase Theta, Out – a Monkeyman Productions Podcast. Season 4, Prologue 3 – “The moment that his face I see”

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

SCENE ONE

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Quiet office background

SOUND: An automated coffeemaker

RECEPTION BOT

Coffi, blend Ethiopaidd, hufen a siwgr. (Coffee, Ethiopian blend, cream and sugar.)

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Don’t start that again.

RECEPTION BOT

Coffee, Ethiopian blend, double cream, double sugar. Temperature sixty-six degrees Celsius.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Let me know when things cool down. Anything new in for me?

RECEPTION BOT

You have no unread messages.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Hmm. I’ve been waiting on word back about Zhoukou, they can’t keep that quiet forever. See if you can find any news reports?

SOUND: A few processing noises / beeps

RECEPTION BOT

Searching all feeds. No current global bulletins or special reports on … Zhoukou Prefecture. Seventy-three recent news broadcasts available from … Zhoukou Prefecture.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Scan for anything on the gardens or nanobees; add that to the list of ongoing searches. Let me know if something comes up.

RECEPTION BOT

Added to active search parameters.

SOUND: Chair creaking backwards; Enclave Officer groaning

ENCLAVE OFFICER

And figure out what happened to my chair. This one is killing my tailbone.

SOUND: Slight beeping noises; occasional scribbling of pen on paper

SOUND: After a moment or two, a knock on glass, door opening

SLIPSTREAM

Hey, umm, uhh, Ser?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Good. Come on in, take a seat.

SLIPSTREAM

I’m … okay right here.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Your call. We need to talk.

SLIPSTREAM

            (apologetically)

Most people here prefer memos.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I like to use my voice.

            (to Reception Bot)

What’s the temperature on that coffee now?

RECEPTION BOT

Temperature forty-nine degrees Celsius.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Could you grab that for me?

SOUND: A couple of footsteps

SOUND: EO sipping his coffee

ENCLAVE OFFICER

There we go. Do you want a cup? It takes a bit of patience.

SLIPSTREAM

I’d rather just know what you need?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I should be thanking you for the refreshments – I wasn’t sure what would be available inside a “Free Zone.”

SLIPSTREAM

The Ryders keep us pretty well supplied.

            (almost an aside)

They did – I don’t know what’s gonna happen now that Addie’s gone.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’m familiar with Adlai and their connections. I might have a few of my own to take their place – I even ran a convoy for the Ryders some years back, though that … ended badly.

SLIPSTREAM

            (nervous, rambling)

That’s another thing, umm – no one seems to know who we work for now? The deal with … Daniels was that we’d stay independent, but now you’re here and all the IPs you gave us were Consortium, but you also use code that they’ve banned and Ten Twenty-Four said she had to hack you back into their systems … then I mean, you found us to start with, which only ought to be possible if you’re a Freehold and obviously that’s not the case, so it’s all a little bit …

SOUND: Chair creaking, EO groaning

ENCLAVE OFFICER

This damn chair.

            (brief pause)

It’s good that you asked the question. I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes when I walk the halls, I’ve heard the whispers. I suppose I could have made a speech when I took over the facility, or sent out a memo … but I like to get a feel for things before I show my cards. I’m a game player, Slipstream. I’m a gambler.

SLIPSTREAM

I could find someone better versed in mathematical theory …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’d really like you to sit. These talks go so much better if the other person sits.

SOUND: A footstep or two

SLIPSTREAM

I should really confer with the others before I –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Darlin’, could you take care of that door?

SOUND: The door closes and locks

RECEPTION BOT

The office door … has been secured.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Your physical position is up to you, but we’re gonna have this talk.

SLIPSTREAM

            (shaken)

Okay.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I don’t like kicking down the doors and storming in somewhere. I like to work from the inside, make my changes within the system. That’s what I don’t get about you Free Zone people, you take yourselves off the playing table, how do you ever win the game?

SLIPSTREAM

I’m not sure if we’re in the same game … Ser.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

            (laughs)

That’s something Daniels would have said. And you’re right. We’re not in the same game … yet. That’s the thing I really wanted to talk about.

SOUND: He takes another drink of coffee

ENCLAVE OFFICER

And to thank you for the coffee. But if you do talk to the Ryders – maybe you shouldn’t mention my name.

SLIPSTREAM

I couldn’t.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Good answer.

            (after a moment)

I worked with the Ryders … I worked with every megacorporation when I made my way up. The NYC Conglomerate – in NYC itself and further North, Xinopec, Coalition Green, the Consortium in a dozen Enclaves before Rio-Sao Paolo … and I’ll be honest with you, son – sorry – I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my intent to do that much moving around. Every time I thought, this is gonna be my place. This is where I’ll hit my stride, stretch my wings, weave my web within a … thing, where is it you usually find a web?

SLIPSTREAM

Up in the corners? In windows?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Within the system. I was gonna take my place at the gaming table. But maybe you’ll understand this bit, Slipstream, this might sound familiar to you technos – what I found instead was that every place, every office, every new power structure – they all had the same weakness. A certain stagnation, a shortness of vision, a lack of appreciation for what I might bring to that table. 

SLIPSTREAM

That does … umm, sound … like the megas.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

It made things difficult for a man trying to work his way up. So I changed my focus; I changed my direction. I worked my way down. Down to the hidden offices, the dusty file rooms, the deepest secrets. The abandoned projects – like the Consortium tossing me Moonbase Theta. I took those scraps, the bits they’d forgotten about or thrown away, and I built my own place, still inside but … within the shadows.

RECEPTION BOT

Alert – search results have been updated.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Give it a minute now, I’m on a roll. So I dug in, made my plans, called up all the folks in the other megas who still owed me a favour. I found my way inside the Freeholds – not as hard as you might think, you folks aren’t hidden as much as you’re ignored – and with a bit of sugar coating to my story I got some of them on my side … bit by bit, I set things up for what they’re calling Zero Day.

SLIPSTREAM

You know that reference?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I’m not sure what you mean.

SLIPSTREAM

Zero Day … it’s what they used to call a software vulnerability –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

They were vulnerable, all right. I struck in every direction at once – hansom breakdowns across the NYC, half of Coalition Green got the jitters thanks to my En-Soy-Ment experiments, I had every Freehold storming the closest Enclave sure the walls were gonna fall … reports are still coming in, and I had to relocate in a hurry, but they sure as hell know what I bring to the table now.

            (brief pause)

Reports are coming in … what was it you found in that search, darlin’? Let’s hear it.

BARNETT BELL (Rec.)

            (through a speaker on the desk – note pronunciation is “Joe-Koe”)

The latest on food riots across Zhoukou Prefecture, after a malfunction in nine-tenths of the nanobees across all city gardens resulted in crop distribution failures.

SLIPSTREAM

            (overlapping a bit)

You shouldn’t hook that thing up to the feeds without security.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Shhh. I know what I’m about.

BARNETT BELL (Rec.)

While the system was designed to be self-sustaining, officials stated that repairs and renewal on this scale could take weeks – leaving tens of thousands scraping for provisions to bridge the gap. We spoke to –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Stop playback.

            (satisfied)

There we are. Nice to know you’ve made a difference in the world.

SLIPSTREAM

I … think I might sit down now.

SOUND: Chair creaking as they sit

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Just a minute. Do that again?

SLIPSTREAM

Ser?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Just move around a little.

SOUND: Chair creaking again

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I know that creak. You are sitting in my chair.

SLIPSTREAM

I’m sorry?

SOUND: Chair creaking again

ENCLAVE OFFICER

Stay there, I’m on my feet now anyway.

SOUND: A few footsteps

SLIPSTREAM

            (after a moment)

I don’t know why I need this information?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

You asked who it is you’re working for.

            (brief pause)

Not that you have much choice which side you play, but … it’s good to have all the details. And I like having someone handy who knows all the angles. My mechanized companion here is lovely, but just a tad too easy to control.

SLIPSTREAM

Still … why me?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I told you last time. You’re agreeable, and you have an expertise that I require.

SLIPSTREAM

Lots of us knew about the rocket! It’s all anyone worked on for months.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

It’s not just the rocket. You’re one of the leaders here, aren’t you … Slipstream?

SLIPSTREAM

We don’t really have leaders. We operate as a collective, decisions are made by group polling –

ENCLAVE OFFICER

But there are always personalities that people look up to. Team leads, project managers … the biggest brains in the room.

SLIPSTREAM

I suppose.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

That’s where I need you. You’re gonna be my second in command of this facility.

SLIPSTREAM

That’s not going to play well on the intra.

ENCLAVE OFFICER

You can keep it to yourself if that plays better, but I need someone on my side who’s in with the locals.

SOUND: Chair creaking again

SLIPSTREAM

I still don’t really know what side you’re on! Do your interests align with our statement of purpose? Have you even read our manifesto?

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I don’t need to read your terms and conditions to know what you need, son! You don’t need a statement – you need a sense of purpose; you need a hand at the wheel. You folks are still here because you were willing to make a deal – that means you’re already on my side! I’m giving you what nobody gave me – a place at that table, a true appreciation for your skills. That’s where our interests align, that’s what I’ve got for you. Tell me that’s not something you can sell on the intra.

SLIPSTREAM

Maybe … maybe. But if this isn’t about the rocket …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

I didn’t say not the rocket, I said not just the rocket.

            (after a moment)

And not just the rocket that’s already flown.

SLIPSTREAM

Oh.

            (after a moment, really getting it)

Ohhhhhhhhh.

SOUND: A pencil scratching on paper

SLIPSTREAM

That’s not impossible … we’ll definitely need to contact the Ryders, and I’ll need all of Payload’s archives …

ENCLAVE OFFICER

You can unlock the door now, darlin’. I don’t think our friend is going anywhere.

            (brief pause)

Before we take things any further, though – I do want my chair back.

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The scene ends.)

SCENE TWO

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

SOUND: Observatory background (ongoing)

ASHWINI

            (quietly, mostly to zirself)

… and that is when I whisper to Arete, I know this is an effect caused by Dionysus but I am also super into it, so couldn’t we –

SOUND: Knocking on the wall, door sliding open – 117345__stereostereo__08-sliding-door-foley.aiff (without the door closing bit – this is the sound we use for every Base interior door, opening or closing)

WILDER

Umm … I know we’re interruptin’ here, but have you got a minute?

SOUND: Soft footsteps approaching (overlap with the next line)

ASHWINI

            (sighs)

Thank you, Tumnus, your listening ear –

TUMNUS

            (teasingly)

I don’t have an ear –

ASHWINI

Is always appreciated. Wilder, Amal, how may I be of assistance?

WILDER

Doc Semaan here – well, you know, they’re the only one of the Science Bros currently gettin’ work done, and there’s –

DR. SEMAAN

            (apologetically)

Doctor Just is busy talking Jules down off her high horse, and Kris … Kris just isn’t right … right now.

ASHWINI

I am aware.

WILDER

            (concerned, kinder than this sounds)

Where’s Roger? I thought he’d be in here doing his “lie down – try not to cry – cry a lot” thing.

ASHWINI

I have no idea.

TUMNUS

I believe Roger is in the sanitation unit.

            (gently)

Still crying.

ASHWINI

With the greatest sympathy, but if we could return to your point?

DR. SEMAAN

Right, of course. You know we’re planning to move things to a more stable section of the tunnels … I’ve been doing some load rating calculations and I need another set of eyes that are, you know, less distracted than the other Science … crew. If I could bring up my equations on your –

TUMNUS

            (a bit of panic)

Ashwini.

ASHWINI

Yes Tumnus, you may grant them display access.

TUMNUS

            (panic quickly rising)

Not that. Ashwini, Ashwini, Ashwini, look!

ASHWINI

What is it?

            (suddenly serious)

Expand to full display … can you project based on that data?

TUMNUS

In a moment.

WILDER

What’s goin’ on?

ASHWINI

The rocket has just entered orbit and … normally, it would have taken time to properly stabilize. Instead, it appears that the lunar module has immediately separated for landing.

TUMNUS

No. Oh, no. Oh, shit!

DR. SEMAAN

Did she just swear?

TUMNUS

They can’t – on this trajectory they aren’t going to …

ASHWINI

Let me see.

WILDER

What the hell is happenin’? Ashwini? Tumnus? Anybody? 

TUMNUS

Someone get Roger.

WILDER

Tumnus, what’s goin’ on?

TUMNUS

Get Roger!

WILDER

Doc? Can you …

DR. SEMAAN

On it.

SOUND: Running footsteps (moving away)

TUMNUS

Oh, no.

ASHWINI

Based on the current projection … “landing” may be putting it hopefully.

WILDER

There’s nothin’ you can do about things from here?

ASHWINI

We don’t even have access to send a signal. All we can do is observe.

WILDER

            (determined)

Well, that’s not good enough. I’m gonna get Zhong – dammit, he’s gone, but someone – and I’ll fire up the Rovers. This just became a rescue mission.

SOUND: Running footsteps, two sets, approaching

ROGER

            (winded)

What’s going on? What’s … what’s happening?

SOUND: Observatory background ends

SOUND: Chime – Bookend

                                                            (The episode ends.)

PRODUCERS

Today’s episode featured D.J. Sylvis, Robin Howell, Glory Duda, Danyelle Ellett, Jen Ponton, Shereen Lani Younes, Tau Zaman, Tina Daniels, and Leeman Kessler. 

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 October Jones and Fish with Legs, a hilarious story about a teenage girl and a fish with legs saving the world with the power of friendship. 

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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