Voyage of the Curie

Genre: Sci-fi Comedy TV Series

Logline: Not long after surviving the attempted robot apocalypse, an exploratory space vessel in the year 2420 rescues a stranded pirate ship, its only occupant is asleep, and strange things happen while she dreams.

Approx. run time: 55-60 mins

Treatment

“Voyage of the Curie”

By Kristin Grady

FADE IN:

INT. – MESS HALL – DAY

In the mess hall of the USS Curie, a deep space exploratory vessel in the year 2420, Lt. Garry Flynn takes a platter piled high with hot dogs out of the food synthesizer. The mess hall is filled with life forms from vastly different galaxies, all wearing the standard uniforms for members of the Inter-Planetary Union, gathered around several tables pushed together in the center. Three members of the crew are seated on one side of the table with bibs around their necks and empty plates in front of them. Lt. Tarra Keasy scrolls through hot dog eating stats on a glowing translucent tablet. Garry puts the hot dog platter down in front of the contestants.

GARRY

Okay, kids! This is an Earth tradition dating back centuries! The world record for most hot dogs consumed by a human is…

TARRA

72 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Not bad for a human.

GARRY

Are you sure you don’t want to get in on this?

TARRA

Nah, Zatharan biology actually requires very little food relative to humans, I’m fine with sitting this one out.

GARRY

Fair enough. Dr. McClintock, are the contestants ready?

Dr. Irene McClintock scans each of the contestants with a medical device and reads the results, a weary but indulgent expression on her face.

IRENE

Well, the good news is nobody’s ever died from over-eating in one sitting. Other than a rather wise choice to start on an empty stomach, you’re all cleared to participate. Knock yourselves out, I gotta pick up the boys for their piano lesson.

GARRY

Come on, Doc! You’re not gonna stick around to watch?

IRENE

Lieutenant, I’m from Baltimore. I’ve been to enough Ravens games to know what a bench full of men shoving hot dogs in their faces looks like.

Irene exits through an automatic sliding door.

GARRY

All right, your loss! Let’s meet our contestants!

Garry gestures to Lt. Marvin Marshall, seated at the end of the table, looking excited and hungry.

GARRY

From my home planet Earth, we have Lt. Marvin Marshall, a big fan of hot dogs with a big appetite!

Marvin gestures to the crowd, the Earthlings give him a golf-clap of support.

MARVIN

Let’s go already! I haven’t been this hungry for hot dogs since summer camp!

DULCAN

(flat affect)

What is summer camp?

MARVIN

Summer camp? It’s when parents send their kids away for the summer to get fresh air and like make crafts out of popsicle sticks?

DULCAN

By ‘crafts’, do you mean weapons?

GARRY

And in this corner, all the way from the warrior planet of Mulcar, we have our very own Lt. Commander Dulcan ‘The Iron Stomach’ Bortak!

The crowd of spectators applauds enthusiastically.

MARK

(alien with a bulbous head)

My money’s on him!

YOUNGER CREW MEMBER

What’s money?

MARK

It’s just… Uh…

GARRY

And last but definitely the least amount of solid matter, we have our viscous Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. Yandy Laurid!

Garry gestures to the large green blob wearing a bib that is Yandy. The crowd claps politely.  A mouth above the bib smiles and an arm-like appendage extend out of his side for a wave.

YANDY

Thank you, thank you.

GARRY

Now, Yandy, you’ve agreed to ingest the hot dogs orally, no osmosis, that’s cheating!

YANDY

I don’t need to cheat. 98% of my biological function is digestion. I was born for this!

Yandy’s smile gains a prideful glint and Garry claps his hands.

GARRY

Okay! Let’s get started! Madam Security Officer, are we ready?

Tarra pulls up a stopwatch on her tablet.

TARRA

Ready… Set… Go!

The contestants start shoving hot dogs in their faces. Marvin wolfs them down, Dulcan just slides them down his throat and Yandy gulps them down two at a time. Tarra keeps a tally on her tablet while Garry cheers along with the rest of the crowd. Marvin is seven hot dogs deep and Dulcan is two ahead of him when he puts down his tenth hot dog.

DULCAN

I’m full.

MARK

What!? We saw you eat a particle detector battery this morning!

DULCAN

That is why I am full.

GARRY

Dulcan’s out! What’s the count, Tarra?

TARRA

Yandy and Marvin are neck and uh… neck? At ten hot dogs each.

GARRY

Come on, Marv! Win it for the blue marble!

Marvin gags as he chokes down an 11th hot dog. Yandy groans as he crams two more in his mouth.

TARRA

Time! That’s eleven for Marvin and…

Yandy belches and two hot dogs squeeze out of where his ears would be if he were human.

TARRA

Nine for Yandy! Earth wins!

Marvin and Garry high-five and cheer.

YANDY

Hey! I ate those last two! They should count!

TARRA

Sorry, Yandy. Intergalactic Competitive Eating regulations state that hot dogs must stay ingested until the winner is declared.

Yandy extends his appendage for Marvin to shake.

YANDY

Well, I’m not going to be bragging about getting beaten by a life form with a one-way digestive tract back home, but you my friend, are a worthy adversary.

The Curie’s automated PA system emits a musical tone to get the crew’s attention. A soothing female voice instructs them.

CURIE PA

(v.o.)

Attention, prime crew to the flight deck. Prime crew to the flight deck.

 

MARVIN

I’ll meet you guys up there, I gotta go barf a dozen hot dogs.

Marvin runs for the bathroom covering his mouth.

CUT TO:

INT. FLIGHT DECK OF THE CURIE – DAY

Captain Ted Merrick sits in the center command chair surrounded by his crew at their stations. His first mate, Commander Kayla Layton, sits to his right. Dulcan sits to his left. A communication screen pops up in front of the vast field of stars before them. A woman who appears to be an older, female version of Ted is much too close to the screen.

TED

Hi, mom. Is this an emergency? I thought we talked about calling when I’m at work.

TED’S MOM

Hi, Teddy baby! I was just calling to see what time you’re going to be here on Sunday. I’m making that beef stew you love and I want it to be hot when you get here.

The crew tries to hide their smiles from the captain. Kayla appears uncomfortable, scrolls through her tablet as if she’s not paying attention.

TED

Mom, do you remember the tracking app I showed you on your float screen? It literally shows you the location of the Curie no matter where we are in the known federation. All you have to do is ask Sira…

TED’S MOM

Oh, you know I don’t get along with that robot…

The entire room tenses up as if she said something offensive. The head of Tyco, an artificial lifeform, turns in shock. The blue circles of his “eyes” are bright with hurt. Ted clears his throat.

TED

Mom, cool it with the ‘r’ word, I write people up for that. Now, you’ve made that beef stew every Sunday for 40 years, I’m sure we’ll get there on time.

TED’S MOM

Well, if you’re sick of my stew, I’ll just skip it…

TED

No, no, no! I still want it.

TED’S MOM

Hi Kayla…

KAYLA

(looking up)

Hi, Mrs. Merrick. It’s good to see you.

TED’S MOM

You look healthy. The food must be good up there.

TED

Okay Mom, love you! Gotta go do space stuff! I’ll see you Sunday, love to Dad! Bye!

Ted clicks out of the communication screen and heaves a weary sigh. Kayla glares at him.

KAYLA

You had to tell her everything?

TED

Are you kidding me? You try keeping a secret from that woman.

TARRA

Captain, we are receiving a distress beacon from a vessel twenty-seven parsecs off course.

TED

What’s the origin?

TARRA

I’m not sure, the communication is garbled, but the situation is dire. Intergalactic emergency frequencies are reserved for life or death circumstances.

KAYLA

Tyco, run a scan over the beacon and see if you can decode the message.

TYCO

Aye, sir.

Tyco’s mechanical fingers glide over the glowing translucent keyboard in front of him.

TYCO

The compilation of the signal provides a few seconds of data…

TED

Pull it up.

Tyco presses play and a communication screen pops up in front of them. Static and broken video clips distort the image. The crew (except Tarra, Dulcan, and Tyco) flinches at the audio feedback. In the broken clips, a young woman tries to communicate. Her long blonde hair is in three braids that converge at the nape of her neck, she wears the IPU insignia on an armored vest that is not regulation uniform, and she appears desperate, but not panicked. Instruments spark and sizzle in the background as her ship malfunctions.

EL

My name is El (static) -ion of the SS (static) -izenberg! We’re rapidly losing (static) -low on reserves. Send help ASAP! We are located at (static) -nebula! SOS! SOS!

The message cuts out. Ted and Kayla exchange a worried glance.

TED

Tyco, how far off course would it put us to investigate this stranded vessel?

TYCO

Based on the current trajectory, we could reach that quadrant at warp speed with only a two-hour delay in our scheduled arrival to Earth.

TED

Remind me to text Mom and tell her to keep the stew warm.

Kayla represses an eye-roll as she types the reminder into her tablet.

KAYLA

Aye, Captain.

TED

Lt. Flynn, set a course for the stranded vessel. Let’s see what we can do to help.

GARRY

Aye, sir.

Garry pilots The Curie towards a bright blue nebula in the distance.

DULCAN

Captain, shall the crew be relieved at the predetermined time or will this detour cause a further delay in schedule?

TED

I’m not sure, Dulcan. We’ll have to wait and see what’s going on with the stranded vessel. Why? Do you have plans?

DULCAN

My mate and I are scheduled to appear before Dr. McClintock for the ritual of marriage counseling.

TED

Oh! That’s still going on?

DULCAN

Yes. Kurtol and I are what humans call “trying”.

TED

Does that mean you’re gonna lay another egg?

Kayla elbows Ted in the ribs.

TED

Oof!

KAYLA

(stage whisper)

Shhh! It’s against regulation to ask that question, Ted!

DULCAN

I can hear you.

CUT TO:

EXT. – ESTABLISHING SHOT – OUTER SPACE – DAY

The Curie approaches the stranded vessel, which is much smaller and appears to be a patchwork of several different ships. The shuttle bay doors open on the back of The Curie and the stranded ship is eased into the airlock.

CUT TO:

INT. SHUTTLE BAY – DAY

The broken-down ship sputters out its last power reserves and lands on the floor of the shuttle bay with a loud, metallic crash. Ted, Kayla, and the rest of the crew enter through an airlock after the shuttle bay doors close.

GARRY

What a hunk of junk!

KAYLA

Do you think anyone’s alive in there?

TED

If there is, he’s one lucky son of a bitch.

They approach the ship, Dr. McClintock pushes through the curious crowd.

IRENE

Out of my way, medical attention supersedes rubberneckers!

Irene scans the ship for life forms with a vital detector. The airlock ramp on the broken-down ship slams down, making a rusty clank. A cloud of space dust billows out. Irene waves her hand in front of her face and coughs. Her scanner beeps.

IRENE

I’m detecting a pulse, we have at least one survivor.

TARRA

Wait, Doctor. You’re not going in until I’ve cleared any potential threats.

IRENE

Make it fast, Lieutenant, we don’t have a lot of time.

Tarra takes her plasma stun gun from the holster at her hip.

TARRA

Whatever caused this has even less.

CUT TO:

INT. – EL’S SHIP – DAY

The interior of the stranded ship is vastly different from the clean, streamlined interior of The Curie. Instruments from wildly different space ships seem cobbled together and piled on top of each other. Interesting objects from distant worlds are collected on every available surface, stacked to the ceiling. Tarra enters gun-first, followed by Irene.

TARRA

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

IRENE

A severe case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

TARRA

Naw…

They see a large black flag with a three-eyed skull and crossed swords hanging over a small bunk area towards the back.

TARRA

(delighted)

Space pirates…

Tarra pulls back the flag to reveal… an empty bunk.

TARRA

Hmmph.

Tarra lets the flag fall back and moves to look elsewhere.

IRENE

Wait, not so fast…

Irene scans the bunk with the vital scanner. She pulls back the flag, lifts the mattress and gasps. The young woman from the distress signal is curled up in a secret compartment under the bunk, clutching two small swords.

TARRA

Is she dead?

IRENE

(scanning)

No… She’s just asleep.

CUT TO:

INT. – SICK BAY – DAY

El is brought in on a floating gurney, still in the curled-up position, clutching her swords. Tarra uses all of her superhuman Zarathan strength, but she can’t move El onto the table without five crew members helping.

TARRA

(frustrated)

What is she, made out of lead?

GARRY

Either that or just the deepest sleeper I’ve ever seen!

KAYLA

Irene, does her genetic code contain any Zarathan ancestry?

TARRA

Hey, Zarathan gravity gave us super-strength relative to you humans, but we’re not that dense!

IRENE

(scanning El)

I’m not detecting any of the genetic codes catalogued in the IPU database. She looks human, has human vital signs, a pulse, respiration, delta waves firing 3 per second… She just appears to have an extraordinarily high density.

TED

Like she’s made out of stone… Any other defects? Injuries? Illness?

IRENE

Nope, she’s totally healthy, just in a deep sleep. Her brain activity is too high for it to be considered a coma. She should wake up in a few hours.

TED

Well, let her sleep. When she wakes up, hopefully, we can get some answers. Garry, let’s head back home.

GARRY

(delighted)

Aye aye, Captain! Whew! I don’t know about you guys, but I could go for a Coney Island hot dog.

The crew exits the sliding door as Irene’s two sons, Jaden (younger brother) and Micah (older brother) enter the sick bay, fighting.

JADEN

No! I told you I was gonna tell mom!

MICAH

And I told you I wasn’t gonna play anymore if you don’t quit whining.

IRENE

Boys! What the hell has gotten into you? I have sick patients, you know better!

JADEN

Mom! Micah keeps killing me in the simulator Battleground game!

MICAH

That’s the point of the game!

JADEN

We’re supposed to be a team!

IRENE

Enough! Both of you better cut the attitude or it’s no simulator for a week! Now, my shift ends in one hour, do you think you can refrain from fratricide until I get home for dinner?

JADEN

What’s fratricide?

MICAH

It’s what’s gonna happen to you if you don’t shut up!

IRENE

Micah, please for god’s sake, you’re the older brother, act like it!

MICAH

(frowning)

Yes, ma’am.

Irene crouches down to Jaden’s level and looks up at Micah.

IRENE

Look, I know it’s been a rough couple of months, with everything that happened with Tyco’s people…

MICAH

(mutters)

They’re not people. They’re robots.

IRENE

Micah Denzel McClintock. How dare you use that kind of language about Tyco? He was the closest thing you’ve had to…

JADEN

A dad?

MICAH

(angry)

He wasn’t our dad! That’s not possible!

IRENE

Love makes a family, Micah.

MICAH

Exactly.

Irene looks into his eyes for a long moment.

JADEN

(sobbing)

I love Tyco and I want him to be our dad! He saved me from the evil robots!

IRENE

Language!

JADEN

Language doesn’t make a family, Mom!

Jaden runs out of the sliding door into the corridor, crying.

MICAH

I feel like this keeps happening.

IRENE

It’s a tough time for all of us. Could you go look after your brother for an hour, please? Do your poor single mom a favor?

MICAH

Yeah, I guess I’ll let him kill me a few times.

IRENE

Atta boy!

Irene hugs her reluctant son for longer than he’s willing. Micah follows his brother and Irene turns back to her patients. Sally, a medic, hands Irene a folder.

SALLY

Hey, doc, I’ll keep an eye on the sleeper, you go and tend to your boys.

IRENE

Are you sure?

SALLY

Irene, you’re an excellent doctor and a wonderful mom. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

IRENE

You’re right. Thanks, Sally, I owe ya one.

SALLY

Anytime, doc.

Irene exits through the sliding door. Close up on El’s sleeping face: Her eyes spring open and a mysterious smile grows on her lips.

CUT TO:

INT. EL’S SHIP – DAY

Garry and Marvin wear Hazmat suits and carry flashlights while they search the horde of intergalactic artifacts and treasures in El’s ship. Garry picks up a Speak and Spell toy and presses a button.

SPEAK AND SPELL

(v.o.)

Ass ahoy!

GARRY

Why would it say that?

MARVIN

What’s that?

GARRY

I don’t know, some kind of primitive Earth technology.

Garry tosses the toy on another pile of junk.

MARVIN

Man, I hope we still get home on time.

GARRY

(smiling)

Oh yeah… What’s her name?

Marvin gives Garry a look like it’s none of his damn business.

MARVIN

I don’t know yet…

He picks up a silver tube with a spangly Christmas-ornament looking thing on the end of it.

GARRY

Be careful with this stuff, she’s got contraband from all over, maybe a few places we’ve never heard of.

MARVIN

Here, catch!

Marvin tosses the spangly tube towards Garry, who makes a fumbling catch. A stream of bubbles shoots out of the end of the tube.

MARVIN

You’re right, we should be more careful. That thing coulda took your head off.

Garry shoots a stream of bubbles at Marvin. Marvin grabs a can of silly string and shoots it at Garry. They get into a bubble/silly string fight. Kayla enters the ship and is not amused.

KAYLA

Lieutenants!

They both stop and stand at attention, covered in silly string, bubbles still floating all around.

KAYLA

Lt. Marshall, you’re needed in Engineering, we’re having some problems with navigational alignment.

MARVIN

Aye, sir. Ma’am. Sorry, Kayla.

Marvin exits the ship, pulling the silly string off of himself.

KAYLA

Lt. Flynn, get back to the flight deck, the Captain is needed in sickbay.

GARRY

Is she awake?

KAYLA

Very much so.

As Kayla and Garry exit the ship, a box creaks open. Eight eyes can be seen peeking out of the darkness.

CUT TO:

INT. – SICK BAY – DAY

Ted enters the sick bay. El is sitting on the table, wrapped in a blanket and holding a coffee cup, swinging her combat boots and chattering away at Sally and Irene, who hold clipboards and try to keep up. The hilts of El’s swords make two bumps behind her shoulders under the blanket, as they’re now in the holsters on her back.

EL

… And that’s the plot of the movie “Splash”! You’ve never seen it? It’s a classic! Hi, Ted! We’re talking about movies. Have you ever seen “Local Hero”? I haven’t but I hear there’s a mermaid in that one too…

El continues to chatter away.

TED

(to Irene)

Did you have to give her a shot of adrenaline to wake her up?

IRENE

Nope, she just woke up, asked for a cup of black coffee and hasn’t stopped talking since.

TED

Ahem. Excuse me, miss. Glad to see you’re awake. I’m Captain Ted Merrick and you’re on the USS Curie of the Inter-Planetary Union. We found your vessel adrift due to the emergency beacon.

El jumps down from the table, tosses the blanket behind her and puts down a coffee cup. She makes a two-fingered salute with the wrong hand.

EL

Oh, I know. I dreamed all this. I’m El-isha Scion, call me El. Glad to see ya finally picked me up!

TED

(slightly confused)

Uh… Your ship is currently un-operational. We could have our engineers take a look…

EL

Meh, Bessie has served me well, but I think this ship will do nicely. Everything is so clean and pretty!

El wanders around the sickbay, looking at the different equipment, Sally has to stop her from picking up delicate instruments. Kayla enters the sick bay.

KAYLA

Captain, we need you on the flight deck, there are some major issues with the navigation systems.

TED

Aye, Lieutenant. Doctor, keep her here and keep her talking.

IRENE

I don’t think there’s any danger of silence.

El continues to chatter to Sally as she asks about different instruments without waiting for an answer. Ted and Kayla exit the sick bay.

CUT TO:

INT. – CORRIDOR – DAY

Ted and Kayla walk toward the flight deck.

KAYLA

Ed, have you noticed something weird going on today?

TED

Yeah, I was just about to say… Wait. Did you just call me ‘Ed’?

KAYLA

Yeah, that’s your name… Isn’t it?

TED

My name is Ted.

KAYLA

Ed? Ted? Isn’t that the same name?

TED

Well, yeah, but we were married for four years, why would you start calling me ‘Ed’ now?

They both stop walking and look at each other, bewildered.

KAYLA

I… I have no idea.

(beat)

TED

Something strange is going on here and I think it has to do with that floating trash heap in the shuttle bay.

KAYLA

We have more pressing concerns, Ed.

TED

Ted!

KAYLA

Right! Ted. Captain, Tyco has lost all navigation communications and we appear to be veering off course.

TED

Okay, I’ll go deal with that, you take Dulcan and Tarra and see if you can scrounge up some answers on the stranded ship.

KAYLA

Aye, sir.

Ted and Kayla walk in different directions.

CUT TO:

INT. – FLIGHT DECK – DAY

Ted enters the flight deck. Garry appears confused and frustrated as he fiddles with the controls. Tyco has several float screens in front of him as he searches for the correct coordinates.

TED

What seems to be the problem?

TYCO

Captain, we have lost communications with the navigation grid, I am attempting to secure an auxiliary link.

TED

What? How is that even possible? The IPU has communication satellites positioned all over the galactic federation to prevent this exact situation.

TYCO

I will inform you of the cause as soon as I acquire that information.

GARRY

Damnit! Come on, Curie baby! Don’t do this to me!

TED

What the hell is going on, Garry?

GARRY

We are in one big, freakin’ pickle, Captain! The autopilot has us headed straight for Metropolon!

TED

Metropolon? But they’re fresh off a genocidal rampage!

GARRY

Dude, I was there! My codes aren’t working and the override is locked. It keeps asking for my mother’s maiden name. It’s Kerry! Kerry, damnit!

TED

(amused)

Is that what the K stands for?

GARRY

Yeah, so?

TED

(chuckles)

Garry Kerry Flynn. Garry Kerry. Garry Kerry. Haha, I don’t know it just kinda rhymes and sounds funny.

Garry turns and takes a long look at Ted.

GARRY

Are you feeling okay, Ted?

TED

No! What is there too much nitrous in the air today? Something strange is happening and it has to do with that woman in sickbay… Something’s… Up with her.

Ted slowly backs out of the sliding automatic door while Garry watches him, confused.

GARRY

Okay! That’s fine! I’ll just be here trying to steer us away from the murderous robot planet!

TYCO

Ahem.

GARRY

Sorry, Tyco… By the way, “ahem” is pronounced more like a cough.

TYCO

(dramatic hacking cough)

GARRY

Close enough.

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR – DAY

Ted is walking toward the shuttle bay and Ensign Dumas runs up to him.

ENSIGN DUMAS

Captain! Lt. Commander Layton, Lt. Commander Bortak, and Lt. Keasy are all missing!

Ted stops walking and gives them a disgruntled look.

TED

Gimme a freakin’ break already. Let me guess, they were last pinged at the shuttle bay?

CUT TO:

INT. SICK BAY – DAY

El jumps down from a high cabinet out of nowhere, startling Sally.

EL

You’ve never had grog before? It’s awesome! I make it myself, I have some on my ship, come on! I’ll show ya!

El walks through the door as Yandy is sliding in the room and she walks through him like he’s a jello mold. Sally is right behind her and accidentally gets her foot stuck in Yandy.

YANDY

Hey, watch it!

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR – DAY

Ted rapidly walks towards the shuttle bay, giving instructions to Ensign Dumas.

TED

Lock down all the exits, don’t let anyone near the shuttle bay, tell Dr. McClintock to keep the passenger in sickbay and for the love of god, don’t tell anyone we’re down a first mate, second lieutenant and security chief. The last thing we want to do is cause a panic.

CUT TO:

INT. ANOTHER CORRIDOR – DAY

El is walking toward the shuttle bay, chatting away as Sally follows, still trying to shake some of Yandy off of her leg. El doesn’t have that problem.

EL

…And when I stole it from them, they said they would hunt me down and blow up any ship I was on. You know what I said? “It should be in a museum!”

El stops to laugh at her own joke.

SALLY

I don’t get it.

EL

Haha, movie references… I ended up selling it to a Komodian Death Squad, but I love saying that!

CUT TO:

INT. SHUTTLE BAY – DAY

Ted enters the shuttle bay and turns to Ensign Dumas on the other side of the door.

TED

Now, get up to the flight deck and send Lt. Flynn and Tyco down. Whatever you do, don’t stop to answer any questions, just get them down here quickly and quietly.

ENSIGN DUMAS

Aye, Captain.

Ensign Dumas heads toward the flight deck. Ted punches in a code that seals the door. He takes out his plasma gun from his belt and cautiously approaches the stranded ship. The hatch is open and his lieutenants are nowhere to be found.

CUT TO:

Close-up on Ted as something large and scary looms out of the ship. Behind Ted, the door opens and El walks through followed by Sally. El smiles and crosses her arms.

EL

So, I see you’ve met Bessie?

Sally screams and runs away.

CUT TO:

INT. SHUTTLE BAY – DAY

Ted is bound in a spider web everywhere except for his head, dangling like a yo-yo from one of eight giant spider legs. Bessie is the giant spider. She plays with Ted like a toy. Ted yells in fear, confusion, and dizziness.

EL

Bessie! Bessie… Put him down, girl. Hey, you wanna treat?

El takes a Madagascar hissing cockroach out of a compartment on her belt and tosses it to Bessie. Bessie catches it in one of her legs and drops Ted with a thud. El takes out her right sword, which glows blue, and cuts him loose from the web. Bessie relishes her treat with some delighted munching sounds.

EL

Sorry about that, we’re still working on some stuff.

Ted stands up and scrambles away from El and Bessie.

TED

What the hell is that thing?!

El scratches Bessie on the head and Bessie makes some happy purring noises.

 

El

I just told you her name is Bessie. When I dreamed her up, I was scared of her too. Now we’re best friends, ain’t we mama?

Bessie flops on her back and squirms in an adorable manner. El rubs the underside of Bessie’s thorax.

EL

Here, rub her belly, she’ll love you!

TED

No! Are you crazy?! That thing just tried to kill me!

EL

Her name is Bessie! And she was just playing, silly! Wasn’t you, my sweet lil’ spidey girl?

Ted watches El fawn over Bessie like she’s an adorable sheepdog, his face contorted in confusion, fear, and a hint of wonder.

TED

Look… Ms. Scion…

EL

El.

TED

El, my lieutenants are missing, would uh… Bessie know anything about that?

Bessie makes some insect-like squeaking noises as if to say “who me?” El gives her an admonishing look.

EL

Bessie… What did you do?

CUT TO:

INT. EL’S SHIP – DAY

El, Ted, and Bessie are searching through random trunks and boxes, tearing the lids off in a frenzy.

EL

What do you mean you don’t know where you hid them?!

Bessie makes some defensive squeaking noises while they continue to search.

EL

I was gone for less than an hour and you try to kill three people, what is wrong with you?!

Bessie argues back in spider-squeaks. Ted scans the stacks of boxes with a vital detector in one hand and tears the lids off with the other.

TED

Try to?! There is no try! Why am I not picking them up with the vital detector?! Did she kill them!?

EL

That depends, how long does it take your species to suffocate?

 

Ted stops, shoots a terrified glance at El, throws down the vital detector, and starts searching with both hands. He opens a big, solid oak trunk and gasps. The large, obvious form of Dulcan is inside, wrapped in Bessie’s silk.

TED

El! Get over here!

El rushes over with her glowing blue sword, slashes open the silk binding Dulcan, face first. Dulcan gasps for air and looks around in confusion.

DULCAN

(gasping)

Captain… there’s a…

TED

Giant spider, we know! It’s a misunderstanding, get up and help me find Kayla and Tarra!

Dulcan pulls the rest of the silk off of him and Ted helps him up. El prys open the lid of a heavy metal war chest with her sword.

EL

Got one!

She slashes open the silk and Tarra gasps for air.

TARRA

(gasping)

Giant… Spider…

EL

Yeah, sorry about that, housebreaking is a bitch.

El helps Tarra up and sees Bessie sitting on a pirate-looking treasure chest.

EL

Bessie… Down, girl.

Bessie makes some grumbles of protest. Ted, Dulcan, and Tarra draw their weapons.

EL

Either you get off of there or no dung beetles for dessert!

Bessie continues to grumble as she springs down from the chest. Everyone rushes over to the chest as El flips the lid and slices the silk binding Kayla. Kayla’s face is pale and her lips are blue. She’s not breathing. Ted dives in the chest to grab Kayla and pull her out. He lays her on the floor and starts performing desperate CPR.

DULCAN

Lieutenant, call the doctor.

TARRA

Aye, sir!

Tarra rushes off to find Irene.

TED

Come on, Kayla! Breathe!

Ted gives her three rescue breaths and starts chest compressions. El puts a hand on his shoulder and he looks up at her. She’s holding her left sword, which glows green.

EL

Ted, I got this.

TED

No! Get away from her!

Ted tries to continue CPR, but El grabs his shoulder and flings him across the room.

EL

Trust me.

El runs the tip of her glowing green sword from the top of Kayla’s forehead all the way down to her solar plexus. Kayla opens her eyes and gasps for air.

KAYLA

(gasping)

Spider…

Ted limps over to Kayla and El.

TED

(wincing)

Ah… Ow… Her name’s Bessie.

Bessie shrugs four of her eight legs.

CUT TO:

INT. SICK BAY – DAY

El takes a swig from a jar of grog while she pushes Ted through the door in a hover-chair. Bessie follows, swigging from two jars of grog. Tarra, Dulcan, and Kayla sit on tables, breathing into oxygen masks while Irene and Sally monitor their recovery.

TED

I don’t care what kind of control you have over… Bessie… It’s against regulation to have a wild animal running around the ship! And I told you I can walk!

Ted stands up and winces from the pain. El rolls her eyes.

EL

Well, you didn’t like me carrying you, so… Grog?

El offers the jar of amber liquid to Ted. He frowns at her.

TED

I don’t drink on the clock.

Kayla snorts beneath her oxygen mask. El smiles at Kayla and they share a look that Ted sees and doesn’t like.

TED

El, Bessie tried to kill three officers on this ship. It’s too dangerous to have her loose.

EL

That was an accident. She was just being protective of me, she doesn’t know any better! Look at her!

Bessie stops gulping down grog and looks at Ted, making her eight eyes big and cute like a kitten. She puts four of her eight legs together in a pleading gesture and emits an adorable purr.

KAYLA

(smiling)

Aw, how cute!

Ted looks at Kayla, betrayed.

TED

Dr. McClintock, make sure to check Lt. Layton for any brain damage.

KAYLA

(muttering)

I must have been brain damaged when I married you.

TED

What?

Kayla coughs dramatically. Ted turns back to El, furious.

TED

I am the captain of this ship and you will do as I say! Damnit! Where did she go?

El and Bessie are not there. The automatic sliding door closes.

CUT TO:

INT. FLIGHT DECK – DAY

El sits in Ted’s captain chair with one leg slung over the arm, swigging from a jar of grog. Bessie darts around to different stations, pressing buttons and swigging grog. Garry sits at his pilot station, taking small sips of grog.

GARRY

(appreciative)

You know, it’s not bad. Do I detect a hint of jasmine?

EL

(impressed)

Check out the refined palate on Garry! Yeah, I used a Daturian jasmine vinegar infusion instead of caustic acid and it stopped melting the human esophagus.

GARRY

Those Daturians like everything to burn going down. Have you ever tried their salsa? It’s the spiciest thing in the universe!

EL

I don’t know, have you ever had Flaming Hot Cheetos?

Ted enters the flight deck, trying not to let the pain in his broken ribs show. He appears disgruntled at the sight of El sitting in his chair and reaches out to touch her shoulder. Bessie lassos his wrist with a whip of silk and twists his arm behind his back. Ted cries out in pain. El turns and draws her right sword.

EL

Bessie, stop! He wasn’t trying to hurt me, he just wanted his chair back, now let him go!

 

El threatens Bessie with the glowing blue sword, Bessie releases Ted with a grunt. Ted gingerly sits down in his chair, El puts her right sword away and draws her left sword.

TED

Oh, no! You keep that thing away from me!

El looks at Ted like he’s being ridiculous.

EL

Is Kayla still alive?

TED

(beat)

Yes.

EL

Sit still, this won’t hurt.

El waves the green-glowing sword around Ted’s ribs.

EL

I’m sorry I threw you across the room. Sometimes I don’t know my own strength. If it hadn’t been life or death, I would’ve made more of an effort to restrain myself. I don’t like hurting people.

El finds the break and the sword vibrates in her hand.

EL

And Bingo was his name-o!

On the word “bingo” El pokes Ted in the side with the sword, he cries out again, but then instantly appears to feel better, the break healed.

TED

You said it wouldn’t hurt!

EL

Would you have let me do it if you knew it would?

Garry chuckles, sips some grog, and continues to watch this whole scene. Ted glares at him.

GARRY

Cool! El’s got some awesome swords, huh Ted?

EL

(smiling)

You should see the one I keep in my sock drawer…

TED

(annoyed)

How’s that navigation coming, Lieutenant?

GARRY

Meh, we’re probably gonna die so I’m going out drunk.

Garry starts to sip more grog, catches the rage building on Ted’s face and puts the jar down next to a collection of several grog jars arranged on his work-station. Bessie swoops in and snatches a jar.

EL

We’re not gonna die.

A communication screen pops up, showing Kalig, an angry, vengeful looking reptilian alien warlord on an approaching battlecruiser.

KALIG

El-isha Scion, at last…

EL

Okay, we may die.

El ducks behind Ted’s chair and Bessie ducks behind El. The chair is not big enough to hide Bessie. Ted looks back at them and shakes his head. He clears his throat and turns back to the angry warlord staring him down.

TED

Colonel Kalig, I’m sorry but we are in the middle of putting out several fires right now, would you please call back later?

KALIG

I’m afraid that is impossible, Captain Merrick. You see, there will be no ship to call upon later…

TED

(weary, annoyed)

Oh, come on! Haven’t you ever just had one of those days where you wish everyone would just lay the hell off?!

One of Bessie’s spider arms reaches up and offers Ted a swig from the jar of grog. Ted stares for a beat then takes a reluctant sip.

KALIG

No matter, Captain. We will give you one hour to release the criminal to us. If you do not comply, your ship will be destroyed. You have been warned.

The communication screen disappears.

TED

I’m getting real tired of people threatening me.

GARRY

Yeah.

TED

She’s gone again, isn’t she?

GARRY

(sips grog)

Yep.

CUT TO:

INT. ENGINEERING – DAY

El is climbing a high shelf while Marvin kneels on the floor, rubbing Bessie’s belly. Bessie squirms adorably, loving the attention.

MARVIN

Who’s a good girl? Yes you are!

EL

So, how many fusion cells do you think I need to get her running again?

MARVIN

Not sure, with an engine from the pre-dark matter conversion era, you have to use a photon adapter or the pistons will implode. Compensating for space, six should do it.

EL

(searching the shelf)

Where do you keep the adapters?

MARVIN

Top shelf, to your left.

El looks in the wrong place.

MARVIN

Your other left.

Bessie shoots silk in his face, Marvin is unharmed, just looks silly. El giggles while he pulls the silk off his face. Tarra enters, stun gun drawn.

TARRA

(stern)

El, get down from there.

El hops down, holding an armload of fuel cells and adapters.

EL

Hi, Tarra! Sorry, I don’t have a lot of time, gotta get back to my ship before we all die.

Tarra moves between El and the door, aiming her weapon at El’s chest. Bessie springs up, moves behind El.

TARRA

My orders are to detain you until the conflict is resolved. The captain is arranging a negotiation as we speak.

EL

(touched)

Really? Wow, I’ve never had anyone fight for my life before… But, it’s unnecessary, you’ll see!

El takes another step toward the door.

TARRA

Take one more step and I’ll put you in a coma without any grog!

MARVIN

You better listen to her, I’ve seen Tarra take out three Komodians twice her size.

Bessie lassos Tarra’s gun and yanks it away from her.

EL

(patronizing)

Aw…

El pinches Tarra’s cheek, infuriating her. Tarra seethes as El walks out the door followed by Bessie.

MARVIN

Sucks not being the strongest person on the ship, huh?

TARRA

(angry)

Shut up, Marv!

CUT TO:

INT. IRENE’S OFFICE – DAY

Dulcan and his mate, Kurtol are sitting on a couch across from Irene, who takes notes on a tablet.

KURTOL

I feel like whenever I ask you to make an effort in child rearing, that I am over-extending your capabilities.

IRENE

Dulcan, how does that make you feel?

A single tear rolls down Dulcan’s cheek. His expression is impassive.

DULCAN

I feel fine.

IRENE

Dulcan… Are you crying?

Kurtol puts a hand over his heart, touched. Dulcan wipes the tear away.

DULCAN

That is impossible.

Kayla enters.

KAYLA

Very sorry to interrupt, Dr. McClintock, but we have an emergency situation.

IRENE

Lieutenant, the captain and I agreed these sessions are sacrosanct.

KAYLA

I apologize, but this is a life and death situation. We have less than an hour to negotiate a deal with a Daturian warlord before they attack. Mulcar is the only planet with diplomatic ties to Daturia and we need Lt. Commander Bortak there for support.

KURTOL

(glaring at Dulcan)

I understand that emotion.

Dulcan stands and gives Kurtol a stern expression.

DULCAN

There will be no ship to support unless I perform my duties. Lead the way, Lieutenant.

Dulcan and Kayla exit.

KURTOL

Do you see what I have to deal with, Doctor?

Irene nods in sympathy.

CUT TO:

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Ted, Kayla and Dulcan sit at one end of a conference table. Kalig is on a communication screen at the other end.

TED

Colonel Kalig, it’s against IPU extradition policy to release an alleged criminal without a trial. I understand the contentious relationship between our organizations, but further violence will only perpetuate the conflict.

KALIG

It is Daturian policy to execute filthy thieves who steal sacred documents. The purloined scroll has been our most highly guarded relic for fifty generations. We have no qualms about destroying your entire fleet if it keeps our secret recipe safe.

TED

You know, I tried some, it’s not bad. Maybe if you weren’t so opposed to sharing, we would have far less casualties on both sides.

Kalig glares at Ted. Kayla kicks him under the table.

KALIG

It is a grievous sin for a non-Daturian to imbibe our sacred elixir.

DULCAN

Colonel, when the Daturian-Mulcarian war ended, a treaty was established with respect to our differences. Your people agreed to move your trillium mines to one of our moons and we agreed to stop using your young as bait for bruntel bull fights. Is it possible to come to some kind of compromise in this matter?

KALIG

No compromise shall be reached! Release the criminal or your ship will be destroyed!

KAYLA

Colonel! There is no need to yell!

Kayla is so authoritative, Kalig shuts up.

KAYLA

Now, you say that this woman stole your sacred scrolls. If they were returned to you, would that appease your counsel?

KALIG

Absolutely not! We would rather the scrolls be destroyed than allow such a criminal to live!

KAYLA

(to Ted)

There’s just no talking to this guy.

TED

Colonel Kalig, our relations have been contentious from the get-go, do you really want to declare all-out war over the life of a young woman?

KAYLA

She’s probably not that young…

KALIG

As long as El-isha Scion has our scrolls and continues to breathe, we are already at war. You have thirty-five minutes.

The communication screen disappears. Ted sighs.

TED

Alright! Let’s go find those scrolls.

CUT TO:

INT. EL’S SHIP – DAY

EL is frantically searching boxes for jars of grog, packing them into a big wooden chest. Bessie helps while taking sips of grog. Tarra sits on a box with her legs crossed, chin in her hand and her stun gun listlessly tapping her boot. Ted, Kayla, and Dulcan enter, Tarra stands at attention.

TED

Where are the scrolls, El?

EL

I sold them, but Bessie made an exact copy, they’ll never know the difference. She’s really good at calligraphy.

KAYLA

Maybe that’ll buy us some time. Where are they?

EL

Uh…

El looks around at the mass of haphazard boxes and everyone starts tearing off lids, searching for the scrolls. Bessie makes a triumphant spider squeak and holds up the golden chest containing the scrolls.

EL

Good job, Bessie!

El takes a swig from a jar of grog. Tyco enters.

TYCO

Captain, the Daturian battlecruiser has assumed attack positions. We have ten minutes before they strike.

They all turn towards El at the sound of breaking glass. A furious expression on her face, she draws her blue sword and starts to run towards Tyco. She slips in the spilled grog and gets impaled on her own sword, letting out an agonized scream. The sword starts to spark huge arcs of blue and purple electricity, El screams and writhes in pain with the sword stuck in her side. The arcs start setting things on fire.

Tyco, Dulcan, and Tarra all drag her outside of the ship, followed by Ted and Kayla. Tyco manages to pull the sword out of her side. El stops screaming and passes out. Bessie tosses the box of grog out of the ship after them. The hatch on the ship slams closed, Bessie waves from the helm before putting up the deflector shields so nobody can see who’s in the ship.

They watch as she steers El’s ship out of the airlock, toward the battlecruiser. Bessie launches the golden box containing the scrolls out in front of the ship. The battlecruiser sets its sights on Bessie. She blasts the box with proton torpedoes and it disintegrates. The battlecruiser blasts El’s ship, which also disintegrates, along with Bessie and all of the treasures.

CUT TO:

INT. SICK BAY – DAY

El sits on a table with her shirt off and her back toward Irene, huddled and shaking in pain. Purple lightning bolt-shaped scars arc from the stab wound, which bleeds green. Irene runs a healing laser over the wound, slowly knitting it up.

IRENE

I’ve never seen a weapon cause this kind of damage.

EL

(wincing)

My weapons always do the most damage to me.

IRENE

Perhaps you should try more diplomatic methods of conflict resolution.

Irene’s laser closes up the wound, but doesn’t get rid of the scars.

IRENE

I’m not sure if I can do anything about these scars, you may have some permanent damage.

Irene notices older scars on El’s back.

IRENE

But it seems like you’re no stranger to scars. Are these from lashes?

EL

They don’t punish slaves with backrubs.

IRENE

You were a slave?

EL

They tried to make me one… but I ran away… Ha, see where that got me?

Irene takes a long, sympathetic look at El, notices the purple lightning bolt scars go all the way down her leg.

IRENE

I’m sorry… I have to get a closer look at these scars, take off your belt.

EL

No! I mean… It’s fine. I’m fine. I’ll be okay, I’ll just put some coconut oil on it and it’ll be okay in a couple days.

El grabs her shirt and sword holster vest, notices her swords missing.

EL

Who stole my swords?!

CUT TO:

INT. TARRA’S SECURITY OFFICE – DAY

Tarra locks the swords up in a safe with a see-through door. El limps in, wincing from the pain in her side.

EL

I need my swords.

TARRA

Hi, El. How’s it going?

EL

Painful! I need my swords back… Please?

TARRA

Hmm. No.

EL

Look, Tarra, I think we got off on the wrong foot. I don’t think anyone around here seems to understand I’m not out to hurt people, I’m trying to fix things!

TARRA

Really? Because since you’ve been here, I’ve almost been suffocated along with three officers, we’ve lost control of the ship’s autopilot, and we were nearly destroyed by a Daturian battlecruiser. Why should I believe you have any kind of good intentions?

EL

(wincing)

I’ll explain everything, Ah! Just as soon as I have my swords.

TARRA

You’ll get them back if I feel your explanation warrants them.

El gives Tarra an annoyed expression, tries to straighten herself and puts her fists up.

EL

Alright, I didn’t want to have to do this…

Tarra shakes her head at El.

TARRA

El… You’re injured. I could knock you over with a feather. I don’t know why you insist on trying to fight when it’s way easier to explain yourself.

EL

It’s a little tough to find the words when I’m in pain.

Tarra’s expression softens to pity.

TARRA

I was hit in the chest with three Metropolon lasers last week and it felt like a freight train… the only thing that helped was a nice hot bath.

EL

There are bathtubs on this ship?!

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM – EVENING

El opens the automatic sliding door and looks delighted by the large bathtub with clean, streamlined surroundings.

EL

Hey, Curie?

CURIE P.A.

Yes, El?

EL

Please draw me a bath to exactly 39 degrees celsius, turn down the lights to 40 percent and what the hell? Throw on some mood music…

CURIE P.A.

Right away, El.

EL

Thanks, Curie! You’re a doll!

The Curie starts running the bath, dims the lights and starts playing “D’yer Mak’er” by Led Zeppelin.

CUT TO:

INT. FLIGHT DECK – EVENING

The crew sits at their stations.

GARRY

Well, that’s it! We’ve tried everything, but the ship still has us headed for Metropolon.

TED

Tyco, why can’t you reprogram the autopilot? I thought you were an expert in human technology.

TYCO

Even artificial life forms cannot predict every human error. Your species makes a lot of them.

Irene enters the flight deck.

IRENE

Captain, I figured out why we’re headed for Metropolon. It’s El, she’s from there! It’s her home planet.

TED

What? I thought the ro– uh, Tyco’s people wiped out all organic life?

IRENE

Not under the oceans… Look!

Irene shows Ted an old children’s book about mermaids.

TYCO

Is that the book I have been reading to Jaden?

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM – EVENING

El is in the bath, has her braids down, her long hair flows over her shoulders. She has a wet washcloth over her eyes and she sings along with the music.

EL

(sings)

I still love you so,

I can’t let you go,

Ooh, I love you.

Ooh, baby I love ya!

Ted rushes through the automatic door and yells when he sees El’s mermaid tail flopped over the side of the tub. El yells back in surprise.

EL

Ah! Get out!

TED

Ah! I’m sorry!

Ted covers his eyes and grabs El’s belt off of a towel rack.

EL

Give that back to me!

TED

Not until you agree to answer some questions!

EL

Fine! But, I’m not gonna do it naked! Give me my belt!

Ted hands her the belt, still covering his eyes, just not very well.

TED

I’ll be on the flight deck, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry!

Ted leaves in a rush.

CUT TO:

INT. FLIGHT DECK – EVENING

El stands near the front of the flight deck, staring at her approaching planet. Her expression is a mixture of pain and nostalgia. She turns toward Tyco.

EL

Sorry I attacked you, Tyco. I guess my instincts kicked in and I forgot what I was doing for a second. Have you ever seen the oceans on Metropolon?

TYCO

I have not.

EL

I’m not surprised. They’re highly viscous, about the consistency of Yandy over there.

YANDY

Sounds like my kind of place!

EL

They’re also extremely toxic to land-dwellers.

GARRY

Sounds like New Jersey.

EL

Land folks never went near there unless they had to. Most of them didn’t believe we existed. From afar, we watched them build mechanical life-forms and quickly subjugate them. My people were fine with steering clear of them and so was I… until I met Nicola. He may have been artificial, but he was real to me.

Irene takes a long, sad look at Tyco.

EL

He built my belt and gave me a whole new life on land, full of fun and adventure, hanging out with pirates and drinking grog. Even though he couldn’t participate, he liked watching me have fun. I didn’t like the way he was treated and I wasn’t shy about speaking up for him. It was only a matter of time before the land dwellers found out my secret.

TARRA

Why did you have to keep it a secret?

EL

They didn’t believe my people existed. They thought Nicola was secretly messing around with their genetics and made a fish mutant. Only a truly cruel species would put a pain sensor in an artificial life form, but these people were monsters. They tortured him to death in front of me, then threw me back in the ocean.

TED

Wow…

EL

Yeah, my people weren’t a whole lot better. They gave me forty lashes for “betraying my race”. I was so upset that I went and hid in a sunken space ship that was full of grog. I drank myself to sleep… and that’s when I had a really bad dream.

KAYLA

I’ve been there…

Ted gives Kayla a sad expression, looks back at El.

EL

I dreamed the artificial lifeforms would rise up and exterminate the land-dwellers… Then it happened for real… I… I didn’t mean to!

El starts sobbing. Ted stands up and walks over to El, cautious. He reaches a tentative hand towards her shoulder. She allows him to give her shoulder a supportive squeeze.

TED

El… It’s not your fault. It was a dream.

EL

Yes it was! Everything I dream comes true.

GARRY

What, like you’re psychic?

DULCAN

What is a psychic?

GARRY

People who charge by the minute on late night tv to predict the future.

EL

I’m not predicting it, I’m making it happen. I used to be unable to control it. When the land-dwellers were exterminated on Metropolon, I repaired the sunken ship and I’ve been traveling from galaxy to galaxy trying to learn how to control my dreams. I guess I dreamed up Bessie because I used to be afraid of spiders and it was lonely out there… All this time, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to fix it.

TED

Fix what?

EL

Metropolon. I’m going to deactivate all the robots.

TYCO

What?

EL

(to Tyco)

And you’re gonna help.

TED

What?!

EL

I saw in your ship’s log that Tyco deactivated all of the Metropolon on the ship a few weeks ago. He’s going to do it to the rest of the planet when we get there.

TED

What makes you think Tyco will follow your orders?

EL

Because he did in my dream.

IRENE

No! You can’t do that, they’re sentient beings! El, don’t you realize you’re becoming that which you hate? If you deactivate all of the Metropolon, you’ll kill Tyco too, and he saved us from them!

EL

Well, now he won’t have to anymore! I’m responsible for the deaths of millions of land-dwellers! I have to make this right!

TED

El, I can’t allow this to happen. I’m the captain of this ship and I am responsible for every life on board, that includes Tyco. You have to put a stop to this.

EL

There’s no stopping it… Everything is happening just like in my dream. I dreamed about your ship, about all of you, about Tyco because I knew I needed one of them to defeat them… One of them who was loyal to all of you. It’s happening whether we like it or not.

El gazes out at her planet and the impending doom.

CUT TO:

INT. MESS HALL – EVENING

El sits alone at a table in the corner, sipping grog and staring out the window. Ted, Kayla, Dulcan, Garry, and Tarra sit at a table on the opposite side of the room, trying to figure out what to do.

GARRY

(grinning)

So, what did her tail look like?… And what else did you see?

TED

Nothing! I didn’t see anything. I would never look at anything.

Ted looks from Kayla, to Tarra, and back at Kayla again.

TARRA

Look, the Metropolon are going to attack us as soon as we’re in range. We barely scraped by the skin of our teeth last time, I’m not sure if we’re going to survive the next one, especially on a suicide mission without the help of the entire IPU fleet. How can we get her to change her mind?

DULCAN

Shall we use force?

KAYLA

No, that may make this situation worse. We don’t want to cause any more suffering than we have to. Since reason won’t work either… We could try something that may be a little… unethical.

Ted appears intrigued for several reasons.

TED

Go on…

KAYLA

Tarra, do you still have those sleeping pills Dr. McClintock gave you after your injury?

TARRA

Yeah, I have a few left, but she told me not to take them with alcohol.

KAYLA

Perfect, go get them.

CUT TO:

INT. MESS HALL – DAY

El is still sitting alone at the table in the corner, sipping grog and staring out the window. Garry comes over and sits next to her, a drink in his hand.

GARRY

Hey, El. How’s it going.

EL

(not looking at him)

Oh, you know… Everyone thinks I’m a genocidal madwoman ‘cause I’m about to destroy an entire planet full of sentient beings… Again. You?

GARRY

I’ve had better days.

Behind El’s back, Tarra hands the pills to Kayla. Kayla wraps them in a piece of paper and crushes them under her boot.

EL

(morose)

When?

GARRY

Back home, on Earth. I love being out here, exploring and getting into all kinds of crazy situations… But, I still get homesick sometimes.

EL

I don’t really have a home.

Garry sees Kayla in position and nods at her.

 

GARRY

Well, if you’re looking for one, you could do a lot worse than Earth. Literally the only planet in the universe with waterslides. Have you ever been there?

EL

No, but I love your movies. On long trips, I used to watch Earth movies with Bessie…

GARRY

I’m sorry about Bessie, was she a rescue?

EL

I kinda feel like she rescued me.

Garry looks over at Kayla, appears like he’s starting to feel guilty. Kayla raises her hands as if to say “well?”

GARRY

Hey, if you ever feel like going to Earth, it’s right over there! Do you see it?

Garry points out the window at a distant star. El turns away from her drink to look. Kayla walks by and empties the powder into her glass.

EL

(pointing)

Is it that one?

GARRY

No, it’s a little to the left.

Garry takes her hand and re-positions it so that it’s closer to where he was pointing. Ted sees this from across the room and mutters to Kayla.

TED

This is wrong for so many reasons.

KAYLA

Ted, it’s more wrong to let an entire planet die.

TED
But we don’t even know if putting her to sleep will change the outcome! What if she dreams we all die?

Garry leans in and whispers something to El, she giggles. Ted rushes over to their table.

TED

Hey, guys! What’s going on? Anything new?

EL

Nope, just getting drunk and waiting for the robot apocalypse like everyone else.

El sips her grog, Ted watches the glass go to her lips and back down to the table.

TED

Do you think you should be drinking while still recovering from an injury?

EL

Probably not, but who’s gonna stop me?

 

Ted puts his hand over her glass before she takes another sip.

TED

For the last time, I’m the captain of this ship…

EL

Pssht! I don’t work for you!

Ted removes his hand and lets her finish her drink in one quaff. El appears dizzy for a second and passes out with her head on the table. Garry pokes her with a tiny plastic sword from his drink.

GARRY

She’s asleep, alright.

TED

How do we know when she starts dreaming?

 

Kayla rushes up to them.

KAYLA

Captain, Bessie is back and she won’t let anyone into the flight deck!

TED

Well, I guess that solved it.

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE FLIGHT DECK – DAY

Tarra is standing outside of the door arguing with Bessie, who only speaks in spider-squeaks.

TARRA

I don’t understand what you’re saying, you eight-legged bitch! I am Chief of Security on this ship and I will blast you right in the thorax if you don’t move out of my way!

Bessie crosses four of her eight legs and refuses to move out of the doorway. Ted, Kayla, Dulcan and Garry rush up to her.

TED

Tarra, what’s going on?

TARRA

Little miss sassy spinnerettes over here won’t let anyone in the flight deck. Tyco is in there about to program the electromagnetic pulse that’s going to deactivate all of the Metropolon. We’re closing in on the planet now.

TED

Bessie… Come on, girl. Do you want a treat? Who’s got a bug on them?

Garry takes a jar of grog out of his pocket.

GARRY

How about some of this?

TED

Why do you still have that?

GARRY

Have you tried this stuff? It’s good… Not like rob a race of murderous reptilian aliens good, but like better than Maker’s Mark.

Bessie refuses the grog.

DULCAN

May I use force now, Captain?

TED

Eh, why not? Go for it.

Dulcan rears back in an attack position, Bessie braces herself. Dulcan charges at Bessie and tackles her. They wrestle around on the floor and Ted carefully steps around them.

TED

Pardon me, gotta save a planet…

Ted walks over to Tyco, who sits at his station, programming the deadly pulse. Dulcan and Bessie continue to wrestle in the background.

TED

Tyco, stop! You don’t have to do this!

TYCO

I do what I am programmed to do.

TED

That’s a lie!

TYCO

It is not possible for me to lie.

TARRA

(gun drawn)

Say the word and I’ll blast him, Captain.

TED

No, everyone stop blasting everyone! Tyco, you can make a choice. You did it once before. You are more powerful than your programming. Because you learned about us, you developed the ability to think for yourself. Think about it… You can do the right thing!

Kayla checks the instruments at her station.

KAYLA

Captain, we are thirty seconds from blast range and the Metropolon are in battle formation.

Ted looks out of the front of the ship and sees a fleet of terrifying Metropolon warships aiming their weapons directly at the Curie. He looks back at Tyco.

TYCO

Goodbye, Captain.

Tyco presses a button on his keyboard and the lights go out in his eyes. He falls forward on his keyboard. The lights in the Metropolon ships all go out as all of them are deactivated.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE METROPOLON OCEAN – DAY

The Metropolon ocean jiggles like a giant jello mould in the bright yellow sunny air. A noxious gas appears to be wafting off of the surface. From under the viscous fluid, El dives for the sunshine. She breaks through and pulls a waterproof backpack on her shoulders. She turns back and yells beneath the surface.

EL

Bye, mom! I’ll see ya at Christmas!

A lilting mermaid call is heard in return.

EL

Christmas? It’s an Earth thing, Mom. I’ll text you later, my ride’s here! Love you!

El swims for the shore where Ted is waiting. He’s wearing a protective space suit and a shuttle is parked a few meters away. He’s holding her belt and her uniform. Bessie waves from the shuttle.

El pulls herself up on the rocky shore. Ted hands El her belt. She puts it on and her fishtail turns into human legs. Ted is pretending not to look.

EL

My pants?

El holds out her hand for Ted to hand her pants, but he pretends to not hear her.

EL

Ugh. My pants, Captain?

TED

Atta girl.

Ted hands her the rest of her clothes, smiling.

CUT TO:

INT. ENGINEERING – DAY

Marvin holds a modified version of El’s green sword and waves it over a deactivated Metropolon. Ted stands at the head of the table and observes, grinning proudly. El stands at the opposite side of the table giving instructions.

EL

Okay, just really feel it out, let him lead… let them lead? Do Metropolons have a gender? Let’s go with them. Let them lead…

The Metropolon’s eyes light up and they spring into a seated position.

EL

Hi, there! What’s your name?

CARL

Carl.

EL

So, Carl. Do you want to kill all humans?

CARL

No, I am a Metropolon. I respect all organic life.

EL

Atta… robot?

CARL

I am offended.

EL

Well, we’re still working some of the bugs out, but I’d say we’ve made significant progress here.

TED

Good job, kid! What did I tell ya, El is a natural engineer!

MARVIN

We’re gonna need more of these swords.

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE OF ENGINEERING

Kayla stands next to Garry and watches an affectionate glance shared between El and Ted. Kayla holds Garry’s hand.

KAYLA

I think it’s time we tell him.

GARRY

Ya think so?

Kayla puts her hand on her stomach.

KAYLA

Oh, yeah…

FADE OUT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s