Cut to a close-up view of his head in profile as he looks around for a moment with his flashlight
There is a slight sound behind him. He feels the cold point of a knife on his neck.
Allonia: (OC) FREEZE!
[NOTE for non-screen-play familiar folks – “OC” means “Off Camera,” someone talking or noise or action that is something in the scene that cannot be seen on-screen. Could be stage left or right, could be over an intercom, or whatever. You can’t see the speaker, because they are “Off Camera”]
Camera view pulls back, and there is the blade of a chef’s knife against the back of his neck. He freezes, then slowly raises his hands.
Allonia:(OC) You are?
Helton: Helton. New owner of this ship. You?
Allonia: (OC) You don’t look like the owner I met a few months ago.
Helton: (pointing slightly with one finger at the knife) Do you mind?
Allonia: (OC) Not until I know who you are.
Helton: Helton Strom. I won the ship in a game a few days ago.
Allonia: (OC) Yeah, right. That’s what the last guy said. Didn’t believe him, either.
Helton: No, really, I did! I’ve got the title in my pocket.
Allonia: (OC) That’s what the last guy said too. Do you guys take classes to sound so corny?
Helton: What? NO!
Allonia: (OC) (sighing) OK, SLOWLY turn around.
The knife at his neck pulls back a bit. The camera pulls back as Helton slowly turns, and we see them facing one another in the narrow passage, Allonia still pointing the knife at him. In the light of his flashlight pointing at the deck above them, he can see she has a lot of dark hair, a pretty round face, 21, is a about a size 14, not fat and soft, just full-figured and very curvy in all the right ways, visible even though she’s dressed in loose-fitting layered clothing, and she has a LARGE kitchen knife pointed at him. It’s not wavering at all.
Helton: Your boy gave me quite a scare.
Allonia: Not mine. Just stays here sometimes. Now, then. You?
Helton: As I said, I won the ship in a card game just a few days ago, and I’m here seeing just what it was I won.
Allonia: (mildly sarcastic) Well, lucky you.
Helton: What are you doing here?
Allonia: I live here, more or less. Free rent, keep the riff-raff away. Safer than town. Heard you come through the alarm.
Alonia: Screen door.
Helton: Can I put my hands down now?
Allonia pauses a moment, then pulls out her own flashlight and lights him up. It’s a LOT brighter than his, and he winces his eyes shut in the bright beam. She looks him up and down.
Allonia: hmmm… I guess so. You don’t look too bad-ass. But I’m still going to check out your paperwork.
Helton: Thanks. Just what every guy wants to hear.
INT – DAY – Adelaide Spaceport restaurant / lounge
Helton, Allonia, and Quinn sit at a table with a beverage in front of each (milk for Quinn). A handful of other patrons are sitting at other tables.
Helton: See, I told you I owned it.
Allonia: So now what?
Quinn: You two get married, and fly Ship into the sunset.
They both look at Quinn and burst out laughing.
Helton: (chuckling) I’m not the prince charming type, I don’t think, and it would be just a little bit too soon. I mean, I haven’t saved her from a dragon or pirates or anything yet.
Allonia: Hah, and where’s his space-armor, eh, Quinn?
Quinn: In storage on deck five. What about lunch?
Helton: (with mock seriousness) I think I can manage that.
Allonia: But seriously, what DO you plan to do?
Helton: I don’t know. I figured it would already be flying, so… (shrug)
Allonia: It’ll cost a lot to get it back in the air.
Helton: Are you a starship tech?
About this time, Quinn starts doing some typical bored boy things -not super distracting or impolite, just kid-stuff, like eying stuff on the table and then re-arranging them, or laying on his back in the booth seat, with his feet up in the air.
Allonia: No, but that thing has been here since the port was first built. Before, actually – the port was built here because it landed here out of the Deep Black over a hundred years ago.
Allonia: (offhand) Seriously, as far as I know. Hasn’t moved since, except jetting jacked up to be worked on. When I was his age (nods to Quinn) my grandma said it was a ghost ship. Showed up crew-less, landing on autopilot before she was born, and had a whole string of owners that all went bust with it. Called it the Dutchman back then. I moved in a year or so ago. Quiet. No shore power, though – bills not paid, so it was put into land-lock. Not that it COULD go anywhere.
As she said this, Helton looks less and less happy.
Helton: Great. Any more good news about my newfound albatross of ancient history?
Allonia: (shrugging) I’ve heard rumors it’s haunted, that’s why no-one wants the buildings next to it. People claim to hear voices on board. Parts of it are not accessible – access hatches welded shut, things like that. Lots of weird layout things, not like any normal Meridian transport I’ve ever seen. Some things work pretty well if you hook up a portable power to them. So, can I keep living there until you go broke, too?
Helton: Ah, weeeelllll, I guess there is enough room for us both-
Quinn: (from under the table) It’s a good ship. And a nice one.
Helton: -for all three of us, until I can get a better idea of what I’m up against. Sure. In exchange for all the help and info you can give me, you have a free room there.
Allonia: Any room I want?
Helton: For now. Why?
Quinn: I get the story-room!
Helton: Sure you can. I think. Unless I get it.
Helton mouths to Allonia “story-room?” She shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head in ignorance of the reference.
Allonia: Can I expand the hydroponics section?
Helton looks at her sharply, wondering about the sudden cooperation.
Helton: (carefully) There is a hydroponics section?
Allonia: Sort of. All sorts of interesting things on board, to be honest.
Helton: If it doesn’t interfere with any other repair work, yes, I suppose.
INT – day – Information desk
Helton and Allonia stand at the information desk of the spaceport. The same gal as before sits at the counter.
InfoClerk: It was the Dutchman? No wonder it wasn’t listed… Well, let me see, power, power… Hmmm… Yes, there is a shore power bill of… That can’t be right…
He looks up at Helton, apologetically.
Helton: That’s OK. I won a pretty good pile when I won this ship. What’s the damage?
InfoClerk: It says power can be restored to pad D9 with a payment of 182,000.
Helton: (incredulous) I’m sorry, I could have sworn you said “one hundred eighty two thousand.”
InfoClerk nods her head sheepishly. Even Allonia looks rather surprised at the bill.
Helton takes a deep breath and makes a face indicating he’s biting back his desire to make a rather profane retort. He taps his fingers on the counter for a moment in thought.
Helton: (thinking aloud) OK. Assets can come with liabilities. Can’t make it fly if I can’t get it started. It still leaves enough to make some repairs, or at least makes it easier to sell… (louder) OK. Do it. Get the power back on.
Allonia: (impressed) You’re richer than I thought you were.
Helton: Not any more. I just hope it doesn’t become a colossal case of “easy come, easy go.”
Fade to black.
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