EXT – Day – in the cab of a light truck
View in through the side window. Two soldiers in full combat armor (helmets off) drive down the dusty road leading to pad D9. CPL Kaminski, a huge, powerfully built Viking-looking guy drives while eating a brown food-ration bar. SGT Kaushik, a trim light-skinned East Indian, is in the passenger seat.
CPL Kaminski: (defensively) -She said “recon and secure the building.”
SGT Kaushik: When the major or Top tells you that, yeah, you need armor, air cover, and a hot line to the artillery battery. When the Lawfare Officer tells you, you gotta be smart enough to know she means look it over and get a three year lease with an option to buy. All this gear (indicates the armor) is useless to check out a building with.
CPL Kaminski grunts assent and looks at the food bar, throws it down on the dash in disgust.
SGT Kaushik: Not likely to get better soon. Top says keep a low profile in town, and there are not a lot of HQ services out here yet. Get used to it.
They drive a bit further, approaching the building on the outskirts of the space-port.
CPL Kaminski: That’s gotta be it. What’s that next to it?
SGT Kaushik: It’s a ship, dumbass.
CPL Kaminski: (sarcastically) Well, no shit. I MEAN, what KIND of ship?
SGT Kaushik: (Very studiously, after taking a long look) Old.
They pull up next to the large hanger / warehouse, number 1701, and look at it.
CPL Kaminski: Seems in decent shape. Doesn’t really looks big enough, though.
SGT Kaushik: Drive around it, let’s see all sides.
Shift camera view to beside the building, aiming toward the end of the Tajemnica with the down ramp.
CPL Makinski takes off around the corner of the building in a cloud of dust, with both of them looking at the building, a basic industrial metal beige box with a 8m roof, some large doors, and a few windows. About ten second later, a van-type vehicle pulls up, the back doors open, and out jump a half dozen rough looking gents in coveralls, and from the front steps the weasely-looking Seeless. They head for the ramp. About ten seconds later, CPL Kaminski pulls back into view, and parks just behind and to the side of the van.
SGT Kaushik: Someone’s home, looks like.
CPL Kaminski: Think Chief Stenson’d like to know about the ship parked across the street?
SGT Kaushik: Oh hell yeah. We should drop in and say “HI”.
They hop out of their vehicle, check and sling their rifles, and head for the ramp. The camera follows after them. They walk around the corner to the ramp, and look in to see Helton on the cargo bay deck just above the ramp, with Seymore’s thugs in a loose semi-circle around him.
Seeless: So, if you want anything done, you go through US, right? No more calls to anyone else that can’t do the job. Capice?
CPL Kaminski: *Ahem* Don’t mean to interrupt any local issues, but can anyone tell us who owns this ship?
Seeless: (angry and mean) Who’s ask’n?
SGT Kaushik: (polite but firm) We are.
Seeless: Not your business.
CPL Kaminski: Yes, it is. We’ll be using the building across the street. We wanted to find out who is blocking our spectacular view of the… view.
Seeless: (sneering) We’ll talk to you when we are finished with him.
SGT Kaushik: Like I said, I just want to know about the ship. Then we’ll be on our way.
Helton: I’m the owner, and they-
Helton: (half under his breath to himself) Oh, I’m wish’n Harbin was here.
CPL Kaminski: (sharply) WHO did you say?
Helton: (describing him with a question, as if to ask “does this match the description of the Harbin YOU re thinking of?”) Harbin? Ninety-five kilos of lethal bad-assery?
Seeless: I SAID SHUT! IT!
Kaushik: How do you know him?
Helton: Some action against pirates together.
Seeless looks like he’s about to have an aneurysm from being ignored. The enforcers are looking alternate confused, uncertain, angry, and mean. This is NOT a situation they are used to.
The CPL and SGT exchange a glance, and simultaneously, rapidly, and with practiced grace un-sling their rifles and rack a round into the chamber and go to low ready while spreading out a bit.
SGT Kaushik: (serious sergeant command voice) PLEASE DISEMBARK IMMEDIATELY! ANY LEGITIMATE LEGAL DISPUTES WILL BE DEALT WITH IN THE PRESENCE OF UNIFORMED LAW ENFORCEMENT AND WITH PROPER PAPERWORK PRESENTED FRONT AND CENTER! FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL BE MESSY! MOVE IT!
The hired muscle move out like they are not used to confronting rifles. Seeless moves a bit more slowly, used to being the one who is scary and in-charge.
Seeless: You haven’t heard the last of this, Mr Rich Guy. Not by a long shot.
Helton: I wouldn’t be talking about long shots when someone has a rifle on you. It works out badly sometimes.
Seeless: I’ve got friends in HIGH PLACES!
Kaminski: (dangerously) I doubt they’re as useful as our friends in low places. Now MOVE IT!
Helton regards the two armored soldiers on his doorstep. They look at him after the last of Seymore’s men depart and the van roars away.
Helton: Thanks for some VERY timely support.
CPL Kaminski: No problem. Top would’a killed us if he knew we let someone he served with get hurt and didn’t do anything.
Helton: I didn’t say we SERVED together, I just said I was in some action with him.
SGT Kaushik: (cautions / curious) But he’s been in uniform since forever, so how…?
Fade to black.