The Stars Came Back -028- Spring Cleaning

Sounds of clanging, heavy working on machines, chains rattling.

Fade in

INT – Day – Cargo bay

View from inside the cargo deck, looking out the open main aft door. A half dozen soldiers in camo uniforms are working clearing stuff from the cargo bay. There are two chain hoists from the ceiling going down to the ramp, which is now partially raised, and each chain hoist has three soldiers hanging from the chains (basically climbing them) and they are just barely able to lift the ramp that slowly inches up. Chief Stenson is in charge, signaling to one of the teams to climb faster. Outside a single guard in light body armor with a rifle can be seen standing. Quinn sits on top of a pile of crates to one side, wide-eyed, taking it all in. Camera view pulls back and Lag is standing next to Harbin, watching progress.

Lag: What do you think?

Harbin: (looking critically on) I can make it work.

Lag: (slightly sarcastic) When was the last time you had a real ship to train recruits on?

Harbin grunts to the effect it’s an irrelevant question.

Lag: (very casually) Have a good leave?

Harbin nods the affirmative.

Lag: Anything you need to tell me about?

Harbin:(not really wanting to answer this line of questions) … No.

Lag: Oh, by the way. Did I tell you who the owner of the ship is?

Harbin grunts to acknowledge the question.

Lag: Guy by the name of Helton. Helton Strom.

Harbin:… Good man.

Lag: Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to tell me about your leave?

Harbin: A bit more eventful than planned. We worked it out. Medical knows the relevant details. I’m fit for duty.

Lag: Hmmm… Good man you say?

Harbin: I trust his character. Flying… not so much.

Lag: My thoughts too. How do you happen know about his flying?

Harbin: … I’d rather not go into details, sir.

Fade to

Series of scenes of people working on, and cleaning, the ship.

  • CPL Kaminski dragging a stack of thin, dirty, holey mattresses from a berth room.
  • A soldier/recruit scrubbing down the serving line in the galley.
  • Quinn swinging from a make-shift swing in the cargo bay, using chain hoists as the supporting lines, while soldiers move things around and clearing the cargo bay.
  • Helton oiling a hinge on a hatchway door.
  • Chief Stenson laying on his back in a cramped space, wrench in one hand, odd-looking ship part in the other, and a puzzled look on his face, and he’s looking back and forth between the part and a system diagram on a small wall-mounted screen next to him, trying to figure things out.
  • Helton popping a standard 30x50cm display screen with an obvious crack on it out of a socket in the main dash of the bridge, and popping another one into place, and moving a locking lever to secure it.
  • Allonia setting a pair of steaming-hot-fresh-from-the-oven loaves of bread out onto the now-spotless serving line in the galley, then glaring good-naturedly at a soldier standing in the nearby doorway eying her and the food appreciatively, then shooing them away, back to work.
  • Helton in the bridge, looking at the various station. They all look like they are positioned to STAND at them. There seem to be five spots, two in front, one angled at each side, one back central. Each has a variety of both display panels and hard-function switches, dials, levers, etc. Each position also has a swing-out chair with flip-up head-rest and safety harness. He swings a chair out, swings it back. He stands in front of one of the positions, runs his hands over the controls, checks the reach of things. Suddenly he starts gliding away from it. He looks down, and he sees the floor moving backwards! NO, it’s a built-in treadmill, so that people standing watch can walk or jog in place, in order to keep in shape and keep alert while in space for a while, and the fold-out chairs are only for when going into action! There are a dozen smallish windows, and it’s obvious they are massively thick. Looking at the types of things at each station, it looks like they might be (left to right, looking forward) communications/sensors, flight control, navigation, weapons, and (in the back middle) command.
  • Stenson plugging diagnostic multimeter probe into a socket. He pushes a few buttons on the tool’s screen. There is a spark at the plug, then another from the tool, and a small puff of smoke rises from it. Stenson looks surprised, and eyes both ship and tool suspiciously. Quinn is standing to the side, watching, fascinated.
  • A line of various recruits in a ragged line in the now clean and tidy cargo bay, not in uniform, with Harbin in camo uniform walking down the line of them, looking them over. He gets to the the end of the line, does an about face, looks at them all again, and shakes his head as if disappointed with what he sees.
  • Stenson and a dark-skinned mechanic work in the engineering. The mechanic pulls an obviously old and damaged soup-can sized part from a mounting spot in an access hatch, and pops a much cleaner similar part into place, then gives Stenson a thumbs up. Stenson flips a switch, and there is a puff of smoke, an arc of electricity, and a small explosion from the new part, as the two of them dive for cover.
  • Quinn is sitting in a very small industrial-looking cubby-hole (a little more than a meter cube), looking at a screen, on which there are words and pictures and a pretty school-marm sort of teacher figure in what look like a reading program, with letters and words in English, Hebrew, Greek, Cyrillic, Kanji, and what looks sort of like runes. He is smiling happily. There are a dozen empty but covered “sockets” that something could be inserted into, about 2x5cm, next to the screen. As the camera pulls back and zoom out, we see he is sitting far back at the end of a small, dark, access tunnel, well away from the other people. Barely visible on the wall is painted a number “5”.
  • A soldier uses a pressure-washer to clean graffiti and crud off the side of the ship. The difference between the cleaned and uncleaned is stark – smooth grayish metal vs a century of STUFF.
  • Stenson, now wearing a helmet and body armor, looks cautiously across the engine room, then carefully flips the switch. Nothing happens for a few moments, and he starts to smile and relax. THEN a part across the room blows up and sends debris flying by.
  • Zoomed in view down a mid-level passageway with all the hatch doors open. Harbin stands next to a line of soldiers, with CPL Kaminski in the front, wearing light armor and carrying a rifle at port arms. Harbin slaps him on the shoulder, and he runs down the passageway, deftly jumping the threshold of each hatch while ducking and transitioning his gun from port arms (where it would run into the hatch sides) to running at “present arms” and back, so the vertical rifle doesn’t hit the hatches. As he gets very near the camera, he turns off to the side, “showing them how it’s done”. Harbin slaps the next soldier, a recruit in uniform and helmet, but no armor, and with an obviously fake training rifle. He runs forward, makes the first hatch with the jump-duck-present-arms, but doesn’t make the second, and with dummy rifle still across his chest he tries to jump through the hatch, and clothe-lines himself across the chest with the rifle, falling heavily backward onto the deck. Harbin just looks at him, and closes his eyes and shakes his head, then watches the recruit stand up unsteadily and try again, much more carefully and slower.
  • Allonia in the hydroponics room looking at large racks of newly growing greens, is adjusting the lighting on a rack. The place looks cheery, bright, warm, wholesome and healthy, as does she. Her cloths and style won’t win any high fashion shows, but are practical, comfortable, and show her form well. Quinn is playing in the dirt off to one side, and it looks like he is both filling small pots and building a small dirt castle in a larger tray.
  • Helton trying to move one of the heavy airlock door-hatches that is 3/4 open, and it isn’t budging. He shoves at it for a moment, and it doesn’t move. He puts a squirt of oil/de-ruster from a can on it’s hinges, and as he sets the can aside, Allonia comes past, and with a seemingly simple leaning-into-it shove swings the hatch the rest of the way open, then back again. She nods in satisfaction and moves on. Helton looks at her in surprise, then looks at the oil can, and back at her, then the hatch, curiosity on his face. She’s either a LOT stronger than she looks and her curves are hiding SERIOUS muscle, or that penetrating oil is REALLY good stuff.
  • Helton in the bridge swivels out the chair at the command position, and gently takes a seat, sits back, flips a switch off to one side, watches some screens light up, and gets a kid-in-a-candy-store grin.

ship1 ship2

Fade to black.

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2 thoughts on “The Stars Came Back -028- Spring Cleaning

  1. Pingback: The Stars Came Back -027- Training Value | The View From North Central Idaho

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