The Stars came Back -047- Memory crystals

Fade in

INT -night- top deck passageway, just down from the Captains Cabin

Quinn sneaks along in the dim red lights of the night shift, and peers around a corner. Talking to himself, looking like he’s playing a game. He’s wearing his “uniform” and a small back-pack.Quinn: (like he’s talking to himself) Secret agent Quinn on a super-secret special assignment. All clear. No enemy troops in sight.

He scamper down the hall, stopping in front of the captains cabin. He looks this way, and that. The security panel next to Helton’s door clicks from a soft red light to green, and a click is heard as it unlocks. He didn’t touch it. It opens slowly and silently. Quinn peeks in. Helton is not seen. Quinn stalks in, goes to the desk, and looks at the three reddish crystals on it.

Ship AI: (OC, whispering) Yes, those.

Quinn quickly takes off the pack, puts the crystals inside, closes it up, puts it on, and heads for the door. He peeks around the corner to check the hallway, and steps out into it. The door closes silently behind him, and softly clicks locked, and the light changes to red. Quinn slips down the passageway holding his hands up and pointing his index finger as if he’s holding a pistol at a high ready.

Dissolve to

INT – night -Quinn’s cubby.

He takes the crystals out of his pack, and holds them up to the camera / screen he was watching earlier.

Quinn: Now what?

On the screen a diagram appears of the dozen socket holes next to the computer screen, it shows an animation of removing the socket covers, inserting the crystals, and putting the socket cover back on. Quinn does as the animation indicates, biggest on on top, smallest on the bottom.

Shop AI: (very friendly female teacher voice) Thank you very much, Quinn. Now, remember, I’m keeping it as a surprise for them, so please don’t tell anyone about this. It’ll be fun.

Quinn: Lautus. Keeping secrets is what secret agents DO. When’s my next assignment?

Ship AI: All in good time, Quinn. Soon. In the mean time, what story would you like to hear?

Quinn: How about the one where you met the first starship captain?

Ship AI: Ah, one of my favorites. I was based at Luna Base Four, when…

As the ship talks, Quinn snuggles down into a pillow (sort of like a small bean-bag) with a blanket, watching pictures of Old Earth and a moon base pass on the screen.

Fade to black.

Fade in

INT – day – engineering

Helton, Stenson, and one of Stenson’s new hires are working on a part in the work cradle, which has it’s guts spread around them. They all have their hands in it, and are looking at diagrams and parts, and turning wrenches and screw-drivers. Visible in the background is an open hatch to the passageway.

Stenson: Yeah, that one right there.

Helton: OK. Got it.

Allonia walks by the door, stops, and sticks her head in.

Allonia: Seen Quinn recently?

Helton: He was in here a little while ago. Took off all of a sudden.

Allonia: He needs a bath – know where he was headed?

Stenson: (To the air, pitched to be aimed at the ship AI). Tajemnica, location of Quinn?

Ship AI: (OC) Unable to locate.

Allonia: Tajemnica won’t tell me, either. Says it would be cheating; Quinn is playing hide and seek.

Helton: Follow the tracks, then.

Allonia: Tracks?

Stenson: (skeptically) We ARE on a spaceship, you know.

Helton: And HE’S a five year old boy in need of a bath.

Helton waves his slightly greasy hand and the surrounding clutter and stuff. Both Stenson and Allonia kind of nod and shrug in agreement, as if to say “well, yeah, THAT’S true!” Allonia ducks back out.

Dissolve to

Allonia walking quietly down a A-deck passageway. She is looking around carefully. She looks more closely at a bulkhead. She smiles.

Inset – a small, slightly greasy and shiny, waist-high hand-print.

Allonia: (quietly, smiling) Ah, the garden. Gotch’a!

Cut to

INT – Day – Engineering

Helton, Stenson, and troopie are still working on things in engineering. They appear focused on the diagrams on screens and their own small pieces of things. Suddenly, music starts playing over the ship’s PA system. Fast banjo and other strings: Foggy Mountain Breakdown. The three pause in their labors and look at one another, wondering what’s up. The volume picks up. Helton opens his mouth like he’s about to say something. Suddenly Quinn goes streaking by the open door, stark naked and running like the wind. Right behind him is Allonia in hot pursuit.

Allonia: Quinn, you come BACK HERE!

Stenson and Helton chuckle.

Troopie: Ship’s computer is few bits shy of a full memory bank.

Helton: MORE than a few. ‘Quirky’ is an understatement. Try querying “plumbing diagram.”

Troopie looks skeptically at them.

Troopie: Tajemnica, “Plumbing diagram”

On a nearby screen, an image of female reproductive system, including ovaries, uterus, etc. The troopies eyes show surprise.

Helton: That’s new. I got a schematic for a hydro-power dam last time. Just have to be VERY specific sometimes.

They go back to working silently as the music fades a bit.

A few moments pass, as they continue to work. The high-speed bluegrass tune ends suddenly with a screech. They exchange glances. A few moments later Allonia walks by the door with Quinn tucked under her arm, struggling futilely.


Allonia: Tough. It’s time whether you want one or not.

The sounds of struggle disappear down the corridor.

Troopie: Little guy doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Helton and Stenson grin and nod agreement.

They go back to work.

Fade to black