The Stars Came Back -048- Applying Rule Number 2

INT – DAY – A-Deck hydroponics garden

Allonia is alone near the back, wearing her newly made blue ship uniform (has more pockets, and a belt with small pouches and a belt-knife, but still shows her figure well), with many racks of bright lights and growing plants, with a workbench to one side and racks of growing supplies on the other. She’s focusing on using a cotton swab to pollinate a set of flowers on the bench. We hear the sound of the screen door to the garden room bang shut gently. She keeps working.

Darch:(OC) Hello, beautiful.

Allonia jumps and spins around. He is looking at her with a hungry, lustful expression. He’s wearing light body armor, and carrying a pistol and large fighting knife on his belt.

Darch: You know, you really are too nice to be alone in the world. How about we not be lonely together?

He steps toward her, starting to undo his body armor, intentions clear. She shrinks back, fear on her face.

Cut to

INT – Day – Officers mess

Helton, Lag, Harbin, Kaminski, Kat, and Kwon Sit around the table. A diagram of the ship is displayed on the table surface. Kwon is pointing to the mid-deck area.

Kwon: If we can open this up, maybe move this door here, to there?

Helton: No, Stenson says we still don’t know what’s in there – it’s sealed up ti-

BLAM! A shot rings out from down the hall, followed in very rapid succession by BA-BA-BLAM!

Instantly all the Plataeans have guns drawn covering the door (Kaminski and Harbin have the compact rifles they normally carry slung). Kaminski jumps to one side of the door to cover the hall one way, Harbin jumps to cover it the other, Kat steps back to aim down the middle of the doorway with her pistol, Lag is looking at his forearms mounted display and talking fast into it.

LAG: All units! Flash Status! Unknown shooter A deck! Squad up where you are and hold!

Inset – the screen on his forearm shows a simple ship diagram, with a bunch of dots representing the locations of people. They rapidly flash from yellow to green as people report their status as good, and some of the green dots move into defensive clumps where they are. One dot turns red, in the garden room, just down the passageway. No other dots are closer than the people with him.

Lag: One down in the garden, far corner! Cover and bound!

Harbin and Kaminski go out the door with lightning speed to cover the hall both ways, then Lag (with pistol pointed down at low ready) and Helton go out between them, and they hustle as a group down the passageway. Kwon draws a small lock-blade knife and hustles to the side of the door in crouching fighting stance with his left arm up to protect his head, and Kat covers the doorway with her pistol, back a bit with her finger off the trigger but ready.

Kaminski and Harbin fly through the garden door like the high-speed pros that they are, knowing speed is their friend, clearing the room and getting to the back in a flash, covering this way and that while Lag looks forward, heading for the back corner of the garden. They get there.

Allonia stands with a blank expression on her face and Darch’s pistol in her hands, pointing it at Darch, who lies on the floor, partially on a heap of stuff on the floor, near the side of the workbench, with his head and neck (and whole body) at very unnatural angles, four bloody holes in a tight group in his chest, and the hilt of his fighting knife sticking out of his ribs on the side. The Plataeans are not sure who to cover for a brief moment or what to do as they take in the sight.

Simultaneously, after a pause that feels like forever, but is only a fraction of a second, everyone decides on an action and starts moving again. Guns get secured, Lag talks into his wrist com, Kaminski calls for Kat, and Harbin does a quick check of the rest of room. Helton steps carefully forward, and gently takes the gun from her hands.

Allonia: (sounding flat) He… he was going to… to… he-

Helton: It’s all over Allonia. It’s over. You’re OK.

Helton drops the magazine from Darch’s pistol and clears the chamber, then sets them aside on the workbench.

Kaminski: Lieutenant Kat needed in the Garden.

Lag: (into wrist comm) Stand down. All units stand down. Squad leaders, check and clear weapons. Come-as-you-are inspection and announcements in the cargo bay in ten minutes.

Allonia: (shock and fear turning to rage) He was-was going to- he… the BASTARD was going to RAPE ME. HE WAS GOING TO RAPE ME! YOU-YOU…

Kat comes in and takes in the situation at at glance, and heads over to comfort Allonia. She takes her under her arm and leads her away.

Kat: Come on, let’s go outside. It’s over. You did what you had to do. It’s not your fault. It’s OK, you’re safe now.

Continuous. Camera follows Helton as he, Lag, Harbin and Kaminski go over to look at the scene and body. Kaminski leans in to examine it more closely. The workbench behind Darch is dented and bent, things that had been on it scattered or squished.

Kaminski: … Damn.

Lag:… Impressive.

Harbin: … Good group.

Helton: Ah, crap.

Kaminski looks closely at the knife in Darch’s side, which placed at a point in the armpit at an angle likely to miss the heart and just get some lung, right above the armor, which is partially pulled aside from his chest, where there are four bloody holes.

Kaminski: Deep and clean. Not the quickest way to STOP a guy, but definitely fatal without a fast medic.

Harbin: (eying the scene critically, like a grudgingly appreciative instructor when an unknown student does very well, looking for minor nits to pick) Easiest recruit in the lot of ‘em to kill. Decent throw.

Kaminski: (examining stuff under and around Darch, like the bent metal workbench) Hit hard. Didn’t secure his armor correctly, either. Or was UN-securing it.

Harbin: (sounding more and more disgusted as he goes on) Alone… and no restraints with him, major target selection failure, improperly equipped, poor location, wrong time… bad idea, no planning, piss-poor execution.

Kaminski: Looks to me like an unusually vigorous application of rule #2.

Harbin: Not very efficient. Killed him three times. Four if you consider the two pairs center-mass separate. More than strictly necessary-

Kaminski: -but for an amateur, any style points she lost in efficiency I think she MORE than made up for in thoroughness and clarity of communicating ‘leave me ALONE.’

Harbin grunts grudging agreement

Lag: (to Harbin) Background?

Harbin: Councilman Darch’s second son-

Helton: (sarcastically, throwing up hands) Great. Wonderful!

Lag: Ah. THAT Darch.

Harbin: (dryly) Minor criminal history, but shockingly, no convictions.

Kaminski: Kid might still be alive if he’d learned crime and stupidity have consequences earlier; instead he learned his parents can bail his sorry ass out.

Harbin: (gives Kaminski THE EYE for interrupting, no matter how on-the-mark the comment might be) So-so shot. Poor self-discipline. Decent physical condition. Chronic poor judgment. About as useful as running out of ammo… Would have been cut in the first round next week on psych.

Lag: Hell… Connected family. Attempted rape. Broken neck. Air conditioned with his own pistol AND playing scabbard. Cosmically bad execution of an attempted crime. In violation of both direct AND general orders, as well as common sense and decency…

They all look at Lag, wondering what he’ll decide. Lag takes a hard look at the body, the others standing around. He scratches the back of his neck absently, thinking.

Lag: One of the more spectacular training accidents I’ve seen in a long while… Corporal!

CPL Kaminski: (looking pained) Ahhhh, shit, sir!

Lag: He was in your squad, and you have a way with words. You and your team have the afternoon off to clean up the mess, and write up one the most EPIC death-by-stupidity reports of all time. I look forward to reading it. On the bright side, it looks like your civilian training passes inspection, Corporal. Or else you have an extraordinary student. Please see about setting her up with her own gear – next time, her attacker might not be so incompetent. (then, to Helton) Kat’s a good councilor, as well as a lawyer. She’s helped a lot of people through high-stress encounters, and will help her work through it. With the support she’ll get around here, I’m sure she’ll be fine, but its always good to be careful for a while.

Harbin grins wickedly at Kaminski’s discomfort, Kaminski gets a resigned expression, Lag looks and sounds very matter-of-fact. Helton lets out a sign of relief that things look like they’ll get taken care of.

Fade out.

[I rewrote this a bunch of times. Everything that “felt right” and would look good on screen, with Darch getting dumped and “justice served” and Lag & Co putting karmic justice ahead of an awkward sticking to the letter of the law and Allonia being comforted by a friend / councilor and etc, would ALSO have a bunch of “they wouldn’t do THAT, because -insert all the legal-by-current-US-crime-show practices-reasons.” But everything that was “highly realistic,” also seemed to have all the wrong plot-line outcomes, was sterile to read through, and just sort of “felt wrong.” So, I went with the “feel-good” path, in spite of some “reality” holes. Deal with it – it’s my universe :-)]



18 thoughts on “The Stars Came Back -048- Applying Rule Number 2

  1. I rather think this one was handled….rather well.

    You DO know of course that it will never be filmed this way.

    Its just not PC enough, and then your going to have the liberal wackjobs coming out the woodwork: “‘Little lady was jus asking for it, with her provocative body, and dress.

    Darch was just miss understood in his intention, and the boy never did anything to deserve the vicious attack brought upon him by this evil, murdering slut. He probally just wanted to sit down with a glass of mil and discuss the holy book of serenity…'”,

    • Hey, hey, hey – don’t get ahead of the story. I wanted THIS SCENE to be feel-good, or at least good gal gets a solid win, asshole gets his just deserts. Doesn’t mean no-one objects to it down the road. Part of the reason for the range scene earlier was to give an example of just what sort of cretin the guy was, so it was about as clear-cut a case of “good shoot” as anyone can imagine.

      • Oh he absolutely got what he deserved. I’m sure that the slimeball had other crimes in his past that were never reported, or paid off by daddy. Just this time he failed in target selection.

        Cant wait to see what you have planned for tomorrow. So many different questions, but I’m saving most of them till the end. Or at least until the main McGuffin shows up. If it already hasn’t…..

        Save me from Bleeding Heart Liberals.

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    • D’oh! Thanks. Kaminski is correct.
      Glad you liked it. I figured most folks that frequent this blog would.
      Darch made a classic category-error: he confused “nice female” with “helpless and weak.”

  3. Too bad about Darch. I understand that he was just in the process of “turning his life around.”

  4. I think the rape part is too short and the “after the rape” part is too long. He never even touches her in the first part. He says three lines and starts taking off his clothes? Where’s the foreplay? Where’s the part where he touches her hair and she slaps him back? It’s so short and then we go to blam blam blam. Not enough time has elapsed…

    • I considered that. Didn’t quite fit the bigger picture. More details in a couple of episodes. As for the time from one room to the other, it could easily be a slight back-up, so Kwon starting to talk was about the same time Darch did.

  5. Gotta go with Ubu on this one. Although we know Darch is a scumbag of the first order, there should be some more dialog between him and Allonia. Maybe a power-fisted bruise forming on her cheek, or a ripped uniform when everyone else shows up? And he comes in and very blatantly makes his intentions known, maybe leering and going into detail about what he’s going to do to her and “she’s gonna enjoy every minute of it, aren’t you sweetie?” as he starts to unlatch his armor….but she puts up with it until he removes the chestplate and she can get ahold of his bat-belt to gain access to his knife and firearm.

    Heh. Still, had to laugh at the follow-up dialog. Kaminski’s gonna have a grand time coming up with a “Dear sir, we regret to inform you that your son tripped over his own stupidity and fell down some stairs. Onto his knife. He then tried to make it to medical and slipped onto his own bullets, after which he broke his own darn neck trying to get his head out of his arse.”!!!

    • Heh…. I’m just thinking of the dialogue that could be. Darch: Whatcha doin? Allonia: Pollinating plants. Darch: I’d like to pollinate you.

        • Yeah, that’s a good one! Darch would be about intelligent enough to come up with something cheesy like that, although maybe something more along the lines of “I’m gonna pollinate you!” Gotta be something with definite intent, ie, there’s no doubt that he’s a raping douchebag who earned his four deaths, vs. just some polyester-suited lounge lizard with a cheesy come-on line.

    • Not quite sure what the report would say, but I’m pretty sure EPIC would describe it well. 🙂
      Still trying to work out the scene where Lag and Councilor Darch meet; it might get cut, but it’s got potential. It just needs to fit in with the rest of things somewhere.

    • Darch needs to at least put a hand on her and have her struggle a bit before we pull away.

      The way it’s written now, it’s almost like this — Darch: Well, hello there. I have come to rape you.

      • Well, he IS about that smart, if you know what I mean. Definitely have to think about a longer intro, there. I kind of like it the way it is, but I see you point. But there are two things coming up (tachypsychia (the only English word I know with 8 consonants in a row) and a detail about her past) that lead me to this rather fast cut. But you might be right. OTOH, I’m pretty sure that to her at the time it WAS pretty much that clear-cut.

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