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.
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.
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.
[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 :-)]