The Stars Came Back -050- Cobb’s

Fade in

EXT – day – the cab of a light truck driving down the road in an industrial area.

Allonia and Kaminski are sitting in the cab, talking, with Kaminski driving. Kaminski is out of uniform. Allonia is wearing a snug but not overly tight turtle-neck and pants.Kaminski: You’re sure you want to do this so soon after…?

Allonia: Yes, I’m fine. Really. I talked a long time with Kat. It’s OK.

Kaminski: Usually it takes a while to really work through something like that.

Allonia: Stop worrying! I’m good. I know what he did was wrong, and what I did was right. As Kat said, he killed himself by choosing to do something stupid. I just happened to be the one that had to make sure he won’t do it to anyone else, ever again. The world is a better place for it.

Kaminski: I know the training squad was better for it. All kinds of lessons for them, there.

Allonia: It was weird.

Cut to a scene showing the action in the garden with Darch in silent B&W slow-motion, as Allonia describes it, with her words as voice over

Allonia: (cont) (VO) He came at me, said we should be alone together, and then it was like everything suddenly moved in slow motion – his lips moved, but no sound came out. I don’t remember seeing anything but him starting to get undressed as he got closer. When he was close enough, I grabbed his knife and stuck it in him, and he just stood there. I though I must have done something wrong and just hit his body armor, so I grabbed his gun, and he STILL just stood there with a goofy expression on his face, with his lips moving but no words. I shot him, but the gun didn’t make any noise, and he just stood there, looking surprised. I waited FOREVER for him to fall, so I though there must be something wrong with the ammunition, so I shot until I started to see blood, and I stopped and waited for him to fall over, and he STILL just stood there like a post. I wanted some room, so I gave him a kick, and he seemed to just leap into the air and drift across the room like we were in space, and then bounced slowly off the bench onto the floor. So I just stood there covering him until you guys showed up an hour later.

Cut back to the interior of the vehicle.

Kaminski: Classic tachypsychia, tunnel vision, and auditory exclusion. Sounded like an auto-pistol to me.

Allonia: Yes, Kat explained it to me. I’m sorry he did what he did, but (shrug) choices have consequences. I’ll never forget it, but I’m not going to punish myself for defending myself effectively. Maybe with more training, I’ll be less of a target, and I won’t have to ever do that again.

Kaminski: Sounds like a healthy attitude. Not one most come to so easily. That’s what my dad always said: if you ever DO have to shoot in self-defense, make the most of it- shoot anyone that needs shooting, as many times as you have too. No point in doing a half-assed job of saving yourself. OK, if you’re sure… And, here we are.

The truck pulls into a parking spot. Allonia and Kaminski get out of a vehicle and stand in front of a large ware-house-like building with only a couple of windows in a dusty industrial district, with widely spaced industrial buildings, some with small offices in front. There are a several vehicles parked in the large parking lot, but it’s far from full. The sign over the door says “Cobb’s School of Public Relations

Allonia: I thought we were going to find more comfortable gun for me?

Kaminski: And this is THE place to go.

Kaminski retrieves a small satchel, closes the truck door, and they walk up to the building’s front door and go in.

(continuous) They walk into a large, well-lit showroom, with glass cases all around full of guns, and lots of guns hanging on the wall. To one side there are windows and a door with prominent words “Range Area – Ears & Eyes Required”. There are all sizes and shapes of guns – long guns, handguns, belt fed, a couple of tripod mounts on display, a remote-control auto-cannon displayed, and the “menu” reader-board showing specials of the week list things like “Zombie Apocalypse Pack – belt fed 12 ga with RC mount and 1000-round belt for only 1999!” and “Buy a case of ammo, get free range pass!” and “25mm Rifle Grenade classes starting next Tuesday – sign up now!” There are many small stacks of cases and half-empty shelves with boxes of ammo.

Kaminski leads Allonia over to the counter near the range area, where a young lady is behind the counter.

Vera: Hey, stranger! Hope you’re not here for another large-case order. Supplies are tight.

Kaminski: Hey, yourself, Vera! New shooter today- needs the beginning decider package.

Vera: Great! Always glad to get someone the right fit in feminine protection. (quietly to Allonia) He know his stuff – listen to him. At least when it comes to guns. Good to see you came more properly dressed than that one.

Vera nods down the counter, where at the far end a very artificially-enhanced and heavily made up young woman in a very low-cut top and spray-on-tight pants stands, hanging on the arm of an older man looking at guns and shooting supplies.

Kaminski: (quietly) She looks pretty well-equipped to me.

Allonia glares at him a bit as if to say “Men!”

Vera: (dryly) Yeah. Equipped with a great double-breasted brass catcher.

Kaminski: (defensively) That’s what I meant.

Vera: Yeah. Riiight.

Kaminski: (quietly aside to Vera) Five gets you ten we get a brass-dance on the first mag.

Vera: No dice. Not with THAT much cleavage. OK, then. Know what you want to start with?

Allonia looks at them like they are speaking a different language.

Kaminski: (getting back to the task at hand) Well, she’s already done a bit of shooting – I think we’ll start in the middle and work our way out. How about a Duty 9mm?

Vera: Good choice, right here.

Kaminski waves his wallet/ID at a scanner, it beeps, and Vera sets a box of 9mm ammo on the counter along with a gun rug. She opens the gun rug, pulls out a 9mm handgun, drops the mag and checks it to make sure it’s empty, racks the slide to check for a cleared chamber, inserts the empty mag, zips it up.

Vera: Eyes and ears?

Kaminski: Just for her.

Vera reaches under the counter and pulls out a pair of protective eye-ware and ear muffs and hands them Allonia. Kaminski Opens his bag, pulls out similar protection, puts them on, and they head through the double-doors (a “sound-lock”) onto the range.

Cut to

Angle view from in front of the firing line. Allonia’s hands can be seen holding a pistol, a sleek silvery metallic 9mm. BLAM, she fires. BLAM… BLAM! She sets it down, and shrugs as if to say “eh, OK, I guess.” There are shots from down the line a little ways, BANG! BANG-BANG-BANG! There there is a shriek, and the clatter of a dropped gun.

Cut to view down the firing line, on the shooter-side. The well-dressed floozy is dancing around, brushing at her chest, trying to get something out of her cleavage. She suddenly stops brushing, grabs the bottom edge of her top, pulls up far enough to grab the bottom of her bra, and pulls it out a bit. Two brass cases drop out and clatter onto the floor.

Kaminski: (with a big grin) Brass-branded in the first mag! Fashion is one thing. Common sense is another.

Allonia: (with a smile of understanding, tugging slightly at the collar of her shirt) Aaaahhh. I WONDERED why you were so specific.

Kaminski: Not that I’d MIND you wearing something like that. But NOT at the range.

The floozy and her sugar-daddy get to arguing, Kaminski and Allonia get back to finding the perfect shoot’n iron.

Cut back to a view from in front of the firing line, looking at what Allonia is trying out

Series of shots from same low angle as she tries different guns, taking a shot or two with each.

  • Black semi-auto, with a rail under it
  • Small stainless steel revolver, shooting with almost no recoil and no flash
  • Large SS revolver, longer barrel, huge flash and lots of recoil
  • Black polymer semi-auto
  • HUGE blued revolver with very long barrel
  • Small sleek black plastic semi-auto
  • Mid-sized, mid-caliber, shiny revolver
  • Futuristic fancy target pistol
  • Tiny 22 pocket pistol
  • Ugly, blocky polymer pistol with tri-rail, light, laser, micro-bayonet
  • Blued 1911 style
  • Silvery/stainless long-slide 1911 style with a rail, but no light.

Dissolve to

Camera at counter level, looking down the rental counter with Allonia standing at one side with Kaminski, talking with Vera on the other. We can’t see the gun in the box between them that they are talking about.

Allonia: – The small ones are OK, I guess, but they just don’t feel…

Vera: Substantial? Like they aren’t enough to do the job?

Allonia: Yes, exactly!

Kaminski: So you really like that one, eh?

Allonia: It’s kind of plain looking, but it’s comfortable. Good balance, just… FEELS right in my hand.

Kaminski: Well, not what I would have expected, but if you’re sure-

Allonia holds up a target with a dozen or more holes in a good group in the middle.

Allonia: Yes, I’m pretty sure.

Vera: How it feels and shoots REALLY counts. If it’s just LOOKS that bothers you, I’m sure we can dress it up a bit. A bit of engraving or inlay, good leather…

Allonia: I don’t know-

Kaminski: We can look at standard engraving designs and patterns, and if they don’t have something you like with the gunsmith here, we’ll see if maybe Stenson can do something more to your liking.

Allonia: Or maybe SGT Kaushik- I hear he’s pretty good at metal working. I think his Komenagen had something to do with that. OK. Wrap it up – we can figure out what sort of pattern we want after-

Vera: -Not “we.” YOU. It’s YOUR gun, it’s going to be an extension of YOU. YOU pick the pattern YOU want on it. What anyone else thinks is their problem.

Kaminski nods in firm agreement.

Allonia: Right. I will figure out what pattern I want after I see what people can do.

Vera: Absolutely right. Be sure you bring it in when it’s done – I want to see how you dress it up.

Vera and Kaminski nod, agreeing it seems like a good choice. Vera reaches for the box lid, and puts it on.

Fade to black.

[Anyone want to explain the jokes to Ubu52, who said she isn’t familiar with Firefly?]

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11 thoughts on “The Stars Came Back -050- Cobb’s

  1. This whole rape thing just isn’t working for me. Darch was taking off his ARMOR, not his pants! That’s like taking off your jacket! I can’t imagine anyone shooting someone because they removed their jacket! You really need to rework the scene so that he’s at least touching her or unzipping his pants. The way you have it now, it isn’t realistic.

    • Two things:
      Sometimes intent can be pretty easy to read, even from very subtle things in body language or tone, and waiting too long to act is both stupid and dangerous. Think how many different things the phrase “oh, great” can mean depending on how it’s delivered. She KNEW what sort of person he was, as he’d been on board for a while at that point. Starting to get undressed, or at least striping off the most restrictive items, is enough to clearly demonstrate mindset. She was at the workbench against the back wall, so there was no place to retreat TO without going past him or easily getting cut off. Would YOU wait until the guy was stark naked and handing a you notarized letter of intent before you took defensive action? As Harbin points out, it was obviously NOT a well-thought-out plan.
      Secondly, you might be right, and while I think it’s pretty clear to most people, it might be better theatrically to add a bit more there. I’ll think about it, and if I change it I’ll post a link back to it when I do. In the mean time, go with it.

      As always, thanks for the input.

      • AFAIK, the rape scene was the first scene that had both Allonia and Darch in it. You’re assuming that we are going to know that she would know “what kind of person he is” (by the way, what kind of a person is a rapist anyway?).

        See what everyone else thinks, but I’m just trying to help you write a better story by pointing out the holes in what you have written. Critics suck, I know, but sometimes they are helpful. 😉

        • I asked for critique, and you are providing a potentially valid point. And if we can get this far with little more than nit-picks, and this is the first real “nah, don’t buy it quite like that” thing, then I must be on the right track, so bring it ON! 🙂

          Of course, as the author, I can stipulate “his intention was to rape her, and she correctly read that from his words and actions,” which totally justifies her defensive reaction. Yes, it’s the first scene where we actually see them together, but it is clearly implied that they know one another. She had primary cooking duty early on, so they would have seen one another at LEAST once a day, likely three times. He made comments to Kaminski about her. He’s been involved in stupid shit, like sticking a round in Horkle’s rifle as a “joke,” and word of things like that get around. She’s smart – she’d know he’s a total loser.

          But if you honestly think it’s ambiguous (not just that it isn’t quite right theatrically), then there are two obvious possibilities.
          A) there are some REALLY clueless folks in the world whose minds are not capable of processing basic human interaction data, and I need to be a LOT less subtle about some things, and that might explain a lot of things about movies as they are now made, as well as decisions people make in real life;
          B) Maybe it WOULD be better to make it totally and blatantly obvious, a “no possible way to deny it” sort of scene. As it works out later, there ARE claims to the contrary, and perhaps it would work better that way, so that you KNOW the other claims are wrong. Like I said, I’m thinking about it. It’s a toss-up in some ways; based in part on her background, she should stop the attack as soon as possible after perceiving it, but she’s also nice enough to want to believe that is ISN’T what it looks like, until it’s undeniable.

          I hope your rapist question was rhetorical.

          • Maybe add a lewd comment or wolf-whistle here and there prior to this scene? Maybe him sitting somewhere, polishing his boots, and *staring* at her (not just glancing up, but rubbing a hole in the same spot on his boots as he target-locks on her)? An inappropriate comment in the chow line that earns him a slap upside the back of the head from Kaminski? Easy enough to work into a scene, and they won’t take more than two or three lines to add in.

            Hope it was a 1911 she bought. Most fun I’ve had with a large caliber handgun was a rented Desert Eagle 1911 single-stack .45. I had to check a time or two to make sure the piece didn’t have my name engraved on it somewhere.

  2. I think I’m with Ubu on this one. There definitely has to be more intent shown – perhaps even a bit of a scuffle. If I lit up every seedy character who’s approached me at a gas pump with a lame-assed question, I’d have a pickup load of dead seedy characters. I don’t think you’ve established AOJ sufficiently.

    BTW – Kaminski’s Dad sounds kind of familiar. Is he by any chance an offspring of Greg Hamilton?

    • Yeah, I’m starting to lean that way, too. From my perspective, knowing the characters as I do, there is no question of intent, or interpretation of same. But I’ll allow that for screen purposes, more might be needed. He’s a known seedy character to her, not just some stranger. I gave it a quick shot, and I find it interesting that my mind rebels rather strongly at trying to get into his mind enough to write a detailed attempted rape scene, even though I know it doesn’t get completed. I’ll see what I can come up with. (Side note – it’s possible the world would be a better place if you had a truck-full of dead seedy characters, but that’s not part of the story. And after the third or fourth one, the paperwork might get considerable.)

      As for Kaminski’s pa studying the ancient and revered texts of the venerable gun-jitsu master Hamilton, I’d allow there is a possibility 🙂

  3. I also think I’d loose some of the props that would really date the scene. For example, the whole zombie thing is bound to burn out eventually. When does this take place? By the time this script hits the theaters, Zombie Apocalypse will be another tired old fad – shelved along with “All your blasters are belong to us.”

    • Maybe. But styles and fads recycle. Maybe “Clone Catastrophe” or “cyborg wars” would be better. But the idea of appealing to pop-schlock, er, culture, should be recognizable.
      Circa 2650.

  4. If Darch’s “intent to rape” is such a problem, then have him ostentatiously close and latch the hatch behind him after he enters the hydroponics area.

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