The Stars Came Back -068- Inbound

INT – Day – Bridge

Helton at command, Cooper, Quiritis, Bipasha sit at the controls keeping an eye on things.

Cooper: Got incoming. Small ship, looks like a private craft.

Helton: ETA?

Bipasha: Um, maybe a minute, or two. Soon.

Helton: Cooper, next chance you get, more training on the sensors.

Cooper: Sure, LOVE to.

Bipasha: We ALL need to get better, Mr Captain sir.

Helton: Tajemnica, how long till they get here?

Ship AI: (OC) They will arrive on impact and deceleration to a relative velocity of zero.

Helton: Great. REALLY useful.

Quiritis: Here, like this.

Bipasha watches as Quiri taps a few control screen options. An answer flashes up on the screen.

Bipasha: About 45 seconds!

Helton: (into comm) Allonia, you and Kwon and family ready to sort out the refugees?

Kwon: (OC, on speaker) Yup. Got it covered. Most hatches closed and locked. Everyone in place.

Helton: How many out there now?

Cooper: Couple dozen at the ramp, a few more heading this way.

Suddenly the screens in front of Bipasha and Quiritis, which show a diagram of the local area with buildings, roads, etc., suddenly explode with lots of colored dots.

Bipasha: Whoa! All kinds of stuff suddenly showing up. Movement everywhere.

Cooper: Computer, show all people on Main Screen.

An image shows up on several small smaller screens around, one in front of each person. It shows a map of the area out about five km, with thousands of dots all over the place, some in clusters, some single, so many it almost looks like static.

Cooper: I said Main Screen!

All the images except the one in front of Quiritis go away.

Cooper: Crap. Useless Computer. We ALL need to see what’s going on.

The image shows up in front of everyone BUT Cooper.

Helton: That’s a lot. But… That’s out to more than 5k, that can’t be right. Limit range to one kilometer.

The screen adjusts, and still shows hundreds of dots in the area, many moving slowly their way. Cooper leans over to look at Bipasha’s screen, and it disappears before he can get more than a brief glance, as though the computer is hiding it from him.

Helton: That’s a problem, if it’s not a glitch. We don’t have ROOM for that many, let alone air if we button up. If that’s right, we’ll be making a lot of trips.

Cooper: Hey, as long as they pay us for each trip, we can make as many as we need. Come’on ‘puter, show it on MY screen! Damn thing’s as useless as the boss crashing a crew party.

Suddenly an image appears on the main screen. It shows the cockpit of a very small private flier, with three people, the CEO Penger Trask, his wife, and and a pilot wearing a helmet and flight suit. They look scared. The signal is weak and has a lot of static, then suddenly clears up and comes in sharp and clear.

Trask Pilot: This is Trask Flier 61, calling anyone at the field. We are damaged and losing altitude. Get emergency vehicles ready. I say again, we have been hit by ground fire, we are damaged, and we will be coming in hard. Please respond.

Bipasha: This is Tajemnica, we see you. There isn’t anyone at the tower, it’s abandon. Land near us if you can. We’ll try to help.

Trask Pilot: Thank God there’s someone there!

Trask: (over the pilots shoulder) Why was it abandon!?

Helton: Stop talking. Just land. We can talk when you’re down.

The pilot nods, the screen clears.

They look out the window, and see the flier approaching in the distance, trailing smoke.

Cut to

EXT – Day – boarding ramp

A surge of people comes around the corner of the port building, heading toward the ship. In the background, the Trask Flier is getting a lot closer, and people are pointing to it and watching it. Some are starting to yell that it’s headed right for them. There is some screaming, and some of the people run away from the ship. A few head around the corner to hide behind it. The flier IS headed almost straight for them. It comes in fast, at too steep an angle, now trailing flame. It hits hard, breaking off landing struts and sending debris flying. A hard crash that slides to a stop not 50 feet from the side boarding stairs, which are not down. People stand and watch but keep back from the flames, wondering what’s going to happen. The side door drops rapidly, and Lag, wearing light armor and carrying a carbine on a sling across his front sprints over to the side of the flier. He pops the hatch, and helps the CEO out, who looks shaken and is bleeding. Then Lag helps Lucretia Trask, which he hands off to Trask as soon as she’s out. He glances over at the growing crowd. He nods to the door

Lag: GET ON!

Trask: The Pilot! And the boxes in back! Get the boxes in back!

Lag heads back into the cabin of the small flier.

Cut to

Interior of flier. The pilot is slumped in his seat, part of the side crumpled into him. It looks like a piece of debris is sticking into his chest. Lag checks his neck pulse, shakes his head slightly, and heads for the back.

Cut to

The ground outside the crashed flier

Lag emerges with two large over-sized-attache-case-like boxes, Trask and Lucretia are limping up the stairs while watching the flier. Lag runs to the hatch, throws the boxes aboard ahead of them, shakes his head to them about the pilot, and heads back for the flier. Lucretia starts crying, and Trask herds her up the stairs into the ship. Lag comes out with one more large small-luggage-type box, and runs over to toss it in when the flier has a small explosion and is engulfed in flames. Lag glances down the side of the ship, sees some people headed for his side door, runs up the stairs and tosses in the box. He brings his rifle to a low ready, clearly ready to use it to prevent boarding, and hits the side button to close up the side entry. The people headed for the side hatch stop, looking angry, as it closes in front of them.

Cut to

Cargo bay side door hatch

Trask emerges, supporting his crying and bloody wife on one side, carrying a box in the other hand. Lag is right behind them, carrying two boxes. There is a cluster of refugees across by the opposite door, being corralled by Allonia (looking no-nonsense in camo and light armor, hair in a braid, carrying a carbine) and John (Kwon’s son, similarly dressed). Quinn is seen peeking out of a mid-deck window.

CEO Wife: That poor pilot!

Lag: Worry about yourself right now. Get up to sick bay. QUINN! Show these two to sick bay! On the double, soldier!

Trask: Lag, what are you doing here? I thought-

Lag: What’s in the boxes?

Trask: VERY important paperwork. But what-?

Lag: We can talk later. How important?

Trask: Very.

Lag looks at Trask acutely, eyes evaluating the expression on Trask’s face. Lag opens a hatch next to the airlock entry; it’s a small store-room, mostly full. He tosses the boxes in and shuts the door.

Lag: Tajemnica, Bolt and Lock, sensitive materials. (then to Trask) You can get ‘em later. OK, now follow Quinn, he knows where Sick Bay is. Quinn, show ‘em up, then back to your post in case we need you again.

Trask: Why are you-?

Lag: Just go, we’re kind’a busy.

Quinn: Come ON, sir.

They head off for the stairs. Lag heads across to the group of refugees. He looks them over. There are about twenty of them, and they seem to be mostly family groups with kids.

Lag: Any adults here without small children?

Two raise their hands, a man and a woman.

Lag: You stay here! We’ll find a place for you later. The rest of you, follow me.

Lag leads the group towards the stairs.

Lag: Now, can anyone tell me what’s been happening here?

Several of the refugees start talking at once.

Lag: One at a time, please! (pointing) You first. Walk and talk! Keep moving! GO ahead now-

Fade to black

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2 thoughts on “The Stars Came Back -068- Inbound

  1. Bipasha: This is Tajemnica, we see you. There isn’t anyone at the tower, it’s abandon. Land near us if you can. We’ll try to help.

    Should read: “There isn’t anyone at the tower, its abandoned.”

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