The Stars Came Back -101- Borealis

Fade in

INT – DAY – Bridge of star-liner Borealis

The spacious bridge is full of busy, stressed-looking people trying to figure out what their situation is, pouring over sensor data, internal system monitors and readouts, and status reports from throughout the ship. The captain, a slender, dark-skinned, dapper man in immaculate uniform sitting in the command chair, looks worried. A middle-aged woman, the FIRST OFFICER, approaches him in a uniform with several stripes on the sleeves, also looking worried. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -100- Full Moon

Fade in

INT – DAY – Robo-moon entry tunnel

Aerial shot following the ship.

The tunnel is a couple of times wider than Tajemnica. It is lined on all sides with dual turrets, rail-gun in the middle and a laser bump on one side. Dozens of them. They pass slowly down the tunnel, with massive doors opening before them, and closing behind, like a giant series of air-locks. They pass five sets of them, and the space between them is much longer than the ship. They are going deep inside the moon. After the last set of doors, it opens into a large domed room, at least a kilometer across. Tajemnica rotates and settles down toward the “bottom” of it, settling onto a large well-lit “X” on the floor, one of a half-dozen. There are a number of large hatches surrounding the room, both at ground level and higher up on the walls. The side ramp lowers slowly. Allonia walks down the ramp, and over to a nearby kiosk, and extends her hand. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -098- Six Cores

Fade in

INT – DAY – Engineering

Stenson and his team look tired, unshaven, and excited.

They have clearly been hard at work a while, and are looking forward to a real test. The readouts are all in the green. Most are steady, some are fluctuating a bit. The sound of the drives is an intense, slightly pulsing hum. Stenson nods in approval at what he sees. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -096- Visitors

Fade in

INT – DAY – Cargo Bay

Helton is standing next to Quinn, Lag and Kat. Helton is partially clad in space armor, looking like a high-tech cross between a space-suit and medieval head-to-toe articulated plate armor, and it looks like he’s trying to get the rest of it on. It looks both very serviceable and stylish. Quinn is dressed in shorts and a tee-shirt, and a dirty bandage on his thigh is visible below the shorts. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -095- BFR

Fade in

INT – DAY – Cargo bay

The ramp is down, and another cargo truck is backing in. Stenson and Alvarez and another dozen of his trainees are there. The truck slowly lifts and deposits a mid-sized container onto the cargo bay deck with a deep booming sound as it sets down. It is apparently fairly heavy. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -094- Translation

Fade in

INT – DAY – Officers mess

Helton sits, staring at the book, absently stirring a cup of tea. On the table-top (the whole thing of which is a screen) appear snippets and pieces and tables of text, some in English, some in the Futhark- and Bengali-like letters of the Planet-Mover text. More is scattered about on wall screens. He closes his eyes, rubs them, and leans back in his seat tiredly, sighing in frustration. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -093- Philosophy

Fade in

INT – NIGHT – Helton’s cabin

The door is closed. He sits at his desk, kicked back in his chair, feet up on the bed, and his pistol belt hanging from a hook on the back of the door. On the desk, the book is open, under a light, surrounded by clutter. On a screen on the wall is a ship avatar. It is a boy, not much older than Quinn. He appears to be sitting on a comfortable limb of a tree, leaning back against the trunk, with the branch sticking out amid a whole forest of trees, branches, and greenery. He wears an eye patch, and clothes similar to the uniform Allonia made for Quinn. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -092- History

Fade in

INT – Helton’s cabin aboard Tajemnica

Helton sits at his desk, looking at the book. A small camera is also positioned above it. On a screen on the wall is an image of the book text, with a partial translation next to it. The door is open, and the slight hum of the various ship’s systems are the only sounds. Helton looks like he is examining the text and thinking intently. Lag walks up to the door, and raps gently with a knuckle. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -091- Broadside

Fade in

INT – DAY – Engineering

Stenson and Alvarez are at consoles, watching and monitoring things. Status bars are shifting all over the place, mostly trending toward greens.

Alvarez: Jesus, look at THAT! Never seen power flows that high on the ground.

Stenson: Cross linking and synchronizing the power systems from the tanks. THAT should give us a serious boost. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back-090- Offensive Team

Fade in

EXT – DAY – Expeditionary force parade ground.

A large parade-ground / landing field. Mostly perfect grass, with various concrete landing pads and roadway / taxiway strips. Arrayed are 26 hulking, angular grav tanks (four sets of six in desert camo paint, and two gaudy chromed tanks out in front). Each tank turret has a long heavy rail-gun barrel on one side, a long 120mm main gun center, a light rail-gun on the other side, and the stubby bump of a 15 megajoule laser on top. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -089- Authorization

Fade in

INT – DAY – Large meeting room

Lt Kat and a dozen very serious-looking people are examining a large display showing the AARAS data that Lag and Helton saw earlier. On the walls are large screens with images of the destroyed base, the bodies of Cooper and the compliance monitor, Quinn’s injured leg and other injured soldiers, pictures showing hit patterns, including the vast number of blast splashes atop Tajemnica, and the text of intercepted messages. To one side there are screens with the Raptus Regaliter Base Col and Lag on them. It looks like a hastily-called meeting that’s been going on for a little while, to judge by the informal dress, scattered personal computers, water carafes and glasses, and various body postures of the participants. Kat is standing, presenting crisply. Continue reading

The Stars Come Back -088- Pickup

EXT – DAY – a large tan expanse of open ground with scattered grass and bushes.

A small convoy of wheeled military vehicles roll through across the plain at high speed. They are in a loose cluster, disorderly. They are mostly APCs, a few fast wheeled gun platforms. Guys and gear are hanging on the sides as they race along kicking up a lot of dust. There is a sudden explosion not far from one, but it doesn’t swerve or anything. They are just charging along, fleeing the shots being fired at extreme range from somewhere behind.
[Note: Music along the lines of Two Steps From Hell’s To Glory would roll along with them fairly well]. Continue reading

The Stars Came Back -087- Riposte

Cut to

INT – DAY – Tajemnica Bridge

Quiritis has her normal calm look on hers face as she works the controls, herding the starship through the twisting and narrow (for a seventy meter starship) canyon, and canyon walls fly past on the screens in their “glass cockpit” view. She rolls it this way and that, trying to keep one eye on the terrain, and one on the path laid out in the tactical display showing the planned path. No-one else looks calm, they are all white knuckled and tense-looking, watching things whiz by dangerously close. Suddenly, a red dot appears nearly over them in the tactical display. It is right at the top of a spur of rock sticking out into the looping canyon they are following. Quiritis pulls back on the yoke hard. Continue reading