Freefall (The Arcturan Adventure) – Episode 4 – Planetary Bombardment


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Below we present the complete text of “Planetary Bombardment”, episode 4 of our new Space Opera; Freefall (The Arcturan Adventure). This is a brand new (unpublished) series (and continues the adventures of Sarah Tanner and Jeff Chase). If you would like to see these new stories advance from being drafts into polished publications then please consider supporting us by purchasing one or more of our previously published titles. Every sale directly funds the production of new stories.

Space Opera - SO002 - Freefall

Space Opera – SO002 – Freefall

SCENE 11:    INT – ICE TUNNELS
(VASH, TERG, VULGE, SARAH)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. NARRATOR: Stranded on the planet Arcturus during its blockade and invasion by the evil Council of Six, Sarah, Jeff, and the crew have agreed to undertake a mission on behalf of the planet’s reptilian inhabitants – they aim to access moth-balled technology on the planet that could help them take down the invader’s command and control ship…
  3. SOUND: ECHOING FOOTSTEPS RUNNING THROUGH THE CAVES – LET IT FINISH.
  4. VASH: (HUFFING) On the one hand I’m glad it wasn’t Terg that got us into this, but, all in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.
  5. VULGE: When she said, she had an idea or two, I rather thought she meant something that looked a little more like a real plan.
  6. TERG: Is this really the right time for this?
  7. VASH: Just getting some practice in for the next whingeing competition.
  8. VULGE: Yeah, it’s not like we have anything else to do besides run down these access tunnels.
  9. SARAH: I think it’d be a good idea if we all kept it down.  At this rate someone will hear us long before we reach our destination.
  10. VASH: How will they even know we are coming?  According to old snake-face back there, no-one but “hatchlings” can fit into tunnels this small.
  11. SARAH: (IRRITATED) Just keep it down to a loud roar alright.  Besides, I think the way into the bunker is just past the next bend.
  12. VASH: And what were we supposed to do again?
  13. SARAH: We’re breaking into an old rocket silo that’s supposed to contain shielded scanning and targeting equipment.  The aim is to use it to find the ship that brought the Council’s emissaries here and then conduct a raid to steal the ship and use it to destroy the capital ship.
  14. VASH: And we’re supposed to do this how?
  15. TERG: Stop being so dense.  We’re supposed to use the scanner…
  16. VASH: That’s what I mean.  We have no electronics.  How’re we supposed to even locate the ship?
  17. VULGE: Leave that to me.  Astro-navigation isn’t the only use to which we can put my skills.
  18. VASH: You’re joking right?
  19. VULGE:   I will need some time, but I’m pretty sure I can figure it out.
  20. VASH: If you say so. (BEAT) But what if the ship’s under power and not in a predictable location?
  21. VULGE: Then, as the humans say, we’re out of luck.
  22. VASH:
  23. SOUND: RUNNNING STOPS – FINISH.
  24. SARAH: Here we are.  Stop griping and get the door open, Vash.
  25. SOUND: MECHANICAL BUTTON PRESSING – LET IT FINISH.
  26.        (BEAT)
  27. SOUND: MECHANICAL BUTTON PRESSING – LET IT FINISH.
  28. SARAH: What’s the hold up?
  29. VASH: The code Snakey gave us isn’t working.
  30. VULGE: Of course it’s not.
  31. VASH: Huh?
  32. VULGE: The electronics are out of action, we’ll have to use the manual override.  Turn the handles on those pressure seals.
  33. VASH: .. of course… I knew that.
  34. SOUND: SQUEAK OF WHEELS TURNING – LET IT FINISH.
  35. SOUND: HISS OF DEPRESSURISATION – LET IT FINISH.
  36. SOUND: CREAK OF RUSTY METAL DOOR OPENING – LET IT FINISH.
  37. VASH: (ELATED) See.  Piece of cake! (BEAT) Don’t all thank me at once.
  38. VULGE: Okay, we won’t.
  39. SARAH: Come on.  We need to…
  40. MECH 1: You will surrender!
  41. MUSIC: DRAMATIC SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

Act 3

SCENE 12:    INT – THE ROCKET SILO
(MECH1, SARAH, VASH, TERG, VULGE)

  1. SOUND: MUFFLED SERVOS OF ROBOT STOMPING AROUND BEHIND DOOR – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. VASH: (LONG BEAT – WHISPERING) I always knew she was going to lead us into something like this one of these days.
  3. TERG: Vash!
  4. VASH: No, I mean it.  The Captain’s as bad as you are.  Same idealism.  Same limited capacity for self-preservation.
  5. TERG: Well, you followed her.
  6. VASH: (BEAT)
  7. VULGE:   You don’t have much of a response to that do you.
  8. VASH: Yeah, well.
  9. VULGE: And I thought you Thrilexians were bright.
  10. VASH: Well, I’m brighter than that robot.
  11. VULGE: Yes, great plan.  Pull the door shut.
  12. VASH: It worked didn’t it?
  13. VULGE: Only because the robot had guns for arms and can’t work the manual door controls.
  14. VASH: How’s it even the case that it’s working?
  15. TERG: I’ve been thinking about that.  I think the silo really is shielded against electro-magnetic interference.
  16. VULGE: Huh?
  17. VASH: The shielding stops the electrics from going bye-bye.
  18. VULGE: (BEAT) That will work in our favour.  We’ll be able to get a proper lock on our target.
  19. VASH: Yeah, but the real crux of the plan depends on us being on the other side of this door without having been perforated beyond the ability to function.
  20. VULGE:
  21. VASH: Are all of your people this…
  22. TERG: ..
  23. VASH: about setbacks?
  24. VULGE: Pretty much.
  25. VASH: (BEAT) So where’s the captain gone?  She shouldn’t be taking this long.
  26. TERG: She told you. She’s looking for another way in that’ll give her a vantage point from which to take out the robot.
  27. SOUND: (FROM BEHIND DOOR) ENERGY BLASTS, HEAVY CRASH – LET IT FINISH.
  28. VULGE: I think that was her.
  29. SOUND: SQUEAKING OF AIRLOCK WHEEL, DEPRESSURISATION OF DOOR, SCREECH OF DOOR OPENING.
  30. SARAH: Hi folks, Did ya miss me.
  31. VASH: (UNDER BREATH) Only with every shot so far.
  32. SARAH: Get in here. We’ve got work to do.
  33. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ENTERING – LET IT FINISH.
  34. VASH: Aw, hell.
  35. TERG: (CLEARING THROAT) Ahem.  It does look like you’ve made a bit of a mess in here Miss Sarah.
  36. VASH: At some point you’re going to have to start calling her Captain, Terg.
  37. TERG: At least I show her the proper amount of respect.
  38. SARAH:   Both of you. (BEAT) I know it looks bad, but I think most of the machinery can be salvaged.  The robot didn’t get that many shots off before I took it out.
  39. VULGE: You get all the fun.
  40. SARAH: Well, now you get the fun of trying to see what can be done to fix that console over there.  It appears to be for conducting the analysis needed to set the rocket’s guidance controls.  Vash, it actually looks like the payload delivery system, while decommissioned, is still present and intact.  I need you to check that the rocket itself is still in serviceable condition.  Don’t worry about why, just yet. I’ve just had an idea.
  41. VASH:
  42. VULGE: If you say so.  I’ll get on it right away.
  43. SOUND: BANGING AND CLANKING OF TOOLS – FADE OUT.
  44. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 13:    INT – THE SILO – LATER
(SARAH, VASH, TERG, VULGE)

  1. SOUND: BACKGROUND – ELECTRIC BEEPS AND RADAR SWEEP OR SONAR LIKE NOISES, DISTANT HAMMERS AND CLANKS – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. VULGE: I think I have it working.
  3. SARAH: What?
  4. VULGE: The targeting scanner.  I think I’ve got it working.
  5. SARAH:   Let’s see.
  6. SOUND: INCREASINGLY FREQUENT BEEPS BECOMING A SINGLE TONE – LET IT FINISH.
  7. VULGE: OK Captain.  I think I found the ship.  It’s located here, in a valley outside the capital.
  8. SARAH: How easy do you think it will be to reach?
  9. VULGE: This scanner seems to be able to penetrate the ground.  See those tunnels?  Assuming they’re like these ones – and aren’t full of gas or liquid or anything – we should be able to use them to come out within a couple of hundred feet of it.
  10. SARAH: Great work.  Now all we need to…
  11. SOUND: DISTANT EXPLOSIONS – THREE IN SUCCESSION – LET THEM FINISH.
  12. SARAH: What was that?
  13. VULGE: Let me re-calibrate.
  14. SOUND: BEEPS – LET IT FINISH.
  15. VULGE: Uh, I think the lull is over.
  16. SARAH: What do you mean?
  17. VULGE:   The invaders have begun planetary bombardment.
  18. SARAH: What?  They’ll exterminate 90% of the planet’s population.
  19. TERG: An exaggeration, but not by a lot.  The snakes live underground mostly, so a planetary bombardment may only reduce them to about one third of their current population.
  20. SARAH: Terg, Vash.  What’s the report on that rocket?
  21. VASH: You were right.  It’s a solid fuel rocket and it’s fully loaded with an atomic warhead.  It didn’t take much to put it back into working order.
  22. VULGE: Why did you do that?
  23. VASH: Ask her.  I just follow orders around here.  What I can’t figure out is why they would leave something like this just lying around?
  24. SARAH: It’s a different world.  Maybe they kept it for defensive reasons.  Maybe it’s a deterrent.  Maybe they’ve outgrown most forms of terrestrial warfare and it just doesn’t pose the same threat that it would on, say, Earth.  Who knows?  As for your first question, it occurred to me we might be able to make use of it to help the locals.
  25. VASH: Huh?
  26. VULGE: Boss!  We’ve got more incoming asteroids.
  27. SOUND: THREE MORE EXPLOSIONS – CLOSER – LET THEM FINISH.
  28. SARAH: Can you get a fix on what they’re targeting?
  29. VULGE: Looks like anything and everything.  Mainly the Snake cities though.
  30. SARAH:   We can’t just let these people die.
  31. VULGE: That’s not our mission.  We need to get that ship and get out of here while it is still possible to do so.
  32. SARAH: How do you see our options?
  33. VULGE: Our mission is to try to get back to Earth with the intelligence we’ve gathered on the invaders and, more importantly, a functioning wormhole drive.
  34. TERG: But we can’t leave these people to their fate.
  35. VULGE: What people?  They’re snakes.
  36. VASH: I never took you for a space racist, Vulge.
  37. VULGE: Who’s a racist?  They are snakes. And I’m just being practical.
  38. SARAH: Vash, is that rocket in the silo capable of taking out a capital ship?
  39. VASH: Sure but… oh, I see.
  40. VULGE: But it would have to be guided manually from inside this bunker.
  41. SARAH: No chance of automating its flight?
  42. VULGE:   The asteroid bombardment…
  43. SOUND: THREE MORE ASTEROIDS HIT – NEARER STILL – LET THEM FINISH.
  44. VULGE: Make that impossible.  We would need to carefully direct the rocket around incoming meteors and out to the target.  Even then it won’t be easy, and there’s a high chance that the energy shields around the target will prevent the bomb from going off.
  45. TERG: Actually, the capital ships use shields of energy that simply absorb blasts.  The rocket, if we ensure it passes through the shields slowly enough, should be able to detonate just fine… and the shields may actually work to our advantage, trapping the atomic energy behind the shield wall where it can do the most damage.
  46. VULGE: I say no.  If you do this there is every chance a meteor strike will cut us off from the invaders’ ship sitting beyond the city.  At the moment my scanner indicates there are only four guards.  The risk is still great, but an assault in a captured ship is likely to be more effective than the use of an obsolete atomic rocket.
  47. SOUND: LOUD EXPLOSION – LET IT FINISH.
  48. VULGE: And just how many will have to die in the mean time?
  49. VULGE: This is a war. Death is a given.  We cannot let ourselves be diverted from our mission.
  50. SARAH: (PAUSE) No. This is our mission.  If we can destroy the brain behind the fleet then we don’t need to bring news back to Earth regarding their numbers.  We’ll already have won… at least this battle anyway.  I say we launch the rocket.
    Vash, can you pilot the rocket remotely?
  51. VULGE: Of course he can’t.  I am the only one who can do it.
  52. SARAH: Well?
  53. VULGE: Oh, alright.  But I still think this is a mistake.
  54. SARAH:
  55. VULGE: Are the silo bay doors sealed?
  56. TERG:
  57. SARAH: Get them open.
  58. SOUND: HYDRAULIC HEAVY DOORS OPENING – LET IT FINISH.
  59. VASH: Done!
  60. VULGE: Then prepare for ignition. Four. Three. Two. One. Ignition!
  61. SOUND: ROCKET LIFTOFF – ESTABLISH AND FADE OUT.
  62. VASH: It’s away.
  63. VULGE: Shut up.  I have to concentrate.
  64. SARAH: We’ve got meteors coming in…
  65. VULGE: I see them.
  66. VASH:   They’re coming in close.
  67. SOUND: LOUD NEARBY DETONATION – LET IT FINISH.
  68. SOUND: ALARM – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  69. SARAH: That was close.  Those meteors hit kilometres from here but the shockwave nearly took out this bunker.
  70. VULGE: Those meteors might kill us still if those warnings aren’t taken care of.  They’ve triggered an overload alarm.
  71. SARAH: What?
  72. VULGE: I have to… concentrate on… guiding this rocket.  One of you has to check on the power couplings.
  73. TERG: I’m on it.
  74. VASH:
  75. TERG: Do you have an objection, Vash?
  76. VASH: No, I just hate it when you assume you can speak for both of us.
  77. TERG: Come on.
  78. VULGE: There it’s left the atmosphere.
  79. SARAH: How’s the fuel level?
  80. VULGE: Not good.  We used a lot of extra fuel manoeuvring to avoid the meteors.
  81. SARAH: Will there be enough?
  82. VULGE: I think so.  I’m locking onto the broadcast signal and I think it’s coming from that ship over there.
  83. SARAH: Are you sure?  We only get one shot at this.
  84. VULGE: No I’m not sure.  There are three different ships it could be.  Two of them are just retransmitting the signal.  Only one of them is its origin.
  85. SARAH:   And what makes you think it is this one?
  86. VULGE: It’s the only one we can reach with the fuel we have left.
  87. SARAH: You’re kidding.
  88. VULGE:   You want to abort?
  89. SARAH: There’s no point at this stage.  We’re just going to have to trust to luck.
  90. VULGE: My people don’t believe in luck.  (BEAT) Slowing the rocket as the shields approach…
    We’re going through… We’re through!
  91. SOUND: ELECTRONIC PULSE NOISE (INDICATIVE OF TARGET REACHED) – LET IT FINISH.
  92. SARAH: Ha ha! You did it… assuming that sound indicates a hit on the target.
  93. VULGE: The dampener field.  It’s gone.  We got the right ship.
  94. SOUND: A NEW ALARM BLARES ALONG WITH THE OTHER – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  95. TERG: (AT A DISTANCE, APPROACHING FAST) Um, Miss?  I think we need to leave now.
  96. SARAH: Huh?
  97. TERG: (RAPIDLY APPROACHING) Those power issues you asked us to lock down?
  98. SARAH:
  99. TERG: We couldn’t manage it.
  100. VASH: Speak for yourself.
  101. TERG: We found the main junction but I think I routed the power left when I should have routed it right.
  102. VULGE: You idiot.
  103. VASH: Name calling later.  Run now.
  104. SARAH: Got it.  Let’s go.
  105. SOUND: RUNNING FEET – UNDER ESCALATING SIRENS – EXPLOSION – FADE.
  106. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.
  107. MUSIC: CLOSING THEME – LET IT FINISH.

Don’t forget to check out the free sample portions of our titles <href=”http://weirdworldstudios.com/product-category/our-products/”>http://weirdworldstudios.com/product-category/our-products .

This post and all its content is copyright © 2016 www.weirdworldstudios.com. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed without the written permission of the author.