Freefall (The Arcturan Adventure) – Episode 5 – A New World joins the Neighbourhood


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Below we present the complete text of “A New World Joins the Neighbourhood”, episode 5 (and final) 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 This is a brand new (unpublished) series (and continues the adventures of Sarah Tanner and Jeff Chase).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 14:    INT – UNDERGROUND LAB
(SARAH, BREX, JEFF, VULGE, TERG, VASH)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. NARRATOR: Despite being marooned on a planet facing invasion from the massed might of the evil Council of Six, Sarah, Jeff, and her crew have succeeded in destroying the invader’s Command and Control ship and with it the jamming technology that prevents the Arcturans from fighting back.
  3. BREX: (HISSING) Ah, welcome back.  You look a little dustier and more rubble strewn than I remember.
  4. SARAH: Things weren’t quite as straight forward as we hoped.
  5. BREX: (HISSING) Well, something must have gone to plan.  The energy dampening field is gone and communications are working again.  The coup has failed in five out of our six provinces and loyalist forces are close to retaking the capital.  The cities of Strekzza an Sheldrom were both destroyed by meteorites but we have to deal with the coup before we can render aid.
  6. VULGE: The destruction of the dampening field was more good luck and creative improvisation than good planning.  The silo still contained a solid fuel rocket.  We used it to destroy the invaders’ command ship.
  7. BREX: (HISSING) So it would seem.  The fleet itself began self-destructing not long ago.
  8. SARAH: Your viewscreen is up and running again.  Is that the capital?
  9. BREX: (HISSING) Yes.  Over there, in that valley, the ship you hoped to take is lifting off.  They are hoping to escape and take news back to the Council of Six.
  10. SOUND: LASER BLAST AND EXPLOSION THROUGH SPEAKERS – LET IT FINISH.
  11. BREX: (HISSING) Sadly I fear they will be unable to return.
  12. SARAH: No!  We need that ship.
  13. BREX: (HISSING) I’m sorry.  I know you were hoping to use it to return to your world. I’m afraid I couldn’t risk it getting away.  I do have some good news, however.
  14. SARAH: Yes?
  15. BREX: (HISSING) Your friend is back on his feet.  Unfortunately the damage was very extensive.  I am afraid he will probably have a limp from this point on.
  16. JEFF: It’ll go well with my scars.  I end up more roguishly handsome by the day.  Hiya Sarah.
  17. SARAH: Hey Jeff.  How’re you doing?
  18. JEFF: Almost as good as new.  Sorry I had to sit this one out.  You’ve no idea what it’s like trying to communicate without Terg and Vash here to help out with that mental translation field thingy they do.
  19. SARAH: It looks like we’re all going to be sitting on the sidelines from this point on.  With the Emmissary Ship gone, we’ve got no way of getting home.
  20. JEFF: (STARTS LAUGHING)
  21. BREX: (HISSING) (JOINS IN LAUGHTER)
  22. SARAH: Huh?  Have I missed something?
  23. JEFF: You might say that.  Brex, would you care to explain?  It’ll be easier now you don’t have to use sign language.
  24. BREX: (HISSING) Why thank you.  With the dampener field out of the way we are now able to undertake the evacuation of our planet.
  25. SARAH: Yes, you said that when we first arrived.  You also said you couldn’t spare any of your ships.
  26. JEFF: No, Sarah, you don’t understand.  They intend to evacuate the planet.  The whole planet.  They’ve been building wormhole engines at various points on the globe, capable of moving the planet as a mass.  The bombardment came close to destroying one of them, but you destroyed the fleet before any real damage was done.
  27. BREX: (HISSING) We’ve been waiting for you to return in order to ask you to provide us with coordinates for your own system.  We will move our world into your solar system and, in exchange for safe haven, provide you with wormhole technology.
  28. SARAH: But that’s… that’s wonderful.  Vulge!
  29. VULGE: Yes Captain.
  30. SARAH: Please give Chief Scientist Brex the coordinates he needs to add this world to our Solar System.  He’ll need an orbit that is sufficiently distant to match and maintain the temperature range his people currently enjoy.
  31. VULGE: Yes, Ma’am.
  32. VASH: And us?
  33. SARAH: Get Brex to help you use his communications technology.  We’ll need to broadcast on coded channels as soon as the wormhole opens.  I don’t want Earth assuming we’re a new threat coming through.
  34. TERG AND VASH: Yes Miss.
  35. JEFF: And me.
  36. SARAH: We’re officers.  We get to sit back and enjoy the ride.
  37. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 15:    INT – UNDERGROUND LAB
(SARAH, JEFF, BREX, TERG, FERRIS)

  1. SOUND: WORMHOLE TRAVERSING SOUND EFFECT – LET IT FINISH.
  2. SARAH: Did I say “enjoy the ride?”  That was awful.
  3. JEFF:   I’d almost rather do another high altitude drop.
  4. TERG: I think we’ve got a problem, Miss.
  5. SARAH:   Did the procedure fail?
  6. BREX: (HISSING) Impossible.  My calculations were perfect.
  7. TERG: We’ve arrived all right, and in the right location, but…, well, there’s a huge fleet gathering outside the asteroid field and it is swinging around to head our way.
  8. SARAH: Have you been broadcasting on the correct channels?
  9. TERG: Yes, but I don’t think they can hear us.
  10. SARAH: Is it an enemy fleet?  How did they get through before us?
  11. TERG: No, it’s an Earth fleet.
  12. JEFF: An Earth fleet?  But wasn’t the shipyard destroyed?
  13. SARAH: Pretty much.  I don’t understand either. Why can’t you get through?
  14. TERG: I think we’re being jammed.  From somewhere on the planet.
  15. BREX: (HISSING) Damnit.  The Council emissaries obviously left some saboteurs behind.
  16. SARAH: Is there anyway to get a signal through?
  17. TERG: Not without getting into orbit.  The interference is just too thick.
  18. JEFF: That fleet could do us a whole lot of damage if they assume we’re hostile and act accordingly.
  19. SARAH: We’ve got to do something.
  20. BREX: (HISSING) Will your people assume we are hostile or will they send someone to investigate first?
  21. SARAH: I… I don’t know.  It could go either way.
  22. BREX: (HISSING) The jamming has to be coming from somewhere nearby.  The coup leaders surrendered shortly after the dampener field stopped interfering with our electronics. Without the uprising to divert them, the Royal Guard would have begun searching for the source of the jamming as soon as it began.  We have no choice but to wait and see who reaches their objective first, the guards or your fleet.
  23. SARAH: (SUDDENLY SUSPICIOUS) Brex?  Where’s your assistant?
  24. BREX: (HISSING) What?
  25. SARAH: Your assistant?  Where is he?
  26. BREX: (HISSING) (BEAT) I don’t like what you’re insinuating.  He has neither the wit, nor the courage to…
  27. SARAH: Yes?
  28. BREX: (HISSING) to… Why that little…
  29. SARAH: Terg, patch the channel through so we can hear it.
  30. SOUND: TUNING AND STATIC – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  31. SARAH: (THREE LONG BEATS) I hate this.  The fleet are closing.
  32. BREX: (HISSING) Have a little faith.  That little idiot is too stupid to have done the job well.  I’m betting he’s locked himself in his nest.  Come with me.
  33. SARAH: Terg, Vash you’re with me.  I’ll need your translation ability.
  34. TERG: Yes, Miss.
  35. SOUND: SLITHERING AND FOOTSTEPS – FADE
  36. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 16:    INT – OUTSIDE THE ASSISTANT’S NEST
(BREX, SARAH, ASSISTANT)

  1. SOUND: ODD OSCILLATING HUMMING SOUND – UNDER.
  2. SOUND: HAMMERING ON DOOR – LET IT FINISH.
  3. BREX: (HISSING) Open this door now, imbecile.
  4. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) No. And if you try to come through, I’ll kill you.  I’ve built a prototype disintegration field.  It’s unstable, but I’ll activate it.
  5. TERG: Er, that doesn’t sound good.
  6. BREX: (HISSING) It’s not.  His design is fundamentally flawed.  So much so, that turning it on could potentially destroy this world, or at least render what remains mostly uninhabitable.
  7. SARAH: (CALLING) Why are you doing this?  It’s self-destructive.
  8. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) You think so?  These old snakes…
  9. BREX: (ANGRY HISS)
  10. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) They’ve lived a long time.  They exploit us, they abuse us.  They mistreat us… they even feed on us at their whim.  Is it any wonder we younger folk would wish to rise up against them?
  11. BREX: (HISSING) At risk to your planet?  Your people?
  12. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Why not? How long do your assistants live before you eat them in a fit of temper?  Why should I care about the life of a planet I will never live long enough to enjoy?  Why wouldn’t I consider the risk of ridding this world of you worth it?
  13. BREX: (HISSING) You have the same chance of survival as any other member of your brood.  And if you live, you’ll enjoy the same privileges.
  14. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Ha! You justify your position and privilege with the myth of meritocracy.  We die and are exploited because we are not you, and therefore deserve to die and be exploited.  Most of us are resigned to our slavery, but you are blind.  You just don’t see how little you differ from the slave masters of the Council of Six that you oppose.
  15. SARAH: It doesn’t have to be this way.  You are going to start a war with a species you have never encountered.  There will be huge loss of life.  Even now, your own fleet is taking to space in order to face off against my own people. All because we cannot communicate through your electronic jamming.
  16. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Why should I care?  My own life is forfeit.
  17. SARAH: Because change is possible.  Your people just transported a planet from one side of the galaxy to another.  They are about to form an alliance with a group of planets that have a radically different view of the value of life than has been dominant in your section of the galaxy.  We are opposed to everything that the Council of Six stand for, and we require that our allies stand with us.  Change is coming.  And it can be achieved peacefully.
  18. BREX: (HISSING) Perhaps there is something to what the human says.
  19. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Perhaps?
  20. BREX: Turn the jamming device off, boy.  Let us in.
  21. ASSISTANT: … (THREE LONG BEATS)
  22. TERG: I don’t think he’s…
  23. SOUND: JAMMING POWERS DOWN – LET IT FINISH.
  24. SOUND: DOOR UNLOCKS – LET IT FINISH.
  25. SARAH: Vash, Terg.  Back to the broadcast station.    (CALLING) Thank you!
  26. SOUND: RUNNING FEET – FADE.
  27. BREX: (HISSING) Show me this device of yours, boy.
  28. ASSISTANT: (NERVOUS)Er… yes, sir.
  29. BREX: (HISSING) Hmmm. Dangerous.    But it does show promise.  This could form the basis of a formidable weapon.
  30. ASSISTANT: (NERVOUS) (HISSING) Sir?
  31. BREX: (HISSING) Yes?
  32. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Don’t treat me like a fool. I’m not going to survive this interview, am I?
  33. BREX: (HISSING) No.
  34. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) And what of the human’s words?
  35. BREX: (HISSING) The humans may think what they like.  A treaty will hardly alter thousands of years of history.  They are short lived and weak.  It is inevitable that we shall become their masters, just as we are yours.
  36. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Perhaps. But I think she was right.
  37. BREX: (HISSING) How so?
  38. ASSISTANT: (HISSING) Change is coming.  And you cannot avoid it. Your time is up.
  39. BREX: (HISSING) Ah, the idiotic idealism of youth. You are wrong…  And the next few moments will demonstrate that for you, however briefly.
    (ROARS)
  40. SOUND: WET CHOMP AND DEATH GURGLE OF ASSISTANT – LET IT FINISH.
  41. SOUND: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 17:    INT – BREX’S LABORATORY
(BREX, SARAH, JEFF, VASH, TERG, VULGE, ADMIRAL FERRIS, RADIO)

  1. SOUND: STATIC CONTINUES FOR THREE LONG BEATS AND STOPS – LET IT FINISH.
  2. RADIO: … is the Earth Destroyer Prospero carrying Admiral Ferris, please state your intent.  Can anyone respond?
  3. SARAH,JEFF,VULGE,TERG,VASH: (CHEERING)
  4. SARAH: Hold on. Hold on.  Open a link, Terg.
  5. TERG:
  6. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  7. SARAH: This is Captain Sarah Tanner of the Solar Patrol broadcasting from Arcturas, the planet that just appeared within our solar system.  We have no hostile intent.  Please connect me to Admiral Ferris.
  8. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  9. RADIO:   Please hold for Admiral Ferris.
  10. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  11. FERRIS: Admiral Ferris here.
  12. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  13. SARAH: Admiral, this is Captain Tanner, Sir.
  14. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  15. FERRIS: Great to hear from you captain.  I thought we’d lost you.
  16. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  17. SARAH: Thank you sir.  We were none too sure we were going to be able to return either.  Sir, we have some more refugees for our system.  The Arcturans are requesting asylum in exchange for providing Earth with the wormhole drive technology they used to bring this planet here.
  18. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  19. FERRIS: You never fail to surprise me,Captain.  This is welcome news indeed.
  20. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  21. SARAH: Yes Sir… but if I may ask?
  22. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  23. FERRIS: Yes Captain?
  24. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  25. SARAH: Where has the fleet you’re leading come from?  I thought our ships and the shipyard were destroyed.
  26. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  27. FERRIS: Ah, that.  I’m sorry I couldn’t let you in on it.  We set up a decoy shipyard on Phobos.  The intention was to give the enemy an obvious target for sabotage etc. while keeping the real shipyard (inside the asteroid belt) secret.  The plan worked far more effectively than we thought – though the losses on Phobos were horrific.  We’ve managed to produce a fleet that is triple the size of any we’ve previously put into operation and all without our enemies discovering it. (BEAT) Are the enemy aware of the outcome of their attack?
  28. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  29. JEFF: No sir.  We destroyed their observer craft before it could relay a message back to its sister fleet and the sister fleet itself has also been destroyed.  I believe it is safe to say we are now in the strongest position we have been in (strategically and militarily) since this conflict began.
  30. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  31. FERRIS: I take it you’ve made contact with the Arcturans and can place us in contact with their representatives.
  32. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  33. SARAH: Yes sir.  I would like to recommend that our primary contact be Chief Scientist Brex.  He is the one responsible both for saving his world and delivering this new technology to us.
  34. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  35. FERRIS: Excellent, Captain.  Give my warmest regards to your crew and get yourselves back here for a briefing, pronto.  I have a new mission for you.
  36. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  37. SARAH: Er… Admiral…
  38. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  39. FERRIS: Yes, Captain?
  40. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  41. SARAH: Our ship was destroyed and we are currently planet bound.
  42. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  43. FERRIS: (LONG BEAT) (AMUSED AND EXASPERATED) That’s the second Patrol ship you’ve destroyed.  Give us your location and a ship will be made available to you shortly.  We shall speak more on this shortly.
  44. SOUND: BEEP – LET IT FINISH.
  45. NARRATOR: And with that a new phase of the conflict between Earth and the mysterious Council of Six began. With the help of the Arcturans the forces of Earth would no longer be bound to their own solar system.  The galaxy, in all its vast array, was now within their reach.
  46. MUSIC: CLOSING THEME – LET IT FINISH.

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