Spaceships! – Episode 103
The Confederate Space Alliance crew of the CSS Moxie are on the run from the Imperial Master Force through the deep recesses of space…
Episode 103 – Forethinker
(Capt. Bob Riggs trots along the bridge of the CSS Moxie in front of his crew, with a clipboard and pen…)
Riggs: Alright, people; morning roll call. Captain Riggs? Here. Lt. Gary?
Gary: (rolls her eyes) Here.
Riggs: Sgt. Jones?
Jones: (swigs bottle of mouthwash) Here, Cap’n.
Riggs: Inspector Decquely?
Decquely: Shouldn’t we be questioning the captured IMF pilot?
Riggs: (scowling) Are you here, Decquely?
Riggs: Say ‘here’.
Jones: C’mon, man!
Riggs: There we are. Hawk LeMont?
LeMont: (staring at ceiling) Here.
Decquely: (whispering to Grace) Who’s he?
Gary: Ship’s lawyer. Doesn’t get out much. He’s a mild schizophrenic.
Cole: (raises hand, smoking blunt)
Riggs: Say ‘here’.
Riggs: Very well. Tuggs?
Tuggs: (does up-nod)
Riggs: Pilots. Too cool for school. Otis?
Riggs: Close enough. Kwong?
Kwong: I should really start cooking breakfast.
Riggs: Say it!
Kwong: Here, sir.
Riggs: Miguel the janitor?
Cespada: Si, Capítan.
Riggs: Mustache is comin’ in good, Miguel.
Riggs: (checks off last box on clipboard, smiling) Love Miguel. Okay, that’s everybody. Let’s get back to work. Decquely and LeMont? I want you downstairs questioning the pilot. Everybody else, go do whatever the hell it is you do here.
(Capt. Riggs takes his place next to Lt. Gary at the control console…)
Gary: Do we really need to do that roll call every morning? We’ve got the IMF on our tails. Aren’t there mitigating circumstances for trivial tasks?
Riggs: Grace, just because the Imperial Master Force is hot on our trail and trying to kill us; that doesn’t give us the right to eschew order. Besides, what if there’s a turncoat amongst us? We’ve got to make sure everyone is accounted for.
(First Mate Ollie Grant joins the ship’s Captain and Lieutenant…)
Grant: What about me, sir? I wasn’t on the roll call.
Riggs: That’s because nobody cares about you, Ollie.
(On the Imperial One, Lord Wang is trudging upstairs to the private quarters of his father, the ailing King Hawaialekahi Wang…)
Wang: (pouts) I don’t wanna see my dad.
Chi: Your father is dying of complications from a stroke, my Lord. These could be his last days in the physical realm.
Wang: Can’t I just send a card?
Chi: No, sir.
(Chi opens the large double doors to a grandiose room looking out over the passing stars. The frail King is on a lavish bed, hooked up to tubes and staring out the window. The King’s doctor is exiting as Chi and Lord Wang enter…)
Wang: How long’s he got, Doc?
Doctor: (scowls, exits)
Wang: (shrugs, sits down next to father’s bed) How long ya got, pop?
King: Nice to see you too, son.
Wang: Any more strokes since the last one?
Wang: Well that’s good, I guess. So…seen any good space baseball games?
King: You just gonna hover over my bed like a vulture until you can take my crown?
Wang: (to Chi) You see why I don’t like coming here? He’s so rude!
King: I hear you had a little run-in with the Confederate Space Alliance.
Wang: (beams) Yup. Wiped ’em all out. You’d have been proud of me, dad.
King: Except for the one that got away.
Wang: (glares at Chi)
Chi: (shrugs) I didn’t tell him.
Wang: Minor complication, pop. It’s a supply ship. Nothing to worry about. I’m handling it.
King: They took out the two ships you sent after them.
Wang: I’m handling it!
King: You better. Or I might have to find someone more worthy to wear this crown.
Wang: (scowls) That crown is mine, you old bag of bones!
King: You’re not still having those long hugs with your sister, are you?
Wang: I love my family! Is that a crime?
(Chi pretends not to listen and stares awkwardly out the window at the passing space clouds…)
(Outside the interrogation room holding IMF pilot Faried Turner, Inspector Hunter Decquely and CSA attorney Hawk LeMont discuss their plan of attack…)
Decquely: Good space cop, bad space cop?
LeMont: Works for me.
Decquely: (hand on doorknob) Hey, are you really crazy?
LeMont: Works for me.
LeMont: Let’s see what this guy knows.
Decquely: (frowns) Right.
(Faried Turner is shackled to a table in the center of the room. Decquely and Hawkins sit down across from him and Hawkins sets a briefcase down on the table…)
Decquely: Now, Mr. Turner–
Turner: I want to join the Confederate Space Alliance.
(Hawkins opens his briefcase to reveal a couple loose pickles rolling around…)
(Back on the bridge…)
Decquely: He wants to join our cause. He wants to join the CSA.
Riggs: Oh, please! That’s the oldest trick in the book. “Yeah, sure! Come on over to our side.” And then before you know it, we all wake up dead!
Decquely: How would we wake up dead?
Riggs: Um…in Space Heaven?
Gary: Let me talk to the prisoner, Captain. I can gauge his seriousness.
Riggs: Sure. Go for it, Lieutenant. I’ll hold down the fort here.
(Lt. Gary makes her way downstairs to the interrogation room. Capt. Riggs rocks back on his heels in front of the control console and points toward the limitless space in front of the ship…)
Riggs: Sgt. Jones, fire at that star right there.
Jones: That star is over forty million light years away, Captain.
Riggs: You chicken?
(In the interrogation room, Grace is sitting across from the IMF pilot…)
Gary: Tell me why you wanna join the CSA, pilot.
Turner: Because I’ve seen what the Imperial Master Force is doing and I’m sick of it. Wiping out entire civilizations; forcing its citizens into slave labor camps; banning intergalactic marriage. What if I fall in love with a Farklac girl? I’m shit outta luck!
Gary: You know the Farklacs live underwater.
Turner: I can snorkel. Regardless, I always admired your group from afar. I was just too cowardly to defect. Last week, when they wiped out all your ships; I thought all hope was lost. But then when I heard that one got away, I immediately volunteered for the tracking mission. That’s why I kept missing when I fired at your fighter jet.
Gary: That jet was hit in the wing. We lost it.
Turner: Yeah, that was the other guy.
Gary: Uh huh. And if we do decide to bring you into the fold; how do we know you won’t turn against us? How do we know you’re not a spy?
Turner: Well…I guess you’ll just have to trust me.
Gary: Right. Well, we’ll definitely take it into consideration. You understand that we’ll have to hold you here for the time being.
Turner: Yes, ma’am. And thank you for listening. That lawyer from before just wanted to eat pickles.
Gary: You really can’t marry intergalactically anymore?
Turner: Nope. You meet a nice Morlingian gentleman and wanna settle down? No dice!
Gary: Ain’t that a bitch.
(Back on the bridge…)
Riggs: Well then, just move closer.
Jones: Do you have any idea how far forty million light years is, Captain?
Riggs: See, here you go again with this metric system crap. You Space Canadians think you’re so smart.
Jones: It’s not metric–
Gary: (joining the arguing couple) I think he’s telling the truth.
Riggs: Who, Jones? I think he’s just yella.
Gary: No, the IMF pilot. I trust him. And we could always use another hand on deck.
Riggs: I dunno, Grace. Think we better sit on this one for a bit. Really test him, see where his loyalties lie.
Gary: (shrugs) You’re the Captain.
Riggs: (puffs out chest) That’s right, I am. Yo LeMont, throw me one of them pickles.
Hawkins: (opens briefcase, tosses pickle)
Riggs: (takes big juicy bite) Ooh, Gherkin.