"Damage Control" – Part Two of the Colonel Cranky Trilogy

kl
klcorridon
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:38 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Eugene, OR

Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:37 am Post

https://youtu.be/PU4HQhMTniY

ACT [N]
SCENE [N]

(Cockpit of a cargo vessel. Repairs underway.)

PILOT
This was a lot more fun when we had a crew.

COPILOT
Fun?! They almost got us!

PILOT
We’ve got power, but the engine compartment is contaminated.

COPILOT
(Nervous now.)
That doesn’t give us much time.

PILOT
If we’re leaking green stuff, they won’t let us dock. How are the escape pods?

COPILOT
Port side is red. We’ve only got one pod.

PILOT
We’re a long way from anything.
(Shakes his head.)
Not much air.

COPILOT
We could use the pod for life support.

PILOT
Maybe... But as a last resort. On our final run, too.

COPILOT
Damn Slimeys. We’re still too close to them.

PILOT
We’re still too close to the reactor, who knows what that’s been doing to us?

COPILOT
(a bit surprised.)
They wouldn’t give us unsafe ships.
(Pilot just gives Copilot a long look.)
(Copilot, gets nervous after a bit, returns to work.)
Propulsion system back online. Get us out of here.

PILOT
(Trolling now.)
If we go too fast, we’ll probably blow ourselves up.

COPILOT
If you go too slow, the Slimeys will blow us up!

PILOT
To think we only had jobs because robots were too expensive. Well, those days are over.

COPILOT
Autonomous cargo drones will make everyone safer.

PILOT
I don’t know...

COPILOT
(a bit annoyed.)
Soon enough you’ll leave Space Force and become a productive member of society.

PILOT
But now we’re a society that can’t survive without that green stuff.
(Takes the controls.)
Here goes.
(Ship lurches a bit.)
Let’s see how far we get.

COPILOT
Thanks to the Delta Emulsion we may live to fight another day.

PILOT
But why? They could end us whenever they want.

COPILOT
What makes you say that?

PILOT
Such an advanced civilization stalemated by a bunch of savages? We’ve been fighting the Slimeys for almost two years now.

COPILOT
Why are you so interested in what They think?

PILOT
It’s like they’re waiting for something.

COPILOT
Maybe they aren’t as evolved as you think.

PILOT
Maybe they are.

COPILOT
You want them to win?

PILOT
I don’t want us to lose. But I don’t think we can win.

COPILOT
That’s nuts!

PILOT
I think they’re still wondering about what we are.

COPILOT
Okay, you’re nuts!

PILOT
Why did they come here then, if not for curiousity?

COPILOT
They want our resources! Maybe a forward base for more wars.

PILOT
Do they want us to suffer, or to repent?

COPILOT
Repent?! This really is a religious thing for you.

PILOT
It’s a morality thing. Everyone could die over a mistake we made.

COPILOT
Does it matter now that they’re trying to kill us?

PILOT
Are we redeemable at this point? How would we show them?

COPILOT
By pushing them out of the solar system!

PILOT
They aren’t initiating battles. We keep chasing them and spreading out thinner.

COPILOT
Maybe they got logistics problems of their own.

PILOT
The Slimeys’s eyes work like ours, but we don’t know how they speak. I wonder how many we’ve actually killed.

COPILOT
I don’t care as long as they’re dead!

PILOT
What if they intended for us to get our hands on the green stuff?

COPILOT
What?!

PILOT
What if they wanted to see if we could handle it responsibly? I don’t think we have.

COPILOT
We’ve built a bigger fleet and better weapons with that stuff! We’ll take the battle to their home world one day!

PILOT
Then what? Do we kill them all? Colonize and enslave them?

COPILOT
(Beat.)
I... Don’t know.

PILOT
We should. Before they decide for us.

COPILOT
(About to say something, but sees something on the display.)
Long range scanner contact. Dead astern. Damn Slimeys.
(Beat)
We don’t have any guns left!

PILOT
Or air. I think you better get in the escape pod for those tanks.

COPILOT
Now?

PILOT
If I can get a bit more speed from this boat, maybe we can hold out long enough for our guys to spot us.

COPILOT
Okay.
(COPILOT exits cockpit.)

PILOT
You good down there?
COPILOT

Yeah. I’ll have the first one out pretty quick.

PILOT
You should probably stay put.

(Pilot reaches up, closes pod door.)
COPILOT
What the hell are you doing?

PILOT
I... Um, think the seals are leaking. Yeah, pretty hot up here.

COPILOT
Have you been planning this all along?

PILOT
No, but maybe I should have. Keep watching. If this thing blows, you might find out if the green stuff is dangerous for them as well.

COPILOT
Hurry! We can squeeze in!

PILOT
Not enough air and you know it. But thanks for flying with Cranky’s Air Force today.
(Pilot launches escape pod.)
(Pilot scans the instruments.)

PILOT
Not really how I...
(Pilot looks astern for a moment.)
Probably my only chance is to surrender. But that–– that’ll get me in trouble.
(Beat)
Oh, why not?
I may be an Idiot, but I'm no Fool...
For Maura, 4/7/59-11/21/09... My Muse, my Heroine, my Editor, my Patron. All that I have achieved as a writer is because of her.