Starboard Side

Episode 107: Echoed Voices

Written by Jared Williams

 

 

 

 

Fade through black

 

Ext – Space

 

A sustained image of space appears on the screen. The image slowly starts to push in on the starry spectrum. A moment of fast-approaching, humming engines precedes the blur of the Ryuu-3. The ship flies into frame from left and continues right in a single streak. The camera pans right to follow it as it leaves the frame.

 

The angle cuts to a tighter view of the Ryuu-3, panning around the starboard side and pushing in on the cockpit.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ryuu-3

 

Amadeus and Jerry sit in the pilot’s and copilot’s seat, respectively. Jerry seems to be controlling the ship. Amadeus is observing his movements.

 

Amadeus

Course correction; coordinates 896 by 595.

 

Jerry

[Typing into the console]

896… by 5…95. Done.

 

Amadeus

[Double checking from his own console]

Correct.

 

Jerry

What now?

 

Amadeus

Rotate the ship forty-two deg…

 

An alarm on Jerry’s console begins to sound. He checks it and looks over to Amadeus. He’s concerned.

 

Jerry

Ship’s picking up something.

[Pointing to display]

What does this mean?

 

Amadeus

[Glancing down at the display]

Short-Range EMS; a distress signal.

 

Jerry

Do we follow it?

 

Amadeus

Alter course to rendezvous with the signal.

 

Jerry begins tapping buttons on the console. The ship responds by rotating slightly to its left while Jerry speaks.

 

Jerry

You got it, big guy.

 

Cut to:

 

Ext – Space

 

The Ryuu-3 turns its stern to the camera and accelerates into the distance at incredible speed.

 

Fade to:

 

Ext – Space

 

The Ryuu-3 slows as it flies into frame from the left. The camera pans around to the ship’s backside as it flies past frame, revealing on a massive GHOST SHIP. The vessel resembles a gothic castle in design, dark and dank with an orange-yellow glow to it, representing the torches. Massive cylindrical engines protrude from its stern to represent the towers. The sheer mass of the ship should be enough to impress.

 

The Ryuu-3 comes to a halt in front of the ship’s bow. The engines come to a loud stall.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ryuu 3

 

Amadeus

Hail them.

 

Jerry presses several keystrokes on the console. A hail is sent to the alien ship with a resulting beep from the console. There is no response.

 

Jerry

They’re not responding. According to the computer’s scans of the residual frequency deterioration, that distress call’s been going out for over six years.

 

Amadeus

How are the environmental controls?

 

Jerry

[Pressing several more buttons]

…Stable. Breathable oxygen; no immediate hazards.

 

Amadeus begins to stand. Jerry looks over and follows suit. Amadeus looks back down at the controls.

 

Amadeus

What are you doing?

 

Jerry

What? I was…

 

Amadeus

Sit down and dock the ship.

 

Jerry nods and sits down slightly embarrassed. Amadeus moves over to the wall of the cockpit and starts collecting equipment including flashlights and pocket-toolkits, one for both him and Jerry.

 

Amadeus

Where are the docking ports located?

 

Jerry

[Pressing several keys on the console]

There’s one over the port thruster and another toward the bow.

 

Jerry pauses and looks back at Amadeus. He appears frozen for a moment to Jerry’s confusion.

 

Jerry

Amadeus?

 

Amadeus

[Shaking his head uncharacteristically]

Dock at whichever is closest to the bridge.

 

Jerry

[Slightly stunned]

…Right.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Alien ship corridor A

 

A large, thick, poured hatch to the alien ship slides open, squeaking. Jerry, sighing after pushing the heavy door steps forward onto the ship, his flashlight on. The first thing he does is look in awe at the walls and ceiling.

 

The walls and ceiling of the ship glow with the same yellow/orange finish as the exterior of the ship. The walls themselves appear to be imposed with organic patterns outlining a story we can not understand; an untraceable scheme of organization.

 

Amadeus steps in behind Jerry. He is less impressed with the interior, but still takes the time to look around. The ship is unusually quiet.

 

Jerry is still breathing hard as they make their way deeper into the ship.

 

Jerry

It’s hot in here.

[He looks back to Amadeus]

 

Amadeus

Can’t be helped. Can you tolerate it?

 

Jerry

[Sighing again] Yeah, I think so. As long as we’ve gotta be on here, anyway.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ship Corridor B

 

Jerry is still leading Amadeus. He’s sweating now. They reach another entryway, this one already open. The interior is too darkened to see from their position. Beyond the entryway the corridor continues, leading to the bulk of the ship.

 

Jerry

This should be it…; the bridge.

 

Amadeus

Lead on.

 

Jerry nods and moves forward. He pauses in his steps. In the background behind him can be seen two children running up to a third in the unfocused area of the frame. As Jerry turns to look at them, the camera focuses in unison with the children fading away. Jerry squints, confused.

 

Jerry

Did you see that?

 

Amadeus

See what?

 

Jerry

[Wiping the sweat from around his eyes]

…Nothing. Forget it.

 

Jerry steps through the entryway onto the bridge. The camera cuts to follow him through the entryway. As he steps through the entryway, the camera pans down to a panel along the interior at waist level. Inside the panel is a green light. As Jerry steps through the entryway, the green light switches off and a red light just below it activates. Jerry and Amadeus both fail to notice.

 

Jerry looks around the interior of the bridge. It’s relatively small. Two pilot seats in the front, a commander’s seat in the center and several stations along the back. It’s darker than the rest of the ship. The orange light from the walls doesn’t exist here.

 

Jerry

Looks empty… where is everybody?

 

Jerry looks around briefly before turning around to face Amadeus. The camera pans around him as he turns, so that he and the camera are both facing Amadeus. As they do, a hoard of small spikes flips out from along the walls, ceiling and floor of the entryway (roughly twenty on each surface). Amadeus is standing in the entryway. Jerry takes notice.

 

Jerry

Ami!

 

The camera cuts to an angle tight behind Amadeus, focusing on Jerry so that the robot is blurred. The spikes extend from steel rods into him before he even has a chance to move. Jerry’s expression goes to one of disgusted shock. The music should start to pump adrenaline into the audience as the spikes pull away and the still-blurry body of the robot collapses to the ground.

 

Jerry rushes up to the body of the robot, kneeling down. The body is clearly unsalvageable, as he can be heard shuffling parts around.

 

Jerry

No… No…

 

Jerry looks around and sees the red light switch back to green. He grimaces and looks back down at the body before nodding and standing back up.

 

Jerry

Jesus… what; why!?

 

Jerry moves for the entryway and then pauses. He begins to shake nervously and then kneels down. He comes back up with what appears to be most of Amadeus’s forearm. Several loose wires and torn pumps hang from it. He swipes it through the doorway, waiting for something to happen. The light remains green. He swipes it once more, and finding no action, steps back out into the corridor.

 

He turns around to see if the trap is triggered once more. It isn’t. He kneels down to Amadeus’s remains (still out of frame) again, and then gets back up shaking unsure.

 

Jerry

Ah, forget it.

 

Jerry turns to head back to the Ryuu-3.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ship Corridor A


Jerry runs toward the dock, looking to get back to the ship. He’s looking around at the walls, watching his back for more tricks. He seems to have misplaced his flashlight at this point or has more important things to worry about. He’s breathing just as heavily as he is sweating.

 

Jerry reaches the large door leading back to the Ryuu. It’s sealed shut now. He reaches down to the lock, attempting to open it but ultimately failing. He looks through the thick glass porthole. Flames climb up the other side of the door, and he backs off.

 

A shot from inside the Ryuu-3 pointing at the hatch shows the fire inside the ship growing rapidly. Jerry is yelling silently on the other side of the door, pounding on it.

 

The angle returns to Jerry.

 

Jerry

No! No! What the hell?!

 

The shot returns to an interior of the Ryuu-3. The instruments are melting, the consoles are exploding. A wall of fire from deep within the ship extends toward the cockpit.

 

The angle returns to Jerry. He looks inside the ship. The glow of the forthcoming explosion reflects off of his face as his eyes widen. He turns away from the hatch and begins running down the corridor, away from the hatch.

 

Cut to:

 

Ext – Ryuu-3

 

Flames already escape from the orifices of the Ryuu-3. Still docked, a blast of energy bursts from the cockpit window. The rest of the ship ignites and explodes a split second later.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ship Corridor B

 

Jerry dives to the metal floor as the Ryuu-3 explodes. The entire corridor shakes violently as he covers his head. Several pipelines along the ceiling bust with exhaust, but the massive metal door stays intact. The shaking begins to dissipate soon after.

 

Cut to:

 

Ext – Alien Ship

 

Nothing salvageable remains where the Ryuu-3 once rested. Only twisted, jagged hunks of metal hang from the docking hatch port. Only bits of burning debris and sparks linger in the wake.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Corridor A

 

Jerry realizes the explosion has stopped and that he is not dead. He lifts his head and looks around, finding the area in relatively good shape. He stands and hurries toward the hatch.

 

The angle tightens on him and the hatch as he looks out of the glass porthole. There is nothing to be seen but space and twisted alloy. He hangs his head, and in the reflection of the glass grimaces.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ship Corridor B

 

Jerry walks deeper into the ship, realizing his hope of taking the Ryuu-3 back home is useless. His clothes are soaking with sweat; his eyes are dripping of it. He walks past the doorway to the bridge, looking down briefly at the body of Amadeus before continuing.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ship Corridor C

 

Jerry presses on further. He’s worried. This is unfamiliar territory for him. He decides to question whether or not he is alone once more. He calls out to anyone; to no one.

 

Jerry

Hello?

 

Jerry continues to move toward the interior of the ship, slowly, looking at the walls. The glow of the walls seems to be moving from the exterior of the ship toward the center, almost beckoning Jerry to continue.

 

Jerry

If anyone’s there… I only want to talk.

 

Suddenly the laugh of children is heard behind Jerry. He spins around to witness a sight parallel to what he almost saw before. Two boys (approximately eight or nine in age) dressed in playground clothing rush up to a third of the same age and style. The third boy attempts to leave but is kicked in the stomach by the second and dropped to the ground. The two boys begin to take turns whomping on him. Jerry gets an angry look on his face and approaches them.

 

Jerry

Hey!

 

The two bullies turn and look Jerry straight in the eye in sync with fading away. The third child is missing as well. Jerry stops, shocked. He pauses and wipes the sweat from his forehead.

 

Jerry

This heat…

 

Jerry looks around the ship once more, drawing only one conclusion.

 

Jerry

I’m alone.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Main Junction

 

Jerry is lead by the corridor into a massive junction which, along with leading to more corridors, seems to lead directly to the mess hall, facilities, and communications center. His eyes widen.

 

Jerry

This place just keeps getting bigger.

 

He paces into the open area and looks around, the camera panning around him as he does. His eyes fall on the communications center and he approaches the large, open doorway structure. He almost rushes right in before pausing and growing another frown. He looks around the frame of the door for another panel, but finds nothing. He then takes off his jacket, backs up, and tosses it through the entryway. Again, nothing happens. He shrugs and enters the communications center.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Communications Center

 

The walls, save the one through which Jerry entered, are lined with terminals and consoles, still working. The feel of this room is much different. It seems cooler; fresher. The orange glow of the walls is absent here, but the running consoles give off a green/blue light inviting Jerry in. He seems less tired here.

 

Jerry makes his way to the largest and most complex looking of the consoles on the far wall. It’s wide for one thing; the monitor is clearly the largest. Complex wires and steel conductors run along its sides into the other consoles in the room. Jerry seems excited. He looks it over briefly, recognizing the configuration but confused by the alien language and begins tapping buttons.

 

A very two-dimensional display of the alien ship appears on the screen. A white circle extends from it in waves. Jerry looks it over. Letters not too dissimilar from English characters fill the rest of the display. Jerry looks it over. He struggles to read the language, but notices enough to recognize what he’s looking for.

 

Jerry

Seven years… the computer was right.

 

He hesitates before pressing another button. It brings up a display of the surrounding area. It brings up a display of the surrounding area of space, including any ships that may be near him. There appear to be two traveling in the ship’s vicinity. Jerry sighs with relief.

 

Jerry

Thank God… two ships.

 

Jerry taps on the screen over the blip representing the first ship. It magnifies the blip and brings up information on the ship. At the bottom is a flashing green word reading something to the effect of “Communication?”

 

Jerry looks down at the console. He reads over the buttons, settling on one quite parallel to the prompt he’s been given on the screen.

 

Jerry

[While pressing button]

Open… communication.

 

The display switches to a wide shot of the two ships attempting to communicate. The alien ship; Jerry’s ship sits on the left side of the display while the ship he’s attempting to contact rests on the other. The signal begins to carry across the screen like a file transfer. Jerry rests his shoulders and exhales in anticipation. The transfer stops abruptly about half-way through. Jerry leans forward again.

 

Jerry

What? What’s the problem?

 

Jerry attempts to hit the communications button again. It only manages to bring up an error message he can’t understand. Frustrated, he slams on a button to close the window.

 

Jerry

Augh, forget it! The other ship…

 

Jerry, more confident in his ability to use the console, presses a button to lead him back to the main display of the two ships. He taps the second this time, bringing up information on it and another prompt to open communications. He presses the communications button and waits for something to happen.

 

The transfer starts again. He shuts his eyes, waiting for the connection to be made. A beep accompanied by another error message appears. Jerry yells out loudly and backs away from the console.

 

Jerry

[Shouting to the console]

Come on! Please!

 

He presses the communications button on the console once more. It brings up an error message. Jerry hangs his head in grief.

 

While he’s not looking, the letters and words begin to rearrange themselves, unconceivable that they could form this pattern. They start to create a face, a growling, monstrous face with pits for eyes and grueling teeth. It cocks its head and looks at Jerry, letting out a small growl.

 

Jerry lifts his head slowly to look at the console’s screen. The creature on the screen snaps at him, and he yells, falling backward onto the floor. He begins to push himself up the console begins to take on a life of its own.

 

The wires and pipes pull themselves out from the surrounding consoles and form legs, reaching in front of the console. Jerry starts to scoot himself away from it, still trying to get back on his feet. The face inside the monitor begins to press its forehead forward, bulging out of the glass of the screen. It growls as its head continues to take on three dimensions. Flesh begins to creep down his limbs.

 

Jerry’s on his feet now. He begins to run out of the communications room, watching his back. The creature shrieks and squeezes its eyes shut as a wave of dark flesh molds itself over his head. As its glowing orange eyes open, the rest of the console shatters, leaving only one very ferocious animal; a huge, dark, horned, almost demonic quadruped.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Junction

 

Jerry heads for the mess hall as it’s the closest place to him. The hatch is already open. The beast bursts out of the communications center like a bull, and shrieks. It focuses on Jerry in the mess hall and chases after him.

 

Int – Mess Hall

 

Jerry rushes through the mass of tables, more than one would find necessary for this ship, given its relative size. The light in this room is much whiter. The beast bursts through the doors and lowers its head as it charges through the first couple of square tables, knocking them aside. Jerry looks behind him, determining the beast’s path and darts between two tables, altering his own so that the creature can’t charge him.

 

The creature shrieks and jumps onto a table, causing it to crack. It begins to gallop over the tables, making its way toward Jerry. It catches up to him and shrieks over him. Jerry screams and ducks as the creature tries to bite him. He takes to under the table and starts to crawl under. The beast jumps on top of the table he’s under, shrieking down on him. Jerry’s excited breathing almost over powers the shrill calls.

 

A single claw tears through the top of the table. Jerry yells once more and starts to roll out from under it. As he does the table collapses, causing the beast to lose its balance. It shrieks and gets back up to its feet. Jerry is headed toward the kitchen now.

 

The creature recovers its balance and begins to take off after him. Jerry reaches the kitchen.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Kitchen

 

Jerry looks out of the door he just came through briefly, waiting for the creature to follow him. He looks over to the counter and grabs a very large knife. He starts to back up into the food storage area of the kitchen.

 

The beast bursts through the door, managing to take out chunks of the wall surrounding it. Jerry takes cover behind the wall of the next doorway as the creature comes charging past. As it rushes past him he slams his knife just beneath its shoulder, holding onto it a bit longer, causing it to cut the beast very badly. He finally lets go of it and the creature shrieks in pain, still charging forward. It pauses and whips around, facing Jerry but too wounded to attack him.

 

Jerry stays pinned up in the corner, afraid to move this close to the animal. It shrieks and starts to lift its leg to take a step toward him, but crashes onto the floor, shaking the entire room.

 

Jerry relaxes a bit, exhaling once more. He’s still breathing considerably hard. He scoots away from the door and starts to back up. Comfortable that the creature is dead, he turns and starts to leave.

 

The creature slowly lifts its head in the background and gets back onto its feet. Jerry spins around, hearing the click of its claws on the floor and his eyes widen. The creature begins to charge him head on. Jerry squeezes his eyes in anticipation. The animal leaps at him, and dissolves out of existence only inches away from him, as if falling into some unseen realm.

 

Jerry opens his eyes again. He’s surprised to see that the creature is gone, and more than a little concerned it might come back. That is, until, he looks into the food storage room. Everything appears to be back in its perfect place now. The walls are undamaged; the shelves are intact. The knife is missing as well. Jerry spins around and looks at the door to the kitchen. It too is completely intact. Confused, he begins to back up. Lastly, he looks at the counter where he got the knife. It is missing.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Mess hall

 

Jerry is amazed as he walks past the perfectly arranged rows of tables, all upright and undamaged. It’s as if nothing at all happened.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Communications center

 

Sure enough, the console is sitting normal again. Nothing is missing; no strange faces appear in the screen. The angle focuses on Jerry standing in the doorway to the center. He hangs his head once more.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Habitat Corridor

 

Jerry paces down the corridor leading to all of the crew quarters. He’s confused. This clearly isn’t where he was hoping to end up.

 

He turns a corner and peers down the hallway. At the other end is the same image of two schoolyard boys running up to a third. The third tries to leave but is kicked to the ground by the bullies. Jerry begins to rush toward them.

 

Jerry

Hey!

 

Jerry begins to run faster, but the run starts to fade into slow motion, taking longer and longer. The two boys proceed to kick the third on the ground. Jerry’s struggling to get there faster, frustrated at how helpless his attempts are.

 

The two boys face and turn Jerry. They smile deceitfully and scurry off, disappearing into the walls. Jerry stops as he reaches the third child.

 

The angle fades to Jerry’s point of view as he looks down. The third child is suddenly seen as an adult reflection of Jerry himself, lying helpless and beaten.

 

The angle returns to Jerry. He blinks in astonishment. The boy now appears to be an actual boy, but the similarities between this boy and the adult Jerry are clear. Even Jerry manages to notice as he kneels down to help the boy up.

 

Boy

Thank you…

 

Jerry’s not taking this illusion at face value anymore. He’s seen enough to question it. It drives him to ask one question.

 

Jerry

What are you?

 

The boy’s expression falls to one of seriousness and despair, realizing that Jerry has called him out.

 

Boy

You know who I am…

 

Jerry

But you can’t be you. This ship, it’s so… empty. What happened here? That’s all I want to know. If you can tell me…

 

Boy

You already know what happened, too.

 

Jerry

That animal? That one that tried to get me earlier?

 

In response the boy points behind Jerry. He spins around and views the other side of the corridor, now much different than when he ran to the boy. It leads to an open cargo room, loaded with crates and barrels. There appear to be two aliens standing in debate over something, it’s growing quite furious.

 

Jerry

What is this?

 

The first crewman shoves the second behind a stack of crates. He disappears from Jerry’s view, save his arms which stick out past the crates. The boy just stands silently behind Jerry.

 

Jerry

Hey, you! Can you hear me?

 

Suddenly the first crewman starts to back up against the wall, afraid. He ignores Jerry. The second crewman’s hands are pulled behind the stack of crates. He lets out an agonizing scream and a small trail of blood flows past the crates. The creature which attacked Jerry shrieks out from behind the crates and starts heading for the first. The crewman is too afraid to move.

 

The angle turns back to Jerry as he looks away.

After a couple seconds of hearing the beast chomp down on the first crewman he looks back up. The creature looks Jerry straight in the eye, mouth stained with blood, and growls.

 

Jerry blinks and the creature is gone. He’s hardly surprised at this point. He suddenly remembers the boy behind him.

 

Jerry

[Turning around]

That thing got all of you, didn’t…

 

The boy is gone. Jerry looks around for him briefly before accepting what just happened. The angle widens to reveal the corridor back in its original form, and the creature just as gone as it was before.

 

Ext – Ship

 

Transition shot of the Alien ship wandering aimlessly through space.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Corridor B

 

Jerry tosses the left sleeve of his shirt aside, clearly torn off as is his right sleeve, yet ironically he carries his jacket. His sweating hasn’t stopped, he’s growing thirstier. His hair is weighed down by his sweat. Time has passed.

 

Jerry stops in front of the bridge and looks down at his old partner. The camera still refuses to reveal Amadeus’s remains. Jerry gets out his jacket, airs it out like a table cloth, and kneels down.

 

Cut to:

 

 

Int – Junction

 

Jerry sits against the wall closest to the door to the mess hall. Positioned fairly close to him is his jacket, tied shut by the sleeves. Amadeus’s remnants rest inside. Jerry is extremely tired. By his standards it would be well past midnight. He looks down at his watch. It reads “2:06 AM”. He gives out a slight laugh.

 

Jerry

[Beginning to lose control just a bit]

The sun never went down, I lost track of time.

 

Jerry looks at his jacket, he gets no response.

 

Jerry

Fine, stay quiet; it’s not like we ever talked much before anyway.

 

The angle cuts to another shot of the reticent jacket. It then returns to Jerry.

 

Jerry

No one wants to talk today; not you, not even the six ships that passed within communications range today. I don’t know why, this ship’s computer just… wouldn’t let me talk to them.

 

Jerry takes his shirt off and tosses it aside. It flops on the floor like a mop. His body is covered with sweat. He laughs a little bit at his shirt.

 

Jerry

I think the most conversation I had today was with myself. My little…

[He holds his hand up about knee level; an exaggeration]

…self.

[He smiles]

He had a lot to say, though. He told me how the people on this ship died. They were killed by that monster; the one that keeps toying with me. And of course he told me all of this after getting beaten up by bullies. I had forgotten about that until now. I still have a scar on my arm…

 

Jerry looks down to the floor, considering his words.

 

Jerry

What is that even supposed to mean? That this is hopeless? That I’m just going to get beaten and take it like a little kid?

[He looks up at the ceiling]

Yeah, well I already know that!

 

His attention goes back to the silent remains of Amadeus.

 

Jerry

I already know that. I’m condemned to wait on this ship until that thing kills me or I die of heat exhaustion. Either way…

 

Jerry stops mid-sentence. He starts to ignore his dead partner and talks to himself.

 

Jerry

Condemned… condemned on this ship. I can’t get off of this ship. So how do I know I can’t use this ship… to escape?

 

Jerry looks back at his jacket.

 

Jerry

Come on, buddy.

 

Jerry moves to get up and heads toward his bag.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Kitchen

 

Jerry opens the trash chute in the back of the kitchen, complete with a small porthole above it. He unties his jacket and, out of frame, dumps Amadeus’s remains into it. He presses a switch and the chute slams shut. He looks up through the porthole and watches as Amadeus’s remains are sent flying into space, too fast to be recognized.

 

Jerry

Bye, friend…

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Engineering

 

Jerry, shirtless but wearing his jacket, stands in front of the massive engines of the ship, unlike anything he would’ve seen in his own ship. It’s a huge, cylindrical turbine full of diagonal gears and misleading pipelines. All along the bottom are consoles positioned in a ring. Jerry is looking them over.

 

Jerry

[Pointing to one of the consoles]

If this one here is…

 

He walks around to another console on the opposite side of the turbine.

 

Jerry

And this one says…

 

He walks around to another console in between the first two he looked at. There is a readout of the ship’s energy levels. They all appear to be above the line.

 

Jerry

Then I’ll be… I think I’m taking this bird home.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Corridor B

 

Jerry rushes through the door into the bridge, totally ignoring the previous trap incident. Nothing happens to him.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Bridge

 

Jerry runs along the sides of the bridge, flipping on consoles and prepping the ship for departure. He seems excited now, less concerned with how close he came to dying before. The bridge slowly comes to life.

 

Jerry heads to the helm station at the front of the ship. He has become accustom enough to this language to be able to estimate, more or less, the right buttons to push. This particular console is pretty straight forward; including arrow keys and a number pad. The helm console starts to light up and beep.

 

Jerry

All right, we got power…

 

Jerry hesitates before pressing one final button.

 

Jerry

Come on, give me this one…

[He presses the button]

 

Cut to:

 

Ext – Ship

 

The mighty engines of the alien ship start to combust. A wave of energy, similar to a backfire on an old automobile, goes off. The crashing sound is deafening, followed by a low hum and a slowly growing glow from the engines.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Bridge

 

Jerry

All right! We got power!

 

Jerry begins looking at the display of surrounding space, and then begins typing numbers into the pad, just assuming it works like a three-by-three-plus-one number pad in his own ship. He starts to smile.

 

Jerry

Coordinates set. Ready to go…

 

He finally moves around to take a seat at the helm station. He hesitates, and, excited, presses the button to engage…

 

…An error message appears on his console.

 

Jerry’s expression quickly fades from one of joy to one of despair. The audience can almost see his stomach drop. He looks at the error message like it’s his death sentence.

 

Jerry

No… no, what’s the problem?

 

The display appears to be highlighting one portion of the ship in red, an area just over the port thruster. The rest is unrecognizable to him. Jerry closes the error message.

 

Jerry

No, no, you’ve gotta let me do this.

 

He types the co-ordinates in again. He pounds the button to engage hard this time. Another error message appears. The same area of the ship appears in red.

 

Jerry

No! Please! No!

 

Jerry tries the procedure again, to no success. He moans and falls out of his chair. He crawls to the center of the bridge, tears forming in his eyes. He cries upward.

 

Jerry

Why?! Why do you let me get so close?!

 

Jerry looks back down at the floor, genuinely venPTMul through his tears.

 

Jerry

Why do you keep toying with me? If you wanted to kill me… if you wanted to destroy me, why haven’t you? You’ve had the chance!

 

Jerry spots a piece of Amadeus’s remains he must’ve missed earlier. It’s a nice, conveniently placed, jagged hunk of metal. He holds it up to his chest.

 

Jerry

Maybe I should just do it myself, huh? Get it all over with! Would you even care?!

 

Jerry looks down at the knife, considering whether or not he should take his own life. He pulls it away from his chest, as if preparing to stab himself, and then pauses. He starts to cry and tosses the blade aside.

 

Jerry

Why won’t you do it? Please… do it…

 

Nothing happens. He looks up again at the helm console. The display of the ship with the one section above the port thruster catches his eye. Next to it, another word almost makes sense to him, an alien word resembling “excess.”

 

Jerry

[Revelation]

…Oh…

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Corridor A

 

Jerry heads toward the hatch where the Ryuu-3 was previously docked. He’s determined. He pauses in front of it.

 

He looks outside of the porthole. The angle reverses briefly to show another shot of the twisted debris resting in the wake of the Ryuu’s demise.

 

With the angle back on Jerry, he reaches down to the large handle of the hatch. He hesitates, and then presses down on the handle, pulling the hatch open.

 

Rather than being sucked out into the vacuum of space, Jerry stands there, certain he wouldn’t be killed. He stands there, looking out into the emptiness of space and the wreckage of his ship. Slowly he takes a step forward. Standing on the edge of the hatch, he takes another step forward into space; into nothing…

 

Into the Ryuu-3.

 

Cut to:

 

Int – Ryuu-3 Corridor

 

Jerry finds himself in the comfort of the Ryuu-3 again. He looks behind him at the hatch to the alien ship. There has been no damage; the ship hasn’t exploded. He is simply there.

 

The lights; all power on the ship seems to be offline. He paces forward toward the cockpit. As he does, he seems amazed, yet assured he is actually on his ship.

 

Upon reaching the cockpit he finds all of the power still offline, including Amadeus who seems to be resting comfortably in his chair. His eyes are black, powerless. Jerry slowly moves around to his chair and sits down. He reaches onto the console and begins to start the ship. Lights start to come on, the console starts beeping. He’s still a bit awestruck by it all.

 

Voice

Wait…

 

Jerry spins around in his chair. The first thing he sees is the creature that attacked him, glowing with an orange aura. It morphs onto its feet, and then begins to phase constantly. It appears to be a collection of different people, all appearing for only a second or two before uncontrollably fading to the next. Different species, sexes, colors; they all glow of the same orange aura the ship glowed of. This being is comprised of many beings, but has only one, original consciousness. The voice of this being, however, remains a constant. It seems a light, peaceful one, yet with a sense of urgency.

 

Jerry

What are you?

 

Being

Collection…

 

Jerry

A collection? Of what? Of the people on this ship?

 

Being

This ship? No, mine. Those ships…

 

Jerry’s console starts to beep. He looks down at the radar, and then out of the view shield. Dozens of damaged and abandoned ships start to appear before Jerry’s eyes.

 

The angle cuts to an exterior of the alien ship and the Ryuu as more ships fade into existence.

 

Back inside the Ryuu, Jerry looks back at the being confused.

 

Jerry

They’re all… dead?

 

Being

They are me now.

 

Jerry reaches under his console for a hidden rifle holstered against the metal.

 

Jerry

You killed them all?!

 

Being

No… I… not kill… can’t

 

Jerry

That’s why you didn’t kill me, isn’t it? You can’t kill me yourself, can you? You don’t exist…

 

Being

Not like you… my ship… energy… need. Must get home…

 

Jerry

And the dead, their energy… is your fuel… right…

 

Being

I kill not! …Can’t.

 

Jerry

But you drove them to do it! You made them think it was all gone, maybe that they were turning against each other or, or like in my case they were going to die of heat exhaustion or starvation or…

 

Being

Like you… they die…

 

Jerry

[Confused as to the disregard for life]

…Why?

 

Being

Must get home…

 

Jerry takes his hand off of the gun hidden beneath the console. He stands. The being backs off a bit, afraid. Jerry raises his hands slightly in defense, and slowly starts taking steps forward.

 

Jerry

Where’s your home? How far do you have to go?

 

Being

Far… more than you…

 

Jerry

But this isn’t the way. You can’t just take the lives of others to go home. …I can’t let you keep doing that.

 

Being

…Must get home…

 

Jerry stops now, only feet away from the being. Either could easily attack the other if they wished.

 

Jerry

[Desperate]

I can tow your ship… the nearest PTM outpost isn’t far, they’ll think of a way to get you home.

 

Being

No! No more like you…

 

Jerry

[Shaking his head]

It’s either that or I’ll have to blow up your ship. I really… don’t want to do that. Not yet. People; [gesturing through the view shield] my people need to know about you.

 

Being

[Hanging its head]

…Must get home.

 

Jerry

Then let me tow your ship in. You know it’s the only way…

 

The being nods while he hangs his head, and then looks up at Jerry with sincere eyes before fading out of existence once more.

 

The angle cuts briefly to an exterior shot of the alien ship. The orange light begins to fade, and the engines die as if relaxing after all of this.

 

Jerry nods. He sits quietly for a moment, looking out on all the abandoned ships, all of the lives taken, and then starts the engines of the ship. He reaches over to Amadeus.

 

Jerry

Hey, big guy.

 

Cut to:

 

Ext – Space

 

The Ryuu-3 moves around to the front of the alien ship. It activates a tractor beam on it and starts to tow it away. As it does, the graveyard of ships begins to fade away.

 

Fade to Black

THE END


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