Episode Twelve


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A long, narrow room crowded with untidy bunk beds.  The ceiling is ribbed steel arched in a hoop like a polytunnel.  There are no windows and only a single door.

ELDON, a soldier sits on an upper bunk, legs swinging as he reads a comic book.  He’s fresh faced, very young and giggling like a child.  His left arm is heavily bandaged.

The door opens.  There’s a faint sporadic sound of distant artillery. A figure clad in power armour stoops to enter the dormitory.  The armour is scratched and scorched.  The legs are slick with dark mud which leaves a wet trail.

ELDON (despairingly): Aww, man!  I gotta clean this place up.  You ain’t meant to wear that thing in here.

The figure reaches up with an armoured gauntlet and twists a catch at the neck of the armour.  The helmet hisses and unlocks revealing a young man with close cropped hair – JOE.  He’s grinning.

ELDON jumps off the bunk and does a rapid salute.

ELDON (worried): Oh, sorry sarge!

JOE: Ha, they burnt off the damn rank marker.  I’ll let you off, Private. Sorry ‘bout the mess. (he laughs) I’d’ve taken this off, but they got the release mechanism too.

JOE turns and bangs a metallic fist against the side of the armour.  There’s a huge scar across the suit.  He stomps across the room, casually pushing aside a bunk bed using his suit-enhanced strength.

ELDON (eager to please): You want me to call the techs to get it off, sarge?

JOE: Not now. I gotta wave coming through. Due any minute.

JOE stomps to a wave station at one end of the dormitory.  He twists off a gauntlet and drops it on the floor.  He runs his fingers through his hair as if to look more presentable and taps a brief series of buttons.  The wave screen activates – it shows an Alliance logo as a standby page. ELDON is standing, watching and shuffling from foot to foot.

JOE (without turning around): Hey, why don’t you quit loitering and go get a tech.  But gimme 20 minutes.

ELDON opens his mouth to reply, but thinks better of it.  He grabs a coat from his bunk and leaves the dormitory. 

A few moments pass.  The Alliance logo on the screen changes to an ‘incoming wave’ picture. JOE taps a few buttons and the screen changes.

On screen is a head and shoulders view of a pretty girl, BELINDA. She’s initially sombre but flashes up a smile when she sees JOE.  She rolls her eyes when she sees the battered armour.

BELINDA: Joseph Henry Hill, what in the world are you wearing?

JOE (grinning): Just my business suit, Billie.  How’re things?

BELINDA: Oh, not too bad. There’s a bunch of rebels hunkered down in the west of the city, but they’re not causing anyone any trouble. But if you don’t get back here soon I might have to deal with them myself.

JOE (laughs): I don’t think they deserve that, honey. Sounds like I’d better get home soon.

BELINDA: You’d better, mister.  A girl won’t wait forever, you know.  I might find a handsome executive and get whisked off my feet.  A man who won’t go gallivanting off to join the army, just to… (she tails off)

JOE (slightly coldly): And, how is my father? It sounds like you’ve been talking to him recently.

BELINDA: He’s fine.  He said he’s holding the job offer open for you.

JOE: I hope you told him to –

BELINDA: I certainly did not! (she sighs) Look, Joe, I don’t want to argue.  I can’t talk for long. We’re all packed up and ready to move out to Oceanside. There’s going to be some fighting I think.  Papa heard that the Alliance are sending an army against those rebels.

JOE: What?  Are you still in the city?

BELINDA: Relax, Joe. The rebels haven’t moved in a week.  And they’re miles away.  We’ve got the whole militia between them and us. Besides, I don’t think they’d hurt civilians, they’re not fighting us, they’re fighting the Alliance.

JOE: We are the Alliance, Billie.  You don’t know what these monsters can do!

BELINDA: I’m leaving in a minute. I just thought you’d like to speak to me.  Obviously I was mistaken. And this wave cost a fortune. It was already booked.  Would you have preferred me just to leave without a word?

JOE (frustrated): Yes! I would.

BELINDA (upset and looking daggers): Fine!

The screen display crackles faintly, winks out then returns. BELINDA is looking confused.  Neither of them knows that it was an EMP pulse temporarily buggering up the electrics.

BELINDA: What happened?  I thought you’d hung up on me.

JOE (conciliatory): Never. Look, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean what I said, of course I’m glad you waited.  I’m just stressed.  But I want you to be safe.

BELINDA (softening): I know.  I’m sorry too.  I love you.

JOE (smiles): I –

There is a white flash and a roaring noise, and then the display returns to the Alliance logo.

JOE (confused): love you too.

[Cue music] ......

Joe carefully went down the ladder, checking for any traps at the bottom of the 60 ft shaft. As he moved down the shaft small lights lit up in response to his progress down the shaft. From the bottom Joe could see a metallic tunnel leading away. Convinced it was safe Joe called the others down. They cautiously went down the corridor, smashing cameras they found in the side of the wall until they approached a large room.

The room had a writhing mass of tubes and crawling electronic animals on it and Bau decided to throw a grenade in to try and kill some of the “things” off. As the blast faded everyone could start to hear Dr Weir’s voice coming at them “… you have come to join my army.” Nathaniel decided to answer Dr Weir by telling him that they had not come to join him. Nathaniel decided to check whether it was a hologram or not and fired a shot at Weir. The bullet went straight though the hologram.

“Ah Nathaniel you have returned to the fold.” Dr Weir continued unabated. “Eventually you will all become part of my army.” The crew told him there was no way they’d join him. “I’m sure you’ll change your minds. We’ll talk later.”

Pinto and Joe went up to the double door at the other side of the room. Nathaniel cautiously entered the room with them and Bau just stood inside the doorway. Suddenly the door behind him started to come down very fast. Bau stayed in the room, but Fey, Eleanor and Captain Wildheart were trapped on the other side. In the room the crew quickly put on gasmasks they’d picked up from the transport ship only to find the inevitable knockout gas started coming into the room. Eleanor decided to start heading back to the surface to see if she could find some cutting gear, but as she started going up the ladder she heard a ship landing. From there she was able to contact Thomas in the ship who confirmed that a landing craft full of troops was coming down. He suggested taking off and getting them to chase him, but they just continued to land the troops. Meanwhile Bau was rigging up some grenades to blow the door between him and his Captain. He didn’t quite use enough and only succeeded in blowing up the top section of the thick steel door.

Eleanor headed back down and told Fey and Captain Wildheart. Captain Wildheart said that they could use one of their two EMP devices to blow the chips in the troops heads. Pinto passed them through to Captain Wildheart and she said she’d deal with it. Fey decided to follow her up the ladder and as she got to the top Captain Wildheart shouted out “I’m coming up to surrender.” She emerged from the hatch with her hands up and the EMP device tight in her hand. The soldiers surrounded her with their guns pointed at her and she blew the EMP grenade.  Eleven of out twelve of the soldiers collapsed and died there and then. The last one just collapsed and fell into a coma.

Eleanor and Fey collected the assault rifles and grenades from the soldiers and took them back down into the tunnel. They passed a number of grenades through the hole and Bau used them to blow the far doors open.

Bau and Joe had to quickly react as the other side of the door had a large 200 ft room with five spiked balls and two armed robots in it. The crew fought a pitched battle, which resulted in them defeating Dr Weir’s forces. In the large room they discovered a pile of boxes with the Zarom Shipping Company written on it, a trap door in the ceiling and a winch. The crates had mechanical supplies in them and Bau suggested he would look through them later. Whilst there they spotted a couple more cameras and knocked them out and a large gas canister in the corner.

The inevitable bunch of grenades on the next door soon opened in, revealing a sideways corridor with another corridor leading directly away. There were several doors off the corridors and from one of them something began to emerge. What emerged was a robot like body with a mostly human head on it. Joe immediately recognised the head as that of his former girlfriend Belinda. She asked

”Who are you? Are you friends of Doddie’s?”

“Yes,” replied Joe in an attempt to disguise his voice “We’re friends of Dr Weir.

“Who are you?” She repeated.

“A friend.” Joe repeated.

“Joe” Belinda said “is that you? Why didn’t you go to my funeral?” Now that the gas had dissipated Joe removed his gas mask.

“It was during the war. I couldn’t.” Joe replied. “Where’s Dr Weir?”

“Probably in the caves. So are you working for your father now?” Belinda enquired.

”No” Joe replied. “Let me take a look around you?” Joe palmed one of the spiked balls needles in his hand and stabbed her in the neck from behind.

“Sure….” With that Belinda collapsed to the ground. Joe said that he wanted to get her to the Serendipity as quickly as possible and so he supervised moving her whilst the others looked around the other rooms.

They found a series of living quarters including a Medi-bay where a Medi-bot was converting two of the Utopia’s crew into chipped members of Dr Weir’s army. One was nearly fully converted and was beyond help. The other had not yet been chipped and with a bit of surgery could be saved. The crew called down Dr Wu to operate on him and save him.

The last remaining door the crew concluded led to the caves. Going through the door they came into a natural cave tunnel that led into a cavern with stalagmites and stalactites with two exits from it. The crew went left and found Dr Weir in a room behind a stone table and a bank of monitors sitting on a throne. To his side Sinead was manacled to a wheel, wearing just a jumpsuit.

“So you’ve finally come to join me.” Dr Weir said.

Joe decided to try firing directly at Weir, but discovered that he has a force-field in front of him. Weir laughed.

“No we’ll never join you.” Nathaniel told him.

“You were the first Nathaniel and now you will join the rest of my army.” Dr Weir continued.

“So what are you plans then?” Nathaniel decided to get Weir to continue talking.

“Soon another Alliance Cruiser will be here and they will join me too. Eventually everyone will live together in perfect harmony and humanity will be perfect.”

Bau collapsed having a fit and he heard a snake like voice talking to him. It told him that even if they eliminated Dr Weir he would live on. It knew about Bau’s ability to communicate with machines and said that together they could be great. Bau refused the offer stating that the machine was just Dr Weir’s puppet and tried to get it to demonstrate that it was independent in its thinking of Dr Weir. It failed to show this and it ended up threatening Bau as he came out of the fit.

“Let my sister go” Fey chimed in.

“Oh Sinead has come back to me now.” He said “She was mine once and now she has returned.”

“She’d never go with you.” Fey told him.

“Oh that’s where you’re wrong. She came to me at first and started this project and then she left me. Soon she will see that I am the only way!”

Fey decided to go and explore the other cavern. There she found a huge crystal cave with three gravestones at the back. These crosses had animal scratches on them. Behind the crosses were some primitive cave paintings showing a huge ship crashing on a planet and many people fleeing the ship. Another panel showed another smaller ship arriving and people being taken away in slavery.

Bau had busied himself trying to find the unit controlling the force field when the last remaining EM grenade was launched at the force field. Joe fired at Dr Weir, killing him instantly.

Eleanor and Pinto headed behind the throne where there was a small passageway whilst the others looked to free Sinead from her prison. Eleanor and Pinto heading down the narrow passage were hit with a huge electric charge. This knocked Pinto out for a while and Eleanor had to drag him off. She then found a large dual computer at the back of the cave (next to a cave in) and proceeded to use grenades to blow it to smithereens. Bau came back to make sure that it was completely destroyed.

Meanwhile back in the main room Sinead declared that she was in charge and they would need to gather up Dr Weir’s work for her to take back to the Alliance. Captain Wildheart stated that “Council would not allow it” and drew her gun on Sinead. Just then Fey came back and drew her gun on Captain Wildheart. An argument ensued between the two and they began to fight. Sinead knocked the gun out of Wildheart’s hand and proceeded to kick her in the face, then in the gut. Joe sprinted out of the room to go and check on whether Belinda was still OK on board the Serendipity. Nathaniel drew his gun and circled behind Sinead as Eleanor dashed back into the room and accidentally shot Fey. With multiple guns on Sinead she agreed to stop fighting. The crew manacled her again whilst they discussed what to do with her. Captain Wildheart told them they needed to destroy Dr Weir’s work so that it could never be used again and that Sinead must not report this. Sinead explained that the Alliance could use this for good and she’d been sent to stop Dr Weir and recover his technology. Seeing the dangers the group started to discuss what to do when Fey Flint drew a gun on her sister and shot her in the head, committing sororicide.

Eleanor announced that she could not stay on the Serendipity with Fey Flint after she had committed that act and decided to go back with Nathaniel and Captain Wildheart. It was agreed that Captain Wildheart (once she’d regained her ship and the Serendipity was clear) would send a Tac-Nuke to destroy Dr Weir’s work. She would then make her own report about what happened here.

Eleanor investigated the other cave and took samples of the bones and felled the gravestones to take back with her. She also photographed the cave paintings. On the way back to the S.V. Utopia Captain Wildheart offered Nathaniel a post as her new second in command if he’d re-enlist in the military. He told her he’d think about it.

The Serendipity took off and flew away from Tetrix as the Utopia bombed the planet.