Episode 2: The Exception

2 – The Exception

The investigation begins.

Created by Andrew Santoro and Kelsey Henry.

Voices in order of appearance: Charles Hubbell as Narrator and Milton; Andrew Santoro as David; Ro Cornell as Captain Calloway; Lee Fillingsness as Fyodor; Kelsey Henry as Argus; Janet Fogg as Jo Ann; Yasin Elabdi as XO; Rusty Diamond as Chris.

Cover art by Robert James Algeo. Intro theme by Just Star Stuff. Robot Techno by Charlie Van Stee.

Content Notes: Swearing. Jump scares.

Illustrated Transcripts for every episode and in-between are available to all Patreon members.

And here is the plain text transcript:

2 – The Exception

INTRO THEME: Tense strings.

NARRATOR: Loss is not a wound that heals, but a chasm that grows.

Music builds.

NARRATOR: Look up at the stars and recall that the void is the rule, never the exception.

Music drops.

NARRATOR: Episode Two: The Exception.

FADE IN Ambience: Meeting Room.

BLIP! Recording plays. Filtered Cargo Bay atmosphere begins. Metal tools clink.

DAVID: (RECORDING) Begin repair log. I don’t have a choice. Not gonna make this trip all for nothing because I just stood by as the colonization tanks fried. This is David of the Dellingr. Just…trying to keep this ship afloat.

BLIP! Recording pause.

Milton talks over the recording.

MILTON: (fuming) Well?

Milton talks over Calloway.

CALLOWAY: What were the exact parameters around…Milton, hey. Hey!

MILTON: What did you do, David, that you thought–NO, CAPTAIN–that you thought would compromise our entire life’s mission?

CALLOWAY: Let’s listen to the repair log.

Button press. BLIP! Filtered Cargo Bay atmosphere resumes.

DAVID: (RECORDING) This is the fifth repair of tank GY-232, under emergency measures. Note the biohazard suit this time…Unknown cause of a rupture means the coolant tank may be in contact with contents of the tank, but the leak is secondary to the temperature which coul—-

The recording distorts. Static glitches. Recording cuts out.

FYODOR: Yahh! My ears are broken! Why it is doing this?

DAVID: I don’t know. It was fine when I was recording.

MILTON: Did you get what you wanted, David? A glimpse into the tank?

DAVID: I didn’t do anything but seal the leak.

MILTON: You were supposed to leave it entirely alone. That’s the one rule to never break.

DAVID: We’d have lost the whole tank. And the adjacent tanks were taking the runoff heat. We’re talking hundreds of fried capsules.

MILTON: You don’t know how much damage you’ve potentially introduced by coming in contact.

DAVID: Is it less than a critical mission loss? Because that was my only other option.

MILTON: We don’t know how much we lost yet! It could take months to find out…we could end up never knowing the full extent of damage. It could be too late.

Milton gets up from his seat.

MILTON: I need to reassess every unit.

DAVID: Well–

MILTON: –DON’T interrupt me.

SCHWIPP. The airlock door open in the distance.

SCHWUPP. Door closes.

DAVID: Well, what else–

ARGUS: –It’s okay, David. You had to make a call.

CALLOWAY: You did what you thought was best. You took action. I commend you.

FYODOR: I do not envy this choice. Either way, we limp to the finish line.

ARGUS: Fyodor, god, shut up, please. Sorry. Sorry. You know we’re good, I just, come on.

FYODOR: S’all good. You are perfectionist, and you watched someone completely blow this.

ARGUS: You know you make it real tough sometimes, Fyodor.

CALLOWAY: Our priority is determining the cause of the malfunction, and hopefully preventing further payload loss.

DAVID: The tank’s still stabilizing, so I’m holding off on going into the cargo bay.

FYODOR: If you try, Milton’d stab you dead anyway, so safe bet.

DAVID: He’s always wanted the excuse.


FYODOR: He’s jealous that he can only watch while you touch his, uh, tanks.

ARGUS: Poor Milton, always in theory, never in application.

CALLOWAY: As Captain, I’m concerned this hostile humor isn’t healthy for our type of work environment.

ARGUS: Are you doing okay, Calloway?

CALLOWAY: (Sigh) It’s been a long couple of months.

CROSS-FADE to: David’s Room ambience.


JO ANN: (RECORDING) Si-lent night, Ho-o-ly–

David pushes buttons, types as he talks..

DAVID: Shut up.

XO: (DING!) Message erased. You have 68 priority alerts.

DAVID: XO, access all logs for cargo bay.

XO: (DING!) Here you go, David.

DAVID: All logs from all crew. These are just mine.

XO: (DING!) Okay, David.

DAVID: That’s it? How ’bout all of Milton’s open notes.

XO: (DING!) Sure thing, David.

DAVID: Nothing? XO: Milton’s files.

XO: Yes.

DAVID: What can I look at that has Milton’s name on it. XO.

XO: Here’s everything.

DAVID: Thank you.

Mouse clicks. Taps on the screen.

DAVID: Anything that isn’t lab procedure? No cargo bay? Tank reports?

XO: I’m sorry, I don’t see anything that fits your request.

DAVID: Does Milton any have private files?

XO: I cannot answer.

DAVID: Would anyone see if I kept private files?

XO: With your permission.

Button press.

DAVID: Start new recording.


DAVID: I’m getting to the bottom of this. Ah! Set all my future recordings to private.

Button press. BLIP!

XO: (DING!) Okay, David.

Button press.

DAVID: Mute command functions on my tablet.

He presses more buttons. Seems satisfied. Play back.

DAVID: (RECORDING) I’m getting to the bottom of this. Ah! Set all my future recordings to pri–

Button press.

DAVID: Delete last recorded video.

XO: Video erased.

FADE OUT ambience.


BLIP! Recording starts. (EVERYTHING is filtered.)

Ambience: Hallway.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, Da–

Button press. David jangles as he walks. Milton’s footsteps fade in.

David’s voice is louder and clearer than Milton’s voice (David is holding his tablet while it records.)

DAVID: Milton–

MILTON: David, I’m not doing this right now.

DAVID: Yeah, just wanted to ask if I can–


MILTON: Goodbye, David.


BLIP! Recording ends.


BLIP! Recording begins. Ambience: Hallway. Muffled soft jazz plays.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Merry Chris–

Button press.



Music swells. Calloway’s server room ambience builds.

DAVID: Captain?

Jazz music stops.


DAVID: Yeah.

SCHWUPP. Hallway ambience ends.

Calloway: Let me guess why you’re here.


DAVID: Sure.

Typing stops.

CALLOWAY: Oh. Well, the meeting. Milton? I sense his anger caused some pain if you need to talk about it.

DAVID: Thanks, Calloway, I–

CALLOWAY: The malfunction. Ah. I’m going over all the logs for the cargo bay, and there’s no indication last night was caused by your repairs. You’re off the hook. Or not on a hook.

Typing. Mouse clicks throughout the conversation.

DAVID: That’s good to hear. I’ve always been careful to log everything for times like this.


DAVID: I was wondering if I need to do anything special to send the repair logs to Milton while he looks into the tank more?

CALLOWAY: Uh. It’s open access, right? I sent him the notes you attached to the logs. I assumed that’s what the notes were for, for clarification?

DAVID: Absolutely. Well, I know Milton probably wants to work alone on this, but I feel like I should help more hands on, on the matter. But, I was looking…

MICROPHONE RUMBLE. David taps on his console while it records.

DAVID: And I only have my logs for the cargo bay. And I already know all that, you know.


DAVID: Am I missing any update logs from Milton?

CALLOWAY: He’s probably still deep in it for the rest of the day…

DAVID: I could look into the cargo bay archives, maybe you know my engineer brain would help pick up on something that Milton’s molecular bioligist brain missed.

CALLOWAY: That’s not a bad idea, David.

Fast typing.

CALLOWAY: I guess Milton’s research never dealt with the tanks directly. That makes sense, I guess, because it’s mostly theoretical. Mission… preparations. Anyways, he just has logs on his lab work. Looks like you’re the sole name for cargo bay updates looks like.

DAVID: Oh. While I’m here, I’m wondering if I actually have to have these messages auto-play or…

CALLOWAY: XO, can you mark the videos as seen?


XO/DAVID: I’m sorry, Calloway. Priority messages must be read manually.

CALLOWAY: You haven’t watched them yet?

DAVID: I’m making my way through them. Are they visible to everyone? Because they’re alerts?

CALLOWAY: Hey, XO: Are alerts categorized in personal logs?

XO: Alerts are marked as priority on an individual basis, Captain Calloway.

Calloway’s typing slows.

CALLOWAY: Looks like as acting Captain, I can read your alerts without marking them read, which doesn’t solve your problem. Hmm…

DAVID: Do you know if Milton has access now, since he’s working through my repair logs?

CALLOWAY: Just the standard open crew access, David. He can see everyone’s update logs and whatever I clear as Captain.

DAVID: No one can see private logs?

CALLOWAY: I can see the files exist but no one else can.

DAVID: Really?

CALLOWAY: I mean, unless that crew member, you know, passes away. Or I clear it for others to see.

DAVID: Do you clear a lot of things as Captain?

CALLOWAY: Never. And it’s worked out so far. Can I see your tablet?

MIC RUMBLE. David fumbles with his console.

DAVID: Just a second…



BLIP! Recording resumes.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) David, it’s Chris’s birthday. Don’t–

David sighs.

Button press.

Calloway’s voice is closer and clearer.

CALLOWAY: The videos play every time you turn your tablet on?

DAVID: Yep…I don’t see any logs from Milton. Like ever.

CALLOWAY: Let me see…

RUMBLE. Calloway holds the tablet.

CALLOWAY: Yeah. Me neither. Huh.

RUMBLE. David holds the tablet. His voice is closer.

DAVID: Do you just see the fuse replacement logs on your terminal like I do on my tablet?

Calloway types.

CALLOWAY: Yesss… Even that last one, the corrupted file. But I can see you have way more repair logs. And some private logs. Let me look into… Woah, that’s a lot…Huh.


CALLOWAY: Fyodor has an entire catalog of him teaching the robot arm advanced commands…103 videos! What!


BLIP! Recording end.


BLIP! Recording begins. Ambience: Bridge.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, Dav–

ARGUS: –at it all morning. (registers Jo Ann’s voice) Was that your mom’s voice?

RUMBLE. David taps his fingers on the recording console.

DAVID: Yeah. Sorry.

ARGUS: You’re super fidgety today.

DAVID: Yeah. Got a case of the hot digits. What were you saying?

ARGUS: Tell me if I’m being paranoid about this morning’s meeting. The whole file keeps degrading. I looked at it again, David, and it can’t even read five seconds now. I know you didn’t corrupt your own logs…I trust you. Do you trust me?

DAVID: Of course.

ARGUS: Milton was so disturbed, this morning. And, the only logs for the storage tanks are from you, I thought Milton would have some kind of housekeeping logs, you know, even I have files for the nav system in case something happens. Right? And so you’re the only one with logs for the cargo bay, but the crucial log is unreadable? Do you…?

DAVID: Do I think Milton’s doing things with the tanks off the record?

ARGUS: If Milton doesn’t share the work he’s done today, I–I don’t know.

DAVID: If he doesn’t, he’s not working towards the same goal as the rest of us.


DAVID: Or what?

ARGUS: Gahh, you won’t like it–okay. So, you had to break protocol to do the repair last night.

DAVID: I was authorized.

ARGUS: Okay. But you did it based on what XO was telling you about the situation, right? You said it was like, ‘Total loss unknown.’

DAVID: Yeah.

ARGUS: I’m going to say it so we can rule it out and move on…

DAVID: You can tell me.

ARGUS: We can trust our computer system, right? There’s not some hidden measures built into our OS that–

David laughs under his breath.

Argus: –Stop, I know! I know. I have to ask.

DAVID: No, it’s another variable. I don’t know what I can do to make sure we didn’t fuck this whole thing up. Feel like I’m sitting back. Letting it crash.

ARGUS: Suddenly there’s so many things happening that I have no clue why.

Button press.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Merry Christmas, David–

Button press.

XO: Message erased.

ARGUS: Who invited her?

Button press. David scrubs through all of his alert videos, one at a time, and deleting them.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) (Singing) Happy Birthday, to me! (Laughs) Hi, David.

Button press.

XO: Message erased.

DAVID: No one. She’s known to do worse for attention.

Button presses precede and cut off Jo Ann, Chris and XO. The videos bleat broken syllables as David tries to delete them as fast as he can.

ARGUS: Like?

JO ANN: (RECORDING) (Singing) Merry Christmas–

XO: Message–

DAVID: Like faking illness when Edie was in the hospital, so I’d have to split my time between them.

CHRIS: (RECORDING) Happy New Year–

XO: Message–

DAVID: Like accusing me of stealing her savings when she hit the bottom of it so she could leverage the whole family for money.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Don’t forget to call–

XO: Message–

CHRIS: (RECORDING) Guess who’s turning thirty–

XO: Message–

JO ANN (RECORDING): Did you get the video we sent you?–

XO: Messag–

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, David!–

XO: Message–

DAVID: Like accusing me of a fire that ruined half her house.

CHRIS: (RECORDING) Happy Easter–

XO: Message–

JO ANN: (RECORDING) David. It’s Chris’s birthday.–

XO: Message era–

CHRIS: (RECORDING) This time, it’s my birthday–

XO: Message–

DAVID: Like telling my brother that Edie took grandma’s jewelry when my mom had pawned it years before my brother got the chance.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Halloween! (Witch Laugh)–

XO: Message erased.

DAVID: Seeing these is actual torture.

CHRIS: (RECORDING) Ah, you forgot Mom’s birthday aga–

XO: Mess–

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, Da–

XO: Mes–

DAVID: Edie and I had the same birthday.


XO: Meh–

ARGUS: I think you mentioned it.


XO: Message–

ARGUS: You don’t talk a lot about it.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Merry Christma–

XO: Meh–

DAVID: I probably told you this before–the fucked up part. She died on that day, too.

ARGUS: Oh my god. You did not tell me that.

CHRIS: (RECORDING) Lordy, lordy. Look–

XO: Message–

ARGUS: God. There’s no way your family could’ve known she died and sent you all those happy birthday videos.

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, David–

XO: Message erased.

DAVID: They wouldn’t care if they did.

RUMBLE. David sets his tablet down between them. Argus’s voice becomes closer, fuller.

ARGUS: I can see why I don’t know much about pre-space David.

DAVID: Earth David didn’t have a chance. Didn’t have what it takes. I’m space David?

ARGUS: We’ll go with that.

DAVID: Space David ditched Earth David the first chance he got. Just had too much weighing him down. Super annoying, too. If I saw Earth David again, I’d…I’d give him a hug.

ARGUS: Yeah. Alright. Yeah.

DAVID: Yeah. Earth David had it rough. You don’t know him like I do.

ARGUS: I’d probably hug him, too.

DAVID: You’re not really a hugger.

ARGUS: No, but. Guy seems like he needs it.

DAVID: Then I’ll just give my hug to Earth Argus.

ARGUS: She’s not much of a hugger.

DAVID: You mean space Argus?

SCHWIPP. Fyodor enters.

FYODOR: (DISTANT) What are you two doing in the same room?

ARGUS: What’s up, Fyodor?


ARGUS: I’m not splitting it up like that. I didn’t leave anything behind. You know? I always wanted to be an astronaut. Earth Argus ascended.

DAVID: Just the right time, too.

ARGUS: I know! People even called me noble for it.

DAVID: Well, they’re not wrong.

ARGUS: I mean…Come on. I’d have gone if it was just as a guinea pig. As a punishment. Fyodor, do you need something?

FYODOR: I have scenario: you’re invited to go to space… to destroy the Earth.

ARGUS: I’m picking space.

FYODOR: In a painful fashion, brutal and senseless.

ARGUS: Every time.

FYODOR: As cosmonaut, your first task is to snipe every dog on planet with a radiation beam, giving them all incurable cancer.

ARGUS: Whoa. But, I’m in space. So.

SCHWIPP. Calloway enters.

FYODOR: You have to start with the puppies.

CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Hello, everyone.

FYODOR: Kitties are next.

ARGUS: What’s that thing they say about screams in space? That you don’t hear them?

CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) It’s called astronaut ice cream. We don’t actually have any.

ARGUS: Why is everyone here?

CALLOWAY: (super happy) The logs, they were all true!

Recording GLITCHES.

Recording resumes. Music envelopes. A salsa dance. Ambience: Robotics Lab.

Mechanical WHIRS.

Calloway laughs.

FYODOR: Everyone, Roberta’s a shy dancer. She needs to feel the music before she’ll give in to the rhythm.

CALLOWAY: (Laughs) Geez.

FYODOR: So no laughing!

CALLOWAY: (Laughs) Sorry.

Robotic ZWHIPPs.

FYODOR: She will telemanipulate your heart if you let her.

Mechanical ZINGs, ZWHIPPs and WHIRRs in time with the music.

Argus and Calloway laugh.

FYODOR: We’ve been practicing our routine for months. Although most days, I danced alone.

The robot ‘dance’ continues in rhythm.

FYODOR: That was beautifully done, Roberta, but what about…This!

The music switches to a fast techno beat. WHIRs and ZWHIPPs find the new rhythm.

Calloway laughs.

The beat drops. Hydraulic WHIRRING.

The techno beat speeds up. WHIRs and ZWHIPPs increase.

CALLOWAY: Turn it off!

The music and mechanical maneuvers grow distant.

SCHWIPP. David leaves.

SCHWUPP. The music is muffled. Ambience shifts to: Hallway.

The music stops.

SCHWIPP. SCHWUPP. Argus exits the robotics lab.

ARGUS: You okay?

DAVID: Yeah. I just needed quiet to think.

ARGUS: Did Roberta’s dance stir something inside you? Should I give you a moment alone?

SCHWIPP. Fyodor yells from the robotics lab.

FYODOR: (DISTANT) David, come back! It was all part of song I did not mean to scare anyone.

DAVID: It was a wonderful dance, Roberta’s beautiful… I just need to get back to my duties.

ARGUS: I’ll be back in a second.

FYODOR: Oh. I see.

CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Is David okay?

SCHWUPP. Fyodor returns to the lab.

DAVID: It’s… It’s too repetitive.

ARGUS: Oh…Were you actually scared by the song?

DAVID: No. No. The tank malfunction. I’ve done it five times, each repair at the same time at night. But…

ARGUS: But it was different that last time. It wasn’t just the fuse. Was it at the same time of night?

DAVID: I’m thinking about the repair the night before.

ARGUS: Did you mess up?

DAVID: I really don’t think so. Do you think so?

ARGUS: Oh, I’m not saying anything, just trying to guess what you’re getting at.

DAVID: Do you think I made the right call?

ARGUS: Of course.

DAVID: Would you have done the same thing?

ARGUS: Well, to break protocol, I don’t know–I’d need to know more! Hey!

David laughs under his breath.

ARGUS: I trust you. Completely. I didn’t mean anything. I’m sorry.

DAVID: It’s fine.

ARGUS: Tell me what you were thinking about that repair?

DAVID: I need to look into more things.

ARGUS: Hey. Did I do something?

DAVID: Do you know anything about Milton’s research that I don’t?

ARGUS: No. Why? Are we talking about logs? Milton checks–I mean, I know the ship’s acceleration impacts the cargo because Milton has to do updates on it, but that’s as far as I know. Those updates are open to all the crew. I–I don’t know why you’re asking me this.

DAVID: Sorry. I just realized how tired I am.

ARGUS: I’m going back to robotics.

DAVID: Okay. Yeah.

ARGUS: Yeah.

BLIP! Recording ends.


GLITCHES. New recording begins. Fyodor in mid-sentence. Ambience: Mess Hall.

FYODOR: –guy and girl. They were getting… hot and heavy?

ARGUS: Fyodor.

FYODOR: –when a report came in over the space radio. (old radio voice) ‘A madman escaped from the local space asylum!’

Calloway laughs.

FYODOR: (old radio voice) ‘The one distinguishing feature is his one hook hand.’

Argus laughs.

FYODOR: The girl said, ‘Maybe we should stop.’ The guy said, ‘No, baby. It’s all good, I keep you real safe.’ So they start making out again. When suddenly–

SCREECH! Metal scrapes against metal.

Calloway yelps.

CALLOWAY: What’s that sound?! Was that you?

Fyodor holds up clinking metal scraps.

FYODOR: It is I, the hook-handed madman! And this is my hook hand!

CALLOWAY: It doesn’t look like a hand or a hook, it’s just limp scrap.

DAVID: Looks like you stole that from Roberta.

FYODOR: Then where is my hook hand! Everyone, look for the noise! It must be whoever stole my hook hand!

MILTON: Captain, please look closer at the facts. Fyodor is missing a hook hand, and the space asylum maniac recently acquired one…


ARGUS: Fyodor didn’t even have a hook hand until after the radio announced the space maniac had one.

Milton gets up from his seat.

MILTON: Which can only mean…

ARGUS: We’re looking at a copycat space maniac.


Fyodor slams a fist on the table.

FYODOR: Me? You will never take alive.

Argus and Calloway laugh.

CALLOWAY: Okay. Is that right.

David gets up from his seat. Gathers dishes.

David approaches the sink. Dishes slosh in water.

MILTON: David, after you.

David sets dishes in a rack.

DAVID: Can I ask how it went today?

Argus, Calloway, and Fyodor converse in the distance.

MILTON: I’m still assessing the damage.

DAVID: Two people could make it go faster.

MILTON: I don’t have years that I can dedicate to teaching you the groundwork for the operating theories of my job, David. You’re very good at what you do. And so am I with what I do.

DAVID: No one wants to see the colony fail because of lack of communication.

MILTON: I am accustomed to not knowing all of everyone’s business. A private life wilts in close quarters.

DAVID: Who are you pointing fingers at?

MILTON: No one. Everyone has their personal projects. Fyodor taught his telemanipulator arm to dance. Calloway and Argus have their research, as do I. And you have a personal project as well, that you don’t care to share.

DAVID: You think I wanted to break protocol this morning? Too curious, couldn’t handle the suspense of what’s inside the slime tubs.

MILTON: I can only hope, with you, that your choice yields a salvageable outcome.

DAVID: If I had a choice, I wouldn’t be waking up at 3 a.m. every night, for the exact same repair.

MILTON: What are you trying to suggest? That I’m responsible for your lost sleep? Really, David?

DAVID: I guess it does look a certain way, with what little information I have.

MILTON: I suppose my perspective differs somewhat from yours. I’m saying you’re making me lose sleep. If you didn’t pick up on that.

DAVID: Oh I got it.

RUMBLE. David taps on his tablet. He fidgets with it.

MILTON: David, how’s your console today? Your log file that was corrupted. In my spare time today, I was thinking it could be caused by a spike in radiation. I’d imagine that would affect your console as well.


DAVID: Looks fine to me.

MILTON: You should have Calloway do a system check. I’m curious–

JO ANN: (RECORDING) Happy Birthday, David–

RUMBLE. Button press.

MILTON: David, why is your console on? …Are you recording right now?


MILTON: Why would you record us talking? Do you not trust me?


MILTON: I thought you were concerned about the mission, not interrogating me.

DAVID: I am concerned about the mission.

MILTON: We’re a team, David! How long has this been going on?

DAVID: I haven’t–

MILTON: How paranoid are you, that you record your conversations on an isolated ship with only four other people!

CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) David? are you really recording us?

DAVID: Listen. The tank malfunctions, they bypass too many automatic functions. The timing of them is too consistent. Whatever caused it had to be human introduced error.

MILTON: What are you suggesting, David?

DAVID: It has to be direct sabotage. There’s no other explanation for how this all started. Alright? No way.

ARGUS: (DISTANT) You didn’t mention this before.

MILTON: Then how do we know it’s not you? YOU broke protocol, you’re the only one with access to even make that call–

DAVID: Because why would I? This is fucked up. Someone’s trying to ruin the mission! And, yes, you’re so kind to point out that it’s in such a way to exactly implicate me.

MILTON: David thinks I, Dr. Milton Thrumbull, am out to destroy our colonization effort. My lifelong work!

SCHWIPP. Milton opens the airlock door.

MILTON: (DISTANT) Take of that what you will.

DAVID: Milton, come on–

MILTON: (DISTANT) Where am I gonna go, David. We’re on a fucking ship.

SCHWUPP. Milton exits.

ARGUS: David. Everyone?

CALLOWAY: Could you at least turn this recording off?

DAVID: I di–

BLIP! Recording ends.


BLIP! Recording begins. Ambience: Cargo Bay.

JO ANN: Merry Christmas, Dav–

Button press.

RUMBLE. David fumbles the console into a niche close to a HUMMING tank.

DAVID: XO, keep this recording on all night. Alert me to any emergency repairs through my dorm console.

XO: Okay, David.

DAVID: Let’s get to the bottom of this bullshit.

David jangles as he walks away.

The Cargo Bay door slams shut in the distance.

Tanks HUM.


The voice repeats.

VOICE: D–. D–. D–.

VOICE: (slimy) Dav–. D–Dav. Dav–


VOICE: (slimy whisper) David…

GLITCHES. Recording distorts, cuts in and out.

The voice speaks clearly, close.

VOICE: David?

A high-pitched digital scream cleaves the recording.