4 – The Lucky ONes
A fight breaks out and a discovery is made on opposite sides of a locked door.
Voices in order of appearance: Charles Hubbell as Narrator and Milton; Yasin Elabdi as XO; Kelsey Henry as Argus; Ro Cornell as Calloway; Lee Fillingsness as Fyodor; Erin Farsté as Edie; Andrew Santoro as David; Janet Fogg as Jo Ann; Rusty Diamond as Chris.
Cover art by Robert James Algeo.
Intro Theme and Score by Just Star Stuff.
Content Notes: Swearing. Alarms. Shouting. One scene depicting extreme emotional turmoil.
Illustrated Transcripts for every episode and in-between are available to all Patreon members.
And here is the plain text transcript:
4 – The Lucky Ones
NARRATOR: It’s the eye of the needle, the heft of the blade. But thread gives and the hand can slip. Only what’s sharp is what stays.
INTRO THEME: Tense strings build and release.
NARRATOR: Episode 4: The Lucky Ones.
Atmosphere fades in: Argus’s bedroom.
An alarm loops.
XO: Crew Alert. Crew Alert. Crew Alert. Crew Alert. Crew Alert. Crew Alert. Crew Alert.
Argus wakes. She pulls herself out of bed.
The alarm shuts off.
Calloway and Fyodor talk in the hall.
ARGUS: Where’s David?
XO: I’m sorry, Argus. I don’t know that. David’s personal console is offline.
Doors open and close in the hall.
SCHWIPP. Argus’s door opens.
CALLOWAY: I sent a crew alert.
ARGUS: I just got it.
CALLOWAY: Milton’s locked himself in his lab.
ARGUS: Where’s David?
CALLOWAY: I don’t know. He’s not in his room. His tablet went offline and I got a captain alert. So I sent the general alert just now.
ARGUS: Do you think Milton has him locked in there? In the lab?
CALLOWAY: No. It’s Milton’s lab.
CALLOWAY: And it’s David.
CALLOWAY: But maybe? You never know for sure.
ARGUS: Nah. Yeah.
CALLOWAY: Yeah. No. I might need some help getting Milton to talk? We can look for David after?
SCHWUPP. Argus’ door closes.
Atmosphere: Hallway ambience.
ARGUS: Do you know why he locked himself in?
CALLOWAY: No idea, I just woke up.
ARGUS: They were talking earlier.
CALLOWAY: David and Milton?
ARGUS: I was asked to show the proof that we’re still at speed. Earlier this morning. Extremely early.
CALLOWAY: …Am I a bad Captain?
ARGUS: No, of course not. I’m certain if there was some problem they would loop you in. None of us slept well last night, that’s all. You know?
CALLOWAY: Thank you. Alright. Was there an emergency last night?
ARGUS: No. No.
CALLOWAY: That’s good. Right?
ARGUS: Yes. Totally.
CALLOWAY: I’m sorry to wake you.
ARGUS: It’s fine.
CALLOWAY: I didn’t sleep, either. I’ve been so nervous lately.
ARGUS: You need to check.
ARGUS: We should have a relaxing night tonight. All of us.
CALLOWAY: That would be nice. I don’t know if–everyone’s been tense–it’s just the repairs probably. New things really shake up the ship.
ARGUS: Oh yeah. We should do movie marathon tonight!
CALLOWAY: I, I don’t know if that’s relaxing enough. I’ve been having nightmares.
ARGUS: Calloway! I’m sorry.
CALLOWAY: It’s just nerves. I think–I think the ghost stories got to me.
ARGUS: What if we just do comedies?
CALLOWAY: Maybe. Yeah. That could be nice.
ARGUS: You can pick all of them.
Knocking fades in.
FYODOR: (DISTANT) Milton, come on! I want to go back to bed!
Milton’s voice drones, muffled.
Fyodor keeps banging.
ARGUS: Oh my god. Fyodor.
CALLOWAY: I have a headache.
Fyodor pauses his pounding.
FYODOR: Me, too.
He raps his knuckles on the door, gently.
FYODOR: Milton. Milton, my dear. Let me know if you can hear me, give me any sign I haven’t been yelling at, I don’t know, a recording of your voice. Or a ghost.
Milton’s footsteps approach on the other side of the door.
MILTON: (THROUGH WALL) Boo.
Fyodor BANGS once on the door.
FYODOR: You’re so CRUEL!
Milton steps back from the door.
FYODOR: Tear this door down, Captain!
CALLOWAY: We can resolve this peaceably.
ARGUS: Can’t you unlock it?
CALLOWAY: If we need to.
FYODOR:We’re out here yelling about a door, when a ghost is holding him hostage.
ARGUS: Fyodor, god.
CALLOWAY: Milton. Please answer your captain. Are you refusing orders to cooperate?
Milton’s footsteps approach, muffled.
MILTON: I am almost finished with my task at hand. You will have to wait.
CALLOWAY: Thank you.
ARGUS: How much longer does he want us to wait?
CALLOWAY: How long?
CALLOWAY: Milton? How much longer?…I’m sure it won’t be that much longer.
ARGUS: Milton: Where’s David?
Milton pauses his murmuring.
ARGUS: (under breath) He’s not cooperating, he’s stalling.
Milton’s footsteps approach.
MILTON: What I’m doing right now concerns David and his whereabouts. I would appreciate if there were no more interruptions.
FYODOR: Son of a stun gun finally stabbed him.
Calloway slams a fist on the wall.
CALLOWAY: We’re a family!
FYODOR: You know most murders are committed by a family member–
FYODOR:–Okay, okay. I was just agreeing with you. See, I shouldn’t get involved in these things. I should go back to bed. Please let me go back to bed.
CROSS-FADE to: Cargo Bay ambience.
David breathes heavily.
David catches his breath.
EDIE: Is that really you?
DAVID: It–It me.
EDIE: What’s going on? Did you come through that giant door? Was there anything on the other side? Did you find anything? What are we doing here? Where are we?…I–I’m trying not to freak out.
EDIE: Are we going to die here?
DAVID: I don’t know.
EDIE: I can work with that. Well, gimme something else you don’t know. We can go from there. What’s that you’re holding? Can you call someone with it?
DAVID: It’s broken. I tried.
He taps the tablet a few times.
BLIP! It springs to life for just a moment.
JO ANN/CHRIS: (RECORDING) It’s meeee, David!/Miss ya, bro!
It loops. Each loop more distorted.
XO: (ON TABLET) Goodbye.
BLIP! David sets the tablet down.
DAVID: Now it’s broken.
EDIE: That was disturbing, was that planned?
EDIE: For creep factor. Is this an escape room? No, the budget would be way too high. Is this a death puzzle? No…I haven’t found any riddles.
DAVID: What do you remember?
EDIE: That’s a good one. I don’t know, I’ve been in here for a while, I don’t recognize anything. Were we kidnapped?
EDIE: Okay. Um, that doesn’t have to be bad. We got here on our own. …No? That makes it, that’s a tougher one. I don’t know then. I feel like we shouldn’t be here. In front of the door. What do you think?
DAVID: I don’t know how this is happening.
EDIE: Me neither. But we need to come up with some way to get out of here, you know?
DAVID: We’re in space.
EDIE: Um. Fuck, this is getting harder. It doesn’t make sense.
DAVID: You shouldn’t know who I am.
EDIE: It you. Wha-?
DAVID: You’re a clone.
EDIE: Oh. Um, does that mean that you’re a clone, too?
EDIE: Oh. I guess that makes sense.
DAVID: None of this makes sense.
EDIE: Is the not clone me here?
David takes too long to respond, much too long.
CROSS-FADE to: Hallway ambience.
KNOCKS. Argus, Fyodor, Calloway hover near Milton’s door.
CALLOWAY: Milton, I’m going to have to unlock your door soon.
FYODOR: Soon? (Louder) I’ve got Roberta RIGHT HERE. Ready to rip this door off of its hinges! (Quiet) Don’t tell him she’s not here. It’ll take at least twenty minutes to lug her over here and another ten to boot her up.
CALLOWAY: We’re not going to destroy any equipment.
ARGUS: They can handle it, Fyodor.
FYODOR: It seems like I’m not really needed here.
ARGUS: How much longer are we going to give him, Captain? I mean we’ve got a missing–
SCHWIPP. The door opens.
SCHWUPP. Door closes.
FYODOR: Eyyyyy! We solved the mystery of the locked laboratory.
MILTON: My business has concluded. I appreciate your patience. I want you to know that I love all of you dearly.
FYODOR: I accept all of your love. Okay. That’s resolved. Bed time now.
ARGUS: Where’s David?
MILTON: David said some…troubling things earlier this morning to me. He appeared as a threat to the rest of the crew, and the mission.
ARGUS: What do you mean?
MILTON: I chose to de-escalate our encounter by separating ourselves, so I could appropriately assess his statement.
ARGUS: Where is he?
CALLOWAY: What was your assessment?
MILTON: I wish not to speak on the results, for now. David may indeed be a danger to us still.
ARGUS: No way, Milton.
MILTON: We all need some sleep, David included. Let’s give him a chance to clear his head.
FYODOR: Sleep is welcome to me.
ARGUS: David’s not in his room.
MILTON: I know. He’s in the cargo bay, secured with my passcode. So if you don’t mind I’m going to retire to my quarters and I’ll retrieve him once I have rested.
ARGUS: Wait a second. If you think he’s a threat, then why did you lock him up with our payload?
MILTON: I have concluded that he poses no threat to the mission, but I cannot say the same for the crew at this time. Is this agreeable? Because my decision has been made.
CALLOWAY: Why didn’t you notify me?
MILTON: I’m truly sorry, Captain. I ran straight to my lab, and got carried away.
ARGUS: Calloway, can’t you override?
MILTON: Not the cargo bay. That one’s my top clearance.
CALLOWAY: David’s fine, Argus. Milton will unlock it in… two hours?
MILTON: Assuredly. Good night, everyone.
Milton’s footsteps retreat.
CALLOWAY: David’s fine.
ARGUS: What if Milton did something? The longer we wait, David could be hurt.
CALLOWAY: We can’t afford to think like that. We need Milton’s cooperation to unlock it.
ARGUS: I guarantee you David is at the very least super pissed. Two hours won’t help that.
CALLOWAY: Then talk to Milton. Calmly. Like a teammate. And come to an understanding.
CROSS-FADE to: Cargo Bay ambience.
EDIE: How long since she… Since I…
DAVID: (Quiet) Just over 10 years ago.
EDIE: I, I’m sorry. That must have been so lonely. And tragic.
DAVID: The world kind of fell apart when you left–
They embrace. Edie kisses David. He gasps. They separate.
EDIE: Sorry. You just looked so sad.
DAVID: There’s definitely some of that. Um, I’m also pretty terrified.
EDIE: Good, same here. I’m also pumped with adrenaline, so it feels like a, uh sleep over in a science museum!
DAVID: Is this the refrigerator wing?
EDIE: Yeah. So it’s kinda fun even though it shouldn’t be. Right? But all the exhibits look the same. Like it’d be lame in the day, but you’re up all night so it’s exhilarating and like, Kafka-esque.
DAVID: You somehow made this scarier. Are you sure that’s the right word?
Edie’s footsteps prance away.
EDIE: (DISTANT) I don’t know! It felt right!
DAVID: Where are you going?
EDIE: (DISTANT) I don’t want to stay by the door.
David’s toolbelt jingles while he follows her.
DAVID: Hold on. I need to know if you remember where you…How did…
EDIE: (DISTANT) Probably in high school, I’d guess.
EDIE: (DISTANT) You’re asking where I learned Kafka–
DAVID: No. No, I don’t know how you’re here. How you got here.
EDIE: Oh. I don’t know either. You just said I was cloned, and we’re both going with it so I thought that cleared stuff up for you.
DAVID: Well, not really, but I mean did you wake up? Or, what do you remember since being in here?
EDIE: Waking up works, it felt like either that or falling into a nightmare. But dream David is usually more scream-y, and you’re not dream David.
DAVID: You’re not wrong, I’m not really in the mood to scream. Cry? Maybe.
EDIE: No, baby.
They stop walking.
DAVID: But you woke up?
EDIE: Yeah, I think it took forever to wake up though, cuz I’d been here a while before I could put my thoughts together and really accurately freak out, you know?
DAVID: Did you wake up in one of these tanks?
EDIE: No. Wait–I could have. Vaguely?
DAVID: Know which one?
EDIE: Maybe the general area.
DAVID: Show me.
CROSS-FADE to: Hallway ambience.
KNOCK. KNOCK KNOCK.
SCHWIPP. Door opens.
ARGUS: I’m sorry, it can’t wait.
MILTON: Yes, yes. You’re worried about David.
SCHWUPP. Door closes. Atmosphere shifts: They step inside Milton’s room.
MILTON: I am, too.
ARGUS: You haven’t explained what’s going on.
MILTON: It would only complicate the matters at hand.
ARGUS: You said you were worried about David? At least tell me that.
MILTON: He made it clear to me he doesn’t trust me.
ARGUS: You didn’t trust him.
MILTON: And that’s why he’s locked in the cargo bay. And I do trust him, now.
ARGUS: Alright, then let’s spring him out.
MILTON: I need you to trust me.
ARGUS: This is how you get my trust.
MILTON: In due time.
ARGUS: It’s dwindling fast.
MILTON: You don’t deserve this miserable life.
ARGUS: You’re stalling.
MILTON: You don’t. A dim, windowless cell at the edge of the universe.
ARGUS: I worked to get myself on this ship. Okay? And I deserve it.
MILTON: This ship is our tomb. No one deserves that.
ARGUS: Gotta die somewhere.
MILTON: This is very true. If you cared about such things, we are outlasting the rest by centuries.
ARGUS: No one cares about that.
MILTON: We’re so often in agreement.
ARGUS: Not today.
MILTON: Did they sell you the same idea? During the application phase. That we are the lucky ones?
ARGUS: They didn’t need to.
MILTON: No. Everything, in the end, is so futile.
ARGUS: What’s going on, Milton?
MILTON: …I can’t help but reflect on all of my regrets. Everything that I accepted to get here. Everything I was told to believe. I followed, as a fool. I wish I knew then that being a spearhead does not mean I led the charge. Simply part of an apparatus, wielded and thrown by another. Designed to be thrown. The spearhead does not decide the target. It is sharpened so it will stick where it lands.
ARGUS: …Well ya sure know a lot about spears.
MILTON: I cannot think of this ship as anything else now. Launching us is an act of war.
ARGUS: I don’t like hearing that…
MILTON: Do you know why there are nineteen ships?
ARGUS: It’s what we could scrap together.
MILTON: It’s a prime number. It’s pleasing to say, aesthetic. And it’s not a round number, like ten or twenty. But almost, so close. Nineteen conveys ‘we so strive for twenty that to get this close is a miracle.’
ARGUS: It’s more of an undertaking than any other space mission in human history, by scope and scale.
MILTON: And that is why no one begrudged the number.
ARGUS: It’s the result of global cooperation, that didn’t happen before, not like that.
MILTON: Forty ships. With the resources on hand. I saw the figures. Seventy at least, if we count the private capital–we got just enough for billionaires to appear as saviors, the same money that sat in vaults when we still had a chance to salvage something on Earth. It was just enough, at just the last moment to assuage their egos. And now it all rots with them, on some luxury resort. That was the real mission. And our nineteen ships were a fortunate negotiation, truly miracles. And we tell ourselves that we’re the lucky ones.
ARGUS: (Sigh) I don’t give a fuck what someone else values us. We’re doing something amazing that no one else could do before, I know you know how incredible what we’ve already accomplished is. That’s how we got here, I don’t care. We’re here.
MILTON: …How can you forgive a world that dug its own grave?
ARGUS: Because that’s not everyone. There were people who believe in this as much as we do. Who hope this works as much as us. You telling me you lump your kids and grandkids in this cruel world shit?
MILTON: Not them. Can they forgive me?
ARGUS: They won’t have to.
MILTON: I don’t deserve it.
ARGUS: Milton. I think you’ll feel less existential guilt if you let David out of the cargo bay for everyone.
Milton walks to the door.
SCHWIPP. Hallway ambience filters in.
MUSIC: Tense strings build.
MILTON: I will not.
ARGUS: Then let me.
MILTON: I CAN’T!
ARGUS: Yes, you can.
MILTON: I WILL NOT! I alone must bear this!
ARGUS: Tell me what’s going on in there!
MILTON: I CAN’T! I CAN’T!
ARGUS: You’re irrational right now.
Milton stumbles in the hall.
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Is everyone okay?
MILTON: It’s too late!
ARGUS: No, it’s not–
MILTON: It’s too late. It’s too late. Forgive me. Let me finish this task, it’s all I can do.
CALLOWAY: Milton, I think we should get you to the infirmary.
MILTON: You’re not opening that airlock!
ARGUS: We have to!
MILTON: I can’t let you! What does it take! For you to listen!
CALLOWAY: Milton, wait!
Atmosphere disappears as the music amplifies.
FYODOR: (DISTANT) Hey! Back off, Milton!
MILTON: Don’t open the door! It must be me! It must be me!
ARGUS: You’re not making sense!
MILTON: If you open that door, I cannot tell you what will happen. Let it be me. Let it be me. I can’t fail you. Please. Please!
ARGUS: We’re getting David back on board.
CALLOWAY: You can decide who accompanies you.
MILTON: (Crying) It’s useless. You won’t forgive what I have done.
ARGUS: You gotta give us a chance.
CALLOWAY: Let’s calm you down, Milton.
FYODOR: Come on, buddy.
Milton lets them guide him down the hall.
MILTON: (Crying) It–It’s useless.
Music slowly ebbs into: Cargo Bay ambience.
David and Edie’s steps transfer from cold metal to wet sloppy steps.
DAVID: Is that the one?
EDIE: It sort of stands out, doesn’t it?
DAVID: (Sigh) What do you mean? Are you talking about the fact that it’s cracked open and oozing coolant?
DAVID: I would’ve guessed it anyways. Do you know how long it’s been since you woke up?
DAVID: Like two? Twelve?
EDIE: Who knows? A long time. I assumed you woke us up, don’t you have a timer or something for these?
Atmosphere drops. A thumping beat pulses.
EDIE: I mean I was waiting around in here for a long time. A sudoku book would have been killer! A reading nook, or a tiny room so I could get a moment to myself.
DAVID: Edie, do you mean you and me?
EDIE: Well, I didn’t know about you but yeah, me and everyone else.
In the distance, Jo Ann and Chris chatter.
DAVID: (under his breath) Nooooo.
EDIE: Well, here they come. They found me.
Music: off-kilter rhythm pulses with space-y synth.
JO ANN: (DISTANT) Is that David?
CHRIS: (DISTANT) Gotcha!
EDIE: Maybe don’t tell them what you told me, you were super blunt about the clone thing.
CHRIS: (DISTANT) You thought you could just waltz outta here or something?
JO ANN: (DISTANT) David! It’s my baby Davy!
DAVID: Ah, fuck.
Music fades out.
End of Episode 4.