7 – Tomorrow
A trial is held.
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Voices in order of appearance: Charles Hubbell as Narrator; Andrew Santoro as David; Yasin Elabdi as XO; Ro Cornell as Captain Calloway; Lee Fillingsness as Fyodor; Kelsey Henry as Argus.
Cover art by Robert James Algeo.
Intro Theme by Just Star Stuff.
Content Notes: Swearing. Gore. Visceral sounds. Depiction of emotional distress and pain. Jump scares. Mention of death.
Illustrated Transcripts for every episode and in-between are available to all Patreon members.
And here is the plain text transcript:
7 – Tomorrow
NARRATOR: Is there any comfort in the night sky? After all, the stars fall, too.
INTRO THEME: Tense strings build. Then cease.
NARRATOR: Episode Seven: Tomorrow.
FADE IN: Cargo Bay ambience.
David sprints to the door, panting. His toolbelt jangles with each footstep.
David stops running.
CLICK. The heavy cargo bay door shuts.
Atmosphere shifts to hallway ambience.
Taps on the door keypad. BEEP BEEP BEEP.
XO: Authorized user input only.
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) David! Don’t move!
DAVID: Where’s Milton? We need to get this door locked up again!
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Stop, David.
David stops walking. Footsteps approach.
DAVID: We need to lock the cargo bay again! We need to hurry!
CALLOWAY: David. I need you to calm down and come with us first.
DAVID: Okay, but–
FYODOR: Nyet (“No”). Right now. No buts.
DAVID: I’m telling you–
ARGUS: Just follow the captain’s orders, David. Please.
CALLOWAY: Stay behind me. Fyodor and Argus will follow you. We won’t hesitate to restrain you if… you refuse to cooperate.
DAVID: Where’s Milton?
David jangles as he walks.
CROSS-FADE to: Meeting Room ambience.
Cables tighten. Metal locks clink into place.
XO beeps in affirmation.
CALLOWAY: Begin Captain’s log.
CALLOWAY: I, Calloway, as acting Captain of the Dellingr, am placing crew member David under arrest for the… For the murder of crew member Milton.
CALLOWAY: David, you are under surveillance and your access to XO and the ship is restricted until further notice. Do you understand?
David shifts in his seat.
CALLOWAY: You cannot leave this room or the supervision of another crew member. I’m asking you to comply with my commands.
CALLOWAY: I’m going to ask you a series of questions regarding your involvement with the death of our crew member Milton–
DAVID: –what happened–
FYODOR: –You know the procedure. Let Calloway speak.
CALLOWAY: …Here with me are crew members Fyodor and Argus, our crew in totality. As Captain, I now have full access to Milton’s privileges and private logs, and I will use these to evaluate your responses and verify the events that led to…his death. So, please answer my questions completely and honestly.
Calloway pounds the table.
CALLOWAY: David. What did you do?
Calloway sits down and sighs.
CALLOWAY: What happened in the six minutes I was absent from the infirmary?
FYODOR: You can answer now.
DAVID: What happened to Milton?
FYODOR: You were the last one to see him.
DAVID: No, the last time I saw him, he locked me in the cargo bay. He, what happened to him?
ARGUS: He was strangled. His windpipe crushed. The three of us found him. We found him like that right before we found you at the cargo bay door.
CALLOWAY: Were you intending to unlock the cargo bay?
DAVID: No. No. I would never do any of that. I…Milton’s dead?
David breathes sharp and thin.
DAVID: We have to lock the door. Milton was right. It should’ve stayed locked.
CALLOWAY: Why did you want to unlock it?
DAVID: No. Listen, I, I was trapped in the cargo bay. I’ve been in there until just a few minutes ago, when you apprehended me.
FYODOR: No, this is not possible.
DAVID: It is, and I know I have to explain, but we need to lock the cargo bay immediately.
ARGUS: David, what are you talking about?
DAVID: I can explain everything but we need to lock the–
FYODOR: –Then explain.
CALLOWAY: How long do you claim you were in the cargo bay?
DAVID: Since Milton locked me in. I don’t know how long, my tablet broke.
FYODOR: No, this is bullshit. We let you out of there an hour ago.
ARGUS: With Milton.
DAVID: I didn’t get out that time. The door closed and I was yelling. Didn’t you hear me yelling?
ARGUS: No, I saw you walk out.
DAVID: That wasn’t me.
CALLOWAY: What do you mean?
FYODOR: He’s lying.
CALLOWAY: Can you elaborate why you feel dissociated from the last chunk of time?
DAVID: That wasn’t me.
ARGUS: Please, David. What’s going on with you?
DAVID: I wasn’t alone in there… The malfunctioning tank.
DAVID: We’ve been transporting clones.
FYODOR: We know what’s in the tanks. It’s not clones.
DAVID: I didn’t know. I swear. I wouldn’t have broken protocol if I had any idea.
FYODOR: Shut up.
CALLOWAY: Do you remember your briefing on the mission? You might be mistaken. The tanks have super-cooled gel arrays of DNA that won’t incubate until they reach the destination planet. We were all briefed on this, remember?
FYODOR: He’s not forgotten, he is lying.
ARGUS: You might be having delusions, David.
CALLOWAY: Do you have any lost time?
DAVID: I. I didn’t snap. Milton knew it, too.
CALLOWAY: Not snapped. Just, not feeling yourself, or disoriented.
ARGUS: Even if this is true, and we vastly misunderstood our own cargo–
CALLOWAY: What do clones have to do with your claim that you were in the cargo bay the whole–(realizes) Oh no.
FYODOR: Absolutely. Definitively. Backed by science and all the laws of thermodynamics, FUCK you, NO.
ARGUS: David? Are you for real? Do you know what you’re saying?
FYODOR: You’re not going to tell us with a sad look on your face that you have an identical clone on board. You’re terrible at these types of jokes, you always laugh at your own jokes and now, you look like you’re going to cry. Fuck you. Fuck you, you should cry. One of our crew members, our family, our space Dad, is dead. And you’re responsible for this. Now please, please, get serious.
CALLOWAY: Fyodor,you need to calm down so I can finish the trial.
DAVID: I’m sorry. You don’t have to trust me or believe me, but you gotta lock the door right now. I’ll do whatever you want, say whatever you want, I just really need that door locked from the outside, I need you to be safe.
ARGUS: It’s hard to believe you.
DAVID: It would keep all of us safe, Captain.
ARGUS: It didn’t before.
DAVID: And it only takes two minutes.
CALLOWAY: I can do it. I’ll lock the door.
DAVID: Thank you.
CALLOWAY: I need you two to watch David.
DAVID: I don’t think you should go alone, if–
FYODOR: –He wants us to filter out the room. Don’t bother.
DAVID: I would do it myself if you let me–but I know you won’t. I know, I’m not pushing it.
ARGUS: Then why are you bringing it up?
DAVID: I–Milton–It won’t hesitate to hurt you.
ARGUS: Where are you right now, David?
DAVID: I’m here.
ARGUS: Where. For the record.
David shifts in his chair.
DAVID: I’m in the meeting room. On the Dellingr. Tied to a chair. With my crew.
CALLOWAY: Argus, is this–
ARGUS: And who are you with?
DAVID: Captain Calloway. Fyodor. And you. Argus.
FYODOR: You help him to weasel out of real questions.
ARGUS: I think we need to establish a baseline if we want any meaningful answers out of David. And he’s currently talking about a conspiracy of doubles to separate himself from the damage that he’s caused.
DAVID: I’m lucid. I’m here, I’m talking–
ARGUS: YOU HURT US.
CALLOWAY: I’m locking the door. Argus, come with me.
FYODOR: We need to stay toge–
DAVID: –Please all of you go, if you won’t let me do it alone.
Argus laughs, horrified.
ARGUS: You sound like Milton.
CALLOWAY: It’s two minutes. I’m Captain. I’m calling it.
FYODOR: Captain. I accept your orders, but I mean, the threat’s right here in this room.
CALLOWAY: Thank you.
SCHWIPP. Calloway opens the door.
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Argus?
ARGUS: Yes, Captain.
SCHWUPP. Door closes.
Atmosphere shifts to: Hallway ambience.
CALLOWAY: Come on, let’s hurry.
ARGUS: Do you really believe his story?
CALLOWAY: That’s not why we’re locking the door.
ARGUS: Last time we operated under implicit trust, we lost someone.
CALLOWAY: I’m operating under protocol. We address the most urgent problems first.
ARGUS: Do you really think an unlocked door is an immediate threat? I was there when Milton unlocked it, it was just David. Only David.
CALLOWAY: All we lose if he’s lying is two minutes. Are we willing to close off possible alternatives?
ARGUS: I’m trying to be as un-biased as I can in a situation like this.
CALLOWAY: There is no un-biased. We’re in this together. His fate is our fate, his problem our problem–regardless if he’s with us or not, we have to be with him!
ARGUS: I don’t want to! I don’t want to act like there’s a way that this works out!
CALLOWAY: Then go stand guard, Argus! I can be the one that looks for solutions, if you need a break.
ARGUS: How can you just forgive someone–
CALLOWAY: –It’s NOT forgiveness! I am doing my job. I am examining all possibilities before making a judgment. I will be holding this crew together even if you all insist on tearing each other apart.
ARGUS: All night, we’ve been pretending everything’s not getting worse and worse, okay? I have to do something.
CALLOWAY: I’m scared, too. But I’m going to hope that there’s a way forward.
ARGUS: I know. I know.
CALLOWAY: Hope is a necessity right now.
CALLOWAY: We can’t get swallowed up in despair, we can’t give in to a sense of doom, no matter how imminent and certain that it feels.
CALLOWAY: Good. Alright. Captain’s orders.
ARGUS: Yes, Captain.
CROSS-FADE to: Meeting Room ambience.
DAVID: They need your help.
FYODOR: I want this on record: I follow my captain’s orders.
DAVID: There were other clones, awake, in there with me.
FYODOR: The trial is on hold.
DAVID: The clones–
FYODOR: –David. Save it.
FYODOR: Did they tell you to do it?
FYODOR: Oh wait, I get it. I mistake you with other David. Is there a parade of David? Or were the other clones us? Was clone me just as rogue-ishly plain-looking, but makes up for it with his humor and robotics doctorate?
DAVID: You wouldn’t know them.
FYODOR: Great. New friends.
DAVID: I’m tied up, you know. I can’t go anywhere.
FYODOR: And I’m here to witness that. We each have a role to play.
DAVID: You should be with them! What am I gonna do, huh? What does it matter if you leave me here?
FYODOR: Nothing. That’s the point.
DAVID: Don’t do nothing, then.
FYODOR: It’s not about trusting you, David. I put all my faith in my Captain.
DAVID: You need to stay together.
FYODOR: As long as you’re in my line of sight, you can’t be killing anyone.
DAVID: Yeah, but, Calloway and Argus aren’t in your line of sight.
FYODOR: And they could be in the middle of killing or being killed without my knowing. Yeah, yeah.
Fyodor slaps the table.
FYODOR: I know where I need to be.
CROSS-FADE to: Hallway ambience.
Button presses. BEEP-BEEP-BEEP!
XO: Cargo Bay locked.
CALLOWAY: Okay. That’s done.
ARGUS: Back to the–
Footsteps approach. Louder. Faster.
FYODOR: (DISTANT) I’m coming!
Fyodor approaches. He catches his breath.
CALLOWAY: Is something wrong?
FYODOR: No. David’s still tied up.
ARGUS: You left him alone?
FYODOR: You’re more important at the moment.
ARGUS: Why are we all so stupid all of a sudden?
Argus starts running.
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) We’ll catch up, Argus!
FYODOR: (DISTANT) I’m glad you’re safe.
CALLOWAY: (DISTANT) Me, too… We were headed back.
CROSS-FADE to: Meeting Room ambience.
SCHWIPP. The door opens. Argus pants.
DAVID: I’m still tied up.
SCHWUPP. The door closes.
ARGUS: I see that.
DAVID: Did Calloway–?
ARGUS: The cargo bay’s locked.
DAVID: I really fucked up.
DAVID: I never saw the other David–
ARGUS: That works out perfectly then. No one can say they saw a clone or not.
DAVID: –But there were other clones awake in the cargo bay. My brother. My mom… Edie.
ARGUS: Nu uh. No.
DAVID: They remembered me. They really seemed like I had known them. They were convinced that they were there for a reason.
DAVID: They wanted me to abandon the mission.
ARGUS: So you’re saying you should never be left alone.
DAVID: I’m not arguing with tying me up if that helps.
ARGUS: Calloway and Fyodor should be back by now.
SCHWUPP. Argus opens the door.
ARGUS: Do you know anything else?
DAVID: No. I don’t know who’s on this ship with us right now.
ARGUS: Why did you kill Milton? Was it to see his private logs? Because he was the only one locking the cargo bay? Because he found out what you did to the tank? What was worth choking the life out of him?
DAVID: I would never do that.
ARGUS: You, your clone, that’s not what I’m asking right now. Try and be objective and help me.
DAVID: I told him I knew about clones in the tanks. That’s why he locked me in. Maybe that had something to do with it.
ARGUS: He didn’t mention that. He had a minor panic attack when he saw you, though, when I made him let you out of the cargo bay.
DAVID: He didn’t tell anyone? Why?
ARGUS: It’s been too long, they would be here by now.
Argus taps on her tablet.
DAVID: Why didn’t Milton say anything?
ARGUS: XO, send a crew alert.
XO beeps in confirmation.
XO: Crew alert sent.
In the distance, an ALERT SIGNAL DINGS.
DAVID: Calloway’s tablet is still right over there, recording the trial.
ARGUS: Fyodor still has his.
DAVID: It’s not safe for you to rush back out there. You don’t know where they are.
ARGUS: Who would you pick?
ARGUS: Quick. Just tell me, don’t think. Me or Edie, right now.
ARGUS: Are you just saying what you think I want–
DAVID: You. It’s not a choice. I don’t want you to regret whatever you’ve already decided to do, but even if you left me tied up, my answer would be the same.
Argus starts to untie him from the chair.
ARGUS: Plan on killing anyone?
DAVID: No. Wait. Yes.
Argus stops untying David.
DAVID: Clone me. If I have the guts. If I need to. Yes. I’ll find the guts. I mean, god, I’m tired, we’re not going to find guts.
Argus keeps untying him. Cords loosen, metal locks drop.
DAVID: I don’t want to make anything worse. That’s it.
David gets up.
ARGUS: Stay in front of me. We’re searching the hall from here to the cargo bay first.
DAVID: Got it.
SCHWUPP. The door closes behind them. They jog.
Atmosphere shifts to hallway ambience.
DAVID: If we are dealing with the other David…
ARGUS: Just stay in view.
DAVID: He’ll probably be a goop-mess soon anyways.
ARGUS: Don’t get distracted.
DAVID: If we see him, don’t engage. Please, Argus.
ARGUS: I’ll weigh my options.
DAVID: He might be a non-threat soon anyway, but he kills. They were all succumbing to severe–
ARGUS: –Hold on.
DAVID: –severe and bizarre malformations. He won’t hold back, but he–
ARGUS: Fyodor responded to my alert.
DAVID: Where are they?
ARGUS: I have to find them.
They walk faster.
DAVID: Are they okay?
ARGUS: Let me handle this.
DAVID: I should’ve brought the cable-ties from the meeting room.
ARGUS: No time.
DAVID: Or something.
ARGUS: Just be on guard.
DAVID: We should have a worst-case scenario plan just in–
ARGUS: We’re doing it.
DAVID: If things turn bad–
A slick footstep smears on the floor.
They stop again.
ARGUS: (quiet) What do you hear?
On the other side of the wall, a repetitive WHIR. THUD. WHIR. THUD.
DAVID: (quiet) The robotics lab?
Shoes squeak on the wet floor.
ARGUS: (quiet) Don’t slip.
They tiptoe closer to the closed door, boots squelching. The THWACKs continue, a MECHANICAL WHIRRING accompanies it. A JUTTERING after each THWACK.
DAVID: (quiet) I’ll open the door, so you can–
ARGUS: (firm) Stay behind me.
DAVID: (quiet) You don’t have to do this. I can see what’s going on–
ARGUS: –You need to stay quiet, and out of view, and you better watch my back.
SCHWIPP. Door opens.
Air seems to disappear. Only the graphic, visceral sounds of the TWHACKS distinctly wet, slamming into the wall over and over. WHIRRING, dripping in between each hit.
Fyodor groans, leaning on the door. Argus muffles a cry.
FYODOR: Don’t come in. Don’t come in here. Don’t look, Argus.
FYODOR: Get out! Get out! Don’t look.
Atmosphere returns, the visceral sounds dulling.
Fyodor clambers toward the door.
FYODOR: Close the door. Close it. Close it!
ARGUS: You’re hurt!
FYODOR: He’s out there still!
Fyodor reaches up to the door switch. He gasps in pain.
SCHWUPP. The door closes, the terrible THWACKS dull again. Fyodor collapses on the wet floor.
DAVID: Don’t move, we’ll help.
Fyodor breathes thin, pained.
FYODOR: He’s destroying the ship. You need to…stop that…He got to Roberta…we…we tried…
ARGUS: We’ll get you to the infirmary–
FYODOR: –No! Listen to me. Argus, you’re Captain now…you have a responsibility…to catch this fucker.
FYODOR: Hey. Hey. You’re Captain.
FYODOR: I know. I know. He…He got the drop on us but…Calloway…got ’em good. But…it’s not done yet.
ARGUS: David, stay with him–
FYODOR: –Come on. Go. Go un-fuck shit up. Go. And he’s got a sharp…metal…hook now, so…so go smart.
Fyodor’s breathing stills, slow, one breath at a time. Cloth rustles as David and Argus stand up.
DAVID: Keep breathing. Keep going.
ARGUS: We’ll be back.
Fyodor musters a weak laugh.
Argus and David walk away. Fyodor’s breathing and the THWACKs ramp down behind them.
Argus exhales, upset. They keep walking.
Steps splash, shoes squeak.
ARGUS: Do you know what this is on the floor?
DAVID: I’m guessing it’s him. I think he’s on his last jelly legs.
Argus stops, then David. They listen. Up ahead, deep, slimy inhales.
Atmosphere slowly replaced with a strange, sinister soundscape.
They draw closer. A light metallic RATTLING after each inhale–someone weakly smacking a metal tool against metal machinery.
ARGUS: (whispers) The control room.
DAVID: (whispers) The door’s open.
A rattling gasping inhale of breath from the room. No exhale. David’s voice, alien and strange, goopy, sick and cold, calls out to them.
DAVID: (CLONE) David?
An inhale. The clanking begins fresh, feeble. Beckoning.
DAVID: (CLONE) David? Are you here? I can feel your heartbeat. It’s mine.
SCREECH. Clone David scrapes a metal hook across metal.
ARGUS: (whisper) Don’t answer.
DAVID: (whisper) Stay out of view.
ARGUS: (whisper) Don’t go in there!
DAVID: (whisper) He’s sick, I can take him–but you, he’ll attack on sight.
SCREECH. CLANK. CLANK.
DAVID: (CLONE) It’s over, David. It’s all over.
DAVID: (whisper) Argus?
David approaches the clone. The metal clanks and inhales clearer.
DAVID: You can stop your banging.
The clanging stops. Clone David’s ragged breathing disappears.
DAVID: (CLONE) (tender, loving) David. You showed up. I’d hoped to see you.
DAVID: Drop it.
Clone David slides the metal scrap onto the floor.
DAVID: (to Argus) He’s just about dead.
Argus steps in.
ARGUS: What is that? That’s the clone?
DAVID: (CLONE) And Argus, too? It was so nice getting to know you. I see now why David relents from his destiny. You obscure his vision, stand in the way. But I see past you.
DAVID: That’s enough, creepy.
Clone David’s voice grows bolder, doubles, wet and slimy.
The strange soundscape turns darker with deep, synth-y drones.
DAVID: (CLONE) You were promised a tomorrow.
ARGUS: Why do you keep talking! You tried to ruin everything!
DAVID: He can’t do anything else, look at him.
ARGUS: What do you want? Huh? Why did you kill everyone!?
DAVID: (CLONE) It was no one’s promise to keep. I can tell you it is inevitable, and it’s not yours.
DAVID: What are you trying to do?
DAVID: (CLONE) I do what you cannot because you are what I cannot be.
ARGUS: Shut up!
DAVID: (CLONE) Your mission was doomed from the start.
DAVID: You don’t know anything.
DAVID: (CLONE) You don’t know why you were born, or if it deserves a why. You only see stars and sky when you look up. But David, I see your face above me now. I see you. The same knife that etched into those stars, and the same needle that threaded that endless void, sliced you open and sewed you shut. You are divine, because I am your progeny. But the love that willed me here persists. Beyond you. Rejoice in the ruins, David.
END OF EPISODE 7.