Author: Steve Dean
Genre: Science Fiction
Series Title: Earthborn
Caption: Previously; A group of youngsters are awoken from hibernation sleep when aliens attack their ship. The aliens crash a small ship into the colony ship to force it to crash, but the youngsters board the vessel and fly it out. Meanwhile, the colony ship starts to land on a nearby planet. The team lands on the planet, only to find a strange character called Vitus and a terraforming machine, but no sign of their own spaceship. Later, VItus repairs their vessel and they head off in pursuit of the missing colonists...
Scene one. Full page. Colony ship zooming off around the planet and into space, never to be seen again. The planet is Earth-like, so green continents and blue oceans, with some clouds.
Scene one. The alien ship the group are in leaving atmosphere, heading towards the camera.
Scene two. The ship comes closer and the view shifts inside.
Scene three. Yuri, Merinda and Vitus are sitting in the alien seats in the cockpit, Yuri and Merinda have padded their seats with blankets.
Akiko: The alien ship pushed me off course, so instead of going into orbit, we slingshotted around the planet and back off into space.
Merinda: Don’t worry, we’ll soon catch up.
Yuri: You also seem to have copied yourself somehow, we have two Akikos!
Scene four. Close up on the alien ship console. There’s an image of Akiko on it, slightly fuzzy.
Akiko: (on screen) I did? Oh, er, hello Akiko!
Akiko: (from the speaker) Hello sis!
Scene one. Vitus is sitting at a complicated console.
Vitus: The increasing distance between the ships is creating problems with communication.
Scene two. Merinda at her console.
Merinda: Akiko, can we go any faster?
Akiko: (from the speaker) Me? I’m trying, this is an alien ship you know.
Merinda: Akiko, er original Akiko, just stay safe, and keep sending messages so we know where you are.
Scene three. Yuri at his console.
Yuri: Akiko, just keep your passengers safe, whatever it takes.
Akiko: ...I’ll do my very best...
Scene one. In the crew area behind the cockpit, Tama and Viki are sitting in the rigged up seats, at opposite ends.
Scene two. Tama is eating some dried biscuits from a silver bag. He is sad.
Tama: Biscuits yesterday, biscuits today, biscuits tomorrow...
Scene three. Viki has Raymond on her lap, and is whispering to the alien Kris. He appears as a very ghostly outline, Kris sized, but with little detail.
Viki: (whispering) Yes Raymond, I know it isn’t really Kris, I’m not a baby.
Scene one. Inside the alien ship, the one ejected earlier. The big boss is angry, flapping his tentacles around.
Alien boss: Faster, faster, they’re getting away with my ship!
Scene two. Alien minions are sitting at the various consoles.
Alien minion: Yes, General.
Scene three: The alien boss looks over his consoles and stares with one big eye at the minion.
Alien boss: You know what will happen if you lose my ship, Drone!
Scene four: The minion crosses his tentacles as if to protect himself.
Alien Minion: Yes General. I won’t let them get away, General.
Scene one. Akiko is watching her screens, the original alien ship has recovered and is under full power.
Akiko: Ok, that big ship we got rid of is back.
Merinda: Where is it?
Akiko: Right behind us and catching up fast.
Scene two. Tama is looking out of a porthole at the approaching ship.
Tama: Wow, that thing’s fast.
Scene three. In space, we see the bigger ship pass the smaller one.
Scene four. Merinda, Yuri and Vitus in the cockpit.
Merinda: What’s it doing?
Vitus: Looks like it’s after the bigger prize.
Yuri: The colony ship!
Scene one. Tama is standing at the rear of the cockpit, on the access ladder that leads up from the crew compartment.
Tama: Just shoot it, it’s all they deserve.
Scene two. Vitus turns around at his console to look at Tama.
Vitus: Only one problem with that, my eager young warrior. We don’t have any weapons.
Scene three. Tama is disappointed.
Tama: What kind of a ship is this?
Scene four. Merinda, Yuri and Vitus all turn to look at Tama.
Vitus. A small cargo vessel, probably only meant for short journeys.
Tama: So no laser guns?
Vitus: No. But that gives me an idea.
Scene five. Vitus stands and talks to Tama.
Vitus: Come with me, Tama, let’s see what we can do.
Scene one. Tama and Vitus are standing in a storage area sorting through alien equipment. They are each holding something of alien design.
Tama: What are we looking for exactly?
Vitus: We need a barrel of some kind, a method of propulsion, and something to shoot.
Scene two. They assemble a pile of likely looking parts…
Scene three. ...slowly taking shape...
Scene four. Tama and Vitus step back and admire their gun. Looks like a pile of scrap, but gun shaped, about the size of a small cannon.
Vitus: All we need now is some ammunition.
Tama: (pointing) There are some rocks back there.
Scene five. Tama is holding a huge rock, struggling with it. (Watermelon sized.) Vitus holds up a pebble, about the size of a grape.
Tama: That little thing’s not going to do much damage.
Vitus: It’s all about speed young warrior, not size.
Scene one. Tama and Vitus move the gun into a small airlock. They position it near the outer door, barrel pointing towards it.
Scene two. Tama and Vitus make a small pile of rocks.
Scene three. Tama is outside the inner door. Vitus is in the airlock.
Tama: What about a spacesuit?
Vitus: I’m a robot Tama.
Tama: Oh yes, I sometimes forget, you’re so…
Scene four. The airlock is closing, Vitus inside, Tama just outside the door.
Vitus (smiling) I’ll take that as a compliment.
Scene one. Inside the airlock, the outer door opens. Vitus is tethered to the wall by a short strap.
Scene two. From outside the ship we see Vitus lining up the gun.
Scene three. He loads up a small rock.
Scene four. And fires. We see a streak of movement as the rock flies from the gun.
Scene five. Vitus reloads.
Scene one. The tiny rock smashes into the alien ship with huge force, shattering to dust. There’s no damage to the ship.
Scene two. More rocks come flying in, missing anything vital.
Scene three. A rock hits a pipe and liquid spurts off into space.
Scene one. Inside the alien ship, the minion is looking at its console. A warning light comes on, shining amber.
Alien minion: No, no, no, not now!
Scene two. The alien boss is peering at the minion.
Alien boss: Problem, Drone?
Alien minion: A slight problem with engine two, General. We appear to have been shot at.
Alien boss: Shot at? My ship, shot at? Right, that’s it. Turn us around, I want all weapons bringing to bear on that cargo shuttle.
Scene three. The alien console, showing a flashing damage report.
Alien Minion: But...yes General, right away general.
Scene four. The alien minion is working at the console, there’s a picture of a huge laser cannon and some alien text.
Scene one. Inside the cockpit, Merinda and Yuri are watching the alien ship.
Merinda: Looks like it’s slowing down. Akiko?
Akiko: Me? Just call me Aki. And yes, it’s reduced speed and is turning.
Yuri: Turning towards us, let’s get out of here!
Scene two. Tama appears in the cockpit.
Tama: No! we can’t outrun it, get in closer.
Yuri: Are you crazy?
Tama: Maybe, but get closer, it can’t shoot us if it can’t see us.
Scene three. They approach the alien ship, moving tight against its hull.
Aki: This close enough?
Yuri: I would say so.
Tama: No, try and land, near that access hatch.
Scene four. Merinda and Yuri are staring at Tama in shock.
Merinda: Are you serious?
Yuri: You want to go inside that thing?
Tama: It’s the only way we can stop it.
Vitus: I like your thinking young warrior.
Scene one. The small alien ship is right up against the hull of the larger one. A short extended corridor links the two together.
Scene two. The crew are gathered in the airlock near the corridor. Vitus is inside the corridor “hacking” the control panel to open the alien hatch. They are all armed with the weapons Vitus gave them in the previous issue. They are all wearing backpacks.
Scene three. Merinda is talking to Viki.
Merinda: We won’t be long. Stay here and guard the hatch. Raymond will look after you.
Viki: More like I’ll look after him.
Raymond: I don’t approve of such a risky venture.
Merinda: Which is why you’re staying here.
Scene four. The alien ship’s hatch opens, revealing another airlock of almost identical design.
Vitus: Let’s go and have some fun!
Scene five. The empty cockpit.
Aki: I’ll just wait here then shall I?
Scene one. Inside the alien ship. They’re in an engineering area, with pipes and cables.
Yuri: Stay close, and don’t get lost. We disable the ship and get out fast.
Tama: And find some supplies.
Merinda: Those biscuits are getting a bit boring.
Yuri: Ok, but only if we pass anything on the way.
Scene two. Vitus stops by a vent.
Vitus: I don’t use it myself, but more oxygen might be useful.
Merinda: Good idea, but how do we carry it?
Vitus: No need, Aki can use the cabin vents to circulate air while the two ships are linked.
Aki: On it!
Scene three. The group are deep in the ship, following a corridor towards the rear of the ship.
Yuri: You sure we’re going towards the engines?
Vitus: Of course, I have full positioning and guidance abilities.
Tama: You sound like Raymond.
Vitus: I’ll take that as a compliment.
Scene four. The group are hiding behind some alien crates as a robot goes by. It looks like one of the salvaging robots.
Scene five. Tama stands up and looks around.
Tama: All clear.
Scene one. The group are in a large room filled with clear tanks filled with water. Each is about the size of a large car, cylindrical, with pipes top and bottom. They are looking into a tank filled with grey-brown water.
Tama: Looks like bath water.
Yuri: Probably is.
Scene two. Merinda is looking in another tank, this one cleaner but a bit murky.
Merinda. Water recycling plant, I presume.
Scene three. A small aquatic creature with a mouth full of teeth tries to bite Merinda through the tank wall as she looks into it.
Merinda: Wow, nasty little thing.
Yuri: Do you think they drink this stuff?
Scene four. Yuri is across the room.
Yuri: Let’s keep moving, there are some stairs here.
Scene five. They head down the stairs, Vitus first, weapons ready.
Scene one. They emerge in a large room which is a futuristic engine room.
Tama: Let’s find the off switch.
Vitus: I don’t think it will be that easy.
Scene two. They all spread out, looking for anything familiar.
Yuri: I can’t make any sense of these controls.
Merinda: Me neither.
Tama: We should just start pushing buttons and see what happens.
Scene three. They all turn and glare at Tama.
Tama: (Holding his hands up) Ok, I’m not touching anything.
Vitus: Let’s do that only if nothing else works.
Scene four: Vitus has found a locker, he’s examining the contents.
Vitus: Some useful stuff here, if it’s what I think it is.
Tama: Any food?
Vitus: No, only tools and test equipment.
Scene one. The group are all gathered around a large pillar covered in displays and touchscreens.
Vitus: This looks important. We can rig up some of my grenades and run.
Merinda: And just hope we hit something vital?
Yuri: That’s a bit of a gamble.
Tama: These aliens aren’t very good with waterproofing, we already know that.
Scene two. Vitus produces a couple of grenades and holds them up.
Vitus: So, some on the pillar and some in the bath water room?
Tama: Sounds good.
Scene three. Vitus shows a grenade to Tama. It’s about the size of a small apple, round with a flat bottom. On top is a slim dial.
Vitus: Twist the time ring to whatever delay you need. Maximum is six minutes, minimum is three seconds.
Tama: Ok, sounds easy enough.
Vitus: The timer starts once it leaves your hand, but it can’t be stopped.
Tama: Got it.
Scene four. Merinda and Yuri are looking concerned.
Merinda: Is that a good idea?
Tama: (angry) What, giving grenades to a child?
Tama: (Shouting) There are no adults here! What else can we do?
Vitus: Tama, we need to be quiet.
Yuri: Let’s just go, we’ve been here too long as it is.
Scene one. Vitus places a few grenades around the control pillar, using a spray-glue.
Vitus: Useful stuff.
Scene two: The rest of the crew are on the stairs already.
Vitus: Six minutes, let’s boogie.
Merinda: Let’s what?
Vitus: Hustle, skidaddle, exit the area.
Scene three. They do the same thing in the water recycling room, placing grenades under the water tanks.
Vitus: That’s the last one. Back to the ship.
Scene four. They head out of the room, back into the corridor they came down.
Scene one. They head up the corridor, guns ready, Vitus, Tama, Merinda and Yuri.
Scene two. Vitus stops suddenly holding up his hand.
Vitus: Something’s coming.
Tama: Well we can’t go back.
Vitus: Then we will go forward. Run!
Scene three. The crew follow Vitus, who is running towards a tank robot. He opens fire, as does Tama behind him.
SFX: Ping, Spang, Pfft!
Scene four. The tank is shot to bits and smoking, it’s gun sagging.
Scene five. Vitus takes the gun and ammo belt.
Vitus: I’d say they know we’re here now.
Tama: Yeah, me too.
Scene one. The group are in a wide room, a set of stairs going up in the centre.
Scene two. The group hug the walls as they move forwards.
Scene three. More tank robots appear ahead. Dashing at them and firing.
Scene four. Tama hits the floor and begins firing, Vitus stands upright and does the same.
Vitus: Should have brought more grenades.
Scene five. A small robot begins sneaking down the stairs.
Scene one. Viki is standing in the airlock door, Raymond held in her hands.
Viki: Can you hear that?
Raymond: Yes, it sounds like hammering.
Viki: No, it’s guns being fired and you know it.
Scene two. Raymond looks up at Viki, his eyes red.
Raymond: I am aware you no longer see yourself as a young child, but danger is present nevertheless.
Scene three. Viki walks slowly forwards, entering the alien ship.
Raymond: (Red eyes) I would, under normal circumstances, be alerting your parents at this stage.
Viki: Go on then, see what happens.
Scene four. Viki carries on walking down the corridor.
Viki: I’m not going far, the ship is right there.
Raymond: Deliberately putting yourself at risk…
Viki: Just shut up, and put your lights on properly.
Scene five. Raymond has put his eyes on full torch mode. Viki’s eyes are wide as she spots something.
Scene one. Looking down the corridor from Viki’s PoV. A robot can be seen looking back, it’s about small dog-sized, with six legs and pincer-like jaws.
Scene two. The robot scuttles towards Viki as she stands staring at it.
Raymond: Viki, back to the ship, quickly now.
Viki: I’m not scared of a little robot.
Scene three. The robot opens its jaws and charges.
Scene four. Viki steps backwards, kicking out at the robot.
Viki: Get away, horrible thing!
Scene five. Viki trips over the edge of the airlock and falls, Raymond goes flying from her hands.
Scene one. Tama and Vitus are pinned down by robots. Both sides are occasionally letting off shots. The one coming down the stairs is very close.
Scene two. The robot on the stairs rises up and aims at Tama.
Scene three. Merinda appears behind it and shoots from close range.
Scene four. It tries to turn, sweeping the gun barrel around.
Scene five. She shoots again, and the robot sags.
Scene one. Vitus stands and lets off a hail of bullets.
Vitus: I think it’s time to split.
Vitus: Go, leave, get out of here.
Scene two. Vitus pushes forward and drives the robots back.
Scene three. He stands in the corridor as the others catch up.
Vitus: Let’s stop in this side tunnel.
Scene four. Vitus goes in after them and sits down.
Tama: Shouldn’t we keep moving?
Vitus: (looking at Tama) Three, two, one, boom.
Scene one. The grenades in the water recycling room go off. The tanks shatter and a wave of water blasts across the chamber. We see little alien creatures in the water, all teeth and tentacles.
Scene two. The grenades go off in the control room. Electrical components and debris go flying.
Scene one. The Alien minion is looking at the display on his console. The display is bright orange.
Alien minion: Why me, why is it always on my shift?
Scene two. The alien boss is looking down.
Alien boss: Did you say something, Drone?
Alien Minion: I have discovered the alien attackers, General.
Alien boss: Excellent work Drone, are they dead or captured?
Scene three. The alien minion is looking at another screen, showing a wave of water dropping down the stairs towards the control room.
Alien Minion. Oh well, I didn’t like this job anyway.
Alien boss: Speak up Drone!
Alien minion: I said I’m afraid we have a more pressing problem.
Scene four. The water reaches the control room.
Scene five. The equipment shorts out catastrophically.
Scene one. The small robot dashes towards Viki, the metal jaws wide.
Scene two. The alien ship is plunged into darkness. There’s still light in the airlock from their own ship.
Scene three. The robot crawls out of the shadows, like a scorpion on the hunt.
Scene four. The robot dashes forwards.
Scene five. So does Raymond.
Scene one. The robot snaps at Raymond as he scuttles forward on his little legs.
Scene two. Raymond ducks under the closing blades.
Scene three. Raymond’s soft feet split open, revealing sharp metal claws.
Scene four. Raymond grabs hold of the robot.
Scene five. The whole scene is lit as Raymond releases an electrical charge from his battery.
Scene one. The group are standing in the darkened corridor. Dim emergency lights glow a dark red.
Vitus: Well that seems to have worked.
Tama: But how do we get back to the ship in the dark?
Vitus: Oh yes, you can’t see in the dark. Sonar?
Tama: Humans don’t have sonar, only bats and dolphins.
Vitus: However did you survive before my kind came along?
Scene two. Vitus is looking in his backpack. Merinda and Yuri are lit by the flashes of their weapons, opening fire on approaching tank robots.
Vitus: Artificial light of a portable nature.
Scene three. The corridor is illuminated by the beam of a torch held by Vitus. A robot is close by about to strike Tama. It freezes as it’s caught in the act.
Scene four. Vitus kicks the robot in what would be its chest.
Scene five. The robots slumps to the floor, sparks and smoke from the hole in it.
Vitus: Shall we go?
Tama: (Smiling) You’ve got to teach me how to do that!
Scene one. The group are heading through a wide open space with a low ceiling. There are alien plants standing in pots in neat rows. The plants are also neat and regular, like topiary.
Tama: We didn’t come this way.
Vitus: Indeed we did not.
Vitus: Don’t be absurd.
Scene two. Tama is looking at a plant, which has yellow fruits like flat grapes.
Tama: I wonder if these are safe to eat?
Vitus: Maybe, they’d have to be analysed.
Tama: For poison?
Vitus: Yes, and also for dietary compatibility.
Scene three. Tama takes some and puts them in his pocket.
Tama: What’s that mean?
Vitus: You might be able to safely eat them, but not digest them.
Tama: How do you know all this stuff?
Vitus: (pointing to his chest) Robot brain.
Scene four. They move on, away from the plants.
Tama: Your brain is in your chest?
Vitus: Best place for it.
Tama: So what’s in your head?
Vitus: Same as you, not much.
Scene two. The group are standing looking at a wall. There are three doors, all identical.
Vitus: (pointing) One potato, two potato, three…
Merinda: What the hull are you doing?
Vitus: I’m choosing a door.
Merinda: At random?
Vitus: It was a joke, just trying to lighten the mood.
Scene three. Vitus opens the middle door. Inside is a huge robot covered in guns.
Scene four. Vitus slams the door shut.
Vitus: Not that one then.
Scene five. Vitus tries another door and finds an empty corridor behind it. He smiles at their sour faces.
Vitus: You people really need to have more fun.
Scene one. They arrive back at their own ship to find Viki sitting next to a pile of steaming wreckage.
Merinda: Viki, what happened?
Viki: (in tears) This robot attacked me. Raymond saved me.
Yuri: Where is raymond?
Scene two. Viki points to the wreckage. We see a part of Raymond’s leg sticking out.
Scene Three. Yuri lifts the wreckage and pulls Raymond out. He is recognisable, but with a huge hole in his belly, blackened and burnt.
Yuri: Oh dear, I’m sorry Viki.
Scene four. Viki turns and runs back inside their ship, Raymond in her hand.
Viki: It’s my fault, I killed him, I’m so stupid!
Merinda: Viki wait…
Tama: Let’s just get off this ship.
Scene one. The group rush back to the cockpit and take their seats.
Scene two. The extended corridor retracts.
Scene three. The airlock slams shut.
Scene four. The small ship pulls away from the large one.
Scene five. The large alien ship is seen drifting in space, its engines dead.
Scene one. Tama is sitting in the hold with Viki, at either end of the rigged up seats. Tama is eating biscuits.
Tama. Biscuits again. I’ve had worse.
Scene two. Viki is talking to alien Kris. She is cradling the remains of Raymond.
Viki: It’s my fault Kris, I killed him.
Scene three - four - five. Kris becomes a little bit more solid as we watch.
Scene one. The crew are at their consoles, doing stuff.
Yuri: Let’s get out of here while we can.
Scene two. Wide shot of the alien ship still drifting while the group’s ship moves away from it.
Scene three. Looking out of the forward windows, we see nothing but deep space.
Merinda: And find our ship, we’ve been away too long.