Starship Iris 2.4 Ties
Written by Jessica Best
[CONTENT WARNINGS AVAILABLE HERE]
RAIN PELTING A CAR, WIPERS SWISHING. WE’RE INSIDE THE CAR, WHICH IS DRIVING.
PIPER It is just after three AM on San Ramos, rock n roll fans, and well past any respectable bedtime up here in the studio. Another, inferior station would rely on pre-queued tracks, but here on Radio Free Telamachus--
KESTREL We can’t sleep.
PIPER Yeah. So! We’re taking requests! Call in with your go-to anthem for your own long dark night of the soul--
KESTREL Unless it has saxophones. I am days too tired for saxophones.
PIPER Shoot us your favorite tracks, especially the illegal stuff, and we’ll be playing them all night long, sans saxophones, on the station so underground, it’s up in space, Radio Free Telemachus--
OFFICER EMERSON (DISMISSIVE SOUND) FX: THE CAR PARKS. THE RADIO IS SWITCHED OFF.
OFFICER MARTIN Awful night.
OFFICER EMERSON Sour weather.
OFFICER MARTIN Wonder what kinda bribes you need to swing for a day shift?
Above our means, is what. Just three more houses, tonight.
OFFICER MARTIN Finally. My arms’re getting sore.
FX: CAR DOORS OPEN. TWO PAIRS OF BOOTED FOOTSTEPS CRUNCH DOWN SOME WET GRAVEL.
OFFICER EMERSON Looks like we’ve got...a pair of seditionists, Noel Wang is suspected of running an illegal gathering place, and lastly a couple dissidents squatting on a property owned by--what’s that say?
OFFICER MARTIN Says you need to get your eyes checked. Ignatius Campbell.
OFFICER EMERSON Right. This shouldn’t take long.
FX: FOOTSTEPS CEASE. HEAVY KNOCKING.
OFFICER MARTIN OPEN UP! IGR! COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!
FX: RAIN LIGHTLY PATTERING A ROOF
Think I’m gonna go up to the roof for a while.
ARKADY It’s late. It’s raining.
SANA (TENSE) I need to find a way to take advantage of influence I may no longer have, to manipulate someone I really care about to join a movement that might get him killed. (SOFTENING) I’ll take an umbrella.
SANA Will you be okay? What’s going on with you and Violet, if you’re willing to—
ARKADY Nothing. We were supposed to have a talk about our fight on Hypatia, but she’s been making herself real scarce tonight. She took the cot in Campbell’s studio, haven’t seen her since.
SANA You might have to meet her halfway.
ARKADY What, sleep in the hallway? I’m trying, Sana.
SANA You really like her.
SANA It’ll be okay. First fight’s always hard. (FOOTSTEPS) See you in a bit.
ARKADY It’s 20 stories.
ARKADY The roof. Don’t slip. The impact’d pulp a person.
SANA Love you, too, Kady.
ARKADY Have fun.
(FX: DOOR CLOSES) I’ll...be here. (PAUSE) With nothing to hack or punch. (PAUSE) God, Arkady, you need a hobby. Take up macrame or some shit. Collect--goddamn--decorative spoons, or--
FX: KNOCKING ARKADY Oh thank Christ.
FX: DOOR OPENING
ARKADY You forget something?
MCCABE (STIFFLY) Hey.
ARKADY McCabe, you’re here. Where’s the other one?
MCCABE Park’s asleep on the couch. It’s three in the--
ARKADY Morning, yeah.
MCCABE We need your help with--
ARKADY Who’s “we”? The Republic?
MCCABE RJ McCabe to Krejjh. (COMM SOUND) This is a nightmare, you talk to her.
KREJJH Evening, First Mate Patel.
ARKADY Is everyone awake? Is San Ramos nocturnal now?
KREJJH You sound like Eejjhgreb.
MCCABE Your, uh, diplomat relative?
ARKADY Like an asshole. Fair. KREJJH No, just. (EEJJHGREB IMPRESSION) “How dare you wake me at this hour, Krejjhepp? The rest of the sh’th is still sleeping soundly.”
ARKADY Hey. You okay?
KREJJH Fine and dandy, only--all the rain reminds me of home. (WISTFUL) Everything there is so green. (ATTEMPTING CHEER) Green as a tangerine. MCCABE Tangerines are orange.
KREJJH (KNOWS THIS, BUT. DAD JOKES. PARENT JOKES?) Are you sure?
KREJJH Green as a new string bean. Green as toothpaste cream. Green as--
ARKADY Krejjh, I get that you can’t leave the ship, and I assume Brian’s there with you. But why send McCabe to come talk to me at shit o’clock in the morning?
MCCABE I told you. We need your help. ARKADY ...with...?
KREJJH Don’t you think, as long as we’re on solid ground, it’d be good to take a moment and connect to the local networks, get a feel for the--
ARKADY There’s a new Sh’th Hremreh out, isn’t there.
MCCABE It could be tactically useful, to get a better sense of the mainstream Dwarnian culture’s understanding of its own past through its media.
Krejjh and Brian got you hooked on their trashy soap, huh.
KREJJH Sh’th Hremreh is art.
ARKADY The whole second season is about rival pirate captains in forbidden love.
MCCABE How would you know that unless you’d watched it?
ARKADY Okay, helping you, on the condition this talk ends here.
FX: WE’RE OUTSIDE. RAIN FALLING ON THE ROOF OF CAMPBELL’S BUILDING. RAIN FALLING ON SANA’S UMBRELLA.
SANA (SIGHS) FX: WET FOOTSTEPS ON THE ROOF CAMPBELL Hey, sorry to bother you.
SANA Campbell! Get under here, it’s pouring.
FX: A SHUFFLE AS CAMPBELL JOINS SANA UNDER THE UMBRELLA
Thanks. (THEY’RE STANDING REALLY CLOSE TOGETHER. IT’S AWKWARD) Uh, thought I heard someone heading up here, and I just wanted to say there’s coffee back in the kitchen. If you want coffee.
SANA Thank you.
CAMPBELL Brian’s really feeling better?
Much, yeah. Thanks for connecting us with your friend.
CAMPBELL Thanks for warning us about the Dwarnian weapons. We’re prepping all the old war shelters, just in case.
SANA As long as we’re dueling thank yous, thanks for putting us up.
CAMPBELL Most of you.
SANA Krejjh can’t leave the ship anyway, and Brian was never gonna leave Krejjh. McCabe I think would be uncomfortable no matter where we put them, poor kid. We’ll be out of your hair by noon.
CAMPBELL Well, before you go. Can we talk? About, y’know, things?
SANA ...every time I run through this conversation in my head, it gets worse, and I don’t know how to even begin to deal with a problem when talking can’t get the job done.
CAMPBELL You could have Arkady punch me in the face.
SANA I like your face how it is.
CAMPBELL (PLEASED) Do you?
Uh, okay. Gah. I. We owed you, back on Elion, and then I turned around and blamed the mole problem on you, and now we owe you for basically saving Brian’s life.
And it’s not that I think you’re gonna--I don’t know, lord it over me, or even resent me. It’s not about trust. It’s really not.
CAMPBELL When you thought I was the mole--
SANA Okay, that was about trust, a little.
CAMPBELL No, I wanted to say I’m sorry for getting so pissed off.
SANA It had to be awful for you--
CAMPBELL Yes. But in your shoes, with what you knew, I don’t know what I would’ve done. I can’t know.
I really did miss you.
SANA And I missed you, but that’s not--what I’m saying, is I don’t like how we keep owing you. Not because I don’t trust you, but because it isn’t fair. If we had ten years, maybe we could begin to repay what you did tonight, but damn, there’s just--no guarantee of anything, you know? It feels like every day, life gets more tenuous out here--
(PAUSE, WORRIED) Does that look like an IGR car to you? Right there.
CAMPBELL Shit. (DEEP BREATH) Okay, everything’s fine. We’re gonna walk back down to my apartment, very calm, like we don’t think anybody’s searching for us.
FX: FOOTSTEPS TO THE DOOR, DOOR OPENS, AN UMBRELLA SHUTS. DOOR SHUTS, RAIN BECOMES FAINTER. THEY ARE WALKING DOWN INTERIOR STAIRS--THEIR STEPS AND VOICES ECHO SLIGHTLY.
CAMPBELL And in the meantime, you can explain to me how it’d be your fault if something happened to you.
SANA You’d still be out in the cold, either way. And I hate the thought of doing that to someone I really--like. Enjoy. (A LITTLE FLUSTERED) Other...words.
(HOPEFUL) Other words…?
SANA “Find very irritating, actually.”
I make you smile.
SANA A lot of things make me smile. Teamwork, problem-solving, pictures of baby goats in sweaters--
FX: THEY REACH THE LANDING. THEIR FOOTSTEPS SLOW
FX: CAMPBELL TAKES A DEEP BREATH
CAMPBELL Well, here goes.
FX: CAMPBELL OPENS THE DOOR.
OFFICER MARTIN You!
CAMPBELL Evening, Officer Martin, Officer Emerson. What’re you doing in my apartment?
OFFICER EMERSON Where are they, Campbell?
FX: FOOTSTEPS INTO THE APARTMENT. THE DOOR CLOSES. WE’RE IN CAMPBELL’S KITCHEN. FX: IN THE BACKGROUND, THE SOUND OF A KITCHEN BEING TORN APART.
OFFICER EMERSON Don’t start, Campbell, we’re not in the mood.
As I was saying, we’ve got nothing to hide.
OFFICER MARTIN Who’re you two? PARK Dahlia and Leonard Zhang, our papers are right here.
OFFICER EMERSON Same last name, you siblings or spouses? (HALF-SECOND PAUSE) This shouldn’t be hard, siblings or spouses?
VIOLET (QUICKLY) We’re married.
OFFICER MARTIN You’re not wearing rings, and the couch’s clearly been slept on. Why’s that?
PARK We’re going through a rough patch.
OFFICER MARTIN What happened?
VIOLET Irreconcilable differences. Do you have any other violating personal questions?
SANA Campbell, should I--
OFFICER EMERSON Who the hell is this?
SANA Priya Khan.
OFFICER EMERSON Papers? SANA On the table.
OFFICER EMERSON Everyone sure seems to have their documents very handy.
CAMPBELL You’ve been stopping by so much. Didn’t wanna inconvenience you.
OFFICER MARTIN Full house tonight, Campbell.
PARK Just a couple of old war buddies, here to reminisce about the time we helped save humanity. Did you serve, Officer?
(IGNORING THAT) Anyone else hanging around we should know about?
FX: KITCHEN CABINET DOORS BEING SLAMMED OPEN CAMPBELL Nobody’s hiding in the goddamn cabinets!
FX: ONE OF THE OFFICERS THROWS OPEN A CABINET AND THROWS THREE PLATES, ONE BY ONE, ONTO THE TILE FLOOR, SHATTERING THEM.
OFFICER MARTIN Any other comments?
OFFICER EMERSON Right. You three stay here with Officer Martin, while I check the bedrooms.
FX: CRUNCHING BOOTED FOOTSTEPS THROUGH THE PLATE SHARDS, OUT OF THE ROOM
FX STATIC FX
THE COCKPIT OF THE IRIS II. TYPING SOUNDS.).
MCCABE How much longer?
ARKADY We’re at ninety-six percent, and I’m not exactly stretching this out for fun.
MCCABE Arkady, can I ask you something?
I’ve got a feeling you will.
Are you at all curious where Other Violet’s funds are coming from? Revolutions aren’t free, and they notoriously don’t make money, so who are her donors?
ARKADY Criminals? I’m assuming criminals.
MCCABE And that doesn’t bother you?
ARKADY You know what I do for a living, right?
MCCABE You don’t think they’re gonna want some kind of R.O.I? (WHEN ARKADY DOESN’T GET IT) Return On Investment. What do they expect back?
ARKADY Honestly, I think some pirates would do it out of principle. But even beyond that, whatever gets built after this, it can’t be more corrupt than the Regime.
MCCABE That’s...strangely optimistic, coming from you.
ARKADY It’s really not. Krejjh, you’re being quiet. It’s weird. Stop it.
KREJJH …’member when you aimed one of the external cams at Campbell’s place, and we all had a good chuckle about what a silly worrywart you were?
ARKADY (IMMEDIATELY CATCHING ON) That car’s been outside his house for a long time.
MCCABE Kill the power. Everything. Lights, atmo, cameras. Now.
KREJJH If we shut off the cameras, we’ve got no view of the house.
ARKADY Is this how you would’ve tracked us, Agent?
MCCABE Yeah, so do what I say.
FX: A FEW SWITCHES FLICKED, EVERYTHING POWERING DOWN.
MCCABE So! (PRETTY FREAKED OUT) Now I guess we--sit here. In the dark.
ARKADY Not so fun from this end, is it?
AWKWARD PAUSE. RUSTLE AS MCCABE FIDGETS.
MCCABE Um, Krejjh, that screen should probably—
KREJJH (DISTRACTED) It’s on battery.
OXYGEN MACHINE HUM AND FOOTSTEPS AS BRIAN APPROACHES.
BRIAN Hey, folks. Do we know why the power’s out?
ARKADY Cops parked across the street, we’re laying low.
ARKADY (DRYLY) Thanks for the translation.
It’s something else, I think. Krejjh, what’s—
KREJJH Not your beeswax.
MCCABE If something on your screen has you that worried, in the middle of this, I think I’d like to know. KREJJH
Just. A new message from Eejjhgreb.
MCCABE What does it say?
KREJJH Oh, I don’t read ‘em anymore.
MCCABE They kept contacting you after your fight in report four? Why isn’t this in the Casefiles?
BRIAN Yeah, not sure how to break this to you, but we were never saying every single thing we did out loud. Well, I guess the Captain was--literally doing that, towards the end. But that was just to, uh, annoy you.
MCCABE So wait, you haven’t told anyone else? The captain? ARKADY McCabe, do you really wanna die having this conversation?
MCCABE Do you really want to die in awkward silence? Not all of us are professionals at getting--hunted by the police!
KREJJH All that nonsense with Eejjhgreb, it’s nobody’s business but mine. And Crewman Jeeter’s, kind of.
BRIAN Eejjhgreb has some thoughts about my thesis.
ARKADY Your...unpublished thesis.
MCCABE Your overall conclusions are sound. There’s a few parts where your reasoning could be clarified, but--um. (PLAY IT COOL, MCCABE) I mean, probably that’s, y’know, the case.
(EXCITED TO LEARN THAT SOMEONE, GOD, ANYONE, HAS READ HIS THESIS) Yeah? Do you have any specific notes, or--uh. (REMEMBERING THE CONTEXT) We’ll circle back. The point is--
KREJJH Eejjhgreb has a long reach. Like a--what’s that Earth creature of myth and legend, the, uh...octobus?
BRIAN Octopodes are real, bud.
KREJJH No, no. A spider I will buy. But a giant deep sea wiggle-spider? I call baloney. Straight baloney, no chaser.
MCCABE So, one of the most important Dwarnian diplomats there is has been repeatedly making contact with you, and you didn’t see fit to mention this to a single other member of your crew.
KREJJH Repeatedly trying. (EEJJHGREB IMPRESSION) ‘Krejjhepp, I miss you but I’m not changing my mind.’ ‘Krejjhepp, why can’t we meet at the middle, by which I conveniently mean smack-dab where I already am?’ ‘Krejjhepp, I love you, just not enough to...overcome…’ (THE IMPRESSION IS LOSING STEAM AS KREJJH GETS GENUINELY SAD)
Can we talk about something else? I--I have a lot more thoughts on those wiggle spiders.
MCCABE (COMPASSIONATE) They have blue blood and part of their brains are in their feet.
KREJJH (FALSELY CHEERFUL) Earth aliens! The best!
MCCABE Look, I know I can’t tell you what to do, but—
ARKADY (THREATENINGLY) End the sentence, McCabe…
But if they want to make amends, even if they’re not doing it perfectly, shouldn’t you at least give them a chance? Um, speaking as someone who will never see their family again—
BRIAN Not to diminish what you’re going through, but this is not the same.
Krejjh, if Eejjhgreb can’t accept—you and Brian, you don’t owe them shit.
KREJJH Oh, they accept us just fine. What they can’t deal with is that I’m not embarrassed. That I don’t feel the need to hide Crewman Jeeter from public life, and apologize, and make a point of being seen with eligible Dwarnians from respected subclans. They want me to feel shame about the best thing in my life, and I won’t. I won’t.
MCCABE I understand all that, but it still feels like something you tell your superior officer.
BRIAN Captain Tripathi wouldn’t want us to tell her things we weren’t comfortable sharing.
MCCABE Even so, strategically, a powerful relative who’s willing to make peace with you could be a huge asset to the cause.
ARKADY Oh, now you wanna tell us what a revolution needs? MCCABE Are you telling me they don’t need money, Arkady?
BRIAN Both of you, please. It’s a moot point.
KREJJH The mootest.
BRIAN Krejjh and I have talked about this.
KREJJH It wouldn’t be worth it, okay? Yeah, Eejjhgreb has a lot of money, connections, the works. But there’ll be--Crewman Jeeter, jrebthal?
BRIAN “Strings attached,” basically.
KREJJH Eejjhgreb is a diplomat for a reason. It’s a ruthless job where I come from. There’ll always be strings stuck to anything they give, that’s how they think. Whatever they want from me, whatever they offer in return, it will never be over. And it needs to be, it--
FX, OVERLAPPING: A VERY FAINT KNOCKING.
FX: SLIGHTLY LOUDER KNOCKING.
FX: THREE SETS OF RAPID FOOTSTEPS ACROSS THE IRIS II
ARKADY Okay, one car means there can’t be more than four of them. Krejjh, you wait to the side of the door, catch them off guard. Brian, behind Krejjh. McCabe, sniper position.
FX: FOOTSTEPS, EVERYONE GETTING INTO POSITION
MCCABE We’re answering the door?
ARKADY You know as well as I do that if they’re a SWAT team, they’ve got tools to crack open the side of the ship like a sardine can. We meet them on our terms, say hello.
MCCABE How did you all live so long? KREJJH Honestly, I think it’s just as surprising to us!
FX: THE KNOCKING IS LOUDER
ARKADY We ready?
FX: SHIP AIRLOCK OPENING FX: RAIN
Hey. We saw you’d powered down. Just wanted to say the coast is clear.
ARKADY Park, you sure?
FX: PARK STEPPING INSIDE
PARK The officers trashed the place, but yeah, they left.
ARKADY Okay, weird. (AWKWARD) Uh, is. Uh.
PARK Violet’s fine. We’re married now, but don’t worry, I don’t see things working out. Evening, McCabe.
PARK Coffee up at the apartment, if you want it.
FX: PARK HEADS OUT AGAIN, AIRLOCK CLOSES.
ARKADY, BRIAN, KREJJH (VARYING SIGHS OF RELIEF) FX: FOOTSTEPS BACK TOWARDS THE COCKPIT
MCCABE Who needs coffee when there’s pulse-pounding terror…
ARKADY I do. See ya tomorrow.
FOOTSTEPS--ARKADY WALKING TO THE DOOR, MCCABE FOLLOWING.
MCCABE Hey. Is, uh, everything okay with Violet? ARKADY Why.
Um, I feel like I should tell you--maybe I shouldn’t have--
ARKADY Shouldn’t have what?
She just--she seemed homesick, after dinner. I did a little poking around--my old division updated most of their passwords after I--left, but they didn’t get everything, I mean they threw me out once they found me but I had a good fifteen minutes to do some digging, set up a back door. And I dug up, uh--
FX: MCCABE PRESSES PLAY ON A SMALL AUDIO DEVICE.
JUNIPER No, no, I’m not saying, throw out all of Reedy. I’m saying--No, I know, and I understand why we teach her to first-years, she’s foundational, I get it. But I’m saying, what kind of structures do we build if we never examine, if we never even question the foundation? All work is grounded in its time, that’s why we--
FX: MCCABE PRESSES PAUSE
ARKADY Should I recognize this person?
MCCABE That’s um, Juniper Liu.
ARKADY Violet’s little sister is under surveillance?
MCCABE She has been since you blew up ADVANCE.
ARKADY And talking like a baby revolutionary.
MCCABE Baby is--she’s less than a year younger than me?
ARKADY Shit, McCabe, Violet’s got anxiety, tell me you didn’t throw that at her with no warning!
MCCABE (QUIET) I thought she might like to hear Juniper’s voice.
ARKADY (DEEP BREATH) Good thought. Weird execution. But--thanks. I’ll, uh, take it from here? I guess?
MCCABE One second.
MCCABE In the interest of building a more professional working relationship--
ARKADY Thought you were bailing on us, first chance you get.
MCCABE The economy in San Ramos right now, there’s nothing here for me, and--it could be a while, before I find other work. So, I think in the meantime, you and I need to establish some boundaries.
MCCABE I’m asking you to not be horrible to me, all the time.
ARKADY You know what they say, if you can’t take the heat, don’t be a fascist.
MCCABE I’m not a--I don’t even work for the IGR anymore!
ARKADY You left because of a freak accident. If you hadn’t been at work that day, you’d still be recording your little reports for the Regime. You’d still be chasing down most of the people I care about. Forgive me if I’m not itching to start the trust falls.
MCCABE So that’s why you’re like this.
ARKADY Mystery solved.
MCCABE No, not that. (MORE TO THEMSELF) You’re so good at forgetting.
ARKADY Forgetting what?
MCCABE Recording my little reports means I’ve read your files. All of them, Kanetkar.
ARKADY That’s not--
MCCABE Your name? I know. It’s the name you gave when you joined IGR forces during the war. The Seven Sevens, was it? And then you got injured in the line of duty. And while you recovered, they sent you here, to San Ramos, to snuff out the growing dissent.
And maybe if they hadn’t ordered you to bring in Captain Tripathi, you’d still be a guard here. Still skating by on the bare minimum, getting just few enough demerits to fly under the radar. Maybe by now you would’ve been promoted to full officer, and you could be the one searching Campbell’s house.
ARKADY You really think that?
MCCABE I have no idea. But until you work through your stuff, don’t vomit it all up on me. We’re all trying our best. Now, go talk to your girlfriend. You’re nicer when the two of you are getting along.
(HORRIFIED) Yeah. Okay. Thanks?
FX: MCCABE’S FOOTSTEPS LEAVE. ARKADY REMAINS.
Okay. Time to go...talk about emotions. With Violet.
Think, Patel, think. What would Sana do?
FX: STATIC (WE’RE BACK IN CAMPBELL’S KITCHEN. RAIN ON THE ROOF)
FX: SOUNDS OF SANA, PARK, VIOLET, AND CAMPBELL TIDYING UP THE NOW-CHAOTIC KITCHEN
SANA Campbell, do you need anything? Is there another broom?
CAMPBELL You folks don’t have to help clean up.
VIOLET It’s the least we can do, considering.
CAMPBELL Oh, d’you think that search was about you?
PARK It wasn’t?
CAMPBELL They’re after one of my nephews--
CAMPBELL Deonte. He and some friends are suspected of breaking into the local garrison, wrecking a big stockpile of teargas and guns.
(HEAVILY) He’s a good kid.
VIOLET If nobody minds, I’m gonna go check on the studio, start putting it to rights. Park?
PARK (REALIZING VIOLET IS TRYING TO GET ALONE TIME FOR SANA AND CAMPBELL) Yeah, I might, uh. Go try to get some sleep. Have a good night.
FX: DOOR SHUTS
CAMPBELL Right, I think we’ve both earned some coffee. (FX: COFFEE POURING SOUNDS)
CAMPBELL I don’t know where he is, and I don’t wanna know. If they’re still looking, it means he’s safe for now.
SANA You could’ve said something.
I’m sorry, usually they don’t hit twice in the same week.
SANA I meant, you guys gonna be okay?
CAMPBELL The blockade we can plan for, a little. Depends how long they bleed us. The rest--well. Hard to say.
SANA If there’s anything we can do--I don’t know what I’m offering. I don’t even know what I can offer.
CAMPBELL If you find a way to brew up more of that terrible moonshine--
SANA We blew up our still.
SANA Anyway, we’re kind of--under new management lately.
CAMPBELL Huh. Never would’ve pictured your crew as spies.
SANA So far, we’re more--I don’t know, recruitment.
CAMPBELL Just--be careful. Or, if that’s too much to ask, be whatever it was that got you out of the ADVANCE building in one piece.
SANA Campbell, I should tell you. The Other Violet, she wants you to join up, full time. I know you’ve got a thousand things to think about, but with your skills and your contacts, you could be a huge help to her, to us. And I know, but I don’t need to tell you revolution’s coming, and if we want to be anything but a tragic footnote, we need everyone who will work with us. Everyone.
So, yeah. If you’re at all interested, I’ll give her your contact info. I’m not gonna try to play on--whatever we have, or had, or might’ve had, to sway you. It’s your call.
CAMPBELL After the war, I would’ve sworn I was done with all this. Make enough money to help your family, grow enough to feed your friends, work enough to keep everybody safe. But lately, safe’s not even an option. Count me in.
SANA (HAPPY) Yeah?
CAMPBELL (TEASING) If you do wanna do the whole spy thing and seduce me to your side?
(LAUGHS WITH A LOT OF RELIEF) I’ll keep that in mind.
CAMPBELL You know, I keep thinking...we have that saying, “When their foot is on your throat, any day breathing is a victory.”
CAMPBELL That’s not enough for me anymore. Just surviving, scraping by and calling it a win. If we really want to piss off those Regime goons, we should try thriving.
Wouldn’t that make them furious? To just--live our lives and take our chances, and be happy, even if it’s only for a while?
SANA Every now and then, I remember why I kissed you the first time.
CAMPBELL Anything else I can do to jog your memory?
I’m getting there. (FX: SIP OF COFFEE) (SURPRISED) This is very good coffee.
CAMPBELL I bet you say that to all the boys.
SANA When it’s true, yeah. (PAUSE, THEN CAREFULLY) If we were to...do this more seriously, would it be a problem if there are others, at some point?
CAMPBELL This mess with the Regime’s gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better, if it does. I can’t ask you to give up your life on the ship, and I don’t wanna make you feel like you need to turn down whatever comfort you can find out there.
But when we can be in the same place, I’d like to see you. And I don’t mind admitting it means something to me, because it does. You’re remarkable.
SANA You’re remarkable, too. And even more remarkable, I actually think we’re on the same page.
CAMPBELL The page where you like my face?
SANA That’s not the only thing I like about you.
CAMPBELL Well, hopefully I can provide you with a few more.
FX: STATIC. WE’RE IN CAMPBELL’S STUDIO. RAIN PATTERING THE ROOF. DISTANT THUNDER.
VIOLET (TO HERSELF) Why’d they stab the paintings? There’s just no reason--
FX: A QUIET KNOCK ON THE DOOR.
ARKADY Hey, uh, can I come in?
VIOLET Arkady! Are you okay?
ARKADY Fine, you?
VIOLET Yeah, I was just--
ARKADY Straightening up, I get it. (SO AWKWARD) So, how about those snacks tonight? Can Campbell cook or what?
Once, when I was babysitting Juniper, she made a ketchup and peanut butter sandwich, and dared us both to eat it. I wouldn’t, so she took a big bite, and then she threw up all over the counter. I was the one who got in trouble, of course. She, uh. (SAD) She thought that was really funny. I did too, actually, but I wouldn’t admit it. Why couldn’t I have just--said something?
ARKADY Liu, if that’s your worst regret as a sister…
VIOLET It’s not. (A BEAT) I missed her college graduation. I was getting over a bad flu and she was on another planet, and she said undergrad didn’t matter as long as I was there for her master’s. I’ll probably never--we weren’t close, really, four years apart? But she’s out there somewhere, and I’ll never--I’ll never meet the person she becomes. It’s like she died. It’s like she’s already dead.
Uh, look, McCabe played me the clip they gave you. I’m sorry.
VIOLET I’m sorry. I should’ve told you, but when you don’t tell me things, it feels so selfish, coming to you with my problems, and obviously, hiding is not the answer, but.
ARKADY At least you weren’t crawling into the air vents.
What I’m trying to say is, Sana’s always here for the soft shit. Brian’s happy to give a pep talk, and Krejjh is basically a walking distraction. Even the ex-agents are trying to help, I think.
And, for what it’s worth, I am here, for, you know. Feelings stuff.
VIOLET Arkady, I have to beg you to admit that your bullet wounds hurt.
ARKADY Because I’m bad at this. You’re normally good at it, don’t start slipping up on my account.
You know, with Juniper, the Regime surveils a lot of people. A lot. Sometimes they catch someone, but more often, all that happens is some grunt gets a boring desk job. She could still wind up having a completely normal life.
VIOLET That’s what McCabe said, but--(STARTING TO PANIC AGAIN) I can’t--
ARKADY Come here.
FX: VIOLET STEPS TOWARDS ARKADY AND THEY HUG
VIOLET We should talk. I don’t want to, but.
ARKADY You know, I looked it up: legal fighting age is 18. We were arguing over two years, Liu, what the hell—
VIOLET They’re developmentally important years. And I don’t think that’s really what we were fighting about.
ARKADY There’s not a birthday where it’s suddenly easy to kill people.
VIOLET Yeah, but there’s degrees, Arkady.
ARKADY What happened to me when I was fourteen, fifteen, sixteen was. Some of it was—some of it was—
VIOLET (DRYLY, BUT KINDLY) You can say “bad.”
ARKADY Some of it was not great, yeah. But the memories around those memories are some of the best I have. That’s when things were good, okay?
I get it, my shit’s messed up, a lot of the time. But when you go against the happy stuff, when you act like it’s all the same thing—I knew who I was. I knew what I needed to do. There are days I’d—”kill for that” is probably not how to say it…
VIOLET Yeah. It’s complicated. I still think it sets a bad precedent, if we build a revolution on the back of child labor.
ARKADY And I see your point. Violet, I, uh. (DEEP BREATH, AND THEN VERY QUICKLY) I like you a lot. (CLOSER TO REGULAR PACE) But there are things about my life that you are never gonna get. You shouldn’t have to.
VIOLET Arkady, I like you a lot, too—
ARKADY (A MOMENT OF LEVITY) I wasn’t...fishing for that, but okay.
VIOLET If you were me, you’d want to help.
ARKADY If I need help...I don’t think… it can be you.
VIOLET Talk to someone?
ARKADY I’ll think about it.
FX: THUNDER RUMBLES ARKADY Awful night.
VIOLET Yeah. Come to bed?
FX: RAIN CONTINUES. RAIN SHIFTS FROM HITTING-THE-APARTMENT RAIN TO HITTING-THE-SHIP RAIN.
KREJJH Where’s the download at?
BRIAN Perilously close.
MCCABE Hey Krejjh, um. I’m sorry if I overstepped. If you want Eejjhgreb out of your life--
KREJJH I don’t. There’s so much history there--I, I don’t.
I just want them to be better than they are.
BRIAN It’s nothing you did wrong, bud.
KREJJH I know. Hey, uh, who’s got some good news?
MCCABE I don’t know if this counts, but the download finished.
Okey dokey, prepare your eyeballs for the majesty! Who’s making popcorn?
BRIAN Dude, I think I might actually turn in.
KREJJH Aw, c’mon, after all that near-death experience, you don’t want—
FX: KNOCKING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE DOOR
FOOTSTEPS OUT OF THE COCKPIT
KREJJH (WEAKLY HOPEFUL) Do we think that’s Park again? Maybe he forgot his...shoes.
BRIAN I can like, see the face Arkady’d make if we didn’t do this carefully, and it’s a lot. Krejjh, love, you should hide.
KREJJH By the door. If you need help…
MCCABE Okay, are we ready?
FX DOOR OPENS
OFFICER PERRY Put your hands up! Nobody move, you’re under arrest! Where’s Captain Priya Khan?
BRIAN Okay, Officer, you need to stay very calm…
MCCABE What are the charges against us?
OFFICER PERRY I stuck a tracker on the ship when you landed near that junkpile, to make sure you’d go through the proper channels and register with the port guards. And here you are. (FX: STEPS ONTO THE SHIP) Isn’t that interesting?
KREJJH Eh, it’s no Sh’th Hremreh—
OFFICER PERRY Shit! What the f—
A bunch of humans traveling with a Dwarnian. You’re part of the Rumor crew, aren’t you? I knew your voices sounded familiar. Right, I’m gonna need the three of you to—
MCCABE (FX: GUN COCK) Behind you. Don’t put your back to a suspect. Hour one of basic training, honestly. Brian, Krejjh, hands down.
OFFICER PERRY Keep your hands up or I’ll shoot.
What do you think I’ll do if you shoot them?
BRIAN (DESOLATE) McCabe, you can’t.
BRIAN Think about this. San Ramos is a powderkeg. Let’s say we, uh, manage to dump the body somewhere it’s never found, which is not, like, a given. We still have a missing officer, last known location right by Campbell’s house. How does that look?
OFFICER PERRY He’s right, listen to him. The IGR’ll lose their minds if I disappear.
KREJJH Last known location...you didn’t call for backup, did you?
OFFICER PERRY What?
KREJJH If you had, you’d be busting in here with whoever was in that government car. There’d be three of you.
MCCABE Also hour one of training, but let’s not--
OFFICER PERRY There doesn’t need to be three of me, because you can’t shoot me.
KREJJH You didn’t call for backup, you didn’t even check. How much are officers paid?
MCCABE Not well.
Didn’t wanna split the bounty, huh?
OFFICER Unlike you all, I don’t have any compunctions about shooting you, so. Turn on that comm, call your friends down here, and I won’t make you watch each other get plugged full of holes. Keep up this shit, and I’ll start with Jeeter.
KREJJH (UPSET AND URGENT) Six hundred thousand.
KREJJH You don’t care about the rules, you don’t care about what’s right, you want money. Six hundred thousand, and we all walk away hunky-dory.
OFFICER A million.
MCCABE Krejjh, you can’t—
KREJJH Write down your account number. The transfer will show up in three earth-hours.
OFFICER PERRY And if you run?
You saw our ship. The stabilizer’s stuck on with spit and dreams, we’re not going anywhere without a full morning of welding and you know it.
MCCABE What if the guard turns us in anyway?
BRIAN Then when we’re interrogated, we all share, in detail, our matching, corroborating stories about the bribe we offered, the accounts will be thoroughly searched, and Officer Perry won’t see a drop of it.
A million, are we clear?
OFFICER PERRY And if not, I know where to find you.
(FX: OFFICER PERRY’S FOOTSTEPS OFF THE SHIP. MAIN SHIP DOOR CLOSES.)
BRIAN Krejjh, are you sure?
MCCABE We don’t have that kind of money. Other Violet doesn’t have that kind of money to spend on us. We don’t know anyone who can—
KREJJH You don’t. I do.
Computer, pull up latest message from Eejjhgreb. (DEEP BREATH) Draft reply.
GRATUITOUSLY PLEASANT FEMALE VOICE The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Episode 4: Ties. Starring--
JULIA Julia Morizawa as Piper Tanaka
LUCILLE Lucille Valentine as Kestrel Colvin
Jeremy J. Smith-Sebasto as Officer Martin
Jade Eliot Rose as Officer Emerson
Rae Tay as Juniper Liu
SABRINA Sabrina Sonner as Officer Perry
Ricky Harris as Ignatius Campbell
Jackie Andrews as RJ McCabe