Starship Iris 2.5 The Museum Heist
Written by Jessica Best
(approaching with urgency): Hreshfal! The dread Chiss’Vatham approaches the edge of our blockade!
A direct challenge! What are your orders?
Chiss’Vatham, you say? (UNDER THEIR BREATH) It’s been too long, my dearest enemy. (TO THE CREW) This grievous offense shall be answered. Shrefgel, ready our cannons.
(EXCITED MURMURS AND AYES FROM THE CREW)
And Shrefgel...bring me my special occasion hat.
(GASPS FROM THE CREW)
Are you certain?
HRESHFAL (deliberately) Yes. When we emerge from light speed starboard, I want Chiss’Vatham to see...all the new feathers.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC SWELLS, SOMEWHAT ROMANTIC)
MCCABE Holy moly…
BRIAN Right? Sh’th Hremreh Season Two was everything.
PARK Okay, so what’s--going on?
MUSIC PAUSES KREJJH See the one with the amazing hat?
PARK You’ll have to be...much more specific.
MCCABE With all the fringe on it. That’s Hreshfal, they’re an infamous privateer--
Technically they’re paid under the table by the followers of Vellagreb to attack the followers of Neeshgreth.
PARK So, a proxy war.
KREJJH Yeah. Dwarnians don’t fight each other. Except when they do.
MCCABE Secretly or not, if they’re paid by the state, doesn’t that make them privateers?
KREJJH Sharpshooter McCabe, here’s some free advice from me to you. Life is a single hot breath gasped into a largely uncaring void. If you can call someone a pirate, you should.
(FOOTSTEPS) ARKADY Hey, I need to--oh come on, really?
MCCABE (DEFENSIVE) We’re off-duty.
ARKADY Dubs, Brian?
BRIAN The only decent subtitles are so long-winded, you’ve gotta freeze-frame to catch ‘em all. Not the ideal first viewing experience.
MCCABE Arkady, how many times have you watched Sh’th Hremreh?
ARKADY Okay, we’ve all had fun here today. Brian, I need you.
FX: FOOTSTEPS, BRIAN FOLLOWING ARKADY OUT OF THE ROOM.
Go ahead without me, folks, I’ve seen this one a lot.
DOOR OPENS, LETS THEM THROUGH, SHUTS
ARKADY How’s Krejjh?
BRIAN Not awesome, but better since we got a new mission to focus on. How’s the Captain? She’s putting on a brave face, but leaving Campbell so soon--
About the same. Speaking of which. How bad do you need visuals on your recording?
BRIAN The arms deal? Uh, pretty badly? The Dwarnians say they’ll provide 3000 guns, they arrange a timeframe by I think pointing at a calendar, and then the humans offer 2000 of--something in return, but nobody even says what, so I’m thinking it’s a lot of gestures. Even beyond that, the optics are our best chance of figuring out who we’re--
ARKADY Wait, you’re saying it’s not a purchase, it’s a trade. Why would Dwarnians agree to that? Our guns are worse.
BRIAN Well, for one thing, I don’t know that it’s guns. For another, there’s definitely a faction that wants to fight humans again; maybe they wanna frame us for an attack?
ARKADY Even if they used our ships, the ruse’d fall apart the second one got shot down. Our guts don’t even look the same.
BRIAN Point being, this is all gonna remain very opaque until I can get a picture.
ARKADY Yeah. You know the, uh, little piece of Dwarnian hardware that decompresses video?
BRIAN It’s called a fooshal, yeah. Did you figure out compatibility with the ship tech?
ARKADY Yeah, but. Moot point. Other Violet just called to say our source fell through. We need a new plan, fast.
BRIAN Hey, we’ll put our best researcher on it. No problem.
VIOLET So, a couple of problems.
VIOLET First of all, these things are about the size of a grape, so they’re easy to hide.
SANA Seeded or--?
VIOLET Seedless. Second problem: there’s only one instance where I can actually pin down a fooshal anywhere in the vicinity of where we’ve been headed. Next problem: It’s on New Jupiter.
SANA Got it.
VIOLET Problem after that. Well, let me play you the clip:
And today in off-planet news, we have intel that New Jupiter—
You might remember New Jupiter as the planet where the Rumor crew blew up a major government facility twice and generally made the Regime eat dog shit. (PAUSE) Not relevant, it’s just fun to say.
(CONTINUING INTREPIDLY) New Jupiter’s Mary B Gleason Museum of Science and Technology will be hosting an exclusive gala featuring an auction of captured Dwarnian artifacts from the war. If this event feels slightly propagandistic to you—
Then congratulations, you’re paying attention. And if anyone wants to break in and graffiti over the signage—
Security is expected to be comprehensive. Focus your energy elsewhere.
SANA (GLEEFUL) So what you’re saying…
ARKADY Oh no.
SANA What you’re saying is, we need a way to sneak back to New Jupiter, infiltrate the event, bypass security, and retrieve the goods?
VIOLET (CONFUSED) Assuming that’s even possible.
SANA Well, short of getting called back to San Ramos, I can’t think of better news.
ARKADY For the love of god.
SANA Computer, Sana Tripathi to all crew. (COMM SOUND) Hey folks, how do you feel about a good old-fashioned museum heist?
SANA Alright people, we are t-minus thirty minutes til touchdown on New Jupiter, and you know what that means. Mission review! Anyone need a refresh on their alias?
VIOLET Hi, I’m Celia Huang.
PARK Harold Yoon-Gupta.
SANA And Avni Yoon-Gupta, good.
Remember your wedding rings.
PARK Right, let’s aim for a semi-functional fake marriage this time.
ARKADY Now that we’ve got the vows out of the way…
SANA We land by 21:05 local time. Doors open at 22:00. This gives Arkady about an hour to work her magic on the power, cameras, and alarms. We’re allotting an additional fifteen minutes for Violet, Park, and me to get into position. Brian?
BRIAN McCabe and I are on camera duty. We’ll be watching the guards, the doors, and anything else interesting.
Local weather report predicts heavy solar flares. At the first flare after 22:00, we engineer a momentary blackout.
VIOLET I grab the device and head for the door.
SANA When lights return, me and Park create a disturbance to draw attention from the missing item. Even with alarms off, we have to assume this will only buy Violet a few minutes.
PARK The rest of us go through whatever extra security the museum sets up once they realize the target’s missing.
KREJJH The ship is the rendezvous point, and then we get the Heck outta Dodge, one fooshal richer. Easy peasy pleasy.
BRIAN Assuming everything goes off without a hitch.
ARKADY It will.
VIOLET What makes you say that?
ARKADY Denial. Complete and utter denial of anything that’s ever happened to us.
SANA That’s the spirit. Everyone wired up?
VIOLET I’m not.
SANA Arkady, can you see to it?
ARKADY Got it, Captain.
(TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS OUT OF THE COCKPIT, VIOLET WEARING HEELS. DOOR SWISHES SHUT BEHIND THEM)
ARKADY Okay, hold still. (FABRIC RUSTLING AS ARKADY SECURES THE DEVICE) This should increase your signal range enough to reach the ship, no matter what. Just be sure to--
VIOLET --pretend to be on the phone so nobody stares at the lady talking to herself? And, realistically, arguing with herself?
ARKADY Yeah. Wish I could be on the ground as backup. Last time we pulled a mission this complicated…
VIOLET You got shot.
ARKADY Point, but. Look, I can’t say “be careful” every time we do something dangerous, ‘cause it’d be all I’d ever say, but, y’know. Take care.
VIOLET You too.
ARKADY Are you kidding? I don’t even have to change out of pajamas for this.
VIOLET Hey so, uh. How do I look?
ARKADY Like a rich heartless bourgeois collaborator.
(AMUSED) All that from a nice outfit and heels?
ARKADY If I didn’t know you, I’d be mad at myself for finding you this attractive.
VIOLET (STEPPING CLOSER) How mad?
ARKADY Oh, furious.
FX: DOOR OPENS KREJJH Hey folks, just-- (TO THE COCKPIT) They were about to kiss! Crewman Jeeter, you owe me twenty smackeroos!
VIOLET Well, here’s to everything going according to plan.
INSIDE OF THE SHIP, TYPING
MCCABE Arkady, do you have the overrides yet? We have minutes until everyone’s in position.
ARKADY Working on it. New Jupiter’s really upgraded their security since last time we stopped by.
BRIAN (DRYLY) Wonder why.
MCCABE What are we supposed to do while we wait?
KREJJH You wanna get a game of cards going?
MCCABE Krejjh, have you...y’know…
KREJJH Replaced the card I ate? (PAUSE) Oh, you mean has Eejjhgreb been in touch. No beans, not since wiring the money.
BRIAN Krejjh, love, you know you don’t have to talk about this.
ARKADY (TENSE, TYPING) You don’t have to talk at all.
KREJJH Eejjhgreb’s waiting for me to reach out first. I have to thank them for the gift, and offer good enough counter-terms before they formally acknowledge me.
BRIAN It’s, uh, standard diplomatic protocol on Mloss Thlaylanch. Basically, Eejjhgreb’s not treating this like a tiff between family anymore.
If they wanna play games, let ‘em goddamn twist. They shat the bed, they can’t just buy you back.
MCCABE Arkady, do you think maybe you’re projecting, just a little bit?
ARKADY I get along great with my family. What makes you think I don’t?
ARKADY Aaand we have cameras!
BRIAN Private line. Brian Jeeter to Sana Tripathi. Time is 22:07. Arkady just got the camera override. Where are you and Park at?
SANA (GENTEEL CROWD NOISES BEHIND HER) Look at this sword! How gruesome!
PARK Luckily, we didn’t see many of those in combat.
SANA I’m so glad of it, dear.
MCCABE Ceremonial Dwarnian sword is exhibit C-11, should put them in range of...that camera.
KREJJH For the record, that’s a trick knife. Whoever they took that off was learning how to juggle.
ARKADY Private line. Arkady Patel to Violet Liu, you almost in place?
VIOLET (GENTEEL CROWD NOISES BEHIND HER) Excuse me, could you tell me where the--oh wait, it’s behind me, so sorry.
MCCABE ...that’s a yes. She’s right there.
ARKADY Good job. I’ve got the power and the cameras, still working on the alarms. Move slow, you might need to loiter a while.
ARKADY (DRILY) That exciting life of crime, I know.
Disgusting, isn’t it?
MUSEUM-GOER From a design perspective, I mean. The helmets they wore. So clunky.
VIOLET They do look heavy.
KREJJH Hey buddy, let me tell you some exciting facts about zero gravity!
No wonder they were in such a murdering mood! But we showed them in the end. Fascinating culture, though.
ARKADY Just what we needed, a talker.
MUSEUM-GOER I consider myself a connoisseur of captured Dwarnian artifacts. I have over 200 pieces at home.
VIOLET (TRYING TO SIGNAL DISINTEREST) That’s...nice.
Would you like an impromptu tour of the exhibits here?
ARKADY Violet, we need you to shake this guy, subtle as you can.
VIOLET I really wouldn’t want to impose...
MUSEUM-GOER Oh, it’s no trouble. I can take you through what the plaques got wrong. ARKADY Shit, you’re about to be pushed out of position, disengage!
VIOLET (TO ARKADY) I’m trying--
VIOLET (TO MUSEUM-GOER) I’m actually waiting for someone?
MUSEUM-GOER Well, nobody appears to be coming. Shall we?
ARKADY Forget subtle, shank him.
VIOLET (MAKES AN AMUSED SOUND AT ARKADY’S COMMENT, THEN, VERY FIRMLY) Really. I’m fine right here.
MUSEUM-GOER There’s no need for that kind of attitude, I was trying to do you a favor.
MCCABE Solar flare coming in seven...
ARKADY Alarms’re being stubborn.
Five, four…then quit babysitting your girlfriend and handle it!
VERY FAST TYPING SOUNDS
(FX: SLIGHT FIZZLE FROM THE SOLAR FLARE)
MCCABE We missed it!
BRIAN It’s okay, dude, we’ll wait for the next one.
MUSEUM-GOER You were just standing there by the case, I assumed you actually wanted to learn something at a museum, you little--
VIOLET (CALLING, CORDIAL) Harold! Harold and Avni Yoon-Gupta, is that you?
SANA Celia, dear, is this person bothering you?
Forgive me for trying to educate!
PARK (SARCASTIC, CALLING AFTER MUSEUM-GOER) And have a lovely night!
MCCABE Great...now three operatives are bunched up together and they’re attracting attention…
SANA So! Dwarnian helmets...
ARKADY Random assholes are an X factor in any heist. At least that one’s dealt with. Give it some time to clear out.
KREJJH Uh fellas? Not sure we’ve got time. Traffic report says heavy sky-congestion is coming down in forty-five minutes, we’re gonna be boxed in.
MCCABE There’s only one predicted solar flare within the next hour, and it’s cresting in less than half a minute.
BRIAN Arkady, dude, no pressure, but like, kinda pressure. Do you have the alarms offline yet?
Working on it…
BRIAN Anything we can do to help?
ARKADY (THROUGH HER TEETH) Quiet would be good.
MCCABE Flare coming in...eight...seven...
Computer, outside call. (COMM SOUND) Arkady Patel to Team-2: go.
MCCABE What? Four...three...
ARKADY Killing all museum lights, all museum power, now. (CROWD MURMUR AND SHOCK WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT)
MCCABE Arkady, the alarms are on battery, did you get the alarms?
(ALARMS BEGIN GOING OFF.)
BRIAN ...she did not.
Violet, go, now. You’ve got four seconds to stow the item, just like we practiced. And...lights back on...now.
PARK What’s going on?
Attention guests, everyone remain calm. Looks like...there’s been a security breach in the Montgomery wing.
PARK And where is that?
Opposite end of the museum, sir. Nothing to worry about.
MCCABE Arkady, you said you couldn’t access security.
ARKADY I didn’t.
MCCABE Then how--
ARKADY Small talk later.
Where are you Violet, get out of there!
BRIAN She’s not quite to the door yet. Park, Sana, if you could clear Violet a path and/or draw some attention to yourselves...
SANA (RICH PERSON VOICE) My diamonds! My diamonds are missing!
KREJJH That works.
OFFICER CLEMENS Ma’am, please remain calm. Don’t worry. (WALKIE TALKIE SOUND) Officer Clemens here, we have a code H7A.
(TO THE CROWD) Alright everyone, in addition to the security issue in the Montgomery wing, we have a stolen items report in the Special Exhibit Hall. In accordance with new security procedures, this whole room is now on lockdown.
BRIAN Okay, that sounds bad…
ARKADY Did she make it? Violet, cough if you’re out of there. (PAUSE) I can’t hear. Too much crowd noise.
Don’t worry, ma’am, we’ll search every guest top to bottom. What did they look like?
BRIAN Brian Jeeter to Sana Tripathi and Jin Seon Park. If Violet made it out, the diamonds are pink. If not, they’re blue.
SANA They’re...perfectly transparent.
ARKADY She doesn’t know. Dammit.
PARK Dear, hate to contradict you, but I really think they’ve got a slight blue-ish cast.
SANA Are you sure?
ARKADY Shit. The target’s in Violet’s bag, that won’t stand up to a search. We’re gonna need to execute a handoff.
Alright, necklace? Earrings?
Captain, Park, if you see a window for a handoff, they’re a necklace. If not, earrings.
SANA A necklace.
SANA I just had them re-set as a pendant.
ARKADY Hand-off time. Okay, Violet, stay very calm. We need you to approach Park and Tripathi. Fake a trip. Just like we practiced.
When did you practice this?
Any other identifying details about these diamonds, ma’am?
SANA The largest is very round, about the size of a grape, or an eyeball.
VIOLET Harold, Avni, what’s--agh! (FX: VIOLET FALLS)
SANA Are you alright?
PARK Here, let me help you up.
VIOLET Thank you, Harold. So embarrassing.
BRIAN Violet, successful handoff?
SANA Are you hurt? Yes, no?
VIOLET I’m fine.
PARK That’s a relief.
ARKADY Alright. Beautiful. Let’s get you all out of there, before anyone notices what’s really missing.
VIOLET Listen, Officer, uh, Clemens, the crowd is making me very nervous and I’m having trouble breathing.
Great, if you could queue up to the left, where the screening line has formed.
SANA (VERY AUTHORITATIVE) Officer Clemens, she’s with us. This has been a very trying evening, no thanks to the frankly shoddy security at your establishment, so if you wouldn’t mind, the three of us are going to step out for some air. Now.
Of--course, ma’am! Just a quick bag check and pat-down first, new rules demand it in the event of any on-premises theft.
VIOLET Of course.
(PAUSE) OFFICER CLEMENS
You’re clear. Please step through those doors.
VIOLET See you two out there!
DOOR OPENS, VIOLET STEPS OUTSIDE, DOOR CLOSES
VIOLET (LONG BREATH OUT)
ARKADY Violet, you did so well. You did so, so well.
BRIAN Not outta the woods just yet. Park?
PARK Is this really necessary? Are you accusing me of stealing my own wife’s jewelry?
Sir, all due respect, until we get this straightened out, everyone is a suspect.
PARK I didn’t sacrifice an eyeball in the war to be poked at like a common civilian!
Please step through those doors.
DOOR OPENS, PARK STEPS OUT, DOOR CLOSES.
KREJJH Two outta three.
Alright, ma’am, if you’ll just--
SANA I’m a suspect? Really? Me. What sort of person would stage the disappearance of her own property in a museum, surrounded by witnesses? Is this seriously happening right now? Am I hallucinating?
Pat-down complete. Step through those doors.
SANA Thank you.
BRIAN Good work, rendezvous at the ship in fifteen!
KREJJH Everyone aboard?
SANA Yep. Krejjh, you know what to do!
(TAKEOFF SEQUENCE COMMENCES)
KREJJH Ahoy hoy people, this is your high-flying and very relieved pilot speaking. Please report to the cockpit for mission debrief and a party! The party is largely a state of mind, but I found streamers!
Where’d you learn the scary act, Captain Tripathi?
SANA I worked at a mechanic’s shop in my youth. Some of our customers were...instructive.
FX: DOOR OPENS ARKADY You mean shitheads.
SANA (REPRIMANDING) Arkady-- (REALIZING ARKADY’S RIGHT) you know what? I do mean shitheads. Is Violet with you?
VIOLET Hey, Captain.
(FOOTSTEPS AS VIOLET AND ARKADY ENTER. DOOR SHUTS.)
SANA Violet, I meant to tell you! That was a very convincing fall.
ARKADY She skinned her knee. That’s my girl, bleeding for crime.
VIOLET You know me, anything for--crime.
(FX: DOORS OPEN) MCCABE Captain!
PARK Mission debrief?
SANA And party.
PARK We thought you were joking about that part.
SANA Iris 2 crew, can I just say, that was a pretty good heist!
BRIAN Captain, how’d you guys do that hand-off? Where’s the fooshal now?
PARK Eye have it.
MCCABE But they searched you.
PARK Good thing they didn’t eyeball us. (PAUSE.) I’m winking. I just realized you can’t really--it was under my eyepatch.
MCCABE Puns? Puns, Park? Really? Puns? PUNS.
KREJJH Ahh! Eye see what you did there.
SANA Krejjh, perfect exit, as usual.
KREJJH That’s my brand!
SANA Brian, McCabe, here’s to you for watching the monitors. All of us in the field were glad to know you had our backs.
MCCABE I still think I should’ve been on-site. I’m a sniper!
PARK We were indoors in a highly guarded museum, what could you have done?
MCCABE I could’ve shot the jerk who was bothering Violet.
ARKADY McCabe, don’t make me like you. It’s disorienting.
VIOLET Is that the sound of Arkady growing as a person?
SANA Speaking of Arkady, good work on that trick with the alarms.
MCCABE Yeah, how did you manage to set them off at the opposite end of the museum?
ARKADY I didn’t. Emma Hagermann did.
MCCABE Em--You hired the Hagermann Six?
PARK Never hurts to have insurance.
MCCABE What’d they steal?
ARKADY Whatever they could carry? I think they like antiques? Mostly, they’re adrenaline junkies.
MCCABE You knew they wouldn’t disable the alarms either…
Right. Should we open up this fooshal?
KREJJH Plugging it in.
MCCABE How long does it take to decompress a--? FX: A QUIET, HIGH-TECH BEEP.
KREJJH It’s done.
VIOLET The file’s done? Just like that?
BRIAN Dwarnian tech, folks! Now, let’s see what we’ve been missing...
FX: THE AUDIO OF THE RECORDING WE’VE ALREADY HEARD, JUST AS WE’VE HEARD IT. A FRENCH AUTOMATED MESSAGE IN THE BACKGROUND. ONE VOICE SPEAKS IN DWARNGLISH, THE OTHER ANSWERS.
MCCABE Do we think the whole thing will be the backs of peoples’ heads?
BRIAN Ooh, you can see crates through that ship door! Arkady, Krejjh, do they look like anything you recognize from the war?
KREJJH Sorry, no dice over here.
ARKADY It’s a little familiar but I can’t place it.
KREJJH (ALARMED) Pause it! PAUSE IT!
FX: RECORDING PAUSES
Krejjh to Other Violet.
SANA What’s going on?
ELLA Attempting connection.
KREJJH I only wanna have to explain this once.
ELLA Attempting connection. Attempting conn--
OTHER VIOLET What’s the situation?
KREJJH We got the video.
OTHER VIOLET Any useful intel?
KREJJH (DEEP BREATH. IN PAIN.) The ship. The ship the Dwarnians came in.
OTHER VIOLET Yes?
KREJJH It’s--um. It’s a really, really good ship.
OTHER VIOLET Krejjh, if you called just to talk ships--
KREJJH No! Listen to me. It’s fast, it’s discreet, it’s very pricy. It’s got external stabilizers you can only get on Mloss Thlaylanch.
The Dwarnians who’re in on this deal, they’re not small players. They’re not on the fringes. They have a lot of money.
PARK Are we thinking Dwarnian mafia?
BRIAN You’re thinking government.
OTHER VIOLET (SKEPTICAL) All the way to the top?
KREJJH We shouldn’t rule it out. The ship--I mean, the style, the mods, everything--it all felt real familiar. The kind of thing I used to fly. Eejjhgreb knew all the rich and powerful--I may know how to find who arranged this. And if we can figure out who that is, the rest of the pieces might fall into place.
Boss Violet, I think I’ve got a chance to settle my debt to Eejjhgreb and help the cause at the same time.
I think I need to go back home.
KREJJH Just for a few weeks.
SANA If you’re sure this is the right thing to do, we can drop you off when we refuel on Artemis, you can shuttle from there. But are you absolutely sure?
KREJJH I’ll put in some public appearances with Eejjhgreb, show the world I’m still alive and on, y’know, real great terms with my family. It’ll get press, and that’ll give Eejjhgreb a platform for whatever kinda issue they wanna push, they’ll love that.
OTHER VIOLET And being on the inside with a prominent diplomat will get you a lot of access. Interesting.
BRIAN Krejjh, you shouldn’t have to do this alone.
Agreed. You’re too unpredictable in the field.
BRIAN I’m going. I can keep analyzing the arms deal from anywhere, and I’m not leaving Krejjh.
KREJJH I can’t promise Eejjhgreb won’t be horrible to you.
BRIAN C’mon, I’m a queer trans Jewish liberal arts guy. Bouncing back from crap we shouldn’t have to deal with is kinda our thing.
ARKADY Hang on, we don’t even know if this is safe. What’s the name of that politician who tried to have Thasia murdered for saying the war maybe wasn’t a great idea?
ARKADY Are they based out of Mloss Thlaylanch?
Yeah, well, I don’t know about all of you, but I’m not comfortable throwing two crew members into a goddamn...hornet’s nest inside a volcano.
I’m coming, too.
OTHER VIOLET You’ll be a hard sell to Eejjhgreb.
ARKADY Hey, the mainstream Dwarnian society cares a lot about manners, right? Then it’d be pretty damn rude of them not to let you take your personal security guard.
SANA I think we’ll all feel a lot better about this with you there, Arkady.
OTHER VIOLET Luckily, the Iris 2’s next mission shouldn’t involve any kicking or punching. I want the rest of you to head to Mirzakhani, drop off Max’s student recruits at a nearby hub, they’ll continue to headquarters from there.
ARKADY We’re not a skybus.
OTHER VIOLET Max doesn’t have a ship large enough to take them all. Not every job involves subterfuge and subtlety and hiring a bunch of cat burglars to sack New Jupiter’s premier museum.
SANA In our defense, it did work.
OTHER VIOLET And in a way that doesn’t especially point back to us. I’m not mad about it.
SANA (DRYLY) Thanks. We’re honored.
Scene 13 (Violet/Arkady)
VIOLET Arkady? Can we talk? Outside?
(FX: TWO PEOPLE GET OFF THEIR CHAIRS, FOOTSTEPS TO THE DOOR. DOOR OPENS, WE FOLLOW THEM OUT, DOOR CLOSES)
ARKADY I’m sorry, I should’ve run it by you--
VIOLET No, I um. I think it’s the right thing to do. Nothing I’ve heard about this situation makes me feel like Krejjh and Brian are gonna for sure be safe there, and you’re the one who can do something about that. I just--is this, on any level, a guilt thing? About the war, or--?
ARKADY Honestly, I don’t know how to tell the difference.
ARKADY I’ve gotta keep our friends from dying.
VIOLET So you admit they’re your friends.
ARKADY (SMALL LAUGH) Shut up. Hey, it’s only two weeks.
ARKADY I’ll call. I don’t know what the time difference is. Maybe I can leave you messages.
VIOLET I’d like that. I’ll leave you messages, too.
ARKADY Good. And maybe don’t listen to them where the rest of the crew can hear? (AWKWARD LAUGH) Not like that, just. Feelings?
(BRIEF PAUSE WHILE THEY KISS.)
ARKADY For the record, I wasn’t fishing for a kiss, but I’ll take it.
VIOLET Good. We should go back in.
(BRIEF PAUSE WHILE THEY KISS AGAIN)
VIOLET (LAUGHING A LITTLE) For real, this time.
ARKADY After you.
FX: DOORS OPEN, TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS BACK INSIDE.
SANA So, I guess we’ll just need to fit in some extra team bonding time before Artemis. Krejjh, Brian, Arkady, you will be missed.
OTHER VIOLET And Park.
An anonymous possible defector got in contact with us late last night. They’ll talk, but only to Park. They’re out on Fortinbras Station, you can get there from Artemis.
MCCABE How long would he be gone?
OTHER VIOLET I don’t know.
MCCABE A month? Two months? A year?
OTHER VIOLET I still don’t know.
Hang on, this is Park’s decision, there’s no point debating this until he--
PARK (IMMEDIATELY) I’ll go.
SANA ...Okay then.
MCCABE We’re diverting a crew member for who knows how long, just because someone might know something?
OTHER VIOLET Thasia thinks they’re credible.
MCCABE Without Krejjh or Park, Captain Tripathi will have to pilot the ship around the clock--
I’ve been meaning to fix up the autopilot anyway.
We need all the help we can get. That’s always been true. And I trust Thasia’s judgment.
OTHER VIOLET Right, I’ll leave you to it. Hagermann’s crew destroyed some priceless stained glass on their way out, but I never cared for modern art. We’ll call that progress. Violet Liu out.
COMM DISCONNECT SOUND
SANA Well! It feels like this meeting has turned into more of a farewell party. I didn’t manage to do any grocery shopping before we left, but we’ve got water and our fanciest cocktail glasses, so let’s get festive.
MCCABE Park, can I talk to you in the hallway?
KREJJH Everything interesting these days happens in the hallway…
FX: TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS OUT OF THE COCKPIT, DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.
Scene 15 (Park/McCabe)
MCCABE You know, you’re probably the most famous defector there is at this point. Shortly ahead of, um.
MCCABE Yes. Do you think, that’s probably why they want to talk to you, right? This unknown person?
PARK I don’t know why they want to talk to me.
MCCABE It’s just--you agreed really, really quickly.
PARK What’s this about?
MCCABE I mean, you barely had any information, and you said yes. You don’t even trust me alone with the crew, and you said yes.
PARK It’s been weeks since that talk. Situations change.
MCCABE You didn’t tell me about the Hagermann Six crew, today. And you know, I get it? New Jupiter, not far from where we used to work. The chance to turn in not one but two groups of criminals. I can see where you would think that might be tempting. I don’t blame you for withholding that. What I might blame you for, is jumping into a far-fetched scheme that shortstaffs our crew, for the wrong reasons.
PARK Other Violet gave me a mission. If a defector will only talk to me, we still need to hear what she-- (CATCHES HIMSELF) what they have to say.
MCCABE ...you know it’s not her, right?
It’s not Shelly. She was nowhere near Fortinbras, and anyway, the odds of her defecting too are--so small--
PARK We don’t know who it is. It could be anyone.
MCCABE You’re making a bad decision.
PARK It’s not your call.
MCCABE I can’t believe the captain is just--letting you do this.
PARK Maybe she knows it’s a bad idea to keep someone on a ship against their will.
MCCABE That’s literally how she met Violet.
PARK Violet’s only other option was death. I’m doing my job.
MCCABE Jin Seon, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
FX: FOOTSTEPS BACK TO THE COCKPIT.
PARK Let me worry about that.
FX: DOORS OPEN. ONE PAIR OF FOOTSTEPS WALKS IN. A SECOND PAIR OF FOOTSTEPS HURRIES AFTER. DOORS CLOSE.
BRIAN Hello again.
PARK So, uh. What’d we miss?
VIOLET We added some more streamers, and we’ve got ice water for toasting.
KREJJH We’re gonna do karaoke!
SANA We are?
ARKADY I am not doing that.
KREJJH In that case, let’s celebrate by (SAID IN THE SAME TONE OF VOICE AS “WE’RE GONNA DO KARAOKE”) not doing karaoke!
SANA Krejjh, do you know what “karaoke” means?
KREJJH I have many guesses!
PARK Come on, the ice is melting.
PARK In the drinks. We should go ahead and toast.
SANA To working together to achieve something more than the sum of its parts.
PARK To doing what needs to be done.
KREJJH To going away and then coming back again, as soon as absolutely possible.
VIOLET To a successful museum heist.
(FADE OUT TO THE SOUNDS OF GLASSES CLINKING)
ELLA The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Episode Five: The Museum Heist. Starring--
CODY Cody as Dwarnian Crew Member
DAVELL Davell To