• Procyon Podcast Network

Starship Iris 2.7

Updated: Aug 3

Scene 1


FX: DOOR SWISHES OPEN, FOOTSTEPS INTO THE MEDBAY


SANA

Hey, Violet.


VIOLET Hey Captain. Can I get you anything? Meds, vitamins--Oakley helped me sort all the loose pills, which was a huge help, although I think ey might be colorblind.


SANA Just wanted to check in. How’s things?


VIOLET I finished the latest round of checkups. Gertrude’s iron levels are back to where they should be. All fourteen of our guests have a clean bill of health.


SANA I meant more, how are you?

FX: VIOLET SITS ON A CHAIR.


VIOLET Counting the days until Arkady and the rest of the crew are back. Glad to have something to do for the moment. Wishing I’d had more of a chance to say goodbye to Juniper.


SANA I take it she was upset she couldn’t come along?


VIOLET It’s not even like I don’t want her to, it would be great to have a while to get caught up. But you know what it’s like out here.


SANA Yeah.


VIOLET I can’t subject her to all of that. At least she’ll be safe at Max and Julio’s school. And at least Mom and Dad are okay. (A BEAT) I don’t know if they’re okay. At least they’re not in immediate danger.


SANA As soon as we get some free time, we can swing by Mirzakhani, pay your sister a visit.


VIOLET After we stop at Telemachus, you mean. Say hi to Campbell.


SANA Yeah.


VIOLET Telemachus is less than a day from here, you know.


SANA (OH DOES SHE KNOW) I know.


VIOLET Is this adulthood?


SANA What?


VIOLET No matter where you are, no matter where you go, always missing somebody.


SANA At least until science finds us a way to teleport.


VIOLET Teleportation, free time...tell me another fairy tale.


SANA LAUGHS SADLY.


FX: STATIC

Scene 2

FX: ALIEN BIRD SOUNDS.


BRIAN (NERVOUS) Arkady, how’s it going?


ARKADY I told you, physical locks aren’t my thing, and Vashren clearly spent a lot of money on this.


BRIAN Are you in yet--


ARKADY

(OVERLAPPING) I’d tell you I was in if I was in! I’ve never broken into an alien space ship before, Brian, gimme some room!


Are we even sure this will work?


BRIAN Shouldn’t I be asking you--


ARKADY No, I mean, what are the odds Vashren actually made recordings of themself plotting the arms deal with the Regime?


BRIAN I mean, it’d be a way to hold the Regime accountable for their end of the deal. If Vashren’s more worried about that then getting caught…you don’t pull stuff like this in the first place unless you think you’ll get away with it, right?

JOGGING FOOTSTEPS APPROACH KREJJH Okay dokes, folks, without going into detail, I bought us a few more minutes. For our (LOWERS VOICE) adventure in vehicular burglary.


ARKADY We slip in, check the computer for evidence, and then slip out. We’re not flying a meter in this ship, Krejjh.


FX: THE DOOR OF AN ALIEN SPACE SHIP POPS OPEN.


ARKADY We’re in.

FX: THREE SETS OF STEALTHY FOOTSTEPS SLIP INSIDE THE SHIP AND THE DOOR CLOSES BEHIND THEM. Okay, today is about stealth and caution. I can get us into the system, but from there, Krejjh, I’m gonna need your Dwarnian, so--


ELLA Incoming call for--Krejjh--


ARKADY

Seriously?


ELLA From Rejogged.


KREJJH That’s how ELLA says Eejjhgreb.


ARKADY Krejjh, don’t answer, we’re VERY BUSY--


FX: ARKADY BEGINS TO HACK THE SHIP COMPUTER.


KREJJH I know, but. They wanna take down Vashren, too.


ELLA Incoming call for Krejjh from Rejogged.


ARKADY The smaller the circle here, the better--


BRIAN It’s Krejjh’s relative. It’s Krejjh’s call.


ELLA Incoming call for Krejjh from—

Scene 3


KREJJH Accept call. Eejjhgreb, what’s wrong?


EEJJHGREB Krejjh. Is Brian spelled with a letter I or a letter Y?


KREJJH What?


EEJJHGREB

Naming the first human Lahafflah will be a great to-do. We wouldn’t want the wrong Brian.


ARKADY Krejjh, can we--


KREJJH You’re really going through with this?

EEJJHGREB The proceedings are half-done already.


KREJJH How long have you been preparing? Are you really saying--in three turns of Glethnam, just like that, he’ll have rank to marry me?


EEJJHGREB Try two Earth-days.


KREJJH Normally it takes--


EEJJHGREB Normally, it’s not arranged by me. I make bureaucracy pack a bag and fake its own death to avoid my wrath. I twist red tape into strings and upon those strings, play a symphony of efficiency and discretion!

Do we have confirmation that Vashren was behind the arms deal? ARKADY (THROUGH HER TEETH) Working on it.


EEJJHGREB Listen, Vashren is a tricky foe. I’ve faced them in the meeting room too many times to believe the task before you is easy. I have a strategy breakfast with Larshreb and Reshthreb, but. Krejjh, as the English-speaking humans say, “good luck.” Make me proud.


And Translator Jeeter?


BRIAN Brian with an I.


EEJJHGREB Wonderful.


ELLA Connection ended.

Scene 4


KREJJH (DAZED) Crewman Jeeter, I--they--If Eejjhgreb is telling the truth... (SUDDEN GIDDY HORROR) We have two days to plan a wedding.


BRIAN Dude. What’re we doing for readings?


KREJJH And the music, we’re gonna need to commission a wedding song--


ARKADY

I am a hair away from Eejjhgreb’s recordings, can you please--get down!


KREJJH Breesht, camera says that’s one of Vashren’s bodyguards. I really thought my distraction was better.


BRIAN They’re definitely coming this way. They must’ve seen movement. KREJJH We need to get out of here.


ARKADY You’re not suggesting--


KREJJH There’s a set of caves on the edge of town. Cover, visibility, should buy us time to crime. Buckle up, friends!


FX: THREE SETS OF SEATBELTS QUICKLY BUCKLED.


ARKADY Krejjh, if we openly steal Vashren’s ship, it’ll scrap the whole mission!


KREJJH

Not if we don’t get caught! It’s joyriding time!


FX: SPACESHIP ENGINE TAKES OFF.


STATIC

Scene 5

FX: DOORS OPEN. VERY VERY LOUD MUSIC IS PLAYING IN THE HALLWAY. FOOTSTEPS THROUGH, DOOR CLOSES.


MCCABE Captain Tripathi?


SANA Yeah?


MCCABE How much longer until our contact touches down and we can offload the teens and get out of here?


SANA Last I heard, the Zephyr was twenty minutes away.


MCCABE Right, and it’s been twenty-one minutes...


SANA

Hey. We chose an obscure spot on purpose. They’ll make it here soon.


MCCABE Do you need anything from storage?


SANA Not at the moment, why?


MCCABE It’s just, you know, such a useful, well-built place, such sturdy walls--


SANA I know we’re a much fuller house than usual, and it can’t be easy to come back to your home planet after--everything. Thanks again for volunteering this place; that took a lot of guts. If you want to go stand in a quiet room for a few minutes, I won’t begrudge you.


MCCABE I’m on-duty.


SANA Well, as your captain, I officially order you off-duty for the next ten minutes.


MCCABE Thank you, ma’am.


FX: COCKPIT DOOR OPENS, WE FOLLOW FOOTSTEPS OUT INTO THE MUTED MUSIC. DOOR SHUTS.

Scene 6


OAKLEY Hey RJ!


MCCABE Oakley! And--your friends.


MEI I’m Mei--


ISIDORE --I’m Isidore---


MEI

--and that’s the third time we’ve told you.


MCCABE Sorry.


OAKLEY How much longer ‘til our contact--


MCCABE Soon.


ISIDORE What do we do in the meantime?


MCCABE (EXHAUSTED) Whatever you want.


MEI Pizza party!


MCCABE Practice your new credentials in case we get searched.


ISIDORE You said nobody would find us out here.


MCCABE No, I said, “If we’re lucky.”


MEI You okay?


MCCABE I just need to get something out of storage.

Scene 7


FX: SHIP DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS IN, LIGHTS FLICKER ON, SHIP’S DOOR CLOSES. SOME SORT OF SCRAMBLING MOVEMENT MCCABE Agh! (TO THEMSELF) It’s not a rat. It’s not a rat. (TO THE ROOM AT LARGE) Listen, I’m armed, and I have very good aim. Come out with your hands up. (TO THEMSELF) Unless you’re a rat, in which case we’re both about to feel very silly--


JUNIPER Jesus, don’t shoot me, please.


MCCABE Captain Tripathi was very clear about which areas were on and off-limits to guests, you shouldn’t--


JUNIPER You’re right, I’m sorry--


MCCABE

Hang on. You’re not one of Max and Julio’s students. You’re Juniper Liu. What are you doing in here?


JUNIPER Can you please keep your voice down?

MCCABE

Oh my god, you’re a stowaway! You’re a literal stowaway! What are you doing here? What is your plan? What’s wrong with you?


JUNIPER Which one do I answer first--


MCCABE You were supposed to stay on Mirzakhani.


JUNIPER Who gets to decide what I’m supposed to do? I’m 22, I’ve been a legal adult for years, I should be able to--


MCCABE Violet said--


JUNIPER Violet is not my advisor, she’s not my mom, and she’s not some elected official, she just happened to leave the womb a couple years


MCCABE

What were you thinking?


JUNIPER

I wasn’t gonna let myself spend the revolution stuck on a goat farm--


MCCABE It’s a school!

You know what? You really want to be treated like an adult? Then be an adult and face the consequences of your actions. I’m telling the Captain. And Violet.


DOOR OPENS, RAPID FOOTSTEPS OUT. WE’RE BACK IN THE HALLWAY, LOUD MUTED MUSIC. JUNIPER’S FOOTSTEPS FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND

JUNIPER Please, listen to me, if you tell her now--


MCCABE She’ll talk to the captain and arrange some transport for you out of Martineau, whereas once we take off, we could go weeks without landing again, which is exactly when you planned to show yourself.


JUNIPER Yes, you’re very smart, can we please work together, for a second--


MCCABE Absolutely not! Why would you think I’d--


OFFICER WALKER Attention, attention--


FX: MUSIC IS TURNED DOWN. MCCABE’S FOOTSTEPS STUMBLE TO A HALT. OFFICER WALKER In accordance with new regulations, this is a random roadside screening. You are second in the queue. Please be patient, and prepare to submit to a comprehensive full ship search. Thank you.


JUNIPER Why is your face--doing a thing--


MCCABE That officer, her name is Nan Walker. We’ve known each other since we were toddlers.


JUNIPER Any chance she won’t recognize you on sight?


MCCABE

(DUBIOUSLY) Maybe… if she’s suffered massive head trauma?


JUNIPER (UNDER HER BREATH) Well, here’s hoping…


MCCABE (AUTOMATICALLY DEFENSIVE) She’s my friend.


JUNIPER

Well, your pal is an agent of the Regime.


MCCABE Believe me, I know that. Let me think.


STATIC


Scene 8


FX: WE’RE IN VASHREN’S JUMPSHIP. JUMPSHIP DRIVING NOISES.


KREJJH Good news: we’re halfway to the caves!


ARKADY Shit news: we’re being followed.


KREJJH You sure?


ARKADY Green-ish craft, right back there. They’ve been with us way too long.


KREJJH Big turn coming--


FX: KREJJH EXECUTES A BIG TURN. EVERYONE FLOPS AROUND WITHIN THEIR SAFETY HARNESSES. SHIP RESUMES RACING FORWARD


ARKADY Still following.


KREJJH Sreeba Halgow.


BRIAN (URGENTLY) Krejjh!


ARKADY (ALARMED) What, are you--


BRIAN What if we had that poem by Rebecca Joyce Harris in our ceremony, the one I like about the trees--


FX: GUN SHOT INTO THE SHIP FX: KREJJH ACCELERATES, LIKE A LOT

KREJJH Woo! First Mate Patel, you are cordially invited to lay down some covering fire! Crewman Jeeter...if we’re going with Rebecca Joyce Harris, you know I like her ocean one better.


BRIAN Oh, the ocean one is good, and we could have like a call-response with the guests--


FX: GUNSHOT INTO THE SHIP


ARKADY Shit!


KREJJH Evasive maneuvers, folks, brace yourselves!


FX: KREJJH ACCELERATES AND TURNS, EVERYONE FLOPS AROUND IN THEIR SAFETY HARNESSES


BRIAN This is some top-notch flying, Krejjh.


KREJJH My only notch!


BRIAN Arkady, you okay?


ARKADY (OUT OF IT) I--


BRIAN (MORE WORRIED) Arkady?


ARKADY (OUT OF IT) What?


BRIAN Did they hit you? ARKADY (OUT OF IT) Where’s my gun?


KREJJH You don’t know where your gun is?


BRIAN Here! If we’re distracting you--


ARKADY No, Jeeter, I’d say the problem is all the BULLETS.

KREJJH In that case, would you be up for leading the wedding pantomime? We’ll just have a real basic one, don’t you think, Crewman Jeeter? It should only take--twenty minutes.


FX: GUNSHOTS OUT OF THE JUMP SHIP

ARKADY I think I--nope, didn’t get them, they’re definitely going faster. Krejjh!


KREJJH VEHICULAR BURGLARYYYYY!


STATIC

Scene 9


OFFICER WALKER I repeat, you are currently second in the queue. We will board you shortly.


JUNIPER How long’ll it take to search the other ship?


MCCABE I don’t know.


JUNIPER (STARTING TO FREAK OUT A LITTLE) Well hey, can you ballpark it?


MCCABE Please give me the benefit of the doubt when I tell you there are a thousand variables and without even being able to see that other ship I really can’t guess!

(PAUSE)

We need to hide you.


FX: RAPID FOOTSTEPS, MCCABE SPEEDWALKING AND JUNIPER FOLLOWING.


JUNIPER Hang on, I do have a fake ID. Used to use it for concerts.


MCCABE Yes, well, congratulations on your juvenile delinquency, but Nan is very good at what she does, so let’s not test it if we don’t have to.


JUNIPER Hasn’t landed me in trouble yet.


MCCABE Well, I think it might be about to.

Scene 10


FX: RAPID FOOTSTEPS


VIOLET Juniper? What are you doing here? We’re about to be searched--


JUNIPER I know, and that means, for literally everyone’s safety, you need to be cool about this. You can yell at me later.


VIOLET I can’t believe you! We agreed you’d be better off on Mirzakhani--


JUNIPER You agreed. You never even asked me what I wanted!


VIOLET It’s not a vacation package, Junie, we are teetering on the biggest war in human history!


JUNIPER All the more reason to think strategically instead of just dumping a capable, qualified adult in the middle of nowhere!


VIOLET I wasn’t dumping you in--qualified to do what, you’re a journalism student!


JUNIPER Oh, there it is! Just because I didn’t pick a STEM field--


MCCABE I can’t believe I’m about to say these words with my own mouth, but Violet, Juniper has a point--


VIOLET (OVERLAPPING) McCabe--


MCCABE --in that you need to put this aside for now and deal with our principal threat, which is the very real government agent getting ready to search us.


VIOLET Alright, cockpit, now!


FX: THREE SETS OF VERY FAST FOOTSTEPS

MCCABE Violet, I--


VIOLET McCabe, how long have you known that my little sister was stowing away in the ship--


MCCABE About four minutes. Get yourself under control.

Scene 11


FX: COCKPIT DOORS OPEN

MEI My name is Zhao Mei.


SANA Good. Reason for traveling?


MEI Uh, school trip. (PAUSE) That was too slow, wasn’t it.


ISIDORE Try again, it’s okay.


MEI School trip, school trip--


SANA Breathe. It’s alright. Once the Zephyr clears inspection, all you have to do is pass muster for one guard, and you’ll be free to slip out of here and board.


MCCABE That’s our contact, being searched right now?


SANA It is.


MCCABE (REALLY TRYING TO HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER) Can someone please tell them to work on their timing?


SANA The Zephyr crew are professionals. They’ll be fine.


(TO VIOLET AND MCCABE) Mei, Isidore, and Oakley are getting in some last-minute review, before the officer boards. You--hang on, is that Juniper? How--


JUNIPER Not the time.


SANA Right.


MCCABE We need to get her into Krejjh’s hiding spot.


SANA Isidore, can you please climb up here and help me with the panel.


ISIDORE On it!


FX:TWO PAIRS OF HANDS START TO UNSCREW THE PANEL.


VIOLET Juniper, when we’re out of this, I swear to god…


JUNIPER Then let’s get out of it first.


OFFICER WALKER Attention, you are now first in the queue. Search will begin momentarily.


KNOCKING ON THE SIDE OF THE EXTERIOR DOOR.


MEI What do we do?


MCCABE It’s okay, Mei. The officer searching us is Nan Walker. We grew up together. We used to run around the farm playing dragon detectives--


OAKLEY Playing what? Sorry, yeah, no, not the time.


MCCABE If I handle everything correctly, I think we might get out of this.


MEI If we’re lucky.


MCCABE Yeah.


ISIDORE Captain, the panel’s stuck on my side.


SANA Okay, keep pushing on it and I’ll--


KNOCKING ON THE SIDE OF THE DOOR


OFFICER WALKER

In accordance with new security measures, after three non-responses, we are now cleared to use a Reisler lock scrambler.


SANA Shit.


ISIDORE (NERVOUS) A what?


SANA Isidore, let go, now!


FX: A SICKENING JOLT OF ENERGY SIZZLES THROUGHOUT THE SHIP.


SANA

Heat-activated. As a side effect, it fries all the upper panels.


VIOLET ...will they still be safe to hide in?


SANA No...I’m sorry, Juniper.


JUNIPER It’s okay. I’ve made it through searches before.


VIOLET Not like this.


JUNIPER No, because I’ve always done it alone.


VIOLET Junie...


FX: DISTANTLY, WE HEAR THE EXTERNAL SHIP DOOR OPEN.


MEI Was that--?


SANA

The external doors. I’ll gather up the rest of the students and stall the officer as long as I can.


MCCABE Captain, go ahead, I’ve got a plan.


SANA Great. And good luck.

FX DOOR OPENS, CLOSES. ONE SET OF FOOTSTEPS OUT.


VIOLET What are we doing?


MCCABE (IN A LOW VOICE) Look, I still have my original government-issued ID in my room.


JUNIPER Why?

MCCABE (LOW VOICE) I’ve been thinking about it, and there’s a decent chance my family was able to bury what I did, or at least keep news from getting to Martineau. They have a lot of power here.


OAKLEY Could they protect us?


MCCABE They, um, wouldn’t do that.


JUNIPER How sure are you this’ll work?


MCCABE Um, less and less every second, but I think it’s our best shot.


VIOLET Okay, Juniper, when the officer asks, you’re a student, you--


JUNIPER My ID says I’m a twenty-six year-old personal assistant from Elion.


VIOLET (THROUGH HER TEETH) Juniper--


JUNIPER It’s a fake ID, it’s not gonna say I’m younger.


MEI How much time do we--


SANA (MUFFLED THROUGH THE DOOR) Pretty sturdy construction on these.


FX: SANA KNOCKS ON THE WALL TO THE SIDE OF THE DOOR IN A DISTINCTIVE RHYTHM


FX: DOOR OPENS


FX: OFFICER WALKER STEPS INSIDE.


OFFICER WALKER (ASTONISHED) RJ?


MCCABE (GRIMACING) Hey, Nan.


STATIC

Scene 12


FX: A SHIP HUMMING, SEVERAL SHOTS.


BRIAN Arkady, there!


FX: TWO CAREFULLY AIMED SHOTS. DISTANTLY, A SPACE SHIP CRASHES.


KREJJH Woo, got ‘em, and the cliff is in sight!


ARKADY That’s your safer ground?


KREJJH We’ve got sightlines like nobody’s business, and for hiding, crags galore!


FX: SHIP ROARS AS IT SURGES AHEAD, THEN LANDS, SKIDDING TO A HALT, WHICH ECHOES INSIDE THE CAVE. TINY DROPS OF WATER OCCASIONALLY LAND ON THE ROOF OF THE SHIP.


A GENERAL SIGH OF RELIEF.


BRIAN Arkady--


ARKADY Don’t ask me if I’m fine.


BRIAN Back there, you had a second or two where it felt like--


ARKADY Everybody has an off day at work sometimes, Jeeter. Anyone got a bandage? Sniper grazed my ear.


BRIAN You got shot?


ARKADY Grazed. Tissue? (PAUSE) Thanks. Serves me right for not getting down and staying down.


KREJJH Crewman Jeeter! For the reception, we need that song I love that’s all, “Get down, stay down”--


BRIAN There’s a few, which one? Or do we care about traditional mixtape rules? Arkady, what do you think--


ARKADY About your dance mix, or the hired guns tailing us?


BRIAN Right… um, hey: Can we...pull up the video again?


ARKADY Be my goddamn guest. Why?


BRIAN Something still doesn’t feel right to me. Why would Vashren care about getting thousands of human-made weapons? What’s in it for them?


FX: THE ARMS DEAL RECORDING PLAYS.


KREJJH

Human guns are collector’s items in some circles. Novelties, no offense. They can be worth a lot of money.


BRIAN Okay, but why not just ask the Regime for a lot of money?


KREJJH Cash would make a better gift for a politician. Less muss, less fuss, nothing to fence.


ARKADY Maybe the Regime doesn’t care about the enemy’s convenience.


BRIAN Sure, but if they’re angling for another war, why orchestrate a trade? Wouldn’t they want to hold on to every gun they’ve already got?


The crates....


KREJJH Yeah?


BRIAN Are they what the military would’ve used to transport arms?


ARKADY They’re meant for rations.


BRIAN Hmm.

ARKADY Not like the Regime would use boxes marked ILLEGAL GUNS, VERY SECRET.


BRIAN But what if they are full of food...


KREJJH (DUBIOUS) Bud, you know I love you, but, a secret snack trade?


BRIAN Crap. I knew I was missing something, I knew--


ARKADY What.


BRIAN Guns. (QUOTING FROM THE DWARNGLISH RECORDING) Thee gran gun.


KREJJH Yeah?


BRIAN Hired guns.


ARKADY You think they’re moving soldiers.


BRIAN What can both sides agree they want?


ARKADY Shit shit shit. If they’re trading people so each side can stage an air strike on the other--


BRIAN That’s what I think.


ARKADY There’s gonna be a Dwarnian attack on Telemachus, and we don’t know when.


KREJJH And a human attack we don’t know where.


BRIAN We gotta tell Campbell. We have to spread the word!


ARKADY The word’ll only spread so far without solid proof. Brian, reach out to him while I close the gap on Vashren’s files.


FX: ANOTHER SHIP HARNESS CLICKS OFF. A FEW FOOTSTEPS. ARKADY (TO HERSELF) A study on a ship this small. (disgust) So pretentious.


FX: INTERIOR SET OF SHIP DOORS OPENS AS THE FOOTSTEPS MOVE THROUGH. DOOR SHUTS.

BRIAN Brian Jeeter to Ignatius Campbell.


ELLA Attempting connection.


KREJJH (VERY BROKEN UP) That can’t be the answer. It can’t be soldiers.


ELLA Attempting connection.


BRIAN Krejjh?


KREJJH (THROUGHOUT THIS SPEECH, ELLA CONTINUES ATTEMPTING TO CONNECT) Do you know how many Dwarnians would need to know about this, in order to make it happen? Moving troops, moving rations, you can’t do that without High Command’s approval. Heck, you can’t move that many military folks without med supplies, and that means you’d need the Health Chancellor. The first war happened because of not-caring, nobody actually wanted--


ELLA, PLEASE.


BRIAN Computer, stop.


FX: THE “ATTEMPTING CONNECTIONS” CUT OFF)


BRIAN Looks like someone does want now, love.


KREJJH Putting this to light would fracture the Dwarnian government. Reshthreb is the Health Chancellor and they’re having breakfast with Eejjhgreb right now. Because they’re friends. They’re very good friends.


BRIAN Is there any way maybe Reshthreb didn’t know?


KREJJH No. They’re very thorough. Careful. You couldn’t sneak this past them.


BRIAN [pause] Do you think Eejjhgreb--


KREJJH No. (A BEAT) I don’t know.


FX: INTERIOR SHIP DOOR OPENS.


ARKADY Brian, what’d Campbell say?


BRIAN No connection.


ARKADY Try again. Krejjh, I need you to grab these headphones. I’ve got Vashren’s call log open, but surprise--


KREJJH (Numbly) It’s all in Dwarnian.


ARKADY Yeah.


KREJJH There in a sec. (PAUSE) See if there are any calls from Reshthreb.


STATIC

Scene 13

OFFICER WALKER Rylie Jo McCabe! How long has it been, five years, six? I don’t think I’ve seen you since you left for the academy!


MCCABE Nan...how’ve you been?


OFFICER WALKER Fine, just, y’know. Working the hometown beat. Not exactly what we dreamed of as kids, huh?


MCCABE Running around on the farm, fighting invisible bad guys--


OAKLEY Nan, hi, we’ve heard all about you. So these dragon detectives, were they dragons working as detectives, or detectives with a focus on dragon crime?


MCCABE Not really the time--


OFFICER WALKER Little of Column A, little of Column B. So what have you been up to? The last I heard, your folks were casually letting my folks know you were climbing the ranks in record time.


MCCABE Oh, they exaggerate, you know. Mostly it’s a lot of paperwork.


OFFICER WALKER What’s this rumor about champion markspersonship?


MCCABE

Well, there is that.


OFFICER WALKER Well, congratulations! Are you still stationed in New Jupiter?


MCCABE Yeah. I miss the quiet, but there’s always something to do.


OFFICER WALKER

What in the world brings you all the way out here, with all these--no offense, guys--children?


MCCABE I, um--


VIOLET RJ’s being humble. They’re our best volunteer at ICAP.


OFFICER WALKER ICAP?


VIOLET Brand-new government initiative. We’re mentoring promising young people, giving them formative experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have. They’ve just finished the Martineau leg of the trip, and our colleagues over on the Zephyr are waiting to pick them up for the rest.


OFFICER WALKER And you are?


VIOLET Oh, sorry. Sofia Wu.