Under Pressure 1.10 - The Crash That Ends the Night
Margaret Clark & Phoebe Seiders
DR JAMIE MACMILLAN BARRIE
DR SIDNEY PETERSEN
CPT PHAEDRA ASPROS
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER
DR HAMISH TURIN
DR RAMONA RAMIREZ
SCENE ONE: Amphitrite, Interior- in crisis
SOUND INTRO MUSIC
SOUND ALARM NOISES
JAMIE MACMILLAN-BARRIE (TO HERSELF) What the he--? What is happening, what is happening, what is--
SOUND ALARM STOPS
SOUND WALL COMM BUZZES
CAP'T PHAEDRA ASPROS Jamie, are you there?
JAMIE Yes, Captain.
PHAEDRA Come to the comms room immediately, I need your help.
JAMIE Yes, Captain!
SOUND (RAPID) HATCH OPENS, CLOSES, FOOTSTEPS DOWN HALLWAY
DR SIDNEY PETERSEN (ROUNDING CORNER/CLOSING HATCH) Barrie!
JAMIE Sidney, what are you--?
SOUND BOTH OF THEM WALKING
SIDNEY I'm required to check in with Captain Aspros before I get on that sub that just-- arrived.
JAMIE --That was a sub docking?!
SIDNEY That was a sub failing to dock. With an attempt like that, the crew clearly need medical assistance. (BEAT, THEN: DARKLY) Or 'medical assistance,' for damaging the station.
SOUND HATCH OPENS
PHAEDRA (TO COMMS)--Erras, your crew must remain inside your vessel until cleared by our resident doctor-- (BREAKS OFF)
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER I understand that, Amphitrite, but we need--
PHAEDRA Petersen! Good. (TO COMMS OFFICER) Erras, I understand the position you're in. I do. But at the very least I am going to need a few minutes to interface with my crew before we can help you.
ERRAS (PAUSE) Fine.
SOUND COMM DIES
JAMIE What's going on?
PHAEDRA (DISTRACTED) Just a minute, Jamie. (OVER INTERNAL COMM) Vernon, you got a copy.
JACK (OVER COMM) Aye, captain, just waiting on your go-ahead. I'm at the physical plant door.
PHAEDRA Alright, Vernon, I want you to go back to the lab and wait for my orders there. We have a bigger problem.
JACK (OVER COMM) Captain if there's a problem with the station I need to--
PHAEDRA (INTERRUPTING) Jack, go to the lab and wait. You're not to leave the long term module until I give the say so, is that clear?
JACK (OVER COMM) (DARK) Aye, captain.
SOUND COMM BUZZES OFF
PHAEDRA Alright, Petersen.
SIDNEY (ROTE) Checking in. Can I go now?
PHAEDRA (BEAT AS SHE DOUBLE-CHECKS THE RADIO) No.
SIDNEY --Good, I'm-- What?
PHAEDRA Petersen, you can't go.
SIDNEY (PARTICULARLY FROSTY, ABOUT SECONDS FROM STARTING A FIGHT) It's my JOB.
PHAEDRA They've already forced their way into the short-term quarters, but that whole wing of the station got torqued when they came in. The airlock can't be safely cycled. If you open it, you'll be exposing all of us to whatever it is they've been incubating that got them all in this state.
SIDNEY I-- But-- (BREAKS OFF)
PHAEDRA You see the issue.
JAMIE Okay, they might, but I don't. It's just the flu, right? Didn't we all get vaccinated before we came down here?
PHAEDRA (DRY) Dr. Petersen, take it away.
PHAEDRA Unless you'd rather I explained it.
SIDNEY (EYEING PHAEDRA, THEN: SIGHS) Fine. We've been locked in a tin can for months with only each other to contaminate. The Erras is a cruise sub -- they've all been locked in a tin can for months with only each other to contaminate.
JAMIE But we have subs visiting all the time.
SIDNEY Normally, I take precautions for those visits, and normally the short term wings maintain a completely separate air circulation system.
JAMIE (SHE GETS IT) But this time we can't let you in to see them without mixing air, because they damaged the station coming in.
SOUND COMM BUZZES ON
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER Erras to Amphitrite, do you have a copy?
PHAEDRA (SHORT) Copy.
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER What's the status on getting-- (CUTS OFF FOR A WRACKING COUGH) (CATCHES BREATH) on getting some medical personnel? over here?
PHAEDRA We're working on it.
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER Captain Aspros, I understand that you have a crew to look after but--
SOUND A SCUFFLE OVER THE COMMS
ALEX MCQUERRY (MUFFLED, OFF COMM) I'm telling you to step aside-- what's your name? Officer Christine. (CLEAR ON COMM) Captain Aspros, do you know who I am?
PHAEDRA I have absolutely no idea.
ALEX MCQUERRY I'm Alex McQuerry, of Half Fast Investments, and we're a minority shareholder in PanOptics' deep sea mission. I am your boss, and I need you to let us onto the station right now.
PHAEDRA (AFTER A MOMENT OF SILENCE). Mr McQuerry, allow me tell you something about the chain of command, and how far it goes. When we're on dry land, or discussing requisitions, or doing anything really that involves topside, you may be considered my boss. However, when we are on this station the buck stops with me. It does not matter how much of a stake you hold in the company, I am in charge, not you. I realize that this might be the first time you've ever not been in command, but tough shit.
SOUND UTTER, SHOCKED SILENCE
ALEX MCQUERRY You might end up regretting that, captain.
PHAEDRA Perhaps. But for now, I don't know who it was that had the bright idea to crowbar your way into the station after having damaged it, but if you had done what I was instructing you to do––that is, stay in your ship--we would not be having this problem. We could have solved the issue, and you could have gotten appropriate medical assistance. But now we have a major problem, and we have to fix it before we can help you without risking the safety of everyone else on this station. And that, per my instructions from my actual bosses at PanOpt, is our priority.
ALEX MCQUERRY So what should we do in the meantime? Just (CUTS OFF TO COUGH) Just sit here and slowly die?
ERRAS COMMS OFFICER Captain Aspros, we have crew members who were injured in the crash and no way to help them. We sympathize with your predicament--
ALEX We absolutely do not "sympathize with your predicament," and we expect to get medical attention within the next half hour! You shouldn't need more than that to do that.
PHAEDRA (SIGHS) We'll do our best to get you the medical attention you need as soon as possible. I cannot make any promises. Amphitrite out.
SOUND COMM DIES
SIDNEY Captain, are you sure I can't--
PHAEDRA Not now, Sidney, there--
SIDNEY That ship has injured people on it--
PHAEDRA This is my call, and we can't--
SIDNEY It's my job to be helping--
JAMIE Hey! HEY. Shouting isn't going to solve this.
SIDNEY Well what would you suggest, Barrie?! That we all just sit around waiting for the people on that ship to get so sick it won't matter anymore and all we can do is send their coffins back topside?
SIDNEY No! You want me to stay here, and do nothing, and that is the exact opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing on this damn station to begin with!
SIDNEY Goddamnit, Phaedra, let me do my job!
PHAEDRA Go back to medical.
PHAEDRA Go back to medical, and start preparing everything you're going to need to get these people treated.
SIDNEY (A LITTLE SHOCKED) O-- okay.
SOUND SIDNEY LEAVES THE COMMS DECK
PHAEDRA (LONG, BELEAGUERED SIGH)
JAMIE (PAUSE) Uh, Captain. Was there something you wanted me to do?
PHAEDRA Jamie -- Ramirez hasn't checked in yet. Can you go track her down and make sure she didn't hit her head when the sub docked or something?
JAMIE Of course. Anything else?
PHAEDRA Jamie, I know that I said you'd have some time to consider, but I really need to know if I can count on another officer right now. Are you in or out?
JAMIE (PAUSE) I'm in.
PHAEDRA Great. Get back to me once you've tracked her down. I'm sure I'll need you again by then.
SOUND HATCH OPENS/CLOSES AS JAMIE LEAVES, FOOTSTEPS DOWN HALL
HAMISH (FADING IN, DISTANT/MUFFLED) These people need medical treatment, but they're not going to get it until Phaedra is satisfied.
JACK (ALSO DISTANT/MUFFLED) It's just the flu, though, right? No one's gonna die.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS SLOW, THEN STOP
JAMIE (OVER FOOTSTEPS) Oh. Uh...hmm.
HAMISH (ALSO STARTING OVER FOOTSTEPS, REMAINS SLIGHTLY LESS DISTANT/MUFFLED) Then why not treat them? "No one's going to die" applies as much to us as it does to them. Jack, you have to think about the bigger picture, consider your greater responsibility beyond what you owe to the captain of this station. You know it's the right thing to do.
JACK (ALSO REMAINS DISTANT/MUFFLED) The right thing to do--?! What are you talking about, mate, it's bloody mutiny is what it is!
HAMISH This isn't the military, you're not going to get court-martialed and shot. Your boss is making a bad call and you want to do the right thing.
JACK Even if it's not a court-martial, the 'right thing' is still gonna get me fired.
HAMISH No, no, here's the thing: if Aspros fires you, you can appeal the decision with PanOpt. And even if they side with her, imagine the headline that runs for that story in the news. 'Man fired for rendering aid to sub crew in distress.' How do you think that plays?
JACK I don't care how the headline plays. I get a rep for mutiny I'll never have another job.
HAMISH Everyone else on this station wants to open up that door and let those people get help.
JACK (SALTY) The officers don't.
JACK Jamie got a job offer––head of research.
HAMISH Where did that come from?
JACK Beats me.
HAMISH The point remains, though. We don't actually know what Jamie thinks, but all the rest of the crew is on your side here.
JACK (PAUSE) Even Petersen, you reckon?
HAMISH Especially Petersen. You saw them stomp down the hallway, same as me.
JACK Yeah, 's true.
HAMISH (THOUGHTFUL) You could go talk to them.
JACK And do what, talk them into-- opening the airlock instead?
HAMISH Like I said. Everyone else is on your side in this. You might not even need to say the word.
HAMISH Just have a chat. See how it goes.
JACK (LONG PAUSE, THEN:) Alright.
SOUND HATCH OPENS, CLOSES
JAMIE (FALSELY BRIGHT; SHE'S BEEN CAUGHT OUT) Uh, hey Jack!
JACK (OBLIVIOUS TO HER GUILT, ENGROSSED IN THOUGHT) Hey Jamie.
SOUND JAMIE ENTERS THE LAB
JAMIE Hey Hamish, have you seen Mona? I've been tasked with finding her.
HAMISH Haven't seen her today. Jamie, did you-- Head of research, huh?
JAMIE News sure travels fast among people. I guess Phaedra wanted an excuse to not have to read all your findings.
HAMISH What did you hear of--
JAMIE (CUTTING HIM OFF, TRYING AND FAILING TO BE DUPLICITOUS) Sounded like you and Jack were having quite a discussion before I came in, but somehow I didn't manage to catch a single word of it.
HAMISH Alright, then.
JAMIE Well, I need to go find Mona. I'll talk to you later, Hamish. Hey, try to get some sleep, you look like someone wiped the floor with you.
HAMISH I'll do my best. Have a good afternoon, Doctor.
SOUND JAMIE WALKS DOWN THE HALL TOWARD MEDICAL
SOUND FOOTSTEPS DOWN HALL
JAMIE Well...if she's not in the lab, she's gonna be in medical or in her quarters, I guess.
JAMIE Who am I kidding. Medical it is.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE
JACK (DISTANT/MUFFLED) Look Doc, you know I can't be the one to go over there.
SIDNEY Yes, because you'll lose your job if you do.
JACK And you know I can't mend the problem in time.
SIDNEY Why do I know that?
JACK I can't walk properly. If I can get down there I can fix whatever needs fixing, but not before someone on that ship gets too sick for it to matter.
SIDNEY Can you walk someone through it?
JACK Not without seeing the damage. And just from the way the crash sounded, it'd be days before we got everything fixed to the captain's--
SOUND HATCH OPENS IN THE MIDDLE OF JACK'S LINE, CLOSES
JACK --specifications. (LOWERS VOICE SOMEWHAT) Days before she'd let anyone go over there to help. And that's with me at full capacity and everyone working to fix the damage. (PAUSE) You're the only one who can really do anything for these people, doc.
SIDNEY This was a direct order, though, I was told to stay put until further instructions arrived. This would be m--(BREAKS OFF, BEAT, GUARDED) Barrie.
JAMIE Hi Sidney. Jack.
JACK (STARTING TO BE SUSPICIOUS) Jamie.
JAMIE I'm just, um. Looking for Mona, she hasn't been through here, has she?
SIDNEY (ALSO STARTING TO BE SUSPICIOUS) No.
JAMIE Okay! Guess I'll gonna go check for her in her room.
SIDNEY Hold up.
SIDNEY Do you agree with Captain Aspros about not treating the Erras crew and passengers?
JAMIE ...She is the captain.
SIDNEY But do you agree with her decision?
JAMIE I-- No.
JACK (JUMPING IN) See? We all think she's making the wrong call.
SIDNEY What about Mona?
JAMIE What about Mona?
SIDNEY You think she'd agree with the captain?
JAMIE (LONG PAUSE) ...No. I do still need to go find her and make sure she's okay, but I think when she understands the situation, she'll be in favor of helping the Erras.
SIDNEY "In favor" strongly enough to support going against Captain Apros?
JAMIE I don't know. I don't know if anything is enough to justify going against the captain.
SIDNEY But you do support going against the captain, right?
JAMIE I mean it's still just the flu. Worst case scenario, we're all miserably sick for a while?
SIDNEY People do die of the flu.
JAMIE Yeah, but-- we're all in good health. We should be fine.
SIDNEY That's my professional judgment, yes.
JAMIE Then...yeah. I think it's worth it. I guess there's a line between what's right and what's allowed.
JACK So we all agree. Now are you gonna go, or not?
JAMIE Wait -- Sidney, aren't you worried about losing your job or something?
SIDNEY Not particularly. I'm a doctor. Disobeying orders in order to render medical assistance is an obligation of the profession. And quite frankly, if I did lose my position here, I'm more than good enough to find work wherever else I want.
JAMIE (SHORT LAUGH) Well, okay.
JACK Another reason why it's gotta be the doc.
JAMIE Yeah, okay, right. Well, I'm technically your superior, so I suppose that I should caution against you going.
SIDNEY Are you going to?
JAMIE I'm going to go try to find Mona. Make sure you let Phaedra know when you're done with that prep work she asked for.
SIDNEY Oh. Well, alright then.
SOUND JAMIE LEAVES MEDICAL
JACK (MUFFLED) Are you gonna go now, then?
SIDNEY As soon as you stop pestering me.
JACK Oh. Good luck, Sidney.
SOUND JAMIE WALKS AWAY
JAMIE I–– huh.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE
SOUND JAMIE SIGHS, AND KNOCKS ON RAMONA'S DOOR
10 RAMONA (HARRIED) Come in!
1SOUND HATCH OPENS AND CLOSES
RAMONA Hey! What the hell is going on out there! I heard the crash but didn't want to leave because it sounded so bad, and I kept getting interference in the internal channel.
JAMIE (TO HERSELF) Yeah, I guess you are right under it. (TO RAMONA) A ship crashed into us.
RAMONA How bad is it?
JAMIE Pretty bad. Hey, I need to comm Phaedra, can I--
RAMONA (SOUNDING LIKE SHE'S MOVING) Yeah, just, here.
JAMIE This is. Quite a small space.
RAMONA Well, good thing we're already...close.
JAMIE Yeah, it is. (CLEARS THROAT)
SOUND COMM BUZZES ON
JAMIE Captain, do you have a copy.
PHAEDRA Go ahead Jamie.
JAMIE I've found Mona, she's fine, she's in her quarters and was apparently having some problem with her comm unit.
PHAEDRA Well, good thing she's accounted for.
JAMIE Do you have a status update on if we're going to be able to help the Erras?
PHAEDRA It looks like the damage is pretty extensive, and I don't know if we can fix it before--
SOUND ALARM BLARING
AUTOMATED VOICE (ECHOED OVER COMM) Warning: Airlock breached. Warning: Airlock breached. Warning: Airlock breached. (CONTINUES)
PHAEDRA What the-- what is--. Who has a copy? Vernon? Petersen?
SIDNEY (OVER COMM) Sorry, captain, I'm about to go off internal communications.
AUTOMATED VOICE (ABRUPTLY CUTS OFF)
PHAEDRA Sidney what the fuck did you just do?
SOUND COMMS CUTS OFF
RAMONA What's going on?
JAMIE Uh, the ship that crashed into us was carrying a bunch of people who are very sick with the flu on it, and Sidney just decided to go against the captain's orders and treat them even though that means we're all going to get exposed because of the damage they did when they docked.
RAMONA Oh, okay. (PAUSE) So we'll all get sick soon, then?
JAMIE Probably. (PAUSE) What're you-- what're you doing?
RAMONA Well I shouldn't hold your hand once you're sick, that's a good way to spread diseases.
JAMIE (SOUND LIKE BLUSHING) I guess that's true.
RAMONA (AFTER A MOMENT) Do you have anywhere you need to be?
JAMIE Well, Phaedra hasn't said anything. So I suppose I can stay here for awhile. You know, until further orders.
RAMONA Yeah. (PAUSE) (QUIET) This is nice.
JAMIE It is. Just sitting here together. It's nice.
SOUND RECORDER CLICKS OFF
SOUND OUTRO MUSIC
CREDITS Under Pressure is a production of the Procyon Podcast Network. This episode was written and directed by Margaret Clark and Phoebe Seiders. The episode was mixed by Erin S. Dominic Wright composed our theme.
This is the end of the first season of Under Pressure, and we’ll be on hiatus for a while. However, while we won’t be charging patrons, the Patreon will still be active as we catch up on rewards we didn’t get posted during the season, such as commentary on episode scripts, vignettes, and other patron-only rewards. If you’d like to see a second season, please pledge your support.
This episode featured James Oliva of What the Frequency as Alex McQuerry, and Jessica Washington of Greater Boston as Comms Officer Holly Christine. Madison Schaeffer played Jamie, Georie Taylor played Sidney Petersen, Danielle Shemaiah played Captain Aspros, Zach Valenti played Jack Vernon, Peter Campbell played Hamish Turin, and Thea Rodgers played Mona Ramirez. You can find us at underpressurepodcast.com, on tumblr at underpressurepodcast.tumblr.com, and on twitter @U_P_podcast or @ProcyonPodcasts.
We’d like to take the opportunity to give special thanks to Jordis and Art Clark, Barbara Seiders, Elissa Barnett and Rusty Barnett. Additionally, we’d like to shout out the Audio Drama Community as a whole, especially Mischa Stanton, Jeff Van Dresen, and David Rheinstrom, as well as our fellow space raccoons Alex Yun and Andrea Klassen of Station to Station, and Jessica Best of the Strange Case of Starship Iris. This season would not have been possible without them.