Trespass in Space

This short story was in response to a challenge to write a script that would a) run for 10 minutes of movie time and b) be limited to four characters.

I couldn’t help but sneak in that God has made the universe in such a way that exploration and discovery are not only possible, but encouraged…

TRESPASS IN SPACE
FADE IN:
A SPACESHIP DECK – DAY
THE YEAR IS 2068. CREW IN THE MIDST OF A DISCUSSION.

RIA

You don’t want to go down there.

BRINK

I do.

RIA

You don’t. Here’s why. You’ve been down there twice already, and the last time you were nearly killed. What makes you think the third time’s a charm?

BRINK

I know where we were when things went wrong. I know how to avoid it this time.

RIA

Think this through Brink. You almost died, and Amy never came back. She died trying to get through. I don’t want that to happen to you. We need you here. We’ll figure out how to get back into orbit, and after that we’ll go home.

BRINK

(Waiting. Thinking.) After the crash, we burned up nearly all our fuel trying to get into orbit. You know that this rock we’re on has plenty of what we came here for. An energy source to make us rich, and the same fuel to take us back.

CARL

You owe us at least that much Brink. You insisted on taking my wife with you the second time you went, because she was the mineral expert. Amy would still be alive if you hadn’t taken her.

BRINK

I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know.

GUY

Brink, tell us again what you remember.

BRINK

Amy and I suited up and went into the tunnels. There were so many of them that we’d have gotten lost without nav equipment. We walked for 20 minutes, a half hour. It all looked the same. Tunnels large enough to walk through, nearly smooth walls, no light aside from ours. The only thing that stood out was markings on the walls whenever one tunnel intersected another.

RIA

Describe the markings again.

BRINK

They looked like signs with clean and precise symbols, but we had no idea what they meant. There was a large sign at one of the intersections. The symbols were bolder and deeply colored, so they really stood out. You couldn’t miss it. Amy suggested we go into that tunnel. She got a few feet in front of me and walked in. Then… she disappeared. Right there, right in front of me. I stopped. I called her name over and over, but she was gone.

CARL

And you left her there. 

EVERYONE GROWS QUIET

GUY

None of us could have seen this coming. In space, one hit can put you down. Fortunately, we crashed on the planet we were trying to get to. It’s amazing we’re not dead already.

RIA

I’m sure there’s another way to do this. Some way to leave that’s less risky. We just have to figure it out.

SILENCE AGAIN. 

GUY

Let’s take a look at the markings on those signs.

SLIGHTLY LATER. CREW GATHERED AROUND A MONITOR.

BRINK

(Pointing to monitor) This was the first sign we came across. Relatively small. There were a bunch of these all over the place. We couldn’t understand any of them.

RIA

They’re obviously alien. We’re the first humans here, and there’s no indication that there’s life currently on this planet.

BRINK

These markings don’t look like any earth languages. Although the symbols look abstract, there’s definitely a pattern to them.

GUY

All of these signs were placed at the same height.

CARL

By who?… Why?… When?

GUY

Something capable of space travel. Something that wanted to be here. They could have been here 10,000 years ago. They could have been here yesterday. There’s no way of knowing yet.

BRINK

Amy and I didn’t see any evidence of that. No supplies. No trash. Just empty tunnels for miles.

CARL

There is something here… something that stole Amy.

SAME SETTING, BUT LATER WHEN EVERYONE’S ASLEEP. LIGHTS ON DECK ARE DIMMED. RIA WALKS TO THE MONITOR AND LOOKS AT THE SAME IMAGES THE CREW HAD LOOKED AT BEFORE. SHE STUDIES THE IMAGES FOR A WHILE. A LOOK OF RECOGNITION CROSSES HER FACE. SHE BEGINS TO WRITE THINGS DOWN, LOOKING AT THE MONITOR ON OCCASION TO CONFIRM WHAT SHE’S THINKING, AND THEN FILLING IN GAPS ON HER SHEET. SHE WALKS AWAY FROM THE MONITOR WHEN SHE’S DONE, NOTEPAD IN HAND. SHE LIES DOWN TO SLEEP, HER MIND RACING AS SHE STARES AT THE CEILING.

FADE TO BLACK.

NEXT MORNING. CREW GATHERED AROUND MONITOR AGAIN. RIA HAS THE NOTEPAD AND IS LOOKING AT IT AS SHE STARTS TALKING.

 

RIA

I couldn’t decipher everything, but there are some things that are universal, literally across the universe. See these small symbols off to the side?  (points to monitor) They represent atoms, which are the same everywhere. Hydrogen will always have one proton, and one electron. Carbon has 6 protons, 6 neutrons, 6 electrons, etc. Each of these markers, these signs, shows certain specific atomic structures of various elements, mainly minerals. For complex minerals, they show combined elements. A lot of the signs have similar markings, some are different.

BRINK

The signs tell you which mineral can be found in which tunnel?

RIA

Yes, it was their way of letting each other know where to find what they wanted. If they needed to mine a specific mineral, they would travel down that tunnel.

GUY

Do you have enough of the signs interpreted, so that Brink can go back in?

RIA

I do, and the energy source we came here for is well marked on one of them. It’s on the large sign where Amy disappeared.

BRINK

That settles it. I have to go back. We need that fuel.

GUY

I’ll go with you.

BRINK

No. I won’t have your death on my hands too.

CARL

Go by yourself then, Brink.

GUY

You never wanted to come out here, did you Carl?

CARL

What do you mean?

GUY

You liked the idea of getting rich, but the real reason you came is you wanted to follow your wife. You’ve hated being on this ship, and now with Amy gone, you’d just as soon die on it.

CARL

I didn’t strand us here, and I didn’t get Amy killed. All that’s on Brink.

GUY

No, it’s on all of us, including you. And before you die, you’re going to have to learn to live with it.

RIA

Wait a minute! I think I know what the rest of the large sign means. I’ve been feeding what we know of these symbols into the computer. There’s something coming on-screen now. It looks like a warning.

CREW LOOKS AT THE MONITOR AND SEES THE FOLLOWING TEXT…

DANGER! THE RARE MINERALS IN THIS TUNNEL ARE PROTECTED. ALL WHO ENTER WITHOUT PERMISSION WILL BE TRANSPORTED TO SUB-TUNNEL A, SECTION 14. REPEATED ATTEMPTS AT ENTRY WILL RESULT IN DEATH.

GUY

It was probably a group just like us, although from another planet and possibly another time.

BRINK

I bet they were here for the same reason we are. To dig up rocks and take them home. The fuel they found had the same incredibly high value to them as it does to us, so they put it under lock and key, with a warning.

RIA

I don’t think they wanted to kill anyone.

CARL

Amy could still be alive!

BRINK

Guy, you and I are going to find sub-tunnel A, section 14.

DAYS LATER. ON THE BRIDGE, CREW IS SEATED AS AMY WALKS IN AND STANDS NEXT TO CARL.

AMY

(to everyone) I still can’t believe you found me.

RIA

We used the markings to decipher tunnel names and sections.

BRINK

I can’t tell you how happy we were to find you.

CARL

We thought you were gone forever. What was it like, being transported?

AMY

Like stepping into a cold shower. You feel it all over, but it stops almost as soon as it starts.

GUY

It might take us a while to access the fuel we need. But we have you back. And we understand the signs now. It’s only a matter of time.

2 Comments on “Trespass in Space”

  1. Okay, I’ll bite! Do they get off the rock or not! What’s the mineral that is an energy source…uranium? Do they glow in the dark now? Do the supposedly former creatures that left the markings show up! All sorts of potential additional plots, sub plots and potential action moments.

    Enjoyed it, want to know what happened!

    Thanks
    Charles

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