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INT.

USS SEVERN - BRIDGE - DAY


WIDE PAN. An old man lies dead on the floor. A vulcan
woman crouches over him, checking his pulse. The captain
sits in his chair, bleeding from a head wound.
CAPTAIN
He's dead?
VULCAN
Yes.
CAPTAIN
None of this makes any sense.
Your analysis, Commander?
The vulcan stands. She looks down at the man once more, and
then moves around the body. She glances at the helm, which
is now unattended. Bending over, she types a command.
COMPUTER (V.O.)
Autopilot is engaged.
The woman straightens up and looks at the captain. He wipes
the blood dripping down his forehead and then smiles at
her.
CAPTAIN
Thanks, Commander. Sometimes I
forget this ship can't actually
fly herself.
As moves back to her computer station, she is forced to
step over another dead body, a gray-haired man. She
continues without glancing down.
VULCAN
I suppose that is why they made
you captain.
The captain laughs. The vulcan reaches the science console
and bends over it, looking into the view finder. After a
moment, she straightens up and addresses the captain.
VULCAN
It appears my initial hypothesis
was correct. The interference the
communication officer noted 2.73
hours ago is actually an isotropic
wave frequency.
CAPTAIN
And that is that supposed to mean?
2.
There is a pause as the Vulcan types.
VULCAN
My calculations indicate all
carbon-based life forms will be
extinguished within the next four
hours, unless evasive action is
taken to remove us from the
disturbance.
The bridge is rocked by turbulence. The vulcan falters,
unsteady on her feet. A computerized beeping sounds.
COMPUTER (V.O.)
Auto-pilot has disengaged.
The captain stands and moves to the helm. As the camera
follows him, another dead body is revealed, an old woman.
The captain glances at her, a pained expression on his
face. He leans over and hits a button on the console.
CAPTAIN
Computer, reengage autopilot.
COMPUTER (V.O.)
Auto-pilot system failure.
He looks from the screen to a young woman with red-hair,
standing just to the right of the turbo-lift doors. The
camera pans around the bridge, and the audience sees the
bridge is completely empty.
CAPTAIN
(to the young woman)
Ensign, take control of the ship's
steering. You've done this
before, haven't you?
The young woman nods uncertainly and moves slowly toward
the helm. Her breath hitches as she passes by a dead body.
CAPTAIN (CONT'D)
Ensign, I need you to start
steering this ship now.
The woman sits down and takes control of the steering.
ENSIGN WALTERS
Bearings, sir?
CAPTAIN
Commander, have you charted a
course to get us out of this
isotropic - whatever?
3.
VULCAN
Yes, captain. Ensign, bearing 114
v 2092. Continue on this course
and we should be free from the
disturbance in approximately one
point two-three hours.
The ensign nods once and enters the bearing into the
computer. CLOSE UP of her hands, shaking as she manipulates
the controls.
CAPTAIN
Maximum warp, Ensign.
VULCAN
I would not advice that, captain.
CAPTAIN
Belay that, Ensign. Remain at warp
two.
(turning to the Vulcan)
And just why not?
VULCAN
It is highly probable that
anything above Warp 3 would cause
a chain reaction in the warp core.
The --
CAPTAIN
(interrupting)
Oh no.
The captain doubles over and lets out a long groan, like a
woman in labor. When he straightens up, his face is red and
splotchy, with a distinct sheen of sweat.
CAPTAIN
Your recommendation?
VULCAN
Captain, I believe that the
singularity is beginning to affect
you. Calculating your age at
43.423 of your earth years, versus
Commander Brookfield's approximate
age of 56.728 --
CAPTAIN
(Wryly)
Approximate?
There is a pause, and the ship is rocked by another wave of
spacial turbulence.
4.
VULCAN
I give you less than ten minutes
until total incapacitation.
CAPTAIN
And what about you, Commander?
You're older than I am by what,
three decades?
VULCAN
(With a raised eyebrow)
Approximately 2.970 decades, sir.
While it appears that vulcan
physiology is slightly more
resilient to the phenomenon, I
estimate less than a half an hour
until I am also rendered
incapacitated.
CAPTAIN
By incapacitated, we're talking
dead, right? Just to be clear.
The vulcan inclines her head slightly in confirmation.
CAPTAIN (CONT'D)
Great, thanks for that. I thought
it was logical to not obfuscate
the truth in order to spare
feelings.
VULCAN
At no point did I ever attempt to
'obfuscate,' sir. My words were
chosen carefully in order to
reflect a more pressing matter
than simply your death: the
command of the ship.
The captain grips the armchairs tightly, his face twisting.
The pain passes. He regains some control and looks over at
his first officer fondly.
CAPTAIN
I love you too, wife of mine.
VULCAN
(Raising an eyebrow)
Your orders, captain?
CAPTAIN
(Beat)
We've got to do everything in our
power to get out of this --
5.
whatever it is -- as soon as
possible. Before everyone on this
ship that is actually qualified to
run it is dead.
He smiles at the vulcan.
CAPTAIN (CONT'D)
Or, as you would say,
'incapacitated'.
VULCAN
Agreed. We--
Just then, the vulcan is knocked off her feet by a
particularly violent shaking of the ship. She slams forward
against the science console with a loud crack and
disappears out of view.
CAPTAIN
Commander?
He attempts to rise, but is unable, and settles back with a
grimace of pain.
CAPTAIN
Commander, are you able to
respond? Please respond.
That's a direct order.
Electrical noises are the only things that answer him. He
looks toward the front view screen, his face set with grim
determination.
CAPTAIN
Ensign -- what is your name?
The red headed girl is staring off-camera in the direction
behind the science console. She is pale, her mouth wide
open, and she when she looks back at the captain, it's as
if she had forgotten he was there.
ENSIGN WALTERS
Autumn. Oh, Autumn Walters.
She looks off screen again. The captain doubles over, his
face red, and he lets out a long groan of pain. When he
speaks, it is with hesitation that comes not from
indecision but from a lack of oxygen.
CAPTAIN
How old are you, Ensign Walters?
6.
ENSIGN WALTERS
Just turned nineteen last month,
sir.
CAPTAIN
(nodding)
Good, good. Do you think that
you can continue to pilot this
ship? Have you been taught how to
plot courses?
The ensign looks back at the captain, her eyes wide.
ENSIGN WALTERS
Sir -- I --
She looks around the bridge, which is in complete disarray.
There are dead bodies of the command crew lying on the
floor. After a moment, she realizes that she is possibly
one of the only people left on board that actually can
pilot a warp ship.
CAPTAIN
Ensign?
She turns to face the captain. Her face is hard, and there
is hardly a trace of her previous trepidation -- just
around her eyes, which are still wet with tears.
ENSIGN WALTERS
(with a definitive nod)
Yes, sir. I can do it.
The captain grins (wide, toothy) giving the audience an
idea of what kind of captain this man had been. He doubles
over in pain again, but this time, he does not straighten
up. His hand, bright red, moves to the arm rest and, with
great difficulty, pushes a button. He takes a deep breath,
and manages to straighten himself up once more.
CAPTAIN ON SCREEN
(struggling)
This is your captain speaking. We
will remain on Red Alert until we
exit this -- disturbance. Everyone
that still can walk is to report
to the bridge, immediately.
Including all medical personal.
On the double.
He groans, loudly, covering his face and shuts off the
intra-ship communication.
7.
ENSIGN WALTERS
C-captain?
CAPTAIN
I've still got some fight in me,
Ensign. Just keep my ship moving
in the right direction.
The doors to the bridge burst open, revealing a tall young
man, handsome, who comes bursting onto the bridge.
CAPTAIN
You never did learn that you're
supposed to ask permission to come
aboard, Ensign.
His grin belies his scolding.
JACK PEARSALL
Dad! What's going on? Everyone
just started dropping dead.
Engineering's a mess -- I don't
think we'll even be able to manage
warp one pretty soon.
The young man looks around, taking in the desolation of the
bridge.
JACK PEARSALL (CONT'D)
Where's mom?
He looks at his father, who glances briefly over his son's
shoulder to the science console, then looks back and shakes
his head once, negatively.
JACK PEARSALL
Shit.
CAPTAIN
How old are you, Jack? You know
how bad I've always been with
numbers. That was the real reason
I married your mother, you know.
The joke falls flat, and they look at each other with a
strained expressions. A young vulcan woman enters the
bridge and looks around expressionlessly. Her eyes pause on
the science console briefly before returning to look at her
captain.
JACK PEARSALL
I'm twenty-six.
8.
T'LARA
More precisely, twenty six point
seven two four, Captain. My
adopted brother is point eight one
two Earth years my senior; I am
twenty five point --
The captain interrupts with a laugh. He quickly doubles
over with a grimace of pain and a hacking cough. Jack moves
toward him instinctively. He grabs his shoulder and raises
him up so that he is again sitting straight in his chair.
JACK PEARSALL
Dad? Are you going to be okay?
The captain begins to cough again. When he finishes his
coughing fit, he leans over and spits blood over the arm of
his chair.
T'LARA
No.
Jack turns to glare at T'Lara, who returns to the look with
calm certainty. Then the captain begins an even louder
coughing fit, and she betrays her emotions slightly by also
moving toward him.
JACK PEARSALL
Your orders, sir?
Just then, several other young crew members, all wearing
red shirts, make their way on the bridge. With clear
effort, the captain straightens to address all of them.
CAPTAIN
Is this everyone?
T'LARA
Confirmed. It appears that
everyone under thirty has reported
for duty, sir.
He turns to look at his adopted daughter with a smile.
CAPTAIN
Good. By the time we get
out of this disturbance, everyone
over thirty will probably be dead.
My wife -- our science officer --
theorized that we have about an
hour left at warp two, though it
could be longer if we can't
continue at warp two.
9.
Slowly, the captain makes eye contact with each member of
the crew.
CAPTAIN (CONT'D)
I'm afraid I don't even know all
of your names -- this mission has
barely begun -- I expected to have
the next five years to get to know
you. But I don't. I'm just
going to have to go all old school
monarchy. Jack, I'm promoting you
to Captain.
JACK PEARSALL
(startled)
But -- I'm an engineer --
CAPTAIN
(to the rest of the
crew)
He's the best engineer in
Starfleet. He's also been flying
ships since he was in diapers --
figuratively, T'Lara -- and has
grown into such a fine man that,
even though he is not mine by
blood, I am proud to call him my
son. I know you'll be in good
hands.
JACK PEARSALL
(humbled)
Thank you, Dad.
CAPTAIN
Also, as my daughter is the
smartest, most level-headed person
in Starfleet, I'm promoting her to
second in command, and chief
science officer.
T'LARA
(with a very faint grin)
Logical.
CAPTAIN
Ensign Autumn Walters will take
over as First Helmsman. Can anyone
else fly a space ship?
Hesitatingly, a few people raise their hands.
CAPTAIN (CONT'D)
Report to Helmsman Walters for
10.
your assignments immediately.
Wait--you.
The captain looks at one of them, a young black man, and
speaks to him directly.
CAPTAIN
Ensign Randal de Cordoba, isn't
it?
RANDAL DE CORDOBA
(stepping forward)
Yes, captain.
CAPTAIN
I remember your file. You're an
engineer, correct? I seem to
remember that you had a thesis get
published, on..
The captain doubles over, obviously in pain, and is unable
to continue speaking.
JACK PEARSALL
Yes, dad, he did -- a new warp
physics interpretation.
(Nods once)
He's good.
CAPTAIN
(still doubled over)
I'm going to have to make this
fast. You're chief engineer, de
Cordoba. Anyone with tactical and
defensive training? We're in the
neutral zone. Soon, we'll have
company.
A young brunette woman steps forward.
ALICE MARTINEZ
I do, sir. I did more than a
rotation at the academy. I had
four years with --
CAPTAIN
Don't have time for resumes.
'Chief tactical officer' is all
yours.
ALICE MARTINEZ
Thank you, sir.
11.
CAPTAIN
Next. Anyone speak more than five
languages? And can operate the
communicator?
CALLUM BLACK
Yes, sir. I'm fluent in at least
fifteen, and --
CAPTAIN
No. Resumes. Job's yours. Now,
any doctors?
No one steps forward, and the young crew members look
around at each other in dismay.
T'LARA
If I recall correctly, Ensign
Roslyn Stewart is a nurse, with
some years of experience on the
USS BALANCE in deep space.
A young black girl, seemingly younger than all of the
others, steps forward.
ROSIE STEWART
It's Rosie. Both my parents are --
were -- doctors. They always kept
me in sick bay with them, and I
did have some formal schooling as
a nurse.
The captain, apparently taking all his energy to breath,
seems to no longer be paying attention. Jack's hand rests
on his shoulder. T'Lara turns to address Rosie.
T'LARA
Your age?
ROSIE STEWART
Seventeen. As of next week.
T'LARA appraises the other red-shirts, then turns back to
address Rosie.
T'LARA
You have the most experience and
training, therefore you are the
most logical choice.
T'LARA looks expectantly at her father, but blood is
dribbling down his chin and he is obviously only being held
up by his son's hand. She transfer her gaze to her brother,
who nods.
12.
JACK PEARSALL
Chief medical officer, then. Go to
sick bay and get any medical
supplies you might need.
The CAPTAIN slumps over, suddenly, his eyes open and
staring at the ceiling blankly. He's dead. JACK looks at
him and then removes his hand slowly from his father's
shoulder.
JACK PEARSALL
(pointing to the two
largest guys in the
room)
You and you -- help me with him.
They hurry forward and move the captain from the chair.
They place him gently against the wall. Jack brushes his
palm over his father's face, closing his eyes. Then he
turns and heads back to the group. It is with a look of
grim determination that Jack takes his seat in the
captain's chair.
T'LARA
(softly)
Your orders, captain?
JACK PEARSALL
Everyone, report to your stations.
Anyone with engineering
experience, follow de Cordoba to
down engineering. Keep us in warp
two as long as possible.
He looks solemnly over at his father, then to the science
console, then to his crew.
JACK PEARSAL (CONT'D)
Or I think I'll be next.
RANDAL DE CORDOBA
Yes, sir.
He salutes briefly and then hurries out, followed by a
handful of people.
JACK PEARSALL
Anyone with any sort of medical
training at all should follow CMO
Stewart to the medical bay for
supplies.
No one moves to follow ROSIE out of the room. When she
reaches the turbo lift, she pauses and looks at the captain
13.
expectantly.
JACK PEARSALL (CONT'D)
Fine, people. Rosie, belay that
just a minute. LARA, I'm
going to need you and whoever else
you want in the science department
to try to figure out what is going
on with this -- disturbance -- and
let me know if there is anyway to
halt its progress. Just, figure
it out, okay?
T'LARA
Right away, sir.
She looks at the remaining crew members critically. She
points to three of them.
T'LARA
You three, follow me.
As she walks up to the science console, she glances down
briefly at the form of her mother. Something very subtle
shifts in her expression; she becomes more determined. She
glances at JACK and their eyes meet briefly. Jack turns and
addresses the remaining red-shirts.
JACK PEARSALL
Seriously, now. I need people in
medical trying to figure this out.
I don't care if all you've done is
put a bandaid on a scratched knee.
If you don't completely pass out
at the sight of blood: get moving!
And, yes, that's an order!
A few people break from the crowd and head toward the turbo
lift. They look around at each other nervously and then the
door closes behind them.
JACK PEARSALL (CONT'D)
(to the few remaining)
Everyone else: take whatever
positions you think you're the
best suited to -- not just the
ones you like the best, or we'll
all end up dead.
The rest of them disperse and head to various command
positions on the bridge. A few sit reluctantly,
hesitatingly. A few sit with determination.
14.
JACK PEARSALL (CONT'D)
Ensign -- sub commander? --
Walters, report?
AUTUMN WALTERS
We remain on course, sir. I
briefly had to adjust for some
spacial turbulence, but our course
appears to have smooth sailing for
at least the next few minutes.
JACK PEARSALL
Good, good. Keep her flying in the
right direction.
AUTUMN WALTERS
(grimly)
Yes, sir.
JACK, now CAPTAIN, presses a button on the armrest of the
chair.
JACK PEARSALL
Engineering, report? What's going
on down there, de Cordoba?
DE CORDOBA (V.O.)
Sir, we seem to be holding at Warp
2.3. I've actually got Nguyen on
TOP of the warp engine, doing a
manual bypass of the --
JACK PEARSALL
I'm sure I'll be very interested
in the details later. Just keep us
going!
Camera pans from the captain's chair around the bridge,
everyone is working furiously at their station. On the
viewfinder, a large ship drops out of warp in front of
them.
CALLUM BLACK
Sir, the ship's Romulan. They're
hailing us.
JACK PEARSALL
Shit. All right, everyone look
super calm. Like we know what the
hell we're doing. Callum, keep
trying to reach Starfleet -- on
secure channels only, using code.
15.
CALLUM BLACK
Yes, sir.
JACK PEARSALL
(grinning grimly)
On screen.