A series of Drafts by Anastasia U. Beer
First Draft, First Episode:
Main Characters for Poseidon:
First scene: Orbiting Thillion
Fade in to two ships orbiting a white planet (side view of ships). One is Freedom, and one is Poseidon. There is a man (Kyle) working on the side of Poseidon. For the first part of this scene, the camera slowly zooms in on Kyle, who is talking to Chris via radio.
Chris: Hey Kyle, you done out there yet? Freedom wants us to take a trip down to Thillion.
Kyle: Yeah, almost ready. They get that data from their little exploration trip?
Chris: Why do you think they’re sending us? Apparently the other ship crashed because of high winds before every reaching the ground, so Freedom needs something sturdier to go down and get their readings.
Kyle has finished his work and is going toward the door. If possible, over the next lines the Poseidon starts up. Camera pans around until you see the back of the ship and the planet. Camera stays while ship moves away towards the planet. Then fade out.
Kyle: It’s their fault for not having a good ship. You would think, as scientists, that they would have better equipment.
Chris: Well, I’m not gonna argue with the people who are paying our wages. I’ll give you full prep inside, but it’s basically a rescue mission with some salvaging work hung on the side.
Kyle: Gotcha. … What about those life signs they picked up? Any news on that?
Chris: Ah, they think it was just a technical glitch. Nothing to worry about.
Second Scene: Planet
Camera follows ship (side view) as it lands, rocking a little, on a white expanse. It is blizzarding. Engine noise is replaced by howling wind. The door opens on the ship to show four people in spacesuits (Chris, Phillip, Julia, and Kyle.) They come out and start walking around while talking. Julia is holding a scanner. Kyle is also holding a piece of equipment (some sort of gun or something, I don’t really know my Space Engineers equipment.)
Chris: Well, no sign of the other ship. No sign of anything in this storm. Any readings Julia?
Julia: Nothing yet. It’s still getting used to this weather though, so I might have something clearer in a couple minutes.
Phillip: *grumbling* I can’t believe you guys dragged me onto this alien planet. Chris could have easily flown you down.
Chris: You underestimate your flying skills. Anyways, there isn’t anything here except for snow and ice and wind.
Phillip: Freedom said she picked up some life signs.
Julia: I doubt it. Air down here isn’t even breathable. Nothing’s down here except us and the other downed ship.
Phillip: *ominously* There’s always something.
Kyle has wandered away from the others and the camera, and suddenly you can see him disappear (he has fallen down a bank, invisible in the blowing snow.)
Chris: Looking around. We mine as well go back to the ship, see if we can pick up any trace of the crash landing. …Where’d Kyle wander off to now? Kyle, report.
Phillip: A real report would be nice. Maybe, oh, I don’t know, where you are?
Julia: Hold your horses Phil; I can track the suits.
Kyle: Hey, don’t run towards me too fast. There’s a huge ledge-cliff thing. A bit less windy down here though. And… what looks like a cave?
Camera stays put as Julia, Chris and Phillip walk towards where Kyle disappeared. Soon they disappear as well. Camera cuts off, cutting back in to show them sliding down a steep bank of snow towards where Kyle stands. The snow isn’t falling as fast because they are standing in a semi-protected bubble. Once all the people are standing together, Kyle points and the camera pans to show what he’s pointing at: a large, dark cave.
Fade In: all of them are in the cave, doing research-y things. Scanning for minerals and life forms?
Julia: It’s a goldmine down here! Platinum, silicon, even gold! We have to make Freedom let us mine down here after this search and rescue.
Chris: Fine with me! We could grab some ice as well, plenty of it on this Gobi desert.
Phillip: Don’t you mean icy landscape? In my experience, deserts are hot, not freezing cold.
Kyle: Nah, the Gobi desert on earth is cold, though it’s still a bit of a stretch Chris.
Julia: Actually, I’m with Chris. Seems like most of the ground under the snow is essentially sand and rock, with small pockets like this one of metals and… dirt and… plants???
Kyle: Woa, cool! Where are they? Freedom would probably give us a couple more bucks if we brought them back some alien plants. He stars wandering farther into the cave, looking around for plants.
Chris: Wait Kyle, this is first and foremost a search and rescue mission. We mark this spot down, come back to it after we find Freedoms downed ship. Julia, have you been scanning wide-range from the ship?
Julia: Yep, and all the data is coming to my scanner here. … Okay, it’s done quite a large plot of land… just a sec, fuzzy there… ah, yes!
Julia: Life signs! They aren’t even that far away! Looks like we got lucky with this one, Chris.
Phillip: As long as they’re not aliens.
Julia: Phil, there are no aliens on this planet. And I know what you’re thinking, but plant life does not mean sentient beings. Maybe a couple smaller creatures… maybe.
Chris: Alright Phil, can we save the grumbling and paranoia for later? Julia, don’t lose track of those life-signs; we don’t want to lose them.
Julia: Got it. … Well, I think they’ve detected our ship! They’re moving in, which will make our job a lot easier.
Kyle: Awesome! The sooner we can get these scientists back to Freedom, the sooner we can come mine this treasure house!
They move out, walking back into the storm. Most of them have put their equipment away except for Julia (she’s still monitoring the life signs). Julia is walking close to Chris, while Kyle and Phillip are a bit ahead. Julia checks her scanner once before the following conversation:
Julia: Well, I don’t think the Freedom gang are hurt much. They’re still closing in at speed.
Chris: Better and better. That means no injured to help during take-off. I don’t mean to criticize Phillip’s piloting skills, but it sure was a bumpy ride getting here.
Julia: I think anyone would have a bumpy ride down here. It’s a miracle he was able to set us down at all! Julia checks her scanner again and slows down to a stop: …Huh, that’s weird.
Julia: The life signs just… jumped.
Chris: What do you mean, jumped?
Julia: Like, glitched or something. Last I checked they were located over two-hundred metres out. Now they’re just over one-hundred… I checked only a couple seconds ago. They were going about one and a half minutes per a hundred metres, when they jumped they must have been going at least thirty seconds per a hundred metres!
Chris: It was probably just a glitch in the system, Julia.
Julia: a bit strained, like she’s annoyed and a little worried: This planet causes a lot of glitches.
Kyle: Are you guys coming or what? Phil’s planning on leaving without you if you keep lollygagging.
Chris: We’re coming; it’s you guys who’re going too fast.
Julia looks down at her scanner once more, and shakes her head.
Julia: (to herself) Twenty metres out…
Fade to Phillip standing on a snow bank, camera facing him. Kyle, Chris and Julia come over from the back, casting curious glances at Phil.
Chris: I thought you couldn’t wait to get off this planet?
Phillip: (glumly) pointing ahead: I told you guys.
Camera pans around to show the ship, surrounded by the snow-monsters.
Kyle: My ship…
Camera zooms in to the monsters, and one of them turns to stare at the explorers. It screeches, calling the other monsters. Slowly at first, they start walking towards the explorers. Camera flicks back to Kyle, Phillip, Julia and Chris.
Julia: I think we’ve attracted their attention.
Kyle: You think?!?!?!
Phillip: (matter-of-factly) We’re dead.
End of Episode One.