FARLOST SIGNALS: NEW SKIN
DANA:she’s compassionate, a leader who stands up for her people, effectively hiding she is scared out of her mind.
LIEUTENANT: Curt, eager to please Captain Soon. Happy to use his position to get what he wants, even if it hurts others.
DANA: Girls, let’s remind our passengers to co-operate, ok? Is that everyone, Mr.-?
HOBBES: That’s all of us. Ready and waiting like good little-
SOON: That will be enough talk, thank you. Lieutenant? (heavy footsteps)
LIEUTENANT: This craft and its occupants are now under System Guard jurisdiction! You will remain still! You will remain silent! You will each surrender identity codes and paperwork upon request.
We will ensure this craft is stocked with mandatory safety equipment, and all required placards are in place and up to date. We will search for contraband and other evidence of smuggling. We are accessing your data cores now. If questioned, you will answer truthfully. You will speak only when spoken to. Failure to meet these terms may result in incarceration, physical punishment or death.
CARLIN: Welcome to the Dizzy Chick. It’s a pretty cool ship, Captain-and you won’t have any problem with their crew, they’re pretty cool, too.
SOON: Surrender the guitar please, Mister Carlin.
CARLIN: Happy to take requests, Captain (still noodling).
SOON: Your reputation precedes you Mister Carlin, but rules are rules. Lieutenant?
(LIEUTENANT grunts, takes guitar and puts it roughly down down on table)
CARLIN: Hey, now, be gentle with my baby.
(heavy, slow footfalls)
SOON: I am Captain Soon, of the SGS Heller. You have been stopped and boarded for a random search, as empowered by System Guard multi-state near-space treaty.
DANA: What state?
HOBBES: (under his breath) oh, boy.
LIEUTENANT: Remain silent!
DANA: As co-captain of this vessel, I have the right to know, going back the United Nation’s Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Agreement, the Rescue Agreement and the Moon Treaty. The System Guard’s judicial system is based on those treaties, now what state’s borders are you protecting, and by what treaty?
LIEUTENANT: I said, remain si-
SOON: It’s fine, Lieutenant. A fair question, within her rights as a-what was it, co-captain? I’m fascinated by family and communally run spacecraft. I’ll grant you this ship is cleaner than most, but however do you keep order?
TUMRIS: (wing flap)We get along just fine,Captain Soon.
LIEUTENANT: Stay there, Manta! Wrap your tails around that pipe on the wall! Do it now!
SERENA: (shuffling feet) Tumris doesn’t mean any-
LIEUTENANT: Back up, Belter!
CARLIN: (steely undertone wrapped in casual) Stay put, everyone. (under his breath) Do it, Tumris, wrap your tails.
Ah, Ms. Chan, yes? The other ‘minor’ celebrity aboard.
SERENA: …I… Dana?
DANA: Captain, what is the reason for this boarding?
SOON: Now now, everyone, let’s all remain civil… (chuckle) I’d hate to have to explain any lack of civility in the presence of the one and only ‘Jovi Carlin’ at the next Fleet Captain’s Dinner.
(Captain SOON’s footsteps)
But I’m quite happy to escort you to a smaller, quieter room -aboard Heller- to await official interrogation, and those can sometimes be quite…uncivilized.
(silence, ship noise)
Ah. Silence is golden, isn’t it?
Now, ‘co-Captain’, the reason for this inspection is…there isn’t one. We are merely exercising our authority, and of course we take our responsibility to ensure order and civility quite to heart.
We don’t want a return to the fear and chaos of the days of tooth and claw, now do we?
DANA: …No, Captain.