|By Thomas M. Ray (Tomeleven) on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 12:24 pm:|
A Screenplay Synopsis
The Spaghetti Western meets the Space Opera—-with a twist.
It is two hundred years in the future. EARTH has colonized many planets it its corner of the galaxy, forming the Terran Interstellar Confederation. The colonies, are, for the most part, remote farming and mining operations.
Crime, organized and otherwise is rampant. Chief among these groups is ‘The Syndicate’ an interstellar crime Cartel headed by the mysterious “Konstantin” whose influence reaches even into the government and the military.
In his ship, the “Proteus” and with his first Officer, Commander Melissa Connor, Leslie Webber is one of the few Star Cruiser captains Terran Space Command who takes his mission, to protect the shipping and transport routes, seriously---Much to the vexation of the Syndicate.
On one Patrol, Webber is “set up”. As he rescues a Transport ferry from a fleet of “Raider ships”, The Proteus is ambushed and disabled by three Syndicate “Enforcer” vessels. His ship is boarded and after a hand to hand battle, Leslie is captured and taken to Konstantin. What remains of Webber’s crew is sent to a Syndicate mining colony.
Konstantin does not want to make a hero out of Webber, so instead of killing him, he uses an alien device that he has acquired to make sure that Webber never captains a starship again.-- And to serve as a warning to any one else who may consider “interfering with Syndicate business”.
Adrienne Webber, Leslie’s wife who lives at Webber’s Ranch on Barnards star 4, is concerned about her husbands disappearance. A mysterious shuttle craft lands at their pad one night. She sees a man dump something out of it—-then fly off.
Adrienne finds a beaten, unconscious, young woman lying in a puddle of blood. Quick action on Adrienne’s part saves the woman’s life— She’s flown to the hospital at “Sandersville”---The doctors surmise that the woman has been gang raped. Her DNA ID comes back as one Kora Horst, A prostitute who died on a distant world theree years previously.
Semi conscious in the hospital, the woman has a flashback where it is revealed that she IS Leslie Webber. Konstantin had his officers rape her before dumping her at her home.
She awakens screaming and has to be sedated.
Three days later Adrienne is called in to speak with her. She reveals that SHE IS Leslie Webber and proves it to Adrienne by revealing info that only she and Leslie know.
When Leslie is released, she goes home where her wife teaches her “what she needs to know” to function in society. But things are not “happy” at home. Lesli’s son is afraid of her and Adrienne can not be “intimate”.
Leslie looks into “corrective surgery”, but the surgeons say that they will not touch her for at least a year for “psychological reasons” –so Leslie is stuck for at least the time being.
Leslie recovers from her injuries and goes back to the Space Command, where she is informed that as a woman, “regulations” say that she Captain a starship---Leslie resigns her commission in disgust.
Leslie discovers that her First officer, Melissa Connor, her only other friend had also been victimized by Konstantin by having her “emotions” striped out. (She is not like Spock, he repressed his emotions---Melissa has NO feelings at all) She can “fake it” however, but she still has no capacity for loyalty, love or joy.
To Leslie, who had been feeling sorry for herself, THIS is the last straw. She swears vengeance. Leslie takes up A&I Transport’s offer of “a favor”. They let her build her own ship, with the help of Ashley Bainbridge, an engineer Who also had his troubles with the Syndicate. Half of his head is now a titanium shell filled with biochips to compensate for brain function lost in a beating.
Leslie takes Melissa along as part of her new crew—As Melissa also has NO fear or inhibitions and will do anything to achieve her goals---Dangerous, but also a formidable weapon.
As the ship nears completion they are are joined by “Zee” a beautiful native American “Boitelemetrisist” A kind of “Psychic” who can “scan” light year distances— (beyond conventional electronic sensors).
Zee has NO hair, a fact that she is very sensitive about—along with her real name “I call myself Zee! It is not short for anything!” She has her own grudge against the syndicate too.
Zee discovers that Leslie has a latent BT ability herself and tries to give Leslie a few lessons on how to use the ability---But Leslie isn’t too enthusiastic.
They are later joined by “Doc” Havelock, a surgeon whose arms were cut off, but later replaced by bionics—but still can’t practice because of “regulations” and his orphan nephew, Bill, a 19 year old ambidextrous gunman.
The ship, Named The “Retribution”, is only about a third of the size of the Syndicate “Enforcer” ships but it is armed with a One point five meter photon cannon salvaged from a Battle Cruiser turret.—It can cut through a level five force shield at close range.
Retribution also has another surprise—A 15 meter “Quark Accelerator” or “QUELL”-- part of a planet based power plant system that has no business at all on a star ship. The technology was banned a decade before because of its “instability”—Bainbridge not only found a Quell, but weaponized it. It can take out a small planet—not to mention what it will do to a starship, but it is only a “one shot” last resort. It takes over an hour to “recharge.”—Good for intimidation though.
Leslie and her small crew decide to first locate the Syndicate Mining colony and free her crew. They attack a “Raider” and force it to dump its data base. Melissa, on her own, destroys the ship with the cannon, against Leslie’s wishes, after the download. Melissa now has to be watched closely.
The Raider data base doesn’t have the info, so they locate an Enforcer ship. Both the enforcer and the Retribution, get attacked by a swarm of “Reptoid” ships—A truly “alien” civilization that resides outside the Terran controlled space.
No Terran has ever seen a “live rep” and they can’t be communicated with. They ARE hostile though, have good ships, but thankfully, do NOT have jump technology, as do the Terrans.
As the ‘Jump Capacitors’ of the Terran craft take time to recharge, Leslie nor the Enforcer can Jump away from the “danger zone” yet.
Both Terran ships have to fight off the small Rep fighters- Until- Zee senses THREE huge REP battle cruisers approaching in tight formation. Leslie decides to use the QUELL, but fears that the Enforcer will turn on her when the REP threat is removed. She maneuvers close to the Enforcer and then uses the QUELL, to destroy the cruisers and most of the other REP ships in one devastating shot.
The shock wave reaches them and Leslie fires the cannon into the Enforcer as both ships are rocked by the impact. Unfortunately, instead of crippling the Enforcer, the pressure hull is holed—and all personnel on board are killed. They have to don pressure suits and down load the data themselves.
They locate the mining operation on a moon of a remote planet.
On the way there Zee gives Leslie a lesson on “seeing” spacial cords. There is a “trick” to doing it. Leslie tries and gets a few numbers, but is for the most part, unsuccessful.
Leslie also realizes that her problem is not one of “sex” but identity. Before, She had been a‘super man’, a hero and lamented her loss. Based upon the day’s victories alone, She now realizes that she still IS the same hero she always was, but only in a different package. YES, she CAN free her crew from the colony.
They land the ship on the moon and scout the area in an enclosed ATV. Leslie gets involved in a card game with Syndicate guards who not only think that she is “Kora Horst”, but are very much frightened of her because of it.—Something fishy is going on. There is a gunfight. Leslie and Bill kill the Men, before they can get answers.
Leslie and Doc. Abduct a guard for interrogation, but Zee nearly kills him. Seems that HE was the Syndicate operative that made Zee bald. Her real Name, ‘Hopa Hi’ means beautiful hair, so the insult was double—she had to leave home as she had become a joke among her people.
Leslie prevents Zee from killing the man. Zee responds ”You deny me my vengeance?—after I help you get yours”—Leslie has to smooth over things with her.
Leslie seduces the camp commander and kills him with a shive, so she can get the crew into the nearby weapons store.
They incite a prisoner revolt in the mine area and free the prisoners. The prisoners are sent off to safety in the captured Proteus that was kept as a transport, near the diggings by the Syndicate.
Leslie and company return to the Retribution, and destroy the moon with the QUELL, when they get far enough away.
She had done it! Leslie Webber is a hero once again! She accepts her new identity.
Zee does a ‘remote view’ using a pen found at the mine to “tune into” and finds Konstantin’s ship, “Enforcer One”—He is not on board, but KORA HORST is. Not only is she alive and well, she is “Enforcer One’s” BT (biotelemetricist) no wonder Konstantin had been able to stay always one step ahead of the law. BT’s are rare individuals usually only found on military craft and then only for the most vital missions. Kora was one of the best— The dead prostitute thing was a false record. She also turns out to be Konstantin’s mistress.
Her DNA was used to convert Leslie, so they look , save for hairstyle, IDENTICAL.—No wonder Leslie had the latent BT ability also.
Melissa does a computer search of Kora Horst’s images, and finds the image of a man that is often seen in her company.—the man checks out as Dimitri Gurdin a wealthy “businessman” who lives on Earth. His bio is suspicious—Gurdin is likely an alias too. But they have a picture. It is on Leslie’s com screen when she rests on her bed and inadvertently “links” with KORA. Kora sees the image and comments “I warned Clay not to use the DNA from a BT” Zee, sensing what is going on wakes up Leslie and breaks the link.
Leslie tells Zee what Kora said--- it’s a clue. Zee draws a moustache on the image with an eyebrow pencil.—It is CLAY Sanders. “The town boss” of Sandersville.
The retribution gets to Sandersville just in time to see that a bomb has blasted the convention center. Many citizens who were at a meeting protesting “corruption in Government” were killed.
Among them is Adrienne and Justin, Leslie’s son whom she digs out of the rubble herself. She is beyond tears. She rises up and tells her crew, “YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO NOW”. She tells them that they don’t have to come with her, but she warns them NOT to get in her way.
She marches into town to the Sanders building. She shoots her way into Sander’s office, but Sanders escapes in his shuttle to the Enforcer one.
Leslie and crew race to the spaceport and Take off in the Retribution. They locate Clay’s Enforcer One and begin to chase it. Clay sets an ambush using 4 other Enforcer ships. Zee sees it—--Leslie blasts them with the QUELL. Kora forces Captain Tynan of the Enforcer One to jump just in time to avoid the blast, but he becomes furious at her—HE is the Captain of the ship! Clay pulls a gun on Tynan and warns him never to talk to Kora like that again. Kora also tells them that the QUELL takes an hour to recharge, so they wont have to worry about that for a while.
Zee finds their new space cords, and Leslie jumps nearby to continue the chase. Doc worries about Leslie’s sanity-—so does Tynan. Leslie curses and threatens Sanders over the com system. He’s “DEAAAAD”, she swears to “kill him personally” She appears to be nearly berserk. Tynan pulls the plug on the com system to keep her from upsetting his own crew.
Clay jumps to yet another location. Enforcer Three flies between Enforcer One and Leslie to intercept her. She only accelerates and sets the one point five to full automatic. She heads for the E-3 like a bullet. The instant before impact, the one point five erupts and blows the ship apart like the halves of an egg. Retribution blows through the fireball, still on course toward Sanders’s ship.
Enforcer Twelve, near by, wants nothing to do with Leslie— It jumps out. Sander’s is furious! Tynan, fearing the QUELL will be back on line soon, runs towards an escape pod. Clay shoots him dead. “Ill have no cowards on my ship!” Clay takes over. Enforcer One turns to fight. Leslie drives her ship towards The Enforcer—the enforcer fires volley after volley of massed point five energy pulses. Leslie moves into Shield cutting range with the One point five.
One of Leslie’s deflector shields buckles as she gets ready to fire. The telemetry section is hit! Leslie fires! But the Enforcer one is Gone. It jumped just in time. Leslie calls Zee for new cords, but Zee has been mortally wounded. Zee tells Leslie that SHE can do it! Before She dies in Leslie’s arms. Doc puts Zee in a “stasis chamber” Leslie is stunned. “DAMNIT IT ENDS NOWWW!”
Leslie tries to get Enforcer one’s cords but fails! As she collapses into despair, she sees Adrienne’s Locket, which she now wears. The lettering style is a “fancy” script —something that is “right brain” sensitive---The cords appear!—Leslie can see them!---She has learned the “trick”
She jumps and finds the Retribution nose to nose with the Enforcer One. She fires three shots into it. Enforce One is finished! Escape pods, are leaving the stricken vessel. She senses that Sanders is still alive! Apparently Zee’s death has sent Leslie over the edge. If what already happened in the last few hours was not enough.
She coerces Melissa to deploy the “spider” boarding Tunnel to the Enforcer One. Doc tries to stop her, but the look in her face causes him to back off. Leslie roams the burning decks and passageways of the Enforcer One, looking like a zombie—a demon from hell. The survivors, still running for the remaining escape pods give her wide berth.
Clay sees her and runs into the telemetry room. A wall of flames blocks his way out the other side. Leslie now blocks the other door—She shoots him six times in the stomach. He falls. “Finish It!” he pleads through the pain. Without a change of expression Leslie walks away. The burning ceiling falls in on him.
Leslie returns to the ship. No one cheers, nothing has really changed. “Lets go home” says Leslie as the ship disappears back into space.
COPYRIGHT 2001 by Thomas M. Ray All rights reserved. Story and Characters Copyright 2001
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