Episode 510: St. Albans Secrets, Special Features
DIALOGUE TO REWIND FOR
Arden: Another quixotic quest?
Joshua: Actually I—well, I guess. But this one I feel like I owe.
Arden: Let’s go from the jungle to the bitter cold and see how many of us get sick.
Beglan: That’s a myth.
Rina: I’m strong like Russkie. Cold doesn’t bother me. It’s the heat that bothers me.
Arden: Yeah. Get used to hot weather and then go to cold weather, and then talk to me.
Nika: So we’re talking about possibly a bunch’a Readers who possibly need a lot of help which could possibly put the ship into some serious issues, so fix the ship.
Nika: I’m not taking a vote. I’m telling you I’m not doing it. We’re going to St. Albans.
Rina: (yanking his chain) You missed one. Over there.
Joshua: (sees it) You’re right. If the reverse vampire circuit was …
Arden: Since the really curious one is two decks away and immobile, what do you think about calling a bomb disposal unit to get rid of the hazardous materials?
Nika: (dryly) Yes, because calling the cops has worked SO well for us in the past.
Kiera: At least we don’t have to worry about them going ka-thudda-ka-thudda-ka-boom!
Arden: Not unless you botch the piloting.
Nika: If I botch the piloting, you won’t know. You’ll just be a smear somewhere.
Arden: I know. But I’m just sayin’.
Nika: I miss Rick. I do.
Arden: You remember? When we discovered the compressed air things? He would have conniptions.
Nika: Oh, Christ. Can you see Rick? (squeaks) He would have been like, ‘Air cannons!’ (mimes loading a canon round and firing it) I miss Rick.
From Cmdr. Wise to Joshua Drake. April 22
Son, I got your message. I understand you. I don't know what I did to spook you, or your crewmates, when we went to pulse. But you're gone, again. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But, this time you found it in yourself to wave me. That means something. I don't know what you are thinking about now, you're obviously confused and uncertain. I think calling me was a way of keeping this door open, and know... it will always be open for you.
I don't doubt for a minute what you say you believe. And, for now I pray the Buddha is guiding your crew, and that they have no part in this.
I'm glad you are trying to get off the drugs. Whether you are my son, or just someone playing him. Whoever you are, you'll never really know until you are free of that and able to think clearly. I think you can do it. Maybe that means nothing to you, coming from some Alliance Doc telling you this because you look like his son, but if nothing else you can try... as Rex would have tried.
Once you are clean watch this again. Think about these things. You’ve had brain surgery, the likes of which no neurosurgeon I've spoken to has heard of. You’ve had memory loss. You hear voices. You've been taking Flomoxipan, a sedative, amnesic, hypnotic and hallucinogen. For how long, you can't remember. You've been exposed to things that could send anyone over the edge. I don't know who would set you on this course, but I do know that once afloat on this river, it could take you anywhere. You might be a Blue Sun agent, able to impersonate people due to some uncanny powers, or maybe you just remember things that way, maybe it’s all in your mind.
I've enclosed some links to a couple stories. I’ve been doing some research, thinking about this, since I got your wave. One I thought was interesting, about a mathematician back on Earth-that-was, brilliant like you, and afflicted as well, a man by the name of John Nash. I am not saying you’re exactly like him, but there are similarities. If you do see a little of yourself, know this, since the 20th century neuroscience has made great leaps. There is no need for you to suffer like him, untreated. There are other stories there as well. Of successes. There is one last link, that I’ll probably get in trouble if it’s discovered I sent to you. It’s a not-yet declassified program to create moles during the U-War. Both sides did it, to varying degrees of success. These moles were made resistant to torture and discovery by having their memories suppressed and replaced with new ones. Stories so real to them, that some of these moles were lost to the other side. It didn't take years, it took weeks. That technology didn't just disappear when the war ended, and for some, the war never ended. Think about that and what an asset a person like Lt. Cmdr Rex Wise would be to such a group.
You have plenty of reasons to reject these hypotheses. You have a life and a love. Things worth fighting for. And with Miranda and all the rest that has happened, it is hard to tell science fact from fiction. I just hope you can see that maybe it is worth keeping the door open to other explanations.
So… that’s almost it. Other than this: If you really are not my son, if you are some kind of Doppelganger, then I need your help. I need you to find my son, the one who was taken from me. If you were with those that took him, will you help me?
Joshua: But you are an awesome pilot.
Nika: (Damn straight!) I am.
Joshua: You can handle it. You can handle anything.
Nika: I can.
Joshua: So there we go. Off to the coordinates.
Kiera: (to Joshua) You are a horrible enabler.
Nika: He is. He’s kissing my ass very prettily.
Joshua: (archly) I am not.
Joshua: Is there a reason you think you can’t do it?
Nika: (drawling) There a reason you’re tryin’ to yank my chain, boy?
Joshua: (grinning) Cuz it’s fun.
Joshua: I love watching you work.
Nika: You didn’t think we were going out there without rifles, did you?
Joshua: I didn’t say anything.
Nika: Yes, you did.
Joshua: No I didn’t.
Nika: Your brain said—(makes a squeaky-snarky noise)
Joshua: You can hear my brain now? I didn’t say anything. For God’s sake I get yelled at more for not saying anything than for saying stuff.
Nika: You gave me the look.
Joshua: I did not give you the look.
Nika: You gave me the look.
Joshua: The guns are fine. I’m not going to carry one but the guns are fine.
Nika: (eyeroll) We oughta be married.
Joshua: I’m already headed down that path, you know.
Nika: That’s okay, I don’t wanna get married.
(Kiera comes skipping in. She’s carrying a couple of rifles. Arden’s right behind her.)
Kiera: I’m so happy!
Arden: (off Joshua’s look) What? You were the one who wanted to go tiger hunting.
Joshua: (muttering) Well, I’m gonna freeze. Or at least, refrigerate.
Joshua: (calling to boat) Hey! Hey, we wanna talk! Hey!
Nika: They are not really going to make me chase them down with the shuttle, are they?
Beglan: We can abseil onto the boat. Remember how great it was the last time?
Joshua: That was awesome. Can we do that?
Joshua: You are just a killjoy. All the abseiling would have been—
Nika: I’m gonna kill every bit of joy you have. I haven’t been laid in a year.
Arden: And whose fault is that?
Rina: Thank god I’m not somewhere where I’m melting.
Kiera: I for one like wearing the comfy shorts and the tied-up tee-shirt. I was comfy.
Nika: Yes, but you have a better body than she does.
Rina: (no bones) Absolutely.
Fisherman: Aye, I saw your ship. Stay outa my warehouse.
Arden: How do we tell it’s your warehouse?
Kiera: (eyeroll) He spray painted his name on the side.
Fisherman: Whaddya want, Mister?
Arden: I just want to know which warehouse yours is so I don’t go in it.
Fisherman: Just stay outa all the warehouses!
Rina: Were you here for the bombing?
Fisherman: Aye. Well, I was out on the lake.
Rina: Do you know why they were bombed?
Fisherman: I reckon the war’s happenin’ again.
Joshua: Is there anybody else in the area other than you?
Fisherman: Well … One day I thought I saw some strange lights in the sky but with the cloud cover it was hard to tell. It seemed to be coming up by the old ’tennas up there.
Arden: Would you like medical care?
Fisherman: Oh, you’d like that wouldn’t you?
Fisherman: Yeah, that’s how they start. They’re like, ‘Hey, whyn’t cha lie down on this’ and they strap ya down and cart ya off to some old age home or somethin.
Nika: (changing the subject, please) You said you had fish and canned goods.
Fisherman: I ain’t sharin’.
Nika: No, I was going to suggest we could possibly trade for some fish if you’d like some additional canned goods.
Fisherman: Hmm, I dunno. Where’re the canned goods comin’ from? If you have’em, another trick is havin’ me eat poisoned canned goods …
Fisherman: Not since the survivors left. (pause) ’Less you count sometimes the water...I think I see people.
Kiera: Below the water?
Fisherman: Yeah. They called to me but I just … (shakes head, stands fast)
Rina: Underwater scientific base?
Kiera: There’s some Loreleis beneath the water.
Kiera: The Lorelei underneath the water. How often do ya see ’em?
Joshua: Oh, Lord. Leave the man be. Leave the man be.
Fisherman: Huh. I gotta hunch I’m gonna wake up and you guys’re some sorta hallucinations too. I was a little bit concerned about one that one tin. It was a little tainted. I must be havin’ a hallucination.
Kiera: Oh, are you now?
Rina: Stay away from the soy. It’s poison.
Fisherman: I’m not a superstitious man, here, but that place up yonder, where the antenna are. Yeah … people told some strange stories about bad things that happened up there. Long time ago. Just so you know.
Nika: What kind of bad things?
Joshua: (quietly) Torture?
Rina: (to Joshua, whispering) That comes later, dear.
Joshua: I didn’t kill him. That’s a plus.
Nika: I’m not sure I like the new Joshua, really, sometimes. I’m just … (gives up) We’ll keep going. Let’s go.
Beglan: (faking street jive) You were better on drugs, man. You were cooler then.
Nika: You on drugs you were calm. Instead now you’re all about … (loudly) ‘That was awesome! We gotta abseil into—’.
Joshua: You don’t know me very well, do you?
Nika: I miss a lot when I’m piloting.
Kiera: We appreciate that. You’re a very good pilot.
Joshua: All right. So let’s go abseil up to the antennas. I mean, fly up to the antennas.
Kiera: Why don’t we just make a giant slingshot and shoot him up there. If he makes it, fine. If he doesn’t make it … (shrugs)
Nika: You’ve been talking to the ACME people lately?
Kiera: Yeah, I was gonna say. He grabbed his cross and totally smashed that big nutcase Russian dude. He was totally awesome.
Nika: He did.
Kiera: Wow. The power of faith. Rock on, little Irishman.
Kiera: (to Arden) You know, you and I oughta start carrying needles with tranquilizers so it’ll be like—poke! to her (nods at Rina) or poke! to him (meaning Joshua). “I got him!” “I got her!” (off Nika’s look) Sorry, Cap’n.
Arden: (to Joshua) I brought a tin foil helmet if you want to put it on.
Joshua: (through tears) Please don’t trank me.
Arden: Don’t go berserk.
Kiera: I know. If he gets out of control, she can pop him once upside the head. (nods at Rina) It’ll work.
Arden: It might kill him, but it’ll work…
Kiera: I’m assuming she can pull her punches.
Arden: When was the last time you saw her pull her punch?
Kiera: I assume sometime in the bedroom or he’d be dead by now if she wasn’t pullin’ somethin’.
Rina: (muttering) They know we’re here. We need to hide.
Arden: There’s nobody paying attention.
Rina: Doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Nika: But if they’re holding people prisoner, that means we’re gonna open the doors and there’s gonna be a whole slew of security people standing right there, as opposed to us being able to go in and—
Arden: (fed up) What if it’s the 99 naked virgins?
Rina: (eyeroll) Then it will be a real nice day for you.
Nika: In theory this place is abandoned, so why the heck would we even try communications?
Arden: Because there may be someone inside.
Nika: Again—in theory, the entire planet is abandoned. Why would we even bother?
Arden: We just saw a fisherman down on the lake!
Nika: You’re not listening to me.
Rina: Damn. I left my fifty feet of rope in my other pants.
Joshua: Let’s climb. (a beat) We gonna climb?
Joshua: Mind waves.
Kiera: (pinching Joshua’s butt) Keep going.
Joshua: Ow! (swats her fingers) Those aren’t mind waves …
Nika: Mother of God …
Arden: What would MacGruber do?
Joshua: Blow it up. That’s what he always does.
Rina: (accent thickening) MacGruber is Anti-Christ of engineering world. Are you kidding? St. MacGyver I pray to.
Rina: (eyeing the vent) Is piece of cake.
Arden: Yeah, if we had a rope.
Nika: That hurt like a mother. I think I broke my tailbone.
Arden: At least you landed on a padded part.
Rina: You think?
Nika: You’ll cut your hand off. Use my rifle.
Arden: Lesson for the day—don’t stick a breakable thing in a fast-spinning fan.
Joshua: I don’t think that was the lesson. That was pretty quick. Did all of you see that? That was amazing!
Nika: (facepalm!) I’m sure there’s brain damage. I’m sure of it.
Nika: Guys. We do not have time for this conversation.
Joshua: What’s going on?
Nika: Nothing good.
Arden: Look, we don’t want to get anyone hurt. We were responding to a request—
Rina: (coughing) Shut up, Arden. (coughs)
Kiera: I swear to God, I will let go this thing, drop, and shoot his ass …
Repair crewman#1: (enthused) Whaddya waitin for? C’mon. The pay’s way better.
Repair crewman#2: (sour) Great.
Repair crewman#1: (still enthused) No, some of these planets are amazing. They’re really great.
Repair crewman#3: Yeah! Beach planet. Then there’s the whore planet. The Sino planet …
Repair crewman#2: (still sour) ‘Frozen wasteland planet? No, I don’t think so. No frozen wasteland planets.’
Nika: They’ll be sending guards up here to see what else is here. The question will be—what is the likelihood we’re actually going to get in there and be able to do anything?
Joshua: Now, or then?
Arden: This is starting to look like a Level Three containment. If it becomes Four or Five, I’m going to be upset.
Chinese Woman: It’s not them.
Arden: Not us what?
HOW TO SPEAK RUSSIAN
Bozhe moi! = Боже мой! = Boh-zheh moy! = My God! (exclamation) Sound clip
- What were the weapons bays originally made for? Shuttle or storage space?
- When were the weapons bays retro-fitted into our ship? Who did the work?
- Why were they concealed? Who did it and when?
- What is in the barrels marked Photo Brand Favorite Spiced Lentils and Planck's Coffee (whole bean)? Smoke bombs and Sensors/Communications scramblers, respectively?
- What, if any, lasting damage will Rina suffer from getting hit by the bomb?
- Cmdr. Wise sent the wave to Joshua in response to one sent to him. Does it seem Cmdr. Wise believes Joshua is not his son? If so, why? If not, why?
- Where did Cmdr. Wise get the link to the sensitive material? Does Cmdr. Wise know anyone from the mole project personally? Is that how he got the information?
- Rina cannot know this in-character, but Cmdr. Wise's information on the mole program lends credence to Mike's warning about Joshua. Does this mean Mike knew of the mole program mentioned by Cmdr. Wise? Or was Mike's intel specific to Joshua's case alone? More to the point, how did Mike find out about the mole program? Cmdr. Wise asserted the program was used by both sides of the War. Was Mike involved in it, either as a subject or a perpetrator (for want of a better word)? Or was this something he found out in the course of fighting the War?
- The fisherman managed to eke out a living after the bombing of St. Albans, but not without some hardship and risks. He mentioned several things: people being forcibly rescued, tainted canned goods, people seen under the water, and strange lights at the antenna facility on the mountain.
- What measures were taken to get people off St. Albans before, during, and after the bombing? Was there prior warning to allow a general evacuation? What was done to people who refused to leave?
- What sort of people would trick survivors with offers of health care, only to cart them off to an old age home--or worse, somewhere more inimical? Was this something the fisherman had seen or had happen to him? Or was this hearsay? If it was hearsay, who did he hear this from and are they still on St. Albans?
- The fisherman mentioned tainted canned goods and is suspicious of being given them in trade. Is this a regular occurrance amongst survivors? Or is it simply caution derived from experience in gleaning spoiled goods from scavenging?
- He mentioned hallucinating while ill from eating tainted goods. Did he see the people under the water then? Where they hallucinations? If not, then who are they and what are they doing under the water?
- The strange lights at the antenna installation--when did he see them? Are they frequently visible or are they a rare occurrance? What can the crew expect to see once nightfall arrives? Will there be lights then?
- The fisherman said he'd heard tales of bad things happening at the installation. What sorts of bad things?
- The installation on the mountain is built like a fortress--big doors, hard to hack controls, everything on separate circuits.
- Why the heavy security? Is there something dangerous that must be kept inside for everyone's safety? Or is there something valuable that needs to be kept safe from people on the outside?
- How old is the facility?
- It's built not unlike a bunker. Is it a bunker from the war?
- If it's not a bunker from the war, what was its original purpose?
- It seems like a secret base--is this one of the reasons the Alliance bombed St. Albans? Are there more facilities like this hidden in St. Alban's mountains or is this the only one?
- If it is a secret base and one of several--were they used in the war or were they built for another purpose? How many of them are on the planet, anyway, and who held them?
- On the trip to the facility Joshua suffers anxiety so great it reduces him to tears.
- Is the anxiety his own or was it something projected onto him by mental means?
- Rina has managed on occasion to faintly project her emotions in a manner that Joshua can pick up emotionally. She tries it again on the trip up. It did not seem successful. Why? Was she being blocked by another agency? Or was Joshua too distraught to be capable of perceiving anything but the emotions he was suffering?
- Joshua also was able to pick up impressions of someone else's thoughts--he very clearly heard the word intruders inside his head.
- Who sent that word and was it meant for him? If not, then who?
- Joshua also picked up impressions from the security guards. Was this because they were projecting or was it because Joshua was clean of his meds?
- Which brings us to the issue of Joshua quitting Flomoxipan cold turkey. Without the drug in his sysstem suppresssing his Reader abilities, do thoughts need to be projected at Joshua for him to be able to hear them? If so, will he be able to screen or shut them out? If not, how much noise is he picking up?
- If Joshua is off Flomoxipan, does this mean he can't keep other people out of his head? If so, how vulnerable is he from being cleaned out of all his knowledge and memories?
- If Joshua actually does have a tenuous connection with Rina's feelings and thoughts, how will her injuries and possible distress affect him?
- The crew sneaks into the facility via a network of air vents. If the installation is supposed to be secure, why were there no security measures on the vents leading to the outside?
- When the crew encounters security, the security forces are in armor and have such gadgets as night vision goggles. How hard core are the people in the facility about their security?
- There are no insignia on the guards--either the armed and unarmed ones. Is this a security measure designed to keep the backers of this facility invisible? What is the absense of insignia supposed to hide?
- The corridors are segmented, with multiple points forcing people to stop and either be checked visually by guards or even bathed in decontamination lighting. What does this tell us of the nature of the work being done at the installation?
- What are the decon procedures made to do? Are they in place to keep stuff from getting in? Or stuff from getting out?
- Rina spots high pressure lines commonly used for decontamination systems. The pipes are high pressure, possibly high volume. How much decon goes on in the facility anyway?
- How extensive is the facility? There is at least one length of corridor that runs too long and far for the human eye to see to the end. There is a run of corridor that apparently leads to a vast cavern. What is in that cavern? What is at the end of the very long hallway?
- One of the guards manning the check stations mentions having Rina and Arden taken to see the Director.
- Who is the Director? Is it the twenty-something Chinese woman at the very end of the episode? Or someone else?
- Is the Director responsible for the entire facility? Or is it a departmental title?
- What happens in the operating room, to whom, and why?