Dark Sovereign 4
The crew of the Lucis are still stranded on Hunk O’ Gray. Separated and trapped in a vast, pitch-dark cavern below the planet’s surface, it seems like things can only get worse. What’s more, Posi is malfunctioning, Tamara is becoming more and more obsessed with the planet’s secrets, and Parker is falling deeper into the thrall of a mysterious alien presence.
Dark Sovereign is written by Briauna Kittle, and features the voices of Ricco Machado Torres as Parker, Jenae Hirsch as Tamara, Conrad Miszuk as Positron 817, and Ryan Jenkins as the Sovereign.
Music and sound by Cody Hazelle.
SCENE ONE – THE VACANT SPACE
SFX 1: AMBIENT CAVERN SOUNDS.
PARKER: Captain’s Log, Gray Mission, Day… 7? 8 maybe? I… I’m not sure anymore. I don’t know how we got here. Tamara said she went deeper into the temple when her alien Rosetta stone translation project wasn’t going too great and found me in there for some reason and something weird happened, and now we’ve been in a very, VERY dark room for, oh I don’t know, a few days? A few hours? She thinks it may be some kind of fog we passed through earlier that might be causing either hallucinations or amnesia or something on top of the seizure she experienced.
All I remember was going to bed whenever it was and then I was… here. Wherever here is. And Tamara is… gone. Knowing her, she left to find the life that may or may not exist on this planet. She mentioned hearing some voice after we ended up here. And she says I’m the weird one. Ha!
PARKER (CONT’D): But I guess it’s just you and me, Parker and Starebot holding down the fort until our brilliant leader comes back, huh bud?
SFX 2: ELECTRONIC FEEDBACK.
PARKER: Yeah, that’s what I thought you’d say. (SIGH) We need to get you back to working condition. The Botics Corporation troubleshooting manual is back on the Lucis though, so… I guess it’s just me. This is the part where you would go “Friend Parker, you’ll never be alone while I’m around, and I’m always around,” and then Tamara would go “Gross, Starebot,” and then you’d do your whole “Starebot is not a very good nickname” shtick and we’d still be trapped on this god awful planet. I just want to go home.
SFX 3: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: You can go home, Parker. You could have gone home from the beginning.
PARKER: No. No, I had to be here. Soma asked me to be here.
SOVEREIGN: She asked you to collect samples and return to the mothership, did she not? You had the samples. Why didn’t you leave?
PARKER: There was the earthquake. It trapped us here.
SOVEREIGN: Here? In my home?
PARKER: Well… no. It brought us underground. I couldn’t get the ship to run to get us out.
SOVEREIGN: And instead of waiting for Soma to arrive, you decided to get trapped in a much more unpleasant situation.
PARKER: No, I wanted to wait for Soma! Tamara wanted–
SOVEREIGN: Tamara… You do everything she wants.
PARKER: I do not! Posi, tell the voice I don’t do everything Tamara wants.
SFX 4: ELECTRONIC FEEDBACK.
SOVEREIGN: You did not want to stay on this planet, you did not want to explore this temple, you begged her to leave. If you do not do everything she wants, then why are you here?
It seems to me that Tamara has gotten you into this mess and, rather than solving the problem, she has abandoned you.
PARKER: She wouldn’t! She… We’ve been friends for… She wouldn’t. Tamara knows I would wait for her to come back. Unless…
PARKER: She knew I would wait. And that’s why she left. She didn’t want me weighing her down anymore.
SOVEREIGN: You hold her back from achieving her goals.
PARKER: All I am is a burden.
SOVEREIGN: All you are is a burden.
PARKER: Tamara’s not coming back for me.
SOVEREIGN: Tamara’s not coming back for you.
PARKER: I want to go home.
SOVEREIGN: Let me help you get home.
SFX 5: WHOOOOOOSH OF STATIC SCENE TRANSITION.
TAMARA: This is so stupid… (SIGH) Research Notes, Planetside, Day… whatever. I have been walking for who knows how god damn long with this dinky-ass flashlight and I have found. Nothing. It’s the same stone floor, the same pitch-black room, the same everything! (YELLS IN FRUSTRATION) God forbid I try to find a way to get us out of here. I can hear Parker already. (IMITATING PARKER) “Tamara, you shouldn’t have left, you can’t keep wandering off on your own.” Someone has to do something. And he’s been saying the weirdest stuff since we got to this place? Because I found him after Starebot and I passed through the fog room and he had the same alien Rosetta stone I did somehow. And then I blacked out and we got here and he said it was because the stones teleported us here when they got too close together.
TAMARA (CONT’D): And now that I think about it, he said he didn’t know where or when we are. What does that even mean?
Oh, and then, he has the audacity to get mad at me when I talk about my first alien encounter. (IMITATING PARKER) “Why is it okay for you to hear voices but not me?” Because mine is an actual, real scientific breakthrough and not just paranoid thinking! And now we’re stuck here. This is ridiculous.
I don’t even know why I’m making research notes right now, it’s not like I have anything to record them. (SIGH) Maybe I should go back and find Parker and Starebot, see if that creepazoid is back up and running. Nothing here should have knocked it out like this. Unless there’s some kind of electrical interference here. Or something weird with the magnetic field. Fucking magnets.
Alright, focus, Tamara. Back the way you came. Just gotta stay positive. At least you know there’s some kind of life on this planet. Unless that was all a hallucination brought on by the fog room. I mean, what all do you remember from that conversation, huh? Just an empty space and… something talking. Why can’t I remember?
TAMARA (CONT’D): Maybe it really is nothing. Must just be sleep deprivation and side effects from the fog. Or… (BEAT) (YELLING) Hey! If there’s someone out there, I want to talk to you!
SFX 6: ECHO OF “TALK TO YOU”
MFX 1: TENSE PRE-JUMPSCARE-ESQUE MUSIC.
TAMARA: (BEAT) Okay, that one was stupid. Worth a shot though, I guess.
SFX 7: GARBLED COMPUTER START UP SOUND.
TAMARA: Wait, what was that?
SFX 8: GARBLED ATTEMPTS AT ROBO-SPEECH VIS-À-VIS TESTING A MIC THAT ISN’T READY YET.
POSI: Yes, friend. It is good to see you again. Parker and I have missed you.
TAMARA: Oh, Starebot, it’s just you. (RELIEVED LAUGH) You look more terrifying in the dark. I’m glad to see you’re up and running again.
POSI: Yes. Up and running.
TAMARA: Speaking of running, where is Parker anyway?
POSI: He was very upset that you left. He said you had “abandoned” him and he had given up on waiting for you. He left to find his own way out.
TAMARA: That idiot. I didn’t abandon him, I was scouting ahead, trying to be productive while he did nothing, as per usual.
POSI: I told him you would never leave him behind. A good friend would never do that.
TAMARA: Exactly. Do you know which way he went?
POSI: I am not sure. This chamber of the temple is affecting my functionality.
TAMARA: Okay, well, you should have recorded it right? That’s your purpose, seeing everything. Play it back.
POSI: As you wish, Tamara.
SFX 9: MANGLED START UP BOOPING. STATIC.
POSI: As I said, I cannot function properly in this area. Both my recording and recollection abilities are currently unavailable.
TAMARA: Then what else do you have?
POSI: I am not completely useless, Tamara. My moral support drive is 100% functional.
TAMARA: Even more reason to get out of here as soon as possible. Let’s go.
SFX 10: WHOOOOOOSH OF STATIC SCENE TRANSITION.
SFX 11: DRAGGING METAL.
PARKER: This would be way easier with some help, you know. Isn’t there something else you can do besides telling me how shitty I am? I already do enough of that myself.
PARKER (CONT’D): (BEAT) Oh, now you don’t have anything to say. That’s fine, I’m better off without you anyway. I think it’s time for a break, huh Posi?
SFX 12: ELECTRONIC FEEDBACK.
PARKER: I concur. A breather would be nice. I’m gonna sit down for a bit, my back is killing me.
SFX 13: DRAGGING METAL STOPS, CRASH AS PARKER DROPS POSI.
SFX 14: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: Why are you stopping? We are almost at the end.
PARKER: Yeah but you’ve been saying that for… actually, you tell me, voice in my head. How long have I been wandering around in this pitch-black nightmare?
SOVEREIGN: Ah, you forget your manners, boy. Don’t tell me you’re tired already.
PARKER: I wouldn’t be so tired if I wasn’t dragging this stupid robot around. Again, this would go much faster if you just. Helped me.
SOVEREIGN: Tamara was right, all you do is complain. Woe is Parker.
PARKER: I have every right to complain under these circumstances! This is your shitty space realm or whatever, can’t you just teleport me to the end or something?
SOVEREIGN: Watch your tone with me.
PARKER: Or what, you’ll leave me to walk this hellscape blind forever? Uh, spoiler alert, I’ve already been doing that. For all I know, you’ve been getting me more lost. Not that it even matters since everyone would be better off without me.
SOVEREIGN: I can make you useful.
PARKER: (SCOFFS) Because you’ve been doing a great job of that so far.
SOVEREIGN: I said. Watch. Your. Tone.
SFX 15: ON THE WORD TONE, THE SHRILL RINGING BEGINS. PARKER CRIES OUT IN PAIN. THERE’S LOUD NOISES AND PHRASES STICK OUT, TAMARA’S WORDS: “SCAREDY CAT.” “USED TO BE FUN.” “SELFISH.” “ALWAYS WORRIED.” “HARD TO BE YOUR FRIEND.” IT FADES BACK INTO CAVE AMBIENCE. PARKER IS HURTING.
SOVEREIGN: I gave you plenty of warnings. I do not want to hurt you, Parker. However, punishment is sometimes a necessity. Do you understand?
SOVEREIGN: Start walking. I will not ask again.
SFX 16: SOME METAL CLANGING AS PARKER STRUGGLES TO PICK UP POSI. DRAGGING METAL BEGINS AGAIN.
SOVEREIGN: We are so close to the end, Parker. All you need to do is listen to me. I will make you something worth having. I will make you deserving of the company you keep. I will be your sovereign. You just need to listen to me.
SFX 17: WHOOOOOOSH OF STATIC SCENE TRANSITION.
TAMARA: We have to be close to an exit. I can feel that we’re close to an exit.
POSI: I cannot say either way, Tamara.
TAMARA: It’s been what, three hours maybe and we haven’t found a wall yet. How is this place so massive?
POSI: I cannot say. I was not built for conjecture.
TAMARA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (BEAT) Hey, this is going to sound weird, but are you doing… okay?
TAMARA: I mean, besides not being able to scan. Is there anything else that’s… off?
POSI: I do not understand what you mean, Tamara.
TAMARA: I don’t think I understand either. Maybe it’s nothing. Being trapped mostly alone without any external visual or audio stimulus is the perfect set-up for an overactive imagination, after all.
SFX 18: DISCORDANT HUM, THE SAME ONE WE HEARD IN SOVEREIGN’S VOID. FAINT SINGING.
TAMARA: Starebot, do you hear that?
POSI: I do not know what you are talking about.
TAMARA: Seriously? You don’t hear that… whatever that is?
POSI: I was joking, Tamara. Because you were talking about an overactive imagination. I wanted you to believe this was part of your mind playing tricks on you. Ha ha.
TAMARA: It’s even less funny when you explain the joke. Oh my god, is that… Is that singing? Did we find singing aliens?? I mean, it makes sense that aliens that can paint would have already created music, but it’s still crazy. Live, singing aliens. Can you tell where it’s coming from? This flashlight sucks, I can’t see anything.
POSI: I believe it is coming from straight ahead.
SFX 19: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS.
POSI: (MENACINGLY AND SOVEREIGN-ESQUE) Goodbye, Tamara.
MFX 2: INORGANIC MUSIC UNDERNEATH THE SINGING, ALMOST HYMN-LIKE, BUT DISCONCERTING AND THE SINGING GROWS LOUDER AS TAMARA APPROACHES. THERE’S NO WORDS, JUST VOCALIZATION, AND, NOTICEABLY, NO SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
TAMARA: (OUT OF BREATH) Oh thank god, I found an exit out of this dark, dark room, and… Oh… wow…
SOVEREIGN: Do you like what you see?
TAMARA: This is… incredible. There’s… actual aliens. There are actual, living aliens in front of me. I need to go introduce myself, I need to establish some kind of contact! (LAUGHS) I did it. I actually did it! I really should’ve done my hair before I put the helmet on. What am I talking about, I’m the first person to find fully developed extraterrestrial life! Ha!
SOVEREIGN: Tamara Redfield, savior of the human race.
TAMARA: I can’t believe this is really happening. It feels like a dream. Alright, Tamara, get it together. Time to be the official representative from Earth.
SOVEREIGN: Don’t you want to know what they’re doing first?
TAMARA: Hmmm, they do look like they’re in the middle of something though. Maybe I should wait until they’re finished with… whatever this is. What is this?
SOVEREIGN: You tell me. I want to know how smart you really are.
TAMARA: This looks like the ritual we saw in the painting in the first room. There’s an altar and the aliens like the statues we saw: eyes on stalks, two sets of arms, bipedal, average of seven feet tall I would say. They have some sort of face paint on, probably part of the ritual. Lots of swirls and flowing lines. And some sort of draped clothing, I think.
SOVEREIGN: What else do you see?
TAMARA: There’s symbols on and in a giant circle on the floor around the altar, making it the focal point. The symbols are luminescent, glowing, and… they match the alien Rosetta stone. They could be identical but it’s hard to tell from this far away. I don’t see any other stones though, so what’s their purpose? Where did they come from?
SOVEREIGN: Watch closely now. And listen.
SFX 20: LEAD VOICE BEGINS SPEAKING IN AN UNIDENTIFIABLE LANGUAGE OVER THE SINGING, SIMILAR TO A PREACHER.
TAMARA: One of them is standing at the altar, speaking. It would assume that’s the one in charge. The others, maybe fifty of them, are bowing towards him within the circle. It’s like a religious ceremony if I had to guess. We are in a temple after all.
TAMARA (CONT’D): The symbols are starting to pulse now as this leader is talking. The light is getting stronger. And there’s a pressure in the room. (IN PAIN) Oh god, my head, it hurts.
SOVEREIGN: Do not look away from this, Tamara.
TAMARA: Everything is going dark except for the glowing symbols and… their bodies are glowing now too. The leader is pointing at another alien. The others are reaching, no, clambering for it.
SFX 21: PANICKED INHUMAN SCREAMING OVERTOP THE SERMON.
TAMARA: It’s trying to run. It can’t find the way out. Hey! Over here!
SOVEREIGN: There is no point in trying to change anything. This was their choice.
MFX 3: THE SONG BECOMES AGGRESSIVE AS THE SCREAMING CONTINUES.
TAMARA: What is going on?? (IN PAIN) They seized it and are dragging it back to the altar. They’re laying it out and putting their hands on it. Oh god, oh god, oh god, is this a sacrifice? This has to be a sacrifice. No, they can’t!
SOVEREIGN: (ANGRILY) Don’t look away!
TAMARA: I can’t watch this!
SOVEREIGN: This was your choice.
TAMARA: (CRYING) Please, no!
SFX 22: THE SHRILL RINGING BEGINS.
SFX 23: CHANTING, MUSIC, AND RINGING CUTS OFF SUDDENLY.
TAMARA: W-what? I was… I found the way out and there was an altar here and, and people. Where—
PARKER: You really did leave.
TAMARA: What are you talking about? Never mind, I have to find them, I have to stop it.
PARKER: We’re right here. Stop what?
TAMARA: Not you, there was a ritual, the one from before and a circle and they were going to… they…
PARKER: Will you snap out of it?
TAMARA: It was right here, I saw it. I saw everything.
SFX 24: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: Almost everything.
TAMARA: Or… almost. Thankfully almost.
PARKER: …So you left, didn’t bother trying to find me again, even after finding a way out, and now you’re looking for something other than me on a mostly abandoned planet. You really don’t care about me at all, huh?
TAMARA: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Parker, I swear, I saw—
PARKER: Part of me was really hoping everything it said was a lie, but I guess in the scheme of things, science will always be more important than… I guess I can’t really blame you though. I wouldn’t want to wait for me either.
TAMARA: Will you stop talking like that? I didn’t abandon you, I was—
PARKER: Then why are you here?
TAMARA: I was going to come back for you and then—
PARKER: You could’ve taken us with you, taken me!
TAMARA: What do you mean us? Starebot came and found me, it said you were the one who wandered off!
PARKER: And now you’re trying to push the blame back on me. Posi’s been with me, knocked out, this whole time.
TAMARA: No, I spoke with it. It was right behind me when I ran off to…
PARKER: Even in your delusions, you leave your friends behind. Look at yourself, Tamara! You’re not perfect, just admit it.
TAMARA: I never said I was perfect, I… You really have Starebot with you?
SFX 25: CRASHING METAL, ELECTRONIC FEEDBACK.
PARKER: Its name is Posi. Even a burden like me can show some respect every once in a while.
TAMARA: I don’t think you’re a burden.
SFX 26: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: There’s no point in lying. He knows.
TAMARA: I’m not lying. You’re my friend, Parker.
SOVEREIGN: Friends can be burdens. Look at the discoveries you have made without him. You found the way out, you found life on the planet that will save your people. He wants to hold you back from this. He wants to leave before you find the secrets of this place. You were so close until he interrupted. Aren’t you at least a little curious what the ritual was about?
PARKER: It’s fine if you ditch me, I’ve already accepted that you don’t see me as an equal.
TAMARA: (JOKINGLY) Well, I mean…
PARKER: Ha ha.
SOVEREIGN: He’s giving you a way out. Take it.
TAMARA: Okay, I left, but I wanted to get out of here, and I thought it would be faster if I went on my own, and it was!
PARKER: So you do think I’m holding you back.
TAMARA: No! I was going to get you.
PARKER: You don’t need to make excuses anymore. Let’s get going. I’ll try not hold you back anymore.
SFX 27: DRAGGING METAL.
TAMARA: Parker, wait!
PARKER: This is a fun role-reversal, huh? Have you done a deep search of this room yet?
TAMARA: Um… no. (STILL CONFUSED) There was an altar. And aliens.
SFX 28: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: You must go forward. There is still more to find. There will always be more to find.
TAMARA: Knowing societies indulged in sacrifice and seeing, or almost seeing a sacrifice in front of you are two different things. I mean, there’s definitely evidence of sacrificial gifts in many older religions. Why would this species ritually sacrifice themselves? What are they worshipping? Whose idea was it to start the sacrifices?
SOVEREIGN: So many questions. Such an appetite for knowledge.
TAMARA: But Parker…
SOVEREIGN: You don’t need him.
TAMARA: He needs me.
SOVEREIGN: He’s not your responsibility.
TAMARA: We’re friends.
SOVEREIGN: Are you sure of that?
TAMARA: …We were friends. Until I messed everything up.
SOVEREIGN: You saw things he could never imagine. You can keep seeing things he will never imagine. I can show you such wonderful things, Tamara.
TAMARA: I want to figure out what happened to this place. Where did everyone go?
SOVEREIGN: I will tell you. Your friendship with Parker is over. All you have to do is trust me. Follow Parker for now. Cut your ties with him. Keep your mind open. For the good of your dying planet.
SFX 29: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS FADE AWAY.
TAMARA: For my planet. Parker, wait up!
PARKER: So, you decided to come along and berate me as usual?
TAMARA: Can you cut the pity party, please? We’re on an exploration mission, remember?
PARKER: I wouldn’t call this an exploration.
SFX 30: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: He doesn’t see the value in this mission. He never saw the value in any of your previous missions.
TAMARA: You not seeing the value in whatever this place is doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. There’s a lot we can learn from here. Now shut your mouth and keep walking.
PARKER: You’ve been talking to that thing, haven’t you?
TAMARA: What thing, what are you talking about?
PARKER: The little voice in your head telling you you’re worthless.
TAMARA: That’s your insecure brain. I know my worth.
PARKER: Might be overestimating that worth, but whatever, I’m not going to fight you. There’s a voice though. I’ve been hearing it since we got here. You mentioned hearing one too.
TAMARA: It’s just a hallucination. There’s not a lot of outside stimulus since it’s so dark and silent so you’re “hearing things” to fill the space. Now can you drop it?
PARKER: Whatever. Can you at least help me carry Posi? My back feels like garbage.
TAMARA: Must be real hard to carry a load of dead weight, huh? (BEAT) We can stop up here, but I’m not waiting for you anymore after this. Either keep up or get left behind.
SFX 31: SOVEREIGN HISS WHISPERS.
SOVEREIGN: Finally she sees you for what you really are.
PARKER: I know you’ve been talking to her.
SOVEREIGN: What ever do you mean?
PARKER: Fake ignorance isn’t a good look. (SIGH) If I do what you tell me, follow everything you say to a T… Will you leave Tamara alone? She doesn’t deserve this.
SOVEREIGN: Still giving yourself up for her? Some would call that noble. I would call it stupidity.
PARKER: I mean it. Leave her out this. Get her back to the Lucis, get her off your terrible planet, and I will do anything you want me to. It’s not like I’m worth anything else outside of that as you’ve already made extremely, hurtfully clear.
SOVEREIGN: Very interesting. I accept your fealty. You will finally do great things, Parker.
PARKER: Get her home. Please.
SFX 32: STATIC FADE OUT.