Dark Sovereign Episode 2
The crew of the Lucis find that they are stranded on the planet Hunk O’ Gray with no way of communicating with their mother ship. Captain Parker frets about repairs (and about everything else) while Tamara decides to dig deeper into the mysterious alien temple they’ve discovered buried beneath the planet’s surface. But Parker has been hearing things…an eerie voice that seems to be summoning him to some dark and unknown fate.
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 Jamie Haas as the Sovereign.
SCENE ONE – SPACESHIP LUCIS
MFX 1: AMBIENT SPACE MUSIC.
PARKER: Captain’s Log, Gray Mission Day 5. Reporting from… well, planet side, I suppose. We landed on Hunk o’ Gray as ordered by the admiral and began our sampling process but um…made an earth-shattering discovery. Literally. It was earth shattering. Well, I guess not literally earth shattering, this is a different planet after all. I’m getting caught up in semantics, aaanyway… One moment we were on the surface, the next we were falling into an underground cavern. Tamara found an entryway to what she believes is a temple, based on the statues and wall paintings we found inside. Yeah. We’ve gone zero to a hundred on the “life might exist on this planet” theory. Other than that, there’s no signs of anything else existing here. Then again, we haven’t seen too much of the planet to be 100% sure.
PARKER (CONT’D): We reported our findings back to the admiral who said she would be on her way with Seeker, our mothership. On top of that, she ordered we continue exploring the temple until they arrive, but to stay safe and protect our robot…friend from harm. As the recordkeeper of our exploration, it is the utmost importance that it stays in one piece, even at the cost of our own lives. Ain’t that right, Starebot?
POSI: Friend Parker, I am sensing some passive-aggression–
PARKER: Anyway, after checking in with Admiral Soma, all of our communications dropped. I was able to diagnose the issue affecting our dear junkship Lucis which I will go over in our daily “this is how we’re fucked” meeting, and then we go temple exploring. Some of us are excited to dive in, but the smarter ones in this group are understandably hesitant and absolutely founded in their worries.
MFX 1.1: AMBIENT SPACE MUSIC ENDS.
ATM 1: ONGOING MECHANICAL HUM AND BEEPING.
PARKER: Alright Posi, I think that’ll do it. Stop recording.
POSI: Friend Parker, you know I cannot ever stop recording. It is my purpose to record. In order to stop a recording, you will have to destroy me, as it were.
PARKER: (UNDER HIS BREATH) maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
POSI: I am hurt, Friend Parker.
TAMARA: Parker, stop bullying Starebot. Just tell us what’s wrong with the ship already.
PARKER: One sec, T. Um… Turn off? Go back to normal? End entry?
POSI: Erasing captain’s log.
POSI: That was a joke, Friend Parker. Ha ha ha. Ending captain’s log entry and returning to general observation.
PARKER: I repeat, maybe destruction wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Anyway, now that I have the entirety of the Lucis crew present, I hereby call a meeting of This is How We’re Fucked Today.
POSI: Friend Tamara and I have been present in this ship with you for 13 hours, Friend Parker.
PARKER: So, I took a look at the Lucis, did a thorough check and found out we have a blown fuse. Now normally all I would need to do is swap out the fuse with a fresh one, but because this planet is the worst, the replacement we need is missing. We have extras of literally every piece but not this one, and it’s the most awkwardly shaped one too.
TAMARA: Alright, no communication. That’s not too bad.
PARKER: It also means the ship won’t start.
TAMARA: What do you mean the ship won’t start? There’s no way a fuse for a radio has that much power. That’d be stupid.
PARKER: Well, here’s the thing. There’s always a chance that a blown fuse can throw off absolutely everything, but that chance is so absurdly low that this never should have happened. However, this is a junky ship so the fact that this hasn’t happened yet is miraculous. Ugh, it’s a wiring nightmare down there.
TAMARA: So, no communication, and we’re completely stranded. Great.
PARKER: I mean, good news, Admiral Soma should be here in three or four days. They should have the replacement piece we need and if not, we hop off with them and leave the Lucis behind. We have plenty of supplies to last us in the meantime.
TAMARA: You seem pretty calm for one of your nightmare scenarios.
PARKER: Oh no, I’m absolutely terrified. I’ve just accepted dying here, that’s all.
POSI: If it brings you comfort, Friend Parker, I would not choose to be stranded with anyone else. I will be by your side should you both perish.
PARKER: Nope, that made it worse actually. Thanks, Starebot.
POSI: You are welcome, Friend Parker.
TAMARA: Well, looks like we’ve got nothing to do but uh…check out that temple, huh?
PARKER: Are you sure we have to?
TAMARA: Yup. Admiral’s orders and all that.
PARKER: Like you needed Admiral’s orders.
TAMARA: You know, I didn’t, but it means you have no excuse to dip out. You ready?
PARKER: As ready as I’ve ever been.
TAMARA: So not at all, perfect. Come on. Temple’s not gonna explore itself.
PARKER: You have the flashlights?
TAMARA: Of course.
PARKER: Alright. Do I need to tell you again I’m getting really bad vibes from this place?
TAMARA: You really don’t. You’ve said it plenty of times already, and I’m hearing you, but this is the discovery of a lifetime. You know I can’t pass that up.
PARKER: (SIGHS) I know, I know. I want you know I’m going to hate it every step of the way.
TAMARA: And I’m sure you’ll remind me every step of the way too. Let’s go, scaredy cat.
SFX 1: SPACESHIP DOOR SWOOSH OPENS AND CLOSES.
ATM 1.1: BEEPING STOPS
ATM 2: AMBIENT CAVE SOUNDS.
POSI: Friend Tamara, forgive me if I am speaking out of turn, but I do not believe scaredy cat is a very good nickname.
TAMARA: But it’s fitting. What’s with you and nicknames anyway? Why do you care?
POSI: From my understanding, Friend Tamara, when humans such as yourself and Friend Parker become close, a nickname is given, or rather, a nickname is earned. I have earned myself a nickname it seems, and I have mentioned to Friend Parker that this nickname inflicts hurt on my emotional hardware. Friend Parker informed me I must “do something” in order to earn a new nickname. Starebot is not a very good nickname, you see.
TAMARA: Yeah, of course, it’s totally normal for robots to care about nicknames. (TO PARKER) Parker, why do you encourage it like this? I mean, it’s just parts. It’s not like it has real feelings or anything. I thought you of all people would understand working with machinery for a living.
PARKER: I mean, yeah, but it’s kind of hard not to. Spaceships aren’t usually conversational and “friendly.” Plus, Starebot seems like the literal “kill them with kindness” type of…thing. I’m trying to protect myself from it really.
POSI: I am walking right next to both of you right now and can hear everything you are saying.
TAMARA: Yeah, we know. That’s why you’re with us on the trip in the first place.
POSI: This is somehow more hurtful than believing this was a private conversation. This moment will haunt my databanks for the rest of my existence.
TAMARA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
ATM 2.1: AMBIENT CAVE SOUNDS END.
MFX 2: QUIET AMBIENT CREEPY MUSIC.
TAMARA: Alright, so we’ve been in this entry room before. I still can’t believe this temple was down here. I really want to meet the things that built it.
PARKER: I don’t.
TAMARA: You don’t ever want to do anything.
PARKER: No, I don’t.
TAMARA: Well, like you said, we don’t really have a choice at this point. Come on, hallway to the next room, let’s go.
PARKER: It’s super dark in there.
TAMARA: That’s what the flashlights are for, dummy.
PARKER: (MOCKINGLY) ”That’s what the flashlights are for, dummy.” Hey, there’s paintings in here too. More of the same.
TAMARA: Yeah, but not quite. Some of these are missing that overseeing…whatever that blob is. Blob god?
POSI: That is correct, Friend Tamara. I noticed it immediately. You have a very observational eye.
PARKER: …Did Posi just “no shit, Sherlock” you? I think it just “no shit, Sherlocked” you. That’s hilarious.
POSI: I do not understand. Is that bad?
PARKER: No, absolutely not. Honestly, this is probably the best thing you’ve done.
POSI: I see…Is “no shit Sherlock” a nickname?
PARKER: Mmm, not quite, but you’re getting there.
TAMARA: Alright, alright enough. It was a good zinger, sure —
PARKER: The best zinger.
TAMARA: –but we have more important things to focus on. I don’t know about you but these creatures without Blob God look…sad? They’re hunched and significantly smaller. Once Blob God shows up, they stand up straighter, they’re bigger. It almost looks like they’re celebrating in some of these.
PARKER: That makes sense if this is a temple. Life is miserable until god shows up and then hey, it’s a party!
TAMARA: Yeah, more or less.
POSI: I like parties.
TAMARA: Have you ever been to a party?
POSI: No. But I believe I would like them if we had one. Perhaps when the Seeker arrives, we can have a party.
TAMARA: Yeah, maybe. We definitely have a reason to celebrate.
PARKER: The last thing I want on this planet is a party. The sooner we get out of here, the better.
TAMARA: Party pooper.
PARKER: Yup, that’s me.
POSI: I do not understand the phrase “party pooper” but I am sad you do not enjoy parties, Friend Parker.
PARKER: Eh, it’s fine. I’m not a fan of crowds is all, especially not drunk crowds.
TAMARA: Don’t worry Starebot, I’ll teach you how to party.
POSI: Your offer, Friend Tamara, is…bittersweet. I do not like being called Stare—
TAMARA: Hey, next room!
MFX 2.1: AMBIENT MUSIC FADES OUT.
SFX 2: SOVEREIGN WHISPERS START.
TAMARA: Parker, you okay? You look paler than usual.
POSI: I am detecting an increased heartrate and high stress levels as well, Friend Parker.
PARKER: (LOUDLY) What? No, I’m fine!
TAMARA: Why are you yelling? Parker?
SOVEREIGN: Your name is Parker? I will be waiting…
SFX 2.1: SOVEREIGN WHISPERS FADE AWAY.
TAMARA: Hey! Hey! Snap out of it!
PARKER: Sorry, sorry.
TAMARA: Where’d you go, bud?
PARKER: Just lost in my thoughts, that’s all. Bad vibes and everything. I really don’t like it here. Have I mentioned that yet?
TAMARA: Yes, constantly. Come on, let’s check this place out.
TAMARA: Starebot, prep the record.
POSI: Adding to the record, although I will remind you, Friend Tamara, I have scanned the room in complete detail, so any descriptions of the chamber we are in is redundant and unnecessary.
TAMARA: It’s better when I say it. There are statues in this chamber too, four total, same large size and creature models. Humanoid, multiple arms, eyes on stalks. Main focus is a large basin in the middle of the room. Place is run down. Looks like there was something in here that destroyed one of the walls. There’s rubble covering one side of the floor. Still no sign of bodies or living creatures. There’s another hallway on the other side to check out. Other than that, nothing else interesting from what I can see. Parker, you find anything?
SFX 3: SOVEREIGN WHISPERS START.
SOVEREIGN: Can you feel me? I am waiting.
PARKER: (LYING POORLY) Um…nothing to report. Just rubble.
TAMARA: Looks like there are carvings in the basin. More of those symbols from the entrance of the temple. Possibly a language? Hard to tell. No signs of use outside of normal wear and tear. Let’s move to the next room.
PARKER: We could move to the previous room.
TAMARA: It’s out of my hands, Parker. The boss said-
PARKER: No, I know what the boss said. Tamara, I really don’t think we should be here. Seriously, I’m getting bad vibes from this place. There’s this voice in my head telling me…well I don’t know, but I don’t like it here.
TAMARA: Those are called thoughts. Seriously, this is getting old.
POSI: I am sorry to interrupt your conversation, Friend Parker and Friend Tamara, but I have found something of interest in the rubble.
TAMARA: Let me see.
SFX 4: INCEPTION-LIKE BASS NOTE OF SIGNIFICANCE.
SFX 5: SOVEREIGN WHISPER HISSES INTENSIFY.
POSI: It looks to be a talisman of some sort, Friend Tamara.
TAMARA: Seems like it. It has more of those symbols on it. Stone, flat, palm sized. Where’d you find it?
POSI: In the rubble where Friend Parker was looking.
TAMARA: Is that so?
SOVEREIGN: She knows you are untrustworthy.
PARKER: Please put that down.
TAMARA: How did you manage to miss this?
PARKER: It’s a rock. It blended in. Will you please put it down? That thing, it’s bad news. I can’t tell you how I know, but I know.
TAMARA: What’s got you all freaked out, huh? Spooky alien religious talisman giving you “bad vibes?”
PARKER: T, put it down and let’s go back to the ship. Please.
SOVEREIGN: She will not listen.
TAMARA: And leave behind handheld proof of life on an unexplored planet? Are you even hearing yourself? This is going back to the ship.
SOVEREIGN: You are a disappointment to her, Parker.
PARKER: Tamara, I mean it. Leave it alone. I’m really, really, really getting bad vibes from this thing.
SOVEREIGN: She thinks you are inferior.
TAMARA: Okay, you know what? Posi, how many times has Parker said he’s getting bad vibes from this place?
POSI: According to my observations, during our last 15 hours on this planet, Friend Parker has said the phrase “getting bad vibes” in reference to Hunk o’ Gray 147 times.
TAMARA: You see?
PARKER: Maybe I wouldn’t say it so much if you just listened to me, Tamara!
SOVEREIGN: She will never listen.
TAMARA: Maybe you should have more to say than complaints and whining. “Oh, Tamara, the snaps on my suit are sticking, it’s the end of the world.” “Oh, Tamara, I forgot to shower today, I’m going to have an aneurysm.” “Oh, Tamara, I didn’t see you for literally two seconds and I thought you were dead.”
SOVEREIGN: You are a coward.
PARKER: You know what, maybe I am. Maybe I have a reason to be. Maybe if you were more of a coward, I wouldn’t have to save your ass every time we got into trouble because you wanted to push just a little further, get just a little more research done. Maybe I’ll leave and see how long you can last on your own without me, but I won’t, and do you want to know why? Because we’re friends.
TAMARA: Bullshit, you’re just too scared to be by yourself for a second. Don’t try to guilt trip me into throwing away the thing I’ve been working towards my whole life.
SFX 5.1: SOVEREIGN WHISPERS ARE THE MOST INTENSE DURING PARKER’S SPEECH.
PARKER: Oh, you’re going to call this guilt tripping, this thing I’m doing where I’m reminding you that I’m a person with feelings and ideas that aren’t yours? Because I am! I know you think of me as the anxious sidekick to whatever wannabe badass scientist bullshit you have going on. I know it’s all fun and games to laugh at Parker and make fun of all the things he’s scared of, but I’m in the position I’m in because I do worry, and that has saved both of us more times than you want to admit, and we both know it. So listen to me when I say this is another one of those times. Put the god damn rock down.
SOVEREIGN: (BEAT) Excellent.
TAMARA: I’m sorry.
SOVEREIGN: She is lying to you.
SFX 5.2: SOVEREIGN WHISPERS FADE.
PARKER: I don’t want to hear it.
TAMARA: No, I’m serious. Parker, I’m sorry. I take it too far and I get caught up, but…
PARKER: (BEAT) You’re not going to leave the rock, are you?
TAMARA: You know I can’t.
PARKER: Whatever, I’m going back to the Lucis.
TAMARA: Parker, wait! God dammit!
POSI: Friend Parker will be okay. After all, we are the only other two beings he knows on this planet. He will not stay away for long. We are his friends.
TAMARA: His only friends. He might like you more than me at this point. Who would’ve guessed.
POSI: Is it a bad thing if Friend Parker likes me more than you, Friend Tamara?
TAMARA: Yeah, kind of. For one, you’re… and two, you’ve known him a week. I’ve worked with him for just about three years. I’m not gonna lie, it stings a little.
POSI: I see. Do you trust him, Friend Tamara?
TAMARA: What are you, my therapist?
POSI: Unfortunately, Friend Tamara, due to our friendly relationship, it would be unprofessional of me to accept the role as your therapist. However, my creator included interpersonal therapy techniques in my programming to diffuse tense situations between crew members. Now, Friend Tamara, do you trust Friend Parker?
TAMARA: Of course I trust him, I know he has my back. Like he said, he’s saved me a number of times, and I’m grateful. But I know my job. I understand the risks involved. I know I might not get out in one piece, but you do what you gotta have to do.
POSI: Perhaps Friend Parker is doing what he has to do.
TAMARA: Yeah, but it’s annoying when he does it. (BEAT) Listen, you’re a week and a half old starebot, so I don’t expect you to understand the importance of what we’re doing here. There’s a civilization here – or there was – which means we’re not alone in the universe and there’s a chance that if other life could live here, so could humans. A discovery like this could bring our budget back so we can actually start working at making planets like Hunk o’ Gray livable. God knows Earth isn’t doing too hot these days. Every little rock, every little symbol we can bring back? That’s going to do a world of good for billions of people. Science is a long-term game.
POSI: So is friendship.
TAMARA: Ugh. You know, for something that was created by people, you’d think they’d program you with better lines.
TAMARA (CONT’D): I can’t give up on this place. I’m gonna keep working. Parker can do his own thing, you can go with him and be best friends if you want.
POSI: Do you really believe Friend Parker and I can be best friends, Friend Tamara?
TAMARA: I’d say so, with your riveting conversations about nicknames.
POSI: Yes. I shall wait patiently until I earn a new nickname. Starebot is not very good.
TAMARA: It’s fitting. Can you scan this talisman for me?
POSI: I do not know if I should, but I will.
SFX 6: ONGOING BEEPING.
SFX 7: SOVEREIGN HISS.
TAMARA: Whoa, did you hear that?
POSI: I did not hear anything, Friend Tamara.
TAMARA: Huh. Must’ve just been the wind or something.
POSI: There is no wind, Friend Tamara.
TAMARA: Would you be able to tell, being made of metal and all?
POSI: I have sensors that allow me to feel a wide variety of external stimuli similar to humans. It is part of being a recorder.
TAMARA: Huh…does that mean you can feel pain?
POSI: I believe so. When we fell from the surface, the sensors on my back buzzed very badly. It was…uncomfortable.
TAMARA: Eh, good enough for me.
SFX 8: DING! BEEPING STOPS.
POSI: Scan completed. The patterns of the symbols on this talisman, the basin, and the etchings you discovered at the entrance of the temple, Friend Tamara, are similar to those of a language.
TAMARA: That’s what I was hoping for. Any way you can translate?
POSI: I am only an observer, Friend Tamara. I was not programmed to translate alien languages.
TAMARA: Fair enough. Guess that task falls on my shoulders, along with everything else.
POSI: Not everything.
TAMARA: True, you’ve got the creepy bug-eyed thing going.
POSI: My creator made me with the sole purpose of recording, so I must be able to record everything I encounter in great detail. My “bug-eyes” are essential for this task. Shall we head back to the Lucis? I do not think we should leave Friend Parker alone for too long.
TAMARA: Yeah. Give me a minute though, I want to check this room out one more time to make sure there’s nothing else hidden. You can go ahead.
POSI: There is nothing else of note in this room, Friend Tamara. I have already done a scan.
TAMARA: I haven’t. I’ll take the alien Rosetta Stone. Go wait in the hallway, you’re distracting me.
POSI: Okay, Friend Tamara, I will do as you ask.
SFX 9: SOVEREIGN WHISPER HISSES START UP.
TAMARA: I really don’t see how this thing is bad news. I really don’t. It’s the size of my palm, what’s the worst it could do?
SOVEREIGN: It is an important discovery.
TAMARA: Funny how religion gets to aliens too. We’re not so different, I guess.
SOVEREIGN: Imagine the admiration you will receive for your findings.
TAMARA: Man, I can’t wait to see the admiral’s face when she gets here. This is gonna blow her mind.
SOVEREIGN: You will be celebrated.
TAMARA: And everybody else is going to be super jealous. And to think people turned down coming here because it looked boring. Can’t judge a planet by its outer crust.
SOVEREIGN: There are more items like this.
TAMARA: Starebot was right. It doesn’t look like there’s anything else in here. I should head back.
SOVEREIGN: There are many more chambers to explore.
TAMARA: But maybe there’s more goodies further in. I could run up and sneak a peek real quick…
SOVEREIGN: This gift to you is only the beginning.
TAMARA: Mmm it would be smarter to wait for everyone to go. Parker’s right, I’m too impulsive.
SOVEREIGN: You cannot stay away from me forever.
SFX 9.1: SOVEREIGN WHISPER HISSES END.
TAMARA: Alright Posi, I’m good. Let’s head back.
POSI: As you wish, Friend Tamara.
POSI (CONT’D): Friend Tamara, you asked me if I heard anything not too long ago. Friend Parker asked me the same thing yesterday. I also did not hear anything at that time. Might I recommend speaking with him about your auditory problems?
TAMARA: Thanks for the recommendation, Starebot. Actually, do you mind replaying the audio around the time I asked if you heard anything? Maybe your microphone picked up something you didn’t, like ghosts. Just so I feel better.
POSI: Ghosts are fictional, Friend Tamara.
TAMARA: Maybe on Earth, but we don’t know about Hunk o’ Gray.
POSI: …You raise a fair and debatable argument, Friend Tamara.
SFX 10: (POSI REPLAYS AUDIO OF “—SCAN THIS TALISMAN FOR ME?” “I DO NOT KNOW IF I SHOULD, BUT I WILL.” PAUSE. “WOAH DID YOU HEAR THAT?”)
TAMARA: Oh well.
POSI: You are not concerned that you are hearing things that are not there, Friend Tamara?
TAMARA: I believe in evidence, and this evidence tells me it’s a matter of imagination. Parker’s got me all paranoid now, that’s all.
POSI: If that is what you wish to believe, Friend Tamara. I know I cannot change your beliefs. I do not want to tell you how to do your job, but lack of evidence can often be evidence.
TAMARA: True, but two times is a coincidence, three is a pattern. If it happens again, I promise I’ll listen. Will that make you happy? Why am I trying to make a robot happy?
SFX 11: SWOOSH OF SCI-FI SHIP DOOR OPENING.
TAMARA: Hey Parker, we’re back! You alive in there?
SFX 12: KNOCKING ON METAL DOOR.
TAMARA: (BEAT) He’ll be fine, he just needs some more time. In the meantime, I get to start deciphering an entire alien language. That should be easy right? How hard can figuring out a whole language be? I’m Tamara fucking Redfield! Posi, pull up the other symbols for me.
POSI: Pulling up image scans.
SFX 13: START-UP BOOPING.
TAMARA: Perfect. Time to get to work.
SFX 14: STATIC STARTS AND CRESCENDOS BEFORE CUTTING OUT COMPLETELY.
END OF ACT 2
CREDITS: This has been a production of the Never Rad Miscellany. The Never Rad Miscellany is Produced and Directed by Conrad Miszuk. The sound effects are mixed and performed by Cody Hazelle. The credits are read by Matt Braman.
The Dark Sovereign is written by Briauna Kittle, with sound and music by Cody Hazelle. Parker is played by Ricco Machado-Torres. Tamara is played by Jenae Hirsch. Posi is played by Conrad Miszuk. The Sovereign is played by Jamie Haas.
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