Reserve Thy Judgement

This is the original script that was turned into Dearly Departed, for your reading pleasure.  Now it’s all one color, so it’s easier to see.  Let me know what you think at the end….

TEASER

SCENE 1

FADE IN

EXT-FARRAGUT IN SPACE, APPROACHING MID-SIZED NEBULA.

CARTER(V.O.)

Captain’s log, stardate 3058.2. Science officer Tacket has picked up a nebula on long range scanners that has, till now, been undetected. Since extensive scans of this area have been conducted already and it’s never been seen before, I have decided to take the ship in to investigate.

SCENE 2

FADE IN-

INT-FARRAGUT BRIDGE, NEAR SCIENCE STATION. CMDR. TACKET CHECKING READINGS ON VARIOUS SCREENS, HITTING KEYS. CAPT. CARTER IN CENTER SEAT, WATCHING.

carter

Well, RT? Picking up anything?

TACKET KEEPS KEYING, SHAKES HIS HEAD, THEN REMEMBERS HIMSELF.

TACKET

Oh, sorry, Captain. No, I still can’t pick up anything beyond the outer boundary. This thing is unusually dense. I think the only way we’re going to really pick up anything is to(HITS KEYS, CHECKS READING) launch a probe into it.

CARTER NODS, HITS KEY ON CENTER SEAT.

CARTER

Carter to torpedo bay. Ready a probe to be launched into the nebula.

SCENE 3:

EXT-FARRAGUT FACING NEBULA, PROBE LAUNCHES INTO NEBULA.

SCENE 4:

INT-FARRAGUT BRIDGE

TACKET CHECKS READINGS FROM PROBE, SHAKES HIS HEAD.

TACKET

(MUMBLING TO HIMSELF)

Just what ARE you, my friend? Where the hell did you come from?

SOUND F/X-DEEP RUMBLE GOES THROUGH SHIP. PRESCOTT LOOKS TOWARD CARTER.

PRESCOTT

There’s some kind of scanning wave coming out of that nebula, recommend backing off, Captain.

CARTER NODS IN AGREEMENT, ABOUT TO GIVE THE ORDER WHEN THERE’S A FLASH. CARTER AND PRESCOTT THROWN FROM THEIR SEATS, LAND UNCONCIOUS. ANOTHER DEEP RUMBLE.

TACKET

Brace yourselves, everyone! There’s another one coming in!

MORETTI

Sickbay, this is the bridge, we have an emergency up here, three people down, send a team!

SOUND F/X, RUMBLING, BRIDGE VIBRATES. TACKET LOOKS OVER HIS SHOULDER.

TACKET

Moretti, sound red alert! Get the shields up! Get us back, away from it!

SOUND F/X FROM TACKET’S CONSOLE, HE LOOKS AT IT.

TACKET

This is the strongest wave yet! Get us away from there!

DEEP RUMBLING AND VIBRATION CONTINUE.

FADE TO BLACK, SOUND F/X-RUMBLING-CONTINUE FOR A MOMENT.
ROLL OPENING CREDITS.

ACT 1

SCENE 1

fade in

EXT-FARRAGUT BEING SHAKEN by waves.

tacket(V.O.)

Science officer’s log, supplemental. Farragut continues to be hit by the waves from the nebula. The engines have been knocked off line, and the captain, Engineer Smithfield and Mr. Prescott have been knocked unconscious. Dr. Holley has them under observation in sickbay.

FADE OUT

SCENE 2

FADE IN

INT-FARRAGUT BRIDGE, TACKET NOW IN CENTER SEAT, JUNIOR SCIENCE OFFICER AT SCIENCES.

TACKET

Moretti, ready the log buoy just in case. Engineering, what’s your status? Can you get us moving?

ENGINEER(V.O)

Working on it, Exec, letcha know when we can do something.

SHIP SHUDDERS MORE VIOLENTLY THAN EVER, THEN STILLS.

SCIENCE OFFICER

Uh, Captain, that—that seems to be the last of the waves.

TACKET GOES OVER TO THE SCIENCE STATION.

TACKET

How can you tell?

SCIENCE OFFICER

The nebula is dissipating, sir.

TACKET STANDS, LOOKS AT MAIN VIEWER.

TACKET

What the hell ARE you?

MORETTI

I have sickbay reporting in.

TACKET NODS, MORETTI SPEAKS INTO BOARD.

MORETTI

Go ahead, Doctor.

HOLLEY’S VOICE

Bridge, this is Sickbay. I have the captain, Commander Smithfield and Lt. Precott on life support, but—

TACKET IS STILL WATCHING MAIN VIEWER, IMPATIENT.

TACKET

But…what, Doctor?

PAUSE FROM HOLLEY

HOLLEY’S VOICE

There is no independent brain activity. Everything that was in their heads is…gone.

TACKET AND MORETTI LOOK AT EACH OTHER, SHOCKED.

FADE TO BLACK

SCENE 2

FADE IN

EXT-INSIDE nebula

CARTER, SMITHFIELD AND PRESCOTT LIE ON GROUND. PRESCOTT STRUGGLES TO HIS FEET. HE LOOKS INTO NEBULA AROUND HIM. SHADOWY FORMS SURROUND HIM, HE READIES HIMSELF FOR HAND TO HAND. A SHADOW COMES FORWARD STANDS IN FRONT OF HIM.

PRESCOTT

I am Lieutenant Henry Prescott of the Federation Starship Farragut, serial number ST574-567-79.

SOFT VOICES ECHO AROUND PRESCOTT, ALL SPEAKING AT ONCE. SHADOW ARMS REACH OUT TO TOUCH HIM.

SHADOW VOICES

…prescott…henry…farragut…lieutenant…number…prescott…am…federation…farragut..prescott…

THE VOICES CONTINUE, SHADOW ARMS GET CLOSER TO PRESCOTT. ONE DARTS OUT, ALMOST STRIKES HIS FACE. HE JUMPS BACK, ONE OF THE ARMS STRIKES HIM IN THE BACK.

PRESCOTT

I am Lieutenant Henry Prescott, Starship—

ONE OF THE ARMS STRIKES HIM IN THE FACE, HE GOES TO HIS KNEES. ANOTHER GROUP OF VOICES STARTS TO SOUND.

SECOND SHADOW VOICES

Prescott…Lieutenant…duty…family…driven…failure…father…grandfather…failure…

PRESCOTT RISES, WATCHES THE SHADOWS.

PRESCOTT

I am Lieutenant—

SHADOW VOICE

Failure…failure…failure…

PRESCOTT SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PRESCOTT
I am not a failure!

ANOTHER SHADOW ARM REACHES OUT AT HIM.

SHADOW VOICES

Warrior…warrior…failure…will not fight…hides behind rules…will not fight…did not save his captain…hides behind rules…HIDES BEHIND RULES…WILL NOT FIGHT…

PRESCOTT SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PRESCOTT

Fighting isn’t the only way to win—

SHADOW ARMS WAVE TAUNTINGLY AT PRESCOTT.

SHADOW VOICES

Fighting isn’t…fighting isn’t…never win…never win…not fighting …

lose…not…never win…

PRESCOTT

–but when we have to, we fight—HARD!!

PRESCOTT GRABS AT ONE OF THE ARMS, TRIES TO PULL IT INTO A THROW, HIS HANDS PASS THROUGH AND HE FALLS AGAIN. WHEN HE GETS UP, HE STANDS AT ATTENTION, CLOSES HIS EYES. THE VOICES CONTINUE TO TAUNT HIM.

PRESCOTT

I am Lieutenant Henry Prescott, Starship Farragut, Service Number ST57—

AS PRESCOTT RECITES, HE HEARS A VOICE SLIGHTLY LOUDER THAN THE SHADOW VOICES AND OFF TO HIS LEFT. VOICE SOUNDS LIKE A WEAK OLD MAN.

WEAK VOICE

Is…is there someone…help…help me…shut up, all of you, I know I heard someone…help me!

PRESCOTT CONSIDERS FOR A MOMENT WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THE SHADOWS TALKING TO HIM, DECIDES AGAINST IT.

PRESCOTT

HELLO! WHERE ARE YOU?!

WEAK VOICE

I’m…I’m here, I’m…I’m where I am…

PRESCOTT LOOKS TO HEAVEN.

PRESCOTT

Well, that’s certainly helpful. (LOUDER) Keep talking, I’ll try to find you!

PRESCOTT TAKES A DEEP BREATH, THEN THROWS HIMSELF AT THE SHADOW WALL. SOUND F/X-TEARING, SLURPING, C/U OF PRESCOTT FORCING HIS WAY THROUGH THE DARKNESS.

WEAK VOICE

I’m over—no! Gods, no! Get away from me! (SCREAMS)

prescott

Hang on! I’m coming!

WEAK VOICE CONTINUES TO SCREAM, NOW THERE’S A LOW GROWLING UNDER IT. PRESCOTT THROWS HIMSELF FORWARD, EMERGES INTO A TRIANGULAR SPACE. THERE’S AN OLD MAN COWERING IN THE CORNER, SEVERAL BLACK SHAPES MENACING HIM, PULLING AT HIM. PRESCOTT DROPS LOW, LINEBACKER STYLE, TACKLES ONE OF THE SHAPES AWAY FROM HIM. THE SHADOW SHAPE STAYS ON THE GROUND, BUT A BLACK-GLOVED HAND GRABS PRESCOTT’S SHOULDER, PULLS HIM AWAY FROM THE SHAPE. PRESCOTT GETS TO HIS FEET, WHIRLING. THE PERSON THAT GRABBED HIM IS A KLINGON HOLDING A LONG DAGGER.

KLINGON

You think to interfere, teran’ngan? Why don’t you go…negotiate something!

KLINGON STABS FORWARD, PRESCOTT EVADES EASILY, GRABS KLINGON BY THE SHOULDERS, THROWS HIM. MEANWHILE, OLD MAN IS CONTINUED TO BE THREATENED BY THE THIRD SHAPE. PRESCOTT GLANCES TOWARD THE KLINGON, THEN THROWS HIMSELF AT THE LAST SHADOW-SHAPE. GRABS IT AWAY FROM THE OLD MAN, TURNS IT AROUND—SEES THAT IT’S A STARFLEET SECURITY OFFICER. STEPS BACK, SLIGHTLY CONFUSED.

PRESCOTT

Who are you? What are you doing to the old man?

STARFLEET SECURITY JUST LAUGHS AT PRESCOTT. KLINGON SPINS PRESCOTT AROUND.

KLINGON

Are you sure you know who you fighting for? Are you sure you know who you’re fighting against?

KLINGON PUNCHES AT PRESCOTT, PRESCOTT CATCHES IT. BEFORE HE CAN DO ANYTHING, THE OLD MAN IS NEXT TO HIM, HOLDING HIS ARM. WHEN THE OLD MAN SPEAKS, HIS VOICE IS MUCH STRONGER.

OLD MAN

You think all your rules and regulations, all your training can tell you everything. You attacked without questioning anything—

PRESCOTT

I was trying to help—

OLD MAN

And you got yourself in over your head, into a situation you couldn’t possibly understand or get out of, and why? So you could HELP? Is that wise? Is it?

OLD MAN PUNCHES PRESCOTT, HE GOES DOWN, THE SHADOWS COME IN AFTER HIM.

OLD MAN’S VOICE

Such a young fool…

CARTER’S VOICE

MISTER PRESCOTT!

PRESCOTT LOOKS UP, LOOKS AROUND.

prescott

Captain? Captain, where are you?

SUDDENLY, CARTER IS STANDING BEHIND HIM, LOOKING DOWN LIKE PRESCOTT IS THE LOWEST OF THE LOW.

CARTER

Mr. Prescott, EXPLAIN yourself. What are you doing on the ground?

PRESCOTT GETS UP, RUBS SHOULDER.

prescott

Captain, be careful. There are—well, there are THINGS in the dark. They seem to be all around us.

OLD MAN STEPS INTO LIGHT.

CARTER

What KIND of things, Mr. Prescott? I need a better explanation than THAT.

PRESCOTT SHAKES HEAD.

PRESCOTT

Sorry, Captain. I didn’t get a good enough look at them.

OLD MAN WALKS OVER TO CARTER.

OLD MAN

You his boss?(CARTER NODS) I’d suggest you send him back to wherever you got him from. He’s not very good.

OLD MAN KICKS BACK OF PRESCOTT’S KNEE. CARTER NODS.

CARTER

Well, he IS Henry Prescott the THIRD. You’d think one of them would’ve gotten it right.

CARTER KICKS PRESCOTT.

PRESCOTT

Captain–! What the hell is all this?

SHADOWS COME FORWARD.

CARTER

This? What is this? This is you being judged. This is you being judged…as lacking.

CARTER FIRES PHASER TOWARD PRESCOTT.

FADE TO BLACK

ACT TWO

SCENE ONE

FADE IN

INT—LIVING ROOM—DAY

SMITHFIELD LIES IN BED, ARM CURLED BENEATH A PILLOW. SHE WAKES WITH A START, LOOKS AROUND THE BEDROOM.

SMITHFIELD

What the hell–?

IAN GRAHAM’S VOICE COMES FROM OFF CAMERA.

GRAHAM

Missy? You up, hun?

SMITHFIELD’S EYES WIDEN, SHE JUMPS OUT OF THE BED, STILL IN HER UNIFORM.

SMITHFIELD

What is going on here? What the hell is this?

GRAHAM ENTERS, CARRYING TWO CUPS OF COFFEE.

GRAHAM

Hey, you really slept like the dead last night.

SMITHFIELD BACKS UP, HITS WALL. WHEN SHE SPEAKS, HER VOICE IS WEAK.

SMITHFIELD

Don’t—don’t say that, Ian, PLEASE don’t say that!

GRAHAM LOOKS AT HER AS THOUGH NOT SURE WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS REACTION.

GRAHAM

Oookay. Coffee? (OFFERS CUP, SMITHFIELD TAKES IT, NEVER LOOKING AWAY FROM HIS FACE.) Hey, are you all right, Missy? You don’t look so good.

SMITHFIELD CLOSES HER EYES.

SMITHFIELD

Don’t—don’t call me Missy. Only my family calls me Missy.

GRAHAM LOOKS MYSTIFIED.

GRAHAM

So, what am I, the hired help? Geez, Mike, come on! I’ve always known you weren’t a morning person, but enough already! I have to run, all right?

SMITHFIELD SHAKES HER HEAD, STEPS FORWARD.

SMITHFIELD

You’re not Ian. You can’t be him. You’re dead, and you’re not him! HE’s dead!

GRAHAM REACHES UP, TAKES HIS OWN PULSE.

GRAHAM

You know, I have a decent heartbeat for a dead guy. You feeling okay?

HE STEPS TOWARD HER, SHE BACKS OUT OF ROOM, INTO LIVING ROOM.

SMITHFIELD

You aren’t real, none of this is real, you’re dead, Ian! What do you want?

GRAHAM COMES OUT, LOOKS AT HER.

GRAHAM

Well, I’d kinda like you to stop telling me I’m dead. It’s kind of, well, weird. Even for a tech head like you, Mike.

DOOR CHIME SOUNDS, BOTH SMITHFIELD AND HUSBAND LOOK TOWARD DOOR. CHIME SOUNDS AGAIN, SMITHFIELD DOESN’T MOVE. GRAHAM GOES TO DOOR, OPENS IT, TACKET STANDS BEHIND IT. GRAHAM’S FACE DARKENS, TURNS TO SMITHFIELD.

graham

It’s for you, Michaela. Maybe I might as well be dead.

TACKET ENTERS, SMACKS GRAHAM ACROSS THE FACE WITH A GLOVE.

TACKET

Don’t you dare talk to her like that, you knave!

BY THIS POINT, SMITHFIELD HAS HAD ENOUGH. SHE GOES OVER TO BOTH OF THEM, SEPERATES THEM.

smithfield

RT, Ian, wait a minute! What the hell is this? RT, what are you doing here? Where IS Here? What’s going on?

GRAHAM SHAKES HIS HEAD, TURNS TO LEAVE, TACKET GRABS HIM.

TACKET

Oh, no you don’t. You left Mike once, you’re not going to do it again.

GRAHAM PULLS AWAY.

GRAHAM

Yeah, Tacket, you were all set to take my place after I died, weren’t you? Couldn’t get a woman on your own, so you had to take one from a dead guy!

SMITHFIELD STEPS FORWARD.

SMITHFIELD

What the HELL is going on, here!

SMITHFIELD’S MOTHER’S VOICE SOUNDS FROM BEHIND HER.

SMITHFIELD’s MOTHER(O.C.)

I thought I raised you better than that, Michaela Renata! I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in you.

SMITHFIELD SPINS, SEES HER MOTHER COMING THROUGH THE BEDROOM DOOR. SHE BACKS UP, NOT KNOWING WHERE TO GO.

MOTHER

You chose your career, your precious engineering, over a family.

GRAHAM GOES TO STAND WITH MOTHER.

GRAHAM

Yeah, couldn’t even keep me alive, could you, Mike? You can design an allnew circuit system to make the coffee machine in engineering make espresso at the touch of a button and give the computer an Italian accent to boot, but keep me alive? Uh uh. You didn’t do that, did you?

SMITHFIELD GOES BEFORE GRAHAM.

SMITHFIELD

Ian, I wasn’t even there! I’m an engineer! You know that! What am I doing, you’re NOT IAN!

TACKET STANDS NEXT TO HER.

TACKET

Well, what about me? I’m not dead. We were good together, Mike, you KNOW that. But you wouldn’t even give us a chance, all because some ridgehead killed him!(POINTS TO GRAHAM) Well, damn it, it’s just not WORTH it, Mike! I’m not going to keep trying to be there for you if you’re just going to keep rejecting me!

PULLS PHASER FROM BELT, PUTS IT TO HIS HEAD.

TACKET

Bye, Mike. Maybe Ian and I will be good friends in the afterlife.

CU OF SMITFIELD’S FACE, SOUND F/X PHASER FIRE, THUD OF TACKET’S BODY HITTING FLOOR.

SMITHFIELD

RT! DON’T!

GRAHAM SNORTS DERISIVELY.

GRAHAM

Sure, try to keep HIM from dying, but nothing for the one you were married to, eh?

MOTHER STARTS POKING SMITHFIELD WITH A FINGER.

MOTHER

What about ME, you ungrateful little twit! Living with YOU put me away, and did you EVER come see me? Did you use your fancy problem solving to help ME!

SMITHFIELD BACKS UP, SHAKING HEAD.

SMITHFIELD

Momma, I couldn’t help you! I’m not a doctor, I’m not, I’m an engineer!

MOTHER SLAPS HER.

MOTHER

Oh, so, since I can’t move you faster than light away from your whole FAMILY you won’t try to help me!! It’s your fault that I was there in the first place!

SMITHFIELD’S EYES START TO TEAR, SHE SHAKES HER HEAD AT ALL THIS.

SMITHFIELD

No, Momma! No! They—they told us it wasn’t us! It was, it was genetic or something! That’s what they told us!

MOTHER LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY.

MOTHER

Well, they LIED, didn’t they!

SMITHFIELD KEEP SHAKING HER HEAD.

FADE TO BLACK

SCENE 2

FADE IN

INT-SICKBAY-DAY

DR. HOLLEY, TACKET, TWO NURSES CHECK THE READINGS ON CARTER, SMITHFIELD, AND PRESCOTT. NURSE TURNS AWAY FROM SMITHFIELD, TURNS BACK, SEES A TEAR ROLL DOWN HER CHEEK, THEN SHE GASPS.

nurse

Doctor, the commander—

HOLLEY MOVES OVER TO THE BED, RUNS SCANNER OVER SMITHFIELD’S HEAD.

HOLLEY

I’m still not getting any readings out of her brain. What’s happening here?

TACKET STANDS BACK A STEP.

TACKET

Come on, Mike, come back to us!

FADE TO BLACK.

scene 3

INT-LIVING ROOM-DAY

SMITHFIELD IN MIDDLE OF ROOM, HUGGING HERSELF. GRAHAM AND MOTHER ARE SITTING AROUND COMFORTABLY.

GRAHAM

You know, Mike, it’s not just us who aren’t happy with you.

MOTHER SNAPS FINGERS.

MOTHER

That’s RIGHT! What about all those people on that convoy!

SMITHFIELD LOOKS AROUND.

SMITHFIELD

Wh-what convoy? What are you talking about Momma?

GRAHAM

Have you just gone completely OBTUSE in the last few years, Mike? The convoy! The Tellarite convoy! You know, the one that Potemkin was supposed to hook up with? And never DID?

SMITHFIELD

Enough! E-enough of this! That wasn’t my fault! I wasn’t even on DUTY when that convoy was lost!

MOTHER

It’s always an EXCUSE with you, isn’t it, Missy! Nothing’s ever your responsibility, no, not you, no, you’re the SMART one! Well, guess what, dear? EVERYTHING’s your fault! Ian dying, me going off my nut, RT being miserable, those travelers being dead! ALL YOUR FAULT!

SMITHFIELD HOLDS HER HANDS OVER HER EARS, ROCKS BACK AND FORTH.

SMITHFIELD

NOOOOOOOOOO!

SLOW FADE TO BLACK.

ACT THREE

fade in

SCENE 1

black room, int.

CARTER STANDS, LOOKING AROUND. WHEN HE SPEAKS, HIS VOICE ECHOES.

carter

Anybody there? Hey! Hello! What is this?

CARTER STEPS TO THE SIDE, BUMPS INTO WOODEN RAIL.

CARTER

What the…?

CAMERA PULLS BACK TO SHOW CARTER IN DOCKET. CLOUD FADES INTO DARKNESS, DOCKET ONLY IN SQUARE OF LIGHT. A DEEP, RUMBLING VOICE SOUNDS.

VOICE

CAPTAIN JOHN THOMAS CARTER, YOU ARE TO BE JUDGED FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

CARTER LOOKS AROUND.

CARTER

What actions? Who are you? What is going on here?

voice

YOU ARE A THREAT. WE STAND IN JUDGEMENT OVER YOU.

CARTER

Judgement…judgement for what? What is this?

A SECOND LIGHT COMES ON, A MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR IN MIDDLE. THIS IS CAPTAIN EMILIO ALVAREZ.

ALVAREZ

They gave YOU my ship? Farragut has a long, proud history, and they turn her over to YOU? You don’t deserve a moon shuttle, let alone my starship!

CARTER

Captain…Alvarez? How…what are you doing out here?

ALVAREZ SHAKES HIS HEAD ANGRILY.

ALVAREZ

All you’re interested in is advancing your career. There’s more to captaining a ship than that. You ambitious little punk, you’re going to get your entire crew killed just to get you GLORY.

CARTER SHAKES HIS HEAD, TRIES TO LEAVE DOCKET, KNOCKED BACK BY INVISIBLE FORCE.

VOICE

THE ACCUSED WILL NOT LEAVE HIS SPACE.

ALVAREZ SHAKES HIS HEAD AGAIN.

ALVAREZ

How could Starfleet turn Farragut over to you? How could you take her from ME?

CARTER

Captain, you RETIRED! After your accident, you retired! I didn’t take Farragut from you!

A SECOND SPOT FADES IN, CAPT. WILCOX IN CENTER.

CARTER

Captain Wilcox! What are you doing here? Where have you been?

WILCOX

Just where are your priorities, Jack? I’m out there somewhere but does my loyal friend and protégé do anything to find me? No, why would he do that? They gave you your ship, and did you lift finger one to help me?

CARTER TURNS IN DOCKET.

CARTER

Captain, no one knows where to START looking for you! And if you taught me anything, it’s that you don’t go running off on your own missions unless you’re damn sure you’re going to succeed!

ALVAREZ SPEAKS UP FROM THE DARK.

ALVAREZ

Don’t worry about it, Wilcox, would you really want to be rescued by someone as ineffectual as your old exec? I wouldn’t want to be. Probably kill the entire crew in the attempt.

CARTER ROLLS HIS EYES.

CARTER

Oh, come ON!

VOICE

THE WITNESS WILL BE SILENT!

wilcox

No, I suppose you’re right. Jack Carter—he’s just not reliable for anything.

CARTER SHAKES HIS HEAD.

CARTER

Who are you people? Am I really supposed to believe that either of you is real? Captain Alvarez—you’re still back at Starbase 11. And no matter how much I wish to God that you really were Captain Wilcox, the chances of the two of you being HERE are so small it’s ludicrous!

SOUND F/X—HEAVY RUMBLING

VOICE

BRING FORTH ANOTHER TO SPEAK AGAINST THIS ONE.

LIGHT COMES ON OVER OFFICER IN TORN UNIFORM, BURNED FACE.

BURNED OFFICER

Hello, Jack. Remember me? From Potemkin?

CARTER LOOKS AT HIM, CLEARLY DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIM.

carter

I—I’m sorry, I don’t—

BURNED OFFICER THROWS HIS HEAD BACK AND HOWLS.

BURNED OFFICER

He doesn’t remember me! He doesn’t remember any of us!

MORE LIGHTS COME ON, PEOPLE STANDING BENEATH THEM, ALL ANGRY. A LIGHT COMES ON NEXT TO CARTER’S DOCKET.

burned officer

Take a look, Captain. Your current position, hell, your entire career is built up on our rotting corpses!

THEY START TO WALK TOWARD CARTER.

CARTER

NO!

FADE TO BLACK

SCENE 2

INT-FARRAGUT BRIDGE-PEOPLE RUSHING AROUND, SOME WORKING PANELS, SOME REPAIRING DAMAGED SYSTEMS. TACKET AND MORETTI STAND AT SCIENCE STATION, MONITORING.

TACKET(V.O.)

Science officer’s log, Stardate 3059.7 We remain near the nebula. We’re still trying to break through whatever interference the nebula is causing to find out just what is sending out these concussion waves. Sickbay reports no change in the condition of the captain, Commander Smithfield or Lieutenant Prescott.

MORETTI GOES BACK TO COMMUNICATIONS, PUNCHES UP SOME READINGS.

MORETTI

Commander, we’re starting to receive a clearer reading from the probe.

TACKET NEVER LOOKS UP FROM HIS BOARD.

TACKET

Yes, but all we’re getting is the tracer signal, we’ve yet to start getting any real readings about what’s in there. (PAUSES, HITS KEYS) Now, what’s this?

MORETTI COMES BEHIND HIM.

MORETTI

Have you gotten something?

TACKET

There’s a fluctuation inside the nebula, like something massive moving through it.

ON THE SCREEN, THE NEBULA ROLLS, AND A BLACK OVOID EMERGES WITH SLOW DELIBERATENESS. THIS THING IS HUGE, WITH NO EXTERIOR LIGHTS, MARKINGS OR VISIBLE MEANS OF PROPULSION.

moretti

Yeah, I can see where you could call THAT massive. Shall I hail them?

TACKET TURNS BACK TO HIS CONSOLE TO CHECK HIS READINGS.

TACKET

All languages, all frequencies. Other than the fact that we can SEE it, I’m not getting any kind of a reading from that! Baker, move us back, give us some breathing room.

SOUND F/X, LOW RUMBLING, THEN HIGH SCREECHING SOUND. THE CREW HAS TO NEARLY SHOUT TO BE HEARD OVER IT.

MORETTI

Well, we’re getting a response to our hails finally!

TACKET WAVES HIS HAND DOWN.

TACKET

Lt. Moretti, can you—(VOLUME CUTS TO MANAGEABLE LEVEL) cut that down? Thank you.

ANOTHER BURST OF THE SCREECH, THEN GOES INTO RUMBLING SING-SONG VOICE.

COMM VOICE

WHO are YOU why are you HERE WHERE do you come frOM WHAT DO YOU WANT HERE?

TACKET MOVES OVER TO THE CENTER SEAT. THE COMM VOICE CONTINUES.

TACKET

Lieutenant, are we getting any visual from them?

MORETTI LOOKS OVER HER SHOULDER.

MORETTI

No, Commander, and their transmission is being sent with so much power it’s blowing connections all over the ship.

TACKET STRAIGHTENS SHIRT.

TACKET

I guess I’ll have to ask them to turn their stereo down then. Put me on. (MORETTI OPENS FREQUENCY) This is Commander Robert Tacket in command of the Starship Farragut, representing the United Federation of Planets. We are on an exploratory mission, trying to make contact with whatever lifeforms we might encounter. However, your signal is a bit too powerful for our systems, could you possibly reduce the intensity of your signal?

THE COMM VOICE FALLS SILENT.

TACKET

Thank you. Now, if you are familiar with this area, maybe you could help us with something. The waves that were emanating from the nebula have incapacitated three of our crewmembers. Do you have any information on what might have caused this or what we can do for them?

SOUND F/X—LOUD POPPING NOISE FROM IN FRONT OF TURBOLIFT. EVERYONE LOOKS TOWARD THE NOISE, THEY SEE STOD GORATIK LEANING AGAINST THE WALL. HE LOOKS AT THE DEDICATION PLAQUE APPRAISINGLY.

GORATIK

They know what caused it, but they’re not going to help you.

TACKET STEPS AWAY FROM CENTER SEAT.

TACKET

Who the hell are you? How’d you get on this bridge? Security!

GORATIK MAKES A SHOW OF EXAMINING HIS FINGERNAILS. LOOKS UP AT THE TWO REDSHIRTS COMING TOWARD HIM.

GORATIK

You COULD take me to your jail or stockade or brig or whatever you call it, OR—

TACKET STEPS TOWARD HIM.

TACKET

Or what?

GORATIK LOOKS UP, KNOWS HE’S GOT TACKET.

GORATIK

Or—well, all right. I can tell you how to get what you want out of these—well, people’s not the right word, but you get my meaning.

TACKET WAVES THE REDSHIRTS BACK.

TACKET

All right, no brig. Now, what can you tell us? How did you get through our shields? ARE they responsible–?

GORATIK WAVES HIM DOWN.

GORATIK

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Now, if I’m going to help you, there has to be something in it for me other than not going to your brig.

TACKET LOOKS AS IF HE’S GOING TO MAKE A SMART-ASS COMMENT, CATCHES HIMSELF.

TACKET

Are they responsible for what happened to our people? Can they help them?

GORATIK ROLLS HIS EYES.

GORATIK

Yeah, they can help them. First, though, you have to convince them that you’re not here to contaminate them or eliminate them or burn down there houses and poison their wells or something.

TACKET LOOKS AT THE VIEWSCREEN.

TACKET

And I’m going to assume you know how to do this?

GORATIK NODS.

GORATIK

Yep. Although, if I help you, you’re going to need to help me first. A ship like this—I can’t see it being a problem.

TACKET

You can’t see WHAT being a problem?

GORATIK STANDS UP STRAIGHT, SUDDENLY LOOKS SERIOUS.

GORATIK

Just inside the nebula, I have a small ship. My daughters are on it, and they’re running low on power and life support. I managed to get onto (GESTURES TO BLACK MASS ON SCREEN)there, to see if I could scavenge something to get us up and running.

TACKET

So, how’d you get from there onto our bridge?

A WAVE SHAKES THE SHIP. EVERYONE FIGHTS TO STAY UPRIGHT.

GORATIK

They’ve got devices on that ship like you wouldn’t believe, but I never saw any of their crew. I saw your ship on a viewer over there, and I’d seen a portal that kept showing different places. I saw this bridge a few times, with them out your window, so I came through.

TACKET LOOKS BACK AT SCREEN, THEN AT GORATIK.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 3

CARTER’S BLACK SPACE

CARTER IS BEING POKED AT BY THE DIFFERENT WITNESSES TO HIS TRIAL. SOUND F/X-TWO HEAVY BANGS. THE WITNESSES BACK AWAY INTO THE SHADOWS, THE OTHER SPOTLIGHTS GO DARK.

VOICE

YOU, CAPTAIN JOHN THOMAS CARTER, HAVE BEEN FOUND RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE SUFFERING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SHOWN. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THIS?

CARTER LOOKS AROUND HIS DOCKET.

CARTER

How can I be responsible for all that? I had nothing to do with Captain Alvarez’s accident. As for Captain Wilcox, as much as I’d like to find him, I have a responsibility to four hundred some lives on my ship to lead them where Starfleet sends us. I can’t chase after him, especially since I’d have no idea where to start looking.

AFTER A MOMENT, THE VOICE RESPONDS.

VOICE

BECAUSE OF YOU, PEOPLE HAVE DIED. BECAUSE OF YOU, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HURT. BECAUSE OF YOU—

CARTER

NOT because of me! The people on the Potemkin—they were there because they WANTED to be! What happened, God, I wish I could change it, but there was nothing I could’ve done to have PREVENTED it!

SOUND F/X:SOFT WHISPERING NOISES AROUND CARTER. THEN, ANOTHER DEEP RUMBLE.

VOICE

WE HAVE EXAMINED YOUR PAST, WE HAVE DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE IN FACT RESPONSIBLE. YOU WILL BE DEALT WITH AS SUCH—

SOUND EFFECTS—PHASER SET HIGH, THEN EXPLOSION. RED LIGHT FROM OVER TO LEFT OF SCREEN.

PRESCOTT’S VOICE

CAPTAIN! CAPTAIN CARTER!

CARTER TURNS, PUSHES PAST DOCKET, FORCE FIELD NOT THERE.

CARTER

Mr. Prescott! I’m over here!

PRESCOTT COMES ON SCREEN, LOOKING BEAT UP, STILL HOLDING HIS PHASER.

PRESCOTT

It’s good to see you, sir. Now, let’s get out of here!

THEY RUN OFF SCREEN. CAMERA SHIFTS TO OPENING PRESCOTT BLASTED, SHADOW FIGURES MOVE APPEAR IN FRONT OF THE OPENING.

VOICE

THEY ARE MOVING FASTER THAN EXPECTED.

SECOND VOICE

THEY WILL BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY. WE ARE PREPARED.

FADE TO BLACK

ACT FOUR

SCENE 1

FADE IN

FARRAGUT MOVING AROUND THE BLACK SPHERE TOWARD NEBULA.

TACKET(V.O.)

Science officer’s log, supplemental. In order to help our new arrival, so that he might help us, I’ve decided to move the ship around the area of blackness toward the nebula. GORATIK has given us the approximate location of his ship, and I’m hoping that we’re in time. I hope we can get this done quickly so that we can deal with whoever’s on that ship.

SCENE 2

FADE IN

FARRAGUT BRIDGE

TACKET IS AT SCIENCE, GORATIK BEHIND HIM.

TACKET

All right, I think I’ve got the ship. Does this look like your power signature?

GORATIK CHECKS SCREEN.

GORATIK

Well, I’m no engineer, I just, you know, live on the thing, but yeah, I think it does.

TACKET GLANCES AT GORATIK, HOPING FOR SOMETHING MORE, THEN TUNS TO BAKER.

TACKET

Mr. Baker, set a course for the coordinates I’ve just sent you, full impulse. Lt. Moretti, try to hail them, and KEEP trying until we get some response.

GORATIK BOUNCES ON BALLS OF HIS FEET.

GORATIK

Come on, come on, I’m almost back to you.

TACKET GETS UP, GOES TO CENTER SEAT.

TACKET

We’ll be there in a moment, try not to worry.

BAKER

Moving into the outer layer of the nebula now, sir.

TACKET LOOKS UP AT GORATIK, WHO JUST KEEPS WATCHING VIEWER.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 2

FADE IN

INT-DARK HALLWAY

CARTER AND PRESCOTT HURRYING DOWN HALLWAY.

CARTER

What happened to you, Mr. Prescott? And have you seen Commander Smithfield anywhere?

PRESCOTT SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PRESCOTT

I’m not really sure how to describe it, sir. And no, I haven’t seen Mike anywhere.

CARTER NODS, THEY CONTINUE DOWN THE HALLWAY. AT THE END, A HEAVY DOOR. PRESCOTT CHECKS IT OVER.

PRESCOTT

It SEEMS safe, sir, but I can’t be 100 per cent sure. What I wouldn’t GIVE for a tricorder right now.

CARTER NODS, MOVES TOWARD DOOR. PRESCOTT GRABS HIS SHOULDER.

PRESCOTT

Why don’t you let ME open that, sir?

PRESCOTT OPENS DOOR, WALKS THROUGH, CARTER FOLLOWS. THREE BEDS INSIDE, SMITHFIELD ON ONE UNDER A LIGHT, THE OTHER TWO IN SHADOWS. THEY MOVE TOWARD BED, SEE SMITHFIELD LAYING ON BED.

carter

Mike! Can you hear me?

SMITHFIELD DOESN’T OPEN HER EYES, BUT ANSWERS.

SMITHFIELD

What TOOK you so long, Jack? And how the heck are we getting out of here?

CARTER VISIBLY SIGHS WITH RELIEF.

PRESCOTT

Well, can you move? I really think we should get out of here!

PRESCOTT AND CARTER HELP HER OFF THE TABLE, GO BACK INTO HALL.

FADE TO BLACK

SCENE 3

FADE IN

INT-FARRAGUT BRIDGE

BAKER

We’re approaching the coordinates, Commander. Still not picking up the ship, but we ARE getting a lot of unusual magnetic readings.

TACKET

Any response to the hails?

MORETTI

No, and we’re not picking up any ship’s locator beacon or registry.

TACKET LEAVES SEAT, GOES TO SCIENCE.

TACKET

Do your ships HAVE locator or registry transmitters?

GORATIK SHRUGS.

GORATIK

I—I don’t know. I wish I could tell you, but I just DON’T KNOW! Hang on girls!

TACKET TURNS TO BAKER.

TACKET

Baker, launch a class 1 probe, that’ll find that ship if it’s out there.

BAKER NODS, HITS KEYS. GORATIK TOUCHES

GORATIK

Thank you, Thank ALL of you. I just KNOW you’ll find them.

TACKET FROWNS, LOOKS AT BOARD, THEN BACK AT GORATIK.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 4

INT-LARGE EMPTY ROOM-DARK

DOOR OPENS, FLOODING ROOM WITH LIGHT. CARTER, PRESCOTT AND SMITHFIELD ENTER.

CARTER

Isn’t there ANYONE on this ship?

SMITHFIELD TRIES TO SEE INTO THE DARKNESS.

SMITHFIELD

Maybe it’s a drone ship.

PRESCOTT LOOKS AROUND SUSPICIOUS.

prescott

I don’t know about that. The captain and I have run into a few things that would make me think we’re not alone.
SMITHFIELD MOVES AROUND, THEN HITS SWITCH. LIGHTS COME UP, ANOTHER LARGE EMPTY ROOM.

CARTER

Yeah, and I’d like to find out just what’s going on here, and who these people are, and how they did these things.

SMITHFIELD COMES BACK, WIPING HANDS ON HER PANTS, SHE DOESN’T LOOK IMPRESSED.

SMITHFIELD

What things?

CARTER

There were people in the room, people who couldn’t POSSIBLY have been there. Mike, Captain Wilcox was there, and so was Alvarez. There were people from Potemkin—I don’t know what it means or how they did it. What did YOU see, Prescott?

PRESCOTT SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PRESCOTT

I don’t know, sir. It’s hard to describe.

SOUND F/X:HIGH PITCHED SCREAM.

PRESCOTT

But at first it sounded like THAT!

CARTER

That sounded like someone who really needs help.

SMITHFIELD GRABS CARTER’S ARM.

SMITHFIELD

Jack, the ones who really need help are US! Now, let’s find a way to get out of here! That voice came from over there, so let’s go THIS way! (POINTS)

CARTER PULLS ARM FREE.

CARTER

Mike, come on! If it IS someone that needs help, we have to find them! They might be able to get us out of here!

SMITHFIELD GETS INDIGNANT.

SMITHFIELD

Yeah, and it MIGHT get us killed, Jack! Now, come on, let’s get out of here!

CARTER

We’re going to find that voice, COMMANDER, and see if we can help! And that’s an order!

SMITHFIELD SQUARES OFF WITH CARTER, AS THOUGH SHE’S GOING TO ATTACK HIM.

FADE TO BLACK

SCENE 4

FADE IN

FARRAGUT BRIDGE

TACKET CROSSES OVER TO STAND BEHIND BAKER.

TACKET

Mr. Baker, are you getting any reading at all from the probe?

BAKER CHECKS, THEN RECHECKS BOARD.

BAKER

No, no reading at all.

MORETTI(to GORATIK)

But don’t worry, we’ll find them.

TACKET LEAVES COMMAND AREA.

TACKET

No, I actually don’t think we WILL find them. I really don’t. And I think our friend here knows why.

TACKET LOOKS INTENSELY AT GORATIK, WHO JUST SMILES.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 5

INT-EMPTY ROOM

CARTER AND SMITHFIELD STAND TOE TO TOE, SMITHFIELD GETTING ANGRIER EVERY SECOND. PRESCOTT STANDS CLOSER TO SMITHFIELD, AS THOUGH TO OFFER SUPPORT.

CARTER

You know that we have to help if we can, Commander! We can’t just think of ourselves! We’re not Klingons! We’re not out here just for ourselves!

PRESCOTT

Captain, you know we’ll probably never be able to find whoever that is! We shouldn’t waste OUR lives for someone we don’t know!

REALIZATION DAWNS ON CARTER. WHEN HE SPEAKS, HIS VOICE IS CALM AGAIN.

CARTER

Mr. Prescott, that’s hardly the reaction of a Starfleet security officer. And Mike, it’s not like you to react like this, either. We always have to remind you to think of yourself.

PRESCOTT AND SMITHFIELD SMILE.

SMITHFIELD

Well, you caught us, Captain. I guess we were right about you after all.

LIGHTS GO OUT IN THE ROOM.

PRESCOTT

You don’t disappoint, Captain.

SCENE 6

FADE IN

FARRAGUT BRIDGE

TACKET

There is no ship out there, is there, MISTER Goratik?

GORATIK SMILES SLYLY.

MORETTI

Excuse me, Commander, Doc Holley just signaled that the Captain, Commander Smithfield, and Mr. Prescott have regained conciousness. She’s not happy, but they’re on their way to the bridge.

TACKET NODS.

TACKET

You’re behind all this, aren’t you?

GORATIK SHAKES HIS HEAD.

GORATIK

Not me, no. But you guys are GOOD! Really, have to tell you, you’re good.

MORETTI STEPS AWAY FROM COMMUNICATIONS.

MORETTI

So, there really isn’t a ship? Your daughters aren’t in danger?

CARTER, SMITHFIELD, AND PRESCOTT EXIT TURBOLIFT. GORATIK NODS TO THEM, LOOKS TO MORETTI, SMILES.

GORATIK

No, there really isn’t a ship. Well, not MY ship. And my daughters are fine. Somewhere. (SMILES WIDELY, VANISHES SILENTLY)

CARTER GOES TO COMMAND CENTER.

CARTER

RT, what’s going on up here?

TACKET MOVES TO SIDE OF CENTER SEAT, WAVE HITS SHIP.

TACKET

Oh, come ON!

VOICE

CAPTAIN JOHN THOMAS CARTER, YOU HAVE BEEN TESTED. YOU HAVE BEEN JUDGED, AND FOUND–

carter

You can’t just—

VOICE CONTINUES.

VOICE

WORTHY OF OUR CONTACT.

ON MAIN VIEWSCREEN, BLACK SHIP AND NEBULA VANISH. IN FRONT OF VIEW SCREEN, HOODED FIGURE APPEARS. BRIDGE CREW STARTS, CARTER RAISES HIS HAND TO THEM.

carter

Relax, everyone. Relax.

HOODED FIGURE REMOVES HOOD, SHOWS HIS FACE.

FIGURE

You did well with all the tests, my friends. You really did well.

CARTER APPROACHES FIGURE.

CARTER

But, what was all this about? What were all the test for?

FIGURE CHUCKLES.

FIGURE

Well, you’ve been in the galaxy for a while, haven’t you? (CARTER NODS) And you know that not everyone IN the galaxy is exactly the nicest type of person, right?

SMITHFIELD STEPS FORWARD.

SMITHFIELD

So, you put us all through that because—

FIGURE

Because we find that we learn more about new races under duress than under simple diplomatic contact. You find out more about someone by how they react to a crisis, than when they’re on their best behavior.

CARTER

So, you wanted to make sure that we were trustworthy.

FIGURE NODS.

FIGURE

Wow. You really ARE impressive, all of you. We apologize if any of this was uncomfortable, but it did prove instructive. And, perhaps you learned soemthing of yourselves. That your high-sounding ideals are more than words? Or perhaps that there are things that you still have to deal with? So, Captain Jack Carter, what happens now?

CARTER

Well, now, maybe we can react with some of that diplomatic behavior you talked about.

FIGURE SMILES, NODS KNOWINGLY.

FIGURE

I think that could be very rewarding, Captain.

CAMERA PULLS BACK, CUE MUSIC. CARTER GESTURES TO TURBOLIFT, LEADS FIGURE TOWARD IT.

FADE TO BLACK.

 

 


4 Responses to “Reserve Thy Judgement”

  1. Too bad Starship Farragut and its staff has developed a bad reputation since the starship Ajax incident and the illegal release of the P2 episode Kitumba. This would have made for an interesting episode.

  2. Good story Sean

  3. Thanks! Have you read the comic version? Or any of my other stuff? What does the T. A. stand for? So many questions…

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