Welcome to THE REDACTED (but sarcastically this time)

part 5 of NEON RUN

Since we all need some extra entertainment right now, this week I’m doing a serialized release of my screenplay NEON RUN. This is Part 5. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - NIGHT

The gang sits in the cockpit. Howie sleeps cuddled up with Stenzrood. Zoe pilots the ship. Lyllywight attempts to read while Messy hops across the control board, pushing buttons.

ZOE

We're coming near a wormhole, you getting anything?

Lyllywight tries to catch Messy as he looks at his screen.

LYLLYWIGHT

Nothing.

Zoe points to a screen on the control board.

ZOE

What is that? Did that come out of the wormhole?

LYLLYWIGHT

It's too small to be a ship's signature.

ZOE

Unless they're camouflaging it.

Zoe waits for a moment but her jitters come out.

ZOE

I don't feel good about this. Are we broadcasting anything?

LYLLYWIGHT

I'll check.

Veda sits up a little straighter, listening closely.

LYLLYWIGHT

That's strange... There's a small signal coming from our ship.

ZOE

What? I disabled Howie's tablet.

LYLLYWIGHT

I'm not sure what it is.

ZOE

This is weird.

LYLLYWIGHT

That thing outside is getting closer.

Emerging from the dark space outside, a ship ripples into view as its shields go down.

ZOE

What in the blazes! Hey, wake up! Get to your stations!

Howie rubs his eyes and stands. Agnezz grabs her rifle.

LYLLYWIGHT

That's... a Melkian ship.

Everyone pauses and turns to look at Veda.

VEDA

No, it's not.

Veda peers out the windshield.

VEDA

It can't be. They shouldn't be here.

ZOE

Are you sure you're not broadcasting our location somehow?

The silence hangs heavy until...

Veda pulls the SMALL, BLINKING DEVICE out of her pocket.

VEDA

It's a paired tracker. I gave the other half to my personal guard. It can only be tracked by the other device.

ZOE

Why would you...

VEDA

I didn't contact them.

AGNEZZ

They could have turned on you.

ZOE

Of course they did!

VEDA

It can't be my guards, they are loyal! Can't you trust me?

The two women meet eyes and freeze.

LYLLYWIGHT

(very quietly) They're approaching.

Zoe takes a breath and breaks the stare-down.

ZOE

Well, they're acting hostile, whoever they are. Lyllywight, prep for a getaway. Agnezz, get to the turrets. Stenzrood, you guard the ramp and I'll take the main hatch.

HOWIE

I'll come with you!

Howie grabs a gun but before he can strap it on himself Zoe puts it back.

ZOE

Not a chance, kid. Help Agnezz.

Agnezz gives a look that says, "Really?!"

HOWIE

Come on!!!

Lyllywight gently grabs Howie's arm and he goes quiet.

VEDA

What should I do?

Zoe just glares as she shoulders a large rifle and walks out.

LYLLYWIGHT

We have an incoming message.

RADIO

This is the Melkian Guard, requesting permission to board and search your ship.

Lyllywight looks up at Veda. She shakes her head.

VEDA

It's not them. I don't know that voice.

LYLLYWIGHT

(into radio) Permission denied.

Veda turns back toward the door, managing to glance at Zoe before she walks away.

INT. THE REDACTED - HALL - CONTINUOUS

Zoe paces up and down the hall, holding the plasma rifle.

ZOE

Let them shoot first. Let's keep this at zero-fatalities and try not to break our own ship.

LYLLYWIGHT (O.S.)

They're docking.

Zoe looks up as she hears steps above. The hatch opens—

Two hooded guards jump down, their white robes billowing. They hold quarterstaffs.

ZOE

Howdy. How can I help you?

GUARD

Hand over Queen Veda. We know you kidnapped her.

ZOE

You know, that's not exactly how I remember it going down.

GUARD

We're the Melkian Guard.

ZOE

Really?

GUARD

We're here by the authority of the Galactic Assembly Police.

ZOE

There it is.

She rips the sleeve off one of the guard's robes, revealing the GAP uniform underneath.

Zoe smiles, ducking as they swing their quarterstaffs into her.

She juts the butt of her rifle into the knees of one guard and then swings it around to shoot the other—

Purple plasma splatters across him. He CRIES OUT.

GUARD

I thought you used sleep ammo!

Zoe kicks him in the chest and then hits the other guard with the butt of her rifle once more.

ZOE

Only when we're playing nice.

She shoots him and he falls. Zoe stands over them, catching her breath for a moment while they're down.

CLANGING above. The hatch opens once more.

ZOE

(into comm) Let's draw them in here and then get rid of their ship. We can't have them reporting back.

AGNEZZ (O.S.)

(over comm) Aye aye, cap.

Two more guards enter. Zoe kicks one of the fallen guards back down as she prepares for the next round.

INT. THE REDACTED - ENGINE ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz pulls out several orange plasma-balls.

HOWIE

Stuck with you on bomb duty. Again.

AGNEZZ

She's just trying to protect you.

HOWIE

Then what is all of my stupid training for? I gotta pull my weight on the team.

AGNEZZ

Then help, dummy.

She tapes the plasma balls together.

INT. THE REDACTED - HALL - CONTINUOUS

Zoe jams the butt of her gun into the spinning quarterstaffs, catching one of them and wrenching it out of the guard's hands.

One of the other guards dives toward Zoe. She knocks one of them into the other, and then jumps up and grabs onto a pipe, swinging and kicking a third guard in the chest.

Three more guards come down from the hatch, one of them immediately jabbing their staff into Zoe's stomach.

She falters, falling to her knees on top of the fallen guards—

Two of the guards grab her arms and slam her up against the wall. A guard pulls a dagger from her belt up to Zoe's neck.

GUARD

Where is Veda?

ZOE

Isn't it your job to know, GAP scum?

GUARD

Blazes, you're annoying.

ZOE

I haven't even gotten started.

She reaches her hand up to where her gun is slung along her back, and opens her ammo port— balls of purple plasma roll out and break onto the guard's arms.

She cries out as steam erupts from the plasma.

Zoe tries to free herself from the grip of the two other guards, but one of the guards punches her in the stomach.

She leans over, coughing—

Stenzrood shoots into the hallway, wrapping its tentacles around the guards' necks and pulling them away.

Zoe pulls her gun back into the shooting position and fires at the guard that threatened her.

She stands, looking down at the pile of guards she's defeated. Behind her, Stenzrood still holds the remaining guards in its tentacles.

She heads toward the cockpit when one of the downed guards pulls himself up behind her, dagger in hand and pierces it into her thigh and drags it down.

Zoe gasps out in pain before jutting her gun backward, hitting him in the head, and then shooting the guards in Stenzrood's clutches.

As soon as they are down Zoe gasps once more, grabbing her thigh. Blood gushes as she walks toward the cockpit.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe stumbles into the doorway, covered in blood.

ZOE

Can we get their ship off of us?

LYLLYWIGHT

Yes, no life forms on board.

ZOE

Blast it.

INT. THE REDACTED - HALL - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz and Howie run in. Agnezz tosses the orange plasma bomb up the hatch and quickly closes it.

BOOM.

EXT. THE REDACTED - CONTINUOUS

With a small orange explosion, the Melkian ship detaches from The Redacted and floats into open space.

INT. THE REDACTED - HALL - CONTINUOUS

Howie smiles.

AGNEZZ

See? More fun than fighting with Zoe anyway.

Agnezz gestures to the fallen guards.

AGNEZZ

Let's put these idiots away.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe takes another step forward and then falls. Lyllywight and Agnezz finally turn around and look at her.

ZOE

Man down!

She stays on the floor laying on her stomach.

ZOE

I'm just gonna stay here.

Lyllywight rushes over, glancing in horror at the trail of blood Zoe's tracked in. He covers Messy's eyes.

VEDA

Good Melkior, what did you do?

ZOE

Did you think I was wrestling GAPs for fun?

Lyllywight rips open Zoe's pants from the tear, revealing a huge gash in the back of her thigh.

LYLLYWIGHT

(to Stenzrood) Grab the medical kit.

Lyllywight applies pressure to Zoe's thigh. She winces.

ZOE

Height of dignity, this. Butt in the air. Everything's exposed now!

Lyllywight opens the medical kit and pulls out a high-tech syringe. He cleans Zoe's skin and then sticks it in.

ZOE

Sweet blazes! Couldn't you have given me some warning?

LYLLYWIGHT

That should stop the bleeding.

He grabs another syringe and sticks it in.

LYLLYWIGHT

And that should help with the pain.

VEDA

Will she be okay?

Zoe, still laying on the floor, starts giggling.

LYLLYWIGHT

She's unbearable on pain meds.

Lyllywight looks up to see Veda glaring.

LYLLYWIGHT

I'd be more comfortable if we stopped for an accelerated healing treatment.

He puts a bandage on Zoe's leg.

LYLLYWIGHT

We'll stay on course. We should be able to find help on our next stop.

Howie and Agnezz come in.

HOWIE

We locked all our guests in the store-room—

He sees all the blood on the floor, covers his mouth, and turns right back around.

AGNEZZ

She okay?

HOWIE (O.S.)

SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN OKAY IF SHE LET ME FIGHT WITH HER!

His yell cuts off as he resumes gagging.

Lyllywight leans down and scoops Zoe up into his arms.

Zoe SINGS unintelligibly.

LYLLYWIGHT

She'll be fine.

Zoe grabs Veda's hand.

ZOE

You gave your guards a tracker you dummy...

She laughs. Veda looks at her petulantly.

VEDA

You're right, I guess I should have trusted you.

ZOE

Psh, I'm not trustworthy.

Zoe closes her eyes— And then opens them again in a panic, grasping back to Veda—

ZOE

Will my scar be sexy?

Veda laughs.

VEDA

I think it will.

Zoe hums as Lyllywight carries her out.

To be continued…