THARGS FUTURE SHOCKS - HOLED UP
A five page story by Richard McTighe
1) Big establishing shot. An Armada of large black ships hurtles through space. Some of them are huge warships; some of them are smaller, sleeker fighters; some of them are clearly robots. They are all heavily armed, their hulls bristling with gun turrets, missile pods and extendable arms with drills and claws. They look functional, evil and they mean business.
The focus of this Armada is the biggest craft, the FLAGSHIP, its dark hull dominated by a big white skull.
VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: FASTER, DAMN YOU! FASTER!
LINK: I THIRST FOR VENGEANCE ON THE ACCURSED DECIANS!
2) On the bridge of the Flagship. Its a large, murky place, illuminated by the blue glow of numerous computer screens. The crew bustle around. They are all vicious-looking TROOPS: black armour-clad humanoids, armed to the teeth (sic) with guns and blades of assorted shapes and sizes. They wear space helmets that resemble skulls and hide their faces. It is impossible to tell whether theyre human or robotic.
In the centre of the bridge is a big throne-like command chair, surrounded by computers and readouts. Seated in the chair is COUNT VLIGOR, a short, repulsive little man in archetypal bad-guy black leathers and cape. He is a cyborg: one arm, the side of his head and his entire midriff are robotic.
At his side huddles a cringing, smaller, wide-eyed robot: his droidservant, SLIVVEL.
SLIVVEL: BUT EXALTED ONE WHY MUST WE ATTACK THEM? IVE HEARD THEYRE ONLY INTERESTED IN SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT! SURELY THEY POSE NO THREAT TO YOUR GLORIOUS EMPIRE!
VLIGOR: WHY? SLIVVEL, YOU CRINGING, POINTLESS WRECK, ILL TELL YOU WHY !
3) Flashback. Were in a big hall, dominated by a round table. Around it sit representatives of dozens of exotic alien races. Think of a futuristic United Nations.
In the foreground, the COUNT VLIGOR is looking around furiously as he is accidentally jostled by the DECIAN DELEGATE, a short, plump, apologetic-looking alien VIP.
CAPTION: "AT THE GALACTIC TRADE CONFERENCE LAST BEADLESDAY, THE DECIAN DELEGATE MADE AN AGGRESSIVE AND UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON MY PERSON!"
DECIAN DELEGATE: OH, MY DEAR FELLOW! IM SO AWFULLY SORRY!
4) Still in flashback. Vligor, a picture of evil and fury, screams his threats at us, spit spurting rabidly from his lips, his human finger stabbing the air at us.
VLIGOR: SORRY? YOU FAT SACK OF DECIAN LARD, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?
LINK: IM COUNT VLIGOR THE INSANE, DESPOILER OF THE TWELVE STYGIAN GALAXIES AND BY MILDLY JOSTLING ME YOUVE SEALED YOUR PLANETS FATE! THIS MEANS WAR!
5) Still in flashback. CU of the Decian Delegate, his finger pulling at his bottom lip, looking concerned.
DECIAN DELEGATE: CRIPES! ID BETTER GO HOME AND TELL THE OTHERS, THEN!
1) The Armada speeds towards a beautiful pink/blue world.
VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: SO WHAT TROUBLE CAN WE EXPECT FROM THEM, SLIVVEL?
2ND VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: NONE WHATSOEVER, YOUR NASTINESS! I HEAR THE DECIANS ARE A COWARDLY BUNCH OF SPINELESS WEEDS WHOD RATHER HIDE THAN FIGHT!
2) A fleet of starships, totally different in design (sleeker, more colourful possibly hinting at an Art Deco influence) swoops in towards Vligors Armada.
VOICE FROM 1ST STARSHIP: ATTENTION! THIS IS THE DECIAN PLANETARY DEFENCE FLEET! DEACTIVATE YOUR WEAPONS OR WELL OPEN FIRE!
VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: WHAAAT?
3) On the Flagships bridge. Vligor bonks Slivvel on the head with his robot arm.
VLIGOR: SLIVVEL, YOU RUSTING CRETIN! YOU SAID THEYD BE NO TROUBLE!
FX: DONK DONK DONK!
SLIVVEL: I DONT UNDERSTAND IT, YOUR GRUESOMENESS! THE DECIANS ARE ONLY MEANT TO HAVE CARGO FREIGHTERS AND THEYRE ALL ACCOUNTED FOR AT THEIR PLANETS SPACEPORTS !
4) The two fleets engage each other, but only Vligors ships are firing their weapons.
VLIGOR: THEY DARE THREATEN ME!
LINK: ALL SHIPS OPEN FIRE!
5) On the Flagships bridge. Slivvel turns happily to the frowning Vligor. Behind them, a large viewscreen shows the battle the Decian ships are being destroyed by intense laser fire from the Armada.
SLIVVEL: WERE WINNING, YOUR GRIMNESS! THEYRE BEING TORN APART!
VLIGOR: WAIT! I AM SUSPICIOUS! WHY ARENT THEY RETURNING FIRE?
LINK: SCAN THOSE SHIPS FOR ORGANIC LIFE!
6) CU of Vligor. Slivvel is behind him, alarmed.
SLIVVEL: MY LORD! WERE DETECTING NONE WHATSOEVER!
VLIGOR: AS I THOUGHT ITS A DIVERSION! A TACTIC TO BUY THEM TIME TO HIDE! OH, THEYRE TRICKY ONES, THESE DECIANS!
LINK: VLIGOR TO ALL SHIPS! IGNORE THEM AND SWITCH TO INVASION MODE!
1) Big pic from ground level. What has been until recently -a beautiful, alien city of soaring, gleaming tower blocks and walkways, reflecting the same style as the starships. There are no visible inhabitants. Vligors Armada hovers in the sky above like a black cloud, its guns opening fire on the city and laying it waste.
VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: OUR SHIPS ARE REPORTING EIGHTY PER CENT DESTRUCTION, MY LORD BUT WE STILL HAVENT SEEN A SINGLE DECIAN!
2ND VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: THEN WE MUST SCOUR THE PLANET UNTIL WE DO! DESPATCH GROUND TROOPS!
2) An Armada ship has landed on a rural hillside and a large door with a ramp has opened in its side. Hoards of Vligors Troops are running down the ramp towards us. In the background we see more and more ships touching down.
CAPTION: "FIND THEM! SEARCH THE ENTIRE PLANET!"
3) From the air looking at the ground: a rocky, mountainous landscape. Its crawling with Troops moving forward inexorably.
CAPTION: "LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED! SEARCH THE MOUNTAINS! SEARCH THE CAVES!"
4) Underwater. Weird sea creatures float around. Troops are stomping across the seabed.
CAPTION: "SEARCH THE OCEANS! TEAR THIS WORLD APART IF YOU HAVE TO! JUST FIND ME THE DECIAN SCUM!"
5) Vligor is standing in a large Decian palace throneroom, fuming. Slivvel is bursting through a pair of big ornate double doors in the background.
VLIGOR: TWELVE HOURS OF SEARCHING AND WEVE FOUND NOTHING! DAMN THESE DECIAN TRICKSTERS! I WAS RIGHT TO DECLARE WAR ON THEM!
SLIVVEL: MY LORD! WEVE CAPTURED A PRISONER!
6) Vligor turns to confront Slivvel, whos alerting his attention to a ROBOT, behind him. Its about seven feet tall, designed in the same style as the Decian city architecture and starships. Possibly, he looks as if hes made of bronze. Two Troop guards flank him.
SLIVVEL: HERE HE IS, YOUR OFFENSIVENESS! A DECIAN ROBOT! WHY DONT WE TORTURE HIM?
ROBOT: GOOD AFTERNOON. IM AFRAID MY MASTERS SEEM TO HAVE ERASED ALL KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR WHEREABOUTS FROM MY MEMORY BANKS.
VLIGOR: WELL SOON SEE! SET UP THE TABLE!
1) A side-on view of the Robot strapped to an examination table in a Decian laboratory. Huge bits of drill- and probe-like machinery hang down from the ceiling around him, pointed towards him by attendant Troops. Crackles of energy flow and spark around him. His back is arching in agony.
Vligor stands next to the table, arms crossed in grim satisfaction. Slivvel is next to him, inspecting a readout on a panel.
VLIGOR: NOW WE SHALL SEE WHAT YOU KNOW, MY METAL FRIEND!
2) Slivvel turns from the readout to address Vligor.
SLIVVEL: THE ROBOT WAS TELLING THE TRUTH, YOUR AWFULNESS! HIS MEMORY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED!
VLIGOR: THEN HIS FATE AWAITS HIM IN THE TRASH COMPACTOR!
3) The Robot on the table. Vligor standing next to him, shouting at some Troops in the background.
ROBOT: WAIT A MINUTE! IVE JUST REMEMBERED SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL! UNTIE ME AND ILL TELL YOU!
VLIGOR: VERY WELL BUT IF THIS IS A TRICK YOULL BE A TEN-INCH-SQUARE CUBE BY TEATIME!
LINK: RELEASE HIM!
4) The Robot is being lifted off the examination table by four Troops. Standing next to them is Vligor, who's barking an order at Slivvel.
ROBOT: NOW I COME TO THINK OF IT, THE DECIANS WERE PUTTING A LOT OF EFFORT INTO DEVELOPING WORMHOLE TECHNOLOGY...!
VLIGOR: OF COURSE! IT WOULD BE THE PERFECT ESCAPE ROUTE - INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION!
LINK: SLIVVEL! SCAN THIS SYSTEM FOR WORMHOLE ACTIVITY!
5) In the background: two Troops cluster round a piece of detection equipment. In the foreground: Slivvel addresses Vligor, who's looking round in wild-eyed triumph.
SLIVVEL: CONFIRMED, MY LORD! WE'RE DETECTING A MULTI-SPATIAL VORTEX IN THIS PROXIMITY!
VLIGOR: HA! I KNEW IT!
LINK: BACK TO YOUR SHIPS! WE HAVE THEM!
6) Big pic. Still in the lab. In the background is a window, outside which we see the Armada blasting off in an explosion of flame and billowing cloud.
Standing at the window in close-up is the Robot. He is looking round and down at:
A small door opening in the side of his torso, revealing a secret compartment. It contains two things: a small control box with a big red button on it, and a plastic card, about the size of a credit card, covered in circuitry.
ROBOT: HELLO! WHAT'S THIS?
1) CU of the Robot's hands. In one is the plastic card; in the other is the control box.
VOICE FROM CONTROL BOX: ROBOT, IF YOU'RE HEARING THIS THEN OUR ENEMY HAS GONE. PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING TWO THINGS
LINK: 1. PRESS THE BIG RED BUTTON. 2. INSERT THE CARD INTO YOUR SPARE MEMORY SLOT.'
2) Space. The Armada plunges into the wormhole, disappearing as it does so. One of the ships is the Flagship.
VOICE FROM FLAGSHIP: I HAVE YOU NOW, YOU YELLOW-BACKED FOOLS! PREPARE TO FACE THE WRATH OF VLIGOR THE MERCILESS!
LINK: NYAH HAH HAH HAH HAAAHHH!
3) Small picture, inset into the next one.
The Robot's finger pushes the big red button on the control box.
4) The wormhole closes with a pop.
VOICE FROM INSIDE DISAPPEARING WORMHOLE: NYAH HAH HA -
5) CU of the Robot. He's pushing the chip into a slot in the side of his head.
ROBOT: OH YES! NOW I REMEMBER...
5) The Robot is looking downwards. He is opening a large panel in his chest. The Decian Delegate is inside, peering out; he looks as if he's leaning over a wall. Behind him is a swirling mass of energy: another wormhole inside the Robot.
ROBOT: ...THE OTHER WORMHOLE.
DECIAN DELEGATE: IS IT SAFE, OLD CHAP? HAVE THEY GONE?
6) CU of the Robot's eyes, looking up at us. If possible, they should suggest a sense of cunning.
ROBOT: YES. YOU CAN COME OUT NOW...
ROBOT: ALL FOUR AND A HALF BILLION OF YOU.
CAPTION: THE END