In addition to working on the second Charlotte book, I’m writing on other projects too. One is an animated series based on the popular video game Space Engineers. I’m collaborating with another writer on the screenplay. Here’s something from the first episode:
- Chris Poseidon captain
- Phillip Poseidon pilot
- Julia Poseidon scientist
- Kyle Poseidon technician
- Admiral Steele Freedom captain
First scene: Orbiting Thillion
Fade in to two ships orbiting a white planet (side view of ships). One is Freedom, and one is Poseidon. There is a man (Kyle) working on the side of Poseidon. For the first part of this scene, the camera slowly zooms in on Kyle, who is talking to Chris via radio.
Chris: Hey Kyle, you done out there yet? Admiral Steele wants us for a mission brief in fifteen.
Kyle: Yeah, almost ready. What’s up? Trouble planet side?
Chris: Yes. Apparently the exploration ship crashed because of high winds before ever reaching the ground, so The Admiral wants something sturdier to go down, look for survivors, and complete the original mission.
Kyle: Okay. There, I’m done. I’ll meet you at the airlock in five.
Kyle has finished his work and is going toward the airlock door. Fade out.
Fade in to Chris leading Kyle, Julia and Phillip down a long, wide hallway to Admiral Steele’s briefing room. Kyle and Chris are in front, with Phillip and Julia behind.
Kyle: If you ask me, it’s their own fault, the crash is Freedom’s punishment for not having a good ship. You would think, as scientists, that they would have better equipment.
Chris: It’s not always about the equipment. The weather conditions down there would challenge any pilot, which is why I’m going to co-pilot for Phil today. You all right with that. Phil?
Phillip: I can handle a little weather without you crowding me, Chris, so no thanks. The only thing I don’t like about this are those life signs Freedom picked up. Any news on that?
Chris: Ah, they think it was just a technical glitch. Nothing to worry about.
Julia: I wish they had found something. These survey/mining missions are a drag.
Phillip: Well, we don’t need anything alive down there to give us excitement.
Kyle: (teasing) Aww, Phillip don’t worry. There’s no big bad flesh-eating alien on the planet to get you!
Chris: Stow it you two! We’re here.
By now the group is at the door leading to the Admiral’s briefing room. The door slides open automatically. Admiral Steele is sitting at the head of a long conference table with a texting pad in his hands. He switches it off when he sees the crew.
Adm. Steele: Yes, come in. Everybody have a seat. This is gonna be short and to the point. We’ve got a crashed ship down there. You guys are gonna go get the crew. If there are no medical emergencies, do the planetary survey and get back up here. Questions?
Phillip: Ah, Admiral? Has a landing zone been established?
Adm. Steele: Based on the last known position of the exploration ship, we’ve identified a 200 square kilometer area that’s likely to contain the crash site. We’ve transmitted the info to your ship’s NavComp. When you file your flight plan make sure your LZ is in that area. Anything else?
Julia: Yes sir. I heard that before the ship went down they read some life signs. (Phil glares at Julia)
Adm. Steele: Nothing to that rumor. Besides, if anything’s alive down there it’s frozen solid. Make sure you take your thermal kits. If that’s all then, you start your descent in one hour.
Having been dismissed, the crew gets up from their seats. Before anyone exits, the Admiral speaks again.
Adm. Steele: Chris. Hang back for a minute.
Chris: Yes sir. (To the crew) See you on the ship.
The crew files out and the door closes. Admiral Steele picks up the text pad, switches it on and turns the face of it to Chris.
Adm. Steele: Know what this is son?
Chris: I suspect it’s my psychological fitness report.
Adm. Steele: Correct. Know what it says?
Chris: No sir.
Adm. Steele: (Reading from the pad) “It is this physicians’ opinion that the subject has reasonably adjusted to his recent trauma and may return to light duty under supervision. Re-evaluation recommended in 60 days.”
Chris: Sounds like I’m okay.
Adm. Steele: C’mon son. We both know that’s head-shrinkerspeak for “he could crack up any minute” What you went through was more than rough. You lost your ship and your entire crew. Anybody would be shaken up after that. I have some experienced commanders on board. If you want, they can lead your crew and get the job done. No shame in it.
Chris: (eye contact with the Admiral) I can handle it sir.
Adm. Steele: (returns the eye contact as if sizing up Chris) Alright Chris, the mission is yours. Good luck.
Second Scene: Descending to the Planet
The camera shows a view of the planet (one side fills up most of the screen, only a bit of space seen) until swinging to track Poseidon as she comes on-screen, heading towards the planet. Camera blinks out, blink back on to view of Poseidon’s cabin, with Phil at the helm. The ship shakes as they enter the planet’s atmosphere, but then levels out.
Chris : (into radio) This is Chris, reporting to Freedom. We’ve entered orbit with no problems.
Julia: Well, that wasn’t so bad. I thought the other ship crashed because of a st-
The ship shakes as Phil wrestles with the controls. Ordered pandemonium ensues.
Chris: What was that? Phil, report!
Phil: Don’t know. It’s like something reached out and grabbed the ship.
Julia: Orbit decay. Fourteen thousand kilometers, thirteen-five, thirteen…
Kyle: We’re coming in steep and hot. Hull temp: seventeen hundred degrees C. Seventeen fifty, we’re burning up!
Chris: (slight panic) C’mon Phil, get us out of this dive!
Phil: Trying to regain helm control. She’s fighting me all the way!
Julia: Eight thousand, seven… six…
Kyle: Hull temp at critical!
Isn’t that exciting? I’ll make sure to post again once episodes are available online. In the meantime give me your comments. This is a work in progress and your impressions are vital to the creative process!