(O.S) Heavy breaths, a clock ticking, metal clattering against a steel table.
A loud bang jolts the screen into colour.
Int. Orbitus Kaltrone Spaceship, Research Laboratory 2, Level A1.
DR ALBERTAN LARSSON is dressed in a white, clean lab coat with two black pens in his front left pocket. His hair is plastered with gel. A close up on his face highlights his thick glasses and briefly reflects in their lens the figure of KAMON HIGASHI.
Cut to Kamon, whose long, dark brown dreadlocks are held back off his face with a cable tie. Kamon’s clothing hangs loosely on his large frame. His movements are graceful as he manoeuvres syringes and cloths on a small steel tray. Albertan smiles as he watches his lab assistant set up his equipment.
Another boom sounds – smaller than earlier; glass and metal clang from the movement. Kamon concentrates on the two scalpels he is struggling to line up straight.
Keep staring at me like that and I’m gonna think you’re in love with me and not Nova.
Who said I was in love?
Your face did.
Kamon looks up. Albertan is trying to appear casual, but his shoulders are tense.
It … lights up.
My face lights up?
I’m not gonna get specific.
There’s really no way to describe the pathetic look on your face when you stare at Nova.
Albertan clasps his hands together and bounces off the bench. He studies his nails for a moment.
I’ll have to fix that.
Yes please, and before Lieutenant Holbrook notices. ‘Cause if you mess this gig up for me …
What do you mean?
JB kicked me out last week. Something about not respecting her Lunar Phasing.
I knew something like that was coming.
What did you mean you knew something like that was coming?
Jewel-Bird is a well-educated, military officer, moving up the ranks.
You are an unqualified lab assistant, who I am in no hurry to promote.
Kamon looks down at the scalpels. He has two thin scars running down his hands along his thumbs.
Why not? I like the idea of a promotion. I deserve it more than that Loony Cluny Glynn.
Now, now, Kamon, let’s not drop ourselves down to Dr Glynn’s level.
She started it.
I don’t get to take sides. Dr Glynn would file an injunction against you for your smart mouth and then you really would be out of a job.
You can’t fire me. I know too much.
Albertan’s face falls at this - Kamon catches his hesitation.
DR FLOSS AMUNDSON enters the doorway of the lab, her eyes on the two men. Kamon stands up straight.
Albertan picks up his notepad from the bench, walks by Dr Amundson, still in the doorway.
Dr Amundson. Any reason Medical is hanging around my lab?
I – I – I’m just looking for Dr Rune.
And why would he be in here?
I – I – I just th-thought--
Wrong. Is the end to that sentence.
Albertan keeps walking and heads to his office down the hall.
[Voice fading as Albertan moves away]
Hey Floss. Don’t worry about him. It wasn’t you.
Int. Orbitus Kaltrone Spaceship, Hallway, Level A1
The hallway is bright, with clean white walls and steel edging. A fluorescent light flickers. Albertan makes his way down to the last door in the corridor, which states ‘DR WALBERT RUNE, Head of Medical AND DR ALBERTAN LARSSON, Head of Research’ in clean, black letters.
Int. Orbitus Kaltrone Spaceship, Office, Level A1
The office is empty. Inside, the two men’s desks face one other. Walbert’s side is neat – a folder and tablet the only things cluttering his space. Albertan glimpses the top of a half-empty liquor bottle in the open bottom drawer. He shakes his head.
Albertan’s desk is messy, covered in loose papers and inkblots. His desktop computer is on a screensaver – a black screen and green words ALWAYS QUESTION written in the language of Lingua.
Albertan sits down and spins in his swivel chair, leans back and places his loafer shoes on the desk. A stack of papers slide dangerously close to the edge.
DR RAE O’VALIM (O.S)
Albertan’s head snaps up.
DR RAE O'VALIM stands in his doorway. Albertan struggles awkwardly to sit up in his chair.
DR O’VALIM (CONT’D)
Where are we on the microbial DNA report?
Dr O’valim. I thought you had meetings on Tuesday mornings.
And I’m putting the finishing touches on the report today.
Larsson. I’ve got Holbrook on my ass. Get your act together.
DR O’VALIM (CONT’D)
Department Head meeting at 1000 hours. Don’t be late.
Dr O’valim’s tacky red patent heels click across the linoleum as she turns and walks away.
Albertan makes a face at the empty door. He turns to his desktop. He waves a hand over his keyboard and the letters morph into Lingua. His home screen is empty except for two files marked X1 and X4. His mouse lingers over them, before he turns his head back to look out the doorway. A smirk hovers on his lips.
Orbitus was written by Olivia Hides and will be presented in instalments throughout the year.