book five: "deep state nine"

FADE IN

INT. BRIDGE OF STARSHIP- INDETERMINATE TIME

        Fire. An Alarm is blaring. 

       All the alarms are blaring 

        Voices are everywhere, yelling, some crying. The indistinct cacophony of panic. 

        We pull back to see a well maintained but not overly handsome everyman in the foreground of the shot. He wears   the uniform of the organization he represents.

        This is our captain. This is our salvation. 

                                           

                             CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

             Hold it together people! This is what we are here for! Let’s go! Let’s GO!  

 

          He  pulls out a device and checks some statistics as he sits down in the captain chair. 

          CONTINOUS SHOT pulls back to reveal the size of the command center. It is modest in comparison to the size of the task the crew is undertaking today. 

  CUT TO CLOSE UP of CAPTAIN’S MOUTH, his most distinctive feature. 

                              CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                         Is that thing out yet, Harris? 

          ENTER HARRIS, a small bespectacled man with his uniform soaked in a fire dampening substance. He is dirty, grimy, and generally disheveled.  He is also visibly annoyed.                          

                              HARRIS 

                    Almost Sir, but it is not the blaze that is the concern... 

                              CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                     Of course not. 

 

POSTERIOR SHOT. Captain turns toward camera and tries on a smoldering, thoughtful look that penetrates the fourth wall and solidifies the emotional connection with the target audience. 

                                                              

                               CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                      It is the aftermath. 

Back to FULL SHOT of bridge.

                               CAPTAIN ABBANNON

                     Where are the Optics? 

           

                                 HARRIS 

                      Sir, it is much too soon for 

               

                                CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                       Dammit, man! Stop your jabbering and get after it. Get rid of the Red NOW 

                                           

                                  HARRIS 

                         (Stutters) Yes sir, right away.

               

HARRIS dutifully leans over and starts jabbing buttons on a keyboard. He also adds several clicks and beeps with his mouth to simulate activity. 

    ENTER Lt.  JEERS pushing a cart with a few buckets of trash on it. She crashes into HARRIS’ foot 

 

                                   HARRIS 

                          YYEAAAAAH! 

 

                                   JEERS 
               

                        OH! Holy hell I am so sorry here let me. Holy hell, that’s my bad, oh jeez.

 

                                   CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                         STOP THIS NOW! We are wasting time and every misstep we make adds to the problem. 

              

The two crewmates blink at their captain. 

Behind  and around them, smoke is  everywhere and the alarms continue.

 CLOSE UP on the captain as he closes his eyes 

                                                                                           

                                   CAPTAIN ABBANNON

                      It is as bad here as it is out there.   No wonder we are in crisis on the cycle.

 

ENTER ENVOY RUMBERSNATCH, a proud and dark skinned dignitary of indeterminate national origin. He could be from anywhere in the universe. He speaks with a colonial British accent. 

 

                                  ENVOY RUMBERSNATCH 
                 If you are quite ready captain, the fires have been put out and the show must go on. 

 The captain looks at RUMBERSNATCH with the obedience and disdain held for such masters. He blinks at his superior, looking a lot like his subordinates did moments ago. 

He clears his throat to say something and… does not. 

RUMBERSNATCH clears his throat as well. 

The AUDIENCE APPROVAL signal flashes on the bridge. Another flicker and it will likely go out. 

ABBANNON blinks and looks around. He runs a hand through his hair and addresses the bridge. 

 

                                CAPTAIN  ABBANNON

                        Vox, on screen now. 

 

                                  JEERS

                        Sir, we are no where NEAR… 

 

The captain’s firm stare causes her to comply without another word. She brings up the screen. We do not see the screen, just the light that emanates from it. It washes the crew with it’s radiance, rinses them in bright white. 

The Captain takes a deep breath. Blows it out with a sigh and clicks the generic badge on his breast in order to establish communication. He begins to speak 

 

                                  CAPTAIN  ABBANNON: 

                       I know, I know. It is HARD.  It is  a HARD age for us to live and persevere in.  We cannot acclimatize ourselves to one problem before the next six pop up. We are living from moment to moment waiting for the whole damn thing to collapse in on itself. What does that mean to you, to us , to them It means we have to keep moving, to always bring the might of our will forward toward the break of a new day. To keep the fires of perseverance burning strong we must…. 

 

  A HIGH SQUELCH NOISE makes the captain stop and wince. 

The Captain taps his generic communicator icon and addresses his crewman. 

                                               

                                CAPTAIN  ABBANNON

                       Harris, what the hell? 

 

                                  HARRIS 

                        Wrong program, sir. This is a volatile bunch. I suggest switching to gaslight protocol 3. 

                                                                    

                                   CAPTAIN ABBANNON

                        Isn’t that the one we have been on for the last week? Surely, they have gotten wise… 

 

                                    HARRIS

                         No sir, actually we have been using GLP 2. GLP3 is the DS9 agenda. 

                                                                   

                                   CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                          Oh Yes,

CLOSE UP on the captain’s lips. 

                                    CAPTAIN ABBANNON

                           THE DEEP STATE. 

                                                                          

                                    JEERS 

                            Captain, need to act now. You stopped mid sentence, again. 

 

The captain shakes his head as if to clear it. He taps his comlink again. 

                                                                   

                                    CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                           RIGHT. Sorry for that folks. What I meant to say was that it isn’t our fault at all. There are studies, there have been studies, quite a few of them, where our name doesn’t even appear at all. In some of those same studies, of which there have been many, the PROBLEM isn’t even mentioned. So if you really think about it, there really isn’t a problem at all. Many, many  people agree, and I think I do too, that there is no problem at all. 

 

SQUEELCH OF STATIC AGAIN 

 

                                      HARRIS 
                              SIR !

 

                                      CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                              Oh come on! That’s 101 here. Has been working since the first day! 

                                                                    

                                       HARRIS 

                             No sir, you are right it is working. It is just we need more nuance and affectation.

                                                                    

                                      CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                            English only please, Harris. This is Effing the US of A. 

 

                                        HARRIS 

                                Yes sir, what I meant was, can we combine the two approaches? 

The Captain considers. 

                                        CAPTAIN  ABBANNON 

                                 You want me to motivate them while I'm lying to them? Abort the insult protocol?

                                                                    

                                       HARRIS             

                                   If that is possible. It seems to be the only way. 

 

CLOSE UP on the captain's mouth again.

 

                                       CAPTAIN ABBANNON

                                   By God, it just may work.

   

                                         JEERS 

                                    Gentleman… 

                                                                     

                                         CAPTAIN  ABBANNON 

                                    WHAT, JEERS?

 

                                         JEERS 

                                   You forgot to hit your com link. You are currently addressing the enemy. 

 

Another alarm began to blare. The captain turns around just as envoy RUMBERSNATCH dematerializes.The last thing he does as he disappears is shake his head. The Fire is everywhere now. 

It is our everything. The captain closes his eyes. 

                                       CAPTAIN ABBANNON 

                                  Team. Abandon ship. This is over. 

 

The static that is their answer means they have already done just that.

With one last look at his bridge, CAPTAIN ABBANNON disappears into the fire. 

 

 

                                                                                    *** 

FADE IN: Black screen. Audio only We can’t see the speakers.

                                     

                                          JIM 

                         The reporters are still waiting to hear the conclusion of the sentence. We go live now to our folks in the field. Diana What are you getting? 

                                           DIANE 

                          Well Jim, the spokesman just stopped

                                           JIM               

                            How's that?

                                            DIANE

                          Just stopped. Completely shut down. After trying to explain away the dispute between parties and their joint handling of the latest crisis, the FEED fiasco, the Rep became confused and his speech became.. um, garbled 

                                             JIM 

                             I'm sorry. for the clarification of our audience at home, will you repeat that? Garbled?

                                              DIANE

                             Yes, JIm, garbled. His speech became increasingly nonsensical and 

                                              JIM

                           Diane, let me interrupt you if I may. How is that any different than usual?  We have gotten used to this behavior from the administration, especially from spokesperson Hinote                                  

                                              DIANE

                             Well, Jim after the usual blather, Hinote just stopped talking completely.

A PAUSE OF CONSIDERATION

                                               JIM

                            At a loss for words? Was effectively put off by a line of questioning?                                                  

                                              DIANE 

                             No, he just stopped

                                            JIM 

                           But how is that possible, Diane? His whole purpose for being there is to explain to the public the Dowd administration’s possible connection to…                      

                                             DIANE 

                             Wait, Wait.   Yes, I think he is saying something. 

 

INT: POV of reporters gathered around a podium. The camera zooms in toward the man standing behind it. The man is obviously unwell, staring slack jawed into space in front of him. As a bit of smoke drifts out of his noise, some liquid begins leaking from the corner of his mouth. 

 

                                             DIANE 

                              Mr. Honete? Are you ok sir? 

A barely audible wine comes out of the representative’s mouth and grows gradually louder. 

                                             HONETE 

                               weeeeeeEEEEEEAAAAHAHHHAAAhhh                   

 

                                             JIM

                                Good God,                 

CUT TO BLACK 

                                            JIM

                              The Deep State.

      

                                

 

 

              

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