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The Terraformers

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Episode 12: Blast Off

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First aired: The Signal: Season 6, Episode 4
Credits
Written by Helen Eaton
Starring Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel
Featuring Les Howard as Scared red shirt trainee
Featuring Kevin Bachelder as Announcer
Featuring James Parkinson as Cheesy instructor guy
Featuring Nick Edwards as Mister Spall
Featuring Anna Snyder as Valley girl trainee
Edited by Andy King
NARRATOR
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel.
SARAH
I wonder what our next degrading assignment from Mr Spall will be? Holding the newbies’ hands while they learn which end of a shovel is which perhaps?
NARRATOR
And Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec.
TAYA RAY
Yeah, if we don’t get to do some actual terraforming soon I’m going to explode!
NARRATOR
And featuring Nick Edwards as Mr Spall.
MR SPALL
This should be right up their street – those two have always been better at destruction than creation...
NARRATOR
Episode number 12 – Blast Off

Location: Office at Black Rock Training Centre. Taya Ray opens the door and comes in.

TAYA RAY
(Slightly out of breath.) Here we go.

Thump as she puts the box down on the table.

TAYA RAY
Phew. It weighs a ton!

Sounds of box being opened over the next line.

SARAH
(Excited.) Must be some serious hardware then! Mr Spall was very cryptic about it earlier. Just said that it was something that would “suit our destructive bent”, whatever that means.
TAYA RAY
Oh, it’s a gun! What, he wants us to shoot someone?!
SARAH
(Patronising.) Um, no, Taya Ray, do get a grip. It’s a phaser. (Beat, excited.) And not just any phaser! I don’t believe it! It’s the new one from Blue Sun. A GEO Phaser 300!
TAYA RAY
What does it do?
SARAH
It breaks down rock at the particle level so as not to disturb the structural integrity of the surrounding environment.
TAYA RAY
Huh?
SARAH
It blasts stuff.
TAYA RAY
Oh! Shiny!
SARAH
The technology’s pretty revolutionary. They’re calling this model of the phaser the “Wayne”. After some famous gunslinger on Earth-that-was or something.
TAYA RAY
There’s a message with it. Must be from Mr Spall.

Beep/click as Taya Ray switches on the device to play the message.

MR SPALL
(Recorded message.) As you can see, enclosed is the latest GEO Phaser. They’re soon to be standard issue so you’ll need to get familiar with it and then teach the trainees how to use it. There’s an instructional vid in the box so watch that first. Then off you go. Just don’t do anything stupid with it, all right?

Beep/click as Taya Ray switches off the device.

SARAH
Boy, that guy sure has trust issues. Anyway, here’s the instructional vid. Let’s have a look.

Beeps/clicks as Sarah switches the vid on.

INSTRUCTOR
(Cheesy salesman mode.) Congratulations on purchasing Blue Sun’s latest innovation in rock-processing equipment! The GEO Phaser 300 will meet all your rock disintegration needs! Just one blast of—
SARAH
Let’s fast forward...
INSTRUCTOR
(Insincerely cheerful and rather patronising.) –nting the right way, okay! Be sure to place your feet firmly on the ground and slightly wider than hip-width apart. We don’t want you falling over now! Once you are sure that you have a secure footing, you may initiate the start-up sequence.

Taya Ray’s line overlaps the end of the instructor’s last sentence.

TAYA RAY
Oh, this is silly. Do we really need to watch the whole thing? It’s not rocket science.

Sarah switches the vid off.

SARAH
Well, it kind of is, but I take your point. How hard can it be really? Just point and fire. Come on, let’s get the newbies and find something we can point it at!

Musical cue to indicate passing of time.

SARAH
Right class, as you can see we have something new to show you today. A GEO Phaser 300, which will break down rock at the particle level without affecting the structural integrity of the environment in the slightest.
TRAINEE #1
(Valley girl-ish.) So, like, what does that mean?
TAYA RAY
(The chance to sound smart at last!) It blasts stuff! Do try to keep up!
SARAH
Any other questions?
TRAINEE #2
(Scared.) It looks kinda dangerous! Are you sure it only blasts the rock?
TAYA RAY
Of course, silly. This is a Blue Sun product. Would Blue Sun lie to us? How can you say such a thing out here of all places? Look at the magnificent Blue Sun statue behind me and tell me that isn’t flawless craftsmanship!
SARAH
Well said, Taya Ray. Come on, who wants to be first to try out the Phaser? (Beat.) No one? Ok, I’ll pick someone. Hey, you, yes, you in the red shirt. You come on up here.
TRAINEE #2
(Even more scared.) Maybe you should show us how it works first?
SARAH
(Exasperated.) Oh, all right.

Clicks, whirrs and start up noises over the next line.

SARAH
Ok, we put that here. Pull that down. Push these three switches, point it at that rock and...

Noise of blast. Then silence for a beat.

TRAINEES
(Sharp intakes of breath all round.) Whoah!/ Go se!/Did you see that?!/No way!
SARAH
There’s no need to be sarcastic. I can see that the rock’s still there. It clearly didn’t work. It must have a fault or something.
TRAINEE #1
No, it, like, totally worked. Um, look behind you?
TAYA RAY
What, I don’t see anything.
TRAINEE#2
Exactly! You had the Phaser the wrong way around!
SARAH
(Realising.) Oh no! The statue! Where’s the statue?

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