Prisoner of Luff
Producer: Irene Litinsky
(Outside shot. We see the Prison Luff and a small planet past it. Then cut to an inside shot. A guard walks by an insanely laughing man. We hear Catalina's voice, but cannot see her because the warden is standing in front of her. In time for her last line, he moves away and we see it is her.)
Catalina: Warden! I demand to see the warden!
Opus: Warden Opus at your service.
Catalina: Let me out of here! I'm not supposed to be here... I'm not who you think I am!
Opus: That would mean there's been a mistake.
Catalina: Yes! A mistake! Right!
Opus: Wrong. There are no mistakes in Prison Luff. Only prisoners. Prisoners that will never again see the light of day. Like you. Have a nice day.
Catalina: No, no! Please, please! I have to get out of here!
[END OF TEASER]
Narration: The Eye of the Future sees them. Five clever space cadets, snuck aboard an alien ship, flung through a weird hole in space, thousands of light-years from the Academy. Yeah, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but will they ever get home? Or are they forever destined to be... Space Cases?
Guest Starring: Daisy Eagan as Sofiana
(We see the outside of Prison Luff, then cut to Catalina pacing in her cell.)
Catalina: Okay. Don't panic. Don't panic. There's gotta be a way out of here.
Catalina: Maybe not. Suzee! We're doomed!
(Voiceover, as the scene shifts.)
Catalina: When I first saw this place, it was from the outside.
(The crew is standing in the Command Post, looking at the prison ward on the screen.)
Radu: What is it, Commander?
Goddard: A prison satellite. Most likely a life-sentence facility this deep in space.
Davenport: Commander, I strongly disapprove of our getting this close to a prison facility! We could be murdered in our sleep!
(He looks at her dubiously.)
Davenport: Well, I'm not scared, of course! But just think about all of those frighteningly dangerous criminals!
Bova: They're locked up. Usually it's the ones that are free you have to worry about.
Catalina: How awful. Imagine living your entire life in a cage like some kind of animal.
Davenport: Well, I know I've seen enough. We should thank our lucky stars for the mere seven years of our lives we have to spend on the Christa.
Rosie: I feel better already!
(Bova and Radu roll their eyes.)
Catalina: I wonder what they did? You know, to be locked up forever?
Bova: Probably broke the law.
Rosie: Commander -
(Goddard turns to face her.)
Rosie: - they're signalling us!
Davenport: Oh, dear. When we're dead, don't say I didn't warn you!
Catalina: What do you think they want?
Goddard: Only one way to find out! Rosie, establish communications.
Sofiana: (over intercom) Greetings. You are now passing out of the satellite Prison Luff sector. Your ship must be scanned for stowaways before you proceed.
Goddard: You may proceed with scanning.
(The intercom clicks off. Miss Davenport puts a hand out, shocked.)
Goddard: Relax! Standard prison procedure.
Davenport: You seem to have a rather extensive knowledge of prisons.
Goddard: I'm well read.
Catalina: Commander? I'm getting some sort of energy spike by the power junction.
Goddard: Cat, go check it out.
(Cat goes down the jump tubes. We see her going through them, and then she comes out by the power junction. We see Sofiana hiding behind the corridor wall. She slips out and taps Catalina on the back. Cat turns around.)
Sofiana: Nighty-night, rainbow girl.
Sofiana: (over intercom) Clearance processing is now complete. Thank you for your cooperation.
Rosie: Energy readings are back to normal.
Goddard: You heard it, people. We're back in business.
(Sofiana puts the still-unconscious Catalina in an escape pod. She then turns to the intercom.)
Sofiana: You may now proceed out of the satellite Prison Luff sector.
(She cuts off the intercom.)
Sofiana: And you can go directly to jail.
(She closes the airlock, sending Cat out into space and into the prison.
Goddard: Now, where's Cat?
Harlan: Command post to power junction. Come in, Cat.
(A few seconds pass.)
Harlan: She's not responding, Commander.
Davenport: This is most unlike her.
(Prison Luff. We see Cat in her cell, tugging on the collar that she wears.)
Catalina: I've got to get out of here, Suzee. Stand back! I'm gonna blast my way out.
Corridor. Thelma is walking down the corridor as Sofiana comes up from behind and puts her finger to Thelma's back.)
Sofiana: This is a neural scrambler. Don't move, or I'll blow your entire neural net. Now take me to your leader.
(A few seconds pass.)
Sofiana: Why aren't we going anywhere?
Thelma: Because. To take you to the command post, I would have to move, and you asked me not to.
Sofiana: (sighs) Androids.
(She shoves Thelma down the hall.
We see the hull of the ship. Attached to it is a small device.
Harlan: Command post to power junction.
(He turns off the intercom.)
Harlan: She's still not responding, Commander.
Sofiana: All right, nobody move.
Thelma: She says that, but I don't think she really means it.
Goddard: Who are you?
Thelma: I am Thelma. Techno Human -
Goddard: Not you, Thelma!
Sofiana: I'm Sofiana Mrtz. But you can call me Jack.
Rosie: (waves) Hi, Jack!
Sofiana: Exactly. I'm taking over this ship. And if you don't do exactly as I say you can forget about ever seeing your pretty little rainbow-headed friend again.
Sofiana: Nice name. Bad luck. I guess that's what happens when you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Davenport: (slapping Commander Goddard) I knew it! I warned you about just this sort of thing! I told you it wasn't safe to -
Sofiana: Stuff a sock in it, would you? Now, as I was saying, no one will get hurt, as long as you all cooperate.
Thelma: But, if anyone tries anything, I will get it with the neural scrambler.
Sofiana: That's right.
Thelma: Surprisingly, it feels exactly like a finger.
(Sofiana shoves Thelma away, and the two older boys and Commander Goddard start toward her.)
Goddard: (through clenched teeth) Where's Catalina?
(Sofiana throws up her arm to reveal a device on her wrist.)
Sofiana: Don't come any closer!
(She holds up her wrist to show that there's a device on it.)
Sofiana: Okay, so maybe I don't have a neural scrambler. But this is a triggering device for a very powerful explosive I've attached to the hull of your ship. If you don't take me to the coordinates I specify, I'll be forced to blow us all up.
Harlan: (starting forward) She's bluffing, Commander.
(Commander Goddard puts a hand out to stop him.)
Sofiana: Maybe. Maybe not. Who'd like to find out?
Goddard: Now, take it easy.
Sofiana: That's better. Now, prepare to reroute your course.
Prisoner: Hey! Hey.
(Catalina looks up and comes closer to the door of her cell.)
Catalina: Are you talking to me?
Prisoner: Well... (he laughs) ...I'm not talking to myself. You remind me of myself when I first came here. I must have tried a million different ways of busting out.
Catalina: What happened?
Prisoner: I'm still here, right?
Catalina: But someone has escaped!
Prisoner: Don't worry, kid. You'll get used to it. We all do. And, it's not so bad. Time passes. You're young, maybe you can pull it off. If you do, take me with you. All right?
(He starts laughing insanely.
Time passes, to when she is talking to the warden.)
Opus: It is impossible to escape the Prison Luff.
Catalina: But that's what I'm trying to tell you. Someone has escaped. The prisoner that put me in here!
Opus: If someone had escaped, the cell would be empty. It is not empty, therefore, no one has escaped.
Catalina: (looking at the cell across from her) Is there a prisoner in that cell?
Opus: Of course not.
Catalina: Aha! Then someone has escaped!
Opus: No. That prisoner was taken to be mind-wiped. We erased his entire memory. We do that to prisoners who won't cooperate. Like Two-four-six-oh-one. She refuses to tell us where she's hidden a very important document cell. Mind-wipe scheduled for twelve hundred hours. Hope you'll join us.
(He walks away. Catalina goes over to a cracked glass and looks into it.)
Catalina: Did he say number Two-four-six-oh-one?
(She turns toward the "camera" and we see the number on her collar.)
Catalina: That's me!
[END OF ACT ONE]
(We see an outside shot of the ship, then cut to the Command Post.)
Radu: Course set for sector twenty-five.
Goddard: Hold on, Radu. We're not going anywhere until you tell us what you've done with Catalina.
Sofiana: If you don't take me to sector twenty-five, you won't care about Catalina because you'll be dead.
Harlan: What's in sector twenty-five?
Radu: (looking at his console) Uh, looks like an asteroid field.
Goddard: Why are we going to an asteroid field?
Sofiana: Do you have a history databank on this ship?
Goddard: (turning to Thelma) Thelma?
Thelma: The Christa has a complete historical reference.
Sofiana: Good. Reference Julian Mrtz.
Thelma: Screen on.
(We see the screen come on, with an image of an old man receiving an award of some kind.)
Davenport: The famous computer scientist!
Sofiana: My famous father.
(As they continue to talk, we see the story being acted out on the screen.)
Davenport: A quite auspicious career - until that most unpleasant episode.
Thelma: Discredited and jailed for experimenting with inhumane war methods, during the Luff conflict.
Sofiana: That's a lie! My father was working on a computer virus that would end the Luff war by rendering all their weapons useless.
Radu: What happened?
Sofiana: The Luff found out about his work. They eventually had him terminated. (pause) But not before he hid the virus in a document cell in that asteroid field. Now I've gotta get it back. All right, enough talk. Let's move!
(Prison Luff. Catalina is sitting in the middle of her cell.)
Catalina: Me? Mind-wiped? I - I can't let that happen!
(She stands and starts to pace.)
Catalina: I have to get out of here, Suzee! I know, I know, but it's the only way I can think of!
(She blasts again.)
Catalina: Suzee, it's useless.
(She sits on the windowsill of the wall she just blasted against, and the barred window falls out. She slips through, and stops at the other prisoner's cell.)
Catalina: You still wanna -
(His cell is empty. Cat looks around, sees a guard, and runs off in the other direction. The guard chases her.
Outside the Christa. Thelma is floating in the asteroid field. Cut to the inside. Sofiana and Harlan are standing next to the airlock.)
Sofiana: It was really nice of Thelma to offer to go out and pick up that document cell for me.
Harlan: Yeah, right. You threatened to rewire her into a can opener if she didn't.
Sofiana: Picky, picky.
Harlan: She's coming in.
(The airlock opens.)
Sofiana: Did you get it? Give it to me!
(She grabs it away from Thelma.)
Sofiana: Finally. I've waited a long time to get my hands on this. You'd better get down on your hands and knees and beg that the information on this document cell is intact.
(She goes to move, but then trips over Thelma, who is on her hands and knees on the ground. The document cell goes flying out of her hands and Harlan catches it. Radu and Commander Goddard have come up behind them without them noticing.)
Radu: Harlan! Harlan!
(Harlan throws him the document cell. Sofiana puts her arm out with the detonator.)
Goddard: Now take it easy, Sofiana. Think about it. You push that button, we blow up - that means you, too.
Sofiana: Well, if I can't have the cell, it doesn't matter.
Harlan: You can have the cell!
Goddard: (through clenched teeth) Harlan!
Harlan: Commander! We want Catalina. And Sofiana wants the document cell. Sounds like a trade to me.
Sofiana: Keep talking.
Harlan: All right. Now you tell us where Catalina is, and we'll give you the document cell.
Sofiana: And why should I trust you? How do I know you won't keep the cell once you've got Catalina?
Harlan: Well, for the same reason we had to trust you. Because you got no choice. And besides, I still think you're bluffing about that bomb.
Thelma: My initial external scan confirmed that there was a device on the hull of the ship, Harlan. And -
(She holds it up.)
Thelma: - here it is!
Goddard: Throw it, Thelma!
(She throws it, and everyone ducks. The thing lands on the ground and explodes in a harmless cloud of confetti.)
Sofiana: All right. So I was bluffing. This doesn't mean our deal is off. Right?
(Prison Luff. Cat is still running, with a legion of guards chasing her. She goes through a security door by slipping between the red laser bars. Then she hides under a ramp as two guards walk up it. Once they're gone, she comes out and sees another guard just turning to face her. She blasts, and he falls over.
Cut to outside shot of the ship, then to the Command Post.)
Radu: Course set for sector fifteen.
Goddard: Cat is in prison?
Sofiana: The only way to escape unnoticed was to get someone to take my place and you happened to be cruising by.
Davenport: Oh, I knew it was dangerous to come this close to that awful place! Now Catalina's in jail! Do I have to remind you that these students are our responsibility!
Goddard: Look. Everything is going to be fine. It's not like she can wander off and get lost.
Radu: She can't go anywhere. She's in a jail cell.
Harlan: That's right. I mean, she is safe there, right, Sofiana?
Sofiana: (uncomfortably) Right. There is this little mindwipe thing they do.
Goddard: You were scheduled for a mind wipe?
Radu: And you set up Catalina to take your place?
Davenport: How could you do such a thing?
Sofiana: One mind versus an entire race... I thought it was the obvious choice.
Rosie: You mean - she won't know us?
Sofiana: She won't even know her own name. I thought it was the right thing to do!
Goddard: Harlan, jump to hyper drive.
Harlan: I'm on it.
(Outside shot of the ship going into hyper drive.
Prison Luff. Catalina is still running down the hallway. She bumps into her prisoner friend.)
Catalina: Come with me and we'll get out of here!
Prisoner: Long live the Luff. Long live the Luff. Long live the Luff. Long live the Luff.
Opus: (over intercom) Attention, Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one. You may now stop running. There is no escape from the Prison Luff. Your collar identifier is set to automatically self-destruct at twelve-hundred hours.
(We see Cat stop running and start frantically trying to pull the collar off.)
Opus: And so are you. It's been our pleasure to serve you. Please come again.
Davenport: Commander, do you have a plan to get Catalina out?
Goddard: Of course. I just haven't thought of it yet.
Harlan: Don't worry, Commander, I got you covered.
Goddard: You do?
Harlan: Yeah. Sofiana can get us into the prison.
Sofiana: I know how to do that.
Harlan: (holding up the document cell) And this can get us out. We'll trade the document cell for Catalina!
Sofiana: I thought we had a deal!
Harlan: We did. I just changed the terms of our agreement.
Sofiana: (folding her arms) I won't help you get back into the prison.
Goddard: You will, or we'll turn you back in.
(Outside shot of the ship coming close to the prison and docking.
Inside the prison.)
Catalina: Suzee, this is getting serious! No, I can't think of anything either!
Opus: (over intercom) Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one, at the tone you will have exactly two minutes left to live. (a tone sounds) Thank you. Please come again.
(Commander Goddard, Harlan, Radu, and Sofiana come into the main prison. Sofiana is being "escorted" by two of the robot guards.)
Sofiana: Nice work, fellas, for a couple of rust buckets.
Robot: We found these trespassers entering the Prison Luff without authorization.
Opus: Leave them to me. I'll deal with them after I'm done with Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one.
Sofiana: It's too late! They've already initiated the mind wipe.
Goddard: We're looking for Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one. There's been a mistake.
Opus: That's impossible. There are no mistakes in the Prison Luff.
Goddard: You've got the wrong person! Stop the mindwipe.
(Sofiana goes to run off, but Radu stops her.)
Radu: You're not escaping this time, Sofiana.
Opus: A mistake would mean that the person whose collar identifier will detonate at exactly twelve hundred hours is not Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one. But if that weren't Prisoner Two-four-six-oh-one, she wouldn't be wearing the collar identifier. Therefore, there's been no mistake. And no mind wipe.
Opus: Just a little explosion.
Harlan: Did you say twelve hundred hours? I've gotta find her!
(He takes off.)
Goddard: Go! Now, you listen to me...
(Catalina is sitting against a cell, still trying frantically to get the collar off.)
Catalina: Thanks for sticking around, Suzee. You've been a great friend.
Harlan: (yelling off-screen) Catalina!
Catalina: What was that? No, no, I heard you, Suzee. I think my ears are playing tricks on me. That sounded like - Harlan?
Catalina: Get it off!
Harlan: (pulling at the collar) It's solid, I can't do it!
Catalina: Harlan, keep trying!
Harlan: There's only one chance, come on!
(He drags her off.
The main room.)
Goddard: Stop the detonation!
Opus: That is not possible. The detonation cannot be stopped. It is automatic, and it will happen in thirty seconds.
Goddard: There must be some way to stop it!
(Sofiana tries to duck around Radu, and he grabs her.)
Sofiana: Look, it's too late, we tried, please let me go!
Radu: Look, you're not going anywhere until we get Cat back!
Sofiana: Please let me go!
(Radu picks her up over his head, then drops her and turns as Harlan and Cat run in.)
Harlan: Warden Opus!
Catalina: Get this thing off of me!
(Radu runs over to her. Harlan waves the cell in the warden's face.)
Harlan: In this document cell is the Mrtz computer virus!
Opus: The Mrtz virus! I must have it!
Harlan: Not so fast, Opus! How 'bout a trade? Deactivate the collar and the cell is yours!
Opus: Give me the cell and I'll deactivate the collar!
Harlan: Only after you deactivate the collar!
Opus: Not until you give me the cell!
Harlan: Deactivate the collar and the cell is yours.
Opus: Give me the cell! The cell! The cell, I must have it!
(Radu rips the collar off and throws it in the corner of the room. Harlan throws the document cell on top of it.)
(The collar explodes and we see everyone duck away.
Outside shot of the ship, then cut to the Airlock. Sofiana is sitting in an escape pod with the two adults, Harlan, Radu and Cat standing by the airlock. Radu is typing something into the control panel.)
Radu: Sorry about what happened, Sofiana.
Sofiana: Yeah, well, at least I have my freedom. And I have you guys to thank for that.
Catalina: Well, you were only doing what was right.
Davenport: That's very gracious of you, Catalina.
Harlan: Yeah, she almost got you killed!
Sofiana: I thought I was doing the right thing.
Radu: War can get you all mixed up.
Harlan: I guess sometimes what you think is right isn't right.
Catalina: Yeah. And you end up doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Goddard: Good luck to you.
Sofiana: Without that document cell, I'm gonna need it.
Harlan: Oh, by the way. Do you think you got any room in there for...
(He pulls the document cell out from behind his back.)
Sofiana: The document cell! But I was there! I saw it explode!
Harlan: I was bluffing. The other one was a blank I took from our library. I figured one bad switch deserved another.
(We see the escape pod close, and she floats out the airlock.)
This page created on June 27th, 2001.