TRANSCRIPT 2: THIRSTY 

 

INT. AIRPLANE DAY/CLOUD 

Loud noise of an airplane engine, Pratcher shouting over it.

PRATCHER

Take this map! 

 

The generator is marked in red.

 

You'll need to get the power on first thing! 

PRATCHER 

Do you have any health issues I should be aware of?

LEADS 

Just headaches. 

PRATCHER 

You'll be fine. 

 

Those might get worse for a week or two. 

 

The elevation is higher than you're used to. 

 

Just stay hydrated. 

PRATCHER 

Strap down,

 we'll be landing soon. 

EXT. ANTARCTICA

PRATCHER 

That's your building! 

 

Front door doesn't lock, you can go right in. 

 

 

There's a garage down the way but you won't need it. 

PRATCHER

We need to get out of here before the weather turns.

 

 

Go in, get the electricity on, follow the instructions! 

 

The scientists will be here in six weeks! 

Got it!?

LEADS 

...

PRATCHER

Got it!?

LEADS 

Yeah! 

PRATCHER 

We'll pick you up at the end of Summer. 

 

Good luck!

Door slamming. Crunching of boots gets louder as plane noise dissipates. Eventually lonely, windy antarctic ambience. 

LEADS 

(Lets out a breath) 

Boot crunching to a door, unlatching and opening, walk in, then silence. 

LEADS 

Finally. 

INT. DORM ROOM DAY ALWAYS DAY

LEADS 

(Loud breathing out) Dear Diary. First day in the Station. 

I think, I don't know how long I've been out for. I just fell asleep in the first dorm room I found. 

I have no idea what time it is.

I don't have a watch or anything and I left my phone with Pratcher.  

LEADS 

My last water bottle is empty.

 

I have one more sack lunch from McMurdo but then I'm out of food.

 

I’m Feeling really sluggish, Pratcher said we're pretty high up elevation wise so it's probably just that.

 

 Got a headache but I’ve been suffering from those for years so that’s nothing new.

LEADS 

I don't know how people keep a regular sleep schedules down here. 

 

The sun is always up so you need light blocking curtains, but then your room is pitch black so you don't know when to get up. 

I faded in and out must have been a half dozen times. 

LEADS 

Better get to it. My flashlight kind of sucks and I still need to get the electricity on if I'm going to cook anything. 

LEADS 

Let's go explore. 

VOICE OVER

Idiot. 

VOICE OVER

Do you ever find yourself yelling at characters in movies. 'She's the killer', 'don't go in the basement', 'it's right behind you!'? 

VOICE OVER

That'll give you a taste of what it's like to listen back to these. 

VOICE OVER

Not that there's anything I can do about it now.

INT. HALLWAY, DAY ALWAYS DAY

LEADS 

I can see my breath, not that that's surprising. 

And it’s so dark I might as well be underground. 

All of the first floor windows are in the dorms so there’s not natural light in the hallway. Should be better when I get the electricity up.

LEADS 

I've already poked my head through most of the rooms.

We’ve got a long hallway, 4 rooms on each side with a communal bathrooms at the end. 

The map suggests there’s another set of dorms on the other side of the floor and the big rooms are up ahead. 

With any luck I won't have to share a room when the scientists show up.

LEADS 

Hello?  

LEADS 

Locked up. No luxury suites for me. It's even darker here.

LEADS 

Fire axe on the wall. Reminds me of Beanie's hammer story. 

LEADS 

This should be it.  

LEADS 

Aha! 

LEADS 

Well. This is worse.

LEADS 

Half the lights are out. Another quarter of them need to be replaced. 

Going to still need this crummy flashlight. 

 

LEADS 

I'm nervous as hell. I'm going to keep talking. Here's the game plan. 

I'm out of water so the kitchens are the first stop. 

Then I have to make my way up to the third floor where the camera room is.

LEADS 

Apparently surveillance is a big part of my job here. 

What that entails is beyond me, but if they're cool with my hanging out watching a bunch of security cameras while I scribble in my journal, that's all good with me.

LEADS 

Damn, almost all the lights are out in this section. 

LEADS 

So according to the map.

LEADS 

Let's see...

LEADS 

These double doors should be the mess hall. 

LEADS 

Where's the light switch. 

LEADS 

Huh. Bigger than I thought it'd be. 

LEADS 

They left one table and chair out but there are a bunch folded up against the wall. 

Chalk board, they probably do their meetings in here.

LEADS 

Steel shutters over a counter top, the kitchens ought to be on the other side of that. 

LEADS 

Whoa. It's big. Cafeteria style.

LEADS 

I don't know how I'm going to cook here, these pans are huge. What am I going to do, cook a dozen eggs for myself?

LEADS 

Imagine eggs in a place like this. 

I don't even know how food shipments work here, should have asked Pratcher or Glasses. 

The Winter crew in McMurdo made a pretty big deal when we brought fresh vegetables with us. 

LEADS 

You know this kitchen looks a lot like the ones in the churches my Old Man used to drag me to.

LEADS 

What a hypocrite. 

VOICE OVER

My Father. 

VOICE OVER

I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. 

VOICE OVER

My Father and I don't really get along. We never have. 

VOICE OVER

He's a cold man. He gives off that military vibe despite being a high school teacher. 

VOICE OVER

He always wanted to be a college professor but it didn't work out. I think he wanted  me to have that, he wanted me to go into academia, to live his dream. 

VOICE OVER

That... Wasn't for me. I was a C student on a good day. I wanted to drop out of high school to work construction. It was better money than any of the other kids were making and I thought I could work my way up. My ex stopped me from leaving early...

VOICE OVER

But things were rough at home. And the guy I was working for... Well let's just say he didn't lose any sleep over taking advantage of someone like me.

VOICE OVER

After graduation I left a note at home and took off. Didn't even bother giving my old job notice now that I think about it.

VOICE OVER

It took a few years before I came back to my home town. After that I tried to visit a few times a year but they'd never last long. 

VOICE OVER

My last trip didn't go well. We didn't fight, we just... Ignored each other. The tension. It was almost worse. 

LEADS VO

After two days of that he mentioned a job fair over his morning paper. Said I need to go, said it was time for me to find something stable. I took the hint, I was just as desperate to get out as he was to have me out.

LEADS VO

And that was when I met the Flower Company. 

INT. KITCHEN DAY ALWAYS DAY

LEADS 

You've got to be kidding me.

LEADS 

The water isn't working. 

I'm going to pray to a nonexistent god that I just missed a switch somewhere, cause I know next to nothing about plumbing. 

LEADS 

Gonna check the bathrooms sink before I jump to any conclusions.

LEADS 

Geeze... I hated these mirrors when it was just the flashlight. It's way worse with flickering lights. 

LEADS 

(Breath out) Nothing. 

LEADS 

There's got to be a room with pipes, right? Something with a big on off wheel? 

LEADS 

You're never thirstier than when you find out there's not water.

LEADS 

Elevator works. No way in hell I'm taking it. 

LEADS 

Everything looks on here. Nothing for water. 

LEADS 

This map is next to useless. Gotta start trying doors, it's gotta be around here.

INT. BACK HALLWAY, DAY ALWAYS DAY

LEADS 

Only one light on in this whole hallway and this flashlight is garbage.

LEADS 

I... Ffff... 

LEADS 

There's a door up ahead. 

LEADS 

Th... There's something wrong. Something feels wrong. 

LEADS 

This might be it though... The map.

LEADS 

It's...

LEADS 

This door isn't on the map.

LEADS 

Why isn't the door on the map?

LEADS 

Yup. I'm out. I'm out. 

LEADS 

This has to be the surveillance map, only the stuff I really have to see. Right? The Door is some need to know thing? 

LEADS 

I'm psyching myself out. Just gotta get upstairs, things will be cool.

LEADS 

I wish Beanie and Glasses were here.

VOICE OVER

I showed up in my old suit, still too big, with a handful of resumes I kept in my car.

VOICE OVER

It took me all of four seconds to realize that I didn't belong there. 

VOICE OVER

Lots of people with corporate smiles hiring for office jobs. Lots of people trying to redefine business causal trying to hire programmers and designers. I saw my old construction boss. I didn't talk to him.

VOICE OVER

A nice old lady offered me some grocery store cookies and asked me if I had applied anywhere good. 

VOICE OVER 

I told her the jobs weren't really for me. I had a pretty good thing going, working at Salmon joints in Alaska during the fall, ski resorts in the winter and farms the rest of the year. 

VOICE OVER

That's when she pointed me out to the table in the corner, said if I liked travel that was the place to apply. 

LEADS VO

There they were. A man and a woman sitting there, looking even more out of place than I did. They didn't have a table cloth, they didn't even have a sign. I can hardly remember what they look like.

VOICE OVER

I picked up one of the blue binders on their table. "Contracting work in Africa, the Pacific and Antarctica." 

VOICE OVER

The locations? I would have sold my soul to work them. They were looking for scientists, engineers, geologists. I immediately regretted not finishing college.

VOICE OVER

But I wanted in. I asked them if there was anything else they had available. I was versatile, a good handyman. I didn't have a piece of paper that proved how much money I spent on a degree but I did know how to work. 

VOICE OVER

The woman took my resume. After a long minute she looked at me and told me I'd need a passport. 

VOICE OVER

She motioned to the man, who got off of his phone and handed me an old laptop with an application.

VOICE OVER

After I finished filling out all of the forms I noticed an icon in the corner labeled "PR. S". Before I got the chance to click it the man snatched the computer away, smiling and assuring me that that they would email me as soon as something opened up. 

VOICE OVER

I stopped by the refreshments table to get coffee for the road. When I looked back I noticed the man and woman packing up the Flower Company table. 

VOICE OVER 

It would be another year before I heard from them again.

INT. STAIRCASE DAY ALWAYS DAY

LEADS 

(Still shaken, climbing stairs) The second floor is off limits, to me at least. I don't have keys to open them. We're going straight to the third. 

LEADS 

You know that door probably goes to a boiler room or something I'm not supposed to mess with. I bet it's on the maintenance map. 

LEADS 

It's getting warm. 

LEADS 

Light! 

LEADS 

I never thought I'd be so happy to see windows. 

LEADS 

Can't see much out of them with the storm but it beats the hell out of the flickering catacombs below. 

LEADS 

There's a balcony out there. It's pretty frosted over right now but find some chairs and that'll make a good writing spot when the weather clears. 

I'd peek out there but I left my bunnyboots by the entrance. 

LEADS 

It's not so bad up here. A lot of windows, a lot of open space, neat artifacts. Almost looks like one of those educational museums you get in National Parks. 

LEADS 

Old photos. Is that McMurdo Station? Has to be. Lot less buildings back then.

LEADS 

Drinking fountain. Do I dare?

LEADS 

Worth a shot. 

LEADS 

Pratcher told me that all of the binders I'd need for running the Station will be in the camera room. Maps says it's pretty close. 

VOICE OVER

That job fair? That was over a year ago. 

VOICE OVER

I was in Jackson Hole when they called me. I had just gotten in from Alaska and was planning on spending the month in Wyoming.

VOICE OVER

The original person they hired? They dropped out. I had two weeks to get to LAX. They had a private research station that I would be preparing for their scientists. I accepted obviously, before I even knew where they were sending me.

VOICE OVER

It wasn't until the end of the conversation when I mentioned it. Flying out of Los Angeles meant I obviously wasn't going to Africa. 

VOICE OVER

Christchurch they said. Christchurch New Zealand. And from there, Antarctica. 

VOICE OVER

I started packing immediately. I had gear to buy. I had things to sell. I had someone to visit.

VOICE OVER

I was on the road the next morning.

VOICE OVER

I was going to Antarctica. The most remote continent on the planet. 

VOICE OVER

I knew nothing about Antarctica other than it had penguins and snow. 

VOICE OVER 

Not that living here has taught me that much more. I know that it's dry, dry enough to chap your lips and crack your skin. I know that the only respite you can get from the never setting sun comes from the intense ice storms or the confines of these man made Stations. 

VOICE OVER

Mostly I know that humans were never meant to live here. That my presence here is as unnatural as a man walking on the moon. 

VOICE OVER

But if I could send a message into the past, if I could teach young me what now me knows, would I have stopped? Turned around? Stuck to the States? 

VOICE OVER

No. 

VOICE OVER

Nothing would have stopped me. Past me would say to relax, that we've been afraid before, that fear was the sign that we were on the right path.

VOICE OVER

Past me saw this as the ultimate opportunity to find himself.

VOICE OVER

Well guess what past me? I found myself. 

VOICE OVER

I found myself in that room you're about to enter.

VOICE OVER

I found myself in Station Blue. 

INT. CAMERA ROOM DAY ALWAYS DAY 

LEADS 

The air is so stale. 

LEADS 

Lets prop this open. 

LEADS 

I guess this is my new nest. Could use a window.

LEADS 

I didn't realize there were so many cameras. There's a whole wall of screens here.

LEADS 

Where was I. Binders.

LEADS 

They look just like the ones at the job fair.

LEADS 

That's the one, water and power. Come on give me some answers...

LEADS 

This doesn't look too complicated. I just missed the room. 

LEADS 

Well that's a relief.

LEADS 

First thing I'm doing is drinking a whole pitcher of water. Second thing is replacing the bulbs in that bathroom for a shower. It's been a few days. Between the hike, the flight over here and that nap I'm well over due.

LEADS 

Mmm?

LEADS 

Computer is up. 

LEADS 

I'm not too techy but this looks easy enough. One program, click to control the cameras. 

LEADS 

Alright, Screen B1 on? There's the kitchen. Must want to spy on what they're putting in the soup.

LEADS 

...if there were people here they would have laughed.

VOICE OVER 

Listen to him. Already trying to comfort himself. 

LEADS 

B2, hall, B3, hall. 

LEADS 

It's dark but it says that's the gym... Should be on the first floor. Hard to make out but it looks like it's crammed with machines. 

LEADS 

Bathroom hallway. If they're filming in the bathroom I'm quitting.

LEADS 

Freight elevator. Still open, that's weird. 

LEADS 

Looks like the second floor cameras are password protected. That's fine, it'll be good to have somewhere new to explore when they show up.

LEADS 

C2. No lights. (Blows out air, bored)

LEADS

This place needs a bar. I could be a bartender. Bartender on the bottom of the world. 

LEADS

CthreeE FRIGGIN

LEADS 

Oh... Oh gosh. Hahah, oh that's not funny. 

LEADS 

Some jerk left a cardboard cutout in front of the camera at what... The map says the rec room. 

LEADS 

Is that Elvis? That's Elvis. 

LEADS 

Man, that was a good one. Can't believe that got me.

LEADS 

(Lean back) I'll check these rooms out tomorrow. I'm not going to be able to sleep properly until I get the lights going and it could use a fresh coat of paint but all around the Station looks pretty well put together.

LEADS 

I think that's all of them. 

LEADS 

No wait, there's supposed to be one more. The back hallway isn't on here. 

LEADS 

I'm checking the program, everything is activated... One of the cameras isn't represented here. 

LEADS 

I wonder...

LEADS 

There's a second computer in the corner. It's old, has one of those giant 90s monitors. 

LEADS 

So blue. This has to be Windows 97, taking me back to my Oregon trail days. 

LEADS 

"PR. S." That rings a bell...

LEADS 

Only one other icon on here.

LEADS 

Wait... Is that?

LEADS 

This is a sick joke.

VOICE OVER

You know what's coming, right?

LEADS 

Why? Why dedicate a whole computer to this?

VOICE

You're smart. You know where that camera is pointing. 

LEADS 

It's the Door.

LEADS 

There's just enough light to make it out.

LEADS 

It's the last camera and it's looking down exactly at that door.