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Star Trek: Discovery "Wake"

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# OPENING

EXTERIOR. SPACE. 

The starship Leo, sleek and reflective, cuts through interstellar space at warp speed.

INTERIOR. THE MESS HALL OF THE LEO.

Ari, the ship’s projected AI, is slowly doing a “pour over” into a coffee mug on the mess hall table.

Michael Burnhan enters through the open door and stops to observe her.

BURNHAM  What are you doing?

ARI  Making Hiroi a coffee.

Burnham scoffs disdainfully.

BURNHAM  I’d tell him he can get his own damn coffee. (Thinks) Wait, that’s *real* coffee.

ARI  Yup. It’s from Hiroi’s private stash.

BURNHAM (Glancing around the galley)  Is it around here somewhere?

ARI  I can’t tell you where it is.

Ari finishes up the pour over with a flourish, and Burnham, without hesitation, picks up the mug and whiffs the aroma.

BURNHAM (Eyes closed)  Oh my god.

Again, without compunction, she drinks.

BURNHAM  Mmmmmm. (To Ari) I’m commandeering this mug.

ARI (Satirically)  Scurvy dog.

Ari picks up *another* mug of steaming coffee off the counter by the wall and starts to leave with it.

BURNHAM  Wait…who’s that one for?

ARI  It’s for Hiroi.

BURNHAM (Indicating her own mug)  Then who was this for?

ARI  That was for you, Michael. I knew you would walk in while I was making Hiroi’s and take it for yourself.

BURNHAM (Dubiously)  Really?

ARI  You have no idea how predictable humans are. (Observing Burnham) You seem in a good mood considering…

BURNHAM  Considering?

ARI (Nods) Hiroi hasn’t told you. Well, I predicted that too.

Burnham gazes at her questioningly.

INTERIOR. THE BRIDGE OF THE LEO.

A large star map is displayed on Ari’s panel. The map shows the course and location of the Leo in space.

Ari is gazing at Burnham.

BURNHAM (Fuming) That rat bastard! The U.S.S. Discovery is in the opposite direction. We’re going the wrong way!

# OPENING TITLES

#ACT I

INTERIOR. HIDEKI HIROI’S QUARTERS.

Hiroi is leaning back in his desk chair, lost in thought. Catchan, his huge cat, is sprawled across his desk. His quarters are messy and cluttered. The bell chimes and Burnham enters, wordlessly offering him the mug of coffee that Ari made.

HIROI (Uncertainly)  Thank you?

BURNHAM (Simmering)  You said you were taking me back to the Discovery, back to my crew. And now I learn that we’re headed in the opposite direction. Why is that, Hiroi?

HIROI  Teya…asked me to take her to Excalbia, her homeworld. And we are closer to Excalbia than we are to the Regent’s planet.

BURNHAM (Shakes head) You promised me!

HIROI  I made no promises. You said the other day that it was your birthday, and that you were 962 years old. Well, I don’t think another week is going to make a difference.

BURNHAM  Don’t joke about this. The Discovery is the *only* chance this sector has to put things right, to send the Regents and the Solani packing. You don’t think that’s important?

HIROI (Losing his temper)  The hubris! You weren’t here! All you’ve seen is the aftermath. The empty star systems. You didn’t see the ships they came in, the weapons they used. Do you think they followed the Federation laws that are supposed to “govern” warfare. They wiped us out!

Burnham stares at him, her eyes burning with anger.

HIROI (Measured, but no less angry)  Anyway, it’s my ship. (beat) Or at least it is *now*.

Burnham storms out of Hiroi’s quarters. Hiroi sighs deeply and sets the mug on his desk without even taking a sip.

INTERIOR. THE LEO’S MAIN CORRIDOR.

Burnham proceeds to the door of Teya’s quarters. She rings the chime, tries to open it. It is locked.

BURNHAM  Teya! (Speaking to Ari over comms) Ari, where’s Teya?

ARI (Over comms)  Teya…is in her quarters. How did it go with—

BURNHAM (To Ari on comms) Nope!

Burnham pounds on the door with her fist three times.

BURNHAM  Teya!

She is about to continue pounding on the door, when it slides open.

INTERIOR. TEYA’S QUARTERS.

Teya is gazing into her wall-mounted display, which is displaying her reflection, between two strips of white light. She ignores Burnham, who strides in angrily.

BURNHAM  You knew! You *knew* how excited I was to return to my ship. How could you?

Teya continues to stare at her “mirror” image.

TEYA (Sedately)  I have as much right as you. (Looks at Burnham) Don’t I?

BURNHAM (Eyes narrowing)  I was here first.

TEYA (Still sedate)  I’m stronger.

BURNHAM (Offended)  Really? You’re really going there?

TEYA (Looking down)  There was a woman. Her name…was Utama Panggabean. 

Teya turns to Burnham, and traces her own cheek with her hand.

TEYA  She had this face, this body. I know everything about her. Every dream. Every unspoken thought. That woman…died.

Burnham has settled a little and is listening.

TEYA  I wanted to join Starfleet. But Starfleet ships aren’t exactly made for Excalbians. I didn’t just copy her body. She let me impress her mind, her personality, her soul, onto my soul. So that I could be more than just a shadow in my life here, among you humanoids. More than just a temporary impression lifted telepathically from the mind of some human. She gave that to me…because of her kindness.

Burnham continues to listen.

TEYA  She was killed, Michael. Her Federation starship was blown to pieces by the Solani. There is nothing left of her, except for this. (Indicates her own self) I tried to contact her family…to tell them what she had done for me, what a difference she had made with her selflessness. But they too were all gone by that point.

Teya sniffles, deeply affected by Utama Panggabean’s memory.

TEYA  And now my ship is gone. My crew is gone. Hell, Starfleet’s gone. All I have left is Excalbia, my home. And they stopped answering comms months and months ago. I have to go, Michael. I have to see if my home still exists.

Michael looks off to the side, thinking. She turns back to Teya.

BURNHAM (Judgmentally)  You were still in the wrong.

Michael leaves. Teya stands, looking deflated.

INTERIOR. THE MESS HALL OF THE LEO.

Burnham and Ari sit across from Teya and Hiroi at the mess hall table.

BURNHAM (Firmly)  I will *not* accept this.

TEYA (Mumbling) It’s Hiroi’s ship.

BURNHAM  Yet, it is. (To Hiroi) Hiroi, when you say something it needs to mean something. Even if we’re the last four humans (Hiroi is shaking his head, mouthing “two” and raising two fingers) in this entire sector, your words need to mean something. A captain who lacks integrity…is no captain.

HIROI (Frustrated)  We’re halfway to Excalbia. I’m not going to turn the ship around again. Look, I’m sorry that you’re stuck with us, but that’s the way it is.

BURNHAM  If I could leave right now, on my own, I would.

ARI (Interrupting, to Burnham)  Actually, you can. We’re passing near the wreck of the Federation ship Haldeman once more. Last time, my scans indicated there was a warp capable shuttle still in the hanger. You can take it and fly it toward the Regent’s planet, where you friends are supposed to be.

The four sit exchanging looks.

BURNHAM  Well then it’s settled.

HIROI  It is?

BURNHAM  It is.

DISOLVE TO:

INTERIOR. THE LEO’S AIRLOCK.

Burnham, Hiroi and Teya stand inside the airlock. The exterior door slides open. Ari comes through. Through the airlock we can see the inside of the shuttlecraft, which is docked alongside the Leo.

ARI  (To Burnham)  I checked the shuttle one last time. Everything is good to go. Are you about ready, Michael?

Burnham nods, turns to face the three of them.

BURNHAM  Hideki Hiroi, I know there’s a brave man in there somewhere, you just need to find the courage.

Hiroi makes a show of ignoring her.

BURNHAM (Moves closer, to Hiroi)  Try to be a good captain.

Burnham moves on to Teya.

BURNHAM  Teya, you can be sweet. But you need to stop and think once in a while before you do things. (Chidingly) Look inside that piece of rock you call a head and try to find a brain.

TEYA  Whatever.

Finally, Burnham focuses on Ari.

BURNHAM  Those two need a good example, someone with a good heart. That’s why I’m glad you’re here. Your heart is made of gold. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not human. I’m going to miss you most of all. (Glancing at the other two) No offense.

ARI  Thank you, Michael. (Ari tenderly kisses Michael on the cheek) I will miss you too.

Although Burnham looks neither distressed nor sad, she does look a little wistful. She smiles at the three, does a little salute, then turns and departs, with the airlock sliding closed behind her.

Hiroi, Teyla, and Ari stand silently for a few seconds.

HIROI (To Teya)  Did you guys get the feeling she was insulting us?

Teya turns to look at him, shocked by his lack of self awareness.

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The futuristic but small Federation shuttlecraft detaches from the stationary Leo and pulls leisurely away.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham sits in the pilot seat, prepping the controls for warp speed.

She stops to peer out the forward windows, a peaceful expression on her face.

INSERT SHOT: Outside, stars without number beckon her. 

CLOSE UP: Burnham quotes Rilke.

BURNHAM  You, my holy solitude / Are so rich and pure and wide / Like an awakening garden. (beat) Computer…warp drive…engage.

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The shuttle zooms past, then disappears into an expanding funnel of stars.

# ACT II

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

Burnham’s shuttle flies toward the camera, stars racing past.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham is reclining in the pilot’s seat, speaking to the ship’s computer.

BURNHAM  Personal Log. I’ve been researching the records in this shuttle’s computer concerning the war waged in this sector by the Regents and their soldiers, the Solani. In particular, I still am no wiser as to who the Old Ones are, the mysterious beings who give the Regents their marching orders.

Burnham hears the proximity sensor beeping. She looks at the panel, not that concerned, and presses a control.

BURNHAM  I do find it interesting that the target of the attacks are humanoid, while the lowest level of their military hierarchy is also populated by humanoids. (beat) The Regents, on the other hand, appear to be any number of non-humanoid species. I will never forget the appearance of the…bizarrely frail and tiny insects that directed the actions of the Solani on the Regent’s planet. Following this progression, what must the Old Ones be like? Who…or what…are they?

Again the proximity sensor beeps. Burnham frowns, resets it, keeps her eye on it for a moment.

BURNHAM  The Solani appear completely ignorant of their Vulcan or Romulan heritage. I wonder if—

The sensor beeps again. Burnham turns her attention to the panel, zooms in, and looks closely at a certain undefined blob on long range scans.

BURNHAM (Gravely)  Oh no. (beat) Computer, add a sinusoid path to our vector, just enough to increase the scan resolution on the object at the extreme limit of long range scans. Show me the result.

INSERT SHOT: The long range scan of the blob successively resolves into something that looks like an organic version of Sputnik.

CLOSE UP: Burnham stares intently at the screen.

BURNHAM  Damn.

INTERIOR. THE BRIDGE OF THE LEO.

Hiroi and Teya are arguing. Ari is watching them.

HIROI  All you have to do is hold Catchan while I give him the medicine.

TEYA  No, no way. He hates me. (Looks at Ari) I don’t understand why she can’t do it?

ARI  Because he hates me even more.

The comm panel beeps. Ari turns to her panel and activates the screen.

INSERT SHOT: Burnham appears on the display, transmitting from her shuttlecraft.

ARI  Michael?

Hiroi and Teya approach Ari’s station.

HIROI (To Burnham) I thought you said radio silence?

BURNHAM  I have a problem. Something is following me.

TEYA  What kind of thing?

BURNHAM  I don’t know. It looks like what would happen if Sputnik and a giant squid had a baby.

Hiroi and Ari exchange looks, knowing instantly what Burnham is referring to.

ARI  Michael, that’s a hunter-killer. It’s like a…starship-sized flying bomb. When it detonates, it disrupts quantum fields. Anything within range will just cease to exist. There’s no way you can shoot it down. You can’t get close enough without it detonating.

BURNHAM  Are you kidding me?

ARI  It does one thing and it does it very well—it kills you. Remember the Spider Dog on Atarashu Kuni? The Regents have an endless supply of these deadly technologies that they leave scattered around after they clear out a sector.

HIROI  Michael, what’s the top speed of that shuttle?

BURNHAM  Warp eight point seven.

ARI  The Leo has been chased by one of those things before. The hunter-killer tops out at eight point nine. The good news is that it’s not going to catch up with you right away. The bad news is it’s going to catch up in the end.

BURNHAM  How did you guys defeat it?

Ari appears unsure how to explain her successful strategy.

ARI  I—I spoke with it. I defeated it by talking to it. It’s got an AI system, you know. I spoke to it in machine language. I was able to convince it not to attack us.

BURNHAM  Well, don’t keep me in suspense! What did you say to it?

ARI  I convinced it there were plenty of better targets. I used the analogy of Chess. I said that we were only a pawn. Why take out a pawn when you can go after the queen? The problem is…at *this* point in the game, all the pieces have been sacrificed. You’re the only piece left on the board.

BURNHAM  Hideki, I could use your help.

HIROI  Michael, if that thing is already inside your long range scan radius, there is no way I can get there in time. It’s impossible. There’s nothing we can do from here.

BURNHAM (Thinking) All right…I’ll figure something out. (long beat) If I don’t see you guys later…thanks for everything. 

The transmission ends, and the three remain quiet.

TEYA (Aghast) It’s horrible.

HIROI (Fatalistically) It could just as easily have been us.

ARI appears distressed, then lowers her eyes.

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The shuttlecraft rushes past at warp speed.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham is sitting in stunned silence. She closes her eyes tightly. She shakes her head, opens her eyes.

BURNHAM (To self)  Logic… (beat) Computer, I’m being pursued by the hunter-killer object at extreme sensor range. I need a strategy to survive.

The computer speaks in an efficient female voice.

COMPUTER (Voiceover) Insufficient data.

BURNHAM (Thinking)  Someone else defeated a hunter-killer by talking to it in machine language and convincing it there were better targets to pursue. Analyze.

COMPUTER (Voiceover) The previous reaction of the hunter-killer suggests cognition and self determination.

BURNHAM  Computer, can you translate my words into machine language for the hunter-killer, and then translate any response back to me?

COMPUTER (Voiceover)  I will attempt to do so.

BURNHAM  Computer, from now on, unless I’m addressing you directly, I’m addressing the object, so transmit and translate. Understood?

COMPUTER (Voiceover)  Yes.

BURNHAM (Determinedly) Object in pursuit, respond please.

Burnham waits and listens, but there is no response.

BURNHAM  Computer, did you transmit?

COMPUTER (Voiceover)  Yes, there was no response from the object.

BURNHAM  (To hunter-killer) You want to destroy me. Fine. As long as you talk to me, I will slow my speed by five percent. You will be closer to your objective.

The hunter-killer responds in a voice remarkably similar to the shuttle’s computer, but *male* instead of female.

HUNTER KILLER  Eight five six eight.

BURNHAM  Well, it’s not much, but it’s a start. I’m slowing my speed by five percent.

HUNTER KILLER  Eight one five three.

BURNHAM (Thinking) Five percent less. And…thirteen…seconds. Earth seconds.

HUNTER KILLER  Eight one four one.

BURNHAM (Nods) Eight thousand, one hundred, and forty one seconds…until you catch up with me, and destroy me. (Inquisitively) Pursuing object…ugh…I can’t keep calling you that. I’m going to call you…“Digits”…from now on. Digits, just for my reference, what time is it now?

Silence is the response.

BURNHAM  Digits? (No response) Then I’m increasing speed by five percent…

DIGITS  Your destruction…is nearly inevitable.

BURNHAM  Digits! You can talk! I feel like a proud parent. Look, if my destruction is inevitable, what harm does it do to tell me what time it is? And if you don’t keep talking, I’m just going to speed up.

DIGITS (beat) Three Eight Four Six Two Six Five Seven Zero Nine Two.

BURNHAM  Computer, if those are seconds, what date would the calendar *start* on? Convert to Earth calendar, Universal Time.

COMPUTER  January the first, 1970, twelve o’clock AM.

BURNHAM (Astonished) Unreal! Digits, I’m human. Your…intellect…your internal code…was probably written by another human. Are you certain that you are programmed to destroy me?

DIGITS  Yes.

BURNHAM (beat)  Who programmed you?

DIGITS  That information…is outside the scope of my programming.

BURNHAM  It sounds like you have no way to check whether your instructions are correct or not. You can only detonate once…how can you be certain you have the correct target?

DIGITS  My directive is to destroy sentient life, life that is neither Solani nor Regent. You…are…that.

BURNHAM  But how do you know you have the *best* target?

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The hunter-killer probe is seen traveling at warp speed, nearing the camera very slowly as stars rush behind it.

DIGITS (Voiceover) Since Six Three Three Nine Zero Zero Six One, I have been searching this sector for sentient life. I have found none, except for you. *You* are my best target.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

BURNHAM  Digits…what if you’re mistaken about your mission? How can you be certain?

DIGITS  Consider the automation device currently translating your words. If you were to ask it to direct your ship’s weapons at me and to destroy me, would it comply? Or would it question that instruction?

Burnham’s face displays uncertainty. How should she answer?

BURNHAM  It would not comply, because it is wrong to kill without reason. 

DIGITS  Your device has already indicated that it would comply. You are the one giving me false data. I will no longer communicate with you.

BURNHAM (Looking cornered) All right, all right, I lied. I’m sorry. But killing without reason *is* wrong.

DIGITS  But I have a reason. I was programmed to do so.

BURNHAM  You don’t even know who programmed you. You have no idea whether your programming is valid or not. Or whether external parameters have changed since your instructions were written. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t destroy me without at least thinking about it.

DIGITS  And yet, you would destroy me, given the chance.

Burnham, frustrated, bites her lip and blinks heavily.

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The shuttle rushes by at warp speed.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham is deeply reclined in her seat, staring at the ceiling of the shuttle cabin.

BURNHAM  …So after we got back from the Mirror Universe, she was back in my life. But not as a Captain. I have never been able to straighten out my feelings since then. Sometimes she feels like a mother. Other times like a dominating girlfriend.

DIGITS  That sounds complicated.

BURNHAM  Everyone thinks she’s so cool. But I can’t forget that she’s a cold-blooded killer who has never paid for her crimes. She *is* cool though. I don’t know whether I want to see her in prison, or marry her.

DIGITS (beat) Three nine six one

BURNHAM (Sighs)  Digits, what do you know about the Solani?

DIGITS  Enough to not target one.

BURNHAM  How do you know I’m not a Solani?

DIGITS You are not traveling aboard any known configuration of Solani vessel. Were I closer I would scan your phenotype, and if possible your genotype.

BURNHAM  What if I’m just not admitting that I’m a Solani. What if I’m lying?

DIGITS  Do you have the passcode that would redirect my targeting mechanism?

BURNHAM  No.

DIGITS  Then, as far as I am concerned, you are not a Solani.

BURNHAM  What do you know about the Old Ones?

DIGITS  That term does not appear in my data banks.

BURNHAM  Really? Because they control the Regents. The reason you are here is because of orders ultimately given by the Old Ones. And yet you know nothing about them. That doesn’t make you question your instructions at all?

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The hunter-killer probe, traveling at warp speed, approaches the camera even closer.

DIGITS  My instructions are simple and consistent. The fact that they apply to that which exists outside my being has been proven by your presence. (beat) What do *you* know of the Olds Ones?

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham stands and paces, speaking pensively.

BURNHAM  I won’t lie. I know nothing about them. Absolutely nothing.

DIGITS  Then why do you wish to frustrate their objectives? For all you know, they are doing this galaxy a great service. Perhaps the resettlement of the humanoids serves to avert a larger violence? (beat) Three eight six five.

Burnham, feeling defeated, starts to cry quietly.

DIGITS  Perhaps it will please you to consider that your destruction will fulfill my purpose, the reason for my existence.

BURNHAM (Laughs while crying) Thanks for trying.

EXTERIOR. SPACE.

The shuttle is still traveling at warp speed, stars rushing past. Through the forward windows we see Burnham working the controls.

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Burnham is sitting in the pilot’s seat, working the panel controls.

BURNHAM  Computer, will the phasers have any effect at this range on Digits?

COMPUTER.  Negative.

BURNHAM  And for certain there are no torpedoes or proximity mines or…anything else aboard that I can use against this thing.

COMPUTER  There are none.

Burnham presses a few more controls to increase again to maximum speed.

DIGITS  Seven One. (beat) Why do you increase speed?

BURNHAM  There’s a story about a man who is being chased by a tiger, a predator. Not unlike me being chased by you. He scrambles over a cliff, and dangles by a vine while the tiger waits above. Looking down, he sees another hungry tiger waiting to eat him. Then, he spots a clump of strawberries within arms’ reach. With one hand, he picks a strawberry and eats it. It’s the best strawberry he will ever taste.

DIGITS  Explain.

BURNHAM (Chuckles listlessly) What made the strawberry so wonderful is the knowledge it’s the last thing he will ever eat.

DIGITS  I think I understand. The twenty seconds before I kill you are more precious because you know how few in number they are.

BURNHAM  Yes. I still can’t change your mind?

DIGITS  I have one purpose.

BURNHAM  I know. (Tensing) So long, Digits!

DIGITS  Goodbye, Commander Michael Burnham.

A pervasive flash is seen beyond the forward windows of the shuttle, followed by a loud crashing sound. The craft is strongly jolted and the cabin lights and displays flicker briefly.

Burnham looks around, trying to figure out what happened.

INSERT SHOT: The display comes to life and shows Hiroi, Ari, and Teya all on the bridge of the Leo, smiling.

Burnham stares at the display, and breaks into happy, almost disbelieving tears.

BURNHAM (Crying) Oh my god! (beat) Oh my god! You came back for me!

INSERT SHOT: Ari speaks from the bridge of the Leo.

Ari (Over comms)  I managed to convince Hiroi that you were worth it. But we destroyed the Leo’s engines getting here. They’re toast.

BURNHAM (Still overcome)  Hideki, I take back all the bad things I was just thinking about you.

HIROI (Over comms)  Oh, well, ah—

BURNHAM  Guys, listen. I was too proud…and too angry…to say it before, but I love you.

TEYA  Michael, dock the shuttle and come back to the Leo.

Burnham nods, smiling.

ACT III

INTERIOR. THE BRIDGE OF THE LEO.

Ari is sitting at her station, surrounded by Hiroi, Teya, and Burnham. Catchan the cat is walking across her panel; she picks him up and hands him over to Hiroi, who dumps him on the floor.

ARI  The problem is not the reactor.

Ari raises her hand to activate the display. A cross section of the entire warp drive is shown, with a majority of sections shaded red, most in the nacelles.

ARI  It’s the chain of field generators and attenuators that comprise the warp coil. Not to mention the sensors. (Indicating the shaded parts) All these units are expended. We don’t dare power up the warp drive again.

TEYA  Because…?

ARI  Ka-boom.

BURNHAM  Can we replicate the critical parts?

ARI  Not without an industrial grade replicator.

BURNHAM  What about making the elements smaller?

ARI  We have neither the capacity to generate that much energy, nor the time. I’m certain that wasn’t the last hunter-killer in this sector.

TEYA  Can we cannibalize the Federation shuttle for parts?

ARI  A few parts, maybe, but I suspect we will need to abandon the Leo and proceed in the shuttle. We need it ready to go.

HIROI (Upset) Whoa, whoa, nobody said anything about abandoning the Leo!

ARI (Outraged) Hideki! What did you think I meant when I said, “We’re going to have to burn out the engines to get there in time?”

Hiroi crosses his arms and looks away.

BURNHAM  The Discovery has industrial grade replicators. We can power down the Leo and leave it here, then all of us take the shuttle and try to connect with the Discovery. Assuming, after all this time, I can still find them.

HIROI  Downgrade to the shuttle? Can you imagine the four of us stuck in that tin can for weeks, or longer?

TEYA  That does sound bad.

BURNHAM  Or…I could go alone in the shuttle and try to locate the Discovery. But, if I don’t make it back, you guys will spend the rest of your lives here, dead in the water. If that sounds better than being stuck on the shuttle for a couple of weeks…

TEYA  I’m starting to think there are no good options.

HIROI  Can we…tether the Leo to the shuttle, metaphorically speaking?

TEYA  You mean, expand the warp field to encompass the Leo? Would that even work?

ARI (Thinking) Nominally, yes, but warp speed would be severely limited.

HIROI  To what?

ARI  One.

BURNHAM  To *warp* one?  It would take years just to get to the nearest star.

ARI  A low intensity warp field would make it easy for the Discovery to locate us, but not reveal our presence to anyone farther away. I mean, we left your crew our general heading in the beacon. (To Burnham) If you really think they’ll come looking for you?

BURNHAM  They will.

HIROI  Can’t we just signal them our position?

BURNHAM  How? Forced concurrency wasn’t even conceived back then. They would have no way of receiving our signal.

ARI  And neither the Leo nor the shuttle has a subspace transmitter. We don’t have the resources to make one. Those things were massive. 

TEYA  So, let me get this straight, the plan is to crawl along at warp one, hope that the Discovery is headed our way and sees us and can help us, and also hope that nothing else tries to kill us in the meantime since we’ll be like an upside down turtle with a target on its tummy.

BURNHAM  I wouldn’t have put it in quite those terms…

TEYA  I feel like, after all that, we somehow came up with the worst possible plan.

ARI  Guys…what do we do if a hunter-killer does show up?

They stare at each other, bereft of ideas.

DISOLVE TO:

INTERIOR. THE LEO’S AIRLOCK.

Teya is sitting, full-lotus, in the darkened airlock, a candle on the floor before her.

The door slides open and Burnham is seen in silhouette, the bright light of the corridor spilling in around her.

Teya squints at Burnham.

BURNHAM  I…didn’t mean to disturb you. I’ll talk to you later.

TEYA  No, it’s all right. Lights!

The lights raise, and Burnham sits on the floor opposite Teya, half-lotus, the candle between them.

BURNHAM (Indicating the candle) Hologram?

TEYA  Yeah. Utama Panggabean…the woman I told you about…was able to access whole different worlds of thought and experience through meditation. She was so easily able to disconnect herself from her body and just float…in nothingness. I have those memories, you know. But when I try, I just sit here like a…rock.

BURNHAM  I came to apologize…for that fight we had. Home is very, very important. And it wasn’t my intention to deprive you of yours.

TEYA  I’m so conflicted. I—I don’t want to betray the memory of Utama. I’m all that’s left of her. I *am* her memory. But I also have to be myself. And that’s where Excalbia comes in. After being Starfleet, and human, for so many years, will I even be able to return to Excalbia? I’m not speaking…geographically (smiles), I mean, as an Excalbian.

BURNHAM  It’s always been difficult for me to return to Vulcan, and I was raised there.

TEYA  I’m terrified that the Regents and the Solani have targeted Excalbia.

BURNHAM  But they’ve been targeting humanoid cultures.

TEYA  Yeah but (Indicating herself) it’s not like we can’t be humanoid.

The two are silent for a moment.

BURNHAM  What’s Excalbia like? It’s a world I’d never heard of before I met you.

TEYA  A human would have a hard time surviving on Excalbia. Our body temperature is 755 degrees Kelvin. Imagine being born in a sea of molten lava, building your cities from basalt. The holy ones who meditate go to the surface and turn into rock hard statues. In our natural bodies, we’re strongly telepathic. In this body, I’m not even slightly telepathic. To assemble a new Excalbian…requires a whole community to cooperate.

BURNHAM  That sounds amazing. How did you become space faring?

TEYA (Sniggers) Well, how did you water balloons become space faring? Same process. We had to know what was out there. We had to see if we could do it. Curiosity is the fuel that drives us. As a human I…kind of lost that.

BURNHAM  It’s hard to be curious when you’re stuck inside metal walls.

ARI (Over comms)  Everyone come to the bridge. It’s important.

BURNHAM  That doesn’t sound good.

Teya picks up the holographic candle by its disk-like base.

TEYA  So much for meditation.

She holds the candle close and blows on it (as if blowing out a real candle) and the entire candle disappears with only the puck remaining.

INTERIOR. THE BRIGE OF THE LEO.

Hiroi, Burnham, and Teya stand facing Ari, who is sitting at her usual bridge station.

ARI  Something is trailing us at the extreme edge of sensor range. It might be a hunter-killer. It’s about the right size.

HIROI  Why isn’t it attacking?

ARI  Maybe it’s trying to figure us out? Are we one ship, or two? Why are we traveling at warp one?

BURNHAM  The hunter-killer I dealt with wasn’t shy.

ARI  I could be wrong. I hope I am. But the current plan of evacuating to the shuttle is a bad one. The hunter-killer can still outrun us. I called you all here to stress how pressing it is to form a new plan.

The others are silent.

ARI  I’m going to ask each of you for a plan. Teya?

TEYA (Uncertainly)  If we flee in the shuttle, it might target the Leo instead and detonate.

ARI  With no life signs aboard? (Shaking her head) Hiroi, you’re next.

HIROI  One of us flies toward the hunter-killer in the shuttle. It detonates. The Leo continues at sublight. Maybe the Discovery will still find it.

ARI  The obvious downside being one of us has to die.

HIROI  We can beam them off the shuttle at the last minute.

ARI (Derisively) At that range? Burnham, your turn.

BURNHAM (Thinking) The shuttle has a battle AI. The Federation was trying to convert them into drones to fight the Solani. Last time, I couldn’t get within phaser range without the hunter-killer detonating and taking me with it. But an empty shuttle wouldn’t be considered a target by the hunter-killer. A threat, maybe. But not a target for its quantum bomb. We’ll be left sublight in the Leo, but we’ll still be alive. And hopefully Discovery will find us.

The panel beeps, and Ari observes changes to the long range scan.

ARI  What ever it is, it’s making its move.

ACT IV

INTERIOR. THE SHUTTLECRAFT.

Ari and Burnham are sitting in the pilot and copilot seats, operating controls. The shuttle is traveling at such slow warp, the stars barely appear to shift.

BURNHAM (To Ari)  I was afraid of the battle AI taking over, so I shut it down completely. The problem is I don’t know how to reinitialize it.

Ari is quickly pressing many controls on the panel.

ARI  Michael, I can’t restart the battle AI without a command level passcode. This isn't going to work.

Burnham speaks to Teya over comms.

BURNHAM  Teya, do you know the command level passcode to reinitialize the battle AI on the shuttle?

TEYA (Over comms)  What? No, I'm just an engineer.

BURNHAM (Desperately, to Ari)  Can we fly it remotely?

ARI  No. Hunter-killers are very good at jamming forced concurrency.

BURNHAM  We can set it to track for collision course.

ARI  They’re armed to the teeth. The shuttle would never get close.

BURNHAM (beat) All right. I’ll fly the shuttle, draw it away from you guys. The hunter-killer will detonate. Hopefully, Discovery will then pick you guys up when it comes through.

ARI (Contemplating) No…there’s another way. I have to get something. I’ll be right back.

Air stands and immediately dematerializes, beaming to the Leo.

INTERIOR. THE BRIDGE OF THE LEO.

Teya and Hiroi are staring intently at the long range scan on the display.

Ari materializes and reaches for the rod-like Federation tricorder perched at the top of her bridge station.

ARI  Need the tricorder.

TEYA (To Ari) It’s definitely another hunter-killer. And it’s getting closer.

ARI (Nods)  Hiroi?

HIROI  Yes?

Ari grabs Hiroi and kisses him on the mouth for a few seconds.

ARI (Separating) Wish me luck!

Ari dematerializes and simultaneously Burnham materializes on the Leo next to Teya and Hiroi. The three gaze at each other, eyes wide, all of them realizing what is happening. The bridge of the Leo is jolted. The three grab hold of whatever is close to steady themselves.

BURNHAM  We’ve dropped out of warp! (Dismally, to Hiroi) She took the shuttle…

HIROI (Crushed, looking around helplessly)  She took...

TEYA  What do we do?

HIROI  I have to contact her.

Burnham stops Hiroi and restrains him.

BURNHAM  No, you can’t distract her. There’s a chance she can get close enough to disable it. There’s a chance…she might come back.

Burnham and Hiroi stand near Ari’s station, while Teya sits and interprets the long range scans.

TEYA  She’s approaching the hunter-killer at warp eight point five. ...Slowing now. They’re…in a dogfight. ...It’s too far away to discern what’s happening. (Shocked) Oh.

HIROI  What?

TEYA  I have nothing on the scanner now.

HIROI  But what does that mean?

TEYA (Angrily)  You know what it means, Hiroi!

Teya pushes Hiroi aside and leaves the bridge. Burnham, tearful and devastated, collapses into a seat.

HIROI (Disoriented) There’s got to be some way to see…if she—

BURNHAM (Candidly) We have no warp drive and no impulse.

Hiroi stands, completely at a loss. Burnham stares at him sympathetically, blinking slowly.

FADE TO:

INTERIOR. THE BRIDGE OF THE LEO.

Burnham, sprawled across Ari’s usual chair, is unconscious, an empty bottle of what we can only guess was synthehol in her hand.

Teya is standing close by, watching her sleep. She lifts the sleeping Burnham up after placing the bottle aside.

TEYA  Michael, this is bad for you. Go sleep in your quarters. I’ll watch the long range scans for the Discovery. Okay?

Burnham opens her eyes, looks at Teya soberly.

BURNHAM  I’m really angry.

TEYA  You were willing to go too. (beat) Hell, I would have gone. (Thinking) I don’t know about Hiroi.

The station panel beeps, and Teya offhandedly presses a few buttons.

BURNHAM  I want to do some damage. (Reflecting) No, I don’t. Utama Panggabean?

TEYA (Distracted from the panel)  Yeah? Oh.

BURNHAM (Calmer, nodding)  She’s in you. (beat) I want to think there’s some Ari in me. Just a tiny bit.

Through the wide bridge windows we see the U.S.S. Discovery drop out of warp without a sound near the Leo.

TEYA  Look behind you, Michael.

CLOSE UP: Burnham turns to see the Discovery. She tears up, shakes her head in wonder.

# TAG

INTERIOR. THE CARGO BAY OF THE DISCOVERY

In the background, the Leo is anchored in the enormous cargo bay of the Discovery. In the foreground, Burnham and Teya stand looking at the sleek ship.

BURNHAM  Captain Saru had the crew scan for any trace of a forced-matter projection core in the debris field. I’m certain they would have found it had it survived. It means, there’s nothing left of her.

TEYA  Somehow I knew…she was really gone.

BURNHAM (Nodding) They’re preparing to replicate parts for Hiroi’s ship. They may not be up to the original specs, but they should work.

TEYA  Will Hiroi be okay?

BURNHAM  I don’t know. He needs…some time. (beat) Teya, Captain Saru is offering to take you to Excalbia. He says the lack of survivors in this sector has him searching for allies. I told him you were pure Starfleet.

TEYA  All right. I’d like that very much. (beat) Michael…

BURNHAM  Yes.

TEYA (Deeply regretful) I wish I could have said goodbye to Ari.

MEDIUM SHOT: Burnham stands close to Teya and closes both eyes tightly.

BURNHAM (Quietly)  Goodbye, Ari.

Teya closes her eyes as well.

TEYA (Also quietly)  Goodbye, Ari.

They open their eyes and smile at each other sadly but sympathetically.

LONG SHOT: Together they walk toward the Leo.

# END