Keenan Cross

Abyssal (first draft)

Act 1

Scene 2

Around the lab

No music now.  The only ambient sound is a mechanical hum and constant low groans caused by water pressure.  TECH has a something of a routine he follows to occupy his time.  Shots of him harpoon fishing in the submersible pen; polishing, calibrating, and maintaining lab equipment; laying in and meticulously making each of the many beds in a bunk that is empty except for him.  He paces the halls and attempts mechanical and electrical maintenance in service openings, but he has no success, and automated repair arms undo anything he tries.  He passes displays in the walls which show a world map with heat marks on it and various numbers.  When he sees them he swipes the view away violently.  There is one of these screens in the bunk, but he has broken it.

While pacing in the halls, TECH turns a corner and sees RESEARCHER leaning against a wall with one hand pressed to her face, suppressing her distress.  Their eyes meet briefly, and she storms away in a huff.  TECH thinks he sees the silhouette of another person behind her after she moves from where she was.  He closes his eyes and breathes deeply as though this is something that has happened before.

As he moves on, show that RESEARCHER had been standing next to one of the displays with the map.  The heat mapping shows something spreading over large portions of the surface.


SCREEN:                      Day: 217

Est.: 88%


When TECH passes it he reaches to swipe it away, but a message comes up on it.


RESEARCHER:             [message] i need samples

i’m still not talking to you


In the reflection of a window in the hall TECH can see RESEARCHER typing on a tablet around the corner.


TECH:                          [aloud, flatly] What kind?


The display transcribes what he says and sends it as a message back.  RESEARCHER looks up to his reflection in the same window and types some.  Several Latin names come up.  TECH gestures to snatch them from the display and send them to his mobile device.


RESEARCHER:             [message] breakfast tomorrow


TECH:                          [flatly] Yeah.


The message app closes and the map comes back, but TECH leaves it.


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