THE NEBULOUS SAGA
PART THREE: PEDDLER OF THE GALAXIES
Jesse attempts to escape the NEBULA using an emergency pod, but is caught in the act. The revelation of Jesse’s secret gives Dolion hope for a last chance to redeem his past wrongs. Cookie fears this newfound power may prove dangerous…an intuition Dolion ignores, blinded by his insatiable desire for vengeance. Can anyone prevent further calamity by Dolion’s hand?
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A mysterious stranger, Kalopsia, meets Dolion and Jesse on a strange planet called Holuvian. Threatened by Dolion, she flees – taking the stardust with her. Jesse pleads with Dolion to save her life, but is forced aside as Dolion takes up hot pursuit of the escaping peddler.
Part Three soundtrack courtesy of Epidemic Sound.
Sound design by H.M. Radcliff.
Cover art by Kirk DouPonce.
Part Two cast, in order of appearance:
Reginald West, as the Ancient One
Magnus Carlssen, as the Narrator
Rhys Lawton, as Captain Peter Dolion
Michael Malconian, as Jesse Keiffer
Shogo Miyakita, as Cookie
INT - THE PIRATE SHIP NEBULA - NIGHT DOLION is silhouetted against the curved windows of his cabin. Behind him, a brilliant interstellar cloud glows in the inky blackness. An enormous desk matches the sweep of the window. Two lanterns sit on the desk like bookends, facing the massive leatherbound journal sitting open. He paces between the desk and the window, hands clasped behind his back. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) The prisoner still refuses to talk. Hands clasped behind my back, I pace my cabin. Shutters dim the starlight lanterns on my desk, but the wide, paned window reveals the sparkling view of a myriad of stars to our stern. I can’t bring myself to pull the blinds, lest I miss some glimpse of pursuit. It’s been ten days since I gave the order to obliterate the Nova Alliance’s trade station with our cannons. Ten days since I thought my vengeance would be satisfied, my parents avenged. But still, it’s not enough. The Nova Alliance took everything I cared about, and I will not rest until I take everything from them. I pace to the window, staring out at our stardust wake. DOLION pauses, and all the depths of space seem to reflect in his eyes. He is...searching. After a moment, he recovers and resumes his pacing. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) (CONT'D) It’s been ten days, too, since we fished Mister Kieffer out of the void - wearing no mask or oxy-tank, but somehow alive. I need to know how he survived. Was it luck or something more? His silence suggests something more. And something more is exactly what I need against the alliance. I’ve tried everything I have, now I need...more. Their trade station is gone, but their poison runs deeper than that. Nova officials and soldiers are spread across the galaxies. Somehow, I must destroy every last one. I pace to the cabin door, peering through the dim pane to the Nebula’s main deck. My breath fogs the glass, but nothing stirs beyond. The crew sleeps belowdecks. It’s hard to tell the passage of time away from a regular solar system, but I can just make out the digits on the mast’s atomic clock: past midnight, standard galactic time. A shadow slides across the deck. My hand drops to the pistol at my belt. Snatching up the nearest shuttered starlight globe, I unlatch my door quietly and slip out, following the movement to the lifejets. INT - THE PIRATE SHIP NEBULA - NIGHT DOLION moves silently through the shadows. The shimmering force-field of the giant air-lock over the deck casts an eerie red glow, making him appear even more sinister and ominous. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) (CONT'D) I stop in the shadow of the foremast. A figure bends over one of the lifejets, and the dull clink of a lock warns me that he’s just bypassed the security system that only I have access to. I peer closer. Actually, it looks like he’s removed the seal-lock completely, leaving the pod unsecured but unsafe for space travel. Unless you can survive the void. Drawing my pistol, I flick open the lantern’s shutters, shedding pale light across the scene. Mister Kieffer ducks, but there’s no shelter, and he crouches exposed in the pool of starlight. Resignation flickers in his eyes. CAPTAIN DOLION (GROWLING) You're supposed to be in the brig. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) His jaw bunches as he straightens, still holding the key. What fool crewman let himself be pickpocketed? JESSE KEIFFER Worth a try. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) His blasted cockiness even in the face of capture makes me snap. I drop the lantern - it spins across the deck in a dizzying flicker of light - and lunge at Kieffer. I grab his collar and throw him against the lifejet. CAPTAIN DOLION (DEMANDING) Who are you?! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Keiffer gasps, raising his hands, but I shove my pistol under his jaw. CAPTAIN DOLION (FURIOUSLY) How did you survive? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I lean over him, teeth bared. His gaze hardly shows a flash of fear. JESSE KEIFFER Why would I tell you? You killed them all. CAPTAIN DOLION You care for the Alliance that much? JESSE KEIFFER To the Void with the Novas! I'm not with them! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) He surges against me. I stumble back a pace, but he follows so we're chest to chest. His eyes are red-rimmed, but filled with rage. Familiar rage. JESSE KEIFFER (SEETHING) You killed my family. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Raw pain surges into my throat in a roar, and I grab his shirt and shove him against the mast. CAPTAIN DOLION (HISSING) They killed mine. And for ten years I have been making the alliance pay, and I will not rest until I have obliterated them. JESSE KEIFFER (SCOFFING) The stories say you killed your own parents to become the captain. You were tired of being second place, so you executed them-- CAPTAIN DOLION (SHOUTING) Liar! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I throw him to the deck and shove my knee into his ribs. I jam the pistol against his throat again. COOKIE Pete! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Strong hands grip my shoulders, dragging me back. CAPTAIN DOLION (RAGING) Release me! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I shake free, turning to face Cookie's creased brow. CAPTAIN DOLION Stay out of this, old man! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Ever the quiet voice of reason, my cook doesn't retreat. COOKIE (QUIETLY) Lad, killing him won't do you no good. CAPTAIN DOLION You're wrong. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I turn back to Kieffer as the prisoner struggles to his knees. Cookie grips my arm. I cock my pistol, but Mister Kieffer raises his hands, shuddering. JESSE KEIFFER Please, don't...I'll tell you, I'll tell you, okay? CAPTAIN DOLION (SHOUTING) How did you survive in the void? JESSE KEIFFER Stardust! PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) His shoulders slump. It must be true, unless he's an expert actor. I crouch, frowning as I spin my pistol idly. CAPTAIN DOLION (TERSE) Explain. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) He shakes his head but looks up beneath the dirty strands of his fringe. JESSE KEIFFER My parents were peddlers. We traded anything, anywhere they’d let us in. When I was a child, they traded for some stardust. If you have the right kind of stardust, you can make a wish. One wish, and it’ll never work for you again, no matter how much dust you have. CAPTAIN DOLION And they wished that you wouldn't die? JESSE KEIFFER Everyone has to die eventually. They wished that the void wouldn't take me like it did my brother. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) The sorrow that glistens in his gaze is proof enough of the truth. CAPTAIN DOLION And you know where to find this stardust? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) My knuckles whiten on my pistol. Keiffer looks away. JESSE KEIFFER (QUIETLY) The Interstellar city on Holuvian. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) His words lift a weight from my chest, and I stand. Only one wish? I only need one. I know instantly what I will wish for. COOKIE Pete? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Concern lowers Cookie’s gentle voice. I turn to him, resolve pounding with each heartbeat. CAPTAIN DOLION Get the prisoner back in the brig and make sure he stays there this time. We sail for the Interstellar.