THE NEBULOUS SAGA
PART FOUR: BARD OF THE INTERSTELLAR
Dolion and Jesse arrive at Interstellar, on Holuvian, to meet Jesse’s contact. Kalopsia tells Dolion the truth about wishing-stardust. Jesse attempts to escape, leaving Dolion more desperate than ever to find the legendary treasure.
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Blinded by desperation, Dolion pursues Kalopsia to a nearby moon orbiting Holuvian. Their confrontation is upstaged by the arrival of a common enemy – which threatens to make all Dolion’s efforts for naught. In the heat of the moment, they realize that they are not alone on the moon…can any of them make it out alive?
The Nebulous Saga was written by Jane Maree, and produced by Magnus Carlssen.
Casting courtesy of Shogo Miyakita.
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
Aud Andrews, as the BARD
Tali De Assis, as Kalopsia
Shogo Miyakita, as Cookie
EXT - TRADING POST "INTERSTELLAR", HOLUVIAN - NIGHT DOLION and JESSE KEIFFER disembark from the NEBULA onto a docking platform. The Holuvian space-port, like some Earth air-ports features an enormous vaulted, glass-like roof, providing a panoramic view of the planet's twin suns. Lining the central thoroughfare of the port are dozens of seedy-looking shops, offering any ship supply or service one can imagine. The array of glowing digital signboards, hanging like flags from the front of each shop, gives one the feeling of being the bull chasing the matador. The place is a dizzying, fever-dream experience. At the end of the thoroughfare is a massive force-field portal, shimmering in the reflection of starlight globes that surround it. Like the Nebula, the port operates with no atmosphere, but the city itself is bounded by an enormous force-field shield, which contains the artificial atmosphere. Thanks to the lack of atmosphere in the port, it is eerily quiet; the only sound the men hear is the pounding of their own hearts in their ears. Dolion keys his radio. CAPTAIN DOLION (CONT'D) A bard here sells stardust? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I tug my top hat low and flip up my collar, adjusting my oxygen mask as I scan the dock. Mister Kieffer drops from the rope ladder hanging from the Nebula’s railing. JESSE KEIFFER Aye. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Maskless, he’s only a little breathless in the oxygenless Holuvian atmosphere. It’s risky to let a prisoner be my guide, but Kieffer says he can get me to the stardust guardian. If his stardust can grant me one wish, it’s worth any risk. His parents supposedly used stardust to wish him the ability to breathe without oxygen, so he is proof these wishes work. I can wish my parents alive again. JESSE KEIFFER Ready? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Kieffer smirks, but his eyes betray bitterness. I nod and we step through the subtle shimmer of the oxygen seal into the Interstellar city. Voices mingle with the buzz of machinery. Sail-jets swoop overhead. Footsteps scuff the grey Holuvian dust. I keep my head bowed, unsure whether the news has been broadcast here yet. JESSE KEIFFER This is what the trade ring sounded like before... PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Kieffer’s voice holds barelycontained bitterness. Before I blew it into space dust. But the Alliance is responsible for the destruction, not me. Because they made me who I am - Peter Dolion, the notorious pirate captain. I pocket my mask and pinch some pin-powder from a hidden pouch. My compass is wired to track this microchip powder to the other end of the galaxy if necessary. In case this bard refuses to bargain. Let him try to run from me and thwart my plans. JESSE KEIFFER Here. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Kieffer ducks into a pub. The minty hint of Holuvian-style rum stings my nostrils. I pause within the doorway, swamped by discordant noise. One voice leads the rest in a rowdy shanty, and I scan the room until I find the source. A bard sits on the end of the bar, lute in hand. I start forward, but Kieffer stops me. JESSE KEIFFER Not him. CAPTAIN DOLION (GROWLING) What do you mean? You said -- JESSE KEIFFER I said a bard at the Interstellar. B.A.R.D. is an acronym. 'Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt.' Peddlers use it when we're not sure exactly who the client is. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I grab his collar. CAPTAIN DOLION You don't know who it is? JESSE KEIFFER I've heard enough descriptions. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Kieffer frees himself and turns toward a table in the corner. A woman in traveler’s garb looks up from her stew as we approach. Her green eyes flick between us, and she raises her eyebrows. I sit across from her without invitation. Her hand drops beneath the table and I reach for the gun beneath my tailcoat. JESSE KEIFFER I'm Jesse Keiffer. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) My prisoner-turned-guide offers his hand toward the woman. She eyes him, then shakes his hand. KALOPSIA Kalopsia. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) She looks at me. KALOPSIA What are you doing here? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) From the tone, I guess she recognizes me. CAPTAIN DOLION I come to barter for wishing stardust. KALOPSIA No. CAPTAIN DOLION I'm simply being polite. If you won’t sell me your stardust, I will take it. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Kalopsia doesn't flinch. KALOPSIA I don't sell to pirates. Even ones in top hats. CAPTAIN DOLION I don't think you understand -- KALOPSIA What would you wish for? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) She leans forward, gaze pinning me. I lean forward too, trembling hands clenched. CAPTAIN DOLION I'd wish my parents alive again. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) She sags back and a grimace quirks the corner of her mouth. KALOPSIA You cannot undo the past, Dolion. You can only wish something new for the future. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) My heart rends. It can’t be. This was my hope, my second chance, and now she tells me I can’t? FLASHBACK. Time slows to nothing. The cacophony of the cantina dissolves. In a brutal instant, I see my past clearly: a boy and his desperate parents. Part of a pirate crew fleeing the Alliance’s hunters, with only two choices - make our hunters fear us, or be killed. My parents couldn’t endure life as fugitives. They slowed me down. I killed them. If I can’t change the past, I can only continue to punish the Alliance for making their deaths necessary. And punish them, I will. The room jerks back to life with a deafening roar. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) (CONT'D) I thrust my finger at Kalopsia. CAPTAIN DOLION You'll regret making me your enemy. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) While she glowers at me, I slip a pinch of tracking powder into her stew. I give Kalopsia a final glare and sweep from the room. EXT - ENTRANCE TO THE HOLUVIAN DOCKS - NIGHT PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) (CONT'D) Kieffer catches up to me at the docks as I fish for my mask in my pocket. He steps in front of me, barring the way. JESSE KEIFFER You can't kill her. CAPTAIN DOLION I won't if she doesn't get in my way. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Even if she’s right, I still have one wish for the future: death to the Alliance. Kieffer grabs my throat, heaving me toward the shimmering edge of the oxygen seal. I struggle for my gun, but a cold tingle touches the back of my head and I fight to stay inside the city’s oxygen. JESSE KEIFFER (QUAVERING) You killed my parents too. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) Fear clutches my gut. I can see my own hatred in Kieffer’s eyes. JESSE KEIFFER Killing you will just turn me into you, but I won’t play your game anymore. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) He releases me and runs. I stumble, gasping for breath, but he’s already vanished into the streets. What...just happened? He could have killed me, but instead...he’s gone to warn Kalopsia. Did he see me lace her stew? Will he stop her from leading me straight to the stardust? I curse and turn back to the Nebula, tugging my mask on. INT - THE PIRATE SHIP NEBULA - NIGHT DOLION bursts through the force-field of the NEBULA's deck, tearing off his mask, and makes a beeline for the bridge. COOKIE intercepts him at the boarding ladder. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) (CONT'D) The gentle ship’s cook meets me aboard, concern creasing his brow. COOKIE You get the stardust? PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) I withdraw my star-compass, praying that Kieffer hasn’t ruined all. The needle swings for a moment, then steadies. I look up and spot a sail-jet exiting the atmosphere. CAPTAIN DOLION I will. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) The words grate in my sore throat, and Kieffer’s parting words resonate. If his vengeance would turn him into me...what has mine turned me into? I shove the thoughts away, and whisper to the past, CAPTAIN DOLION (WHISPERING) This is for you. PETER DOLION (NARRATOR) But when I try to visualize my parents, all I see is their bloodied faces. I close my eyes and curse the Alliance, another crack forming in my splintering heart. CAPTAIN DOLION I will avenge you.