FINNEGAN'S SQUAD: "Jeu Parti" - teaser/opening act

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       FINNEGAN'S SQUAD: "Jeu Parti"

               BEGIN OPENING ACT:

               EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY

               The barren landscape of the red planet under a dull sun.  A
               moment later a small vehicle, gliding some fifty meters above
               the surface, flies by.

               The vehicle is a Mars-sled, an anti-gravity, futuristic
               version of a semi-truck, ferrying supplies from the Argyre
               Exchange space port to various posts around the planet.

               INT. MARS-SLED - COCKPIT

               The cockpit of the vehicle is narrow but high.  A thin aisle
               runs down the middle of the space linking the two fore
               consoles of the cockpit to a sealed hatch at the far aft end. 
               The hatch leads to the airlock and cargo deck.

               Between fore and aft on the port side are two Sleepbunks,
               stacked one on top of the other.  On the starboard side is an
               entertainment cubicle (room for one) behind which is the tiny

               We know this is the lavatory because we can hear the FLUSH as
               the COPILOT comes out of it, pulling his britches up
               (actually the bottom half of his sealed atmospheric suit) on
               his return to his seat. 

                         Told you not to try the vindaloo.

                         It's not the vindaloo!

                         Smells like it to me.

               EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY

               The Mars-sled continues along its path.

               In the foreground, one, two and then five dark clad figures
               appear peering over a ridge at the approaching craft.  These
               are ZIZU RAIDERS, evidenced by the dark cloth rags they wear
               over their tight fitting environmental suits.  

               Even up close to these beings there are no features to be
               made out.  We know they're bipeds but that's about it.

               One of them suddenly stands, holding something that looks
               suspiciously like a bazooka on his shoulder.  He/She aims it
               at the approaching Mars-sled and then fires.

               A bolt of high Arc energy careens out of the nozzle, crossing
               the distance between the Raiders and the craft in an instant.

               As with all other such impacts the Mars-sled begins to lose
               power at the strike.

               INT. MARS-SLED - COCKPIT

               Both are working hard to maintain control.

                         What the hell was that?

                         We're losing power!

                         Routing reserves to Grav-Plates.

                         Oh Pete!

               EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY

               The Mars-sled descends faster than anyone inside would like,
               falling short of a crash thanks only to the overcompensation
               of the anti-gravity technology to the sudden approach of the

               After a mild rebound the Mars-sled slides into the dirt
               coming to an abrupt stop as the final erg of power is

               The spray of Mars dust settles.

               INT. MARS-SLED - COCKPIT

               The only light now comes in through the forward viewport, a
               view mostly obscured by the dirt the vehicle has pushed ahead
               of it on landing.

               Pilot pushes himself back in his seat.  His head lolls about
               as he regains his senses.  He reaches up, touching the blood
               on his forehead.  It could be worse.

               He looks over at Copilot who is just now, groggily coming to.

               Pilot cocks his head listening for air hissing.

                         What happened?

               Pilot unbuckles his belts and climbs out of his seat, moving
               up the slightly inclined deck for an overhead compartment
               from which he pulls out two helmets.

                         We crashed.  

               He returns, handing one of them to the Copilot who takes the
               helmet groggily and looks at as though it's still a foreign
               object.  Once his eyes focus and he sees what it is he
               becomes concerned.

                         Did we decompress?

               The pilot puts his helmet on and seals it with a click as he
               starts back up the incline toward the Aft Hatch pausing only
               long enough to grab a Comm-Unit.

                         No but we're going to have to do
                         repairs and I don't know about the
                         rest of the ship...

               The Copilot nods, slides his helmet on and then unbuckles
               himself to follow the Pilot.

               The Pilot repeats the keying sequence again to open the Aft
               Hatch, to no effect.

               He smashes the override glass and pulls the safety and then
               reaches for a grip to manually pull the hatch open.

               It suddenly springs open but that's more because of the rag
               clad figure on the opposite side than anything he did.

               Two other figures behind the nearest Raider raise their
               weapons, ugly looking powerful rifles, at the Pilot and

               As one of the Raiders appears to be moving aft, deep into the
               craft, another Raider, the Leader of the group, steps between
               the two that are armed.  

               When he speaks, his voice comes out like Darth Vadar's, had
               Vadar made his own thing from stuff bought at Canadian Tire.

                                   ZIZU RAIDER LEADER (V.O.)
                         We do not wish to harm you but this
                         craft is now ours.


                                   ZIZU RAIDER LEADER (V.O.)
                         This vehicle is now the property of
                         the Zizu. 

                         Now see here!

               The Leader reaches out and smacks the Pilot in the forehead,
               then as quickly, replaces his gloved fist with the muzzle of
               a small pistol that he presses directly against the same

                                   ZIZU RAIDER LEADER (V.O.)
                         Do not mistake our desire not to
                         harm you for a promise that we
                         won't.  You have thirty seconds to
                         vacate this craft.

                         But we're a thousand clicks from

                         We can't survive out here!

               The Leader reaches out and grabs the Comm-Unit from the
               Pilot.  He holds it up to another device and sparks fly from
               the connection.  The Comm-Unit beeps a series of failing
               tones as it runs out of power.  The Leader hands this back to
               the Pilot.

                                   ZIZU RAIDER LEADER (V.O.)
                         The power cell on your
                         communication device will recharge
                         in a day, you can call for help


               The two flanking Raiders roughly dig the muzzles of their
               weapons into the Pilot's torso.  The point is made clear.

               The Pilot and Copilot are guided out of the Cockpit.  They
               raise their hands in surrender as they are guided to the side
               hatch and then outside to the Martian surface.

               EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY

               Their hands still up the two move a few steps away from their
               Mars-sled as the hatch is closed behind them.

               INT. MARS-SLED - COCKPIT

               The Leader is the first to reach up and remove his headgear. 
               It is ETHAN (from FSQ/0A: "SHUTTLEDOWN").  He looks back at
               the Raider who went aft.

                         Give me the word Chucky!

               From the aft end of the craft, at the exposed panel of the
               driver, at a point where the interior mechanism of the Mars
               sled has been connected to an external device, a suitcase
               sized and powerful device to say the least, CHUCKY looks
               back, still in his outer gear, and gives the thumbs up.

               Ethan enters the cockpit, moving to the Pilot's seat and
               flicking a switch as he sits.  The entire craft comes alive.

               Beside him, helmet off, sits CHESTER.  A burly mountain of an
               individual who takes the controls of the craft, with the
               grace of a lumberjack trying to ride a child's tricycle, and
               begins to reverse their course.

               The third individual, TOIMEE, a bookish, Harry Potter sort of
               young snot, particularly when his helmet is off, stands
               between them.

                         So what's this beast carrying

                         Oxygen scrubbers.  Twenty three of
                         them, all industrial grade.

                         Crim!  That's not going to go
                         unnoticed Chief.

                         I know.

                         I mean they'll send someone after
                         us for this, you know that?

                         Know it.  I'm counting on it kid.

               The nose of the Mars-sled crests from under the dirt. 
               Chester clumsily starts to angle the craft forward.

               EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY

               With the environmentally clad Pilot and Copilot as their
               witness, the high-jacked Mars-sled ungracefully lumbers off,
               slowly gaining altitude.

                         Walk or wait?

               Pilot glances at the powerless Comm-Unit as the recharge
               indicator flashes on and off.  He leans back as far as he can
               staring skyward.

                         You want to walk, go for it.  I'm


               The camera is looking down on the two of them with a slow
               pull back to emphasize their isolation.  

               Then abruptly it zooms away, rapidly ascending to orbit. 
               Past the Space Station in orbit here and out into space.  

               END OPENING ACT:
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