Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Act I Scene IV

SCENE IV. The quarters of Cpt ARCHER on Illyria Station

Enter two Starfleet officers, Valentine and Curio

LT VALENTINE Do you know anything about this new officer, Major Reed? He's certainly shot into the Captain's good graces quickly.

LT CURIO [Stunned – Catches Valentine by the sleeve] Are you kidding? Wait, you didn't serve with Archer on the Enterprise did you? Reed is a killer! He's ruthless, he doesn't even know the meaning of the word mercy! I've seen him send one of his own men to the agoniser just for sneezing on inspection!

Valentine pulls his arm away

VALENTINE I don't care what sort of a brute he is, the captain deserves the best

CURIO Val, I know you're very [Beat] protective towards Archer but be careful. I'm not joking, this guy Reed is the most lethal MACO I've ever known, so if you cross him, you'll be a dead man in seconds.

Michelle Reed enters. She's in a Mirror Universe Starfleet uniform which hides her shape and her long hair has been cut down to a pageboy style. The two lieutenants jump to attention and give the MU salute. Michelle looks a little taken aback but snaps off a salute in return, wincing slightly when she hits her chest

MICHELLE REED At ease men [Voice is a little high so continues gruffly] Name and rank!

VALENTINE Lieutenant Valentine, sir!

CURIO Lieutenant Curio, sir!

Michelle strolls around them, inspecting them. They start to look nervous.

MICHELLE REED Very good. I want a status report on the Captain's security arrangements

VALENTINE Sir! We have this whole section of the station assigned to us. The doors are protected by DNA locks and the outer hull is polarised with sensors set to detect any unauthorised activity.

MICHELLE REED Intelligence reports on possible hostile action against the captain?

Curio stamps to attention, holding out a PADD, still staring straight ahead

CURIO We've identified seven distinct factions on Risa that are hostile to the captain, three neutral and only one friendly. We have intelligence gathering drones monitoring all factions. The PADD has an analysis of the results to date.

Michelle takes the PADD and starts to flick through it, speed reading.

MICHELLE REED [Mumbles] Very good, very good... [Pause, looks up and tosses PADD onto a desk, turning her back on them] And what's the captains general situation?

Curio and Val look at each other, uncertain.

VALENTINE Situation?

MUSIC Bed – Mirror Universe Reed's 'Mean Theme' - full of tension and menace

Michelle turns again and moves between them. She's tall for a woman and leans towards each in turn as if she is sharing a secret.

MICHELLE REED I've been floating in a tissue regeneration tank for the past two years, gentlemen, and what do I find when I wake up? My captain is not in command of the Enterprise, he is not in command of the Defiant, he is not in command of any ship. The Archer I knew would never have allowed himself to get into this predicament, so do you know what I put it down to? [BEAT] I think he's been let down by his subordinates

Steps back

MICHELLE REED Perhaps I am misjudging you gentlemen [BEAT] perhaps not. You will follow my instructions to the letter and any deviation will be acted on accordingly – by me – without warning [She is face to face with Valentine now, staring him down, menacing] Is that clear?


Enter Archer

MU ARCHER Putting the fear of death into them already, Malcolm?

Michelle jumps to attention herself, startled. How long had he been listening?


MU ARCHER Good! I want you all focused on the court of the Empress – who is in it, their strengths and weaknesses. I want them out and me in! Reed!


Archer is in “command mode”.

MU ARCHER [Coldly] You're my front line. She won't see me and she pays no attention to either of these two [Nod towards C&V] She knows you and you've gained something of a reputation over the years you've been in the tank. You're a throwback to the old times, the wild times.

MU ARCHER There is less instability in the current empire. Things are simpler. It all boils down to who has control of the Defiant – whoever has her is the Emperor. Hoshi has the access codes to the Defiant's main computer restricted to her alone and doesn't even allow her pet Mayweather more than navigational control.

MU ARCHER She needs a captain and I'm the best. If I can convince her that I'm loyal I'll be back in the centre of things again.

MICHELLE REED ...and if not sir?

Smiles grimly

MU ARCHER Then we have to try something else

MICHELLE REED What do I say, sir? I've not had much experience with women.

Michelle flusters for a moment then recovers – puts on a Macho swagger to impress “the guys”

MICHELLE REED I mean, you just take what you want and move on, right?

Change of tempo/atmosphere – Archer lightens up, smirks at C&V

MU ARCHER Use your imagination! She's a woman, you're a man! Flatter her, impress her with my good points, tell her how much I love her and I can't live without her. [BEAT] Women love that kind of thing.

Out of Archer's line of sight and unseen by the other two, Michelle looks at Archer with an incredulous look then rolls her eyes. She continues, deadpan.

MICHELLE REED Right sir, I sweep her off her feet!

Archer smiles and turns to Michelle, puts his arm across her shoulder and leans in to her confidentially.

MU ARCHER You shouldn't be so up-tight, Malcolm, they did a great job on you in the regeneration tank! Your skin's as smooth as a teenager's and you look like you haven't even started shaving yet! You're going to a real hit with the ladies!

Michelle looks uncomfortable but has to play up to the situation

MICHELLE REED Its just been a long time since … uh … the last time and I'm not sure if everything's … working the way it should [Trails off into mumble]

Cut to Valentine who looks surprised and sympathetic. Back to Archer and Reed, Archer chuckles

MU ARCHER Its just like falling off a horse, Reed, you've just got to …

Archer and Reed together – Archer leering, Reed rolling eyes

MU ARCHER & MICHELLE REED get right back into the saddle!

MICHELLE REED Believe me sir, I have no interest in women what-so-ever at the moment

Cut to Valentine whose eyebrows go up with a hopeful look .

MU ARCHER You will, Malcolm, you will.

Michelle, aside under her breath – missed by Archer but heard by Valentine

MICHELLE REED [hunh] I won't Archer, believe me, I won't!

Unseen, Valentine looks sideways at Michelle, incredulously. Archer steps away and the moment is broken. He points to C&V

MU ARCHER You two, escort Major Reed to the court of the Empress and do everything you can to help him.

Curio and Valentine stamp to attention, salute and chorus...


VALENTINE I'll do everything I can to help!

The other three look at Valentine, deadpan. He looks uncomfortable. Archer moves to stage right.

MU ARCHER [ASIDE]By this time tomorrow the empress … and the Defiant! … will be mine!

Reed moves to exit stage left

MICHELLE REED [ASIDE]The last thing I need is for Archer to get the Empress as well as the Defiant – he has to be mine … I mean ours!

Exit Reed. Curio follows with Valentine bringing up the rear.



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