Contact Paradox

Synopsis: First contact team must decide if the continuation of the mission will violate the Prime Directive. With the ship damaged beyond repair in space, must they self-destruct?
Asking price: Negotiable
Genre: Sci-Fi
11 Views

Opening Scene

The back of a man in uniform looking out on a scene of the planet below. Capitan “Number One, are you here to ask if I have changed my mind about blowing up the ship and prior to that, burning every man and woman on it?” First Officer “I will not pretend to be offended by that sir, and I will not argue with you again against your insistence in being the only one conscious on board when you light the match on that. I have only come to inform you that all senior staff are assembled in your ready room for any final instructions you may have.” Capitan “Very well, tell them that I am on my way”

Scene changes to Ready Room and the Capitan’s entrance with stack of papers. “Gentlemen, please remain standing but be at ease. I see that Maj. Henley has seen fit to bring out a bottle of his finest, and I would like to start what you expect to be our last meeting with a toast. Please fill your glasses and hear me well.” TOAST “It has been the honor of my life to serve with the finest men and women both in this room and throughout this ship”. (downed glasses) “Please be seated. As commander of this vessel, it falls to me to address any issue that comes to me about the welfare of it’s crew, from the first day of a mission until its last. That being said, having read your final reports and the unanimous conclusions you each came to as to initiating the option of self-destruction, I am not pleased as to the level of confidence each of my officers has with each other’s competence. (Room erupts, with all officers jumping to their feet in protest). “SIT DOWN. Steward, please refill the glasses of my officers while they gain their composure. All of us, and I do mean all, must face evaluations. What I ask of you now, after hearing my thoughts on your reading your reports, is to rewrite them with a new thought in mind. Based on the current condition of the ship, the options available, and the Prime Directive, each of you came to the same conclusion. (Capitan hands out the officer’s reports back to each of them) This I expected, but as I went from one report to the next, I noticed a disturbing trend. Each officer clearly laid out what would be required of them if we made planet-fall in our current condition. Each officer made clear that they could do what was needed to be done to complete the original mission, but that it would be of no use if we were to be overwhelmed by the planets inhabitants while doing so. To summarize all the reports here and to relay it back to you goes like this. The engineer has assured me that the ship self-destruct has now the added element of setting off such intense heat within the ship just prior to the self-destruct as to ensure that no residue of life on the ship could survive to reach the planet, but to do so on the planet would only mean causing undue loss of life to the inhabitants. This says to me, that without intent, the engineer lacks confidence in those tasked with protecting this ship on the planet or the crew tasked with repairing the ship in the time they would have to do so. Each officers report was consistent with the engineer’s report. Each was careful not to place blame on another’s area of responsibility in continuing the First Contact mission under current conditions. This then, is the current task I place on you now. I want each of you to take back your reports, and this time write them with the assumption that every other officer can succeed in their parts and allow them to do theirs. Having done so, we shall reconvene and address the final evaluation, which is this. Is it the concession of this body that I the commander of this vessel, based on the new reports that you will each read, would be committing dereliction of duty to not consider carrying on with the original mission”? “I leave you now, to discuss among yourselves as you will, and then on to write your new reports. We shall reconvene at 0800 tomorrow”.

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Edward Wooldridge

E A Wooldridge is retired from the US Army and occupies his time as a writer and collector. 

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"Contact Paradox" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 May 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script-for-sale/contact_paradox_51>.

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