LAST REFUGE

Screenplay by Ricardo Del Rio
based on a Story by Marcelo, Arturo 
and Ricardo Del Rio

Last Refuge Version 1-5

Mankind was never meant to survive.

Prospecting an asteroid in search of a forbidden mother lode, a small group of convicts makes a grim finding: They were all condemned to die in space… along with the rest of humanity.

EPSIODE I. CHAPTER II. THE SALOON IN THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

In space, having a good Engineer is as important as having a good Dentist.

17. No one likes the Engineer, but he doesn’t care; in any correction facility, it’s enough to be needed. He used to be a botanic engineer who got caught engineering hard drugs; back on Earth a serious offense but out in space, a gift. Every single convict would love to see him gone; he takes more than gives, but all depend on him: From growing spices and fresh vegetables and coffee for the Cook at the Mine’s Saloon, to fix personalized drugs, to raise Bonsai Trees, the status quo in space. If any small favor is a big deal in prison, out in space any big favor becomes a life’s debt. His talent to fix things also has come in handy for the convict prospectors, most of which owe him more than they can afford to pay, juggling when and how he collects, anyone who owes him is also his enemy.

18. Money don’t mean a big deal out in space, the Engineer has bartered enough to stockpile a collection of Earth’s junk stored back at his own asteroid; a now depleted mine he “inherited” from his former partner upon his death. Once every two weeks the Engineer visits the saloon over the Moon’s dark side colony, barters his products and gets laid with a local prostitute, then gets drunk, loses the cash he’s earned at the gaming tables and goes back to Dactyl until he forgets how bad a hangover in low gravity can be and how messy it can get, this takes just enough time for the engineered crops to grow back and his loneliness to overwhelm his survival instinct; also, every two weeks, the prison barge arrives to the Moon’s dark side hulk with fresh opportunities to try the new flesh and to con the fresh convicts at the Saloon.

19. The Engineer observes the new arrivals, half of them will be dead in a couple of years in a mining accident or at the hands of someone who will never be accused, what happens in space, stays in space; the other half will be sick in five to ten years, ten years out here is like dog years, you can grow old fast. Amongst the eclectic variety of new arrivals one in particular catches his eye: this man doesn’t belong there, like a fish out of the water Nathaniel Pope gets into the Saloon as a kid would enter his classroom on his first day at school. Nathaniel reaches the bar and asks for a drink, still carrying his duffel bag and a survival backpack. A prostitute approaches the Man and tries to hook him… The Engineer watches as Nathaniel probes the prostitute about the black market and the local drugs, Nathaniel shows her the amber.

20. The Engineer’s curiosity grows; the Prostitute tries to get Nathaniel into a low G sex booth but Nathaniel is not interested. The local Pimp approaches Nathaniel to try to collect a fine for wasting his working girl’s time, as the clients get hooked fast; Nathaniel doesn’t have enough to pay as he just signed up for labor in the mines. The Prostitute wants the amber as compensation, Nathaniel refuses and the ensuing fight breaks, Nathaniel is getting his ass kicked by the pimp and his enforcers. They’re about to finish him when the Engineer intervenes. The pimp seems to owe several favors to the Engineer so he’s happy to even the score and let Nathaniel go. The Engineer helps Nathaniel back into the Saloon and buys him a drink. Now, the Engineer questions Nathaniel. Reluctantly, Nathaniel ventures to show the Engineer the amber; the Engineer recognizes it, he’s seen one identical before, back at his asteroid’s mine station.

21. Nathaniel reveals he’s been looking for these ambers for over two years now and promises to share its secrets if the Engineer helps him find their origin. The Engineer agrees and pays the tab, then both leave the Saloon. The Engineer leads Nathaniel to his shuttle, his asteroid lies 60,000 km from the Moon at LaGrange so it will take twelve hours to reach it. The Engineer notifies his Zombie technician at the station to be prepared for them and takes off.

This is the last time anyone at the mine, or anywhere for that matter, ever saw Nathaniel Pope again.