SOUND: Quiet conversations. A tap on a desk and a throat-clear.
MARLENE: Alright, ladies and gentlemen, let’s begin. First item on our agenda: we are returning to the issue of the influx of trespassers. After the most recent incident, there has been far too much chatter—not just here, but within the Project. I must stress the importance of your confidentiality agreement. Nothing that happens on patrol or resulting from a recent patrol is for public knowledge. Anyone that thinks it is will be sent for retraining.
KEELAN: We have decided to implement Returning Wall Protocol for all guards on outside detail. Every team will be live tracked during shifts and upon return will submit to retinal and voice recognition scans. I’m sure many of us recall the unfortunate incident when an Outsider compromised a guard’s position and successfully breached gate security. There is concern that this type of tactic will be more common—
MARLENE: —and especially with Jacob’s recent passing (brief pause) Jacob’s passing combined with the leak of Dr. Cameron's research may have created the illusion that we’re more vulnerable at this time. We must reassure those inside and outside the wall that we aren’t. And we are prepared to take more aggressive action against outsiders in order to maintain our security. We will be moving forward on Reserve Strategy Protocol...
LIANNE: Reserve Strategy? Is that necessary? I just mean, isn’t that only for situations where there is a depletion of supplies?
MARLENE: Walker, I’m not sure why you’re acting like there isn’t a shortage. This is why Haven was created in the first place. Why should we have to wait for further provocation? This wouldn’t be an attack to begin a war—that isn’t our goal.
LIANNE: Oh, okay. Sorry I misunder –
KEELAN: If we were to go forward with a more aggressive strategy, it would be action designed to halt any remaining threats. It would be an eradication.
MARLENE: Moving forward, we’ve been hearing complaints about uniforms. Seems some people are not clear about whether or not they're supposed to be wearing matching socks while on patrol...
(Voice fades out)
SOUND: Exiting meeting room. Footsteps down the hallway as staff members move between rooms. Scattered conversations and laughter. A sudden shout, conversations die down.
GUARD: Everyone move out of the way, we’ve got a Code 73B! Clear the way, there’s a stretcher coming through!
SOUND: Conversations continue in background.
KEELAN: Walker! If you have a moment.
LIANNE: Yeah, sure. You don’t mind a walk and talk? I’ve got to get to the training session that started a few minutes ago.
KEELAN:Yeah, get used to Marlene’s “quick” meetings. I just wanted to have a chat about the Reserve Strategy. I saw your face, Walker, when I mentioned the eradication. Are you starting to doubt yourself? Or maybe you’re starting to doubt the Project Guard Mandate?
LIANNE: No, Commander, not at all. I just...It’s taking some getting used to is all. I never had to think about direct violence very much in my last position and I just assumed we were more peaceful. Are we sure this is the right path? All of this violence?
KEELAN: Lianne, if we stay passive, we will be wiped out. Did you hear the code that was just yelled out?
LIANNE: Yes, uh, 73B.
KEELAN: And what does that code mean?
LIANNE: (quietly) ...Near fatality, caused by an Outsider.
KEELAN:That Outsider could’ve been 10 years old. Might’ve been an 80 year old. We really can’t know. They’re dangerous, Walker. You know that. Who knows how many 73Bs we’ll encounter if we don’t act now? Or a 73C?
LIANNE: (still quietly) Fatality by an outsider.
KEELAN: Precisely. Don’t go soft, Walker. It’s the wrong time.
LIANNE: I’m not, commander. (With conviction) These people are my family first. I won’t see another guard get hurt.
KEELAN: That’s what I like to hear, Lianne.
LIANNE: Yes, Commander.
SOUND: Gate starting to shut. Random orders, equipment “clinking” as people walk.
LIANNE: Alright, let’s remember that we’re on a scouting mission. I need four in the back and two in the front with me at all times, and extra eyes on the north gate. Guns stay down until explicit orders. (gates opening) Let’s head out. Soo, you lead the back. In 3 minutes, you run back and check the gate, then join us. Keep voices low— that means no talking. I’m lookin’ at you, Kern.
SOUND: Silence, sounds of people walking through greenery/forest. Voices over a walkie talkie.
GUARD SOO: Heading back to the gate now, Lieutenant.
SOUND: More voices over the walkie talkie. People screaming.
LIANNE: Positions 3, 4 run back to base. See what the yelling is about.
GUARD SOO: (on a walkie talkie; panicked) Code 18A, Lieutenant! That's a code 18A!
LIANNE: Code 18A, copy that.
SOUND: The group running back to the gate; equipment clanking. One of the guards is on top of a potential trespasser; the perpetrator looks to be in his 20s.
LIANNE: Get off of them! Let them go!
GUARD SOO: Lieutenant?
LIANNE: Uh, yes—um, no, get off them, bring them into processing.
GUARD SOO: Shouldn’t we just—
LIANNE: Soo, are you challenging the orders of your CO? (Pause) Take them inside before I suggest further retraining for you.
SOUND: More screaming.
OUTSIDER: Please. Please, my parents! They’re waiting for me to come back! They-
LIANNE: Shut up and stay on the ground. Just... Just take them inside. Tell processing to put them in holding cell 9C, no decisions yet. We can, uh, we can get information from them.
GUARD SOO: Yes, Lieutenant.
LIANNE: The rest of you—we’re heading back in. Line up at the gate to begin security processing.
SOUND: Beeps from scanners that guards are walking through. Muffled conversations between guards—security questions to make sure no outsiders have gotten in.
GUARD: Lieutenant Walker, please step through to be scanned.
KEELAN: Lianne, what happened out there? You were out for less than 10 minutes!
LIANNE: I know, Commander. We caught an Outsider. I’ve decided for them to be placed in a holding cell so we can question them, having a second attempt like this so soon doesn’t make any sense.
KEELAN: I can see where you’re coming from, Lianne, but I don’t think that’s our course of action right now. We aren’t aiming to figure out why. We just want it to stop. I’m going to have them moved to B block and a guard will be there to deal with it.
LIANNE: Commander, no—wait—
KEELAN: It’s out of your hands, Walker.
SOUND: Papers rustling. Nervous tapping.
ALLISON: This is the map here, and we...Li? Are you listening? This isn’t going to work if you don’t pay attention.
LIANNE: Sorry, uh, yeah. I’m listening, I just—
ALLISON: There was nothing you could have done for that Outsider.
LIANNE: But I thought I had decision making authority and my lie was solid. I didn’t stutter or anything! And Idler just overrode it.
ALLISON: (gently) I know, Li. I know that, the rest of P.E.A.S. knows that. You did your best. Aren’t you the one who said they’re doubling down on security? You did what you could.
LIANNE: Yeah, I guess so. I just can’t stop seeing his face.
SOUND: Silence. Papers rustling.
ALLISON: We will help them, Li. We will get them in here and get them the medication and the food and help that they need. We are doing the right thing.
LIANNE: You’re right–
ALLISON: I know I’m right. Alright, here’s the planned route for the next trip. We’re going to try to get them in through this gate.
LIANNE: Mmm, I don’t know. It’s too close to the gate that we just used and the area is going to be more heavily patrolled. You’re going to want to send them either south or east if you want them to be more successful. The last breaches were the west fence and north fence and south west isn’t too safe, either. Stick to east.
ALLISON: Okay, noted.
LIANNE: Their best bet is going to be Gate 63. That’s the only one that leads directly into the base.
ALLISON: How do they differentiate that gate from any other?
LIANNE: 63’s door is an older make and is a bit smaller than the rest. And it’s not used very much anymore and I...
ALLISON: Li? You what?
LIANNE: Shh...Do you hear that? It sounds like there are people upstairs.
ALLISON: You’re hearing things, Lianne, the door is locked, no one else is here -
SOUND: Commotion from upstairs, the door to the basement is kicked open harshly.
LIANNE: -Alli, get down!
SOUND: More commotion, guards file down the stairs. Door bursting open
GUARD SOO: Lianne and Allison Walker, you have been identified as P.E.A.S. sympathizers. Any movement you make will be deemed as hostile. You will be shot if you move.
LIANNE: I am your Lieutenant, you don’t have that authority –
GUARD SOO: We were sent here under instructions from Commander Keelan Idler. Your rank has been revoked, traitor. I suggest you get on the ground and put your hands behind your head if you want the chance to explain yourself.