TREATMENT *WARNING: SPOILERS*
Light rises from behind a silhouetted moon. This is AEZEREA. As sunlight crawls across Aezerea’s surface, illuminating its green-and-blue landscape, we see that there’s not one sun, but two. The binary star dances in sync, center stage of the solar system. Just on the other side of Aezerea looms a massive, reddish-pink gas giant. This is NORKOS. Facing Norkos, city lights sparkle on Aezerea's face. Between Aezerea and Norkos, the fabric of space twists and morphs to a point. A singularity. From this, a relatively small, white tetrahedron-shaped craft appears. This is BECK’S DRIFTER.
INT. BECK'S DRIFTER
Inside the Drifter, BECK (30) - a Space Pirate donned in a black-and-white jumpsuit - pulls back on the throttle of his control chair. The Drifter, sleek and dark inside, vibrates violently. Beck’s held in place by a five-point harness and the shapely grip of his racing seat-like control chair. A red light flashes and an alarm sounds. Beck wears a fitting, full-faced helmet with a black, reflective face. A neon pink cape drapes around his shoulders and goes down to his waist. Beck is skinny, but looks like he can handle himself. A port in the wall opens like the sliding blades of a lens iris. A robot in the shape of a small, black orb emerges from the opening. This is HERO. His ‘face’ is a simple emoticon, illuminated by a cool, blue light. He has two red, cone-shaped antennas that resemble little horns with a string of electricity dangling between the antenna points. HERO explains that the W.A.V.E.S. motor - what allows the craft to teleport - is overheating. Eventually, the motor cools down and the alarm subsides. Beck takes his helmet off, revealing a young, chiseled face with short facial hair. He hesitantly takes his first breaths without his helmet. The side of the Drifter turns transparent, allowing Beck and HERO to look out at the Aezerean landscape.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
A security camera watches a young woman work at a desk in a small cube-shaped room. This is RII (27). Text scrolls on the wall, reflected in her thick glasses. Her long, indigo hair falls in a ponytail onto the floor. She wears a white one-piece dress with a black collar and black-and-white stockings. She taps away on the desktop, which illuminates a burning red with each stroke. A large, red emblem looms over her desk. It's a minimalist interpretation of the mathematical number Pi; the logo for the information technology giant Pi, for whom Rii works. An elder woman's voice fills the room, stating that the next work-break won't be for another three hours. This is the voice of MOTHER, Pi's worshiped figurehead. Rii breathes a sigh of unrest.
INT./EXT. BECK'S DRIFTER/AEZEREAN SKY - DAY
Beck and HERO pilot the Drifter into the airspace over Aezerea's only city, ALEXANDRIA. An image of a Pi air traffic controller appears in the ship. He wears an all-white turtleneck, bowler hat, and number badge with the Pi emblem. He tries to check Beck's identity first by his face and then his fingerprints, but Beck explains that his ship's camera is broken and that his fingerprints were burnt off. Annoyed, the air traffic controller asks Beck for the password to city. Beck manages to recall it, but the air traffic controller reveals that that was last month's password. HERO, however, runs a quick encryption search and manages to find the current password. The air traffic controller allows them into the city, made up of a skyline of factory towers surrounding a massive skyscraper called The Lighthouse, which adorns a large Pi emblem. It rains.
INT. STAIRWELL - DAY
Inside one of the factories, it's mealtime. Pi workers march up a spiral staircase. At the top of the staircase, a guard named WOLF (40) barks what everyone already knows: single-file by class, guards in front and clerics in back. Rii brings up the rear.
INT. MESS HALL - DAY
In a massive, spotless mess hall, the Pi workers eat their rations. Most workers eat in groups at long tables, doing what little socializing they are allowed. At the center of one table - in between a group of people at each end - Rii eats alone. Her plate contains peanuts and seaweed. She also has a mug of hot water. The tabletop turns into a screen, and a news program called NEWS WARP starts playing.
INT. NEWS DESK - DAY
The anchors, PHILLIP O'REILLY and KELLY WIDASSIAN, introduce themselves. They have an awkward chemistry, and it's clear they know each other off-camera, too. The lead story of the night: the gathering of thousands on a massive space ship to pay tribute to Dean Murdoc, the so-called "Pi Prince" and son of Mother, who's been missing for several months after 'disappearing' during a test flight in space. Rumors are that Murdoc was abducted by members of a terrorist organization called the Black Sea Pirates.
INT. SPEECH HALL - DAY
The newscast cuts to a sound bite from Mother (60), in which she promises to drag the depths of the universe to find her son and the people responsible for his disappearance. Mother stands in front of a massive crowd of Pi associates who raise their fists in unison, pledging their allegiance to her.
EXT. PUB ROOFTOP - DAY
A giant woman (50) leans against the roof's edge and smokes a cigar under an awning while it rains. This is RICHIE, the pub owner. She wears a dirty, worn jumpsuit. Most of the rooftop is populated by a sprawling, but half-dead garden. Her peaceful smoke is interrupted when the winds whip up from Beck's Drifter descending upon the rooftop. The Drifter lands, the side slides open, and Beck steps out. Richie puts a large handgun to the back of his head. She wants some answers. Who is he, and why'd he squish her garden? Beck tests her hand, dodging his head. She fires. Quicker than humanly possible, Beck takes the gun and points it back at her. Beck explains that he was told to park there by his superior, a Pirate named Sullivan. Richie, unfazed, admits that she knows him.
INT. CELL - NIGHT
In a small, spartan cell, Rii lays on a mat and looks out her barred window at Norkos, shining behind rain clouds in the night sky. Mother's voice comes over the room, indicating the change of shift. One wall of Rii's cell becomes a monitor where a video of Mother plays, asking Rii to 'confess' what she could have done better for Mother that day. Rii plays along, admitting to feeling especially anxious. It's clear that the Mother in the video is a recording, set to react to Rii's 'confession.' It seems content, and they wish each other a good night. Rii returns to her mat momentarily before Wolf, the guard, lets himself into her cell. He's physically open and forward with her. She seems to like the attention, but isn't in the mood. He's not happy about it, but gives her something anyways: a peach. He takes a big, juicy bite out of it. Another guard's voice comes over Wolf's radio, stating that another worker is late for their shift and Wolf's assistance is requested in dealing with the matter. Wolf sets the peach on the windowsill before he departs, promising to be back.
INT. PUB - NIGHT
The place is dark and seedy with just enough light to see all the low-lives hanging about through the thick cloud of lingering smoke. It’s not too different from the bars we know, save for a three-dimensional version of pool where the pool balls float in all three axes inside of a liquid block from the floor to the ceiling. The players use tools that seem like a cross between a pool stick and a croquet mallet. In the corner, three guys play the blues. SILAS (50), a drunk with a full and surprisingly well-groomed beard, sits at the bar. He wears a flannel with the sleeves rolled up. He’s polishing off his latest drink. A cat, SPIKE, lays on the bar. Beck, looking over his shoulder, sits down at the bar beside Silas. He wears a black-and-white striped shirt, a trench coat, and a bandana around his head like an old train robber. Silas calls Richie over for a couple of beers. Beck orders a coffee, Richie scoffs, and walks away. Silas offers a beer to Beck, who turns him down flat. Beck gets up and leaves the bar.
EXT. PUB ROOFTOP - NIGHT
Beck leans against the roof's edge. HERO makes fun of Beck's interaction with Silas, and his incapability of making friends. HERO hides because Richie comes up to the roof. She's brought a coffee for Beck. She lights up a cigar. She says that Silas isn't such a bad guy, and that he was a pioneer on Aezerea before Pi came. She says that she used to be a Pirate, too, but it just wasn't for her. She admits how happy being a simple pub owner makes her. She jokes about Norkos getting closer all the time. She finally leaves Beck to himself, assuring him that there's no hard feelings about the garden. The whole time Beck said one word. HERO reappears, harassing Beck for proving that he's incapable of even carrying a friendly conversation.
INT. PUB - NIGHT
Beck goes back down into the pub, determined to make friends with Silas. Beck offers to get their next round. They do proper introductions. Silas explains to Beck that, though they're in a society full of criminals, wearing a mask makes him look especially guilty, and the Aezerean Underground isn't a place you want to look guilty. When Beck asks Silas to explain what he means, Silas quietly tells him that isn't the time or the place to talk about it. Beck changes the subject and asks Silas about his life. Silas tells him about the way that Aezerea used to be. The great forests. How he was a farmer of Arboritium trees; a kind of tree with metal bark that can be persuaded into formations while growing and alive, but hardens into a highly-conductive solid metal upon death. He tells Beck how Pi came in and took over the market, clear-cutting Arboritium trees to use in their devices. How the forests have been raped of their nature, and damaged beyond repair. He tells Beck how most farmers and lumberjacks of Arboritium - against everything they stood for - went to work for Pi because there seemed like no other choice, but a small group managed to band together and form the Underground on Aezerea. But everything has already been taken from Silas. Beck asks him why he doesn't just leave Aezerea. Silas says there's something keeping him there, but even if there wasn't, the universe is becoming the same everywhere. It's not a place for people like him anymore.
INT. CELL - NIGHT
Rii sleeps on the mat on the floor, but is woken up when the wall begins to flash a notification. Confused, she sits up. Sensing that she's awake, the wall begins to play a video. It's an educational video made by the company. An animated doctor tells Rii that she's pregnant! He then explains to her what that means, and tells her the "options" moving forward; most notably whether to have an abortion, and what sorts of uterine eugenic improvements to make to the child. All options come with prices that are implied to be massive financial burdens. Rii, overwhelmed, holds her stomach like she's going to be sick. The peach in the windowsill is browning.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Beck stands in line for egg rolls. One of many tiny shops. The strip is dark and wet, but lit by flashing neon lights. He looks around at the people on the street. Eugenics and body modifications are a common thing here. People are tall or muscular or have tails or horns or claws. By comparison, Beck is short, skinny, and plain.
INT. BECK'S DRIFTER - NIGHT
Beck watches out the transparent wall of the Drifter. Rain streaks down the side. The drops and traces reflect the neon lights of the street below. He looks at his own reflection, and holds his hands up behind his head, making crude horns or antlers. He asks HERO to run a search for a surgeon in the Underground, but HERO isn't able to find anything. HERO suggests asking someone where to find a surgeon.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
Rii sits at her desk. She works much more slowly than before. She nods off.
INT. MESS HALL - DAY
Rii pushes food around her plate. The intro to NEWS WARP plays. Rii runs from the table, covering her mouth.
INT. PUB - NIGHT
Beck and Silas drink and play 'pool.' LIONEL (40), a massive, brick house of a creature, bumps into Beck while he's taking a shot. Beck is drunk, and starts to get confrontational with Lionel, but Silas holds him back, suggesting they get out of there.
EXT. PUB ROOFTOP - NIGHT
Beck shows Silas where he's been staying. Now that they have 'privacy,' Beck asks Silas what he meant about the Underground not being a place to look guilty. Silas tells Beck about MAMA LAIKA, the mythical gangster believed to control Aezerea's Underground from the shadows. Legends range from her being a witch, a werewolf, a failed science experiment, and everything in between. Though she never shows her face in public, her presence looms in the guise of her many "BOYS," teenagers that wear all-black and paint their faces as skulls, monsters, and more; omnipresent and watching over the streets of the Underground. Silas, knowing Pirates and their cause, asks Beck why he's on Aezerea. Beck orders HERO to appear, and HERO explains that Pi is planning to evacuate its machinery from Aezerea in the near future, but not its workers. Beck is there to find out why. Silas asks Beck why he didn't give HERO a name, as 'HERO' is his model name and not a given, familiar name. Beck has no reason other than to avoid attachment to him since he's 'just a machine.' This clearly hurts HERO's feelings, and Silas doesn't care much for that answer either. Before Silas leaves, Beck asks him if he knows where to find someone who knows where to find a surgeon. Silas dryly tells him to ask someone that actually has 'installations.' After Silas leaves, HERO tells Beck he's figured out why Pi is evacuating: Aezerea is slowly falling into its parent planet, Norkos, but he isn't quite sure yet how much time the moon has left.
END ACT 1