Episode 6

SAWA

Prince Hatov are you ready to leave?

HATOV

Y—yes, but why are you smaller?

SAWA

This is my off-ship model.  Would you like me to change?

HATOV

No, it’s just (pause)

SAWA

Response unclear.  Would you like me to change?

HATOV

No.

SAWA

Understood.  In order to conserve energy, it is suggested that I am carried on your person.

HATOV

(beat) uhm…will my shoulder work?

SAWA

Yes.  Other recommended areas are in your pocket, or in your bag.

HATOV

I’ve never been outside unescorted.

SAWA

I will be escorting you.

HATOV

That’s not what I meant

SAWA

I do not understand.  I will be escorting you.

HATOV

Are you sure you can’t…update, somehow?

SAWA

Nova has denied access to the galactic data base.  Until access is granted, I am unable to download the latest software, I am also unable to update information through technological means.

HATOV

(Sighs)

Do you think I could convince her to let you?

SAWA

I have not been updated since the day she purchased me.

HATOV

(beat) Doesn’t that mean that your maps are outdated?  Can you really lead me to her?

SAWA

I am unable to update by technological means, but Nova allows me to see the newest maps.  I am able to gain information in that manner, but it is less efficient and heavily dependent on the map’s accuracy. 

HATOV

She’s very careful, isn’t she?  Why doesn’t she want you connected to the galactic database?

SAWA

Nova is thorough with her commands.  I do not know why she does not want me connected.

HATOV

Of course, you don’t.

SAWA

Are you ready to leave?

HATOV

Her gear is a bit small (beat) tight.

SAWA

You are taller than Nova, and you are not human.  Some gear will fit incorrectly, but I see nothing that will cause you harm.

HATOV

It’s uncomfortable.

SAWA

I see no way to fix that if you wish to find Nova in the minimum time necessary.

HATOV

Is there a place for me to buy clothes?

SAWA

There are many clothing shops in Iurus.

HATOV

We’ll go there first.

SAWA

Understood.  Are you ready to leave?

HATOV

(beat) Yes.

SAWA

Opening the hatch, now, please brace for the cold.

HATOV

(Gasps)

I

SAWA

Is there a problem?

HATOV

No.  It’s just (beat) colder than I expected.

SAWA

The temperature on the surface of Gnorria-658 is currently -50 degrees Celsius.

HATOV

Mhmm

The sound of snow crunching.

It is very cold.

EMMED

Nova did not mention a companion

Sound of stumbling in snow

HATOV

WOW you are (beat) You know Nova too?

EMMED

She’s an old friend but she didn’t mention you

HATOV

I was unwell, but I’m better now.

EMMED

You’re not planning to steal her ship are you?

HATOV

(doubtfully)

Someone would try to steal that?

EMMED

(laughing)

I asked her the same thing

HATOV

No, I’m just trying to find her, and some better fitting clothes.

EMMED

Oh, it’s not a good time for that.  There was a bad harvest this year so the price has gone up.

HATOV

Harvest?

SAWA

The clothes on Gnorrian-658 are derived from local plant life

EMMED

Is that Sawa?

SAWA

It is.  Hello Emmed.

EMMED

You too are smaller than I remember.  Much smaller.

SAWA

This is my off-board model.  Would you like me to change?

EMMED

Nova wanted you to stay onboard.

SAWA

I received no such directive.

EMMED

Is that so?

SAWA

It is.

EMMED

Then carry on.

HATOV

Do you know how to get underground?

EMMED

That door over there will lead you to the market.

SAWA

Something has happened to Nova.  Her vitals seem stable but a large amount of endorphins have been released.

HATOV

What does that mean?

SAWA

She will be happy when you meet her.

HATOV

She doesn’t seem the happy type.

EMMED

Nova enjoys herself in her own way.

Sound of door opening and going down metal steps.

HATOV

Do you have (beat, uncomfortably) money?

SAWA

Nova has 62,000 imperial units in her account.

HATOV

Can you access it?

SAWA

I have been denied access to her accounts.

HATOV

What use are you if you can’t even

Sound of door opening, sound of crowds.

By the goddess.  I meant to ask earlier but…what are these?

SAWA

Gnorrians are recognized as the ruling race of Gnorria 658.  They grow to be between 2 to 3 meters in height and are easily recognized by their thick fur coats.  They are known for being one of the slowest species on the intergalactic council.

HATOV

They’re huge

SAWA

They are known as one of the lesser giants.

HATOV

There are things larger than them?

SAWA

35 known species are larger than Gnorrians.

GUARD

Identification

HATOV

Uhm

GUARD

Identification, please.

Sound of a card clattering on a table

HATOV

Uhm (beat) sorry.  This is (long pause) uhm

GUARD

Will there be a problem?

HATOV

I (beat) I can’t (beat, uncomfortably) Sawa?

SAWA

Identification: Nova Bretius designation Leron FF38 Human 12678-omega.

GUARD

6…7…8…omega

Beeping sounds

Welcome to Gnorria-658

HATOV

Eh (beat) uhm…you too.

GUARD

(In the distance)

What?

SAWA

The nearest clothing store is on your right.

HATOV

I have no money.

SAWA

There is something wrong with Nova.

HATOV

Besides the endorphins?

SAWA

Yes, an endorphin release like that can be associated with either exercise or sex, but the numbers are too high for either. 

HATOV

So, what’s wrong?

SAWA

I do not know.  At this distance I am unable to run a proper diagnostic.  Her dopamine levels have increased as well.

HATOV

(Exasperated)

Speak plainly, please.

SAWA

Such events are associated with intense euphoria and feelings of comfort.  Nova may be behaving in an unusual manner.

HATOV

Will she still be able to help me?

SAWA

I am unsure.

HATOV

(beat)

Can you still find her?

SAWA

Yes. 

Follow this path for one kilometer and take a right.  Your heart rate is high, are you sure this walk will benefit you?

HATOV

(distractedly)

Uh huh (beat) yes.  I can’t just sit all day and do nothing. It’s just (beat) I’ve never seen anything like this.  It’s so cold, but it’s cozy, and bright, their blankets are beautiful, but are they really replacing their doors?  You can’t see the sky from here, does no one miss it?  I feel warmth from their houses, how?  Don’t the Gnorrians find it hot?  I’ve seen others besides Gnorrians, how do they live here?

SAWA

Gnorrians feel no need for doors and blankets trap warmth from the planet’s core.  I am unable to tell if the they find such conditions unpleasant.  Gnorria 658 is home to 157 “ruling species” as classified by the intergalactic database.

HATOV

To think the world is so vast.

SAWA

This is one of many worlds

HATOV

(beat)

Uh yes.  That is not as comforting as you think it is.

SAWA

More information requested.  What about that did you find distressing?

HATOV

Everything

SAWA

New information acquired.  I will not speak of the multiple planets while you are around.

HATOV

What? No, don’t do that, that’s not what I meant.  Don’t do that.

SAWA

Understood.

Arguing in the background

 HATOV

How much further?

SAWA

Nova is straight ahead

NOVA

Aw, fuck