60 Minutes Through Space
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Get to know the Walker family as they take a quick trip to the moon with Blue Orbit.
Written and produced by Adetola Abdulkadir and Safiyah Cheatam, with Sadah Espii Proctor as the Sound Designer.
Narrated by Nichole Marie as Atiena Walker, Radiance Ware as Maya Walker, Jaylen Smith as Amar Walker, Lorenzo Jones as Kevin Walker, Hector Tolentino as George Wellor, Dwight Smith as Trevor, and Caroline Unger as the Overhead Announcer.
Theme song created by YÀNJÚ. Music includes Lemon Lime by Brevyn, Love is Like the Sun by The Dogon Lights, and Come Right Here by Tendinite.
This project is supported by a 2019 Rubys Artist Grant, which is a program of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation @ https://www.rwdfoundation.org
READ SCRIPT BELOW:
INT. CAR - DAY
(the hum of an active engine and the woosh of passing cars)
AMAR: Umm...is it my shoes?
AMAR: Okay..the road? It's the road we're driving on!
MAYA: Wrong again!
AMAR: Yo I give up. This is dumb
ATIENA: Amar! Don't call your sister's game dumb.
AMAR: Mom I've been guessing for over ten minutes!
KEVIN: So you're admitting defeat then?
AMAR: I'm admitting that it's dumb
MAYA: Want me to tell you?
AMAR: Yes! Fine! Let's get it over with
MAYA: (in a grand voice) I spy with my little eye...the black fist raised in protest across the globe!
AMAR: Y-you can't be serious
ATIENA: That's my baby!
AMAR: How could I have guessed that? I don't even see it!
MAYA: I see black defiance everywhere.
AMAR: Oh my god what are you even talking about. You're 9!
MAYA: And? 9 year olds are smart. Also, Daddy?
KEVIN: Yeah Maya?
MAYA: What does protest mean?
AMAR: (groans) You don't even know the word!
KEVIN: A protest is like an expression of disapproval. You can do it alone, or with a group. Where did you hear the word used?
MAYA: A documentary in the HaloCube. I was standing right next to Michael X during a speech 100 years ago!
ATIENA: Malcolm X sweetie.
MAYA: Oooh. Yeah that sounds better.
ATIENA: See Amar you could be learning some history too if you weren't just using
the HaloCube for gaming.
AMAR: (groans) I don't use it just for gaming Mom. Besides I already know a thing or
two. Like the spaceport we're going to is in a state that's racist as hell.
KEVIN: Language. But uh where'd you hear that?
AMAR: The History Channel. Someone died protesting against white supremacy in
Virginia like 50 years ago.
KEVIN: Well that's right, in Charlottesville. I don't want you to worry too much about that though, Amar. We're hoping things have changed.
ATIENA: But we're glad you're aware honey. Kevin look up ahead, that's the
entrance to the right.
KEVIN: Yupp, I see it. Blue Orbit in all its glory.
EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY
(Car tires rolling to a stop on gravel. Car beep, key turn, and engine quiets. Car doors begin to open)
ATIENA: Just on time too. Told you we should take exit 3 baby. Or at least let the
KEVIN: Yeah yeah, well I like to hold a steering wheel every once in a while. Can't let a computer have all the fun.
MAYA: (sings) Whoo! We going to spaaaace, we going to spaaace.
ATIENA: Cmon, lets head towards the front of the spaceport.
AMAR: How long is the trip Mom?
ATIENA: About 60 minutes, give or take
AMAR: (sighs) So we drove an hour to fly an hour.
KEVIN: More like propel an hour. You'll be in space remember? It's hardly flying when there's no air.
AMAR: I guess.
ATIENA: (whispers) Why is he being so difficult? He loves space!
KEVIN: (whispers) He's a teenager. He's gonna be difficult about everything, don't let it bother you. As soon as we exit the atmosphere he'll open up, watch.
ATIENA: (sighs) You're right. You're right. I was just looking forward to, well, geeking out with him. Like we used to.
KEVIN: You still can. You will.
Loud wooshing sounds can be heard, like pneumatic tubes sending a message
MAYA: Woah! What's that Mom?
ATIENA: That was a launch! See the blue shimmer? That's accumulated solar radiation used for initial lift off and propulsion!
AMAR: Condensed photons look like that? Woah..
ATIENA: Mhm. C'mon you two. No need to stare when the real thing is inside.
KEVIN: (whispers) See?
INT. LAUNCH STATION - DAY
Sound of automatic door sliding open
ANNOUNCER: (white female computer voice) Welcome to BlueOrbit Spaceport Virginia! You are entering one of only five spaceports in the world! Make sure you have your ticket and
identification in hand when approaching the shuttle operator. Blue Orbit was founded in 2034...
The Announcer voice continues, but quietly under the voice of the family
ATIENA: Alrighty then. Good morning!
TREVOR: Morning Maam! You're the launch party of 4?
KEVIN: That's us!
TREVOR: Excellent. Can I get your IDs?
Shuffling sounds of bags opening
ATIENA: Here you go.
TREVOR: Oh! Mrs. Brown! Mrs. Atiena Brown, I'm sorry I didn't know it was you. My name is Trevor.
ATIENA: It's all good Trevor! I just started anyways.
MAYA: How does he know Mommy?
AMAR: She's the new intercontinental space travel ambassador
MAYA: Inter-conta what?
AMAR: The I.S.T.A.
MAYA: Ooooh her new job! Cool!
TREVOR: Well let's get you guys set up then. I'll lead you to your shuttle.
ATIENA: Excellent, thank you.
KEVIN: Okay baby look at you! Got these white folk shaking in their boots.
ATIENA: (laughs) Shut up, Kevin!
TREVOR: Right this way!
Automatic Doors whir open. The sounds of occasional shuttle launches get louder
TREVOR (cont'd): As you can see, we have about 12 launch chutes within this space port. You'll be setting off from chute #4.
MAYA: Oh my God. Four's my lucky number!
AMAR: Since when?
MAYA: Since yesterday. You know, I was talking to Jessica from school about this place.
AMAR: (dully) Very cool
MAYA: She definitely didn't mention how shiny everything here is.
AMAR: Well this place is state of the art. BlueOrbit is top of the line when it comes to space travel.
TREVOR: Indeed, doesn't hurt that we're the first to do it as well. We've had lots of practice
Automatic Door whir open
TREVOR (cont'd): At the center of the chute is your actual shuttle. Notice that below the shuttle is a conical cavity, this is where solar radiation is stored and compressed. We've managed to capture the photons themselves in a non-interactive state; that is, until we
say so. On our command they trigger the initial lift off of a shuttle
AMAR: (amazed) It's gotta be extremely cold within that cavity. To capture the photons.
TREVOR: Well, yes. Less than a micro kelvin. Your son is quite sharp Mrs. Brown!
ATIENA: (proudly) Yeah he is.
TREVOR: Alright now, to the shuttle!
INT. SPACE SHUTTLE - MOMENTS LATER
Automatic Door whirs open. Loud rock music fills the air
TREVOR: (trying to keep his voice above the music) And here is the operator of your
shuttle, George Wellor.
GEORGE: Huh? Oh uh hey. What's up yall.
TREVOR: (sighs) Well I'll leave you all to it. Don't want to waste time getting you up to
the stars! (whispers) And George do me a favor and show some enthusiasm for a change? Also turn that down!
GEORGE: (sighs) Can't make any promises boss man but I'll see what I got today.
TREVOR: Have a great trip Mr and Mrs. Brown.
Trevor's footsteps fade away
GEORGE: Uh. Hey. So pretty standard procedure. Lucky for us, Blue Orbit has made getting to space pretty chill. I do have to go through a boring safety regulation spiel though.
MAYA: Do we get to wear space suits?
GEORGE: Man I wish. All you need are these bracelets. They'll alleviate any nausea you could feel. Plus they'll work with the computers in this bad boy to negate the huge amount of G-forces you would feel in regular take off.
KEVIN: Well that's appreciated.
GEORGE: Speaking of take off, please refrain from moving as we do so. Your seats are state of the art and will ensure your safety, as long as you stay strapped in. The neck braces are equipped with multiple sensors that read your heartrate, body heat, weight, and more. The seat will adjust according to those biometrics. In the worst case scenario the seat itself will encase you in a miniature armored pod to ensure your protection and safe descent. As such keep hands and legs close to the seat as we take off and descend. In case of emergency oxygen masks will automatically be secured over your face from the neck brace. The masks themselves will allow us all to communicate as well.
George takes a deep breath
GEORGE (cont'd): Okay spiel over
KEVIN: Phew, Great. Anything else we need to do?
GEORGE: Nope, just take a seat there, buckle in, and we can hit the road. Or the sky I guess.
Sounds of family strapping in
ANNOUNCER: Initiating Lift off in 60 seconds
KEVIN: Oh wow, so soon?
ATIENA: You nervous baby?
KEVIN: Me? No, No, I just wanna make sure we get there in one piece.
ATIENA: Like Amar said, this is state of the art. No different from a bus ride at this point.
KEVIN: If you say so, you're the expert.
ANNOUNCER: Ten seconds.
GEORGE: Alright, hold on everyone.
MAYA: Hold my hand?
AMAR: Yeah, I got you.
ANNOUNCER: Lift off. Enjoy your trip with BlueOrbit!
Loudest woosh of all is heard. Mechanical sounds. Twinkling bells. A soft rumbling sound remains in the background
AMAR: Maya, open your eyes. You're missing it!
MAYA: Woaaaah. It looks like the sky is on fire!
ATIENA: Well that's...actually Amar do you know what we're seeing?
AMAR: We're traveling through the atmospheres right? At this speed it's literally burning air molecules off the windows. Wow.
MAYA: Is that true Mommy?
ATIENA: Yeah pretty much. The sky is on fire.
KEVIN: Oh man my stomach. Thought you said the bracelet was supposed to make this easy kid?
GEORGE: Well, I said alleviate. Would be a hell of a lot worse for you if you didn't have it on sir. Here, chew this. Gum usually helps.
KEVIN: Ugh...that does help actually. Thanks.
GEORGE: No prob. Pay attention to the windows, folks. This is one of my favorite parts.
MAYA: Wow it's all turning black. Are we actually entering space, space?
KEVIN: Aw shit, gimme more of that gum, George.
AMAR: Woah what is that unfolding? Are those...
ATIENA: Solar sails! From this point on we're propelled by solar radiation directly emitted from the sun.
GEORGE: They create a sort of current. Ever watch Finding Nemo?
KEVIN: Hell yeah. A classic.
MAYA: Oh that super old movie Mom and Dad made us watch?
KEVIN: Pfft super old...it ain't that old... is it?
GEORGE: Well just like how Marlin rides the East Australian Current with turtles, we're riding - lemme see- Solar Flow Elio 5. We'll reach the moon in about 60 minutes.
ANNOUNCER: We have exited the atmosphere and the launch process is now over. We have entered Travel mode. You are free to move about the cabin.
AMAR: Can we walk around?
GEORGE: Yeah go ahead. Artificial Gravity is active so you won't go flying anywhere.
MAYA: Awesome. C'mon, Amar.
ATIENA: Be careful you two! Don't touch anything!
MAYA: I know, I know.
KEVIN: Whew, what a sight. How does one become a Space pilot George? You go to MIT or something?
GEORGE: Er..Not..exactly Mr. Brown.
KEVIN: What? Cal Tech?
GEORGE: I actually sort of dropped out?
KEVIN: Dropped out?...out of Magna Cum Laude to just Cum Laude, you mean? Surely
that's what you mean...
ATIENA: Kevin, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to fly a space shuttle. The technology has advanced far beyond that point. Though you should have aviation experience and a degree...
GEORGE: And I do! Well the experience part. I actually passed the proficiency test rather well.
ATIENA: Regardless, to even take the exam you usually need a Bachelor's at least..
GEORGE: I have my certification and everything maam. And, well, my great Uncle is sort of the founder of Blue Orbit. So that got me in the door.
KEVIN: White people really be failing upwards, huh?
ATIENA: Hush Kevin. Well if you passed the proficiency test that's the most important part. Not an easy exam.
GEORGE: Not at all ma'am...honestly I wanted to be a frontier pilot.
KEVIN: And what's that?
ATIENA: Frontier pilots fly beyond our established boundaries of space travel. They basically establish the new boundaries with each trip they make.
GEORGE: They're currently aiming to fly across the asteroid belt. When I was younger it was just an idea, until they began venturing past Mars. That's when I knew they were moving
towards the future.
KEVIN: What stopped you?
GEORGE: I suck at school (laughs). But being out here isn't so bad. I really do love space. Some people find it lonely, but how can you be with billions of stars and planets surrounding you to keep you company? It's the one time I feel like we're all a part of...something.
The sound of whirring machinery and the kids in the back fill the silence between the adults
GEORGE (cont'd): Sorry I'm spouting off some nonsense
ATIENA: No George, I find it very commendable that you've found something that speaks to your calling like this. Most people would envy you.
KEVIN: Who knows. You may still be a frontiers pilot. You better call up your grand uncle again, ask him for two more wishes.
George chuckles. Sound of quick approaching steps
AMAR: Mom, come check this out! I think they have ion thrusters on the side to auto-correct. Ion thrusters!
MAYA: He won't stop talking about Ion this and Ion that. I told him to play I spy with me and he keeps saying no!
ATIENA: Relax baby, you know this is the type of stuff Amar likes. Let him enjoy it.
MAYA: Fine. It doesn't even matter, we'll land on the Moon and I'll have all the fun I want at Artemis.
GEORGE: Artemis? Artemis Resorts down in the Moon Colony? I thought we weren't suppo-...
Atiena cuts off George
ATIENA (cont'd): Let's join your brother. Maybe we can combine I Spy with some science and make it fun for the both of you.
KEVIN: Oh boy
Their voices fade away, then return with the voice of the Announcer
ANNOUNCER: Nearing The Moon. We'll be arriving in 3 minutes
KEVIN: Wow seeing it so close...I never realized just how large this guy is.
GEORGE: Weird right? Most of your life has been spent with the Moon being the size of a golf ball at most.
AMAR: With all these satellites wrapped around it, it nearly looks like it has rings.
MAYA: Oh my god, oh my god, I'm so excited! Brittany at school told me all about Artemis Resorts! The first actual theme park on the Moon! They have zero g apartments, lunar rides, and cotton candy that they say tastes even better because it's made on the moon. Blue Ivy even performed here once. What if she's here today? Oh my god, this is going to be crazy!
ATIENA: Uh, calm down honey.
MAYA: I can't! I'll calm down when I'm swimming in a zero gravity pool! When I'm watching a lunar circus show! Whe-
ANNOUNCER: Beginning sling shot calculation to return to Earth
MAYA: What did the ship just say?
AMAR: I tried to tell you Maya, but you didn't wanna listen.
MAYA: Mom why aren't we landing? We're... we're going around the moon!
ATIENA: Maya this was a free trip as a gift from my new employer to our family. But the trip is there and back.
ATIENA: That lil Artemis resort is far too expensive.
MAYA: But I already told Brittany I was going to come back with Lunar cotton candy!
KEVIN: Sorry Maya. We can get some cotton candy when we land though.
MAYA: It's not the same!
Maya's whining and Atiena's responses fade to the background
AMAR: Hey George, think I can drive this guy?
GEORGE: No can do kid.
AMAR: C'mon George. You said it was so easy you don't even need an education for it.
GEORGE: Whoa, I did not say that!
AMAR: You kinda did...
GEORGE: Okay, sort of, but not fully. Look you're not driving it kid.
AMAR: C'mon, let me drive the boat!
The voices fade away as Maya complains and Amar continues to ask George about taking over the wheel.
#afrofuturism #obsidianpodcast #technology #scifi #blackaudiodrama