Hunt the Truth Season 2/Transcripts/04
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Maya (Voiceover): I remember when I was a little girl, I asked my dad: What was the worst smell in the whole galaxy? He told me about a livestock colony he visited as a young man. One of those places that grows the kind of meat that they advertise to health-nuts: non-synthetic, raised outdoors. The reality was revolting. Cattle, packed in, shoulder to shoulder all the way to the horizon. They were jammed so tight, feeder-bots outfitted with buggy wheels literally drove across their backs. The air was thick with flies and disease and the stench of cows that got sick and died where they stood, there meet putrefying under the red sun. He described it all so vividly - felt like I was there. And when I was growing up I was so proud that my dad had smelled the worst smell in the galaxy - but of course he hadn’t. Because he hadn’t smelled the inside of a Kig-Yar pirate ship.
Bostwick: Dammit! Let me go!
Mshak: Please don’t antagonize the bird monster!
Maya (voiceover): They dragged us to the belly of their ship, the walls and floor were covered with years of soot, guano, purple blood, everything caked so thick, it took on an almost cave like texture.
Maya: BB, what are they saying?
BB: They are taking you to the airlock, just up ahead.
Mshak: Are we going to die?
BB: That is a likely scenario.
BB: It’s a beautiful language, isn’t it?
Maya (voiceover): The guard turned his back just for a second and Bostwick was on top of him.
Maya (voiceover): Bostwick’s quick, but the Kig-Yar quicker. He cranked[?] his head down, sending Bostwick sprolling[?] across the room.
[Bostwick moaning in pain - Kig-Yar screaming]
Maya (voiceover): Bostwick looked dazed but accomplished, she held a fist full of Kig-Yar feathers in her hand. The creature got down low, right in Bostwicks face. He looked her dead in the eyes - she wasn’t so tough anymore. She was shaking, paralized with fear, we all were. I tried to think, but my mind felt like paste, it couldn’t string dots together.
BB: He says he’s now opting to send you out the airlock in pieces. And now he’s swearing and - oh, well I’m not translating that.
Maya (voiceover): People describe your life flashing in front of your eyes before you die - that’s not how it is. It’s not in your eyes, you don’t see it, it’s mass remembering. An explosion across your whole mind, every synapse firing at once. I thought about my first kitten, my last cigarette, the skin on my grandmothers ear, a phone call I tapped[?] three years ago, what I had for dinner last week - thousands of moments, remarkable and unremarkable - flooding past in an instant. FERO’s memories, Maya’s memories, they all started to…to coalesce. My memories as FERO were violent and passionate, as Maya, my life was quite, secretive, academic. Growing up I wanted to be a professor. I studied xeno-psychology because I wanted to know how other minds worked. Back then I honestly didn’t think about how the military would need people who could analyse alien behavior. But they snatched me up. And during the covenant war i worked for ONI, psychologically profiling the enemy. I must have written hundreds of reports on Sangheili honor deads and Kig-Yar. And then suddenly it all came rushing into focus.
Maya: BB, translate this exactly: I’ve met many of your species, but even for Jackals you are incompetent fools.
BB: Are you trying to make things worse?
Maya: Trust me, just do it.
Maya (voiceover): You see the Kig-Yar scavengers, greedy, opportunistic.
Maya: Tell them they’re imbeciles, ignorant nestlings to throw away such valuable prisoners.
Maya (voiceover): But the Kig-Yar are also cowards.
BB: Wow, I don’t say this outcome was anything but predictable.
Maya (voiceover): The leader turned away from Bostwick and ran at me, jaws open, threaten, he stopped inches from my throat. His breath was hot and wet and wreaked of death. I didn’t move a muscle. It was a dominance ritual. A social pissing contest. The Kig-Yar will never pick a fight they don’t know they can win. He could take me, physically, but now he was wondering what did I know that he didn’t?
Maya: What do you think your shipmistress will say when she hears you’ve let such valuable prisoners float off into space?
Maya (voiceover): He just stood there, his milky yellow eyes darting back and forth between my own, furious but now clearly affraid.
Mshak: Ehm, what the hell did he just say?
BB: They are taking us to see the shipmistress.
Maya (voiceover): The ship was clearly imposing – once. A top of the line covenant warship, but the years since the prophets downfall hadn’t been going to her. Her scarred hull was a patchwork of other ships scrapped her captured in battle. I had no idea what was waiting for us. But for the moment, we were alive and we were still local, or at least we seemed to be. I hadn’t felt that familiar queezy jolt of entering slipspace.
Maya: BB, anything useful you can tell me here?
BB: My records indicate this vessel is called the “Dedication“.
Shipmistress: No. Wrong.
Maya (voiceover): Suddenly we were face to face with the shipmistress.
Shipmistress: Dedication covenant name. My ship, my name!
BB: Roughly translated, the shipmistress would like to welcome you aboard the “Rampant Perdition”.
Maya (voiceover): Tursall[?] was the biggest Kig-Yar I’d ever seen. Skin like old leather and naked to the waist. Clearly the pirates life was good to her - she was gnawing on the charred limb of some unidentifiable creature.
Shipmistress: Speak! You say value - what value?! I take yours [?]
Maya: I don’t think you wanna take that tone with me.
Shipmistress: My ship you no power! You nothing!
BB: She says, that if you wish to live you must prove your value by providing her with 60,000 credits.
Maya: You want credits? We can get you credits. Just let us back to our ship and we can-
Shipmistress: No waiting. Credits here, one hour I take head, next hour, next head. If value - live. If not -
Maya (voiceover): We had an hour to live. And we were gonna spend it in an old covenant prison cell. [Bostwick moaning as they are thrown into the cell]
Maya (voiceover): Like everything else on the ship, it was in bad shape. The only light was a ghostly, purple glow from the energy shield locking us in. Bostwick hadn’t spoken a word since the airlock. She looked like i felt. Broken, scared.
Mshak: Ehm guys? I don’t think we’re alone in here.
[Mshak screaming in fear]
Maya (voiceover): Fifteen different cells on the ship - and the Kig-Yar had stuck us in the same one with a Sangheili. The Sangheili shifted angrily. Tried to stand, but something was wrong. I looked closer and saw he was hurt. His leg was mangled, mashed and hanging by sinew and it was a sticky pool of dark purple blood beneath him. He was not trying to hurt us...
Maya (voiceover):...he was dying.
Maya: Easy. We don’t wanna fight.
BB: Did the Kig-Yar do that to you?
Sangheili: Kig-Yar are weak and stupid, they could not defeat me! This was „Lifruhkah“[?].
BB: I have no translation, it seems to be an ancient word, something not in common usage.
Sangheili: It rose from the ground, devastation, death.
Maya: Wait, you saw...
Mshak:..an anomaly! What was it? What did you see?
BB: He says he was at one of the colonies on a diplomatic mission, he saw the event and was badly injured but he cannot describe it, he keeps using the ancient word...a...and now he’s just ranting about him, a demon.
Mshak: He’s gotta be talking about the Master Chief!
Sangheili: You have brought this upon us. Humans let the demon desecrate the holy site, there are...consequences.
Maya: What do you mean „desecrate“? What did you see?
Sangheili: Your demon...he can not save you. What is coming...there are more....many more. This is just the beginning...
Maya: Beginning of what? Hey, beginning of what?!
Maya (voiceover): The Sangheili went still. His four hinged jaws slacked and his eyes clouded and unfocused - he was gone.
Mshak: What do we do now?
Maya (voiceover): I just stared at Mshak. There was nothing we could do. Maybe there were gonna be more anomalies, maybe the Master Chief was involved somehow, but we were about to get our heads sawed off. It was someone else's problem now.
BB: This may be an inopportune time to discuss, but...while you may not be able to save yourselves you could still help save humanity. Maja, if you just give me the chip i could relay the data to ONI...
Mshak: Are you kidding me?! Why?! So that they can cover it up?!
BB: Intelligence is a tapestry, this data must be combined with everything else ONI knows to separate truth from fiction.
[Mshak and BB talking over each other]
Mshak: Oh please! ONI doesn’t care about the truth...
BB: Oh, what do you know about anything...
Mshak:...I know what I’ve seen! And I’ve seen a whole lot of...
BB: I have almost infinite intelligence...
Mshak:...No! I know - you’re just a zombie!
Mshak: I am...
Maya: Shut up, both of you! To hell with the truth! We can’t do anything, don’t you see that? What does it matter if this is just the beginning or if people are gonna die, we are gonna die here, today.
Bostwick: No. We’re not.
Maya (voiceover): I’d almost forgotten Bostwick was there.
Bostwick: We can’t die here. We need to tell everyone.
[Bostwick continuing her speech in the background]
Maya (voiceover): Suddenly, Bowstick was talking to me again. Gaining momentum, a wild fire behind her eyes I hadn’t seen before. Bostwick: We can’t let ONI or anyone else cover this up. I get it now! You should fight for something bigger than yourself, FERO told me that, you told me that. Off: I couldn’t believe it. She’d seen that FERO was a lie. Seen that I was an ONI puppet but...but she didn’t care, she still believed in the ideals.
Bostwick: Get us out of here, I know you can.
Maya (voiceover): But suddenly, our time was up.
[Cell-Door opening, Kig-Yar screaming]
Maya (voiceover): He pointed his ragged, boney claw at Bostwick. Two Kig-Yar guards grabbed her. I tried to rush them but they were too strong.
[Bostwick and the Kig-Yar are screaming]
Maya (voiceover): And just like that - Bostwick was gone.
Maya (voiceover): I paced around the cell, trying to think. She was gonna die, they were gonna kill her, I couldn’t let that happen. I had to think of a way out of that cell immediately. There was no escaping a fully functional covenant brig - but this ship had seen better days. My eyes scanned the cell. The energyshield looked strong and steady, but the walls...the walls showed signs of hasty repairs, battle damage papered over with whatever the Kig-Yar had on hand. I traced my fingers along a crack.
[Maya trying to tear the wall apart]
BB: Maya, what are you doing?
[A part of the wall is being torn apart]
Mshak: Wow, is that...
Maya: An energy conduit.
Mshak: Oh, ok, neat. So now we are going to die while being exposed to radiation.
Maya: BB? Can this conduits carry information?
Maya: Right. So if I plugged you into it...
BB: There are several reasons why that is an atrocious idea. Firstly, the electric shock might kill you...
BB: ...secondly, the electric shock might kill me...
BB: ...thirdly, UNSC AI’s are expressly forbidden from interfacing with covenant ships...
BB: ...but seeing as how you are already carrying me over to the conduit and I don’t have a way to physically stop you, I’m guessing that it’s about to happen anyway.
BB: Well, what a few million Volts between friends. Once more unto the breach!
[Sound of an electric shock, Maya screaming in pain]
Maya (voiceover): When that first jolt hit, it felt like someone punching me in the back of the head, that was the easy part. The second jolt sent me flying. I woke up halfway across the cell with my ears buzzing and my muscles vibrating, but my heart was still beating.
BB: Just because that worked doesn’t mean that was a good idea.
Maya (voiceover): The shield was down, but we couldn’t access many other systems. I sent Mshak to hide in the hangar bay while we tried to pinpoint Bostwicks location with the ships internal scanners.
BB: I found a bio reading two decks up, but it’s faint and getting fainter.
Maya: We’re not leaving without her.
Maya (voiceover): I crept through the ship, screens torn of bold heads, the walls what seem to be alive with rot. The Kig-Yar were known for their powerful senses. That’s why the covenant made them scouts. I had to be silent, but the floor was so cluttered, every step was perilous, one wrong move and they’d be on top of me. Up ahead, there was an open doorway. I had to get past it, but I could see light and shadows dancing out of it. I carefully crept up to the edge and peered inside.
Maya (voiceover): The room was filthy, packed with Kig-Yar all crouched on the ground in tight circles. They were agitated, heads up paying full attention. They’d spot me in a second if I try to sneak by, but then, another Kig-Yar entered. He was tall and lean and had bright quills, an officer maybe. He was carrying a heavy vat. He stopped at each circle and ladled out some ungodly stew unto the ground, filled with flesh and eyes. I almost gagged when I saw it. As it slopped in front of each circle, the Kig-Yar went ballistic, burying their faces in the piles, fighting each other to get their fill. I realized they were distracted and the moment the last circle had been served, I rushed past the open door and started up the maintenance ladder, climbing as quickly and quietly as I could. The scanner showed Bostwick was directly above us, but I had no way of knowing if she was alone, or even still alive. When I got to the top I leaned out of the maintenance shaft, my eyes adjusting to the darkness. And then my heart stoped cold - the room was filled with covenant soldiers. Was it an ambush? Then I realized they weren’t moving. They were staked to the walls. Severed limbs and bodyparts of covenant elites, brutes - a few human marines, too. They were arranged in lossome tablous[?], like some sort of history of the war, told through taxidermy. Then I spotted her.
Maya (voiceover): Strapped to a table at the end of the hall, a Kig-Yar surgeon preparing his tools above her. He was getting ready to add her to the collection. I needed a weapon, anything. There was only one thing i could possibly use. It was a Brute - ore more specifically, his skull, bleached white and massive. I quietly lifted it and crept upon him.
[Kig-Yar surgeon snattering and preparing his instruments when Maya suddenly strikes him]
Maya (voiceover): The first strike caught him by surprise, but he was still on his feet. He raised his plasma knife and I hit him again and again. He finally went down, but I was sure the others on the ship had heard the racket.
Bostwick: Ha! Take that you stupid fleewa[?]!
Maya: Bostwick! We gotta get out of here.
Bostwick: Yeah, ok, let’s go.
[Maya and Bostwick running through the ship]
Maya (voiceover): There was no point at being stealthy now, we ran, hard. The ship was a maze of burnt out gear and dead end corridors, but we finally made it. We could see our ship at the far end, we sprinted and we were almost through our open cargo door, when she stepped out of it.
Maya (voiceover): She was all had caught us, we were surrounded.
Shipmistress: No value. You lie! Trick! Waste time.
Maya: I’m guessing she’s not telling her men to let us go.
BB: It’s hard to precisely translate her instructions, but they do involve clawing your eyes out.
Maya (voiceover): I knew I couldn’t bluff our way out of this, but maybe I didn’t have to. It suddenly occured to me that I could offer her something of real value.
Maya: I can prove our value with a question: Why hasn’t this ship jumped to slipspace yet? What sort of pirate attacks and then just hangs around, risking retaliation.
BB: She says, their ship is mighty and powerful, none can stand against them and live.
Shipmistress: No run, no hide.
Maya: You’re a liar. I’ve seen the condition of your ship. You‘re not going to slipspace because you can’t. Because your engines don’t work and you have no idea how to fix them.
Maya: Tell me I’m wrong.
Maya (voiceover): She had a powerful warship, but she was trapped in a single star system at subliminal speeds. She was a shark, stuck praying on minnows.
BB: Impressive insight, Maya - for a human. My scans do indicate that the slipspace engine is locked down, probably an old security measure put in place before the Kig-Yar seized the ship.
Shipmistress: You fix, yes? This only value?
Maya: We can fix it, but the price is our freedom and our ship.
Maya (voiceover): She hissed and leaned forward. The Kig-Yar stirred, uneasy, spring-loaded to unleash more violence, waiting anxiously for Tursall’s decree. I was anxious, too. I felt like I just played my last card with her, and if she said no, I knew we were gonna end up on that wall of horrors, one piece at a time. She leaned in close to me, and I felt her exhale in my face. I didn’t breath, but I didn’t flinch either.
Shipmistress: You fix, you free.