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A Hard Place By deflective

INT. OFFICE - LATE NIGHT One wall of the office is covered with thin, HD monitors. Each one shows a different scene from a heavy industrial plant assembling massive machinery. Opposite the wall is a large wooden desk that clashes with the modern chic decor. Sitting behind it is DAVID (fifties, gray mustache, flattop), filling out paperwork. DAVID Repeat that. TOM (early twenties, skinny, security uniform) is standing just inside the open door of the office. TOM Industrial saboDAVID Come inside! Close the door. Tom scuttles to obey. TOM Industrial sabotage, it has to be. She dropped mercury paste when we found her, if that got on the aluminum frame... It’s the only possible reason why she’d have it. DAVID But you stopped her? TOM (embarrassed) Well, she was stopped. wasn’t us. DAVID Really now? He puts his pen into an antique penholder that sits on the edge of his desk. DAVID (CON’T) So who did? TOM No one. Herself, sort of. You could the engineering staff did, I guess... David eyes him pointedly.

But it

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TOM (CON’T) The chances of it happening! It was just bad luck, or good luDAVID Just tell me what happened! Tom swallows. TOM She must have been sliding through the outer frame to get to the inner shell. If that had been compromised now, after the outer frame is already in place, it would have been months to replace it. DAVID Six weeks, four days. Okay. Yes. TOM So, I guess it’s lucky - lucky for us anyway - that she tried to get in just as the aft plating was shifted into place. DAVID And that’s where she was? Tom nods. DAVID (CON’T) So she’s dead? TOM No, not dead. Might be soon, there isn’t much room between those plates. Probably some broken ribs. David stands up abruptly. backward. Tom takes an involuntary step TOM Too long, anyway. DAVID

DAVID So I still have an saboteur inside the machinery?

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TOM She isn’t going to do anything. She can’t do anything. DAVID Did you search her? Well, no. in. TOM She’s a couple meters

DAVID This is the port side sheilding? TOM Starboard. DAVID The area has been secured? TOM Yes, work has stopped. The only people there are security and the inspector that found her. David walks out of the office, Tom in his wake. They walk through presteanly clean hi-tech corridors, bustling with work. Tom starts to talk once but David holds up a hand to silence him. Eventually they enter an elevator that takes them down. DAVID The starboard shielding has already been welded into place. Tom nods. Then answers verbally. Yes. TOM It has.

DAVID Removing it would require inspections for damage, replanning the workflow... At least a week. Silence. DAVID (CON’T) When we arrive I want you to take the inspector to my office. Stay with him. He talks to no one. Leave only enough security to (MORE)

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DAVID (CON’T) (cont’d) keep a secure perimeter, I will be handling the situation personally. TOM Sir? David looks straight ahead, waiting for the elevator doors to open. TOM Sir.