Superior Conjunction by Philip Sedgwick | Script Revolution

Superior Conjunction

After a communications blackout caused by a superior conjunction of Earth and Mars, two astronauts realize they are the only humans alive and an abandoned space colony on Mars remains their only hope for life.



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In 2023, CHET BELLOWS and GINA SPARKS occupy the Midas 1 space station. Midas 1 is the control ship for mining operations to occur in the asteroid belt and is stationed on the Mars side of the asteroids. The remainder of the Midas crew hibernates below decks in habituation tubes. Back on things on Earth are not good. Global hostilities are heating up and nuclear war is likely. The President and Pentagon powers want more of the asteroid ore of which they recently received a sample from Midas. The ore will be very useful in contact explosion weaponry, which the US must return to use in lieu of proximity exploding bombs and their massive tendency for collateral damage. Digger 1, a mining vehicle piloted by LEO GOLDMAN, works its way through the field to the asteroid that provided the previous sample. Mel issues the directive to expedite the process, though Gina protests it cannot be sped up. It must be sped up. Things are critically tense and soon Midas will soon be blocked from the Earth by a superior conjunction with Mars and they will be out of contact for five days. The existing communication satellite network will likely be shoddy given a predicted outbreak of massive solar eruptions.

Chet decides that if he could use the laser system on Midas, he might be able to deflect an asteroid toward Earth... not so much as to impact Earth, but to come close enough to cause world leaders to unite in the cause of saving the planet, instead of destroying it. He begins skulking about to locate the perfect candidate. Chet’s new, odd behavior arouses Gina’s suspicion that he is working to line up something romantic on Earth for their return - whenever that will be. Chet denies this, but his secrecy keeps Gina’s suspicions on a high burner. Digger 1 collides with an uncharted asteroid fragment, loses control and crashes. Chet finds an asteroid candidate and deflects it. The asteroid debris set into motion acts like billiard balls on a crowded table. Debris flies all over the place and part of it scatters toward the satellite they would most likely use for Earth communications during the superior conjunction. Debris takes it out the satellite offering the only hope for communication. When Earth goes behind Mars, nuclear war destroys Earth, unknown to Chet and Gina. Feeling disconnected, Chet and Gina decide to call the Ares craft, piloted by REBECCA ABBASI now nearing Mars, on the way to Jupiter and his moon, Europa. After a little chat about debris and the kaput satellite with Ares, Chet and Gina get into it further about his sneaky behavior. The next morning Ares checks in before flying “under” the asteroid belt. During this conversation, the craft hits debris set in motion by Chet’s deployment of the laser system. As Earth comes around from behind Mars, Chet and Gina realize that Earth has been obliterated. Soon after, the hibernation capsules on the craft fail, having received a “compassion euthanasia” signal to shut them down given the catastrophic events on Earth. As well, they receive a message that a supply craft was launched just prior to the end of the world and is headed their way.

Chet and Gina realize they are the only humans alive. Gina discovers that Chet caused the failure of the satellite and the demise of the Ares craft. Soul searching and head butting result in the decision to fight to stay alive and not give up. They decide to fly Midas to Mars where a space colony mysteriously went silent a few years before. It’s a rough landing on Mars. They make it, but are knocked silly. As they come around, they realize that their craft is moving... something outside is making it move. They are greeted by an alien man and woman who silently lead them to an interrogation room. Here, they meet ALTJIRA (the name of an aboriginal deity, a bird man, who was once considered to be God and created the world and people, but now stands back in dispassionate indifference.) Altjira gives them a choice: live peacefully on Mars in the existing colony and propagate humankind, or be annihilated. The aliens will not tolerate a warring humankind. Chet and Gina agree to the terms and they are free to live life on the Mars station.

Gina hands Chet an apple and pats her tummy. Humanity is starting to come back.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

3rd Place, Sci-Fi Genre, 6th Annual Story Pros Awards, 2013
Finalist, 6th Annual Story Pros International Contest, 2012
Finalist, Richmond International Film Festival, 2014

Submitted: July 15, 2021
Last Updated: July 17, 2021

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Philip Sedgwick's picture

The Writer: Philip Sedgwick

Philip wrote his first script at the prompting of a writer friend. He entered his second script, Neon Cactus, into the Academy's Nicholl Fellowship, which placed as a Quarter-Finalist in the prestigious competition. Since that time, more than thirty of his screenplays & films have received acclaim from film festivals, fellowships and competitions. Philip served as a juror for the Prescott Film Festival for the past several years, where he also presents screenwriting workshops. His produced short films have screened and won at many film festivals. A handful of feature scripts can be read on ScriptHop (links provided). It is my practice not to post short screenplays online. However, any... Go to bio

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