Team No Return

Actor: Ying Zhou, Kier Zhou, Matthew Zhou

Sound Design: Kier Zhou

Director: Kier Zhou

Writer: Matthew Zhou, Kier Zhou

Producer: Kier Zhou

{sounds of getting out of the car and walking over to the house. Doorbell rings. Y & M answers.
Y: oh! I didn’t know…you were…
M: Daddy!!!!
K: Hey…I’m home…
Y: When did they let you out of the
K: Yesterday…but it was late…I didn’t want to wake you…
M: Daddy! Daddy! Everyone is saying you fought them off! That you and the northern regiments beat them in Bristol! Is it true?! Is it true?
K: heya bud… whose been saying that? Don’t worry yourself about the fighting…leave that sort of thing to the grown ups… I’ve got special permission to work from home whilst I recover…
M: I’ll go and get your bag!
K: No need to…
Y: Let him…he’s excited you’re back…
K: and you?
Y: That depends…
K: it won’t be like last time…
Y: That’s what you said last time…
K: This time is different…please trust me…this could be…Are you going to let me in?
Y: I can hardly refuse…it will break his heart.

[Matthew over by the car getting the bags out bumps into Zach]
M: Oh! Hello! Who are you? Are you coming to stay with us? [pause…silence] You must be one of the children from Bristol…you don’t like to speak? That’s okay…the teachers said that’s normal! Do you want to come in and play?

K: Come on little man! Are you making the bag or fetching it?

[Matthew with Zach]
M: Whats up? You looked frightened? Are you hurt?…this? Daddy calls these mummy’s magic ornaments… don’t be scared of these…they are supposed to give us good luck…but daddy says they are silly…these two are lovebirds but they just look like two ducks kissing to me and these in the jar are lotus nuts or seeds or something but they look like popcorn…they wont hurt you…look they [smash crack as the ornaments hit the floor]
M: No! No, no no…mummy will be cross! Quick help me hide them!

Chat with Neighbor

N: I saw your husband is back

Y: yeah… a bit of a surprise…

N: is it true he was fighting in the south?

Y: last I heard yes.

N: I bet you are pleased he’s home…

Y: oh god… I forgot… your son was sent south… so you want me to ask if…

N: no need… it looks like I can ask for myself…

[Kier enters the garden]

K: Ah! Mrs Linju! How are you?

N: I’m well Captain. And you?

K: a little tired and sore… but otherwise just glad to be home.

N: did you hear from our Michael whilst you were down there fighting?

K: Michael?

Y: [whispered] her son.

K: he was with the Blankshires, right?

N: that’s right.
K: They’re still on task holding the city and readying for the big push back. Don’t worry though, the Blankshires will be in reserve so Michael will be as safe as houses.

N: Really? The colonel told me they had been relieved and he was in Coventry…

K: is that right? You’ll have to forgive me… I’ve been off the line for a little while.

N: Seems odd that they’d move them out of Bristol… no one has heard anything about who would replace them…

[long awkward pause]
K: As you know…this is not a traditional enemy…and traditional tactics won’t necessarily…

Y: [Interjecting] I’m sure he’ll be back home any day now…

N: [accusatory] just knowing would be enough… just to know…

K: well… I can make some enquiries on your behalf…

N: [Sarcastic] Thank you Captain [walks off]

K: Thank you…

Y: It wasn’t for you…but it would be easier to lie if I knew what I was lying about.

[Y storms off]

Bedtime story to Matthew
[Y tucks in Matthew and gives him a kiss]
Y: Good night little prince…
M: Mummy….
Y: Yes little man…
M: If Daddy is home…does that mean the fighting is almost finished? Does that mean things will go back how they were before the…before they arrived…
Y: [Sigh] Did I ever tell you the story of Nian?
M: No…I don’t think so…
Y: In the Ancient times there was a great monster, called Nian, which would come down from the mountains every year. It would come down in winter when food was scarce and gobble up crops, animals and people…it especially loved to eat children!
M: [Scared sound]
Y: Don’t worry! After a little while of being terrorised by the monster, the people banded together and learned how to beat it! They learned what it was afraid of, learned what it wanted and used tricks and magic to scare it away and leave them alone.
M: Daddy says magic isn’t real…
Y: That is because daddy doesn’t understand magic! Nian was afraid of the colour red, so we started to wear red, he was hungry, so we left him food outside of our doors so he would be full and not
need to enter and he HATED loud noises…so the people would bang drums and pots and plates and
make a big racket! After a little while people started to use fireworks and that worked even better so
every year we keep him away with a big fireworks display. Even monsters can be defeated…we just need to learn how…
M: And is that what daddy did in Bristol? He learned how to beat the baddies? So he was allowed to come home?
Y: [pause]…yes son… that’s what everyone keep saying…
M: Then I think Daddy is magic! He just doesn’t know it!
Y: [Smiling] Hmmm…good night xxx

K: Zero this is C43B
V: Authenticate. Over
V: Authenticated. Line Secure. Send over.
K: Requesting sitrep IOT inform G4 estimate. Over.
V: Wait Out….J2 update imminent. You want the pertinent points?
K: Yes.
V: Nothing heard from Coventry recce, assumed KIA. Enemy advancing on all fronts. Small groups believed to have infiltrated the city before the shield went up but we’ve got QRF dealing with it
south of your location. Direction to Remain dispersed and concentrate effects is extant. Americans have agreed to hold off on hammerfall, they have a Decision Point in 6 days or if…
K: I understand…
V: Boss wants the IRTB on your proposed logistics changes by first parade tomorrow.
K: Roger. Thank you. Out.

[Kier turns to Ying, Ying is washing her hands]
K: Hey…how is the little man holding up?
Y: [Silence… continues washing hands and putting stuff away…begins walking away]
K: [Irritated] I will be working late…if you want to talk now is the time…[another pause]…I proposed to work from home so we could be together… Y: and now we are trapped…with you
K: Now we are safe.
Y: I am going to bed…

[Tapping away on the computer, drinking coffee, sneaks into bedroom to go to sleep…snoring…mystical sounds and whispers…Kier jumps out of bed and grabs pistol cocks it]
Y: [whispered and panicked] What is it? What is it?
K: [Quiet] Shhhhh….
[Opens door- horror stab/jump scare]
M: Daddy…can I sleep with you?
K&Y: [Sigh of relief]
Y: Of course you can…come in here…
[K pulls out chair and sits by the door checking weapon]
M: Daddy are you not coming to bed?
K: [Sigh]
Y: [Unsure] Daddy will come to bed soon. Don’t worry just close your eyes.

[Following day…Kier is yawning and tapping away on the computer again]
[Ying is frantically looking through the bedding and chunnering away to herself in Chinese ‘where is it…Ying marches into the Kitchen…]
Y: Where are they?
K: [Surprised] where is what?
Y: The Tongbi! Under our pillows they are gone!
K: the coins?
Y: Yes, the coins!
K: I don’t know… They were there when I checked my pistol.
Y: Well they are not there now! The Yuanyang and Lianzi are missing too!
K: Why are you getting so upset?
Y: The fengshui of the house is wrong without them…we need all the good luck we can get!
K: Babe…it doesn’t matter…its fine… that stuff isn’t’
Y: Real!? Really?! With what is going on you want to tell me it isn’t real!? [Matthew walks in] M: Stop fighting!
K: Little man…please don’t

[Massive nuclear explosion in distance]

Y: What was that?

[Sound of rushing wind]

[Family drop to the floor/windows blow out/short screams and panic breath/matthew whimpering…Kier gets up to check]

Y: It’s okay….it’s okay…shhhhh…..shhhhh.
K: its okay little man…it’s over….
M:[Worried] Daddy…what was it…
K: Just give me a minute sprog yeah…
[Kier goes to radio. Clicks it multiple times]
K: Zero this is…[clicks again multiple times] Zero this is…. Sweetheart…will you go and get the equipment from the faraday box please…the black box under in the cubby…come here little
man…give your dad a cuddle…
[Y gets the box]
M: It was so loud…what was it…
K: Its alright bud…it’s….it’s just us fighting back….
[Y puts the box on the table]
K: Take him to the bedroom and wrap up warm…it’ll get cold in here…
Y: No…We’ll put our coats on and stay in here… with you
K: Beloved…I…[pleading] please…
[Y & M leave. K turns on new radio]
K: Zero this is C43B.
V: Send authentication. Over.
V: Authenticated. Send over.
K: Was it Hammerfall? Have the Americans…Has is begun?
V: No…It was us… Leeds and York have gone… Gone Polaris…
K: Polaris!? No! No! there were 6 battalions between them! They both had a shield! V: The enemy are learning…with every new town or city…
K: Did the shield fail?! Did it fail?!
V: No…from what I hear they found a way under it…we should still be alright for now… SF are clearing the sewers and making sure we’re covered from that angle…
K: [deep calming breath]…thank you…send sunray my regards…I will await further orders.

K: Everyone get your KI meds…
[Following conversation is in Chinese]

Y: Really?! You said we would be safe!
K: We are safe.
Y: We are taking anti-radiation medicine! How are we safe!
K: We will be fine. Take your medicine.

Y: I heard you! I know what is happening! York…Leeds….they are further north than we are! What is Polaris?! I thought you stopped them in Bristol! I’m not an idiot! The demons are coming! They are going to surround us!
K: Please stay calm, I have a plan for us. Stay Calm.
[Matthew interjects in English]
M: You know I can understand what you are saying…
[Sigh and cuddle]
Y: Take your medicine sweety…daddy and I will clean up this mess…

[Matthew playing with ‘Zach’]
M: yeah yeah yeah…that’s when it all exploded! It was so scary! There was glass everywhere But you must be used to that right? Do you get scared? I don’t like the big bombs or the bullets either…..
Y: [shouting in other room] I’m putting the dinner on in 10!
M: Okay mum!! [to zach] aren’t you coming?…thats okay…you keep playing I’ll bring some back.

[scene switches to Kier and Pioneer…sounds of windows being refitted]
Pnr: that should be it now boss…windows are done and you’ve got a diesel jenny for the ‘lecky. You wanting someone to stag on so the civvies don’t pinch it?
K: No…no…it’s fine…Thank you for everything …have you eaten? Would you like a drink?
Pnr: got to get back…but uh…can I ask you sir…you were at the battle of Bristol, right?
K: Yes…I was…
Pnr: Is it true what they are saying? That we won? That we beat them there?…after London…no one believed… I just don’t know what to believe anymore…
K: …of course it’s true… how else would I be standing here
Pnr: Yeah…obviously…it’s just I had mates there and I haven’t heard anything and there are rumours that the yanks are gonna…
K: stay safe…stay in the light…don’t travel in groups larger than 6… Tpr: Right…yeah… sure…that’ll keep us safe…[Salutes…] SIR
K: [Salutes] About your business.

[On Radio again]
K: Zero this is C43B.
V: Authenticate.
K: Do we really have to keep doing this? It’s not like they can…
V: Did you read the J2 update? They can emulate us now… they’re adapting
K: [Silence] WERT432PQO V: Authenticated. Send. Over.
K: How’s the weather in Edinburgh?
V: Wait. Out….[Pause/dead air] Watchkeeper has gone for a fag break. Be Quick.
K: Have you heard from the Navy?
V: They are being difficult the lads want more money for the risk…
K: Just give them whatever they want…
V: Ack. Have a car fuelled and packed and be ready to leave for Liverpool at a moments notice.
K: Will they get us through the blockade?
V: That’s what they say…
K: Thank you…thank you….out…

[Matthew continues playing with ‘Zach’]
M: Daddy has been really scary recently…he always seems upset and worried…everyone says he is a hero after what happened in Bristol…Hmmm…I hadn’t thought about that…that must have been awful…but he has been scary since he got home…he shouts a lot…and his face is always angry
Y: [in other room] Dinner is ready!
M: I’ll be back in a bit. [Shouted to Y] COMING!

[At Dinner table]
Y: How are you doing little man?
M: [eating] I’m good.
Y: What are you up to in there? You are being very quiet.
M: [eating/indifferent] Playing dice and chess
Y: On your own, that must be pretty boring!
M: actually I’m playing with-
K: [Interrupting] We are going on a trip.
Y: What?…when?
K: Soon.
M: Where to daddy?
K: it’s a surprise…and a secret and you mustn’t tell anyone…just make sure your bags are packed and you take anything you can’t live without. We may be gone for a very long time..
Y: Why? Why now?
M: I don’t want to go…I want to stay here and.
[Kier bangs hands down on the table and explodes in anger]
[sighs and angry breath…matthew cries…kier continues eating]
Y: Not like last time…hmmm…

[In bed again…kier rolls over and tries to cuddle Ying]
K: Beloved…beloved are you are awake….
Y: …
K: [moves over to cuddle Ying]
Y: Don’t touch me… you brought nothing but darkness home with you…
K: I…I…was fighting…I’m trying to keep you both…it’s not my…
[Ying begins to cry]
K: I’m sorry….I’m sorry…
Y: [Getting out of bed] Get away from me…
K: [Cries into his pillow until sleep]
[sleeping/snoring/tossing and turning….mystical sounds and whispers again and movement…Kier gets out of bed quietly and grabs pistol…stalks to the door]
K: Thought you could find me again did you?… It won’t be like last time…[bang-bang-bang-bang] [Y and M scream- jumps out of bed and turns on the light]
Y: What are you doing?!
K: I swore it was! It was…It was right there…I could see it…
Y: You could have killed someone!…
M:[Panicked] Is he okay is he okay?
Y: Daddy is fine…he just got a little bit scared…I’ll come sleep with you.
K: I….I…..I

[Back to the Radio again]
K: Zero this is C43B.
V: Authenticate.
K: Send the watchkeeper out.
V: [static]
K: I said send the FUCKING watchkeeper out!
V: What are you playing at! Are you trying to get us both shot!?
K: Are they out?
V: Yes! Yes they are out…but don’t pull this BS again!
K: Give me an update…
V: [deep breath] Outposts in Oldham, Macclesfield, Wigan, Northwich and Blackburn have gone dark…
K: That means we’re next….they are surrounding us…

V: Warrington is still reporting in…the way west is still open…

K: What about the shield?
V:…we’re getting reports from… It looks like they’ve adapted…it slows them down but…
K: Shit…How long until Manchester orders Polaris?
V: Calm down…We haven’t engaged the enemy yet… don’t get spooked…it’s just radio silence from the outposts… it could easily be…
K: What about the Navy? When are we getting out?
V:[static and silence]
K: What about the FUCKING Navy!
V: The Navy have cut and run… the ships that could break the blockade did…they have left us…they panicked…after Leeds…everyone is predicting the yanks will call hammerfall…
K: NO! NO! NO! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! [smashes up radio screaming]…I can’t …I can’t face them again….not again….I can’t let them hurt my family…
[Matthew walks in]
M: Dad…Daddy…is everything okay?
K: [standing up and trying to look calm and reassuring] Get in the car, son.
Y: What?!
K: Everyone in the car.
Y: it’s dark outside…that’s when they… M: Daddy I don’t want to go…
[Matthew crying again]
Y: You are scaring him! Again!
K: We should be scared! Why do you think we are vaporising our own cities rather than let them fall! Coins and lovebirds and lotuses aren’t going to fucking save us! Listen to me and get in the car…[breathing heavily]
M: Zach says we are going to be okay…he says we don’t need to leave…
K: What?!
Y: Who is Zach baby?
M: My new friend… we’ve been playing together…
K: [abject terror] Little man….how long have you been playing with Zach?
M: [crying and sobbing] Since you got home….[apologetic] he came with you…remember? he said you met in Bristol…he was sad at first…he said it hurt… he didn’t like mummy’s magic ornaments… I tried to show him they were safe but we broke them…I’m sorry…
K: [Terror] Sprog…where is Zach now?

[Sounds of explosions and gunfire outside…screaming and sirens…]
M: He said he was going to let his friends in…so we could play…
[Sound of eldritch monster growling]
K & Y: [Scream]

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