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Mars 2140 (4)

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{INT. JEEP – DAY}

BARIMA
Which way, sir?

BOLAJI
(to Barima)
Let’s see what NASA crews are doing out here. Go south.
(presses a button around his neck and the visor opens)

BARIMA
Alright

MARK
(looks at Bolaji)
What?

BOLAJI
Equipped with oxygen manifold.
(points at four round devices having a sifter-like surface)
These instruments convert the Martian atmosphere into oxygen.

MARK
Oh, I see, oxygen generator everywhere.

BOLAJI
(nods)
Yeah.

AARAV
Great!
(removes his visor)

MARK
(removes his visor)
Then let’s all be in uniform.

AARAV
(to Barima)
What about you, driver?
(Barima removes his visor)
Were you waiting for me to tell you?

BARIMA
No sir, just that my attention wasn’t here.

AARAV
(nods)
I see. Where was it?

BARIMA
I’m just glad about this mission. However, I hope this works.

BOLAJI
Hey, this must work.

BARIMA
Yes, sir.

8 HOURS LATER

MARK
People back there on earth must be happy by now.

BOLAJI
That was hours ago, since we landed, Mark.

AARAV
Everywhere is dusty.

BOLAJI
Of course, what do you expect from a dry planet like this?

AARAV
Looked as if you’ve been here before.

BOLAJI
O man, this is Mars.

MARK
Hey, there
(points outside through the window)
That’s the US flag.
(wiper wipes off specks of dust from the windscreen)

BARIMA
Sir, their station is over there.

BOLAJI
We’re here.

{EXT. LANDED SITE, SURFACE LAND}

Tari and the Nigerian trained men are pinning down two hundred metres high poles. Some are constructing water pipes in gutters on the ground.

{NASA STATION}

BOLAJI
(knocks the NASA spacecraft)
Anyone home?
(to Mark)
Mark, you can come out of the car.
MARK (V.O)
(through the communicator)
You better be fast. Time is not on our side.
(NASA’s spacecraft door opens)

BOLAJI
Good!
(presses a radio device and it displays – NASA radio-communication connection successful)

SUSAN, ROBERT and BRIAN; dressed in white-flexible pressure suits, having the NASA logo, step out of the craft.

SUSAN
(with a surprised look on her face)
What’s going on here?

BOLAJI
Hello! I’m Dr Bolaji from Nigeria
(Susan, Robert and Brian glance at each other)

ROBERT
Which mission is this?

BOLAJI
Sorry, you are?

ROBERT
I’m Professor Robert
(points at Susan)
Susan
(points at Brian)
Brian.
(Faces Bolaji)
Now tell me, what are you doing here?

BOLAJI
Oh! Yeah, we are on a mission to Mars and I said let me stop by to say hello.
(Aarav opens the door of the jeep and step down)

BRIAN
(looks at the car)
What the hell is that?

BOLAJI
Haha, that’s a Nigerian space suit made in Israel. You like it, huh?

BRIAN
No, I’m talking about the car.

BOLAJI
Yeah, made in China. Originally made for Mars surface.

SUSAN
That’s going to pollute this planet.

BOLAJI
No, it’s electronic. It runs on batteries, can’t you see the solar panels on the roof?
(Aarav enters into the jeep and sit down)
Oh, we’re running out of time.
(backs Susan, Brian and Robert, and uses the camera of his mobile phone to take a shot)

ROBERT
Hey! Come here with that!

BOLAJI
Seriously? Aren’t you glad that you’re in the background of my photo? Come get it then.
(walks away, towards the jeep)
See ya!
(presses a radio device and it displays – NASA radio-communication connection disconnected)

SUSAN
Who authorized this mission without our consent?

BRIAN
That black national seems to be in charge.
(Bolaji enters the jeep and Barima drives it away)

ROBERT
I think we should keep an eye on them. Their presence can disrupt our scientific progress on this planet.

{INT. JEEP}

BOLAJI
Hahaha!
(looking at the shot he took with his phone)
Finally, meet them, that was fun! That’s my Facebook profile pix!

AARAV
Is this how Nigerians behave?

BOLAJI
Hey, come on. Show love to all, isn’t that what the Bible says?

MARK
Those guys didn’t seem happy at all.

BOLAJI
(exhales)
I noticed that from the way they breathed and stared at me, but I don’t care. I’ve done what I needed to do! Hahaa!

MARK
(nods)
Nigerians!

BOLAJI
Are the best guys to work with!
(keeps a serious look)
Well, I think I know why they were somewhat surprised.

AARAV
Why.

BOLAJI
Just look at my skin, black!

MARK
Racists?

BOLAJI
Yeah, but I don’t think so

MARK
Sure?

AARAV
(to Mark)
Hey, that reminds me. I thought Russia was part of NASA.

MARK
Yeah! Well, according to history; a serious epidemic broke out on earth in 2040. It nearly dwindles all businesses and shrink every national economy. Back then, the US economy and government were busted. Few years later, US broke up with the Russian government due to a slight misunderstood threat of betrayal in their system. The Russians responded and that, of course, affected their roll in NASA. Then, the US government stopped funding NASA the way they should, due to a declined economy. Ever since, no country has budgeted coming to Mars. Everyone started saving for their living.

BOLAJI
How did NASA make it here?

MARK
Public donations.
(nods)
Maybe. I don’t know.

AARAV
That means they have limited support.

MARK
Maybe. But the Americans are always at the top of science and they can do whatever they think about.

{EXT. SURFACE LAND}

Susan and Robert are riding electric quad-bike each.

SUSAN
These dusts are kind of blocking my view.

ROBERT
It’s gonna take a while for the specks of dust to settle down due to low gravity, so, follow the tyres.

SUSAN
Yeah, but is this really important? We have our mission to focus on.

ROBERT
I don’t care, I just don’t want this planet to behave funny. These guys don’t understand how things work in science, Susan. So, if I have a chance to make things better, I won’t joke with it.

SUSAN
You’re right, he doesn’t look like a scientist to me.

CONTINUE…