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Mars 2140 (9)

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{INT. HELICOPTER, SKY – DAY}

SUSAN
They are opening the gate.

BRIAN
What took them so long!

ROBERT
I think it’s because of what I did to one of them.

{EXT. GATE/DOME}

Bolaji, Tari, Aarav, Barima, Mark and the six men (all dressed in the NASRDA pressure suits) are in front of the gate.

The helicopter lands in front of the dome. Robert; dressed in NASA pressure suit, comes out and lifts a white handkerchief.

Bolaji moves forward to Robert.

ROBERT
(puts his hand forward)
Hi!

BOLAJI
(shakes hand with Robert)
Hi!

ROBERT
I apologize for my wretched behaviour towards you and your crew.

BOLAJI
Apology accepted.

MARK (V.O)
(over the telephone)
What?

BOLAJI
(faces Mark)
Please.

ROBERT
(walks to Mark and kneels)
Please, forgive my stupidity.
(shortly stares at Barima who nods at him)

MARK
(nods)
Americans.

ROBERT
Honestly, I didn’t know what came over me.

MARK
Okay, apology partially accepted.

AARAV
Mark?

BOLAJI
Please, Mark.

MARK
Don’t you see that he’s without the stuff he stole?

ROBERT
(raises his right hand. Brian; holding the sculpture, and Susan step out of the helicopter)
I’m with it. I came to return it as well.

MARK
Okay, the apology will be completely accepted when I’m completely healed of this wound.

ROBERT
Don’t worry! Susan; one of my teammates, will treat you.

SUSAN (V.O)
(over the radio)
Shit!

MARK
(smiles)
Susan? Huh… now you’re talking. Okay, apology fully accepted.

AARAV
(smiles)
Can’t be bribed!

ROBERT
What?

BOLAJI
He means, bride.

MARK
That’s if she wants to be my wife, lone men.

BOLAJI
(giggles and winks at Aarav)
Indian tongue.

MARK
(nods)
That’s right.

AARAV
Hmm.

MARK
I needed a soft hand on my wound, though.

ROBERT
Thanks!
(stands)

BOLAJI
Come on, I’ve got something to show you all.

BRIAN
(carrying the sculpture; approaches)
Before that, why not tell us about your dome world?

BOLAJI
Good!

AARAV
As I thought.

LATER

Bolaji, Brian, Robert, Susan, Aarav, Mark (with a clutch), Barima and Tari are slowly walking around inside the dome.

BOLAJI
(points at a plantation farm)
That’s one of our food farm, where we’ll grow cattle and harvest eatable food.
(points at cages)
That’s our poultry farm.
(points at artificial ponds)
In case you never thought about it, that’s our fish farm.
(points at short trees)
Those trees were partly grown on earth, here, they will never grow taller than that. Thinking about where to stay? Don’t worry, for the meantime, these containers
(pointing at mobile homes/caravans)
Will serve you.
(glances at Tari)

TARI
This dome was designed to maintain about three million human lives. However, the dome will be extended as our population increases.

ROBERT
(looks up and points at the dome)
Elastic glass?

TARI
(looks up with the others)
Acrylic dome, made in four flat but strong and elastic layers.

SUSAN
Why.

TARI
Running water rests in between the layers. This will help us to overcome solar radiation. Also, just in case asteroids hit the outmost layer and wound it, there will be no problem until repairs are done. However, they are designed to stand against up to four hundred kilograms of a weighted asteroid. The spots you see on the walls of this dome are sensors and water sprayers, which help in the regulation and balancing of gases and of course, the temperature.

ROBERT
What are the water sprayers for?

TARI
They help in moistening the air.

BRIAN
(looking unto the screen of an electronic device. Measurement of temperature and gasses appear on the screen of the device in a graph format)
Oxygen; 21.7 percent, Carbon dioxide; 0.03 percent, Nitrogen; 75 percent, argon; 1.2 percent.
(glances at Robert)
True.

BOLAJI
Yeah,

BRIAN
Temperature is twenty-degree centigrade.
(nods)

BOLAJI
(points at the electric power unit)
That’s a four mega-watts solar-wind turbine system. A turbine driven by solar and metallic energy.

ROBERT
Metallic energy?

BOLAJI
Lithium batteries!
(winks)
Why we prefer this turbine is because we want to maintain the temperature in this dome at night. Else, we would have just stick to solar power. However, the power generated by the panels won’t be enough.

BRIAN
(points at a big metallic box outside the dome)
That’s another power generator?

BOLAJI
No, that’s our oxygen generator. Just in case, the oxygen produced by the greenhouse effect isn’t enough.

SUSAN
(points at the tanks attached to the dome from the outside)
Water tanks?

BOLAJI
Yeah, not all of it, though.
(nods at Tari)

TARI
The yellow tanks are for oxygen, blue; water, green; nitrogen, black; argon.

MARK
Why store argon?

BOLAJI
We just needed to replicate earth, Mark. Perhaps no one would like to see a little spark grow into a giant monster and swallow us all.

BRIAN
(to Mark)
You’re supposed to know all these.

SUSAN
(to Mark)
I thought you were with them.

MARK
Yeah! Sometimes I forget things, that’s why I’m called a human, my American queen.

ROBERT
(exhales)
Oops!

BRIAN
(glances at Mark’s clutch and nods)
Okay.

ROBERT
(to Tari)
Only Nitrogen would have helped you with that.

TARI
Alright.

SUSAN
(smiles)
Did you bring the water from earth too?

TARI
(points at the two pipes in partially enclosed gutters)
Those pipes draw water from beneath the polar cap over there. The scrubbers at the edges of the dome are responsible for the proper removal of excess gasses.

BRIAN
How were you able to grow grasses outside the dome?

BOLAJI
Somehow, with sophisticated technology, we’ve been able to control the soil temperature outside the dome between 15 to 30-degree centigrade.

ROBERT
How.

TARI
There are heat emitters all around the dome. Also, excess heat is released through valves unto underground metallic materials.

AARAV
(yawns)
I’m hungry!

MARK
Go and eat, Indian, there’s enough food.

SUSAN
(gazes at the water pipes)
About the pipes, why were they doubled that way?

TARI
(nods)
Come with me.

CONTINUE…