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SALVAGE ORION (TELEPLAY PILOT)
By Ian Causer

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
LOGLINE: Earth is dead. The remnants of humanity are scattered across multiple colonies throughout the galaxy. A businessman, attempting to raise the money to secure his future, takes on a fraught and dangerous mission; locate and salvage the remains of an Orion class vehicle that has been missing for over thirty years.

SYNOPSIS:

The year is 2134. Earth has been evacuated and the survivors have been scattered amongst multiple colonies across the solar system. Exploration has taken man as far as the dwarf planet of Eris and the Kuiper Belt, where communication beacons have been placed to denote the outer marker. In order to preserve the human race, extensive gene mapping is carried out at birth. Each ‘map’ provides an E.E.D. (Expected Expiration Date) which accurately predicts the date and cause of death for each individual. For a price, corrective surgery can be purchased to extend an individual’s E.E.D. The story begins on Space Station Pegasus, which idly orbits the ruined planet Earth. Neil Wallace owns and runs a small gas recycling business on the station; he dreams of obtaining the money necessary to be able to set down roots on somewhere with rock under his feet. An opportunity is presented to him by his colleague Bright Hokum; recycle something of much higher tonnage, namely ghost spacecraft. The craft in question is an Orion class vehicle called ‘Ora’, a spaceship containing significant amounts of the now rare and valuable element Lithium. The ‘Ora’ was a deep space mining exploration vehicle that disappeared with her crew beyond the outer marker thirty three years earlier. In recent weeks she has drifted within range of a communication beacon, and her distress signal has been picked up. With a limited budget, Neil secures the salvage contract at auction and concentrates on the unenviable task of putting together a crew with the experience and capabilities to pull off the twelve month mission. Captain Thomas Withers and his adopted daughter Serenity agree to charter the mission aboard their craft, The Albatross. Desperate to earn the money required for corrective surgery, Withers agrees to a percentage of the final haulage value. An intelligent and eager young scientist called Grace Porter joins the crew as psychiatrist, and the mysterious Professor Baugh is hired to act as communications expert. The final and most important piece of the puzzle concerns the hiring of a prohibitively expensive, qualified security specialist. With pirates operating past the asteroid belt, and deadly creatures inhabiting the planets and moons beyond the gas giants, a military trained security liaison with deep space experience is a legal requirement for any mission. Bright hears of a man hiding from law enforcement on Phobos. He has the necessary experience and accreditation, but he also has a galactic warrant hanging over him. Bright must get him off Phobos and onto the Albatross without getting caught by the authorities. Once he does, ‘Salvage Orion’, a mission fraught with danger in the terrifying unknown world beyond the outer marker, can begin.

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