Planet Z Season 1 Episode 1: Reentry

NUMB HUMOR STUDIOS PRESENTS:

PLANET Z

SEASON 1 EP 1

“REENTRY”

WRITTEN BY 

WILLIAM X. FRY


EXT. EARTH’S ORBIT

The International Space Station orbits around Earth.

INT. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

FRANK HESTON is jogging. He is tethered to a treadmill. He stops and wipes his face. He changes into his uniform and makes his way around the station. He stops at a large circular window and stares at Earth. ULYSSES TAYLOR floats next to him.

ULYSSES
It never gets old.

FRANK
No it does not.

ULYSSES
Pierre went out to fix an antenna.

FRANK
I know. 

ULYSSES
Did you also know that he put a rubber monster next to Weaver’s window?

FRANK
Who do you think gave it to him.

Frank and Ulysses laugh.

FRANK
Ohhhh I’m gonna miss it up here.

ULYSSES
You don't have to leave.

FRANK
I think I need some time on actual ground. Also, I really miss pizza.

Frank and Ulysses chuckle.

FRANK
You hear from Sally?

ULYSSES
She said she was going to the doctor to find out the sex.

FRANK
You are not prepared for fatherhood.

ULYSSES
If I can handle Pierre, Gomez, Weaver, and Shao, I think I can handle a tiny human being.

SHAO appears behind Frank and Ulysses. 

SHAO
{Chinese Accent}
Hey, everyone’s ready.

Frank and Ulysses follow Shao into the main room. The remaining crew of WEAVER, PIERRE, and GOMEZ float holding space food and drink. A sign reading END OF MISSION floats around them. Weaver is a white 30 something year old American woman. Pierre is a 30 something year old frenchman. Shao is around the same age and is Chinese. Gomez is a Hispanic woman also around the same age.

PIERRE hands Ulysses a drink.

PIERRE
{French Accent}
Speech! Speech!

ULYSSES
What is this the Oscars? Eat! Drink! This is our last day. Enjoy it. 

Ulysses raises his drink and the other crew members follow.

The crew laugh, drink, and eat. Music plays in the background. Gomez sees a light blinking. He goes over to it.

GOMEZ
{Hispanic Accent}
Hey guys, Mission Control’s calling. 

The crew gathers around Gomez.

GOMEZ
Mission control this is ISS. Are we still good to come home tomorrow?

MISSION CONTROL
Don’t-come-... don’t come- Stay.

GOMEZ
Control?

ULYSSES
Mission control this is Ulysses Taylor. We didn’t- we can’t hear you.

MISSION CONTROL
Don’t-come-down… dead-risen… stay.

The channel goes static.

GOMEZ
Control? Control come in? Nothing.

WEAVER
Why don’t they want us to come down?

PIERRE
Maybe it’s a joke.

WEAVER
Like the one you pulled this morning?

FRANK
I’m sure Control will contact again and we’ll square this all out.

ULYSSES
Pack up the rest of the food and drink. Just in case we have to stay a little longer.

The crew packs away the food and drink. Gomez continues trying to contact mission control. 

Frank goes up to Ulysses.

FRANK
What do you think is going on?

ULYSSES
Probably just a communication failure.

FRANK
Pierre may not have completely fixed the antenna.

ULYSSES
No. If there’s one thing Pierre takes seriously, it’s maintenance.

FRANK
And the message?

ULYSSES
What about it?

FRANK
You heard the same thing I did. Don’t come down. Stay. 

ULYSSES
I’m sure we’ll get it all sorted out.

GOMEZ
Guys. Guys!

The crew gathers around Gomez.

GOMEZ
Control? Control do you copy?

MISSION CONTROL
Hello? Hello? Captain Taylor do you read?

ULYSSES
This is Ulysses Taylor mission leader. We received a message earlier saying not to come down. Has our reentry been delayed?

MISSION CONTROL
Don’t come down. Godspeed.

The channel goes static again

GOMEZ
Control? Control?

PIERRE
I’ll go check the antenna.

GOMEZ
The antenna is not the problem. They just won’t answer.

WEAVER
We leave tomorrow and they won't answer? 


PIERRE
They have to have a reason.

GOMEZ
Why didn't they tell us?

ULYSSES
Ok everyone. There has to be a reason. Just give them time to fix whatever happened on their end. 

MONTAGE
-The crew go about their normal business. They exercise, eat, and pass the time.
-Gomez continues to try and contact Mission Control.
-Pierre conducts a space walk.
-Frank, Weaver, and Shao do maintenance inside.   

2 MONTHS LATER

Frank looks out the main window. He leaves and floats to the main room. The crew is gathered. Ulysses stands in front of them.
ULYSSES
We’re almost out of resources. We can’t reach Mission Control. 

WEAVER 
What do we do?

ULYSSES
We go back ourselves.

FRANK
Mission Control won’t know we're coming. Who’s gonna get us when we land in the ocean? 

ULYSSES
I don’t know. But we can’t stay here. We leave in two hours. Gather what you need. We’re going home.

The crew gathers their things. They suit up. They enter the soyuz capsule. The capsule detaches from the station and begins to head towards Earth. As it races toward Earth, The capsule begins to heat up as the capsule soars through the atmosphere. 

The capsule arrives on Earth and lands in the ocean.

EXT. EARTH/OCEAN - DAY

The hatch door opens. Frank and Ulysses look outside.

ULYSSES
That went better than I thought.

Suddenly, a huge wave hits the capsule and capsizes it. Frank and Ulysses are thrown into the ocean. They keep themselves floating.
FRANK
Ulysses! Ulysses!

Frank sees the capsized capsule. It begins to sink and disappear under the ocean.
FRANK
Fuck. Fuck fuck. Ulysses!

Ulysses is nowhere to be seen.

FRANK
Ulysses! Pierre! Shao! Weaver!

Frank grabs on to a piece of wreckage.

Hours pass. Frank continues to float on the piece of wreckage. He is dehydrated and sunburn. 

FRANK
(Hoarsely)
Shao… Pierre… Weaver.

Frank looks up and sees a coastline. He starts paddling and reaches a sandy beach. He lies in the sand.

Frank stands up and begins walking along the coastline. He reaches a small neighborhood. He sees a woman leaning over a body.

FRANK
Hello? Please… help.

Frank stumbles towards the woman. The woman stands up and looks at Frank. Her face is scarred. Her eyes are reddish orange. Blood paints her mouth. Bits of flesh hanging from her lips.

Frank is startled and takes several steps back.

FRANK
Fuck. Are you ok?

The woman moans and shrieks. She runs towards Frank. Frank sees a large stick and grabs it. He is able to hit the woman knocking her down. The woman gets back up and pounces on Frank. She thrashes her teeth at him as Frank tries to hold her back. A gunshot is heard. The woman slumps to the side. Frank sits up and his face is greeted by the rifle barrel of HENDRICKS.

HENDRICKS
Were you bitten!

Frank is surrounded by soldiers who point their guns at him.

HENDRICKS
Were you bitten!
FRANK
(Hoarsely)
W-what?

HENDRICKS
Check him for bites Dion.

The soldier DION (African American) grabs Frank and rips his shirt off. He examines his body. He rolls up Frank’s pant legs and examines them.

DION
No bites.

Hendricks lowers his gun. The other soldiers follow.

HENDRICKS
What’s your name?

FRANK
Fra-Frank Heston.

DION
We already checked this area for survivors. 

HENDRICKS
(To Frank)
Where’d you come from? Maine?

DION
He’s dehydrated. We should have Ava look at him?

HENDRICKS
Where'd you come from?

Frank points to the sky. Hendricks looks up then back at Frank.

FRANK
ISS. International… Space-

Frank collapse and passes out. Hendricks picks up his torn shirt and examines it. He comes across a NASA logo. 

HENDRICKS
Holy shit. Call the lieutenant. Tell him we need Ava.
INT. MEDICAL TENT - DAY

Frank lies in a medical bed. He is dressed in fresh clothes. He has an IV in his arm. 

He wakes up and looks around. The tent is white, clean, steril and well lit. Frank gets out of bed and exits the tent.

EXT. ARMY CAMP - DAY

Frank exits the tent. He is in a campsite. Soldiers walk around armed, there are multiple campfires, and there are military vehicles. As he walks through the camp, soldiers stare at Frank. Frank stumbles and falls to his knees. Hendricks rushes to his side.

HENDRICKS
Whoa there Spaceman. Eames, get Ava. 

FRANK
Where am I?

HENDRICKS
We’ll tell you later. You need to rest.

Eames returns with AVA. She is a white 30 something year old woman wearing a lab coat. 

AVA
Where’s the guard you stationed with him?

HENDRICKS
He went to help with inventory. Besides, shouldn’t you be the one to stay with your patient.

AVA
Johnson broke his leg.

Frank begins to pass out.
AVA
He’s still dehydrated. Get me a gurney.

THREE HOURS LATER

INT. MEDICAL TENT - DAY

Frank wakes up again. Ava is sitting in a chair next to his bed. She notices that he is awake.

AVA
Did you sleep well?

FRANK
Where am I? Houston?

AVA
Rhode Island.

FRANK
What?

AVA
You’re at an Army camp

FRANK
Army?

AVA
Mr. Heston-

CALLAHAN enters the tent with Hendricks and Dion. 

CALLAHAN
How is he doc?

AVA
Getting better. I’m amazed he was able to walk.

HENDRICKS
He was stumbling when we saw him.

DION
Thought he was a Z.

CALLAHAN
Frank. Can I call you Frank?

FRANK
Uh sure?

CALLAHAN
Frank, we confirmed your identity.

FRANK
Was there an issue with that?

CALLAHAN
Well, when you said you came from the ISS, we really didn't know what to think. But we looked you up. Frank Heston: Second in command to Captain Ulysses Taylor.

FRANK
Did you find them? Ulysses? The rest of the crew?

CALLAHAN
We sent a boat out. I’m sorry but we couldn't find anything. We have to assume that they perished.

FRANK
Fuck. When do I debrief with Mission Control.

CALLAHAN
There is no Mission Control.

FRANK
What?

CALLAHAN
Do you not know what happened?

AVA
I don’t think he can handle it right now.

FRANK
What happened? Mission Control said not to return. Why?

Callahan looks at Ava, Hendricks, Dion, and then at Frank.

CALLAHAN
Frank, there was an outbreak. Spread everywhere. At first everyone thought that we would be able to stop it but… then we discovered what the virus did.

FRANK
What?

CALLAHAN
It brought back the dead.

FRANK
What are you saying?

CALLAHAN
Zombies are real Frank. More than half of the Earth’s population has turned into one. 

FRANK
This is a joke right? 

HENDRICKS
You remember that woman that attacked you?

FRANK
You shot that woman.

HENDRICKS
She was a zombie. You would've been her next meal.

FRANK
But… but… no no no no no this… this is crazy. 

CALLAHAN
I know that this is a lot to hear. Right now I want you to focus on getting your strength back. Hendricks will brief you on everything that goes on here. Dr. Ava Farroway can help you with any medical needs. If you need me, just say the word.

Frank nods.

EXT. ARMY CAMP - NIGHT

Frank exits his tent wearing military pants and jacket. Hendricks is waiting for him. The two walk around the camp.

FRANK
Is it just y’all?

HENDRICKS
We’re one of the 5 camps in America.

FRANK
So there are more overseas?

HENDRICKS
When the outbreak was bad, all the countries got together. Didn't matter whether or not they were enemies or allies. That’s how The Rig was formed.

FRANK
The Rig?

HENDRICKS
When land became unsafe, the President was moved to an abandoned oil rig. It sorta became the central HQ for the world. It’s guarded by a few battleships and three aircraft carriers. It’s the safest place on Earth.

FRANK
I still can’t believe this actually happened.

HENDRICKS
You’re not alone. When we realized that the virus brought the dead back, no one believed it. Ignorance is why it got this bad. What we thought was Hollywood, became real life.

FRANK
So what do you do?

HENDRICKS
Besides killing zombies, we look for survivors who didn't make it to The Rig.

FRANK
I noticed that Dr. Farroway is… British?

HENDRICKS
Normally, she would be stationed in London but her sister was over here when the outbreak happened. She hopes to find her.

FRANK
You don't think she will?

HENDRICKS
No. But I’m not gonna tell her that. She’s a good doc. I won’t compromise that.

They come upon a campfire. Dion is serving soldiers. He sees Frank and Hendricks.

DION
Hey, come eat. Gio made Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Dion hands Frank and Hendricks a plate. The two take a seat with the other soldiers around the campfire.

DION
(To Frank)
So what was it like?

FRANK
What?

DION
Space, man. What was it like?

FRANK
Quiet… peaceful. 

DION
Man you and your crew must have been wondering what was going on down here. You’re lucky you landed close to us or you would’ve been-

HENDRICKS
Dion. Let’s change the subject.

DION
Ok. So one time on The Rig, I met this girl. Huge tits small ass but man she rocked my world.

Frank sees Ava pass by holding her plate. She heads into the woods. Frank leaves the campfire and follows her. Hendricks see this but chooses to ignore it. 

Ava sits at the edge of a lake. Frank stands behind her.

FRANK
Excuse me?

Ava notices Frank.

FRANK
May I join you?

AVA
Of course.

Frank sits next to her.

AVA
How are you feeling?

FRANK
Better. It’s nice to eat something other than dry ice cream.

AVA
So you really came from the ISS.

FRANK
Yep.

AVA
You know, everyone forgot about y’all. 

FRANK
I don’t blame them. With everything that went on down here, I’m sure a group of astronauts are the least of their worries.

AVA
I’m sorry about you crew.

FRANK
Thanks. They were good people. I think they actually got the better hand. Not having to see this. 

AVA
Did you have anyone on Earth?

FRANK
No. No my crew were the only people I had.
AVA
Give these people a chance. They’ll grow on you.

Frank and Ava smile at each other and look across the lake.

FRANK
I heard about your sister.

AVA
She came here for school. When the outbreak was in its early days, I told her to come home. But then the U.S. grounded all flights. I haven't heard from her since. I know it’s a long shot that I’ll find her but I have to at least try.

FRANK
I think she’s out there. Surviving. Like us.

AVA
I certainly hope so.

Cut to a soldier patrolling the camp. He hears a ruffling in the bushes. He raises his gun and slowly moves towards the bushes. A zombie jumps out and pounces on him. The zombie begin tearing his flesh off with his teeth. More zombies emerge from the woods and make their way towards the camp.

Hendricks and Dion laugh and eat with the other soldiers. They hear a scream and turn around. Three soldiers are on the ground being eaten.

HENDRICKS
Zombies!

Hendricks, Dion and other soldiers get their guns and start shooting the zombies.

Frank and Ava hear the gunfire.

AVA
Zombies.

FRANK
Behind you!

Ava turns and a zombie knocks her down. Frank gets a rock and hits it in the head killing it. Ava stands up and pulls out a pistol. 

AVA
We need to get to the camp.

Frank and Ava run through the woods and reach the camp. There are multiple dead soldiers being eaten by zombies. 

FRANK
Holy shit.

A zombie approaches them. Ava shoots it in the head. This catches the attention of a group of zombies who charge toward them. They are shot down by Hendricks. 

HENDRICKS
You ok?

AVA
Yeah.

HENDRICKS
Heston?

FRANK
Yeah.

AVA
Are there more?

HENDRICKS
No but Dion is doing a perimeter check. 

AVA
We killed one near the lake. Well Frank did.

HENDRICKS
(To Frank)
You killed a zombie?

Frank nods.

HENDRICKS
Nice job spaceman.

AVA
How many?

HENDRICKS
Seven dead and six bitten.

FRANK
What’s gonna happen to the bitten.

AVA
We have to put them down.

FRANK
Whoa whoa whoa hang on a second. They’re alive.

HENDRICKS
They're infected. If we don’t shoot them in the head, they’ll turn. We’re doing them a favor.

A gunshot rings. The three of them head towards the sound. The bitten soldiers are lined up. Callahan is shooting them in the head one at a time. He comes upon the last soldier.

CALLAHAN
Thank you for your service.

He shoots the last soldier.

CALLAHAN
Dion. Gather some men and bury them.

Callahan approaches Frank, Ava, and Hendricks.

CALLAHAN
(To Frank)
Welcome back to Earth.

END.

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