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Starlight #14: Littleville

We begin with Cad and Hunter driving into Littleville, a small quaint farming town in Kansas.

Cad (Narration): Just a few hours ago, I was debating whether Team Starlight needed to exist. And, I mean, it’s still a good question. But right now, split up into three different teams, investigating an alien murder mystery? I kind of see the appeal.

They pull into the driveway of an abandoned-looking farm.

Hunter: Nice place.

Cad: For real.

Cad and Hunter slowly make their way through the abandoned farmhouse.

Cad: Hello?

Hunter: Anyone?

Cad: Hunter and I are out here investigating a farm on file with the murdered alien’s DNA. We have no idea what we’ll find here. We don’t know what we’ll find.

Nothing turns up. They meet back on the porch helplessly.

Cad: We don’t know if anything will turn up. But we have to try.

Hunter: Hey Cad… how about the barn?

Cad’s gaze flits over to the crumbling barn. We cut to them at its doors, locked with a complex padlock.

Hunter: Can you…?

Cad: Sure.

Cad closes his eyes, goes starry, and opens them. He grunts and crushes the padlock in hsi hands.

Cad: Unh…

Hunter: Nice.

Cad: Nailed it.

The doors swing open and Cad and Hunter find themselves face-to-face with a glowing, silvery spaceship.

Hunter: …I think we’re in the right place.

Cad: You know what? I think you might be right.

Cad: We’re not the only ones looking for answers.

Nala and Castor approach the Emmens mansion. They share a look.

Nala: Ready?

Cas: Sure.

Cad: Mr. Emmens was seen with alien weaponry. We think he might’ve been replaced. Nala’s looking into that.

The door swings open. Frank stares coldly at them.

Frank: Miss Highland. Mister DuPont. You were expected.

Nala: I need to talk to Holly.

Frank: I’m afraid Master Emmens would like to see you first.

Cad: And Parker and Eliza? They’re on babysitting duty.

We briefly cut to Parker, Eliza, and Millie, still watching TV.

Cad: We have a lot to unpack, and something tells me not a lot of time to do so.

Cad and Hunter peer around the spaceship.

Hunter: This thing’s covered in dust. It must’ve been here for a while.

Cad: So this invasion is a long term thing?

Hunter: Maybe.

He frowns, taking in a part of the spaceship which has been stripped bare.

Cad: What is it?

Hunter: The ship… it looks like it’s been stripped for parts.

Cad: I guess the aliens needed the tech to survive here.

Hunter: Maybe. But… they did a pretty bad job. Look at this mess. They destroyed some of the components of the ship just to get some of these pieces out.

Cad: Yikes.

Hunter: Yikes indeed. Maybe…

He trails off.

Cad: Maybe?

Hunter: I’m starting to think this is more complicated than we had thought.

There’s the sound of a shotgun clicking.

Voice: Step away from the ship.

Cad and Hunter raise their hands as a country-looking man approaches, shotgun leveled at them.

Man: What the Hell do you two think you’re doing?

Cad: Sigh.

Eliza and Millie are laying on Parker’s couch when Parker enters, laptop in hand.

Parker: Hey.

Eliza: Hey.

Millie (Softly): Hey.

Parker: I have a surprise.

Eliza: Oh?

Parker: I found the TV shows you were on. I figured we could watch a few, if you’d like.

Millie: I… I would. Very much.

She takes Parker’s hand.

Millie: Thank you.

We cut back to Cad and Hunter as they face the man.

Man: Who are you? What are you doing here?

Hunter: He’s Cad. I’m Hunter.

Man: Cad? What kind of name is Cad?

Cad: Short for Cadmus.

Man: Still strange, son.

Cad: Fair point. Look, sir, we don’t want any trouble.

Man: Then why are you snooping around in property that doesn’t belong to you?

Hunter: Does it belong to you?

Man: None of your business.

Cad: Please. We just want to find the truth.

Man: Again. None of your business.

Hunter: We have to find out what happened to Malcolm Emmens Junior.

The man blinks.

Man: What happened to Mal?

Cad and Hunter exchange a look.

Cad: Well…

Hunter: You wouldn’t believe us if we–

Man: Cut the bullshit. What. Happened.

Cad: Mal was replaced by an alien.

Hunter: Who was murdered.

For a moment, there is silence.

Man: Wow, you fellas have no idea what you’re talking about.

Nala and Castor are seated in an office across the desk from Mr. Emmens. For a moment, there is silence.

Mr. Emmens: So.

Nala: Where’s Holly?

Mr. Emmens: Holly?

Nala: Your housekeeper? What did you do with her?

Mr. Emmens: She was getting hysterical. I sent her home for some rest.

Nala: Oddly, I don’t trust you.

Mr. Emmens: But you should. Miss Highland, our families have been close for a long time. Not long enough for me to forgive your… inquisitive nature. But long enough for me to give you one last chance to mind your own business.

Nala: Where is the real Malcolm Emmens Senior?

Mr. Emmens: I am the real Malcolm Emmens Senior.

He stands up, and goes back to a knife mounted behind his desk.

Mr. Emmens: You know the thing about the alien you saw? He reverted back to his form the moment his blood was exposed to raw air. Cuts, scrapes… they all forced him back to his default shape.

Castor: …cuts…

Mr. Emmens: So let me assure you.

In a swift motion, Mr. Emmens uses the dagger to cut his hand. He bleeds, but nothing else happens.

Mr. Emmens: I’m 100% human.

We cut back to Cad, Hunter, and the man.

Man: You know this house belongs to the Emmens, right? It was a sorta vacation home of theirs for years. It holds great sentimental value to them.

Hunter: How so?

Man: Well, they came here to escape the spotlight when their children were born.

Cad: Millie and Malcolm?

Man: Mhm.

Hunter: So when did the aliens arrive?

Man: Look, kids, this really isn’t any of your business.

Cad: trust me.

He glows starry.

Cad: It is.

Man: Hm. You remind me of him, you know.

Hunter: Who?

Man: Malcolm Junior. He wasn’t human either.

We return to Nala and Castor.

Nala: Holy–?

Mr. Emmens: So you see… I’m on your side.

Nala: This doesn’t prove anything. We don’t know that–

Castor (Softly): Nala.

He places a gentle hand on her.

Castor: Mal was a hemophiliac.

Nala’s eyes widen.

Nala: …He was always careful not to bleed.

Mr. Emmens: And now you begin to see the truth.

He steps back, wiping his hand.

Mr. Emmens: My son was always an alien.

We return to Cad and Hunter.

Cad: Malcolm Emmens Junior was the alien?

Man: Afraid so. Crashed here, just a wee babe. The Emmens took him in, raised him as their own.

Hunter: And they must’ve taken the tech too. The way this ship was stripped for parts… they must’ve been reverse engineering it.

Cad: What does that mean?

Hunter: I mean, using a spaceship? They could find new power sources, learn more about anti-grav engines, and–

Cad: No, I mean. If Malcolm was always an alien, who killed him?

Millie and Eliza have dozed off as Parker watches the TV show. Millie is onscreen, playing a victim of a crime.

Officer: Can we get you anything else? Water? Food?

Millie (Bitterly): Like I’d eat anything in this–

She catches herself.

Millie: I’m… sorry.

Officer: What you saw…

Millie: I… I…

A tear trickles down her cheek.

Millie: I can’t.

Parker frowns.

Parker: Wait, but–

Realization dawns. Carefully, he shakes Eliza awake.

Parker: Eliza, Eliza, wake up. There’s something weird about this. Millie was acting to us earl–

There’s a click. Millie faces them, an alien gun raised at them.

Millie: Go on, Parker. What were you saying?

Next: The Truth

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