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Caption: 16 Orbits ago. End of the Penn-C'efil War 16.
A Penn HATCHING CHAMBER. A nurse approaches another in a hurry.
PENN 1: Quickly! Who's hatching today?
PENN 2: uh - 20 hatchlings: 14 workers, 5 drones, 1 queen.
PENN 1: Which one's the queen?
The two fly along the cells, containing baby Penn hatchlings while the second Penn checks their tablet, until they find the hatchling in question.
PENN 2: Let's see - this one! Is something wrong?
PENN 1: In a way.
The first nurse reaches into the containment pod and pulls out the hatchling. The other watches.
PENN 2: It happened, didn't it? The C'efil --
PENN 1: Yes. We just got word of Candidate Kissu's death.
PENN 2: [small] Oh flight's name -
PENN 1: They were forced to cancel the election. Now the Monarch's suing for peace and the council's calling for any queens hatched today.
PENN 2: This one?
PENN 1: That's right.
The nurse holds up the smiling, sleeping hatchling.
PENN 1: This little one is going to be one of the new Candidates.
Scene change. Three Droem ships chase two Penn ships - one large Hiveship and a smaller Penn ship.
Caption: 2 Rotations ago. Mid- Droem War I.
OFF PANEL: Monarch's name, they're fast.
You see the inside of the Penn Hiveship. Everyone is at their stations. Large screens show where they're headed and additional info. Two Penn are talking.
PENN SECOND-IN-COMMAND: We can't fight the Droem and protect the Candidate's ship at the same time.
PENN CAPTAIN: Order them to make a break for it while we take out the enemy.
The smaller Penn ship veers off, but is followed and fired on by one of the Droem ships that breaks off from the others. The Droem's lasers break through the little ship's shield with a kssh and then a BOOM as it explodes.
The hive ship turns around, firing its own lasers.
OFF PANEL: No! Destroy the enemy tail before the third returns!
The Penn Captain is leaning against the viewscreen, back hunched and defeated. The other Penn in the control room watch nervously.
PENN BRIDGE OFFICER: ...Captain? What will we tell command?
The Captain looks up, still hunched.
PENN CAPTAIN: We failed. And our suspicions are confirmed - it's happening again.
2014, Zoe Maxine