Petry System Family Wision USA

in conjunction with

projects NEMO and 'lambhorn'

presents

SECOND OPINIONS
-FIRST TIES-

space-science apocalyptic futurdocudrama action adventure thriller, PG-13 superblockbuster

by Raymond Kenneth Petry, Strategic Director, Liaison
a Wision--Sesquatercet USA production

(a division of Lanthus Corporation)

[index][script][music][sets&settings][budget][prospectus][roles]
[introductory notes to cast and crews][mechanics of screenwriting][project Sesquatercet]
[Feature] One greater cometh ... Jehovah is returning to Earth with a rotation crop for the mideast rivers of America, pressing to finish Bible Revelation on schedule--except there are four, righteous. (Based on Biblical astronomical facts, mathematical induction, satellite photography, Scriptural exegeses; Stereo'eyes'ed HDD-IMAX, 4:00 hours)

A future so large it takes three-and-half leads bringing this one together: A gung-ho commander reconstructed from the body-parts of his fatal team; A top-surgeon who sees his own work as advancing in Christian Godliness; A billionaire grand-admiral(ess) hot on the trail and dredging-up pieces of Jehovah's original space-city-ship atterrissage in the middle east: As their stories merge into a search for the original Jehovah, they join a NASA deep-space mission team lead by grown-up child-astronaut Mi-Kee heading for 80 AU, where they discover the real Jehovah one step ahead of prophecy: returning to Earth, with a rotation crop of crysalis mankind for the multi-river confluence of middle America,-- making good on the prophecy guarantee according to Her plan! This is 16 years after Michelle-Keela Thomaine's 8th grade virtual command aboard her summer-fun ride at the NASA DSSTF Deep-Space Simulator-Trainor Facility; And the real planet Pluton has been found beyond the edge of our Solar system, at about 56 AU -- and 29-year old Mi-Kee returns as a qualified NASA captain, albeit pregnant. And his trip is no simulation: It's for real: Months from Earth, they rendezvous with Pluton in deep-space, and find the real newEarth city-planet uninhabited, and set-out to find who built it: When they meet the real Jehovahns, the cultures almost clash; But they do prevent Jehovah from mid-America, though they fail to stop her rotation crop from reaching Earth, altogether;...!

The concept is that The StarTrails Game was the just-in-time virtual training, and now it is needed for Second Opinions, wrapping-up the original Archaeodus mission.
The movie shall be available digitally recorded wide-screen [2:1] stereo-eyes-ed on disk and tape. The initial shoot shall be direct minute-by-minute to giga-byte hard-drive, 4 megapixels/frame, wavelet-compressed, copy-saved to CDROM - the digitized sound and music edited in synchronized frames, fractions of a second - and the final product released on 3D-HDDVideo Disk. The advantage of digital is its reproducibility for the future of both broadcast and movie-house. Image generation shall be further enhanced and assisted by state-of-the-art computer facility. The final result shall be viewable stereo-eyes-ed '3.5D' with white 'sexichrome' or polarized safety-goggles, and (more widely available) HDDVideo, and standard (telecined celluloid) 35mm film, as well as DVD/DTV and VCR.
[Music specified in this screenplay is the Strategic-Director's selection from hundreds of CD's of existing works by artists whose orchestral timbre and lyrics fit each onscreen activity, and is not otherwise representative of projects Sesquatercet and 'lambhorn' and their purposes]

REG # WS-8SECOPIN-2 (2009 Lanthus Corporation)

[html converted from rtf; pdf available]

script

FADE IN:
INT. COMMAND HUT - 1979 MOUNTAIN WAR ZONE - DAY (PAST)
[color-gamma, frame-rate, shutter-flicker, sky-speckle]
A Special Forces team is pinned down in battle:
GENERAL watches RADMAN fiddling with radio controls--
RADMAN
Something's interfering with reception.
GENERAL
You said, This is jam-proof.
RADMAN
Yeah, to a certain depth of jam: Zero-D-B E-B-over-N-zero.
[DIGITAL RADIO]
(CLICKS-IN)
…'nched cruise-missiles!--
(half a beat)
Evacuate!- Repeat: Emergency: Incoming!-- Get out of there!
RadMan looks up questioningly at General--
RADMAN
They boosted: Must be urgent.
General shakes slight-No.
CUTAWAY TO:
EXT. AIRBORNE TERRAIN-FOLLOWING 200 MPH - 'INCOMING' HUT
OVERLAY: RETICULES AIMING, LOCKING ON the hideaway post.
GENERAL (VO)
Can you reply to them yet?
RADMAN (VO)
I can try: but I don't have boost.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. HUT
DOORS BURST OPEN: FIVE equal big 'Rambos' in military duty color rush in: foremost CMDR JAMES (33-ish 5'10" not black nor red-head), second-and-third a BLACK and a RED-HEAD,--
'Incoming' heroic, pig-piling the General onto the floor …
SLO MO: CRUSHING YELLOW-ORANGE TOPSY-TURVY FURY …
COOL TO:
INT. SAME HUT IMPLODED, SMOLDERING - (HALF HOUR LATER)
MEDIC, 4 SEARCH-TEAMERS, enter through the framed shatters.
GAGGED MUFFLED RANTS under the pile of 5-dead body-parts…
TEAMER#1
(peering under)
There's sound under this mess.
2 TEAMERS pull-away parts of it;--
GENERAL
(pushing air)
They're your heroes: Save them!
TEAMER#2
No one is left, Sir.… Are you all right?
GENERAL
(extracting himself)
What do you mean?! They saved my life: Did I ask too much, to save theirs?!
MEDIC
There's no thing, left to save.
General hobbling out, surveys the mess of 5 bodies--
GENERAL
I'm expletive-less at the moment, if you'll excuse me: I don't even recognize …
(foot-tips a torso)
Looks like Lieu-ten-…
(grimaces)
Forget it.
(LOOKS AWAY)
God, I wish there were a better answer:- These were good men!
MEDIC
(kneeling, surveying parts)
There, might, be, a better answer.
GENERAL
(beat)
And that is?
MEDIC
(hand-directing)
I might be, able to save one.
The team gathers-out the like-meat in picnic coolers; Medic sample-test-probes a piece;-- presses a key: IT TWITCHES;
GENERAL
(foot-tips another)
How much, of one? Which-- one?!
MEDIC
No-one in particular.
GENERAL
(looks askance)
One? Or, not one?
MEDIC
Just one.
GENERAL
(shakes No a beat)
Explain!
MEDIC
There's enough here, I could piece together, one, probably one whole.
GENERAL
(dumbfounded)
Doctor, Frankenstein!?
MEDIC
Frankenstein's monster.
GENERAL
That's the grotesquest humor, I've ever heard a professional, answer.
MEDIC
Not humor: Not an answer: And you didn't ask, me:-- remember?
GENERAL
(puzzles)
I didn't ask you!?
(half a beat)
Is this some kind of top-secret-- gesture?!
MEDIC
No: You didn't, ask-- me.
GENERAL
(a beat, irate)
Whom, did I, ask?!
Medic gazes steady denial at General;--
GENERAL
(admits: rambles)
Oh; I see. Is that really possible? Whose head, will you give me?
(half a beat)
I suppose I should wait and let you do your work; and accept, whatever.
MEDIC
We don't have time to talk it over: You either, permit me …
GENERAL
(waking)
You have my permission, doctor.
Medic and Team exit with the body parts, ad lib.…
CUT TO:
INT. WHITE OPERATING ROOM - STRONG LIGHT (HOURS LATER)
At surgery tables 8 SomaReCon Corp. MEDICS carve-up several deep-chilled dead men bodies to save one whole man;
With extra muscle-and-tendon to repair the General's leg--
MEDIC#3
(dangling it for him)
For you, Sir.
GENERAL
(kneading hurt leg)
Nnnng.
They do regrowth bath on heart tissue;
Hold another in an iron-heart;
Implementing Biosutche with a guiding tool: an electro-bio-chemical cell-suture stimulant instead of old stitches.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. SAME - (HOURS MORE LATER)
5 Medics resting, 2 stand heads and arms on cabinets; Medic glances at the CLOCK hours gone-by: nearly finished--
MEDIC#2
(checking vital metrics)
All quiet on the western front.
MEDIC
(finishing)
Pray that he should integrate, and remain united.
Purplish, reconstituted of five bodies, sutures molten:
Right arm and leg are of the kinky-haired black man …
Left leg and arm are of the red-haired man … Head shorn …
Chest … Face is James; General hobbles in fresh attire--
GENERAL
(faint-grimaces)
Looks like… Sergeant James … really ugly … I mean, the purple.
MEDIC
He's on pseudo-oxy-plasma-- with no incipient syndrome rejection. I'll bring him back to ordinary blood in the hour: He'll be temporarily Type B until we get a fresh supply of A-B … and he'll scream like a zombie.
GENERAL
Now that, is humor: Bad; but humor!
MEDIC
Probably not: He'll feel like he's full of cardboard: worst feeling in the world: Inside-out, without a remedy.
GENERAL
I didn't mean he should feel like he's with a woman.
MEDIC
I didn't mean that either.
GENERAL
Speaking of which: Which, or who, is, he, actually?
MEDIC
(a beat)
Head and spine is James: He'll have the memory, reflection and voice of James: -what's left of his.- You'll probably think of him as James; but that's the last of James: He won't, -well I shouldn't say he won't,- be with a woman: but he won't be using his own alter ego; -well it is, his
(half a beat)
now-… Just take him to a psych, if he gives her trouble.
GENERAL
Will he be as strong as James,-- or any of them?
MEDIC
Motivation? Probably too distracted staying alive, to spend his days in the gym; but he'll be strong enough to function fully and easily.
GENERAL
Is it worth giving him a job? To keep him thinking like the living?
MEDIC
You can-- but he won't want to sit around alot:- Once I give him his instructions for life,- and his schedule for coming to my office weekly, eventually quarterly, for 30-years,-- he'll probably want to be like any man, and take long vacations, everywhere.
GENERAL
Granted: I'd have given any of them that much. I presume he'll remember me as his commander: I don't want to turn him out schizophrenic.
MEDIC
If his memory is good, yes;-- and I said, take him to a psych, if he's any trouble: He won't be allowed to drink beer ever again-- at least-15 years, maybe-50.
GENERAL
(smirks)
That may be trouble: I don't recall any of them being particularly flat headed.
MEDIC
It's a medical problem now: Beer and most common ferments have transferase elements similar to the bio-suture we use: and will trigger his seams to rapidly deteriorate … He's a living ice-cube: Sprinkle-on salt, he melts; and deeper freezing won't do him a bit of good, once he's melted: You'll start over.
GENERAL
I take it, these sutures include his intestines.
MEDIC
Little difference, but yes, through and through. I won't tell you what he costs, because nobody can pay the price:- he's alive:- Be happy!
GENERAL
(nods a laugh)
Who's paying the premium?
MEDIC
About 20-more whom we probably could have but didn't, save.… Don't tell anyone.
GENERAL
(concerned)
You used more bodies?
MEDIC
No:- Time and equipment-- and big fat ugly black budget cost factors.
GENERAL
(summarizes)
A Frankenstein's monster.
MEDIC
(quips)
The original, multipart, eeee-male.
James' purple eyelids could have winced: Did he hear?
FADE IN:
INT. MEZZANINE STUDY, 2010 HOME - MORNING DAWN (PRESENT)
[HDDV/3DDV, smooth-color-sky, no shutter-flicker]
Windows open; studying the Bible-Lesson, JOHN (61 6'2" not black, bigger than James) feels that haunting phrase, "Rend your heart, and not your garments" (Elijah Opera).
He comes to realize that the disciples are now all in one:
Looking at himself in his tree-house decor mirror-wall, he counts the twelve faces of Christ's disciples, in twelve panels-- effortlessly: all twelve now one, in his thought. [Facial expression caricatures; highlighting/shading]
EXT. CEMETERY - GRASSY KNOLL - EARLY MORNING
He attends his MOTHER's funeral;
CU SIDE: And recalls her last words said at her passing--
MOTHER (VO)
We'll meet-up again in a thousand years, John-- don't you worry none!
Troubling him, in doubt about what he's doctoring on Earth: He couldn't save her in the present years! (CU) Insignia.
He consoles his SISTER (55 6'0"ish) with an arm-over kiss--
JOHN
You'll always, feel her love, sis.…
(a beat)
Need a ride?- Did you come with?
SISTER
Thanks,-- but I am, going, with.
He parts,- and drives away, top down …
A country way, the breeze tossing his hair …
John is a top-skilled body-organ surgeon: He can help many sick, and improve the living; Why can't he raise the dead? What more is needed? (CU) Ultramodern satchel; Bible.
PREACHER (VO)
(Matt. 6:33 by John 3:5)
Realize first-priority the level of the infinite incompressible aether, and these proofs ye shall achieve.
EXT. DOWNTOWN - GARAGE, UPSCALE PROFESSIONAL BUILDING
Eventually he's turning-in, ready to work-- but brakes for:
A sidewalk-jogger-babe salutes-- the cosmetic surgeon.
INT. GARAGE UPPER FLOOR - (A MINUTE LATER)
His car fits in his Reserved Parking spot.
But then he suspects: POV: that overhead fire sprinkler--
And triggers his top down,-- smiling for himself at last.…
EXT.-INT. FRONTWALK ENTRANCE, TO THE ELEVATOR LOUNGE
JAMES (62 5'10") with a military mustache these days, and shorter hair, visits doctor John for a vital tune-up …
Takes the elevator up … to the top--
INT. ULTRA MODERN GLASS THIRTEENTH FLOOR
INT. MULTI-RECEPTIONISTS' SUITE
Enters, and finds doctor John's secretary not busy--
And sub-quietly explains his appearance by referral; A pudgy upscale ATTORNEY escorts-out a WOMAN CLIENT--
ATTORNEY
(handles her shoulder)
If he offers resistance: counter, a Preferred Share;-- and S-Corporated single-mothers do return dividends.
WOMAN CLIENT
(tentative)
A fraction of after-income gains: Does that satisfy an ex-husband?
ATTORNEY
(reaffirms)
And stockholder dinner-meetings: Ex employees are treated with respect.
James waits, wandering abroad the room, admiring …
INT. JOHN'S PRIVATE SURGERY ROOM
John finishes checking progress of cosmetic breast-surgery on a gorgeous SENIOR WOMAN (70-looking-20 white-blond).
She slips into her shirt-coat and street-hat;
Picks a card from her purse: slides it in his scanner;--
And exits, repocketing the card … through--
INT. RECEPTION - (CONTINUOUS)
Passing James,-- who notices silently, publicly smiling.
John comes out to check schedule;--
SECRETARY
(handing his doc'pad)
Walk-in,- referred here by his vacationing doctor at SomaReCon, for vital re-balancing.
JOHN
(clue-word)
Vital.
SECRETARY
(repeats)
Vital.
JOHN
(reading, turns to)
James?
He notices James' black right handshake--
JOHN
(a beat)
Re-balancing?
JAMES
(half a beat)
Vital.
JOHN
(chuckles)
So it seems.
JAMES
(chuckling)
Don't start needling me about this.
They resort to his research-on-the-side laboratory;--
JOHN
I haven't seen a significant case of skin graft in years;-- since college.
JAMES
It's a limb, graft.
JOHN
(cognizing)
Who did your suture work?
JAMES
Doctor Marks,- SomaReCon.…
JOHN
Rafe, Marks!- I knew him very well!
INT. SURGERY ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
John preps. James is like an athlete-gone-haywire always in movement; he strips to boxers and extra-large tag (device);
JAMES
(attitude)
It's been survivable: I can say that much for it.
JOHN
(turns-On GraphiScan)
You've adapted well.
JAMES
Ohhh-- I can go or I can stay: It's been tough either way without beer!
JOHN
That's chancy attitude.
JAMES
I'm realistic,-- so why are you doing cosmetic surgery for life? Discrepancies on your record?
JOHN
(bringing equipments)
None that weigh:- I dislike working in the emergency ward with strung-out junkies hacked-up in their pursuit of otiose thrills: You tell them how to stay out of trouble and they ignore you,- till the next time;-- doesn't matter to them so long as they can be President. And what you tell them, even more drab: what everybody knows, you can't do drugs for life: So little they need do, yet they stall for decades … then there's a new crop of doctors every summer ready to practice their latest skills on them:
(looks a moment)
I keep boned-up by doing deep-cosmetic surgery; occasionally heart clients.
(resumes)
And of course, I like my upper class patrons!
He secures him on the scanner-gyro, for deep-render;
JAMES
The easy life?
JOHN
Not really: The opportunity for malpractice suits increases with increasing income and decreasing case-risk;- I'm tops in what I do: That keeps the challenge worthy.
JAMES
Sutures versus suitors?
JOHN
(chuckles)
Something like that!
JAMES
You married?
JOHN
Once: The whole routine: Kids grew up; We visit several times a year: We're a frequent-mileage family.
Both chuckle. GraphiScan builds a 3-D POLYVIEW of James:
JOHN
(begins scanning)
Yourself?
JAMES
No;-- just women of interest but none permanent: Kind of passed the moment of truth: I can't do beer, and most interesting women are dredging for men who do-- so that wouldn't work: worse than dry labor, anyway-- I try to keep busy.
(a beat)
Take personal interest in any of your patients?
JOHN
(multi-monitoring details)
You mean the lady who just left?
Adjusts the multi-monitor;-- inches the gyro around;
JAMES
For example.
JOHN
Professional: She's rather older than she looks: Had breast surgery for a softball injury: Finished her with Biosutche-2, which requires some monitoring, and leaves a clean line.
JAMES
You use Biosutche on your patients?
JOHN
I said, I knew your doctor well: We discussed Biosutche in our post-doc days: Type-2 works better, more stably in cases not requiring fast repair or genetic mixing: And the patients can drink beer!
Both chuckle.
JAMES
Could that work on me?
JOHN
(begins a second scanner)
No.
JAMES
Why not?- One suture at a time?
JOHN
The two suture types are based on different sugar chemistries: Type-1 results in severe body-chemistry adjustment: It almost doesn't, work, when the body parts begin rejecting: Whence you can't drink beer: It requires continual monitoring and adjusting-- and it frequently fails when some body part dominates; But that didn't happen with you:-- you, have no dominant parts remaining.
Both chuckle uneasily.
JAMES
Depends on your definition of, dominant.
Both chuckle freer.
JOHN
Is it yours to talk about?
JAMES
Not really.
Both laugh.
JAMES
They refused to tell me whose it was-- but it works the same.
JOHN
You won't recognize your own children.…
JAMES
(erudite nonchalance)
Genetics gave me 2-hundred thousand chances;-- SomaReCon Corp. offered me double or nothing.
Both cascade into a big hearty laugh.…
JAMES
(recovering)
But some days I feel like a Muslim.
JOHN
How's that?
JAMES
It'd be suicide, to drink beer!
Both, a chaser laugh.…
JAMES
What's different about my body chemistry, now?
JOHN
You've moved off the main descent line: You're no longer basic mankind; And a jump back across to Biosutche-2 would be like trying to carve-up a dolphin to make a man: Just wouldn't work under present technology.…
(half a beat)
Don't get me wrong: If the zoo master called me for emergency surgery on a dolphin: I wouldn't hesitate!
JAMES
Then, I can trust you fully?
JOHN
Absolutely.
Both chuckle.
JAMES
Am I still a carbon-based life-form?
JOHN
Carbon-based life-form is exact only if you're looking for silicon life-forms: The fact is sugars, are basic in about everything cellular; adding a little iron to make blood. There are lots of sugars with the same formula, C-6-H-12-O-6, ring.
JAMES
Is this stuff legal?
JOHN
(grins)
Don't worry: If he'd used Biosutche the Classic, you were gone!
JAMES
Catch-23?
JOHN
We'd derived: amino-sugar-nitrate;
(recalls a beat)
Mixed with the Oxytocin polypeptide it became hypergolic at 99-degrees.
JAMES
(disbelieving)
Spontaneous combustion during sex?
JOHN
(nods a beat)
Explosively.… We submitted it to True Confessions;
(a beat)
… would have submitted it to The Journal of Irreproducible Results, but we didn't have Nobel Laureates.
He gyros him head-over-heels to face down level;
JAMES
(muses)
What a way to go.
(political ham)
Mah, fel-low, Rotting-hammians.
JOHN
Hungh?
JAMES
Just practicing my mutant politics.
JOHN
I only gave you the scientific explanation:- The political explanation is a little different.
JAMES
(amused)
What's the political explanation.
JOHN
(sincere)
Shut the Fuh… up!
JAMES
(2 beats)
You know, I never understood that phrase, until you explained it in relation to sugar-based life forms.
JOHN
(smiles amused)
You learn quickly.
James' left elbow is blotched green under the scanner view:
JOHN
(stops at the elbow)
What did you do to your elbow?
JAMES (CLOSE)
(twists-looks up at him)
Fast ball:-
(lip-mimes a windup)
Leans out;-
(whip-swings lips)
Hooks back in-- a cheek-hitter.
JOHN
(a beat)
We'll fix that: it has destabilized the Biosutche decapsulation.
SFX: Injects new biochemistry-- and replaces the subcutan;
JOHN
(a beat, resumes)
So, what kept Doctor Marks away? Not eating your apples?
JAMES
(smiles)
He's on a long vacation …
JOHN
Oh.
JAMES
… from malpractice suits …
JOHN
(guffaws)
Oh! Must've been reinventing sugar.
JAMES
… and money-splurging and stress …
(a beat)
Can you show me, to do any of this?
JOHN
Next weekend -check with Sharie, the secretary,- should have an opening. But there's not much to holosurgery, outside a well-regulated laboratory.
JAMES
What would happen if Biosutche-1 were used uncontrolled?
JOHN
The cell-suture guidant would cause cell-growth explosion-- not fun.
Examines the complete GraphiScan 3-D Polyview, rotating it, selecting layers, touching points to get VITALS READOUTS;-- SCANNER-GYRO REDUPLICATES, ROTATIONS, PIROUEETES, rapidly;
JAMES
(calm amid flips)
What is Biosutche, bio-chemically?
JOHN
(totally occupied)
Biosutche-2 is a suture protein and an R-N-A gene supplied by cell-wall transportant D-M-S-A used saturated for faster action: Stressed cells soak-it-up; Suture begins building in minutes, in direct applications, and lasts replenished by surviving cells. R-N-A is less permanent than D-N-A, and transfers to D-N-A only in large dose;- cells may gradually re-specialize and become permanent. Biosutche-1 involves transgenic stem cell D-N-A: It builds a new creature.
JAMES
You mean, I'm immortal so long as I don't drink beer?
Both 3-D Polyview and James are upside down.
JOHN
(smiles)
… maybe.
(finishes 3 beats)
Looks good. You're done.
Presses a key:-- GraphiScan goes "PROCESSING"; scanner-gyro auto-rights slowly to head-face up,- as he de-secures him;
JOHN
(patient overview)
You exercise much?
JAMES
Daily: till it feels good and full.
JOHN
Work is secret, I suppose: Hobbies?
JAMES
What makes you think I'm on secrets?
JOHN
You know as well as I, that not even Uncle Sam can pay your medical bill: I'm charging you the standard fee for a check-up. You know that, secret!
JAMES
(a beat)
Okay. I work for U.S. Space Command and they can, pay my medical bills: Astronauts doctor themselves in space emergencies, too.
Gets off as John unnecessarily steadies him, to redress;
JOHN
Mmmm-- what about your hobbies?
JAMES
(2 beats redressing)
How about archaeology?
JOHN
(refiles equipment)
Digging ditches in the desert?
JAMES
Secret stuff-- might interest you.
JOHN
You can tell me?
JAMES
Sends me places, around the world: When I can take my doctor along.
JOHN
(a beat)
I have a regular practice here.
JAMES
Pay is good;-- hours are bad: but that's the military life schedule. But you asked about a hobby: Can I invite you to a local lecture?
JOHN
Archaeology?
JAMES
Yes-- and the speaker is a good-looking woman about our age.
JOHN
You're digging for my weak spot.
JAMES
(smiles)
It's the only thing I can guarantee.
JOHN
I see; well, I do meet people: Yes.
JAMES
Happens to be the second Sunday, early evening, after dinner.
JOHN
Not a stickler on religious times?
JAMES
(finishing)
Actually she's extraordinary: She's coming-in from the middle east; And she's a billionairess.
JOHN
(eyebrows go up)
Is she, paying your medical?
JAMES
(plays down)
No:- Not at all:- She's fair, game.
JOHN
Get your parking validation from Sharie.
JAMES
(feeling that elbow)
Thank you; Just like McDonald's:-- put my burger together, and give me change.
JOHN
(smiling laugh)
Get, out of here;- and have a good day.
JAMES
(sincere)
Right-on. You, too.
And departs--
EXT. SIDEWALK TO VEHICLE, USPS MAIL BOX - (A MINUTE LATER)
Walking and quick-reviewing his microvideo recorder tag (device): mostly gyrating images on that scanner-gyro.…
And drops it in a PO Street-box;--
Walks a few cars further,--
Hops into his Hummer H3 Lux-- and pulls away.
FADE TO:
EXT. WADI BATIN NORTH BEND - EAST ARABIA DESERT - AFTERNOON
Two hovercrafts cruise along the dry stream, toward Eden;
Multi-billionairess [GRAND-ADMIRALESS] (59 5'11" not black, beauty without makeup) directs her archaeology HOVER-CREWS, two-each by video-link, through their land salvage routine: She's on her Flagship research yacht in the middle of the Persian Gulf, looking at the same image maps;
They glide-on over the land-mined-scape in relative safety: tail-sweeps dragging anti-mine trigger-chains on poles …
Until they come to a 5-mile-wide 30-mile-straight shallow ravine "guarden" garden depression;-- and halt, admiring: pointing, reexamining the satellite image coordinate-map; checking their GPS hand-calculator--
HOVERER#1
That's it, all right: Right plain in the satellite map!
They inform her, while it's beginning to fog from the edge, rolling, filling down, across;--
HOVERER#2
Look at that: Fog!
HOVERER#1
(looks up, prosaic)
And there arose a mist that watered the face of the ground.
She resumes reviewing her satellite imagery details;
The hovercrafts joy-ride down-slope into the dimming fogging depths.…
The second triggers two net-linked land mines: flipping it and its drag-chain in two flames;--
The first steers to rescue, vid-linking Flagship, global-cell-calling for help.…
They inflate the injured in 4 C deg. blue chill-bags.…
EXT. GRAND FLAGSHIP - MID PERSIAN GULF 29N - AFTERNOON
A tech-yacht far from land; farther mountain backdrop:
Her RADIOMAN answers the hovercraft distress ad lib--
Grand-Admiral and SCITECH are surveying satellite imagery photography, navigation maps, GPS data:
Called over, she conferences hospital options ad lib--
And orders preparation of the yacht surgery bay ad lib;
Meanwhile TECHDIVERS surface-- and reboard, with their net-bagged artifact, round-end cylinder 22 cm dia. 100 cm long, bulbous base 44 cm dia. with four shiny electrical contacts symmetric: It looks pretty good despite having been through deorbit scorching 6000 years ago and under saltwater since.
They bring it slung behind one diver's shoulder.
GRAND
(checks e-pad itinerary)
Did you find something today.
TECHDIVER1
(withholding)
One item: We think it may be what you've been seeking.
GRAND
(looks up)
And that is?
TechDiver1 presents it upright; TechDiver2 blush chuckles;
GRAND
(handles it instantly)
You found a U-H-F neutrino radio antenna:-- Good men!
TechDivers mutually surprised:
TECHDIVER2
She knew, all along!
TECHDIVER1
(still supporting it)
You told her.
TECHDIVER2
No, I didn't! You must have left your zipper open!
All laugh.
TECHDIVER2
(resumes to Grand)
What's its operating frequency?
GRAND
6-hundred megahertz… I'd say.
TECHDIVER1
(more sincere)
How does it work?
GRAND
That's for you to discover, soon.
TECHDIVER1
(ponders it)
Looks in good condition: I'll get it to Lab, with your permission.
GRAND
(patting it)
Get on it:-- I need it right away.
The TechDivers exit chuckling-- and more joking:
TECHDIVER1
How do you think she really knew?
TECHDIVER2
Grand-Admirals are smart about this sort of thing.
TECHDIVER1
(considering it)
I thought it might be a mini fusion reactor.
TECHDIVER2
(jokes)
Solid hydrogen bore-ide?
TECHDIVER1
(grinned)
Or maybe an aborigine-carved piece: pre-Sumerian.
MEANWHILE, NORTHWARD YACHT SIDE:
The one intact hovercraft arrives 150 mph on the water …
Slows to stop aside--
And they board the blue-cold oxy-bags of injured, as more PERSONNEL hustle to help carry--
Around to the--
INT. SURGERY BAY
They open the bags-- and begin Biosutche-2 surgery.…
INT. ELECTRONICS LABORATORY - LIGHTED (MID AFTERNOON)
TECHENGS and TechDivers examine the UHF neutrino radio antenna through an x-ray artifact scanner: The image reveals the cylinder, sugar water density; the bulb has a fitting toroid of porous foam metal density; four wires from the base enter the toroid center into the toroid foam, looping nine times outside, each in a quadrant, exiting to the length like a four pole teepee gradually merging to a point, but bent off center from deorbit stress.
The first copy is on the computer; a second is coming.
TECHENG1
Well, this looks ordinary enough:
(points variously)
This is a toroid-- with several windings;-- an antenna transmission strip-- to a point:- a pulse-inductive amplifier?
TECHENG2
Probably an R-F choke.
TECHDIVER1
Lightning choke?
TECHENG2
Static discharge in space vacuum.
TECHENG1
But that would have dissipated.
TECHENG2
Maybe charge builds in deep space.
TECHENG1
Maybe it chokes D-C drive pulses.
TECHENG2
And balances differential inputs?
TECHENG1
(twisting to imagine)
How-- on two opposite lines that'd make a sandwiched magnetic field pulse converging to its end point; neutral overall, like she said … changing to the other opposite pair changes polarity; maybe continually rotates through the quadrants to cover all polarities.
TECHENG2
Side emission is limited to tidal cube-law dissipation: not too efficient but better than nothing.
TECHDIVER2
(thinking aloud)
Why wouldn't the windings wrap together? Why keep them quadrants?
TECHENG2
(fingers in diagram)
More to think about, when we straighten the transmission teepee: It didn't survive hitting water, though the case is barely burnished from the reentry plasma.
TECHDIVER2
Can you shake the teepee back to center?
TECHENG2
Might risk breaking it,- after 6-thousand years.
TECHDIVER1
Pulse a current through the center, and return current on the outer.
TECHENG2
Good idea: Let's run N-M-R, first.
INT. - VERY LATE AFTERNOON
The antenna is in a cryo-thermos wafting dry-ice CO2 fumes:
TechEngs work between a full 3-D x-ray computer display and analyses of chemical spectral data: TechEng2 replaces the current-pulse electrodes with technical probes--
TECHENG2
(detaches power)
That was clever: flex and freeze; Should have thought of it myself.
TECHENG1
(reads the chemical)
C-6-H-12-O-6 and H-2-O. Basic sugar water … some kind of sugar.
TECHENG2
(attaches probes)
Probably caramelized in the entry heat of deorbit.
TECHENG1
(reads NMR spectrum)
The toroid is magnetic rare earths: samarium; niobium; yttrium …
TECHENG2
Wait a hesit!
TECHENG1
What?
TECHENG2
Niobium, rare earths-- metal or ceramic? Do you have oxygen?
TECHENG1
Plenty of oxygen, in the whole matrix.
TECHENG2
We're going at this backwards!
(marvels a beat)
Outer-space operation is cryogenic: This is not a toroid, but a super conduit: We, know how to make wires kilometers long; They, know how to make pinholes, kilometers long!
TECHENG1
(cognizes half a beat)
Wo-ow. Nanotech ceramic.
TECHENG2
(at x-ray display)
This reroutes its magnetic field, out:-- exchanging its polarity. All we need do with the straightened teepee, is freeze it in liquid helium, or liquid nitrogen if these are the right blend,- to simulate the cryogenic cold of outer space.
TECHENG1
(smiles)
Let's measure pulse-Q in nitrogen.
They add liquid nitrogen to the antenna cryo-thermos …
INT. DINNER BAY - SUNSET ON THE GULF
Everyone aboard is finishing dessert by mouthfuls, ad lib:
CHEF
The last, of the black Pomfret.
TECHDIVER1
And good as the first.
GRAND
Did the techs finish the antenna?
TECHENG1
Yes, in fact; all we need is…
SCITECH
(spoon to mouth)
A target: somewhere in the cosmos, to aim it. Where do we think Jehovah is hiding these latter days?!
TECHDIVER2
Space is awfully big; and neutrinos are notoriously narrow beam.
GRAND
The center point of the moon is most probable;-- or its poles, if they wanted year round stability.
TECHENG1
(to TechEng2)
Adjust for lunar nutation over six millennia.
TECHENG2
(to SciTech)
Does your Ancient Chinese solar eclipse catalog go back far enough to calibrate your orrery?
SCITECH
(nods Yes; to Grand)
How about the center of the sun?
GRAND
(ponders: nods Yes)
The Lagrange Point:-- an excellent place to hide: In 24-hour daylight!
TECHENG1
Or counter-Earth, on the farside: Neutrinos, go through the sun.
TECHENG2
(smiling)
Counter Earth;-- I recall that movie; it involved antimatter.
GRAND
(blotting mouth)
Show me.
They rise, clean-up and bus their trays-- and exit.
INT.-EXT. TECHNOLOGY BAY - MOONLESS BLUE, EARLY STARS
They try the antenna, fixed, gimballed in liquid nitrogen with a telescopic sight, wired via tech-box to a super-PC:
TECHENG2
(aside to Grand)
Did you want this polished, too?
GRAND
(smiles)
Do you have it in red?
All chuckle.
TECHENG1
(aiming)
How about the Pleiades, tonight?
SCITECH
Until the moon shines.
All guffaw chuckles.
And watch PC-displays for blips of ET-Intelligence.…
FADE TO:
INT. USA PENTAGON - HALLWAY, OPEN DOOR - DAY (NEXT WEEK)
POV: Personnel passing; some glance-in: James and 4 BRASS in military command attire, mission briefing, advising him on John's psych;- he's reading and disposing pages:--
JAMES
(scan-reading aloud)
Multi-modal adaption.… General intelligent.… Cogent intuitive.
(page)
Specialized judgmental.… Values proficiency.… Relaxed observant. Compartmentalizes his drive.… Socially referent.… High acumen.
(page;-- looks up)
At least he's wise enough to motivate himself from idleness.
BRASS-1
He knows his own weaknesses, but may delay adjustment, to be sure.
JAMES
He shoulders a heavy saddle:-- a lot to, adjust.
BRASS-2
He may be slow to recognize an adversary's full intent and potential: he tends to prefer compromise;-- he may get in your way inadvertently: You may have to secure him in some circumstances.
JAMES
At least I won't have to assassinate him.
Someone stops for a cup of water …
BRASS-3
Can't be sure of that: Trust but verify.
BRASS-4
He's your biggest live-risk factor.
And bright-eyes-smiles at the POV.
FADE TO:
INT. HOTEL PENTHOUSE, USA - SUNDAY EVENING (LECTURE DAY)
Grand, female COTERIE, dress for the lecture ad lib: formal black miniskirt-jacket over boot-trousers, exposes feminine broached clamshell pearl collar-lapel+cuffs, iced necklet; Cable-HDTV has Evening News [2 CO-ANCHORS, VIDEOS, SPOT]:
B.G.
[VIDEO] Mysterious object orbiting the moon, is not terran;
[CO-ANCHOR-1]
… revised their admission that one object newly orbiting the moon last night, is neither an asteroid nor a returned artifact such as an Apollo S-4-B after 35-years,- leaving open speculation that alien crafts visit Earth, and remain floating in Earth orbit, on the far side of the sun.
(CUE F.G.)
[VIDEO] Comet horde striking the moon, blazes red spots;
[CO-ANCHOR-2]
The rest of the comet horde, traces to the far side of the sun; And one NASA scientist suggests these have been disturbed by an unknown force, likely a larger comet that collided unseen before falling into the sun.
[VIDEO] Lunar dust bloom halo hazes the sun and stars;
[CO-ANCHOR-1]
Astronomers of the International Dark Sky Society, are angered that lunar dust raised by comet impacts and sky vapor trails, has obscured a third of the stars; but admit, we cannot be at fault, this time.
[VIDEO] Meteor shower blasts the night sky, 100/sec;
[CO-ANCHOR-2]
While it does make for fun, staying up late, watching the show, Defense Personnel label it, the night-mare.
[VIDEO] Religious poster, "At eventide it shall be light!";
[CO-ANCHOR-1]
(smiles)
We thought you might like this sign of the times as next Friday's solar eclipse approaches: It will be very dark midday across a narrow path of Kenya and Myanmar. Astronomers rank it as annular rather than total: It will appear as a ring lasting up to eleven minutes.… Remember to wear black safety goggles when viewing any part of the eclipse.
[VIDEO] A nuclear fireball on a lunar mining operation;
[CO-ANCHOR-2]
Thursday's explosion, at New Moon fusion mining operations, "was not caused by itself," claims parent corp. U.S. Energy, owner of the He-3-fusion device: "It had no fission parts," says C-F-A Falkner. Repairs may cost over ten billion dollars. And terrorism is all but ruled out.
[VIDEO] UN BIO-RAD CAM-CREWS clean-up in the Yemeni desert;
[CO-ANCHOR-1]
U.N.-Peacers have found a weapon of mass destruction in the unexpected, place: A nuclear device stolen from the U.S.S.R. abandoned in mountains of scrap iron in the Yemeni desert. U.N. Bio-Rad clean-up crews hope to have the cache cleared by Friday. A Defense Department spokesman, says, radio-iron is not the deadliest but might be the cheapest way to scorch the whole Earth. Private, advisors, tell us, there is another danger if they worked the iron into an e-bomb casement as might defect a third of America's communication satellites.
[VIDEO] Picturesque captured Jihad troops below mountains;
[CO-ANCHOR-2]
In a Joint-Effort, U.S. Commanders surprised the United Jihad Fronts' soldiers in their mountain hideaway with what General Samiele described as an, "Off-The-Shelf, Stand-Alone, Nuclear Discotech Richter Scale Ten Earthquake-To-Order." A majority of targets survived the severe twelve-gee shakeup, but even thick padding could not prevent ghastly bruising and blackout: "It was our intent to leave them alive," he said, "while convincing them en masse, that they would never, enjoy, terrorism." The nuclear device was planted beneath the mountain using a hyperspeed jet drill he describes as a water-pick toothbrush turned on scrunge-blast. Checking the dictionary, we believe the General has had a little more technology than was accounted-for.
[VIDEO] A picturesque of an Arabian desert bedouin enclave;
[CO-ANCHOR-1]
A hitherto unknown enclave of very rich Arabs, is claiming they are in cooperation with Jehovah-- and are predicting escalation of the crisis to a full Armageddon in the middle east. They posted their threats on an Internet site accessible only by clicking continually updated I-P's on other participating sites;-- the reverse of known e-spam operations; making themselves difficult to find though they've not been a source of e-mail viruses. A White House Memo labels this suspect but is cautious as Arabs are not usually associated with the Jewish Lord Jehovah. Their enclave was discovered earlier this year in a routine analysis of e-Bay buyer habits, where they were found selling objects as proxies to bills of lading in the transportation of larger shipments. Again the White House stresses only caution, as the shipments received were provisions and small arms, not terror devices.
[VIDEO] The President addressing the news media;
[CO-ANCHOR-2]
And in his news conference today, President Clingtrich stressed the importance of feeding the hordes displaced from their cities by the renewed War to Backburn Armageddon; "Even if those people never come to America, we must extend American morality to the world," he added.
(a beat)
Asked why he had not drilled nukes under the White Mountains, earlier, he joked with reporters, saying his "stratege'ory was a handmedown from the prior administration"; -which brought-down the meeting.… White House spokes-intern Del Smidge has corrected that to, "Groundwork for international transportation of nuclear applications into strictly conventional theaters, had been forwarded in the previous term."
[SPOT] GRANNY SALLY talks animatedly in a videophone booth:
[SPOT] (VO)
Sally, is talking.
Sally talks-talks-talks ad lib …
[SPOT] (VO)
Talking, is cheap.
Sally talks-talks-talks-…
[SPOT] (VO)
Therefore--
Sally wide-eyes, tongue-out, thumbs in ears, flaps elbows;
[SPOT] (VO)
Sally, is cheap.
PIVOT 180: Sally: to that she is seeing-- the phone-video of an ALERT BABY upheld by its smiling cooing MOTHER;--
[SPOT] (VO)
But the video, is worth it.
(2 beats)
Vid-Link-- by Lanthus:
(a beat)
Get a thousand words in, edgewise.
End spot.…
F.G.
ASSISTANT#1
(snacking)
Don't these things crop-up yearly?
ASSISTANT#2
(busy)
It's Murphy's Inverse Square Law: The farther-away things are, the larger they must be by the square of the distance, to be noticed.
GRAND
(busy, to assistants)
Get me the notes on Biosutche-2.
ASSISTANT#2
I have them.
(goes for notes)
True for Hubble Telescope objects?!
ASSISTANT#1
Counting benign supernovae, only.
ASSISTANT#2
(sorting notes)
Think of it as, Olber's, T-V News, paradox: The further away, the more stations, and denser packed-- until the comic background is solid news.
ASSISTANT#1
I thought angular dispersion would have figured into the bandwidth: As objects approach they become larger by the square of proximity; spatial frequency diminishes and gets lost: like, not seeing a forest of trees.
ASSISTANT#2
(hands notes)
Biosutche-2.
GRAND
(takes, stuffs notes)
Thanks: I don't want to come across begging medical funds, without some categorical efficacy.
Finally smells the flowers-- and VID-LINKS her team.
ASSISTANT#1
We just need a linguistic covering for the whole mess of news.… Like Thurber's Word Of The Day, "Irtog."
[TechEng] answers--
[TECHENG]
(excited)
Admiral! Have you seen the News?!
GRAND
Do you think we, invited this?
[TECHENG]
I certainly didn't: What have we done on the astronomical scale? Unless they were waiting, we tested the antenna only a week ago; Unless we disturbed something in pre-dive research, last year.
GRAND
Have him test the antenna again.
[TECHENG]
He's tried hours daily at the same foci: no results. It doesn't appear broken,- though the receiver chirps disappeared soon after he tried transmitting: its electronic probe characteristics and signature echo waveform parameters are unchanged.
GRAND
So they did, hear us?
[TECHENG]
I wouldn't have proposed that-- but I have no other explanation.
GRAND
(to subject)
Who?!
[TECHENG]
It might be a question of, When.
GRAND
When they received?
[TECHENG]
Exactly-- from our first sunward test transmission of cosmic hello code protocol, to the moment the background chirping stopped, was 33-minutes:- that's the time of signal transit from Earth, to the far side of the sun, and back. It's eerie!
GRAND
So if we keep quiet, none may know?
[TECHENG]
Yeah, if you get unscientific about it: We and the space aliens way out there can detect U-H-F neutrinos; they can read them;- we're still deciphering the gibberish of chirps from the first detection.
GRAND
And it was too close to sequence with our moonward transmissions?
[TECHENG]
'Fraid so-- we should have expected a negative contact on first try.… But that doesn't make sense neither if they didn't want us to suspect! Unless it was an auto-disconnect.
GRAND
Maybe we took them by surprise.
[TECHENG]
A horrid thought.… In any case that cometary debris is, in Earth-orbit.
GRAND
What about Shipyard?
[TECHENG]
Final inspection, all week: We'll full-power-up test next week.
GRAND
(worrying a thought)
I'll be back by the weekend.
[TECHENG]
Per schedule.
GRAND
Thanks;-- out.
Vid-Link Off, she dons her formal coat as the SPOT PLAYS …
One remotes the HDTV, which times 5 sec.… OFF AS they exit.
EXT. JOHN'S PROFESSIONAL BUILDING - NICE EVENING
Black tie formal, James picks up John in his Hummer H3 Lux.
And drives away-- to attend:
EXT. THE MUSEUM LECTURE BUILDING - NIGHT GROUND FLOOD-LAMPS
An illuminated lawn sign: The International Geographic 2010 Lectures, Tonight: "Grand-Admiral On The Middle East."
The last few rich guest couples SHUT CAR DOORS and gather.…
INT. LECTURE HALL - (IN PROGRESS)
At the back, a few late couples PEEK-- and ENTER.…
Antenna Mockup, Photography, Literature on display; James and John CAN BE SPOTTED seated among 100 attentive; Grand Admiral interprets her ship hospital VIDEO PROJECTION:
GRAND
(informally)
… post-rescue, using Biosutche technologies, they developed full non-scar epidermal refill in a few days; and are recovering rapidly. It's just not safe in land mined regions; and you can't impress the Iraqis to remove their land mines.
(resumes formality)
The main subject, for those of you who just came in, is where we are:
The Cropped Mideast April 3 1998 SATELLITE PHOTO;
GRAND
This photograph of the middle east, scoping central Arabia, is from the April 3rd 19-98 source by orb-image dot-com, regular series,- cropped.
(a beat)
On this particular day, something unusual happened: The air was humid and saturated and not too hot as it blew across the desert in this late afternoon of early Spring: It blew clear, over the flat desert steppe; but as it passed laminar turbulence over long ground waves, it promptly misted, like chilled breath. You've seen such phenomenon behind jets as jinni-clouds hugging their wings.
(keys her laptop)
Let's bring-up the area of interest we found about the northern Persian Gulf-- I've computerized it green:
GREEN-CODED fog-clouds; MAGNIFY EAST 1000 mi;
GRAND
(elates)
Our garden, eastward in Eden.--
(breathes)
More exactly gardens, in the plural dozens-- we identify one, near the Wadi Batin riverbed north bend, as our likeliest; and are clearing it of land mines, to begin exhumation.
(addresses the audience)
And you should know where your donations are going on this: Half your money goes to spearheading constructive research, and half to defensive trolling for explosives: That's an ancient formula, itself.
They chuckle, uneasy.
GRAND
(resumes)
At first appearance in our work-map satellite photograph, these gardens showed as meteorite impact clusters in three main swathes:
(pointer: grouping)
The central swath, 50-miles wide, north of the Gulf, from the desert, unto the mountain range, 4-hundred miles away;
(grouping)
The second swath, 90-miles north;
(grouping)
And the third, not easily located, 90-miles south,- skipped across the Gulf, and would have gone unnoticed but for roughing up the face of the mountain ridge, plus, the artifact Antenna we dredged-up.
(individual gouges)
Each swath counts dozens of gouges ranging a few miles across, and up to-30 miles long. Impacting pieces must have hit at extremely shallow angle, and each miles in diameter, yet so low weight to not crater nor burrow; These could not, have been iron nor carbonaceous meteorites!
(subgroup pattern)
Plus the collection of strikes atop the mountain range pocked a 60-mile circle,-- counting roughly 8-clumps of 4-each; a cluster of-4; and one jumbo hit wandering in the middle;- describe not a meteorite but a ship carrying a city: a cosmic trimaran!
CARTOON SPACE-CITY-ship: three parallel tunnel pods 10 mi. long 1 mi. wide, 10 mi. behind a space-ram-engine, behind a 4-stage 40 mi. dia. 8-tine Whipple umbrella slowly rolling;
GRAND
(SYNC with cartoon)
My high-tech virtual-reality design team gen'ed-up a cute concept ship: Outer walls made of carbon grown in place by nanotechnology; Rotates on its long axis, to generate gravity; Launched by nuclear rocket with the umbrella closed,- gravity-swings on passing stars; Umbrella up; Nuclear powered,- thousands of years. Where it went, we learned tonight.- Where it's from, or been, we don't know … yet,- But, we, may be, their heirs!
LATER: The PHOTO MAGNIFIED on Wadi Batin North Bend;
GRAND
Six thousand years ago the Wadi Batin ran wet across Arabia, from the Hejez Range to the Euphrates: It is likely the original Pishon, of Jehovah's famed Garden eastward in Eden, though of the four rivers its name is most changed. We think its north bend was the likeliest to have fresh water drawn to reach one of these shallow meteor craters: if the impact was recent, clean water, clear air, and fish, were upriver.
(NEXT a diagram)
The advantages, gardening a crater, -and garden, means walled: here the side slopes of the crater- include: Guaranteed ground water: the desert has ample, water underground; -and, shock-crazed mantle is more porous: for broader access, filtration, and retention;- Rainwater collection;-- Heat-treated clay soil;- Security;- Plus reasons we shall discover for what actually landed in those pods.
LATER: A CARTOON ILLUSTRATING City-ship Atmospheric Entry;
GRAND
(hand with cartoon)
By approaching Earth hyperbolic for grazing the atmospheric horizon, at perigee the ship is nearing upright broadside, at maximum velocity and shallowest angle, spreading debris furthest across the landscape. And the rolling, artificial gravity it had for thousands of years, slings its three pods hundred miles apart.
(a beat, a smile)
Ladies and gentlemen: Jehovah wrote Earth In Seven Days, for dummies.…
All LAUGH-- ROUND APPLAUSE.
HOURS MELD: She's sit-leaning, answering the questions:
AUDIENT-1
How do you know how old these meteoritic craters are?
GRAND
We don't, yet: but we may find-out from our exhumation. Bible history points to either Jehovah's garden, or Noah's flood in the same region: which might also explain the major change in climate;-- but changes do not have to be in the same place to affect climate globally. Prior to the Bible we have less information on Earth-shaking events.
AUDIENT-2
If these far antedated Adam and Eve could they have brought dinosaurs?!
GRAND
Not the dinosaurs that had evolved in the seas since land was forming, and went extinct in the cataclysmic events, but perhap a species of the earliest anthropoids;- but, Jehovah knew of it millions of years later.
It's gotten late: The lecture breaks for hors d'oeuvres:
GRAND
(checks clock)
Enough! We thank you all attending tonight's lecture; and, for, your generous contributions to ongoing research;- We hope you've seen how much can be learned, spending your money. There are refreshments, for those of you still not convinced.
(hands-away attention)
All LAUGH,-- FULL APPLAUSE … and rise, filing away, ad lib:
CONCURRENT: REFRESHMENTS AD LIB, and TOPICAL DABBLING in common Biblical interests: Nanotech takes years per foot of thickness, decades to build a Jehovahn spaceship; Are such meteorite strikes found elsewhere on Earth; Impact hunters look for simpler theories; Assuming always-on nuclear power light, the ship could grow enough for a few million people on 100 square miles of wall; billions, on multiple floors; Did those alive leave the ship first; Where are they; Could they have had animals, birds, fish, onboard; Did they have a garden onboard; Bible depiction accuracy of mist, rivers, walls, ground crash-razed before plants grew in the Earth; Where did they come from; How did they find Earth; Did they know before; Were there previous visits; subsequent visits; Was there a spacer community near Earth; How much older is their culture; How much more scientific are they; Have we reached their ultimate knowledge with nuclear power; How much further advanced are they now after these 6000 years; How smart was Adam; Was Adam really born on Earth, or a "Child Onboard"; Did Jehovahns tell jokes; How did Jehovah come down if not in the city-ship crash; What remnants can be found of a carbon ship; An engine core if fissile nuclear was probably carted off the mountain ridge into Iran; but uranium is pyrophoric, as well as radiactive; Aborigines may have carved-up leftover pieces for religious vessels; Would they come again; What will they bring; Will we meet; The lemon-bars are exquisite: Do we suppose Jehovah made such delights on the space-city-ship;
AT THE ANTENNA: some joke ad lib about its grander size.
WISE SENIOR
(palm on the antenna tip)
My, theory, is the point opposite on the globe is where Jehovah went: figuring it'd take us six thousand years to reach her; from the middle east, to the middle Pacific;-- so, she gave it her name read from the opposite side:- the reverse of the tetragram, Y-H-W-H,- is,- H-W-H-Y; pronounced, Ha-Wa-Ha-Ye;-- today's Ha-wai-i.
HIS GROUP LAUGHS, light claps; ONE palms his shoulder;
SEVERAL
/ Good show!
/ Bravo, maestro!
/ Brilliant deduction, Holmes!
ONE-WHO-PALMS
The no-bull prize for chimeristry!
(MORE LAUGH)
QUICK WIT
(palms the palmer)
We congratulate you, on finding the ultimate goose to lay a golden egg!
THEY LOOK AT HIM, All still chuckling,- but then to--
CATCH WIT
(palms the last; LOOKS)
Very good, yourself.
PULL: A palm-on-shoulder chain guffawing to the Antenna …
The Wise Senior mock-pretends his hand is stuck to it.
GRAND WORKS HER WAY with a premium nonalcoholic goblet:
A-1 GUEST
(to others near)
If Daniel meant a stone cut without hands, was a meteorite that smote the feet of Iraq, just north of the Gulf, until it came to the mountain range on the east, then we must assume he found a tree stump banded with iron, by the Watchers.…
B-1 GUEST
Were the Jehovahns, the watchers?
C-1 GUEST
You think it was really iron?
Worth at least a CHUCKLE; Grand smiles-nods, and onward …
A-2 GUEST
Do you suppose this discovery could trigger Armageddon?-- We might be stirring-up dangers, by returning.
B-2 GUEST
This may be a fundamental reason why religious reformers pass-on, when they recognize Armageddon as the division between life as we know it and immortality: Christ proved the other side is real.
C-2 GUEST
I disagree: Immortality must be conceivable here, too: else it isn't what it's cracked-up to be.
B-2 GUEST
Adam lived only 9-hundred and-30 years:-- that's not immortality.
C-2 GUEST
Maybe he also proved that he could live longer; then gave-up his body.
Grand nods, passing … eventually reaching James and John;--
A-3 GUEST (SHORTSTOP)
(catches Grand)
Addie!-- I think Noah's flood, was near, Jehovah's crash:-- A gigantic crash produces deep fissures-- for waterways: explaining Noah's remark at the fountains of the great deep breaking up all-over in the deluge!
GRAND
(and eyeing ahead)
Very good: You, are right-on!
B-3 GUEST
(to Grand, A-3)
Wouldn't that mean he was downhill, maybe in one of the craters,- where he found enough gopherwood growing?
GRAND
And fifteen-hundred-year's worth of oozing crude bitumen for his pitch.
(smiles)
And maybe why everyone else thought he was off in the deep-end building an ark for when his garden floods….
(smiles her leave)
B-3 GUEST
(from Grand to A-3 only)
The flood would fill there: without pushing his ark and breaking it!
GRAND
(swaggers coming away)
Well, I can usually spot the rich old single professional men.…
(half a beat)
And what brings two genteel hommes to my lecture?
(stuffs the beat)
Fascinated with the prospect that Lord Jehovah may have been a spacer queen dumping a thousand-million of her subjects crashing down on the Earth, saving only Adam and Eve?
(half a beat)
Quite arrogant for a woman,- wouldn't you say?!
JOHN
Madam: I'm John; and this is James. We were strolling your neighborhood of archaeological interests … and you're quite right: thoughts of the Bible as literally inaccurate pique the prurient imaginations;- but I daren't say that seduced yourself.
GRAND
(handshakes)
And what line of gainful etudes do you play, John?
JOHN
Cosmetic surgeon;-- tops, if I say so, myself.
GRAND
(very polite)
Interesting,-- but I don't need a tune-up, yet.
JAMES
For real, madam: He's temp'ing for my doctor, who's away.
GRAND
And you, James?
Handshakes, barely batting an eye at his black hand;--
JAMES
Colonel Major, U.S. Air Force Space Command Special Assignments Liaison retired otherwise for injuries.
GRAND
Well, a man of the upper echelon: Am I under top suspicions, or are you still suffering some injuries?
They chuckle.
JOHN
He can't drink beer without falling apart.
She leads them in the guffaw-- and laugh … and recovering:
GRAND
Well, you two are, interesting men:
(deciding between two)
I love a real man who minds his own business-- more than clever men who mind a woman's business,-- and here I've got two!-- I must invite you both to my private island paradise; maybe upgrade your habits.
JAMES
I fly military budget catch-class.
JOHN
Let me treat you, this once-- if you don't mind reminiscing about your doctor.
GRAND
There's your first upgrade, James. And I'll expect you both for our solar annular eclipse weekend: Next Friday is a holiday for us: We'll have visitors from the four corners of the world:- You'll fit right-in.
They nod Yes;-- she cheers-- and parts to catch others.
JOHN
(to James)
And maybe ask the Grand-Admiral more about her Biosutche work, and her interests in Jehovah.
JAMES
(smiles understandingly)
Business first.
JOHN
You think…?
JAMES
(lingering half smile)
Straight-arrow, business.
FADE TO:
INT. PRIVATE JET - TANZANIA OCEAN - EARLY MIDMORN (HOLIDAY)
James and John fly with a female Grand ASSISTANT.…
APPROACHING GRAND'S ISLAND:
The pilot takes a simple L-correction,--
A NICE BANK VIEW of the island,--
Aligns with the runway;--
Wheels down, descends the final glide path …
Levels, rushing over the ground-- passing buildings--
BUMP-TOUCH-SQUEALS,--
REVERSES THRUST, slowing strongly …
Takes a runway taxi-exit--
To the busy, small private but definite terminal.…
EXT. TERMINAL GROUND LEVEL - FLAGSHIP ROLLING-IN
A flagger guides their final taxi approach-- to STOP.
The terminal corridor swing-rolls out to the jet.…
INT. JET
Assistant, James, John, in tow, debark at the hatch--
THROUGH THE CORRIDOR … to the main hall-- and
THE WELCOME FLOOR: rather proportionately business-busy …
INT. AUTO-RAIL LUXURY TOWN CAR
Coming large with luggage from the crowded terminal--
They enter the rail-bound electric-drive town car:
JOHN
(sits)
Monorail? Electric?
ASSISTANT
Simpler-- electric car in a wheel-race.
Her DRIVER joins,- sits;-- accelerates, fast; [150 mph]
ASSISTANT (RESUMES)
We use minimal expense techniques covering maximal utility: With one place to go, put its wheels in races and it needs no additional road; going the quickest path, in auto-cruise ease.
JAMES
Is this secure against penny-rail terrorists?
ASSISTANT
I believe so: The car has vertical track limiters you'll never notice until something like you suggest goes wrong; and then, I'm told, it screeches to a safe halt.
JAMES
Thorough in the details.
ASSISTANT
Exactly.
EXT. ELEVATED OPEN AUTO-RAIL - DISTANT AIR TERMINUS
Electro-riding away, to the mountains;--
ASSISTANT (VO)
We have a mechanical advantage by purveying one model of town car.
JOHN (VO)
Good choice.
Eventually they cross the surrounding mile-wide moat.
And catch-- and slow with town cars, wagons, buses.…
EXT. GRAND'S ISLAND CITY - CLOCK TOWER 9:05 AM
They drive in luxury through peopled busy narrow streets …
To the hotel …
INT. GRAND HOTEL - CONCIERGE DESK - WALL CLOCK 9:18 AM
Amid worldwide visitants milling-in-out for the eclipse
They check-in at a stylish wood desk with e-amenities:
CONCIERGE
Grand-Admiral will attend the 9:30-A.M. eclipse event;- You're welcome to your rooms, poolside, streets … your pleasures.
(calls)
Garcon!
A wiry-but-sturdy BELLHOP arrives-- taking one good look:
GARCON
(near chokes)
You got those muscles from lifting all that!?
They chuckle.
JOHN
… from brushing my teeth daily.
(a toothy grin)
They laugh,-- and Garcon leads them carrying, away.
INT. A SECOND FLOOR ROOM - DESK CLOCK 9:24 AM
They set their things,-- and tip the Garcon, heavily:
He extracts a half smaller fee:
GARCON
This is Grand Admiral's island by property, but we take our tips at our own rate: She doesn't own us.
He exits; They adjust to the room,-- and look outside below:
The crowd is filling: The eclipse has begun.
A KNOCK ON THE DOOR …
INT.-EXT. BALCONY OVER THE STREET - (CONTINUOUS)
James answers the door-- and receives Grand Admiral.
GRAND
(entering, approving)
Nice room;-- They treat you well.
JOHN
Yes.
JAMES
So-- why a holiday, for an eclipse?
GRAND
I wanted you to see what happens to your science, let out of its bag-- when it gets out into the public.
JAMES
What science?
GRAND
The Allais Precession:-- that's what they're celebrating.
JOHN
This-- is a pro-cession.
GRAND
Exactly-- fun and games.
They lean out and watch the crowd moments.
GRAND
And if you watch closely, during the eclipse, you'll see the women flip their shirt tops.
(smirks)
JOHN + JAMES
(polite effusion)
/ Incredible. / Unbelievable.
They glance at each other …
GRAND
(a beat)
A slight difference in opinion.
They build an uneasy laugh …
GRAND
(checks wrist-chron)
This is believable, and credible,-- as you'll see, in a few minutes.
She hands them each a sun-block masquerade viewer.
EXT. STREET PARTY/INT. SOUND - COOLING 40% (CONTINUOUS)
Partyers don solar-block masks and begin to whoop it as the half-complete eclipse draws tighter toward annular-total;
GRAND (VO)
You realize of course, the Allais effect lasts the entire moon-shadow Earth-contact about two and a half hours. This party hits its peak for the 4-minutes of central-totality: a little different, but try explain that to the partyers:- they've been going for hours already.
(a beat)
One thing, gentlemen …
EXT.-INT. BALCONY - (CONTINUOUS)
Their room casts its light above the darkening crowd.
GRAND
(watches them)
We do not hire niggers.
She watches their command over surprising commentary …
JAMES
(baring his black arm)
This, madam, is the right arm of one Colonel Kai Powers, deceased: If ever there was a better man than myself, it was, Colonel Powers.
GRAND
You're talking to a lady, Jim: Put your arm down.
JAMES
(lowers his arm)
I do not approve of discrimination for employment:- not by skin color!
GRAND
Jim, We don't, discriminate on skin color… race, religion, politics… creed. What else: Gender. The word, nig, anciently, meant, to count, by recording nigs, nicks; root meaning of niggle; niggardly.… A nigger was an entry-level accountant … a bean-counter: not a counter of beans but counting by, beans, simpler than an abacus … a stick-in-the-clay tally-keeper; a scorekeeper … -derogatory for its minimalist tone, of persons employed for unpayable skills, paid to associate not integrate. History pivots on scant points.- Religious, attempts to correct it never refute the fact, Most persons do not unite on the basis of one Principle Good: Confronted with the choice of milk and beer, the nigger will count the milk good, the beer bad;- and drink the beer.- Hasn't changed, Jim. And you're not the one who concerns me.
(faces John)
JOHN
Madam, if you knew me better, you'd know that my work comes first and is good,-- and if in anything I do badly, I do so only with the utmost moderation.
GRAND
(analytic)
Yes, John:- You will never slight the unwilling heart, never leave another feel faint: You touch sin to cover another's; but ultimately this will weary you of Earth.…
(a beat)
We are not NASA:- we cannot get additional funding if we lose a space cruiser;- here, we prioritize and focus on what's right, and eschew the wrong;-- and, I expect I will, get to know you, better.
JAMES
We shouldn't even think the wrong?
GRAND
We shouldn't find wrong sufficient.
(a beat, clears)
Very good, gentlemen, I think we can find you suitable employment.
(departs)
JAMES
What it takes to be a Grand Admiral.
JOHN
(massaging his throat)
I hope she doesn't keep Darth Vader in her closet.
They chuckle.
Shadows on the darkened street double at 0.55 degree as the solar eclipse goes ring-annular-total:-- the partyers below jumping for the moon; females flipping their tops in near dark:-- all making the merriest … if only gravity failed!
TRANSITION-- John PEERS THROUGH his black sun-mask to see:
A moon-dust-muddied SUN HALO; PEPPERING RED dots flashing within; a radiant METEOR STORM counts a third of the stars.
FADE TO:
EXT. GRAND ISLAND SCENIC TRAM TOUR - SUNNY NEXT MIDDAY
Grand, James, John, 20 VISITORS, tour her busy island high-tech corporation. Professors, engineers, lab technicians, dressed for intellectual business, walk or operate various small construction vehicles; each wears an INSIGNIA VIDCARD peeking over a shirt pocket or clipped to a collar or hung on a neck-cord: a multimedia indoor-outdoor local-HDR-link, video-cellphone, bar-code/color-wheel object-ID scanner, space monitor, remote finder, GPS, secure entry-coder, file memory, notepad-log, programmable calculator, chem'sniffer. [Insignia: Space Cruiser diagram, stars, within rank rings]
EXT. SPACE-CRUISER-CONSTRUCTION MOUNTAIN
The driver stops amid its open flat fort road entry-scape.
Grand, James, John, others, debark, thanking the driver;--
And walk across the immense military fortification;
JAMES
This is an amazing lot of fortification:-- all defensive?
GRAND
Fairly standard: Aegis, Phalanx, Stinger, Q-cannon, A-B-M, GUMWAD.
JOHN
Is this legal after what happened in Waco, decades ago?
GRAND
For our Nuclear Space Cruiser … you recall, the 19-72 A-B-M Treaty with the U.S.S.R. allotted the U.S. one place anywhere, to be A-B-M-secure?
JAMES
(connecting)
This, is it!?
GRAND
(nods Yes)
Military surplus: The U.S.A. never selected a site: This came cheap.
JAMES
(breaks side grins)
I'll be my Uncle's monkey! I didn't know we spent this much on defense, in the entire United States.…
An electric-JEEP and DRIVER take our-three to tour inside.…
INT. CONSTRUCTION MOUNTAIN - (NEAR CONTINUOUS)
The carved corridor has standard blast-perpendicular turns.
JOHN
(to James)
Island life is always a blend of contrasting proportions. It couldn't be otherwise.
JAMES
Ever dream of anything larger than a continent?
JOHN
The Biblical City of God,- but only because it is, a city, thousands of miles high-- like the moon itself.
Eventually, they reach the expansive construction dome.…
INT. GNSC-CONSTRUCTION CALDERA, CONCRETE DOMED - DAY-BRIGHT
At the center is the indoor-skyscraper Space Cruiser, 100 m across, sunk 350 m, upright like tapered lava-lamps end-to-end; The preponderant 95% of inside workers are female.
CHECKPOINT SECURITY monitors 1000 mobile Vidcard VIDEOS:
JAMES
This place is beginning to remind me of Mount Cheyenne-- except for spring loading; Or do you …?
GRAND
(shakes No)
No;- this facility is secure, only.
Strolls into the facility; STAFF pass or wave, ad lib;
[SECURITY] (PA-LOUD)
Grand-Admiral is on deck.
GRAND
(points to the ship)
The launch lifters are plutonium fission breeders; The long duration thrusters are deuterium fusion,- a linear design we invented in-house.
JOHN
How did you acquire sufficient plutonium, to start your breeder?
GRAND
(piquant or saucy)
My late husband loved to swindle jerks: He got Congress to give him 10-tonnes for free from the U.S. stockpiles when the superpowers dismantled their I-C-B-M's;-- And uranium 2-38 fodder is inexpensive.
JAMES
You think Congressmen are jerks?
GRAND
(real)
Not individually but collectively:
(half a beat)
A century ago, Congress stopped counting their numbers above 5-hundred-35:-- At that rate, America has 3-hundred years left, before they stop counting time, itself.
JAMES
Preplanned obsolescence;- the Roman Empire, never thought of that one.
JOHN
How did he swindle them?
GRAND
Told me, he'd shown them his left hand: If they didn't sell plutonium 2-39, he'd go to the world market: lost plutonium, stolen from Russia; Superphenix, France; Monju, Japan; India; new breeders; and he would not permit U-N inspections because he was not a nation like Iraq; and the U.S.A. would not inspect him if they had no agreement like Korea's.
JAMES
Foul politics might work that.
GRAND
Then he showed them his right hand: He proffered to adapt NASA designs from projects NERVA and ROVER of the '70's; We'd accept delivery in ready form rather than raw-- raw is so hot, 30-pounds slapped together, could annihilate a city the size of the District of Columbia;-- He was nobody's dummy …
Stops and gestures around at the technicians and engineers:
GRAND
Nor his own: With open-intelligence in the U.S.A. Secure community, he hired on sabbatical, top techs from General Dynamics, General Electric, General Computer, General Atomic, General Radio, General Motors,-- paying them split salary: half what they earned, plus half what we, pay for their job function: It bonds them better; and we pay the average of average; -our company is unique:
(resumes walk)
We have no competition. They learn on our advanced Virtual Designer, and go home with concepts of their own future. Basically, we're an American company operating offshore for the safety and security of all. And tax benefits go right back to hiring more, qualified scientific personnel: our designer dream team; and we avoid NATO restrictions on nuclear; We're also selling energy to the continent: I'm making my own billions in the off-shore energy industry: It's not all denouements and annuities.
Leads down a work-ramp-- closer to the Cruiser top end;
JOHN
Fusion energy, is quite the coup.
GRAND
We're beginning to recoup costs.
JAMES
A linear design must be expensive.
GRAND
Linear made it feasible.
JAMES
How do you achieve temperature and pressure requirements,-- if we may ask on open, intelligence, policy?
GRAND
By reducing the temperature and dimensionality;- remarkably simple.
James and John mutually ponder the meaning--
GRAND
We replaced nuclear physics with nuclear chemistry:-- Energy loss is by the thermal electrons, so we eliminated them, electrostatically.
She stops at a Terminal,- opens a connection to the System, and clicks through to CARTOON DIAGRAMS for advanced fusion:
GRAND
(SYNC with cartoon)
Hydrogen gas-discharge plasma at 15-million degrees in a magnetic core bottle:- protons swirling about in oppositely swirling electron-flack; fourth-power-law radiation pressure of a million tons per square inch; leaking hot re-neutralized ions …
(NEXT: a solution)
Remove 50-percent of the electrons to an inwall… and dynamic pressure, temperature, radiation, ion-leakage stop; proton temperature rises; the plasma splits into microcells which multiply head-on proton collisions; and the electrons capture in proton quads collapsing to nuclear density as fast as the heat is withdrawn.…
(muses to them)
It's nice, when theory meets fact, and also impractical and unstable,- but, controllable: We have systems implemented, but the x-laser heat-extraction equipment is still too bulky-heavy for spaceship use.
(NEXT cartoon)
Proton fusion is near impossible, and p-e-p fusion useless: even with deuterons, energy escapes as gamma rays, anti-electrons and neutrinos. Pure deuteron fusion pours-out hot particles but half are uncapturable neutrons. Tritium fusions best, but does not exist naturally, except as a by-product from nuclear reactors; and its half-life is a dozen years … disadvantages for cruising space.
JAMES
What about lithium-6, or-7?
GRAND
Ahhh-- you know your hydrogen bomb design: Lithium spallates tritons; And with deuterons, fusion yields helium-4 and five-times the energy … but, much in energetic neutrons.
JOHN
This begins to sound like a totem pole of nuclear theory taxonomies …
GRAND
And where would you put your hand?
JOHN
(catching-on)
Add heavy, nuclei,- maybe uranium.
GRAND
For what purpose?
JOHN
Fusion deuterons two-dimensionally between pairs of uranium ions.
GRAND
Very, good! You guys are, tops! But you don't know the plasma rules:-- Uranium is tiny, and slow to effect an energetic pinch on deuterium.…
(NEXT cartoon)
Scandium,- bigger faster, -is found superabundant on the sun.… And, at temperatures we'd like to work, its strongly ionized plasma isn't, the monatomic marbles-game they teach in school: It forms every possible, compound, in equilibrium quantities dependent on charge potential, and absorption and emission spectra … a lively new subject of study.… Under strong ionization, deuterons making only company, its predominant form is covalent, Scandium-2 with paired bond-electrons forming a waistband-cinch at deep potential,- creating bipolaring ions capable of trapping energetic deuterons interstitially: which cross-reduces dimensionality to statistically point-5 dimension.
JOHN
(interjects)
Very, good,- yourself!
GRAND
(smiling: concluding)
Its predominant fusion is electron-assisted d-e-d, -direct to Helium-4 and no neutrons.… My lawyers got us basic patents; we're parameterizing isotopic mixes for optimality in 4-and-5-cornered pinches.
JAMES
(hanging-in)
Are there more, tricks up your nuclear power sleeve?
GRAND
(barely hiding a smile)
You mean like doping it with a mid-weight nucleus to gain the Alfven's thermal-species-shift to deuterons?
James: a barely understanding nod Yes.
GRAND
(smiling challenge)
If you knew, would you play the game?
JAMES
(smiles inside)
Thank you,-- for a very interesting first round: Let's call it, a tie.
GRAND
Close enough, for government work.
They laugh,-- and she leads them into a SIDE-ELEVATOR:
GRAND
My engineering team, under austere company policies of, no-taint, no-failure, zero-point-zero tolerance, has done remarkably well. Give your top personnel, perfection, in this world; and they'll give right back. Now that you're here, you'll have to get used to, real, perfection.…
(smiles)
AND DESCEND THE DRIPPING WET CALDERA, facing the Cruiser … its 150 m steep plain exterior Whipple-shielding slope.…
EXT. SPACE CRUISER ENTRY LEVEL - (CONTINUOUS)
They stop at the entry level.
And cross the 50 m gantry-- and enter an open space-door.…
INT. CRUISER ENTRY - (CONTINUOUS)
SEVERAL FEMALE PERSONNEL are working further inside;
CMDR MI-KEE (22-35/5'9 blond model 6-mo. pregnant) turns--
MI-KEE
Grand-Admiral.
GRAND
(then looks-about)
How goes it.
MI-KEE
(mutually notices James)
95-percent cosmetic adjustments; 5-percent upgrades; 3-item-spares.
JAMES
(mutually)
Commander.
GRAND
(catches the exchange)
How soon.
MI-KEE
Phase-2 inspection begins tonight.
GRAND
(with gesture)
Mi-Kee, I'd like you to meet two additional inspection crew:
Mi-Kee hand-shakes with both, proper;- notices James' hand:
GRAND
John is a cosmetic surgeon with extraordinarily high technical background; James is U.S. Air Force.
MI-KEE
(James in memory)
Pleased to meet you-- both.
GRAND
(to James and John)
Mi-Kee was a child prodigy; You may recall her much-publicized summer command on NASA's virtual trainer.
JAMES
Indeed-- she made the whole world marvel at her technical prowess: a child barely high school, in space.
JOHN
In those days NASA needed to invite children: and Mi-Kee, met the call.
GRAND
(pleased)
Well, this makes for an easy intro: almost as if you know her. But I'd like to wrap this: Can you take the tour with us, Commander?
MI-KEE
I'm confirming inspection-- if you take them though Computation; I'll catch you all, about thereafter.
GRAND
Sure, enough.
(turns, leads out)
Gentlemen: Grander duties first.
They exit-- and James reconciles his confidence in memory:
JAMES
Do you have subordination, to deal?
GRAND
None whatsoever: Mi-Kee, the entire crew, know exactly what I expect of them;-- whatever sounds like a case of subordination is purely properly functioning defense-linguistics.
The elevator ascends-- back up, for the top:…
INT. ELEVATOR, ASCENDING
GRAND
We needn't review the ship bottom half outside, as it is identical, for practical purposes-- for the second half of every mission leg.
(a beat)
And the Caldera bottom is a pool of water for cooling the launch phase.
(a beat)
Although we do not expect to return the whole ship to Earth, our launch facility, should remain reusable.
JAMES
Crew replacements by Space Shuttle?
GRAND
We expect not much turnover.
The elevator-wall-comm [SECURITY] COMES-ON instantly--
[SECURITY]
Grand-Admiral.
GRAND
Yes?
[SECURITY]
Your tech-engineers request a review of antenna data with you.
GRAND
Thank you. I'll call it vid-link.
[SECURITY]
Yes, madam.
(Wall-comm OFF)
GRAND
(ponders-- resumes)
I was saying-- relaunch capability: This ship can self-sustain 8-years: We need propellant for cruising-- a megaton of pure clean water:- We're researching lunar water extraction: nuclear powered, rail launched: if, polar moondust is stable, shadowed from solar-wind static-cling … It may be loose, dust.
JOHN
(pondering ship sides)
With this much height of water the dynamic pressure must be explosive.
GRAND
The propellant water is frozen-- and remelted by nuclear waste-heat.
JAMES
(a beat)
Any other interesting technologies?
GRAND
Not to sell: One futuristic concept is a gravity nullifier for launch-assist by entrapping G-M-field in a spinning cryogened plate-- someday.
JOHN
A kind of self-siphoning elevator.
GRAND
Yes,- will be: a simple gravitation vortex, based on the Allais effect.
They stop at the top level.
EXT. ELEVATOR
And exit for another Caldera wall.
GRAND
We'll tour the computing facility.
(half a beat)
Our design team is virtual but all reside here for both security and response time: The Internet was not fast enough when we started; Here it's not only on-site computer, it's all maximally interactive.
JOHN
Probably safer from online hackers.
GRAND
(bemused)
We have multiply redundant O-C-1. Don't dwell on the details, John.
They cross to the in-mountainside GRAND COMPUTING FACILITY:
JAMES
(gesturing the title)
An oxymoron? Grand, and facility?
GRAND
(polite)
Wait till you see what's in store.
They join the flow of busy female personnel, to enter:
GRAND
Our earlier intent was to make this double as our Launch Control, but we've moved everything aboard, now.
INT. COMPUTING FACILITY - SCATTERED PARTIAL LIT
Inside-- through the hallway into the computing facility, nine-tenths empty, littered with unused tech-chairs; and in one corner A FEW VIRTUAL-DREAM-TEAMERS in the VR-Designer.
JAMES
You're pulling three of four legs.
GRAND
(waltzes-in, emphasizing)
Turn-on your imagination for a moment: This entire hall was full, of busy equipment: This is where we hooked-up every thing we wanted to try, running hundreds of personnel, all simultaneously-- scenario upon scenario: a virtual plug-and-play simulator. The equipments, since fully tested, have been installed in the Space Cruiser; These are the support leftovers: the hook-up gear principally, replacing the command deck for purposes of simulation. We can't afford mission duplicates as NASA does: We need computing power, fly-alone, where we are-- delays of time and space are too great a wait for paralleled simulations on day-old telemetries.
JAMES
I saw that movie.
GRAND
(finishing waltz)
Exactly. The better arrangement is to run vessels in parallel mission proximity slightly beyond our price range but we do separate equipments onboard into fore, central, and aft computing centers. This room has been filled three times over!
(a beat)
Let me introduce you to the design team: They're hooked-up here today.
JOHN
Rather dinosaurian.
GRAND
(smiles at him)
Yes-- and what, we compute-about, may be our only, grace, saving us from ultimate extinction, on Earth!
A separated group of men and women sitting in VR head-and-hand-fingers gear, seeming oblivious to the work-hall, are busy at something-- but nothing immediately consequential.
GRAND
They are hooked-into a dream-think connection for gravity-free design and engineering-- the only way, to work on next-generation hardware.
JOHN
They look thoroughly preoccupied. How do we talk to them?
GRAND
Good point: You're ready.
(points to empty chairs)
These two seats are reserved for you today, gentlemen.
Crew promptly install James and John into the VR chairs:
GRAND
We're upgraded with improved V-R hand-eye coordination tactiles to capture the nuances of fingering and sighting, pointing and control.
JOHN
(chides James)
Blink, and you wipe-out the Earth.
GRAND
Momentarily you'll be floating, and forgetting that we're here.
(to the crew)
Thank you.
Crew depart to other tasks as quickly.
JAMES
What's on the agenda here?
GRAND
Your Genius I-Q Test.
Both amused.
JOHN
Are we in doubt?
GRAND
Not at all-- just sit back and relax: You're about to enter the Space Cruiser.
VR-SURROUND KICKS IN, and they forget everything outside.
VR-RECEPTIONIST (VO)
Welcome: Please, state your name.
JOHN
John.
JAMES
James.
JOHN
(to James voice)
You're inside with me,-- loud.
INT. VR-WORLD - 'IQ TEST' - (CONTINUOUS)
VR-RECEPTIONIST
Welcome, James and John. You have the option to take your Genius I-Q test separately if you wish; Your manual scores will be kept separate in any case.
JOHN (VO)
This is all right. He won't out-do me; I'll know my part of the score.
JAMES (VO)
Braggart, you don't get away easy: They'll give me the tough questions just to bolster your psych: I'm in.
VR-RECEPTIONIST
Very well. You may begin questions.
Specific live-interaction pictures enhance the questions:
VR-PROCTOR
Q-1. Which one of these five, is least like the other four?
Cow.
Lion.
Mule.
Kangaroo.
Dog.
Elephant.
JAMES (VO)
There are six.
JOHN (VO)
No: the lion is a dog: It has round ears; doesn't climb trees but jumps low branches; it is social; sleeps at night; doesn't play with its prey; and stuffs itself, uncatlike. Also, a cow is not always a bovine, as, cow, can mean the mature female of most any large animal.
JAMES (VO)
At least you've narrowed it down to the question.
(a beat, thinks out)
They are all lazy; one has a trunk; one, a pouch; one chews cud; one is sterile … maybe because the dog and lion are one family, they are least like the other four.
JOHN (VO)
But which, the lion or the dog?
JAMES (VO)
Elephant, cow and mule have similar tails … lion, dog … Kangaroo maybe? But dogs are small.-- I give.
JOHN (VO)
Child genius! The dog is readily domesticated:- To like, an animal, is a human cognitive imposition. Adults lose that as a skill as they dominate animals; while the child just plays and likes. The dog is most liked, and is therefore least, like, the others, in likability.
JAMES (VO)
Takes a genius to know genius.
JOHN (VO)
Actually your, solution is simpler: The dog being the smallest among them, is the least of them, that is like them all,- as common animals.
JAMES (VO)
You heard a comma in least, like?
JOHN (VO)
It's only machine-form speech-- it can't impart total mindset health.
VR-PROCTOR
Q-2. Hand, is to Mitten, as Head, is to:
Hood.
Hat.
Helmet.
Mask.
Earmuff.
JAMES (VO)
A mitten is simpler than a glove: distinguishing only the thumb from the fingers-- that's like the mask or the hood.
JOHN (VO)
That's simplicity of construction. But keeping the fingers warmer, it's like the hood or the earmuff.
JAMES (VO)
But a mitt-style mitten is also a protective facilitator in usage-- that's like the earmuff or helmet.
JOHN (VO)
But a mitten is for doing specific tasks-- like the helmet or mask.
JAMES (VO)
I think we're not thinking.… One syllable, to two? 4-letters, to-6?
JOHN (VO)
Coverage is important: A boxer's glove is a mitten covering the wrist as well as hand:-- I say, a space-helmet.
VR-PROCTOR
Q-3. Assuming the truth of the following two propositions:
1.-If A is true then B is false;
2.-If B is true then C is false.
Then, the concluding proposition, that, if A is true then C may be true, is:
True.
False.
Certain.
Uncertain.
JAMES (VO)
Obviously, true-- so, you go first.
The diagram coordinates colors in response to their logic:
JOHN (VO)
Not true-- nor false: An assumption takes-on its responsibility without verifying or ascertaining its truth or validity. The end result is also equally assumptive however derived.
JAMES (VO)
That does not mean it is uncertain: only that we, did not ascertain it. And we can't just blithely claim it is uncertain, if it may be certain.
JOHN (VO)
Assuming its truth, means only that it can be assumed, and that we do not know it to be false, if you would not counter-assume it!
JAMES (VO)
(builds)
But this assumption and its logic are not, self-contradictory.…
JOHN (VO)
That is true: It was not paradoxic.
JAMES (VO)
And there can be, a case, for which this assumption and logic is true.
JOHN (VO)
That is true: It was not singular.
JAMES (VO)
And we are talking about that case.
JOHN (VO)
That's an assumption.
JAMES (VO)
You're not giving-up easily.
JOHN (VO)
(a beat)
That is true, too.
JAMES (VO)
(a beat)
One, of the answers is correct.
JOHN (VO)
That is uncertain.
JAMES (VO)
Not assumed?
JOHN (VO)
I didn't.
JAMES (VO)
Then by assumption it is uncertain.
JOHN (VO)
Its logic was not self-canceling.
VR-PROCTOR
Your time for Q-3 is finished.
JOHN (VO)
They didn't give us much time.
JAMES (VO)
Should know to expect that, genius!
CUTAWAY TO:
INT. COMPUTING FACILITY - (SAME TIME)
James and John in VR near-B.G. out of voice range; Grand discusses with 3 female AIDES taking e-pad notes:
AIDE-3
Nothing exposed itself in the pro forma background check.
GRAND
Something is going down between Mi-Kee and the newbie, James: Find-out what it is,-- and quash it.
AIDE-3
(resolves)
All right: Back to the drawing and quartering board.
GRAND
Correlate it-- it's mutual.-- And bring their things from the hotel.
AIDE-3
Personal effects retrieval-- check.
GRAND
And I need an update on SpaceRadar.
AIDE-1
It's dust out to 8-thousand miles:
GRAND
Mere hours: Probe it to the moon.
AIDE-1
Will push the envelope.
GRAND
(looking at the guys)
We can't afford to get caught between rocks and a hard place.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. VR-WORLD - (SAME TIME)
Still going-- their final 3 questions:
VR-PROCTOR
Q-6. Two workmen of non equal height, carry a box centered on a plank between them, up an incline. Which carries the heavier load?
The taller man.
The shorter man.
The leading man.
The following man.
Neither: they're equal.
Indeterminate.
JOHN (VO)
If they tie the plank, equal; but if they simply rest it, the lower man bears the heavier load by his angle of bearing; or if they hold it, it becomes less determinable.
JAMES (VO)
It depends on whether there is a lopsided load in the box.
JOHN (VO)
Good, point!
JAMES (VO)
And what if one of them is a woman?
JOHN (VO)
The beam of the hip makes no difference-- unless she's pregnant.
They both laugh, but not the VR-Proctor.
JAMES (VO)
Fully interactive, but no sense of humor.
JOHN (VO)
Noted.
VR-PROCTOR
Q-7. A pair of identical, engaged cam gears is turned by the first at a constant rate. The speed of the second is:
Constant.
Variable.
Changing.
Slower.
Faster.
JAMES (VO)
Constant over a cycle; unchanging over many; invariable, as they're engaged; and the same rate speed.
JOHN (VO)
Inconstant changing with respect to the crank angle, variable by design though driven constant here; slower and, faster, cancel in the average.
JAMES (VO)
Shall we just agree to disagree?!
JOHN (VO)
Should I disagree with that?!
They laugh.
VR-PROCTOR
Q-8. A solid circle and vertical line hold relations also held by a dashed circle and which object?
A solid vertical line.
A dashed vertical line.
A set of many vertical dashes.
Twice as many vertical dashes.
Vertical dashes of various length.
A dotted vertical line.
JAMES (VO)
The dashed line.
JOHN (VO)
Hold on that.
JAMES (VO)
You want to break it in pieces?
JOHN (VO)
(a beat)
There must be a way.
JAMES (VO)
(a beat)
What do you want?
JOHN (VO)
The circle-- to control it-- ahhh.
The figures rotate into the depth dimension-- the dashed circle aligns with itself, closing-up to a solid line;
JAMES (VO)
(before it does)
Solid line!
JOHN (VO)
Ex-act-ly.
VR-RECEPTIONIST
Thank you, John and James, for taking the eightfold Genius I-Q Test. Your scores are recorded.
They remove their VR helmets--
INT. COMPUTING FACILITY - (CONTINUOUS)
-- and disconnect hand-and-finger sockets:
JOHN
How did we score?
GRAND
All right.
JOHN
All right!?-- Genius takes measure: We must verify the accuracy of your computer application program!
GRAND
It's a genius test: We give the test to geniuses.
JOHN
(beat, at James)
I feel snookered.
JAMES
Aced.
JOHN
(ping)
Flushed.
JAMES
(pong)
Trumped.
JOHN
Euchred.
JAMES
Cribbed.
JOHN
Pachisi'ed.
MI-KEE (OS)
Did you-two enjoy your round-one?
They smile at Mi-Kee behind Grand-- and double-up laughing.
GRAND
(as they recover)
These guys have been a couple of fifth-suit jesters wildly logical.
MI-KEE
(explains)
Your tests only categorize genius: they don't rank it. They are made without singular answers, to see whether you're broad-minded enough to classify as geniuses and handle any case and come out responsively right with furthering answers;-- we can't predict what examinees will do under any circumstance dependent on partial input informations: They simply have to have use, all, the information available, with enough thinking to fill any time allotted.
JOHN
That's bureaucratic!
GRAND
All tests are run by bureaucrats.
They all laugh.
GRAND
How about we all take the remainder of the afternoon on the beach? It's one of the local privileges.
EXT. SANDY BEACH - SUNNY AFTERNOON
Occasional day-bright fireballs pass over high in the sky.
Grand in her admirably admiral-rank bikini with corporate mission insignia; John in rolled-up trousers; Mi-Kee in a maternity tanksuit with insignia; James in swim trunks:
A cart-mobile chases in the shimmery distance, racing.
They stroll and talk … ad lib whatever is on the beach:
JOHN
(gently to Grand)
You walked-out on us yesterday just before the eclipse went total-- any reason you would share?
GRAND
(solemn)
The annular eclipse is the hardest: It looks like a wedding ring-- yet it is the sun blacked out. I know, it's only a moment-- yet, so much changes in a moment.
JOHN
(equally)
I understand.
JAMES
(2 beats, quiet)
It can also look like an Omega--
(a beat)
The end of all letters, in Greek,-- something about an "ooh, ohh" mega.
MI-KEE
(to James)
Or a cosmic horseshoe of the moon.
A quieter gentler moment of walking on the sand.
JOHN
(new tact)
Why are there so few men?- A religious purity angle?
GRAND
Oh, we have men in equal numbers-- but a curious thing: men collect in transitory exercises, unsatisfied with the domestic focus-- probably the simple facts of life amplified. They fill my diving and hovercraft scouting teams, and do research, among a few good women. The V-R design team and crew are balanced.
JAMES
I served my, years in the field: I enjoyed that-- one full lifetime.
JOHN
(a beat)
You're originally from America?
GRAND
(reminisces)
Still am, by travel-- we grew-up with grand hopes; marriage didn't reduce them: it just sent our men worldwide. And I went along-- until he was no longer with us.
A WHISTLY RUSH-- A SPENT METEORITE SLAMS INTO 20 FT OCEAN.
James and John dash for it:
JAMES
(dashing into surf)
Dibs!
JOHN
(at his heels)
Escheat!
JAMES
(sloshing shin deep)
Since, when?!
JOHN
Childhood wish!
JAMES
(to his knees)
Think you've still got seniority!?
JOHN
After your remake, the kid, is older than you!
JAMES
(to his thighs)
Pull rank on someone your own age!
Both laughing-- breathe-in and dive out--
Swimming out to the coordinate place--
Then down-- down-- in resort-clear water--
Searching for the meteorite or its hole--
Among whatever's resting on the bottom.
Grand watches seaward gulls calling, a long moment.…
They burst-up empty about half way back at head-deep.
JAMES
(inhales)
That thing's heavy: even in water!
JOHN
(inhales)
Heave-in, you say!?
JAMES
(smiles)
There, too!
JOHN
All the way, this time.
They inhale-- and dunk, back for the bottom … next …
Walking, nearer … resurfacing … breaking-water …
Breathing; slinging a longish weight between them--
A steamy 300 lb. carbonaceous meteorite, breaks surface …
JAMES
Okay, genius: Which of us is carrying the heavier load?
JOHN
Here: Hold my end and I'll come around and check for you.
Both bust-up laughing-- and bear it to shore …
And a ways upon, drop it, as Grand and Mi-Kee near.
JOHN
(watching it)
It's still too hot.
JAMES
(sees stern women)
And Goldilocks' choice, it's not!
GRAND
(calmly)
Gentlemen, you bother my sensibilities: It is unwise to go rushing in, where rocks fall.
JOHN
(surprised)
No safer on shore: Even were there a second rock traveling exactly behind in the same path, the Earth is rotating a thousand miles per hour -15-hundred feet per second;- It took us 10-seconds to get where the meteorite landed …
JAMES
(inserts as continuous)
Surfed.
JOHN
(as continuous)
Ibid.-- And that'd be 3-miles downrange:-- it's equally safe!
GRAND
Yes, but your mathematical genius may not always have an answer for you-- and that could be dangerous. You need the spiritual insight that ever answers; and never fails life.
JOHN
I'm all eared-up madam.
JAMES
Me, too.
GRAND
(relents)
Okay, gentlemen, we'll take your progress gradually.
The big-wheel cart-mobile arrives, DRIVEN by Aide-3--
DRIVER
Grand-Admiral!
(brakes)
James points John to the rock-- and they heave it aboard;
DRIVER
Sorry to break your quartitude, but SpaceNet Radar has incoming storms: General Alarm has sounded. Hop in!
They all, hop-in, genius-izing the word:
JOHN
(assists Mi-Kee)
Fifteen minutes on the quarterdeck.
GRAND
Playing piano with two fingers and a fist.
JAMES
(equal)
A quart of hard-working sweat.
MI-KEE
(equal)
Four playing in solitude.
The cart digs around-- all but the driver, giggling.
JOHN
Recommended by three out of four geniuses.
GRAND
E-T-A?
DRIVER
An hour-- the storms are clustered, wide-spread and coming fast.
Racing away-- back for the main complex.…
CUT TO:
INT. CONSTRUCTION CALDERA, AND LAUNCH FACILITY - (SOON)
Grand strides-in, briefing her Aides; James, John, Mi-Kee:
AIDE-1
It's been small stuff, averaging-3 meteorites per second. The storm will be hundred-fold; large pieces are penetrating the atmosphere-- a piece a minute, visible. The piece you found is exceptionally large.
GRAND
What's it like against the dome?
AIDE-2
Cracky noisy, to say the least: The place shivers like a gong; dust and ceiling chips, too.
AIDE-3
(looking up)
Spring-steel and crushable concrete flex like a giant woofer diaphragm.
GRAND
Would the Cruiser be any safer if we park it in High Earth Orbit?
AIDE-3
Too late before the first incoming; onboard radar can guide us about, impromptu, once we've launched.
AIDE-2
It's not a simple tradeoff.
AIDE-1
Simu-variance will be up momentarily.
GRAND
Can you distinguish gaps in the rate?
AIDE-1
Out to about the moon's orbit, yes, but losing accuracy.
GRAND
And?
AIDE-1
Two large gaps, today and tomorrow.
GRAND
Are we launch-ready?
AIDE-2
Loaded, inspected and confirmed but phase-2 cross-inspection is 3-days.
GRAND
Can we re-prioritize that to schedule concurrency?
AIDES-2+3 (together)
/ Technically yes;
AIDE-2
It's not on Approved Contingencies.
GRAND
Put it there: I don't like the causation-angles on this.
AIDE-2
Yes, madam.
GRAND
And clear the Caldera!
AIDE-2
Yes, Grand-Admiral.
(quiet into communicator)
AIDE-3
One more item: Your tech-engineers have a revision to their estimates on the antenna,-- you want to see.
GRAND
(ponders a beat)
And your correlations?
AIDE-3
(shakes Off)
Nothing more,-- yet: May be older.
Grand heads into the elevator with James, John, Mi-Kee.…
KLAXON WHOOPS TWICE,-- AND SUSTAINED ALARM RINGING;
[SECURITY] (PA-LOUD)
All personnel: Clear the Caldera to the hard mountain safety-chambers!
(2 beats: repeats)
All personnel: Clear the Caldera to the hard mountain safety-chambers!
Personnel beginning moving away, to the Caldera sides.…
INT. ELEVATOR, DESCENDING - SHIPSIDE
Grand keys the wall-comm vid-link-- selects [TechEng]--
GRAND
(not turning)
Sorry guys: This is somewhat more intense than your invitation.
JOHN
It's all right, madam: I doubt it could be safer back in the States.
GRAND
Thanks, John.
James ponders his mindset.
[TECHENG]
Ahhh-- Grand-Admiral: Glad you called: We have new antenna data.
GRAND
That's why I called.
[TECHENG]
The chirps have resumed-- and, they're not just chirps.
GRAND
Go ahead: These three are cleared.
John and James share a mutual insight, a foresight;
[TECHENG]
The original chirps must have been synchronous-idles: We're now seeing sets with data items interspersed: five sets are fixed; third set is changing slowly-- as though cycling one or more sixteenths of a month, accurate to ten decimal places.
GRAND
And you've resumed transmissions?
[TECHENG]
Yes, especially including the moon. And, you know, it's only been two weeks: The decision to resume must have been nearer than a thousand Astronomical Units: the Oort Cloud.
GRAND
Where are you presently?
[TECHENG]
We have the antenna in the Caldera; we're clearing to the safety zone.
GRAND
Bring the antenna onboard, now.
[TECHENG]
Yes, ma'am-- coming.
GRAND
Thanks,-- out.
Shuts-off the vid-link.
JAMES
(a beat, sincere low)
You have contact with space aliens.
GRAND
(not turning, equally)
We believe we have a terminal node.
INSIDE ALARM WHOOPS-- WALL-COMM [SECURITY] COMES-ON--
[SECURITY]
Incoming comet wave is arriving.
Elevator stops.… Door opens--
KLAXONS SIREN-WARBLING IMMINENCE; They look out-- and up--
And cross the 50 m gantry quickly … but 20 m of the way:
EXT. SPACE CRUISER - ENTRY GANTRY - (CONTINUOUS)
3 COMET STRIKES CRACK THE DOME-- RESOUNDING GONG DEEP--
THE CEILING SPRAYS DUST-- CHUNKS BREAKING OFF, FALLING--
John looks back from looking up-- concerned, but:
James scoops up pregnant Mi-Kee--
And John grabs Grand's hand-- leading the run across …
The last 30 m: AS CHUNKS FALL INTO THE CALDERA, BOUNCING …
They arrive under the Cruiser eaves AS PIECES CRASH PASSED.
James sets Mi-Kee to her feet, all right, nodding thankful.
JOHN
(looking back out)
What kind of damage does that do?
GRAND
Little to the Cruiser: Crushable concrete leaves marks on its shell; but meteorite pieces-- we'll check.
They enter the open space-door.…
INT. CRUISER ENTRY - (CONTINUOUS)
CREW MAN busy at a computer terminal, keys and announces:
CREW MAN (PA-LOUD)
Grand-Admiral is aboard.
GRAND
(to Crew Man)
My Techneers are coming.
CREW MAN
Situation is worsening: Barrage will escalate an hour. Launch Defense Systems are online.
GRAND
(to the guys)
Let's go up to Comm-Deck.
Leads them into the central corridor-- and the elevator.
INT. CORE ELEVATOR - (CONTINUOUS)
Door shuts-- elevator ascends …
GRAND
We can check the exterior by video.
MI-KEE
I hope the dome holds--
(to the guys)
It can withstand a light aircraft at stalling speed, with a margin;-- But a hole won't block 24-hours.
They arrive-- the door opens at Comm-Deck Level:
INT. COMMAND - (CONTINUOUS)
An efficient spheroidal room with Helmsman and Navigator seat-heads center left-and-right, Captain seat higher behind; other stations twinned left-side and right at the perimeter: 2 Defensors forward, 2 Sciencers at middle, 2 Communicators back, 2 Engineers middle-back between the elevators; a very large main display curved front wall; individual and soffit displays; some show GNSC insignias:
4 Crew, 4 PREP-TEAM, about, scan Ext. Camera Displays; an electro-signature-reflectance 3-D tests the hull for dings; Nav-Displays are simulating a Comet-Ocean-Impact-Tidalwave;
GRAND
What's it look like?
PREP-1
Dirty marks-- no damage, yet.
GRAND
What's the storm like?
PREP-2
Stonier than expected,-- less detectable, but within readings. Plus, we've got a Piper.
GRAND
How soon can we be up?
ENG
(turns surprised)
You want to launch, in this?!
GRAND
At first lull-- if it's real.
NAV
(to Helm)
That's Orders: We're Go!
Crew scramble to seats-- key-in/key-up; Mi-Kee covers Comm and Science stations adjacent; Prep-team works to exit:
System SCREENS FULLY UP: NAV, ENG, HELM, DEF, COMM, SCI: Super-rapid-high SYSTEM-VOICES CHIRP-intone data;
GRAND
Get me Launch Defense.
ADDITIONAL SCREENS OF busy launch defense team operations;
GRAND
What's the Piper?
Screens of Mountain Stinger silos opening, Phoenix aiming; Nav throws the Tidalwave Simulation to the Main Screen,--
NAV
Launch-Def has a 60-K-ton stony in-vicinity in-shallow, in 25-minutes.
GRAND
We'll have to go nuclear, just to nudge it. Are we holding the bag?
NAV
Footprint is all wet: 5-miles south of Victoria; 2-point-5-sigma;-- And an 8-foot tsunami here.
GRAND
(grumps)
That's 80,-feet, at Victoria!
DEF
We're forbidden nuclear reaction, outside Sigma One.
GRAND
Protocols!-- It could airburst…!
(hunts a beat)
What was the initial reading?
NAV
7-miles, wester-south, 2-sigma.
GRAND
What if it fragments?
NAV
Unlikely: a ton at sigma.
GRAND
(smiles)
Hot Pursuit! Get me Triple-Prime: Severity-3; and get stratosphere, jetstream and meteorological, up.
SIRENS WARBLE; int.+ext. status WALLS FLASH RED "NUC";
Screens VID-LINK USA, RUS, UK, trying 3 call numbers each;
DEF
Nuclear Hot Pursuit Rules, in-Effect.
Caldera Screens show [CREWS] scrambling for the elevator.
A local-atmosphere WINDS-DRIFT MAP builds on a screen.
GRAND
(unto guys)
Sit tight, guys-- there's little we can do but get ready for launch.
JOHN
(queries James)
Did our invitations read, Lunch, with the Grand-Admiral? Or launch!?
JAMES
(a beat)
In the Navy, lunch with an Admiral, frequently refers to an upgrade in rank or a new assignment.
JOHN
(big calm soft)
Oh.
MI-KEE
(a beat)
You two can exit at the lull-- take the elevator, and run to the safety zone in the mountain. Then wait out the few days until the airlines are allowed to fly again.
JAMES
(to John)
Could be weeks.
MI-KEE
Island provisions can hold months.
JOHN
(to James)
Did you, know something about this?
White House, Novo-Ogaryovo, Ten Downing Street, FAILING:-- STILL TRYING Air Force One, Russia One, Royal Flagship;
JAMES
That would be secret; this isn't--
(chums)
You see, in the military, if you can't tell a secret, you associate with someone else who can.--
(half a beat)
That's why we needed the U.S.S.R. There were always legitimate ways.
JOHN
(big calm soft)
Oh.
(a beat)
The collective genius.
JAMES
(tilt grins)
You got it.
JOHN
(beat)
I feel snookered.
A beat. Grand backside laughs,- and Mi-Kee, James and John.
GRAND
(understates vid-links)
Wrong order for asteroid invasions.
COMM
(watching his own)
Yes, ma'am, but call-up overlaps.
NORAD SUCCEEDS to the USA Presidential Seal,- and the [PRESIDENT]; Yamantau to the RUS Presidential Seal; and Kelvedon Hatch to The UK Government Seal;
[PRESIDENT]
Addie.-- What's up?
GRAND
Mr. President: Triple-Prime, in a moment.
[PRESIDENT]
(B.G. to an Aide)
Blue Translator,- now.
As [RUS PRESIDENT] and [UK PRIME MINISTER], vid-link.
GRAND
Mr. Presidents; Mr. Prime Minister: We are tracking Earth-space radar of a Force-7 Asteroid incoming our vicinity, and are responding nuclear;- advising you under Hot Pursuit Guidelines And Protocols.
[RUS PRESIDENT]
(accented, semi-assisted)
Are you counting toes?
GRAND
Initial sighting put us under the skirt;-- enough to pay for launch.
[PRIME MINISTER]
I'd certainly hound significance like that.
[USA PRESIDENT]
I have no direct control over your actions, Addie: What kind of fallout pattern are you predicting.
GRAND
Detonation in LEO: Neutron-enriched gravel may be significant; we're computing atmospheric presently.
[RUS PRESIDENT]
Do you need anything from us?
GRAND
Just your acknowledgment, and best wishes.
[RUS PRESIDENT]
I'll concur;- with our best wishes.
(B.G. to Aide, Russian)
Get me Minatom.
[PRIME MINISTER]
I concur: Best wishes, Miss Addie.
[USA PRESIDENT]
I concur, too: Keep us informed.
GRAND
Thank you, Mr. Presidents; Mr. Prime Minister.
Triple-Prime screens resume their Executive Seals.
GRAND
Launch-Def: Commence nuclear repulse.
[LAUNCH-DEF] (PA-LOUD)
Commencing: Nuclear, Repulse.
Screens: A nuclear ABM SILO HATCH WITHDRAWS fully;--
Its ABM LAUNCHES-- for space.
And mountain DEFENSE ERUPTS SKYWARD FIREFIGHT.…
GRAND
Give me Audio in the Caldera.
[FIREFIGHT BOOMS outside the mountain: Sparse strikes CRACK GONGLIKE-- with CEILING CHUNKS CRASHING inside the caldera]
EXT. MOUNTAIN - DEFENSE SYSTEMS
FULL SCALE FIREFIGHT-- SMASHING sparse incoming METEORS.…
Blasted meteorites splatter wide-- fewer hit the dome.
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - (MEANWHILE)
Entry [Crew Man] vid-links--
[CREW MAN]
Grand Admiral: Techneers and four last crew are descending exo-elevator;- Prep-Team is clear away.
GRAND
We may have launch, soon as they reach Cruiser.
[CREW MAN]
Will advise.
GRAND
(to Def)
Def: Monitor Caldera integrity.
(to Nav)
Nav: Go over Launch with me.
Huddles with Nav-- at computer diagrams.
JOHN
(privately with James)
This wasn't expected-- Did you…?
JAMES
I can't go without your help.
JOHN
(restraining surprise)
Is this safe?-- is she…?
JAMES
Historically;-- she lost a husband.
JOHN
(solemn)
That happens-- on Earth.
JAMES
She's not OSHA-approved.
JOHN
(looks at her)
She seems much wiser than OSHA.
JAMES
She's not altogether commercial.
JOHN
She doesn't trust us, to just ask.
JAMES
Do you think she needs to ask?
JOHN
She certainly needs the best help.
JAMES
Women are more expectant than men.
JOHN
(a beat, to James)
I don't hire client-patients to help pay-off their debts to me.
JAMES
I wouldn't think of not, paying.
JOHN
(cuter)
Nor would I want to lose a client-patient who can, pay.
JAMES
(smiles inside)
I don't run away from making good.
JOHN
(looks at her)
I don't think we can skip-out lightly, on her lunch invitation.
JAMES
Agreeable.
JOHN
Got enough courage mustered, Colonel?
JAMES
A full head of, let-us, Chief.
JOHN
(a beat)
Lunch seems meet for the occasion.
JAMES
(breaks a smile)
Takes a genius.
JOHN
(quietly)
Mi-Kee.
MI-KEE
(attends them)
Yes.
JAMES
John is interested in getting to know the Grand-Admiral, better.
MI-KEE
(nods)
I understand.
And opportunely goes over to Grand …
EXT. EARTH SPACE - (CONTIGUOUS)
The SLEEK ABM VERNIERING outside the atmosphere …
LOCATES THE ASTEROID 20x20x30 m … and near, WHITE-FLASH …
DEFLECTING 3 large BLAZING WHITE FRAGMENTS …
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - (RESUME)
EMP HAS DISRUPTED EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS,-- REACQUIRING.
[LAUNCH-DEF]
Target accomplished: Three major fragments are diverted to south-eastern seas.
GRAND
Follow-up to Triple-Prime.
[LAUNCH-DEF]
Acknowledged: Following-up with revisements.
Mi-Kee opportunely whispers to Grand.
GRAND
(quiet to Mi-Kee)
James, seems interested, in-- you.
MI-KEE
I'm sorry,-- that was my mistake.
GRAND
(eases barely)
These are both, qualified, men.
MI-KEE
Yes.-- I agree fully.
GRAND
Thank you.
And resumes with Nav Launch diagrams.
James and John share a mutual expression of, We're-going!
EXT. SPACE CRUISER - GANTRY - LULL (SOON)
INFREQUENT SMALL PINGS ON THE DOME; Her 2 Tech-engineers with the Antenna, 4 Crew, sprint across to the ship.…
And into the open space-door--
INT. CRUISER ENTRY - (CONTINUOUS)
Crew Man busy at a computer terminal, keys and announces:
CREW MAN (PA-LOUD)
Final crew is aboard.
TECHENG-1
(quips)
First time stuck in the elevator!
[COMM] (PA-LOUD)
Acknowledged: Crew complement: Welcome aboard!
CREW MAN
Grand-Admiral is up on Comm-Deck.
THEY
(exit to corridor)
/ Thanks.
[COMM] (PA-LOUD)
Proceeding to launch.
TECHENG-2
(surprised lagging)
Are we, going to launch?!
CREW MAN
Waiting on Go.
TECHENG-2 (OS)
(going)
Wee-haw!-- instant crew assignment: Just add meteors!
Crew Man remains, bemused.…
INT. COMMAND - (SAME TIME)
Additional Crew, COMM, SCI, also busy, at their stations.
[Launch-Def] CONFERENCES onscreen; [VIDEOS] of the dome:
[LAUNCHDEF-1]
… three holes; one fairly large but leeward-- not likely a danger except a meteorite falls back-in; The others are smaller unknowns.
[LAUNCHDEF-2]
The second wave isn't expected any lighter-- and arriving in half the hour, blasting passed for the moon.
NAV
This'll leave us broadside against the heading dust, until we get into space-- and turn to the full storm.
GRAND
(to Screen)
What happens when we open the dome?
[LAUNCHDEF-1]
Second big unknown-- statistically, 3-holes, mean, slight damage to the spars-- until opened to find out.
GRAND
(to Eng)
Is it worth test-jiggling the dome?
ENG
Oooh-boy. If it's broken worse, you don't want to open the breaks to a storm-- I'll say, just open and go; broken pieces should hang together.
GRAND
(to James and John)
Are you two going or coming?
JAMES+JOHN
(mutual horror a beat)
/ Going.
(to her, bravely)
/ Coming! / Yes!
She looks about-- the rest of the crew turns back to work.
GRAND
(to Screen)
Ready the Launch!
Mi-Kee sits in her pregnancy-cushy-form Captain's recliner; those standing take redundant station seats;- All strap-in; [BELLS RINGING throughout indicate the Dome is opening]
[VIDEOS] angle about the OPENING DOME; CHUNKS DANGLING;
SCI
Equipment links are Good-for-Go-- idling-- data hubs nominal ready.
COMM STATUS IS LOADED with satellite up/down/cross-links--
COMM
System communications are acquired: We have U.S. Navy U-F-O. D-S-C-S-7, AF-Sat-Com-4 are on-line. G-S-P-S satellites-5,-6,-8; Confidence,-B. Lanthus Traffic Constellation is carrier-sync'ed data-idling. L-E-S-13 world-pulse crypt-locked. We're waiting on T-DRS-7 and MilStar-4.
John looks to James-- who shrugs Not-mine-to-okay.
A CHUNK OF DOME FALLS FREE-- INTO THE CALDERA, BOUNCING;
ENG (AD LIB)
Launch-clamps, armed-and-enabled. Gantry is withdrawn; locked-down.
Other [VIDEOS] ZOOM-IN the new marks on the cruiser hull;
NAV (AD LIB)
Launch Navigation, ready: G-S-P-S calibrated to Earth-zero; We have T-DRS Nav-lock: Digital-flight-path confirmation is being verified.
HELM (AD LIB)
Helm is Responding-for-Go.
COMM (AD LIB)
Launch-Defense shows Green-light; Mission-Com gives us Go For Launch.
The Dome is fully withdrawn, open to the sky.
ENG (AD LIB)
The Dome is open; Caldera is clear. System Engineering is Go-for-Go. Beginning Fission Booster Propellant Feed.
Fission ENGINE DEEP-RUMBLE BEGINS; DISPLAYS MONITORING;
COMM (AD LIB)
NASA T-DRS-7 telemetry is on-line.
ENG (AD LIB)
Fission, critical: Switching to internal controls.
POWER CONTROL TELEMETRY SWITCHES TO onboard controls.
HELM (AD LIB)
Launch-critical sequence checks.
ENG (AD LIB)
Booster flux: stable: Throttle-up sequence auto-initiated. Heavy-water bleed-in fraction, 27-percent. Static-pressure: nominal envelope. Dynamic-pressure balanced: Zero-point-0-7 torque-trim-- compensating to point-0-0-0. Sway, below point-0-0-2. Umbilical propellant resourcing is full feed.
ENGINE RUMBLE INCREASES-- OUTSIDE STEAM BEGINS RUSHING UP:
ENG (AD LIB)
Auto-throttle-up, now. Heavy-water fraction is 88-percent.
COMM (AD LIB)
We have MilStar-4 and-6, bit-sync.
ENG (AD LIB)
Positive buoyancy: Launch-clamps at zero-point-1-3 gee; holding; ready.
(turns to Mi-Kee)
Captain.
NAV (AD LIB)
Digital-flight-path is confirmed, Verified, and, Go.
(turns to Mi-Kee)
Upon your command, Captain.
Mi-Kee SCANS THE CREW ONE-BY-ONE for ready-responses: Each smiles, thumbs-up on cue: Sciencer, Communicator, Engineer, Defensor, Helmsman+Navigator-- like old-times for Mi-Kee.
NAV
(last smiles to Mi-Kee)
On your-command, Captain.
MI-KEE
(a beat)
Engineer!
ENG
Yes, Captain?
MI-KEE
It's your machine!
ENG
(smiles, keys)
Aye, Captain: Proceeding with the launch. Heavy-water feed-actuator is open. Umbilical is cut-- we're on internal, propellant.
OUTSIDE CLAMPS CLUNK-OPEN-- VISUALS CREEP-UP GUSHING STEAM:
ENG
Launch-clamps are open.
SOME VISUALS CLEARING CALDERA LIP--
ACCELERATING.…
THEN ABOVE THE DOME TIP-- STEAM GEYSER DISSIPATES;
(5 sec.)
Science station monitors meteorite hull-strikes: INFREQUENT FAINT PINGS ON THE OUTER HULL, ECHO in the Monitor Audio;
ENG
System dynamics-- looking good.
(5 sec.)
NAV
Dome is Cleared.
ENG
Throttling-up to 1-hundred-30.
RUMBLE INCREASES-- VISUALS RAPIDLY CLIMB above the Island;
USA, RUS, MESSAGES DECRYPT to acknowledgments of launch--
COMM
Cheyenne acknowledges our launch; Qabala counts us as one launch; We're in safe skies.-- Less unsafe.
(5 sec.)
ENG
(resumes)
Heavy-water depleted; phasing-out; actuator closed: Fission is blowing light-water.… Throttling back to neutral-gee, 65-percent.
ENGINE RUMBLE DECREASES.
CLUNK OF TANK SEPARATION.
ENG
Skirt-tank separation; dropping-away;-- throttling up to 1-hundred-5-percent!
ENGINE RUMBLE INCREASES.
EXT. SPACE CRUISER - OPEN SKY - (SAME TIME)
Slipping upward, 700 mph, through pleasant clouds …
Transonic SHOCK-WAKE flaunts aft the tail, erasing clouds;
Three pieces of the piper-meteor burn lines across the sky.
SKY DARKENS … full black: stars, METEORS, starkly apparent.
INT. COMMAND - SPACE 100 MILES UP - (T+180 SEC.)
Radar Displays track the incoming storm comets, ahead-- Navigation Computer continually updates path adjustments.
SCI
Exiting atmosphere safety.
NAV
Bearing directly into the sparse storm.
DEF
Evasive Verniers responding; End-Whipples E-T-T, 1-minute.
HELM
(to Nav)
Real smooth evasive.
NAV
Just keep your arms, in.
MI-KEE
Give me hull audio.
(smiles at James and John)
Computational Navigation Dynamics, is like being the first riders on the SpaceCoaster in real-time while it was being built-- perfectly safe behind the construction crews.
The METEOR STORM HULL-AUDIO is like mixed-sandblasting tin sheets;- James and John share a last respect for computers.
INT. COMMAND - (HOUR LATER)
SAT-NEWS on several MONITORS shows worldwide destructions;
The Tech-engineers with printout arrive by ELEVATOR-- TING.
ENG
Fusion core is charging 30-percent. E-T-T pure fusion drive, in two minutes-- ready for low-gee.
COMM (PA-LOUD)
Ready for low-gee, in two minutes.
TECHENG-1
(enters tentative)
Hello?
Most turn to see them--
GRAND
(smiles)
Welcome aboard, guys-- sorry, we made you stowaways on short notice.
TECHENG-2
Hey:-- no problem: We were in the neighborhood, installing antennas; and a nice lady invited us for milk and cookies,-- we couldn't refuse.
ENG (CONCURRENT)
Fusion core charging at 60-percent.
TECHENG-1
(introduces)
And, speaking of antennas …
TECHENG-2
(extends printout)
Ahh yes-- we've correlated recent Nu-receptions:- you'll like, this!
(points each)
The second and fourth data sets are also, variable. The second is the solar average, changing 2-L-S-B so far-- probably planetary gravity influences on Earth and sun orbits. Fourth, though, is the clincher: It points into space, nowhere known.
GRAND
How fast is it changing?
TECHENG-1
That's the tight cinch: It's retro-grade, with an orbital period of 2-hundred-30 years-- like Pluto, but going almost exactly the other way!
ENG (CONCURRENT)
Fusion core charging at 90-percent.
GRAND
What are its ephemerides?
TECHENG-1
Nearly ecliptic: Right Ascension is zero hour; declination zero degree; just off the direction of Neptune.
THE FUSION CORE TWANGS UPSCALE, at electro-condensation.
MI-KEE
(nonchalant)
That eliminates the galaxy core.
ENG (CONCURRENT)
Fusion core charge collapse;- commencing power-up.
GRAND
40-A-U from the sun costs 3-months.
(to Comm)
Comm: Wake the shift captains.
COMM
None are sleeping yet.
ENG (CONCURRENT)
Switching-out fission, in 30-seconds.
COMM (PA-LOUD)
Attention: Low-gee, in 25-seconds.
INT. COMMAND - (MINUTES LATER)
QUIET. The last of 4 shift-CAPTAINS arrives in LOW-GRAVITY;
DEF
End-Whipples are up, full;-- initiating remote cameras.
REMOTE CAMERA VIDEOS begin hull inspection for scratches; they discuss months-long choices on a solar system chart:
CAPT-2
Searching an asteroid flock on the far side will be slow going: We're not built for loose field research; We'd have to monitor vernier usage: Better to send probes and stay out.
TECHENG-1
(adds)
Also we don't know how to widen the Nu-Antenna beam: The closer we get, the narrower its tunnel-vision; and we can't align ourselves with the Earth we can't see through the sun.
CAPT-3
Something must have disturbed their normal, billion-year periodicity.
MI-KEE
Heavy Bombardment Era collisions, and periodic dinosaur extinctions: Killer asteroids, didn't have to come from the Oort Cloud.
CAPT-4
The Apollo-12 Saturn-4-B Command module wandered out of lunar orbit in 19-69, and circled the sun for 33-years, till it returned in Oh-2.
MI-KEE
(to Capt-4)
Did they examine the S-4-B for excessive dents?
CAPT-4
I never heard-- it's an interesting angle: Armageddon around the bend, literally in orbit-- prophecy as, history reminding itself!
GRAND
How much may we miss, if we follow the unknown fourth data set?
TECHENG-1
A part in 10-decimal places, is less than half a mile at 40-A-U.
TECHENG-2
If, the accuracy is real, not just digitally convenient precision.
CAPT-3
Radar can recover that much easily.
TECHENG-1
The point is, we can align Earth.
GRAND
That clarifies our invitation.
CAPT-4
But who's feeding us the data?!
GRAND
Agreement?
ALL-4 CAPT
Yes. / Go for it. / It's yours.
GRAND
(to Nav)
Lay-in for deep-space.
NAV
Aye. Deep-space, calls.
Capt-3,4 exit; Capt-2 stands with Mi-Kee.…
FADE TO:
INT. SPACE-CRUISER KITCHEN - BEYOND EARTH - (NEXT MORNING)
Nav, Helm, Eng, Comm, Grand, Mi-Kee, James, John, in Space Cruiser jumpsuits, prepare their first crew breakfast: The table center piece includes microwave oven, bright flowers.
MI-KEE
Good rest?
JAMES
(nods)
Pleasant.
Sit ad lib-- and begin eating;
JOHN
A nice touch-- the flowers.
MI-KEE
Nuclear hydroponics; like our food.
JAMES
(to John)
Your spacer jumpsuit fits well.
JOHN
(smiles)
Thought I'd jump right in.
James tries and ponders his mush cereal--
John notices--
JOHN
(appraises, Ecclesiastic)
Lord knows: there are three things, that motivate great men-- yea, four things, move men to great, action:- Brains;- Bronze;- Brawn;-…
JAMES
(lifts a spoonful)
And Bran.
They embarrassedly laugh.
MI-KEE
(under-jokes)
In the end they're all, brown.
A bigger laugh.
GRAND
We all pretty much know each other, but James and John are the newbies.
They introduce themselves to James and John:
NAV
I'm Chuck;- been ready for years. I tested planes with General Dynamics but wanted to get into navigation.
HELM
I'm Dave,- worked for NASA Admin; took early retirement; didn't find adult employment; came back around to space-work. You'd never believe how similar the Helm is, to flying a good P-C desk.
They giggle.
COMM
I'm Jeff,- Communications,- former QualComm engineer. I wanted to see where my signal wires really, went.
They laugh.
ENG
(a spoonful beat)
I'm Greg-- nothing to do with Peer Gynt Suite, 'xcept it's my favorite digital. I was formerly an engineer at Rockwell;- wanted to take a long cruise; and this was the longest.
They smile.
JOHN
I'm John, cosmetic surgeon. I got into this subbing for James' doctor whom I knew in college. My Office does want me back, but I pad all my vacations with spare time: Just get me back to Earth in 80-days.
They giggle.
NAV
Beware: We'll have no International Date Line crossing, this roundtrip.
They laugh.
JAMES
(as they recover)
I'm James-- and I've, got a secret.
They all roundly laugh-- and recover.…
JAMES
(resumes nonchalant)
I'm a Colonel-Major, U.S. Air Force Space Command, Special Assignments Liaison,-- retired otherwise for insignificant injuries: Skin graft.
They've noticed his hands-- and nod accordingly.
GREG
Where were you stationed, Colonel?
JAMES
U.S. Army Special Forces, Vietnam; Later returned to U.S. Recon Duty.
Mi-Kee has a sudden cramping memory.
JOHN
Are you all right, Mi-Kee?
MI-KEE
(recovering)
Yes: Just a baby kick.
JOHN
(lighter to Mi-Kee)
Mi-Kee: We marveled when women got active duty with NASA and the Air Force back in the early days of the Space Shuttle late-'70's and-'80's; Then your summer, virtual command, just blew us away; But, what became of your days at NASA? We read about your expertise.… And, tell us how we, let a pregnant, woman …
MI-KEE
(solemn asserts)
I assured Grand-Admiral, I'm fit.
JOHN
(nods)
Just interested professionally: I have senior female clients who look like young ladies.
JAMES
(realizes to John)
That's what was different, about…
JOHN
(nods to James)
Yes:-- 70's,-looks-20's, white-blond.
MI-KEE
(her story)
After my virtual deep-space mission to Pluto, I returned home to high school, graduated summa cum laude, went back and trained at NASA; but they never invited me to deep-space missions they didn't have yet-- the manned Mars mission nearly ended in failure when they couldn't land in the global dust storm, and returned to orbit without sufficient fuel to attempt another landing --they were going to refuel on Mars, itself;-- they returned to Earth, safely, but all missions were cancelled.… So I jumped right into Grand Admiral's mission opportunity, which appeared to have a more successful promise.
(a beat, the real issue)
Besides, NASA never got to build the nuclear rockets they tested for exploring beyond Mars: They weren't going very far very fast. And Grand Admiral's fusion-drive was a newly feasible private venture.
JOHN
What did your husband say?
MI-KEE
I'm not married-- any more.
JOHN
Sorry.
MI-KEE
After graduation, I married D-V-D-J Hyper-dot-Tom, but he already had a mistress-- legal prenuptials though not married-- and we got a divorce, slowly: We were always in love; he was always honorable, supportive; bestowed ample affection, time, attention, encouragement in all my interests --and his mistress was equally, considerate-- but, he was into publicity and popularity while I was into my studies and research. Our paths eventually diverged until separation was more responsible;-- he hadn't impregnated me: He still looked upon me as the little child going into space;- we hadn't taken up active conjugal intimacy. After annulment, I wanted family, but not a virgin, nor an already married man, as I hadn't had a real married experience myself.… Artificial insemination seemed an alternative, but I wasn't intent on becoming a Hollywood-spermbank-groupie fawning over a pretty baby of some motion-picture action-hero superstar I'd never even met…
(half a beat)
And-- never really sure….
JAMES
(reassures, and to John)
I can see where keeping the distinction would be important.
JOHN
(a beat, gently)
Mi-Kee: Who's father to your baby?
MI-KEE
(begins to reveal)
When I was a just kid at home, I had an older friend; his name was James-- and he looked like, you.
(at James: back to John)
James was my best friend: He was the first neighborhood adult I really looked-to for understanding; We spent Saturday afternoons when he was off duty, just swinging in the park and merry-go-rounding, and talking, for hours, until dinner.
(a beat somber)
He was gone for a few weeks, and Dad told me -eventually,- that--
(a little break)
James had been killed in action.
(sobers a beat)
Then Dad told me, I should keep a big photograph of James on my wall, to remember what a nice man he was. He also told me something odd:- He said I should remember carefully, because there was another man, a family relation, who looked like him and I should not try to speak to that man until I was older and could do so without imagining it was James … it was hard to think.
(at James: then to Grand)
The meeting on your island was the first I'd remembered him, again.
James almost moved to tears-- not looking at Mi-Kee:
JAMES
(fills-in details)
I had been an Army Commander under General Scharheimer, on hazardous duty, until one mission was fatally destroyed by a fuel-air mini-cruise missile detonated above our command hut.- I heard later there were only two survivors: The General, at the bottom of the, roasted-human, pig-pile, and later, one reconstructed of the parts of the others-- none alive: We were farther gone than a Near-Death-Experience. I recovered over the next two years on hospital premises,- then returned to active duty with a new surname--…
Mi-Kee is staring at James' clasped mixed-hands, gasping in tears of understanding;
GRAND
(inserts)
The legal part of death.
They mostly giggle.
MI-KEE
(struggling hard)
Is death, legal, in the Army?
They giggle more, uneasier-- she manages to calm somewhat.
JAMES
(displaying hands)
Seeing as, I was only my own head and neck:- my arms and legs and the rest, of the other men …
(tacks a beat)
The Army follows a stalwart Uniform Military Code of Justice-- which purports to never hang the same man twice: They reassigned me from hazardous,- and gave me a new name.
GRAND
(quips)
To hang you again!?
And all break-laugh-- and Mi-Kee, finds that, lightening--
THEN CONSIDERING James:
JOHN
(putting two-and-two)
So, Mi-Kee's sire, is…?
MI-KEE
(recovering off James)
I enlisted Dad's confidence to find a suitable sperm donor, a man who'd never had children. He helped me by finding the sperm saved of James.
JAMES
(embarrassed before her)
… an Army precaution, for men on hazardous duty;-- I, had no plan.
MI-KEE
James had given Dad, his Power of Attorney; and upon his Official Death the Army's Escheat Clause returned his sperm to his Estate; which, under Dad's control, was kept on ice; -Dad had a patent on x-y super-cloning;- and the sperm, enabled me to become impregnated.
JAMES
… my prior, sperm.
JOHN
(hand on James' shoulder)
Then my mistake: You will recognize your own children-- after all!
MI-KEE
(smiling-up tears)
I agreed, in admiration for his affection when I was a child: It was the spark of a most promising memory, erasing the vacant years with Hyper-dot-Tom.
JAMES
(resolving)
I do believe this mission is controlled by better than fate.
They all begin to admit to that--
MI-KEE
(chaffing him)
The Army works in mysterious ways.
They all laugh, smiling at that thought.
JOHN
(changing tentatively)
So, what's on our agenda for this month-- you're not going to put us in the deep-freeze.… Do we have more Genius I-Q testing?
GRAND
(proffers)
Putting your Genius I-Q to work, learning all the ship operations.
JOHN
(to James and all)
Sounds good.
INT. SHIPBOARD-VR ROOM - (LATER)
James, Mi-Kee, TechEng, help install John in a VR chair:
JOHN
(to James)
No offense-- study is something I do solely on my own thinking time.
JAMES
Fine by me-- I'll do my own later.
VR-SURROUND KICKS IN, and he forgets everything outside.
VR-RECEPTIONIST (VO)
Welcome: Please, state your name.
JOHN
John.
They leave him-- closing the door-- locking the room.
INT. VR-WORLD - 'SPACE CRUISER'
POV: John FLOATS THROUGH THE VIRTUAL world of 3-D Space Cruiser construction; descending, crossing, turning; walls, objects, shadows, all in DIAGRAMMATIC SKETCHING:
TRAVERSING dreamily through solid walls-- tight conduits--
SHIP INSIDE-- SHIP OUTSIDE-- ultimately end to end:
At the bottom-- swings around through the fission drive--
Into and upward the fusion CORE GLOWING DIAGRAM-TINTED--
Midway: back into the vessel-- people are in live sketch--
IN ONE ROOM A SINGULAR WALL IS IN REAL COLOR-- HE PAUSES--
AT PANEL-J2 the room owner TURNS-OFF THE WALL TO SKETCH--
John passes through-- to the next room-- and upward--
PAUSES in a room before a FEMALE FORM UNDRESSING IN SKETCH;
"FINGERS" HER PANEL-K7 BUTTON-- BUT IT DENIES, X-LOCKED--
She gets into bed-- he continues upward-- eventually into:
THE COMMAND ROOM, busied by several people forms in sketch.
He recognizes Mi-Kee's pregnant form (SKETCH)-- and pauses:
"FINGERS" THE PANEL-Q9 BUTTON-- ONE WALL REALIZES IN COLOR.
MI-KEE (SKETCH)
(turns to him)
Hello, John-- welcome to Comm-Deck.
Presses a chair button-- AND SHE, REALIZES IN COLOR.
JOHN (VO)
(flustering, tries)
You can see me?
MI-KEE
Not directly-- but the indicators are On-- and we hear your voice.
JOHN (VO)
This is so mixed, virtual and real.
MI-KEE
Yes;- Here: Let me key your chroma.
She presses a button-- THE WHOLE ROOM REALIZES IN COLOR.
JOHN (VO)
I've tried that.
KLANG! A YELLOW PATH HALF UP THE SHIP-- Mi-Kee turns, busy.
He TURNS TO VIEW the entire yellow path, END-TO-END--
JOHN (VO)
(worried)
What's that? The yellow path!
ENG (OS)
You're all right, John: There is a subsystem trouble-- but not in your sub-domain. Sit tight.
KLANG-KLANG! YELLOW TURNS RED, AND SPROUTS NEAR THE BOTTOM.
JOHN (VO)
(really worried)
It's getting worse-- it's red.
MI-KEE (OS)
(calm)
Trouble quantum: It's overpressure in one air conduit-- a technician is responding: His entry connected his zone and pressure, momentarily.
TING! THE RED ZONES REVERT TO THE FORMER YELLOW PATH.
JOHN (VO)
(semi-relieved)
Oh.
(a beat)
Can this V-R system be used to fix troubles that appear so directly?
MI-KEE (OS)
In fact, yes; except replacing the components, requires manual labor.
JOHN (VO)
This is cozy-- the ability to pass through walls, and right into rooms, and enable viewing.
MI-KEE (OS)
(perceives)
Space venture is more communistic: We've all trained for it.
JOHN (VO)
Oh.
(a beat)
I'm going to take another dive.
MI-KEE (OS)
Enjoy your study time.
John descends-- and into the yellow tinted path.…
Arrives above where the two paths had connected--
IN SKETCH: A TechEng is working, probing inside a panel: his voice-response SCOPE TELLS him what to probe next.
SCOPE (SKETCH)
Good. Assembly L-U test-point-3.
JOHN (VO)
Hello. Need any help?
TECHENG (SKETCH)
(looks out)
Thanks, I …
(around)
Oh, V-R-- sure:
(resumes probing)
Read the Scope.
John "FINGERS" PANEL-D3-- THE ROOM REALIZES IN COLOR; THE SCOPE MONITORS AND BLEEPS a set of diagnostic signals.
SCOPE
Okay. Same assembly test-point-4.
JOHN (VO)
I'm John.
SCOPE
Okay. Same assembly test-point-6.
TECHENG
I thought, I recognized your voice.
SCOPE
Good. Assembly I-O test-point-5.
JOHN (VO)
(AT THE SCOPE)
Which signal?
SCOPE
Is that Assembly I-O?
TECHENG
Ooops-- upside down-- not normal.
SCOPE
Okay. Same assembly test-point-7.
TECHENG
Just tell me if it gets confused.
SCOPE
Okay. Same assembly test-point-2.
JOHN (VO)
Typical high tech.
The SCOPE SIGNALS DE-SYNC, floating chaotic and SCREECHING;
TECHENG
(agrees)
Ungh-hungh.
SCOPE
Anomalous or not Assembly I-O.
JOHN (VO)
Total chaos.
TECHENG
That was quick: It's a bogey!
KLANG-KLANG! PATH TURNS RED; TechEng works to extract a …
JOHN (VO)
Component sabotage?
TECHENG
Probably-- a misprogrammed robotic.
(fingering it)
Looks ordinary, though-- except its package marking I-D is upside down.
JOHN (VO)
What triggered it?
TECHENG
Probably a self-timer.
Attempts to key-off the whole unit-- but it doesn't.
JOHN (VO)
Do you have a lot of trouble, with component suppliers?
TECHENG
Won't shut-down-- none generally.
JOHN (VO)
Can I do anything?
TECHENG
Shut down power to this section.
JOHN (VO)
Where's that?
TECHENG
(anticipates)
Thumb and finger your virtu-wall.
A DIAGRAM-WALL PANEL APPEARS.- John keys Section-Power-Off: COLOR AND LIGHT TURN-OFF here;- leaving DIAGRAMMATICS ONLY.
KLANG-KLANG-KLANG! PATH TURNS FLASHING RED.
TECHENG (SKETCH)
Deeper trouble:- the whole conduit.
JOHN (VO)
The air pressure?
[Eng] (PIP) appears picture-in-picture--
[ENG] (PIP CONCURRENT)
What's the trouble, John?
TECHENG (SKETCH)
Pressure balance is unstable. We may have to suit-up to replace these-- if that's all.
JOHN (VO)
The whole conduit is defective.
[ENG] (PIP CONCURRENT)
We've got a blank: Is the Tech out?
TECHENG (SKETCH)
Yes.
JOHN (VO)
We have to get you out.
TECHENG (SKETCH)
(hand-to-wall, moves)
Lead the way.
JOHN (VO)
(GLIDES TO DOOR)
Follow my voice.
TechEng follows, hand-ahead in his dark, in sketch--
Reaches-- tries the door-- it's locked.
TECHENG (SKETCH)
The door is locked.
JOHN (VO)
He can't get out the door.
[ENG] (PIP)
Probably the overpressure.
JOHN (VO)
Can I increase pressure in the adjacent conduit?
[ENG] (PIP)
To the last pressure reading, yes.
JOHN (VO)
Just a moment-- I'll be right back.
GLIDES THROUGH, the door in sketch-- a DIAGRAM-WALL PANEL APPEARS-- he KEYS CONDUIT-AIR-PRESSURE-UP-- increasing …
KLANG! THE CONDUIT TINTS YELLOW, in sketch;-- then red.
THE DOOR OPENS, and the TechEng enters …
INT. COMMAND - (LATER)
They stand around the computer diagram of air conduits;
GRAND
We inspect every one of the parts.
JOHN
But a bad, -batch?
ENG
Factory sabotage;-- deep terrorism.
JOHN
How did they pass your inspection?
MI-KEE
A duplicate with a circuit add-on.
JOHN
Anti-reverse-engineering encrypted?
SCI
As ordinary as a computer virus: they found a way around, to enter.
JOHN
How do we reinspect in outer space?
ENG
Standard remote inspections and digital-signature testing, will turn-up nothing:-- same as before.
JOHN
Can we pull them and parallel test identical components?- A picosecond of nanoamp power difference … may indicate an extra process inside.
MI-KEE
We'll distribute testing to confirm a reliably connected adjacency set.
GRAND
That's months of work, cut-out.
ENG
One corridor at a time.
SCI
I hope we have a big stock of good replacements.-- I wouldn't want to reprogram this whole ship.
JOHN
You can reprogram the hard chips?
ENG
Field-programmable technology:- can reroute off a parasite easier than said,-- unless these self-destruct.
SCI
Low-dose neutron spectroscopy might be mildly destructive; We also have a chip manufacturing facility.
JOHN
Any idea who would have done this?
GRAND
Q-C: -Queen's Castle:- You surround yourself with thirty good men,-- to defend your castle walls, first.
The ELEVATOR OPENS-- TechEng enters--
TECHENG
(overly done)
Hi, guys;-- I'm okay: Just a little pressure overage … in the vacuum of outer space … Nothing a psychiatry session won't explain.
They giggle-- and to themselves.
FADE TO:
EXT. PLUTON SPACE (ESTABLISHING SHOT) - (MONTHS LATER)
Deorbiting distant tiny remnant "black hole" Pluton unseen in swirling gas rings at angles approximating its unmarked equator; occasional ring arcs collide in sprays of light; occasional meteors reach Pluton center, degenerating in bursts illuminating the debris rings, waves rippling at the speed-of-light, creating their own Armageddon-like scene;
EXT. SPACE CRUISER
Firing salvos of space-torpedoes to clear large asteroids …
SUPERIMPOSE:
"THE EDGEWORTH-KUIPER BELT, MONTHS LATER"
INT. CRUISER COMMAND
RADIATION MONITORS PINGING busily; near-liminal nebulous-direction BUZZ-TOOTS pepper [IN-BRAIN (multi-phase-stereo) NEUTRINO BURSTS from Pluton's black-hole crushing asteroid debris: highest pitch 15-KHz liminal numerous, lowest pitch 4-KHz strongest fewest: each buzz-toot consisting of 10 strong and 20 diminishing evenly spaced clicks per chirp]
Occasional large asteroids plot paths across Nav diagrams continually revising for all-things-considered efficiency; Def, 2ND-DEF, assist computerized defenses torpedoing those coming too near; DEBRIS SANDBLASTS their hull despite their aft-forward Whipples. They're approaching Neoarth in a day.
TechEng-1 is busy cycling communications panel controls.
Def DESTROYS AN ASTEROID with a hyper-fast mini-nuke--
The BLAST PUMPS THE aft-forward umbrella Whipple SHIELD--
HELM
(looks over at Pluton)
This is one monster to navigate.
(turns to Mi-Kee)
And to think: you virtually discovered it, 20-years ago.
Mi-Kee is near end-of-pregnancy and noticeably awkward;
MI-KEE
(grins back)
I can now say that was a simulator.
HELM
(laughs)
Yeah!-- that, it was … and good.
SCI
If Science Station were working …
TechEng-2 crawls out under Science Station-- taking parts:
TECHENG-2
I thought this was going to be a business vacation;- not a mission to hunt the Busy Ness monster.…
(exiting, to Sci)
Sorry for the half-life-time: This should be about the last batch. Try it. Maybe it'll work, partly fixed.
Sci tries again to bring-up the station.
NAV
About a day to reach the planet.
TECHENG-1
(checks screen, to Comm)
Right where the Nu-Antenna data set pointed-- might be, a connection!
COMM
(muses)
A digitally discrete, connection?
TECHENG-1
(breaks to grin)
Yeah:-- the dis-crete, connection: contrapositive of the bro-ken wire.
MI-KEE
Engineer: Run your checklist again.
ENG
Aye, captain. Once more. I think it'll hold just fine.
SCI
We need to be able to turn-out.
ENG
Yes; yes-- I appreciate this.
JOHN
Mi-Kee. When is your due date?
MI-KEE
Technically any time. Do you think I should give birth before we land?
JOHN
It's best to not induce labor, except in emergency. What kind of gees will we feel?
SCI
About a half gee, peak, John.
MI-KEE
Is that all right?-- or too sudden?
JOHN
Never done, low-gee birth on Earth.
MI-KEE
Would this be an emergency?
JOHN
I don't know;-- let me think.
JAMES
Thirty years doctoring: Still needs a minute to decide whether we, have an emergency:- definitely a genius.
All mild laugh, except-- John last realizes their humor.
MI-KEE
Labor lasts hours:- another captain can sub for me when it gets rough.
JOHN
We've gone months at very low gee: I don't want you breaking bones.-- Have you been doing your exercises?
MI-KEE
Yes.
SCI
Then doing it out here would …-what if she were delayed? We can't.
JOHN
I think some mild gravity may help; We'll fit you upright in a harness.
ENG
As simple as launching a Shuttle.
MI-KEE
Then my child will, be, the first Earther born on New-Earth-- even if it is inside the space cruiser.
JOHN
Yeah-- I guess that's the best way.
Science STATION HAS AN IMAGE OF the distant Neoarth planet.
SCI
(keys)
I've got something newsy here.
The IMAGE RENDERS on the main screen-- an electric sphere.
SCI
The local solar wind has ceased and neutralized: thermal gas-molecular mass-spectra composition is still solar; photo-spectral background scattering is increased: absorption lines are distinct, and local-space density is above deep-space vacuum range, level one-- cold, space gas.
MI-KEE
(watching intently)
Come-on, baby.-- Look sharp.
SCI
We have core reflection: It's tiny.
(a beat)
Thermal scatter. 15-hundred miles diameter-- comparable to Pluto or Charon; radar-mass-reflectance a hundredth as much. Albedo is nearly sub-luminal. Laser reflectometry detects water signature, molecular oxygen, carbon. Central density is 30-bars: It's a small gas-planet!
MI-KEE
(to main screen)
Where is it?!
SCI
(reports)
Less than 9-hundred thousand miles, 5-degrees northeast of our bearing.
MI-KEE
Comm: Transmit hello-code, and get spectrum acquisition started.
COMM
(keys-up)
Initializing wideband ferret mode.
MI-KEE
Nav?
NAV
80-K miles per hour and decreasing; E-T-A, 20-hours.
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - NEOARTH SPACE 15K MI. - (DAY LAPSED)
(00:00 - Ancient Lands/Ronan Hardiman+Mark Armstrong)
Decelerated for a day, Science Station details logarithmic parameters in the still tenuous MICRO-ATMOSPHERE AEROGLOW. [The planet halo ahead writhes in global aurora streamers]
COMM-AUXILIARY is in general wideband ACQUISITION MODE: [Dragon-curve insignia cycling; front-end stabilized; 65% CPU drawdown; manifold combing; signal-scan sliding through acquisitions; Markovian code scatter analyses; non-random pseudo-code correlation; decrypting modes; convolutional clustering; modulus-lock; rate 3/4ths code content]
NAV
20-K miles per hour; 15-K miles.
DEF
Whipples, stowed; Amidships are up.
HELM
(watching)
It's sure tenuous,- for being big.
ENG
Fission boosters are online. Ready for fusion flameout, any instant.
COMM (PA-LOUD)
All ready for abrupt accelerations.
SCI
Exosphere density rising rapidly: Approaching iono-pause energies: 30-percent neutral hydrogen.
NAV
Course-program is laid-in for final deceleration to the solid horizon.
HELM
Ready for deceleration, de-booster.
ENGINE FLAMEOUT BANG; and the ROOM JOLTS-- a slight worry; AEROGLOW ABRUPTLY INCREASES; Below the THERMOCLINE SKY the atmosphere fills EVENING-PINK under global DYNAMIC AURORAS;
ENG
Flameout: Aero-drag increasing.
SCI
(resolves)
Atmospheric thermocline, Captain: Significant molecular hydroxide ion-pressure fraction! Temperature has jumped to 1-hundred-90 degrees Kelvin, and rising! Sky lighting is 2-point-2 watts per square meter, total flux luminance: Like evening!
ENG
Hull temperature, 3-hundred-- cold.
NAV
E-T-A, 56-minutes to cloud layers.
MI-KEE
Comm: Stay-on acquisition.
EXT. SPACE CRUISER, AFT-FORWARD - ATMOSPHERE (EVENING-PINK)
Blazing against bluish aeroglow toward the 8K mi. dia. ball of puffy clouds 30% obscuring its 1500 mi. dia. black core in ubiquitous white-flicker-lightning,- 15K miles to go …
(ADVANCE)
Aeroglow diminishes as it slows to hypersonic speeds …
(ADVANCE)
Glides amid sparse cloudy upper haziness at 3000 miles up …
(ADVANCE)
Among sparse but whitish, distinct CLOUDS, 2000 miles up …
(ADVANCE)
Level, far below the dark-bottom 1000-mile high clouds …
Caught a moment by its transonic SHOCK-WAKE flaunting aft;
NAV (VO)
Subsonic; 1-hundred miles altitude; 6-hundred miles to the horizon; 53-minutes E-T-A,-- Captain.
MI-KEE (VO)
Thank you;-- it's about time.
(to the guys)
Gentlemen: Shall we watch from the observation deck?
CUTAWAY INTO:
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - 100 MI. ABOVE BLACK PLANET NEOARTH
Beneath the cloud ceiling, bearing for the black horizon; Mi-Kee unreclines her chair, and rises with John's assist … whispers in his ear, -he nods, understanding;- James, Grand, TechEng, wait at an elevator.
INT. OBSERVATION DECK, SURROUND VIEW WINDOWS, WHIPPLES UP
TechEng, precursing Mi-Kee, John, James, Grand,- enters to
THE WINDOWS-- and a remote viewing science station;
Removes a joke-sign: ["Best view of cosmos / 75 cents"]
TECHENG
(shows Mi-Kee)
Triple inflation: ruins the cosmos.
They all giggle.
TechEng keys-- AMIDSHIPS WHIPPLES LOWER-RETRACT, REVEALING:
The horizontal sky 20 deg. forward of zenith passing above;
TechEng keys-- SCIENCE SCANS comes up;
[COMM] (PA-LOUD)
We have acquisition of a local traffic-control reference beacon.
MI-KEE+GRAND
(mutual smiles)
Modern conveniences!
TECHENG
(at the monitor)
Radar reflections are really low: Humidity, but little or no surface water;- and it may be carbon-based.
GRAND
Is it inhabited?
TECHENG
Can't tell yet:- no I-R pocketing; Doppler is turbulent, clouds, wind.
[COMM] (PA-LOUD)
Ready for rotation to vertical.
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. SPACE CRUISER UPRIGHTING - 50 MI. OVER THE BLACK CITY
POV LEVEL BEFORE: Looking back over the Cruiser rotating to upright … the Observation mid-deck comes INTO VIEW--
Mi-Kee et al standing at the front, looking out ahead; the CITYSCAPE REFLECTION expands in curved wrap-around windows;
The Cruiser slowly passes around left of POV …
Preceding, to show its own width in the wide-angle frame …
And onward … revealing its full length poised upright over:
A VAST PLANET-CITY to its horizon: miles-hyper-tall towers amid little puffy white clouds, elevated city-top building platforms, tube-line connections, beacon lights metricizing the planet-scape, spaceports at nodes …
The Cruiser recedes, on its shaft of light fission thrust …
OCCASIONAL LIGHTNING BOLTS TOUCH its hull, and leap below: The ultimately absolutely majestic scene, amid Armageddon-esque shimmering sky-high auroras, roiled clouds, perpetual lightning strikes across the expansive city-planet …
Till the Cruiser arbitrarily halts, far distant, hovering
POV CATCH-UP: ABOVE A SPACEPORT;
And DESCENDS UPRIGHT,- to the city SURFACE-LEVEL BELOW.…
INT. OBSERVATION DECK - SPACEPORT - (CONTIGUOUS JUMP)
FISSION ENGINES AT 10%: [eighth gravity]
Mi-Kee et al watch the vegetation-overgrown city spaceport rise around, as their Cruiser descends, INTO THE PORT SILO;
SLOWING to,- FULLY INSIDE.…
A FULL STOP;-- HOVERING at an apparent SILO DOCK level;
PANTOGRAPH DOCKING-STILTS EXTEND all ways to the walls …
Making many various, JUST-TOUCHING SKID-CONTACTS …
Which then ALL, LOCK UNIFORMLY in place-- a JOSTLING BUMP.
FISSION ENGINES POWER-DOWN; the Cruiser SETTLES a nudge;
TECHENG
(biochem. readout)
Still reading: 7-P-S-I molecular oxygen-2; point-1-2 C-O-2; 95-P-S-I humidity; 63-nitrogen-2; 87-argon; total 2-53 P-S-I-- thick breathing. Temperature 1-55 Fahrenheit; point-1-3 gee gravity.
JAMES
Shirt-sleeve, sauna bath weather.
JOHN
Point-1-2 carbon dioxide makes it tough to breathe-- take your ease.
JAMES
(to John)
What keeps carbon dioxide so low?
JOHN
Probably perpetual day auroras keep surface vegetation oxygen-positive.
7 MORE CREW equipped, straggle-in individually, sparsely;
JAMES
Should I ask what keeps the aurora?
TECHENG
(gets up)
Continuous bombardment of hot solar winds funneled in the far-reaching magnetic field of the host black-hole-- also replenishing oxygen and hydrogen lost to the space vacuum. Various green house effects and the reflective thermocline we entered, contribute to keeping the planet warm and energy turbulence high for illuminating the sky by lightnings.
Complement ready: They share smiles of arrival relief--
And gather to exit, John attending Mi-Kee.…
INT. STEAMY-WET SILO - SPACEPORT - (CONTIGUOUS JUMP)
(00:00 - Where Are You Now?/Ronan Hardiman)
Engines off; SILO WALLS are STEAMING dripping RAINLIKE wet.
The triangular-suspended EXTENSOR CROSSES the silo:
Mi-Kee et al ride its platform in THICK VAPOR … to reach …
THE SILO WALL.
A PORTAL like a slab of ice, MELTS-OPEN before them--
THEY ENTER, hopping onto a floor. [4 mph terminal velocity]
Their VidCard readouts continue to register breathable air.
INT. HIGH-TECH LOW-GRAVITY BUILDING - OMNI-LIT (CONTINUOUS)
All surfaces glow, except themselves, their clothes.
Several scout, walking ahead into the uninhabited city;
MI-KEE
(hand on John)
Stay with me, please: It's soon.
JOHN
Mi-Kee, you surprise me.
MI-KEE
You can't believe how pumped I am: I don't feel a thing-- but reality.
JOHN
I can believe, that much-- at best. And one-eighth gee should be easier to walk, pregnant.
MI-KEE
(serio-humor)
Really!?
(a beat)
And you believe babies bounce, too.
Walk-on through the high-tech, low-gravity, vacant halls …
Crossing personnel investigating rooms; opening equipments.
Mi-Kee glides her hands across the feel of the glow-walls.
AT A LEDGE TO A ROUND COLUMN: Others come and go vertical:
Free-jumping up-down 1-3 levels per in eighth-gee gravity;
TechEng FLOATS DOWN 2 LEVELS, ACROSS …
And lands light: before Mi-Kee--
TECHENG
(reporting)
All floors locally are empty: Not one alien;-- except ourselves.
MI-KEE
40-astronomical units; and empty.
(labor cringes)
Oooh!-- not entirely, empty: I have to deliver this package.
JOHN
There should, be other intelligent space travelers visiting this planet: The watering-hole effect.
TECHENG
They're not here, now.
James glides-up;-- arrives one tiptoe just over the ledge--
JAMES
(newlywed poised)
Hi, all-- we've got running water, if you can believe that.
MI-KEE
(giggles to John)
James thinks he's in heaven.
JAMES
(settles on two feet)
It's pleasantly warm below, too.
JOHN
We're inside most of the gravity depth-- near thermal equilibrium.
MI-KEE
Goldi-locks here, appreciates it.
CREWMAN comes trotting:
CREWMAN
Captain.
Mi-Kee turns-- but he can't stop,- and swerves tiptoeing:
CREWMAN
(coming-- CU passing)
Woow, woow:-- excuse, me.
And sidesteps passed John; backward passed James allowing:
CREWMAN
Excuse, me, Sir.-- Excuse, me, Sir.
Spins out-down across the column to the next level landing:
CREWMAN
(calling out)
I'll be back.…
MI-KEE
(watching: laughing)
And what hath God wrought?!
Crewman lands, bouncing, jumping back up:…
JOHN
(watching, sublime)
Take away gravity,-- sanity floats.
CREWMAN
(returns to the ledge)
Captain. The city is un-maintained, hundreds of years; maybe thousands: Topside is thickly overgrown black-green vegetation-- which accounts for its low albedo. Dust is cosmic meteoric; larger asteroidal debris sits undisturbed. C-14, ratioed to atmospheric nitrogen and inversely solar wind, agrees coarsely.
MI-KEE
(looks to John)
But it's still all functional. Is it worth looking further across?
(labor cringes)
Late-er.
JOHN
Getting frequent?
MI-KEE
Yes-- I'd better head back aboard.
John, Mi-Kee, James, TechEng, return to the dock.…
Grand is waiting--
GRAND
How are you doing, Mi-Kee?
JOHN
She's ready.
GRAND
(taps her VidCard)
Recess time for The First Captain.
[CREWMAN-2] (VIDCARD)
Roger, Admiral-- we'll finish in an hour-- be back then.
Mi-Kee et al return, exit-- onto the platform.
IT PULLS AWAY, across for the Cruiser.…
INT. CRUISER WARD - LIT
John fits Mi-Kee upright in a birthing harness supporting her feet, knees, thighs, chest, arms, headrest; she wears a light maternity drape, breathes restfully, extensively, and sips a squeeze-bottle; James readies delivery equipment:
Grand checks the room digital temperature-- 103 F:
GRAND
1-0-3-- cool enough?
JOHN
That'll do; Keep the doors closed.
CUT BACK AND FORTH AMONG:
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN - OMNI-LIT
Crewmen dissemble portions of walls; accessing equipments; probing, scoping transponder readings for data-rate types.
INT. CRUISER WARD
Mi-Kee breathes deliberate rhythmic deep convulsions while they finish dressing in white lab-oversuits; John adjusts a fluffy baby-catcher beneath her-- and Velcro-straps it;
JAMES
(snap-slacking a glove)
Do I get to spank the kid first, just this once?
MI-KEE
(breathes a giggle)
I'm glad I didn't have to marry you to get this child.
They laugh at a nonchalant James--
JAMES
(finally grins)
I meant, very po-lightly.
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
More equipments connected-- COMPUTERS RUNNING DIAGNOSTICS.
THEIR VIDCARDS COME-ON-- to report:
[COMM] (ALL VIDCARDS)
Advisory: We have incoming cometary at 10-K miles-- E-T-A, 5-minutes.
CREWMAN
Roger, on incoming.
They look mutually-- and ponder acceleration of business.
INT. CRUISER WARD
John, James, attaching Mi-Kee with monitor strap-ons--
Grand is removing her gloves-- to do otherwise:
GRAND
This is getting repetitious.
MI-KEE
Have Engineering sweep for beacons.
JAMES
Should have built two cruisers: and sent the other to discover why.
GRAND
(exiting, hardy)
Yeah, right;-- no offense, but this one alone, costs-3 Space Shuttles.
JAMES
No offense taken.
GRAND
(exits: hardy)
Yeah, right.
(taps her VidCard)
On my way.
MI-KEE
(pauses, lighter)
Maybe we're entering another Period of Heavy Bombardment.
A beat looking at Mi-Kee's plumpness--
JOHN
Yeah, right.
And they laugh.…
INT. COMMAND
Nav has three pairs incoming-- splitting: half descending.
NAV
Looks shallow-- somewhere over us.
SCI
(checks data)
Odd-- they're mixed sizes.
HELM
(a beat)
Come again?
SCI
Mixed-- three of one common small size; and three of larger sizes, previously leading the smaller.
THE ELEVATOR OPENS-- Grand enters in white oversuit--
GRAND
What have you got?
ENG
Split pairs.
SCI
Three low-metal objects of uniform mass and configuration, descending below three larger passing beyond.
GRAND
(comes to Sci)
Spaceships.
SCI
Galleons, by their size-- somewhat larger tonnage than our cruiser.
GRAND
And beyond-- outside…?
SCI
Plain larger carbonaceous boulders.
GRAND
Space shields.
SCI
All right.
GRAND
Comm: What's on traffic-control?
COMM
Nothing new-- I don't think we'll hear crosstalk on spread spectrum.
GRAND
Is our head high enough for visual?
DEF
15-degrees dilation-- nothing yet.
EXT. MILES HIGH SKY OVER THE PLANET-CITY
Moving swiftly, 3 SPACE GALLEONS DESCEND IN PATTERN.…
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
[COMM] (ALL VIDCARDS)
… expecting visitors. We're going to radio-silence. It's your choice.
CREWMAN
(looks to others)
Roger, Comm: We'll stay put.
CREWMAN-2
Maybe we should back-off the equipment: in case it's theirs.
They square and tidy up.…
INT. CRUISER WARD
All busy: The baby is coming-- Mi-Kee's working measuredly;
[GRAND] (ALL VIDCARDS)
Cruiser is staying put, for now.
JOHN
(looks to Mi-Kee)
We can live with that, here.
MI-KEE
(nods Yes; pushing)
Little choice.
JAMES
(to VidCard)
Okay by us; Baby isn't talking yet.
[GRAND] (ALL VIDCARDS)
Yeah, right.
They laugh except Mi-Kee barely smiling at that.
EXT. PLANET-CITYSCAPE - SPACEPORT VICINITY
2 Crew on a topside tower, look-out across the city:
3 Galleons hover low, widespread across the cityscape;
3-5 Air-Shuttles fly out from each Galleon to land.…
INT. CRUISER COMMAND
Def PROCESSES A VIDEO LOOP of one Galleon that passed …
COMM
They've touched-down, Admiral.
… ENHANCING TILL IT'S SHARP 3-D INSTEAD, PASSING; LOOPING;
DEF
Doesn't look particularly like a warship-- but I'm not that, expert.
Grand looks at Sci--
SCI
Anything that moves in outer space has sufficient firepower to remove intercepts-- but not much to waste.
ENG
If they're in a hurry-- best just let them go about their business.
They wait, watching the video loop once more, silently.…
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
DISTANT FOOTSTEPS BEGIN ABOVE-- INCREASING IN NUMBERS;
The Crew step back from their equipments-- to the walls;
AND PEEK UP THE COLUMN--
DOZENS OF JEHOVAHNS (munchkin) "aliens", their clothes luminous white (cf OMNI-LIT), descend trotting helically.…
EXT. CITYSCAPE - TOWER PLATFORM
Shuttles docked about; one near; POV: 3 Crew overlook; one rechecks their entry radiant …
In the cloud haze beyond: A FAINT NOVA AT PLUTON CENTER--
BLOOMS,-- AND SUSTAINS;- Same points to it a long moment.…
INT. CRUISER COMMAND
Science Station monitors the light-burst bloom at Pluton;
SCI
Admiral: We have a non-stellar--
(a beat)
A long burst spectral shift event, offset from the black star center.
GRAND
Keep monitoring.
INT. CRUISER WARD
Mi-Kee diaphragm-inhales deeply between labor cringes;
James tests a FOG-SPRAY on his wrist--
JAMES
Warm enough.
JOHN
(pats her shoulder)
You're doing well, Mi-Kee.
(a beat)
Just ask James.
BABY HEAD SHOWING-- DRIPPING toward the baby-catcher fluff.
JAMES
(a beat, turns)
Yup-- you're doing good, Mi-Kee.
(a beat)
Just ask John.
MI-KEE
(squeaks)
Second opinions, are coming faster.
John catches the head-- supporting--
Pulls the sac away--
Strokes the nose, cheeks, under chin, clearing the mouth--
JOHN
Clear-up the mouth.
James suctions the bulb syringe to final clear its mouth--
JOHN
And wash.
James FOG-SPRAYS IT--
John wipes it with ultra-fluff.…
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
LOTS MORE FOOTSTEPS: MORE JEHOVAHNS are descending passing;
THEY DARE A PEEK BELOW--
All the way down the column sides--
INT. CRUISER WARD
BABY'S SECOND SHOULDER CLEARS--
JOHN
(wiping)
Doing great, little one;-- second shoulder clear;-- keep it coming, Mi-Kee: all the way to the finish.
Guides the newborn baby boy into the baby-catcher fluff …
INT. CRUISER COMMAND
GRAND
Comm: Energy in the spectrum?
COMM
(busy)
Below the radio grass-- spread-spectrum does that frequently.
GRAND
Sitting ducks waiting for the call.
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
BELOW: A second helix of Jehovahns ascend with gifts.
INT. CRUISER WARD
John directs James to suture the UMBILICAL WITH A DEVICE--
JOHN
Cauterize two places, inch apart.
JAMES
(presses the button)
Don't choke your bat, Sport.
(and again)
Number two.
JOHN
Biosutche between.
James places it between the spots-- presses a second button-- A SWISHING RELEASE of Biosutche--
JOHN
Adjust for incision:
James adjusts its setting-- and to the same place;
JOHN
Right between.
THE LASER ILLUMINES-- THE UMBILICAL DROPS AWAY, CLEAN.
And separating baby, John lifts it to Mi-Kee:
JOHN
Alright there, cosmic pink-o.
Mi-Kee looks it in the face, closely.
THE BABY YAWNS, AND BREATHES slowly in the thick atmosphere, with barely a squeak of a sound.…
Mi-Kee rests her head and smiles back.
JOHN
(checking baby)
It's all right, Mi-Kee: The atmosphere is too thick to cry. We'll begin the Apgar.…
James brings and-- sticks Apgar Test monitors on the baby.
INT. CITY HALLWAY - NEAR COLUMN
(CAPTIONS ZIP JEHOVAHN LINGUISTIC DIALECT)
BELOW: Two lines of Jehovahns descending and returning with supplies, are passing them helically at both column sides;
A PAIR OF JEHOVAHNS from above, land in front-- Crew backs;
And both sides stare-- a moment of silent newness.
JEHOVAHN-1
(to them)
Sayson veneh?
CREWMAN
(tries)
Hello?
The Jehovahns giggle mutually-- and consult a translator:
JEHOVAHN-2 (MIXED VO)
(consults)
Earthers, I'm sure: Right-polar.
Jehovahn-1 turns to speak-- but turns back consulting more;
Crew await-- the Jehovahn second attempt, in OLD-ENGLISH:
JEHOVAHN-1
(japanese accent to them)
Tahkeh meh toh theourr Rreyaderr.
JEHOVAHN-2 (MIXED VO)
(consults hushing)
No-no: That's Yamato-ese dialect: You heard him speak the L-sound-- that's mid and lefter continent, and the second smaller continent.
JEHOVAHN-1
(chinese accent)
Theoul Leyadel?
JEHOVAHN-2 (MIXED VO)
(checks translator)
I'm not sure: Try both L and, R.
JEHOVAHN-1 (MIXED VO)
I thought you studied that dialect?
JEHOVAHN-2 (MIXED VO)
(shrugs)
Try both:-- I think that's right.
JEHOVAHN-1
(tries them again)
Tahkeh meh toh theourr Leyaderr.
Both Jehovahns smile broadly.…
The Crewmen share half the smile-- not quite a giggle.
INT. CRUISER WARD
James, John, wash-up-- and shed oversuits;
Mi-Kee stands with baby to her breast, wobbly but easily--
MI-KEE
(cooing)
More fun than a virtual simulation.
JOHN
(taps his VidCard)
Flawless delivery: Mother and baby are up-- and we're cleaning-up.
[GRAND] (ALL VIDCARDS)
Good: I can tell you now: We have hundreds of contacts with aliens.
JAMES
(to John)
When it rains, it pours.
MI-KEE
(to them)
Thank you, both.
James and John share-admit-nod a your-welcome ad lib.
INT. SPACEPORT - SILO WALL PORTAL, DRY
The Platform brings Grand, John, James, TechEng, in clean fresh attire-- across the silo, looking around (ECHO):…
GRAND
Mi-Kee will be on-duty in 2-weeks.
TECHENG
Guarantees us a pleasant layover.
JOHN
She's the strong one.
JAMES
(to John)
You sounded iffy, 12-hours ago.
JOHN
Doctoring takes patients where they don't go themselves-- no substitute for a mother's intentions.
GRAND
You guys did a good job: Thanks.
They admit another your-welcome ad lib, as--
The Platform arrives-- they pick up their gear and walk in.
Soon rounding a corner-- they stop before Crewmen packing; and SEVERAL JEHOVAHNS talking with some, ad lib.
CREWMAN
(turns to Grand et al)
Admiral,-- they're letting us keep some of the equipment for analyses.
JEHOVAHN-1
(subdued)
Is he,-- theourr Leyaderr?
John, James, Grand, TechEng, appear a formidable ensemble.
CREWMAN-2
(equal, explains)
Not quite: She, is our leader.
Jehovahn-1,2 step forward to Grand.
JEHOVAHN-1
Welcohmeh, Grrahnd-Ahdmirrahl: We arre seh Escohrrt Teyam forr Cohmmahndehrr Jehovah.
James and John share a moment of reconnection with history;
GRAND
We were expecting, to meet you.
James and John pair a moment of reconnection with Grand;
JEHOVAHN-2
Gohd: Plehyaseh, cohmeh with uus.
The two Jehovahns smiling, lead to the column ledge …
JEHOVAHN-1 (MIXED VO)
(to the other)
We must learn these new dialects.
JEHOVAHN-2 (MIXED VO)
I try to keep up-- but they keep changing, every few centuries.
JEHOVAHN-1 (MIXED VO)
At least this gave us the opportunity to retrieve the children's gifts.
And leap up across, to the next higher ledge.…
The guys share a moment of visual decision with Grand--
James, John, take her under-shoulders;- and leap to follow.
The lead Jehovahns, watching them coming, leap up, to their next; and two more Jehovahns step up to follow Grand et al.
EXT. PLANET-CITYSCAPE - (MINUTES LATER)
An Air-Shuttle leaves-- back to its Space Galleon.…
INT. SPACE GALLEON - SHUTTLE BAY - (MINUTES LATER)
Jehovahn Escort Team, Grand, James, John, descend;
THREE RECEPTION CREW greet them;
And lead them all away.
INT. GALLEON COMMAND - SPACE CHASE - OMNI-LIT (HOUR LATER)
The Jehovahn crew monitor progress, and other Galleons;
Grand, James, John, are privileged guests:
Far far left forward A SPACE-CITY-SHIP NEARS, PARALLELING:
That spans the sky: 10 miles long, 2 miles high-- behind a 10 mile diameter cosmic dust umbrella; [space-ram-pavis]
CLOSER: 3 screw-parallel tubes 1 mile dia. 100 m sep.--
CLOSER: Rolling right slowly in 5 minutes on its axis--
CLOSER: The forward dust umbrella is also rotating--
The Galleon closing, matching speed to meet at the rear--
CLOSER: In the rear center is nestled a space-boat--
CLOSER: A high tech space-boat, 2000 m long 500 m dia.-- behind the 14 Km long core of the space-city-ship--
CLOSER: The Galleon approaches the rear of one tube--
CLOSER: And enters-- the other Galleons each likewise.…
INT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP - CENTURY-SUPPLY BAY - (CONTINUOUS)
Amid a half mile of streamline carbon-walled containers.…
CLOSER: The Galleon slows-- stops-- and docks.
JEHOVAHN-1
Cohmeh this way, plehyaseh.
Escort Team (four), Grand, James, John, exit;
The Air-Shuttles transfer supplies from Galleon to dock;
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP - JEHOVAHN SPACE-BOAT
One lone Air-Shuttle takes them to the Boat rear …
And, docks to it.
INT: They exit the Shuttle Command.
FADE TO:
INT. JEHOVAHN SPACE-BOAT - OBSERVATION DECK - OMNI-LIT
An outer space dome, the sky turning above the hull between the chrysalis tubes, mountain passage [cf Valley Of Death]; 60 deg of the front 9 miles away, is the turning dust umbrella backlit by the sun; the tubes end a mile back.
JEHOVAHN-1
Plehyaseh, wayit hehrreh.
The Jehovahns leave them-- and exit into a doorless hall.
They look about, fore and aft-- and meander.
JOHN
This is as formal as a university.
JAMES
Like meeting the President.
They consider him--
JAMES
For receiving a medal.
The main space tubes are so broad, they seem close-up.
The night sky is barely discernable between them.…
Light chatter indicates 5 JEHOVAHNS have arrived-- but,
Remain at the doorless entry, considering their guests.
GRAND
(turns, softly)
Guys: Best manners.…
They turn away to-- COMMANDER MICHAEL, COUNSELOR GABRIEL, FOREMAN ENOCH, (senior males), 2 OTHERS (senior females);
JOHN
(to Grand)
Who's on first in space etiquette?
JAMES
(hands at a control panel)
They are.
John flashes a glance of understanding at James.
Enoch and the other 2 Jehovahns, leave--
Mike, Gabe, come forward to greet …
Almost at military attention, Grand, John, James-- nods.
MIKE
(impeccable English)
Welcome, aboard. I am Commander Michael.
JAMES
(steps forward, salutes)
Commander James, Earth Space Force.
(introduces)
Our Grand Admiral.
(introduces)
And John, accompanying doctor.
MIKE
(introduces)
With me is Arch-Counselor, Gabriel.
(offers handshake to James)
Welcome aboard, Commander James.
The two shake hands-- then James and Gabriel;
MIKE
Our Public Relations expert is in the brainwashing facility; or we'd have Terran protocols worked out. She will be available later.
Grand, John, muse mild surprise at this possibility.
GABE
You have come to learn what the future burgeons for your planet.
JOHN
The present concerns us more.
GABE
Yes.
MIKE
(to Gabe)
You may tell him: It is authorized.
GABE
(to Mike)
It would be correct to show them.
MIKE
(to them)
Come with us, please,-- our guests.
Mike, Gabe, lead them away--
INTO A COVERED HALL;
JOHN
(addresses Gabe)
How long have you lived in space?
GABE
Many thousands of years.
JOHN
We've just arrived.
MIKE
This run began before you arrived.
Pauses at a room with ALCOVES, SOME LIT BEYOND BRIGHT.
GABE
(not too loud)
This is the brainwashing facility.
JOHN
(scrutinizing a beat)
Are there persons in those?
Three ATTENDANTS enter JEHOVAH's Alcove, at the far back;
GABE
Yes-- intense light activates the process: much as you study in the light, and dream in the dark.
Their thick GARMENTS SHIMMER in grays and dayglow colors;
BUT REDUCE the Alcove's bloom: Jehovah (senior female) visible standing, wears a whiter-than-sheer body-sun-suit.
One behind her, all three together touch-guide her out--
Her Alcove dims afterward;
They dress her in the usual luminous Jehovahn Command suit;
GRAND
What does brainwashing do for you?
Mike looks to Gabe.
GABE
It is essential-- intrinsic-- for living beyond a few hundred years.
JOHN
More than a millennium?
GABE
Yes.
(a beat)
We do have records of birth, but the very memory was expunged long ago: The last report I read said I am 90-thousand years old: Jehovah is rather much younger, at-17.
JOHN
(to Grand)
Sounds like every woman's dream.
Grand tight smiles and cocks an eyebrow back at him.
JOHN
What does brainwashing itself, do?
GABE
The brain fills-up in a few hundred years of experiences unnecessary to life, but should be understood: The washing process reduces memories to rules for life-- condensed essences of experience. Reeducation extends life-- but we don't know how much.
MIKE
We know that it is good-- therefor, we do it. We expect to improve it.
GABE
We theorize that it may actually affect the point of the Soul, and thereby prove absolutely immortal.
Jehovah comes easily this way.
GRAND
You mean, you teach God?!
GABE
Not quite God but the relative One.
JOHN
The individual conscious Ego?
GABE
The generative-proof-of-reality Id.
GRAND
What will an educated Id, do?!
GABE
Brains are not blanks to fill, but designed by the Id-- even as your fingerprints are fully developed.
Grand, John, mutually muse this notion of infinitesimal--
JOHN
We generally assume a larger, egg, with the human genetic code.…
MIKE
(bust-giggles to Gabe)
They believe their Id could have been captured by a cow's, egg.…
GABE
(calmly to them)
You should credit more to mother.
JAMES
How will you know, whether and when you have reached immortality?
GABE
It depends upon technology harvest: Immortal time should mean unbounded place as being one with the cosmos.
GRAND
That sounds deader than one life.
GABE
(shakes No)
It is not an end but an unfoldment: It is equivalent to knowing every good path has an out-- you do that for your Space Cruiser: do you not?
GRAND
I perceive your sense of direction.
MIKE
Alternatively, if one can be found and reborn from the dead; born with the new rules-- that'd be a, proof.
JOHN
Like dicing planaria.
MIKE
(disgusted face)
Eeyew: You cut-up those things?!
John shrugs-- Jehovah meets them:
MIKE
Lieutenant Commander Jehovah: We have guests from Neoarth city.
JEHOVAH
(smiles)
Pleased, to meet you.
(to Mike)
Did we retrieve them all?
MIKE
They came of their own accord.
JEHOVAH
Oh.
JAMES
What is your cargo?
GRAND
(to James)
Easy, James-- never play Customs.
GABE
It is a good question and answer:
JEHOVAH
You would look at it.
JAMES
Yes.
JEHOVAH
(to Gabe)
Can we show them the samples?
Gabe nods Yes-- and leads them away through,
ANOTHER DOORLESS HALLWAY;
JEHOVAH
You are from planet Earth?
JAMES
Yes-- do you get other guests?
JEHOVAH
(a soft frown)
Oh-- things we must deal-with.
(marvels lighter)
You are so tall-- I don't recall Adam and Eve growing so tall.
JOHN
The human species has eaten fairly well over the passed hundred years.
JEHOVAH
(smiles)
That is good to hear: We've been away for awhile-- you've noticed?
JOHN
The older dialect of your workers.
JEHOVAH
Yes-- but we do have emissaries.
MIKE
Our cargo is very precious-- live, creatures, a billion souls.
INT. CHRYSALIS EXAMINATION ROOM - LIT (CONTINUOUS)
Large room with twelve tube-chambers holding munchkin-size human-doglike prehensile chrysalides live, being inspected; the 3rd long female, almost human, watches James mutually:
MIKE
These are samples we've taken for inspection-- then they return to their chambers. You may accompany us, when we inspect their chambers.
JOHN
You say, souls: they-- not animals?
MIKE
Not animals, at all. These are chrysalides-- a creature like no other: We harvested them from Neoarth, before you arrived.
GRAND
(dawns)
Is that, why the city is empty?!
GABE
(smiles)
Yes. This crop is 3-thousand years old; the hundredth new generation; all trained, primed and readied.
JAMES
Ready for what?
JEHOVAH
For deposition on planet Earth.
GRAND
Why do you take them from Neoarth?
JEHOVAH
They cannot live there: They are small, and their brains are full:
JAMES
Why are you taking them to Earth?
JEHOVAH
To live.
JOHN
Were Adam and Eve, chrysalides?
JEHOVAH
(giggles a smile)
Adam and Eve were my children.
GRAND
Can you not brainwash chrysalides?
MIKE
(incredulous)
It'd be wasted on them: It's more efficient to upgrade, first.…
(switches)
Let us show you more of the ship capacities-- and your quarters.
They proceed to the adjacent room;
JEHOVAH
(with Grand)
While they have been trained in the mathematics and manuals, they are not well-articulated in the mouth; Brainwashing can't enhance that and we shan't perpetuate them as pets.
INT. COMPUTER ACCESS ROOM - LIT (CONTINUOUS)
A holographic (3D) image of the solar system, planets, numerous comets, dust lanes, asteroids, Archon zones.
MIKE
(new topic)
The ship outer-shell is low-density diamond-graphite; it pulverizes and burns on impact. It also serves as a cryogenic exo-computer in space.
JEHOVAH
It's use here is solar navigation.
GABE
The trip, 6-thousand years ago, we used it to ratiocinate the Biblical prophecies by orrery. But this crop is educated with anatropous memory residue; it won't revere planets.
JAMES
(to Jehovah)
What's the purpose of dumping a load of smart chrysalides on Earth?
GABE
Let us show you your quarters.
And leads away, through ANOTHER DOORLESS HALLWAY;
MIKE
(follows with James)
This will be our bumper crop; and it will eventually supersede the contemporary, rudimentary crop.
JOHN
The Earth is already fairly loaded.
MIKE
Yes-- a point to muse amid deserts.
GRAND
You expect naught, from your first harvest?!
MIKE
Not directly-- it's more involved.
They pass a room of large-man-sized wired water-chambers;
JEHOVAH
We want, not merely a few good men, but the perfect world, to recognize its God-Right;- else the world were worthless. We didn't destroy it for them, but through the ages they ate rotten milk in propagation: genetic defects;- we've fixed those; And to maintain schedule the way now is to inseminate with a new advanced crop gleaned and culled 3-thousand years of hybrid. The rest of mankind will follow their example; and together, 20-billion souls, will worship God: no longer in the byways of creeping on Earth. We're not going to fallow the Earth before the final harvest!
And ANOTHER DOORLESS HALLWAY;
JOHN
What happened to raising the dead, first, as your, people promised?
JAMES
(inserts to John)
You want, Hitler and Stalin, back!?
JOHN
I could render a punch in the nose.
GRAND
Are there other extant super-crops?
Jehovah, Michael, Gabe, render a mutually big, Oh….
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT (HOUR LATER)
Last 2 Jehovahn Assistants exit, leaving the personal gear; Grand, James, John, admire their own new luminous garments.
JAMES
(sits on a bed-couch)
We know … we're still alive.
GRAND
You were expecting worse treatment?
JOHN
He's worrying about space pods … doppelgangers … brain suckers …
JAMES
(grins)
Oh, don't kid me-- you trembled in your boots, too, to meet them.
JOHN
Not too badly, actually-- the first time I ever met a god face-to-face.
GRAND
Not as big as Jupiter…?
JOHN
I don't suppose they need be big-- when you consider their longevity.
JAMES
Supplanting, the entire crop, of mankind: That takes big, chutzpah!
GRAND
Before whom?
JAMES
(little)
Before: me-- to say the very least.
GRAND
Are they pushing prophecy 3-hundred years early? Maybe 13-hundred?
JOHN
I don't know: Daniel and Saint John showed, intelligence and astronomy coincide in proof on a large scale; and these Jehovahns claim only to have synchronized, not caused, it.
GRAND
Maybe we, should be finding out.
JAMES
Agreed-- I don't favor the idea of carrying a chrysalis on my shoulder everywhere I go, like certain grand admirals-- not anyone in this room.
FADE TO:
INT. GLASS-STRIPE ELEVATOR - DESCENDING-OUTWARD
Jehovah, Grand, James, John, crossed space to the tubes.
JEHOVAH
Reinspection and maintenance of the chrysalis chambers is a necessity after every deceleration maneuver.
The elevator arrives at the bottom level--
Door opens-- they exit, into the:
INT. GLASS FLOOR ANTE-OVER-ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
Mike, Gabe, 4 Jehovahns, ready diagnostic equipments; and transfer 4 chrysalides (none James') in carry-tubes, below.
JEHOVAH
We enter in pairs: The chrysalides are small, but strong and agile: If they become fearful, they do strike independently of organization.
John looks at Grand-- she nods Yes--
JOHN
(OE to James)
Wayit for uus.
JAMES
(hands up, grins)
Okay, I'll wait-out round one.
Grand, John, grin back at him;
3 pairs of Jehovahns, Grand and John, descend into the:
INT. AIRLOCK - (CONTINUOUS)
Gabe shuts the hatch;
Mike actuates a wall panel-- DIGITAL MONITORS LIGHT-UP;
AND SLIGHT AIR PRESSURE RENORMALIZATION HISS--
A Jehovahn opens the hatch below-- they climb down, into:
INT. CHRYSALIS TUBE - WARM RED LIT (CONTINUOUS)
OMNIDIRECTIONAL INDISTINGUISHABLE MURMURING PERVADES.
They ride down the service-elevator ladder.…
INT. FLOOR (OUTER WALL)
The service elevator arrives-- they step off:
John bounces lightly--
JOHN
Slight gravity.
MIKE
It's the axial stabilization roll.
The Jehovahns release the chrysalides-- which scamper away.
Then fan-out, through vegetation fields.…
Grand and John take new steps in a dark green garden.…
WORRIED WHIMPERING, GNASHING, INDIVIDUALIZES ABOUT.…
GRAND
(scanning, just audible)
Do you hear that?
In the dim there are chrysalides, watching;
Some scurrying lightly playfully-- unheeding, like pets.
The Jehovahns begin their diagnostic tests, walking--
Some X-ray scanning for column and floor cracks.
Some IR-scanning for vegetation growth damage;
JOHN
The odor in here-- like a compost of rotting vegetation and dung.
GRAND
Uncollected garbage: something the rich rarely get to notice anymore.
Some chrysalides split attention between them and girlies. [More human than dog; crouching as if to lower interests]
CU: They have intelligent eyes, acting human, policing.
CUT BACK AND FORTH:
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP VICINITY
A distant cluster of crude-looking incoming ballistics…
PASS--
Heading in the direction of the space-city-ship.…
INT. ANTE-OVER-ROOM
A KLAXON catches Jehovah's and James' attention--
Jehovah walks straight across to check--
MONITORS WARNING: "Emergency Nonballistic Incoming!"
INT. CHRYSALIS TUBE DEPTHS
BIRDLIKE TWITTER WARNING WARBLE;
The Jehovahns scramble away agilely-- far, for the exit:
A JEHOVAHN
(not near them)
Lehyaveh the tubeh!
Less quickly, John and Grand comprehend-- and follow:
[JAMES] (2 VIDCARDS)
Sorry for the interruption, guys: You have to get out now: We have incoming non-ballistics.
JOHN
We're coming.
Takes Grand's hand-- they hurry for the exit ladder--
Trailblazing through dark green vegetation growth.…
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP VICINITY
Rebel space Destroyers attack, gyrating,-- with firefight:
Q-BLASTS BLAZE RIPPLING WHITE PATCHES ON THE TUBES SIDES;
Q-CANNONS along the tubes sides return DULL FIRE--
SPORADICALLY CATCHING A DESTROYER WHOLE IN WHITE BLAZE.
The Q-blazes defect some targets to nonoperational.
An AGILE PROBE DIVES FOR-- rearward of the near tube--
And STRIKES: JUST PUNCHING A CRACK-CRATER BARELY BUCKLING--
And BLOWS BACK-OUT.
INT. CHRYSALIS TUBE - (CONTINUOUS)
A QUAKE, TOSSING THINGS UP-OFF THE OUTER-WALL FLOOR;--
Grand, John, stumble-- almost reaching the exit ladder.
WAFTING DEBRIS SUCKS TOWARD THE CRACK-HOLE-- THEN BREEZING:
A HELICAL VORTEX-- SCRAPING THE WALL SEMI-SIDEWAYS--
HOWLS; UPROOTING, SUCKING everything, flopping, fluttering:
Catching Grand, down-- IN A TORNADO-HURRICANE IN A BOTTLE--
And John grabs, reaching to her rescue; sliding headfirst …
INT. ANTE-OVER-ROOM
ALARM BLARING; the Jehovahns exit the service upper hatch.…
And shut it-- James stresses, demanding help from them:
JAMES
What can we do for them?!
A JEHOVAHN
Nothing-- they must get out.
JAMES
I know, that!
(looks below a beat)
I'm going in!
A JEHOVAHN
We can't help you.
JAMES
(strides to the airlock)
Open the airlock!
A JEHOVAHN
It's losing air too fast.
JAMES
Open the airlock!
A JEHOVAHN
You need a zip-suit.
They direct him to zipsuits nearby.
He grabs the large, and descends into the airlock--
One tosses him something like rope-and-tackle--
A JEHOVAHN
It's the centehr buuttohn.
He closes the upper hatch-- and,
Keys the wall panel center button.
Puts on the zipsuit while decompressing,-- breathing deep.
Fits the helmet,-- SUIT INFLATES TAUT,-- and breathes easy;
Fingers his mark, path to the hole, on the the lit diagram.
Opens the lower hatch, and-- DESCENDS THE ELEVATOR.…
INT. CHRYSALIS TUBE - NEARING THE CRACK-HOLE
SCREAMING WINDS draw them flopping with chrysalides-- TO,
THE CRACK-HOLE-- and slipping into the thick-deep crack:
Grand, first in, catches-out backwards, her arms and legs splayed iron-cross straddling face up--
John catches, iron-cross straddling face-down covering her;
Chrysalides blowing clumsily out, buffeting passed them--
Building-up a stack on his backside-- heavily;
He full-bites her garment beneath the collar,- and pulls;
GRAND
(complains)
John: You're getting pushy.
JOHN
(straining, through teeth)
Ma'am: I assure you, I have better intentions.
John efforts, lifting slightly dome-like off her;
Chrysalides continue blowing clumsily out passed them.
LEAVING THE ELEVATOR BASE:
James RAPPELS SIDEWAYS QUICKLY, FLOPPING IN THE VORTEX …
Air-blown chrysalides flop against his suit:…
One grabs his leg backside, tearing the outer safety layer:
OUTER DEFLATES-- but his helmet and torso inner-suit hold.
CUTAWAY TO:
EXT. CHRYSALIS TUBE
Chrysalides and vegetation spew out, into empty space.…
CUT BACK TO:
INT. AT THE HOLE
THE WIND feeds twin vigorous vortices on their either side: tornadoes dancing-about, plucking random chrysalides.…
John has Grand's collar in his teeth, lifting.
James reaches them … they barely notice, breathing hard.
He steps both legs under, across, to brace Grand.
Ropes and cinches Grand-- and John--
And scrambles back out--
Hoisting them away from the hole; chrysalides flopping in:
They regain footing and CLIMB SIDEWAYS, STRUGGLING ALONG.…
NEARING THE ELEVATOR:
Breathing thinner air, harder-- but they'll make it out.…
INT. AIRLOCK - (MINUTES LATER)
James, dirty, closes the lower hatch-- and hits the button.
REPRESSURIZATION HISS … TILL IT FINISHES;
John, Grand, dirty, are heaving breathing, bluish;
James' helmet, inner-suit, deflate-- he removes the helmet;
JOHN
(breathes ad lib)
When I told you, wait for us, I didn't mean, till next millennium.
They faint grin and chuckle their relief.
JAMES
You know, what it smells like in here … warm, draft malt!
JOHN
The compost of rotting vegetations.
James opens the upper hatch-- and exits--
His ripped bloodied zipsuit leg passes John's face--
JOHN
(rouses, follows up)
You said: It smells like beer!
JAMES
(reassures back)
In the airlock.
INT. ANTE-OVER-ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
All out, they examine his dirty bloody torn zipsuit leg:
JOHN
(exiting)
But, your zip-suit leg is ripped!
JAMES
(ignoring bravely)
Oh.
His leg flesh is peeling apart in horrid chunks--
JOHN
(to Jehovah)
Do you have a sick bay?!
JEHOVAH
(leading away)
This way.
JOHN
(by the central elevator)
I'll meet you there: I need my Biosutche and tools.
JEHOVAH
We have ample tools-- and I believe we have Biosutche, Three.
JOHN
(halts)
Three? That's top secret! How?!
JEHOVAH
We do have the skills, John.
JOHN
(relents, comes)
Of course-- what am I thinking?!
They guide James to the Injury Ward …
INT. JEHOVAHN INJURY WARD
All cleaned, Jehovah, Grand, assist John in the surgery.
A more-than-modern solution: patient cocoon, umbilical breather, slick goo-gloving, subcut-runner, etc.
They work about half an hour silent, James nonbreathing …
Remove the umbilical-- and exit; James breathes once fully,
Feels-about his relived umbilicus connection-- and sits up;
EXT. INJURY WARD, UTILITIES - (CONTINUOUS)
They dissolve goo-gloving in the Arms-In-Holes washer;
JEHOVAH
(complements him)
You have good technique, John.
JOHN
Thank you.
JEHOVAH
Where did you learn to guide the subcut-runner?
JOHN
We're experimenting with it at the university-- yours has the right feel: like you know how to learn anything, instantaneously.
(a beat)
Where did you really, learn, about Biosutche Three-- by name, even.
JEHOVAH
Can you keep a secret?
JOHN
(works a beat, a new tack)
For, another six millennia?
JEHOVAH
(laughs, pats his arm)
All right! I like you, John! You know where you're going!
They exit, glancing back at James dressing;
JOHN
(to Grand)
And thank you, Admiral-- you're very adept at doing these things.
GRAND
(smiles)
It's impossible to head a family or corporation without, knowing to do.
JOHN
(realizes)
I hadn't thought about that.…
INT. ANTE-OVER-ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
Mike, 2 Jehovahns, check system displays monitoring zeroes;
MIKE
(to Jehovah)
The chrysalis tube is exhausted: There's nothing to recover in it.
JEHOVAH
(to John, Grand)
You appreciate triple redundancy.
GRAND
(looking below)
Poor things:-- It shouldn't have happened to even three of them.
MIKE
We still have two tubes to inspect.
GRAND
(to John)
We might sit, out this time?
James, finger-zipping his Jehovahn shirt, joins, softly;
JAMES
Who or what, hit us?
They turn and smile to see that he's up and well;
MIKE
They call themselves, Archons-- and complain for their firstness in the local solar system space.
JEHOVAH
But, you know the imperative, that all in a space, must rule together.
James and John admit to the generality of such politics.
GRAND
Then, you're not first?
Jehovah and Mike share a mutual, how-do-we,-- to the floor;
MIKE
We can trace our lineage and body chemistry back to the early cosmos when the night sky was as warm as this room-- it's in our records; none was sooner in the universe.…
(then blurts)
We're the first with the highest concept of man: That's how it has always been for real civilization: Real progress is real imperative.
And turns away, back to work--
MIKE
(adds)
Sorry-- I long for my brainwashing: Experience ofttimes seems wearying.
JEHOVAH
(smiles)
Give yourself another ninety years.
(to them)
Frequent washing, damages dreams.
(a beat)
Man, that spawns of the dust, does not begin by recognizing authority for elevating advances in Science; nor its requirement for Power-- and must emerge gradually. If you count yourself from a beginning, you can believe you are, the first; If you know yourself from the Scientific Ever, then you know which First is.
Two Jehovahns exit the airlock with chrysalis corpses.
GRAND
(a beat, relates to John)
Mathematics is the fastest catch-up in the world, that Spirit prevents.
JOHN
(to Jehovah)
What happens to a billion chrysalis souls in the vacuum of empty space?
JEHOVAH
The dead reassume into the cosmic aether: Their present bodies are useless-- and usually don't remain attached, before finding clemency.
Mike assists, carrying a corpse to the Injury Ward:
MIKE
(tarries)
They wait, maybe millions of years, or trillions;- present experiences, built-up, become erased memories;- and when they do return, they start building brains from scratch. There are exceptions, found and recovered in thousands of years.-- But little is stored in scraps of flesh: It's not a nice thing, to do to anyone.
JOHN
(examines the corpse)
Can you do anything for this one?
MIKE
(exits ad lib)
We'll try:- You can draft a soul to embody, but you can't make it keep.
JEHOVAH
(resumes)
And those when they return, will be less than desirable civilizations.
GRAND
Some like that on Earth, may be warming up already.
JEHOVAH
(quite agrees)
You wouldn't want to be in this cosmos, when those, revive.
They laugh-- and take to the elevator.
INT. GLASS-STRIPE ELEVATOR - ASCENDING-INWARD
Rising, into, traversing, space to the central boat again:
GRAND
(to James)
How was the umbilical breather?
JAMES
Like being born, again-- a weird memory feeling I didn't know I had.
JOHN
(to Jehovah)
Why do you keep them dark-adapted?
JEHOVAH
It minimizes brain-rot in transit; And, vegetations grow by red light.
JOHN
How does that minimize rot?
JEHOVAH
They are little better than animals with carnal knowledge of experience stored inefficiently to 45-percent. The pale flame in full warmth keeps them virtually dreaming-- recycling what they know without interaction.
GRAND
Why are they weeping and gnashing?
JEHOVAH
We believe they know they are going to their tribulation and rapture-- smart enough to know; helpless to prevent-- and cannot explain, what was never taught exactly and fully.
This begins to dawn on James, John, Grand.
JOHN
Why does planet Neoarth exist only orbiting a black-hole singularity?
JEHOVAH
Their source of identities is drawn from the hole ghost. We manufacture their bodies-- by usual processes.
JAMES
(to John)
More absolute than the Gaia theory.
JEHOVAH
You wouldn't believe how long it takes to produce a soul from the hole: We manage to bring-up about one a minute, a thousand a day,- but it's a linear process, not like producing bodies on Earth in the sunlight, which is an exponential process ... so we have to keep on supplying souls for Earth ....
GRAND
Are there children other than Adam and Eve, hidden elsewhere?
JEHOVAH
(admonishing smile)
Where, are, Mother's children?!…
Grand accepts the allusive commonition.… [dips her eyes]
INT. OBSERVATORY LOUNGE DECK - WINDOW ON SPACE (AND LIT)
The b.g.-image is different: a gardened impact-rill valley.
Grand, John, sit, feeling the fabric; James must act--
JAMES
(standing square, softly)
Did I get her drift aright? They are going to crash this ship!?
GRAND
Same as our discovery in Eden.…
JAMES
Thought they'd have improved that!
GRAND
A billion creatures living in near weightlessness, their whole lives: their only way down is, to crash.
JOHN
Pragmatically speaking.
JAMES
(paces lightly)
This is world-shaking, terrorism: We can't let them finish this!
GRAND
She's not a conventional terrorist.
JOHN
They don't hate Americans.
JAMES
It'll be just as deadly-- millions will die; in modern, civilization!
GRAND
What can you be expected to do?
JAMES
(feeling too late)
I joined the Service for God and Country,-- not to decide between them; I can't survive with hundreds of millions of Americans hating me.
GRAND
We've never before interfered with Jehovah's plans.
JOHN
We've always made the best of them.
JAMES
(to Grand then John)
Are these the same, Jehovahns, who placed mankind on Earth, 6-thousand years ago?! Or, have they become something funny, weird, and senile: Loving, to replace us?!
GRAND
(a beat)
I don't know: We came to find her; whether or not she still wants us.
JAMES
(wanders to the controls)
The Army examined the claims of brainwashing back in the '50's: It wasn't pretty, live-longer, stuff; It was subversive, designed to kill and let the enemy, live longer, and elevate the State to decide who and what is, a productive life. Is this Jehovah, doing anything any better?
JOHN
She's not imposing it on Earth-- she's using it on herself.
GRAND
(to John)
She will, impose her ends on Earth.
JAMES
(at the controls)
And what does she remember about herself? What if the others subvert her process, change all her records while she's out,-- and give her new instructions for life?
JOHN
They have a lot, of records-- and, they seem, trustworthy.
GRAND
She would see through them.
JAMES
(fiddles controls)
Is she looking at all of them? Is she suspecting any of them?!
GRAND
She's an underling, herself;- and her leaders are not quitting soon.
THE BACKGROUND CHANGES: a fog pours down one lip, filling;
JAMES
They've, been, through the process.
GRAND
You distrust her more than them?
JAMES
(getting nowhere)
I'd sooner distrust my own mother.
JOHN
She's doing what she did 6-thousand years ago-- we know that now; If we know it, what matters if she knows?
JAMES
(returns)
Aren't we improved in six millennia to be worth, keeping?-- maybe we've missed something-- the chrysalides.
GRAND
Mike said they are not brainwashed.
JAMES
(idle looking about)
And what are we, going to become?! Like them?-- brainwashing ourselves to live extra thousands of years!?
JOHN
We've only got three hundreds years left, for all Biblical prophecy.…
JAMES
(FLOAT-KICK-SITS)
I don't know that I'm ready for it.
JOHN
What are our options?! Changing the ship destination, is unlikely-- we won't convince them, to destroy it.
GRAND
How could we, if the Archons can't?
JOHN
We can't: The pieces, would strike Earth-- randomly;-- could be worse.
JAMES
We can't sit on this,- Armageddon.
JOHN
I don't think this is, Armageddon: It's too small-- unless we mess-up.
GRAND
It is, for a billion chrysalides.
FADE TO BLACK:
INT. CITY HALLWAYS - OMNI-LIT MOONLIT-DIM (FLASH-DREAM)
POV: James is trotting tiptoe amid scampering chrysalides;
Jumps the column, 2 levels, effortlessly-- not interacting;
And continues trotting tiptoe through halls of chrysalides;
A CHRYSALIS near ahead, turns-- POV HALTS, confronting--
CHRYSALIS
(old-English)
Thehseh arre the halls fohrrehverr.
STANDS-- LEANS TO James' female chrysalis perched PINK LIT.
A GAZING MOMENT-- then James awaking:
FADE TO MUSHY BLACK;
SQUINT IN:
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT (HOURS LATER)
POV: James, EYES OPEN (EYELASHES) at his cove ceiling--
LOOKS ACROSS-- at Grand, sleeping in her cove-- WINK--
LEANS-UP TO LOOK-- at John, sleeping in his cove-- WINK--
James is propped-up looking across at him, them; thinking.
INT. EATING HALL - OMNI-LIT (LATER)
Grand, James, John, Jehovah, Mike, Gabe, plus, eat herbs.
JAMES
(to Jehovah)
Do your people experience, dreams?
JEHOVAH
A virtual dimensionality taking the same time; but not the same space.
JAMES
Yes-- I dreamt of chrysalides at Neoarth-- but we saw none there.
GABE
(grins)
Maybe you were tainted by rot-odor.
The other Jehovahns chuckle-- Grand, John, too-- and James;
JAMES
The third female chrysalis…
MIKE
She's all right-- in another tube.
He's relieved for her;- maybe even embarrassed about it.
JOHN
(equals James)
Do your people experience, agendas?
They laugh.
JEHOVAH
What would you like to do today, John? Play games?
GRAND
These guys thrive, on games.
JEHOVAH
Hasn't changed in six millennia.
MIKE
We enjoy jai-lai and wrestling.
GRAND
No swimming, in weightlessness?
GABE
We're not aquatic: just, immortal.
They laugh.
JEHOVAH
(eyes to John)
Want to bet you can't pin me down?!
CU: John, half cocking, grins to her smile-- they laugh.
MIKE
Let them play ball-- good exercise.
CUT TO:
INT. SPECTATOR ROOM - ZERO-GEE GAME ELLIPSOID - LIT
Large sections are silver-transparent for spectators. John, Jehovah, in underglow suits, jai-lai equipment, climb in--
INT. GAME ELLIPSOID - SILVERED AND LIMNED LIT
She presses buttons, a sequence-- THE HATCH CLOSES-- SEALS; CALIBRATION LASER BEAMS MULTI-CRISSCROSS THROUGH BOTH FOCI.
JEHOVAH
Two quick concepts for beginners: One: Jump always to get across the room, lest you float, nowhere; Two: The room is ellipsoid: A ball to one focus bounces through the other focus, except for spin and twist-- play around the two singular foci.
She swings-- throwing the LIGHT-BALL into the near focus:
It zips to a wall-- bounces-- through the far focus--
Bounces-- coming back for the near focus:
John, trained on Earth, catch-loops it, trying similarly:
Near focus … bounce … far focus … bounce … near:
JEHOVAH
(plays to far focus)
Now the far focus.
Bypassing near focus … for far focus … bounce … near focus:
John coming, plays it similarly: far focus … bounce … near:
JEHOVAH
You're good: Begin playing it.
She plays slightly away from the near focus … bounce …
Angle-similarly slightly away from far focus … bounce …
And that-angle-similarly slightly away to his side …
JOHN
(plays it far)
The negative of a flat wall.
JEHOVAH
Yes, indeed-- now forget that.
JOHN
(agrees)
Gotcha.
EXT. GAME ELLIPSOID - DIM LIT (CONTINUOUS)
Grand, James, Mike, Gabe, spectate the play in progress …
[Jehovah] jumps a half-flip-- plays-- upping the action;
MIKE
John is good already.
JAMES
I'll have to play him on Earth.
INT. GAME ELLIPSOID
John jumps the similar-opposite, but without the flip;
Plays … arrives hand-first-- and hand-jumps back--
JEHOVAH
Oooh-- a four-legged cow-bunger.
JOHN
That's, cow-puncher.
Both laugh-- keeping ever an eye on each others' maneuvers;
Playing-on: Jehovah, short, jumps faster half-flips; John, tall, jumps less, slower, cartwheeling quarter-flips.…
Eventually 15-minutes later they're playing from mid-room …
She catch-stops the ball.
THE SCORE display reads [in Jehovahn] 98-02 vs. 67-33.
JEHOVAH
98-to-67,-- good, play, John; and you got me on a couple, there.
She presses the buttons, a sequence-- THE HATCH OPENS;
JOHN
Thank you-- you're a good teacher.
A crowd of now-several happy spectators await them.
JEHOVAH
When you get proficient, we'll turn-off the calibration beams.
JOHN
One at a time?
JEHOVAH
(smiles)
Sure! Then you can try wrestling.
They climb out: Jehovah-- then John, feet first--
JOHN
(just out)
It's your turn, guys.
MIKE
(to Grand)
Care for a pleasant round, madame?
EXT. - (CONTINUOUS)
GRAND
(closer to James)
Oooh-- I like, polite short men.-- but don't you guys forget me.
They giggle.… She looks to him for acceptance--
JAMES
(defers to Grand)
Ladies, before gentlemen: I'll play the winner.-- Soften him for me.
GRAND
You're on!
And she climbs in, with Mike behind her.
JOHN
(to Jehovah)
What gives parts of the ship, internal gravity? But not here?
JEHOVAH
Fusion-drive magneto-plasma effect.
THE HATCH CLOSES.…
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND - JUPITER SPACE - DISPLAYS LIT (MONTHS LATER)
Passing the huge planet Jupiter, fairly closely …
3-D NAV CHART has midcourse speed correction OPERATIONS …
James is with the Jehovahn command.
AN ICE PUFF EXPLODES VAPOR through the Whipple umbrella--
A WHUMP IS FELT, EVEN HEARD, through the 10 mi. structure;
MIKE
(unto James)
Messy, low albedo, low-density ice-foam; lighter than a snow-puff: Its low priority almost goes unnoticed.
GABE
More to inspect; This time outside.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT (HOUR LATER)
James stops in-- John, Grand, are busy reading;
JAMES
John-- we have a tube inspection-- this time outside.-- Interested?
John sets his computer aside-- and comes along;
JOHN
Coming.
JAMES
(to Grand)
Don't worry:-- We didn't run into Jupiter:-- Would have noticed that.
GRAND
(turns page, smiles)
That's nice, James.
EXT. CHRYSALIS TUBE REAR END - LEAVING JUPITER EAST SPACE
Gravity-swing deceleration finished: Time to inspect--
4 PODS SKIRT OUT, about the tube,-- and forward along …
10 miles forward …
LOOKING BACK: ABOVE FRONT 4 UMBRELLAS, foremost shredded, second tattered …, next intact; 4 Pods are coming …
MIKE (VO)
All report-in: Last shield.
GABE (VO)
Last shield is in good order.
JAMES (VO)
Last shield in good order.
JOHN (VO)
Last shield in good order.
MIKE (VO)
Okay-- That's what counts … Second pass, going back.
JAMES (VO)
Roger.
MIKE (VO)
(a beat)
Who or what is Roger?
JAMES (VO)
Sorry: Colloquial jargon-- Okay!
The Pods slow to the end-- shift position-- and turn back.…
INT. JAMES' POD - DISPLAYS LIT
X-ray scanning for hull cracks; IR-scanning for leaks; and cross-telemetries cumulated; James in his inflated zipsuit;
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
Sorry: We have incoming ballistics.
[MIKE] (VIDCOMM)
How much time?-- Can we pass?
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
Triple quick.
[MIKE] (VIDCOMM)
Coming.
JAMES
Roger-- we're coming.
He, they, accelerate back-- racing along the tube.
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
Who is Roger?
[MIKE] (VIDCOMM)
Earth-speech for, okay.
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
What's your reference?
JAMES
That'd be me.
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
I'll add that to Holobase-- epoch?
JAMES
19-41-- wartime effort.
[JEHOVAH] (VIDCOMM)
Thank you.
EXT. CHRYSALIS TUBE - FRONT END
POV: FRONT UMBRELLA, looking back: 4 Pods receding, midway:
MIKE (VO)
We don't believe in luck-- but you guys are drawing the worst of our disbelief. Do you have electronic tracer devices on you?
JAMES (VO)
No: Some equipment in our Quarters.
JOHN (VO)
My pocket-phone-calculator but it's turned off-- my laptop back inside.
MIKE (VO)
We didn't detect anything on you.
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP VICINITY - JUPITER BACKGROUND
A distant formation of incoming Rebel space-fighter craft;
Barely detectable aligned with Jupiter beyond-- PASS--
Heading at the Jupiter-lit space-city-ship heading sunward;
EXT. INTERPOLATING MIDWAY - TO THE CHRYSALIS TUBES
4 Pods separated a half mile, race back along, midway;
MIKE (VO)
… Hide in the tube shadows; Gabe and I will decoy them away.
John's, James', Pods veer over the receding horizon--
The space-fighters begin gyrating--
Q-CANNONS along the tubes sides return DULL FIRE--
DEFECTING A FIGHTER WHOLE IN WHITE BLAZE-- THEN A SECOND.
Mike's, Gabe's, Pods veer over the tube opposite horizon--
The remaining space-fighters attack with firefight:
Q-BLASTS BLAZE RIPPLING WHITE PATCHES ON THE TUBES SIDES;
A space-fighter flies passed James, John;- Q-BLASTING them:
JAMES' POD TAKES THE BRUNT, OVER A WHITE BLAZING TUBE SPOT.
JOHN (VO)
That was spectacular.
James' Pod is now gyrating and drifting centrifugally.
JOHN (VO)
James: Are you in trouble?
John's Pod swoops up close--
Parallel; James has no lights;
John looks across; James is mouthing, waving about trouble.
JOHN (VO)
(waves back)
Hold on-- I'll try to grab you.
James is drifting back out and down toward the tube.…
John maneuvers close-- around for the center of gyration--
Operates A MECHANICAL ARM-- REACHING OUT for James;
GRABS for his mechanical arm; but missing sync, deflects.
A second focused try … locks: the grip spinning freely.…
Both rapidly approaching the tube section surface.…
John steers back upward and for the center again--
Almost grazing the tube-- CLIPS, DISLODGING A NU-ANTENNA.…
EXT. REAR DOCK
John's Pod draws James' dangling, into the Pod bay.
The Pod bay doors close.…
INT. POD BAY
Jehovahn TECHNICIANS in zipsuits, come to open James' Pod.
John exits his Pod in his zipsuit.
The Technicians open James' hatch by mechanical screw.
James climbs-out-- smiling-- mouthing thanks silently.
John presses his helmet to James-- for sound contact:
JOHN (ZIPSUITED)
You okay?
JAMES (MUFFLED)
Yeah; I'm-- Roger!-- Thanks!
Both (VO) laugh it off helmet to helmet, relieved.
INT. COMMAND - (HALF HOUR LATER)
Jehovah, Gabe, Mike, busy; John, James, watch;
JAMES
Does this ever get monotonous?!
MIKE
For the Archons themselves, we suppose-- for us, it's refreshing; inspiring, every 3-thousand years.
JOHN
(a beat to James: unto them)
What happened 3-thousand years ago?
MIKE
That was phenomenal: Nearing Earth, they broke all three tubes-- blew out three directions.… Emissaries tell us, Earthers drew pictures of its spirals, for hundred of years.
GABE
Most of the content arrived frozen, scattered on Earth;-- results were sporadic: There was no root base.
JOHN
(to James)
That was an era of global religious evolution when Hebrews became Jews.
JAMES
(to them)
It seems wise that we avoid them.
JEHOVAH
(to Mike)
They could scrub the pots and pans.
MIKE
(to Jehovah)
We don't have any. We haven't waxed the floors in ten thousand years.
James, John, share the mutual humorous incredulity.
A SOLAR FLARE LEAPS BEYOND THE UMBRELLA-- LIKE A FLAME:
JOHN+JAMES
(together)
Now, what?
MIKE
(grins)
A little solar engineering.
He flips-on a ship bow FORWARD VIEWER:
The whole sun is flaring; the south-polar flare is growing interplanetary. [As an angel standing whose face shone/REV]
James steps politely slightly forward-- and John;
JAMES
What, magnitude, of engineering?!
MIKE
(busy)
We're using directed solar power to return the sun and planets to their former course through the galaxy-- we'd rerouted to avert a barrage of comets capable of extinguishing all life on Earth, accompanying a rogue star-hole passing through the local galactic plane. The adjustment will also retune your prophecy schedule: It's gotten off, a few years.…
JOHN
Controlling it from this ship?
MIKE
No:- platforms on planet Mercury's sun-locked polar terminators.
JAMES
(belief-saturating)
This'll mess-up calendars?
GABE
Nobody will notice this: It wasn't listed in the prophecies we left.
JOHN
Does it fit with a final prophecy?
GABE
You've learned how to keep, time-- but that's not the All of truth.
JOHN
May we ask where, you'll hit Earth?
Mike keys a panel-- Nav Chart plots to North America--
MIKE
The second right-polar continent-- north-ern, continent.…
JOHN
That would be America. Where-about?
Mike keys-- Nav Chart footprints Missouri-Kentucky.
MIKE
The middle east:- The confluence of rivers and clemency of weather are essential to establishing the crop; the mountain range gives it ascent.
JAMES
(exits saturated)
I'm just a nigger about the cosmos: If this is how it works, I'm one with it. If not, I spit it out, and go my way.
John watches him leave,-- then follows.…
INT. OBSERVATORY DECK - (WEEKS LATER)
The background is different: a furnished cave hearth, BC:
Sitting, Grand leaning lightly under John's arm: a hint of mom and dad respecting the eldest son, sitting opposite;
GRAND
(to John)
I never waste time reading in bed; I came out here.
JOHN
(to Grand)
Did you finish while we were out?
GRAND
Two. Did anything happen, I missed?
JOHN
(shakes No)
Nothing big.
GRAND
(looks at James)
Do you think he's taking it hard?
JOHN
Genius junior just rinsed and de-tangled his brain, and can't do a thing with it.
James feels like he's suffering someone else's God-dream--
JAMES
(rubbing his forehead)
I feel like I've been sitting in this lounge, six millenniums; and we haven't changed our prospects!
JOHN
(looking around)
I think we tried different seats.
JAMES
(half a sneer)
It hasn't helped us one iota: If we don't act, soon, no-one else can or will. I didn't come to sit on this.
GRAND
What did you come for?
JAMES
(direct to Grand)
I came for National Security: We needed to know anything you were heading into-- and neutralize it; We didn't expect a problem larger than ourselves by a factor of ten.
JOHN
Ten-thousand.
JAMES
(accepts)
Ten-thousand.
GRAND
(expected as much)
Your profile still matches.
JOHN
Let's look at the situation: We're in space nearing Earth, seven days; Our cargo hold, the length of Los Angeles, will gouge-out the middle of America; replacing five cities.
GRAND
The cargo is a billion designer creatures adapted to redevelop on Earth.- You don't want to wipe out an entire species, just to spare ten million people;-- do you?
JAMES
(in disbelief)
We should be able to set them down somewhere else: the Arctic, if only we could steer this cruise-liner.
JOHN
Name your latitude and longitude-- but ever since patriarch Abraham, that was not the method of choice.
James scrutinizes him with a super-serving of disbelief.
JOHN
(clarifies)
Abraham separated from his nephew, letting Lot take his first choice: Lot chose Sodom's greener fields.
JAMES
(a pout)
America isn't the only green field.
JOHN
It's up to the Jehovahns to choose.
JAMES
(directly)
Why?! Why can't we tap into their computers and redirect these tubs.
JOHN
(looks at Grand)
Is that possible?
GRAND
Have you tried?
JOHN
I didn't think of it-- that they might use the same Virtual-Reality.
GRAND
We have six days left.
JOHN
(staring at a wall)
What if they catch us?- This room …
GRAND
(a beat)
What about, this room?
It's still the inside of the cave-- an ancient, used cave.
JOHN
(staring a beat)
It's in-side: This observatory-- we're looking at, not just stars and planets, but, space and time.
GRAND
Jehovah's home-videos?!
JOHN
(and to James)
How did you select the wall images?
JAMES
I thumbed through their collection: and picked something pretty.
JOHN
(looks about)
This is a cave-- earlier we saw a garden-- this might be the Garden of Eden, a cave in the sloped side.
James goes to the control panel;
GRAND
(to John)
Did we see images of Adam and Eve.
JOHN
I don't recall seeing any people.
James flips through several images and angles:--
Within the Garden; trees, fields, flowers;
On the steppe above, looking across the garden;
Near the Pison river (wet Wadi Batin north bend);
Flaming billowing clouds of dust 500 miles across Eden;
High descending over the Hejez, eastward toward Eden;
A view of Earth ahead in space.
GRAND
You're going backward through time.
JOHN
Can you make the images play Live?
JAMES
I'll look further: Give me an hour.
GRAND
(to John)
What do you propose to do?
JOHN
I don't know: If we can reprogram the computer destination-- in the heaven above or on Earth beneath …
GRAND
(half a beat)
I suppose if you're going to play God, you may as well speak-like.
JOHN
(a beat)
I got side-tracked: That was about graven images-- the injunction was against, graves: en-graved images.
GRAND
You mean, the Ten Commandments.…
JOHN
(ponders)
It's the same story; over and over! A crater garden; graven images; the unused buried talent; Burial caves: not graves that are dug by digging!
GRAND
A warning to not, play God her way.
JOHN
(dawns)
But why, not? What is it?!
JAMES
(returning)
She knew she would be coming back; And we're not her final crop.
GRAND
Then, brainwashing hasn't changed her plans, one jot or one tittle.
JAMES
But she needs us for something; and I need to find a main access panel.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT (HOURS LATER)
James exits to scout ahead; while John wakes Grand--
JOHN
(kisses her cheek)
Sleeping beauty.
GRAND
(gravelly, rolls to look)
I haven't been called that, in a long while:-- decades.
JOHN
(goes to the exit)
Let's go, froggy.
GRAND
(rouses)
That, was a quick drop-kick.
She ups-- and they exit to the corridor--
Watching their rearwards-- find James, and sneak stealthily forward through the halls, toward a computer access room--
GRAND
I don't think they sleep here.
JOHN
At least they may think we, sleep; and let their guard down, -off us.
JAMES
Does that sound like a bad plan?!
JOHN
Passed planning too long ago.
They reach the wired-water-chambers room;- but cross sides:
INT. COMPUTER ACCESS - LIT (CONTINUOUS)
Virtual-reality chairs similar but better;-- they set-up:
JOHN
No virtual greetings this time.
GRAND
We could have turned that off.
INT. VR-SPACE - 'JEHOVAHN SPACE-BOAT' - (CONTINUOUS)
CHOP ANGLES ON EACH VR-PLAYER CUE:
A pale-colored diagrammatic-SKETCH of the Jehovahn boat.
JOHN (VO-IVO)
Keep quiet,-- lest they detect us.
GRAND (IVO)
Just think, it: Don't speak at all.
JOHN (IVO)
Right: Think-snorkle: Lips sealed.…
GRAND (IVO)
Which direction to the navigation?
JAMES (IVO)
Follow me.-- Can you see me?
James' VR-MARKER MOVES AWAY toward the observation deck--
GRAND (IVO)
We see a marker moving towards the observation deck, where we came in.
JAMES (IVO)
That's me.
They quickly follow-- swinging about-- racing for the forward end; swarming like 3 flies chasing a lead scent …
DIAGRAMMATICS GET SIMPLER NEARING THE COMMAND CENTER.…
James X-PRESSES A WALL-PANEL button: REALIZING THE SECTION;
AND THEY PENETRATE WALLS … and stop, in a COMMAND ROOM.
JOHN (IVO)
You've become a pro at this.
JAMES (IVO)
Do you see anything that looks like a navigation panel?
GRAND (IVO)
Think genius, guys.
JOHN (IVO)
(at a Nav Chart)
Thumb-in, and…
Jehovahn NAVIGATION CONTROLS display across and about a NAV Chart: A midcourse correction is indicated at the moon;
JOHN (IVO)
Pull-up a plum.
JAMES (IVO)
Good boy!
James FINGERS ALONG THEIR DESIGNATED PATH, to the moon:
GRAND (IVO)
They will decelerate, passing the moon-- for maximum gravity-assist.
JOHN (IVO)
We can divert to crash on the moon.
JAMES (IVO)
They won't like that choice.
GRAND (IVO)
Will they let us stay aboard?
JOHN (IVO)
If they intend to live thousands of years, they might have escape pods.
JAMES (IVO)
The moon is not, a great refuge …
Mike, busy with a log'puter, enters the (real) room side--
He looks up at the Nav Chart, a moment-- then smiles silly.
MIKE
Gabe: Come here a moment.
GABE
(entering)
What do you need?
Mike points at the Nav Chart.
GABE
(giggles)
A finger pushing the moon out of orbit: This will trouble our best calculations, don't you think?
They look mutually--
Mike pushes an panel indicator button,--
MIKE
(nicely)
Pleasant dreamers.
EXT. WATERFALL BEHIND DEER GRAZING - FINGER - (CONTIGUOUS)
JOHN (IVO)
I think we were discovered.
JAMES (IVO)
(yawning)
I feel, sleepy, already.
GRAND (IVO)
Do I smell Soylent Green?
They giggle-- FINGER X-PRESSES, TURNING-OFF THE WATERFALL.
FINGER X-PRESSES A DEER: WHICH DISAPPEARS FROM THE SET.
JOHN (IVO-VO)
Okay:- We're not going that, way.
CUT TO:
EXT./INT. ROOM - WIRED WATER-CHAMBERS - (SOON THEREAFTER)
Mike, Gabe, James, John, Grand, stand outside contemplating the quartet of chambers each large enough to hold a person:
MIKE
(nicely)
We thought you might appreciate one of our more sophisticated, onboard, entertainments: This, we call, the Game Womb: It is more involved than the ship controls; and we would not seem negligent, hosts.
GABE
It is roughly equivalent to playing games in a sleep:- You immerse in a semi-fluidic chamber, which becomes your extension to an opti-computer.
GRAND
A virtual-reality game.
GABE
(ushers them to)
Yes,- but here you develop the game and its rules when playing: Players enjoy spontaneous cross-agreement;- like having no-other mind nor rule.
MIKE
The fluid also buffers live motion: You breathe through the umbilical.… If you'd start,- Step right up, for the greatest show in the cosmos.…
GABE
(touches a door)
Fit your umbilical,- and walk-in.
The water-chambers open sideways, without leaking;--
JOHN
(inserts a hand)
It's warm.
They fit their umbilicals;-- and press into the individual chambers, suits wetting-vanishing, amid a myriad watery transparent computer-OPTO-TENTACLES; as the doors close;
Mike, Gabe, exit; ROOM LIGHTS EXTINGUISH.- Bodies glimmer.…
SEMI-FADE, CUT TO:
EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE HEIGHTS - A STREAM - (COLOR-SATURATED)
POV: TIGER, lumbers along the rocks … stops at the stream: SEES ITS OWN EXOTIC FACE in the watery reflection; drinks …
A HOOFED STEP ON ROCKS nearby downstream,-- gets immediate attention:-- MOOSE beyond, raises its antlered EXOTIC HEAD.
CUT BACK AND FORTH, IMPLICIT:
Tiger moves crouched swiftly toward it.
Moose frontal-stances.
Tiger springs over rocks to reach it.
Moose jerks away,- two steps--
Tiger runs-leaps at its rear--
Moose jerks back to catch Tiger in its antlers; and heaves:
Tiger rolls midair,-- gyrates onto its feet; and stops.
EXOTIC BIRD swoops-down about Tiger's head.
Tiger leaps and catches Bird midair;-- eating it.
POV: Bird: SENSES VANISH IN BITE-HOLES of hearing, seeing;
To BLACK VOID.…
Tiger finishes eating Bird;-- swallows.
Poises:- MORPHS front legs to wings;--
Moose poises; matches MORPH of front legs to wings;--
Both fly-up, about each other … helically soaring upward.…
Black Void has a SINGLE WHITE PIXEL mid-center;--
A RAY BLAZES OUT -short;- then AN EQUAL at right angle;
The right-angle DOUBLE-UNFOLDS at both ends. [Radix-5]
And that, SINGLE-UNFOLDS at one continuing end. [Radix-2]
Ad inf unfolds alternating with doubles.… [Radix-2-5-2-5-…]
Winged-Tiger, -Moose, helico-soar to dark miles altitude.…
Black Void semi-fills with dense right-unfolding thicket.…
Winged-Tiger, -Moose, MORPH INTO magnetic-BOW -AURORAS;--
And race like shocks into the solar wind, back to the sun.
Black Void repeats high-order unfoldings with trial-angles.
Moose-, Tiger-auroras, CRASH ON THE SUN;- and FLARE-CLASH …
Then explode AS FAST CME's, out, onto interstellar space.…
Black Void proportional-unfolds animalesques. [Seahorse-51]
CME's reach galactic proportions CLASHING, FLAILING stars.…
Black Void unfoldings detail-up the same, now cosmic view.…
Then, All, combined, radially condenses to a single point.
RESUME, CUT TO:
They exit their chambers in the dark-lit room;
LIGHTS COME-UP SLOWLY;- they are clothed, final-unwetting;
JAMES
(straightening)
That's enough to keep them busy for a hundred millennia.
JOHN
They probably get more inventive, when they create real animals.
JAMES
(to Grand)
Where did you go in there?
GRAND
Do you remember eating a big bird?
JAMES
(Jehovahn smile)
Sorry.
GRAND
It was an interesting mathematical realm:- until I found you again, in my own, same, universe.
FADE TO:
INT. OBSERVATION DECK - 200K MI. TO 11 PM MOON NIGHTSIDE
CU: Grand reads, cozy against John, in his face-space:
GRAND
They seem to be living their puns-- Gave me baby-creeps the way he said "Onboard entertainments."-- I never thought of board games as literally onboard … I thought he was punning about game, womb, and game, -room.… The longer I remain in space, the less I really sleep.
JOHN
(munching)
It's one of the paradoxes of nature that there's not a lot to do in the cosmos, on thousand-year missions,- but maintain a set of improvements. -And if you rush it, you find less.
JAMES (OS)
This just gets loonier and loonier.
GRAND
(nonchalant)
That is, near, our destination.
James, looking up, plays the background controls-- for a,
DOME VIDEO ARCHIVE of the incoming spinning spiral comet ca 670 BC; same rotation rate as the space-city-ship it was;
JAMES
(points up)
This is the famous spiraled comet of the seventh century B-C: Nothing more than a broken space-city-ship; their emissaries took the pictures.
GRAND (OS)
Most phenomena can be found to have plausible scientific explanations.
DOME RESUMES the solar flare and approach to Earth-moon.
JAMES
(to Grand)
Hasn't the silliness struck you?
GRAND
Silly-- how so?
JAMES
Everything we've seen so far, has been a replay of Biblical history in unbelievably grander proportions and detail than known history! It's like being handed Black's Law, to hold moot court in Kindergarten.
John is munching giant vacuum-puffed spiced popcorns;
JOHN
Science-fiction, is a clever way to retell the real past, which warrior politicians can't admit, refutes their popular claims on progress.
(feeds one to Grand)
Have some more popped corns.… Only by holding-out the past as it were the future can they pretend to lead their gullibly vocal public.
He feeds her each, while she reads; and James orates:--
JAMES
(soldier's soliloquy)
It's all so, bloody contradictory: bringing chrysalis mankind larvae to Earth, in dark, warm cozy space cocoons, to crash, and live longer by slaughtering them, because their brains are full of high technology, their mouths lacking the ability to speak,- as pet-like creatures more animal or childlike than ourselves; whose identities are extracted from stellar black holes, given bodies grown in low gravity on a planet described as, our, new, Earth, then replacement bodies grown in deeper gravity on our old, Earth; they may well be our former, selves, because we're too stupid to know it all.…
GRAND
(to John)
From gravity, to gravity-- I think he's got it.
JAMES
It's a virtual religion.… How do we know any of this is true? How do we know they're not just a bunch of cosmic kooks full of perfectly good ideas, that we just cannot accept?!
GRAND
(unto John)
He's definitely got, it.
JAMES
No-one, has ever seen a being enter or leave a body yet these Jehovahns experiment on sentient mankind with theories for the persistence of the soul in the vacuum aether of space!
GRAND
Twist, that shadow's tail!
JAMES
Is she mocking me, worse than I do?
JOHN
They are researching the Cause of all things; same as we do, but more advanced and theoretical by their thousands of years; maybe millions.
JAMES
I feel, I'm partaking, in someone else's God-dream, of Adam and Eve.
GRAND
That may be safer, for all of us.
JAMES
(a beat)
Like, this very existence is itself the Designers' drug: Is this legal?
GRAND
Don't mix it with alcohol.
JAMES
(breathes a laugh)
Yeah!
JOHN
(a beat)
The means, explain, the ends-- and the Jehovahns, do, have, the means.
JAMES
No question, they're advanced; And they remove all the evidences, of their highly technological visits.
GRAND
And, they prefer moons to planets.
JAMES
(gets into it again)
Huge, gas planets, with moon cores, hollowed-out as deep-space highrise vast kingdom cities unassailable by cometary asteroids, in orbit around tiny invisible stars sucking harder than the vacuum of outer space, and enlight'ning the sky with brilliant auroras that nobody stays to watch!
GRAND
(to John)
He's gone round the circle.
JOHN
It's decent mental exercise-- a bit effusive, but oft derives insights.
JAMES
And it happens again, and again,-- every 3-thousand years,-- like some millennial clockwork, solar system, handiwork of immortal space-timers.
JOHN
(to Grand)
He's getting to the metaphysical.
GRAND
(reads)
Mmmm.
JOHN
(muses)
Get it; Get it; Twist it; Analyze.
GRAND
The writhing in a hole on the wall.
JOHN
(a beat)
Maybe we could locate Adam and Eve on the ship's computer database.
Jehovah, Mike, Gabe, have entered; handing-out three vials;
GRAND
Invite them over, for Canasta.
And sit and take-up a conversation to sound-bite rapidity:
JEHOVAH
(sits)
You would know the law.
James quits his soliloquy; follows over-- and, float-sits:
JAMES
(mid float)
Okay.
They hold a private court-like judge-side legal discussion:
MIKE
You may begin, asking the question.
JAMES
(nods a legal breath)
Do the Jehovahn entrepreneurs et al have the right to oversight Earth's billions while neglecting millions?
GABE
We have neglected no-one.…
JOHN
But the millions in your footprint.
MIKE
Are included in the calculation.…
GRAND
By removing them to the other side of the equation.
GABE
True: Man is not a formulation.…
JOHN
Does man, have the right, to be as immortal as, yourselves?
GABE
Intrinsically, made in our image and likeness …
JAMES
How-so? How is this accounted?
MIKE
We dodge space rocks, ourselves.…
JAMES
In outer space where there is room.
MIKE
Amid ever abundant space debris.…
GRAND
Do you allow yourselves a respite?
GABE
Upon each worthy accomplishment.…
JAMES
Did you choose those millions?
JEHOVAH
We chose the place and time.…
JOHN
Can we foresee their escape path?
JEHOVAH
We ameliorate only the process.…
GRAND
Are these fair, statistics?
GABE
We are justified of righteous, men.
VIS-A-VIS: A moment of complete assurance on all sides.…
JAMES
Do you justify, those slaughtered?
JEHOVAH
Do you justify your own?
JAMES
Come again?
GABE
Does Earth still have skirmishes, fought by a few; and your residents are unconcerned for justification?
GRAND
Are we bereft of justification?
GABE
We countermanded only, mocking, us.
JOHN
If you have not selected persons, can their selections be changed?
MIKE
Those ready for the next step, have prepared over many generations.
GRAND
Do higher technology spacers have a responsibility and right, to impose experimental theoretic expectations as adjustments on mankind's history extended beyond the original locus?
GABE
None: You are asking from your ends to presume your own means, upon us.
VIS-A-VIS: A moment of complete assurance on all sides.…
JAMES
Why are you doing this?
JEHOVAH
Life expectancy began declining a thousand years after planting the crop with Adam: At 2-thousand years it reached 20-percent. We estimated there was a major defect and sought to correct that by hybridizing-in a rotation crop, at 3-thousand years. We hope to fix it with this, crop, tailored to fit-in with the present technologies, without competitions.
JOHN
Do ordinary individuals have the right to extend their own lives?
MIKE
What do you regularly achieve now?
JOHN
Generously, 70-to-90 years-- sporadically a hundred-and-10.
GABE
A whole nine percent.
GRAND
Would you recommend 2,-hundred-10?
GABE
Generously, 3-or-4-hundred years.
JOHN
A factor of 4-or-5, increase.
GABE
Any objection?
JOHN
Can you tell us, which, genes?
JEHOVAH
None particularly: Newer chrysalis education excludes certain flavors unavailable in clean Earth diets-- minor changes in the atmosphere and solar photochemistry should have no effect, but for being sensualists.
MIKE
(to Jehovah)
And we did also re-gene their milk to taste less-like bovine cheese.
JEHOVAH
(grins to them)
Old reasons erased by brainwashing.
GRAND
Why have you deleted the regimen of prophecies, from their education?
GABE
It didn't work fast overall: It was designed to inspire with a skyward promise-- that much, was, achieved; In 6-thousand years you've reached a few simple limitary equations to effect space flight.
MIKE
We didn't wish to seem too critical of you-- so we did not consult you.
JOHN
Are there civilizations, elsewhere?
JEHOVAH
By interstellar communications.
GRAND
Why did you short-shrift Eve?
JEHOVAH
(smiles)
We didn't.-- Eve was every mother's darling little girl-- quick to know how everything communicated: a seer and a hearer.… That's a memory that brainwashing cannot erase.
JAMES
Thank you.
The Jehovahns exit… but for a last question:
GRAND
(examining her vial)
What should we suppose is in these vials?
MIKE
(exits last)
Genetic specimens of the animals you created, in spore form.
GRAND
(to John)
One more pun on game, womb:- a womb for creating game, animals … they probably have trouble, sleeping.
JOHN
(to Grand)
Probably lets them set-up symbiotic relations, and link-in food-chains.
The Jehovans gone; James, John, Grand, finish--
JAMES
Motive;- opportunity;- means! I can see it; I can understand it: having been with this company many months; But I cannot explain it to hundreds of millions of Americans. And that, must be the basis of my actions.…
GRAND
Do you propose a solution?
JAMES
I propose, to, decide.… If they nearly spared Sodom, we may, still own the right to save mid America. But I feel like a caged animal-- and I've felt that way before.…
CUT TO:
EXT. - 10K MI. TO MOON NIGHTSIDE WEST
An hour to reach and pass the moon-- about 20K mph.…
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT
James communicates with CINCSPAC on DSN CRYPTO equipment--
And reads-out final orders: "Deflect or disable the ship".
He quickly assembles a Q-micronuke (nonnuclear Q-blast):
John enters-- notes the DSN Crypto-- and the Q-micronuke;
JOHN
Just how much involvement do you have with the military, these days? Will this put our lives at stake?
JAMES
(assembling)
Military research produced fusion power, jamproof radio, and flat panel displays. Its modern mission is, to investigate every potential technology, to our advantage; to antidote its misuse; to prevent its abuse by adversaries: a very modern role, in keeping the peace. And, if it's safe enough, we declassify and pass it to some college techies to exploit it commercially: Everybody gets in on it. For example, secure Internet H-T-T-P-S encryption was declared classified shortly after Diffie and Hellmann discovered it, in the late-'70's, but two decades later it's so commonplace that it's your, fault, if your e-mail log-in password is not, encrypted.
JOHN
(sits; watching)
So,-- what are you, producing?
JAMES
A, Q-bomb.
JOHN
(guffaws)
You mean, that old, 19-59 movie?!
JAMES
The military doesn't futz-around with technology: Just goof-proofs it first. This is E-M-P technology.
JOHN
What will it do to this ship?
JAMES
Obliterate electronic connections.
JOHN
Destroy its guidance?
JAMES
(finishing)
Decelerations, maneuvers, defenses: Same thing the Archons used outside on my pod, at Jupiter-- I believe.
JOHN
And derelict, the command deck?!
JAMES
I can't prevent everything.
JOHN
But, you saved us in the Archon's first strike. Was that just to garner our help?
JAMES
No. That was real citizenship. We can't let this happen to America.
JOHN
Surely there's another way: It's too late to escape to the moon. Is there an empty place on Earth? The Brazilian forest-- that's being denuded by civilization?…
They laugh, unsettled.
JOHN
(thinking aloud)
Australian outback-- Sahara desert? Too dry. China mainland?-- Siberia?
JAMES
(begins setting-up)
We're no longer in a cold war with the Russians.
JOHN
An old thought.…
They bust a guffaw to laugh, shaking heads no.
JOHN
Why have you waited so long?
JAMES
There's a chance they may recover.
JOHN
(resuming)
How about the open ocean?- It might grow super-intelligent dolphins and whales: Their brains are man-size.
JAMES
Elephants didn't. You're exhibiting the mindset of a senile creator: Do I, want, aquatic man-fins? Or shall I create, cyber jellyfish!
JOHN
Equally reasonable among creatures: It must depend on their ability to articulate by hands and voices.
JAMES
I'll think about it.…
INT. COMMAND - CLOSING TO MOON
At the room rear, John discusses with Grand, quietly:
JOHN
He's going to defect this ship.
GRAND
With us on it?
JOHN
Is there any way off?
GRAND
What about the Jehovahns?
JOHN
Will take them, too, I suppose.
GRAND
I don't buy it-- it may fail worse.
JOHN
Can we overwhelm him? He's adept.
MIKE
(announces)
Midcourse correction in 10-minutes; pretty good lean already-- the moon must have not moved much over the few millennia.
JOHN
Why would it move at all?
GABE
Predictable cometary debris; but we had to be ready: It's cumulative.
JOHN
Where are we headed presently?
Mike points to the Nav Chart, showing a trace to NW Russia;
MIKE
High on the right-polar continent.
John exits, if all too obviously-- Grand shrugs a smile.…
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - (MOMENTS LATER)
James tests remote digital signatures; John enters--
JOHN
They will be correcting its present bearing on northwestern Russia. Can you defect just the middle of the midcourse correction? Re-aim it for the mid Atlantic?-- though I still don't see how we, can escape.
JAMES
(looks at John)
Alright: I'll split the difference: We'll try for the Atlantic ocean.
JOHN
I'll keep my Vid-Card running.
They clip-on and dial-connect their VidCards--
James sees his VidCard-LCD displays what John aims-at.
John exits.…
INT. COMMAND - NEARING-PASSING MOON WEST, TERMINATOR
John smiles at Grand-- his VidCard nonchalantly, on; [alt/James' face or eye in its display]
MIKE (PA-LOUD)
10-seconds to booster thrust fire.
(turns to John)
Is that how Earthlings say it?
John admits,-- but feels transparent.…
At 10 sec. waited, the SHIP'S JOINTS CREEPY-WHINE THROUGH the whole distance;-- THE ROOM SWAYS AFT: stepping them.
The moon edge passes beyond, outside.…
John looks pensively at Grand-- it's her feeling mutually.
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP DECELERATING BY MOON WEST/INT. SOUND
Compared to the moon, the Jehovahn ship does not look big; the moon looks little damaged by those comets months ago.
Minutes later… as they pass about midway:
MIKE (VO)
We're passing the midway, on mark:
(2 beats)
Mark.
A LOUD SNAP-CRACKLING AND THE FUSION FORWARD FLAME QUITS--
And the space-city-ship continues its Earthward bearing.…
MIKE (VO)
It's the entire system-power.
(a beat)
Navigation, helm,-- life-support.
GABE (VO)
Children playing with toys: They're watching the electrofluorescence on the moon: -a passing object fancy.
JEHOVAH (VO)
Prepare for an early separation: The chrysalis unit was last bearing for the west end of the right-polar continent, just north of their sea.
MIKE (VO)
I'll get power restored to command and navigation momentarily-- hoping it's all just the overage clamps.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - DUST-HAZY (MOMENTS LATER)
John ENTERS into swirls of dust-- THE AIR IS CIRCULATING;
James oversees BOTS SCURRYING VACUUM-SWEEPING small debris.
JOHN
It certainly took down command and control-- but may be not for long; And, if I got her bearings remark, we're headed for southern Europe.
JAMES
(solemn)
I heard.
JOHN
Why are you sweeping up?
JAMES
These still work;-- and we're supposed to be good guests.
JOHN
Ohhh.
(a beat)
Now-what, can we do?!
JAMES
Confirm the bearing, accurately-- but don't hope for any better: It was a very crude attempt-- not the surgical precision we drill-on.
THE AIR HAS CLEARED-- SOME BOTS CLIMB THE WALLS, DUSTING.
JOHN
We didn't think which maneuvering elements would be applied, when.
JAMES
That's not very surgical.
BOTS BEGIN CLIMBING JAMES, JOHN-- which they shake loose--
JOHN
We'll have to wait for their systems to come back up.
And they back-off-- and exit.…
INT. JEHOVAHN CHILDREN'S ROOM-COVE, THE HALLWAY
Gabe scolds 12 JEHOVAHN CHILDREN (munchkin) who don't know:
GABE (MIXED VO)
(sweetly)
Fess-up: Which of you fired-off the Q-popgun, near the Command Deck?
(a beat)
You all know where Command Deck is.
LITTLEST (MIXED VO)
What does, fess-up, mean?
John, James, walk-by nonchalantly;
GABE (MIXED VO)
That was in last week's lesson: It is Earth-local talk for confession.
(a beat)
I'm not scolding you all, so I'm not going to scold the one who did it-- but, I would have you tell me.
(2 beats)
If nobody tells me, we'll shorten your visit by 1-day-- remember that you want to see 57-sites on Earth; and 1-day, will mean you'll miss-2, of those sites.
LITTLEST (MIXED VO)
Can we choose which,-2, sites?
GABE (MIXED VO)
(smiles)
Yes, of course.…
INT. HALLWAY - COMMAND DECK
Grand exits Command Deck, as John, James, arrive;
JAMES
(to John)
I should confess: I don't want them depriving their own children of a nice visit to Earth.
JOHN
Obedience to God is catching if you don't resist it but apply yourself.
GRAND
Good try, guys: if you want Italy, Greece and Turkey, on your platter.
JAMES
Precisely?
GRAND
(nods Yes)
Precisely-- 4-hundred miles worth.
JAMES
(saddened)
Three, Most-Favored Nations:…
(remorsed)
So close-- and, so, far, away.
(turns: exits)
Fess-up, for me, John.
Grand puzzles John's expression for vicarious guilt-duty.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - (MOMENTS LATER)
All clean, again-- a last BOT SCURRIES AWAY.…
James, attired in his own Command suit, sulks for failing his mission: the guilt of an unwilling act of treason;
And takes out his suicide-can: it looks like a beer--
Closed in his hand--
And contemplates.…
His VidCard clipped-on, shows what John sees approaching:
EXT.-INT. SAME QUARTERS
John looking for him, enters-- and approaches-- close;
Horrors:-- James has a can of beer, in-hand!
JOHN
What, do you think, you're doing, mister?!
JAMES
(miserable)
I've failed my mission.
JOHN
You can't blame yourself: You tried!-- And I, helped!
JAMES
No difference: I made the mistakes: Whatever you told me.
JOHN
(grabs the can equally)
Don't do this, Jim!
JAMES
(rousing)
You don't owe me.
(challenging)
You don't own, me: You helped me: You didn't fail my mission!
Arm muscles tense, as their grips tighten equally …
JOHN
You didn't fail entirely, neither!
JAMES
You don't make decisions for me, mister, John.
JOHN
This, will be, the first time, and, the last time, I do!
Arm muscles bulge fearsomely.…
JAMES
I'm no longer some Rambo they want to throw in prison and take out on special missions: They don't want me, back-- not any more!
The final hand-struggle intensity-- is un-Earthly!
THE CAN BURSTS-- all over them-- a stunned moment.…
JAMES
(turns: exiting)
That doesn't solve my guilt.
JOHN
(tosses can)
No, James: It, doesn't.-- And that, is exactly, what you needed to see!
(adds the catch)
By the way, James: Jehovahn surgery is two cures better:-- Hiding in a chrysalis tube, won't kill you.
JAMES
(just staying)
I know that, John.
JOHN
Great, so you know!-- When did you find out?
JAMES
Look at the can.
JOHN, hesitant to work this new tact, recovers the can--
A soda can very-like a beer can: "Baer(R) Malt Soda" …
JOHN
(irked)
Did you drink your beer, already?!
JAMES
(near-laughs)
No, John: I knew when I came aboard … I needed to know your mind, now.
JOHN
(taken)
What?!
JAMES
MilCom reviewed my pocket-video of our first meeting-- and determined that you suffer a grouping-mindset: You do especially well team-leading but this endangers you, when I make a decision: I can't have you follow me, John: And they gave me explicit order to ascertain your intentions, And lock you up,- or lock you down.
JOHN
(fully ired)
What, the …, are you talking about, now?!- Psychology tricks are short-term panaceas!
JAMES
Not in the Air Force: We rearrange the lives of millions of Service men and women: We can't ignore how they get along: We give them their life-challenges, but nothing that hampers their performance.… My own mindset is judgmental-- you and I are almost incompatible, but, I'm the only man they trust on a job of this import: And, I've failed! How do you like that?-- Good bye, John: Don't follow.
He exits into the hall-- John half following, just into,
INT. THE HALLWAY - (CONTINUOUS)
JOHN
James, this is still suicide!
JAMES
(slows)
No, John: Submitting oneself to judgment is not, suicide-- just crazy, that I'm my own judge!
He goes.
John looks saddened at the crushed can in his hand.…
INT. COMMAND, FULLY OPERATING - PASSED THE MOON
WORKING as usual,-- and still preparing for separation;
And the Jehovahns are struggling to keep from laughing:
JOHN
(somber)
Yes, he's really upset over this.
GABE
Thank you, for telling us: The children will get to keep all their visitation days and sites-seeing. This would not have been the first time they've done it themselves-- but they'll be amused to know that you Earthers have Q-popguns, too.
JOHN
(shaking No)
It wasn't a Q-popgun: It was a Q-bomblet-- a military device-- he swept-up the room afterward.
MIKE
Oooh-well: Dock him a day on Earth.
GRAND
(smiles to John)
You tell him: You fessed for him.
JOHN
(half smile)
Does he get to choose which, day?
The Jehovahns closed-mouth giggle-- knowing Gabe's way.…
John steps away-- tries his VidCard, still set to James--
JOHN
James,-- I have some news.… Can you receive, me?
[James is entering the airlock of his-chrysalis' tube]--
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
I see and hear you.
JOHN
I have good news, and bad news: The good news is, the Jehovahns hold no grudge: You can come out.
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
That's not my reason, John.
JOHN
I know; but the bad news is, they want to dock you one day on Earth, and you have to tell them, which.
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
(laughs)
Time already spent, doesn't count?! Make it Tuesday-- debriefing day: I deserve my outcome, in here.
JOHN
They heard.-- Keep it clean anyway.
And SHUTS-OFF his VidCard connection.
JOHN
(somber)
It's his Uniform Code of Military Justice martial law command ethic: He believes he's fully responsible for failing to re-target the ship; He's going down, with his, ship.…
JEHOVAH
That is not wise, John: You should remove him: Chrysalides are very strong and stir to a frenzy in the heat:-- they could, kill him-- but they will try to communicate with him first:-- it won't be pleasant: They will, change his mind! He will, try to escape. You will be sorry, he can't.
GRAND
They didn't try to communicate with us: You said their brains are full.
JEHOVAH
They don't actually learn anything new, but the pain of heat seems to override, maybe overwrite, their memories … and temporarily they do act like they have more brain:- Not unlike Marduk's beer-drunk gang.
GRAND
(relates to John)
Probably like stripping gears.
JOHN
I never thought that, in-heat means a literal memory recall in animals.
INT. JAMES' CHRYSALIS TUBE
James traipses through-- looking for the female he'd seen;
BIRDLIKE TWITTER WARNINGS go unheeded: Separation is soon.
INT. JEHOVAHN COMMAND - (HALF HOUR LATER)
The Command boat, undocks from the Chrysalis tubes--
And separates;-- slowly backing out; backing… backing…
Jehovah, Mike, Gabe, are present, but not John, Grand.
Pulling out, eventually for clear space, night sky view.…
Seemingly traveling backwards, on the linear parallax.…
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. JEHOVAHN COMMAND - 50K MI. TO FLORIDA (5 HOURS TO GO)
Miles ahead, rolls the huge chrysalis tri-tube, nutating.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS, SIDE-COVES - DIM LIT
Grand searches James' possessions, unrushed;
John leans back; checks his watch; VidCard fails signal--
JOHN
We're running on empty for options.
GRAND
Should we warn anyone?
JOHN
(tries again)
He's, completely out of range …
(a beat)
I hope he's still all right.
GRAND
(worried)
Probably hungry-- we're not caring.
JOHN
Whom could we warn by 5-hours? He's informed his military Brass;-- and they, won't start a mass exodus.…
GRAND
Do you ever try?! My husband did.
He shrugs No … She find James' DSN Crypto--
GRAND
Can you do anything with this?
JOHN
(looks only)
He didn't give me the codes.
And reaches into his pocket-- for his cellphone-- shows it;
JOHN
Think we're close-enough?
GRAND
(looks about ceiling)
Maybe near the outside of the hull: observatory or command deck.-- Try to reach International Air Traffic, first-- they can relay a broadcast.
He speed-dials Pound+2-digits, his home-local airport--
But NO-CONNECTION TONE (CELLPHONE)-- he rises to exit;
JOHN
I'll try the Observation Deck.
She trots to follow.
INT. OBSERVATION DECK
The whole-night sky above, is cleared of chrysalis tubes and cosmic umbrella; Earth itself is visible far forward.
Entering, John speed-dials his cellphone again;
Continues up to the highest level nook view seating--
OUTGOING RINGS (CELLPHONE).…
He sits-- turns volume high-- Grand joins, leaning to hear.
The ELECTRONIC [TRAVEL DESK] (CELLPHONE) answers--
[TRAVEL DESK] (CELLPHONE)
Cerulean Jetlines-- your flight number, please?
He glances to Grand: It's gotten through--
JOHN
(into cellphone)
Traffic Center, Private Code 9-2-2.
[TRAVEL DESK] (CELLPHONE)
One moment, please.
The [ATC] is human, Commander Matt--
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Good evening-- Traffic-Comm-- Matt.
JOHN
Matt! This is, John-- Flight 6-6-6. We're on an unpowered glide slope, and having communications troubles; We need to broadcast an advisory.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Roger, John-- Flight, 6-6-6-- You are reporting flight anomaly and communications difficulty.
[ATC-2] (CELLPHONE)
Flight-6-6-6: Can you reach Runway-3 on Landing Vector North-by-West?
JOHN (CONCURRENT)
(covering the mouthpiece)
Ahhh-- just a moment.
GRAND
(laughs)
Good God: How do we tell them?!
JOHN
(resumes to cellphone)
Traffic-Comm: We're presently high altitude, outside your airspace-- and we're not an ordinary aircraft; We need to broadcast an alert.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Roger, John: What range, you need?
JOHN
International Air Traffic, Southern Europe, Italy; North Mediterranean.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Oooeee-- You flying a U-F-O, John!?
JOHN
Something like that, Matt-- I'll tell you all about it at the Club.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Connecting to: Hub Mediterranean.
[ATC-2] (CELLPHONE-BG)
I've got something, at 11-P-M.
(a beat, puzzles)
Is this radar laggard, the moon?!
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Your buzz is through, John--
[INTATC] picks-up the system-relay of John's cellphone--
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE)
(European accent)
Inter-Con. Systems, Hub-Med.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
U.S. Domestic Hub, Cerulean: We are transferring an emergency request; patching-through.
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE)
Roger,-- go ahead, Cerulean Guest.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Repeat your message, John.
JOHN
Hub-Med, this is, Flight 6-6-6. We have an unpowered glide slope, and communications troubles; We need to broadcast a regional alert.
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE)
Proceed-- recorder is, on.
JOHN
We are presently at high altitude, outside Italy airspace; heading for Italy-Turkey footprint, at noon-- we are not an ordinary aircraft.…
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE)
(inserts)
Noon?-- we have early dawn, here.
JOHN
Affirmative noon, late morning; And absolute, 5-hundred-mile clearance.
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE-BG)
Kabeesh?
[INTATC-2] (CELLPHONE-BG)
We have a bright bogey at 11-P-M: lagging too early for the moon-- another Apollo asteroid, maybe?
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
John-- cigar or pipe!?
JOHN
Nothing, Matt-- plain sober.
[ATC] (CELLPHONE)
Just checking: This isn't your M-O.
[INTATC-2] (CELLPHONE)
(interrupts)
Bogey-One: We are tracking you off high radar: You'll have to come down to 80-thousand feet. Can you take the Gibraltar MS-BLS beacon?
GRAND
(grabs his phone)
Negative take! Negative! This is Grand Admiral Monte, Seychelles Deep Space Command: I repeat: We are negative, glide-slope capable!
John winces expectant.
[INTATC-2] (CELLPHONE-BG)
The Shuttle, can't land in Italy: It takes 5-kilometers and training. Why isn't NASA, telling us?! Can't they make Zaragoza or Benguerir? Or Saudi Int., if they push it?
[INTATC-3] (CELLPHONE-BG)
Maybe they are testing the National X-30 Space Plane: That would create a stir over here, sitting unpowered on the Pope's tarmac.
[INTATC-2] (CELLPHONE-BG)
The X-30 program was canceled decades ago,- in-'93.
[INTATC-3] (CELLPHONE-BG)
You never really know, about DARPA.
[INTATC] (CELLPHONE)
(unruffled)
Roger, Bogey-One.-- Will you have landing gear trouble?
Grand looks at John, kind of funny--
JOHN
(to phone)
None approachable-- Please, Stand-by. Bogey-One, out.
He jog-flips it shut--
JOHN
What else can I tell them?
GRAND
At least they know we're coming.
They contemplate the gorgeous view of Earth ahead.…
EXT. JEHOVAHN COMMAND - NEARING EARTH (2 HOURS TO IMPACT)
50 mi. ahead the chrysalis tubes roll, tinier than Earth.
INT. COMMAND
Gabe watches Grand, John, enter--
JOHN
Ladies, first.
GRAND
(to Gabe)
May we watch from here?
GABE
Certainly-- we will follow closely, just outside Earth's atmosphere.
GRAND
(to John)
Do you suppose they will fire anti-ballistic missiles at it?
JOHN
Are you a betting woman?
GRAND
Just asking for your insight.
JOHN
I think it's a losing bet after the asteroid storm, months ago; If they do use nuclear devices, radioactive debris will fallout back to Earth.
GRAND
I quite agree-- Armageddon is not a civilian pop-quiz.
John, Grand, watch with Jehovah et al.
A HELM REAR VIEW SHOWS A DISTANT BLAZE behind them--
Mike monitors the continuing blaze event--
MIKE
We have a space-vehicle behind us, executing a deceleration maneuver: It does not appear to be Archon.…
Grand's VidCard TWINKLES-IN, A CALLER--
She taps the Call-Accept-- the face is:
[MI-KEE] (VIDCARD)
Greetings, Grand Admiral: This is Commander Mi-Kee,-- on arrival.
GRAND
(to VidCard)
Hello, young mother.
[MI-KEE] (VIDCARD)
We've been trailing, several weeks. Do you wish us to retrieve you?
GRAND
Roger, Mi-Kee: Stay close for now.
JOHN
(dawns a beat)
Jehovah: Can you fit another thirty people aboard?
JEHOVAH
Yes.
He continues, baffling Jehovah and Mike--
JOHN
(flash kids Grand)
Mom: Can I borrow the space cruiser to pick up a friend, and keep a few good turkeys from getting bowled?!
GRAND
(plays along)
If your father were here you'd have to talk with him … I suppose, that is what space cruisers are for. Try not to wreck it.
JOHN
(quick exiting)
Sure, thanks, mom-- you're great! No problem! Tell her, I'm coming.
(targetizes away)
Best two out of three;
Best two out of three;
Best two out of three …
Jehovah, Gabe, look baffled with Mike-- who shrugs--
MIKE
(suggests)
Earthers will be Earthers, till the very end comes.
INT. SHUTTLE BAY
Enoch is working. John grabs 2 zipsuits; and commandeers--
JOHN
(approaching)
Excuse me: I need a shuttle to bring the crew from the other vessel.
ENOCH
I'll take you, Sir.
JOHN
About thirty.
They board a LARGE SHUTTLE-- as John checks its size.
INT. SHUTTLE COMMAND
Enoch pilots as the CARRIER BAY DOORS OPEN--
The shuttle detaches-- and floats out.…
EXT. LARGE SHUTTLE - EARTH LOOMING
Removing to distant from the Jehovahn craft.…
INT. SHUTTLE COMMAND
John, dressing, is fore-thinking how this will all work--
JOHN
(orders)
Best possible speed.
ENOCH
This is only a shuttle: We don't have warp speed, Sir.
JOHN
(utterly amazed)
You people have warp drive?!
ENOCH
I just said, we don't, Sir.
JOHN
Right.
(a beat Maybe)
Have you been on Earth?
ENOCH
I grew-up, on Earth, Sir.
(half a beat)
And visited many times since.
JOHN
Where?-- What's your name?
ENOCH
Enoch, Sir.
JOHN
(dawns on him)
Oh.
(2 beats)
We don't have time-- we need to evacuate the Cruiser directly. Can you retrieve them from space?
ENOCH
If it is not a test, I can.
JOHN
(smiles aloud)
It's time for a little moderation.
EXT. GRAND SPACE CRUISER, LIGHT REAR-FORWARD THRUST
The shuttle matches speed to the CENTRAL ACCESS DECK--
PULLS IN-- AND ATTACHES--
John tells Enoch he'll go alone-- and exits in his zipsuit.
INT. CENTRAL ENTRANCE DECK
John enters via the side airlock--
Moving inside the Cruiser-- he taps his VidCard--
JOHN
Mi-Kee: Evacuate all hands.
MI-KEE
What is it, John?
JOHN
We need to go rescue James.
MI-KEE
He's with you.
JOHN
He's … we don't have time-- it's on Grand-Admiral's permission.
Pulls out a cigar and lighter-- lights the lighter--
WALL AIR MONITORS CHIRP-WHISTLE AND E-VOCALIZE ALERTS: "Warning! Flame ignition in the primary entrance level: 13-hundred degrees!"-- AND REPEATING;
He halts, eyeing one of the air monitors-- approaches it:
JOHN
(grins)
There you are.…
Lights the cigar, sucking puffs-- extinguishes the flame:
MONITOR E-VOCALS ADJUST: "Warning! Residual burning in the primary entrance level: 8-hundred degrees";
And jams the lit end into the wall monitor--
KLAXONS SOUND OFF ALERT throughout the Cruiser.…
MONITOR E-VOCALS ADJUST: "Fire blaze-- entrance level!"
JOHN
Not too moderate.
He's into the corridor to the elevator, going.…
Personnel exit promptly passed, back his way.
AT THE ELEVATOR: He waits for the door.
THE DOOR OPENS: on Mi-Kee and others evacuating--
Mi-Kee carries a bundled Baby.
JOHN
(catches her)
No-- you stay, and help me.
She hands Baby to another-- and returns into the elevator.
INT. ELEVATOR, RISING - (CONTINUOUS)
MI-KEE
What is it, John?
JOHN
James is in one of the chrysalis tubes heading for Earth, to crash.
MI-KEE
(knows little)
What chrysalis tubes?
JOHN
A long story-- Jehovah's plan, to dump a billion souls, to populate the Earth, with a new kind of man.
MI-KEE
That's the gigantic ship, I've been following?
JOHN
Exactly: And it's misaimed, bearing to crash on Italy and thereabouts.
MI-KEE
Oh, baby!
JOHN
Exactly. Lots of them.
The elevator stops at the
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - (CONTINUOUS)
ENTER-- Mi-Kee checks the personnel monitor-- two aboard--
MI-KEE
That's you and me-- just two of us.
JOHN
Let's go for it.
Displays show the exterior retreat of Enoch's shuttle.
She seats him at Nav-- and she at Helm-- and controls it;
MI-KEE
Stand by! And monitor Navigation. This wasn't built for single point control-- but it can: I'm trimming approach velocity: Thrust now.…
FUSION THRUSTERS INCREASE HUM, pushing slightly upward.
JOHN
Feels like gravity.
MI-KEE
(giggles)
What have you been on? This is a tenth gee!
JOHN
We had very low gravity aboard the Jehovahn's command vessel.
MI-KEE
(awestruck)
You, met, Jehovah!?
JOHN
(realizes her newness)
Yes: On the small vessel, in back.
MI-KEE
(still surprised)
O-kay.
EXT. GRAND SPACE CRUISER - NEARING SPACE-CITY-SHIP
Gliding closer; decelerating 100 mph, REAR-FORWARD THRUST.
INT. CRUISER COMMAND
MI-KEE
(controlling)
What do you expect to accomplish? If we break it, pieces will fall on mostly the same area, on Earth.
JOHN
We can gently push at its center: And throw it to a better course.
MI-KEE
But the fission thrusters are…
(half a beat)
Seatbelts!-- Ready for rotation!
They quickly seatbelt-in.
EXT. EARTH LOOMS AHEAD EASTWARD, FLORIDA BELOW - 6 AM
So near ahead-- so close: mere jumps, across space…
The ten-mile long chrysalis tubes logrolling ahead;
Their space Cruiser rearward on fusion exhaust-- nears:
FLIPS-OVER-- to forward,-- to push at the center--
Aligning roughly-- approaching-- and straight in--
TO CRASH HEADFIRST UP the middle core:
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - REAR OF THE SPACE-CITY-SHIP
INTO THE REAR END, a quarter mile to each tube aside;
JOHN
(looks up at Overhead)
Brace yourself for head-first!
MI-KEE
(LOOKS UP AT OVERHEAD)
Oooooooohhhh-boooooyyyy!
THEY CRUNCH INTO THE CENTER TUBE-- JOLTING THEM UP GRUFFLY:
JOHN (negative weight)
I won't report this woman driver!
MI-KEE (negative weight)
Stuff it, taxi driver!
THE VESSEL CRUNCHING SLOWS TO HALT-- ON A HARD JOLT-TWIST, John's seatbelt snaps-- he grab-hangs from the panels-- the sky side is scrolling: the whole being gyro-stabilized;
JOHN
(hanging negative)
Jehovah said, there'd be days like this.
MI-KEE
Which ones?
JOHN
Friday or Saturday-- what's left.
MI-KEE
(Biblical)
And God created heavy waiters!
He laughs,-- and floats back:-- settling into his seat…
MI-KEE
(resumes control)
Mom is not going to be happy.
JOHN
You call Grand Admiral, mom?
MI-KEE
We all do, sometimes.
(busy)
Do you object?
JOHN
Hadn't given it a thought.… She who holds the purse strings is mom.
MI-KEE
(reads status)
Fusion drive linear is wrecked; Forward pellant, offline; But the fission lifters still work.
(keys)
Rear tanks only; Coming up now!
THE FISSION LIFTERS ROAR-UP; CRUNCHING the Cruiser FORWARD;
MI-KEE
Give me your calculations for this!
JOHN
(blank)
Calculations?
MI-KEE
You don't, have the calculations!?
JOHN
Who, calculates mileage for driving down to the corner?
MI-KEE
Who, drives the city, down to the corner?! We don't have much push against this object: It's thousands times heavier. What did your mother feed you boys?!
JOHN
(2 beats)
If we figure the space-city-ship is 50-times longer, and a thousand times the cross-section, but empty; Just give it all you've got.…
MI-KEE
Platform heading, 5-degrees south: Where do we want this city to land?
JOHN
In the middle of the Mediterranean.
MI-KEE
(keys-up)
That translates:- Override gimbles.
ENGINE ROAR GOES INTO OVERDRIVE;
MI-KEE
(checks Nav)
We have 15-minutes left to do this and escape.
(leans and keys his)
Monitor engine status instead--
NAV SWITCHES TO FISSION ENGINE STATUS.
JOHN
(monitoring)
Okay-- 1-hundred-45-percent.
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP - APPROACHING THE ATMOSPHERE
The tiny Cruiser thrusts, gimbling hard at the rear center:
The stack, gently rolling-nutating, is standing up 15 deg.…
INT. CRUISER COMMAND - NEAR ATMOSPHERIC (30 MIN. TO EARTH)
Mi-Kee verifies their Nav-computed heading velocity mph--
MI-KEE
Del-8-50 m-p-h, by 58-degrees:- 30-minutes to impact buys… 3-hundred miles.… Sloppy but I think we've succeeded: Shutting down.…
(keys Off fusion drive)
Don't want to overshoot.
(smiles at him)
ENGINES DIMINISH TO HISS [and low gravity] … and silent; they get up, and exit, wobbly, to the elevator;
Wait;-- two-handed mutual clap:-- tilting apart giggling as
THE ELEVATOR OPENS;--
MI-KEE
(righting, entering)
There are two escape shuttles left.
JOHN
(sobers)
I must still go back for James.
MI-KEE
Yes.
Door is closed;-- elevator descends.…
INT. ELEVATOR, DESCENDING - (NEAR CONTINUOUS)
Side-by-side parallel:
MI-KEE
Half as heavy as I expected.
JOHN
Carbon-composition: Nano-engineering.
MI-KEE
(a beat, quietish)
That was a cute trick, triggering the Fire Alarm: You could have just keyed the Emergency Evacuation.
JOHN
(a beat, equally)
I… never read the Instruction Manual for my cigar.
Both, straight-face a beat,-- cracking a closed laugh.…
INT. SMALL SHUTTLE BAY
They enter, smiling; detaching 2 zipsuits;-- she dons hers:
MI-KEE
We must leave in 8-minutes, before it tumbles: There's no late pardon.
Finished, she enters a small 8-person reentry shuttle--
MI-KEE
I can hold it only 8-minutes, John.
JOHN
(packs the zipsuit)
8-minutes. I hope he wants to go.
MI-KEE
Go main entry level: You can see: Depressurize code is 7-1-5-9-6. Keep in touch. And watch your orientation to Earth-- we'll be broadside when aeroglow gets strong. Code is, 7-1-5-9-6.
JOHN
(exits)
7-1-5-9-6-- 71-5-96-- 71-59-6-…
As she closes up the reentry shuttle.…
INT. ENTRY DECK - OPPOSITE A CHRYSALIS TUBE - SKY SCROLLING
Against quickly DIMINISHING E-VOICE ATMOSPHERE WARNINGS and balloon furnitures super-plumping, John in his plumped zipsuit, space-pack and jetpack, leaning--
Hits Open--
THE HATCH OPENS.…
He floats out, down the crevasse slope to open space--
Nearing the edge he can see across,-- a wide breadth,--
But the chrysalis tubes look alike; And Earth is crossing.
A puff of his jetpack puts him down-- to touch, and, he:
LEAPS UP-ACROSS,-- LEADING TO MEET the tube near a portal;
The forward space-ram-pavis is hazy lit yellow and red: The vessel is entering the outer atmosphere, aeroglow!
A mid-course correction with his jetpack-- good aim--
He meets the portal right-- and grabs-in-- and checks--
But its identifications are undecipherable to him--
He OPENS THE AIRLOCK--
ENTERS--
Attempts to repressurize-- but the panel refuses controls.
He pushes the inner hatch: It swings already depressurized.
A moment of puzzlement evaporates: It's the emptied tube!
He retreats, and exits promptly-- out to space--
AND LOOKS UP BENEATH THE TWO OTHER IDENTICAL TUBES--
Tests his centrifugal weight, a little jump-- low gravity.
Blinks a confident contrite prayerful moment-- inhaling,
Backs, balancing-- jumps out up and hard away-- across:
THE MILE-- BETWEEN TUBES: [plus 100 meters open space]
The forward space-ram-pavis is brightening yellow-white:
The tubes and his suit have aeroglow on the eastward side.
He holds his hand in the aeroglow-- looking to its source.
INT. JAMES' CHRYSALIS TUBE - DIM WARM LIT
In the mild outward gravity the chrysalides are massed on the outer wall, animal-humping; James is searching--
Mostly ignored-- until he finds his Female Chrysalis--
Who jumps to animal-hump him, undulating not understanding:
He hugs her like a pet-- but then recognizes her action--
And pushes her-- off-- and backs clear-- disgusted--
Realizing-- intelligence does not make him, one of them; she reconsiders him-- then jumps and animal-humps another.…
EXT. JOHN - NEARING THE NEXT CHRYSALIS TUBE
Strong blazing aeroglow dragging his suit-- and he makes:
Another late-course jetpack correction, down …
Landing significantly aft and away from an airlock--
He leans into the aeroglow drag, dainty-walking forward;
At the airlock, quickly enters, hoping this is James'--
INT. AIRLOCK, PORTAL CLOSING
Earth is lower down the ship fore: with little time left.
CLOSED. He punches the depressurization control--
A MOMENT OF HISS-- COMPRESSING HIS ZIPSUIT to un-plump.
He opens his floorward inner portal and climbs down in:
Starts his elevator descent,-- and slowly accelerating;
And taps a wall PA-communicator: his PA-voice echoes--
JOHN (WITH PA)
James! You in here?! I hope!
(unbearable pause)
(taps his VidCard)
(WITHOUT PA)
(shouts anyway)
James! Are you in here?!
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
Yes, I'm here-- John?
JOHN
Where are you?!
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
Somewhere below your voice.
JOHN
We've corrected your aim: You can go home now!
[JAMES] (VIDCARD)
I'm, ready, to go home.
John continues the elevator down to the outer wall--
JOHN
(shouts)
Locate my voice!
(shouting)
I'm coming down!
(shouting)
Come-on, guy!
AT THE BOTTOM--
He lands and walks away, shouting for location--
JOHN
(shouting)
I'm on the wall: Where are you?!
JAMES (OS)
(running shouting)
I'm closing: You're near a pillar!
JOHN
(shouts)
Right! Come-on! There's no time!
JAMES (OS)
(nearing shouts)
I'm running-- I see you!
JOHN
(loud)
Come-on-- come-on!
JAMES
(arrives smiling)
Hi, John-- I wasn't expecting you.
JOHN
(leads back)
You can forget that-- immediately!
They rush to the elevator pillar, on good footing.…
ONTO THE ELEVATOR,-- and go up,-- accelerating.…
[MI-KEE] (VIDCARD)
(calls)
John: We must leave in 60-seconds: This is the wrong attitude for the shuttle reentry: I can't stay: You have 60-seconds to get back, now!
JOHN
(taps his VidCard)
We're on the elevator.
JAMES
Mi-Kee's with you?
JOHN
What changed your mind, Jim?
JAMES
They're just not my people, John.
John opens his backpack, and gets him the spare zipsuit.…
INTO THE AIRLOCK, moments later; James finishing dressing;
Outside glows THIN BRIGHT PLASMA; their VidCards faltering;
JOHN
(out-spects)
Uh-oh: We can't get across:
(a beat)
It's hellish out there, already!
(a beat, to VidCard)
Mi-Kee: You'll have to go without us: We can't cross: We'll drift and burn!
(a beat)
Mi-Kee: Do you hear me? Save yourself, Mi-Kee!
[MI-KEE] (VIDCARD)
(wailing concurrently)
I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
JOHN
(overrides her voice)
It's not … Mi-Kee: It's not, your fault: Don't delay longer: Go now.
JAMES
(taps his VidCard)
Commander Mi-Kee: This is Senior Commander James: You are ordered to depart! Blow, verniers, Commander!
(a beat)
Mi-Kee: This is a Priority One order! Blow your verniers, now!
(calms a beat)
Mi-Kee-- I never got to say this, the last time:
(a beat)
Mi-Kee-- I love you.
MI-KEE
(breaks: crying)
Yes, sir.
JAMES
Mi-Kee:
(remembers sweetly)
Captain: This is not, a soft decision, We need you to turn-on this decision, hard.
MI-KEE
(snaps back)
Yes, Sir. Bye-- James-- I love you.
SHUTTLE BLOWS VERNIERS:-- FLOATING UP-- AND BACK;
MI-KEE
(whimpering)
I love you, too, John: I will miss you both, very much.
James and John watch the shuttle depart free and tilt up to its own de-orbit reentry attitude, blazing away:
JAMES
Best kid I ever knew: She'll make it.
(a beat)
And when I told you, don't follow me, I didn't mean you should wait till next millennium.
JOHN
(chuckles)
We have two chances in a billion.
JAMES
Can we geniuses count that high?
JOHN
It's worth a try: The tubes are designed to remain intact and gouge the landscape-- part of Jehovah's scientific method, about covering the chrysalis corpses in deep clay, near the water table.
JAMES
(dawns, turns)
Adam and his creatures were formed of the clay!
JOHN
(redirects)
It means, we don't vaporize before we hit: The bow end slows before it reaches the atmosphere; it stays cooler, and crashes supersonic.
JAMES
(looks out ahead)
If there's rescue equipment in the central core, it's probably smashed by your Cruiser-- and we can't get to the core, in that plasma!
JOHN
Think you can swim seven miles a minute in low gravity?
JAMES
(rouses)
Let's get flopping!
They retreat back into the tube--
And dive headfirst, James, John, like fish into the,
CENTRAL-SIDE MAINTENANCE-ACCESS CONDUIT:
Hand-climb-racing, pumping, faster, faster-- like missiles:
EXT. TUBES ROLLING FASTER, 45 DEG. NEARING VERTICAL
PYLONS EXTEND to wider radius lessening artificial gravity;
INT. MAINTENANCE-ACCESS CONDUIT - (SAME TIME)
A RESOUNDING GRIND-- THE EXTENSION STOPS AT MAXIMUM;
James bumps, slowing; but John not as quickly, onto him …
Gliding a long distance, side-by-side, too close to work:
JOHN
You okay?
JAMES
(rubbing a head-scrape)
If you ever, invite me on one of these outer spacer gigs again, I'll bop you on the nose!
JOHN
Again? I, didn't invite you this first, time-- remember?!
JAMES
(stern finger up)
That gives you one, freebie.…
(squarely at him)
Then: Pow!
JOHN
(a beat)
Keep going.
John hand-brakes slightly to let James take the lead--
James re-accelerates hand-over-hand-- they continue.…
Passing windows on the dark inside, the blaze outside.…
The chrysalis tube is warming to sweaty--
JOHN
(breathing ad lib)
The engine block crashes intact, amid its space-ram Whipple-shield. But this tube will break-up in mile sections before crashing broadside.
INT. CONDUIT - FOREMOST TUBE SECTION - (MINUTE LATER)
Red marked walls indicate the end of the conduit nears.
GREAT CRACKING ECHOES, mean the tube is heat-stressed.
OUTSIDE BLAZES WHITE-- their faces reddened in sweat--
JOHN
There-- the forward pylon! Slow up!
Balancing, feet apart, hand-catching, unpumping, slowing.…
EXT. SPACE-CITY-SHIP BEGINNING DEORBIT, 60 DEG. VERTICAL
Entryward sides draped in white plasma: bottom ablating …
INT. AIRLOCK, PYLON, LADDER - (SAME TIME)
Far below, a beseiged army of Chrysalides SCREECHES ORDERS;
Turning in, they climb-crawl the foreside, extended ladder;
THE STRUCTURE GROANS-- it's hotter than a sauna;
They close their flate-helmets-- and rush-climb a furlong.
Small windows scope tattered Whipple-shield tines ablaze.
THE PORTAL BEHIND, SLAMS SHUT;-- AND TWO OTHERS DISTANT;
THE HUGE CHRYSALIS TUBES BREAK FREE-- drifting away;
THE PYLON SWAYS: FLOATING THEM;-- they catch and climb …
Behind them, the pylon portal end begins glowing cherry.…
INT. SPACE-ENGINE BLOCK ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
They scramble-up inside where it's cooler enough to stay--
And stand on a downhill grade slowly tilting up; [3 min.]
JAMES
(pumped-smile relieves)
Next level!-- 15-minutes!
CONCURRENTLY: THE PYLON PORTALS SLAM SHUT 1-2---3;
JOHN
What do we have for escape, here?!
And they search among cowlings for a means of escape.
But there's no obvious escape equipment;
JAMES
(broaches)
Nothing; And no cushion pods:-- We have to jump!
JOHN
Supersonic?!
(half a beat)
Can you do that in a fighter jet?!
JAMES
(lightens)
Yes, in fact: subsonic inside the shockwall; But it requires a hard shell-- and good padding.
They attempt to break cowlings-- but barely dent any …
EXT. BLOCK ROOM - THREE TUBES 10 MI. SEP. 65 DEG. VERTICAL
White plasma, lower ablating: tube bottom segments freed …
INT. BLOCK ROOM
On the level; John remembers--
JOHN
Whipple shields-- must have spares.
They try to open sections--
He opens one-- and finds spare shield-cloth--
JOHN
Swaddling clothes!
But James, into another container, is sniffling tears--
JAMES
Oh, God! She was expecting us.…
JOHN
(gathering, puzzles)
We need to go, now.
JAMES
(clears a beat)
Look,-- at these.
JOHN
(looks in)
What are they?
James removes 2 neat plump paraglider coffin-cone-packages:
JAMES
(one to John)
Paragliders: She was expecting us!
Slipping; opens one-- and knife-tests its tough hard shell;
JOHN
(slipping)
Did Adam and Eve use these?!
(half a beat)
Lord, forgive me: Adam and Eve were children! Show me how to work it!
JAMES
As tough as Lexan-- this may do!
He opens its paraglider. [3-stage W-wing like-Fresnel lens]
JAMES
(dons it)
Always nose-first …
Dive 6-seconds …
Terminal velocity is 1-20-…
Let it pull you hard and up …
Always feel that upward pull …
Glide at 30-percent slope:
One-to-three …
If you don't feel the pull-up hard,
Dive out of that stall …
Your last 100-feet is 10-seconds …
Swoop-out to level-- else you're running into a wall, face first …
Then flare-up just before landing …
Like a big bird! Slide, if you can…
Try for water if you see it …
Don't belly-flop!
Slipping; they pad-over layers of Whipple cloth; tying.…
EXT. DISTANT BLOCK - THREE TUBE REMNANTS-CHAINS 50 MI. SEP.
All ablating long glowing streams.…
INT. BLOCK ROOM
Padded and tied like grilled dumplings; shells at hand;
JOHN
(grabs his shell)
We still need a way out!
JAMES
Find it!
John slips--forward; James kneels to a pylon portal window:
JAMES
Probably jammed-- an eighth mile is not enough time.…
The pylon inside is but a jagged melted stub, open-ended;
JAMES
Nope-- that's no easy way out.
JOHN (OS)
An air-lock!
James grabs his shell and slips-steps forward-down to John;
John still looking inside, waving James to come.
They open it--
And enter, single file-- a room sufficient for two-plus;
And close it: feet to the side, lest they slip back out.
INT. AIRLOCK - NW HORIZON SPAIN 10 AM - (CONTINUOUS)
The sky is blue-black through the glass-wool cover.
John final locks the inside hatch;
JAMES
(looking out)
We're still supersonic-- wait till this side is rearward, again.
They fit themselves into their shells; the sky cycles …
And ziplock-up like packaged marshmallows unto the top.
JAMES
(looks again)
That should be Gibraltar.
(to John)
Like falling on rafters-- ready!?
They check their ziplocks, tight-- and John nods Yes--
JOHN (MUFFLED)
Say, when,-- Hercules!
James nudges the key-- the portal opens; WIND EDDIES BUFFET LOUDLY; Gibraltar east, clouds, blurry in supersonic slip: A view of earth like 6000 years ago; but today, now!
They poise semi-crouched, ready to jump-- and wait 3 beats:
JAMES (MUFFLED)
(yells)
See you at your office!
JOHN (MUFFLED)
(yells)
Just leave the check!
Both laugh (MUFFLED).
Gibraltar is (OS); wind softer; sky stronger deep blue--
JAMES
(turns, yells)
Now!
They stand up fast-- eddy-winds sucking them out--
And behind … far, slowly vortex-spiraling funneled about the center … and away from each other …
EXT. 5 MI. ABOVE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, ITALY - 11 AM NO MOON
BEHIND THE RUMBLING THUNDER … one, opens his paraglider;
Then, the other-- and they drift toward each other.
FAR FORWARD, three remnants-chains lowest segments collapse on the Sea,-- spewing cocktails 120 mi. apart, eastward…
Skipping, skimming, tumbling onward beyond upheaved clouds.
INT. JEHOVAHN COMMAND, SIDE VIEW - 100 MI. LOW EARTH ORBIT
They watch the collapse of their space-city-ship tracing billowing clouds 1000 miles across the east Mediterranean Sea, onto Har Megiddo, Israel, and finally, into Arabia;
Grand enters, cuddling Mi-Kee's baby, and cooing:
GRAND
(close and quiet)
Little arch-angel: What did Mi-Kee name you, for your God-parents?
JEHOVAH
(turns)
Ahhh-- you brought your newborn: Is it a boy, or a girl?
GRAND
A boy: Our First-Captain, Commander Mi-Kee gave birth on the New-Earth.
GABE
(to Jehovah)
New-Adam.
JEHOVAH
Yes. So it is!
A TRACE of two subsonic BEACONS, mid Mediterranean--
GABE
(rechecking beacons)
We've got two beacons: Paragliders open; Normal descent: They're home!
MIKE
(turns to Jehovah)
Are you going down this time?
JEHOVAH
(watching Earth)
Nyet.-- They've got a handle on it.
MIKE
(turns to Earth)
Behold: They are two very good men.
JEHOVAH
Yes: Al-to-gether, very good.
MIKE
Think it's time we prepare for Day Seven?- They are al-most ready to rule, with us.
JEHOVAH
(broad smiles)
Five minutes to midnight.
MIKE
(smiles)
I'll synchronize my chronometer--
(shows his wristwatch)
Did you remember, I'd found it again? In a Chinese curios shop!
(catches it in light)
I'd thought it was gone forever, when I dropped it in the garden, north-west of Bubiyan.
(taps it)
Still keeps good time, after six millennia.
JEHOVAH
Takes a lickin'; Keeps on tickin'.
They smile.…
CUT TO:
EXT. 4 MI. HIGH SKY - OVER THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Closing a tenth mile, James, John, paraglide, sideslipping toward each other, forward homeward; having a good time …
FROM BEHIND, a white spot glides over-- Mi-Kee's shuttle …
FAR AHEAD, the last tube remnants plow into the Arabian subcontinent and broad plume of dust mixed with lightning: Lebanon aleft, Egypt aright; Armageddon amid.
CREDITS ROLL.…
FADE TO:
INT. MEZZANINE STUDY, WINDOW - EARLY MORNING
John adds his final chapter-notes from the Bible:
JOHN (VO)
(John 8:58)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
(Rev. 22:13)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
JAMES (VO)
(Matt. 24:40)
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
GRAND (VO)
(Gen. 2:1)
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested; and blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested.
John looks up-- and sees himself only, in his mirror wall.
MIKE (VO)
That was a fun, 6-thousand years: Let's play it again, sometime.
GABE (VO)
Okay; but next time, I, get to spin first.
The Jehovahns (VO) laugh.
FADE OUT
THE END.

[ARCHAEODUS prequel] [StarTrails prequel]



Screenwriter: Raymond Kenneth Petry
Strategic Director: Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry, Director, Sesquatercet
Producer-Director: Wision--Sesquatercet USA
Casting Director: Wision--Sesquatercet USA
Registrar: Wision--Sesquatercet USA (division of Lanthus Corporation USA)
Recipient: project N E M O Nuclear Emergency Management Organization
Registered Owner: Lanthus Surrogate Executive Accessions Management
Licenser: [tbd]

The theory of measurement propounded in this work is not to be cited (as) considering contraband or corpses; Nor are the intellectual appurtenances hereïn to be used for or in the commission of crimes against persons, peoples, properties, or powers (States).
COPYRIGHT: BASIC LIBRARY RULES: NONTRANSFERABLE: READ QUIETLY
© 2001-2004, 2007-2009 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry