Petry System Family Wision USA

in conjunction with

project NEMO

presents

How far can reality go?
The StarTrails Game
Never say, simulator, again!

a contemporary space sciences adventure, PG-13 Sci³fi feature

Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry, Strategic Director
a Wision--SesQuaTercet USA production

"Before NASA sends men to another planet it will be simulated a thousand times."

(a division of Lanthus Corporation)

[index][script][music][sets&settings][budget][prospectus][roles]
[science-cubed-adventure] An 8th grader who loves StarTrails comics-to-movies-to-forums has won their summer fun contest to ride with the regular astronauts six weeks at NASA's Deep-Space Simulator Training Facility... But she's virtually over-qualified and gets the first-captain's chair, and it looks all too real for a simulation: They launch a full-scale mission from Earth to Neptune, routine until she learns the real purpose for the mission is to rendezvous with a newly-discovered near-solar-system-object, and must cope with the consequences of trying their best among gravity-singularities and stray atmospheres, and whatever planets are way out there at the edge....

The concept is that StarTrails is both the reality of her favorite science-fiction story and, NASA's next big push for the edge.

(Her dad was her older brother in the third of the Professors' Spring Break trilogy: See Mikee's debut, Spring Fling act#6.)

The Game itself is a seven-player simulator-trainor for tomorrows' deep-space astronauts to help NASA look ahead: In the 1960's America went to the moon, and developed nuclear-powered space engines with the thrust equivalent of the Space Shuttle's main-three running non-stop, for going to Mars and beyond... but nuclear power was deemed unclean, unsafe and unsane, 'til now (Zr-96, Ni-58)-- it's time to return to immanent domain, power, and glory.
[Music specified in this screenplay is the Strategic Director's selection from hundreds of CD's of existing works by artists whose timbre and lyrics fit each onscreen activity, and is not otherwise representative of projects Sesquatercet and its purposes or NEMO and its advanced sciences and theories]

Script

"THE STARTRAILS GAME"
-REAL VIRTUALITY-
Story and screenplay by
Raymond Kenneth Petry
(Based on his web-published science articles)
Sesquatercet@Lanthus.net
% Honolulu HI 96830-7250
Reg. # WS-5STARTRA-1 (2015 Lanthus Registrar)
PRELUDE, MOTIF AND FANFARE:
(music - […]/[…]/[…] 4:44)
(music - […]/[…]/[…] 3:13)
BLACK
PRELAP: Lively FEMALE GIGGLES dodge about our aural-space…
FADE IN: (CONTINUOUS SOUND)
INT. STARSHIP COMMAND DECK - LIGHTED (LIVE COMIC BOOK)
In exaggeration for the Outer Story:
POV: FORWARD SCREEN, pushing into a dramatic scene--
COMIC: CAPTAIN, HELMSMAN, NAVIGATOR, ENGINEER, SCIENCER, COMMUNICATOR, DEFENSOR, are trying to regain control of the Computer dreamily chasing GIGGLING VIRTUAL VIRGINS attired in flowing-layered-sheer leap-running along a forest ledge, one side buttress rock cliff, the other sun-hazy precipice…
Captain standing Center, is pointing straight-back at us--
COMIC CAPTAIN
(command-irked, at us)
Can, You, Stop-- That…?!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
(a beat)
Not apparently-- sir-- They are locked-in…
Captain WHIPS-ABOUT to confront--
POV: Communicator: Full-width-view of the chase:
COMIC CAPTAIN (CU)
Locked-in--!? Where-and-what is its source…?!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR (POV)
(cowed)
The Computer itself, is projecting the image… sir…
COMIC CAPTAIN
The Computer--!?
(command-challenge)
On whose, Authority--!?
COMIC ENGINEER
On, its own, authority,-- sir…
POV off.
COMIC CAPTAIN
(hot at Engineer)
It's own, authority--!? What, kind, of response is that--?!
COMIC SCIENCER
(tentatively)
It is not external, sir: It is just onscreen, And does not appear to be a malfunction,-- sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
(worried all-about)
Not, a malfunction--? What controls have we left…? Can we determine our location…?! Our heading--?!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
COMIC NAVIGATOR
(to controls)
We appear, to have full, control… sir:-- We are still on-course for Procyon star-base: It is only the main viewscreens displaying … Raw telemetry is consistent with our mission flightplan… However--
(turns to, calming)
Allow me an interpretation, Captain…
(composes points)
If-- the cliff on our left, is the stellar-nursery, nebula, And, the precipice, to the right, is the incipient supernova-plasma-bloom, And, We, are following this narrow, course, along the interface, And,-- Trees, are avoidable-dumb-asteroid-debris, And the gaggle of women are our forward smart-sensor-probes and multiple-tactical-course-correction options… Then…
Pauses, pondering…
COMIC CAPTAIN
(quiet exasperation)
Yes--? Then, What--?!
COMIC SCIENCER
(to help, confides)
Then: The computer has bypassed its prima-cognitive-logic-comprehension interpretativity-- facility,-- Sir!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
COMIC CAPTAIN
(upset, to both)
Merely… Bypassed…?!
COMIC ENGINEER
(cowed)
Yes, sir: The computer is dreaming… sir…
COMIC CAPTAIN
(astonished)
Dreaming…! How long-- is a computer dream…?!
BG. Defensor is gesturing gunfire, "Chu-Chu… Chu-Chu-Chu…"
COMIC SCIENCER
Difficult to say, sir-- The bypass, appears phaselocked to nebula-local spatiotemporal nauticocommunication cross-coefficients … 5-kilo-hesits, re-gestation interval, I estimate…
COMIC CAPTAIN
(bothered, and about)
And-- We just sit-tight, and watch, till it's over--!?
COMIC DEFENSOR
(aiming, bombingly rapt)
Apparently so… sir…!
Targets more Virgins-- "Chonk … Chu… Chu… Chu-Chu-Chu-Chu…"
MOM (VO distant)
(calling)
Mikee…!
All look-about surprised awed at this new incongruity…
MOM (OS distant CONT'D)
(2 sec.)
Mikee--! Lunch is ready…!
(00:00 piano - […]/[…]/[…])
FREEZE-PAGE, AND
PULL OUT TO REVEAL--
INT. MIKEE'S BEDROOM - SAT. NOON (CONTINUOUS: OUTER STORY)
POV: MIKEE (smart female 13): COMIC BOOK on her bed,
MIKEE (POV)
(props-up, loud)
Coming…!
Closes the Comic Book, and slides off the bed,
(00:05 +ensemble)
And via her desk, exits-- to the doorway… (through)
TITLE CREDITS-- sequence:
Petry System Family Wision USA, and
N E M O Nuclear Emergency Management,
- present -
And down--
INT. STAIRWAY, CARPETED - (CONTINUOUS)
(00:16 bouncy +vocal)
BOUNCY LEVITY toe-point-step dreamy-dancy down… (through)
TITLE CREDITS-- rising fixed with the ceiling:
A science-cubed-fiction adventure, PG-13
"THE STARTRAILS GAME"
Raymond Kenneth Petry, Strategic Director
A Wision--Sesquatercet USA production:
(00:27 "Oh! Oh!")
And… ONE LEAP-- lands ballet-bird-graceful…
(00:31 +thumping)
And… HOPS-- passing the PC Telephone Desk… into--
INT. KITCHEN - (CONTINUOUS)
(00:34 +ensemble)
Mom sets soft-milk-and-sandwiches on a table set for three, Mail sits at each place, including letters from StarTrails.
Mikee command-strolls in from the landing… Eases a bit--
(00:39 "And now" -decrescendo-)
MIKEE
(happy)
Okay--! Where's the rib-eye steak?!
MOM
Rib-eye… For lunch--?
MIKEE
The Grand-Admiral's favorite-cut in StarTrails….
MOM
(smiles)
'Oh' Then you've been around the galaxy again … Well … Drink your galactic milk while you're here, Enjoy a rare, Earth-found treat: Tunafish, sandwich-- And, maybe, we'll have rib-eye for dinner.
MIKEE
(sits, eats)
Good enough for starship survival!
MOM
You don't farm tunafish on starships, Do you?
MIKEE
Star,-Kissed, tuna, maybe…?
(a flash-smile, sober)
No, Nor cows,-- I suppose they stop at some inhabited planets…
MOM
Be sure to read your P-mail --while you're still here, Grand-Admiral:-- There's an item you want to ask me.
MIKEE
(inspects mail)
P-mail--? 'Oh' Yes: Protonic,-mail…
(grins, to herself)
Subscription renewal-- Why do they do that before summer…?
(opens it, unanswered)
StarTrails… Newsletter-- Maybe…?
(reads an eye-opener!)
I-- Won?! I'm… invited to Visit the NASA D-S-S-T-F Training Center this July 14th, through August 26th… Can I go, please? It'd be educational…!
MOM
Talk with Daddy: We have family camp in August.
MIKEE
(reads more, plays-in)
Okay… It's six weeks at NASA Texas… I could take the commuter-jet, from the airport-- That way you wouldn't have to drive me there by car…
MOM
They should pay your travel expenses.
MIKEE
(reads down)
Travel… travel… They have defrayed expenses-- up to 4-hundred-dollars depending on City,-Of,-Residence…
MOM
4-hundred dollars should do it-- You can fly Economy Class: We can get you a special summer fare….
MIKEE
(reading)
Okay: I'll accept their prize: It's ten-times-better than the 6-hundred and-66 dollars, alternative-prize…
MOM
(bemused)
You still have to talk to Daddy… He's pruning in the backyard-- And you can remind him, Lunch is ready.
MIKEE
(finishes)
Okay, But I can write-up my reply first…
Mom finds her curtailment bemusing…
(02:20 -fade out-)
CUT TO:
INT. HALLWAY - PC TELEPHONE DESK - JUST AFTER NOON
Mikee mail-in-hand, passing pauses, and taps a Shift-key--
FLAT-PANEL: LIST… Grandma's Vid-Mail message… Mikee sits--
MIKEE
(loud to OS)
Mom--! There's a 'Phane'-mail from Grandma: May I answer it-- please?
MOM (OS KITCHEN)
Don't flag it Done, Mikee… But you may read and reply-- She will like to have your answer, too.
MIKEE
(keys, loud)
Okay-- Thanks!
SELECTED-- PLAYS-- recorded photos, live-transcription,
[GRANDMA:REC]
Hello… This is Grandma Anderson … This Telephane-message is for the whole family…
VOX-PAUSE on
MIKEE
(inserts direct)
Hi, Grandma…! Mom said I can answer your message first.
VID-RESUME: BG. AMATEUR-FLIPS to Grandma's Backyard,
[GRANDMA:REC]
I am calling from home: We have had very nice weather-- And I have been outside every day: It's lovely now…
BG. AMATEUR-FLASH-PANS to the Orange Tree,
[GRANDMA:REC (CONT'D)]
(holds a leafy branch)
I've pruned-back the orange tree so we'll have a smaller crop, when you visit at Christmas… 'Oh' But that's months away, -Goodness,- But we can think ahead, Can't we…?!
POPUP MONTAGE: Over-the-fence: 3 Men work a wall-size-crate tilting through double-sliding-glass-doors… (an HDTV-IMAX*)
[GRANDMA:REC (CONT'D VO)]
The neighbors, have installed their 3D-IMAX, And it took three big guys all morning, to take it through the sliding-french-doors, and then hang
VIDEO POPUP: Indoor-sunken-livingroom, 3DTV-theater-party…
[GRANDMA:REC (CONT'D VO)]
lights and curtains… It's a theater for when family visits, But when it was done, they invited us-neighbors for a T-V-warming party … I'd never thought of that-one myself…
VOX-PAUSE on
MIKEE
(inserts direct)
I've seen their house, Grandma-- Their sunken-livingroom is huge…!
VIDEO POPUP: Another House: 2nd-Cousins' double-wedding…
[GRANDMA:REC]
I was hoping to have lots more time for Algebra this semester, but with your second-cousins' double-wedding in April, I got behind … So, I pick up the missed classes straight-off-the-Internet and I'm almost caught-up, to graduate with the class next month … Speaking of which,-- How is Mikee doing in her science classes: with her StarTrails she reads every moment, I wonder,-- is she learning the right stuff…?
(half a beat)
'Phane' me when you get home,-- I'm always waiting to see from you-all… Love, Grandma.
VID-HOLD, BLINK-LOOP, with cue-mark for Response…
MIKEE
Grandma-- I have only one, science, class -in addition to mathematics,- And I'm doing all right: StarTrails is really, good, science: It's more advanced than they teach in school, so it doesn't apply yet but it will by time I get to college-- I should be able to ace the courses… And I'm getting B's-and-A's, mostly, except the C-in-World-History: I can never see why a country's history starts… Except America by its Constitution…
She keys-- POPUP PHOTOS, SELECTS-- Mikee's swim team…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
…But, I can stay on the swim team…. And, I want to tell you before this summer-- I'm not going to camp with Mom and Dad-- because, I'm going to NASA in Texas! To spend summer with an astronaut, crew-- It's a Virtual Trainor, which I've heard is almost real… It has-to-be because they all have-to-practice before they really go! Anyway, I'll tell you all-about it when I get home before next year -next school year-… Bye--!
Waves Bye, and keys Next--
MESSAGE FINISHED: LIST CHECKED as Read/Answered-by Mikee.
She keys-up her own ADDRESSBOOK…
SELECTS: 4 friends by face-icons for a Vidlink conference; Auto-overlapped-MULTI-call-rapid-TOUCH-TONES; Frame colors (BLUE connected, GREEN listening, YELLOW queued, BLINKING interactive, GOLD speaking…RED finishing); Transcripting…
BLUE…GREEN…YELLOW FRAME [KARA (no-makeup-cute female 13)]:
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
(builds to a giggle)
Hello… Mikee…? 'Ahh'--It is, you--! What's up? Long week, No see! How's school, Babe…?
BLUE FRAME [PHOTO-of-GARY-at-11 (stud male)]…
MIKEE
Hi, Kara: I'm conferencing this, so I'll be right with you … School's, okay, Summer's going to be better…
BLINKING-BLUE FRAME [SHADED-GIRL] with message overlay:
"Sharon Truman is busy-or-unavailable,
"Would you like to--"
[v] V-mail? [ ] Camp-on?
[ ] T-mail? [ ] Repeat?
[ ] E-mail? [ ] Pager?
[u] Uncall? [ ] Text?
She Selects V-mail and Uncall; YELLOW FRAME [GARY (13)]…
MIKEE
Gary's here… But Sharon's busy,-- I'll forward this conversation,--
(emotes)
With your eminent, permission…!
BLUE…YELLOW FRAME [SUSAN (demure pretty female 13)]…
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
Hello! Hi, Mikee-! What's up, for this happy Saturday…?
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Sure, Send him, to her:-- I'm not wearing makeup: I'll just turn my
(grins, twists a knob)
monitor, purple…
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Hello, Mikee: Susan here…
MIKEE
Hi, Gary, Hi, Susan… Kara's online but Sharon wasn't available, so I'm forwarding this session to her: I'm conferencing this call to discuss summer plans…
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
Yes-- Hi, Kara. Hi, Susan.
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Hi-- Gare, Hi, Suse.
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Hi, Kara. Hi, Gary.
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
Kara: I almost didn't recognize you without makeup,-- It's been a long, year, since summer camp…
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Don't fuss it, Gary-- It looks better than your face-- which looks all purple…
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
So, What's menu, for summer, Mikee?
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
(coyly)
Would you like me to come over and restore your color, Kara?
MIKEE
I want to tell you all that I won't be going to summer-camp with you:--
(brightens)
I'm going to NASA, in Texas…!
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
(a mock putdown)
It'll fade, Gary!
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Will you two love-burps, please, refrain your jabber-wocking: This is Mikee's conference… That's neat, Mikee-- What will you do in T-X's-? Are you going to Space Camp…?
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
(builds to a grin)
Right, First we were love-hickups, Now, we're love-burps … Let's keep this up, Kara:-- We may yet become all-out love-sneezes…!
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Suse-- We're still at the love-snickers stage, but we're warming-up… Maybe even melting and oozing…
MIKEE
(firms)
Guys-- I'm going to 'Bozo' you-two, if you don't keep on the subject … Summer camp is important-- but I won't see you until High School…
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
So-- Tell us what Tex-Tex, is going to do for you…
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
'Oh yeah'-- We graduate to high-is-cool, this Summer … That's, why I'm getting all A's, this semester…
MIKEE
I'm going to join the astronauts in training in the 'Dsstf', Deep-Space Simulator-Trainor Facility: Mom and Dad said it's okay and I can afford it-- I won it from StarTrails…
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Gary: You always-get A's,-- except,
(giggles at a memory)
when you do B's…
Mikee gives Kara and Gary polite head-tilted glare…
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Which part of that is the important part, Mikee--? How deep is space--? How do you simulate space? What are you all training-for? And what kind of facility is that…?
[GARY] (GOLD…)
(retorts to Kara)
That-- was because Bill, pulled the lid off the beehive box and one-bee
Mikee two-hands-presses RED-BOZO-BUTTONS on Gary and Kara, and the pair continue GREEN-FRAMED-QUIETER (CONCURRENT):
[GARY] (CONT'D CONCUR. LOW)
flew into my mouth while I was laughing at the swarm around his-head … I don't do bees, Kara…
MIKEE
I'll find-out when I get to NASA:-- All I know for sure is, the mission is 6-weeks, of things more advanced than they've ever, done, before,-- Except in simulators: The simulator is supposedly really-good according to StarTrails' reporter, --like you don't know it's simulated,-- But if NASA does it it must be pretty-good anyway…
[KARA] (CONCUR. LOW)
Remind me of that next time you date me,-- honey bee…
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Well, that's neat, Mikee,-- Can we keep in touch by E-mail? Does NASA let Virtu-nauts communicate with family friends while on-mission?
[GARY] (CONCUR. LOW)
(quips)
So, that's where I learned to open my mouth,-- and I thought it was a Valentine's Day buzz…
MIKEE
(firms)
Yes: We have full, V-mail, so I can reach you at home and at Camp-hut …
(re-firms)
Do you-two love-belches wish to be excluded from the V-mail-forwarding of this conference…?
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Great,-- I'll be at camp as usual … Actually with my new digital camera which is USB-link compatible-- so I can fill-you in on all the doings-- and all the friends-- It'll be like having you there, Mikee, And, like, we'll be on your-mission, with you… Neato…! Enjoy your summer…!
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
(mock-sours)
We've been demoted to love-belches, Kara-- Looks like I need a tune-up… 'Yeah' Sure, Mikee--
(cowboy-operatic)
Bozo-me-out,-of-the-long-minutia-E…
(normal, to a grin)
Sharon'll know we were here: by the way you insulted us LOAVE-brackets!
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Good idea, Mikee:-- Delete, all my conversations with Gary: I followed everything you said about you going to Tax-us to hang-out with the NASA astro-guys for 2-months … I'll have to settle for Gary and the happy-campers in the mountains-- below…
(brightens, and keys)
Except: Include this--
Mikee Deselects Gary, Partials Kara, as Kara keys her own--
"Conference mailto--"
ALL PAR TYP Correspondent
[-] [P] [V] Kara Shelton
[-] [-] [V] Gary Forthmore
[A] [-] [E] Susan Ridgeway
[-] [-] [V] Sharon Truman
[A] [-] [V] Mikee Thomaine
[KARA] (GOLD… CONT'D)
(happies)
Hi-ya, Sharo-- See-y'all at Summer camp-- Same, time-- Same, canal…
(mock-serious)
This bit will self-de-res in five hesits…
(breezes)
Bye, Mikee!
(mock-serious to giggles and keys STOP:RED-FLASH)
Four-- hesits…
MIKEE
Okay-- You-two are Gleaned-and-Culled: Susan and I are Forwarded so Sharon will be up-to-date…
(signs-off)
Bye, guys: See you Monday, maybe, till school let's out….
[SUSAN] (GOLD…RED)
Bye, Mikee… Bye, guys…
PURPLE FRAME: [SUSAN] (PAUSED).
[KARA] (GOLD…RED)
Bye, babes.
PURPLE FRAME: [KARA] (PAUSED).
[GARY] (GOLD…RED)
(officiates)
Arrivederci,-- Comrades…!
PURPLE FRAME: [GARY] (PAUSED).
Mikee keys-- All FACES OFF: LIST shows…
DISSOLVE OUT.
FADE IN:
INT. AIRPORT - BOARDING GATES - FRI. JULY 13, MID AFTERNOON
DAD hurries through the crowds, StarTrails comic book issue "To Boldly Go" in hand, toward--*
CHECK-IN "CAL-TEX-ARIZ" - "CHILDREN AND NON USA CITIZENS"
(00:00 - […]/[…]/[…])
Mom, Mikee with ID, next-in-line afore a cute female AGENT…
MIKEE
(reads sign, unto Mom)
Why do they lump children with foreigners…?
MOM
(smiles)
To make-sure, smart-children don't self-check-in and get lost, before they're 17 … I don't think they're worried about toddler-terrorists….
MIKEE
That's a long time to wait-- after, getting lost…
(grins a beat)
Is it worse than being lost after-- 17…?
MOM
No… But adults feel responsible, more… for children….
Dad joins-up and delivers the comic book--
DAD
(smiles-- hands it)
This was all I could find, Mikee.
MIKEE
(puzzles covers)
This is the January-issue… 6-months ago-- But I've never seen this-one… Before… Thank… you…
DAD
A special airport-issue … To make sure you haven't read it at home…
MIKEE
(insides, admits)
'Oh'--I'll have to fly more often….
DAD
(smiles at that, to Mom)
We all set?
MOM
Momentarily.
Preceding flier (non-USA adult) EXITS with Boarding Pass…
AGENT
Next-- Traveler ID, please…
(ready for the ID)
And, What is your destination, young lady?
MIKEE
(handing it up)
Houston, Texas-- NASA.
AGENT
(cards, keys)
You're a happy Space Camper, then?
MIKEE
Something like that: At the 'Dsstf' Deep-Space Simulator-Trainor Facility.
AGENT
(keys, cute)
'Ooooh'-- Stuffy…!
MIKEE
(promotes)
"If the Space Shuttle was NASA's E-Ride, Then, the 'Dsstf' Simulator-- is NASA's G-Ride…!"
AGENT
(a wince-smile beat)
Sure, dear-- Non-smoking, for you…
(keys a beat)
And, Will you be traveling alone…?
MIKEE
Yes-- My family is going to summer camp without me.
N.B. Boarding Pass Seat-# for wing-front-window… (cf 757)
AGENT
(retrieves printout)
I see… Well, then: You're all set--
(hands ID, Boarding Pass)
Seat-11-A: Front of the wing: Enjoy your flight, and, stay, in Texas…!
MIKEE
Thank you.
Out of the line hugs-kisses-and-wishes for a good summer… Bye-bye's and parting waves and waves-back as she goes--
MIKEE
Bye, Mom… Dad… Enjoy summer camp!
TO THE CORRIDOR RAMP…
Turns a LAST LOOK: -All waving Bye:- And quick waves back--
And quickly walks the RAMP… [Or exterior boarding]
INT. AIRPLANE - BOARDING HATCH, WING-FRONT-SEATING (INFLOW)
Mikee boards last… STEWARDESS welcomes, closing the hatch…
WING FRONT
Mikee sits at the window, while the plane rolls out…
EXT. AIRPORT - TAXIWAYS
Her plane rolls to the Runway Start… Turns… Straightens…
ENGINES TEST-REV… Brakes release-- And acceleration…
Far-down-runway… The plane rotates, stows gear, Ascends…
INT. AIRPLANE - LEVEL FLIGHT
SEATBELT SIGN turns Off.
(02:15 -fade to bg.-)
STEWARDESS (PA)
Ladies and gentlemen: The Captain has turned-off your Seatbelts sign: You are free to get up if you wish: Please, keep the seatbelt attached whenever you are sitting … We are, expecting smooth air all the way to Houston Texas, where the weather is clear and we will be landing before dinner. There are flight attendants with snacks in each section of the plane… Enjoy your flight.
Mikee opens and reads her comic book, "To Boldly Go"--
(02:40 -fade out-)
TRANSITION: ZOOM C.U. INTO--
INT. STARSHIP ENGINEERING DECK - LIGHTED (LIVE COMIC BOOK)
COMIC: Cadet Officers HATCH, PAUL; LIEUTENANT works nearby…
COMIC PAUL
So-- Why is it, Hatch…?
COMIC HATCH
(clips, French 'fwah')
If I've told you une-foi, I've told you a giga-fois-- Don't, call, me-- Hatch.
COMIC PAUL
Okay, then… 'La-Femme-Catcher'…?
COMIC HATCH
That was a Non-event-pluus….
COMIC PAUL
Then… Hatch. Why is it: Why we are sitting here, calmly, between twin tanks of matter -and antimatter,-- Enough to disintegrate the entire, Earth-- in a truly cosmic, event…?
COMIC HATCH
Lieutenant told us, Wait.
Lieutenant near enough…
COMIC PAUL
Yes, But, Why? What can we possibly accomplish, with so much anti'? Not even the mighty Enterprise…
COMIC HATCH
(clips)
Lieutenant, Sir: Can you explain to my fellow -officer- what we intend, with so much antimatter…?
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
COMIC LIEUTENANT
Gentlemen, It's simple: You recall, Freshman Complex Calculus Theory:-- There's matter… And there's anti' … Which have opposite-charge for each corresponding nucleon and wavicle…
COMIC PAUL
Clear enough, But why so much Boom-Power? If you'll pardon the slight…
COMIC LIEUTENANT
Okay… How do you get from positive-one to negative-one conservatively?
COMIC PAUL
We rotate, the unit-vector, through the complex-imaginary-plane, pass-I or minus-I, to the negative-unit….
COMIC LIEUTENANT
Very good.
COMIC PAUL
But… Why--?
COMIC LIEUTENANT
That should be obvious, gentlemen: You can't get from matter to anti-matter without an unconservatively big, bang, Unless you phase-rotate through imaginary-mass….
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
COMIC PAUL
Complex,-Imaginary,-Mass… Such a concept … Just like phasor guns… But how does it rotate phase…?
COMIC LIEUTENANT
Elementary, Quantum, Mechanics-- We take equal, portions, of matter and antimatter, with a total of neither in excess, --They cancel each other in sum-total quantum numbers,-- And together, they phase-spin, freely….
COMIC PAUL
(at last)
That's, why, we have equal portions of, dis-aster, -pardon such literal expression,- in separate twin tanks … But what do we do now…? Resurrect the dead from phasor-wounds…?
COMIC LIEUTENANT
Phasor-weapons hit narrow-beam and cause co-rotation only at a spot … We, gentlemen, are sitting entirely inside-the-beam of a phasor-engine…
COMIC PAUL
Beyond-- Belief--!
(like Capt. Kirk*)
We,'re boldly, going, where no man, has wholly, gone, before…!
STEWARDESS (VO)
(nears)
Mints … Mints … Mints …
All look-about surprised awed at this new incongruity…
STEWARDESS (OC CONT'D)
(a beat, louder)
Would you like a mint, young lady?
FREEZE-PAGE
PULL OUT TO REVEAL--
INT. AIRPLANE - OVER ARIZONA - AN HOUR LATER (CONTINUOUS)
Mikee takes a few mints,-- Thanks her, And looks outside-- below, a long moment… sampling… And then inside, at--
NEXT TO HER: a GIRL (same age) is bored playing a Gameboy…*
NEXT SEAT: a TODDLER on MOMMY'S lap is entranced watching a LAPTOP DVD cartoon in overly-big-headphones…
Mikee resumes reading her comic book--
TRANSITION: ZOOM C.U. INTO--
INT. STARSHIP COMMAND - PROCYON-B BRIGHT (LIVE COMIC BOOK)
The dwarf star looms quickly closer -ADDING LIGHT,- Captain stands center, others seated, [Engineer] on a few Displays:
COMIC CAPTAIN
Reduce speed to sublight-- Helm!
COMIC HELMSMAN
Reducing to sublight, Sir:--
1-point-4… 1-point-2… 1-point-1…
1-point-0… Sublight-- 0-point-9…
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Procyon-B is sitting there nice and pretty, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Bring us into sub-orbit!
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Sub-orbital, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Engine room!
[COMIC ENGINEER]
Engine room, here, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Ready-- Quadrature Mass-Phase-Rotation!
Star fills 60-deg. Front View, just starting Front-sides…
[COMIC ENGINEER]
Aye, Ready, Sir: She's sitting like a banshee sniffing the wind-- Ready for mass-phase-rotation….
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Sub-double, stellar-radius, Sir…!
COMIC HELMSMAN
Zero-point-0-3 sublight…!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
Star fills 120-deg. Front View, as they close the distance…
COMIC CAPTAIN
On my command, Helm!
COMIC HELMSMAN
On command, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Com-- Put me on shipwide--!
Communicator keys-- PA-TINKLES…
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
Shipwide-- Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN (PA)
Ladies and Gentlemen: We are about to embark on the boldest, journey, mankind has ever taken: Into-- the realm of nonexistence from our own familiar cosmos … All hands Ready!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
Ready, on all decks, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Engineering: Mass-Phase-Rotation 4-grads-per-hesit to 99-- Begin, Now!
[COMIC ENGINEER]
Rotating-- Sir.
COMPUTER PA: (CONCURRENT) "Mass-Phase-Rotation: Grad-shift: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…" (2-per-sec. till 96)
COMIC CAPTAIN
(on Computer "6")
Give me quarter-impulse-ahead…!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
Star fills 150-deg. Front View, dimming 1%/sec. and faster…
COMIC HELMSMAN
Quarter-impulse ahead, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Science Officer!
COMIC SCIENCER
We are proceeding steady, Sir:
COMIC CAPTAIN
(on Computer "20")
Engine Room!
Star 160-deg. Front View, 95% dimming 2%/sec. and faster…
[COMIC ENGINEER]
Engine Room, here, Sir: She's a fine, banshee…
COMIC CAPTAIN
Com!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
We're still in contact with Star-Fleet-Com, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Send our final hail-- Proceeding towards, and, into, Procyon-B…!
Star 170-deg. Front View, 70% dimming 3%/sec. constantly…
COMIC NAVIGATOR
(on Computer "50")
Quarter-radius to go, Sir … Sure looks hot, out there….
COMIC CAPTAIN
Science Officer!
COMIC SCIENCER
Stellar-wind-ambient is 2-million-degrees-vacuum-dynamic, 87-hundred irradiant … We're up to 4-hundred, absolute and climbing rapidly-- at 13-hesits to penetration, sir…!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
Star 180-deg. Front View, 30% dimming 3%/sec.…
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
(on Computer "75")
Captain: Star-Fleet-Com sends it's highest regards, Sir, and Farewell.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Thank you, Com.
DECELERATION TUGS-BACK lightly as the stellar photosphere ENVELOPS 360-deg.-View, 15% dimming 3%/sec. but slowing…
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Density jump, Sir:-- We're in, the photosphere.
COMIC CAPTAIN
(on Computer "90")
Slow to half-rotation and stop at 99!
Now fully inside the star, 5% dimming 1%/sec. and slowing…
COMPUTER PA: (CONCURRENT) adjusts to 1-per-sec. "…96-grads, 97-grads, 98-grads, 98-point-6, 98-point-9, 99-point-0… 99-point-1-grads, And holding… Succession Auto-Terminated."
Star-inside is DIM-COOL holding at 1% BUT WHITENING-BLUISH…
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Sir: We're entering the convection sphere.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Science Officer!
COMIC SCIENCER
Ship's hull is up to 6-hundred-50-degrees dynamic, and rising, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Sure looks bright out there … Holo-shield up, Full!
COMIC DEFENSOR
Holo-shield is up-- Sir.
COMIC SCIENCER
Hull, 9-50 degrees… 10-50… We can't sustain much higher, Sir… 13-50… 14-50…
COMIC CAPTAIN
Full rotation, Now, Helm--!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
The star DARKENS to faint-redder-than-black around them:
COMIC HELMSMAN
Full rotation concluding, now, Sir: 99-point-4 grads, 99-point-7 grads, 99-point-9 grads, 1-hundred-point-0 and-holding at 1-hundred-point-0-4, grads-- We have slight, overshoot….
But a SMUDGE in the distance ahead is the star-center…
COMIC SCIENCER
Ship's hull temperature has dropped to 3-hundred-80-degrees dynamic, Sir… Still, a hot nebula out there!
COMIC CAPTAIN
Fine trim, Helm…!
COMIC HELMSMAN
Fine trimming, Sir:--
1-hundred-point-0-3 grads…
1-hundred-point-0-2 grads…
The star darkens its last glow, except that smudge ahead…
COMIC HELMSMAN (CONCUR. CONT'D)
1-hundred-point-0-1 grads…
1-hundred-point-0-0-7 grads…
1-hundred-point-0-0-5 grads…
COMIC SCIENCER
Hull temperature dropping rapidly-- 2-20-degrees… 1-10… 75… 55… 45… 44… 43--43-point,-3… It has stabilized…
Star is black except that smudge…
COMIC CAPTAIN
That's odd.
COMIC NAVIGATOR
Sir, Procyon-B has vanished from sensors… The whole cosmos is gone…!
COMIC CAPTAIN
What's that,-- then--?!
(points-ahead)
I ordered 1-hundred, fine trimmed.
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
COMIC HELMSMAN
Sir…? We're at 1-hundred-point-0-0-3-grads: She's fine-trimmed, Sir:-- Can't tweak her a notch further…!
COMIC CAPTAIN
Then-- What is that on screen-center--?! Science Officer…!?
COMIC SCIENCER
(correlating Displays)
It's approximately the star center, But, shouldn't be visible unless it is exceeding hotter than theoretic, and producing quadrature mass, or-- quadrature photons… Perhaps it is a quantum mass-hole, dancing in a hot rarefied domain at the very core of Procyon-B, leaking neutrinos and…
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
(interrupts)
Sir-- We're being hailed--!
COMIC CAPTAIN
By whom--?!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
It's unintelligible lingo-code…! Sir… --No…Wait:-- Here's--
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
TELESCOPES: [ALIEN VESSEL APPROACHES]: E-voice Lingo Code--
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…alijioiniev Vessel in the okovowik podkruveyed Entry fasvoijifoyodesi…
COMIC CAPTAIN
Onscreen! Science Officer-- Who are they--? Locate--!
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…tsuvofidahid Violations asafeklyar woiverlaom Direct sudahareklimvyano Pilot apokipidarekniyapskovaniyatak Bearing pederosinalactenabidosafada Docking kreyemaskiniyamatskubiyasay Power lock adjutant piviniskotubals isprivinukrechniyapadoadosgadosapi…
COMIC SCIENCER
Unknown, lingo-code, sir, Entirely-foreign, But not uncrackable … And, They're approaching starboard side: Propulsion appears to be simple, tractor-beam on asteroid debris in the local space-- It appears this space is not empty.
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…troiulufi Supreme command ufiownya opijivaroieranesiovijadakapisnyaka…
KLAXON--!
COMPUTER PA: "YELLOW,-ALERT! TRACTOR-BEAM! YELLOW,-ALERT!"
COMIC NAVIGATOR
(loud)
Tractor beam--! Sir!
ROOM SHIVERS, BUMPS and BUCKS-- All hands brace.
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
All braced, easing… Alien Vessel enters Side View distant…
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…nisa Reduce shields and be boarded spoiwesafuvuveortumiyeskawanabistro kebayashitogogustoformapasabivnyas…
COMIC CAPTAIN
That's plain enough--! Com-- Hail them: We will send an ambassador!
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…trasoyux Monitor dedifoodsiawefeki Evidences oirevierluksduvishcordora Consequences foradiniripescovashtin Detainment scalafesoretorkimasinofo Pending porosatonelscopelipartamano prarbacuvuristamovalemnyaprodoshmy…
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
(a beat busy)
No response to hail, Sir,-- And no response to echo-contact…!
COMIC SCIENCER
(abrupt almost a screech)
Sir! We cannot approach them--! The alien mass, is Negative-Quadrature-Rotated: Antimatter--! Our, Anti--!
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…jujuwefer Officer occupation wefaw Verification owiyesoifeariuhejinire jodiufadahfasdafemesablatorgensami…
COMIC CAPTAIN
Defense-Weapons-- Prepare a warning phasor…
COMIC SCIENCER
(clips)
Belay that order--! We are not in free space-- Sir!
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…jarifoyu Fleet difavufodiufegerach Ordered tomaraguchisnuvilofegahatar Surrender jinowebopatinofibjequerij Command afevopavinopsionvofivnafixu Control semyilyachemastoorgalsdanya koiujiciwokavaneyuwahuinfaxapramas…
COMIC SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(quick explains)
Firing Phasor-Rotation here inside the star will only succeed in Back-Loading the phasor-cannons,-- sir!
COMIC CAPTAIN
(2 sec. pensive … smiles)
Starship, Custodial, Services--!
Starship CUSTODIAN, promptly--
[COMIC CUSTODIAN] (PA)
Garbage-Detail, here, Sir:-- What's your pleasure?
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA CONCUR.)
…curwijoha Failure quivisiutoyedese Result in ficuwudidafiodaerfasfasm- Prompt skaweyusuteroivisheyacuiviye Suffer terasomigarelapormonerkalbra Preemptory renemasacorfamgelripota…
COMIC CAPTAIN
Eject, a popsicle stick--!
[COMIC CUSTODIAN] (PA)
Aye… Sir: Popsicle stick And-away… One popsicle stick overboard, Sir.
COMIC SCIENCER
(at instruments)
Tracking… bearing-- 3-7 by 4-2… Nearing the alien vessel…
[COMIC ALIEN] (PA)
…lacado Destruction chukfidovekmis…
CLICK-STOP! and EXPLOSIVE FLASH on the Alien Vessel--
FREEZE-PAGE-FLIP TO:
FLASH DISSIPATES… Revealing the Alien hull, a spot damaged.
COMIC SCIENCER
Direct hit, Sir! Heavy damage just off their tractor beam port … They are backing away … I guess they've never seen antimatter … Not really surprising since they can't rotate phase inside a star … Think of how inverted their laws of physics and gravity must be-- their notions of empty space so ignorant of reality yet themselves so technologically-advanced … Fascinating… I'd say--!
COMIC COMMUNICATOR
Alien communications has been dis-acquired, Sir.
COMIC CAPTAIN
Thank you, Com … And-- that will be enough eulogizing, Science Officer… Take us out of this star, Helm, and Mass-Rotate outside…! We must visit this quadrature-space another-time.
COMIC HELMSMAN
Aye-- Exiting, Procyon-B…
They pull away from the Alien Vessel… Turn and retreat…
STEWARDESS (VO PA)
(announces)
Ladies and gentlemen--
All look-about surprised awed at this new incongruity…
STEWARDESS (PA CONT'D)
The Captain has turned-On your Seatbelts Sign… At this, time--
GLARING-- at us, as they exit-and-rotate-phase to stellar…
STEWARDESS (CONT'D PA)
We ask that you return, to your seats, and fasten your seatbelts…
(00:00 instrumental - […]/[…]/[…])
FREEZE-PAGE
STEWARDESS (CONT'D PA)
Please, Stow your tray, and return the seat, to its upright--
PULL OUT TO REVEAL--
INT. AIRPLANE - DESCENT TO HOUSTON - NOW DUSK (CONTINUOUS)
Mikee stows her comic book, Seatbelt Sign is On…
STEWARDESS (CONT'D PA)
position… We will be landing in a hecta-hesit … The weather in-and-around Houston is clear and warm…
(00:10 metal grind)
FLAPS EXTEND-- Mikee looks out and watches…
STEWARDESS (CONT'D PA)
We hope you have enjoyed, your flight with us, And we thank you for flying, Cal-Tex-Ariz….
WHEELS LOWER…
CUT TO:
EXT. AIRPORT - LANDING RUNWAY EAST - SUNSET (AS CONTINUOUS)
(00:25 clanging)
INCOMING AIRPLANE LOW in the west sky, headlights-on, flaps extended, -WHEELS COME DOWN,- descending to land…
(00:40 exhilarate)
FLARES just above ground level…
(00:45)
WHEELS TOUCH-SQUEAL…
(00:50)
REVERSE THRUST, ROARS-- as the plane passes, half-fast…
(00:55 -stop- voice)
And brakes onward down the runway, slowing…
FADE TO:
EXT. NASA "DSSTF" - LEFT TURN ENTRANCE - EARLY SAT. MORNING
SIGN: "NASA DSSTF Deep Space Simulator-Trainor Facility"
NEWSBOY on the centerline-- offers a July-14 paper to each driver by name, reminds them of Mission Status and accepts credit cards to a belt-mounted-POS-Box: MR. HANSON, next:
NEWSBOY
Good morning, Mr. Hanson--! It's T-minus-45-demurs…!
MR. HANSON
Good morning … And thank you, for today's reminder.
NEWSBOY
(handing paper, re: POS)
This'll take all the major-credit-cards, like Visa, and Mastercard …
MR. HANSON
(takes paper, hands cash)
Thank you, Jimmy.
NEWSBOY
(cash into receptacle)
You're welcome. Have a good day…!
(Onwards: paper ready)
Good morning, Mrs. PENER--!
MRS. PENER, next, Mikee seated at her backseat window…
MRS. PENER
(quick smiles a decline)
Good morning, young man: You should automate with Gate Security and you might accept the Gate-Pass….
NEWSBOY
Thanks-- I suggested that already, But, Admin said--
(deep-authoritative-like)
While entrepreneurship is essential to NASA, It's not on NASA property.
MRS. PENER
(smiles)
That's Admin….
NEWSBOY
(to Mikee)
Hi--! You're, new, here…!
(00:00 percussion - […]/[…]/[…]/-dub- "Mikee")
MIKEE
Yes…
NEWSBOY
(getting personal)
What's your name…?
MIKEE
Mikee…
NEWSBOY
(aback)
That's a boy's, name--! What's your function here…?
MIKEE
I'm in the 'Dsstf'-- The Deep-Space Simulator-Trainor Facility…
NEWSBOY
(surprised)
You're, the one! I heard about you! Congratulations-- Captain…! It's T-minus-45-demurs, To mission-launch!
CARS BUDGE FORWARD, the one ahead turning to enter…
MIKEE
(wonders after)
Thank you….
(00:19 rhythm)
NEWSBOY
(waves-on)
Bon voyage--!
MIKEE
Bye…!
MR. KYLE, next, is window-armresting holding-up his Card…
NEWSBOY
(Onwards: paper ready)
Mr. Kyle-- Good morning, sir…! It's T-minus-45-demurs, to launch…!
MR. KYLE
(exchanges for a paper)
Thank you, Jimmy: We're set, to go…
(00:29 organ)
Mikee's car turns across the street, onto the access road--
(00:32 melody -PRE LAP gradual fade-)
And on down the road toward the buildings…
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM: LECTURE - MIDMORNING SESSION
10 ft. ceiling, Walls have large-screen computer-displays, remote-controlled, for DIAGRAMS, ANIMATIONS, DEMO VIDEOS:
TECHNICIAN (NASA-insigne white labcoat) barstooled at a PC-Lectern, describes spacesuits and ship engines, for 23 CREW in 3 shifts; Mikee, HELMSMAN (28-), NAVIGATOR Guy, ENGINEER Chad, PSYCHOLOGIST Janet, not so near 2ND-CAPT Penn Storer, SCIENCER, DEFENSOR Chip, COMMUNICATOR, Senior Apollo CMDRS* et al, follow-along-live on NASA-issue laptops and tablets…
DIAGRAM: Layers of a new-type "zipsuit" spacesuit…
TECHNICIAN
(points, dryly)
Your zip-suit is individually sized and pressurized for height and skin type: Typical undersuit pure-oxygen is minimum-3-tenths-atmosphere when augmented by the outer-suit minimum tenth, for an effectual hydroscopic drop of 2-meters, and margin of 10-degrees-C below-vapor-boiling. Your
(00:48 -fade out stop- voice)
DIAGRAM: Highlights the suit inner layer, elliptic weave…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
pressure-retention-cloth, is woven-elliptic mesh, so-called for thread loops which slip over each other to nondetented maximal stretch-- extra flexibility over previous designs…
DIAGRAM: Highlights the suit outer layer, hex weave…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
The E-V-A suit is hex-safety-weave. Suit-use requires vapor-suppressant oil applied to the exposed parts of arms, legs, hands and feet: Soluble over days, it must be reapplied for each E-V-A…
-SOMEONE-
(mock sincere)
Are we selling this in the markets, as-- abs-orbitant sun-screen-oil…?
All light-CHUCKLES… And resettling…
-SOMEONE ELSE-
The universal, snakeskin, oil…?
All LAUGH…
ACTIVATED DIAGRAM: Undersuit pressure loss…
TECHNICIAN
(quick grin, dryly)
In, the event of undersuit-pressure loss, your outer-suit will hold but it will feel stiffer…
ACTIVATED DIAGRAM: EVA-oversuit pressure loss…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
In the event of outer-suit-pressure loss, under-suit point-3-atmosphere oxygen holds, sufficient for you to return to your ship … the vapor-oil precludes cold-boil vacuum-drying…
ANIMATED DIAGRAM: Whole suit pressure loss…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
In, the event of total-loss of suit pressure, your lungs will expand to fill your suit restraint-shape: You won't be able to breath, But do-not hold your breath-- Your suit oxygen regulator switches at low pressure, to pulsated-mode breathing for you: You'll feel like you're bobbing for apples-- in 2-meters-of-water…
-SOMEONE-
(quips)
The astronauts' iron lung.
All LAUGH…
TECHNICIAN
(quick grin, dryly)
The result is an incomparable E-V-A freedom-suit, And once you're up to speed, E-V-A's are to be restricted to emergencies….
Starts a playback next--
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D CONCUR.)
Here's a video of Dr. Henke testing the suit in a vacuum chamber--
VIDEO: INT. NASA VACUUM-CHAMBER: An astronaut tests the EVA suit, Triggers its blowout-valve, and staggers-away to the air lock as the suit operates in PULSATING-INFLATION-mode…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
The chamber is actually at 3,-p-s-i, and Dr. Henke is deflating from 6-p-s-i, for safety: in this early test…
(and nearing finished)
He has also tested heavy-molecular oxygenators down to 1-p-s-i… But none have been approved yet….
Video has finished.
DIAGRAM: Aerospike-Booster, LD-Thruster, mission-equations…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
Section Nine: Engines and Boosters: The choice was made for as compact, energy source, and much propellant, as can be loaded and lifted…
(Pointer at equations)
Peak velocity at about-face will be 1-point-16-percent-C for an average acceleration over 30-days of point-2-7 gravity … You won't notice much difference between full-gravity and quarter once you've sat through the launch…
(To Mikee)
Unless-- you do Jumping Jacks…!
(scans audience)
To attain such speed quickly, you'd heave propellant up to the speed of light, But that'd be power-and-mass expensive, and Calcium-48 -double-beta-decay- doesn't yield much, at 96-parts-per-million: unless we add antimatter to the reaction-mix…
All LAUGH… And as it subsides--
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
(sly grin, shrugs)
A few, stray, cosmic, beta-rays…
All light-LAUGH…
DIAGRAM: Flowchart of Ca-48-decay engine, propellant flow…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
(smiles, re-sincere)
But Calcium-48 is, Clean-Nuclear…
(half a beat)
If we had 12-months, we could do it easily-- as distance is covered by time-squared, But realistically, we can, afford to burden you with 90-percent propellant mass, and, meet mission objectives: to load enough for one-and-a-half interplanetary missions … With gravity-swing-by's, at the moon, and Jupiter, going and coming, and a Neptune swing-around, and you may have to reenter Earth's atmosphere hot, We, believe, we can
(and a quick-smile)
get you there and back in 2-months…
DIAGRAM: Flowchart of Ca-48/Ni-58-reprocessing subsystem…
TECHNICIAN (CONT'D)
Section Ten. A criticality-2.5-item we should discuss: Your Calcium-48-nickel-58 nuclear engines have dual zone-melt-refiners… These are zero-gee-reparable… M-T-B-F, is measured in thousands,-of-days…
DISSOLVE LECTURE TIME TO:
INT. LUNCH ROOM - MIKEE'S TABLE - NOON
Mikee munches lunch half-eaten, and takes a LAPTOP "BEYOND PAPER" Technical Followup Exam recalling the lecture: (IVO means Inner-Voice-Over: contraphase-stereo-of-mono-V.O.)
INTERACTIVE: (text-format simulator; HIGHLIGHT mouseover)
DIAGRAM: The mission path, ship approaching Pluto,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…an option to reload propellant at Pluto-Charon when your velocity is small enough to land-- But methane only partially-mixes with water…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_Opt._] We stop at Pluto for methane.
[_No___] We orbit Neptune for methane at Triton.
[_Yes__] We go with everything self-contained.
DIAGRAM: The vessel thruster core,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…both, Heavy-Lift Booster and Long-Duration Thruster are radionuclear-double-beta-decay -hybrid powered,- with emergency neutron generators…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_2___] The number of types of thrusters.
[_No__] We have nuclear fusion power.
[_No__] We have nuclear fission power.
[_No__] We use uranium and plutonium together.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] 13%/39% Crew say yes fission power.
DIAGRAM: The Heavy-Lift Booster,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…3-hundred-kilotons, of propellant-water total, feeding its 2-point-1-gee engine… Liftoff is augmented by heavy-water for 22-percent-improved load-matching, for 2-point-6 gee…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_No__] We accelerate at 1.0 gee from Earth.
[_Yes_] We accelerate at 1.6 gee from Earth.
[_No__] We accelerate at 2.1 gee from Earth.
[_No__] We accelerate at 2.6 gee from Earth.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] Eng. Computer says 2.6 gee.
DIAGRAM: The ship meets a space station in orbit,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…little, nuclear fuel, is used, for lots, of propellant… You'd minimize that by reloading in space -without deorbiting,- but the infrastructure is larger and the return slim while mission-mass dominates the factors…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_No__] We may run out of fuel on a side-trip.
[_No__] We refuel at the Freedom Space Station.
[_No__] Refueling in space saves on launch-water.
[_No__] We accelerate at 2.6 gee around the moon.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] 43%/52% Crew say fuel may run out.
DIAGRAM: The vessel, sections open for maintenance,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…fleet-maintenance, excludes Earth-based refurbishing, but we, cannot, Whence the present mission scenario profile results in more-restrictive single-service missions…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_No__] Maintenance on Earth wastes launch-water.
[_No__] We do refurbishing at the Space Station.
[_No__] We do fleet-refurbishing on the moon.
[_Yes_] We do non-refurbish maintenance on Earth.
DIAGRAM: The Long-Duration LD-Thruster core again,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…Long-Duration Thruster 'Blizzard', neutral-plasma ice-ion-accelerator, yielding quarter-gee on full, load, program-limited to point-4-gee, But you cannot use engines together, as these regimes make very inefficient load-matching…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_No__] The Blizzard is turned off in deep space.
[_No__] The Blizzard uses different propellant.
[_No__] The Blizzard builds-up electric charge.
[_Yes_] We can accelerate at 2.1 gee at Jupiter.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] 26%/48% Crew say charge builds up.
DIAGRAM: The vessel power wiring conduits,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…plus six auxiliary nuclear-powered A-P-U's for internal energy needs-- electricity, lighting, hot water…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_No__] The Blizzard supplies electric power.
[_Yes_] Electric power is supplied from nuclear.
[_No__] The A-P-U generates warm-air fragrances.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] Eng. Computer says battery at 95%.
DIAGRAM: Vessel hull cross-section, 4-aerogel-layers,
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…4-layered-outer-hull, doubles as a glass-passivated vacuum-dielectric, self-charging 'Leyden Jar', holding up to 2-hundred megavolts for solar wind and cosmic-proton rejection…
Mikee CLICK answers--
[_Yes_] The hull has 4-layers of electric charge.
[_No__] Nuclear-power supplies electric charge.
[_No__] A Leyden Jar supplies electric power.
[_Yes_] High-energy protons deflect in a vacuum.
[_No__] A separate layer deflects free electrons.
Exam APPENDS BLINKING RED, and Mikee CLICK answers--
[_ignore_] 52%/83% Crew say nuclear charges it.
DIAGRAM: Nuclear-fuel product-reactions…
[___] Supernova class vessels fusion iron nuclei.
[___] Supernovae produce calcium and plutonium.
[___] 1% of the fuel is consumed going outbound.
[___] The breeder sub-facility increases fuel 3%.
But Psychologist arrives at the table, with her own lunch--
PSYCHOLOGIST (OC)
Mind if I join you at this table?
MIKEE (POV)
Hi! Sure--! I mean, Okay…!
PSYCHOLOGIST
(sits and arrays lunch)
Keeping up with the lecture theory?
MIKEE
(slides her lunch nearer)
I've answered most of these before: in my StarTrails magazine-- Nuclear spaceships are very similar, except NASA doesn't have a fleet…!
PSYCHOLOGIST
(eats)
Actually most spaceships have-been very similar, once we got into the Space Shuttle and beyond…
MIKEE
(eats)
Not like in movies…!
PSYCHOLOGIST
(chuckles)
No, Not like in movies… But we're all from the same planet-- here…!
Finishes a bite--
MIKEE
What, is an elliptic, weave--? When the fabric threads are pulled tight they all straightened out…
PSYCHOLOGIST
I think, you, know, the answer…
MIKEE
I do…?
PSYCHOLOGIST
Sure… How, do you draw, an ellipse?
MIKEE
(a thinking beat)
You mean--by pushing two thumbtacks into a corkboard and tying a string loosely, and running a pencil along it pulling taut follows an ellipse…
PSYCHOLOGIST
Exactly.
MIKEE
(a confession smile)
'Oh'… yes… the slipping,--threads…
PSYCHOLOGIST
(going easy)
It's branding more-than-description but it does, implicate, elliptical…
They AD LIB (MOS) while thoughts resume busy about space--
TECHNICIAN (IVO)
…To reach the end-zone of our solar system in a manned vessel, requires more energy, than we've encountered before-- Neptune is 30-Astronomical Units from us: 4-point-5-terameters in a month of 30-days or 1-point-2-mega-hesits, requires a velocity of divide-by-C point-58-percent-light-speed… You'll be 'galactic-7-times-over'… Don't, even, think, about making a mistake, Or we'll never see you again…
PRELAP V.O. Conference Group bust-up-LAUGHTER…
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - AFTERNOON SESSION
Same seating; ADMINISTRATOR standing in a NASA-stars-black-jacket, displays Diagrams, Photos, of vessel decks, Charts:
LAUGHTER subsides…
ACTIVE DIAGRAM: Composite, Each deck gives a larger view…
ADMINISTRATOR
(Taps each point)
Above main Engineering aft-decks, Crew Exercise deck, and your Mid-quarters, but below Command fore-deck, and Computational Services, deck… is your main Entry lounge…
(Triple-Taps last)
You can't miss it…
All bust-up-'stupid'-LAUGHTER…
ARCHITECT DRAWING: Lounge deck, entry portal…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(as it calms)
Which, Doubles as your Observation deck … And is segmented to prevent large loss of internal atmosphere: in the event of Bust-penetration-- which threatens whenever you're Broadsliding…
Partial-guffaw-LAUGHS…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
during your scheduled rotations for deceleration: You have two of these beyond Saturn's orbit each way, and a third, an acceleration at mission turnabout-- at Neptune-Do-Si-Do….
Partial-GIGGLES…
ACTIVATED DIAGRAM: Vessel Whipple shields unstow-and-stow…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
While, broadsliding, Double-Whipple shields surround the deck windows…
(half a beat)
And nobody can see out… Nor, in…
Sporadic-bust-up-GIGGLES…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
dissipating any dust, at velocity … But if something does-penetrate the lounge, It is, quadruply redundant…
Slack-CHUCKLES…
DIAGRAM: Lounge deck floorplan, 4 segments…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
And should you lose all-four you'll simply be out lounge-privileges for the remainder of the mission…
Uneasy-CHUCKLES…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
Radar-scan, will minimize that, And you can recreate roomfuls of oxygen by electrolysis of potable water…
(a beat)
Deck-wraparound windows are sun-out laser-boosted to magnitude-3 giving enhanced views of deep space, while minimizing optical hazards, such as sun-glare, and nearby supernovae…
All bust-up-LAUGHTER…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat, a grin, a beat)
Not, that we're expecting much sun-glare in deep-space…
All good-LAUGHTER…
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(as it only half-calms)
And I don't have that, demo-video…
LAUGHTER continues-on…
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM: LECTURE-DEMO - MIDAFTERNOON
DOUBLETECH at a lab table, rain-hat bulging from a pocket:
DIAGRAM: Whipple shield of 4-layers…
DOUBLETECH
(dryly)
4-laminates of 3-centimeter aerogel and hundred-micron depleted-uranium films cover the vessel: The uranium serves as a Whipple shield, Aerogel as empty space … Basically the same technology used on Freedom Station, But for larger particles and higher velocities, heavier uranium-nuclei, penetrate deeper: ensuring particle explosion…
ANIMATION: Whipple shield particle-strike action: layers…
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
A hypervelocity particle, strikes a Whipple and vaporizes, spraying its molecules through the aerogel, onto the inner shield-- without damage….
MIKEE
(hand up quick loud)
What-if another hyper-particle goes through the same hole--?
DOUBLETECH
Good point-- 4,-laminated,-layers, reduces the statistical likelihood of multiple penetration… But also, A backing-film of autophilic-melt-sealant will plug-up new holes….
(a beat)
And off-the-record there is prelim discussion to electrify the shield and better disperse impact-plasma-particulates-- on future-missions.
Boxes of chunks of hydrogeno-aerogel in clear-yellow sealed plastic bags on short strings, a knife, superglue, lighter,
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
(arranging… dryly)
Aerogel: Is essentially transparent micro-encapsulated air, And just as resilient…
(slaps a piece)
It can be cut…
(cuts, shows, claps both)
And glued…
(glues, stands squishing)
Or, foamed in place…!
(a beat)
Just, like, walking on air…
Some easy-GIGGLES…
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
(a beat, small talk)
Still takes as long for the glue to dry … Aerogel is nearly invisible-- of-course… Makes great excelsior in mailing… Loading it with hydrogen-- reduces your total postage-weight…
All easy-CHUCKLES…
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
(ups atop table)
Here-- we go…
(unboxes the bags)
When we fill aerogel with hydrogen, --and call it, di-hydrogen'o'gel,--
Lets them float on the strings… SOMEONE quips, 'Oooooh…!'
A few GIGGLES…
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
You guessed-- It floats…
(TRIGGERS LIGHTER)
Of course, Hydrogen is, flammable…
IGNITES the aerogel bags…
DOUBLETECH (CONT'D)
Which is why we don't use hydrogen,
(Statue-of-Liberty)
For atmosphere-going spaceships…
…triggering CEILING-SPRINKLER-RAIN on himself…
All watch very concerned--
He quick-dons his rain-hat, And resumes a smiling pose…
All LAUGH-roundly… and APPLAUD…
HELMSMAN
(leans to Mikee)
Don't, worry, about NASA, tech's-- Mikee: They're-all a little crazy.
NAVIGATOR
(to Mikee)
They are our nation's finest…!
All rise-- EXEUNT…
PSYCHOLOGIST
(to Mikee)
Which explains those signs you've seen-- "Work, is Therapy…!"
ENGINEER
(appending to them)
NASA hires 'Nauts-But-The-Best…!'
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. LOBBY - REFRESHMENTS TABLE
All milling-about snacking with cooler-drinks…
OLD JOKE SIGNS above the table: "NAδA REGULATIONS (delta-d) / REQUIRE YOU WATCH FOR / COMMITTEE IMPACTS" … "ASTEROID STRIKE DAY / THORSDAY 12-20-20-12 / BRING YOUR ROCK HAMMER"
HELMSMAN
('ka-Chink'ing bowlegged, cowboys up--to Mikee)
How're you doin' there-- kid-ner?!
MIKEE
Okay.
HELMSMAN
(mock-build-up)
Okay? Okay--!? Kid says it's Okay…!
(wimpy lean on Navigator)
I've been doing this three-- years… And the kid, says-- It's Okay…!
NAVIGATOR
(and to Mikee)
Think you'll last two months, with him-- steering the boat?
MIKEE
I suppose I'll have to-- He's like in my StarTrails comic books…
HELMSMAN
(laughs-out)
'Ohhh'-- Low cut…! Low--Cut…!
MIKEE
(a quick sip, to both)
What did Admin mean about the deck-wrap-windows "Bust-penetration…?"
NAVIGATOR
(checks Helmsman)
'Uhm…' It's slightly adult-language around here: A special-term for Big Dust, hypervelocity strikes leaving very-large pock-marks, on windows….
MIKEE
'Oh-okay' I'll E-mail StarTrails to advise them what they're missing….
HELMSMAN
(giggles)
You're not missing anything, Mikee: The meaning runs deeper, when Admin talks about "seeing red: close up…"
NAVIGATOR
(polite No to Helmsman)
Back-off that one for kid-sake….
HELMSMAN
(contrite, deflects)
Okay … 'Yeah'--Sure…
-PASSERBY-
(pauses and inserts)
What do you call a rotating Whipple shield with a big hole off-center…?
(no answer, a broad grin)
A '4-to-5-R-P-M-Single-Smash-Hit…!'
And walks-on for the next, as They CHUCKLE…
-STANDERBY-
(sidles over)
A question-why we didn't design the decks to flip over: inside the main shell and maintain platform heading without rotation: It's hollow: Just reverse floors and engines inside-- We'd never need dangerous rotations and the lounge would be secure…!
They GIGGLE…
NAVIGATOR
The cost, of gimbaling, the Command deck and engines, -or duplication,- invites no particular savings…
-STANDERBY-
(refines plea)
Just-one-axis, rotation… Floor-tilt during course-redirections, remains a minor nuisance….
HELMSMAN
One-axis -or two- is more cost than raising Whipples around the deck,-- which might also be needed on other occasions… meteor storms… whereas-- mission-average cross-section only-slightly-increases, -a few hesits,- during your rotation-maneuver … You can't fly a mission, broadside, But with the Whipples Up, you're in no significant increase of risk.
-STANDERBY-
(accepts)
Okay… Thank you.
HELMSMAN
You're welcome.
NAVIGATOR
(checks watch)
We are, in slight risk of missing our seats, if we remain out here…
They move inward, finishing-up…
DISSOLVE LECTURE TIME TO:
INT. CAFETERIA - SEMI-FORMAL DINNER - EVENING
Waiters work 3 adjacent tables, 27 diners eating AD LIB…
BG. TABLE: Sciencer, Defensor, Admin, Lecturer, 4-more Crew, 2nd-Capt. amid, finish and clear the main course…
SCIENCER
At a few hundred atmospheres depth, the deuterium fraction is enough to propagate fusion flashover…
DEFENSOR
(augments)
Which, will bloom around the planet and meet again, farside-- producing an elevated-secondary re-plosion to come back again maybe going several bounces in a rich deeper layer … It might be used in SETI criteria: for distinguishing alien communication…
(appends)
Asteroid-collapsations on neutron- stars, generating micro,-re-novae… might be another, method….
CREW#1-BG
Primitive -Spacian- smoke-signals….
Several CHUCKLES…
SLOWLY PULL BACK ON BG.
SCIENCER
Possibly, But depending on the loss of density-uniformity, and that, on the insulation to the layers above-and-below, You might get a rebound.
2ND-CAPT
How can we be sure of the depth of the initial detonation…?
SCIENCER
Several factors influence critical compactness-- The seminal juncture is phase change: It must condense, with sufficient inertia to start a chain and sustain 10-microseconds, to fission a tiny percentage of the uranium: which requires it be small enough to be thermally transparent,
(CUE M.G.)
SCIENCER (CONT'D BG.)
And at sufficient depth and density of deuterium for near-unity neutron reflection, That's before uranium's deuterium-affinity prevents further phase change, and, while the liquid passivation seal holds … It's all a guess till we try… If it goes well, factors will peak in the same place where auto-triggering is optimal….
CREW#2-BG (BG.)
How certain is phase-change…?
SCIENCER (BG.)
The choice, was, uranium difluoride which, at the elevated temperature, in transition sheds an electron and condenses to dioxide density but we thought that might be too deep, and we know little of this first-level-electron-degeneracy chemistry given the state of science-funding under our commercial-Internet President… So, we opted for uranium dioxide 4-4-phase-collapse to 4-5, in oxygen-depleted mode … also, well-above-4-thousand-degrees, And all too iffy.
DEFENSOR (BG.)
(and grins)
A liquid-state, 'lube,-goldberg', device!
Several CHUCKLES… And bg. continues AD LIB…
M.G. TABLE: Communicator (STEVE), Technician (RON), Doubletech (TONY), 6-more CREW (Jenn,), receive dessert…
CREW#1-MG:JENN
(to Technician)
By the way, Ron-- What's this about Beta production, and Actuary having three, zone-refiners…? I thought we were final and signed-off … You're not cutting us short of spec…?
TECHNICIAN
I kind-of spilled the beans on that one, Jenn: D.C. wants to consider a fleet of these: Pentagon wants one, Euro wants one, Even NASDA, but the Japanese can't buy it under nuclear restrictions and NASA wants a third in that case and is rethinking what we'll give them … You, know, how it goes: We-take-the-risks… For anyone else the ride is safer-and-pricier…
CREW#2-MG
Even though Calcium-48 is clean…?
TECHNICIAN
Nuclear-- is still unconventional…
Crew#2-MG nods Understood…
CREW#3-MG
Who's, doing the Fleet-Mission-Profiling…? Or do we go potpourri…?
TECHNICIAN
For now it's on the dry-erase-board … Nobody knows Alpha-- about Beta…!
Several CHUCKLES…
SLOWLY PULL BACK ON M.G.
CREW#4-MG
Tell us about the emergency-neutron generator: A spill of bigger-beans?
TECHNICIAN (M.G.)
(caught)
You're right … A concern raised by a nuclear-tech group, that, however slight-- solar neutrinos affect the decay-rate, of radionuclides … This has no effect once you go critical, But, cold-starts and radio-thermals may be slower than expected, behind big-planets like Jupiter: which may see 80-percent-reduction as-well-as neutrino-phase-and-spectra: Mission requirements, can't let us slip, on tech, So we added… I, think, NASA's being cooked in zero-point energy…
Several CHUCKLES…
(CUE FG.)
CREW#5-MG (M.G.)
Amazing, the details to think-about the further you go from the sun….
Several nods and a few CHUCKLES…
DOUBLETECH (M.G.)
(to Communicator)
Steve: What's this we hear about "Chalk-Tractor…?"
COMMUNICATOR (M.G.)
Too early to tell, Tony: You-guys will have to beam-up the scores.
DOUBLETECH (M.G.)
You'll be the last to know…
COMMUNICATOR (M.G.)
(shrugs)
And such, is the bane of deep-space travel… But we'll trade you first-hand information on major planetary geophysical discoveries-- by speed-of-light telemetry-transmissions….
DOUBLETECH (M.G.)
(mimics)
And, such, is the bane of remaining on Earth-- Always the last to know.
Several CHUCKLES…
CREW#6-MG (M.G.)
At least we'll-all be talking the same language, over the 20-demurs-roundtrip at 44-astronomical units: Hits and hits and hits… And runs and runs and runs… And errors and errors and errors….
Many CHUCKLES… And m.g. continues AD LIB…
FG. TABLE: Navigator, Helmsman, Mikee, Psychologist, Engineer, 4-more Crew, eat dessert…
HELMSMAN
(to Mikee)
Only the Shuttle controls were T-38 standard, And even there, revisions take-up their retraining, schedule…
CREW#1-FG
When the astronaut-pool gets large, they'll standardize all, controls-- Like hands and eyes, are standard-- It'll cut retraining, in half…!
NAVIGATOR
(reasserts to Mikee)
The Shuttle never really made Fleet Status:-- We never got two-Shuttles orbiting in space at the same time…
HELMSMAN
(nods Conceded)
True enough… Gemini-6-and-7 managed to dock without-even-being a fleet, and the Soviet Union got three, up… Our Apollo docked with their Soyuz, But our Shuttle only,-docked at the space-stations… ours,-and,-theirs….
CREW#2-FG
(slyly)
Maybe with this more-self-sufficent vessel on long-missions to the edge of the solar system, they'll launch a second--to reach the other-edge…
All GIGGLE-nod Acknowledged…
MIKEE
Why did he say 30-days-to-Neptune…? We're going in 21: He must have old information--?
NAVIGATOR
Could-be, Mikee… We're pushing-schedule all-the-way: Top-Admin has given us Executive-Permission to exceed Managerial-Push: If we-think we can do it, We have the Go … Just like the good-ol'-days before NASA-Can,-management made coming-down as logical, as going-up…
HELMSMAN
(inserts with a smile)
Good-Ol'-Days…? This is better-than Spam-In-A-Can: We're Prime,-ribbing the eye on a spit-shined-spit here!
All smiling-CHUCKLES…
CREW#3-FG
(reassuring Mikee)
We-noticed the shorter schedule too but it's not a constant: We figured your mom requires you home on time… And schedules-are for rescheduling…
CREW#4-FG
(leveling to Mikee)
We're afraid children may get bored with only adult-talk on long trips… Children are an adult afterthought…
HELMSMAN
('bored-cranky-whiny')
Mommy, Daddy, Are we at Pluto--yet?
Mikee returns a 'Sure-but-nobody-really-believes-you' look;
All smile-relieved-GIGGLES…
ENGINEER
(slightly bothered)
Why are they telling us, we, might-skip, Venus-gravity-acceleration--? We do, skip it: We pick up Jupiter.
CREW#4-FG
(quizzical)
Maybe continuous launch windows are too narrow…? Celestial mechanics is stabilized chaos.
ENGINEER
We no longer wait for such special moments: Our nuke engines adjust…!
HELMSMAN
We use the moon-route because we're cheap-- We've got to keep thinking-up every alternative planet-energy-pick-up … If there were some way to magneto-anchor into asteroids, we'd pick-up there, too.
Several smiles not-quite-GIGGLE-'N's…
MIKEE
It's the Abort-To-Earth-option that worries Cap-Com: If the lift-engine restart fails during Jupiter-fling, we use the low-power ice-engine, to return… We need the lunar-test, and then we don't need the Venus flyby…
ENGINEER
(direct)
Listen, Hon-Cho: No amount of back-up remedy-plans, however-sure, ever equals one right-plan in succeeding the first-time….
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
2nd-Capt. bg. ESPIES Mikee fg. and prepares to come…
NAVIGATOR
Easy-- Chad: The kid didn't invent Mission Managers' worries…
(CUE FG.-NEARSIDE)
CONTINUE as FG.-FARSIDE:
HELMSMAN (FG.)
(diverts subject)
So, Chad, How are the wife-and-kids taking this build-up for two months of Daddy's unearthly, absence…?
ENGINEER (FG.)
(smiles)
I've been rehearsing with them-- I vid-mail them twice a day from the office: Sometimes we talk important things, Sometimes talk funny stuff, Sometimes I tell them what's doing at the moment, Or what a great day I'm having at the office … Kind of a serio-comedic irrelevance to give them familiarity and breadth in how it'll be when I'm gone….
HELMSMAN (FG.)
(undertones)
'Ooh', Sounds morbid-- Probably why I never married….
NAVIGATOR (FG.)
'Yeah'--! Sure--!
A few CHUCKLES… And fg.-farside continues subdued-AD LIB…
FG.-NEARSIDE: Psychologist and Mikee consult:
PSYCHOLOGIST
Don't worry about him, Mikee: He's from the old-school: Mission-by-mission… And he's right-- We can't fail this one: All that would return, is, us: There'd be no more missions, if we fail this first.
MIKEE
Can engineers build backups into their equipment…?
2nd-Capt. bg. rises, gets a 2nd-dessert, and comes…
PSYCHOLOGIST
Mostly they build twice-forward and second is what they call the Backup Hot-Spare, or Unit-Two: Technically flawless is not a mission objective but he is also thinking in terms of mission success, while we, think in terms of establishing our presence, in space … Eventually any-equipment fails-- and he can replace it-- But the bigger it gets, the harder the call: We really need both vantages: his-expertise at doing things right the-first-time, and our-ability, to remedy all-things after, we launch… like working in three dimensions-- instead of two: we can get-around a larger class of technical hurdles … Establishment, is not our mission-- We're not warriors….
2nd-Capt. pulls-in an unused chair to join, and--
2ND-CAPT
(hand to Psychologist)
Hi, Janet-- Welcome aboard….
PSYCHOLOGIST
(handshakes)
Thank you, Penn… You look rarin' to go.
2ND-CAPT
(sits)
Sure thing--!
(introduction to Mikee)
And, Hello, young lady… You are--
(and to Psychologist)
Michelle-Keela… I presume?
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
2ND-CAPT
(easy smile)
Then, Congratulations are in order, Commander,-- I'm Commander Storer--your Second,-In-Command. I must-say
Mikee, surprise-in-check, eyes flick to Helmsman--
Helmsman smiles-back broadly 'We knew it all the time'…
2ND-CAPT (OC… CONT'D)
I did not expect to be preempted by a youngster on this mission….
MIKEE
That's all right, sir: I'll stay out of everyone's way.
2ND-CAPT
(reencourages)
That won't be necessary, Michelle: The commander's seat is right-in,-the-middle, and that's as far,-out as you'll be allowed.
MIKEE
(bemused)
Yes, sir.
FADE TO:
INT. NASA ADMINISTRATION - OFFICE - EARLY NEXT MORNING
Mikee arrives for her prebriefing with the Administrator:
KNOCKS THRICE--
ADMINISTRATOR
Come in…!
MIKEE
(tentative and enters:)
Hello, sir…?
ADMINISTRATOR
(recognizes and stands)
Ms. Michelle-Keela, Thomaine…
(waves to chair)
Good morning, Do come in, And have a seat:-- I wish to speak with you before you leave on this mission….
MIKEE
(sits)
Thank you, Yes, sir….
ADMINISTRATOR
(re-sits)
May I address you as, Michelle…?
MIKEE
Yes, sir-- But, I'm called, Mikee, at home.
ADMINISTRATOR
(enunciates)
Then… Mikee…
(prepared)
I wish, firstly, to convey NASA's highest regard for your scholastic achievements… and, our deepest appreciation for your participation on this mission, And, doubly assure you of our broadest confidence in its success…
(revises and stands)
Let me explain--
(skirts and sits on desk)
It has become the imperative in our modern society that greater numbers of children learn the sciences and technologies of space exploration… navigation… the peaceable-advances of nuclear power and electronics … more-so than ever before throughout history…
(a no-response beat)
And more than the bookish learning in schools … As you may know -from your Social Studies courses,- our-society is beset by temptations to believe that space-travel is for the few-- That costs are so great, opportunities so limited, -and the rewards require public-relations-efforts to explain their meager… benefits-… It becomes easy then to believe in other-world-imaginations replacing our contemporary world-- Dreams, fantasies, pulp-fictions… video-games, online-muds and worse… satanic drugs, cults… the byways of worldliness… costly-and-dangerous… and spreading like weeds: hardy but fruitless … But these are not what happen in our real world-- Whatever really-happens here for us, we must understand: We must be grateful for all we have, can do, and know… Who, today, can believe their News: when it shouts-- Cut, Cut, Shuffle, Cut… Deal--! And the President himself--
(smiles)
says, he believes these fantasies….
Picks up a matryoshka-doll-paperweight, to exhibit to her.
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
(opens a few shells)
Mikee-- Bureaucracy-- is like the Russian shell-doll… Have you seen one: Inside each shell is another doll -until- at the very smallest it's either empty, or not…?
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
Each shell bears some weight…
And meanders by the wall collection of space-photo-posters,
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
It is easy for NASA to send men and women -adults- into outerspace-- We advertise in classified sections of technical journals… for… astronaut-trainees … They apply in droves, We hire a few, We pay them good salary and they do good work but they also have families and children--
Pauses before photos of SkyLab and the ISS, to face her,
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
And this is where our big, problem, begins-- On long missions-- really-long… Well… We've never really had, a really-long mission-- To the moon and back took a few days, Skylab in
(gestures to photos)
the '70's and space stations manned a few months … Communications, were limited to video-duplex, now E-mail and vid-links, but still restricted to occasional coworkers and family…
(refocusing on Mikee)
We need, Mikee-- to include their families -and children with them- on really-long missions coming-up…
(the hard sell)
But-- We can't just hire, children, for money, and train them…
(and returns to the desk)
So, We advertised for your interest and scholarship….
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
Afore photos of the Pioneer and Voyager deep-space-probes,
ADMINISTRATOR
(leans-sits, a catch-smile beat)
We need test -our spaceships,- for children:--How do children see our work, our plans, our vision--? How can they participate on missions…? Adults-- are spaceflight-qualified for specific-role-responsibilities … We need, qualify children, too….
(chuckly)
Nobody ever said government-contracting was easy-- They said, "Build it, We'll test it…!"
(a sincere beat)
But that, can't be good-enough for NASA: We are not the Army: We must succeed at cost--! We live within, budgets, that Russian-shell-doll … And yet we must reach outside, the edge, of our solar system: We must go to the planets-and-stars beyond … We must own, our immanent-space- domain… We, must be the spacers in this corner of our galaxy … fully-accounted-for… and, on-budget….
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
(up and paces somber)
Mikee… This-mission, may, just, be, NASA's last, real mission to outer-space -deep space- to the planets-- "to boldly go where no man has gone before," as the StarTrek Enterprise Captain announced it--* The economy of Earth cannot sustain these space missions-- We haven't-found, a way, to make space pay back! We'd hoped, to find what payback it has…! But--
(littlish)
The vacuum of space is poor augury for man… Sure, we'll send unmanned probes, one-every-five-years … But the glory of space venturism, moon travel… may become a lost art--
(mock biggish)
Been there…! Done that…!
(sincere)
And with it, the real imagination of our children….
Stops at the ambitious AU 'Astro-University' plan photos.
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
(over-the-shoulder sell)
We need -scientifically,- establish our presence in the solar system,-- nationally and, humanly: When a man goes up, he should stay-up 7-years: Every, man, that comes down, is one fewer in space … This, is, plainly, uneconomical: Launch costs hundreds of millions…! We need -put- men and women -and children- in permanently manned space-station,-universities… interplanetary-space-liners… bigger than an Enterprise aircraft carrier … Eventually, in moon colonies, But really, once outside gravity's hold it's economical to stay-up and send robot-craft down… to land on moons: The reverse of governmental trends.
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
(meanders again)
It's cheaper to leave astronauts in space, and train new-ones, for each mission… But, somebody had to bring the Shuttle back--to reuse it….
Stops at old-1969-72 Apollo-launch and NERVA-test photos,
ADMINISTRATOR (CONT'D)
(reminisces)
50-years-ago -in history- President Kennedy announced we'd land men, on the moon, by the end of the '60's-- And then Mars-and-beyond by the end of that century: by nuclear-powered rocket engines … We, believed, him: We went for the goaled-- We built a dozen mighty Saturn-5 moon-rockets, and the super-powered NERVA nuclear engines … But-- a President's words last a decade-- President Nixon, in '72, deleted the last moon missions and, after a quick public-relations scene with the Russians, we dropped the NASA manned-space ball … And we haven't been back to the moon since before you were born … We're afraid our children again-believe the moon is made of green-cheese after,-all!
Pulls-up a similar chair and sits like an equal before her.
MIKEE
Yes, sir… I mean, No, sir: The moon is a planetesimal: a super-asteroid 'gig'enormous'-dusty-boulder….
ADMINISTRATOR
(a smile beat and somber)
Mikee-- You are Criticality-One, on this mission: Do you know what this means to us…?
MIKEE
(tentative surprise)
It means like an O-ring? If I fail, my parents may never see me again…?
ADMINISTRATOR
(sorry-laugh)
No-- It's not that severe-- Mikee--
(a comforting smile)
We are surer of our equipment, than ever before … Criticality-One means a loss of the vehicle or personnel… But in Administration it's our bad-joke-- if we, do not succeed, this, time… real-success…
(a beat, drama)
Men may never-again go to the moon, in centuries: Budgets are declining faster than ever before, A failure, now, may mean, No budget next year, No deep-space ships nor-astronauts… We'll be resigned to making zippers that don't get stuck…
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
ADMINISTRATOR
(resumes matter-of-fact)
We've decided to send a children's specialist with you: You will have your second-in-command, -Commander Storer, -Captain grade,-- And-- we are including Dr. Janet Faisey-- a space-qualified, preeminent Child-Psychologist to accompany you: Dr. Faisey will act as your yeoman….
MIKEE
Yes, sir: I met her.
ADMINISTRATOR
(a nod)
Dr. Faisey, may be as firm and fair as a mother, and as gentle and good as a father with little girls … You can always, confide in the doctor…. And, if you'll approve-- I think we have our space-team-to-go….
MIKEE
Yes, sir-- I approve….
ADMINISTRATOR
(rises)
Thank you, Mikee:-- We're all set….
(ushers-leads to exeunt)
Tell me, Mikee --if you know:-- How did your parents select your middle name…?
MIKEE
(up, walking)
My Mom, said, that-- Dad's favorite science-fiction book in college was Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward, and that he wanted to name me, Cheela-- after the inhabitants on a neutron star … Mom said the name had to be more normal, like Sheila, Celia, or Kelly … Dad said he'd settle for Keela … Mom said Michelle-Keela was normal enough … And he said, Okay.
(the revision)
My Dad said, They were hoping for a boy for their first child … and Mom said, Michael, because he was First Archangel … Dad said, he'd call me, Mikee … Then-- the men-in-white did an ultra-sound and decided I'd be a girl … So, Mom said, Michelle … Dad said I should still be his 'Mikee'… Mom said Michelle-Kelly… Dad, said, Michelle-Keela, And Mom, said-Okay.
(concludes, puzzled)
But they don't agree on who agreed with whom … So-- I'm your typical, American, 8th-grader teenager: One thoroughly, mixed-up, kid… It's in the genes, I think.
ADMINISTRATOR
(a smiling beat)
Well! That answers every question,
(hand to shake)
Commander … Bon Voyage! --which is French for "Good,-Sightseeing…!"
MIKEE
(handshakes)
And Bone Home-age, to you, too, sir … But I don't think that's French.
ADMINISTRATOR
(bemused)
Not in that sense, I think… But--
(grins)
Close-enough for government work!
MIKEE
Yes, sir-- Thank you.
She leaves to the nearest hall-door… And waving-back…
Administrator thumbs-up… Mikee nods, and EXITS.
CUT TO:
INT. GENERAL ACTIVITY ROOM - MIDMORNING (LAUNCH DAY)
DIRECTOR standing in dress whites, leads full Crew sitting round in NASA-mission-blue spacesuits, CLAPPING chants--
-UNISON-
(clap-out, enunciate)
Sim-U-LA-Ted.
DIRECTOR
(enunciates one-word)
Simulator.
-UNISON-
(clap-out, enunciate)
Sim-U-LA-Tor.
DIRECTOR
(enunciates one-word)
Simulation.
-UNISON-
(clap-out, enunciate)
Sim-U-LA-tion.
DIRECTOR
(clapping, excites)
O-kay! O-kay! Now: Raise your right hand, And repeat after me--
All raise right hands.
DIRECTOR (CONT'D)
(formal)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulation!
-UNISON-
(responsive)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulation!
DIRECTOR
(exuberant)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulator!
-UNISON-
(responsive)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulator!
DIRECTOR
(redoubled)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulated!
-UNISON-
(responsive)
I solemnly promise, -never,- to repeat the word, Simulated!
DIRECTOR
(clapping, excites)
O-kay! O-kay! Now: Everybody up!
All stand…
DIRECTOR (CONT'D)
And, Back to reality-- Everybody clap each-others', hands-- and-- Mingle… This is for-real…!
(claps-out, enunciates)
This, is, for, real!
(direct)
Mingle--!
Rounds of hand-clapping each other, mingling--
-UNISON-
(mutually clap out)
This, is, for, real!
(mingle)
This, is, for, real!
(mingle)
This, is, for, real!
(mingle)
This, is, for, real!
(mingle)
This, is, for, real!
(00:00 strum - […]/[…]/[…])
DIRECTOR
(clapping, calms)
O-Kay, O-Kay! All-Right! You guys are for real--! Break…! You're on your own--!
And leads the general EXEUNT…
All At-Ease, some soothing hands, and exeunting AD LIB…
PSYCHOLOGIST
(to Mikee)
Ready to go?
MIKEE
(bemused)
Yes … Sure …
INT. LAUNCH PREP ROOM - (MOMENTS LATER)
(00:12 "Ready to go")
2 PREP-TEAM technicians in laboratory whites, Crew gather-up helmets, gear, attache-pads…
And EXEUNT…
EXT. NASA BUILDING - TRANSPORT VAN - (NEAR CONTINUOUS)
(00:25 metal)
Prep-team, Crew with gear, stride out en mass 'in-charge'…
And nearing the Van rear, Mikee questioningly-points to--
The REAR-WINDOW SIGN: "CHILD ONBOARD" (yellow diamond)…
They smile back, Nodding, Admitting--
(00:38 "You're weird")
She mock-guffaws a grin, And all board (walk-on entrance)…
Miles-distant, 2 helicopters clear the launch-pad area…
VAN SHIFTS GEARS and drives away… Mikee looks out and back…
And through the gates…
OUT… FAR… Across empty desert… toward those helicopters…
CUT TO:
EXT. DESERT SIMULATOR, MILES DISTANT - (MINUTES LATER)
Transport Van arrives at a flat-blank place….
(01:30 -remix to- lull)
Prep-team, Crew, deboard and gather onto a--
GROUND PLATFORM: large enough for all (25, 4~m dia.)…
Prep-team herds them inside its circumference…
A Prep-teamer cellphone-dials NASA Control 5-DIGITS…
(01:43 voice)
Makes sure he's also inside the circumference…
They wait…
(01:50 metal)
And DESCEND… into--
The ELEVATOR DEPTH (180 m)…
(01:55 -fade as if sourced outside above-)
Mikee looks up: Parallax NARROWS THE SKY… to 1.25~deg.
(02:05 -bg.-)
And STOP at--
A CORRIDOR: They file straight off and through… And into--
A GLASS-TUBE GANTRY to a rocket spaceship resembling paired lava-lamps base-to-base 350 m x 100 m dia. braced vertical,
And cross 20 m to its deep-indented mid-side Entry Deck,
Mikee checks its very-real HEIGHT-AND-DEPTH in the SILO:
MIKEE
(looking out-up-down)
Wow--! Is this a sim…
(adjusts for proper)
…for real…?!
All smilingly eye Mikee for her near-mis-speak…
And enter the hatch, into the window-wrapped OBSERVATORY LOUNGE QUARTER… and through the interior hatch…
While Prep-team closes the outer-hatch, and checks seals…
Closes their gate and the GANTRY RETRACTS with themselves…
SUNLIGHT slashes into the silo as its LAUNCH-CAP WITHDRAWS…
(03:00 -fade out-)
INT. SPACESHIP COMMAND DECK - STAND-BY LIGHTED
SO-ANECHOIC we'd forget everything that's happened so far:
Efficient spheroidal room, for: Helmsman, Navigator, heads-near-centered, Captain higher behind, horseshoe-perimeter-balcony, Defensor forward-left, Sciencer opposite, backup stations midway, Engineer back-left, Communicator opposite, elevators at back, w/emergency straps; Full-front-wall Main Display, soffits, station Displays, all show the NASA DSSTF LOGO 'til commanded…
ELEVATORS OPEN-- Helmsman, Navigator, Defensor, Sciencer, Psychologist, Mikee, 2nd-Capt., Engineer, Communicator, enter, set gear, sit, seatbelt…
And log-on STATIONS TO INTERACTIVE… (mission-chopped lingo)
SCIENCER
Equipment Checklist Identifications complete-- Self-tests, Good-for-Go.
COMMUNICATOR
Sys-Com, Acquiring Mission for Go.
NAVIGATOR
Navigation, Standing-by for Go.
ENGINEER
Systems-Engineering is Go-for-Go: Launch-Clamps armed-and-enabled, Gantry withdrawn, Locked-down, Silo cap open: Silo is Clear-for-Launch.
COMMUNICATOR
We have Cap-Com, Go-for-Launch, Go-for-Mission, Launch sequence Green-light: Beginning, T-minus-3 hesits…
(2 sec.)
T-minus-2 hesits…
(00:00 low rumble - […]/[…]/[…])
Booster DEEP RUMBLE, Dialog is deliberate, tightly clipped:
ENGINEER
Propellant feed. Nuclear critical. Switching to Onboard-Control…
(00:04 deep glide-up)
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
Booster flux stable, Heavywater 10-percent bleed-in, Static-pressure nominal, Dynamic envelope balanced, Torque trim point-1-1 compensating…
(00:12 horn)
COMMUNICATOR
Navy U-F-O Acquired, AF-Sat-Com-2 Online, D-S-C-S-4 online, G-S-P-S Online: satellites 3-6-7-9: Global-position confidence, B, Lanthus Traffic Constellation Carrier-sync'ed, Data-idling, T-DRS-5 telemetry Online, Waiting on MilSTAR-2-and-3…
ENGINEER
(update)
Umbilical propellant at Full-feed…
NAVIGATOR
G-S-P-S Calibrated to Earth-zero. We have T-DRS Nav-Lock, Digital-flight-path Down-loading…
ENGINEER
(update)
Throttle-sequence Auto-initiated at T-plus-30… Heavywater-feed-fraction at 1-hundred-percent… Throttling-up Booster, now--!
Booster RUMBLE BUILDS-UP 100%… EXT. VORACIOUS UPDRAFT…
(00:43 countdown, climb)
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(update)
Positive buoyancy! Launch-Clamps at Negative-One-Gee: Ready! Captain!
Mikee SCANS HER CREW-- Each gives a thumb-up… (CONCURRENT)
COMMUNICATOR
(busy-update)
MilSTAR-2-and-3 Acquired…
NAVIGATOR
(busy-update)
Digital-flight-path Confirmed--!
(and to Mikee)
Go-on-command, Captain…
(00:50 level hold)
MIKEE
Engineer… It's your, machine!
(00:52 snare)
ENGINEER
(smiles, keys Go)
Proceeding with Launch--
CLUNK RESOUNDS-- Launch-Clamps open! EXT. VISUALS CREEP-up…
(00:54 full snare)
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
Launch-Clamps, Open…!
(a beat)
Heavywater feed-actuator, Open…!
An EXT. SPLASH of heavywater…
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(a beat)
Umbilical, Cut--! Internal, propellant--! We're free-bird…!
They all WHOOP-A-CHEER while busy-as-can-be…
GLIDING faster up the SILO…
SCIENCER
We have exterior visuals.
ENGINEER
(update)
System Dynamics Check, is Good.
Quickly CLEARING the SILO top, to above ground level…
NAVIGATOR
Silo cleared-- Ground-view…!
ENGINEER
Throttling-up to heavy-1-20….
RUMBLE INCREASES 120%, Visuals climb the distant landscape…
(01:09 climb)
COMMUNICATOR
Communications recheck, All Go!
ENGINEER
Engineering recheck, All Go!
NAVIGATOR
Navigation recheck, All Go!
HELMSMAN
Helm Launch-Path recheck, All Go!
(01:17 lull)
Puffy white clouds at 6000 ft. flit-down-by…
ENGINEER
Heavywater, phasing-out…
NAVIGATOR
Passing 2-Kilometers….
ENGINEER
Actuator closed: 1-hundred-percent light-- Throttle at actual-1-Oh-5.
CLUNK RESOUNDS of Skirt-Tank Separation--
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
Heavywater-skirt-tank, Separation…
(01:26 "We're leaving")
COMMUNICATOR
(announces)
Cap-Com says we've cleared Window-- No-Go-Venus! Go Moon…! Go Jupiter…!
They WHOOP-ANOTHER-CHEER…!
NAVIGATOR
Going supersonic…
EXT. - 15K FT. WISPY HIGH CLOUD LAYERS - (CONTINUOUS)
The ship has its supersonic-skirt-cloud off its mid-tail…
And is ever-more-rapidly receding from Earth…
The sky is darkening blue-black-to-blacker in thinning air…
(01:57 -fade out stop- "It's the final")
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - ROUNDING MOON WESTSIDE (A DAY LATER)
(00:00 - […]/[…]/[…])
Booster standby DEEP RUMBLE… Fore Whipple shields up, Etc.
Happy to be in outer-space, 2nd-Crew prepare for Booster at the bottom of the moon-gravity-swing, Mikee Observes…
NAV Displays: The hyperbolic course around west to farside.
2ND-COMMUNICATOR
(announces)
We have Gravity-Boost-Swing-Path Confirmation from Houston, Captain, And, 80-hesits, to Loss-Of-Signal….
2ND-NAVIGATOR
Course verified … Stand-by Gravity-Swing-Boost T-minus-a-hecta-hesit….
2ND-CAPT
Engineer?!
2ND-ENGINEER
Main-Booster-Restart, Confirmed.
2ND-CAPT
(orders)
Helm-- Ready for Auto-Boost!
2ND-HELMSMAN
Ready for Auto-Boost, Captain.
2ND-CAPT
Nav-- Lock-in Booster-swing-trajectory to Helm!
2ND-NAVIGATOR
(keys)
Swing-trajectory, locked-in.
2ND-CAPT
Begin Auto-Boost sequence, Helm!
2ND-HELMSMAN
(keys)
Auto-Boost: 92-hesits, to ignition.
2ND-CAPT
(turns to Mikee)
Captain Mikee--! We are about to implement a Lunar Gravity-Swing-Boost maneuver… Are you familiar with this procedure…?
MIKEE
Yes, sir: We take orbit-energy from the moon in the gravity-swing, Plus we get additional, energy, boosting at the bottom, of the gravity-well.
2ND-CAPT
(acknowleges competence)
Very good…! You'll see it up-close: Navigation has programmed the Helm, and NASA has confirmed our optimal-trajectory thrusting straight-ahead
(full arm pointers)
following the transfer-hyperbola….
MIKEE
(nods 2 beats tentative)
Actually, sir-- There is, a faster, trajectory…
2ND-CAPT
(bemused)
'Oh'--?
MIKEE
(comes down)
Yes, sir-- The 'W-Maneuver', sir … My StarTrails Reader explained it--
(and standing adjacent)
While most, starship captains, take your, route, and blast-around stars in a long arc, The optimal-maneuver drops in the gravity-riptide sooner and leaves later to stay nearer the bottom longer and extract energy--
2ND-CAPT
(concerned and to Crew)
The 'gravity-riptide…?'
MIKEE
To the bottom, of the gravity-well. You can even counter your vertical, and spend more, time, extracting…
(child's disclaimer)
They use a lot of Calculus, which I won't know till high school, Senior year-- But they also give "Infinity Comp" proofs I can understand: Two.
2ND-CAPT
(plays along)
And, What are, the Infinity Comps…?
MIKEE
(explains)
First: If you accelerate exactly-on the trajectory, you reach periapsis sooner, and higher… So-- you either accelerate slightly downward or aim lower first and push around: That's the 'W-trajectory': sort-of-like-W…
2nd-Capt. smiles…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
Second: Starting in circular-orbit, Adding velocity to escape straight-ahead, gives you the basic gravity-well-boost advantage: I know-how to do squares-and-roots…
2ND-CAPT
(tentative)
Right…
MIKEE
But if you aim your thrust somewhat up to hold the orbit circular, Then when you escape, you get more-than, the basic boost advantage… On flyby you can do it both coming and going …'The Big-W'… The deeper and longer you stay in gravity-wells, the more effectually you use your booster…!
(quick to add)
I also worked out the example for a parabolic pass of Earth at 2-point-1-gee like we-have: 1-gee is needed to make the orbit circular and thus accelerate forward at 1-point-8-gee by the Pythagorean-vector-sum while gaining energy 12-times-faster than by accelerating in free space…
2ND-CAPT
(awed and to Crew)
Wow…! Did you guys know about this?
EARTH ECLIPSE beyond the moon west edge (5 sec.)…
2ND-NAVIGATOR
The kid knows what she's talking-about, sir-- I've studied theory, backward and forward, But we, use the installed-technology-programs when we fly: I never gave it much extra thought past college….
2ND-CAPT
(accepts)
We may need computer-re-programming experts on spaceflights-- after, we test-out for children….
(a beat, quiet to Mikee)
Do you want to try this-- now…?
BG. Radio HISS-OUT! of Earth sounds and monitorings--
2ND-COMMUNICATOR
(interjects update)
We have Loss of T-DRS-signal: Radio Silence behind the moon,-- Captain.
MIKEE
(turned, And back)
It would require a different Entry-trajectory, sir … And the first leg of 'W-maneuver' is dangerous aiming below, the horizon … It's Captain's Prerogative whatever-course we take … And, You are, the Captain.
2ND-CAPT
But, You, are the First-Captain….
MIKEE
You're the Commander-On-Duty, sir….
2ND-CAPT
(nods Yes)
Okay, We'll have NASA look at this… Thank you… Captain.
2ND-HELMSMAN
(update)
Auto-boost: 10-hesits, to ignition…
Mikee returns to her Observer-seat…
2ND-CAPT (MCU)
(rests elbow, waves-over)
Com…
2ND-COMMUNICATOR
Yes, sir?
And steps down and comes…
2ND-CAPT (CU)
(quieter when near)
Did Mikee, Buffalo, us, just now?
2ND-COMMUNICATOR (MCU)
I don't think so, sir: She fully credits her StarTrails Reader…
2ND-CAPT (MCU)
And she understands what she reads: That makes her credit worth a lot…
2ND-COMMUNICATOR (MCU)
(admits it)
Yes, sir…
2ND-CAPT (MCU)
Thank you.
Communicator returns to sit and watch as the others work…
Booster RUMBLE RAMPS UP 100%…
2ND-ENGINEER
Main coming up to Nominal maximum…
And the spaceship glides-on low over passing moon craters…
Ext. SERIES OF SHOTS
1. Their spaceship coming-in low over the moon's craters…
2. Passing onward even lower… as if MINUTES WERE PASSING…
3. Pulling up for deep-space with solar-escape velocity--
2ND-NAVIGATOR (VO)
We're galactic,-- Captains!
V.O. All round-APPLAUSE…
INT. RESUME - (CONTINUOUS)
And All just-as-quickly back to work…
2ND-CAPT
(lingering boisterous)
Take 'her' to Neptune, Helm…!
2ND-HELMSMAN
(keys)
Aye… Captain--! From 'Terra-Puny' past 'Luna-Luny' to 'Nepo-tuny'…!
Navigator gives Helmsman an eyes-only-look,
2ND-NAVIGATOR
(quietly concerned)
Trying to lighten our load…?
2ND-HELMSMAN
(comeback)
For our First-Captain-kid's sake…
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - NORTH OF MARS FAR WEST - (DAYS LATER)
BG. 1st-Crew back-on prepare Deep-Space-Six Interferometry Probe-Net for release, AD LIB, Science station tests show a cumulating list of 'digital-signature' matches…
NAVIGATOR
E.T.A. 50-hesits…
SCIENCER
Signature test is nearly finished…
FG. Mikee in the captain's chair, reads her Internet-news-groups on her laptop (chair-arm-mounted) with mike-headset… She types URL "news:sci.fi.startrails", and keys Enter--
LAPTOP: Usenet-news posts:
-#1 BOY- (IVO)
(read)
Turkey-Dirker@netmail.com says: Why didn't the Captain order negative--phasors? I read the Procyon episode on the flight to Newark, yesterday.
Next Post:
-#2 GIRL- (IVO)
(read)
CapComette@mailpooch.com says: Are negative-photons, distinguishable, from ordinary photons--? Negative-phasors would still overload. IMHO
(smiley: ASCII ";-P")
I read it on Terre Haute Flight 2.
Next Post:
-#3 BOY- (IVO)
(read)
Incinerator@mailmasher.com says: Their phasor requires an amount of antimatter equal, to the amount of matter to be phasor'ed-- It phase-balances the equal opposite masses and rotates both, to quadrature,-- the amounts rotated are lost… But, antimatter in the phasor, can-not-phasor the antimatter of the alien vessel in quadrature-space, as that would require matter, in the phasor which was not built that way-- Thus their phasors should have no effect on those antimatter aliens, at all.
BG. Science station has a mismatch result-- (CONCURRENT)
SCIENCER (BG.)
Engineering-- We have an anomalous readout-on the Backup Sunsync… Can you verify a launch configuration?
Engineer fingers Launch Configuration and brings-up data:
ENGINEER (BG.)
(busy sliding pages)
News to me…
Locates the DSS-IPN page for Backup Sunsync: Revision notes show "…July 5th 2012 SIG:AB45…"
ENGINEER (CONT'D BG.)
July 5th signature is-- "AB45".
Science Station test-line#59 is "…REF:AB45 TEST:D31D XOFF…"
SCIENCER (BG.)
Same Reference here, But not, Test.
ENGINEER (BG.)
(sliding a page, mocks)
It's only Criticality-4-R, Ship it!
(a reading beat, normal)
Could be a last-minute-update… or a last-minute-update-withdrawal…
(a beat, AD LIB)
Either, way, requires the Captain's authorization…
FG. Mikee types her reply: (anonymo@ps.us)
MIKEE (IVO)
(in parallel)
'Incinerator, The phasor must have antimatter to start the phasor ray with its matter fuel, to phasor an antimatter object: They could build it to work both ways… But there was nothing the Captain could do inside the star in quadrature rotation…
SCIENCER (CONCUR.)
Captain…?
MIKEE (IVO…)
(finishes-off)
'Popsicles-away, mate!'
And SENDS IT--
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(looks to the bg. voice)
Yes--? Science Officer…
SCIENCER
We have a Payload test failure: The DSS-IPN Backup Sunsync subsystem….
MIKEE
What can you do about it…?
SCIENCER
It's Criticality-4-R, which means the equipment is functioning, but without-backup it may not last as many years as intended in design: We don't have time to fix it, and Mars will be too-out-of-alignment on our return-leg: I'm requesting routine Autonomous Authorization.
MIKEE
What action do you intend?
SCIENCER
Release-as-is … A failed Hot-Spare is equal to a Loss-Of-Primary… But the Experiment is Priority-A-3.
MIKEE
(notices the Engineer)
What do you recommend, Engineer?
ENGINEER
Release-as-is: Launch-stress takes its toll and always will… And NASA can fuss with it some, by remote.
MIKEE
Go ahead-- You have Authorization, Science Officer.
SCIENCER
Thank you, Captain.
(to the others)
DSS-IPN-Release is Go-For-Commence.
NAVIGATOR
Coming up on E.T.A. Zero…
(00:00 - […]/[…]/[…])
HELMSMAN
Steady as she goes: Science has a 50-hesit window…
SCIENCER
Deep-Six: Fire-control: Armed and enabled… Releasing…
(keys 1 each sec.)
Phase 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6…
Displays watch 6 Probes released spreading in free space…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Release: complete.
(2 work beats)
Switching to Program-Panel-2 multi-mode, ready: Acquisition phase, On…
ENGINEER
Computer-Backup-Second diverting to Science station: Reliable on First, You have 30-hesits… Make it quick…
Some less-busy watch…
SCIENCER
Sequence: Begin--
6 Telemetries ACTUATE individually…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(at Displays)
And-- We have telemetry… Six… All Phase-locked…
(next mode)
Releasing acquisition task to tracking mode… Process terminated.
(final)
You have your overblown-P-C-backup, back up, Engineer.
ENGINEER
(grins-back)
Control-X-ing, the Science Support Window…
They light-CHUCKLE…
COMMUNICATOR
Filing Deep-Space-Six status with Houston…
SCIENCER
(a check-list beat)
Next-- Check on MVACS-vestigials…
BG. Proceeds AD LIB to recover the weak-signal from MVACS…
FG. LAPTOP: News End: All posts read… Mikee does E-mail--
First message: [Susan] (HEADSET), digital PICTURES of their friends, outings, on summer-camp letterhead:
N.B. HEADSET is laptop-wide-stereo, Ambience is 360-stereo.
[SUSAN] (HEADSET)
(leads e-transcription)
Hi, Mikee: Camp is great as usual: See my pictures: I used my digital camera I got for my birthday-- and this camp letter-head background…. We all wish you were here, Or wish we were there-- We haven't figured this out yet-- Have you? What's it like in virtual outer-space--? And the big question we discuss every night-- What is, a virtual vacuum? Jonny says you can't simulate a vacuum, unless you use a whole lot of No-Ops…. Jim is here, too-- He says he wanted to get away from all that hacker-talk, --like I hear his mother talking through,-- but now he wishes he could hack your deep-space simulator, and send you on a real, mission, instead of virtual-- He's such an alpha-geek, and I hope he's really joking… I really think he likes you, but it's down in the risk-factors until next year…. And, we had a big debate with the camp-leaders at the campfire last night: Is virtually-virtual, really-real…?
SCIENCER (BG. CONCUR.)
(minor success)
We have in-band R-F…! Looks like NASA still has a piece of equipment out there … Pinging, for controls…
[SUSAN] (CONT'D:HEADSET)
This bothers all of us, even Jimmy. We stayed-up an extra 3-demurs, but they wouldn't let us sleep-in five-hecta-hesits … 'Ah'-well: "Blearily blearily blearily blearily, Camp-life is such a dream…!" Don't eat any virtual fiche, Mikee…! Later, Grand Admiral… Tomorrow probably: During siesta-- Virtual-'Z's…
KLAXON--!
COMPUTER PA: "ALERT! SPACE-DEBRIS-VICINITY! ALERT!"
NAVIGATOR
(abruptly busy)
Well, Looky here… What do you make of this, at your Science Station…?
TELESCOPE DISPLAYS: zoom-in an outgassing-comet passing…
SCIENCER
(pseudo-biblical)
A stone cut without hands…
HELMSMAN
Is that, Doctor of Science--? or Doctor of Philosophy…?
Some small-partial-GIGGLES…
SCIENCER
Captain, We have a small visitor: An unscheduled mega-ton comet-- a heavy breather!
All watch the comet…
MIKEE (POV)
(to comet)
I hope we don't meet any-closer-up with any of those, on this trip…
They resume busy: Cataloguing data from the Mars North Pole Impact-probes to be launched…
SCIENCER
Releasing-- Mars Polar Impactor…
ENGINEER
Need the computer-backup back up…?
SCIENCER
(light chuckle)
No-- Just a pair of launches but no multi-linked telemetries--! Thanks.
HELMSMAN
(a beat)
There-goes the Martian Santa Claus…
SCIENCER
(busy)
'Ha ha'-- very funny…
HELMSMAN
(to Navigator)
Red-and-white spectrum: What do you suppose, are the nuclear elements…?
NAVIGATOR
Re-endear-ium-9… and Di-elvium-12…?
HELMSMAN
Next we may have North-polar-Santa- Claus-star-wars: Earth-versus-Mars…
NAVIGATOR
(counters)
How many elves does it take to clean Rudolph's nose…?
HELMSMAN
(2 chuckle beats)
We give…
NAVIGATOR
Twelve:-- Two to hold his nose in a hanky, And ten-- to roll him over…
Partial GIGGLES…
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
You do-know that Rudolph's nose is squeaky clean-- They roll him back
(with headwagging)
and forth…
Partial CHUCKLES…
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
Why did Santa change his last-name to Claus…?
HELMSMAN
(ponders-about 2 beats)
We give… again…
NAVIGATOR
His parents the Claustros by name, lived indoors, all-year-long … But he-himself was claustro-phobic…
Partial CHUCKLES…
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
(a bemused beat)
Do you know what you're missing by not-being married, with children…?
Partial GIGGLES…
HELMSMAN
(ponders a beat)
Free fireplace-flue-cleaning every Christmas…?
Partial CHUCKLES…
NAVIGATOR
('full-speed-ahead')
'Yup'-- Scapegoat, Santa-Claus, and your Mrs.-Claus cleans the carpet … Adults know what it's really-about…
Partial CHUCKLES… And bg. continues AD LIB…
Mikee resumes: CLICKS Reply-to:Campset, And speaks quietly, leading the laptop e-transcription-application--
MIKEE
(sotto voce)
Dear Fellow StarTrailers, Mom, Dad, August Campers, Friends… -and Happy Beach Babies-- who won't be reading this till school-… This is my first E-mail broadcast since we launched: We launched, on-time, to within one hesit: Accuracy is important to the engineers: It tells them that their systems are working exactly as in--
She pauses, and types the word instead--
MIKEE (IVO… CONT'D)
(types in parallel)
"the simulations"
And resumes speaking--
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(resumes sotto voce)
We're not allowed to say, the word, aloud, but I can think it, and type it… your Speech-To-Text will say it for, me…. We are in deep-space now, passing, Mars, and dropping routine interferometry space probes,-- This is the busywork NASA dreamed-up for one mission, to justify expenditure of Congressional science-monies and resources, And lots-of-busywork, my Contemporary Studies teacher warns: She says movies like StarTrails can only be highlights of space-travel, and she, does not want to go … Some people make decisions like that for themselves … But she is, worth, the 'high-A-minus'…. I get to work with the ship's computer in my off-time: There is a lot more to learn in the next two months and I must maintain proficiency on all their equipments and programs-- even if we don't use them: Captains have lots of general responsibilities, which is nice: It keeps boredom to a minimum … plus I can fill-out my time with downloads of real science-fiction….
(a beat)
We'll be flying over the asteroids belt tomorrow, -or below, from the southern hemisphere,- and, 2-days-later, we'll pass Jupiter where we have a black-package to deliver… I don't know if it has anything to do with the movie "2010…*"-- it's part of the mission plan-- work, work, work… Without lots of work it must be boring out here-- You can't go outside and play-- There, is, no, outside… There's a saying at NASA, "Work is therapy…." ATTACHED, are pictures we took of Mars earlier….
Drag-drop Attaches PHOTOS from folder NASANet: Mars, comet…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
And, We spotted an unknown comet-- it's very small-- doesn't look like much-- but NASA wants baby-pictures for the solar system family album….
FADE TO:
INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE - JUPITER SPACE WESTWARD - (A WEEK)
Radiation-ALERTS PING randomly as the spaceship glides high over the rings, The planet image blazes at the window top…
Mikee with her laptop, mike-headset, in a lounge chair near the core wall, finishes space-lunch and reading her e-mail…
LAPTOP: a Progress-Popup shows "NASA Uplink Download: 93%…"
Mikee keys Next: A ritzy casino MLM ad, dressy female go-go Flash dancers gambling in offshore-MLM-stock shares…
MIKEE (IVO)
(a bite, views header)
A billion kilometers from Earth-- and they still send me 'spam'…
(scrolls to body)
Probably another suckering M-L-M … Yup: If their business were really profitable, they'd just add more server-computers themselves…
(reads a beat)
This-one gambles in a stock-shares pyramid,-- That's different, --for cleverness:-- It could topple-down 'spam'-and-eggs…
Redirects: To:pyramid@ftc.gov,CC:enforcement@sec.gov,…
E-mail acknowledges Sent… List shows all read.
Closes E-mail… the Popup shows "…100%…" Mikee Clicks Play…
Defensor Chip, wearing his Tempest-Nuclear service patches, enters with a deck of cards to talk, but seeing she's busy, smiles, nods Hi, and continues to the panorama windows…
Her Laptop-download comic starts, "Lonestone's Twin"--
TRANSITION: ZOOM C.U. INTO--
INT. CINCSPAC EARTH OFFICE - WARM-LIT AFTERNOON (COMIC)
COMIC: ADMIRAL in galaxyship-official attire, writes at his desk... LT CMDR Kyler (young, mussable white-blond hair) in official attire, delivers a red-cover EYES-ONLY MESSAGE:
COMIC LT CMDR
(enters abruptly)
Sir--!
(urgent to exaustion)
This eyes-only report just came-in from the Max Planck Hans Bethe Hideki Yukawa Institute for the Association of Gamma-and-X-Ray New-Technology-Telescopy at Kamioka Town, Gifu Prefecture, Chubu, Japan, on the MilSTAR super-sat-net stealth-crypto-web, local-hub…
(raspy bulge-eyed inhale)
Ssssssehrrrrrr…!
And a quick normal breath--! And a flash-smile of relief.
COMIC ADMIRAL
Yes, And what does it say?
COMIC LT CMDR
(at full attention)
Sir--! I can't say, Sir--! It's for Eyes,-Only! Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
(hand to take)
Then-- Let me, see-- it!
COMIC LT CMDR
(and hands report)
Yes, sir--! Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
(peruses)
When, was this first-- discovered?
COMIC LT CMDR
(Rapid-fire explanation)
Early this morning-- Inadvertently, Sir-- The Intel Sexium-Engineering-X-Team in San Diego was screenroom-testing several units for sidelobe-specification of terahertz-spectrum electromagnetic-interference on the clockwave when they detected a weak 38-point-42-gigahertz… Deducing its extraterrestrial nature and origin, they reported to the Institute: The Institute rediscovered it emanating from a black-hole coming our way at 0-point-2-7-3-percent-shy of light-speed-- where 38-point-42-gigahertz radiation is relativistic,-Doppler-shifted-21-centimeter-wavelength of natural-hydrogen at the black-hole…
(concludes)
At detection, it was yet one light-day distant, and is due to pass our solar system tomorrow morning… Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
I thought you said this is for Eyes Only….
COMIC LT CMDR
Yes, Sir-- I am reciting from photographic memory, Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
'Oh'… I see.
COMIC LT CMDR
Yes, Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
Why was this not seen before…?
COMIC LT CMDR
(ambiguous)
The--black, hole--sir…?
(at full attention)
The Institute also registered it to a previously-uncorrelated sighting, submitted from one of our Astroskip outposts that had first observed it at 1-light-year-distance but deemed it not-likely to approach our solar system: Its directionality was only remotely, approximated…
(adds)
The light-speed confirmation-copy of that outpost sighting arrived this morning, as well, Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
Commander-- What is the a priori likelihood we'd missed a report?
COMIC LT CMDR
(relaxed attention)
Fairly, High, sir,-- Our Milky Way galaxy halo is rife with billions, of singular black-holes flung-away by supernovae in its nebular disk, since our galaxy formed 13-billion years ago-- and there's nothing to mark them in ten-to-the-15th cubic light-years of space-vacuum: Every so often one crosses the star-disk again and one-in-70-thousand-years traverses our interstellar region… What is unusual about this one was its speed, sir, But these too have recently been discovered elsewhere.
COMIC ADMIRAL
(ponders tangent)
Some of our galaxy's unseen, mass… How did we accomplish our science-analyses so quickly?
COMIC LT CMDR
(again at attention)
The relativistic 'headlight' effect constrained all radiations from the black-hole to our-direction, And we used our super-mil-net connections, and Intel-proto-Sexium 19-gigahertz array, Sir-- These utilize picowave transmissions between I.C.'s… Sir!
COMIC ADMIRAL
Where, does a hyperfast, black-hole originate? A supernova type-2 kicks out a neutron-star or black-hole at below a thousandth, of light-speed…
OVERLAY (SEMITRANSPARENT) CU: A Black Hole leads a Point of Fusion-Power through an In-Warping Field of Lighted Dust... which then recedes in Perspective of its cosmic Filament...
COMIC LT CMDR
Yes, Sir--We figure that in-falling gases just-miss a moving black-hole and impact-fusion behind it and the fore,-fusion-jet impels it forward… This-one likely ingested from dense interlane molecular clouds when the early cosmos was still atmospheric; accelerating maximally… Black-holes first appeared -so to speak- before galaxies, formed, 60-million-years-after the initial, cosmic Big Bang, when supergiant-star-production was exponential--by supernova-chaining
Larger--Diagrammatically, it swings through Galaxy Cores...
COMIC LT CMDR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
Later, as the cosmic gases thinned, this-black-hole swung into galactic cores driving-up energy maintaining velocity against cosmic expansion…
At last the Black Hole heads -looming- directly at Us...
COMIC LT CMDR (CONT'D)
(a beat)
A statistical-fluke flung it at our solar system… and it may not happen again in billions, of years, sir….
And Overlay off,--even as it obliterates the entire view...
COMIC ADMIRAL
(to self)
Wow-- Einstein's 'Twin' is real…!
COMIC LT CMDR
Yes, Sir: and visiting Earth in the morning, Tomorrow, Sir! …But… Sir--
(works through)
While I appreciate, the facility of accelerating to light speed, --till the extent of the cosmos is pancake flat making sub-light travel across the cosmos as-feasible as for short distances between stars,--
COMIC ADMIRAL
(nods inserts)
Yes-- but with astroskip, that's a moot scientific point, Commander….
COMIC LT CMDR
Yes, Sir-- But, I've a puzzle, sir:
And steps to THE WHITEBOARD,
COMIC LT CMDR (CONT'D)
Going back to outpost detection--at one-light-year distant and velocity being relativistic, with space-time gamma-coefficient inverse-root-shy-square-velocity equal 13-point-54…
He constructs Twins-Paradox-gamma-equations for specified distances and times, And draws, fore and aft and back and forth, arrows, Meanwhile disheveling his hair famously…
COMIC LT CMDR (CONT'D)
If, we monitor, the one-year of its transit, from our outpost to Earth, Then according to Einstein -Special Theory of Relativity- it progresses 27-days-lapsed of dilated-time… And likewise, it has been watching us…
(half a beat)
Not that they'll crack our secrets, sir … But … They must notice of us, that our stellar frame, is Lorentz-Fitzgerald-contracted by that same, factor-of-13-plus, and we a pancake traversing 27,-light-days, reaching them near-light-speed 27-days-after our outpost-pancake passed them: It is all relativistic, Einstein said!
COMIC ADMIRAL
(nods inserts)
Yes, but, Who, are they, Commander?
COMIC LT CMDR
(diverted for the moment)
'Ah' a 'relative' fact: There is an observer traveling with their hole, who transmitted a Hello-marker, the moment they discovered our outpost, passing-- And that-too arrived this morning … We do not yet know more …
Builds to excited and disheveled, about his drawing:
COMIC LT CMDR (CONT'D)
(resumes stressing)
But-- In their-27-days to reach us, They, monitor barely-2-days of our, relativistically-dilated, time… And in-point-of-fact their Hello-marker met us half way--
(tap-taps halfway)
Their-Day-13-point-5, Our Today -as of this morning,- And they arrive--
(tap-taps endpoint)
Tomorrow morning…. But that--means:
(tap-taps start)
They sent it only yesterday-morning our-time: A day-ago not a-year-ago!
(near bursting)
How do we explain this to them when they arrive tomorrow?! The tortoise out-relativized the hare! We cannot have done it…! Do we, really, even, know--whether this theory is really real… Or, virtually virtual…!
(confronts non sequitur)
Do we appear to be a solar-orbiting Schroedinger-wave-function…? Sir…?!
COMIC ADMIRAL
(nonchalant)
Don't stop thinking about tomorrow, Lieutenant-- This is just the Twins Paradox playing-out in much detail…
(half a beat)
And, don't forget our-time advances by clock-racing their-time: wherein their-frame sees us 13-times-faster while tick-tocking-13-times-slower…
Miming two slow clock hands,
COMIC LT CMDR
(recognition)
Aye--Yes, sir! But how do we figure which, of us, gets the relativistic clock-tripping-bias advanced by the square of our mutual velocity--when neither, of us, is using grid-time?
COMIC ADMIRAL
Well--in point of fact we both, are using grid-time whenever we account the 'When' when something occurs in the other's inertial frame--So your rate-calculations were correct, but your questions were really answers
(a refocus beat)
They-account our last-2-days of our year since they passed our outpost, But we-account their whole-27-of-27 days because we didn't pass a thing of theirs to measure-from…
(a beat)
It's not-just looking-at grid-time, that counts, but, living,-it…
COMIC LT CMDR
(relieves)
Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!
(re-relieves)
I needed that reminder…!
(wipes brow, frets)
I hope missing-a-detection doesn't start World War-5 … I'm only-- the Lieutenant-on-watch, sir!
(a beat calming)
My theory is: We need to include a third-relativity for light-speed…! I think it's a Triplets, Paradox!
COMIC ADMIRAL
General Relativity will have your answer, Commander-- They catch-up on our history…
COMIC LT CMDR
(resumes puzzled again)
What,-history, Sir? T-V satellites broadcast science-fictions, murder mysteries and news-media: Not high school history…!
Episode Credits SCROLL;
COMIC ADMIRAL
(surprised but easy)
'Ww' We could be re-living dinosaur dreams of freedom-- as we fall into the central-hole, of our universe…!
(half-points stern to)
Take that as a warning, Lieutenant: Relativity must seem weird but it's the weirdness we must, relate,-to…!
COMIC LT CMDR
(sincere)
Yes, Sir! I've always wondered what the cosmos was like in the dinosaur days, And whether people were alive when the cosmic-background was room temperature -before ice- and space-travel a balmy delight…! They could have spread across galaxies, before the whole cosmos turned cold…, Sir!
CUT AWAY TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - NEARING JUPITER SPACE WESTWARD
3rd-Crew but 2nd-Capt., Defensor not present, prepare…
2ND-CAPT
(to 3rd-Communicator)
Is she in her quarters?
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
No, she's on the Observation deck.
2ND-CAPT
(starts exit)
I'll be right back-- Hold your positions ready.
3RD-HELMSMAN
Aye, Captain-- Backing-up to Mars.
2nd-Capt. pauses, giving him a puzzled second-look…
3RD-HELMSMAN (CONT'D)
(turns, a flash grin)
Just joking, sir--
(dissipates grin)
We're standing-by ready for Jupiter Probe arrival, sir.
2ND-CAPT
(near elevator)
Let her know I'm coming.
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
(keys)
Aye.
2ND-CAPT
(but staying)
She really needs to be on the Command deck:
(a beat tentative)
Do you think you can take commands, from her?
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
If she gives them we can take them.
3RD-NAVIGATOR
We're pretty much routine here, Capt. If she says, Go, We're going…
The Elevator opens.
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. OBSERVATION DECK - LOOKING INWARD - COSMIC REFLECTIONS
(00:00 'ahh' - […]/[…]/[…])
Defensor Chip admires the view: Jupiter reflects in bright detail high on the windows, Mikee bg. reads her laptop…
INT. OBSERVATION - LOOKING OUTWARD - (CONTINUOUS)
(00:21 "Deep peace")
REFLECTION: Defensor leans closer to see higher and more of Jupiter… Mikee bg. closes her laptop, and watches…
… At last she calls to him, ready for talking--
MIKEE (REFL)
Hi, Chip-- What's up…?
DEFENSOR (REFL)
(smiles in the window)
Hello…?
And turns and comes nonchalant…
MIKEE
I finished a movie review. Do you have free-time from Command deck?
DEFENSOR
(nears)
Thought I'd discuss this probe-- thing, Before I face your Second.
He deals of his presorted ALPHABET CARDS: "CERULEAN AGATE…"
MIKEE
(reading his deal)
What's to discuss--? It's an experiment….
DEFENSOR
Do you know what this eyes-only phrase, means--?
SNAPS DOWN the last "E" card.
(00:57 +soprano)
MIKEE (POV)
Sure-- It's a crossword retro-clue for blue chalcedony or forward for planet Neptune: It was redlined in my prebriefing, folder.
He's awed a moment at her thorough intellect…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(reassures)
Mom drills me on crossword puzzles every Friday or Saturday evening.
DEFENSOR
(resumes)
Now-- Mikee: You're a kid… But you can't kid me … I know-- You know-- what this is….
He scrambles his spelt deal, and shuffles it with his deck…
(01:14 "hooh" lull)
MIKEE
(smirks)
So--?! It's someone-else's idea-- Isn't that what all, business, is about-- Appreciating other ideas?
(01:18 +piano)
DEFENSOR
But, Mikee-- Think of the consequences… And think of the decisions to be made: Strategies are important, out in the field, but they must be invented by men thinking about them-- preferably off, the field….
(beat)
Okay, so you're a girl….
MIKEE
Does that change decisions?
DEFENSOR
No: I mean you enjoy the traveler snapshot view of space, but maybe not the space-exploitation….
MIKEE
Space is empty.
DEFENSOR
Okay, cutie-- I mean-- planetary exploitation….
(01:44 voice+string)
MIKEE
There's lots of desert sand on Earth-- Why not just exploit all that?! If you adjusted the weather patterns and caused it to rain on deserts, that'd be a 'can't-lose-plus' situation-- something really needed: You exploit the hurts, to make people feel better.
DEFENSOR
All-true, Mikee-- But, how, we go about these exploitations, is where the decisions must be made.
MIKEE
Then, Why didn't they make the decisions for Earth's deserts?
DEFENSOR
We don't have much desert … Well-- I take that back: We've got plenty of open space … I think it may be, because we realized soon as we got strong enough to do it all, that-- our methods are mighty-but-clumsy: We're afraid we might damage other areas more… And we're always-ready to be lazy…
(grins a half-beat)
So… we moved-on to outer-space-- farther from Earth-- fewer people doing it… We think this is safer… Of course, This takes more-power…
(admits)
Mightier -and- Clumsier…
MIKEE
So, it's a question of why we're here!?
DEFENSOR
'Yyess…' And that's when decisions are made … And, you're as much a member of this team as any of us.
Vidlink TINKLES-IN [3RD-COMMUNICATOR] paused…
DEFENSOR (CONT'D)
And whatever decision, you, make, if nothing else, prevents us from forgetting you, among us-- We need to remember that we're working for the whole, while we individually endeavor to improve ourselves.
MIKEE
Sounds religious.
(02:40 +piano)
DEFENSOR
(restrained)
Sorry.
MIKEE
(reencourages)
That's alright-- It's where my Sunday School teacher says we start best.
Vidlink RE-TINKLES-IN [3RD-COMMUNICATOR] paused…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
Excuse, me…
(keys Vidlink-accept)
Yes?
[3RD-COMMUNICATOR]
Commander Mikee-- We have entered Jupiter-space and will be needing all Crew on-deck, soon.
MIKEE
Second-in-Command has the duty… Can I watch from the Observatory…?
(02:58 +"hooh")
[3RD-COMMUNICATOR]
(hesitates)
The Captain, will be there in just a moment, Mikee-- He needs to talk a moment privately about this … We all agree.
MIKEE
Okay.
Vidlink TINKLES-OUT.
MIKEE (CONT'D)
He, wants to talk, too.
DEFENSOR
I don't know what he wants to say … But think about this, Mikee: As you grow in your school studies, you'll see opportunities to contribute to the decision-making processes-- All those funny Rules Of Roberts' Order are to hear all sides, not stifle….
(03:17 voice+string)
MIKEE
I haven't learned those yet-- I put those in the same class as Murphy's Laws-- I'll get to them when I need them next year in High School.
DEFENSOR
(grins)
And which Rule is that…?
2nd-Capt. ENTERS,
2ND-CAPT
Mikee--
(to Defensor)
You can stay…
(to Mikee)
Mikee-- Listen…
(thoughtful)
I know I'm on duty… But there are sometimes tasks better-suited to the First-Commander of the vessel: We don't have to argue schedules preapproved, -as orderly as these are for accomplishing all things,- But we have one-thing, here, that requires your attention-- I think: It's a command decision-- and it's all ready to make-- But it's your, responsibility as First Commander, to make it….
MIKEE
(disunderstands)
The choices were decided… we've thought those through: What's more important about one choice, than the others?
2ND-CAPT
(to Defensor)
Have you, been training her…?
DEFENSOR shakes-and-mouthes "No…"
2ND-CAPT (CONT'D)
(appraises)
She feels need to meet each choice proportionately-- without the hard-decision of just one, made, choice.
DEFENSOR
Soft-decisions are within the scope of fuzzy-logic….
(04:07 voice)
2ND-CAPT
Yes, but we still have the old technology of On-Off switches: Some of these have to be pulled and that takes responsibility.
MIKEE
(catches)
You want me to turn-on a decision!?
2ND-CAPT
'Yyess…'
(proffers)
That's a fair estimate of the responsibility….
(04:20 deep)
MIKEE
(accepts, rises)
O-kay, I'm needed on the Comm-Deck… My laptop is good but its screen is too narrow--
(mock-disparages laptop)
I'll have to upgrade it next-time…!
All smile… She leads the EXEUNT as the WHIPPLES COME UP--
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(quicker)
We'd better be up there--now!
-THEY-
(smile mutually)
Yes, sir!
Last to EXIT,
DEFENSOR
(mock-taunts)
Is that-- Second-Commander…?
Or-- Second-Psychologist…!?
2ND-CAPT (OC)
That is hardly a soft-decision at this time….
(04:35 fade)
Chip's SPELL-CARDS remain--clueless…
(04:38 end)
INT. COMMAND DECK - JUPITER SPACE WESTSIDE
Watching the approach, RETICLE-ICONS track 2 rocket-probes…
3RD-HELMSMAN
(awed at the view)
Jupiter sure-is huge…
3RD-NAVIGATOR
(easy report)
Flight-deck, programmed-- We have clear passage.
(00:00 drum - […]/[…]/[…])
3RD-SCIENCER
(easy report)
Probe-trajectory-windows are ready for entry-- E.T.A. 10-hesits.
Elevator DOOR OPENS to-- 2nd-Capt., Mikee, Defensor--
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
(turns-to, Alert--)
Commander's on the Bridge!
(00:06 +string)
ON: Defensor's TEMPEST-PATCHES, Rapid-pace to stations…
MIKEE
(snap-orders)
Weapons-- Ready ignition enable! Captain, Backup-support on Weapons!
They squeeze-in "Ayes" and sit, 2nd-Capt. at 2nd-Defense, and catch-and-snug their seatbelts,
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(overlaps)
Status, Report!
(00:11 +rhythm)
3RD-SCIENCER
E.T.A. Probe-Injection Window in 5-hesits, Open 80-hesits.
3RD-NAVIGATOR
Clear for Jupiter-pass: Gravity-swing laid-in…
(00:17 +harmony)
MIKEE
(clips)
Engineer--!?
3RD-ENGINEER
Booster is Standby Critical-- Go, for deep-gravity swing-boost…
3RD-COMMUNICATOR (CONCUR.)
Seatbelt-minder…!
MIKEE
(clips)
Science-- Release Probe-command to Weapons, Code:--"Cerulean agate!"
(00:25 "bah…")
3RD-SCIENCER
(keys)
Acknowledged-- Probes relinquished: Injection windows are now open--!
(00:29 rise)
MIKEE
Weapons?
DEFENSOR
Probe-Lock-telemetry, transferred-- Armed-Enabled: Ignition-On-Command…
(00:34 +voice)
MIKEE
(orders)
Key J-7-3-Q: Inject the Probes now!
Defensor smiles broadly, KEYS "J73Q--7GC8" (SOTTO VOCE)…
COMPUTER PA: "Probe ignition sequences initiated."
The 2 Probe Reticle-Icons BLAZE engines-against-forward…
3RD-SCIENCER
(to Displays)
We have Probe decelerations… Trajectories-- Confidence-A… Perijoves decreasing rapidly…
MIKEE
Booster, now, Engineer!
(00:48 build)
3RD-ENGINEER
(keys)
Aye-- Booster, we have…!
Booster DEEP RUMBLE roars up to 100%… weighting them…
(00:51 refrain)
EXT. ABOVE JUPITER: RINGS - SPACESHIP, 2 PROBES, IN PASSING
OUT ON THE RINGS: A Spaceship booster PROPELS ANTI-SUNWARD…
NEARBY: 2 PROBES cross anti-sunward, blazing-in-shockwaves… lagging… slowing along the bg. of rings, moons, stars… and approaching planet-shine brightens the Probes…
Probe-rockets diminish to vapor-trails… Rotate to forward--
POV: CHASING 2 Mach-punch Probes aimed at the east horizon…
3RD-SCIENCER (VO)
(report)
Rockets extinguished,-- Ballistic trajectory… Rotation, complete…
Probes' bearings slowly sink below the horizon… 7 deg.
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D VO)
(report)
Perijoves confirmed-- 43-thousand-kilometers-- atmospheric… Target-- Confidence-A…!
(01:09 soar)
The whole PLANET LOOMS… gradually filling the view…
(01:13 voice)
Atmosphere midlatitude BELTS LOOM…
A GIANT RED SPOT LOOMS…
Its STORM DEEPENS into vast 3-D-structures of vast clouds…
The highest cloud-tops LOOM…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D VO)
(report)
Velocities 3-hundred-30-kilometers-per, increasing, Payloads armed and enabled… 0-point-6-1-critical-mass… Mesosphere impact in 3-hesits…
PROBE SHIELDS GLOW… BRIGHTER… BLAZING… ABLATING streamers…
INT. COMMAND DECK
MAIN Display: Jupiter seen from above its rings,
(01:31 refrain)
Probe-VIDEOS FAIL… MR-Data-feeds FAIL… LR-Data SPORADIC…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Mesosphere impact… Probe-shields in ablation-- Temperature, 27-hundred… Loss of H-D-R-video, Loss of M-D-R…
MAIN Display: 2 bright PLASMA STREAKS probe the atmosphere while SCIENCE Displays sporadically update…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(ascertains)
Loss of Signal-- Visual tracking… Doppler-estimated-entry-velocity: 3-hundred-40-K-per…
SCIENCE Displays: Simulated Estimatory Telemetries…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Angle-of-incidence, 8-grads…
E.T.A. 7-hesits to signal-recovery…
(01:48 soar)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Spectral temperature: 12-20…
(a beat)
Begin L-D-R-timebase reacquisition… Point-3-micro-hesit resolved…
(01:54 lull)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(to data)
Frequency nulling…
Code-sync recovery…
Redundancy-check recovered…
(01:59 +pick)
LR-DATA 'RESTORED', MR-DATA 'RESYNC'ING…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(announces)
L-D-Rate telemetries reestablished… Ablation shrouds, detached… Probes, stable-- On-trajectory… On-target…
MR-DATA-FEEDS, video-snapshots "PAST" of JUPITER APPROACH…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Descent velocities, 11-kilometers-per… M-D-Rate telemetries restored… Perijove dissipated to 3-thousand…
(02:11 keyboard splash)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Maximum deceleration was 10-point-5 kilo-gees,-- Payload deformity less than 6-percent… Aborts canceled--
(02:17 +rhythm)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
2-Go's scheduled: E.T.A. 14-hesits…
VIDEO-FEEDS RESTORED, plummeting through Jupiter clouds…
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
H-D-R-Video restored… Temperatures steady at 1-70-Kelvin… Pressures, 1-millibar, increasing… Traversing the mesosphere… We have 70-percent-hydrogen mass detection, decreasing rapidly… 10-cent-helium, rising… 15-cent-carbon rapidly up… 5-percent-nitrogen-and-other…
(02:33 voice)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
E-T-A 6-hesits… Temperature drop at point-1-bar Tropopause 1-10-Kelvin… Velocity, 9-point-8-K… Temperature rising again: 1-80, at 1-bar… 2-percent-deuterium mass detection…
(watches Main Display)
E.T.A. Zero-- We are in-the-zone… Velocity 6-point-4-K… 2-80-Kelvin… 9-bars… 9-percent-deuterium mass…
PROBE-FEEDS FAIL… Simulated Estimatory Telemetries again--
(02:51 refrain)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(at controls)
Loss of contact at 3-40-Kelvin, 96-bars: Continuing live-extrapolation to 35-percent-deuterium, 20-percent probability of impact-detonation…
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
(urgent)
Commander--! NASA secure-link has stalled! E-M-Pulse: All channels--!
3RD-SCIENCER
(rechecks)
45-percent deuterium mass: 65-percent probable detonation…
JUPITER ATMOSPHERE ROILS where the Probes entered--
(03:08 soar)
3RD-SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(checks other data)
Detonation-- confirmed: Experiment, concluded-- Captain….
MIKEE
Thank you, Science Officer.
Expands across the planet face, increasing its glow…
3RD-NAVIGATOR
There it is-- Dr. Clarke was right!
MIKEE
Keep going, Helm-- Away from here…!
3RD-HELMSMAN
Aye, Captain-- 6-times-galactic…!
The spaceship escapes beyond Jupiter 'star' to deep space…
3RD-SCIENCER
(new-business)
Entering the solar-neutrino-penumbra: 45-percent reduction…
(03:25 soar)
(03:28 fade -end-)
FADE TO:
INT. GARDEN DECK - DIGITAL BLUE SKY - (WEEKS LATER)
Exotic TROPICAL BIRDS SWOOP among FLOWERED 20-ft. TREES and berry bushes in bloom … birdfeeders, birdbaths … a foursome lunches on a picnic blanket…
Across the field Mikee reads on an e-capable park bench, At center is the Engine/Elevator core shield like a water tank amidst a field--environed by mirrored-infinite-more fields…
Shadowy fluffy CLOUDS DRIFT ACROSS the day-bright ceiling-- spawning, coalescing, dissipating, at infinite corners…
A 3RD-CREW-MALE-and-2ND-CREW-FEMALE pair walk past-- Mikee in mike-headset reads her laptop e-mail: its secretarial PC-VOICE interacts and she speaks mechanical instructions:
MIKEE
Delete it!
PC-VOICE (HEADSET)
Message deleted.
LAPTOP: Last E-mail Deleted: Inbox empty,
PC-VOICE (CONT'D HEADSET)
Checking for new mail…
Revised Inbox: One e-mail, sent weeks-earlier,
PC-VOICE (CONT'D HEADSET)
You have one new message:-- From: admin-sim-at-ames-dot-nasa-dot-gov. On: July 14, 2-thousand-12, at 39-point-107. To: Commander Mikee. Subject: Priority-One: Eyes-Only… Would you like me to read it?
MIKEE (IVO)
(ponders)
July 14… Pre-flight training day--! What's this doing--? I read, all my E-mail… It's-- Priority One… NASA….
PC-VOICE (HEADSET)
(insists)
Say, Read the header! Or, Read message! Or, Skip this!
MIKEE
Show the header!
E-MAIL HEADER, "Video-Formant, Loading: James Oglethorp":
From: NASA Administration admin-sim@ames.nasa.gov
Sat Jul 14 38.896 2012
X-Apparently-To: "Commander Mikee" anonymo@ps.us
via mdd201.mail.ps.us
Received: from h-192-203-230-10.nasa.gov
(HELO ames.nasa.gov)
(192.203.230.10) by mta113.ps.us with SMTP;
14 Jul 2012 27.107 -12 (PDT)
Received: from hyperon (hyperon.nasa.gov) by
ames.nasa.gov (LSMTP for Windows NT v2.2c) with
SMTP id <2012.0714.39631.AXp7Y@ames.nasa.gov>;
Sat, 14 Jul 2012 27.107 -12 (PDT)
Video-formant: james.oglethorp.fmt/male/full
From: admin-sim@ames.nasa.gov | Valid address
Return-Path: admin-sim@ames.nasa.gov
Errors-To: admin-sim@ames.nasa.gov
To: <anonymo@ps.us>
Subject: PRIORITY ONE - EYES ONLY
Reply-to: admin-sim@ames.nasa.gov
X-MailCaster-ID: anonymo@ps.us
Comment: Authenticated sender
Precedence: Secure
X-Mailer: SMIMECaster 1.4
MIME-Version: 1.1
User Agent: Crayzilla/6.4 (Windows; U; NT4.4;
en-US; rv:1.0.3) Gecko/20060509 Episcape/7.04
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary=3D"---nASa-V-RiDe-toMorRoW---"
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 31.120 -08 (CDT)
Status: R
Content-Length: 3731104
Priority: One; Encrypted; EYES ONLY; Severity 7
Path History: Resolved: NASA; NASA; NRO Archive.
MIKEE (IVO… CONT'D)
(skip-reads, pondering)
Admin… ames-dot-nasa-dot-gov… Valid address… Authenticated Sender… Path History: Resolved: NASA…!
(analysis)
NASA-- doesn't fudge dates…!
VID-MAIL: Lifelike [Admin:Avatar] at a NASA-like desk:
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(aloud)
Read the Body, please!
PC-VOICE (HEADSET)
Video-formant avatar for-- James Oglethorp: Loaded…
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (HEADSET)
(mechanical rote)
Greetings, Commander: This E-mail message-and-attachment were stored in your onboard relay-server-cache before you launched … Because you are reading this, we must presume that you have not been instructed to delete it and we must therefore consider that our public situation on Earth has changed…
ON: Mikee-- SUBTLY EYES-ABOUT her vicinity-360, meanwhile--
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (CONT'D HEADSET)
(a paragraph beat)
Commander… You recall when I told you, you are 'Criticality One' on this mission … I did not tell you everything, In fact only three of your Crew know of its purpose, to prevent mutiny fomented by senior officers-- including, yourself…
(a beat)
The Navigation computer has onboard a 30-day dummy-file of predictable-telemetry appearing normal-- should you need post-authorization…
Surprised from nonchalance she returns eyes to watch again…
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (CONT'D HEADSET)
(a paragraph beat)
The attached video, is of a meeting at NASA with executives in the News Television industry 5-months before this mission launched … The upshot, of that meeting was, that, while we at NASA had approached this mission openly, the collective News,-media-itself, decided this item should be secreted from public knowledge, for the duration … Commander--
POV: Mikee: She repositions her laptop to view popup-images of NASA-telescope-sightings of a marked-up reticled point-- moving 2 deg./year by successive photographs ca Pleiades…
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (CONT'D HEADSET)
(a rule beat, explains)
Nine months ago, astrophysicists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's, Mission Development, Office, sluing the Fermi --GLAST-- Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, discovered a fast-moving source near our solar system … That sighting was confirmed -refined and triangulated- by AGILE, NuSTAR, and SVOM, high-energy-gamma-and-burster space-telescopes… plus Swift X-Ray, and others U-V … But visual-contact with the Hubble Space Telescope was not successful and our Kepler star-transit-viewer space telescope will need a dense star-cluster, to catch gravity-lensing … It is fast-moving and should pass our solar system in 30-years … There will be tremendous interest in the scientific research community … At tangent-- it may be 14-hundred-astronomical units from Earth-- Close enough to send a fast nuclear-powered rocket-- But more importantly, close-enough to affect solar system dynamics: This we felt was reason to go public… But in the discussion, with News-media, they-- found reason to hush and cover with another, story-- which impinges on your, mission… You may consult your main crew on your course of action…
Telescope images Off, [Admin:Avatar] (DISPLAY-CU):
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (CONT'D HEADSET)
(a paragraph beat)
Just why, we have not communicated sooner on this, I cannot guess now, Our cover story may have blown, Our radio channels monitored, decrypted by amateur experts watching for our every move, Or the story itself may have leaked and we cannot divulge our awareness of it yet….
E-mail-attachment-VIDEO is READY, Mikee last-checks-about…
PC-VOICE (HEADSET)
The video-attachment is queued-up: Say, Play it now, or, Save it.
MIKEE (POV)
Play it.
She reviews the "Rogue Hole" conference file video--
TRANSITION: ZOOM C.U. INTO--
INT. NASA HOUSTON PRESS CONFERENCE - ROOMLIGHT (PLAYBACK)
INTERCUT GARDEN GLANCES.
The real serious-science explanation, for the Outer Story:
TITLE:
"Dateline: 2012-02-12 13.502 Houston"
WIDESCREEN PC-DISPLAYS on walls, for impressing news-media with NASA high-technology telecommunications-facilitation: logarithmic-compressed solar-system ORRERY, labeled planet icons… moving 60 days/sec. controllable,
SHE, a lipstick'ing Research-Director, HE, a NASA-emblemed white-shirted, Assistant, [SENIOR SCIENTIST] on Display, a 2ND-SCIENTIST seated, HDTV-News Executives in jacket gear, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, PBS, XPC (Christian-cross-X)…
Consulting in jaded disbelief NASA's dilemma-and-openness, gradually becoming science-thinker-decision-makers--
NBC
(amused)
Earth-hazing comets… planet-busting asteroids with cute names… are just not Media-priority … NASA must have lost another budget-bout … How much did you ask--? 21-billion…? 23--?!
SHE
(stern punctuation)
Asteroids are gypsy-jive: The O-C-O I'm talking-about is a rogue, black hole -a gravity singularity- with a mass of 3-suns, packed in the space of Washington-D-C-cubed, moving in…
LOUD-CHUCKLES-OVERRIDE…
FOX
(just-audible over)
Picasso-Braque-blockparty in 20-20!
Sustained CHUCKLES…
SHE
(on quiet, continues)
…moving-- in the vicinity -outside- our solar system-- but deep inside, our main, interstellar, Oort Cloud…
CBS
(clips serio-nonchalant)
And this New World-Order coming our way is going to hit-- Paris? China? How many people are we speaking-of, annihilated, by a rogue, --Was that a misspelled, rouge--? black hole…?
All CHUCKLE…
ABC
Aren't they all?! If we didn't have lipstick-armageddons every weekend, we'd have to invent a war, to raise dickies at the next House picnic…
Partial CHUCKLES…
HE
(moderating)
Let's keep the subject to objects…!
XPC
(hypothesizes)
Would this, be, the ejected core of the Adamic supernova… in the sky 5-thousand years ago… Moving a tenth-percent-of-light-speed could put it near us in our era… Seth's columns, marked the flood… Maybe this is the fire-coal coming to destroy Earth…?
2ND-SCIENTIST
(a beat)
Hypothetically, We don't know that…
CNN
(lightens-up)
Let's play-- Spin-The-Headline… Who wants "Black Hole Heads For Earth-- Not…!?"
Partial CHUCKLES…
FOX
(sly)
Depends on whether it causes global restroom-power-outages… or not…
A global-think beat… and BUST-UP-ROUND-LAUGHTER… and--
Fox goes for the 1-2-punch:
FOX (CONT'D)
(grandiose vision)
Full page, Black spread, opposite-- Army, Builds, Near,-Missile, Base…!
Sporadic K-SQUEAKS-AND-GIGGLES…
HE
(steps to Her aid)
NASA is being as forward on this as we can, It's not annihilation: It's receptivity … We've learned lessons -about secrecy- we do-not, want, to repeat … And the President agrees-- We need, see, how the world reacts…
CNN
(quick)
And we've got how-many-years…? Why isn't NASA more forward on this--?
HE
We are telling, you, as much as we can compute-- This rogue, hole, is fairly dry: It must have swallowed its debris rings long ago-- We can barely detect it is there, at all.
PBS
How do you know it, is, there-- at all…?
HE
It has detectable, gamma-and-X-ray, signature-halos … arcs … sometimes.
ABC
What's your limit on precision…?
HE
(shakes Defeat)
10-to-80-years … Best estimate… We will know better, over the decade.
NBC
Is this Dr. Forward's Dragon's Egg?
HE
Robert researched condensed matter. Neutron stars. This is a Mass-hole: what happens when the weight of any neutron star exceeds the stamina of neutrons in its core, crushing them back to primordial-energy-density-- early-Big-Bang-stuff-- and the star wholely collapses into its own core in a fraction of a second to become a hole: And the velocity of photons inside a hole even near the surface is overwhelmed by the hole gravity: Photons fall down: It turns black….
ABC
Well-- Gravity sucks-- my kids say.
Partial CHUCKLES…
-BY ABC-
(hushed-mocks to ABC)
Don't, say that-- NASA will kick us out for profanity on the premises…!
Sporadic CHUCKLES…
CBS
What's your scenario? Why aren't we keeping this little-secret, little, and you guys sendup a team and plug the hole…? Why isn't all-this under tight-security, pre-leak, wraps…?
HE
NASA -officially- operates on Open-Information Policy-- Only specifics predetermined, to impinge national-security-and-intelligence-gathering are ever pre-secured … And we never really-keep anything from you-guys…
NBC
(postulates)
So… What-happens is: The rogue-hole grazes the Oort-cloud, and throws a handful of rastyoids into our inner system… One, threatens the Duchy of Lichtenstein and America will grant trillions of new dollars to pay for their national spaceguard defense…?
-BY NBC-
(inserts)
That-- was "Grand Fenwick…" *
Break-CHUCKLES…
HE
We don't believe the rogue hole may get that close: No closer than TAU: a thousand-astronomical-units.
FOX
(digs)
X-ray-damage-unseen at one-thousand astronomical-units? Loss, of a few, interstellar asteroids…? What's the deal? You need 5-billion to convert the Shuttle to nuclear propulsion-- and do a rogue-hole flyby-mission…?
HE
Well…
(eyes at She)
That would be nice…
(to them)
Bolden, said, Go through regular funding channels on that… We've…
(and soft-guffaw at She)
We're… How do we tell them--?
(tentative to them)
It may… just-may… get close-enough… to our solar system… to 'color' the orbital elements and ephemerides of the outer planets, Neptune, Uranus, Just, slightly… Like a-- Planet-X … At that-distance, gravity is faint…
ABC
(mild exasperation)
Change your amateur sky charts…? Is that-what's worrying NASA? Big-news NASA Announces Astrology-Nightmare: Uranus Babies To Live Longer! Beat, the Global tabloids to their punch, with America's New-News Syndicate…!
A bit of HALF-GIGGLES-and-SNICKERS…
-BY BY ABC-
(leans quiet to -By ABC-)
Hire, him: He just said a mouthful…
-BY ABC- looks to ABC who looks back, and a mutual grin…
NBC
'Oh' No--!
(shakes head in hands)
This is more headache than Y-2-K…!
Ponderous-SILENCE…
XPC
(somber slow mechanical)
'Oh-Lord' The calendar changes: the equinox moves: leap-seconds-per-day an hour per year … Bye-bye Zeller's Congruence-- Hello Vatican defrocks Pope Gregory…
Ponderous-SILENCE… (2 beats)
PBS
(somber)
How often, do, these occur? Is this the first of a series…?
HE
(shakes No)
One-in-70-million-years -if- maybe…
PBS
(suggests unanswerably)
Could explain dinosaur-extinctions…
CBS
(compromises)
We can, news a new theory about how the cosmos works: But you've got to keep it to two, good, P-C theories.
ABC
(restarts)
What theories--?! This is an act of God-- We can't, tell people, how to prepare for all, wildly-improbable, outcomes: until we are sure--! This could create panic: Confusion about what we do,-and-do-not,-know… We're commercial! Not schoolbook errata…!
FOX
(slyly equal)
Imagine our children having to hide under their school desks every time a black hole passes our Oort Cloud!
Gross GIGGLES… ABC side-eyes FOX for that: who plays back…
CNN
(as it calms)
Then, What do we say? Can we get an amateur to D-V-camcord his computer calendar--? This affects everyone…!
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
(a beat, inserts)
You might cover it with other discoveries….
PBS
(split to She)
Is there something you haven't told us?
SHE
No.
(polite to Senior Scientist)
Can you example for us?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
I am recalling relatable, evidences recorded by Ken Lande, back in '74.
CBS
Good-- Detective work-- Cooperation is always newsworthy….
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Dr. Lande set up the first neutrino experiment -in the Homestake Mine,- And almost immediately got a result and published in Nature, that year.
He, to a podium, keys-in "Homestake, neutrinos, Lande, 1974, Nature," invoking lists of articles, on some Displays…
PBS
(proffers)
And neutrinos evidence black-holes?
He, permutes his search: finger-drags '1974' under 'Nature' isolating the article-- Nature 251 p485 1974, with charts…
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Not in the quantity we detect them: We can, see, our sun, in neutrinos, barely: We catch one-a-day in giant N-D-E tanks, 25-percent-more during daytime… But 24-detection-events in a fraction of a second at Homestake evidenced a supernova we never saw, and a black hole or a neutron star. Dr. Lande got a fat burst in a tiny tank-- Sensitivity we can't repeat.
FOX
Little green men didn't contribute to this…?
CHUCKLES…
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
(smiles)
This was real … But once only-- and he couldn't reconcile the dominance of antineutrinos over neutrino, And until the Magellanic supernova, in, February '87, we had no comparison.
HE
(inserts)
Lande's title is, Extraterrestrial…
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
(chuckles)
Ken's sense of humor-- I think he meant extrasolar….
CHUCKLES… He, keys-up a supernova-neutrino cross-section-animation with energies received at Earth NDE water-tanks…
CBS
Old-evidence, Rediscovered-- That's news … Could it have come from this rogue hole--? Something we missed…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
No. The rogue hole must be ancient, or its nearby nova would have fried most of us larger-life-forms… And-- it would still wear a debris-halo….
ABC
(a grinning postulate)
A new cause for 'globular'-warming…
Spurious GIGGLES…
NBC
(a beat)
Okay-- You're handing us something to work-up….
FOX
(sincere vision)
New Science Directions-- Gamma-ray Discoveries Open A Can Of Galactic Objectivity….
CNN
(to Senior Scientist)
Can you tell us where, Dr. Lande's neutrinos, came from--? Behind the dust-barrier of our galaxy center?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
It wasn't setup for directionality: We'd expected telescopic followups.
ABC
Then, How do we use that to develop a story--? If Dr. Lande's supernova was hidden by galactic dust … How-- strong--? Any quantitative measure?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Thousand-times stronger, 2-hundred-times faster-- than the '87 event….
CNN
(thinks-aloud)
That means… 31-times… closer, -than one-hundred-and-60-thousand:- about 5-thousand-light-years… Nearer than the galaxy core … Yet no remnant to tell its distance, and direction…!?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
None.
CNN
(and to 2nd-Scientist)
I thought supernovae left remnants visible in radio spectra … Another piece of your puzzle?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Yes, they do-- eventually.
CNN
(laments)
Sounds like we, missed, something…!
(one more try)
And 3-decades, isn't enough time…!?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
It is.
NBC
Then, What are, we missing--? Could it be a failed, supernova? Could it be closer--? Could we be inside its remnant…? Could we distinguish that against the cosmic background…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Yes, Yes, Yes, and No -by geometric symmetry,- But not likely together.
NBC
(clears a beat)
35-light-years… the wrong neutrinos … Would anything, work, altogether?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
A re-nova: the collapse of a moon-size asteroid on the surface of an already-hard neutron-star, nearby…
He, keys-in "re/nova, asteroid, neutron star," invoking 3-5 articles and impact-re-nova-neutrino animations…
ABC
(thinks aloud)
But how does this help us--? If the rogue is not-emitting neutrinos but is near to us, And the other, is, a neutron star-- or is it a pulsar…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
There is no pulsar noticed with either of these two detections.
NBC
Yet one is, moving in the vicinity of our solar system… We can update our recognition of the numerosity, of these objects-- in interstellar space… It's beginning to crowd…
(to CBS)
That's news.
(to 2nd-Scientist)
How often do you expect to find these--? Supernovae are rare: every hundred years…?
2ND-SCIENTIST
Yes galactic supernovae tend to be rare events… But there is nothing-preventing two appearing close, in time-- We just don't expect it.
XPC
(catching-up)
What-- would distinguish a re-nova caused by the fall of a moon…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Its neutrino rate would be faster and shorter, and very local to us….
PBS
Like you described, for Dr. Lande's easy-- detection?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Yes.
XPC
(builds curious)
How much, shorter, faster…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Hundreds, thousands, times shorter faster-- depending on the size and elemental composition of the moon.
XPC
And generates the wrong neutrinos?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
We now believe that may have been a thresholding effect: Both-neutrinos are generated during the bounce but the antineutrinos bunch-together in laserlike-nanosecond-pulses later….
XPC
(curiouser)
But a falling moon-- would be much-less productive of neutrinos…
(worries)
A millionth…? How big is a moon in solar masses?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Any tiny,-fraction… Our-moon is 37-billionths the mass of our sun, And neutron stars are more massive than our sun by a factor up-to-3….
XPC
(curiouser)
Then, If these two aren't the same… But I take it, they must both, be-- close to us … this… hot re-nova, at the square-root of… 37… billionths… 5… thousand times closer-- A light-year,-away…!?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
It could be….
XPC
(awe-irked)
It's practically in our own, solar, system--! What are we dealing-with, here?! We're News-media, Not C-I-A!
All silent…
CBS
(2 beats)
Christian, is right: We're not into spoofing secrets … We have, when we saw the public was being cheated of its own truth-- But you've plainly, told us things you don't understand yourself … Or, can you tell us more about this… either, of these…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
(frank)
We don't know more about either: We don't have the funds to find-out….
CNN
(airs)
And split-decisions… Explains, Why, they need billions more… But--
(restarts to Scientists)
Excuse me, for returning to an earlier subject-- You said, Bolden is already asking … Why, then, are we discussing what you don't know?
HE
(inserts)
He's a Senior Scientist-- That, question, is my, responsibility.
CNN
And, your answer, is--?
HE
(fills)
If, we go with what little we have, now, we have an armageddon scenario with no guns: only the powder burns and big boulders on the hill….
NBC
And violent assumptions--! What, powder burns? Or is NASA getting hyped on jargon?
HE
We don't have … NASA does not have … a public psychology department … None we can trust on this: We just discuss these things -openly- with all, our people…
(beat)
You remember the '60's astronaut-family-burn-out: It hurt us badly: We did a lot of soul-searching on that, and decided we can't expect our people to just accept on duty and faith, whatever we tell them: The same with you-- We're telling you what we know and what concerns us deeply as people, as adults, as citizens, -religious men and women of every faith…- And leave you, to develop your public news-story….
PBS
Any hint as to what your people do, think, of it?
TO-BE ACTIVE PAUSED mid-sentence:
SHE (CONCUR.)
Armageddon… powder burns without guns… boulders on the hillside…
3RD-CREW-MALE (VO)
(easy)
Hi-- Mikee…!
MIKEE (POV)
(a beat)
Pause--!
--VIDEO PAUSED mid-sentence,
PC-VOICE (HEADSET)
The video attachment is paused.
PULL OUT TO REVEAL--
INT. GARDEN DECK - (CONTINUOUS)
ICE CREAM CONE for Mikee (POV) as she removes her headset…
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
Would you like an ice cream cone?
The Crew-pair lick theirs… BG. Several Crew leap-jog the steeply-tilted-springloaded Circumferential Racetrack…
MIKEE
(takes, Checks seating)
Thank you.
3RD-CREW-MALE
(remains standing)
This is our Taste-Of-Space special, a little warmer than absolute-zero: The machine is fixed, at long-last…
(smiles and to both)
We're only G-S-13 astronauts here, Not high-tech dispenser repairmen, Though, in a pinch, we can remote-control the giga-scope probots…
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
(but to 3rd-Crew-Male)
Ice cream dispensers tend not to respond to giga-scope probots….
He shrugs Okay…
MIKEE
(a beat)
Do you suppose the aether of space has a flavor?
3RD-CREW-MALE
Didn't think of it quite that way … But I suppose The Creator, may say.
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
It would be cosmic vanilla, Mikee.
3RD-CREW-MALE
(humors 2ND-Crew-Female)
Are we going to start that, again?
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
(defends her theory)
It's a plausible Relativity theory: We are moving at a tiny-fraction of light-speed and molecular electrons travel slower-forward no-matter-how you scale your timebase, and change their durations in different parts of each molecule-- differentially, changing chemical reaction rates-- resulting in a taste on the tongue or in the brain … like the stellar-aberration of corotating stars… But on a femtoscopic, molecular-level….
3RD-CREW-MALE
(pseudo-plain to Mikee)
Vanilla molecules in a moving frame smell like hot-vanilla in the solar reference frame … But, she, agrees, with every message NASA, sends, us…
(unto 2nd-Crew-Female)
Are we dreaming-this-up together…?
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
I noticed it first in a dream-- but I've checked: It's real-- vanilla … And the numbers, agree,-- But can't tell us why, vanilla….
3RD-CREW-MALE
(nonchalant humor)
I'm glad it is, vanilla: Now we can really, enjoy, the taste of speed…!
They giggle… and get extra licks around the cone edges…
MIKEE
What caused it to break--? You feed it milk-cream and sugar every day…?
3RD-CREW-MALE
(not containing a smile)
We did, yes … Don't really know … But a part-by-part cleanup helped.
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
Pamper it like a baby, Mikee-- It loves, the attention and details.
They smile… And watch-about, licking cones, a moment…
3RD-CREW-MALE
Sure is a nice day out … in here….
MIKEE
The one thing I miss, is the rain…
3RD-CREW-MALE
Well… It doesn't rain in here, That is true … But, Turn-up the humidity to misty, And shut-off the ceiling-daylights, And it'll drizzle once….
MIKEE
(2 beats… nonchalant)
Do either of you know of a special, purpose, for this mission…?
3RD-CREW-MALE
Special, purpose … No… Altogether…?
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
Ask Commander H[…] or A[…]-- Mikee: They're more senior-G-S-14 archaic, And may know who-does, if they-themselves-don't.
MIKEE
Okay … Thanks.
3RD-CREW-MALE
(to 2nd-Crew-Female)
Special purpose… Find Planet X…?
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
Not in my, prebriefing….
They stroll-on, leaving Mikee--
3RD-CREW-MALE
Catch you later, Mikee… Enjoy your iced,-of-the-cream….
MIKEE
Thank you….
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
(over her shoulder)
Later, Mikee….
MIKEE
Later….
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
(to 3rd-Crew-Male)
Mr. Einstein's theory concerned the roundtrip-time of photons but there was directional-time-dilation too….
3RD-CREW-MALE
One rocket-man's vanilla is an observer-man's chocolate…?
2ND-CREW-FEMALE
The Chocolate-Vanilla-Twin Paradox…
3RD-CREW-MALE
Then we'll have to invent a Triplet Paradox with Neopolitan Strawberry.
They AD LIB beyond… Mikee resumes her laptop video-file:
TRANSITION: ZOOM C.U. INTO--
INT. CONFERENCE - (PLAYBACK RESUMES)
Video has backed over a short last dialog, REPLAYING FROM--
SHE (REPLAY)
Armageddon… powder burns without guns… boulders on the hillside…
NBC
What, is, that powder-burn, stuff?
All await--
HE
(a beat)
Some… of our people… are more… religious… Scriptural… We hire, without discriminating… But when you're thinking about the future, scientifically… you run-into all, kinds, of… well… frankly… spooky-- concerns… They, feel, Any religious fervor, that clings to any colossal impending, upheaval, preceding,-or-succeeding, Does a lot of damage in our communities: meaningless riots, prurient public broadcasting… And-- they don't want responsibility for answering unnecessary questions….
ABC
(feeling offensive)
'Oh' So, your people are afraid the media is too inquisitive, too overt … Well, Why don't you just announce luncheon-colloquia and we'll attend at our convenience…!
SHE
They are not-offended… As He said: They feel we are all, in this one, together for better or worse: They said to tell you what we have, but don't ask them or NASA for answers we don't, have.
NBC
(retrying)
But, where, is, the powder burn--?!
CNN
(to NBC)
What do you mean-? It's metaphoric, saying, historic evidence is on us.
NBC
A powder burn without guns -if it's not a woman's fast facial,- means--highly explosive: terrorism…
XPC
What terrorism--? You think America will surrender to this…?
HE
N-B-C is right, But I can't explain what everyone-else knows more-about … One scholar, suggested that Saint John -of New Testament Revelation,- may have actually, heard, the horn-like-buzz of supernova-neutrinos of some light-years-distance… as-such… Maybe it is, coming this way…
CBS
I don't recall -us- reporting any horn-like tones from S-N-19-87-A…
ABC
(ponders aloud)
An interesting piece of the puzzle: Everyone-else knows more about this than any scientist or reporter, And therefore we, cannot publicize this without talking childish or stupid…
-By CBS-
(explains to CBS)
S-N-19-87-A was thousands-of-times-farther away: too-far to be heard….
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
German and American astrophysicists computed harmonics in the neutrino-burst of-87-A at 5-Hertz-multiples.
PBS
5-Hertz is not hornlike: You'd need 50-Hertz,-to-thousands, for horny…!
A few CHUCKLES-AND-GIGGLES…
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
Yes. A reduction of Dr. Lande's '74 neutrino data suggested a thousand, Hertz … Very-high-B-or-C, if you're musically inclined… or, horny….
More CHUCKLES-AND-GIGGLES…
XPC
(recites excerpted)
"I … heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last … and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength … saying unto me … I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore … and have the keys of hell and of death."
(half a beat)
Wow--! I never realized…
(realizes)
And he had in his right hand, seven stars-- that would be the Pleiades? Could that be…?
[SENIOR SCIENTIST]
The Pleiades are near the ecliptic, where the planets pass the zodiac….
XPC
Then, We should publicize this: The Churches will eat this up!
FOX
(quips-back)
And make your belly bitter….
ABC
(cranks)
As long-- as we're publishing children's-- books…
(and to Scientists)
How long can we stall, here? We can put two researchers on this and run prep. for a year … Can we agree, to return to NASA for another meeting, and publish-altogether, whatever is then current… --hopefully more than we have today--?
CBS
I'll agree to 6-months-delay but we don't have the resources to run our reporters through astronomy college … We'll have to ask that NASA, work with them on reeducating the public … Adult-Ed: We did this back in the '60's for the Apollo, moonflights-- It took us a few years, to get into the swing of Show-And-Tell-- but we know how to gear-up, for this … Are you, NASA, going to send anything…?
(cancels the faut pas)
Cancel, that-- Too many years late…
(retries)
What telescopes are following this?
HE
We pointed Hubble an-hour-a-day for weeks … Didn't get much … It didn't change, much … We are rescheduling, available, radio telescopes, X-ray, and Gamma-ray platforms … We didn't make anything to watch nearby rogue black-holes … Nobody thought how…
NASA FILE-END LOGO.
PULL BACK: to reveal the Laptop frame…
LAPTOP: Resumes Vid-mail [Admin:Avatar] (DISPLAY-CU):
[ADMIN:AVATAR] (HEADSET)
What transpired next, is for school history-books: The News-teams ruled by supermajority, for silence while they prepared the nation: Hopefully none would break the story early as might seem too fanatic … fantastic… But they are, watching each-others' throats as we get closer…. At this, juncture, the update, is-- We have, learned, in recorrelating year-long S-N-O Day-Night Neutrino signature, that it, or something-out-there, is not a black-hole yet, but a heavily cloaked, neutron, star … And … What will happen in three weeks, I can't predict … It is in your, hands-- to decide whether you can, get, close-enough to stellar-item-2 … You have our search for it and you're closer than we'll ever-be to finding it…
(a paragraph beat)
It's your, choice, Commander-- Your mission already counts as a success for getting this far … You can come home to Earth and let the rain fall if you wish … Your choice…
(a paragraph beat)
Sincerely. NASA Administration.
VID-HOLD, BLINK-LOOP, with cue-mark for Response…
PULL BACK TO REVEAL--
INT. GARDEN DECK - LAPTOP - (CONTINUOUS)
Vid-mail finishes with its encrypted-blank seal-signature.
PC-VOICE (VO)
End-of-E-mail-transmission: NASA-Admin, 'Disstaf' Mission-Control, End-of-E-mail-file-record … Java-crypt-lock event-mode released. Do you wish to record a reply, replay the message or video-attachment or portions of it…?
MIKEE
Stop … Good bye.
PC-VOICE (VO)
Bye.
E-mail screen reverts to normal E-mail listing.
Mikee keys her Commlink-PA,
MIKEE (PA)
Commanders H[…] and A[…]-- I want to meet with you in my office at the Watch-break….
She closes her laptop, and takes to the Elevator…
FADE TO:
INT. MIKEE'S QUARTERS - HER OFFICE - (LATER)
From her desk, Mikee stares at the future-- thoughts adrift in controversy reminiscing of teachers, preachers, pastors, pupils, carolers, (Overlap-echo: in effect, memory thinking rapid complete ideas reverberating in deeper registers):
(00:20 bass+shrill - […]/[…]/[…]/no grind)
-SCHOOL-TEACHER- (IVO)
Pluto was for decades the farthest known planet in our Solar System … Actually, Two moon-size planetoids co-orbiting each other … Its solar orbit is skewed from the ecliptic-plane-- Scientists first believed it may have once been a large moon of Neptune, and pulled away-- It crosses Neptune's orbit so that for 20-years Neptune is the farthest…
REVERB:
-SUNDAY-TEACHER- (IVO)
Revelation 22:16 "I am… the bright and morning star…" This metaphor-- means, The nearest star before the first day Earth was lit by our own sun, While to astronomers it means the planet Venus in the morning…
-PUPIL#1- (IVO)
(reads aloud: JOHN 8:58)
"Before Abraham was, I am…"
-PASTOR- (IVO)
The astrologers never compute this, Michelle, because it exists outside their trust in the limitations of their clients' senses and beliefs…
-PREACHER#1- (IVO)
(JOHN 8:23, 6:38)
John records-- "I am not of this world … I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me…"
-SUNDAY-TEACHER- (IVO)
The morning star has been unnoticed since the foundation of the Earth-- but for the same Christ that lights every, man, coming into the world…
-PREACHER#2- (IVO)
(ref. EXOD 3:14)
And Moses called that One, the 'I-AM, THAT I, AM…!'
-CAROLERS- (IVO)
(stroll-by, Noel carol)
"And to the Earth, it gave great light, And so it continued both day and night: Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel…"
-SUNDAY-TEACHER- (IVO)
(MATT 6:22)
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light…" See the point, dear child of God: Then, the whole, span, of vision is seeing…!
-PASTOR- (IVO)
One cannot know the fullness of man without, searching out the fullness of reality, Michelle-- Walk-on from the card readers and astrologers…
-PUPIL#2- (IVO)
(reads aloud: JOHN 16:7)
"…If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you…"
CMDR A[…] (VO)
(obtrudes at Entry)
Captain…?
REVERB DWINDLES…
-PREACHER#3- (IVO)
(JOHN 14:28)
"… I go away, and come again unto you… I said, I go unto the Father…"
MIKEE
(revived)
Come in--!
Cmdrs. A[…] and H[…], enter and sit,
Both CMDRs
(entering, nod)
/ Commander. / Captain.
MIKEE
(Grand-Admiral formal)
Please, be seated, Commanders…
(a beat)
I don't know whether you know this, But we have the potential for a bit of dissension, within our ranks….
CMDR H[…]
(unhesitant)
Impossible, Captain-- We've walked on the moon, And we know, what is, and is-not, possible….
MIKEE
(nods Yes)
Thank you, for your reassurance and complete confidence, Commander… But do either of you know what a little hidden Navigation dummy-file named, "Capricorn Three," is…?
CMDR A[…]
(a beat, and at H[…])
Yes…. We were prebriefed…. It will not be necessary for our 23 Crew….
She relaxes-back, looking patiently at Cmdr. H[…]
CMDR H[…]
(a beat)
It will not be necessary at this time, Captain.
MIKEE
(smiles broadly)
Good--! We'll be skipping Neptune!
INT. SAME - (MINUTES LATER)
Alone, Mikee opens a laptop Celestial NAVIGATION PROGRAM…
Mouses Efficient-path-to-hyperbolic-approach-alternates-to-a-current-path passing NASA's vague black-hole coordinates…
Final-tweaks her best not-too-wild space-flight-path… and--
Uploads it to Comm-Deck, Types for password, "Christsword"…
MIKEE (IVO)
This can work….
And keys Vidlink-- it TWINKLES-IN.
[COMMUNICATOR]
Command deck: Communications….
MIKEE
Com: Have Engineering bring-up the Booster-drive to standby-critical-power, and put…
(overtalked)
[COMMUNICATOR]
(interrupts)
Booster drive, Sir--? Orders are to conserve, Booster-drive, except for emergencies, and our mission-agenda gravity-maneuvers….
MIKEE
Booster, drive-- Lieutenant, -on my orders,- And have Navigation verify us to the coordinates I uploaded to Comm-Deck, from my laptop … Put the ship on Yellow-Alert, And advise me when we reach Coordinate-Commit…!
[COMMUNICATOR]
(puzzles)
New coordinates--? Yes… sir…
Vidlink DISCONNECT.
Mikee looks up at her 'window on outer space' WALL-Display…
MATCH DISSOLVE to:
INT. SPACESHIP-KITCHEN - A DINING NOOK - (DAYS LATER)
WALL-Display: the 'Window On Outer Space' seems changeless… Occasional liminal ONE-EYE-FLASHES and ONE-EAR-CLICKS…
MIKEE (OC)
… And two days now that weren't on the original schedule … We haven't found anything, And if we get lost out-here by straying off our path…
Alone, prone, feet out, Mikee eats and voice-types E-MAIL:
MIKEE (MCU CONT'D)
(a beat ponderous)
… I have to do this, Mom-- It's the wrong decision to give a child, but adults can't make this one… stupid, but they'll keep-on hiding unless I do it: We're, here, NASA-isn't, And we have to decide now… If I, don't, they'll call it a safe, successful, mission … I don't want, just, safe-success: It's got to be the right-- safe, mission: even if it's not the success Mission Control wants… This is not like schoolwork, --where you pick a topic and do your best:-- We have to give-up one objective: Like Dad's second-teddybear, when he was a kid during the great flood…
INT. COMMAND DECK
MAIN Display has the same 'Window On Outer Space'… But now more-occasional liminal ONE-EYE-FLASHES and ONE-EAR-CLICKS…
ENGINEER (OC)
'Odd-And-Queer-But-Not-Peculiar…'
(MCU: rechecks Displays…)
No apparent Booster, leakage… L-D-T is running smoothly-- no anomalies… No Hull Integrity alarms…
(a beat)
Navigator-- What does Inertial show for velocity gradients…?
NAVIGATOR
(checks Displays)
Nothing… Within ship-vibrance… Why?
ENGINEER
Telemetry Doppler is showing creep: just-now at its Schedule-extremity.
SCIENCER
(inserts)
Inertial won't see anything smaller than an Earth directly ahead at our velocity… Doppler a little smaller…
HELMSMAN
(proffers)
Maybe solar-wind-burst,-twinkling…?
DEFENSOR
(proffers)
Maybe an uncharted binary-asteroid-crossing,--is dragging the Frame…?
3RD-CAPT
Navigator--How close are we to Mikee's Coordinates…?
NAVIGATOR
15-kilo-hesits… Almost half a day…
3RD-CAPT
(shared sotto voce)
'Hmmm'-- If she got her Coordinates from Earth-observations, they might not predict, barely half an arcmin…
SCIENCER
(interrupts)
We're getting something Magnetic--!
3RD-CAPT
(resolute)
Close enough-- Com-- Call Mikee to the Comm-Deck.
Communicator busies-- PRELAP V.O. Wall-Vidlink TWINKLES-IN:
INT. DINING NOOK - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Mikee was yet composing: She turns to the WALL-DISPLAY:
[COMMUNICATOR]
(surprised)
Commander! Approaching Coordinates! And registering wild magneto-sensor fluctuations-- maybe cross-currents in the heliosphere…!
MIKEE
I'll be right there, Lieutenant.
(exiting, to laptop)
Wildfair: Send-and-Exit… Bye--!
And EXITS.
[PC-VOICE]
Auto-Sending, Logging-Out, Bye!
Laptop auto-Sends Logged-out… LOCKS-DOWN…
INT. COMMAND DECK - OPERATIONS LIT (30 MIN. SPAN)
YELLOW ALERT. Booster STANDBY RUMBLE, Whipple shields up, bg. faint DUST-STRIKES, Radiation-ALERTS PINGING, Random ONE-EYE-FLASHES, ONE-EAR-CLICKS, BUZZ-TOOTS pepper-about, gradually increasing intensity and occurrence-- Nearing…
N.B. Asteroids crushing to nuclear density create neutrino-bursts hearable in the brain as 'buzz-toots' of 20~ evenly-spaced unevenly-diminishing-amplitude clicks, in 'nebulous' random-phase-stereo: a few loud at 5kHz to many weak 15kHz…
NAVIGATOR
(rechecking Displays)
Something massive, best be waiting, Or we're taking the long-way, home!
HELMSMAN
Massive… But not-more than usual…
Mikee enters directly, surveys and orders deliberately, But Crew respond reluctantly albeit efficiently--
COMMUNICATOR
(turns-to, Alert--)
First-Captain's on the Bridge!
NAVIGATOR
(Advises)
Captain--! We are approaching your Coordinates 1-hundred-85-K-meters-per-hesit, But a cosmic-object may be closer and may-be moving toward us rapidly 10-to-50-K-additional…!
ENGINEER
(Advises)
Booster drive is on-line, sir…!
HELMSMAN
(Alert)
Captain--! We have unregistered course-trajectory variants--!
And the sense of it grows urgent--
(00:00 drum splash - […]/[…]/[…])
SCIENCER
(adds worried'er)
And-- we have high magneto-sensor-flux-readings climbing the scales!
(00:03 descend)
NAVIGATOR
(urgent update)
Velocity-gradient-field increasing: We're losing Course,-Designation--!
NAV FAILS-- Blinking "LOCK LOSS…"
(00:08 keyboard splash)
KLAXON--!
COMPUTER PA: "ALERT! NAV-LOCK-LOSS! ALERT!"
MIKEE
Get Nav-Lock back on-line!
(sits)
Helm-- Prepare for orbit insertion!
HELMSMAN
Orbit insertion, sir--? Ready….
MIKEE
Engineering-- Ready maximum thrust!
ENGINEER
Aye… Booster thrust, Standby Ready!
MIKEE
Science Officer-- Give us full optical aperture: Main screen!
(00:22 "Gloria")
SCIENCER
Full optical, Commander… Compensating-- aperture…
MAIN Display: STARS BRIGHTEN uniformly… 2 sec.
NAVIGATOR
(updates Alert)
Heuristics predict a planet mass-- 25-Earths at-- E.T.A. 75 hesits--!
NAV-LOCK restores with a DIAGRAMMATIC invented planet--
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
We have Nav-Lock, again-- Captain.
MIKEE
Full thrust now, Helm--! Low orbit!
Booster RUMBLE COMES UP 100%… in 4 sec.
HELMSMAN
Deboosting-thrust… Adjusting orbit.
MIKEE
Bring us down… Close as you can… Engineer-- Synchronous rotation!
SHIP SWAYS easily under control forces, and settles…
ENGINEER
(keying controls)
We have insufficient deboost-thrust for full, orbit, Captain: unless we wait-out the kilohesits…
(half a beat)
Rotation is-- synchronous…!
KLAXON--!
COMPUTER PA: "ALERT! MICRO-TIDAL-GRAVITY! ALERT!"
(00:51 exults, piano)
MIKEE
Hold her steady-- Helm…! Science Officer-- Give us telescopic zoom!
SCIENCER
Telescopic, sir…?
MIKEE
(watches Display)
Maximum magnification--!
FAINT RINGS magnify, more as they pass edge-on distant…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
Give me visual of what we're passing-- I want to see this 'thing'…
(a beat)
Why don't we see it?!
(01:02 keyboard splash)
NAVIGATOR
There's nothing there….
TELESCOPE Displays: Amid smaller tenuous rings-- THE IMAGE-JOSTLING spherical-black hole circled by arcs of starlight…
MIKEE
(tipping gaze)
There--! Increase liminal acuity--!
(01:06 "Gloria!")
GAMMA LUMINATES DIMMEST stars and multiplies prior-unseen…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(a beat)
We should be seeing an inner, ring…
(a beat, head-free gaze)
Push gamma all the way to clip…!
(a beat)
Give me radar signature… No-- Wait! Belay radar…!
SCIENCER
No radar, sir? Why hold-back radar?
MIKEE
I don't want to interact with it…!
(01:17 "call--ing…")
HELMSMAN
(doubts)
You think there's something, alive, down there!? It's as dark and empty as a hole in the vacuum!
MIKEE
Is your vision in the objects, you-see or in the black of your retina?
HELMSMAN
(winces)
I see your point, sir.
MIKEE
(orders)
Ready two orbit-field-probes…!
(01:28 keyboard splash)
SCIENCER
(keys a beat)
Probes-- Ready….
The BLACK-HOLE 'appears', edgeward faint-sparkly…
NAVIGATOR
(sees it)
There-- The event-horizon!
(01:32 "Gloria!" +chorus)
SCIENCER
We're seeing virtual-pair-photons…
MIKEE
Launch the field-probes, now!
SCIENCER
(keys)
Rail-launching Probes-- Now…
DISTANT POOM--! Room LIGHTS DIP and Power-Supplies WHISTLE-DROOP-SQUEAL… then back up to ultrasonic… Worrying Mikee…
ENGINEER
(reassures her)
That's normal power-surge-whining, in switching-style power-supplies, Captain.
(01:46 "don't remember")
SCIENCER
Rail-launch, normal: 18-point-7-K-per over 1-85-K, and increasing….
MIKEE
Give us audio interpretation, all possible channels!
Sciencer keys-- AUDIO CHANNELS WARBLE (PA) baby-playlike…
SCIENCER
(monitors)
Audio-render is On… Telemetry-Lock is restabilizing… Data is good…
(01:57 keyboard splash)
But then rapid re-keying… 2 sec.
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(Alert--)
Magnetic readings up maximum-range!
(a frantic beat)
Now, going off scale--! Telemetries pushing phase-lock…!
WARBLINGS TURN to questionlike-attention…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
E.T.A. 15 hesits…
(a surprised beat, Alert)
Probe-Trajectories, Skew--!
(02:05 glide-up)
ONE WARBLING STOPS, The other persists this moment…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(rechecking, Alert)
One, probe, gone-- Captain!
WARBLING STOPS! Emphatic-BUZZ-TOOTS… ALERTS begin PONGING--
(02:09 glide-up 2nd)
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(looks-up)
Both, probes, Gone-- Captain!
MIKEE
(to Sciencer, Engineer)
What's that tooting…?!
ENGINEER
It's not, a ship sound-- Captain!
(02:14 "ah'ah-ha…")
SCIENCER
Perhaps an emanation: from the edge of the hole: Dust crushing into the hole at nuclear-density percolating neutrino-and-gamma-rays through our hull, impinging audibly in the ear…
ROOM SWAYS abruptly --CREAKING!-- as if being played-with…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(urgent at Displays)
Magnetic Detectors: Crowbarred Off!
SWAYS again --CREAKING!--
NAVIGATOR
(urgent)
Losing orbit--! Decaying rapidly--!
SWAYS longer --WORSE CREAKING!--
MIKEE
(holding armrests)
Release Orbit--! Augment, Thrust--! Get us out of here now…!
HELMSMAN
(keys)
Aye--! We're out of here…!
ROOM FLIPS-- MAIN Displays: Sky rotates to ship-forward…
ENGINEER
Thrusting away-- And forward--!
MIKEE
Take us away, Helm-- We've got, our answer…!
NAV Display: The Diagrammatic Orbit-pass improves BUT OFF--
NAVIGATOR
(trying keys… irked)
But, Way-- off-- course…! Bearing-- Perpendicular to the solar plane--!
(rekeying, firm)
This, is going to be one, bear-- to navigate on schedule: It'll take us 3-extra-weeks…! A month to meet the moon…!
(02:45 -diminish- exult, "don't remember")
Mikee's somber… TOOTING gradually DIMINISHES…
HELMSMAN
Ease-up, Guy-- You're getting warm, over a maneuver.
NAVIGATOR
(hot irked)
Man-euver…?! Our angle, of attack--
Keys-- the MAIN DISPLAY: a diagram of an inclined orbit-arc missing Jupiter by 1 AU, and explains pertinent facts,
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
(exposits)
Must be maintained, at all times-- Which means, Maintaining speed, At all times--
Mikee's tearing-up…
(02:56 +keyboard)
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
(spreads attention)
Which means we can't side-slip very much… Which means-- we take 2-weeks to correct the perpendicular… and-- we miss Jupiter by an Astronomical-Unit…! This, may, be, the singular, matrix, transform, NASA, left out…!
(03:08 "Why isn't")
HELMSMAN
(punch-enunciates)
Guy--!
Mikee in full tears, rises, exits to the elevator… 2nd-Capt. quick follows her…
HELMSMAN (CONT'D)
(forced easing)
NASA wouldn't-forget! Dig into your archives: There must be a solution!
(concludes)
We're not in danger…
(forced grin)
Not yet…
Mikee waits facing the elevator door, restraining crying…
(03:15 guitar-3-stride)
BG.
NAVIGATOR
(keys, grumble-grunts)
'Nngh'--!
(a beat)
'til Admin finds out-- in 9 hours…!
FG.
2ND-CAPT
(arrives, conciliatory)
You did, alright! Mikee--! You had a command-decision, to make … You, couldn't, know, how, inaccurately, Navigation, fixed the black-hole…
(forced laughed)
That's the nature, of black-holes…!
(03:25 "Gloria!")
Mikee quiets… blinking tears… Psychologist arrives…
2ND-CAPT (CONT'D)
(a beat, perceives)
You believe it's the entrance-point to an aether-slip-stream…?
(03:29 "number")
MIKEE
(blearily)
You know, about that?
2ND-CAPT
My kids would have told me: if I hadn't seen the movie with them.
PSYCHOLOGIST
(worried)
You wanted to go closer…?
Mikee looks-up at the ceiling, blinking the last…
2ND-CAPT
(reassures)
We don't know enough about these astronomical objects, Mikee … We don't know all it might be, -Not yet:- We have to take this slowly…
(03:42 "something" -fade-)
2ND-CAPT (CONT'D)
And visit a few times-- This is our best behavior in the sciences….
(03:46 "voices" -out-)
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - (5 HOURS LATER)
Crew, Observers, somber, occupied at chores in Deceleration Maneuver, AD LIB, Psychologist talks with Mikee UNHEARD…
SCIENCE Displays: Telescopic-Charting dark-KBO discoveries…
SCIENCER
(unto Observer assisting)
…farther from the original mission-profile gives slightly better views of darker KBO's-- than Earth, sees…
ENGINEER
(across to Sciencer)
I thought a black-hole was 3-solar-masses, or more-- starting from the mass of its original neutron star….
SCIENCER
The majority are… But fast-spinning neutron stars the-equator goes into temporary-orbit stalling the holing process while the poles continue to collapse by inertial impact: If the core breaches at either, primordial energy floods-out in a fraction-of-a-second a baby-Big-Bang… leaving a tiny-black-hole of no-minimum-mass…
ENGINEER
Those are the Gamma-Ray,-Bursters…?
SCIENCER
Some: A billion stars in the cosmos go supernova, every year: 3-million every day, and 1-or-2-of-those does the burster routine pouring out 10-thousand times the visible, energy, 10-billion-times the intensity: for a millionth the duration of a nova, outshining the gamma-ray-cosmos….
NAVIGATOR
(tentative to Mikee)
Captain--? We've reduced velocity to 79-kilometers-per-hesit with a sunward-component of 37,-K … It's close, but not really-- You don't want less speed in unknown space: We still have orbital-to-cometary bit-debris at 16-K, plus cosmic….
(accepts)
If no other solution is presented, I recommend we rotate-forward, and swing the long arc homeward… We'll miss Jupiter rendezvous-- and take 10-days extra….
Mikee looks to Engineer-- who returns a Won't-say-it-look…
MIKEE
(tentative to Engineer)
We can't--reduce propellant mass….
ENGINEER
(soft-serious-No)
Only on Criticality-One-Emergency….
MIKEE
(louder again)
Thank you, Navigator.
(quieter again)
Thank you, Engineer.
Mikee, Psychologist, resume UNHEARD… 'til finally--
PSYCHOLOGIST
(confides)
All right--I will add that to my report, Captain.
And EXITS…
MIKEE
(resumes watching)
Thank you.
DISPLAYS: Logarithmic space-atmosphere parameters rising…
SCIENCER
(keys, and to Mikee)
Commander--You should see this…
MIKEE
(comes-over)
What do you have?
SCIENCER
(points in Displays, low)
Local solar windflow has ceased and we have background, scattering, and absorption-- thermal-molecular gas, mass-spectra … These N-M-R, photon, and velocity spectra signatures all indicate increased density-- above, deep-space vacuum range level one….
MIKEE
(leaning-in)
What should, the values be?
SCIENCER
(points)
About here-- A log-tenth lower….
MIKEE
An ion-storm…? Maybe the black-hole magnetically steers the solar wind, and we're crossing its tail-flip…?
(00:00 slack howl - […]/[…]/[…])
SCIENCER
Velocity is orders-of-magnitude too low, And hot ions register a spread continuum not spectral lines: These lines are distinct-- This, is cold, space, gas, non-ionized, though its composition is, neutral solar wind.
(00:12 flute-spirt)
MIKEE
(puzzles)
Are we near a moon, orbiting the black-hole?
SCIENCER
A possibility, But radar analysis, crosschecked with Nav-radar yields no results… We are interferometry- scanning single-photon detections, in case we can find any background variance: Any low-albedo outgassing moon, should show-up….
MIKEE
(views Main, considering)
What is it…?!
SCIENCER
I don't know.
MIKEE
Is there anything out here--?
SCIENCER
Dwarf planets, -astronomers' fame,- No significant atmospheres….
(00:35 flute-spirt)
A display parameter alert…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(rereads, Alert--)
Second range density-- Rising…!
MIKEE
We'd better prepare for atmospheric intercept….
(orders)
Engineer--! Bring-up Booster drive! Helm--! Ready for maximum steering!
ENGINEER
(keys)
Aye-- 20-hesits to Booster drive….
HELMSMAN
(keying)
Aye-- Preparing max-evasive…
KLAXON--! Displays/walls: signs flashing "MANEUVER…ALERT…"
COMPUTER PA: "ALERT! PLATFORM-MANEUVER! ALERT!"
SCIENCER
Background temperature is rising…
MIKEE
Can you tell what direction?
SCIENCER
Not yet, We're on the outskirts: It could be anywhere within millions-- of kilometers … This is still empty space-- just not clean vacuum….
(01:00 flute-spirt)
MIKEE
Run, Deep-Space-Omni-Radar, again.
SCIENCER
(keys)
All right… Radar pulse-- C-D-M-A spectral…
(01:05 lull)
DISPLAYS: Biphase-sinusoid-pseudo-noise RADAR-PULSES-out…
MIKEE
(2 sec. to Main)
Is there anything, there…?
(a beat)
It seems so empty….
DISPLAYS: RANDOM-NOISE-in with time-HISTOGRAM-correlations…
SCIENCER
(examining, building)
Background noise… Subcorrelation--!
(excited)
Sync--! Positive Contact! Captain…!
MIKEE
(to Main Display)
Where is it?!
(01:16 harpsichord)
SCIENCER
(reading, deliberates)
0-point-6-3-3-million kilometers--
(elated to Main Display)
20-grads 4-o'clock off our heading!
MIKEE
(to Sciencer)
What is it?
TELESCOPE Displays: A dark fuzzy, small, moon-planet…
SCIENCER
(keys-up analyses)
A tiny moon… 24-hundred-kilometer-diameter: barely larger than Pluto…
(puzzles)
But its radar-mass-reflectance is a hundredth as much: Albedo is nearly sub-luminal…!?
(surprised)
F-E-Laser-reflectometry has water-signature, And, molecular oxygen…! Central atmospheric density is 30-bars: At 3-hundred-10 degrees-K: A warm -livable- dwarf, gas-planet…!
(01:40 +string)
MIKEE
How close will we pass the center?
SCIENCER
2-hundred-thousand kilometers….
MIKEE
(to Engineer)
Engineer: Can we use the atmosphere as a shield from space-debris while we slow and turn?
ENGINEER
(smiles)
Aye! That we can, lass: We can turn on a quarter, with quarter-Booster.
MIKEE
(orders)
Navigator-- Program a turnabout in shallow atmosphere, Helm, Stand-by!
HELMSMAN
(smiles)
Standing-by Heading-auto-revision….
NAVIGATOR
(keys, quiet elated)
We'll be back on-track in one day…!
(02:04 +drum rhythm boost)
INT. COMMAND - DWARF GAS-PLANET AT 60K MI. - (5-HRS. LATER)
Faint plasma-aeroglow hampers 2.5-deg.-planet-views, Its upper atmosphere writhes with electro-glowing streamers…
SCIENCER
Exosphere density rising rapidly… 70-percent neutral hydrogen, approaching ionopause energies… We have slight aeroglow.
NAVIGATOR
Course-program for deceleration and rotation, Prompting for execution-- Captain: Velocity, 47-K.
MIKEE
Commence the Deceleration sequence.
HELMSMAN
Auto-maneuver commencing, Captain.
Booster RUMBLES-UP 25%…
A JOLT--! through a Thermocline, The SKY LIGHTENS silvern…
SCIENCER
(surprised loud)
Atmospheric thermocline, Captain-- Significant molecular hydroxide-ion-pressure-fraction…! Temperature has jumped to 1-hundred-70 degrees Kelvin and rising!
GLOBAL DYNAMIC AURORAS… LIGHTNING BRANCHES in deep clouds…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
The inner sky is lighted 2-point-3 watts per square meter… Like an autumn sunset…!
MIKEE
(ponders to Main Display)
Why is it warm, without the sun--? Is there a central, heat, source…?
SCIENCER
(to data)
Nothing in gamma-ray-to-infrared….
MIKEE
How can deeper be getting hotter, if hot air rises…?
SCIENCER
Kinetic--temperature, increases, as molecules fall, like bouncing balls in gravity… Hotter air rises at the same level…
(02:51 howl, deep string)
MIKEE
Does the center get boiling-hot…?
SCIENCER
(divides attention)
No…, As temperature rises, thermal-radiance rises faster, Pressure and density less so … Its gravitational mass is mostly its mesosphere-- The central atmosphere is uniform to 5-hundred kilometers … Terminal drop-velocity may reach four-meters-per-hesit,-- Like walking in a dream….
MIKEE
(to Sciencer)
No one could get hurt falling down?
(03:10 horn remind)
SCIENCER
(bemused)
Possibly so….
MIKEE
No force could conquer this planet?
SCIENCER
(admits)
Little ground-traction in one-tenth gravity… Airspeed efficiency runs a sixth in 30-atmosphere…
MIKEE
Could there be lakes or oceans?
SCIENCER
(ponders)
Depends on water abundance, and its size, too-small for continents… And warm-dense atmosphere redistributes vapor orders-of-magnitude faster….
ENGINEER
(Scriptural)
And there were no more seas….
MIKEE
(advances)
The sun is too far-- Where does it get light?
(03:33 horn remind)
SCIENCER
(ponders)
Various resources:-- The Solar wind captured in the magnetic-star-field of its black-hole host: megatons of ionic hydrogen, kilotons of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, daily, yield hot-bright auroras and replenish losses of atmosphere to space … Turbulent greenhouse effects create lightning … The thermocline is reflective…
(03:53 +frizzle)
ENGINEER
(erudite)
At evening time it shall be light-- Like sparks rubbed off lamb's wool: For the Lamb is the light thereof….
Mikee smirks to a grinning smile--
(03:57 horn remind)
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(carries-on plainer)
Low-gravity-engineers could rebuild the moon structure, twelve thousand furlongs deep and wide:-- One city, lying foursquare-cubical though I'd have opted for spherical, of convex paves: Trained as a moon-engineer…
MIKEE
(grinning to Engineer)
You think this is the new Earth?
ENGINEER
(grins-back)
Cooould-be…!
MIKEE
(thoughtful to Sciencer)
Could this moon-planet be hollow?
SCIENCER
Possibly-- as would be consistent with its unexpectedly low density….
MIKEE
(retraces)
Could it really be inhabited?
(04:21 horn remind)(04:25 piano)
SCIENCER
(reads detail)
Humidity near dew-point: Vegetation will flourish in moist clay… Carbon composition surface features absorb radar reflections….
MIKEE
Maybe we should…
(orders)
Com-- Transmit Hello-Code-Class-B!
COMMUNICATOR
(keys)
Transmitting, Hello-Code-B.
SCIENCER
Good guess, Captain: There might be other, intelligent space travelers, visiting: The Watering-Hole-Effect.
MIKEE
Can we detect their signals?
SCIENCER
(keys up)
We have-- a comprehensive digital-communications processing package…
(04:44 horn remind)
SCIENCE Displays: PROCESS-INSIGNE 'Dragon-curve'…
MIKEE
Engineer,-- Transfer Auxiliary Process-and-Control, to Science station…!
DISPLAYS: "Acquisition: Loaded."
ENGINEER
(ready, depresses key, and turns to other work)
1-point-4-mega-functors: Consigned.
(04:50 lull)
DISPLAYS: "Scanning…" BUILDS signal-bit/length shortest-to-longest temporal coherence of carrier-frequency-spectrum slowest-to-fastest phaselet-rotation… overall mottled…
SCIENCER
(monitors)
Wideband multi-comb phaselets… E-H-F-M… Acquisition… narrow-beam…
Uniform until feature edge contrast enhancements stand-out…
MIKEE
(notes)
That's not digital C-D-M-A….
SCIENCER
(smiles unto her)
Stealth technology: U.S. Air-Force:
(04:57 +frizzle)
A bright tall swath builds amidst, a taller-diffuser swath ca the fast-side, a thin line resolves to slow-side point…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Developed to test MilSTAR robust-data-rates…
(05:01 +histrionic)
Touching the BRIGHT SWATH, MAGNIFIES and SHARPENS…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Code name: 'Peanut Butter Fork'-- mega-base cumulates the R-F band, time and frequency, delineating bit-length coherence and spread…
(points at mid swath)
Tall bars, are spread-spectrum…
(points at line-point)
Points, are low-data-rate beacons…
(05:13 +orchestra)
Quick-checks another display…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Non-optimal cracking strategy… but effectual for our use… Invented by the same engineers who programmed MilSTAR: Engineer-types never leave good-enough alone…
Engineer flash-grins, A SIGNAL slides thrice through a PIP…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Perfectionists in perpetual motion: Always revising, improving … High-tech companies ship their products, to get their engineers to sign-off… Only movie-actors, do more takes…
DISPLAYS: "Acquired: Timebase" mode--
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(reports)
Markovian code-scatter…
(mild surprise)
We have non-random pseudo-code correlation--! Decrypting modes…
(05:37 orchestra takeover)
DISPLAYS: Abacus-like signal-regroupings-resizings…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Frequency-hopping was patented by movie-actress Hedy Lamarr in 19-41, But was decades-ahead of her time…
DISPLAYS: "Data-rate: 7-8 Lock" mode--
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(reports)
Convolutional clustering…
(excited)
Modulus-Lock--! Rate 7-8ths lingo-code… Translating mixed-mode…
(05:49 +drum)
DISPLAYS: "Decoding: Audio" mode, AUDIO-FORMANT-SWEEPS…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
Decoding--! We have acquisition of an audio transmission--! Captain!
MIKEE
Put it on!
SCIENCER
(keys)
22-megahertz frequency-hopping, and pattern-division-multiplexing: Air-traffic-control users: We are… Now!
[NEOARTH] Spacer Guidance is high-soprano accented female,
[NEOARTH] (PA)
Neoarth Guidance with Unknown space vessel proceeding on Entry Landing Course-27 Port-52… Configuration to digital glide-path navigation-- now uploading… Local Traffic with space vessels-N-D-1-9-9-7 on Exit Course-23 Port-53 -and- N-C-N-4 on Entry Landing Course-31 Port-47…
(half a beat)
Neoarth welcomes Unknown Commander.
NAV Displays: liven with planet system traffic control…
SCIENCER
(to Mikee)
Plain English-- They understood our Hello-code….
MIKEE
(orders, re-sits)
Com-- P.A. Reply…
COMMUNICATOR
You're on, Captain….
(06:24 howl, harpsichord)
MIKEE (PA)
(2 beats, enunciates)
Neoarth Guidance, This is Commander Mikee of the U.S. NASA 'Disstaf'-- We are from planet Earth third from the sun on a deep-space exploratory mission at the edge of our solar system … We are not equipped for landing on arbitrary planetoids … We request permission to execute a turnabout and by-pass landing here.
(06:43 horn remind)
She waits, All wait, expectant, the signal-loop… 5 sec.
SCIENCER
(inserts quiet)
2-hesit-loop-delay at our distance…
[NEOARTH] (PA)
(at 5 sec.)
Commander Michael of the U.S. NASA Distaff, temporary designation code I-F-Oh-3-9 cleared for wide-passage Bypass Course-27-5 … Local traffic with guide vessel-C-1-3-3….
(half a beat)
I-F-Oh-3-9 has one message waiting…
MIKEE (PA)
(order as to a laptop)
Read it!
(contrite to Sciencer)
Please…!
Signal was already in transit--
[NEOARTH] (PA)
From the Head of Security it reads:
[FEMALE CMDR] (PA)
God bless your pass over, Commander Michael!
(07:07 horn remind)
[NEOARTH] (PA)
(resumes)
It is signed: Lieutenant Commander Tfni Yhuvegh-Ra.
MIKEE (PA)
(restrained excitement)
Thank you,-- And God bless you too!
(07:12 +piano)
NAVIGATOR
(settled)
Captain. We're slowed to 11-K, and sufficiently atmospheric to rotate for mission-designated course-heading with zero-risk….
MIKEE
Thank you, Navigator.
(orders)
Helm-- Retract the stern Whipple shields and close-up the mid-sides: Then-- Commence turnabout maneuver…
HELMSMAN
(group morale)
Thank you, Captain…
(keys)
Activating: Nav-Rotation-program…
(07:30 horn remind)
NAV Displays: Spaceship begins slow turnover to broadside…
HELMSMAN (CONT'D)
Scoop for third-base tag, and home-run! Time to put-on your seatbelts, kiddies!
(07:35 lull)
MIKEE
(2 sec.… up urgent to go)
Captain Storer-- You have the Comm…
(exiting to Elevator)
I want to see this passover from the Observation deck….
(07:43 +frizzle)
2ND-CAPT
(bemused smile, sits and seatbelts)
All right, Captain-- I'll hold-up this end of the fort….
Elevator opens-- Mikee in, the door closes…
INT. OBSERVATION DECK - WINDOWS DARK - DIM (MOMENT LATER)
(07:47 histrionic)
Whipples up. Mikee enters and to--
THE STEREO-TELEVIEWER, SEAT
Removes the joke-sign "Best view / of cosmos / 75 cents"…
Sits, Powers-up the Viewer, Seatbelts…
IMAGE STABILIZES-- Locks-on the central moon-planet…
(07:59 +orchestra)
Rapid-telescopic-ZOOMS-IN 200,000 km and--
DRIFT-LOCKS on the far-passing CITYSCAPE… and she controls:
SCANNING: Realistic 'Jetsons' bubble-car-traffic swooping amid puffy white clouds, building tops, hyper-tall towers connected by transparent tubes… spaceports… beacon lights metricize the planetscape… starships in transit … 10 sec.
[COMMUNICATOR] (PA)
Rotation terminating…!
ROOM BACK-SWAYS, as ship rotation stops…
Booster RUMBLES-UP 50%…
[COMMUNICATOR] (CONT'D PA)
Booster coming-up, 1-gee… Exiting the atmosphere…!
Something outside-close OBLITERATES THE TELEVIEW--
(08:23 orchestra takeover)
She readjusts THE ZOOM FOCUS-- But it can't clear…
Rechecks it… Then at a Room-Control panel, Keys--
The panorama WHIPPLES LOWER… 3 sec. TO SEE OPEN SKY and--
2 HYPERJETS, one very near, paralleling, engines blazing…
(08:35 rhythm boost sand-block)
She rush un-belts, and steps to--
A WINDOW, panorama SECTION:
Waves to them, one hand holding balance on the window…
Black-suited Pilot of the nearer 'Tail#C133' (high-tech cuneiform-esque), waves-back… and--
Maintaining speed parallel, checks Tracking Display… 5 sec.
Then a salute-wave Bye-- And both jets begin to drift away…
EXT. SAME WINDOW - POV RECEDING/INT. SOUND (CONTINUOUS)
Mikee, both hands holding on the window, watches them go…
Drifting faster away…
Her whole SPACESHIP proceeds upward-onward, leaning-just…
[COMMUNICATOR] (VO PA)
Neoarth Guidance bids us, Bon Voyage.
EXT. - NEAR AGAIN: LOOKING IN - (CONTINUOUS)
Still both hands on the window, pondering their world--
MIKEE (VO WINDOW)
(memorably)
"Bone home-age," Commanders…!
She frees a hand and tries the Pilot's salute-wave…
[COMMUNICATOR] (VO PA)
Attention: Approaching thermocline.
INT. - LOOKING OUT - OPEN SKY - (CONTINUOUS)
Mikee watches the now-distant-low Hyperjets veering away…
A ROOMSIZE JOLT, through the THERMOCLINE-- to NIGHT STARS…
(09:10 lull "ooh")
[COMMUNICATOR] (PA CONT'D)
Attention: Thermocline cleared--! Course laid-in: Earth via Jupiter: Booster coming-up full, for 2-gee-aspect trim…!
Booster RUMBLES-UP 100%…
MIKEE
(braces, talks order)
Engineer-- Let's go home…!
The atmosphere haze clears: from night sky TO SPACE… 3 sec.
Booster RUMBLE STOPS-- She relaxes her brace…
[COMMUNICATOR] (PA)
Space-normal-aspect achieved … Resuming ice-ion-thrust: We're going home…!
(09:28 slack flute)
Outer space looks normal again-- stars… black… clean…
(09:38 faded end)
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. DEEP SPACE - LEAVING IT, SUNWARD - (DAYS LATER)
(00:00 musichord - […]/[…]/[…])
Just galactic stars out there… until--
One STAR-SPECK NUDGES in parallax… becoming--
(00:04 +rhythm)
The SPACESHIP, tiny in the outer solar system distance…
(00:08 musichord)
Coming… Accelerating on its SILVERY GLOWING ION TAIL…
(00:12 +rhythm)
Arriving relatively-slowing to HALFWAY PASS parallel--
(00:20 "Goddess")
ZOOM-IN: The lead Whipple-- Rare tiny DUST-EXPLOSIONS…
SCAN: Front… to… rear… and a length of exhaust tail…
ZOOM-BACK: On its immensity…
PASSES ONWARD-- far… toward a distant brilliant sun-star…
(00:35 "She's got it!")
INT. COMMAND DECK - PASSING SATURN 0.5 AU - (DAYS LATER)
A happy crew is going home. Saturn is telescoped far aside…
From the Elevator, Mikee enters, not busy, just observing…
3RD-COMMUNICATOR
(reports dutifully)
First-Captain is on the Bridge….
MIKEE
(a beat, at ease)
Thank you, Com… But I'm off-duty… as an Observer….
She continues observing… smiles at the Engineer…
(00:43 refrain)
3RD-HELMSMAN
(leans-around 2 sec.)
First-Captain … We're coming-up on our De-cel-Flip: Would you like to try the execution…?
MIKEE
(a considering beat)
Sure…!
She comes around the banister--
(00:50 refrain-2nd)
3RD-HELMSMAN
(when she's near)
Have you ever done this before?
MIKEE
(to Helmsman)
Only in simul'ashe'…
(a catch grin)
'Hah…Hah' You almost, got, me…!
3RD-HELMSMAN
(grins)
It's really easy--
(gets up)
Have a seat…
MIKEE
(sits)
Okay…
(00:58 "Her weapons")
3RD-HELMSMAN
Easier than steering a motorcycle…
Huddles-in to the HELM-Aid LIVE-GRAPHIC of a flip-maneuver,
3RD-HELMSMAN (CONT'D)
(as it runs, fingers)
You lean this to one, aspect limit… Then-- Swing, back across… through… rotation… To the other, limit… And, bring it back--to the centerline…
Mikee finger-cues the Graphic: it queues into HELM-CONTROL… schedules it Helm-clock-relative for 2-hesits-hence…
(01:11 "Wow…!")
HELM Displays: Mid-side Whipples come-up… 3 sec.
DISPLAYS: blink "CONFIRMATION"-- Helmsman nods approval…
Mikee keys Confirmation… Clock '0'-- "EXECUTION" blinks…
NAV Displays: Spaceship rotates to 10-deg.-aspect… 4 sec.
(01:21 refrain)
EXT. SPACESHIP - SATURN REMOTE - ROTATION
Mid-Whipples up, Spaceship leaning at 10-deg.-aspect…
Swings fore, for the centerline… and through far… 3 sec.
Flipping… rear, passing… Thrusting off centerline… 3 sec.
(01:28 refrain-2nd)
CUTAWAY TO:
INT. SPACESHIP - (AS CONTINUOUS)
The ROOM ROLLS BACK as the flip flops-home… 3 sec.
RESUME:
EXT. SPACESHIP - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Slows flip, and stops at the far-10-deg. aspect…
And re-centerlines… CONTINUING ONWARD, ice-ion-thrust tail-forward… for the distant blazing bright star-sun at 10 AU…
(01:36 slack-string)
EXT. JUPITER 'STAR' EAST - SPACESHIP PASSING - (DAYS LATER)
High over now-shadowless, glowing, roiling, flaring planet-star Jupiter-- brightly illumining its own rings and moons…
And beyond… sunward-- homeward…
INT. GYM DECK - (ANYTIME ANY DAY)
Mikee, in NASA gymsuit and HALF-WATER-GOGGLES, Tilts the goggles for the half-underwater effect --smiling-- while,
Crewman velcro-straps harnesses on her ankles, hip, hands… And activates the Swim'Ulator-Exerciser Training machine--
Resistance-lines draw taut-- pulling her to level… midair.
She clown-jokes an air-spout-up… They laugh together…
(01:53 "Venus!")
She practices swim-strokes, glide, crawl, rhythm-breathing-both-sides… Crewman oversees leg-to-toe-extension: Holds a hand just-ahead for her to stretch-jab-dig…
(02:03 refrain)
INT. PRIVATE STEAM-WIPE SHOWER - STEAMY FOG (POST WORKOUT)
Mikee wrings a spacer-cleanoff-cloth and damp-wipes clean…
CUT TO:
(02:10 refrain-2nd)
EXT. OVER ASTEROID BELT EDGE-ON - SPACESHIP - (DAYS LATER)
Turned 30 deg. west from sunward, to Whipple oncoming dust, Executing MAX-EVASIVE-BOOSTER-BURST-forward-FLYING-DODGES…
BG. oncoming PLANETOID LOOMS from astronomical distance…
Its 1000-mi.-extended DUST HALO CLOUD obscures starlight…
And begins SCINTILLATING fg. on the AFT-FORWARD WHIPPLE…
INT. COMMAND DECK - (AS CONTINUOUS)
(02:18 "Goddess")
SCIENCE Station: Sciencer and Mikee TRIANGULATE ASTEROIDS--
SCIENCER
(science tutor)
We have 14, Variables, to fix, Call them, Computational Parameters: Our vessel's 3D-Position, and Velocity, or Bearing-Vector-and-Speed-on-that vector … That's six-- which we have fairly precisely… We have the Time, of each Digital-Snapshot, And Angle of the asteroid but that's only two where we're trying to solve for six Position-and-Velocity… We solve for asteroid Visual-Time delay… We also have Radar -Range and Doppler,- but its instrument-precision is so-much less, we use it only secondarily to corroborate telescope-computations… We also compute Acceleration of the asteroid if it's near another mass, so that requires one-snapshot-more:
(half a beat)
We must get at-least-6 well-spaced-snapshots of each-asteroid to solve for its remaining-6-variables…
(02:59 "Venus was")
NAV Displays: The Planetoid coming…
SCIENCER (CONT'D)
(concept summary)
Calculus is like Algebra with both, positions-and the rates-of-changes…
KLAXON--!
COMPUTER PA: "ALERT! SPACE-DEBRIS-VICINITY! ALERT!"
DEFENSE Displays: The Planetoid oncoming…
SCIENCE Displays: The Planetoid CLOSING…
Faint DUST-BURST of MASSIVE WHIPPLING bg. All look-about… Sciencer to Science Displays, Mikee to--
MAIN Display: Planetoid Pallas Oncoming… Passing… Ongoing…
2ND-DEFENSOR
(working his Displays)
Pallas, by visual-match: not Ceres.
MIKEE
(quotes her StarTrails)
"Close call, superman, And no phone booth!"
The Dust-burst faintly-ROARS-on bg. for the moment…
NAVIGATOR
(chaser)
Confirmed-- on Pallas, ephemerides…
(03:15 "Yeah, baby…" -fade out-)
CUT TO:
INT. GARDEN DECK - DIGITAL BLUE SKY - (DAYS LATER)
MEADOW AREA: Mikee and a Crewwoman are lounging supine amid flowering clover and berry bushes, picking-and-enjoying…
MIKEE
Do fruits, know, seasons, in space?
CREWWOMAN
(nonchalant)
People, know their fruits in space…
MIKEE
(a beat)
I suppose it can't really matter to the fruits if they can grow in both northern and-southern hemispheres….
A pink/gray 'DIGITAL ELEPHANT CLOUD' floats across the Sky…
CREWWOMAN
Do they really? Outside Fruit-Zoos?
They giggle it up… Then Mikee points to the passing cloud--
MIKEE
Look--! A real pink elephant cloud…
They giggle-and-laugh at the faked-cloud… (FINISHING VO)
EXT. SPACESHIP - PASSING RED MARS AFAR - (AS IF CONTINUOUS)
Very distant and paying no particular attention this time…
2ND-COMMUNICATOR (VO)
Captain-- NASA confirms withdrawal of the DSS-IPN update 'AB45'… and a new, update, is scheduled for upload…
CUT TO:
EXT. SPACESHIP - DISTANT MOON - EARTH, SUN, WEST (LAST DAY)
SPACESHIP oncoming…
Ship-and-stars 3D-ROLL-FLASH-PASS overhead (flipping us)…
Ship RECEDES, hurling moonward-- Earth, sun, to the west…
SCIENCER (VO)
Deep-Space-Dust-Sampler is stowed….
(00:00 harpsichord ver. - […]/[…]/[…])
FADE TO CUT IN:
INT. COMMAND DECK - MOON BACKSIDE SPACE - (HOURS LATER)
LOOMING close… Readying for course deceleration pass burn,
ENGINEER
(re-prompts)
Booster drive is, ready-- Captains…
All seatbelt, 2nd-Capt. as Observer at a spare station. ENG Displays: alternate-pass-trajectory-maneuver details…
(00:08 deep chord)(00:11 voice)
2ND-CAPT
(smiles at the thought)
Either way, This voyage has been a pleasure cruise--! A laid-back… privileged… summer…
(last at Mikee)
You're all-- the greatest…!
Mikee returns the smile…
NAVIGATOR
(smiles-with)
Then, Nightlanding, if Mikee wants to do instruments… Or orbit till morning if nobody's in a hurry to 'Dirt-Party'…
(00:22 deep chord)
COMMUNICATOR
(as aside)
Have we run out of "Eighty Days…?"*
SCIENCER
(grins to Communicator)
Not-to-worry, Mr. Finicky-foggy,-- We'll get you to Earth, by Sunday.
HELMSMAN
(bemused to Navigator)
Why is it, we always shoot for the moon, before going home?
NAVIGATOR
(smiles, contained)
I don't have an answer but remember our high-schooler-- Keep it clean…!
(00:37 voice)(00:50 refresh)
ENGINEER
(working his Displays)
Commanders--
(invents a long beat)
If we take advantage of our excess, reduction of propellant mass out in deep space, we can, run the booster at 3-gees, -within safety margins,- we'll hyper-test at the moon…
(satisfied, to them)
And, flip forward and push for home along the even-faster route… We can make NASA by early evening…!
Mikee is scrutinizing Helm Displays of the moon…
2ND-CAPT
(3 beats tentative)
Is there something… Captain?
MIKEE
(grins)
There are no missiles to greet us…
(01:00 strong)
2ND-CAPT
(tentative grin)
Indeed-- we have no Safeguards on the lunar backside…!
NAVIGATOR
(a beat, announces)
Captains-- Decision time is now…!
2ND-CAPT
Okay by me…!
MIKEE
(a beat, smiles)
Engineer-- Bring-up Booster-drive for maximum, warp--
(half a beat)
W-maneuver…!
(01:14 +percussion)
ENGINEER
(big grin, keys)
Aye-- Booster coming up--!
Booster RUMBLES-UP 100% (which on less mass FEELS HARDER)…
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
for half-W-maneuver, the safe-half…
The ROOM SHIVERING…
HELM Displays: MOON-MID-EAST-to-pass draws rapidly nearer…
ECLIPSES EARTH… 2 sec.
COMMUNICATOR
Earth Radio Silence: Return in 50….
Mikee checks over all her Crew and Displays… 10 sec.
And, last-checks with her Engineer--
(01:32 deep rhythm)
Who gives her a thumb-up…
And she nods Yes in return…
HELM Displays: moon CRATERS fill the nearing-view angles…
EXT. SPACESHIP - GLIDE: 'BELOW' MOONSIDE EAST - (MINUTES)
(01:43 hollow chime lull)
Booster tail EXHAUST full forward-- Lower… LOWER… DARINGLY FAST… barely skimming 10 mi. above craters… 12 sec.
(01:57 deep resume)
ENGINEER (VO)
Beginning Boost-Over…!
INT. COMMAND DECK - PASSING MOON CRATERS - (CONTINUOUS)
They strain extra-heavy, at work, as RUMBLE climbs TO 140%…
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(monitoring 2 sec.)
2-point-3-gees…
(2 sec.)
2-point-5-gees…
(2 sec.)
2-point-7-gees…
(2 sec.)
2-point-85…
(02:09 refrain loud)
SEATS RECLINE-UP (head steady) under 3-G deceleration--
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(loud)
2-point-95-gees…!
Mikee leaning-left nudges a spoon on her chair left arm…
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(split attention)
3-point-0-gees…
SPOON OFF, ZAPS TO THE FLOOR--! She's wide-eyed credulous…
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
(grinning big at her)
Max-burn, 3-point-0-5, max-gees.
COMMUNICATOR
(advises)
T-DRS-Reacquisition in 15-hesits…
EXT. - GLIDE: 20 MI. OVER MOON CRATERS - (AS CONTINUOUS)
(02:25 deep rhythm)
EXHAUST FORWARD-UP'ing, Whipples LEAN, still galactic fast, 'HUGGING LOW'-- racing for the horizon below only stars…
(02:35 strum beat, shrill)
Barely increases altitude gradually for hyperbolic escape…
Barely climbs above the horizon…
(02:51 shrill voice)
And now faster from the now-falling moon, for open space--
EXHAUST CUTS-LOW… Ship STRAIGHTENS, REAR-HEADING-forward…
(02:57 twang melody, harpsichord)
EARTH CREEPS-UP over the horizon… 10 sec. FULL EARTHRISE…
CUT IN TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - GLIDING AWAY FROM MOONSIDE
Very busy…
(03:11 deep rhythm, voice)
NAV, HELM, Displays: Trajectory diagrams confirm for Earth…
COMMUNICATOR
(monitoring)
T-DRS-4 Reacquired--! Waiting for Lanthus Traffic Constellation…
NAVIGATOR
(announces)
Captain:-- We're sub-galactic:-- We have Earth-capture…!
All smile and APPLAUD but still busy…
CUT TO:
EXT. FAR FROM THE MOON - RECEDING - SPACESHIP ONCOMING
(03:23 refrain loud)
Distant: ION TAIL… Aft Whipples forward… leaving the moon…
ENGINEER (VO)
Engineering confirms: Hyper ready…!
MIKEE (VO)
Go Hyper…!
NAVIGATOR (VO)
Going Hyper…!
Slow flip -Side Whipples up- to Fore Whipples forward…
(03:39 deep rhythm)
SPACESHIP NEARS … PASSES … BEYOND-- PUSHING FOR EARTH EAST…
(03:50 refrain -slow fade out-)
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND DECK - REACHING EARTH - (LATE NEXT AFTERNOON)
Booster RUMBLE 100%… Fore and aft Whipple shields stowed…
Crew busy for reentry-deorbit, personal gear aside each…
COMMUNICATOR
We are Cleared for Final Deorbital
MAIN Display: [Administrator] welcomes them:
[ADMINISTRATOR]
Good Afternoon-- Captain Mikee… Welcome-back, to Earth-space… And-- Congratulations-- on a successful, mission… We have reviewed your Vid-Transcripts, and mission-telemetry, and have decided it went altogether smoothly. And we feel you will need only a brief, debriefing:-- We have decided to give your debriefing in-flight: This'll be a NASA First of-course, As we're famous for Firsts! It'll take a hecta-hesit while your Crew approaches Earth. Have you the time, now, for your debriefing… Commander?
MIKEE
(looks about)
Yes, sir.
[ADMINISTRATOR]
Very well then, We'll begin,-- Engineer:
(to off-screen)
Begin the debriefing link, please.
[Vidlink switches to flip-emoting DVDJ (Hyper-Dot Tom)]
[DVDJ]
(grandiose)
Welcome--! to Earth--! spaceling--! You are my first, L-O-L caller this afternoon! Live-On-Line with D-V-D-J-Hyper-Dot-Tom: That's me: I'm my-own top-level-domain…! And this, is my first-ever outer-space message-- Woo-ee! Zing! Zing! Poing!
(apologetic)
That's my best translation to space-geek for:
(pomps)
Wel-come! Aaannd…
(admits)
still translating…
(pomps)
You may have won a… But--!
(sponsor-breaks)
We'll get to that in just a moment!
(prosecutes)
You, are, Michelle-Keela Thomaine-! Is, that, not, the cosmic, truth…?!
MIKEE
(smiles)
Yes: My parents call me, Mikee.
[DVDJ]
(pomps)
Aaand, you are the mostest-ever-est famous-est space-dudess!
(puzzles quieter)
Or is that, space-dude-est?
(prosecutes)
Is-that not-also the cosmic-truth?!
MIKEE
I don't know about the fame part-- My Sunday School Teacher says…
[DVDJ]
(clips pomps)
Close,-enough, for digital, video, government, regulations, work…!
(trite)
And-- You-- like-virtually, fly-- a grand nuclear space-cruiser, by the seat of your laptop…!?
(prosecutes)
Is that not the most-cosmic truth?!
MIKEE
Yes, sir.
[DVDJ]
(games)
Now: Captain, Cosmo-Peep-- You may have won a… But--!
(sponsor-breaks)
We'll get to that in just a moment!
(hyper-personalizes)
Tell me something, Mikee: Is outer space, really, like… you know…
(lap-wiggle-go-go-dances)
No-wheres-ville…?!
MIKEE
(admits)
It has its quiet moments and days… traveling between planets.
[DVDJ]
(squeally personal)
And just what does a young lady,--
(deep guffaw)
Well, Not as ancient as, Jehovah,--
(squeally personal)
Do onboard all day long? How do you keep yourself, Entertained…? Do you listen to my…y, broadcasts--?!
(boisterous)
Hey-hey-heyyy…!!
MIKEE
I sit on the Observation deck and answer my E-mail, And watch D-V-D-movies … I also workout on the Gym deck-- We have an exercise-machine, called a 'Swim-U-Lator'-- I swim on the school team at home, so I have to keep toned-up…. Sometimes I sit alone and think on the Garden deck, in nuclear-powered-daylight, though it's not easy to say, when, because we don't have days-and-nights… in outerspace: everybody has their own schedule…. I also spend time on the Station Computers: because there is so much to learn in space sciences…
[DVDJ]
(haute-couture-newsy)
And you also sleep… Eat… What would you say, is your favorite entree at the dinner table… I'll put an even-
(twiddles a $2-bill)
2-dollars on dessert…
MIKEE
All the entrees are new to me, so I enjoy trying them all… I especially like the Soft Milk--* It's creamier and-sweeter than store-bought milk…
[DVDJ]
(commercial pique)
And formulated, for young, growing, astronaut-and-'nautess'-trainees…!?
MIKEE
And tastes like Mom makes at home…
[DVDJ]
(winces)
'Mmmm!--'
(resumes deep-pomp)
Well … Mikee-- We are going to fix, all that for you: Maybe! Just-maybe we can re-turn, you, into a normal, scoriaceous, dross-philiatic Earth-modal, slaaag-off-ling, again…!
(bouncy pompom-cheer)
Are-- you-- ready-- for-- this--?!
MIKEE
(bemused giggle)
Yes.
[DVDJ]
Then--! Captain--! Commander...
(nose-glasses proctors)
Here is your final, de--briefing question: This is a big one: You must listen to the explanation-- Then you must answer a specific, Yes-or-No-question: You will have 5-hesits, to answer correctly--
PA: Summer song: (00:00 build-up - […]/[…]/[…])
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
Heeere's-- the johnnies…
(00:02 drumroll, 'oh'ah'ah'ah…', full)
Mikee smiles at the song-fun… Adds a tiny beat-bouncing… Checks her busy Crew-- they-too seem tiny-beat-bouncing…
EXT. - SPACE, DESCENT TO EARTH - EARLY EVENING (360% LAPSE)
BLACK upper IONOSPHERE (130…70 km alt.), Booster BLAZING against AEROGLOW, 42° glide-slope and across HOUSTON TX…
(00:18 "Do you remember…")
NAVIGATOR (VO)
(reports)
Altitude-- 1-hundred-29-kilometers… Velocity: 4-point-7-kilometers-per-hesit… E.T.A. Terra NASA-- point-1-5-6-demur… 86-kilometers uprange…
BLACK…BLUISH upper STRATOSPHERE (70…25 km alt.), 54° glide-slope toward NASSAU BAY…
(00:32 "Remember…")
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D VO)
(reports)
Altitude-- 68-kilometers… Velocity: 32-hundred-meters-per-hesit… E.T.A. Terra NASA-- point-1-3-3-demur… 30-kilometers uprange…
BLUISH…SKY BLUE above-to-mid TROPOSPHERE (25…5 km alt.), a few nice clouds - 68° glide-slope toward NASA itself…
(00:47 "Beach Baby…")
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D VO)
(reports)
Altitude-- 24-kilometers… Velocity: 18-hundred-meters-per-hesit… E.T.A. Terra NASA-- point-1-zero-9-demur… 5-kilometers uprange…
Across long-shadowed NASA buildings (5 km alt.) to the open field SILO, while also slowing to NORMAL LAPSE 275…60mph:
(01:01 "Beach Baby…" -gradual diminish-)
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D VO)
(reports)
5-kilometers, 2-hundred-65-meters-per… Correcting for broadsliding … E.T.A. 85-hesits… Booster to Half.
[DVDJ] (VO)
(resumes pomp)
All right! Commander! You will have
INT. - (CONTINUOUS, NORMAL LAPSE)
[DVDJ] doffs big-headphones,
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
five, hesits-- in which to think it over carefully and answer correctly and completely… Give it your best…!
(01:15 'oooh…' -to bg.-)
Unseals and pulls a card from an envelope…
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
(proctors)
Heeere's-- The question:
(00:00 syncopated clocking - […]/[…]/[…])
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
(as reading)
Is this, what you-did, this summer?
MIKEE
Not exactly….
[DVDJ]
That was quick--! Are you sure…?
MIKEE
Yes.
[DVDJ]
Is that a, Yes…? Or a, No…!?
MIKEE
It's a, No.
(00:10 -fade out-)
(01:26 -prior to m.g.-)
[DVDJ]
(equals)
No….
(exaggerates)
'Nnooo'ooh'ooh'ooh'ooh'…?!
(2 beats, recovering)
Well… I, didn't-- think so…!
(shuffles papers, perky)
So-- You win something-- A big… Prize-- Let's see…
(to self and about)
Something around here… --Did it slink-off onto the floor--?
(whole-body stomp-stomps)
'Ahh--Ahh'--!! Got it--!
(examines squishings)
'Oooo-eeee'…!
(fanatical apology)
Well… Well…! We were, going to send you to… the Garden of Eden… But… It was booked, solid…
(laughs it up)
'Har-Har-Har' You know how that is, Mikee,-- So… We're going to make it up to you-- We're going to send you to, The Beach! --I hope the sharks, don't like extra-terrestrial meat-- Because-- We're sending you off, to the Riviera--! How's-- the Riviera… sound to you… Mikee…?!
[V.O. "Oooh…!"]
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
Furthermore … We're sending you in, a Riviera--! Yup… The car too… But,
[BG. CAR DEMO: Black&Gold 2012 Riviera, spins… drives…]
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
There's a catch… You're under,-age, spaceling: So, We're giving the car to your parents -and- we're sending them, with, you…!
[V.O. "Awww…!"]
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
But-- if they don't wreck it on the freeway, You, can drive it when you get your license-- in high school…!
[V.O. "Ahhh…!"]
[DVDJ (REVERB)]
(prizes)
The Riviera 2-thousand-12 * Golden Space Odyssey, comes complete with G-S-P-C-S, Graphic Digital Control center … One leather-wrapped power steering wheel… 5.5-liter Triphase sequential-port fuel-injected posi-turbine… Power carbon-disc brakes, with point-83-gee anti-skid … And… Steer-ahead head-beams … Headrest-mounted, stereophonic, Internet-downloadable-digital-AC-3 surround-sound… And--
(reverts to pomp)
Power-D-V-Disks full of my special, binaural, debriefing, instructions: set to music:--
(sing-song sit-dance)
"You put your right foot in… You take your right foot out… You do the hokey-pokey, And you turn yourself about…"
(sobers, straightens)
'Ahem'-- You're a little young, to appreciate that's what it's all, about, Mikee…
[Car Demo Off, DVDJ Reverb Off]
[DVDJ] (CONT'D)
(dainty-picks a DVD)
So-- We'll just put that li'l D-V-D on reserve … And you can pick it up when you reach 17… Meanwhile, We'll be sending you your-- Environmental Impact Statement, --to be filed-in-triplicate--! for swimming-- in the Riviera…
(guffaws)
Just kidding, Mikee-- Have a great, vacation--!
(sad)
Away, from--
(sniffs … honk-nasal)
Homb…!
(a festive interruption)
But one-more last, detail, before I let you go, Mikee… The NASA guys at the top wanted me to ask you if you remember when you were nearing Mars and the Science Officer needed your permission for something-or-other…?
MIKEE
Yes-- That was the Deep-Space-Six-Interferometry-Probe-Net subsystem Sunsync-Backup failed: The Primary worked, but may not last as long….
[DVDJ]
(elated arms-up-waggling)
Grreat! Mikee… You're all done-and-debriefed in flying-colors…! Just--
(eyes down, squeamish)
Don't look down…!
(sponsor-announces)
We now return you to your standard, transmission…!
(cutie-waves)
Bye, Mikee--!
Booster RUMBLE REDUCES TO 50%…
(03:41 elevation -to fg.-)
MAIN Display: Resumes technicals… (3 km alt.)
ENGINEER
(announces)
Final Descent
NAVIGATOR
(announces)
NASA Base Alignment Nominal
TRANSITION BACK THROUGH VIDEO WALL: INSIDE--
(03:46 rhythm -to bg.-)
int. NASA video conference room (contiguous)
Prior Command Deck scene still LIVE (MOS) on the VIDEO WALL; Administrator front-row-center about-faces to--US--
ADMINISTRATOR
(addresses in turning)
Alright, people: First-Recommends…!
The rooms SOUNDS thinker-pensive…
1st-personnel
A successful, simulation--mission…
Others agree QUIETLY…
2nd-personnel
The whizkid seems trainable…
Others agree SNICKERY KUDOS…
3rd-personnel
(as it calms)
Our young scholars hold a Biblical perspective, on science--Something we, tend to lose, around college…
Others agree QUIETER…
4th-personnel
We should do this again--with more scenarios; Gradually 'up' the bar…
5th-personnel
Hazards… Challenges… One-at-a-time…
6th-personnel
We can't turn children into adults… That--comes more naturally at home…
7th-personnel
Kids get only 3-or-4-weeks vacation from school--around Christmas-time…
8th-personnel
We do have some shorter, scenarios: The Mars Astronaut Rescue, Series…
9th-personnel
(snide)
Has anybody, survived one of those?
A few CHUCKLES around…
10th-personnel
One never, really, knows--It's supposed, to be, a simulation…
More and louder CHUCKLES…
11th-personnel
Maybe some kids-'ll show-us-up…
12th-personnel
Then--Next summer… for the Big One
Others agree QUIETLY…
(04:28 -to fg.-)
int. command deck (CONTINUOUS FROM VIDEO TO LIVE)
MAIN Display: Hovering amid an EXT. PLUME OF DUST above the LAUNCH SILO; Busy--waiting for--
COMMUNICATOR
(announces)
We have Clearance for Land-Dock…!
(04:35 1st horn flash)
And nudging down into--
(04:41 -slow diminish into SILO-)
INT. - NUDGING DESCENT TO SILO LANDING - (CONTINUOUS)
Booster RUMBLE 50%, All busy, Mikee in the command chair, 2nd-Capt. and Psychologist stand adjacent…
(00:00 high string pluck - […]/[…]/[…])
EXTERIOR descent CREEPS down the silo's VORACIOUS UPDRAFT…
T-05 YELLOW… 2 sec.
T-04 YELLOW… 2 sec.
NAVIGATOR
Landing in 4-hesits…
T-03 YELLOW-ORANGE… 2 sec.
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
3-hesits…
T-02 YELLOW-ORANGE… 2 sec.
NAVIGATOR (CONT'D)
2-hesits…
T-01 RED, Descent TWEAKS TO A STOP… 2 sec.
T-00 RED, Hovers at THE BOTTOM…
CLUNK of Launch-CLAMPS-CAPTURE outside on the Landing Pad--
ENGINEER
(keys, affirms)
Dock Clamps…! External platform secured…! Engines on runout…!
(00:15 lower string)
Booster RUMBLE DIMINISHES gradually… (30 sec. CONCURRENT)
Crew busy, SEQUENCE-DOWN their stations…
(00:25 voice)
SCIENCE Displays: "SCI" LOGO.
SCIENCER
(keys, affirms)
Science station secured--!
(exits with gear, smiles)
Good-bye, commanders.
Mikee, 2nd-Capt., nod Bye…
Sciencer at Elevator --it opens-- Waits inside…
NAV Displays: "NAV" LOGO.
NAVIGATOR
(keys, affirms)
Navigation secured--!
(exits with gear, smiles)
Bye, guys.
Joins Sciencer inside-- Elevator closes… Descends…
HELM Displays: "NUC" LOGO.
HELMSMAN
(keys, affirms)
Helm secured…! Remote activated…! Access locked--!
(exits with gear, smiles)
Bye, Captains.
(00:46 "God knows")
At 2nd Elevator --it opens-- Waits inside…
MIKEE
(watching)
There's not much for Captains to do when you're powering-down…!
2ND-CAPT
Not much-- Make sure it all gets done… And, Log it….
(00:53 exult)
DEFENSE Displays: "ACCESS".
DEFENSOR
Defense-Weapons station Disarmed…! Safety inserted…! Power locked--!
COMMUNICATION Displays: "COM" LOGO.
COMMUNICATOR
Communications cleared…!
(keys, affirms)
Access secured…!
DEFENSE Displays: "DEF" LOGO.
DEFENSOR
(keys, affirms)
Defense-Weapons access secured--!
(exits with gear, smiles)
Bye-- kiddos.
(01:07 "Carrie" refrain)
Joins Helmsman inside-- 2nd Elevator closes… Descends…
COMMUNICATION Displays: "REMOTE".
COMMUNICATOR
External remote activated--!
(exits with gear, smiles)
Bye: Catch y'all later….
At Elevators --1st Elevator opens-- Waits inside…
ENGINEER
(keys, affirms)
Engines dry…! Systems Standby…!
ENG Displays: "KEY" LOGO.
(01:21 refrain-2nd)
ENGINEER (CONT'D)
Command Center secured--!
(grabs gear, comes down)
Well, lass…
(smiles, to Mikee)
Good-bye…
(shakes hands)
Was real-nice to have had you aboard….
MIKEE
Thank you. And, you too…
(01:32 relax)
Engineer joins Communicator-- Elevator closes… Descends…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(keys-log, deliberate)
Captain's Log… Final log--
(a beat)
We're home--'Sweet Home'--on Earth.
(2 beats)
End of log….
(keys-off, sits up)
End of summer….
MAIN Display: Final "NASA DSSTF" LOGO.
ROOM LIGHTS DIM to Standby…
(01:44 voice)
2nd-Capt. offers a hand… Mikee takes it, hops down… grabs her gear, and together with Psychologist and gear, exeunt--
MIKEE (CONT'D)
Would they really simulate all that?
2ND-CAPT
I don't know, Mikee… It might really be there… I don't know whether they, know…
Elevator opens… But Mikee takes one-last-long-look-around;
2ND-CAPT (CONT'D)
Like the Mars Rover discoveries--it was all there in the astrophysics--we just had to wait for the Signal…
MIKEE
(a final beat, looks to)
Was this mission a real, success…?
They enter…
2ND-CAPT
(confides)
Yes--It certainly was--a mission, success… And--there are two more, things, that are certain…
And select the main level…
MIKEE
What else is certain?
DOOR CLOSES…
INT. ELEVATOR - (CONTINUOUS)
Side-by-side they consider the future,
2ND-CAPT
(confides)
That, Certain young ladies need more science--in school…
Elevator DESCENDS…
(02:12 exult build)
MIKEE
That'll mean two-classes of science instead of one…
2nd-Capt. nods Okay…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(curious: takes cue)
And--What is the third, certainty…?
2ND-CAPT
(to the door, resolved)
The third certainty is, that, There will be no more deep-space manned-- missions--
(a half beat sobering)
Without--children, onboard…!
MIKEE
(a tentative beat)
So we've reached Jehovah's space?
(02:26 refrain)
DOOR OPENS-- To the Lounge Quarter…
2ND-CAPT
(long beat, nods Yes)
Yes-- We have indeed, reached, Jehovah's, space!
They exeunt via--
INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE QUARTER - SILO LIGHTED (CONTINUOUS)
Mikee adds Psychologist's hand…
PASSING-THROUGH, she takes--
ONE-MORE LAST-LOOK AROUND, at her livingroom of 2 months…
And, They file out--
(02:40 refrain-2nd)
INT. SILO GANTRY - MAIN DECK PORTAL - LIGHTED (CONTINUOUS)
STEAMY, WALL EXPANSE SWEATS, 2 Technicians in whites close the portal hatch behind, as Mikee et al quickly traverse…
Taking more ONE-LAST-LOOKS about--
Mikee particularly-notices the FORESHIELD: DARK-STREAKS.
And EXEUNT the silo…
While the Technicians lock and begin GANTRY RETRACTION…
(02:52 slack)
THROUGH THE CORRIDOR…
ONTO THE MAIN PLATFORM ELEVATOR…
Mikee et al join the waiting Crew congratulatory handshakes and "Well-Done" AD LIBS…
The Technicians quick-walking… join up, And activate the--
ELEVATOR-- LIFTS… RISING UP THE SHAFT…
TO DAYLIGHT OUTSIDE still early evening…
Reaches the wide-open TOP, and ABOVE GROUND LEVEL--
EXT. DESERT PAD - PLATFORM ELEVATOR - EVENING (CONTINUOUS)
SLOWS TO STOP GROUND-FLUSH.
They gather their gear, and board the NASA Transport…
(03:17 resume exult)
Mikee LOOKS BACK-- Beyond the Elevator platform:
A RING 120 m dia., the ground is cleared across the Silo, its launch-cover rim not yet recovered in windblown sand…
And reluctantly, she finally boards-- through to the rear…
INT. TRANSPORT LEAVING - THE PAD - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Mikee kneels-sits on the rear bench…
LOOKING-BACK-out at the SILO and cleared rings receding…
(03:33 -fade out- refrain)
CUT TO:
INT. NASA ADMINISTRATION - EXT. OFFICE - PRE-SUNSET
Mikee, Mom, finish debriefing with the Administrator:
ADMINISTRATOR
We had several conversations with your parents before you arrived--
(a keep-it-up beat)
to be sure you'd be able to handle the possible outcomes stably: NASA can't do SETI legally, but nor can we prevent space aliens appearing: And, we have to keep alert if-and-when they do.
MIKEE
So it wasn't all a simulation?
ADMINISTRATOR
It was about half, what we know is true, And about half, what we know may surprise us... We think we're ready for whichever shows up...
#closing discussion of mission value and the future and why
ADMINISTRATOR
(affirms)
Good Bye…! Commander Mikee… And, Best wishes, We'll be in touch…!
MIKEE (OC)
Thank you.
MOM (OC)
Thank you, Mr. Oglethorp.
And, Mom, Mikee, come out--
(music - […]/[…]/[…] 4:36)
THE LONG HALLWAY
Mom pulls out her cellphone and SMS-SENDS "We're out",
And begins a family-life debriefing as they walk,
MOM
(interested)
You've become very alert to people, Mikee.
MIKEE
(bemused)
Adults are people, too.
MOM
Yes… I gathered that.
MIKEE
(bemused)
Okay-- What's your point…?
MOM
(2 imposing beats)
You didn't have to demand a raise in rank.
MIKEE
(smiles)
It's usual, in space-work, to get a raise after any significant mission or 16-hundred-kilohesits of mission time logged … And-- as I lead major discoveries, This is undeniable…
(half a beat)
It'd be foolish to neglect or avoid any detail, especially inevitables…
MOM
(curious)
Usual… in space-work… Where--? What space?
MIKEE
StarTrails-- We follow the industry norms: while leading the way on the scientifically-technological edge….
MOM
(catches)
'Oh'….
MIKEE
I think he understood the regularity of my request…
(half a beat)
Besides, This may be the only way I get chosen again for a NASA mission before I'm 30…
(plaintive)
Mom-- I can't wait that long-- You know how that is….
MOM
Yes… I suppose I do… But life isn't all flying around-- There's lots of science-and-mathematics groundwork, to support your understanding…
(half a beat)
Homework for space-cadets… if you will….
MIKEE
(concerned)
Okay-- What's your point…?
MOM
No sharp point-- Just a reminder-- You are home: Back on Terra Firma.
MIKEE
'Oh'--A family-life, debriefing… I never thought of that.
MOM
NASA never did neither-- but it's a necessity.
MIKEE
Yes… I suppose so…
MOM
Family makes-up for a lot business passes-up,-- as surely as business supports family life….
MIKEE
Yes… I gathered that…
MOM
(grins)
Okay-- What's your point…?
MIKEE
No dramatic point-- I thought, this would have been bedtime discussion…
MOM
(bemused)
I thought to test the waters, with you, first.
MIKEE
(grins)
Okay-- Waters are more buoyant than earth… And the breezes stir them…
MOM
And the sunlight powers the breezes that stir the waters.
MIKEE
And gravitational-attraction founds them all in order of their purpose…
MOM
And Mind-- under,-stands, them all.
MIKEE
Yes so we know the reverse of error is unfalling and so truly harmless.
MOM
(smiles)
And ever-- applicable.
A wall-TV-VIDEO-MONITOR is replaying Mikee's Black-hole-encounter "liminal acuity" scene…
Mikee pauses to watch… Mom stops slightly ahead…
MIKEE
(watching intently; tacitly nods on cues)
Is that me…?
MOM
You remember signing, all those permission-papers for half-day-delay broadcasting and ultimate syndication rights-- before you left home…?
(half a beat)
The T-V-Syndicates paid a lot, for your trip, to boost their ratings, to show the world their 8th-grader heroine matching wits with NASA's, finest astronauts and technology….
MIKEE
(almost breaking a smile)
Yes-- But is that me--? That looks like… someone else-- Like…
MOM
It's television, Mikee-- Don't be taken-in by what you look like to someone else: You must be and live yourself.
MIKEE
Yes-- But is that, me…?!
MOM
(walks-on)
Come along, Miss-Michelle-Keela… Commander….
MIKEE
(breaks, follows)
That's me…!
They continue through the hallway to the building front…
MIKEE (CONT'D)
Aren't you home early, from summer camp?
MOM
We left third, week: a week early… We enjoyed our first-2-weeks, But, without you around, there was less for us to do-- we'd already caught our quota of rainbow trout-- Kids, chummed, the fish with extra bait: Too easy… And, we had enough hikes to add-up to a mountain…, And, for talent-skits, we kept thinking you were missing it all, and all those silly renditions of, "Oh-Loo-Kwah, Tah-Goo, Siam…." But we had daily, radio broadcast reminders, of your progress….
MIKEE
(cognizes)
I forgot about radio! We had video and vid-links everywhere….
MOM
'Oh' Yes-- There are places in this world where radio, still, dominates the news-and-information spectrum.
MIKEE
(forgives)
I suppose that's like using your cellphone to read and send E-mail without vid-cam and photographs…
MOM
Something like that, I guess.
EXEUNT the main glass doors to--
EXT. FRONT PORCH, CURB - SUNSET (CONTINUOUS)
Planet Venus is high and bright. Dad has their new Riviera 2012 'Golden Space Odyssey' running ready at the curb…
MIKEE
(notices Venus)
That star sure is bright: What star is that?
They reach the curb and car,
MOM
Probably one of the planets, Venus,
(opens RF door)
Not Jupiter. And there have been no reports of local supernovae.
MIKEE
(opens RR door)
'Oh'….
MOM
(mothers and gets in)
Mikee, You've got to remember where you were going to know where you've been.
MIKEE
(gets in)
Yes-- sure, Mom…
INT. CAR - CURB, PARKING LOT (CONTINUOUS)
MIKEE (CONT'D)
(closes door)
Hi, Dad, I'll talk to you next--
(kneels-sits, looks back)
I have to think-about something…
DAD
(seriocomic)
Okay! Off we ride! Into the sunset!
(drives, 2 beats)
Of course, If we were to drive fast enough, we could turn it into a sun rise--
(a slow-grin beat)
Is that, anything like turning time backwards…
They all break-a-smile-and-giggle as we--
TRANSITION OUT--
EXT. REAR WINDOW - TO ACCESS ROAD WEST
As they DRIVE AWAY-- westward, into the DEEPENING SUNSET, Venus bright above, Mikee looking back…
SUPERIMPOSE: CREDITS ROLL
[NEWSANCHOR] (VO)
And NASA today, is again discussing retarding your clocks by occasional leap-hesits, sooner, instead of the traditional once-or-twice-a-year on June 30th, or December 31st, as the Earth's orbit ever changes speed by a tiny-fraction-of-a-day per year….
(disclaimer)
But if you're not launching rockets to Mars and your kitchen-timers are not set to the atomic-clock-website in Boulder Colorado… well-then this may not seem so important to you…
(half a beat)
But-- Government-time-keepers are-- always concerned…!
Voice trails-off…
(music -append- […]/[…]/[…] 4:51)
LIVE-hold till Credits run out…
FADE TO INFRARED AND OUT
THE END.
POSTLUDE:
(music - […]/[…]/[…] 4:17)

[credits] [game simulator] [sequel]


* 3D-IMAX (IMAX, not affiliated herein) 150+in. 3DTV.

* "To Boldly Go" (1992) was an in-tribute to the creator of StarTrek (1966 Paramount Pictures, not affiliated herein).

* Apollo Commanders (Ret.) are brief representative roles.

* "2010" (1984 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, not affiliated herein) implied the possibility of Jupiter nuclear-fusion.

* "Grand Fenwick" was a tiny country in "The Mouse That Roared" (1959 Open Road Films, not affiliated herein).

* Several quotes from the Holy Bible (1611 KJV).

* Buick Riviera was slated to resume production ca 2008…12.

* Soft Milk (1984) recipe-milk proposed for schoolchildren.


Screenwriter: Raymond Kenneth Petry
Strategic Director: Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry, Director, Sesquatercet
Registrar: Wision--Sesquatercet USA (division of Lanthus Corporation USA)
Recipient: project NEMO Nuclear Emergency Management Organization
Registered Owner: Lanthus Surrogate Executive Accessions Management

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 © 1997-2002,2006-2008,2011-2015 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry