[Wision--Sesquatercet USA ™ de facto trademark] Petry System Family Wision USA

presents

(a spec'script)

MOUSE ON THE HORIZON
(Comeback Mouse in Uproar Bit)

a romantic engineered comedy, PG

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

The Mouse That Roared, roars back to orbit,
hitching its waggin' to its brightest star.

(a division of Lanthus Corporation)

[index][screenplay][music][sets&settings][budget][prospectus][roles]
[feature] Cold War was the dish best served with chutzpah. But it's colder and funnier when the tiny duchy of Gran Fenwijk restarts the space race for international prestige by building the world's first nuclear powered skyhook and a traditional spinning roulette-wheel space-hotel at MEO; hires a headwaitress and invites the world's Presidents for its Grand Opening-Up and marriage-made-in-heaven finale... A light-hearted real-science satire. "This time the mouse captures all the world's big cheeses."
This is by design a Hollywood pro forma story expanding one science theory: the efficiency of a nuclear powered skyhook to MEO (middle Earth orbit) on 1/20th the length of a GEO (geosynchronous) elevator cable-- the expansion is what a little motive and effort might thereby accomplish.
[Music specified in this screenplay is the Strategic Director's selection]

screenplay script

"MOUSE ON THE HORIZON"
Story and screenplay
by
Raymond Kenneth Petry
(Based on the sci-fi concept of a spacehook)
SesQuaTercet@Lanthus.net
% Honolulu HI 96830-7250
REG. # WS-6CBMOUSE-1 (2013 Lanthus Registrar)
FADE IN: BLACK (ROOM ECHO)
NARRATOR MALE (POV)
(silky European)
Back in the old days, when the cold war was … cold … A tiny country, no bigger than a thumbnail sketch of a postage stamp, played the prominent role, for world-wide… peace …
TRANSITION: DOFF BLACK GOGGLES (SOUND FIRST)
INT. SECURITIES EXCHANGE FLOOR - "09:59" - STARK FLOODS
Peruke-headed INVESTORS AND MAVERICKS are screaming at each other, at overhead display monitors, at flashing financial boards, at RCA'S DOG, bidding on space stations and nuclear reactors at pennies-on-the-dollar, lamenting losses by tens of billions, as the US Dollar market collapses AD LIB …
Narrator IN WHITE, midroom, inspects the Black Goggles;
A MOMENT OF SERENDIPITOUS HARMONIC CONVERGENCE … RACKS-OUT…
MARKET BELL RINGS "10:00" … They call it quits: STOW WALLS, open windows, bring out lounge furniture … and play senile card games while old movies [preachers] play the overhead monitors: It's Sunday morning teatime in--
COMPLETE:
INT. SAME FURNISHED: GRAN FENWIJK PALACE - SUNNY MIDMORNING
Stylish modernized-medieval; Q-Bowl trophies adorn a mantel; near-live portraits of Great-Gran Duchesses adorn the walls;
Windows and front door open, birds chirping, light breezes rustle the trees; An F-23 swings lazily across the field, trailing crop-dust, gradually turning-in to land; BACKYARD KITTY CATS MEOW (OS) happily orchestrated in play …
Outside the picture-window, lowering inch-by-inch dangling from his rope, is the Royal WINDOW WASHER: squeegee'ing…
Biggish oldish DUCHESS in bright lipstick entertains older PROFESSOR et al; a MATRON dustmops near-b.g.…
They speak-up as the F-23 aligns to final-glide-in,--
PROFESSOR
(eruditing to Duchess)
…to economic retro-scalation in a peri-recessional U.S. dollar re-inflationating era…
Aligned, F-23 LAUNCHES a SIDEWINDER MISSILE, and a SECOND…
And a THIRD and a FOURTH, ROARING-IN …
Passing beyond THE WINDOW, to the backyard woodshed (OS)--
DOUBLE BLASTS! FLAMING sawdust and flipping woodchops, but everybody blinks no more than thrice…
REPEAT BLASTS! FLAMING sawdust, flipping woodchops, and--
Kitty cats LIKE WAVERING SIRENS tumbleweed past the door.
And FATTEST CAT, -and BARKING DOG,- tumbleweed-by…
DUCHESS
(erudite)
He's such a man, -my son:- the only F-23 pilot in the world:-- There are no others like him, you know!
SQUEEEEEE…! SQUEEEEEE…! The Window Washer is pendulating;
PROFESSOR
(nodding-leaning to hear)
Yes, ma'am.
F-23 swoops-in, finally to land …
DUCHESS
Every day he practices in his F-23,
(compelling)
And every day -by flying his F-23,- Alone, He is singlehandedly drawing our little country, Forward,-- To technological heights, Unforeseen…!
PROFESSOR
Yes, ma'am.
F-23 pitched nose high touches rear-down: WHEELS SQUEAL…!
DUCHESS
I have been trying desperately to remedy this, But I haven't found the just-right woman -yet;- But I won't give up: You, know, that!
PROFESSOR
Yes, ma'am.
DUCHESS
A pity, your daughter eloped with that billionaire winemaker from Napa Valley: We have such a brain-drain problem in our little country, It's driving us zonkers!
F-23 still roaring, nearing, as its nose settles…
PROFESSOR
(grins, louder)
Yes, ma'am!- But she is, his legal sister.
DUCHESS
(sighs)
Yes,-- nevertheless….
Nonchalantly simultaneously everyone takes a sip…
F-23 ENGINES WHINE DOWN as it rolls to the front walkway …
AT THE FRONT DOOR - (MOMENT LATER)
Matron shakes out her WAGGLING DUSTMOP in the doorway, the breeze blowing away a CLOUD OF DUST; removing just before--
SON enters, the tall handsome oldish-but-unmarried one-jet-airforce pilot, in fanciful jet-pilot gear, doffing jalopy-eye-goggles, his face unrecognizably dusted-- 'Pff'ing his lips and wiping, as he approaches;--
DUCHESS
(literary stoic to Son)
Captain… Sky-Hook,-- I presume…
SON
(equivalently to Mother)
The Duchess, of… 'FF… Gran Fenwijk,-- I presume… PFF'…
POV: Professor: Duchess and Son smile-to-smile and lean puckered to kiss as BUTLER INTERPOSES a tray of cookies--
BUTLER (INTERPOSED)
(BENDS TO POV)
Hors d'oeuvres, sire?
His rump decorously hides the KISS SMACKING…
PROFESSOR (POV)
(samples a cookie)
A revelatory thought…!--
(CRUNCHES, takes five)
Why didn't I think of this sooner?- This may exceed all expectations--!
BUTLER
Yes, sire: They are made with the very best of ingredients.
He MOVES-ON CLEAR … The Duchess has dust-DARKENED LIPS:
DUCHESS (MCU)
(resolute to Son)
I've, 'FF, been discussing with our Professor'F, how we might increas'P gross national revenues,- to help'F p'ay for your 'FF'military fP'light p'ractice shhedules … 'pff.
SON (MCU)
(wipes lipsticked cheeks)
'Awww, Mahh'-- We'F get enough free fuel'P and Sidewinder missiles from P'America, for target pF'ractice on the wood shed out back…. F'It's the cost of the woodshed wood, that we can't a'F'F'ord, since the Russians cut-back on their foreign economics pF'olicy lumber'P support, 'ff.
PROFESSOR
(envisions-puzzles)
Sky-- hooky!
DUCHESS
Those Russians are always, cutting back, 'ff; on everything… p'…
PROFESSOR
(ponders-bemused)
Sky-- hooker!
DUCHESS
(snide)
They're even cutting back, 'ff, on cutting back!- 'PFF!
PROFESSOR
(snickery-guffaw)
Sky-- hookah…!
SON
(defends)
Ma, You can't fault the P'Russians: They did offer to replace the wood shed with a new'F aluminum woodshed for free'P: as often as we need…!
PROFESSOR
This, must, be the answer…!
DUCHESS
(compels)
My son: P'Think about what you are telling your dear mother: What, is, an, aluminum-wood, shed?!-- 'PPPF!
SON
(pauses, humbly)
Well, -Ma,- I guess, I don't really know'F: It seemed… a good idea F'at the time…. Maybe something got lost in the translation: We don't speech good American FF'English very well: N'even with the Professor's all-touristic tutoring sessions;- And we've had fifty-tens of those! 'ff.
Duchess' DUCH-AIDE (shortish sturdy lass) approaches…
DUCHESS
(pats his hand or arm)
Don't worry, Captain: We'll get more money from the Americans… 'FF, And we'll replace your real, wood, shed;- I'm sure the Professor can think of a good plan… 'ffp.
PROFESSOR
(concludes brilliant)
Sky-- hook: It's really brilliant! It will, work!
SON
What will work?- 'F--?
PROFESSOR
(magic stars in eyes)
Poof!-- The sky-hook: We can beat the world into orbit with our own space-hotel!
DUCH-AIDE
(directly)
Madam: I must bring this to your attention at once--!
While Professor SKETCHES Earth-orbital-skyhooks for Son and OTHERS coming by at leisure AD LIB, Duch-Aide shows Duchess a scandalous magazine article, in plainful English:
DUCH-AIDE
(points in magazine)
It says here-- You and that charlie prince and princess of England were photographed together at the Limpic Games…. But, according to your itinerary log, --which we keep ten-years, on your three-gigabyte four-gigahertz Plentium Five,-- You were not, all together, in any, event!
DUCHESS
Well… that's just the way the plain-English say it.
DUCH-AIDE
(bothered)
Say what…!?
DUCHESS
(interdigitates)
They photo-graphed us together: The magazine's Photography Editor, did.
DUCH-AIDE
(emphasizes restrainedly)
This is typical of this sort of magazine we've allowed in this country!
DUCHESS
(helplessly exasperates)
Well, it's not like I'm the Queen herself'ff'ff'ff'pff!
She dainty-wipes her lips.
DUCH-AIDE
(wanders away grousing)
I wonder why they don't just call it, the U-Q: United Queen-dom!
Son EXITS; Professor and others rejoin Duchess,--
PROFESSOR
(imposes)
Well, my Duchess: We've got viable plans in research and development, But, we'll need your F-23, for the Gran Fenwijk Space Station program.
FAST
(explains)
There's no more money from the U.S.A. for going to the moon: It's all orbital now.
SLOW
(confides emotely)
It is all kind of moldy green, now.
FAST
U.S.A. money!?
SLOW
No… The moon-- green cheese-- does not last forever.
PATHOS
(generating angst)
We must now build space stations if we are to compete for international U.S.A. financial support!-- This is the trend of the future!
DUCHESS
Oh, dear me: What are we going to do in outerspace orbits these days?
SLOW
Are we going to throw-up in space-bags, for scientific, analyses?
FAST
We did that when we cartwheeled the 7-37 at Cervantes' Christmas party.
PROFESSOR
It is for a good cause, madam.
DUCHESS
Yes: I perceive that,-- but my Son may not approve: He loves that jet-plane almost as much as he should love a woman:- He even talks to it!
CUT TO:
EXT. F-23 - Florida Atlantic coast, FAST - CLOUDY MIDDAY
COLLAGE: Son flies Duchess in his F-23, to Florida for a NASA interview: She's more modern than Duchess Gran-Mother, outfitted in F-23 copilot headgear and parachute cords…
And barf-bags: She toys with the thought of exploding a barf-bag, Inflates it with a serious huff… And practice-swings to blow it -grinning-… then JUST TO BAG BURST--!
FREEZE BURST TO:
EXT. F-23 PASSES - (SNAP CONTINUOUS)
SONIC BOOM! And ROARS onward into the far distance …
CUT TO:
INT. NASA ROCKETRY HANGAR, FLORIDA - WALK-THOUGH MEETING
CHIEF, Duchess outfitted in F-23 jumpsuit, headgear undone, Son in a sharp Russian business-suit, stroll, and re-haggle over the Gran Fenwijk space-satellite launch deal:--
DUCHESS
(to Chief)
But we can't afford a geostationary orbit, so we're paying for a Middle Earth Orbit:- Your astronomers call that, MEO… It is more lower, and more to our liking…
(irks)
… though it sounds like a kitty cat on a hot Russian aluminum woodshed.
CHIEF
(nods)
But below GEO you won't have your satellite overhead allday: MEO gets you two hours per pass and requires expensive tracking antennae.
DUCHESS
Our Professor Emeritus says it must orbit exactly, every two hours, and avoid the big Brazilian Anomaly…
(concurrent samba jig)
We need it for communications-ing with foreign nations overboard the horizon, too.
CHIEF
(a beat unsure)
The, South Atlantic, Anomaly…?
DUCHESS
(amid jig)
Yes, I suppose you Americans should call it that. Besides, The Russians sent your retired engineer to dine on the International Space Station: You shouldn't refuse our Professor Emeritus's space-satellite launch!
CHIEF
(reassures, measured)
We just want you to get the best for your money, Ma'am.
DUCHESS
(jigs into exasperation)
Well, it is only American money,- We don't use it in our country: It inflates and deflates too fast for our Senior Sunday Investors Board Games:- Why, Do you realize that last Sunday morning, they nearly foreclosed on America, altogether?!
CHIEF
(smirks)
Oh: That would appear dire.
They continue-on AD LIB strolling in the b.g.…
PULL BACK TO:
INT. SATELLITE PREP AREA - (ADJACENT F.G.)
HARRY, JIM, in white jumpsuits, inspect 3 brassy satellite modules 18 m x 4.5 m dia., 2 semiterete like soda-bottles tapered to a linear motor hanging a bottlecap-like docking Aeroglider by black 1cm braid 1Km long, and dangling UHF antenna halo-atoms, for Gran Fenwijk…
JIM
(TAP-TAPS A CANISTER)
Harry: I don't understand what they think they're doing: This is not, gold plating:- This is brass….
HARRY
(calm)
That agrees with the documentation?
JIM
(rechecks invoices)
… the color-spec., yes: But that doesn't mean the documentation is right: These are shipping doc's,- not design-specs.
HARRY
(drolly calm)
Close enough, for government work.
JIM
(handles suspicious)
Well, consider this, too: The three packages, thirty tons each, consist of brassilated aluminum, -scrap I'd estimate:- two semiterete canisters of borazine-carbide nanofiber, each over a thousand miles of centimeter braid with a bottle-cap tied to the end; one nuclear-powered zirconium-thermopile; and various electronics packages around the canister ends:- This is supposed to be a computoric radio communications satellite: But I don't find, E-H-F, S-H-F, X, nor, K-U, band horns,- nor even a U-H-F bow-tie unless it's these Christmas trimmings…. Then: We're suppose to bolt these three together in space, and push it to MEO:--
(palms, summarizes)
It's just a chunk of metal and two very long strings;- something a big kitty-cat would play-with…
(cursory, inspects)
What kind of country puts-up a 45-Hertz A-M radio V-L-F dipole whip-antenna, that belongs on a push-me-pull-you submarine…?!
(head inside, HOLLOW)
I think I've found a germanium tube-diode, Harry!
HARRY
(dryly)
Nothing suspicious about that: The first U.S.A. MILSTAR went up with a ton of aluminum ballast;-- And the Space Shuttle frequently runs long-line electro-magnetic experiments:- Sounds very government high-tech…!
JIM
(disbelief)
Okay,-- Harry:
(head-out direct)
I'll sign: If you, sign.
HARRY
(shakes ballpen, samples)
Sure, Jim: What type blood are you using? A? B? A-B? Oh?
JIM (CU)
(ear to a canister)
I think, it may be a global nuclear aardvark: a pregnant double-header!
FADE TO:
INT. F-23, LEVEL EASTWARD - OPEN SKY 10 MI. HIGH - MIDDAY
Space-launch high-technology 1200 mph: Pilot Son and younger brother COPILOT in thick white-gold spacesuits, auto-seeking the elevator bottom connection. (Timed to the music of, Castles In The Sky, with Marsha):
SON
(jovial wagging)
… Or so she insists,- which is all-right-enough by me: if she'll agree to it…
COPILOT
(military abruptly)
I have hole-echo:-- Range: five kilometers; Bearing: one-o'clock; passing now; E-T-A 15-hesits.
SON
(back to business)
O-kaaay…
Flips button:-- HUD COMES UP. Tenders stick.
SON
(a beat)
HUD is up.
(00:00 clash, alternating)
COPILOT
Hole velocity: 1-point-3-K; V-rel-95; Decel: 14-per-per; Ballast: 12-per: You can dump half a tad,- but you're Right On…. E-T-A 7-hesits.
HUD RETICULE finds Target high, coming down right…
SON
I have hole-acquisition:
(switches Tracker On)
Locking target-tracker.
AUTO-TRACKING: HUD reticule gradually centers;
SON
(and checks back-above)
Auto-dock extending …
(00:14 whistle droop)
TOP OF F-23: DOCKING MECHANISM extends… 3 sec.
(00:17)
SON
(resumes foreview)
Tracking is green: Auto-celeration… I have visual.
ELEVATOR-AEROGLIDER approaches ahead, settling centered…
COPILOT
E-T-A 3-hesits…
(1 sec. beat)
2-hesits…
(00:23 whistle rise)
Docking MATING-TAG overhead… 3 sec.
SON
(watches above again)
… Mine … Mine … Mine …
CLANKY catch… a pair of CLAMPS CLUNK… BOLTS MOTOR 1 sec.
(00:28 lull, 'ahh', words)
COPILOT
(checks each item)
Hole-capture… is confirmed! Clamps are… Green, and… Green!
He UNLOCKS a 'TEST' TOGGLE and pushes its big red button--
THOONK!--THOONK! A ROOMSHAKER of a breakaway test.
COPILOT
(continues)
Breakaway tests at 3-point-5 gees; Telemetry is Lock-On: Download is good: Go f'rit, guy!
SON
Going to burners.
(triggers Afterburner)
AFTERBURNERS ROAR! F-23 JUMPS 6-IN. FORWARD SHIVERING…
(00:41 plunky)
HUD: MACH-SPEEDOMETER ramps up… 9 sec.
REDLINES "2.5" 1650 mph.
(00:50 louder)
SON
Redlining, mach 2-point-5.
(00:52 clanky)
COPILOT
Sky-hooker is high-tail: 8-hesits, to Ro-Torbit.
(00:55 twangy, horny, snare roll)
EXT. HIGH OPEN SKY, LOOKING WEST - F-23 COMES
Streaks-in silent before its exhaust plume… 1.4 mi./3 sec.
(00:58 key step down)
FLASHES BY-- SONIC BOOM, and ROARS a streak into the distance, AFTERBURNERS TRAILING SOOT… 1.8 mi./4 sec.
(01:02 snare loud)
INT. F-23 - OPEN SKY EASTWARD
Elevator cable is taut-back-20-deg. to the sky;
COPILOT
3-hesits to Ro-Torbit.
Son scouts sky ahead, and up…
(01:05 descender)
COPILOT
2-hesits…
Son braces settledly…
(01:07 clashes)
COPILOT
(1 sec. pace)
One hesit…
Point-five…
(CONCUR.)
Ro-Torbit!
SON (SIMULTANEOUS)
(gently pulls stick)
Ro-Torbit.
(01:09 clear exhilaration)
F-23 gradually swings up… 15 deg./15 sec.
COPILOT
(monitors)
Altitude: 16-kilometers; Rotation pulling two gees at five degrees: Cable, half a gee…
(1 sec. beat)
Cable at one gee…
(1 sec. beat)
Cable at two gees…
(1 sec. beat)
2-point-5 gees…
(1 sec. beat)
2-point-8 gees; 17-kilometers…
CUT TO:
EXT. F-23 COMING UP 30 DEG. 15 MI. FROM EARTH DAYSIDE
The exhaust plume billows large in the thin air; the deep blue sky darkens to black as they ride the space elevator cable up and slightly more forward faster… 4 sec.
CLOSE ON: CANOPY WINDSHIELD, STARK SUN GLARE
COPILOT (VO)
(1.5 sec. pace)
22…
23…
24…
25-kilometers…
Helmet FACEPLATES DARKEN to astronaut-chic black-gold.
(01:36 lull)
Exhaust PLUME DISSIPATES… 3 sec.
(01:39 snare roll)
SILENCE but a faint slowly rising cable-harmonic chord…
SON (VO)
Engines, off: Flame-out.
COPILOT (VO)
Cable steady at 3-point-3 gees…
(relaxes)
Sit back… and, enjoy, the hoist!
(01:43 alternating)
INT. F-23
COPILOT (OC)
(3 beats)
'Mmm' this smells de-licious: Roast rack of lamb with quince-mint jelly and buttered yam soufflettes….
SON
(hooks up table-bib)
Serve it up, already.
(01:56 whistle down)
Copilot forwards a spacey-royal GOLDEN serving capsule; and they take-in the gourmet-half of space launch …
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. F-23 HEAD-DOWN - 1000 MI. MEO ORBIT - (2 HOURS LATER)
(02:10 plunky)
The cable taut forward-down; Son finishes a creamsicle.
INT. F-23 EASTWARD - INVERTED EARTH OVERHEAD
Son wipes-up … and stows his table-bib and capsule…
COPILOT
(finishing a slurpy)
Range 2-kilometers… 3-grads… 4-o'clock… E-T-A 20-hesits… Reeling ballast 2-20-per… slowing…
Cable up 45 deg; Son searches the stars directly ahead …
(02:30 progression)
A never-before-seen space-hotel building site is out here:
(02:35)
SON (POV)
I see it!- It's beautiful!
(02:38 exhilaration)
SUNGLINTS a mile ahead: The Construction Site …
F-23 passes a slowly tumbling card-PLAQUE: "M.E.O. POP. 0",
And a Gran Fenwijk SPACE-FLAG stiffly unfurled,
And a SIGN:
"CONSTRUCTION SITE / FUTURE HOTEL GRAN MEO / WELCOME"
VERNIERS: To align the final approach … slowing …
Crawling past the marker buoy:
"HOTEL / GROUND / ZERO"
FULL STOP at the second marker buoy:
"FREIGHT / TERMINAL / UNLOAD"
(03:02 no voice)
COPILOT
Full stop: confirmed. 15-minutes: cable unreeling.
SON
Let's do this in five: Opening bay.
EXT. HOTEL CONSTRUCTION SITE - F-23 AT FREIGHT BUOY
F-23 missile bays open … and release freight and equipments as VERNIERS SPURT: Backing slowly away …
(03:29 fade … 03:33 end)
CUT TO:
INT. DUCHESS OFFICE - BRIGHT DAY (OPEN WINDOW)
F-23 lands in the b.g. Duchess businessly types at her Internet desk PC:
DUCHESS
(typing musically bouncy)
"Lee-dah-dee… lee-dah-dee…" Boom-- boom-- boom-- boom!
Professor peeks-in at the door--
PROFESSOR
My dear Duchess:
She quick-waves him in, momentarily typing one-handedly.
PROFESSOR
(smiles, enters)
I am pleased to report Gran Fenwijk's second, first, in outer space: Successful docking procedure has been completed with the F-23 at the Hotel MEO Construction Site, and we are ready for phase three, uup-loading one-thousand tonnes of hotel construction supplies and equipment, and training and uup-sending the construction crews: We are, on-shhedule.
DUCHESS
My dear professor, this is indeed wonderful news-- and I, too, have good news: I have a new plan, for rectifying our infamous female paucity here in Gran Fenwijk: We, are advertising for a waitress, on the Internet worldwide-web: I have completed and posted a job-description for the perfect waitress at monster-jobs-online!
PROFESSOR
(nodding)
Yes-- yes, madam: I will inform your son, we are go for go-- and prepare my lecture for the construction crews: We must begin final instructions at once.
FADE TO: (SOUND FIRST)
INT. QUAINT ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM - LIT, EVENING MOONSET
GAVEL ON WOOD-- KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
The roomful of fifty, quiets down to begin their lesson…
PROFESSOR
(liked that sound-button)
Good evening: Tonight's class will learn all you need to know, about building a hotel, in outer space:
Professor explains studio-quality large-screen, time-scaled 3-D CARTOONS at his PC: How to build an outerspace Hotel at MEO: a spinning roulette-wheel…. (His CLICK-STICK actuates, freezes, expands, enters, grabs-- each item, for its views-and-actions-preconfigured manipulated by tap, hold, click):
TAP-holds HOTEL: Hotel-centric view expands and slows spin;
PROFESSOR
The hotel is a wheel, one-hundred meters in diameter, twenty meters wide, with a hollow hub for docking the F-23 and ferry-tugs bringing visitors from Russian and American Space Shuttles…. Sides are whipple-plated but because it rolls on its orbit, spinning twice per minute…
CLICK-drags its RIM: Tilts-turns,
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
…it needs whipple-armor only on its tire tread…
(exuberates)
This is so, inexpensive, by modern space-station-building standards, I've really surprised myself: They will have to award me, the Nobel Peace Prize, in spaci'oteliery…!
TAPS GONDOLA Elevator: Actuates its car-up-down-cycle;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
(grand)
We have four scenic guest-elevators each side, north and south; running goggle-eye gondolas from the hub to the perimeter, -That's up and down in artificial gravity;- Also there are dumbwaiters, for crews inside.
Loops over Hotel face,
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
Guest rooms are north face and south side, on every floor.
Holds-CLICKS a WINDOW: Expands to CU… Enters a Bedroom;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
Every room has double space-bubble view-windows; efficient panelescent lighting; fine air-furniture; and, wall-closet space… And a door…
Tap-CLICKS inner DOOR: Opens, Enters a Corridor;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
A corridor runs each circumference.
ANY#1
(inserts)
Will we charge more for rooms with northern exposure, than southside?
PROFESSOR
I suppose that is a good idea: Yes, It makes visitors feel important….
ANY#2
When do we eat?
PROFESSOR
(to wristwatch)
About, an hour.
ANY#2
(revises)
I mean: Uup there.
Points to a group of SIGNS,
PROFESSOR
(nods)
We are giving that top-priority:-
CLICKS Kitchen SIGN: Jumps to a Kitchen;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
Two kitchens will be built over the two main public diningrooms on the perimeter. A staff kitchenette will be built first in the offices along
CLICKS Office SIGN: Jumps to the main Office;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
… the central axle; The Duchess has ordered a headwaitress on her royal Internet debitcard…. And meanwhile, the royal Pilot will take you up by two's, with extra rations:
TAPS OUTER SPACE: Steadies the cosmic frame;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
You will remain uup-space, building Gran Fenwijk's Hotel Gran MEO, for three months, in shingled shifts….
(addressing them)
The Hotel will fly, or more exactly levitate, in orbit, one-thousand miles above the Earth, or sixteen-hundred-and-nine kilometers…
ANY#3
(hand up! smiles)
I know that!
PROFESSOR
(smiles broadly)
You pass! And for extra credit: Did you know that the orbiting station is not, really, free-falling…?
(looks about)
Anybody…?
All didn't know.
PROFESSOR
(hand-libration)
The reason is: Falling, requires a decrease in altitude-- but there is none: The station in orbit rises just as fast as it falls: It is, in proper English, librating: slowly vacillating through inequalities in the local gravity below.
SOME ODD
(undertoned to any)
I thought that was when you use petroleum jelly.
ANY#4
(hand up)
Can we call it, free-peaking?
Rapid clipped, hands rising and falling--
ANOTHER-1
Free-topping!
ANOTHER#2
Free-throwing!
ANOTHER#3
Free-loading!
ANOTHER#4
Free-weighing!
ANOTHER#5
Free-wheeling!
ANOTHER#6
Free-swinging!
ANOTHER#7
Free-cresting!
All, clamorous claps "Here, Here!"
PROFESSOR
I suppose we can, at that,-- yes.
TAPS ORBIT: Rescales orbit-speed to teach-time;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
(brightens)
Orbit velocity is fifteen-thousand-seven-hundred-and-thirty-four miles per hour: Which means at the bottom
TAPS Earth ATMOSPHERE: Slowspeed Earth rotation;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
of the elevator cable the F-23 will pull 4-point-1 gees vertical…
TAP-holds F-23: Expands on the F-23;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
…acceleration: Three-point-one gees of crack-the-whip, plus Earth's own one gee, less the elasticity of the
Tap-CLICKS F-23 TOP: Actuates its ascent-rotation-to-space;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
cable … You reduce gees by flying super-scram rotation just before those big gees hit … And once you pendulate to the altitude of the space-hotel fifteen-minutes later, the deceleration due to gravity will have diminished your ascent vertical velocity to zero … The elevator cable then guides you to the hotel within one orbit. It's a nice scenic two-hour ride.
SOMEONE
(hand up)
Does, Gee, mean, gravity?
PROFESSOR
Only if it refers to Earth's ground level or why the lake doesn't tilt: Gravity itself is not constant with elevation, or other planets.
SOMEONE
Does, Gee, mean, ground?
PROFESSOR
Gee, means, geo,- another name for Earth; as in geology and geography.
SOMEONE
Geeee… that's like G-cubed….
SMART
(hand up)
How do we avoid getting belted by the Christofilos Radiation?
SEMI-SMART
You mean the Vanillin Belt?
PROFESSOR
(corrects both)
Actually, Van Allen, un,-discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belt around our planet, when his Geiger-Mueller counter shorted and ceased counting radiation…. Your question is a good one and highly technical: I'll give you the thirty-second explanation:-
Keys-up CARTOON: Mu-glass section repels charge-particles;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
Exterior surfaces are made of high-tesla mu-glass: its strong internal atomic magnetic field deflects most charged particles; it is a biweekly maintenance item. And Christophilos Radiation has minimalized since the U.S.A. and Russia ceased detonating
(and looks about)
atomic bombs in orbit, decades ago.
QUICK
(quiet)
That was short, for a thirty second explanation.
ADJACENT
(quiet back)
He's a Professor: He practices the same explanation, thirty-two times.
Quick has a look a Sure Befuddlement.
SMARTER
(hand up already)
When the elevator lifts a load of freight to orbit, Does the space-base fly lower?
PROFESSOR
Not for long,- And it has plenty of margin:-- It recovers most of its altitude when the F-23 comes down: Its regenerator program pulls, the F-23, back, which comes down faster than it went up,- and reentry will be westward, downhill. Meanwhile…
Tap-holds SPACE-BASE: Actuates its elevator-course-cycle, condensing to show it relative to its base orbiting Earth;
PROFESSOR
When the elevator has free time, it cycles an empty car … back down:--
TAPS AEROGLIDER: Gives an Aeroglider-centric view;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
Celestial mechanics, runs it ahead to its taut limit, where it liens, and swings down, pulling the space-base forward: sending it up higher! As the car nears bottom but before it enters the atmosphere …
TAPS SPACE-BASE again: Avoids the F-23 and draws up empty;
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
the space-base turns-on its nuclear power, and the elevator hoists the car back up: The energy-used, pumps its orbit: just like a school-child pumping a swing…
SMARTER
(open)
Why doesn't America do it this way?
FAST
Maybe they copied the Russians: You can't have a race, without copying, somebody, and throwing money at it!
SLOW
I am glad we have only to build a hotel in space: That is something we know how, to copy!
SON
(hand up)
Shall I remove the Sidewinders when transporting civilian passengers?
PROFESSOR
(mentors)
Best not:- The world is wide, young man: the dangers many; the remedies few.
ANYONE
Do we need to buy space-work-suits?
TAP-holds SUIT ICON: Enlarges view with diagram marks;
PROFESSOR
You will be provided the latest in spacesuit design, However, We could not get the seamstresses…
(embarrassed)
to sew-in… the… built-in…
(beat, flat)
You will need plastic diapers…!
DISSOLVE TO DAWN:
EXT. TAXIWAY - F-23 IDLING READY - DAWN WITH MORNING STARS
Son, Copilot, 2 WORKERS bulky in bunny suit ears and tails, all wearing thick white-gold spacesuits, flight gear, stand before Professor final-hand-checking their suits …
SON
(checks his space-watch)
We have time for two uploads today.
WORKER#1
(grins)
Just like Halloween.
PROFESSOR
(dour)
Different bags: different goblins….
WORKER#2
What's up, Doc?!- This is our first time outside the Garden of Fenwijk: We have to be prepared for whatever may be up there: Black holes, Alien space eggs, Andromeda strains, Dust bunnies, Radioactive E-CO-LI…
BOTH WORKERS
(mutual slow)
Hot Shiiii…
PROFESSOR
(interrupts)
Don't say it.
BOTH WORKERS
(snap to attention)
Yes. Sir.
PROFESSOR
(smiles to Pilots)
Third time's the charm.
COPILOT
(to Professor)
Thirtieth ton of freight this week.
PROFESSOR
Yes: You boys are super-efficient.
(finishes)
All ready!-- But, let's not get routine with the routine.
-ALL SUITED-
(at-ease)
Yes, sir.
They climb aboard … Workers sit cramped behind Copilot.
A FLAGGER, lantern in hand, guide-light-cone in the other, waits, watching … Backs away: clearing them for flight…
F-23 ENGINES START. They wave to Professor waving back.
REV UP … Turn, and taxi out to the runway, canopy closing…
INT. F-23 - ROLLING TOWARD THE RUNWAY - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Son, Copilot, busy with radio audio base acquisition…
SON
Everybody sitting tight?!
BOTH WORKERS
(flash a mutual smile)
Very.
SON
(reads checklist)
The Captain has ordered No Smoking: At this time you are asked to, Please, Extinguish all fumes…
BOTH WORKERS
Let's get on, with it.
SON
Easy does it: First-spacers' Rules:
(resumes)
You have space-bags should you need them: Do not attempt to explode the space-bags by hand: We will dispose of them properly in outer space….
EXT. RUNWAY EXIT END - DAWN'S RAYS TOUCH CASTLE TOWERS
In the distance, F-23 turns, aligns, REVS HARD and comes …
Passes the lake … And launches military-abruptly skyward…
CUT TO:
INT. F-23 LEVEL EASTWARD - OPEN SKY 10 MI. HIGH - INTO SUN
1200 MPH: Son, Copilot, are busy auto-seeking the elevator car; Workers, barf-bags-ready, expectant; HUD is up…
COPILOT
Hole-echo range: one kilometer, Bearing 12-o'clock, V-rel-90, Decel 15-per-per; Ballast 9-per; E-T-A 8-hesits.
HUD RETICULE finds Target high, coming down center…
SON
I have hole-acquisition:
(switches Tracker On)
Locking target-tracker.
AUTO-TRACKING: HUD reticule gradually centers;
SON
Auto-dock extending.
(checks back-above)
TOP OF F-23: DOCKING MECHANISM extends… 3 sec.
SON
(resumes foreview)
Tracking is green: Auto-celeration…
TCAS BLARES ALARM! FLASHING RED! He checks--
TCAS Radar shows a reflection entering their agility-cone.
SON
Redlight on T-CAS:-- Aborting to Fenwijk.
Adjusting his stick-- DROPS ALTITUDE ABRUPTLY banked left…
A moment of stunned disappointment for the Workers …
COPILOT
Got it, on Navigation: Was 15-miles ahead,- directly in our path.
SON
Safety first, men: That was T-CAS, Collision-Avoidance: Something up-ahead wasn't ours: probably a stray commercial flight. We'll take you up next-aperture, in eight hours.
WORKER#1
(snide to #2)
Spaceflight holdovers are getting to be habitual with this spaceline.
WORKER#2
(equally)
They should give us free lunch, and limousine service to a siesta.
CUT TO:
INT. INDIA AIR 747 PILOT CABIN, FLIGHT 910 - AIRSPACE-AHEAD
CAPTAIN dips a French Dip; SECOND-Captain monitors ahead …
TCAS-4 ALARM! BOGEY: 9 mi. behind approaching hyper fast:--
SECOND
(fingers Radar Bogey)
Wow: This is twelve-hundred knots!?
Teeth locked, Dip dangles, Lips barely talk off the crust:
CAPTAIN
(full endbite, glances)
Military, hot pursuit--!
(touches overhead panels)
Recheck Friendly and I-nertial: Do we have more than one trace…?!
SECOND
(busy, reviews again)
I see one bogey coming up our left; Second was behind, But gone now.
CAPTAIN
(chews, reading panels)
Friendly's up. Flight path is firm:
(peers out left)
Sure hope Friendly is transmitting our Zippity-doo-dah-bluebird song.
SECOND (OC)
(keys radio)
Control-7-4-7: This is Flight-9-10…
(doublet note of Castles)
FRAME IMAGE-CAPTURE: THE EMPTY AEROGLIDER flashes forward over the left wing… and onward yanks up for outer space.
SECOND (OC)
(saw it)
Holy… What was… That--?!
CAPTAIN
(still watching it)
No jet, I've ever seen!
[ATC] (FILTERED)
Come-again, Flight-9-10. This is Control-7-4-7: Please, repeat.
SECOND (OC)
(keys, uneasy gigglish)
This is Flight-9-10, Control-7-4-7: We have a bogey, -repeat- -bogey:- probably unknown military…. Over.
[ATC] (FILTERED)
Roger Flight-9-10: You have an unknown military bogey…
(a beat)
You mean, a U-F-O…!?
SECOND
(mind-wiped smile)
Roger that, Control-7-4-7: U-F-O.
[ATC] (BG:FILTERED)
(awed to aside)
They've, Got, an Airforce, Bogey!
[2ND-ATC] (BG:FILTERED)
Too bad. Tell the Captain to wave, smile, and raise their handicap.
CUT TO:
INT. GRAN FENWIJK PALACE - CAFETERIA - EARLY NOON
Professor, over lunch at his laptop, computes space-base-elevator parameters; Son, Copilot, eat over his shoulders…
Same Workers return barf-bags half-full to the next table … Sit, Triple huff into the bags, And pop them,-- Lunch items fall-out onto the table,-- They grin mutually, and eat…
CLICKS SPACE-BASE: Actuates its elevator-course-cycle, condensing to show it relative to its base orbiting Earth, while CELESTIAL PARAMETER NUMBERS explain it all …
PROFESSOR
It's either a calculation anomaly in theory or an error in the Swing shift programming:-- nasty stuff: I ponder whether cosmic radiation…
(points to cycle bottom)
It came down too low, -here:- all the way into the atmosphere: like it was going to connect…. It's not supposed to do that on Swing-By.
SON
I'd already called the Aeroglider, before T-CAS spotted something…
PROFESSOR
(relaxes)
Oh: That's choice;- Alas, it's the one drawback in a system like this: A program must commit to each task, else it wastes energy….
(programs new tack)
I think, I can adjust it to pull-up a little sooner, in an abort like that… always nice to have a system in perfect tweak: Murphy's Law, you know: 'Any adjustable setting is always out-of-adjustment'.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HIGH OPEN SKY, WEST - F-23 COMES - LATE AFTERNOON
(00:55 -begin- twangy, horny, snare roll)
Rushes-in silent before its exhaust plume… 1.4 mi./3 sec.
(00:58 key step down)
EXT. F-23 - CANOPY (CLOSE)
ONE-SHOT: Son, Copilot, routinely busy; the same Workers, barf-bags-ready for Ro-Torbit, yawning blearily.
FLASHES BY-- SONIC BOOM, and ROARS ahead far, AFTERBURNERS PLUMING, its sky-cable taut-up… 3 sec./1.4 mi.
(01:02 snare loud)
CUT DOWN TO:
EXT. GROUND (POV) - SKY VIEW, TREE TOPS - F-23 AT 50K FT.
A tiny jet high overhead swiftly leads its sky-long EXHAUST TRAIL, its PLUME-HEAD BLOOMING like a comet… 15 deg./5 sec.
(01:07 clashes -fade out-)
PINCH CUT TO:
EXT. HOTEL MEO - SPACE ORBIT - STARK SUNLIT
SUPERIMPOSE:
"300 DAYS LATER"
Unpainted final construction, slow-rolling; F-23, Elevator-car attached, its unloaded freight at the buoy …
EXT. F-23
Son, Copilot, in their spacesuits, seal the canopy…
And sequence-up for the deorbit trip…
COPILOT (VO)
Twelve-minute unload is good time,- with both freight, and, passengers.
SON (VO)
Let's go home;-- take tomorrow off: I'd like to do some small-fishing.
F-23 VERNIERS backward-and-down with the Elevator-car…
ROLLS to inverted and turns about…
And THRUSTS LONG to get away for deorbit … far away…
The Hotel recedes to miles ahead, slightly above…
EXT. F-23, TOWING CABLE - ORBIT (SUCCESSIVE HOUR LAPSES)
MONTAGE SEQUENCE: Leaving the emptiness, far, far behind…
The CABLE YANKS long-taut: F-23 at its 1000-mi. lead--
And begins descending… toward vertical far below …
MONTAGE SEQUENCE: Closer and closer to Earth …
CUT TO:
INT. F-23 - 200 MI. ABOVE WEST FRANCE - LATE MORNING
Hanging on its near-vertical cable descending the last 200 mi. presently 1000 mph slowing; they're enjoying the ride:
FAINT ALARM: Radar Detecting-And-Ranging an incoming…
COPILOT
(wags)
42 bottles of borsch on the wall-- 42 bottles of borsch; Take one down, pass it around: 41 bottles…
SON
(interrupts, listening)
Do you hear an alarum?- I think I'm hearing an alarum: It's very faint.
COPILOT
(looks about panels)
No:-- You can't hear sound in outer space, unless your helmet is On.
SON
Well, Something sounds like alarum!
COPILOT
Might be sound from the auxiliary power unit conducting through the seat or arm rest…
Son cocks his helmet against a panel,--
OMNI-RADAR-ALARM BLARES (FILTERED), shattering his peace:--
SON
(looks out-about)
It's the Omni-Radar!
COPILOT
(sees on his panel)
I have it on Navigation coming down behind twelve-o'clock, Huge! E-T-A: 20 hesits!- at three hundred miles!
Son leans his stick: F-23 LEANS AND VERNIERS sideways;
SON
(military tenor)
No main stick yet--! We're heading straight for trouble!
COPILOT
(addendums)
Or vice versus…!
SON
Get me thrust--! I need a course away from here!
COPILOT
(equivalent tenor)
Can't--! We're still hanging high on the elevator cable!
SON
(flips button, panics)
I'm firing a Sidewinder!
(selects Target)
SIDEWINDER GROWLS…
SON
(triggers launch)
Away!
Sidewinder LAUNCHES, BARKING away, and around to rearward…
TRANSITION: SWING OUT FOR PURE ENJOYMENT--
EXT. F-23 CANOPY - SIDEWINDER ROCKETING-RECEDING REARWARD
Exhaust blooms away … to dimmer in the far rear distance …
They peer back for any view of whatever is far back there …
Distant-rearward a HUGE RADIANT EXPLOSION in space,--
SON (VO)
(to rear view)
Aye, chee, wa-wa…!
COPILOT (VO)
(checks monitors)
Still has a footprint …
(a beat, calmer)
You speak Spanish on this occasion?
SON (VO)
(half distracted)
Yeah… Great-Great Gran'ma Duchess, -bless her soul,- taught me three Spanish-American phrases.
INT. F-23 - (CONTIGUOUS)
Both half-distracted, half-watching:
COPILOT
What are the other two?
SON
Acht du lieber…!
COPILOT
That's German.
SON
Oh;-- Then she taught me some German too!
COPILOT
And, What's the third?
SON
(baseball term)
Homered…!
The Comet-Dust-Cloud SANDBLASTS down from behind…
COPILOT
What language is that?!
SON
I don't know:- I thought it was Spanish-American like the other two: He swang, and, Homered…!?
COPILOT
(brightens)
Maybe it's international-speak-- like baseball, or Esperanto!
A SPACE SHUTTLE LOOMS from behind… 24 mi./5 sec.
SON
(brightens to smile)
Homered--!? Esperanto…!?
(over-enunciates)
Homered…! Ho-merred…! Ho-mehred…!
Shuttle silently ZIPS BY above, But a SLIGHT SNAP UP…
COPILOT
What was that?!
Golden lunch-capsule and unowned pen FLOAT weightless…
SON
(scanning panels)
I don't know…!
(notices floaters)
Uh-oh: We're weightless:- The cable has broken!
COPILOT
(horrified)
Oh, God,-- no: We're free-falling: We're going to crash into the atmosphere and burn-up in a flaming cloud of orange plasma vapors!
A million-METEOR STORM PEPPERS the Earth-below… 30 sec.
SON
Why should we do that…?
COPILOT
(lone believer)
Because that's what always happens in American movies…!
SON
But we'll only hit five thousand miles per hour… That's the beauty of Professor's design: We don't go astronomic to get up and down in space: We ride his elevator--! He will radio-up commands to reprogram the cable from the other canister;- He's got this all figured out….
COPILOT
(amazed)
Oh…!?
SON
(continues)
And we repair or replace the broken cable, next time we go up.
COPILOT
Oh…
They dive back to Earth …
CUT TO:
EXT. COMING DOWN FROM SPACE - F-23 - BLACK SKY TURNING BLUE
CHERRY-NOSED reentering down the stratosphere 5000 mph…
SON (VO)
Prepare for re-ignition.
V.O. Copilot, a single hard COUGH!
INT. F-23, CHERRY-RED NOSE
Plasma-ORANGE CANOPY GLOW: Copilot, helmet off, is sucking a cigar, no smoke, end glowing bright; Son wide-eyed alert--
SON
(slowly turns, and)
When, did you-- You know there's No Smoking permitted in the birdcage!
COPILOT
(mid glowing suck)
Nngh?
(puts-out cigar, squeaky)
Sorry;-- This is my doomsday cigar: I thought this was the living end … And it doesn't smoke in outer space
(NOSE-COUGHS A PUFF)
… when I'm inhaling.
NO MORE GLOW. Son triggers REIGNITION: ENGINES ROAR…
And they ride down toward the highest cirrostratus clouds …
CUT TO:
EXT. CASTLE GOLF-GREEN LAWN - F-23 STOPPED ON RUNWAY - NOON
Professor surpassed by Fire Brigade with extinguishers, run daintily across the Green, passing senior miniature-golfers and outrunning rolling golfballs … while Emergency Vehicles drive out the rectilinear roadway …
-A SENIOR GOLFER-
(to fellow Golfers)
Are we playing golf?-- or croquet…!
Copilot climbs out down … and paces 30 m of black 1cm braid cabling trailing the still-attached Aeroglider atop …
All arriving, quick-greet Son climbing down, Then inspect …
PROFESSOR
(last, breathless)
Thank God,- you boys landed, alive.
COPILOT
(returns, pacing)
Yes, sir.
Son inspects wings edge-on; Professor, the tail assembly…
Fingers a speck of white paint in the rear nozzle--
PROFESSOR
(discovers loud)
We have to delay your next launch a few days!
SON
(comes back)
Why? What did you find?
(RUMP-PATS his F-23)
A HORSELIKE WHINNY-- and he pauses puzzled to look fore:
Somebody up front: a SECOND BLOW, and hankies his nose.
PROFESSOR
(exhibits fingered speck)
Looks like you were hit with a paint chip,- probably from the missile explosion.
SON
(hands-over pen, subdued)
Your pen?
PROFESSOR
(takes pen, equally)
Probably.
COPILOT
(comes up loud over)
'Wow'! Hit up the arse with a paint chit, at seventeen-thousand miles per hour!- What color is it to be?!
All but Pilots, look furtively about…
COPILOT
(humbles)
Excuse me: I wasn't promoting myself.
PROFESSOR
(takes him aside)
Your spacecraft was traveling one-thousand miles per hour when it was struck from behind:- The cometary velocity difference was twenty-four,-thousand miles per hour.
COPILOT
Oh,-- sorry: I promise to watch my language better next time.
Professor nods a forgiving Yes.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. US SENATOR'S OFFICE, WASHINGTON DC - EARLY MORNING
His SECRETARY-daughter, staid attire and glasses, is busy.
Open door KNOCKS… Duchess pokes her head in, on business:
SECRETARY
Come in… Good morning.
DUCHESS
(enters, cute distraught)
Oh my, oh my: I must speak at the Senator for the United States in America, this once! Oh, dear, me-- oh my,- oh my…
SECRETARY
(smiles; clips)
He's one of a hundred, ma'am: What State do you live in?
DUCHESS
(shocked, self-examines)
Oh: Do I look like I am living in a state?!-- I suppose I do at that…
SECRETARY
(clips curtly)
Of the United, States-- ma'am.
DUCHESS
(touch-testing self)
Mostly, yes.
SENATOR
(enters at back)
Hollow…?
DUCHESS
(trots to him)
Oh--! It is so good of you for seeing me, good kind-mister honorable Senator Rebush, sir…
SENATOR
(smiley introduces)
The Duchess, of Gran Fenwijk.
Secretary smiles, nods,- and resumes work.
DUCHESS
(relaxes, smiles)
I must speak, and you --'ahem' privately-- if you may please.
SENATOR
(ushers to back office)
Do, come in: It is a pleasure to have a royal visitor from so-favored a foreign nation….
DUCHESS
I know: You don't have them in your country, -a pity-… But even in my country they are scarce:-- Why, my son hardly abides in the palace these days: He's always flying,-off in his U.S.A.-made, F-23:- which he just adores: It is so fast!…
He smiles obliquely; She peers in and about as they enter--
INT. BACK OFFICE - (CONTINUOUS)
Wading in hysterically effusive Fenwijkian musical-sitting, hand-waving, semi-apological suspicious clue-wording, they politely visit:
SENATOR
(smiles, offering a seat)
How may I entertain you, today, ma-dam Duchess?
DUCHESS
(nods, checks, sits)
Oh, It is in the urgency with which I must speak, and you, about your… international, space-station!
Finds the wall-picture of the ISS Space Station and stares;
SENATOR
(goes and sits)
Oh?- And what would Gran Fenwijk have to do with our International Space Station on a beautiful day?!
DUCHESS
(stands, points at its picture)
Yes: That one!
SENATOR
(stands)
Would you and your court desire to arrange a visiting-inspection tour?
DUCHESS
(re-sits: still staring)
Oh, goodness, no, Senator: It is your altitude, I'm afraid, that must be made adjusted!
SENATOR
(re-sits)
My altitude….
DUCHESS
It is too much in the way for Space Shuttlers, way out there, you know.
SENATOR
(nodding Yes,-No: honest)
No…?- Frankly, madam: I hadn't assignated a time to think that much thought.
DUCHESS
(stands, tidies)
Yes: You Senators do have your franks,-- or was that the Swiss? Or was it the Vieners…?- Oh: Pardon my French!
(half-sits; stands after)
SENATOR
(stands)
What would you like me to do with, my altitude, madam…?
(half-sits)
DUCHESS
(half-sits again, petty)
I suppose you could lower it somewhat.
SENATOR
(hovers)
About how much lower, would you suggest?
DUCHESS
(re-sits)
About two-hundred miles, should do it an atmosphere of good.
SENATOR
(re-sits)
Yes: That it would,-- but we can't go pushing the station around the world.
DUCHESS
(stands)
Yes: I surmised as much;- But it is nevertheless too-much, where it is.
SENATOR
(stands)
Some of our NASA engineers think so, too.
DUCHESS
(wanders)
Then perhaps you could move it down-south a ways.
SENATOR
(technically astute)
The south … in which hemisphere, would you have it southward, ma'am?
DUCHESS
The northern hemisphere… Well, over Gran Fenwijk…
(returns, mulls)
Oh,-- I suppose that changes, every hour and a half: Doesn't it?!- Just like the Palace Guard.
(wanders again)
Then maybe you could just move it forward-- more, out of the way.
SENATOR
(muses)
Into which, time zone, madam?
DUCHESS
(returns, petty)
Oh…well, There must be some way you can residuate this petty grievance!
(re-sit plops)
SENATOR
(nods, sits)
Yes, I'm sure, there is…
(takes blank form, pen)
And will there be any other improvements you wish to the space station?- Perhaps we could arrange a royal room done in gold-leaf tapestry and silks…?
DUCHESS
(smiles pleased at last)
Oh, That won't be a necessary expense, Senator: We can do that much, ourselves.
SENATOR
(relieved, pen down)
Perhaps it is not … Then: Shall I enquire as to your son's F-23 expenses: That did seem to be your spoken concern:--
(intent smiley clueing)
Is he flying too much for your royal precedence--? Might we fore-stall, further ex-orbit-ant, fuel costs-- to your liking…?
B.G. MR. KENNY arrives to speak urgently with the Senator.
DUCHESS
(equally intent smiley)
Yes, And, no: We should requisition more, fuel, with such a bearing, as should be con-comit-ant, with daily training-up, a second pilot, on an available-space-base-is;-- And then my son might visit the Earth -'ah…' Palace… grounds,- more oftener…!
(bigger smiley)
Secretary leans-in to speak.
SENATOR
(gives-in: smiles plain)
I seeee…
(defers to)
SECRETARY
Senator, A Mr. Kenny is here to see you: He's two minutes early for his appointed urgency.
SENATOR
(brightens)
Thank you: Tell him, I'll receive him presently.
(keys Speakerphone)
DIALTONE; She EXITS; He Speakerphones [OSCAR'S OFFICE]:
SENATOR
(TOUCHTONES 2 DIGITS)
Now, then, your roy-all hyen'ness:
CUE B.G. DIALOG.
SENATOR
If you'll allow my fell-low Senator on The Comedy for Outer Space pork-quisites, to escort you on a frank two-er of our Con-grease-sional es-table-ishment…
[OSCAR'S SECRETARY]
(youthful lightness)
Yel-low!-- Mayor's Office!
SENATOR
(cutely to phone)
Hi-ya, Barbie: This is Ken-- Dolly: I need squeak with the wiener at once,- if he's not in confer-ence.
[OSCAR'S SECRETARY]
Sure thing, Ken!
SENATOR
(resumes to Duchess)
You may relish a sample of American hand-grease: It'll let-us, catch-up on current policy beefs; mustered-up with a little incumbent heat, we might shake-up a rider on our Space Station in-sewer-ants, milk a few longterm investment buns, side-order a premium rebate footer…
[OSCAR HIMSELF]
(abrupt)
Kenny my boy!- How's the plaz-tic?!
SENATOR
(grins to Duchess)
Excuse me a moment.
(to Speakerphone)
Gut. Oscar: I have a royal visitor: the Duchess of Gran Fen…
[OSCAR HIMSELF]
(clips)
Oh, ho, ho,-- Duchess, it is now…!?
SENATOR
(snatches handle, grins)
Yes, Oscar … No … Oscar: We don't make-up royalty in this country…
(rolls eyes, quieter)
Listen … Oscar: I need a favor, for the moment: I need you, to give the Duchess, the Congressional tour of honor….
(smiles at Duchess)
Yes:-- The Duchess of Gran Fenwijk.
(a beat, exasperates)
No, I'm not courting her too: She's a visitor, interested in the Space…
(a beat)
After hours, Oscar--! And, She's a different, princess….
(forehead in hand, grits)
Listen, Oscar: It's now, I need … yes … we can discuss your omnibus changes as soon as I catch you in the halls: about fifteen minutes … yes, I promise I'll look real hard at your constituency demands … No, Oscar, I never bribe fellow … And you never, neither, Oscar … Oscar: Can we do this quickly: I have an … Those were leftover twenty-pound sacks of cheese-dogs, Oscar; I have another inter… Yes, We ate-up ten pounds at the picnic,- But there were other good things to eat too, Oscar …
(2 beats)
Oscar,-- please: I have a brief, interview:- a few minutes to tend, and I'll be … No: Getting another freezer for the extra sacks would have been asking for a bribe … But Oscar, You like cheese-dogs too … No, that wouldn't have been very host-like … Oscar: I have never, tricked you into passing … No, The Committee doesn't need to know…
B.G. DIALOG: Kenny explains his urgency to Secretary:
SECRETARY
The Senator will see you momentarily.
KENNY
Thank you.
(a beat)
I hope he will see me right away.
SECRETARY
Yes: He will.
She sets-up her typewriter for work;
KENNY
Good.
(a beat)
This is so important, to the United States of America,- I must tell him personally.
SECRETARY
He will speak with you personally.
She TYPES CONCURRENTLY;
KENNY
Thank you.
(a beat)
The evidence I brought tells the real story better than I can.
(a beat)
I showed it to the guys at the cable-news station: They said, I had a real full crock, and should show it to the Senate Chairman on Outer Space, as soon as possible.
Duchess perks at hearing him too.
KENNY
The other guy said it has the aura of a little borsch, and it'd be really important to share it with the entire Space Committee.
Duchess leans to hear him better.
KENNY
What happened was: I attached my new digital video camera to my new telescope; I built it myself in the back yard, with celestial tracking rotation for watching the stars … and I was logging the International Space Station as it passed overhead … it's for my church committee on Saint John's Revelation … But when I replayed it for family, my kids said a destructo-laser beam hit the space station in a flash, after the Space Shuttle left.
Duchess wide-eyes.
KENNY
I told them it was sun-glint caused a glitch in the camera recording;--
Duchess shakes vigorous Yes.
KENNY
But after replaying that same scene twenty times, I decided it really did, -the station, I mean:- really did change somehow…. But no country in the world I know, has an excimer laser that powerful,- unless it was Gran Fenwijk built one around their Q-bomb: those backworld warmongers:
Duchess shows her best superpower-apologetic-look.
KENNY
And after four decades of peaceful coexistence between our countries!
(beat)
It can't be D-V-tracking:- I ran my D-V cleaner in the deck forward and back, before recording: I always do that first, on house-power…
CUT BOTH TO:
INT. PROFESSOR'S LABORATORY - JUST ENOUGH SPOTLIGHTING
Professor shows Son in flyfishing apparel, a spacey-gadget-box to fix the cable:
PROFESSOR
(fitting cable samples)
Slap the clipped ends-to-end inside this gadget-box, with six inches of overlap;- mash and crank it tight;- inject the hot… solvent… nanofibers interdigitate by capillary action:-
(interdigitates)
They siphon-together … just let the solvent evaporate two hours, before applying the taplaser to polymerize the joint…. Think you can do that?
SON
(intent, nods)
I'll pack fifty hours of oxygen.
PROFESSOR
(putting tools up)
If that fails, we can replace the cable…. And also, we need to order more solvent from Balzac's Hardware Store on my high-technology budget.
SON
(exiting with gadget-box)
I have his Order Forms in my desk.
PROFESSOR
One more update:-- I reprogrammed your missile-lock so that you can fire its motor without releasing it from the wing: in an emergency. And a waitress applicant arrives today. And the Duchess too: same flight.
SON
(EXITS)
Three-in-one; Thanks--! You should have been a three-star General.
CUT TO:
INT. SON'S PALACE OFFICE, DOOR AJAR - MIDAFTERNOON
Son flyfishing-ready, is rummaging for forms in his desk …
WAITRESS-applicant (the Senator's Secretary-daughter) in a squat-Superman-S-low-neckline bare-midriff fuzzy-warm-soft cling-shirt and hefty-miniskirt waitress outfit, arrives:
WAITRESS (OS)
(coming in the hall)
2-31 … 3-42 … 4-53 … 5-64 …
A beat … she KNOCKS and looks-edge-in…
SON
(without looking up)
Come in!
WAITRESS
(half enters)
Hello?
SON
(doesn't look)
Yes: Hello.
WAITRESS
Is this the office wanting a cute spacey waitress for a remote diner?
On-cue she saunters-in:
SON
(half-look hand-gesture)
Yes-yes…. Well, No: I'm not hungry: It's in, a remote diner … Have a seat… or no, wait: waitresses stand … well, Do something,-- But don't run around… Bring me a magazine.
WAITRESS
(on to magazine table)
I read your ad on the monster-jobs-online-dot-com website:- It sounded kind of out-of-this-world….
Son, a single COUGH.
WAITRESS
Do you have a room I can change in?
SON
(startles head up)
Well, That's spacey!
WAITRESS
I mean, the diner.
She picks, and brings a magazine;
SON
Oh,-- sure.
(back to desk drawers)
But it's not near here: It's really remote.
WAITRESS
Get a lot of people?
SON
We're grand-opening this month: We hope thirty or fifty, first trip.
WAITRESS
(cognizes)
A cabin inn in the woods!?
SON
Further than that,-- and no wood:
(looks up direct)
It's all aluminum.
(stands with papers)
Listen: We can make this interview brief if you're qualified.
She sets the magazine aside his gadget-box on the desk,--
WAITRESS
Yes,- I'm qualified.
SON
Do you like to bus tables?
WAITRESS
(cute)
I have three neon lipsticks and a brown belt in karate …
(a beat, sober smile)
Okay: Yes: I'm here to work;-- I thought you might appreciate my humor: Most businessmen do,- and it's my way of informing them in advance of their advances.
SON
The pay-scale is WEMA:-- you use WEMA in America?
WAITRESS
How did you know I'm an American?
(rechecks self-front)
Oh,- the Superman-S:-- This is my waitress outfit:
(pirouettes skirt)
Do you like it?
SON
Did your shirt shrink?
WAITRESS
(smiles, hands on hips)
No, silly: This is bare midriff;-- You want spacey: This, is spacey.
SON
Okay: You're acceptable: Sign here.
He sets the papers on the magazine.
WAITRESS
(signs pages)
Are you going to tell me, where, remote is?
SON
Oh,-- sure: We get there by jet,- an F-23. Ever flown in an F-23?
WAITRESS
No,- can't say I have: Sounds military; But I do submarines on-order.
SON
(reviews signed pages)
There are no sub--marines coming to this diner;-- But that gives me a thought: Can you run the mess in a submarine?
WAITRESS
(puzzles forward)
Mustard sandwiches…?
SON
(works a beat)
The work crew needs a cook.
CUT TO:
EXT. MID LAKE - BEYOND THE CASTLE RUNWAY - LATE AFTERNOON
Son and copilot-Brother lazy-fishing from a small rowboat …
Brother reels-in a feisty… vigorously-wiggly… tiny fish…
BROTHER
(holds up, unhooks it)
We've been small-fishing for three days, But I didn't think you could mean this, small…!
He heaves it far-center…
A B&W ORCA BREACHES high and snags and swallows the fish…
CRASHING WAVE RIPPLES out … and ROCKS THEIR BOAT mightily …
SON
(nonchalant)
You'd rather catch the big one…?
Brother bracing a beat … shakes No …
CUT TO:
INT. HALLWAY OF GRAN PORTRAITURES - WARM TRACKLIGHTS
Professor escorts Waitress admiring living portraitures of Great Gran Duchesses adorning the walls of the Hallway and stairs; their musing voices ECHO AS IF ANCIENT themselves:
WAITRESS
My,-- these are gorgeous paintings: Who did them?
PROFESSOR
(smiles)
These, my dear young lassie, are portraitures-- of the Great, Gran, Duchess, of Fenwijk….
WAITRESS
(reviews all, puzzled)
They don't all look like one-same, person…
PROFESSOR
Of course, not… But you can only have one Duchess at a time …
(a beat readmiring)
These were taken, a quarter century ago….
WAITRESS
(puzzled again)
Taken--? Are they photographs?
PROFESSOR
(halts, corrects)
Oh, heavens, no--! We don't allow that, in this, country!
(calmer to art)
These are the real, thing!
WAITRESS
(standing near)
Then who, took, them?!
PROFESSOR
All the most infamous pirates to have passed this way, have had their hands -or hooks- on them: But we recovered them every time:-- Sometimes in burlap sacks…
Sometimes in painters' drop-cloths…
Sometimes in parachute nylons…
Once in silk pajamas, with the pira-tess, still wearing them:--
(grins)
That, was a big, police evidence recovery event!
WAITRESS
(mildly chides)
Sounds like you need a little help with security around here.
PROFESSOR
(bemused, resumes stroll)
Why?! We always get them back.
WAITRESS
(a brow beat, awkwardly)
Who, did them, originally,--before the pirates, began, taking, them?
They pass opposite Duchess herself posed in regalia, neatly framed in a doorway,-- but Waitress never looks directly;
PROFESSOR
'Ahhh…' Originally, the most famous of all art-forgers the-little-known Henrier Ferrier, during the Golden Age of Gran Fenwijk, back in the late '60's: when we had gold--lot's of it: We could afford the very best back then,--But, alas, those days are gone since the influx of senior citizens attending peace and the collapse of the U.S. gold and dollar markets on the Gran Fenwijk Securities Exchange, months ago….
(confides furtively)
Confidentially: It was the Russians backed-off their secret backing for the U.S. dollar on the offshore market, and bidders went wild-boar-wild buying-up everything American: space station utilities, second-hand commodities, futures in farming manure; It's been a free-for-all here in these last few months! And one reason we hired your outside help.
WAITRESS
(persists)
What makes Henrier Ferrier famous, if he's little-known?
She shakes No on "forgers":
PROFESSOR
(truthfully)
There are none better known: He's the most famous of them all: Do you know any great art forgers?-- We could use a new one for the reining Duchess herself: Henrier was caught forging the new U.S. golden dollar while serving hard time on a charge
(and wags head No)
of… Noxious Art Fakery;-- alas…
WAITRESS
What was the original art, that was noxious in the first place?
PROFESSOR
None really: He went out on a ritzy lecture party circuit, -got totally zotzed,-- and painted a cubist nude Mona Lisa in the style of a Gauguin on a rocking chair: It was sooo… obvious … Then some mongrel ripped open the jumbo garbage bag.
WAITRESS
(admits)
'Oooh…' I imagine he didn't want to claim credit for discovering that one… What do you suppose tipped-off the dog?
PROFESSOR
'Hungh…?' An art-critic: There are spies all over the place…. Anyway, we need somebody who can fill in
(and looks askance)
for Henrier, for about ten years.
WAITRESS
(declines)
'Ahhh'-- no,-- not real-ly.
PROFESSOR
(relents)
'Tis all right; If art forgers were too famous there wouldn't be enough fame for them all: Kind-of like the thirdhand commodities markets don't really exist….
They continue quietly upstairs….
CUT TO:
INT. SECOND FLOOR BEDROOM - FACING RUNWAY LAKE
Charming craftsmanship. Breezes rustling, birds chirping in the trees outside. Alone, Waitress stands at the window and opens her cellphone, keys selection, and waits watching:
Afar, Orca jumps about the rowboat, catching tossed glints;
In the yard below: a child pumping his swing extremely high … rides back calling "Rotorbit!" And two more children step to and, yelling "Rotorbit!" heave him forward … and he goes over the top -She catches her breath- … He goes over again;
RINGING ANSWERED--
WAITRESS
(breathes again)
Senator Rebush, please-- Xanadu, calling.
She sit-flops on her made bed, kicking off her shoes: She's Daddy's grownup girl; Voices in her cellphone are masked:
WAITRESS
(waits for 2nd pick-up)
Hi, Daddy.
(rolls to feet up)
I got the job! And it pays WEMA-scale.
(takes kudo, considers)
Daddy: What's WEMA scale for a waitress in a diner on-call 24-hours-a-day?
(waits for book found)
Yes-- he said, they do.
(listens; qualifications)
Ungh-hungh.
(listens)
Yes: I do.
(listens, all smiles)
Wow…!
(rolls, listens)
CUT TO:
FADE IN:
EXT. TAXIWAY - F-23 IDLING READY - BARELY DAWN NEXT DAY
Son, Copilot, Waitress, in thick white-gold spacesuits, with personal gear, climb aboard; Flagger with lantern, guide-light-cone, waits, watching…
INT. F-23
POV: Son waves: Flagger backs-- clearing them for flight…
F-23 REVS UP… Turns,-- and taxies out to the runway …
EXT. RUNWAY START END, F-23 hot to trot
F-23 taxis-up … turns, REVS HARD and accelerates quickly … Down-runway passes the lake … Takes-off fast-up and away …
CUT TO:
EXT. HIGH OPEN SKY - F-23 COMES - A GLINT AMID DARK BLUE
Rushes-in silent before its exhaust plume… 3 sec./1.4 mi.
EXT. F-23 CANOPY (CLOSE)
ONE-SHOT: Son, Copilot, Waitress, intent ready, She's eyes-wide sitting on the big-grinning Copilot's lap.
FLASHES BY-- SONIC BOOM, and ROARS ahead, AFTERBURNER PLUMES BILLOWING… 3 sec./1.4 mi.
And slowly ARCS UP for outer space …
CUT TO:
EXT. HOTEL MEO FINISHED OUTSIDE, ROLLING IN SPACE ORBIT
Earth looms 106 deg. at 1000 mi. altitude. The 100 m dia. 20 m wide space-station casino-roulettish plate-wheel with panel-lighted red and black sectors and moss-green annulus rolls upright 30 sec./rotation edge-on, orbiting the Earth dayside and nightside in 2 hours. F-23 arrives outside the wheel-center … pauses … and disconnects the elevator car …
VERNIER SPURTS to synchronous roll… And proceeds to the 20 m dia. central corridor (like 2001: A Space Odyssey) …
INT. F-23, ROLLING SYNCHRONIZED - APPROACHING HOTEL SHINE
HUD: BLEEPING IMAGES scoping on the hotel dock, guide them… Faceplates dark chic black-gold, faces just discernible;
WAITRESS
(exults)
It's gorgeous--! Who'd have thought of building a casino-royale in outer space?!
COPILOT
The professor did.
WAITRESS
Figures, It'd take one to calculate the risks involved…!-- But, Who can afford to gamble, after buying passage to outer space?!
COPILOT
(nonchalant)
Kings … presidents … billionaires … multi-millionaires … politicians … It's really quite inexpensive once you get the hang of it…. Professor figures that space-tourists will go home and tell their friends how risky it was,- But it's not really… so we add a little to exaggerate their conversation: It gives them something Earthy exciting to talk about, in dull moments…
WAITRESS
(inserts emphasis)
When they can tear themselves away from the view!
COPILOT
(cozies a story-example)
They'll say to their millionaire friends, I lost fifteen-thousand dollars but that's piddly compared to the fifty-thousand for my month stay; And their friends will marvel at the price, and say, Wasn't that risking your life? And they'll say, What's life, if I didn't go there and do that?- Life is the big-fish-story sea-monster that got away….
WAITRESS
(detects)
Yeah… And I could have been Captain of a Starship but for this…!
COPILOT
That's the spirit!
WAITRESS
That sounds so commercial.
COPILOT
That's the idea!
WAITRESS
That's not the way I meant it--
(invents)
Why don't you provide them deep-space bungee-jumping?!
COPILOT
(marvels for all)
Now there's a thought…!
Sunlight DIMS and FACEPLATES CLEAR-UP as the F-23 nudges into the darker station main-axle docking corridor…
WAITRESS
How many rooms does the hotel have?
COPILOT
(commercial)
… Fifty, Royal Suites, One,-hundred Presidential Suites, Three,-hundred Astronomial Suites occupying twelve lower floors: All with bubble views of the Earth, moon and outer space: North-or-southside…. Three more top floors hold Administrative, Central Air Conditioning, and Security. Two luxury dining and show rooms on the outer perimeter… are for the guests to eat-and-swallow in comfort … The Casino-Royale, is topless…
WAITRESS (CU)
(clips incredulous)
Topless--!?!
COPILOT
(honest)
The walls rise all fifteen… floors, converging at the core,-- without a ceiling: It lets Security watch the gambling and do dazzling drop-ins.
WAITRESS
(slightly persuaded)
Yeeah-- you, and the Internet!
COPILOT
We have, T-3 Internet connectivity, by satellite-- but we block-out the gambling websites for the guests.
WAITRESS
(re-interested)
Yeah…?
INT. F-23 / EXT. AIR-LOCK IN VISI-SHROUD - (CONTINUOUS)
With gear ready, Copilot prepares to open the canopy,
Final-checks all faces--
Waitress is holding a faceful of breath tightly…
COPILOT
You don't have to hold your breath: That's only in American movies.
The CANOPY UNLOCKS AND OPENS…
WAITRESS (CU)
(face deflates WITH HISS)
Pffffssss.
(recovers)
Oh,-- I didn't know that!
They exeunt via the--
INT. DOCKING AIR-LOCK - STRIP-LIGHTS (NEAR CONTINUOUS)
Bracing tottering, each footing a different sidewall-floor of stickum strips running the short narrow length;
Son enters last … And reactivates the air-lock:--
EXTERIOR HATCH CLOSES….
LOCK LATCHES,-- pressure-refilling HISS … and stops.
Copilot opens the inner Portal…
Tottering, They exeunt inward…
EXT. EXTERIOR ELEVATOR, GONDOLA DESCENDING (OUTWARD) - STARS
They marvel the universe from the 40 m gondola ride …
Stop at the perimeter … and turn and enter the portal …
INT. SUIT-CHANGE ROOM, PERIMETER - (NEAR CONTINUOUS)
Prograde arrows spot the walls. Son seals the hatch….
They hang helmets and unsuit to work-jumpsuits, except Waitress only starts unzipping:
WAITRESS
(shakes coif from helmet)
Well, that was a blast all the way!
The guys smile mutual agreement.
She test-straightens hair, and nods at new advisements:
COPILOT
Just be careful of the artificial gravity around the hotel: It's only one-quarter gee out-here on the perimeter, and gets down to zero-gee uup-elevator where we were at top-dead-center:- which is really the middlest of all.
POV: Copilot: SHE EYES HIM in her pocket mirror…
COPILOT (CONT'D POV)
You won't notice much difference unless you jump or run around,-- Which necessitates one more word of
(points)
advisement: The arrows on the wall:
FOLLOW: HER EYES (REFL)-- to the ARROWS on the wall:
COPILOT (POV CONT'D)
That's called, Station-prograde: Never run, against, the arrows--! That's called, Station-retrograde: You'll lose your balance and fly into a wall;-- Walk, instead!
WAITRESS (REFL)
(looks askance)
Curious rules of the road scholar…?
COPILOT
We use artificial gravity created by spinning the hotel around its main axle: Run with, the arrows!- You'll feel heavier: It's safer: You'll get used to it.
WAITRESS
(to him; slowly unzips)
Why do they call this a, station,
(nonstop slowly)
if we are never standing still…?!
COPILOT
(diverting shrugs: edgy)
Habit, I guess: They do it, say it, in all the, American, movies, in space.
WAITRESS
(holds up outfit bag)
Speaking of, habits: I'm three-eighths prude, and I didn't bring my jumpsuit: Just my wait-dress: And I need a loo, and a change.
SON
(points to corridor)
The second door on the left: It's designated, Women's; but there's no tub: only a shower…. Your own room is number W-double-Oh-4 this level.
WAITRESS
(puzzles decorum, exits)
Thank you;- I thought you were more down-homey British, if not American camp-y: That was thoughtful of you:
(out, considering)
The second, door: On, the left…
(receding, EXITS)
Double-U… Double-Oh… Four…
COPILOT
(puzzling to Son)
Second door?- Not the first?
SON
(counters to Copilot)
On the left?- Not the right?
Mutual shrug,- and exeunt a different direction.
INT. WAITRESS' BEDROOM "W004" - FULL SOFT LIT
10x25 ft. French Provincial motif pastel-blue. Black-lined white-carpet (like 2001: A Space Odyssey), Sidewall closet, Balloon furniture (like Space 1999). Waitress in her outfit adds spacer extras: jeweled Hotel-emblem-embroidered halter (dexter-orbited red janus-bird set in roulette wheel), Gran Fenwijk gold shirt-pin, soft sticky-bottom shoes;
As she finishes … a man-SHADOW crosses side-ground fore and back to exit.
WAITRESS
(notices a beat)
Hello-- What…?!
(checks to CLOSET-LIGHT)
Who's there?
(and heads into closet)
Answer me!
Room door soft-CLICKS CLOSED… She gives chase, and out--
EXT. EMPTY HALL - nobody there
She steps around the door to see all-- and circumspectly…
WAITRESS
(looking, sotto voce)
Major, -peeping,- Toms…!
(then--the door sign)
Woofer…!
ON: Her door number "W004"-- as the DOOR SOFT-SLAMS shut… She's already quick-back-inside…
CUT TO:
INT. A CORRIDOR - WELL LIT
Waitress, Son, Copilot, stroll-- passing various WORKERS, whose space-work-suits bulge around a diaper;
A CD PLAYS Dance Music in a doorway ahead (Ooh Ahh, Just A Little Bit, with Gina G);
They near and pass 2 ELECTRICIANS testing wall circuitry:
ELECTRICIAN-1
(paused probing)
I keep forgetting: Red is,…
ELECTRICIAN-2
Red is positive-- like sweet red raspberries;…
ELECTRICIAN-1
And black, is negative,…
ELECTRICIAN-2
(nods)
… like a dark, and stormy night.
ELECTRICIAN-1
That's more confusing than reversing charges on the books: Positive is charcoal black, and negative is blood red.
ELECTRICIAN-2
Well, yeah: Accounting is the flip side of electrical engineering.
ELECTRICIAN-1
Oh. That helps.
WAITRESS
(restrained to Son)
Do you have ghosts on this space platform?
SON
Television signal ghosts?
WAITRESS
I was thinking more of the shadowy scary kind: As in, 'Boooo'!
SON
I don't think we have either: It's not on the guest entertainment selector. Try the Shore Movies index: there might be something on one of the English channels; We have Satellite TV, --which I might add, took a lot of work, because we're faster than most TV satellite orbits;-- Do you think it's important?
WAITRESS
Well, It might be: I thought I saw one in my bedroom: I couldn't find a reason for it…. And by the way, I really like the decor: Did you hire a decorator?
COPILOT
We copied all the space-movies from America and England.
WAITRESS
(amused)
Oh.
CD BLEATS ANEW energy music (L.O.V.E., by E-rotic, 0:00-55 PG-13-lyrics-redubbed "[fun] on the beach" unto drone)--
Waitress gives Son an I-like-your-kingdom foreshadowy look…
AT THE DOORWAY:
They stop and look-in on the busy CARPENTRY CREW: one wears his diaper outside his suit, dance-wiggling to the tune;
FOREMAN BALZAC at the back, Alerts, Turns and approaches;
A DRILLER poised balanced over his level table-piece, loses his footing-- slowly rotating 360's…
WAITRESS
(amused)
What's with him?
COPILOT
(grins)
He dotes on the younger Madonna-- but he is, a good worker.
WAITRESS
We have those in America, too.
FOREMAN
(approaches, reports)
Master: The work goes well: The men have but one gripe.
SON
Speak, Balzac.
FOREMAN
Someone among us is stealing food from our plates: We have enough to eat, but this sows distrust: We do not know which one of us is the thief.
COPILOT
(lows)
A ghooost…
SON
(overrides, directs)
Balzac: This is your head-Waitress: She will make sure that you all get enough to eat,-- and maybe she can find your thief.
FOREMAN
Very good, master.
(returns to work)
COPILOT
A ghost of a chance.
SON
When the ghost shows, it'll be to her credit; and they'll watch after her and help if she needs it.
(to Copilot)
And we've got to get back to Earth before party-time curfew.
(to Waitress)
Sorry, we couldn't have you at the Duchess' birthday party tonight, but it's strictly Royal flush; Will you be all right?
WAITRESS
(tentative nods)
Yes;-- I'll watch for the gobblin' thief; Your men are reliable?
SON
Yes… not accounting for a spook.
Son and Copilot walk-on quickly … and exeunt…
WAITRESS
(cheerily)
And, Happy Birthday!
She strolls-on … passing guestrooms … Stops, northside…
Looks about, checks the door to a guestroom, and enters--
INT. FURNISHED GUESTROOM - DIM, BUBBLE WINDOWS EARTH LIT
Earth loops afar. She cell-radios via [SULTRY] female voice to [Senator] Daddy audible in the extremely-quiet room:
RADIO CONNECTS:
[SULTRY] (FILTERED)
Hello!
WAITRESS
(quiet to radio)
Senator Rebush, please-- Xanadu, calling.
[SULTRY] (FILTERED)
One moment, please!
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Hello, Dolly?
WAITRESS
(works-up)
Daddy: I'm on-board: This is real: This is really here: They're really building it: Daddy: I'm scared!
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
It's all right, baby doll-- I've been scared, too: You're alive and well: That's important to me.
WAITRESS
Yes, Daddy: But this place has ghosts-- that eat people's dinners: I'm scared.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Now, baby-doll: This is a man's world: You stay calm, And let the men be scared!
WAITRESS
(and calms)
Yes, Daddy,-- okay.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Any idea what the ghost looks like?
WAITRESS
No: Nobody has seen the ghost yet;- I saw a shadow; But the men suspect each other: And none has confessed.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Okay: Sounds like the Sports Club on hearing the first cuckoo vote in Spring. What-about your hosts?
WAITRESS
They're both nice: the Duchess' son and his copilot; --a little funny too;-- and their workers seem okay.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Is that funny-'hah-hah'-- or funny, strange?!
WAITRESS
(smiles at last)
Funny like, British humor:- they're both sincere.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
(a beat)
British, 'hungh?!' This'll drum-up percussions at NATO round-table: I'll shoe-up for tap-dancing to keep the U-N out-of their snare-- symbolically, of course.
WAITRESS
(worries)
Do you think I can handle this alone: Maybe I need a busboy? Or maybe I should quit this new waitress job, and come right home.
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Stick with your job commitment, honey-doll: This is good work experience for you: And you'll never match it in the States: especially for WEMA wage on 24-hour standby overtime instead of sub-min and tips. And, I might come up and join you.
WAITRESS
(hope relives)
Is that a promise, Daddy? Are you really coming up to visit?!
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Wellll-- I do have to look after my constituents-- and I can stretch that a little to include multi-national business contract sites on foreign territory-- and since I had you S-corporated before hiring your services as my part-time secretary, I think, I can card it through the Budget Office;-- I'll check my current bipartisan voter-swing rating with the President: I should be able to hitch-up and hey-ride with the premier band-wagon to the International Space Station,- then privilege an Orbit Transfer Vehicle for a couple days broken-arrow at your Hotel: They won't miss the tug: That's really what it's for … Well, We'll see, sugar-top.
WAITRESS
(all smiles again)
Okay, Daddy-- over and out.
(giggles)
Wayyy-out!
[SENATOR] (FILTERED)
Roger, Dolly-- errr, Xanadu.
[SULTRY] (FILTERED)
You have heard from, your-Senator A. Kenneth Rebush at work for you on Capitol Hill. Thank you, for calling.
RADIO DISCONNECTS.
Turning from the window in time to notice--
THE DOOR CREAKS slightly, shut;--
WAITRESS
(notices)
What do you want?!
Quick to the door… And opens it to --
INT./EXT. GUESTROOM - (CONTINUOUS)
A stark empty corridor; No sound; None.
CUT TO:
EXT. F-23 - PARKED OFF RUNWAY - MIDMORNING, DAYS LATER
Flagger awaits below; Son seated, checks controls; Duchess, then Copilot, fit in the seat behind: he on a seatboard just over her lap, thence eliciting her squirming gasps AD LIB:--
DUCHESS
(plop-sits)
Umph!
COPILOT
(steps-in to sit over)
I don't really see the difference whether I sit in front of you, or you sit behind me: They're pretty much the same order.
DUCHESS
(deflects)
Children, these days--! You take your own mother to outer-space!?
COPILOT
(squirms-in)
This would've been easier if they'd configured more seats in the F-23.
SON
It's only, one: of two-of-a-kind.
COPILOT
(holds a beat)
Frankly, that sounds gay.
(relaxed-cramped fit)
Ungh!
(settles a beat)
All in!
(Frenchly commits)
Allohn!
Son waves-out Ready to fly,--
Flagger withdraws the ladder, and flags them to move out…
ENGINES REV UP, F-23 forwards, Turns: taxies to the runway…
CUT TO:
EXT. HIGH OPEN SKY - F-23 COMES
(00:59 -begin late- after key step down)
Rushes-in silent before its exhaust plume… 5 sec./2.3 mi.
(01:02 snare loud)
COPILOT (VO)
(1 sec. pace)
One hesit…
Point-five…
INT. F-23 - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Three ready: Son, Copilot cramped-in, Duchess pensive,
COPILOT
+SON
Ro-Torbit…!
Son pulls stick gently;--
(01:05 descender)
F-23 LEANS BACK slowly for the sky …
DUCHESS
(sotto voce)
Children's games…
(01:07 clashes)
DUCHESS
(gasps)
'Ohhh'-- Goodness!
EXT. F-23 - GOING RO-TORBIT FOR SPACE
FLASHES BY-- SONIC BOOM, and ROARS …
(01:09 clear exhilaration)
AFTERBURNERS PLUMING … far ahead, climbs for outer space …
(01:16 -quick fade-)
CUT TO:
EXT. NASA WHITE SHUTTLE BAY - LEO ORBIT - NIGHTSIDE
SHUTTLE ARM grapples a shiny-hot-white … hotel-ensigned …
PASSENGER CANISTER … out … in stark-black-cold space …
IN TINY WINDOWS: PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS, AMBASSADORS, ATTACHES, ENTOURAGES, various State business formal suits, packed in chairs, peering out … RUBUS' gladiator-breasting under patent-leather, BUJO's quilted-B&W coat … MAD SURFER in palm-fronds-camouflage coat, fruity-sheen shirt, white pants; Giddy-dressed Astro-stewardesses behind them all …
JERK … JERK … indicates the Canister is now coupled onto--
A CHAIN OF CANISTERS, American … Russian … Chinese … train pulled by an Orbital Transfer Vehicle OTV … GLIDE … JERK …
ZOOM OUT: OTV thrusts-away officially slowly …
Bay Doors close…
NOW, SUNLIGHT as they exeunt the nightside terminator …
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. HOTEL GRAN MEO - KITCHEN; THE BIG DAY - WELL LIT
Spaceage-glass: refrigerators, microwave-ovens, pots, pans, service, IR-auto-lamp-range-elements; 2 WAITERS load carts; 3 CHEFS, 7 SOUS; Son, Copilot, in maitre-d' hotel-emblemed formal whites, sample foods and advise Waitress of guests:
SON
(new business demeanor)
Okay-- now: The Duchess is aboard:- She's first priority:-- Everything, revolves around the Duchess: games, guests, dinners, shows, television-PIPs, channels, options, restroom vacancies … Clocks--!
WAITRESS
Got it: Duchess replaces main axle.
SON
(incredulous to Waitress)
Nnngh?
WAITRESS
(shirks No)
Humor,-- just humor.
COPILOT
(finger-demonstrates, and laughs-it-up to TEARS…)
Re-volves…!
B.G. GATED ELEVATOR: 2 Waiters come up with 2 empty carts…
SON
(watches a beat)
The last guests are arriving within the half hour:-- the Russian Prime Minister Pudin and the American President Butch are already here.
WAITRESS
(brightens quietly)
Daddy!
SON
(to Waitress)
Hungh?
WAITRESS
(repairs)
Just thinking menus out-loud….
SON
(business quick)
Kitchen-event begins with the Grand Uupinning gathering in the Grand Bouffe Lobby: You have one minute for the major Presidents to be introduced: They wander-in and talk … Then the Duchess is ushered away from the lesser Presidents and Pre-freshments are announced; She meets them all for fifteen minutes. Then we seat them at the banquet tables… She stands and welcomes them, -that is her prerogative,- And sits.
B.G. 2 Waiters take their 2 ready carts down the Elevator; Copilot wiping smiley tears, Finger-up on "my assistant":
SON (CONT'D)
Then, her personal First Waitor takes the first sample bite, Smiles and exults. Then you Head Waitress, take the second bite, -Smile!- And pronounce the excellence of your Chef: He will be standing with you, And takes his honorary dip. Then my assistant, takes a bite, smiles and extols the virtue of the harvest of the Duchy of Gran Fenwijk in its splendor and glory. Then, I explain and take last-bite, and extol the Duchess and her reign. Then, She, samples her own and ponders it and either nods or digs-in, if you know what I mean. Then-- everyone eats; and the waiters roll-on the first course.
(direct)
Is your kitchen ready?
WAITRESS
(astro-talk)
Roger: Kitchen is go-for-go.
SON
(a beat)
Okay.
(hushes to Copilot)
Let's get out there, now: We've got twenty minutes to find the Duchess, first:
(to Waitress)
She tends to wander the palace too… Good woman.
He EXITS… Copilot still wiping, smiles, and EXITS…
Waitress check-tidies ready trays … and exits too--
INT. VACANT CORRIDOR - WARM DECOR, WARMLY LIT
Waitress STROLLS PROGRADE; Duchess in space-regalia, coming retrograde, recognizes her only from the Senator's Office--
DUCHESS
(strolling, halts)
You!
WAITRESS
(halts, equals)
Me!
DUCHESS
(scrutinizing)
You look like the secret-airy of the States!
WAITRESS
(imitative self-inspects)
Oh: Do I look like I'm airing State secrets?
(flat-hand on belly)
I suppose I do at that….
DUCHESS
(imitative enunciation)
The United, States, of America.
WAITRESS
(still to belly)
Mostly, yes.
DUCHESS
(walks-on; to self)
I ponder how this is all going to work out.
HOLD CU: Waitress puzzled, eyes quarter-following, as--
DUCHESS (OC)
(beyond view)
Oh: I feel so light-headed!
Waitress' eyes widened, and to--
INCLUDE: PROGRADE ARROW,
WAITRESS
(turns full, worried)
No…!?!
DUCHESS
(flap-wave-waddles)
… Quack … Quack-quack … Quack …
WAITRESS
(shakes No, sotto voce)
Couldn't be….
She turns forward again and walks-on …
NEXT MOMENT: Son and Copilot approach retrograde, seeking Duchess with quick urgence:
COPILOT
(to Son)
How many floors could she be, on, at the same time…?--
(gradually to forward)
Maybe we should split-up:
(slows-up; puzzles)
If it doesn't … hurt … ?
Waitress imitating flap-wave-waddle, hand-motions rearward.
Son, Copilot, nod Understood;- and hurry-on past;
Waitress bemused that it's all so normal, walks-on …
NEXT MOMENT: Approaching retrograde are Presidents BOKOR of Hungary and KRZAK of Poland, in perukes, strolling, AD LIB; Military Attache Entourage, HIGH-TECH AK's drawn, grunting, slinking, leapfrogging along the walls, scanning walls and doors, scan-probing openings … she halts and watches…
A GUNNER checks her with a handheld 'nude'-scanner (PG-13):
SCANNER CHIRPS at her sub-decolletage-jewel, and--
READS: "$2499.95"
WAITRESS
(shakes-mouthes-smiles)
No.
Gunner scans to belly, legs, feet … and leaves… catching-up with his team: She watches them disappear,- and walks-on …
NEXT MOMENT: She comes upon the ANGEL-in-whites, furtively trying his tokens on a door: Not dangerous nor wanted, he's a wiry dark-tanned corporate executive rather stressed-cool believing he's still playing Capitol-eXtremes Games. Other peruked presidents and entourages meander past AD LIB.
ANGEL
(notices, turns abruptly)
You!
WAITRESS
(not-surprised)
Me.
ANGEL
(stands warily)
I know, you: I've seen you: You're that, secretary-- in the United States of America.
WAITRESS
(conceits)
Yes: I am that Secretary in the United States of America…
(retones)
Are you one of the guests…?!
ANGEL
(prioritizes)
Your people have abducted me: You're the invasion lead-in force!
WAITRESS
(put off)
Meee? Nooo: Do I look like I would be doing abductions? Are you sure,
(KEYS HIP CELLPHONE)
you're supposed, to be here…?!
ANGEL
(eyeing her finger)
Your Senior Guide at the Capitol, gave me some of your token-coins:
(shows bag)
He said, these will be useful when your-people take-over all the games in the world:-- He said these are self-appreciating…!
WAITRESS
(concerned)
My senior, guide;- I don't believe we've met….
ANGEL
He said, I should find you again, before you return to your home-planet.
WAITRESS
(plays along)
'Ahh'--that, senior guide: Well, we aren't going just yet: Perhaps you would make yourself at ease while you are here; Do you have a name…?
ANGEL
A name-- do I have a name: Earth-people have names-- and living up here has been anything but easy: There's utterly nothing to do, but eat and sleep-- and spin these token-coins.
WAITRESS
Where are you getting food?
ANGEL
Someone makes dinner for me; I don't know who.
WAITRESS
I seeee; And how did you get here? Did you come up with one of the presidential entourages…?
ANGEL
I-- don't remember-- I was playing a video-computer game with a chance date at Capitol-eXtremes Games-- in the Pennsylvania Arcade, one stop down from the White House,-- and woke-up here … I was sipping an
(reason slowly returning)
icy cider, last I recall….
WAITRESS
There's no Arcade games room on that end of Pennsylvania Avenue….
Son, Copilot, return retrograde; and connive to hide him:
SON
+COPILOT
(arriving)
What's up?
WAITRESS
I've found our dinner-ghost, the eater….
SON
Does look like it.
(direct to her)
The Duchess is pacing the Reception Hall; the last of the Presidents have arrived in central docking; and we'll be starting momentarily: If she paces too long she may spill into the corridors again: We need to find something for her to do, to keep her occupied.
(re: him)
Is he, any trouble?
WAITRESS
I don't know: I don't think so: He seems to be following events from a different point of view-- talks too much: a bank-executive-on-leave I'd guess: He seems, harmless.
SON
He must have stowed-away on the OSHA Hotel-Inspection Sign-Off Shuttle-mission two days before we brought you.
(direct)
You'd best get the kitchen on Standby; We'll be along in a moment.
WAITRESS
(alien-salutes and EXITS)
Yes-- Commander Grok-nic!
SON
(puzzles at Copilot)
Commander…? Grok-nic…?
COPILOT
(plays along)
I think-- she is too intelligent a species for this job, Grok-nic: The translation, is-- Know-it-all of Internet-domains.
ANGEL
(reason regained!)
Yes! That's it--You've infiltrated the worldwide Internet through its games--! You're taking-over the entire financial institution of the globe: That's what's going-on here: You're a satellite control outpost: You've captured Earth's presidents and brought them up here for your monetary stratagems;-- Which sides are you scheming-with?!- Russian…?
SON
(interrupts)
Would you like to see the games?
ANGEL
(2 beat calms, devises)
I suppose, I would… Yes: I might thereby figure out your fiscal gambit, and win back the world governments from ultimate pecuniary domination: Where are your games? Are they on this base?
SON
(hand-guides his elbow and leads away)
Yes: Come this way.
ANGEL
(goes confidently)
Yes, sir, Commander Grok-nic; And you'll never get away with your schemes: America will resist your efforts to the end, sir.
Copilot with the cock of an eyebrow, and a shrug, follows…
SON
Do you have a name?
ANGEL
(captured-proud)
Yes: The name, is, Notro, van Salochin-- from the United States of America;-- The rank is Colonel, Retired-- Fourteen years in the U.S. Army: Serial Number-5-1-2-2-…
(a distant beat, loud)
The Chinese!…? Indians…? Off-shore Investors…? The Committee of Three Hundred…? The Board of Directors…? Ohhh-- You people arrre, clever--!
FADE IN:
INT. LOBBY - GONDOLA LANDINGS - SUNNY NORTH, SOUTHERN STARs
Floor-to-ceiling tapered windows view Earth, Night, looping every 30 sec., Photochromic cool; Spacesuited WINDOW WASHER SOLARIZED outside squeegees-off magnetic-discoloration with an X-canoe-wand, Occasional PROTONS FLASH in glass … GUESTS exit Elevators, mill about vertical-banner-tapestries, play Virtual-Reality casino games farther-in beyond an Air Lock;
N.B. Guests get Welcome-peruked-and-kissed by Hostesses and wear those in various-formality: neatly pinned or not-so or as berets or backwards etc.
REFOCUS: CHECK-IN several steps prograde from the landings:
MEDIUM flanked by TALL and SHORT, in their helpful dialect, from their helpful country, reconcile their existence:
CHECK-IN
(SCRAPES down guest-list)
Dee-lay-war.
-THREE-
(nod Yes; enunciate)
/ Deal a war.
/ Dahla war.
/ De la war.
CHECK-IN
Your country is not listed: Are you Presidents? Vice Presidents? Prime Ministers? Ambassadors?- What…?
MEDIUM
(helpful)
I be Supersona.
CHECK-IN
Your name is, Sue, Persona-- Sue Pears, Anna?
TALL
(helpful but rapid)
Our peopleries, have not president, twenty-five years: Have twenty-five Articles conferring Egalitarian Confederation:-- Interregnum, I be Hypersona;- He be Supersona.
SHORT
(peers between; smiles)
I be Lopersona.
CHECK-IN
I'll see what we can do for you:
(turning away)
You did, come in a Space Shuttle?
-THREE-
(nod Yes)
/ Affirmative. / True. / Correct.
MEDIUM
(fluent to his own)
We really need be expediting the ratifications of our national Constitutions.
TALL
You, have yet to concur on the linguistic isolation of a prominent dialection.
SHORT
(to Tall, to Medium)
I find exception for the demurrer, and remand jurisprudence to the popular appellation-- Mutatis mutandis!
SWING FOCUS TO:
An outside elevator GONDOLA SETTLES;--
Presidents, Aides, enter tipsy-walking in quarter gravity:
SECOND sniff-inhales a long What's-this…I've-never…Maybe…?
FIRST-Pres.
I've never been so high in all my years as President.
SECOND-Pres.
(sniff-exhales)
Mhhhhhhh--! Definitely: But I don't smell the goose-feathers yet.
THIRD-Pres.
(super-balancing-act)
I feel reel--tipsy… All leady….
FOURTH-Pres.
Space-talking is an acquired skill.
FIFTH-Pres.
(unto Aide)
Did I remember to bring my digital-video camera--? I wanted everything recorded: in case I forgot.
FIFTH-AIDE
Yes, sir: You did.
FIFTH-Pres.
(reconsiders a beat)
Did-- what?
THROUGH AN AIR LOCK, prograde …
And inward: milling about the window-view anteroom flanked by royal elevator-corridors, AD LIB formal personal space-politics… Duchess is introduced to Prime Ministers PUDIN of Russia, KAISOU of Japan, FREEBUSH of Canada, and Presidents BUISSON of France, STRAUCH of Germany, JJ BUTCH of the USA, CESPUGLIO of Italy, and BRITISH MINISTER of Out There:
INTRODUCER
Madam Duchess, I present: The honorable Prime Minister of Russia, Mr. Pootin'.
DUCHESS
(hand to; mispronounces)
Welcome to The Hotel Gran MEO, Mr. Prime Minister Put-on.
P.M. PUDIN
(bows, kisses her hand)
Thank you, dear Madam Duchess: We are pleased, to attend your presence;-- and that's, Pudin,- please, madam.
DUCHESS
(girlish giggle-curtsies)
Ohhh! And with a cherry on top!
P.M. PUDIN
(a beat unsure, thanks)
Vi-radooshnih.
And advances into the crowd…
Pres. BUISSON
(tight to others)
And to think, We had, to have a G-Eight!
INTRODUCER
(waves-up Buisson)
Presentahsion du Prey-si-dent hono-rahbleh de la Rey-pub-lique France-aise, Monsieur Buisson.
Pres. BUISSON
(bows, kisses hand)
Ma shehr Ma-dahm, Le Duuch-esse.
DUCHESS
(nods)
Bienvenue, Monsieur Prey-sid-ent Buiis-sohn.
Pres. BUISSON
A votreh play-zeer.
And advances into the crowd…
INTRODUCER
(waves-up Strauch)
Presenting: Des achtbaren Praesidenten von Deutschland, Germany, Herr Strauch.
Pres. STRAUCH
(both hands; nods a slow smile)
Frau-- Duuchess.
DUCHESS
(nods)
Willkommen, Herr Praesidenten Strauch.
Pres. STRAUCH
Dahnka,- bitteh.
And advances into the crowd…
HYPEROPIA:
INTRODUCER
(over-pronounces)
Pre-Sent-ing the Hon-Or-Able Pre-Side-ent of the Unit-ed State-s of A-Merica, Mad-Am Horhay double-J Butch.
Pres. BUTCH
(smiles)
Madam Duchess.
DUCHESS
Well-come, Mad-am Pre-side-ent Butch.
Pres. BUTCH
(shakes hand)
Thank you; Nice place, you have.
And advances into the crowd…
FLANK OFF-VIEW:
INTRODUCER (OC)
Presentare il Presidente onorato dell'Italia, Signor Cespuglio.
Pres. CESPUGLIO (OC)
Signora Duchessa.
DUCHESS (OC)
Benvenuto, Signore Presidente Cespuglio.
Pres. CESPUGLIO (OC)
Grazie, molto.
INTRODUCER (OC)
Presenting: katai Souridaijin, Nippon: Sama Kaisou.
P.M. KAISOU (OC)
Madamu-- Duchess.
DUCHESS (OC)
Youkoso, Misuta-Souridaijin Kaisou.
P.M. KAISOU (OC)
Sankyu, Madamu-- Duchess.
Comes into the crowd…
DUCH-AIDE (OC)
(to Duchess)
Duchess, please….
(to Presidents)
She will meet the remainder of the Presidents and Prime Ministers over the pre-freshments, please.
(to Duchess)
This way, please, Duchess.
Duchess and Duch-Aide escape via the royal elevator.
IN THE NEAR CROWD meanwhile:
Pres. MAD SURFER
(smiles, palms, relates)
Presidented Bu-jo! How's it, Broh?! Long time never see: How's one life up on Mount Saint Esperanto-world?
Pres. BUJO
(stuffy equivocal)
Like… this… and like… that….
Pres. MAD SURFER
(grins, obtrudes)
Ehh, Brohh: Never make one life so hard-- Broh!
FOCUS: Farside sculpted portal to the GRAND BOUFFE ROOM via gold-roped stanchions, And standing between, COWBELLING--
TOWNCRIER
(cries out)
The, Guests, of Hotel Gran MEO, are invited to join the Royal Family of Gran Fenwijk, at the banquet tables in the Grand Bouffe Room-- for pre-freshments, presently!
And bows, and backs, COWBELLING… while Waiters draw-aside the stanchions and gold-ropes…
All STROLL AHEAD to enter, resuming AD LIB;
SOME-OUGHT
(pleasantly to Rubus)
Do you suppose there is anyone else up here, but the guests and help?
Pres. RUBUS
(pleasantly dismisses)
Nondum oportet: Gaudeamus igitur!
And into--
INT. GRAND BOUFFE ROOM - SUN, HALF-SUNNY EARTH (CONTINUOUS)
Opulent-ethereal. Guests enter, drifting toward the tables.
The opener internal-3-story structure has tall partitioning fin-bulkheads between hip-high-to-ceiling curved windows on left and right walls; decorated in subterranean faux marble palatial. Back wall partitions-off the dining room behind the pre-freshments tables where 4 WAITERS stand blockade.
Guests LOOK-UP-ABOUT marveling ineloquent 'oohs', gathering toward Son ready with Fenwijk's harvest champagne special…
SON
(announces)
Ladies and gentlemen: Presidents and Kings, -and all manners of Ambassadors and Entourages:- The Duchy of Gran Fenwijk, proudly welcomes you-all, to the Grand Uupinning, of Hotel Gran MEO--!
He steadies the bottle bottom in his crotch, And with a yank-- UNCORKED BLASTS its entire contents… over all.
SON
(a hurt grin)
Lower atmospheric pressure and gravity.
All WET-CLAP…
Copilot signals hand-rolls to table-waiters:--
Waiters bow, gesturing at tables, Back aside and exeunt…
All eat and meet AD LIB …
Duchess returns with Duch-Aide via another royal elevator,
And meanders AD LIB, eats, meets, nods at all; Presidents hand-her-off, Introducer helps; Waiters replenish trays…
CUT AWAY TO:
INT. REGAL DINING ROOM, BEHIND PARTITION - TABLES SET - DIM
Guests HEARD EATING in the adjacent room; A few stray to sniff-nose AD LIB through kitchen accesses, unto this room:
Dining tables are set with cakes iced in national colors, each with a corresponding Country-flag-decoration plastic-keep-piece in a jelly cherry; Whole-stuffed turkeys and other entrees are under-glass on serving carts about.
FOOTSTEPS, POV: Strauch MEANDERS towards the throne table, musing cakes, flags, Eating every cherry except his own:
Pres. STRAUCH (POV)
(picks-examines a cherry)
Hmmm.
(eats it)
Ummm--!
(and the next cherry…)
Ummm--Ummm--!
THE THRONE TABLE, a broad 'V', to seat Duchess at nadir and Big-Presidents, Canada near-left, Britain, France left-end, Italy, Russia right, Germany on-end, USA, Japan near-right:
Beginning at Canada, in order unto Japan, he examines and plays-war with the flag-pieces on each cake except-his-own, smears each cherry in icing and eats it, sing-songing a fragment of national anthem: lone Oh-Canada-Our-Home-and-Native-Land, chuckily Wellington's Overture for English vs. French, hummily lone Italy's Hymn of Mameli, Circumspects Russia Our-Beloved-Homeland to stand behind his own and do America Oh-Say-Can-You-See vs. Deutschland-Uber-Alles …
FOOTSTEPS: Duchess and Duch-Aide are nearing the entry--
DUCH-AIDE (OS)
This way, Duchess.
He rush-replaces flag-pieces, misplacing American, Russian, around Germany, and EXITS (AMPLIFIED STEALTH) with 2nd-last cherry scooped from Japan, just as they enter to seat her--
DUCHESS (OC)
(woozy-full)
How, is the party, going?
DUCH-AIDE (OC)
Very well, I think: Let's put you on your throne before they open the partition.
DUCHESS
(ushered-in, astonished)
Goodness--! Do we show them that?!
DUCH-AIDE
(assists toward throne)
Your dinner-table, throne, Duchess.
DUCHESS
Oh, yes: That throne:
(giggly)
I've got so many thrones up, I can hardly keep track with them all.
Arriving at the Throne Table, as TRACK-SPOTLIGHTS turn On…
DUCH-AIDE
We must hurry.
4 WAITERS enter to guard the carts.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. GRAND BOUFFE ROOM - AMID TABLES - SUN, CRESCENT EARTH
Trays all empty-juices; Some finger-out the last dips; All contented. Earth is gradually evening-darkening in space … the 'hour' of sun-eclipse-totality approaches.
REFOCUS - AT THE PARTITION:
TOWNCRIER (OC-ON)
(on high tiptoe)
Ladies and gentlemen-- Please: The Guests of Hotel Gran MEO are -now- invited to be seated at the Dining tables for the grand course.
And resumes normal height stance.
PARTITION SPLITS… Onto--
EXT.-INT. DINING ROOM - TRACK SPOTLIGHTS (CONTINUOUS)
4 Waiters guard the serving carts; Duchess helped by Duch-Aide, is slowly sitting at her table Throne:
DUCHESS
(smiles, nods, plop-sits)
'Ooh…'
And smiles to all again.
Guests CLAP, and advance to be seated by 12 USHERS: each at their national-colors cakes; unnoticed 2 Helpers roll-away the pre-freshments tables;
PLUMP
(pats full belly, and smiles big)
The final stretch!
SOMEONE
(tests full belly)
'Whew'! It's so easy to forget how much I've eaten: I don't feel any heavier in this lower gravity and lighter atmosphere--! And the hors d'oeuvres were exquisite!
ANOTHER
(hand-to-mouth WORD-BURP)
'Burp…' And easier to upchuck, too!
All chuckle worries, test bellies, hand-cover little-BURPS;
Pres. BOKOR
(a LONG-LOW-BURP… and guttural-glottal excuse)
Ih'-kills, me.
PIOUS
(a CONTAINED-BURP beat)
A-men: But I can still move, And you won't find me slumping under the table tonight… in zero-gee.
YET-ANOTHER
Tonight? When is to-night, in outer space? We might be eating for days!
All check wrist-watches, chuckle worries and BURPS …
MOMENTARILY, All are seated before their national cakes.
FIRST-WAITOR (lad) stands at Duchess' side, Waitress next, her Head Chef, 2nd-Maitre-d' Copilot, Maitre-d' Son, each with a cake and fork ready for their moment of exultations; 4 Waiters stand ready at back with the main first-courses.
The Dinner-taste-testing formality sequence begins:
DUCHESS
(props half-up; to all)
Well-- come!
And re-lowers, and plop-sits.
ALL APPLAUD…
FIRST-WAITOR
(samples cake, exults)
Oh, Yummy! My royal favorite, Cake!
And eats-it-up…
WAITRESS
(samples hers, extolls)
'Mmmm' Parfait! My Chef --above all Chefs-- has created an above-all masterpiece!
Chef takes his bows as ALL APPLAUD…
COPILOT
(samples, exults French)
Deyleeciouse-eh-quel-coinceedahnce! The bountiful harvest of Gran Fenwijk has in this one year reached its ultimate splendor and glory lofting to the sky: well-deserved, and richly rewarded!
And nods to Chef and Waitress.
ALL APPLAUD while Chef, Waitress, nod in return…
DUCHESS
(hungry-French to Son)
Veet-- veet!
SON
(quickly announces)
Contemporary custom in the Duchy of Gran Fenwijk, dictates we serve the sweet deserts first, Then, bring-forth the main courses--
(fork-gesture at carts)
'til you've met your contentment--!
(engulfs a crumbly piece)
'Mmmm' Good!- The Royal Duchess of Gran Fenwijk has ever truly ruled over the most-favored of all nations,-- most-favoring-- and, most-favorably!
And catches-glances to--
Duchess digs-into hers… and ALL APPLAUD and begin eating theirs, while Son, Copilot, Waitress, monitor over all …
P.M. KAISOU
(puzzles icing ridge)
Ittai?
-BIG-PRESIDENTS-
(examine their own)
/CAN/ Hey-what?
/ENG/ Hello?
/FR/ Ooh la la!
/IT/ Come eh questo?
/RUS/ Kak--oi?
/USA/ What's this?
/JAP/ 'Hmmmm'?
Son, Copilot, Waitress, mutually pensive but remain demure, Duchess eats and watches, Others eat but gather interest…
Trouble sparks as Pudin discovers the USA-flag on his cake:
P.M. PUDIN
(forks flag honestly)
Why is there an American toy flag, on the designated Russian piece of cake?!
Strauch puckers, and furtively avoids looking anywhere;
Pres. CESPUGLIO
(half-turned-to)
Just give it back to them.
Pres. BUTCH
(fingers RUS flag)
And what, is this Russian flag doing on property ceded to the United States of America?!
QUIET; as Pudin and Butch notice Strauch's furtive glances:
P.M. PUDIN
(Hardy-like deliberate)
President Strauch of Deutschland, doesn't find the smears in his own, icing!
Pres. STRAUCH
(a finger in his own)
Eech, auwch!
Pres. BUISSON
(leaning to see)
And who, put the jelly cherry on the German chocolate cake?!
P.M. PUDIN
(rechecks his own)
'Mmmh'?!
More look about, and scrutinize Strauch;
Pres. STRAUCH
(pushes cherry under)
'Eech-- oops…'
(Laurel-like whimpery)
Perhaps-lich liebt der-die-das Amerikanischer-eine Presidenten ihre Ruussish-ky Astronauten-Kameraden-- diese Tagge…!?
Others individually spontaneously gather round;
P.M. PUDIN
(transfers USA-flag to German-cake USA-side)
I believe this amounts to extreme decadence-- exhibited by western nuclear powers: Let the Americans renaissance the history of the American side!
Pres. STRAUCH
(starts, whimpers)
'Eech-- ouch…'!
Pres. BUTCH
(transfers RUS-flag to German-cake RUS-side)
America, will have none such much historic exclusivity upon spatially residuated territories:-- Let the Russians repatriate to their own illustrious economies!
Pres. STRAUCH
(starts, whimpers)
'Eech,-- Nicht…'!
Pres. CESPUGLIO
(head-in-hands awed)
Mama, mia! La Germania, fomenta, la guerra, mondiale, tre…!
Pres. STRAUCH
(squeaky sorry)
Traurig!…
P.M. PUDIN
(circles cherry)
Bon!!
Pres. BUTCH
(line-divides circle)
Bon-bon!!
And replants USA-flag inside.
Pres. STRAUCH
(napkin-surrenders)
'euber-gehben… bitteh.
Butch vs. Pudin intend to teach Strauch a final lesson, albeit constrained by Fenwijkian-world-dominance; Those gathering, cheer-boo-hiss-AD LIB:
P.M. PUDIN
(replants RUS-flag inside the circle)
Un-detente!
Pres. STRAUCH
(quick looks between; Tenors Beethoven's 9th)
"Meineh Froindeh:-- Nicht dieseh Toehneh!"
(Music theme-bite Beethoven's 9th finale)
P.M. PUDIN
(to Strauch)
Weee-- still have, ellipton bombes:
(hands parting)
Thees-beeg!
All 'Oooh…' and about…
Pres. BUTCH
(at Strauch)
America, shall retaliate, with our new-- Clear-missiles!
All 'Oooh…' and about…
Pres. KRZAK
(guttural mock serious)
Oh, Santa Claus--! A new, clear-winter, is coming!
P.M. PUDIN
(resolute)
We settle this-- like American, westerners: Before the sun goes down!
All look outside-- LEANING HEADFIRST-SYNCHRONOUSLY with the Earth-sun-frame-loop-rotation… 60 deg./5 sec.
Pres. BUTCH
(sits-back, solemn order)
Bring me, the football!
P.M. PUDIN
Aide! Bring the -Russian- foosball!
MIDGROUND, CONCURRENT:
ANYONE (BG)
Will that go over at this altitude?
ANY OTHER (BG)
Foos-ball goes anywhere: We watch foos-ball on national airflights.
F.G. USANUCLEER, RUSNUCLEER, businessly in-step push through the crowd, toting matching-1952-aluminum-nuclear-football-attache-cases with baggage-claimcheck-tags …
Abruptly-- set the attache-cases on the table, Unlock, (US digitally, RUS manually like a cosmetics case), And stand-back at Full-military-attention!
Butch, Pudin, cross-look at each other's case … And check their baggage claimstubs--
Pres. BUTCH
Mine.
P.M. PUDIN
(a tentative beat)
Ours.
And simultaneously open their cases-- PANEL LIGHTS ENABLED.
CONCURRENT: Butch lifts the inside panel, retrieves glossy photographs; Pudin unscrolls his from an expando-pouch: PICTURES of the latest weaponries: jet bombers, ICBMs, RUS supercavitator-torpedo, USA Sea Shadow frontal view riding water … Shuffle, Sort, Array on the table…
ANYONE NEAR
I thought there would be more electronics inside.
ANOTHER
It's the newest American high-technology: Ultra-thin flat-panel nuclear-footballs.
ANY OTHER
It's the image that counts, Not the box it's in.
P.M. KAISOU
That's your pa-sonaru opinion.
USANUCLEER
(unto RUSnucleer)
I've always wondered how world-war-three would start.
RUSNUCLEER
(unto USAnucleer)
I figured, When America, discovers, nuclear-element Sovi-et-unium-2-98.
USANUCLEER
(cocks eyebrow)
Really!?
Slow, deliberate, serious, intoning, posturing, begins--
P.M. PUDIN
(at supercavitatorpedo)
The Russian Navy Shkval, hypersonic inter-continental, super-cavitator-pedo…
(points for Strauch)
See how it routes a tunnel through the wall of water before itself!
(defies)
We will sink all-submarines with our Shkval super-cavitator-pedo, which we have tested thoroughly: with our-- sinking submarines….
Pres. BUTCH
(at Sea Shadow frontview)
The U.S. Navy, Sea Shadow stealth-ship: See how it rides -above- the water:
(hand-flying)
Its flat-sloped sides deflect radar up and away--
(defies Strauch)
You shall never-see our Sea Shadow seizing your sea shores.
SOMEONE NEAR
(looks, waves to others)
Come see: It's 'Darth Wader…'!
ANOTHER NEAR
(looks)
It's gone belly-up, already…!
P.M. PUDIN
(then looks, unto Butch)
American Sea-Shadow-ship rolls-over and plays Dead … That-- is very, tricky, stealth….
Pres. BUTCH
(tries it inverted)
Australian waves-- down under…?!
P.M. KAISOU
(looks, confides)
Not to worry, American president: Japanese peepers buy one, too… We cahr ours, the Naught-Are-Us!
Pres. BUTCH
(photo up edges-on)
Waves-- edge-on… Trans-marine…?
BRITISH MINISTER
(looks, confides)
The United Kingdom, is buying one-- for the Queen's Lifeboat … It shall be christened: The H-M-S Barnsides!
Pres. CESPUGLIO
(taunts Strauch, to skid)
Ho! President Strauch can't hit the barnsides of a brooaad… 'Ooh-ooh'--
(smally to Brit. Min.)
Scusilo.
BRITISH MINISTER
(stiff smile, deprecates)
Bloody noise.
Cespuglio feels his nose … Fingers some red icing… Sniffs …
SUN-ECLIPSE BEGINS beyond the Earth horizon;
Pres. CESPUGLIO (CU)
(onto Brit. Min.'s coat)
Non consentito…!
SOMEONE
(gratuitously emotes)
The first icing of a new, Clear-winner!
SUN 3RD-GONE (west-3rd) at 5 sec.
[PA-ANNOUNCER]
(enunciates)
Ladies and Gentlemen-- May I have your attention, please: The Earth has totally, eclipsed, the sun.
All look out to Earth--
SUN'S LAST GLEAM winks-out, a GREEN-FLASH: Night, TOTALITY.
All sadden to tears, blinks, sniffles, watching for a hint: North WINDOWS CLEAR-- on a myriad stars and city-asterisms;
-MANY-
(hushed tight)
/ It's totally-- gone…?
/ The Earth is gone, too…?
/ The sun has gone out…?
/ Hydrogen famine…?
/ Lightbulb shortage…?
/ Channel One Sign-off…?
/ International power-outage…?
/ Nuclear winter…?
/ Armageddon…?
/ Global-thermonuclear-blackout…?
DUCHESS (CU)
(looks out tiny-worried)
No more peons?
And blinks a tear, and eats-on…
Pres. MAD SURFER (REVERB)
Wiiipe--Ouuut…!
RESOLUTERS (CONCUR.)
(chant rhythm)
It's -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- -war- …
WARHAWKS
(boisterous sing-song)
And the cais-sons, go march-ing,-- a-loooong…!
Massive CAKE-FORKFLINGING retaliation erupts AD LIB, except Pudin, Butch, remove to climb bulkheads, Waitress to a far corner outer wall … Duchess eats, cheered by the bravado;
-MANY-
(fork-launching morsels)
/ Take that!
/ And that!
/ Have another, bite!
/ Decadent icing-addicts!
/ Cake-face Commies!
/ Western pie-verts!
/ Cherry-mongers!
/ Forking barbarians!
/ Candy-sprinklers!
/ Spoon-doctors!
/ Napkin-lickers!
Pudin on the lead bulkhead fin, Butch on the lag, climb by gapes, and pause to shout above the din of cake-flingers:
P.M. PUDIN
(not loud enough)
Russia has--
(climbs, pauses, louder)
We, have Russian, neutron-laser, in orbit, to melt-down I-C-B-M nuclear warheads, before these launch--!
Pres. BUTCH
(climb matching Pudin)
And, What, do you, call, that--?!
P.M. PUDIN
Generals have split on, The Nazer… Kremlin calls it, The Neutralaser!
Random cake bits reach to waist-height; Both climb higher--
Pres. BUTCH
Our triple,-spies have informed us that the Russian, Doomsday machine is set two,-minutes, ahead, of the American, Doomsday machine…!
P.M. PUDIN
'Aah…' So call us, the Aggressor--!
(half a beat)
It is Russian Daylight Saving Time!
Random cake bits reach to waist-height; Both climb higher--
Pres. BUTCH
We, are growing gigantic, clouds of carbon-dioxide along our shores, to stall-out your engines when you fly your jet-bombers over;-- And, when, our laser-cannons fire through, the carbon-dioxide, they will be super-boosted and blow your bombers away!
P.M. PUDIN
'Harumph'! Russian-made underground nuclear detonations move mountains: and fool-- American-made, cruise-missile terrain-tracking radars!
Pres. BUTCH
(piqued)
Well-- We, are secretly training, fifty, million, arctic terns-- to fly over the North Pole--!
All-below quieten to listen more, forkflinging aside only;
P.M. PUDIN
(taken aback)
America, will dump fifty-tonnes of guano, on Russian national soil…!?
Pres. BUTCH
(a haughty beat)
Ha! Not only--!
(exults)
We will tie aluminum pie-tins to their feet, and aim them at your Arctic DEW Radar stations:-- Your technicians will see metal on the horizon: from Sea-To-Shining-Sea!
P.M. PUDIN
(cognizes)
That explains the report of Russian peasants, praising Allah delivering them with dinner-on-a-platter…!
Pres. BUTCH
(2 frown beats)
Furthermore: Our top scientists at Los Alamos, have rediscovered Gran Fenwijk's secret-- to the anagogic functioning of the Q-bomb!
ALL 'OHHH…'!?, Halt and glare at Butch…
P.M. PUDIN
(gasps, hands to mouth)
'Ohhh…' You mean the Dream bomb--!?
FALLS OUT, SLOWLY FLIPPING MIDAIR toward Butch's feet… All-below hush worry 'Oh'!- Duchess stops eating, and looks up;
P.M. PUDIN (FLIPPING)
America …
Has split …
The infinitive…?!
Butch climbs down, and grabs-out as Pudin hits the wall--
Pres. BUTCH
(angst)
You mean, You knew, already!?
But loses grip, and following, both TUMBLE down-wall…
-ALL BELOW-
(hushed worry)
/ 'Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh…'!
(fingers to lips)
/ 'Shhh! Shhh! Shhh…'!
Son, Waiters, hurry gather and clear-away a landing as--
Pudin, then Butch atop, SETTLE onto the floor…
Son, Copilot, Waiters, detangle them: They sit up okay:
P.M. PUDIN
(to Butch)
We, never, tell, secret-- secrets!
ALL APPLAUD; and Cake War renews AD LIB with spy-talk:
-MANY-
/ Creampuffers!
/ Peephole-people!
/ Window-talkers!
/ Cake-G-B-spies!
/ Spatula-geeks!
/ Sporking-foons!
/ Crypto-scrabblers!
/ Pie-rated spoon-lickers!
/ Industrial flour power!
/ Planetary-war-shippers!
Duchess struggles to stand… but--
DUCHESS
(plops back)
Oh: Murphy!
(pulls her garter pistol, waves it high, loudly)
I-am here-by-ordering a cessation of all hostilities all at once--!
Several restrain her arm push-pull-swinging high-low-left-right: 'No, Ma'am! Not in space! Nooooooo…'! Line-of-fire-targetees part -two side waves- 'Ohhh'! -and back- 'Ohhh'! Except Waitress stands midline against the far outer wall:
FOCUS: Waitress, her hips; Duchess' GUN ARM IN BLUR about…
BANG--! Straight level through the middle, SLO MO ZOOM: a BOULE TRACKS through the air … to the far wall--
And BUSTS OUT a 4 in. hole aside her hip!
NORMAL: Instantly her SKIRT SUCKS-UP, hem out the hole, And she startles-loud: 'Oh'!
ALL STOP. But air escaping the HOLE SHAKES ITS LAUNDRY with a grotesquely violent vulgar Woops-SUCKY SOUND; She screams and tugs to free herself, But it's caught on burrs outside…
CEILING AIR-VENTS CLAP SHUT like dominoes 'ponking'…
Son heroically hugs her: Pulls but dances without leverage…
SOMEONE (OC)
It's caught on the hole, burrs!
CHIRPING TONE-SWEEPING ALARMS, STROBE LIGHTS, simultaneous E-VOICE-WARNINGS totalize the cacophony, repeating:
/ENG/ Attention: There is a perturbation in the central air-conditioning system: Proceed to an Air-Safe for further instructions.
/RUS/ Vneemaniye: Sooschyestvooyet vohzmooschyeniye veh tsyentrralnoy seestyemye vohzdookh-chohndeetyoning: prrohdohlzhaytye kah vohzdookh-tyoorrma dlya dohpohlneetyel-nikh eenstrrooktseey.
/GER/ Aufmerksamkeit: Es geebt eineh Stoehruung in der tzentrahlen Klimaanlahgeh: Gehen Sie szofort tzu einem Luuftsicheren fuehr Tzuuszatzbehfehleh.
/FR/ Attahnhsiohnh: Il ee a une pehrturbahsiohnh dahnh le systehme de clihmatisahsiohnh central: Pro-cehdeh ah unh Air-Suur pour pluus d'anstruucsiohnh.
/IT/ Attenzione: Ci eh una perturbazione nel sistema centrale di aria condizionata: Continui ad un Aria-Armadio per istruzioni supplementari.
/POR/ Atensao: Ha um disturbio no sistema central de condicionamento de ar: Continue agora a um Ar-Cofre para mais instrusoies.
/SP/ Atenciohn: Hay una perturbaciohn en el sistema central de aire acondicionado: Proceda a un Aire-Armario para mas instrucciones.
/ESP/ Atenti: Estas misfunkTcio en la Tcentra aeropreparo sistemo: Plue AerosHlos por pli instrukTcioY.
VOICE-FORMANTS RISE (FILTERED) in thinning air pressure and All hold noses and suck-swallow to clear-equalize ears…
MEANWHILE - AT A TRANSPARENT AIR LOCK:
Several guests gather round, pointing, AT A SIGN:
"Caution: Hotel guests must not remove the vacuum seal, under penalty of law!"
Some, hands on the window wall, peer inside the Air Lock--
REVERSE, INSIDE: where those outside-looking-in want-to-be.
MEANWHILE - AT THE DINNER CART:
ASTROPILOT in dress-whites, picks a stuffed turkey from a dining cart, Gathers 2 metal bowls, 2 plates, Hesitates to clean turkey, Grimaces, Thrusts a hand into the stuffing, BIG AWE-- Extracts hands in utter dismay at the brown gunk, Resolves to finish, Hurriedly extracts more, Stuffs-in two plates face-to-face, and bowls face-in around the plates…
MEANWHILE - AT THE HOLE:
BACKSIDE: Son HIKES Waitress out of her skirt which SUCKS-OUT the hole in a satisfied-final-BELCH and floats away in space: The HOLE SHRIEKS WINDY harmonics (mult. 50Hz+3KHz)…
All cover their ears.
A sucking BLUISH VORTEX dances at Waitress' hip: TUGGING AT HER PANTIES whimsically-gently…
REVERSE, POV: Bluish Vortex: Watching her face, and theirs…
MEANWHILE - BACK AT THE DINNER CART:
Astropilot hand-weighs his turkey, nods Maybe… And EYES--
(music theme bite: Turkey In The Straw)
A STRAW IN A DRINK: He grows a smile, Sticks the straw in his turkey and admires his handiwork as a specialty-drink… Then turns heroic except for high-faint-voice-formants:
ASTROPILOT (FILTERED)
(arm-waves olympic)
Everybody step back: Clear the way: An American hero is coming through!
ALL CLEAR HIM A PATH to the hole.
With both hands on the turkey, He charges for the hole…
INCLUDE: passing retrograde-- a PROGRADE ARROW…
He loses footing, FLOAT-RUNNING-flipping-upside-down…
ASTROPILOT (FILTERED)
'Waaaah--!'
(calls his shot, loud)
Turkey-in-the-Hole…!
Slams backside against the wall,
Stuffs the turkey in the hole:
HOLE SWALLOWS ITS SHRIEKING… 'PLUNGS' SHUT UP-- SILENCE…
He settles on the floor; AIR RUSHES-IN, VOICES RENORMALIZE:
-ALL- (normalizing)
(applaud; cheer)
/ Touchdown!
/ Dunk!
/ Basket!
/ Score!
/ Birdie!
/ Goal!
/ Homer!
/ Run!
/ In!
/ Out!
/ Hole!
/ Completion!
/ Take!
/ Trick!
/ Ringer!
/ Check!
/ Mate!
/ Match!
/ Point!
/ Win!
/ Success!
/ Target!
/ Bull's-eye!
/ Pig-nose
/ Right-on!
/ Righteous!
/ Base!
/ Good show!
/ Good chap!
/ Good man!
/ Thank you!
THE HOLE SQUEAKS. All stop. THE HOLE SLURPS, THE TURKEY DEFORMS… 'PLINGS' QUIVERING… BUT STAYS.
ANOTHER
Give that turkey a raise!
ALL RE-APPLAUD…
Son applauding-about, notices Waitress standing beside him is panties-bare to the midriff: He's promptly shocked--
SON
(SILHOUETTES WAITRESS, begs distraught loud)
'Ohhh'-- Forgive, me…!
SILENCE, as she peeks around, still happy…
SON
(continues solo)
I'm so, terribly, sorry! Please:
(commits)
Will you… Marry me… Please?!
WAITRESS
(smiles-cute)
Will you accept a, Yes,-- Please?
ALL CHEER-APPLAUD-CONGRATULATE AD LIB and gather-closer, salvoing encouragements, and Son smiles weakly relieved:
SOMEONE NEAR
(advises loudly)
You must immediately reciprocate prenuptial agreements!
SOME-1
A dowry of one-million American dollars!
Son looks askance at Waitress… She smiles back…
Some pull up papermoney and wave it high--
OTHER-1
(loudly)
Golden parachutes, Both ways: Two-million Euros!
ANYONE
Put!
ANY OTHER
Call!
ANY ELSE
Do I hear, Three-million…?!
SOME-2
Ten-P-M curfew!
OTHER-2
They're welcome in my country, what's left-- any day!
SOME-3
Preferred stocks-and-bonds in all the multinationals!
OTHER-3
Mad-money tickets to my country!
SOME-4
(tests pen)
My pen is run out of ink!
OTHER-4
It's the change in altitude!
SOME-5
Three children!
OTHER-5
One boy--One girl!
SOME-6
What's third?
OTHER-6
What is second!
ANOTHER-6
I-don't-know!
OTHER-5
The girl!
MEANWHILE - AT A DINNER TABLE:
One YANKS-OFF a golden TABLECLOTH-- upsetting the PIECES to near-weightless-FLOATING-SCATTERING about the room…
YANKER
(watching about, marvels)
Why doesn't that work?- It always used to work in the movies--!
Some pin up Waitress in a wedding gown created of a golden tablecloth, gold-rope, a table-laurel tiara; Some compile a wedding cake with flags stuck-about; 5 Q-BOMBERs prate:
Q-BOMBER#Curious
What does it really do?
Q-BOMBER#Pompous
Nothing.
Q-BOMBER#Contentious
Nothing--!?! I thought the Q-bomb created the Big Bang!
Q-BOMBER#Pompous
In war-- we count end-results, not the means: We bake cakes, we don't bake flour: Expand dominions-- not explosions….
Q-BOMBER#Querulous
What good is a Q-bomb of split infinitives, in a war, anyway…?!
Q-BOMBER#Erudite
Communications-ing, is the number-one military supply-line.
Q-BOMBER#Curious
How is the Q-bomb used?
Q-BOMBER#Erudite
The falling-out, from detonating a Q-bomb at gerund-level irradiating troops and personnel, for hundreds of miles around reverting to apes, aborigines, idiots, and imbeciles, morons, and voters, electors, and politicians, presidents, civilians… is fecundly, contagious.
Q-BOMBER#Contentious
(marvels)
'Wow' That real? Like an E-bomb and bio-warfare, altogether: And right-up the as-scent of evolution!
Q-BOMBER#Erudite
(a beat)
Just testing Q-bombs near civilian populations, has resulted in S-&-L collapsings … perestroikas … gross national economic crumblings … It's why Gran Fenwijk is smart to have a Duchess: It's just social security.
Q-BOMBER#Curious
Is it reversible…?!
Q-BOMBER#Erudite
Nobody wants to really, remember:--
(a beat)
A mere wish, for actually reversing it, may destroy us all: worser than worserest, unimaginable antebellum!
Q-BOMBER#Contentious
(shakes No 2 beats)
I watched something like that in a movie, recently.
Q-BOMBER#Curious
Those, were actors.
Q-BOMBER#Contentious
(marvels a beat)
Oh-- Yeah…!
Waitress-bride is presented for a perfect-couple marriage ceremony: Copilot best-mans with a royal ring; Duchess in folded white-napkin-block-bow-tie solemnizes with a Bible:
Senator, a Princess-escort flanking, marches his Secretary-Waitress-Daughter step-by-step-pro-forma forward… and--
HUMMERS
(da capo till they meet)
"Here comes the bride…"
AT THE PODIUM, together-- All silence.
DUCHESS
(smiles)
My dear Son: All these years, And you go and choose another woman…!
All chuckle.
DUCHESS
(continues)
Well, Royalty never forbid it.
(to Waitress)
Young lady: You are new here… And, You are bright-and-quick. Will you have my Son -a man- in your house?
WAITRESS
Yes: I shall.
DUCHESS
(quickening 'til final)
Then: Wherefore and whereas and by all these remains and now present, blah blah blah blah … I pronounce you now, Son -ahem: Man- and Wife!
And looks to--
Copilot opens and REVEALS the ring box around for 'Ahhhh's… to Son-- Who takes the ring to Waitress' annualry… and,--
Just as the pair kiss in the first holy space matrimony,--
A SUN GLEAM! RISES AROUND to full at their heads… 12 sec.
ANNOUNCER
Ladies and gentlemen: Sunlight has returned to the Earth--!
(Music bite: America: God shed His grace on thee…)
ALL CHEER-APPLAUD LONG: the Earth a thin HALO-CRESCENT;
TEARJERKER MALE
(settling in tears)
It's beautiful…!
(breaking)
A marriage made in heaven…!
(a beat… blows nose)
We must do this all again sometime.
And napkin-wipes blinks…
PIOUS MALE
You can only marry once: The second time is sin.
TEARJERKER MALE
(blearily)
Spoilsport…!
Duchess in a rolling stance, smiles at success; 2 Waiters roll-in a real wedding cake, to noticing 'Oohs-and-Ahhs'…
And the couple two-hands cuts-and-serves the first slice,
ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE… ending in an undistracting NOISY CASH WINDFALL in the adjoining Casino Games Room--
ZOOM ACROSS TO: Coins bounce-about Angel opening SODA CANS GUSHING-UP FOAM, slurping… JACKPOTTING triple-Earths,
ANGEL
(ebullient overacting)
There's no, place like home…!
(JACKPOT)
There's no--place like home…!
(JACKPOT)
There's, No, Place--! like…
(LEAPS UP 12 FLOORS)
Hoooooommmmehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…!
Rising behind the room-separator-bulkhead gapes-- topward…
DROP CROP INTO:
INT. BEDROOM - READING LAMP (AS CONTIGUOUS)
BOOK CLAPS SHUT (Sync to music, Look At Us, with Sarina).
(00:00 clap)
Duchess concludes for 3 cute little GRANDCHILDREN in bed:
DUCHESS
And that, is the truth about gambling: It is ever a pre-tender, And insurance averages it all out again,- for better or worse.
And kisses each child…
-3 CHILDREN-
(pull under blankets)
/ Good night, Gran-[ma]ma, Duchess.
DUCHESS
(smiles)
Pleasant dreams, dear children …
AND SMILES AT -US-
SWING TO INCLUDE:
MR. AND MRS. ROYAL SON AND WAITRESS smiling happily married:
Slow kiss, to hug…
SUPERIMPOSE:
"AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER"
CREDIT-VIEW ASCENDS WALL to open ceiling late-evening sky: Hotel Meo passes amid stars and -a new constellation:- the matron, her dustmop radiating meteors… 50 deg./200 sec.
FADE OUT
The End.

[quel]



Screenwriter: Raymond Kenneth Petry
Strategic Director: Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry, Director, Sesquatercet
Registrar: Wision--Sesquatercet USA (div. Lanthus Corporation USA)
Recipient: project N E M O 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
© 2001-2013 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry