Wision--SesQuaTercet USA ™ de facto trademark Petry System Family Wision USA

in conjunction with

project NEMO

presents

Professors' Spring Break

an advanced space sciences romantic adventure comedy, PG-13 Sci4fi feature

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

Four research professors take the ultimate Spring Break
from classes, the Earth, the galaxy and the university.

(a division of Lanthus Corporation)

[index][script][music][sets&settings][budget][prospectus][roles]
[feature] Four university tenure-track researchers hop the fence at an obsolete navy yard late one night and peer inside an old submarine moored to the dock,- but which is so modern, that one vehicle leading to another, they explain their way right out of this cosmos ... An astronomical linguistical mathematical systematical exploration turning the universe inside-out, as you never learned in the common universities.
[Music specified in this screenplay is the Strategic Director's selection]

script

'first night out' (Act 1)

PRELUDE AND FANFARE:
(music - Words/Missing Persons)
(music - Leave It/Yes)
FADE IN:
EXT. OBSOLETE NAVY STATION, CALIFORNIA BAY - WEST FULL MOON
ESTABLISHING SHOT - STARRY SKY OVER BAY BRIDGE - SPRINGTIME
TITLE CREDITS ON THE SKY:
Petry System Family Wision USA, and
N E M O Nuclear Emergency Management,
- present -
a Wision--SesQuaTercet USA production
-THIS WEEK THE UNIVERSE-
PROFESSORS' SPRING BREAK
Raymond Kenneth Petry, Strategic Director
Remain fixed like stars … while SCANNING DOWN to … the
COASTAL ROADWAY, TRAFFIC - FAR SHOULDER - (CONTINUOUS)
(00:00 instrumental - It's My Life/Dr. Alban)
Huddled on this far side, four tall RUNNERS nonuniformly black-clad, black-jackets, blackened-faces, await their opportunity to cross; one wears a visored "1_0" cap …
The Road clears momentarily,--
(00:07 +clanking cowbell rhythm)
And they dash across next-distant oncoming headlights …
Passed a closed guard station cracked with tall weeds …
Across the time-warped vacant parking strip … to--
THE BARBWIRED FENCE
-FIRST- hangs a folded sheet-metal-and-carpet piece atop;
-FIRST-
Hit the wall!
(00:15 +"ahhh…")
Each climbs over … and joins the huddle for reassurance:-- their black-greased -FACES- (CU) maybe military …
-LAST- takes and tosses the piece aside, catching-up;
-THIRD-
(confides)
Faster than swimming the bay.
(00:22 +tambourine)
And all recede quickly into the MOVING SHADOWS scattered by the now-passing cars headlights …
DOCKSIDE
Regathered crouched scanning the lay of a low-profile bluish-black SUBMARINE …
(00:29 fast foghorn, deep rhythm)
They rush the gangplank …
Up … and regathering furtively behind--
THE SUBMARINE CONNING TOWER-MOUND
Lift the hatch and biggest-first climb down into the dark …
(00:44 -unto- drone)
INT. CONNING TOWER - LADDER - OPEN DARKNESS (CONTINUOUS)
CLUNKING down … one-by-one flicking-on their FLASHLIGHTS:--
HARRY (30-35, med. tall sturdy male model, college-football-hero), Christian, Republican, nuclear chemistry professor;
PETER (27-30, tall slim blue-eyed male model), Christian, Republican, first-year nuclear physics research professor; potential suitor-up for
GWEN (35-40, tall slender blue-eyed blond Swedish Amer. female supermodel), Christian, demure listener, mathematics professor; obscured chic wearing the "1_0" cap belonging to
DANIEL (30-35, med. tall trim male model), Jewish, Democrat, understandable Bostonian, engineering professor;
Leaving the hatch open …
Stepping CLUNKILY onto the hollow deck, Harry starts into the corridor for the engine room; Peter lets Gwen pass him for the control room--
PETER
(tending her, quiet)
We need more light.
DANIEL
(plain voice)
Find the light switch.
(lands CLOMP)
HARRY
(loud-whispers)
Quiet!- We may not be alone!
DANIEL
(counter-whispers)
You think someone knows we're coming!?
HARRY
(exits quieter)
You have reservations, Seenyor?!
DANIEL
(counter-quiet)
I think Gwen may have a more interesting lead-in …
The LIGHTS COME-ON blindingly bright;--
ALL BUT GWEN
(squinting, loud)
/ Hey! / Cut the lights! / Too bright!
Lights out, PITCH-BLACK EXCEPT TWO FLASHLIGHTS:
Peter and Daniel, proceeding warily slowly--
DANIEL
(contritely)
A thicker, gourmandise cut, please?
PETER
(leading)
Gwen, What did you find?
Momentarily reaching …
THE SUBMARINE COMMAND CENTER
Gwen seated busy at three adjacent wide displays, fingers flying, touching diagram-display points, pop-ups, keys that correspondingly light, chain-spelling, teaching her …
DANIEL
(flash-mocks)
Wow,-- It's a computer-console from the future--!
They watch (straight) a moment …
PETER
How did you start it?
She points to A BUTTON marked-taped on the wall above her--
GWEN
I pressed this button with tape over it.
He peels the piece of tape, and reads under his flashlight:
PETER
"Chinga."
(a beat)
Looks, Spanish, in syntax, maybe…?
Daniel's face grease twists about bafflement and cognition;
GWEN
Common slang, Peter.
PETER
(notices Daniel 2 beats)
Does he have a printout button…?
DANIEL
(done,- quick playout)
Spanish, Gypsy, Mexican, American-South, … Chinese by an etymological stretch but doesn't translate well: Means everything, and nothing: Root meaning is motherhood, but by quick extraction gets used in everything, from, flunk yourself, to, get lost, take a long junket -essentially the same word-… to, battle cries of the oppressed, outcast, and terrorized.
PETER
Who'd have put it there,- if it starts the computer?
DANIEL
(shrugs, normal)
Docked help, maybe?
Harry returns sans jacket, holding a clear red plastic-tank fire extinguisher half full--
HARRY (OS)
(from the corridor)
Hey, guys: This thing's got really strange equipment:
(enters, exudes)
Look at this!
He slides his hand into the back-sleeve of its flared tube;
DANIEL
A giant spritzer-- half-full,
(leans to: mock-peers)
of cherry-cola-berry juice.
HARRY
(reexamines: ponders)
Mmmaybe so … But why do you suppose it's only half full?!
DANIEL
(handles it, cute)
Did you drink any?!
(awaits no answer)
We're just not the first to see it.
PETER
Okay, boys, Put away your fire-extinguisher.
DANIEL
(hugs tank: invites)
How do you know it's a fire-extinguisher?!- Did you read, the invisible label?!
(examines as reading)
Let's see what it says here: Mmm-m-mmm-m-m-mmm-mmmmm-mm-m-m-mmm …
HARRY
What's Gwen got there?
PETER
A computer.
Harry comes, leans and looks over Gwen's shoulder ….
HARRY
Just your favorite flavor, Gwen?
GWEN
It works.
HARRY
What's it do for you?
GWEN
Single-point control for the ship.
HARRY
You mean, We could go for a ride?
GWEN
Depending on the conditional integrity of the Zirconium-96 cata-mutators …
DANIEL
(joining up)
Hah,-- Gwen, you Swedes have such a delicious sense of meatball humor.
HARRY
One-to-one, Dan, I think she's onto something:-- These look like the diagrams for a nuclear reactor.
(more quietly to Gwen)
What do you think, Gwen,-- Will it?
She touches a sequence on her center ENGINE-DISPLAY …--
MARKS, LINES, BAR-GRAMS, flashing, diagram operations;
HARRY
(continuing quietly)
How soon will you know whether it's operational?
GWEN
Watch the bar-grams.
A FAINT HUM b.g. begins increasing …
PETER
We'd better close the hatch if this thing is going to move.
HARRY
(quick to conning tower)
Right,-- and heave anchors, and mooring ropes …
(trailing-off-view)
And, or, whatevers …
(CLUNKS up ladder steps)
PETER
Think it'll go, Gwen?
GWEN
No adverse warnings,-- but these,
(points to a bar-gram)
must come above the line … I think.
PETER
Let us know when you're ready.
Harry's heavy CLUNKING FOOTSTEPS PASS overhead on the hull, and They look-up about, listening a moment …
DANIEL
Gwen:
(over her shoulder)
What do these blinking dots represent?
GWEN
Zirconium-96 cata-mutator reactor telemetry checkpoints.
DANIEL
(stuffily)
Good, Gwen, real-ly good;-- I believe it, yup,-- sure, do.
BAR-GRAMS above the line, indicate Engines nominally ready.
GWEN
It's hot, Peter.
Harry's FOOTSTEPS CLUNK BACK, overhead …
PETER
Okay: As soon as Harry gets back, you can try the throttle.-- Okay with you, Dan?
DANIEL
Sure, Peter: Anything you suggest-- just keep it below 55.
PETER
No rush, Gwen.
The conning tower HATCH CLANKS SHUT,--
Its locking-WHEEL CREAKS several turns …
Harry's FEET CLUNK noisily down the ladder …
Pause,-- AND PLOP together on the landing.
HARRY (OS)
(announcing, enters)
Okay: Break!
PETER
(nods to Gwen)
Sure: Nudge it, Gwen:-- Let's see if this'll go …
Gwen presses a sequence of key-spots on Eng-display;--
BAR-GRAMS STAND UP … RIGHT DISPLAYS NAVIGATION …
THE ENGINES WHINE-UP b.g.--
THE FLOOR ROLLS SLIGHTLY …
A TWANGY SNAP resounds forward, in Harry's first room.
DANIEL
Think you missed a rope, Harry?
HARRY
(hesitantly)
No … I got them all.
DANIEL
An antenna, struck an overhang …?
PETER
We should check before we go too far;- Gwen, Are we doing all right?
GWEN
Yes, nominally.
DANIEL
Was there a boat on the other side of the sub?
HARRY
Didn't see any;-- kind of dark.
PETER
Gwen, Can you do a systems check?
GWEN
(points)
Continually: It appears…
A KLAXON reverberates;--
THE ROOM LURCHES-ROLLS to Gwen's side,--
Impolitely throwing them back, but Daniel reaching,--
Finger-snags Gwen's chair;
NUCLEAR-DIAGRAM WARNINGS flash as ENGINES WHINE-DOWN half …
The Room slowly rights;
GWEN
Uh-oh.
PETER
What happened there, Gwen?!
DANIEL
(points at Eng-display)
What's the flashing X-cross-- and that flashing line?!
GWEN
The cross is the reactor-to-drive feed-balance mixer: It looks like we have a thermal shutdown on one reactor, and a blocked crossover: which threw us the lurch.
(resumes poking display)
HARRY
Guys … I think I'm smelling smoke.
PETER
Nnnn-- may-be …
HARRY
(quick to corridor, loud)
Oh, my jacket! …
DANIEL
(quick-after with tank)
Hey, wait, Harry! Your fire-extinguisher!
The two exit, clomping, talking noisily--
B.G.
HARRY
(exits)
It was so warm in there, I took off my jacket, and forgot it.
(CUE F.G.)
DANIEL (OS)
Why would it be warm in there, and not throughout?
HARRY (OS)
Probably the engine room.
DANIEL (OS)
Engines cool after a day,-- And this place is abandoned.
HARRY (OS)
Maybe it's nuclear, and warm forever,- or thousands of years.
DANIEL (OS)
Then Gwen's estimate may be right: This could be special.
F.G.
Gwen looks-up blackened-faced at Peter, politely;
PETER
(nonchalant)
Gwen: Did anyone ever tell you, you look gorgeous in grease paint?
GWEN
I model part-time.
PETER
In marine-surplus?
GWEN
Whenever the work is decent, and the pay is good.
PETER
(a beat)
Gwen.
GWEN
Yes, Peter.
PETER
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
GWEN
Sure, Peter.
(touches a button)
ROOM LIGHTS COME-ON bright: They squint;--
DANIEL (OS:DISTANT)
(yells)
Ahhhgh!-- Cut the lights!
INT. COMMAND CENTER - LIGHTED (MOMENTS LATER)
Gwen seated, reviews her console; Peter standing, oversees;
Harry returns with his melted nylon windbreaker soaked in fire-extinguisher goo, sleeves intact; Daniel hand-o'nose:
HARRY
(enters defeated)
My jacket's a total loss:
(exhibits it)
I left it on a warm pipe, and it melted to bits.-- Sorry, guys.
DANIEL
(wrinkles nose)
Palladium in the pockets, Harry?
(voice rising squeezing)
I say it's cold-fusion.
PETER
It's not cold in here-- and that stinks.
DANIEL
(squinches and blows)
Chwww-- … Yes!
HARRY
(wanders away)
I'll find a dumpster.
DANIEL
What happened, Gwen: Did you figure it out yet?- Is this tub any good?
GWEN
We encountered an engineered fluke.
DANIEL
Great, And thereby flaps a tale to wail …
GWEN
(explains diagram)
Harry's jacket caused overheating on a heat transport conduit, on one reactor-line: The ambience-controls in its cladding presumed a thermant leak, and scrammed that reactor,- keeping the outflow going to flush the supposed heat-pressure excess,- which is why the crossover remained open: and its loss of power-moment in the corresponding drive-turbine threw us the lurch. … If you guys cleaned it up, maybe both will run again. Otherwise we can balance the remaining reactor through the cross-feed-mixer.
DANIEL
Harry scraped his jacket off the pipe, -it'd cooled enough to come off in one piece, but it was still too hot to wipe spotless;- And, we closed all the access shells.… And by the way, it must have triggered the automatic fire-extinguisher in there: The place was a gooey mess.
PETER
(acknowledges)
The pop we heard … Gwen, Can we recover a scram?
GWEN
I think it has cleared already: It appears to have been modal:-- it's got lots of modes: They didn't use fuzzy logic on this one.
DANIEL
Try it again, Gwen,-- please: Maybe without Harry's jacket it'll run.
GWEN
(finger at display)
Okay? It seems ready to go …
PETER
(nods yes)
Let's, go.
She presses the display button.--
The ENGINES WHINE-UP again;--
The Room rolls slightly … LIGHTS DIM TO RED-running;
DANIEL
How do you steer this boat?
GWEN
(points to Nav-display)
It's got Nav-diagrams of the bay: These are ship-relative.
Daniel and Peter lean-in at Nav-display, identifying diagram ship-mark position and motion in the bay;
PETER
(at Ship-mark low-center)
This must be us,-
(off center)
and the other island in the bay.
(and up)
And the mouth of the bay.
Harry reenters--
HARRY (OS)
(exults)
O-kay! That's one stinky windbreaker dispossessed!
DANIEL
(leans from huddle)
Did you stuff it in a torpedo tube, in case we need jetsam and flotsam?
PETER
(to Daniel)
Friends of yours, Dan?
HARRY
(joins, mock-sincere)
Should have taken you, along-with.
DANIEL
(mock-captains)
Ahead, One-quarter impulse-power, Helm!
Gwen keys her panel: Eng slides left; Nav to her center;
HARRY
(follows Eng, mock-helms)
Aye, Cap-ten: But that'll reduce main galley power by 50-percent.
PETER
How fast are we going, Gwen?
GWEN
We're up to 15 meters-per-hesit.
DANIEL
(surprised)
Gong!
(innocent)
What's a per-hesit?
GWEN
(actuates right panel)
Read your instruction manual.
RIGHT DISPLAYS LIBRARY DATA over a copy of Engine diagrams;
Daniel squirms to it, right of Gwen, passed Peter--
DANIEL
(affecting silly)
Of course, --the instruction manual when in doubt: Read the instruction manual;-- silly me.
(sits)
GWEN
It comes with a nice computerized instruction manual.
DANIEL
(stabs keys: NO EFFECT)
All right,- all right: Let's see what this machine can really do:
(stabs display; emotes)
Lingo-cipher ana-grams …
Exo-rhetorial al-gebra-ish …
His Lib-DISPLAY POPS-UP corresponding sub-texts …
PETER
(more to Gwen)
How fast can this really go?
GWEN
It doesn't say:-- no top speed indicators.
PETER
Curious.…
(softly enunciates)
And, just what is, a hesit?
DANIEL
(STABS SUB-TEXT, exults)
Here it is!- The:
(reads aloud)
DISPLAYED SUB-TEXT EXPLANATION:
Metric Hesit: A base unit of metric time: Equaling one ten-thousandth of one-quarter Earth-average helio-centric rotation: I.E. A centigrad of a mean solar day; Epoch A-D 2-thousand; Chiefly Nautical usage. See also Demur, equals a kilohesit.
DANIEL
(concludes)
That, explains it!
PETER
And, how much is that in plain English?
DANIEL
(muses momentarily)
Hmmm … Wwellll: The plain, English, use the, revised, French, Systeme metrique,- which is the System International, using old-English seconds with new-English meters, … while the Germans, use old-English hours and new-English kilometers on the autobahn; And we Americans, use the old-English measure, with miles and hours,- which means: A hesit is 6 hours divided by ten-thousand, or about 2-point-1-6 seconds,-- which, also means: A meter-per-hesit, or metric, m-p-h, is about, plainly …
(genuinely surprised)
One mile-per-hour! … How'd they do, that?!- Science just full-circled!
HARRY
That was fantastically fast, fastidiously fancy arithmetic, Dan.
DANIEL
(clarifies disinterested)
One mile-per-hour is 6 miles in 6 hours, which, times 16-hundred-9 meters-per-mile, is 3-and-a-half percent less than ten thousand meters in ten thousand hesits, -the next-centimeter tire-size on your car:-- Very convenient.
TWO ASTERISKS APPEAR on Nav-display, flashing far-left and far-right,- heading centerward;
GWEN
We've got company,-- I think.
PETER
(eyes-about subdued)
Where?!
GWEN
(controls not pointing)
Onscreen: The flashing asterisks on both sides.
All lean attentively toward Nav-display;-
The ENGINES WHINE-UP EXTRA;
(00:00 - Another Night/Real McCoy)
PETER
Can we avoid them?
GWEN
(tentatively)
They are closing fast.
THE SHIP SWAYS with deliberation;-- They brace hands-on;
A DOG-BARK display-right: ITS ASTERISK SPINS and twinkles;
DANIEL
(notices-- points)
That right asterisk is twinkling.
A DOG-BARK display-left: ITS ASTERISK SPINS and twinkles;
HARRY
Ranging and firing!- Gwen, Get us out of here-- now!
THE SHIP SWAYS as the Engines whine-up TO A MILD ROAR; Harry sits, left; Peter holds-on to seat-back-rails;
Gwen controls Nav-display steering-directives …
Ship-mark becomes an asterisk flashing inside a circle,--
DANIEL
(focused on her display)
Now, our, ship is an asterisk: Are we firing back at them?
GWEN
No: We're a locked-in-target.
HARRY
(exasperates)
Move it, Gwen,-- please!
PETER
Press-it, Gwen: Do we have any override speed?
GWEN
Not that I can tell: We're running 55 meters-per-hesit,- accelerating.
The twinkling-spinning ASTERISKS LAUNCH TO MEET THE SHIP …
Nearing … steering into a chase …
SHIP-MARK INVERTS to a circle inside a hollow asterisk--
HARRY
(huffs relief)
We're clear!
(reemphasizes)
But don't let-up!
They cheer under-breath as CHASING ASTERISKS DISAPPEAR shy.
GWEN
We're clear.
PETER
Keep going, Gwen: We can't turn-back; Take us out of the harbor.
HARRY
(relieved)
Must have been torpedoes: slow, heavy, torpedoes.
DANIEL
It may not be torpedoes next time. How fast were we going?
GWEN
We reached 85 meters-per-hesit about the time.
PETER
We'd best avoid returning for a while:- We don't want to risk further contact;-- and I'd rather avoid thinking about firing-back on them,-- if we can: They're sure to be better "aims".
Ship-mark exits the harbor for the open ocean;
DANIEL
We can't stay-out all night … what time is it getting to be?
GWEN
4:35 A.M.
EXT. SUBMARINE - HARBOR MOUTH - WEST MOONLIT (CURRENT)
Riding just under its wave, the submarine exits harbor …
(--:-- -unto- drone)
INT. COMMAND CENTER - DIM RED RUNNING (RESUME)
Engines whining, a distant roar; Gwen controlling; Harry, Daniel, watching; Peter stands at working ease, holding-on;
AN ASTERISK APPEARS onshore left behind their Ship-mark;--
HARRY
(leans-in low disquieted)
Gwen: Is this another asterisk, off-port?
GWEN
(presses display buttons)
Yes: We've got new company, guys.
DANIEL
Treble trouble: We'd better "up" the acceleration: They know we can outrun their cheaper torpedoes.
ENGINES WHINE-UP EVEN MORE ambient roar;
PETER
Maybe we should consider diving … Gwen: Can you take us below anytime soon?
GWEN
The controls say I can.
HARRY
Do you think this boat is hermetically sealed?
DANIEL
Do we have any escape pods?!
A DOG-BARK: THE ASTERISK SPINS and twinkles;
GWEN
Here it comes.
SHIP-MARK BECOMES A CIRCLED FLASHING ASTERISK--
A FLEET OF 6 flashing asterisks leaves shore,- spinning;
HARRY
Why is our asterisk still inside its circle? How fast are we going?
GWEN
(checks Nav-display data)
1-hundred-30 meters-per-hesit, and increasing.
DANIEL
Surface-to-surface missiles: This could go supersonic: Can we?!
GWEN
(checking display)
We also have some additional company:-- a fleet, I think.
DANIEL
(peers closer)
Yow!- Five, six: They must have scrambled the Air Station!
HARRY
They're seeing metal on the horizon:-- us!
PETER
Gwen: Dive when you're ready.
GWEN
(fingers display)
All right: We dive, in: 10 hesits.
HARRY
Gwen, Take us down slowly,-- just in case.
The Lone Asterisk launches,-- racing acceleration; a RUMBLY GRINDING RESONATES through the ship …
PETER
(hesitantly)
Gwen? Are we going to survive this?
The ENGINES SCREAM to highest pitch … Asterisk is half way;
DANIEL
(equally loudly)
E-T-A: 5 hesits;-- the noise being the limiting factor …!
(grimaces)
Gwen's Nav-display indicates submerging … slowing, 120mph …
THE SHIP PULLS-BACK harder;-- They lean and hold-on:
GWEN
The drag is increasing: We're slowing to compensate!
PETER
How fast are we going?
GWEN
(anticipated)
Current speed is 1-hundred-5 meters-per-hesit; submerging and decreasing rapidly,-- 95,
(reads aloud)
90,
(reads again)
85.…
The pursuing Asterisks disappear …
GWEN
(confirms a beat)
Another close call, Superman-- and no phone-booth!
Submarine seamounts appear as sub-island contours …
THE SHIP SWAYS to avoid a seamount;--
GWEN
We've got seamounts as obstacles;- But the air fleet has disappeared.
DANIEL
Just not visible down here.
PETER
Keep going … Gwen: How long before the missile would have arrived?
GWEN
(reads Nav-display data)
E-T-A got down to 2 hesits.
PETER
Take us on a new course away from this general area for a couple minutes, and then bring us up to the surface again.
GWEN
(reactuates right panel)
Aye … Captain.
Lib slides far; Near displays LIVE-VIEW seamounts veering;
DANIEL
Un-silent! Un-deep!
HARRY
(reflects)
You thinking they didn't know we're a submarine?
PETER
(nods slow yes)
Ungh-hungh: Missiles aren't much use against submarines:- They guessed we're a speedboat.
DANIEL
Now, what time is it getting to be?
GWEN
It's 4:55 A.M. on the surface.
HARRY
The sky will be light soon.
PETER
"Up" periscope.
Gwen touches a right-panel button:--
Live-view CLEARS WATER AND REFOCUSES 360x90 around the dragline periscope skimming the moonlit ocean;--
DANIEL
(stretches back, yawns)
This is basically, an incredible, machine.
HARRY
You like the programming?
DANIEL
Ultra-clean nuclear, Zirconium-96 cata-mutator reactor power lasting a hundred years; ultrasophisticated computer support, navigation and guidance … documentation … Add koa-wood furnishings and a refrigerator and we could be pirates!
HARRY
Oh yes: It has koa-wood furnishings in the Captain's Quarters.
GWEN
(interrupting)
Where's that?
HARRY
Entry corridor, third doorway on the right.
Gwen anticipating, ups, caps Dan, and quickly exits;--
DANIEL
(as she's away, quiet)
Shouldn't forget things like that.
PETER
We're all a bit tired from that high-speed chase.… Daniel, Can you figure what course Gwen has set us? Or where we're going?
DANIEL
(leans over her seat)
Just, straight, south … maybe the South Pole,-- but that's rather far … No, actually, at top speed, it's only a few days: We could visit the Antarctic, and return before school resumes next Monday.
HARRY
Maybe we'd better ask Gwen, when she gets back,-- if she gets back: Those were nice quarters.
DANIEL
(yawns)
I could use a respite myself:
(mildly exasperates)
I'm bushed!
HARRY
(cutely)
I thought you were a Democrat, Dan.
DANIEL
(closedly)
Ex-act-ly … and this is not the first time I've been bushed …
(re-exasperates)
And you elephantile Republicans never, forget!
PETER
(politicks)
Boys, boys: On behalf of citizen Gwen, who could not be present on this occasion, and myself, I want to take this opportunity to thank you both generously for your fine show of continuing bipartisan support …
(softly emphasizes)
Now, Dan: Go get some rest.
DANIEL
(rouses, objects to each)
What?!- You can't retire me like this: I'm three months from tenureship with a majum curriculum vitι in haggard-culture: -I am income-bent for life, you understand!-
(stands with assist)
You can't all do this to me!
HARRY
(steadies seat, Frenchly)
Dan-Dan … Eez oh-right: You get severance, and variance!
PETER
There you go, Dan: You've earned your Fifty-first United-statehood!
(semi-hushes)
Tread peaceably! … When Gwen gets back, we can carry-on without you.
DANIEL
(caps him, exits; taunts)
Hah! I knew it: There's nothing new under the sun, but green, vultures!
HARRY
How about you, Peter?
PETER
Someone had better stay and watch our progress.
HARRY
I'll take the first shift-- if you two want next.
PETER
(caps him, exits)
Thanks: Call us all immediately if you get any asterisks!
HARRY
(shifts to Gwen's seat)
Sure … Watch the asteriskies: tweet, tweet.
(adjusts cap)
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND CENTER - EQUATORIAL WATERS - (BEFORE NOON)
Harry, "1_0" cap cycling operators [">≥→≈….:|·-χ+±≠√/Χ^"] visor low, siesta-eyes displays: Nav, diagrams open ocean, their ship figured at low-center, a red bar winking slowly top-middle-right; Live-display shows outside 360x90 around the ocean surface passing at 270 mph; far-right Lib-display still has Daniel's documentation perusal; Eng left.
He yawns …
Gwen enters quietly, face cleaned, hair combed-out, wearing stylish warm submariner crew-clothes:
GWEN
How are you doing, Harry?
HARRY
(perks)
Hi … You want your seat back?
GWEN
Sure, if you want a rest;- Pete and Dan are still asleep in the bunks.
HARRY
(admiring)
I'm doing fine … Gwen, you're gorgeous in the morning.
(shifts right to Dan's)
GWEN
Thank you, Harry. It's almost noon.
(sits at hers)
Looks okay …
(quickly punches buttons)
Any troubles?
HARRY
I didn't touch a thing.
GWEN
How'd you stay awake?
HARRY
(honestly)
University classroom training.
GWEN
(placidly)
Anything happen, interesting?
HARRY
No asterisks … Just watched the far islands pass-by.
GWEN
(flipping display views)
Where did you send us?
HARRY
(surprised)
Me!? Send us!? We thought you, set the course for the South Pole!
GWEN
No, I left that to you-guys: This is your, mission,-- remember!
HARRY
We didn't change your settings: It resurfaced by itself,-- and it's clipping at 2-60.
GWEN
(ponders)
It must be an automatic course.
HARRY
Great! We're the guests;- Who's our host?
GWEN
The builders and programmers.
HARRY
But that must have been decades ago: Suppose the destination doesn't exist; Or the ice moved!?
Daniel saunters-in, clean face, sleep-disheveled hair:
DANIEL
(groggily)
Heard you talking: How'd you sleep, Gwen? Great: Obviously better-than.
HARRY
You could get more rest, Dan: Gwen's taking-over.
DANIEL
Later;- What's this about the ice moving?- Are we at the South Pole already?
GWEN
A quarter of the way.
HARRY
Is there a way to change the programmed destination?
GWEN
Haven't found it: Looks like we go: and then, maybe, come back.
DANIEL
(startled)
May-be come back!?
GWEN
It's not at the controls:-- not like an elevator.
DANIEL
(reexits groggily roused)
May-be we'd better tell Peter,- before he wakes up … I mean: By himself.
Peter enters, clean face, hair combed; preventing him:
DANIEL
(spins passed, resumes)
Whoa,-- dι-jΰ prι-vu …!
PETER
(grins)
Good, morning, Dan.…
He saunters over to Gwen and Harry; followed by Daniel; The display red bar is blinking faster;
PETER
Harry,-- how about you get some rest, yourself?!
HARRY
(slowly gets up)
Sure, Peter, but you've got to figure-out what Gwen's computer is doing to our futures.
Harry begins his exit, blearily mock-saluting in passing: Peter smirks; Daniel rockets a counter-salute;
PETER
(at Gwen's display)
Ungh-hungh,-- And what's that red bar blinking at the top, slightly to the right of center?!
Gwen retouches her display …
HARRY
(pauses,- back in)
Oh,- that's been there for an hour, -winking slowly; I thought it might be a course-latitude marker near the equator.
GWEN
(unsettled, keys several)
Wakeup time: You should have called me sooner.
The ENGINES WHINE-UP LIMITLESSLY; Daniel sits right, and seat-belts, and calls-up ship-documentation; Harry returns to stand behind Dan, next to Peter,--
HARRY
Why? --it didn't twinkle, change or move … What is it?
GWEN
It's an over-the-horizon indicator of, something, out there far away.
PETER
How soon will it be within primary range?
GWEN
Looks like a few hundred hesits, present course and speed --several minutes;-- we're just in time.
PETER
What is it? Can we simply avoid it?
GWEN
Very large;-- appears to have no systematic motion: We can skirt it.
She adjusts their ship-course, left,--
The red bar drifts more to the right; but then--
Emanates several spinning-twinkling asterisks--
Gliding-down --some fast, some slow,-- toward their Ship-mark, which becomes a circled asterisk;
HARRY
(slightly dazed)
An island base? An armada? Are they waiting for us?
DANIEL
Should we find out? Maybe we could just pass-by near-enough to look across at it.
GWEN
(keys more)
We have several incoming,- missiles and torpedoes.
PETER
(leans in)
Their over-the-horizon detection is as good as ours: We know what that means …
DANIEL+HARRY
(mutually deliberate)
We know, that they, know, that we, know, that they, know, that we're, here, and they're there.
(handshake)
DANIEL
(completes)
… and we're, trying, to avoid them.
GWEN
Shall we dive? Captain?
DANIEL
(keys, quips)
You can't trick an old teacher with a new dodge.
HARRY
(reviving gradually)
Let's rush them, Gwen:- They're not expecting it; and we have a vantage in our high-speed approach to their missiles … we just have to be more agile. And we can dive at the last instant. -Or, No:- Let's jump, over your lazy puddle's torpedoes!
PETER
Gwen: Can we do that?
GWEN
(examines her controls)
Sure … Like a breaching whale … But it'll bounce on nose-first reentry: Its dive-mechanism will absorb that but it won't have the power to push its way under: It'll jerk severely.
DANIEL
(consulting Lib-diagrams)
Propellers and tractors will free-spin: But they're tach-limited.
PETER
Strap in: We're going for the goal-line leap.
Peter and Harry swap-sit left and far-right, and seat-belt;
GWEN
(intent on her controls)
Maneuver, programmed:-- We're ready for hop-scotch.
And hurriedly latches her seat belt;--
DANIEL
Here they come.
PETER
Can we track all incoming?
GWEN
(touches right panel)
Tracking three-sixty by one-eighty.
Live-view BECOMES FISHEYE 360x180, Live missiles above, diagrammatic torpedoes below, tracking markers on all.
The spinning-twinkling Nav-asterisks converge rapidly …
Their circled-ship-asterisk evades, left-right; They lean:
(00:00 - Mallorca/Loft)
[COMPUTER](VO)
(forewarning)
Gauch!
(SHIP VEERS LEFT)
[COMPUTER](VO)
Dur-droit!
(SHIP VEERS HARD-RIGHT)
[COMPUTER](VO)
Dur-gauch!
(SHIP VEERS HARD-LEFT)
Their submarine adroitly evaded the barrage of missiles …
The torpedo-asterisks following, coming next, more slowly …
HARRY
Now the torpedoes.
The GRINDING-RUMBLING NOISE resumes;
The missile-asterisks swing around behind their ship;
Speed reaches 550 mph as the torpedo-asterisks converge;
The ENGINES SCREAM to highest pitch;--
The ship NOSE LEAPS abruptly upward: seating them deeper;
And whalelike slowly ARCS OVER; letting them buoy-up …
The display momentarily shows flashing-not-twinkling torpedo-asterisks passing in the water beneath;
Then arcking down, they brace against the console forward--
THE SEA HITS,- whipping them forward against their brace;--
Live-view of spray, seawater, as they dip under to 450 mph;
HARRY
(calmly)
Now the big-berthas.
DANIEL
(excites)
Gwen: The missiles are coming-back, behind us!
GWEN
Hang-on to your faith: We're closing-in.
Their ship-asterisk aims tween two battleships; Speechless they await Gwen's controlled near-miss …
Live-view dithers, shallow at 500 mph, washing-up a sheet of water over the bow and top,- thickening to obscuration …
CUT OUT TO:
EXT. TWO-BATTLESHIP ARMADA - REAR - (AS CONTINUOUS)
The cocktailing submarine flushes through in 1 sec. … where
The trailing missiles are just now arriving midair …
HARRY (VO)
(loud over engine-scream)
Beat-it, Gwen: Those missiles are still angry!
Avoiding only the armada, MISSILES COLLIDE IN EXPLOSIONS …
CUT BACK IN TO:
INT. COMMAND CENTER - (AS CONTINUOUS)
… a rainbow blaze behind their Live-view cocktail spray …
DANIEL
(ecstatic loud)
Score, Two hits, One run, No error!
Speed exceeds 600 mph …
GWEN
(loud)
6-hundred meters-per-hesit!
(a beat)
Going trans-sonic …!
(a beat)
Hold-on!
INTERIOR SHAKES TO BLUR as the sound-barrier is breached …
(--:-- -fade-)
BLUR OUT
FADE IN:
INT. COMMAND CENTER - SOUTH POLAR ICE CAP - (LATE NEXT DAY)
Moderate cruise; Gwen seated at her console; Daniel on her right; Peter, Harry, seat-leaning around them; clean faces, hair combed, stylish warm submariner clothes; watching the approaching majestic glacial ice cap:
DANIEL
(responds to unheard)
No thanks: It's more inviting to stay and watch-- inside.
HARRY
(a beat)
Any idea yet where the entrance is?
GWEN
Not yet, It's still on autopilot.
PETER
(switches subject)
I'm glad this machine held together … I thought we were goners when we got close to the battleship: They should have fired on us with their Aegis,-- not that it'd have done us any good, but make trouble.
DANIEL
(interrupts: confides)
Aegis is very good against direct, flying, missiles: Gwen's dithering kept them guessing late.
HARRY
Gwen's water-shield helped a whole lot too: Radar is useless in water: Wave-backscatter and our spray must have out-challenged their Aegis hunt-and-fire-control programs.
DANIEL
(adds)
Anyway, besides, This thing's got a depleted-uranium hardened sub-shell inside an aramid sleeve:-- Aegis, might, send dents.
PETER
(pauses)
Maybe they never expected us to get close.
GWEN
Why didn't they fire another round of missiles at us after we passed?
A low GAP APPEARS in the glacier ice wall before them;
PETER
(admits)
Maybe they didn't need to sink us.
(corrects)
Maybe they're following us by satellite radar.
HARRY
Then we'd better be quick about landing, and turning around and getting out of here again promptly.
PETER
(muses a beat)
I think this submarine was designed for automated research, with people and ferry capacity.
DANIEL
Considering the way it shallow-dives and jumps on the surface, they should call it, a transmarine.
HARRY
They should have hired you to help with their nomenclature.
DANIEL
No big deal:- I'd have consulted by e-mail for reduced fee … Speaking of which: When do I get paid?
HARRY
Out here we pay in fiche-- virtual fiche: You want a virtual fiche!?
They approach the ice-port's tunnel … and slow … in through the passage dimly lit by their conning floodlights …
DANIEL
I could go a sandwich: My picnic-basket ran-out early this morning.
PETER
Gwen: Was there any food in the Captain's refrigerator?
GWEN
No, but there was a pantry of canned and freeze-dried foods,-- partially filled.
DANIEL
(unnecessarily loud)
Par-ty!
HARRY
You really think it's worth eating? It's been there for years; decades.
DANIEL
(gets up)
Canned foods last centuries … Freeze-dried maybe longer.
(exits to corridor)
PETER
Gwen, Did you inspect any of the storage foods?
GWEN
I opened one freeze-dry package: It smelled good after I added water, and reheated it … but I didn't eat.
Harry up, follows after Daniel;
DANIEL
(calls back)
Last chance for a party, guys!
HARRY
(exits loud)
Polar celebrities:-- We invite the penguins …
DANIEL (OS)
(loud in the corridor)
And the kissing-seals:-- Can't have a party without kissing-seals.
PETER
Interested, Gwen?
GWEN
I'll watch the docking procedures.
PETER
(calls after)
Bring us something, Dan!
(returns to her)

Act 2

'escapees from Earth'

INT. CONNING TOWER - (EVENING)
They climb, all wearing their stylish warm submariner crew-clothes with winter jackets; Harry leads, with ropes …
And opens the top-hatch;--
DANIEL
(half back unto hostess)
That was delicious,-- thank you, Gwen: I wish we could have taken more than two days' worth.
HARRY
(half out; face down-in)
While we're on liberty here in port, we can always return to the submarine for more, Dan.
INT. ICE CAVERN - DOCK - CONNING FLOODLIGHT (CONTINUOUS)
Acoustically live decked with aluminum; floodlight swaying, the submarine leans-and-bobs slowly at dock; Harry exits …
THE SUBMARINE CONNING MOUND
Trots down … jumps to the dock … and runs the length of the submarine, tying mooring-lines;
Daniel out, watching Gwen climb out; Peter at her heels …
DANIEL
(mock-shivers)
Yup-yes-sir-ee-bob: It's a co-o-old down-south to-day.
PETER
(sniffs-up, steps out)
Actually it seems rather warm in here: Must be a lot colder outside the ice cave, in the wind.
And he closes the top-hatch,--
And spins the hatch-lock a full turn;
GWEN
(espies, points)
There's a doorway over there against the metal wall.
They steady-step down the submarine's extended top …
THE DOCK
And jump to, as Harry returns …
PETER
Gwen's spotted a doorway: You ready to explore, what's in-store?
HARRY
(smiles bravely)
I'm always ready for the big game.
Looking about, they cross the CREAKING DECK, for the door …
And finally nearing, speak again, quieter:
DANIEL
What if it's locked? Imagine coming this far, around the Earth, and the door's locked …!
Gwen jangles new keys.
DANIEL
(over-emotes)
Youu'rre kidding?!
GWEN
These were in the Captain's Quarter desk.
AT THE DOOR
DANIEL
(tests the doorknob)
Yup: Locked.
Harry holds a flashlight to the keyhole in the wall next to the doorhandle while Gwen tries her keys--
HARRY
(snide)
Looks like they do things a little differently down south, here.
PETER
Okay, No jokes about southpaws … Some of my best friends are southpaws.
GWEN
(tiny cutely)
Mieuw.
This key works,--
The door CLICKS OPEN, to a dark entryway …
Harry first, they enter swinging their flashlights about …
INT. LABORATORY - ENTRY CORRIDOR - UNLIT (AS CONTINUOUS)
Conning floodlight strafes-in as their flashlight spots skip across the walls;
DANIEL
(quietly)
Wish they had lights in here.
ALL-CEILING LIGHTS COME-ON full;-- They halt, squinting:
DANIEL
(stifles)
Yipes! Spoke too soon.
Aluminum walls, floors, ceiling, corridors stretch to dim …
GWEN
It's huge.
HARRY
Sure is.-- What exotic experiments could be stored in here?
PETER
Let's explore;- Shall we?!
DANIEL
I'm game.
HARRY
Better check what's here before you say that …
DANIEL
Just crossing a frozen-rain ford …
They stroll on, looking about; doors, some figure-labeled …
And more corridors lead off figures-and-arrows at corners …
DANIEL
(ponders)
A pedestrian could spend a lifetime opening doors …
HARRY
That's the nice part about science: It just keeps getting better,-- and no-one is waiting for us.
DANIEL
The cold chill,-- right!?
HARRY
The lack of a reception party: This is the South Pole;-- They don't get many visitors, to ignore.
PETER
Okay, guys: Ease-up on the virtual protocols: Their summer is over.
A LARGE LIGHTED RECEPTION AREA
Animal artifacts; full-size glass-encased taxidermies of dinosaurs and less-descript creatures, situated center;
They spread:- Gwen wanders to a large diagram on the wall;
Daniel diverts and routes to a piglike reptilian.
DANIEL
(invents as reading)
Piggo-potamus-rerun'y-sorish-wrex: Eats left-overs; Lounges on trendy pre-Jurassic muck; Lays dark brown eggs with a curly tail and watches all-night B-movies …
Harry (MCU) face-to-face in awe at a towering corpse-like fleet-footed dinosaur taxidermy--
HARRY
This big game, looks too realistic, with cracked skin, dried eyeballs …
DANIEL
Is there a date on it?
HARRY
18-61, if you want to believe A.D.
GWEN
(invites politely)
Here's a directory.
They join-up at her proto-linguistic-worded directory …
DANIEL
(mock-dejectedly)
It, figures: Foreign, language …
GWEN
The pictures help:-- We're here,--
(traces a course)
And this leads to another exit, And to a vehicle of some kind.
She leads-off … they follow … into
ANOTHER CORRIDOR
DANIEL
Okay: So what do we find? A museum.… Wouldn't they move these objects to some stateside, museum?
HARRY
I've seen enough museums to know they didn't, haven't, or can't yet.
DANIEL
Then we must presume these are not ordinary archaeological diggings.
HARRY
We could presume they'd disorient the public, if exposed too soon.
DANIEL
(counters)
Or we might presume they aren't from this Earth.
HARRY
(re-counters)
Or, we might presume … No …
(reconsiders a beat)
Makes no difference if they were found frozen only in the Polar ice.
PETER
But that's the simpler explanation, Harry … With fewer presumptions the better explanation-- Occam's razor.
DANIEL
(grins, counters)
If, we presume Occam's Razor counts as exactly one presumption, Itself.
HARRY
(grins, rebuts)
I always thought Occam's Razor was three, presumptions: First presumes there exists a finite covering of presumptions on infinite reality,- lest we add a finite to infinity. … Second presumes every equivalent system of explanation has the same count of component presumptions. … Thirdly, presumes …
(quieter, more to Gwen)
Think this is it?
A WINDOWED ACCESS DOOR
Gwen glances in, then relooks about …
DANIEL
(completes)
… what I, meant: The third presumes reality itself is not simpler than every explanation including Occam's Razor … lest we mis-take reality.…
(a withheld grin)
GWEN
(looking in again)
This must be it.
She opens the door to the …
INT. CORRIDOR TO GANGPLANK, MISSILE SILO - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Inside, they follow a narrow winding corridor to …
A GLASS-WRAPPED GANGPLANK
And cross, looking out up-down the windows: an immense ten-story-deep cavern, housing an equally-tall rocket vehicle …
DANIEL
(tilts head sideways)
Whoa: This is no submarine --unless they found a way to tilt seawater sideways, too …
(a beat)
Try a rocketship, even to the moon.
HARRY
No sign it belongs to NASA, nor the Russians,- And it must cost a half-fortune more to launch from a Pole.
DANIEL
None of this belongs to NASA,-- nor the U.S.A. Not even that submarine.
PETER
… Did smell like international air.
THE MOON ROCKET PORTAL
Gwen opens it and steps sideways into a strait passageway …
And Peter last, closes the door behind.
INT. MOON ROCKET, STRAIT PASSAGEWAY - (AS CONTINUOUS)
POV: Walking sideways alternate-faced passing A SIDE ROOM:
DANIEL
(mock-strains)
N'w y've d'n'-it, Gw'n: Th't's one sm'll st'p f'r m'n,- 'nd one giant squ'ze, f'r m'nk'nd.
HARRY
(turns head to look)
Maybe space aliens have one leg in front, of the other one behind.
PETER
A real, Egyptian, hieroglyphicist.
AT THE CONTROL ROOM
GWEN
(stops)
Here it is, guys: The control-room: With chairs and computers, Daniel.
She enters directly, while they peer in … to follow …
DANIEL
(mock-space-cadet)
Shall we beam-aboard the refrigerator first, Cap-ten?!
HARRY
(mock-space-captain)
Freeze it, Cadet: The landing party can wait: We have fresh game afoot.
INT. CONTROL ROOM - MODERATELY LIGHTED (AS CONTINUOUS)
Walls are block-padded white between wraparound windows. They enter and sit reclined in cushion-chairs at consoles, semicircled with heads near: Harry, Gwen, Daniel, Peter …
And prepare for launch momentarily:
HARRY
(pressing buttons)
I've got a, Sequence for launch: 1-hundred hesits, and counting down.
DANIEL
(pressing buttons)
Hecta-hesits: That's 2-hundred-16 seconds, or 3-point-6 minutes.
GWEN
(touch-scans, monotone)
System: Nominal … Monitor nominal … Response: Nominal … Load: Nominal … Telemetry: Nominal … Registration: Nominal … Power: Nominal … Support: Nominal … Function: Nominal … Ambient: Nominal … Exterior nominal … Sequence: Nominal … Go: Nominal.
DANIEL
(side-eyes Gwen, mocks)
Confidence: Nominal … Butterflies: Nominal …
HARRY
(a beat at Dan)
Nominally, Nominal …?
PETER
(pressing buttons)
Exterior controls show green across-the-board …
(peers out-up)
Opening the overhead silo cap, now.
SILO CHAMBER BRIGHTENS slowly with indirect outdoor light …
EXT. SILO COVER OPENING - SNOW DRIFTS - POLAR DAY (CURRENT)
Amid scant 15 deg. side-daylight, the BLAST DOORS OPEN …
Over the moon rocket deep inside.
INT. CONTROL ROOM - (RESUME CURRENT)
They latch and check their seat belts:
GWEN
Is everyone comfortable?- Final-check your seat belts.
DANIEL
(checking his seat belt)
Thank you, Gwen, for showing some interest in our comfort.
HARRY
(intending to Daniel)
Ease-up, Dan: She knows more about these machines than we: There's something innately, mathematical, about high technology: It's the razor-edge of science.
(jerks to his display)
Oh: And … 10 hesits, and counting.
PETER
(across to Gwen)
Any reason for not, going, Gwen?
GWEN
(keys)
None.
DANIEL
It's four-for-one and one-for-four!
(intending to Harry)
That one innate enough, as in nine?
HARRY
(reading)
It's a little closer to five for …
[COMPUTER] (VO)
(clips; 2.2 sec. pace)
Fuenf.…
Vfeer.…
Drry.…
Tzvy.…
Rocket-engines build to ROAR TO RUMBLE in the depth, 4 sec.
(00:00 - Beautiful Life/Ace Of Base)
RELEASE-BOLTS EXPLODE:-- The silo creeps downward, inch-by-inch … to foot-by-foot faster … 5 sec. (to 2 g) …
A COLD DAY SKY above the polar glacial ice and snow flurry;
DANIEL
(reports)
We have lift-off … nominally.
HARRY
(reports)
5 hesits into launch-sequence: Systems: Nominal; Telemetry: Nominal; Go-ing: Nominal.
PETER
(reports)
Launch-pad cleared: We have a "Go" for the moon.
DANIEL
(mock-serious)
Okay, Break-out the chicken skin and white knuckular sandwiches …
(glee)
A little mission humor there.
Gwen's Earth-chart shows ICBM-launch red-dots as they rise rapidly through snow-hazy clouds to clear sky …
Peter stretches back, folding hands behind his head;--
PETER
Quite right, Dan: This mission is going to be an unimpeded cinch.… Let's wait for zero-grav'-- and enjoy the ride.
GWEN
(interrupts)
We've got trouble on the horizon.
HARRY
Hah: Spoke too soon …
(leans towards Gwen)
What is it, Gwen?
Slowly startled, the glares build around Gwen:
PETER
(concerned)
Gwen?- What is it?!
DANIEL
(small askance at Gwen)
Gwen …?
GWEN
(slowly at first)
Guyyys …
(a beat, somber)
We've just started World-War-Three.
DANIEL
(looks outside and back)
Meaning … What … Gwen … Is this …?!
HARRY
(dawns)
Oh, myyyy,-- metal on the horizon: We've crossed the DEW line.
DANIEL
(disconcerted to them)
Pardon me for 7-percent ignorance: Does a do-line precede a did-line?
PETER
(ponders absently)
Distant, Early, Warning, system,-- installed since the early 50's to detect nuclear I.C.B.M.'s crossing the poles: We had it looking over the Arctic, for U.S.S.R. launches; There must have been something over the Antarctic,-- the Australians,-- watching South America … Africa …
Sky is turning dark blue to black, 10 mi. up (at 2 g) …
DANIEL
(horrified)
And, We just triggered a response!?
PETER
Well, the Australians were just as worried,-- Ever see that cold-war movie, On the Beach?-- Had a great rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
GWEN
(somewhat urgently)
Guys, They are coming this way.
PETER
I.C.B.M.'s don't aim at each other: They're heading for some …
(half a beat)
Military base or complex, or, city.
DANIEL
(really bothered)
They can, be recalled, or aborted!?
PETER
Redirected: I hope so;- Anyway, not much for us to do, but stay away,-- far away: They'll come looking for us;-- we can't return here.
HARRY
(relieves)
Then for the moment we're integral, 40 hesits into the launch-sequence.
PETER
Right. Keep us posted: We don't want to do a near-miss over the Antarctic.
DANIEL
(mock-exasperates)
Moon or bust;- Aaack: Here we come!
(--:-- -fade-)
Sky is black with stars, 30 mi. up (at 2 g).
INT. CONTROL ROOM - MOON WEST - BRIGHT (DAY LATER)
The nearing moon, large and bright against the starry night sky; Gwen, Harry, in stylish modern advanced space-traveler padded-alumina wear; Peter, Daniel, still in their stylish warm submariner clothes; nap reclined, albeit Harry half-watches a widescreen SatNewsNetwork background discussion of ICBMs, simulations, launches, reentries, detonations, retaliations, curtailments, international fast-re-peace …
GWEN
(stirs)
How's it going, Harry?
HARRY
Almost there … sure looks pretty … Think I'd like to take a stroll.
GWEN
(leans across to his)
What did you find here?
HARRY
A weak H-D-T-V link from a news-satellite on the Earth's horizon-- a sidelobe emission,-- compatible raster-scan, proper color, anyway.
GWEN
Even compressed, video scans, have distinct statistical signatures,-- easy to automatedly guess.
DANIEL
(stirs)
Oh-kay … Back to the refrigerator!
(leans up)
Space-cadets rocket on full stomachs.
Gets up, grabs rails-- and wobbly float-walks back to exit:
DANIEL
Woow-- not, used to mag'walking.…
GWEN
(leans back)
I put leftovers in the micro, to thaw an hour ago: Just press start.
DANIEL (OS)
(behind)
Thanks!-- Conveniences to go …
(musically imitative)
And another cow jumps,-
And another cow jumps,-
And another cow bites the moooon.
HARRY
(a beat)
Don't be too long, Dan: I don't think we can have a party this time: Rendezvous with the moon is no easy task.
DANIEL (OS)
(somewhat loud)
'S-okay, Harry: Parties are for Earth-women: Up-here it's, oh-gees, all the way.
GWEN
(reviews)
E-T-A: 17-hundred hesits; Deorbit, at … It appears we have a backside rendezvous … What'd be back there?
HARRY
(cute)
Man-in-the-moon backside hairdo:-- Now we learn whether the moon is male, or female …
GWEN
(cute-dumps)
Moon-rivers.
PETER
(stirs, yawns)
Far-side jokes …
INT. -SAME- BACKWARD (UPSIDE DOWN), MOON BACK - (NEXT HOUR)
Daniel is reseated, his dinner tray set aside finished; The hilly mottled terminator passes, close upward, 10 sec.…
RIGHTSIDE DOWN, LEVEL BACKWARD - (CONTINUOUS)
DANIEL
Terminator; Lights, out, folks.
BLACK MOON, a blotch of floodlight racing parallel below …
HARRY
Not quite, Dan:- Looks like someone's waiting for us …
(points out down-ahead)
DANIEL
That's our exterior floodlight footprint.
HARRY
… farther ahead of us.
(points again down-ahead)
DANIEL
(sit-up looks farther)
Oh?- And uh-oh.
Moon-port GUIDE-LIGHTS come into view from ahead-below …
PETER
It may be permanent or automated: Everything else has been computer-controlled.
FACE DOWN, LEVEL BACKWARD - (CONTINUOUS)
The moon rocket ENGINES ROAR TO RUMBLE …
Moon motion decelerates to stop for vertical landing …
GWEN
(busy)
Landing-sequence: Nominal; Thrust: Nominal; Telemetry-synchronization: Nominal; Guide-path: Nominal.
The moon apparent pitches down for landing,- sun above;
The near moonscape rises to eclipse the far … sunset …
Then the lunar port-doors …
And out-gasses … and the dock column top …
And the rocket slows to land just inside.…
DISSOLVE
FADE IN:
INT. MOON-PORT STATION-CAVERN - CORRIDORS - WELL-LIGHTED
Wide, aluminum construction. They enter, in padded-alumina wear with astronaut over-jackets of various ranks:
HARRY
(admires the halls)
Looks permanently lighted.
PETER
That'd be one way to ensure all the lights work.
DANIEL
Wouldn't they wear-out after fifty years? -a century?- Fluorescents, panelescents, even semiconductor luminescents and sonoluminescents?
HARRY
And replaced.
DANIEL
You think people have been here, recently?
PETER
Why not? We're sure to meet aliens sometime, somewhere.
DANIEL
Yes, But on our own moon!?
HARRY
… Backside, Dan: If aliens came to Earth, -ever,- they'd surely land out of view; refuel and do repairs here; They wouldn't want to be stranded on Earth: Everything must work right when they leave here!
A RAILED LEDGE
Overlooking miles-deep cavern of stealth-black starships;
GWEN
(long hushed awe)
Wow …
DANIEL
(awed)
Now, that's, a department store.
HARRY
(looking over the ledge)
It must be miles deep,- and full of spaceships.
(ponders)
And change the density of the moon:
(brightens)
I wonder if the whole moon is a giant space-depot:
(Scriptural)
A city set on an hill, and, unhid.
DANIEL
This must be a main station for transport-transfer: But to where?- And where are the people?
HARRY
Maybe this station is abandoned-- for now.
DANIEL
Incredible … but if the spaceships were working … where would they go?
PETER
The planets,- Venus, Mercury, Mars, the moons of Jupiter, out to Pluto … the Kuiper Belt … maybe the Oort-cloud, nearby stars, galactic arm …
GWEN
How would we pick a spaceship, Peter?
DANIEL
(under breath)
We're going, guys.
HARRY
(points to one gigantic)
How about that one, there: It's got ample room for long-distance: Might go to the stars.
PETER
Seems to be about the biggest … but maybe there are more caverns.
DANIEL
"Biggers," can be choosy forever.
PETER
(reconsiders)
Then again this one is well-lighted and clean;- the other caverns could be run-down, dusty, empty, smelly …
DANIEL
Or smashed and destroyed by comets.
GWEN
(points near Harry's)
There's an elevator, down the side.
(walks to the elevator)
DANIEL
(breathes big)
This is it: We just sold our souls to the mammon's master-mentor.
PETER
I thought Jews didn't worry about those New Testament Christian memes, Dan.
HARRY
(aside)
Mem is the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
DANIEL
Thanks, Harry.- I meant girlfriends and wives …
(mouth-open suspense)
And we're going to have to create and finance a market for these spaceships.
(smiles broadly)
They proceed after Gwen,- noting A DISPLAY CASE containing a long six-legged furry reptile, live:
DANIEL
Curiouser and curiouser: This is getting ve-ry, alien.
HARRY
I wonder what the people look like? Somebody, must feed it.
PETER
(shrugs)
Maybe they look like us-- there are no self-adoring bust portraitures.
And hurry to catch her at
THE GLASS-WALLED ELEVATOR
They enter … And the door slowly closes …
DANIEL
(looks at the door-top)
Harry: Did you remember which floor it's on?
HARRY
(mock-exact)
1-hundred-27 thousand, 3-hundred-17: Women's par-fumes, maternity-suits, and space-vehicles.
GWEN
(chuckles)
A one-elevator mind.
The door is closed; --LOCKS--
AND DESCENDS …
EXT. A PIER IN THE DEPTHS - ELEVATOR - (MINUTES LATER)
The elevator arrives … DOOR OPENS … and they exit …
DANIEL
(sniffs snobbishly)
I, don't smell any par-fume ….
HARRY
(looks up his spaceship)
This is, the right floor.
THE STARSHIP: They proceed into the air-lock …
Gwen activates a panel:-- the DOOR CLOSES behind.
INT. STARSHIP AIR-LOCK - (AS CONTINUOUS)
Outer Door shut: REPRESSURIZATION HISS …
DANIEL
(looks about)
I thought the air-conditioning was nice enough already.
PETER
We can look around … or get going.
Inner Door opens to pink AIRGLOW,-- Gwen walks-in …
HARRY
I guess science doesn't get any better than this-- until someone makes the really big discovery.
(wanders in)
DANIEL
(shrugs)
Feels like home already: It's such a letdown.
(saunters in)
PETER
(dumbfounded)
A letdown …
(follows)
Right:-- Sub-lunar.
INT. STARSHIP COMMAND CENTER - (MINUTES LATER)
360-surrounded by the spaceport cavern; They enter …
DANIEL
This is getting so blasι,-- maybe we should just go back, to Earth.
HARRY
We could take this ship to Earth …
(more to Gwen)
unless it has an automatic program to some way-out deep dark space ….
PETER
Earth, isn't going to be inviting.
DANIEL
Quite … let's press-on: Life isn't all schoolwork … and we still have four more days of Spring Break.
Gwen walks to the Helm, left,- sits and activates;--
SPACESHIPS REMOVE ABOUT,- clearing a path above …
Their Starship extracts …
And elevates …
Daniel sits at the Nav, right of Gwen.
The overhead moon-doors open, as the Starship rises …
And up through the sparkly-pink AIRGLOW permeating the portal zone 100 meters, they feel wholly weighted-down:
HARRY
(surprised, steadying)
Hey,-- there's something passing through us,--
(feels-about himself)
From head to toe,- like a heavy weight … I feel suddenly full.
PETER
(steadying)
It's a plasma-trap-field for the sub-lunanean atmosphere … a type of magnetohydrodynamic negative pump.
DANIEL
(upright, gawks)
Glad you, know what it is,-- is it safe enough for Earth people? Maybe we should have waited outside.
HARRY
(shivers arrow-upright)
Too late for that remedy … I think we're surviving the strength of it.
DANIEL
(arrow-erect)
How does it work?
PETER
(arrow-erect)
Not too absolutely, but it might be efficient to replenish lost oxygen from rock-decomposition … Probably ionizes air by laser illumination, and holds it down by electrostatic attraction or by magnetic sweeping. Lost electrons are replaceable.
Above the pink air zone, Peter sits in the captain's chair behind middle; Harry sits back-aside; while outside
PORTAL LIGHT SPLATTERS the lunar landscape from low …
The moon-doors (OS) close, EXTERMINATING THE MOON BLACK, to a myriad stars; Interior light is low soft from wall-glows; Large Soffit Displays monitor the receding moon surface …
DANIEL
(more to Gwen)
Think you're up to all this,-- or shall I assist the helm?
GWEN
(smiles)
Sure, Dan: A piece of gefilte fish.
DANIEL
(laughs)
Okay, Take the lead!
(leans back)
What's your pleasure?
(gestures skyward)
Mars? Venus? Pluto? Alpha Centauri?
Gwen controls: the Starship ascends, without plume;
HARRY
Seriously, Dan.
DANIEL
(exuberates)
Seriously Harry: Some of my best childhood friends have been dogs: Let's check-in on the dogs' star.
HARRY
(more to Peter)
This ship is using something else for propulsion.
PETER
Dan's levity …
(a beat)
Mass-energy-coupling most likely … Dan, What have you got on starship propulsion?
Daniel leans to his Nav displays,- And keys …
DANIEL
No direct information;-- must be simpler than we expected.
HARRY
Or proprietary.
DANIEL
(mock-exasperates)
Proprietary!? --Space-alien-- proprietary … Far-out venue for jurisprudence!
HARRY
I only meant, The farther you go, the further you have to know about everything else;-- That's why we study at the univers--ity.
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND - NEARING JUPITER - (NEXT HALFDAY)
Stars steady; but planet JUPITER and moons quick, in 4 min.
Gwen, Helm; Daniel, Nav; Peter, captain's chair; Harry now standing awed, adjacent to Peter …
HARRY
(and to Peter)
Peter … This is incredible, speed!- We've been going half a day, and we're already passing Jupiter!
PETER
(noncommittal)
Yes.
DANIEL
Isn't this impossible?!- Where's the speed of light in this vector's equation?
HARRY
(counterpoint)
Where're the collisions with space-dust?!- This speed is getting to be unsafe for home use!
PETER
(noncommittal)
Yes.
DANIEL
(to Harry)
I don't, think he's listening: What about the speed of light?!
HARRY
(to Daniel)
45 minutes from Earth,- no problem: We're doing quarter speed, which is credible energy consumption for hot nuclear-powered alien spaceships.
DANIEL
Okay … Still, I don't think he's really listening.
HARRY
(to Peter)
Peter?
PETER
(delays, thinks)
Yes …
(a beat, continues)
At this rate of acceleration, --if it can be sustained,-- we should be passing Pluto early tomorrow,-- approaching the speed of light.
DANIEL
(relieves)
Well, That is what I asked.
PETER
What happens afterward, is a guess: an extrapolation of facts at hand: We might exceed the speed of light.
DANIEL
Well, That is not what I had believed:-- Where do we pay the energy cost?- The speed of light requires a third of our mass: Are there interplanetary energy beams?
(small-cute)
We're not, super-surfing zero-point energy on background neutrino-chop!
PETER
We are traveling in some kind of conduit;-- I'm conjecturing it's an aether-slipstream.
HARRY
Shouldn't make a difference, -were such a thing possible,- we'd be limited to the speed of light in the slipstream, aether.
PETER
But not the speed-of-light through the cosmos,-- in a fast slipstream.
DANIEL
Wouldn't an aether-slipstream be limited to the soliton speed of light;-- and we on top of that?
PETER
The aether is the basis of the apparent coincidence of objects within the mathematical measure frame of the cosmos:-- Massive objects, exist, as aggregates of subatomic wavicles of the aether, traveling slower than the speed of light waves in the aether because that is what wavicles are: little eddy-waves convolved on themselves, that don't escape straight-photon … But the aether itself may be a wave of sub-aether.
DANIEL
And what's the speed of sub-aether?
PETER
A blend of finite and infinite.
HARRY
Zoom … You passed me on that one: Finity and in-finity don't mix very well.
PETER
Conjecturally: Consider the common aethers, water, air, consisting of innumerable molecules occupying, each a fraction of local measure-space, and moving about freely,- constituting their aether … Energy-transfer is hard, fast within each molecule,-- basically the speed of atomic orbiting electrons, a tenth the speed of light,-- but, phonon, transport between molecules depends on the mass, speed, collision rate, angle, spin, of molecules,-- and molecules in collision go entropic routes, and convert kinetic energy with heat,- making sound, overall, slow compared to electron, speed;-- a mix of slow and fast finities.
DANIEL
You're conjecturing an absolute bottom aether: Fast is infinitely fast, and slow is arbitrary finite.
PETER
Yes.
HARRY
Still doesn't say just what the aether, is … infinitely hard molecules of uniform size in a vacuous measure-space…?
PETER
Mathematical integers themselves, perhaps: Each point in space may have a transferable integer value associated with it, --a saturation value,-- presence or absence, one or zero, positive-negative, used or unused, right-left …. Integers are infinitely precise, so they'd be infinitely hard …. Unless we reach a speed-limit and run for years to the next star, we might want to consider an absolute bottom aether.
GWEN
Peter: How would your aether theory give us a vantage over lightwaves?
PETER
If some, means, were available to crystallize the aether, to remove its natural entropic motion, align its point-to-point value-transfers: its velocity would go off-the-scale -maybe hyperconducting in corridors through normal space- … mass might interact and might be controllable to some higher velocity … Well, a conjecture for today: We'll see what tomorrow may bring.
DANIEL
(as to outer space)
Whatever happened to simple Space-Time Frame-Relativity, and light-speed-relativistic contractions …?!
PETER
Frame-time Relativity didn't decide whether the rear shrank toward the front, or the front shrank toward the rear … It was relative nowhere: You couldn't get there from here.
DANIEL
(a beat, putting them on)
A pity … I did so like its notion of infinite frames shrinking in a finite cosmos warped back through itself:- You could have a trillion-light-year-long space-train chasing its own caboose, and the faster it goes, the farther they part … Would have explained a lot about all the Uncertainty Principles circulating … And tensor calculus has a certain blitheness to its manual dexterity.
GWEN
Daniel, Do you have more than one, Uncertainty Principle?
DANIEL
(plays unto Gwen)
…Not really sure…
HARRY
(a beat, topping him)
But Dan, Gravity and acceleration were indistinguishable, So if you'd sat still for twelve months, you'd be traveling at the speed of light.
DANIEL
(credibility breaking)
Really…!?- I hadn't noticed that!
They chuckle; Jupiter, rings and moons, have passed.
PETER
(his own topper)
And-- General, Relativity had the further, paradox, that time slows, down in a gravitational field: Your feet would gradually lag your head!
DANIEL
(credibility gone)
'Unghhh…' Sounds… Trippy…!
HARRY
(half a beat)
Not necessarily, Dan:-- Your feet exist in the immediate near-future: you just think-ahead a step to land where your feet will be….
DANIEL
(half a beat)
But time-lag is cumulative:-- After a few centuries your feet could lag a day, behind … Your head may think to go somewhere else for the day…!
Gwen has a bemused smile…
EXT. COMMAND - NEPTUNE SPACE - (HALFDAY MORE)
SILENCE in outer space; They are in heated discussion.
INT. COMMAND - (AS CONTINUOUS)
B.G. stars steady; Gwen watches her displays intently; soffit displays repeat hers: a RAPIDLY EXPANDING GRID emanating from a small sphere ahead, lines alternating high-low binary-coded;
PETER
(rebukes)
… but we don't know that for certain,-- least not yet!
HARRY
(clips to Gwen)
What's E-T-A,-- our time?
NEPTUNE and Triton, minuscule, majuscule, minuscule, 5 sec;
GWEN
14-hundred hesits:- fifty minutes.
HARRY
(looks ahead)
Six A-U … But, What is it?!
Neptune and moon have passed, unmentioned; They ponder--
GWEN
It still has no apparent existence: It is not Pluto: It doesn't show as a planet. Its grid maps to the sun.
DANIEL
A point, a dash, in space,-- might explain sunspots … but it can't be a meeting-point with some alien spaceship: We're going too fast.
GWEN
Point-98 speed-of-light, -relative to former astronomical positions,- and accelerating constantly.
PETER
Is it a relativistic trick? Are we seeing ourselves differently from the way the outside-world perceives us?- Are we time-dilated?
GWEN
Known pulsars should give us space-time.
DANIEL
Right,--
(consults his computer)
silly me.
HARRY
Real time,-- as real as inner time.
DANIEL
The live-nautical-reference lists no ephemeris changes for two, three pulsars, four … Not relativistic in the usual sense.
HARRY
Do we have any choices? Options? Variables? Aborts? Anything but wait?
GWEN
(shakes no, smally)
None apparent:- It's locked-in.
PETER
We've started this dive, Harry: We have to finish it: Gymnasium rules.
INT. -SAME- (50 MINUTES LATER)
(00:00 instrumental - Bellissima/DJ QuickSilver)
The grids are filled ALTERNATING PINK AND WHITE, indicating zone-approach, a hyperbolic passing course and continuously recalculating variances;
GWEN
Still secondary zone; Point-99 speed-of-light; E-T-A: 10 hesits.
HARRY
(excites)
What, is, it?!
PETER
(reassures)
Easy, Harry: This ship's designed for this: We're along for the ride.
The grids become SOLID-FILLED RED …
GWEN
Primary zone; E-T-A: 5 hesits.
PETER
(checks, no seat-grip)
Check your seat grips: This could be a quick redirection … We don't have selt grips?
GWEN
3 hesits.
(2 sec.)
2 hesits.
DANIEL
(worries)
We're going to be light-headed photons, before we arrive.
(--:-- grinding squeal)
The SKY FLIPS to head into the galaxy;-- the GRID CLEARS; STARS ACCELERATE passing; the SKY ASIDE ABERRATES forward;
DANIEL
Backwards?!
PETER
Stellar aberration!
They check their coordinates … Nav plots on a galactic grid as speed ramps-up to 6.7 million;
GWEN
(scans her controls)
We're still here.
DANIEL
(relieves)
Thank the Lord of heaven.
HARRY
(relieved)
I think the designers knew, what they were doing,-- but where, are we? Did we jump through a wormhole?
GWEN
Not exactly: We've left the solar system-- for a different direction.
HARRY
Did we reach the speed-of-light?
GWEN
Not exactly reached: It no longer exists.
PETER
How fast are, we going?
GWEN
Astro-referenced skip-rate is 6-point-5, 6-point-3 -it fluctuates,- 6-point-7, million normal speed-of-light.
(keys)
And, we've got another re-direct coming-up.
NEW GRIDS, filled pink and white, with a slight hyperbola:
The grids become SOLID-FILLED RED, 10 sec.…
(--:-- 2nd grinding squeal)
The Starship SKY FLIPS to a slightly new direction--
Nav displays a new galactic course; Daniel rechecks for interstellar travel data … None;--
DANIEL
Figures: We've got to check the math.
PETER
I think the mathematics will agree: We're not moving through space faster than the speed of light: This corridor of space-aether is hyperconducting us. … What direction are we going?
GWEN
Towards galaxy center, ultimately.
DANIEL
Figures.
HARRY
What did we pass back there,- a point of no-return?
PETER
Could have been a black-hole,-- and we could have grazed its event-horizon: using its gravity to both accelerate, and change direction.
DANIEL
There's no obvious information in the computer: We're guessing on our own, the rest of the way.
HARRY
And what is this aether-slip corridor? No guess on that!?
DANIEL
(proffers)
Maybe it's a cosmic superstring!?
(quickens)
Or, hyperstring.
PETER
Possibly: At ultra density it may hyperconduct photons.
HARRY
Wouldn't that be noticeable mass? What if it passes through a planet or star?
DANIEL
It'd slice through easily.
HARRY
Wouldn't that dump stellar junk into the corridor in front of us?
DANIEL
Nothing at the line of contact with the hyperstring could survive the deconvolution by hyperconductive evaporation: It'd be refracted to a harmless photon storm, mostly reflected and a little conducted on the string surface.
GWEN
(smiles at Daniel)
Good, Dan: Your techno-linguistics is improving.
HARRY
But how'd we survive entry?
PETER
At the speed of light, we'd have been a Lorentz-contracted photon ourselves,-- and once inside we stretched-out to normal.
GWEN
Actually we're stretched over a thousand kilometers, front-to-back.
HARRY
(gasps)
How are we surviving the stretch?
DANIEL
We're very intelligent.
HARRY
Dan,-- seriously …
DANIEL
(humorous sincerity)
Seriously.… Without intelligence, How'd you get-up in the morning without leaving your rear-end behind!?
(a beat, finishes)
That wouldn't be very intelligent.
(2 beats)
Giant dinosaurs, had a brain-knot in the hip, just for that function.
PETER
E-T-A?
GWEN
E-T-A: 60 kilohesits-- tomorrow: a day and a half.
The galaxy arm of STARS FLASH-BY …
FADE TO:
INT. COMMAND - NEAR GALAXY CORE - (NEXT DAY)
Stars denser, more passing rapidly; They wear avant-garde black-white-gold-motif space-admiral formal suits;
Gwen's display shows a grid around a center circle;
HARRY
(confidently)
It'll be a bigger black-hole-- 4-million solar-masses: 4-million miles radius.
DANIEL
(affects wistful)
It'll fling us away-- somewhere … and we'll wander aimlessly among the galaxies,-- maybe towards the center of the cosmos: Is that the biggest, black-hole?
PETER
E-T-A?
GWEN
1-hundred hesits:-- 3-point-6 minutes.
PETER
And where do we arrive?
GWEN
No destination.
PETER
A fly-by?
GWEN
Just no specified point in space.
DANIEL
An orbit?
GWEN
Could be, yes.
HARRY
What could be in orbit around a black-hole, that's not, uninviting?
PETER
An orbital station.
DANIEL
But we're above light-speed when we pass near the hole: How do we slow to orbit speed? Or, what kind of structure could remain in orbit so near an event-horizon: without drifting inward?! …
HARRY
And without being shattered by cometary bombardment!
DANIEL
(self-answers)
… Electrostatic repulsion would require a billion coulombs of charge regularly replenished to compensate relativistic drag …
(ponders)
But that might be feasible.
HARRY
Magnetic sweep might clear the area nearest the hole.
PETER
Depends on your theory,- whether magnetic fields rotate externally to a hole and so rapidly that they spiral and radiate like that around a pulsar,-- or whether they spread equatorially outside their hole and just electrically polarize space.
DANIEL
That could accelerate, or push a conductive ring away: a huge ring, millions of miles long.
(eyes Gwen)
Or should I say, 1-point-6-millions of kilometers?
HARRY
(pondering)
Pete,-- That's multilayer geometry: symmetric north and south latitudes countering and flipping … radiating even from zero-point energy virtual particles, with mad electromagnetic interactivity … A super particle …!
Peter nods. Their speed begins decreasing rapidly …
GWEN
(alerts)
We're changing modes … something new … attempting braking out here.
PETER
That's impossible in superconduction.
GWEN
(counters)
3-point-2 million normal speed-of-light … 2-point-3 … 1-point-7 …
DANIEL
Maybe the corridor is widening entropically.
HARRY
Maybe we're running into photon flack.
DANIEL
Photons pass through each other: That's the whole reason we first accelerated to the speed-of-light.
HARRY
I ponder whether photons suffer entropic scattering in passing.
PETER
Prepare for orbit insertion.
GWEN
2-hundred-70 thousand speed-of-light … 1-hundred-30 … 67 … 37 …
Displays show a flashing pink zone within an expanding radiant grid of lines; near stars slow rapidly, now amid a bright billion de-aberrated fixed-stars b.g.
GWEN
(a beat, resumes)
9 thousand … 5 … 3 …
(pauses)
sub-thousands … 5-hundred … 3 …
(pauses)
sub-hundreds … 70 … 40 … 25 … 15 …
(views-out momentarily)
PETER
We're arriving.
(--:-- -fade-)
Her display shows a red-centered expanding grid;
GWEN
… 2 … 1-point-4 … 1-point-1 … 1-point-0 speed-of-light … holding, at 1-point-0.
(00:00 instrumental - Children/Robert Miles)
A distant multiply-ringed 3Msun gravity-black-hole with luminous pole-jets, approaches at light-speed, 20 sec. …
DANIEL
(affects)
Thar… she blows…!
Starship slips into orbit around its equator, and thence …
ASIDE A RING CITY splash-shimmering colors to the horizon;
And slows …
DANIEL
(commercial)
Wel-come, to, Gal-Axe-City: If you lived here, you'd better, be home by now.
Closing to the side …
HARRY
(indicates Daniel)
The comedian at the center of the Milky Way.
And a dock …
DANIEL
(mocks conceit)
We self-centered gravity-wells are naturally attractive.
And slows closing-up to dock … and turns to it …
PETER
Dan: Haven't you heard of the aether-ripple -drag,- theory of gravity!?
Docking attachment completes automatically …
DANIEL
(smiles politely)
Yes: True gravity is such a sight-seeing detour …
Docked,- Gwen exits … but the guys get up more reluctantly;
DANIEL
I was just trying to express a little unsinkable levity.
(--:-- -fade-)
DISSOLVE TO:

Act 3

'outside in the outer cosmos'

INT. RING CITY, INFINITE CORRIDOR - DYNAMIC OMNI-LIT
Just outside their gantry-way; Windowed; Wide, no apparent curvature, lit without lights. They enter in space-admiral suits with additional arrival-party overwear, boots, caps, commendation bars/stripes/circles, logos, insignias: [stars-over-sun-over-moon-crescent-rising]
HARRY (OS)
(approaching with Peter)
Then the kid asks: Why don't black-holes swallow their own gravity and momentum, and disappear wholly from the universe?-- Do we give a kid like that, an A, or an F?! …
(inside, sees)
Pete: Notice the apparently endless corridor: It doesn't arch down in the distance.
DANIEL (OS)
(back with Gwen, answers)
That's because the light bends, too: We're on the outside of the event horizon.
HARRY
I guess electromagnetic layer sweep repulsion doesn't repel photons …
DANIEL
(hinting a grin)
It'd just cause multipolarization …
HARRY
(breaking to a grin)
But dynamic multipolarization-- and the photons would keep rolling …
PETER
(unto a grin)
It's just too far away …-millions of miles-… But with a telescope we should see ourselves from behind …
They pass doors and side-corridors; and Harry lags behind:
HARRY
(looks about)
There really isn't going to be anything of interest to us here.
DANIEL
Why not? This is all interesting.
HARRY (CU)
But without a purpose for us.
DANIEL
Aw-come-on, Harry: Science is great fun;- and expansive for the intellect: It may not seem to have a goal line, but it's got plenty of scrimmages.
HARRY (OS)
(lagging; buoys)
Okay, You're right: We've made good progress, -a couple hundred quadrillion yards,- And we haven't dropped the ball.
(giggles)
PETER
(thoughtfully)
Maybe the goal line is beyond the edge of the galaxy.
DANIEL
Then we're going the wrong way. … Gwen, Is there any way to turn this operation around, altogether: to leave the galaxy?
GWEN
An interesting thought, Daniel: I'll begin researching it at once.
PETER
Meanwhile, we've got another … You know, These corridors remind me of a university: a huge, university.
DANIEL
Yeah? And where's the Cosmo-Psycho-Genetics 1-0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1-A Theory Colloquium being held, today!?
GWEN
(looking back)
And where's Harry?
DANIEL
(looks both lengths)
Worried, already-- in a corridor, 25-million miles long?
HARRY (OS)
(2 rooms back, excited)
Hhheyyy!
They WALK-TROT back to his sound location;--
DANIEL
(leads round the corner)
Find something,- Harry?
A TRANSPARENT OBSERVATORY BULB - DIM RED (CONTINUOUS)
Stark red and shadows streak-up Harry's face;-
They halt, wondering:- All, with red and shadow streaks …
HARRY
(discomfited)
Don't look down, unless you can stand your knees shaking your shoulders loose.
They, reluctantly look down,- hand-blocking the red light in their eyes … their faces turning to awe--
BELOW the windowlike floor, space is empty-black except for ONE STAR intensely bright deep-red directly far beneath;
HARRY
(points without looking)
What, is, that!?
DANIEL
The center of the black-hole, apparently … but I thought black-holes were entirely, black.
HARRY
Yes … but that's, not.
PETER
Could it be a lower level structure maybe, a power-nodule hanging from this ring city?
GWEN
It's too intensely bright, Peter: There'd be no point to its shining.
DANIEL
Is zero-point energy catalyzed by infalling atoms? Maybe light can, come from a black-hole, anyway!
HARRY
Theory says, it can't: Photons fall-back faster than they can escape-- and lose all their energy on the way up: They become longer-than-ultra-low radiowaves.
DANIEL
But that's to the observer entirely away from the black-hole;- We're as close as the event-horizon: Gravity at this-distance is only-8 thousand miles per-second-squared: It'd take 23-seconds and 2-million miles half the distance to the center to reach the speed of light from standstill.
PETER
(adjusts)
Things can, escape a black hole, if they're non-ballistic: like a rocket that sheds booster-stages.
DANIEL
(theory-disappointed)
But photons are ballistic-- albeit waves rather than wavicles.
Musing, they step slowly back toward the corridor;
HARRY
(discovers)
Not exactly, Dan: Photons can interact at very high energies: usually in the teravolt range.
PETER
And over billions of years, cumulative millions of hole-ing events converted star-masses to wave-flux energy, ten-to-the-88th power electron-volts, supplying your few dainty teravolts … We could be seeing the tail-end distribution of quantities of photons still cascading enough for a few to escape.
HARRY
(exiting)
But then, this is a dim-black-hole: because it's so deep:
(continuous)
CORRIDOR - (CONTINUOUS)
HARRY
(continuous)
A sun-size black-hole should be 4-million times brighter at its event-horizon 4-million times closer-but-4-million times less mass-energetic.
PETER
(enters corridor last)
And bluer, too;- at least earlier.
Doors, doorways, side-halls; They stroll-on …
AN INNER CORRIDOR
GWEN
(diverts to a door)
This may be an exit.
HARRY
(admires, follows)
Complimenting you, Gwen,-- You're very good at going "out", and it's always more "in" than before.
Gwen tries the door's hand-plate:-- the sliding DOOR YIELDS
THE COSMIC ELEVATOR
DANIEL
(disgruntles)
You're making me feel lonely.
HARRY
No offense, Dan: You're dressed pretty-well, yourself;-- I just wanted to say something before the next really big play: I've got the feeling this can only be grand,-- another galaxy, the depths of the cosmos …
Gwen enters;- but they, STACK-AND-HOLD at the threshold:
PETER
(shoulder to shoulder)
… Another dimension!-- Do you hold your breath, before you jump?
DANIEL
(mocks serious)
Not me: I recite my Bar Mitzvah pledge.
HARRY
(doubts)
Every time!?
DANIEL
(nonchalant)
Whenever time remains the last of the dimensions …
PETER
(muses)
First and, last-- I suppose.
HARRY
(to Peter)
Split?- Two-timing half-dimensions?
PETER
(explains)
Depends on whether you're a pure-time, hypercomplex, mathematician, realizing time, first and imagining 3-space therein; Or a space-time physicist spacing-out, first, and timing-out, at last.
DANIEL
(returns a Strange look)
Always the last to know. … At least we know the end from the beginning.
HARRY
(quieting)
You know, Dan: Not that I'm a whole lot Jewish, -But,- Do you see three Hebrew boys about to step into a fiery hot furnace? … with a fourth, kind-of-like, showing the way...?
… They nod yes … and step, three, feet together, inside …
INT. COSMIC ELEVATOR, THE GALAXY CORE STARS - (CONTINUOUS)
A small spacious circular room with cushioned bench seating around the sides; surround-windows to the outside billion bright stars; control-PANEL LIGHTS TWINKLE on the wall;
The DOOR SLIDES CLOSED,--
Gwen touches the control-panel;--
GEARS WIND inside the door …
LOCKS CLACK;-- then silent.
DANIEL
(realizes)
This isn't, Miss Francis' Ding-Dong School room.
HARRY
It's not exactly a spaceship.
PETER
(cheers)
Have a seat, all.
DANIEL
(glum)
Lecture time.
They sit comfortably;
Gwen touches the control-panel;-- the ROOM LIGHT DIMS …
GWEN
Show time.
AIR-LIKE INFLATION … filling-up the pitch spectrum …
DANIEL
Do we have a choice of channels this time?
GWEN
Just up, and down.
They wait moments … no new operation presents itself: The inflation-sound pitch rises forever (formant sliding) …
Gwen looks outside momentarily …
PETER
Gwen, Are we moving?
GWEN
Not exactly.
DANIEL
Did we forget the anchor?
HARRY
(looks at himself)
Not my jacket …
GWEN
We are not where we were.
HARRY
(quietly more to Gwen)
Gwen: That's a non sequitur.
GWEN
Look outside.
(00:00 instrumental - Ascent/Don Dorsey)
Outside, stars rain-down, bluish above, reddening below …
DANIEL
(peering way-down)
Whoa. What's left of the ring-city?
HARRY
(peers way-down)
It's receding at the speed of light … Why don't we have ship-controls?
PETER
We're not in a space, ship: We're going straight up.
Stray clusters of stars rain-down;
DANIEL
A cosmic elevator? What's up, Doc?
PETER
(sits back)
We wait.
HARRY
What floor do we stop-at?
GWEN
(confides)
The top-floor.
DANIEL
(glares politely)
Which is …?
HARRY
(undertones)
Twenty-seventh …
Gwen smiles;-- Daniel turns back to the window, and gawks: Whole nova-SPARKLING GALAXIES rain-down, shrinking rapidly;
DANIEL
These aren't stars.
HARRY
Dan … Don't go off the deep end.
DANIEL
But they aren't:- They're galaxies.
All look out again: Galaxies, distant clusters of galaxies rain-down, bluing above and westward, and reddening below and eastward;- distant galaxies turn proportionally upto a half turn; all shrinking; They speak in their reflections:
DANIEL (REFL)
(reality-checks)
Guys,-- Just occurred to me:-- At this speed, the galaxies should be squat, Lorentz-contracted.
HARRY (REFL)
Only if you measure it within a laboratory, frame: not an optical point: You need include aberration effects in optics.… Besides, we're looking at all types of galaxies: long and short.
PETER (REFL)
Actually, if we're moving faster than the speed of light, we're looking at … no, we're not, looking at galaxies in any usual optical, sense … unless … nawh … but maybe …
HARRY
Never known you to stammer, Pete: What're you thinking?
PETER
If light has two speeds, -a normal, and an aether-slip speed for a part per vigintillion; --maybe aether-alignment is a naturally occurring phenomenon, normally entropized around massive objects --kind of a dual- or quasi-crystalline state, like supersaturated ice-water, but simultaneously coexisting like naturally-aligning crystal-threads in a matrix, -hyperconduction along superstring gravitational lensing,- a cosmic-aether-hair ball in the vacuum of space,- … Then we may be seeing the galaxies live from their backsides: perhaps the windows trip and catch the faster hyper-photons, and amplify their aether-slipped light, like night-laser glasses.…
Galaxies sparser; the sky dims rapidly, top first;
HARRY
(includes)
… Interesting, Peter: That'd cause photons traversing such speed-mixed vacuum to slowly spread in length: and maybe explain the redshift of distant galaxies --maybe the cosmos isn't, expanding-- … It might also explain pilot-waves, on naturally occurring aether-picks.
DANIEL (REFL)
(begs forgiveness)
Okay,-- okay,- guys: I was thinking how spectral, the evidence of our …
(slows to notice)
elevator … travel …
(slows)
seemed …
(new tack)
We must be approaching the edge of the cosmos; But, Why is the sky so blue on one side?- Doppler? Is this elevator running horizontally, too? Gwen,- Are we heading for some destination in retrograde orbit, at the edge of the cosmos?
Galaxies gone, outside darkens to blue-black;
GWEN (REFL)
There was no specific destination indicated.
PETER
Interesting, Dan: I noticed that too: If our cosmos had systematic angular momentum, it was early shed gravitationally outward toward the equator; --standard calculus on a dense hot plasma-gas rotating in a gravitational field: forward baryon motion buoys momentum away from the center; rearward or slower motion, sinks: --same as in solar rotation stratification: The surface rotates faster:- the Coriolis depth-effect.
Outside is pale and whitening;
HARRY (REFL)
(notices)
What's happening out there?- The whole sky is white!
All watch speechless moments …
PETER
Oh!- If we've gone far-out of the main cosmos, we could have caught-up to the leading edge of the big bang,- where the early dense photon burst is still mixing, --even like the source of the star we saw in the black-hole!
HARRY
(surprised)
You mean our whole universe, could be at the bottom of the black-hole of some ancient super-cosmic nova!?
PETER
(admits)
Sure-- yes, in fact: A large star collapsing to an electron radius, reaches 10-to-the-20th star-mass-energy equivalents at the center:-- about the number of stars in our observable universe.
Above and around gradually reddens;
HARRY
(renotices)
Now, what?- Is the sky Doppler-red-shifting? Gwen: Is something wrong; Are we falling back?!
DANIEL
(mock-horrified)
Did we come up this far, up, to pile-driver back, down, into …
(ridiculous-grins)
the, bllaaackk-hhoolle …!?
GWEN
Daniel, How can you be silly at a time like this?
(--:-- -fade-)
DANIEL
(nonchalant)
Precisely, When I'm silly, I forget about time: It works in my lectures … For example … Have you heard the story behind the colored stripes on the ceiling in the Math Department? One of my grad students says this is -unflourished,- truth.
Above deep-reddens very dark; below turns bluish,- shrinks-down,- then begins casting-up blue-shadows;
GWEN
I don't know that we're ready for a joke right now, Daniel.
HARRY
(snubs)
Let him tell it, Gwen: We've nothing to do,-- and this may be our last chance to hear him tell his probabilistically famous joke.
DANIEL
(eye-checks each)
A professor, who used to wander the hallways, gazing absent-mindedly at the ceiling … invariably forgot the time and stopped in any doorway and confronted the secretary: "Where am I…?!" The regular Staff was used to it and took it as nothing; But when a new secretary started work in his office, and this happened a second, time, She retorted, You, are in the same place you were four days ago.… Bemused, He gazed at her a moment … Then smiled and said, "Excellent!"- And he strode away, proclaiming, "I still have two weeks to prepare for teaching the undergraduate course!"
They all giggle politely; Around is very dark red; below (OS) is a brilliant blue shrunken smudge casting BLUISH SHADOWS UP faces and noses; Above begins to turn blue;
DANIEL
(resumes)
This secretary had an extraordinary I-Q, And, recognizing the obvious,- reported the second incident to the department chairs, who conferred to agree that painting a stripe on the ceiling might guide the professor, that he should not get lost, nor confuse time and day.
(a beat)
They gave the task to two graduate students who, borrowed a stopwatch from Physics, and took statistics: How fast he walked, How quick he'd turn a corner, How long he'd pause, How soon he'd move in a busy hall … And, painted a yellow stripe on the ceiling for a twenty-minute course homed at his office, plus-or-minus thirty seconds.… The professor came back a week later and said, This is good but could he have a path, ten, minutes long, for short breaks? And they painted him a blue stripe, ten minute route; And, as you'd expect, the two paths crossed, somewhere,-- because they reducted it precisely.
They smile, foreseeing; and giggle hence at leisure:
DANIEL
(continues; a new tack)
One day his wife and seven-year-old daughter return from visiting grand folks, And come for lunch but he is not there. So leaving daughter with secretary and reminder to not speak to strangers, wife exits on yellow, right. But he had taken blue, to be back in time, and is paused, at the yellow crossing unsure which he has taken, and how long each remainder, takes, from his office: which he is resolving by comparing, the numbers of turns in each subpath and number of corners remaining to his office.
(a beat)
Also at that moment, two undergrads were discussing, a joke, around the side, unaware of his presence … and when they get to a certain part the professor says, I did not do that!-
(a beat)
Realizing they are cornered on the outside, they stand silent.… Half a minute passes.… Then one, says, Do you think he's forgotten us by now?
(a beat)
But the professor says, Excuse me, please: I have stood here several minutes listening to you, trying to recall your names and I must now go back to my office immediately: I'll allow you extra credit if either of you knows which colored line on the ceiling leads most directly to my office.… The two students look four ways, then at the ceiling, and say, Blue, Right. And exit nonchalantly.
(a beat)
Meanwhile, his secretary needs two signatures on a grant, -and waiting no longer, gets up,- -And as she is now well-adept at speaking to very, intelligent, childlike minds,- she turns to the little girl, and says, Wait here: I am going next door to get the Grant Proposal cosigned for Adjointed Eigenfunctors; I will be back in two minutes. And she exits.
(a beat)
The little girl obediently moves to the secretary's chair and sits. But at count-to-ten, little girls begin looking-about, reading or listening to something,… and she looks at the secretary's laptop, -left open with tasks closed,- and she clicks a new task … but no sooner she clicks and the professor returns, bringing her search to an abrupt halt.…
(2 beats)
Gazing, squarely, at her -in the chair,- He says: I remember you now: But you were twenty years older, last time!
They giggle politely. Around and above gradually turns purplish blue; the very dark red recedes below …
GWEN
Very good, Daniel: We've forgotten what time it is.
(looks out)
PETER
(interjects)
Got it.… We're not only going, up;- We're getting bigger!-- It figures: If the cosmos is a gravitationally closed singularity, -a black-hole,- then anything falling in-to the cosmos, will be crushed, outside.
HARRY
Conjecture? Peter.
PETER
No! This is why the sky was so red: We were getting bigger,- but before we get biggest, the photons falling into our cosmos from outside, are still bigger photons, to us:
(relieves)
Red, photons!
HARRY
(retorts)
And we're being mass-energized directly by the black-hole.
The whole SKY BLACKS-OUT; leaving the room panel-lighted;--
HARRY
(continues)
Ooops … spoke too soon.
(listens-about 3 beats)
Are we still moving?
The elevator TING-TINGS; arrives; stops.--
DANIEL
(chuckles)
Figures: Some things never change.
Eyes adjusting, They gather slowly to the door …
The control-PANEL TWINKLES;
HARRY
It's only been a few minutes on the elevator, Dan;-- hardly a Pop-quiz.
DANIEL
Pop-quizzes leave me hungry-- and I'm famished!- They'd best have a well-stocked refrigerator stuffed with matzo balls and kosher beef wieners …
The DOOR SLIDES OPEN to daylight …
HARRY
(low voice)
Forget the refrigerator, Dan …!
EXT. LUSH GARDEN - ELEVATOR HUT - DAYGLOW (CONTINUOUS)
(00:00 instrumental - Summer Of 300 Years/2002)
Flowers, trees; -A BREEZE RUSTLES, BIRDS CHIRP;- the ground is golden-brown; the sky is clear warm violet mottled with many extra-bright stars, but no sun;
DANIEL
(deep-breathes rapture)
Well,-- at last, a real place:-- Alien technology does have an end!
(huge-BELCHES, grins)
GWEN
(surprised)
Daniel!?
DANIEL
(grin-off serious)
Well, it's not like we remembered to bring an American flag to plant here;-- and you wouldn't think I'd come this far across the cosmos and not, make a statement, … Would you?
HARRY
(quiets)
Dan: There may be people, up here.
DANIEL
Who?- This place has been empty for a long time:-- It's all grown over!
PETER
Maybe not, Dan: It's too much garden and not enough jungle, to be merely abandoned.
DANIEL
Doesn't appear to be a tended, garden:- No tending,- No Adam!
HARRY
But what would a cosmic elevator be doing out here in the midst of a garden?- On an isolated planet!?
DANIEL
(shifts)
Maybe we should be finding-out.
PETER
(leads stroll)
Agreed.
They walk away from the elevator … to
THE TREES, EDGE OF THE CLEARING
Harry LOOKS BACK:-- the elevator is closed;
HARRY
(hushes relief)
At least the elevator is still there.
They all look back … relieved;-
And peruse the trees of golden fruits, mango, bosc-pear, and bushes of golden berries, sweet-quince:
HARRY
(advances, examines one)
Looks like good fruit-- and the air is sweet and fragrant.
DANIEL
But, un-tended; And that golden hue … Oh-boy, does this feel un-Jewish!
PETER
But that was millennia ago, Dan, in another universe,-- and it was a lesson for Adam and Eve in Eden,- not us,-- not here.
DANIEL
Lessons learned are something you take with you:-- the only thing, perhaps.
Gwen strolls to the next tree; plucks a ripe-looking fruit; takes a bite;-- and picks a second and more;
HARRY
And you always have newer and better lessons, too.
DANIEL
(eyes the fruits)
You guys are tempting me, fiercely.
HARRY
(encourages)
Adam must have eaten something, before he began tending the garden: The lesson must have been an early follow-up, to learn to grow more, to continue and survive on Earth.
(cajoles)
Maybe if you vow to tend this garden, you'll find forgiveness to eat something now.
Gwen returns; Small colorful ANIMALS APPEAR quietly in the near bushes behind her: rabbits, birds, cats, dogs, deer;
DANIEL
(mocks drool-licks)
You guys don't know everything about Jews … but you sure know how to tempt one.
GWEN
(offers Daniel a fruit)
Delicious, Daniel-- and you have no other choice.
PETER
Didn't Jewish farmers leave a tenth of their fields for travelers, and the poorer people, to glean?
DANIEL
That was to not-burden the land.
Gwen seems less patient: Daniel tentatively takes a fruit;
And considers it;-- A QUICK LIGHT BREEZE RUSTLES leaves;--
HARRY
(mock-taunts)
Was that a snake,- I hear rattling?
PETER
(mock-taunts)
Naw: The wind wandering through the garden,- whispering: Dan-Dan: Where are you?
HARRY
(knowing-chuckles)
That's, French, for: Turkey, Where are you? …
DANIEL
(a beat, firm)
All right I'm taking responsibility for this one; But, if you guys turn me in to Rebbe, I'll report you, to your pastors:- There must be a good Christian law against treachery.…
(a bite, nods vigorously)
Maybe this wasn't the forbidden fruit.
GWEN
(notices animals; stoops)
Look at these cute bunny-rabbits: They're curious about us.
(cradles-up a rabbit)
HARRY
(notices)
Very friendly too; … perhaps Dan-Dan would like to name them …!?
DANIEL
Come-on, guys: Fun is fun: Cut it with the Dan-Dan: These are wild animals.
(more to Gwen)
Gwen: Don't lick your fingers after handling a wild animal;- And wash your hands before you eat.
GWEN
(strolls-on)
Daniel: You don't think the wild microbes would be less polite about us, than this bunny-rabbit …!?
DANIEL
(recovers axiom tenderly)
I think, it's more that men can ask better, than animals.…
They follow Gwen through the garden, picking, eating …
Harry picks a golden-hued quince, in passing--
HARRY
Here's your forbidden fruit, Dan: The quince;--
(proffers)
Ever had one?- In the renaissance era they let them rot till sweet,--
(repugns)
and stank like arsenic manure.
(boldly)
I'll, test it, for you!
(bites, brightens; eats)
DANIEL
Quince jelly is puckery tart: needs a lot of sugar in the recipe.
HARRY
(mouthful, smiles)
De-lici-ous: This kind is as sweet and fresh as pear!
DANIEL
(curious-shrugs)
Maybe the soil and air, here, is different:-- seasons, temperature, day-light rates, color-spectrum-- genetics, catalysts, … symbiotic species, … could be optimal for growing a variety of sweet-quinces.
NEAR THE RIVER - (MINUTES LATER)
Nearing, they find all the animals getting sleepy:
GWEN
(cuddles sleepy rabbit)
Such a lovely blue-sky haven for a bunny-rabbit,-- though it must be tiring too.
PETER
There's ample food, and fresh running water, here:-- Think there are any primitive people here too?
HARRY
(sees animals sleeping)
Dan, Your fear of the wild must be a turn-off to these dear little creatures:- Look: They're all going to sleep, in the middle of the day!
(looks up at the sky)
Whoa,… Take that back;
(points up eastward)
Look at that edge of night!
Sky-east is a sharp black disk half risen, center unseen;
DANIEL
(comments)
A two-tone black-and-blue sky:- Strange places sure are marvelous …
(clipped)
East SHADOW BREAKS A WHITE-FLASH on Harry's face--
HARRY
(stricken: looks down)
Aaghh!
(covers eyes IN TEARS)
I can't see: It hurts the eyes.
PETER
(peers into his face)
What is it, Harry? Volcanic dust? Insects?
HARRY
(blinks tears, anguished)
No: It's convulsive: excruciating.
DANIEL
(searches the sky)
Just empty sky up there …
East SHADOW BREAKS A WHITE-FLASH on Daniel's face--
DANIEL
(stricken: looks down)
Aaghh … Ow-- That hurts!
(covers eyes IN TEARS)
GWEN
(helps Daniel)
What did you guys see!?
HARRY
(wipes his eyes)
Nothing: I was looking around, and suddenly a blinding flash: It hurt: My vision is all blurry.
PETER
(scans the garden)
We didn't see any flash in the trees. Is someone shining a laser-beam at us?- Have we been spotted?!
GWEN
(more to Peter)
We should return to the elevator-room,-- without looking up.
All head down, Gwen and Peter quickly blind-guide Harry and Daniel handkerchiefing their tears …
GWEN
Maybe that's what happens to the animals-- and they go to sleep …
HARRY
The animals seem to see all right: I hope this isn't permanent.
DANIEL
These animals know when the bright is coming: They must have learned.
PETER
I wonder what kind of weather they have here: We haven't seen any clouds.
DANIEL
Don't, look now.
ELEVATOR HUT - (MINUTES LATER)
They arrive back; Shadows fall faintly long on the golden ground and high up the side walls …
Peter tries the control-panel;- but the door refuses.--
PETER
Uh-oh:- We're locked out.
DANIEL
Missed curfew.
GWEN
The elevator has gone back down: It should return in a few hours.
HARRY
What did it go down for?- Are more, cosmic travelers coming up?
PETER
We'll have to stay out here for the bright cycle;-- Find a cave …!
GWEN
Look, Peter: We have distinct shadows, now.
Gwen stoops and pushes a stick in the ground and another at its shadow-tip; Peter holds his fingers together to make a point of light in his purplish-bluish shadow on the wall;--
PETER
(examines the shadow)
Well, look, at this: There's no sun up there,- but a piercingly bright star-point:-- as bright, as a sun.
Gwen examines his handshadow;-
PETER
Ever look at a solar eclipse this way? It makes a little crescent inside the shadow.
HARRY
Maybe it's like that lone star in the black-hole back at the ring-city,- only, a lot brighter, here.
DANIEL
But a local black-hole that bright … gravitational tide would disrupt this planet.… It's a galactically, massive, black-hole, hundreds, of, billions, of solar masses; equally many miles away …!
HARRY
(surprised)
But that would be a blacker, hole;- unless it recently refreshed itself by swallowing a supergiant star!
PETER
Maybe it's something else: a nearby supernova … and, maybe the slope of land rises high in the western sky, casting sharp evening shadows ….
GWEN
(tracks stick-tip shadow)
The star is moving on this side …
(on to the hut shadow)
Let's rest on the far side.
From a pocket survival-pouch they spread a silvern mylar blanket in the shade against the hut …
PETER
Undignified,-- but I'm glad there are no mosquitoes.
DANIEL
Means there's no stagnant water.
And rest lying close; Gwen, Peter, outside; hands folded …
DANIEL
(mock-sleepy-sings)
Home, home on, de-range … Where the pear, and the cantaloupe, play ….
(a beat, explains)
Helps me dream on midsummer nights.
-THEY-
(nod sleepy yes)
Mmmm…
/Gwen/ Fruit salad.
/Harry/ Shakespeare.
/Peter/ Shakes-cantaloupe.
FADE TO:
EXT. ELEVATOR HUT - (MORNING-LIKE BUT WITHOUT SHADOW)
(00:00 instrumental - Realms Of Splendor/2002)
They're still sleeping splayed on their silvern blanket …
FLOCKS OF BIRDS BURST-SING, ANIMALS STIR;--
Gwen sits-up … wipes dew from her face …
Rises,- and tiptoes away, quickly through the garden …
TREES
PARALLELING THE RIVER
ON THE RIVER BANK, TREES AND BUSHES
Gwen edges along the golden-hue bank slow waters … stops;-
Strips to her DEXPORT bikini swimsuit-bottom (black-trim-gold stripe front-right from side ring through the crotch to left ring, chartreuse insignia italic "DEX" to contra "port" on white) … wades, dives and swims about, 10 sec. …
Then returns to the shore …
BEHIND BUSHES
Rinses and wrings her clothes, 10 sec. …
Peter arrives SWIMMING SPLASHY upstream … slows and stays …
GWEN
(notices; covers upper)
Peter!?
PETER
(affects Frenchly)
Par-don-ney mwah, mah-dem-wahz-ell.
GWEN
(clips)
Peter: What are you doing here?!
PETER
Voolay vou dee-rectay mwah oh cwahn d'Hiddekel ey Euphrates: S'eel vou play!?
GWEN
(arm upstream, curt)
A wet kilometer up-dream: Hang a hard-left on your right, and watch your step out of real estate!
PETER
(a beat, smiles-nods)
Medr-cee beau-cou …!
Restart jumps, and resumes splashy swimming upstream …
She sees him till out of range …
GWEN
(recomposuring)
Snakes,-- gardening variety!
And resumes wringing …
(--:-- -fade-)
EXT. ELEVATOR, OPEN - (HOUR LATER)
Regathered, fully dressed but more openly, breakfasting;
GWEN
I put a time-lock on the elevator: It'll stay here for three hours this time, if no-one calls it down.
DANIEL
(blinking-about extra)
Automation, is funny: It has so many programmable options you end-up studying it like a science.
HARRY
(blinking-about extra)
Like a rock under a jeweler's loupe-and-findings: fine and expensive.
PETER
(checks them)
Your vision restored, guys?
HARRY
(blinks for him)
Yes: clear as normal: But I think there's a wear-spot high on top,-- or that would be down on bottom, …
PETER
(finishes)
Where the star-spot focused on the retina briefly,-- should heal eventually.
HARRY
(calms)
Yeah, … Amazing how fast the eye adapts and focuses if you're not staring all day at your office.
DANIEL
(blinks a few)
Mine's okay,-- but once burned, twice shy:- Teaches you to never stare at any sun,-- nor nova sun.
HARRY
(blinks a few)
So we're ready to explore: Which way do we go, Doc's?
PETER
Let's try the river upstream:- I checked this morning, and it runs to the edge of the garden.
All … nod yes … and stroll out through the garden …
DANIEL
And let's remember to be back within three hours.
They check their wrist-watches:
HARRY
(humors Daniel)
What time-zone have you, Dan?
DANIEL
(plays right in)
Super-cosmic Standard Time.…
(2 beats, defends)
Well, I don't know better:- Super-cosmic Daylight Salvation Time!?- Or is this Super-cosmic Night-light Time: when the sun-star is down?!
PETER
Interesting question, Dan:- What, lights the sky, when the sun-star is on the other side of the planet?
Mutually dumbfounded,- and peering-up at the sky:
HARRY
(tries)
Back-scatter from the black-hole's accretion-disk:- space clouds?
DANIEL
There'd be lots of meteors and fireballs visible right now, -or especially in that edge of night,- that we'd have noticed yesterday!
PETER
We'd have seen the bright line of an accretion-disk,-- if there were.
HARRY
Is ours the only black-hole or star in the local interstellar space?- May-be we're in dense space:- Maybe there are millions, of stars near our black-hole,- our cosmos, hole.…
DANIEL
Your star-millions would have to be dimmer than zero-magnitude, else we'd see many in the daylight, … unless this sky is thickly hazed …
(checking the sky)
No … That'd mean, To equal a sun's day-brightness with a galaxy, three hundred billion, suns would have to be packed within thirty light-years radius and the nearest at a hundred A.U. … 30 million times denser than our galaxy core; And very variable!
(to Harry)
HARRY
(appends)
May-be there are infinitely, many, dimmer, stars, further away.
He takes-out his pocket binoculars,- and twists it about to make a monocular telescope, to view the sky magnified;
DANIEL
You mean Olbers' paradox:-- They'd have to be extremely cold dark blue stars, or we'd have a reddish-brown sky and it'd be just as hot here as the average star-face temperature,- thousands of degrees,-- and we'd be re-fried beings, many times over. …
(ponders a beat, rambles)
Unless they were heavy-metal stars, extraordinarily old, burned-out and cold scintillating under in-falling dust … maybe surrounded by hundreds of giant, gas-planets absorbing the redder part of sunlight, reflecting blue … Olbers' selective-absorption paradox:- infinitely many warm blue planets storing-away the red energy in green plants …
HARRY
(clips; to himself)
I have …
(telescopes the sky)
This is supposed to work like a telescope: one lens to the other.
DANIEL
(continues to himself)
But hundreds times as many planets, each a thousandth, of a star-mass, produces other gravitational fluxes … yet … infinitely many stars too …
HARRY
(clips; announces)
Stranger still-- there are little dots up there: The sky looks like shiny bubbly purplish blue foam …
DANIEL
(still to himself)
Maybe blue is just a local cosmic phenomenon of interstellar ions …
PETER
(clips; ponders)
Well, This is, consistent:--
(launches)
If this super-cosmos is, infinite, it must contain infinitely many stars,- and infinitely many giant-stars that have become black-holes since it's been here and infinitely many more to come … each black-hole having a bright blue dot inside its black-hole-bubble …
DANIEL
(clips; interjects)
Flash!- … But it doesn't make much sense:- What came before? How does an infinite cosmos begin?
PETER
It doesn't have to have a beginning per se:- It always has existed, and developed-- because it exists now … with infinite progress to go, and have gone before.
HARRY
(joins)
Then this super-cosmos must be steady-state:- With no center, it can neither contract nor expand, without infinite speed everywhere!
DANIEL
Doesn't mean anything: There'd be finite pockets of space, cosmic-clusters, expanding, -and others contracting,- And with dimensions infinite, there'd be infinitely many such pockets, so arbitrarily large you'd never tell.
HARRY
But infinity can't come-from, nor collapse into, the finite-- so it must be over-all steady-state.
DANIEL
If it's important to you.
PETER
(rescues)
It does seem fairly quiescent in our local space,-- and there must be zillions of different kinds of spaces to explore far away;- Some could even be much like our own universe.
GWEN
You think our own universe is a kindergarten, a preparatory-school for intelligent-living out here!?
PETER
(mulls to precise slang)
Could be-- a kind-a, garden: Yes.
RIVER BANK - (MIDDAY-LIKE)
They walk upstream the golden-hue bank …
The opposite bank opens eastward to golden-hue barren low-cut grass fields to a green horizon hint of city-top-line;
GWEN
(more to Peter)
You know, Peter:- If there are infinitely many stars around us, there can be no polar ice caps: This whole planet may be as temperate as it is right here.
DANIEL
And simpler weather patterns.
HARRY
Could be this garden is a small oasis surrounded by semi-arid steppe, farm fields,-- like the original Eden.
PETER
It's the same for a kilometer upstream and more …
(more to Gwen)
--my morning swim.
They stand and look across:-- A golden yellow brick walkway leads from the opposite bank, across the fields and beyond.
DANIEL
(visualizes its path)
Figures … should have known … This, is the land of Oz …
(points to path and city)
There's the yellow brick road … and emerald city.… Do any of you recall running into a tornado on the way?!
HARRY
Do you suppose it's gold: flecks in the ground-soil?- Could this planet be Eldorado …?!
PETER
No: Gold dust would be excessively abundant to change the soil color.
DANIEL
(startles)
Uranium Cake!-
(panics)
Oh, Lord! What are we doing in hell's penthouse?!
GWEN
Daniel?
(00:00 instrumental - Falling Through Time/2002)
DANIEL
(reemphasizes sky-west)
The black-hole, Gwen! -Our cosmos:- We're roasting at the center of a supercosmic firepit,- and we don't feel a thing …!- This place is as radioactive-hot as the ten-billion-degree core of its supernova that exploded billions of years ago …!- That yellow color in the ground is the superabundance of uranium-oxide yellow-cake left when its iron core condensed its innards to a neutron-quark star before it collapsed into its final black-hole: our universe! … Here right-outside the center, it created a preponderance of uranium, thorium, enough to form this planet with silicon, oxygen, carbon, iron, hydrogen, … a little running water.
HARRY
(prophecy)
And there were no more seas.
PETER
(agitated)
The animals don't mind it, Dan:- There's no evidence of mutancy.…
DANIEL
(stirring excited)
Maybe they've adapted;- Maybe small animals adapt better, over millions of years! …
PETER
(pleas)
Dan: Don't panic:- This local star-space may be trillions of years old and the uranium and thorium may be all gone: Without a Geiger-counter, we don't know enough.
HARRY
Pete: Our inner-universe should age more quickly than this outer world, despite time-dilation, because it's relatively sub-micro-miniature:-- A trillion years inside, could be ten thousand, out here. It could be …
PETER
(clips; forces calm)
Dan:- The neutrino-flux background, in an infinite cosmos, could be ten zillions times stronger:- And would we know it?- The uranium may be all gone in catalysis by neutrinos … Lead-cake, can be yellow too.
GWEN
(points to Peter's badge)
Peter: One of the patches on your jacket should be a roentgen-dosage indicator:- Yours are all clear.
DANIEL
(heaves calm)
Okay, … I don't believe a word of what you're saying, Pete: But I do appreciate your honest theorizing.… I, just think we, should be heading back immediately … Very soon!
HARRY
That's an oxy-more-Dan? …
(innocent grin)
As opposed to an oxy-more-Ron ….
PETER
(looks-up a beat)
May-be so:- The sky has cleared: The day-cycle is but a few hours for this planet.
They retreat …
HARRY
Sure would be nice to hike across to that city,-- tomorrow.
GWEN
We'll need dark sunglasses for a daylong hike: It could be a mirage.
GARDEN - (LATE-AFTERNOON-LIKE)
They walk heads-down toward the elevator; The east sky is the huge black-hole;- Faint long shadows streak through the trees; The animals are inactive, asleep again …
HARRY
(looking at animals)
But, Pete: Maybe the neutrinos are swallowed-up by the cosmic black-holes, --unlike neutron stars which bounce or re-emit neutrinos,-- and maybe uranium and thorium don't radiodecay at all, out here.
PETER
I think this outer cosmos is at equilibrium, locally:- The light falling into black-holes and onto neutron stars,- equals the light climbing-out; Likewise the neutrino flux is at equilibrium.
HARRY
But is that a lot, or little?!
PETER
Figuring that sources of neutrinos are predominantly exotic processes, supernova neutron stars putting-out a percent of their energy visible,- a hundred times more efficient at producing neutrino energy; thousand times more efficient than our sun …
ELEVATOR HUT
DANIEL
Well, Harry: I think we made it, this time.
Gwen activates the panel:-- the DOOR OPENS.
(--:-- hollow)
INT. ELEVATOR - LIGHT FROM THE DOOR (CONTINUOUS)
They enter and spread to the walls …
GWEN
I'll program the elevator to return a week after we leave tomorrow morning.
(works control-panel)
DANIEL
(reviews the room)
I'm ready for this:-- Cushions to sleep-on, again.
The DOOR CLOSES … INTERIOR LIT, windows black; They array to rest on the wall-bench, folding jackets as pillows …
HARRY
(reflects)
It was pleasant to sleep outside: I haven't been summer-hiking in a year.
DANIEL
(mock-fluffing his couch)
Just not safe for the eyes out there:- We can get some real shuteye in here.
HARRY
No irksome bugs, no mosquitoes:- a great vacation site … I'll have to return some year … with arc-welder goggles.
THE ROOM DARKENS slowly … they deboot and lie down;
DANIEL
(dithers)
Who's leaving? If there are people across the fields, I could move-in and stay forever.
HARRY
That great, Dan?
DANIEL
Almost:- Might have to go back and arrange for my folks to visit from Earth. … And their neighbors will want to come … and their friends at the synagogue, will never let them leave without corresponding …
(checking Gwen)
DARK-- YET FACES, HANDS, GLOW by scintillating blue points.
DANIEL
(looks at each … at Gwen)
Gwen: Is there an ultraviolet lamp in this room?-- some… cosmic, undergraduate black-light prank …?
GWEN
No.
DANIEL
(rouses)
Then, Why is your face glowing so pretty in the dark?
They lounge-prop-sit-up,-- looking mutually …
HARRY
(examines hands, clothes)
It's the hands,-- the skin: The clothes are dark.
DANIEL
Oh, no!-- Radioactive glow!
(plops back)
Oh, Lord!
HARRY
But it's on all of us: You and I didn't go in the water: just Gwen and Peter swam in the river.
DANIEL
Then it's rich in the air: the dust on the breeze.
HARRY
It'd be on the clothes equally …
DANIEL
Unless skin is stickier …
HARRY
(examines the floor)
It should settle on the floor,- but it's not there.
DANIEL
It must settle all day long to accumulate;-- and it's never dark outside: We didn't see it.
HARRY
But radioactivity lasts for months and years on the floor,-- unless no-one's been here in thousands of years,-- except the cleaning-crew …
(flash grins)
Try wiping it off.
They wipe hard-- but it doesn't remove …
DANIEL
Must be absorbed more deeply.
PETER
Most radioactivity is invisible, either particles or gamma-rays, unless you have a scintillator fluorescing in a visible spectrum.
DANIEL
Then, What, is it? It's something nuclear-powered, I'm sure:-- Gwen was right: We've slipped the latch and climbed-out of our, gravity, playpen: The front door was open, and we've run out into the street!
(emphatic)
There are processes going on here, that we just don't understand enough to guess: This place isn't safe for our mortal selves: whether Jewish, or Christian;-- I think we should go home.
HARRY
Home isn't going to be immortal,- just less nuclear-powered.
DANIEL
We shouldn't have to think so much about leaving! …
PETER
(discovers, smiles)
It's anti-helium!
GWEN
What?
PETER
Or, anti-helion, -the antimatter equivalent of helium nuclei.-- The one big difference between this world and our own, is, We don't have naturally occurring antimatter isotopes,-- just a few anti-protons generated in some neutron-star or pulsar process, or in laboratories: and it doesn't last long on Earth.
(elates)
This is the planet, astrophysicists dream of owning.
HARRY
How does it get generated here?
PETER
Simply enough: It already exists in equal proportions in the infinite, super-cosmos: And some floats down.
DANIEL
But it'd be annihilated in the upper atmosphere.
PETER
Not, anti-helium … a lab experiment back in the mid 90's showed it may be fairly stable in hydrogen,-- and that, I figure, is what we're seeing: hydrogen fusion-- catalyzed by anti-helium: It's neat theory really: cold-fusion by nuclear "Planck-ton,"-- scientists tried muons, but those radiodecay in microseconds.…
DANIEL
(clips)
You mean we're being nuclear-fusioned alive, by anti-helium!?
PETER
Only minute quantities, -as slow as the loss of sweat by evaporation; no danger at all,- and we're seeing the occasional deuterium fusion ….
DANIEL
But if it's in abundance about this planet, we can't be safe here: This whole planet could explode if an antimatter asteroid came along.
PETER
Not likely,-- for that very reason: Antimatter exists in equal quantity only over some large cosmic range,- maybe around the next super-cosmic cluster: We're in less danger than of ordinary, stars, colliding.
HARRY
A little more danger than that: Asteroids are more numerous, and often flung-out from solar systems.
PETER
But not much beyond a star's Oort cloud;- and if one did arrive, it'd be blasted back into space before landfall … a trivial phenomenon … And this place doesn't look very destroyed.
HARRY
What happens when an antimatter asteroid falls into our cosmos down below?
PETER
Nothing … It'd be finely ripped apart into anti-neutrons, anti-protons, quarks, anti-quarks;-- a few tons might become a Saturn-mass, dispersed and dissipated, one-in-sextillion, throughout our cosmic background.
DANIEL
(imposes)
I just don't think we can stay, guys: We're not adapted to this kind of thinking: It's too speculative.
GWEN
We can go now, or tomorrow after we visit the city.
DANIEL
Now. I've seen yellow-brick roads and cities on Earth, that are safe.
PETER
I'm equivocal: If we can't continue, we may go back any suitable time.…
HARRY
(dejected)
I did so want to visit the city,-- and meet a real cosmic space alien.
GWEN
I'm for going back-- and finishing my research project this Spring: The follow-on needs new grant-funding.
DANIEL
Then … we go … now.
They mutually shrug okay-yes;
GWEN
(rises to the panel)
I'll have this reprogrammed momentarily.
(keys the controls)
DANIEL
Set it for extra-slow, Gwen-- I still want my nap … four hours.
(leans back: naps)
HARRY
Pete: Why would we not have antimatter equally abundant in our own cosmos, if it's abundant up here?
The WINDOWS LIGHT-UP as the elevator glides down;
They lounge-back again …
PETER
Our cosmos, is the singularity, black-hole, of a former matter-supernova:- Matter predominates inside …
HARRY
The same nuclear shredding occurred when the matter-supernova's neutron-star collapsed.
PETER
Yes: And that became the mass of our cosmos.
DANIEL
(cute to ceiling)
Matter-dogs, have matter-fleas: What do antimatter, dogs have?
(grins: resumes nap)
HARRY
But we won't shred:-- this elevator didn't shred.
PETER
It re-energizes us gradually;-- alien technology at its finest.
HARRY
How far down could we get without this elevator?
PETER
Almost all the way, from your outer perspective, 'til the gravitational tidal forces break-up your vehicle.
FADE IN:
INT. ELEVATOR - COSMOS RISING - DIM LIT (HOURS LATER)
Outside is dark with distant sparkling galaxies flashing-by upward; bluish below, reddening above, enlarging, (sequence reverse of going); Gwen and Harry in a standing hug while Peter, Daniel, sleep; Faces, hands, scintillating …
GWEN
(softly)
Harry, It's been a long while since you gave me a hug.
HARRY
(chagrins)
And, it's going to be a lot longer to the next,- Gwen: Don't let the guys panic, but, I can't go back with you.
GWEN
(eyes to eyes)
Harry: We're not dragging you back: It's the scheduled time to go back.
HARRY
Yes,- You're right;-- and I'm going back, without a care; … but then, … the ball is in my hands: I'm behind the line, pumping my soles, hunting for a hole in the defense formation strategy … It's a priority, Gwen;-- It works out in the understanding …
(to future)
It's like I'm being called-upon to know more than I ever learned;- but I've already got my doctorate. … What more could I have studied?!
GWEN
(conciliatory)
I understand, Harry.
HARRY
(admits)
It's increasingly imperative.… I'll go back as far as I can, but one of these times, I can't.
GWEN
(reaffirms)
I do understand, Harry:
(foreshadows)
Call my name, Harry, and I'll be there for you.
(closed-eyes prays, done)
FADE TO:

Act 4

'racing home to Earth'

INT. ELEVATOR, RING CITY, COSMIC CENTER - (HOUR LATER)
Amid a billion bright stars, they sleep;
The elevator arrives, …
THRICE TING-TONGS,-- They rouse;
DANIEL
(rises)
Yup: We're, back in the changeless real world.
They get-up, put-on their jackets and boots;
And gather to the door …
PETER
Gwen: Can you put a thirty-day running-code-lock on this elevator for us: just in case?
GWEN
Sure.
(touches panel-controls)
7-1-8-3-4,- and add the days … Multiply overridable; prevents arbitrary use; and saves program identities.
DANIEL
(summarizes)
… 5 and 4, by casting-out nines and elevens … Do you think we're coming back?
PETER
Just being thorough,- not predicting.
GWEN
(more to Peter)
You don't want to go back to Earth.
PETER
They haven't forgotten the submarine chase: We may have to avoid reentering at the South Pole.
DANIEL
Is there any other way?
PETER
No.
DANIEL
(resigns)
Oh-- boy …
Elevator TING-TINGS: THE DOOR OPENS.
They exit into a familiar corridor …
INT. INFINITE CORRIDOR - LIGHTED (CONTINUOUS)
And look about …
HARRY
Doesn't look changed since we were last here … that was two days ago … I think we're safe.
DANIEL
(hands covering eyes)
Can't tell if our skin glows: Check it later in the dark.
HARRY
(looks left, and right)
Which way, Gwen?
Gwen leads away; They follow, … Harry last;
Daniel notices blackened blast-marks on the floors and walls; Peter notices the conspicuous rewelds;--
DANIEL
(as to Harry)
Don't miss these important changes:
(points to blast-marks)
These don't, look stale yet.
PETER
(calming hush)
Keep going, guys; Don't look back.
DANIEL
(equally as to Peter)
Did you see someone behind us?
PETER
No … I notice that this metal ring-city has been rewelded a few times.
HARRY
(lagging)
Could have been stray asteroids.
DANIEL
In this technology!?
STARSHIP GANTRY-WAY - (MINUTES LATER)
Sans Harry, they arrive at their windowed gantry-way …
And look about for him,--
PETER
(surprised)
Where could he have gone? He was last,-- right with us: behind us.
DANIEL
(cute)
The little-boys' room?
GWEN
Let's go in and get ready.
She heads in; Daniel half-follows;- She stays for him …
PETER
(paused at the entrance)
Go ahead: I'll wait for him:- Don't want him to get lost.
Gwen and Daniel proceed … but momentarily--
[HARRY:VID] WALL-PICS RESOUND in the gantry and corridor--
[HARRY:VID] (PA-LOUD)
Hi-- guys! This is, Cap-Ten Harry, on the fly-by … Wave, kiddies!
A small SHUTTLE, bottom-lit reddish, passes not far outside, leaving toward the east;--
PETER
(exclaims)
Harry!
(00:00 "One" - One More Night/Amber/Hani remix)
And he runs back through the corridor …
Daniel turns to follow but Gwen hand-restrains him--
GWEN
Let's go inside, Daniel: Peter can match Harry.
Guiding him into the Starship … meanwhile …
CORRIDOR - (AS CONTINUOUS)
POV: Peter RUNS a ways, searching … TURNS LEFT down a--
SHUTTLE GANTRY-WAY - (CONTINUOUS)
Grabs and pulls-on A HALO COMMUNICATOR-- full of mentalized Virtual-Reality-Assisted (VRA) see-in-the-dark enhanced-lit SURROUND-SOUND-ECHO-IMAGERY OF HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACING …
POV:VRA: he jump-enters THROUGH A PORTAL into--
INT. SMALL SHUTTLE - DIM LIT PORTAL (CONTINUOUS)
… and inserts himself in the seat,- and rapidly keys-up …
PORTAL SHUTS TO DARK (skin still glowing), CONTROLS LIT …
Shuttle pops-away, flip-rolling …
He steadies it …
And accelerates along the ring-city below the stars.
Harry's Shuttle (VRA) rushes the b.g. east star-rise;
And drops into the blackness …
And Peter follows.
PETER (POV:VRA)
Harry:- You there!?
(pauses for reply)
Harry!? Can you hear me?!
[HARRY:VID]
(a beat, cowboy happy)
Well,- Howdy, pard-ner! … Looks like a great, space-rat, race …
PETER (POV:VRA)
(plaintive)
What are you doing, Harry?!
The ring-city reddish bottom is visible to the horizon …
[HARRY:VID]
Pleasant day for a spin,-- hah hah: A spin-vector pre-cession around a black-hole!
PETER (POV:VRA)
(keys comm)
Dan, Gwen: Can you hear me? …
[DANIEL:VID]
(replies)
Go ahead, Peter: We found the radio controls in the starship command center. … And, We're ready to go.
PETER (POV:VRA)
Stay put: I don't want to dock this shuttle with a moving spaceship.
[DANIEL:VID]
All right, Pete: Gwen and I will keep station.-- Are you anywhere near Harry?
PETER (POV:VRA)
Just on his trail: He's got full control of that thing, and he's diving fast.
[DANIEL:GWEN'S VID]
(to Gwen)
Harry's pumping for the daylight at the end of the black-hole tunnel,-- Though it does have the ruby hue of Christian-vehemence … At least he's sober.
[GWEN:VID]
Harry: Can you hear me?- We do have to get going: And we're ready to go home, now!
Peter evens-up to parallel Harry …
[HARRY:VID]
(cowboy)
Well,-- Howdy, little-lady: How's a ring-city settin' on your pretty little finger …?
Harry looks across,- waves brightly …
[GWEN:VID]
Harry: You, rug-bee-goon!-
(recovers)
Peter: Get Harry's as-cent shuttle back-up here where it belongs, now!
[HARRY:VID]
Ouch:-- Them's hard words, little-lady: It's foosball, where I come-from.
Peter strong-hand-points up;--
PETER (POV:VRA)
Harry! There's no fame down this hole: Pull-up, now!
Fingers a countdown, 3-2-1.
[HARRY:VID]
(rallies)
A-non-y-mo …!
Harry dives …
Peter, dives, … faster and, momentarily, below--
THE EVENT HORIZON: The sky scrolls-up angularly; --Outposts passing, appear high, swing-low under, and to high beyond;--
[FEMALE COMPUTER] (VO)
(invitation alert)
Aht-tahn-tzion! … Shvartz-shield Ballistic Rah-diuus! … Aht-tahn-tzion!
[DANIEL:VID]
(surprised)
Who's she?!
[GWEN:VID]
Peter: We're tracking two shuttles, but we've got company, somewhere.
PETER (POV:VRA)
(radios)
It's mine, Gwen: I've gone too far.
(peeved emphasis)
Harry: What are, you doing!?- Turn back, now: You're below the event horizon!
(pauses)
Harry!- Answer me!-
(enunciates)
You are too deep to return ballistic: You must power-out now!
(calms)
I'm coming-up, Gwen.
Peter angles his shuttle back upward …
(--:-- mix-over grind, continue)
EXT. BLACK-HOLE - SUBHORIZON - PETER'S SHUTTLE CLIMBS OUT
And far … far up the vastness … toward the ring-city …
INT. STARSHIP COMMAND - GALAXY CENTER - LIGHTED
Gwen at Helm, Daniel at Nav, her right, wear communicator head-gear, anxiously reviewing event-scheduling of aether traffic control diagrams of intersecting cones-of-travel;
(--:-- -fade-)
Distant hurried FOOTSTEPS GROW LOUDER in the Gantry-way …
DANIEL
(pointing into his)
… These two, intercept …
GWEN
… Probably traveling together …
DANIEL
(worries)
… As long as they're not doing battle, together …!
GWEN
(pointing hers, center)
… These two arrive first …
DANIEL
(points into her data)
… And we can leave in the kilohesit window opening here …
Peter hurries-in,- crossing to Gwen's side first--
PETER
Any further word from Harry …!?
DANIEL
(focused on a display)
No: But we must leave immediately: Gwen has incoming transients on three of the aether-slipstreams: Ours is available in 20 hesits …
(revises)
Nope … They're here …
(looks out forward)
Arriving, now …!
PETER
Who? Visitors? Aliens? Asteroids!?
GWEN
Unknown, Peter: Is Harry coming up?
PETER
No:- He waved me off … I was last hoping he'd change his mind alone.
DANIEL
We tried to reach him about the incoming transients … No response.
PETER
Maybe he wants to return up to the garden, alone … We're not banished from Earth: just slightly fugitive.
GWEN
(muses to her data)
Sometimes Harry can hang over the sideline like half a molasses.
DANIEL
(hangs a beat, puzzles)
What's … a molasses …?
PETER
(reading between them)
About 6-point-oh-2 times ten to the 23rd power more obstinance than his contract stipulates.
Gwen smiles.
DANIEL
(big mouthes)
Ohh-kay ….
GWEN
(quickens)
We can't stay …
PETER
(sits, captain's chair)
I know … Let's go … Un-dock this ship:- Let's, Go home.
DANIEL
Whew!- I was worried we'd be eating alien ghoul-ish, tonight.
GWEN
(radios out)
Good bye, Harry: I'll miss you.
DANIEL
(radios out)
Bye, Harry: Best wishes: Hope you find your way back to Earth, some day.
Gwen keys:--
(00:00 pouncy - Ooh Aah/Gina G/Motiv8 radio edit)
Their Starship pulls-back from the dock …
(00:05 snare)
Slows to stop, turning eastward …
(00:07 drum gallop)
Forward along the metal-ring-city … accelerating …
Faster …
(00:22 voice)
Pulling away … forward really fast … gliding up … over …
(00:36 snare)
2 starships -MARKERS AHEAD-
(00:37 eery background)
Arrive distant, turning about … Daniel points worried …
Gwen reexamines her display;-- shakes no-worry …
(00:47 oooh)
GRID-LINES FLOW …
(00:49 snare)
FINAL GRID;--
(00:51 refrain)
IN THE AETHER-SLIPSTREAM, --galaxy center stars aberrate …
Accelerating to ASTRO-SKIP-RATE 6.7 million …
Daniel reclines feet-up,- smiles; Spring-break is over.…
(01:06 instr.)
They sail through the galaxy …
(01:13 -fade unto- voice)
FADE OUT
FADE IN:
INT. COMMAND - GALACTIC INTERSTELLAR - (NEXT DAY)
Far stars de-aberrate aside,- passing stars, slow, red-filled Grid Lines, as velocity ramps down to light-speed:
(00:00 - Jellyhead/Crush/Motiv8 Pumphouse 7" edit)
DANIEL
(reads speedometer)
4-point-5-K … 2-K … 9-50 … 4-50 … 2-10 … 90 … 50 … 30 … 20 … 10 … 5 …
(00:12 sticks-corner)
And flips about to a new course-- sunward, homeward.
DANIEL
1-point-0 … --light-speed-- …
(2 beats)
E-T-A, Neptune or Pluto, 2-point-5 kilohesits … An hour and a half.
EXT. GALAXY SHIP ZOOMS AHEAD, TO TINY
Distant Neptune is revealed un-eclipsed aside it:
GWEN (VO)
Coming-up on Neptune …
INT. COMMAND - (1.5 HOURS LATER)
(00:24 "woow"-wipe)
They skirt-pass Neptune, medium-maximum-minimum, 3 sec.
DANIEL
(finger-checks display)
Neptune … Check!
She side-eyes Daniel …
He side-eyes a grin back--
DANIEL
(finger at next)
Next checkpoint: Saturn, --skipping Uranus:-- E-T-A, 5 kilohesits … 3 hours … Howabout we do some lunch?
EXT. GALAXY SHIP ZOOMS AHEAD, TO TINIEST
INT. COMMAND - (3 HOURS LATER)
Daniel is afterlunch-snacking glazed super-popcorns …
DANIEL
(blowing on bites)
Space-alien desserts are tasty … like lemon-sugar-candied chicken wings: very hot inside.
They skirt Saturn-star afar, a distant ringless fireball:
GWEN
Nearest approach to Saturn.
All ooh-ahh'ing its passing, small-large-small, 10 sec.…
DANIEL
(watching-back, bothers)
Isn't that Jupiter? It's too bright to be Saturn; and it has no rings!
(sits, rereads, to Gwen)
… Are we going too fast?!
PETER
(ponders)
It's too large and far from the sun to be an outgassing comet.
DANIEL
(big blinks at Gwen)
Are my eyes overly adjusting for interstellar space?- I hope I'm not turning into a bulge-eyed space-alien already: I was too normal …!
FADE IN:
INT. COMMAND - MOON SPACE - LATE AFTERNOON (NEXT HALF DAY)
RADIAL GRID-LINES center the rapidly approaching moon; the Earth (4x distant 2x moon size) is just beyond moon-west …
Several SPECKS DRIFT near the moon; They're anxious;--
GWEN
No: They are not artifacts, Daniel.
DANIEL
Well, They'd better not be what I think, they are.
PETER
They're not going to send spaceships to greet us like some famous alien space visitors.
DANIEL
Famous, is-n't what I had in mind calling us:- We should avoid them.
GWEN
How could they know we're here, Peter?
PETER
Project SafeGuard monitored Earth-destroying asteroids,- a project supposedly cancelled by Congress in the mid-90's …
DANIEL
They could have replaced it with a sentry telescope: Astronomers are always, looking for a few good comets.
PETER
(doubts)
Could have … But then, they haven't a fleet of Space Shuttles on demand nor moon-based missiles,-- or none that I've read-of on the free-web.
DANIEL
(trial answers)
The Pentagon could have spent a few billion to set-up a black-project for a strategic-missiles moon-base; Or some wealthy KGB nuclear remnant of the Soviet Union could have …
PETER
I don't think they'd waste missiles on us: We're not big enough, nor heavy enough, to be noticed-- much less shot-down,-- unless …
(scans soffit displays)
Nope … We're alone out here.
DANIEL
(new try)
Radio telescope arrays, could have detected our retro-thrust magneto-plasmas.
The moon larger eclipsing the Earth; specks spreading;
PETER
It'd be a whole different technology, Dan …
(peers out … ahead)
Unless, this isn't our, Earth,- but a look-alike.
GWEN
They're approaching rapidly!
A SHIPWIDE KLAXON runs up-scale twice;
[FEMALE COMPUTER] (VO)
(clips: alerts)
AHT-TAHN-TZION-- ROTE ALERT-- DEY-FAHNSE-- ROTE ALERT-- AHT-TAHN-TZION
PETER
Okay!- We presume they are hostile, -and in number:- Can we dodge them with this galaxy ship?
GWEN
We can try: We momentarily have the approach-speed advantage: I'll …
(fingers her controls)
Reroute:- We'll skip our moon-station rendezvous, and proceed directly to Earth.
DANIEL
Is this risky?! Gwen.
GWEN
This vessel has power to spare: We can power-descend and land directly in a desert;-- Area 64-13, anyone?
DANIEL
Area 51:-
(mock-exasperates)
We don't, want to disappoint the U-F-O hobbyists …!
(resumes)
Why is it, I feel more and more Russian, every day …?!
PETER
51 has been reclassified, Gwen; and it's nearer established roads.- We might get a ride home.
DANIEL
If we survive this.
PETER
If we change our clothes.
DANIEL
(exclaims at his attire)
Oh, Yeah …!
Gwen fingers her controls:-- … The Starship veers sideways across the face of the huge oncoming moon b.g. filling half and leaving the specks to the opposite side …
But the specks track anew across the moon face …
PETER
Not good,-- Gwen: Prepare to ride evasive maneuvers.
DANIEL
(exuberates)
Hee-Yigh, cowboy:- Ride-em!
PETER
Something like that.
The bunch of specks spreads slightly on approach …
GWEN
Hang tight, guys: Here they come …
(activates controls)
The Starship scoots across--about the face of the moon …
The specks gyrate independently …
Nearest SPECK EXPLODES IN WHITE FLASH;-- The obliterated VIEW AUTO-DARKENS to diagrammatic; They traverse …
PETER
That's no ordinary proximity-fuse!
The DUST-BLAST WHELMS, rushing against the windows …
PETER
(finishes over noise)
That's nuclear, detonation!
Next WHITE FLASH;-- VIEW AUTO-DARKENS; They traverse-back …
The DUST-BLAST WHELMS against the windows …
DANIEL
(busy at his Nav)
They're just trying to remove us from outer-space … Ready for moon-swing in … 10 hesits …
THIRD WHITE FLASH;-- the VIEW AUTO-DARKENS …
They traverse the diagram to the moon leading-east-edge …
The DUST-BLAST WHELMS …
And flash and dust-blast subside and dissipate …
(--:-- lull)
The moon eastside passes close as more EXPLOSIONS ILLUMINE its dark E-EW side … and subside behind them … 10 sec.
DANIEL
(watching rear 5 sec.)
First sentries, out.
THE EARTH AHEAD is at last their clear direct destination …
GWEN
(relaxes from controls)
I'm taking a rest, guys: Wake me when they try to kill us again.
(--:-- exuberates)
EXT. STARSHIP PRECEDING TO EARTH - ABOVE, REAR, BEHIND
MONTAGE (choreographed): The galaxy-ship rushes forward--
DORSAL VIEW of Command Center …
RACING ALONG (1 km long) …
EARTH SPARKLES, SEEN VIA THE ENGINE-HOLLOW (100 m dia.) …
(--:-- -unto- refrain)
INT. COMMAND - 6 MIN. 80K MI. TO PREEVENING EARTH ENLARGING
Nevada centered calm amid storm turmoil on all horizons; They lounge in their seats, Gwen napping;
DANIEL
Pete: I'm puzzled, still,- about Harry's shuttle-dive into the black-hole: What made the event-horizon suddenly important?
PETER
It was a double-whammy: Normally an elliptical orbit returns to its apastron in the same place in its inertial frame;-- but near the star mass the ephemerides precess,- and the apastron, and periastron, move forward each revolution -a fraction of a degree for planet Mercury- but if it enters the event-horizon, the precession exceeds infinity and the orbit folds-down and never attains apastron again.… The second whammy, whether or not you noticed, is that Harry and I were accelerating, east forward in the inertial frame, and, pumping our orbits higher by diving deeper at the hole: On orbit-return we'd have reached apastron well-above the metal-ring-city … Except that, once we got below the event-horizon, that advantage dissipated and disappeared.
DANIEL
Well,… the other thing, I've been pondering, is, How did we jump from high galactic potential-energy near Earth, in our solar-system, to low, potential, near the center of the galaxy?- This ship has incredible power,-- but that much? What about ourselves inside?
PETER
You recall the force-field covering the moon-station launch-elevator … This ship has us in a force-field,- an acceleration-damper …. And, our potential-energy jumps, must have been accomplished by diving deep at black-holes;- The aether-slipstream must siphon between isopotentials of hole-structures …
(ponders)
Which must also mean that all holes in the cosmos have the same surface potential, when linked … explaining why ours is a small hole … And may, explain the galactic missing mass….
DANIEL
(slow nods)
Still, Some energy must be dumped,- unless it was preused to accelerate the ship in the preentry slipstream … Interesting.
PETER
Ahhh-- you understand.
(smiles)
DANIEL
(sparks)
Then, One more thing: Your theory for the cosmos being the center of a mass-hole but not a singularity … Granted it was always impossible to suppose an infinitesmal could be expanded to become a finitesmal, or that a finitesmal could exist to itself but nowhere else finitely.…
PETER
(quickens)
Consider firstly atoms have roughly similar neutral radii, though their masses are ratioed upto 2-hundred-92,-- and, both electron and proton have similar radius, though their, masses are ratioed 18-hundred-36 … Not mass, but charge-involvement-structure is commensurate dimensionality.
(a beat)
Next … Consider our cosmos as a supernova-singularity: a ball of condensed sub-nuclear mass: matter compressed so tightly it melts and clarifies its own energy passing through itself, except for what we inside call, matter: Conservation of mass-energy becomes conservation of aether-turbulence: Photon energy inside is wave-motion in the aether mass: And therefor matter or energy mass inside, is entropic, wavicle: Thus energy has exosystem-entropic, not particulate gravity, as motion-entropy turbulence means less dense aether, -which means slower wave-velocity,- which equivocates with gravity at its superface;- Gravity, means slower space-time as Einstein formulated it;- thus gravity itself equates to size-conservation of a shock-bubble of pure entropy in an aether of absolute average density: Energy distributes uniform space for itself. Furthermore,- The lower limit on aether-density drives a nonlinear upper limit on energy density, thus ensuring an apparent minimum size for a given energy and therefor a minimum speed limit and adjusted rules of gravity near that extreme: and so we assume by simple inverse-square-law model, a cosmic aether-ball less-compressed toward its outside: thus appearing to have outward wave-steering gravity at the outer edge, and slower running time … That's presuming an elastic, aether: not yet proven.…
DANIEL
(ponders)
Absolute average --unit-- density: Not infinite density!?
PETER
Sure.
DANIEL
In what units!?
PETER
One-to-one, on the numeric real-space dimensions,-- but much less than unity in this cosmos.
DANIEL
And how is uniformity ever absolutely settled, even in infinite time, if it's minutely changeable?
PETER
It doesn't need to be: No living observer can ever find an unsettled place in an infinite cosmos, as the averaging process travels faster than the observer, -or information, to, the observer. Of course, if one presumes infinite communications to have preceded from all directions, then the delay of information in an infinitesmal direction imputes interstitial unsettled domains, but never observably, as there'd be no way of predicting what those communications would be.…
DANIEL
(marvels)
Olbers' Paradox on an infinite information space …!
PETER
(a beat, continues)
Which confuses extreme distant communications with infinite background information.
DANIEL
But, if there were waves of aether-settlementation traveling across the infinite outer-cosmos …
PETER
… Could account for immeasurably small fluctuations in gravitational constant and speed of light in our finite cosmos,-- most noticeable on the extreme cosmic scale, or perhap on cosmic extremes: on black-holes.
DANIEL
Then, What came before absolute average unit-density? Was there an aethereal beginning to the infinite cosmos, too? The infinitely big absolute policy adjustment …!?
PETER
(a beat)
Yes, from any observer's point of view.
DANIEL
(evaluates a beat)
Then, One sticky point:-- How would your aether, account for Gauge Two?
PETER
(hedges)
I would suppose our cosmos is in some sort of aether flow, itself: perhap another big-bang effect ….
DANIEL
Okay;- Back to my ordinary cosmic-scale question:
(a beat)
You've explained redshift by cosmic distance differently,-- and why the cosmos does not gravitationally collapse …
PETER
(clips)
Actually I prefer a stronger but related theory for cosmic redshift.
DANIEL
Which is …
PETER
The formation of electrons in the early cosmic bang renormalization process produced similar but minutely non-identical electrons, from shattering cosmic charge strings,- with the lighter, lesser charged electrons, moving faster and further away from the central bang pressure; Whence their longer wavelengths are associated with remoter cosmic regions.
DANIEL
Okay!- But, In either, theory: We should be able to detect a central zone with blue-shifted energy.
PETER
Except that detection of such small dominance of blue-shifted galaxies depends greatly on random drifts, including our own,-- not good for proving any particular theory; And, we're not far from the center … mankind never is: On Earth, we're 4-thousand miles from its center, at the interface of solid, liquid, gaseous; … At one astronomical unit from the sun, we're in the solar-thermal interface of atmospheric clemency; … At 30-thousand light years from the galaxy center, we're in its rogue-comet-field dark-business-halo interface of life or truth over spirit, love, and soul …
Daniel, eyes widen open.
PETER
(continues)
A few galaxy-clusters away from the cosmic center we're in the gravi-temporal speed-of-gravity interface of truth or mind. Somewhere outside our cosmos is the reflectional interface of principle, where male and female are the same.… And there was, some discussion of anisotropy in the collective cosmic redshifts: Histograms exhibited abundances repeating every 72 kilometers per second,-- probably concentric cosmic burps.
DANIEL
(wide-eyed beat)
Peter: You know I like you as a friend, but sometimes your answers are absolute reproofs of final authority in the cosmic universe.
PETER
That happens.
(a beat)
I've got a question for you, Dan.
DANIEL
Okay.
PETER
Your theory about putting a billion coulombs of electric charge inside a gravity black-hole, to help buoy-up the metal-ring city on repulsive charge: --Granted, electric charge is 10-to-the-42nd times stronger than the gravity,-- but, To put enough into the hole to hold-up a ring city, probably exceeds lifting the city once;-- then continually replenishing it: How do you propose this be accomplished?
Specks appear near the Earth now closing-in in grid-lines;
DANIEL
Firstly, I figure, In the event of a supernova, the 10 billion degrees central temperature thermionically excludes and drives away hundreds of coulombs of electrons: similarly as our solar wind blows electrons faster than heavier protons, but on our sun, electron escape velocity is about 1 electron-volt, a proton needing 18-hundred times that or 2-million degrees in the corona, and our sun is positively charged to a hundred-50 coulombs: Its top layer of hydrogen hovers like an electric comforter on a magnetic coil spring mattress of charge flux loops, and asphericities giving rise to faculi of spontaneous positive discharge flares: like whiskers on a sphere;- and the sun may actually be much smaller and dirtier inside than we measure the photosphere. … But … I digressed slightly, -astronomically slightly: following your, example-… A supernova core temperature of 10-billion degrees in a radius of 15-hundred kilometers and typical two solar masses, drives-away electrons faster than protons until it has an excess of 3-hundred coulombs: And, altogether 4-million supernovae in the main galactic hole, yield a billion, coulombs, positive charge.
(stirs, taps keys)
PETER
(taps his nose tip)
That, might, account, for galactic dark-mass … tidally electrostatic …
DANIEL
(taps more keys)
Second,- As for replenishing the charge … in … the hole … Nearby…
(adjusts tenor)
They have more of these-- onscreen:
(to Gwen)
Gwen: Are you ready,- Gwen?
GWEN
(rouses, nods yes)
Ready for final deceleration phase and descent to Earth,- landing in …
(operates controls)
3-hundred hesits, or 11 minutes.
PETER
Avoid these missiles absolutely ….
DANIEL
(queries)
Pete?
(self-rejoins)
Oh: Hardened-satellite penetrators!
(more to Gwen)
Gwen: Diamond-point uranium-spikes! Get us out of here, now! These are not, your Christmas present!
GWEN
(scrambling to control)
This'll take us off-target.
DANIEL
(agitates)
Meaning …!?
GWEN
We hit Earth somewhere else, and fast. … Ready for maximum evasive.
PETER
Go ahead, Gwen: Burn-up this ship in the atmosphere: We can use the emergency-escape pods.
The Starship redirects, skating across the Earth face;
DANIEL
(flash-ogles Peter)
Escape, pods …!?
(aggravates to Gwen)
This, is, risky, Gwen!
GWEN
(calms)
It's a life.
The oncoming missiles track them, lagging;-- then precursing their direction changes, by smart adaptations …
Displays TARGET bright-red RETICLES on the nearest, and--
(00:00 - One More Time/Real McCoy)
Counter-PROJECTILES VOLLEY, tracing-away to intercept …
MISSILES EXPLODE;-- their STARSHIP VEERS roughly;
DANIEL
(congratulates)
We've got a second chance!
GWEN
Beginning final deceleration phase and powered descent on first opportunity.
PETER
I think you can begin now, Gwen: This starship can handle them;-- But a cometary meteoric entrance may prove challenging.
Missiles annihilated, their counter-volley ceases.
GWEN
(controls)
Decelerating to powered descent ….
(--:-- -unto- drone)
INT. COMMAND - LEVEL, RACING TO NEVADA DESERT - PREEVENING
Decelerating straight down 10 mi. 30 sec.; Displays show geographic, and WEAPONS ZOOM-TRACKING incoming targets …
Three F-22 JETFIGHTERS DIVE-IN FROM 2 MI. … fire MISSILES …
STARSHIP VOLLEYS-BACK;-- … and
F-22's and missiles EXPLODE HARMLESSLY far …
DANIEL
(somber)
Takes them out like simple asteroids …
PETER
Antimatter nano-bullets, probably.
(00:00 hum - I Ran -So Far Away-/A Flock Of Seagulls)
SHIP HOLDS, barrage finished, GENTLY ROCKING …
(00:02 gulls)
PETER
I don't think we want to stay up here.
Ship slowly lowers, unsteadily …
Until it hovers heaving, 5 hundred meters above the hills;
(00:15 hum louder)
GWEN
It's not stable up here, Peter: We must land, Now.
PETER
Get this ship down,- Gwen.
Gwen commands the ship down to the ground.…
(00:24 hum high, sliding)
It HITS ONCE HARD … and SHUDDERS from the earthquake.
And tilts, slightly,- still a hundred meters high.
(00:34 hum low, rising)
They up and exit, Daniel slowest, looking back out; a cloud of DUST AND BIRDS outside, waft-about;--
DANIEL
(marvels at the view)
This is one, tall, ship.
(exits)
(00:40 rhythm)
EXT. DESERT - BASE OF STARSHIP - PREEVENING, DUSTY HAZE
BLACK, landed tilted amid abandoned vehicles and litter.
(00:53 drop-climbs)
They exit in full arrival-wear at a hatch-door to a ledge;-
Look out and down, pointing about …
(01:00 steel guitar)
Sit on the edge, and--
One-by-one slide-off,- dropping to the ground:-
(01:05 twang)
Peter mid-air …
(01:08 twang)
Gwen mid-air … Peter catches her landing;
(01:12 twang)
Daniel mid-air …
All look back up as if Harry should have been next …
(01:16 big twang)
Shake heads no, turning in memorial; and walk away.…
Each looks back at the UFO …
… and mutually, and BACK and UP at the UFO height ….
(01:30 vocal)
And BREAK TO FULL RUN: Its dark side is gigantic behind …
… 50 m away, it might still roll over on them …
… trotting, 100 m away and it's still gigantic …
Walking; 3 mi. away the Starship is flat huge 100 m high 1 km long (12 deg. span) black ground beyond rolling hills;
(02:00 refrain)
They're looking far about … hilly but empty …
DANIEL
(looking back)
Ten million tons,-- easily.
(a beat, resumes ahead)
Which way do we go, Docs?
Gwen leads onward; the hazy dust is settling finally …
(02:10 rhythm only)
EXT. DESERT ROAD - FIVE MILES FROM STARSHIP - NOT HAZY
A LARGE SEDAN moves on a road at great distance ahead-left, amid the shimmery ground mirages … maybe approaching …
GWEN
There was a continuous stretch of road in this direction;-- I tried to put us down not too far away.
DANIEL
(points forward-left)
That's something,-- moving,-- not just a mirage, … not too far …
(02:25 -soft- vocal)
PETER
When we meet people, We tell them, We were camping, out in the desert, for Spring Break, And got lost.
GWEN
In these clothes …?
PETER
We're … university researchers, testing new desert-wear, garments.
DANIEL
Pull my leg again, Peter: We should have brought a bottle of champagne: like smart, hot-air, balloonists.
GWEN
I don't like champagne.
DANIEL
Then … baseball trading cards: in case we meet suspicious citizens.
PETER
We'll do alright: Keep the story simple:- Our vehicle broke down.
Daniel leads a bit, giving him a silly cock-eyed glance …
(02:50 -soft- refrain)
And arrives at an old dusty vacant road lined with litter and broken purplish old-glass soda-bottles … All stop …
DANIEL
(arms to contra)
Left, or right, Gwen?-
(one leg to contra)
East, or …
(hop-spins splayed)
… west …!?
(sways song low)
We, take, the high road; or,
(high)
We, take, the low road …?
(grins)
Gwen leads on the shoulder toward the still-distant Sedan;
DANIEL
(watches and follows)
Not too talkative.
PETER
Too dry: We didn't bring water.
Daniel nods yes mouth-stilled …
(03:05 drumroll)
The Sedan speeds around behind a hill … and yes, oncoming …
DANIEL
(habit-checks his watch)
Right on, time.…
(looks-around)
This'd better be the only road.
(03:11 instrumental)
They continue forward, waving …
It stops 20 yards shy … Senior citizens DRIVER and WIFE (classy handsome white-haired) framed in the windshield.
They stand-off facing.
Driver leans out his window …
(03:36 -unto- vocal)
DRIVER
(calls out)
Y're going the wrong way, f'r the nearest town!
PETER
(calls out back)
Thank you!- Think we may get a ride!?
Driver hesitates … pulls-in … speaks (MOS) with his Wife …
And leans-out again …
DRIVER
(calls out)
You, Americans …?
DANIEL
(low voice)
We're spotted, heinous,-- speakin' spanners and cosmopolitan spacers.
PETER
(calls back)
Yes …!
DANIEL
(shakes no a beat)
Maybe we should tell them -Where-…
PETER+GWEN+DANIEL
(simultaneous call back)
/Peter/ San Francisco … Berkeley…!
/Gwen/ Santa Cruz … San Francisco…!
/Daniel/ Boston … Cream pie…!
They wait, --look mutually,-- …
DANIEL
Not sure that's getting across.
From the Driver's vantage, they sound space-alien:
PETER+GWEN+DANIEL
(simultaneous loud)
/Peter/ Penn-syl-va-nia …!
/Gwen/ Cal-i-for-nia …!
/Daniel/ Mas-sa-chu-setts …!
Driver pulls-in uncertain … looks at his Wife …
WIFE
New Jersey …
The Sedan, INTO GEAR, creeps slowly forward to them …
And stops before them … Driver second-looks at Wife …
DRIVER
(out to them)
You can ride in back; --not much room,-- but, it's not too far …
They come around … Open the right back door and CLIMB-IN:
DANIEL
(entering)
Thank you, Sir;--
(to the Wife)
Madam.
INT. SEDAN, DESERT-LUXURY MODEL - (CONTINUOUS)
There's faint RADIO-MUSIC playing;
GWEN
(enters)
Thank you very much, Sir; Madam.
Peter enters …
DRIVER
Oh …!- A woman;-- I didn't see but three men out there.
PETER
(shuts door)
It's our clothes, Sir:- We're testing desert-gear outfits,- on university contract … Our vehicle had trouble.… Thank you.
DRIVER
(smiles but to Wife)
Car run out of gas …?
PETER
Something like that, Sir:- But we can't repair it till tomorrow.
Daniel eyes him with mock suspicion. THE CAR LAYS RUBBER …
WIFE
What university are you boys, and girl, attending?
PETER
Laboratory researchers, Ma'am;- We've already graduated-- with doctorates,- P-h-D's.
WIFE
Oh.…
(concedes)
You have to find work where you can.
90 mph; Daniel looks back at receding black-trained hills;
PETER
Yes, Ma'am.
WIFE
Aren't you boys kind of young, to be doctors?
PETER
It's my first year, as a doctor, Ma'am.
WIFE
Oh.
DRIVER
Mind if the Wife turns-up the radio?
DANIEL
(rejoins forward)
Sure! We like all kinds of music;-- classical jazz, pop rock, new-age opera … Comes with being doctors.
DRIVER
We listen to the news: It's part of our continuing education curriculum.
Daniel chagrin-winces; the Wife turns-up the radio-music;
DRIVER
Did you hear about the U-F-O that landed out here: The Unidentifiable Flying Object …?
WIFE
Of course they didn't, Dear: Their car broke-down.
DRIVER
(unto the Wife)
Their radio runs on the battery. Or maybe they've seen it themselves.
Peter et al look mutually, pensively … Shake no …
DANIEL
(quieter)
Un-identifiable … No ….
The music fades … RADIO-NEWS FANFARE interrupts:--
[RADIO]
(brassy)
We're your Royal Croooown Radio, K-R-double-U-N, at 98-point-1 on your Digital Muselector,-- neh-Vah-dah!
Fanfare ends … TELETYPE-CLATTER: News … Peter et al listen with increasingly horrific awe; 2 miles ahead, an oncoming KRWN-TV/DM CAR, two rowdy laughing riders, caps backward …
[RADIO-DJ]
This just in, at our T-V Newsdesk:
(a beat, big news)
The Pentagon has declared the Radar loss of three, squadrons, of F-22's over Groom Lake, when they abruptly disappeared while chasing that U-FO reported earlier.… The U-FO, has apparently also gone-down, amid hills near Area 51;- That's U-FO country, kiddies. D.I.S. is sending an expert team to investigate: They believe their squadrons contributed to the unscheduled descent, of this U-FO.… Our reporters are nearing the scene, and will give us further details inside, the kilohesit. Area 51 visitors are requested to remain outside, the Army Operations Line,- on penalty of arrest. Our reporters have special Area 51 passes: Do not follow them into a prohibited zone.
KRWN Car, PASSENGER swigging a can of soda, DRIVER BLOWING A PARTY FAVOR haughty-noisy out the window … passes ….
[RADIO-DJ]
(potentially related)
Also just in, from our News-weather service: The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, in Boulder, has put out a preliminary summary of the immense intensity of world-wide flooding and F-6 tornado force winds two kilohesits ago in Japan, Europe, and South America. They have pin-pointed its global meteorological momentum anti-vector straight back to the moon.- This is the same direction the U-FO came from,- but the N-O-A-A declines to draw any conclusions; they have no explanation for mach-point-6 winds, and uphill rivers, as, yet …. And, Locally, The Barstow Meteorological Office is reporting peak barometric pressure, an ear-popping 2-thousand millimeters at the bari-center; The University Medical Center at Reno, is reporting 3-thousand-and-9 cases of diminished hearing; 5-hundred-25 cases of hyper-ventilation, -caused by panic-breathing during the high-pressure moments;- And of those, 2-hundred-89, cases of decompression-bends …. U-M-C-R's Dr. Moreau says, this would be expected with extreme changes in atmospheric pressure but most cases should be transitory in nature.… Also locally, Supermarkets are reporting dozens of pallets of, crushed puffed wheat, wilted fruit, produce, broken thermoses, crumpled soda-cans, … one box of prematurely popped popcorn … A big, mess.… And, literally thousands of our Royal Croooown T-V viewers have called-in complaining that their T-V picture-tubes are broken.… R-C-A Laboratory Chief-Engineer Smithers says this is not, because of overpressure but because of the suddenness, the tube twists; The majority of these cases the T-V sets still receive sound.…
(reemphasizes)
The total destruction world-wide is now ranked above 2-point-5-trillion dollars,-- as we continue, our emergency, broadcast, efforts!
Radio music resumes …
[RADIO-DJ]
(closing promotion)
Stay tuned to Croown, for complete, 40-kilohesit coverage:- We're here, for the duration!
DANIEL
(awestruck groans low)
We should have landed at the moon;- or at least slowed …!
PETER
(groaning low)
They gave us no choice; The energy had to dissipate somewhere,-- Two-hundred-gee's deceleration of ten megatons for ten minutes:- It must have coupled into the atmosphere.
GWEN
(low)
That's why it hovered unstably,-- pushing alternately against moving airmass and hard ground.…
DRIVER
(over-talks them)
I hope the news is not too dull or boring for you two men, and woman.
PETER
(unto the driver)
No, no,-- Thank you: We were just discussing it: It's all, news, to us: We've been without ordinary radio for a few days.
DANIEL
(pleas, unto the driver)
We, could, drink some water:- We walked miles across the desert.
DRIVER
Sorry; It's in the trunk, and we're almost there; And, you're not dying of thirst.
WIFE
(insists)
Now, Arthur: Be nice to our guest-passengers.
PETER
It's okay, Ma'am: We'll wait.
FADE TO:
EXT. GWEN'S HOME - SANTA CRUZ CA - NOCTILUCENT DUSK
A footlighted neighborhood; The moon is a fat west-crescent two hours past the zenith.
A Nevada TAXICAB arrives …
THE DRIVEWAY
And disgorges, Gwen, Peter, Daniel, still in space-admiral arrival-wear, DRIVER, checking seats and reshutting doors, … Gwen pays the fare, pocketing her receipt and change--
GWEN
Thank you.
CAB DRIVER
(returns to car)
Any time;- Best customers I've ever had;- Haven't been to California in two years: Think I'll take tomorrow off, Swing down to Disneyland … The Space Mountain Coaster was always a favorite "E" ride,-- Very ad-ult…!
(in and drives away)
A car passing nearside, slows: The DRIVER, -a Harry-double but distinctly different hair coif, beard-shave, driving glasses, jewelry, watch, engagement ring,- examines them … Pulls over and stops at the second-next house;
DANIEL
(unto Peter)
Ah-yuh;- And we should have taken a first-class business commuter-jet,- for half the cost.
PETER
Saved much entangling explanation to the U-F-O-curious public.
DANIEL
Always feels better to expedite.
GWEN
(joins up, smiling)
You guys can pay me cash tomorrow.
PETER
Yes, of course:- We'll stop at my bank, on the way to dinner.
(offers smile)
GWEN
(parries)
Dressed like this …!?
PETER
How about a fine restaurant?-
(affected accent)
Vee canna drift lik pensionera ahmirals om de Svedish Nahvy-flotta,-- Yah?!
GWEN
(amused smile)
People will recognize us in town, Peter.
DANIEL
(grinning)
I'll leave you-two to your dinner,- Thanks: I must prepare for class: T-A's can't lecture forever;- Don't know why you won't accept a check….
PETER
Gwen's a little smarter about touching base, Dan.
DANIEL
Okay.
DRIVER
(stands, waves-calls)
Hey, Dan! Want a ride back to campus!?
(back-in on reply)
DANIEL
(turning)
Just in time.
(calls to driver)
Sure! Be right there!
(to them)
Thanks, again, Gwen: Got to go: My ride's here.
(hurries up-street)
PETER
Dinner,- Shall we? If you change, I change.
GWEN
(concedes)
Some place dark inside: Seafood, candles,- no champagne ….
EXT./INT. CAR - (CO-CONTINUOUS)
Daniel arrives, right-front door … Actuates the handle,--
POV: Driver: In one motion, Daniel opens the door, enters left foot, back-sits, pulls right foot and shuts the door;
DRIVER (POV)
(loud)
No joy-ride: Straight to campus: I'm running near-late for my colloquium:- Want to come?
DANIEL
(and turns-to)
Thanks!
(double-takes)
Har-ry…?!
(gawks awestruck)
FREEZE THE MOMENT: POV: Daniel: It really is, Harry;
SMALL TITLE:
PROFESSORS' SPRING RETURNS … (The sequel)
Title off; unfreeze,--
DRIVER:HARRY
(plays his beat)
What's the matter …?!- Been seeing too many U-FO-aliens in the desert?
(a beat recants)
Sorry:- I should have gone with you guys … Next time …
(sincere)
I promise.
He steers left, checking traffic, pulling for the street …
(00:00 - Heaven/Ronan Hardiman)
FROM THE RIGHT WINDOW: Drives away …
FINAL CREDITS SCROLL, while the live-dusk scene holds . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(--:-- music soars)
High overhead A JET-TRAIL CROSSES …
THE MOON … and last credits and graphics.
FADE OUT
THE END.

[credits] [sequel]



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

The theory of measurement propounded in this work is not to be cited (as) considering contraband or corpses; Nor are the intellectual appurtenances hereïn to be used for or in the commission of crimes against persons, peoples, properties, or powers (States).
COPYRIGHT: BASIC LIBRARY RULES: NONTRANSFERABLE: READ QUIETLY
© 1997-2011 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry