EXT. SPACE TOURIST SHUTTLES, KUYPER BELT DEEP SPACE - STARS
Space Tourist Shuttles Commander Dick Jackson and Commander Plege Garthen from Earth, lumber along 30 miles parallel at astronomical speed toward nowhere among the comets, having weeks ago zipped passed the last planet, Pluto-Charon:
Occasional COMET-ROCKS zip passed silently miles distant,--
EXT. STS PLEGE IN PASSING - INNER GLOW
(PASSING) NAMEPLATE: COMMANDER PLEGE GARTHEN;...
7 CREW are busy inside the back-lit windows. One looks out right with space-lume binoculars to see the other shuttle:
EXT. STS DICK BY ANGLES - INNER GLOW
(PASSING) NAMEPLATE: COMMANDER DICK JACKSON;...
7 CREW are busy inside the back-lit windows. One looks out left with space-lume binoculars to see the other shuttle.
INT. DICK COMMAND DECK - RUNNING LIGHTS
7 CREW enjoying usual duties, snoozing, eating, watching the starry emptiness of deep-space beyond the solar system, days-old-TV, communicating home by video-linked distance-conferencing; COMM looks out left with space-lume binocular-headgear, communicating softly ad lib.
A MILES-AWAY COMET PASSES LIT-UP BY EXT-LASER SCANNER.
Distant SHUTTLE BEACON FLASHES TWICE.
There's another close-call: Nearly 20-point-2-7 kilometers at tangent.
Automation is funny: It takes care of every task: So we rehearse the digitally accurate details of near-distant-misses: to keep ourselves informed.
Who'd of dreamt a job like this, even 30 years ago: Clod-watching.
(quietly in headgear)
I think I still see you now, but I'm not sure: You're so far away now!
Yeah, sure - but you're leaning towards the astronomical distance.
(giggles with communicant)
Flash your beacon again. Yeah: Go ahead.
INT. TOURIST BAY - PARTY LIT
(PAN) At 10 months of deep-space-partying, the rich TOURISTS are ooh-ahh'ed-out, faces dozing against the windows: STEWARDESSES mingle with foodstuffs:
CUT BACK TO:
INT. COMMAND - FLASHING RED
Navigation parameters deviating: The CREW scurries to determine the trouble:
(DVDCAM) CABIN-FIXED WIDE-ANGLE COPY FOR LATER TV-NEWS:
The visual appearance of the room changes like going under water but smoothly intensifying wavering to refractioning rippling, as they enter the black hole's gravity-well.
Cartesian velocity, acceleration,- jerk: all increasing significantly!
And now it's reading 1 part-per-billion second-order fluctuation in Tau-Vector: That's impossible!
Certainly more than any planet can do: And there are no planets out here!
Confirmed, Captain: No large planets, no large planetoids in-vicinity.
S-O-S, Plege Garthen - Repeat: This is The Commander Dick Jackson: We have a Navigation Emergency: Tau-Vector: S-O-S! Do you copy, Plege?!
Don't fret it COMM: It'll be a day before they can get-over to help.
5 parts-per-billion: climbing rapidly! But Tau-Vector, is a commercial cosmic constant!
Tell me where to go: Left: Right: Up: Down: Faster: Slower! Say it!
I don't know where it is:-- It doesn't recompute cosmic constants!
Captain! I've lost comm-sync-lock! Time-base is slewing: Reacquiring!
Hang in there, Comm: Try again - don't fret it.
Nav: What's your prognosis?
We're losing our stellar bearings, Captain: We're off 9 parts-per-billion second-order Tau-Vector -10 parts:- We're all but goners-- if we had any idea where we were!
What is it?!
Captain: In my mathematical training, it required a gravity flux gradient of a solar mass within half a neutron-star radius, to produce a commensurately significant Tau-variance.
(breaks at controls)
We're go-ing in!
Voice DOPPLER LOWERS-SLOWS 4x as IMAGE REDDENS-SLOWS 4x:...
(ad inf 10 sec.)
(ad inf 7 sec.)
5 sec. SAVE CUT TO:
INT. DEN HDTV, NEWS CLOSE-UP - LATE AFTERNOON REFLECTIONS
REPEAT OF END-OF-SHUTTLE CABIN INT-DVDCAM, TO HOLE-5 SEC.
EXT. HOUSE FRONT WALK, DRIVEWAY - LATE AFTERNOON
TV NEWS PLAYS inside; DOG poops near folded newspaper;
DAD turns the family-business car into driveway;- stops;- gets out;-- get things from the back seat;
CLAW-NAILS GRATING LOUDLY LIKE CHALK ON SMOOTH CONCRETE. [This will be used again for melding chalk grating sound]
Dog scratches futilely, frustrated; saunters over to Dad at the backseat door, and wipes its rear-end on his white-tan pants leg, leaving a brown smear.
INT. HOUSE ENTRANCE - OUTSIDE LIGHT
(notices dog wiping)
Son of a bitch: What do you think you're doing, Doggy!
(NOTES SMEAR ON LEG)
(walks path, talking back)
The inventor of the poop-scooper should invent a dog-on-duty-dammer!
(picks-up newspaper, at dog)
You think you deserve this, don't you:-- Stupid Pavlovian doggy!
TV NEWS LOUD FROM SUNKEN DEN;
MOM, JOHNNY (boy 17), GAYLEE (girl 13), are watching details of the shuttle incident.
Dad sets his papers on the table, unfolds the newspaper, drops it on his on the table, goes to den.
(in den, loud)
Hi - hon!
US-EVENING TABLOID headlines with close-up pictures of shuttle name:
BLACK HOLE SWALLOWS THE DICK - ALL HANDS LOST
Hi, honey: How's work?
(steps down into den)
Okay - by the boss - at least as good by me:
He's really worried about this incident: It reflects badly on our high-tech line contract sales: They're already in review.
That was fast.
Internet-speed vid-link distance-conferencing, super-net-FAX'ing - it's all office-standard: Even the evening tabloid is up-to-hourte - nothing new there.
Yes, but the news has only a glimmer of what actually happened: They're just now breaking the forensics angle on T-V.
Yeah - but like the man said: There will be shuttles down, and rumors of shuttles down - then you'll know the end is near.
You should have taken the pastor's job.
Easier to read and study alone - anyway, income is still a necessity: Otherwise I might have taken Class Instruction and then taken the job.
You still can.
Okay - okay: Emerge gently from the materialisticalisms, the wise woman said.
Dad; They're saying that the tourist shuttle pilots were sober men: Can that much really happen like that, to sober people?!
I, think the larger picture must be considered in any eschatological depictionation: They went together, alive - we don't know any more.
But the Captain is on-record as starting a profanity as they entered: Did that defile them before they entered? Or, did he complete it?! I mean: If he's not defiled in this cosmos, then why send him out?!
Maybe it was the partiers in the back cabin: If the pilots knew they were carrying trouble....
(puts arm around)
It's not by man's fault alone, dear one: Man lives because God lives.
Maybe it was written in the stars!
I don't think that is conclusive: It's only magnanimous back-talk.
The HDTV has a NEWS:IDES piece consisting of the MODERATOR in-studio, and LATIMES, CSMONITOR, USTABLOID with copies of their TV-headlines by crisp video-wall-screens placed like seats around the table. [Images cross-vox so that as one voice moves, the others stall momentarily]
NEWS:IDES - JUN 27 2003 5:30 PM
TOURIST SHUTTLE GOES DOWN IN JACKSON'S HOLE
SPACE TOURISM GRAVITATES TO NEW COSMIC LOW
USTABLOID-TV-front-page image-headline: [same as above]
BLACK HOLE SWALLOWS THE DICK - ALL HANDS LOST
REPEAT OF END-OF-SHUTTLE CABIN INT-DVDCAM, TO HOLE-4 SEC.
Good Evening, and: Welcome to you all.
Thank you / Thanks, Mike / Good evening, to you out there.
I want to ask, why - then I'll show you an updated, what:
Well, Mike: I think we all agree that this public space program is running too fast for the prior generation of sub-exponential high school education indoctrinees:
Mike: We see this as a moment of reflection in a fuller day of wholely spiritual progress.
Well: Black holes suck: That's about all that needs be said for them.
All right: Good answers around the table.
(half a beat)
Now: You've all seen the reruns of the last seconds in-cabin aboard the Commander Dick Jackson - it turns out we have a bonus from NASA, -came in just minutes ago,- which gives us more of those last seconds: Are you ready to see their fate, ladies and gentlemen?
Play it again, Mike.
Show us your more extensive discovery.
First an explanation, for all of us: As you know, the last moments of the Shuttle crew were transmitted live during the incident, until the transmission signal was lost due to radio synchronization lapse: That is normal for radio communications. NASA hours-later discovered among their other researchers, in particular the Arecibo team who happened to be pointing the same direction and doing multichannel SETI search, a full frequency range recording of the incident: Thus they were able to reconstruct several seconds more, until the shuttle penetrated the now-infamous Schwartschild radius, and was gone forever: Here is their extended recording:
Well, that's amazing, Mike.
A sonorous reply, Mike.
Takes practice, Mike.
Thank you, all, gentlemen, for joing us on this edition of News:Ides.
And, thank you, Mike.
You're welcome, Mike.
INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING
Wow: That must be the world-record longest, fuhhhh...
Don't say it, dear: We've done longer.
I mean, for saying it, not doing it.
What kind of springy animal organs is NASA looking-for?
S-E-T-I, -not setae,- is a NASA acronym for, Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
INT. DEN HDTV, NEWS - LATE AFTERNOON REFLECTIONS
Mom, Johnny, Gaylee, are watching rehearsed details of the shuttle incident:
REPEAT OF END-OF-SHUTTLE CABIN INT-DVDCAM, TO HOLE-3 SEC.
The HDTV has a news-piece consisting of the MODERATOR in-studio, and NYTIMES, USATODAY, UPROF, with copies of their TV-headlines by crisp video-wall-screens placed like seats around the table. [same as above]
VETERAN COMET-DARER TURNS LAST RITE INTO HOLE
TOURISM TAKES A PLUNGE IN DEEPER-SPACE SEANCES
DICK'S LAST QUANTUM EMISSION EXUDES FROM HOLE IN SPACE
(giggling to vid-persons)
Good Evening, and: Welcome to you all.
Good evening, Mike.
(still giggling, begins)
Our university professor erudites a classic sense of the ribald.
REPEAT OF END-OF-SHUTTLE CABIN INT-DVDCAM, TO HOLE-2 SEC.
Yes, we see that, Mike.
We can hire him.
Thanks, Mike: I needed that intro.
O-kay: Serious business, gentlemen: What really happened out there? Guess!
Mike: The closer we look, the greater we risk falling into the same hole: It's akin to the more major results in the famed Journal of Irreproducible Results.
It's paradoxic, Mike: Everything we know about deep-space is by sending probes, but this hole out there just sucks it all in: It, blows us away!
We have some theories that float around the Astrophysics Department, Mike: The first being from our Galilean Electro-Dynamicists - if I may exordiate.
Okay - in just a moment, please, professor. Let me ask first: Where are they?
I believe they are, gone, Mike: We're just hearing a post mortem belch.
It's hard to say, Mike: It's like they never existed: There's no evidence at all.
Well, we don't know that they are, gone: It may be like a door to somewhere.
You think they can come back, professor?
That's the buzz on campus: Although Einstein said they should forever fall-in, there is the possibility that they can accelerate in some orbit slowing their fall.
That would be until their fuel runs out?
I'm afeared-so, Mike: But until that moment, there's potential recovery.
Has the other Shuttle Commander approached their last point of rendezvous.
Reports have it, the Plege Garthen is spiraling orbits around to detect the hole.
Last word from the Garthen is they've located the spatio-temporal anomaly.
I rely on the regular news-channels for that, Mike.
Analysis, gentlemen - and, professor, you may give us some depth, here.
Mike: Something is out there, that doesn't want us to know it is, out there: It's hiding, in the open,- in it's own hole: It may be an alien space-lion projecting invisibility.
Mankind has ever been fascinated to death, Mike: It's beyond our living horizon: Now we find it may not be death, but a transition of common dimensionalities.
Our G-E-D-science guys at the U have formulated a theory about just what is out there, that grabbed the Commander Dick by surprise: I'll explain it in lay language: It's what we don't know about gravity: We all know gravity on Earth, like we know Newton's Apple: -figuratively speaking: Gravity is associated with matter mass, and presumably with anti-matter mass, but its strength is 10-to-the-42nd-power reduced from the electro-magnetic experiments familiar in high school physics. The G-E-D-guys postulate gravity is a left-over term in the e-m-temporality equations: -a kind of aether-chop: motions that cannot truly be reversed nor duplicated because of the subtlety of continuum-entropies rarely detected above the background low-temperature neutrino flux swamping the gravity term orders smaller;- and we know little as it is, about neutrinos.
Professor: This is common enough physics discussion: What do you think is out there that is different from say, an ordinary black hole, probably not, out there.
We think it is - we believe they may have found a black hole;- but one that has swallowed the preponderance of its own gravity.
This is news: How does gravity swallow itself: Like a snake swallowing its tail?
Analogously,-- yes: G-E-D figures that gravity is due to a zero-point flux in the e-m field around every particle - but when that field gets swallowed, only its D-C-component, it's non-wiggling component, can remain - and that's weak, like the zero-frequency component of black box radiation, except this hole is probably spherical - except that we don't really know how to make it, probe-ble.
So the Dick bumped into a hole without detecting it for straight-gravity first?
Very possibly: Outside the event-horizon of the hole it is reduced to asteroidal intensity, but at that boundary the residual memory of gravity warps harder;- and especially its tidal forces.
I'm fascinated by this discussion, professor: Let me ask what keeps it there?
That's a good question, Mike: We don't know yet: It could be orbiting so slowly that its weak gravity is sufficient: It could act like it's somewhere further away.
Amazing! Okay, gentlemen: Conclusions and predictions?
I think we'll return to ordinary news, in a week: They're gone.
We will document the state of the art of paranormal dimensions, and close it.
I think we may be in for some further surprises, and should watch closely.
Thank you, all, gentlemen, for participating in this edition of News:Ides.
And, thank you, Mike.
You're welcome, Mike.
Good day, Mike.
INT. KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING
Mom cleans up after breakfast, except one plate remains:
Johnny rushes-in nearly dressed to eat.
EXT. HOUSE FRONT WALK
Hi, good morning, mom; I'm not late yet, whatever it looks like.
Oh, yes: It does look late for school.
Man does not burn by looks alone.
(smiles a beat)
Practicing your malapropisms for after-school theater theory class, this early?
Never stop ... but that's a spoonerism anomaly ... ideal for breakfast ... speaking of which it is, getting, late!
Are you all ready to walk out the door?
Just a few more mouthfuls.
(AD LIB, runs for door)
Family DOG poops high on sidewalk near folded newspaper, scratches futilely:
CLAW-NAILS GRATING LOUDLY LIKE CHALK ON SMOOTH CONCRETE.
Dog looks at him.
(howls like a dog)
MELD GRATE AND HOWL TO:
INT. SCHOOL ROOM - LIT (CONTINUOUS SOUND)
MELD TEACHER'S CHALK SCRAPING AND STUDENTS HOWLING;...
Teacher is underlining an assignment on the chalkboard.
Students EXIT: including Johnny:
INT. SCHOOL HALL, CROWDED BETWEEN CLASSES
(exits-in, checks watch)
Learning on schedule, today, Johnny?
Johnny: You're really good at math - aren't you?!
Easy as pie.
I know that one, already.- Anyway:- I have this really tough math problem where I might use a little guidance.
Most students do: That's why we're here, and that's why there are counsellors.
O-kay: The question is this: What is, the number, one, capitalized?!
(inflates to grin)
Uppercase-L - I must share this with my Introductory Remedial Arithmetic 1-A.
Sure: On old typewriters, lowercase L was the number, one. So uppercase L or shift-L is, capital one - nothing remedial about that.
(slows and admits)
Uppercase-L - he must have graduated from that class, years ago.
(still watching Tim)
What'd you say to Timmy, Johnny: He's looks nearly dumbfounded, this time.
I gave him, L.
Big-time - capital punishment?
In significant figgers, too.
(corrects his pronunciation)
Carl:- Fig-yours,- hungh!? Like we're an intelligent species here!
Sure, Barbi:- After the ball, is o-ver: After the, goosed, is gone!
Leave his galaxy for someone else, Marcia.
Some dahys, I cahnt finger her out.