RARE SCRIPT FIND BY DAVID BALLARD

Hi Alex,

Here's that script fragment I mentioned on the chat group. Totally
bizarre! I read once that each page of script takes a minute of
screen time. That's 27 minutes and not an ape in sight.

I'm as curious about this as anyone, after you've read it I think
you'll agree that the technology described is a very 60's vision of
the future. The names Maddox and Ulysses have obvious connection to POTA and the whole spaceship/hibernating thing is consistent.

Anyway, without further ado....

 

Planet of the apes
Screenplay by
Charles Eastman
301 Second Street
Hermosa Beach California

 

Fade In: Interior. Spacecraft. Control Center.

Nipples of colored light pulsate at meaningful  intervals to the
weird orchestration of beeps and buzzes and supernatural whistlings.

We Move in an oddly lighted atmosphere through row upon row of
control panels, like the narrow shelves of a cramped public library,
where dials and gauges and  graphs tick and vibrate and adjust in an
awesome intelligence.

We MOVE past consoles of monitoring meters and measures fit into
corners and into the ceiling of this endless brain.

The feeling is cold and crypt-like for all the brilliance of the achinery.

CLOSE IN ON CLOCK.

There is a dual clock: two faces set under glass within a common
frame. The label over clock A designates Spacecraft, while the label
over clock B designates Earth. Time on the spacecraft is a quarter
past eight, but the hands on the other clock revolve as fast as
propellers and therefore it is impossible to tell what the Earth time
is.

Between the two clocks is a dial marked Earth- Spacecraft Time
Differential and this reads at about four hundred and fifty years.

(These dates and timings should be worked out by someone better
educated than I in the relativity  theory, and perhaps even cheated
to some extent if necessary, so that  the Spacecraft may have been in flight at the speed of light fifty years plus one year to accelerate
to that speed; and  departed from Earth in 2016. In that same  period of time (50 +1) approximately five hundred years should have elapsed on Earth.)

A faint map of the Universe is etched on the glass frame that covers
these clocks and a small white light that moves just perceptibly
across this surface represent the Spacecraft we are presently aboard.

We pull back shortly from the clocks to reveal what appears to be a
bank of television screens each with a different view of the Universe
and each labelled appropriately: Andromeda, Crab, Betelguese, Tau
ceti, Solar, Rumford C23, etcetera.

PULLING BACK further, a console of knobs and switches comes into the picture and before this an empty swivel chair turns gently this way and that. We MOVE IN on the console to observe more closely this work area. There is nothing here in the nature of Human figuring or computations; only a home-made sign which reads RUMFORD OR BUST, and an ashtray with a long cylinder of ash resting precariously on its rim. One thing more: an everyday screwdriver twists back and forth on the surface of the console. rocked by the same rhythm that sways the swivel chair; it moves to the edge of the console and back, to the edge and back, and only a fraction of weight and balance and movement keeps it from falling over.

PAN up again to the television screens and HOLD ON the two central
pictures, the Solar System and Rumford C23. The Sun in the first and Rumford in the second are bracketed significantly or circled to set them apart from their galactic neighbors.

(The sounds of the swaying swivel chair and the screwdriver moving
across the surface of the console continue under.)

The CREDITS begin here, PLANET OF THE APES, as a future version of a speedometer under the television screens spins the distance the
spacecraft  has come from the Solar System and the distance it has
yet to cross before the system of Rumford Catalogue 23 is reached.

The CREDITS continue as we alternate views of the universe throughout these screens, observing the distant Galaxies and nebulae with the best actual photography we can get of these wonders; (The real thing, no matter how grainy and flat photographically, is more impressive and terrible and awesome that any twinkling fabricated heavens.)

The CREDITS conclude with the sharp reverberating interruption of
something falling.

And we PAN quickly back down to the console surface. The cigarette
ash remains as it was, hanging intact over the lip of the ashtray.
The screwdriver is gone.

The PAN continues down past the still swaying swivel chair. The
screwdriver now rocks back and forth on the floor beside the skeletal remains of a human form.

In a moment, as the effect of this shock fades, we hear a new SOUND, a faint hum and hissing.

CLOSE ON AIR VENT.

A small dial by the vent is activated by the renewed presence of
oxygen in the atmosphere and several streamers attached to the vent begin to flutter outwardly as the fan within circulates air.

CLOSE ON CONSOLE SURFACE.

The ash disintegrates in the air and is blown across the table top
past buttons and switches that have now begun to react as though
manipulated by invisible fingers.

ELSEWHERE IN THE BRAIN

Spools of magnetic tape spin, reverse, stop and start.

A multicolored musculature of wires commingle into heavy chords and cables only to spread out again into an unconscionable network of tiny threads and transistors which bring minute but observable action to brass and copper fittings and hammers and holds.

The hissing SOUND mounts, as though it was the effect of the oxygen that was awakening the brain, and not the other way around.

INTERIOR. SPACECRAFT. SOLARIUM

This is a large circular room lined with clear cylindrical upright
caskets which while somewhat  frosted and fogged reveal their
interiors to contain human forms.

The loud hissing SOUND is now explained by floor level jets which
release a thick colored gas that whorls and twists around the base of each casket and there converts into an even thicker spume of another color.

Coincident to the release of the gas here begins a kind of muzak
presentation of Unto Us A Child Is Given from the messiah.

The level of gas and spume rise over the caskets to the sound of
flames and  cracking ice.

The caskets with their grey unrecognizable faces are finally entirely
covered with gas and spume and as this soup reaches the ceiling
overhead sprinklers begin and water jets down, eating into it and
dispersing it as though it was soapsuds.

Now intermingled with the dying hiss of chemical and the sound of
spray is a human cough; then a joyful shriek and a soft crying.

As the level of soapsuds sinks ghostly worm like forms emerge.

The caskets are open now as though they might  have been eggs and uniformed disorientated humans writhe in the chemical pudding of their rebirth as it slowly drains away. The capacities to orient vary
as one by one they get their legs under them and within moments
transcend the evolution from infant to adult under a driving
rain. Some help another; some exchange confident triumphant smiles and signals; some remain dazed.

These are both men and women but in their bland streamlines
attractiveness there is not much that distinguishes them from each
other; they are all highly trained and much of the human frailty has
been programmed out of them.

INDEX O'TOOLE, youngish, is among the first on his feet and after a
moment of slight drenched catharsis, he squints around at the state
of the others; he turns of the sprinklers. Working other controls he
brings forth a tepid breeze and the walls of the chamber radiate a
warm light.

The reborn spread their arms and legs to this glow and are dried as
though by a fire. The exultation of Handel, which at first seemed
comic now seems a valid underscoring for this fantastic recovery.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF, a  blind man in his sixties, is directing his
pet monkey toward his cane which has fallen to the floor out of
reach, but the Monkey is still un-recovered and unresponsive.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE picks up the cane and puts it into ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF's hand.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Brightly) Is that to your taste, Professor? The music?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
I hope not mine alone. (Not certain who he is talking too)
Who is it?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE Index 0 O'Toole sir.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Everything in order?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Just checking now. But it looks like it's supposed to. (Then) How are you sir?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Perfect. And why not?
(Wryly.) Rested.

But then, as though the experience has not been as easy on him as he might pretend, he sinks to a bench.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
At my age you're always a bit queasy when you first wake up.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Trying to help)
Better take some ammonia...

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Preventing further solicitation)
I'll see Command 1 Duffy as soon as he's revived and alert.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Orders)
Yes, Sir.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE departs as ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF  draws his Monkey thoughtfully into his arms.

Passing among the others, INDEX 0 O'TOOLE expresses the informal but persuasive leadership of youth, a conditioning and readiness for any environment and any trial.

He stops by INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE, a sleek astronette who has not yet got to her feet and is having trouble doing so. he crouches down and couches he in his lap. He breaks a capsule of ammonia under her nose. She struggles to resist the fumes and he holds her tightly.

INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE
I'm alright.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
What do you mean, alright? You don't even know who or where you are.

INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE
Index 53 reverse Maryanne, Algae farm, Immigrant One.

She tries to get free of him but as he is enjoying her soft weight
against his lap he won't let her go.

INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE
Cut it out, O'Toole. Don't be so funny

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Being funny)
Don't forget, I haven't seen a woman in Fifty years.

INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE (Struck with the thought and a little anxious) Oh my gosh, yes. (Then) Then we did it? It's a fact?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Yes, Index 53 reverse Maryanne my dear, we have taken the big leap. We are now five hundred years away from home.

But neither one is able to dwell on this fact since first one and
then the other sight the approach of COMMAND 60 MADDOX, and they leap to their feet.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX, our hero, has a slightly military,
over-conscientious, too business-like air; and presently he is
stunned beyond the appropriate confusion of these awakening moments by some terrible knowledge.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Caught)
Elite 25 Petchnikoff, sir, is waiting to see Command 1 Duffy, Sir, as
soon as he's revived and alert.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (Almost involuntarily.)
Command 1 Duffy is not here...

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Not here?

INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE echoes this shock

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (But for his emotion he would not be thus
communicating with an Index.) He is not in the solarium. And his casket has not been occupied.

INTERIOR SPACECRAFT. CONTROL CENTRE.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF, ELITE 17 MARGARET, his middle- aged,
spinsterish assistant, and a half a dozen members of COMMAND are
crowded into this area around the skeleton. ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF's
monkey sits on the console and is playing with the screwdriver.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE enters and closes the door.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Everyone else accounted for?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Yes sir.

COMMAND 81 BOISE enters from the shelves of the brain.

COMMAND 81 BOISE
I see nothing out of order here. professor Petchnikoff.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Well, something is out of order. Something is obviously out of order.
Command 1 Duffy, for one thing is out of order.

They all look down at the skeleton and must agree.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (More affected than the others)
Are we just going to leave the poor devil there?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Command 60 maddox, he's lain there fifty years. A moment or two more won't make much difference.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
I can't understand such a lapse of judgement. Certainly he knew once trans-slumber was thorough oxygen conservation would be automatic.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF has taken his monkey into his arms again and now he fondles the screwdriver thoughtfully.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Unless he was trying to edit the program...

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (Outraged)
That would be sabotage!

COMMAND 81 BOISE (Calming)
Easy, Maddox. There's no evidence of sabotage.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF's blind fingers move over sealed dials and screw heads.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
No scratched paint or a torn screw?

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
What the hell are you saying, Professor? I won't buy Mortal Funk. Not Duffy. We've all had the wobblies out here off and on. Duffy was a sound as the rest of us.

ELITE 17 MARGARET (Reminding him)
Command 1 Duffy had expressed the possibility of turning back.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF abandons his tactile investigation and touches COMMAND 81 BOISE with his cane.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Command 81 Boise, please notify Communications that as soon as they have Earth contact I request video re-transmission of complete
acceleration year as it applies to Command 1 Duffy.

Then, as COMMAND 81 BOISE exits:

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
It's on the tape Maddox. Command 1 Duffy did express qualms about the big leap.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Certain reservations dammit, that we've all felt.

he kneels down to the skeleton and picks up a small electronic
capsule that rests amid the dry bones of the neck. (In time we will
know this to be a transistor that is surgically fitted into the neck
of all leaders; it functions as a "friend" an identity preserver, and
is in direct line to the power system behind the leader of all his
thoughts and feelings.)

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Fortunately, we are not all Command 1 and our thoughts are our own.

He examines the transistor with distaste.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
You equip a man with a mechanical friend that lays him open to you,
every thought and heartbeat, and he's bound to end up seeming less a man.

He hand the transistor over to ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
No one's condemning Command 1, Maddox. We're simply trying to find out what he was up to.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
There's no way we can replay him?

COMMAND 3 HARKNESS
Earth recorded. We just monitored, at  earth's discretion.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (Losing his temper)
What kind of crackerjack operation is that, for crying out loud?
We're not even sure we can pick up earths signals out here. Why the hell wasn't Immigrant One equipped to record?

COMMAND members react uncomfortably with reference to the presence of INDEX 0 O'TOOLE. Such talk in the presence of an INDEX violates security.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Elite 25 Petchnikoff, sir. Do you want me to come back later?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Very well, O'Toole. Yes you'll want to take Duffy down to the farm,
won't you? You'll need a bag or something?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Yes, sir.

COMMAND 3 HARKNESS (reprimanding)
The whole basis of elite-command-Index-Drone, Command 60 maddox, is to prevent just such an Info-Overlap.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX.
Index 0 O'Toole can be trusted.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
We don't want to end up with a snarl of counter-info, Maddox.

COMMAND 3 HARKNESS
Lord knows, nothing clogs up the machine worse than un-channelled
rapport. As if we already didn't have our hands full...

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (Angry again)
Command 3 Harkness... Command 1 Duffy, yourself and I, and a few others here... (With difficulty since this concept is now old fashioned and perhaps trivial.) ... Were friends. Now that may be a little archaic of me, but before he's pulverized on The Farm and fed to the fish and sprinkled on our breakfast algae as a calcium garnish, I'd like to say that as far as I'm concerned there was no better man on this ship, and it's going to take some convincing for me to believe he was cracking up or up to anything wrong, and for us to have to wait for earth to video replay post-slumber activity is a damn poor excuse for efficiency if you ask me.

ELITE 17 MARGARET (Almost to herself)
Somebody certainly got up on the wrong side of the bed!

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Trying to make peace)
Earth's surmised out-concern, Maddox. No doubt they're already
re-programming Duffy's death for us and it's on it's way.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
If he was up to anything you can be sure it was at their discretion.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Possibly

He refers to the screwdriver.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
(Doubtfully) But the means seem a little primitive.

COMMAND 81 BOISE returns, obviously with news. COMMAND attends but COMMAND 81 BOISE waits that extra moment it takes the blind ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF to become aware with the rest of them.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
What is it?

COMMAND 81 BOISE
I have to report that as yet communications have been unable to
attract any earth response.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX (Recognising an alarming more,)
What is it Boise? What's the matter?

COMMAND 81 BOISE
We are in orbit. I have to report we are orbiting the star Rumford
Catalogue 23.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
What nonsense are you talking? We couldn't possibly be orbiting Rumford.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
We've got deceleration year to go. We'd overshoot at this speed.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
We couldn't enter orbit on drone. There'd absolutely have to be some manual compensation.

COMMAND 81 BOISE
Nevertheless I have to report all computations accord. We have
entered orbit Rumford C23.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Could we have overslept a year, Professor? Could we possibly have
overslept a whole year?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (After a moment)
A mistake in calculations is always possible, here and there...

ELITE 17 MARGARET
Impossible.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Ignoring her)
But for all programs unanimously to be off a year, as they must be if
we are that near Rumford...
(After another moment.)
Gentlemen, things are not as they should be. That is now too obvious.

He touches the skeleton with his cane.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Perhaps our friend here was afraid, perhaps he had cause to be.
However, now that we have taken the big leap someone must get on the horn and talk to the colony. We must do everything to stem this contagion of Mortal Funk, or else we will have an epidemic on our hands out here.
(Then.)
Someone must explain to the colony just where deceleration year went, and who was at the controls when we entered orbit Rumford C23.

This burden is welcomed by no one since none has the answer, and the germ of the above contagion exists in each.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Furthermore, they must be given a new Command 1 without delay.

A flush of innocent inconspicuousness afflicts the eligibles; in his
heart no one wants the job.

INTERIOR. SPACESHIP. THE FARM

CLOSE ON covered glass fish tanks where solemn fish rove boredly this way and that. For a moment the following VOICE over the loud speaker seems to be addressing them.

INTERCOM
Ladies and Gentlemen of Immigrant One. We are proud to report all
systems accord our craft has functioned perfectly as programmed
during Trans-Slumber, and the entire colony has now comfortably
returned to consciousness without incident. Except for the following
small matters:

We have begun to PAN slowly along the tank and now onto a second
large tank just like the first, except here there are no fish and
this tank contains algae growing along the sides and on the bottom.

INTERCOM (Cont)
It appears the colony has overslept for approximately one year. As
our vehicle was on automatic deceleration, this minor miscalculation
has done nothing but deliver us to the doorstep of our destination,
Rumford C23, whose orbit we have just now comfortably entered. This error is being fully investigated and there is no cause for alarm.

PANNING down from the fish tanks we are on INDEX 0 O'TOOLE and INDEX 53 REVERSE MARYANNE as they energetically make love on the floor, oblivious to the dulcet reassurances of the INTERCOM.

INTERCOM (CONT)
Repeat, there is no need for alarm.
Now we PAN up, as the love-making is too hot to handle, to a small
conveyer belt which moves toward a gadget that is related to a meat grinder or coffee mill. The now dissembled skeleton moves along this belt.

INTERCOM (CONT)
The second wrinkle in operations a-okay concerns Ex-Command 1
Duffy... Who it appears remained at the helm too long before joining
the rest of us in Trans-Slumber, and has as a result returned to his
Maker.

The skeleton slips piece by piece into the pulveriser and emerges as
a fine grain that is shot into the algae tank.

INTERCOM (CONT)
While each of us shall miss our beloved Ex-Command 1 his passing
shall not be in vain if it brings home to us this tragic object
lesson:

We watch as the grain filters down through the tank and is absorbed by the hungry algae; and we listen to the SOUNDS of hungry love making out of sight.

INTERCOM (CONT)
Emotions scramble rapport and effectiveness. Zeal, even zeal is
deadly, out here as well as at home. Feelings are in-operational.

Now the fish of the first tank are released into the second and
hungrily eat the bone fed algae, lately COMMAND 1 DUFFY

INTERCOM (CONT)
Passion, sentiment, must soon be entirely vestigial in the HB, or
else like the saber tooth tiger in the early history of our planet we
find ourselves over-endowed for our environment and face therefore the same extinction.

INTERIOR. SPACECRAFT. GYM

COMMAND 60 MADDOX is hanging upside down from a trapeze in this gymnasium which is familiar with rings and bars and ropes and
trampolines, all in use.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
With one million HB's to every square Earth mile, a creeping
extinction would be like a gentle rain from Heaven, if you ask me.

He remarks to COMMAND 81 BOISE, who hangs by one arm from a ring nearby. Others in the background, some, oddly ape like on the
apparatus, exercise and work out the kinks of their long slumber as
the:

INTERCOM (CONT)
In conclusion, Command 1 successor selection is being processed by
Electro-electorate at this moment and the results will be announced
shortly. In the meantime, you are assured the smooth continuation of our journey as we are assured the smooth continuation of all
assignments. We proceed as planned to orbit the star Rumford, so
similar to our Sun, and to investigate planets in its ecosphere where
might be found living room for our desperate descendants at home.

The intercom switches to the weird remote lifeless music of the
dental office as COMMAND 60 MADDOX shimmies up a rope to a small platform where COMMAND 81 BOISE crouches, resting.

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Man, did you hear what I heard? What are they trying to pull off.
They're trying to put down a whole years oversleep and Duffy's death as minor matters of loose screws.

COMMAND 81 BOISE
Come on Maddox. What's there to believe in if you can't go along with the machine?

COMMAND 60 MADDOX
Boise, where's your mind? Don't you ever ask any questions?

COMMAND 81 BOISE smiles agreeably and shrugs.

COMMAND 81 BOISE
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, man, leave it to the
machine. The machines don't lie.

INTERIOR SPACECRAFT ELECTRO ELECTORATE
Standing before a huge computer in the brain, ELITE 17 MARGARET hands ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF an IBM card. He reads it with his fingers and then explodes.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
It's lying!

ELITE 17 MARGARET
The Electro Electorate doesn't lie.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
It must be joking.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
It has no time for jokes.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Then it is broken. The machine is broken. Command 60 maddox is not Command stock.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
I'm sorry Professor Petchnikoff. Command 60 Maddox is the result of the election.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
It's a mistake, a terrible mistake.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
There is no mistake.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
He's a trouble maker.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
That is a personal judgement. I know nothing of that. I know only
that as a result of all available probes and testings, Command 60
Maddox outranks his fellows.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Duffy, as well, outranked his fellows on all examinations, but the
fact is that inside he was scared spitless.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
It is not yet proved that Ex-Command 1 Duffy functioned abberent. In my humble opinion it is unlikely that he did. The judgement of the
Electro-Electorate is infallible.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Infallible! Nuts to your infallible. What does a machine know of the
hidden motives that move a man and then desert him in a crisis?

ELITE 17 MARGARET (Smiles benignly)
Surely Professor, you don't still subscribe to that old wives tale
that a career in rocketry and interstellar penetration is based on
pre-adolescent sexual fantasies.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
You know for a fact that it doesn't?

ELITE 17 MARGARET
(A triumphant ball-cutting virginal laugh)
Certainly. If it was the case how would you explain my success in the field?

leaving that unexplained, ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF hands back the IBM card.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Please, Elite 17 Margaret, check the cards again.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
There has been no mistake.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
They've been bent, folded, mutilated or something, because Command 60 Maddox cannot assume Command 1. Command 60 maddox is completely out of place out here. he's been in everyone's hair since blast-off... he's an over conscientious antique who'll completely gum us up if he's given any authority.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
Command 60 Maddox has won the election, Professor. he is already
Command 1 Maddox. All histories are automatically being processed and elevated. It remains only to notify the subject himself...

She opens a small case and we regard inside a fresh shiny transistor
like the one removed from the neck of the skeleton.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
... and prepare him for surgery.

INTERIOR. SPACECRAFT. CORRIDOR

Swathed in sheets and lying prone on a mobile stretcher, COMMAND 1 MADDOX is pushed down this hallway by a medical orderly. Lining the hallway are members of the colony who applaud enthusiastically as he goes by, and the public address intones Hail the Chief. COMMAND 1 MADDOX raise one arm weakly to acknowledge this applause.

The stretcher stops at the entrance to Surgery where ELITE 25
PETCHNIKOFF, holding his monkey stands with ELITE 17 MARGARET and INDEX 0 O'TOOLE. COMMAND 1 MADDOX looks up.

COMMAND 1 MADDOX (Accusing)
As a soldier I submit to this eminence, Petchnikoff, as I must to all
assignments... But as a philosopher, in this last moment of my human being, I put it to you that we are achieving our horizons at the expense of our species.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF reaches out self consciously to comfort the patient.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
There, there my dear boy. It's a simple operation. You'll be on your
feet in a few days.

COMMAND 1 MADDOX
The ultimate of man is not the machine.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Weakly but a little guiltily)
As history tells us, no one wears the crown comfortably.

ELITE 17 MARGARET interrupts this exchange by presenting the case containing the transistor to a SURGEON who appears at the door. ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF withdraws his hand and COMMAND 1 MADDOX is wheeled into surgery. After a moment, when they are alone, ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF, ELITE 17 MARGARET and INDEX 0 O'TOOLE begin to talk.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
It is of course, just as I suspected... His faith in Duffy comes not
from conviction but from an antagonism to change, and I predict he's going to be just as incompatible with his system as Duffy was.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
Shall we get along to the brain? We don't want to miss his first signals.

The three of them move down the corridor and we follow.

INDEX 0 O"TOOLE (After a moment)
Elite 25 Petchnikoff, Sir... I have to report that there's a kind of
uneasy felling among the Indexes about Ex-Command Duffy. Was he malfunctioning?

ELITE 17 MARGARET (Before the darkly thoughtful ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF can answer for himself)
To enter the future as thoroughly, as ierrevicably as we have, Index
0 O'Toole, presents certain problems that are still being ironed out.
The post primary mortal that we consider typical is simply not coming off the assembly line as we would like, entirely ready to exist
exclusively in time and motion. He has this sticky connection to the
past, call it roots in earth. Well, we anticipated a few snags.
Evolution has never been simple and now that it is supervised there
is no reason to expect it's going to be any more of a snap. here and
there environment proves to be more vigorous than the subject's
development and we lose a member of the team. That explains
Ex-Command Duffy's death to the Indexes, I hope.

INDEX 0 O"TOOLE
Except you can't help wondering why he wasn't in Trans-slumber with the rest of us, and I know a couple of Indexes have recalled that he wanted to go back...

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Interrupting him)
Unfortunate, but not a casualty. Now come along. what are we standing here for?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF continues down the corridor, wagging his cane in his path agitatedly. INDEX 0 O'TOOLE regards him confusedly.

ELITE 17 MARGARET (Concerned)
What is it?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Sir... Isn't it true that Ulysses is also blind now?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF enfolds the monkey (Ulysses) into a tighter embrace.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
(Caught)
And what do you deduce by that?

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Well sir... how could it be your age then, after all? I wondered at
the time of your blindness how you were elected to Immigrant One if there was any weakness in your vision.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
Is this true, Petchnikoff?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
My eyesight is an old matter Margaret.

She reaches for the Monkey.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
But if Ulysses is blind...

The monkey screeches and shows it's teeth and won't be touched by any ought but
ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF, who tries to soothe him now.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
I'm sorry sir. Obviously you didn't wish to speak of it. But in as
much as you're both affected I wondered if it might not be oxygen
poisoning, and perhaps the ventilation in your quarters should be
inspected.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
Why have you been still. Elite 25?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Ulysses' health and welfare is no one's concern but my own.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
But if there's any connection between Ex-Command Duffy's demise and your loss of vision...

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (Ignoring her worry)
Come along now, come along. We're scheduled at the Brain. They'll
have planted Maddox's friend and we won't be there to welcome him.

INTERIOR. SPACECRAFT. SURGERY

The small transistor rests on a wad of cotton on a tray of scalpels
and other surgical hardware; the tray rests on a table being wheeled to within easy reach of the SURGEON.

We watch as gloved hands take an instrument and gently lift the
transistor from its bed. The hands transport the remotely beeping,
throbbing gadget to an open wound at the base of COMMAND 1 MADDOX'S skull.

Naturally, the wound is pretty much obscured by busy hands and smocks and so forth, and to have a clearer view we PAN around to the other side of the table and down. Now, PANNING up under the table we come face to face with COMMAND 1 MADDOX. He is awake and staring down at the floor. His head is held in a vice, like a spit, as the medicos work on the base of his neck.

SURGEON
Command 1 Maddox... You can assist us now by evoking some memory, distant or recent, as you choose, in order that we may properly aim the recall activator.

COMMAND 1 MADDOX blinks slightly with this assignment and we presume he does as he's told.

SURGEON
Now, a simple problem in logic, if you please. A king had three
daughters and they each... no, the King had three ministers, that's
right, and they each wanted to marry the King's lovely daughter, I
think that's right.

COMMAND 1 MADDOX'S face registers some concern as the man who has his life in his hands seems unable the present the riddle properly.

SURGEON
So the King decided to give the ministers some problem to solve and
the one who solved it could have his daughter. Or was it that he was
dying and the problem was which of the ministers was most worthy to succeed him? Don't try to speak, Command 1 Maddox, please. It
scrambles the impulses and I don't want to activate the wrong nerve. (His voice is now droning and affected by his heavy concentration) Actually, you'll find as time goes on and you get used to your friend here... The beeping will fade away like the sound of the sea, you won't notice it... You'll find in time you'll be giving up speech altogether and rely less and less on interpersonal rapport. When the day comes when we've finally made the switch over from chemical to electronic food, I predict the mouth will become entirely obsolete...

INTERIOR SPACECRAFT BRAIN
Among all these instruments and dials and spools are ELITE 25
PETCHNIKOFF, ELITE 17 MARGARET and INDEX 0 O'TOOLE,  bathed in a purple light. The dials wag, the spools begin to turn and the faint SOUND of beeps and whistles permeate the air.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF (reading the beeps)
What about a kiss, what about kissing?

ELITE 17 MARGARET
What? What on Earth are you talking about?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Don't be ridiculous Margaret. "What about a kiss, what about
kissing?" is the first message from Maddox. Check the tape.

ELITE 17 MARGARET proceeds to check the tape.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
You mean you can actually read the beeps by ear, Professor?

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
A minor operation, but one of many, son.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE (Then) Sir... I'm sorry if you'd rather I hadn't brought up your blindness.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
(He is keeping something to himself)
Perfectly alright. I'm going to have my ventilation checked. You may
be right. I may not be decrepit after all. I might even be able to
get a workmen's compensation when we get home, or sue the company for negligence.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
I was wondering though why you didn't avail yourself of our parts bank.

He picks up ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF's cane which has fallen to the floor again.

INDEX 0 O'TOOLE
Or at least have surgery install a better preceptor than this. Surely
some electronic curb guard would be superior...

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
I'm a human being, my dear Index 0 O'Toole. As cowardly, perhaps as another. As un-functional. And nostalgic. If I decay I decay.

He listens with real sadness as the SOUND of the beeps grow in volume and describe what is happening to COMMAND 1 MADDOX.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
Perhaps what defines the Elite is the soul, and perhaps not all of us
have been properly catalogued.

ELITE 17 MARGARET returns reading from a ticker-tape type message.

ELITE 17 MARGARET
What about a kiss, what about kissing? Where does a song come from if the mouth is sealed. (Not reading) Then it's all rather scrambled, as though he were trying to speak.

ELITE 25 PETCHNIKOFF
He was cursing, Margaret. Simply cursing. We have no machine to do that for us yet,when the hammer hits our thumb.

 

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