FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
by Richard Nathan
Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:
Lights come on the bridge of a space ship. Two crew members, WILLIAMS and JOHNSON are reviewing data on the instruments.
Running final check of bio-data.
Johnson pushes a few buttons, waits a moment, and checks the reading.
Data check all clear.
What if it's wrong?
It's not wrong.
What if we're bringing back something
The only thing dangerous that we're bringing
back is you!
You can't deny it is theoretically possible we
could bring back a disease, a new disease,
capable of wiping out all life on Earth.
No, it's not possible! Not with the bio-scan.
It has twenty-five fail-safe back-up systems.
Nothing can get past it.
Nothing we've seen so far.
If you're so phobic, why did you go into
I like space. It's the planets that make me
nervous. Look, we know that a species can
only survive if it is has a strong ability to
overcome obstacles to procreation.
Sure. Things survive only if they have a
strong survival / reproduction mechanism.
That's just stating the obvious.
What if there was a virus with the ability to
avoid detection? Isn't that a logical
Darwinian survival mechanism?
If it did anything to affect us, anything at all,
the bio-scan would detect it and warn us.
There's some flaw in your logic. I know
there is. But for some reason, I can't seem
to get my brain around it. I can't see it!
Do you feel all right?
Yeah, I seem to feel okay. But I can't
help feeling we're missing something vital.
Well I feel great. Here comes Daniels. He's
spent more time on the surface than both of
us put together. Hey, Daniels, do you feel okay?
Enter DANIELS. His condition is sickening, although he doesn't realize it, nor do his crewmen. The make-up should be as disgusting as possible. For example, you might want to mix green food coloring with chunky peanut butter and smear it all over his skin. Daniels is so sick that he can't speak clearly, but no one realizes it. Depending upon how sick your sense of humor is, he could also be spitting up blood, foaming out the mouth, having coughing fits, or even having limbs and/or body parts dropping off. Whatever happens with him, no one should show any signs of noticing he is sick, including Daniels.
(giving a thumbs up sign)
See, Daniels feels great. A picture of health!
(giving another thumps up)
Williams is worried that we've all contacted
some disease that can outsmart the bio-scan,
and we'll bring it back and wipe out all
life on Earth.
Strap in, everyone.
The three crew members strap themselves in.
You know, Williams, if there was anyone wrong,
the alarms would be screaming by now.
The alarms start screaming.
And the bio-scan wouldn't permit us to take
off unless all three of us hit those override
switches, and our psych evaluations guaranteed
none of us would willingly go anywhere
near those switches if the alarms went off.
All three crew members seem to go into a trance. As though they were sleep-walking, they un-strap themselves, get up and hit the override switches and go back to their seats, unaware of what they are doing.
Nothing can outsmart the bio-scan. How are
you feeling now, Williams?
Okay, I feel fine. Great, in fact. But
some day we'll come across something that
fools us. Something that finds a way to
be un-detectable. I just know it! I keep
feeling the idea is almost there, lurking right
outside my consciousness, but for some
reason, I just can't get to it.
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SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
science fiction scripts
© 2002 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
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