ALIEN NATION: CARRIER

By Gayle Highpine

ACT ONE

FADE IN

EXT. LITTLE TENCTON - NIGHT

On a street in the roughest, most run-down section of Little
Tencton.

A figure shuffles warily under the irregular illumination of
the trash-strewn sidewalk. As he passes under a streetlight,
he is revealed as a shabbily dressed, middle-aged-plus
Newcomer man whom we will come to know as HERMAN SHEPHERD.
He clutches a wrinkled grocery sack.

He pauses to peer down into the dark well of an alleyway.
Then he turns and starts down the alley.

As he makes his way down the unlit alleyway, we see two
NEWCOMER MEN silhouetted at the mouth of the alley. They
start down the alley, following him. He looks back warily.
Seeing the men, he turns around to try to return to the
relative safety of the street. One of the men steps in front
of him, blocking his path.

MAN #1
(leering)
{Hey, baby, wanna party?} Che, eeba, vopa blazi?

HERMAN
Leave me alone.

Two more Newcomer men appear and join the first two. Herman
is surrounded. The men's manner is menacingly flirtatious,
like that of men surrounding a woman and threatening gang
rape.

MAN #2
(leering)
You know you want it. Come on, honey.

HERMAN
(clutches grocery bag tighter)
Go away.

They close on him. One of the men grabs Herman from behind.
He struggles, attempts to fight back, dropping the grocery bag
as he does so. We hear GLASS BREAKING ON PAVEMENT and LIQUID
SPLATTERING. The men wrestle him to the ground. We hear
CLOTHES RIPPING.

MAN #1
Let's see it, huh? Come on, you
sell it but you won't give us a
little bitty look for free?

Despite Herman's attempts to defend himself, he is quickly
pinned to the ground. Though our view of Herman is mostly
blocked, we can see that Herman's chest is now bare.
The torn remains of his shirt cling to his shoulders.

The men shift positions to give us a better look, and now we
can see that Herman's clothes have only been torn off to the
waist; the men seem to have no interest below the waist.

VOICE (O.S.)
(shouting authoritatively)
Police! Mileetsya!

The men stop, look in alarm toward the mouth of the alley: a
cop car with lights flashing, two cops (a human policeman and
HUMAN POLICEWOMAN) running toward them.

COPS' POV of an obvious gang assault; the perpetrators
scatter and disappear as the cops approach.

HERMAN'S POV of the two cops as they run toward him.

Getting close, the two cops see that Herman's pouch is
severely swollen and abraded, with a large rip oozing pink
blood. It looks gross, but the anatomy is so alien that we
don't get too grossed out. His face shows that his
humiliation goes far deeper than physical pain.

A Newcomer hooker, whom we will come to know as DAISY
WHEEL,
peers down the alleyway from behind a building, concern
visible on her heavily made-up face.

The grocery sack Herman dropped lies open on its side
(something inside still weighs it down). A broken baby bottle
(with an alien-shaped nipple) lies near on the street,
obviously fallen out of the sack. A trickle of pale-green
milk runs out of it down the cracked pavement of the alley.

The green milk runs past a windblown Tenctonese newspaper
page, an empty tarantula-chip bag with label in Tenctonese and
English, a crushed sour-milk carton, and other litter of
Little Tencton. It trickles into the street down the gutter,
past the high-heel-clad feet of the hooker, and into a storm
drain, which becomes the starfield of

THE ALIEN NATION SERIES MAIN TITLE

The CAMERA approaches Earth, glides down through the
stratosphere, and the IMAGES continue as described by:

NARRATOR
That was the scene in California's
Mohave Desert, XXX years ago,
our historic first view of the
alien ship Gruza. Theirs was a
slave ship, carrying a quarter
million beings bred to adapt
and labor in any environment.
Unable to leave Earth, the
Tenctonese Newcomers have
become a part of the ethnic richness
of America.

Various shots: the police partnership of Newcomer GEORGE
FRANCISCO and human MATT; the push/pull love relationship of
MATT and Newcomer CATHY; the dynamics of the FRANCISCO FAMILY
-- independent SUSAN
, rebellious BUCK
, sociable EMILY
, sweet VESSNA
. The rich tapestry of ALIEN NATION...


INT. MATT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Cathy and Matt are leisurely stroking each other's temples.
Sensuous Tenctonese music plays on the stereo. They HUM
softly as they nuzzle and kiss.

CATHY
Somebody we know came to visit
the clinic today.

MATT
(between nuzzles)
Yeah, who?

CATHY
One of the couples from sex class.
Do you remember Cicely Alaska and
Dennis Anderson?

MATT
Wasn't he was the guy who
complained about having to be
celibate during hay fever season
'cause he'd get too stuffed up
to hum?

CATHY
(chuckles)
Yes, him.

MATT
So why'd they come?

CATHY
To see Norma.

MATT
(blankly)
Norma?

CATHY
Dr. Norma Limits. Don't you
remember, I introduced you to her
when you came to the lab
to pick me up to go to that play?

MATT
(faking it)
Oh, yeah, the lady with the
microscopes.

CATHY
We all have microscopes, you nut.
(kisses his forehead)
She's the director of the lab's
comparative genetic mapping
project.

MATT
(running his fingertips
down her back spots)
Mmmmm. Pretty different maps, huh?

CATHY
Lots of differences. For one thing,
the Tenctonese genome doesn't have as
many introns as the human one.
A single gene locus can code for
several different proteins because
of splice variants...

MATT
(more interested in Cathy's neck
than in splice variants)
Mm-hmm. So, they come looking
for a job, or something?

 

CATHY
(beat; with false casualness)
They wanted to ask her about the
possibility of their ever...
having a child.

Matt sits bolt upright, pulling away from Cathy.

MATT
(beat)
But... it isn't possible, right?

CATHY
No, no, no, no, of course it's not.
They just felt they had to ask,
to find out for sure...

MATT
But she told them it was
impossible, right?

CATHY
(beat)
No...


INT. HALLWAY OF CALENDARS' APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY

MARK, a slender human man, mid-twenties, stands in the hallway
of an apartment building, angrily pounding on a door.

MARK
Hey! Open up! I told you you
couldn't get away with it!
I told you I'd find you, you
spotty-headed gopher-breaths!

A hand taps Mark on the shoulder from behind. He turns, jumps
a little when he finds himself facing the Newcomer LANDLADY.

MARK
Hey, um, I hope you didn't get
the wrong idea. I gotta lotta
Newcomer friends. We hang out.
I thought these two were my
buddies, and then you wouldn't
believe what they did.

Landlady holds a key up in front of his face, then inserts it
into the lock.

MARK
You have a key to their place?
You their landlady? ...Hey, not
to tell you your business or
anything, but isn't it illegal
to enter a tenant's premises
without permission?

Landlady opens door, gestures for Mark to enter.

LANDLADY
I'm not entering, you are. Go
ahead, get 'em outta bed or
whatever.

Mark hesitates.

LANDLADY
(chuckles)
Hey! Let 'em go to the cops!
Like to see 'em do it.
(looking at Mark)
What'd they do to you, get
you with their dove drop scam?
Go ahead, settle it with them
-- then I have some little matters
to discuss with them myself.


INT. CALENDARS' APARTMENT

Mark walks into the shabby, messy apartment, landlady behind
him. Both of them react to the stink.

LANDLADY
They ever clean this place?
Phew. Rotten weasel, I bet.


INT. KITCHEN

They walk into the kitchen, which is strewn with sour-milk
cartons; see GREGORY's feet protruding from behind a table.
Mark freaks.

LANDLADY
(a bit shaken)
Wow. I didn't think they really
would kill each other.


INT. RAPE CRISIS CENTER - DAY

A living room furnished with discarded and donated furniture
-- threadbare couches and faded easy chairs and worn rugs.
The wall has a bulletin board covered with layers of flyers,
and posters related to women's issues.

On Herman Shepherd, the Newcomer assault victim, seen now in
full light. He has been cleaned up and now wears different
clothes -- they look like charity discards, but are clean. He
sits slumped on a loveseat, looking drained and tired.

COUNSELOR (O.S.)
We're so glad that you were able
to come, Mr. Francisco. We do
have a male counselor here
to work with male victims
... human male victims --
but I don't think he'd know
what to do in this instance.
I've never heard of a case
like this before.

On the COUNSELOR, seated at her desk; a sign on the wall reads
"Rape Crisis Center." She addresses Buck, who is standing in
the doorway.

POLICEWOMAN (O.S.)
His name is Herman Shepherd.
I didn't know what else to do, so
I brought him here. The doctor
wanted to hospitalize him at least
one night, but he refused.

As the Policewoman speaks, PULL BACK and we recognize
her as one of the cops who saved Herman. Her arm is draped
protectively around him. She does not notice that he
shrinks from her touch, as though all the more humiliated to
have his shame exposed to these human strangers.

POLICEWOMAN
(handing papers to Counselor)
Here's the medical report, at least.
They sewed up the tear in his pouch.

COUNSELOR
Is he going to press charges?

The Policewoman makes a gesture of futility. The Counselor
recognizes her meaning, and sighs.

POLICEWOMAN
Anyway, to tell the truth, I don't
know if the law would consider this
sexual assault. Or just simple assault.

COUNSELOR
As I understand it, the pouch is part
of the Tenctonese male's reproductive
system. That makes it a sexual organ --
so an assault like this should be
classified as sexual assault.
(beat)
Assuming those who make the laws have
any sense.

She looks compassionately at Herman, whose psychic shame is
clearly greater than his physical pain.

COUNSELOR
(cont.)
I'm sure it feels like sexual assault
to him.

Buck walks slowly to Herman. Very gently he moves the
policewoman's intrusive arm away from Herman's shoulder. Then
he half-kneels in front of him.

BUCK
(whispering a ritualistic
chant-like mantra)
{Your wound is my wound,Vots zin te nos zin,
Your blood is my blood,Vots likwi te nos
likwi,
Your hearts are my hearts, Vots valen pim nos
valen,
Your voice is my voice.Vots sov te nos sov.
You are another myself.} Vot te keeno naras.

The chant seems to have a healing effect on Herman. He lifts
his eyes -- eyes which have obviously seen years of suffering
and humiliation -- to meet Buck's, and the two of them gaze in
a bond of mutual understanding, the only Newcomers in this
alien environment.

COUNSELOR
(O.S.)
You know this man, Mr. Francisco?


INT. CALENDARS' APARTMENT BLDG -- KITCHEN -- DAY

On congealed streams of pink blood that have intermingled
with spilled sour milk on the floor. Pull back to show Matt,
George, and Landlady in Calendars' kitchen; several open sour
milk cartons are on the table.


LANDLADY
They usedta beat each other up good
when they got tanked. But I didn't
think they'd ever...

GEORGE
(reading from his notes)
Ms. Julie N. Calendar was arrested
on three occasions for beating
her husband, Gregory N. Calendar.
However, Mr. Calendar always
declined to press charges.

LANDLADY
They got along okay when they weren't
drinking.

She picks up a sour-milk carton on the table, shakes it
disdainfully; its contents SPLASH inside.

MATT
Hey, lady, keep your hands offa
the evidence.

Landlady tosses milk carton back onto the table. It teeters
but miraculously doesn't spill. Matt rolls his eyes.

LOIS
The victim was killed by multiple
gunshot wounds. It could be a
domestic violence incident, but...

GEORGE
(to Landlady)
Do you have any idea where
Mrs. Calendar might be?

Landlady shakes her head.

GEORGE
Surely if she escaped when the
murderer was attacking, she
would have called the police.
And if she wasn't home at the
time, she surely would have
come home by now.

LOIS
The body's been dead four to five
days.

MATT
So you think the wife did it?

GEORGE
Possibly. Or perhaps she's
lying dead somewhere herself.
(checking his notes)
The Calendars also have a record
for fraud and petty theft.

MATT
You figure somebody mighta been
out to get 'em for rippin' 'em off?

GEORGE
Possibly.
(to Landlady)
Did they get many visitors?

LANDLADY
(nods sardonically)
Clients, they said. They told me
they were investment counselors.

MATT
(scanning the stained and
peeling wallpaper)
You get a lot of investment
counselors move in here, I'll bet.

Landlady gives him a LOOK.

MATT
Do you know who any of their
"clients" were?

Landlady shrugs.

MATT
Well, I think finding wifey's
our first order of business.
(to Landlady)
You gotta picture of her?

LANDLADY
Oh, sure, framed right next to the
grandkids on the living room wall.

MATT
(rolling eyes)
Okay, how about a description?

GEORGE
Matt, the police computer will have
pictures and descriptions of her.

LOIS
Add to the description that she's
probably pregnant.

GEORGE
/MATT (unison)
Pregnant?

LOIS
Look at the state of Mr. Calendar's
lingpod flap.

Matt, George, and Landlady peer at the body. George and
Landlady nod in understanding; Matt doesn't even know what
he's looking for.

GEORGE
Yes. I see.

MATT
What??

LOIS
(to Matt)
It's opened. He's ready to
receive a pod.

MATT
(to Lois, grudging admiration)
Huh. You really been hitting the
books in those Tenctonese
physiology courses.

LOIS
And the cadavers.

GEORGE
(to Landlady)
Did you know she was pregnant?

LANDLADY
Seemed like I thought once
she was getting up there.

GEORGE
Do you know when she was due
to transfer the pod?


LANDLADY
I don't know...
I thought she already had.

GEORGE
Obviously she had not. Her husband
is still in a state of receptivity.

LANDLADY
(shrugs)
Try asking their friend --
Allison Wonderland. Sweet girl --
dunno why she was mixed up
with people like them.

MATT
Hey, George, with hubby dead,
Miz Calendar's got a problem,
right? What's she gonna do when
dad's not there to take her pod?
Could another guy do it?

GEORGE
She must be biologically in sync
with the male who receives her pod.
(beat; softer)
You couldn't just walk up to a
stranger and synchronize...


INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY

MATT
I guess what we gotta do is
check out Newcomer hospitals,
because they gotta have incubators,
right? Like there's gotta be
times when the father's not there,
Newcomer hospitals must be prepared
for that kinda situation, right?

George nods without speaking, a distant, haunted look on his
face.


INT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT - DAY

HERMAN
Thanks for taking me home.

BUCK
No trouble.

HERMAN
Would you like to come in and have
some refreshment? Some lichen tea,
perhaps?

BUCK
Sorry, I have to go pick up my mom
from work. She only let me use her
car on the condition that I'm at her
office by five to pick her up.


INT. APARTMENT

Herman swings the door open, and he and Buck walk in to the
tiny, crumbling hole-in-the-wall one-room apartment.

HERMAN
It's not much. But it's home.

BUCK
Home, yeah...


INT. COP SHOP - DAY

GRAZER
Got any leads on the Calendar murder?

MATT
(typing on computer)
We're checking out hospitals. In case
somebody's used an incubator.

GRAZER
Incubator?


INT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT - DAY

Herman is bringing a dish of something toward the table;
a rat tail sticks over the edge.

HERMAN
Have some.

Buck reaches toward the center of the dish.

 


HERMAN
Go ahead, take the head.
You're my guest.

Buck takes a piece from near the edge and eats it (it
CRUNCHES). Herman smiles and takes a piece as well.

HERMAN
If someone had told me, back on
the ship, that someday I could
have fresh-killed rodent
whenever I wanted...

Both of them chuckle.

HERMAN
So, Buck, do you live near here?

BUCK
Little Tencton? No, we live
in the suburbs. You can go for
miles without seeing another
spotty head.

HERMAN
Do you go to school? I mean,
Earth school, human school?

BUCK
I go to school online.
(off Herman's look)
Through my computer.
I take classes from lots of
universities in different places.
Different countries.

HERMAN
That sounds very interesting...
Going to school, that must be an
interesting experience.

BUCK
You've never been to school?

HERMAN
Just the orientation sessions we
had in quarantine. But it sounds
like a good way to learn about
this planet.

 

BUCK
I thought that if I studied hard,
I could understand this planet.
But the more I learn, the less
I feel I know about it.
So many different kinds
of thinking... some of it so
different, and some of it
seems so familiar...

HERMAN
Living around humans must help you
to understand them.

BUCK
(laughs)
I'm starting to wonder if the
humans even understand themselves.

HERMAN
I don't know many humans.
Except on TV.


INT. CAR - MOVING

MATT
Well, no luck on the Newcomer hospitals.

GEORGE
But we got an address for Allison
Wonderland. Maybe she can give us names
of other "clients."


INT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT - DAY - LATER

The sunset sky seen through the windows show that Buck and
Herman have been talking for a while.

HERMAN
...Vessna? I used to know a Vessna
...back on ship, a long time ago.
-- she was a teacher, an Elder.

BUCK
My little sister was named after
my grandmother, my mother's mother.

Herman and Buck look at each other, both wondering if it could
possibly have been the same person?

HERMAN
When I was in the children's
barracks, after they took me
from my parents, Fron Vessna
came and talked to me.
She told me something I never
forgot. She said, The reason
we are created is to add
whatever we can to the beauty
in the universe. No matter
how hard things may be,
if we can add to the beauty
rather than to the ugliness,
we have won.

Buck is captivated -- less by the idea, which is familiar to
him, than by the possibility that these words might come from
his own grandmother.

HERMAN
Then the Chooser took me away,
and I never saw Vessna again.
But her words always stayed with me.

BUCK
That's a Celinist teaching.

HERMAN
Celinist... Is that what you are?
Your family is?

BUCK
Yeah, mainly. We follow some
Yoniati customs, too -- that's
what my Uncle Moodri was.

HERMAN
But Celinism... that's what your
father believes in? What he
teaches you?

BUCK
Yeah...
(shrugs)
Well, sort of. Sometimes
it seems he's more interested
in human ways...
(long beat)
I don't know what he
really believes inside.

HERMAN
He must feel so lucky
to have you for a son.

BUCK
(surprised at the thought)
Lucky?
(beat)
I don't know...

HERMAN
You don't know if he feels
luck to have you as a son?
(looking at Buck, imagining)
...to look at you and say, There.
There is my son. There is my child.

Buck grows uncomfortable under Herman's gaze.

BUCK
What about your own children?

HERMAN
(with difficulty)
...I don't have any children.

BUCK
(surprised)
But the doctor who examined your
lingpod said that you had borne
at least...

He stops as Herman raises toward him eyes that have seen
infinite tragedy.

BUCK
(stammering awkward apology)
Oh. I'm sorry.

HERMAN
They're not dead. I just
don't know where they are.

An uncomfortable pause. Buck looks out the window, realizes
the sun has set, looks at his watch and starts.

BUCK
Oh no. My mom expected me to
pick her up. Do you have a phone?

HERMAN
There's a pay phone in the hall.
Up a flight.

INT. HALLWAY OF HERMAN'S APARTMENT BLDG - NIGHT

Buck is talking on a pay phone in the apartment hallway.

BUCK
What?... How long ago?... Okay. Thanks.

Buck slowly hangs up the phone. He wears a rueful look.


INT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Buck comes back in. Herman is washing out the cups.

BUCK
I have to go. My mom's already
left. She's going to kill me.

HERMAN
Well, thank you for coming to visit.

He picks up the teacups and takes them to the sink. Buck
picks up the plate of rat and takes it to the refrigerator,
opens it.

BUCK
'S POV on refrigerator interior -- CLOSE ON baby bottles
full of pale-green milk, and a box of Powdered Grasshopper
Baby Formula.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN

INT.FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT

The Franciscos are at dinner.

EMILY
When Buck was my age you let him
run around with street gangs in
Little Tencton, but me, you won't
even let me go out with my friends!

SUSAN
Let him run around ...

She glances at Buck, who, intent on Vessna, appears unaware of
the conversation.

SUSAN
Em, we just want to meet
your friends first so we know who
you are out with...

EMILY
You mean so you can tell me
who I can and can't hang out with!

GEORGE
Well, we didn't think that that
Terry Biller was a good influence.

EMILY
Who are you to decide who's a
good influence and who's not?

SUSAN
We're your parents.We want to
make sure you grow up the right way.

EMILY
So an accident of biology
means you can control my life?

BUCK
(casually conversational)
Uncle Moodri told me that on
Tencton family was the most
important thing there was.
Extended families stayed together
their whole lives.Grandparents,
cousins, uncles, aunts, all together.

EMILY
Yeah, well, mom and dad still
think we're supposed to be slaves.

SUSAN
Emily, go to your room.

EMILY
Fine.I'd rather eat with my
TV for company. It doesn't
criticize everything I do.

She takes her plate and leaves the table.

VESSNA
(distressed)
Emily!

BUCK
(to Vessna, distracting her)
{Want some more crickets?}Von tua-rom kilsa?

He holds up the bowl in front of her.

VESSNA
(eagerly)
Yes, please.

Buck keeps holding up the bowl, doesn't move.

VESSNA
{Yes, please} Kwen sela.

Buck smiles and spoons some live crickets onto Vessna's plate.

BUCK
Mom, I'm sorry I didn't get there
in time to pick you up.I'll
reimburse you for the taxi fare.

SUSAN
(sighs)
Fine.

GEORGE
What happened, Buck? You didn't get
home till after six.I thought
your volunteer shift at the
Newcomer Service Center was over
at three.


BUCK
I had to drive someone home.
He'd been assaulted.

SUSAN
Assaulted?By humans?

BUCK
No, a bunch of Newcomer guys
jumped him. They tore his pouch and
shoved gravel and dirt inside it.

Buck shudders, imagining the pain.George shudders too.

SUSAN
Celine.What are we coming to.

BUCK
The police took him to the
hospital and his pouch got
bandaged up there, then they
brought him to a center for victims
of rape. -- Apparently rape is a
big problem among humans.

George makes a gesture of rueful affirmation.

BUCK
But the rape center people didn't
know what to do, so they called the
Newcomer Service Center. I went over.

SUSAN
And what did you do?

BUCK
(helpless shrug)
I just drove him home.
Then we talked...

GEORGE
Does he live alone? Does he have family?

BUCK
I guess he lives alone.He had
kids but doesn't know where they
are now. His wife must be dead
-- he wouldn't talk about her.
(long beat)
How many families are there
that still haven't been reunited?

GEORGE
Newcomer families? Since the crash?
I think that by now everyone
who survived has been reunited.

SUSAN
Well, a lot of people are missing
family members still, but those
missing family members probably
weren't on the ship when it crashed.

GEORGE
Were this man's children on the
ship?

BUCK
Yes...
(considers)
I guess I didn't ask him.I just
took it for granted that they were.

SUSAN
Well, is he searching for them?

BUCK
(long beat)
No.He acts as though it's final
and done with.Like they're dead.
(beat; very softly)
Like with Rorpa.

George and Susan look away, their attention on their food.


INT.ALLISON
'S APARTMENT -- LITTLE TENCTON -- DAY

Matt and George are questioning ALLISON
WONDERLAND, a petite
Newcomer girl of about twenty.

ALLISON
They were such wonderful people.
I just can't believe Gregory's dead.
And Julie-- I hope she's all right.

MATT
Did you know them well?

ALLISON
Oh, yes.They're selling me
a bridge.They gave me a special
deal since we're such good friends.

MATT
Selling you a bridge?

ALLISON
They own a bridge in New York.
It's called the Brooklyn Bridge.
They're selling it to me.
Here, look.

She holds up a parchment-like document reading "Certificate of
Bridge Ownership" in large, ornate, gold-foil Gothic lettering
George takes the document and scans it, hands it to Matt.

ALLISON
I'll have it paid off in less than
ten years.Then I'll put up toll booths
and get tons of money.
(off Matt's incredulous look)
Hey! -- this isn't like some old deserted
bridge in the middle of nowhere! Look
at how many cars go across it!

She gestures toward an aerial photo of the Brooklyn Bridge,
packed with cars, framed and hanging on the wall.

ALLISON
See, it's packed! That's a lot of
toll money!

GEORGE
Ms. Wonderland, did you know that
Julie N. Calendar was pregnant?

ALLISON
Oh, yes! She's very excited.

GEORGE
Do you know when she's due to
transfer the pod?

ALLISON
Oh, she already did that.
Two, two and a half months ago.

GEORGE
(confused)
She already transferred the pod?
Ms. Wonderland, Mr. Calendar's
body was prepared to receive a
pod, but it showed no signs of
ever having carried one.

ALLISON
Um, well, Gregory didn't carry
the pod.They hired a yedakro.

George recoils as though slapped.

GEORGE
A yedakro?

Allison nods.

GEORGE
Mister Calendar agreed to this?

ALLISON
Oh yeah! He thought it was great!
(defensive)
Well... Julie and Gregory didn't
have, like, old-fashioned hangups
about things?
(off George's shocked look)
Yeah, I know, people who are
religious and stuff would say it's
terrible.My mom, f'rinstance,
she'd freak.She's like
super-orthodox. Goes on and on
about Celinist teachings and family
values and stuff.Blah, blah, blah.
I tell her, geez, we're on a whole
new world now.Get with it.

GEORGE
(a bit stiffly)
Maybe your mother has something to say.

ALLISON
Ah, I haven't even seen her since
graduation.She can go jump in the
amdugas for all I care.
(admiringly)
Julie and Gregory are, y'know,
free-thinkers.They're cool.
They don't let themselves
be tied up by those old-fashioned
Tenctonese rules.Hey, this is
Earth, they say. We're free!

 

 

INT.CAR - MOVING - DAY

George drives as they talk.

MATT
You just told me yesterday that
it had to be the father
who incubated the pod.

GEORGE
(stiffly)
I did not say that.I said that
in order to transfer a pod it is
necessary for the partners
to be biologically synchronized.

MATT
Well -- isn't that the same thing?
Like married or mated or whatever?

GEORGE
(even more stiffly)
Yes.It should be.

MATT
Okay -- but now you tell me you can
go out and hire somebody to do it,
this yo-yo?

GEORGE
(sullenly)
Yedakro. From "yedak," to carry.
Yoyo is a foot fungus.

MATT
So you coulda hired somebody
to carry Vessna to term for you, and
we wouldna hadta go through
all that when Vessna was born?

FLASHBACK FROM "REAL MEN" EPISODE:

A panicked Matt trying to deliver Vessna.

MATT (V.O.)
Coulda saved us all a lot of trouble.

RESUME THE CAR

George stops the car with a jolt -- in the middle of the
block.


GEORGE
(flaring)
That's a form of prostitution,
Matt! It was illegal on Tencton.
It should be illegal here!

MATT
Oh-ho, you're the one always
telling me your people never heard
of prostitution till you came here.
Now you're saying this yo-yo
is kind of a Tenctonese prostitute.
(needling George)
Guess humans and Tenctonese aren't
really so different, huh?

GEORGE
(controlling himself with
an effort)
We don't have your kind of
prostitution. We don't hire
strangers to simulate the act
of conception.

MATT
"Simulate the act of conception"?

A few HONKS are heard. George resumes driving.

GEORGE
Sex to us is more than genital
contact.It's the long-term process
of bonding -- of synchronizing
biologically -- ultimately leading
to the highest act of union.
The pod transfer.

MATT
Oh yeah.The highest act of union.


GEORGE
You're human, you couldn't understand.
(beat)
The union between Tenctonese mates
is far deeper than human-style sex.

MATT
(defensively)
It -- it is not...


GEORGE
(factually)
Of course it is.

MATT
(beat)
Just how would you know, George?

GEORGE
(it's obvious)
How would I know??I live
surrounded by humans, I see it
in your culture every day.

He gestures toward a billboard with a bikini-clad model.

GEORGE
Sex is just a toy for you humans.
A spasm of pleasure, quickly forgotten.
(beat)
It doesn't mean anything to you.

Matt sputters an inarticulate protest.

GEORGE
(surprised that Matt would
disagree, and interested)
Are you saying that that isn't true?

MATT
Well, maybe a lotta the time it's
true, but sometimes...

GEORGE
Sometimes what?

MATT
Well, not saying I... I mean...
George, guys don't like to admit
how much they feel. About anything.

GEORGE
I don't know about that.I've
seen many times that when an
attractive woman is walking down
the street, human men are quite
candid about how they feel.

MATT
I don't mean... I mean...


GEORGE
In our culture, sex is a
sacred mystery -- a link to the
creative power of the universe.
(beat)
I think that human culture
is afraid of sex.

MATT
Wha -- wha -- afraid, whaddya mean?
(gesturing at another sexy
billboard)
You just finished telling me you
see sex everywhere on this planet!

GEORGE
A power so strong, so far beyond
understanding -- coming through you,
pulling you out of yourself, beyond
yourself ... how can anyone not be
a little frightened of it?
Of course it's scary.

George gestures toward a porno movie marquee reading HOT BABES
IN TOYLAND and BOOB HEAVEN.

GEORGE
I think that humans deal with
that fear by trivializing sex.
You try to shrink it, down to one
little moment and one little set
of bodily organs. Then it doesn't
seem so big, so frightening.

Matt remains stupefied.


INT.NEWCOMER SERVICE CENTER - DAY

Plate on desk reads "GLORIA
PATRI - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR -
NEWCOMER SERVICE CENTER" in English and Tenctonese.

PULL BACK to show room. Someone has made an effort to give
the characterless offices some cultural flavor; colorful
Tenctonese art stands out against the bland and
sterile-looking surroundings.

Buck is preparing coffee at a coffee maker. Behind him,
overseeing, is GLORIA
PATRI.

GLORIA
Careful, Buck.Don't put in
too much turpentine this time.

BUCK
Just two spoonfuls.
(beat)
Am I going to be doing more
counseling this afternoon?

Gloria starts to answer, but phone RINGS. She gestures at Buck
to wait till after she attends this, sits at her desk and
answers the phone.

GLORIA
Good morning.Newcomer Service
Center.Gloria Patri speaking.
Dus tamos.Wenbema Reeva Voko.
Gloria Patri keepsa....
(long beat)
Kwen. Kee nak plask tu masa.
Von stok e stomkar?Kwen...

She types briefly into her computer.

GLORIA
Friday, ten o'clock? Dus.

She types briefly.

GLORIA
Vots manya?
(repeating the caller's name
carefully, spelling in
English as she types)
Tara Dactil... T-A-R-A...D-A-C-T-I-L.
Dus.Vots phone number?
(typing a key stroke with
each syllable)
Hend-hend-hend-kup-eean-kup-fren. Dus.
Lis reek nem.Tukas.

(This is unsubtitled, but translates as "Newcomer Service
Center, Gloria Patri speaking. Yes.We can help with that.
Want to make an appointment? Yes... Friday, ten o'clock?
Good.Your name?...Tara Dactil...Your phone number? ...
555-2129. Good. We will see each other. Goodbye.")

Gloria hangs up the phone.Buck hands her a cup of coffee.

 

GLORIA
Buck, out here on the streets
of Little Tencton,
our people have to deal with
guns, drug addiction, lactaholism,
prostitution, broken families...
housing, jobs...

She sips the coffee, nods approval.

GLORIA
When people come in here looking
for help, they expect to find
someone who speaks their own
language.Not somebody
quoting their dead Uncle Moodri
about "oneness with the universe."

BUCK
Just because we happen to be on one
particular planet doesn't mean we
should forget the principles
our ancestors handed down to us.

GLORIA
What do have those principles have
to do with a 13-year-old jack addict?

BUCK
Well, whatever causes disharmony
within our bodies causes us to...

GLORIA
(with a dismissing gesture)
I know. I heard you explain it
to that kid this morning.
Do you really think it meant
anything to her?

BUCK
Well, see, the problems that we have
really come from forgetting our
spiritual ways.

GLORIA
"We"?
(beat)
Buck, you live in a human suburb.

 


BUCK
(defensively)
Just 'cause my family lives there.
And we used to live in Little Tencton.

GLORIA
You have the luxury to think about
things like heritage and culture and
spirituality.Here in Little Tencton,
that isn't a priority for most people.

BUCK
Well, yes it is. For some people,
anyway.There are storefront temples
and shrines all over Little Tencton.
A lot of people go to them.

GLORIA
Out of two hundred and thirty
thousand people in Little Tencton,
how many is "a lot"?

Buck doesn't answer.

GLORIA
Buck, I do appreciate your
dedication.It's not your
fault that you're out of touch
with the Newcomer community.

Buck is stung.Gloria gets up, puts her hand on his shoulder.


GLORIA
Buck, you are a young man of
exceptional talents. You want to
help your people, and we do need
all the volunteers we can get.
(beat)
But... if you are expecting
to "come home" here...I'm afraid
you will be disappointed.


INT.COP CAR - MOVING - DAY

George is conferring with the radio as Matt drives.He makes
some notes, hangs up radio.

 


GEORGE
Okay, here's addresses for the two
names Allison Wonderland gave us
-- VIRGIL
Reality and Cara Mell.
Cara Mell is closer.


INT.NEWCOMER SERVICE CENTER - DAY

Buck is preparing to leave.He turns toward the door, sees
Herman come in.Herman smiles when he sees Buck.

HERMAN
Jovan, Finiksa!

BUCK
Jovan!

HERMAN
I was just passing by...
just came in to say hello...

BUCK
Sit down.Want coffee?
Or lichen tea, I guess...

Buck starts to look in the cabinet below the coffee maker.

HERMAN
I don't need anything.

BUCK
Well, actually, I was about to leave
and go over to the Temple Sanemval.
An Elder named Torav is teaching me
how to focus with the Third Heart.

HERMAN
The Third Heart?

BUCK
The Third Heart, the center
between our two hearts, the
point of perfect balance...
You know, it's in the Song
of Celine.
(off Herman's look of
shamefaced ignorance)
You've never read the Song of
Celine?

HERMAN
Well...

BUCK
Oh, you have to read it.
It is one of the most beautiful,
most inspiring epics in --
the universe, I'll bet.

HERMAN
(shaking his head in
admiration)
You know so much, Buck.

BUCK
Well, come with me over to the
Temple.They'll teach you.

HERMAN
(beat)
I can't go to places like that.

BUCK
Oh, they're super friendly over
there.They welcome everybody.

Herman doesn't answer.

BUCK
(with growing enthusiasm)
It doesn't matter if you are
Celinist or what.It's a Temple
of blended teachings -- Celinist,
pre-Celinist, Lyubof, Kewisto,
Eemon... and Earth teachings too,
like Christian and Buddhist.
They seek the common truth of all.
Everybody is welcome.
It's like a big family.
Come on. They'll be happy to see you.

CU on expression of dread on Herman's face.


INT.CARA
MELL'S APARTMENT -DAY

Matt and George are interviewing CARA
MELL, a Newcomer.She
holds up an ornate document, at the top of which large gold
foil calligraphy reads "Oil Well Title Deed." George takes
notes as she speaks.

 

CARA
Julie and Gregory gave me a special
deal because we're such good friends.
(as though confiding a
great discovery)
Did you know that oil is where
gasoline comes from?And cars run
on gasoline, they gotta have it.
Oil wells are a gold mine!
(musing)
You know, when we first crashed, and
all those cars and jeeps and things
came and surrounded the ship, I
thought that cars were the dominant
life form on this planet.

GEORGE
(hint of a smile
as he writes)
I'm not so sure they aren't.


INT.BUCK
'S CAR - MOVING - DAY

Buck is on a roll, swept away by enthusiasm at finding someone
who shares his interests.

BUCK
(talking non-stop)
...Now, most of the pre-Celinist
religions represent the One Who
creates the universe as only
female. But Celine and Andarko,
the "sacred pair," symbolize the
power of the universe as both
female and male -- eternally
united, the ecstacy of their union
continuously generating the process
of creation....

CLOSE IN on Herman as he listens, interested but distracted
and wearing a look of deepening apprehension.


EXT.TEMPLE - DAY

Buck pulls up in front of the "Temple" -- a humble storefront
surrounded by lovely plants and beautifully adorned with
pieces of Tenctonese fabric art, which flutter colorfully in
the breeze.Above the doorway is the Tenctonese love symbol
|X|.

Buck opens the car door and starts to exit.


BUCK
Come on.

Herman remains seated.

BUCK
Come on, what's the matter?

HERMAN
I can't go to places like this.

BUCK
Why not?

Herman is silent.

BUCK
What's the matter?

HERMAN
I'm sorry, Buck.I shouldn't
have come to see you...

BUCK
What are you talking about?

HERMAN
You don't know about what I
really am.I'm sorry, Buck.

BUCK
What you really are?
What do you mean?

Buck reenters the car, sits down.He reaches a finger over
and unobtrusively lifts Herman's sleeve to check for an
Overseer tattoo, sees his wrists are clean.

BUCK
I'll still be your friend. Tell me.

Herman shakes his head; finally he steels himself to confess.

HERMAN
I'm a carrier.

 

 


BUCK
A... carrier?
(long beat)
You mean -- a yedakro?
(beat; cheerfully)
Well, that's all right!
It makes no difference to me!

Buck gives him a big friendly smile, and Herman manages to
smile back.

BUCK
Come on.Let's go in.


EXT. TEMPLE DOORWAY - DAY

An Elder, TORAV
, stands in the doorway.He beams with warmth,
merriment, and friendliness.Through the doorway of the
Temple we see something of the interior: murals of Tenctonese
landscapes, tapestries, altars.Beautiful Tenctonese choral
music can be heard.Buck stands on the top step, facing the
door;Herman remains a few steps below, reluctant to ascend.

TORAV
Jovan, Finiksa!

BUCK
Jovan, Fron Torav. I brought a
friend with me.His name is Herman.

TORAV
Welcome, Herman! Everyone is welcome
here.

At these welcoming words from an actual Elder, Herman relaxes.
For the first time, we see a genuine smile of warmth and
pleasure on his face.He moves up to a step below Buck.

HERMAN
I was afraid I wouldn't be welcome.

BUCK
Herman has had a hard life...

Torav smiles warmly and knowingly.

TORAV
This is a place of healing, of refuge.
There is no wound that Celine cannot heal.


BUCK
He thought he wouldn't be welcomed
because he is a yedakro...

Herman is stricken.Torav's smile fades.

TORAV
"Because he is a yedakro"... still
practicing?

BUCK
Well, no, I mean, he used to be a
yedakro, he was forced to be.You
know, by the Overseers.On the ship.

TORAV
(to Herman)
You do not engage in this evil
practice any more?

Herman takes a step backward down the steps.Buck is shocked
to see Torav's attitude of condemnation.

BUCK
Fron Torav.Celine teaches us
compassion, forgiveness.

TORAV
There can be no compassion where there
is no repentance.A yedakro has no place
among our people.These men threaten the
very foundations of our families.They
make bonding meaningless.Mechanical.

BUCK
Celine teaches love.This is not love.

TORAV
(anger showing)
So now you are a teacher of the way,
Finiksa?Go. If you do not accept the
laws of Celine, you do not belong here.

Buck turns angrily and leaves.Herman follows, with the body
language of someone who knows it's all his fault.


INT.CAR - STANDING - DAY

Buck sits in the car, processing the experience and the pain.


BUCK
I felt at home there... they were like
a family to me.

HERMAN
There are other temples, aren't there?

Buck doesn't answer.

HERMAN
I know.It's like you've lost your
family.It's hard to trust again, to
bond again.

BUCK
(with some bitterness)
I've trusted too many times.
I've trusted too easily.

HERMAN
Everyone has disillusioned you?

Buck doesn't answer.

HERMAN
(tuning into Buck empathically)
...abandoned you... failed to
protect you...

Buck turns a pained face to Herman, who looks straight ahead,
as though speaking in a trance.

HERMAN
....you feel like an outcast...
like there is no place you belong,
no people you belong among...

Buck looks away.This is getting too close to home for him.

HERMAN
I remember when I was taken
from my parents... I felt so
betrayed... like they had promised
to protect me forever -- and then
they didn't.

Buck starts the car with a VIOLENT ROAR, drives off with a
lurch.

END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

FADE IN

EXT. VIRGIL
REALITY'S HOUSE - DAY

Matt and George interview VIRGIL
REALITY, a middle-aged
Newcomer man.

MATT
Mr. Reality, I understand you had
business dealings with the Calendars.

VIRGIL
Call me VIRGIL
. Yes, I bought a
thousand acres of land in Wyoming
from them. A real good deal.

MATT
Yeah -- cheaper'n a thousand acres
in Beverly Hills, I bet.
Whatta you doing with it, running
a ranch by remote control?

VIRGIL
Well, I'm not supposed to
tell anybody about this... the
price'd go sky-high if people
found out...

MATT
Oil wells, right?

VIRGIL
No, better! It's right next to
where Disney's planning to build
their new Disney Universe.

MATT
Disney Universe? Haven't heard
about that.

VIRGIL
It's still hush-hush.
Julie and Gregory have inside info.
They let me in on it 'cause
we're such good friends.

MATT
Inside info?

VIRGIL
Disney's hired them as consultants.
To help design the Tencton World
exhibit. And other planet exhibits.
(conspiratorially)
Course, they never saw Tencton, they
were born on ship like most of us.
And they didn't really see much more
of the planets we were sent to than
anybody else did. What can you see,
spending most of the time underground.
(amused shrug)
But even if they make most of it up,
how would Disney know the difference?


INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY

Buck and Herman drive in silence for a moment.

BUCK
(a bit coldly)
...Not trying to criticize you
or anything -- but we're here
on Earth, and there aren't any
Overseers making you do it.
So why do you keep doing it?

HERMAN
I don't know... It's like...
like a hunger.

Buck is taken aback.

HERMAN
Nobody wants to form a permanent
pair-bond with a yedakro. We're
damaged goods. But... bonding...
it's the only thing we have.
(his voice charging with
feeling)
It's the only time you feel alive.
That electricity of desire surging
through you... you absorb another
person's energy and they absorb
yours... you are part of each other...
even if it is for a brief time.
Even if it's with a stranger you
will never see again.

 

Herman gestures toward an alley they are approaching -- the
same alley where he was assaulted in the opening scene.

HERMAN
Buck, turn here.

BUCK
What?

HERMAN
Turn.

Buck turns the car down the alley.


EXT. ALLEY IN LITTLE TENCTON - DAY

Buck has parked the car in the alley, and he and Herman have
gotten out. Herman leads Buck to an old door with no outside
handle. He pulls an old metal rod from behind a pile of
trash, uses it to open the door, steps in, gestures for Buck
to follow.

INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - DAY

Buck nervously follows Herman into the dark, hazard-laden
building. They make their way across the cavernous space to
someone's
makeshift living space with discarded furniture. Several
"rooms" have been created by hanging up bedsheets between 2X4s
as partitions.

On a couch probably salvaged from a dumpster lies a prone
female Newcomer body -- asleep or dead? Herman softly creeps
up behind it.

HERMAN
(whispering slyly)
Annie...

ANNIE
WAY immediately awakens and jumps up from the couch.
Buck reacts; she is obviously a hooker.

ANNIE
Herman!

She hugs him.

ANNIE
Herman! I'm so glad you're all
right. We saw what those men did
to you.

Daisy Wheel, the hooker we saw in the opening scene, emerges
from behind one of the bedsheet partitions, hugs Herman.

DAISY
Herman. Thank Celine you're okay.
I can't believe we were lucky
enough to see a cop car right then.

HERMAN
You two got those cops? Oh, you
guys are the greatest.

He puts one arm around each of them and hugs them.

ANNIE
Daisy did it. She was out there
working, I was here waiting for you
to come so I could go to work.

Herman turns to Buck.

HERMAN
Buck, these are some friends of mine.
Annie Way, Daisy Wheel, this is my
friend Buck Francisco.

BUCK
(uncomfortable around hookers)
{Pleased to meet you}Panda't kon vot.

He touches knuckles with each in turn.

Annie and Daisy have the appearance of tough, hardened street
hookers, but the two move naturally, completely without the
sexy postures they would be using "at work." Annie dangles her
high heels on her fingers as she pads around in fuzzy
slippers. Annie and Daisy's proximity and posture with one
another suggest that they might be lovers, but we never know
for sure; we can see, though, that there are strong bonds of
caring among the three.

DAISY
Glad you got here, Herman,
'cause this can't stay out of the
fridge much longer.

Daisy hands Herman a grocery sack. We hear the CLINK of filled
glass containers. Herman hands the bag to Buck. Buck looks
inside.


Buck's POV on baby bottles filled with pale-green milk.

HERMAN
(off Buck's puzzlement)
The rizhbekem hormone, you know, can be
used to activate the milk glands.
(beat)
Of course, we have to get it through...
unofficial sources.

BUCK
(confused)
Activate the milk glands...?

BABY NOISES emanate from behind the sheet.

Herman pulls the sheet back, gestures for Buck to pass.
Buck goes through, followed by Annie and Daisy.

Buck's POV of what appears to be a three-foot pile of rags.

HERMAN
Valra, I want you to meet my friend
Buck Francisco. Buck -- this is my
son, Valra.

BUCK
peers over. Buck's POV on Newcomer newborn.

A lot of work has gone into turning scavenged and recycled
items into comfortable quarters for the baby. The bedsheet
"walls" are painted with colorful Tenctonese designs. Toys,
some familiar and some alien looking, surround the baby.

Herman pops a bottle of pale-green milk into the baby's mouth.
The baby sucks contentedly, while Annie and Daisy beam
proudly. The four have all the appearance of a loving family.


INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY

GEORGE
I think we have to find the
yedakro the Calendars hired.
(musing to himself)
If I wanted to hire a yedakro,
where would I find one?

MATT
(half-joking)
You said they're kinda like
prostitutes... I'd go ask a pimp.

Matt's suggestion hit a bulls-eye. George stands.

GEORGE
Let's go.


EXT. LITTLE TENCTON - STREET CORNER - DAY

George and Matt approach JOY
STICK, a female Newcomer pimp
dressed in the classic flashy "ghetto pimp" style.

GEORGE
Joy Stick.

JOY
Francisco, isn't it?
(re Matt)
You bring me a customer?

GEORGE
(coldly)
This is my partner, Matthew Sikes.
We'd like to ask you a few questions.

JOY
(shrugging cooperatively)
Long as I don't have to listen
to more sermons...

GEORGE
(provoked)
You sell your own people for
humans' pleasure...

JOY
It's not selling, it's renting.
And what's wrong with bringing
a little pleasure to this dingy
little planet? We've had
this conversation before. Do you
have a warrant, or can I get back
to enjoying the smog in peace?

GEORGE
We want to ask you a few questions.

JOY
(shrugging)
Sure. Been a dull afternoon.

GEORGE
Suppose I wanted to find a yedakro.

JOY
Hey, I could fix you up, no problem.

GEORGE
(surprised to hit
pay dirt so easily)
You do that then...
(beat)
Is there -- a demand for yedakros?

JOY
Yeah -- about the only Tenctonese
customers I ever get.
Usually women, of course, who want
to break it off with their husbands.
But there's more and more career men
who don't want to be weighted down
by a pregnancy on their way up the
ladder, so they hire it out.

GEORGE
(shocked)
Males hire them?
(beat)
Males are hiring yedakros
to carry their own children?

JOY
Yeah. More and more.

George shudders, recovers; pulls out pictures of Calendars and
shows them to Joy.

GEORGE
Do you know this couple?

Joy takes the pictures, studies them.

JOY
Mm-hmm. They came to me, oh,
four months ago. I set 'em up.

GEORGE
Do you remember who the carrier
was that they hired?

JOY
Sure. His name's Herman Shepherd.

GEORGE
Where can we find this Mr. Shepherd?


EXT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT

Buck and Herman get out of car. Herman hands the grocery sack
to Buck so he can search his pockets for house keys.

HERMAN
Gotta get that milk in the fridge.
Don't want a drunken baby!

BUCK
(still somewhat in shock)
You... you said you didn't know
where any of your children were.

HERMAN
Except one.
Only since two weeks ago.
(beat)
Year after year they took them...
(beat)
... year after year I think about
them... wonder where they are now...

Herman looks at Buck. Their eyes lock for a silent moment.


INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY

Matt is driving through the streets of Little Tencton, while
George examines a paper with notes about their destination.

GEORGE
That way, Matt.

Matt turns the car.


INT. BUCK
'S CAR - MOVING - DAY

BUCK
But...you stole him?

HERMAN
Stole him?! He's my son!
(beat)
He was born right there in that
warehouse. Annie and Daisy
delivered him.

BUCK
But... his parents...

HERMAN
They weren't right.

BUCK
(uneasily)
Weren't right? How can You
make that kind of judgment?

Buck reaches Herman's apartment building and stops the car.

HERMAN
(gazing straight ahead,
his mind far away)
Over and over I had to give them up --
to the hands of...to a life that...
(beat; with strength and resolution)
But now... just once... I said NO.

An iron-willed determination is showing itself from under
Herman's humble exterior.

HERMAN
When I saw Valra's face it was
like I woke up. All of a sudden
for the first time, I understood.

BUCK
(nervously)
Understood what?

HERMAN
That we are on a new world!
That I am not a slave!
That I can make decisions about
my own life now!
And the life of my own child!

BUCK
But... you keep him in a...
place like that.

HERMAN
Annie and Daisy's home. I can't
keep him secret in my apartment.
They don't even allow cats there.
(off Buck's look)
I've lived on the street before.
That was Annie and Daisy and I
met each other. After quarantine.
We helped each other survive.
(beat)
If anything happens to me, Annie
and Daisy will take care of Valra.
They're his mother.

BUCK
(nervous and confused)
They are his mother?

HERMAN
They're the ones I say
are his mother.


EXT. HERMAN'S APARTMENT BLDG - DAY

Matt and George watch from a car parked around the corner --
their POV as Buck's car parks and Herman emerges.

MATT
(checking a print-out photo)
That's our spec.
(beat)
Somebody's driving him.

GEORGE
That car looks a lot like Susan's.

Buck emerges from the car. The two of them walk to Herman's
door. Herman hands the grocery sack to Buck and rummages
in his pocket for keys.

MATT (O.S.)
Mr. Shepherd, we're taking you
in for questioning in the murder
of Gregory N. Cal...

Buck turns at the sound of Matt's voice, sees Matt and George
at the same moment that they see him.

MATT
Buck!

BUCK
Matt!

GEORGE
Buck!

BUCK
Dad!!

Herman looks at George and then Buck, surprised to discover
Buck's connection with the cops. He holds Buck's eyes,
wordlessly pleading with him not to say anything.


GEORGE
Buck, what are you doing here?

BUCK
(indicating handcuffs
George holds)
Dad, what are you doing here?

George starts to speak, decides not to make an issue of it
right now.

MATT
Just taking Mr. Shepherd to
headquarters to ask him a few
questions.

Herman walks without resistance to the patrol car, casts a
parting look at Buck, who stands holding the grocery sack.
The car drives away. Buck gazes after it.

The car is out of sight. Buck looks down into the sack.

BUCK
'S POV on baby bottles inside the sack.


INT. COP SHOP - DAY

MATT
Do you know a woman named
Julie N. Calendar?

HERMAN
Ah...I'm not sure...

Matt brings up mug shot of Julie N. Calendar on his computer.

MATT
You were seen with this woman.

HERMAN
(studies computer screen)
Um... maybe I've met her....

Matt hits a few keys and the image of Julie N. Calendar
revolves, giving a view from all angles. The image stops at a
side view, giving a clear view of Julie's spot patterns.
Involuntarily, Herman reaches up to the screen and touches the
spots with wonderment, they so resemble Valra's.

GEORGE
How about this man?

He types and brings up Gregory's mug shot. Herman recoils
slightly, obviously recognizing the face. Matt and George
both pick up on his subtle, self-incriminating reactions.

HERMAN
(tensely, not meeting
detectives' eyes)
Um... I don't think so... Do
they, I mean, does he live
in Little Tencton...?

MATT
(firing)
No! He doesn't live anywhere
because he's dead! He was
murdered last week.

HERMAN
(genuinely shocked)
Dead? Murdered?

A thought hits Matt, and he takes George aside.

MATT
(to George, sotto voce)
You know what I bet? I bet he
took off with their kid.

GEORGE
And if the father had tried to
stop him...

MATT
(nodding)
Could be a motive.

George nods.

MATT
Know what else -- I think you
better find out what kind of
involvement Buck has with this
guy, too.

George nods, concern furrowing his face.

BUCK
(O.S.)
I want to see Mr. Herman Shepherd.

Startled, George turns, sees Buck at the front desk.



GEORGE
Buck!

BUCK
Dad! You shouldn't have arrested
Herman, he didn't do anything.

GEORGE
Buck, we are the police, and that
is our business to determine.

MATT
We didn't arrest him, Buck, we just
brought him in for questioning.

BUCK
(loudly)
Well, he didn't do anything.

Buck pushes past the front desk, goes to George and Matt's
desks and Herman. Herman turns to him in surprise.

HERMAN
Buck. You should go home.

GEORGE
Wait a minute, Buck, I want to know
what your part in this is.

HERMAN
I appreciate that you care, Buck,
but go home now.

GEORGE
What do you know about any of
this, Buck?

Buck turns away, refusing to answer. George steps in front of
him.

GEORGE
(temper showing,
tension rising)
What do you know about this man,
Buck? ... "Herman"?

BUCK
Leave me alone.

Everyone in the cop shop has grown silent and is watching.

George grabs Buck's arm. Buck pulls away. George grabs Buck's
arm more forcefully and pulls Buck around to face him.

GEORGE
(barely controlled)
What's your involvement with
this man, Buck?

Buck angrily pulls his arm out of George's grasp.

BUCK
(defiantly)
I think that Herman is my
real father.

A LOOK passes between Buck and George. Buck is stricken with
regret; his mind struggles for a moment to find words, but
fails. He faces George for a painful second, then turns
abruptly and walks quickly out of the cop shop. George
stands,
unable to speak or react.

Dead silence in the squad room. PAN across the faces in the
squad room; everyone who works there is aware that, even if
they don't know what is going on, they are witnessing
something excruciatingly personal and painful for George.
And they care about him -- Matt most of all.

END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

FADE IN

INT.COP SHOP - DAY

George is at his desk. He speaks with compressed anger, not
looking at Matt as he talks.

GEORGE
I think Buck knows something
and Shepherd doesn't want
Buck to inform on him.
That's why he convinced Buck
that...

He stops, tight-lipped, unable to finish.

MATT
(pause, studies George)
George, you have a... an
emotional thing in this.

George's gaze is fixed on Herman, who gazes back.

GEORGE
He's taken my son.He's been trying
to seduce my own son away from me.

Matt puts his hand on George's shoulder, looks around at the
public setting they are in.

MATT
Let's go someplace.


EXT.COP SHOP ROOF - DAY

Twilight.Matt and George talk alone on the roof.

MATT
Buck always seems to want
someone to follow, someone to
give him answers -- that street
gang, Moodri, Ahpossno, his
history teacher, that Jennifer...

George turns pain-filled eyes to Matt.

GEORGE
This is different, Matthew.

 


MATT
(long pause)
His "real father"... Did he...
Did he carry Buck...

GEORGE
I don't know.
(beat)
But somebody did.And Buck
knows it.There were no secrets
on that ship.
(beat)
We never talk about it.

George is truly threatened.This is a vulnerable spot to him.

MATT
(feeling for George)
That's... that's why you told me
once that you weren't even there
when Buck was born.

GEORGE
(softly, in pain)
We had no choice.The Overseers
decided and that was that.
(an anguish he has carried
for a long, long time)
A father needs to bear his own
child.It's like someone is
taking away your fatherhood --
your manhood -- when you can't
give birth to your own child.

Matt is startled by this novel point of view.

MATT
George -- human fathers don't
have to give birth to their
children to be fathers.

GEORGE
And look at how many of your
human families break up! Look at
how many of your human fathers go
their merry Christmas way and have
nothing to do with raising their
kids! Do I want to be like that?


George wasn't thinking about Matt when he said that, but
Matt's expression shows that George's remark hit a nerve.

MATT
(long beat)
Sometimes it isn't their fault.

GEORGE
Whose fault?

MATT
Humans... Human fathers...
Sometimes they really love their
kids, but they ... just can't ...

GEORGE
(not picking up on the fact that
Matt is thinking of himself)
We finally get the freedom to live
as families... to not have our families
ripped apart at someone else's whim...
and where did we land? On a planet
where families are falling apart
everywhere you look -- where everything
conspires to pull families apart.

MATT
You can't blame Earth for this,
though.Shepherd and your son.


INT.MATT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Matt restlessly channel surfs, finally clicks off the TV,
rises.He goes to a bookcase and slowly pulls a shoebox from
the bottom shelf, sits at a table, opens the shoebox, reaches
in and pulls out a handful of photos.

MATT'S POV on photos: his daughter Kirby at various ages.

CLOSE IN on Matt's pained face as he reflects on what he
missed and lost in his daughter's life.

 


INT.SQUADROOM - NIGHT

After-hours -- not many people around.Herman is leaving.
He passes Albert, who is sweeping the floor.Their eyes meet
in a moment of wordless empathy.Herman continues through the
door.


INT.FRANCISCO HOUSE - DINNER TABLE - NIGHT

The family is eating in uncomfortable silence.

BUCK
Dad, I'm sorry...

GEORGE
(stiff and sarcastic;
deeply wounded)
And to what exactly are you referring?

BUCK
Dad, come on...

GEORGE
Buck, just what is your involvement
with Mr. Shepherd?

BUCK
He's just the guy I told you about...
the guy who was assaulted, who I
drove home.

GEORGE
You didn't mention that this man
was a yedakro.

BUCK
I didn't know it then.

GEORGE
Knowing that would have made the
assault much more understandable.

BUCK
(shocked)
Dad!

GEORGE
I'm not saying it's right.
(beat)
Just... more understandable.

They eat in uncomfortable silence.

GEORGE
So.You took this man home.
Three days ago.
(beat)
Just why were you with him today?

BUCK
We're friends, Dad. Geez.

GEORGE
And he told you that he was the
one who...

The words unexpectedly choke in his throat; after a pause he
continues in a flat, unemotional tone.

GEORGE
... that he was the one who
carried you.

BUCK
He didn't tell me any such thing.

GEORGE
But he implied it.Tried to make
you believe it.

BUCK
He didn't, Dad. He didn't say
anything like that.

GEORGE
He obviously would have to have
some... reason for wanting you
to believe that.

BUCK
He didn't, Dad.

GEORGE
He's a liar if he told you that he
carried you. Because even if he did,
he wouldn't know it.He wouldn't
recognize a one of the children he
carried if he fell over one.
(challenging)
You know that, don't you?

BUCK
Yes.

GEORGE
So this man is a liar.

BUCK
Dad -- he didn't say anything
like that to me.

GEORGE
He never said anything to make
you think that he was the one
who carried you.

BUCK
(relieved that George has
finally gotten it)
No, Dad!

George pauses, turns to meet Buck's eyes.

GEORGE
(with emphasis on every word)
Then just why, Buck --
(beat)
why did YOU say that he was your
"real father"?

Buck is trapped.He makes inarticulate protests.But there
is nothing he can do that will make this better.

GEORGE
{I've had enough.}Na nat laida gaun.

He leaves the table, carrying his plate to the kitchen.


INT.FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Susan enters the bedroom.George lies in bed, reading a
Tenctonese book.

SUSAN
What are you reading, dear?

GEORGE
It's a story about a Tenctonese family.
(beat; with pointed irony)
A perfect family, in perfect sync.

SUSAN
George...

GEORGE
(stiffly)
Yes, Susan?

 

 

SUSAN
George, it's...
(puts her arms around him)
...not easy for any of us.

GEORGE
Why shouldn't it be easy?
We have a nice home.Two cars.
An RV.A trampoline.Three
wonderful children...

SUSAN
And a wonderful marriage...

GEORGE
(still stiffly)
Yes. A wonderful marriage.
So completely bonded.

SUSAN
(long beat)
George, it was hard for me, too.

GEORGE
At least there is no doubt as to
who his mother is.

SUSAN
George -- he knows who his father
is too.A carrier is only a
carrier.
(beat)
George -- we didn't choose it.
The Overseers did.
They bonded me to a stranger.
Using hormones.They forced it.
It was completely mechanical.
It didn't mean anything.
(beat)
We didn't have any choice.

GEORGE
(stiffly)
Didn't we?

 

 

 


60.

DISSOLVE TO FLASHBACK:

INT.SHIP

A large "rec room" area for the slaves.In the oppressive
setting, people engage in various creative and/or spiritual
activities and manage to create spots of beauty and joy in
their lives.In one area, several slaves, men and women,
create fabric art with tools and materials salvaged who knows
where.In another area, some people create holographic
sculptures.Elsewhere, two Elders tell stories to a group of
children and young adults.Some people play alien-looking
games, or converse in groups or two or three.Against one of
the curved walls is a small altar.

A series of egg-shaped protrusions, each 7-8 feet wide and 5-6
feet high, grows from where the curved wall of the room meets
the floor.Like the room itself, these protrusions seem to be
of living membrane, but they seem more alive than the walls;
they pulsate in rough synchronization with the deep bass
THROBBING that seems to resonate throughout.An eerily
harmonious CHORUS OF HUMMING -- men's and women's voices --
rises and falls in pitch like the rising and falling of waves
on the sea; it has no melody or regular form, but, blended
with the pulselike throbbing, the sound is strangely beautiful
and hypnotic.This alien music underlies the scene.

Susan is creating art on a special board;George watches with
pleasure. The board, irregularly shaped, changes color as she
moves her fingers over it, the color that appears determined
by the degree of finger pressure.Her design is beautiful and
seems alive.

The membrane on one of the egg-shaped chambers opens, and from
it emerges a Newcomer couple (RUHTRA
and GEFZHA
), holding
hands. They approach George from behind; he does not see them
at first.

RUHTRA
(O.S.)
Jovan, Stangya.

George turns.

GEORGE
{Ruhtra. Hello.}Ruhtra.Jovan.

George's POV on Ruhtra's face, which bears a strange smile.

 

 

GEORGE
(re: Susan's artwork)
{Ruhtra, look.Ruhtra, kul.
Beautiful, isn't it?}Suku, eevte?

Pull back to show that Ruhtra is with his bride, Gefzha;
they are holding hands.

GEFZHA
(spitefully, to Susan)
{There may be hope. Naklu powa mel.
Keep practicing.}Yas keiteya.

On George as he reacts to the unkind remark.Susan puts the
board down.

George's POV on Ruhtra and Gefzha.Although Gefzha is fairly
attractive physically, her shallow, spiteful personality shows
in her face. Ruhtra, on the other hand, has the sensitive
face of a poet.His resemblance to Buck in manner is striking.
Ruhtra and Gefzha are totally enamored of each other, and an
incongruous mismatch.

Ruhtra's face has a blissful smile -- but looking deeper George
can see a pleading, trapped look in his eyes, and can see that
the movement of his knuckles against her temples appears
mechanical
and disembodied.His eyes and his smile are not in sync.

GEORGE
(to Ruhtra)
Sardonak.

Ruhtra nods.George cannot completely conceal his feelings of
pity and disgust.After a pause, he presses his knuckles
briefly
to the temples of Ruhtra and Gefzha in turn.

GEORGE
(forcing a smile)
{Congratulations.}Naksilatola.

Ruhtra nods.He and Gefzha move away, nuzzling temples.

SUSAN
{At least they get alongHamai' ma koseetu shpank.
now.}

George looks away, no longer able to hide his pity and disgust.

 

 

RESUME FRANCISCOS' BEDROOM

GEORGE
We could have acted as though our
pairing hadn't "taken," and then
the Overseers would have made us
take Sardonak. And then we would
have been bonded eternally, and it
would have been impossible for the
Overseers to bond you with a carrier.

SUSAN
You're blaming the wrong person.

She touches her knuckles to his temple.

SUSAN
And they did allow us to bear a
child together, at last...

She brushes his head spots tenderly with her fingertips.

SUSAN
When we had Emily together --
that was when I truly began
to feel that we were one.

The emotion of that memory floods through George.

GEORGE
(overwhelmed)
Oh, Susan, I love you...
{I love you.} Na sus vot.

He turns and buries his face against her throat.Susan
cradles him like a mother comforting a hurt child, gently
stroking his back.

SUSAN
I love you, George.

George moves to press his body to hers in a passionate embrace
-- a passion driven by deep neediness and pain, his unshed
tears pushing for outlet through sexual union.He HUMS, but
it is a pained, needy sound.Susan's HUMMING blends with his.
At first they do not harmonize, but as they synchronize,
George's breathing grows deeper and calmer, like that of a
child whose nightmares are dissolving into the black sea of
memory.Their humming deepens in pitch as their excitement
grows;Susan's fingertips run lightly up and down George's
back spots, causing his body to move in sensuous response.

DISSOLVE TO FLASHBACK:


INT.SHIP

George and Susan making love inside one of the egg-shaped
chambers.George's lips move on Susan's spots, and we can
hear their synchronized HUMMING, but their hums blend with a
BACKGROUND CHORUS OF HUMMING (lovers in adjacent chambers),
and blend with the rhythmic deep THROBBING into a WEIRD ALIEN
SYMPHONY.The pulsations of the veined chamber walls seems to
respond to the tones of their humming, the glow growing more
intense as their passion grows more intense.Does the ship
run on sexual energy? Perhaps the slaves are galley slaves,
unknowingly powering the ship with their passion?

DISSOLVE TO...


INT.GENETICS LAB - NIGHT

A laboratory.Our first glimpses are of weird alien
equipment, so we might suspect we are still on the ship, but
then we hear...

MATT (O.S.)
I'm glad your friend Norma works
so late -- otherwise I'd have had
to take off work to come see her.

Matt and Cathy enter -- through a normal terrestrial door --
and now we see some recognizable Earth-type lab equipment in
this room as well as the alien stuff.

CATHY
She's a real workaholic -- practically
lives here at the lab.
(beat)
Matt -- we should talk first...

MATT
I'm not saying let's go ahead and
do it.I just wanna find out
about the chances.
(beat)
Besides, weren't you the one
interested in us having a child?

CATHY
But, Matt ... what caused this change in
your feelings so suddenly?

MATT
(almost to himself)
If I just could have another chance...
I could do it right, I know I could...

DR. NORMA LIMITS follows them through the door.

DR. LIMITS
As I was saying, the Tenctonese are,
biologically, an extremely adaptable
species.Our ancestral planet orbits a
double sun and has three major moons,
and conditions were perpetually unstable.
The only way life could develop was by
being able to adapt quickly to drastic
changes in climate and geography.All
life forms on our planet have that ability.

MATT
Why you guMys were able to adapt to here
so fast.

DR. LIMITS
Genetic engineering was one of the first
sciences developed by our people.Nobody
knows how far back we began to learning
how to direct our own evolution in order
to better adapt to our planet's changes.
And there's no telling what the limits of
our genetic adaptability might be.

MATT
And... you think that someday humans and
Tenctonese...

DR. LIMITS
I believe that someday it will be possible.
Whether I'll see it in my lifetime...
(shrugs)
Of course, we have to keep this research
quiet.There's a lot of opposition
out there.

MATT
Now, I just found out that it doesn't
have to be the real father who carries
the pod to term, right?


 

 

DR. LIMITS
Well, it's true that a pod may be
transferred to an unrelated male
under the right circumstances.
During the first quarter of her
incubation, and sometimes longer,
the Tenctonese female puts out a
hormone called razviti which is very
arousing to males of our species.
This is a survival mechanism,
built into our species in case
something happens to the father
before the pod can be transferred.
During this period, a pregnant female
is able to bond with another male and
induce him to carry her child to term.

MATT
So it's do-able!

CATHY
Matt, you're leaping the gun.
There are a lot more problems than that.
Problems at the molecular level.

MATT
But assuming they take care of that
molecular stuff, we could get
somebody else to do the pod thing,
right?
(sudden thought)
Hey, what about human female,
Newcomer male?How would they
manage that one?Would they have
to do some kind of Caesarian on her
and take out the fetus to put into
the guy's pouch?

 

 

 

DR. LIMITS
Well, no, Mr. Sikes.A human female
is capable of carrying a baby for
its full term.
(concealing a smile)
I'm surprised that, being human yourself,
you're not aware of that.

Matt rolls his eyes.Cathy smiles in amusement.

MATT
Okay, okay.But us, we could
use like a surrogate kinda, right?

DR. LIMITS
Well... I wouldn't be so quick to
jump on that solution.

MATT
Why not?

DR. LIMITS
The two of you would have to be
clear about what you would be
getting yourself into.

MATT
What do you mean?

DR. LIMITS
I don't know if you have ever
been around a Newcomer male whose
wife is pregnant...

MATT
(knowingly)
Oh yeah.

DR. LIMITS
Then you may have observed
him going through a period of
irrational jealousy...

MATT
Oh yeah.

DR. LIMITS
...and possibly infatuation with
another potential mate...

 

MATT
Oh yeah.
(to Cathy)
You shoulda seen George.
One day he's telling me that they
don't have "male possessiveness"
toward their mates, a few weeks
later he's going nuts thinking
every guy is after Susan, while
he's falling in love with a
photograph.Tell ya about it later.

DR. LIMITS
(nodding)
It is a typical biological response.
A Tenctonese male during that time
often finds himself plagued by jealousy,
because at an instinctive level he knows
that at that time his mate could bond
with another male.He himself may begin
evaluating other potential mates...

MATT
Sort of as backup in case he gets dumped?

DR. LIMITS
Exactly.So during this period there
is great stress on the pair-bond.

CATHY
And like we were discussing the
other day, Norma, many of our people
don't understand their own biological
responses.The Overseers tried to
keep us ignorant of our own biology.

DR. LIMITS
(nodding)
There is a serious need for public
education in this area.On Tencton,
the extended family would have been
there to help support couples going
through this, and on the ship, no one
had any choices.But here on this
planet, where divorce is so easy...
(to Matt, pointedly)
And you two are are not even married,
are you?

 


MATT
Well, no, but...

He glances furtively at Cathy, sees her glancing furtively at
him, quickly looks away.

DR. LIMITS
You would have to seriously discuss
whether your relationship could survive
Cathy's becoming intimately bonded with
another male.

MATT
Whoa! Wait! They'd... you mean
they'd have to have sex??!

DR. LIMITS
If by sex you mean copulation,
not necessarily.

MATT
(relieved)
They wouldn't have to... to
copulate, then?

DR. LIMITS
No. It helps -- but it is not
absolutely necessary. The bonding
can be induced by intensive exposure
to certain hormones.

CATHY
Matt -- have you forgotten about
the binnaum?

Matt's shocked expression says that he has indeed forgotten.

CATHY
(amused)
Didn't I say we should
talk about this first?

DR. LIMITS
The binnaum's role is very brief.
But -- for us, the term "sex"
means far more than copulation.
The state of biological
synchronization is much more
intimate than copulation.It is
the intimacy that truly defines
a pair as mates.

CU on Matt's expression.

DR. LIMITS
(O.S.)
You would have to ask yourself
how you would feel seeing your mate
in that kind of intimate bonding
with a stranger -- a kind of
bonding that you could never
have with her.


DISSOLVE TO FLASHBACK:

INT.SHIP

George watches helplessly as a pregnant Susan and a STRANGE
MAN -- his features blurred by the shadows of the ship and the
shadows of memory -- are led into a chamber by two Overseers.
Susan moves like someone being led to the guillotine;the
strange man's movements are zombie-like.The Overseers open
the membrane-like door to the chamber.The strange man
disappears first, appearing to be swallowed by the living
chamber. Susan holds back for a last few seconds; he looks
back at George, and their eyes lock briefly in a look of
shared helplessness.Then, prodded by the Overseers, Susan
too disappears into the chamber.

George stands gazing at where the pair disappeared, powerless
and furious at his own powerlessness.


END OF ACT FOUR


ACT FIVE

FADE IN

EXT. TEMPLE - DAY

Sunrise shows over LA

Buck returns to the Temple Sanemval. Still charged up with
pain and defiance from his confrontation with George, he
storms up the steps and pounds on the door. The door is
opened by Torav and a woman Elder, GEESHANA
. Behind them we
can see other people -- a group of thirty to forty, evenly
divided between Elders and people of varying younger ages,
a few humans conspicuous among them, who are assembled for
morning services. Serene sunrise hymns float into the air.

GEESHANA
Finiksa! You are here to attend
morning services? Please use the
chimes to request entrance.
Pounding on the door disrupts
the harmony of the atmosphere we
create.

BUCK
(angrily)
The humans' Jesus associated with
the poorest, the diseased, the outcast.
Isn't that the same thing as Celine
did, when she went to live among the
mud-dwellers of Bashreem?

TORAV
If you wish to attend services,
Finiksa, you may. Please first cleanse
your hearts of anger and disharmony,
so that your hearts will harmonize
in oneness with all of those who are
here. Then join us in our morning
prayers.

BUCK
What is the point of all this? All
this singing, all this reading of
holy books? It's just a hollow shell.

The Elders gaze at Buck with no change of countenance. Buck,
ashamed of his outburst, turns abruptly and leaves, his body
language that of one who knows he will never return.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME - KITCHEN - DAY

George and Susan are grabbing breakfast as both prepare to
leave for work.

GEORGE
Where are the kids this morning?

SUSAN
Buck I don't know. Emily's
upstairs sulking because
I wouldn't let her go out with
those friends we've never met.
(beat)
First Buck becomes a teenager and
we manage to get through that.
Now Emily...

A beat. Suddenly in unison they look at Vessna -- looking
so innocent and uncomplicated as she plays with her alien
toys.

SUSAN
(to Vessna, but too low for her
to hear)
You better not be planning anything
like that.

The front door SLAMS. They turn, see Buck headed upstairs.

SUSAN
Buck, where were you?

BUCK
At Temple Sanemval.

SUSAN
This early? Well, I'm glad you
enjoy the Temple so much, but please
ask me before you take my car?

Buck doesn't want to talk. Goes upstairs. We hear a DOOR
SLAM upstairs. Susan winces.


INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY - LATER

Buck is lying face down on his bed; he probably has been lying
there for hours.

He sits up, looks around, goes downstairs.


LIVING ROOM

He sees Susan's car keys on the table, picks them up and
heads out the front door.


EXT. HIGHWAY TO BEACH - DAY

MOVING SHOT of Buck driving the highway to the beach.


EXT. BEACH USED IN FINAL SCENE OF "LITTLE LOST LAMB" - DAY

We look toward the top of the stairs that lead to the beach.
Buck's figure appears at the top of the stairs (in the same
way as George and Matt did in that scene). He hesitates,
surveys the scene. With heavy-footed steps he walks down the
stairs.


DISSOLVE TO FLASHBACK

INT. SHIP - SLEEPING AREA

George and Susan are in the couples' semiprivate sleeping
area. George moves restlessly.

SUSAN
{Darling, what's the matter?}Neemu, kak retrama?

GEORGE
{The baby is restless.} See eeb te giviklu.

George rubs his pouch area.

SUSAN
{You can tell that?} Vot nak tinel masa?

GEORGE
{Can't you?} Eev vot?

Susan pauses, nods.

SUSAN
{But you're closer to him now. Stu vot'im ro cho't
meea
shpank.
You are more sensitive to him.} Vot'im ro ayela't
meea.


GEORGE
{It wasn't like this with Rorpa.} Eev te apit tis tu
Rorpa.

SUSAN
{Neemu, you know every Neemu, vot wask irevs
incubation is different.}gonsep te reeva.


EXT. BEACH. DAY

Buck is sitting on the rocks where he sat with Moodri in
"Little Lost Lamb," looking out at the spot where Moodri
walked into the waves.


DISSOLVE TO: FLASHBACK

INT. SHIP

Susan cradles George's head and gently massages his pouch as
he lies, face up, moaning and weakly writhing.


EXT. BEACH - DAY

Sunset. Buck still watches the waves. The wind blows spray
over his face, and he repeatedly wipes his face with his hands
-- ocean spray or tears or both? The dialogue between
Buck and Moodri in "Little Lost Lamb" plays over the scene:

BUCK
(V.O.)
I don't know who I am...
or where I belong.

MOODRI (V.O.)
With each breath you join
this Earth.


FLASHBACK TO SHIP

George moans and weakly writhes and Susan continues to
massage him, humming. PAN to show the oppressiveness of the
surroundings and the passive faces of the fellow slaves who
watch with gas-dulled interest, while we hear (continuing
without pause the dialogue from "Little Lost Lamb"):

BUCK
(V.O.)
You saying I belong here?
I hate this world!

MOODRI (V.O.)
We are all stardust, this world,
our world --
We are stardust, scattered, drifting,
yet united by one voice.
The voice that tells the flowers
to bloom, the leaves to turn
to the light. It speaks to you, too.

Suddenly it is over -- George gasps and then lies still,
panting. GEORGE
'S POV on his pouch and his arms, moving
almost involuntarily as though to cradle a baby. Both George
and Susan look forlorn, bereft -- as though they need a baby
to be holding and cooing over. George lies on his back, head
tilted back; tears run from the corners of his closed eyes.

BUCK
(V.O.)
I don't hear it.

MOODRI (V.O.)
I know.
You carry a wound... and
until that wound is cleansed
you will not hear the Voice.

OVERSEER
(O.S.)
Oblakah Sorentzaa...

Susan turns, stands, sees OVERSEER
carrying a swathed bundle.

OVERSEER
{Here. Your baby. Zu. Vots eeba.
He needs to eat.} Esk denta ees.

He transfers the bundle to Susan's arms. Susan stands
motionless for a second. The bundle moves and emits BABY
NOISES. A tiny hand flails upward. Susan carries the bundle
over to where George is lying, reaches for the edge of the
blanket near the infant's face and pulls it back.

CLOSE IN on George's forefinger tracing the "E" on the baby's
left temple.


INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

Herman is holding Valra, making soothing CLICKS and ad-lib
coos. HAPPY BABY NOISES can be heard in response.

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
What a lovely scene.

Herman looks up, startled; his expression instantly changes to
fear and shock.

HERMAN
Julie!


EXT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - NIGHT

Buck pulls into driveway, gets out of the car. He slowly
walks up to the front porch, puts his hand up to open the
door, lowers it. He can't go in there. BUCK
'S POV on the
closed door. He turns his head and looks up at the stars.

VESSNA
(O.S.)
Buck... are you sad?

Buck looks down to see Vessna.

BUCK
Vessna! Oh, hi!
(smiles)
No, I'm not sad.

Vessna holds out her arms to him. Buck sits down on the top
step and lifts her into his lap.

VESSNA
I learned a song about the stars
in Celinist preschool.
You want to hear it?

BUCK
Sure.

VESSNA
(singing)
{The stars sing to me,See assari zeel ot ras.
Sing that we are all One Light. Zeel mas' kee 'im tam
sing
geea.
One Light shines through us, Sing geea t'enish' sip
su,
One Voice sings through us... Sing sov te zeela sip
su...

Buck embraces her and she buries her face against him.


INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

Julie N. Calendar stands next to Herman and Valra, a friendly
smile on her face.


JULIE
(good-humoredly)
Herman! Where'd you take off to?
I've looked all over for you.
And for my baby.

She leans toward the bundle, reaches for the blanket and
uncovers the baby's face.

JULIE
(cooing baby-talk style)
Poor witto baby. Let Mommy
look at you.
(ad-libbing CLICKS)
Oh, you're so cute. So handsome.
Oo, you have Mommy's spots!

Herman pulls the blanket back over the baby's face and turns
so that the bundle is out of Julie's reach.

HERMAN
You can't have him.

JULIE
(still cooing baby-talk style)
Ooh, don't be silly.
(reaching toward the bundle)
Come on, sweetie. Come to Mommy.
You want Mommy, don't you.

HERMAN
I'll get you your money back.

JULIE
Oh, Herman. Let's not be silly.
You did your job, now it's done.
(to baby, cooing)
Is that Herman a siwwy boy? Yes,
him is!

HERMAN
You people are crooks with no
morals. Not fit to raise a child.

JULIE
(bursts into laughter)
Morals? You talk about morals?
We all know what you are.

HERMAN
I'm talking about...

He can't articulate what he means.

JULIE
Don't worry. He won't be raised
by me. He's going to a good home.

HERMAN
(confused)
What do you mean?

JULIE
Somebody who's paying ten thousand
dollars for him. Who would give him
a better home than that?

HERMAN
You mean... you're planning to
sell him?

JULIE
Already sold.
( with goodhumored guilt)
Okay, okay. I didn't tell you
because I knew you'd want half,
instead of just your regular fee.

HERMAN
... half?

JULIE
(giving in good-naturedly)
Tell you what, you're such a
good friend of mine... I'll give you
an oil well to make up for it.
No, two oil wells! Fair enough?

HERMAN
No!

JULIE
I swear that's all you get!

HERMAN
No!

JULIE
(beat; incredulously)
You trying to tell me you've
bonded with the brat or something?
Don't give me that fgo-monk,
you've done this a hundred times!

 

HERMAN
What'd you do to your husband?

JULIE
(amused sigh)
He didn't want to give up the baby
either. And he had less excuse
than you -- he didn't even carry
the kid.
(shaking her head in amazement)
Had some kind of... empathic birth
thing, while you were delivering,
I guess. He felt like he was giving
birth to the kid himself. Weird.

HERMAN
So you killed him?

JULIE
Well -- it wasn't just that.
He went and gave back the
deposit money and told the buyer
the deal was off!
(beat)
He said that when we found you,
all he wanted was his kid.
We had a big fight about it...
one thing led to another...
(sighs)
I'll never understand men.
(beat)
I fixed things, though. I went
back to the buyer the next day.
They're ready to pay on delivery.

HERMAN
No, no, no.

JULIE
(hint of a threat)
And they're starting to get impatient.

HERMAN
(resolutely)
No.

JULIE
Why you slimy little kakstu...
you made your own deal, didn't you!

Julie pulls out a gun. Herman backs up. Julie advances as
Herman continues to retreat. Herman is backed up against a
wall and can retreat no farther. Julie presses the gun
against the squirming bundle Herman holds.

JULIE
If I don't get the kid, I don't
get the money, and if I don't
get the money, there's no reason
to let the kid stay alive...

Herman roars and suddenly kicks Julie in the abdomen, sending
her reeling. The gun goes flying, lands on the ground several
yards from both. Herman lunges for it, but he is slowed down
by the fact that he is trying to protect the baby from injury.
Julie seizes one of the 2X4 that supports the tent-like
partitions of the nursery.

Julie swings the 2X4 at Herman. Herman ducks just in time.
His arms still occupied with the baby, he kicks Julie again,
and lunges again for the gun, this time successfully. He
holds it awkwardly in one hand as Julie raises the 2X4 again.

HERMAN
(waving gun at her)
You just get out of here.

Julie looks at him, sighs, turns away.

JULIE
(sounding defeated)
All right. You win.
My clients will just have to wait
until I can make another one.

Suddenly she whirls around, swinging the 2x4 like a baseball
bat.

JULIE
But you are not getting this one.

The 2x4 is aimed to hit Valra and Herman with full Newcomer
strength. Just before it makes contact with Valra, Herman
FIRES the gun, and Julie lurches backward. She falls,
collapsing the entire tent-nursery structure. She lies still.
We hear the baby CRYING. Pink blood is splattered on the
sheets and on Herman.

HERMAN
(panicked)
Oh, Celine. Oh, Celine.
{What am I going to do.} Kak gano na vut.

He looks around quickly, grabs a baby bottle full of milk,
and, his arms cradling the baby, gun awkwardly dangling from
one hand and baby bottle clutched in the other, he runs out of
the warehouse and into the night.

END OF ACT FIVE


ACT SIX

FADE IN

INT. MATT'S APT - NIGHT

CATHY
(smiling and shaking head)
I can't get over how you can just
talk to Norma about hiring a...
professional like you're ordering
a cup of coffee or something.

MATT
You were embarrassed?
(beat)
You were embarrassed?
When you go telling the world
about copulating and sex classes
and stuff?

CATHY
What's embarrassing about that?

MATT
I give up.
(beat)
But, really, what's supposed to be so
terrible about using a surrogate
if you have to? Humans are starting
to do it sometimes. It's
controversial, but it's not like
some terrible secret sin.

CATHY
I guess you can credit the Celinists
for that. Celinism has a lot of
influence in our culture, even among
non-Celinists.

MATT
Religion. I shoulda known. Why do
religions think they have to set up
rules like that, anyway?

CATHY
I'm a biochemist, not a cultural historian.
(beat)
I think it has something to do with
the Celinist ideal of equality between
the sexes.

MATT
Equality between the sexes?

CATHY
In the pre-Celinist era, women had
just about all the power, and most
people thought of males as inferior.
A lot of Celinist laws were meant
to improve the status of males.

MATT
(smiling)
Well, you're not a Celinist. So
does that mean you still consider
us poor males to be inferior?

CATHY
I don't disagree with Celinist ideals.
I just have a different way of
(seductively moving her head
toward his)
"connecting" ...to the universe.

They kiss for a moment, then come up for air.

CATHY
(musing)
Hmm, you know... if we ever could
have a baby together, and we use
a surrogate carrier, I guess he
could provide us his milk, too.

MATT
(long beat)
... His milk?

CATHY
Yes, neither the mother's nor the
father's milk alone is nutritionally
complete. The child has to be fed
by both parents.
(off Matt's look)
You do know how the pod is nourished
while the father is carrying it,
don't you? Well...

MATT
(long beat)
Wait... you're saying that Vessna...
that George... Nah....


CATHY
Yes, I'm sure he nursed Vessna.
And his other children.

MATT
No, no, he didn't.

CATHY
(oh, poor George)
Oh, you mean George is unable
to breast-feed?

MATT
No!! I mean, yes!

CATHY
Well, either he used his own milk,
or he found another male to
provide it.

MATT
Uh-uh. No way. He never said
anything about nursing Vessna.
Uh-uh. No.

CATHY
Did you ever ask him?

MATT
No!!!!

CATHY
Then how do you know he didn't?

MATT
Because he didn't!

Cathy blinks at this logic.

MATT
Wait. Day care. Vessna was in
day care at the station for months.
(in triumphant relief)
George never nursed her.

CATHY
How did he feed her?

MATT
(smugly triumphant)
With a bottle.

CATHY
Of milk?

MATT
Acourse.

CATHY
And where did the milk come from?

MATT
George brought it from...
(dawning realization)
...home.

CATHY
It was probably a blend of
both his and Susan's milk.

MATT
(with an edge of desperation)
Well, besides he'd have to
have... he doesn't have...

He moves his hand in front of his chest, vaguely describing
breasts.

CATHY
Men don't swell up as much as
women when they lactate.
Physiologically speaking, the
Tenctonese male's breasts consist
of a kind of tissue that...

MATT
(exploding)
Cathy, this is perverted, my
partner doesn't...

CATHY
(curious, not judgmental)
What if your partner was a woman?
Would you be as upset by the
idea that she had breast-fed
her children?

MATT
Oh, man.... I never appreciated
how simple life used to be...

 


INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - DAY

Sunrise. Annie and Daisy from a night's work to their
warehouse home, are shocked at the bloody scene that greets
them.

DAISY
(alarmed)
... Herman?


EXT. ALLEY #2 - DAY

Herman hides behind a dumpster with Valra in his arms.


INT. SQUADROOM - DAY

George comes in. Matt is absorbed in a report.

GEORGE
Good morning, Matthew.

MATT
(not looking up from report)
Morning, George.

GEORGE
What is that you're reading?

MATT
Police report on an assault.
I remember it mentioned some
odd things found at the scene...
wait, I'm sure it's in here...

Zepeda approaches George's desk.

ZEPEDA
George, I know you're working on
another case, but I wanted to
talk to you about this one I just
got handed.

She gestures toward her desk; George looks, and sees Joy
Stick sitting there. George grimaces at the sight of her.
Joy coolly nods a greeting back.

ZEPEDA
(calling to Joy)
Joy, please tell Detective Francisco
what you were telling me.

Joy walks over to George's desk.

JOY
Guy approached me, asked me if I could
get some of my girls and yedakros to
make some Newcomer babies for him.

GEORGE
Babies? Why?

JOY
Seems he has some buyers waiting --
human buyers who want to buy Newcomer
babies.

GEORGE
(with sarcasm)
And this is against your "morals"?

JOY
(indignant)
Selling children? That's slavery!
You bet it's against my morals.
(to Zepeda)
Look, I set it all up for you.
I don't know his name, but I'm
meeting him at the slugsicle stand
at three. Wire me, whatever you need.

ZEPEDA
Come on.

George watches as Joy follows Zepeda out; Joy looks back
at him, calmly returning his gaze. George's opinion of her is
somewhat shaken, if not actually altered.

MATT
(re: report)
Wait a minute... Bingo! I knew there
was a mention of baby bottles in here!

GEORGE
Baby bottles?

MATT
They found a broken baby bottle and
two intact baby bottles filled with a
green liquid they presumed to be
Newcomer breast milk.

 

GEORGE
That sounds like Newcomer breast milk.

MATT
Left on the ground? In an alley?
In the middle of the night? Doesn't
sound odd to you?

GEORGE
Yes, that is odd.

MATT
George -- this is the report on
Herman Shepherd's assault.

George reacts, digests for a beat, gets it.

GEORGE
Let's go pay a visit to that alley.


EXT. ALLEY - DAY

George and Matt pull up by the alley to see that it is blocked
by a police car and an ambulance, both with lights flashing.

MATT
Uh-oh.

Several paramedics transporting a victim on a stretcher, with
IVs and an oxygen mask. Two NEWCOMER COPS follow. Matt and
George get out of their car, run toward the stretcher.

MATT
Police. What happened here?

NEWCOMER COP #1
Here already? You detectives don't
waste any time, do you?

George looks at the face of the unconscious Newcomer woman on
the stretcher as the paramedics load her.

GEORGE
Matt! That's Julie N. Calendar!

Matt holds up a baby shirt, spattered with pink blood.

MATT
I think it's obvious what happened here.
Let's get an APB out on Shepherd.



INT. HOSPITAL - DAY

George and Matt are questioning Julie N. Calendar, who lies in
intensive care. Her DOCTOR
, a Newcomer woman, attends nearby.

JULIE
It was Herman Shepherd...
he killed my husband...
stole my baby... and he
tried to kill me when I tried
to get my baby back...

MATT
Why didn't you call the police?

JULIE
I was so scared. I didn't know
what to do. I was so frantic,
all I could think about...
(starts to sob)
...was my baby, my baby.

Julie presses her face against her pillow, dissolving into
"uncontrollable" sobbing. George turns away, feeling her
"pain."

GEORGE
(gently)
But if you'd called the police,
we could have...

DOCTOR
I'm afraid you're upsetting my
patient.

GEORGE
Her baby's been kidnapped,
that's why she's upset.
We're trying to help her
get him back.

RADIO VOICE
One William one-fifty-two, come in...

MATT
One William one-fifty-two...

Matt confers with radio in the corner of the room for a
moment, then takes George aside. They confer sotto voce, but
nevertheless they are within earshot of Julie.

MATT
Ballistics says it's a match --
the same gun that killed her
husband wounded her.

George nods.

George and Matt exit the hospital room. Julie lifts her face
from the pillow to watch them leave. MOVE IN on the flicker
of an evil smile on Julie's face.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME

The Franciscos at dinner.

EMILY
And you guys are always telling me
what to wear, too. It's hard enough
to be the only Nuke at school without
my parents forcing me to look like a
total dweeb.

SUSAN
Emily, we just want you to grow up
the proper right way.

EMILY
You mean you just want to control
me, make me into what you want.

SUSAN
Emily, there are a lot of unhealthy
influences on this planet. We just
want to protect you from them.

EMILY
Protect, right. Like clothes could
hurt me. Right, Mom.

SUSAN
(exasperated)
Emily. You used to be so sweet.
You used to listen to your parents.
Whatever is doing this to you, we
have to find a way to stop it.

Emily glares and attacks her food.

 

GEORGE
(with stiff smugness)
Oh, and by the way, Buck, they're
looking for your friend Herman.
-- Going to charge him with murder.

BUCK
Murder?

GEORGE
Seems he stole a baby and murdered
its father.

BUCK
He wouldn't... do that.

Buck's protest lacks conviction; for all his sympathy for
Herman, he is not so sure Herman wouldn't kill to keep Valra.
George cannot conceal his bitter triumph as he nails Herman's
coffin.

GEORGE
And he attempted to murder the
mother as well. We have witnesses
who saw him running from the scene
with a gun and what appeared to be
a baby, we have ballistics evidence...

SUSAN
Can we please talk about something
more pleasant at the dinner table?

EMILY
Yeah, like criticizing me and
telling me what to do.

Phone RINGS. Emily jumps off her chair, runs to the living
room to answer it.

EMILY
Hello... Yes, he's here.
Buck -- telephone for you.

BUCK
Who is it?

EMILY
I dunno, some guy.

SUSAN
Emily, what has happened to your
phone manners?

Emily rolls her eyes.

EMILY
(into phone,
with exaggerated politeness)
May I ask who's calling, pleeeease?
(to Buck)
Says he's a friend of yours. Guess
he doesn't have a name.

Buck goes to the living room to answer the phone, annoyed.
Emily throws the phone receiver at him as she passes.

BUCK
Hey, Em, don't blame me. I'm
not the one trying to tell you
what to do.

Emily rolls her eyes again and returns to the table, where
she re-attacks her food.


LIVING ROOM

Buck on the phone.

BUCK
Hello?

The annoyance on his face changes to urgency.

BUCK
Yes. Okay...

He casts his eyes around, noting the lack of privacy.

BUCK
I'll talk to you when I get there.
Tukas.

He hangs up the phone.

BUCK
Mom, I gotta take your car.

SUSAN
What for?

BUCK
Gotta go meet a friend.


GEORGE
We haven't finished dinner.

BUCK
I'm not hungry.

Buck rushes out the door.

George looks disturbed and suspicious.


EXT. LITTLE TENCTON - NIGHT

Buck drives through Little Tencton. He passes the
litter-strewn streets, the Newcomer hookers on the street
corners, a rundown Tenctonese movie theater playing a
Tenctonese-dubbed "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," a
storefront church with a crude hand-painted sign reading
"First Celinist Church of Jesus," milk bars, cheap Tenctonese
restaurants, milk-drunk men staggering down the street, broken
windows, graffiti... It is an alien world to Buck now. It
pulls him with longing at the same time it repels him. He is
part of this world and yet he is not.


EXT. ALLEY #2 - NIGHT

Buck gingerly turns the car down the dark alley, pulls beside
the dumpster, opens the car window.

BUCK
(nervously)
Herman....?

Herman, holding Valra, emerges from the shadows behind the
dumpster. He opens Buck's car door, leaps in.

HERMAN
Buck! Buck! We have to find Annie
and Daisy... I shot Valra's mother.
The cops have already found her.
Celine, what am I going to do.
I don't care what happens to me.
But Valra... I have to find Annie
and Daisy. They'll take care of him.

BUCK
Um... that warehouse?

 


HERMAN
No, they won't be there anymore,
the cops know about that place.
Go up and down the streets where
the hookers are ... Diller Avenue,
that's the main one.

BUCK
Um... maybe we should look for a
place where you can hide, first.

HERMAN
I don't care what happens to me.
I have to find Annie and Daisy.
They'll take Valra someplace safe.

BUCK
If we drive around with Valra,
then if they catch us they'll
catch Valra too.

HERMAN
(beat)
You're right. We have to hide
Valra first. Then come back and
look for Annie and Daisy.

BUCK
I don't know where to hide in
Little Tencton...

HERMAN
There are lots of places. Go
this way.

Herman indicates and Buck turns the car.

HERMAN
Buck... I don't know what's going
to happen to me...I guess I may not
see Valra grow up...
(beat)
Buck, he needs someone who can teach him.
Can you teach him, Buck?
Teach him the ways of our people...
Teach him the ways of this world...
Teach him how to become what he
was meant to be...

 


INT. CAR - MOVING - NIGHT

Matt drives while George studies a hand-held device that
BEEPS.

MATT
Feels kind of odd to be
tailing your son as though
he were a spec.

GEORGE
Susan got that radio tracking
device for her car in case the
car was ever stolen. I never
imagined I'd be using for this.

Spot Susan's car parked by an old warehouse.

GEORGE
There it is.

MATT
Parked there, you're lucky
there's anything left of it.

GEORGE
I think we should call for backup.


INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE #2 - UPSTAIRS - DAY

Matt and George enter the warehouse, both with guns drawn. It
appears silent and deserted.

MATT
You hear anything?

They are silent for a moment, listening. George SNIFFS.

MATT
...Smell anything? Like
a baby's been here, maybe?

GEORGE
Maybe.

BABY NOISES suddenly are heard, sounding huge in the cavernous
silence of the warehouse. Matt and George pause to ascertain
the direction of the sound.

GEORGE
I'll check upstairs.

He starts up a flight of stairs. He is nearly at the top
when, from above, Herman leaps on his back.

Herman pummels George's head with adrenaline-fueled fury and
desperation. Herman's face is frightening -- twisted with
years of pent-up rage and grief; we know he would not hesitate
to kill George at this moment, or anyone else who threatened
Valra to him. He pounds George's face and head with
potentially skull-cracking fist blows.

George struggles, moves his coat back in an attempt to reach
his shoulder holster. Herman sees the shoulder weapon, tries
to grab it too. They struggle for the shoulder weapon.

HERMAN
(shouting)
Buck! Take Valra!
Hurry! Run! Get out of here!

Buck is at the far wall, holding Valra, looking for another
way downstairs. But, seeing the crazed Herman on George
punching George's head, he places Valra on the floor, runs
over and pulls Herman off George.

BUCK
Herman! Are you crazy? That's
my dad!

George has his gun out of his shoulder holster, points it
at Herman. Matt and BACKUP COP
run upstairs.

MATT
George! What's going on up here!

GEORGE
(panting)
I caught our spec.

He and Buck look at each other without speaking.

BACKUP COP
Hey, here's the kid on the floor
here. I'll take him down to the car.

HERMAN
(wailing)
NO!!!!!!!!!

Herman's wail does not cease when his breath runs out. It
continues, echoing, reverberating, wavering... through
George's memory... becoming the agonized wail of thousands.
Underneath the wail pulses a deep slow clang of doom as the
scene around George shifts and blurs, somehow starting to
look like the ship...

Matt's POV: George wavers, starts involuntarily to lower gun.

MATT
George!

Matt grabs George's hand to steady the gun on Herman.
George's face is still stricken with memory; he is hardly
aware of the present-day scene.

MATT
George! This guy is one of those
yoyos you hate! -- you're not
thinking clearly, man!

Herman, seeing their attention off him, starts to creep away.
Matt, his hands over George's on George's gun, fires a
warning shot that goes high over Herman's head. Herman
stops, falls to his knees in despair. He looks defeated and
deflated, having lost what really mattered.

The Backup Cop puts handcuffs on the now unresisting Herman.

BACKUP COP
(to George)
I'll take the suspect
in the black-and-white,
and run the kid over
to Child Welfare.

George nods dazedly without speaking. The echoes of that
heartrending wail still reverberate in his mind, leaving him
deeply shaken.

END OF ACT SIX


ACT SEVEN

INT. SQUADROOM - DAY

George, Matt, Herman, and Buck enter the squad room. George's
head and face bear serious bruises from Herman's attack.

GEORGE
Buck, after you give your
statement, you can leave.

INT. COP SHOP - INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY

A court-appointed lawyer, a human man, sits with Herman but
takes little interest in the proceedings.

MATT
So your claim is that the gun
belonged to Ms. Calendar and
she threatened you with it.

HERMAN
(listlessly)
Yes...
(beat)
Those Child Welfare people --
they'll let me see Valra sometimes?

MATT
Probably, I don't know -- that
isn't my department.

HERMAN
They're going to give Valra to Julie?

GEORGE
It's her child.
(firmly)
You had no right to take someone else's
child.

HERMAN
I don't care what happens to me.
I only care about what happens to Valra.

GEORGE
(with a touch of sarcasm)
If you are concerned that Ms. Calendar
will sell her son, don't worry. Child
Welfare will be keeping an eye on her.


HERMAN
That's even worse. Now she'll
have to keep him. At least the
people who wanted to buy him,
whoever they are, wanted him.

GEORGE
If you had seen her -- in that
hospital -- crying for her lost child
as though both her hearts were broken...

Herman looks away.

HERMAN
(softly)
I loved her, you know... you can't
help it. To bond, to synchronize
for the Creation of a child...

GEORGE
So how did you find out about
this alleged plan to sell him?

HERMAN
She told me.

GEORGE
So then you shot her.

HERMAN
She was trying to kill Valra.

GEORGE
Why would she try to kill her
own baby?

HERMAN
Because I wouldn't give him back.

GEORGE
(sarcastically quoting)
"Can't have him, might as well
kill him."

HERMAN
(beat; shrugs helplessly)
Yes.

GEORGE
So then why did you shoot
Gregory N. Calendar?

HERMAN
I didn't. I didn't even know he
was dead until you told me, here
yesterday.

GEORGE
Ballistics says that the bullets
that shot Julie N. Calendar and
Gregory N. Calendar came from the
same gun.

HERMAN
It was Julie's gun. She shot
Gregory.

GEORGE
You expect us to believe any of this?

Herman shrugs listlessly. Matt and George look at each other,
leave interrogation room to confer in the squadroom.


INT. SQUADROOM - DAY

MATT
Whaddya think?
(beat; with personal concern)
Are you sure you don't have an
emotional thing in this?

GEORGE
No. I mean, yes, I am sure.
(beat)
No, I'm not sure. I do have an
emotional "thing" in this. But I
cannot allow that to affect my
police work.
(businesslike)
Shepherd admits to shooting Julie N.
Calendar. But he and the victim
have very different accounts of the
circumstances of the shooting. Each
of their stories points to the other
as the killer of Gregory N. Calendar.
We need to find evidence that
corroborates one story or the other.

MATT
Ms. Calendar does have a criminal
record. That sorta tips things in
Shepherd's favor a little.

 

GEORGE
A little.

Zepeda approaches.

ZEPEDA
George, I wanted to tell you.
The sting that Joy Stick helped us
set up worked. We caught the guy
who wanted Joy Stick to sell him
Newcomer babies.

She directs George's attention to DWAYNE PIPE, visible through
the window of another interrogation room. A well-dressed
member of the DA's office is sternly asking him questions; a
lawyer whispers in Pipe's ear.

GEORGE
(distracted)
That's great, Beatrice.
(suddenly struck by
the connection)
Sell him Newcomer babies?

ZEPEDA
Guy's name is Dwayne Pipe. He's
been acting as a middleman for
some wealthy humans, looking
for Newcomers who would make
babies for them.

George and Matt are attentive.

ZEPEDA
Seems a few months ago he made a
deal with your victims -- the
Calendars.

George reacts.

MATT
Bingo. George, you wanted
corroborating evidence.
Ask and ye shall receive.

ZEPEDA
The Calendars were paid
ten thousand down, forty thousand
more to be paid upon delivery --
no pun intended.

MATT
Fifty thousand -- woo! I had a
baby selling case years ago and
they were only going for ten thousand.

ZEPEDA
Newcomers don't have unplanned
pregnancies, so there aren't any
unwanted Newcomer babies around.
Apparently having a real live alien
is the newest status symbol for
certain human millionaires.

George reacts.

ZEPEDA
Anyway, two weeks ago Mr. Calendar
returned the money and said the deal
was off. So Dwayne Pipe went to look
for somebody else to make a baby for
his buyer. But he picked the wrong
pimp to ask.

George looks at the nervous Pipe, who is dictating his
statement almost faster than the assistant DA can type; Pipe
is obviously eager to do anything to get out of the doo-doo
he's in.

ZEPEDA
Pipe is singing like a tecolote.
With the leads he's providing,
the DA's gonna bust this black
market baby ring.

Buck approaches George and Matt.

BUCK
I'm done with my statement.
Can I see Herman before I leave?

George looks at Buck for a moment, debating.

MATT
(getting George off the hook)
Buck, we're in the middle of
interrogating him. That's not
allowed.

BUCK
'S POV on Herman in the interrogation room, slumped in
defeat.

 

BUCK
I understand.
What are you going to do to him?

GEORGE
Well... we just got some information
that might exonerate him. He may
go free.

BUCK
Will he get his baby back?

GEORGE
That's up to Child Welfare. Somehow,
I can't see them giving a baby to
a bunch of prostitutes who keep
him in a condemned warehouse.

BUCK
You took Herman's child from him.
Don't you feel like an Overseer, Dad?

GEORGE
Of course not. I was only doing
my job. And besides, it isn't
his child. Not biologically.
He's only a carrier.
(beat; something invisible snaps)
That's it.

BUCK
(startled)
What?

GEORGE
We're going in there.


INT. INTERROGATION ROOM

George walks into the interrogation room, followed by Matt and
the apprehensive Buck. George sits facing Herman. They look
at each other without speaking for a moment.

GEORGE
(abruptly)
You really think that you were
the one who carried my son?

Herman is startled by the blunt question; after a pause he
shakes his head helplessly.

HERMAN
I don't know.
(beat)
I look at people who are around
the right age, and I always
wonder...

MATT
(taking a deep breath)
George, not that it's any of my
business...

George looks at Matt.

MATT
But this business about what makes
a real father... My old man mighta
provided the juice, but that didn't
make him any kinda real father.
If anybody was like a real father
to me, it was my Uncle Jack.
Hadn'ta been for him, I don't know
where I'd be today.

GEORGE
Yes, I know what you are trying
to say.

MATT
What I'm trying to say is...
(turning to Buck)
So somebody else gave birth to you!
So it mighta been Shepherd here or it
mighta been somebody else! What the
hell does it matter!

GEORGE
(to Buck)
I remember when we found you. After
the crash. I couldn't believe we
got you back again...

BUCK
But if you hadn't found me...
would I be forgotten now, like
Rorpa?

George is taken aback. He doesn't speak for a moment.

 


GEORGE
(softly)
Buck. We haven't forgotten Rorpa.
Susan and I cry for him every day,
inside.

BUCK
You and Mom act like he was never
born.

GEORGE
(long beat)
We thought we were sparing you
children by not talking about him.
(long beat; with anguish)
Maybe we were wrong. Maybe there
are a lot of things we should
have talked about. But our past
was so full of pain. So much
loss and grief. We wanted you
and Emily to have a new life.
Not to be chained to the horrors
of our past.

MATT
One thing I have learned --
you don't get free of the past by
simply pretending it doesn't exist.

George slowly shakes his head, acknowledging the truth of
Matt's statement.


INT. FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT

Susan and George are seated on the couch, talking to Buck and
Emily. Emily sits on the end of the couch, quietly witnessing
the conversation and deeply affected by what she sees.

BUCK
...One day he was just gone.
And no one even told me what
happened.

SUSAN
You were only three, how could
you have understood?

BUCK
I understood that he was gone
and you couldn't protect him.
(once again a hurt and vulnerable
ten-year-old)
And then it became my turn to
find out that you couldn't protect
me either.

GEORGE
We tried to prepare you...But
somehow never in my heart could I
believe that it could happen,
that it was going to happen,
that we could lose you. So
how could you have believed it?

SUSAN
Being powerless to protect your own
children -- there can be nothing
as painful as that.

GEORGE
There are a lot of people we
never talk about. Not only Rorpa.

BUCK
(long beat; realizing)
You've never told us about your
parents. Your families.
(looks at Susan,
the George)
Either of you.

SUSAN
Buck, Emily... There isn't much
to tell that's happy.
(beat)
Living that life, you learn
to... let go. To forget.

Forgetting has not been perfect, though; Susan and George are
both maintaining the floodgates of their shared and separate
griefs. They holding each other tightly, suggesting how much
they needed each other's support during their lives as slaves.

BUCK
Happy or not -- it's our own
history, Dad. Our own family.

GEORGE
(slowly losing
himself in memory)
There were some times that were
happy... I remember when a miracle
happened -- I discovered my
younger brother Ruhtra on the
Gruza. I didn't even know
I had a younger brother! He was
born after they took me! But he
could tell me about my parents!
And a sister I didn't know I had
either! Oh -- I felt like I had
been reborn. It was like seeing
them all again...

Eyes closed, George's face is lit by the memory of that
happiness, and then a wave of pain hits him as he relives
what happened to Ruhtra. Buck can see his pain and is deeply
affected.

GEORGE
...and we had children -- Susan and I...
That gave us happiness... We had
Rorpa, first. Then you, then Emily...

Susan and George are clutching hands tightly, Susan
overwhelmed by the memories as well.

GEORGE
... we had... happiness in our lives...
And then...
(his voice becomes a whisper)
... they took Rorpa...
And I knew the same thing was going
to happen to you too ... Emily wasn't
born yet...

He pauses, lost in reliving those days.

GEORGE
... And you were such a special
child. So sensitive... so
searching... you always felt
things so deeply. It was
hard enough to think about
them taking you... hard enough to
bear the day that they took you --
but the hardest thing was the
thought of you in their hands,
the thought of what was happening
to such a sensitive, soulful child...

CU on Buck's face, eyes full of tears.

GEORGE
I only wish -- I only wish I could
have defended you the way that
Herman defended Valra today.

BUCK
(astonished)
The way Herman -- Dad, Herman
almost killed you!

GEORGE
(touching his bruised face)
I know.

George smiles with vicarious pride, pride at an act of
courageous resistance by a fellow slave.

GEORGE
He fought to save his child.
(beat)
He fought... to save his child...

George breaks down, under the combined weight of his sense of
shame, powerlessness and failure and of the grief he has long
carried. Buck moves to put his arms around his father. The
emotional dam breaks through and they cry in each other's
arms.

BUCK
I love you, Dad. I'm so glad
you're my father.


INT - LIVING ROOM - LATER

The doorbell RINGS. Emily goes to answer it. The Elder,
Geeshana, stands in the doorway.

GEESHANA
Is Finiksa here?

EMILY
Um... he's over there.

Buck rises to see who is looking for him, stops in his tracks
when he sees Geeshana.

BUCK
... Fron Geeshana.

He braces for a reprimand from her.

GEESHANA
(to George)
And you are Finiksa's father.

GEORGE
(proudly, and ready
to defend Buck if necessary)
Yes.

GEESHANA
Your son is a very special,
courageous young man.
On our own planet, he would have
been destined to be some kind of
spiritual leader. And he has a
very special destiny on this planet.

Buck is surprised -- he had been expecting a reprimand.

GEESHANA
You are always welcome at Temple
Sanemval, Finiksa. We need your
strong spirit there.

She touches her knuckles to Buck's temple, and Buck returns
the gesture.

BUCK
Thank you, Fron Geeshana.

GEORGE
I know that Buck is special. I am so
very lucky to him as a son.

Buck and George embrace in warm friendship, stand beaming with
their arms around each other.

END OF ACT SEVEN


ACT EIGHT

FADE IN

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - LIVING ROOM

George attends to the ceremonial candles in the living room.
The bruises are gone from his head, attesting to the fact
that days or weeks have passed. Tenctonese harp music plays.

Herman comes into the living room, dressed in ceremonial
robes, followed by Buck and Albert.

HERMAN
(nervously)
I'm not sure what to do.

BUCK
Herman, wait, let me adjust that.
Hi, Matt.

Matt smiles a greeting while Albert straightens out some
misaligned sections on Herman's robe. Herman looks up from
watching what Albert is doing, and finds himself looking
straight at Susan, who has been studying him to see if he
seems at all familiar.

Herman wonders the same thing. Herman and Susan hold each
other's eyes as each searches for anything familiar about the
other. Finally, they wordlessly agree that neither
recognizes the other at all.

A trace of relief shows on Susan's face as she exits the
room, a trace of disappointment on Herman's.

Matt re-enters the living room with Cathy.

CATHY
Matt, I'm so glad you made it.
Has the Muktibuti ceremony been
explained to you?

MATT
I thought it was just for the
family.

CATHY
Well, it is, it's for Valra's family
They had to invite the Franciscos,
of course, since they're using the
Franciscos' house, and besides, they're
expecting the Franciscos to help them
do the ceremony right. And they let
the Franciscos invite us too.
(beat)
Normally, it takes a week to prepare
for Muktibuti, but they didn't
want to wait; they wanted to celebrate
the court decision this morning.

Vessna leads Annie and Daisy come into the living room,
holding one with each hand; Annie and Daisy too wear
ceremonial robes, and their hooker makeup has been replaced by
a more demure makeup.

DAISY
You're quite an artist, Vessna.
What do you have to show us here,
another painting?

Vessna leads them to a corner.

VESSNA
No, my old zodiash wheel.
I'm too big for it now.
You can have it for Valra,
if my mom and dad say it's okay.

ANNIE
Well, thank you very much.

Vessna looks at George, who nods.

BUCK
{It is time to begin.} To te ore ot negim.

A Tenctonese hymn is heard in the background. Albert, the
Franciscos and Cathy do the Tenctonese blessing of touching
both hearts and then temples; observing them, Herman, Annie,
Daisy, and Matt quickly follow suit, Matt becoming temporily
flustered over the question of whether he should touch "both
hearts" or just his one.

ALBERT
Muktibuti is a ceremony that
welcomes the new life into the arms
of Andarko and Celine and into
the hearts of the family as well.
I am honored to stand in as
Binnaum for this ceremony.

Albert hands a Tenctonese book to Herman, pointing at certain
marked passages.

HERMAN
Me read it?

Albert nods. Herman looks down at the book, hesitates, looks
about, sees all eyes upon him, almost loses his nerve, but
finally brings the book up before his face.

Herman's POV on the Tenctonese text.

HERMAN
(hesitantly, a bit hoarsely,
laboring over each syllable)
Fe vot lu..beke... leethmaa... zuana...

Nervousness makes his voice catch. Buck sidles over to him.

BUCK
(sotto voce)
The language is sort of old-fashioned.
(indicating book)
This is the Song of Celine. The part
you're reading is from what Celine
said when one of her followers asked
her how he might develop healing powers
like hers.

HERMAN
This is the Song of Celine?
(examines book, awestruck) This book came from our planet?

BUCK
(embarrassed)
Well, no, not exactly.
About, I think, two hundred Elders
got together and reconstructed it
from memory. They reconstructed
many other classics of Tenctonese
literature as well.
(beat)
There are even English translations
of these books out now.

HERMAN
(looks down at Valra)
Valra, what a wonderful world
we live in.

He lifts the book up and begins reading anew. Although he
hesitates and stumbles on some words, he reads with
determination.

HERMAN
(laboring over each word)
{If you would be a Fe vot lu ke e
healing presence leethmaa zuana
in this universe, a tsee verna,
then you must know vot stum wask
that you are loved. masa vot pim susda.
that you are cherished masa vot pim reechda
by this universe. yib tsee verna.
that you are worthy. masa vot pim deril
you will never be masa vot reeba lis ke
abandoned, not ever... stemasda, eev areeba...

He stops as the meaning of the words strikes him. He looks
about at the emotion-filled faces of those about him.

HERMAN
(his voice now stronger and
full of meaning)
{If you would be a Fe vot lu ke e
healing presence leethmaa zuana,
then you must vot stum ekell
feel it, that you are loved. masa vot pim susda,
Accept it, that you are loved. Ipum to, masa vot pim
susda.
Open to it, you are loved Eepo ot to, vot pim susda
by this universe... Yib tis siverna...

On Herman's tear-stained face as he looks down at Valra;
and the madonna-like glow of Annie and Daisy.

ALBERT
Now you, the child's family,
will take your gifts of love
from the Vessel of Celine
Herman?

Herman reaches toward the Vessel, then stops.

HERMAN
Wait, I changed my mind, I
got something better to give him.

Albert nods. Herman moves to place the book in Valra's
cradle.

HERMAN
(to George, nervously)
Ah -- I know this is your book
-- it's just symbolic -- I'll
give it back to you.

George gives Herman a reassuring wave. Herman places the
book next to Valra.

HERMAN
In your life, I will teach you
that you are loved.

ANNIE
Hey, I was going to do Love.

DAISY
So was I.

ANNIE
No way, I picked Love first.
You said you were doing, um,
Knowledge.

DAISY
Knowledge? Me??! What do I know?
Besides, I thought you picked...
Faithfulness, right?

HERMAN
Buck should be the one to give
Valra Knowledge. He has lots of it.

BUCK
Wait, I'm not in the ceremony.
It's just supposed to be the baby's
family.

HERMAN
What do you think you are? You're
family. You're Valra's...
(to George)
What did you call it?

GEORGE
Godfather.

HERMAN
... godfather.
(giggling)
Sorry, we're not used to this...

ALBERT
(laughing)
I told you, you should prepare for
Muktibuti for a week, not an hour.

Annie and Daisy begin to giggle, and soon everyone in the room
is giggling and AD-LIBBING jokes. Vessna skips around the
room with energy.

VESSNA
(pausing at Valra's cradle)
I can't wait till you're old enough
to play with me.


DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FRANCISCOS' HOME - NIGHT

The ceremony is over. Festive Tenctonese music can be heard
from inside the house as Matt and Cathy stand on the front
porch, leaving.

MATT
So -- tell me. You were at
the Family Court hearing this
morning. How did it work out
that they let Shepherd and his
friends have the baby back?

CATHY
Well, the DA's office said that
the law is so murky in this area
he wasn't sure a kidnapping charge
could stick. And they're
plea-bargaining the shooting charge
-- I think Herman will get off with
a suspended sentence, given the
circumstances.

MATT
Yeah, Grazer told me that much.
But what about the baby?

CATHY
The judge decided to let
the three of them raise him together...
on condition they get
real jobs and a decent place
to live. The Franciscos are
putting them up for a few weeks
while they look for a place.

MATT
What about the jobs?

CATHY
A wormburger joint is willing
to hire them, and to arrange
their work hours so they can
take turns caring for Valra --
so no problem with day care.

MATT
They're going to try to live on
fast-food jobs? They're in for a
pretty tough time.

CATHY
(laughs; with
ironic understatement)
They've had tougher.

MATT
And the judge went for the idea
of the kid having three parents?

CATHY
Buck pointed out to the judge
that this was actually closer
to the traditional Tenctonese
extended family, with aunts
and uncles and parents all helping
raise children together, and the
judge had to agree.
(beat)
She's a Tenctonese judge. Adaptable.


INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Susan talks seriously to George.

SUSAN
George, I've been thinking about
Emily.

GEORGE
(sighs)
I know.

SUSAN
She said yesterday that we were
just trying to control her.
(beat)
I don't know, George.
Is Emily right? Do I just want
to turn her into what I want
her to be?

GEORGE
Well...

SUSAN
On the ship the Overseers took us
before we reached puberty, and
trained any rebellious thoughts
out of us before they ever started.
That's the only model of
teenaged-raising we ever had...
(beat)
Am I being like an Overseer, George?

GEORGE
Well... you can't just stand by and
let your child be influenced by
harmful things.

SUSAN
But how can you always tell
if something is harmful or not?
(beat)
You know, George, freedom is
wonderful, but it can be so
complicated and confusing.
You have to figure things out
yourself, make decisions --
maybe mistakes.
(long beat)
... Which is what Emily wants
to do, isn't it.

GEORGE
(pondering)
Maybe when our children are being a
little rebellious -- maybe that's
how they are learning how to be free.

SUSAN
But are we just supposed to sit by
while our child makes mistakes?
Aren't we supposed to tell her
the right way to do things?
It's so confusing.
(beat)
I think I'll ask some humans.
They've had to deal with teenagers
for a long time.
They would have the answers.


EXT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - FRONT PORCH - NIGHT

Herman comes over to Buck.

HERMAN
(hesitantly)
Look.

He holds up an oval-shaped metal ring about an inch long.

BUCK
What's that?

HERMAN
A semya chain.

BUCK
A semya chain?

HERMAN
Like you told me your Uncle Moodri
gave to you...?
To pass down through the
male line of our family...?
(beat)
It has only one link now.
But when I pass it on to Valra,
he will add another link, and
his son will add another...
(beat)
I know it's just one link. But
everything has to have a beginning...

He looks to Buck for assurance. Buck smiles warmly.


INT. MATT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Matt and Cathy are nuzzling temples and kissing erotically.
Matt pauses in mid-nuzzle, looking bothered.

CATHY
I know. You're thinking you wish
we could have one of our own. Together.

MATT
Well, yeah... that too...but...

CATHY
But what else?

MATT
Well... about you... you and me...

CATHY
Hmm? You and me?

MATT
George said that sex doesn't mean
as much to humans as to Tenctonese,
and... not saying I... I mean...
(beat)
I mean... Cathy, it means more to me
now than I ever knew it could mean.

CATHY
It's a whole new... world to me, too.

MATT
But, I mean -- George and Dr. Limits
were talking about all that
Tenctonese bonding stuff...
biological synchronization and
stuff like that...
(suddenly naked in his insecurity)
and what can I offer you like that...

CATHY
Matt -- bonding is much more than
a matter of hormones.

She reaches up to stroke his neck with her fingertip.

CATHY
Life... is not only biology.

She looks into his eyes, they look deeply into each other.
Then they melt into a long, deeply felt hug, showing that
their love and caring is as strong and deep as their sexual
attraction.

 

EXT. FRANCISCO HOME - NIGHT

Tenctonese music plays on the stereo as the Franciscos look
at the stars.

EMILY
The sky is full of shooting stars
tonight.

SUSAN
It's a meteor shower. Look, Vessna...
keep looking, you'll see one.

CU on Vessna's face as she gazes entranced at the sky.
Suddenly she SQUEALS with delight.

VESSNA
I saw one!

SUSAN
See, it went by those stars that
look like a backwards question mark?
That's the constellation Leo.
It's supposed to be a lion.

BUCK
Uncle Moodri told me some of the
legends about the constellations
on Tencton. He could still remember
what some of those constellations
looked like.

EMILY
What the constellations look like
on Tencton...it'd be neat to see
something like that. I wonder what
Tenctonese constellation our sun
is in?

BUCK
One of my online friends told me
he could work up a computer program
that would show what the sky
looks like from Tencton. We
could see the sky our ancestors saw...
the sky our people see even now...
(beat)
All he needed, to work up the program,
was the location of Tencton.
(beat; with ironic futility)
That was all he needed.

George looks at the sky, ponders.

GEORGE
The stars may be arranged a
little differently when we see
them from from here -- but...
they are still the same stars.

EMILY
"Wherever you go, there you are."
I saw that on a bumper sticker.

BUCK
Well, wherever we are...
I'm glad we're together.

Arms around each other's shoulders, they look at the stars.
PULL BACK to show the entire Francisco family framed beneath
the starry sky.

THE END

Written by Gayle Highpine. If you have any comments on this script please E-mail them.

Return to the Script Index

Return to the Main ANAS Index