A STRANGE LANDSCAPE.
Like the surface of some alien planet. CELESTIAL FORMS spin
in the distance. DROP DOWN over a topography of rolling hills.
ALVIN 5 - THE POD
A titanium alloy sphere; the strongest form to withstand
great pressures. A streamlined mantle houses propellers,
batteries, articulated arms - one containing a carbon-dioxide
laser. Maneuvering thrusters protrude next to antennae.
WEIRD SUBMARINE FORMS
glow in artificial light. We float over undulating undersea
hills. Tendrils of beautiful growths wave in the currents.
...one small schlep for mankind...
INT. - ALVIN 5
THE MAN INSIDE is Al Viola, 35, ex-Marine, ex-astronaut.
He holds a doctorate in Medieval Languages from the Sorbonne.
He is worldly, highly trained. Right now he's elated as well.
...but it means money in
the bank to me.
A VOICE cuts in - The Mission Control Officer - COLIN
COLIN - VO
Could you to stop counting
your profits long enough for
a systems check...
This is a small breakthrough.
I've a right to make a statement.
A LAB SOMEWHERE:
Technicians cluster around VIDEO SCREENS showing
feeds from LVIN'S MULTIPLE CAMERAS. One shot from the housing
faces forward. Another is of Al at the controls. Exotic equipment
surrounds him. A CLOCK is prominent. It reads: ELAPSED
MISSION TIME - 1 hour, 14 minutes. A third camera fixed to
a long extension arm, articulates 360% and shoots back to
show the POD.
What a pain in the...Where did we
get this prima donna?...(into mike)
Then do try to keep it dignified.
Puns are a sign of oxygen
deprivation of the brain. Now give
us bank three, if you would.
Alright, alright! Air filtration,
88; battery load, 76;...
Reception is perfect. Al reports full success. He reads off
instrument readings rapidly. His voice is clipped
and precise...a test pilot. Behind him, packed into every corner
of the tiny cockpit, are computers and scientific instruments.
THE LAB TECHNICIANS are taut, organized and highly
disciplined. There is a sense of purpose, of very important business.
THE SUBMERSIBLE swoops through valleys lined with
stranger growths. The craft is perfectly balanced, responsive
to the pilot's lightest touch.
SILICON VALLEY - DAWN
A peaceful setting; flowers on low, rolling hills, a high-tech
building complex - UNITED SYNERGISTIC TECHNOLOGIES.
TWO MEN ON A HILL OVERLOOKING UST.
They are fooling with something. It goes off. A rocket flares out in the
direction of the building, The rocketeer guides the flight of
the Remotely Piloted Vehicle on a video monitor.
ABOVE THE BUILDING, retro jets slow the craft. A small braking
chute blooms. It settles, braking jets fire briefly as it lands
softly on the rooftop air duct.
THE ROCKETEER hits a button; blue flame shoots out
the underside of the vehicle. It burns a tiny pinpoint through
INT. UNITED SYNERGISTIC TECHNOLOGIES - A HIGH-TECH LAB
THE SAME ONE, SAME TIME - A TECH turns from the video
monitors and looks through a window into the main experimental
area...A maze of equipment. Some bizarre, tension-filled procedure
is going on. Techs in the control room smoke like fiends. Others
in the clean-room are enclosed head to foot in sterile coveralls.
Engineers note and dismiss a READING...
Air temp just went up.
We're drawing lots of power.
INT. UST FRONT OFFICE
Salesmen, job seekers crowd the busy
lobby. One applicant, Joe Doakes, 30, has a air of
desperation. His tie is too tight. His hair won't behave. He's
nicked himself shaving. The surveillance cameras make him nervous.
He checks his watch impatiently, rises and crosses to the receptionist.