This is an excerpt from a completed screenplay.
"MARS" - screenplay by Derek Paterson. FADE IN: EXT. PLANET MARS - The Red Planet, hanging in star-speckled space. SUPER: Mars, 2047. SUPER: 10 years after the first mining colony was established. EXT. SURFACE OF MARS - DAY Sweeping hills, thrusting mountains, all tinged with a distinctive pink/brown color scheme. SUPER: Terra Sirenum Region, Southern Hemisphere. KRAVITZ (V.O.) Chicago Base, this is Digger Six. I am inbound from your northeast, ten minutes, over. A six-wheeled transport vehicle moves across the landscape. Call sign "Digger Six." RADIO OPERATOR (V.O.) Six, Chicago Base, acknowledged. Storm's
behind you, don't stop to sightsee, over. Dust clouds blow up ominously behind Digger Six, filling the Martian sky. KRAVITZ (V.O.) Wouldn't dream of it, Chicago Base. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ sits at the wheel, wearing an orange worksuit and cap. The cap bears the Lunacorp company badge, a gold "L" beside the Moon. He's essentially a trucker KRAVITZ I got no intention of being trapped out here in a storm, no sir. The front section of the transport contains enough space to fit FOUR HULKING ROBOTS, each almost twice as tall as a man. Square heads, downturned mouths. Their eyes are dull because they're inactive at the moment. EXT. CHICAGO BASE - DAY Three huge domes rear up out of the Martian landscape, port windows dotting their curved skins. Digger Six heads for the nearest dome, whose hangar door is shut. KRAVITZ (V.O.) This is Six, coming in. Request hangar door blue one is opened. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz looks ahead. The hanger door stays shut. KRAVITZ I say again, request door blue one is opened. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY MINA stands at a control board, wearing Lunacorp orange, plus an earphone and mike. On her screen is Digger Six as seen from the dome. MINA Digger Six this is top control. (pause) Kravitz, it's Mina. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ Mina! Nice to hear a friendly voice instead of a call sign. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY MINA You might not feel that way after you hear what I'm going to say. We need you to turn around and head back out. One of our survey teams has failed to report in. EXT. CHICAGO BASE - DIGGER SIX - DAY Digger Six waits near the closed hangar door. KRAVITZ (V.O.) What?! Are you freakin' nuts? There's a storm blowing up and you want me to-- MINA (V.O.) We have no other vehicles to go, Kravitz. You know we've been breakdowns. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY MINA I can't order you to do this. But four men are still out there and we can't raise them on wideband or personal. I know they probably don't like you, no one does, but if it was you stuck out there, and them here, I'd bet six months' leave they'd come and get you. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ Ah, Jesus. Guilt trip. That's just not fair. All right, all right! Send me their last known! He glances over his shoulder at the four robots. KRAVITZ You want me to dump the metal? INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY MINA Keep them aboard, you never know. Stand by to pick up a passenger. I'm opening door blue one now. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ Okay I got the dope. He studies a screen that displays info: GRIDREF G75 AR4 Bearing West 273 Range 32.6 Survey Team Echo Nash, Hugo M. Harrison, Clint A. Bendigo, Aron Van Horne, V. KRAVITZ Repeat your last, I'm missing some words, did you say a passenger?! EXT. DOME HANGAR DOOR - DAY The door opens to reveal a figure wearing an orange pressure suit with an opaque helmet -- can't see their face. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ They must be as crazy as you! I'm heading into a dust storm. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? If this jalopy breaks down, I might have to ride out the storm for weeks... months, even. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY KLEIN, an officer, steps up beside Mina. KLEIN Tell him that if he refuses to carry out your instructions, I'll have him arrested and shipped back to Earth so fast his boots won't touch the ground. EXT. CHICAGO BASE - DIGGER SIX - DAY Digger Six turns around in a slow half-circle, so it appears to be heading away from the dome. KLEIN (V.O.) Damn it he's turning around. I want that vehicle stopped. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY MINA No... he's reversing. EXT. CHICAGO BASE - DIGGER SIX - DAY Digger Six stops and reverses so its rear is heading towards the hangar door, and the waiting passenger. Digger Six's rear airlock doors slide open. They're tall enough and wide enough to admit the big robots. A ramp slides down from Digger Six's rear compartment, to allow the passenger to board. The passenger steps forward and climbs up the ramp. The ramp is withdrawn back into Digger Six, and the rear airlock doors close. Digger Six moves away from the Chicago Base dome. KRAVITZ (V.O.) Okay, I got your passenger aboard, and we're outbound. INT. CONTROL ROOM, CHICAGO BASE - DAY Digger Six on Mina's screen, moving away from the dome. KRAVITZ (V.O.) I hope he brought some biscuits. This could be a long haul. MINA Acknowledged, Kravitz. Good luck. KLEIN Very well, I'll inform Earth that Doctor Halliday is en route. Wipe the transmission logs. And not one word of this to anyone, you understand? Klein moves away. Mina spears him with a cold look. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz looks back over his shoulder. His passenger has entered the cockpit through the airlock hatch. Still wearing that opaque helmet that shields the face. KRAVITZ Welcome aboard the Dustbowl Express. I'm Kravitz. You got a name? No answer. Kravitz glances at the inactive robots, which tower over his passenger. KRAVITZ Oh, don't mind the metal. They're locked down for transporting. Not that they're chatty when they're active. Some folks find 'em creepy. They say it's the stillness. The passenger moves forward, level with Kravitz's chair. Gloved hands reach up and give the helmet a twist, breaking its seal, there's a SSSSHHH sound. The passenger is revealed as RACHEL HALLIDAY, a woman who possesses an icy intelligence and no patience for fools. HALLIDAY Not a problem for me, Mr. Kravitz. I'm not an automatonophobic. Actually, I wrote their Asimov routines so I'm pretty certain they're not going to murder me in my sleep. She offers a gloved hand towards Kravitz, they shake hands. HALLIDAY I'm Doctor Rachel Halliday. It looks as if we're going to be sharing cabin space for a while, like it or not. I don't smoke, don't break wind in the company of others, and would appreciate your showing me the same consideration. That's not going to be a problem for you, I hope? Mr. Kravitz? Kravitz stares at her, too surprised to respond. EXT. DIGGER SIX - MARS SURFACE - DAY Digger Six advances across the bleak landscape leaving the domes of Chicago Base far behind, the domes become lost in the swirling dust. The landscape changes, becoming more rugged, and broken by deep ravines. A dangerous place to drive in. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz steers while Halliday stares in wonder at the landscape outside the big viewport windows. She sits in a jump chair, smaller and more Spartan than Kravitz's padded driver's chair. HALLIDAY This terrain... it really is quite extraordinary. Not what I expected at all. KRAVITZ Yeah you got your basic canyons, and your sinkholes, and your canals of course, though they ain't really canals. Sorry about the jump chair, it's all I got in the way of furniture. HALLIDAY Oh not at all, I'm just glad to have a chair. The transport I came in on was standing room only. KRAVITZ The only boat that parked over Mars lately was the Agamemnon. She's no transport... HALLIDAY The Agamemnon, yes that's it. They couldn't spare me a cabin but at least they let me shower alone. Not that I would have minded sharing a bar of soap with some of those big space marines. She peers out a side window. EXT. DIGGER SIX - RAVINE - DAY Digger Six is running alongside the edge of a deep ravine. One mistake and they're in trouble. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday reacts to the perceived danger, holy moley. HALLIDAY Just how deep are some of these canyons? KRAVITZ Deep enough to die in... and plenty have. Storm kicks up and you can't see where you're going, it's all too easy to take a wrong turn. I hope Nash has the sense to stay put and wait. HALLIDAY You know this Nash well? KRAVITZ Yeah me and Nash go back a ways, we're had our differences but he's a damn good mule driver. Halliday gives Kravitz a cold, measuring stare. He doesn't even notice. HALLIDAY And what about you, Mr. Kravitz? Are you a good... mule driver? Kravitz takes off his hat, as if introducing himself. KRAVITZ Best in the business, if I may say so myself! Pardon my modesty. If I was you I'd be counting my lucky stars, because if anyone can get you out there and back again alive, it's me, Jebediah Stuart Kravitz. You can call me Jeb if you like. HALLIDAY I'm sure you-- She stands abruptly and stares out the windows. HALLIDAY Good God! EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYONS - DAY Ahead of Digger Six, massive rock formations rise up, forming an uneven maze of canyons. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY You'll have to excuse me, Mr. Kravitz. I've seen the terrain maps, but I didn't... A beeping alarm comes from Kravitz's control board. HALLIDAY I'm sorry, I must sound like some drama queen! I'm not usually-- KRAVITZ Lady, you could do with shutting up right now. HALLIDAY How dare you, who do you think-- KRAVITZ If you'd use your eyes instead of your cake hole... Kravitz points to the board. A radar screen shows a blip. KRAVITZ That's a transponder signal. It's weak but it's out there. HALLIDAY Well why didn't you say so, instead of being such an oink? Where away? Can you tell whose transponder? A screen displays: Gridref G75 AR4 Bearing West 273 Range 27.2 Transponder not recognized TP 008.122.000 Unable to resolve The alarm continues to beep. KRAVITZ That's just... The canyons must be distorting the signal. Damnedest thing. I've got a fix on the signal but it won't resolve. Crazy! Hold onto your hat, this could get a little rough. Kravitz slides the throttle controls to full power, the transport's engines GROWL. KRAVITZ I'm givin' 'er the oomph! EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYONS - DAY Digger Six zooms forward, kicking up a dust cloud. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday is thrown into her chair, off-balance. HALLIDAY Augh! KRAVITZ What part of "hold on" didn't you understand? HALLIDAY I suppose you think that was funny? KRAVITZ Are you kiddin'? Freakin' hilarious. This isn't some God- damn tourist cruiser, Doc. Men could be dying out there. I'm in a hurry, which means you siddown an' shaddup while I'm drivin'. EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYONS - DAY Digger Six drives between the soaring canyon walls. HALLIDAY (V.O.) How far? KRAVITZ (V.O.) Less than 5 klicks. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ It's pulling us off course, but we can't not check it out. HALLIDAY I know they could be in danger. You don't need to convince me of the need for haste. But will you be able to resume your original course? What if the storm affects your instruments? KRAVITZ If I lose instruments then we shut down and wait for the Goddamn storm to pass. That could take a while. And there's nothing I can do about it. Like I told Top Control, we could be stuck out here for weeks. I hope you like poker, because that's the only card game I know. He smiles at Halliday, who doesn't look happy. KRAVITZ But that might not happen. We could catch a break. The eye of the storm, you know? EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYONS - DAY Digger Six humps along. KRAVITZ (V.O.) Now when we reach the end of these canyons and get out into the open... things could get a little noisy. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY Just hold on a minute. You're tell me Martian dust storms... which can be thousands of klicks wide... behave like hurricanes? KRAVITZ I'm saying they're not solid. If you're lucky, you can find an eye. And if you're very lucky, it won't blink. EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYONS - DAY Digger Six nears the end of the canyon, and slows. Because up ahead, visible at the mouth of the canyon, is a blizzard of dust, so thick you can't see through it. KRAVITZ (V.O.) Speaking of storms... INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday looks through the windows... nothing's visible, just the storm blizzard. HALLIDAY What's happened, why can't we see anything? KRAVITZ Sand curtain. We just have to wait until it opens. Kravitz kills the throttle. Engine noise dies away. KRAVITZ No sense in wasting fuel. HALLIDAY And how long might that be? Kravitz stands up, the steering wheel retracts to make room and his chair slides back. He turns and walks to the airlock hatch at the cockpit's rear. HALLIDAY Mr. Kravitz, where are you going? INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY The airlock hatch slides open, Kravitz steps through into the transport's mid section, which among other things contains a toilet compartment to one side. KRAVITZ No need to get your knicks in a twist, Doc. I'm just going to the deep thought room. After a thoughtful pause, Halliday gets up and moves to the airlock hatch. She leans through. HALLIDAY I'm sorry, did you say the deep thought room? She looks at the door. An indicator says ENGAGED. Halliday moves to stand outside the door. She hesitates. HALLIDAY I realize this may not be an ideal moment... INT. TOILET - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz is sitting on the john with his pants down. KRAVITZ You can say that again. INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY ...But if you could give me some clue as to what we're going to do next, that would be splendid. No answer. HALLIDAY Mr. Kravitz? INT. TOILET - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ I'm formulating a plan of action, Doctor Halliday. I would appreciate some solitude, if only for a short while, so I can consider what the hell to do next. INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday ponders this. Is he bullshitting her? INT. TOILET - DIGGER SIX - DAY KRAVITZ If you want to make yourself useful while I'm formulating... INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday listens. KRAVITZ (V.O.) ...you could always check my p-suit. Halliday looks at the other end of the mid-section. A bright yellow p-suit (armored pressure suit) stands against the wall. A matching helmet sits on a shelf. A backpack with compressed air cylinders hangs on the wall. Halliday walks to the p-suit. Examines it. The p-suit has a control panel attached to the chest, with big buttons designed to be operated by clumsy gloves. Halliday presses a button. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Power level is 92 percent. Left elbow joint is operating below optimum efficiency, maintenance may be required. Would you like to replay voice records? There are 5 records. Halliday hesitates. Will she or won't she? She presses another button. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Record number 5, 7 days old. GRUFF MALE VOICE (V.O.) You snooze, you lose, Kravitz. I gave the job to Van Dorner. Maybe next time you'll return my calls. If there is a next time. See ya! Halliday goes through the motions of checking the p-suit's left elbow joint while other messages play. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Record number 2, 4 days old. ANOTHER MALE VOICE (V.O.) Kravitz it's Tinch. Just letting you know you're overdue on your fuel payments. This is your red letter. Pay us. Now. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Record number 3, three days old. FEMALE VOICE (V.O.) I changed the lock codes. Mick's got your gear. He says he'll let you bunk down for a couple of nights, if you stay off the booze. You're a mean drunk, Kravitz. Stay away from me. I'm not kidding. ANGRY MALE VOICE (V.O.) She's not kidding, Kravitz! You show your face here again, I'll bust you up good, man! Halliday's expression softens as she listens to this. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Record number 2, two days old. SINISTER MALE VOICE (V.O.) You know who this is. You know what you owe me. You set foot in Port Mars again without it, you're fertilizer, literally. Pay me, Kravitz! From the toilet, a FLUSHING NOISE. SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Record number 1, today at zero seven-oh-nineteen. Halliday frantically taps buttons, trying to shut off the message replay. HALLIDAY No, no, no, no--! Kravitz emerges from the toilet. KRAVITZ I'd maybe give it a couple of minutes. Let the air scrubbers do their job. FRANTIC MALE VOICE) (V.O.) ...immediately! Bravo Unit is zero down, repeat zero survivors. Delta is reforming at gridref red five inner zero seven. Request immediate evac and-- It cuts off, incomplete. KRAVITZ The hell? Was that my suit? HALLIDAY My apologies, Mr. Kravitz. I really had no idea-- SUIT COMPUTER (V.O.) Would you like to replay voice records? KRAVITZ It's okay, the suit must have picked up a radio squirt. It played as soon as you activated the system. Damnedest thing. What was that? Where the hell did it come from? HALLIDAY You don't know? KRAVITZ Should I know? Damn suit's more intelligent than I am. It scans all the bands, pulls signals out the ether. That stuff sounded military. But military scrambles its squirts. No way the suit could break encryption. Nah, I think someone's playing games, yanking my chain. I find out who, they better watch out. Anyways, I'm gonna step into this big boy. You can stay and watch if you like. It's entirely optional. HALLIDAY I'm tempted to call your bluff, Mr. Kravitz. But I suspect your brash exterior hides a soft center, so I'll spare you any embarrassment and go wait in the cockpit. Halliday walks to the open airlock hatch. KRAVITZ Your loss, Doc. You're gonna miss seeing the hottest polka dot panties on the planet. Halliday pauses as she steps through the open hatch. HALLIDAY I literally cannot describe my excitement, Mr. Kravitz. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday presses the control that shuts the airlock hatch. HALLIDAY Even worse is the fear you may not be wearing any. The hatch slides shut. Halliday looks at the four unmoving robots. HALLIDAY Peace at last. All right, then. Which one of you chuckleheads is carrying the nuke? One of the robots activates, its eyes light up. CHESTER 12 That would be me. Chester 12 at your service, Doctor Halliday. HALLIDAY You've been briefed on this mission? CHESTER 12 Yes, I received a comprehensive set of instructions from Major Klein. HALLIDAY Very well, imprint this into your instructions. You will only detonate on my direct command. CHESTER 12 I'm afraid I cannot comply, Doctor. Major Klein's orders override even your authority level and cannot be countermanded. I am sorry. HALLIDAY Hanna Banana. Chester 12 stares into space, deep in thought. CHESTER 12 Subroutine initializing. Author Halliday, Rachel. Command level Empress. Ah, now I see. Thank you for clarifying, Doctor Halliday. I will only detonate the nuclear device on your command. The airlock hatch slides open revealing Kravitz, wearing a black top and the p-suit's lower half, the "pants", the jointed hips and legs. KRAVITZ Are you talking to yourself? HALLIDAY Sure. It helps me think. KRAVITZ Oooh okay, I thought maybe you were nuts. Kravitz awkwardly steps through the open hatch. HALLIDAY Do you need some help, Mr. Kravitz? Those p-suit pants look rather tight. KRAVITZ Naw, I'm okay, I just like to get used to the pants before I-- An alarm beeps, different tone than before. KRAVITZ Coming through, make a hole. He staggers forward, slowed by the armored "pants". HALLIDAY What's happening? KRAVITZ No idea, that's why I'm walking like this, to find out. HALLIDAY Can't you set the alarm system to voice messages? KRAVITZ I'm just happy we're getting a signal. The storm's heavy with charged particles. That's what kills communications and scanners. Everything shuts down until there's a crack in the storm wall. Kravitz reaches the control board and studies it. KRAVITZ What the hell? That's not a transponder signal... it's an echo! Kravitz looks out the windows, at the dust blizzard. HALLIDAY What does that mean? KRAVITZ Wha'd'ya think it means? It means something's out there. It's a solid ping. Can't be more than 200 meters away. INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz puts on his p-suit. Body, arms, helmet. The joints connect together. He's like some futuristic knight, ready for battle. He backs into the backpack which attaches itself to the p-suit. KRAVITZ Ready to rock. I'm opening the inner airlock hatch. He turns to the rear airlock hatch and hits a control. The hatch slides open, revealing the rear airlock section. (For clarity, there are 3 compartments, the cockpit up front, the mid-section, and the rear section. All separated by airlock hatches. No two hatches can be open at the same time for safety reasons.) INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday is frustrated by the fact the round viewport set into the closed airlock hatch is too high for her to see through! HALLIDAY Who the bloody hell designed these vehicles? The viewport's too high up for me to see through! INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz steps through the open airlock hatch into the rear section. KRAVITZ Machines, Doc. They designed this mule with robots in mind, not humans. We're pretty far down on their list of priorities. Hell, we're lucky we've even got life support. Soon as the lights show green, open the outer hatch. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday sits down in Kravitz's chair, studies the controls. HALLIDAY Pressure equalized. Green lights on the board. Opening outer hatch now. She presses a button. EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY The outer hatch slides open revealing Kravitz inside. KRAVITZ Roger that, hatch is-- My God! There are monsters out here! Thousands of them! Giant insects! Forget about me! Save yourself! INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY Yes, very amusing. Radio check affirm, receiving you strength 20. I appreciate this is all a big joke to you, Mr. Kravitz, but perhaps you could be a little more professional...? EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz steps toward the lowered ramp. KRAVITZ Tough audience. Reading you clear. I'm on my way out. Keep an eye on that signal. If it changes, I'd like to know about it. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY You'll be the second to know, I assure you. ...You will take care, won't you, Mr. Kravitz? EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY Kravitz is halfway down the ramp, almost on the surface. KRAVITZ Are you confessing your feelings for me, Doc? After those few blissful hours we've spent together? INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY I keep looking for a sign on the wall, Mr. Kravitz. "You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps." EXT. DIGGER SIX - CANYON EXIT - DAY Kravitz has moved ahead of Digger Six, Halliday can be seen watching him through the cockpit windows. KRAVITZ You got that right. EXT. KRAVITZ - MARTIAN STORM - DAY Kravitz walks through the dust blizzard, the world around him hidden by the swirling storm. HALLIDAY (V.O.) Maintain your current heading, Mr. Kravitz. You're one hundred and thirty meters from-- KRAVITZ Doc? Doc? Dammit Doc, respond. Say something. He sighs, accepting it. KRAVITZ 130 meters straight ahead. If I could only figure which way's straight ahead... INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday tries to raise Kravitz, to no avail. HALLIDAY Mr. Kravitz, is this one of your jokes? I can't hear you, please respond. Mr. Kravitz, respond. She leans back in the chair. HALLIDAY What am I supposed to do now? I can't talk to him. I can't see him. He's not showing up on any of the screens. Am I meant to rescue him? One of the robots activates, its eyes glowing. WALTER 33 Warning, human is endangered. This unit will proceed to the human's location and will render assistance. Halliday rolls her eyes, exasperated. HALLIDAY Oh for goodness' sake... CHESTER 12 The other robots are civilian models, Doctor Halliday. If their programming is contrary to your wishes, I have the means to immobilize them permanently. HALLIDAY Hold on. Perhaps sending a robot out there isn't a bad idea. Robot in the corner, state your designation. WALTER 33 I am Walter 33. HALLIDAY You're up, Walter. Proceed to external environment. Locate our Mr. Kravitz and bring him back here. WALTER 33 Instructions received. Walter 33 moves ponderously (as robots do) toward the hatch. The hatch slides open. Walter 33 steps through. INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY The hatch closes behind Walter 33 who walks to the next hatch, leading to the rear section. The rear hatch opens. INT. REAR AIRLOCK SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Walter 33 steps through the open hatch. EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY The outer hatch opens revealing Walter 33. Dust swirls around Walter 33. The robot slowly turns his head, scanning. Walter 33 stays in the rear airlock, he doesn't move down the ramp. HALLIDAY (V.O.) Walter, is there a problem? INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY Walter, I'm not reading you. I say again, is there a problem? EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY WALTER 33 Yes, Doctor Halliday. The problem is that external conditions are too dangerous. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday is astonished. HALLIDAY Too dangerous? You mean... too dangerous for you? EXT. REAR AIRLOCK HATCH - DIGGER SIX - DAY The outer hatch slides shut, concealing Walter 33. HALLIDAY (V.O.) Walter, wait. I'm reading the outer hatch is closing. Walter! INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday turns to Chester 12 in exasperation. HALLIDAY Am I losing my marbles here? What the hell is going on? Answer me, Chester 12. Why is Walter 33 not exiting the vehicle? CHESTER 12 Walter 33 has weighed his chances of survival against his chances of finding unit Kravitz. I agree with Walter 33's assessment. Risking his own destruction for no perceptible gain would be illogical. EXT. KRAVITZ - MARTIAN STORM - DAY Kravitz makes slow headway through the blizzard. The control unit on his chest beeps. KRAVITZ Well, now. What have we here? He swings left, the beep volume increases. He swings right, the beep volume decreases. He heads left, guided by the proximity detector. And then he sees footprints in the dust. Made by big boots with heavy duty grip soles. Leading off into the blizzard. Kravitz ponders... then Follows the footprints. Looking ahead through the swirling dust, he sees a shadow, hard to make out at this distance. He keeps going. The footprints terminate at a jeep-like vehicle with big rugged wheels, sitting abandoned. A radio crackles and hisses. RADIO OPERATOR (V.O.) Delta Unit this is Sledgehammer. Report your situation. Repeat, Delta Unit this is Sledgehammer, request sitrep, over. Kravitz looks around. No sign of anyone. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY Halliday stands before Chester 12, the robot looks down at her, nearly twice her size. HALLIDAY This is absurd. Walter 33 is a J-2 worker class robot specifically designed to operate here on Mars. A little dust isn't going to cause him any permanent damage. Walter 33 has ignored his Asimovs by refusing to search for Kravitz. How can that even happen? What's going on, Chester? If you know, tell me. CHESTER 12 On the contrary, Doctor Halliday. Walter 33 is obeying his Asimovs. There may come a time when another human is endangered and Walter 33 may render assistance to that human. However, if Walter 33 throws away his own life, that human may suffer injury or death. HALLIDAY The Second Law conundrum. That's a joke among robotics students! First Law demands that Walter 33 goes after Kravitz right now. Why isn't he doing that?! Chester 12 swivels his head and looks out the windows. CHESTER 12 Because something is out there, Doctor. Walter 33 knew he would not find unit Kravitz. He knew he would be destroyed before he attained his mission goal. Halliday also looks out the windows, puzzled. HALLIDAY What do you mean, something's out there. What's out there? Can't you be more specific? CHESTER 12 My sensors are unable to provide further data. Despite my upgrades, I cannot penetrate the storm. HALLIDAY Can't you just ask Walter 33? He was outside after all, if only for a few seconds. If there was anything to see then he would have seen it. Wouldn't he? Halliday looks at the airlock hatch, through the round viewpoint she can see Walter 33's head. HALLIDAY Speaking of whom. What's he waiting for? Why's he just standing there? INT. MID-SECTION - DIGGER SIX - DAY Walter 33 stands in the rear airlock section. The hatch between this and the mid-section is open. HALLIDAY) (V.O.) Walter 33 this is Doctor Halliday. Return to the cockpit, please. Walter 33 doesn't move. HALLIDAY Walter 33. Are you having a communications problem? Please raise your right arm if this is the case. No reaction from Walter 33. INT. COCKPIT - DIGGER SIX - DAY HALLIDAY No response. What the hell is wrong with him? Chester, do you have access to Walter 33's maintenance records? Has he suffered any failures lately? CHESTER 12 I do have access. No failures were recorded. Walter 33's monthly maintenance checks gave him a clean bill of health. Halliday heads for the airlock hatch. HALLIDAY Well, something's wrong with him. I'm to run an analysis check, find out what. She taps the hatch control. It doesn't open. HALLIDAY Dammit, now what's wrong with this hatch? Why won't it open? CHESTER 12 The airlock hatch between the mid- section and the rear section is open, Doctor Halliday. Walter 33 has not closed it yet. The cockpit hatch is therefore locked as a safety precaution. Halliday rests her head against the airlock hatch. HALLIDAY This is turning out to be quite a frustrating day. End excerpt.
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