STARCHILD

            LOCATION: THE PLANET TERRA

            The planet Terra looks like earth in many respects, except
            for certain tell-tale indicators like make of cars, signs and
            style of dress.  (Things are familiar but unidentifiable as
            they might be if filmed in a foreign country.)  The Terra
            space program is much like earth's NASA program.  The setting
            is such that it could be earth a few years in the future. 
            Actually, it is the planet Terra which orbits a sun thousands
            of light years from earth.  This is not explained.

            EXT. LAUNCH PAD - EARLY MORNING

            SLOW MOTION VERY CLOSE UP

            Saturn rocket on launch pad (NASA file footage with computer
            modified identification) blasting off.  Film title and
            credits with thundering sound in background.

            LONG PULLBACK

            Rocket climbs high into the sky and disappears.  All is quiet
            except for natural sounds like birds in a meadow.  (Sub-title
            on screen: Spring Morning, Year 2012)

            INT. HELICOPTER COCKPIT - BRIGHT SUNNY DAY

            AERIAL

            Looking over the pilot's shoulder to the launch pad below,
            the helicopter follows a speeding sedan down the coastal road
            where it pulls into the parking lot of the control center.

            EXT. CONTROL CENTER - DAY

            CRANE

            A man, the PROFESSOR exits the car and walks into the
            entrance of the control center administration building.

            INT. CONTROL CENTER - DAY

            TRACKING

            Professor rushes through hallway being greeted by assistants,
            peers and military personnel on their way to conference room
            for the announcement of the results of the launch.

            INT. CONTROL CENTER CONFERENCE ROOM - AFTERNOON

            PAN

            Conference room with all of the participants gathered to hear
            the results of the experiment launched on board the rocket.
            Space Center DIRECTOR steps to the podium.

                                DIRECTOR
                      As you all know, we have just fired a
                      missile containing the controversial
                      Fluxtron device.  The preliminary results
                      are amazing.  I'd like to introduce
                      Professor Alex Covoliski who will fill
                      you in on the details.

            Professor steps to podium.

                                PROFESSOR
                      Thank you. The unit we tested today was
                      engaged for only ten microseconds and we
                      estimate that it covered the distance of
                      over one hundred light years in that
                      amount of time.  Technically, it
                      disappeared from our time frame, but the
                      thousandth microsecond track we were able
                      to maintain, proved that the device works
                      as predicted.  We now have the capability
                      to travel faster than the speed of light. 
                      Phenomenally faster.

            INT. CONTROL CENTER CONFERENCE ROOM - AFTERNOON

            DOLLY

            Reporters and television crews who have been invited, are
            yelling out questions.

                                FEMALE REPORTER
                      Professor, Professor.  Is it true that
                      the nuclear powered space station
                      presently orbiting the earth is about to
                      crash back into our atmosphere?

            Professor ignores the question.

                                PROFESSOR
                      We're here today to discuss the Fluxtron
                      project.  I'll take questions regarding
                      today's test?

            Voice from across room.

                                MALE REPORTER
                      Professor, we understand that the nuclear
                      system on the decaying space station will 
                      react with the atmosphere causing a
                      nuclear chain reaction, is this true?

            Professor looks back at the Director who steps forward.

                                DIRECTOR
                      This will conclude today's press
                      conference.  Will the guards please usher
                      the press out of the building.

            Confusion and mayhem in the conference room.

            INT. DOOR WAY TO ROOM ADJOINING CONFERENCE ROOM - LATER

            TRACKING

            The Professor, SCIENTIST (female), ENGINEER and ASTRONAUT
            walk with the Director to a small room adjoining where the
            conference was held.  They are discussing the test among
            themselves.  The Director shuts the door behind him.

                                DIRECTOR
                      We'll have a detailed review of all that
                      has transpired at tomorrow afternoon's
                      meeting.  Until then, your presence is
                      requested at a cocktail party, my house
                      on the estate at 6 p.m.  See you then.

            INT. DIRECTOR'S HOME COCKTAIL PARTY - EVENING

            ESTABLISHING

            Ladies in stylish dresses and gentlemen in evening attire. 
            Several uniformed officers (male and female) intermingle. 
            Uniforms are Nazi-like in style, but with unidentifiable
            insignias.  There is a celebration atmosphere in the room.

            INT. COCKTAIL PARTY - NIGHT

            FAVOR Professor

            Professor is standing talking with the Scientist, Astronaut
            and Engineer as a high ranking military officer and his
            female aid walk up to congratulate them.

                                MILITARY OFFICER
                      I would like to personally commend you
                      and your group for you scientific 
                      breakthrough in Fluxtron research.

            Turning to the Astronaut.

                                MILITARY OFFICER (CONT'D)
                      I understand the experimental aircraft,
                      the one code named Starchild, is about
                      ready to be integrated into your Fluxtron
                      program.

                                ASTRONAUT
                      Yes, I believe that's correct.

            Military officer leaves, Starchild project Engineer walks up.

                                ENGINEER
                      What was that all about?

                                PROFESSOR
                      The usual political brown nosing, but I
                      think it was a subtle hint that the
                      military is going to back our requests
                      for full funding of the Starchild.

                                ASTRONAUT
                      That's the way I read it too.

            Turning to the Professor and the Scientist.

                                ASTRONAUT (CONT'D)
                      I noticed that neither of you offered to
                      answer the questions about the space
                      station's decaying orbit at the press
                      conference.  What is your opinion?  The
                      pundits seem equally divided whether it
                      is a doom's day scenario or a hoax.

                                SCIENTIST
                      My calculations say that if you've got
                      any unfinished business you want finish
                      before you meet your Maker, now would be
                      a good time to get it done.

                                ENGINEER
                      Yes, I agree.  I went to the databanks on
                      the computer system and reviewed the mass
                      and velocity myself.  It'll be a miracle
                      if the entire atmosphere of our planet
                      doesn't flash on re-entry.

                                PROFESSOR
                      I understand the military is trying now
                      to adapt some of the shuttles to try and
                      pull the station into a higher orbit. 
                      It's all being kept hush-hush, but if
                      that fails, I believe you are correct. 
                      The three of you meet me at the flight
                      test development hangar in the morning.  

            EXT. FLIGHT TEST DEVELOPMENT HANGAR - MORNING

            LONG

            The hangar is a heavily guarded dark structure.  A vehicle
            approaches.  It is the Astronaut, he is passed by the guard.

            INT. HANGAR - MORNING

            In the darken hangar is a large aircraft, a cross between a
            Learjet and a Harrier.  It has room for two pilots and four
            passengers.  The craft will not be shown fully until later.

            INT. HANGAR - MORNING

            CLOSE ON

            Astronaut comes through doorway where the Professor,
            Scientist, Engineer and a young Technician are sitting having
            coffee.  The Astronaut goes to the coffeepot and pours
            himself a cup as he is greeted by the other four.

                                PROFESSOR
                      I've asked Ted here to join us.  He is
                      the technician whom I have asked to be
                      assigned to the project and is an expert
                      in Fluxtron electronics.  It has not yet
                      been approved, but I'm going to take it
                      upon myself to transport the experimental
                      Fluxtron device over at the lab and have
                      Ted begin installing it in the Starchild.

                                ASTRONAUT
                      If I read you correctly, this has
                      something to do with the orbital decay we
                      were discussed last night.

                                SCIENTIST
                      It's no longer supposition on our part. 
                      The government is now estimating that two
                      thirds of the population will not
                      survive.  But, if you're not with us,
                      keep your mouth shut or it's our necks.

            She laughs.
                      I guess it's our necks no matter which
                      way it goes.  Come on, Jack, join us and
                      play Bet Your Life on E=MC2, but remember
                      the writer said "You Can't Go Home".