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".