Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

The Devil's Window

(Equatorial Mid-Atlantic - Depth 400 feet)
(seaQuest DSV - Sea Deck)
Raleigh Young: Beneath the crust of the Earth is an unimaginable heat, so hot, rock melts and seeps through the ground in a liquefied state. Itís a mile and a half beneath us, a place where no life should be able to exist. It is where we are about to go. We are about to reach into the birth canal of Mother Earth. There they are, look at them son, Black Smokers, tube worms. Iím a hungry man. Donít blink, theyíre rare sights. (looks through some drawers, pulls out a frozen lobster) Ah, can you eat this?
Westphalen: Thereís a thought.
Lucas: This is a hydrothermal vent, an underwater volcano; seawater Ö lavaÖ smoke.
Young: Yes.
Lucas: So what?
Young: That smoke is laced with the Earthís most carcinogenic minerals. When a factory dumps them in a river, the river dies. But here, here theyíre dumped in their most concentrated form, yet around them grows life. Why? Is it the seawater, two tons per square inch of pressure, or is it something in the vent?
Westphalen: Whatís in the vent are hundreds of species of bacteria we know nothing about.
Young: Theyíre living creatures.
Westphalen: Theyíre deadly organisms.
Young: Surviving organisms. Weíre about to open the door to the how and why of their survival.
Westphalen: Or weíre about to open Pandoraís box.
Young: Show me my platform, Nathan. (screen changes from bottom of ocean to platform under seaQuest) Beautiful, isnít it? Once the platform is anchored over the vent, the heat emanating from the Smoker will be transformed into energy, powering the platformís survey systems. Spectral analysis, immunochemistry, thermal evaluations Ö an absolute dissection of a yet unexplored habitat.
Bridger: It is exciting. I mean, if this thing works, weíll know in weeks what normally would have taken years.
Young: Exactly.
Bridger: On the other hand, we could end up at the bottom of the ocean in little bits. seaQuest wasnít designed to haul around your fantasies, Raleigh. (looks at screen) Is that Darwin?
Lucas: I donít know. I let him out to eat, heís been roaming around since we got here.
Bridger: Call him back in, Lucas. (Lucas leaves)
Young: Weíre going where stone roils and shrieks defiance as itís delivered into a gelatinous ooze swarming with the elements that cause life.
Westphalen: You can get off your soapbox now, Raleigh, the boyís gone.

(Sea Deck Ė Near the Moon Pool)
Lucas: (into vo-chorder) Darwin, Darwin, Darwin, Darwin . . .

(Outside seaQuest)
Crewman #1: (on radio) SeaQuest, this is sea crab one, container has ruptured, leaking core samples.
Crewman #2: (on radio) Thatís poisonous, jettison the container.
Crewman #1: (on radio) Affirmative.

(seaQuest DSV Ė Bridge)
Ford: Boat stands ready, Captain.
Bridger: Take her down, Commander.
Ford: Begin descent.
Bridger: Ya know, itís aggravating enough diving through a thermocline without your platform attached to us, Raleigh. I donít know how seaQuest is going to handle this.
Young: Oh, sheíll rise to the occasion.
Bridger: One of our sea trucks was rising through that layer and ruptured the only sample container we had ready. I donít think we should underestimate the severity of the temperature changes.
Young: Are you losing your enthusiasm, Nathan?
Bridger: Not at all, just being realistic, thatís all.
Ortiz: Two hundred meters above the thermocline.
OíNeill: Report, mount points positive.
Ortiz: WSKR telemetry optimal.
Ford: Position us at alpha point. Lateral strain?
Hitchcock: Within tolerance.
Ford: Mr. Ortiz?
Ortiz: Attitude trim and level.
Helmsman: Three hundred fifty meters; four hundred.
Ortiz: Shear force is increasing.
Ford: Commander Hitchcock?
Hitchcock: Within tolerance. (ship rocks, Darwinís tank overflows)
Bridger: Close that tank.
Hitchcock: Hydrodynamic stress overload.
Helmsman: The helm is fighting, sir.
Ford: Mr. Ortiz.
Ortiz: Shear is in tolerable limits.
Hitchcock: Captain, structural stress ninety-five percent.
Bridger: If you need to drop that platform, Commander ó
Young: You canít drop my platform.
Westphalen: Raleigh. (restrains Young)
Bridger: Drop it if you need to.
Helmsman: Helm canít hold depth, losing attitude control.
Ortiz: Rolling back through, yaw increasing.
Bridger: You wanna back off?
Ford: Not yet, sir. Commander Hitchcock, would you join me at the helm?
Bridger: Go ahead, Iíll take it.
Hitchcock: Thank you, sir.
Ford: Clear first seats, please. (Ford and Hitchcock sit down) OK, forward planes neutral.
Hitchcock: Planes neutral. Come two degrees starboard.
Ford: Midshipsí planes, five degrees up.
Hitchcock: OK, five degrees.
Ford: Countersteer rudder.
Ortiz: Iím getting green indicators.
Helmsman: Descending, five hundred fifty meters.
Ortiz: Stabilizing, boat is clear and level.
OíNeill: All indicators are green.
Helmsman: Six hundred meters, seaQuest is in position at alpha, Commander.
Ford: (to Hitchcock) Way to go. Nice work.
Young: Magnificent performance.
Bridger: Yes, but donít expect an encore.

(Bridge Ė Later)
Westphalen: (looking at Bridger) Nathan, are you all right?
Bridger: Iím fine. A little warm. (almost collapses)
OíNeill: Captain!
Bridger: Somethingís wrong. (sees Darwin, opens tank and gets in) Kristin!
Westphalen: Get him to sea deck, Iíll prep diagnostics.
Ford: Quick, grab that rebreather. (OíNeill gets in tank, Ford and Hitchcock put rebreathers on Bridger and OíNeill) Letís go.
Young: Nathan! My platform! (follows Westphalen) Kristin, you canít leave, youíre the senior science officer.
Westphalen: Iím also the chief physician.

(Bridgerís Folley)
OíNeill: I think Darwin talked to me, in my head, on the bridge.
Bridger: I heard it too, but it wasnít clear.
OíNeill: It scared me. (distraught) Where are we?
Bridger: I donít know, I failed to put directions down here. Must be a design flaw.
OíNeill: Well, what are we gonna do?
Bridger: Itís all right, weíre gonna dive down, below the wall. The light is the continuation of the tunnel, all right?
OíNeill: OK.
Bridger: All right, now Darwin, youíre gonna do the same thing. Gonna dive down, underneath the wall, and follow the tunnel to the end, to the end, all right? I think you better take a nice big breath. Here we go.

(Sea Deck Ė Near the Moon Pool)
Westphalen: Saline drips? Hypodermics? Good. Where are they?

(Bridgerís Folley)
OíNeill: Itís not working.
Bridger: Calm down, take it easy, take it easy. Weíve got ten minutes of air left. Breathe slower.

(Sea Deck Ė Near the Moon Pool)
Westphalen: OK, lower the net, boys.
Crewman: Thatís it, Mike, thatís it. Bring it around.
Lucas: (into vo-chorder) Darwin!
Crewman: Elevate it slowly, letís keep him level.
Westphalen: Pull it around, this end to me. Over. Get that cradle up. Whereís that hypodermic? Thank you. Hold still. (gives Darwin a shot)
Lucas: (into vo-chorder) Darwin. Darwin.
Bridger: Itíll be all right, my friend.
Lucas: Whatís wrong?
Bridger: Youíre gonna be all right.

(Sea Deck - Later)
Bridger: Whatís the diagnosis?
Westphalen: We donít have one, so Iím pumping him full of antibiotics and monitoring his vital systems. Shouldnít you be on the bridge?
Bridger: Ford can handle that.
Westphalen: And Raleigh?
Bridger: Ford can handle him too. Thanks.

(Moon Pool)
Bridger: How you doing?
Lucas: I canít get this to work.
Bridger: Letís see. (into vo-chorder) Darwin, whatís wrong?
Darwin: Darwin sick.
Bridger: Seems all right. What kind of sickness?
Darwin: Dark.
Bridger: Whatís dark?
Darwin: Light is dark and one.
Lucas: He keeps saying that light is dark and one. I have no idea what heís talking about.
Bridger: Is it the computer, or is he really saying that?
Lucas: I donít know. Itís beta software, and itís not finished. Iím sorry, Iím just past the edge of what I understand here.
Bridger: Thatís OK, come on, come on, youíre doing fine.
OíNeill: (walking in) How is he?
Bridger: Heís sick, how Ďbout you?
OíNeill: Um, can, can I pet him?
Bridger: Sure.
OíNeill: Iím fluent in six languages, OK in a dozen more. But when Darwin talks or thinks at me, I feel like itís coming at right angles. We have to let him go.
Bridger: Light is dark and one.
OíNeill: Yes.

(Bridgerís Room)
Bridger: (enters, looks in address book, changes his mind) I canít call this man, heís crazy. (comlink buzzes)
Westphalen: (on comlink as Young enters) Nathan, Darwinís white cell count is extremely high and rising. I donít know if I can stabilize him.
Bridger: Well, whatís the matter with him?
Westphalen: (on comlink) It may be viral, it may be bacterial, I donít know.
Bridger: Thank you.
Young: Nathan, this project is much larger than tube worms and Black Smokers. Weíre reaching into the very skeletal system of the Earth. This (holds out thing) is a model of a magma buoy. Itís a ceramic alloy designed to withstand extreme levels of heat, common in the subsurface river of lava. This is the most essential element of our mission.
Bridger: Why didnít I know about this?
Young: Has to remain classified until we get it in the magma flow, because we donít know where or when it will spit out. Oh, Nathan, think of it, if this worksÖ
Bridger: It can anticipate volcanic stresses, earthquakes.
Young: Exactly.
Bridger: Itís brilliant, but itís going to have to wait a few days.
Young: But Nathan!
Bridger: A member of my crew is sick and that comes first. (walks out)

(Ward Room)
Bridger: Come on, Downy, come on, come on. (screen shows kitchen) Malcolm, hello, Malcolm Landsdowne?
Malcolm Landsdowne: (voice on screen) Uh, I donít know, he owe you money?
Bridger: Itís Nathan Bridger, you clown.
Malcolm: (appears on screen) Good heavens, Nathan, where have you been? You in jail?
Bridger: Iím on a submarine.
Malcolm: (on screen) Oh, yeah, right, right, I heard, seaQuest. Hey, I want ya to meet my mom. Mom. (pulls older lady into view on screen) Nathan, this is mom.
Bridger: Hi, mom.
Malcolm: (on screen, pulling two other men into view on the screen) Emile, Bill, donít be shy, donít be shy. Emile, Bill, meet Nathan.
Bridger: Hello, how are you?
Malcolm: (on screen) Family barbecue. Once a year sort of thing. Mom blimps over, stays the week, brings the cousins, enjoys the sunshine.
Bridger: Malcolm, listen to me, Darwin is very sick. I think he may be dying.
Malcolm: (seriously, on screen) Let me get this in the other room. (leaves screen, everyone stands looking uncomfortable; screen changes) Symptoms?
Bridger: Elevated white blood cell count, his color is off, fever. My medical chief thinks itís bacterial or viral.
Malcolm: (on screen) Usually takes an postmortem to tell. Whereís he been?
Bridger: On seaQuest mainly.
Malcolm: (on screen) Contact with other dolphins?
Bridger: No, not that Iím aware of.
Malcolm: (on screen) Exactly what parts of what oceans have you been in recently? There was a red tide off the Yucatan.
Bridger: No, nowhere near that.
Malcolm: (on screen) Bad oil spill in Bahrain.
Bridger: No, weíve been in the Equatorial Mid-Atlantic.
Malcolm: (on screen) I need to see him, Nathan.
Bridger: Well canít you ó
Malcolm: (on screen) Youíre just around the corner. I need to see him.
Bridger: Iíll get back to you.

(Bridge)
Bridger: (entering) Where are we?
Ford: Twenty meters off the sea bed, two hours to get the platform down, make the tenants to secure it.
Bridger: Can we release the platform now?
Ford: I suppose so.
Young: Are you mad? We canít drop it, the placementís critical.

Bridger: Itís right over the Black Smoker, exactly where itís supposed to be. Let it go.Young: Nathan.
Bridger: Itís not going anywhere, Raleigh.
Young: No, you will not. (Ford stops him, Bridger hits button, dropping platform)
Bridger: Set course for Caicos Key. (leaves)
Young: (follows Bridger) Nathan! Who gave you the authority? You canít play God! (both enter Mag-lev) Iíve invested years, teams of scientists, millions of dollars, the UEO, for what? So you can toss it away for what, a dolphin.
Bridger: A member of my crew.
Young: In some parts of the world, that crew member is an ingredient in bouillabaisse. (follows Bridger as he enters sea deck) Youíre not a scientist. Youíre a self-absorbed, ego-maniacal dictator. This boat isnít your personal fiefdom.
Bridger: Look him in the eye.
Young: Iíll do no such thing.
Bridger: Look him in the eye. (Young looks)
Darwin: Light is dark and one. (Young thinks, and leaves)

(Ward Room)
Young: Relieve him of command. Heís Ö irrational.
William Noyce: (on screen) Commander Ford?
Ford: I donít agree, Admiral.
Noyce: (on screen) Doctor Westphalen?
Westphalen: Heís distraught, withdrawn, even belligerent, but heís not irrational.
Noyce: (on screen) Doctor Young, I, I promise, your project wonít suffer for a few daysí wait.
Young: I canít be snowed with promises, Admiral. Iíll go to Secretary General Dre. Iíll not be given the run-around by a flock of vapid lackeys.
Noyce: (on screen) Iíll wait for your apology, Doctor.
Young: (looks around) Very well, Iím sorry.
Noyce: (on screen) Thank you. I share your concern, but Captain Bridger must have a good reason for his actions.
Young: He most certainly does ó heís lost his mind. Driving all over the ocean searching for spiritual dolphin healing. Iím sorry I didnít bring my own personal astrologer along.
Noyce: (on screen) Doctor Young, Captain Bridger retains my full confidence. Until I see good reason to think otherwise, his decisions are final aboard seaQuest. Thank you, and good day. (screen goes blank)
Young: (angrily, while pushing buttons) Get me the Secretary General. I want to speak to Secretary Dre. Which one of these buttonsÖ
Westphalen: (trying to restrain him and taking his pulse at the same time) You had better lie down, youíre going to give yourself a heart attack.
Ortiz: (over loudspeaker) Commander Ford.
Ford: Ford here.
Ortiz: (over loudspeaker) Weíre at Caicos Keyís outer sonar ring, sir.
Westphalen: Commander, could Chief Ortiz please send the WSKR to give us something tranquil to look at?
Ford: Chief?
Ortiz: (over loudspeaker) I have one near a reef right now, channel seven bravo.
Ford: Thank you.
Westphalen: Come on, letís sit down for a while, come on, (moves Young to chair in corner) there, there we are. I am going to dial up an outside view, soft music, lay back.
Young: Everyoneís abandoned me. My whole life, whatever it was, if I didnít clutch on like a drowning man Iíd lose it.
Westphalen: Youíve accomplished a great deal, donít go popping a vessel now. You wonít be around to enjoy it.
Young: How can I stop struggling now?
Westphalen: (whispering) Just relax, relax.

(Sea Deck Ė Moon Pool)
Bridger: Be strong, my friend.
Darwin: Darwin understand.
Bridger: Understands what?
Darwin: Darwin sick, Bridger hurt.
Bridger: Yes.
Darwin: Why?
Bridger: I want you to be well.
Darwin: Light is dark exceptÖ
Bridger: Except, what does that mean, except?
Darwin: Bridger is family.
Bridger: Youíre family too. You really are.
Darwin: Darwin loves Bridger.
Bridger: I love you too.

(Moon Pool Ė Later)
Westphalen: OK, letís go. Nice and gently. Can you take the IV, please? StopÖand lower.

(Caicos Key Dolphin Research Center)
Malcolm: My, donít you look terrible. A little elbow room here please, nothing you havenít seen before. (looks in Darwinís blowhole) Well, the breathís not bad, itís not respiratory.
Westphalen: Iíve done a complete blood history.
Malcolm: And youíve got him on antibiotics.
Westphalen: Including cyclines, and sulfasÖ
Malcolm: And you got no response from white cell count or T-cells.
Westphalen: Thatís right.
Malcolm: Well, doesnít make my life any easier. Watch out, watch out. Get a urine sample. Marine veterinary medicine is about as sophisticated as voodoo. (Westphalen laughs) Nathan, why donít you all get a bite to eat in the kitchen. Iíll find you later.
Bridger: Thanks, Downy. (all go to leave)
Malcolm: (stops Westphalen) Doctor Westphalen, I could use your help.

(seaQuest DSV - Ward Room)
Young: (knock on door) Come in.
Ford: (entering) You all right, Doctor?
Young: Just fine, thank you.
Ford: I thought you might like some lunch.
Young: That would be nice.
Ford: Youíre sure youíre all right?
Young: Commander, I assure you, Iím just fine. (Ford leaves)

(Caicos Key Dolphin Research Center)
Malcolm: Nathan, (Bridger walks over) come walk with me. (Bridger and Landsdowne go to beach)
Bridger: Heís going to die.
Malcolm: I think so. I looked at Doctor Westphalenís results. Iíll know more in a few hours, but, I wouldnít expect much. Itís just that weíve learned so little about how they heal themselves. I wish I could tell you otherwise. (they reach a shack) So, you want a beer?
Bridger: Sure.
Malcolm: (enters shack and reappears with two beers; looks down the beach) Is that Raleigh Young?
Bridger: Heís aboard the seaQuest running a project for a couple of weeks. I really feel sorry for Lucas. Darwinís the closest thing heís had to a pal, itís going to be very hard on him. Raleigh, you know Malcolm Landsdowne. (shake hands)
Lucas: Well I guess Iíll be heading back.
Malcolm: Why donít you ask him to stay, Nathan?
Bridger: Lucas, stick around.
Malcolm: Yeah, sure, sit down. Iíll get ya a beer.
Bridger: Heís only sixteen, Downy.
Malcolm: Iíll get him two. (goes inside)
Young: (sitting down) Nathan, I understand why youíve done what youíve done. I donít agree with it, but I understand it. Iíll suffer the wait.
Bridger: Thanks, Raleigh.
Young: How long?
Bridger: Raleigh.
Malcolm: (reappears in doorway of shack) So, what would we like to hearÖ blues, New Orleans jazz, zydeco Ö I havenít bought anything new since they stopped making CDís.
Young: Not to be rhetorical, but where are we? Donít you have island music?
Malcolm: Tourist. (comes out of shack and over to the table, giving each person a bottle) Jamaican ginger beer, no alcohol, plenty of bite.
Young: Thank you. Is your dolphin going to die?
Bridger: (looks at Lucas) Probably.
Young: How long?
Bridger: I donít know. Death doesnít punch a clock.
OíNeill: Canít you feel anything when you look at Darwin? Donít you know heís a thinking, and feeling creature thatís scared?
Young: The importance of my work ó
OíNeill: Your work is an inanimate object. You selfish old man.
Malcolm: Boys, boys. You strip away the education, billions of dollars worth of machinery, what do ya got? Us, couple of bucks worth of chemicals. Who understands any of it?
Young: To life.
Bridger: And death.
Malcolm: Beer. (OíNeill gives him a strange look)
Lucas: The light is dark, and one.
Malcolm: What?
Bridger: Lucas is our computer whiz. Heís designed a program that translates Darwinís clicks and whistles.
Malcolm: You mean he can speak and understand English?
Lucas: A little bit, sometimes, itís experimental.
Malcolm: Amazing. What does he say?
Bridger: Since heís been sick, all he says is light is dark and one.
Malcolm: Incredible, knowledge is light.
Bridger: Than darkness is the absence of knowledge. Heís faced with losing everything he knows.
Malcolm: And one?
Bridger: And one is alone. Light is dark and one. He doesnít want to die alone.
(Landsdowne nods his head in agreement)
OíNeill: We have to let him go.
Lucas: Heís too weak to swim.
Malcolm: No, no, no, dolphins will support a member of their pod if theyíre hurt. You can find Darwinís pod, his community, and return him to it. You didnít find him far from here.
Lucas: His pod could be anywhere within hundreds of miles from here.
Malcolm: Find the signature whistles, youíve got Darwinís recorded. Search for familial similarities.
OíNeill: We could configure the sonar.
Lucas: I could program the computers.
Young: Try, Nathan, you must.

Part Two