The Outer Limits (1995) s01e04 Episode Script

Blood Brothers

This is a news special with David Aftergood.
It's 3:00 on what may well be the most important afternoon in the history of this world.
Humanity's first contact with an extraterrestrial species.
Sources tell Newsline this broadcast is the result of weeks of communication between UN officials and representatives of an alien race identifying themselves as the N'Tal.
That's a live satellite feed of the alien mother ship in orbit where the N'Tal have said they will speak to the people of Earth.
With us is Secretary of State Randall Kelly, who is, like all of us awaiting this first direct message from the N'Tal.
Secretary, despite all the radio diplomacy we've heard that the Secret Service will not let you or the president come into direct contact with the N'Tal.
What does this bode for the safety of the entire planet? David, I've heard these rumors, and that's all they are.
The N'Tal have never given any indication of hostile intent- Pardon me, Mr.
We're receiving the transmission.
We're seeing some sort of vapor.
I don't know, a gas or something.
Something is happening.
I am Kadmis.
The sole surviving member of the Peerage the ruling council of the N'Tal.
This is Secretary of State Kelly.
On behalf of the United Nations and the United States of America I offer our warm greetings and welcome to the N'Tal from the people of Earth.
I wish we were coming to you as explorers adventurers seeking out other life-forms for the pleasures of mutual discovery.
Instead, we come to you as refugees.
Exiles from a planet rendered uninhabitable by our own negligence.
We have come to Earth seeking help.
What do you need from us? Your dead.
Give us your dead.
There is nothing wrong with your television.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are now controlling the transmission.
We control the horizontal and the vertical.
We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal clarity and beyond.
We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive.
For the next hour we will control all that you see and hear.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to The Outer Limits.
Contact happened exactly one year ago and the world changed forever.
The line between life and death was blurred, crossed, then totally erased.
Not through divine intervention, but another force from the heavens.
A force greeted not with rapture, but with fear.
Grave robber! - Are you gonna meet- - Get out of here! - Butcher! - Have respect for our dead, traitor! - How could you? - Stop stealing our dead! Body snatcher! Gravedigger! Grave robber! Dr.
Alders, what is your reaction to this demonstration? My reaction to being spat upon is about what yours would be, I imagine.
Excuse me.
It's been a year since the arrival of the N'Tal but the controversy surrounding them refuses to die.
On this special edition of Newsline - we will explore - Just the way I like to start out my day.
- Mankind's coexistence- - Oh, Nancy.
- Dr.
Alders, are you all right? - I'm delightful.
- Tell Jeffrey I'd like to see him.
- He's on his way in.
Our first guest today has a unique perspective.
Her name used to be Cheryl McRae.
She died of an embolism two months ago and was reanimated shortly thereafter.
- You name now is- - Call me Jaru.
Jaru, protests against the N'Tal have intensified and many of the reanimated N'Tal have received death threats.
- What are your thoughts on this? - Those people are afraid.
And fear translates here, as it does throughout the universe, into hatred.
Don't they havejustification for their fear? Your people are, by nature, parasites.
- We prefer the term "symbiote.
" - I've had enough of this.
Whatever you call it- - New status report.
- That's good.
Two thousand bodies processed last week.
A third eliminated right off the bat.
Internal injuries too extensive.
Another third- cancer, AIDS, other blood-related diseases.
That's only 600 suitable body donors.
That's not good.
Well, there is a guy in Davenport, Iowa, who's volunteering his body.
The only trouble is, he's still alive.
Well, he's not alone.
There's a whole cult of them now in New Mexico.
They think that if they bond with the parasites they'll be elevated to a higher spiritual level.
Well, the suicide rate has gone up since the aliens arrived.
I don't want to think about this, Jeffrey.
What else? Councillor Kadmis would like to speak with you.
He says he has more concerns.
Michael, you must understand, my people cannot exist without host bodies for more than one or two of your years.
There are 200,000 N'Tal in this ship.
And of them, I estimate a third will not survive longer than six months.
Councillor, most deaths in this country are the result of major trauma or systematic disease.
It's not our fault that your science can't regenerate more than one or two organs at a time.
I am not placing blame, Michael.
Just trying to impress you with the urgency of our situation.
Consider me impressed.
You've helped save tens of thousands of N'Tal already, Michael.
It's not that we do not appreciate your efforts.
I don't need appreciation.
The president asked me to do this job.
I am doing it.
I saw the protests outside your office this morning, Michael.
- Are you unhurt? - I'm fine.
I'll fax you the current status report within the hour.
Alders, out.
Last time I remember you having two drinks before dinner was back in the old frat-house days.
Well, I don't plan to make a habit of it, but it's been a bitch of a day.
I don't know which are worse, Congress or the leeches.
I thought they were the same thing.
Leeches? The N'Tal? Now, that's a new one.
Well, what would you call them? They're parasites.
On their home planet, they took over the bodies of the most promising mammals.
Dominated a sentient species, for God's sake.
I didn't know you hated them so much.
In premed, we studied certain Diptera- flies which lay eggs inside cattle and sheep.
Sometimes in open wounds.
The larvae hatch and feed on the flesh literally eating the animal alive.
The first time I saw the N'Tal take over a human body, I thought of that.
I can't help feeling we're just cattle to them.
Well, how would you like your hamburger cooked? Why'd you take this job? Well, I'm an oncologist.
I've fought death all of my life.
Most of the time I've lost miserably.
The N'Tal don't just cheat death, they defeat it.
Their cellular regeneration is limited, but the potential is enormous.
And they allow me to study it in hopes that it might someday be adapted to living humans.
It's too important not to do.
But that doesn't mean I have to like the miserable leeches.
Oh, they're not leeches.
They're more like ghosts.
Ghosts who come back to life.
Sanitarium in upstate New York.
Fire broke out, 43 fatalities.
Smoke inhalation mostly, requiring minimal regeneration luckily.
Yeah, lucky bastards.
No, we have been over this before, Michael.
Bodies with neurological defects are unacceptable.
The N'Tal inhabiting them would suffer from the same mental deficits - as the original owners.
- Yes, they would.
So what, for God's sake? Isn't that a small price to pay for life? Don't tell me about the price for life, Michael! I just watched my oldest friend die before my eyes! Damning me with his dying breath.
I know only too well what the price can be.
I'm sorry.
I didn't know.
Your friend.
There was no body available for him? There were bodies, but there are also other N'Tal.
Younger, stronger, better able to make the transfer.
It is not an easy thing deciding who must live and who must die.
Nancy, please don't interrupt me.
I am- Okay, put him on.
- Jim, what- - Michael, I need your help.
Jim, what is it? What's wrong? A car, it ran a red light and sideswiped us.
Jim, is Karen all right? Michael, you gotta help me, man.
Just help me.
My God.
Michael? What is it? What is wrong, Michael? There's an old, commendatory prayer that says- "Life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon.
" And a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
Karen Heatherton is beyond the limit of our sight but never beyond the limits of our heart.
Michael, for God's sake, can't you do something? Mike, at least let me see her again.
I know it won't really be her but I just want to see her breathe again, walk again.
Jim, you can't.
Policy prohibits relatives seeing- You make the policy.
You're my best friend.
You can make an exception for me.
Come on.
Please, don't let my last memory of her be like this.
Let me remember her like she was.
That's all I'm asking.
One last look.
- I gotta go talk to her.
- It's against the rules.
- Forget the rules! I wanna talk to her! - Jim, no.
Councillor, I'm sorry to have been out of touch these last few days.
No apologies necessary, Michael.
I heard about your friend.
I'm very sorry.
- Yeah, thanks.
- If it's any comfort to you her death was not entirely in vain.
Thanks to her sacrifice, someone else will live.
That is no damn comfort at all! - I'm sorry.
I did not mean to- - Tell me, Kadmis.
What do your people really know about death anyway? One host body dies, you go on to the next.
For how long? And how old are you, Kadmis? In Earth years? Just an estimate.
It would likely be measured in centuries.
You're the ultimate disposable culture.
You cast off your bodies like you would a suit of clothes! Except this time, the parasites get a taste of what true death is like.
It's a little late in the game, but you finally learned what mortality is.
Well, excuse me for not giving a damn.
You call us parasites.
Perhaps we are.
That is our nature.
But you tell me, Michael, are we really so different from you? You've wiped out dozens of species, plant and animal in your drive to dominate your world.
What do you call it- natural selection? And how many millions of your own species have died in the name of your manifest destiny? Like your original natives of your own continent who were slaughtered for the simple misfortune ofhaving been there first.
Perhaps we are more alike than you would like to believe, Michael.
We cannot help being what we are any more than you can.
We have made mistakes, tragic mistakes, just as you have.
But you have the benefit oflearning from our mistakes.
The knowledge we bring can help reverse the ecological damage to your world so that in the future your people will not have to flee to the stars to search for another home.
Michael, the most either of us can do is to hope that our intelligence triumphs most of the time over our instincts.
This was a mistake.
I shouldn't have spoken with you this soon after- Both of us have been shaken in recent days.
And you are right.
Death is new to us.
Few of us have been this close to it before.
It is frightening to feel it hovering so near.
Kadmis? Are you all right? I have been without a host body for close to two years.
But surely you're on the list? Yes, but I have no special privilege.
Michael, do you suppose that human souls and those of N'Tal go to the same place when they die? I don't know.
If they do, I shall look for your friend and tell her how much she is missed.
- Oh, hi.
Is he around? - Hi.
No, he's in the cold room.
Didn't I tell you that this morning? Yeah you did.
Do you mind if I wait? Oh, no, not at all.
Come in.
- Can I get you something? - No, I'm fine, thanks.
- That's a nice jacket, "Nance.
" - Oh, thank you.
Ravil, is that you? You don't cut it.
You pick it up with your hands.
I wasn't sure.
Thank you.
You look familiar.
I saw you in the observation room when I made the transfer.
Jim Heatherton.
She was your wife.
Would you mind if I joined you just for a moment? I'm not a crackpot.
A crazy person.
- I just had to see you.
I had to see- - If I look like her? If I sound like her? Maybe I might be her.
I suppose.
I don't blame you.
But I'm afraid the answer is no.
My name is Llanar Dy Na.
I'm a botanist.
I was born on a planet I have no memory of ever being on this world of yours as you can tell by my restaurant etiquette.
I think you should go now.
Thank you for talking to me.
You must have loved her very much.
Very much.
I'm sorry.
What the hell did you think you were doing? I know.
I'm sorry.
It was stupid.
No, it transcends stupid.
It was actionable.
We promised these people complete confidentiality, privacy precisely to avoid things like this.
- Was she pissed off? - No, concerned.
And feeling a little betrayed by this agency, which I damn well can't blame her.
How did you get her address in the first place? - I used your computer.
- You used- I don't know what the hell got into me, okay? I went a little nuts.
Look, I had to see her.
I had to talk to her.
We have known each other 20 years.
I don't remember you ever lying to me before.
Mike, I'm sorry.
I never meant to hurt you, personally or professionally.
And if I've done either of those things, then I apologize.
I just couldn't help myself.
Now, it's out of my system, okay? I've seen her.
It's not Karen.
I know this.
I accept this.
And I am ready to move on with my life.
Because, so help me, if you ever do anything like this again- I won't.
I won't.
I've asked you to leave me alone.
Now my only recourse is the law.
Your law.
- Dr.
- I'm calling for Councillor Kadmis.
I regret to say that Councillor Kadmis is too ill to speak with you now.
- Too ill? - He's being looked after but in the interim, I will be your liaison with the N'Tal.
- My name is Vila.
- Will Kadmis be all right? The only thing that will help him now is a host body.
That is more under your control than mine.
If you cannot find a way to accelerate this tortuously slow process the consequences will be on your head, not ours.
I've got good news and bad news.
Well, good news would be a novelty.
Well, the good news is that she's not suing us yet for breach of confidence or invasion of privacy.
- Llanar? - Yeah.
She just filed a complaint against your friend, Jim, for stalking her.
Did they arrest him? No.
But Judge Bertoldt has issued a restraining order prohibiting him from going anywhere within 500 yards of her.
This is Jim.
Leave a message.
Jim, this is Mike.
Call me.
I'm sorry, Mike.
You wanna go over the donor status list? Okay.
I've got the disks.
I'm sorry.
It's Llanar.
Alders, I'm sorry to disturb you so late.
- Is this aboutJim Heatherton? - Yes.
I've just had him arrested for violating a restraining order against me.
He needs help, Dr.
I'm not his wife.
I will never be his wife.
You're his friend and I was hoping that you would help him understand that.
I've tried.
As unnerving as it is for you and him, it's just as unnerving to us.
When we take these bodies, we can't access on a conscious level - the memory from the previous- - Tenant! Inhabitant.
But sometimes in our dreams, we get bits and pieces, fragments of memories- a lover's face, a child's laugh.
You think you live with ghosts? We live with ghosts every day, every night, every minute for the rest of our lives.
She's not Karen.
Look, Jim, I've talked with her, looked in her eyes.
Karen is gone.
Michael, do you think that it's natural that your loved one should die and then come back to remind you of everything that you've lost? Is that right? I don't think that's right.
Jim, you need help.
You've got to make some effort to deal with your grief.
No, it's more than that, man.
Okay? I think that there is something happening with the aliens.
What do you mean, happening? I mean meetings.
I mean, reanimated aliens getting together and exchanging data, planning something.
- I don't know.
- Look, Jim- I know it sounds weird, but I'm telling you, I'm not making this up, all right? I watched her for an entire week, and I saw her give other N'Tal these things- electronic equipment, this weird liquid in vials.
And they are up to something, okay? Now, maybe they're not getting enough bodies or maybe they are planning on taking more bodies, l- Jim, stop it! Don't you see what you're doing? You know that she's not Karen so you're creating a conspiracy, a reason to be around her.
Well, maybe l- Maybe.
Jim, as your friend Look, if you truly want Karen to rest in peace, let me get you some help.
- Hello.
- Dr.
Alders? I'm Detective Jacobs with the District of Columbia Police Department.
Yes? I believe you know a man named James Heatherton? He's not in jail again already? No, sir.
I'm afraid he's dead.
It appears to be a suicide.
Just check around.
See what you can find.
I will.
By the trauma to his spine, I assume he hung himself.
This was addressed to you.
It's how we knew to call you.
"The dead are among us, and we are the dead.
Man wasn't meant to live like this.
My only fear in doing this is that when I get to the other side, Karen isn't there.
Say a prayer, Mike, that it isn't so.
" "Thanks for being a friend.
" "Thanks for being a frie-" Does that sound like him? Yeah.
Is there any indication that it wasn't suicide? Nothing.
Do you have reason to believe someone may have wanted to kill him? L- I don't know.
I'm not convinced he's a good candidate for reanimation.
Have them do it over.
Look, we could do it over a dozen times.
We're just postponing the inevitable- We'll do it a dozen times! Send it back! Hey, you're the boss.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to bite your head off.
Ah, forget it.
It doesn't matter.
If he was my friend, I might do the same.
Do you trust the N'Tal? Well, don't you? I don't know.
Before he died, Jim said he saw groups of N'Tal meeting exchanging data, electronics devices.
He thought they were planning something.
Some sort of conspiracy going on.
- Then he shows up dead.
- Exactly.
So, this morning, I did a little digging of my own to see if any N'Tal have made visits to the Earth for purposes other than reanimation and they haven't.
But several transport shuttles have left the mother ship transferring electronics equipment to a company called Synergistic Technologies.
Hey, that's owned by a reanimated N'Tal, isn't it? You know, I have a friend in Customs.
I bet I could wangle a copy of the cargo manifest for those transports.
Jeffrey, be discreet.
We don't know what we're dealing with.
It could turn around and deal with us.
Hey, come on.
Let's get those out.
The equipment's going to a warehouse on the South Side.
I haven't been able to get a look inside.
There's too many workers during the day, and it's locked by night.
One thing I did overhear is that there's going to be some sort of a meeting held there this Friday night.
Did your friend in Customs come up with anything? According to the cargo manifest the transports contained air filtration systems, gas spectrometers and pressurized tanks containing various rare gases.
Some terrestrial, some not.
And some of these in certain combinations can be toxic as hell to humans.
But mostly asphyxiants.
Not likely to cause a lot of cellular deterioration.
- My God.
- Michael, what the hell do we do? - Nancy.
- Yes, sir? - Get me Secretary Kelly's office.
- Right away.
The last pathology report on Jim Heatherton came in.
Same conclusions as the previous three.
We just can't stall it any longer, Mike.
I don't want to know what happens to the body after it leaves here.
Is that understood? Understood.
Let me see if I understand this, Doctor.
These gases can be deadly to humans, in some combinations but you have absolutely no proof that they're intended as weapons.
Well, no sir, but- The N'Tal's natural form is, in fact, gaseous, isn't it, Doctor? Might these gases not be something necessary to their survival? No, sir.
Once inside a human body the N'Tal's physiology becomes entirely human.
Secretary, there are meetings going on, equipment is being transferred.
All out in the open, from what you tell me.
And what better way to avert suspicion? It seems to me you're the one who's being clandestine.
Skulking around like something out of a mystery novel, searching out foul play.
But, for God's sake, at least alert the FBI and have them look into this.
Doctor, your private feelings about the N'Tal are well-known.
I wouldn't call you a bigot.
Maybe xenophobe is more accurate.
But like it or not, humankind is no longer alone in the universe.
You, all of us, have to get used to that.
- This is not about- - As for the charges you're making they're more than serious, they're libelous.
Before I can so much as whisper it to anyone in the FBI or NSA I would need one hell of a lot more evidence than you've given me.
Good day, Doctor.
They're afraid.
They've always been afraid of the N'Tal.
That hasn't changed.
Yeah, but would the government really let the N'Tal get away with mass murder out of fear of something worse? Well, I hope not, but I really don't know.
This is everything we've got.
If I don't return from this meeting tonight, you get this to the president.
Use my name and hope it's still worth something.
Oh, what are you- What is that for? If my body turns up, I don't intend to qualify for reanimation.
- Clear.
- All right, let's go.
Hans? What are you doing here, my friend? Who are you? How do you know me? It is I.
You will not need that here.
Welcome, all of you.
It's all right.
In fact, may I hold her? It's for her and others like her that we've created this place.
She's human, so very, very human.
Within the space of a single generation, there shall be no N'Tal left.
Our children and our children's children shall all be human.
And when those of us who immigrated here finally die the N'Tal shall cease to exist as a race.
But we can bring our children here.
To show them where their parents and their grandparents came from.
Show them this small bit of beauty that used to be N'Tala.
Perhaps they will learn to appreciate the beauty of this planet our adopted planet, Earth.
And hope they learn from our mistakes.
Now, let us all prepare to honor our past and pray for our future.
Welcome home.
It's just like home.
The atmosphere isn't quite the same and, as you can see, some of the plants and vegetation are native.
Others have been genetically altered to resemble those indigenous to N'Tala.
And as they say here on Earth, it's the thought that counts.
I never thought about what it meant for you as a race.
Neither did we, until it was too late.
And now, amid this beauty let us bid farewell to our past and to the world of our birth.
Would you do us the honor of joining us? I don't deserve to.
No, Michael.
None of us is innocent here.
You know, it takes a long time for the old ways to die.
But I think we should be happy that they do eventually die, don't you? - Will you help us? Help us say good-bye? - Please.
What if you were to wake up to a different world tomorrow? A world of invaders.
Would you raise your voice with the aliens in a chant of remembrance and regret bidding farewell to a vanished world? Or would you fight against those who might ultimately help us.