The Outer Limits (1995) s01e15 Episode Script

Caught in the Act

This water has been subjected to a number of man-made pollutants and its condition is extremely unhealthy, teeming with disease.
However, after my solution is introduced it begins to change, taking on an entirely different character.
Finally, the conversion is complete and the pollutant is gone.
(applause) You were watching the surface of the liquid in this flask.
At one time, it was swimming with malignant cancerous cells taken from a human liver.
Until my nanotech machines went to work on it, changing the malignant cancer cells into benign healthy ones.
We here at Claybourne University are very fortunate to have someone as gifted as Dr Stephen Ledbetter on our staff.
His developments in nanotechnology have perched him on the leading edge of a stunning medical breakthrough.
He will be happy to answer your questions.
How are the nanobots able to change the cancer cells? They change them on a molecular level.
You must understand that in the science of nanotechnology we are dealing with objects which are measnred in nanometres.
A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre.
I have been able to successfully engineer molecule-sized machines which can enter a cell and repair it, changing the molecular configuration of that cell and altering its very being.
How do they know which cells to enter? They're programmed to identify specific cells that aren't behaving the way they should and they know how to repair what they find.
So you've found a cure for cancer? Cancer, heart disease dandruff.
I am working on nanobots which when introduced into the human bloodstream can replicate themselves and spread throughout the entire body, searching out any damaged or diseased cells and healing them.
Sounds like you're playing God.
Let's just say God created a flawed man.
- I think I can do better.
- (laughter) (narrator) 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.
(narrator) Man has long worked to stave off the disease that can ravage us.
But what can happen when the cure grows more fearsome than the disease? - Comparing yourself to God! - I was not comparing myself to God.
I said I was improving on his design.
University officials find that blasphemous.
- You'll have to learn some politics.
- Norman, I was kidding.
- They do not have a sense of humour.
- Neither do you.
If my research works, the university stands to make millions.
They're not going to let it go because of a few puritans on the board.
The puritans hold all the power.
I'd hate to see you kicked off this project.
I'll choose my words more carefully in future.
Stephen, give me your word you'll adhere to Federal testing procedures.
We're wasting so much precious time.
The nanobots are ready for live animal testing now.
Only a fool makes the same mistake twice.
Really? What mistake are you referring to, Normann? When you proceeded with tissue testing without approval.
If I hadn't done some damn good politicising, you'd be out of a job and your nanobots would be in historical scientific journals of failed experiments.
All right.
Don't worry, Normann.
I'll be a good boy.
I'm counting on it.
(computer) Decontamination complete.
Hey, Doctor Super-scientist.
- Nice presentation.
- You were there? That's all you've been talking about for months.
I wouldn't have missed it.
I didn't understand all of it, but the overview was fascinating.
You didn't find the God reference offensive? It was a little over the top, but those little things of yours are nothing short of a miracle.
- Will they let you do live animal testing? - You know grant boards.
These nanobots are probably ready for human testing as well.
There they are, suspended in saline, too small to see.
The answer to so many of the world's problems.
- Before you save the world, we have to talk.
- What's up? - Can you come out of there? - We can talk fine right here.
- I came to ask for your blessings.
- Blessings for what? - To marry your little sister.
- You popped the question? Getting married next month.
I made her promise to let me be the one to tell you.
- I wanted to know if you'd be best man.
- I wouldn't miss it for the world.
- What made you ask her? - I finally feel like I have a future.
What future? Oh, you got tenure? A permanent member of the Sociology Department.
All this good news deserves a celebration.
We'll get a bottle of champagne.
I can't.
I have a doctor's appointment, but I'll take a rain check.
Congratulations, Andy.
- Did the X-rays show anything? - We've located the sounrce of your back pain.
So what is it? A pulled muscle? I'm afraid it's not that easy.
The tests indicate a mass in your pelvic region.
- What kind of mass? - Osteosarcoma.
- Cancer.
- I'm sorry.
Well, it's treatable, isn't it? What about chemotherapy? Unfortunately, pelvic cancer doesn't respond well to chemo.
- Surgery? - That's possible.
The cancerous area is quite large.
It would require a radical resection.
I don't care.
You have to operate.
Before you decide, you've got to understand that a radical resection entails the removal of the entire leg and hip area.
We do have prosthesis on the market.
We could set you up with one Is there an option? How long would I have if I didn't get the surgery? - That's hard to say - How long would I have? Maybe a year.
- Stephen! - Andy.
Where have you been? - You look terrible.
- Oh I didn't get any sleep last night.
An impending marriage will do that to you.
- What brings you to this side of campus? - I thought I'd walk you back to the lab.
I'm always happy for the company.
Any word from the board yet on using the nanobots on live subjects? Haven't heard a word.
The university is so backward about taking risks.
What if a terminal patient was willing to sign a release form to take your pill? They're not delivered in a pill.
It's through injection.
Would they let you try it on a patient who had nothing else to try? The university is terrified that if it went wrong, we'd lose our funding.
I don't understand.
You'd be giving the patient hope.
If something did go wrong, it couldn't be worse than death.
- Andy, are you all right? - Oh, everything's fine.
- I'm just curious.
I'll let you go.
- Nice to see you.
(soft classlcal plarho muuslc) - Hey, honn.
- Hey, Judy.
- What's the matter? Are you OK? - Oh, yeah.
- I'm a little anxious about the wedding.
- (laughs) Me too.
There's nothing to worry about because I already booked the banquet hall and I've got a substitute teacher lined up for while we're on our honeymoon.
Oh, I had a dream last night.
That we were grandparents.
It was Christmas morning and we were surrounded by children.
All the little ones were opening up their presents and squealing with delight.
I woke up this morning and I had a warm feeling all over.
I am so looking forward to growing old with you.
Ah! Oh Damn.
We ran the test twice, but I still don't believe it.
The cancer is 90%%% reduced.
I don't understand it.
Three days ago you had a large malignant mass.
At this rate, it should be in remission by the end of the week.
That's just not possible.
That was great.
- What got into you? - If only you knew.
What? - I cannot believe you did this! - I'm sorry.
I didn't see any other option.
Those nanobots have not even been tested in mice.
- You said they were ready.
- For animal testing.
- You said they were ready for humans.
- I said probably ready! Speculation! - Surely you understand that concept.
- It was either do this or die.
You may still die.
The nanobots could kill you.
I feel fantastic.
I have perfect eyesight, more energy.
I'm stronger than I ever was before.
Look at this.
I had a four-inch scar here for 20 years.
It healed all by itself.
Your nanobots saved my life.
They worked just like you said.
That's not the point.
You've put me in an extremely difficult position, both of us.
I consider it a better position than being dead.
I don't consider prison a better position for me! Don't worry.
I injected them.
You won't be culpable.
Look at it this way.
I'm living proof that your nanobots work.
We go public, you don't have to spend years doing lab experiments That wouldn't happen.
You would be kicked out for tampering with a research project, then they would probably lock you away in some medical lab in the backwoods of Langley, Virginia, and stick needles in you! We've got to deactivate them.
You mean kill them off? How will my body react? I have no idea, but I can't let them roam without knowing what they'll do next.
I feel better than I ever have in my whole life.
The nanobots are protecting me.
I won't risk getting the cancer back.
- It's not likely to come back.
- Not likely.
- I'm not letting you deactivate them.
- Then why come to me? I thought you should monitor them, but don't shut them off.
We both stand to lose everything here! You could be saving lives right now.
I'm the best testing ground you'll ever have.
You can take advantage of that, but I won't let you turn them off.
It's your choice, Stephen.
All right.
I'll make a deal with you.
We'll leave them in and I monitor them.
If anything goes wrong, we deactivate, agreed? Agreed.
(Andy) E, F, P (Andy reads letters) "Made in Taiwan.
" I think I'll enter the 10k.
First prize would pay for a honeymoon.
If you start showing off, you're going to jeopardise the process.
- Now I know how Clark Kent felt.
- You're not Superman yet, Andy.
As close as a human can get.
I'd do better if I didn't have these wires.
Do I really need them? - It's how I monitor the logic gate.
- Logic gate? It's how the nanos communicate with the computer and each other.
- They talk to each other? - That's why they work so fast.
Each one performs a separate task towards the same end.
- Can you communicate with them? - I can give them commands.
Can you thank them for me? I don't think their programme has words for gratitude.
Check this out.
What the hell are you doing? You said we were conducting tests, right? Excuse me.
Come on, Judy.
You can't get a good cardio at this snail's pace.
Snail's pace.
Are you kidding? - You used to poop out at this point.
- Not any more.
I'll go once round and meet you back here.
Andy! What has gotten into you? - What do you mean? - I've never seen you like this before.
- Like what? - Andy Please don't be mad at me, are you on something? On something? Youn mean drugs? No, Jude, I don't do that.
Because I know you've been under a lot of pressure with work.
I'm fine.
Let's go to sleep.
I'm gonna sleep at my place tonight.
- Is something wrong? - No.
I just Every night lately you keep me up and I really need a good night's sleep.
Come on, Jude.
I won't keep you up.
Andy, what's gotten you so hyper lately? If it's not drugs, what is it? What are you talking about? Where's all the energy coming from, Andy? 'Cause, quite frankly, it's begining to scare me.
Would you rather I be sedentary? No.
I'd rather you be the Andrew Groenig I fell in love with.
Oh, my God! - What are you doing here? It's Saturday.
- Your nanobots work weekends.
- That's incredible.
- What the hell are they? They look a bit like gills.
The nanobots interpreted your inability to breathe underwater as a deficiency.
- What are we gonna do? - Deactivate.
This experiment is over.
Why the gloves? Are they contagious? I don't know.
We weren't ready for human testing.
- What do you think? - They're not airborne, they're too heavy, and since they act as a community, they probably won't stray out of the host body.
- Is that a no? - That's a probable no.
I'll patch in to the logic gate.
I've got a link.
Now I'll enter the command to flush from your system and deactivate.
Flush from my system? - They'll come out in your stool.
- Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute.
Stephen, hang on.
Give them the command to get rid of these things on my neck first.
I didn't develop the C language to be that specific.
I think it's best we deactivate and deal in a conventional way with the lesions.
These are not lesions.
I know.
- That's not how it's supposed to work.
- Don't tell me.
I'm not sure.
It may be that it will take time for the flush and deactivate command to spread.
- We may be OK.
- May be? I'll tell you what you do.
Go and get some sleep, come back in the morning and we'll see if they're gone.
Meanwhile, I'll work out another way to Are you telling me you can't stop them? I didn't say that.
I said it might take time for it to work.
At any rate, you'll rest better at home and I'll be checking in on you.
(groars) - Who is it? - Me.
Let me in.
I've been working on it all night.
We have to use electricity and short them out.
- Have there been more changes? - I'm not sure.
There's intense pain at the back of my head.
Let me look.
- Do you see anything? - Just two small bumps.
- Damn it, that hurts! - Sorry.
They appear to be filled with some kind of fluid.
- What? - They're moving.
- What is it? - My God! They're eyes.
No! Andy, get undressed.
There has to be another way.
I tried jamming the logic gate frequency so the nanobots couldn't communicate.
They switched to chemical transmission.
What about poison or something? Anything that would hurt them would kill you.
- Radiation? - I thought you didn't want the cancer back.
But won't electricity kill me? Not if we regulate it properly.
I'm sorry, Andy, but this is the only thing left to try.
Let's get on with it.
You should be aware of what we're gonna do.
This is an ECT machine.
It's used for electric-shock treatment, so it's pretty safe.
I have to give you enough direct current to disrupt the nanobots, but stop short of doing any real harm.
- Is this gonna hurt as much as I think? - Only for a few seconds.
Bite on this.
It'll keep you from swallowing your tongue.
Are you ready, Andy? OK.
Here goes.
We've got 'em on the run.
Brace yourself.
Here we go.
It's working.
It's workinng.
One more shot and that should get them.
Ready? OK.
Come on, come on.
Come on! Come on, Andy.
- How do you feel? - Like I spent a week in the electric chair.
Was it a success? - They're still inside me, aren't they? - I'm afraid so.
Are you sure? I've taken blood samples from different parts of your body.
The nanobots are already duplicating themselves.
We've slowed down the process but it's only a matter of time before they're back in full force.
We're just gonna have to do it again.
This time we'll increase the voltage.
I don't think so.
You're too weak for another dose.
I almost lost you earlier.
Your heart couldn't take any more.
That wouldn't be so terrible.
Better than living as a freak.
Don't give up on me, Andy.
We're gonna find a way to beat these things.
Oh! Hello.
Where have you been? Oh at the university.
We have a lot to talk about.
Can I come over? No! I mean it's not a good time.
- I'm just gonna hit the sack.
- Is everything OK? Everything's fine.
I'm just tired.
- Well OK.
Take care of yourself.
- Judy I love you.
Always remember that.
- Me too.
- Night.
Andy, are you all right? What's the matter? Do you have any idea what these are? What in the name of God? Ow! It burned me.
They've converted some of your skin cells into nematocysts.
- What? - Nematocysts.
They're the poison-secreting cells that you find in jellyfish.
They're trying to make you invulnerable to attack or any medical contact.
I know what they're doing.
They're putting up a barrier to stop me.
What are we gonna do now? Get dressed and meet me in my laboratory in two hours.
They're changing something inside me, Stephen.
They've doubled the protection around your body cavity.
- It's amazing.
- Amazing? It hurts like hell.
I'm a little beyond repair, wouldn't you say, Doctor? Stephen I don't blame you for this.
I'm the one who opened Pandora's Box.
Andy? Don't do anything crazy! We can still go public with this.
We can seek the help of other scientists.
I don't want Judy to remember me as some kind of freak.
I'm sorry, Stephen.
It's better this way.
Andy! Andy.
They won't let me die.
It's ironic, isn't it? Two weeks ago, I would have sold my soul for a new lease on life and it appears that's exactly what I have.
Now I'm desperate to die and I can't.
You're the only one who can help me now.
- What do you want me to do? - End this torture.
I don't know if I can.
You said yourself when we tried this last time I almost died.
If you increase the voltage you should be able to kill enough nanobots that they can't mount a defence.
My body will be so fried not even they will be able to resuscitate me.
- Andy, I'm not a killer.
- I would have died either way.
- What about Judy? - Stephen, look at me! Look at me! Look what I've become.
Do you really think Judy would be happy married to this? What are you planning on doing with the body? It has to be cremation.
Otherwise whoever finds it will know what I've become.
You could make it look like I burned up in a lab fire.
Don't worry, Stephen.
You're doing me a favour.
I'm ready.
Let's do it.
- I'm so sorry, Andy.
- Don't be.
It's not your fault.
Tell Judy I love her.
Aagh! Goodbye.
Aagh! Damn! Ow! Ah.
(narrator) Over millions of years, man has become the very paragon of animals.
But we must take care not to alter what nature has taken so long to forge or risk being burned by the very fires of creation.