The Outer Limits (1995) s01e22 Episode Script

The Voice of Reason

I have a few visual aids for my presentation.
Should I set them up now? I'll just go ahead and do that then.
Where's my videotape? It was here.
It was taken from me during the security scan.
I knew it! It's in the machine just over there, sir.
All ready to go.
The controls are by your left hand.
So, it's ready to go? Yes, sir.
That's fine.
I don't know what your security clearance is, soldier but if you knew what I was briefing the committee about you'd understand why I'm so paranoid.
I wouldn't know, sir.
Randal Strong.
I trust you will forgive us the lateness of the hour.
- We are very busy men and women.
- Yes, sir.
Of course.
Yes, Mr.
Thank you for- I'm grateful that the committee has granted me a hearing.
I feel that it's of the utmost importance- I'm sure you do, Mr.
Please sit down.
You must have powerful friends in this building to have been granted a hearing with a committee that does not even officially exist.
Yes, sir.
You've had the privilege of serving your country.
Vietnam, sir.
'71 to '74.
Army Intelligence.
Two commendations.
Purple Heart, if I'm not mistaken.
That was a long time ago.
Oh, it's abundantly clear, sir, that it was a long time ago.
Otherwise, you would surely remember that the military does not take kindly to civilian demands that they be heard.
With all due respect, sir I was hoping to have the ear of the president himself.
Strong, in these matters we are the ear of the president.
At least this committee is as close as you're ever gonna get.
Now, as you were saying? Yes.
I was saying Mr.
Chairman, in the past several years I've been conducting research.
I've come to the inescapable conclusion that the United States and quite possibly the entire world is being overrun by aliens.
And by aliens, you mean- Extraterrestrials, ma'am.
I believe this is the greatest threat that we've ever faced as a nation.
We have to act, and we have to act now before it's too late.
You actually sound frightened, Mr.
I'm scared to death.
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.
What is our last line of defense? Is it the military with all of their power and might? Or is it the courage of a solitary man? Mr.
Strong, if you are aware of this committee then you must be aware of its purpose.
Sir, this committee was formed to investigate unforeseen external threats to the United States.
That's exactly correct.
Suffice it to say that we have not come to the same conclusions that you apparently have.
Then it will be up to me to convince you.
And excuse me, Mr.
Chairman, for jumping in.
As the newest member I haven't yet been able to go over all the material gathered for this committee.
But I haven't come across anything that even remotely resembles a threat and that's using information gathered through the intelligence and resources of the United States military.
What about the M-7 biotics? You don't perceive them as a threat? I'm sorry.
The what? An organism brought back with the Mars Lander just over a year ago.
Microscopic eggs of some kind.
But the program was discontinued.
The organic material was destroyed.
You know that's not true.
Kress managed to take home a sample of the soil.
For cryin' out loud.
Kress was nuts.
When the program was discontinued, he raised bugs on his own.
Claimed they were from Mars.
It was a hoax, pure and simple.
It was no hoax.
He reproduced the conditions of the laboratory in his own barn.
He raised generation after generation of the M-7 biotic.
And they're more than simply ""bugs,'' sir.
They're intelligent.
- Intelligent? - Yes.
Kress proved this.
He called them Sandkings.
We know all about Kress.
It was not proved there was any connection between the Martian organism and what he developed in his barn.
Whatever it was he grew in his backyard is not now, nor has it ever been, a threat to this country.
Sir I have videotape of Kress's own experiment.
Chairman, we've gone over this ground.
If I might be allowed to show the tape I'd like to see it, sir.
I mean, if that's okay with you.
Proceed, Mr.
Thank you, sir.
I've pieced some of the more telling portions of the tape together.
Kress recorded hours and hours of it.
I was under the assumption that you would be familiar with this material.
Could you get the lights, please? Organisms have been denied food for 36 hours.
The first conflict erupted 40 minutes ago.
Five white mobiles attacked a red.
It was dismembered and fed to the white queen.
Red retaliation occurred almost instantly.
War has been constant.
Battle maneuvers extremely sophisticated.
I estimate total losses on both sides at 20%.
Only the- the strongest and smartest survive.
Entry number 17.
They've displayed an ability to mimic terrestrial formations.
Now, while this could indicate some form of intellect at work it does not necessarily demonstrate the ability to reason.
I feel as if the organisms could leave the habitat whenever they desired and yet they stay, as if to perform for me or communicate with me.
I know and feel that as soon as regular feedings resume there will evolve a deepening trust.
Oh! Shit! Ow! Little bastard! Entry 51.
The presence of infection confirmed.
I will attempt to retard the spread of the microorganisms with use of conventional antibiotics but their- their effects are- are greatly in doubt.
The experiment has taken on a life of its own.
And this demonstration is intended to prove? The threat of this kind of extraterrestrial in our ecosystem.
See, the Sandkings are not only poisonous they can eat three or four times their own weight in less than an hour.
What are you talking about? Kress went insane and killed them all.
No, but they weren't all killed.
No, I've had reports from as far as of- of- of cattle mysteriously gone missing of people in remote areas disappearing sand castles sprung up in the middle of the forest! Mr.
Strong, the army went in and swept the entire area.
They found no evidence- In trying to eradicate them the Army Corps of Engineers never gave the Sandkings the respect they deserved.
Respect? I think this has gone far enough.
Just wait.
Just consider this.
Kress lived in the Pacific Northwest.
Now, there are miles and miles of forests all around where the Sandkings could be proliferating.
There are two mountain ranges alone within a hundred miles of where Kress lived.
The very fact that their eggs were found intact on Mars is proof that the Sandkings can live in a low-oxygen, cold-temperature environment, until What are you saying, Mr.
Strong? Martian bugs are creating colonies on this planet without our being aware of it? There's evidence there to suggest that is happening.
See, what you're overlooking is the fact that they're intelligent enough not to be found.
They move in small numbers.
They move at night.
They reproduce virtually underground.
They know now that they're vulnerable and they will remain in relative obscurity until their numbers are overwhelming.
We must set up a task force- - Mr.
- Yes, Mr.
Chairman? There's a full moon tonight.
Did you know that? No, sir.
In my experience people say and do strange things on nights when there's a full moon.
Bizarre things.
I'm told statistically that's untrue.
But I'm afraid you've gone out of your way to prove my point here tonight.
- I don't follow.
- I don't either.
I've given you the benefit of the doubt.
I have.
But the hour is late and I'm very, very tired of listening to all this.
There are even more serious threats.
I have evidence.
- Submit it through the proper channels.
- You have to let me finish! I will not waste one more minute of this committee's precious time! If there are no objections.
Actually, I'd like to hear more.
Would you? Yes, sir.
I'm not convinced these Sandkings are a threat but I think we should see what else Mr.
Strong has to say.
This is your first hearing as a member of this committee, is it not, Mr.
Waters? Yes, sir, it is.
Then I can hardly fault your enthusiasm, can I? I suppose I should call my wife and tell her I'll be very late, Mr.
Strong? Yes, Mr.
Perhaps you should.
If the committee members will turn to page three of the brief I've given you.
I've already skipped ahead.
It's a bad habit.
You submit that the destruction of the last Mars landing probe was no accident? Yes, ma'am.
Strong, the death of those three astronauts was a tragic accident, pure and simple.
This has been investigated and reinvestigated to the nth degree.
It was no accident.
The ship was destroyed by one of the astronauts.
Strong, let me tell you something right now.
I knew those three men You said I must have friends in this building, Mr.
Chairman, and you're right.
Apparently, a flight data recorder was found close to the site where the capsule was supposed to splash down.
Well, that's true, but it was damaged beyond repair.
-There was nothing on that tape but noise.
-Not true, sir.
You must know that one of your teams managed to reconstruct some of it.
I have a portion of the reconstructed recording here with me now.
- How did you get ahold of that? - Doesn't really matter, sir.
Pete? What the hell's going on? - Ed! Ed! What are you doing? - It's not Wells.
Pete, he's crazy! Let me outta here! Ed, don't do anything stupid.
Pete! He's crazy! - You got hit.
You're imagining things.
- It's not Wells.
- Don't do this! Let me out of here! - It's not Wells! Is it possible that one of them actually killed the other? Oxygen deprivation.
It affects the mind.
An alien organism infected two of the crew, took over their bodies.
The surviving astronaut sacrificed himself to keep the organism from reaching Earth.
Assuming that is true, and I do so only for the sake of discussion where is your threat, Mr.
Strong? The story you tell shows that the courage of a single man defeated these aliens before they even had a chance to set foot on our soil.
What if he didn't defeat them? Here we have a life-form capable of taking on human form as well as the personalities of its victims.
Aren't you speculating? You heard it on the tape.
Claridge accused Barkley of ejecting Wells out of the air lock.
But it wasn't Wells.
I'll bite, Mr.
What if the alien had reached the Earth? Then it continues taking over bodies converting human to alien with no way to tell them apart.
Then each goes out and converts more until finally there are thousands, and then millions in our midst.
That didn't happen.
- What if it did? - What if it did? What if? What if the world went spinning off into space? What if the ground opened up and swallowed us whole? This committee is interested only in the facts.
As am I, sir.
The sky is not falling, Mr.
Chairman, with all due respect, look again.
You know, it's a funny thing, Mr.
When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs asked me to allow you to appear before this committee, I said, ""Yes, sir'' because even though my years of military service are over I remain a good soldier.
Still, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff does not like making such requests.
Not because he is above such things or because he thinks these matters are unimportant but because he believes in the chain of command.
You, sir have leapfrogged your way into this room by calling in a favor.
If I were a betting man, I'd guarantee that you've used up your lot.
You'd win that bet.
I called in a favor of my own.
I got ahold of your military service record.
It is no secret, sir.
You were discharged before your tour of duty was complete because of severe post-traumatic stress syndrome.
My helicopter went down in enemy territory on the way back from a spy mission.
- It took me a month to get back out.
- Alone? - Yes, sir.
- Very impressive.
Upon your return you were under the delusion that the enemy was all around you.
There was no safe place to hide, even when you got home.
I felt that, yes, sir.
You slept with a gun under your pillow.
- Like I said, that was a long time ago.
- Was it? If you're saying I'm suffering because of what happened to me during the war I'll give you no argument.
A day doesn't go by without my thinking about it.
If you're saying what I went through 20 years ago is clouding my judgment now then you're dead wrong.
- You're paranoid.
- No, sir.
- Understandably distressed.
- I see a threat from- - You see delusions.
- I beg your pardon, sir! Sit down, Mr.
You're right.
I know what it's like to be surrounded by the enemy.
I've been in places where every move I made should have been my last.
If anything it's taught me about what may come to pass for all of us if we do nothing.
I've seen bombs fall on villages from planes so far away you can't even hear them coming.
I've seen survivors look to their unseen enemy in the sky and know that they could never strike back.
You're overlooking one thing.
Those helpless villagers that you witnessed 20-some years ago ended up winning the war.
You're right, sir.
That's why I'm here.
So can we.
May I continue? If you must, Mr.
If you must.
I tend to agree with the chairman.
You present us scenarios that are, for the most part, products of your imagination.
What if the Sandkings were spreading throughout the country without our knowing it? What if the astronauts of Mars II hadn't destroyed their ship and brought an alien organism back to Earth? If you don't have any further examples of alien belligerence- But I do.
Is that an artifact of some sort? No, sir.
An artifact, by definition, I think, is made by human hands.
- That's organic.
- It looks metallic.
- It is.
- But I thought you said That object was recovered from the floor of a house in the Midwest.
It's been examined by metallurgists and biologists and so far all they agree on is that it was grown to suit a purpose.
It's scorched.
From passing through the atmosphere.
So this is a tiny alien spaceship, I imagine.
- Somehow, I don't feel threatened.
- Well, you should.
That object you're looking at carries a parasite that becomes absorbed into the body of whoever finds the object.
And then what? Well, the parasite takes control of the host and then it begins to search for a source of energy.
And what kind of energy might that be, Mr.
Strong? Nuclear? Chemical? Sexual.
You're honestly saying that this alien parasite completely absorbs the victim during the act of sex? It's happened half a dozen times in this century alone.
An object falls.
A young woman's behavior radically changes.
Men begin disappearing.
Strong, I find the subject matter of this particular discussion absurd.
The biologist who wrote the paper on the object that you're looking at theorizes that this process is part of this being's life cycle.
It uses the energy it absorbs to achieve a sort of metamorphosis.
Where are they? As I said, it's- it's part of a life cycle.
The host is only affected until the alien can change form.
Usually within a matter of days.
And this is supposed to be the greatest threat the nation's ever faced? Mr.
Chairman, I beg your pardon, but this is very similar to the case we investigated in Michigan.
The house! Yes! Yes! I-I was gonna bring that up.
- I'm sure you were.
- Forgive me.
Again, this was before my time on the committee.
An otherwise ordinary house was alleged to be composed of nonterrestrial organic material.
The committee looked into the matter, examined the facts.
The evidence was insubstantial.
The evidence was overwhelming.
Thanks, Warren.
What the hell was that? Warren? Mike? I'm getting the hell out of here.
No! Mr.
Strong, I had proposed we bring this to the Joint Chiefs as a class-one threat.
I was overruled.
Outvoted, Mrs.
Four to one, as I recall.
At least six people who went into that house are missing and presumed dead.
You insisted they were going to turn up.
- What happened to them? - The house absorbed them.
It's the house! No! Mr.
Strong, the committee has already discussed this matter at length.
I'm not sure they have.
I think you have.
Look you can't go blaming aliens for everything that happens that you don't understand.
A girl kills her lover.
It's a terrible thing, I know, but these things happen.
Nobody thinks she's capable of murder, and there's no body so you UFO types jump to the conclusion that aliens have used her to absorb the human race.
- I never said that, sir.
- And the house! Some people disappear and suddenly it's eating them.
Did anybody bother to check to see if the place had a back door for cryin' out loud? Folks, we're gonna take a five minute break here.
I need to put- put in my eyedrops.
But when I come back, I want this hearing over with.
Tilting at windmills, Mr.
I'm sorry? I was making an analogy.
To what I'm up against? You tell me.
Am I wasting my time? - Where were we? - We were just about to wrap this up.
As a matter of fact I have a lot more material to go over.
To what purpose, Mr.
Strong? What do you mean? I think the committee member is expressing is the fact that we as a group interpret events differently.
It's not a question of perception.
If you met a man with eyes in the back of his head, gills and a poisonous, stinging membrane all over his body would you be inclined to think he was an alien? - I might.
- You'd be wrong.
What in the name of God? Have there been more changes? Oh, God, I'm not sure.
I have this intense pain in the back of my head.
It's kept me up all night.
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 is it? - They're moving.
- What is it? - Oh, my God! They're eyes.
Here was a case, Mr.
Chairman where the evidence points to aliens.
It was, in fact, a scientific experiment gone awry.
You see, Mr.
Strong, I This better be important.
- You asked me to send those case files.
- Yes, yes.
You brought them? Well, that's just it, sir.
They're missing.
And there's no sign of any of them.
I haven't the foggiest idea where those files are, Mr.
Sir, you and I are the only ones that have access to your computer.
I'll tell you what: We'll discuss this in the morning.
Okay? That's all.
I had hoped to show you information that we ourselves have gathered on those cases that you've discussed thus far.
But apparently, our bureaucracy's falling down.
Perhaps you'll take my word when I tell you that the lion's share of our work here has been investigating those claims that bear very little resemblance to reality.
I know there are hoaxes out there.
Most stories, I've found are at best imaginary, at worst out-and-out lies.
Finally we agree on something.
But that doesn't mean there aren't real threats out there.
Well, how do you tell the difference between the real and the imaginary? Between those who are human and those who appear to be human? Chairman Thornwell, do you believe in God? - I don't see what that has to do with - Do you? - I do.
- On the basis of what evidence? On faith, Mr.
Do you believe the existence of God precludes the existence of aliens? - If this is headed where I think it is - Do you recall the name of Father Jonascu? He was a priest who performed miracles, healing the sick.
Poor child.
Now it's time to exercise your powers.
Come, Father.
Will her back to health.
You can do it, Father.
To this day, there's no explanation as to how he did it.
Hundreds of witnesses saw him, doctors among them.
Do you think such power comes to you at no cost? But the power wasn't given to him by either God or the Devil.
It was an Alien advance force that had given him healing powers only to provide a front for their invasion plans.
What kind of invasion plans? Why would they go to a priest? If they wanted to take over the world, why wouldn't they go after someone in power? Yes, that would make the most sense, wouldn't it? To take the places of those in power.
It doesn't have to be the White House.
But a young senator on his way up could pave the way.
You're referring to Senator Adams, I presume? Yes, sir, I do.
- How much do you know about him? - Enough to know he wasn't human.
That was never proved.
I have the M.
they made the night of his accident.
It's almost inconceivable.
Those X-rays were right.
- Then I'm not crazy? - No.
But you're different.
Very different.
Oh, my God.
What is it? What is it? What's wrong with me? - I don't know.
- What else do you know? I know aliens control the Sendrax Corporation how Senator Adams tried to pass a bill that would have allowed them to poison the atmosphere to humans.
I know about this methane-based supplement they had to take to stay alive.
I even know how they make themselves look like us.
What's this thing, Dave? What's in there? Don't you recognize him? That's your replacement.
Are you telling me that thing is alive? Come on, Richard.
You know it's one of us.
Don't you understand? You're betraying your own kind.
What kind? What am I? You were transformed in a tank like this one.
So was I.
And all the others that have come to resettle this planet.
I understand your concerns, Mr.
Suffice it to say, the government is aware of these potentially catastrophic terrorist activities though we may disagree on who's responsible.
But you admit something's going on.
As I said, we are concerned.
That's all I have, Mr.
All I can say is, it's now or never.
You can wait outside.
We'll call you back in when we've come to our decision.
All right.
Why don't you have a seat, Mr.
It's been a long night.
I prefer to stand, sir.
You should know that you've made an impression, sir, on this committee.
Now, for myself, I consider it to have been time well spent.
I admire both your service record and your dedication to this cause.
- You won't do it, will you? - Let me finish, now.
I think you should also know that a vote was taken by this committee as to whether or not to propose to the president and the Joint Chiefs full disclosure of these events that you've outlined.
And finally, I think you should know that the vote was very close.
You son of a Unfortunately, those of us who voted "no" weren't convinced that the threats you outlined merit this kind of response.
The truth is staring you in the face.
You're shutting your eyes.
It was also noted you are, by nature of your own war experience predisposed to be fearful of such matters.
It's happening right now, in your own government, and you won't act! I want you to know that this committee appreciates your hard work.
This hearing is over.
- No.
- Come with me, sir.
The rest of you can't let him get away with this.
He needed eyedrops.
That's not Chairman Thornwell! The aliens in the government used special eyedrops along with the supplement to survive in our atmosphere.
He excused himself from the meeting to put in eyedrops! This is blood, Mr.
Human blood.
It can't be.
I was certain.
He voted "yes" with me.
You convinced him.
Let me go back in there! There's something going on! Let me go! Let me go back in there! I'll get help.
I'll go with you.
So the next logical choice for chairman is? Callahan.
You know Strong was right about those Sandkings.
They could be a real problem in 20 or 30 years.
You think they can survive in a methane atmosphere? I don't know.
But I suppose anything is possible.
Sleep soundly in the knowledge that the dawn will come.
Rest assured that our leaders are watching over us.
But beware, for it is only their vigilance that stands between our restful slumber and the end of the world.