The Outer Limits (1995) s06e21 Episode Script

Final Appeal

1 (KEYS JANGLING) (GATE OPENING) Just got word from the clerk, We got a writ of cert, Cert? Writ of certiorari, It means the Supreme Court's gonna listen to our appeal, Really? Might show a little more enthusiasm, You don't understand the procedural hoops we had to go through to get this, I've been, uh, sentenced to hang, Nicki, Forgive me if I don't feel like standing up and cheering, Sorry, I know they think I'm crazy, You should see the way they look at me, You should get ready, they are gonna move you to another holding facility right next to the court, Be honest, what are my chances? It's hard to say, there has never been a case like this, You remember, Cassandra? Greek mythology, She had the gift of prophesy, More like a curse, Apollo gave her the ability to see the future in exchange for her favors, when she spurned him, he punished her, Didn't matter what she, ,, Foresaw, It fell on deaf ears, I feel like, ,, I'm being punished by the Gods, (DOOR OPENING) Come on, I've been pulling court watches, they feel were on the brink of a sea change, This isn't about a sea change, This is about waking up and realizing that we're on a collision course with extinction, I've seen the future, I've been there, I know you have, When the outlawed technology, they paved the way to the final apocalypse, NICOLE: Keep the faith, all right? We're gonna get through this, It's not about me, I could give a damn at this point, But if I go down, so does the whole world, -(CARRIAGE DRIVER URGING) -(HORSE WHINNYING) CONTROL VOICE: 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, Please stand by, What will become of a world that outlaws the very tools it has always looked to for solutions, Oh, Earl, Come on, you know better than that, Chief Justice sees you eating in here again, there'll be hell to pay, I've been reading briefs all morning, If I don't get some food in me, I'll be gnawing on his gabble, Where's Haden? Supposed to be in session in 20 minutes, Oh, boy, That BLT looks good, you mind if I, ,, Damn right, I mind, get your own grub, Come on, away with you, Elise, could you check the Chief's shelly bean stash? Not without an executive order, Can't believe they forgot the pickle spear, Sorry I'm late, everyone, My fool of a horse threw a shoe, Hope for the days when the horse threw a rod, Getting nostalgic for pollution, are we? I assume everyone's up to speed on U, S, v, Givens, Ah, tell me something, Haden, do you really believe that this woman has time traveled here from the past? Well, you read our science advisor's brief, (CHUCKLES) It's just that our science advisors understand technology the way an archeologist understands the how the pyramids were built, Which is to say, not at all, Oh, come on, Oli, we have totally authenticated evidence that this woman was born in 1954, And is she's 122, I want her beauty secrets, (GIGGLES) I'll tell you what I think, This time traveler or whatever you want to call her, ,, Her arrival here is like a gift from the Gods, gives us a chance to steer the ship of state off its disaster course, Oh, just what I expected from a bleeding heart, We overturn the appellant court's decision, we open the door for the demons of science and technology to descend on us all over again, And this time they won't be content to wipe out 80% of the earth's population, There's not going to be anything left to render an opinion, but, ,, Cockroaches and tumble weeds, One thing is certain, The American people will be watching us, The world will be watching us, I only hope God gives us the wisdom to get it right, (PEOPLE MURMURING) Wallace Gannon, Solicitor General, Top gun in the government's arsenal, Waiting for a landmark case like this ever since his appointment, There are only five chairs, I thought there were nine Justices, Not since 2062, Congress picks its number, It's changed seven times since the first court, (WHISPERS) Here they come, BAILIFF: All rise for the justices of the United States Supreme Court, Please be seated, I don't have to remind anyone in this hallowed court room, that the case we take up today has ramifications far beyond the fate of the appellant, Dr, Givens, As we sit here today, the future of the two-decade-old anti-technology codes, operative not only in this country, but by international agreement throughout the world, hangs in the balance, Whether we maintain our ban on technology or we start that mighty engine, they will be determined, by our actions today, We'll begin by hearing from the respondent, the Solicitor General, Mr, Gannon, I think that we can all agree that there is nothing commonplace about the state's case against Dr, Theresa Givens, But to say that it is without precedent, is to ask me to surrender the numerous sidings of case law, which we've detailed in our brief, The defense stipulates that Dr, Givens invented a time travel device, in the last decade of the 20th century, And she used that invention to convey herself to our time, Along with a veritable arsenal of electronic devices, Now, why? In her own words, before the Ninth Circuit Court, quote, "I wanted to begin a new Industrial Revolution, "I wanted to re-kindle the flame of scientific innovation," And that's exactly what she tried to do, She was arrested attempting to deliver blueprints and prototypes to anti-code realms, But you're not saying "why", -(GAVEL BANGING) -Please sit down, Dr, Givens, You'll have your opportunity to respond, Not only has appellant's counsel stipulated to her smuggling being, ,, Objection, prejudicial, We never use the term "smuggling", Fine, transporting these items into our time into our country, Defense also acknowledges that Dr, Givens had already used the time travel machine, repeatedly, for a darker purpose, Beck? How did you get in here? Are you Robert Beck? Who wants to know? Are you Robert Beck? Yeah, Yeah, I'm Beck, On September 13th, 1994,, , -What is this? -, ,,you were executed for the willful murder of eight women, I am here to carry out that just and legal sentence, I don't understand, Only one of us has to, Just wait a minute, wait, (BEEPS) WALLACE: The reality is that she employed the device to convey herself, to the past, Where, by her own written account, she murdered, in cold blood, no less than 17 victims, NICOLE: I'm obliged to remind the honorable Mr, Gannon that my client was never charged with murder, and for good reason, If you recall the Theresa Givens who committed those acts in another time stream, saved untold lives by stopping their killers before they acted, Your Honors, she paid dearly for what she did, (GIRL SHRIEKING) MAN: Shh, Come here, Look, stay still, I'm warning you, okay? (SCREAMS) GIRL: Let me go! Let's see what you got, Shh, Okay, you be a good girl now or I'm going to get mad! -Stop, Leave her alone, -(GIRL CRYING) What is this? I dreamed about you for 15 years, I thought you were 10 feet tall with horns and fangs, I don't know what game you're playing, but you're screwing with the wrong guy, lady, Do you have any idea, what you did to me? You stole my life! No, wait, Now, everyone, just calm down, I don't wanna hurt the little girl, She and I just gonna go for a little walk, I'll keep her company for a little while, then I'll let her go, You are so right, Nothing matters, nothing I ever did helped, Drugs, therapy, killing monsters like you, I mean it! Anything would be better than this pain, All I want is for it to be over, You get down, ,, (GIRL SCREAMING) So, you're saying, Theresa Givens, the woman who committed these murders, actually died in that confrontation? That's right, And, uh, the young woman who was rescued, ,, She went on to create her own time travel device, She's the Theresa Givens you see here today before you, JUSTICE HARBISON: Uh, Mr, Gannon, -Yes, -Please, let's just clarify, You're not alleging that the appellant here committed any of these murders? If we accept a wrong definition of times dreams and the possibilities they allow, then yes, One incarnation of Dr, Givens did in fact engage in a murder spree, In any event, no one can contest the violence-riddled repercussions of her time travel device, Now, with the court's permission, and in accord with rule 32 for the submissions of exhibits, I'd like to present that device along with the very scientific touchstones of the pre-apocalyptic era, The possession and use of which were the foundation of the state's case, Objection, Parading the evidence in the court room is just grandstanding and the respondent knows that, I'm going to allow it, Proceed, Mr, Gannon, Thank you, (AUDIENCE MURMURING) What you see before you, Your Honors, are nothing less than the detonators of the next, and most certainly final, technological holocaust, Mr, Gannon, please, a knife can be used as an instrument of homicide, but we don't outlaw cutlery, (SCOFFS) Your view that these inventions themselves constitute a palpable threat is a matter of some debate, My good friend, Justice Woods, comments are duly noted for the record, Go on, Mr, Gannon, Thank you, The petitioner's brief contends that the anti-technological codes are in violation of both the spirit and the letter of the constitution, Now, I draw your attention to a phrase from the preamble to that venerable document, which describes its all embracing purpose to promote the general welfare, These laws in question were designed to protect, to nurture, to shelter the flickering candle of civilization from the howling winds of war, And members of the court, these laws are proven worthy, and affective, Our society has flourished since their implementation, They have rescued us from spiraling into an unspeakable abyss, Now, I'll reserve the rest of my time for a response to the petitioner's counsel, Thank you, Mr, Gannon, We will now hear from appellant counsel, Mr, Gannon has just quoted from the stirring language of the constitution and if I might, ,, I'd like to quote from that self-same well-spring of democracy, Article 1, section 8, clause 8, which grants rights to inventors, quote, "To promote the progress of science and the useful arts," unquote, Even in 1789, nearly three centuries ago, the founder saw the promise in science and technology, Is there any aspect of our lives that was not enhanced by Industrial Revolution or the spirit of discovery? From agriculture to manufacturing to communications, What about the advances in medical technology, that not only dramatically extended our lifespans, but improved the quality of those lives as well, Advances in technology that allow diseased organs to be replaced by donor organs, culminating in the first full body transplant, WOMAN: We're moving the head of the donor, You'll see that we've left 8 cm scale of exposed final column with brain stem still attached, from the donor's medulla oblongata, to the pons, Ready for transfer, NICOLE: Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics relieved us of tedious and burdensome tasks, We produce more goods, we work less hours, They gave us more time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, To spend time with our families, Our children were healthier, smarter, happier, It hardly seems necessary to count these as blessings, But blessings they were, Uh, uh, I hate to intrude on your speechifying, but there were some conspicuous examples of scientific innovation you omitted, You skipped right over the atomic bomb, fusion technology, genetic tampering, just to name a few, I understand, Justice Harbison, that science and technology would be held responsible for what happened to our world 20 years ago, But talk about an abyss? We have become so fearful, so phobic about change, that we are plunging headlong into a new dark age, And God only knows when we're going to emerge, If I may, I'd like to bring my client up to the podium, The truth is, what she has to say is far more important than anything I could argue in her defense, I've always been a very curious person, I grew up wondering, ,, Why is the sky blue? Why do we dream? What is artificial intelligence? And because I had such a natural curiosity, I gravitated towards science, The term of choice in those days was "nerd", I don't know what you call them now, Maybe, (CLEARS THROAT) you've outlawed nerds too? When I was a teenager, I, ,, I came very close to dying, I was abducted by a psychopath, He tried to rape me and he certainly would have killed me, The woman who stopped the assault was none other than me, It was me grown up, It was the woman who first invented time travel, It was the woman I would become, And she did much more than save my life, She changed it forever, I wound up falling in love with the idea of harnessing time streams, like, ,, Well, much like a poet falls in love with words, a musician falls in love with his instrument, Science was my expression, A way to loose myself, A way to find myself, What exactly did you see as your mission, Dr, Givens? THERESA: I didn't know, That's just it, I didn't know, Maybe you could see me as some kind of a, ,, An explorer of sorts, I'd venture into the future, A few days at a time at first, Then some months, Eventually, I wound up here and my heart broke, How so? At first I thought it was something to do with the settings on my computer, This couldn't possibly be the 2076, I thought there are no cars, no telephones, no computers, no CAT scans, No sign of an electronic age and precious few signs of anything more advanced than the light bulb, When I returned back to my own time, I began to think what would happen to a world that turned its back on science, So you traveled deeper into the future? Yes, I did, Thirty more years, 2105, Can you tell us what you saw, Dr, Givens? It was horrible, A virus slipped over this planet, No part of this world was left untouched, And there were no scientific tools to combat it, except small amounts of serum that the renegade researchers created, And they weren't enough to stem the tide of death, You need to get us more supplies, -We need more supplies, ,, -MAN: No, ma'am, not me, We're running out of fresh water, We don't have any more food, We, ,, I can't help you, ma'am, Listen, uh, ,, There's another dozen or so in the town down the interstate, I gave them the same as I gave you, Now, maybe you can hook up with them, So there are others? Not many, a lot more dead, That is what your laws are taking us to, The end of humanity, This is the real Armageddon, Mr, Chief Justice, Your so-called new holocaust or thermo nuclear war, That was only a prelude, Dr, Givens, I'm sure you appreciate how difficult it is for us to understand the very notion of your venturing back and forth through time, THERESA: Yeah, of course, The very fact that the Dr, Givens who went back in time to rescue you as a teenager, the Dr, Givens who was the avenging angel, ,, The very fact that she changed history proves that history can be altered, That's my whole point, We can intervene, there's still time, But how do we know that this plague is the result of the course we're on now, Keeping a ban on technology, or whether, it's a direct result of changing our course in this appeal, I can only say, Justice Harbison, that the world I saw was devoid of technology, ,, Was devoid of the medical help that would've prevented this virus from sweeping over the planet, Are you familiar with the medical research of Dr, Ledbetter? Yes, he pioneered work in Nanotechnology, That's exactly right, Time machine, invisible to the naked eye, Touted as the panacea in the scientific journals of the day, It seemed nothing short of a miracle, Until something went horribly wrong, What are you doing here? It's Saturday, Your nanobots don't stop working on weekends, That's incredible, What the hell are they? They look a bit like gills, The nanobots must have interpreted you inability to breathe underwater as a physical deficiency, (KNOCKING ON DOOR) -Who is it? -DR, LEDBETTER: It's me, let me in, I've been working on it all night, I know how to deactivate them, We have to use electricity and short them out, -(GROANS) -What is it? Have there been more changes? 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, See anything? Just two small bumps, -Ah! 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, JUSTICE HARBISON: Problem, Dr, Givens, is that the example Justice Parkhurst has raised, this is just one of many, You're aware, I'm sure, of the researcher, Dr, Simon Kress, ,, Who carried a sample of Martian soil back to his home laboratory and, unwittingly, let loose a biologic menace that took the better part of a decade to eradicate, JUSTICE HARBISON: Dr, Kress' decent into hell is symptomatic of what happened over and over again in this century, ,, Scientists attempting to play God, There is a difference between playing God and aspiring to fulfill the potential for greatness that God gave us, Is that a veiled application for sainthood? (CHUCKLES) I am no saint, Nor are any of the pioneers that you mentioned, Mistakes were made, The very nature of science, is trial and error, This, ,, This is how people learn, This is how people grow, Unless, of course, it's the last mistake we make, What you may or may not know, Dr, Givens, is that society radically changed after the New Holocaust, Oh, you mean, besides the fact that technology was used as a scapegoat for all of society's ills? That was a big part of it, yes, but there were other profound changes, A kind of involuntary anesthetizing of the human spirit, (SIGHS) Our esteemed political leaders were convinced that not only did we have to dismantle the electronic age, but we had to change our inner landscape as well, There was a strong social and political movement to try to put the past behind us, even before the fallout had claimed its last victim, The anti-grieving laws were instituted, It actually became a crime to mourn the death of a loved one, The anti-grieving laws have since been rescinded, but I think it's instructive to see that it's not only scientists who went awry when they undertook to redesign our species, Governments, politicians, demonstrated the same hubris when they tried to fundamentally alter who we are, When they tried to, ,, Reconstruct the human soul, to shackle the human heart, You talk about the arrogance of science, Justice Harbison, what about the arrogance of those who would try to remake us in their image? Before we pass judgment on the petitioner, I ask that we reconsider where the greatest evil lies, In making a God of technology or in making Gods of ourselves? JUSTICE HARBISON: Those of us who survived the war of 2059 will never forget it, The loss of my own two sons, My daughter lying ill for six months, Before her insides rotted out from radiation poisoning, Couldn't even give them a proper burial, Had to be sealed in lead and concrete along with the other detritus of war, The fact is, those laws were created so that we could go on with the business of living and survive, What made you so certain that climbing back into the darkness was the answer? Darkness? Dr, Givens, is that how you see it? I'm inclined to see the light, the light in the eyes of children who climb trees and count the stars unobscured by clouds and toxic pollution, Have we lost something, by giving up our machines, Doctor? No doubt, we have, But look what we've gained, Families sit around the hearth at night, They don't stare blankly at jittering electronic images, They talk to one another, Human interaction is no longer obsolete, Life is less complicated, We've gone back to simpler pleasures, simpler times, Justice Harbison is right about one thing, None of us will ever forget what happened in June of '59, I lost a daughter too along with my only grandchildren, The youngest was four, Smart as they make them, He dreamed of being an astronaut, Of course, even if he had survived, that wouldn't have been possible, There were no more astronauts, No more space program, No more computers, No more scientists, No more dreamers, like you, You play with fire, you might get burnt, You eliminate fire and you might never feel its warmth, And you might never revel in its illumination, If you would take your seat, Dr, Givens, opposing counsels will now have a chance to sum up, Chief Justice, associate justices, history teaches that no invention is immune to subversion, The missiles that rocketed man to Mars also sent ballistic warheads against the cities, The Internet that promised us dissemination of information was ultimately used to strip governments of their secrets and make them vulnerable to attack, Now, my, uh, distinguished colleague invokes the spirit of invention as if it were some Holy Grail, some self-appointed deity, that demands that we prostrate ourselves before it, but aren't we wiser than that? Forgive me for sounding old-fashioned, but what about rearing our children in the peaceful world? What about a quiet prayer at the altar of common sense? I ponder these highly touted advances of the century, The genome was deciphered and the secrets of the human brain were revealed, but what became of those discoveries? And I refer you to the cruel realities of entrepreneurs who robbed the elderly of their knowledge and their skills and then sold them like so many dried goods, What's that for? WOMAN: Time to make you sleep, And to make you forget, Oh, my, ,, Why would I want to, ,, Forget, (SCREAMING) WALLACE: The most vulnerable in our society stripped of their humanity, their brains drained of a lifetime of acquired gifts, downloaded and cataloged and left like empty husks, warehoused and forgotten, Is this your idea of a scientific miracle? If this court overturns Dr, Givens' conviction, it will send a message around the world, And the genie will bellow and thunder, He'll thrash in his bottle and once more, threaten to emerge, I'm certain, in fact, that we will be driving the last nail into the coffin of God's greatest experiment, It will ordain the end of humankind, I, for one, will not be party to that surrender, I will fight it with my last breath, And I implore you to do no less, (CLEARS THROAT) With the court's permission, I'd like to give my remaining minutes to the woman who will live or die by your decision, When my namesake invented a temporal transporter, she used it to save lives, And when I followed in her footsteps, I knew that, like her, that I would have to dedicate this incredible invention to a humanitarian purpose, Maybe ultimately, make the same sacrifice she did, I've been given a special knowledge because of the unique circumstances of my journey, Not to act would have been the same as turning my back on the citizens of the future, Those countless children who depend on me now, And I guess, they, uh, depend on you now, Thank you, We'll take 15-minute recess, then render our decision, NICOLE: You okay? THERESA: I'm scared, Nicki, All that stuff about me not caring, about what they'd do to me, it's a lie, Stupid lie, NICOLE: It's okay to be afraid, Theresa, If they let the verdict stand, what will happen to all of this? I won't lie to you, They'll destroy it, All those years, All those minds, Mmm, ,, We haven't lost yet, -There's still hope, -(WHIMPERING) (BREATHING HEAVILY) Yes, yes, ,, Of course, Somebody will find an answer, There's still plenty of time, There's 30 years, They could build another transporter, They could find a cure, They know that the plague is coming, There's a way, they'll find a way, There has to be, You will tell them, won't you? That I wasn't crazy, ,, Of course I will, Well, I don't about the rest of you, but nothing I heard in that chamber did anything but validate the opinion I had going in, You know, that's what I love about you, Oli, you're predictable as a loaded dice, I'm just being true to my sense of ethics, Madam Justice, And those ethics make it easy for you to send a woman to her death, for doing her damndest to save the human race, Oh, let's stop the posturing, for God's sake, There's nobody here but four walls and five cantankerous old fools, JUSTICE HARBISON: Nobody's posturing, Gretchen, As Haden says, this decision will reverberate from now till doom's day, Which, if the appellant is right, is about 35 years, tops, (GAVEL BANGING) JUSTICE HADEN: This court is now in session, Before I pull the members of the court, I have a few words for the appellant, Dr, Givens, I'm impressed with the way you've conducted yourself in this proceeding, Doctor, I admire you intelligence, your courage under fire, Before this court makes its ruling, I wanted you to know that, Thank you, sir, Chief Justice, That being said, I'll explain the procedure we'll follow once every justice has been pulled, EZEKIEL: Excuse me, Your Honor, I think there's one more voice that you really should hear from before you can make an intelligent verdict, I'm afraid that's entirely out of order, I'm sorry, sir, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave the court, Oh, I'm afraid I can't do that, Who the hell are you? I am your conscience, Justice Harbison, but you can call me Ezekiel, Bailiff, stand down, It's a bomb, No, no, No, Technically it's not a bomb, it's a cold fusion device, And I strongly advise you to listen to what I have to say, otherwise, otherwise I may just have to set it off, And then you can say goodbye to this courtroom, this city and, uh, what, maybe half the eastern seaboard,