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Articles of Alliance

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First aired: The Signal: Season 6, Episode 20
Credits
Written by Jill Arroway
Starring James Parkinson as Judas Chase
Starring Jutta Jordans as Säde Leiffson
Featuring Les Howard as Mick Chang
Featuring Miranda Thomas as Vega Harrison
Featuring Nick Edwards as Richard Haynes
Featuring Anna Snyder as Jane Carrington
Featuring Helen Eaton as Narrator
Featuring JC Hutchins as Mark Pins
Featuring Kara Helgren as Ms Kalmar
Music by Star One Earth That Was
Music by Ken Kurland Sad World
Edited by Jill Arroway

We hear the sound of a spacecraft landing. The door opens and two people climb down onto a planet surface. The following conversation is between two space-suited individuals, so we need to hear "radio" voices, breathing, and astronaut beeps.

NARRATOR
2058
VEGA
Woomera, Firebird has landed. (pause) I'm on the surface. Footing is good.
JUDAS
With you there, bud.
VEGA
Temperature is a cool eighty six degrees Fahrenheit, thirty degrees Celius.
JUDAS
Time is 8:43 Grenwich Mean Time, August 18th 2058. We are looking up at gray skies. Sunrise any minute now.
VEGA
Woomera, we know you won't be able to hear this for eight more minutes, but we just want you to know that we are mighty proud to be here.
JUDAS
Holy crap - we are standing on the surface of Mercury!
VEGA
(beat) Got some radio interference there. Maybe you didn't quite catch that? Jude here was just expressing his admiration for the lab boys and girls who pulled all this together back home. Looks like the little nano-critters did their job - gravity here is Earth norm.
JUDAS
So for the viewers back on Earth ... Oh wait, let me adjust this camera ... There ya go ... So, Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. It used to be three thousand miles wide; now it's less than two thousand. It's like we took the whole planet and squished it smaller, and that's what makes the gravity right. If we can do it here, I guess we can do it in the miniverse too.
VEGA
(singing) Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo.
JUDAS
Oh, Woomera, you have got to see this. The whole sky is featureless gray, except for the sunrise, which we are seeing through the cloud layer. We are just seeing a thin slither of light here, but man is it bright!

We begin to hear rumbling noises. A quake is on it's way.

VEGA
(worried) What was that?
JUDAS
(very worried) The ground is moving. Whooooaaaaah!
VEGA
(seriously worried) Whooooaaaaah!

Crashing noises.

JUDAS
(panicked) Vega? Vega, can you hear me?
VEGA
Jude?
JUDAS
Grab my arm!
VEGA
(grunting noises) Can't reach. The ground just fell away.
JUDAS
Are you hurt? Are you injured?
VEGA
No, but ... there's something crawling on my suit.
JUDAS
That's not possible. This rock is lifeless. Just stay still until this quake subsides, then I'll go get the rover and winch you out.
VEGA
(scream of shock and surprise)
JUDAS
What? What is it?
VEGA
It's the nanocompressors! They're on my suit!
JUDAS
I thought they were supposed to be inert!?
VEGA
Judas - get out of here!
JUDAS
I'm not leaving you, Vega.
VEGA
Don't you get it? These critters won't stop until everything is compressed - you, the Firebird, everything! Get out of here while you still have the ch-- (scream of pain) --aaaaaargh!!
JUDAS
Vega!

Sounds of panic, screaming, crashing, running, etc., culminating in the lift off of the spacecraft, Firebird.

JUDAS
(in a quieter voice, but still shocked) Woomera, I'm on my way back to the command module. Astronaut Vega Harrison is dead; I say again, Vega is dead. I guess terraforming is not as easy as it looks on paper. (pause) When I get back to Earth, I am never, ever going into space again.

INT - MICK CHANG'S HOUSE

NARRATOR
2060
SÄDE
(narrating) My name is Säde Leiffson. I turned twenty years old just recently, so I don't remember a time when the evacuation of Earth was not in progress. I was five years old when they started to terraform Mars and Venus - and our moon - and I still remember the hope that was in everybody's eyes when that began. At last, there would be somewhere to go when our Earth's resources ran out. And I remember the moment when the project was abaondoned, the day after my seventh birthday. That was the day that all hope drained out of the world, and everything changed. The riots that followed remain vivid in my memory to this day. Now of course, there is a new plan to evacuate this Earth, but the destination has changed: not Mars, nor Venus, nor the moon; not anywhere in our solar system - another star. I often wonder, what must life on Earth have been like, before its end was known? My great uncle, Mick Chang, is old enough to remember, and I like to listen to his tales. Or at least, usually I do...
MICK
...and that's where your grandfather used to work. That used to be a bookshop - a whole shop that sold nothing but books!
SÄDE
Why? Surely they had the internet then?
MICK
Things don't change overnight. I can remember a time before there was an internet. Course, I was just a boy at the time, but when it all started, things just pretty much carried on as they always had. People still bought things from shops, and trucks had to drive around to fill up all the shops with things that people didn't really need. And we didn't have grav-shields back then, so we had to take everything by road or plane. But we did have Queen and Rush and motorbikes and Playstations and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ah - things were better in the old days.
SÄDE
But surely...? Didn't you know? Didn't you know you were using up the Earth? All that oil you burned? All that carbon you put into the atmo? The global warming? Didn't anybody notice?
MICK
Hindsight is easy. I think some people noticed, but ... not enough. (Sadly) Not enough.
SÄDE
See - this is the part that I don't get. You talk about the good old days, but ... you did this to us! Your generation! You heated up the planet--
MICK
And you're lucky we did? Otherwise Greenland would not be such a warm and pleasant place.
SÄDE
(lost for words) Lucky!? At school I was taught me that the Earth can only support three more generations at most. Couldn't you have ... taken better care of it!?
MICK
It was different back then. We thought we had a bright future ahead of us. No one could have known.
SÄDE
My teacher said the scientists of the day knew, but nobody listened to them. My teacher said there was a whole industry of deniers, who put financial interests ahead of the planet. Uncle Mick - was that true?
MICK
(getting angry now) It wasn't that simple!
SÄDE
(beat) No. It never is.

INT - NEWSROOM, HEARD VIA RADIO OR TV OR SOME SUCH

As soon as Säde stops speaking, we focus attention on a news report which has been playing in the background throughout the above. At this point, we bring it to the foreground, and hear the news anchor, Richard Haynes, reporting the following:

RICHARD
This is the news, from ABC
RICHARD
Mark Pins,the CEO of the Global Exodus Alliance, today gave his annual presentation, in which he announced a new strategy document, "Articles of Alliance". The strategy calls for a complete reorganisation of the GEA, streamlining many of its internal policies and a breakdown of internal divisions. What this means in practice, is the final abolition of all national boundaries. Jane Carrington reports.
JANE
The Global Exodus Alliance came into existence in 2048, at a time when the world was wracked with riots and wars. The GEA superceded - but did not eliminate - national governments. Member nations ceded power to the GEA, and the world we know today was born. Today's reorganisation announcement will effectively complete the transition which began twelve years ago. What we are seeing here is the birth of a new idea. Pins is referring to this as simply, "the Alliance", which reflects its status as not merely a global player in today's world, but--

INT - A LARGE ECHOIC FACTORY FLOOR - MS KALMAR AND SÄDE ARE HAVING TO SPEAK LOUDLY OVER THE NOISE

MS KALMAR
(enthusiastically) So Säde - first day on a new job. What do you think?
SÄDE
I like it.
MS KALMAR
As you can see, this is the main lab where we sort and catalog the molecular blueprint of - pretty much everything. It's a big job. We are, quite literally, saving the world.
SÄDE
So we catalog DNA?
MS KALMAR
Not just DNA, but that is a big part of it. The aim is to preserve enough information that any and every species could be brought back from extinction, if necessary. Species don't exist in isolation. We have to catalog ecosystems, to know which species interact with which other species.
SÄDE
To take to the new star?
MS KALMAR
Possibly. What do you know about the Miniverse?
SÄDE
(thoughtfully) It's a long way away ... and it has dozens of planets. But mostly, it's a long way away.
MS KALMAR
It has dozens of planets, but most of them are not usable. At least, not for humans. Gravity's wrong.
SÄDE
But I thought terraforming could--
MS KALMAR
What? Compress a planet to increase its gravity? That's fine in theory, but not so easy in practice. I take it you heard what happened on Mercury?
SÄDE
There was some sort of accident? Someone died a couple of years back? I don't really know any more than that, but I heard it's safe now.
MS KALMAR
Mercury was an experiment. The idea was, if we can change gravity in our own solar system, it should also work in the Miniverse. But the point is, it didn't work perfectly, and we're not sure exactly what went wrong, or how to put it right. And there are only so many planets and moons to try it out on. If we can't get it to work, well...
SÄDE
(beat) Ms Kalmar? Well what?
MS KALMAR
(seriously) There are only two worlds in the Miniverse that are known to be sufficiently Earthlike to colonise without gravity adjustment, and that's if the rest of the terraforming takes. We might have to face the very real possibility that there's nowhere to go ... at all.
SÄDE
(also seriously) I don't like that possibility.
MS KALMAR
Nobody does. But that's part of why we do what we do, and you have to accept that if you're going to be any use to us. We aim to ensure that even if the whole thing goes belly up, one day in the far flung future, maybe thousands or even millions of years into the future, our descendents will be able to repopulate the biosphere - because of what we are doing here, right now. (beat) What do you think about that?
SÄDE
It's an awesome responsibility!
MS KALMAR
It is that. Come through to my office.

INT - MS KALMAR'S OFFICE

MS KALMAR
Your job will involve a lot of travelling. You may even have to visit some of the uninhabitable zones - Africa, Brazil... but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
SÄDE
At the interview they said something about America?
MS KALMAR
Yes, the GEA are considering moving the government offices in the former USA and China northward into cooler climes. They're talking Russia right now, but they change their minds so frequently. It's ironic isn't it - it took the propect of the end of the world to push previously warring nations together.
SÄDE
I'm not really old enough to remember that. It's been the Global Exodus Alliance since as long as I can remember.

INT - UNITED NATIONS HQ

NARRATOR
United Nations Headquarters, Vancouver.
MARK PINS
(speaking loudly) Ladies and gentlemen,... Thank you, Thank you.
MARK PINS
This document changes the world. Today, the Alliance is truly born. From this day, a single goal lies before humanity: the most noble goal which any govenmental body has ever been charged - and make no mistake about it - we are now the world government. That goal, that goal... (pause to allow time for applause) ...that goal is simply this - to give the human race, a future. It will be a future for which our children and our grandchildren - and there will be children and grandchildren - will surely thank us. Together, our dream of reaching the stars will happen. At any cost. (almost shouting) To the 'Verse!

We hear applause


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