CUT TO CONFERENCE ROOM: A low ceiling conference room with a "U" shaped table facing three projection screens. Seated around the table are eleven senior base personnel. A photographer is taken pictures of the personnel.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Excuse me Dr. Halvorsen, I'm through now. Thank you very much gentlemen.
HALVORSEN: You're welcome.
The photographer takes the elevator to exit and Dr. Halvorsen goes to the podium.
HALVORSEN: Well . . . I know you all will want to join with me in welcoming our distinguished friend and colleague from the National Council of Astronautics, Dr. Heywood Floyd. Now Dr. Floyd has come up especially to Clavius to be with us today... and before the briefing, I know he would like to have a few words with you. . . Dr. Floyd?
Polite applause. Floyd walks to the front of the room.
FLOYD: Well thank you Dr. Halvorsen. Hi everybody, nice to be back with you. Well . . . first of all, I bring a personal message from Dr. Howell, who has asked me to convey his deepest appreciation to all of you, for the many sacrifices you have had to make, and of course his congratulations on your discovery . . . which may well prove to be among the most significant in the history of science.
Now uh, I know there have been some conflicting views held by some of you regarding the need for complete security in this matter, more specifically your opposition to the cover story. . . created to give the impression there is an epidemic at the Base.
FLOYD: I understand that beyond it being a matter of principle, many of you are troubled by the concern and anxiety this story of an epidemic might cause to your relatives and friends on Earth. Well, I completely sympathize with your negative views.
FLOYD: I have found this cover story personally embarrassing myself. However I accept the need for ABSOLUTE secrecy in this . . . and I hope you will too.
FLOYD: Now I'm sure you're all aware of the extremely grave potential for cultural shock and social disorientation contained in this present situation if the facts were prematurely and suddenly made public without adequate preparation and conditioning.
FLOYD: Anyway, this is the view of the Council. The purpose of my visit here is to gather additional facts and opinions on the situation, and to prepare a report to the Council... recommending when and how the news should eventually be announced.
FLOYD: Now if any of you would like to give me your views and opinions, in private if you like, I would be only too happy to include them in my report. . . . . Well, I think that's about it . . . any questions?
MICHAELS: Dr. Floyd, have you any idea how much longer this cover story will have to be maintained?
FLOYD (pleasantly): I don't know Bill, I suppose it will be maintained as long as deemed necessary by the Council. And of course there must be adequate time for a full study to be made of the situation before any thought can be made about making a public annoncement.
Oh yes, uh, as some of you already know, the Council has requested that formal security oaths be obtained in writing from everyone who has any knowledge of this event. . . . Well, were there anymore questions?
HALVORSEN: Well, I'm sure we all will want to cooperate with Dr. Floyd as fully as possible, and as there seems to be no more questions, I think we ought to get on with the briefing. Thank you, Dr. Floyd.
FLOYD: Thank you..
A mild applause as Floyd walks away from the podium.