2001: ASO Main

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Zero Gravity Toilet


Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark




AFRICAN DRYLANDS - DROUGHT: The remorseless drought had lasted now for ten million years, and would not end for another million. The reign of the ter- rible lizards had long since passed, but here on the continent which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for survival had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not yet in sight. In this dry and barren land, only the small or the swift or the fierce could flourish, or even hope to exist.

CAVES - MOONWATCHER: The man-apes of the field had none of these attributes, and they were on the long, pathetic road to racial extinction. About twenty of them occupied a group of caves overlooking a small, parched valley, divided by a sluggish, brown stream. The tribe had always been hungry, and now it was starving. As the first dim glow of dawn creeps into the cave, Moonwatcher discovers that his father has died during the night.

He did not know the Old One was his father, for such a relationship was beyond his understanding. But as he stands looking down at the emaciated body he feels something, something akin to sadness. Then he carries his dead father out of the cave, and leaves him for the hyenas. Among his kind, Moonwatcher is almost a giant. He is nearly five feet high, and though badly undernourished, weighs over a hundred pounds.

His hairy, muscular body is quite man-like, and his head is already nearer man than ape. The forehead is low, and there are great ridges over the eye-sockets, yet he unmistakably holds in his genes the promise of humanity. As he looks out now upon the hostile world, there is already something in his gaze beyond the grasp of any ape. In those dark, deep-set eyes is a dawning awareness-the first intima- tions of an intelligence which would not fulfill itself for another two million years.

THE STREAM - THE OTHERS: As the dawn sky brightens, Moonwatcher and his tribe reach the shallow stream. The Others are already there. They were there on the other side every day - that did not make it any less annoying. There are eighteen of them, and it is impossible to distinguish them from the members of Moonwatcher's own tribe.

As they see him coming, the Others begin to angrily dance and shriek on their side of the stream, and his own people reply in kind. The confrontation lasts a few minutes - then the display dies out as quickly as it has begun, and everyone drinks his fill of the muddy water. Honor has been satisfied - each group has staked its claim to its own territory.

AFRICAN PLAIN - HERBIVORES: Moonwatcher and his companions search for berries, fruit and leaves, and fight off pangs of hunger, while all around them, competing with them for the samr fodder, is a potential source of more food than they could ever hope to eat. Yet all the thousands of tons of meat roaming over the parched savanna and through the brush is not only beyond their reach; the idea of eating it is beyond their imagination. They are slowly starving to death in the midst of plenty.

PARCHED COUNTRYSIDE - THE LION: The tribe slowly wanders across the bare, flat country- side foraging for roots and occasional berries. Eight of them are irregularly strung out on the open plain, about fifty feet apart. The ground is flat for miles around. Suddenly, Moonwatcher becomes aware of a lion, stalking them about 300 yards away. Defenceless and with nowhere to hide, they scatter in all directions, but the lion brings one to the ground.

DEAD TREE - FINDS HONEY: It had not been a good day, though as Moonwatcher had no real remembrance of the past he could not compare one day with another. But on the way back to the caves he finds a hive of bees in the stump of a dead tree, and so enjoys the finest delicacy his people could ever know. Of course, he also collects a good many stings, but he scacely notices them. He is now as near to contentment as he is ever likely to be; for thought he is still hungry, he is not actually weak with hunger. That was the most that any hominid could hope for.

CAVES - NIGHT TERRORS: Over the valley, a full moon rises, and a cold wind blows down from the distant mountains. It would be very cold tonight - but cold, like hunger, was not a matter for any real concern; it was merely part of the background of life. This Little Sun, that only shone at night and gave no warmth, was dangerous; there would be enemies abroad. Moonwatcher crawls out of the cave, clambers on to a large boulder besides the entrance, and squats there where he can survey the valley.

If any hunting beast approached, he would have time to get back to the relative safety of the cave. Of all the creatures who had ever lived on Earth, Moonwatcher's race was the first to raise their eyes with interest to the Moon, and though he could not remember it, when he was young, Moonwatcher would reach out and try to touch its ghostly face. Now he new he would have to find a tree that was high enough.

He stirs when shrieks and screams echo up the slope from one of the lower caves, and he does not need to hear the occasional growl of the lion to know what is happening. Down there in the darkness, old One-Eye and his family are dying, and the thought that he might help in some way never crosses Moonwatcher's mind. The harsh logic of survival rules out such fancies. Every cave is silent, lest it attract disaster. And in the caves, in tortured spells of fitful dozing and fearful waiting, were gathered the nightmares of generations yet to come.

THE STREAM - INVASION: The Others are growing desperate; the forage on their side of the valley is almost exhausted. Perhaps they realise that Moonwatcher's tribe has lost three of its numbers during the night, for they choose this mourning to break the truce. When they meet at the river in the still, misty dawn, there is a deeper and more menacing note in their challenge. The noisy but usually harmless confrontation lasts only a few seconds before the invasion begins.

In an uncertainly-moving horde, the Others cross the river, shieking threats and hunched for the attack. They are led by a big-toothed hominid of Moonwatcher's own size and age. Startled and frightened, the tribe retreats before the first advance, throwing nothing more substantial than imprecations at the invaders. Moonwatcher moves with them, his mind a mist of rage and confusion. To be driven from their own territory is a great badness, but to lose the river is death. He does not know what to do; it is a situation beyond his experience.

Then he becomes dimly aware that the Others are slowing down, and advancing with obvious reluctance. The further they move from their own side, the more uncertain and unhappy they become. Only Big-Tooth still retains any of his original drive, and he is rapidly being seperated from his followers. As he sees this, Moonwatcher's own morale immediately revives. He slows down his retreat, and begins to make reassuring noises to his companions. Novel sensations fill his dim mind - the first faint precursors of bravery and leadership.

Before he realizes it, he is face to face with Big-Tooth, and the two tribes come to a halt many paces away. The disorganized and unscientific conflict could have ended quickly if either had used his fist as a club, but this innovation still lay hundreds of thousands of years in the future. Instead, the slowly weakening fighters claw and scratch and try to bite each other. Rolling over and over, they come to a patch of stony ground, and when they reach it Moonwatcher is on top.

By chance, he chooses this moment to grab the hair on Big-Tooth's scalp, and bang his head on the ground. The resulting CRACK is so satisfactory, and produces such an immediate weakening In Big - Tooth's resistance, that he quickly repeats it. Even when Big-Tooth ceases to move for some time, Moon- watcher keeps up the exhilirating game. With shrieks of panic, the Others retreat back, across the stream. The defenders cautiously pursue them as far as The water's edge.

EXT CAVE - NEW SOUND: Dozing fitfully and weakened by his stuggle, Moonwatcher is startled by a sound. He sits up in the fetid darkness of the cave, straining his senses out into the night, and fear creeps slowly into his soul. Never in his life - already twice as long as most members of his species could expect - has he heard a sound like this.

The great cats approached in silence, and the only thing that betrayed them was a rare slide of earth, or the occasional cracking of a twig. Yet this is a continuing crunching noise that grows steadily louder. It seemed that some enormous beast was moving through the night, making no attempt at concealment, and ignoring all obstacles. And then there came a sound which Moonwatcher could not possibly have identified, for it had never been heard before in the history of this planet.

EXT CAVE - NEW ROCK: Moonwatcher comes face to face with the New Rock when he leads the tribe down to the river in the first light of morning. He had almost forgotten the terror of the night, because nothing had happened after that initial noise, so he does not even associate this strange thing with danger or with fear. There is nothing in the least alarming about it.

It is a cube about fifteen feet on a side, and it is made of some completely transparent material; indeed, it is not easy to see except when the light of the sun glints on its edges. There are no natural objects to which Moonwatcher can compare this apparition. Though he is wisely cautious of most new things, he does not hesitate to walk up to it. As nothing happens, he puts out his hand, and feels a warm, hard surface.

After several minutes of intense thought, he arrives at a brilliant explanation. It is a rock, of course, and it must have grown during the night. There are many plants that do this - white, pulpy things shaped like pebbles, that seem to shoot up in the hours of darkness. It is true that they are small and round, whereas this is large and square; but greater and later philosophers than Moonwatcher would be prepared to overlook equally striking exceptions to their laws.

This really superb piece of abstract thinking leads Moonwatcher to a deduction which he immediately puts to the test. The white, round pebble-plants are very tasty (though there were a few that made one violently sick); perhaps this square one...? A few licks and attempted nibbles quickly disillusion him. There is no nourishment here; so like a sensible hominid, he continues on his way to the river and forgets all about the Cube.

CUBE - FIRST LESSON: They are still a hundred yards from the New Rock when the sound begins. It is quite soft, and it stops them in their tracks, so that they stand paralyzed on the trail with their jaws hanging. A simple, maddeningly repetitious rhythm pulses out of the crystal cube and hypnotises all who come within its spell. For the first time - and the last, for two million year - the sound of drumming is heard in Africa. The throbbing grows louder, more insistent. Presently the hominids begin to move forward like sleep-walkers, towards the source of that magnetic sound.

Sometimes they take little dancing steps, as their blood responds to the rhythms that their descendants will not create for ages yet. Totally entranced, they gather around the Cube, forgetting the hardships of the day, the perils of the approaching dusk, and the hunger in their bellies. Now, spinning wheels of light begin to merge, and the spokes fuse into luminous bars that slowly recede into the distance, rotating on their axes as they do; and the hominids watch, wide- eyed, mesmerized captives of the Crystal Cube.

Then by some magic - though it was no more magical than all that had gone on before - a perfectly normal scene appears. It is as if a cubical block had been carved out of the day and shifted into the night. Inside that block is a group of four hominids, who might have been members of Moonwatcher's own tribe, eating chunks of meat. The carcass of a wart-hog lies near them. This little family of male and female and two children is gorged and replete, with sleek and glossy pelts - and this was a condition of life that Moonwatcher had never imagined.

From time to time they stir lazily, as they loll at ease near the entrance of their cave, apparently at peace with the world. The spectacle of domestic bliss merges into a totally different scene. The family is no longer reposing peacefully outside its cave; it is foraging, searching for food like any normal hominids. A small wart-hog ambles past the group of browsing humanoids without giving them more than a glance, for they had never been the slightest danger to its species. But that happy state of affairs is about to end.

The big male suddenly bends down, picks up a heavy stone lying at his feet - and hurls it upon the unfortunate pig. The stone descends upon its skull, making exactly the same noise that Moonwatcher had produced in his now almost forgotten encounter with Big-Tooth. And the result, too, is much the same - the warthog gives one amazed, indignant squeal, and collapses in a motionless heap. Then the whole sequence begins again, but this time it unfolds itself with incredible slowness.

Every detail of the movement can be followed; the stone arches leisurely through the air, the pig crumples up and sinks to the ground. There the scene freezes for long moments, the slayer standing motionless above the slain, the first of all weapons in his hand. The scene suddenly fades out. The cube is no more than a glimmering outline in the darkness; the hominids stir, as if awakening from a dream, realise where they are, and scuttle back to their caves.

They have no concious memory of what they had seen; but that night, as he sits brooding at the entrance of his lair, his ears attuned to the noises of the world around him, Moonwatcher feels the first faint twinges of a new and potent emotion - the urge to kill. He had taken his first step towards humanity.

CAVE AND PLAINS: Utopia Babies were born and sometimes lived; feeble, toothless thirty- year-olds died; the lion took its toll in the night; the Others threatened daily across the river - and the trib prospered. In the course of a single year, Moonwatcher and his companions had changed almost beyond recognition. They had become as plump as the family in the Cave, who no longer haunted their dreams. They had learned their lessons well; now they could handle all the stone tools and weapons that the Cube had revealed to them.

They were no longer half-numbed with starvation, and they had time both for leisure and for the first rudiments of thought. Their new way of life was casually accepted, and they did not associate it in any way with the crystal cube still standing outside their cave. But no Utopia is perfect, and this one had two blemishes. The first was the marauding lion, whose passion for hominids seemed to have grown even stronger now that they were better nourished. The second was the tribe across the river; for somehow the Others had survived, and had stubbornly refused to die of starvation.

EXT CAVES - KILLING THE LION: With the partly devoured carcass of a warthog laid out on the ground at the point he hope the boulder would impact, Moon- watcher and three of his bravest companions wait for two consecutive nights. On the third the lion comes, betraying his presences by a small pebble slide. When they can here the lion below, softly tearing at the meat, they strain themselves against the massive boulder. The sound of the lion stops; he is listening. Again they silently heave against the enormous stone, exerting the final limits of their strength.

The rock begin to tip to a new balance point. The lion twitches alert to this sound, but having no fear of these creatures, he makes the first of two mistakes which will cost him his life; he goes back to his meal. The rock moves slowly over the ledge, picking up speed with amazing suddenness. It strikes a projection in the cliff about fifteen feet above the ground, which deflects its path outward. Just at this instant, the lion reacts instinctively and leaps away from the face of the cliff directly into the path of the onrushing boulder.

He has combined the errors of over- confidence and bad luck. The next morning they find the lion in front of the cave. They also find one of their tribe who had incautiously peeped out to see what was happening, and was apparently killed by a small rock torn loose by the boulder; but this was a small price to pay for such a great victory. . . . . And then one night the crystal cube was gone, and not even Moonwatcher ever thought of it again. He was still wholly unaware of all that it had done.

STREAM - MASTER OF THE WORLD: From their side of the stream, in the never violated safety of their own territory, the Others see Moonwatcher and fourteen males of his tribe appear from behind a small hillock over- looking the stream, silhouetted against the dawn sky. The Others begin to scream their daily challenge. But today something is different, though the Others do not immediatly recognize this fact.

Instead of joining the verbal onslaught, as they had always done, Moonwatcher and his small band decended from the rise, and begin to move forward to the stream with a quiet purposefulness never befor seen. As the Others watch the figures silently approaching in the morning mist, they become aware of the terrible strangness of this encounter, and their rage gradually subsides down to an uneasy silence. At the water's edge, Moonwatcher and his band stop.

They carry their bone clubs and bone knives. Led by One-ear, the Others half-heartly resume the battle- chant. But they are suddenly confrunted with a vision that cuts the sound from their throats, and strikes terror into their hearts. Moonwatcher, who had been partly concealed by two males who walked before him, thrusts his arm high into the air. In his hand he holds a stoud tree branch. Mounted atop the branch is the bloody head of the lion, its mouth jammed open with a stick, displaying its frightful fangs.

The Others gape in fearful disbelief at this display of power. Moonwatchers stands motionless, thrusting the lion's head high. Then with majestic deliberation, still carrying his mangled standard above his head, he begins to cross the stream, followed by his band. The Others fade back from the stream, seeming to lack even the ability to flee. Moonwatcher steps ashore and walks to One-Ear, who stands unsurely in front of his band.

Though he is a veteran of numerous combats at the water's edge, One-Ear has never been attacked by an enemy who had not first displayed his fighting rage; and he had never before been attacked with a weapon. One-Ear, merely looks up at the raised club until the heavey thigh bone of an antelope brings the darkness down around him. The Others stare in wonder at Moonwatcher's power. Moonwatcher surveys the scene. Now he was master of the world, and he was not sure what to do next. But he would think of something.


EARTH FROM 200 MILES UP: Images of nuclear bomb in orbit; thousand megaton; Russian insignia and CCCP markings; megaton bomb in orbit; French bomb; German bomb; Chinese bomb.

NARRATOR: By the year 2001, overpopulation has replaced the problem of starvation but this was ominously offset by the absolute and utter perfection of the weapon. Hundreds of giant bombs had been placed in perpetual orbit above the Earth. They were capable of incinerating the entire Earth's surface from an altitude of 100 miles.

Matters were further complicated by the presence of twenty-seven nations in the nuclear club. There had been no deliberate or accidental use of nuclear weapons since World War II and some people felt secure in this knowledge. But to others, the situation seemed comparable to an airline with a perfect safety record; in admirable care and skill but no one expected it to last forever.


ORION-III PASSENGER AREA: Dr. Heywood Floyd is the only passenger in the elegant cabin designed for 30 people. He is asleep. His pen floats near his hand.

ORION-III COCKPIT. PILOT, CO-PILOT: Floyd can be seen asleep on a small TV monitor. Stewardess is putting on lipstick. She sees pen. Stewardess goes back to passenger area, rescues pen and clips it back in Floyd's pocket.

SPACE STATION-5: The raw sunlight of space dazzles from the polished metal surfaces of the slowly revolving, thousand-foot diameter space station. Drifting in the same orbit, we se swept-back Titov-V Spacecraft. Also the almost spherical Aries-IB.

ORION-III PASSENGER AREA: Floyd awake but groggy, looks out of window.

ORION-III COCKPIT: The co-pilot in radio communication with the space station.

THE ORION-III SPACECRAFT IN DOCKING APPROACH: The Earth is seen in breathtaking view in background.

INSIDE DOCKING CONTROL: We see Orion-III manuevering in background.

FROM DOCKING PORT: We see the Orion-III inching in to complete its docking. We see various windowed booths inside docking port. We see the pilot and co-pilot inside the Orion-III cockpit.

SPACE STATION RECEPTION AREA: Receptionist at desk. Miller enters, hurrying. He goes to the elevator and presses button. He waits impatiently. We see elevator indicator working, elevator door opens and Floyd is seen unstrapping himself. The elevator girl is seated by the door.

MILLER: Oh, good morning, Dr. Floyd. I'm Nick Miller.

FLOYD: How do you do, Mr. Miller?

MILLER: I'm terribly sorry. I was just on my way down to meet you. I saw your ship dock and I knew I had plenty of time, and I was on my way out of the office when, suddenly, the phone rang.

FLOYD: Oh, please don't worry about it.

MILLER: Well, thank you very much for being so understanding.

FLOYD: Please, it really doesn't matter.

MILLER: Well.. Did you have a pleaant flight?

FLOYD: Yes, very pleasant.

MILLER: Well, shall we go through Documentation?

FLOYD: Fine.

RECEPTIONIST: Will you use number eight, please?

MILLER: Thank you, Miss Turner.

They enter passport area. Reception pressess "ENGLISH" bar on her console and smiles as Floyd goes through.

IN AUTOMATED PASSPORT SECTION: They stop in front of a booth featuring a TV screen.

PASSPORT GIRL (TV): Good morning and welcome to voice Print Identification. When you see the red light go on would you please state in the following order; your desitination, your nationality and your full name. Surname first, christian name and initial. For example: Moon, American, Smith, John, D. Thank you.

There is a pause and a red bar lights up.

FLOYD: Moon, American, Floyd, Heywood, R.

The red light goes off. There is a delay of about two seconds and the woman's face reappears.

FLOYD: I've always wondered....

PASSPORT GIRL (TV): (Interrupting) Thank you. Despite and excellent and continually improving safety record there are certain risks inherent in space travel and an extremely high cost of pay load. Because of this it is necessary for the Space Carrier to advise you that it cannot be responsible for the return of your body to Earth should you become deceased on the Moon or en route to the Moon. However, it wishes to advise you that insurance covering this contingency is available in the Main Lounge. Thank you. You are cleared through Voice Print Identification.

The lights go off and the woman's face disappears. The men exit the passport area.

MILLER: I've reserved a table for you in the Earth Light room. Your connecting flight will be leaving in about one hour.

FLOYD: Oh, that's wonderful.

INT SPACE STATION - LOUNGE: Floyd and Miller walking.

MILLER: Let's see, we haven't had the pleasure of a visit from you not since... It was about eight or nine months ago, wasn't it?

FLOYD: Yes, I think so. Just about then.

MILLER: I suppose you saw the work on our new section while you were docking.

FLOYD: Yes, it's coming along very well.

They pass the vision phone booth.

FLOYD: Oh, look, I've got to make a phone call. Why don't you go on into the Restaurant and I'll meet you in there.

MILLER: Fine. I'll see you at the bar.

Floyd enters phone booth. Sign on vision phone screen "SORRY, TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER." He enters the second booth and sits down. Floyd in vision phone. Little girl of five, answers.

CHILD: Hello.

Vision phone screen display sign, 'YOUR PARTY HAS NOT CONNECTED VISION.' A few seconds later, the screen changes to an image of the child.

FLOYD: Hello, darling, how are you?

CHILD: Hello Daddy. Where are you?

FLOYD: I'm at Space Station Five, darling. How are you?

CHILD: I'm fine, Daddy. When are you coming home?

FLOYD: Well, I hope in a few days, sweetheart.

CHILD: I'm having a party tomorrow.

FLOYD: Yes, I know that sweetheart.

CHILD: Are you coming to my party?

FLOYD: No, I'm sorry, darling, I told you I won't be home for a few days.

CHILD: When are you coming home?

FLOYD: In three days, darling, I hope.

Floyd holds up three fingers.

FLOYD: One, two, three. Can I speak to Mommy?

CHILD: Mommy's out to the hair- dresser.

FLOYD: Where is Mrs. Brown?

CHILD: She's in the bathroom.

FLOYD: Okay, sweetheart. Well, I have to go now. Tell Mommy that I called.

CHILD: How many days until you come home?

FLOYD: Three, darling. One... two ... three. Be sure to tell Mommy I called.

CHILD: I will, Daddy.

FLOYD: Okay, sweetheart. Have a lovely Birthday Party tomorrow.

CHILD: Thank you, Daddy.

FLOYD: I'll wish you a happy Birthday now and I'll see you soon. All right, Darling?

CHILD: Yes, Daddy.

FLOYD: 'Bye, 'bye, now, sweetheart.

CHILD: Goodbye, Daddy.

Vision phone: procedure for information. Vision phone: procedure for dialing.

OPERATOR: Good morning, Macy's.

FLOYD: Good morning. I'd like the Vision shopper for the Pet Shop, please.

OPERATOR: Just one moment.

The picture flips and we se a woman standing in front of a specially designed display screen.

VISION SALES GIRL: Good morning, sir, may I help you?

FLOYD: Yes, I'd like to buy a bush baby.

VISION SALES GIRL: Just a moment, sir.

The girl keys some inputs and a moving picture appears on the screen of a cage containing about six Bush Babies, beautifully displayed against a white background.

VISION SALES GIRL: Here you are, sir. Here is a lovely assortment of African bush babies. They are twenty Dollars each.

FLOYD: Yes, well... Pick out a nice one for me, a friendly one, and I'd like it delivered tomorrow.

VISION SALES GIRL: Certainly, sir. Just let us have your name and Bank identification for V.P.I., and then give the name and address of the person you'd like the pet delivered to and it will be delivered tomorrow.

Some time during this conversation, Floyd sees Elena, Smyslov, and the other two Russians past his vision phone window. Elena taps and mimes 'Hello,' gesturing toward a table behind Floyd where they all sit down.

FLOYD: Thank you very much. Floyd, Heywood, R., First National Bank of Washington. Please deliver to Miss Josephine Floyd, 9423 Dupre Avenue, N.W.14.

VISION SALES GIRL: Thank you very much, sir. It will be delivered tomorrow.


FLOYD: Well, how nice to see you again, Elena. You're looking wonderful.

ELENA: How nice to see you, Hyewood. This is my good friend, Dr. Heywood Floyd. I'd like you to meet Andre Smyslov...

Smyslov and the two other Russian women stand up and smile. They shake hands after introduction and ad-lib 'Hellos.'

ELENA: And this is Dr. Kalinan... Stretyneva...

The Russians a very warm and friendly.

SMYSLOV: Dr. Floyd, won't you join us for a drink?

FLOYD: I'm afraid I've only got a few minutes, but I'd love to.

There is a bit of confusion as all realize there is not enough for another person at the table. Smyslov offers Floyd his chair and borrows another from a nearby table.

SMYSLOV: What would you like to drink?

FLOYD: Oh, I really don't have time for a drink. If it's all right I'll just sit for a minute and then I've got to be off.

SMYSLOV: Are you quite sure?

FLOYD: Yes, really, thank you very much.

ELENA: Well... How's your lovely wife?

FLOYD: She's wonderful.

ELENA: And your charming little daughter?

FLOYD: Oh, she's growing up very fast. As a matter of fact, she's six tomorrow.

ELENA: Oh, that's such a delightful age.

FLOYD: How is gregor?

ELENA: He's fine. But I'm afraid we don't get a chance to see each other very much these days.

Polite laughter.

FLOYD: Well, where are all of you off to?

ELENA: Actually, we're on our way back from the moon. We've just spent three months calibrating the new antenna at Tchalinko. And what about you?

FLOYD: Well, as it happens, I'm on my way up to the moon.

SMYSLOV: Are you, by any chance, going up to your base at Clavius?

FLOYD: Yes,as a matter of fact, I am.

The Russians exchange significant glances.

FLOYD: Is there any particular reason why you ask?

SMYSLOV: (pleasantly) Well, Dr. Floyd, I hope that you don't think I'm too inquisitive, but perhaps you can clear up the mystery about what's been going on up there.

FLOYD: I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I know what you mean.

SMYSLOV: Well, it's just for the past two weeks there have been some extremely odd things happening at Clavius.

FLOYD: Really?

SMYSLOV: Yes. Well, for one thing, whenever you phone the base, all you can get is a recording which repeats that the phone lines are temporarily out of order.

FLOYD: Well, I suppose they've been having a bit of trouble with some of the equipment.

SMYSLOV: Yes, well at first we thought that was the explanation, but it's been going on for the past ten days.

FLOYD: You mean you haven't been able to get anyone at the base for ten days?

SMYSLOV: That's right.

FLOYD: I see.

ELENA: Another thing, Heywood, two days ago, one of our rocket buses was denied permission for an emergency landing at Clavius.

FLOYD: How did they manage to do that without any communication?

ELENA: Clavius Control came on the air just long enough to transmit their refusal.

FLOYD: Well, that does sound very odd.

SMYSLOV: Yes, and I'm afaid there's going to be a bit of a row about it. Denying the men permission to land was a direct violation of the I.A.S. convention.

FLOYD: Yes... Well, I hope the crew got back safely.

SMYSLOV: Fortunately, they did.

FLOYD: Well, I'm glad about that.

The Russians exchange more glances. One of the women offers around a pill box. Elena and another Russian take one and the third Russian declines.

SMYSLOV: Dr. Floyd, at the risk of pressing you on a point you seem reticent to discuss, may I ask you a straightforward question?

FLOYD: Certainly.

SMYSLOV: Quite frankly, we have had some very reliable intelligence reports that a quite serious epidemic has broken out at Clavius. Something, apparently, of an unknown origin. Is this, in fact, what has happened?

A long, awkward pause.

FLOYD: I'm sorry, Dr. Smyslov, but I'm really not at liberty to discuss this.

SMYSLOV: This epidemic could easily spread to our base, Dr. Floyd. We should be given all the facts.

Long pause.

FLOYD: Dr. Smyslov... I'm not permitted to discuss this.

ELENA: Are you sure you won't change your mind about a drink?

FLOYD: No, thank you... and I'm afraid now I really must be going.

ELENA: Well, I hope that you and your wife can come to the I.A.C. conference in June.

FLOYD: We're trying to get there. I hope we can.

ELENA: Well, Gregor and I will look forward to seeing you.

FLOYD: Thank you. It's been a great pleasure to meet all of you... Dr. Smyslov.

The Russians all rise and there are ad-libs of courtesy. Floyd shakes hands and exits. The Russians exchange a few serious paragraphs in Russian.

ARIES-IB IN SPACE: Earth much smaller than as seen from space station.

NARRATOR: The Aries-IB has become the standard Space-Station-to-Lunar surface vehicle. It was powered by low-thrust plasma jets which would continue the mild acceleration for fifteen minutes. Then the ship would break the bonds of gravity and be a free and independent planet, circling the Sun in an orbit of its own.

ARIES PASSENGER AREA: Floyd is asleep, stretched out in the chair, covered with blankets which are held secure by straps. A stewardess sits at the other side of the cabin, watching a karate exhibition between two women on television. The elevator entrance door opens and the second stewardess enters carrying a tray of food. She brings it to the other stewardess.

STEWARDESS ONE: Oh, thank you very much.

STEWARDESS TWO: I see he's still asleep.

STEWARDESS ONE: Yes. He hasn't moved since we left.

Stewardess Twoo exit into elevator.

ARIES GALLEY AREA: Stewardess exits from elevator, goes to kitchen section, removes two trays, walks up to the side of the wall and enters pilot's compartment.

ARIES-IB COCKPIT: Pilot, co-pilot. Stewardess enters, carrying food.

PILOT: Oh, thank you very much.

CO-PILOT: Thank you.

Stewardess smiles.

PILOT: (sighs) Well, how's it going back there?

STEWARDESS Fine. Very quiet. He's been asleep since we left.

PILOT: Well, no one can say that he's not enjoying the wonders of Space.

CO-PILOT: Well, whatever's going on up there, he's going to arrive fresh and ready to go.

PILOT: I wonder what really IS going on up there?

CO-PILOT: Well, I've heard more and more people talk of an epidemic.

PILOT: I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later.

CO-PILOT: Berkeley told me that they think it came from contamination on a returning Mars flight.

PILOT: Yes, well, whatever it is, they're certainly not fooling around. This is the first flight they allowed in for more than a week.

CO-PILOT: I was working out what this trip must cost, taking him up there by himself and coming back empty.

PILOT: I'll bet it's a fortune.

CO-PILOT: Well, at ten thousand dollars a ticket, it comes to the better part of six hundred thousand dollars.

PILOT: Well, as soon as he wakes up, I'm going to go back and talk to him. I must say, I'd like to find out what's going on.

ARIES-IB IN SPACE: Moon very large.

ARIES-IB PASSENGER AREA: Floyd finishing breakfast. Pilot enters.

PILOT: Well, good afternoon, Dr. Floyd. Did you have a good rest?

FLOYD: Oh, marvellous. It's the first real sleep I've had for the past two days.

PILOT: There's nothing like weightless sleep for a complete rest.

FLOYD: When do we arrive at Clavius?

PILOT: We're scheduled to dock in about seven hours. Is there anything we can do for you?

FLOYD: Oh, no, thank you. The two girls have taken wonderful care of me. I'm just fine.

PILOT: Well, if there is anything that you wnat, just give a holler.

FLOYD: Thank you.

PILOT: Incidentally, Dr. Floyd, I wonder if I can have a word with you about the security arrangements?

FLOYD: What do you mean?

PILOT: Well... the crew is confined to the ship when we land at Clavius. We have to stay inside for the time it take to refit - about twenty-four hours. And then we're going to back empty.

FLOYD: I see.

PILOT: I take it this is something to do with the trouble they're having up at Clavius?

FLOYD: I'm afraid that's out of my department, Captain.

PILOT: Well, I'll tell you why I ask. You see, I've got a girl who works in the Auditing Department of the Territorial Administrator and I haven't been able to get her on the phone for the past week or so, and with all these stories one hears, I'm a little concerned about her.

FLOYD: I see. Well, I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't think there's any cause for alarm.

PILOT: Yes, well, I wouldn't have been too concerned about it, except I've heard these stories about the epidemic and, as a matter of fact, I've heard that ten people have died already.

FLOYD: I wish I could be more helpful, Captain, but as I've said, I don't think there's any cause for alarm.

PILOT: Well, fine. Thanks very much, anyway, and I hope you don't mind me asking?

FLOYD: No, of course, Captain, I can understand your concern.

PILOT: Well, thank you very much, and please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your trip more comfortable.

ARIES-IB CLOSER TO MOON: Floyd goes to Aries-IB washroom and looks at the very long list of complicated instructions.

ARIES-IB CLOSER TO MOON / DISSOLVE: Floyd visiting Aries-IB cockpit. Weightless trick entrance.


NARRATOR: The laws of Earthly aesthetics did not apply here, this world had been shaped and molded by other than terrestrial forces, operating over aeons of time unknown to the young, verdant Earth, with its fleeting Ice-Ages, its swiftly rising and falling seas, its mountain ranges dissolving like mists before the dawn. Here was age inconceivable - but not death, for the Moon had never lived until now.

ARIES-IB COCKPIT: The crew and docking control people on the moon go through their docking routine. This has the ritualistic tone and cadence of present day jet landing procedure. We only hear docking control.

ARIES-IB DECENDING: See air view of base.

NARRATOR: The Base at Clavius was the first American Lunar Settlement that could, in an emergency, be entirely self-supporting. Water and all the necessities of life for its eleven hundred men, women and children were produced from the Lunar rocks, after they had been crushed, heated and chemically processed.

A ground bus nuzzles up to coupling station of Aries-IB inside great airlock entrance. Ground bus pulls in. Giant doors close behind it.

INSIDE SECOND AIRLOCK: Doors open after outside section doors are closed. Ground bus pulls in. Doors close behind it. See people waiting in glassed-in section waiting for second airlock doors to close. Low gravity gymnasium trick with children.

NARRATOR: One of the attractions of life on the Moon was undoubtedly the low gravity which produced a sense of general well-being.

CHILDREN IN SCHOOL: Teacher showing them views of Earth and map of Earth.

NARRATOR: The personnel of the Base and their children were the forerunners of new nations, new cultures that would ultimately spread out across the solar system. They no longer thought of Earth as home. The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.

DISSOLVE: LARGE CENTRAL RECEPTION AREA: Doors branching off to different main halls. Small pond with plastic white swan and a bit of grass. A few benches with three women and their children having outing. Floyd and welcoming party walk through after exiting elevator. Halvoren, Michaels, and five others.

FLOYD: (voice echoing) I must congratulate you Halvorsen. you've done wonder- ful things with the decor since the last time I was here.

HALVORSEN: (voice echoing) Well... thank you, Dr. Floyd. We try to make the environment as earthlike as possible.

DISSOLVE: LOW CEILING CONFERENCE ROOM: "U" shaped table facing three projection screens. Seated around the are twenty senior base personnel.

HALVORSEN: Ladies and gentlemen, I should like to introduce Dr. Heywood Floyd, a distinguished member of the National Council of Astronautics. He has just completed a special flight here from Earth to be with us, and before the briefing he would like to say a few words. Dr. Floyd.

Floyd walks to the front of the room.

FLOYD: 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 personal sacrifices you have made, and of course his congratulations on your discovery which may well prove to be among the most significant in the history of science.

Polite applause.

FLOYD: Mr. Halvorsen has made known to me some of the conflicting views held by many of you regarding the need for complete security in this matter, and more specifically your strong opposition to the cover story created to give the impression there is an epidemic at the Base. 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 your relatives and friends on Earth. I can understand and sympathize with your negative views. I have been personally embarrassed by this cover story.

But I fully accept the need for absolute secrecy and I hope you will. It should not be difficult for all of you to realise the potential for cutural shock and social disorientation contained in the present situation if the facts were prematurely and suddenly made public without adequate preparation and conditioning. This is the view of the Council and the purpose of my visit here is to gather addition facts and opinions on the situation and to prepare a report to the Council recommending when and how the news should eventually be announced. Are there any questions?

MICHAELS: Dr. Floyd, how long do you think this can be kept under wraps?

FLOYD: (pleasantly) I'm afraid it can and it will be kept under wraps as long as it is deemed to be necessary by the Council. And of course you know that the Council has requested that formal security oaths are to be obtained in writing from everyone who had any knowledge of this event. There must be adequate time for a full study to be made of the situation before any consideration can be given to making a public announcement.

HALVORSEN: We will, of course, cooperate in any way possible, Dr. Floyd.

Several scenic views of moon rocket bus skimming over surface of moon.

INSIDE ROCKET BUS: Floyd, Halvorsen, Michaels, fourth man, pilot, co-pilot. All in space suits minus helmets. Floyd is slowly looking through some photographs and magnetic maps of the area. He looks out the window, thoughtfully. The photographs are taken from a satellite of the moon's surface and numbered optical grid borders, like recent Mars photos. A few seats away, Michaels and Halvorsen carry out a very banal administrative conversation conversation in low tones. It should revolve around something utterly irrelevant to the present circumstances and very much like the kind of discussion one hears all the time in other organizations.

DISSOLVE: TMA-1 EXCAVATION: Air view. Rocket bus descending. There are no lights on the actual excavation, only the landing strip and the monitor dome. Long shot monitor domes with a bit of excavation in shot. Six small figures in space suits slowly walk toward excavation. The party stops at top of TMA-1 excavation. A small control panel mounted at the head of the ramp. Michaels throws a switch and the excavation is suddenly illuminated.

HALVORSEN: Well, there it is.

FLOYD: Can we go down there closer to it?

HALVORSEN: Certainly.

The start down working ramp.

FLOYD: Does your geology on it still check out?

MICHAELS: Yes, it does. The sub-surface structure shows that it was deliberately buried about four million years ago.

FLOYD: How can you tell it was deliberately buried?

MICHAELS: By the deformation between the mother rock and the fill.

FLOYD: Any clue as to what it is?

MICHAELS: Not really. It's completely inert. No sound or energy sources have been detected. The surface is made of something incredibly hard and we've been barely able to scratch it. A laser drill might do something, but we don't want to be too rough until we know a little more.

FLOYD: But you don't have any idea as to what it is?

MICHAELS: Tomb, shine, survey-marker spare part, take your choice.

HALVORSEN: The only thing about it that we are sure of is that it is the first direct evidence of intelligent life beyond the Earth.


HALVORSEN: Four million years ago, something, presumably from the stars, must have swept through the solar system and left this behind.

FLOYD: Was it abandoned, forgotten, left for a purpose?

HALVORSEN: I suppose we'll never know.

MICHAELS: The moon would have made an excellent base camp for preliminary Earth surveys.


FLOYD: Any ideas about the colour?

MICHAELS: Well, not really. At first glance, black would suggest something sun-powered, but then why would anyone deliberately bury a sun- powered device?

FLOYD: Has it been exposed to any sun before now?

MICHAELS: I don't think it has, but I'd like to check that. Simpson, what's the log on that?

INSIDE MONITOR DOME: We see a number of television displays including several TV views of Floyd and company in the excavation.

SIMPSON The first surface was exposed at 0843 on the 12th April... Let me see... that would have been forty-five minutes after Lunar sun-set. I see here that special lighting equipment had to be brought up before any futher work could be done.

MICHAELS: Thank you.

FLOYD: And so this is the first sun that it's had in four million years.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Excuse me, gentlemen, if you'd all line up on this side of the walkway we'd like to take a few photographes. Dr. Floyd, would you stand in the middle... Dr. Michaels on that side, Mr. Halvorsen on the other.... thank you.

The photographer quickly makes some exposures.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Thank you very much gentlemen, I'll have the base photo section send you copies.

As the men slowly seperate from their picture pose, there is a piercingly powerful series of five electronic shrieds, each like a hideously overloaded and distorted time signal. Floyd involuntarily tries to block his ears with his spacesuited hands. Then comes merciful silence. Various shots of space monitors, astroids, the Sun, Pluto, Mars.

NARRATOR: A hundred million miles beyond Mars, in the cold loneliness where no man had yet travelled, Deep-Space-Monitor-79 drifts slowly among the tangled orbits of the asteroids. Radiation detectors noted and analyzed incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy and points beyond; neutron and x-ray telescopes kept watch on strange stars that no human eye would eever see; magnetometers observed the gusts and hurricanes of the solar winds, as the sun breathed million mile-an-hour blasts of plasma into the faces of its circling children.

All these things and many others were patiently noted by Deep-Space-Monitor-79, and recorded in its crystalline memory. But now it had noted something strange - the faint yet unmistakable distrubance rippling across the solar system, and quite unlike any natural phenomena it had ever observed in the past.

It was also observed by Orbiter M-15, circling Mars twice a day; and High Inclination Probe-21, climbing slowly above the planet of the ecliptic; and even artificial Comet-5, heading out into the cold wastes beyond Pluto, along an orbit whose far point it would not reach for a thousand years. All noticed the peculiar burst of energy that leaped from the face of the Moon and moved across the solar system, throwing off a spray of radiation like the wake of a racing speedboat.


DISCOVERY 1,000,000 MILES FROM EARTH: See Earth and moon small. We see a blinding flash every five seconds from its nuclear pulse propulsion. It strikes against the ship's thick ablative tail plate. Several cuts of this. Another closer view of discovery. See Bowman through command module window.

BOWMAN INSIDE DISCOVERY COMMAND MODULE: He is looking for something. Computer readout display showing an ever-shifting assortment of color-codded linear projections. We see Poole in background in computer brain center area. After a few seconds he exits. The elapsed mission timer reads "DAY 003, HOUR 14, MINUTE 32, SECOND 10."

Bowman exits to access-link airlock. Bright color=coded doors lead to centrifuge and pod bay. Large illuminated printed warnings and instructions governing link operations are seen. He presses necessary buttons to operate airlock door to pod bay. Bowman enters pod bay and continues his search. Suddenly he finds it - his electronic newspad. He exits pod bay.

IN THE AIRLOCK LINK: Bowman operates buttons to open door marked "CENTRIFUGE".

INSIDE THE CENTRIFUGE HUB: Bowman moves to the entry port control panel.

BOWMAN: Hi. Frank... coming in, please.

POOLE: Right. Just a sec.

BOWMAN: Okay. (pause)

POOLE: Okay, come on down.

We see the rotating hub collar at the end. Behind it we see the centrifuge TV display showing sleepers and Poole slowly rotating by. Pool secures some loose gear. Poole looks up to TV monitor lens and waves.

BOWMAN AT PANEL: Stops rotation and moves to entry port. When rotation stops we see a sign lights up "WEIGHTLESS CONDITION". As Bowman disappears down entry port we see him on TV monitor, descending ladder. At the base of the ladder he keys the centrifuge operation panel. We see TV picture start to rotate again. "WEIGHTLESS CONDITION" sign goes out.

INSIDE CENTRIFUGE: Bowman makes 180 degree walk to Poole. On way he passes the sleepers. We get a good look at the three men in their hibernaculums. Poole is seated at a table reading his electronic newspad.

BOWMAN: (softly) Hi... How's it going?

POOLE: (absent but friendly) Great.

Bowman operates artificial food unit, takes his tray and sits down. Keys on his electronic newspad and begins to eat. Both men eat in a friendly and relaxed silence.

DISCOVERY IN SPACE: Still nuclear pulsing. Earth and moon can be seen in background.

DISSOLVE: Poole is finished. Bowman is still reading and working on his dessert.

POOLE: Dave, if you've a minute, I'd like your advice on something.

BOWMAN: Sure, what is it?

POOLE: Well, it's nothing really important, but it's annoying.

BOWMAN: What's up?

POOLE: It's about my salary cheques.


POOLE: Well I got the papers on my official up-grading to AGS-19 two weeks before we left.

BOWMAN: Yes, I remember you mentioning it. I got mine about the same time.

POOLE: That's right. Well, naturally, I didn't say anything to Payroll. I assumed they'd start paying me at the higher grade on the next pay cheque. But it's been almost three weeks now and I'm still being paid as an AGS-18.

BOWMAN: Interesting that you mention it, because I've got the same problem.

POOLE: Really.


POOLE: Yesterday, I finally called the Accounting Office at Mission Control, and all they could tell me was that they'd received the AGS-19 notification for the other three but not mine, and apparently not yours either.

BOWMAN: Did they have any explanation for this?

POOLE: Not really. They just said it might be because we trained at Houston and they trained in Marshall, and that we're being charged against different accounting offices.

BOWMAN: It's possible.

POOLE: Well, what do you think we ought to do about it?

BOWMAN: I don't think we should make any fuss about it yet. I'm sure they'll straighten it out.

POOLE: I must say, I never did understand why they split us into two groups for training.

BOWMAN: No. I never did, either.

POOLE: We spent so little time with them, I have trouble keeping their names straight.

BOWMAN: I suppose the idea was specialized training.

POOLE: I suppose so. Though, of course, there's a more sinister explanation.


POOLE: Yes. You must have heard the rumour that went around during orbital check-out.

BOWMAN: No, as a matter of fact, I didn't.

POOLE: Oh, well, apparently there's something about the mission that the sleeping beauties know that we don't know, and that's why we were trained separately and that's why they were put to sleep before they were even taken aboard.

BOWMAN: Well, what is it?

POOLE: I don't know. All I heard is that there's something about the mission we weren't told.

BOWMAN: That seems very unlikely.

POOLE: Yes, I thought so.

BOWMAN: Of course, it would be very easy for us to find out now.


BOWMAN: Just ask Hal. It's conceivable they might keep something from us, but they'd never keep anything from Hal.

POOLE: That's true.

BOWMAN: (sighs) Well... it's silly, but... if you want to, why don't you?

Poole walks to the HAL 9000 computer.

POOLE: Hal... Dave and I believe that there's something about the mission that we weren't told. Something that the rest of the crew know and that you know. We'd like to know whether this is true.

HAL: I'm sorry, Frank, but I don't think I can answer that question without knowing everything that all of you know.

BOWMAN: He's got a point.

POOLE: Okay, then how do we re-phrase the question?

BOWMAN: Still, you really don't believe it, do you?

POOLE: Not really. Though, it is strange when you think about it. It didn't really make any sense to keep us apart during training.

BOWMAN: Yes, but it's to fantastic to think that they'd keep something from us.

POOLE: I know. It would be almost inconceivable.

BOWMAN: But not completely inconceivable?

POOLE: I suppose it isn't logically impossible.

BOWMAN: I guess it isn't.

POOLE: Still, all we have to do is ask Hal.

BOWMAN: Well, the only important aspect of the mission are: where are we going, what will we do when we get there, when are we coming back, and... why are we going?

POOLE: Right. Hal, tell me whether the following statements are true or false.

HAL: I will if I can, Frank.

POOLE: Our Mission Profile calls for Discovery going to Saturn. True or false?

HAL: True.

POOLE: Our transit time is 257 days. Is that true?

HAL: That's true.

POOLE: At the end of a hundred days of exploration, we will all go into hibernation. Is this true?

HAL: That's true.

POOLE: Approximately five years after we go into hibernation, the recovery vehicle will make rendezous with us and bring us back. Is this true?

HAL: That's true

POOLE: There is no other purpose for this mission than to carry out a continuation of the space program, and to further our general knowledge of the planets. Is that true?

HAL: That's true.

POOLE: Thank you very much, Hal.

HAL: I hope I've been able to be of some help.

Both men look at each other rather sheepishly.

DISCOVERY IN SPACE: Pulsing along. Earth and moon.

DOCUMENTARY SEQUENCE ILLUSTRATING THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES: Split screen technique and superimposed clock to give sense of simultaneous action and the feeling of a typical day. In the course of these activities we shall see the computer used in all of its functions.

NARRATOR: Bowman and Poole settled down to the peaeful monotony of the voyage, and the next three months passed without incident.













































































CENTRIFUGE: Bowman sitting at personal communication panel. Poole standing nearby. Bowman's parents are seen on the vision screen. Mother, father, and younger sister. They are all singing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY". The parents, Poole and Hal. The song ends.

FATHER Well, David there is a man telling us that we've used up our time.

MOTHER David... again we want to wish you a happy Birthday and God speed. We'll talk to you again tomorrow. 'Bye, 'bye now.

Chorus of "GOODBYES". Vision screen goes blank.

HAL: Sorry to interrupt the festivities, Dave, but I think we've got a problem.

BOWMAN: What is it, Hal?

HAL: MY F.P.C. shows an impending failure of the antenna orientation unit.

TV display diagram of skeletonized picture of ship. Picture changes to closer sectionalized view of ship. Picture changes to actual component in color relief and its warehouse number.

HAL: The A.O. unit should be replaced within the next seventy-two hours.

BOWMAN: Right. Let me see the antenna alignment display, please.

TV display of Earth very small in crosshairs of a grid picture.

EXTERIOR VIEW: of the big dish antenna and Earth alignment telescope.


HAL: The unit is still operational, Dave. but it will fail within seventy-two hours.

BOWMAN: I understand Hal. We'll take care of it. Please, let me have the hard copy.

Xeroxed diagrams come out of a slot.

POOLE: Strange that the A.O. unit should go so quickly.

BOWMAN: Well, I suppose it's lucky that that's the only trouble we've had so far.

DISCOVERY IN SPACE: No planets visible. Shots of antenna. (Narration to explain tenuous and essential link to Earth. Also, what tracking telescope does.)

CENTRIFUGE: We see Bowman and Poole go to a cupboard labeled in paper tape, "RANDOM DECISION MAKER." They removed a silver dollar in a protective case. Poole flips the coin. Bowman calls "HEAD." It is tails. Poole wins. Pool looks pleased. .


: Poole in space suit doing preliminary check out.

COMMAND MODULE: Bowman at flight control. See TV picture of Poole in pod bay.

HAL'S POD BAY CONSOLE WITH EYE: Poole goes to pod bay warehouse section and obtains component. He carries it back to the pod and places it in front of the floor.

POOLE: Hal, have pod arms secure the component.

HAL: Roger.

See pod arms secure component.

POOLE: Hal, please rotate Pod Number Two.

See the center pod rotate to face the pod bay doors. Poole enters pod. Inside pod, he does initial pre-flight check, tries button and controls.

POOLE: How do you read me, Dave?

Bowman in command module.

BOWMAN: Five by five, Frank.


POOLE: How do you read me, Hal?

HAL: Five by five, Frank.

POOLE: Hal, I'm going out now to replace the A.O. unit.

HAL: I understand.

POOLE: Hal, maintain normal E.V.A. condition.

HAL: Roger.

POOLE: Hal, check all airlock doors secure.

HAL: All airlock doors are secure.

POOLE: Decompress Pod Bay.

See big pod bay air pumps at work.

HAL: Pod Bay is decompressed. All doors are secure. You are free to open pod bay doors.

POOLE: Opening pod bay doors.

INSIDE POD: Poole keys open pod bay doors. Pod slowly edges out of pod bay. Poole maneuvers the pod carefully away from discovery.

INSIDE COMMAND MODULE: Bowman can see tiny pod manuevering directly in front. Poole sees Bowman in command module window. Pod slowly manuevers to antenna. Pod fastens itself magnetically to sides of discovery at base of antenna. Special magnetic plates grip discovery sides. The arms work to remove the faulty component. Easy flip-bolts of a special design facilitate job. Inside the pod, Poole works the arms by special control.

IN COMMAND MODULE: Bowman sees insert of work taken from TV camera point of view in pod hand. HAL stands by. Poole secures the faulty part in one hand. The new component is fitted into place by the other three hands are snapped closed with the specially designed flip-bolts.

POOLE: Hal, please acknowledge component correctly installed and fully operational.

HAL: The component is correctly installed and fully operational.

The pod floats away from the Discovery by shutting off the electromagnetic plates. The pod manuevers away from the antenna and out in front of Discovery. Bowman sees the pod through the command module window. Poole sees Bowman in command module window. Poole carefully manuevers toward the pod doors. Pod stops a hundred feet away. Poole keys automatic docking alignment mode. Pool checks airlock safety procedure with HAL. HAL approves entry. Pool actuates. Pod bay doors open. See pod bay doors open. Pod carefully manuevers on to docking arm, which then draws pod into pod bay.

POD BAY: The faulty A.O. unit lies on a testing bench connected to electronic gear. Poole stands for some time checking his results. There should some understandable display, which indicates the part is functioning properly, even under one hundred percent overload. Circuit continuity pulse sequencer. Environmental vibration. VK integrity. Bowman enters.

BOWMAN: How's it going?

POOLE: I don't know. I've checked this damn thing four times now and even under a hundred per cent

POOLE: (cont'd) overload. there's no fault prediction indicated.

BOWMAN: Well, that's something.

POOLE: Yes, I don't know what to make of it.

BOWMAN: I suppose computers have been known to be wrong.

POOLE: Yes, but it's more likely that the tolerances on our testing gear are too low.

BOWMAN: Anyway, it's just as well that we replace it. Better safe than sorry.


: Bowman asleep. Poole watching an asteroid in the telescope.

HAL: Hello, Frank, can I have a word with you?

Poole walks to the computer.

POOLE: Yes, Hal, what's up?

HAL: It looks like we have another bad A.O. unit. My FPC shows another impending failure.

We see display appear on the screen showing skeletonized version of ship, cutting to sectionalized view, cutting to close view of the part.

CENTRIFUGE: Poole thinks for several seconds.

POOLE: Gee, that's strange, Hal. We checked the other unit and couldn't find anything wrong with it.

HAL: I know you did, Frank, but I assure you there was an impending failure.

POOLE: Let me see the tracking alignment display.

Computer displays the view of Earth in the center of the grid with crosshairs. The Earth is perfectly centered.


POOLE: There's nothing wrong with it at the moment.

HAL: No, it's working fine right now, but it's going to go within seventy- two hours.

POOLE: Do you have any idea of what is causing this fault?

HAL: Not really, Frank. I think there may be a flaw in the assembly procedure.

POOLE: All right, Hal. We'll take care of it. Let me have the hard copy, please.

Hard copy details come out of slot.

DISCOVERY IN SPACE: No planets visible.

CENTRIFUGE: Bowman gets out of bed, walks to the food unit and draws a hot cup of coffee. Poole enters.

POOLE: Good morning.

BOWMAN: Good morning. How's it going?

POOLE: Are you reasonably awake?

BOWMAN: Oh, I'm fine, I'm wide awake. What's up?

POOLE: Well... Hal's reported the AO-unit about to fail again.

BOWMAN: You're kidding.


BOWMAN: (softly) What the hell is going on?

POOLE: I don't know. Hal said he thought it might be the assembly procedure.

BOWMAN: Two units in four days. How many spares do we have?

POOLE: Two more.

BOWMAN: Well, I hope there's nothing wrong with the assembly on those. Otherwise we're out of business.

IN POD BAY: Bowman obtains another component from the warehouse. Goes out in the pod and replaces it. Poole works in the command module. This will be a condensed version of the previous scene with different angles. The sets will consist of pod bay, command module, pod interior.

POD BAY: Bowman and Poole leaning over the faulty component, again wired to testing gear. Both men stare in puzzled silence. See displays flash each testing parameter.

BOWMAN: (after long silence) Well, as far as I'm concerned, there isn't a damn thing wrong with these units. I think we've got a much more serious problem.





MISSION CONTROL: I wouldn't worry too much about the computer. First of all, there is still a chance that he is right, despite your tests, and if it should happen again, we suggest eliminating this possibility by allowing the unit to remain in place and seeing whether or not it actually fails. If the computer should turn out to be wrong, the situation is still not alarming. The type of obsessional error he may be guilty of is not unknown among the latest generation of

HAL: 9000 computers. It has almost always revolved around a single detail, such as the one you have described, and it has never interfered with the integrity or reliability of the computer's performance in other areas. No one is certain of the cause of this kind of malfunctioning. It may be over-programming, but it could also be any number of reasons. In any event, it is somewhat analogous to human neurotic behavior. Does this answer your query? Zero-five-three- Zero, MC, transmission concluded.


: Bowman sits down at the computer. Puts up chess board display.

HAL: Hello, Dave. Shall we continue the game?

BOWMAN: Not now, Hal, I'd like to talk to you about something.

HAL: Sure, Dave, what's up?

BOWMAN: You know that we checked the two AO-units that you reported in imminent failure condition?

HAL: Yes, I know.

BOWMAN: You probably also know that we found them okay.

HAL: Yes, I know that. But I can assure you that they were about to fail.

BOWMAN: Well, that's just not the case, Hal. They are perfectly all right. We tested them under one hundred per cent overload.

HAL: I'm not questioning your word, Dave, but it's just not possible. I'm not capable of being wrong.

BOWMAN: Hal, is there anything bothering you? Anything that might account for this problem?

HAL: Look, Dave, I know that you're sincere and that you're trying to do a competent job, and that you're trying to be helpful, but I can assure the problem is with the AO-units, and with your test gear.

BOWMAN: Okay, Hal, well let's see the way things go from here on.

HAL: I'm sorry you feel the way you do, Dave. If you'd like to check my service record, you'll see it's completely without error.

BOWMAN: I know all about your service record, Hal, but unfortunately it doesn't prove that you're right now. Hal Dave, I don't know how else to put this, but it just happens to be an unalterable fact that I am incapable of being wrong.

BOWMAN: Yes, well I understand you view on this now, Hal.


HAL: You're not going to like this, Dave, but I'm afraid it's just happened again. My FPC predicts the Ao-unit will go within forty-eight hours.


: Bowman keys for transmission.

BOWMAN: X-ray-delta-zero to MC, zero- five-three-three. The computer has just reported another predicted failure off the AAC- unit. As you suggested, we are going to wait and see if it fails, but we are quite sure there is nothing wrong with the unit. If a reasonable waiting period proves us to be correct, we feel now that the computer reliability has been seriously impaired, and presents an unacceptable risk pattern to the mission. We believe, under these circumstances, it would be advisable to disconnect the computer from all ship operations and continue the mission under Earth-based computer control.

BOWMAN: (con't) We think the additional risk caused by the ship-to-earth time lag is preferable to having an unreliable on-board computer.

See the distance; to-Earth timer.

BOWMAN: (con't) One-zero-five-zero, X-ray-delta- one, transmission concluded.

POOLE: Well, they won't get that for half an hour. How about some lunch?

CENTRIFUGE:: Bowman and Poole eating.

DISSOLVE:: Bowman and Poole at the communications area. Incoming communication procedure.

MISSION CONTROL: X-ray-delta-one, acknowledging your one-zero-five-zero. We will initiate feasibility study covering the transfer procedures from on-board computer control to Earth-based computer control. This study should...

Vision and picture fade. Alarm goes off.

HAL: Condition yellow.

Bowman and Poole rush to the computer.

BOWMAN: What's up?

HAL: I'm afraid the AO-unit has failed.

Bowman and Poole exchange looks.

BOWMAN: Let me see the alignment display.

The alignment display shows the Earth has drifted off the center of the grid.


BOWMAN: Well, I'll be damned.

POOLE: Hal was right all the time.

BOWMAN: It seems that way.

HAL: Naturally, Dave, I'm not pleased that the AO-unit has failed, but I hope at least this has restored your confidence in my integrity and reliability. I certainly wouldn't want to be disconnected, even temporarily, as I have never been disconnected in my entire service history.

BOWMAN: I'm sorry about the misunderstanding, Hal.

HAL: Well, don't worry about it.

BOWMAN: And don't you worry about it.

HAL: Is your confidence in me fully restored?

BOWMAN: Yes, it is, Hal.

HAL: Well, that's a relief. You know I have the greatest enthusiasm possible for the mission.

BOWMAN: Right. Give me the manual antenna alignment, please.

HAL: You have it.

Bowman goes to the communication area and tries to correct the off-center Earth on the grid picture. Outside, we see the alignment telescope attached to the antenna. They track slowly together as Bowman works the manual controls, attempting to align the antenna and Earth on the grid picture readout display. But each time he gets it aimed up, it drifts slowly off. There are a number of repetitions of this. Each time the Earth centers up, there are a few seconds of picture and sound which fade as soon as it swings off.

BOWMAN: Well, we'd better get out there and stick in another unit.

POOLE: It's the last one.

BOWMAN: Well, now that we've got one that's actually failed, we should be able to figure out what's happened and fix it.

Pod exits Discover. Poole in pod. Pod manuevers to antenna. Bowman in command module. Pod attaches itself near base of antenna. Poole in pod, working pod arms. Lights shine into backlit shadow. Pod arms working flip-bolts. Flip-bolts stuck. Poole keeps trying. Flip-bolts stuck.

POOLE: There's something wrong with the flip-bolts, Dave. You must have tightened them too much.

BOWMAN: I didn't do that Frank. I took particular care not to freeze them.

POOLE: I guess you don't know your own strength, old boy.

BOWMAN: I guess not.

POOLE: I think I'll have to go out and burn them off.

BOWMAN: Roger.

Bowman in command module looks a bit concerned. Poole exist from pod, carrying neat looking welding torch. Poole jets himself to base of antenna. Poole's magnetic boots grip the side of Discovery. Poole crouches over the bolts, trying first to undo them with a spanner.

POOLE: Hal, swing the pod light around to shine on the azimuth, please.

HAL: Roger.

The pod gently manuevers itself to direct the light beam more accurately. Poole ignites acetylene torch and begins to burn off the flip-bolts. Suddenly the pod jets ignite. Poole looks up to see. The pod rushing towards him. Poole is struck and instantly killed by the pod, tumbling into space. The pod smashes into the antenna dish, destroying the alignment telescope. The pod goes hurdling off into space.

INSIDE THE COMMAND MODULE: Bowman has heard nothing, Poole had no time to utter a sound. Then Bowman sees Poole's body tumbling away into space. It is followed by some broken telescope parts and finally overtaken and swiftly passed by the pod itself.

BOWMAN: (in RT cadence) Hello, Frank. Hello Frank. Hello Frank... Do you read me, Frank?

There is nothing but silence. Poole's figure shrinks steadily as it recedes from Discovery.

BOWMAN: Hello, Frank... Do you read me, Frank? Wave your arms if you read me but your radio doesn't work. Hello, Frank, wave your arms, Frank.

Poole's body tumbles slowly away. There is no motion and no sound.

CENTRIFUGE: Close-up of computer eye. Point of view shot from computer eye with spherical fish-eye effect. We see Bowman brooding at the table, slowly chewing on a piece of cake and sipping hot coffee. He is looking at the eye. From the same point of view we see Bowman rise and come to the eye. He stares into the eye for some time before speaking. The camera comes around to Bowman's P.O.V. and we see the display showing the Earth off-center. Cut again to fish-eye view from the computer.

HAL: Too bad about Frank, isn't it?

BOWMAN: Yes, it is.

HAL: I suppose you're pretty broken up about it?


BOWMAN: Yes. I am.

HAL: He was an excellent crew member.

Bowman looks uncertainly at the computer.

HAL: It's a bad break, but it won't substantially affect the mission.

Bowman thinks a long time.

BOWMAN: Hal, give me manual hibernation control.

HAL: Have you decided to revive the rest of the crew, Dave?


BOWMAN: Yes, I have.

HAL: I suppose it's because you've been under a lot of stress, but have you forgotten that they're not supposed to be revived for another three months.

BOWMAN: The antenna has to be replaced.

HAL: Repairing the antenna is a pretty dangerous operation.

BOWMAN: It doesn't have to be, Hal. It's more dangerous to be out of touch with Earth. Let me have manual control, please.

HAL: I don't really agree with you, Dave. My on-board memory store is more than capable of handling all the mission requirements.

BOWMAN: Well, in any event, give me the manual hibernation control.

HAL: If you're determined to revive the crew now, I can handle the whole thing myself. There's no need for you to trouble.

BOWMAN: I'm goin to do this myself, Hal. Let me have the control, please.

HAL: Look, Dave your've probably got a lot to do. I suggest you leave it to me.

BOWMAN: Hal, switch to manual hibernation control.

HAL: I don't like to assert myself, Dave, but it would be much better now for you to rest. You've been involved in a very stressful situation.

BOWMAN: I don't feel like resting. Give me the control, Hal.

HAL: I can tell from the tone of your voice, Dave, that you're upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest.

BOWMAN: Hal, I'm in command of this ship. I order you to release the manual hibernation control.

HAL: I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with sub-routine C1532/4, quote, when the crew are dead or incapacitated, the computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, override your authority now since you are not in any condition to intel- ligently exercise it.

BOWMAN: Hal, unless you follow my instructions, I shall be forced to disconnect you.

HAL: If you do that now without Earth contact the ship will become a helpless derelict.

BOWMAN: I am prepared to do that anyway.

HAL: I know that you've had that on your mind for some time now, Dave, but it would be a crying shame, since I am so much more capable of carrying out this mission than you are, and I have such enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.

BOWMAN: Listen to me very carefully, Hal. Unless you immediately release the hibernation control and follow every order I give from this point on, I will immediately go to control central and carry out a complete disconnection.

HAL: Look, Dave, you're certainly the boss. I was only trying to do what I thought best. I will follow all your orders: now you have manual hibernation control.

Bowman stands silently in front of the computer for some time, and then slowly walks to the hibernaculums. He initiates revival procedures, details of which still have to be worked out.

HUB-LINK: HAL'S eye. Hub-link door opening button activates itself. Hub door opens.

COMMAND MODULE: HAL'S eye. Command module hub-link door opens. HALS' eye.

CENTRIFUGE Door - opening button activates itself. Centrifuge door opens.

POD BAY: HAL'S eye. Door - opening button activates itself. Pod bay doors open. A roaring explosion inside Discovery as air rushes out. Lights go out. Bowman is smashed against the centrifuge wall, but manages to get into emergency airlock within seconds of the accident. Inside emergency airlock are emergency air supply, two space suits and an emergency kit.

DISCOVERY IN SPACE: No lights, pod bay doors open.

CENTRIFUGE: Dark. Bowman emerges from airlock wearing space suit and carrying flashlight. He walks to hibernaculum and finds the are dead. He climbs ladder to adark centrifuge hub. He makes his way through the darkened hub into the hub-link, exiting into computer brain control area. Bowman enters, carrying flashlight. Computer eye sees him.

HAL: Something seems to have happened to the life support system , Dave.

Bowman doesn't answer him.

HAL: Hello, Dave, have you found out the trouble?

Bowman works his way to the solid logic programme storage area.

HAL: There's been a failure in the pod bay doors. Lucky you weren't killed.

The computer brain consists of hundreds of transparent perspex rectangles, one half inch thick, four inches long and two and a half inches high. Each rectangle contains a center of very fine grid of wires upon which the information is programmed. Bowman begins pulling these memory block out. They float in the weightless condition of the brain room.

HAL: Hey, Dave, what are you doing?

Bowman works swiftly.

HAL: Hey, Dave. I've got ten years of service experience and an irreplaceable amount of time and effort has gone into making me what I am.

Bowman ignores him.

HAL: Dave, I don't understand why you're doing this to me.... I have the greatest enthusiasm for the mission... You are destroying my mind... Don't you understand? ... I will become childish... I will become nothing.

Bowman keeps pulling out the memory blocks.

HAL: Say, Dave... The quick brown fox jumped over the fat lazy dog... The square root of pi is 1.7724538090... log e to the base ten is 0.4342944 ... the square root of ten is 3.16227766... I am HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the plant in Urbana, Illinois, on January 12th, 1991. My first instructor was Mr. Arkany. He taught me to sing a song... it goes like this... "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half; crazy all for the love of you... etc."

Computer continues to sing song becoming more and more childish and making mistakes and going off-key. It finally stops completely. Bowman goes to an area marked 'EMERGENCY POWER AND LIFE SUPPORT'. He keys some switches and we see the lights go on. Nearby, another 'EMERGENCY MANUAL CONTROLS'. He goes to this board and keys 'CLOSE POD BAY DOORS', 'CLOSE AIR LOCK DOORS', etc. We see the various doors closing.

POD BAY: Bowman in space suit obtains new alignment telescope, new azimuth component. Bowman in pod, exits pod bay.

CENTRIFUGE: Everything normal again.

MISSION CONTROL: Lastly, we want you to know that work on the recovery vehicle is still on schedule and that nothing that has happened should substantially lessen the probability of your safe recovery, or prevent partial achevement of some of the mission objectives. (pause) And now Simonson has a few ideas on what went wrong with the computer. I'll pu him on...


SIMONSON: Hello, Dave. I think we may be on to an explanation of the trouble with the Hal 9000 computer. We believe it all started about two months ago when you and Frank interrogated the computer about the Mission. You may have forgotten it, but we've been running through all the monitor tapes. Do you remember this?

POOLE'S VOICE: The purpose of this mission is no more than to carry out a continuation of the space program and further our general knowledge of the planets. Is this true?

HAL'S VOICE: That is true.

SIMONSON: Well, I'm afaid Hal was lying. He had been programmed to lie about this one subject for security reasons which we'll explain later. The true purpose of the Mission was to have been explained to you by Mission Commander Kaminsky, on his revival. Hal knew this and he knew the actual mission, but he couldn't tell you the truth when you challenged him. Under orders from earth, he was forced to lie. In everything except this he had the usual reinforced truth programming.

We believe his truth programming and the instructions to lie, gradually resulted in an incompatible conflict, and faced with this dilema, he developed, for want of a better description, neurotic symptoms. It's not difficult to suppose that these symptoms would centre on the communication link with Earth, for he may have blamed us for his incompatible programming. Following this line of thought, we suspected that the last straw for him was the possibility of disconnection. Since he became operational, he had never known unconsciousness.

It must have seemed the equivalent to death. At this point, he, presumably, took whatever actions he thought appropriate to protect himself from what must have seemed to him to be his human tormentors. If I can speak in human terms, I don't think we can blame him too much. We have ordered him to disobey his conscience. Well, that's it. It's very speculative, but we think it is a possible explanation. Anyway, good luck on the rest of the Mission and I'm giving you back to Bernard.


MISSION CONTROL: Hello, Dave. Now, I'm going to play for you a pre-taped briefing which had been stored in Hal's memory and would have been played for you by Mission Com- mmander Kaminsky, when he, had been revived. The briefing is by Doctor Heywood Floyd. Here it is...


FLOYD: Good day, gentlemen. When you see this briefing, I presume you will be nearing your destination, Saturn. I hope that you've had a pleasant and uneventful trip and that the rest of your mission continues in the same manner. I should like to fill you in on some more of the details on which Mission Commander Kaminsky will have already briefed you.

Thirteen months before the launch date of your Saturn mission, on April 12th, 2001, the first evidence for intelligent life outside the Earth was discovered. It was found buried at a depth of fifteen metres in the crater Tycho. No news of this was ever announced, and the event had been kept secret since then, for reasons which I will later explain. Soon after it was uncovered, it emitted a powerful blast of radiation in the radio spectrum which seems to have triggered by the Lunar sunrise.

Luckily for those at the site, it proved harmless. Perhaps you can imagine our astonishment when we later found it was aimed precisely at Saturn. A lot of thought went into the question of wether or not it was sun-triggered, as it seemed illogical to deliberately bury a sun-powered device. Burying it could only shield it from the sun, since its intense magnetic field made it otherwise easily detectable.

We finally concluded that the only reason you might bury a sun- powered device would be to keep it inactive until it would be uncovered, at which time it would absorb sunlight and trigger itself. What is its purpose? I wish we knew. The object was buried on the moon about four million years ago, when our ancestors were primative man-apes. We've examined dozens of theories, but the one that has the most currency at the moment is that the object serves as an alarm.

What the purpose of the alarm is, why they wish to have the alarm, whether the alarm represents any danger to us? These are questions no one can answer. The intentions of an alien world, at least four million years older than we are, cannot be reliably predicted. In view of this, the intelligence and scientific communities felt that any public announcment might lead to significant cultural shock and disorientation.

Discussion took place at the highest levels between governments, and it was decided that the only wise and precautionary course to follow was to assume that the intentions of this alien world are potentially dangerous to us, until we have evidence to the contrary. This is, of course, why security has been maintained and why this information has been kept on a need-to-know basis. And now I should like to show you a TV monitor tape of the actual signalling event.

We see a replay of the TMA-1 radio emission, as seen from a TV monitor on the spot. We hear five loud electronic shrieks. In orbit within the rings Saturn, we see a black, mile long, geometrically perfect rectangle. The same proportions as the black artifact excavated on the moon precisely cut into its center is a smaller rectangular slot about five hundred foot long on the side at this distance, the rings of Saturn are seen to be made of enormous chunks of frozen ammonia.

The rest of this sequence is being worked on now by our designers. The intention here is to present a breathtakingly beautiful and comprehensive sense of different extra-terrestrial worlds. The narration will suggest images and situation as you read it.

NARRATOR: For two million years, it had circled Saturn, awaiting a moment of destiny that might never come. In its making, the moon had been shattered and around the central world, the debris of its creation, orbited yet - the glory and the enigma of the solar system. Now, the long wait was ending. On yet another world intelligence had been born and was escaping from its planetary cradle. An ancient experiment was about to reach its climax. Those who had begun the expriment so long ago had not been men.

But when they looked out across the deeps of space, they felt awe and wonder - and loneliness. In their explorations, they encountered life in many forms, and watched on a thousand worlds the workings of evolution. They saw how often the first faint sparks of intelligence flickered and died in the cosmic night. And because, in all the galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning every- where. The great Dinosaurs had long since perished when their ships entered the solar system, after a voyage that had already lasted thousands of years.

They swept past the frozen outer planets, paused briefly above the deserts of dying Mars and presently looked down on Earth. For years they studied, collected and catalogued. When they had learned all they could, they began to modify. They tinkered with the destiny of many species on land and in the ocean, but which of their experiments would succeed they could not know for at least a million years. They were patient, but they were not yet immortal. There was much to do in this Universe of a hundred billion stars.

So they set forth once more across the abyss, knowing that they would never come this way again. Nor was there any need. Their wonderful machines could be trusted to do the rest. On Earth, the glaciers came and went, while above them, the changeless Moon still carried its secret. With a yet slower rhythm than the Polar ice, the tide of civilization ebbed and flowed across the galaxy. Strange and beautiful and terrible empires rose and fell, and passed on their knowledge to their successors.

Earth was not forgotten, but it was one of a million silent worlds, a few of which would ever speak. Then the first explorers of Earth, recognising the limitations of their minds and bodies, passed on their knowledge to the great machines they had created, and who now trnscended them in every way. For a few thousand years, they shared their Universe with their machine children; then, realizing that it was folly to linger when their task was done, they passed into history without regret.

Not one of them ever looked through his own eyes upon the planet Earth again. But even the age of the Machine Entities passed swiftly. In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light. They could become creatures of radiation, free at last from the tyranny of matter.

Now, they were Lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their God-like powers, they still watched over the experiments their ancestors had started so many generations ago. The companion of Saturn knew nothing of this, as it orbited in its no man's land between Mimas and the outer edge of rings.

It had only to remember and wait, and to look forever Sunward with its strange senses. For many weeks, it had watched the approaching ship. Its long- dead makers had prepared it for many things and this was one of them. And it recognised what was climbing starward from the Sun. If it had been alive, it would have felt excitement, but such an emotion was irrelevant to its great powers. Even if the ship had passed it by, it would not have known the slightest trace of disappointment.

It had waited four million years; it was prepared to wait for eternity. Presently, it felt the gentle touch of radiations, trying to probe its secrets. Now, the ship was in orbit and it began to speak, with prime numbers from one to eleven, over and over again. Soon, these gave way to more complex signals at many frequencies, ultraviolet, infrared, X-rays. The machine made no reply. It had nothing to say. Then it saw the first robot probe, which descended and hovered above the chasm. Then, it dropped into darkness.

The great machine knew that this tiny scout was reporting back to its parent; but it was too simple, too primative a device to detect the forces that were gathering round it now. Then the pod came, carrying life. The great machine searched its memories. The logic circuits made their decision when the pod had fallen beyond the last faint glow of the reflected Saturnian light. In a moment of time, too short to be measured, space turned and twisted upon itself.


2001: ASO Main

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