The first part of this story first appeared in Issue 66 of the Power Star Fanzine, September 1993, published by the team of Jerry Seward (Editor) and Kimberly Murphy-Smith (Managing Editor). Story by D. Lynn Bivens and Gerald James Seward.
This story is posted without the author's permission - with due acknowledgment - hoping to attract her attention. If you wish it to be removed, please contact the webmaster without any delay.
The Devil's Sweets
A SPACE:1999 Script By D. Lynn Bivens And Gerald James Seward
(Based In Part On A Premise By Ben Bova)
A C T O N E
EXTERIOR, SPACE--THE MOON
From Alpha, the research base built in the crater Plato, an Eagle Transport/Cargo shuttle is seen taking off and heading for the nuclear waste dump on the dark side.
EXTERIOR, WASTE DISPOSAL AREA
The site of the events leading to the massive series of explosions which seemingly sent the moon off into the farthest reaches of space are replayed:
The confusion and terror as alarms sounded and shockwaves were felt as far away as Alpha.
Technicians assigned to the dump site dying in the blinding blast which followed from the synchronous explosions.
The Eagle and its crew lost.
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--COMMAND CENTER
Flashback continues with the panicked and hectic reactions as recently-assigned COMMANDER JOHN KOENIG attempted to maintain control of the SUPERNUMERARY OFFICERS and SUPERNUMERARY TECHNICIANS manning consoles in the Command Center--his words unclear, but their influence apparently calming.
Reports appearing on consoles about radiation and structural damage but with Alpha itself apparently remaining intact... but the moon itself had been blown out of its orbital trajectory about Earth.
The moon soaring through space as though it were some sort of interstellar spaceship instead of a natural lunar body, heading into the deepest regions of space, leaving Earth far behind.
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--MEDICAL SECTION
A weary and worried DR. HELENA RUSSELL and SUPERNUMERARY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS busily treating survivors who had been near "Ground Zero" and were unlucky enough to suffer radiation burns, lacerations, and broken bones, as well as crew members injured as the moon was blown out of its trajectory.
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--COMMAND CENTER
Confusion and fear reigns as Koenig attempts to hold his crew together in the toughest crisis he had ever faced in his entire command career, trying to suppress his own personal fear regarding the "vast unknown" into which the moon was hurdling.
FLASHBACK MONTAGE OF SCENES
A collection of scenes from the many adventures the Alphans had experienced while still hurtling through space, one DISSOLVING into another.
Some depicting the diversity of life-forms encountered by the Alphans;
Some posing extreme danger to the Moon and to those living within the base itself. Among them: The Arkadians, who had visited Earth and sowed the seeds which became humanity.
And in the midst of all this, the death of Koenig's mentor and friend, PROFESSOR VICTOR BERGMAN, seen as a patient in Medical succumbing to a disease that Helena and all her medical technology could never quite identify, his body eventually surrendered to the eternal blackness of surrounding space, launched from an Eagle shuttle.
Through it all, Koenig maintaining control and exhibiting leadership which often saved them from certain death, finding his lack of overwhelming grief over Victor's death puzzling and "out of character"--not only for himself, but for the entire crew.
And through it all, Helena remaining a constant by Koenig's side, becoming more a lover than a professional colleague.
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--COMMAND CENTER
Suddenly, Koenig finds himself standing in the middle of the Command Center, completely alone. Computers and consoles are functioning normally, but with no one there to man them. Officers and technicians have seemingly vanished.
Koenig makes his way to a Comm Panel.
This is Commander Koenig. I'm in the Command Center, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else on-duty. I want an explanation--and I want to know the whereabouts of those who are supposed to be here!
Medical section... come in! Helena--answer me!
(another beat; more desperate this time)
Hydroponics... Technics... Environmental... Engineering... anyone! Come in! This is Commander John Koenig in the Command Center--I order somebody to answer me!
(off-camera, sounding ghostly)
The only one who can answer you, John... is your own intellect.
Koenig reacts, startled by the voice of his long-dead friend.
(cautious and angry)
Who's that? Who's there?
(draws his gun)
Really, John... is that any way to treat an old friend?
Koenig's eyes widen as he suddenly sees someone who cannot possibly be there--someone whose very presence defies logic.
(shocked, still holding laser)
No... it can't be... it's not possible!
ANGLE on Koenig's view: Bergman, stepping out from behind another Comm Panel. His form is "shimmering" as if surrounded by some etherial energy. He begins walking toward Koenig, as if unafraid of the laser pistol.
John... I'm surprised at you! After living on this moon which has somehow been "blasted" from orbit when the nuclear waste deposits exploded a few years back and streaking through space at an unexplainable velocity... I'd have thought you'd believe anything!
Koenig seems too shocked to either believe or disbelieve what he sees and hears, tightening his grip on his laser pistol and standing his ground.
Don't come any closer!
Bergman stops a few feet away from Koenig, still unafraid of the weapon. His smile is one of all-knowing.
I know you don't really want to use that, John. I know you better than you know yourself. Violence is the absolute last resort for you, isn't it?
(struggling against fears)
Yes... it is the last resort. But if you really "know" me... then you also know that it is a resort to which I have turned many times during our journey. And one which I will not hesitate to use now--unless you tell me who and what you are!
There's no mystery, John... I am who I appear to be: Professor Victor Bergman. Assigned to this ill-fated base the same time as you. Sharing in the same adventures that you and Helena and Alan Carter experienced during that first year in what I erroneously believed to be "hyperspace".
(cautious, but starting to believe)
Assuming for a moment that you are who you say you are... Victor Bergman's soul or essence or consciousness come back from the hereafter... what is your purpose here? What has necessitated your return? And what do you mean by your remark that you "erroneously" believed we were in hyperspace?
(suddenly hesitating, then continuing)
This is not the time to tell you all you need to know. Suffice it to say that your own logic and intellect, John, should make you doubt your own senses. (gestures at computer consoles) And doubt what these infernal devices are telling you about your surroundings and your circumstances. All you need do is think... and ask yourself some straightforward questions regarding the "accident" of 13 September 1999. Ask yourself why the Moon was not destroyed from the tremendous shockwaves unleashed. Why its removal from Earth's orbit was so readily accepted. And most importantly, ask yourself how the Moon has been able to traverse hundreds of light-years... when the explosion's power would have only been enough to remove us from orbit at a cosmic snail's pace which wold have taken the Moon well over a hundred years to drift beyond the orbit of Pluto. That would be so if it travelled in a straight line... but of course, it wouldn't have. It would travel in a curved orbit that would keep it within the solar system forever.
(puzzling over question)
What about... what about the wormhole, Victor? I thought it had finally been determined that a wormhole was created or opened... and our Moon sucked into it.
(shaking his head; amused smile)
John, John... you may not be a trained astrophysicist, but surely such an explanation sounds far too convenient, not to mention implausible. After all, wormholes are created by the tremendous gravitational forces at work about a black sun. Do you honestly believe the simultaneous detonation of buried nuclear waste could do that?
(thinks a beat; piqued interest)
No... it couldn't! Then what? How?
Slowly, Bergman's "ghost" begins to fade from view, disappearing gradually with a self-knowing smirk on his face.
(as he fades)
You are an intelligent man, John... you will find the answer. I have only come to pose the questions... to start your thinking process along the right lines. The rest... is up to you.
With that, Bergman vanishes from view.
No, Victor! Wait! Wait!
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--KOENIG'S QUARTERS
(waking with a start)
He sits up suddenly, sweat covering his face and naked torso indicating the intensity of his dream. He looks uncertain about the reality of his current surroundings.
As he slowly realizes he had been dreaming, Helena rises to a sitting position from the other side of Koenig's bed, covering herself discreetly with the sheets.
John? What's wrong? You were having some sort of nightmare… calling out in your sleep…
(panting, wiping sweat from face)
I... I suppose I was, Helena. I... I was alone... in the Command Center. No one was here... not even you. Then... then Victor Bergman's "ghost" appeared... asking questions which we ourselves should still be asking... and investigating. About the "accident"... and all that's happened to us since
(draws sharp breath; calms himself)
It... it just seemed so... so real!
(gently caressing his shoulder)
I'm sure it did, John... but it was just a dream. You know that. There's no way it could have been real. I mean, you alone on this vast base? And a ghost appearing to speak with you? And how would it explain you still lying here in our bed?
(smiling at Helena)
Yes... yes, you're right, Helena. It... it was just a dream.
It had to be!
As he continues to puzzle, Helena slips her legs off the edge of his bed in preparation for getting up.
Well, it's time for me to be getting up anyway. Even though the whole crew knows about us, I still prefer to act as if our relationship is still merely "professional".
(glances back at him, concerned)
If you have any more problems, come see me in Medical. I've got some medication that'll give you the edge you need to get past this… "vision".
I don't need an "edge"!
Helena shoots an incensed look at Koenig as she dresses.
Sorry, Helena... I know you're just trying to help. But I'll be all right... really.
It's O.K., John. I've had a few nightmares myself lately.
See you later... for dinner?
Yeah, sure... dinner.
Helena departs, leaving Koenig alone. His expression quickly returns to the disturbed scowl that had dominated his expression only moments before... as if he was still uncertain of whether his vision was a dream or not.
INTERIOR, MOONBASE ALPHA--COMMAND CENTER
CAMERA shows a room crowded with SUPERNUMERARY OFFICERS and SUPERNUMERARY TECHNICIANS, as usual, going about their individual duties as Koenig, now in uniform, ENTERS. He looks uncertain once more, as if questioning if people are really there.
(stepping over to Koenig and scowling at his expression)
Commander? Are you all right?
Koenig shakes off the momentary doubt and turns his full attention to his First Officer.
Yes, Mr. Verdeschi, I'm just fine. Why do you ask?
Well, sir, you're usually very prompt when assuming your watch. But... well, sir, you're ten minutes late today.
I had a rough night last night, Mr. Verdeschi. I am entitled to a rough night's sleep every once in a while, aren't I?
(insulted but sarcastic)
Of course, sir. At any rate, there was no problem... I maintained proper command in your absence.
Mr. Verdeschi... I don't know what I would do without you.
(pushing past him)
Now resume your position as second in command... while I assume the position of authority for the duration of this watch.
Verdeschi watches Koenig heading into the thick of the Command Center personnel, smiling to himself as if he found some perverse thrill at irritating Koenig at the start of his day.
CAMERA tracks Koenig as he makes his way to PAUL MORROW at one of the consoles.
Paul... are all the perimeter probes functioning at full capacity?
(checks readouts, puzzled-yet-obedient)
Uh, yes, Commander... all probes show 100 percent accuracy.
How long would it take you to completely recalibrate their function?
I asked a simple question! How long would it take to recalibrate the basic functions of the perimeter probes?
The rest of the Command Center falls silent at Koenig's outburst.
(a bit flustered)
Uh... just a few minutes, Commander...
(fishing for more)
... depending, of course, on exactly what I was recalibrating to find.
(seemingly pained, embarrassed, apologetic)
Sorry, Paul. I didn't mean to snap at you.
(recovers, returns to original request)
I need the perimeter probes recalibrated to examine the subatomic makeup of surrounding space.
REACTION of the Command Center personnel is one of bewilderment.
But sir, we've already done that... right after the accident.
The surrounding space was found to be normal.
Yes, I know, but that involved a long-distance probing of space as far removed from us as half-a-light-year, Paul. I want to train the probes on the sub-atomic makeup of space immediately surrounding this moon--no more than fifty miles out.
REACTION of the Command Center personnel now changes to a mixture of disbelief at the futility of Koenig's request and a puzzlement over why such a probe had never been tried before.
(trying to ponder the reason for such a request)
With all due respect, Commander... just exactly what is it we're supposed to be looking for?
Koenig notices that all eyes are trained on him and considers his next words carefully, pacing for a long moment before answering.
Look, I can't tell you how I know, but I have reason to suspect the nature of the space immediately surrounding this moon is not what we believe it to be!
REACTION of the personnel is now considerably more tense as their interest is piqued.
I believe the "accident" has caused the normal Space-Time Continuum in the Moon's gravity well to...
SOUND of a shrill siren cuts him off as a perimeter probe registers an alarm.
(reading his screen; somewhat shocked)
Commander... we have a ship entering our space...
(looks up at Koenig, intensely worried)
... a very large ship!
REACTION of the personnel is now one of alarm as all rush to their stations. Verdeschi comes over to join Koenig and Morrow, all sarcasm gone from his expression.
Put it on the viewscreen, Paul!
All look toward main viewscreen.
ANGLE on main viewscreen: An enormous vessel of alien design--several times larger than the Moon--approaching in an intercept trajectory. Its overall exterior makes it look like something demonic.
ANGLE on the stunned REACTIONS of the Command Center personnel--including Koenig.
(gasping; to himself)
Oh, my God...
We hold on him for:
(END OF ACT ONE)