Voyagers, Episode Two: Home, Part One

(We start with an establishing shot of darkness. It’s a short shot, because there’s not much to establish. Pan left, medium distance, as a few bits of light show us that we’re actually in a large, black, featureless room. It’s almost imperceptible, but there is a crease between wall and floor. Just about the time the audience might pick up on that, we see PHINEAS BOGG and PETE RODNEY blink back into existence in the middle of the room, lit only in the glow coming from the screen of the Omni. PHINEAS takes a look around and is not pleased.)

PHINEAS: Oh, damn!

PETE: What?

PHINEAS: I can’t believe it…

PETE: What?!

PHINEAS: You actually went ahead and did it… but how…

PETE: WHAT?!

(PHINEAS turns on his young “friend,” scowling.)

PHINEAS: Why are we here, Mr. Rodney?

PETE: Whaddya mean?

PHINEAS: We were supposed to be heading back to New York, New York, USA, North America, Western Hemisphere, in 2009 to drop you back off in the same place where you blundered in and, consequently, caused a slew of headaches for myself and my mission statement so I could be rid of your bothersome self and continue on with my work.

PETE: Okay…

PHINEAS: So, Mr. Rodney… please, pray tell, explain to me how we ended up HERE?

(With a flourish, the lights go on, and PETE sees that he is suddenly standing in a pristine, white, plastic-fantastic iPod inspired world of the future: shining white and dazzling chrome, pointy buildings, flying cars and all of that. PETE is awestruck.)

PETE: Woah….

PHINEAS: Yes, welcome to the future. YOUR future. A future you shouldn’t be in. So, if you would, please, explain to me why we are here.

PETE: (still amazed) Ummmm…..

PHINEAS: Oh, for goodness’ sake! SIMULATION OFF.

(In a trice, the room is turned back into a small, black box of nothing.)

PETE: H-Hey! Where’d all that cool stuff go!

PHINEAS: It was all an illusion, Mr. Rodney, brought on by your own subconscious perception of the future.

PETE: (slightly impressed with himself) How’d I do that?

PHINEAS: You didn’t do anything. It’s a computer program. We use it for training.

PETE: We?

PHINEAS: Yes, we. As in myself and my coworkers. Which again prompts me to ask… WHY ARE WE HERE?

PETE: Oh… well… I guess, you told me to think of home, and…

PHINEAS: Exactly! I told you to think of home! New York! Smog, gigantic pizzas, one good baseball team, if I remember correctly…

PETE: Well, I didn’t want to go there.

PHINEAS: (flat) what.

PETE: Dude, my home is boring! Just me and cranky-ass Aunt Bitchy in that crappy little apartment…

PHINEAS: Well, “dude,” that’s as may be, but that’s your home, like it or lump it!

PETE: No way am I going back to that mess, man. You’re stuck with me now. That’s why when you told me to think of “home” I thought about what YOUR home might look like.

PHINEAS: (placing two fingers to his temple) and your wholly inaccurate perception of the future caused the psychotransistor to direct us here: as close as you could get to my timeline and yet still looking as ridiculous as you no doubt wish it to be. Tell me… were there flying cars?

PETE: (a little embarrassed) maybe.

PHINEAS: It’s always flying cars. Every one of them… Anyway, I don’t care what you WANT to do, Mr. Rodney, there is a certain protocol to be obeyed, and that has nothing to do with what you WANT to do, but what you NEED to do. So, if you don’t mind…

(PHINEAS clasps a surpisingly strong hand on PETE’S shoulder and the two disappear again after punching a few coordinates into the Omni. The camera stays on the empty room for a few seconds until pop! They show up in the room again.)

PHINEAS: What in the blue…

PETE: How come we’re still here?

PHINEAS: (through gritted teeth) because you’re not cooperating.

PETE: Oh yeah I am! I’m thinkin’ real hard about going back to that crap-ass apartment. I really am!

PHINEAS: Then your subconscious transmission must be….. (trails off into thought)

PETE: My what?

PHINEAS: (snapping back) No, no… that’s impossible. Simply impossible for someone like you, at your age. Impossible. Now!

(Again he tried to return PETE to his home time, but again they pop back. At this point, PHINEAS is steaming)

PETE: Hey, dude… watch the blood pressure, a’right?

PHINEAS: (shooting a sideways look of daggers at PETE, then glaring at the Omni) You miserable piece of techno-trash. You tell me there’s a red light, you tell me I have to send him back to set things aright, but when I try to, you malfunction, you calamitous cacophony of…

(quick over the shoulder shot of the Omni, now showing a green light for the first time. PHINEAS narrows his eyes)

I hate you…

(A door opens out of the featureless black into a brightly light hallway. A WOMAN steps in of multiethnic origin wearing what appear to be an updated nanotech version of hospital scrubs. They are doing her several favors. She appears to be holding what appears to be a piece of plate glass that had a baby with an iPad)

WOMAN: Agent Bogg?

(PHINEAS recollects himself and his Edwardian finery, snapping to attention)

PHINEAS: Present, miss.

WOMAN: (looking PETE up and down)

This is the stowaway?

PHINEAS: (with a sigh) Despite my Herculean efforts, yes.

WOMAN: (nodding) Understood. Please follow me. The Head Office would like a word.

PHINEAS: Oh, that’s just ducky. I hope you didn’t get me in any trouble with your subconscious time-hopping, Mr. Rodney

PETE: Hey, I was trying! I really was.

PHINEAS: mm-hmm.

PETE: Shut up!

WOMAN: (trying to hide a smile) Gentlemen? Please follow me, now?

(she turns and heads back out to the hallway, and PETE follows first)

PETE: (glacing as her figure retreats) I’d follow that thing anywhere.

(PHINEAS rolls his eyes as they exit the training room. As soon as PETE crosses the threshold, however, the 1900s-era clothing disappears, leaving him again in his shorts and undershirt)

PETE: Hey, what the hell?

PHINEAS: Oh, yes. Omni constructs are strictly prohibited outside of designated areas. We’ll have to find you some clothes later.

PETE: Uh… no! I’m gonna need some clothes NOW. I can’t go up in front of your boss in my… stuff!

PHINEAS: (nudging him down the hall to follow the woman in scrubs) Oh yes you are, and don’t worry about it too much. Your thoughts of modesty won’t exactly work here in the future; we have a much different attitude toward taboo.

PETE: I thought Taboo was a board game…

PHINEAS: Oh, and that reminds me… you may see some naked people.

PETE: (stopping dead in his tracks) WHAT?!

PHINEAS: Just… don’t make anything of it. It can only be a problem if you make something of it.

(they continue walking down a well lit hall with doors on either side: other training rooms. The walls are the sort of dull blue and beige you see in a hospital or school these days, but slightly slicker, more antibacterial.)

PETE: Some future… hey, where are we, anyway? Like… yearwise?

PHINEAS: I am loathe to tell you anything, lest it damage the timestream, and then I’LL have to fix it.

WOMAN: (calling out from the front) It’s the year 2085. You’re in what used to be called the United States, a place called Iowa.

PHINEAS: Iowa? Seriously?

(They come to the end of the hallway with one last door, The woman fits her hand into an integrated door knob and turns to speak to them one last time)

WOMAN: If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to call, young sir. My name is Kira Hoffman-Wells, I can be found at extension 4.369.

PETE: Well, that saves me asking for your number, I guess, but– hey!

(The woman opens the door and promptly disappears into a mist of code)

PHINEAS: Standard hospitality program, Mr. Rodney. Now, come along.

PETE: She… she wasn’t real?

PHINEAS: Come long, Mr. Rodney. And try to keep up, you don’t want to get lost.

(the two enter into a massive round hub building the size of the Pontiac Silverdome, with four main spokes coming off from the central pod. Inside the hub are humans, all humans, but in nearly every color possible and some that aren’t… body modification for the next generation. It is possibly one of the few places you’ll see Cleopatra sitting down for a coffee with Elvis. There are food booths, restaurants, and all sort of recreational occupations to be had here in the hub building, and each of the four main spokes branch off into hundred-yard-wide hallways of smaller hallways ad infinitum.)

PHINEAS: (after a long pan around and several shots of unadulterated wonder in PETE’s eyes)

Welcome to the Time Equilibrium Service, Mr. Rodney. After time travel was perfected, the United Nations Security Council set up this advisory, supervisory, maintenance and enforcement group to ensure not only the safe travel in time for those who wish to take sanctioned trips, but also a worldwide peacekeeping force to ensure the temporal stability of this and all time.

PETE: Meaning?

PHINEAS: Meaning, Mr. Rodney, that we keep the entirety of spacetime from going “Boom.”

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