Tag Archives: Voyagers!

Voyagers! Home, Part Five

(The next scene is back in blistering white, as PETE is walking behind PHINEAS through the waiting room they had previously occupied. This time, the two of them breeze through to the main conference room, but not before PETE’S gaze and the camera both linger on the chair CLEO had been sitting in when they first met.)

PHINEAS: Come along, Mr. Rodney…

(The camera follows behind PETE s he hurries to catch up,. Two massive doors open to a room surprisingly not in white plastic, but instead a warm, auburn wood paneled oval. There is a very timeless United Nations feel to it, with a raised dais on where four to six people sit, looking down at a simple white plastic table and two chairs for those being talked to. Those above are what you would expect: old, wise, wrinkled, authoritative. It is a blend of ethnicities and nationalities, but all of them expressly beyond middle age. The one sitting in the middle leans forward and furrows grizzled eyebrows)

ONE: Mr. Bogg, Mr. Rodney… have a seat, please.

(PHINEAS nods to PETE, and they do as they are told. Another one speaks from the dais.)

TWO: We appreciate your assistance with the incident this afternoon… both of you.

THREE: It has helped us to better evaluate the unique situation we have before us… Mr. Rodney?

(PETE looks, almost out of habit now, at PHINEAS when he hears himself referred to as “Mr. Rodney.” PHINEAS angrily turns his attention back to the dais.)

PETE: Uh… yes?

THREE: Why do you think you are here?

PETE: Due to some sort of, uh… unauthorized time travel of some sort.

FOUR: Please elaborate.

PETE: (confused) Excuse me?

FOUR: Explain the  situation as you experienced it.

PETE: Oh! Uh… well, I was sleeping, and then this guy showed up…
(he gestures to PHINEAS, who still seems annoyed at PETE’s informal attitude)
And then we almost both fell out a window. Next thing I knew, we were helping the Wright Brothers get their airplane flying, but then I almost killed one of them, so we had to fix that, too. And then, we wound up here, and I suppose that was kinda my fault, but I was really interested in how all of this stuff works… and I know this sounds awful and like I’m just rambling but you sort of put me on the spot here so… that’s all I got.

(Pregnant pause)

ONE: Indeed. I take it then, Mr. Bogg, that you have discussed very little with your unwanted stowaway?

PHINEAS: (standing to attention) No, sir. In keeping with TES protocols, unauthorized time travelers are to be kept alive and mentally fit to return to their own time, but any potentially dangerous or revealing information is to not be shared.

TWO: Noted, Mr. Bogg. However, did you take note of any exceptional behavior from Mr. Rodney?

PHINEAS: (a little grudgingly) I did. He adapted to each new situation very well… if with a fair amount of complaining… but at his age that is understandable.

PETE: (muttering) Gee, thanks…

PHINEAS: However, as you all can see, his psychometric readings are the second highest on record for a non-sworn officer, and if this disciplinary hearing is meant to discuss what I believe it is, it would have my support and recommendation.

PETE: What?

(PHINEAS sits down and gives PETE another look that says “hush.” One of the members at the dais stands from their seat.)

ONE: It is the decision of this council that Mr. Peter Rodney, of New York City, 21st century be admitted as a trainee candidate in the Time Equilibrium Service starting Monday. Mr. Rodney, you have until 0600 hours on Friday to make evident your decision on whether or not you will join us.

PETE: Excuse me?

TWO: You have great propensity to be a TES agent of high performance and skill. We are offering you the chance to join your friend Mr. Bogg as someone who travels through time, setting right what has gone wrong… and I am personally nominating Mr. Bogg to be your mentor agent.

(there is a bit of a row among the members on the dias, with lots of “harrumphs.” PHINEAS looks a little worried and fiddles with his tie.)

THREE: We will have to discuss that secondary matter before Mr. Rodney’s candidacy is confirmed.

PETE: Um, excuse me?

(the muttering wilts like a tulip in the desert. All turn to look, including PHINEAS)

PETE: Does this mean I won’t be going home?

FOUR: Preparations have already been made for your original timestream that confirm to Omni calculations.

THREE: Your guardian will receive word that you have been accepted to a prestigious university, and after a period of years another letter will be sent signifying your acceptance into a permanent employment position.

FIVE: You will be encourage to continue on in your life as usual, writing occasional messages back in time to your time, in order to keep up whatever appearances the Omni calculations deem necessary. If you do not choose to communicate, standard communications will be sent for you.

ONE: Should you choose to decline this offer, you will be temporally sterilized and returned to your own time with no ability to further damage the timestream given this current course of events.

FOUR: You will be trained at the TES Academy, with in the field training hopefully supervised by Mr. Bogg…

(a few more grumbles)

TWO:And your guardian will receive a stipend in the currency native to their time and location for protection and enrichment of their life concurrent with your level of attainment in the Service. Furthermore…

PETE: Wait!

(Again, PHINEAS is mortified at PETE’s lack of decorum)

PETE: You said my aunt’s going to get some money for my job here?

TWO: More or less, yes.

PETE: Well, if it’s all right with all of you, I’d rather the money be sent to  fund. It’s for the families… it’s for the people whose parents died like mine did.

(pregnant pause as sadness washes over PETE’s feature for a moment)

ONE: It will be done. Are we to take from your tone and words that you accept this position, Mr. Rodney?

PETE: What are you, crazy? Of course I do!

(PHINEAS’ palm slaps to his forehead)

ONE: Then it is the decision of this council that you will begin your official capacities as a trainee on Monday at 0500 hours. There will be a room in the Carmen Wing prepared for you by this evening; we suggest you use the weekend to study the training manuals… and protocols… before you begin Monday morning. Are there any objections?

(silence)

ALL AT DAIS: Let it be done.

(Some sort of chime is heard, and immediately the members at the dais turn to leave. PETE is herded out by PHINEAS back into the waiting room, looking rather pleased with himself.)

PETE: So… I’m gonna be like you, huh?

PHINEAS: You will assuredly NOT be like me!

PETE: But you said my psycho…something levels were high?

PHINEAS: second highest observed in a non-sworn officer.

PETE: Oh… is that good?

PHINEAS: Only one person was ever better.

PETE: Who was that?

PHINEAS: Me.

PETE: (after a pause) Does that mean I have to talk like you, then?

(PHINEAS gives him a glare, and is about to retort when he notices PETE has stopped walking, staring again at CLEO’s empty, white chair. PHINEAS approaches the young man, care now etched on his own less-than-middle-aged features.)

PETE: Hey, Phineas?

PHINEAS: Yes?

PETE: Could some of my pay go to help her, too?

PHINEAS: (smiling) Absolutely.

PETE: Good…
(he turns back around, forcing a smile and sighing)
So… we’ve got a few hours until my room is set, huh? What should we do?

PHINEAS: I don’t know anything about “we,” but I suspect you might want to find some decent clothes and perhaps a meal.

PETE: What, we’re not hanging out anymore? I thought you were gonna be my, y’know, mentor, or whatever.

PHINEAS: There are several reasons why I am not going to be your mentor, and I’m not going to get into them now. If it’s all the same to you, Mr. Rodney, I haven’t had a moment’s peace since you came barreling into my life, and I want nothing more than a cup of chamomile and a good book.

(He opens the doors back to the massive hub room)

Feel free to explore, meet some people, try some food, and try not to annoy anyone one-tenth as much as you annoy me. Not everyone has my impeccable sense of patience and charity.

PETE: (sarcastic) Uh huh… how do I pay for food or something?

PHINEAS: (herding him out into the hub room) We don’t really have money in this time period, and any cost will be automatically applied to your account.

PETE: Cool!

PHINEAS: Don’t get too excited: a trainee’s salary is hardly something to covet. Go on, now, and leave me be.

PETE: Well, what if I…
(he’s having trouble admitting it to himself, as most teenagers do)
What if I wanna talk to you… later?

PHINEAS: (with an imperious sigh) Standard directory program can be found at any dataport, extension 169. But so help me, if I hear you knocking on my door any time in the next….. thr… four hours… I will find the nearest window and jump from it.

PETE: (darkly, bitterly) Huh… you wouldn’t be the first to leave me that way.

PHINEAS: And what do you mean by that?

PETE: Why don’t you try looking it up on your science gizmo, or whatever, dickhead?! I’ll be sure to call you if I need to get told how much I suck again.

(PETE leaves into the mass of people. PHINEAS knows he’s struck a raw nerve, but remains rooted in place as he has no idea what to do, or what to say. We pull away from PHINEAS looking helpless and dissolve to a scene later in the evening in a spartan, undecorated room in the Carmen Wing. It is a fairly standard, sterile, futuristic room with acoustic tile in various shades of blue around a pod bed without a box spring. We see several new pairs of clothes rumpled on the floor, having been tried on once or twice, and next to them we see a few white take out containers drained of their contents. The camera pans up from the floor to the bed where PETE is sitting, slightly huddled, his head in his lap. He may have been crying. We see him put his head up in the half-darkness and lean over to the dataport near the bed. He types in a few numbers, and the hospitality program from earlier appears.

KIRA: Hello, Mr. Rodney. What can I do for you?

PETE: Hey, Kira… it’s Pete, OK?

KIRA: Nominal redesignation: Pete. Understood. How can I assist you?

PETE: Well… you’re a hospitality program… right?

KIRA: That is my designation.

PETE: So… you’re here to make me feel welcome?

KIRA: Indeed.

PETE: Could you… I dunno… welcome me, here? Like say, “Welcome home!” or something?

KIRA: Understood.
(She gives a little wave and a smile.)
Welcome home, Pete!

(PETE has not heard that in many, many years, and we might even see a flashback to his mother saying it to him as a child all those years ago. His face immediately softens and relaxes, and he settles back into his bed.)

KIRA: Is there anything else I can do for you?

PETE: Yeah… tell me about yourself?

KIRA: I’m afraid I don’t understand that command.

PETE: Kira… let’s just talk.

(We fade out from the room as PETE tries his best to have a conversation with a hologram. The camera pans through the wall, outside into the Hallway, where we see PHINEAS standing there next to CLARISSA, with her arm in a sling.)

CLARISSA: Just do it.

PHINEAS: He appears to be talking to someone, Clarissa. I don’t want to be rude.

CLARISSA: Rude, nothing! The kid’s talking to a damn computer, Phin… he’s lonely. You read up on him, you know the kind of life he’s had… he’s looking for you to show him the way..

PHINEAS: Clarissa, I don’t even know what my own way is! How in the bloody am I to help him with his?

CLARISSA: Maybe that’s how you learn, you stuffy bastard. Maybe you don’t always have the answers right away. Sheesh, I hope you’re not this way when we have our son…

PHINEAS: (scandalized) Clarissa!

CLARISSA: Just shut up and give him the present, all right?

(With a heavy, grunting sigh, PHINEAS reaches up and knocks on the door. There’s the immediate mad scramble and shuffle that always happens when you knock on a teenager’s door.)

PETE: (from the other side of the door) Just a minute!

(More thumping and smashing)

How the… how the hell do you open this door?!

PHINEAS: Erm… there’s a panel next to it. Third button.

(There is a conspicuous silence until the door slides open, Star Trek style, and PETE stands there, trying to look cool and uninterested)

PETE: Hey, man.

PHINEAS: H…”hey” yourself.

PETE: You read your book? Have a good time away from me?

PHINEAS: Well, yes…

(CLARISSA elbows him in the ribs)

But! I realized I was a little harsh to you earlier and, well… I wanted to apologize.

PETE: Ah, don’t worry about it, man. It’s all good.
(He looks past PHINEAS to CLARISSA)
You ok, lady?

CLARISSA: I’ll heal. Thanks for your help today. Cleo’s condition is stable.

PETE: Oh, that’s good to hear…. good to hear…

(There’s an awkward silence where CLARISSA has to push PHINEAS forward again)

PHINEAS: Erm, yes… I’ve got this… it’s for you. Considering it a, well… a housewarming present.

(he hands over a plain brown paper package which PETE unwraps to expose a brown, clunky looking piece of hardware… the original “Omni” prop from the 1980s show)

It’s my old Omni. My first one when I started here. It’s deactivated now, but it still has my notes and readings in there. It should be able to help you study up and get to see how we do things around here.

PETE: (turning the chunky thing over in his hand) How long you been working here? This thing is like some 1980s-lookin stuff…

PHINEAS: (clearing his throat) Yes, well… I started here when I was quite young, not unlike yourself. Go ahead and play around with the Omni, let me know if you have any, uh, questions.

(he glances over and sees a rubbish bin overflowing with takeout containers)

I see you’ve already eaten… perhaps Clarissa and I could take you out for a celebratory coffee?

PETE: (taken aback by the generosity) What? No…. no, I’m good. Thanks, though… maybe some other time, all right? I’m just gonna…
(He wiggles the old Omni in his hand)
Hit the books, here. See you Monday?

PHINEAS: I usually take my lunch on the patio.

PETE: Okay, then. G’night, I guess.

PHINEAS: Good night, Mr. Rodney.

(he begins to walk away, but stops and returns)

Oh… and Welcome Home.

(CLARISSA smiles broadly behind him, she’s starting to fall for him despite it all. The two of them head off down the hall as PETE closes the door behind him and leans back against it, clutching the Omni like it is something precious in his hand. He looks at it and smiles.

PETE: Yeah… welcome home.

Voyagers! Home, Part Four

(We cut to a scene almost completely in darkness, but we can see only the slightest bit of movement in the foreground. A rectangle of light floods the room, nearly blinding the audience as the door slides open, as all future-doors will do. CLEO and PETE enter the room. We hear a few thuds in the darkness, then a voice)

CLEO: Damn!

PETE: What?

CLEO: The light controls aren’t working. I don’t know if I’m happy to say this, but I think we’re in the right room.

(out of the darkness, a voice is heard. It is a baritone, deep and cold like a winter stream, but yet intensely cultured and flirting with affability. It successfully blends PHINEAS’ bluster and pomp with CLARISSA’s clip.)

VOICE: That would depend on your definition of “right,” I would think.

(We can only see in silhouette from the hallway as CLEO grasps PETE’S wrist tightly, fearfully)

PETE: Is it him?

VOICE: Oh, I do love that one… I have to admit, it was initially a thrill to be so well-known that a simple pronoun would suffice, but now… ah, the price of fame.

PETE: (whispering) Can you get the lights up?

VOICE: I can hear you, you know. And don’t bother with the lights. In fact… here.

(he claps twice, and the room is flooded with light. On the far end of a workshop, with his back to them, is the wiry frame and dark, almost black hair of a man. The hair is a careless mass of tumbling until it stops just before his shoulders, which gives way to a long, white coat that nearly reaches the floor. The coat is spotless, almost impossibly so, and there is just the glimpse of black boots underneath it.)

VOICE: Is that better?

CLEO: Maddox…

MADDOX: Oh, don’t take that tone with me, Cleopatra. You and I both know it won’t work. It’s been, oh, what… two years since you last tried?

CLEO: I was stupid to think I could help you.

PETE: Wait, were you and him…

MADDOX: Well, I can’t exactly fault you for a lack of knowledge. You are from Antiquity, after all.

CLEO: Don’t start with that, Maddox…

PETE: Hey, what…

MADDOX: (still not turning around) Start with what? It’s a simple fact: you come from a comparatively primitive time. You can’t hope to understand all of this, your future, my present… even in the years and years you’ve spent here.

CLEO: That’s not funny.

MADDOX: Oh don’t worry, Cleo…

(Maddox turns around. We see him from the front now: charming, handsome face, square jaw, beguiling smile, piercing blue eyes and flawless skin. He’s clad in a white turtleneck that is offset by black trousers and a black waistcoat, in one of those odd jumbles that only can be excused by futuristic fashion, as shown by the small, circular glasses perched on the end of his nose, their lenses seemingly cut from onyx as well. His smile itself is almost criminal.)

MADDOX: You still look quite good for your age.

PETE: Hey, asshole! Stop ignoring me!

MADDOX: (glancing slightly to his left over the glasses)

You… you I do not know. Who are you?

PETE: (a little confused) Pete Rodney.

MADDOX: Well, that went swimmingly. Can you tell me any more about yourself, Mr. PETE, other than your name reminds me of an ancient football player?

PETE: You know, your Dad said the same thing.

(a darkness flashes across MADDOX’s face and, for the first time, we see some tension in his features.)

MADDOX: Indeed.

(he picks up what looks like an iPad from the table and slips it into the pocket of his overcoat, walking toward them slowly. His affable nature, gone for an instant, has returned)

MADDOX: Well, I’ve got what I came for. You’d be wise to let me go, now.

PETE: I don’t think so… you stole something!

MADDOX: It was being woefully underutilized in this sterile nightmare. If you must, think of it as me taking it for a field trial… a test drive.

PETE: And why should I think of you taking it at all?

(MADDOX and PETE are now nearly face to face. MADDOX has a good three to four inches on the 19 year old.)

MADDOX: Ah. There it is. Forgive me for dusting off an old chestnut, but… you must be new here. Am I right, Cleo?

CLEO: …yes.

MADDOX: And, as you can tell, our usually ebullient friend Cleo has gone rather quiet, hasn’t she?

PETE: I’m just gonna assume it’s ‘cuz you were a lousy date.

(MADDOX allows himself a chuckle)

MADDOX: My, my… it’s been a while since someone talked to me like that. You are certainly something else. But still, I am going to have to respectfully ask you to step aside.

(PETE suddenly pulls his aunt’s gun out from the waistband of his shorts and points it directly in MADDOX’s face)

PETE: And what if I don’t feel like being respectful?

(MADDOX sighs, half annoyed, half bemused, and disarms PETE in the blink of an eye, now holding the gun directly between PETE’s eyes.)

MADDOX: You see now, Mr. Rodney… I am as close to perfection as the human race has ever gotten.

(he says it plainly, without ornamentation)

MADDOX: (after a pause) Am I right, Cleo?

CLEO: … he’s right.

MADDOX: And there we are. You’d best give up now, Mr. Rodney. You can’t possibly win, and I don’t want to have to shoot you.

PETE: (allowing himself a chuckle this time) You stupid son of a bitch… I’m from New York. I’ve gotten guns pointed at me more times than I can count, and I know when the loser holding it isn’t going to pull the trigger on me.

MADDOX: (after a short pause) Hm. You are different. And I suppose you are right.

(he turns quickly and fires a shot into CLEOPATRA’s abdomen, sending her collapsing to the ground in shock and agony.  PETE immediately rushes to her side as blood begins to pour onto the floor.)

MADDOX: (inspecting the gun) Unfortunate.

(he drops the gun to the floor and walks out of the open door without saying another word.)

CLEO: (lying, dying) Pete… go after him…

PETE: No, Cleo… you’re dying!

CLEO: This isn’t so bad… the asp hurt more than this.

PETE: Oh, come on… wait! That program!

(PETE leaps to his feet and begins and scrambles to the keypad near the door, trying feverishly to remember)

Her name was Kira… Her name was… damn it, what was her number?

CLEO: Pete…?

PETE: (rushing back to her) What?

CLEO: Do I… really look that old?

PETE: Oh God…. oh… God…

(tears begin to form in the corners of his eyes before, suddenly, CLEO is bathed in a comforting blue glow and rises slowly from the floor, her bleeding almost immediately stopped. As she hovers about four feet in the air, a program not unlike Kira appears out of the code and works to stabilize her.)

PETE: How…?

(We hear Phineas’ voice behind him, and as the camera spins around we see him at the keypad, frowning.)

PHINEAS: You don’t deal well with mortality. At least, outside of your own.

PETE: Is she…?

PHINEAS: It’s too early to tell, but the program will take care of it from here.

PETE: I’m sorry, I just… I couldn’t remember Kira’s number!

PHINEAS: All Kira could have done was gotten her a ginger ale and a fluffed pillow. Your instincts were right, though… you helped her in the best way you could. You calmed her.

PETE: Next time, I won’t screw up.

PHINEAS: You say that as if there will BE a next time.

PETE: There’s always a next time.

PHINEAS: Not for everyone.

(we see the absolute heart-wrenching memory come to life in PETE’s eyes, then. His parents never had a next time.)

PHINEAS: I’m sorry, Mr. Rodney. But it’s all right now.

PETE: No, it isn’t! That guy… that Maddox guy, he made off with something!

PHINEAS: (produces the Omni from his pocket) Did it look something like this?

PETE: Yes, but bigger.

PHINEAS: Hm. Unfortunate. That’s a prototype next-generation Omni. He may not be able to control it… if it was anyone else in the universe I’d say he couldn’t…

PETE: So, do we go after him?

PHINEAS: We won’t have the faintest idea where he’ll turn up, Mr. Rodney. I’m afraid we’ll have to play the waiting game and cross those particular bridges when we get to them.

PETE: (glancing back at CLEO, who is stabilized) You’re taking this awfully well for a terrorist attack.

PHINEAS: They happen often enough, Mr. Rodney. And our time period learned long ago that giving into raw emotion in times of crisis only leads more disastrous situations in the long run, and often self-inflicted. The situation has been neutralized, and we can return to business as usual. Come along, we still have our hearing to do. It looks like…

(PHINEAS glances over to CLEO, hovering in mid-air and being seen to by the electronic doctor. We see just a brief wave of compassion and sorrow crash over his features, and it is obvious he has to force it back down)

PHINEAS: It looks like Cleo’s hearing will be postponed… for the time being. Which means we’ll be next. Come along.

PETE: (a little dazed) Okay.

(they both head toward the door, but PETE stops right in the doorway with a start.)

Wait!

(he runs back to where CLEO is laying and leans down, whispering tenderly in her ear.)

You look beautiful…

(he then hurries back to join PHINEAS as they leave the room. The door closes, and we see some of the vital stats for CLEO tick upwards, and in general the medical numbers turn from red to green, signaling things are well on their way.)

Voyagers – Home, Part Three

(The small group sprints out into the main hub, with PHINEAS, CLEO and PETE bringing up the rear. We see a wide shot of the massive hub, so recently full of good humor and happiness, now in chaos as rancid black smoke rises in the distance. PETE is taken aback, the memory probably too much given how his parents died. CLEO quickly doubles back to gather him up.)

CLEO: Come on, Pete! We don’t want to lose you in all of this!

PETE: (shaking it off as best he can) Why do you care about me? I just met you!

CLEO: Because you stowed away just like I did. Us rule-breakers got to stick together. Plus…

(they catch up to PHINEAS, who CLEO decides to tease by giving a slap on the backside, which naturally disrupts his usual unruffled air.)

CLEO: I think this guy could stand to loosen up a bit.

PHINEAS: Madam, this is NOT the time…

CLEO: Any word, then?

PHINEAS: Nothing, I’m afraid. Business as usual.

(They all stand to watch as a group of uniformed men try to keep the crowd back. In the center of the fanning out formation is a woman in her thirties who wears the uniform very well: not thin, well built, with strong but still feminine features and a blonde bun jammed up inside her navy blue cap. She stands with arms akimbo, barking out orders.)

WOMAN: All right, everyone, stay back! This is for your own safety, please allow a perimeter until the situation has been neutralized! (Everyone seems to follow her orders and take a few steps back. PETE is surprised by this.)

PETE: Whoa. Who’s that?

PHINEAS: Clarissa Albright, chief of Safety and Security for the Time Equilibrium Service.

CLEO: It’s their job to make sure everything in our offices is looked after. Sadly, we get threats on an almost daily basis from some whackjob or another who wants to ruin the timestream.

PETE: Terrorists, huh?

CLEO: That’s putting it lightly. All of time and space is connected, through our minds, if someone were to damage that enough, they could–

PHINEAS: (butting in) That’s quite enough, Cleopatra. How are you so sure that the information you’re giving him will not prove cataclysmic?

CLEO: (sticking out her tongue) You’re just jealous I like him better than you.

PETE: (skeptical) Are you sure you’re really Cleopatra? You ain’t like my history books said you were.

CLEO: I’m as sure of that as I’m sure you’re standing next to me in your underwear, Pete.

(PETE suddenly remembers this and immediately shrinks in embarrassment.)

PHINEAS: Would you two stop flirting and try to find a way for us to investigate, please? Besides, he’s only seventeen!

CLEO: He’s a good looking seventeen… (PETE looks even more embarrassed.)

PETE: Only for a few months…

CLEO: (pulling a small card out of an intimate place in her blouse) call me sometime…

PHINEAS: CLEOPATRA!

CLEO: Sorry, sorry! Sheesh, why don’t you go and talk to her, Phineas… I heard you two are close…

PHINEAS: Now, stop it.

PETE: Are those two…?

CLEO: Not yet. You see…

PHINEAS: Would you two please focus on the task at hand!

CLEO: Oh, relax, Bogg! There’s no Medevac, not even a medical officer on the premises, nothing. It’s just another nutcase with some fireworks.

PHINEAS: I can’t just relax, Cleo… not when there’s a possibility it could be… HIM.

PETE: Gettin’ real sick of hearing stuff I don’t understand, here…

PHINEAS: Well you’re the one who’s not supposed to be here!

CLEO: Boys… calm down. You’re going to cause a scene and… oh, hell. (They have attracted enough attention for CLARISSA to come over and investigate.)

CLARISSA: What’s all this noise abou— (She sees PHINEAS and almost immediately switches from authoritarian to uncomfortable)

Oh. Hello, Phineas.

PHINEAS: (likewise avoiding eye contact) Clarissa.

CLARISSA: Is there a problem?

PHINEAS: None, Ma’am.

CLARISSA: I don’t have time for interruptions.

PHINEAS: Yes, of course.

CLARISSA: Keep… keep it down over here. That’s an… order.

PHINEAS: Understood. Do you… need any help with anything?

CLARISSA: Situation is normal. Thank you for your concern, but you can return to your business.

PHINEAS: Yes, um… thank you. (she nods curtly and goes back to being on point. PETE turns to CLEO)

PETE: What the heck was all that about?

CLEO: Well, you see…

PHINEAS: (in a huff) If you MUST know, Clarissa and I will have a child.

PETE: What, she’s pregnant?

PHINEAS: Not yet.

PETE: Then how do you…. oh, wait… time travel?

CLEO: Yep.

PETE: Weird. So… are you guys, like, dating?

PHINEAS: We don’t speak about it.

PETE: Oh, but someday…

PHINEAS: Yes.

PETE: And she knows?

PHINEAS: Yes.

PETE: So you don’t really have a choice?

PHINEAS: No.

PETE: So what if…

PHINEAS: Can we please not talk about this any more?

PETE: Sorry…

PHINEAS: (turning back to the spectacle) I’d still like to learn some more about what’s going on… (he spots a security member nearby and leaves to harass him) You there! Phineas Bogg, TES Agent Alpha Six One: Answer me this… (PETE, still a little dumbfounded, turns to CLEO.)

PETE: He’s a little touchy about that, isn’t he?

CLEO: Well, if you knew who their son turns out to be…

PETE: (after waiting to see if she will divulge) Oh, come ON! Now you gotta tell me.

CLEO: (after another tense pause) Oh, all right. But you didn’t hear it from me.

PETE: Nah, I’ll say it was Elvis.

CLEO: (shooting him a look) Clarissa and Phineas have a son, and from the small amount of evidence we’ve been able to gather, the genetic markers all add up. Someday, their son will become a man named Maddox Mulcahey.

PETE: And who’s that? CLEO: Well, you know how I said we get a bunch of crazy people who try to attack us?

PETE: Yeah…

CLEO: He’s the one we’re actually afraid of. He’s a renegade, an enemy of time. He bounces from era to era: extorting, embezzling, killing, anything he can.

PETE: Why? I mean, a dad like Phineas might be annoying, but… why?

CLEO: Because he can, Pete. Because he’s bored, and he wants to make all of time and space his plaything. He’s a genius, he’s a world-class athlete… and as far as he’s concerned everyone… everything else is beneath him.

PETE: Sounds like a real nice guy. How the hell did that happen?

CLEO: That’s just the thing… we don’t know yet!

PETE: And we can’t figure out?

CLEO: Not without doing severe damage to the timestream.

PETE: Of course. So… what do we do?

CLEO: We just pray that this wasn’t the work of Maddox. (PETE looks over to PHINEAS, who is still interrogating a security officer, who can only offer weak, indistinct words punctuated by the occasional shrug or shaking of his head over the slowly dispersing crowd.) PETE: I suppose he feels responsible, huh? It being his kid and all?

CLEO: I think you’ve known Phineas long enough for him to think everything is somehow his fault.

PETE: Yeah, he seems a little… (PETE looks around a bit, noticing the still large crowd of rubberneckers) Wait, Cleo?

CLEO: Yes?

PETE: Does this kinda stuff happen often?

CLEO: Too often, unfortunately.

PETE: And is there always a crowd?

CLEO: Yeah, and that usually means it takes twice as long to clean it up.

PETE: So… is there any chance that this is a distraction?

CLEO: From what?

PETE: I dunno… is there any other part of this place a guy like Maddox might want to sneak into when everyone’s looking over here?

CLEO: Well, yeah, but they’ve all got security detail of their own, obviously.

PETE: Would anything get them away from their post?

CLEO: Not unless something big happened… (PETE waits for a second, as if waiting for that big thing to happen. Slow camera pans, zooms, etc… and nothing happens)

PETE: (exhaling) All right, let’s go get Phineas before he annoys someone to death.

(CLEO laughs and follows him over to drag PHINEAS away from the security officers. As they are about to grab him, another massive explosion rips into the first bulwark of the Quad. Everyone is thrown forward onto their faces as debris begins to rain down on their hastily covered heads and necks.)

PHINEAS: (scrambling to his feet) What the hell is going on?! (he turns to check with the security officer, but he is either unconscious or dead. We don’t have time to check because the camera pans to a short, thickly set gentleman in a tailored suit that he looks ready to bust out of. His hair is short, black, and mowed into a flat top, giving way to heavy eyebrows, a roman nose, and a strong jawline with dimpled chin. He is handsome, but a brutal sort of handsome as he stands amid the smoke and rubble, proud of posture and broad of chest.)

PHINEAS: Damn!

PETE: What was that?! Cleo, are you all right?

CLEO: (hauling herself up and massaging a sore spot in her lower back) Yeah, I’m fine… Phineas, what is it? Can you see?

PHINEAS: (his voice coming through the smoke) Get the boy out of here, Cleopatra. And yourself, too.

CLEO: Why, what is it?

(the smoke parts and we can see PHINEAS shielding PETE and CLEO, with the three themselves being shielded by what looks like ten officers)

PHINEAS: It’s Atwater. Clarissa! Can you hear me?

CLARISSA: (her voice cutting strongly through the smoke as she approached what’s left of her force, desperately trying to ensure the safety of the onlookers)

I can hear you. Is it really him?

PHINEAS: Yes… yes it is.

(The strong man looks down at PHINEAS, his eyes growing cold and his brows lowering)

It’s Atwater.

CLARISSA: (Immediately getting on a radio earpiece) We have confirmed – Atwater in the Quad. I need all available S&S personnel here on the double. Atwater is in the Quad, I repeat…

(she isn’t able to give her repeat as Atwater leaps through the air in her direction, landing directly in front of her without saying a word. She throws a good looking punch, but Atwater catches it and wrenches her arm around, causing her to groan in agony. PHINEAS hurries to her aid, hurling himself bodily at the aggressor, but even PHINEAS’ considerable size does little to phase Atwater as PHINEAS bounces sadly off. It does, however, distract Atwater long enough that the other personnel are starting to arrive and, with an angry snort, Atwater turns and runs off inside the hole blown in the wall of the Quad, the officers hot on his heels. PETE and CLEO run up just as medical personnel are seeing to CLARISSA and PHINEAS.)

PHINEAS: (shooing away a male nurse) I’m all right, damn it all! Check on her!

CLARISSA: (to the nurse) Patch me up and get me in there.

(she gestures with her good arm into the Quad)

NURSE: I don’t know if I can…

(she grabs the nurse roughly by his collar and hauls him in close, seething)

CLARISSA: Do it.

NURSE: (with a nod and a gulp) Yes, ma’am.

PETE: Who the hell was that guy?!

PHINEAS: (slowly getting to his feet) David Atwater, number two on our most wanted list.

CLEO: He operates as Mulcahey’s muscle and bodyguard.

PETE: I can see why.

PHINEAS: (fixing her with a glare) Cleopatra… did you tell Mr. Rodney about… him?

CLEO: Yes, Phineas, I did. And what’s more–

PETE: (stepping between the two) We don’t have time for this! Cleo, where else would Maddox want to be in this building?

CLEO & PHINEAS: (in unison) Probably R&D…

(CLEO shoots him a glare)

The kid was talking to me, Bogg.

PHINEAS: Then you take him! I’m glad to be rid of him.

(we see a closeup on PETE, then, feeling just a little hurt as a result of PHINEAS’ words.)

PHINEAS: (realizing he’s been cruel) He’s probably right, Cleo. You two should… go on and check.

CLARISSA: Here!

(she tosses her headset to CLEO)

Take this and radio if you find anything. Oh, and try not to tell the kid in his underwear any more of my dirty laundry, all right?

(CLEO nods and the two take off for the Berg Wing.)

PETE: Those two are more alike than they admit, huh?

CLEO: You have no idea.

Voyagers! Home, Part Two

(They both start to make their way across the main plaza, toward one of the spokes. It is labeled TATE WING on an overhead archway in large, slightly art-deco metal letters)

PETE: So… this is, like, where you work?

PHINEAS: Not “like,” Mr. Rodney… it is where I work.

PETE: That’s what I said.

PHINEAS: Well, your English leaves something to be desired, and I hope you won’t make things so… colloquial when you’re called into supervisory.

PETE: Uh huh, whatever…

(he glances up at the archway as they pass under it.)

So, who’s Tate?

PHINEAS: One of the pioneers of time travel. Each of the wings are named as such: Tate is supervisory, the Berg Wing is research and development, the Carmen Wing is training and housing, and the last wing is off limits to all but the highest level personnel.

(they continue to walk and talk down a wide hallway, still populated with various people in various dress, but a little more sparsely. There are small rooms on either side of the dome shaped hallway with people going in and out.)

PETE: What’s that one called?

PHINEAS: It doesn’t have a name, exactly…. we just usually call if Wing Four, or the Quad.

PETE: Aw, man!

PHINEAS: What now?

PETE: That’s a stupid name! It should be something cool and, you know… like the future! Like Paragon 6 or XL Blast-Laser or… or…

PHINEAS: It is always so interesting to see the past’s perceptions of the future. Tell me, if you were to meet George Washington today… what do you think he might think of the world you come from?

PETE: (after a short pause) I never thought about that.

PHINEAS: And that is precisely why you will be going home, and soon.

(They enter a door on the far end of the hallway, adjacent to the other side doors, that opens into an office that is the perfected version of 1960s futurist architecture. They take a seat on two gleaming white pod chairs next to a woman in full Egyptian regalia.)

PHINEAS: Are these seats taken?

WOMAN: No, go right ahead, Phineas.

PHINEAS: (smiling politely) thank you, Miss. Oh, and this is my, erm… unwitting accomplice for the present, Mr. Pete Rodney.

PETE: (reaching out a hand) Nice to meet you.

WOMAN: Likewise. I’m Cleopatra.

PETE: Yeah, you sure look like it.

CLEO: No… I am Cleopatra.

(PETE looks at PHINEAS almost pleadingly, as if to ask “really?”)

PHINEAS: You’ll have to forgive him, Miss… he’s not really supposed to be here.

CLEO: Ah. A stowaway, is it?

PETE: Uh, yeah… (he’s blushing furiously now)

CLEO: Well…

(she motions him closer to whisper in his ear, which gives PETE an illicit thrill)

So was I, a few years ago… don’t let them send you back, whatever you do!

(PETE rockets back into his own chair, bolt upright and very nervous when he realizes again he’s only in shorts and a thin undershirt)

PHINEAS: What did she tell you?

PETE: (regaining his compsure a little and grinning)

I bet you’d like to know.

(a woman in a serious looking suit pokes her head out from the door leading into the inner office, her severe features framed by faux wood paneling.)

WOMAN: Cleopatra, we’re ready for your disciplinary hearing. Please come in.

(CLEO rises from her seat and goes to head in, but not before sharing a knowing wink with PETE. As the door closes, PETE leans back in the plastic chair and smiles.)

PETE: Wow…

PHINEAS: In case you haven’t noticed, she’s not one to be looked up to. She’s here to be reprimanded.

PETE: Is she going to be sent back to her time if she did something really bad?

PHINEAS: Well… no. She has dangerous knowledge of the future. We couldn’t dare risk it. Besides, she’s supposed to be dead in her time…

PETE: Right, because your little… thing…

PHINEAS: The Omni. As long as it gives the green light, all is well.

PETE: So she’s supposed to be here?

PHINEAS: (with a sigh and groan) It would appear so.

PETE: So… how do we know I’m not supposed to be here, too?

PHINEAS: I suppose we’ll have to figure that out in your meeting.

PETE: But as of right now… it’s a green light, right?

PHINEAS: (pulling the Omni out of his jacket pocket and glancing at it)

Currently, yes, but….

(Suddenly a red light lights up the entire screen of the Omni, blinking angrily. PETE cranes his neck to see.)

PETE: What’s up? I see red!

PHINEAS: Quiet! (he studies the Omni a bit more, looking over it and seemingly through the door they just came through, his eyes hard and focused.)

We’ve got an red light… and it’s here.

(almost immediately, people, including CLEO come barreling out of the inner office, loaded for bear. PHINEAS and PETE are hot on their heels as they all make their way back to the central hub, chatting worriedly about the situation.)

PETE: I can’t hear a damn thing anyone’s saying; will someone PLEASE tell me what’s going on?!

(CLEO turns around to help)

CLEO: Sorry, kid.

PETE: (a little perturbed) It’s Pete.

CLEO: Sorry, Pete. There’s something going on down at the hub, and–

PHINEAS: (butting in) Cleopatra VII Philopator, don’t you dare! He hasn’t been evaluated and we can’ go risking giving him knowledge–

CLEO: (cutting HIM  off) Oh, Phineas, stuff it! Come on, Pete, we’ve got to hurry.

PETE: But what’s going on in the hub?!

CLEO: We think… someone’s trying to break into the Quad.

 

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.”

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Seven

(We have a nice dissolve, then, from the streets of town to a warmly lit room inside the Wright’s workshop. WILBUR is in bed, asleep, but there is color to his face as seen by the hurricane lamp. We pan from WILBUR’S sleeping form to see PHINEAS, PETE, and ORVILLE standing over him.)

PHINEAS: (with a sigh) He should pull through all right.

ORVILLE: Oh, thank God.

PHINEAS: Although I scarcely think he’ll be ready to fly until…

(he checks the Omni with a nod)

The seventeenth, I should think.

ORVILLE: I just hope the weather’s fine out on those dunes by then. We can’t stay out here forever.

PHINEAS: (smiling) Oh, I think you’ll find the weather to your liking.

ORVILLE: You are so confident, Mr. Brinkley. Would that I had your confidence in our endeavors!

PHINEAS: (grinning broadly now) Well, what can I say? I know genius when I see it.

PETE: Other than when you look in the mirror?

(ORVILLE finds himself laughing, despite himself)

ORVILLE: Such a mouth on that one! He’s dangerous to have down here, and no mistake.

PHINEAS: You have no idea. Well, Orville, I think the two of us will tidy up shop downstairs… you have plenty to take care of.

ORVILLE: I thank you, sir. And you, too, young man.

PETE: (visibly uncomfortable) Uh… yer welcome.

PHINEAS: (clapping PETE hard on the shoulder) Come now, Johnny Moore, we have dishes to attend to downstairs.

PETE: Uh, right.

(They head outside the bedroom and shut the door securely behind them. They are not three steps down the stairs before PETE begins bubbling.)

PETE: Oh, man! I just got thanked by Orville Wright! Orville Wright himself, man! That’s… that is NUTS.

PHINEAS: (rolling his eyes) If only I could take every teenager back in time with me, he might gain a true understanding of History.

(they continue down the stairs, with PHINEAS adjusting his outfit in his customary businesslike manner)

Still, I suppose you were quite the help on this little excursion… the Omni doesn’t lie, after all.

PETE: What do you mean?

(PHINEAS holds up the device over his shoulder, where a bright green light is shown above the spinning globe in the center)

PHINEAS: Green light, Mr. Rodney. Off we go.

PETE: (stopping on the stairs) …what?

PHINEAS: That’s the rules, Mr. Rodney. Green light, good to go. If we stay here too long, we may even cause lingering damage to the timestream, and I dare say we’ve done enough tomfoolery as it is. Come along, Mr. Rodney… now that the job is over, we can see about getting you back to your time.

PETE: What about Orville and Wlibur? Or the pharmacist, or the mob in town? They’ve seen us, don’t they know we exist? Isn’t that one big problem to your timestream?

PHINEAS: The folks in town are too humiliated or scared of repercussion to mention anything about the strange incident until all credibility to their story will be lost. As for the Wright Brothers, Wilbur will write the whole thing off as a fever dream, and Orville will believe him. In a few days, the real W.C. Brinkley and Johnny Moore will arrive, and we will be pushed out of their memories. Never underestimate the human mind’s tenacious ability to forcibly forget troubling times, Mr. Rodney. Now, off we go!

(They’ve reached the bottom of the stairs now. PHINEAS holds up the Omni in the makeshift living room, and bids PETE to grab on as well. PETE is reluctant.)

PETE: I don’t think we should go quite yet.

PHINEAS: (wiggling the Omni aloft) Green light, Mr. Rodney…

PETE: But… we said we’d do the dishes, didn’t we?

(PHINEAS stops waggling the device and lowers it, slowly. There’s a strange expression on his face, puzzled but somehow familiarly pleased. )

PHINEAS: Did we?

PETE: You did.

PHINEAS: Well… (he smiles a little and leads PETE into the kitchen) a promise is a promise, after all. Go and fetch some water.

(he removes his coat and rolls up his sleeves)

I’ll take care of this in here.

(He steals a glance as PETE heads out the back door to the pump. He smiles and sighs.)

We’ve got some time.

(We see the warm light of a kerosene lamp illuminate the two as they set to cleaning up the Wright Brothers’ kitchen, a slow pull away out of the window over the sink that slowly fades to black. End of episode.)

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Six

(The mob continues to close in as we see the two of them in the car, terrified.)

PETE: This is really how it ends, huh?

PHINEAS: And here I thought I’d already seen my funeral…

PETE: Wait, you saw your own funeral?

PHINEAS: Well, I thought it was!

(one of the mob reaches for the door. PETE slaps at the door at where he thinks the door lock should be)

PETE: What? No locks, either? Who made these things?!

(meanwhile, the camera shifts to PHINEAS, who puts on his sternest resolve and opens his door. The mob parts slightly as he exits the truck, speaking to the masses)

PHINEAS: Er, Good evening, gentlemen.

(he scans the crowd a bit)

Yes, all gentlemen, as I expected… anyway, good evening to you all. I–

(one of the men from the crowd cuts him off, waving a torch in front of his face)

MAN: Stand back from that truck.

PHINEAS: (drawing himself up to his full, unimpressive height)

Why?

MAN: (pointing towards PETE) You got a colored in that truck.

PHINEAS: A what?

MAN: (scrutinizing him with a bloodshot eye) You ain’t from round here, are you?

PHINEAS: Er… Wisconsin, actually.

MAN: Then we might let you off this time… might take those nice shoes you got, though…

(the camera pans down to a brilliant pair of two-tone spectators. A couple members of the mob guffaw)

PHINEAS: I… I don’t know if if they’d fit you, Mr…

MAN: Phineas.

PHINEAS: Really? That’s my name, too! Isn’t this just a small world, after all? Why don’t we go have a drink and discuss what else we have in…

(the torch flashes in front of his face, again, closer this time. PHINEAS’ eyes go wide.)

PHINEAS: …common.

MAN: (disturbingly level) You’d best get out of the way.

(he gestures to the truck where PETE is now completely surrounded. PHINEAS tries to blow it off.)

PHINEAS: What, him? Oh, he’s nothing to worry about, really. I was, er, escorting him out of town myself, just now…

(another man pipes up from the back of the mob)

OTHER MAN: Ain’t true! I saw them at Sniteman’s pharmacy not five minutes ago!

MAN: Hear that, friend? Sounds like you’re startin’ to lie. Wonder what else you like to lie about…

(PETE suddenly lurches forward until he’s directly behind PHINEAS.)

PETE: I promise I won’t come back again, all right? Can’t you just let us go,  just this once? I mean, I’m not even one hundred percent bla–

PHINEAS: (intensely) No, no, don’t say that… they’ll only kill you quicker.

MAN: (smiling venomously) Kill you? Who said anything about killing you? Hey, did any of y’all hear me say I was gonna kill anyone?

(there is a chorus of “no’s” in response. The man turns back to PHINEAS, feigning woundedness)

MAN: You’ve gone and hurt my feelings now, fella. I’m afraid we can’t let you walk outta here for that.

PHINEAS: (heaving a sigh) Well then, I suppose we’ll have to settle things your way then.

(he strips off his jacket and hands it to PETE. He begins to roll up his sleeves as he keeps talking.)

Such violence in history, so savage. I must warn you, Phineas… if that is your real name, sir… I sparred with James Figg, went three rounds with John L. Sullivan… AND I was the one who taught Jim Corbett how to act!

(he adopts a very prim, old-fashioned boxing stance, but stops suddenly)

Oh, I almost forgot…

(reaches into his brocade vest and pulls out the Omni, handing it to PETE with a sly wink)

Now, don’t go misusing that, young man.

(he turns back to the man and re-adopts the stance)

Now then, good sir, the Marquess of Queensb–

(he immediately ducks as the torch comes flaring into the space where his head used to be.)

PHINEAS: (rising up) I say, sir. Bad form!

(the man swings again and misses. PHINEAS takes the opportunity to put a spectator shoe directly into the man’s solar plexus, sending him staggering back into the mob.)

PHINEAS: Use the Omni, Mr. Rodney!

(now enraged, the mob starts to close in)

PHINEAS: (getting worried) Mr. Rodney…

PETE: (fiddling with the device) I don’t know how this thing works!

PHINEAS: (ducking another torch) I thought your generation was tech-savvy!

PETE: My aunt doesn’t even have a computer, man!

PHINEAS: Well do SOMETHING!

(punching out what few teeth remain in a man’s mouth and wincing comically)

OW!

MAN: (staggering to his feet) You ain’t gonna be able to fight all of us, Dandy-boy, not with those powdered fists.

(the mob starts backing PHINEAS up against the truck, hooting and cackling)

You ain’t got nowhere left to go, so now–

(PHINEAS hears a click directly next to his left ear, but he’s too afraid to turn around and look. Besides, the terrified expression on the OTHER Phineas’ face tells him everything he needs to know. Spin the camera around to see PETE holding the gun steady.)

PETE: Now… I’m gonna show you how we do things downtown.

(he begins to move the gun in a slow arc, delighting in every mob-member that flinches as it passes over them)

You see, I know my auntie. She is one paranoid old crank. I got in late one night from Homecoming, and she almost blew my head off with this thing, blew it clear off!

(he shouts the last two words and everyone jumps… including PHINEAS, who is too afraid of the gun next to his head to even breathe.)

Now that I’ve got your attention, I figure this half-breed’s gonna tell y’all what’s what. My aunt got this gun at a pawn shop in downtown Queens, and I know she always likes to keep it loaded. That means I’ve got seventeen bullets in this thing… and probably one in the chamber. That’s eighteen and, if I take a minute to use my inferior Negro mind, I can see that there’s only about twenty of you… and I didn’t even have to take my shoes off to count. Twenty of you, eighteen of me… who wants to take on those odds, huh? Because I can guarantee you I’ll board myself up in the truck and fire til I’m empty.

(One of the braver mob guys takes a step forward, and PETE kneecaps him. The mob gathers round in shock as PETE starts shouting as loud as he can over the din and bustle.)

What, you think I’m AFRAID of you? You think I won’t do it? I spent ten years of my life getting beaten, bullied, called everything but decent. I made myself be stronger, faster, and tougher than all of those bastards who tried to break me down… and I won. They didn’t break me, they COULDN’T break me… and neither will you.

(Keeping the gun trained, PETE reaches for the Omni and desposits it in PHINEAS’ hand.)

Get us the Hell outta here, man.

(His trembling fingers punch in a few coordinates and, linking arms, they disappear in an instant. Cowed and scared, like all bullies, the mob extinguishes their torches and slink back to their homes, leaving the wounded man lying, wailing, in the street. As the camera focuses on the wounded man, we hear footsteps until two scuffed black shoes are seen next to his tear-streaked face. The camera pulls up to see the PHARMACIST, Mr. Sniteman, with a stretcher and a wagon. He looks down at the wounded man with disgust.)

PHARMACIST: Serves you right, you ignorant son of a bitch.

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Five

(The two continue bumping down the road in the ramshackle truck. We switch between views straight on through the windshield and from the side through driver windows.)

PETE: Are you kidding me?!

PHINEAS: Would I kid about something like this?

PETE: I don’t know! I just met you!

PHINEAS: Do people joke about mass death in your time period?

PETE: Well…

(PHINEAS sets his jaw and makes a hard turn)

PHINEAS: Barbarians!

(They go over a nasty bump. PETE hits his head on the roof and pulls a face.)

PETE: (Angrily) Ow!

PHINEAS: Oh, don’t be such a baby. I was once clubbed on the head by an Aztec priest, and I can assure you I didn’t say “aaaow!”

PETE: (rubbing his head) What did you say then?

(a pause as PHINEAS gets very tense)

PHINEAS: Well, I ruddy well couldn’t say anything! I was out cold!

PETE: Cool story, Mr. Wizard.

PHINEAS: I don’t suppose you could tell me if you’ve been feeling ill in the past few weeks?

PETE: Uh… I was coughing a little last week, but I thought I was over it…

PHINEAS: Coughing a little? Oh, damn!

PETE: You now, you keep saying that. Aren’t you from, like, the future?

PHINEAS: Yes.

PETE: And don’t you, like, travel in time and stuff?

PHINEAS: (in a mocking tone) Like, yes… and stuff.

PETE: Then why don’t you ever say anything cool when you swear? You sound like my Mom when you just say ‘damn!’ all the time.

PHINEAS: Would you prefer I say something suitably alien to your 21st century sensibilities? Perhaps I should be cursing you out in a Martian dialect, or say something charmingly anachronistic like, oh, I don’t now… Bat’s Breath?

PETE: Bat’s Breath? What’s that mean in the past?

PHINEAS: Nothing… but have you ever smelled a bat’s breath?

(PETE goes silent and looks a little confused)

PHINEAS: We’re here!

(The jalopy lurches to a stop outside a period pharmacy, bathed in the last glimmers of the evening sun. A wispy, balding man in an immaculate white coat is about to close up before PHINEAS barges through the door.)

PHINEAS: (As he bowls the pharmacist over) My apologies, sir, but we are in dire need of your establishment!

(PETE stops to help the man to his feet)

PHARMACIST: Wh-wh… what? Who?

PETE: I don’t get him half the time, either, don’t worry.

(PHINEAS is hard at work scavenging the shelves like he’s preparing for a hurricane. He takes intermittent glances at the Omni as he busies himself clearing out the inventory. PETE goes to invesigate.)

PETE: Do you mind if I ask what the he–

(PHINEAS rounds on him and throws a cocktail of pills into his mouth. PETE recoils as PHINEAS sets upon him, tilting his head back and greasing the way for the pills with a strange black liquid he pulled from a vial inside his vest. PETE is understandably troubled, coughing and hacking after he manages to swallow the lot.)

PETE: What the hell is wrong with you?!

PHINEAS: There. You’re inoculated and should prove no more biological damage to the timeline.

(He glances at the pills left in his hand, and then to the Omni.)

PHINEAS: And this should be sufficient for Mr. Wright. Off we go!

PETE: Ugh. I feel like I just tried to eat my grandma’s parakeet.

(He makes to leave, but the pharmacist, who has been watching all of this with morbid wonder, stops him.)

PHARMACIST: Hey, you! Look at my store! You’d better pay for all of that!

(PHINEAS stops and pivots on his heel, pulling a massive handful of gold coins from his pocket and dropping them into the pharmacist’s hands…and clattering them to the wooden floor.)

PHARMACIST: Are these… gold?

PHINEAS: Dubloons, actually. Don’t spend them all in one place.

(He immediately turns to leave, ignoring the PHARMACIST’S yelps of joy)

PHARMACIST: I… I could retire with all this!

PHINEAS: (responding while exiting, not turning back and waving dismissively over his shoulder.) Then happy retirement!

(They return to the truck and try to return to Wilbur & Orville’s shop. However, the pharmacist jumps in front of the truck as they try to speed away.)

PHARMACIST: STOP!

(they hammer on the brakes, and PETE’s head thuds comically against the dashboard.)

PETE: (rubbing his forehead) I never thought I’d say this, but… I can’t wait for someone to invent seatbelts.

(the PHARMACIST comes around to the driver’s side door, where PHINEAS is not in the mood to chat)

PHARMACIST: Sir, I’d suggest you not go just yet…

PHINEAS: If you’re trying to create some sort of elaborate apology, don’t. Just let us go on your way and enjoy your gold.

PHARMACIST: But, it’s dangerous out there!

PHINEAS: In my experience, it’s dangerous everywhere.

PHARMACIST: But, you don’t understand, sir! You, and your assistant… especially your assistant!

PHINEAS: Yes, that’s fascinating, thank you!

(the truck speeds off, leaving the Pharmacists in the road, shouting)

PHARMACIST: It’s a sundowner town! Sundowner town!

PETE: (looking back at the pharmacist)  What do you think he was yelling about?

PHINEAS: (very focused) Probably something about bear grease and nerve tonic, no doubt.

PETE: He kept saying “sunflower,” or something. You know what that means?

PHINEAS: Perhaps he enjoys the work of Mr. Van Gogh.

PETE: You’re really not thinking about it at all, are you? Why?

PHINEAS: When you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, you learn when people’s worries are simply archaic, and when they matter.

PETE: ‘as long as you have?’ What are you, like thirty?

PHINEAS: Twenty-seven.

PETE: So…

PHINEAS: It’s different in the future.

PETE: Ah. So you don’t think that there’s any…

PHINEAS: (finally taking his eyes off the road and turning to PETE) No, I don’t think that there is any reason why I should worry on a cold December night in nineteen hundred and three in North Carolina.

PETE: Well… what about me? Didn’t he say he was worried about me more than you?

PHINEAS: I can’t imagine why.

PETE: So if you’re not in trouble… and I’m not in trouble… then why is there a roadblock up there, and why do those men have torches?

(PHINEAS whips his head back round to the road, where a small mob is waiting to intercept them. He turns again to PETE, his eyes wide.)

PHINEAS: What are you?

PETE: Excuse me?

PHINEAS: You’re not Caucasian, are you?

PETE: What?

PHINEAS: You’re not WHITE, are you?

PETE: Well, my Dad was white…

PHINEAS: Oh, damn.

(He hits the brakes and attempts to turn the truck around. The mob begins to slowly advance, faces ghoulish in the torchlight.)

PETE: What? What’s wrong?

PHINEAS: He wasn’t saying “sunflower,” Mr. Rodney… he was saying “Sundowner.” This is a Sundowner Town, which means anyone who looks like you and who isn’t out of the city after the sun goes down…

PETE: (his eyes growing wide) What do you mean? They’re gonna… kill me?

PHINEAS: If we’re lucky.

PETE: How did you not now this was gonna happen? Didn’t you know I was black?!

PHINEAS: To be honest, I never noticed!

PETE: HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!

PHINEAS: FUTURE!!!

(They manage to get halfway turned around before the mob finally starts to close in, and they can’t go any further. Lots of closeups and zooms on worried faces and creepy faces in torchlight as the Sundowners close in on the truck. This might be a good place for a “TO BE CONTINUED” if you’re into that sort of thing.)

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Four

(PETE tries his best to follow PHINEAS down the sand dune, but finds it rather difficult going. He staggers a bit next to the time traveler’s firm strides as they head down to level ground, where they find WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT, sweat through with exertion and argument. WILBUR’S is the first voice we hear out of the melee.)

WILBUR: It’s not working, Orville. The power is ample, but it keeps stalling after takeoff.

ORVILLE: It’s just a mechanical flaw, Wilbur. We’ll work it out. Trust me, if we can get the engine to start and run correctly, it will fly… beautifully!

WILBUR: That is what you always say, brother! How many times have we failed, hm? And each time, with each stall and crash my resolve weakens. I am sweat through from working the Flyer and arguing with you; I’m bound to catch cold in this dreadful headwind.

ORVILLE: Wilbur, please…

WILBUR: Enough, Orville. Each time we think the goal is within our grasp, we are faced with a new and insurmountable task. It is impossible, or God does not will it. I have said it often before, brother… if man is to fly, it will not be within our lifetimes.

PHINEAS: (approaching the two men) Well, now, I wouldn’t say that…

(The two brothers, deep in their conversation, jump in surprise at the sudden appearance of the well-dressed man and teenaged boy.)

PHINEAS: It seems to be just a trifling error with your propulsion system, nothing more.

WILBUR: And who are you, sir, who has been listening in so rudely to our conversation?

PHINEAS: (without missing a beat, extending his hand to be shaken) W.C. Brinkley, local businessman, and this is my assistant, Johnny Moore.

PETE: (with a nervous wave) Uh, hi.

(The Wright brothers shake his hand, although WILBUR remains skeptical)

WILBUR: Mr… Brinkley. Hm. Pray tell, how is it you know of our device’s problems?

(PHINEAS taps a finger to the side of his nose and gives a wink)

PHINEAS: My dear Wilbur, everyone could hear the problems you two were having all the way to Hatteras.

(WILBUR blushes a little and starts to admire his shoes, while ORVILLE steps in)

ORVILLE: Forgive my brother, sir. He is very frustrated with our continued lack of satisfactory results.

PHINEAS: Well, I can’t say as he particularly SHOULD be!

(WILBUR’s head snaps up, glaring at PHINEAS)

PHINEAS: Oh, don’t look at me like that. You two are pioneers, out on this freezing land of blasted sand! Do you think everyone has a prototype Flyer like yours just sitting in their backyards?

ORVILLE: No, but…

PHINEAS: But nothing! You are blazing a trail where very few, if any, have walked before. You’re often working on nothing more than theories and conjecture, like that rubbish Smeaton coefficient…

(WILBUR looks at him differently, now, interested.)

PHINEAS: And it’s your job to somehow make it into reality. Now, don’t you think you’ll suffer a bump or two along the way?

WILBUR: In all due respect, Mr. Brinkley, we have had more than a few…

PHINEAS: (beginning to challenge him) And do you think that stopped DaVinci? Or Marconi? Or Morse?

WILBUR: (challenging right back) Those are great men of science! What are we, two bicycle makers from Ohio!

PHINEAS: Well, of course you will be, if you act lie that!

PETE: (jumping between them) OKAY! That’s enough of that. Don’t need you guys beating the crap out of each other right here on the beach.

ORVILLE: (confused) beating the what?

PETE: (covering quickly) Er, nothing. (to PHINEAS and WILBUR) You both need to calm down, though.

WILBUR: (exhaling loudly and stepping away from the confrontation) You’re right, son. I do apologize for my behavior, Mr. Brinkley.

PHINEAS: (smiling) There is no need. I only hope you’ve taken my words to heart.

WILBUR: You make it sound so simple, so easy. You speak of us as if we were beyond mortal men, yet I have only just met you. From where do you get your strength and conviction?

PHINEAS: (smiling broadly now) Call it an inclination. Someday, I’ll wager, the names Orville and Wilbur Wright will grace the pages of all history!

WILBUR: (rolling his eyes) You certainly are a confident one.

(WILBUR then sneezes rather nastily)

ORVILLE: (coming to the rescue) Oh, dear, Wilbur. I knew you’d catch a chill out here like that!

WILBUR: It’s nothing, Orville, nothing.

PETE: Still… you should probably take tomorrow off. Rest up, and try again later.

ORVILLE: It will take us some time to make the necessary repairs. Until then, it is probably best that we retire. I’m starting to worry about my brother.

WILBUR: If you fussed over the Flyer like you did me…

ORVILLE: (ignoring his brother pointedly) If you’d like to join us for dinner, I think we can make room for you. You seem to know quite a bit about aviation, Mr. Brinkley, I’d like to talk with you a little more.

PHINEAS: Oh, I don’t know if I know THAT much… but I never turn down a meal!

PETE: That’s pretty obvious.

PHINEAS: (under his breath) Quiet, you.

(fade scene to after dinner. PHINEAS and PETE are reclining in a makeshift living room in part of an old storefront the Wright’s are renting in Kitty Hawk. PHINEAS is gleefully picking his teeth.)

PHINEAS: There, now, my boy… for the turn of the century, it wasn’t a bad meal, was it?

PETE: I’m more hungry for a Whopper.

PHINEAS: Odd note, through almost all of the rest of recorded history, the period from 1890-1910 is constantly referred to as “The Turn of the Century,” more out of habit than anything else. Hundreds of years in the future, and THIS is still where the century turned. In a larger sense, I suppose a lot did turn, but…

(ORVILLE emerges from another room, drying a mug with a rag)

ORVILLE: I hope you enjoyed dinner, gentleman. Mr. Brinkley, you have an appetite that is only matched by your topics of conversation.

PHINEAS: I do what I can.

ORVILLE: But your boy is awful quiet. Does he… fear being in the Carolinas?

PHINEAS: I can’t see why he would. Lovely place you have here… a bit cold, but lovely.

ORVILLE: No, sir, I meant…

(There is a crash coming from the kitchen, which all three rush to investigate. WILBUR is found face down on the wooden floor amongst a mosaic of shattered ceramic. ORVILLE drops to his knees, wincing as sharp shards dig into his legs.)

ORVILLE: Dear Lord… he’s burning up. Something’s wrong… he must have over-exerted himself today… Oh, God…

(WILBUR moans a little as ORVILLE looks up at the two houseguests.)

ORVILLE: Mr. Brinkley, can you help?

(PHINEAS wastes no time and kneels down as well)

PHINEAS: I’m going to need a cool washcloth for his forehead. Run and fetch it, will you?

(As ORVILLE turns to do what he’s bidden, PHINEAS sneaks the Omni from his pocket and scans WILBUR’s face)

PHINEAS: Oh, my.

PETE: What? What’s going on?

PHINEAS: (rising) There’s no time to explain. (to ORVILLE, who has just returned) Do you have a car?

ORVILLE: A truck, out back… but it’s not much of one.

PHINEAS: It will have to do. Is there a druggist, or chemist, or…or… damn, what’s the word?

PETE: Pharmacy?

PHINEAS: Yes, that’s it! Is there one nearby!

ORVILLE: It’s a short drive up the road, but–

PHINEAS: Then you stay here and watch after your brother. We shall get the necessary medication.

ORVILLE: But–

PHINEAS: No buts! Time is crucial and we must go!

(with that, PHINEAS and PETE exit the house and take off in the truck down a bumpy dirt road)

PETE: You mind telling me what the hell is going on?

PHINEAS: WE are going on, you and me. And on and on and on…

PETE: What does that mean?

(the truck takes a sharp turn as PHINEAS looks at PETE, a grave expression on his face)

PHINEAS: Do you know what Influenza is?

PETE: Of course I do! I’m not an idiot.

PHINEAS: Do you know what Spanish Influenza is?

PETE: (grudgingly, after a pause) No.

PHINEAS: The Spanish Flu was a pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people from June 1918 to December of 1920. There are several schools of thought as to its origin.

(the truck goes over a particularly nasty bump)

PHINEAS: Unfortunately, in my haste I forgot to innoculate you to the dangers of time travel, particularly the microbial ones.

PETE: Like this Spanish Flu?

PHINEAS: Yes.

PETE: But I feel fine!

PHINEAS: Of course you do! By your time the Spanish Flu was a distant memory, a thing for books no one ever reads anymore. Your bodies had all adapted to fight it, but the microbes still clung to your flesh, your hair, your clothing, trying vainly to infect you… or someone else. The people of Kitty Hawk in 1903 have no such defenses…

PETE: Do you mean…

PHINEAS: Yes, Mr. Rodney… we just started the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 fifteen years too early.

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Three

(The two of them land in what seems to be the middle of a wheatfield, all in a jumble. From the position he was originally, Pete pulls a swift roll to avoid landing directly on his head, springing nimbly to his feet. Phineas, on the other hand, lands in a supremely undignified heap, rump skyward, feet folded back over his head, all of his finery in rumples.  He slumps over with a groan.)

PHINEAS: Oh, it’s never anything soft, is it? It’s never a bed, or a haystack, or a nice, warm bath… it’s always the hard, unforgiving ground or, failing that, something even more unforgiving… just once, would something firm be too much of a…

(he stands up and looks directly down the barrel of Pete’s gun, hearing the hammer thumb back and looking into cold, unforgiving eyes of a 19-year old urbanite)

PETE: (voice trembling with the gun) Give me one… good… reason why I shouldn’t shoot you right now…

(Phineas doesn’t seem in too much worry after the original panic. He begins to briskly dust himself off and speaks shortly, without fear.)

PHINEAS: The reason is you won’t.

PETE: What did you say, you son of a-

(He looks up from his coat to stare the young man down with a piercing gaze)

PHINEAS: You won’t because your eyes betray you. Your eyes have seen enough pointless death and meaningless violence to last more than your short lifetime, and you’re not about to perpetrate more of it, now. You’re scared, and I understand that, but I’ll wager you anything that the thing you’re the most scared of is the thing you’re holding in your hands… and not the person you’re pointing it at.

(There’s a tense minute, with the camera shifting between the two, no sound but the whisper of an errant breeze and the rustle of golden wheat. Finally, Pete lowers the gun. Phineas swiftly relieves him off it.)

PHINEAS: Now, that’s better.

PETE: (sniffling a little) How’d you know?

PHINEAS: My dear boy, I’ve ventured through almost all of recorded history and far into a future you couldn’t possibly imagine. The universal translator doesn’t always work, and I’ve learned that to read people can save you a great deal of trouble… and a trip to the guillotine, on one occasion.

PETE: So, you’re really a… time-traveler or whatever?

PHINEAS: No ‘whatever’ about it, young man. And, for a short while, it looks like you’re stuck with me, at least until I can remedy the Red…

(a short, gentle beep resonates from the pocket, and PHINEAS quickly checks the Omni, noting with a gentle sigh)

PHINEAS: Light. Hm. Well, it seems, my boy…

(he claps Pete heartily on the shoulder and seems to sprain his wrist doing so)

PHINEAS: It seems that you are more important than I originally had surmised! It seems our very act of reconciliation was the entire purpose of this trip.

PETE: What do you mean?

PHINEAS: (showing off the Omni, which now shows a Green light directly to the right of where the red was displayed)
This green light means that the Time Stream has been put back in order. Furthermore, it means that the entire events of tonight were correctly implemented into the Stream.

PETE: I don’t think I get it.

PHINEAS: Everything we just did, including you pointing that gun at my face, was supposed to happen. The timeline would have been out of rights without it happening, and when that happens, well… imagine if one tiny little thing had been different in your past.

(We get a short flashback about young Petey’s joy at walking to school. If he had asked to be driven…)

PETE: So, we gotta get green lights?

PHINEAS: I have to, Mr. Rodney. There is no “we” here. You are not a member of the TES and therefore should not even be privy to this information or to this little adventure… yet the Omni made it so, and I was put in your bedroom…

PETE: Yeah, I’ve been meanin’ to ask… what was up with that, anyway?

PHINEAS: Well, it may be hard to explain…

PETE: (sarcastic) I’ll try to handle it.

PHINEAS: The principle of the Omni is psychokinetic energy: harnessing and augmenting the untapped power of the human mind to subvert the natural laws of the universe and open the way into the Time Stream. Unfortunately, a particularly nasty blast of mental energy can blow the entire thing off course… you just caught me on the way back from the opening performance of Pygmalion: I was there to make sure Mrs. Campbell had her car accident and the play premiered at the Hofsburg instead. You must have been having a rather awful dream to jolt me into your bedroom, Mr. Rodney.

PETE: (a beat, looking sour) I was. And it’s Pete.

PHINEAS: Peter?

PETE: No.

PHINEAS: Petey?

PETE: (bristling) Only if I get to call you ‘Phinny’

PHINEAS: …Pete it is, then. Now, Mr. Rodney!

(he makes no effort to apologize for not calling him by his first name, as Pete suggested. Pete is understandably baffled and annoyed.)

Let’s see what we can do about getting you back home.

(he begins to fiddle with the Omni)

Let’s see… New York, New York… the city so nice they named it twice, ha! Eighth of June, two-thousand-and…

(the Omni beeps suddenly. Phineas is a little taken aback, but then begins to study the screen.)

Oh! No time for that now, then! Red Light: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, ninteen hundred and three!

(he begins fiddling with the device while Pete looks on, curiously)

PETE: Wait a minute… 1903? Isn’t that… hey!

(as Phineas’ finger reaches for the ‘engage’ button, Pete has to throw himself at the well-dressed man to make physical contact in time for them to pop out of frame again and re-emerge on a sandy dune on a gray morning. Phineas lands directly on his rump, but Pete, still in mid flight, careens a few feet farther into a sand dune, landing face first.)

PHINEAS: Well, that’s a little better…

(He stands up and brushes away a few grains)

softer than before, to be certain… (frustrated) but now there’s sand in my trousers.

PETE: (getting up and spitting) Try having it in your face! What’s your problem, man? You were just gonna leave me in the middle of nowhere?

PHINEAS: That wasn’t going to be the middle of nowhere in a few days, Mr. Rodney. That was the valley of the Little Bighorn.

PETE: What, where Custer bit it? Oh, thanks!

PHINEAS: You made the trip no worse for wear, didn’t you? Now, hold still while I scan you.

(he holds out the Omni which begins to emit a blue light, looking Pete up and down)

PETE: What the heck’s this, now?

PHINEAS: I need to create a holographic suit for you: something that will fit the period and not leave you looking like such a blasted anachronism, now hold still!

(Pete does as he’s told and, in a trice, he’s bedecked in loose-cut, high-waisted pants, a loose white shirt, braces, and a newsboy cap. Very much the working uniform of a young man in 1903.

PETE: Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

PHINEAS: Ah, don’t you look smashing!

PETE: So is this what you’re wearing, too? Some kind of holographic gizmo?

PHINEAS: (offended) Of course not. This is how I always dress.

PETE: Why?

PHINEAS: Because I look good. And you’ve been trying to lie to me, haven’t you Mr. Rodney?

PETE: (looking worried) What do you mean?

PHINEAS: You know where we are, and why we’re here. You know what happens at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

PETE: Yeah, so? Everyone does.

PHINEAS: Not everyone knows what the Little Bighorn was.

PETE: You’re full of it. That’s basic stuff!

PHINEAS: (droll) You’d be surprised what’s considered basic knowledge in some places, Mr. Rodney. You’re smarter than you let on, aren’t you?

PETE: I just know what I know.

PHINEAS: Indeed. Well, I’ve still got a red light, so the object of this mission wasn’t to get you a new set of trousers! There’s really only one reason why we should be here… and what could be wrong. So, let’s see what’s keeping our two innovators from innovating, shall we?

(the two crest one of the dunes, immediately hearing a hot argument.)

FIRST VOICE: I’m telling you, Wilbur, it won’t work!

SECOND VOICE: What other choice do we have, then? We’ve got to try!

FIRST VOICE: There’s no point in trying if we know it’ll fail!

SECOND VOICE: It won’t fail! We can do this, Orville!

(at the top of the dune, Phineas and Pete look down on the proceedings. Phineas, with a tight-lipped smile, straightens his waistcoat.)

PHINEAS: Hm. Looks like we’ve found our problem.

Voyagers! Pilot, Part Two

(There is a brief blackout that slowly fades back in to the dimly lit bedroom in New York. We see a closeup of the well-dressed man, now tied to a desk chair with a collection of extension cords, bungee straps, and two neckties. He struggles a bit when he finally comes to, but finds them quite snug.)

MAN: Well, this is a humbing experience.

PETE: (approaching him) So, you’re awake.

MAN: (groaning) In one way or another… could you untie me, please?

PETE: Aw, no way, man! You think you can just show up here in the middle of the night, in the middle of my bedroom, lookin like that

MAN: There’s nothing wrong with the way I’m dressed…

PETE: (without stopping) and you think I’m just gonna let you go? Uh-uh, man… no way.

(The man looks up at PETE with an exasperated expression and sighs)

MAN: Very well then. I’ll just have to escape myself. I knew Houdini, you know.

(he begins to fidget with the ropes, still talking)

Fabulous man, terrific taste in cakes. Taught me a thing or two about…

(he stops when he hears, and we hear, the hammer of a gun click back into position. The camera pulls out to see a .38 trained on the MAN, with PETE holding it. He is sweating profusely, his hands shaking around the trigger.)

PETE: Don’t move, man. Just don’t… don’t move.

(the man sighs again and stops fidgeting)

MAN: I’m frozen, I assure you. Now will you put that thing down? You’re liable to hurt someone.

PETE: I’m liable to hurt you!

(he repositions the gun and runs a dry tongue over cracked lips)

Now, you’re gonna sit there, and answer me some questions. My aunt’s gonna be home in an hour, and as you can see…

(he jerks his head in the direction of the gun)

she ain’t too fond of strangers.

MAN: And you’re going to keep that blunderbuss trained on me until then?

PETE: If I have to, yeah.

MAN: I don’t doubt it. Man of your athletic accomplishments, you could probably hold your arm out like the Colossus of Rhodes for an hour or two…

PETE: How’d you know that about me?

MAN: I assumed you didn’t make a habit of collecting other people’s trophies…

(the man jerks his head to one side and we get a short montage of various trophies and ribbons as he continues)

I was never much for sport myself, outside of the occasional round of bocce or badminton… baseball, football, and running track? I believe, in this day and age, they’d call you a triple threat.

(he turns back to Pete and tries to smile disarmingly. PETE has none of it)

PETE: You an… admirer or somethin?

(he gives the Man a queer look, raising one eyebrow. It takes a while for the Man to catch on.)

MAN: Hardly, young man, as I’ve just met you, and… oh, you meant like that. Erm, no.

(he coughs uncomfortably)

no, no, no… you could ask Marilyn if you still don’t believe me… although, now, I guess you can’t. I have to say, though, I don’t see anything particularly personal on these walls, Mr…

(he squints at a piece of paper on the desk nearby)

Rodney Pete. Strange, my recollection says you ought to be forty-five by now… and you certainly don’t look like a journeyman quarterback…

PETE: It’s Pete Rodney. You’re readin’ one of my old school assignments.

MAN: (squints harder) Ah! So I am. You must excuse me, the light in this room is simply dreadful and I don’t have my spectacles.

PETE: (a little incredulous) Uh-huh.

MAN: So, like I said, Peter..

PETE: It’s Pete.

MAN: It is also Peter. As I was saying, I don’t see many personal effects in here. Posters, yes… but there are thousands of those made every day. Where are the family, the friends, the penpals and… no, wait… what year is this? Yes… the, er, Facebooks and blogs? I’ve always wondered what a Facebook looked like. How many pages does it have? Anyway, why no pictures, letters, heartfelt bric-a-brac?

PETE: My parents… they passed away. And I ain’t got no friends.

MAN: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I lost my family, too, long ago… there was a war.

PETE: (softening a little) Me, too. So, what’s your name?

MAN: Phineas Bogg.

PETE: (rolls his eyes) your real name.

MAN: That is my real name!

PETE: Whatever. The cops’ll know who you really are. So, Phileas…

MAN: Phineas!

PETE: Uh-huh… so what’re you doin’ in this shabby-ass apartment in the middle of the night? You’re dressed all fancy, this don’t look like your part of town.

(as if on cue, there’s the sound of sirens and gunshots out the open window)

PHINEAS: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

PETE: (a conditioned response) What, you think you’re better than me with your fancy clothes?

PHINEAS: Well, not to cause a row, but… yes, I do believe I know more on the subject than you, as a graduate of…

(he glances across the room at the diploma)

PS 34 as of… three months ago.

PETE: And that fancy way you talk?

PHINEAS: Where I come from, everyone talks like this.

PETE: England?

PHINEAS: (looks offended) Wisconsin.

PETE: You don’t sound like you’re from Wisconsin.

PHINEAS: Where I come from, everyone in Wisconsin talks like this!

PETE: I’ll just add that to the crazy list. So, tell me what you do.

(PHINEAS says it plainly, as if he’d been asked it thousands of times…and he probably has)

PHINEAS: I’m a time-traveler.

PETE: Bull–

(the rest of the word is cut off by more gunshots outside the window.)

PHINEAS: Such language!

PETE: I call it like I see it. So, crazy-time-travelin-man, what are you doing here?

PHINEAS: You couldn’t possibly comprehend it.

PETE: (cocky) Oh yeah? Well, I’m the guy holdin’ the gun, and we got lots of time, so why don’t you just try and explain it to me?

PHINEAS: So brave when they have a gun… very well. I’m an agent of the Time Equilibrium Service. It’s our job to set right in the scope of history what went wrong. I was just on my way back from a very enlightening talk with Mahatma Gandhi when you, for lack of a better term, crashed my time machine.

PETE: (looking around quickly) I don’t see no time machine.

PHINEAS: You don’t see any time machine.

PETE: (reminding him) Man with a gun!

PHINEAS: (nearly growling with exasperation) I don’t use a specific time machine, per se. I travel from place to place in the timestream like a droplet of water displaced in a river. You throw a rock in, and the water splashes about. I am that water, and the device in my pocket is the rock.

PETE: Oh, really? Let me see.

(despite PHINEAS’ protestations, PETE quickly relieves him of a bauble in the pocket of his opulent waistcoat)

Looks like one of those old timey watches.

PHINEAS: It’s not, and I’d prefer you’d give it back.

PETE: Maybe. Say, this is pretty awesome… how much did you pay for this?

PHINEAS: I didn’t pay anything for it, it was standard issue!

PETE: Uh-huh, and which comic convention did you pick it up at?

(he flips open the lid very nonchalantly and, instead of seeing a simple watch, he sees a whirling mass of imagery and displays, scrolling through information at a dizzying pace: location, time, date, notable names, places, ideas, cultural information… and in the middle of it all a tiny, but well-proportioned map. PETE closes the lid with a click, his eyes wide.)

PETE: (shellshocked) I know what this is.

PHINEAS: I highly doubt that.

PETE: (exhuberant) This is an iPhone! Aw,  damn, it must be a real new one, too! I ain’t seen one like this before… this thing looks awesome! It makes me phone look like crap!

PHINEAS: It’s not a phone, you 21st century digital boy!

PETE: (not listening) Hey, what does it mean if there’s a red light? Do you have a voicemail or something?

PHINEAS: (panicking) Red light? Oh, no…

(he begins violently thrashing about in the chair)

Oh, they’ll have me for this!

PETE: What are you talking about, you…

(he turns around to see PHINEAS flailing, nearly out of the restraints. He trains the gun back on him.)

Hey hey hey, settle down, man!

PHINEAS: (staring him down) I can’t settle down, you stupid child! I need to get out of here! I’ve got a Red Light!

PETE: Why? What’s so important about a red light?

PHINEAS: (blowing heavily) A Red Light means I have an assignment. Something has gone wrong in History and I need to use that device to go back and change it!

PETE: What, the iPhone?

PHINEAS: The Omni! I need it back, and I need to get out of here, so, if you wouldn’t mind…

(in a bit of quick footwork, PHINEAS is able to stand, although still bound to the chair, and bull his way into PETE, his stocky form knocking the athlete over his bed. In a trice, PHINEAS is able to free himself and he set himself upon PETE, pinning him to the ground and taking back the Omni. Once retrieved, PHINEAS gets up and heads over to the window to activate the Omni. We see a shot of PETE grabbing the gun and placing it in the waistband of his pants, fire in his eyes. Just as PHINEAS is about to press “engage” on the swirling display, PETE charges at him in a rage, using all of his football skill to knock the strangely dressed man backward and halfway out the window, catching him by the ankles six stories above hard, unforgiving pavement. Rather than scared, PHINEAS seems very put out.)

PHINEAS: Oh, how wonderful.

PETE: What, you want me to drop you?

PHINEAS: YES!!!

PETE: You’re crazy!

PHINEAS: And you’re and IDIOT! Now let me go!

PETE: No way!

(Tension builds as we switch between shots of PHINEAS, PETE, the blinking red light on the Omni, a wider shot and the grisly possibility of a six story splatter-death. Finally, PHINEAS decides that something must be done.)

PHINEAS: Oh…. damn!

(He jams the “engage” button on the Omni, and the both of them immediately disappear. Again, the night has returned to normal… that is, more sirens and bullets.)

Voyagers! Episode 1: “Pilot”

(The opening shot is nearly idyllic: cute, little house in a nice part of the American Megalopolis. White picket fence, golden retriever, flower garden, et cetera. We see a curly-haired youth, not more than nine, dressed fairly contemporarily: baggy jeans, sloganized t-shirt, the late 90s in a nutshell. He’s bolting down a pop-tart at the kitchen table as his father enters, a little flustered.)

FATHER: Has anyone seen my briefcase?

(the son hops down from the kitchen table and disappears from the room, returning almost immediately with a briefcase, beaming. Dad smiles and tussles the kid’s dark hair, just like his.)

FATHER: Thanks, Petey. Don’t wanna be late today!

PETEY: Why, Dad?

FATHER: Big presentation today, kiddo… big one.

PETEY: Are you gonna be the boss?

FATHER: Pretty close, son, pretty close… hey, tell you what: if I get the promotion, I’ll take you to a ball game this weekend. How does that sound?

PETEY: Can we go see the Yankees, Dad?

(Dad pulls a face)

FATHER: Aw, now why would you want to go watch those bums? Don’t you wanna go watch the Mets instead?

PETEY: (with all the gravitas that a child puts on such a subject) All the kids at school say the Mets are losers, Dad…

(he hangs his head a little, so Dad squats down, eye-to-eye.)

FATHER: Let’s go to a Mets-Yankees game sometime, then. Subway Series! Would that be fun?

PETEY: (sniffling) Yeah… but that’s next year!

FATHER: Hey, I’m not going anywhere. We’ll go next year, I promise.

(PETEY looks unmoved.)

FATHER: (cajoling) I’ll even wear a Yankees hat…

(PETEY’s face lights up. Such is the innocence of youth. Dad picks son up in a monster hug, which is interrupted as Mom enters, dressed professionally.)

MOTHER: Come on, honey. We’re going to be late! At this rate we won’t be able to drive Peter to school.

(PETEY flinches at his full name.)

FATHER: Oh, I think Petey’s a big, tough guy. He can walk, I bet. Whaddya say, tough guy? Can you make it?

PETEY: Yeah!

(Mom is visibly worried.)

MOTHER: It’s so dangerous out there, Johnathan…

FATHER: Melanie, we live in the middle of suburbia, he’ll be fine. It’s only, like, three blocks.

(Dad turns back to his son, who is already shouldering his backpack, grinning happily.)

FATHER: Besides, if anyone give you any guff, you can show ’em that judo I taught you, right sport?

(PETEY strikes a practices pose)

PETEY: You bet, Dad!

(Mom heaves a monstrous sigh)

MOTHER: Oh, all right. You can walk. Just… be careful! Where’s my purse?

(she leaves the room, more than a little flustered.)

FATHER: And if you can’t be careful, son… be the best!

(Mother returns frantically, still fussing over her son and leaving at least four hurried kisses on his forehead)

MOTHER: Oh, I hate being late! Johnathan, hurry up!

FATHER: Yes, dear. Yes, dear.

(they both head out, Dad turns back and pulls a face. PETEY tries his best to stifle a giggle. He follows them out, brown bag in one hand, backpack across the other shoulder.)

FATHER: (feigning seriousness) Remember, son, you’re in charge til we get back! No wild parties!

(PETEY laughs again as Mom and Dad crawl into an SUV. Mom leans out of the window, waving, almost in tears.)

MOTHER: Good-bye, sweetie! Please be careful! We’ll see you tonight!

(As the SUV trundles away down tree-lined boulevards, the camera pans over to see little Petey standing on the sidewalk. We get a slow zoom in on his happy face as a VO reads aloud a school report.)

PETEY VO: My hero is my Dad. He’s the funniest person in the world, but he’s also very good at his job. My Dad is a businessman, and he works in the same building as my Mom. They work in the same building, but they work for different companies. It’s really big building in the city, where lots of people go to work. My Dad is my hero because…

(at this point, the camera is basically just a shot of the young child’s eyes, but the audio is drowned out by the sound of roaring jet engines and, eventually, a cataclysmic explosion that rockets both Petey and the viewer out of a dream. We see that Petey, now PETE, is now nineteen years old. It’s a hot, airless night in New York City, in a cramped apartment bedroom on a dizzyingly high floor. PETE is much different now, and in good physical shape: his shaggy curls have been tamed, as he now wears his hair incredibly short. The room is dimly lit, decorated with various sports trophies, awards, and a high school diploma that is brand-new, as it has yet to collect the amount of dust that arises from a teenage boy’s standard of housekeeping. Above the bed, where Pete is now sitting bolt upright, a tattered, faded, ripped, taped and re-ripped poster of the 1986 New York Mets. There is not a piece of Yankee memorabilia in sight. PETE rubs at his face vigorously , as if trying to push the nightmare out of his mind. His face has a few early creases in it, and his brown eyes carry a weight that seems beyond his nineteen years.

PETE: Dammit.

(he shakes his head vigorously. It’s obvious that this is a dream he has quite often, replaying his last moments with Mom and Dad. He takes a deep breath and swings his athlete’s legs out over the edge of the bed, hunching over and taking deep gulps of air in an effort to stop his racing heart. His breathing eventually comes back to normal and, as the camera focuses on him in the half-light, we see his head snap up as he is aware of another presence in the room. We slowly see his hand reach for a wooden baseball bat next to the bed, and in an instant he snatches it up and whirls around, trying his best to find someone in the darkness.

PETE: Who’s there?!

(silence answers back. Still holding the bat in front of him, he edges over to the lightswitch near his bedroom door.)

PETE: I know you’re here… there’s nothing in this apartment you’re going to want to take. My aunt’s dirt poor and all my electronics are out of date, so it looks like you picked the wrong rat hole to rob tonight.

(still nothing. PETE begins to fumble for the light switch, knocking over a thirty-year-old bottle of Old Spice in the process.)

PETE: (his voice starting to waver) D-don’t try to freak me out, man. I know you’re in here. I’ll mess you up, man… I went to high school in East Tremont, man… you think you wanna mess with me?

(more silence)

PETE: ANSWER me, man! I’m not playing a game here! I hit 16 home runs last year, don’t think I won’t take your goddamn head off!

(he turns on the light and lunges where he thinks his quarry lies, but is surprised when he sees not a burglar, but a portly man in a brocade waistcoat and cutaway coat, appearing to be fiddling with a pocketwatch. He looks up momentarily and sees the youth brandishing a bat, and sighs, more disappointed than anything. He speaks in a clipped, posh accent, almost a caricature of British.)

MAN: Oh, damn.

(PETE’s initial shock wears off. This was NOT what he had intended to see. Still, survival instincts eventually kick in, and he rushes at the man, tightening his grip on the bat and sending him to the threadbare carpet with one swing and a clubbing blow to the back.)