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When the Worlds Met

2000 Plus

When the Worlds Met

May 03 1950



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

ANCHOR

1ST NEWSCASTER

McCABE, chief of space operations

JOHNNY DIXON, astronaut; brave, city-bred

PAUL, Midwesterner

PROF. WOLFSON, European

DR. LEE, Chinese

VOICE, of the Telepathitor; French, German, and British accents

MARTIAN, grave, otherworldly

TERRY, Johnny's girl

1ST LOUDSPEAKER

2ND NEWSCASTER 

SENATOR, American; blowhard nativist

SECRETARY, of the World Federation; dignified

COMMANDER, civilian leader of military; harsh voice

PROFESSOR, of anthropology; slight German accent

2ND LOUDSPEAKER (1 line)

TORTURER (1 line)

WOMAN (1 line)

SOUTHERNER (1 line)

2ND ANNCR (1 line)




MUSIC: THEME


ANNOUNCER: (ECHO) TWO THOUSAND PLUS!


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Let us send our imaginations forward into time, into the years beyond Two Thousand A. D. What strange adventures, what exciting things will we find in the world of tomorrow? 


MUSIC: MASSIVE CYMBAL CRASH!


ANNOUNCER: (ECHO) TWO THOUSAND PLUS!


MUSIC: TAG ... THEN OUT


ANNOUNCER: Today, an adventure of outer space, "When the Worlds Met." 


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: It is the year Two Thousand Plus Twenty. At the giant space port in Washington, D. C., temporary capital of the Federated World Government, an enormous throng, tense with expectancy, jams every available inch of space surrounding the rocket landing field. All eyes strain upward into the clear blue sky, for today is the day -- April Twenty-First, Two Thousand Plus Twenty -- and Audio- and Tele-Vox networks of the world are at the rocket field to cover the epic event.


SOUND: WHOOSH! OF PASSING VEHICLES ... MURMURING CROWD BACKGROUND


ANCHOR: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the day -- the day we've all been waiting for. In a matter of minutes now, out of that brilliant blue sky, will come a ship -- a spaceship -- carrying in its gleaming hold the first load of uranium taken from the pits of Luna, satellite of Earth. Since the beginning of time-- Now, one moment, folks! There's the signal from the tower! This may be it! Take it away, Fred!


SOUND: BACKGROUND CUTS OUT ABRUPTLY ... PAUSE ... FADE IN CONTROL TOWER BACKGROUND


1ST NEWSCASTER: This is Fred Haskins, reporting from the control tower. Our escort planes have been in contact with the spaceship from Luna for the past twelve minutes. They are now approaching the field from the northeast and any moment now we expect--


SOUND: ROAR OF CROWD SWELLS UP, ALMOST DROWNING OUT 1ST NEWSCASTER ... ROCKET SHIP LANDS NOISILY BEHIND--


1ST NEWSCASTER: (SHOUTS OVER CROWD) And there she is! The rocket ship Chronos -- seventeen hours out of Luna City; the titanium hull white-hot from the friction of the atmosphere; her jet brakes belching fire! She's - she's right over the field now. She's coming down! (BEAT) Down! (TWO BEATS) Down! (THREE BEATS) She's landed! Mark well this date, my friends! This is the dawn of - the Interplanetary Age!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TWO SHORT BLASTS OF BUZZING HORN ... THEN RADIO OSCILLATION, WHICH CONTINUES IN BG


McCABE: (FILTER) Earth calling Moon, Earth calling Moon. Come in, Luna City.


JOHNNY: Luna City. Johnny Dixon.


McCABE: (FILTER) Dixon, where ya been? You're three minutes late.


JOHNNY: Sorry, McCabe. All shipments as scheduled. Everything routine.


McCABE: (FILTER) Report noted. Check out.


JOHNNY: Check out.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH AS RADIO SHUTS OFF


PAUL: (PHILOSOPHICAL) You know, Johnny--


JOHNNY: What, Paul?


PAUL: Sometimes I think we're crazy.


JOHNNY: (LAUGHS)


PAUL: Spending our lives cooped up in this pressurized shell, breathing synthetic air, risking our necks every time we put on a spacesuit and go out into the cold, barren, pitted piece of green cheese. Ha! And for what?


JOHNNY: (MERRILY) Who you kidding, Paul? You know the answer. We're space happy, that's all that's wrong with us.


PAUL: (AMUSED) Huh.


JOHNNY: We pulled every wire and practically tore the World Federation apart getting this assignment on the Moon. And we'll do it again when the first flight into deep space gets under way -- next month, next year, whenever they get through with their preparations.


PAUL: Yeah. (EXHALES) Yeah, I guess that's it. (BEAT) But right now, Johnny, what I wouldn't give to see a tree again. And cornfields in Kansas.


JOHNNY: Me, I wanna hear a bird singin'. And watch the lights go on in the skyscrapers along the waterfront. I want to dance with my girl and breathe in the sweet smell of lilac. Boy, if I-- (SUDDENLY TENSE) Hey. What's that?


PAUL: Huh?


JOHNNY: That - that sound. That vibration.


SOUND: EERIE VIBRATION


JOHNNY: There! Do you hear it?


PAUL: (UNEASY) Well, I-- I'm not sure whether I heard it, or - or felt it, Johnny. Like a current of air passing by me.


JOHNNY: Yeah, that's it. Some kind of pulsation. Makes my skin tingle. I--


SOUND: DIFFERENT VIBRATION ... CONTINUES PULSING EERILY IN BG


JOHNNY: Listen. Sounded different, didn't it?


PAUL: Yeah. Different pitch.


JOHNNY: The - the instruments are all steady. Nothing on the visi-screen. The radar's negative.


PAUL: (APPREHENSIVE) What is it, Johnny? Where's it from?


JOHNNY: It's not from Earth, I'll swear to that! I got a crazy notion, Paul, that-- A crazy notion that someone's trying to signal us.


PAUL: You - you mean--?


JOHNNY: I don't know what I mean. Maybe McCabe's right. Maybe I got a touch of-- (STOPS SHORT)


PAUL: Johnny? Johnny, what is it?


JOHNNY: Look! Look, Paul! Look at the direction finder! It's swung all the way around! Those sounds -- those waves -- are coming from outer space! I gotta call--


SOUND: TWO SHORT BLASTS OF BUZZING HORN ... RADIO OSCILLATION, WHICH CONTINUES IN BG


McCABE: (FILTER) Earth calling Luna City, Earth calling Luna City! 


JOHNNY: Luna City to Earth! Go ahead, Earth! Go ahead, McCabe!


McCABE: (FILTER) Dixon, what's goin' on up there? What's the idea of beaming out those hammy signals?


JOHNNY: Signals?


McCABE: (FILTER) Yeah, the harp you picked. The "music of the spheres" stuff. It's givin' the boys on the monitors down here the heebie-jeebies.


JOHNNY: You - you've got it, too, McCabe? You picked 'em up on Earth?


McCABE: (FILTER) Certainly. What's it all about?


JOHNNY: The signals -- if that's what they are -- are coming from one definite spot in outer space.


McCABE: (FILTER) Outer space?


JOHNNY: That's what I said!


McCABE: (FILTER, DECISIVE) Johnny, get your spacesuit ready. Better have a conference about it.


JOHNNY: But listen--


McCABE: (FILTER) Have your men tune up Rocket Three-Oh-Seven. Blast off at Oh-Eight-Hundred. We'll be expecting you on Earth in the morning.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


McCABE: (FRUSTRATED) Ten days now we've been getting those signals and not one of you geniuses has been able to decipher them!


WOLFSON: (ANNOYED) Very well, Mr. McCabe. If you know of anyone who can do it better, then--!


McCABE: Take it easy, Professor Wolfson. You don't have to be so touchy. But ten days! (BEAT) What do you say, Dr. Lee?


LEE: Ten days or ten years, it makes no difference. If those sounds or signals are code, it is in a language unknown to man.


McCABE: You're sure of that?


WOLFSON: We've consulted the foremost cryptographists of the world. We've tried every way to break the code.


McCABE: What does that add up to?


WOLFSON: That message -- if it is a message -- does not come from anywhere on Earth. Or from any man on Earth.


JOHNNY: (TO McCABE) I told ya, chief. It's what I've been saying all along! Of course you can't decode those messages in any known language, living or dead -- because they come from Mars!


WOLFSON: (SCOFFS)


JOHNNY: Yes, Mars! My directional finder on the Moon indicated it and McCabe's [team] down here pinned it down! Look at the graph! I brought it.


SOUND: RATTLE OF GRAPH PAPER


WOLFSON: (SKEPTICAL) Eh, directional signals can be wrong.


JOHNNY: Yes, sir, but get this. I've been timing those signals. They come at intervals of exactly twenty-four hours, thirty-seven minutes, and twenty-two seconds.


WOLFSON: (REALIZES) The length of the day on Mars.


JOHNNY: Yeah. And if we were trying to signal them, we'd do it, say, every night at Eighteen Hundred. That's what they're doing to us.


WOLFSON: In that case, the next signal is due at--?


McCABE: In ten minutes and thirteen seconds. And we'll be sitting here like lummoxes, feeling our scalps tingle while the message drifts past us.


LEE: Gentlemen, excuse, please. But it seems to me the message need not necessarily drift past us.


McCABE: Why not?


JOHNNY: What do you mean?


LEE: By the message, I do not mean the sounds or the words that are being transmitted. I refer to the thoughts themselves. The thoughts that, perhaps, are being transferred from the Martians to us.


JOHNNY: Thought transference? Why, that's telepathy.


LEE: We have discarded that word, Mr. Dixon. Too many charlatans use it. But we do know that there is extrasensory perception of thought impulses. Just as there are sound waves which your ear has learned to interpret and light waves which your eye and brain transform into a picture, so there are thought waves -- electrical impulses discharged by the brain which vary with the particular thought.


WOLFSON: An intriguing idea, Dr. Lee. If only we had some instrument that could pick up and sort out these impulses.


LEE: There is such an instrument, Professor Wolfson.


WOLFSON: What?


LEE: I have been working on it for many years. It involves a scanning screen intercepting an electrified field.


McCABE: Well, what are we waiting for?


LEE: You understand the Telepathitor has only been tested for short distances.


McCABE: The signals are reaching us. That's the only important thing, isn't it? How soon can we--?


LEE: The instrument is in the next room. I took the liberty of bringing it with me, hoping it might conceivably be of some use. (MOVING OFF) This way, gentlemen.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN


McCABE: You say this little machine can take thoughts and turn them into words we can hear? English words?


LEE: Not only English, Mr. McCabe. It will translate thought impulses into any language for which you set the dials. (TO JOHNNY) You think of something, Mr. Dixon. (BEAT) Now listen.


SOUND: RAPID BEEPING ... THEN IN BG


LEE: First, I set for French.


SOUND: DIAL TWISTED


VOICE: (FRENCH ACCENT, ON FILTER) Épatant, les chinois.


LEE: German.


SOUND: DIAL TWISTED


VOICE: (GERMAN ACCENT, ON FILTER) Voll [da fol?], diese Chinesen.


LEE: And English.


SOUND: DIAL TWISTED


VOICE: (BRITISH ACCENT, ON FILTER) Darned clever these Chinese.


JOHNNY: (LAUGHS, DELIGHTED)


SOUND: BEEPING STOPS


LEE: You must understand--


McCABE: Oh, excuse me, Dr. Lee, but we'll have to postpone this. Fifteen seconds to go. Better set your dials for remote pick up. Stand by, everyone.


WOLFSON: (PAUSE) Nothing.


LEE: (A SUGGESTION) More power.


McCABE: (DISAPPOINTED) Well, it was a good try.


JOHNNY: Wait! I've got that feeling again. My skin's beginning to crawl.


WOLFSON: Ja, ja. Mine, too.


McCABE: (DISMISSIVE) Oh, no, it's just your imaginations.


LEE: Quiet! 


SOUND: EERIE VIBRATION ... THEN PULSING SLOWLY IN BG


LEE: They are coming through now.


MARTIAN: Planet Four greeting Planet Three. 


SOUND: EVERYONE REACTS ... GASPS AND WHISPERS ("Mars!")


MARTIAN: The fourth planet from the sun greeting Planet Three. Planet Four calling Planet Three. We are trying to reach you, Planet Three.


SOUND: EVERYONE REACTS ... BRIEF EXCITED MURMURING


MARTIAN: If you receive our signal, respond. If you receive our signal, respond. We will communicate again.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND ANCHOR--


ANCHOR: Life on Mars! This week, ladies and gentlemen, the question that has bedeviled mankind ever since the day he first stood erect and gazed into the heavens has been answered! There is life on Mars! Intelligent, articulate life! The country -- the world -- tonight seethes with excitement! Has Mars received our response? Has our Telepathitor succeeded in projecting, as thoughts, the messages spoken into it by human beings? Or can it really receive thoughts--? (FADES OUT)


MUSIC: TOPS THE ANCHOR FOR A BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN FADES OUT WITH--


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, FROGS, ET CETERA)


JOHNNY: (WARMLY) Ah, the smell of lilacs, Terry.


TERRY: (AGREES) Mmmm.


JOHNNY: I'll never get enough of it.


TERRY: Oh, it's lovely, Johnny. (LIGHTLY) And look -- there's a moon out tonight.


JOHNNY: (AMUSED) Moon? Oh, please. You know, it's hard to believe that people back in Nineteen Fifty could still get romantic over that cold, dead, pockmarked heavenly yo-yo.


TERRY: (CHUCKLES) Oh, you.


JOHNNY: Now, that red star up there, Mars. That's a different proposition. It's alive. There are living beings up there.


TERRY: Johnny, it's staggering. It's - it's beyond imagination. It's--


JOHNNY: Rubbish. Why shouldn't there be life up there?


TERRY: (EXHALES) They're so advanced. Spaceships and interplanetary signals--


JOHNNY: Maybe you've got a point at that. We thought we were so smart because we reached the Moon. Our spaceships aren't developed enough yet to get to Mars.


TERRY: (EXHALES) It's just as well.


JOHNNY: Why?


TERRY: Because you'd want to be the first to go.


JOHNNY: Wouldn't you like that?


TERRY: Hmm.


JOHNNY: I'd be quite a hero. You could point at my picture and say, "Hey, that's my guy!"


TERRY: (QUIETLY) You're my guy anyway, Johnny.


JOHNNY: (AGREES, QUIETLY) Sure, Terry. (UP) Don't worry, honey. I - I won't be seeing any Martians for a long time.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


1ST LOUDSPEAKER: All personnel, stand by! Stand by for X-M signal.


McCABE: That'll be Mars. Hop to it, Johnny.


1ST LOUDSPEAKER: Telepathitor setting, two hundred and twelve degrees, eighteen seconds. Frequency, six hundred thousand.


McCABE: Got that, Johnny?


JOHNNY: Check!


SOUND: EERIE VIBRATION ... THEN PULSING SLOWLY IN BG


MARTIAN: Planet Four calling Planet Three. Planet Four calling Planet Three. We greet you in peace. Your response received.


SOUND: JOHNNY, McCABE, AND OTHER OFFICIALS REACT WITH BRIEF EXCITED MURMURS ("We got through to 'em!")


MARTIAN: The time has come. At this moment, which marks the beginning of the Great Interstellar Age between worlds, it is fitting that there be between us a meeting of minds. Therefore we are sending a ship to visit your planet.


SOUND: OFFICIALS REACT WITH EXCITED MURMURS ("A ship!" "It can't be!")


MARTIAN: The ship will depart tonight and enter your magnetic field in seven of our days. Have landing instructions ready. We come in peace. We come in peace.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND ... LARGE CROWD MURMURS EXCITEDLY


2ND NEWSCASTER: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, this is Matt Wilson bringing you a report of the emergency session of the Federated World Government. 


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS AND CROWD GROWS QUIET BEHIND--


2ND NEWSCASTER: Never has an assembly meeting taken place in such an atmosphere of excitement, panic, and recrimination. 


SENATOR: I say, keep 'em out! We've enough troubles of our own!


2ND NEWSCASTER: And here on the floor of the assembly chamber, all the emotions aroused by the stunning message from Mars have been boiling and clashing all day.


SENATOR: (TO ALL, SNIDELY) I rise for a point of information! As civilian head of the World Military Government, I want to know why those Martians have beaten us to the draw!


LEE: Gentlemen, gentlemen! If the decision we are to make is to be a wise one, we must lay aside passions and fears and consider the question calmly. The Martians are coming. And we must receive them either with friendship or hostility.


SENATOR: Drive them off! Blast them out of the sky!


LEE: Wait! That may not be as simple as it sounds. Remember, my friends, these Martians are advanced scientifically, perhaps far beyond us. They have conquered deep space. They can transmit thought waves. They may have weapons beside which our nuclear bombs are as toy pistols.


McCABE: Dr. Lee is right, gentlemen! We don't dare fight them off. The risk is too great.


SECRETARY: They come in peace. They said so, over and over again. Let us so receive them.


SOUND: CROWD MURMURS AGREEMENT ("Hear! Hear!" et cetera)


SENATOR: Very well, very well. If such is the will of this body. Let them come in peace. But as civilian head of the World Military Government, I assure you all -- we will not be found napping!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: RAPID BEEPING ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--


McCABE: Earth calling Martian interstellar ship. Earth calling Martian interstellar ship. Here are the landing instructions of the Federated World Government. Three Earth days from this hour, which will be the sixth Martian day of your flight through space, you will be met by an escort of twenty rocket ships. We will greet you in the name of peace. The twenty rocket ships will escort you-- (FADES OUT)


COMMANDER: (FILTER) Instructions to Commission of Defense. All escort rocket ships assigned to accompany Martian spaceship will carry the following armaments: death fog sprays; magnetic disintegrators; atomic missiles, Class B. All weapons shall be on the-- (FADES OUT)


McCABE: (FADES IN) And upon your entry into the Earth's atmosphere, you will circle our globe once and then make landing at our space port at Los Alamos, New Mexico, which will be ready to receive you. (FADES OUT)


COMMANDER: (FILTER, FADES IN) The space port of Los Alamos shall be mined to a depth of fifty feet with tritonium land mines. The field shall be encircled with radioactive flamethrowers and a reserve force-- (FADES OUT)


McCABE: (FADES IN) From the landing field, you will be conducted to the seat of the world government at Washington, D. C., where you will be received and housed in suitable accommodations. We will welcome you in peace. Check out.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH AS TELEPATHITOR SHUTS OFF


McCABE: (BEAT, TO HIMSELF, QUIETLY SKEPTICAL) We will welcome you in peace. We hope. (EXHALES)


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: JOHNNY AND TERRY'S STEPS AS THEY WALK DOWN A LONG CORRIDOR ... IN BG


JOHNNY: (ANNOYED) "Suitable accommodations"! Trust McCabe to hand me a crackpot assignment like this.


TERRY: (CHUCKLES) Now, Johnny, you're the big spaceman.


JOHNNY: (SKEPTICAL CHUCKLE)


TERRY: (IRONIC) You're supposed to know by instinct what's suitable accommodation for a Martian.


JOHNNY: Don't be silly, Terry. I haven't the slightest notion in the world what they'll look like, except some crazy ideas I picked up from science fiction. I don't know why they picked me--


TERRY: (LIGHTLY) All right, all right. That's why we're here. The head of our anthropology section has more ideas than any science fiction writer you've ever read. Now, here we are.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS OUT AS DOOR SLIDES OPEN


PROFESSOR: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Ah, Terry! Come in.


TERRY: Hello, Professor. 


SOUND: JOHNNY AND TERRY'S STEPS IN


TERRY: Uh, this is Mr. Dixon, the young man I told you about.


PROFESSOR: (WITH RESPECT) I know Mr. Dixon.


JOHNNY: Professor, I've got a problem--


PROFESSOR: Ja, ja, Terry and I have discussed the problem. It is my theory that the Martians will, in most important respects, have the characteristics of the Earth man.


JOHNNY: (RELIEVED) Oh. What's the basis of your theory, Professor?


PROFESSOR: It's very simple. The accomplishments of the Martians parallel our own. Only a being with opposable thumbs can fashion the intricate devices necessary for spaceships. Only a being with a nervous system like our own could master communication. Only a creature with a brain like ours could dream of peace.


JOHNNY: Makes sense, Professor.


TERRY: That's one side of it, Johnny. A lot of other anthropologists think differently.


PROFESSOR: Ach, ja, that is so.


TERRY: They feel that the Martians, living on a dry planet, with little vegetation and very little water, will be creatures that crawl on the ground like our insects -- enlarged a few thousand times. They may look like enormous ants with oversized antennae.


JOHNNY: (DISCOURAGED) I give up. With forty-eight hours left, I can't prepare accommodations for every conceivable form of life. We'll just have to improvise after they get here. (BEAT, DRY) I just hope they don't get too sick when they first look at us.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN A MILITARY BAND PLAYS THE CONCLUSION OF A PATRIOTIC PIECE


SOUND: SPACE PORT BACKGROUND ... A HUGE CROWD MURMURS


2ND NEWSCASTER: This is Matt Wilson again, reporting from the space port at Los Alamos. A tremendous crowd is gathered here. We're awaiting the appearance of the spaceship from Mars, which is being escorted by twenty rocket ships from the rendezvous near the Moon. According to reports, all's gone well so far. The Martian ship--


SOUND: BELL RINGS ... CROWD GROWS QUIET BEHIND--


2ND NEWSCASTER: Oh, one moment, please. An Audio-Vox announcement is going to be made to the people assembled.


2ND LOUDSPEAKER: Your attention, please. The ship from Mars and its escorts will be seen any moment from the east.


2ND NEWSCASTER: You heard that. Any moment, the ship from Mars--


SOUND: CROWD ROARS EXCITEDLY ... THEN IN BG


2ND NEWSCASTER: Wait. Here - here they are! They're coming in!


SOUND: 2ND NEWSCASTER DROWNED OUT AS ROCKET SHIPS ZOOM OVERHEAD ... THEN PULSING HUM OF MARTIAN SHIP APPROACHES SLOWLY IN BG


2ND NEWSCASTER: And now - the ship from Mars! The Martian ship is idling over the field now, casting a huge shadow over the landscape! It's an awe-inspiring spectacle! The ship is tremendous! Eighteen to twenty stories in height, several city blocks long, and its large windows are fashioned of some kind of transparent metal!


COMMANDER: (FILTER) Civilian commander to special defense patrol. Man battle stations.


2ND NEWSCASTER: Our technical experts are staring at the craft in open-mouthed wonder. (CALLS) Mr. McCabe? Mr. McCabe, what is your reaction?


McCABE: I - I am dumbfounded. The ship doesn't seem to operate under rocket principles. There's - there's no belching fire, no clouds of smoke. I keep wondering what kind of fuel they use, what principles of propulsion, what metals--


2ND NEWSCASTER: (INTERRUPTS) Thank you, sir.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, MARTIAN SHIP SLOWLY LOWERS TO GROUND ... THEN CROWD REACTS UNEASILY BEHIND--


2ND NEWSCASTER: The ship is almost touching the ground now and the crowd is getting uneasy. Why, they're - they're falling back, as though-- As though there were something-- I see it now! Why, it's a blue haze misting about the Martian ship, forming a twenty-foot blanket of --- whatever it is!


COMMANDER: (FILTER, URGENT) Command to defense patrol! Zero Hour! Reorient all weapons! Remove safety controls! Stand by to fire!


SOUND: BELL RINGS ... CROWD FALLS SILENT BEHIND--


2ND NEWSCASTER: Secretary of the World Federation's going to speak.


SOUND: MARTIAN SHIP POWERS DOWN BEHIND--


SECRETARY: (OVER SPEAKER) As your great ship settles on our soil, we salute you, the emissaries of space. We wait eagerly for your appearance.


2ND NEWSCASTER: (QUIETLY) Now the blue mist has completely vanished. All eyes are on the ship, waiting for the first Martian to appear. There is no sign of activity yet.


SECRETARY: (OVER SPEAKER) Will you respond to our greetings, Martians? Will you make your presence known?


2ND NEWSCASTER: (QUIETLY) Nothing's stirring. No gangplank lowered. No sign of life. Perhaps they were not prepared for atmospheric conditions here. Perhaps on the very brink of success, death has struck within that awe-inspiring vessel.


SOUND: HULL OPENS ON MARTIAN SHIP ... CROWD REACTS BRIEFLY ("It's moving!"), THEN FALLS SILENT AGAIN BEHIND--


2ND NEWSCASTER: What? Wait! Wait, it looks-- Yes! Yes, it's moving. A tremendous section of the ship's prow is opening out in front -- like a gigantic tongue! It thrusts forward and drops to Earth, forming a great ramp from the ship to our soil! And now it's down! And the surface of the ramp-- The surface of the ramp is like nothing ever seen on this Earth! A shimmering, impalpable iridescence; unbelievably radiant -- and beautiful. (INCREASINGLY SLOW AND HUSHED) The throng of spectators is silent, motionless, scarcely breathing, waiting to see the first Martian emerge. And - still nothing. No one -- no thing -- comes down the ramp. There is - nothing, but silence. 


SOUND: PAUSE ... EERIE VIBRATIONS ... THEN IN BG


2ND NEWSCASTER: Listen. That must be the Martian communication vibrations we were told about. The men on the field are operating the receiving device.


MARTIAN: Earth men, we ask that you send one representative to board our craft. We assure his safety.


SOUND: VIBRATIONS OUT ... MURMUR OF OFFICIALS


LEE: Gentlemen, gentlemen, there is no cause for alarm!


SENATOR: I think there is! They want a hostage or a specimen to take back with 'em!


SECRETARY: There's no time for wrangling. They're waiting for a decision.


McCABE: Mr. Secretary?


SECRETARY: Yes, Mr. McCabe?


McCABE: If it's all right with the committee, I'd like to go aboard. Technical information, sir.


JOHNNY: No!


McCABE: Quiet, Johnny.


JOHNNY: This is my dish, McCabe! I was slated for the space run to Mars, remember? You're not doing me out of this. Besides, you're too valuable to waste. (UP) Mr. Secretary? Tell them I'm coming aboard!


SECRETARY: (BEAT, OVER SPEAKER) Men of Mars, we comply with your request. Our representative is about to board your ship.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN TENSE IN BG, OUT AT [X]


JOHNNY: (FILTER, TO HIMSELF) Get ready, Johnny Dixon. This is it. Take a good long look at the sun in the sky. Take a deep breath of the Earth's good air. You may never get another after you meet -- whatever is waiting at the end of this long ramp. The ramp! It - it's pulling me forward like a conveyor belt! 


SOUND: RAMP RISES ... CONTINUES IN BG


JOHNNY: (FILTER, TO HIMSELF) It's beginning to rise into the air! [X] Get a move on, Johnny! Get into that ship! Get into that ship fast! (EXHALES) Made it!


SOUND: RAMP OUT ... HULL CLOSES


JOHNNY: (FILTER, TO HIMSELF) Locked in! Now what? There's no one here. Nothing except that dancing light. I'll follow it.


SOUND: JOHNNY'S SLOW CAREFUL STEPS ... THEN EERIE VIBRATIONS, IN BG


MARTIAN: Enter, Earth man.


SOUND: ECHO ON JOHNNY'S VOICE FOR REMAINDER OF SCENE


JOHNNY: Huh? Well, how can I? I'm closed in by four solid walls!


MARTIAN: Follow the light, Earth man. The walls will not impede you.


JOHNNY: (ASTONISHED) Molecular reorientation? Changing the density of solid matter at will?


MARTIAN: We achieved that ten thousand cycles ago, Earth man.


JOHNNY: Where are you, man of Mars? This room is flooded with light, but I - I see no one.


MARTIAN: We are not ready to reveal ourselves.


JOHNNY: The people of Earth are waiting to see you, to welcome you. There is nothing to fear.


MARTIAN: We are not afraid. Dixon--?


JOHNNY: You know my name?


MARTIAN: We know many things. That is why we are sad. Filled with revulsion.


JOHNNY: I don't understand. What do you mean?


MARTIAN: Through the dark spaceways, we came to you -- in peace. You said to us, "Come in peace." But the escorts you sent to honor us were armed for destruction. The very ground on which we now rest seethes with radioactive potential.


JOHNNY: Wait! You misunderstood us. These weapons are for defense against you, not an attack!


MARTIAN: Many cycles ago, we of Mars learned -- as you Earth men will someday learn -- that wars are fought, men are slaughtered, civilizations wiped out by those who attack with "weapons of defense."


JOHNNY: But our world is at peace now.


MARTIAN: Your peace is not peace. It is a thin cloak which covers the hates and fears and savagery of primitive beings. Observe, Dixon! On this large visi-screen, we have for hours been viewing your people in many parts of your Earth. Watch!


SOUND: EERIE VIBRATIONS OUT ... OSCILLATION


JOHNNY: (SURPRISED) The senator!


MARTIAN: Listen.


SENATOR: (FILTER) I warned you it was a trap! We'll never again see Dixon alive! I told you not to trust foreigners! Just give me the word and I'll blast 'em all into kingdom come!


SOUND: OSCILLATION


JOHNNY: (PLEADS) You must not be deceived! He's only one man! The rest of us are different!


MARTIAN: Are you? Look at this. From another part of your "civilized" Earth.


SOUND: OSCILLATION


TORTURER: (FILTER, ANGRY) You have been a traitor to our party! You've been guilty of bourgeois thinking! You have sold us out to the enemies of our people! (OMINOUS) You will pay the penalty, but first you will confess. Confess! Confess!


SOUND: OSCILLATION


JOHNNY: That's a backward part of our planet! It - it's not fair to judge by them!


MARTIAN: Then we reveal a more civilized area. The country of your birth, Dixon.


SOUND: OSCILLATION


WOMAN: (FILTER, HORRIFIED) No! No! No!


SOUND: FRENZIED LYNCH MOB


SOUTHERNER: (FILTER) The law be damned! Trial's too good for him! Hang him, I say! Hang him! The rope! String him up from the highest tree in the square! Lynch him! Lynch him! Lynch him!


SOUND: MOB OUT WITH FINAL OSCILLATION ... SILENCE


MARTIAN: (BEAT) Now you know why we shall not reveal ourselves to you. 


SOUND: EERIE VIBRATIONS RETURN, IN BG


MARTIAN: If you are like this to these of your own kind, what will you think, what will you do, when you see us, strange as we are?


JOHNNY: Don't go. We know you may be different from us. But we can all meet in peace--


MARTIAN: Earth man, peace must be achieved through toil and sacrifice of those few among you who understand its meaning. It may take many cycles, but, in the end, the day will arrive. Then -- and then only -- we will return. Go back to your people, man of Earth, and give them the message from Mars.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: Next week, another exciting drama on TWO THOUSAND PLUS -- "The Silent Noise." In the year Two Thousand Plus Twenty, an important man is murdered. How will the police of the future track down a killer? And what new methods of assault will the criminals of tomorrow use? Listen next week and you'll find out.


MUSIC: CLOSING THEME ... IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: TWO THOUSAND PLUS is produced by Sherman H. Dreyer and Robert Weenolsen. In today's story, Ken Williams played Johnny, Luis Van Rooten played the voice of Mars, Lon Clark  played McCabe, Frank Barrens was the Senator, Amzie Strickland was Terry, Sanford Bickart was Paul, and Gilbert Mack was Dr. Lee. The orchestra was conducted by Emerson Buckley, music composed by Elliot Jacoby. Script by Judith and David Bublick. Sound by Walt Shaver and Al April. Engineer, Bob Albreich; and your announcer, Ken Marvin.


2ND ANNCR: This program was transcribed.


ANNOUNCER: This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.

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