Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: X Minus One
Show: Appointment in Tomorrow
Date: Nov 07 1956

CAST:
NARRATOR, slightly mocking
SANDMAN (1 line)
JORJ HELMUTH, imperious, idealistic
VOICE, on phone (1 line)
PRESIDENT, of the United States, a wimp
SECRETARY OF SPACE
JAN (pronounced YON) TREGARRON, coarse, cruel and cynical
CADDY, working class accent, dumb but yummy
OPPERLY, old physicist, jaded
WILLARD FARQUAR, young physicist, passionate
GREETER, at Research Institute
2ND VOICE, at Research Institute

SOUND:

HIGH-PITCHED ELECTRONIC HUM ... JOINED BY ELECTRONIC BEEPING IN AGREEMENT WITH COUNTDOWN

ANNOUNCER:

Countdown for blast-off. X minus five, four, three, two. X minus one. Fire.

SOUND:

A MOMENT'S SILENCE ... THEN ROCKET SHIP BLASTS OFF

MUSIC:

BUILDS VERTIGINOUSLY TO A CLIMAX ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future, adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, presents -- (HEAVY ECHO) X Minus One!

MUSIC:

TO A CLIMAX ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, "Appointment in Tomorrow" by Fritz Leiber.

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

The first angry rays of the sun -- which, surprisingly enough, still rose in the east at twenty-four-hour intervals -- pierced the lacy tops of Atlantic combers and touched thousands of sleeping Americans with unconscious fear, because of the unpleasant similarity to the rays from World War III's thermonuclear weapons. This was America approaching the end of the twentieth century; America of the mask fad for women and the neo-Cretan dress styles; America of your local radiation hospital, of the Endless War, and the loyalty detector. In his bedroom in the Thinkers' Foundation, Jorj Helmuth slept.

SANDMAN:

(FILTER, FADES IN) ...calculus to the nucleus, adding a quantum equal to the resultant of G-sub-one prime. Repeating, the quantum... (CONTINUES INDECIPHERABLY IN BG)

NARRATOR:

His Educational Sandman purred learnedly in his ear, droning tensor calculus through the night, filling the hours that used to hold man's formless fears and floating anxieties with the rigid form and anchored shapes of mathematics. [X]

SOUND:

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! OF ALARM CLOCK

NARRATOR:

Precisely at eight, the sidereal alarm went off.

HELMUTH:

(YAWNS)

SOUND:

BEEPING STOPS

HELMUTH:

Oooh, my head.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... SILENCES THE SANDMAN

HELMUTH:

(A COMMAND, ABSENTLY) Oh, shower.

SOUND:

BEEP!

HELMUTH:

Ninety-six point eight. Commence.

SOUND:

BEEP! WATER STREAMS DOWN FROM SHOWER HEAD ... CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

Under the soothing spray of the Body Temperature Robo-Shower, Helmuth took a deep breath and cast his mind to the limits of the world and his knowledge. It was a somewhat shadowy vision, but, he noted with impartial approval, definitely less shadowy than yesterday morning.

HELMUTH:

Off!

SOUND:

BEEP! WATER STOPS

HELMUTH:

Dry blast. Commence.

SOUND:

BEEP! QUIET HUM OF GIANT BLOW DRYER

NARRATOR:

Employing a rapid mental scanning technique, he cleared his memory chains of false associations, including those acquired while asleep. He felt the snap of clearing, non-thalamic reasoning returning as the brain surged into clear, sharp control.

HELMUTH:

Off!

SOUND:

BEEP! DRYER OUT

HELMUTH:

Clothing!

SOUND:

BEEP!

HELMUTH:

Color key seven-oh-five!

SOUND:

BEEP! ROBOT DRESSES HELMUTH, CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

He stepped into his clothing -- the severe tunic, tights, and sockassins of the modern businessman. He smiled The next big move had come to him in his sleep, as many of his best decisions did, because he utilized the time-saving technique of somno-thought, which could function at the same time as somno-learning.

SOUND:

ROBOT STOPS DRESSING HELMUTH

HELMUTH:

Attention, Robo-Locator!

SOUND:

BEEP!

HELMUTH:

Category -- Rocket Physicist. Classification -- Genius Level.

SOUND:

ROBO-LOCATOR WORKS ... FADES OUT BEHIND--

HELMUTH:

Time limit for search -- twenty minutes. Commence.

SOUND:

BEEP!

HELMUTH:

Take dictation.

SOUND:

BEEP!

HELMUTH:

(DICTATES, POMPOUS) "Dear Fellow Scientist: A project is contemplated that will have a crucial bearing on man's future in deep space. Ample non-military government funds are available. There was a time when professional men scoffed at the Thinkers' Foundation. Then there was a time when the Thinkers perforce neglected the professional men. Now both times are past. I would like to consult you this afternoon, three o'clock sharp, Thinkers' Foundation. Signed, Jorj Helmuth." (A COMMAND) End of dictation.

SOUND:

PHONE TONE! BEEP!

VOICE:

(ON PHONE, FILTER) The President is waiting to see Maizie, sir. He has the general staff with him.

HELMUTH:

Martian peace to him. Tell him I'll be down in a few minutes.

MUSIC:

BRIEF GENTLE BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Huge as a primitive nuclear reactor, Maizie, the great electronic brain, loomed over the knot of hush-voiced men. Its front was an orderly expanse of controls, indicators, telltales, and terminals, the upper ones reached by a chair on a boom. This was the machine with a million times as many synapses as the human brain, the machine that remembered by cutting delicate little notches on the rims of molecules.

This was the machine that timid cyberneticists and stuffy professional scientists had said could not be built. Yet this was the machine that the Thinkers, with characteristic Yankee push, had built -- and named, with characteristic irreverence, "Maizie." [X]

HELMUTH:

Have you the Questions of the Day, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT:

(EXTREMELY DEFERENTIAL) Here, Mr. Helmuth.

HELMUTH:

I see.

PRESIDENT:

The question on the Pakistan crisis is a little touchy. I don't know if--

HELMUTH:

(PEREMPTORILY) If there is enough data to answer it, Maizie will do so.

PRESIDENT:

(APOLOGETIC) Well, of course, I didn't mean to--

HELMUTH:

If you will excuse me, gentlemen, I will code the questions for Maizie-- (STOPS SHORT, UNHAPPY, TO SECRETARY OF SPACE) Ohhh. Section Five, Question Four -- whom would that come from?

SEC. OF SPACE:

Uh, Number Four-- (HEMS AND HAWS BEHIND--)

SOUND:

SHUFFLE OF PAPERS

SEC. OF SPACE:

Physics. Opperly and his research team.

HELMUTH:

I see. (TO PRESIDENT) Thank you, Mr. President. (TO ALL) Er, while I'm coding the tape, there will be time to watch the take-off of the Mars rocket.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... TELEVISION TURNED ON

PRESIDENT:

(GASPS, OVERCOME) Beautiful. Beautiful. Oh, I've often wanted to go to New Mexico. As a matter of fact, I've always wanted to go right through to Mars.

HELMUTH:

Er, Mr. President--

PRESIDENT:

(DELICATE) My Chief of Staff thinks the project should be under the Army instead of the Thinkers' Foundation--

HELMUTH:

(EXASPERATED) Mr. President, this is the way Maizie designed the project.

PRESIDENT:

Oh, I know, I know. That's what I told him. Still, I wish you people could bring back a few of those wise little devils from Mars. It'd be a good thing for the party-- Er, the country.

HELMUTH:

(AS IF TALKING TO A CHILD) It's quite unthinkable. The telepathic abilities of the Martians make them extremely sensitive. The conflicts of ordinary Earth minds would impinge on them psychotically. Only the Thinkers can contact them because of the clear training and errorless memory chains. Perhaps some day in the future--

SEC. OF SPACE:

Ah, there goes the rocket!

PRESIDENT:

(WARMLY) Beautiful. Beautiful.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... TELEVISION TURNED OFF

HELMUTH:

I am ready to submit the question-tapes to Maizie. Stand back, gentlemen.

PRESIDENT:

Oh, we're sorry. Sorry.

HELMUTH:

And now--

SOUND:

CLICKS! OF A SERIES OF SWITCHES

HELMUTH:

All right, gentlemen...

SOUND:

MAIZIE WHIRRS AND PURRS

HELMUTH:

(GRAVELY) ... Maizie is thinking!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING ... OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

The question tape, like a New Year's streamer tossed out of a high window into the night, sped on its dark way along spinning rollers. Curling with an intricate aimlessness, it tantalized the silver fingers of a thousand relays, saucily evaded the glances of ten thousand electric eyes, impishly darted down a narrow black alleyway of memory banks, and, reaching the center of the cube, suddenly emerged into a small room where a sweating fat man in shorts sat drinking beer. [X]

TREGARRON:

Here it comes. Get off my lap, honey. I've got work to do.

CADDY:

Can't it wait?

TREGARRON:

I said get!

SOUND:

HARD SLAP!

CADDY:

Ow! You didn't have to do that!

TREGARRON:

When Maizie thinks, she thinks. Open up another beer.

CADDY:

Look, I'm not a Robo-Barmaid!

TREGARRON:

(WARNING) Honey! Do what you're told or I'll ship you out where they'll work some of the upholstery off that frame slopping radioactive mud.

CADDY:

You don't have to get nasty, Jan. Here's your beer.

TREGARRON:

(DRINKS, EXHALES) Yeah, that's better.

CADDY:

It makes you fat.

TREGARRON:

I like to be fat. It makes our relationship more poignant. Pass me the questions and get over to your keyboard.

CADDY:

You're a greasy pig.

TREGARRON:

(LAUGHS) But such an attractive pig! Start taping.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... STENO MACHINE ON

TREGARRON:

(SIGHS, BEAT) Why, that dirty--!

CADDY:

What's the matter?

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... STENO MACHINE OFF

TREGARRON:

Ah, one of the questions -- "Does Maizie stand for Maelzel?"

CADDY:

For what?

TREGARRON:

Maelzel.

CADDY:

Does it?

TREGARRON:

Look! You just keep sitting on your brains and let me do the thinking. (AN ORDER) Tape!

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... STENO MACHINE ON

TREGARRON:

(DICTATES, WITH A FRIENDLY TONE) "Maizie does not stand for Maelzel. Maizie stands for amazing, humorously given the form of a girl's name."

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... STENO MACHINE OFF

CADDY:

Who is Maelzel?

TREGARRON:

(DISAGREEABLE AGAIN) Edgar Allan Poe.

CADDY:

Huh?

TREGARRON:

It's a story. "Maelzel's Chess Player" -- about an automaton that was supposed to play chess. Poe proved it had a man inside it.

CADDY:

(REALIZES) Ohhhh! And they want to know if Maizie-- (BEAT) They're wrong. Maizie doesn't have a man inside it. Just a lump of conceited lard!

SOUND:

SMASH! OF BEER GLASS

CADDY:

(GASPS) You coulda hit me with that! Look at my dress.

TREGARRON:

(CURT) Get me another glass of beer. (SIGHS, THOUGHTFUL, TO HIMSELF) That must have come from the physics section of the Research Institute. Opperly and that ape, Farquar. Well, we'll look into that. (TO CADDY) All right, start taping.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... STENO MACHINE ON

TREGARRON:

(FRIENDLY TONE) Question One. The mid-term election videcasts should be spaced as follows...

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Morton Opperly's living room was quite behind the times. Instead of reading-tapes, there were books. And instead of a four-by-six TV screen, there was a Picasso -- still faintly radioactive from being smuggled out of the Manhattan Crater. Two physicists faced each other across the table -- old Mr. Opperly and young Mr. Farquar. [X]

OPPERLY:

About that Maelzel question, Willard. Why do you keep teasing the zoo animals?

FARQUAR:

(PASSIONATE) Because the Thinkers are charlatans who must be exposed. We know their Maizie is no more than a - a tealeaf-reading fake. We've traced their "Mars" rockets and we know they go into orbit five hundred miles above Earth and stay there -- until it's time to come down with the - the latest miraculous Martian mental science.

OPPERLY:

But we've already exposed the Thinkers very thoroughly. You know the good it did. Ah, Willard, the age we live in wants magicians. A scientist tells people the truth. When times are good, when the truth offers no threat, people don't mind. But when times are very, very bad-- Well, a magician tells people what they wish were true -- that perpetual motion works, that colored lights can cure cancer, that a psychosis is no worse than a bad cold, and that they live forever. In good times, magicians are laughed at. They're the luxury of a spoiled wealthy few. But in bad times, people sell their souls for magic cures and buy perpetual motion machines to power their war rockets.

FARQUAR:

Are we supposed to beg off from a job because it's difficult and dangerous?

OPPERLY:

In my day, Willard, I was one of the Frightened Men. Later, I was one of the Angry Men. And then one of the Minds of Despair. And now I'm convinced that all of my reactions were futile.

FARQUAR:

Exactly! You _re_acted! You didn't act! If you men who discovered atomic energy had only formed a secret league. If you'd only had the guts and foresight to use your tremendous bargaining power to--

OPPERLY:

Willard, we scientists weren't the stuff of which cloak-and-dagger men are made. Can you imagine Oppenheimer wearing a mask or old Einstein sneaking into the White House with a bomb in his briefcase? That's not the way power is seized. New ideas aren't useful to men bargaining for power. Only established facts, or lies are.

FARQUAR:

What do you want to do? Surrender the world to charlatans without a struggle? The Thinkers are vulnerable. Their power is based on a series of lies.

OPPERLY:

All power is. The greater the lie, the greater the power.

FARQUAR:

What's it based on? A few lucky guesses. Some faith-healing. Some science hocus-pocus--

OPPERLY:

The power of the Thinkers isn't based on what they've got but on what the world hasn't got -- peace, honor, a good conscience.

FARQUAR:

(LOW) They've sent for me.

OPPERLY:

Who? Jan Tregarron?

FARQUAR:

No. Jorj Helmuth. I got the radiogram an hour ago. They know they'll have to produce a real nuclear rocket pretty soon, and they'll need our help.

OPPERLY:

I'm afraid, Willard.

FARQUAR:

You think it might be a trap? After the Maelzel question, you think they might want to shut me up?

OPPERLY:

I'm not afraid for your life. I'm worried about other things they might do to you.

FARQUAR:

They'd better be worried -- about the things I'm going to do to them!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

SOUND:

BEEP!

GREETER:

(FILTER) Martian peace to you, Willard Farquar. You have entered the Thinkers' Foundation. Please remain on the slideway.

FARQUAR:

(IMPATIENT) I want to see Jorj Helmuth!

GREETER:

(FILTER) May we take your hat and coat?

SOUND:

LOUD HUM ... CONTINUES IN BG

FARQUAR:

What the--?

GREETER:

(FILTER) Do not be alarmed. Invisible radiations are slaughtering all the germs in your body while more delicate emanations are producing a benign rearrangement of your emotions.

FARQUAR:

(SCOFFS) Claptrap. I can recognize a fourteen-cycle sonic note when I hear one! Where's Helmuth?!

SOUND:

LOUD HUM OUT

GREETER:

(FILTER) This way, please.

SOUND:

DOOR SLIDES OPEN ... FARQUAR'S FOOTSTEPS INTO ROOM BEHIND--

FARQUAR:

(CALLS) Helmuth?! Cut out all this swami stuff! Where are you?!

TREGARRON:

(FRIENDLY) I'm afraid Mr. Helmuth won't be able to meet you, Mr. Farquar. I am Jan Tregarron. Perhaps you can have your conversation with me.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Jorj Helmuth waited in a conference room with two dozen empty chairs. He had prepared, by two hours' rest with the somno-teacher on full volume, for this conference. Having strengthened his mind by hard years of somno-learning, memory-straightening and sensory training, he had assured himself of the executive power to control the technicians and direct their specialized abilities. Together, they would have built the true Mars rocket. But, unfortunately, no one came. [X]

HELMUTH:

(ANNOYED) Where are they? Report.

SOUND:

BEEP!

2ND VOICE:

No word from the door, Master.

HELMUTH:

They can't all be late. Did you check?

2ND VOICE:

The calls have been put through.

HELMUTH:

What response?

2ND VOICE:

Dr. Burnside reports he received the second message just in time.

HELMUTH:

What second message?

2ND VOICE:

The message calling off the meeting.

HELMUTH:

Did he read the text of the second message back?

2ND VOICE:

Shall I play it back?

HELMUTH:

Never mind. How was it signed? The signature?

2ND VOICE:

Signature? Mr. Jan Tregarron.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Jorj Helmuth dejectedly examined his organizational charts. And then, tapping his stylo on the pad, he extended his mental aura, cleared his memory chains of error, accelerated his cerebral processes by the Harbor-Gerson process he'd practiced for so many years. Slowly, he could feel the tight, heart-squeezing disappointment ebb. He was in control again. Tregarron -- he was the one to blame! Tregarron, who was so used to working by deception that he must be shown the light. [X]

OPPERLY:

Well, Willard, how was your adventure among the magicians?

FARQUAR:

Well, they didn't hurt me.

OPPERLY:

You're sure? And are you as determined as ever to smash and expose the Thinkers?

FARQUAR:

Of course! Only, from now on, I won't embarrass you by asking any Maelzel questions. After this, I shall bore from within.

OPPERLY:

Now, where have I heard that phrase before? Do I understand that you are becoming a Thinker, Willard?

FARQUAR:

Certainly. That's the only way to smash them. Out-trick all their trickeries. Organize a fifth column. Then -- strike!

OPPERLY:

The ends justifying the means, of course.

FARQUAR:

Of course.

OPPERLY:

(THOUGHTFUL) I wonder if becoming a Thinker doesn't simply mean that you've decided to use lies and tricks as your chief method. (BEAT) Well. You're working with Helmuth?

FARQUAR:

Not Helmuth. Tregarron. I'm afraid that Helmuth's career as a Thinker is going to have quite a setback.

OPPERLY:

(BEAT, SADLY) Ah, well. Goodbye, Willard.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HELMUTH:

(ANGRY) Tregarron? I want to talk to you!

CADDY:

Shall I leave?

HELMUTH:

No. Please stay.

CADDY:

Jan?

TREGARRON:

Stay. You ought to enjoy this. (SNIDE) Jorj has that errorless memory chain--

HELMUTH:

Tregarron, you know why I'm here!

TREGARRON:

(PLAYFUL) I don't know. I've been sadly remiss on my precognition and clairvoyance exercise. I've been too busy with other things, other people, other exercises. But I don't need Maizie to guess.

HELMUTH:

You just went ahead and canceled the conference without consulting me!

TREGARRON:

You called it without consulting me. Shouldn't do that sort of a thing, Jorj.

HELMUTH:

(PASSIONATE) I was absolutely sure of my ground! Perfectly prepared! I visualized it! The rocket boosting up on chemical power, then setting sail!

TREGARRON:

Sail? Sail?! (HEARTY LAUGH) A nuclear reactor rocket? Jorj, you're fabulous.

HELMUTH:

Yes, sail! Thin streams of nuclear reflecting material and the rocket feeding Maison streams behind it. I conceived it all -- complete! Except for technical details.

TREGARRON:

(IRONIC) Jorj, you are a Thinker. A real Thinker.

HELMUTH:

(UNIRONIC) I know!

TREGARRON:

(STRAIGHTFORWARD) Now, look, here, Jorj. Every man should stick to his trade. Technology isn't ours.

HELMUTH:

You know as well I do that we're going to have a nuclear spaceship and actually go to Mars someday.

TREGARRON:

(AMUSED) Are we?

HELMUTH:

Yes! Just as we're going to have to build an actual Maizie. I helped you organize the Thinkers. At least, I was your first partner. Our basic idea was that the time had come to apply science to the life of man on a large scale. The only thing holding the world back from this was the ignorance and superstition of the average man, and the stuffiness and lack of enterprise of the academic scientists -- their worship of facts, even when the facts were clearly dangerous.

TREGARRON:

(IRONIC) Splendid! Splendid! (CURT) Caddy, get me another beer.

CADDY:

I'm filing my nails!

SOUND:

HARD SLAP!

CADDY:

(GASPS, RELENTS, MOVING OFF) All right, all right.

HELMUTH:

Everybody wanted the new world! The trips to Mars, the knowledge of the human brain. All they lacked was the nerve to take the first big step. And that was what we supplied.

CADDY:

(RETURNS, INDIFFERENT) Here's your beer.

HELMUTH:

It was no time for slow and careful plodding. We couldn't afford to check and double check. We couldn't wait for the grudging approval of the professionals. We had to use fakes, stunts, tricks -- anything! -- to get over the big point. Once that was done, mankind was headed down the new road. It was easy to just heal the breach with the professionals and to make good in actuality what had been made good in pretense.

TREGARRON:

(EXHALES) Very good! (QUIETLY CLEARS THROAT) The beer.

HELMUTH:

We built Maizie. We built the Mars rocket. We discovered the wisdom of the Martians. We sold the people on the science the professionals had been too high-toned to advertise or bring into the market place, but now that we've succeeded, it's time to let accomplishment catch up with imagination, to implement fantasy with fact. (LOW) Do you suppose I would have gone in with you if I hadn't known that someday we'd actually make what we claimed we had already made?

TREGARRON:

(MOCK SURPRISE) Oh? Oh-oh-oh, was that it?

HELMUTH:

Jan, the day's come! And I'm the man! I've prepared myself!

TREGARRON:

(GRIM) Caddy, clear the decks.

CADDY:

(WEARILY) All right. I know, you just want room to point that fat finger.

HELMUTH:

I want her to stay.

TREGARRON:

(PLACATING) All right. Jorj, look, every revolutionary wants to see the big change take place in his lifetime. But time for the second step? Jorj, the average man's exactly where he was ten years ago when we took over. Except he's got a new god. More than ever he thinks of Mars as a Hollywood paradise with wise men and yummy princesses. Like Caddy here.

CADDY:

(PLEASED) You think I'm yummy, really?

TREGARRON:

(BLUNT) Shut up. (TO HELMUTH) Maizie is - is Mama, magnified a million times. The professional scientists, they're more jealous and stuffy than ever. All they'd like to do is turn the clock back to a genteel dream world of square caps and quadrangles.

CADDY:

(APPLAUDS HIS SPEECH) Bravo!

TREGARRON:

I said shut up! (TO HELMUTH) Jorj, maybe in ten thousand years we'll be ready for the second big step. Meanwhile, the clever will rule the stupid. The realists will rule the dreamers. Jorj, did you actually think you could have bossed those professionals? Nuclear scientists? Rocket physicists? Oh, now listen to me, boy. They'd have torn you to pieces in twenty minutes -- and glad of the chance! Jorj, you baffle me. You know that Maizie and the Mars trips and all that are fakes, yet you believe in your somno-learning and consciousness-expansion and optimism-pumping like a corn-fed yokel!

HELMUTH:

There is a place for the man who has the courage to dream!

TREGARRON:

Sure! In a straitjacket. Oh, Jorj, you remind me of those men who used to put out those lurid little magazines with Caddy's grandmother on the cover in outer space in a stripped-down bathing suit.

CADDY:

(INDIGNANT) My grandmother never--

TREGARRON:

I said shut up! (TO HELMUTH) That's what it is. Frustrated little men playing Science God to generations of pimply high school chemistry students and gas station attendants -- conning them into thinking they're in the know. Sprinkling a few formulas through the garbage and playing atom-smasher. And then being very solemn about the role of imagination in science. Jorj! The trouble with you is, they forgot to take your zap gun and space cadet decoder pin away from ya when ya turned thirteen!

CADDY:

(GIGGLES TILL SHE HICCOUGHS)

HELMUTH:

(LOW) That's your honest opinion?

TREGARRON:

It's more than that. Jorj, get a hold of yourself and quit taking fantasy in the veins! That's an order!

HELMUTH:

Jan, the strange part of it is that I know as well as you do that Maizie and the Mars trips are fakes -- but some things aren't. The human mind, Jan, is a tool that hasn't been perfected yet. "There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio."

CADDY:

Who's Horatio?

TREGARRON:

(SAVAGE) I said shut up!

SOUND:

HARD SLAP!

CADDY:

(A LITTLE CRY)

TREGARRON:

This is the last full cackle, Jorj. You've been fooling around with ESP, huh? Telepathy? Maybe a little hypnotism?

HELMUTH:

Maybe.

TREGARRON:

All right. Guess what I've got in my drawer. Extend your consciousness. Telepath it, visualize it.

SOUND:

DESK DRAWER OPENS AND PISTOL PICKED UP BEHIND--

TREGARRON:

Aw, never mind. I'll save you the mental effort. It's a pistol, see?

SOUND:

DESK DRAWER SHUTS

TREGARRON:

Now, let me tell you something. I got a couple of boys waiting outside. They'll take you by jet to New Mexico. Jorj, congratulations, you're leaving for Mars tomorrow.

HELMUTH:

Mars?

TREGARRON:

Yes. I've decided Mars would be the best place for ya. We'll arrange it so that your trip is, say, uh, two years long. Perhaps in that time, orbiting up there, you'll learn a little Martian wisdom. For example, "The Big Liar must never fall for his own lie." Meanwhile, I've got a replacement for ya. His name is Willard Farquar.

HELMUTH:

But I sent for him to--

TREGARRON:

Yes! You see, I too believe in cooperation with the scientists -- but by subversion. I'll offer them the hand of friendship -- with a big, fat bribe in it. You know what the bribe is? The power to destroy me. That's what I'm offering. "Join us. Learn our secrets. Bore from within. Bide your time before you strike." But while he's biding, I'll have him. And when he's ready to strike, he'll find it's "not quite the time." "Wait a little bit. Enjoy the power. Play with fat old Jan Tregarron like a cat." And, by then, I'll have him.

HELMUTH:

You can't replace me, Jan.

TREGARRON:

Oh, you were a good man, Jorj, when we needed catchy slogans, ray guns, plastic helmets, fancy sweaters--

HELMUTH:

I warned you, Jan. Don't underestimate the mind, the human brain. Even Caddy here is a fascinating instrument. For example, I had a little talk with Caddy last week.

CADDY:

Very boring.

HELMUTH:

Ah! But useful. For, when we finished, her mind had something it didn't have before.

TREGARRON:

You always were educational, Jorj.

HELMUTH:

(INTENSE) Caddy? Look at me.

CADDY:

(AS IF IN A TRANCE) Hmmm?

HELMUTH:

(SLOWLY) Look at me. Look at me. Now! Put your hand on his arm.

CADDY:

Mmm.

HELMUTH:

Now! Now, take his gun!

TREGARRON:

Caddy! Are you crazy?!

CADDY:

(FLATLY, TO HELMUTH) I've got his gun. What now?

HELMUTH:

(TRIUMPHANT) You see, Jan, there is a place for the dreamer, the man who believes, who can use his mind. I'm going to get rid of you, Jan, because the man who dares to dream will rule! Caddy? Look at me. Look at me. Point the gun at him. Look at me.

CADDY:

(GIGGLES) I can't any more! It's too ridiculous! Jan, take your silly gun back -- it's too heavy. (MORE GIGGLING BEHIND--)

HELMUTH:

(DESPERATE) What?! Caddy! Caddy, I command you! Look at me! Look at me!

TREGARRON:

(LAUGHS UPROARIOUSLY) The power of the mind! (CALLS) Hey, boys! Come in and get him!

HELMUTH:

I - I don't understand. Caddy?! Caddy, look at me!

CADDY:

Oh, all right. I'll look at you. (GIGGLES, SYMPATHETIC) Poor Superman.

TREGARRON:

(LAUGHS UPROARIOUSLY)

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

You have just heard "X Minus One," presented by the National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine which this month features "You Go" by E. C. Tubb, which proves that for pure, chilling horror, nothing can beat cold, hard facts. Galaxy Magazine, on your newsstand today.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN UNDER FOLLOWING--

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, by transcription, "X Minus One" has brought you "Appointment in Tomorrow," a story from the pages of Galaxy written by Fritz Leiber and adapted for radio by Ernest Kinoy. Featured in the cast were Ted Osborne, Dean Olmquist, Pat Hosley, Bob Hastings, Arthur Hughes, and Charles Penman. Your narrator was Floyd Mack. This is Fred Collins. "X Minus One" was directed by Daniel Sutter and is an NBC radio network production.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... NBC CHIMES ... THEN OUT