Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SIGGRAPH Conference Questions and Issues: What is the Purpose of the Keynote Speech

The annual SIGGRAPH conference is almost here. As I grimly face another SIGGRAPH a series of questions comes to mind. Often these questions repeat every year, sometimes there is a new one or an old goes away, but usually these questions are the same year after year.

I dont know who to address them to. Who should I ask these questions of ? I dont know, but if you know, please tell me and I am sure you will give me good advice.

But first, the disclaimer.

I want to thank everyone who works so hard to put on SIGGRAPH every year. SIGGRAPH is for the most part a volunteer organization, which by definition means most of the people involved do not get paid for their work. And I am sure that things are chaotic and there are many points of view and that people are working hard and with integrity. Therefore, nothing said in this or any other discussion of SIGGRAPH on this blog should be taken as an attack or anything similar to that. I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved and want to take this opportunity to thank them.

The first question(s) are about the Keynote Speaker.

1. How is the Keynote Speaker chosen ?
2. Does the Keynote Speaker have to know anything about computer animation?
3. Should the Keynote Speaker have attended SIGGRAPH at least once in their life?
4. I thought a Keynote Speaker was someone who was senior in the field, someone who had spent a great deal of their career trying to build the field, and/or possibly someone who had something to say about the current state and potential future of our field.

I am sure that Jane McGonigal is an interesting person. It may even be that SIGGRAPH should give her a platform to speak to us. Maybe Jane is also qualified to be our Keynote speaker, after all, since I have no clue how these speakers are chosen, it is impossible for me to judge if she should be the Keynote speaker.

And then finally, since SIGGRAPH is wildly over scheduled, is there a way to view the Keynote speech after it is given, possibly remotely. Ideally I would want to do that for all Keynote speeches given at SIGGRAPH in the past as well.

Does anyone know the answer to these questions ?

Does anyone know who I should be asking these questions of ?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Does Zardoz Speak About Gun Control ?

My friend Ken Cope brought up the idea recently that anti gun control legislation activists might have been influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by John Boorman's brilliant and under-recognized 1974 masterpiece Zardoz.

[Addendum: I forgot to mention that this film seems to have been photographed in 70 mm.  This is particularly noticeable in the opening sequences as Zardoz drifts over the countryside.]

Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones.

Who could forget Sean Connery running around in a bright red jock strap? Or his pioneering role in cinema as a male sex-toy and lust-object for the various women protagonists of this ground-breaking film? Or of the incredibly stupid hair styles and costume choices of the citizens of the Eternal City?

There is one scene at the beginning of the film that is particularly memorable.   In this famous scene, God manifests himself as a large flying stone head which levitates around the countryside making house calls to the various tribes, spouting both wisdom and ammunition.

God says (in a slightly abbreviated form)

               Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones.

               You have been raised up from brutality to kill the Brutals, who
               multiply and are legion.  To this end, your God gave you the gift
               of the gun, the gun is good !

               The penis is evil !   The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to
               poison the earth with a plague of men, as once it was.   But the gun
               shoots death and purifies the earth of the filth of the Brutals.  Go
               forth and kill.

               Zardoz has spoken.

When I wrote Ken to ask him to check whether I had accurately represented his ideas here, he wrote: "I would just say that Boorman was an acute observer of the human condition, for various values of "human," and also note that correlation is not causation."

That's too bad, it would be much more fun if this faction had actually been inspired by Zardoz.

Check out these perfect 70s hair styles and outfits.   Are they dressing for the disco?

The Trailer

The Wikipedia Page

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Baron, the Novitiate and the Submarine in American Musical Theatre

This story is going to need a little buildup before it starts going, so please bear with me.   It will all become clear, eventually.

As cynical members of our modern society, we have learned through experience that many of the things we are told through the media and education system are at best simplifications, and often just outright fabrications. "The winner writes the history", and it is usually, nearly always, a self-serving version. But every once in a while you come across a story that you just know has to be a fabrication, completely implausible, and utterly improbable. Oh come on, people, you think, give me a break.

The particular work I am referring to is a well-known play by Rodgers & Hammerstein, "The Sound of Music", which later became a successful film. It has been said that society can be divided into two very broad categories, those who like Rodgers & Hammerstein and those who find them a little hard to take. I fall into the latter category for the most part and never much cared for "The Sound of Music", even though it is beautifully photographed in TODD -AO, has some very entertaining songs and, of course, Julie Andrews is completely perfect.

The problem is the plot. Not even a child could believe this story. "An Austrian naval officer, a war hero and a widower, has become alienated from his life and his family after the death of his wife. A young woman who is training to be a nun from a local convent is hired to be the teacher of his seven children who are growing up without their mother. But as it turns out, all of them, from the Baron down to his youngest child, knows how to sing. He falls in love with this teacher, they start singing together, the family is reunited, they become internationally known as a folk singing troupe, the Trapp Family Singers, and they have to run for their lives when the National Socialists annex Austria in 1938. They live happily ever after."

Oh please, spare me, I thought. Obviously this was some sort of pleasant fantasy, a structure that one could naturally hang some songs onto, have a romance, a little danger, a happy ending. Austria doesn't really even have a navy, being a landlocked country (just showing my regrettable ignorance of history at the time) and it never occurred to me in a million years that this story might be even partially true, let alone true in all major points. In fact, the story is not only true, its possible they even toned it down a little bit.

There the matter would have remained except that I believe that as a well-rounded member of our society,  I have a responsibility to study the fascinating history of submersibles and semi-submersibles with diligence. What could be more relevant and helpful for living in our modern and complicated world than the study of this technology? And what else could lead to such an improvement in character and morals?

Many navies and individuals contributed to the invention of the submarine from the mid-19th century on, including people from  England, Germany, France, Austria, Russia, Italy, Ireland, North America and others. Their professions included at least one priest, a well-known writer of science-based fiction (Jules Verne), a shoemaker, a wagon-maker, an army officer, many naval officers, a professor of mathematics and an innkeeper. Important supporters in the very early days, when no one was sure if this idea would ever really work, include the Irish Republican Army and the Confederate States of America.  Robert Fulton, an artist and inventor living in Paris, proposed the concept of the submarine to Napoleon and was awarded a commission to study the idea. 

Patience, we are almost there.

Then one day I came across an aspect of this story that had been completely unknown to me.  One of the major participants in WW1 had been the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of course.   For some reason it had never occurred to me that they had a navy, but they did.  Although it was small, it was apparently well-regarded and they had looked closely into the submarine and built a very small fleet to explore the idea.   Although their fleet was small, and their equipment primitive, they were led by men with spirit and intelligence.  And they had an impact, apparently.   One of their captains was particularly successful, invented many techniques which would later be used by all sides in WW2, and famous for being the first submariner to sink a major enemy surface combatant by moonlight.   He was from a family with a history of service to the emperors of the Austro-Hungarian empire and was a member of their nobility.   A dashing and handsome submarine commander, he was decorated and promoted, and his name was Georg Ritter von Trapp.

"von Trapp", I thought, "Hmm, that name seems familiar somehow. How do I know that name?"

So I looked him up, and as I read, my blood ran cold with horror.  It was all true.  All of it.

OK, so it wasn't ALL true, but it was mostly all true.   Rodgers & Hammerstein had, it turned out, dramatized the departure from Austria and in reality it was no where near as exciting.

I was devastated by the realization that Hollywood had come very close to accurately portraying this story.  If you can't trust Hollywood, of all institutions, to lie to you, who can you trust?

Those of you who have had enough of this story can stop right here.  Those who want the details of this heartwarming and improbable story should read on.

Captain von Trapp had married for love a woman from England named Agathe Whitehead, the daughter of the man who had invented the torpedo in England. She had come to Austria to commission von Trapp's first command, the U-Boat U-6, fell in love and married him. They had seven children. After the war, one of those children became ill with scarlet fever and Agathe caught it from her and died. Georg Ritter von Trapp (the "Ritter von" is the title of nobility and means "knight") was unemployed and unemployable because after the war, the Austro-Hungarian empire was broken up and Austria was not allowed to have a navy. Thus von Trapp was a man without a profession. To make matters worse, the family fortune had been lost in a bank failure during the depression after the war. He had a very sick child, and many other children, who did not have a mother. He was financially devastated and heartbroken at the loss of his wife. He moved his family into the top floor of their house, and rented the rooms below to students to support his family. Eventually, since his sick child could not attend school easily, he decided to hire a tutor from the local convent, and educate his family at home.

You know what happens next. 

The teacher he hired was Maria Augusta Kutschera who had been born on a train and was an orphan by the time she was seven years old. She had graduated from the State Teachers College for Progressive Education in Vienna at the age of 18. She entered Nonnburg Abbey in Salzberg as a postulant intending to become a nun.

She lived with the family and became very attached to her students.  Georg and Maria fell in love.  As part of a well-rounded education, this being Austria between the wars, music was part of the children's education.  Apparently they were talented.  When Georg made an honest women out of Maria, in other words, when they got married, their first child arrived two and a half months later.   If you know what I mean.   They had three children together, making a grand total of ten children.

Somehow the well known German soprano, Lotte Lehmann, had heard the family sing and suggested that they should start performing. The Austrian Chancellor heard them on radio and invited them to come to Vienna and give a performance. They were able to get a booking manager and agent and toured parts of Europe, the United States and Canada.

In a review, the New York Times said
There was something unusually lovable and appealing about the modest, serious singers of this little family aggregation as they formed a close semicircle about their self-effacing director for their initial offering, the handsome Mme. von Trapp in simple black, and the youthful sisters garbed in black and white Austrian folk costumes enlivened with red ribbons. It was only natural to expect work of exceeding refinement from them, and one was not disappointed in this.
To conclude the story, the National Socialists offered von Trapp a commission in the German Navy, but he declined.  The way the Austro-Hungarian empire was broken up, the region that von Trapp was born in was now a part of Italy and thus he had Italian citizenship.  The movie has them dramatically hiking out of Austria through the mountains, but in real life they took a train like normal people.   Eventually they settled in Vermont and started a lodge which is still in business. Their descendents live in this country, so far as I know.

In conclusion, I think that this anecdote clearly demonstrates the importance of the study of the history of submarines, and its value in understanding American musical theatre.

Pictures of Captain Georg, Maria and one of his submarines.


The lodge that Georg and Maria started when they came to this country is still in business, see  http://www.trappfamily.com/story

For more on the history of submarines in the navy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, see

Captain Ritter von Trapp wrote a short book on some of his experiences as a captain of a submarine. A Google Books preview is at

New Trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey

A new trailer for 2001: A Space Oddity in order to emphasize the action sequences.  I give it an A for concept and maybe a B+ for execution.

Thanks to Sally Syberg for recommending this.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Visual Effects Humor and the Titanic Alternate Endings That Never Existed

Generally speaking, visual effects people are more deadpan than animation people. Animation people are generally more wacky. For example, animators may make funny noises as they eat their dinner (a salt shaker may become a dive bomber, for example) or funny noises as they leave a room (whoosh !) and no one would even notice. Visual effects people are generally more serious than that and rarely make funny noises.

The following is a story from the time when Titanic was finishing post-production which means it was the summer of 1997.

Visual effects can take a long time to do when compared to the schedules of other parts of the motion picture production process. There are a variety of reasons for this, but in general visual effects shots are awarded to facilities far in advance of the release of the film. But sometimes, for various reasons, effects are awarded at what seems to be the last minute, very near the release date of the film. Although this is often perceived as a mistake, it may not be. In the case of Titanic, it was not a mistake.

Most of the effects for Titanic were being done by Digital Domain, the effects studio that Jim Cameron had helped to found. But there were effects that could only be awarded until after sequences of the film had been edited, because they involved adding the "cold breathe" that people make outside when its cold, and that could not be done until they knew which of the many shots they were going to use. They had originally hoped to be able to get that breathe naturally by keeping the set very cold, but it turned out that was not practical down in Mexico, so they just moved on and planned to fix it later. Jim is well-known as a perfectionist, and he worked on those sequences as long as he could, and then released them to effects. In any case, Digital Domain was quite busy getting the primary effects shots of the film done, so these other shots generally went to other facilities.

[Note: Richard Hollander of VIFX/R&H tells me that all these shots were done by VIFX and that there were a lot of them and that, yes, they were always planned.]

Although there was a perfectly good reason why these shots were added when they were, it was a lot of work, and individual technical directors often like to complain, and to brag, so they did. And the field is very competitive, so maybe people were taking shots at Digital Domain (ha, they couldn't do this so we had to, that sort of thing, as juvenile as it may sound).

This seemed like a good opportunity for a joke. At various industry events, when I would run into my peers, I would say that I had heard that these shots were part of a new and very secret alternate ending to the movie.  The studio executives had become worried,  they were spending a tremendous amount of money on this movie, if it bombed, their careers were probably over.  The director was still pushing for a historically correct ending which was a very dramatic, but down, ending.     They thought it was worthwhile to prepare an alternate cut of the movie with an upbeat ending, and see how well the two versions tested against each other.  After all, they did not want to go down with the ship, so to speak.

In this new ending, the Titanic would still hit the iceberg, they couldn't change that, but our hero breaks in at the last minute and turns the ship, so it only partially hits the iceberg. and they use most of the footage of water breaking in and so forth, so some people still die, but the ship manages to make it back to NY and our heroes live happily ever after. And all of these extra shots that you hear about all over town [well you did hear about them all over town, even if they were actually being done at one facility, VIFX...], that is mostly the big crowd shots at the end as the Titanic limps into NY harbor and everyone cheers. Yea ! We made it!

My colleagues in the glamourous and rewarding visual effects industry would just look at me. You could see them thinking.  On the one hand, the story is ridiculous.  On the other hand, we all know some pretty crazy things that have happened.  After a while they realize this has to be a joke, and they would say something like "This is a funny joke, right ?"

I would like to think that I had planted a seed of doubt and that they were wondering if the studio might actually do this.    Demi Moore had just done a version of "The Scarlet Letter" in 1995 and in her version there was a happy ending, so if Hester Prinn could have a happy ending, why not Titanic?

Yes it was a joke, I would admit. "Very funny", they would say. And glare at me.

[I don't think they had to think very hard before they rejected my story, but as I mentioned above, visual effects people are generally quite deadpan and it can be hard to tell...]

Did Escaped Nazis Settle in Richmond, Virginia ?

Did escaped Nazis from Germany secretly settle in Richmond, Va and run a college prep school after the war?

That may not sound very likely at first glance but read on, there is some history here.

The two top college prep schools in Richmond, Va when I lived there were St. Christopher's and The Collegiate School (for boys and girls).  The girls school goes way back, to the 1920s, but the boys school was more recent.  To put things in context, Tom Wolfe (e.g. The Right Stuff, From Bauhaus to Our House, etc) attended St. Christopher's across town and famously wrote about basketball games they used to play against Collegiate.  I attended the Collegiate School for Boys.

Collegiate was a non-denominational protestant Christian school which in practice generally meant Presbyterian, Episcopalian (which is our version of the Church of England, by the way) and a few others.    I was, I think, one of the three Jews in the school, in the classic Virginian, assimilated, reform sense,  for what that is worth.   But wait, this is leading up to something.  Every morning, school began with a brief chapel service, the Lord's Prayer and an inspirational talk of some sort.   And of course the school song, Hail Collegiate.

   Hail Collegiate, We Thy Children
   This Libation, Here we Pour
   As we learn to read thy vision
   Something, something, something, something, something, something, something

   Hail Collegiate !

The music, I was told, was composed in Austria about a hundred years ago, and adopted by the Girls school with different words in the 1920s.  Well, that turns out not to be exactly true, but it is not too bad.  The music was composed by Joseph Haydn of all people in 1792, originally to the words of the poem "God Save Franz the Emperor", but later to the words of the poem written in 1841 by von Fallersleben.  It became the national anthem of Germany in the post WW1 Weimar republic in 1922.   The third verse of his poem, "Las Leid der Deutschen", is still the national anthem of a united Germany.

The song had a role in the national unification movement of post-WW1 Germany which one can argue was an important part of what led to WW2 (WW2 started after a series of annexations by Germany  of primarily German speaking regions of Europe that were part of the territories of non-German speaking countries.  Its extension into Poland caused England & France to honor their treaty obligations and declare war on Germany). Wait, we are getting to the good part.

So I don't know any of this history, I just know I had been trying to sing, badly, this song while I am trying to wake up for many years now, every morning, and it is not my favorite thing to do.

Then one night, on late night TV, I see a documentary about the rise of the National Socialism  in Germany, and of course there is a scene of marching soldiers, with National Socialism banners, and they are singing the national anthem,   "Deutschland Uber Alles".

    Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles !
    Uber Alles in der Welt !
    Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
    Something, something, something, something, something, something, something !

    Deutschland !  Deutschland !

And just in case you have not guessed the punchline yet, the song that the Nazi's are goosestepping to is of course my school song, but in German.

"Holy Batshit !", I said to myself, "Of course !  That explains everything!"

"Nazi war criminals must have escaped from Germany after World War 2 and came to Virginia and ran a prep school!   How they must laugh as they have hundreds of kids sing the Nazi national anthem every morning!  What fools we are!"


[revised 6/26/2013]

Orion Slave Girls, Makeup Effects, Sexism and Color Timing

Color timing has always been a part of the film making process, from the earliest days of color technology.  It is the process used to see to it that the final film has a consistent look from shot to shot and the color palette of the film overall matches the vision and goals of the director and cinematographer, to the extent the technology, budget and schedule allows.

In recent years, the extremely arcane early forms of color timing has been replaced by digital processes, including the "digital intermediate" and the uses and abuses of the 3D color lookup table, a tool that can be used for both good and evil, which is true for pretty much all tools.

But in earlier, more primitive days, the process of color timing was less exact and had more issues because it generally involved sending tests and film to the lab and seeing the results the next day.  But the system worked, it worked well, and some of the most fabulous films in the history of cinema used these now archaic processes.

There are some funny stories, however, and this is one of my favorites.  To understand the story, you have to know something about makeup effects, some of the reasons they are so helpful to the film making process, and also something about the difficult schedules associated with episodic television.

Makeup effects are a form of special effects that are based on the theatrical art of makeup.  Although the technologies behind it continue to advance with new materials and new approaches, it has a history that goes back directly to the earliest days of stage.  Most of the use of makeup is not for special effects however.   All actors seen on stage or on film wear makeup to make them look natural under the very unnatural lighting and to achieve certain effects depending on the distance of the audience and, for film, the effects of photography on the end results.   An actor that did not wear makeup would often look incorrect and take away from the story.  This is a very important part of the normal film making process.

Less often used, although it seems to be used a lot these days, are makeup effects which attempt to achieve something outside the normal process of makeup.  The classic examples are vampires, with their teeth, or Vulcan's with their pointy ears, and so forth.  Pretty much all of the classic villains of Batman have used makeup effects of one type or another to achieve what is special about their character.  One of my favorite characters in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy is a young actress whose outfit seems to be blue makeup. One of the great advantages of makeup effects is that once they have been photographed, and then color timed, you are (hopefully) done.  No more post production necessary or that is the idea.

Makeup effects in the service of the creation of character from Guardians of the Galaxy

But films and television did not always have so many green or blue women, and people were not always so used to seeing them, and this is my favorite story about such things.

A long time ago, episodic television was shot, and still may be shot, on a brutal schedule.  Each hour long episode needed to go into production with a script, and be completed in one month, on film, which was then broadcast.   There were usually four episodes in production at any one time.  This usually meant that each episode had one week on the stage with the actors for shooting and three weeks for post production.  There were exceptions to this rule, and the process made allowances for special episodes and special problems.  But it could not do so indefinitely, and when they screwed up they had to repeat an episode or do something else they did not want to do, and it was a big deal.

An episode in the third season of the first incarnation of Star Trek involved a very well known young actress and dancer, Yvonne Craig.  Although best known for her role as Batgirl in the original TV series, she was also an alumnus of the Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo, and among other things, the famous green exotic dancer and slave girl in an episode of Star Trek.  This story comes from what happened when they shot that episode.

Presumably they would get her in early, spend hours putting on her makeup, shoot her few scenes, and then move on.  But when they got dailies back the next day, to their dismay they came back wrong.  She was not green, she was some kind of weird yellow.  Unusable.   So they called her in the next day, went through the makeup process, shot her scenes and sent her home.  And it came back from the lab a weird yellow.

Now at this point we are nearing disaster.  The episode can not keep on just shooting as long as it wants, it pretty much has to wrap within a day or two.  But someone got the bright idea to call the lab and ask if anything unusual was going on that might have caused this.  Perhaps that is the first thing they should have done, in hindsight, but it did not occur to them, or so the story goes.

And it turned out that the lab was convinced that the green dancer they were seeing was some sort of mistake they had made in processing, that of course the show would not have shot a nearly naked woman in full-body green makeup, and so they color timed the result to make it looks as much like flesh tones as they could and hoped it would be good enough. Today of course we would not blink an eye at green exotic dancers who are also Orion slave girls, but those were a more innocent time.

Anyway, the problem was solved, and one of the more famous sequences involving Star Trek's sexist exploitation of women was famously born.


revised 6/8/2015

The Ox-Cart Library

Although of course we can always use another movie about giant robots beating the shit out of each other, which is a timeless theme in art, but reading about the history of the Latter Day Saints movement, I came across this little gem of regional history.

Admittedly, it needs to have a romantic interest of some sort but I am sure Hollywood is capable of tacking on some shoddy and stereotyped romance without any problem.

And knowing the history of the biped mammals, I am sure that sex, as distinct from romance, fits into this somehow.

Without further ado, here is the fascinating story of the "The Oxcart Library", from Wikipedia.

The Oxcart Library is considered to be the first circulating public library in the history of the Western Reserve. The library is located in the city of North Olmsted, Ohio.

Captain Aaron Olmstead, a wealthy sea captain in the China trade out of New England, was one of 49 investors who formed a syndicate in 1795 to purchase a major part of the Western Reserve from Connecticut. He became the owner of thousands of acres from his $30,000 share of the $120,000 total land deal. The land encompassed the areas now known as North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township. At the time of the purchase, the area was known as Lenox. Olmsted traveled west on horseback to visit the land in 1795, but never settled here. He died on 1806. In 1826, Aaron's son, Charles Hyde Olmstead, offered to donate 500 books from his father's personal collection in Oxford, Connecticut, if the residents of Lenox agreed to change the name of the area to Olmstead. They did.

The books traveled by oxcart over 600 miles of rugged terrain. They were individually covered with blue paper and arrived partly stained with mud and rain. The books were housed in various families' homes and circulated to residents in the area.

Around 150 of the original books can be found in a display case in the North Olmsted Branch Library. The blue paper covers remain on many of the books.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ha ! Nevermind

All controversial recent posts deleted.  They never happened in fact.

We now return to our eclectic mix of sarcastic film criticism, classics, cold war documentation, and so forth.

It was just a phase I was going through.

I hope.


Friday, July 20, 2012

The Explanation in Cinema: Third Example

We are now ready for our third example of this extraordinary technique in cinema, one which has eluded nearly all modern filmmakers because of its challenging technique and sophisticated requirements, which will be detailed in a later post.

I realize now that I will need many more than just three examples in order to illustrate the power and originality of this idea to the modern filmgoing audience, who unfortunately, have rarely seen anything like this in modern films.

In this scene, from Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Peter Sellers (Group Captain Lionel Mandrake) is confronting General Jack Ripper who has sent his Strategic Air Command Wing to attack Russia and force the US and the USSR into nuclear war.  We begin the scene and the conversation in media res with Mandrake locked in a room with General Ripper.  

I have cut this important scene down to the very minimum to illustrate the key idea.


Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war ?


No, I don't think I do, sir, no.


He said that war was too important to be left to the generals.  When 
he said that, fifty years ago, he might have been right.  But today,
war is too important to be left to the politicians.   They have neither 
the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought.

I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist 
indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist
conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.  

The careful reader will no doubt be able to deduce the ideas that lie behind all three scenes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Explanation in Cinema: Second Example

In our second example of “The Explanation”, consider the following dialog, this time between James Bond and Dr. No. They are having a civilized conversation over dinner, having first removed the female lead, Ursula Andress (my mother always used to refer to her as “Ursula Undress”) whose presence is seen as being inappropriate for serious discussion, of course.

Unlike the previous example, this sequence does in fact have visual effects. If you look behind Dr. No you will see that there is a large salt water tank or aquarium, just the sort of thing a Captain Nemo or Dr. No would want to decorate his dining room. From the matte lines, I will venture to guess that this is an optical blue screen composite, but I am just guessing.

This scene is one of the most memorable in the entire film, or perhaps any film. When I saw this sequence as a young lad, I was transfixed as Dr. No revealed the existence of SPECTRE to Bond.

And yet, there are no explosions, crowds of elves or giant robots. How could this be possible? In a later post we will explain the theory and practice behind this remarkable technique.



 Tell me, does the toppling of American missiles 
 really compensate for having no hands ?

              DR NO

 Missiles are only the first step to prove our power.


 Our power ?  With your disregard for human life, 
 you must be working for the East.

              DR NO

 East ... West ... just points of the compass each as 
 stupid as the other.   I'm a member of SPECTRE.



              DR NO

 SPECTRE.  Special Executive for Counterintelligence,  
 Terrorism,  Revenge,  Extortion. The four great cornerstones 
 of power, headed by the greatest brains in the world.

 Correction: criminal brains.

              DR NO

 The successful criminal brain is always superior.  It has to be.


 But why become criminal ?   I'm sure the West would 
 welcome a scientist of your ... caliber.

             DR NO

 The Americans are fools: I offered my services.  They refused.  
 So did the East.  Now they can both pay for their mistakes. 

Our third example of "The Explanation" will be from Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, and will be posted in a few days.  Then we will examine the structure and ideas behind this revolutionary cinematic approach.

Favorite Mistakes in Computer Animation 1

As everyone who has done computer animation knows, some of our favorite images are not intentional.  In fact, they were so not intentional that they are actually mistakes.

Even worse, you have to be very careful not to show mistakes to a client, because they might like it, and then you might really be in trouble because you might now know how to get that look again or to control it.  One of the worst things that can happen is for a client to like a mistake but want 10% more of whatever it is that you did not intend to do.

Here is a recent mistake that I like a lot.  Its an early attempt at volume rendering of a protein molecule, with an effort to visualize the nucleus (protons, neutrons) and the electron clouds of the atoms.  Clearly something has gone very wrong... You can see what looks like circles off on the perimeter: those are the individual electron clouds where there are few enough that you can make out individual clouds.

Obviously, in the center, things get out of hand.

I think it looks like a good early effort at a galactic explosion of some sort.

Secrecy & Special Forces in Africa

Nick Turse has written an interesting article about America's work in Africa to build up transportation infrastructure, and he complains vigorously about the secrecy which with it is done.

See his article at

Although I do not agree with most of his concerns which I think are straightforward paranoia, I do think he has a point about the secrecy, but maybe this is something he has not thought through.

If the various Special Forces missions in Africa and the related infrastructure was debated openly in America, I bet most Americans would be against it.  We saw what happened when we tried to help feed Somalia and keep them from killing each other.  Americans were not only killed, but they were mutilated and dragged through the streets.  Ok, its their country and they did not want us there.  I understand that.  So my point is, why are we spending money to help them now ?   I think that there are a lot of people in America who could use some foreign aid and infrastructure support, there is no need to go to Africa to spend that money.

So yes, in this case, lets end the secrecy and have a debate.   I don't think the result will be what Nick Turse actually had in mind, though.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nancie M at Her Farewell Party

The esteemed and always lovely Nancie M at her "Farewell from Los Angeles" party.

 Many people do not notice that there is a young girl in the image. Only a few notice the illusion that comes from juxtaposition of elements, does the young girl have flowers in her hair, or not ?

 Yes, it is intentionally out of focus, and has not been modified in any way beyond a selective cropping of the negative.

Portrait of Nicki K at the VES Awards

There are several issues that are demonstrated with this picture of my friend, Nicki K, at the VES awards many years ago.

The first issue is that I am attempting to capture some sense of the subject's personality or psychology in these images.  Towards that end, such matters as focus or bright illumination are not terribly relevant.

The second issue is the overwhelming question of what is the proper place of photo-modification, sometimes called "photoshopping" and sometimes known as "wire removal", and sometimes by other terms in visual effects.

I think that there is a value in capturing these images in camera, e,g. with the qualities of such things as f-stop, exposure times, the decisive moment (e.g. when you take the picture) and so forth.  This image has not been modified in any form from its scan from the negative, not even for color correction.

It has been reduced in resolution to make it easier to view on the web.

In other words, the blur is naturally part of the picture.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Explanation in Cinema: First Example

We will present a new theory of cinema, the theory of "The Explanation".

We first present several examples of this radical new approach and then explain the theory behind the technique in a future post.

Consider the following excerpt from Ed Wood Jr's masterpiece, Bride of the Monster. Notice that this scene advances the plot, helps develop the characters, and builds dramatic tension without the use of visual effects, gratuitous computer graphics, explosions, or even the use of giant robots fighting each other. How does the writer/director do it ?

In this scene, Professor Strowski has searched a jungle to find the missing and exiled Dr. Varnoff, and having found him, has a conversation.





            THAT I AM ALL RIGHT.





Monday, July 16, 2012

OSS/WW2 Manual for Simple Sabotage

This manual is from the CIA - predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services and is a manual for simple sabotage that is hard to detect, such as one might find in an office environment.


Archaeology of the Cold War: The Berlin Tunnel 1952-1956

Beginning our series on the Archaeology of the Cold War, we have here one of the favorites of the genre: the CIA Berlin Tunnel operation.

The CIA has a history department, as you might expect.  From time to time, this department issues reports of past operations, particularly of operations that were somehow exposed and which is long in the past.  It would be naive to believe that they tell us everything, and it would be naive to expect that they are going to give us all points of view on the topic (e.g. we can expect that they will emphasize the positive and successful aspects).  My experience suggests that even in the area of positive results, that the allocation of credit and acknowledgement of contribution is a story that is rarely completely told.

But for those of us on the outside, the information in a CIA history report can be fascinating, and also in this case, humorous.   Here is a very short synopsis of what the report discusses.

Berlin is a divided city, and the American and Soviet sectors are adjacent.   The US becomes aware of a Soviet military cable going from the major airport to a Soviet military headquarters and within 1500 feet of the American Zone.  The CIA figures out a way to dig a very long tunnel without giving away any indication that the tunnel is being built, tap the cable without the Soviet's figuring it out (in cooperation with the UK who had done something similar in Vienna) and retrieving reams of information for almost a year until it gets discovered.  Then something even more amusing happens, the Soviets tell the world about it which unexpectedly increases our prestige in Europe, most of whom did not believe we were capable of anything so clever.

Here is one of the funny bits in the report.   It was a major problem to figure out how to dig the tunnel in secret, because, among other things, of the problem of getting the dirt out.  You could not have a bunch of dump trucks filled with excavated dirt, for example, leaving a site so close to the Soviet Zone without people noticing.   So the solution they found was to dig a big hole in public, and then put the dirt in it (its all explained in the report).  Just the press when the Soviets go public is amusing.

After you read this report, we have other CIA reports selected for your amusement.

CIA Introduction

CIA Report (100 + pages)

First Observations about Blogging

I am enjoying the process of writing this blog, although I have barely begun to scratch the surface of the topics that have been selected for this venue/blog/channel.

The user-interface to blogpost.com gets a solid B+ and that is rare praise from me.

My first impressions are that writing a blog can be incredibly time consuming, and reminds me of preparing to give a series of lectures for the first time.  It forces you to organize your thoughts, but it is definitely work to do so.  So far, all posts seem to require at least two complete rewrites before they are presentable.

Now we begin the more interesting and challenging topics which will take at least a few years to properly explore.   As always we plan to be passive-aggressive in our approach.   It is unclear who, if anyone, will read this, but that is ok.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Archaeology of the Cold War: Soviet Trophy Brigades

This is the only report I am aware of that describes the work of the USSR Trophy Brigades after WW2.   These brigades removed works of art and transferred them to the Soviet Union where they mostly remain.  Personally, I think the Russians have quite a good claim to them:  if you haven't read what happened in WW2 on the eastern front, do not be quick to judge the Russians.  They have quite a story to tell.

Here is the article that opened up the discussion of the location of these missing items.


Spies in the Post-Cold War Order

The past isnt over, it isnt even past yet. Here are two good articles on some recent events in spying, Russian 'illegals' and sleepers.

The first in Foreign Policy:

The second in a personal blog by a former official in the British diplomatic corps.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Cinderella Myth as Interpreted in the Style of Robert Graves

Robert Graves is best known in this country as the author of I, Claudius, but among his 140 or so other works, is The Greek Myths, which is considered a standard reference work in English for Greek myth, noted for the accuracy of his translations and the rigor and completeness of his documentation of the sources for each myth.

On the other hand, pretty much all classical scholars think that his interpretations of the myths are completely wacky and "imaginative".

From a review I found on the internet, here is one author's attempt to do a Robert Graves - like interpretation of Cinderella.

"Cinderella's name means Ash-lady, which denotes her as the ash-pale Death-goddess of winter. She and her two stepsisters form the classic Triple Goddess. Originally, the sisters' names were probably Destruction and Pestilence. Cinderella's transformation at the hands of the Fairy Godmother was really a late patriarchal addition; no doubt the original goddess transformed herself, showing her Love-goddess face rather than her more spectral one. Her dance with the Prince is an example of the White Goddess's choice of the King of the Waxing Year as her consort. In the version that has come down to us, she loses her shoe, but certainly in the uncorrupted, original myth, it was the Prince who lost his shoe, as the sacrificial king was often marked by a limp. This can be seen in the Welsh story of Math ap Mathonwy, and Dionysos's epithets also hinted at lameness. At the hour of midnight, that is to say, the witching hour, Cinderella reveals her terrible, ravening face by turning back into the ragged Death-goddess. Undoubtedly, the story ended with Cinderella's murder of the Prince, and her mourning for him by painting her face with the ashes of his funeral pyre, as the Welsh women mourned for Llew Llaw Gyffes. The happy ending we are familiar with is actually the record of the patriarchal takeover, when the White Goddess was forcibly married to the Year-King who had become the supreme god of the new mythology"

From "Kelly (Fantasy Literature)" of Columbus, MO via Amazon.com, a review of The Greek Myths by Robert Graves

Cameron's Treatment for "Terminator"

While we are on the subject of the treatment, which is a term of art in the writing of the screenplay, here is another example from a well-known movie, the first Terminator film by Jim Cameron and his wife and producer Gail Anne Hurd.

At the time, neither of them had a credential as either a director or a producer, and this film was an effort on their part to show that they could make an entertaining film at a very low budget, which I have heard was set at $6M.   One reason that this was possible is that they cast all unknown stars and at the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was not well known.

Like other important low-budget films, such as Repo Man, films of this type seem to provide a venue that helps the careers of the actors cast in it.

I do not know the provenance of this treatment.  I picked it up one night while trawling the internet.  In this case I am continuing the policy of asking for forgiveness rather than permission, and I am republishing it here.  I have no way to know if it is authentic, however it feels authentic to me.   In contrast to the previous published Star Wars treatment, this one is fairly close, but not identical, to the final film.

(7/16/2012 My correspondent Nicki K. reminds me that Piranha 2 was Jim's first directing gig.  So please note this correction ...).

TERMINATOR A TREATMENT FOR A FEATURE FILM SCREENPLAY by JAMES CAMERON July, 1982 The Present. Los Angeles ghetto. Schoolyard. Night. Among the spray-painted school buildings a cat prowls between the dumpsters. It looks up, freezing alert, at something beyond human perception. A sourceless wind rises, and with it a keening whine. Papers blow across the pavement. The cat yowls and hides. Windows rattle. The whine intensifies and with it comes a wash of frigid purple light. A concussion like a thunderclap right overhead blows in all the windows facing the yard. The cat's eyes are wide as the glow dies. Electrical discharges arc from the dumpster to a water faucet and climb a drainpipe like a Jacob's Ladder. The sound of stray electrical crackling subsides. In the middle of the previously empty yard stands a NAKED MAN. Tall. Powerfully built. Handsome in an utterly unremarkable way, except for the eyes, which are intense blue and depthless. He glances down, taking calm inventory of himself, then scans his surroundings. At the horizon, occasional lightning flashes presage a thunderstorm. He strides OUT OF SHOT. A beer bottle smashes on the ground. PULL BACK to include its ex-owner and his two compatriots, YOUTH GANG MEMBERS lounging on a jungle gym in the kindergarten playground. They glance up as the naked man walks from between the school buildings and comes purposefully toward them. In response to their derisive catcalls, he says to one of them without inflection, "Your clothes will fit. Give them to me." The three toughs slide off the jungle gym and surround him, all swagger and malign good humor. With blinding speed the man backhands the one he addressed in the throat and the punk drops, gagging on blood. The leader has his switchblade out in an instant and has slashed it across the man's throat in the next. The stranger pauses to glance at the blood streaming down his chest without apparent concern, then kills the leader with one punch in the belly. There is a wet sound as he draws back his fist which glistens with blood to the elbow. The leader slumps lifeless to the ground. The third punk is already stripping off his clothes as the man turns his gaze toward him. This man is the TERMINATOR. A light rain begins to fall. Terminator emerges onto the street, hiking the collar of the punk's jacket to hide his neck. The rain streams down over his face, running into and over his eyes. They do not blink. Another part of the city. Downtown. Seedy apartments and storefronts. The streets glisten and hiss with desultory late night traffic. SLOW DOLLY into an open alley lined with trash containers, fire escapes, and a derelict sleeping in the comfort of a recessed doorway. The wet brickwork is hit with a purple glare and a thunderous shock wave hurls trash into the air. Rats scurry. Painted-over windows shatter. A figure drops into frame as if out of the sky, and smacks the pavement with a muddy splash. A naked man, young, compact and muscular, rises in a defensive crouch, ignoring the bleeding scrapes of his abrupt arrival. KYLE REESE is wracked by spasms, shivering and panting from physiological trauma. The rain drenches him as he staggers to his feet and looks around. He runs unsteadily to a nearby fire escape. On the first landing he crouches beside another naked man who appears entangled in the ironwork. A closer look reveals that the man has been pierced through the abdomen by the horizontal slats and through the shoulder. He was materialized in the same space occupied by the fire escape structure. He grimaces in agony. "Reese, you OK?" the wounded man gasps. "OK" "I'm out of it." "You know what I have to do," Reese says grimly. "Don't waste time on me, just find her." The man sags into unconsciousness and doesn't struggle when Reese presses the palm of his hand firmly over his mouth, pinching the nostrils closed, and waits. When it is over, Reese descends to the alley floor and crosses to the stuporous drunk. A police cruiser eclipses the alley mouth and a searchlight blazes on, illuminating Reese just pulling on the derelict's filthy trousers. Two cops leap from the car. They don't know what's going on but it sure looks illegal. Reese bolts down the alley and a frantic chase on foot begins. In a staccato sequence Reese vaults trashcans, hurdles fences, dives over parked cars and dodges with incredible agility through the stark-lit maze of alleys. The cops separate and one circles around and confronts Reese at an alley mouth with drawn revolver and flashlight, only to be disarmed as he moves in by a mongoose-fast blow and a devastating series of spinning kicks which leave him in an unconscious heap. Another unit arrives out front as Reese crashes into a door, disappearing into the darkness within. He finds himself in a department store and dashes into the maze of aisles, crab-running low among the moving shadows as searchlights and flashlights quarter the darkness. A security dog hurtles toward him out of the shadows. A dark blur with teeth, very Doberman, it leaps and Reese spins, catching it by the throat in midair and arcing it to the floor with unflinching precision. Suddenly on its back and held by the throat, the dog yelps and stares at Reese who leans very close and fixes it with a gaze of uncompromising dominance. Some ancient communication passes between the two. Then he releases the animal and turns his back to take some clothes from a rack. The dog backs away from him, stiff-legged and confused. Reese is rounding a corner donning a long overcoat when another cop appears, running, gun forward. Without slowing Reese runs toward him, leaping, twisting in midair like a cat to dodge the one shot the cop has time for before they hit the polished floor and slide. Two quick punches and Reese is up again, running, tucking a police .38 special in the pocket of his coat. A side door in the alley opens and Reese slips out. The first cruiser is parked in the alley, unoccupied. Glancing around, he opens the car door, removes the pistol-handled pump shotgun from the dash rack and slips it under his coat where it is virtually invisible in a vertical position. He walks unhurriedly out onto the street, an innocuous pedestrian, lost in the rain and the sporadic street crowd. Kyle Reese 21 years old, hardened veteran, physically and psychically scarred, trained from boyhood to deal and elude death to the full extent that the human organism is capable, steps into a phone booth... Looks up a name: Connor, Sarah J. Slow dissolve to the name 'Connor, S' hand-lettered on an apartment mailbox door, which is soon opened and its contents removed by (you guessed it) SARAH CONNER. 19, small and delicate-featured, pretty in a flawed, accessible way. She doesn't stop the party when she walks in, but you'd like to get to know her. Her vulnerable quality masks a strength even she doesn't suspects exists. The night's rain has given way to a typical L.A. morning of diffuse sunlight. Sarah jogs back up to her apartment, opening the phone bill enroute. She shrieks. "Ginger, who the hell do you know in Des Monies worth 43.51?" One of the bedroom doors is flung open and a human dynamo appears, Sarah's room-mate GINGER VENTURA: red-haired, athletic, pretty when still, but stunning in motion... she is dancing and laughing with uncontainable glee. Before Sarah can protest she is hauled into the bathroom where Ginger points triumphantly to a small test-tube in a plastic stand. At the bottom of a couple of ounces of yellow fluid is a dark ring of residue, a negative result on the home pregnancy test. "Beatin' the odds, baby!" Ginger crows, and Sarah joins in laughing. They do an impromptu jig. Ginger demands a champagne toast and they dance into the kitchen where she shakes up a warm 7-Up and sprays the room with generic substitute. Getting on with the day Sarah pours herself a quick bowl of Rice Krispies, but Ginger dowses it liberally with the soda, telling her over her protests that she'll love it. Sarah raises an appreciative eyebrow after the first mouth-full. Ginger slips on the headphones of her Walkman-style cassette player, to which she seems inoperably joined at the hip, and begins maniacally tearing some lettuce leaves into small pieces in a bowl. "I feel so good I'll even feed Pugsley for you, kiddo," she says, approaching a large terrarium beside the living room couch and cautiously opening the door. "Back I say! Back, fiend from Hell! Oh no... he's gone!" Sarah suggests she try the window. Ginger finds her room-mate's three foot long green-iguana sunning blissfully on the windowsill behind the drapes. With maternal gentleness Sarah carries Pugsley back to his cage, giving the complacent reptile a kiss on its blunt snout as she crosses the room, while Ginger groans in disgust. "Nobody understands us, Pugsley," Sarah murmurs, "They just don't take the time to find out what sensitive people we really are under our unassuming exteriors." Pugsley eyes her vapidly before attacking the lettuce. At the sound of a horn from the street below both girls gather their school books and tromp down to meet MATT BUCHANAN, Ginger's boyfriend, who is giving her a lift to class. Matt is leaning against the enormous 4-wheel drive pick-up, dressed in a tank-top and cutoffs which leave his weightlifter's body well displayed. He is the assistant manager of the health club at which Ginger is an aerobic dance instructor part-time. Matt is only a little smarter than he looks but, despite his imposing appearance, is one of the kindest people you'd ever want to meet, and his earnest affection for Ginger is almost comical. Sarah walks her moped out of the parking garage. Ginger suggests that the three of them get together that night to celebrate the results of her urine test, but Sarah reminds her that she already has a date. By the surprised approval this evokes from her two friends, we see that this is no mean occurrence. Sarah dismisses it as her 'schmuck of the month club selection' which she'll probably return unopened. As she puts on her helmet and starts her scooter she assures Ginger she'll be able to pick her up from work at the usual time and then takes off. She whines down the street in that demure pose unique to moped riders. Sarah rides through the morning traffic, enjoying the warm wind in her hair, the sun on her face and bare legs, and the heavy scanning by guys in passing cars. The day has not progressed far enough to manifest many problems and she is in a good mood. She is working hard toward fulfillment of her modest dreams, waitressing part-time after her classes at the Junior College, and taking some satisfaction in the fact that life has not been handed to her on a plate. Neither has there been any great pain or trauma, or any of the hardening influences which might have prepared her for what will soon come. She passes without noticing a man on the sidewalk, wearing ill-fitting punk clothes, and walking with an unhurried but purposeful stride. Terminator enters a parking lot between two buildings and stops to watch as an elderly lady clambers into her car and starts it up. He seems strangely intent on her motions of shifting the transmission, releasing the brake, etc., as if memorizing them. His slow circling of the car makes her ill at ease and she locks the doors, then hits the gas in the wrong gear and drives forward over a concrete berm before she gets it together and backs out. When she is gone, Terminator punches in the side window of an unattended car, unlocks it and gets in. With a blow from the heel of his hand he smashes loose the ignition switch and strips the wires with a brutal twist of his fingers. Touching the proper wires together he starts the car. Imitating the woman's performance flawlessly he drives forward over the berm and backs out, tearing a deep gash in the next car with his bumper and backing into the car opposite. All without a flicker of concern in his expression. The stereo is playing Mozart as he pulls out into traffic, which strikes an eclectic effect with his leather jacket and 'Black Flag' T-shirt. Terminator pulls up to the curb in front of a pawn shop and goes inside. The man at the gun counter cheerfully hands over for his inspection several pieces of perfectly legal anti-human artillery: a Browning Hi-power .45, an S-W .38 snub, an Israelli-made Uzi machine pistol still in the box, a used AR-18 assault rifle (semi-auto only on the last two) and a Mossberg eight shot pump shotgun with a combat handgrip and forearm stock. "Cash or charge?" is the pawnbroker's only comment. He only becomes concerned when his customer opens a box of 12 gauge shells from a display rack and calmly starts loading them into the shotgun. "Hey, you can't do that..." "Wrong." says Terminator matter-of-factly. He raises the barrel and pulls the trigger. Terminator swings his car into a gas station and parks beside the only phone booth, which is occupied. Getting smoothly out of his car he opens the booth doors and flings the man inside out into the parking lot without a glance back. A faint, reedy monologue issues from the dangling receiver as Terminator leafs rapidly through the directory. A macro shot shows his finger stopping beside a now familiar listing: Connor, Sarah. In the big metropolitan book there are four identical listings under that name. Sarah is crossing the crowded quad after her last class of the morning. She weaves among the throng of brave new faces, their arms laden with tomes of calculus and Keats, their brains febrile with thoughts of Pac-man and getting laid. Sarah's day takes its first turn for the worse as she returns to her moped, parked on motorcycle row, and finds the back tire flat. She is resignedly strapping her books to the seat as a nerdy guy walks up and gets on his Kawasaki next to her. "Hi," she says, smiling, "Are you mechanically inclined?" She buzzes into the parking lot at Big Bob's only fifteen minutes late, and chains her bike to a light standard near the fiberglass cherub holding his hamburger up in perpetual homage to whatever deity watches out for fat kids. "Hi, asshole," she says as she passes Big Bob, entering the wholesomely appointed eatery under the scrutiny of multiple surveillance cameras. CHUCK BREEN, the day manager, pimply and officious, watches her on one of several security monitors in his closet-like office. He leans out to intercept her as she passes by, berating her for being late. When she is around the corner she flips him 'the bird', forgetting about the corridor camera over the locker room door. Chuck's voice booms from the ceiling speaker: "Bad attitude, Connor. As long as I'm signing your checks you're a 'Bob's Girl' and don't forget it." She marches wearily into the locker room. "Big Bob is watching you," one of the other girls jokes. When her locker door slams shut she is transformed into a 'Bob's Girl', with that production-line happy peasant look... blouse, flared skirt and hair in a bun. She pinches her cheeks and checks in the mirror to see if her smile is vacuous enough, then goes out on the floor. Soon she is bustling about, servicing the lunch rush. When she stops by a table with several squalling kids, both arms laden with steaming dinners, a two year old dumps a scoop of ice cream into her hip tip pouch. She pauses for a contemplative moment to repeat to herself her motto: In a hundred years, who's going to care? The neighborhood is standing-issue L.A. suburban: stucco houses set too close together, little plots jealously guarded by stake fences. Kids are racing Big Wheels in the street in the background as a car glides up to the curb. Its front tire crushes a child's toy truck. Terminator gets out, pausing by the mailbox to check the name, and walks toward the adjacent house. The doorbell is answered by a frail middle-aged woman in an apron and cleaning gloves. "Sarah Connor?" says the visitor. "No, she's upstairs. Who shall I say is..." Ignoring her, Terminator pushes past the diminutive woman, crossing the foyer to the stairs. Her protests are cut off in a gasp of alarm as he pulls the .45 from under his jacket and snaps the cocking slide. The old woman begins to screech in terror, darting back and forth indecisively. Finally she goes back to the front door and calls for help. Installed on her bed for an afternoon of 'soaps' is the wrong Sarah Connor. Electrode pads exercise her doughy thighs as the 35 year old divorcee watches General Hospital. "What's wrong, Mom?" she calls out distractedly. The door bangs open and she stares in dumb amazement as the good-looking, intense-eyed man in the ill-fitting clothes raises a pistol and aims it at her face. It all seems less real than General Hospital in that half-second before he fires. Downstairs, her mother is fumbling with the telephone when she hears the shots. She shrieks with renewed terror as the ceiling above her erupts with five exit holes in rapid succession, followed by a dribble of blood. In the bedroom, seen in a low angle shot, Terminator stands with the .45 aimed down at the dead woman out of frame below. He unhurriedly drops the clip, reloads the weapon and replaces it under his jacket. Then, crouching down, he removes a plastic-handled razor- knife from his pocket and extends the five inch blade slowly with his thumb. It is the type with numerous break-off sections for renewing the point, and it extends with a quietly ominous clicking. In the foyer the old woman stands paralyzed as Terminator reappears on the landing and walks down toward her, knife in hand. He wipes the bloody blade clean on her apron, clicks it shut and goes out the door. She sags to the floor in a faint. Some kids who have gathered nervously at the curb step back as she walks out, gets in the car, and drives away. He pulls a Milky Way bar out of his pocket and eats it as he drives, in two bites, without removing the wrapper. In the back room at Big Bob's Sarah has her feet up, taking a well earned coffee break. Chatting with another girl, she is paying little attention to the early evening news droning on a small portable TV in the background. The anchorwoman is saying "In our top story locally, police are at a loss for a possible motive in the bizarre, execution-style murder of an Encino woman early this afternoon. Sarah Connor was shot to death in her home by a man witnesses describes as..." The girl watching the news exclaims to Sarah that someone with the same name as her was killed. All three of them watch intently as the report continues. Sarah gazed at the screen contemplatively, the coincidence an uneasy reminder of mortality. It is dusk when Sarah stops her scooter in front of the health club where Matt and Ginger work. She goes inside and waits while Ginger finishes the last few minutes of her disco-aerobics class, energetically leading her platoon of panting, cellulite-cursed women through their rigorous paces to the beat of a Motown favorite. When the tape ends her charges collapse with a collective groan while Ginger, barely winded, cheerfully cajoles and commends them variously before heading for the locker room. While Ginger puts on her street clothes, including her much-loved Walkman earphones, Sarah tells her about the unsettling coincidence and its aftereffects: that her mother actually called her at work to see if she was OK, just because the news item gave her such a start. Ginger turns to Sarah with an expression so bizarre that she can barely keep from cracking up, especially with Ginger's vocal rendition of fifties sci-fi movie theremin music. Sarah tells her friend that she's nuts. "Good nuts, I hope," Ginger says. "Mixed." The girls leave in high spirits, stopping by the weight room so Ginger can say goodbye to Matt. She berates him for not doing a full workout on his "lats" and "bi's", kisses him and grabs Sarah by the arm. She has been wistfully studying the other men as they pump the massive, complex nautilus machines. They seem to merge into kinetic sculptures of chrome steel levers and tubes, and glistening muscle... a bio- mechanical landscape. Outside, the girls climb onto Sarah's little scooter and drone off into the gathering darkness. Later, Sarah and Ginger are preparing for their respective dates: Ginger blow-drying with her headphones inverted under her chin, Sarah trying on the fourth blouse in a sudden attack of indecision. Sarah answers the phone and Matt, thinking it is Ginger, launches into one of his custom obscene phone calls in which he describes in drooling detail the pleasures he intends to inflict in her pliant flesh. Sarah, suppressing her laughter, gives him enough rope to hang himself and then sternly asks who it is. Matt is grovellingly apologetic, and asks politely to speak to Ginger. When she takes the phone he begins the breathy monologue again. Ginger, with a conspiratorial wink at Sarah says "Oh, hi Steve." Wounded voice: "This is Matt. Who's Steve?" The girls are weak from laughter when the doorbell heralds the arrival of Sarah's mystery date. Enter Stan Morsky: aggressive, clean-cut law student with an upwardly mobile smile and an I'm-so-smooth-I-hardly-believe-it-myself style that instantly spells schmuck. He makes a big hit with Sarah by spending 80 percent of the time looking at Ginger until she gets him coaxed out the door. Needless to say he drives a Porsche. An unmarked car with a clamp-on light flashing and siren blaring screeches to the curb behind three black-and- whites in front of a Venice apartment building. LIEUTENANT ED VUKOVICK, Homicide Division, strides through the crowd gathered patiently for their ten-second glimpse of something under a sheet, and wends his way up to the scene, a third floor apartment. On the floor is the crumpled body of a young woman, her blue jeans and sweater bloodsoaked. Two bags of groceries lie split open on the floor in front of her. Detectives and photographers bustle about, taking evidence. Vukovick is quickly briefed by DETECTIVE SGT. BUCKMAN: The woman was shot repeatedly at close range. Large caliber weapon. Got her just inside the door, so killer was probably waiting in the apartment. One witness saw a guy holding a pistol walk out like he was walking a poodle for a piss in the park... his words. He's making a statement. The deceased's name is Sarah Louise Connor... Vukovick stops the report. Did he hear correctly? Two homicides in one day with the same name? "That's not all that's the same," Buckman says, lifting one of the girl's pant-legs which has been slit up past the knee. Also slit, from ankle to knee, is the skin and muscle of her calf, peeled back like a hotdog bun to expose the shin-bone. Vukovick scowls. The same mutilation as the Encino housewife, left leg only. Too fucking weird. The news guys'll have a field day with this... the first one-day pattern killer. Vukovick's lamentations are justified when he returns to division headquarters and finds himself running a gauntlet of reporters and minicam crews to get to his office. It hasn't taken them long to figure out that the killings took place in the same order in which they are listed in the phone book, and they want to know if he can offer anything beside the idea that a maniac is working his way through the L.A. directory starting with the C's. Vukovick reaches his inner sanctum with NO COMMENT and washes down a handful of aspirin with coffee two hours cold. He asks if Buckman has called the third name again, the 'next girl', and the officer replies that he just keeps getting an answering machine. A unit sent to the address in the book reported that there was no answer to the buzzer and the apartment manager wasn't home either. The Lieutenant ponders the reporters who, in his opinion, have screwed up more good police work than any other single factor. But he decides they may do more good than harm this time. With the pattern revealed and potential victims alerted, the killer may be wary of striking again if that is his intention. He goes back outside after telling Buckman to keep calling. As the door closes on the babble and the lights, Buckman begins punching out Sarah's number. The phone rings in the dark apartment, triggering the loony phone message the girls have recorded on their machine. In the bedroom the recorded voices are muffled, and largely drowned out by Ginger's moans as she and Matt heave strenuously in the throes of lovemaking. Ginger is still wearing her Walkman earphones and Matt, reaching out to the night table without breaking rhythm, thumbs the volume higher so she won't be distracted by the call. Ginger seems to enjoy his sure touch on her volume control. Stan Morsky's silver Porsche roars to the curb in front of Sarah's building and, killing the engine, he turns to her expectantly. He invites himself up for a drink, but Sarah declines gracefully, saying that her room-mate has company and with a one-bedroom apartment it's her night on the couch. Undaunted, Stan invites her over to his place for a night-cap but she begs off, citing a long and fatiguing day. She breaks off their goodnight kiss when he shows no sign of doing so and thanks him for dinner with an edge in her voice. Stan asks petulantly what's wrong. Didn't they have a nice dinner? Don't they have a lot in common? Don't they both like dogs and swing-era jazz? He doesn't get it. Sarah sighs, abandoning graciousness, and turns on him with a vengeance. Why does something have to be wrong? Does she have to be defective in some way to not want to leap into bed with a guy she has known for three hours, two of which he spent telling her how much money he's going to make when he joins his father's firm and the other spent driving like Mario Andretti on diet pills? Sarah enters the apartment, alone, and trudges to the refrigerator, taking out a pint of ice-cream. She sits down beside Pugsley, lets him out and plunges the spoon into the ice-cream. "Rum raisin," she sighs, "It ain't love but nine out of ten doctors surveyed recommend it as a substitute for orgasm." She begins massaging the muscle of her left calf and we see that a long-healed surgery scar runs downward across her shin from just below the knee. "Old war wound acting up," she confides to Pugsley, who is draped comfortably across her shoulders. She becomes aware of a series of rising moans and gasps emanating from the bedroom. Sarah rolls her eyes in annoyance as her friend becomes more and more demonstrative. 'Oh, Matt... yes, yes' Sarah mouths in a lip-sync parody. When it shows no sign of abating Sarah grabs her jacket and leaves the apartment, without checking the tape machine holding Buckman's messages. She descends the poorly lit stairs to the parking garage. Thinking she hears footsteps behind her she stops and surveys the shadowed recesses of the parking structure, but can see no movement. She unchains the moped, peddles until the tiny engine cuts in, and whirrs out of the garage. On the street she passes a parked car in which a figure sits hunched down, shadowed. The car's lights come on and it pulls out to follow her. Within, closer, we see that it is Kyle Reese, his scarred face set in grim lines as the streetlights play across it. From the steering column dangles the ignition assembly where it was ripped loose for hot-wiring. Sarah winds up at a pizza parlor near her campus, a favorite of the post-movie crowd. She nurses a glass of wine at one end of the bar in morose solitude. She is ignoring the newscast on the TV set above the bottle rack until she hears her name again. The newscaster is saying: "...apparently the same pattern... police are refusing to speculate on the apparent similarity between the shooting death of an Encino woman earlier today and an almost identical killing just two hours ago of a Venice resident, who, incredible, has virtually the same name. Sarah Louise Connor, a 24 year old legal secretary, was pronounced dead at the scene in her beachfront apartment. No connection between the two victims has been established as of yet and..." The bartender starts to turn the channel at the request of another customer to catch the ball score, but Sarah surprises everyone with her yell to leave it alone. When the newscaster turns to the next item, Sarah makes her way to the pay phone in the back. Looking up her own listing she realizes she is the next in the progression. Scanning the faces in the room she catches the statistically normal number of covert looks for an unattended girl on a Friday night, but they seem to take on a new menace. Kyle Reese looks up from his beer and looks impassively at her. The light catches the burn scar on his cheek and Sarah shudders. She backs into the women's restroom and stumbles numbly to the sink. She splashes her face with cold water. In the mirror she confronts her terrified reflection: why ME? She slips out and walks quickly to the pay phone, only to find it out of order. The cashier tells her that there is a phone at the bar further down the block and she heads out onto the street. Why does everyone in the sparse crowd seem to be looking at her? People look at people, it's natural. But what are they thinking? What might one of them be thinking? Glancing behind her she sees the guy with the scar leaning against the wall. When she looks back again, he's gone, lost in the crowd somewhere. She speeds up. An LAPD cruiser glides by on the far side of the street. What could she tell him, anyway? She reaches the bar and ducks quickly inside. Her knuckles clench white as the scarred guy in the overcoat approaches outside. He walks by, unhurriedly, without a glance inside. The gloomy interior reveals itself to be a less than savory place. She draws stares, menacing in their own right, as she weaves between the pool tables to the back of the bar. With an effort of will she walks, rather than runs, to the pay phone and dials the police, only to be put on hold for transfer to another department. In the foyer of Sarah's building Terminator stands surveying the bank of call buttons. Through the steel bars of the security gate he can just make out the door of Sarah's second floor apartment, number 203. Ginger leaves a sleeping Matt and pads through the dark apartment wearing a short kimono and her tape player, bopping to herself in the silent gloom. The refrigerator briefly illuminates the kitchen as she removes snack fixings, and in that moment we see something moving in the foreground. A sudden crash and flurry of motion. She drops half her load in that startled moment and then fumbles for the lightswitch. Ginger sighs with relief as Pugsley sits blinking among overturned spice bottles on the counter top. She shoos him away and begins slathering crunchy peanut butter onto stalks of celery. Rustling curtains play patterns of streetlight over Matt's sleeping face. The sound of a faint breeze. In the background is the balcony, empty. The sliding door is open. Matt's eyes open as he hears an ominous repeated clicking. Right above him is the five-inch razor knife reaching full extension in Terminator's hand. It slashes viciously downward, but Matt rolls and the pillow is slit open where his throat had been. Terminator grabs him by the hair and slashes down again. Matt grabs his wrist in both hands. The blade stops inches above his face. The enormous muscles of his arms, which seem capable of bench-pressing a Chrysler, strain and knot against the pressure of the killer's single arm... and still the blade moves closer to his throat. With a final heave Matt deflects the downpressure sideways and the blade snaps with a clink against the headboard. He rolls off the bed and slams his fists together into Terminator's temple. He picks up a brass deco lamp and brings it down with pile-driver force. Unperturbed the intruder knocks the lamp away and flings Matt crashing through the glass door onto the balcony. In the kitchen, oblivious to the noise, Ginger croons in rock and roll ecstasy, singing to the celery (between bites). Matt heaves himself up, powerful muscles gleaming with sweat and blood from a score of cuts, and hurls himself upon the intruder. The titans crash into the dresser, reducing it to kindling, and then into the closet door. The full-length mirror explodes. Terminator places one hand on either side of Matt's barrel chest. Sinks his fingers deep into the flesh. an inhuman grip. Matt raised off the floor, contorted with agony, above the other's head. Ginger is returning to the bedroom with a plate of celery stalks and a glass of milk. As she approaches the closed door a shape smashes through it in an explosion of splinters right in front of her... Matt's lacerated body propelled halfway through the door by enormous force. Ginger screams hysterically as the door is wrenched open and Terminator steps through with that massive .45 drawn. She makes it down the hall before the bullet punches into her back, pitching her on her face just outside the open bathroom door. In low wide-angle Ginger crawls forward, gasping, drowning. The implacable figure looms behind her. Her expression is agony and reeling, nauseating terror and incomprehension rolled together. Why am I suddenly dying? Her eyes roll, showing the whites, like a horse tethered in a burning stable. She scrabbles for a grip, pulling herself pathetically into the bathroom, clutching the rim of the toilet. Pan up as Terminator stands over her, takes aim, and empties the clip. In the silence that follows, the ring of the phone seems deafening. Terminator ignores the girl's recorded message as he calmly inserts a new blade into the razor knife and bends down. However his head snaps around when he hears the incoming call: "Ginger, this is Sarah. I'm in this sleazy bar called Stokers on Olympic but I'm too scared to leave. I'm really scared, kiddo... I think somebody's after me and I sure hope you play this soon 'cause I need you and Matt to come pick me up. The police keep transferring me around but I'm going to try them again." Cut to the bar as Sarah finishes the message by reading off the number of the pay phone. She scans the crowd nervously as she hangs up and dials another number. In the apartment Terminator is sifting through papers in the drawer of Sarah's small desk. Sirens wail, approaching. He picks up her expired driver's license, scans the picture for a fraction of a second, tosses it down. Pocketing her address book, he slips out the balcony door. Meanwhile, Sarah has finally been transferred to Vukovick who apologizes for the delay, listens to her halting story, and tells her to stay put until he gets there. If someone means her harm her safest bet is to be in a public place, in view of many people. He hangs up and bolts from the office with Buckman. As Sarah locates an empty booth and sits down, we see Reese with his back to her at the bar, watching her in the mirror. She fiddles with her menu and orders something to eat, glancing frequently at her watch. The outside door opens and a figure stands silhouetted for a moment against the streetlight. Reese's eyes flick to the mirror, to the figure. He nurses his beer, looking a bit tightly wound. His overcoat is done up to the top button but he begins slowly to undo it. There is a glint of metal in the shadows within. Reese turns slowly on his stool as the figure brushes past him. Sarah looks up. Close: Reese's hand sliding to the trigger of the riot- gun. Sarah sees Reese and gasps. "Oh, my God," she whispers to herself. Then she sees the man standing in front of her. We see his back as he sits opposite her in the booth. "Lieutenant Vukovick?" she says uncertainly. In a reverse we see it is Terminator. Blue eyes so pure and deep. The eyes of a saint, perhaps. The .45 is out and cocked and aimed directly between her eyes before she can react in any way. Reese's riot-gun is whipped to a hip-firing position with a snap of his coat falling back. She seems to be looking down its barrel as well. It is a frozen slice of nightmare, broken by the roar of the shotgun as it blasts Terminator's hand, knocking away the automatic just as it fires. Sarah screams involuntarily at the concussion so near her head. Reese pumps up and fires two more rounds as Terminator rises, blowing him backward over the booth divider. Sarah scrunches down, caught in the firing line. Lying on his back with three shotgun rounds in him, Terminator seems somewhat dazed. But only for a moment. The customers cowering in the booth beside him scream even louder as he sits up and, favoring his damaged hand, hauls out the concealed Uzi. He rolls up, spraying the bar a moment too late to catch the diving Reese. Total pandemonium. Reese rolls like a cat and comes up firing, catching Terminator as he tries for another shot at Sarah. Patrons of the bar run, scream or dive depending on their level of intelligence. Tables crash over. Bottles shatter. The front window is blown out. Sarah is pinned by the body of a man who caught a burst from the Uzi meant for her. Terminator drops a spent clip and fumbles for another mag with his bloody hand, which isn't working too well but shouldn't be working at all. Reese slides through the glass to Sarah's booth, pulls the dead man off her, and hauls her out onto the floor with him, practically dragging her behind the bar. Before his opponent can get his second clip in, Reese leaps over the bar and at point-blank range unloads the remaining three rounds into Terminator's belly. He crashes backward through two tables and a plate glass window onto the street. High proof alcohol is feeding a roaring fire behind the bar and Reese tosses the Uzi into the blaze before reaching for Sarah. She screams when he seizes her wrist and struggles hysterically, totally overloaded. "Come with me if you want to live," he shouts, pointing to the street where Terminator is rising unsteadily to his feet. His coat and shirt are shredded and blood-drenched. Sarah feels a lightning bolt of terror greater than she ever could have imagined as the cold blue eyes fix upon her once again and he clambers back through the window. Reese runs, dragging her, toward the back of the place as Terminator crashes through the wreckage behind them, hurling flaming tables out of the way. Running headlong, Reese hits the door of a back hallway, hauls Sarah through, then slams and bolt-latches it. Terminator hits the door a moment latter with enough force to tear the latch screws half out of the wall. Behind him the flames engulf a canister of cleaning solvent. He slams the door again, ripping it open, in time to see his quarry reeling out the back door into the alley. The can of solvent explodes, sending a fireball of superheated gas hurtling down the corridor behind Terminator as he clears the outer door. Vukovick and another plain-car arrive out front, slowing to a stop in the glass-littered street. "What the fuck is going on?" he shouts, heading for the blazing building. Two LAPD units arrive and he deploys one of them to cover the rear. In the alley Reese and Sarah have a bit of a lead but their pursuer is bounding after them like a panther, leaping trashcans and other obstacles. They turn the corner into a narrower alley between buildings, caroming off the wall without slowing. Reese is reloading on the run, dropping shells. He and Sarah pelt along beside a row of parked cars which line the alley, leaving little room to run. As they crest the last car he pushes Sarah hard, flinging her down. Flings open the car door... a shield. Drops to the ground. Fires into the gas tank of a car down the row, just before Terminator reaches it. The resulting explosion fills the alley with fire, an inferno channeled between the enclosing walls, with Terminator cut off beyond. Reese stuffs Sarah into the car and climbs in after her. When he twists two wires together to start it, we recognize it as his stolen car. The engine catches just as a silhouette appears out of the wall of flame, leaping from the roof of the blazing car ahead and impacting on the hood of Reese's. Terminator slams his fist into the windshield, punching through it. Reese jams reverse and nails the throttle. The killer gropes for Sarah, lacerating his arm. The car shoots backward out of the alley as the bloody fingers grasp her blouse and pull. Reese cranks the wheel. They slew sideways into a parked car and Terminator is thrown off onto the pavement. Reese slams DRIVE and they hurtle forward, through a red light and past the gathering minions of the law. Vukovick scrambles the black-and-white to give pursuit. Terminator rolls to a kneeling position, then slowly stands upright, patting out his smoldering clothing as he watches his quarry escape. Though his face is as emotionless as ever, we sense that in his own way he is not very pleased. Sarah's face is bloodless. Shock. Reese has the hammer down and he knows what he's doing. Evasive turns and high speed sprints to gain distance, running with lights off at ninety plus down backstreets. He knows the rabbit stratagem and it'll work at least until they get some aerial units on the scene. He asks her if she's alright. Repeats the question to reach her in the terrified corner of her mind. "Who are you?" she says. "Reese. Sent to protect you." "From who? I've never done anything to anybody." "I know. But you will. You just haven't done it yet. That's why it wants to grease you... you're targeted for termination." Sarah tries to make something of that while trying not to see the landscape reeling and blurring by outside the windows. Flashing reds fall in behind them. "How could that man... how could he be still alive, after you... after you shot him?" "Not a man. It's a Terminator. Cyber Dynamics Model 101." Reese says it with commingled respect and hatred. A glare of light outlines Terminator and he turns toward its source. A spotlight on the black-and-white sent to cover the alley. Police and fire sirens warble counterpoint across the landscape of the night, and two helicopters fencing with searchlights circle the area. Terminator heads toward the squad car with the purposeful stride of an executive hailing an elevator filled with attractive secretaries. "Freeze, turkey!" the cop shouts down the barrel of his riot gun, and he does it very well too, with the aggressive Academy stance and hoarse authority in the voice... except that Terminator just ignores all that and takes his gun and his squad car and leaves him stuffed in a dumpster. This begins a three-way cat and mouse pursuit in which Reese and Sarah attempt to elude both the police and Terminator, and Terminator uses the police communications to elude capture himself and home in on his quarry, which he otherwise would have a hard time doing. In fact, he takes part in the search as if he is a bona- fide cop, answering to his unit number in a clipped monotone which goes unnoticed in the melee of coordinating half the city's forces in a massive dragnet. Vukovick, interpreting that Reese is the killer, with Sarah his hostage, has pulled out all the stops to find them, after the day's triple-blow to the image of law enforcement in this fair city. During the pursuit Reese handles the car with nerves of steel, briefing Sarah as they go. She listens because it's better than thinking... about what has happened or will happen, or about the parked cars and lamp-posts that are an insensible blur outside. "See, this Terminator's not a guy, it's a machine. It's made to look human so it can infiltrate." "If it's a machine, how could it bleed?" He pauses to swerve onto a freeway on-ramp, which a pursuing squad car misses in a lateral slide. He winds to 110 on the freeway and answers: "It's called a cyborg really. Cybernetic organism. A machine put together with a living thing. The skin, and some layers under it, the hair, the surface of the eyes, and the inside of the mouth... all that stuff's human tissue, genetically designed for the cyborgs. But underneath it's all steel and titanium. Hydraulic actuators instead of muscles. Controlled by a microcomputer. It has to eat and breathe to keep the skin alive, though a lot less than us... and there's a little tiny heart and internal organs about the size of a chicken's in a recessed compartment." "This is insane." "Yeah, tell me about it. See, it sweats and has bad breath and feels totally human, so it can infiltrate real well. I mean, they still used the 600 Series Hunter- Killers and the other 'roach patrol' machines but..." "I don't believe any of this," Sarah says. Frantic. She seems about to scream. "Yeah, well that's OK. But that doesn't mean it isn't happening. You've got to accept and understand what this thing is. It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear... and it absolutely will not stop, ever, once it has been targeted. Unless it's destroyed." Reese exits the freeway and blends into street traffic for a while, abiding the law until he can find a place to switch cars. "A thing like that... I mean, nobody can build something like that. Could they?" "Hell no, not now. It's from 2026. So am I. I'll never see it again though. One way ticket." Sarah looks at him as if he has jumped his tracks, and so what if he was sent to protect her, who protects her from him? When they stop at a traffic light she tries to bail out but he catches her arm. She sinks her teeth into his hand will all her strength, but his grip doesn't slacken. Reese has spotted a cop across the way, waiting in the oncoming lane, and he shuts the door with his other hand without loosening his hold on Sarah. He drives on when the light turns green and slips past the unobservant officer. He lets go of her and she stares at the blood running down his arm from the bite wound, and back at his grim, scarred face. Is he a cyborg too? He wipes his hand on his pants and looks at her. "Can you kill it?" she asks, weakly. "I don't know." They stop in a dark parking lot to switch cars and Reese breaks into a late model sedan, hopefully an inconspicuous choice. Helicopters can be heard, circling nearer, and several cruisers flash by, lights blazing. An airborne searchlight sweeps the parking lot, lighting the windows as Sarah and Reese huddle on the seat. Two cruisers enter the lot, searchlights flicking about. The two wait, hoping their previous car not far away won't be spotted. The chopper roars far overhead. A light flares briefly across the rear window. Close up: Reese's eyes. There is a momentary flash of an image, a shard of the future, Reese's world. A building in ruins. An incredibly bright light sweeps over it. Reese in black fatigues, crouching in the rubble. He wears a switchboard type headset and carries a strange- looking rifle with CRT starlight scope mounted on it. Roar of steel tank treads. A machine, two stories tall, with searchlights, gun turrets, infrared eyes, rolls by outside the wall. Then Reese is up firing. Bolts of energy and needle-thin beams pierce the night, the flesh. Explosions. Screams of men and electronics dying. The vision ends on a bright flash. "There was a war," he begins, whispering almost in Sarah's ear as the helicopters circle, "Unlike anything you can imagine..." She stares at him, eye to eye, as he speaks his hypnotic history. Though it tears into the recesses of all she knows or thinks she knows to be true and sane, she begins to believe him, and so doing begins to feel new horizons of terror unreeling before her. There was a war. And it devastated the Earth. Our weapons and their weapons were unleashed against their makers by a third and unexpected player. The artificial intelligence which had been created to control the bombers and launch the missiles with their nukes and chemicals and germs... the computer entrusted with that grave responsibility one day decided to have done with the folly that was Man and create real order and real intelligence on the planet for the first time. Machine intelligence. Humans were obsolete. The cities fell and in the ruins the survivors were hunted down and slaughtered by the gleaming patrol machines, built by robots in the automated factories. Large groups were rounded up into camps where liquidation could proceed in an orderly and sanitary fashion. Only one force opposed the cybernetic Reich. A single man, a man who rose out of the slag heap to organize the survivors against the pogroms, to resist the genocide, to storm the wire of the camps and smash their metal executioners into junk. Reese holds her by the shoulders, speaking more eloquently and earnestly, in his halting way, than he ever has in his grim soldier's life... knowing that only by convincing her now can he save her life. "This man... his name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah. Your unborn son." The helicopter searchlight sweeps across their old car, flicks back and holds. The cruisers turn and race to converge. Streetlights flash like comets over the windshield as Terminator peers into the rows of parked cars. He spots the gray sedan as it launches out of its space before any of the other cops and pursues silently. Behind the wheel Reese is still twisting the wires firmly together as he maneuvers out of the lot. Terminator's black-and-white closes on a diagonal course. The window is down, the shotgun barrel poking out. Reese ducks, steering blind, as the windshield and side windows explode inward and his car slams into the black- and-white, spinning it into a parked truck. Terminator catches up to them again on the street and they streak through an intersection at a hundred plus with a jewelled string of squad cars following. Reese is feeding his last two shells into the pump as Terminator draws near. "Steer!" he yells at Sarah and leans out the window to fire two-handed, still keeping the throttle mashed down. She grabs the wheel and screams as they approach an intersection, red light their way and an Alpha Beta truck entering crosswise. Reese and Terminator are staring down each other's barrels as the gap closes and the cyborg draws alongside. Sarah jams the car into reverse. The sedan slews with screaming rear tires. The shotguns roar. Terminator's shot tears out the doorpost next to Reese's shoulder, while Reese's stars the other's windshield, blocking his vision as he hurtles past them into the intersection. Terminator clips the back of the semi, skids, vaults the curb in a front-end roll and crashes upside down through the counter area of an A and W. A sign which reads DRIVE IN detaches from an awning and drops across the crushed auto. Reese and Sarah come to rest safely in a car with no transmission, surrounded a moment later by an assortment of LAPD, Sheriff's Department and CHP cars and helicopters. Reese holds his hands up in plain sight. A phalanx of cops, looking like they very much mean business, approach the car. Sarah opens the door and runs staggering toward one of the officers who pulls her away to safety. Two cops run to the overturned squad car jammed into the wreckage of the A and W, but their flashlights reveal that it is empty. The cyborg has vanished. Somewhere in the labyrinth of division headquarters Sarah sits, huddled in a blanket. Her eyes are fixed in the middle distance. All reserves of tears and conscious thought drained. Outside the interrogation room Lt. Vukovick is mixing coffee and discussing the necessity for having told Sarah of her room-mate's death with Buckman. Buckman reports that Sarah's mother has been reached and is on her way down from San Bernardino. They speculate on the single-minded ferocity of her would-be killer, but conclude that nothing adds up to anything at this point. Vukovick carries the coffee in to Sarah. She cowers momentarily at his entrance, and he sits beside her, patiently holding the coffee while she sips it. "That thing is still out there, somewhere, isn't it?" she says. "We'll get him. He's not what you'd call cautious. But don't worry about that... you're safe here. How much safer could you be? There's thirty cops in this building. Why don't you just stretch out here and get some sleep until your mother gets here." "The guy I was with says that it's not human, that it only looks human." "That's a good way of putting it, with an animal like that." Vukovick's patronizing smile reassures her." Is Reese crazy too?" she asks. It's all beginning to seem so distant now. How could she have believed... "We won't know that until we can get him to talk." Reese sits rigid in a chair, hands cuffed behind him. He stares straight ahead, as if trying to will himself or the two detectives interrogating him out of existence. "Reese, Kyle A., Control Sergeant, DN8675309," is all he will tell them. They remind him that there is no record of him with any branch of the armed services, in fact no record under that name anywhere, and that anyway the serial number is not even in the right format. They pummel him with questions but the answer is always the same: name, rank and serial number. "Where's Sarah Connor?" he growls. "Safe." Reese sneers but takes no pleasure in it. "You can't protect her. She's dead meat." The room costs five dollars a night and that's robbery, but the fire escape outside the window adds an element of strategic value. Terminator slips in through the window and clicks on the single bare light bulb. He's a mess: a bloody scarecrow with bullet wounds in stomach, chest, shoulder and right wrist... eyebrows singed off, hair a charred stubble, left eye bloody with embedded glass shards, left ear shot almost completely away. He sits down at a small folding table on which he has set out an array of small tools. Removing the charred remains of his jacket, he props his elbow on the table and examines his non-functional right hand. He picks up an X-acto knife and cuts deeply into the skin of his forearm with an expression of mild concentration. He pulls back a flap of skin to reveal a complex trunk of hydraulics and sheathed cables, glistening with blood. He wipes away the blood and, with small screwdrivers, begins to disassemble the jammed mechanism around the 12 gauge hit. When repairs are complete he sutures the skin crudely back in place with a needle and thread. Close up, macro: the damaged eye. The point of the X-acto knife enters and begins cutting away the ruined sclera and cornea, revealing the faintly glowing lens mechanism beneath. The eye-skin flops on the table. The blood is wiped away with a rag, clearing the electronic eye's vision. Several other repairs are seen in montage style: suturing face and abdominal wounds, slipping a glove over the damaged hand, wiping away the burnt hair and settling a motoring cap on the blistered scalp. A new shirt and overcoat hide the other damage. With the hat pulled down, the collar pulled up, and favoring his right profile, he seems unhurt. (though a bit gaunt and pale). But a turn of his head brings the balefully glowing left eye in its metal socket into view, and Terminator will have to rely on shadows and distance to get by on the street. He removes the Mossberg, the AR-18 and the .38 from under the stained mattress and leaves by the fire escape. Reese is left alone in the interrogation room with DR. PETER SILBERMAN, a criminal psychologist looking somewhat crusty-eyed and put-upon at 3:00 AM. Silberman convinces Kyle to answer some questions on the basis that, with Kyle incarcerated, it may improve Sarah's chances for survival... since that is his purported mission. In the ensuing conversation Reese explains more about why Sarah is in jeopardy. In the future, in 2026, the tide of battle has turned against the electronic genocide, in favor of the human resistance fighters. As a desperate, last ditch maneuver the computer has used a prototype of a time-displacement field generator to send one of its infiltration units into the past to kill his enemy before he is even conceived, by killing his mother. Connor's forces captured the time field laboratory too late to stop the Terminator but, by tracing the coordinates used, were able to deduce the plan and send back two men to intercept the assassin. At this point the experimental equipment was destroyed to prevent recapture. There will be no further help, interference or contact from the future. Silberman is fascinated. According to Reese, due to loss of records during the nuclear devastation, little information about the mother of John Connor was available to the computer: only her name, age, and the city in which she lived up until 1982, after which she was known to have gone into hiding. There was only one piece of information which would have allowed the cyborg to identify her positively. In Reese's future, Sarah Connor is known to have died in a raid at the age of 36 and been routinely autopsied by the disposal machines. This revealed to the computer the two steel screws set in her tibia for a compound fracture suffered in a figure skating accident in her teens. Silberman nods, noting that this would explain the curious mutilation of the previous victims. But he questions why neither Reese nor the other fellow are using anything but present-day weapons, when presumably they would have advanced weaponry and other items of future technology at their disposal. Reese explains that only a living thing can pass through the time field, or in the case of the Terminator, a metal structure completely enclosed by organic tissue. It had something to do with the micro-field generated by all living matter. Therefore: no advanced weapons, supplies or even clothing. They were born into a new time like infants, naked and alone. And without any hope of return. Vukovick enters. Reese reiterates that the police will be unable to protect Sarah. The lieutenant says he's supervised lots of protective custody operations and to mind his own business. Silberman leads Vukovick into the hall, leaving Reese shouting that if it knows where she is, it'll get her. In the hall Silberman marvels at the extent and lucidity of Reese's delusion, and the clever way it is fabricated, requiring no actual physical proof from the future world. Vukovick is too tired to delve into Reese's testimony, delusion or otherwise. For all he knew the kid's behavior could be caused by watching Star Wars on PCP. He shovels more aspirin, chewing them in the absence of coffee, and asks Silberman to check on Sarah. The psychologist enters the other interrogation room and administers a sedative to her, then departs. Out front he waits for the night desk sergeant to buzz him out through the electric security door. In the foyer he passes Terminator just coming in the front door, a pale apparition in cap and dark wrap-around sunglasses. The desk sergeant in his bullet-proof booth barely glances at the visitor who identifies himself as a friend of Sarah Connor and asks to see her. "You can't see her. She's making a statement." "Where is she?" "Look, it's gonna be a while. You wanna wait, there's a bench." Terminator scans the booth, the electric door, the rooms beyond. In a handheld POV which has been optically altered to resemble a digitized computer-generated image, we see the room as Terminator sees it. Graphics are overlayed, extrapolations of the structure of the walls, wiring of the security systems etc., on top of the background image. "I'll come back," he says. The desk sergeant isn't watching as Terminator goes out, nor does he notice the headlights getting brighter outside the main doors, at least until Terminator's car crashes through the foyer, crushing him in the wreckage of the booth. Terminator vaults the hood of the car, heaves through the splintered wall into the corridor, brandishing the automatic rifle like a pistol in one hand, the .38 in the other. The Mossberg dangles at his side on a shoulder. Sarah jerks awake at the sound of distant shots. Two cops run out of the coffee room into a burst of gunfire. Terminator steps over them without breaking stride. Shots echo in the hallway as Vukovick whips open the door to Sarah's room. "Stay here," he says, turns the locking knob and slams the door, leaving her alone. She stares around the empty room in mounting panic as frantic shouting and machine gun fire reverberate through the building. Terminator moves inexorably forward. Sprinting for cover a cop dives behind a wall but the cyborg targets on the sound and shoots through the wall, hitting him. Vukovick fires, puts two rounds into the intruder's head from a doorway ambush, only to see him turn, target and fire. One of the two detectives with Reese runs out, leaving the other to watch the prisoner. A split second after the door closes, a chair smashes across his back and Reese is on him, scrabbling for the handcuff keys. Sarah claws at the light switch and huddles in a corner of the darkened room, unable to believe that she has reawakened into the same nightmare. The shooting is drawing near, relentless as a steamroller. Office-bound cops in shirtsleeves are pulling M-16s from cabinets. A smoke grenade goes off. Terminator kicks in a door, scans the empty office, moves on. A locked door splinters under a burst from the AR-18 and is flung open. Cops behind desks in the briefing room open fire but the intruder moves on, uninterested, taking a few body hits. Sarah's teeth are chattering with uncontrollable fear as shots echo nearby. There is the rhythmic thunder of the pump shotgun, rattling automatic fire, screaming and the sound of running feet. Crashing, splintering sounds. More shots, closer now. Smoke begins to seep under the door. She stifles a cry as the doorknob is tried from the outside. Then a series of shots shatter the lock and she does scream. The door bangs open and a figure stands silhouetted in the smoky hallway. Reese. She runs to him and they flee together, doubling back through a suite of offices as gunfire rages in the corridor. Reese stops, hearing his name called weakly. Vukovick lies propped against a desk. The dying cop holds out a set of keys and his personal Colt Python .357. "Blue Imperial. My space... it says Vukovick. That's with a V." Reese snatches the gun and the keys and is gone. "Good luck, kid." Reese and Sarah squeal out of the parking lot in Vukovick's car as Terminator runs out of the headquarters building. He aims carefully with the assault rifle, but it clicks emptily. He watches them go, then sets off, limping, across the parking lot. The two of them make it north out of L.A. somehow but they run out of gas on the open highway and roll the car into a forested ravine to delay its being found. They huddle together in a drainage culvert under the highway for the remainder of the night. A helicopter circles in the distance, searchlight probing. A cruiser hurtles by above their heads. Headlights flare and pass hypnotically. Sarah finds out that Reese actually has a first name, Kyle. She asks him why they sent such a young guy. He describes being raised in the aftermath of the fall of civilization. He has known only a life of unceasing combat for survival against the machines. He has been trained since boyhood in the use of weapons, explosives and vehicles, living on hate, like a rat in the ruins of the cities. He shows her an electronically imprinted number on the inside of his forearm, a souvenir of the death camp from which he was freed by one of Connor's squads. He looks up, suddenly alert, at the distant barking of a dog. He tells her the dogs are what saved them from the Terminators. Reese lets his gaze drift with the helicopter searchlight. Sarah's eyes slowly close as he talks on. His voice fades as the helicopter's roar is brought up, sequeing into a vision of the future. Pan down from the lights of an aerial patrol craft to moonlit devastation. White ash blows in drifts among fire-gutted ruins. Blackened bones lay everywhere in heaps, a ubiquitous, crunching ground-cover. People in rags scavenge for unburst cans in the rubble. Searchlights sweep the night constantly. A flying machine like an advanced chopper fires tracers into the ruins a few blocks away. Gleaming chrome Hunter-Killers grind through the debris of the shattered streets on their tank-like tracks, flashing read and blue lights. Their heads turn slowly, playing high-intensity lights over the buildings. Reese is among a squad of men in black fatigues, carrying equipment and energy rifles. They run low between hulks of cars, and down a long tunnel into an underground parking structure. They are met at the entrance by two armed sentries with dogs, and the men are passed through one at a time as the dogs check them out. Beyond is a large gathering, a meeting of a major resistance cell. At its center the commanding figure of Connor stands conferring with his staff. Off to one side are a number of family groups. Children are huddled around an old TV set, seen from behind, its glow bathing them. A reverse angle reveals that the set has been gutted and a small cookfire crackles inside the shell. Nearby a gaunt kid has a large rat cornered and is whacking it with a stick. The uniformed men, including Reese, deploy to guard the perimeter as more men arrive, wearing mismatched uniforms or only rags, and armed with laser rifles, shotguns, sharp sticks. Each arrival must pass the canine scrutiny. Suddenly the dogs go crazy. An arriving man, rag-dressed and innocuous, drops his shawl to reveal an enormous energy rifle. He begins blasting into the crowd, running toward Connor. "Terminator!" someone screams. The Terminator throws concussion bombs. Beams sear the darkness. Part of the roof collapses. Fleeing children are burst by stray powerbolts. Everything is lit as if by lightning. Reese leaps for the cyborg, firing, and is cut down. Impressions implode on him... of running feet, flashes, screaming, energy beams raking the ground. Someone is dragging him away. Connor. The hellfire glare is unbearable. Survivors flee into the labyrinth, some taking relic cars which date from before the Big Nuke... old nineties and eighties models. Reese is loaded into one. Reese lies crushed in the back seat as the car backs toward a tunnel. He fixates on an image as they pull away: an abandoned child bawling amid the inferno. Beyond it, an injured dog stands barking, lit stroboscopically. Reese awakens to the sound of a dog barking far away. It is light outside. Sarah is asleep in his arms. Was it his memory of the future or her dream vision inspired by his narrative? She opens her eyes and gazes at him with understanding. It was both, then. Reese goes down to a small stream to wash his face and returns to find Sarah gone. He catches up to her down the road at a boarded-up gas station, standing in a phone booth. She shows him a listing in the directory: Cyber Dynamics Corporation. She calls the number and finds out that it is only a distribution office, that the main offices and manufacturing plant are up north, in Silicon Valley. She memorizes the address and leaves the booth. Reese is upset. What the hell is she doing? Her inspiration is to turn the tables, to take the offensive instead of living the rest of her life in fear. If Cyber Dynamics developed the defense-network computer sometime in the near future, then by wrecking their plant and burning the files... destroying that seed now... she can beat the computer at its own game. The computer has sent them a warning, inadvertently, which may prevent the holocaust and reshape the future. Kyle is too by-the-book to think in these terms. That's not his mission. He's disturbed at the risk presented by her initiative. But Sarah has the bit and won't be restrained. She tears away, yelling "What are you going to do to stop me... shoot me?" She marches ahead and sticks out her thumb to the passing cars. Kyle is puzzled by this ritual until a tractor trailer pulls over and Sarah runs for it. "Where you headin', sweetcake," says the driver. "North. Silicon Valley." "Goin' real near there." "Come on, Kyle. Get in!" Kyle rides sullenly as they reach the interstate and head north. After a couple of hours the driver pulls into a rest-stop to catch a short nap, because of 'this one waitress in Riverside who's always real pleased to see me whenever I'm down this way.' Sarah and Kyle get out to stretch their legs. In the picnic area people sit under the trees, enjoying a beautiful day, and children race around, frolicking with the family dog, playing frisbee and throwing paper cups of water at each other near the drinking fountain. Kyle shambles among them like a zombie, dirty and bloody and withered behind the eyes. Sarah goes to the pay phone and calls her mother in San Bernardino who gushes emotionally to learn that Sarah is safe. Sarah tells her to pack some things and go right away to their cabin in the mountains, don't ask any questions, just do it... that she'll call her there later. Kyle stands among the children, an alien in this land without fear. A little girl, about three and achingly beautiful, accosts him with the boldness of innocence. "You're pissy," she asserts, only to be bowled over by an Irish setter which licks her face while she shrieks with laughter. Kyle's expression softens as he watches her. He seems to want to smile but doesn't quite know how to go about it. Sarah and Reese leave the rest-stop and wander into the adjoining woods along a narrow path, stopping in a sun-dappled glade beside a small stream. Kyle stands frozen at the center of the idyll. Leaves rustle. The will seems to drain from him and he sags to his knees, head lowered. His shoulders heave with silent sobs as the beauty of this world, lost for all eternity, crushes in upon him. Sarah kneels and puts her arms around him. "It's so beautiful," he whispers hoarsely, "It hurts, Sarah... worse than the bullets and the fire." She lays his head on her breast and it is a frozen moment, a pivot for time. Terminator sits in his room with the blinds drawn tight. His misadventures are having a telling effect on his appearance. Like a picture of Dorian Gray. He's not getting older, he's getting repulsive. A patch of scalp is blown away, leaving shiny metal under crusted blood. A flap of skin dangles from his cheek, revealing some of the drive cables which move his lips. The skin is waxy white, bruised, and in some places gangrenous. He ignores the few flies crawling around on his face and hands as he sits scanning Sarah's address book at a rate of a half-second per page. We see the book in his POV, the handwritten entries being translated into CRT display typeface printing out in columns to one side. A voice from the hallway interrupts his scanning. "Hey, buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?" Terminator raises his head and turns. The POV pans to the door and a logic flow-diagram appears overlayed in color-coded words, concluding with a list of potential appropriate responses: GO AWAY PLEASE COME BACK LATER NO YES FUCK YOU FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE The last begins to flash and enlarges to fill the screen. Objective view: Terminator says "Fuck you, asshole." The man goes away and he returns to his scan. At dusk the two fugitives step down from the truck in front of an economy motel just off the interstate. The trucker wishes them well and rolls on. At the registration desk the clerk eyes them warily since they are on foot, without luggage, etc., but gives them a key after Sarah helps Kyle count out some of the money he has crammed in his pockets. Stolen, presumably. Kyle checks the room, opening the back door and scouting outside. He tells her he's going to walk into town, a half mile down the road, to 'do some shopping'. He hands her the .38 he took from one of his interrogators. She won't take it. He leaves it on the dresser and goes out. She stares at it with loathing. Sarah calls the number of the family cabin in the mountains, and is relieved to hear her mother's voice. They exchange concern over each other's well being, but when her mother asks where she is, Sarah doesn't want to be specific. Her mother says she thinks somebody might have been following her when she drove up the hill, and she wants to go somewhere else, so she better at least get a phone number where she can reach her daughter. Sarah gives her the number of the motel. Her mother's closing dialogue is heard voice-over with a shot panning slowly across smashed furniture and a blood- spattered wall of rough-finished planks, over a table with an up-turned cup of coffee, onto Terminator in close-up, talking in a perfect simulation of her mother's voice. He sweetly says goodbye, hangs up, and dials the number Sarah gave to get the address from the desk clerk. The .38 is still on the dresser when Kyle returns. He sets down several bags and goes straight to work making a number of bulky but powerful explosives by taking the powder from dozens of shotgun shells and loading it into foot long sections of 2" plumbing pipe. He closes them with thread-on caps and inserts fuses from common fireworks. All the items he was able to purchase without permits at hardware and sporting goods stores. The plan is to wait until early morning hours, just before dawn, when the Cyber Dynamics plant (now only a few miles away) will most likely be deserted. Then they will break in, rig the charges and as much gasoline as they can find containers for, to create a blaze which will put the company out of business forever. According to Kyle's sketchy knowledge of history, Cyber Dynamics would become, within a few years, the leading manufacturer of computer systems with their introduction of a whole new class of mirco-circuit chips. This would lead ultimately to their contract to create the 4800 Series 'Skynet' System, which would in turn incinerate humanity. Sarah makes a sobering realization. Neutralizing the computer at its source will mean that no Terminator was ever sent, or even built, but it also means that no Kyle Reese was ever sent either. Will he dematerialize if they succeed, or if at any point they do anything which alters the course of events that much? Kyle doesn't know. Nobody knows much about the time-displacement game. Probably not even the great computer itself. Maybe he'll just stay here anyway, even if the future changes. You can go nuts thinking about it. If the Terminator succeeds, John Connor will never have existed and therefore the Terminator will never have been sent, and therefore... He and Sarah discuss some of the other aspects of the situation. The computer's attempt to kill her has given humanity a warning, which she will pass on to her son in years to come. Where she will live in that fugitive period, and who she will meet that will become John's father, was not told to Kyle by his commander, who of course would have known these things from her telling. All that Kyle is telling her is a result of briefing by Connor, who had been told of present events by her. There is only one direct message from her son, which Kyle has memorized to give her: "Thank you, mother. You have borne me and taught me well and in a way I will have borne you and taught you. The future is not irrevocable, but depends solely upon your will. There is no fate but what we make. You must be strong... stronger than you imagine you can be." "And," Kyle says, "he said to give you this message also: 'You must wait to strike until the red eyes and the green eyes meet.' That's all." "What does it mean?" "He said you'd know when the time came." Sarah is asleep when Kyle finishes his work, putting the explosives in a nylon satchel. He takes up a vigil, sitting crosslegged and erect by the window, cradling the Python. The image of military discipline. Sarah awakens and goes to him in the darkness. "Tell me about my son, Kyle." He describes John Connor, the great man for whom many, Kyle included, would die unhesitatingly. Connor was the only father figure Kyle ever had, and in that closeness Kyle was told stories of Connor's legendary mother, Sarah... the woman who taught her son to hate the machines and prepare for their overthrow... who taught him how to fight, to hide, to organize. She was the hero behind the hero, and Kyle had loved that courageous woman sight unseen. "How can I ever be her, Kyle? I'm so scared I can't see straight. I'm none of those things." "You're all of those things." "You must be pretty disillusioned by what you found..." "How could I be... I love you, Sarah." "Was there a woman, back there in your time?" "No." She gazes at him. "Never?" "No," he says after a pause. Sarah leans forward and kisses him, but he is unable to respond. She continues, tenderly, and he suddenly latches onto her like life itself. She kisses his neck and chest as she unbuttons his shirt, and traces his scars with her lips. Kyle carries her to the bed and they make love for a long time... a tender pulsing center of a grim cosmos. Sarah awakens hours later and Kyle is gone. She sits up in alarm. Has he vanished, been made to not-exist by something they have done? She searches the suite and finds him in the bathroom, staring motionless out the tiny window. He cautions her to silence with a gesture. From the night outside comes a nearby barking and growling. "Listen to the dogs." he whispers. A German shepherd lashes at the end of his chain as a figure moves by him in the darkness, coming from the registration office. Terminator walks directly to the door of Sarah's room, a gun in each hand, and kicks in the door, spraying the bed with the AR-18. In computer-scan POV we approach the bed, analyzing the remains of rumpled pillows and bedsheets. The POV shifts to the back door, which is ajar, and moves toward it, through the door. Terminator spins at the sound of an engine trying to start. In the parking lot Kyle and Sarah are huddled below dash level in a large customized pickup truck which is filthy from a few days in the desert. There are two small trail- bikes lashed in the bed. Kyle has the thing hotwired and is pumping the throttle. "Light is now," he says to Sarah, who is holding a Bic lighter near the tip of a fuse. Terminator runs the length of the suite and stops at the front door to level the AR at the pickup, which is backing wildly across the parking lot. He hears a sizzling sound and leaps out the door a moment before a pipe charge lying in the shadows explodes, wrecking the doorway. As Reese peals out onto the street a guy on a Honda 750 pulls in and stops near Terminator, who is lying face-down where the blast flung him. "Don't try to move, pal," the rider says, going to Terminator who is starting to rise. Pushing the cyclist aside he retrieves his weapons and walks toward the bike. In computer-scan hand-held POV we approach the Honda and the digitized image reduces to graphic outlines, with separate systems color-coded, then rotates through three axes to show plan, top, and side elevations... all in less than four seconds. Reese slides the truck into an on-ramp and guns it onto the freeway, burying the throttle. He becomes aware of a single headlight behind them, gaining rapidly. The truck tops out at 110 and he holds it. Terminator is tucked, getting as much speed out of the bike as he can. He raises the AR-18 against the windstream in a one-handed pistol grip. Using the sporadic late night traffic, mostly 18 wheelers, as cover, Reese hurtles through evasion maneuvers as Terminator closes. The cyborg fires. Strafes the back of a truck trailer as Reese dives behind it after a skidding feint. Terminator swerves by the truck on the right and is forced off the freeway, narrowly missing the barrier divider and screaming down the off-ramp. Without slowing he runs the red light at the bottom and climbs the on-ramp. Reese sees the motorcycle converging. He tells Sarah to drive and she slides over him, switching places without slowing. He pulls the Colt Python from his overcoat pocket and checks the load as Terminator closes. Reese is out the window to the waist, aiming double- handed. Terminator clears the on-ramp divider and hurtles toward them, falling in behind. Sarah weaves, barely in control, terrified. Reese fires. Once. Twice. Thrice. Terminator rocks back from a round between the eyes that bares metal, then fires. Bullets rake the pickup. The windows are blown out. The side mirror explodes. Reese is hit. Drops the Python. Sarah shrieks and grabs with one hand for Reese's slumped body, pulling him back inside. He is moaning, stunned, with bullets in arm and chest. She looks at Reese and feels all hope recede, leaving only a yawning pit. Terminator crosses behind the truck, gaining slowly, coming up on Sarah's side. They pass trucks and cars as if they are parked and God help anyone who changes lanes. Terminator fires and the door post beside Sarah's head clangs with hits. The short burst empties the gun. It hits the pavement a moment later, discarded. Terminator draws his .38 and takes aim again. They are entering an interchange, ahead lays a long sweeping curve, two lanes wide and elevated. Sarah watches the rear mirror. An icy calm, born of rage, leashes the gibbering terror rising inside her like a scream. "Come on..." she coaxes, under her breath. Terminator draws nearer, aiming at the back of her head. "Closer..." she pleads. Her breath is rapid. The slipstream roars. She watches the gun in the mirror. Terminator's front tire passes the rear bumper of the pickup. Sarah screams. And cranks hard on the steering wheel. The glass behind her explodes as Terminator fires a moment before the viciously swerving truck slams into it, sending it flying into the guardrail. Sarah fights for control of the slowing pickup as the cyborg goes over the bars at a hundred miles per hour. He hits the pavement, tumbling, rolling, sliding with a chattering screech and spraying sheets of sparks as the flesh strips away and steel screams against concrete. Sarah is buffeted as the truck swaps ends violently, smashing into the guardrail and grinding to a stop partway around the overpass. She checks Kyle who is pale but conscious. Terminator slides into the guardrail, bounces up, tumbles along the top for a moment and then pitches out into space, dropping to another freeway below. He lies face-down in the middle lane. Motionless. After a long moment he slowly rolls over and sits up. Low angle as he rises into frame: a mass of blood and scraped metal from which two eyes glare, one blue and the other glowing faintly red. Headlights flare behind him and an airhorn blares. A double-trailer Kenworth gasoline tanker smashes him down and under with a metallic crash, and he rolls clattering as the mass blurs above him. He ricochets between the pavement and the undercarriage of the truck until a stray bounce flings him up into the rear suspension where, with inhuman reflexes and strength, he clings by his fingers above the speeding asphalt. In the cab the stunned driver hits the brakes, but his partner tells him not to stop. They look at each other for a moment and then he accelerates. Sarah sees the truck drive on without leaving a body in its wake and feels a premonitory dread. She runs back from the railing to the crippled pickup and searches the cab for keys to the motorcycles. She finds them above the sun visor. Beneath the speeding semi Terminator is crawling toward us like a human fly, his head titled back, gazing ahead with his one eye glowing like a coal. He clambers onto the side beam of the trailer. Leaps to the cab. Rips the door open and flings the driver out. He crawls into the seat, ignoring the terrified partner, and begins calmly examining the controls. In digitized POV we see an abstract of the instruments. The shift lever is extended down into a three dimensional schematic of the transmission. Analytical data prints out rapid-fire. Seen objectively, Terminator begins downshifting and turning the wheel. The driver's partner opens the door and bails out as the truck slows. Sarah watches the tanker swing in a slow arc, tear through the dividing fence and head back toward her on the wrong side of the freeway. She stares in numb horror. The nightmare refuses to end. She goes back to unlashing one of the motorcycles, tearing frantically at the straps. She pants with terror as she rolls the bike off the truck, dropping it on its side. Straining until she cries out involuntarily she lifts it upright and starts kicking the engine over. The tanker crashes back through the fence and starts up the overpass. Sarah is trapped in that concrete corridor. The bike catches and dies. The truck bellows and downshifts on the curving grade. She kicks again and again, mumbling prayers to the gods of internal combustion. The bike catches and runs. She hauls Reese, clutching his satchel, to the bike and props him on the seat behind her. She can only pray he won't faint and fall off. Sarah guns the bike and roars off. Seconds later the tanker demolishes the pickup, tossing it over the side like a beer can. She hits level freeway with a quarter of a mile lead on the tanker, but the little trail bike is overloaded with two people and she can't coax it above seventy-five. The truck shifts up through the gears behind them, gaining inexorably. The distance closes. Kyle blinks and looks back at a solid wall of metal and lights roaring up behind them. Sarah zigzags across the lanes but the truck stays with them, closing, its trailers whiplashing violently. They enter a tunnel... a mile of exitless concrete and strobing fluorescent lights. Sarah hunches down. They hit eighty. The leviathan looms closer, its big tires roaring like the hubs of Hell. It is twenty feet behind them as they clear the tunnel and Sarah leans violently to one side, almost dropping the bike, and locks the brakes. The bike slides, fishtailing. The truck roars past, hitting its airbrakes a moment later. The jake-brake thunders. The trailers force her closer and closer to the guardrail as Terminator tries to sandwich her. The rearmost set of tires crashes into the guardrail five feet in front of her as she slides to a stop. Sarah cuts across all four lanes behind the stopped tanker and rides down the embankment, spilling the bike and rolling with Kyle through a line of trees to the retaining fence. She tugs at Kyle, forces him to crawl under the chainlink. They find themselves in an industrial park. She hears a grinding crash and looks up to see the tanker rolling down the steep embankment toward them, flattening trees and tearing through the fence. With Kyle struggling to keep up she runs among the low buildings. Like a juggernaut the truck follows, smashing through parked cars and ripping away one corner of a building. Moving slowly but with inexorable force it comes on, flattening a pre-fab storage building. Kyle fumbles with the satchel as they run. They round a corner and gain time as the tanker slows, tearing away the face of an office building. Terminator watches from his mountain of machinery the tiny figure of his prey running in the headlights. It occurs to him that his target is suddenly alone. Kyle, crouched in a dumpster inches from the side of the passing tanker lights a fuse and wedges a pipe bomb under the tank-cylinder of the second trailer. Sarah is stumbling, wracked and exhausted, in the glare of the lights. Kyle ducks down in the dumpster as the trailer passes him, rolls on twenty yards, and explodes. An unbelievable fireball erupts skyward. The dumpster is enveloped by flames and is hurled, rolling on its casters, down the alley. Sarah falls before the blast as the forward trailer explodes and an ocean of fire rolls forward, almost reaching her. The dumpster tips over and Kyle rolls out. In the center of the inferno Terminator struggles violently. His flesh fries and sizzles. He tears loose from the twisted wreckage and collapses to the ground. He sinks into a charred mass and stops moving. Sarah crawls away from the intense heat and lies watching the motionless figure in the blaze. She staggers to her feet and circles around the building to find Kyle. She finds him lying near the dumpster, sheltered from the heat by its mass, and drags him away. His head lolls. He opens his eyes. "Sarah." "We got it, Kyle." They embrace, silhouetted by the fire. And the Terminator staggers out of the blaze behind them. The last flakes of flesh are falling from him like burning leaves and his gleaming structure is revealed in its entirety. It looks like Death rendered in steel. A chrome skeleton with hydraulic muscles and tendons of flexible cable. In the eyesockets of the metal skull, the eyeballs swivel with a whirr of their tiny servos, both glowing red now. It turns slowly and fixes its gaze upon her. Sarah chokes on a scream, crams knuckles in her mouth, but it doesn't help. Screams anyway. The machine takes a staggering step toward them, dragging one malfunctioning leg. Kyle pulls her to her feet. They run to a building and he heaves a potted plant through the glass doors. They enter the dark offices to the sound of alarms. Sirens can be heard in the distance. They run down a hallway and bolt the door at the end behind them. Terminator smashes into it, blasting it off its hinges, and staggers through. The two flee through a series of partitioned offices, doubling back. It sees them through a floor-to-ceiling window and makes an immediate right turn through the glass. Taking the shortest distance between itself and its prey, it crashes forward, splintering partitions and flinging desks out of the way. Kyle and Sarah reach the manufacturing area and bolt the heavy firedoor behind them. Acres of machines stretch away into the darkness. The Terminator hits the firedoor and the hinges squeal. Kyle goes to the main breaker panel and activates the machines, to mask the sound of their escape from the hunter's acute hearing. The dark gallery is filled with whirring, clanking shapes, chattering conveyer belts and improbable mechanisms lashing mindlessly. Hinges shatter and the door is hurled inward. Shambling forward, the Terminator scans the darkness. In digitized POV we see two figures dodging among the machinery as red blotches of infrared on the cold background. The cyborg chases them relentlessly through the animated maze... over, under and through. Always gaining. They enter a corridor-like alleyway between two mechanized facades and run to the end, only to find the door locked. They double back to escape the lethal cul-de-sac but are cut off by the shambling silhouette of the Terminator. Kyle summons his strength. Time to start earning his soldier's pay. He wipes blood out of his eyes and pulls a length of pipe stock from among the machines, holding it like a quarter staff. And makes his stand. "Run!" he yells at Sarah, pushing her brutally as the cyborg closes. They trade powerful blows, steel on steel, until Kyle is sledgehammered back, landing in a heap yards away. The cyborg approaches Kyle's broken body. Sarah falls, gets up, runs on. Close up: a fuse burning quietly. Close up: Kyle's bloody face, pressed to the floor as a metal foot clangs down in front of him. His eyes snap open. The Terminator draws back for a death blow. Kyle rolls with his last strength and raises the pipe bomb he has been cradling. It clangs into the cyborg's abdomen and explodes. Sarah is blown forward by the blast and skids on the polished floor face first, to slam up against the door at the end of the cul-de-sac. Pieces of scrap metal clatter throughout the factory and rain down around her. Her leg is broken by shrapnel and she lies slumped for a long time. When she can find the strength and courage to look up, Kyle and the Terminator are gone. Unrecognizable clumps of burning debris lay scattered about. Fire spreads into some plastic tubing and climbs, triggering the sprinkler system. It begins to rain. Sarah closes her eyes, letting the cool water bathe her, washing away blood and the fear. Now that it's finally over, she can't believe it. The destruction of the cyborg and the loss of Kyle neutralize each other, leaving a vacuum. It is a long time before she can gather the will to move. She sees a phone on the wall past the point of the explosion and starts to crawl toward it, dragging her broken leg. She passes a large clump of metal debris. It rolls over suddenly, becoming recognizable as the Terminator's head and arms, with half of the shattered torso trailing wires and twisted steel. It lunges for her. She wants to scream this time, from the depths of her soul, but there is no scream, only a dry shivering sob. The Terminator drags itself scraping over the floor. Sarah is shaking and weeping as she scrabbles away, crawling in agony just ahead of the clutching steel fingers. She wedges herself into one of the production-line machines and flops onto a moving conveyer belt. She rolls off weakly before going under a set of sorting rollers. It is a nightmare jungle, dark, clashing, rain-drenched... a tangle of cables and pipes and unforgiving mechanisms of steel. The cyborg tracks her, clambering through behind her, dragging its body. It spots Sarah wedged like a trapped hare in the back of a tiny crawlspace. There is no way out. It crawls the last few feet, eyes bright and red in the dark. Right in front of Sarah is a small control box with a pair of green lights above two unlit red buttons. Water pours into her eyes. Something she should remember... Something about eyes... Hypnotized, she watches the Terminator reaching toward her with one outstretched hand. Sarah's eyes are crazy now... she's over the edge. In that infinite instant the terror no longer matters, is gone. She sees the red eyes and the green eyes and they are moving into alignment as the cyborg moves through the machine. Its hand reaches for her throat, to crush out her miserable human life and end its long mission. It comes even with the switchbox, with the two green lights. Sarah screams through clenched teeth. She hits the buttons beneath the ready-lights with both hands and the massive hydraulic press thunders down, the tons of mechanical pressure flattening the cyborg's head and body like tin-foil. In the wreckage a pinpoint of red light dwindles and goes out. The steel fingers have frozen an inch from Sarah's throat. Close up: Sarah. She can only stare, shivering as the water runs over her. Cut to the side rail snapping up on an ambulance gurney. Sarah closes her eyes as they wheel her out past the site of the last explosion where police are picking through the debris. As Sarah is taken out we hold on two employees of the factory standing in the foreground. One, the plant manager, bends down to examine a piece of the crushed Terminator lying at the base of the hydraulic press. A cop calls out to him, "Look, I told you not to touch anything until we're done. You got that?" "Sure, officer," the plant manager says. He stands and palms a small object to his assistant. "What is it?" "Micro-computer chassis... but I've never seen stuff like this anywhere." "It's weird. Jap stuff, maybe." "Yeah. Keep it out of sight and get it to R&D Monday soonest." "Good idea." Outside Sarah is being lifted into the ambulance. She looks up and, as the doors are closing, sees the sign over the entrance of the building for the first time: CYBER DYNAMICS CORPORATION, INC. SLOW DISSOLVE to the center capstans of a cassette tape turning in a recorder. Sarah's voice is heard in VO. "... and the hardest thing is trying to decide what I should tell you and what not, but anyway, whatever I record now I can always cut out before you're old enough to understand the tapes. At this point they're more for me... to help get it all straight." A pull back reveals Sarah sitting on the porch of a small white-washed stone house overlooking a beautiful crescent bay under a scowling tropical sky. There is the sound of distant thunder, mixing with seagull cries. It could be Mexico or points south. Maybe Greece. One of Sarah's legs is in a cast up to the hip and is propped straight out on another chair opposite her. The cassette recorder is in her lap, in the lee of her swollen belly. She looks to be about six months along. "I'll always wonder," she continues, "Whether you should know about your father... whether that will change your decision to send him. Did you already know when you sent Kyle that you were his son... that you were sending him to his death? What an awful burden that was, or rather will be. Kyle was right... you can go crazy thinking about this stuff. Well, I'll do more later. I'm a bit tired... think I'll take a nap." Sarah shuts off the cassette recorder and crosses her hands peacefully on her belly. Over her loose dress she wears a leather shoulder holster. The butt of a .38 revolver presses against her breast. A serious, dark-complected woman brings her some tea. On the beach below a boy runs by and yells something to the woman in Spanish. "What did he say, Maria?" "There's a storm coming in." Sarah gazes at the thunderheads way out there, rolling in. Heat lightning pulses in their depths. She sips her tea. "Yes, I guess there is."