PILGRIM 7 MISSION. ISS, DAY 1.
The unmanned Pilgrim 7 space probe enters an asteroid field.
Miranda: This is Dr. Miranda North, quarantine officer on board the International Space Station. Today, the Pilgrim capsule, with its valuable soil samples, completes its eight-month return from Mars. Preparing to receive these samples has been our mission these last few months. But the Pilgrim capsule is damaged.
At 0630 UTC, Pilgrim was struck by debris and veered off course. Rory Adams will spacewalk to establish visual contact with the incoming space capsule, and he will grab it with a remote arm. We've been waiting a long time for this sample, and Rory is placing himself at great risk to secure it. Over and out.
David: EMU at 4.7 psi, pure O2.
Miranda: Rory, if you can't save it . . .
Rory: I'm fucking saving it.
Miranda: If you can't save it, just push the capsule into deep space, okay? Do you hear me?
Rory: Can you get OCD . . . Sorry, CDC out of my face? 'Cause I got a big operation. I need to concentrate.
Miranda: I just want you . . .
Rory: I can't hear you . . .
Miranda: I love you, too.
David: EMU at 4.7 psi, pure O2.
Rory: Where's the remote?
Sho: Here. The arm's yours.
Rory: There you go.
Sho: Careful with . . . Sorry, you know this.
Rory: Yeah. No more sorries.
Miranda: David? Are you on your way?
David: On my way. . . Slow, Sho.
Sho: Excuse me.
David: How do you say "breathe" in Japanese?
Sho: Kokyu shiro. This was supposed to be routine.
Rory: [over comm] The airlock is sealed. I am walking.
Ekaterina (Kat): 4:35 UTC. After striking debris, Pilgrim non-responsive. Inbound on collision course with ISS. Initiating emergency course correction and manual retrieval.
Sho: Canadarm online. Transferring control to wireless.
Kat: Station to Control. Initiating sequence.
Sho: So, the committee?
Kat: You let me worry about the committee. Where's Rory? He is at risk out there.
Rory: Mics are live. You ready, Sho?
Sho: Thrusters up.
Rory: I have control of the arm.
Miranda is gazing at what she can see of the station through a portal.
Hugh: Your worry lines are showing.
Miranda: Yeah, well, I get paid by the line.
Hugh: I have a good feeling about this. Rory's going to deliver that sample.
Miranda: Right to your lab.
Kat: Prepare for course correction. .050-niner by .076. Remember your training.
David: We never trained for this.
Kat: On my mark. Five, four, three, two, one.
Sho flips a switch and the entire station rumbles.
Kat: New capsule trajectory, negative 0.50.
Automated voice: [repeats] Proximity alert.
Kat: Ignore the proximity alert. New station trajectory, negative .32. The capsule will miss us. Just. Rory?
Rory: I'm still downrange. And it's coming in shallow. Any moment now. Eight, maybe nine o'clock. Are you guys having fun?
David: Rory, if you miss . . .
Rory: Yeah, yeah. If . . .
David: It's just going to skip off the atmosphere like a flat stone on water. Just fly off into nowhere. It's no harm done.
Rory: I see it. All right, here we go. This is fun.
Sho: Rory, you have to move. It's going to hit you.
Rory: No, it's not.
Sho: Please, Rory, move.
Kat: Station to Control. Visual confirmation of Mars Capsule Pilgrim.
Rory: Not now. No, come on, come here. [repeats]
The capsule smacks violently into the control arm, Rory disappears from sight.
After a moment, Rory reappears, having captured the capsule.
Hugh: He got it.
Rory: Cue instagram!
Hugh: I didn't want to jinx it.
Rory: Point and shoot, motherfucker! Capsule in locked position.
Kat: This is Mission Commander Ekaterina Golovkina. Tell the committee Pilgrim's landed on Plymouth Rock. The Mars samples are safe and sound.
Control: Copy that, Commander. Congratulations.
PILGRIM 7 MISSION. ISS, DAY 2.
Kat: We are recording. 0640 UTC.
Hugh: Pilgrim wasn't just seeing things in Mars' soil. We're looking at a large single cell. Inert. Unmistakably biological. And, like organisms on Earth, has what appears to be a nucleus, cytoplasm. . . The cell wall is thick. Those hairs look like cilia. Longer than we're used to seeing on Earth. More like flagella. What's the temperature?
Sho: Minus 110.
Hugh: Start bringing it up.
Sho: Minus 82. . . Minus 55.
Rory: This is some Re-Animator shit.
Miranda: Oh, that's a very obscure reference.
Rory: Not for a nerd.
Sho: Minus 17. . . . Zero degrees. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty degrees celsius.
Hugh: Nothing. I'm going to try a different atmosphere. Closer to Proterozoic Earth. Less oxygen, more carbon dioxide. And, a growth medium. In this case, glucose.
Kat: Did it just move? Hugh?
Hugh: My God.
Kat: It worked. You woke it.
Hugh: We're looking at the first incontovertible proof of life beyond Earth. Oh, it's beautiful.
The dormant cell quickly grows into a multi-celled organism.
TV Anchor: Our next question is from Allen. He's nine years old. And, Allen, what is your question for Commander Golovkina?
Allen: Is it green?
Kat: It isn't visible at all, actually. It's microscopic. A single cell. To put it into perspective, your body is made up of trillions.
Allen: There's an alien inside of me?
Rory: I bet your teacher sometimes thinks so.
TV Anchor: Well, we have another question from eight-year-old Mari.
Mari: Are you bringing the alien back to Earth?
Rory: No, we're going to keep it up here. We're going to study it where it's safe.
Kat: The ISS is the most expensive house ever built. Two hundred billion American dollars and counting. Because we keep adding rooms. It flies around Earth sixteen times a day. In thirty years, over one hundred people have lived here, thanks to generous countries like Russia, the USA, and China. Dr. Jordan here is about to break the record for consecutive days in space. Four hundred and seventy-three, straight.
Allen: Your mommy must miss you.
David: She does. But I have family here.
Miranda: Yeah, the kind that teases him 'cause his mommy misses him.
Kat: This is one of our newest crew members. Miranda North from the Centers for Disease Control. You guys are witnessing a space triathlon.
TV Anchor: We have another question from seven-year-old Leila. We think this question is a little personal. Go ahead.
Leila: How do you go to the bathroom?
Sho: Funnel. Tube. And some suction. Everything we do on the ISS is like everything you do on Earth.
Hugh: Except different. Do you like peas? Mmm! So, have you got a name yet?
TV Anchor: For that, we want to go down live just outside our studio in Times Square to one very brave classmate.
Dominique: Hi. Calvin Coolidge Elementary was chosen among 11,000 schools for this honor. We name the Martian after our school, Calvin.
Rory: Control, if you're listening because you're creepy that way, can I just rant for a second about the micromanagement? We're not blood-filled meat puppets. I come from a long line of plumbers. I can fix a shower. If I can't . . . Well, Hugh doesn't shower anyway, he's British.
Hugh: First international incident.
Rory: I'm not being critical of you. You're just a very under-bathed nation. Everybody knows it.
Hugh: Don't be an ugly American.
Rory: Wow. Who's ugly now? I nailed Step 17. I'm a very good-looking American, you know? Oh, I see, it's right there. Control, I'm sorry about him.
Kat: Rory, Control can't hear you.
Rory: I don't know where rage like that comes from.
Miranda: You've spent too much time up here, David. And you're close to the radiation limit. You noticed any glowing in the dark?
David: I like it up here. When I was in the military, we'd go to Syria. We set up a hospital, treat all the casualties, and then we'd come back a week or two later and the whole village would just be bombed out.
Miranda: Then Earth isn't all Syria, is it?
David: I can't stand what we do to each other down there.
Miranda: But it's home, and it's beautiful. Don't you miss anything? Don't you miss fresh water or birds?
David: I like the hum up here. And the air.
Kat: What you have achieved with Calvin is remarkable, Hugh. I haven't had a chance to say that.
Hugh: Thank you. I think these will prove to be the greatest days of my life. I wish I had a time machine, so I could visit the ten-year-old me.
Kat: Did he want to be an astronaut?
Hugh: He wanted out of the wheelchair.
Kat: And how does he feel now?
Hugh: Like a bird. Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't hate my chair. I love it. For the sake of the anonymous genius who invented it.
Kat: You're one of a kind, Hugh. Good night.
PILGRIM 7 MISSION. ISS, DAY 12.
Hugh: Hold on to your helmets. The glucose intake is very rapid. The specimen's cells have begun to move together en masse as a unit. They're also sharing electrical activity in what resembles a growing neural network. Notice I didn't say brain.
Miranda: Dr. North speaking. It is our educated opinion that this new species is not a colony of fast-dividing single-cell organisms, but one larger, solitary organism composed of trillions of identical cooperative cells.
Hugh: Here's what's fascinating. I mean, it's all fascinating, isn't it? Unlike most multicellular organisms, every cell of Calvin's can perform every somatic function on its own. Every single cell is simultaneously a muscle cell and a nerve cell and a photoreceptive cell.
Miranda: So the creature, as a whole, is, in a very real sense, all muscle, all brain, all eye.
Hugh: As such, Calvin now possesses the means to interact with its environment, including the use of what appears to be proto-appendages. I'll demonstrate.
Miranda: But notice how it's approaching and not retreating.
Hugh: Its curiosity outweighs its fear.
David: That's beautiful.
Hugh: Hello, Calvin.
Rory: How's that feel, Hugh? You're going to be a daddy. There's going to be a big custody battle over this one.
Sho: [in Japanese] You can do this, Kazumi.
Kazumi: [in Japanese] I'm doing my best. It's coming.
Nurse: [in Japanese] Any moment now, okay. Push.
Kazumi: [in Japanese] Easy for you to say.
Sho: [in Japanese] You can do it, Kazumi.
Nurse: [in Japanese] I can see it. Okay. Push.
Sho: [in Japanese] It's okay. You'll be able to meet Mei soon. You can do it.
Sho: Hi guys, meet Mei.
All: Hey, Mei!
Sho: Say hi to everybody, Mei.
Hugh: She's beautiful.
Rory: Congratulations. Do they have any idea who the father is?
Sho: Shut up.
Kat presents to Sho the children's book Goodnight Moon for their child.
Sho: Thank you, Commander.
Rory: No, seriously, that kid has blue eyes.
PILGRIM 7 MISSION. ISS, DAY 25.
After an atmospheric accident in the lab, Calvin becomes dormant.
Rory: It's the lab.
Rory: Okay. Miranda, check the O2 in the lab.
Miranda: O2's on 21.
Hugh: We're okay. Calvin's safe.
Kat: I don't understand how that could have happened. Nothing in that lab can malfunction.
Hugh: It's on me.
Rory: Yeah, no shit it's on you. A dizzy five-year-old could have spotted that.
Miranda: But I can't do it alone. Kibo wasn't design for strict firewall protection. But you do not come out of the lab without triple-checking everything. For all I know, we're carrying Anthrax onboard.
Hugh: You can't call Calvin Anthrax.
Rory: Yeah, I know at least five guys who can do my job. Nobody can do yours except you. I don't want to be around that thing. I'm not qualified to be around that thing.
Hugh: I understand. I'm just saying you can't compare Calvin to Anthrax.
Rory: Stop calling it fucking Calvin! We don't know what that thing is, yeah? I'm your buddy. You're drunk on this. Wake up.
Miranda: This isn't or never will be a controlled experiment. So let's all agree we made our first mistake and our last mistake.
Rory: I miss my fucking dog. Good night.
Later, Miranda logs the incident.
Miranda: Dr. Miranda North, quarantine office, 2320 UTC. After weeks of stunning growth and activity, Calvin is completely inactive. We believe it's likely due to the clamp failure in the lab . . . this hibernation may be a defensive mechanism. Everyone here is on edge, and Hugh, of course, has been beating himself up, but honestly, I'm relieved. Calvin was growing very fast and this is now giving me time to reinforce firewall precautions. The box must stay sealed, the lab must stay sealed, no matter the risk to Calvin.
Miranda helps Hugh with his leg therapy.
Hugh: It's just floating. Because of my mistake in the lab. And it was all going so well.
Miranda: Something my dad used to say.
Hugh: I'm thinking of toying with stimulating it electrically. Because of Calvin, we're going to learn so much about life.
Miranda: My job is lines of defense. Imagine the worst thing, and then the worst after that, then I plan for that.
Hugh: But risks are taken for a reason. Its origin, its nature, and maybe even its meaning. You're a doctor. Stem cell research. What if Calvin could make stem cells obsolete? Help cure the incurable. Reverse the irreversible. I have to fix this.
Later, they try to revive Calvin.
Rory: You sure it won't hurt it?
Hugh: It's a very low voltage. We're only stimulating it.
Rory: What exactly are you hoping for?
Hugh: I'm hoping to wake it up. We're seeing under what conditions it rengages its environment.
Rory: [to Miranda] Come on in. We're shocking the monkey.
Hugh: Trying another spot. . . . Nothing. Not even at a cellular level.
Rory: Are you sure it's not dead?
Hugh: It's alive. It's just in a deep sleep. . . Come on, wake up.