The Catacombs Space: 1999 Catacombs
Zero G

Zero G

by

GERRY & SYLVIA ANDERSON

adapted by David Hirsch, scanned by Paulo Jorge Morgado from the Space 1999 1978 Convention booklet

1973 WAS A YEAR OF GREAT CHANGE FOR ITC'S NEW BIG-BUDGET TELEVISION SERIES *SPACE 1999'. ORIGINALLY, IT WAS KNOW AS 'UFO-YEAR 2' UNTIL THE POWERS THAT BE DECIDED TO ESCAPE FROM 'UFO'S' EARTHLY SETTING AND PLACE THE ACTION OF THE NEW SERIES TOTALLY IN OUTER SPACE. THE PROGRAM WAS TO BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE AND SPECTACULAR HALF-HOUR SERIES EVER TO BE OFFERED TO TELEVISION. 'ZERO G' WAS THE FIRST SCRIPT TO BE WRITTEN FOR THIS NEW SERIES WHICH WOULD LATER EXPAND TO A FULL HOUR.

Moon City, man's first outpost in space. It was there that the men and women of W.A.N.D.E.R. (World Association of Nations Defending Earth Riqhts) awaited the first report of Deep Space Reconnaissance Probe C-42. The robot spaceship had radioed back detailed information about an alien planet. Soon, humankind would know of a race other than themselves. As the Master Computer in the Control Centre processed the vast amount of data, Commander Steve Maddox wondered how the crew aboard the alien spacecraft, which had been watching Moon City since it began operation, would react to the fact that the humans were now watching them.

The report confirmed all the guesses. The civilisation on the alien planet was highly advanced and was quite capable of launching spacecraft to Earth. Maddox realised that the next logical step would be contact. However, Maddox would make contact sooner than he expected. Upon returning to his quarters for some rest, Maddox was grabbed by a powerful transference beam and pulled across the void of space to the alien planet. Stunned by his journey, he awoke in a strange geometric environment and discovered he was in some structure.

Attempting to escape from the structure, Maddox found his exit blocked by an invisible shield. He laser seemed to have no effect on the shield at all. Suddenly, a voice from behind told Maddox that his weapon was useless. The Commander turned to face an impressive-looking alien dressed in some skin-like material of the same geometric design as the structure about.

The alien stepped forward and accused the people of Earth of setting up Moon City for offensive use. The alien flashed an image of the military installations on a screen as proof, but Maddox insisted that the equipment was for defence. "We are stepping out into the unknown. This is man's first encounter with another life form in the universe," Maddox told the alien. "How do we know that you aren't going to be hostile?"

"You don't," the alien replied. "Why don't you kill me, now? You're armed and I am not."

Maddox was bewildered by the question. "I have no reason to kill you."

"Wrong! You recognise my power is greater than yours. You are unsure how effective your weapon would be, or how I might retaliate. What if the situation were to be reversed, Commander?"

The alien's words had a ring of truth. However, Man was already in Space and the aliens could do nothing about it, Maddox told him.

"We mean to make sure that man will go no further," the creature threatened. "My first encounter with an Earthman. I'm quite impressed. I would like to believe your version of Man's interest in Space, but unfortunately your Earth's history does not bear this out. You say that your base is defensive and you are the Commander. What was your brief?"

Before Maddox could answer, the familiar voice of General Heineman, head of Earth Command, filled the air. It was the briefing shortly before his departure from Earth to Moon City. "Space Commander Maddox, you are hereby appointed Head of Operations, Moon City. You are to investigate and probe deep space in a quest for new mineral and energy sources, so that ultimately Man may exploit and colonise habitable planets. It is the beginning of a new and exciting era, the conquest of Space."

The alien had driven his point home. There was no more need for communication so Maddox was returned to Moon City. He told Science Officer Marc Miller of his journey and Miller concluded that if the second batch of data did not come from the probe, all Maddox saw was quite real. Just as expected, the aliens interfered with the radio transmission and all the data was lost. A Moonship, carrying General Heineman, was dispatched from Earth to look -into the trouble at Moon City, but the spacecraft crashed shortly before landing. Lt. Caron, head of reconnaissance, retrieved the undamaged flight recorder from the wreckage and discovered that the crew was given false information from the onboard computers.

Suddenly, the base scanners reported that the alien spacecraft was 200 miles from Moon City and closing. Maddox and Miller took command of a Multiple Transport Unit and flew towards the alien craft.

"Are you going to attack?," asked Miller.

"Not unless they do. They're landing, hang on."

Both the M.T.U. and the alien craft touched down on the lunar surface less than a half mile apart. A green light pulsated atop the alien ship.

"Programme our missiles in the target, Marc and keep your finger on the button."

"They can hardly be planning an attack with only one ship."

"You're thinking in terms of Earth technology. We don't know what power that ship's got."

The green light began to pulsate brighter and brighter to the point where it was almost blinding Maddox. "Stand by to fire," he commanded, but Miller was unconscious.

The voice of the alien filled the tiny command module. "Man's first instinct. although in the case, defensive, Commander. We have decided on our course of action. It is within our power to destroy Earth totally, but that is not our way. You are about to start your journey into the unknown. We do not believe that you are a threat, Commander. You represent the scientists, the explorers. You believe you are defending right against wrong. It is because of your politicians and war-like leaders that we wish to leave Earth encapsulated in its atmosphere.

You have learned to use energy through machines and we have found that the greatest source of energy is through the human body and mind. In the Universe there is a wealth of power to draw from. Power that you do not yet know exists. But nothing is without sacrifice, energy cannot be destroyed, only converted. We shall never meet again, Commander."

The voice was replaced by a shrill electronic tone. Maddox was assaulted by the sound and brilliant pulsating light. The lunar surface was bathed in green and the Moon City Commander thought he would go mad when suddenly, the sound, light, and the alien craft itself all vanished simultaneously.

Miller awoke as did all the personnel at Moon City. Lt. Caron reported that there were no injuries and everything was functioning normally.

Maddox fired the vertical thrusters and the M.T.U. leaped into the lunar sky only to lurch violently. The information coming from the onboard computer was the same false data the Moonship's crew received. It was a heavy landing, but the two men were safe.

Running some additional checks on both flight recorders, Miller was able to discover the cause of the computer failure when Dr. Gordon reported that she couldn't understand why her medical scanners reported that Lt. Caron's stress factors was far below normal when he went out on the lunar surface to recover both recorders.

"The Moon's gravitational pull is down by 70%, "Miller reported. "We didn't feel it because the anti-gravity units compensated for the difference. The pull is still dropping and the Moon's axis is tilted 40 degrees. According to Computer, centrifugal force unopposed by gravitational pull will cause the Moon to break Earth's orbit. This process has already commenced and the Moon's velocity and trajectory with this "Zero G' condition will result in complete breakaway from our solar system."

Unable to contact Earth Command for advise because of a communications breakdown with Earth, Maddox decided to make the choice on his own. There was no way they could evacuate Moon City. Every M.T.U. in flight would be blinded by the electronic jamming from the aliens.

The Commander activated the intercom at his desk. "Moon City, this is your Commander speaking. You all know by now that as a result of the Alien action, the Moon has been robbed of its gravity and is leaving the solar system. I have carefully considered the possibility of attempting an evacuation of Moon City and returning to Earth. Not only would this operation be hazardous in the extreme, but it would appear that we would have very little chance of success.

"There is, in my opinion, only one course open to us... to remain here in Moon City. Whatever our Personnel feeling may be at this time, we now commence a battle for survival. Survival in deep space."