Close Encounters: Prelude

Close EncountersI recently got my hands on a copy of the "Prelude" section to the planned but sadly shelved 30th anniversary release of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Special Edition: The Collector’s Edition: The Extended Collectors Special Edition Edition and was pleased to see that – had it been shot and distributed – it would have papered over some of the holes and sanded down some of the flaws in the otherwise spectacular movie.

After an exchange of emails with the esteemed director Mr Spielberg, none of which were overly threatening or contained intimations that certain photographs were in a certain person’s possession and a certain someone might want to allow a certain other person who happened to be the first certain person certain rights to reproduce a certain film script, the generous filmmaker has granted me an exclusive worldwide right to reproduce this script here so that fans of the cinematic masterpiece can finally fully appreciate Close Encounters Of The Third Kind in its fullest glory.

INTERIOR – ALIEN MOTHERSHIP – BRIEFING ROOM
Bright, minimalistic look, something John Lennon and Yoko Ono might like. Tall, thin alien sits at head of a table. Fanning out from him are smaller, childlike aliens. Panning view as the aliens communicate with one another using quick hand movements and head tilts. Close in on tall alien CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN who presses his hands together and a stillness settles over the room. Tilt to his mouth which then speaks.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Gentlebeings, this is the final mission briefing. We are now in cloaked orbit over the planet known by many names among its disparate peoples but which we’ll call Earth since we’ve all just undergone intense American language lessons.

Queedlestein looks around at the faces of his fellow aliens, blinking and smiling. They blink and smile back. Very serene feel.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Many of you will have visited Earth before on earlier missions. Some of you have had misgivings over our continued, er, "borrowing" of Earth equipment in recent solar rotations. Let me assure you that we shall be returning all borrowed equipment immediately prior to the main mission. Lieutenant Badoodleberg of the Antiquities Division will explain. Lieutenant?

A child alien makes a brief hand gesture.

LT BADOODLEBERG

Extensive examination of the Earth artefacts has turned up nothing useful – yes, you were all right; there really was no benefit in taking them and to be frank, there was no place to store the battleship anyway – so we have agreed to return all airborne and sea-based vehicles back to the Earthlings …

ANOTHER ALIEN
(cutting Badoodleberg off)

I was under the impression that the supergamma plasma leak during the last warp threshold acceleration explosion past the twelve rings of Shortroundia IV had caused damage to the artefacts.

LT BADOODLEBERG

No, the artefacts are all perfectly intact. There was some minor damage to the female beings’ toilets on deck nineteen and the adjoining records office, however, and we subsequently are not entirely sure from where we originally appropriated the vehicles in question. We have taken the decision – agreed upon by the Home Planet Ministry of Extraglobal Antiques – to distribute the craft across as many distant and varied desert environments on Earth as possible and let the local inhabitants sort out what belongs to whom.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

My long fingers throb with dissatisfaction but worse things happen in a coronal mass ejection, I guess. Very well, the main mission as you are all aware is to finally openly meet with and conduct a foreign exchange trip with the Earthlings. With their permission this time. The mountain that looks like a Sperzzamoid from the planet Injana in the place called Wyoming, America is the agreed meeting point. I know that Subcommander Fninkle wanted a large metropolitan area to show we’ve got nothing to hide but this was the name that came out of the pan-dimensional hat and it’s simply the fairest way to pick these things. Now, communication officer Goonitruffle will give us the latest update on our attempts to transmit the meeting coordinates to Earth.

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

We have cracked the coordinate system used by the Earthlings thanks to a recovered spherical representation of the planet Earth from what passes for a library. It’s apparently number-based rather than scent-based.

Half of the aliens raise their fingers upwards and shake them to convey alien shock.

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

I know! I did the same thing. Anyway, we have been broadcasting these number-based coordinates towards Earth from our cloaked position for some time now and believe the messages have been received owing to activity on the ground. However, orbital observations indicate that only a very few Earthlings actually own radio telescope receivers in their domiciles so we have made a number of planetary visits to directly implant an image of the meeting place into the brains of Earthlings too. For this we are using The Orange Ray.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

The Orange Ray? Why not the probes?

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

The medical team report that it turns out the cranial insertion nodule is not located where we thought it was at all. In fact we do a lot of internal damage by trying to send messages through that particular route. The Orange Ray is less intrusive although it does cause a slight burning of the skin and a tripling of the risk of cancer within the next five solar rotations.

ANOTHER ALIEN

These planetary visits sound dangerous. What precautions are being taken to make sure we don’t accidentally cause an intergalactic incident by frying a pregnant Earthling man, for instance?

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

We are only arming our excursion craft with Mangaloy, Sprunitz, and Wernshbauer Beams. These are limited to only making clockwork toys move for no reason, mailboxes open dramatically, and causing a localised alteration of gravity within the confines of motor vehicles.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

And you all said I was mad when I insisted we carry them on board the mothership! I knew we’d find a use for them. Good work. So, when is the meeting near the mountain in Wyoming due to take place?

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

When?

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Yes. When? How many planetary cycles? What time of day? When?

OFFICER GOONITRUFFLE

When. Ah. I knew there was something we’d forgotten. Er, can we not just wait and see when they turn up and then fly down?

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Well I guess we’re going to have to aren’t we? You’re making my long fingers throb again. Okay, let’s move on. Rural area formation flying team: how is your group coming along Commander Blurnfeld?

COMMANDER BLURNFELD

Doing just great, captain. Really impressing the locals, getting up quite a following along some of the mountain roads. The low-level aerobatics are just perfect. Absolutely no problems. Triple passes, splits, flying vees, Yeagerzoid loops, the works.

LT BADOODLEBERG

May I just ask a question here? The formation flying is for what purpose exactly?

Tense silence for a few seconds with many alien heads tilting and turning to look at Blurnfeld.

COMMANDER BLURNFELD

You know, the boys have been training for a long time during warp transition. This is just a good opportunity to build relations. There’s no harm. I mean, yes, there’ve been a few accidents. Earth vehicles crashing, Earthlings almost getting killed, that sort of thing. No actual fatalities though, and I think most of them appreciate it, really.

LT BADOODLEBERG

So we’re just showing off. Thought so.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Yes, okay, thankyou Commander and Lietenant. I think, maybe, the formation team’s performances can be put on hold for the time being, yes? Yes. Right, I’ve had a request from the Alien Abduction Division down on Level 14. They’d like one last abduction before the big meeting on the basis that it’ll probably be frowned upon afterwards. I know not everyone will approve of it but I’ve given the go-ahead; it’s what they’re trained for after all. They’ll be strictly limited to an Earthling child only and there’s to be no damage to the house if it’s in one. Chimney grappling equipment, magnetic screw unscrewers, and the machine that makes electrical appliances switch on and off and lurch about a bit are the only things approved for use on the exercise with maybe the use of a popcorn maker to lure the child outside with the smell if the lab technicians can fix the one we borrowed – and broke, Lieutenant Gerbelshmim – our last time here.

LT GERBELSHMIM

I thought it would make anything pop and expand. You can’t know how it will react with gravitic kernels of anti-quarks unless you try. I really wish people would stop bringing this up. I have made peace with the relatives and podding partners of all those killed in the disaster.

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

It’s on your permanent record. People will bring it up. You just have to accept that. Now, we’re almost done. Entertainments Sector, your report please.

OFFICER MINGELCHUNK

I am pleased to say that we now have the only mothership in the quadrant with a state-of-the-art, kicking rad, external, full 360 degrees disco system with not two, not five, but seven – yes, seven! – seven point one surround sound system. Gentlebeings, you are on the most groovy ship in existence! We are going to blow the Earthlings’ minds. Totally awesome! We’ve even been composing some bitching tunes for the big meet. Catchy? You bet! We’ve got Earth people humming them already from India to Antarctica. I just hope the Earthlings make the effort to bring along some high-tech discosynth sound-and-light equipment of their own so we can all just get down and jam!

CAPTAIN QUEEDLESTEIN

Indeed. And I’m glad to see someone’s found time for the advanced language course. Okay, well, I think that just about wraps it up. One final thing for Navigation: Lieutenant Commander Topoishie, let’s try and fly in the right way up this time, okay? The upside down thing just makes us look stupid, right? Excellent. Well, my long fingers are still throbbing but, yes, good meeting people.

FADE TO BLACK

Author: Mark

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3 Comments

  1. Just thought I’d pop by to say that I saw your comment on Bloggerheads about you not liking The Wrong Door and I have to concur wholeheartedly. By the way, I find the taste of cockends funny. I just thought I’d share that. Also, my IP address is 82.163.63.26.

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  2. The above comment has been surgically altered in accordance with the site’s terms and conditions.

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  3. Interesting find. I have to say I am intrigued. This was one of the films I saw as a kid that created my cinematic obsession.

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