The Cars of Tomorrow
by Rix Roundtree-Harrison
The black and white planet earth silently spins in the inky void that is outer space. Superimposed over the rotating planet is the word "Universal;" beneath that word is the word "International."
As the world turns, jarringly loud symphony orchestrated music is coupled with the other worldly tremulous electronic howl of a theremin. This frightening symphonic onslaught is mixed with roaring sounds that resemble a multitude of rhythmically revving automobile engines. Added to this layered musical concoction are the meshed multiple blast of an orchestra horn section and loud distorted automobile horns.
Together, these elements unleash a blaring musical assault made up of one short musical blast, one long drooling blast and four more short musical blasts. After that, there is a slight pause in which the solo theremin screams its eerie electronic howl.
This orchestrated onslaught of thundering music repeats a second time, and fades away taking the Universal-International studio's logo with it.
As the studio logo and the frightening music fades away, the beautiful visage of a bespectacled Asian woman comes into focus. Her eyes flash with anger as they peer over the rim of her cat-eye shaped glasses. She bolts upright from her seat at a large wooden table. Her dark hair parted on the right, falls straight down and formed an outward flip when it reaches the manly padded shoulders of her dark pinstriped power suit on which it lays. The fitted suit jacket clings to her torso displaying her svelte figure.
Behind her is a courtroom filled with seated spectators; at the rear of the spectators stand two armed courtroom guards in front of a closed wooden double door.
The woman's eyes continue to flash angrily, as her mouth releases her words in an angry voice. "Objection your honor, Mr. Thime is badgering the witness."
At the judge's bench sits a bald fifty-ish Caucasian male in the black judge's robe. He has a neatly trimmed gray moustache and goatee that gives him handsome and distinguished appearance.
At each end of the Judge's bench there are two small lamps. Centered between the two lamps and in front of the judge there sits a nameplate that reads "Judge Steven Gitterman."
Judge Gitterman has a contemplative look on his face as he responds to the woman's objection quickly and deliberately, "I disagree Miss Akimoto, Mr. Thime is trying to ascertain the facts from a witness who is being at best evasive, and at worse uncooperative. Objection overruled, continue Mr. Thime."
In the center of the courtroom floor stands a thirty something Caucasian male. Atop his head is thick black hair that is neatly combed and parted on the left. One lone cowlick dips over the left side of the forehead. Thick, neat, black eye brows were positioned above hard, deep-set intense dark eyes. He possessed a strong straight nose. A slash of a mouth is cut across the rugged square jaws, forming a determined look as it sits above the deep clef is cut into his granite like chin. His perfectly symmetrical handsome face resembles that of Jack Lord, who played Steve McGarrett on the classic television series Hawaii 5-O and portrayed Felix Leighter (the guy in the cool shades) in the first James Bond 007 film Dr. No.
The well-tailored, dark, conservative suit he wears accentuates his broad shoulders and trim fit body. His whimsical tie is decorated with large loosely arranged treble clefs, and quarter, eighth, and sixteenth musical notes.
He speaks in a deep masculine voice like that of screen legend William Holden. "Thank you your honor I…"
With a face registering annoyance and acerbity in his voice, Judge Gitterman interrupts. "Don't stand there thanking me Mr. Thime, just get on with it. I'd like to recess for lunch before dinner time rolls around."
"Yes your honor," says Mr. Thime.
In the witness stand to the right of Judge Gitterman sits an Arab-American man. He is a forty something man in a light suit. His dark hair is pulled back from his bored looking face into a ponytail.
The handsome attorney turns to this man. "Professor Lazareb, your answer to everything has been "I can't remember,” well let me jostle your memory."
The attorney walks over to the defendant's table were there sits a somber looking young Indian-American man with a turban on his head and dressed in a dark suit.
On the table sits a large square box. Mr. Thime opens the box and dumps it contents onto the court room floor. These contents include two silver 2-slice toasters, two black oscillating fans, two silver gooseneck lamps, and two 3 foot drain pipes that are about 4 inches in diameter.
With one of the 3 foot drain pipes in hand he walks back over to the witness, who stares at the pipe with a horrified look on his face. "Aaaaah, I see your memory is returning,” says the smiling attorney. “You recognize this, don't you professor?" Mr. Thime turns to face the jury. "This is the murder weapon, the instrument that through a multitude of vicious stab wounds brought about the death of poor Mrs. Adele Frederickson."
The witness' horrified look has turned to one of hostility. "Where did you get that? Give that back, it belongs to me!"
"Yes, I know it belongs to you, and I thank you for identifying it. Your prints were found on it along with traces of blood, the blood of the deceased Mrs. Frederickson."
Miss Akimoto again bolts to her feet. "Objection you honor, it has been established that Mrs. Frederickson was killed by multiple stab wounds that a long sharp instrument would inflict, which Mr. Thime has just acknowledged. Now he states that this pipe which is a blunt instrument brought about the death of the deceased."
Mr. Thime turns and faces Judge Gitterman, "Your honor, yes Mrs. Frederickson was indeed stabbed to death, but with your permission I can prove that this pipe along with those other objects are indeed the instruments that brought about Mrs. Frederickson's fatal stab wounds."
Scrutinizing the witness and Mr. Thime with intensity the judge silently thinks for a moment then issues his ruling. "Objection overruled, go on Mr. Thime.
At that moment Nikolas Thime drops the drain pipe back atop the pile of junk and from the pile picks up a drill bit and places it in front of the eyes of Professor Lazareb.
The witness, Professor Lazareb's eyes burn with seething hatred for Mr. Thime.
"Damn you Nikolas Thime, DAMN YOU!"
Professor Lazareb's cheeks puff as he fills his mouth with saliva, and he is about to spit on Nikolas Thime. Nick braces for a face full of spittle, but Professor Lazareb leans to the left side of Thime and releases a huge wad of spit, it arcs upwards, passes Nick’s face and lands on the pile of junk with a sickening “splat.” The spit then begins to move, to grow to spread and acts like an epoxy pulling all the pieces of junk together.
The pile of junk begins to take form. The two toasters position themselves next to each other and fall on their sides. Then they are sandwiched between the two 3 foot drain pipes. The two gooseneck lamps affix themselves to the drain pipe atop the toasters. The two oscillating fans affix themselves facedown to the drain pipe below the toasters. The blades of the oscillating fans begin to spin emitting an ominous whirring sound. The draft created by the whirling blades lifts the contraption off the courtroom floor making it airborne.
As the flying contraption hovers in the air and the slots of the toasters begin to glow red-hot. The two gooseneck lamp heads swing and turn from left to right. Suddenly their blinding high wattage lights flash on. The contraption’s searchlights scan the courtroom until they come to rest on Nick Thime who is caught in the cross beams of the bright searchlights.
With its brilliant searchlights focused on Nick the contraption moves in for the attack. As the contraption flies at an incredible speed towards him, the dual toasters clack, and from the heated slots where toasted bread would normally be ejected, a multitude of white-hot drill bits shoot from the toaster slots like fiery arrows.
Nick dives to the floor to escape the flaming drill bits, as he does drill bits that barely miss him are embedded in the wall behind him.
The brilliant searchlights of the contraption's swaying gooseneck lamps keep Nick exposed like a convict trying to escape the searchlights during a prison break. He runs with the flying toaster-fan-lamp contraption on his heels spitting its hot drill bits at him.
Spectators, the judge, the D.A., and the jury all flee the courtroom screaming. The two guards pull their weapons from their holsters and begin firing at the flying contraption.
One of the guards is felled when he is impaled and skewered by multiple drill bits, inflicted with multiple stab wounds in the same manner in which the murder of Mrs. Frederickson was described.
As the other guard fires his weapon at the contraption, like a fire breathing dragon it shoots an arc of fire from its toaster slots, frying the guard to a crisp.
Dr. Lazareb who had not fled the courtroom with the others sprints up to his creation, points to Nick Thime and shouts in a voice burning with vengeful fury, "KILL NIKOLAS THIME!"
The contraption spins in mid air and faces Nick Thime who it has trapped in a corner. The toaster slots begin to glow as it readies to fire another volley of red hot drill bits at Nikolas.
At that moment from behind the contraption, a tall bald handsome middle-aged African American male in black laboratory goggles and dressed in something that resembles a shiny white space suit burst into the courtroom. He has an oblong metallic canister strapped on his back. A hose runs from the canister and into his white gloved right hand.
Behind him stands is a beautiful Native American woman. She has a pasty white makeup applied to her face, making it difficult to determine her age. She is dressed in a black leather jacket, an ankle length black skirt and pointed black stiletto heel boots.
The space suited African American male twist the nozzle on the hose and sprays the contraption with a vaporous substance.
Covered with this substance, the contraption ceases its assault on Nikolas Thime.
Then the Native American woman steps up to the stifled contraption. On her face painted pasty white she has thin, straight, drawn on eyebrows that streak in a slanted trajectory over her eyes, like comets on a collision course with one another.
Dark pupils sit beneath eyelids that possess long, thick lashes adorned with dark mascara. The eyelids half closed are painted in a shiny dark eye shadow, making the two mounds that are her eyes look like rolling hills, giving her entire face a glamorous combination Marlene Dietrich and Cher appearance.
The peaks of her mountainous cheekbones are capped with dark rouge as they descend down into smooth valleys that are her jaws. Her full lips which are covered with a dark and glossy lipstick are fixed in a frowning determined expression.
She closes her dark eyes with lids painted in heavy mascara. She clasps her hands possessing long dark nails together. Her darkly painted lips part as she whispers something, and suddenly the contraption begins to vibrate violently. Then with one final and large gyration the contraption falls apart, pipes, fans, blades, toasters, lamps, bulbs, disassemble and fall to the courtroom floor; becoming again a pile of harmless metal.
With a face filled with rage, Professor Lazareb turns to Nikolas Thime and dives at him. He knocks Nikolas Thime to the floor, jumps on top of him, and begins to strangle him.
Nikolas Thime brings up his right leg and kicks him off. Nick then comes to his feet as the witness is about to throw a left. Thime blocks Professor Lazareb's left and gives him a right to the jaw.
The enraged professor picks up a wooden chair from the prosecution table and slams it across Thime's head. He then grabs Nick Thime from the rear attempting to strangle him in a headlock.
Thime throws his right arm back and grabs the man's heads and then throws the professor over his head and onto the floor. With Lazareb on his back on the floor, Thime goes after him, but Lazareb swings his legs and trips up Nick Thime. Nick stumbles, but does not fall.
Lazareb jumps to his feet as Thime throws a left hook which connects with a "crack" to Lazareb's jaw. The professor counters with his own right hook to Thime's jaw. As Thime stumbles backwards the man gives him an uppercut to the chin, then a left hook, then a right hook. The double blows send Nick falling backwards against the front of the judge's bench.
Nick grabs a lamp sitting atop the bench and slams them over Lazareb's head. Professor Lazareb falls backwards against the banister of the witness stand. Nick pummels him with left and right hooks.
Lazareb gives Nikolas a knee to the groin and Thime falls backwards on the floor in a daze. Lazareb spies the gun of the dead courtroom guard on the floor. He grabs the gun and points it at Thime. With a look of glee on his face he is about to pull the trigger,
Thime looks quickly to his left and to his right and grabs an oscillating fan blade from the floor beside him, and throws it as if it were a discus at Professor Lazareb.
The fan blades whizzes pass Lazareb so quickly it doesn’t appear to have struck him. Professor Lazareb's eyes grow wide with stunned disbelief as his body tilts back and his head falls from his neck.
Then, his decapitated body trembles and falls to his knees and slumps and lands on its headless torso.
The head of Dr. Lazareb has rolled across the floor and stops at the feet of Judge Gitterman who has reentered the courtroom. He looks at the severed head at his feet; he goes pale, begins to wobble and faints and hits the floor with a thud.
Pushing back his disarrayed hair, Nikolas Thime slowly gets on his feet, and adjusts his disheveled clothing.
The African American male and the Native American female quickly make their way to him. The Native American woman with worry etched on her face and tears in her eyes embraces Nikolas Thime.
"Nikz are you all right?"
In the woman's embrace Nikolas Thime smiles and pats her on the back, "I'm fine Aqa, thanks to you two, you and Stroddy are lifesavers, literally."
"Nikolas Thime you had me scared to death,” say the Native American Woman. “You could have been killed. You just take too many chances."
"I'm sorry my antics frightened you Aqa, but you must remember that sometimes you have to take chances when seeking the truth."
Nikolas Thime turns to the African American scientist. "Hey Stroddy, what was that you used to immobilize that contraption?"
The scientist whips off his goggles revealing a face like that of legendary African American actor Paul Robeson. His wide flat nose is sculpted in hard angles, the tight stern lips of his mouth slash across his face. With his high block like cheekbones and squared masculine jaw line the man's face looks as if were chiseled from stone. "Well this morning when you deduced that Dr. Lazareb was the killer of Mrs. Frederickson, and we concluded that Dr. Lazareb had the disguised murder weapon right out in plain sight for all to see in his own garage. I deduced that he not only had the ability to alter the weapon but he could most likely control it in its altered state.
"Then after you left for court, I began to ponder the possibility that he would use the altered animated object as a weapon against you should your over the top, yet clever courtroom theatrics were to corner him like a trapped rat.
"Then I remembered my unperfected male enhancement formula that I have been working on and realized that it would make a most effective agent in stopping whatever Dr. Lazareb might throw at you.
"I told Powaqa of my conclusions and we rushed here to aide you. And my formula worked; it caused rigidity in the metals immobilizing it. Then Powaqa, with that magic war-paint on her face, placed a spell on it causing it to collapse. It was all…."
The eyebrow over Nikolas Thime's left arches. "Wait a minute, wait a minute, let's go back to this, "male enhancement formula" business. Does that mean what I think it means?"
"What do you think it means?" The scientist asks, with a look of embarrassment on his face.
Embarrassment also covers Nikolas Thime's face when he looks at the Native American woman, Powaqa. "Stroddy, there's a lady present." Nikolas Thime then steps up to the scientist, and whispers into his ear. The scientist nods his head in the affirmative.
The Native American woman rolls her eyes and shakes her head in disbelief.
"Um Stroddy,” says Nick, “Why are you working on that type of experiment, er, do you have a, problem? Do I need to find you a doctor?"
Insult registers on the face and in the voice of the scientist. "I am a doctor, and no I do not have a problem. I'm working on this project because I believe that in the future a man's virility will be affected and diminished by many things. Things like the additives and preservatives in the foods that he eats. Though currently in its beginning stages, I also believe that one day genetically engineered foods will also affect a man's libido. Then I factored in pollution, medications, heart disease, diabetes and age and I believe that all these things will someday take a drastic toll on a man's sexual health. So I have been working on a formula to combat E D that I believe will be prevalent in the future."
"What's E D?" The handsome attorney asks.
Again the African American scientist's face blushes with embarrassment as he looks at Powaqa and then back at Nick Thime.
The Native American woman again rolls her eyes and shakes her head hopelessly.
"Don't be embarrassed on my account, I'm a grown woman it's not like I don't know what you are talking about.” The Native American woman sighs, “Men, they can be so, exasperating."
Nick Thime grins, "Whisper it in my ear Stroddy."
The scientist places his hand beside his mouth and next to Nick Thime's ear and begins to whisper. Nikolas Thime's eyes open wider as both eyebrows arch in surprise. He looks at Strode and then at the remains of the contraption, and then looks at Strode with a sly grin. "You dog you. So tell me, what other kinky experiments have you got going on up in the laboratory of yours?"
Police, reporters, the judge, the D.A., and others enter the decimated courtroom and surround Nikolas Thime and his two assistants, shaking their hands, and giving them congratulatory pats on their backs.
Judge Gitterman who has regained consciousness sees the dead body of Dr. Lazareb. He then sees the pile of junk that was the flying contraption piled on the courtroom floor. "Is that Dr. Lazareb's flying contraption? What happened?"
Nikolas Thime looks at the junk and dryly replies, "He couldn't keep it up."
The young Indian-American man who had been sitting at the defendant's table grabs Nikolas Thime's hand and shakes it vigorously and appreciatively. "Thank you Mr. Thime, thank you for proving my innocence, I'm a free man again thanks to you."
Nikolas Thime smiles at the young man, "You're welcome. And in the future be more selective with the company that you keep." Nick then grabs his briefcase and frantically rushes from courtroom with the African American scientist and the Native American sorceress close behind him.
"Nikz, where are you going?" The Native American woman asks.
"I have a date with Miss Isadora Maxima."
"Who is Isadora Maxima?"
"She's a model from Hawaii; last year she was crowned Miss Kaua'i 1957."
As Nikolas Thime descends the courthouse steps a shiny, silver, sleek and sexy 1957 convertible Mercedes-Benz 300SL two-seater roadster screeches to a halt at the base of the courthouse steps.
A beautiful brunette with exotic features sits behind the wheel of the attention-grabbing automobile. On her head is a large black hat trimmed in white. She is dressed in an elegant black top with a plunging neckline. She has on wrist length white gloves; and the vivacious smile on her face completes her ensemble.
As Nikolas Thime walks toward the waiting woman, the Native American woman speaks in an authoritative tone. "But Nikz, we have those briefs that we need to work on."
The African American scientist adds, "Also Nikolas you promised we'd work on that bit of trouble I got in due to my liquid glass formula that went awry.
Nikolas Thime does not stop walking towards the beaming woman in the Mercedes. He garbs the automobile's doorframe and looks the automobile over approvingly. "Fast car," he says.
The young woman smiles and replies in a sultry voice, "Fast girrrrrl."
Nikolas Thime flashes a wolfish grin and throws in his left leg into the passenger side of the vehicle. He is about to throw the rest of his tall lean broad shouldered body into the sporty automobile until the Native American woman, with a mischievous smile on her face, reaches into her large black carryall bag and pulls out a package. "Oh Nikz, before you go, this came for you in this morning's mail."
With his left leg still in the car Nikolas Thime stops, turns around, and curiously looks at the package in the woman's hand. "What's that Aqa?"
The woman looks at the return address label on the package and with feigned surprise responds. "Oh, it's from that movie club you belong to."
Visibly excited at the sight of this package his left leg comes out of the car; he quickly walks over to the woman called he called "Aqa" and excitedly exclaims, "It's the movie I ordered, "This Island Earth!"
He turns and faces the stunning brunette in the car. "I'm sorry Isadora, but Aqa and Stroddy are right, we have so much work to do, I can't possibly play this afternoon. I'll call you later tonight, okay?"
Disappointment blankets the face of Miss Maxima. "But Nikolas you promised we would spend the afternoon together, and I have to work tonight."
"I'm sorry, but duty calls. I'll call you tomorrow, alright?"
Miss Maxima's beaming smile is replaced with a perturbed look. "Nikolas Thime, you are the limit!" Her perturbed look disintegrates and is replaced by that vivacious smile as she puts her hand to her mouth and blows Nikolas Thime a kiss, and screeches off in the Mercedes.
Nikolas Thime takes the package from Powaqa looks at it, and then speaks to himself; "This Island Earth!" Faith Domerque! Rex Reason! Technicolor! Do you know how long it's been since I've seen this movie?"
The Native American woman gives him a bored look and answers dryly, "You saw it two weeks ago when it came on television."
"Yeah, yeah, but that was on a black and white TV, edited, with commercial interruptions and all; but this is the complete, full color, full length, uncut 8-millimeter film." With package in hand Nikolas Thime walks off smiling with contentment, leaving his two companions trailing.
The scientist called "Stroddy" looks to the woman Powaqa. "We might as well have let Nikolas run off with Miss Kahlua '56."
"Miss Kaua'i 1957 Strode."
"No matter Powaqa, now that he has that movie the end result will be the same, we won't get any work out of him."
As the rear of Miss Maxima's Mercedes with its two small rectangular tail lights roars away, it suddenly freezes in time as the city around the car fades away leaving the automobile suspended in a sea of solid white.
Slowly it becomes evident that the car and the solid white background in which it now sits in the middle of is the glossy back cover of a magazine.
A glamorous female arm appears with a hand possessing well-manicured glistening dark fingernails and with an expensive sparkling ostentatious diamond bauble is on the wrist.
The hand flips the backwards magazine over to reveal the front cover. In bold all capital print reads the magazine's title, "THE CARS OF TOMORROW."
Simultaneously the music that played during the Universal-International logo starts again and it becomes apparent that this score is a musical representation of the magazine title.
The short orchestrated musical blast represents THE, the long drooling blast represented CARS and the four short musical blast were OF-TO-MOR-ROW. Musically, what follow next is an orchestrated musical cacophony, an assaulting mix of sounds including the title piece, something resembling frantic continuous amplified distorted multiple car horns, crackling maddening electronics, the eerie electronic howl of the theremin, and a multitude of garishly loud distorted automobile engines revving in time with the music. The music is ominous in tone and has an element of foreboding danger about it.
On the cover of the magazine, beneath the title, is a picture of an automobile that looks like a cross between a rocket and a fighter jet. On its front end is something that resembles the air intake nose of a jet. Beneath the nose is a grille that looks like a large open grinning maw like mouth. Beautiful sweeping lines run along the automobiles sides that become giant bat wing like tailfins at the car's rear.
The glamorous female hand turns the page to reveal another automobile, this one seems to have missiles affixed to each end of its gleaming front bumper. Above the bumper slanted headlights sit of each side of a mammoth grille that looks like a rib cage. Superimposed over this picture are the names of the film's cast.
The hand turns the page again and this time the film crew's names appear over the picture of a car that is almost a flat wedge; it resembles the tip of a flat head screwdriver. Its front end is minimal in design, no grille, no bumper, its headlights concealed. There are four wheels on it front end. Its wedge like shape grows wider at the rear where there are two wheels and one large shark-like fin protrudes from the middle of the trunk area.
The glamorous hand again turns the page and this one reads "Produced and Directed by Nathan Hertz-Juran," which is superimposed over the picture of a car that has what looks like jet air intake noses on each side of the front end. Within the noses sits a triangular configuration of two headlights and the parking light. Between the twin noses is a thin horizontal rectangular grille, with metal slats that resemble teeth. In the center of the vehicle's body is a large glass bubble beneath which is the automobile's interior. At the rear of the vehicle is a large spoiler supported by equally large fins on each side of the trunk.
Then as the glamorous hand closes the magazine, all goes black as a baritone rich, British accented male voice carefully speaks through the darkness in a halted monotonous drone.
From the moment of its creation, the automobile changed the face, culture, and geography, of the planet earth. Civilizations have been transformed due to the automobile's ravenous need for more, more roads, more speed, more fuel, more power, and more, technology. But mankind will continue to satisfy the needs of the automobile, never realizing, that the automobile's needs, have surpassed, his own. And when the needs of the automobile become paramount, for mankind, can there be, a tomorrow?
© 2010 Rix Roundtree-Harrison