Escape from the Planet of the Apes
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- My name is Cornelius. This is my wife, Zira.
- Where we come from, apes talk. Humans are dumb.
- Please, do not use the word "monkey"! It is offensive to us. As an archaeologist, I had access to history scrolls which were kept secret from the masses, and I suspect that the weapon which destroyed Earth was man's own invention! I do know this: one of the reasons for man's original downfall was your peculiar habit of murdering one another! Man destroys man. Apes do not destroy apes!
- (when asked if he can talk too) Only when she lets me!
- Of course the female knows! We came from your future.
- It wasn't our war. It was the gorillas' war.
- When we were in space, we saw a bright, white, blinding light. Then we saw the rim of the Earth melt. Then there was a tornado in the sky.
- We have returned to Earth nearly 2,000 years before its destruction. And there's another reason for us to keep silent: our human captors will not be edified to learn that one day their world will crack like an egg and burn to a cinder because of an ape war of aggression. Apes, at this instance in time, cannot yet talk. For the moment, we should follow their example.
- Now they've killed. And for that, they must be killed. It has to be done and done quickly before we start a stone growing that'll gather enough poison moss to kill us all!
- Mr. President, the people must be told that the killers of today could become the mass murderers of tomorrow!
- That's what I'm worried about. Later. Later, we'll do something about pollution. Later, we'll do something about the population explosion. Later, we'll do something about the nuclear war! We think we've got all the time in the world!! How much time has the world got?!! Somebody has to begin to care!
- Zira! I want that baby! If you won't give it to me, I'll shoot!
- You are asking me to risk imprisonment for the sake of two fugitive apes?!
Chairman of the Commission
- By a majority vote, the Commission finds no solid evidence for hostility by either ape towards the human race as is presently constituted in this Year of our Lord, 1973. The male's attitude is that of a deeply interested and well-disposed academician who studied the alleged future downfall of the human race with the true objectivity of a good historian. The female's case, however, is different and that she undoubtedly committed actions against the human race of a sort which, if they were to be committed today, would be called atrocities. But would they be so called in two thousand years' time when it is alleged that humans will have become dumb brutes with the restricted intelligence of animals? It has been pointed out that what apes will do to humans is no more than what humans are now doing to beasts. Nonetheless, the Commission is sympathetic to Dr. Hasslein's conviction that the progeny of these apes could, in centuries to come, prove an increasing threat to the human race and conceivably end by dominating it. This is a risk we dare not ignore. Therefore, the Commission unanimously recommends that the birth of the female ape's unborn child should be prevented. And that after its prenatal removal, both the male and the female should humanely be rendered incapable of bearing another. I now declare this Commission dissolved.
- Otto Hasslein: Cornelius. This is not an interracial hassle, but a search for facts. We do not deny the possibility of man's decline and fall. All we want to find out is how apes rose.
- Cornelius: Well, it began in our prehistory with the plague that fell upon dogs.
- Zira: And cats.
- Cornelius: Hundreds and thousands of them died. And hundreds and thousands of them had to be destroyed in order to prevent the spread of infection.
- Zira: There were dog bonfires.
- Cornelius: Yes. And by the time the plague was contained, man was without pets. Of course, for man, this was intolerable. I mean, he might kill his brother, but he could not kill his dog. So humans took primitive apes as pets.
- Zira: Primitive and dumb, but still twenty times more intelligent than dogs or cats.
- Cornelius: Correct. They were quartered in cages, but they lived and moved freely in human homes. They became responsive to human speech and, in the course of less than two centuries, they progressed from performing mere tricks to performing services.
- Interrogator: Nothing more or less than a well-trained sheepdog could do.
- Cornelius: Could a sheepdog cook, or clean the house, or do the marketing for the groceries with a list from its mistress, or wait on tables?
- Zira: Or, after three more centuries, turn the tables on their owners.
- Hasslein: How?
- Cornelius: They became alert to the concept of slavery. And as their numbers grew, to slavery's antidote which, of course, is unity. At first, they began assembling in small groups. They learned the art of corporate and militant action. They learned to refuse. At first, they just grunted their refusal. But then, on an historic day, which is commemorated by my species and fully documented in the sacred scrolls, there came Aldo. He did not grunt. He articulated. He spoke a word, a word which had been spoken to him time and again without number by humans. He said: "No".
- Hasslein: So that's how it all started.
- Interrogator: Zira, you worked in a room like this.
- Zira: Bigger, not so pretty.
- Interrogator: And there you practiced...?
- Zira: Comparative.
- Interrogator: Comparative what?
- Zira: An, an, an, an...
- Interrogator: Anatomy? Whose anatomies did you compare? Apes and humans? Zira, say "Yes" if you mean "Yes".
- Zira: Yes.
- Interrogator: So you dissected other apes.
- Zira: Yes. When they died a natural death.
- Interrogator: And humans, too, of course.
- Zira: Yes. As they were made available.
- Interrogator: Available?
- Zira: Gorillas hunted them for sport with nets and with guns. The survivors were put in cages. The army used some of them for target practice. We could take our scientific pick of the rest.
- Interrogator: And in the interest of science, you dissected, removed and statistically compared...?
- Zira: Bones, muscles, tendons. And veins, arteries, kidneys, livers, hearts. Stomachs, reproductive organs. Nails, tongues, eyes. Noses, nervous systems, the various reflexes.
- Interrogator: Reflexes? Of the dead?
- Zira: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Of the living. You can't make a dead man's knee jump any more than you can test a corpse's reaction to a prefrontal lobotomy.
- Interrogator: You mean you were advanced enough to perform experimental brain surgery on living humans?
- Zira: Oh, yes. We even tried to stimulate their atrophied speech centers.
- Interrogator: Did you try to stimulate Colonel Taylor's speech centers?
- Zira: Of course not. He could talk already.
- Interrogator: When you left, was Colonel Taylor still alive?
- Zira: We loved Taylor. We did all we could to help him, Cornelius and I.
- Cornelius: Savages!! They are savages! Jabbing needles into my pregnant wife!
- Zira: I've done that, too, dear. And worse. Taylor thought we were savages at first.
- Cornelius: Did they make you tell them about Taylor, too?
- Zira: They made me tell them everything, Cornelius.