Max Headroom - Cat 9 : Pilot Episode - Plague 2005





We watch as the MAIN DOOR swings open and JENNY walks in carrying a couple of suitcases. A black cat follows her in.

JENNY frowns as she looks over the studio, which has not been touched since the CRYO UNIT was added except for the fact that somebody has been feeding BRYCE's PARROT

JENNY: Hello. Hope you like cats.

Jenny's CAT eyes the PARROT, but as THE PARROT is in a cage the bird is perfectly safe. The PARROT gives a little squawk. Below it, in another cage, BRYCE's computer-generated parrot gives a squawk of it's own

JENNY: I bet he never named you, did he?

CAT 9: Her name's Tess.

JENNY spins around in surprise. A moment later, she sees the AI program, CAT 9, smiling at her from the lab's main screen.

CAT 9: Didn't you know?

JENNY: Oh! Yes, I was aware. I just wasn't fully prepared for the actuality of the situation. It must give you an idea of how Max feels, huh?

CAT 9: Not entirely. In Max's case, his entire mind is in the system. It's almost the opposite for me. My brain is permanently linked so the system is using that just as much as my thought patterns and mental algorithms are using the system. Of course that means I've boosted the system by a large percent.

JENNY: What happens if the system goes down?

CAT 9: The human mind is a hundred times faster than most computers. It is the physical responses of the body that slow us down when we are responding to external stimuli. In this state, should a danger arise, I can respond to it before the passing of a centisecond.

JENNY: You know you're the only person I know who uses the word centisecond

CAT 9: I'm the only one you know who has a valid use for it.

JENNY looks at the live PARROT

JENNY: Tess?

CAT 9: Short for Tesseract. Not that I ever believed in such childish things

JENNY: Of course not. Speaking of children. Bryce, some of your other old classmates and I held a vigil in your memory recently.

CAT 9: I'm touched. But what does that have to do with children?

JENNY: Sysop Harding believes that we should use the DNA in your physical body to produce offspring one day. He believes that your level of intelligence should not go to waste.

CAT 9: That's flattering. I assume he suggested you as one possible match.


CAT 9: If my level of intelligence is going to remain viable within the gene pool, then it needs to be combined with more than just one other sample.

JENNY: I don't think it's exactly right to have a dozen women walking around carrying your babies.

CAT 9 (looks confused): Why would they?

JENNY (shakes her head in amusement): Naive as ever. How did you expect your DNA to be propagated then?

CAT 9: Ovu-vat gro-bags.

JENNY: Of course. Who'd you have in mind?

CAT 9: Yourself, naturally. Plus Theora Jones and Edison Carter.

JENNY: Edison? Can they do that?

CAT 9: I don't see why not? It's a simple gene splice. They've done it at the zoo with the rabbits last year.

JENNY: Right. Well, since you were always my favorite little bunny, I'll see what I can do.

CAT 9 looks skyward and shakes his head in amusement.



EDISON, THEORA, and MURRAY are sitting at their table. We can hear muffled conversation. As we draw closer their words become more audible

EDISON: ... viot hasn't fired Peller by now.

MURRAY: Last I heard that was in the works.

JENNY walks out of the door leading to the TERRACE. THEORA sees her and flags her over

JENNY (pulling up a chair and sitting between THEORA and EDISON): Just the two I wanted to see.

EDISON: How lucky you are to have found us right where our jobs happen to be.

JENNY (laughs): You know, you sound just like Max when you talk that way.

THEORA: What did you want to talk to us about?

JENNY: Bryce's children.


EDISON: Bryce has kids?

JENNY: Of course not...

THEORA: So why...

JENNY (continuing as if Theora hasn't spoken): But since his DNA is available, he... or Cat 9 if you prefer... and I believe that it would be a good idea if it were put to good use.

MURRAY: And who does Bryce have in mind for mingling his genes with?

JENNY: Myself, Theora, and Edison.

EDISON: I'm not carrying a kid. Even if I could safely do so, it'd be bad for my image. No one wants to see a pudgy ace reporter. No matter how good he is.

CAT 9 (from a nearby monitor): Well, actually, I was thinking of using Ovu-Vat.

THEORA: Do you think you can trust them, after the incident with Network 66?

CAT 9: If certain precautions are made, then yes, I do.

THEORA: How soon did you plan on having this done?

CAT 9: May as well be as soon as the three of you are ready. No need to do all three at once, unless you think it would be beneficial for the children to grow up together.

THEORA: I think it would. Edison?

EDISON: Very beneficial.

JENNY: I agree.

CAT 9: Perhaps one should be older, to act as a protector.

JENNY: I'll do that, Bryce. That's part of the responsibility of being a mother.



CHEVIOT is red-faced with rage as SIMON PELLER cowers before him, trying to act affronted.

CHEVIOT: How dare I? How dare I accuse you of causing Bryce's death when it was so obviously your ridiculously wrong information about the plague that was the reason behind it?

PELLER: Ben...

CHEVIOT: Do not call me Ben!

PELLER: Sir, you have to understand...

CHEVIOT: What I understand is that from the beginning, you have had the funds to set up health clinics for the Blanks. This is something I know because your funds come from this network. And you did nothing.

PELLER: The city would be better off if there were fewer vagrants.

CHEVIOT: Mr. Peller. This network will no longer continue to fund your acts of prejudice against the population of the Fringes or indeed against anyone else you might decide to go on a crusade against. (he presses a button on his VU-PHONE. The HEAD OF SECUIRTY APPEARS) Mr. Peller is leaving us. See that he finds his way out. And place his image in the Do Not Admit file.

HEAD OF SECURITY (on screen): Yes, sir.


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