Summit (The Outer Limits)
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|The Outer Limits episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||James Head|
|Written by||Scott Peters|
|Original air date||21 May 1999|
Michael Ironside as Ambassador Prosser
"Summit" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 21 May 1999, during the fifth season.
On a barren planetoid, diplomats from Earth and Dregocia meet to discuss peace.
|“||Buried deep within the heart of every conflict lies a territory known as common ground. But how do we summon the courage to seek out its borders?||”|
Several centuries in the future, Humans from Earth (the United Coalition) and a genetically-engineered race from Dregocia (Dregocian High Command) agree to meet to work out a peace accord on a neutral planetoid. An envoy named Kate Woods is part of the Earth delegation. She leaves a love message to her son that she left on Earth in the care of his Grandmother and then prepares to land.
After making planet-fall and disembarking the delegation from Earth enters their portion of the habitat. The shuttle carrying the Dregocian delegation malfunctions and crashes, while the delegation from Earth watches in horror. After some tense moments and the destruction of both the Earth and Dregocian motherships the Earth delegation attempts to figure out what went wrong. The last transmission from the Dregocian shuttle mentioned that it was sabotaged but by whom is the mystery. Before anymore questions can be answered a warhead launched from one of the motherships toward the planet explodes some distance away from the habitat holding the peace accord, damaging the habitat and causing the communications to be broken on both sides.
With both sides now prepping for war, the human contingent on the planet tries desperately to restore power and re-establish communications with the Dregocians in an attempt to salvage what remains of the valuable accords. After a journey outside, the human delegation finds their transmitter destroyed and their power plant damaged but salvageable. Kate Woods first sees something in the hazy atmosphere of the planetoid, as she investigates someone snatches her respirator off her face from behind. She manages to find another on the ground but it is not functioning. The rest of her party finds her in time before she can suffocate in the toxic air. They return to the inside and regain power, but they still have no communications and both sides are sending ships to meet in an all out war.
As soon as they realize their chances they hear a loud banging from the other side. Startled, they realize that someone is breaking in to the Dregocian side of the building. They are humanoid, but not from Earth. It is the remainder of the Dregocian envoy; Ambassador Prosser and one other Dregocian. Battered and exhausted they tell of how they managed to not only survive crash of their shuttle but the journey of over a kilometer in the toxic air of the planetoid to get to the habitat. It was Prosser that snatched Kate's respirator mask off her face in the hazy atmosphere. Prosser manages a half-hearted apology for doing so but quips "It was a matter of survival" and then offers her mask back to her, throwing it, only to watch it vaporize against a powerful energy barrier between them.
With the meager pieces of a peace conference before them, Kate and Prosser banter back and forth about Dregocian and Earth "human" relations. It turns out that the Dregocians were genetically engineered to be a race of slaves, using them to terraform planets and mine trion ore to sustain Earth. Prosser wants to make sure that Earth is now ready to give the Dregocians their autonomy and human rights deprived of them for centuries. The discussion soon breaks down into bickering with Prosser accusing the delegation of hiding "genocidal tendencies" and the belief that they will simply start over again with another genetically created race whose rebellious tendencies have been cut out. Kate silences the bickering and tries to bring the conversation back to establishing peace. Prosser feels that Kate is merely spouting lines and platitudes in a vain attempt to curry favor with him. Unimpressed he demands to know where Ambassador Bachman is. Kate took over when the station was attacked and he was killed. Prosser then asks to speak with the Colonel as he at least feels his unbridled passion bespeaks honest feelings.
Prosser then mentions "The Halsey Study" which took place over a year ago before Dregocia was overrun/liberated. It was a study of the Dregocian tendencies to develop leadership abilities that were believed to have been totally bred out of their species. Prosser was part of that study as was one of Kate's aides; Portis a geneticist. Prosser's mention of this is just one more way he uses to point out how duplicitous Kate sounds to him and why he sees no point in continuing. Frustrated, the Colonel tells Kate that her attempts to reason with Prosser are in vain and mentions incidents that happened during the war over Dregocia. Prosser becomes agitated as he recalls those incidents and the starvation he and his race endured. After accusing the Colonel of a deliberate starvation attempt the Colonel denies this and tells Prosser of Larza Virus toxins that infested the grain, and that they had to stop shipment but Prosser doesn't believe him and he walks away as Kate implores him to stop. It is only when she calls him a name that he responds, saying "That was a little bit better" and the hatch between them closes.
The Colonel and Secor still try to keep the power and air supplies stable. Time is ticking down until the two space fleets meet for all out war. Kate begins to doubt herself and her aide Morris comforts her and reassures her that she is fit for the job. Work on the transmitter is not going well and Colonel Thurman is getting frustrated and itchy to try an attempt to steal the Dregocian's transmitter. Morris becomes incensed at the callousness of the Colonel and suggests that the humans need to forgive and forget, but no generation has been brave enough to make the first gesture. The separation door opens again and Prosser tells Kate their transmitter does indeed work, however they will not make the gesture to stop the conflict that is getting ready to start unless Kate stops equivocating and shows how much she really hates the Dregocians. He mentions her husband, he knows how he died but he wants her to tell the story. Seeing no way out she relates the story of how her husband Brian was killed by a bomb. He was a college professor who believed in human rights regardless of the genetic differences, making him unpopular. His views antagonized many, and lead to his son being teased at school as well as calls to their house. Death threats, that began to worry Kate. On the day he was killed she tried to call him to get him to come home, but it was too late. Someone bombed his car, it was a Dregocian who planted the bomb. Until she angrily admits it, Prosser doesn't think she is sincere and then he relates to her about the fact that he once had a wife and child and that until they allow the hatreds to dissipate they cannot begin to heal or find a common ground.
As he finishes the oxygen processor in the Dregocian portion of the habitat violently malfunctions forcing Kate to drop the forcefield between them and drag Prosser and his Aide over to the Earth side, along with their transmitter. Secor reveals that the hatch seals were dropped from the Dregocian side, meaning that it was a test. Now Humans and Dregs are face to face with time dwindling quickly to stop the ensuing war. Prosser looks at a picture Kate has taped to her personal recorder and remarks how much her son looks like his father. They try their best to agree that Dregocian autonomy must be part of the bargain to create a peace between them. Kate, skeptical and unsure agrees. Prosser begins to send his codes to tell his fleet to stand down and as they reconfigure so that Earth can do the same a shot rings out killing Prosser's aide. It's the geneticist Portis, he managed to get a weapon off a security guard and he plans on holding the delegates at bay long enough for the Earth ships to attack the Dregocians believing that the Earth will wipe out the Dregocian fleet which was just ordered to stand down. Prosser moves and taunts him giving the Colonel enough time to try to wrestle the gun away from Portis. Another shot rings out and ricochets off a support beam and into Prosser. Portis now subdued by the Colonel, they bring the communications terminal to Prosser who is quickly expiring. He manages to input the codes so that Earth can send their stand down orders and they do, barely stopping an all out shooting war in space.
Their joy over their success is short-lived when they realize Prosser has died from the gunshot. Kate saddened by the loss, solemnly closes Prosser's dead eyes. Almost immediately the holographic interstellar communicator comes on. Surprised, Kate and the members of her party notice as Admiral Reese of Dragocian High Command comes on and as Kate tries to tell him of their agreement, he demands to speak to Prosser. He will only speak to Prosser, stating that he will resume the attack unless he is granted access to Prosser. Another transmission cuts in, it is United Coalition Chairman Desmond Shiff and Kate tells him of the tragedy that befell Ambassador Bachman. Shiff hears Reese in the background and demands an answer. Kate introduces them and tells Reese that Prosser and all other Dregocians were killed. She implores Reese to continue the negotiations, whereas Reese remains unswayed as he has no way of knowing whether his envoy was not tortured into giving up the stand down codes. He also is dubious that all the Dregocians are dead and all the humans are still alive. He will reactivate the offensive and commit his ships to war.
Kate, still dedicated to peace, attempts one last bit of reasoning. She realizes there is nothing she can say to Reese that will sway him; all she can do is offer her life as proof of her sincerity to peace. The Colonel, Secor, and Morris all agree to sacrifice their lives for the cause. Incensed by this, Councilman Shiff suggests this is nothing but more death, whereas Admiral Reese sees the sacrifice of a few lives to stop a war will mean more lives will be spared. They ask if overloading the habitat's reactor would do, but the Admiral declares the deaths must be witnessed with no chance for subterfuge. Despite Shiff's objections and protestations, Kate mentions the weapon they have and the Admiral agrees that it would be an acceptable means. She asks the Admiral for a moment to prepare themselves and he agrees. She stares longingly at the picture of her son on her recorder and then records a final message to him, imploring him not to hate because of this outcome and of how much she loves him before signing off. She says to Morris that she wishes they had more time, to which he replies he is thankful for what they had.
Kate plans on going first but the Colonel usurps her. She thanks all of them and the Colonel asks the Chairman to tell his wife of his sacrifice and then shoots himself. Secor, determined not to die by a weapon of war on the eve of peace, steps over to a power conduit and electrocutes himself by touching live wires.
Kate, saddened and a bit fearful, embraces Morris. Morris steps away with the pistol and tries to shoot himself, but cannot bring himself to. As Kate explains how his strength gave her the courage to do what she did, he summons up enough courage to end his life with a shot. Kate kisses his forehead and moves into the view of the hologram with the pistol. She asks Admiral Reese if he will honor his promise to which he replies "without question". She then moves to the Chairman's communication terminal and tells him she is sending him a playback of the peace accord ordeal and her personal log requesting that her son receive the latter. She sends the transmission and repeating the phrase "I am always with you" she shoots and kills herself. Simultaneously with the gunshot a clap of thunder wakes her son, who cries for his mom and looks out the window to the sky as if knowing that his mother will not be coming home.
|“||Only with the realization that, what we share with our enemy is greater than what divides us, can peace ever be won.||”|