POTA Additional Scenes (1):
Episode 1: Escape From Tomorrow
Heresy, even madness, Zaius would call it. Yet Galen can't tear his eyes from the printed pages of the ancient book, yellowed and crumbling beneath his fingertips.
Of course the words can easily be dismissed as fiction or lunacy, if not for the pictures. They're unlike any others he has ever seen. They look...real. Galen has no idea how that could be, but he would swear that they're not drawings.
He looks closer. There are buildings. Dwellings, perhaps? And some of the pictures appear to have been captured from high above. It's not possible. Apes can't fly.
Galen turns the page to more impossible pictures--of machines flying, and machines driving over never-ending gray paths leading to great buildings ascending the sky, all squeezed tightly alongside more and more buildings. The sheer redundancy numbs the brain.
He turns the page again and is shaken to his core. He leafs through the book, incredulous. Itís seen in almost every picture. Itís absurd. Humans stand in the buildings, and sit in the machines, and live in the dwellings. Not an ape in sight. But apes are mentioned. Oh, yes. They're kept in cages. Cages!
Heresy. Madness. Yet he can't resist reading or looking, though it fills him with dread. He's never been able to resist knowledge.
In the past, Galen's father, Yalu, punished him for letting his curiosity rule his actions. He might as well have punished him for the color of his eyes or the thickness of his pelt. His curiosity leads him to truth, and sometimes to trouble, but he follows it always.
A horse and wagon had overturned in the road before Galen's house once, when Galen was a young chimp. The wagon wheel hit a large rock and the whole thing tipped over. Galen called for help, rushing to the side of the injured driver. He could see that the chimp was young, just entering adulthood. The chimp's condition...oh, it was very bad. The nose was an unrecognizable mish-mash of blood and flesh. The forehead was caved in quite badly, and blood was everywhere, thickening and darkening rapidly.
Galen hovered over the still body, frozen, watching. He looked for something left in the corpse that might remind him of the living, but there was nothing. It had all vanished. The eyes were sightless, the body moved by no spirit or energy. Whatever the chimp had been in life had deserted the body entirely.
Yalu was finally forced to pull Galen away from his morbid fascination. He scolded Galen in loud, gruff tones, but Galen had seen quite clearly: regardless of the fate of the soul, the body is utterly deserted in death.
He wonders if even the soul survives that death.
Another heretical thought, and one that helped shape Galen into an ape with dangerously open views. But what does the son of a High Councilman and close friend of Zaius himself have to fear? Galen seeks answers. Of course each answer usually breeds more questions, but that is the nature of the world. For instance: what does the book he holds in his hands mean to civilization?
It tells a truth as profound and heretical as the knowledge found staring at a dead chimp whose soul had fled its body. It means a new beginning of openness, of learning...or a black age of denial and ruthlessness. It means the end of the world, as apes perceive it.
If the book speaks truth, it has the power to change the planet, for good or bad. Only the future holds the answer.
In the meantime, Galen has other questions. He shuts the book and goes to speak with Urko's captives, tied beneath a tree.