SMERF (Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Robotics, Forensics) is an organization consisting of what are considered to be the most brilliant and intelligent human minds in the world, and is responsible for 99% of the world’s technological and medical advances. The organization was founded over 100 ago by the same man who created the first ever robot with human intelligence, Finnian Wells. It is incredible hard to be accepted into SMERF and generally requires an IQ of over 140. Candidates are required to pass numerous academic tests in order to become a full-fledged member. The group currently consists of only 77 members, one of which is Hassan J’mal.
(scene: Bolt, Fighter and Tamashi, on the run from Cage, are in the centre of the forest looking up at the gigantic oak tree in shock)
Bolt: Tha… That tree just spoke to us, didn’t it? (looks to Fighter and Tamashi) Hey, you guys heard it too, right? Tell me I’m not the only one going crazy!
Tamashi: No, it was definitely the tree, although I’m having a hard time believing it myself.
Fighter: It defies all logic.
Mother: There’s no need to be wary of me. Welcome to my sanctuary, Bolt, Fighter, Tamashi.
Bolt: (whispering to Tamashi) To tree knows our naaaaaaaaames!
Mother: I know every creature on this planet, from the wealthiest of kings to the lowliest of insects. You are all my children, and my love for you is eternal.
Bolt: Hit me. This is like something out of a fever dream.
Tamashi: Robots don’t dream. But I agree completely. (there is suddenly the sound of a twig snapping behind them, they all turn around to see Cage in the trees)
Bolt: Nuts! He found us! We’re all gonna die!
Mother: Do not fear. Only I can decide who has access to this sanctuary. Try as he might, that man will never be able to find you here.
Bolt: Are you sure, tree? He’s looking right at us.
Mother: Believe me. He sees nothing but trees. And please, call me Mother. (Cage seems to completely ignore them and goes on searching in the opposite direction)
Tamashi: He’s leaving. (she and Bolt fall to their knees in relief; turns around to face Mother) Thank you. I’ve never been rescued by a tree before.
Mother: I’m glad I could be your first. Come out, my children. Don’t be afraid. (little woodland critters start to emerge from in-between her roots and shrubs)
Tamashi: Oh wow! They’re all so cute!
<3 (suddenly looks embarrassed)
Bolt: You were right, Fighter. She is a girl after all.
Fighter: Sir, I believe you owe my five nuts.
Bolt: Fine. (hands Fighter the money) A bet’s a bet. (Tamashi, in a fit of rage, whacks him over the head with her spanner and takes the money for herself)
Tamashi: I’ll take this! Any objections?
Bolt: (lying in a crater in the ground) None, ma’am… (someone comes from around one of the roots and walks up to them)
???: Ah! I thought I heard you guys! (Bolt looks over and sees that it’s Rory)
Bolt: Rory! You’re alive!
Rory: Yeah, thanks to Mother. She caught me in her vines after I was thrown from the ship. I’m glad to see you guys managed to survive too, especially you, Tamashi.
Tamashi: (confused) Huh? What do you mean especially me?
Rory: Well, you are human, so obviously I was more worried about you. (Bolt and Tamashi look confused) Ah, I see you guys don’t understand. Mother has helped me see the error of my ways. After talking with her for the past few hours, I realize that all this hatred and hostility towards humans is not doing me any good. I should just accept my place in the world. I’m ready to become subservient to humans. They are, after all, far superior in every single way. (Bolt and Tamashi both look incredibly shocked, after a few seconds of stunned silence Rory suddenly bursts out laughing) HAHAHAHAHA!!! GOTCHA!!! You were right, Mother! That was fun! The looks on your faces! Humans are scum! They can go to Hell!
Bolt: (angry) Don’t scare me like that! I thought you’d really turned to the dark side and become like Rusty!
Rusty: (hops around the root) Did one-a ya ingrates mention mah name?
Tamashi: Rusty, I’m glad you’re okay.
Rusty: (jumps into Tamashi’s arms) Miss Tamashi! Not as glad at me! I wish I’d bin by yer side when the ship crashed so that I could’ve sacrificed myself fer you somehow! (Bolt and Rory don’t look impressed)
Rory: There’s always next time, hopefully…
Mother: I realize you must all be feeling a great deal of confusion at the moment.
Bolt: Who are you? Uhm, what are you?
Mother: I am all things. I am everything you see around you and I have existed since the dawn of time. I am life itself.
Bolt: (confused) Okaaaaaaaaay. But why did you help us?
Mother: Because all living beings are my children and I love my children. I cannot stand to see any of you suffer. So chillax, okay?
Tamashi: D-Did you just say ‘chillax’?
Mother: Hey, just because I’m an ancient tree doesn’t mean I don’t know the kids are kids are saying these days, aiight?
Tamashi: (sweatdrop; thinking) What a weird tree…
Bolt: Erm, you said you love living beings. Does that include humans?
Mother: Of course. A mother’s love is unconditional.
Bolt: What about robots? We’re not technically living beings. Even though I hate to say it, we’re created by humans to be their tools. What does that make us to you?
Rory: (to Fighter) What’s with all the deep questions? Was he hit on the head?
Fighter: Yes, but I don’t think that’s the reason.
Mother: This planet created humans, my children, and they created you. Meaning robots are the sons of my sons. I love you all equally. (Bolt looks happy)
Rory: (sweatdrop) Does that make us your grandchildren?
Tamashi: (sweatdrop; thinking) What a weird tree…
Mother: You’re all welcome to stay here as long as you like.
Bolt: Well, thanks for the offer, but we need to get to Metallic City to see the King. It’s not far now, right Fighter?
Fighter: Sir, I’m afraid I did not account for alien abductions. This incident has caused us to deviate from our proposed route.
Bolt: (panics) AAHH!! You’re right! That UFO has probably dumped us on the other side of the world! Aww nuts! It’ll probably take us years to get back to where we were! Are we even in Crankonia anymore!?
Mother: Don’t worry. I don’t think you’ve been taken too far off course. Metallic City is only a few days from here. (Bolt looks relieved)
Tamashi: Whereabouts in the country are we? I mean we were going to pass through San Coppero, but if we have to take a different route, that’s fine.
Bolt: (confused) Huh? I thought San Coppero was your…
Mother: You’ll have to cross the desert until you reach Meriwether, from there go to San Coppero, then Downpour Shore, and finally Metallic City. (Tamashi looks disappointed; she then lets out a long drawn out yawn, which freaks Bolt out)
Tamashi: (looks at Bolt; sweatdrop) What?
Bolt: What the heck was that? That- (pretends to yawn) –thing?
Fighter: That was a yawn, Sir. A human reflex, in which air is inhaled then exhaled.
Tamashi: I’m tired, Bolt. I’ve been up all night running for my life. I can’t cross a desert like this. Mother, can I sleep here tonight?
Mother: That goes without saying, my child.
Rory: Are you serious!? We would have gotten to Metallic City ages ago if it weren’t for her constant need to sleep, eat, wash, rest and poop!
Tamashi: (embarrassed) Watch what you’re saying!!!
Mother: Well, I may be able to help you on that front. (they all look intrigued)
(scene: Mother has led the five of them round to the other side of the sanctuary and into a secluded area within the trees, there they find a large campervan covered in overgrown weeds, it looks like it’s been sat there for an eternity)
Bolt: (happy) Wow! It’s a giant robot!
Tamashi: No, it’s a campervan.
Mother: A group of travellers left it here a few years ago. You’re welcome to take it if you can get it to work.
Bolt: Hey Tamashi, this is right up your street, ‘aint it?
Tamashi: (unconfidently) Uhm… I… I guess…
Rusty: Go fer it, Miss Tamashi! (they go inside the campervan and look around, the inside is filled with insects and weeds, the décor indicates that the occupants may have been hippies; beads and dreamcatchers are hanging above the driver’s seat)
Rory: Did humans actually live in here?
Bolt: (finds a bong) Look Rory, this thing is filled with tiny robots!
Rusty: It’s like a house on wheels. This is perfect fer ya, Miss Tamashi.
Rory: For once I agree with the head. If we travel in this we won’t have to worry about the human getting tired and we’ll be able to get to Metallic City in no time.
Bolt: And it just so happens we have a mechanic on our team! (puts his arm around Tamashi) I knew having you along would pay off! (Tamashi doesn’t look very happy) But what is our newest member called? (gets off the van and looks at the licence plate, it says “RR40 PEG”) Peg! Peggy, Peggy, Peg! (bangs on Peg’s bonnet chummily) Nice to meet ya, Peg! Welcome to the team! (Fighter, who’s been holding Vinyl this whole time, lays her down in a booth at the back of the campervan)
Rory: (to Tamashi) Come on then, human! Get to work!
Tamashi: I’ll have to take a powernap first. (yawns)
Bolt: We can’t make a move until Vinyl’s woken up anyway.
Tamashi: That reminds me, what happened to that Mordikai fella?
Bolt: I dunno. He just took off after he’d finished fixing up Vinyl. And after he’d cried all over me, that is.
Bolt: Yeah, it was pretty weird. But he did remove Vinyl’s failsafe thingy.
Mother: Maybe it would be best if you stayed here until that man is gone.
Rory: You what?
Mother: The second you leave my sanctuary I will be unable to protect you. He’ll hunt you down and eliminate you no matter what.
Fighter: How do you know that?
Mother: I can read the hearts of all living things. The one you call Cage won’t rest until he’s completed his mission. There is no safe way out of this forest.
Bolt: (sighs) The last thing we need is two Robot Hunters on our tails. We’ve got no choice. We’ll have to capture him.
Tamashi: Capture him!? Are you out of your mind!?
Bolt: What else can we do? Mother, you’ll help us, won’t you?
Mother: What do you need me for?
Bolt: Well, you decide who can see this place and who can’t, right? You can lure him into a trap by manipulating your forest or something.
Rusty: Mother, ya might as well go along with him. When this idget gets an idea inta his head, there’s no stoppin’ him.
Rory: Come on then! Let’s go human hunting! (they head off towards the forest)
Tamashi: Sorry about this, Mother. We’ve got you roped into our problems.
Mother: It’s alright. I’m happy to be of assistance. As long as no harm comes to my child, I am happy to help restrain him until you’ve all made your escape.
Bolt: Tamashi, why don’t you get some rest while we deal with Cage? You’ll need all your strength if you’re gonna get Peggy road-ready!
Tamashi: Right… (goes and sits down next to Mother; Bolt, Fighter and Rory gather around a tree and start working out a plan)
Bolt: Right, this looks like a good spot. So what I was thinking we should do is-
Tamashi: (watching Bolt; thinking) Honestly… One moment I’m being abducted by aliens, the next I’m in a forest with a talking tree. One thing’s for sure, life with Bolt is never boring…
Bolt: So what do you think? It’s a good plan, right?
Fighter: No Sir.
Bolt: (insulted) Oh, and I suppose you have a better one?
Fighter: I have over 20.
Bolt: Fine! (pouts) We’ll do one of yours, “SuperBot”…
(scene: Cage is walking through the forest looking more and more frustrated)
Cage: Damn! Where are they? No one can hide from me! Not with my heightened senses! (smells something, on the ground up ahead is a trail of oil, he kneels down and feels it, rubbing it between his fingers and sniffing it) Oil… It must’ve come from one of the robots. I image they’re damaged from the crash. This should be a piece of cake. (follows the trail, pushes his way through the trees and steps into a patch of thick, deep mud) Ugh! What the hell!? (tries to pull his feet out but he gets sucked in deeper, it appears to be some kind of sinkhole) Crud! (Fighter suddenly bursts forth from the bushes in front of him and fires several large staples at him, pinning his arms to the tree behind him)
Bolt: (jumps out from the bushes) HAHAHA! I caught a human! I caught a human!
Cage: Damn it! Let me go!
Bolt: (goes up to Cage and leans on his shoulder facing Fighter, grinning inanely) Fighter, take a photo of me with my new human!
Fighter: Yes Sir. (takes a picture with his internal camera)
Rory: (sweatdrop) He’s not a pet, you know…
To Be Continued…