Opening Narration: Throughout history, compassionate minds have pondered this dark and disturbing question: What is society to do with those members who are a threat to society, those malcontents and misfits whose behavior undermines and destroys the foundations of civilization? Different ages have found different answers. Misfits have been burned, branded, and banished. Today on this planet Earth, the criminal is incarcerated in humane institutions, or he is executed. Other planets use other methods. This is the story of how the perfectionist rulers of the planet Zanti attempted to solve the problem of the Zanti misfits.
Professor Stephen Grave: History has been recorded in some pretty morbid places, Major. But when a historian named Grave finds himself in a ghost town called Morgue...
Professor Stephen Grave: I wonder what they're like.
Major Roger Hill: From our viewpoint, Professor, they're either superhuman or subhuman.
Professor Stephen Grave: Or non-human.
Ben Garth: Lisa, we can never turn back, not you and me. A runaway wife and a three-time loser must always go forward.
Ben Garth: I'm going to tell you something, you're not going to believe it. But I'm going to go ahead and tell it anyway. I would never kill a reasonable man.
Lisa Lawrence: Ha. Open the windows, Ben, you smell bad when you lie.
Major Roger Hill: Fifteen minutes is not a long time. In our conception of time. For them it could be long enough to conquer a world. When a country allows itself to be coerced, it has to suffer the consequences.
Professor Stephen Grave: So far the only real consequence is uncertainty.
Major Roger Hill: I've always felt that was one of the worst things a country could suffer.
General Maximilian R. Hart: If they retaliate, it means death, suffering. Broken bodies and broken hearts. I can't let everybody break.
Professor Stephen Grave: I've studied history for years, Max. Even before anyone said I had to. Big moments, small moments, some so insignificant they barely got recorded. But it isn't like being there. It isn't, and I'm always conscious of it. Always aware that the clean edge of participation is missing. I'd give anything to be there just once, alive and awake.
General Maximilian R. Hart: I suppose you'd have liked to be at Hiroshima.
Professor Stephen Grave: If I could have helped.
Lisa Lawrence: No. All botched up now. I--I tore all the seams apart. To see what held it together. And--and then I couldn't get it back together again. I... I did that with a--with a ragdoll. I... done it with my own life. And now here I am... all torn apart. By my own hand. Mine own executioner.
Zanti Commander: This is the commander of the government of the planet Zanti. I speak to you from Zanti. You have destroyed the misfits. We will not retaliate. We never intended to. We knew that you would not live with such aliens in your midst. It was always our intention that you destroy them and their guards, who were of the same spoiled persuasion. We chose your planet for that purpose. We are incapable of executing our own species, but you are not. You are practiced executioners. We thank you.
Closing Narration: Throughout history, various societies have tried various methods of exterminating those members who have proven their inability or unwillingness to live sanely amongst their fellow men. The Zantis merely tried one more method, neither better nor worse than all the others. Neither more human nor less human than all the others. Perhaps, merely... nonhuman.