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Downwind from Gettysburg - Recap

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Technicians work long and hard on a robot. Finally, they present their completed work to their boss, Walter Bayes: a robot Abraham Lincoln.

Later, Bayes goes to see the robot Lincoln in the display theater at Gettysburg where he'll be presented to audiences. Bayes insists to his assistant, John Phipps, that the grave can't hold Lincoln, and that as members of the Lincoln Resurrection Brigade, they weren't sure if they could bring him back. As they leave, Bayes insists that the press not be allowed in to disrupt the historic moment.

A young man prepares an invitation for the Gettysburg Project event.

In the exhibit area outside the theater, Bayes tells Phipps that his great-grandfather was at Gettysburg when Lincoln spoke to the crowd. Bayes describes it as if he were there, as it was handed down to him through his family. He goes to his office and pours himself a drink in celebration. Meanwhile, the young man enters the restroom and dons a costume and attaches a fake mustache.

Bayes tells Phipps that he'll stay in his office during the premiere event. The technicians begin the presentation and the robot speaks the Gettysburg Address while Bayes watches from his office. Backstage, the young man takes out a derringer and cocks it. he then steps out and shoots the robot. Security guards quickly capture the "assassin" and clear the theater. Bayes picks up the gun and checks on the robot, insisting that the technicians shut down the music. The young man calls out "Sic semper tyrannis," and Bayes goes to confront him.

The young man smirks at Bayes, who points the gun at him and pulls the trigger. The "killer" notes that the derringer only holds one bullet, and Bayes admits that he knows. He tells the security guards to search the killer and take away his knife. When they find it, Bayes tells the killer to tell them who he is. The young man finally says that his name is John Wilkes Booth. When Bayes threatens him with the knife, Booth says that his name is Norman Llewellyn Booth. Phipps finds Booth's fake invitation and they realize the mustache is fake. Bayes notes that he has emulated John Wilkes Booth and then hauls him forward. Booth demands that he turn him over to the police but Bayes hauls him to the stage and dares him to perform, then asks why he did it. Bayes wonders why and Booth says that it seemed natural for a Booth to kill a Lincoln. Bayes starts to choke him but then gains control of himself and refuses to kill a man for murdering a machine.

After he gets himself under control, Bayes dares Booth to perform and show how well he can emulate Booth. He then accuses Booth of being a coward. Booth explains that he wanted to overcome fear and get back at all the people who bossed him around and see the places he could never go to visit. He decided to cause sadness and Bayes admits that he's intrigued. As the police pull up outside, Booth talks of how he killed a turtle when he was 10. Bayes tells Phipps to delay the police and invites Booth to continue. The killer admits he's jealous of eternal machines, and asks if Bayes tried to play God. Booth says that it was destiny, and that he also wanted to play God. Now his name will be seen in headlines across the world.

Phipps comes in and says the police are ready to take Booth away. Bayes tells his associate to send them away and orders the staff out of the room. Once they’re gone, Bayes calls Booth a liar. He explains that Booth wants the attention and will sell his story to publishers across the world. Bayes plans to thwart him, and informs Booth that he won't press charges. They'll cover the entire thing up and deprive Booth of the attention. Bayes rips off his mustache and then grabs him and warns that if Booth tells anyone, he'll hunt him down and kill him. The cowed Booth starts to leave through the side exit but Bayes calls him back and hits him.

As Booth runs off into the night, Bayes returns to the theater and examines his robot. He blames himself for letting the robot’s murderer go. It slowly sits up and begins the Gettysburg Address.

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Warning: The Ray Bradbury Theater season 6 episode 13 guide may contain spoilers
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