I'm gonna miss you, betamaxed. You were one of the greats.
I had read John Varley's novel before seeing the film - in the novel the people trying to save what remains of the human race in the future, 80,000 years later, though it is their present, and so on are running out of time and the NTSB agent who gets mixed up with them gets an earful when he asks how the future ended up so terrible.
"It started with your great-grandfather and the industrial revolution. But it was you, you unspeakable son-of-a-bitch, your fucking generation that really got things going. Did you really think there'd never be a nuclear war? There have been nineteen of them. Did you think nerve gases were going to just sit there, that nobody would ever use them?"
"Easy, Louise," Sherman said.
The hell with that.
"CBN, you called it. Chemical, Biological, Nuclear. You made plans just as if the world could survive it, just like it was another you could win. Well, goddamn it, we held out a long time, but this is what we came to.
"The plagues were the really cute part. Add laboratory-bred microbes to a high level of background radiation, and what you get is germs that mutate a hell of a lot faster than we can.
We've done our best, we've fought them with everything we have. But your great-grandchildren came up with genetic warfare. So now the plagues are locked up right in our genes. No matter how hard we fight them, they change. Did you think we started the Gate Project for fun? Can't you see what it is? It's a last-ditch, hopeless effort to salvage something from the human race. And it isn't going to work."
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