By Daniel M. Shapiro
Rick Deckard battles Roy Batty in a cesspool apartment; the role of Los Angeles in the future is played by sex in the 1980s. Punch. Pipe thwack. Gun. Gun. Batty pulls Deckard’s hand through a glory hole, milks a fist flaccid. Batty’s software is designed to quarantine love.
DECKARD VOICEOVER: I remembered the doctor who made eyes. I wondered if his eyes could trick a man into seeing beauty in another man—blond hair, power without a shirt, eyes that stay aqua even when spiked with blood. Women are all I can see. Women. Men disappear in concentric circles, in targets. I wondered.
Deckard and Batty hop from skyscraper to skyscraper until Deckard slips off the Bradbury Building and clings to a gargoyle. Batty grabs Decker’s erect arm and pulls him to safety.
BATTY: [Improvised soliloquy about tears in rain, shoulder of Orion, etc.]
Batty had planned to kill himself by releasing a dove in slow motion. Having known this all along, Deckard sprinkles millet out of reach, sends the missile off course. He brings Batty to his apartment, where an origami unicorn has been left as a beacon. Deckard flashes back to what he now knows to be implanted memories: walks along beaches, chardonnay picnics, drives with the top down—all with women. Deckard realizes his love for women has been a horn glued to a forehead. He nods at the paper unicorn. He knows Gaff has finally green-lighted an authentic memory, the memory of a blond man who saved him from the physics of a lifelong lie.
Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of several books and chapbooks, including How the Potato Chip Was Invented, Heavy Metal Fairy Tales, and The Orange Menace. He is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh, and he is obsessed with ukuleles.