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Old 12-07-2012, 09:13 AM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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The Andromeda Strain - What happens to the 'eaten' jet pilot?

Michael Criton's The Andromeda Strain has always been a favorite of mine. I watched it again recently and something I still don't quite get: In about the middle of the film a fighter jet strays over the contaminated area and all the rubber in his jet begins to disintegrate and he crashes. On playing back his last communication it sounds as though he simply succumbed to the Andromeda infection like the others (he says, "I fell funny" and dies). But in the cockpit wreckage they find a human arm bone, picked clean of flesh. The General looks at the Major and says, "I don't get it?". Well I'm not sure I do either.

The tech at the crash site (Speed from The Odd Couple) explains that there isn't any actually rubber on the fighter, it's all a synthetic material called Polycron. This is to foreshadow when at the end, Dr. Stone mentions that Wildfire uses Polycron gaskets (which at the climax all fail). But the crash site tech also mentions that Polycron is more advanced than rubber, that it's engineered to have some similar physical properties of human skin.

So is this meant to imply that the mutated form of Andromeda that dissolved the Polycron in the fighter also dissolved the whole pilot's body? I never got thru the book, is this explained better there?
 

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