You don't understand. There *is* no "space"! There is only a huge cardboard sky. Far enough to allows one to put geostationaries into orbit so that TV can be beamed into our homes, but not much more. We are f*cked - but by whom?
With the scissors Pris snipped off one of the spider's legs.
In the living room Buster Friendly on the TV screen said, "Take a look at this enlargement of a section of background. This is the sky you usually see. Wait, I'll have Earl Parameter, head of my research staff, explain their virtually world-shaking discovery to you."
Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling.
"Blowups of the video pictures," a new voice from the TV said, "when subjected to rigorous laboratory scrutiny, reveal that the gray backdrop of sky and daytime moon against which Mercer moves is not only not Terran — it is artificial."
"You're missing it!" Irmgard called anxiously to Pris; she rushed to the kitchen door, saw what Pris had begun doing. "Oh, do that afterward," she said coaxingly. This is so important, what they're saying; it proves that everything we believed — "
"Be quiet," Roy Baty said.
" — is true," Irmgard finished.
The TV set continued, "The 'moon' is painted; in the enlargements, one of which you see now on your screen, brushstrokes show. And there is even some evidence that the scraggly weeds and dismal, sterile soil — perhaps even the stones hurled at Mercer by unseen alleged parties — are equally faked. It is quite possible in fact that the 'stones' are made of soft plastic, causing no authentic wounds."
"In other words," Buster Friendly broke in, "Wilbur Mercer is not suffering at all."
The research chief said, "We've at last managed, Mr. Friendly, to track down a former Hollywood special-effects man, a Mr. Wade Cortot, who flatly states, from his years of experience, that the figure of 'Mercer' could well be merely some bit player marching across a sound stage. Cortot has gone so far as to declare that he recognizes the stage as one used by a now out-of-business minor moviemaker with whom Cortot had various dealings several decades ago."
"So according to Cortot," Buster Friendly said, "there can be virtually no doubt."