Dr. Daniel P. Schreber
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Quotes for
Dr. Daniel P. Schreber (Character)
from Dark City (1998)

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Dark City (1998)
[first lines]
Dr. Schreber: [voiceover] First there was darkness. Then came the strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they thought they had finally found what they had been searching for.

Dr. Schreber: Remember John, never talk to strangers!

[Murdoch opens the door to what should be Shell Beach and instead sees the same sign he saw earlier advertising it. Murdoch walks up to the sign, confused]
Dr. Schreber: There is no ocean, John. There is nothing beyond the city. The only place home exists... is in your head.
[Chuckles a bit at the irony]
Dr. Schreber: [Murdoch and Inspector Bumstead tear the sign from the wall, exposing bricks. They then begin to hammer at the bricks with pickaxes]
Dr. Schreber: No! No! John, stop! No! Stop! Please! No!
[Bumstead and Murdoch reach a soft spot in the bricks and begin to pry at it. John, frustrated, uses his tuning to push away the brick wall. What results is the bricks falling away exposing space, almost sucking Bumstead out and showing the bricks crashing against the ship's newly exposed forcefield. Murdoch and Bumstead stand there, stunned. Meanwhile, a group of aliens walks in from behind them]
John Murdoch: What?
Mr. Hand: And now you know the truth.
[Fight ensues]

Dr. Schreber: You are probably wondering why I keep appearing in your memories, John. It is because I have inserted myself into them.

[Schraber mixes memories]
Dr. Schreber: These do bring back memories. This one is still warm. What is it? The recollections of a great lover? A catalog of conquests? We will soon find out. You wouldn't appreciate that, would you, Mr. Whatever-your-name is? Not the sort of conquest you would ever understand. Let's see, a touch of unhappy childhood, a dash of teenage rebellion, and last but not least, a tragic death in the family.

Dr. Schreber: You still don't understand, John. You were never a boy. Not in this place.

Dr. Schreber: It appears that John has suffered a psychotic break. Complete memory loss. He may be delusional. Even violent. Emma, if he were to contact you, and I suspect he will, you must call me immediately. Do you understand? It is imperative that I be the first one to reach him. Wherever you husband is, he is searching... for himself.

Dr. Schreber: Listen to me, John. You have their power. You can make things happen by will alone. They call it "Tuning." That is how they make the buildings change. Just now you acted out of self-defense, a reflex. But I can teach you to control your power consciously. Let me help you, John. Together We can stop them, we can take the city back.

Dr. Schreber: I call them the Strangers. They abducted us and brought us here. This city, everyone in it... is their experiment. They mix and match our memories as they see fit, trying to divine what makes us unique. One day, a man might be an inspector. The next, someone entirely different. When they want to study a murderer, for instance, they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality. Arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history... even a lost wallet. Then they observe the results. Will a man, given the history of a killer, continue in that vein? Or are we, in fact, more than the sum of our memories?

Dr. Schreber: When they first brought us here, they extracted what was in us and stored the information, remixed it like so much paint, and gave us back new memories of their choosing. But they still needed an artist to help them. I understood the human mind better than they ever could, so they allowed me to keep my skills as a scientist... because they needed them. They made me delete everything else. Can you imagine what it's like to erase your own past?