Graduate student Teri McDonald (Helen Hunt) learns that the university is cutting funding on her research, which involved teaching sign language to a chimpanzee named Virgil. She is reassured, though, that Virgil will be well cared for in a Houston zoo. The scene then shifts to a Florida
Air Force base at which a top-secret experimental research project is being staged. Jimmy Garrett (Matthew Broderick), who is new to the project, works with other trainers to teach chimps to work a flight simulator. He later learns that the chimpanzees, while in the simulator cockpit, are
subjected to high levels of radiation. There's practically nothing wrong with PROJECT X. Brode...