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: When you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I've got this shocking pain right behind the eyes. Avon
: Have you considered amputation?
: All right, Zen, standby to run it *again*, at *half* speed. Zen
: Confirmed. Avon
: Slow or fast, it will still look the same. Roj Blake
: How long have you been there? Avon
: I was here when you came in. Roj Blake
: Why didn't you speak? Avon
: I had nothing in particular to say. Besides, you looked as though you were planning something you didn't want the rest of us to know about.
: Do you think you could forget your superiority complex for a moment and get on with it? Avon
: All right. But first of all, let us examine the nature of prediction. The human mind is capable of seeing into the short-range future with reasonable accuracy. For example, imagine that you are standing on the edge of a cliff. Roj Blake
: As long as you're not standing behind me. Avon
] There are a *number* of alternative futures: you could take a pace forward and plunge to your death; the cliff could crumble under your feet - with the same result; a gust of wind could carry you over... Roj Blake
: All right, all right, yes. But the probability is that I would turn 'round and walk away again. Avon
: Exactly. You have just made a prediction based on the known facts. A computer works on precisely the same principle. Roj Blake
: But all you're saying is that prediction is not immutable fact. Avon
: Right. If you hadn't gone near the cliff in the first place, you wouldn't have had to face any of the inherent dangers.
: Uh, how long have you known? Avon
: Oh, several hours. Roj Blake
: And you just let the others go on worrying? Avon
: Well, all they had to do was ask. Perhaps in future, they won't rely on you to provide all the answers.
: So why did they pick on *me*? Avon
: I doubt if it was personal, Vila. Vila
: It *felt* personal. It *always* feels personal when someone tries to *kill* me.
: [Quickly and impatiently:
] Blake, what I'm doing is vitally concerned with our survival. Are you prepared to take responsibility for what happens if I delay? Roj Blake
: Don't I always? Now just get down here! Avon
: Anything you say. Roj Blake
: And Avon, don't come crashing in; *gently* as you open the door. Avon
: Blake's regard for our safety is inspiring, don't you think?
[Avon has just saved Blake from being electrocuted, narrowly avoiding the same fate himself
] Roj Blake
: That is one I owe you. Avon
: Don't worry. At the right time, I will remind you of it.
: No one is to attempt to repair any equipment 'til the computers are back under our control. Jenna Stannis
: What is it, Blake? What's going on? Roj Blake
: Well, the computers seem to be making decisions for themselves. They're resisting all interference. Jenna Stannis
: But that's not possible. Roj Blake
: [Motions to Avon
] Avon. Avon
: It is if you think of the ship as a living entity with massive networks of electronics acting as a nervous system. Jenna Stannis
: All linked into a central computer. Roj Blake
: The brain. Avon
: Carry the analogy a stage further: when a living creature is hurt - a cut or a wound - antibodies gather around the injury to repair it and to fight infection. Vila
: You mean the computers are treating us like *germs*! Avon
: [Smiles briefly at Blake:
] Crude, but accurate. Cally
: But antibodies kill infection. Why are we still alive? Roj Blake
: We're not sure. There are dozens of ways the ship could destroy us: cut off the air supply, drop the temperature so we freeze to death - Vila
: Stop putting ideas into its head! Roj Blake
: [to Avon:
] Actually, one touch of that cable would have done it. No, I don't think it wants to kill us. Avon
: Well, not yet, anyway. It's saving us for something. Vila
: Now then, Orac. Are you going to function or are you not? Orac
: All principal circuits are operating at full capacity and cannot receive new programs at this time. Roj Blake
: Well, *clear* the circuits! This is priority! Orac
: Circuit clearance and reprogramming will take precisely one hour and thirty-seven point nine seconds. Roj Blake
: That could be just a little late. Orac
] State your program requirements; they will be implemented when capacity is available.
[Avon and Jenna are sitting on the bench. They hear a noise at the door. Avon signals Jenna to stand by the window while he moves behind the door to attack whoever enters. Avon lets fly before he realizes it's Vila
: [Doubling over
] Oh! Avon
: I'm... sorry, Vila. Vila
: Been looking all over for you two. Jenna Stannis
: How did you get here? Vila
: I was just passing - thought I'd drop in and see you. Avon
: Where are Gan and Cally? Vila
: They're in a cell along the corridor. Avon
: Well, what kept you? Vila
: Magno-locks aren't *that* easy to open, even for *me*. Avon
: Practice. Let's go. Vila
: Just a minute. Where's Blake? Jenna Stannis
: They took him away for questioning. Vila
: Questioning? Avon
: I don't think we should hang around.
: No, neither do I. Jenna Stannis
: [Checking wound
] What did you do to your head? Vila
: One of the guards didn't like me. Avon
: [From outside
] Come on!
: This is stupid, Avon! Avon
: When did that ever stop us?
: Stand by to fire. Vila
: Avon, this is stupid! Avon
: When did that ever stop us? Fire!
: I meant what I said on Goth, Avon. We are not going to use Star One to rule the Federation, we are going to destroy it. Avon
: I never doubted that. I never doubted your fanaticism. As far as I am concerned you can destroy whatever you like. You can stir up a thousand revolutions, you can wade in blood up to your armpits. Oh, and you can lead the rabble to victory, whatever that might mean. Just so long as there is an end to it. When Star One is gone it is finished, Blake. And I want it finished. I want it over and done with. I want to be free. Cally
: But you are free now, Avon. Avon
: [glaring at Blake
] I want to be free of *him*. Blake
: I never realized. You really do hate me, don't you?
: I have been doing some calculations, if this is Star One... Blake
: *If* it is? Avon
: First catch your computer, but all right it probably is, and that being the case the choice of location is fascinating. Blake
: I'm glad you're enjoying it. Avon
: The nearest large galaxy to our own is Andromeda. Blake
: So? Avon
: So, this is the nearest point to Andromeda. If anyone could cross intergalactic space in less than a lifetime we are now precisely upon the route that they would take. Blake
: What are you trying to say, Avon? Avon
: I directed the detectors toward the Andromeda galaxy. There are thousands of satellite generators out there, *beyond* Star One. Blake
] What? Avon
: Even with the Federation's resources it must have taken them years. Blake
: [checking the readout
] That must be the biggest antimatter minefield ever put together! Vila
: Minefield, what minefield? Avon
: Perhaps the intergalactic drive has been developed. The question is, by whom? Blake
: A defense zone to keep mankind in, or something else out.
: [packing up explosive charges
] I don't like explosives, very crude. Difficult to reason with a bomb. Cally
[Vila, startled by Cally's voice, almost drops the explosive
: [taking device from Vila
] They won't explode until they are primed. Vila
: And if it was faulty? Bit late to complain to the manufacturer!
[outside the entrance to the base
: One door. Cally
: As requested. Blake
: Well done, Cally. Avon
: It isn't marked 'Entrance'. Cally
: Nobody's perfect.
[examining a dead alien
: What are they? Avon
: Unfriendly. Which is fortunate, really. They'd be difficult to love.
[as Liberator steers to engage the alien fleet, a wounded Blake appears on the flight deck
: Why didn't you stay in the medical unit? Couldn't you bring yourself to trust me just this once? Blake
: I thought I might be able to help. Avon
: In that condition? Blake
: All right I'll go back. Avon
: Can you manage, alone? Blake
: Yes. Avon, for what it is worth, I have always trusted you, from the very beginning.
[Avon has caught Travis on Star One
: Well, now. Travis. Fancy meeting you here. Travis
: Put the gun down, Avon, it's too late to stop it now. Avon
: Convince me. Travis
: Be polite and I may let you live. Avon
: Be informative and I may let you die. You'll want that after I've shot off an arm and a leg or two. Travis
: I thought you were supposed to be the one with brains. Avon
: Brains but no heart. Now talk or scream, Travis, the choice is yours.
: Blake is an idealist, Jenna. He cannot afford to think.
: I think we can do better. Vila
: Does that mean safer? Avon
: In the end, winning is the only safety. Vila
: It doesn't mean safer. I didn't think it would.
: [about the Rebellion's new figurehead
] He is strongly identified with rebels, you see, and very popular with rabbles. They will follow him, and he will fight to the last drop of *their* blood. Idealism is a wonderful thing. All you really need is someone rational to put it to proper use. Avon
: Someone like you. Tarrant
: So where do we find this useable idealist? Avon
: According to Orac, he is on a frontier planet called Gauda Prime. Soolin
: Gauda Prime? Avon
: You know it? Soolin
: Yes, I know it. It's a bad place to be. No self-respecting idealist would be found dead there. Avon
: I imagine that is what HE is trying to avoid: being found dead anywhere. Tarrant
: Look, are you going to stop playing games and tell us who it is, Avon?
[Vila realizes who Avon is talking about
: It's Blake, isn't it? You think you've found Blake.
: [about Blake
] But Servalan told us he was dead. Avon
: And you believed her? Dayna
: Well, she had no reason to lie. Avon
: She doesn't need one. It comes quite naturally to her, like breathing.
: Orac, what proof do we have that Blake is on Gauda Prime? Orac
: That is where his trail ends. Tarrant
: What trail? Explain. Orac
: The chain of cause and effect amounts to a trail, if you can follow it. Vila
: I can't even follow you. Orac
: Everything has an effect on everything else around it. It is not easy to trace one line through the pattern of infinity, but in this case, I have. Blake is on Gauda Prime.
: Law must be established before the benefits of law can be restored. Avon
: It is the day of the bounty hunter. Avon
: [cut to close-up of Vila
] Thieves, Avon
: [cut to close-up of Dayna, pan to Soolin
] killers, Avon
: [cut to close-up of Tarrant
] mercenaries, Avon
: [cut to close-up of Avon; he smiles, continuing
] psychopaths, are as unwelcome now as the farmers once were.
[Blake enters the tracking room and comes face to face with Avon and the others
: Is it him? Vila
: It's him. Tarrant
: He sold us, Avon. All of us. Even you.
[Avon lowers the gun and approaches Blake
] Is it true? Blake
: Avon, it's me, Blake. Avon
: Stand still!
: Have you betrayed us? Have YOU... betrayed... ME? Blake
: Tarrant doesn't understand! Avon
: Neither do I, Blake! Blake
: I set all this up! Avon
] Yes! Blake
: [walking towards Avon again
] Avon, I was waiting for YOU!
[Avon shoots Blake, who staggers forward and grabs onto Avon's shoulders
: Oh... Avon...
[Blake collapses, dead
: [about Zukan
] You needed a figurehead. He was it. Or am I wrong? Avon
: You are right. But then figureheads aren't too difficult to come by. Any idiot can be one. Dayna
] On your feet, Vila. This could be your big moment. Avon
: Any idiot within reason, that is.
[Scorpio's alarm goes off
: [everyone rushes to their flight positions
] Slave, what's wrong? Slave
: Well, nothing is actually wrong, sir, yet. Avon
: Explain the alarm, Slave.
[alarm cuts out
: I had to get your attention, Master, and I was forbidden to speak unless spoken to. Avon
: All right, you're spoken to. What is it? Slave
: I beg to advise you, Master, that we're approaching the planet Gauda Prime.
[the crew visibly relaxes
: And Scorpio is under attack!
[an explosion rocks the flight deck
[the shuttle will crash unless Avon can lighten it by seventy kilos
: Not enough! Not nearly enough! Dammit, what weighs seventy kilos? Orac
: Vila weighs seventy-three kilos, Avon.
: [discussing Egrorian
] Said to have been a genius. Scientists are still trying to understand the Egrorian theory of parallel matter. Soolin
: What happened to him? Vila
: He disappeared, along with a few million credits from the Space Research Institute. Soolin
: So he's a criminal. Vila
: Aren't we all? Except he pulled off a big one. Which is why he's NOT sitting on Malodar. Avon
: It is a good hideaway. Vila
: Hideaway? Avon, if I got my hands on that kind of money, I'd have gone somewhere I could enjoy it. What is the point of having money if you have to exist on a hole like that! Avon
: You are forgetting, there is a big difference between you and Egrorian: HE has a brain! Vila
: Oh yeah? Well if you had one it might have occurred to you this could be a Federation trap! Avon
: Well of course it's occurred to me. Why do you think I'm sending Tarrant?
: Surprisingly, you don't look like the ruthless desperados of legend. But you have, of course, killed a great many people. Avon
: Only in the pursuit of liberty. Egrorian
: "O Liberty! O Liberty! What crimes are committed in your name!"
: Natural leaders are rarely encumbered with intelligence. Greed, egotism, animal cunning, and viciousness are the important attributes. Qualities I detect in you in admirably full measure. Avon
: I didn't come here to be... flattered.
: Now, then, Avon. What would you say if I offered you mastery of the galaxy? Avon
: Oh, I would say thank you. Vila
: For a whole galaxy? Oh, come on, Avon, show the man some gratitude. Egrorian
] Do you think my mind is addled? Vila
: No, no, it's just we don't get offered galaxies every day of the week.
: All right. Vila, let's get to the airlock. Vila
: Me? Avon
: Well, who else? After all, you always say you feel safe with me.
: I couldn't find Vila. Vila
: I'm glad about that. Del Tarrant
: Pity about the tachyon funnel, though. Avon
: We had no choice. Vila
: It's a trip I won't forget, Avon. Avon
: Well, as you always say, Vila: you know you are safe with *me*.
[Avon and Vila stare coldly at each other
: Orac, what was the subject of my degree thesis at Belhangria University? Orac
: Your paper E stroke nine stroke six-zero-four-four was on particle physics and dealt specifically with the properties of rissions. It was marked Beta plus, Egrorian. Pinder
] Only Beta plus, Egrorian? Egrorian
: Pinder, you're to be seen and not heard, remember? Avon
: If Orac has a fault, it is a tendency to give more information than is requested. Vila
: Or less information than requested. Avon
: But seldom *just* the information that is requested. Orac
] That degree was subsequently rescinded for gross misconduct. Egrorian
] That's enough, Orac!
: I am not expendable, I'm not stupid and I'm not going.
: I'm going down. Vila Restal
: You can't do that, Cally. Cally
: They are in trouble. Someone must go down! Olag Gan
: I'll go. Vila Restal
: Gan'll go! Olag Gan
: And Vila will go with me, won't you Vila? Vila Restal
: Will I? Olag Gan
: Well, it'd be stupid to go on my own. And you wouldn't want to send Cally in your place, would you? Vila Restal
: Probably not.
] Vila Restal
: What about you? Kerr Avon
: What about me? Vila Restal
: Why don't you go? Kerr Avon
: *You* are expendable. Vila Restal
: And you're not? Kerr Avon
: No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going. Olag Gan
: I'll get the guns.
: What's a freighter doing this far out? He's in Zone Eight already. Where the hell is he going? Blake
: Zen, plot of the freighter's course? Zen
: Freighter's course is one oh four grid. Blake
] That'll take him into Zone Nine. Avon
] So, we are free of the Federation. Blake
: Persistent, aren't they? Avon
: Let's just get out of his way. Blake
: It was you that asked the question. Where are they going? We're hiding, already on the edge of the spiral rim. He's going further out. Blake
: [after a moment's pause
] Zen, give us a course and speed where we can observe out of range of the freighter's detectors. Avon
: I'm sorry I mentioned it. Vila
: Aren't we all?
: The freighter's present course will take it into Zone Nine in four hours at present speed. Blake
: Where in Zone Nine? Zen
: The freighter is on course for the only habitable planet in Zone Nine. Blake
: Which is? Zen
: Code-named Horizon. Blake
: "Horizon"? Avon
: Code-named by whom? Zen
: Data was obtained via Federation cipher. Data also suggests that it is visited annually by a Federation supply freighter. Blake
: Carrying what? Zen
: There is no information.
[Blake considers for a moment
: What are the surface conditions on Horizon? Zen
: Negative information. Blake
: Population? Zen
: Negative information. Blake
: Well, is there *any* information on Horizon? Zen
: Negative. Blake
: Well, is the information on Horizon *classified*? Zen
: Negative information. Vila
: Well, that was a whole lot of nothing.
: Why exactly are we going down? Blake
: The Resistance needs a base, Jenna.
[Blake accepts teleport bracelet from Jenna
: Thank you. Somewhere to operate from. Jenna Stannis
: And this could be it? Blake
: Well, it's as good as any other. We know the Federation only visit it once a year; it's on the edge of the spiral rim... Oh, hell, I'm tired of running, Jenna. We must get at least *one* planet behind us. Jenna Stannis
: And why are you taking me with you? Blake
] I trust you to back me. Jenna Stannis
: Thanks. But there's more to it than that: you were very deliberate. Blake
: Covering the angles? Jenna Stannis
: Well, how do you mean? Blake
: Avon might run.
[Avon enters the teleport bay quietly behind Blake and Jenna, overhearing
: But he probably won't without a first-class pilot. He, um, plays the percentages. Jenna Stannis
: Unlike you. Avon
: I am ready if you are.
: If I go alone, can I pilot the Liberator indefinitely? Orac
: With the help of the automatics, of course you can. Avon
: I know that. Orac
] Then why did you ask the question? Avon
: [Avon smiles
] I didn't. How long can I maintain myself? Orac
: Is *that* a question? Avon
: Yes. Orac
: We have concentrated food for one person for a thousand years. Avon
: And our power is self-regenerating. Orac
: Affirmative. Avon
: Can you plot courses to keep out of the range of any known spaceship manned by the Federation? Orac
: The battle and navigation computers can handle that perfectly adequately. Avon
: I asked if *you* could. Orac
: Of course, should it be necessary. Avon
: Failing that, we are powerful enough to resist all but an attack by three Federation pursuit ships at once. Orac
: Is that a question? Avon
: No. If we go now, we can sail the universe for as long as we like in reasonable safety, provided we keep out of everybody's way and we do not do anything rash. Orac
: No data available to answer the question... if it was a question. Avon
: I put it to you as a possibility. I request the odds. Orac
: The odds would be three point five to one on survival. Avon
] Therefore I do not need Blake, I do not need any of the others... Orac
: Is that a question? Avon
: ...I do not need anybody at all. Orac
: Is that a question? I - I - I must ask you to be more specific! Avon
: [snaps out of his moment:
] Shut up, Orac.
[Avon walks around the flight deck. Coded beeps come in
: Zen, what was that? Zen
: A message from the Federation freighter on the planet Horizon. Avon
: What did it say - Decode. Zen
: It is in Federation code nine. Message reads, "Top priority signal to any Federation pursuit unit, from Kommissar, planet Horizon. Request assistance. Ruler of Horizon unreliable, am disposing of him. Rebel spaceship at grid reference ten by thirteen W Zed. Request you destroy this spaceship at once. Also inform Federation Central Control of this action. Await confirmation." Avon
: Has anybody else picked it up? Zen
[Avon turns just before more beeps come in. He turns back
] Decode. Zen
: From Federation Pursuit Flotilla Thirteen, to Kommissar, planet Horizon. Message reads, "Coming to your immediate aid. Regret cannot relay your message to Federation Central Control. They are out of range. Planetfall, two hours from now." Avon
: How many pursuit ships in Flotilla Thirteen? Zen
: Three pursuit ships.
[Avon laughs at how fate has foiled his plan before it could start
: I don't know how they spotted me. Bek
: [to Hanna
] "I don't know how they spotted me." Hanna
] Kerr Avon
: [crouches, to Hanna
] Something amuses you? Bek
: [to Avon
] You were using him as a lookout? I mean, he'd really blend into the background, wouldn't he? What did you do, put up a sign?
: Any luck? Olag Gan
: Can't find Orac. Even tried calling his name. Kerr Avon
: Oh, I'm sorry I missed that. It's the kind of natural stupidity no amount of training could ever hope to match. Roj Blake
: You found Orac? Kerr Avon
: No, but then I never really expected to. It is one of Vila's more elaborate practical jokes.
: We chose the wrong approach, that's all. Olag Gan
: Is that all? I thought maybe we'd chosen the wrong people to get involved with. Kerr Avon
: "*We* chose the wrong approach"? Roj Blake
: *I* chose the wrong approach. Does it matter? Kerr Avon
: Yes, it does. Roj Blake
: All right, Avon. You were right and I was wrong. You said persuasion wouldn't work and it didn't. So now we use force. Kerr Avon
: Force? Yes, of course. Law makers, law breakers, let us fight them all. Why not?
: When the Federation introduced the death penalty for possession, the President described Shadow as "the greatest single threat to the welfare of mankind." Roj Blake
: Don't tell me you agree with Gan. Kerr Avon
: No, no, no. I'm just... interested. It seems to me that we have identified the source of that threat rather easily. Roj Blake
: So why haven't they? Kerr Avon
: Exactly. Roj Blake
: Maybe we're about to find out. Kerr Avon
: Maybe we already know.
[regarding the heat of the planet to which they've teleported
] Jenna Stannis
: It's enough to fry your eyeballs. Kerr Avon
: Daintily put. Jenna Stannis
: Must be the company I keep.
[after dispatching two slow, heat-suited guards, handily
] Kerr Avon
: Next, please.
: Where are all the good guys? Roj Blake
: You could be looking at them. Kerr Avon
: What a very depressing thought.
: [presenting a data card
] Orac has just come up with the computation and attack strategy that he asked for. Olag Gan
: What attack strategy? Kerr Avon
: Exactly. Another of Blake's little schemes he hasn't thought fit to tell us about. You are not going to believe the target he has in mind.
[Avon tosses the card down
: [without picking it up
] The Federation Weapons Development Base? Kerr Avon
: That's right. Jenna Stannis
: [inspects the card
] He obviously thought fit to tell *someone* about it. Cally
: Well, not exactly. I suggested it to him. Jenna Stannis
: *You* suggested it to him. That's very keen of you. Vila Restal
: Why didn't you suggest it to us? Cally
: Because I knew how you'd react. Kerr Avon
: Auron may be different, Cally, but on Earth it is considered ill-mannered to kill your friends while committing suicide.
: It is a triple-A security installation. Vila Restal
: We have got into those before. Kerr Avon
: Usually with your screams of protest ringing in our ears. Are you telling me that you're in favor of this idea? Vila Restal
: No, not exactly, I just don't think it's stupid. Perhaps - maybe I'm on your side, Cally. Roj Blake
: It's not a question of sides, Vila. Kerr Avon
: No, it's a question of intelligence, so your opinion has very little relevance.
: Someone must have made an attack on the base. Vila Restal
: Who'd be stupid enough to do that? Kerr Avon
: [snaps his fingers
] Justify: "stupid".
: [entering carrying Orac
] Here we are. He wasn't very happy at being interrupted. Roj Blake
: I'll apologize later. Orac, your information on the Weapons Development Base is unsatisfactory. Orac
: Define "unsatisfactory". Roj Blake
: I was about to. Your strategic computations start from the premise that the base is on maximum security alert. Orac
: Computer communications traffic indicates that it is. Jenna Stannis
: Not permanently? Orac
: It is not a practice drill. Cally
: So what is it? Orac
: Clearly, some occurrence which is a real or apparent threat. Jenna Stannis
: Thank you, Orac. I'm sure we'd have never worked that out for ourselves. Orac
: It is therefore the case that security in the immediate future will be sensitive and alert. Roj Blake
: A fact to be included in strategic computations. Moral: Kerr Avon
: Never argue with a computer. Roj Blake
: We're below horizon now. Olag Gan
: Then she's lost! Kerr Avon
: Only us. She got what she really wanted. Vila Restal
: I thought that *was* us. Roj Blake
: IMIPAK. And she beat us to that all right. She seemed to know every single move we were making. It's almost as if we were on strings and she was the puppeteer. Cally
: What is IMIPAK? Is there a defense against it? Zen
: Detectors report two Federation pursuit ships leaving stationary orbit on intercept course. Roj Blake
: Take us out of here, Jenna. Speed: standard by eight. I want a lot of space between us and that planet. Olag Gan
: [to Avon
] Is there a defense against IMIPAK? Kerr Avon
: Of course there is! It's called slavery!
: [draws on the main screen by remote
] Zen's best guess is that he's here. Offers? Olag Gan
: Let's go and get him. Kerr Avon
] Gung ho. Vila Restal
: *You* go and get him. We're already too close to the security zone for my taste. Roj Blake
: Jenna? Jenna Stannis
: If we know he's there, chances are Federation Security know it, too. Cally
: Zen may have been wrong. Kerr Avon
: In which case going there would be safe, but pointless. Vila Restal
: Now that I wouldn't object to. Jenna Stannis
: Be quiet, Vila. Vila Restal
: Why ask my opinion in the first place? Cally
: Actually, nobody did. Vila Restal
: [to Cally
] That's the last time I stand up for you.
: I think we should go and get him. Always assuming that he is there, and Federation Security are not. Jenna Stannis
] "Gung ho"?
] Kerr Avon
: [pointedly ignoring having his words thrown back at him
] We do not know what IMIPAK is. Roj Blake
: Exactly. The least we've got to do is find out what it does. Vila Restal
: Why have we? I can live without it. Roj Blake
: It's just conceivable that you can't. Kerr Avon
: Unless of course you want your last words to be, "So *that's* IMIPAK." Vila Restal
] I think my brain must be furring up. Olag Gan
: [from across the bridge
] IMIPAK might be something they can use against *us*, Vila! Vila Restal
: [and back again
] Only if it can run faster than we can!
: Do we fight? Avon
: Certainly not. We run.
: Twenty-seven days. Avon
: What? Vila
: We've been following Servalan for twenty-seven days! Course six-four-five-three, nil curvature, standard by three never mind the occasional ion cloud or asteroid cluster, just blast a way through them! She's gone mad. Or dead. That's it, she's dead! We're following a rogue star cruiser!
: Navigation computers report high-energy interference with directional probes. Automatic control untenable. Del Tarrant
: Battle stations!
[the crew rush to their positions
] Del Tarrant
: Zen, this interference... is there any hostile design to it? Zen
: There is a uniform design to it. Avon
: Is it hostile? Zen
: The word hostile is not objective. Avon
: Zen, this is no time to quibble over terminology!
: Information. Three alien spacecraft in hostile formation bearing zero-zero-nine, two million spacials. Del Tarrant
: Flight deck.
[They run to take their places on the bridge
] Del Tarrant
: Zen, enemy position. Zen
: One million spacials. We have visual contact with hostile commander. Del Tarrant
: Put her on. Servalan
: [on the viewscreen
] Liberator, this is Servalan, President and Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. You are outnumbered, and at a tactical disadvantage. If you surrender your ship...
[Avon cuts off the transmission
: Do we fight? Avon
: Certainly not. We run. Zen, course zero-one-one, speed, standard by six. Get us out of here.
: For a man of his era - to coin a phrase - he has just made one hell of a stupid mistake.
: [his wrist being tortured
] Aaah! Dayna
: All right. Enough. We're from the Liberator. Section Leader Grose
] The Liberator? That's *Blake's* ship. Avon
: He liked to think so. Section Leader Grose
: And why did you come here? Avon
: I wish I knew.
: I'm going down. Avon
: How? Del Tarrant
: Teleport. Avon
: It will be interesting to see what that energy field does to a teleport beam. Del Tarrant
: All right, we'll take the Liberator through again and I'll teleport from there. Avon
: [laughing sardonically
] Why don't you land it right on top of their monitoring station just in case they haven't got the message? Del Tarrant
: Zen, was our entry monitored from the planet's surface? Zen
: Affirmative. Del Tarrant
: So they know we're here. Avon
: Correction: they know we came, and they know that we went away again. One thing's for sure: next time they'll be ready for us.
: No good deed goes unpunished.
: Don't you ever get bored with being right? Avon
: Just with the rest of you being wrong.
: Don't you get tired of always being right? Kerr Avon
: Only with the rest of you always being wrong.
: 'A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.' Cally once said that was a saying among her people. Dorian
: Who's Cally? Kerr Avon
: Cally was murdered. So were most of her people.
: It's going to be no help to them if we walk into something hungry on the way back. Dayna Mellanby
: I don't intend to walk into anything. Kerr Avon
: Don't be stupid. Dayna Mellanby
: Get out of my way, Avon.
[calls over her shoulder as she moves off
] Dayna Mellanby
: I'll see you at the base! Kerr Avon
: [watches her go
] I doubt it.
: Who designed it? Avon
: His name was Ensor. Dorian
: I should have known. He was never a gracious man. Orac reflects his personality. Avon
: Orac was the culmination of his life's work.
[Avon pulls out Orac's key
: He bequeathed it to an associate of mine... who bequeathed it to *me*.
: You must have been very young when you met Ensor. Dorian
: Must I? Avon
: He spent the last twenty years of his life in hiding. Dorian
: Well, then I must have been very young. Avon
: Did you do the modifications to the flight computer? Dorian
: Yes, I created Slave. Avon
: [draws gun
] What about these? Dorian
: Those as well. Avon
: [gesturing to the environment
] And all this? Dorian
: I found the chambers and tunnels already here. I merely had them adapted to my particular needs. Avon
] What did you do in your spare time?
: So they'll be on their way to pick up Orac as fast as they can go, and that's fairly fast actually. Roj Blake
: Yeah, not as fast as us. Kerr Avon
: Ever the optimist.
: Our only hope is if they have a supply on Aristo. Vila Restal
: But if they don't? Roj Blake
: They will have. Vila Restal
: But if they don't? Roj Blake
: They will have. Kerr Avon
: There's no point in hiding it, our condition will deteriorate rapidly. If we don't get drug treatment very soon, we shall die. Vila Restal
: Die? I can't do that. Kerr Avon
: I'm afraid you can. It's the one talent we all share, even you.
: You and I are going down to the surface.
[He thrusts a gun at him
] Kerr Avon
: Put that on. Vila Restal
: Are you out of your mind - I'm finding it hard enough just to stay on my feet. Kerr Avon
: Then crawl, but put that on!
: [Avon shoots Travis' gun-arm
] Good shot, Avon. Kerr Avon
: I was aiming for his head.
: It's exactly as though Ensor were speaking. Orac
: Surely it is obvious even to the meanest intelligence that during my development I would naturally become endowed with aspects of my creator's personality. Kerr Avon
: The more endearing aspects by the sound of it. Orac
: Possibly. However similarities between myself and Ensor are entirely superficial. My mental capacity is infinitely greater. Jenna Stannis
: Modest, isn't he? Orac
: Modesty would be dishonesty. Vila Restal
: What's wrong with being dishonest? Orac
: Is that a question? Vila Restal
: Yes. Orac
: The question is futile. Were I to say that I am incapable of dishonesty how would you know if I was being dishonest or not? Roj Blake
: A question for a question. Well, you're capable of evasion, anyway. Vila Restal
: I think I've heard enough. I don't like him. Orac, be a good junk heap - shut up.
: I don't believe it. Jenna Stannis
: Zen, system status. Zen
: All systems are functioning normally. Vila Restal
: Yes, but Zen's only a machine. Kerr Avon
: So is Orac.
[He removes the activator and throws it across the flight deck
] Vila Restal
: That's all right, that's fixed Orac. Roj Blake
: No, it hasn't. Jenna Stannis
: What do you mean? Roj Blake
: We've forgotten something. The prediction has still been made. Jenna Stannis
[the on-screen ship explodes
: Zen, report status. Zen
: Liberator is stationary and is stabilized in an anti-orbital posture. Vila
: Whatever that means. Blake
: It means we got it right. Jenna
: Together we can fly this ship manually. Gan
: I think we make a good team. Avon
] Well hooray for us.
: Together we can fly this ship manually. Olag Gan
: I think we make a good team. Kerr Avon
: Well, hooray for us.
: Up until now we've only been a minor irritation to the Federation. I think it's about time we hurt them. Jenna Stannis
: I don't like the sound of that. Kerr Avon
: Neither do I. I thought it was agreed we wouldn't do anything without discussing it thoroughly. Roj Blake
: True. It was also agreed that anybody could opt out at any time. Just tell me when you want to leave. Kerr Avon
: Oh, I will. But in the meantime I think we have a right to know what it is you're planning. Roj Blake
: Zen, set a course for Saurian Major, speed standard by two. Zen
: Speed and course confirmed. Kerr Avon
: That falls a little short of my idea of a thorough discussion.
: They've built a vast transceiver complex there. All Federation signals and navigation controls are beamed into Saurian Major, boosted and redirected. It's a vital nerve center in the Federation space control system. Destroy that, and you blind, deafen and silence them. That's what we're going to do. Kerr Avon
: A blow for freedom. Olag Gan
: Yes, our freedom. For a clever man you're not very bright. Deaf, dumb and blind how are they going to catch us? Kerr Avon
: I'm sure Blake will manage it somehow.
: So much for federation pursuit ships. Gan
: At least we know we can outrun them. Vila
: Outrun them? In this we can out stroll them. Blake
: Don't get too relaxed about it. They'll keep on coming. Vila
: We have the whole universe to hide in. Blake
: Except that we're not going to hide. Very soon now the Federation ships will know exactly where we are. Or at least, where we've been. Vila
: [somewhat confused
] I don't follow you. Avon
: Oh, but you do. And that's the problem!
[as Blake is trying to convince Cally he's not Federation, she hears a noise nearby and spins around with her gun leveled
[Vila emerges and comes down towards them, hands raised
: No need for belligerence, pretty lady. I'm harmless! Quick, isn't she? Cally
: Is he one of your crew? Blake
: One of them. Avon
: [out of sight
] And he's useless as he said.
[Avon appears from behind cover and walks towards the others
: I've had a gun on you the whole time. You were dead as soon as you broke cover. Vila
: "Harmless" was the word I used. Avon
: You couldn't even get that right.
: Nerves getting a little frayed? Avon
: There are a quarter of a million volts running through that converter. I make one false move, I'll be so crisped up what's left of me won't fit into a sandwich. Vila
: I'm a vegetarian. Thanks for the offer, though.
: I hope you can trust him. Avon
: I told you, he's a friend of mine. Vila
: Yes, I always knew you had a friend. I used to say to people, "I bet Avon's got a friend, somewhere in the galaxy." Avon
: And you were right. That must be a novel experience for you.
: You don't have a lot of time for Blake, do you? Avon
: I could never stand heroes. Vila
: A quarter of a million volts and you're putting your hand in? Avon
: Ah, but *that* is self-interest. We need that crystal. Blake takes risks to help *other* *people*. Sometimes people he doesn't even know. One day that great big bleeding heart of his will get us *all* killed. Vila
: Unless somebody ditches him first.
[Avon and Vila share meaningful looks
: Keep an eye on the corridor. Tannoy voice
: Attention! All personnel are instructed to remain at their posts. The situation is under control. Vila
] "Under control"? You know this could be another Casarus. Avon
: What? Vila
: You remember the Casarus swamp fever; killed millions. Avon
: Well there aren't millions here, so don't worry about it. Vila
: Well *I'm* here, and I *do* worry about it! I don't like bugs! You can't hear them, you can't see them and you can't feel them, then suddenly you're *dead*!
[Last lines of episode
: Cally, Jenna, get the ship moving. I'm going to put out a plague warning. Avon
] Are you crazy? Blake
: I've got to warn all traffic to stay away from Fosforon until that virus burns itself out. Avon
: Listen, Blake: Servalan is on her way here. She lands on Fosforon, she gets the plague, she's off our backs for good! You *cannot* put out a warning! Blake
: Suppose some of them don't die. Suppose some of them get off in a ship. That plague goes out to all the galaxies, *millions* will die because of it! *That* is the one responsibility that I will *not* take!
[Blake turns to address the Liberator's computer. Avon stews a moment over the rebuff
: Zen, I want to put a plague warning transmitter into orbit 'round Fosforon. Then set a course for the constellation Sauros; speed: standard by ten. Zen
[FX shot of Liberator slowly turning with deep space freighter The London docked with it, standing in for the plague beacon
: There has to be a warning, Jenna. There has to be.
[Jenna starts to say something, then simply nods in agreement. Liberator leaves orbit
: What would you know about guilt? Avon
] Only what I've read.
: What are you doing? Avon
: It's a detector shield. I've been working on it for some time. Vila Restal
: Everyone should have a hobby. What's it do? Avon
: It should keep us off everything but the Federation's close range visual scanners. Vila Restal
: You mean their long-range detectors won't pick us up at all? But that's brilliant, Avon, absolutely brilliant! It'll never work. Avon
: There's only one way to find out.
: I'm sure Blake will find us something suitable to attack. Vila Restal
: I see. You've decided to be led like the rest of us. Avon
: I shall continue to follow. It's not quite the same thing. Vila Restal
: I don't see the difference. Avon
: I didn't really think that you would.
: One of these days they are going to leave you. They were almost ready to do so this time. Roj Blake
: Yes, I thought they might be. Avon
: You handle them very skillfully. Roj Blake
: Do I? Avon
: But one more death will do it. Roj Blake
: Then you'd better be very careful. It would be ironic if it were yours.
[a patrol of six Federation pursuit ships just flew past the Liberator
] Vila Restal
: They missed us! Avon's gadget works! Roj Blake
: I never doubted it for a moment.
[Avon looks troubled
] Roj Blake
: [to Avon:
] Is something wrong? Avon
: It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, "Avon's gadget works," seems to lack a certain style.
[the tired crew are watching the screen. Avon, bored, activates a tool for moment to break the silence, then gets up to leave.
] Vila Restal
: Have you thought of another plan? Kerr Avon
: Yes: I'm going to get some sleep. Vila Restal
: How can you sleep with all this happening? Kerr Avon
: With all what happening? Blake is sitting up in a tree; Travis is sitting up in another tree. Unless they're planning to throw nuts at one another, I don't see much of a fight developing before it gets light. Olag Gan
: You're never involved, are you Avon? You ever cared for anyone? Vila Restal
: Except yourself? Kerr Avon
: I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it... at all.
] Vila Restal
: Was that an insult or did I miss something? Cally
: You missed something.
: You're never involved, are you Avon? Have you ever cared for anyone? Vila
: ...Except yourself? Avon
: I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care. Or indeed why it should be necessary to prove it - *at all*.
: Was that an insult, or did I just miss something? Cally
: You missed something!
] I get the distinct feeling I offended Zen's professional pride then. Avon
: It's just a machine, Blake. Vila
: And he should know. Gan
: Well Avon is the expert. Vila
: That's not what I meant. Avon
: No, he was calling me a machine, but since he undoubtedly defines himself as a human being, I shall choose to accept that as more of a compliment than anything else.
: If any of our control systems are damaged by the impact, we will be helpless. Roj Blake
: We're not exactly in a commanding position now. Jenna Stannis
: Activating! Roj Blake
: Have you got any better ideas?
[violent impact. As Blake and Avon reel back, Avon clutches Blake protectively
: As a matter of fact, no I haven't. Roj Blake
: Does that mean you agree? Avon
: Do I have a choice? Roj Blake
: Yes. Avon
: Then I agree.
[lets go of Blake
: Have you thought of another plan? Avon
: Yes. I'm going to get some sleep. Vila
: How can you sleep with all this happening? Avon
: With all what happening? Blake is sitting up in a tree, Travis is sitting up in another tree. Unless they're planning to throw nuts at one another, I don't see much of a fight developing before it gets light.
: I'll tell you a fact of life, Blake. Change is inevitable. Blake
: Why else do we fight, Avon?
[Avon has just saved Blake's life
: Thank you. Why? Avon
: Automatic reaction. I'm as surprised about it as you are.
: Repair monitors report explosive device attached to primary power channel. Blake
: Where? Zen
: Hold three, access duct seven. Blake
: Well can the automatics neutralize it? Zen
: No. Blake
: Why not? Zen
: There is no damage. Avon
: Computer logic. Until the bomb explodes there is nothing for the repair system to repair. Zen, can you reprogram the automatics? Zen
: Preemptive interference in crew activity is forbidden. Blake
: [running for passageway
] Oh, he'll clear up after us, but he won't stop us making a mess. Avon
: [moves to follow him
] *You* made *this* mess. Jenna Stannis
: We're all in it, Avon. Avon
: [over his shoulder from the passageway
] Yes, aren't we!
: What are you trying to do? Avon
: Bypass the detector comp and use another of the systems to receive the signal. Olag Gan
: Can it be done? Avon
: Some of this technology is a little more advance to that which I'm used. I'm having to guess at some of it. Olag Gan
: What about the automatic repair system? Avon
: Oh, it'll do the job. Eventually. It's very methodical. It starts at the beginning and it works its way through. It's slow. You should appreciate that problem.
[Avon throws a switch. A whole panel shorts out and burns
: No, that wasn't the one. Olag Gan
: It'll take *days* to repair that. Avon
: On any ordinary computer system. But this isn't any ordinary computer system. A malfunction of that size would have registered on the autorepair. It should cut in about five seconds. Watch. It will be cutting in about... now.
[Autorepair restores the circuitry
] Olag Gan
: [in awe
] That is fantastic. Avon
: Yes, isn't it.
[Avon disconnects his patch wire
: As a matter of fact it is.
: We could make a fortune with it if it wasn't for Blake. Olag Gan
: In what way? Avon
: There's always a market for technology like this. Olag Gan
: I don't think Blake would agree to that. Avon
: There will come a time when he won't be making the decisions.
: I'd rather not meet anyone until we get the geography of this place sorted out. Men fresh from a battle tend to be a little trigger happy. Vila Restal
: Trigger happy? Kerr Avon
: It would be stupid to be shot up by our own allies. Vila Restal
: Not only stupid. Painful.
: If it is not important, then why did his name have such a strong effect upon you? Kerr Avon
: Because the Del Grant that *I* knew said that if we ever met again, he would kill me.
: Hello, Del. It's been a long time. Del Grant
: I heard you were dead. Kerr Avon
: I heard the same about you. Wishful thinking perhaps. Del Grant
: I'm glad the stories were wrong. I felt cheated. We have some things to settle. Roj Blake
: You two can talk about the old days some other time. Right now we have a problem that's just a little more pressing.
: That last day, when it was all over, did they hurt her? Del Grant
: They kept her under interrogation for nearly a week. They tried everything but she never broke. If she *had* spoken, told them what they wanted to know, she'd be alive now. Kerr Avon
: She should have told them. Del Grant
: She held on because she believed in you. She didn't know that you'd run out and leave her to face it alone. Kerr Avon
: That was not the way it was. Del Grant
: I know exactly how it was. She died under Federation torture, but it was *you* who killed her.
] Roj Blake
: Are you going to tell me about Anna? Kerr Avon
: You wouldn't understand. Roj Blake
: Wouldn't I? Kerr Avon
: I doubt it.
: My people have a saying, "A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken." Avon
: The life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.
: [Putting neutrotope in the box
] Yes, it's enough to tempt anyone. There are men who would betray their companions for a lot less. Kerr Avon
: [Appearing in doorway
] What a very cynical thought, Doctor.
: Remember that Avon and I will be staying. We will regard ourselves as hostages against Blake's return. Kerr Avon
: Well thank you Cally, what a clever idea. Cally
] Blake will return. Kerr Avon
: You can bet your life on it, in fact you've just bet both our lives on it.
: We must help these people.
[She and Avon hand their teleport bracelets to Blake
] Kerr Avon
: Must we? Personally, I don't care if their whole planet turns into a mushroom.
: It is frequently easier to be honest when you have nothing to lose.
: If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question.
: Pick a weapon. Avon
: I'll have a neutron blaster.
[Gunn Sar's advisor shakes his head
: No neutron blasters. Avon
: In that case I'll have a glove. Gunn-Sar
: A glove? Avon
: A glove. Gunn-Sar
: [to a Hommik
] A glove.
: An ordinary domestic heliofusion rod. You haven't seen one, have you?
: You killed two men. Avon
: If I'd known we were keeping score, I would have brought more ammunition.
: [musing to himself at Pella
] It's a problem, isn't it? You can have war between races, war between cultures, war between planets. But once you have war between the sexes, you eventually run out of people. Slave
: It is beyond my humble capacity to offer an opinion, Master. Avon
: [smiles broadly, turns
] Oh, that's very good. You may turn out to be my kind of computer after all.
: Trust is only dangerous when you have to rely on it.
[Avon is in a Federation prison cell with an interrogator
: Your name wouldn't be Shrinker, by any chance, would it? Shrinker
: You've heard of me? Avon
: Ah. I knew if I held out, you would show up eventually. Shrinker
: That says more for your nerve than your brain. Avon
: [signalling the Liberator
] You think so?
: Why should I trust you? Avon
: Because I've got the gun!
: Have you murdered your way to the wall of an underground room? Servalan
: It's an old wall, Avon. It waits. I hope you don't die before you reach it.
: Is it done? Avon
: Yes, but it isn't finished. Vila
: Wonderful. Who's next on your list? Servalan? Avon
: [inserts key
] Orac. Orac
] What is it *now*? Avon
: Gracious as ever. Orac, I want you to interrogate the Federation Security computers and get me Servalan's present location. Vila
] I was *joking*, Avon!
: I can talk or I can work, but I can't do both.
: [to Blake, after he has proposed a hair-brained scheme to save Gan's life
] Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.
: Blake! In the unlikely event that we survive this... Roj Blake
: Yes? Kerr Avon
: I'm finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.
: What about Gan? Roj Blake
: He's still out. We've run the diagnostic checks, it might show up something. Avon
: Yes. And that something will tell you what you already know. Why don't you face it? Roj Blake
] Because I don't know what to do about it! Roj Blake
: [calmer but still upset
] And if it *is* the limiter, I don't know how we can help him. Roj Blake
] Unless neurosurgery is one of your particular talents. Avon
: Unfortunately, no. Roj Blake
: [sits and muses
] Suppose Zen gave us the necessary information *and* detailed instructions. Avon
: Oh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, Avon
: [gesturing to Zen while walking past
] not even highly sophisticated ones. Avon
: [approaches Blake
] This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists. Roj Blake
: Yes, I know, I know. Avon
: There are quicker ways that you could kill him, but there are none more certain.
[Avon and Dayna find a trooper with a knife in his back
] Kerr Avon
: That's a difficult way to commit suicide. Dayna Mellanby
: Maybe he was cleaning it and it went off.
[In The Liberator's teleport section
] Del Tarrant
: [to Avon and Dayna:
] Summary execution is the usual punishment for boarding a Federation ship without authority. What are you doing on my ship? Kerr Avon
: Your ship?
] Kerr Avon
: [to Dayna and Tarrant:
] Welcome to the Liberator. Vila Restal
: And you are, welcome to it. Cally
: Oh? Given the choice would you rather be a load of spare parts down there? Kerr Avon
: Or one spare part up here?
: [to Dayna and Tarrant:
] That one's Cally. I'll introduce her more formally when she wakes up. This one is Vila. I should really introduce him now; he's at his best when he's unconscious.
[after watching a tape of three Federation ships exploding
: Well, Orac, what do you think? Orac
: I think you have brought back a most fascinating recording. Avon
: We are looking for conclusions, not critical acclaim.
: There are times when even the most cynical must trust in luck!
[Vila stumbles in carrying a wine carafe
] Vila Restal
] Hello there! Anyone for a party? I'm afraid you'll have to bring your own booze 'cause I've already drunk my own. Anyone got any booze? Huh? And how about my... cold, calculating Soolin? I'd like to see you unbend...
[Soolin moves to a another station
] Vila Restal
: ...just a little before we're all... all... Dayna Mellanby
: Sometimes, Vila, you can be quite disgusting. Vila Restal
: Not so, my lovely. I can be disgusting all the time. It's easy. Easy as colliding with an asteroid, eh, Avon? You know, they say all your life passes in front of you when you're about to, about to... y'know. It's what's happening to me now. All my past life. Avon
: That's one misfortune we don't have to share. Vila Restal
: Fourteen I was when I was first sent to a penal colony. Ship was hit in the main drive by a meteoroid. Bang! Y'know what they did to repair it? Activated the force wall and generated an atmosphere inside the force wall so the repair team could work in a vacuum without spacesuits, 'cause it wasn't a vacuum any more if you see what I mean. Very clever, those old prison hulk skippers.
[Scorpio had just made a screamingly fast last-second escape from a Federation patrol
: Good enough! Avon
: [to Vila
] At least now we can outrun the opposition. That should make you happy. Dayna Mellanby
: What about Doctor Plaxton? Avon
: One day Avon, I may have to kill you. Kerr Avon
] It has been tried.
: Tell us about the Thaarn, Cally. Cally
: It's the oldest story in the Book of Auron. Vila Restal
: Well, let's hear it. I like a good story, meself. Cally
: The story goes back to the mists of time, to the Dawn of the Gods. There were seven gods who discovered the planet Auron, and on it left the first man and woman. A million years went by. The gods returned. They were no older even though a million years had past. Kerr Avon
: Not impossible, if they had a spaceship capable of traveling at near the speed of light. Cally
: I did say it was just a legend. The gods returned and were pleased with what they saw, and they bestowed on the people of Auron great gifts: new types of crops, which ended hunger, constant peace ... Del Tarrant
: And telepathy? Cally
: - and telepathy was promised. But one of the gods was very jealous. He didn't believe that the people of Auron deserved all this. He was frightened they would one day become so powerful they would challenge the supremacy of the gods themselves. And in his rage, he killed another god. The five remaining gods were so angry, they built a chariot for him and sent him beyond the threshold of space and time. The mad god swore a terrible vengeance. He said that he would return again. He said that he alone would discover the eternal secrets and become the one great master of the universe.
: [holding up a finger
] Groff, what's that? Groff
: A finger? Del Tarrant
: A finger. And as you can see, it is better designed for pressing buttons than holding writing implements. So why can't we use computers? Groff
: The Lord Thaarn will not permit their development on Krandor. He will allow no superior intellects to his. Del Tarrant
: Why not? Groff
: I don't know. It is better not to ask such questions! Kerr Avon
: Perhaps he had an unfortunate experience with a computer. Del Tarrant
: Haven't we all?
: And what do you suggest we do? Kerr Avon
: Examine the outside. Del Tarrant
: If you want to teleport into oblivion, you just go right ahead. Kerr Avon
: The outer teleport transducers were damaged when the force wall collapsed. Someone is going to have go out through the inspection hatch in a spacesuit and replace them. Vila Restal
: The time we've been in space without a refit that - that hatch will be space-welded shut. Anyway, who would risk it? Kerr Avon
: Someone who has a talent for opening locked doors. Del Tarrant
: And has demonstrated a grasp of the problems involved. Vila Restal
: [pauses in realization
] Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Well, it wasn't my idea! One of you can go outside! I never did trust those things. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance. Vila Restal
: [crossfade to Vila standing dejectedly in a spacesuit
] I'm now in the inspection compartment.
: I'll be back.
[Scorpio's life support has failed, leaving Tarrant and Vila stranded
] Kerr Avon
: [to Orac
] Situation. Orac
: Total systems failure. Dayna Mellanby
: They'll be dying up there! Kerr Avon
: Not yet! Soolin
: They won't have long. Kerr Avon
: They have oxygen units and suits. Dayna Mellanby
: In the dark? Under those conditions? Kerr Avon
: Orac? Orac
: They must be left there! Kerr Avon
: To die? Orac
: There is no option. To reopen teleport contact could expose the base to undefined systems influence.
] Kerr Avon
: Oh, you'll have to do better than that, Orac, if you expect me to *kill* them.
[Avon has ordered Orac to restore teleport contact with Scorpio so they can rescue Vila and Tarrant
] Kerr Avon
: Is it restored? Orac
: I am obliged to do as you tell me, even though I know it to be wrong. Kerr Avon
: Only following orders? That's not very original, Orac. Orac
: There is nothing very original about domination, as you will discover.
[Slave is refusing to follow the crew's orders
] Kerr Avon
: [on communicator
] What's happening? Del Tarrant
: Slave appears to have thrown off his chains.
: [into communicator
] Dayna, we're down safe in Orbiter and proceeding. Gambit
: [in unison
] Countdown twelve minutes, twenty seconds, and running. Vila Restal
: What does that mean? Kerr Avon
: I imagine that if we're not out of here by the time it hits zero, we might regret it.
[Soolin presses the button to reveal the screen and start the game. She picks up the electronic pistol
: Control system feedback is through the weapon. The game adjusts to meet, and on the last shot, exceed the proficiency of the players. Soolin
: You have to outshoot yourself. Del Tarrant
: Stupid game. Soolin
: Not really. Finally a game worth playing.
: A computer must, by definition, be logical. But it can also mirror the logic of its creator. Soolin
: You mean it's an extension of his mind. Orac
] No, that is *not* what I mean. Soolin
: His personality, then. Orac
: [more considerate
] A better definition, but still not quite accurate. Kerr Avon
: Would it know how the booby traps on the orbiter are programmed? Orac
: As yet, I don't have enough data to answer that question. Kerr Avon
: [growing impatient
] *If* it knew, could you extract the information from it?
[Orac doesn't respond immediately. Avon gives Orac a whack out of pique
] Kerr Avon
: Come on! That's a simple enough question. Orac
: There might be problems. Kerr Avon
: Why? You have extracted information from Federation computers before now. This is just a hodgepodge of three or four of them. You have already said that it is inferior to you. Orac
: The difficulty is not technical. It's more one of, uh, attitude. Kerr Avon
: Ah. You mean the *logic* of its creator. Orac
: Exactly. Let me remind you of ancient Earth mythology: the Delphic Oracle would answer questions truthfully without giving a true answer. Kerr Avon
: So what we need is not the right answer, but the right question. Soolin
: And in circumstances where any mistake would prove fatal?
: [in unison
] The orbiter is preprogrammed. Flight power depends on the distance and intensity of each star the feldon panels are locked into. The successful completion of a game continues the sequence. To regain control, you must complete the coded sequence of star sources. Vila Restal
: What about the feldon crystals? Kerr Avon
: Gambit? Orac
: This game will reveal the entrance. Soolin
: All we have to do is lock on to the right star. Orac
: It is possible that we've just received the right answer to the wrong question.
: [about Blake and Vila
] They're taking too long. Avon
: That's the trouble with heroics. They seldom run to schedule.
: [Jenna is at the teleport controls
] It had better be right. A fraction out and you could put us down in the middle of the security barracks. Jenna Stannis
: Don't tempt me.
: [lays device on control panel
] So you got it. Roj Blake
: It was close though. Kerr Avon
: Too close. Another few seconds we'd have all been blown up. Vila Restal
: Well, it wasn't my fault. Kerr Avon
: Well, whose fault was it? I thought you were supposed to guard the corridor. Vila Restal
: You were supposed to disconnect that thing, not rely on Gan to tear it loose with his teeth. Jenna Stannis
: All right, all right, now calm down.
: Ours will be the only voice. Imagination - our only limit. Avon
: Imagination my only limit - and I'll be dead in a week.
: [embracing Avon
] Ours will be the only voice. Imagination - our only limit. Kerr Avon
: [shoving her away
] Imagination my only limit - and I'll be dead in a week!
: Are you feeling better? Avon
: Not really. But at least I'm still alive. If I were dead I don't think I'd have this blinding headache.
[Dayna kisses Avon
: What was that for? Dayna Mellanby
: Curiosity. Avon
: I'm all in favor of healthy curiosity. I hope yours isn't satisfied too easily. I think you've cured my headache.
: I'm entitled to my opinion. Avon
: It is your assumption that *we* are entitled to it as well that is irritating.
: First sign of trouble, we get out, right? Jenna
: Goes without saying. Avon
: I only wish it did.
: It could be a trap. Gan
: It's not a very good one, then. We're suspicious of it already. Avon
: The test is not whether you are suspicious but whether you are caught.
[first lines] [several minutes into the episode
] Kerr Avon
: Cally. Cally
: What is it? Kerr Avon
: Well, it looks like a door. And it's closed.
: Regret is a part of being alive. But keep it a small part. Cally
: As you do? Kerr Avon
: Shut up, Tarrant. Del Tarrant
: Did you say something to me? Kerr Avon
: I said, "Shut up." I apologize for not realizing you are deaf. Del Tarrant
: [approaches Avon
] There's something else you don't realize. I don't take any orders from you. Kerr Avon
: Well, now that's a great pity, considering that your own ideas are so limited. Del Tarrant
: Don't try and bluff your way with me, Avon. I know what's been needling you right from the start. With Blake gone, you thought you'd got it made, didn't you? Thought you'd got control of this ship and a crew of three who'd say, "Yes, Avon. Whatever you want, Avon." But you reckoned without me. Kerr Avon
: That wouldn't be too difficult. Del Tarrant
: Oh, really? I don't think so. When you found me on the Liberator, it was quite a blow. And every time you look at me, it hits you harder, doesn't it? I'm faster than you and I'm sharper. As far as it goes, I've made a success of my life. But you? The only big thing you ever tried to do you failed at. The greatest computer swindle of all time... but you couldn't quite pull it off, could you? If it hadn't been for Blake, you'd be rotting on Cygnus Alpha right now. No, you failed, Avon. But I win. Not just at games, at life. Kerr Avon
: [turning away
] You also talk too much. Del Tarrant
: Be thankful I'm restricting myself to talk. Kerr Avon
: [turning back
] Well now, that's fascinating. You mean you can do something else? Dayna Mellanby
: [stepping between them
] Oh, stop this. What are you doing? Warming up to cutting each other's throats? Del Tarrant
: [turns away
] Avon. Do you want to forget I said all that? Kerr Avon
: It wasn't particularly memorable. Dayna Mellanby
: We need sleep. All of us. Even you need sleep, Tarrant. Del Tarrant
: And tomorrow, everything will look different? Kerr Avon
: If it does, you can assume you're on the wrong ship.
: What did I do to deserve this? Avon
: How long a list would you like?
: What did I do to deserve this? Kerr Avon
: How long a list would you like?
: Avon, when are you going to repair that detector shield? Avon
: Whenever we stumble across the parts I need. Cally
: Maybe we should give priority to getting them. Vila
: Yes, maybe we should. Blake
: Looks as though the Federation have developed a shield themselves. Cally
: Yes, well they got very, very close before we saw them. Avon
: And that is the most depressing aspect of the whole affair. I was rather hoping to sell them the idea.
[after meeting Zen for the first time
: It didn't answer any of your questions. More than that it deliberately ignored them. A computer can't have a will of it's own. Jenna
: You'd better tell Zen that.
: Before I decided to put my talents to more profitable use - Jenna
: And got arrested. Avon
: I handled the computer analysis for a research project into matter transmission. It was based on a new alloy - Blake
: Aquatar. Avon
] That's right. Blake
: Yes, I worked on that project too. Avon
: Small world. Blake
: Large project. Jenna
: I didn't work on it.
: [Blake picks up an alien device on the Liberator
] Hand gun? Avon
: It's a bit elaborate for a toothpick. Blake
: It depends on how elaborate their teeth were.
[Regarding mined-out asteroid PK 118 on the screen
] Kerr Avon
: Predictably barren. Jenna Stannis
: Wretched mining companies. No sense of aesthetics. Kerr Avon
: What do you want them to do, landscape? Jenna Stannis
: Well, they could make an effort.
: [Exiting the bridge
] For once just try trusting me. Cally
: What is this priority of his? Kerr Avon
: Exactly. He's used a number of ploys to get his own way, but, "Just try trusting me"? That's weak even by his standards.
: I've been looking all over for you. Kerr Avon
: Well, now you found me. Del Tarrant
: Didn't you hear me calling? Kerr Avon
: I imagine the whole planet heard you.
: [holding the rock-like Sopron
] This happens to be the most sophisticated life form that it has ever been my good fortune to come across. Present company NOT excepted.
[Tarrant has bullied Vila into a dangerous mission
] Kerr Avon
: I don't know how you persuaded him to go, Tarrant. Del Tarrant
: I appealed to his better nature. Kerr Avon
: He hasn't got one. Leave him alone in future. Del Tarrant
: Or? Kerr Avon
: Do you want me to threaten you? Del Tarrant
: Why not? I haven't had a good laugh in ages. Kerr Avon
: Sensible. You could die laughing.
: The point is that Vila won't trust you, whereas he will trust Cally and me. Del Tarrant
: Cally, yes, but why you? Kerr Avon
: Because he knows what I think of him. Del Tarrant
: You despise him! Kerr Avon
: Right. But at least I'm consistent about it.
: [about Vila
] Doesn't have much time for Tarrant does he? Avon
: Ah well. Tarrant is brave, young, handsome...
: There are three good reasons for anyone not to like him.
: One of the almost human things about Orac is that it does not like to work.
: Did she really think you were a god? Kerr Avon
: For a while. Roj Blake
: How did it feel? Kerr Avon
: Don't you know? Roj Blake
: Yes... I don't like the responsibility either.
: Orac, teleport. Orac
: Teleport? I am not programmed. Three squared to the principal. Dayna Mellanby
: Oh, no. Orac
: I love you. Vila Restal
: Orac! Orac
: My emotions are deeper than the seas of space. One times one is only possible in the ultra-dimensional. Kerr Avon
: Turn Orac off. Orac
] I love you. Kerr Avon
] *Off*! Orac
: We will be lovers for a little while, or maybe for a long while, who knows? Soolin
: I do.
[Soolin pulls Orac's key
] Vila Restal
: What a thought.
: How do we approve of something we don't know about? Kerr Avon
: You could try trusting me.
[They glare at each other for a moment
] Del Tarrant
: All right, Avon, we'll try trusting you. Just don't expect us to make a habit of it. Kerr Avon
: I don't.
: [sits with Avon in the bridge pit
] The others have decided to go with me. Kerr Avon
] I thought they would. Not very bright, but loyal. Roj Blake
: That leaves you. Kerr Avon
: I have thought about it. Roj Blake
] Roj Blake
: Come on Avon, stop playing games. Are you going to go with me or not? Kerr Avon
: [looks hurt
] Well, of course. I am surprised you ever doubted it. Roj Blake
: Thank you. Kerr Avon
: Frankly, I don't see how you can do it without me. Your strongest enemies are going to be the defense computers. I am the only one qualified to tackle them. Roj Blake
: Yes, that had occurred to me. You better start getting kitted up. Do you want to tell me why? Kerr Avon
: I like the challenge. Roj Blake
: You don't want to tell me why. Kerr Avon
: If we succeed, if we destroy Control, the Federation will be at its weakest. It will be more vulnerable than it has been for centuries. The revolt in the Outer Worlds will grow. The resistance movements on Earth will launch an all-out attack to destroy the Federation. They will need unifying. They will need a leader. *You* will be the natural choice. Roj Blake
: Possibly. Kerr Avon
: Don't be modest, Blake. You are the only one that they would all follow. You would have no choice. You would have to stay on Earth and organize the revolt. Roj Blake
: If there's no other way. Kerr Avon
: There wouldn't be. Roj Blake
: That still doesn't explain why you're backing me. Kerr Avon
: With you running the campaign on Earth, somebody has to take charge... of all this. Roj Blake
] You want the Liberator. Kerr Avon
: [almost laughs
] Exactly. If we succeed, the destruction of Control gives us both what we want. Roj Blake
: Could be you're planning just a little far ahead. Kerr Avon
] Perhaps. But sooner or later, I will have my chance. Roj Blake
: There's no hurry.