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Script for Breakdown by Terry Nation

(c) 197? by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1992 by Micky DuPree and Nicole Vifian.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake Kerr Avon Jenna Stannis Vila Restal Olag Gan Cally Zen Kayn Farron Renor

Uncredited:

Pursuit Leader Male voice

ZEN Attention. Liberator is entering meteorite storm zone. (Gan exclaims in pain and groans.) Navigation computers propose immediate evasion course. Directive on manual override is now required. Repeat, directive on manual override is now required. JENNA Gan, what are you doing! Manual out, commit full automatics. Navigation computer take emergency evasive action and get us out of it. ZEN Full automatics, confirm. JENNA If you couldn't have handled it, why didn't you call one of us? You're not expected to cope yet. (Gan groans in pain.) Gan, what is it? What's the matter? GAN I'm sorry. (groans) JENNA Blake, I think you'd better get down to the flight deck. It's Gan. BLAKE What's wrong with him, Jenna? JENNA I don't know, he seems to be in some sort of pain. He's obviously got - (Gan attacks Jenna) BLAKE Jenna? (Gan throws Jenna to the floor) Jenna. Jenna! (Gan drags Jenna to front of flight deck) BLAKE Gan! Gan, it's me, Blake. Gan, listen to me. (Gan attacks Blake. Avon, Cally, and Vila run in. Avon and Vila pull Gan off Blake) BLAKE Cally, get the medical kit quickly! (Gan fights Avon. Blake hits him on the head, and knocks him out) Tranquilizers, full strength. CALLY (medkit in hand, pauses by Jenna) Are you all right? JENNA Yes, I think so. CALLY I'll be back in a minute. BLAKE Pull his sleeve up. (he applies the tranquilizer) Put another one on. (Avon does so) Let it get right through his system. Well, the tranquilizer pad should keep him quiet for a while. CALLY Two of them would flatten any one of us for about a hundred hours. AVON If he comes round, he'll flatten all of us for a good deal longer than that. He ought to be put under restraint. VILA Oh, my head. What fell on me? AVON He did. JENNA It all happened so quickly. One minute he was crying with pain, then he went beserk. VILA I'm glad he's a friend. Could get very painful if he really didn't like you. AVON It must have something to do with the limiter implant in his brain. BLAKE It's been bothering him for some time. He tried to keep it secret, but I'm sure he was in a lot of pain. Let's get him to the surgical unit. Avon, stay and check for damage, will you? You three, give me a hand. AVON All flight deck systems, full status checks. Standard priority listings. ZEN Confirm standard priority listing. AVON Begin. ZEN Priority alpha one. Primary computer links are clear and functioning.

(in med unit) BLAKE Anything? JENNA There's some inflamation around the implant scar. Look. BLAKE Yeah. No other external sign. CALLY Blake! Look at his hand. BLAKE Jenna, get the diagnostic analyzer. JENNA Right. BLAKE We'll run the usual checks. What's the matter? JENNA I don't think it's going to show us much, though, except that there's a malfunction in the limiter. BLAKE I hope for his sake you're wrong. CALLY What are you doing? BLAKE I want him secure. CALLY Surely that is unnecessary. He's a sick man, those are not going to help him. BLAKE The limiter is supposed to cut in when stress drives him to the point where he might kill. CALLY So? BLAKE So on the flight deck he tried to kill ME. The limiter didn't even slow him down. CALLY Well, among my people such things are considered barbarous. BLAKE All right, just make him comfortable, but I want him secure.

(flight deck) BLAKE Well? AVON All systems clear and functioning. BLAKE That's something, anyway. AVON What about Gan? 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? BLAKE Because I don't know what to do about it! And if it is the limiter, I don't know how we can help him. Unless neurosurgery is one of your particular talents. AVON Unfortunately, no. BLAKE Suppose Zen gave us the necessary information and detailed instructions. AVON Oh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, not even highly sophisticated ones. This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists. BLAKE Yes, I know, I know. AVON There are quicker ways that you could kill him, but there are none more certain. VILA (V.O.) Blake, Avon. Do you want to come down? Jenna's running the tests now. AVON We're on our way. Well, are you coming? BLAKE I'll be with you in a minute. Zen, reverse thrust and stop. ZEN Confirmed. BLAKE I want a hard print on the following information.

(med unit) VILA Funny, we're all standing here hoping there's something wrong with him. Something ordinary, a nice straight forward disease. BLAKE Well? AVON Nothing, so far. JENNA Here it is. BLAKE Readout. VOICE Severe neurological disturbance centered in the zero three zone sub four section of the cerebrum. Condition must be relieved if permanent brain damage is to be avoided. BLAKE Prognostication? VOICE Rapid deterioration to terminal condition. BLAKE Recommendation. VOICE Immediate investagative surgery. VILA So. If we don't get him treatment, he'll be a vegetable. JENNA Or die. AVON Switch on the voray scan. BLAKE You two watch the screen. I'll do the probe. AVON Right. Bring it directly over the skull. No, that won't do. You'll have to use the radio sensor. Good, that's much better. Yes, there it is. There's the limiter implant, you can see it quite clearly. Give me the side view. Good. Yes, it's in the sub four section all right. Now let's take a look at the limiter itself. Close focus, slowly. JENNA Well, there's nothing wrong with the connectors. AVON All right, deepen the focus. More. That's it. Look at the micro linkages, the fine lines. BLAKE Is there a fault? AVON I'm not sure. That section seems to be burned out. That could cause a conductivity loss. JENNA Would that account for what's happening to him? AVON It's not my field, but if I am right, then the limiter is feeding scrambled impulses into his brain. CALLY Can it be corrected? AVON You've got to get into this first. BLAKE We need a neurosurgeon. VILA Which we haven't got. JENNA Blake, we can't just let him die. If he needs a neurosurgeon, that's what we've got to get. BLAKE Yes, and quickly. Look.(Gan's hands clench spasmodically)

(flight deck) BLAKE And that's all the navigation computers could come up with? ZEN Confirmed. Your print is the full list within the parameters specified. JENNA Blake, what about Kainnessos? An independent Earth colony. Population in excess of seven million. They should have some medical expertise. BLAKE What's the journey time? JENNA Six hundred hours. AVON Too long. You haven't anything like that much time. BLAKE What about Overon? JENNA Three hundred and fifty hours. Only third-level technology, though. AVON Which means that they won't have the necessary medical expertise. BLAKE Cassiona? AVON That's a Federation stronghold. BLAKE We know they can do the surgery. AVON There's a price on our heads. We are all under sentence of death. JENNA The difference is that Gan's sentence is being carried out right now. BLAKE Any others with the necessary level of technology? JENNA Only Epinal. But the problem there is that they're considered potentially hostile. BLAKE To the Federation? JENNA To the species. They don't like humanoids in general, and in particular homo sapiens. AVON That puts their intelligence beyond doubt. BLAKE How long would it take? JENNA Two hundred hours. BLAKE Two hundred hours? That's our best alternative. AVON There is another one even closer. BLAKE Not on the listings we've been given. AVON Zen, why is XK seventy two not listed? ZEN XK seventy two is outside listed parameters. BLAKE Specify. ZEN Flight time from this position is in excess of six hundred hours. AVON Conclusion is incorrect. Recompute distance and flight time. BLAKE What is XK seventy two? AVON It's a space laboratory. A permanent research facility financed by a consortium of neutral planets. Two specialist fields: weaponry and space medicine. An interesting combination, don't you think? JENNA How do you know all this? AVON I looked it up in the data banks. It was information that I thought might prove useful to me. VILA A bolt hole. Somewhere to run if things get too hot here. AVON The thought had crossed my mind. JENNA Why haven't you told us about this station before? BLAKE Presumably if he goes there with us he'll be identified. (Smiles at Avon) VILA You can say goodbye to one bolt hole. BLAKE How far is it? AVON One hundred and fifty hours. (To Zen) Confirm. ZEN Flight time is six hundred forty three hours. AVON Direct flight. ZEN Direct flight would necessitate crossing a prohibited space zone. VILA Prohibited? BLAKE Specify. ZEN The zone has been designated as containing unacceptable danger. BLAKE What sort of danger? ZEN Data is not available. BLAKE To you or just to us? ZEN There is no data of any kind. AVON Just the unacceptable risk designation. ZEN Confirmed. BLAKE If the direct route to XK seventy two is fifty hours shorter than our nearest alternative then that can be the difference between life and death for Gan. VILA And for us. JENNA Realistically, it's his only chance. AVON I agree with Jenna. VILA You do? AVON I have never taken things on trust. I see no reason to make an exception in the case of a mysterious warning of danger. JENNA Neither do I. BLAKE Right, let's get to it. VILA Don't I get asked? BLAKE Zen. Set navigation computers for direct route to space laboratory XK seventy two. Speed Standard by Six. ZEN Rejected. AVON You CANNOT reject a direct command. BLAKE Justify that rejection, please. ZEN Your command reduces to an order to self-destruct. This runs counter to Prime Directive. VILA Zen obviously believes there's something nasty in that zone. AVON It has no data. It is acting upon an instruction, an order not to enter the zone. BLAKE Then we'll go on manual. Jenna? JENNA Ready. Compute course and let's get started. BLAKE (Pulling Avon's attention back from Zen) Avon? VILA Now, wait a minute. If it's too difficult for Zen to tackle, what chance have we got? JENNA Gan is dying. VILA All right. Well, let's get on with it.

JENNA We're approaching it now. ZEN Attention. Liberator is entering prohibited zone. All primaries and auxiliary computer functions are now aborted. BLAKE Zen! JENNA Blake, the screen's gone dead. BLAKE Well, check it. JENNA Definitely dead. BLAKE Switch to the secondary. JENNA Oh, thank heaven that works. BLAKE Now we really are on our own. AVON Let's hope so. VILA What do you suppose it is that's lurking out there? JENNA Maybe Zen's got it wrong. AVON Zen hasn't got it at all. JENNA All right then, whoever programmed him. AVON One of these days I intend to find out who that is. VILA If you live that long. BLAKE Anything on the detectors? VILA Not a thing. What you see on the screen is exactly what's there. Absolutely nothing. Why should I find nothing terrifying? BLAKE (into communicator) How's Gan? CALLY (V.O.) No change. Blake, what is the flight time across the zone? BLAKE Avon? AVON Thirty hours. BLAKE Thirty hours. VILA That gives it plenty of time to leap out on us then. JENNA Must you keep on about it, Vila? VILA Sorry. Just nervous. BLAKE We're all nervous. VILA I thought it was only me. BLAKE What are your readings, Vila? VILA Uh, full range detector, nothing to report. BLAKE Jenna? JENNA All flight systems normal. BLAKE Avon? AVON Navigation coordinates set and firm. BLAKE Hmm. Well, presumably Zen will come back to us when we're out of danger. VILA Sounds like a good idea. Any chance of joining him? JENNA Zero one surge on primary two. Confirm? VILA Confirmed. JENNA Compensating. VILA Stable. AVON Blake, there's something we haven't thought of. BLAKE What? AVON Systems instability. We have never operated without the auxiliary computers before. BLAKE You mean they've been compensating for things like that power surge? AVON They've made every minor adjustment that the systems require. And the chances are that they are now going to require a lot. BLAKE Because computer control is -- BLAKE (Together) -- part of the basic design -- & AVON: AVON -- concept. BLAKE Damn. AVON We're going to have to turn back. Jenna, stand by to reverse the course. JENNA Look, we've set out to save Gan and that's what we're going to do. AVON But you don't understand. JENNA Neither do you. We're committed. I intend to go on flying this ship even if all systems go into a flat spin. AVON (Grabs her by both arms and pulls her around) But that's exactly what will happen! BLAKE All right, Avon, that's enough! BLAKE The signal to abort the auxiliary computers came from Zen. Can you override it, bypass Zen, and get them working again? AVON Possibly. BLAKE Well, try. AVON All right. But I'm telling you, you should turn back. JENNA Not a chance. VILA What was all that about? Everything is running smoothly. BLAKE That was because everything was balanced before the computers went off line. Try and adjust something, and you unbalance something else. Try and adjust that, you unbalance two more and before you know what's happened, the ship is out of control. JENNA Blake, we're drifting off course. BLAKE Lateral drift on coordinate four. JENNA Got it. Compensating. BLAKE Stable. VILA I've just had a comforting thought. We may all be dead before we find out why this is a danger zone.

(computer room) BLAKE (V.O.)Have you done it, Avon? AVON Soon. BLAKE (V.O.)How soon? AVON I can talk or I can work, but I can't do both. BLAKE (V.O.)We're running out of time, Avon.

(flight deck) VILA Blake, we're picking something up on the detectors. BLAKE What is it? VILA I dunno. The signal's very weak. BLAKE No telling what it is from here. JENNA Our speed's increasing slightly. BLAKE Reduce to standard by three, Jenna. JENNA Standard by three. BLAKE Can we squeeze any more range on the visuals? VILA It's at the limit now. BLAKE We may have to reverse thrust and run. JENNA That would really throw our systems into chaos now. VILA Hurry up, Avon. JENNA We're moving off course again. BLAKE Lateral drift, coordinate three. JENNA Got it. Blake! BLAKE What is it? JENNA Our speed's increasing again. (in surgical unit, Gan is waking and groaning, and looking around slyly)

AVON Blake, I can't do it. You must turn back, before it's too late. BLAKE We're already too late. We're in an unstable magnetic field. We can't turn back. Avon, we NEED those computers. VILA Can you stop us, Jenna? JENNA Without computers, not a chance. BLAKE Detectors? VILA Same signal, getting closer. There's still no telling what it is. JENNA We're speeding up again. BLAKE Try and compensate.

(in med unit, Cally listens to earphone) BLAKE (V.O.)If we get up past Standard by Twenty we'll be out of control. JENNA (V.O.)I think she's holding. We're leveling off. BLAKE (V.O.)Keep it steady. CALLY How are you feeling? GAN Tired. Very tired. What's been happening? CALLY You were ill. We're trying to get to a place where you can receive medical treatment. GAN I'm all right. Just that I, I can't remember. Why am I being held down like this? CALLY When the pain was too much for you, you became violent, and we were frightened you might harm yourself. GAN I'm sorry, I just can't remember. I'd like to sit up. Help me, will you, Cally? CALLY I think you should stay where you are until we can get help. GAN I'm all right. A bit uncomfortable. I'd like to sit up. CALLY There is some turbulance. You're safer where you are. GAN Please. (Cally releases him.) CALLY Is that better? (Gan coughs. Cally goes to get water. Gan attacks her, then leaves the surgical unit)

AVON Blake, I have managed to bypass Zen. I am now going to see if I can override the command. (Steps away from the intercom, thinks twice, comes back) Blake? Blake!

BLAKE There must be some way we can avoid it. JENNA We can't. We're already too close to pull away. With computer backup, we might have flown through it. VILA So, without computers? JENNA We're dead. It'll tear us to pieces.

BLAKE Are you two ready? JENNA Ready. BLAKE Vila? VILA Wha--, yes, ready. BLAKE Concentrate, Vila. When I give the order to reverse thrust you two have gotta stop us from spinning. VILA I know. BLAKE Well, if you don't get it right, it'll be the last thing you do know. CALLY Blake. BLAKE Cally! What happened? CALLY Gan has just tried to kill me. BLAKE What? CALLY I thought he was normal again. BLAKE You mean you RELEASED him? CALLY He's escaped. BLAKE Jenna, you take my place. Brief Cally.

(computer room, Gan tries to pull piping from wall) AVON Gan, no! You'll break the computer links, we'll never get them started. (Avon tries to stop Gan, who thows him off)

JENNA Cally, reverse thrust in five seconds. On my mark, five four three two one. Thrust.

(Blake hits Gan on head. He collapses) BLAKE Are you all right? AVON More or less. BLAKE He got away from Cally. (Blake gets tranquilizer pads) AVON Yes, well, I can see that! BLAKE What about the computers? (ship shudders) AVON What is going on? BLAKE It's a gravitational vortex, biggest spiral you've ever seen. We're right on the edge of it. AVON Auxiliary computers on-line and functioning. BLAKE Right. Give me a hand with him, will you?

JENNA We've slowed the rate of approach, but we'll be drawn into it sooner or later. BLAKE The way we're using power, it'll be sooner. CALLY What will happen to the ship? AVON The forces inside that will not merely destroy us, they will annihilate us. BLAKE Now Avon's repaired the computers, what would be the difference if we went straight for the center of the vortex on maximum power? JENNA Well, it'd be quick, whatever happens. BLAKE Well, let's take the quick way. Take over, Jenna. JENNA Right, everybody, we're going through the center of the vortex. AVON Blake, in the unlikely event that we survive this -- BLAKE Yes? AVON I'm finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable. BLAKE No, you're just being modest. JENNA On my mark, five four three two one. (they go through the vortex) JENNA Standard by Twelve, still rising. BLAKE The structural distort. JENNA We'll never hold her, Blake. BLAKE The automatics. Hit the automatics. JENNA Blake, I can't. I must keep a straight heading. BLAKE Jenna, look. Look at the screen. There's nothing there but the stars. We've made it. We are through!

BLAKE Yes, Avon. AVON (V.O.)We're coming in range of XK seventy two. Just had a message from the station administrator. Very polite, but it boils down to who are we and what do we want. BLAKE Tell him we're an experimental ship out of Earth on a proving flight. Then tell him what we'll need. AVON (V.O.)You think he'll believe that? BLAKE Convince him. Use your charm. CALLY Why are you angry with Avon? BLAKE I'm not. CALLY You sound as if you are. BLAKE He has a decision to make. If he wants to stay with us, it's got to be for his reasons. CALLY You'll do nothing to persuade him? BLAKE Nothing at all.

JENNA Reverse thrust, and stop. (to Vila) Give me closer vision. I only hope we're not too late. ZEN Information. VILA You're back, are you? ZEN Status is firm. All systems are functioning normally. BLAKE Where were you when we needed you? (to Avon) What did they say? AVON They've invited the commander to go across. I've got a voice fix ... "Commander." JENNA Why are we lying to them? VILA Why not? No sense in looking for trouble. JENNA They're neutral. BLAKE That's a term that covers a whole range of attitudes, and some of them not very friendly. What did they say about a doctor? AVON There's a neurosurgeon, a Professor Kayn. He'll be waiting for you. CALLY (V.O.)Blake, it's urgent. BLAKE What is it, Cally? CALLY Gan's life signs are getting very irregular. His time is running out. I think he is beginning to die. BLAKE (V.O.) I'll be as quick as I can. BLAKE Teleport, Avon. JENNA I can't see them believing that Liberator is a Federation ship, can you? VILA Let's hope they don't even think about it.

(Farron's office)

FARRON I've never seen a ship remotely like it before. What do you think, Professor Kayn? KAYN I'm a surgeon. I'm not terribly interested in spaceship design.

FARRON You're one of our senior men. You share the responsibility for the safety of this station. KAYN FARRON, I realize there is a place for administrators, but I'd be obliged if you'd remember where it is. Please don't presume to lecture me on my responsibilites.

FARRON So sorry, Professor. (into com unit) Have a team of engineers standing by to examine the shuttle craft these people send across, will you?. VOICE (V.O.)Right.

FARRON Send the commander straight up. Make sure he's not armed. VOICE (V.O.) Understood. (Blake teleports in) BLAKE Don't worry, I'm not armed.

FARRON How did you do that? BLAKE I'm sorry to be so abrupt, but could I see Professor Kayn now, please. KAYN I'm Kayn. BLAKE Ah. One of my crewmen is dying. Could you come with me straight away.

FARRON I'm afraid there are a few formalities we must sort out first. You can't just, uh, appear - KAYN I'll come with you.

FARRON Professor Kayn, I cannot allow this. KAYN Send me a memorandum, Farron. Through the usual channels, of course. BLAKE Would you put this on please? KAYN What is it? BLAKE It's a teleport bracelet.

FARRON I warn you, this is most inadvisable. KAYN I shall need a few things. BLAKE Our surgical units are very well equipped, but I'll send back somebody for anything else you might need. KAYN Farron, have Dr. Renor standing by to assist me, he'll know what I need. BLAKE I'll send someone back for him. Are you ready? KAYN I am ready.

FARRON Kayn, I cannot allow this, it is completely against station policy. BLAKE Bring us across.

FARRON This behavior will have to be noted down in the station log.

KAYN That is remarkable. BLAKE Avon, send someone across to collect Professor Kayn's assistant, will you? (To Kayn) Your bracelet, please. KAYN I thought the matter transmission project had been abandoned. BLAKE A temporary setback. KAYN But with Federation resources it was just a matter of time, I suppose. BLAKE This way, Professor. KAYN Truly remarkable. BLAKE Professor? KAYN Oh, yes, sorry. One thing I will say for the Federation, when they decide to do a thing, they do it. (Blake and Kayn exit.) VILA I didn't like the sound of that much. AVON One of the many faces of neutrality. VILA Who's going across to get the assistant? Shall I call Jenna? AVON No. I'll go. VILA Oh, good. Good idea, I mean. AVON Why do you stay with Blake? VILA I like him. AVON That isn't a good enough reason. VILA It is for me. That and the fact I've got nowhere else to go. AVON (smiles) All right. Put me across.

KAYN Just a minute. This is interesting. What rank do you hold? BLAKE I'm a civilian. KAYN Unusual. BLAKE We tend to be in the majority, even in the Federation. KAYN I meant this is unusual. What are you up to? Proving flight on a military craft? It is a military craft? BLAKE Excuse me, it's still experimental. It's classified. Uh, this way.

CALLY Why were you such a long time? BLAKE Cally - KAYN My fault, I'm afraid. Needed time to adjust. Can't afford to be disconcerted with this kind of work. Oh, yes, you are right, his condition is critical. Find out where my assistant is, will you please? BLAKE Of course. KAYN What's your name? CALLY Cally. KAYN All right, Cally, now you tell me why this man has a limiter implant.

BLAKE Where's Kayn's assistant? VILA He'll be arriving any moment. BLAKE For the time being, keep him here. VILA Right. AVON (V.O.) Vila, this is Avon. Dr. Renor is ready to come across. I won't be coming back with him, though. VILA What do you mean, you won't be coming back with him? AVON I'm staying for a look around. I'll call you when I'm ready. VILA Oh, fine. I'll just hang around here and wait for you. AVON You do that. VILA Stand by. (operates teleport) Dr. Renor?

BLAKE So anything you can get from him about this Professor Kayn would be useful. JENNA I'll try. I might not be his type, though. BLAKE We'll just have to take the chance. JENNA Thanks. BLAKE Go on. Zen, I want a series of projections from the battle computers. Nearest Federation bases, likely flight patterns, flight times, and possiblity of interception. ZEN Confirmed.

JENNA Hello. RENOR Hello, hello, hello! VILA Ah. Jenna, this is Professor Kayn's assistant, his name is - RENOR Renor. And I had a feeling this was going to be a good day. JENNA Yes, well, don't let your feelings run away with you. RENOR Oh, a sense of humor, too. I love girls with a sense of humor. JENNA Yes, I can see where that would be an advantage. This way, please. RENOR Do you believe in love at first sight, Jenna? JENNA Not yet.

FARRON I don't think you realize what you're suggesting. AVON I am offering you my services, and, among other things, the secret of matter transmission.

FARRON You are offering me classified Federation material. This is an independent, neutral scientific foundation. AVON Suppose I tell you that the material does not belong to the Federation, that we are not Federation personnel, and that THAT is not a Federation ship.

FARRON Then who does it belong to? AVON Us.

FARRON Who are you? AVON Before I tell you that, I should like your guarantee that the others will be allowed to leave unmolested.

FARRON Well, why should I give you that? AVON You and your foundation stand to make a fortune. I'm merely asking for your guarantee that you will maintain your neutrality ... and protect your investment.

FARRON All right. You have my personal guarantee. Now who are you?

KAYN At last. RENOR Sorry, professor. (to Cally) Hello! This place is full of pretty girls. KAYN Prepare for immediate surgery, please. RENOR Right. JENNA I'll get out of your way. KAYN Won't need you either, Cally. RENOR Would have been helpful to have had one of them here. KAYN Do you know who these people are? RENOR Federation research team? KAYN It's Blake and his crew. RENOR THE Blake? How do you know? KAYN They lie badly. RENOR Stannis! That's who she is! Jenna Stannis. I've never met a celebrity before. KAYN Celebrity! These people are maniacs, killers. RENOR Oh, come on. KAYN Mindless destroyers. RENOR You don't know that. KAYN They are destroying the greatest force for order in the known universe. RENOR Order? Well, you've had a change of heart, haven't you? I'm sure poor old Farron would be delighted with your new concern for the rules. KAYN Farron is a bureaucratic fool. I'm talking about stability, Renor, stability. With no stability there is no progress. RENOR Progress to what? Brain implantation? KAYN A dangerous psychopath? Certainly. Or would you prefer he'd been executed? RENOR That's what you intend to do, isn't it? You're going to delay the operation so that Blake and his crew can be captured. KAYN I haven't decided yet. RENOR Well, delay much longer, and there won't be any decision to make. What are you doing? (Kayn has communicator in his hand) KAYN Not that it's any business of yours, I'm going to contact the nearest Federation base. RENOR I'll warn Blake. KAYN And lose the chance of working with the greatest surgeon you'll ever see? You're too ambitious for that. Besides, I'm the only one who can save him, if I choose to. (into mic) XK seven two.

(three pursuit ships against starfield)

LEADER Pursuit leader to pursuit two and three. Executive order states that damage to Research Station XK seventy two must be avoided if possible. Priority concern is capture of Blake and his crew.

(Farron's office)

FARRON He did what? VOICE Professor Kayn said you knew about it.

FARRON The communications section is well aware that no one is allowed to send official messages without clearing them first through channels. VOICE Professor Kayn said it was a matter of life and death.

FARRON Hmm...Ask our visitor to come and see me, will you? I think he's looking around the computer section. His name is Avon. VOICE Right.

FARRON Do we know what the Federation's doing? VOICE The pursuit ships will be here in three hours.

FARRON Then find Avon quickly.

RENOR We must start the operation. KAYN Not yet. The Federation ships need time. RENOR But we're losing him. I mean look at the life signs. He's practically dead now. KAYN Not yet.

CALLY It's taking a very long time. JENNA Well, at least while they're still working, we know that Gan's got a chance. Kayn is supposed to be a genius. VILA The trouble with a genius, is you're never too sure what he's up to. Perhaps Zen can tell how long the operation should normally take. JENNA Zen? ZEN There is insufficient data for an accurate projection. Within the parameters you have described, the surgeon's skill and operating procedures are unknow variables. (Vila gets gun) VILA There you are. Thought not.

FARRON I can only apologize. I'm afraid there's absolutely nothing I can do for your friends now. AVON It was naive of me to expect you to keep your word.

FARRON That is a little unfair. It's just that it's out of my hands. Look, Avon, it is against all the rules, and it's a risk I really shouldn't take, but I am prepared to let you stay here. AVON What about the pursuit ships?

FARRON When your friends detect them they will presumably run or fight. AVON They will have no other choice.

FARRON In which case, they may escape or more probably they will be destroyed. Either way, the Federation need never know that you're here on the station. You can work here in peace and safety. (Waits) Well? What do you say? AVON I shall need to go back to the Liberator to collect a few things.

FARRON Good. You've made the right decision.

LEADER Pursuit leader to all crews. Full standby. Check all battle systems. Enemy contact estimated in one hour.

(Renor fastens Kayn's collar) KAYN Thank you.

AVON (V.O.) This is Avon, from XK seventy two. All right, Vila. Bring me across. Vila! Wake up, Vila. Vila! (Cally operates teleport)

RENOR I'm going to operate myself. KAYN You'll kill him. RENOR Well, at least I'll have tried! You call yourself a doctor? (Vila enters, handgun pointed at the doctors) VILA No, he calls himself a genius. KAYN Ah. VILA Alright, genius, time's up. KAYN I wondered how long it would take you. VILA Well, you can stop wondering and start operating. KAYN Why didn't Blake come himself? VILA Blake doesn't know anything about it. I thought it was better that way. He's got a conscience. He might not be prepared to kill you. KAYN And you are? VILA Yes. AVON If he isn't, I am. VILA How did you get here? AVON He sold us out to the Federation. Pursuit ships are only forty- five minutes away. VILA You going to operate or not? KAYN Alright. VILA I have a feeling that was too easy. KAYN Any attempt to move this ship while I'm operating will certainly result in this man's death. RENOR He's right. Vibration, accelleration, any movement at all, and it's all over. AVON (into com unit) Hold it, Blake. We can't leave yet.

LEADER Pursuit leader to all crews. Thirty minutes to contact.

BLAKE How soon can you complete? KAYN Thirty-five minutes. BLAKE Do it in twenty. KAYN Or you'll kill me. BLAKE Oh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you to your station. If you haven't completed your work -- KAYN Your threats don't bother me in the least, you know. BLAKE -- I shall destroy your hands. Twenty minutes. (He exits. Avon follows close upon.) KAYN Animals! Stupid destructive animals! RENOR Twenty minutes is more than enough time to complete. KAYN Are you defending their behavior? RENOR I can't defend ours!

(In teleport bay,Kayn shows Blake some pictures of the limiter) KAYN That's where the fault was, in the limiter, there. And there it is repaired. If you survive, so should he. BLAKE Is there any way we can thank you? KAYN You could try getting caught. AVON Ready? (He puts them across.) All right, Jenna, get us out of here.

JENNA Zen, reverse thrust, Standard point zero-one. ZEN Confirmed. JENNA Lateral one-eighty. ZEN Lateral one eighty. BLAKE I'll handle this Jenna. You can help Gan.

FERRON (into com unit) They'll take no further action without orders from me! KAYN You pathetic feeble-minded little beaurocrat. You going to let them get away?

FERRON You exceeded your authority, Professor Kayn. It was not your place to inform the Federation of their presence here. You violated the neutrality -- KAYN Damn your neutrality! (into com unit) Get me weaponry!

FERRON How dare you! I'm in command of this base. KAYN You have forfeited that command, Ferron, you gutless nothing. VOICE Weaponry.

FERRON Stop that, I tell you! Take no orders-- KAYN You struck my hand! (throttles Ferron, then strikes him with an object) VOICE Weaponry.

ZEN Battle computers project pursuit ships directly in Liberator's flight path. BLAKE Down zero one. Maintain heading and speed. Standard by eight. ZEN Plasma bolt launched. BLAKE Activate the force wall. AVON Activated. (first bolt shakes them up) ZEN Second bolt launched and running. BLAKE Bearing directly. VILA Missed! AVON It missed us, but it's still running.

VOICE Ferron! Plasma bolt bearing directly on XK seventy two. It's going to hit us. Instructions, please. Ferron! Ferron! Ferron! (XK seventy two is hit, and explodes)

AVON Say goodbye to one bolt hole. BLAKE That's not funny, Avon. AVON It wasn't meant to be. ZEN Pursuit ships are turning. BLAKE You know what to do. AVON Zen, increase speed to Standard by Eight.

BLAKE How do you feel? GAN I feel as if someone has been poking around inside my head-- with a foot. VILA We had to kick your brain a couple of times to get it started. GAN Only twice? They didn't remove the limiter. CALLY It was not possible. VILA They've modified it, though. Your ears glow in the dark, now. BLAKE Hey, let me know when you're ready for work. GAN Thanks. BLAKE Oh, by the way, welcome back. (general laughter)

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