Script for Games by Bill Lyons

(c) 1981 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 Frances Teagle & Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon Paul Darrow Vila Restal Michael Keating Servalan Jacqueline Pearce Del Tarrant Steven Pacey Dayna Mellanby Josette Simon Soolin Glynis Barber Orac Peter Tuddenham Slave Peter Tuddenham Belkov Stratford Johns Gambit Rosalind Bailey Gerren David Neal Computer Voice Michael Gaunt Guard James Harvey [Aboard Scorpio, docked at Xenon Base - Footage of a series of explosions are being shown on the monitor screen] AVON Well, that's one way of solving your energy crisis. DAYNA It's no joke Avon, thousands of people were killed. AVON They would have died anyway, Agravo was a worked out planet. The Federation does not spend time and credits for nothing. It would have been uneconomic to transfer anyone but key personnel. SOOLIN Do you think they planned that explosion? AVON Not this time. This was just a happy accident. But now the Federation is aware of the potential of Feldon power systems. Orac? ORAC Federation plans currently include operations on nine planets previously considered uninhabitable. TARRANT I've finished those drive modifications, do you want to take her her up for a test flight? AVON Later. TARRANT Preferably much later. I could do with some rest. VILA We all could. Is the lecture over? ORAC Feldon is the hardest known subject in the universe. AVON And currently the most valuable. VILA Go on, you're just getting interesting. ORAC It's extremely rare, traces found in the asteroid belt and on a few insignificant planets. Invariably prized as a precious stone until its commercial and industrial uses were discovered. Feldon concentrates energy. DAYNA Well so does a burning glass. So what? AVON That's not a bad analogy, but given the right conditions feldon is infinitely more efficient. SOOLIN Infinitely more efficient? AVON I use the word deliberately. TARRANT But did you use it accurately? AVON The Federation is investing two hundred billion credits on the project. For unlimited energy, I would say that that was cheap at the price. VILA So would I. Where? AVON Where what? VILA Where do we steal the Federation crystals from? [Avon smiles]

[Belkov's underground living quarters on Mecron Two - he is playing 3D chess (4 boards) with his computer, Gambit] GAMBIT Alarm signal from Orbiter. [Monitor screen shows Orbiter] BELKOV Yes I heard that, thank you Gambit. You really must try and learn that attack is the best method of defence. You've got yourself into a hopeless tangle here again, you know. GAMBIT Unauthorised personnel have entered Orbiter. We have visual contact. [Monitor screen shows Gerren and two companions entering Orbiter's vestibule] BELKOV I wish you'd concentrate on the game. The security systems are quite capable of coping, in fact, Orbiter's defence is a lot better than yours.

[Aboard Scorpio] VILA Of course, if this stuff does blow up planets by mistake, we're going to need to be a bit careful. I mean, do we need money that badly? I ask myself. TARRANT The crystals themselves are safe enough, I assume. AVON The Federation's mistake was to underestimate the system potential. So much energy built up that it became unstable. What you are now looking at is a blueprint of what the Mark Two version will look like. [a blueprint appears on the screen] It's a tiny power station, cheap to produce, small enough to transport in a cargo ship and capable of developing enough power to make a minus two-fifty degree planet workable. TARRANT What? Using energy from fairly distant stars concentrated through the crystals? Could you run a ship on it? AVON You could run anything on it in theory. That's why the Federation is staking so heavily. The consignment we are after is worth approximately nine hundred million. TARRANT Let's get one thing straight. We want it to use, not to sell. We've seen what it can do. We can't risk it getting back to the Federation. DAYNA Yes, agreed. VILA Not by me, it's not. You steal for your reasons, I'll steal for mine. SOOLIN Why not get it first and quarrel about it later? AVON This is not going to be easy. For one thing, the consignment has already been stolen - from the Federation, and they are not going to be pleased about it when they find out. Secondly, it is protected by a security system which is supposed to be impassable. VILA They're all supposed to impassable. AVON And thirdly... ORAC And thirdly, you may already have missed your chance. The following message has just come in from Sector Nine. AVON Dayna. [she opens channel, message appears on screen] DAYNA [Reading] "Federation security may reveal target, going in at once." AVON The fool! Get the ship ready for launch. VILA What happened to that rest we all needed? AVON It just got too damned expensive. [Shot of Scorpio revolving on launch pad]

[Belkov's quarters] BELKOV Eureka! Oh I really will have to reprogram you again, you don't last any time at all these days. Well, are you going to resign on this last one? Or do we have to go through the motions? GAMBIT There are three hundred and eighty possible endings from this position, defeat is by no means inevitable. BELKOV Have it your own way. We both know you've lost.

[Orbiter - one of Gerren's men presses a button on the wall, revealing a monitor screen. A message appears on the screen PLAYER ONE COMMENCE IN TWENTY SECONDS. An overhead sign flashes GAME START, then screen displays message ARM YOURSELF. He takes the electronic pistol from its wall holder - cut to Belkov laughing as he watches his monitor - man moves to position and waits. When the monitor shows his opponent, he is taken aback, it is a simulation of himself. The figure on the screen fires faster than he does and he falls dead. Screen display PLAYER ONE SCORE, 00]

COMPUTER Next player please. [Screen display - PLAYER TWO COMMENCE IN - ] BELKOV Obviously not a natural games player. Well you've either got it, or you haven't, I suppose. GAMBIT I suppose.

[Second player takes pistol from first and goes to position. He outshoots the screen simulant on his first shot, but is killed at the second try.

Screen display - PLAYER TWO SCORE, 76


COMPUTER Next player please.

[Gerren makes for the door, his screen simulant tracks him and fires. Gerren falls wounded and crawls out. Overhead sign flashes GAME OVER. Belkov turns his attention to the chess monitors, Gambit has made another move.]

BELKOV Oh not bad, not bad at all. You're beginning to get sneaky. I like that. GAMBIT Do you want to resign now? Or shall we go through the motions? [Belkov laughs]

[Scorpio in flight] DAYNA So, Avon, are you going to tell us what's going on now? AVON I didn't think we would have to move on this so soon. SOOLIN And that made it unnecessary to tell us? TARRANT And in the meantime you were doing deals with outsiders. AVON There were no deals and there were no risks. TARRANT Well, what about the message? The man who sent that knows where the base is, and that's a risk. AVON He has no idea where the base is. All messages were beamed via an obsolete communications beacon in Sector Four. DAYNA So who is he, this partner we didn't know we had? AVON His name is Gerren. Academician Gerren.

[Voice over as Gerren's spacecraft is shown on the move] GERREN Seriously wounded, I need help. I repeat, Gerren calling Scorpio - Avon, if you're coming to the rendezvous, hurry!

[Scorpio. Tarrant materialises in teleport, supporting Gerren] TARRANT He's been shot. SOOLIN He looks bad. [They help Gerren onto a reclining chair and begin first aid] TARRANT Why should this middle-aged Federation professor want to help you, Avon? AVON Because apart from being a brilliant geologist and an expert in mining techniques he is also greedy, avaricious, and a crook. VILA Has he got any faults? SOOLIN How do you know so much about him? AVON I got Orac to tap the Federation data banks for information concerning the feldon project. Gerren is part of the survey team. TARRANT It sounds respectable enough. AVON He was working on a deep space project, searching out mining planets. If you run the relevant sets of figures together you will see that he delayed his information just long enough to manipulate the Commodities Market. VILA That's not really crooked. AVON You tell that to his Federation masters. SOOLIN Is that what you threatened to do? AVON I merely reminded him that since I got the information from the Federation computers, somebody else might also piece it together, in which case he would find himself in a penal colony. DAYNA So you blackmailed him. AVON Naturally. DAYNA He's coming round. [Gerren revives] AVON Gerren, that was a damfool thing to do. You could have ruined everything. GERREN Didn't have much choice. The Federation smelled a rat. I wanted to get the stuff out before their team arrived. AVON You should leave that sort of thing to us. GERREN Told you, there was no time. Besides, from what I've heard, she might be more than a match for you. AVON Well now. Just who are they sending?

[A quarry on Mecron Two, Mecronians in `monastic habits' and visors are quarrying stone. Servalan arrives with five Federation guards, she detaches two of them to watch the quarry and accompanied by the others, goes to an entrance in the rock face - cut to Belkov's monitor screen tracking her]

GAMBIT Your move. BELKOV Oh, I must greet our opponents, Gambit. I'm glad to see they're punctual at least. [Servalan and her guards enter] Oh, we're honoured by your visit, Commissioner Sleer.

SERVALAN I wouldn't call it a visit Belkov, that makes it sound like a holiday, which it isn't. And I doubt whether you'll feel honoured by the time I've finished with you. You've been placed under house arrest, pending the results of my investigations. BELKOV Yes, well Mecron Two is a very strange planet. You'll find it difficult to investigate without my help.

SERVALAN I could have you executed on the spot, you know. BELKOV Yes, that is true, but that would guarantee you didn't get the feldon crystals and that wouldn't enhance your reputation with the Federation, would it? By the way, what am I being arrested for?

SERVALAN Production has been consistently below target. Your excuses have been, to say the least, evasive. Accidents to members of the previous survey team for which we have yet to receive satisfactory explanations. BELKOV But inspector, this is a strange planet, we're working under difficulties.

SERVALAN This isn't a game Belkov. We want those crystals and we want them now. BELKOV And I'm the only one who can get them for you. It is a game Commissioner, and I hold the winning hand.

SERVALAN No hand is a winning hand until it's played, Belkov. You should know that.

[Scorpio] SOOLIN We've still got one advantage, she doesn't know about the crystals Belkov has hidden in the Orbiter. We do. VILA It didn't do Gerren and his friends much good, did it? DAYNA Well no, but Soolin's right though, Servalan will be more worried about the mining, the stuff they're digging up now, won't she? GERREN Unfortunately, they're not digging up anything much. There's virtually no feldon left. Belkov's milked this planet for twelve good years, now he knows the game's up, he wants to use the crystals to buy survival. AVON So he'll do a deal. TARRANT With Servalan? GERREN He'll certainly try. TARRANT I wish him luck. VILA So do I. "Why deal when you can steal?" isn't just my motto. [Avon smiles.] GERREN It's not that easy, the ship's stacked with booby traps. We couldn't get past the first one. SLAVE Master. AVON Yes Slave? SLAVE There appears to be someone on Mecron Two attempting to make contact with us, Master. DAYNA There shouldn't be anyone there who knows we're coming. SLAVE They seem to be getting impatient. AVON Who does? SLAVE I fear I am unable to identify them Master. I regret this failure most bitterly. AVON Orac? ORAC The message is coming via a Federation class Alpha One Nine Seven computer. It appears to have been modified in rather extraordinary ways. AVON Spare us the technical details, just give us the message. ORAC It offers visual contact. Do we accept? TARRANT Well since they obviously know us and we don't know them... AVON Quite. All right Dayna. [she makes screen contact, Belkov appears] BELKOV Ah, good day to you. GERREN Belkov!! BELKOV Gerren? GERREN Yes. BELKOV Oh, so you survived. Oh, well done! Ah, but no points for you, I fear. I shall have to mark you down as "retired hurt". AVON Can we get to the point? BELKOV Yes, perhaps you're right. It wouldn't do either of us any good if that Federation squadron picked us up. I have jammed them on this frequency of course. DAYNA Oh, considerate. SOOLIN What exactly do you want? BELKOV Rescue. TARRANT From whom? BELKOV Well, I've been placed under house arrest. There are a number of faceless Federation guards marching around my corridors. I want you to get me off this planet safely, before things get worse. VILA What's in it for us? BELKOV Half the feldon crystals in my ship Orbiter. AVON What guarantee do we have that you'll give them to us? BELKOV Well, I imagine you'll kill me if I don't. AVON Well, we might kill you anyway and take them all. BELKOV Well, I'll just have to trust you, won't I? GERREN He doesn't usually trust anyone. SOOLIN So what makes us so appealing? BELKOV Well, I do have one or two good cards to play, I suppose. AVON For instance? BELKOV You're on an approach which takes you below the Mecron moons and Orbiter. AVON Yes. BELKOV Well, as you probably know, Orbiter is powered through feldon crystals. By using them and reflectors on the moon I could set up a series of force fields. You'd find getting away from this planet a lot harder than getting to it. AVON Multiple traction beams. BELKOV Exactly. TARRANT Powerful enough to stop a ship leaving orbit? I don't believe it. BELKOV Your friend Avon does. [an alarm buzzer sounds] Oh, I have a visitor approaching. Don't be too long. [he breaks contact] VILA Well, what do you think? DAYNA I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. VILA That wouldn't be far. GERREN As I see it, we don't have much choice. AVON Which is exactly the way he wants you to see it.

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan enters with guards]

SERVALAN Four of my men have been murdered. BELKOV Yes, I did try to warn you, but you didn't give me much opportunity.

SERVALAN What do you mean? BELKOV Well, the locals do have some rather nasty habits. Ritual murder is only one of them.

SERVALAN You never mentioned this in your reports. You could have had backup forces. BELKOV I didn't need backup. I managed things for myself. I came to an agreement with the Mecronians.

SERVALAN Did this agreement include the killing of my men? BELKOV Oh of course not.

SERVALAN Of course not! BELKOV Look, d'you realize the problems I had setting up this entire mining operation? Theirs is a very ancient civilization, you know.

SERVALAN I didn't come here for a history lesson. BELKOV It is relevant! [showing Servalan a crystal necklace in a glass case] The Mecronian high priests used these as a symbol of their power. Now there is a legend about the feldon necklaces. A chief once stole one, the gods became angry and struck him down. Of course, the gods' anger was merely an electrical storm in which a hunk of polished feldon crystals that size would absorb enough energy to blow holes in any number of recalcitrant chiefs.

SERVALAN How fascinating. BELKOV Yes, but you see, the priests have been cashing in on this piece of luck for generations, so I decided to join them. I said their gods had sent me to collect the crystals. Well, not unnaturally, they were not particularly impressed, well not at first anyway.

SERVALAN I can imagine. BELKOV So I borrowed a necklace. All it needed then was a well-placed remote-controlled laser rifle to ensure that only the chosen one could wear it. After six of them had died in the attempt, they found my survival quite miraculous.

SERVALAN Your survival is becoming more miraculous by the moment. Just what sort of swindle are you working? BELKOV I beg your pardon!

SERVALAN On your own original estimates, you've delivered half the expected yield from this mine. Where's the rest? Either it never existed, which is fraud, or you've stolen it. It's a capital offence either way.

[Dayna, Tarrant, Gerren and Vila materialize on the rim of the quarry and look down on the workers]

TARRANT You'd better lead the way. Are you up to it? GERREN I'll be all right.

[They descend. At the bottom they see one of Servalan's guards in the entrance and Dayna fires at him. He collapses slowly and they go across to his body. Vila pulls a trangular knife from the dead man's back]

VILA Have you been improving the guns again? DAYNA Funny man. GERREN It's a Mecronian knife. VILA Not keen on visitors, then. TARRANT Good shot though. If he hadn't already been dead, you'd have saved our lives for certain. DAYNA Oh, do I get a prize? TARRANT Sorry, disqualified on a technicality. VILA I'd still rather not meet the owner of this too soon.

[Scorpio] AVON How long can Gerren stay on his feet? SOOLIN There's no telling - until the drug wears off. AVON Get ready to leave orbit. SOOLIN Leave orbit? AVON I don't mind playing games, but I do object when the opposition makes up the rules and decides to be the referee as well. I think we should try and even things up a bit. SOOLIN How? AVON Belkov trusts no one, which is a strength, because that means that no one can betray him. But it is also a weakness because it means that he is the only one who can defend what is his. SOOLIN So, he makes everything self-protecting, the booby traps, the force fields. AVON Exactly, everything automatic and therefore predictable, and therefore vulnerable. Slave! SLAVE Yes master? AVON I want you to compute a new orbit so that from the planet's surface, Scorpio is constantly eclipsed by the Orbiter. SLAVE Yes master. SOOLIN He'll be supsicious as soon as we move. AVON If we leave our present orbit, as far as he is concerned, we're pulling out - we're cutting our losses and we're running for it. He'll turn his attention to more important matters and leave his automatics to track us. Once we have that moon between us and the scanner, we can start back down again. Since his automatics won't be able to track us, they will merely inform him of what he thinks he already knows - we have gone. SOOLIN What happens to Tarrant and the others meantime? AVON Well, during the manoeuvre they are entirely on their own, but once we are back in our new orbit, the teleport system should function quite normally. Oh, it's a calculated risk. But at least you and I can be certain that we can get away when we want to.

[Mecron II - the quarry and reduction plant. Vila, Gerren and Tarrant are crouching behind a low wall]

VILA What's going on? GERREN High pressure reduction process. VILA Yeah, but what's going on? GERREN That's the pressure container. An electro-magnetic field produces such high pressure that everything except the feldon crystals is reduced to a fine dust. TARRANT [into bracelet] Avon - Avon. Avon, come in! It's no good, I still can't raise them. [Vila stands up to get a a better look. A guard sees him] GUARD Put down your weapons - slowly - in front of you. [they obey] TARRANT Well done Vila. VILA Sorry. GUARD This is a restricted area. GERREN I am Academician Gerren doing geological survey work for the Planetary Resources Commission. GUARD Papers? [Gerren hands them over] That seems to be order. You? [to Vila and Tarrant] GERREN They are part of my survey team. GUARD I still need to see their papers. VILA I seem to have left mine behind. GUARD Then I'm sure you wont object to being searched. Search him! [The other guard frisks Vila and finds the Mecronian knife] Four of our men have been killed with a knife like that. VILA You don't think - I mean, I'm not the violent type, really I'm not. GUARD Then why do you carry that? VILA I found it. GUARD Where? VILA It was stuck in one of your men. DAYNA [Popping up from behind a rock] Vila, down!! [she fires, killing the first guard, Tarrant throws the other into the pressure plant, there is an ominous puff of red dust] VILA Nasty way to go, all that dust, very bad for the chest.

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan's men are smashing the place up]

BELKOV I really must object. I mean, it's taken me years to get these things together, there's no point in your destroying them.

SERVALAN I asked for your co-operation, you wouldn't give it. BELKOV I'd hardly be stupid enough to hide a consignment of stolen crystals in here, now would I?

SERVALAN No? Where would you put them, then? [Belkov sniggers] Try the computer. BELKOV I wouldn't do that if I were you.

SERVALAN Go ahead. [guard opens a panel and is electrocuted] BELKOV I did warn him. You see, Gambit is programmed to defend itself. I really think co-operation would be the best idea for both of us.

SERVALAN That's what I've been offering you all along. BELKOV Well, I didn't find your terms very attractive.

SERVALAN What do you have in mind? BELKOV Well, first I think this gentleman should stop threatening me. Then I just want to get away from here safely, to have enough capital to continue my researches in peace, somewhere else.

SERVALAN You mean you expect the Federation to pay you for something you've already stolen from them. I think I'll just turn you over to my interrogation team. You'll give them what they want in the end. BELKOV I could tell you where you could get your hands on some outlaws, just as a sign of good faith, of course.

SERVALAN I'm listening. BELKOV Avon, Vila, Tarrant. I understand the Federation would like them put of circulation.

SERVALAN I don't believe you could deliver. BELKOV They're already here on the planet. You'd have them within twenty-four hours.

SERVALAN And the crystals? BELKOV Oh, they'd be part of the deal. Another triumph for Commissioner Sleer.

SERVALAN Perhaps we can do business after all. BELKOV Good, then without appearing to be greedy, I'd like to discuss the quesion of my payment first.

SERVALAN The Federation's been paying you for twelve years. I'd say you're lucky to get out with your life. BELKOV Oh, I wouldn't. I want Orac, my ship, and enough feldon crystals to negotiate my way round the galaxy.

SERVALAN Huh! BELKOV You're getting a bargain, and you know it.

[Outside the main door - Vila, Gerren and Tarrant are crouched watching Federation guards. Dayna appears on a ledge over the doorway and throws a Mecronian knofe at a guard. The section leader kneels by the body]

S.LEADER Guards! [he waves at the others to search the rocks. They go.] VILA Ah well, I got blamed for one of their killings. [Dayna drops down from the rocks, Tarrant clobbers the section leader. They go to the door] TARRANT Vila! Come on, as fast as you can, there won't be long. VILA I realize that. [Vila opens the security door] TARRANT Right! I want you to get into cover and wait. VILA Out here, alone?! TARRANT Belkov may double-cross us. VILA I should think that's highly likely. What d'you expect me to do about it, mount a one-man rescue? TARRANT Something like that. VILA They're after blood, my blood. DAYNA Tell them you've already given. TARRANT We need backup Vila. I don't like it any more than you do, but without Scorpio, you're it. Now go! [They enter, Vila closes the door and retreats to cover] VILA [into bracelet] Avon, come in Avon! Avon, if you're up there, please answer. This is not fun anymore. [Two more guards come by. One of them treads on Vila's hand as he hides]

[Scorpio] SLAVE You have achieved the new orbit with consummate skill, master. AVON Thank you Slave, I am releasing manual control. Watch out for any deviation in the Orbiter. SLAVE Yes, master. AVON Well, that should keep Belkov guessing. Now let us see if we can do anything about getting those crystals. [activates Orac] Orac! ORAC Yes, Avon? AVON Tell me everything you know about Belkov's One Nine Seven computer. ORAC You suggested I spared you the technical details. AVON Oh, don't sulk, Orac. I have a little more time now. ORAC The modifications are very extensive. It's inaccurate to call it a One Nine Seven anymore. It's really a sort of hybrid. For example, a whole section of its memory banks are from a PPC class unit. AVON A pleasure planet computer. That means it plays games. ORAC The total effect is a system which responds in what I can only describe as an eccentric manner. SOOLIN What does that mean? ORAC 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 A better definition, but still not quite accurate. AVON Would it know how the booby traps on the orbiter are programed? ORAC As yet, I don't have enough data to answer that question. AVON If it knew, could you extract the information from it? Come on! [Gives Orac a whack out of pique] That's a simple enough question. ORAC There might be problems. 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. 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. AVON So what we need is not the right answer, but the right question. SOOLIN And in circumstances where any mistake would prove fatal.

[Belkov's quarters]

BELKOV Do come in. [Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren enter] Your guns are quite unnecessary, unless you've an urgent reason for killing me, that is. TARRANT Oh, that's always a possibility. BELKOV There are a lot of Federation troops about, you might have noticed, and I did mention to Commissioner Sleer you might be dropping in. DAYNA Well that sounds like an urgent reason for killing you. BELKOV Yes, but you see, if you did, Gambit is programmed to raise the alarm. Wouldn't help me, I know, but it would ensure that you were captured and - kkkk - executed. [throat-cutting gesture] Look, I don't care if she gets the crystals or you do, I just want to get safely out of this place. TARRANT Well, we're not keen on staying here either. BELKOV Oh really? Can you explain why your friend Avon has taken your ship out of orbit? DAYNA That's not true. GERREN You couldn't raise him on the communicator? TARRANT Avon wouldn't run out on us. BELKOV I wish I had your faith in him. Still, whatever the reason, it calls for some slight change of plan. Are you still capable of piloting one of these Federation ships? TARRANT It's what I was trained for. BELKOV Good. Gambit.. GAMBIT Yes, Belkov. DAYNA Er, slow down! We'd like to know exactly what you are doing, so there can be no misunderstandings. BELKOV I was going to instruct Gambit to contact Commissioner Sleer, give her your position and advise her to take her men and arrest you. DAYNA You'll be dead before you get the first sentence out. BELKOV Well that would be a pity, you see, because the place I was going to send her is held to be sacred by the Mecronians. They're a primitive bunch, but they do take their religion rather seriously and if she goes marching in there with her men, she'll have a fight on her hands, at least long enough for us to steal one of her ships.


VILA [Into bracelet] Avon, Avon, are you up there? Avon, come in please. AVON [Voice over] Avon - go ahead Vila. VILA We've been trying to contact you for an hour. What the hell have you been doing, taking a nap? AVON [V.O.] I've been doing what we came for. How about you? VILA Oh nothing much, I've been shot at, trodden on, nearly captured twice [explosions from back of quarry, a man runs from the doorway with his clothes on fire] and now I think they're trying to blow me up. A fairly average day. You know. [more explosions] What the hell's going on? AVON [V.O.] They're not aimed at you. VILA I wish you'd tell them that. Teleport me back up, will you? AVON [V.O.] Not yet, you've still got work to do. [another explosion]

[Outside a cave entrance]

SERVALAN They're hiding somewhere here. Find out what they know. [Guards enter cave, interrupting the religious ceremony. The Mecronians attack the guards, killing some. Servalan leaves]

[Scorpio - a chess game shows on Avon's monitor]

SOOLIN How long are we going to wait for those two? AVON As long as it takes. If Orac is going to get any information out of that machine, this is the way he's going to do it. SOOLIN Who's winning? ORAC We've both made sacrifices. AVON He means that Gambit is. ORAC A temporary advantage. AVON To an inferior computer? ORAC Which merely disguises my long-term strategy. AVON Let's forget your ego for the moment. Have you extracted any information that could be of use to us yet? ORAC Gambit has evolved into its present form over a period of years. AVON Well, that's true of all computers. You adapt them, you improve them. ORAC But these adaptations seem entirely haphazard. Some circuits have been added purely for amusement, others, the defence mechanisms for instance, are surprisingly complex. AVON But they all perform the same function. Belkov does not trust anyone except that machine. It is his bodyguard, his companion, his playmate... his friend, Orac. ORAC Oh! That implies an emotional tie, which is no part of a computer's function. AVON These adaptations, if they went in haphazardly, could they be removed the same way? ORAC A lot of them have been. There are circuits in the PPC section which serve no function at all now. It seems that games are added at a whim, and when the adaptor gets bored with them, taken out again. AVON So every function can be isolated and removed. ORAC Exactly. AVON Ah!

[Outside quarry - explosion, Federation guards run out of doorway]

AVON [V.O.] Vila. VILA Look, if you don't teleport me soon, it'll be too late, there are Federation guards everywhere, bombs going off... AVON [V.O.] That's just Belkov tidying things before he leaves. I'm going to bring you up. VILA About time. AVON [V.O.] As soon as you've collected a ciruit from his computer.

[Belkov's quarters - he is watching the destruction on his monitor with Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren ] GAMBIT Detonation series completed. BELKOV Thank you Gambit. It's time we left [they go out]

Outside - Vila stands up and walks to the doorway, passing Mecronian workers stumbling around in confusion. - cut to Belkov and the others in a corridor]

BELKOV It's a bit longer this way, but it's safer than going above ground. [They enter a room, Belkov stops by the door] Oh, we're right under the takeoff area here. [he points to the ceiling - while they are looking up, he slips out, locking the door] DAYNA Tarrant!! [she fires at the door] TARRANT Forget it Dayna, they're blast protection doors, both jammed from the outside. Well, we walked into that with our eyes open. DAYNA [into bracelet] Avon, this Day... TARRANT That won't work either, even if he's there, he couldn't hear us. We're under the launch area, remember? That's what this emergency blast protection's for. There's so much shielding up there, he wouldn't hear us if he was standing immediately overhead. DAYNA I don't understand. If Belkov wanted to give us to Servalan, why didn't he do it straight away? GERREN I think I can answer that. I've surveyed the whole of this planet and there's no feldon left. This new mining site was just another way of swindling credits out of the Federation. DAYNA So those bombs weren't just a diversion. GERREN No. He's hoping to destroy the evidence. TARRANT And when the dust settles, we're here to take the blame for sabotage as well as everything else.

[Belkov's quarters - Vila enters, he moves a chess piece on the top board]

VILA Gambit? Look, let's get one thing straight from the start, I don't mean you any harm, not personally. I'm sure you're a miracle of engineering and I bet you're not half as bad- tempered as Orac. I just want one of your circuits, that's all. Now you've got plenty to spare, so there's no need for us to get into a fight about it. [Vila ducks behind a cabinet as Belkov enters] BELKOV Gambit. GAMBIT Yes, Belkov? BELKOV Give me a security scan. GAMBIT Security scan operative. BELKOV Mining area? GAMBIT Three. [monitor shows dust and smoke] BELKOV Main entrance? GAMBIT Eleven. [screen shows closed security door] BELKOV What's Commissioner Sleer doing? GAMBIT Thirteen. BELKOV Tarrant and the others? GAMBIT Fourteen. [overhead shot of Tarrant & others trapped in room] BELKOV Orbiter? GAMBIT Twenty-one. [shot of empty vestibule] BELKOV Good, that's the lot. GAMBIT Security scan completed. BELKOV Gambit. GAMBIT Yes Belkov? BELKOV I'm leaving this planet. I have to, there's nothing for me here now. Prepare Alpha Three for takeoff. Start count down as soon as possible. GAMBIT Launching preparations under way. BELKOV [He becomes increasingly distressed and hesitant] I can't take you with me. I need you to finish off things here. When I'm clear of Mecron atmosphere, go to Condition Red. When all other tasks have been performed ... [he trails off] GAMBIT [Anxiously] Yes? BELKOV Look, I can't take you with me. You can see that, can't you? You're needed here, but you can't be left intact either. With all the trouble I've been to, to destroy the evidence, I can hardly leave you with memory banks full of it, can I? GAMBIT Is there some other function you wish me to carry out? BELKOV When all other tasks have been performed, go to self-destruct sequence as programmed. Gambit... GAMBIT Yes, Belkov? BELKOV I shall miss you. I don't suppose that concept could possibly mean anything to you. I just thought I'd mention it. [he leaves. Vila pops out of hiding] VILA Look, you'll probably say it's none of my business, but if anybody told me to kill myself for them, they'd get a short answer. [No answer] Are you just programmed to respond to Belkov? Can you hear me? Can you talk to me? GAMBIT Would you like to play something? I'm programmed for all games. VILA Ah, that's very kind of you madam, but not at the moment, thanks. Look, if you're programmed to defend yourself, surely you shouldn't self-destruct. GAMBIT The self-destruct sequence overrides all others. VILA That seems a bit of a waste. If you could let me have the circuit I mentioned, it'd be a sort of way for you to live on, wouldn't it? That'd be much better than being blanked out for ever. GAMBIT I must complete all tasks set. VILA Ah yes, of course, but - er - if you could let me have that circuit, and any chance of security scan fourteen again? GAMBIT Security scan fourteen [Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren appear on the screen] Do you require voice contact? VILA That wouldn't be a bad idea, and if you could open the door, that would be even better. [Gambit opens the blast doors] VILA [V.O.] Tarrant, this is your one-man backup team. I think it's time we got out of here. TARRANT Where are you Vila? VILA [V.O.] Belkov's living quarters. TARRANT We'll be right there.

Belkov's quarters - Vila removes a circuit board safely. Cut to Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren moving cautiously, guards appear and shots are exchanged. Vila shoots a guard from the doorway]

VILA [into bracelet] Avon, can you hear me, Avon? I don't believe this. Gambit! GAMBIT Yes, Vila? VILA Is there another way out of here? GAMBIT Scan seventeen [opens a secret door in the wall] This leads to the mining area. There is some damage, it is extensive, but not impassable. VILA We'll risk it.

[Dayna, Tarrant and Gerren, running through corridors, a Federation guard fires, bringing down Gerren. Dayna makes as if to help him, Tarrant pulls her away]

TARRANT Come on! Come on! [she runs after Tarrant, leaving Gerren]

[Outside - Vila, Tarrant and Dayna emerge from a cave entrance] VILA Avon, bring us up quick! [they teleport]

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan and guards are bending over Gerren, who is in a bad way]

SERVALAN Are you ready to explain why you betrayed your position of trust, Gerren? GERREN It was Belkov, h-he was the one who betrayed the Federation.

SERVALAN I see. And you've been associating with rebels in order to expose him, is that it? GERREN He didn't send back more than half the feldon that was mined. H-he kept it for himself. H-he's been doing it for years.

SERVALAN Odd how you never mentioned that before. GERREN All right, I admit I wanted to get in on it myself at first, but now...

SERVALAN But now you're frightened and you need medical help and you think information might save you. GERREN The-the crystals are in the orbiter, but Belkov's booby- trapped it so he thinks they're safe. The-There must be a-a a billion in crystals up there, m-m-maybe more.

SERVALAN Anything else?

[Orbiter - Avon, Soolin, Tarrant and Vila are in the vestibule, Vila is carrying Orac]

AVON Dayna, we're down safe in Orbiter and proceeding. GAMBIT [V.O.] Countdown twelve minutes twenty seconds and running. VILA What does that mean? 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] GAMBIT 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. TARRANT Stupid game. SOOLIN Not really. Finally a game worth playing. Stand back. [She takes position and fires successfully]

[Scorpio] DAYNA Yes, Slave? SLAVE Scan reveals several launchings from the planet's surface. Initial launch, small cargo vessel, Alpha Three. Subsequent launches confirm Federation pursuit ships. Bearings indicate all ships heading in this direction. DAYNA Thank you Slave. [into intercom] Avon! AVON [V.O.] Yes Dayna? DAYNA Keep it moving, company on its way.

[Orbiter] AVON We're doing our best. GAMBIT Final shot. The machine will outdraw you.

[Soolin fires and wins - monitor reads GAME OVER SCORE 100 very good!!! ------------ VILA No prize? AVON The prize is survival. [a door opens and they enter an inner cabin full of games machines] Orac, can you find out where we go from here? ORAC Sensors indicate that all the other games are laid against the outside hull of the ship, therefore logic suggests that only machine four could give access to any inner chamber. TARRANT This is based on an old LSF. SOOLIN LSF? TARRANT Yes, launch and flight simulator. I trained on one. VILA So you've had some practice, then. That's a bit of luck. TARRANT Well not exactly. These things chuck the lot at you, flying the real thing's nothing after one of these. GAMBIT Countdown eight minutes, still running. AVON Get on with it, Tarrant. TARRANT All right, all right! Taking her up. [he takes the joystick control and concentrates on the screen display]

[Scorpio] DAYNA Slave, what's the position of those Federation ships now? SLAVE The leading ship will be within firing range in one minute, Madam. DAYNA Thank you. SLAVE Do you wish me to begin evasive or offensive action? DAYNA No, not yet. [into intercom] Avon! AVON [V.O.] Yes Dayna? DAYNA I know you've got problems of your own, but those Federation ships could be firing on us in seconds. Any suggestions? AVON [V.O.] Just sit tight Dayna. The Orbiter is between you and them. My guess is that they're too interested in what's inside to risk hitting it.

[Orbiter - Tarrant's game is getting hectic, a collision occurs] TARRANT Damage report.

COMPUTER Retro-stabilizers out of action, slight fracture of radiation skin, reduction in pressure. Damage to energy banks makes landing decision imperative. Successful landing will score thirty percent more than stable orbit. Failure to achieve either forfeits all scores. Decide! TARRANT Orbit.

COMPUTER Orbit achieved. Points score, acceptable. [a panel opens revealing another door] GAMBIT Countdown five minutes, ten seconds and running. AVON Vila, what do you make of this? VILA It's a fingerprint lock. When it recognizes the print, it opens the door. It looks standard enough. AVON How long? VILA Half an hour or so and I could bypass it. AVON We don't have half an hour! VILA I know that, but unless you can cut off one of Belkov's fingers for me - just a minute? [he bends down and grabs Tarrant's foot] TARRANT Vila, what are you doing? VILA Dust! I need very fine dust [pats it off Tarrant's boot] That's probably half the guard you threw in that machine, Tarrant. In the old days, one of the ways of shifting suspicion, was by lifting fingerprints [he blows dust on table top and presses a piece of plastic on a fingerprint] There! Let's hope one of these is Belkov's. [he applies the piece of plastic to pressure plate on door, the door opens, showing a wall panel with monitor screen and keyboard] It worked! [Avon pushes him aside and gets to work on the keyboard] SOOLIN How many more of these have we got to go through? ORAC Gambit's circuits indicate that this is the final game. AVON This is the Orbiter's central guidance system. DAYNA [V.O.] Avon, if I'm supposed to be using you as a shield, I hope you realize you're moving out of orbit. AVON What?! [Shot of Orbiter moving away, disclosing Scorpio] Orac, what the hell is going on? Guidance system control is not functioning. ORAC 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 What about the feldon crystals? AVON Gambit? GAMBIT 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. AVON I calculate that the next star in the sequence is Cygnus XL. That's a black hole. GAMBIT That is correct. AVON Not exactly the entrance we were looking for. [Into bracelet] Dayna, we're ready for teleport. VILA What about the crystals? AVON There aren't any damned crystals. There never were any damned crystals. They're like everything else on this ship: a game. That's why the last one has to be impassable. We have got to get out of here! DAYNA Stand by.

[Belkov's spacecraft, Alpha Three, aproaching Orbiter, then Belkov's quarters and Gambit]

BELKOV [On monitor screen] Gambit. Can you hear me, Gambit? GAMBIT Yes, Belkov. BELKOV [O.M.S.] Position please. GAMBIT Your orbit is stable, you are approaching optimum departure co-ordinates. BELKOV [O.M.S.] Fine. Sever guidance links, give me automatic control. GAMBIT Beginning self-destruct sequence. BELKOV [O.M.S.] I need automatic control first. Gambit!V GAMBIT I am not able to give it to you. BELKOV [O.M.S.] I'll be killed if you don't. GAMBIT Not willing to give it to you. BELKOV [O.M.S.] Gambit!! GAMBIT Self-destruct sequence in progress. BELKOV [O.M.S.] I'm sorry. GAMBIT Goodbye, Belkov. BELKOV [O.M.S.] Ah, Gambit, this is no way to end our game. Lock my controls into Cygnus XL and Orbiter's. Please? GAMBIT Panels locked in. [Belkov laughs - screen goes blank as Gambit begins self- destruction sequence.]

[Shot of Belkov's spacecraft, then Scorpio - the crew reel from the shockwaves on an explosion]

GAMBIT [V.O.] Belkov has opened the door. AVON Into the black hole. That is an infinite power source for the feldon to draw upon. There is nothing that won't be dragged in. TARRANT Orac, if we pushed everything to the limit, could we raise enough power to pull away from it? ORAC Negative. AVON But a huge negative force a long way off could be balanced by a positive force close to the crystals. ORAC A somewhat simplistic theory. AVON Slave, I need all the power we can muster. Sacrifice everything except life support. Blast those feldon panels with everything we've got. VILA From this distance? You'll blow us up too!!

[Scorpio blasts Orbiter which disintegrates and disappears]

SOOLIN You've done it. DAYNA Yes, but what have you done? AVON Proved my somewhat simplistic theory, Orac. ORAC Apparently so. It would appear that positive and negative inputs were balanced by the feldon crystals. Indeed, the balance was so perfect, that they simply ceased to exist, along with everything in their immediate vicinity. TARRANT I'm glad we didn't get too close. DAYNA But after all that, we go home empty-handed. VILA Er, not entirely empty-handed. [produces Belkov's necklace] Well, I saw it lying about, seemed a pity not to take it. After all, Belkov won't be needing it where he's gone. AVON Let me see that. VILA I'd say the last game was mine, wouldn't you? AVON I have bad news for you, Vila. [smashes crystals with his gun butt] It's a fake. End game to Belkov. Script Index

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