Script for Power by Ben Steed

(c) 1981 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a partial dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Susan Schnitger, Micky DuPree and Frances Teagle.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon Vila Restal Del Tarrant Dayna Mellanby Soolin Orac Slave Gunn Sar Pella Kate Nina Cato Luxia

Uncredited: Assorted Hommiks

[Corridor near door of landing silo] VILA [runs instrument along door] Herculanium. TARRANT So you can't cut it-- VILA Can't cut it, burn it, blast it. DAYNA Can you open it? [Vila shrugs] TARRANT You can or you can't. VILA Very difficult. DAYNA Very necessary. TARRANT Why, unless of course you feel like living on nuts and berries for the rest of your life. VILA Eh? DAYNA Food, Vila. What we've got will last us maybe three weeks if you can't open that door. TARRANT We can't get back to Scorpio, and without that ship we're as much prisoners here as we were on Terminal.

[Hillside. Avon is hurrying along a path. He shoots a Hommik who was aiming a crossbow at him. He tries to shoot at two more but is out of ammunition. He runs pursued by them.]

[Corridor near door of landing silo] VILA [opens box on door] I'm not sure about this. [indicates a mechanism inside] At least I know it's a voice recognition input, but why is it just here? TARRANT Well, can't you bypass it? VILA No, they're foolproof. TARRANT Well, perhaps-- VILA And before you say it, they're Avon-proof, too. DAYNA I'll look for him anyway. TARRANT Yeah.

[Hillside. Avon is running from the Hommiks. Three Seskas observe from higher on the hillside. He crouches near a bush to use his communicator as the Hommiks shoot at him.] AVON Orac! Orac!

[Control room. Orac is sitting on a stand in the teleporter area. Dayna is using a monitor screen. She looks over when Orac begins to speak.] ORAC At the present stage of development, the chances of achieving critical restructure are less than eleven percent.

[Hillside] AVON Never mind that, Orac, I need teleport NOW. [He looks up to see a crossbow pointed at him within a foot.]

[Control room. Dayna has moved over to Orac.] ORAC Giving due consideration to the probabilities, I must assume that your request is a frivolous one. DAYNA What request? [speaking into bracelet wired to Orac] Avon, where are you? What do you want?

[Hillside] DAYNA [v.o] Avon, can you hear me? [A Hommik pulls the bracelet off Avon's arm and twists and crumples it.] Avon, can you hear-- [the sound breaks off]

[Control room] DAYNA Avon?

[Hillside. Avon is lying there unconscious. The Hommik drops his broken bracelet beside him.]

[Control room. Vila and Tarrant enter, speaking together.] VILA Well, there's always rodents of one sort or another. TARRANT I'm a growing lad, Vila. Rats are not the answer to my diet-- DAYNA [Makes a gesture to cut them off] Yes, but Orac, can you get a fix on him? ORAC The locator fixing device was an integral part of his transceiver which is no longer operating. TARRANT Problem? DAYNA Something's happened to Avon, and Orac's being difficult. ORAC I am not being difficult, but functioning according to request. VILA What happened to the transceiver? ORAC It is no longer functioning. TARRANT Yes, but why? ORAC There is a seventy two percent probability that it was damaged by a hostile agency. TARRANT What was the last thing he said? ORAC He requested immediate teleportation. DAYNA But the teleport doesn't work. ORAC Precisely. TARRANT Orac, give us a fix on Avon's last known position. ORAC Grid two nine zero by four two eight. DAYNA [Goes to monitor, works controls. The screen shows the empty hillside.] Nothing. TARRANT There, zoom in on that. [The screen zooms in on the broken bracelet.] Right, I'm going to take a look. DAYNA Yes, me, too. VILA What about me? TARRANT There's a door to open, remember? [exits] VILA And there's a lady with a gun wandering about, remember? DAYNA Soolin's nowhere on the base, Vila. You're safe. [exits] VILA [calling after them] Hey! If she's out on the surface, maybe she got Avon.

[On hillside. The three Seska watch as Avon is dragged away by some Hommiks.] LUXIA Who is he, do you think? PELLA He must have come in on Scorpio, there's no other way. KATE Should we check? PELLA I shall. You follow. [exits]

[Gunn Sar's room. He is lying on a table while Nina massages him.] CATO [Enters] Sir, we have the intruder. His equipment and gun. [Hands them to Gunn Sar.] GUNN SAR Oh, bring him in, bring him in. Let's see what you've got. [Starts to examine Avon's gear.] CATO [Calls out door] Bring him in. [Two Hommiks bring Avon in.] GUNN SAR Well, don't just stand there, woman. Bring meat! [shoves her] Ale! AVON [pulls his arms free of the Hommiks grip] You have a fetching way with women. GUNN SAR Who are you to address ME like some joker? AVON My name is Avon. GUNN SAR I don't care what you call yourself. I am Gunn Sar, chief of the Hommiks. I rule by right of challenge, which means I'm the biggest, toughest, meanest son of a Seska on this planet. AVON I believe you. GUNN SAR You'd better. [To Cato] What's the tally of challenges? CATO Twenty-five dead and one missing, sir. GUNN SAR [moves to speak to Cato more directly] Oh, come on, Cato. Don't quibble. Marquin fell backwards off the cliff. CATO Yes, sir. GUNN SAR So he's dead. Like, you can't say someone's missing as such. Not when they've taken a dive into a bottomless gorge. CATO No sir. GUNN SAR So, it's twenty-six dead. CATO The council ruled it was twenty-five, sir, and one missing. GUNN SAR [returns to face Avon] Twenty-five men lie dead who tried to stand against me. And one, if he's not still falling, is no more than a greasy spot on the rocks, right? AVON Impressive. GUNN SAR You killed two men. AVON If I'd known we were keeping score, I would have brought more ammunition. GUNN SAR [holds his fist up to Avon's face] What were you doing on my land? AVON YOUR land? GUNN SAR With instruments and tools, speaking devices. [holds up one of Avon's devices] A petrascope. AVON You know what it is? GUNN SAR What were you looking for? AVON Some crystals, nothing of any consequence. GUNN SAR What crystals? AVON Dynamon. GUNN SAR Dynamon? Dynamon? You look like a man. [Walks around Avon, looking him over] You smell like a man. AVON So? GUNN SAR So. What do you want with dynamon?

[On hillside] DAYNA Orac was right. [picks up the crushed bracelet] I'd say there was a hostile agency, wouldn't you? TARRANT [Calling loudly] Avon! Avon!

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila is attaching a cable to a device. Pella takes hold of the cable.] PELLA Shall I hold this out of the way? VILA Yes, thank you, If you wouldn't mind. [Realizes that there shouldn't be anyone else and turns to look, dropping the lance on his hand in his surprise] Aaaah! PELLA [laughs] I am sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. VILA I thought you were a lady gunfighter. Ohhh. Just a minute, who are you? Where do you come from? Ooohh. [cradles hand, blows on it.] PELLA Let me. [Takes his hand, strokes it] I am Pella, of the Seska people. Does this hurt? VILA It did. How did you get in? PELLA The secondary hatch was open. VILA Oh. PELLA [takes flat compact from pouch and opens it] Your hand is badly bruised. Here. [rubs ointment on Vila's hand] In ten minutes the pain AND the bruise will be gone. VILA Ah. PELLA Do you think you can open the door? VILA I can open the lock. PELLA And can you break the computer code? VILA No, but Avon can. [pause] You seem to know a lot about it? PELLA The only way off this planet is through that door. Where is Avon? VILA Outside. PELLA Are the others looking for him? VILA Yes, we think he may have had an accident. [pause] How do you know about the others? PELLA Your friend hasn't had an accident. He's in trouble. The Hommiks have taken him. VILA Hommiks? Is that bad? PELLA For Avon, very.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is lounging at the table, eating. Nina kneels to change his boots.] GUNN SAR So. You want dynamon crystals. AVON Yes. GUNN SAR They're rare. AVON So I've been told. GUNN SAR So rare, there aren't any. What there was have all been dug up. Right? AVON I'll take YOUR word for it. GUNN SAR Anyway, they're useless. Expensive baubles for the ladies. So, why do you want 'em? AVON My computer suggested they might be useful. GUNN SAR Huh! Your computer! Not your books or your mates or your woman or your assistant, but your computer. You talk to computers? You understand computers? AVON [Glances at instrument panel across the room] Don't you? GUNN SAR [To Nina] Watch what you're doing, you sniveling sack of offal! [Avon grabs the hand he has raised to strike her.] So. You want to be number twenty-seven. AVON [smiles] Don't you mean number twenty-six? GUNN SAR [to the other Hommiks] Go! Make preparation.

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila has mounted the lance on a stand and is adjusting its position.] VILA So there's two tribes, the Hommiks and the Seskas. PELLA The Seska are not a tribe. VILA Not too close. The gap is all connected with the thickness of the door. So what's the difference between Seskas and Hommiks? PELLA How do you know how thick it is? VILA By the stress pattern. PELLA I don't see anything. VILA Not without this you won't. [Picks up an instrument] PELLA Oh, I see. And what does that tell you? VILA The weight of the door. I know the height, the width, what it's made of, how dense it is. PELLA And the computer works it out? VILA Computer? Who needs computers? I just have to look at it. PELLA You must be very clever. VILA That's what I keep telling everyone. They even believed me in CF One. PELLA CF One? VILA A sort of academy, when I was a boy. They chose me as technical advisor for the escape. PELLA Escape? From an academy? VILA Perhaps academy was the wrong word. PELLA [indicating voice input box] What about this? VILA Ah. PELLA Do you know what it is? VILA Oh yes. I just don't know what it's for. PELLA And they didn't teach this in, ah, Academy? [laughs] There's a switch. When the door is closed, every forty-eight hours Dorian must say a code word to reset the timing. VILA Is that forty-eight hours Standard Time? PELLA Earth Standard Time. This planet is very like Earth, I think. That is why the Seska came here. VILA And what happens if Dorian doesn't reset the switch? PELLA There's a nuclear compression charge. VILA Yes, there would be. PELLA The whole base would psyoohh! [makes gesture to indicate an explosion] VILA Oh, well. [turns off the lance] Nuts and berries it is, then. PELLA Nuts and berries? VILA Or rodents. PELLA You speak like a Hommik. VILA What do you eat, then? PELLA WE have a hydroponic dome. VILA And the nutrients? PELLA Dorian brings them from Onus Two. VILA Well, you better start thinking nuts and berries, then. Dorian's dead. PELLA Dead? VILA Two hundred years, but he made it in the end. I didn't think anyone would be sorry. Least of all me. [Looks at door] This could go at any time, couldn't it? [jumps as an electronic chime sounds] PELLA [Takes out an instrument and adjusts it.] I must go. VILA No, wait, what about this. Pella-- [Catches her by the arm. She stares at him and he gasps with pain and is flung back onto the floor.] PELLA I'm sorry, Vila, truly, but I must go. [exits] VILA [to himself] Don't let me stop you.

[Hillside. Kate and Luxia are waiting as Pella joins them.] KATE Pella, quickly, you must hurry. The others are at the main entrance. [All three hurry off.]

[At main hatch. Tarrant and Dayna run up. Tarrant pushes some buttons on the lock.] TARRANT Orac knows more than he's saying. DAYNA So what do we do? You can't put thumbscrews on a computer. TARRANT Oh, he'll answer. [The hatch opens] We just have to ask the right questions, that's all. [They enter and the hatch starts to close.]

[Corridor. Vila comes up to join Tarrant and Dayna.] VILA Did you see her? TARRANT Who? VILA Pella, a young woman. She was here a moment ago. [The next two lines are delivered simultaneously.] DAYNA What are you talking about? TARRANT Nobody just passed us. VILA We've got to get out of here, this whole place could, there's a nuclear compression charge, we've got to move-- DAYNA Vila! TARRANT Calm down, Vila, take it easy. VILA It could go at any time! TARRANT Let's just take one thing at a time. This young woman--

[The arena area outside the Hommik building. A group of Hommiks are standing about. There is a stone table with an assortment of bladed weapons laid out on it, and nearby there is a rectangular metal column. Two Hommiks bring in Avon.] GUNN SAR I am Gunn Sar, slayer of Mavarik, Lord of the Hommiks. I rule by the strength of my right arm and by my left arm and by the... [He runs out of arms. He leans over and a Hommik whispers in his ear. Avon smiles broadly.] When Gunn Sar dies in combat, the victor is Lord. HOMMIKS Hurray! GUNN SAR [Walks over to Avon] I've got to say all that. AVON Tradition. GUNN SAR Well, old Mavarik was sixty-three. He had it coming anyway. [hands his coat to a Hommik] Gunn Sar will live! HOMMIKS Gunn Sar will live! GUNN SAR Pick a weapon. AVON I'll have a neutron blaster. GUNN SAR [Looks at an advisor, who shakes his head] No neutron blasters. AVON In that case I'll have a glove. GUNN SAR A glove? AVON A glove. [removes his jacket] GUNN SAR [gestures to a Hommik] A glove. [The Hommik hands Avon his gloves and Avon puts on the right one. Gunn Sar selects a broadsword. While Avon is still adjusting his glove Gunn Sar shoulders him to the ground and tries to stab him with the sword, but Avon manages to dodge the thrust. They fight, with Avon dodging Gunn Sar's swings and occasionally getting in a karate chop or a blow with his knee. Throughout various Hommiks yell encouragement: "Kill him!", "Get him, Gunn Sar!", and so on. Avon pops open a hatch in the metal column and pulls out a nozzle on a power lead. He fires this at Gunn Sar's weapon and the blade breaks off and lies on the ground burning, to Gunn Sar's amazement.] AVON [Pointing nozzle at Gunn Sar] An ordinary domestic heliofusion rod. You haven't seen one, have you? GUNN SAR Don't! AVON All that underground heat, light, power ... and you never considered where it came from? [A Hommik sneaks up behind Avon. Gunn Sar gives him the nod and he drops Avon with a blow to the head.] GUNN SAR Put that thing back where it came from. Use his glove.

[On the hillside] PELLA The one being held by the Hommiks is called Avon. KATE Well, does he concern us? PELLA Our future depends on him. Dorian is dead. LUXIA Dead? But the Scorpio... PELLA Without Avon, the Scorpio is lost.

[Cell. Avon in dropped there, unconscious.] GUNN SAR [to a Hommik] Watch him. HOMMIK Right. [All the Hommiks exit.]

[Control room. Tarrant and Vila are watching the monitor.] DAYNA [enters] I've checked the secondary hatch. Locked, from the inside. VILA So she used the main entrance. DAYNA WE used the main entrance. It was locked. Besides, if she came in that way she would have tripped the surveillance alarm. VILA Then she's still on the base. DAYNA I've checked. There's nobody here. VILA All right, I'm going mad. Comes of drinking and talking to myself. I could be lying, of course, have you considered that? TARRANT Vila, we're not accusing you of lying or going mad. We just want to know how she got out-- DAYNA IF she was here. TARRANT --and how she got in. VILA I told you the secondary hatch was open and she-- DAYNA It wasn't. I checked them both this morning. VILA [holds out hand] Well, look at this: I dropped the lance body right across it and the bruise-- TARRANT I can't see any bruise. VILA No. Must be brain warp. Think I'll just go off and die somewhere. [starts to exit] TARRANT Vila. VILA What? TARRANT The door. VILA Which door? TARRANT The door to the landing silo, how long before you free the lock? VILA Oh, that. I'll need to switch the lance on. Course we still need Avon. [Starts to exit, turns back] Have you ever seen a nuclear compression charge go off? Everything gets sucked in. It's like a mini black hole. Looks good. From a distance. [Exits slowly] DAYNA Do you think I should go with him in case-- TARRANT In case what? He has got brain warp? DAYNA Or a flask of booze. TARRANT No, leave him. [Changes monitor controls. The screen shows the three Seskas hurrying along.] DAYNA That makes a difference, doesn't it?

[On hillside. The three Seskas stop when they spot a Hommik on the ridge above them, turn to discover three more are behind them. The Hommiks are carrying neck clamps attached to poles.] PELLA If you get the chance, Kate, go.

[Corridor outside control room] DAYNA --it's all right, but I agree with Vila, I think we should get out of here. TARRANT Abandon Scorpio when there's every chance we can save her? Look, we don't know when the place is going up, we could have hours-- DAYNA Or even minutes. VILA Seconds. TARRANT If we can get through the door we can operate the switch manually-- VILA You mean pretend it's not there, just walk through it? TARRANT Well, that's what your Seska friend did with the hatches. Perhaps she can show us how it's done. DAYNA Tarrant, it's serious. TARRANT I'm being serious.

[Control room. Tarrant enters, followed by the other two.] TARRANT Orac, is it possible for a living person to pass through a solid hatch without there being any material disturbance. ORAC The process is called teleportation. DAYNA Oh, well, nothing like stating the obvious. TARRANT Could a person just teleport themselves as an act of will? ORAC No, unless directed by an outside agency, matter transmuted to energy will merely dissipate at random. VILA [Indicating teleport area] Could this have done it without us knowing? ORAC I am exploring the possibility. Without a co-radiating crystal to focus the beam, the mechanism will operate at point zero zero one percent efficiency. TARRANT Orac, a woman was inside this base and she's not inside it now. Given that the hatch remained locked from the inside, how would she get out? ORAC The logical alternatives are within the bounds of human reasoning. I suggest you consider them and leave me in peace to reflect on those matters which are not.

[Hillside. A Hommik pulls a bag over Pella's head.] CATO Hurry. [Another Hommik slips his clamp about her neck.] PELLA [muffled cries] No, let me go. No! [muffled cries] [Kate runs off, pausing twice to look back. A Hommik shoots her with a crossbow.] KATE Aiiiee! [The Hommiks lead Pella and Luxia off by their neck restraints.]

[Hillside. Kate pulls the crossbow bolt from her thigh and takes out her container of ointment.]

[Cell. Avon is lying face down, unmoving. Pella is brought in by three Hommiks. One releases her neck clamp and she falls to the floor. Two Hommiks exit.] CATO Don't get too comfortable now, we'll be back for you just as soon as the surgery is free. [Exits] PELLA [Pulls bag off her head, looks around and sees Avon lying there.] Avon? [When he doesn't react, she moves close to him and he rears up ready to give a karate chop. When he see her he pauses] You are Avon, aren't you? AVON Perhaps I was somewhere else when they introduced us. PELLA [Takes out her compact of ointment] You've been hurt. AVON Well, you could say that.

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Some sensors have been attached to the door and wires lead from them to Orac.] ORAC However, the nuclear compression charge is set to detonate in precisely three hours twenty-four minutes. TARRANT [To Vila] So you've got to get that door open fast. How long? VILA The lance will be through in about an hour. But there's still the computer code. We still need Avon. TARRANT Do we... Orac, can you interpret and break the computer code? ORAC The code sequence is the numerical value of the letters contained in the word "Narcissus." TARRANT [to Vila] No problem. [Vila nods, they turn and start to walk away.] ORAC However, the device has a secondary trip relay. When the door is opened, the charge will detonate automatically. TARRANT Are you telling us there's no way to reach that override switch? ORAC One way. The same way by which a woman passed through a hatch which was later seen to be locked from the inside. TARRANT How do we find that woman? ORAC The information you require is on the chronicle disks in the records locker. Now will you please return me to the control room where I have work to do.

[Cell. Pella is trying vainly to push the door open against the weight of an unconscious guard. She turns towards Avon.] PELLA Can you walk? AVON Very likely. [stands up] But just at the moment I can't think of too many places to go. PELLA There was a girl with me when we were captured. We've got to find her. She's very young. They're going to operate on her. And then on me. AVON Operate? Why? PELLA So that we will no longer be Seska. [touches her neckband] AVON Seska? PELLA When our spirit is broken, we give THEM sons. The daughters are left to die on the hillside. Sometimes we're unable to find them in time. The Hommiks are regressives. They reverted to primitive tribalism hundreds of years ago. It's all they know. Now please, if you care at all, will you help me with this door? AVON There's a large bolt on the other side. PELLA The door is open. AVON [Pushes on door] But there's something blocking it. [Pushes the door open forcing the body of the guard outside to roll aside.] Or should I say someone? [Looks at the unconscious guard and picks up a nearby rock] How do you suppose this happened? PELLA Please, we must hurry.

[In control room. A screen displays a still image of a woman.] VILA Have you notices that they're all women? So far we haven't seen a single men on these disks. DAYNA [enters from o.o.s.] These all that's left. It's as though history stops twenty years ago. This is the last. [hands disk to Tarrant] TARRANT Has Orac scanned them? DAYNA Mm, for all the good it does us. The only person he treats with any respect is Avon. [Tarrant inserts a disk.] NINA [On screen] Interim report concerning the last engagement in the battle for A-X ridge. At oh eight five three nine, defense losses numbered eighteen dead and seven taken. Estimated Hommik losses: zero. At oh eight six one one, a nucleic burster was released in the procreation vault contaminating the Seska seminal stocks. Survival threshold has been passed, with Seska strength now numbering ninety four, which includes fifty two infants. Maravik, conducting the Hommik deployment from the safety of his A-F hill HQ, has called for an unconditional surrender. A rejection is already being drafted, but there is a growing feeling among the Seska remnant that women, even with the power we have could never-- [An axe is chopped into her desk. The record ceases.] VILA The Seskas are women. All of them are women. TARRANT And presumably the Hommiks were men. Looks like it was a war between the sexes. DAYNA And the men were winning. VILA What's a nucleic burster? DAYNA A radiation flare. Very dirty. Last thing you'd want in a procreation chamber. TARRANT Wait a moment. [Rewinds disk for a moment] NINA [on screen] --conducting the Hommik deployment from the safety of his A-F hill HQ-- TARRANT [turns off recording] A-F hill? A-X ridge? VILA That's what the lady said. TARRANT Well, then we can trace it back, all we need is the original point of reference. One of us will have to ask Orac. [They look at each other. Dayna shakes her head.]

[Operating room. Nina places a Seska neckband in a dish then dabs a small wound on the back of Luxia's neck with a gauze pad. A Hommik guard is standing off to one side.] NINA I've finished. She'll sleep now. [Pella and Avon look through a window in the door. Nina spots them. Pella rushes in.] PELLA Nina, why have you done this? [The Hommik grabs at her but is thrown back by her power. Avon chops him unconscious.] Nina, what have they done to you? How could you be a part of this? AVON Pella, never mind. We're too late. Let's go. PELLA I can't leave Nina. Nina, come with us. We can escape. NINA And how would I live? PELLA We have food. You don't need the Hommiks. NINA Nor do I need Dorian. AVON Pella, come on! PELLA Dorian's dead. NINA Then so are you. Gunn Sar feeds me. Why should I leave? PELLA Because you are Seska. Nina, these people, they're good. We can get off this planet. NINA I don't want to get off the planet. I don't want to go anywhere. PELLA Nina -- AVON Pella! NINA Now please. I have my duties to attend to. PELLA I feel sorry for you, Nina. You were a Seska, but more than that, you were a great Seska. NINA And now, I am a woman. [exits] [Pella picks up the discarded neckband.] AVON I'll take that. PELLA It isn't yours. AVON Nor is it yours. But it doesn't really matter whose it is. Give it to me. PELLA No. AVON Then I'm going to have to take it. PELLA I don't want to hurt you, Avon. AVON [Grabs her wrist. The pain starts and he is thrown back a little way against the wall.] Oh, it's good. But it's not good enough. PELLA Don't make me do it again. AVON You must, though. Mustn't you? [Grabs her wrist again. After a moment, he lets go and staggers back a little, but he's not thrown back this time.] Oh, it hurts, Pella. But I will win. [Grabs her right wrist and hand in both his hands.] There's not much left, is there? PELLA Enough. AVON [Uses his grip on her hand to force her to the ground. Then he takes the neckband from her and puts it aside. He takes her by the shoulders and helps her back up again.] You see, Pella, it's your strength, and however you use it, a man's will always be greater. Unfair, perhaps, but biologically unavoidable. [He kisses her, then lets her go. She drops to the ground. He picks up the neckband.] I'm going now, Pella, before your friend Nina calls out the guard.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is embroidering a shirt. Nina enters.] GUNN SAR Is it done? NINA Yes, she's sleeping. GUNN SAR Any problems? NINA No. [pause] Oh, except your prisoners escaped. GUNN SAR WHAT? [starts to rise] NINA It's all right. They won't go far, I alerted security. GUNN SAR [contemptuously] Security. NINA The Seska's name is Pella. GUNN SAR So? NINA I remember her being born. GUNN SAR Hnn. NINA She asked me to go with them. GUNN SAR Go where? NINA Escape. GUNN SAR So. Why didn't you? [Nina crosses and kisses him on the head.]

[Hillside. Kate hides behind a rock as Tarrant, Dayna and Vila approach.] VILA How much further is it? TARRANT Fifteen minutes. VILA That'll leave us an hour and a half. And I'm tired already. DAYNA You didn't need to come, Vila. VILA I didn't need to stay. I get lonely, y'know. [They walk on. Kate starts to follow after them but spots a security camera and hides again.]

[Computer room. Cato is watching Tarrant, Dayna and Vila on a screen.] CATO [into a communicator] Security alert. Intruders at A-F forty-three. Approach and apprehend. AVON Interesting. CATO [turns to discover Avon standing there with a crossbow aimed at him.] How did you find this place? AVON There had to be a computer room. CATO But it's-- AVON Concealed? Yes, but then I've had a little experience in these things. Oh, by the way, I shouldn't rely too heavily on your security. It has ... [gestures with the crossbow] ... weaknesses. CATO Gunn Sar--? AVON Gunn Sar doesn't know. But Gunn Sar doesn't know a lot of things, does he? CATO He is our leader. AVON And a very good one, if a little.... CATO Stupid? AVON Well, I didn't like to say it. CATO He thinks we have scouts posted everywhere and runners. AVON Impractical. So why do YOU keep up the illusion? CATO For the Hommiks, the people. If they see this they'll want more. Hydroponic food, machines, neutron blasters. AVON [Smiles] And you don't have them to give. Because your civilization died a long time ago. CATO Yes. AVON What killed it? CATO A war. [Avon lowers the crossbow.] Everything was lost. Industry, people. Afterwards, the Council of Survivors decreed that we should start again, from the very beginning. Wooden tools, flint arrowheads, the wheel. Ten thousand years advancement destroyed in a day. AVON And this? [Indicates the room] CATO Overlooked. It's self-maintained. Powered by our sun, it will last forever. This generation, even Gunn Sar, believes it to be some kind of magic that keeps the chambers light and warm. A computer is like some ancient god to them. AVON What about the Seskas? CATO The Seskas? Why do you-- [Avon's arms bring the crossbow up and shoot him. Cato falls to the floor. Avon tosses the crossbow aside and kneels beside Cato.] CATO Why? [dies] PELLA [having entered unnoticed] Yes, Avon, why? AVON I didn't. PELLA Your finger was on the trigger. YOU killed him. AVON I didn't, Pella. But YOU did, didn't you? PELLA [A keyboard rises from the table behind Avon's back.] Yes, if you say so, Avon, I killed him. [The floating keyboard hits Avon on the head and he falls unconscious, dropping the neckband. She picks it up.] You are nothing more than a Hommik, Avon.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is playing with a large 3-D tic-tac-toe game. Nina and a Hommik enter.] NINA The guard have brought in some more intruders. GUNN SAR More? What is this, an invasion? Can't I have a minute's peace and recreation without intruders bursting in all the time? Well, don't just stand there. Bring them in, bring them in. HOMMIK [calls out door] Bring them in. [More Hommiks lead in Tarrant, Dayna and Vila.] GUNN SAR What do you want? VILA A second chance? TARRANT We're from-- GUNN SAR I don't care where you're from. I am Gunn Sar, chief of the Hommiks and I'm getting very weary of, of-- [Breaks off, confused.] Nina, where's Cato when I need him? NINA I'll bring him. [exits] GUNN SAR I am Gunn Sar, chief of all the Hommiks, I rule by right of challenge, and twenty six lie dead-- DAYNA So I challenge you. GUNN SAR What? DAYNA I challenge you. [pause] You rule by right of challenge. I challenge that rule. [Gunn Sar laughs.] TARRANT Not one of your better ideas, Dayna. DAYNA Do you accept my challenge? GUNN SAR Don't be foolish. You're, well, you're a-- DAYNA A woman? Yeeesss. Take a GOOD look. [punches him on the jaw.] GUNN SAR All right, woman, you just made a very big mistake.

[Corridor in Hommik dwelling. Kate grabs Nina, covering her mouth. She lets go when they recognize each other.] KATE Nina! NINA Kate! [Pause] But you're so-- You've grown up. KATE I thought you were dead. [They hug.] What are you doing here? NINA I'm the wife of Gunn Sar. KATE Wife? But you're a Seska. NINA No, I'm a woman. [Clanging starts] You must go, quickly. Soon there will be Hommiks everywhere. KATE What is that? What's happening? NINA It's a Call to the Arena. Someone has just been stupid enough to challenge my husband. [Both exit as Hommiks rush by.]

[Computer room. Nina finds Cato's body, then rolls the unconscious Avon over.]

[Combat area. The Hommiks are gathered, Vila and Tarrant stand nearby with their hands tied before them.] GUNN SAR [to Dayna] Choose your weapon. [Dayna scans the weapons and selects a dagger. Gunn Sar takes a dagger and a cudgel. They begin the fight, swinging and dodging each others blows. Throughout the fight the other Hommiks call out encouragement frequently: "Come on, Gun Sar", "Get her, Gun Sar", "Kill her", "Go on, Gunn Sar", "Get in there" and so forth. Kate is watching from the hill above. Pella joins her.] PELLA Sssh. I thought you were dead. KATE I nearly was. [The fight continues.] PELLA The black woman must win. KATE I know. [More shots of the fight. Dayna fights well until Gunn Sar gets her in a hold she is unable to break free of. The Hommiks laugh and cheer on Gunn Sar.] KATE Two Seskas and a woman against Gunn Sar? PELLA It is enough. [Gunn Sar is forcing Dayna to the ground. She is pushing back up at him] Now. [Gunn Sar's body flies backward violently. He hits his head against the metal box and slumps to the ground. As the Hommiks start to gather around him Dayna stares at her hands in disbelief.] TARRANT [comes up to Dayna] Don't make a fuss, Dayna. Just walk and keep on walking. [She does so, followed by Tarrant and Vila.]

[Computer room. Avon is watching this happen on a screen.]

[Gunn Sar's room. The Hommiks have laid his draped body on the table. Nina uncovers it, then weeps over him.] NINA Now the people shall leave this place, Gunn Sar. We shall seek a new home, far from here, a new way of life. [Continues to weep.]

[Control room. Tarrant, Dayna and Vila enter. Vila holds a timer and checks it continually throughout the scene.] TARRANT Orac, in sixteen minutes this base will be destroyed and you with it. Is there anything logically more important than trying to stop that happening? ORAC Yes. The most logical course of action is to transport me to safety with all due urgency. VILA He's groveling! TARRANT We're not going anywhere, Orac, until you give me straight answers to two questions. One, how did the Seska woman get out of here? And two, how does that method enable us to deactivate the nuclear compression charge? ORAC Answers. One, the woman made her exit via the secondary hatch. TARRANT It was locked from the inside. ORAC The hatch was unlocked and locked again from the outside by telekinesis. TARRANT [disbelieving] Telekinesis? ORAC The power to move objects at a distance using only the mind-- DAYNA [Cutting him off] Yes, we know what it means. ORAC And yet you fail to see it as the only logical explanation and the means by which the manual override switch may be operated to cancel the nuclear compression charge. Now, will you kindly remove me to a place not closer than seven hundred and forty two meters from the launch chamber door. TARRANT Orac, telekinesis doesn't work, it's a myth. The human brain doesn't generate enough energy. ORAC The human brain does not need to generate energy. There is adequate energy elsewhere in the body. The brain merely directs it, given the ingrafted co- radiating crystal necessary to focus the beam. PELLA That's a very clever machine. [They turn to find Pella and Kate have entered unnoticed.] VILA Pella! TARRANT No need to ask how you got in. PELLA [smiles] Telekinesis. KATE We apologize for startling you, but there isn't much time. VILA Thirteen minutes. PELLA Shall we go? TARRANT Wait. Why should you care? DAYNA Does it matter? PELLA We care because the Scorpio is our only contact with civilization. KATE Without it, we become like the Hommiks. We need nutrients for our food process. TARRANT Now let's just be clear about this. The Scorpio is our ship. VILA Twelve minutes! DAYNA Tarrant, if that charge goes off it won't be anybody's ship. PELLA In return for nutrients, we offer what we offered Dorian: technical assistance. The Seska are specialists in tele-ergonomics and energy transference. TARRANT What, a teleport system of point oh oh three -- DAYNA Tarrant! TARRANT -- percent efficiency? KATE It's a matter of time, that's all. The teleport is difficult. The Seska have worked on it for generations. TARRANT How many Seska are there? PELLA We are the Seska. VILA Eleven minutes! TARRANT Yes, but what about the others? PELLA There aren't any others. Last week we were five. This morning, three. And now we are two. VILA Ten and three-quarter minutes! TARRANT Let's go.

[Hillside. Avon runs along.]

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila finishes using the lance while still holding the timer and turns to face the others.] VILA The lock is free. Nine and a half minutes. Just do your business with your tele-whatever. Have you ever seen a nuclear black hole go off? it's like a mini compression charge. Yes, I know I'm prattling. It's nerves. Nine and a quarter minutes.

[Control room] AVON [enters] Well, Orac? ORAC "Well" is not a question. AVON Don't play games. You know what I'm asking. ORAC The answer is yes. With qualifications. AVON Then qualify. ORAC The feat of calculation was prodigious, the result imperfect. AVON Degree of imperfection? ORAC Variably low. You will be required to perform circuit adjustments. AVON Of course. WHERE?

[Corridor near door of landing silo] PELLA [steps away from door] It's safe. VILA Is that it? PELLA Yes. VILA [touches the input box tentatively] It doesn't feel any different. PELLA Try it. VILA You haven't made any mistakes? PELLA No. VILA [to Tarrant] Try it. TARRANT [punches a series of keys] Numerical narcissus. [Nothing happens.] That's it. PELLA So why hasn't it opened? TARRANT I don't know. AVON I do. [They turn to find Avon leaning against the wall.] DAYNA Avon! AVON Narcissus is not the code word. Orac made it up. TARRANT Why? AVON Because that was my instruction. DAYNA You told Orac not to crack the code? TARRANT Why do that? AVON For much the same reason as Dorian. I didn't like the idea of Scorpio taking off without me. I'm sorry to spoil your plan, Pella. PELLA Be careful, Avon. I can very easily reset the detonator switch. AVON But you can't change the timing. TARRANT What is all this about? AVON Pella's ambition to take Scorpio. TARRANT What makes you think that? AVON On the inside of the landing silo there's a wheel that can be used to crank open this door manually. VILA [nods] Standard safety precaution. AVON Use the wheel to open the door, and the nuclear compression charge won't detonate. Unfortunately for Pella, her telekinesis was never powerful enough to turn that wheel and her technical expertise couldn't develop a teleport system. KATE Oh, but she is developing-- PELLA Quiet, Kate! AVON No, that's what she told Dorian. That's why he's been feeding you. Dorian believed her too. VILA What about Orac? AVON Orac has been a little devious on my instruction. Ever since I discovered that Dorian's last attempt at a teleport was really a tele-ergotron. TARRANT What is a tele-ergotron? AVON The controlled direction of pure energy, in this case directed by Pella at the wheel inside the landing silo. PELLA You've got a good brain, Avon. [Produces a gun and points it at Avon.] So use it. Open the door. KATE What are you doing, Pella? [starts forward] DAYNA [stops her] No. PELLA Keep out of this, Kate. That ship is mine. AVON Kill me and you'll never get to it. PELLA [Points the gun at Dayna] Open the door, Avon. AVON That's an interesting choice of hostage. PELLA The door! [Avon crosses to the door, punches four keys then shuts the panel door. The door opens.] KATE Stop it, Pella! [Kate rushes at Pella, who shoots her dead. Pella enters the launch silo and the door closes before the others can rush in. Avon takes the crystal from Kate's neckband.]

[Inside silo. The Scorpio's turntable begins to turn and rise.]

[Control room] AVON All right, Orac, where does the crystal go? ORAC There is a cavity immediately behind the forward lens mechanism. AVON [goes to teleport area] Will it work? ORAC There is a high probability. AVON But you're not prepared to put a figure on it? ORAC No. [An electronic signal] VILA The launch doors are open. TARRANT Dayna, surveillance. AVON Orac, the coordinates might change suddenly. [Starts to insert the crystal into a small housing box.] ORAC It is logical to assume so. DAYNA Launch thrusters are running. ORAC Tracking on. DAYNA I've got the count down. [Slave counts down in the background, from 12.] TARRANT That's Slave. AVON Orac made contact and has overridden the security program. Slave responds to anyone on the flight deck now. [Slips the housing box back into the teleporter.]

[The countdown reaches zero. The Scorpio emerges from the cave mouth.]

[Control room] DAYNA Launched. AVON [accepts a gun from Tarrant] Still tracking, Orac? ORAC Of course. AVON All right, Orac. [Crosses to stand in the teleport area with gun in hand] GO! [He vanishes]

[Flight deck of the Scorpio. Avon materializes. Pella sees him and shoots as he ducks behind a panel. He fires back, hitting her. He crosses to her, aiming his gun at her head] PELLA That always was the easy answer for the man -- the Hommik! AVON If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question. [She grimaces with pain and dies.]

[Control room] AVON [v.o.] Xenon base, this is Scorpio. DAYNA [into communicator] We hear you, Avon. AVON [v.o.] Everything's under control. Why don't you join me? DAYNA How? AVON [v.o.] Just tell Orac what you want. TARRANT That hasn't done us much good so far.

[Flight deck] AVON [to himself, looking 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] Oh, that's very good. You may turn out to be my kind of computer after all. [Dayna and Tarrant materialize in the teleport area.]

[Control room, Xenon base. Vila is standing alone in the teleport area.] ORAC I did not guarantee one hundred percent success. VILA Why is it always me? SOOLIN Seems fairly obvious from where I'm standing. [Vila looks over at Soolin, who has entered unnoticed]

DAYNA [into communicator] Vila, are you all right? VILA [v.o.] Yes, um, listen, what do you think about having an extra person around for a while, to .... sort of help out, and so on. What do you think? AVON [reseats ammo clip in his gun] I think Soolin just came out of hiding. TARRANT [into communicator] Who are you talking about, Vila? [Vila and Soolin materialize in the Scorpio's teleport area.] SOOLIN He's talking about me. TARRANT You want to join us, is that it? DAYNA Why? SOOLIN Why not? Dorian's dead. AVON You give your allegiance easily? SOOLIN I don't give my allegiance at all. I sell my skill. [She whips out her gun. Avon is holding his aimed at her.]

Script Index

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