Script for Rescue
by Chris Boucher
(c) 1977 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)1994 by Caroljean Hanson and Micky DuPree.
Chris Bouchers original script had several additional bits, there are links to these where appropriate.
Kerr Avon Cally Vila Restal Dayna Mellanby Del Tarrant Orac Dorian Soolin Creature
Uncredited: Slave [Planet Terminal. Exterior. There is a continuous background sound, a throbbing, much like a heartbeat. Avon is kneeling on snow covered ground. He scans the terrain below with binoculars. Dayna is squatting beside him, a federation assault weapon on the ground beside her.]
DAYNA Servalan told us it was an old ship.
AVON It's what she didn't tell us that interests me.
DAYNA (picks up the Federation assault weapon) There's something moving down there.
DAYNA By the main lock.
AVON (looks through binoculars) (v.o.) It's just a link.
[Exterior. A portion of a space craft is visible. The main hatch is open. A dark, furry biped climbs into the ship through the hatchway.]
AVON (v.o.) It's going in. (rises and starts to run) Move.
[Exterior. Snow covered ground. Dayna rises and follows Avon. They run. There is an explosion.]
AVON Down. (lies flat on the ground)
[Dayna lies flat beside him. He shields her.]
AVON Cover your eyes.
[Explosions continue. Debris begins to fall around them. Explosions subside.]
AVON (sits up) So much for what Servalan didn't tell us.
DAYNA It's quite a booby trap.
AVON Half a booby trap to be exact. Come on, let's go. (rises)
DAYNA Half a booby trap?
AVON I don't imagine she would mine the ship and leave the living quarters intact.
DAYNA (rises) We've got to warn the others.
AVON Take it slowly, Dayna.
AVON It's going to be no help to them if we walk into something hungry on the way back.
DAYNA I don't intend to walk into anything.
AVON Don't be stupid.
DAYNA Get out of my way, Avon.
[Avon steps aside and lets her pass.]
DAYNA (calls over her shoulder as she moves off) I'll see you at the base.
AVON (watches her go) I doubt it.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. Another stretch of snow covered ground. Dayna moves hurriedly. There is an animal shriek, loud and close. Dayna slips and loses her footing. She falls to the ground and a gigantic snake-like creature looms threateningly over her. There is the sound of a weapon discharging. The snake's head explodes.]
AVON Are you ready to take it slowly now?
DAYNA Don't you ever get bored with being right?
AVON Just with the rest of you being wrong. Try and keep a sharp lookout. We can't afford to waste any more ammunition.
DAYNA If you're right about the base...
AVON If I'm right about the base the charges will already have been triggered.
DAYNA What do you mean?
AVON Ultrasonic fuses keyed to pick up the explosion from that ship. That's how I would have done it.
DAYNA Well then they're already dead.
AVON Well, that's what we're going to find out.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. The entrance to the underground base. Vila is dragging an unconscious Tarrant out of the open entry and down the slight slope nearby.]
VILA (struggles with the inert form) Uh. Come on you great oaf. This is no time to take a nap.
[Vila drags Tarrant to safety and puts him down, sitting on the ground beside him.]
VILA If I've broken my back hauling a corpse about, I'll never forgive you Tarrant.
[Vila rises and returns to the entry. He looks down the shaft.]
VILA (calls, the sound echoing) Cally. Cally. (turns and starts back to Tarrant)
CALLY (v.o. weak) Vila.
VILA Cally. (runs back) Hang on Cally I'm coming. (climbs over the edge of the entry and begins to descend)
[The entry hatch begins to close on him. He scrambles out of the entrance. It closes and there is a series of explosions. He crawls back to Tarrant and shields him from the falling debris of the explosion.]
CALLY (v.o. scream) Blake.
[Space. Exterior. A freight ship called Scorpio is in flight.] [Scorpio. Interior, flight deck. A blonde man is the only occupant of the flight deck. His name is Dorian. He bends over to check something on the ship's instruments. Finished, he moves around the flight deck.]
SLAVE Yes, Master.
DORIAN How long before we make planet fall?
SLAVE One hour, Master. That is Earth standard time, of course. I hope that is satisfactory.
DORIAN (sits at one of the forward flight positions and manipulates controls) There's still no sign of the Liberator on our screen.
SLAVE I fear not, Master.
DORIAN (checks readouts) I'm getting a heavy radiation shadow. Focus looks to be zero zero one to our present heading. Check it.
SLAVE At once, Master. It appears to be the residual of an explosion, Master. An analysis of the radiation pattern suggests it could have happened near the planet of our dest... destination.
DORIAN And it generated a lot more power than the death of any normal ship would have done.
SLAVE You are correct as always, Master.
DORIAN Do you think it was the Liberator?
SLAVE Thought is beyond my humble capacities, Master.
[Space. Terminal is visible.]
[Planet terminal. Exterior, night. A crude camp has been made. A small fire burns in the center. Dayna, Tarrant and Avon are seated around the fire. Avon has Orac in his lap and is attempting to repair it.]
TARRANT Vila rescued me?
AVON You were injured trying to rescue Cally. He rescued you. Suddenly I am hip deep in heroes.
TARRANT Where is Cally?
AVON Cally is dead.
TARRANT Are you sure?
AVON (pause) Yes, I'm sure.
DAYNA He went back in.
TARRANT You wanted to be a hero too?
AVON We needed Orac. (disgusted, throws down tool into the interior of Orac) We still do.
VILA (enters carrying wood for the fire) Orac got a bit dented. For which he blames me. It seems I rescued the wrong one.
AVON First light, we'll make for the high ground to the south.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior, morning. Avon, Vila and Dayna move single file across the snow covered ground. Dayna is carrying Orac. Avon is in the lead. He carries the Federation gun. They halt.]
AVON Where's Tarrant?
VILA He was right behind us.
DAYNA I'll go back.
AVON Stay here.
VILA You wouldn't like to leave the gun?
AVON That's right, I wouldn't.
VILA I'll come with you then, shall I?
AVON Stay here. (moves in the direction from which they have come)
DAYNA (sets Orac down) You were supposed to be keeping an eye on Tarrant.
VILA I saved his life once. Am I supposed to make a career of it?
[Dayna starts to go ahead.]
VILA Where are you going?
DAYNA I want to see what's up ahead.
VILA Avon said to stay here.
DAYNA So stay here. (leaves)
[Planet Terminal. Avon is retracing their route, searching for Tarrant.]
[Planet Terminal. Vila is standing in the clearing, scanning the distance with the binoculars. There is the shriek of one of the snakes. Vila drops the binoculars.]
VILA Dayna. Dayna. (follows the path Dayna has taken. He leaves Orac and the binoculars on the ground in the snow.) Dayna.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. Avon finds Tarrant lying face down in the snow, unconscious. Avon walks over and nudges Tarrant with his boot. Tarrant stirs.]
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. There is a clearing. Vila runs in.]
VILA Dayna. Dayna.
DAYNA (v.o.) Vila. Help me quickly.
VILA Where are you?
DAYNA (v.o.) Over here.
VILA Coming (begins to run in the direction of her voice)
[Vila slips and falls over a ledge and slides down a slope. He grabs a root to slow his descent. Dayna is clinging to another root beside him. He screams as he falls.]
DAYNA That's a big help, Vila.
[Snake undulates and shrieks as it attempts to reach the two clinging to the slope.]
VILA Help. Help.
DAYNA Stop it, Vila. You'll have us both down there.
VILA Help. Help. Help. Help. This is all your fault, Dayna. Help. Help. Well, don't just hang there. Do something.
DAYNA Well, I'm open to suggestions.
DORIAN (from the top of cliff) That's what I like to hear.
VILA Get us out of here.
DAYNA Help. Please.
DORIAN Relax. Your problems are over. (draws a hand gun) [Planet Terminal. Exterior. Avon is crouched next to Tarrant. Tarrant sits drinking from a canteen.]
AVON Pass out again and I'll leave you, Tarrant.
TARRANT I'm surprised you came back this time.
AVON We stand a better chance as a group.
TARRANT What? While something is eating me you can get away?
AVON Or visa versa.
TARRANT (grins) I'll drink to that.
[There is the sound of a weapon discharging some distance from them.]
[Planet Terminal. Exterior, top of the cliff. Dorian assists Dayna, then Vila. Vila groans and rubs his arms.]
TARRANT (enters) You all right?
DORIAN How many more of you are there?
AVON (enters, weapon leveled at Dorian) Just one. Stand still. Drop the gun. Now move away from it. Slowly.
[Dorian steps away from the gun. Tarrant retrieves it and moves to stand beside Avon.]
DORIAN Name's Dorian. And in case you hadn't noticed, I just saved your friends lives.
[Avon looks at Vila, who nods in response.]
AVON (smiles) You know what they say. No good deed goes unpunished.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. Scorpio in a large open area.]
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck. Dorian enters, Avon follows with gun. Vila comes behind, carrying Orac.]
DORIAN See I told you I was alone. Oh, now will you stop pointing that gun at me. It's beginning to make my teeth itch.
[Avon makes no move to lower the weapon. Vila sets Orac down and looks around the flight deck.]
AVON What are you doing on this planet?
DORIAN I could ask you the same thing.
AVON You could, but I have the gun.
DORIAN I'm a salvage man.
AVON Who are you working for?
DORIAN Oh, there's no profit in working for anybody, except yourself.
VILA It all looks standard enough. (turns toward what appears to be a teleport bay) Except for that.
DORIAN You tell me. I bought the ship second hand. That was part of the fixtures and fittings. I've never been able to work out what the hell it was for.
VILA You know what it looks like, Avon?
AVON Shut up, Vila.
DORIAN Avon and Vila.
AVON You've heard of us?
DORIAN Should I have done? Are you in the salvage game too?
VILA Yes, that's right.
[Dayna and Tarrant enter from the aft section of the ship.]
DORIAN I thought I knew most of the independents working this sector.
TARRANT (descends the stairs onto the flight deck) All the holds and drive section are clear. There's no one on the ship except us.
DAYNA (follows Tarrant) And I've dogged the main hatches. So if there is anyone else outside that's where they're going to stay.
AVON Any reason why we shouldn't just take off?
DORIAN I've come a long way to go back empty.
TARRANT What did you expect to find?
DORIAN Same as you, friend.
DAYNA And what was that?
DORIAN Look, saving your necks was obviously crazy but I'm not basically stupid, right? I do know my business.
VILA His business is salvage, Dayna. Same as ours.
DORIAN And I know this is Terminal. I know it's an artificially modified planet. I know that underneath the surface there's a load of valuable gear waiting to be stripped out.
DAYNA Not any more.
DORIAN You mean you've got it already?
AVON (to Tarrant at the main flight position) Can you fly this ship?
TARRANT It's just a Wanderer class planet hopper. Mark II by the look of it. Obsolete, but functional.
AVON I want it flown, not cataloged.
TARRANT No problem.
DORIAN Uh, one problem. It happens to be my ship.
AVON (points the gun at Dorian) No problem.
[Tarrant sits at the primary flight position. He activates a control. The flight deck seals. Dayna appears to be nervous.]
VILA It's all right. On these old cargo ships only the main deck is pressurized in flight.
DAYNA Oh, that'll be cozy.
VILA Would you rather be snuggling up to those snakes? (tries to put an arm around Dayna)
DAYNA Can I think about it? (steps out of his grasp) And let you know.
TARRANT (to Dorian) Anything special I should watch for?
DORIAN You want me to help you hijack my own ship?
TARRANT Listen, if I get it wrong, you'll be as dead as the rest of us.
DORIAN You're the pilot. You work it out.
[The ship lurches suddenly. There is the sound of explosions outside the ship.]
VILA What was that?
TARRANT It was outside the ship.
SLAVE Yes, Master.
DORIAN Analyze exterior disturbance.
SLAVE It is an earthquake, Master.
[Slave does not answer. Avon points his gun at Dorian.]
SLAVE Further subsurface explosions of great depth and power. Magnitudes and positions are as follows...
DORIAN (interrupting Slave) Skip that. What do we expect to happen next?
SLAVE My poor abilities do not allow expectations, Master. Readings do indicate an imminent earthquake, followed by severe volcanic activity in this entire region.
DORIAN It'll be quicker and safer if I take her up. (starts toward the controls)
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck. The ship lurches again. Dorian falls and hits his head.]
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. A volcanic eruption is taking place.]
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck. Dayna and Vila pick up Dorian and put him in one of the forward flight seats. Avon moves to the flight position beside Tarrant.]
AVON Main gyros.
TARRANT Check. Clear.
AVON Drives one and two.
TARRANT Check. Green.
AVON Orbital booster.
TARRANT Check. Primed.
AVON Thrust computer.
TARRANT Check. Running.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. Additional volcanic activity.]
TARRANT All pilot systems are green. Count is two minutes and running. Better strap down tight. I haven't lifted these into orbit too often.
DAYNA How often?
VILA When was that?
TARRANT In about one minute and forty five seconds.
AVON If we last that long.
[Planet Terminal. Exterior. Increased volcanic activity.]
VILA Get this thing off the ground, Tarrant.
TARRANT Ten seconds.
AVON Main drives running true.
TARRANT All drives on. Lift you scruffy bag of bolts. Lift.
[Planet Scorpio. Exterior. Scorpio lifts off.]
TARRANT Orbital booster fired.
[Exterior. Space. Scorpio is under way.]
TARRANT Primary orbit achieved. As I said, no problem.
AVON As he said, one problem.
[Scorpio changes course automatically.]
DAYNA What's going on?
AVON We are.
VILA What have you done Tarrant? I didn't save your life so you could keep risking mine.
AVON Dorian has pre-programmed the flight computer.
VILA To do what?
TARRANT Take him home, presumably.
DAYNA To where his friends will be waiting, presumably.
VILA And any friend of Dorian's is unlikely to be a friend of ours. Given the way you pushed him around.
DAYNA (to Avon) Can you override the program?
AVON You heard how Slave reacted. It's obviously keyed to Dorian's voice pattern.
TARRANT Well, there must be a way 'round that.
AVON Oh there is. If you want to disrupt every system on board this ship, including life support.
DAYNA Could Orac do it?
AVON If I had the necessary equipment to repair Orac. Which I haven't.
DAYNA So we're stuck.
VILA I think it's time to start being very nice to Dorian.
TARRANT What shall we do?
AVON Why don't you check the flight readouts. Run some calculations. See if you can work out where we're going.
AVON Dayna, see if you can find a gun locker anywhere around. Oh, and then I want your professional opinion of that. (He tosses her the gun)
AVON Just keep an eye on our host.
DAYNA Open this, will you?
[Vila pulls a lock pick from his boot and opens the gun locker.]
VILA Looks like Dorian's a gun freak.
DAYNA There's nothing freaky about these. They're beautiful. Look. (She hold one out)
DAYNA Look. Each of these is a different mode. You clip them into the basic handgun and you've got a weapon for every occasion. Laser, plasma bullet, percussion shell, micro grenade, stun, drug. They're all here. I worked for nearly a year on a gun like this. I never did get it right.
VILA Just goes to prove what I've always said. Stealing's quicker.
TARRANT (to Avon) I thought Liberator was the only ship with teleport.
AVON Oh, it was. This was just someone's unsuccessful attempt to develop something similar.
AVON It seems unlikely. Did you run the calculations?
TARRANT Yes. Xenon. Mean anything to you?
TARRANT Pity. Doesn't mean anything to me either. It's in a planetary system outside Federation territory though.
AVON Before the war?
TARRANT It was outside Federation borders even then. It's well outside now their empire's contracted. You could even say it was safe. If we knew what the hell was waiting for us there. The computer won't give me any data worth a damn.
AVON I didn't think it would.
TARRANT Isn't it rather a sophisticated piece of equipment for a salvage hauler?
AVON It's very sophisticated by any standard. Someone spent a lot of time modifying a basic machine.
DAYNA And someone else spent a lot of time developing these guns. They're the best I've ever seen.
AVON Well now, it begins to look as though Dorian has got a lot of very bright associates.
VILA And we've go a lot of trouble.
DAYNA Cheer up, Vila. You've got a lot of very bright associates too.
VILA Oh yeah? Name six.
[Exterior. Scorpio in flight.]
[Planet Xenon. Interior. Control room, Xenon base. An alarm is sounding. A blonde woman enters. She is Soolin. She shuts down the alarm and opens a comm channel.]
SOOLIN Scorpio. Scorpio this is base. Do you copy? (waits for a response) Scorpio. Scorpio this is base. Do you copy?
[Exterior. Scorpio in flight.]
SOOLIN (v.o.) This is Xenon base calling Scorpio. Do you copy?
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck.]
SOOLIN (v.o.) Come on, Dorian. If I had to wake up I don't see why you shouldn't. Wake up, Dorian.
AVON (points gun at Dorian's head) Do as the lady says, Dorian. Wake up now or sleep for good. The choice is yours.
DORIAN How did you know?
AVON That little tap on the head didn't put you out for more than ten minutes.
DORIAN Why did you wait 'til now?
AVON Because there wasn't anything you could do for me until now.
SOOLIN (v.o.) Dorian. I'm going to override that creepy flight computer of yours, and leave you in orbit while I catch up on my sleep unless you answer me now.
AVON Answer her.
DORIAN You're going to kill me anyway. Sooner or later.
AVON You would prefer it sooner?
DORIAN (reaches for a control and presses it) Xenon base, this is Scorpio. Do you copy?
[Planet Xenon. Interior, Xenon base control room.]
SOOLIN About time, Dorian. I have satellite visual confirmation. Orbit and landing sequences are green. Confirmed?
DORIAN (v.o.) Confirmed.
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck.]
DORIAN (turns to Avon) You'll never get away with it, you know.
TARRANT We're approaching the atmosphere. Better get strapped in again. Are your automatics adequate?
DORIAN Slave can handle the landing.
VILA Can't be any rougher than the take off.
DAYNA Why call a computer Slave?
DORIAN Joke, I suppose.
AVON Someone has a very expensive sense of humor.
DORIAN Everything has it's price, Avon. You have to decide whether you want to pay it or not. That's all.
VILA Well, I don't believe in paying.
DORIAN You mean you're here by choice?
[Planet Scorpio. Exterior. There is a rectangular opening in the side of a mountain. Scorpio enters the opening and lands on an elevated pad. The pad begins the descent to the docking bay. At the bottom it rotates the ship to bring the hatch to the boarding ramp and entrance to the base.]
[Planet Xenon. Interior, Scorpio control room. Soolin shuts down the various controls and exits.]
[Interior. Scorpio flight deck.]
AVON (to Dorian) You can carry Orac.
DORIAN (pointing at Orac on the deck) This?
[Dorian picks up Orac.]
AVON Now lead the way. Carefully.
[They all follow Dorian. At the last minute, Vila hesitates, looks at the Scorpio weapon he is carrying and turns back to retrieve the Federation gun.]
[Interior. Corridor, Xenon base. As the last one steps through the door leading to the landing silo, the door slides closed behind them.]
VILA Avon, a security door.
AVON (to Dorian) How is it opened?
DORIAN It isn't. Unless I choose to open it.
AVON (as Dorian begins to walk on) Stand still.
DORIAN If you kill me you'll never get back into that silo. And that ship is the only way off this planet.
VILA Terrific. We're marooned again.
TARRANT You expect us to believe that?
DORIAN You'd be surprised how little difference it makes to me whether you do or not.
AVON The difference between life and death?
TARRANT Avon's quite capable of killing you, you know.
DORIAN I never doubted it.
DAYNA Beneath that cold exterior, beats a heart of pure stone.
DORIAN Shall we go? (exits)
AVON Why not?
[Interior Xenon base lounge. Soolin sets out glasses on a tray. She stops, regards the tray and then takes another glass from the shelf. She begins to pour wine into the glasses. Dorian leads the group into the lounge. Dorian grabs her and kisses her.]
SOOLIN Are you all right?
DORIAN A little tired. It took me longer than I expected. (to the others) May I present Soolin. My... companion.
AVON Where are the others?
SOOLIN There are no others.
[Soolin offers Avon a drink. He refuses. Soolin drinks from the offered glass.]
DORIAN I wouldn't poison a good wine, Avon. If I wanted you dead there are much more direct ways of achieving it. I could snap my fingers. (He snaps his fingers. Soolin draws her gun and aims it at Avon) And you're dead. Fast isn't she? (Soolin holsters her gun) Be so good as to pour my guests some wine, Soolin. Surely now you can allow yourselves to trust me.
AVON He who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken. Cally once told me that that was a saying amongst her people.
AVON Cally was murdered. So were most of her people.
[Soolin offers glasses of wine to Tarrant, Dayna and Vila.]
TARRANT Seven glasses.
SOOLIN I'm sorry?
TARRANT You've laid out seven glasses. One too many.
VILA Not to worry. I'll drink the extra one.
DAYNA You know if Cally had escaped with us, there wouldn't be an extra one.
VILA It's just coincidence.
DORIAN If you'll excuse me, I have things to attend to. When you are ready Soolin will show you to your quarters. You'll find everything there you need including fresh clothes. We'll talk again when you are rested. (Dorian pauses beside Avon) You really are most welcome here, my friend. (exits)
TARRANT What do you think?
AVON I think his taste in wine and women is impeccable.
[Planet Xenon. Interior. A room below the base. There is a circular staircase leading upward. A mist hangs near the floor. There is a constant sound rising and falling. The walls of the room seem to glow with a dim, bluish light. A hatch opens in the ceiling above the staircase and Dorian descends. His appearance is altered considerably. He seems to have aged. He moves with difficulty.]
DORIAN Are you there? I have them. They're here.
[At the other side of the room is a natural archway. A dark shape is outlined in the dimness. The shape moves toward Dorian.]
DORIAN That's close enough. (coughs) One of the group was killed before I got there. But the group remains. Bound together by time and pain and the need to survive. The death of the telepath will make it more difficult. But they can still be used. (coughs)
CREATURE Soon. It must be soon.
[Dorian convulses, screams and collapses on the floor. Opposite him, the creature writhes in pain.]
[Interior, corridor Xenon base. Vila is attempting to open the door to the landing silo. Tarrant and Dayna stand watching him.]
TARRANT Get on with it, Vila.
VILA Will you keep your voice down.
DAYNA Well, can you get it open or not?
VILA Not. I told Avon that. Didn't I say there was no point in trying?
TARRANT You always say there's no point in trying.
DAYNA But you usually manage to come up with something.
VILA Not this time. Not without a lot of equipment, peace and quiet, and cooperation. And in case you hadn't noticed it the lady with the gun is not a particularly cooperative person. I don't think she'd be all that happy about us trying to borrow her boyfriends ship. Especially without his permission.
DAYNA Look, maybe there's another entrance.
TARRANT It's worth a look.
VILA No it isn't. Even if there was another entrance, it would still have the same security system as this.
TARRANT You're probably right. So you stay here and keep working on that.
DAYNA We'll let you know if we find an easier one.
VILA What about Avon?
TARRANT Tell him where we've gone.
VILA He won't like it.
TARRANT It's a pity about that. (they exit)
VILA (turns back to the door, then stops) No. Why should I? I don't have to justify my existence by going through the motions of trying to open a door which I know is impossible. I'm the expert. If I say it's impossible, then it's impossible. To hell with it. I wonder where they keep that wine.
[Interior. Xenon base lounge. Orac has been repaired and is switched on. Dorian is interrogating the computer.]
ORAC I naturally took the opportunity to study all the systems on the Liberator. A few, a very few were of minor interest. I would not, however, number the teleport system amongst these.
DORIAN But you do know how it worked?
ORAC Of course I know how it worked.
DORIAN Then you will tell me. Now.
ORAC There seems little point in wasting time on such an explanation since you would be incapable of understanding it.
DORIAN (angry) Don't be insolent.
ORAC A statement of fact cannot be insolent. Besides, insolence implies an emotional relationship which does not and could not exist between us.
AVON (entering) Orac must make a refreshing change from that flight computer of yours.
DORIAN Come on in, Avon.
AVON (inspects Orac) Neat job.
DORIAN Thank you.
AVON I thought you would probably have the necessary equipment somewhere around, but I didn't expect you to do the work as well.
DORIAN Who designed it?
AVON His name was Ensor.
DORIAN I should have known. He was never a gracious man. Orac reflects his personality.
AVON Orac was the culmination of his life's work. (Avon pulls out Orac's key) He bequeathed it to an associate of mine... who bequeathed it to me. You must have been very young when you met Ensor.
DORIAN Must I?
AVON He spent the last twenty years of his life in hiding.
DORIAN Well, then I must have been very young.
AVON Did you do the modifications to the flight computer?
DORIAN Yes, I created Slave.
AVON What about these? (He draws his gun)
DORIAN Those as well.
AVON And all this?
DORIAN I found the chambers and tunnels already here. I merely had them adapted to my particular needs.
AVON (laughs) What did you do in your spare time?
[Interior. Xenon base. A spiral staircase. Dayna and Tarrant are making their way down the stairs.]
TARRANT Maybe this wasn't such a bright idea after all.
DAYNA Don't tell me you're tired already.
TARRANT All right, I'll keep it a secret.
[They resume their descent.]
TARRANT Look, we must be at least four levels below the landing silo by now.
DAYNA At least.
TARRANT Wherever this leads, it isn't to an under floor access tunnel.
DAYNA Probably not. But aren't you curious to find out where it does lead?
TARRANT In a word... no.
DAYNA Well I am.
TARRANT I was afraid of that.
DAYNA Look, you can always stay here. Or I could carry you.
TARRANT Listen, you'll be old yourself one day. Then you'll be sorry.
DAYNA I don't know what you're moaning about. Vila's probably got the other door open by now.
TARRANT There's an irritating thought.
DAYNA Thought you'd like it.
[Interior, Xenon base lounge. Vila is alone, drinking.]
VILA You know, Avon could be right about getting out of here. There's something very suspicious about a man who keeps his booze under lock and key.
[Interior. Xenon base, a small rectangular room. The spiral staircase ends here. Dayna and Tarrant come down the stairs.]
TARRANT Dead end.
DAYNA It can't be. I mean, why bother with all those stairs?
TARRANT Good point. I seem to remember making it on the way down.
DAYNA I hate people who say "I told you so."
TARRANT Yeah, well I do too. But sometimes it's irresistible.
DAYNA (starts examining the walls) There must be something here.
TARRANT Look. Come on. Let's get back. If Avon gets to the ship and we're not there I wouldn't put it past him to leave without us.
DAYNA He needs you to fly it.
TARRANT Only if Slave won't accept his orders.
DAYNA Which he won't.
TARRANT He will if Orac's working. Now come on. We're wasting time. (starts to climb)
[Dayna does not follow, but continues to explore the small room. A hatch slides open in the floor.]
DAYNA I knew it. Tarrant.
TARRANT (v.o.) Get a move on, Dayna.
DAYNA I found it.
TARRANT Found what?
[Dayna descends into the chamber where Dorian spoke with the creature. She hears the creature approach. She tries to shoot, but the gun does not work.]
DAYNA Tarrant. Tarrant.
[She hurls the gun at the dark shape coming closer and starts to back away. Dayna tries to flee up the stairs. The hatch closes, blocking her escape.]
[Interior. Xenon base, staircase. Tarrant turns back toward the sound of Dayna's voice.]
TARRANT Dayna? What's wrong?
[Interior. Xenon base control room. Dorian and Avon are inspecting portions of what appears to be a teleport system.]
DORIAN I was hoping you might be able to help me with it.
AVON It's not really my field.
AVON No. But for what it's worth, it looks to me as though you need to start again from scratch and try a different approach.
DORIAN I've already tried four different approaches.
AVON I mean go back to basic theoretical principles.
DORIAN That's what I did.
AVON Working alone?
DORIAN Of course.
AVON At a conservative estimate, that sort of research and development would have taken you twenty years of uninterrupted effort.
DORIAN Thirty years, actually.
AVON (draws his gun) All right Dorian, let's stop playing games.
DORIAN You disappoint me Avon. You of all people should know the intellect is a much more powerful weapon than the gun. Particularly when the gun doesn't work. (Avon tries to shoot him.) Soolin removed the magazine and replaced it with a dummy. (takes the gun)
AVON While I was bathing.
DORIAN (inserts live ammunition clip) Shall we go?
[Interior. Xenon base lounge. Vila is sitting, drinking. He hears someone coming. He takes his bottle and climbs a staircase to the rear of the room. Avon and Dorian enter.]
DORIAN Sit down. (pours himself a drink) Wine?
[Avon shakes his head curtly. Vila sneaks back down a few stairs, gun in hand. He crouches on the stairs.]
DORIAN It is necessary that you should understand what is to happen to you.
AVON No it isn't. Just kill me and get it over with.
DORIAN In case you're expecting help, I should warn you. Your friends' guns are also useless.
[Vila looks at the gun in his hand and retreats back up the stairs.]
DORIAN (sits down opposite Avon) Deep in the rock below this base is a room. I found it when I first came here. As far as I can tell it was carved from some mineral deposit. A pocket of some element which I still know very little about despite nearly two hundred years of study.
AVON If at first you don't succeed...
DORIAN You think I'm insane, don't you?
AVON It had occurred to me.
DORIAN The room exists, Avon. And since I found it I haven't aged one day. It cleanses me of all the corruptions of time and appetite.
DORIAN I can do anything, Avon.
AVON Most madmen can.
DORIAN I can indulge any taste, any sensation, any vice I wish and the room ...
AVON Cleanses you.
AVON You really are insane, aren't you?
DORIAN By now I probably would be.
AVON If it wasn't for this mysterious room.
DORIAN And what it contains.
SOOLIN (enters) And what might that be, Dorian?
DORIAN Ah, Soolin. I was just about to summon you.
SOOLIN Not with a gun in your hand. What does the room contain, Dorian?
DORIAN All the madness and rotting corruption which would have been mine. It contains horror, Soolin.
AVON And this horror? It shows itself to you, does it?
DORIAN It will show itself to all of us.
SOOLIN I think not.
DORIAN You underestimate me, my dear.
SOOLIN The smallest movement is all it takes, Dorian.
DORIAN She could do it too. Soolin was taught by the best.
SOOLIN The second best actually.
DORIAN (laughs) Oh, of course you killed him didn't you? He was one of the men responsible for the death of her family. She killed all the others too. She's a formidable enemy.
AVON But not without a gun.
DORIAN That's right, Soolin.
[Soolin examines her gun.]
SOOLIN You're right. I did underestimate you, my dear.
DORIAN From the tracer reading I was getting, I think we'll find your friends are already waiting for us. Now move. Both of you.
[Soolin and Avon precede Dorian from the room. Vila comes down the staircase and finishes the contents of his bottle. He tosses it away and retrieves another. As he moves to the counter, he kicks the forgotten Federation assault rifle. He bends and picks it up, then looks from the rifle to the bottle.]
[Interior. Room below Xenon base. The hatch opens and Tarrant, Soolin and Avon come down the stairs followed by Dorian.]
DAYNA Tarrant. Tarrant. There's something there. (He holds her. She sobs.) Something there in the dark.
TARRANT It's all right. It's all right. You're not alone any more.
DORIAN That's why I came for you. You care for each other. After what you've been through together, you couldn't fail to care for each other. Even you, Avon.
AVON Spare me the amateur psychology.
DORIAN I wouldn't expect you to admit it. But you belong to them, Avon. Just as they belong to you. That's why I rescued you.
AVON I thought you wanted the teleport system.
DORIAN Orac will give me that. What you will give me, all of you, is life.
TARRANT Killing us won't give you life.
DORIAN Soolin is a stranger to you. But one outsider can be absorbed in the gestalt.
DORIAN Together you will become one creature. The Gestalt. It will be a strong creature. It will absorb much more than an individual could before it dies.
[The sounds within the room grow louder and the bluish light becomes brighter.]
DORIAN You see. It will work. It begins. I knew it would. The room accepts you. It will make you one and give you my death.
SOOLIN What is it? Can you hear it?
AVON I underestimated you too, didn't I?
DORIAN I knew you'd see it, Avon. My creature will need to understand. It must warn me of approaching death. Yours will be it's understanding.
SOOLIN What is it?
DORIAN That's what you're going to replace, my dear. You and the others.
AVON I imagine it was once a man. One of a long line who died in his place.
DORIAN They die quickly now. My corruption has become too much for one man to bear.
AVON (steps in front of the others) Who was the first, Dorian?
DORIAN (troubled) My partner. We entered this place together. Like you, he could never leave it.
AVON When he started to die, you had to replace him. And you've had to go on replacing him.
DORIAN You will last much longer than the others.
AVON You're short one man, in case you hadn't noticed.
DORIAN Vila will join you later. Now make your goodbyes. Your lives, your consciousness are over. (laughs insanely)
[From above Vila hurries part way down the stairs.]
VILA Avon. (hands him the gun)
[Avon takes aim and shoots the creature. Dorian screams and collapses to the floor. He begins to change and dies. All that is left is a pile of dust on the floor. It blows away.]
DAYNA (kneels by what had been the creature) Look.
[The creature is no longer there. The body of a curly haired young man lies on the floor in its place. As they stand, looking at the body Soolin quietly climbs the stairs, leaving the group.]
VILA I'm going to give up drinking, you know. It'll be pink asteroids next.
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