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Terminal (dialogue transcript)

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Script for Termina written by Terry Nation

directed by Mary Ridge

(c) 1980 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1992 by Micky DuPree and Betsy Ramsey. Transcribed by Betsy Ramsey. Proofread by Micky Dupree, Susan Clerc, and Valerie Hill.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon Cally Vila Restal Servalan Del Tarrant Dayna Mellanby Roj Blake Zen Kostos Reeval Toron Sphere Voice

[Liberator flight deck. Avon is standing with his hands covering his face. He lowers his hands.]

AVON Zen, are we on schedule?

ZEN The flight is nine seconds in advance of prediction. Propulsion computers are amending.

AVON Will we be at the rendezvous on time? That's all I want to know.

ZEN Readouts confirm space-time position will be precisely as requested.

AVON Keep monitoring all systems. I do not want even a fractional error.

ZEN Confirmed.

[Teleport room. Dayna and Cally are playing a board game. Vila is kibitzing.]

VILA That was it! Go on, you've got her! What are you waiting for?

DAYNA Well, I'm not sure. It's risky.

VILA Make the move. You'll wipe her out.

DAYNA Are you sure you can't read my mind, Cally?

CALLY Of course I can't. Even if I could, I wouldn't. That WOULD be cheating.

VILA Go on, make the move. Take my word for it. Remember, I play this game right up to Galactic Master standards.

DAYNA Well, all right, if you're sure.

VILA Just do it. Trust me. [To Cally] Let's see you get out of that, then.

CALLY My game in nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-one moves.

DAYNA "Galactic Master." Thanks a lot.

VILA Wasn't my fault. Cally responded with the wrong move. If she'd made the right one, she'd have lost that game.

CALLY Do you want another?

DAYNA Why not? There's nothing else to do. [Tarrant enters.]

TARRANT What are you all doing in here?

CALLY Keeping out of Avon's way.

DAYNA He's not much fun at the moment.

TARRANT [to Vila] Aren't you supposed to be on watch?

VILA Avon's doing it.

TARRANT Still?! He's been on that flight deck more than thirty hours now.

VILA I offered. He said he was handling things and would I please leave. No, that's not true. He didn't say anything. He yelled. Told me to get out and stay out.

CALLY Same with me.

DAYNA And me.

TARRANT What the hell is he up to?

DAYNA Well, why don't you ask him?

TARRANT Why don't I do that?

CALLY Rather you than me. [Tarrant exits]

VILA [calling after him] Watch yourself.

[Flight deck. Avon and Tarrant are present.]

AVON I'm tired, but I would like the flight deck to myself for a while longer.

TARRANT No problem.

AVON Thank you.

TARRANT Avon, are we still on route for Calipheron? Are we?

AVON No.

TARRANT You've changed course?

AVON Obviously.

TARRANT You had no right to do that.

AVON There was no time for a committee meeting.

TARRANT You should have told us. If your reasons for changing course were sound nobody would have given you an argument.

AVON There's always an argument. My reasons for changing course were sound. You can take my word for it.

TARRANT So tell us where we're going. Tell us why.

AVON No.

TARRANT And we're just meant to sit by quietly and let you do it, whatever it is.

AVON That's exactly what you're meant to do. You and the rest of them owe me--

TARRANT Do we.

AVON --and I am calling in the debt. With or without your approval it is going to be done.

TARRANT How do we approve of something we don't know about?

AVON You could try trusting me.

TARRANT All right, Avon, we'll try trusting you. Just don't expect us to make a habit of it.

AVON I don't. [Tarrant starts to leave, but stays when Zen speaks]

ZEN Information. Navigation instructions completed. Liberator holding requested position.

AVON Scan, three-sixty orbital.

ZEN Confirmed. [Visual scan appears]

TARRANT There's nothing out there. We're in the middle of nowhere. [Liberator exterior.]

TARRANT [V.O.] We must be light years away from any populated planet.

AVON [V.O.] Zen, nearest planet capable of supporting carbon-based life.

ZEN [V.O.] Disentastra.

AVON [V.O.] Transit time at standard by eight.

ZEN [V.O.] Ninety-six hours, seventeen minutes, and four point three zero three seconds. [Flight deck.]

AVON There is nothing closer?

ZEN All systems confirm Disentastra as nearest life-supporting planet.

AVON Why here? Why bring me here?

TARRANT Do you want to tell me about it now?

AVON I have followed all the instructions to the letter, but it doesn't make sense.

TARRANT Go on.

AVON I first heard the signal--

ZEN Computers are receiving the identifying call sign as stipulated.

AVON Then it's all right. Zen, you will remain silent until further instructed.

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON Would you mind leaving now?

TARRANT Yes, I would.

AVON But you'll do it anyway.

TARRANT Sooner or later you're going to tell us, Avon. [Exits]

AVON Zen, are you still receiving the signal?

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON Is it genuine?

ZEN Full-range analyses confirm the signal is from the original message source.

AVON Can you trace that source?

ZEN The signal is being redirected and boosted through a communications satellite. Trace to origin is not possible. Identifying call sign has ended. Message transmission has begun.

AVON Put it on audio. No, hold that. [Glances over shoulder] Give me direct visual readout at my flight console.

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON [He reads unintelligible gibberish.] Is that all?

ZEN Transmission has ceased.

AVON Use the frequency listed. Acknowledge receipt of message and advise I will cooperate.

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON Have you got the new locations?

ZEN Confirmed.

AVON Program the navigation computers. Get us started.

ZEN Confirmed.

[Teleport room. All but Avon are present. Avon enters.]

AVON You can take the watch now, Vila.

VILA Wonderful. I've been looking forward to that.

TARRANT Where are we going, Avon?

AVON Profound philosophical questions never really interested me.

TARRANT Not up to your usual standard.

AVON Yes, well, I'm tired.

TARRANT Avon, where is the ship headed?

AVON To tell you the truth, I haven't the faintest idea.

[Flight deck. Tarrant, Vila, Dayna, Cally enter.]

TARRANT Zen, I want a fast summary of all communications coming into and going out of this ship within the last fifty hours.

ZEN That information is not available.

TARRANT Why isn't it available?

ZEN The information you require has been stored via a coded route, and retrieval is not possible without the correct security command sequence.

CALLY And that sequence is known only to Avon, I imagine.

ZEN Confirmed.

VILA You've got to hand it to Avon: he knows how to keep a secret. He probably won't even talk to himself.

[Liberator approaches a region of space that contains a glowing red cloud-like substance.]

[Flight deck. Tarrant, Dayna, Cally, Vila are present.]

ZEN Information. Forward sensors indicate a broad spread of unidentified matter across predicted flight path.

TARRANT Analysis.

ZEN Preliminary readings have failed to identify the nature of the material.

TARRANT Structure.

ZEN Minute fluid particles.

CALLY Fluid?

ZEN Confirmed.

TARRANT If we go through this matter, is there any risk of hull penetration?

ZEN Negative. Detectors register a high level of energy within the band that might generate flight turbulence. [Avon appears in corridor.]

TARRANT What do you think?

DAYNA Well, it doesn't sound too dangerous.

CALLY Well, we've been through turbulence before.

AVON [joining them] What's going on?

TARRANT Cloud of fluid particles up ahead. They can't be identified as yet.

AVON Zen, put it on the main screen.

CALLY Apparently it's energy charged, so it could shake us about a bit.

VILA Let's be on the safe side and go around it.

AVON No, we stay on course.

TARRANT Now look, this involves all of us. I can't think of a good reason why we should take any risks, and you're not about to give me one, are you. Zen, recommendations.

ZEN The consensus of computer systems favor a course deviation to avoid contact. In this environment, it is prudent to treat any unexplained phenomenon as potentially dangerous.

VILA Isn't that what I just said? With a brain like mine, who needs computers?

AVON Zen, maintain present course, no deviation. Status one, subcategory Q, no countermand.

ZEN Confirmed.

TARRANT [stops Avon with his hand] That is it, Avon. I've had it. Either you tell us what it's all about or we're going to stop it.

AVON No, you're not. Nothing and nobody is going to stop it, you least of all. Now get out of my way, and stay out of my way. [He has produced a gun and is pointing it at Tarrant's stomach. He exits.]

CALLY You were lucky. He meant it. He was going to kill you.

TARRANT I got that impression myself.

DAYNA [looking at viewscreen] We're getting close. Better take position.

[Liberator enters the enzyme field. Turbulence rocks the flight deck.]

[Teleport room. Avon hangs on during the turbulence.]

AVON I hope it's worth all this.

[Flight deck.]

TARRANT How much more, Zen?

ZEN Emergence from matter belt in thirty-nine point zero one seconds.

TARRANT Any damage yet?

ZEN Hull sensors appear temporarily impaired. All other systems continue on full function.

[Liberator exits the enzyme field.]

[Flight deck.]

TARRANT Is everybody all right?

DAYNA Yes. [simultaneous with]

CALLY Fine, thank you.

VILA All that shaking about didn't do my kidneys any good.

TARRANT Zen, damage report.

ZEN Hull sensors still inoperative. Auto-repair circuits activated. There is no other damage. Visual scan reveals minute particles of matter adhering to the hull. [Liberator exterior.]

TARRANT [V.O.] Any problems with that?

ZEN [V.O.] No problem is apparent.

TARRANT [V.O.] All right, the alert is over. [A substance is starting to corrode Liberator's hull.]

[Flight deck. Avon, Tarrant, Vila, Cally are present. Avon is holding the gun.]

ZEN Information.

AVON Right on time.

ZEN Navigation instructions completed. Calculated position is confirmed. Computers are receiving the correct identifying call sign.

AVON Acknowledge receipt of signal and stand by for message.

ZEN Confirmed.

TARRANT All right, Avon, so we've arrived. Where?

AVON We should be somewhere in the region of Delta seven one four.

TARRANT Which is?

AVON One of the stars on the edge of Sector Six.

TARRANT So why don't we take a look? Zen, scan, three-sixty orbital.

AVON Delta seven one four is a blind sun. It has no planetary system at all.

VILA No planets? Then what's that, a cosmic conjuring trick?

AVON [turns to look at screen] Zen, is that a planet?

ZEN The object on scan was constructed by a consortium of United Planets scientists four hundred and eleven years ago. It was code-named "Terminal".

TARRANT Terminal? The records say she broke up.

AVON You've heard of it?

TARRANT Only as a historical curiosity. The intention was to build an artificial planet. It was sprayed with organic materials in the hope that it would naturalize, and eventually create all the conditions to develop and sustain life. It was just a gigantic laboratory in a way. But she was originally positioned in solar orbit out towards Mars.

VILA So what's she doing out here?

TARRANT You tell me. I still haven't got over the fact that she exists.

AVON Zen, is there life on Terminal?

ZEN Data banks do not have that information. Spectro analysis indicates a breathable atmosphere and Earth-level gravity. Surface water and vegetation appear to be abundant.

TARRANT All right, so we've found a long-lost planet. Now, do you want to tell us why we're here?

ZEN Message transmission has begun. The signal emanates from Terminal.

AVON Relay to my position. [He reads some more electronic gibberish.]

ZEN Message ends.

AVON Acknowledge, and advise I will cooperate. [To Tarrant] I'll need about five minutes. If you ask the others to come to the teleport, I'll tell you what you need to know. [exits]

TARRANT And not before time.

[The substance continues to corrode Liberator's hull.]

[Teleport room. All are present.]

AVON All right, now listen. I don't know what to expect or how long this will take me. I'll call in every hour on the hour, but if I miss one transmission, get out of here.

CALLY What? You mean leave you on Terminal? Abandon you?

AVON That's exactly what I mean. Keep the ship on full alert. At the slightest hint of danger, the same thing applies: move out fast.

TARRANT Oh, come on, Avon. Look, we've been through a lot together. We've always been at risk; we've always taken chances. But we've survived because we worked as a team. So what is it you have to do that makes this so different?

AVON This happens to be my problem. None of you are involved.

DAYNA But we are involved. However much you like to pretend you're a loner, you're not really. We depend on each other. I wouldn't be alive now if it wasn't for you, and I'm sure that's true of everybody else. So why not trust us?

VILA Look, you don't have to give reasons. You don't even have to explain. Whatever it is, we'll back you up.

CALLY Or, if you want one of your own cold, rational explanations, we can't afford to lose you.

AVON Sentiment breeds weakness. Let it get a hold of you and you are dead. I have already programmed Zen. In precisely twelve hours, the ship will set course for Calipheron. You cannot override it. After that, it will come back under your command. Go where you want, but stay away from Terminal.

TARRANT You seem to have thought of everything.

AVON I have also recorded a full explanation of everything I am doing. Zen will not issue it until you are in flight. It's very detailed. The only thing missing is the end. [Moves for the bay.] Operate, will you, Dayna? One last thing. I don't need any of you. I needed the Liberator to bring me here so I had no choice but to bring you along, but this is as far as you go. I don't want you with me. I don't want you following me. Understand this: anyone who does follow me, I'll kill them. All right, Dayna.

[Terminal planet surface. (A heartbeat-like sound can be heard at all times on the Terminal surface.) Avon looks around.]

AVON [into bracelet] Down and safe. And if this is an example of a man-made planet, they ought to get back to the drawing board and start again. [V.O.] I'll contact you again in precisely one hour. [Into bracelet] Out. [He begins walking.]

[Teleport room. Everyone is still present.]

TARRANT Shift the coordinates by half a point. I don't want to land too close to him.

VILA I got the distinct impression he wanted to be alone.

TARRANT Well, we can't always have what we want, Vila.

VILA I had noticed.

CALLY I'll come with you.

TARRANT Fine, let's get kitted up. [Tarrant and Cally exit.]

VILA Avon isn't going to like this.

DAYNA Avon isn't going to know about it.

VILA I wouldn't like to bet my life on that.

[Terminal surface. Avon is walking.]

[Teleport room. Tarrant, Cally, Vila and Dayna are present.]

VILA What are you going to do if he spots you?

TARRANT Duck. You set, Cally?

CALLY Ready.

TARRANT Put us down, Dayna.

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally duck into cover.]

TARRANT Stay low. [Looks around] Do you want the good news or the bad news?

CALLY Surprise me.

TARRANT The good news is Avon doesn't know we're here. The bad news is he's nowhere in sight. He seems to have vanished.

[Terminal surface. Avon stops to reference a hand-held device he's carrying, then continues on. He is being observed by two beings, Reeval and Toron, each using a monocular.]

REEVAL There he is, Toron. He's moving towards the contact point.

TORON I've got him.

REEVAL He seems to be cooperating, following instructions.

TORON So far. At least he appears to be alone. Reeval, something moving, about a quarter of a mile behind him.

REEVAL Can't see it.

TORON I only got a glimpse. Went into cover.

REEVAL Human?

TORON No, probably a link.

REEVAL And if there's one, there's more. If they pick up Avon's trail, well, they'll attack. He won't stand a chance. They'll tear him to pieces.

TORON Time we moved.

[Terminal surface. Avon approaches an obelisk. A beam shuts off as he nears the obelisk. The obelisk opens to reveal a sphere.] SPHERE This directional indicator has been programmed to activate only when the identity of the holder has been confirmed. Take the sphere in both hands and state your name. [Avon picks it up and holds it in one hand.] You were instructed to hold the sphere in both hands. [Avon complies.] State name.

AVON My name is Avon. SPHERE Palm and voice prints confirm identity. You will follow the indicated route. You are warned that the slightest deviation from this course could result in considerable danger. Directional indicator will now activate. [Avon heads off in the indicated direction with the sphere. The obelisk closes when he leaves.]

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally make their way through a wooded area.]

TARRANT Cally. [They hide as Reeval and Toron approach. Once they are past, Tarrant and Cally come out of hiding.]

CALLY I'll tell the ship what we're doing. [Into bracelet] Liberator, Cally.

DAYNA [V.O.] We read you, Cally, go ahead.

CALLY [into bracelet] We've lost track of Avon but are now following two unidentified humanoids.

DAYNA [V.O.] Understood. [Liberator exterior. The hull is corroding.]

DAYNA [V.O.] I am taking a locator fix on your transmission. Make contact when you can and we'll keep track of your movements. [Terminal surface.]

CALLY [into bracelet] Confirmed. Out.

[Teleport room. Dayna is present. Unnoticed by Dayna, the substance has started dripping down the walls. Dayna exits.]

[Flight deck. Vila is at his station. Dayna enters.]

VILA Come and check this for me, will you? These readings don't seem to make sense.

DAYNA What's the problem?

VILA We're registering very high-level discharge from the energy banks.

DAYNA Hmm, that can't be right. We only require minimal output to hold fixed orbit and maintain normal systems.

VILA Well, I know, but look at that.

DAYNA We're exceeding our regenerative capacity! Banks four and seven are drained. Have you checked this with Zen?

VILA I only just noticed it.

DAYNA Zen, report on the status of the energy bank instrumentation.

ZEN Instruments are reading accurately.

VILA Then why the massive power drain?

ZEN Auto-repair circuits are working at maximum capacity. Damage exceeds rectification capability.

DAYNA Damage? What damage?

ZEN That information is not available.

VILA What do you mean, not available? Either we are damaged, or we're not. Now which is it?

ZEN The continuing malfunction of hull sensors is limiting data for analysis. Operational systems indicate that the damage is widespread but superficial.

DAYNA The nature of the damage. What's causing it?

ZEN Unconfirmed analysis suggests unidentified enzyme activity resulting in molecular metamorphosis.

VILA Thank you, Zen. That's a big help.

DAYNA Zen, it is vital that we have more information. Divert all computer functions to total investigation.

ZEN [gibberish speech] Confirmed. Minor damage to primary translator unit makes temporary closedown of speech circuits necessary. You will be advised when full function is restored.

VILA What's all that about? What's happening?

DAYNA I don't know, but I think it's time for the others to come back. [They exit. The substance has appeared on the flight deck wall.]

[Teleport room. Dayna and Vila see the substance, now covering a good portion of the walls and equipment. They exchange a worried look.]

[Terminal surface. Avon approaches a structure, still holding the sphere.] SPHERE Halt. Guidance program now completed.

AVON It's been nice talking to you. [Tosses sphere away. Approaches and investigates structure entrance. Hears something, whirls, drawing gun. A door hums open. Whirls back, then approaches again. Calls down.] Is there anyone there? [It echoes. He holsters his gun and climbs inside, then down a ladder. The door hums shut. He climbs down until he reaches bottom. He looks around.] Anybody here?

[Terminal surface. Reeval and Toron stand outside the structure.]

TORON Shall we go down?

REEVAL Let's be on the safe side.

TORON Keep your eyes open. I'll have a look round. [Tarrant and Cally are behind some brush observing them.]

TARRANT What are they hanging about for?

CALLY Perhaps that's as far as they're going.

TARRANT And where the hell is Avon? [Reeval is attacked by links. Toron tries to go to her aid, but he is attacked and overcome as well.]

CALLY We've got to help them!

TARRANT No. It's too late. There's nothing we can do. [The links rip at Reeval and Toron's clothing.]

[Inside structure. Avon ducks around a corner as Kostos passes. When she has gone, he enters the room she came from. He finds a teleport bracelet. He activates a console. Blake's image appears on a viewscreen.]

AVON [reading from the console] "The patient's condition continues to improve. Life support systems were closed down for ten minutes extra today, bringing the total to three hours. During this time ... Blake ... showed no apparent signs of distress. All prescribed medication was administered." [He looks up to the viewscreen] So he is alive. Blake is alive.

[He exits and heads down a corridor. A light is suddenly activated behind him. He turns, shielding his face with his arms. He is struck in the hand with a dart. He begins to fall, managing to pluck the dart out before hitting the floor unconscious. Three booted figures come stand around him.]

KOSTOS Let it begin.

[Flight deck. Vila and Dayna are present. The substance is covering many of the room's surfaces.]

VILA It's eating into everything! Metal, plastics, fibers, [scraping substance away from console in front of Zen] just rotting away. Maybe we should try and contact the others again.

DAYNA There's no point.

VILA Might have just been a blind spot.

DAYNA Or a malfunction. How do we know? Look at this. There's total drain on three of the energy banks, maximum discharge on all the others. In a couple of hours we'll have nothing in reserve.

VILA We've got to slow the outflow.

DAYNA How?

VILA There is a way, but first we must get Zen back online. Zen, this is a priority command overriding all other requirements. Come online. Repeat: Zen, this is a priority command. Come online!

ZEN [gibberish speech]

DAYNA Translator units are still on the blink.

ZEN [gibberish speech] Confirmed. [Speech is now slow and halting.] State speed and course. Computer circuits have now been rerouted and as requested are now online.

VILA Zen, I want all the auto-repair systems closed down.

DAYNA You can't do that!

VILA We've got to. They're fighting a losing battle and burning up the energy banks. [To Zen] Concentrate everything you've got on keeping the computer systems functioning. Maximize investigation and research into the nature of whatever's causing the damage and find a solution.

ZEN Dangerous structural weaknesses have already-- have already-- already developed in many areas. Auto-repair circuits are delaying further weakening.

VILA Delaying, not halting. I want all-out computer effort on investigation. If you can come up with an answer soon enough, we might still have enough power left to start getting things working. Confirm. Confirm!

ZEN Confirmed. [They check the instrumentation.]

VILA He's doing it.

DAYNA But without the auto-repair, this stuff's going to speed up.

VILA I'm going to try Tarrant again.

DAYNA There's no chance Avon left Orac's key on the ship somewhere.

VILA No, he took it all right. Orac's just a useless bunch of junk. He should feel right at home in this lot.

[Structure interior. Avon, unconscious, is wheeled down a corridor on a gurney.]

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally approach the structure.]

CALLY What do you make of it?

TARRANT Some sort of shaft cover. Could explain where Avon vanished to. Damn. Electrostatic lock. It needs a sonal key.

CALLY [nods towards the bodies] They might have it.

TARRANT I'll check. [Examines the bodies] This could be it. [Looks up, becomes alarmed] Cally! [Cally turns at his warning just as a link attacks her from behind. Tarrant rises to help her, but is also attacked. Tarrant fights off his attacker and pulls Cally's attacker off her. Tarrant is attacked again. Cally opens the door with the key, shoots a link, and climbs inside. Tarrant wins free, climbs inside, and shoots a link. The door closes. Cally drops the key, which falls down the shaft.]

CALLY I hope you hadn't planned on going back up again.

TARRANT Not immediately. From here on, it's downhill all the way.

[Structure interior. Avon is still unconscious. A microphone-like device is positioned above Avon's head and a machine activated. Avon's eyes flutter open. He finds himself in a room, alone. He notes the dart wound on his hand. He exits and walks down a corridor. He ducks as two guards walk by, then continues on. He looks through a window in a door and sees a man lying on a bed or table. He enters. The man is dressed in a white full-length gown or robe with bare feet, and is attached by tubes to a machine. Avon approaches to look down at him. The man looks like Blake, although he has a beard; he is not awake.]

AVON Blake.

BLAKE [wakes up] Well, you certainly took your time finding me.

AVON There didn't seem to be any hurry. Anyway, I always said I could manage very well without you.

BLAKE It must have been so dull having no one to argue with.

AVON Well, now, there were times when your simple-minded certainties might have been refreshing.

BLAKE Careful, Avon. Your sentiment is showing.

AVON That's your imagination. Now, are you going to tell me about this discovery that is going to make us rich and invincible?

BLAKE I'll take you to it.

AVON You mean after I get you out of the mess you've got yourself into? Just like old times?

BLAKE Not that easy this time. The lightning raid...snatch me from the jaws of death isn't on, I'm afraid. Taken off this life support system I wouldn't survive for more than three or four hours.

AVON We'll have the whole thing duplicated on the Liberator.

BLAKE No good. I wouldn't survive the teleport transfer. THEY calculate it'll take at least three months before I can start to move again. [Beeping begins] That's a treatment timer. They'll be here in a few minutes. They'll find YOU.

AVON It seems unlikely that you'll be moving far. I know where to find you. I'll be back. [Avon exits and starts back down the corridor. He hides as a guard passes, then continues on. As he enters a room, he is met by a guard with a drawn gun. Avon slowly backs down the corridor and is hit from behind. He falls. He looks up and sees Kostos and a male guard, but his vision blurs and he falls unconscious. He then is back in the room with the microphone-like device and machine. His eyes slowly close.]

KOSTOS It is completed. Get him out of there. Quickly, now. We must keep the continuity right. [They drag him to the corridor. She injects him.] Wake him. [A guard kicks Avon twice. He gasps and wakes up] Come on, on your feet. Get up. [Avon looks up, his vision blurry at first, and sees Kostos and the guard again. He gets up.] Now walk.

[Control room. Avon enters under guard with Kostos. Servalan is present.]

SERVALAN Avon. How very nice to see you again. You look well. No, no, actually that's not true. You look rather tired. Why don't you sit down?

AVON Thank you. It's less painful than being knocked down.

SERVALAN Have my people been treating you badly? Oh, I do apologize. I shall reprimand them most severely. [To the others] You may go. [Kostos snaps her fingers and she and the guards exit.] You don't seem surprised to see me.

AVON If it was a trap, it had to be yours. The precise planning, the meticulous detail, the general flair, who else could it be.

SERVALAN Thank you. That you of all people should appreciate my work is very flattering.

AVON I thought it might be.

SERVALAN Mm. I must admit that when I started beaming messages to the Liberator I was worried you might not believe them.

AVON I didn't.

SERVALAN What convinced you?

AVON When you transmitted the recording of Blake's voice, Zen did a print analysis and confirmed that the voice could be genuine. On the strength of that, I had to follow it up.

SERVALAN I never doubted you would. What about the others? Were they convinced?

AVON I told them nothing about it.

SERVALAN You were afraid they might not want to help you find Blake.

AVON On the contrary, I was sure that they would, but they can get a little overenthusiastic, a little careless.

SERVALAN So rather than let them walk into what might be a trap, you decided to do it all on your own. How very noble of you.

AVON I thought so.

SERVALAN Of course, it had nothing to do with not wanting to share Blake's mysterious discovery.

AVON Nothing at all. [chuckles]

SERVALAN [chuckles] Well, let me reassure you. You weren't entirely misled. Blake is alive and if not well, at least on the road to recovery. More important, he is MY prisoner. Naturally I wouldn't expect you to take my word for it, so you may see him and talk to him.

AVON I already have.

SERVALAN What?!

AVON Your security is not very efficient.

SERVALAN You were supposed to be held in close custody.

AVON It's not very important. Let's get down to terms. I want Blake's freedom. What do you want?

SERVALAN [points to screen displaying the Liberator] That. A straight exchange. You get Blake and whatever it is he's discovered, and I get the Liberator.

[Structure interior. Tarrant and Cally enter a room.]

TARRANT Watch the door. You ever seen anything like this before?

CALLY I don't think so. What is it?

TARRANT I'm not sure. I mean, I recognize some of the components. [Points] That's a voice synthesizer, [points] vocabulary bank.

CALLY That looks like a visual image structurizer.

DAYNA [V.O.] Tarrant, Cally.

TARRANT [into bracelet] Tarrant. Come in, Liberator.

DAYNA [V.O. switching to normal] At last! We've been trying to reach you for hours. Listen, the ship is in bad trouble. [Liberator exterior; the corrosion is worse.] There's massive structural damage and systems breakdown. Energy reserves have fallen well below danger level. Destruction is beyond the capacity of the auto-repair circuits, and we're even getting computer failure. Zen's latest analysis is that the molecular destructuring is accelerating.

[Flight deck. Vila is standing before Zen.]

ZEN State course and speed. Blake. Cally. Confirmed. Confirmed. Confirmed, standard by five. Dysfunction of computer banks seven, nine and four. Recircuiting.

VILA How long, Zen?

ZEN Incalculable. Whilst in zero-gravity fixed orbit, the ship will remain viable for some hours.

VILA And if we try to move?

ZEN The extreme structural stress of propulsion would probably result in disintegration. Dysfunction--

DAYNA [enters] I got them -- [Vila shushes her.]

ZEN -- dysfunction on computer banks three and six. All resources now concentrated on maintenance of teleport facilities. I-- I have failed you.

VILA He never referred to himself before. He never once used the word "I".

ZEN I have failed you. I am sorry. I have--

VILA He's dying. Zen is dying.

[Structure interior. Tarrant and Cally are still in the room.]

CALLY Should we teleport back?

TARRANT I don't see how that would help. We need Avon. He's the computer genius. It's just possible he could come up with something.

[Command center. Servalan and Avon are present.]

SERVALAN All details of Blake's treatment have been programmed into the computers. There are ample supplies of all the drugs and medicines he will require. In approximately three months he should be well enough to move. The space vessel I used to come here will be at your disposal. It's rather old-fashioned, slow, but it will take you where you want to go.

AVON Are you sure you've covered everything?

SERVALAN I don't think there's anything I've missed. There's a light beam voice link directed at the Liberator. You'll contact the ship. Tarrant, Cally and Dayna will teleport to this location. Vila will stay on board to operate the teleport to bring me up. You have my word that he will be teleported down to you immediately I have control. It's a very reasonable contract, Avon. You have your lives, Blake, and transportation out of here.

AVON And you have the best ship in space.

SERVALAN The pattern for a fleet.

AVON You really think you can duplicate the Liberator?

SERVALAN I've assembled a team of scientists who are sure they can. In fact, they've staked their lives on it. And with a fleet like that, I can unite and rule as nobody has ever ruled before.

AVON What if the crew won't obey me?

SERVALAN Oh, I don't think that's likely. I have Blake. I have you. [Draws a gun.] Call the ship. [Avon moves for the comm link.] I was right. I knew you'd never let Blake die.

AVON Death is something that he and I faced together on a number of occasions. I always thought that his death and mine might be linked in some way. [Into comm link] Liberator, this is Avon. Do you read?

VILA [V.O.] Avon? Where are you?

AVON No questions. Just do as I tell you and do it immediately. Take the Liberator out of here, maximum speed. Go and keep going!

SERVALAN No!

AVON It's important, Vila. Do it now!

SERVALAN You fool! [She hits him on the back of the head with the gun and he cries out.]

VILA [V.O.] Avon.

SERVALAN You fool!

VILA [V.O.] Avon! Avon! [Servalan breaks the comm link and brings her gun to bear on Avon, who is lying on his back on the floor, but conscious. Kostos enters with Tarrant, Cally, and guards.]

KOSTOS Servalan.

SERVALAN I think negotiations have just been reopened.

[Teleport room. Vila and Dayna are present.]

VILA We have a firm locator fix on your signal. Waiting your orders. [Structure command center. Avon and Cally are under guard. Servalan is holding a gun to Tarrant's head.]

TARRANT [into comm link] Have Dayna prepare for teleport.

VILA She's moving in now.

AVON Tarrant, no!

TARRANT It's too late. Use that good, icy logic of yours. We've lost this game. [Deactivates video display showing Liberator] Shut him up. [Into comm link] Ready, Vila?

VILA Standing by.

TARRANT [V.O.] Put her down. [Dayna teleports down.]

SERVALAN All right. Get their bracelets. Move them over there. That, I think, concludes our business.

TARRANT You said there's a ship that could get us off here.

SERVALAN There is. Perhaps I've exaggerated just a little. You see, she was rather badly damaged when we made our landing. But I think with some months' work she could be made spaceworthy. Just about.

AVON What about Blake?

SERVALAN Ah, yes. Blake. I owe him so much. After all, it was he who brought you to me.

AVON We made a deal. You promised me Blake.

SERVALAN Blake is dead. He died from his wounds on the planet Jevron more than a year ago. I saw his body. I saw it cremated. Blake is dead.

AVON I saw him. I spoke to him and he--

SERVALAN You saw nothing. Heard nothing. It was an illusion, a drug- induced and electronic dream. We spent months preparing it. We recreated Blake inside our computers, voice, images, memories, a million fragmented facts. When I was ready, I started sending you the messages, seeding the idea in your mind. I was conditioning you. And you were my greatest ally, Avon. You made it easy because you wanted to believe it. You wanted to believe that Blake was still alive. [Avon starts for her.]

TARRANT Let it go, Avon.

SERVALAN One final thing. As you know, this planet was designed to help our scientists watch and study how life first developed on Earth. The experiment was more than successful and has led to some highly unpleasant lifeforms. Do be careful.

CALLY We have met some sort of primitive humanoids. I hate to think that they were our ancestors.

SERVALAN Oh, but they're not. The planet's evolution was massively accelerated. It developed through millions of years in a very short time. The creature you saw is not what Man developed from. It is what Man will become. I think I'm ready. [To Tarrant] Give the order. Please.

TARRANT Take them up, Vila.

SERVALAN [looking in Avon's direction] We won't meet again. Goodbye.

[Teleport room. Vila is present. Servalan, Kostos, and two guards teleport up.]

SERVALAN I'm going to the flight deck. Get rid of him.

VILA Eh?

SERVALAN Put him down on Terminal. [Servalan and a guard exit. Vila, under guard, enters the teleport bay, then turns back toward Orac, which is on a nearby table.]

VILA Just a minute. [Picks up Orac]

KOSTOS What are you doing?

VILA Souvenir.

KOSTOS What is it?

VILA It's just a pile of junk, really, but it means a lot to me. I built it. It's a sculpture. You're not going to make me leave it, are you?

KOSTOS All right.

VILA Incidentally, you should always be careful about getting a second- hand spacecraft. They can be very unreliable. [Vila teleports down with Orac.]

[Control room. Avon is standing apart from the others, his back to them. Tarrant activates a control.]

DAYNA You'd better watch this, Avon.

AVON [approaches] She won. We-- I let her take the Liberator.

TARRANT No. No, she didn't win. We all came out losers. [They turn toward the screen.]

[Flight deck. Servalan enters. She, Kostos and the guards assume positions.]

SERVALAN Manual operation. Set course for the planet Earth.

KOSTOS Computed and laid in.

SERVALAN Main drive. Maximum power.

[Control room. They all watch the screen.]

CALLY She's beginning to go.

VILA She's starting to break up.

[Flight deck. Explosions occur. Servalan runs for the teleport room, activates the teleport and enters the bay. The flight deck begins to break up. Kostos screams.]

[Control room. The Liberator breaks up, then explodes as the crew watches on the screen. Tarrant turns away first.]

TARRANT Let's see if we can't find a way off this planet. There's a lot to do.

[Tarrant, Cally, Dayna, and Vila exit one by one. Avon turns to go, and smiles as he too exits.]

Script Index

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