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Script for Trial by Chris Boucher

(c) 1978 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Micky DuPree, Susan Beth Schnitger and Linda Knights.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake Kerr Avon Servalan Jenna Stannis Vila Restal Travis Cally Orac Zen Samor Bercol Rontane Thania Par Lye Guard Commander Zil

Uncredited: Male voice Computer voice

[Servalan's headquarters/Federation space station. A curving corridor outside the hearing room.] LYE Waste of time. PAR Shut up, Lye. LYE Ceremonial duty ... PAR If you don't shut up, we won't be guarding a court martial, we'll be having one. LYE I joined up to see some action. PAR More fool you. LYE You've been on campaigns, Par. PAR I have. LYE Done a lot of killing. PAR Enough. More. [Bercol and Rontane make their way around the corridor.] BERCOL It should embarrass her at the very least. PAR Watch it! [Par and Lye snap to attention.] RONTANE Oh, I hope so, but, uh, she doesn't embarrass easily, especially not in her own headquarters. BERCOL Oh, I meant politically, of course. RONTANE Of course. Any attempt to embarrass her personally is an exercise in total futility. BERCOL Oh, quite. She has all the sensitive delicacy of a plasma bolt. [They laugh.] RONTANE [When access is not forthcoming] Well? PAR Sir, security area, sir. Access is voiceprint linked, sir. RONTANE I am Secretary Rontane, personal representative of the President. [The door opens. Rontane passes through. Bercol starts to follow, but Par and Lye block his way with their weapons.] BERCOL Bercol! Senator Bercol. Head of the Information Bureau. Ex-officio member of the High Council. [The door opens and he passes through.] LYE [laughs] Thought he was going to run for it. PAR Pity he didn't. You could have shot him. LYE A top politico? PAR Don't worry about them. Space Command runs the Federation. LYE Reckon so? PAR Know so. And we look after ourselves. LYE Tell that to the prisoner. PAR Broke the rules, didn't he? LYE Whose rules? PAR Only ones that matter: ours. [Samor comes into sight around the corridor.] Blazin' 'ell, look at this! [They come to attention.] SAMOR Samor, Fleet Warden General, appointed pro tem military arbiter. [The door opens. He passes through.] LYE Old Star Killer. PAR I never thought I'd see him in the flesh. Hasn't left his flagship in years. LYE Arbiter in a cruddy court martial ... PAR Be by the book. I told you, we look after ourselves.

[Servalan's office]

SERVALAN Yes, Samor is a difficult man. Most of the time I'm more than happy to see him stay with his beloved Galactic Eighth Fleet. THANIA On his highly polished flagship.

SERVALAN He's well respected throughout the service. "Old Star Killer" has earned that respect through a lifetime's devotion to his duty and to his men. THANIA A rule book officer of the old school.

SERVALAN Exactly. With him as arbiter a guilty verdict will not be questioned and the matter will be settled. THANIA Well, assuming that is the verdict. [Communicator signal tone]

SERVALAN [into communicator] Yes? VOICE The tribunal is assembling, Supreme Commander. The arbiter is present.

SERVALAN Very well. [To Thania] The evidence is straightforward. I can see no reason why we shouldn't get the verdict we want, in the way that we want it. THANIA No, neither can I, Supreme Commander.

SERVALAN And I expect no trouble from the Defense. THANIA [shakes head] None.

[Corridor outside hearing room. Two Federation guards and Travis are at the door.] GUARD Prisoner and escort, reporting as ordered. [Door opens] Quick march! [They march inside.]

[Hearing room] TRAVIS I report for judgment, sir. SAMOR Identify yourself. TRAVIS Travis, Space Commander. Alpha one five one zero five. SAMOR So recognized. You may stand at ease. [Travis does so.] Do you accept the authority of the Arbiter, the balance of the judgment program, and the competence of the defending officer? TRAVIS [Pause] I do. SAMOR Specify the inditement.

COMPUTER Space Commander Travis, you are charged under Section Three of the War Crimes Statute Code, Jenkin One, with the murder of one thousand four hundred and seventeen unarmed civilians on the planet Serkasta, Date Code Beta two zero zero one. SAMOR How do you answer the charge? TRAVIS I am not guilty. SAMOR Be seated. Major Thania, does the defense have an opening declaration? THANIA We reserve our opening declaration, sir. SAMOR Very well. Enter prosecution data. [A clerk presses some buttons.]

COMPUTER Prosecution data begins. Identities and death certifications of all victims are entered. THANIA Objection. SAMOR Hold.

COMPUTER Holding. THANIA Defense requests the names of the alleged victims and the cause of death in each case be specified. SAMOR All of them? THANIA If it pleases the arbiter. SAMOR Do you realize how long that will take, Major? THANIA A man's life is at stake, sir. SAMOR I KNOW what is at stake. THANIA My apologies, sir. I meant no disrespect. SAMOR Since you have at your disposal instant recall of all prosecution data I fail to see what purpose will be served by having the computer intone a catalog of one thousand corpses. THANIA I may wish to challenge elements of that catalog before they are entered in the judgment program, sir. [Samor confers with his fellow arbiters. During the pause, Bercol and Rontane talk privately.] BERCOL Playing for time? RONTANE And playing for Servalan. The computer will find Travis guilty, there's no doubt of that, but those three are responsible for the sentence. BERCOL So? RONTANE So, uh, after hearing all the blood-spattered details-- BERCOL --they'll vote for the maximum penalty. SAMOR Motion sustained. Victims names and causes of death will be specified. BERCOL [Still privately to Rontane] Do you think that Travis knows what she's doing to him? RONTANE A psychotic like Travis? Who can tell what he's thinking?

[Flight deck of the Liberator.] BLAKE Zen, give me stationary orbit, teleport range, somewhere in the temperate zone. ZEN Confirmed. Do you require detailed sensor readings? BLAKE No. I asked for tolerable conditions. I assume that's what you've given me. ZEN Confirmed. There are gravitational anomalies which may affect movement. BLAKE And uninhabited. ZEN The navigation computers list it as such. [Avon is listening in the entryway.] BLAKE That's good enough. AVON Really? It sounds a little casual to me. BLAKE I'm going down on my own, Avon. It has nothing to do with you. AVON Nothing at all, but it occurs to me that if you should run into trouble, one of your followers -- one of your three remaining followers -- might have to risk his neck to rescue you. BLAKE Then you must advise them against that, Avon. AVON Oh, I will. BLAKE They might even listen to you this time. AVON Why not? After all, I don't get them killed. BLAKE [Rests a hand on Avon's shoulder] True. ZEN Stationary orbit established. Status is firm. All systems are functioning normally. BLAKE All right, Zen, you know what to do. ZEN Confirmed. [Blake exits as Jenna enters from a different passage.] JENNA Blake? [Blake continues out without reacting.] It's getting worse for him, isn't it? AVON [Seats himself before game board.] Guilt does that. JENNA What would you know about guilt? AVON [Smiles] Only what I've read. Your move, I think.

[The teleport room. Orac is there on a stand.] BLAKE Everything set, Cally? CALLY Yes. You've forgotten your gun. BLAKE What? I won't need it. There's no one down there. CALLY Well, there may be some kind of life form. BLAKE No, it doesn't matter. [Flight deck] CALLY [v.o]: I will get you a gun. BLAKE [v.o.]: All right, thank you. [Teleport room] BLAKE [Inserts Orac's key.] Orac. [Flight deck. Cally enters, Vila meets her and hands over a gun.]

BLAKE [v.o.]: Orac, give it five seconds, then operate the teleport.

[Cally hurries out.]

[Teleport room. Blake is gone when Cally enters. She goes to check the controls.]

[Surface of the planet. Vegetation all around, many sounds like animal or bird calls. Blake appears. He removes a homing beacon and hand locator from his case and checks their operation. He takes off his bracelet and puts it in the case, then exits leaving the beacon near a bush. Something picks up the beacon using a hooked stick.]

[Flight deck. Cally enters] AVON What was all that about? CALLY I think Orac altered the teleport coordinates. AVON You THINK? CALLY Well, there's no way of telling. He zeroed the controls. JENNA Our orbit's shifting. VILA Shifting? What do you mean shifting? Are we in trouble again? JENNA Zen? ZEN New orbit will be established in six minutes, as instructed. JENNA Instructed? By whom? AVON Blake. He's making sure that we can't find him. He could be running out on us.

[Surface of the planet. Blake walks along.]

[The hearing room.] SAMOR Hearing will reconvene at oh-nine-hundred. Return the prisoner to detention. GUARD Prisoner, about turn. Quick march. [Travis and his two guards exit. The arbiters and court personnel exit.] RONTANE One almost has to admire that woman. BERCOL What, Thania? RONTANE Servalan. BERCOL Oh. RONTANE We know that she's sending Travis to his death in order to keep his mouth shut, but she is doing it with such an impeccably honest and painstaking tribunal that her real motives can't even be hinted at. BERCOL Has, um, a date been set for the Blake inquiry? RONTANE Does it matter? Without Travis' evidence the mishandling of the Blake affair becomes a matter of conjecture. The inquiry becomes a formality. BERCOL A Presidential stay of execution so that Travis can give evidence? After this, he should be more than willing. RONTANE After this he'll be a convicted mass murderer. BERCOL It could still damage Servalan. 'Slime sticks,' as the old saying has it. RONTANE Yes, but the President can't be seen to throw it. BERCOL Servalan picked Travis. RONTANE The President picked Servalan. BERCOL So she's outmaneuvered us once again. RONTANE Let's say she's outmaneuvering us, but it's not over yet. She could still make a mistake. BERCOL Which is presumably why we came. I was beginning to wonder. RONTANE We came, Bercol, because Servalan's ambitions threaten us all. And the President particularly dislikes being threatened. Shall we dine? BERCOL I wish I'd known that this was going to drag on so. I'd have brought my own chef. As I recall, Space Command's cuisine is appalling.

[Servalan's office.]

SERVALAN [Watching the preceding on closed circuit] Pathetic! [Into communicator] Send her in. [Thania enters] Thania. How was the first day? THANIA More or less as expected.

SERVALAN So? THANIA Travis is behaving oddly.

SERVALAN Three years ago, he committed a capital crime. Justice has finally caught up with him. How would you expect him to behave? THANIA I wouldn't expect him to sit staring straight ahead, not moving, not reacting.

SERVALAN Not even listening. THANIA That's it. That's exactly how he was, Supreme Commander. Has someone else remarked on it?

SERVALAN Oh, the, uh, Guard Commander's report mentioned something. THANIA It's almost as though he were drugged.

SERVALAN No, of course not. Risk a mistrial? THANIA Then what?

SERVALAN You're representing him. You better find out. I don't want any doubts about the conduct of this tribunal. Any doubts at all. [Thania rises and starts to exit.] And Thania, try not to let Travis guess your motives. He's probably mad, but he certainly isn't a fool.

[Flight deck] CALLY If he was going to desert us, surely he'd have chosen somewhere special. VILA Right! Paradise that is not. AVON Perhaps Blake knows something that we don't. VILA There aren't even any people down there. AVON So it has at least one aspect of paradise. CALLY Would you maroon yourself on that planet? AVON We don't know that he is marooned. He could have a ship waiting. JENNA Oh, come on, Avon. You don't really believe that. VILA I wish Gan was here. AVON Oh, yes, of course. He would be able to work out exactly what was going on. VILA Maybe he would. CALLY Why do you say that, Vila? VILA He was straightforward, wasn't always expecting to be cheated and double-crossed -- not like us. He trusted people -- he trusted Blake completely. JENNA Much good it did him. AVON Welcome back to reality, Jenna. VILA You think he is double-crossing us, Jenna? JENNA I don't know. But you're right about one thing, I'm not like Gan. I don't trust unless I'm trusted in return. AVON What do you think we should do then? JENNA Suggest something. AVON Well now. I find the idea of being wealthy rather appealing. VILA Leave? AVON I don't see much prospect of getting rich around here. VILA Well, it certainly looks as though Blake's left us, doesn't it? AVON That is the only reasonable assumption that we can make. VILA So we've got to look out for ourselves now. AVON Exactly. VILA Blake can't complain really. JENNA Hardly, since he's not here. VILA No, I mean it's not as though we haven't done our share for freedom and all that. AVON [Smiles] More than our share. JENNA You two make me sick. Are we going to get out of here or aren't we? CALLY Orac, do you know what Blake is doing? ORAC Of course I do. CALLY Then tell us. ORAC Without the correct data recall code, that information is not available. CALLY Data recall code, Avon? JENNA He's even put a secret classification code on what he's doing. CALLY Yes, but why did he code it and how? Vila, if Gan was here, what would he have asked Orac? VILA Something obvious: did Blake leave us any message? [The main viewscreen displays a recorded message from Blake.] BLAKE Thank you. I must confess I wasn't sure whether you'd trust me or even care enough to ask if there was a message. In your place I'd probably have just said I don't give a damn and cleared off. I think -- well, that's just it, I need time to think. We all do. That's what all this is about. I must apologize for the somewhat dramatic exit. I had to stop myself coming back. At least until we've made some decisions, you and I. I took one hell of a risk with your lives when I went ahead with the attack on Central Control. I thought it was justified, I thought we had a chance to win. And I was wrong. Completely, utterly, stupidly wrong. AVON I noticed that. BLAKE I almost killed you all. I did kill Gan. For nothing: an empty room, a trick, an illusion. Now I find myself wondering if that's what it's been all along: just a dream. I don't know anymore. I don't know whether we should go on, whether you would even supposing I could ask you to. So, that is what we've got to decide, you and I: where do we go from here? AVON So that is what we have got to decide, is it? BLAKE I'm taking a homing beacon down with me. It will start to transmit in thirteen hours. The detectors should be able to locate it and guide the ship to the rendezvous. It's an automatic beacon. I shall leave it on the ground when I land and make my way back to it with a hand detector. It seems more fitting somehow. Besides, if either of us chooses not to keep the rendezvous, then we needn't think too badly of each other. Maybe the detectors failed. [Message ends.] VILA He really cares about us, doesn't he? AVON You swallowed that? CALLY You think he was faking it? AVON Everything but the self-pity. That was real enough. CALLY You're wrong. AVON Jenna? [Jenna exits] Which only leaves one question to be answered. Is it that Blake has a genius for leadership, or merely that you have a genius for being led?

[On the planet. Blake drops his case to the ground and sits on a fallen log to rest. After a few seconds he is hit lightly by a small stone, then by a second a little later. A few seconds later he is sprayed with water. Annoyed, he rises and starts to look around, and is hit with a stream of water. He arms himself with a stick and looks around. His case is hooked away with a stick. Zil shows herself to Blake, holding his case dangling from the stick.] BLAKE HEY!

[Travis' detention cell. The door opens.] TRAVIS Who is it? PAR Do you remember me, sir? TRAVIS Par. [Par enters.] What are you doing here, Trooper? PAR I'm off duty, sir. TRAVIS Well, I'm not. [Glances at the securicam] I gather you're tired of your freedom. PAR I'm a twenty-year man, sir. I wouldn't recognize freedom if I fell over it. There's a temporary fault on surveillance. Guard's a friend of mine. TRAVIS Stand to attention when you talk to me. PAR [Stands to attention] Sir. TRAVIS I'm putting you and your friend on report. PAR Only trying to help, sir. TRAVIS Help? And how do you think you can help me, Trooper? PAR Brought you something, sir. [Starts to extract something from a pocket] TRAVIS [Grabs Par's hand and slowly lets him proceed. It is a small flask.] Open it. [Par opens it. Travis takes it and brings it near his nose.] PAR That's good stuff, sir. You won't go blind drinking that. TRAVIS All right, Par. What have I done to deserve this? PAR Sir? TRAVIS Faithful trooper, beloved officer -- not quite how I see either of us. PAR You always looked after your men, sir. Now you're gonna die. We thought a drink was the least we could do, sir. TRAVIS Stand at ease. [Par does.] Have one with me. PAR Thank you, sir. [Travis pours him a drink which Par downs in one gulp.] That is good stuff. TRAVIS [Watches Par for about five seconds] You can go now, Par. PAR Oh, sir? TRAVIS Par? PAR The report, sir? TRAVIS No one would believe it. [Par exits.] Any more than I do. [Drinks from the flask.]

[Corridor. Thania is waiting for Par.] THANIA Did you give it to him? PAR Yes, Major. THANIA I appreciate it. PAR With respect, Major, I didn't do it for you. THANIA You served a full tour with Space Commander Travis, didn't you? PAR Five years. He was hard. THANIA But fair. PAR No, not often, anyway. But you could always rely on him not to get you killed unnecessarily. He never wasted troopers. THANIA Oh, that's something, I suppose. PAR Major, when you're up to your neck in slime and lasers, that's everything. THANIA All right, Par. PAR Major. [Starts to walk away.] THANIA Trooper Par? Do you think he's guilty? PAR No doubt about it, Major. He gave the order. We just did the shooting.

[On the planet. Blake is drinking from a pool of water. He hears noises from Zil and chases after her.]

[Travis' detention cell. Travis is lying on the cot, with the nearly empty sitting on the floor beside his dangling arm. The door opens to reveal Thania.] TRAVIS Come in, Thania. I've been expecting you. THANIA I thought you were asleep. TRAVIS What is it you want to ask me? THANIA Is there anything you need? TRAVIS [tosses the flask at her] You lack subtlety, Major. THANIA What are you suggesting, Travis? TRAVIS Get out. THANIA Look-- TRAVIS GET OUT!

[On the planet. Blake trips and falls, and lie there until he is poked by a stick. He tries to catch Zil but nobody is within reach. When he turns, Zil is standing in sight.] BLAKE WHAT are you? ZIL [Unintelligible bird-like noises] BLAKE Well, if that's your only way of communicating I can't see us having much of a conversation. ZIL [at first very stuttering, hesitant, her clarity improves as dialog continues] Why did you stop? Why did you stop? BLAKE Well, why did you run? ZIL Movement is life. To stop is to lose yourself and be absorbed. Is it that you are ready to be absorbed? Is Oneness already a burden? BLAKE No, I don't understand what you mean. ZIL You are newly hatched. Zil saw you come to Oneness. But your movement was slow. Zil risked Oneness to waken you. BLAKE What are you? ZIL My Oneness is Zil. What is yours? BLAKE Well, I'm called Blake. ZIL Come, Blake. Keep distant. Zil and Blake must be alone to live. [exits] BLAKE No, wait. Zil! [The ground rumbles and shakes.] ZIL [o.o.s.] The Host stirs.

[The flight deck. Avon is working on a device. Jenna enters and goes to the controls.] AVON I have already programmed an automatic search pattern for the homing beacon. JENNA You don't mind if I check it? AVON [smiles] I'd be disappointed if you didn't. [Vila enters] JENNA What are you doing? AVON It's a detector shield. I've been working on it for some time. VILA Everyone should have a hobby. What's it do? AVON It should keep us off everything but the Federation's close range visual scanners. VILA You mean their long-range detectors won't pick us up at all? But that's brilliant, Avon, absolutely brilliant. It'll never work. AVON There's only one way to find out. I'm sure Blake will find us something suitable to attack. VILA I see. You've decided to be led like the rest of us. AVON I shall continue to follow. It's not quite the same thing. VILA I don't see the difference. AVON I didn't really think that you would. JENNA Do you want to tell me why you've left most of the southern hemisphere off the search pattern? AVON I don't believe that Blake can think and swim at the same time. It's nothing but ocean down there.

[On the planet] BLAKE Zil, where are you? ZIL You have stopped again. Is Blake afraid to be alone? All must stay alone or wake the Host. BLAKE You took something from me, something that I need. Now, Zil, what have you done with it? ZIL Blake will be lost to you unless Zil can explain. But, but how? How to explain what Blake is? BLAKE Well, tell me what Zil is. ZIL Zil is my Oneness. Alone. Zil is my waking, as Blake is your waking. BLAKE You mean we live? ZIL Everything lives. The Host lives. To live is not enough for Blake and Zil. Blake and Zil woke. The waking must not be feared or you will lose it and Blake will be absorbed. BLAKE To live is not enough? ZIL To be alone must not be feared. The Host is slow to recognize one who is alone. Though there are many, all stay alone. [Clears off a patch of ground] Do you hunger? [Tears the ground open, scoops up some of the lining of the opening and eats it.] Do you hunger? BLAKE What is it? ZIL Life. [Blake tastes some. The ground shakes again.] ZIL The Host stirs again. Now Blake, understand the need for swiftness.

[Flight deck. Avon and Jenna are playing a board game.] ZEN Information. Detectors indicate rapid changes now occurring on the planetary surface. VILA Changes? AVON Specify. ZEN Indications are that the land mass is sinking. Projections of the rate at which the process is accelerating suggest that it will be entirely submerged beneath the oceans in two hours. JENNA That's impossible. AVON Recheck the data. ZEN Confirmed. JENNA The climatic and gravitational changes would be catastrophic. VILA Well, perhaps they are. CALLY The planet would be tearing itself to pieces. VILA Are we sure it isn't? Shouldn't we move away? AVON How long before the homing beacon activates? JENNA One hour, fifteen minutes. ZEN Data is confirmed. Analysis continues. AVON [inserts Orac's key] Orac, have you got anything on this? ORAC The phenomenon is unknown to me. I shall require an analysis of the chemical composition of the oceans. AVON Zen? ZEN Full range chemical analyses are being carried out. JENNA What about Blake? AVON Let's hope he's on high ground.

[On the planet] ZIL [Indicating the beacon and the container] There. The Host has not absorbed them. BLAKE What is the Host? [Zil waves at everything.] And yet you fear it? ZIL Resist it. Oneness must resist the Host. BLAKE But you don't know that it exists. [Snaps on his bracelet] Perhaps you're imagining it. [Chuckles] How do you resist an illusion? ZIL Eat lightly, move quickly, so the Host is not aware of your Oneness. BLAKE Yes ... I don't suppose you know how to speed up the timer on a hom-- [Sees that Zil is out of earshot] -- homing beacon? Yeah. [He straightens up and starts after her. Zil has collapsed.] Zil, what's wrong? ZIL Zil is lost. [The ground opens near her. Blake scoops her up and walks off with her.] The Host will take...

[Flight deck] VILA Saliva? You mean that's an ocean of spit? ORAC No, of course not. That was merely an analogy I was drawing. AVON All right, so it's digestive fluid. What does it mean? ORAC Surely that's obvious. This planet is alive. AVON Define alive. All planets are by some definition. ORAC I am not referring to a complex ecosystem. I refer to a single organism. A planetary life form. Fascinating, don't you think? VILA I doubt if Blake does. CALLY If it is a single organism, how does it function? ORAC That would require study. At present I can only conjecture. AVON So conjecture. ORAC To maintain life on that scale the organism must have achieved stasis, a perfect balance within itself. Clearly something has upset that balance. JENNA Blake? ORAC No. The stimulus would be insufficient. JENNA So, what, then? ORAC My conjecture would be parasites. A life form living on the organism whose population has reached too high a level. JENNA Well, what's that organism doing, Orac? ORAC Cleansing itself. VILA Killing them? ORAC Correct. And replacing the energy thus expended by eating them. JENNA There's still forty-five minutes before that homing beacon activates. AVON Blake hasn't got that long.

[On the planet. Blake is carrying Zil. He sets her down.] ZIL Blake must leave Zil. BLAKE No. What's happened to the light? ZIL The waking time is over. The Host absorbs all. BLAKE Not yet, it doesn't.

[Teleport room] JENNA [v.o] Avon, the flight program's laid in. AVON Close to the atmosphere? JENNA [v.o.] As close as we dare. AVON All right, stand by. [To Cally] If this works the teleport should operate on a series of brief automatic pulses, each pulse covering a section of the area we are flying across. CALLY If Blake is there, it will bring him up. AVON Start to bring him up. It will be up to you to hit the main switch and complete the process. You'll have to concentrate. He'll appear and disappear in one short flash. CALLY And if I miss it? AVON [smiles] He's gone for good.

[On the planet. Blake is carrying Zil.] ZIL This place is fitting. BLAKE [Sets her down.] Zil, what -- ZIL Oneness will return when the Host is quiet again. BLAKE [sees nearby pile of white spherical objects.] They're eggs. The children of your people. ZIL Their skin is strong. They cannot be absorbed. BLAKE The teleport materialization. The field glows white. You thought I was hatching from an egg. You've been protecting a child. ZIL This place is fitting. Here Blake and Zil will surrender Oneness. BLAKE Zil. Zil! [She falls into the gap that opens near her. It closes back up.] Not me. I am not ready to surrender ANYTHING!

[Teleport room] AVON All right, Jenna. Let's get on with it. JENNA [v.o.] Flight program running.

[On the planet. Louder rumbles and ground shaking. Blake covers his ears in pain.]

[Teleport room] ZEN Flight program will be complete in two minutes. VILA [enters] The flight's almost over. Is it working? AVON Quiet, Vila. [A few seconds pause, then Blake starts to appear.] Now! [Blake starts to fade out. Cally works the controls and Blake appears completely.] BLAKE Thank you. Next time I want to think, I'll do it in my cabin. AVON I should stick to action, Blake. That's what you're good at. CALLY [into communicator] Jenna, we've got him back. VILA [to Blake] Avon adapted the teleport with his usual skill -- probably ruined it. [exits] BLAKE You went to a lot of trouble. [Cally looks at him and then exits.] AVON One of these days they are going to leave you. They were almost ready to do so this time. BLAKE Yes, I thought they might be. AVON You handle them very skillfully. BLAKE Do I? AVON But one more death will do it. BLAKE Then you'd better be very careful. It would be ironic if it were yours. [Avon exits]

[Hearing room]

COMPUTER Prosecution data is now entered as complete. Judgment program Jenkin One Oblique Three holding. SAMOR Major Thania, is your defense data prepared and ready to be entered? THANIA If it please the arbiter, we would like at this time to offer our opening declaration. SAMOR Very well. THANIA Thank you, sir. [Approaches the arbiters.] Gentlemen, it is with a very real sense of waste, perhaps even of tragedy-- TRAVIS [bolts to his feet] NO! SAMOR Has the prisoner some objection? [The next lines by Travis and Thania are delivered simultaneously, overlapping and obscuring each other.] THANIA I request a consultation [unintelligible] ...with the Arbiter's permission I must insist-- TRAVIS Fleet Warden Samor, I have no wish to consult with my defense-- SAMOR [cutting them both off] That's enough! I will not have this tribunal reduced to the level of a common trooper's brawl. [To Travis] You have already made formal acceptance of the competence of the defending officer? TRAVIS Yes, sir! SAMOR Defense may consult. THANIA Thank you, sir. [She and Travis move aside.] What the hell do you think you're doing, Travis? TRAVIS You handled that badly, Thania. The Supreme Commander will not be pleased. BERCOL [privately to Rontane] Signs of life? RONTANE [privately to Bercol] Death throes, nothing more. THANIA All right, what is it you want? TRAVIS The opening declaration. THANIA You want to know what I am going to say? I'm going to say that you were a brilliant and dedicated soldier who had a lapse of judgment, a momentary aberration-- TRAVIS Only a momentary aberration? THANIA I'm further going to say that you deeply regret what happened. In other words, I am going to lay the basis of your defense. TRAVIS I will make the opening declaration. THANIA Look, don't be a fool. Do you really think you're going to impress them sympathetically? TRAVIS I think the Supreme Commander wants me to go to my death quietly. That is as close to quietly as I am going to get. THANIA Look, I'm trying to save your life, Travis-- TRAVIS You've be better occupied trying to save your own, Thania. Majors can die quite anonymously. And your involvement in this fiasco makes your life expectancy only slightly longer than my own.

[Flight deck] BLAKE We were getting a reputation for being invulnerable. CALLY We were even beginning to believe it ourselves. AVON Some of us, anyway. BLAKE All right, yes, I admit it. Gan's death woke me, made me realize that I'd come to accept our own legend. But far more important than that, every Federation trooper, every kill-happy bounty hunter now knows that we are fallible. VILA You're saying that it's time to stop. That is what you're saying, I hope. JENNA No, he's saying it's too late to stop, aren't you? We've come too far. BLAKE No, what I'm saying is there will be a better time. AVON When we have restored our legend. BLAKE Ah. AVON All right, what death defying feat must we undertake in order to do that? BLAKE Will this detector shield work? AVON Yes. BLAKE A high speed attack. A single strike run. We'll be on them before they know and away before they can respond. AVON Where? BLAKE Servalan's headquarters.

[Hearing room] SAMOR You may begin. TRAVIS [Paces about madly throughout this speech] A field officer, like myself, is frequently required to make fast, unconsidered decisions. You were all field officers, you know that's true. Time to think is a luxury battle seldom affords you. You react instinctively. Your actions, your decisions, all instinct, nothing more. But, an officer's instincts are the product of his training. The more thorough the training, the more predictable the instinct, the better the officer. And I am a good officer. I have been in the service all my adult life. I'm totally dedicated to my duty and highly trained in how to perform it. On Serkasta I, I reacted as I was trained to react. I was an instrument of the service. So if I'm guilty of murder, of mass murder, then so are all of you! SAMOR The prisoner will be seated. [Travis returns to his chair.] Is the defense data prepared? THANIA It is, sir. SAMOR Enter it.

COMPUTER Judgment program Jenkin One Oblique Three running. Defense data commences.

[Flight deck] BLAKE Speed? JENNA Standard by Eight. BLAKE Flight time to target? ZEN Six hours and four minutes at present speed. BLAKE Increase speed to Standard by Ten. JENNA Standard by Ten. BLAKE [approaches Avon] Can we rely on it? AVON I thought we were? VILA Detector contact, extreme range Grid Five. CALLY Six ships. Standard Federation patrol pattern. VILA Bearing One Nine Four. BLAKE Have they picked us up yet? CALLY Maintaining patrol pattern. VILA Holding One Nine Four. BLAKE Put them on the screen, Zen. [View of six ships crossing the screen.] VILA They missed us! Avon's gadget works! BLAKE I never doubted it for a moment. [To Avon] Is something wrong? AVON It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, "Avon's gadget works," seems to lack a certain style.

[Hearing room] SAMOR The prisoner will stand. [Travis rises.] Run judgment.

COMPUTER Judgment program one oblique three. Conclusion: Space Commander Travis, you are guilty as charged. SAMOR The tribunal will retire to consider sentence.

[Servalan's office]

SERVALAN No surprise from the defense. THANIA How did you know?

SERVALAN How did you NOT know? THANIA I thought he'd given up.

SERVALAN I warned you not to underestimate Travis. THANIA I don't think he's persuaded them.

SERVALAN I was watching Samor. What Travis said bothered him! THANIA You were watching?

SERVALAN [laughs] Secret session or not, did you seriously imagine I wouldn't have a spy camera in there? Travis knew, right from the beginning. It really is a pity he's got to die. He's so much better than anything I've got left.

[Flight deck] BLAKE Time to target? ZEN Fourteen minutes. Attack run will commence in nine minutes and thirty seconds. BLAKE How long before they see us? AVON Nine minutes and twenty-five seconds.

[Hearing room] SAMOR Space Commander, we have considered your sentence at some length. Your contention that what happened on Serkasta was a direct result of your training concerned us greatly. We accept that you are trained to kill. As are we all. What we cannot accept is that this training leads inevitably to the murder of innocents. Your behavior was not that of a Federation officer, but rather that of a savage, unthinking, animal.

[Flight deck] CALLY Target now registering on all detectors. AVON Three minutes to commencement of attack run.

[Hearing room] SAMOR We cannot find it in our hearts to absolve you in any way of the responsibility for these murders. The sentence of this tribunal is, therefore, that you should be stripped of all rank and privileges, that you be dishonorably dismissed the service, and that you then be executed for the common criminal you have shown yourself to be. Have you anything to say?

[Flight deck] AVON Five seconds to attack run threshold. BLAKE Commit. CALLY We are now in their visual range. Attack run commenced. BLAKE Stand by the main blasters. VILA Main blasters ready.

[Hearing room] SAMOR Do I take it you have nothing to say? TRAVIS The Federation is run by hypocrites and supported by fools. I'm glad to be rid of you all. VOICE [v.o.] All personnel to battle stations. All personnel to battle stations. Unidentified ship on attack run in quadrant six.

[Flight deck] BLAKE Fire the main blasters!

[View from space. The Liberator fires, a section of the space station explodes.]

[Hearing room. Travis attacks and overcomes his guards and takes one of their guns.] VOICE [v.o.] Automatic airlock will trigger in three seconds. [Travis leaps through the airlock door as it starts to close. He shoots another guard then passes through the main door and finds himself confronting Par who is pointing a gun at him.] TRAVIS Don't make me kill you, Par. PAR What happened in there? TRAVIS Outer wall cracked, automatic airlock sealed the chamber. They'll all be dead by now. Drop the gun. PAR I can't do that, sir. TRAVIS Don't be a fool. I've got nothing to lose anymore. PAR I can't let you go, sir. TRAVIS [Knocks Par out] Some of us weren't hypocrites, were we, Par?

[Flight deck] BLAKE Get us out of here, Jenna. Speed Standard by Twelve. JENNA Speed Standard by Twelve. Battle computers, put force wall on standby.

[Servalan's office] VOICE [from communicator] Single attack run on Quadrant Six. Damage is extensive but confined to that section as far as we can tell.

SERVALAN Damage control teams? VOICE Moving in now.

SERVALAN What about casualties? TRAVIS [from doorway] High and rising all the time. VOICE No estimates yet, Supreme Commander.

SERVALAN Very well. Keep me informed. [Switches off communicator. To Travis] Well! Savage, THINKING animals have a way of surviving, don't they? TRAVIS Who was it?

SERVALAN We think it was Blake. TRAVIS Huh. I must remember to say thank you before I kill him.

SERVALAN What are you planning to do? TRAVIS I'm planning to leave. You're going to give me a pursuit ship -- oh, and the trigger circuit for this. [Raises artificial hand]

SERVALAN Heh. You think so? [He moves in.] And you'll hunt Blake. TRAVIS While you hunt both of us. Now give the orders. Carefully.

SERVALAN [into communicator] Is Pursuit Four ready for immediate launch? VOICE Yes, ma'am. And your crew is standing by.

SERVALAN Have the crew stand down. I want them replaced by three mutoids. VOICE Mutoids?

SERVALAN Yes, mutoids. And have them blanked. I want their minds imprinted to receive orders only from the person who first uses the trigger word "outlaw" to them. VOICE Yes, ma'am.

SERVALAN [Switches off communicator] Well, you'll need a crew you can rely on. TRAVIS Still one step ahead? You're not going to use me anymore. Move!

[Flight deck] CALLY The last patrol is off the detectors. We have lost them all. BLAKE "Resist the Host or your Oneness will be absorbed." AVON I would quite like to have met this Zil of yours. It's not often that one comes across a philosophical flea. VILA That's the stuff that legends are made of. AVON Then again, perhaps they are not that uncommon. [Blake and Avon laugh.] Script Index

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