The Blake's 7 Super Test

Blake's 7 Super Test
Blake's Legacy
Blake's Progress
Naming Blake
"Avon: A Terrible Novel"?
Birth Of The Federation
The Blake's 7 Formula
To Kill Or To Stun
The Blake's 7 Drinking Game
Blake's Chicken
Blake's Parrott
ACT XVIII - God Save The King



( Tyrix. The vast shape of the Liberator is perched in a huge marshy field, which has been deeply furrowed by the landing. Within the ship's medical unit, a sleeping Nij Blake is electronically restrained on a rehab couch, while Avon, Soolin and Hailee all glower at him furiously. Orac is on a table, switched on. A pair of pulse wires run from the medi-computer to Blake's forehead. Blake slowly comes round and looks about himself for a moment, confused. )

Nij Blake: Did I say something wrong?

( More glowers. )

Nij Blake: Did I DO something wrong?

( More glowers. )

Nij Blake: Did I...?

( Blake's voice tails off as he sees that Avon is getting increasingly angry. )

Nij Blake: I'll be quiet now.

Hailee: No you won't. Not unless we decide to cut your tongue out anyway.

Nij Blake: Unless you WHAT...?!

Avon: Who are you?

Nij Blake: What?

( Avon brings his fist down on a table, causing a thump so loud that Hailee winces. )

Avon: Don't waste my time! I hate having my time wasted, you should know that by now. So enough games - who are you?

Nij Blake: You know who I am!

Avon: I know who you are not, and that is Blake's son. Now I want the truth this time.

Nij Blake: I don't understand. What are you saying?

( Hailee points to an infrared trace image of Blakes face on a monitor. )

Hailee: Avon.

Avon: Yes?

Hailee: Look at this.

( Avon follows Hailee's look and stares at the image in surprise. )

Hailee: According to this computer, the only stress he's displaying is consistent with straightforward confusion, not deceit.

Soolin: So he isn't hiding anything at all.

Hailee: Not unless his sweat glands are even better at acting than he is.

Avon: Slave, your opinion?

Slave: I'm sorry Master, but my appalling limitations do not equip me with the ability to form opinions.

Avon: ( Testily. ) All right, let me rephrase that. What is your conclusion? Is the patient trying to conceal information from us?

Slave: According to all available data, Master, I concur entirely with your esteemed colleague Madame Hailee. The patient does not show any physical signs of evasiveness.

Avon: What do you say, Orac?

Orac: Slave's conclusions, although produced by typically unsophisticated methods, and expressed with the lack of clarity and detail with which we are all painfully familiar, are for the most part meritorious. If the patient's claims are untrue, it is not a fact of which he is cognisant.

Soolin: I think that means he agrees.

( Blake makes a quiet coughing noise. Avon, Soolin and Hailee turn to look at him again. )

Nij Blake: Would you lot mind not talking about me like I'm not even imprisoned here?

Avon: That's just it. We're not sure who is imprisoned here.

Nij Blake: ( Deeply baffled and upset. ) Look, can we start this conversation again please?

( Avon is about to reply when the intercom kicks in. Zen appears on the monitor. )

Zen: Attention.

Avon: What is it, Zen?

Zen: The information you requested from the sensor sweep has been obtained. Vila is...

Avon: You can tell me when I get to the Flight Deck, Zen.

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Hailee, you stay here and explain to this imposter what the problem is. Then come and join us on the Flight Deck.

Hailee: Right.

Avon: Soolin, let's go.

( Avon and Soolin leave. Blake looks up at Hailee unhappily. )

Nij Blake: Hailee, what's going on? What does he mean "imposter?" Why am I being tied up like this?

( Hailee hesitates. She then goes over to a side table on which their stands a jug of water and a glass. She fills the glass with water, carries it over to Blake and holds it up to his lips. He sips it quietly. )

Hailee: According to what Soolin told me, Slave discovered something while you were unconscious.


( Flight Deck. Avon and Soolin hurry down the steps of the port side entrance. )

Avon: All right, Zen. Report.

Zen: Vila is approximately three terranean miles north-north-northwest of the Liberator's position. Detectors indicate a gathering of approximately nine hundred and seventeen humans converging on a wooded area already occupied by several thousand others.

Soolin: That would be Belhaven and his troops returning to their camp, presumably.

Zen: Battle computers, assessing the terrain and the movements of these contacts, concur with your conclusion.

Avon: And Vila's gone with them.

Soolin: But why? I can see why Belhaven wants his help, but why's Vila going along with it?

Avon: Anger with his father I suspect. You heard what he said.

Soolin: Yes, but still, I can't believe Vila would go this far. It's just not like him to trust a complete stranger like that.

Avon: He would if it was a woman.

Soolin: Well yes, but I'm fairly sure that Belhaven isn't.

Avon: ( Amused. ) We should never presume anything of course, but no, I suspect that's a safe bet.

Soolin: So why?

Avon: Maybe you can get him to tell us.

Soolin: So we're going after him?

Avon: Naturally.

Soolin: I thought I'd better check, I can never be sure with you.

Avon: Tempting as it is to leave him behind, he's still useful. Zen, are the power systems now fully-functional?

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Very well, restore power to the teleport system. We are going to need it if we are to find Vila.

Zen: Confirmed.


( Open space. A flotilla of four pursuit ships travels at high speeds on a structured search. On the flight deck of the head ship, Space Commander Forvyne snoozes fitfully in the command seat. Two pilots - one a Space Major, the other a mutoid - are keeping watch. The timekeeper on Forvyne's wrist beeps quietly. Forvyne stirs irritably. )

Forvyne: Update?

Major: We're on the outskirts of the Belquon system now, Space Commander.

Forvyne: Right on schedule. That makes a change. Have you started the sensor sweep?

Major: Sir.

Forvyne: And?

Major: We're getting various signal traces, the computers are sifting them now.

Forvyne: Very well. Carry on.

( There is a moment's silence while the Space Major reads the signal output. )

Major: Numerous signals consistent with Federation craft, sir. Nothing that corresponds with the Liberator's energy signature though.

Forvyne: I see. So we've found Kreel's wayward flotilla at least. Well that's a start. ( Presses an intercom button. ) Gavisson?

( The door from the habitation deck slides open and Jaimee Gavisson walks in, looking a little sleepy. )

Jaimee: Yes, Commander?

Forvyne: We've traced a number of our missing ships. I'm not anticipating any trouble, but just in case, are you and your men ready to board and investigate?

Jaimee: Of course, sir. Er, any sign of...

Forvyne: No, Gavisson. No trace of your cousin. Nor anyone else aboard the Liberator. Nor the Liberator itself.

Jaimee: Oh. Pity. ( In fact, he sounds slightly relieved. ) Well, I'll go below and inform the troops that we're about to move.

Forvyne: You do that, Gavisson.

( Jaimee salutes and turns to leave. )

Forvyne: Oh, and Gavisson?

( Jaimee turns back. )

Jaimee: Sir?

Forvyne: I'm sure you're aware that I opposed your transfer to Space Command Security. It's quite obvious that you only wanted the move because you wanted to be the one who hunts down your cousin. Such personal matters have no place on the Flight Deck of a Federation warship. So I've got some advice for you.

Jaimee: Yes sir?

Forvyne: If you want your move to be made permanent, you'll need me to make a positive report on your performance here.

Jaimee: ( Swallows nervously. ) I'm aware of that, sir.

Forvyne: So you'd better make sure that you do a damn good job here, had'nt you? After all if you don't, the only permanent move you'll be making is down. Straight down.

Jaimee: I won't let you down, sir.

Forvyne: Gavisson, I have already been let down. By whoever assigned you to my crew. The last thing I need working on my ship is some wet-behind-the-ears snooper who has no command experience outside of snitching on Administration paper-pushers. On your way.

Jaimee: ( Salutes again. ) Yes sir.


( A small wooded outcrop on Tyrix. Vila is sat on a tree stump, aiming unfriendly looks skyward at the rain that beats down regardless through the canopy of leaves. There are lots of other people gathered here, dressed in medieval armour. Lord Belhaven walks up to Vila, smiling a crocodile smile. )

Lord Belhaven: Ah, there you are.

Vila: Exactly where you left me, you mean?

Lord Belhaven: Er... Yes.

Vila: Why are you surprised then?

Lord Belhaven: Oh I wouldn't say surprised. More that I just couldn't remember.

Vila: That important, am I?

Lord Belhaven: Oh yes. I mean, no one's unimportant right?

Vila: No one worth speaking of, you mean?

Lord Belhaven: Exactly.

Vila: ( Sighs. ) I see. Can we stop bantering now, Belhaven? You told me there was some kind of deal you wanted to offer me, so offer away.

Lord Belhaven: All right. Follow me.

( Belhaven turns and heads through the trees. Vila shakes his head, gets to his feet, and with shoulders slumped sets off after him. He steps between two trees and suddenly finds himself alone in dense wooded undergrowth. Sunlight struggles to pierce through the canopy of leaves, which is so thick that Vila's view is obstructed beyond a few feet in front of his face. )

Vila: What the...? Belhaven? Belhaven? Where are you?

( Vila stumbles forward a few more steps, then turns around and tries to walk back the way he came. He quickly realises that he has lost his way. )

Vila: Come on, Belhaven, this isn't funny.

( Vila suddenly trips on some branches beneath his feet and lands flat on his face. )

Vila: Ow! ( Squeaks. ) Help.

( Vila looks up sharply and sees Belhaven standing over him, giving him a puzzled look. )

Lord Belhaven: Ah, there you are.

Vila: Don't start that again. Help me up, will you?

( Belhaven helps Vila back to his feet. )

Vila: Is this the deal you were offering me? You teach me how to drown in chlorophyll while I wait?

Lord Belhaven: ( Gestures over shoulder. ) No. It's this way.

( Belhaven starts striding through the undergrowth once more, disappearing from view very quickly again. Vila looks confused for a moment, then Belhaven's hand snakes out from behind a giant elephant-leaf, takes a firm grasp of Vila's sleeve and hauls him along. After a brief but awkward trudge through the oppressively overgrown tangle of vegetation, they stumble into a very large clearing at the very heart of the wood. )

Vila: ( Flustered. ) I'm not having fun. I've had fun. This isn't it.

( With a very sober look, Belhaven points across the clearing. )

Lord Belhaven: ( Gravely. ) They're not having fun either, Vila.

( Vila looks where Belhaven is pointing, and shudders. He sees on the other side of the clearing that there is a small scattering of mud-wood huts. Sat on the ground near these huts are people. They are dressed in ugly dirty rags, are unwashed, and look like they have not eaten in days. Belhaven and Vila walk towards them. )

Vila: What the hell...?

Lord Belhaven: ( Disgusted. ) "What the hell?" You sound just like your father.

Vila: What?

Lord Belhaven: You say "What the hell?" like they're objects. Instead of "WHO the hell?" They may be poor, Vila, they may be enduring a living hell, but they're still people.

Vila: Well who are they?

Lord Belhaven: ( Angered. ) They're right here, you know! Why don't you ask them?

( Vila looks at the nearest of the destitutes and tries to speak to her, but cannot find the words. Belhaven rolls his eyes. )

Lord Belhaven: Everybody?

( The destitutes all look up at Belhaven with a slow lack of enthusiasm. )

Lord Belhaven: This is Prince Vila. He's here to see the wonderful fruits of his fathers "democratic rule."

Vila: ( Timidly. ) Come again?

Lord Belhaven: These people, Vila, are your dear father's subjects. There's thousands more like them across Tyrix. If it hadn't been for the charity of myself and my army, they'd have all died by now.

Vila: But... I don't understand.

Lord Belhaven: Obviously. Carmen?

( One of the younger women in the gathering looks at Belhaven sadly. )

Carmen: Yes?

Lord Belhaven: Tell the Prince about his father's democratic achievements, would you?

Carmen: Achievements? ( Looks morose. ) My whole family starved to death in one harvest season. Does that count?

Vila: ( Amazed. ) Starved?

Lord Belhaven: You're asking a lot more than you're listening arent you?


( Liberator Medical Unit. Nij Blake is still strapped into the rehab couch. Hailee is helping him to drink an adrenaline and soma. )

Nij Blake: I'm telling the truth you know.

Hailee: I know that you THINK you're telling the truth. There's a difference.

Nij Blake: You've never believed me have you? Any of you?

Hailee: You really want me to be honest, Bl-... Nij? No, you never convinced any of us. I've always been a bit worried that we left your claims hanging in the air, but as we had no way of verifying...

Nij Blake: I see.

( It is clear that Blake means it in the most negative way. He turns away from Hailee angrily. )

Hailee: Can you tell me something?

Nij Blake: What?

Hailee: Why are you so sure that you ARE Blake's son?

Nij Blake: What's that supposed to mean?

Hailee: Nij, you never even met Roj Blake, and you don't seem to have any evidence to back your claim up  -  just what someone told you.

Nij Blake: Ushton and Inga both...

Hailee: I know what they told you, Nij. But words are words, they're not proof.

Nij Blake: You've got a nerve.

Hailee: What?

Nij Blake: Listen to yourself. A couple of months on the run and now you're telling me I've got to prove who I am? I mean who the hell do you think you are?

Hailee: Wait a second, that's not what I meant.

Nij Blake: Let me out of this thing...

Hailee: You know I can't...

Nij Blake: ( Bellows. ) LET ME OUT OF THIS CHAIR!!!!

( Blake struggles with his bonds desperately and angrily. )

Nij Blake: I can't prove anything while I'm tied down like this, can I? Let me out.

Hailee: But...

Nij Blake: I'm not playing Avon's stupid game anymore! Let me go!

( Hailee looks completely taken aback. She hesitates but then unstraps Blake. )

Hailee: All right.

( Blake slowly pulls himself out of the rehab couch and stretches his arms and legs. Hailee watches him warily. )

Nij Blake: Thank you.

Hailee: I'm taking a risk trusting you like this.

Nij Blake: ( Irritated. ) No you are not, and you damn well know it!

Hailee: ( After a slight but very noticeable hesitation. ) I suppose. But I meant what I said, Blake.

Nij Blake: Oh, suddenly calling me Blake again?

Hailee: Never mind that. I'm saying, you can't be sure who you are. You've led a pretty disjointed life in case you hadn't noticed.

Nij Blake: So what are you saying? That Ushton and Inga lied to me?

Hailee: No I'm not saying that either. I'm not even saying you're not who you say are. I'm saying I'm not convinced, and I'm reserving judgement.

Nij Blake: There you go again. "Judgement." Who made you a judge in the first place?

Hailee: Don't be stupid, Blake. You know what I mean.

Nij Blake: ( Nods sourly. ) All right, so you'll "reserve judgement". Until when?

Hailee: Well that much is easy, isn't it? Until we find Inga and hear her side of the story.


( Back in the forest clearing, Vila and Belhaven are still talking. )

Vila: But he's a democrat... isn't he?

Lord Belhaven: Let's just say your father stuck every bit as closely to the principles that Cromwell held so dear as he suggested. Tell me, Vila, how well do you know Old Calendar history?

Vila: Erm, not great.

Lord Belhaven: Sarlad's beloved hero, Oliver Cromwell, overthrew the British monarchy in the seventeenth century and became a dictator in his own right. To be fair, he did try to rule through elected Parliaments but every time that he disagreed with them he would dismiss them and rule alone. ( Shrugs. ) A bit like your father, Vila. He holds free elections every five years, but it's not for leadership of the realm. It's only to appoint advisors to the Witan.

Vila: What's a "vitt-an"?

Lord Belhaven: It's an old Saxon word, it's just a council of delegates. They advise the King on issues and propose policies, but they have no other power than that. Sarlad can just ignore them whenever they give him advice that he doesn't want to hear. And he does.

Vila: But... surely people can just vote him out of power?

Lord Belhaven: Aren't you listening? He's a KING. You don't vote for Kings. Once a man is King, he remains so until he dies or until he abdicates. Like he said, this is a constitutional monarchy. Unlike what he said, the constitution is pretty incomplete.

Vila: But why are all these people... ( Gestures to the gathered down-and-outs. ) ...y'know?

Lord Belhaven: Well, as you saw during the feast in the Grand Hall, there was enough food on the table there to feed one person for a month!

Vila: You mean he's hoarding it all?

Carmen: You're slow, but you get there eventually.

Man: The last two harvests have failed, but ole' Sarlad can hide it from himself by keeping most of the stocks for himself.

Lord Belhaven: That's why I'm fighting the war, Vila. By the rules of engagement of the Magna Carta, I'm able to win lands from the King. I can then redistribute them amongst the impoverished people of Tyrix. It gives them a chance to grow enough food for themselves, and they won't have to surrender it all to the King.

Vila: I can't believe this. My father was always starry-eyed, but I can't believe he'd let all this happen.

Lord Belhaven: Power corrupts, Vila. What did you say you were in the Federation? A professional thief, yes?

( Vila nods solemnly. )

Lord Belhaven: You steal from honest pockets. Your father steals from honest mouths. You're not all that different, are you?

Vila: I guess not.

Lord Belhaven: So perhaps you CAN believe it. This is not what we risked our necks for when we escaped the Federation. Not just to create a Royal Servalan.

Vila: I don't suppose it would be. This is all very illuminating, but where do I fit into it?

Lord Belhaven: I'm running out of time, Vila. You've only seen my army and these people here. There are people elsewhere who have been hit by your father's greed far worse than these ones. There's a full blown famine in the South.

Vila: Yeah?

Lord Belhaven: And I can't win this war in time to save them if I stick to the rules. An awful lot of people are starving, many more are ill. They won't live long. Most of the food stocks on this planet are all sealed away in the stores of Sarlad's fortress.

Vila: And?

Lord Belhaven: Don't you get it? I need your help! Sticking to the rules of war of the Charter, it'll take me months to reach the fortress and take it from Sarlad, and even that's only if things go to plan! Those people haven't got months! They'll die if I carry on playing by the rules.

Vila: I understand that, but what can I do? You want me to talk to him?

Lord Belhaven: No no! He never listens to anyone, I told you. I need to be able to fight him for real. I need to be able to fight a proper war. But my army isn't large enough to defeat his that way, certainly not to take his fortress. I need access to your ship, Vila.

Vila: Liberator?

Lord Belhaven: Yes. I need access to the weapons your ship can provide. I mean look at that gun you're carrying now. ( Points to the holster on Vilas belt. ) If I could stock just a handful of my troops with that kind of weaponry...

Vila: You're asking me to help you start a real war? Have you any idea what that would involve?

Lord Belhaven: Yes I do. I also know what letting that egomaniac stay on the throne would involve. He has to go, even if we have to fight a real war to make it happen.

Vila: You must be mad. I've fought in a real war, you know. Do you have any idea what it's like? I mean what it's really like?

Lord Belhaven: I can guess.

Vila: No you can't, Belhaven. You've no idea how it feels, fighting for days on end, praying that you'll still be alive in the morning. Listening to screams as people die by the hundred.

Lord Belhaven: You don't think I hear those already with people starving to death by the hundred?

Vila: You're asking me to fight someone else's war. Against my own father!

Lord Belhaven: A father you don't seem to like very much. Your daughter died didn't she? Because of your father's neglect?

Vila: Daughter? You mean Stella? She was my niece actually, and my father didn't have anything to do with it.

Lord Belhaven: Which rather proves the point. A responsible grandparent would have had something to do with it. He would have fought to the bitter end to prevent it.

Vila: You're twisting my words now.

Lord Belhaven: No I'm not, I'm just completing your own logic. ( Takes a step towards Vila. ) You know what I'm saying is true. You hate him. He abandoned you and your family years ago, left you all to your fate.

Vila: I don't hate him. I'm angry with him, that doesn't mean I hate him...

Lord Belhaven: Garbage! There's no difference.

Vila: Do you really believe that?

Lord Belhaven: I know it.


( Belquon system. The head pursuit ship closes in to dock with a ship of Commander Kreel's erstwhile flotilla. A small transfer tube extends across from the one to the other and seals itself over the hatch. )


( Inside the tube, Jaimee Gavisson and three troopers, all dressed in pressure suits and heavily-armed, make their awkward progress between the two ships. Using a sonal key, Jaimee swiftly opens the airlock and steps inside. )

Jaimee: ( Into communicator. ) We're in, sir.

Forvyne: ( V.O. ) Good. Detectors suggest that this is not Kreel's flagship, but see if you can find any of the crew alive. We need answers.

( Jaimee and the other troopers step through onto the flight deck of the pursuit ship. The lights are all off, except the emergency lamps. There are mutoids slumped on the floor, quite dead. In the command seat, a space major is sat, his skin frozen almost solid. )

Trooper: Cold in here.

Jaimee: ( Into communicator. ) All life support systems are dead. So's the crew. ( To troopers. ) Check the read-outs. Get a damage report, and see if you can get the systems back online.

Trooper: Right away, sir.

( The troopers step up to the control consoles and start trying to power the craft up. It does not take much effort to succeed. )

Trooper: Sir?

( Jaimee walks over to join them. )

Jaimee: Yes?

Trooper: These computers are all working fine. Power levels are still more than adequate, and there's no trace of damage whatsoever.

Jaimee: What, you mean...? ( Gestures at the dead pilot. )

Trooper: Yes. The systems were shut down manually.

Jaimee: Including life support? Why would they do that?

Trooper: Maybe they were just in a mood.

Jaimee: ( Chuckles sourly. ) Elaborate group suicide? Doesn't sound very plausible, does it?

Trooper: Not unless they were doing it to annoy.

Jaimee: We're annoyed, they're dead. If this is a contest, I think they're winning.

Trooper: That won't be much of a consolation to them I fear.

Jaimee: ( Into comm. ) Commander Forvyne?

Forvyne: ( V.O. ) Go ahead, Gavisson.

Jaimee: ( Into comm. ) This is looking increasingly suspicious, sir. All the systems have been shut down manually. No sign of any combat damage or even sabotage.

Forvyne: ( V.O. ) Exercise caution, and be on standby to withdraw at a moment's notice. I'm sending two more men aboard to help you.

Jaimee: ( Into comm. ) I doubt that'll be necessary, sir...

Forvyne: ( V.O. ) Extraordinary, these auto-memory lapses I suffer from, Gavisson. I have absolutely no recollection of asking for your opinion, and yet clearly I must have done. I mean otherwise you wouldn't be so presumptuous...

Jaimee: ( Into comm, slightly embarrassed. ) I apologise, sir.

Forvyne: ( V.O. ) Better. Forvyne out.

( Jaimee stares at the communicator, angered by this public rebuke. )

Jaimee: Bastard.

( Jaimee looks up as he realises that the troopers are all staring at him, as if surprised by this insubordinate remark. )

Jaimee: Well he is.

Trooper: ( Clearly in total agreement. ) Didn't hear a thing, sir.

Servalan: I did though.

( All the troopers turn to see Servalan and two of her zombie pirates standing at the back of the flight deck, next to the entrance to the engine room. They are all armed. )

Servalan: You know, you should be careful what you say about your superiors. Words can hurt. They can really hurt.

Jaimee: Who are you?

Servalan: Oops, now you've offended me. Didn't I just tell you to be careful what you say to your superiors?

Jaimee: I asked you a question.

Servalan: You don't want to hear my answer. Trust me.

( The airlock opens and two more troopers step in. )

Jaimee: Ah good. Arrest those three... ( Points to Servalan and her colleagues. ) ...and take them back to the ship.

( The two newcomers respond by raising their guns, aiming at Jaimee and his escorting troopers, and opening fire. Before Jaimee or the others can respond, Servalan and her two zombies also open fire in support. Both escort troopers are quickly gunned down. Jaimee, his survival instincts better-honed, ducks behind a pilot chair and fires back. Servalan fires at the console behind Jaimee. It erupts in a shower of sparks. )

Servalan: ( To one of the pirates. ) You stay here and make sure he doesn't follow. The rest of you, let's go.

( Servalan, the remaining pirate and the troopers turn and hurry into the transfer tube, sealing shut the airlock behind them. The pirate that they have left behind keeps Jaimee pinned down with bursts of plasma fire. Jaimee finally leaps out from cover, rolls nimbly across the floor and shoots the pirate in the chest. The pirate falls. Jaimee scrambles for the airlock door and tries to open it, but it is sealed fast. )


( In fact, it is a good thing for Jaimee that he failed to open the airlock, because the transfer tube is already being withdrawn back into the other ship, and the outer airlock door has not been closed! )


( Aboard the other ship, one of the troopers seals the airlock shut, while Servalan turns to address Space Commander Forvyne. )

Servalan: Permission to come aboard?

Forvyne: Welcome to my humble abode... ( Performs an elaborate bow. ) ...Madame President.

Servalan: Thank you, Space Commander Forvyne. A text book operation.

Forvyne: Madame, I'm honoured.

Servalan: I take it Gavisson and those troopers with him were the only ones aboard your vessel who were not in league with myself?

Forvyne: Indeed. That was the reason why I didn't want them in my crew in the first place.

Servalan: One must learn to adjust to such discomforts in the military, Commander. As you have demonstrated admirably.

Forvyne: Would you like me to destroy the other ship?

Servalan: No, just let it drift. I destroyed its main computer before leaving, so it won't be able to return to civilisation. And if one of the other ships in your flotilla sees you opening fire, you'll have some awkward questions to answer when we get back to Earth. Just send a message to the other ships that the vessel suffered a serious malfunction in life support and all aboard were dead before you arrived. It's not far from the truth anyway.

Forvyne: ( To communications officer. ) You heard her, Major.

Space Major: Sending now, sir.

Servalan: Excellent.

Forvyne: What further orders do you have for me, Madame President?

Servalan: Well, we'd best make a convincing show of the rest of the search mission, just to prevent any of the other crews getting suspicious. We'll spend a few more hours scouting the system before you smuggle me back to Earth. While we're doing all that, I need to speak to Demwuhl. We need her to wipe Gavisson's name from the records for this mission.

Forvyne: I'll have a secure channel isolated for you within two minutes, ma'am.

Servalan: Excellent, Forvyne. Demwuhl served me well when she chose you for this retrieval operation. I'm sure I'll have use for you again many times in the future.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Soolin is at the communication console, Avon is sat in the central pit. Hailee and Blake enter from the port corridor. Avon gets to his feet angrily. )

Avon: What the hell?!

Hailee: Give it a rest, Avon.

Avon: You let him go?

Hailee: No flies on you.

Avon: Of all people, I never imagined you could be so weak...

Hailee: ( Scoffs. ) Weak? You're callin' me weak? You're so scared of some adolescent loudmouth...

Nij Blake: Hey!

Hailee: ... that you have to tie him up in a rehab chair, and you call ME weak?

Nij Blake: Could you...?

Hailee: I said give it a rest, Avon, and I meant it. He's not going to do any harm, and it's not like we couldn't stop him anyway. I mean look at him.

Nij Blake: HEY!

( Everyone stops and looks at Blake. )

Nij Blake: For the last time, stop talking about me like I'm not even here!

Hailee: Sorry. Bottom line, Avon, let's worry about finding Vila for now. Then we'll find Inga and let her sort all this out.

Avon: And in the meantime we let an imposter run free aboard the Liberator?

Hailee: He's been able to run free on the Liberator for weeks now. He doesn't seem to have done much harm so far.

Avon: How sure are we of that?

Nij Blake: You saw the readings in the medical unit didn't you? You know I'm not lying. Or if I am, I don't know it.

( Avon looks tired. He shakes his head angrily. )

Avon: The most dangerous justice is innocence until guilt proven.

Soolin: Yes. But then necessities are usually dangerous, Avon.

Hailee: Look at it this way. If you push Blake around, then find he's been telling the truth, it's going to make life very difficult for you in future, won't it?

Avon: That depends on your point of view.

Hailee: Doesn't everything? Look come on, we've lost Farin and Kyben over the last few days, now Vila's gone walkabout. We can't afford to lose anyone else. And I mean it's not unheard of for Slave to make a mistake is it?

Avon: ( Nods reluctantly. ) All right, Blake, you can go free for now. But this isn't settled yet.

Nij Blake: Count on it, Avon. I'd like to hear what Inga has to say for herself as well, y'know.

Avon: ( Smiles patronisingly. ) I'd probably feel the same way in your position. ( Raises voice an authoritative notch. ) Right. As you say, let us return to more immediate matters. My strongest suspicion is that Belhaven wants Vila to give him access to the Liberator. No sign of either of them approaching us so far, but we have a fix on their likely position. Zen, put the map on screen.

Zen: Confirmed.

( A 2D-map of the surrounding lands appears on the main screen. A flashing red mark near the centre of the screen indicates Liberator's present position. A green ring near the top-left corner indicates the wood where Belhavens army are gathered. )

Nij Blake: Well if they're not coming after us, should we go to them?

Avon: There's around nine hundred of them, and four of us. Hardly a fair fight.

Nij Blake: ( Without the slightest trace of irony. ) You're right. With the weapons we've got, we'd slaughter 'em.

Soolin: ( Amused. ) What's life without that kind of confidence?

Avon: Longer.

Hailee: He's got a point though. We can't find Vila, by sitting here and waiting.

Avon: Are you volunteering to go and look for him?

Hailee: Nope.

Avon: ( Genuinely surprised. ) Oh.

Hailee: You know me, Avon, I'm far too direct to wait for an invite. If I'm going to volunteer for something, I come right out and say it.

Avon: Well then, Blake, it's up to you.

Nij Blake: Me?

Avon: It was your idea, surely? Besides, if you want to erase our suspicions, what better way than by rescuing our beloved comrade?

( In turn Blake looks at Avon, then Soolin, then Hailee, then shrugs. )

Nij Blake: Okay.


( Aboard the drifting Pursuit ship, Jaimee Gavisson is under the control console desperately trying to make repairs. Spare parts and burned out components are littered all about him. )

Jaimee: Why didn't I pay attention in the FSAs cybernetics classes? Why'd I waste all that time making secret naked holographs of the girls in the class through that x-ray filter when the teachers weren't looking?

( Jaimee climbs out from under the console and examines his handiwork, hands on hips. )

Jaimee: Ah well, teenage perversion has its price. Here goes nothing...

( Jaimee flicks a switch on the console. The lights switch on. The vague hum of the oxygen generors kicking in can be heard. Then a bright and loud spark rises from the controls, followed by a small but thick puff of smoke. Everything grinds to a stop again. )

Jaimee: A high price.


( Nij Blake teleports into a wooded area on Tyrix. He draws his gun, a Liberator handgun, and looks all about nervously. )

Nij Blake: ( Into bracelet. ) Safe enough.

Avon: ( V.O.) Remind me to care. According to Zen, there are human contacts East-North-East of your position. Out.

( Blake rolls his eyes, turns, and selects the appropriate direction to walk in. He stumbles briefly on some thick undergrowth, but then breaks into a run. After a few moments he starts to hear voices off to his right. He heads in that direction, rounds several trees and finds himself on the edge of a clearing crowded with dozens of Belhavens soldiers, who are idly pottering about around several large bonfires, drinking, bantering or playing games of cards or chess. Blake hurriedly ducks back behind the nearest tree and crouches down low. He peers around the tree and watches the soldiers nervously. )

Nij Blake: ( Into bracelet, quietly. ) Avon? Avon, I've found Belhavens camp. The place is crawling with his men.

Avon: ( V.O. ) Start looking for Vila.

Nij Blake: Well of course I will, but what do I do about that lot? There's loads of 'em!

Avon: ( V.O. ) Can you see them?

Nij Blake: ( Through gritted teeth. ) Yes of course!

Avon: ( V.O. ) Then you already know more about the situation than I do. I suggest you figure it out for yourself.

Nij Blake: What? But...

Avon: ( V.O. ) Liberator out.

Nij Blake: ( Stares at bracelet, fuming. ) Thanks a zillion. ( Glances around the tree again. ) Well, I s'pose I could always try the frontal approach...

( Blake boldly steps out from behind the tree and walks towards the nearest bonfire. One or two of the soldiers see him and point him out to the others around them. In moments every one of the soldiers has fallen silent and stare at Blake suspiciously. )

Nij Blake: ( Smiles politely. ) Hi. Um, you've met my friends earlier, right?

Soldier 1: What? Oh, youre one of Vila's lot?

Nij Blake: ( Brightening. ) Yes, that's right. Er, we were looking for him. He wandered off while we were visiting Sarlad's fort. ( Gulps slightly when he sees the unfriendly looks he gets at the mention of Sarlad. ) Well I was wondering if you... y'know?

Soldier 2: What?

Nij Blake: If you know where he is?

Soldier 2: Yes we do. Now clear off.

( The soldiers turn away from him and return to their leisure. Blake looks slightly embarrassed. )

Nij Blake: Er. Errrr...

( One or two of the soldiers look back at Blake again. One of them playing a poker game, shows him his hand. )

Soldier 3: You're interrupting our game. See these cards? They'll win me the whole game if I'm just allowed to concentrate.

Soldier 4: Hah! That's a bluff! Ill raise you ten...

Nij Blake: ( Clears throat. ) Er, "cough". "Cough cough".

Soldier 2: Are those convincing sound effects your attempt to draw our attention once more, kid?

Nij Blake: Yes.

Soldier 2: What do you want?

Nij Blake: ( Becoming exasperated. ) I told you! I want to find Vila.

Soldier 2: Yeah?

Nij Blake: So do you know where he is?

Soldier 2: And I just told YOU. Yes we do.

Nij Blake: So tell me where he is!

Soldier 2: ( Blinks. ) Oh. Oh you wanted us to tell you? I'm sorry. Well why didn't you say so?

Nij Blake: I did, I asked... ( Sighs. ) Is there anyone else I can ask?

Soldier 2: Are you blind? Of course there is. There's... ( Pauses to try and count how many soldiers are here, loses count at about seven, and gives up. ) There's loads of us here, look.

Nij Blake: I mean, is there anyone with a BRAIN I can ask?

( Most of the soldiers stop and give each other looks of immense stupidity. )

Nij Blake: This place is a democracy? I mean they give people like you a VOTE?

( More dazed looks. )

Nij Blake: Never mind. Will you please tell me where Vila is?

Soldier 2: ( Points into the wood. ) There's a village about hundred yards that way. He an' Lord Belhaven went there.

Nij Blake: Thanks.

( Blake suppresses an angry growl and walks into the woods in the indicated direction. Once he is far enough into the undergrowth he stops and contacts Liberator. )

Nij Blake: ( Into bracelet. ) Avon? You know what you said about most of Sarlad's people being idiots?

Avon: ( V.O.) Yes?

Nij Blake: ( Into bracelet. ) You should try talking to some of Belhaven's crowd.


( Liberator teleport room. Avon is sat at the console. )

Avon: ( Into comm. ) What about them?

Nij Blake: ( V.O. ) Well I'd call them morons, but I don't want to offend any morons who might be listening.

Avon: ( Into comm. ) It doesn't surprise me. Both armies have presumably been recruiting from the same population. The aristocracy will be from the educated classes of the Federation, but most of the others are probably ex-Delta grades.

Nij Blake: ( V.O. ) Heh, that suggests Vila's telling the truth when he says his Delta classification's a fake doesn't it? I mean, if his Dad's the King...

Avon: ( Into comm., suddenly in a hurry to change the subject. ) Speaking of whom, have you found Vila yet?

Nij Blake: ( V.O. ) Should only be a few minutes.

Avon: ( Into comm. ) Good. Liberator out.

( Back in the woods, Blake looks down at his bracelet, slightly abashed by the abrupt end to the conversation. )

Nij Blake: Hurting your superiority complex, Avon? Scared that Vila may be cleverer than you thought?

( Blake starts picking his way through the undergrowth. )

Nij Blake: That could be useful to know.


( Pursuit ship. Jaimee is once again under the control console, hurriedly making repairs. He climbs out once more and flicks the same switch as before. The systems power up once again. Jaimee grits his teeth and braces himself as the main lights switch on. This time they do not burn out.)

Jaimee: ( Sigh of relief. ) That should keep this heap moving till I can find somewhere safe to land.

( Jaimee seats himself at the controls and starts up the navigation computer. )

Jaimee: The planet Belquon. ( Reads from the screen. ) Breathable atmosphere, but not colonised. Small but significant life signs. Probably find food there then. ( Mulls it over. ) It'll have to do.

( Jaimee starts to power up the main engine. )

Jaimee: Just hope this doesn't cause another burn-out.

( The Pursuit ship turns and limps slowly toward the system's only planet. )


( Tyrix. Nij Blake, looking very dishevelled and exhausted, has picked his way through the oppressive undergrowth and enters the forest clearing where he finds Vila talking with Lord Belhaven. )

Nij Blake: Vila!

( Vila turns and looks surprised as he sees Blake walking towards him. )

Vila: Blake? How'd you get here?

Nij Blake: ( Gestures to clothes. ) I walked. I've never been for a walk in a forest that walked all over me before.

Vila: I didn't think Avon would release you.

Nij Blake: Hailee did.

Vila: ( Sourly. ) Sounds about right.

Lord Belhaven: ( Coughs politely. ) Um...?

Vila: Oh, sorry. Lord Belhaven, this is Blake, another of our crew.

Lord Belhaven: Blake? ( Shakes hands with Blake. ) Delighted. ( Does not sound much like it. )

Vila: Why did you follow me, Blake?

Nij Blake: ( Gives Belhaven an uncomfortable look. ) Why d'you think? We didn't know what happened to you, and you refused to answer when we tried to call you.

Vila: I took my bracelet off. I didn't want anyone teleporting me, I'm busy.

Nij Blake: What with?

( Vila and Belhaven share irritated glances. )

Lord Belhaven: Private dispute, Blake.

Nij Blake: About?

Vila: About something that's got nothing to do with you. That's what private means. Look, you've found out what's happened to me, and I'm fine, so why don't you go back to the ship and tell everyone?

Nij Blake: What's wrong, Vila?

Vila: Nothing's wrong, I'm just busy.

Nij Blake: Look, I'll go back to the Liberator. It's just we'd like to know why you ran off first.

Vila: I told you, it's private. It's between me and my father.

Nij Blake: Yeah? So why are you talking to him about it? ( Gestures to Belhaven. )

Vila: Blake, you're really starting to honk me off. Go back to the ship. I'll call you when I'm ready to leave.

Lord Belhaven: No, Vila, wait. Your friend can stay. He may be able to help.

( Vila and Blake look at Belhaven supiciously. )

Nij Blake: What? Why should I? If you're not going to explain...

( Belhaven suddenly grabs Blake, draws his sword and holds it across the startled youngster's throat. )

Vila: What th-...!

Lord Belhaven: I don't have to explain anything to you, Blake. It's simple enough. You do as I say or I cut your throat.

( Vila steps forward to try and help Blake. )

Vila: Let him...

( Carmen springs to her feet and lands a high kick to Vila's chest. She seems quite nimble for an oppressed pauper. Vila tumbles to the ground. )

Lord Belhaven: Don't interfere, Vila. If you're not going to help willingly, I'll have to convince you some other way. I want access to your ship's armoury, and if I don't get it, your friend grows an extra mouth.

( Blake manages to quietly draw his gun. At the angle he is being held he cannot aim it at Belhaven, so he points it at the ground between them and presses the firing stud. The screech of the blast is loud. Belhaven's startled cry is even louder. The surface of the ground between them is torn and burns and both Blake and Belhaven are thrown to the floor. Blake gets to his feet and starts to run. While Belhaven gets up and moves to restrain Vila, Carmen moves to intercept Blake. )


( Liberator teleport room. )

Nij Blake: ( V.O. ) Avon. Avon, I need back up!

Avon: ( Into comm. ) What's happened?

Nij Blake: ( V.O. ) I'm under attack. Look can we discuss the details later? Send me some help!

Avon: ( Grits teeth, switches comm. ) Soolin, Hailee. Arm yourselves and get down here. Now.


( Some moments later, Soolin and Hailee teleport into the clearing. They draw their weapons but find they are surrounded by Belhaven's archers, all of whom have their bows aimed at them. Blake is stood off to one side, looking ashamed. He holds his teleport bracelet in his hand. As Soolin and Hailee drop their guns, Blake hands the bracelet over to Belhaven, who is standing near him and pointing a gun at him. It is the handgun Blake had brought with him. Carmen is also here holding a dagger over Vila's throat. )

Lord Belhaven: That's better. Remove their bracelets.

Soolin: Belhaven, what's going on?

Lord Belhaven: ( Putting on the bracelet. ) Vila is finally going to help me. It's taken a lot of effort to convince him. I also had to convince your friend Blake. Ended up threatening Vila's life. Ironic, seeing as I tried to do it the other way round first of all.

Soolin: We knew you'd try something like this, Belhaven.

Lord Belhaven: I'm sure you did, and yet you still let it happen. You're intelligent, but not all THAT intelligent. Still, my argument's not with any of you. It's a simple enough equation, Soolin. I want the weapons you have aboard the Liberator. Once I have them you can all go your own way.

Hailee: What makes you so sure that we have so many weapons on the Liberator?

Lord Belhaven: I'm not, but then I don't need many. Just a few. Right, Vila, put your bracelet on.

Vila: Why?

Lord Belhaven: You're coming with me. I need someone to show me around don't I?

Vila: I suppose.

( Vila pulls his teleport bracelet from his pocket, slips it onto his wrist and snaps it closed. Carmen releases him and takes a pace back. She puts on Soolin's bracelet. One of the soldiers puts on Hailee's. )

Lord Belhaven: Tell me, Vila. Why are you so reluctant to help me? It can't be conscience surely? Not in a professional thief. Loyalty to your father perhaps? No, doesn't tally with the facts. So what is it? Loyalty to your crewmates?

Vila: Maybe.

Lord Belhaven: Interesting. You refuse me in an attempt to defend your crewmates. But why? I'm not even planning anything that's going to do them any real harm.

Vila: ( Thoughtfully. ) That's true.

Lord Belhaven: They must be very fine crewmates, Vila. To command such loyalty from you. They must all think the world of you.

Vila: ( Staring at Hailee. ) Umm... not all of them.

Lord Belhaven: Oh. But they must treat you well? Why, they must treat you splendidly. Why else would you be so dedicated to them?

( Vila stops and thinks. Before his eyes he sees memories of Del Tarrant bullying him at Keezarn and again on Sardos, of Avon trying to throw him from the shuttle at Malodaar, of Hailee elbowing him in the stomach at Craeus. )

Vila: ( Suddenly sounding confused. ) Er, no actually.

Lord Belhaven: No? Really? How extraordinary. Why is it then?

Vila: Hmm? Why what?

Lord Belhaven: Why do you feel loyal to them?

Vila: I... I don't. I mean... I do. ( Looks lost. )

Soolin: Vila, don't listen to him, he's...

Lord Belhaven: Shut her up.

( One of the archers menaces Soolin with a nocked arrow. )

Vila: I need them.

Lord Belhaven: ( Trying to sound astonished. ) NEED them? You NEED them? Why? Why would you need people who don't value you, who treat you with such contempt?

Vila: Because... ( Tries to think. ) ... because I want to survive.

Lord Belhaven: Ah I see. You're a wanted criminal, and you need them to help you stay ahead of the enemy. Very interesting.

Nij Blake: Vila, he's...

Lord Belhaven: The next one of the prisoners to interrupt will be killed. That includes you, Blake. ( To Vila. ) THEY need YOU. Your skills as a thief must be considerable. I somehow doubt that any of the others can rival you. But here on Tyrix you are beyond the Federation's reach. You don't need them here. You don't need anyone who will treat you with contempt. We wouldn't. We would fight for you.

Vila: What are you saying?

Lord Belhaven: Well isn't it obvious? On this planet, your father is a King. That makes you a Prince. Tell me, Vila, has it occurred to you what that would make you when he dies?

( Vilas eyes widen as he realises what Belhaven is suggesting. Soolin, Hailee and Blake all look very worried, but dare not speak out. )

Lord Belhaven: I'm not saying anything, you understand. It's just it occurs to me that you wouldn't have to run from anyone if you had a vast army like, for instance, this one to fight for you, would you? Indeed you'd have the whole planet to protect you. And you'd be well protected if that army was well-equipped. Right?

Vila: Er...

Lord Belhaven: Like with the technology that your ship can provide. Wouldn't you say?

Vila: ( Stammers. ) I... I...

Lord Belhaven: Still enough of all this hypothetical banter. For the moment, let us head for the Liberator and see if I can convince Avon to be more co-operative. I've never been teleported before. Should be most interesting. Come on, say the word, Vila. And no tricks. It'd be such a shame if I had to kill your friends at this late stage.

Vila: ( Dizzied. ) What? Oh. Right. ( Into bracelet. ) Avon? It's Vila.

Avon: ( V.O. ) About time. What's happened?

Vila: ( Into bracelet. ) It's all right, Avon, it was a false alarm. We're ready to come back.

Avon: ( V.O. ) Good, so we're clear to take off then. Stand by.

Vila: ( Into bracelet. ) Yeah. ( Narrows eyes. ) And I think a lot of other things have become clear besides.

( Vila, Belhaven, Carmen and the other soldier dematerialise. Soolin, Hailee and Blake all exchange worried looks. )


( Liberator teleport room. Avon looks astonished to see who materialises in the teleport bay with Vila. )

Avon: What the...?!

Vila: ( Swallows. ) Sorry, Avon. They were going to kill the others if I didn't...

Avon: You idiot! You'd compromise the safety of this ship just to save them? Even though they'll probably be killed anyway?

Lord Belhaven: Pardon me for interrupting, Avon. Your ship is quite safe. I have no intention of depriving you of it. I just need...

Avon: I already know what you need. It wasn't difficult to figure out.

Lord Belhaven: Then you should also be able to figure out that I have nothing to gain by killing you or your crew. If you co-operate you will be free to go. End of story.

Avon: Some people don't need anything to gain. The enjoyment alone is enough.

Lord Belhaven: Some people, yes. I'm not one of them.

Avon: I only have your word for that. And you want to violate the most integral law of your planet's society by creating a real war. I'm not sure how far I can trust the word of such a man.

Lord Belhaven: That law is a corruption, Avon. Sarlad invented it to keep control, not to prevent suffering. By making all forms of conflict and violence on Tyrix as wholesome and as benign as possible, he's succeeded in taking all the edge out of our people. There's no danger of a successful revolution against him as long as we stick by the Charter, and if we don't, we're so unskilled in the ways of battle that we can't defeat him anyway. All we'd do is lose popularity. He wins both ways. ( Looks at Avon knowingly. ) I'm sure you've worked all that out.

Avon: Well of course I did. It's quite clever. Sarlad holds absolute power through appearing to be liberal, instead of ruling through fear as the Federation does. After all, the Federation's way only creates martyrs and opponents who know what they're doing.

Lord Belhaven: So then you can...

Avon: Just because I worked it out, it doesn't mean that I care.

Vila: You really don't, do you?

Avon: You know me well enough by now, Vila. If it's not in my interest, it's of NO interest. I won't help.

Vila: ( Resentfully. ) No? Well I will.

( Vila turns and heads toward the exit. Avon gets to his feet. Belhaven and Carmen immediately train their guns on him. )

Avon: Vila, where are you going?

Vila: He wants weapons. I'll get him some weapons. And then I'll take great pleasure in overthrowing Sarlad in person.

Avon: Why? Because of Stella?

( Vila stops at the exit. )

Vila: ( Thinks about it. ) Not really, no.

Avon: Then why? This isn't our fight.

Vila: You don't believe in ideas about right and wrong do you?

Avon: Not from a thief.

Vila: No, so there's no point in using that argument. So let's try this one. On this ship, I'm just the hanger-on. I'm just the whipping boy who everyone pushes around whenever they want someone to lash out at. On the other hand, on this planet, I'll be a King when my father's gone.

( Vila storms out. Belhaven looks smug. Avon sits down, looking stunned. )

Lord Belhaven: I knew he'd see sense. Oh don't look at me like that, Avon. You'd have done the same in his position, and I doubt you'd have taken so long to decide.

Avon: You're probably right.

( Avon suddenly leaps to his feet. He has in his hand a gun that was hidden from view under the console. He opens fire. Belhaven ducks and the plasma bullet hits Carmen in the face. She falls. Avon guns down the soldier as well, but Belhaven springs up and shoots back. Avon is hit in the elbow of his gun arm. Wincing with pain, Avon loses grip on the gun and instead leaps across the console and punches Belhaven across the jaw with his good hand. Belhaven is out cold. Ignoring the pain in his arm, Avon hurries to the exit. )

Avon: Vila! Vila!

( Avon runs along the corridor and then comes to a halt as one of the panels by his head suddenly explodes. He shields his face and then looks along to see Vila there, walking towards him, a Liberator handgun aimed in Avons direction. )

Avon: Vila? Vila, have you gone mad?

Vila: No. I think for the first time in years I've finally wisened up. I've got a chance to be safe. To be free. I wasted one before when I could have left with Kerril. I threw it away just so I could stick with you lot. What did that get me, Avon? What did it get me? Within months Cally dies, I have to put up with Tarrant pushing me around for another year, I'm the one who has to keep on cleaning out Scorpio's fuel tanks, I get shot on Gauda Prime... ( Tone becomes angrier. ) And worst of all... WORST of all, you tried to throw me out of a shuttle in mid-air. That was the thanks I got for staying with you. Well not this time, Avon. This time I'm going to take my chance. I'm going to be a King. And if I have to kill you to do it... well, that's just an extra pleasure.

( Vila fires again. Avon, growling with pain, gets out of the way and runs back down the corridor. Vila stalks after him. Avon disappears round a turning in the corridor. Vila only smiles. )

Vila: "Avon, I know you're here. Come out."

Avon: ( Panic mounting. ) Stop this, Vila! Stop it now.

( Vila steps round the turning, and finds Avon crouched down cradling his arm. Vila holds the gun barrel against Avon's head. )

Vila: "I know how they did it, Avon, but I need your help. ( Softly. ) Please help me."

Avon: Vila...

Vila: You want me to stop? You must be joking, Im enjoying this WAY too much. Now grovel.

Avon: What?

Vila: Wrong answer, Avon. I said GROVEL! ( Menaces Avon with the gun once more. ) I want to see you cry, Avon. I want to see you cry!

( Vila plants a warning stamp at the wounded arm. He deliberately avoids contact, but Avon still hisses in pain. )

Vila: I want you to feel trapped. I want you to know what it means, to be trapped with someone who wants to kill you. Someone you thought you trusted...

Avon: I didn't want to kill you on that shuttle, Vila, you know that.

Vila: No, you were chasing me with a loaded gun for a laugh I suppose.

Avon: Vila, we were both going to die, I thought the best I could do was make sure one of us survived...

Vila: And that one had to be you didn't it, Avon? It HAD to be you.

Avon: If you'd tried to get rid of me, I wouldn't have resented you for it.

Vila: What?! You mean you'd have stood back and let me kill you?

Avon: No, I would have tried to stop you of course. I'm just saying I wouldn't have been bitter if you'd won.

Vila: Oh give it up, Avon. That's the most stupid thing I've ever heard.

Avon: ( Looking at his injured arm. ) I'm losing blood, Vila.

Vila: And now you'll lose a lot more.


( Within the teleport section, Belhaven is sat on the console. He has been listening to Avon and Vila in amusement. The screech of a gun being fired can be heard. )

Lord Belhaven: ( Smiles to himself coldly. ) God... save... the King.




This is another of those stories that feed off themselves somewhat. I originally saw it as a two-parter, but it's now extending to a third, though I can promise that it will end there.

Lord Belhaven tries to convince Vila to help him overthrow Sarlad. Vila is reluctant to get involved, especially if it would mean feuding with his own father, or drawing the Liberator into someone else's fight. However, he finds the arguments that Belhaven offers very hard to dispute. Meanwhile Nij Blake is in a spot of hot water over the suspicion that he is an imposter. He protests his innocence, and so the crew will need to go and look for Inga to get her to explain.
Hailee's cousin Jaimee returns. He's transferred to Space Command to hunt for Hailee personally, although his reasons for doing so, which won't be revealed just yet, may come as a surprise. What will undoubtedly come as a surprise, especially to Servalan and the Liberator crew, is what he inadvertantly discovers over the next couple of episodes. Speaking of Servalan, she makes her somewhat brief first appearance of the new season as she makes her escape from Belquon.

The closing scene of this episode is quite ironic, I'm sure you'll agree, and I suspect a few people may have smiled at seeing a longstanding injustice finally being put to rest. Although that may have turned to horror on reading the cliffhanger it ends on!


Brian McLennan:
We don't actually see the shot being fired. My bet is that Avon managed to get the gun somehow and he was the one who fired. He shoots Vila, not the other way round.

Not a chance. Avon can barely stand up at this point, let alone grapple with somebody for a gun.


Jane Walton:

I thought P2 [of the new season] was very interesting and better than P1 but I wasn't fooled by the ending. I know Vila wouldn't shoot anyone face to face at point blank range unless it was in self-defence.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season Two Scripts