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 IV - In The Jaws



( Liberator rapidly approaches Gauda Prime, with Daedalus following closely behind. On the Flight Deck of Liberator, everyone remains at battle stations. Vila, Kyben and Stella are all armed. )

Zen: Information. Federation pursuit ships have been detected leaving the atmosphere of Gauda Prime. Battle computers indicate they are moving to engage this position. Estimated time to intercept: one minute thirty five seconds.

Vila: Okay, Avon they've launched. Can we leave now?

Avon: You'll be going down to the surface, Vila, or have you forgotten?

Vila: Fine, send me now. If I'm down there, those ships won't be shooting at me.

Avon: No need to be in such a rush, Vila. Where's your sense of sport?

Vila: I never feel a sense of sport when the plasma bolts are flying overhead.

Stella: I see you haven't changed.

Vila: It's genetic. Can I help it if I was born with a natural deficiency in moral fibre?

Stella: Genetic? What does that mean?

( Avon activates comms. )

Avon: Hailee, are you ready?

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Are you sure it'll work?

Avon: I've made the adjustments.

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Will it work?

Avon: Don't... argue.

Hailee: ( V.O. sighing ) I guess that means I'm raring to go.

Avon: You'll be medium-rare to go if those ships detect you. Remember, we won't be able to contact you for several minutes after we begin, so watch your sensors. Once they're down you move. And move fast.

( Avon closes comms. )

Avon: Zen, is the Neutron Flare-shield ready to switch modes?

Zen: Confirmed.

Farin: It won't work.

Avon: Zen says it will work, and I trust his opinion more than any of Blake's idiot followers.

( Vila looks uneasy at the mention of Blake. )

Zen: Battle computers offer revised estimate to pursuit ship engagement: twenty five seconds.

Stella: They're picking up speed.

Avon: Put up the force wall.

( Kyben activates the control. )

Kyben: Force wall activated.

Avon: Remember, without the neutron blasters, we will have to rely heavily on the deflectors.

Vila: I'd rather rely on turning around and running away. We died once already this week, Avon, let's go before it happens again.

Avon: Trust me, Vila, only on the day you cease to be of use to me will you die again. Until then I won't let it happen.

Vila: You really believed Meegat when she called you a God didn't you?

Avon: In your company anyone can feel like God.

Zen: Pursuit ships are now in attack range.

Avon: Zen, activate the Neutron Flare shield, and switch to "Protonic Glare" mode.

Zen: Confirmed.


( The pursuit craft swoop in toward the Liberator. A wave of spectral light suddenly sweeps out from the full diameter of the Liberator. Externally it appears to have no physical effect.. However, on Pursuit One... )

Pilot 1: Space Commander, our sensors...

Space Commander: What about them?

Pilot 1: They... I can't make anything out on our detector read-outs.

Space Commander: What do you mean? That ship's right in front of us.

( The pilot gestures to the screen. It is a uniform bright red. )

Pilot 1: The whole screen's just a red smear. Either that ship's just doubled in size, or our tracking system's overloaded.

( The Space Commander steps forward to investigate. )

Our communicators have just stopped responding.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Avon: See? It worked.

Zen: Glare effect is temporary, and will fade once its wake has passed.

Avon: Time to collapse of distortion field?

Zen: Ninety-six point double zero two seconds.

Avon: Can we attempt another distortion wave?

Zen: Neutron Flare shield must be re-initialised before further protonic glare discharges may be attempted. Minimum possible time to re-initialisation, seven minutes.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) That would be leaving it a little on the late side.

Stella: Hailee'd better hurry then.


( The Daedalus, blinded but also shielded to Federation sensors powers forward out of Liberator's shadow towards Gauda Prime's upper atmosphere. )

Avon: Zen, re-initialise radiation flare shield. It may be useful to keep their detectors glitching. Reduce speed to standard by three.

Zen: Your instructions are confirmed.

Avon: Hailee got through. Now we keep them busy while she looks for Scorpio.

Farin: ( Tone of one desperate to find fault. ) We can't rely on her. She's a mercenary.

Stella: What do you mean? You were a mercenary before Blake found you.

Avon: I've offered her an extra three thousand.We can trust her.

Kyben: Especially as I still haven't paid her first fee.

( Avon looks amused. The Pursuit ships open fire on the Liberator. )

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.


( Daedalus heads in to land in a small clearing in the forest of Gauda Prime. Hailee is at the controls on the Flight Deck. )

Hailee: Gan, have the detectors begin a full sweep for Federation forces, Tarial frequency computer signals, and wreckage of a Mark II Wanderer-Class Freighter.

Gan: Very good, ma'am.

( Hailees ship touches down gently. Hailee unstraps herself and gets to her feet. )

Gan: Probable contact, ma'am. Wreckage of the Mark II Wanderer-Class Freighter, which I'm given to understand has been designated Scorpio, has been detected approximately two-point-three miles South South East of Daedalus present location.

( Hailee puts on a Liberator teleport bracelet. )

Hailee: Good work. No sign of the others?

Gan: Not as yet, ma'am, but I'm confident that I will be able to correct that.

Hailee: That's what I like to hear. Keep scanning. If you detect either of them, contact me on this. ( Taps bracelet. ) You've got the sub-beam frequency isolated?

Gan: Certainly, ma'am. You can depend on me.

Hailee: Thanks Gan. It's nice to know there's at least one person I can trust.

( The gangplank lowers from the ship and Hailee strides out. She consults an electro-compass and heads off into the woods. )

Hailee: Away we go.


( Liberator is surrounded by half a dozen Pursuit Ships. The force wall of the Liberator glows and crackles as plasma bolts bombard it. On the Flight Deck... )

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Kyben: Present energy drain exceeds re-charge capacity by five hundred per cent.

Avon: Zen, set battle computers to full evasive maneuvers.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The plasma bolt shaves past the Liberator. )

Avon: Power reserves. Tell me now. NOW!

( Kyben checks the read-outs hurriedly. )

Kyben: Forty per cent on energy bank three, seventy on bank four... five through eight are full. Empty on the rest.

Stella: We need firepower.

Vila: We need to get out of here.

Avon: We need you both to put a sock in it.

( The pusuit craft continue to dive in close to the Liberator, plasma bolts scraping the force wall. )

Vila: They've never attacked that closely before.

Avon: They've never beaten us in a firefight before.

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Stella: It's point blank! We can't...

( The plasma bolt slams into the port side of the Liberator. Everyone is hurled to the floor of the Flight Deck, sparks flying all about them. Avon quickly pulls himself to his feet. )

Avon: Kyben! Quick, transfer as much power as we can spare from life support into the force wall.

( Kyben stands and checks the power gauges. )

Kyben: Life support's already in the red.

Avon: There won't be any life to support if you don't. Come on!

( Everyone gets back into position as Kyben makes the power adjustments. )

Zen: Damage minimal. Automatic repair systems are assessing, Plasma bolt launch.

Vila: We're out-numbered, Avon.

Farin: ( Angry. ) I said this wouldn't work!

Kyben: Did you really? We must've ignored you.

Avon: That isn't too difficult.

Zen: Plasma bolt launch.

Avon: Farin, turn us to port.

( Liberator swings left, evading one of the bolts. The second glances against the force wall, which holds. Everyone on the Flight Deck is shaken up again but this time they manage to stay at their positions. )

Kyben: Force wall holding... barely. It needs time to re-generate though.

Stella: Hurry up, Hailee.


( On Pursuit One. )

Pilot 2: Pursuits three and six have returned to formation, Commander. They are in optimum position to take point for the next run.

Space Commander: ( Smug grin. ) Carry on. They should have run when they had the chance. Now Avon, well finally be rid of you.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )
Stella: Avon, there's two more heading our way from starboard. It's no good...

Zen: Double plasma bolt launch.

Stella: They're firing too quickly.

Avon: They're not going to slow down for us.

Stella: Well they should.

Vila: Stop complaining, Stella. If other people don't fight wars properly that's not Avons fault.

Avon: Farin, see if...

( Communicator sounds. Avon receives. )

Avon: Avon.


( Gauda Prime, Scorpio crash site. Hailee is here, speaking into her bracelet. )

Hailee: Hailee. I've found Scorpio. Get a fix on my position and send them down.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Avon: At last. ( Turns to the others. ) Zen, get ready to engage the retreat course. Remember not to go above...

( The ship rocks as another plasma bolt hits the force wall. )

Avon: ...Time Distort Eleven. We have to keep those ships interested.

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Vila, Kyben, Stella, teleport room. Now.

Vila: Look, couldn't Farin go instead of...?

Farin: No, he couldn't.

Avon: Now, Vila!

( Avon, Vila, Kyben and Stella head down the port corridor. )

Stella: I hope this won't hurt.

Avon: You won't even feel it happening.

( They arrive in the teleport room. The ship shakes again. Avon stumbles into the seat behind the controls while the others put on their bracelets. )

Vila: We could use some more of these.

Avon: We'll need more to get more aquitar, though where we'll get it from I've no idea.

( Vila, Kyben and Stella line up in the teleport bay. Avon speaks into comms. )

Avon: I'm sending them down now.

( Avon activates the controls. Vila, Kyben and Stella slowly dematerialise. )

Avon: Farin, start the retreat course.


( Liberator pulls out of Gauda Prime's orbit, just faster than the Pursuit Ships. )


( On Pursuit One. )

Pilot 1: Commander, they're retreating.

Space Commander: Stay with them!

( The Pursuit Ships form up then hurtle forward in Liberator's wake.)

Space Commander: ( V.O. ) They won't get away this time. I won't allow it.


( Scorpio crash-site. Hailee is searching through the wreckage. She looks up as three white outlines appear, materialising into the forms of Vila, Kyben and Stella. )

Hailee: ( Surprised. ) Wow, thats somethin.

( Stella and Kyben blink in disorientation. Vila strides over to the remains of Slave. )

Vila: Alas poor Slave. I knew the poor old codger...

Stella: You do this all the time, Vila?

Vila: Oh yes.

Stella: It's something else.

Kyben: ( Pats himself up and down. ) Are all our bits in the right place?

Hailee: Maybe not, but I'm not gonna strip-search you and find out.

Kyben: That's probably for the best. You'd be disappointed if you did.

Hailee: Story of my life.

( They exchange challenging grins. Vila opens up Slave. The memory bank appears more or less intact. )

Vila: Could probably use this...

( Vila starts to disconnect the memory bank. )

Hailee: Where's this photonic drive of yours?

Vila: ( Points. ) The engine room's thataway. Here, disconnect this... ( Gestures to memory bank. ) ...Ill go get the drive.

( Vila heads toward the engine room. )

Stella: I'll go and help him. Make sure he doesn't find a wine cabinet on the way...

( Stella follows Vila. Hailee starts disconnecting Slave's memory bank. )

Hailee:  I've rigged a few charges in there... ( Points at teleport. ) there won't be much left when the Feds find it.

Kyben: Find anything else?

( Hailee holds up a teleport bracelet. )

Hailee: We should be able to use this. Oh and there are some weapons over there.

( Hailee points to the gun-rack. Kyben opens the rack, then starts loading the guns into a bag. )

Kyben: Great. That should stop Farin complaining for a while.

Hailee: Yeah, and I'm Chairman of the Terra Nostra.

( Kyben nods then heads for the Engine room. There he stands in the doorway, unseen, while Vila and Stella work to disconnect the photonic drive. )

Vila: Careful, careful... now, I'll hold open the connector while you pull the bolt out.

Stella: Right.

( Brief pause while Stella works. The bolt pops out. )

Stella: Got it!

Vila: Just two to go.

Stella: Yeah.

( They move onto the next bolt, avoiding each other's eyes. Eventually Vila can stay silent no longer. )

Vila: Stella, how did you get into all this?

Stella: How d'you mean?

Vila: Blake, I mean. How d'you get caught up with the freedom fighters?

Stella: ( Looks at him. ) Well you did.

Vila: Yes, because I didn't have a choice. The Federation would've killed me if they ever caught me. I had to help Blake. And as a result I've spent years in fear of my life. I don't want to have to worry about you too, I'll be a wreck.

Stella: ( Glares. ) Don't patronise me. When have you ever worried about me? When have you ever cared about anyone?

Vila: That's not fair...

Stella: Isn't it? Was it us you were worrying about when they deported you to Cygnus? Did it even cross your mind what it might have been doing to us? How scared we were when you were arrested for the eleventh time? Or was it twelfth? Of course not. You were too busy worrying about your own neck.

Vila: Stella...

Stella: I can take care of myself, Uncle. I've always had to.

Vila: Stella, of course I care. That's the point. Do you have any idea what Blake always stood for? What working with him involved?

Stella: Of course I do.

Vila: I would've been killed if the Federation found me. Would they have done that to you?

Stella: Well... no. Not back then.

Vila: And now?

Stella: ( Hesitates. ) Yes, I suppose they would now.

Vila: Exactly. There's no turning back from this life, Stella. Its not like running away from home to join the circus. Once a rebel, always a rebel.

Stella: ( Trying to sound certain. ) So... so I made a choice. That was my choice. I don't regret it.

( They suddenly look up as they realise Kyben is standing in the doorway. )

Kyben: Regret is part of life, Stella.

Vila: ( Shaken. ) Don't sneak up like that.

Kyben: If you don't have regrets, you're not really alive.

Stella: How long have you been there?

Kyben: Not long. I know I've done the right thing, defecting. But I lost a friend in doing it. I have regrets. Don't tell us you're happy being a wanted criminal.

( Stella is silent. )

Kyben: She's right though, Vila. She's already made her choice. And as you say, it's too late to go back, for all of us.

Vila: She shouldn't have done it.

Kyben: Well maybe you should've given her that little lecture before you were arrested.

( Vila nods unhappily. )

Kyben: ( More lightly.) Here. let me help you with that.

( Together they continue disconnecting the drive. )


( The former rebel silo. Servalan, the Section Leader and the Security Commander are in the Tracking Gallery, monitoring the Security systems. Mutoids and Troopers are still excavating. )

Section Leader: I don't see a thing.

Security Commander: We are detecting an occasional pulse from that area, sir. It keeps fading.

Section Leader: Like your eye-sight you mean? Theres nothing there.

Servalan: Let me see.

( The others step back and let her see the scanner. A vague blip suddenly shimmers very briefly. )

Servalan: There's something there all right.

Security Commander: The signals we've managed to record match various recognised Tarial Output Frequencies, Commissioner.

Servalan: ( Suddenly interested. ) Tarial?

Security Commander: Yes, Commissioner.

Servalan: Section Leader, I want two units sent to explore that zone immediately. Increase the sweep patrols of the area to two every fifteen minutes.

Section Leader: But, Commissioner...

Servalan: Make sure every trooper is equipped with radio-sensors. I want every inch of ground checked. Well? Get on with it!

Section Leader: But Commissioner...!

( Servalan raises an impatient eyebrow at him. )

Ma'am we're not sure there's anything there.

Servalan: I'm sure, Section Leader. The Liberator has returned into orbit? A stray tarial pulse? Is it really so difficult to connect the dots?

Section Leader: ( Confused. ) Ma'am?

Servalan: Why do you think Avon's come back?

Section Leader: Well presumably to rescue Tarrant.

Servalan: Don't be absurd. Avon's far too intelligent to risk his own life for someone who's probably dead.

Section Leader: Then why?

Servalan: Fool! Avon must have left Orac on the planet. I want that computer, Section Leader. Go and bring it to me. NOW!

( The Section Leader and the Security Commander salute and hurriedly depart with their troopers. Servalan takes a seat and sighs. )

Servalan: It's officers like these who make me wish Travis was still around.


( Outside Daedalus, Hailee is carrying the bag of salvaged equipment from Scorpio into the ship, while Vila and Kyben are hauling the photonic drive up the gangplank. Stella is kicking at the grass nearby, brooding. )

Vila: Careful... careful...

Kyben: Higher, lift more!

Vila: I'm gonna drop it!

( Vila loses hold. Kyben somehow cradles his arms underneath the drive and manages to hold it. Vila jumps around, sucking his sore fingers. )

Vila: Ow! Ow!

( Kyben totters on the gangplank. )

Kyben: Help-... HELP!

( Vila bounds back up the plank and helps Kyben steady the drive. )

Vila: Oh God, my shoulder's still hurting... Stella, give us a hand.

Stella: ( Absently. ) Mm?

Vila: Help us out!

Stella: Oh, right.

( Stella walks over and fails to help very much. In the cockpit... )

Hailee: Gan, progress report?

Gan: Possible lead on the source of tarial computer signals due East North East. Foliage is causing minor interference, and so sensors are unable to pinpoint the distance as yet. Monitoring continues.

Hailee: Carry on.

( Hailee returns to the hold where Vila and Kyben are struggling to push the drive into a corner. Stella is standing to one side, looking bothered. )

Hailee: Ya pair of wimps. I could've had that thing hangin' from the ceiling by now.

Kyben: You talk a great show of strength, Hailee.

Hailee: No sign of the Feds yet, but Gan's nearly got Orac in sight. ( Looks at Stella. ) What's wrong now?

Stella: Oh not much.

Hailee: That goes without saying. What is it?

Stella: Something they said.

Hailee: About what?

Stella: They both said there's no turning back. Not for any of us.

Hailee: There is for me.

Vila: Yeah. You hope.

Hailee: I know.

Stella: All right. But not me. I... I never looked at it that way. I never realised what all this meant. Is this my life? Forever? I mean, is it freedom or bust? Is it run or annihil-... run or die? Nothing in between?

Hailee: Of course. What else did you expect? You can't turn back. You chose the life of the crusader. And so you'll fight for your life 'till the day you die. Why do you think I never get involved in that sort of thing?

( Vila puts a comforting arm around his niece's shoulders. )

Vila: Funny. It looks like you are from where I'm standing.

Hailee: Then stand somewhere else. I can still do what I want, go where I want. I can still choose. More than ever when the one-eyed pansy here gets on with paying me. I'll be able to do anything.

Kyben: ( Darkly. ) Yes, Hailee, you've got a lot to be proud of.

Hailee: What use is pride if it leads to a fall?

Kyben: What use is money if it belongs to a fool?

Hailee: ( Angered. ) And why am I the fool, faceache? I have my life, I have my freedom. And soon I'll have enough money to...

Kyben: The Federation owns everything, Hailee. Money, planets, people. Life itself is in their pocket. Even your life. You have no freedom. And you're a fool if you think a few thousand credits are gonna change that.

Hailee: But I'm not an enemy of the Federation.

Kyben: Don't be naive. You'll already be on their wanted list by now. There's no turning back for you either.

Hailee: Look...

Kyben: Stella's choice may have been hasty, foolish even. But it still may be the right one. Why else are you here?

( Kyben turns and heads off-ship. )

Hailee: Whatever. I can still choose.

Kyben: ( Over his shoulder. ) In this Universe only Gods and fools are ever free to choose. You're not telling us you're a God are you?

( Hailee looks confused and annoyed. The comm unit sounds. She activates it. )

Gan: ( V.O. ) Ma'am I have detected a sizeable launch of patrol flyers from the silo.

Hailee: Where are they headed?

Gan: ( V.O. ) They appear to be approaching this position.

Vila: Oh no, I knew this would happen. When will they be here?

Hailee: Gan?

Gan: ( V.O. ) No more than three minutes.

Hailee: They must have detected your scan for Orac. Cease monitoring.

Gan: ( V.O. ) Yes ma'am.

Vila: We've got to launch

Stella: We can't. They can launch ground-to-air missiles from the base. We need Liberator to cover the retreat.

Hailee: Won't be back for over an hour. We'll have to stay and sit it out.


( Tracking Gallery. Mutoids stand at the various controls. Servalan is still overseeing. )

Mutoid 1: Commissioner?

Servalan: Yes?

Mutoid 1: The tarial signal has ceased transmitting.


( The head-flyer. )

Section Leader: It just stopped?

Pilot: Yes sir. We did manage to pinpoint its source.

Section Leader: Flight time?

Pilot: Under a minute, sir.


( In the clearing outside Daedalus, the four rebels watch as the flyers pass over the clearing and head in to land nearby. )

Vila: What do we do?

Kyben: Still think you have a choice, Hailee?

( Hailee draws her gun. )

Hailee: No. We fight.

Vila: Oh noooo...

( They all take cover in positions around the ship. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon and Farin are at the controls. The Pursuit Ships continue to fire and chase, but somehow they never quite manage to get in range. )

Farin: Well?

Avon: Well what?

Farin: All right, all right, I admit it. You were right, it worked. Can we go back now?

( Avon checks his timekeeper. )

Avon: Another seventeen seconds.

( The pursuit continues a while longer. )

Zen, engage return course for Gauda Prime orbit, standard by twelve.

( Liberator swerves sharply to port. The Pursuit ships alter course to try and stay with her. )

Zen: Confirmed. Speed now building to Standard by twelve.

( The Liberator suddenly races past the Pursuit ships, accelerating all the while. On Pursuit One... )

Space Commander: What the...?

Pilot 1: Sir! They've reached Time Distort... twenty!

Space Commander: What!

Pilot 1: They're heading back to Gauda Prime orbit, sir. At that speed theyll be there in just minutes.

( The Space Commander opens comms to the other Pursuit ships. )

Space Commander: All ships, plot return course to planetary orbit. Execute at emergency speed, Time Distort 18.

Pilot 2: Commander, if we maintain that speed for long it could cause a serious burn-out...

Space Commander: If we dont stop the Liberator, Commissioner Sleer will burn us out... slowly. Now do as I say! Time Distort 18.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Zen: Distance from Federation Pursuit ships now three thousand spacials and increasing.

Avon: I'd say for a plan that will never work, this has gone swimmingly.

Farin: Hmph.

Avon: Your skepticism bites me like an old cynic, Farin.

Farin: Is that good or bad?

Avon: Bad. None of the old cynics I know have any teeth left.


( On Gauda Prime, Hailee, Vila, Kyben and Stella are heavily pinned down in the cover of Daedalus by Federation troops. The rebels fire constantly. Hailee recoils reflexively from a nearby blast. )

Hailee: Uh! You want to know why I'm here, Kyben? Because you're right. I am a fool! I should've pushed you out the airlock the moment we left Earth.

Kyben: Who cares? I'll be dead in two minutes anyway.

Hailee: Yeah but I didn't need to die with you.

Kyben: Why not? It sounds kinda romantic to me.

Hailee: Oh shut up!

( Kyben and Stella allow themselves a smile at Hailees discomfort. )

Vila: How long 'till Liberator gets back?

Hailee: Too long.

Vila: I can't stand this anymore.

( Suddenly Stella cries out in pain. She grabs at a wound in her side, then falls. )

Vila: Stella!

Kyben: Cover me.

( Kyben dashes from cover, head down, toward Stella. )

Hailee: Kyben, wait!

( The Section Leader is bravely directing the troops from the edge of the clearing. )

Section Leader: Don't kill the rest of them. We need to know if they have Orac. Switch to stun magazines.

( The troopers drop back, change the ammo-clips in their guns, then advance once more. Kyben meanwhile reaches Stella. He checks her pulse, but she is clearly dead. )

Kyben: ( Desperately. ) Stella... Stella, come on... ( Voice tails off. ) Sorry, Stella. Maybe you didn't make the right choice after all.

( Three Federation Troopers suddenly surround him, guns aimed at his head. )

Trooper 1: Don't move! Now, drop the gun.

( Kyben disconnects his gun and drops it to the floor. He raises his hands slowly, the fight taken out of him. The Section Leader steps up and calls to the others. )

Section Leader: Listen to me, pirates. We have your friend. Surrender or he dies... loudly.

( Hailee looks furious but relents and lowers her gun. )

Hailee: Damn him. Now whos gonna pay me?

( Hailee steps out, arms raised. )

Trooper 2: And you!

( Vila steps out as well, staring at Stella with tears in his eyes. )

Section Leader: Good work. Put them in energy manacles. ( To Kyben. ) Where is Orac?

Kyben: ( Staring at the ground. ) We were trying to find it ourselves.

Section Leader: And?

Kyben: No idea yet.

Section Leader: Very likely.

( The Section Leader points to two troopers. )

Section Leader: You. You. Search their ship. ( Glares at Kyben. ) I recognise you from somewhere.

Kyben: I bet you say that to all the boys.

( The Section Leader clouts Kyben across the cheek with his gun. )

Kyben: Aaaah-...!

( The two troopers reach the gangplank of Daedalus. Hailee whispers into her bracelet. )

Hailee: Gan. Emergency launch. Return to the Liberator, maximum burn.

Gan: ( V.O. ) Very good, ma'am.

( The gangplank withdraws under the troopers' feet and they are sent crashing to the ground. The airlock slams shut and with a blast of jets Daedalus takes off. There is some confusion but the rebels dont try to run. The Section Leader speaks into his communicator. )

Section Leader: Emergency dispatch for Commissioner Sleer. A rebel ship has launched. Orac may be aboard, do not launch Interceptor missiles.

( The Section Leader turns to his troops. )

Section Leader: Remove their communicators. We'll see what the Commissioner makes of this lot.


( Space Command HQ. The President sits in the briefing chamber staring aghast at the review of the Gauda Prime operation on the main screen. Space Major Brecht is present. )

President: What the hell is this?

Brecht: Is there a problem?

President: A problem? Well ignoring the travesty of Avon's escape, why the hell is this report from Commissioner Sleer?

Brecht: Well sir, if I can draw your attention to the preliminary it does explain clearly that Arlen...

President: I'm well aware of what it says, Major. It means Arlen's deputy should take command. I don't understand what Sleer is doing on Gauda Prime at all. I sent no instructions for her to go there. We may have finally gotten rid of Blake, but the biggest enemy is still at large.

Brecht: Avon, you mean?

President: No. I mean Sleer. She always seems to be where the trouble is, but never where I want her to go. Mablar hasn't had a chance to complete his investigation yet, but... ( Reflective pause. ) Major, send a detachment to Gauda Prime. I want Commissioner Sleer arrested and brought to Earth within the week.

Brecht: Well... what grounds should I base the arrest on, sir?

President: Try "Gross mishandling of a Matter of Federation Security at the Highest Level." It should sound official enough for the Arbiter General to prioritise. ( Glares at the Major. ) What are you waiting for?

( The Space Major salutes. )

Brecht: On my way, Mister President.

( The Major turns to leave. )

President: Oh, Major.

( The Major turns back. )

Brecht: Sir?

President: It would come as no surprise if the esteemed Commissioner resisted arrest, so to speak. If she suffered any... "accident" in transit to Earth... well, I'm sure any enquiry is likely to be sympathetic. In fact, I'd guarantee it.

Brecht: ( Smiles. ) Sir.

( The Major salutes once more and exits. )


( Vila, Hailee and Kyben are led through the silo on Gauda Prime by a large number of troopers. Their teleport bracelets and guns have been confiscated. )

Hailee: She was already dead...

( Vila winces. )

Hailee: ...Now see where you got us.

Kyben: Give it a rest will you?

Hailee: I warned you, but would you listen?

Kyben: Apparently not.

Section Leader: Are you two married or something?

Hailee: ( Points at Kyben. ) What? You think I'd marry THAT?

Section Leader: You sound like you are. Be quiet, the lot of you. Just remember, we only need one of you alive.

( They carry on a bit further in silence until they come to a row of booths. The Section Leader aims his gun at Vila and Hailee. )

Section Leader: You two... in!

( Vila and Hailee glance at each other nervously, then step inside. The door shuts behind them. )

Kyben: What about me?

Section Leader: Commissioner Sleer wants a word with you.

( The troopers march Kyben away, leaving two behind to guard the cell. Inside, Vila and Hailee sit on an uncomfortable metal bench. )

Hailee: Vila? I'm... sorry the way I carried on out there. I wasn't thinking.

( Vila just glowers. )

Hailee: I'm really sorry. She seemed like a nice kid.

Vila: Leave me alone.

( Kyben has been marched into a dark chamber. The troopers chain his arms and legs to a wall. They then walk out and leave him alone. Kyben looks puzzled and afraid. )

Servalan: ( V.O. ) So I was right. It is you. The President will be pleased to see you.

( Servalan steps out of the shadows, smiling. )

Servalan: Tell me, Doctor, hows the treason business?

Kyben: ( Shocked. ) Servalan?

Servalan: It's good to see you again. Especially with the price the President's put on your head.


( Liberator. On the Flight Deck, Avon and Farin are at the controls. )

Zen: Liberator is now orbiting the planet Gauda Prime at a distance of eleven hundred spacials.

Avon: Now we wait for Daedalus to return with the goods.

Farin: Very easy isn't it?

Avon: Yes. I wish I could say I couldn't have done it without you, but the truth is I've had more trouble tying my boot laces.

Zen: Attention. The freighter Daedalus has been detected heading for the Liberator's present position.

Avon: Already?

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: On screen.

( The main screen switches on and the distant speck of the Daedalus is seen homing in on the Liberator. )

Farin: Shall I contact them?

Avon: It would be preferable to letting them crash into us.

( Farin walks to the pit and opens comms. )

Farin: Hailee? ( Silence. ) Hailee? Respond. Daedalus, respond please.

( He exchanges glances with Avon. )

Farin: Their comms are definitely receiving.

Avon: It seems it was all too easy. Zen, use this comm frequency to contact the shipboard computer on Daedalus.

Zen: Confirmed. The one called Gan indicates there is no crew aboard the freighter Daedalus.

Farin: Something's wrong.

Avon: Brilliantly reasoned. We may have to assume they ran into Federation troops, in which case they're as good as dead.

Farin: I think we've seen enough death for one day.

( Avon freezes. For a brief moment the image of Blake shines in front of his eyes. )

Blake: Why did you kill me?

( The image disappears. Avon blinks several times. )

Avon: More than enough.


( Silo. Servalan is still talking with Kyben. )

Servalan: Don't bother with your optic laser, by the way, you're standing in a damping field.

Kyben: Unnecessary. I wouldn't waste a shot on you.

Servalan: You did surprise us, Kyben. We doubted your fitness for heading the Medical Division, but we didn't think you had the nerve to defect. We thought you were too soft. Mm, I'm surprised.

Kyben: Not as much as me. I heard you were killed on Gedden.

Servalan: Oh, Kyben, I'm very difficult to kill you know. One might almost call me invincibility at its most charismatic.

Kyben: Yeah, well you're half-right.

Servalan: You underestimate me.

Kyben: And you me.

Servalan: What I don't understand is why, Kyben. Why did you rebel, of all people? You had everything.

Kyben: Including a conscience.

Servalan: Yes, I can see that would be a problem. Lack of loyalty is another.

Kyben: Loyalty should be rewarded, not extracted.

Servalan: Spare me the sermons.

Kyben: I prefer to call it advice.

Servalan: And why should I take it?

Kyben: You don't get it, do you Servalan? You always pretend you're so special but the truth is you're exactly the same as any President before you.

Servalan: That's not true...

Kyben: Yes it is. The only way you'd be different is if you ruled differently, but you never did, did you? You're just another dictator who tries to solve every problem by hitting it.

Servalan: Enough!

( Servalan turns and walks away angrily. Kyben smiles. )


( Hailee and Vila are still locked away. Hailee is staring at her timekeeper keenly. )

Hailee: That should be long enough...

( Hailee rolls up her trouser leg, revealing the Scorpio teleport bracelet around her ankle. Vila looks like hes coming out of a trance. )

Vila: They never found it?

Hailee: Avon should be back on station by now. One of us can teleport with this.

Vila: Sure. And you've already decided who that'll be. How am I s'posed to get out of here?

( Hailee looks annoyed. )

Hailee: Stop being such a give-up merchant. We can call for help.


( Daedalus re-enters Liberator's hold. On the Liberator Flight Deck, Avon is at the helm. The comms sound. Farin receives. )

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Liberator, do you copy?

Farin: Hailee?

Hailee: Farin, I'm using Tarrant's bracelet, we've been captured, we need help.

( Hailee signs off. Avon heads for the teleport section. )

Avon: Farin, bring some guns. We have work to do.

Farin: ( Blinks thoroughly. ) Uh, Zen. You and Gan complete the docking procedure.

Zen: Confirmed.

( Farin heads for the armoury. )


( Hailee and Vila look up as a guard enters the cell, aiming a gun at them. )

Guard: A sub-beam signal has been detected emanating from this cell. Give me your communicator.


( Liberator teleport section. Farin is at the controls trying to get a locator fix on Hailees bracelet. Avon is armed, and carries several spare handguns and bracelets. )

Avon: Make sure the fix is exact as possible. I don't want to have to fight my way through that silo a second time.

Farin: ( Snaps. ) I've got it! Are you sure you want to go down there?

Avon: I'm sure I don't, but if they've found Orac I want it back, and if they haven't I may need their help getting it back.


( Hailee and Vila's cell. )

Guard: Come on, hand it over. Or do you think you'll look better with a hole in your heads?

Hailee: I haven't got a communicator. It must be his.

( Hailee points at Vila who shoots her an accusing look. The guard glares at him. )

Guard: Well?

Vila: I haven't got anything!

Guard: Don't waste my time, you weasel...

Vila: I swear I haven't!


( Liberator teleport room. )

Avon: Get on with it.

( Farin activates the teleport and Avon dematerialises. He appears in the cell behind the guard who is holding the gun barrel against Vila's head. Avon raises his gun and blasts the guard. )

Vila: ( Relief. ) Oh wow, I'm actually pleased to see you.

( Avon suddenly spins on his heel and shoots the second guard who has appeared in the door. He then hands out a gun each and a bracelet to Vila. )

Avon: Did you find Orac?

Hailee: No, but neither have they yet.

Avon: Where are the others?

( Vila looks at the floor unhappily. )

Hailee: Stella's dead. I don't know where they've put Kyben. I heard them say something about, er... Sleer.

Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) Farin, Vila's got bracelet two. Bring him up.

( Vila dematerialises. )

Hailee: Why'd you do that?

Avon: Hes ineffective in combat at the best of times. Tired and moping about his niece? I don't think so do you? Now, it's risky on open frequencies but we'll have to find Orac the old-fashioned way.

( Avon speaks into the bracelet again. )

Avon: Orac, do you read me?

Orac: ( V.O. ) Of course I do. Do you not think you have made me wait long enough? I wish to take my leave of this tedious landscape of chlorophyll. My circuits are already clogged with moisture and granular...

Avon: Transmit your co-ordinates to the Liberator. They'll recover you.


( Tracking gallery. Servalan stares at the screen as she receives a report from the Space Commander on Pursuit one. )

Space Commander: The emergency speed seemed the only chance of catching up, but the main drive couldn't handle it.

Servalan: Make repairs as quickly as possible. I may even let you live if you can knock the Liberator out of orbit. If not, I'll make sure you have an appropriate eulogy.

( Servalan switches off the communicator. The screen goes blank. )

Servalan: What else can go wrong?

( A trooper appears on the comms screen. )

Trooper: Commissioner, two prisoners have escaped!

Servalan: Why did I ask?

( The door crashes open and Avon and Hailee burst in, blasting at the mutoids and troopers as they go. )
Servalan: Avon!

Avon: Servalan, what an expected surprise. ( Aims gun at Servalan. ) Where's Kyben?


( Liberator teleport section. Farin and Vila are at the controls. )

Orac: ( V.O. ) Do make it soon. The foliage Avon has elected to conceal me in is beginning to interfere with my servo-motors. I was not designed for this neglectful treatment.

( Comms close. )

Farin: He is a computer, right?

Vila: Don't let him hear you saying that.

Farin: I'll go.

( Farin gathers a bracelet and gun-belt while Vila activates the controls. )

Farin: He'd better be worth all this trouble.

( Farin stands in the teleport bay. )

Vila: Believe me, he's not worth picking your nose for.

( Farin dematerialises, then appears in the forest. He draws his gun, glancing around anxiously. )

Farin: Orac? Orac are you here?

Orac: ( V.O. ) Of course I am. Having teleported to the exact co-ordinates I gave you for my location, would you not expect me to be "here" in relation to yourself?

Farin: Yeah, right. Where exactly?

Orac: ( V.O. ) Oh this is the most feeble-minded species to ever claim to be intelligent. Humans truly are beneath my notice.

Farin: That's not answering my question.

Orac: ( V.O. ) I am anterior to your pedestrial appendages.

Farin: What?

Orac: ( V.O. ) You are standing on me!

( Farin falls over in surprise and realises that he has indeed been standing on Orac. )

Orac: Really, you are even more stupid than the one calling himself Del Tarrant.

( Farin scowls, sweeps the leaves off Orac, and picks it up. )

Farin: This is what all the fuss has been about? ( Into bracelet. ) Right Vila, I've got it. Bring me up.

Trooper 3: ( V.O. ) Stop right there!

( Farin turns and sees two patrol troopers approaching through the trees, firing as they go. )

Farin: ( Into bracelet. ) Hurry up, Vila!

( Farin and Orac dematerialise just in time. )


( Hailee breaks into the chamber where Kyben is being held. He is still alone and strapped to the wall. Avon covers the door. )

Hailee: I expect an extra twenty credits for this.

( Hailee shoots Kyben's bonds, freeing him. Kyben stretches his shoulders in relief. )

Kyben: Only twenty? Apparently the Feds are offering two thousand for me.

Hailee: You're overpriced.

( Avon throws Kyben a bracelet. )

Avon: Just put that on.

( Kyben does as told. )

Kyben: Thanks. Shall we go?

Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) Vila, Farin, have you got Orac?

Farin: ( V. O. ) Afraid so.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) Don't be so negative  -  you and Orac were made for each other. Bring us up.

( Outside the chamber, Servalan stands barking orders at the rattled guards. )

Servalan: Don't just stand there, get after them!

( The guards shamble toward the door. )

Servalan: Hurry! Don't let them teleport.

( The guards enter the chamber just as Avon, Hailee and Kyben disappear. Servalan walks in, her eyes brimming with tears of rage. )

Servalan: I'll find you, Avon... I'll find you and I'll break you.


( Liberator Flight Deck. All are present bar Soolin, sitting at the controls or in the pit. Orac is on the table, switched off. )

Zen: Attention. Sensors now confirm Liberator is beyond the range of Federation Pursuit ships tracking systems.

Vila: At least some of us survived.

( Kyben pats him on the shoulder. )

Kyben: She went down fighting. I think she wanted that much.

Avon: ( Unsure of the concept. ) Do you want that?

Kyben: No. I hate being surrounded by death.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) You've made some strange choices of occupation, Doctor.

Kyben: Then maybe Servalan's right. Maybe I am soft.

Avon: Either that or stupid.

Vila: Don't talk to us about stupid. Blake, Dayna, Tarrant and Stella are dead, Soolin's stuck on a life support system, Scorpio's gone and an entire resistance base is destroyed. Most of that's down to you, Avon. One way or another.

Avon: What can I say? At least life's never dull when I'm around.

Vila: It's not very long either.

( Close-up of Avon's face as he hears Blake's voice once more. )

Blake: ( V.O. ) Why...?

Avon: Not very. But it's not over yet.

( The others give him an odd look. )

Farin: I still want to know exactly what happened, Avon. With Blake I mean.

( Avon and Vila exchange uneasy glances. )

Avon: Some other time.

Farin: I want to know... now!

Avon: You said yourself, you've seen enough death for one day.

Kyben: Leave it for now, Farin, please.

Hailee: Yeah, stop being morbid, Farin.

Avon: The more important issue now is where we go from here. My plans for Blake to spearhead the resistance movement have run aground.

Hailee: We don't have a lot of choice do we? We run. And keep running.

Vila: Oh, letting reality get to you are you?

Hailee: I guess. I'm wanted like the rest of you, and my ship isn't as fast as this one, so I'm better off where I am. ( Leans forward. ) You can forget the money I'm due for now. But remember, Kyben, you owe me. A lot.

Avon: We can worry about that another time too.

Vila: If we live long enough.

Avon: Of course we will. I won't allow anything less on my ship.

Farin: You still think this is your ship?

Avon: It is. I told you before. And as long as you remain aboard, you do as I say. Understood? ( Silence. ) Understood?

Hailee: Yes.

Kyben: All right.

Farin: For now, Avon. For now.




This episode, in which the Liberator and its refashioned crew finally escape GP, appears to be one of the more popular ones I've written, at least judging by reaction to it from its initial run on Neil's site.

The biggest factor is the death of Stella. It's perhaps happened a little prematurely but in the end I felt there were several problems if I kept her in.

1. The crew was going to be rather larger than necessary if everyone escaped GP, and I needed to make room for the arrival of Nij Blake and a mystery newcomer in episode 7.

2. With Vila also aboard, the scripts could get pretty tedious with all the inane chatter that would inevitably follow. And I thought that as Vila's the only one who's been in the story from the very start, it would be a shame to axe him now. Therefore it was Stella who had to make way.

3. Some of the plausibility of the episode would be lost if everyone escaped GP in one piece.

4. It could open up some interesting new aspects of Vila's personality if he sees a member of his own family die in front of his eyes, whereas it could shackle him to a degree if they both survived.

The first mechanics of a relationship between Servalan and Kyben are revealed. This is a factor that is going to develop throughout the first series, and some alarming secrets will be uncovered as time goes by.

Hailee's attitude and self-delusions are brought to a head, thanks indirectly to Stella. Hailee will come to realise she's made a choice against the Federation without noticing. This will lead to friction with her colleagues in later episodes.

As for Avon, he appears to be back to his domineering best on the surface. Not quite though. The memory of Blake continues to gnaw at him.


Neil Blissett:

Just read episode four. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Characters, humour, action, all spot on. You have also given me a few ideas for my own stories. Well done.


Jane Walton:

I like Vila's reference to Meegat. It's always good to mention past events, it makes everything more believable  -  real people are constantly reminiscing about the past with each other.

I also like the trick they use to get the Daedalus clear of the Liberator and Fed ships without being seen. Adapting the gadgets they already have is far more inventive than simply making or finding new ones, that would make things too easy for them.

Vila's conversations with Stella are a nice touch. He always was a far more sensitive and caring person than the others.

Considering the remarks he made in front of Dayna about Servalan "shooting a blind man in the back" in Death-Watch, that claim could be considered highly debatable. But he apologised once he'd realised, so let's be fair to him.

Avon seems to be very quick to 'rise to the bait' about everything. I would have preferred a couple of enigmatic silences but that's just my personal opinion and not a major criticism.

He's just tense. Don't forget, he did shoot his leader a couple of hours ago.

Farin and Stella are both very witless on occasion and I find myself wondering how they've managed to stay alive for so long in the revolutionary trade!

Stella didn't last too long at all. She only defected a year or two before she died (after the Galactic War ended she reasoned that the Federation wouldn't catch her once she reached the Outer Planets so she "jumped ships" then. But of course she was wrong to believe that and so she died anyway). And as for Farin... ah, but that'd be telling!


Brian McLennan:

The title's a bit cheesy, I still can't quite figure out what it means, but this episode is great fun, easily the best so far.

The title refers to Kyben's remark near the end of the previous episode, "Are we crashing this jaws-of-death party or not?"

The action is fast-paced and enthralling, the trick with the flare shield is clever, and the characterisation is much sharper than in the previous episode.

I especially enjoyed the scene where Vila talks to Stella about defecting.

It's interesting the way that scene's looked upon by some readers. It's been referred to as "a nice touch", as though it were just a background detail added in to flesh things out a bit. I see it more as a necessary development in the story. We're talking about family after all, so Vila and Stella had to face up to each other at some point.

By the way, I deliberately engineered the situation to be reminiscent of Avon's confrontation with Del Grant in Countdown i.e. true confessions while dismantling complicated mechanical apparatus.

Who did Stella mean when she said, "Was it us you were worrying about when they deported you to Cygnus?" Who was "us" meant to be?

Stella and her mother. Keep an eye on season two for details to gradually come to light.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts