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 IX - In Whom We Trust



( Earth, a large control room at an Administration Spaceport. There are several rows of control panels, manned by technical staff. They are under the supervision of a Space Lieutenant who is pacing back and forth in some anxiety. There is something of a frantic atmosphere. )

Tech 1: ( Tapping controls and keys hurriedly. ) We've tried both direct feeds, and four different emergency frequencies, sir. The Emancipation won't respond.

Lieutenant: Something must have happened to that ship. What Sector were they in when we lost contact?

Tech 1: Sector 3. They were passing through the Penda Star system. No inhabited planets to speak of.

Lieutenant: What kind of piracy record does the system have?

Tech 2: ( Checking data records. ) Nothing particularly alarming. Under one ship per hundred was attacked in the last year.

Lieutenant: Hmm. Send a priority report to Space Command. They'll want to investigate.

Tech 2: Yes, Lieutenant.


( Liberator Flight Deck. The crew minus Soolin and Kyben are here, as are the two pirates, who are looking about themselves in wonder. Farin is glowering at them with suspicion. Hailee and Vila merely look cautious. Avon looks mildly bored by the pirates' excited chattering. He politely hands Gillis and Kochin a drink each, then he stands off to one side, hands behind his back. )

Pirate 1: This is just incredible!

Pirate 2: I knew this ship would be even more beautiful on the inside but this...? Well it's God's gift.

Pirate 1: Look at it all. It's just magnificent... it's just awesome... it's just...

Vila: ( Also getting bored. ) It's just a spaceship. Can we get on with whatever-it-is?

Pirate 1: Hmm? Oh sorry.

( The two pirates seat themselves in the central pit and park their feet up on top of Orac, who is on the table switched off. Farin looks offended, Hailee doesn't know whether to feel angry or delighted at seeing Orac being so mistreated. )

Avon: What exactly is it you want us to do?

Pirate 1: Two things...

Vila: Hey! The deal was a favour for a favour.

Pirate 2: Your friends are still on Taurus. It'd be a shame if we had to terminate our little understanding before we helped you to find them.

Vila: Would it? Yes, I suppose so. I mean I'm very fond of Soolin.

Hailee: And we all know why.

Pirate 2: Well whatever the reason, you won't be able to help them unless we help you.

Pirate 1: Which we won't unless...

( Avon irritably pushes the pirates' feet off of Orac. )

Avon: Don't worry, Vila, we've already agreed their terms. However, Kochin, you should understand that while Kyben and Soolin are both of use to us, that is not enough for me to tolerate blackmail.

Pirate 1: Blackmail?

Pirate 2: Us? Surely you aren't going to confuse blackmail with commercial acumen, Avon? Your sense of perspective is usually flawless.

Avon: That's what they say.

Pirate 2: So use it, Avon. We need a replacement ship in return for the one YOU cost us. And we need you to help us to transport goods to Alpha Proxima in return for our assistance in finding your friends.

Pirate 1: You see? A favour for a favour each time.

( Avon and Hailee exchange bothered looks. )

Avon: So it would seem.

Pirate 1: Oh come on, Avon. We saved your lives back there.

Pirate 2: Yes, we're friends aren't we?

( Avon merely glares at her. )

Vila: Sure. But you dont know what Avon does to his friends.


( Taurus III. Soolin and Kyben are still tied back-to-back next to the gangplank of the Federation shuttle. The mutoid still watches them. Soolin is sleeping, her dreams fitful and confused. Kyben is awake but clearly exhausted. )

Kyben: How much longer do we have to wait?

Mutoid: You will be silent.

Kyben: I'm getting cramp...

( The Mutoid gestures at him with his gun. Kyben falls silent. After a moment Dev Tarrant walks down the gangplank. Kyben gives him a look of utter loathing. )

Dev Tarrant: Goodness me, Doctor. There you are, tied up in knots with a dazed, beautiful young woman. Tsk. Such unethical malpractice. I'd call you lucky, if it weren't for that lump on your head.

Kyben: I prefer it to the lump on your shoulders.

( Tarrant smiles to himself and crouches next to Kyben. )

Dev Tarrant: Why, Kyben, an actual retort. Do you know I think there's a real danger we might even manage a coherent conversation this time?

Kyben: You want a conversation? No can do, Tarrant. You can say whatever you like, my answers will always be two words. And the second one will always be "off."

Dev Tarrant: ( Mocking laugh. ) You always were above your station, Kyben. I told Servalan when she appointed you that you were far too young to head the Medical Division. And as for playing the revolutionary? ( Shakes head. ) You'll always be far too soft.

Kyben: Servalan told me that on Gauda Prime. I'd like to disprove her.

Dev Tarrant: That would be interesting to witness. But we'll be leaving the planet within the hour to take you back to Earth to stand trial, so I'm afraid you won't get the...

( Kyben suddenly snarls with anger and aims a head-butt in Tarrant's direction. Tarrant effortlessly holds him back with his left hand, then equally effortlessly shoves him to the ground with his right. Soolin is dragged to the floor with him. She comes round with a confused moan. )

Dev Tarrant: Sorry to wake you er... Soolin, isn't it? Just educating the good Doctor in the art of bullying. He's a slo-o-ow learner. You must both excuse me now. We're still trying to resuscitate our dear "Empress."

( Kyben and Soolin sit up awkwardly. Tarrant re-enters the ship. )

Soolin: ( Vaguely. ) Keller...?

Kyben: ( Over his shoulder, pitying. ) No, Soolin. Not Keller. Get some more sleep.

Soolin: Don't want sleep.

Kyben: So? You need sleep. It's the only way you'll heal.

Soolin: I'm not hurting.

Kyben: Aren't you? You have to concentrate like crazy just to stop thinking you're Servalan. You were in a coma for weeks before that. Why hide it? You're in... ( Voice tails off. ) Wait a second. Hide it? Hide. ( Inspired. ) That's it!

( Kyben glances up at the mutoid, who, seeming utterly preoccupied with watching the prisoners, doesn't listen, and is therefore oblivious to anything being said. )

Kyben: Soolin. I have an idea. How agile are you with your feet?

Soolin: Feet?

( Kyben nods toward the blade on the ground nearby. )


( Medical cruiser Emancipation. In the hold, the Space Rats are lying exhausted by the locked door. Atlan is pacing back and forth, wasting what oxygen there is left. )

Atlan: When I get my hands on her, I swear I'll rip her lungs out and tuck dem in her navel...

Space Rat 1: You told us we'd gets vroom 'ere. It's your fault.

Atlan: SHE told us there'd be vroom here. I'll...

Space Rat 1: There ain't none. You promised.

Atlan: ( Turns on him angrily. ) Quiet! All dis natter wastes precious air.

Space Rat 1: ( Gets to his feet and lunges at Atlan. ) Your fault!

( Atlan gets out of the way of the attack. The Space Rat stumbles to the floor and Atlan lands a kick in his ribs. The other Space Rats lose their temper and join in the attack on Atlan, who is suddenly fighting for his life as the punches rain down on him. )

Atlan: No! What are you doing? Ouch! Idiots! I am your leader!

Space Rat 2: Stoopid gook! Splat 'im!

Space Rat 1+3: Bend 'im!

Atlan: Noooo!!!


( Elsewhere on the ship, Inga works her way into the Cold Room with the cryogenic capsules. Two guards, shell-shocked by the sudden attack on the ship, try half-heartedly to stop her forcing her way in. Inga raises her plasma rifle and guns them both down. )

Inga: Nothing personal.

( Inga pulls a holocard out of her space-suit and checks the serial number on it. )

Inga: Two-two-A. Seven-nine-seven-two.

( Inga starts searching through the capsules. She examines the serial codes on each one, and also checks the faces of the patients within them, visible through glass panels set in their surfaces. )


( Liberator approaches the planet Nitro, in the Alpha Proxima system, only four light years from Sol. All of the ship's company bar Avon and Orac are present on the Flight Deck. Hailee is at the main controls. Vila is sipping an adrenaline and soma. )

Vila: You're saying you do this run all the time?

Pirate 2: That's right.

Vila: How did you get past all the local patrols without them catching you?

Pirate 2: Smart piloting. It's all in the fingers.

Hailee: She means they've learned the patrol patterns. Anyone can do it if they're patient and careful. How do you think I stayed ahead of the Feds for so long?

Vila: What? You mean you used to smuggle too?

Hailee: Oh for crying out loud! Of course I did. No successful merc ever stuck to the law. ( Grins at Vila. ) You should know that better than anyone.

Vila: ( Nods proudly. ) That's true. You ARE looking at the Prince of Thieves.

Hailee: The ancient legend of the forests? He's you? ( Sounds disappointed. ) Oh my dreams.

( Farin and Gillis snigger. They then glance at each other. Farin gives her a shy grin. Gillis looks at him in interest. )

Pirate 1: Where's Avon? We'll need his help to transport the duds down to Nitro.

Hailee: Why? You said you've done this loads of times before without any help. Why's it so different this time?

Pirate 2: We'll be using your teleport, right?

Hailee: That's right.

Pirate 1: Our ship used to be our fail-safe, but we haven't got it anymore. So we'd like some back-up on the planet to compensate.

Hailee: ( Puzzled. ) But the teleport's quicker than any ship...

Pirate 2: We told you before we left, we have our "boring" little procedures and we've had to break them. We need insurance.

Vila: Then you'll have to convince Avon to draw up a policy for you. I wouldn't bet a milli-credit on him helping you.

Pirate 2: Money's our speciality, Vila. We'll win that little bet.

Pirate 1: Like I asked, where is Avon?

Vila: ( Drains his glass. Drunkenly. ) Who cares? As long as he's nowhere near me, he can't throw me off the ship.


( Avon's quarters. Avon is seated on his bunk. Orac is on a table switched on. )

Orac: The possibility of finding and successfully stealing any vessel of these specifications, both at speed and without significant combat, is negligible.

Avon: Monitor for ANY possibilities you can, Orac. Commercial wavebands first, then any decipherable codes on Administration wavelengths.

Orac: Such a task is inadvisable, Avon. My resources are best...

Avon: Do it, Orac! We need to find a ship quickly, and then we'll need to find a way to steal it even more quickly. As Hailee implied, Soolin and Kyben won't survive for long back on Taurus. We need to get these errands over with soon.

Orac: Very well. I am proceeding with the task as requested.

Avon: Good. Now. Have you secured the other data I requested?

Orac: I have.

Avon: Transfer it to the screen.

Orac: As you wish.

( A small computer screen on the desk lights up with images of the faces of the two pirates and pages of information. )

Avon: Hmm.


( Taurus III. Inside the shuttle, Tarrant and the Troopers have paused in their "treatment" for Servalan who still shows no sign of waking. )

Dev Tarrant: Still out like a light. It must have been a more severe crash than we thought for all this. Or perhaps something else happened to her...

( There is the sound of a plasma bullet being fired outside. All four rush outside and see the mutoid aiming her gun into the trees. Kyben and Soolin can be glimpsed running away into the jungle. )

Dev Tarrant: What the... How did they get away?!

Mutoid: Unknown, Kommisar.

Dev Tarrant: Well what are you waiting for? Get after them! All of you!

( The Mutoid and the Troopers dash into the foliage in pursuit, leaving Tarrant alone in the clearing, looking baffled. )

Dev Tarrant: How in...?

( A fist hammers into the back of Tarrant's head, sending him sprawling. He looks up and in confusion sees Kyben standing over him, crazed hatred in his single eye. Soolin is stood behind him, looking wary. )

Kyben: Just a taste, "Kommisar"...

( Kyben swings a punch at Tarrant who manages to roll away. )

Dev Tarrant: I don't understand... I saw you running away.

( Kyben attacks again, showing a fighting intensity which is unusual for him. Again Tarrant manages to evade the wild assault. )

Kyben: Don't suppose you would.

( Another near-miss. Tarrant looks confused, but not especially scared. )

Kyben: You saw an illusion, Tarrant. You switched off the laser in my eye-patch but not the hologram projector.

( Another near-miss. )

Kyben: I hid us behind an image of the trees while Soolin untied us, then sent your cronies on a wild worgabil chase. So now it's just you and me...

Dev Tarrant: Sure you're up to it? Don't you want the girl to help you?

Kyben: Not a hope. I've been waiting years for this...

Dev Tarrant: ( Contemptuous. ) What, this?

( Tarrant aims a kick that causes Kyben's legs to buckle under him. Kyben crashes to the ground with a yelp of pain. )

Dev Tarrant: Or was it this that you've been anticipating with such enthusiasm?

( Tarrant grasps Kyben by the back of the neck before he can stand again, then drives his fist into his unscarred cheek. )

Dev Tarrant: Or was it this that you've waited for, Kyben?

( Tarrant pushes Kyben's face into the dirt. )

Dev Tarrant: Or best of all, was it this?

( Tarrant stands then attempts to bring his foot down onto the back of Kyben's head. Kyben manages to roll out of the way. )

Dev Tarrant: I applaud your dexterity, Doctor Kyben. It's deceptive.

( Kyben springs to his feet and backs away. )

Dev Tarrant: You underestimated me, Kyben. I could beat you standing on one leg.

Kyben: That's as well for you, all things considered.

( Kyben suddenly turns and runs from the clearing. Soolin looks distraught and starts to follow. )

Soolin: Wait! Wait for me...!

( Tarrant trips Soolin up as she passes him. She falls to the ground, shaking her head from side to side dizzily. )

Dev Tarrant: You're going nowhere. You'll be ideal as a hostage.

( Tarrant holds Soolin in a neck lock and drags her aboard the shuttle. Inside he pushes Soolin to the floor, next to the table on which Servalan still lies unconcious. Tarrant pulls out a communicator. )

Dev Tarrant: All troopers, this is Kommisar Tarrant. We've been duped.


( Kyben runs deep into the jungle. He soon reaches and wades into a wide but stagnant river. Many trees and clusters of reeds are growing out of the riverbed, and in growing exhaustion he slumps against a gnarled tree and runs his arm over his forehead. )


( Back in the clearing, Tarrant has been rejoined by the mutoid and the troopers. Tarrant is holding Soolin's gun. )

Dev Tarrant: ( Indicates. ) The coward headed in that direction. Roughly. He can't have gone far. According to those terrain scans we did before landing, much of that area's flooded. Go after him.

Mutoid: Should we kill him when we find him?

Dev Tarrant: Um, no I don't think so. Bring him back. Feel free to hurt him a great deal of course. But don't kill him.

Mutoid: As you wish, Kommisar.

( The mutoid and the troopers set off in the direction Tarrant indicated. Tarrant himself re-enters the shuttle, examining the gun in idle curiosity. Soolin is sat on the floor, hugging herself. She looks angry, betrayed, and still very confused. Servalan still does not stir. )

Dev Tarrant: Interesting. I mistook Kyben's involvement with the rebels for courage. But then he abandoned you without a second thought. You must feel very hurt. Ah well, you can never say Kyben's efforts are less than expedient.

Soolin: Who are you?

Dev Tarrant: ( Looks at her, puzzled. ) You have a reputation for sharpness, Soolin. You seem slow on the uptake to me though.

Soolin: ( Vaguely. ) What?

( Tarrant looks at her closely for a moment, then nods to himself, and walks over to a medical cabinet. )

Dev Tarrant: I need to "question" you, Soolin. You know the sort of things I have to find out. How many others of you there are on Taurus. Why exactly you're here. Those sorts of things. It's pretty clear to me though that you need to wake up a bit first.

( Tarrant fills a syringe with a thin blue liquid. He then injects it into Soolin's arm. )

Soolin: Ow!

Dev Tarrant: A few more minutes, you should be alert enough to feel the full agony of some very precise torture.


( Liberator. Farin is heading away from the Flight Deck. Gillis hurries after him and quickly catches him up. )

Pirate 2: Oh Farin, I was hoping for a word.

( Farin stops and turns to face her. )

Farin: ( Trying to sound stern. ) Yes?

Pirate 2: ( Smiles broadly. ) I wonder, could you perhaps show me around the rest of the ship? They say the Liberator has the most advanced computer systems ever built. I'd really love to see them, Farin... Tekk.

( Farin smiles awkwardly. )

Pirate 2: Oh go on. The others won't help me, and I'm not going to be here for long. I've heard so much about the Liberator, I'd have given my left arm for a chance to explore it. Now I'm here I'd be... ( Gently puts her hand on Farin's arm. ) disappointed if I missed this chance.

Farin: ( Shrugs with false indifference. ) Okay.

Pirate 2: I'm so grateful.

Farin: Are you sure we have time for this?

Pirate 2: Oh yes. The meeting with my contact from the cartel isnt for another three hours.

( Farin motions Gillis to follow and continues down the corridor. Gillis smiles to herself and follows. )


( The river on Taurus III. Kyben is still resting at the foot of the tree, up to his chest in water. He hears a loud series of splashing noises from the other side of the tree. He sidles his eye and spots the troopers and the mutoid heading toward him from the riverbank. They haven't seen him yet. Kyben looks around frantically for somewhere to hide. He suddenly gets to his feet and scrambles toward the other shore. The sound of the water rushing under his feet draws the attention of his pursuers. )

Trooper 1: There! The coward's right up ahead!

( They scramble around the tree, but the sound of Kyben running through the water has stopped, and he is nowhere to be seen. His pursuers reach the riverbank, and set off through the trees and marshes. )

Trooper 1: Keep moving. He can't be far...

( They disappear into the jungle. After a moment, Kyben breaks the surface of the water behind them - he was hiding in a patch of reeds, and using one of the reeds to breathe through. He coughs up water, and splutters. He drops to his knees in the water again, trying to regather himself. Then a look of shame fills his eye. )

Kyben: Soolin! My God, what am I doing?

( Kyben hauls himself to his feet and in exhaustion he trudges out of the water and back through the trees toward the shuttle. )


( Medical Cruiser Emancipation. In the hold, Atlan is lying, apparently dead, while the Space Rats carry on kicking him. Atlan's gun lies on the floor to one side. )

Space Rat 3: He don't got no stayin' power.

Space Rat 1: 'E woz the big cheese? We let 'im tell us wot to do?

( The Space Rats stop kicking Atlan and start kicking the door. )

Space Rat 2: We gotta get out! We bend if we stays in 'ere anymore.

Space Rat 1: Why?

( A hand snakes along the floor towards Atlan's gun. )

Space Rat 3: ( Sniffs. ) You can smell it, gookus.

Space Rat 1: Yeah. Da breathes gettin' bad. Too many in 'ere.

( Shots ring out and the three Space Rats fall to the floor. Atlan gets to his feet gingerly. He is covered in cuts and bruises, and carrying his gun. )

Atlan: Den reducing the numbers is a good solution.

( Atlan retrieves his helmet and puts it back on. )

Atlan: You don't kill me dat easily, Inga.

( Atlan aims his gun at a small view port on the far wall and fires repeatedly. The plasma bullets shower the view port until the gun is empty. Atlan then pounds the weakened view port with his fists until it finally shatters. The stale air rushes out into Space. )

Atlan: Desperate situations call for desperate measures.

( Atlan climbs out through the small gap, grunting with the exertion and clearly wishing hed spent more time slimming and less time drinking. Once finally outside, magnetic foils in his gloves adhere him to the ships outer hull, allowing him to climb along the surface of the cruiser like a spider. )

Atlan: I'll kill you, Inga. I'll kill you.


( Liberator orbits the planet Nitro. In the teleport bay, Hailee is at the controls, fussily setting and resetting them. Vila is stood leaning against the console, arms folded. )

Hailee: Look, you're driving me up the wall hovering like that. I told you to go keep watch on the Flight Deck.

Vila: I'm not keeping watch on my own. Not when there are strangers aboard.

Hailee: ( Thoughtfully. ) You really don't trust them do you?

Vila: No, but that's all right, I don't trust you either.

( Hailee scowls but doesnt answer. )

Vila: I don't like it.

Hailee: Neither do I. Bringing them aboard's crazy...

Vila: No, that's not what I mean. It's not like Avon to trust someone just like that. I have a feeling he's up to something.

( They look up and see Avon walk in, carrying Orac. He places Orac on the console. Vila notices in some alarm that Avon is wearing a gun-belt. )

Avon: Me? Up to something? You wound me, Vila, you wound me.

Vila: Oh, nice to know you're on the receiving end for a change. You're usually the one pushing me around.

Avon: But not on this occasion. Don't worry, Vila. I don't need to lighten the load at the moment. Ergo, you're safe with me.

( Vila looks angry and walks out. Hailee gives Avon a disapproving frown. )

Hailee: Did you have to? He's still feeling a bit sore about what happened on Malodaar you know.

Avon: Yes, of course he is. That's exactly the point.

Hailee: What?

Avon: He was annoying you before I came in. I knew that was one way of getting him to leave.

Hailee: Oh I see. So it's my fault is it?

Avon: Well, let's just say it was for your benefit.

Hailee: Ah, whatever. Still he has a point. Aren't you taking a bit of a flier on trusting Gillis and Kochin like this?

Avon: ( Looks confused. ) When did I say I trusted them?

Hailee: Well it looks like it. I mean you're certainly giving them a pretty free rein on the ship.

Avon: I only trust them the way you trust me, Hailee.

Hailee: ( Quietly. ) I do trust you, Avon.

( They look at each other for a long moment. Avon breaks the tension with a cold smile. )

Avon: Well then you're right. I must be getting careless.

( Avon slots in Orac's key, still keeping his eyes fixed on Hailee. )

Avon: Orac?

Orac: What is it?

Avon: No need to stand on stuffy protocol, Orac. Just tell me what I want to know.

Orac: The first tracer is located in the central computer room of the Liberator.

Hailee: Tracer?

Orac: The second tracer is located in the spare sleeping quarters, on the third level of the ship.

Hailee: Tracer?

Avon: I slipped a pair of homing tracers into their drinks on the Flight Deck. You didn't seriously think I was going to let them wonder around on my ship without me being able to know exactly where they are at any moment, did you?

Hailee: ( Relieved. ) I was starting to wonder.

Avon: And Gillis' location concerns me. I need hardly tell you that I'd prefer to keep the computers off limits to all visitors.

Hailee: Same here. Shall we go and have a quiet word?

Avon: ( Draws his gun sharply. ) I will have the quiet word. You will simply be loud, bullying and rude. You are very good at that.

( Hailee smiles gently and gets to her feet. She and Avon still haven't taken their eyes off each other. )

Hailee: Thanks. Wait here for me. I'll just go and get myself something to kill people with.

( Hailee heads to the Flight Deck. Avon watches her go, then turns to Orac. )

Avon: Orac?

Orac: Now what?

Avon: You'd better store the other data about er, "Gillis" by a coded route.

Orac: Very well. Which code would you like me to seal it under?

Avon: One-nine, sub category V.

Orac: The data has been ciphered as requested. Is there any particular reason for this latest instance of censorship for which I have once again been so inappropriately manipulated?

Avon: I'm feeling bashful.

Orac: Pedalling untruths and concealing facts is not a purpose for which my data banks were developed...

Avon: That's a problem you've coped with before. Youll do so again.

Orac: Very well. But the action of denying truth has caused strain to my logic circuits in the past.

Avon: ( Not entirely paying attention anymore. ) Mm? Yes, well confession is good for the soul. Feel free to confess to anyone who gives you the correct recall code.


( Emancipation. In the hold, Inga has found the cryo-pod she was searching for. Inside, its wiry-haired occupant remains in deep slumber. Inga impatiently jabs at a keypad on the pod's side, trying to key in the correct sequence to begin the reanimation process. Time after time a red light on the pad flashes to indicate she has keyed in the wrong code. )

Inga: Oh come on!

( She consults her holo-card again for more combinations to try. )

Inga: There's damn near five hundred of these codes. How am I supposed to find the right one?

( Inga continues to jab in more codes. Again and again they prove to be the wrong ones. She begins to look increasingly worried and frustrated. Eccentrically, she starts pleading with the pod. )

Inga: Oh please! The codes for all these pods are on this list, one of them's got to be the right one.

( She keys in another combination. Again the red light. )

Inga: Please! The Federation must have noticed the ship's disappeared by now. Their investigators'll be here any time.

( Another combination. Again red. )

Inga: Pleeeassse!

( She keys in the next code. This time the light is amber. Inga's eyes widen in renewed hope. An electronic voice from the pod speaks. )

Pod: Confirm, begin revival process on patient?

( Inga punches the air in triumph. )

Inga: Ye-es! Er, confirmed. Begin revival cycle immediately.

Pod: Revival process under way.

( The pod starts to vibrate and a faint whine becomes audible as the heating mechanisms kick into gear. The glass panel begins to fog as the temperature within the pod slowly starts to rise. Inga runs her arm across her brow and smiles in relief. Then the door slides open. She looks up in alarm to see Atlan running at her. )

Inga: No!

( Inga tries to raise her gun against Atlan, but he throws himself at her, full force. The gun is knocked from her grasp as she is thrown back painfully against the cryo-pod. Atlan springs away from her and scrabbles for the gun, but Inga leaps to her feet and attacks him before he can get his hands on it. They scuffle briefly until Inga realises she simply lacks Atlan's strength. She delivers a painful kick to his shin, then turns and runs from the hold. )

Inga: See you in Hell, Atlan.

( Atlan retrieves the gun and hurries after Inga. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. Vila is here, sitting in the central pit, sulking. Hailee walks in and heads for the armoury. )

Hailee: I thought you didn't want to keep watch on your own.

Vila: I don't. But even being alone's better than talking to Avon.

Hailee: ( Takes a clip gun and a weapon belt from the armoury. ) I don't know about that. It's quite funny listening to him talk down to you.

( Hailee fastens the belt around her waist and leaves the Flight Deck. Vila carries on sulking. )


( Emancipation Flight Deck. The whole Flight Deck is darkened and battered by the chaos of the Space Chopper attack. Bits of loose wiring and debris are scattered all around, and some of the control panels spit occasional sparks of electricity. Inga suddenly bursts in frantically and sees the Flight crew sprawled on the floor. One of the pilots is clearly dead. The other and the Captain are unconcious and there clearly wont be any change in that case of affairs for some time. Inga seals the door of the Flight Deck shut and then searches the bodies for weapons. She finds a small plasma pistol on the Captain, but it was damaged in the attack, and is obviously unusable. She turns as she hears the sound of fists pounding on the door. )

Atlan: ( Through the door. ) Come out and fight me, you coward!

Inga: Coward? So says the big brave Space Rat hitting women half his size.

Atlan: And you speak so very boldly when dere's two inches of steel alloy between you and your enemy. Let's settle dis properly, Inga. Come out and fight me.

( Inga looks around fearfully. She knows she is cornered, and that she has nothing to fight with. She then sees that the communications panel is still functional. She steps up to it and operates it. )

Inga: Fortune favour a fool. ( Into comms. ) Mayday. This is the Administration Medical Cruiser Emancipation...


( Swamplands of Taurus III. The mutoid and Federation Troopers reassemble in a clearing, exchanging looks of exasperation. )

Mutoid : There was no trace of the fugitive anywhere on my patrol pattern, sir.

Trooper 1: He must have bluffed and doubled back. There's no way he could have gone any further out.

Trooper 2: What next, then?

( Trooper 1 pulls out his communicator. )

Trooper 1: ( Into comms. ) Kommisar Tarrant? Kommisar, do you read me?


( Liberator Teleport room. Avon is here with Orac. Hailee walks in. )

Hailee: Okay, Avon, I'm ready. Let's go bully a pirate.

Avon: ( Gestures that hes trying to concentrate. ) Just a moment, Hailee. Orac, I wouldn't have said that a Federation Medical Cruiser really fits the specifications I set, would you?

Orac: The Medical-classes of Federation cruiser are ill-designed for all forms of space combat, it is true. The relatively slow maximum speeds and generally poor manoeuvrability, owing to a lack of streamlining in the architecture, make them appear entirely unsuitable for the twin purposes of smuggling and piracy. However, I took the sensible measure of comparing all the attributes with stated requirements and found therein a favourable match.

Avon: How favourable?

Orac: In excess of seventy five per cent. Size and weight of said-cruisers are comparable, as are available cargo space and power generators. With a few suitable modifications, such a cruiser could be optimised for bulk-smuggling purposes. In any event, it would certainly be far more appropriate for the task than the vessel employed previously by Velcosa and Kochin.

Hailee: What exactly are you talking about?

Avon: I set Orac the happy task of monitoring for a possible replacement for Gillis' ship.

Hailee: And?

Avon: It's intercepted a distress call from a Medical cruiser. Orac, replay the recording through the teleport's communication channel.

Orac: I have already provided full playback of the recording for you on no fewer than three occasions.

( Avon and Hailee look at each other, eyes rolling. )

Orac: I see no reason why I should expend yet more of my precious resources constantly repeating a properly and fully completed function, when you should be perfectly capable of relaying the important details of the recording yourself.

Avon: Don't you?

Orac: I do not.

Hailee: Well, you can play the recording while you try and think of one, can't you?

Orac: I repeat, I see no reason to complete your instruction.

Avon: Orac, a nice mortal threat to your ongoing existence would be a good reason, but I'm just not in the mood. So get on with the recording before you change that  -  I need hardly remind you that a threat is something I'm always prepared to follow up.

Orac: Oh very well.

( The sound of a distorted SOS message crackles from the teleport speaker. )

Inga: ( V.O. ) Mayday. This is the Administration Medical Cruiser Emancipation. We have taken extreme damage in a collision with an asteroid on the edge of the Penda Star system. All guidance systems have been put out of commission, and life support is malfunctioning. Power reserves can only last another two hours at most. I repeat, survival only possible for two hours. Mayday, this is an extreme emergency! Mayd-...

( The transmission cuts short. )

Hailee: That doesn't sound very promising, Avon. Even if we get there before the Feds, what condition is the cruiser gonna be in?

Avon: Thoroughly salvageable, I have no doubt. The only doubt I have is whether Gillis or Kochin will accept it. ( Smiles to himself. ) Mind you, we don't have to give them a choice in the matter, do we? Orac, is the first tracer still in the computer bay?

Orac: That is the tracer's location.

Avon: Good. We'll pay "Gillis" a visit. Orac, make a direct sensory link to the Zen computer. I want a course for the Penda Star system. Tell Zen to begin a sensor sweep for the distress craft as soon as the Liberator is within range.

Orac: I was led to understand that we were at Nitro for a priority miss-...

Avon: My priorities have changed, Orac.

Orac: The message was less than specific about where to search. It may take Zen some time to get an accurate fix on...

Avon: So the sooner you get started the sooner we'll find it, won't we? Get on with it.

Orac: As you wish.

Hailee: Wait a second, Avon. What was that name Orac used a moment ago?

Avon: When?

Hailee: He said Velcosa and Kochin. Not Gillis.

Avon: That's right.

Hailee: Who exactly is Velcosa?

Avon: Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. ( Turns and heads for the exit. )

Hailee: Orac doesn't have a tongue.

Avon: ( Over his shoulder. ) Well then it must be something else, mustn't it?


( Taurus III. Kyben approaches Tarrants shuttle, swiftly but quietly. As he gets nearer he crouches and continues to close in. He stops just short of the entry ramp. He nervously listens in to the conversation within. Inside the shuttle, Tarrant is here, his communicator in one hand, a gun in the other. Soolin is also present, her distraught confusion now compounded by an uncontrollable shaking. Her head darts from side to side, hyper-energetically. Servalan still sleeps, although her eyelids seem to flicker somewhat, as though in discomfort. )

Dev Tarrant: ( Into comms. ) You're absolutely sure he isn't further out?

Trooper 1: ( V.O.) You said it yourself, sir, this whole area's flooded. He couldn't have got this far, he must have doubled back.

Dev Tarrant: ( Sidles his eyes towards the door, knowingly. ) All right, retrace your steps back to the shuttle.

( Very quietly Tarrant heads towards the ramp. )

Trooper 1: ( V.O. ) What if we run into Kyben on the way back? Should we shoot him?

Dev Tarrant: You won't run into him, trooper.

( Tarant suddenly marches down the ramp and with a cool smile, he aims his gun at Kyben, who is rooted to the spot in surprise. )

Dev Tarrant: I've got him right here.


( Liberator computer room. Farin and Gillis are here. Gillis is gazing at all the computers in admiration. Farin is gazing at her in equal admiration. )

Pirate 2: Incredible. You're saying that your computer... what did you call it? Zen? You're saying Zen operates from here?

Farin: Oh I don't know exactly. You should ask Avon. This is his playpen.

Pirate 2: ( Turns and gives him a winning smile. ) Don't you have one, Tekk? Somewhere that's all yours, I mean. Where you can go and "play"?

Farin: Um...

( Farin looks embarrassed. Avon and Hailee walk in. Hailee has her gun aimed at Gillis. )

Hailee: He did, but we decided we'd better stop him playing with sharp objects.

Farin: What's with the gun, Hailee? It makes me nervous.

Hailee: That's funny, I find it very relaxing from this side.

Avon: ( Coldly. ) Farin, would you give us a moment with Gillis, please?

Farin: What's going on?

Avon: Just for a moment, Farin.

Farin: Look, wait a minute...

Hailee: ( Aims gun at Farin. ) Farin, get out before I give you a very warm facelift.

( Farin looks angry, but walks toward the door. Avon puts a hand on his arm. )

Avon: ( Whispers. ) Showing her this room was below stupidity.

( Avon and Farin glare at each other for a long moment before Farin walks out, fuming. Hailee walks up to Gillis and jabs her with a finger. )

Hailee: All right sweet pea, what are you doing in here?

Pirate 2: I was just looking around. Like I said, Ive always wanted to see this ship! ( Sees the look on Hailee's face. ) Farin offered to show me. He kept an eye on me.

Hailee: Oh, I don't doubt it. But he's not the most careful watchman on board.

Avon: What Hailee means, Gillis, is that your little guided tour has come to a close.

( Gillis looks politely put out. )

Pirate 2: Oh... all right.

Avon: There's also been a change of plan.

Pirate 2: What do you mean?

Avon: Orac has found a ship you should be able to use as a replacement for the one you so generously sacrificed. We have to hurry however, before the Federation get their hands on it. So we're leaving Nitro now.

Pirate 2: What? But I've got to meet my contact down there in less than two hours!

Avon: Yes, I know. You'll have to arrange another appointment.

Pirate 2: I can't do that! The Feds are transporting a load of fresh notes into the banking system the day after tomorrow. The deadline for packaging is tomorrow morning, if I don't meet it, we'll have to wait another month.

Avon: Oh that is bad news. No point in us waiting around to help you then. We'll drop you off at your new ship and you can make your own way back.

Pirate 2: You can't do this.

( Hailee holds the barrel of her gun against Gillis' jaw. )

Hailee: Why not? I'm holding the gun the right way round aren't I?

( Gillis swallows, and falls silent. )

Avon: Like I say, no point in us waiting around to help you.

Pirate 2: You promised.

Avon: I promised you I'd help you smuggle counterfeit money into the Alpha Proxima system. Well, here we are, in Alpha Proxima. What you chose to do once we arrived was nothing to do with me. I also promised to get you a replacement ship. That's where were going. ( Points to the door. ) Now. You will leave this room.

Hailee: ( Jabs Gillis with the gun again. ) He said now.

( Gillis walks out, looking angry. Hailee grins at Avon, who nods to her approvingly. )

Avon: ( Quietly. ) Hailee, I have something to tell you  -  in confidence.


( On Emancipation, Inga has torn open every metal component and piece of computer equipment she can find, for use as projectiles. Outside the Flight Deck, Atlan has improvised a battering ram out of a pair of heavy metal lattices knocked free of the walls during the attack. The Flight Deck door is beginning to sag inwards under the weight of him repeatedly driving the ram against it. Inga looks decidedly nervous. Eventually the door comes crashing down and Atlan bursts in, heaving for breath and an insane look in his eyes. Inga starts hurling everything she can at him. Nuts, bolts, sheets of metal, everything. Atlan evades the larger items, and simply shrugs off everything else. He then grabs Inga and reaches for her throat... )

Atlan: When you meet Satan, tell him I'll be along in my own good time.


( Liberator arrives at the Penda Star system. On the Flight Deck, all are now present. The two pirates are sat in the pit. )

Zen: Information. Sensors have detected a spacecraft at a distance of five hundred thousand spacials. Initial scans suggest that it is an unarmed Federation cruiser.

Avon: That's it. Take us in on an intercept course, Zen.

Zen: Confirmed.

Farin: We promised to help them.

Avon: That's what were doing.

Farin: The money was supposed to come first.

Avon: Normally that's my philosophy too. But it's dangerous to be inflexible.

Farin: ( Outraged.) Dangerous?! What do you mean dangerous? Gillis isn't going to hurt us.

Avon: Shut up, Farin. I don't need love-sick waffle clouding the issue.

( Farin is about to turn and yell a retort at Avon when Hailee interrupts. )

Hailee: Farin, trying to steer this thing isn't easy when babies are crying. Shut up.

Farin: I-...

Hailee: If you and Avon want to duel with handbags at six paces, do it on your own time. For now shut up.


( Liberator moves into range of the Emancipation. )


( Emancipation Flight Deck. Inga struggles desperately to keep Atlan from reaching her throat. She thumps at his hands, and kicks out at him, even bites at him, but Atlan soon gets her in an arm lock. )

Atlan: No tricks left, Inga?


( Liberator teleport room. Avon, Hailee, Gillis and Kochin are lined up in the teleport bay, kitted up in space suits. Avon is the only one whos armed, with a Scorpio clip gun. Vila is sat at the controls. Farin is stood by the bay, looking frustrated. Orac is on the teleport console, switched on. )

Farin: I should go too.

Avon: As I've already told you, this task requires individuals with brains. That ship will not be safe for your finely judged brand of shouting and hitting things at random.

Vila: Ready, Avon.

( Avon, Hailee, Gillis and Kochin put on their helmets. Avon gestures to proceed, and Vila teleports them out. Farin turns to leave. )

Vila: Wait a minute!

Farin: What?

Vila: Avon said he wanted us to hear something, but he wanted Gillis off the ship first.

Farin: Look, what's he got against Gillis?

Vila: I don't know. Maybe he's jealous that she thought of counterfeiting first. Orac?

Orac: Yes, Vila?

Vila: Data code one-nine, sub-category V.

Orac: Retrieval code accepted. Data read-out commences...


( Emancipation. Avon, Hailee, Gillis and Kochin materialise in a corridor. The whole ship is dark, with debris from every wall and ceiling scattered all about. The air pressure is still sufficient so they remove their helmets and gloves. Avon draws his gun and looks all about. No one else is here. He slots the gun away again. )

Pirate 1: ( Disgusted. ) This is it? This is the ship you're offering us? I've seen atomic test zones in better condition than this!

Avon: According to Orac, it requires only modest repairs and modification work, after which it will be far better than your old ship.

Pirate 2: This? This is a medical cruiser, Avon! And it's junked. It's completely unusable. I reject it.

Avon: You do, do you? Then you'll have to do without a ship.

Pirate 2: We had a deal!

Hailee: And we've delivered.

Pirate 2: That's right.

( Gillis suddenly snatches the gun from Avon's belt and aims it at him. Avon looks unconcerned, Hailee only mildly-bothered. )

Pirate 2: I think your own ship will make an excellent replacement for the one we lost.

Avon: Oh come now, Gillis. Vila and Farin won't co-operate with you.

Pirate 2: Correction, Avon. Farin will. He's taken quite a shine to me, as you so astutely observed. And Vila won't be able to do anything alone. Not with you two dead.

Hailee: You're going to kill us?

( Gillis smiles, raises the gun and pulls the trigger. It explodes in her hand. She is hurled to the floor with sickening force. There is blood all over her. Hailee spins on her heel and kicks Kochin in the chest. He falls as well. Avon and Hailee reach into their suits and pull out two more guns. Kochin sits up groggily. Hailee keeps watch on him while Avon stands over Gillis, who clearly isnt long for this world. )


( On the Flight Deck, the sound of the explosion reaches the ears of Atlan, who is still struggling to finish Inga off. He turns and looks down the corridor from the Flight Deck in curiosity. )

Atlan: What was dat?

( He sets off to investigate, dragging the struggling Inga along with him. )


( Avon and Hailee still have Kochin and Gillis at gunpoint. Gillis looks up at Avon in confusion. )

Pirate 2: H-how...?

Avon: I knew you'd go for my gun like that. Its exactly the sort of trick Federation Security trains its agents to do... Velcosa.

( Gillis' expression changes to dying shock. )

Avon: You didn't really think I trusted you, did you? At any stage? The moment you stepped on the Liberator I had Orac do a full check on your history. Unlike Kochin, the name Gillis was not on the Federation's wanted list, but I put a tracer into that drink I gave you, and it scanned your DNA profile. Orac found it matched a Federation agent by the name of Velcosa - operating in the Commerce Division of the Administration's security force. I also learned that you and Kochin only met five months ago.

( Avon goes over to Kochin and hauls him to his feet. )

Avon: You see, Kochin, she fooled you. She was running you. A provocateur, if you like. All the money she helped you import to the Cartel was simply destroyed by her "contact" on Nitro. Once she'd gathered enough evidence against you, she was going to arrest you and hand you in.

( Kochin looks pale. Velcosa gives a last gasp of pain, then her eyes roll upwards. She is dead. )

Pirate 1: I don't believe this. Sh-she promisd me we'd be so rich we could...

Avon: You were taken in by a pretty face. You're not the first.

Pirate 1: I really trusted her.

Avon: Trust is the basis of any relationship. But many relationships fail.

( There is a loud tread behind them, and the sound of someone struggling. Avon and Hailee turn and aim their guns in the direction of the sound. They see Atlan, his arm aroung Ingas neck. Inga is kicking out and biting, trying to break free. She then sees Avon. )

Inga: Unh! Avon! Help me!

( Avon raises his gun and fires at the wall next to Atlan and Inga, causing fragments of metal to break off and fly into their faces. Atlan releases her and raises his hands to his face in reflex. Inga drops to the floor, gasping for air, then quickly she scrambles towards Avon. Avon tries to get another shot at Atlan, but Inga is blocking the firing line. Atlan pulls out his gun and points it at Inga. A shot rings out loudly... and Atlan falls. He collapses to the floor, dead. Avon and Hailee look at each other. Neither of them fired. Inga sudenly looks up and runs towards a side corridor. )

Inga: Nij!

( A tall young man, probably in his late teens, stands there. His hair is dark and wiry, and he looks both cold and confused. He holds a plasma gun. Avon and Hailee walk over to join them, while Kochin stares at Velcosa. )

Nij Blake: Inga?

Inga: ( Hugs him. ) Yes, Nij its me.

Avon: Inga? I'm surprised to see you here. Did you send the distress call?

Inga: That's right. ( Sudden realisation. ) Oh yes, that Orac-thing of yours would have received it.

Hailee: Who is this?

Avon: Her name's Inga. She's... an acquaintance of Blake. ( To Inga. ) Why are you on board this ship?

Inga: ( Gestures to the young man. ) Because of this one. I'll explain fully if you give us a lift out of here.

Avon: ( Looks suspicious for a moment. ) Why not? Who is he?

Inga: ( Hesitates. ) Er, that's the big question isn't it?

Avon: So provide a big answer.

Inga: ( Glances at the young man again. ) His name's Nij. Nij... Blake. Hes Rojs son.


( Taurus III. Soolin and Kyben are tied up once more on the floor of Tarrant's shuttle. Servalan's sleep is now most unsettled. Tarrant is outside the shuttle at the moment. )

Soolin: Why did you come back?

Kyben: Are you sorry I did?

Soolin: You ran away and left me. ( Wistfully. ) Just like Keller.

Kyben: ( Shakes his head. ) This is ridiculous. Soolin, you're not Servalan.

Soolin: No I'm not. ( A new gleam enters her eyes. ) No. No I'm not. I never even met Keller.

Kyben: ( Curious. ) You seem more alert than before. That's promising.

Soolin: Tarrant injected me with something. ( Nods toward a tube of blue liquid on a shelf. ) That stuff.

Kyben: ( Examines it at a distance. ) Ah, chlafemilite. It's a synaptic enhancer. Just the thing.

Soolin: Really?

Kyben: Yes, I was wishing we'd had something like that on the Liberator. ( Turns to Soolin urgently. ) Concentrate, Soolin. You have to get this right before the drug wears off. You're not Servalan. You dont care about Servalan. It doesn't make any difference to you if Servalan lives or dies.

Soolin: But it does...

Kyben: ( Urgently. ) No it doesn't. Listen! You're not Servalan! NOT Servalan!

Soolin: ( Vaguely. ) No... not Servalan.

( Zoom in on Soolin's eye. The image of Servalan's face, mocking her, appears in her pupil. Her own voice and Kyben's echo loudly in her head. )

Soolin & Kyben: Not Servalan... Not Servalan... Not Servalan... Not Servalan...

( The image of Servalan's face turns from laughter to a snarl of terror. )

Soolin & Kyben: Not Servalan... Not Servalan... Not Servalan... Not Servalan... Not

Soolin & Kyben: Servalan... Not Servalan...

( The image of Servalan screams in agony and shatters into a thousand imaginary shards. Soolin's expression suddenly changes. The look of confusion and fear vanishes and the familiar cold confidence has returned. )

Soolin: Not... Servalan. ( Smiles. ) Yes! ( Looks at Kyben, who is looking back at her uncertainly. ) You did it! ( She plants a kiss on Kyben's cheek. ) I'm all right, Kyben! I'm all right now. How strong do you feel?

Kyben: ( Embarrassed smile. ) Uh, about ten times stronger than I did twenty seconds ago.

Soolin: Good.

( Soolin gets to her feet and starts running the vines tethering her hands against every sharp surface she can find. Kyben follows her example. The vines are strong, but thin. They quickly start to wear away. Suddenly Tarrant heads up the ramp back into the shuttle. He looks stunned as he sees Soolin freeing her hands. )

Dev Tarrant: What the...?

( With a snarl of rage, Kyben, hands still tethered behind his back, hurls himself at Tarrant. His head drives into Tarrant's chest, knocking him back down the ramp. Soolin, her hands now free, picks up Servalan, who is beginning to come to, and rolls her down the plank to the ground. )

Soolin: So long, "sister".

( Soolin then snaps the remains of the vines around Kybens arms. Kyben shapes to attack Tarrant again while he is down. Soolin stops him. )

Soolin: Don't waste time. Those troopers of his could be back any second, but we've got their shuttle. Let's get moving.

Kyben: But what about...?

Soolin: Tarrant will keep, let's go.

( Kyben wastes a second spitting at Tarrant, then follows Soolin back into the shuttle. The hatch closes behind him. )

Kyben: ( Suddenly calm. ) Can you fly her?

Soolin: I can't get her into orbit. We'd need a fully-fledged pilot for that. Still, let's see what we can do...

( Soolin operates the controls and the craft lifts off. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. All the crew, plus Inga, Nj Blake and Kochin are here. Kochin is sat on the steps, sulking. The others are sat in the pit, except Hailee who is at the controls. )

Vila: ( Skeptical. ) Blake's son? He never mentioned him.

Inga: I don't think Roj ever knew about him. He last saw Nij's mother about seven months before he was born.

Hailee: How long ago was that?

Inga: About seventeen years.

Vila: Seventeen...? ( To Inga. ) But I thought you and Blake...

Inga: ( Hesitates. ) Hmm? Oh no. No no. ( Frowns. ) Not me.

Avon: ( Whispers, staring at Blake. ) Blake...

( Vila glances fearfully at Avon who looks as if he is in a trance. )

Vila: ( To Inga. ) How did you get aboard that cruiser?

Inga: Long story. Why did you lot try to salvage it?

Vila: Shorter story.

Inga: Fine.

Vila: I don't get it, when did you leave Exbar?

Nij Blake: ( Looks downcast. ) Exbar was re-conquered by the Federation during the War. They needed more troops to reinforce the ground defences on the Frontier planets, so they started rounding up prisoners on all the penal worlds.

Avon: All the penal worlds?

Inga: As far as we know. Exbar, Kalkos, Yervlon. Even Cygnus Alpha.

Vila: Cygnus? We'd've been part of that, Avon.

Avon: I think we were part of the War anyway, Vila. Continue, Inga.

Inga: They rounded up all the male prisoners and the sturdiest females they could find, gave them a gun each and threw them out onto the front-line. For some reason I wasn't selected, and Nij was too young. But almost all the ones who were taken died.

Avon: ( Gently. By Avon's standards anyway. ) Presumably that included your Father.

Inga: ( Tearful. ) ...Yes.

Vila: Ushton? Oh Inga, I'm sorry.

Inga: Nij and I escaped the planet after Control was destroyed. We weren't going to stay on Federation turf if we could avoid it. We stole a Federation courier ship and looked for a Neutral territory to hide in.

Hailee: What went wrong?

Inga: We couldn't find one. The border systems were too far away. We lived like nomads, and eventually Nij was captured while foraging for food.

Nij Blake: I was sent to the penitentiary for persistent theft.

Vila: I like you already.

Inga: He then fell ill on the Prison planet and had to be transported to Earth for treatment. That's when I realised I had a chance to free him. I couldn't do it alone, so I tricked the Space Rats into helping me. Atlan wasnt pleased when he found out.

Hailee: We noticed. ( To Blake. ) Are you still ill?

Nij Blake: No. The medicine you gave me did the trick.

Vila: Wait a second, when did you first meet Inga?

Inga: Roj's wife brought him to Exbar about ten years ago, shortly before she died.

Vila: Oh yeah? He wasn't on Exbar when we were there.

Nij Blake: Well...

Inga: ( Interrupts hurriedly, glaring at Blake to be quiet. ) Yes he was. My father was too busy worrying about me to introduce Roj to a son he never knew he had. Travis kidnapped me remember?

Avon: And after we freed you?

Inga: You left.

Avon: ( Clearly not satisfied. ) So we did.

Hailee: This doesn't add up.

Inga: Then get a new abacus.

Vila: What's an abba-kuss?

Hailee: You're always the one for the intelligent question, aren't you? What do you say, Avon?

Avon: About Vila's contribution to the world of philosophy or about... ( Waves his finger at Blake with visible distrust. ) ...him?

( Blake looks hurt. )

Hailee: Blake.

Avon: I'm not convinced either. ( To Inga. ) You're hiding something. I want a full explanation.

Inga: You've got the only explanation you're going to get out of us, Avon.

Avon: And now I'm even less convinced. ( Glares at Blake. ) Still I see he's inherited his "father's" knack for attracting trouble. So I suppose its possible.

( Blake looks offended. Avon gets to his feet and walks over to Kochin. )

Avon: We're going to return you to Taurus. You will help us find Soolin, and then we will leave you there. Sorry if that seems harsh, but we know that you wanted to steal the Liberator and murder us, therefore we know we can't trust you.

Pirate 1: I don't care anymore, Avon. Do what you like.


( Taurus III, Federation shuttle. Soolin and Kyben are struggling with the controls while the shuttle skims precariously above the treetops. )

Soolin: Times like these I really appreciate planet hoppers...

Kyben: ( Pointing. ) There. Daedalus crashed there.

Soolin: ( Confident smile. ) Here goes.

( The shuttle descends and lands wth a loud thump about fifty metres from Daedalus. Kyben and Soolin have fallen out of their seats. Soolin lands on top of Kyben. They lie face to face for a moment while the dust settles. )

Kyben: ( Blows out his cheeks. ) Woo, nice landing.

Soolin: Coincidence, pure coincidence.

( Brief pause. )

Kyben: You quite comfortable there, Soolin?

Soolin: ( Looks embarrassed for a second. ) Oh. Sorry.

( Soolin and Kyben get up and start foraging through the shuttle's storage units. After a moment's searching they find and put on their bracelets, then walk outside and head back to Daedalus. They survey the battered ship. )

Kyben: ( Whistles. ) Not good. I'm sure Hailee'll be pleased.

Soolin: It could probably still fly with some serious patch-up work.

Kyben: ( Shrugs. ) You probably know more about ships than I do. ( Into bracelet. ) Liberator, do you read me now?


( Avon sits in his quarters on the Liberator, alone.)

Avon: ( Whispers. ) Blake...

( The phantom of Roj Blake appears before his eyes once more. )

Roj Blake: I was building a legacy, Avon... ( Vanishes. )

Avon: ( Quietly. ) A legacy? Is this what you meant, Blake? Your family?


( Some time later the Liberator has landed at the crash-site of Daedalus. Hailee looks furious about the damage. Haulage equipment is drawing the Daedalus and the shuttle into the holds of the Liberator. Hailee is screaming into her bracelet at Zen to operate the haulage gear more carefully. )

Hailee: ( Into bracelet. ) You're knocking the bits off my ship, you miswired metalhead!

Zen: ( V.O., sounds angry. ) Zen!

( The others are all sitting around nearby, watching in amusement. Avon is trying to fix the optic laser in Kyben's eye-patch. )

Nij Blake: Nice girl.

Avon: ( Coldly. ) You've also inherited Blake's capacity for observation.

Nij Blake: ( Equally coldly. ) Thank you. I see your rep for good manners is well deserved.

Farin: Is that thing you loaded on board really a refractor?

Pirate 1: Yes.

Avon: ( Nodding. ) It could be very useful with a power source like the Liberator's. A fully functioning detector screen.

Pirate 1: It's not yours.

Avon: It's not your ship, but you were still trying to take it. Where did you get the refractor anyway?

Pirate 1: It was on Gillis' ship. Now I know how she got it.

Avon: ( To Soolin. ) You're completely recovered then?

Soolin: I think so. ( Smiles at Kyben. ) Thanks to old red eyes there.

Kyben: Do you lot still think I'm a mind-butcher then?

Vila: You got her into that mess in the first place.

Soolin: Vila!

Vila: All right. It's just I'm always a bit leery about indoctrinators. They've had a go at my head often enough. ( Looks at Kyben. ) I overreacted. I'm sorry.

Avon: I'm not at all sorry, Kyben, but you did a good job... in the end.

( Avon finishes repairing Kyben's eye-patch and switches it on. The electronic air lights up. )

Farin: I'm... I'm... ( Exasperated. ) I guess I owe you... an apolo-... ( Voice tails off. )

( Kyben gets up and walks over to help Hailee, throwing his arms up in annoyance. )

Kyben: Oh don't bother, Farin, I don't want you to pull a muscle or anything.

( Avon and Soolin exchange grins. )

Soolin: These new friends of yours are going to take some getting used to.

Avon: I still haven't managed it. What happened to Servalan and Tarrant by the way?

Soolin: Oh yes, I forgot about them.


( Servalan has woken up  -  just in time. She and Tarrant are currently sat in the branches of a tree. At the foot of the tree, between the violently-chewed corpses of a mutoid and three Federation troopers, a Skar patiently paws the ground, licking its chops hungrily, and staring up at them in expectation. )

Servalan: If I survive this I'll eat you myself, Tarrant.

Dev Tarrant: You're the prisoner, Servalan, not me.

Servalan: Oh? ( Points. ) That thing just ate your army. Try and arrest me with that thing in charge if you dare. ( Eyes fill with anger. ) This is the last straw, Avon, a humiliation too far. Next time I see you you're a DEAD MAN!




The ninth episode was originally going to be called Fools And Family, but in the end I decided that it sounded a bit too cynical, so I've renamed it In Whom We Trust (which merely sounds sarcastic).

Avon and Hailee learn the truth about Gillis and Kochin, although Kochin is in for more of a surprise than anyone. Farin meanwhile has taken a shine to Gillis and is following her around like a love-sick puppy, making Avon's task of dealing with the two pirates suitably more awkward.

Nij Blake at last makes his revised debut, while Inga gets into a brutal skirmish aboard the cruiser Emancipation.

Kyben and Soolin are in big trouble. Stranded on Taurus, at the mercy of Dev Tarrant, and with Soolin still "not-all-there" Kyben faces a gruelling test of his courage. And as is well-recorded, he doesn't have as much courage as he might need. Just a couple of warnings, this episode is rather complex and definitely overlong.



Neil Blissett:

Several plot lines reach their conclusion in this episode as Soolin is finally cured, the crew escape from Taurus and Nij Blake makes his first appearance.

The introduction of Nij Blake comes two episodes later than it was originally planned. In the first version of this episode I read Nij Blake and Inga were the two people who the crew met on Taurus. They were then replaced by the pirates since Martin felt this was too much of a coincidence. I have to say it still seems like a huge coincidence that it is the Liberator crew who respond to Inga's distress call.

It's a LITTLE far-fetched, but not remotely on the scale of before. Orac was monitoring Federation transmissions for a ship that Kochin and Gillis could use, as instructed. He has a habit of monitoring Fed frequencies on his own initiative anyway. The SOS signal was sent on an Administration emergency frequency, using specialized Federation communication equipment. Even if Orac wasn't in range to receive the transmission (which he was  -  the Liberator was just four light years from Earth, the Emancipation was in Sector Three, which borders directly on Earth Sector), logically the transmission would have been specially designed to reach both the Earth and Space Command as standard (it would be pretty useless as a distress signal if it couldn't). Considering that Orac was able to communicate with the computers at Space Command all the way from Star One, he'd certainly be able to read them and draw information from them while at Alpha Proxima. Inga's message would have been stored in Federation Security's archives as soon as it was received, and Orac could just as easily have read it from there. It was entirely plausible that Orac could have read that signal considering the powers he has. Any number of other ships might have received the SOS anyway. They just couldn't get there in time because they don't have the Liberator.

Just compare it to how it originally went. The chances of the Daedalus just crash-landing on a planet with a breathable atmosphere were fairly remote. But that planet just happening to be the one that Nij and Inga are hiding on...? No way. We're talking one chance in ten to the power of Africa's overdraft there. The new version is a little unlikely (but hey it's sci-fi, it's not meant to be realistic) but it's nowhere near as coincidence-filled as the original version.

I'm not really sure why the Space Rats and Atlan were included here. They don't really add anything to the proceedings.

Atlan and the Space Rats were put in originally to make Inga's arrival on the Emancipation more plausible  -  she's not bright or well-equipped enough to manage the raid alone. I hadn't planned to keep Atlan in the ninth episode as much as I did, but I decided that leaving him in the hold to suffocate without any kind of response from him would be a bit of a lame send-off. Also, if Atlan and the Space Rats weren't there, Inga would have had no reason to send the distress call...

Apart from these minor gripes this is a great epsiode.


Jane Walton:

Did I enjoy this episode or not? Yes and no. It's not that you are doing anything wrong exactly, it's just that you do seem to be over-doing the 'back-stabbing and double-dealing' a little.


It was well written, style-wise.

It's a continuing story and therefore it's good to be able to read 'what happens next'.

The characters are believable and interesting. The situation between Avon and Hailee in particular is getting 'interesting', they are really starting to sizzle!

I'm glad you fixed Soolin, her helplessness was beginning to get on my nerves.

Mine too.

I liked the ending, 'villain shaking her fists at the air and swearing vengeance'. It brought to mind several instances in which Travis did the same thing in the originals, very B7, very nicely done.

This point took me by surprise when Jane sent it to me, though not because I disagree with it. She's right, it was very like Travis, but he wasn't the one who I was thinking of when I wrote that bit. It never even occurred to me. In fact if I'd noticed it I might have done a different ending, because as Steven Greif has often complained, the endings to the Travis episodes in series one were all very samey (which is one of the reasons why he left), and I don't really want to go back to that sort of approach. The character I had in mind was called Megatron, from The Transformers, a cartoon that I'm ashamed to admit I watched all the time when I was a kid. Whenever he lost a fight, as he ran away he'd always swear revenge in that same futile way.


It's all getting a bit too complicated. Every person seems to have several ulterior motives and it's becoming too much of a 'brain-strain' trying to work out where everyone's loyalties lie.

It seems to be losing some of its entertainment value in its striving for intrigue. As a novel it would work well but it is supposed to be a TV script and as such one or two linked episodes would be fine but yours are too interdependent at the moment.

Where did the convenient blade on the floor come from? Probably Dev's pocket but its not clear.

Re-read the scene in Sieged when Soolin and Kyben got tied up. The blade was the one Tarrant used to cut the vines with. He left it pitched in the ground.

Roj had a wife did he? You'd have thought he would have referred to her, in passing maybe, just once during the original episodes. Still, he always was very self-centred, 'out of sight out of mind' probably.

This is the question isn't it? Did Roj have a wife? I'm not sure. If he did he might have mentioned her before, but then he's had his memory operated on hasn't he? Inga says he had a wife, but she also says that there was never any romantic involvement between herself and Blake. From what we saw in Hostage, that appears unlikely. According to the Original Sequel Project, Nij isn't really Blake's son, but here Inga claims that he is. Therefore there are all kinds of possibilities. That Inga might not be telling the truth is one of them.


Brian McLennan:

This episode's okay, but it does start to drag a bit toward the end. I think the real problem is that it seems to have three or four different endings, one after the other. Overlong with too many plot strands.

Probably but I'm refusing to do anything about that. I'm not going to go into details why, but I can promise you that this is one story that I don't want to touch again as long as I live. At the time of writing, it's about three years since I wrote it and I still haven't fully recovered from the strain. It was an absolute pig to write it and it goes down as one of the great miracles of my life that it turned out as good as it did.

I'm not too impressed with the introduction of Nij Blake. The whole idea of giving Roj Blake a son is pretty hackneyed.

Well perhaps, perhaps not, but then so far we only have Nij's word that he is Roj Blake's son.

And in any case, just popping him in out of nowhere like this is a bit weak.

In what way? It's fundamental to the overall storyline that he is involved. How else was I to introduce him?


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts