( 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. )
( 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 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
Hailee: What exactly are you talking about?
Avon: I set Orac the happy task of monitoring for a possible replacement for Gillis' ship.
Avon: It's intercepted a distress call from a Medical cruiser. Orac, replay the recording through the teleport's
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
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?
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
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 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'
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.
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.
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!
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
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.