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 X - Missiles


Part-based on The Missile Trap by Neil Blissett


( Taurus III. Servalan and Dev Tarrant are still sat in a tree. The Skar and the four corpses are still at the foot of the tree. The Skar is now drooling. )

Dev Tarrant: Perhaps we can throw a stick and it'll fetch?

Servalan: Perhaps we can. We can also throw it a biscuit and stroke it and call it good boy. Idiot.

Dev Tarrant: Have you got a genuinely better idea?

Servalan: Is that oaf Kreel on his way?

Dev Tarrant: He will be by now, unfortunately for you.

Servalan: ( Evil smile. ) Oh I wouldn't say unfortunately. Would you?

( Tarrant glowers at her suspiciously. )


( Liberator is in a clear area of Space. On the Flight Deck all the crew except Hailee are present. Orac is in the pit, switched on. Soolin is at the controls. Avon stands by the console in the pit. )

Hailee: ( V.O. ) That should do it. Have a try.

Avon: Ready everyone?

( Nods from the others except Inga. )

Inga: I still don't like it. You left Kochin without anything back there.

Avon: May I remind you that he no longer has a ship for it to hide? You think he planned to carry the whole unit on a chain around his neck, perhaps?

Inga: No of course not...

Avon: ( Fiercely. ) Then be quiet!

( Inga and Blake both seethe but remain silent. )

Avon: Zen, stand by for phase two.

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Begin diverting power.

Zen: Power cycle commencing.

Avon: ( Into comms. ) Hailee, you'd better clear out of there.

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Oh, you reckon, fearless leader? I was planning to get burned to a crisp.

Avon: ( Smiling. ) I do like her.

Zen: Power cycle completed. Neutron flare shield now de-energised. Re-activation of the Neutron Flare Shield will not be possible until at least seven minutes after power cycle has been reversed.

Avon: ( Operates detector shield control. ) Activating...

( Outside the Liberator shimmers briefly then becomes invisible. Inside everyone looks about warily. )

Avon: Well, Orac?

Orac: "Well?" is not...

Avon: not a question, I know. Answer it anyway.

Orac: The detector shield is fully fuctional in its new mode. The Liberator is now completely undetectable to outside tracking devices, and furthermore is invisible to the naked human eye.

Avon: Thank you, Orac.

Farin: Is that good news?

Avon: Of course it is, it means it works perfectly. By interfacing Velcosa's refractor with my detector shield we have successfully installed a fully functional cloaking device.

( Appreciative nods from the others. )

Avon: We really do have the whole Universe to hide in now. ( Into comms. ) Hailee, it's working perfectly. You can come back to the Flight Deck.

Vila: ( Into comms. ) Roughly translated, that means "Well done".

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Thank you, Vila.

Soolin: Zen, what effect is the cloaking device having on our power status?

Zen: Energy drain from the Cloaking system is significant. Main drive operating at Standard speed in tandem with Cloaking system would drain Liberator's energy banks entirely in thirty one hours.

Soolin: And that's just Time Distort 5. We'd be empty in no time at top speed. Zen, hold our present position.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The Liberator stops moving. )

Avon: We can forget the Neutron Blasters while we're hidden then. Even if we could get the Cloak to function independently of the Flare shield.

Farin: Which we can't so let's not even bother trying.

( Hailee arrives. )

Hailee: Thank you o strategist. You got any more breakthrough ideas about what we shouldn't bother doing?

Farin: Go stick your head in a black hole.

Hailee: ( Mocking tone. ) Ooooo... an actual come back, not standing around huffing for a change? Are you ill?

( Farin looks at her and huffs, unable to think of a riposte. )

Kyben: ( Trying not to smirk. ) What do we do next?

Avon: ( Gestures to Inga and Blake. ) We drop our guests off at a convenient planet.

( Blake stands up. )

Nij Blake: Inga can leave if she wants. I'm staying.

Avon: No.

Nij Blake: This is my father's ship, Avon.

Avon: It's my ship.

Nij Blake: I never met him, but I'd say it still makes it my responsibility.

Avon: For what?

Nij Blake: To carry on his fight.

Avon: How inspiring. No.

Nij Blake: But...

Avon: This is my ship. You are not staying aboard.

Vila: Look, Avon, just a minute...

Avon: ( Looks at Vila aghast. ) What are you trying to suggest, Vila? That we make him a member of the crew?

Vila: Well...

( Avon steps over to where Vila is sitting and towers over him. Vila recoils in terror. Everyone else on the Flight Deck watches in alarm. )

Avon: Yesss...?

Vila: ( Trembling. ) It's just... Inga would've been dead by now if it wasn't for him.

Avon: That could still be arranged.

Vila: All I'm saying is I think we can trust him, he wants to help us, why not?

Avon: ( Quietly. ) He says hes Blake's son.

Nij Blake: Don't you believe me?

Avon: Not really, but it makes little difference either way. I will not have you on my ship.

Farin: ( Angry. ) Oh? And why not?

Avon: He's either a liar or he's...

( The moment he shot Roj Blake flashes briefly through Avon's thoughts. )

Roj Blake: Avon, I was waiting for YOU...!

Avon: I will not have Blake aboard my ship.

( Soolin and Vila look at each other awkwardly but knowingly. )

Kyben: Hang on, just explain...

( Avon spins on his heel and grabs Kyben by the scruff of the neck. )

Avon: End... of... story!!

( Avon turns and walks from the Flight Deck. The rest of the crew all look at each other in shock. Farin turns and looks at Vila. )

Farin: All right, I'm through with this game. Vila, what is going on?

Vila: ( Nervous. ) Going on? What do you mean?

Farin: You and Avon have been hiding something ever since we rescued you from GP. I don't know what it is but you always react the same way. It's something to do with Gauda Prime, now what is it?

Nij Blake: Yeah what is it? If it's something about my father I have a right to know...

Vila: ( Too loudly. ) Nothing, honest!

( Farin moves toward Vila. Soolin intercedes. )

Soolin: Leave it, Farin. It's nothing. Like he says.

Nij Blake: Why you... aah! Have it your way then. But I am not leaving this ship 'till you tell me what's wrong.


( Pursuit ships are in orbit around Taurus III. On Pursuit One, Kreel is raging at his crew. )

Kreel: I tolerate no further failure, you are warned. We find the Liberator, I demand, we annihilate their crew, I...

Mutoid 1: Commander?

Kreel: What is it? You will answer. Now.

Mutoid 1: Pursuit Five reports it has completed its patrol of the atmosphere of Taurus III. There is no trace of any ship on the planet surface. Search parties are now being put onto the surface to attempt to locate Kommisar Tarrant.

Kreel: Where is he? Where?


( On the surface of Taurus III, Pursuits Four and Five have landed and Troopers are debarking. Section Leader Tauzier is giving the orders. )

Tauzier: Search in trio rotation. All units will move on one zone every fifteen minutes. All right let's go. C'mon move it.

( The troopers split into groups of three and disappear into the jungle. )


( The Liberator is now in orbit around the planet Exbar. In the Teleport room, Inga has a bracelet and stands in the Teleport bay. Soolin is seated at the controls, trying to acquaint herself with them. Kyben stands to one side, leaning against a wall. Avon and Blake are also here, glowering at each other angrily. )

Kyben: Avon, leave it. We need all the help we can get.

Avon: Do we?

Kyben: I'd say so. We've all nearly been killed a dozen times over in the last couple of months.

Avon: A slight exaggeration.

Soolin: Very slight, from what you've told me. Kyben's right. And hasn't it occurred to you that it'll be useful propaganda if the Galaxy hears that Blake is back aboard the Liberator?

( There is a brief silence during which Avon glares at Blake. Not far beneath the anger there is visible fear. )

Avon: I can see this is an argument I am not allowed to win. Very well. He stays... for the time being.

Soolin: Ready, Inga?

Inga: Just about.

Nij Blake: I can't convince you to stay?

Inga: No. And I can't convince you to come with me.

Nij Blake: Why Exbar? It's Federation territory now.

Inga: I told you. It's my home, I have work to do there. Youll cope without me, little cousin, I know you will. You were the one who saved my life in the end, remember?

Nij Blake: That's a good point. And less of the "little" if you dont mind.

( Blake gives Inga a reproachful look, which quickly melts into a smile. Inga hugs Blake, then lines back up in the Teleport bay. )

Inga: You're all welcome to drop by any time. Even you, Avon. ( Nods. ) All right, Soolin.

( Soolin operates the controls and Inga dematerialises. )


( Planet Agro 34. The Planetary Governor is reviewing harvest reports. The Federation's local Kommissar steps up to him, carrying a set of data files. The Governor gives him an unfriendly look. )

Governor: Ah Kommissar. Welcome back to Agro 34. More forms for me to fill in?

Kommissar: ( Disapproving. ) Your attitude is noted, Governor.

Governor: Your threat is hollow, Kommissar.

Kommissar: I...

Governor: I run this planet on the Federation's behalf, not yours. If you have matters for me to settle, state your business.

Kommissar: ...Very well.

( The Kommissar places a data file in the computer and the screen lights up with scrolling reams of data. )

Governor: What is all this?

Kommissar: I'm surprised to see you're already so out of touch, Governor. This is the latest update from the negotiations with the Vandor contingent.

Governor: ( Looks bored. ) Oh. And you decided to bring it to me in person for a change?

Kommissar: ( Smiles. ) Oh yes.

Governor: Any particular reason?

Kommissar: This matter never has been of any interest to you has it?

Governor: Sea boundaries, Kommissar? I don't see why we didn't just let them take the lot. Aside from a small increase in fish stocks its totally meaningless. Just rocks and brine.

Kommissar: Perhaps. ( Points at the screen. ) But has it occurred to you what might be among those rocks?

Governor: What are you...? ( Looks where the Kommissar is pointing. ) Oh... my... God.

Kommissar: Our friends from the Confederacy haven't seen this information. Don't even know we were doing these excavations. I think we may have to keep the discussions open a little longer.

Governor: Now wait a minute. The President says he wants this border dispute settled ASAP...

Kommissar: Not anymore. He wants those rocks on our side of the boundary. At any cost.


( Jungle on Taurus III. Three Federation Troopers enter a clearing and see the peculiar view of Servalan and Dev Tarrant standing in a tree throwing sticks and twigs at a very large feline creature on the ground below. The Troopers open fire at the creature. The creature glows blue, blood flies from the wounds inflicted by the plasma bullets. It howls with pain and rage, then turns and leaps at the Troopers who turn and run in fear. The Skar chases them into the jungle. Servalan and Tarrant look at each other in surprise. Servalan grins. )

Servalan: See? Not unfortunate at all.

( She suddenly drops from the tree, lands with surprising agility and scoops up the Mutoid's plasma rifle, which she aims at Tarrant. Tarrant scowls. )

Servalan: I should kill you really, Tarrant, but I don't think I should waste ammunition if I can avoid it. I'll just be on my way. But, er, it goes without saying of course, if you leave that tree before I'm gone, youll be dead before you reach the ground. Ciao.

( Without turning her back or lowering the rifle for a microsecond, Servalan backs out of the clearing and disappears into the jungle. Tarrant waits until he's sure she's gone, then climbs down and scoops up another rifle. )


( Liberator Flight Deck, some days later. Kyben and Blake are on watch. Orac is in the pit, switched on. )

Nij Blake: I still don't think he'll agree.

Kyben: Yes he will. If there's one thing Avon likes more than protecting his own hide, it's the acquisition of power.

Nij Blake: Is that supposed to reassure me?

Kyben: I'm not trying to reassure you.

Nij Blake: A Doctor not trying to reassure people? What's wrong? Disillusioned?

Kyben: Just tired. I've been on watch for over fourteen hours.

Nij Blake: So why didn't you go four hours ago when I arrived?

Kyben: Like I say, just in case you need help convincing Avon.

( Avon walks onto the Flight Deck, hands behind his back, looking at the two of them suspiciously. He is followed by Hailee, Farin and Soolin. )

Avon: No, whatever it is.

Kyben: Don't you even want to hear the plan first?

Avon: I doubt it. I also doubt I can stop you telling me.

Hailee: Spill it, Kyben. Quickly. I've got better things to do than listen to your mealy voice coming out of your ugly face.

( Vila walks in. )

Vila: Such subtle wit. Where did you learn that turn of phrase?

Nij Blake: Zen. What information do we have on the planet designated Agro 34?

Zen: Planet Agro 34 is located in the fifth sector. It has a mass of 85% that of the Planet Earth. Forty four percent of the surface is covered by water. Eighty percent of the remaining area is cultivated by the Federation to produce food supplies for the Outer Planets. The entire indigenous population is used for slave labour by the Federation in the Farming facilities on the planet.

Nij Blake: Agro planets. Just one more way the Federation keeps control. Most of the planets in the Federation could provide more than enough food for their populations but the Feds secretly poison the land making it infertile.

Kyben: The only way to feed the populace is to import food from the Federation Agricultural Directorate. So even if a revolt succeeds supplies are cut off. Over half the successful rebellions are undone when the people begin to starve. They overthrow their saviours and invite the Federation back.

Avon: So what's your plan? Destroy the food and the planets revolt against the Federation again?

Nij Blake: We're not that stupid. Or ruthless.

Avon: The only people who are that ruthless work for the Federation...

Soolin: Except you.

( Avon shoots her a nasty look then continues. )

Avon: Why all the interest in a Federation planet that only grows food?

Nij Blake: That's the thing. According to Orac it isn't just an Agro planet. It's not just a Federation planet either. Not quite.

Soolin: What are you talking about?

Kyben: Ever heard of the planet Toidronn?

Avon: Should I have?

Vila: I haven't.

Nij Blake: There's a surprise.

Farin: I've heard of it.

Kyben: There IS a surprise.

Farin: According to Klyn it was a planet that tried to leave the Federation after Star One was destroyed. The revolt went wrong and the Feds were able to retain control.

Kyben: Not quite. That was the official line.

Nij Blake: The revolution was a runaway success. Toidronn was a Neutral planet for about ten months after the Galactic War.

Vila: Oh. But the Federation re-took control?

Nij Blake: Something like that.

Hailee: This is all very interesting. Well it would be if it wasn't perfectly tedious. What's your point?

Nij Blake: The point is how they managed to retake the planet.

Hailee: They moved in an invasion force, I suppose. How else?

Kyben: What invasion force? The Andromedans nearly wiped out the Federation fleet, remember? They couldn't afford to send a large fleet this far out. Still can't.

Vila: Oh yeah. How did they manage it then?

Nij Blake: They didn't exactly.

Farin: I hate people who talk in riddles.

Nij Blake: We all hate you, Farin, but do you hear us complaining about it? Zen, put up Galactic sector map of the Ubar system on the main screen.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The screen fills with star charts. Toidronn is highlighted. )

Kyben: Toidronn's Agro 34's original name from before the Atomic Wars. It's in the Ubar system right on the Federation frontier. Notice anything else?

Avon: ( Closely scrutinising the star chart. ) Yes. It also borders with the Vandor Confederacy of Planets.

Kyben: Spot on. The Vandor Confederacy did have a fleet in the vicinity. Right across the border in fact.

Hailee: I have a feeling I know where this is headed. And it sounds pretty sick.

Kyben: Oh believe me it is.

Nij Blake: Servalan signed a joint-conquest treaty with the High Council of Vandor against Toidronn. Vandor wiped out the Defence fleet protecting the planet clearing the way for a large Federation ground force to march in and take over the local administration. The Feds and the Confeds then divided the planet's land-masses between them fifty-fifty.

Vila: Vandor did that? I don't believe it. They're as non-military as any Government in the Galaxy. I mean look at the Teal-Vandor Convention...

Avon: ( Smiles. ) It's easy to be chivalrous towards an enemy that is as powerful as you. Certainly easier than attacking them. But Toidronn was just one planet with a small fleet of defence cruisers. An easy target to conquer, especially with assistance.

Kyben: Exactly. Mind you, they did make one tiny mistake when they drew up the treaty. Dividing the planet's land-masses fifty-fifty left a large matter to be settled.

Soolin: Oh? What's that?

Nij Blake: Think. It's an Earth-type planet. It wouldn't be inhabited otherwise.

Soolin: So?

Avon: Presumably the terms of the border settlement between the two territories didn't extend to the sea boundaries.

Nij Blake: That's right. And on Earth-type planets there's an awful lot of sea.

Kyben: The two Zones have been bickering over the issue for some months. So much naval shipping on each side appeared to be encroaching into the other's Zone that eventually the local Governors decided to settle the matter by mapping out an agreed boundary. According to Orac they looked like they were about to reach an agreement until two days ago.

Soolin: What happened then?

Kyben: The Federation suddenly disputed a sixteen-mile area of the proposed borderline. We're not sure why they did this, but the Confederacy refused to give another inch.

Avon: Interesting. But where do we come into this?

Nij Blake: Well like I say, they don't just produce crops on Agro 34. Isn't that right, Orac?

Orac: That is correct. In the Federation Zone there are five processing centres. They take in the raw crops and refine them into concentrates suitable for shipping to the Outer Planets. Four of these stations are mobile and crawl across the planet harvesting the crops straight into the factory. The fifth is located in the most fertile area and plant growth is so rapid that the base can be positioned permanently.

Hailee: This is all very fascinating but what do we want with a food factory?

Orac: Absolutely nothing.

Vila: So what...?

Nij Blake: Stop wasting time Orac and get to the point.

Orac: Once again, I am forced to point out that I have already given you the information, and that you should be quite capable of relaying it yourselves.

Nij Blake: We're also capable of relaying you into the waste recycling system. NOW TELL THEM WHAT YOU TOLD US!

Orac: Very well.

Hailee: Heh. This kid's good.

Orac: The stationary factory is the cover for a top secret research project. The Federation has gone to great pains to conceal knowledge of the site and it was only by chance that I found a short reference to it while scanning Federation files. Of course once I knew it was there it became a simple matter to uncover the remaining details.

Avon: Bravo. And the remaining details are?

Orac: The base develops weaponry systems.

Avon: So do a lot of Federation bases. What's so special about this one?

Orac: The type of weapon under development of course. Before the Galactic War the Terran Administration decided to take Federation security into their own hands. Secretly they established the base on Toidronn and charged the scientists and engineers to produce a more effective weapon that could be fitted to Pursuit Ships in place of the outdated plasma bolt launchers. The unofficial motivation behind this was to regain supremacy in Space warfare over the Liberator. While Space Command tried throwing increasing numbers of ships at the Liberator and failing, the scientists on Toidronn worked to produce a weapon to make the destruction of the Resistance Movement a certainty. The project survived the Galactic War, the Toidronn uprising, and even the fall of the original Terran Administration when Servalan became President and Supreme Empress.

Avon: Orac, are you trying to tell us that they have finally succeeded in creating a new weapon?

Orac: I am.

Kyben: Just in time to settle their argument with Vandor by a display of overwhelming military force.

Hailee: Ah.

Nij Blake: ( Eagerly. ) And three guesses who'll be the next target. Now you can see why we're so interested?

Avon: We have to prevent the weapon becoming operational.

Kyben: Not as such. But we're going to have to act fast. According to Orac the testing is complete. The Federation could take delivery any time now.

Hailee: You still haven't told us what this new weapon is.

Nij Blake: That's because we're saving the good news for last. Orac?

Orac: The weapon is a new class of Interceptor missile. Launchers can be easily fitted to Pursuit Ships in place of their present weapons.

Farin: What's so special about a missile?

Orac: These missiles have a computerised warhead that, it is estimated, can bypass a force wall by generating counter force-fields at inverse wave amplitudes. The two force-fields act to neutralise each other allowing the missile to reach its target without obstruction. Furthermore they can travel at speeds of up to Standard by eighteen.

Farin: I see what you mean. A couple of those missiles and we wouldn't have a prayer.

Vila: ( To Blake. ) That's your idea of good news?

Kyben: Yes. It occurred to us that Liberator has missile launch tubes. We've never used them because we have no ordnance. But if we could get hold of the supply of those missiles wed have a real advantage. Missile launchers use very little power. We could use the cloaking device and the launchers at the same time.

Avon: So you want to raid the base and steal the missiles?

Nij Blake: If possible. Destroy is the other alternative. We got Orac to wipe the copies of the blueprints at Space Command so once we've got the missiles we can destroy the base and we should be the only ones with the new technology.

Kyben: Well? What do you think?

Vila: I think we should run away. If those missiles can fly that fast well need as big a head-start as we can get.

Farin: I agree with Vila.

Soolin: If those two are against, I'm in favour.

Vila: Thanks.

Avon: We'll go for it. I want that weapon.

Kyben: ( Raises thumb to Blake. ) What did I tell you?


( Agro 34. Delegates from the Vandor Confederacy and the Federation, including Councillor Brekim of the High Council are in a Conference room on a floating mini-base. The mini-base lies in the middle of the disputed area of the sea. Everyone in the room looks frustrated. )

Numan: ( A Vandor Delegate. ) I'm sorry, Brekim, I think we're offering a very reasonable compromise.

Brekim: ( Looking to his advisors for encouragement. ) It is generous, Ambassador Numan, I can't deny it. And we're very grateful that the Confederacy is finally willing to re-negotiate. But I fear the area you're offering is simply... unusable, we want the Zone four hundred miles further South. The Federation is not prepared to consider alternative offers. We have to come to an agreement over the Zone we specified, Numan, or I'm afraid we have no agreement at all.

Numan: ( Shakes his head. ) With all due respect, Councillor, the area you want isn't anywhere near regular Federation shipping routes, whereas it's right on the edge of one of Vandor's.

Brekim: Perhaps.

Numan: The area we're offering could be of far more value to you in your present position.

Brekim: Possibly.

Numan: Then I don't understand. We were really close to sorting this out entirely only a couple of days ago. Won't you at least ask the Governor to consider it?

Brekim: ( Another glance at his advisors. ) I'm afraid I can't do that, Numan. I'm under strict instructions from the High Council itself, not just the Governor. They've sent a very clear outline as to how they want the border to be when negotiations are complete. We need to find an accord over the Zone specified. Nowhere else.

Numan: Why? What use could that area possibly be to you?

Brekim: ( Slightly embarrassed. ) Er, well I haven't been told. It's not really my concern.

Numan: ( Sits back exasperated. ) All right have you any alternative suggestions or offers?

Brekim: Maybe we can come up with an offer of resources or materials instead of territory?

Numan: The area you want is too close to our shoreline. It'd have to be a substantial quantity of materials before we could even consider it.

( Brekim nods and consults one of his advisors quietly. The Vandor delegates glance at each other nervously. Brekim turns back to Numan, smiling a politician's smile. )

Brekim: Well let's see what we can offer...


( Flight deck of the Federation shuttle stolen on Taurus III. Hailee is in the pilot position. Avon, Soolin and Farin are checking their weapons and Blake is packing explosives into a box. Vila is stacking circular objects into his thief kit. )

Hailee: I want my own ship repaired. This'll be like flying in a soup tin.

Farin: It makes you appreciate the teleport.

Nij Blake: Yes but Orac said the base is shielded against teleport communications.

Farin: Shielded? I thought they were trying to disguise it as a food factory.

Nij Blake: It is, so security should be fairly light. But if they spot Liberator heading in their direction that'll change quickly. And before you ask, I doubt the Vandor contingent'll be dancing with joy to see us either.

Avon: How ironic. Until we find the missiles Liberator is a liability.

Nij Blake: Vila, have you got everything?

Vila: Yes. Avon what exactly do these things I'm lugging around do?

Avon: They are teleport beacons. They're like a more primitive version of the teleport bracelets. That's why we need you to fix them to the missile crates, so we can teleport them aboard Liberator.

Vila: Well I hope they work then. ( Suddenly nervous. ) They do, don't they?

Avon: Yes. Try not to lose them. They represent the last of our supply of spare aquitar.

Nij Blake: Has everyone got the plan straight?

Vila: We know. You and Avon shut down the teleport shielding around the base while Soolin and I find the missiles. Farin operates as a lookout.. We put these things on the missiles, then Kyben teleports us and them up and away. Very simplistic.

Avon: ( Patronising. ) I'm glad the Blake family tradition for simplicity continues unabated.

Nij Blake: Stop competing with me, Avon. You're in charge, I accept that.

Avon: Maybe, but I can only be as good a leader as the strategy allows me to be. Your strategy.

Nij Blake: You didn't come up with a better one. Still I know what you mean. I'm still not sure we're going to get down there in one piece.

Avon: That isn't the problem, like I said. The detectors on the five factories allow them to see any craft putting down on the surface and the excess solar radiation that makes this planet so good for growing crops ionises the atmosphere and makes the cloaking device ineffective. However, the meteor about to hit the southern continent should give us enough cover to get down unobserved.

Nij Blake: Like I said, attaching ourselves to a falling rock and not letting go until it burns up doesn't sound very clever to me.

Avon: The shuttle should come through the descent with only minor hull damage.

Nij Blake: Are you sure you mean "should"? Choose your words with care.

Vila: He means it, Blake. If it was too dangerous he wouldn't be going with us.

Nij Blake: I can believe that. ( To Hailee ) This is going to require very precise timing. Can you do it?

Hailee: Better than any of you grunts can.

Avon: ( Amused. ) Oh yes I do like her.

Soolin: ( Into comms. ) Kyben, we're ready to launch. Open the bay doors.

Kyben: ( V.O. ) Copy.


( Liberator's Cargo bay doors slowly rumble open. )

Soolin: ( Into comms. ) Make sure Orac keeps monitoring news from the Conference. If they manage to reach a settlement we'll become the first target for the new missiles.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Kyben is at the controls, smiling ruefully. Orac is switched on in the pit. )

Kyben: ( Into comms. ) Actually, I'll be the first target. I'm the only one still on board, remember?

Soolin: ( V.O. ) Thanks for reminding me. It's made me feel better.

Kyben: ( Into comms. ) Pleasure's all yours.


( The shuttle launches from Liberator's cargo hold and flies away. )

Kyben: ( V.O. ) Beginning twelve hour countdown. Good luck.


( Space near Agro 34. An asteroid is falling towards the greeny-blue planet. The shuttle moves closer. As it grapples and holds on to the rock we see that the shuttle is larger than the asteroid. The shuttle's engines shut down and it falls with the rock into the atmosphere. The meteor begins to glow red and white as it meets the friction of the air. It begins to melt and vaporise. The shuttle rides the rock into the atmosphere. On the flight deck of the shuttle, Hailee and Soolin are in the two forward chairs. Avon is in the command chair. Blake and Vila are strapped to the wall. There is a bright red glow from the viewscreen. )

Avon: Separation in 85 seconds.

Hailee: ( Testy. ) I'll be ready.

Avon: Yes, well get it wrong and I'll never speak to you again.


( Lower in the atmosphere. The shuttle separates from the now near-disintegrated meteor and fires its engines, slowing the descent. It levels out about a hundred meters up and sinks down to land on the leafy vegetation. It sits and cools for a few seconds before the ramp lowers and Avon, Blake, Soolin, Vila and Farin emerge. The ramp closes back up. )

Nij Blake: Let's hope one of the harvesters doesn't come along.

Avon: Hailee will sort that out. ( Holds up a tracking device. ) According to the locator fix the permanent factory is about ten miles in that direction. ( Points. )

Nij Blake: ( Eagerly. ) What are we waiting for?

Avon: ( Glares at Blake. ) What indeed?


( Pursuit One. Kreel is sleeping in the command seat while his crew remain on standby. )

Mutoid 3: Commander?

( Kreel stirs and leaps to his feet in an instant. )

Kreel: What is it? Why do you disturb me?

Mutoid 3: We have received a despatch from Section Leader Tauzier. His men have found Kommisar Tarrant.


( Taurus III. Dev Tarrant has reached the landing site and has boarded Pursuit Four. Kreel's face is on the comm screen. Section Leader Tauzier is here. )

Kreel: Very well. If they're gone, I choose to despatch the rest of my flotilla to trace and destroy the Liberator. Section Leader.

Tauzier: Yes sir?

Kreel: I command you to despatch all available troops to comb the forest. You will leave no stone unturned. You will not stop searching until Servalan has been eliminated.

Dev Tarrant: Commander Kreel. May I advise against that course of action? It is both dangerous and unnecessary.

Kreel: ( Annoyed. ) For what reason, Kommisar Tarrant?

Dev Tarrant: Servalan cannot escape the planet surface. We can come back for her when we are finished with the Liberator. And the Liberator will be able to defeat the three Pursuit ships you're...

Kreel: Your comments are noted, Kommisar. Section Leader, do as I order.

Dev Tarrant: Commander, I must object...

Kreel: Kommisar Tarrant! I must remind you that I am the one who was appointed to this task. And the President indicated that even while I operate alongside you I should prioritise Servalan over the Liberator, not vice versa. I declare I will eliminate them both. But Servalan will be first. I declare it.

( A few moments later Tauzier is sending the last remaining troopers on their search patrols. Unseen by Tauzier, Servalan sneaks into the clearing and boards Pursuit five, closing the hatch behind her. The mutoid pilot is the only other one aboard the ship. )

Servalan: You, mutoid.

Mutoid 5: Identify.

Servalan: I am Federation Security Commissioner Sleer. Confirm.

Mutoid 5: ( Pause while the electronic components integrated into his brain process the command. ) I confirm identity. You match the stored visual information.

Servalan: ( Smiles. ) Of course. Tell me, mutoid, what directives do you have concerning myself?

Mutoid 5: None, Commissioner.

Servalan: None at all?

Mutoid 5: None. My orders are purely to obey commands issued by Kommisar Tarrant or Space Commander Kreel, and to oversee the manual flight co-ordination of Pursuit ship 5. Standard overrides are in place.

Servalan: ( Smile broadens. ) Oh good...


( A moment later, to the shock and confusion of Tauzier who still stands in the clearing, Pursuit 5 lifts off at high speed and disappears into orbit, then accelerates into Space. )

Tauzier: ( Stammers. ) Oh... er... oh... um...( Suddenly starts running toward Pursuit four. Yells. ) Kommisar!


( Surface of Agro 34. Blake and Avon are lying at the top of a small hill about a mile from the permanent factory. They watch as a pursuit ship descends and lands in the landing bay on top of the factory. )

Avon: That's the landing area. The cargo storage area should be next to it.

Nij Blake: So that's where Vila and Soolin need to go.

Avon: Just make sure they know it. Vila had better check the crates before attaching those beacons. I don't want to get back to the ship and find that we've stolen twenty crates of concentrated potato chunks.

Nij Blake: He's a bit dozy sometimes, but I think he knows what he's doing when it comes to stealing  -  it's something he identifies with. As long as we shut down the shields we shouldn't have a problem. That's the main control area on the north side isn't it?

Avon: Looks like it. If I shut that down the shields should go down too. If we do enough damage the Federation won't be able to bring them back up.

Nij Blake: This factory produces food for five planets. Do you think they'll make up the shortfall from somewhere else?

Avon: We better hope so, because if not those five planets are going to starve. I don't think your conscience could take it.

Nij Blake: ( Shrugs. ) Not my responsibility.

Avon: It's your plan.

Nij Blake: I thought you were in charge.

Avon: I am.

Nij Blake: How do we get in?

Avon: ( Calls softly down to where Vila and Soolin are waiting. ) Vila, get up here.

Vila: All right I'm coming. ( He joins the others at the top of the hill. ) What's it look like?

Avon: It looks like a food factory. Now how do we get in?

( Vila produces a pair of electronic binoculars from his kit and scans the factory. )

Nij Blake: How about hitching a ride on one of the small harvesters? Get dumped inside with the rest of the crop.

Vila: No. The factory's automated. Those harvesters probably dump straight into the processor. We'd get minced.

Avon: No thank you, Vila. Listening to you is irritating enough. Eating you would just make me ill.

Nij Blake: Could we ride on the outside?

Vila: Not unless you want them to see us coming from a mile away.

Avon: You're supposed to be the expert on getting into places, Vila. Don't you have any suggestions?

Vila: Of course. We could go back to the Liberator and forget all about it.

Avon: Hands up if you didn't see that one coming. Do you have any helpful suggestions instead?

Vila: Yeah all right. We ride in the harvester up to the door, jump off and follow it in on foot. We should be able to find a crawlway to get into the base proper once were inside the door.

Avon: We hope.

Vila: Hope nothing. I checked the plans with Orac before we left the ship.

Nij Blake: What, and you understood it?

Avon: ( Amused. ) There's another harvester coming in from the east. We should be able to catch it. ( Into bracelet. ) Farin, are you at the lookout point yet?

Farin: ( V.O. ) I'm ready. And waiting.

Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) Waiting is something you'll have to get good at rather quickly. This will take a while. Stand by. ( To others. ) Let's go.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Kyben is sitting in the pit, arms folded impatiently. Orac is buzzing loudly on the table. )

Kyben: Orac, come on!

Orac: Kindly display some patience. The more you distract me the more run-time I have to devote to engaging in pointless and fruitless conversation and the longer it will take me to...

Kyben: All right, I'll be patient.

( Orac buzzes a few seconds more. )

Orac: The Federation mainframe on Agro 34 now confirms that a message has been passed to the Governor in the last few minutes.

Kyben: Can you decode it?

Orac: Well of course I can.

Kyben: ( Sighs. ) Will you please decode the message, Orac?

Orac: One moment please.

( Kyben taps his fingers while he waits. )

Orac: I have completed the decoding process.

Kyben: And?

Orac: "And?" is not a precise enquiry.

Kyben: No, it isn't, now answer it.

Orac: Am I to assume that you wish me to relay to you the deciphered text of the...?

Kyben: ( Agitated. ) Yes, Orac! That is what you are to assume. Just a summary of the important details.

Orac: Very well. The message is directed to the Federation Governor of Agro 34 from the delegation attending the Border Dispute Conference headed by Councillor Brekim...

Kyben: Who else? Get to the point.

Orac: If you will allow me to continue...?

Kyben: Go on.

Orac: The despatch reports that the current offer of raw materials and weaponry has been rejected by the envoys of the Vandor Confederacy.

Kyben: So no settlement yet?

Orac: None. Logic suggests that the present operation to seize ammunition from the Federation will be completed long before an accord between the two factions can be reached, so diverse are their positions.

Kyben: ( Gets to his feet. ) Well no news we can treat as good news.

Orac: That is a contradiction in terms.

Kyben: Isn't it just? ( Puzzled. ) I wish we knew what the Federation's holding out for. Orac, close your link to the mainframe's communications system. Can you access its secure files instead?

Orac: Difficult.

Kyben: Does that mean yes?

Orac: I am prepared to attempt it. However Federation ciphers are likely to be numerous and complex.

Kyben: Should be a good challenge for you then. See if you can find any references to the disputed sea area, or any exploratory projects on Agro 34 that have been completed in the last two Earth weeks.

Orac: As you wish. I shall report my findings in due course.

Kyben: How long will that be?

Orac: Is that meant to be a real question?

Kyben: ( Exhausted. ) Oh just do it. ( Unplugs Orac's key. ) I'll wake you in ten minutes.


( A crawlway in the factory on Agro 34. Blake, Avon, Vila and Soolin are crawling along the low tunnel. They reach a junction. Vila consults an electronic pad which displays a plan of the factory. )

Vila: We're right below the main cargo area. ( To Avon. ) If you go that way... ( Indicates left passageway. ) should reach a shaft leading up to an access panel in the control room. Soolin and I need to go right.

Nij Blake: Good luck everyone.

( They split into two groups, Blake and Avon going left, Vila and Soolin right. )


( Cargo area. Vila and Soolin climb out of a grating in the floor and look around. The room is full of boxes. )

Soolin: How are we supposed to know which ones to steal?

Vila: The ones at the far end. They're narrower and longer than the others.

Soolin: That's a little obvious isn't it?

Vila: What's wrong with obvious? I like obvious.

Soolin: As long as it works.

Vila: It will.

( Soolin and Vila cross over to the boxes which Vila indicated and begin to attach the teleport devices. )

Soolin: Don't put them on the front. They may have to pass a cursory inspection before we can teleport them out. Kyben won't be here for another five hours.

( Vila opens his kit box and removes a lock pick. He opens the nearest crate and looks at the missile inside before attaching a teleport device to it. He closes this crate and then opens another. He and Soolin work through the stack of crates opening them and attaching a teleport device to each missile. )


( Control room. The only occupants are two technicians seated at consoles. )

Tech 1: Did you see the new defence grid?

Tech 2: Yeah. Pretty awesome looking.

Tech 1: Pretty don't enter into it. But awesome? Yeah I'd go with that.

Tech 2: I wonder what they built them here for. Earth's had trouble recently, why not there?

Tech 1: Oh they have... apparently I means.

Tech 2: What do you know about it?

Tech 1: Nothing, nothing.

Tech 2: You were eavesdropping on the Governor again weren't you?

Tech 1: Me? No no no no no no no no... well. Yes.

Tech 2: And? Oh come on, spill the gruesome, you've gotta tell me now.

Tech 1: ( Glances from side to side conspiratorially. ) Well, keep it quiet, right? But the Kommissar says these Drones've been built on all the Federated planets with a development base!

Tech 2: What, all of them?

Tech 1: Yeah. There's 'undreds of 'em all across the Inner Worlds. All operating in a network... and most of the Outer Worlds too. Even nowhere-dumps for nobodies like this place are gettin' 'em. Well the bad drones obviously. They ain't gonna waste good material on a tip like this.

Tech 2: Is that how we ended up here?

Tech 1: ( Resigned nod. ) Yeah. This duty is probably about your level. Me on the other hand I was an ensign in Space Command. Promotion review coming up. Then before I could blink I got dumped on this mud ball.

Tech 2: Yeah. 'Cos you're not good material neither, see?

Tech 1: ( Protests unconvincingly. ) No no, that's not it...

Tech 2: Yeah right.

Tech 1: It ain't!


( Ventilation shaft behind the control room. Blake and Avon are listening to the techs talking. )

Nij Blake: Defence grid? Sounds dangerous. Do you think it's something to do with the missiles?

Avon: It's impossible to say, but we've come too far to go back now. Shutting down the shielding and teleporting out is our only option anyway.

Nij Blake: But...

Avon: It took us seven hours just to get here. Hailee will have the shuttle back in orbit before we can get back and Liberator will be here in five hours.

Nij Blake: Okay. There's only the two of them in there. Silent stun clip?

Avon: This is probably our best chance.

( Avon starts work to remove the grille. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. Kyben is now at the controls. Orac has been switched back on. )

Orac: I have uncovered data as requested.

Kyben: Don't keep me in suspense, Orac. Tell me.

Orac: According to data I have uncovered in the most secure areas of the Federation's mainframe, excavations have been carried out in the very heart of the disputed shipping zone on Agro 34.

Kyben: Excavations?

Orac: That is correct. Federation prospecting groups have apparently been performing secret drilling operations on the seabed directly on the disputed borderline.

Kyben: ( Leans forward in interest. ) Oh? And did they find anything?

Orac: Indeed they did. Apparently, within the rocks they discovered a large pocket of usable minerals, primarily the chief refinable component in aquitar  -  approximately five million Kobars of Syndeton.

( Kybens face twists in shock. )

Kyben: Syndeton? I thought the only supplies left in the Federation were on Syndexia!

Orac: An erroneous assumption it has turned out, shared by the Federation for some years. The dependency of the Federation solely on Syndexia for Time Distorting fuels has crippled the re-expansion of the Empire.

Kyben: But if they tap into that supply down there they won't have to keep distributing it from Syndexia. They'll be able to keep fully-functional battle fleets all across the Frontier again!

Orac: Quite right.

Kyben: We can't let that happen. ( Face falls. ) We have to warn the Confederacy.


( Control room. Avon has removed the grille and he slips out into the room. He fires at Tech 2 who crumples to the floor. Tech 1 dives off his chair behind a console but he is unarmed and Avon quickly shoots him too. Blake climbs into the room and crosses to the door. He looks out. The corridor is deserted. )

Nij Blake: ( Twitching nervously. ) Get on with it, Avon.

Avon: You just keep an eye out while I do my work. There's nothing left to delay me...

( There is a thunderous clanging sound. They turn and see one of the metal walls has dented inwards. Another loud clang and the wall begins to tear. Another clang and the wall rips open like papier mache. Behind it, three vast machines, like giant electronic octopoids, edge towards Blake and Avon on seven thin but long and powerful legs. Each footstep echoes vibrantly. The machines are at least twelve feet high and twenty feet across, and coated in armour. Guns set at strategic intervals along the machines' surfaces are all aimed at Blake and Avon. )

Avon: Except those.

( One of the guns on the first machine lights up and a bolt of energy propels towards Avon and Blake. They dodge the bolt, which slams into the wall behind them. The concussion of the blast hurls them forward at the machines feet. Large metal tentacles stretch out from orifices on the machines body. These entangle Avon and Blake, lifting them off the ground. The other two machines slowly stumble forward until they have surrounded Avon and Blake, who struggle groggily in the grasp of the tentacles. It is futile. Another tentacle stretches out from the first machine. It has a scanner on the end of it, and it examines the two prisoners closely. )

Machines: Av - on? Av - on? I... was... waiting for... you...

( Avon looks up at the machines in horror as he recognises the words. )

Machines: Av - on? Av - on? I set... all... this up. Av -on? Why... Av - on? Why... did... you... kill... me? Zeeona. Why... did... you... let... her die? Av - on...?

( Avon's eyes slowly roll shut. He has passed out. )

Nij Blake: Avon! Avon, help me, we can't let them...

( The tentacle holding Blake suddenly hurls him to the wall. Blake is knocked out. The giant machines lumber slowly towards the two fallen rebels... )




In many stages this is closely based on the plot of The Missile Trap, as written by Neil, but there are a lot of new ingredients as well. The actual "Trap" part has been left out, hence the change of title.

The scenario on Agro 34 is somewhat more complicated for reasons that become clear during the episode, although the key premise from the Liberator's point of view is essentially the same - Orac has discovered the Missile Development Project on Agro 34 and Avon wants the weapons. However, when he and Blake arrive in the Control Centre, they find an even nastier surprise awaiting them than Servalan.

Servalan herself is still trying to escape Taurus III, as is Dev Tarrant. They'll both succeed, although, only Servalan will be smiling about it.

Avon has some very nasty exchanges with the rest of the crew in this episode, especially with the young Blake. Also, Avon and Kyben nearly come to blows once again, such is Avon's growing fear. Not wanting to reveal too much, I'll say matters between Avon and the rest of the crew will come to a head in the next episode, as an indirect result of what happens at the end of this one. The reason why will not be clear just yet.

Now some purists may object to the Syndeton references in the story, but don't worry, I'm not going to start saying Liberator flies in Hyperspace. Here's my reasons for including it...

I know most people disagree, but I thought that The Syndeton Experiment was all right. Certainly not great, not even particularly good, but I think a lot of the criticism it has received was excessive. Not wanting it left out of the continuity altogether, despite the technical errors in the storyline, I'm going by a slightly different premise. Travelling faster than light, as we all know, causes time dilation, not to mention enormous friction that can destroy any solid object, which is why generating the Time Distort field is necessary. What's not been explained so far is HOW the field is generated. I decided in the end that an element like Syndeton was a fair enough idea to explain it away, but firstly the details had to be corrected to fit the context. Therefore in my story, rather than providing a "bridge into Hyperspace", the Syndeton fuels the field which allows a ship to travel at supra-light speeds without going backwards or forwards in time, or suffering super-friction damage. I'm also planning to include Syndeton as one of the main elements needed to create the aquitar alloy, so I can finally give the crew some more bracelets.

Therefore, the Scorpio crew's adventures on Syndexia are part of continuity in relation to my story, but some of the technical details in The Syndeton Experiment are not. Hope that re-assures you.

Inga leaves the crew again. No great importance surrounding that event, it was just to keep the crowding down. Oh, and the cloaking device is finally installed on the Liberator.



Neil Blissett:

Soolin is back to her old self, although not heavily involved in this story.

Servalan has escaped again and is now on the run with a mutoid. Her life seems to be developing in the same way that Travis' did.

That's an interesting point. Again I didn't entirely notice while I was writing it. Nonetheless, she isn't going to follow the same path as Travis all that closely.

After his initial reluctance to have Nij Blake join the crew Avon quickly accepts him and the two of them form a team on the mission.

"Acceptance" is the wrong word unless preceded by "resigns himself to".

The mention of Syndeton links back to the radio play. I never liked this story and as I recall its entire premise was that Syndeton had something to do with being a link into Hyperspace, which was only mentioned in the radio plays. This could cause major continuity problems if not handled carefully.

No worries, it's well in hand, and besides Syndeton isn't going to play a major role in future storylines. You shouldn't get so nervous about it anyway  -  technical errors are by definition technicalities, and therefore, so long as a script isn't saturated with them, no big deal.


Dave Nevett:

I assume they're using Blake and Tarrant's brains as CPU's {for the drones} or something.

Very close to the mark. They're not quite CPU's though. Their exact nature is revealed in the next episode.


Brian McLennan:

The Taurus III story fluctuated a bit, but this one was much more like it. The best of The Missile Trap is in there but the dialogue has been tightened considerably and is that crucial bit sharper as a result. The political machinations of the Federation are typically cynical, and you managed to adjust the technical errors in the radio episodes into the canon well.

One cautionary note is these giant robot things. They sound dreadfully like the sort of ludicrous weapons that Zoltar kept inventing in Battle Of The Planets, and other such episodic B-movie nonsense. Mind you, the fact that they're quoting Blake and Tarrant is a very interesting twist.

Yes it is a bit Gatchaman-ish isn't it? But the drones will play an important role throughout much of season two, and not in a B-movie sense. And no, there won't be a long line of one crackpot invention thrown at the Liberator after another, a la Battle Of The Planets, it will only be the drones.

My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts