( 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.
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
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.
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?
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.
) ...you 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.
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: 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 -
( 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... )