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 XI - Ghosts In The Machine



( Agro 34, a chain of tiny desert islands in the heart of the ocean. The site of the Terran/Vandor conference is floating on the horizon. On one island a Federation shuttle is hidden away in the trees. On a beach facing the mini-base are Hailee and Farin, keeping their heads down. Hailee is watching the Conference site through electro-binoculars. )

Farin: Anything?

Hailee: No. And the next changeover can't be for another two hours. Looks like we'll have to wait.

Farin: We may not have two hours.

Hailee: You think I want to spend the next two hours with you and Long John Silver for company? Say something helpful for a change or say nothing.

( Through the binoculars Hailee views the mini-base. It is a large dome that floats on vast foils. At sea-level there is a broad platform encircling the entire perimeter of the base. Federation Security troopers stand guard on the platform on one side of the base, Confederacy Militiamen stand guard on the other side. Fortifications including gun-batteries line the walls of the fortress. )

Farin: Anything up near the top?

Hailee: More guns. And a few seagulls. At least I think that's what they are.

Farin: No way in?

Hailee: You could try climbing in through one of the gun barrels if you like. You'd be braver than I gave you credit for.

Farin: I never said I was brave.

Hailee: No one could accuse you of being a habitual liar then.

( There is a buzzing noise from behind them and a white outline appears. Kyben materialises. )

Kyben: ( Into bracelet. ) Thank you Orac. Take the Liberator back to its remote station and remain on standby.

Orac: ( V.O. ) Of course.

( Farin beckons to Kyben. )

Farin: Down here.

( Kyben lowers his head and joins them. )

Kyben: Yes, thank you, Farin. I'm only blind in one eye. Any luck?

Hailee: Depends. Do you mean good luck?

Kyben: Ah, this must be the famous mercenary wit I've heard so much about.

Hailee: The way I see it, if we can't teleport in...

Kyben: Which we can't. There's another force field.

Hailee: ...then we can't get in, period. The whole perimeter's tighter than Vila on a budget.

Farin: Colourfully put.

Kyben: What about going underneath? There must be a way in under the surface.

Hailee: These binoculars don't X-Ray the water y'know. Itll take ages just finding an entrance down there.

Kyben: ( Shrugs. ) But in the absence of a sane alternative...

Hailee: ( Sighs. ) I had a feeling you'd say that.

Kyben: The Confederacy have to be warned about the Syndeton.

Hailee: So you say but abandoning the rendezvous with the others is a bit much. Have you managed to contact Avon, yet?

Kyben: No. Orac's listening out for him. ( Suddenly smiles. ) Syndeton... Orac. Hey, I have an idea...

Farin: Here comes trouble.

Kyben: How good are you at holding your breath?

Hailee: I'm excellent. I have to practice every time Farin breathes out, why?


( Earth, Residence One. The President bursts into his office. Demwuhl is there waiting for him. )

President: Well?

Demwuhl: Mr President, we've received word from Agro 34.

President: Where?

Demwuhl: Agro 34, sir?

President: Hmm? Oh yes. Our dear allies from the Vandor Confederacy. I take it this Brekim friend of yours has managed to reach a settlement?

Demwuhl: No sir.

President: Well why are you bothering me then? What can possibly be so urgent...?

Demwuhl: A security alert, Mr President, at Base 5.

President: You interrupted me for this? Its no concern of mine.

Demwuhl: Your pardon, sir, but I think you'll understand if you allow me to explain.

President: Oh?

Demwuhl: We require a maximum security detachment to be sent to Agro 34 immediately.

President: What for?

Demwuhl: Our new security system is already paying dividends, sir. They've already provided their first two prisoners.

President: Gratifying to know. Why do we need a security detachment?

Demwuhl: One of the prisoners, Mr President. You... have heard of him.

( Agro 34, Base 5. Avon and Nij Blake are sat in a cell, unarmed and without their bracelets. Blake is glaring at Avon accusingly. Avon is avoiding Blakes eyes. )

Nij Blake: What did it mean, Avon? How did it know your name, what did it mean?

Avon: It was him.

Nij Blake: What did it mean when it said it was waiting for you?

Avon: It was him.

Nij Blake: What did it mean when it said you killed it?

Avon: It was him.

Nij Blake: ( Leaps to his feet. ) Who?

Avon: Blake... it was Blake...

( Black and white image of Base 5 Control room. Avon and Blake are here. )

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 around here 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 fifteen feet high and forty feet across, and coated in armour. Guns set at strategic intervals along the machines surfaces are all aimed at Blake and Avon. )

Except maybe 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. )

Machine 1: Restrain prisoners. Hold in detention bay. Await further instructions.


( Prison cell, back in glorious colour. )

Nij Blake: What do you mean it's my father? How can...? ( Can't find the words. )

Avon: His exact words... it was what he said when I sh-... when he died.

( Avon suddenly looks up at Blake in horror as he realises what he almost let slip. )

Nij Blake: ( Points outside the door. ) That... thing! That monster... it said... it asked you why...

( The cell door slowly slides open. A Federation Officer steps inside. Avon and Blake turn and look at him in fear. He is accompanied by two heavily-armed troopers. )

Officer: Well well, it seems our pet colossi were right. The records read an exact match. ( Walks over to Avon and towers over him. ) An honour, sir. It's not every day I get to torture a living legend.

Avon: Don't let me ruin your perfect record. How did it know? What are those machines of yours?

Officer: I'm disappointed, Avon. You have a reputation for great powers of deduction.

Avon: I apologise for letting you down. Now answer me.

Officer: Why, Avon, aren't you confusing our respective roles?

Avon: Confusion is understandable. I've had quite a shock.

Officer: I'll bet. ( Smiles patronisingly. ) What you've just met is the local Police Force, Avon. The President has decided to try a change of approach for the defence of the Empire, you see. Ever since the War our fleet has been stretched beyond its limits trying to rebuild the Federation AND hold on to what we already have. So instead of wasting precious ships on Defence assignments the President's decided to build up a new kind of Army. Herculania-class battle drones, they're called. Virtually indestructible, a power core of pure plasma energy, armed with six neutron blasters, and limitless strength.

Avon: They must have taken years to build.

Officer: How right you are. Ever since the Empress died in fact. Only the first line in the defence grid has been built so far. But when they're all complete, every major Federation World will be impregnable against a ground assault.

Avon: I'm impressed. If a few lumps of tin are meant to be impressive.

Officer: They are. I'd stake your life on it. No one will dare to rise up against the Federation now. Not only are they powerful, the co-ordination between them - ALL of them - has been honed to perfection. Every single one in the Galaxy operates in a Hyperspatial network with all the others.

( Avon's eyes widen as he hears this. )

Avon: How? It's been tried with all sorts of systems before and was never perfected. Even Central Control made mistakes...

Officer: Central Control was a computer. The core of this network is not.

Avon: What do you mean?

Officer: The great lie of Cybernetic history, Avon. The belief that the brain of a computer is more powerful than the human brain.

( Avon silently mouths the word "Human?")

Officer: A human never uses more than ten per cent of his brain power, which is why the thought processes are so inefficient. But using all of the brain... ( Playful look. ) ...oh it's capable of a thousand times more than a computer.

Avon: Are you telling me that the core of this defence network is a human brain?

Officer: Four human brains to be precise. Four dead people have had a cerebrectomy, and the brains have been interfaced into a mechanical accelerator. They now operate the defence of the Galaxy.

Nij Blake: That's... sick.

Officer: Ironic, surely.

Nij Blake: Why ironic?

Officer: The man who defends the Federation with every fibre of his mind is the one who fought so hard to destroy it.

Avon: No. That can't be...

Officer: How do you think the Drones recognised you, Avon?

( Avon looks ill. Blake is aghast. The Officer and the troopers exit, the door closing behind them. )

Avon: Blake? They used Blake's mind...?

Nij Blake: ( Eyes blaze with fury. ) YOU! It was you, wasn't it, Avon?! This is what you were hiding all this time. You killed my father!

Avon: I...

( Blake grabs Avon by the scruff of the neck and hauls him to his feet. )

Nij Blake: Don't lie to me! I heard that machine! It said "Why did you kill me?" You killed him didn't you? Didn't you?!

( Avon pushes him away, shapes to hit him, but then drops to his knees. )

Avon: Yes...


( Crawlway elsewhere in the factory. Vila and Soolin are sitting on the floor waiting. Vila is speaking into his bracelet. )

Vila: Avon. Come in, Avon. Are you there? ( To Soolin. ) Nothing. It's dead.

Soolin: It's more than five minutes after the check-in time.

Vila: Great. That means he's been captured. Which means the Federation'll know we're here as well. Which means theyll be after us. Which means we've got to get out of here. Look the teleport shielding only extends about a mile from the base. If we go now we can get out and be ready when Kyben arrives.

Soolin: No, we'll help them. Try and contact Blake.

Vila: ( Rolls his eyes. ) If you insist. ( Into bracelet. ) Blake. Can you hear me, Blake?


( Control room. Seated at the main controls is the Planetary Governor, looking unamused. The Officer stands here holding Blakes teleport bracelet, through which Vila's voice is audible. Also present are two troopers. )

Vila: ( V.O. ) Come in, Blake. Has anything happened to you? Blake? Blake, come in.

Governor: "Blake," did he say?

Officer: So it would appear. ( Switches off the communicator. )

Governor: Well is he trying to contact one of the brains in the defence grid? How could he even know about it?

Officer: I doubt it, sir. It leads me to wonder exactly who he is trying to contact. It can't possibly be Roj Blake. Could it?

( The main screen lights up with a stream of digital information. )

Officer: Ah. Voice print confirms. It IS this Vila.

( The Governor gestures to the troopers. )

Governor: The Liberator is the last thing we can afford with the Conference at such a delicate stage. I want him found. Get out there and bring Vila to me. And any other rebels you find. I want them captured yesterday, understood?

( The troopers salute and shuffle out. )

Governor: What about that ship we detected moving in the atmosphere? Have we identified it?

Officer: It is Federation design, but records register it as stolen.

Governor: A stolen Courier shuttle AND the Liberator. We need reinforcements.

Officer: The President has despatched three Starbust-Class Pursuit Ships to this location. They should be arriving in the next three hours. If the Liberator is anywhere in the system, it won't be leaving.

Governor: I'm aware of that, Major. It won't stop any rebels causing damage while they're here though will it?

Officer: I doubt there's reason to panic...

Governor: If this Conference is sabotaged, the President will have our guts on toast. I think that's a very good reason to panic.

Officer: Toast?

Governor: A superficial Terran recipe, Major. Trust me, being part of that will be an inglorious way to die.


( Hailee, Kyben and Farin materialise in the Teleport Bay of the Liberator. Orac is on the Control Panel, switched on. )

Hailee: The long-range beacon worked then?

Orac: Surely that fact is self-evident as you are all aboard the Liberator.

Hailee: Take us out of detector range of Agro 34.

Orac: That task is already in progress.

Hailee: Of course it is, you're too clever to forget the proc-...

Orac: I am incapable of memory loss!

Farin: I believe him. Any sign of the agreement being reached yet, Orac?

Orac: None.

Kyben: Orac, we need you to retrieve some information for us. And we need it quickly.

Orac: Very well. State your requirements.

Kyben: We need you to locate the exact co-ordinates of the excavation site on Agro 34 used by the Federation prospectors. We then need you to detect whether any of the mining vehicles they used for the process are still there. If so, set the teleport to those co-ordinates.

Orac: As you wish. Stand by.

Hailee: Farin, go and find us some underwater gear. We have some swimming to do.

( Farin nods and exits. )

Orac: The co-ordinates of the excavation site have been procured. According to records two drilling units appear to have been left on the seabed at that location by Federation prospectors. If the Federation secure control of the disputed area, the units will be used to initiate mining...

Hailee: Thank you, Orac, we know what they'll do.

Orac: Setting teleport co-ordinates.

( The teleport controls manoeuvre into new positions. )


( The seabed of Agro 34. There is a lot of rubble and sand over a large area, signs of drilling. There are two fairly small vehicles here. They are compact, water-tight and have drill-cones on their sterns and caterpillar treads on their bases. Three white outlines appear on the seabed and materialise into the forms of three figures in watertight space-suits. The suits have special rotored backpacks. )

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Did it work? We've never teleported into water before.

Farin: ( V.O. ) You're still speaking aren't you?

Hailee: ( V.O. ) You'd think so. But it might have been your imagination.

Farin: ( V.O. ) Are you suggesting I'm going mad?

Hailee: ( V.O. ) What do you mean "going"?

Farin: ( V.O. ) Well, at least we didn't have to hold our breath after all.

( One of the figures points at the vehicles. )

Kyben: ( V.O. ) There they are. C'mon.

( The rotors on the backpacks start spinning and the three figures are propelled gently towards the vehicles. They come to a halt outside the hatch on the back of the first vehicle. Hailee pulls out a sonal key. )

Hailee: ( V.O. ) I'd be more confident if Vila was here.

Farin: ( V.O. ) I never thought I'd hear you say that.

( Hailee operates the key and the hatch swings open. She hands the key to Farin, then she and Kyben climb into the vehicles airlock. Farin heads over to the other vehicle and proceeds to open the hatch on that. Kyben closes the hatch on the first vehicle behind him. Hailee starts cycling water out of the airlock, then opens the inner hatch. She and Kyben take off their helmets with sighs of relief then head for the controls. Hailee takes the pilot seat. )

Hailee: ( Into comms. ) Farin, are you in?

Farin: ( V.O. ) Cycling the water out now.

Kyben: ( Into comms. ) You mean you actually managed it?

Farin: ( V.O. ) Shut your mouth, lobe slurper!

( Kyben looks angry, but doesn't reply. )

Farin: ( V.O. ) Okay, Im in.

Hailee: Let's get moving then. The Base is over a kilometre from here, we'd better hurry.

( Hailee operates the controls and the vehicle starts moving. Small rockets on the aft of the vehicle lift it from the ocean floor and propel it forward. A moment later the second vehicle follows in its wake. )

Farin: ( V.O. ) Wait for meeeee!


( Prison Cell at Base 5. Avon and Blake sit at absolute opposite ends of the room - still not very far apart of course. The accusing look that Blake aims at Avon is continuous, and clearly affecting Avon badly. After a moment Avon has to speak out. )

Avon: Why don't you look at something else?

Nij Blake: There's nothing else around here I want to hit.

Avon: You've inerited your father's capacity for rational thought as well.

Nij Blake: Rational? You murder him and then you think I care about being rational?

Avon: Of course not. You wouldn't be his son if you had a sense of priority.

Nij Blake: If your father had been murdered by someone locked up in the same room as you...

Avon: What do you want me to do, Blake? Wave a magic wand and bring him back?

Nij Blake: You could at least tell me why. Why you risked everyone's lives to find him and why when you did you killed him.

Avon: We needed a figurehead for the rebellion. Blake was the only man all the sides would follow.

Nij Blake: Is that the only reason you looked for him?
Avon: Yes. We can't keep fighting the Federation alone. We need allies. And even with the Liberator that hasn't changed. One ship cannot win.

Nij Blake: Nothing to do with friendship, then? Nothing to do with loyalty? No sense of obligation to him?

Avon: Obligation to Blake?

Nij Blake: You're not reassuring me very much, Avon.

Avon: How am I supposed to reassure you when he's already dead?

Nij Blake: I want you to give me a good reason not to kill you. Have you got a good reason for killing him?

Avon: I don't have to justify myself to you.

Nij Blake: Don't you? If we ever get out of this you're going to have to explain it to Kyben and Farin. If you don't, I will. It'll be a lot easier for you if you convince me first.

Avon: If you insist. I thought he'd sold us out.

Nij Blake: You're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that.

Avon: Tarrant said he'd betrayed us. Orac said he'd betrayed us. What was I supposed to do? Hug him?

Nij Blake: You could have made sure.

Avon: Time was a luxury I didn't have. Federation troops were closing in.

Nij Blake: So you killed him. Just to be on the safe side. Or was it one last act of revenge before they killed you? ( Sarcastic. ) It was his fault you were there after all.

Avon: ( Forlorn. ) No. It wasn't his fault. As it turned out, none of it was his fault.

Nij Blake: Exactly. But he paid the price anyway.

Avon: We've all paid the price, Blake! The only difference is we're still alive to even the score.

Nij Blake: And that puts the World to right, does it?

Avon: Don't be stupid! Do you honestly think I'm glad I killed him? I never liked the man but he was one of the few I could ever trust. His death was something none of us could afford.

Nij Blake: And it happened because you stopped trusting him. He died because you stopped trusting him.

Avon: I know. If it makes you feel any better it's something I've regretted ever since. But I will NOT let regrets dominate my life!

( Blake looks contemptuous. )

Avon: So now what? Are you going to kill me? "One last act of revenge"?

Nij Blake: ( Hesitates, looks away at last. ) No. God knows, I want to kill you, Avon. But like you say, there are very few any of us can trust. I probably can't afford to kill you.

Avon: I doubt you could manage it anyway. Better men than you have tried to kill me and failed.

Nij Blake: I could manage it, Avon. And maybe I will.


( Crawlway. )

Vila: Still no response. And now the channel's totally dead.

Soolin: We have to find out what happened to them.

Vila: They're either dead or captured. We ought to leave. To get help I mean.

Soolin: The base must be on full alert by now. Trying to get out'll be the most dangerous thing to do. We'll try to find the others. If we can't...

Vila: Yes, yes?

Soolin: If we can't find them in four hours we'll shut down the teleport shield and be ready for when the Liberator arrives. For now we'd best split up.

Vila: ( Alarmed. ) Split up? Why?

Soolin: We may have to search the whole base. Don't try to contact me unless you find them or need urgent help. And I mean urgent help. Now get going.

Vila: All right I'm going.

( They crawl off in opposite directions. )


( Under the sea, the two mining vehicles approach the hull of the Conference Base. Inside the second vehicle, Farin is struggling with the unfamiliar controls. )

Farin: Useless contraption...

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Farin, you're off course again, ya loafing klutz. Wheel to starboard and straighten up.

Farin: ( Into comms. ) I'm on it! We'll be on the Federation detectors by now.

Hailee: ( V.O. ) Our IFF signallers are working. Just stay away from the Vandor side of the Base and you'll have nothing to worry about.

Farin: I know, I know.

Hailee: ( V.O. ) According to Orac's schematic, we're close to the field generators.

( The first vehicle slows down and comes to a halt on the hull of the Base. Inside the vehicle, Hailee holds the controls steady while Kyben operates the docking facilities. )

Hailee: Power up the magnetic clamps.

( Two chains with clamps on the end uncoil from the base of the vehicle and with a soft CLANG they fasten themselves to the hull of the Base. Hailee manoeuvers the vehicle into position so that the point of the drill is against the Base. )

Hailee: Ready when you are. ( Into comms. ) We're about to start, Farin.

Farin: ( V.O. ) With you.

( Kyben pushes a few switches and the vehicle starts drilling into the Base. )


( Conference room. The two delegations are huddled on opposite sides of the chamber in quiet but urgent consultation. Brekim looks nervous, Numan looks exasperated. Eventually Numan comes back to the Conference table. Brekim takes his seat opposite him. )

Numan: This revised offer is... far more reasonable. We just need to clarify a few details before I can approve it to the High Council.

Brekim: I see. But you're saying we should be able to do business at last?

Numan: Probably, Councillor. As I say, just one or two details first...

Brekim: Name them.

Numan: Thank you, Councillor Brekim. You say you're prepared to surrender control over all your moonbases in the Ubar System to us? We need to know... why do you value this area of the sea so highly?

Brekim: As I say, Ambassador, I'm not at liberty to reveal any such details. All I can confirm is that the offer we're making has met with the approval of the President.

Numan: I appreciate that, Councillor, but...

( A rumbling noise becomes audible, along with a low screeching sound. )

Numan: What the-...?

( Everyone in the room looks around, perturbed. )

Brekim: What's going on?

( Numan gets to his feet and turns to his aides. )

Numan: What are you waiting for? Go and find out what's happening.

( One of the aides heads for the door to give orders. )


( Down below, near the bottom of the base, the screeching noise is far louder and one of the floors begins to sag upwards. Suddenly the sag tears open and the sea becomes visible through the tear. After a few moments more drilling, the first mining vehicle also becomes visible as it rises through the widening hole in the floor. Two technicians stand frozen to the spot in shock. Once the hole is wide enough, the second vehicle surfaces. )

Tech 1: Um...

( The hatches on the backs of the two mining vehicles open and Hailee, Kyben and Farin leap out, weapons drawn. The techs put their hands up. )

Farin: Our reputation precedes us.

Hailee: Either that or they're wet.

Farin: Look at your own outfit before you say that.

Kyben: ( Points gun at the techs and motions towards the vehicles. ) In. ( The techs look confused. ) What part of "in" dont you understand? Move.

( The techs climb inside the vehicle hurriedly. Kyben slams the hatch shut behind them, then uses his optic laser to weld it shut. )

Kyben: That should do.

Hailee: Then let's find the generator before the guards come.

( The three of them head off one at a time down a corridor, Hailee first, Farin second, Kyben last. As she heads round a corner, Hailee suddenly pulls up and motions to the others to follow slowly. Up ahead there are four Federation troopers searching the chamber. Farin and Kyben join Hailee and they all crouch down, watching the troopers closely. )

Farin: They're not heading this way yet.

Hailee: That's something. ( She pulls a small diagram from her pocket. ) According to this, the generators are one level up.

Kyben: If Orac got his sums right.

Hailee: He's more likely to get it right than you.

Farin: Not if he's got gremlins.

Hailee: Which he hasn't. We have to get past those guards.

Farin: I have an idea. Follow me.

( Farin steps out slowly and quietly from cover, making sure that the troopers don't notice him. Kyben and Hailee look concerned but follow him anyway. Suddenly Farin raises his gun and opens fire. )

Farin: Get 'em!!

( On reflex, Hailee and Kyben follow suit, and a brief firefight ensues. Federation troopers try to return fire, with the rebels desperately scrambling out of the way. Eventually the last of the troopers falls. Kyben and Farin are sprawled on the floor, while Hailee is leaning back against the wall, heaving for breath. Kyben sits up with a furious look in his eye. )

Kyben: That was it?!? "Get them"? That was your whole plan?!

Farin: It worked didn't it?

( Kyben looks apoplectic. He clearly wants to yell something colourful at Farin but in the end he just snarls with frustration. )

Hailee: Be a bit louder, children. I don't think they can hear you on Cassiona.

Kyben: ( Quickly calming down. ) Sorry. I'm all right now. I'm all right.

Hailee: Someone must have heard all that. Let's keep moving.

( Hailee heads past the fallen troopers and climbs a ladder to the level above. Kyben and Farin get to their feet and quickly head after her. )


( Prison cell. Avon is trying to pick the lock on the door. Blake is sitting on the bench, brooding. )

Avon: ( Giving up. ) It's no good. The primary circuit's on the other side.

Nij Blake: Vila could probably do it.

Avon: Of course. It's precisely because of these situations that I've never killed him.

Nij Blake: Yeah? You know something? I believe you.

Avon: I should expect so. I've never given you reason to doubt it have I?

Nij Blake: Certainly not. Even if you get that door open, how are we supposed to get past the drones?

Avon: ( Grins. ) I have a few ideas in that department.

Nij Blake: Care to share them?

Avon: Don't be naive. This cell will be bugged.

Nij Blake: Of course. Just keeping up the family tradition for simple foolishness.

Avon: Don't do it on my account. A rare display of intelligence from you might come in handy right now. I certainly don't want to be here when the Iron Guard arrive.

Nij Blake: Who?

Avon: The Iron Guard. The President's personal security detachment. I imagine they're on their way to escort us to Earth. ( Sits on the bench. ) They're the ones who ambushed us on Gauda Prime.

Nij Blake: ( Steely look. ) Really?

Avon: Yes. ( Looks at Blake meaningfully. ) Blake, if you really want revenge, maybe they're the ones you should point the gun at.

Nij Blake: Why them and not you?

Avon: ( Smiles. ) I'm on your side, remember?

( Blake considers this and smiles as well. The door suddenly opens and two guards drag in a semi-conscious Vila and drop him to the floor. Vila groans. )

Nij Blake: What happened to you?

Vila: I got hit over the head. What's the matter, going blind?

Avon: How exactly did you manage to let someone close enough to thump you?

Vila: I didn't have much chance of stopping it. The thing that hit me was the size of a warg-strangler.

Avon: Ah. You've met the drones as well.

Vila: They sneaked up on me.

Nij Blake: Sneaked...? How did you miss them?

Vila: Hey, I'm not as stupid as I look.

Avon: That's still no guarantee of sophistication.

( Vila reaches down his sock. Avon and Blake wrinkle up their noses in disgust. Vila pulls out a pair of teleport beacons. )

Vila: ( Whispers. ) I let them catch me.

Avon: You let them? Of course. I keep forgetting how you're the man for the big occasion.

Nij Blake: Where did you get those from?

Vila: There were more beacons than missiles.

Avon: A waste of aquitar. How silly of me.

Vila: Always carry spares, that's my motto.

Avon: I thought it was "Always run away." ( Takes one of the beacons. ) These haven't been adapted to safely transmit organic matter, so we can't use them in place of the bracelets, if that's what you were planning.

Vila: I guessed that. But...

( Vila gets to work on the door lock. )

Vila: You've made a mess of this, Avon.

Avon: But what?

Vila: Hmm? Oh. Well, the beacons can transmit organic matter un-safely cant they?

Avon: Yes... ( Smiles again. ) Oh I see. I wish you were like this more often, Vila.

Nij Blake: Like what?

Avon: Capable of thought.

Nij Blake: I disagree. If he started thinking he'd have the sense to leave. Then where would we be?


( Soolin climbs through the grille into the Control room of Base 5. She quickly shoots a pair of technicians who are trying to repair the enormous damage in the room, then heads over to the main control panel. )

Soolin: Shields... shields...


( Conference base. At the top of the ladder, Hailee, Kyben and Farin find themselves in a chamber full of power generators. )

Hailee: This is it. ( Aims her gun at the first generator. ) Come on you loafers, get ready to fire.

( Hesitantly Kyben and Farin take aim as well, reflexively edging backwards to put as much distance as possible between them and the generators. Hailee notices this and eyes them with contempt. )

Hailee: Wimps! Ready, wimps?

Kyben: ( Sheepish. ) Ready.

Farin: ( Even more sheepish. ) Ready.

Hailee: Fire!

( The three of them open fire. Blasts run across the surface of the generators, sparks and scraps of molten metal fly across the room. Hailee quickly speaks into her bracelet. )

Hailee: Force field's down, Orac. Teleport, quickly.

( A white outline surrounds Hailee, Kyben and Farin, flickers in and out several times, then the three of them dematerialise just as the generators begin to explode in a chain reaction. )


( Conference room. The whole base is shaking with the roar of the generators exploding. Everyone is thrown to the floor. )

Numan: ( Sits up rubbing his head. ) What the Devil's going on around here?

( The base is still shaking violently. )

Vandor Aide: ( Getting to his feet. ) I don't know, sir. We still haven't heard from the men I sent to investigate...

Numan: ( Leaps to his feet. ) Well YOU go and investigate then. Move!

Vandor Aide: ( Alarmed. ) Um, yes sir, on my way. ( Salutes and stumbles to the exit, a difficult task with the base heaving so violently. )

Numan: Brekim? Brekim?

( Numan sees Brekim lying on the floor. He has been knocked out after banging his head against the table. )

Trooper: ( Kneeling next to Brekim. ) He's been knocked cold, Ambassador. Must have hit his head.

Numan: ( Sourly. ) Good. Can't have damaged anything important then.


( Liberator Teleport Room. Hailee, Kyben and Farin are lined up in the bay. They have removed their space-suits and are dressed in their regular surface clothes. )

Farin: Have you got the right co-ordinates loaded into the teleport yet?

Orac: Be so good as to wait! You are distracting me unnecessarily.

Hailee: What's taking so long?

Orac: The explosion has caused the base to be propelled from its stationary position on the water. It requires me to re-compute the teleport vectors in order to pinpoint an accurate locator fix.

( Hailee, Kyben and Farin wait impatiently. After a moment... )

Orac: I have successfully calculated the revised teleport co-ordinates.

Hailee: Bravo.

Orac: All I now await is your confirmation of readiness to teleport...

Farin: Weve been ready for a while. Teleport.

Orac: Teleporting.

( The teleport activates. The figures of Hailee, Kyben and Farin distort and then dematerialise. )


( Conference room. Brekim gets to his feet woozily, with reluctant help from Numan. )

Brekim: What was I drinking...?

( Hailee, Kyben and Farin suddenly materialise behind them with their guns drawn. )

Kyben: Hold it right there, Brekim!

Brekim: Kyben? How did you...?

( Troopers take aim at the three rebels, but Hailee points her gun at the back of Brekim's head. )

Hailee: I hope you like human brains, soldier-boys, 'cos if you don't drop the guns that's what I'll be decorating the walls with.

Kyben: Not much though.

( The troopers hesitate, then drop their guns. Farin reaches into his pocket and pulls out a document which he hands to Numan. )

Farin: Ambassador Numan? Before you sign any treaty, our pet computer thought you should read this little lot.

( Numan looks taken aback, to say the least. )

Farin: Just read it!

Kyben: Ambassador, let me apologise for the way we've intruded, but we had little alternative. The Federation has tried to deceive the Vandor Confederacy. It is crucial that you read this document.

( Reluctantly Numan takes the document and examines it. One of the Federation troopers suddenly scoops up a plasma rifle and aims it at Kyben. )

Trooper 2: NO!

( Hailee spins on her heel and effortlessly blasts the life out of the trooper before he can get a shot away. )

Hailee: That's another you owe me, patch.

Kyben: ( Visibly impressed. ) Thanks.

( Numan resumes his examination of the document, then looks at Brekim accusingly. )

Numan: Is this true?

( Numan waves the document in Brekim's face angrily. Brekim looks up at it groggily. )

Brekim: Oops. How'd that one get out?

Numan: ( Raises his fists to strike Brekim. ) Why you...!!

( Realising the game is up, the Federation troops immediately rearm. The rebels are ready for this however and turn and fire. The Confederacy troops join in on their side and together they make light work of the Federation personnel - troopers and delegates. Kyben kneels beside one of the Federation troopers who is still alive but badly hurt. Kyben reaches into his pocket, pulls out a treatment module, and starts to administer first aid. Numan surveys the carnage, then turns to Hailee. )

Numan: I don't know who you people are, but it would seem we owe you a debt of gratitude.

Hailee: Oh, it's nothing fifteen thousand credits wouldn't settle...

Kyben: ( Turns and glares at her. ) Hailee!

Hailee: A girl has to make her own way, Kyben.

Kyben: Then make it. Don't take it from someone else. ( Resumes treatment. )

Hailee: What are you doing?

Kyben: What's it look like?

Hailee: Kyben, that's a Fed. He just tried to kill us!

Kyben: That's his job. Saving lives is mine. Let me get on with it.

( Hailee and Farin give him an odd look, but let it pass. They are about to resume their coversation with Numan, when Hailees communicator sounds. )

Hailee: ( Into bracelet. ) Hailee.

Orac: ( V.O. ) Zen reports that the Liberator's detectors have scanned a flotilla of Federation pursuit ships entering this system. The flotilla is of numbers and power sufficient to destroy the Liberator and everything aboard it. Including myself. I am therefore compelled to recall you to the ship so that evasive manoeuvers can begin.

( Before anyone can respond, Hailee, Kyben and Farin dematerialise. Numan looks stunned at their sudden disappearance. The trooper on the floor moans softly. He will live. )


( Prison Cell. Avon and Vila are knelt by the door. Vila finishes unlocking it and raises his thumb to Blake who steps up and pounds on the door with his fists. )

Nij Blake: Long live the Freedom Party!! Long live Shivan!! The President is really a woman!! Chancellor Belov never washes behind his ears!!

( Two guards walk up to the door. )

Guard 1: Shut up in there, or we'll do your teeth in.

( Vila presses a button on the door and it slides open. The two guards are caught cold, so Avon, Blake and Vila spring forward as one and clobber them. They both collapse. Avon and Blake scoop up their plasma rifles. )

Avon: Quickly Vila, hide them inside the cell and lock the door.

( Vila hurriedly drags the two guards into the cell, then seals them in. )

Avon: Let's move.

( Avon sets off down the corridor. Blake and Vila hurry after him. )

Vila: Where are we going?

Avon: If we can find this base's communication centre we can contact the Liberator and tell Kyben to return early.

Vila: What if we find those drones instead?

Avon: Then Kyben won't have to bother, will he?

Vila: Look maybe we should go back to...

Avon: Come on!


( Liberator is in orbit around Agro 34. Flight Deck. Hailee is at the controls, Farin is on the communicator and Kyben stands in the pit. )

Farin: I repeat, we have secured the missiles, we need to bring you up now. Come in, Avon. Avon, do you copy?

Hailee: They're in trouble.

Kyben: The Feds must have gotten a fix on us by now.

Hailee: Zen, activate the cloaking device. That way at least the Pursuit ships wont see us 'till they reach Toidronn's atmosphere.

Zen: Confirmed. Cloaking device is now operating.

( Liberator vanishes from view. )

Farin: What do we do then?

Hailee: We'll wait as long as we can. If we don't hear from them soon, we'll have to leave without them. ( Kyben is about to protest. ) Save it, Kyben! Getting blown up waiting for the dead won't help anyone.


( Base 5's communications suite. There are two Troopers standing at the door. The Governor and the Kommisar are here along with several techs. Councillor Brekim, looking much the worse for wear, is visible on the main screen. )

Kommisar: I'll see you do ten years of hard labour on The Moon of Fire for this, Brekim!

Governor: The President's going to hang us. Everything depended on that Conference.

Brekim: But, Governor, we have the Defence net up and running now. We have the new Interceptors...

Governor: The whole Vandor Space Fleet has been in this Zone for the duration of the dispute, Brekim! We haven't got enough Interceptors to take out all of them.

Kommisar: We needed to resolve the dispute so that they'd leave BEFORE we could attack the Vandor Territory. We can't possibly win as things stand.

Governor: ( To Kommisar. ) I told you we should've worried about the Syndeton later! We've lost everything because of your impatience.

Kommisar: That was the President's decision, not mine...

Governor: You want me to blame him?

( The door opens and Avon, Blake and Vila step in. Avon and Blake shoot the two troopers. )

Avon: It doesn't matter who you blame. You're dead either way.

( The Kommisar goes for his gun but Avon shoots him. Blake opens fire as well and needlessly shoots both the Governor and one of the techs. Avon and Vila look at Blake, aghast. )

Vila: Blake!

Nij Blake: ( More embarrassed than ashamed. ) Oops. Got carried away.

( Avon hands his gun to Vila. Vila points it at the tech and gestures to him to move out of the way while Avon steps up to the Comms and breaks contact with Brekim. He then tries to isolate a new frequency. )

Avon: ( Into comms. ) Liberator? Kyben do you read me?

Nij Blake: Look out!

( Two more troopers have stepped into the room. They have their guns aimed at Avon and Vila. Blake and Vila open fire but miss. The troopers return fire, forcing the rebels to take cover. Suddenly two more shots ring out and the troopers fall to the floor. Soolin steps into the doorway behind them, twirling her gun on her finger. She raises a disapproving eyebrow. )

Soolin: How did you survive all that time while I was in a coma?

Avon: We were careful. Now you're back with us, we know we can afford to be reckless. ( Gets back to the comms. ) Liberator, do you read me?

Soolin: Youre welcome. I've brought down the shields by the way. We can teleport out whenever you're ready.


( Liberator Flight Deck. )

Avon: ( V.O. ) Liberator, do you read me?

Farin: ( Into comms, hurriedly. ) Yes, Avon. What happened to you lot?

Avon: ( V.O. ) Long story. What are you doing back on the ship already?

Farin: Long story. We've got the missiles.

Avon: ( V.O. ) Good. We're about ready to leave, but we'll need you to bring down a few spare bracelets.


( Base 5, the Officer leads a squad of troopers towards the communications suite. )

Officer: Hurry.


( Communications suite. Kyben is here handing out teleport bracelets. )

Avon: We're almost out of bracelets.

Kyben: That won't be a problem.

Vila: Why?

Kyben: Oh, you'll find out.

( The Federation troopers arrive at the door. )

Officer: Freeze!

( Avon and Vila throw the spare teleport beacons to the Federation troops. )

Vila: Catch.

( Reflexively the Officer catches the beacon and looks at it in puzzlement. )

Nij Blake: ( Into bracelet. ) Orac. Tele-beta.

( A white outline surrounds most of the Federation troopers, including the Officer, and they dematerialise. They re-materialise in Space where their bodies disintegrate. Back on Base 5 the remaining troopers are gunned down in no time by the rebels. )

Soolin: ( Coolly. ) Shall we go?

Avon: Why not?


( Liberator retreats from the Ubar System, the Pursuit ships some way behind them. On the Flight Deck the crew are gathered, licking their wounds. Hailee is at the controls while the others sit in the pit. )

Nij Blake: We can call that "getting away with it" I think.

Avon: Indeed. With those battle-drones all across the Federation, any raids we attempt are going to be doubly dangerous from now on.

Farin: You'll have to tell us about them.

Nij Blake: ( Coldly. ) There are other things Avon has to tell you about.

Avon: ( Looks down. ) Agreed. Later though.

Hailee: I'm going to begin the retrace course now.

Avon: Retrace course?

Kyben: Yes. Those Pursuit ships won't be expecting us back at Toidronn so soon.

Vila: Of course they won't. Why the hell would we want to go back?

Farin: The Vandor Confederacy have a gift for us.

Soolin: A gift?

Kyben: A couple of tons of Syndeton.

Avon: Syndeton? What's been going on?

Hailee: We'll tell you later. But the main thing is, once weve got our hands on that we can make our own aquitar. Zen, reverse course. Take us back to Agro 34. Reduce speed to Standard by one half and activate the cloak. It should keep us hidden long enough to make the pickup.

Zen: Confirmed. Cloaking device and detector shields primed and operating.

( Kyben gets to his feet and starts to head away from the Flight Deck. )

Hailee: One thing, Kyben.

Kyben: ( Pauses at the exit and looks up at Hailee. ) Yes?

Hailee: Why did you save that Fed's life?

Kyben: Well, like Servalan said, maybe I'm too much of a softy. But then that trooper was obviously a bully. Brutal, bloodthirsty, vicious. I guess he reminded me of you.

( Kyben exits. Hailee looks offended. The others all look at each other. Avon laughs. )




In this episode, Avon and Nij Blake find out exactly what those machines they've encountered are all about. This also leads Blake to discover the real truth about how his father died. There's some dialogue in this taken from Origins And Answers from the Original Sequel Project, although Blake is noticeably less calm about it (that may have something to do with the fact that he and Avon are trussed up in a prison cell while they're talking).

Hailee, Kyben and Farin meanwhile are having to raid the Agro 34 Peace Conference. They have to convince the Vandor Confederacy not to sign any treaty until they know about the Syndeton. I deliberately shaped much of this episode around the three of them as I wanted to give the "newbies" an outing all of their own. In the same way that Tarrant and Dayna were often at their best when they worked together, I reckon Hailee and co. seem to spark off each other quite well, probably because they joined the crew at the same time. The fact that it's a threesome makes a colourful difference.

Watch for the amorality I'm trying to instill in Nij Blake's character. To quote a certain Kommisar, he is NOT the man his father was. The question is, will that make him less dangerous or even more so?



Neil Blissett:

This episode concludes the current arc of stories, tying up several loose ends along the way. The fate of Roj Blake and Tarrant is revealed. The Federation/Vandor conference reaches its conclusion leaving the rebels with, potentially, new allies. A new supply of aquitar is discovered. The Liberator's new missiles are stolen.

Vila gets a chance to show his heroic qualities again although how he managed to hide the teleport beacons in his socks I don't know. They are obviously smaller than the ones in my version.

Just like the trap Avon wandered into at the end of the last episode was obviously bigger. Different versions, different facts. Best to leave it at that.


Jane Walton:

I liked Missiles and Ghosts In The Machine and I think as a two-parter it worked very well but I just have a few minor technical problems with part 2.

Firstly, I'm not convinced that it would be advisable to teleport into water. It has been refered to as a beam on occasion and I wouldn't like to send my atoms travelling along a beam that would be refracted as it entered the surface of the water.

To be honest, there are all sorts of open issues about the teleport  -  for instance, why does the recall system teleport the body and clothes and anything being carried back to the ship instead of just the teleport bracelet (think about it)? I suppose you have a fair point here  -  and it was one that was raised in the episode in fact  -  but consider this; in any situation is it safe to teleport? Wouldn't the movement of air affect the placement of the particles as they're being realigned, especially if they teleport onto a planet when there's a storm? I think this is one where we just have to assume that the Liberator's computers can sort it out.

Secondly, the brains connected into the new Fed security system... if they were taken from dead people, surely the definition of dead is "brain dead", Wiler seems to think so in Killer. If this were so then how did the Feds reactivate them and if they did it means they can cure death so why should they care about using ordinary men as guards still?

In fact no, the definition of dead is "not alive". In other words, what it always means! The brains are not what they were when they were in a living body as they're driven by cybernetics. The fate of Dr Wiler is where I got the idea from in fact, it's a more sophisticated method of using technology to reactivate brain impulses. You'll get a clearer idea of how it works during series two, but in brief, the brains are powered by electronic machinery. The reason the Feds still use human guards is that the Battle drones are still relatively few and far between. As they build more, the fewer humans they'll need, but that's not the case yet.

Last, small, point... Avon said he "never liked the man" in reference to Blake. This seems unlikely to me. Take for example his strange statement in Duel, "I have never understood why..." etc. He admits that he trusted Blake. Is it possible to trust someone without liking them?

It's a common paradox. That was the fascination of Avon and Blake's rivalry for me. Avon disliked Blake because of what he stood for, but ironically it was also the reason why he trusted him (to an extent). Another quote to be remembered was from Killer again. "I could never stand heroes." He hates fanatics, so he dislikes Blake. On the other hand, while Blake was frequently dishonest, as a freedom fighter his overall objectives were noble and that meant that Avon felt he could at least trust him not to sell him out. (Although in truth that's still an assumption on his part  -  I suspect that if it was necessary to do so in order to defeat the Federation, Blake might well have sold Avon out.

I don't think that Avon would have been as upset at Blake's apparent betrayal if he hadn't thought that they were friends.

Disliking and being disliked are no big deal. You just turn your noses up to each other and move on. Trusting someone and being betrayed is far more upsetting. Whether or not you like them is a minor detail.


Dave Nevett:

Not too sure about the cell-break. It seemed to read more like an old Tom Baker scene from Doctor Who. You feel that Vila should be doing the taunting, unless a less than subtle approach will become Nij Blake's trademark.

Although Nij Blake will have a number of things in common with his counterpart in the Original Sequel Project, my interpretation of what he'd be like as an actual person is different from Neil's. Also don't forget he's five or six pseudo-years younger in this version. One thing I went for, as you say, is giving him a less subtle, even violent, approach to solving problems. Still, I see what you mean about the Doctor Who resemblance, now that you mention it. I might change it.

Liked the way that Blake and Tarrant are now set up as an eventual goal. The group will no doubt eventually try to free 'them' from the machine, question is, will the minds ever rebel of their own will?

Well do you reckon Avon would bother to try and free Blake? Maybe. Would they rebel of their own will though? Well no, they don't really have a will of their own anymore. The only drive in their "minds" comes from the machinery they're interfaced with, and the machinery definitely works the will of the Federation.

The flashback seemed a little difficult to understand at first. Some reference to it being one is probably needed. It read more like a jump or continuation of the scene first time around.

Neil's complained in the past about me failing to signpost flashbacks adequately as well. I'll have to work a bit harder on them.

Good script though. Much darker tone than Neil's beginning to creep in.

Blake's 7 was always a very dark story compared to the more banal and, frankly, dull series like Star Trek/Space 1999. That's why I've always preferred Blake so much. It's also why I keep driving my story in that direction.


Brian McLennan:

A computer made of dead human brains? Wow, what a gruesome idea!

I have all sorts of ideas. I have this idea for solar-powered street lighting, and heat-resistant barbecues. NOTE: If I ever offer to cook dinner, refuse!

Now that Avon's secret is out, I imagine that he is going to have trouble keeping the troops in line.

It'll vary from person to person. But one of the crew will be trouble, and as a result will get himself into trouble, soon.

The story between Avon and Nij is the most affecting, and certainly most important, but oddly, I found the story surrounding Hailee-Kyben-Farin far more entertaining. It's an excellent bit of action/strategy/fun.

I thought Farin's "complex" attack plan was hilariously simplistic. What a dipstick he's turning out to be!

I didn't think you'd have much trouble noticing that. (No one else has.)


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts