Avon: Correct. The more I learn about the battle drones the more I'm convinced we need reinforcements before
we can try to fight them.
Nij Blake: Former Federation resistors? Sounds reasonable.
( Hailee enters. )
Hailee: What's reasonable?
Nij Blake: We're going to make some new friends.
Hailee: ( Looks nauseous. ) Oh how wonderful. Lots of new little school-chums for you to play tag with, eh Blake?
( Blake looks annoyed. Avon and Vila smile. )
Avon: She takes my breath away sometimes. ( Opens comms. ) Soolin, meet us in the teleport section. ( Closes
comms. ) Hailee, Blake, get the guns.
Vila: Does that mean I don't have to go down there with you?
Avon: Of course you're coming with us, Vila. I'm sure we'll need your remarkable diplomatic skills.
Vila: ( Unhappy. ) Oh. Well in that case, I'd love to tag along.
( The renegade Federation Ship Pursuit 5 plows through
Neutral Space. On board, Servalan sits in the command seat. Norcris and two other Pirates are at the controls. )
Norcris: We'll be crossing into the Twelfth Sector in seventeen minutes, my Empress.
Servalan: Refreshing to be ahead of schedule for once. It's also surprising to find a bunch of mindless mercenaries
are by far the most reliable servants I've ever had at my disposal.
Norcris: I thank you for the compliment, my Empress. But I still fail to understand why we are heading so far
beyond the Federation's frontier.
Servalan: And I still fail to see why you need to understand.
Norcris: It might make our services in the name of our beloved Empress more effective...
Servalan: Unlikely. But I will reveal that even when I've possessed the most powerful weapons in the Galaxy, I've
always looked for contingencies. This is one of them.
Norcris: Contingency, maam?
Servalan: That's right, Norcris. You see, for a very brief time I controlled the Liberator, but I knew even then
that I might need a fail-safe plan in case I ever lost it. Now with the Liberator's rebirth, combined with knowledge I uncovered
while I controlled her, I've learned exactly how to do it. We are about to claim the key to power untold. Ahead, Norcris.
Ahead to Astro point-seven-eight-one.
( Pursuit 5 continues on its way. )
( Liberator teleport section. All bar Kyben are present.
Avon, Blake, Soolin and Vila are kitted up, Hailee is sat at the controls. )
Avon: If Kyben chooses to grace you with his presence at some point he can take over here while you take the
Hailee: Thanks. I'm wasted here.
Avon: Yes, I'm sorry you're having to descend to Vila's level...
Avon: ...But I'm sure Kyben will fit the role just perfectly.
Soolin: Give Kyben a break, Avon.
Avon: He's taken a break that has lasted over five hours, Soolin. I don't think a few mild insults will do
him any harm.
Soolin: Nor would leaving him alone.
Avon: ( Knowing look. ) Is that what you've been doing?
( Soolin looks embarrassed, then lines up in the teleport
Soolin: Let's just go.
( Avon raises his eyebrows slightly, then, he, Blake
and Vila join Soolin in the teleport bay. )
Avon: And waiting.
( Hailee operates the controls and Avon et al vanish.
( Surface of Craeus. Avon, Blake, Soolin and Vila materialise,
draw their guns and glance about. After a moment they put their guns away. It is late evening here, and they are in a dark
wooded area. The undergrowth has a reddish tinge to it. )
Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) Down and safe. We'll call in again when weve found a local settlement.
Vila: I hope there arent any of those Skar-things in this place.
Avon: Why would there be?
Vila: They would be. Just to annoy.
Avon: Where the annoyance you cause is incidental?
Vila: Yeah. ( Thinks for a moment. ) That was an insult wasn't it?
Nij Blake: Yes.
Avon: According to the sensors on the Liberator there's a settlement about half a mile to the East. Let's move.
Nij Blake: How do we know if they're going to be friendly?
Avon: Without telepathic help there's no way we can know is there? Other than paying a visit of course. Come
( They all set off into the woods. )
( Liberator teleport section. Hailee is here twiddling
her thumbs. Kyben walks in, looking haggard. )
Hailee: Where have you been sulking all day, you sissy?
Kyben: Shut up, Hailee.
Hailee: That's the second time someone's said that today...
Kyben: Well maybe it has a meaning. Like everyone wants you to stop talking for once. Try it.
Hailee: I don't take orders from you, Kyben, or your girlfriend.
Kyben: ( Narrows eye. ) Who?
Hailee: Kyben, I've seen the way you and Soolin have been fawning all over each other ever since she came out
of the coma. It's really pathetic. The only thing more sickening is the way you keep pretending it's not true.
Kyben: ( Angry. ) Shut up anyway.
Hailee: What's eating you, Kyben? Withdrawal symptoms? Not operated on enough brains recently?
Kyben: I haven't shot anyone in a while ether.
Hailee: Is that what passes for a threat in your book?
Kyben: You can treat it any way you like. Now get out, it's my turn on duty.
Hailee: ( Getting up. ) Suits me. Seeing you're so eager, you can do a double-shift if you like. ( Heads for
the exit. )
Kyben: If it means not having to talk to you for the rest of the day, I'll be glad to.
( Hailee exits. Kyben sits behind the console and buries
his head in his hands. )
( Outskirts of a village on Craeus. Avon and the others
are here at the top of a hill, looking down on the village below through electro-binoculars. The village is very rural in
shape, size and character. A mixture of sturdy huts and a market square. The largest building is a modest chapel, at the heart
of the village. The twilight is fading quickly. )
Vila: Primitive did you say? There are parts of the Animal Kingdom on Earth that are more advanced than this.
Avon: ( Nodding. ) All we'd need are a few sand dunes and we'd be looking at the Sarrans.
Nij Blake: They must be one of the religious groups down there.
Soolin: I'd say that's a good bet. Did Zen find any other settlements we can try? I don't think the people here
are going to be very sympathetic.
Avon: There's another place a mile further along to the south. We'll skirt around the village and push on.
As you say, the locals won't be too sympathetic, so I'd rather we didn't run into...
( A voice calls out from behind them. )
Stish 1: Hold it there!
Vila: ( Grimaces calmly, then turns and looks at Avon. ) That was a silly thing you just said y'know.
Avon: ( Looks back at him. ) Yes. I've obviously been talking to you too much.
( They all slowly turn to see three men dressed in medieval
tabards and armed with crossbows. The crossbows are aimed at Avon. )
Stish 2: Who is you people? We don't knows you.
Avon: We're just travelers. We...
Stish 3: You's entruding on Stitenhame! Why is you here?
Vila: Intruding on what?
Stish 1: Stitenhame. Is you anti-stits? Who is you?
Avon: I'm sorry, we don't know what you...
( The three men walk closer. The leader grabs at Avon's
gun. Avon tries to stop him but gives up when the other two wave their crossbows in his face. The leader pulls the gun from
Avon's holster and examines it in growing horror and alarm. )
Stish 1: What is this?
Stish 3: It does looks like a wippon of some kind. Likes the ancients once created.
Stish 2: They is anti-stits! They must be.
( Soolin pulls out her gun but even before she can fire,
Stish 3 grabs Avon and holds the crossbow to his head. )
Stish 3: Drop it. Drop the devil's tool, drop it!
Soolin: ( Aims the gun at the Leader. ) We outnumber you you know.
Stish 1: He'd be deaded soon as you's fires.
Soolin: ( Head on one sie. ) That's a shame. So would you though, I think that's a big consolation.
( Avon suddenly swings his elbows backwards and catches
Stish 3 in the ribs. He springs to the side just as Stish 2 opens fire. The bolt misses Avon and buries itself in Stish 3's
side. Stish 3 cries in pain. Blake leaps at Stish 2 with a snarl of relish and knocks him cold. Soolin drops to the floor
and trips the Leader before he can fire. Throughout all this Vila has been on his knees covering his head with his hands.
As soon as the fight ends he glances up, then stands, and dusts himself down. )
Nij Blake: Thanks for your support, Vila.
Vila: You know me. One for all, and every man for himself.
( Avon picks up his gun and aims it at the Stish Leader.
He is about to fire... )
Avon: Why not?
Soolin: They may know where we can find a Technologist camp.
( The Stish Leader looks at Stish 3. )
Stish 1: Anti-stit monsters! Sees what your foul tek-nollijy is done to him?
Soolin: I think it was your own weapons that did it, actually.
( Stish 3 whimpers with pain as he tries, unsuccessfully
to remove the bolt. )
Stish 3: Help... please...
( The Stish Leader crawls over to his side. )
Stish 1: Oh, the blood... Great Gods Above, comes to our aid.
Avon: As a matter of fact, WE might be able to help him. But first you have to help us.
Stish 1: ( Stares at him. ) Why should I helps filthy anti-stit heretics like you?
Avon: I don't know what this thing you're calling us is supposed to be, but it doesn't sound very flattering.
Stish 1: It isn't.
Avon: Which means you're not being very wise. Not if you want your friend to survive. We can get him medical
attention, or we can kill him. What would you like me to do?
( Liberator teleport section. Kyben is still sitting
here looking depressed. )
Soolin: ( V.O. ) Liberator? Liberator, come in.
Kyben: ( Into comms. ) Liberator here, go ahead Soolin.
Soolin: ( V.O. ) Feeling any better?
Kyben: ( Into comms. ) No.
Soolin: ( V.O.) Good. We have a little job for you. Might cheer you up.
( Liberator Flight Deck. Hailee is at the helm, snoozing
Kyben: ( V.O. ) Hailee. Hailee!
( Hailee wakes up. )
Hailee: Wh-what? ( Shakes her head to clear the cobwebs, then activates comms. ) What is it?
Kyben: ( V.O. ) Come to the teleport section, I need to go down to the surface. And bring me a clip-gun.
( Teleport section. Hailee is seating herself at the
controls. Kyben is putting on his gun-belt and bracelet. He has a medi-kit at his feet. )
Kyben: Apparently the wound is so deep they need a professional. That's where I come in.
Hailee: Oo. "A professional," he says.
Kyben: It's what I am...
Hailee: I've got a my own ideas about what you are.
Kyben: Put me down about a hundred metres from them.
Hailee: Oh? Why? Don't you trust Avon?
Kyben: No of course not.
Hailee: All right, ya lousy chicken.
Kyben: Just teleport me.
Hailee: If you'd hurry up and get ready...
( Kyben grabs the medi-kit and steps into the teleport
Kyben: I'm ready!
( Hailee operates the controls and Kyben teleports out.
Hailee: ( Shakes her head. ) Someone needs to
relax a bit.
( Outskirts of village on Craeus. At the top of the
hill, three stishes remain under Avon's armed guard. At the foot of the hill Kyben teleports in. He draws his gun and glances
around, then puts it away again. He starts up the hill, furtively. At the top, Stish 3 is weeping with pain. There is a lot
of blood flowing over his fingers as they clutch his wound. He has not been able to remove the crossbow bolt. )
Stish 1: The foul anti-stits does hurts us for being more righteous than they is...
Vila: Self-righteous you mean.
Stish 1: ( Angered. ) We is RIGHTEOUS! They is wrong. You is wrong! We fights them till they is made
righteous or they is all dead.
Soolin: Sounds like a dictatorship to me.
Stish 1: The Gods does frown on anti-stition! We is not oppresses, we is right. We makes them right, we not lets
them hurts us no more. We makes them makes us no deaded no more.
Soolin: ( Narrows eyes. ) They hurt you, did you say?
Stish 1: They hurts us. They says we's wrong. We is righteous!
( Soolin and Blake exchange blank looks. Avon and Vila
walk off to one side. )
Avon: From what he's told us I think I can at least understand the expressions he uses.
Vila: You do?
Avon: Think. Even before the Federation outlawed them all, religions were seen by many people as a form of
superstition. Presumably therefore, anti-stit is simply short for "Anti-superstition". They use the term to describe Unbelievers
it seems. These people on the other hand do believe in God. Or Gods. They are superstitious, so their opponents in the Holy
War nicknamed them stishes, or something similar, for short. The names simply stuck.
Vila: Ah. Well, I know whose side I'm on.
( Avon looks at him doubtfully for a moment. )
Vila: Well it's the same old story isn't it?
People using their religious beliefs as an excuse to attack everyone else. Who needs a pack of religious fanatics?
Stish 1: We is NOT fanatics! We is righteous! We fights the not-righteous, till they lets us be righteous...
Vila: ( Rolls his eyes. ) So what's your idea of fanatics then?
Avon: ( To stishes. ) Be quiet. We can always send our Doctor back to the ship if you keep irritating us.
Stish 1: We no needs yours Doc-toring. We has faith in the Righteous ones, faith in the Gods Almighty...
Avon: Faith healing is aesthetically pleasing I cannot deny it. But in my experience, a poetry-recital will
not help a man when he's bleeding to death. That bolt is dangerously-close to your friend's liver. He needs expert treatment
and he needs it soon.
Nij Blake: Speaking of which, where's Kyben got to?
( Kyben is watching from behind some bushes about a
hundred yards away. He is about to step out from the cover when a gun barrel points against his damaged cheek. He turns in
alarm and raises his hands as he comes face-to-face with two women in Federation prisoner overalls. One of them removes his
gun from its holster and hurls it down the hill. )
Chaesla: Well you can't be a stish. Not with those clothes. Or that gun.
Kyben: Who are you?
Chaesla: You can call me madam. And you will if you know what's good for you.
Ariadne: We can't carry on with this scout mission, Chaesla. Not with a prisoner in tow.
Kyben: Don't feel you have to take me prisoner.
Ariadne: I don't. I also don't feel I have to let you speak.
Chaesla: What's your name?
Kyben: If I told you I couldn't remember, would you believe me?
Kyben: You would be difficult.
( Chaesla and Ariadne exchange irritated looks. Chaesla
indicates the bracelet on Kyben's wrist. )
Chaesla: What's that?
( Chaesla grabs at the bracelet. Kyben tries to snatch
away and press the teleport stud, but Ariadne steps forward and hand-chops his arm. Kyben snarls with pain. Chaesla removes
the bracelet and examines it. )
Kyben: If I told you I couldn't remember...
Chaesla: Oh shut up. ( To Ariadne. ) What do we do with him?
Ariadne: Let's take him back to Teklair. The Commander may be able to get some answers out of him. Could be useful
stuff. I think we'd all like to know what a stranger's doing on Craeus. Okay, Forgetful One, move.
Kyben: Look, I have something important to do. I'm a Doctor you see, I have to help...
Ariadne: Help yourself. By moving.
Kyben: ( Wants to argue further. Eyes the guns, thinks better of it. ) Where to?
Ariadne: ( Gestures downhill. ) Thataway. MOVE!
( Kyben glances over his shoulder to where his crew
mates are still gathered, then staggers down the hill. The two women follow him, their guns never wavering from his back.
( Hilltop on Craeus. Avon et al are still present. The
injured stish is looking seriously pale and unwell. )
Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) The idiot. Did he think I was planning to shoot him?
Hailee: ( V.O. ) No one ever knows what you're thinking, Avon. He hasn't trusted you one bit since... you know...
Avon: ( Into bracelet. ) Yes, Hailee, I know.
Nij Blake: He should still be here by now. I mean it was only a hundred metres away. ( Into bracelet. ) We've got
someone dying here, Hailee. When did you teleport Kyben down?
Hailee: ( V.O. ) At least ten minutes ago.
( Avon and Soolin glance at each other. Avon looks angry,
Soolin looks worried. )
Avon: He could be playing games.
Nij Blake: He could be lost.
Soolin: ( Angered. ) He could be in danger!
( Kyben is marched into Teklair, a small oasis of technology
on the edge of the wood. It is like a small military camp made up of moveable buildings. Cheasla shoves Kyben with excessive
force towards the apparent Command Centre. )
Chaesla: Today, Kyben, today.
Kyben: You promised to be nice to me if I told you my name.
Chaesla: ( Shoves him again. ) You can complain to my boss about my outrageous bullying if you like. I'm sure
hell give me a good telling off.
Kyben: Friendly is he?
Chaesla: As friendly as I'm gentle. ( Shoves him again. )
Kyben: ( Frowns. ) Oh good.
Ariadne: Keep walking, Kyben. That's the only way you'll keep us nice.
( They march him into the Command Centre. Within there
is a great deal of radio equipment and some old fashioned weaponry, primitive by Federation standards, but advanced by those
of Craeus. Behind an overlarge desk, of the type that inadequate leaders use to make themselves look important, sits a heavily
scarred and weathered young man. His arms are clad in bandages that look like they have not been changed in years. His face
is careworn and stained. )
Shivan: Back already, Chaesla? Who is this?
Chaesla: An off-worlder, chief. Interfered with the reconnaisance mission. We thought he might be useful though.
Kyben: How can I be use-...?
Ariadne: Anyone tell you to speak, Kyben? I didn't hear them.
Shivan: Kyben? Rak Kyben?
Kyben: You've heard of me?
Shivan: You deserted the Federation a few months ago. You're from the Liberator.
Kyben: ( Eyes the communications equipment. ) At least someone on this planet keeps in touch with the big wide
world. Who are you?
Shivan: My name is Shivan.
Kyben: ( Skeptical. ) You? Shivan?