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 XV - Power Untold


( Earth. Secretary Demwuhl stands in the main security post of Residence One. She is alone here, operating controls on the communicators. )

Demwuhl: (Into comms. ) Repeat, Pursuit One, come in. Acknowledge, Kommisar Tarrant.

( Faces appear on the screen in front of her. One is Tarrant, one is Kreel, the others are mutoids. They are on the Flight Deck of Pursuit One. )

Dev Tarrant: We are receiving you, Secretary Demwuhl, proceed.

Demwuhl: At last. I was starting to think you'd been destroyed.

Dev Tarrant: Your comments on our unresponsiveness are noted, Secretary, we accept the rebuke, now may I know what business you have?

Demwuhl: We have a confirmed sighting of the Liberator, Kommisar.

Dev Tarrant: ( Urgently. ) Where?

( Demwuhl starts punching controls on the communicators. )

Demwuhl: It's in the seventh sector, the Belquon system. I'm uploading co-ordinates to you now.

( Leans forward and shoots a meaningful look. ) No prisoners, Tarrant. And no mistakes.

( Tarrant and Kreel both salute. Demwuhl operates another control and the screen goes blank. Demwuhl operates yet another control and the screen lights up again. Servalan's cruel face appears on the screen. )

Demwuhl: It is done, my Empress. Kreel and Tarrant are heading your way.

Servalan: Good work, Secretary.


( Planet Craeus. Avon, Vila, Soolin and Nij Blake are on a hillside overlooking the burning ruin of a village. Chaesla is with them. )

Chaesla: You've got to take me with you! You can't leave me here, the soldiers'll kill me after what I did.

Avon: That's a shame. We haven't time to attend another funeral.

Chaesla: Funeral...?!

Avon: A ceremony commemorating the life of one who has died, you know the sort of thing. We've had one already this week. ( Into comms. ) Bring us up, Hailee.

( They teleport out, leaving Chaesla alone. )

Chaesla: Why, of all the...


( Avon, Vila, Soolin and Blake materialise on the Liberator. Hailee rises from behind the controls. )

Avon: Has Zen secured the data I requested?

Hailee: Waiting for you on the Flight Deck.

( Avon, Hailee, Soolin, Blake and Vila arrive on the Flight Deck. Hailee takes her place at the helm. Orac is on the table in the pit, switched off. )

Soolin: ( Urgently. ) Zen, readout on the main screen.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The main screen lights up with tactical diagrams, and energy graphs. )

Zen: No unidentified Hyperspace sub-beam frequency communications were detected during the specified phase in which Rak Kyben was on the planet's surface.

Soolin: Well all right, how about identified communications?

Zen: There were four such communications on the Hyperspace sub-beam band during the specified phase. One: Communication between Liberator and Liberator crew members on surface of planet Craeus, initiated by Kerr Avon from planet surface. Playback commences.

( Avons recorded voice fills the Flight Deck. The crew exchange irritated looks. )

Avon's voice: Down and safe. We'll call in again when....

Avon: Liberator communications notwithstanding, Zen.

Zen: Confirmed. Revised total number of identified sub-beam communications: Zero.

Vila: ( Looks bored. ) 'Scuse me.

( Vila heads for the exit. )

Soolin: Where are you going?

Vila: To get something to eat. I'm starving.

Hailee: ( Knowing look. ) Rough translation, "To get something to drink, I'm sober."

Vila: Well-ll-ll-ll... that too.

Soolin: Vila, Kyben's disappeared! How can you think about drinking at a time like this?

Vila: Oh it takes a special effort, believe me. Look, I'm not going to be much help while you're talking to Zen. So you sort out Kyben, while I sort out the refreshments. I'll be back soon.

Avon: Don't worry, Soolin, I'm sure we'll be able to manage without him.

( Vila steps over to Hailee and snakes an arm around her waist. )

Vila: What, all of you? Even you Hailee?

Hailee: ( Softly, like putty in his hands. ) Oh Vila, the lonely minutes 'till you return will seem like... minutes.

( Hailee elbows Vila in the tummy. )

Vila: ( Doubling up. ) Oof!

Hailee: Now clear out, germ culture.

( Vila, leaning forward all the way with his arm across his midrift, turns and heads out, blowing hard. )


( Deep Space Vehicle One, Medical Unit. Kyben is tied to one of the treatment couches, a pair of electrodes against his temples. Servalan and Norcris stand over him. Two other pirates are here, doing minute adjustments to the machinery around them. )

Servalan: Well now, Kyben. What can I say?

Kyben: (Weakly.) Servalan? How...? How are you here? How did you get aboard?

Servalan: ( Shakes her head. ) Oh Rak, you just weren't listening earlier were you? This isn't the Liberator.

Kyben: Not the Liber-...? ( Voice tails off into a painful cough. ) Uurrggh! I don't understand.

Servalan: Avon's been keeping secrets from you hasn't he? I must reprimand him for that.

Kyben: I'm sure he'll be very hurt.

Servalan: Oh he doesn't mind a little bossiness. He knows it's only little me.

Kyben: Oh good. So where am I?

Servalan: I call it the Subjugator, Rak. But you might know it as Deep Space Vehicle One. It's the Liberator's sister ship.

Kyben: Destroyed, as I understood it.

Servalan: And I understood that the Liberator was destroyed. I was on board just seconds before it blew up after all, but now look at it. My turn to surprise you.

Kyben: ( Shrugs. ) Okay, so this one has the same automatic repair system, that makes sense. How did you find it? I can't imagine Avon ever told you where to look for Spaceworld.

Servalan: He didn't. But then as you well know, I have a knack for finding out what other people don't want me to.

Kyben: Is that all it was? A knack?

Servalan: Call it foresight.

Kyben: Foresight? You had an entire Galaxy to look in and you just guessed?

Servalan: No. Blake gave me a few pointers.

Kyben: Blake? Roj Blake?

Servalan: Oh yes. He kept an occasional log of the Liberator's activities you see. And naturally he'd included a very detailed account of your predecessors' little misadventures with the System. He was hardly going to find out all that vital knowledge about his precious super weapon's creation and then just put it to one side, was he?

Kyben: The evidence of my own eye suggests that he wouldn't. Except...

Servalan: The account was at times amusing, at others highly informative. The highlights for me were those delicious instances of high torture when Blake was suffering continual electric shocks by the System's hand-weapons, and the glorious snippet of information when Blake revealed exactly where I could look for my ultimate weapon.

( Servalan reaches into a pocket inside her gown and pulls out a small playback device. )

Servalan: This little recorder hasn't been out of my reach in several years, Rak.

( Servalan presses a button on the playback device. Roj Blake's voice fills the room. )

Roj Blake: ( V.O. ) At this point it became obvious to us that none of our computers or systems were malfunctioning, they were being overridden. Avon made clear he believed that the course we were heading on was specifically plotted by external control. Infuriatingly, he was right once again.

( Kyben looks more and more troubled. )

Roj Blake: ( V.O. ) The Star System we eventually reached we were later to discover was Astro Point Seven-Eight-One, the very location in which Orac had predicted the Liberator would be destroyed, although of course it wouldn't be for some time that we would realise...

( Servalan switches off the recording and smiles at Kyben coldly. He looks back at her, brow creased. )

Kyben: How Servalan? How did you get that recording?


( Liberator Flight Deck. Avon, Soolin, Hailee and Blake are still present. )

Avon: Zen, give me the readout on all Liberator systems activity around the time of Kyben's disappearance.

Zen: Confirmed.

( An array of electrical graphs light the main screen. Each of them shows a steady pattern. )

Nij Blake: What are you doing now?

Avon: ( Tuts. ) No. All activity normal for holding fixed orbit. And not a wobble in the teleport status at any stage.

Nij Blake: What are you on about?

Avon: I'm trying to work out where Kyben disappeared to.

Nij Blake: What? You think he teleported up to here? Without Hailee even noticing?

Avon: It sounds irrational I know, but it is at least one explanation. There is a spare teleport bay on the hold level, and what Chaesla described was definitely a teleport field. Kyben might have materialised in the spare bay.

Hailee: Avon, the spare bay hasn't been active since the rebuild.

Soolin: ( Anxious. ) Orac might have activated it.

Hailee: He didn't. I've already asked him about it, and he said he hadn't activated any teleport controls at any time since we moved into orbit around Craeus. Anyway wouldn't Kyben have shown by now if he was aboard?

Avon: As I say, it was an unlikely possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

Nij Blake: Well, you're supposed to be the clever one. Can you think of a better suggestion?

Avon: I'm afraid I can. Three others.

Soolin: What?

Avon: One, Chaesla was lying. That's always a possibility, but it doesn't quite fit the situation as I see it. A second is that the data Zen has given us is inaccurate, which is almost unheard of. Zen, recheck the data anyway, just to be sure.

Zen: Confirmed.

Avon: Seeing the general implausibility of the above explanations, that leaves only one other possibility that I can see.

Nij Blake: Which is?

Avon: That Kyben was teleported by someone else. Probably a different ship.

Nij Blake: That's a better suggestion? Another ship with teleport.

Avon: Think. Kyben clearly didn't teleport aboard this ship. The ship's teleport system was inactive at the time of his disappearance, and furthermore the transmitters were always set for ship-to-surface transfer. According to these readings, they were not at any stage redirected to any third location. Yet from Chaesla's description, Kyben was clearly teleported away. The only explanation that fits is that someone else teleported him someWHERE else.

Hailee: Oh come on. This is the only ship with a teleport...

Avon: There was a time when this ship was the only one that could go above Standard by six. That is clearly no longer the case. Why should the teleport be any different?

Nij Blake: Well then who? The Feds?

Avon: Probably. We left Scorpio's teleport back on Gauda Prime. Maybe they found the remains and they've devel-...

Hailee: I destroyed it. They couldn't have made sense of what was left.

Avon: That's the assumption...

Hailee: It's a FACT, Avon.

Avon: ( Looks at Hailee, briefly. ) All right.

Nij Blake: So who else? I mean what other ship could have a teleport?

( Avon looks stony and says nothing. Vila wanders in, carrying a large tray with two glasses and a crystal jug of wine on it. )

Vila: Drinks up!

( Vila sets the tray on the table in the pit, on top of Orac. )

Avon: Oh joy, that will put the world to rights.

( Vila pours himself a glass of wine. He then pours another. Blake holds out a hand hopefully. Vila picks up the two glasses, and downs the lot. Thin trickles of wine run down his chin from the corners of his mouth. He wipes his sleeve across his face. )

Hailee: ( Disgusted. ) Yeeuurrgghh!

Nij Blake: Did no one ever teach you about having a balanced diet, Vila?

Vila: That's what Im doing. One glass of wine in each hand.

( The others blink at each other. )

Avon: I wish I could rise to such giddy heights of logic and get away with it.

Hailee: In the land of the drunk, the man with two glasses of booze is King.

Avon: A fine summary.

Vila: You're just jealous.

Avon: Jealous?

Vila: ( Speech already beginning to slur. ) Yeah. You're a great rationalist, where I'm a great rationaliser. You wish you could think up the excuses I can.

Avon: Excuses for being a drunken cretin you mean? I haven't needed one of those since I was thrown out of the Iron School.

Vila: Yeah, I always meant to ask you about that.

Avon: About what?

Vila: You getting thrown out of the FSA. I mean what for? Drunk on duty?

Avon: No. For overzealous misconduct on a training exercise.

Vila: ( Expression of one who can't work out which nostril to listen through. ) Uh, what?

Avon: I killed a thief I caught stealing from the Kommisar's drinks cabinet.

( Vila looks thoughtful for a moment, then has some more wine. )

Vila: Well you stick to what you know, and I'll stick to what I know.

Avon: My pleasure. It reassures me to hear that you know anything at all. Well, Zen? We're waiting.

Zen: Listed data is checked and confirmed.

Avon: So that leaves one question.

Nij Blake: Just one?

Avon: Yes. Not IF it was a different teleport, but where it was when Kyben was captured. From there we should be able to trace him.

Soolin: ( Insistently. ) And bring him back.

Avon: ( With no great sincerity. ) Well, let's hope.


( Subjugator Medical Unit. Kyben is still tied to the treatment couch, Servalan and Norcris still stand over him. )

Servalan: You remember that business several years ago with Jarvik?

Kyben: Jarvik? Vaguely... Oh yes I remember, he was the one who... ( Sighs. ) I see. You found Blake's secret files while you were at Kairos. After Jarvik stole the Liberator.

Servalan: Exactly. I'd always been so eager to learn as much as I could about that ship, so I wasn't going to miss an opportunity like that, was I? Finding out about Spaceworld and how the Liberator was built was a fascinating discovery of course, but it never occurred to me that I could actually salvage a duplicate. Not until after I saw the Liberator itself orbiting Gauda Prime. Strange really, but I wouldnt have seen it at all if you and Hailee hadn't found it in the first place. In a way you tipped me off. I actually have to thank you for deserting the Federation, Kyben. Ironic, don't you think? You revealed to me where to find the Ultimate Weapon with which to reconquer the Federation. This ship.

Kyben: ( Looks ill. ) Yes. Ironic.

Servalan: Unfortunately when we got there we found that Spaceworld was not able to rebuild itself, it must be too big. A pity, it would have made an ideal battle station. But this... ( Spreads her arms and gestures all about her. ) ...This was the real prize anyway. And we found it drifting there, dark, inert, awaiting new masters and destiny. I am the one to provide both. It's the flagship of an army I am building to reshape an Empire.

Kyben: An army? These down-and-outs?

Servalan: I did say, "building." I've barely started.

Kyben: I was about to say. So, dearest Empress, where do I come in?

Servalan: You're just a standard hostage, Rak, nothing more.

Kyben: That'll make a nice epitaph. "Here lies Kyben, he was standard."

Servalan: You know how I like to make contingencies. You'll be a good human shield if Avon tries to intervene.

Kyben: You really think he'd care?

Servalan: Oh yes, I think so. He cares a lot more than you realise. He cares a lot more than HE realises.

Kyben: His affections are well-disguised.

Servalan: Not from me they aren't. Have you never noticed how defensive he is of his friends, Kyben? Even if it's only born of their usefulness to him, he still cares.

Kyben: You've known him a lot longer than I have, I suppose you must be right. Why did you choose me?

Servalan: I think you know the answer to that. I always had an affection for you unlike any other on that ship of yours. You know the sort of thing. You're soft, you're easily-dominated, weak, the ideal prisoner. So we tracked the Liberator down and whisked you up to the Subjugator.

Kyben: If those are the requirements, why not Vila?

Servalan: He'd be more awkward. He knows how to escape when he's locked up. So. That's a couple of your questions answered. Now why don't you do a girl a favour and answer a few of mine?

Kyben: Like what?

Servalan: Firstly, why is the Federation having so much trouble tracking the Liberator again? I thought the latest Pursuit Ships were almost as fast now?

Kyben: Ask them.

Servalan: Why should I bother? I'm sure you have the answer. And you're nearer.

Kyben: Why should I tell you?

Servalan: Perhaps you need reminding of something, Rak. It was only a few short weeks ago that I was the one strapped in one of these seats and it was your finger hovering over the controls. And when you started up that contraption of yours, you may have noticed I didn't really enjoy what happened to me.

Kyben: I had to help Soolin. It was the only way.

Servalan: Would it surprise you enormously if I revealed how little Soolin's well-being concerns me?

Kyben: All things are proportional, but I doubt it.

Servalan: The point is, although getting even with you is not a big priority of mine, it would cause me little distress. Not as much as once it would. And as long as you're in that chair and I'm the one with a finger on the button, it can happen. Forty thousand volts passing through your cranium won't add any years to your life.

Kyben: ( Sighs. ) All right, I'll tell you. I don't see how it can possibly help you. Avon found a cloaking device on Taurus III. He installed it after we escaped and since then weve been able to hide from Pursuit ships which are right next to us.

Servalan: Really? ( Rubs her jaw. ) How fascinating. This opens up possibilities. Next question. This one's very important to me by the way.

Kyben: Go on.

Servalan: On occasion I get to hear some very... strange rumours surrounding you and your estranged crew mates. There's one I'd be most obliged if you were to clear it up for me.

Kyben: Stop regurgitating dictionaries and ask your question, Servalan.

Servalan: All right. Why do I keep hearing nonsense about Blake still being aboard the Liberator seeing that he died months ago?

Kyben: ( Swallows. ) Rumours are rumours. If I had a credit for every time I heard a rumour that wasn't true...

Servalan: Answer the question. Is this one true?

Kyben: Servalan, what kind of question is that? Roj Blake was dead last I knew. I mean you saw his corpse, I didn't.

Servalan: I thought I saw his corpse cremated after Gevron, Kyben. A couple of years later Blake was on Gauda Prime looking remarkably dexterous for atomic powder. Is he really dead?

Kyben: ( Grits teeth. ) Yes, Servalan. Roj Blake is dead.

Servalan: So there's no truth in the rumour then? That Blake is aboard your ship?

Kyben: ( Hesitates. ) Roj Blake is dead.

Servalan: Why are you being so specific, Kyben?

Kyben: What?

Servalan: I keep saying Blake. You keep stressing Roj Blake.

Kyben: Do I?

( The expression on Servalan's face indicates that she clearly knows something about this. )

Servalan: It's almost as if you were trying to be evasive by answering directly. It's a clever art. But you seem to be forgetting how I was the one who taught it to you in the first place.

( Kyben looks concerned. )

Kyben: What are you trying to say?

Servalan: It's what youre trying to avoid saying that worries me.

Kyben: I've told you the truth.

Servalan: But shaped it in such a way that it seems more complete than it really is. Like I say, I know that skill better than anyone. It wouldn't work anyway, not if I already know what it is youre hiding.

Kyben: What do you mean?

Servalan: Kyben, I know that there is a member of the Liberator crew whom you are trying to protect. I want you to tell me about him.

Kyben: I don't know what you mean.

Servalan: Kyben, because of our past... friendship, I will take no pleasure in hurting you. But I will do it if I have to to get what I need from you.

Kyben: You'll throw the switch will you?

Servalan: Actually no. I'm not prepared to risk damaging any of the nerve endings in your brain. Not until after I've extracted what I need anyway.

Kyben: So how are you going to make me talk?

( Servalan snaps her fingers. Norcris produces a transparent flask filled with a green liquid. )

Servalan: Allow me to present the latest develpoment in Federation personnel control. Pylene-100.

Kyben: Pylene?

Servalan: Yes. The new formula. Pylene-50 was very effective as you know, but it had its weaknesses. Primarily a limited life span and a shapeless influence on the subjects brain. This is Pylene-100. Much the same stuff, but specialised preservatives drawn from the planet Virn have given the compound an unlimited life span, and with cells drawn from an individual added to the compound, the subject comes under the exclusive control of that individual. I stole a large consignment of this material from the Pacification Police on the rim of the Inner Planets.

Kyben: Exclusive control? You mean...?

Servalan: Yes. Some of my own blood cells have been solved into the compound. And once I inject it into you, you'll become just like these pirates all around us. You'll serve me and only me, from today until the day you die. Over first you, and then one day the Galaxy, I will have power untold.

( Kyben glances at the expressionless pirates who are all attending their duties like zombies. He knows she is telling the truth. )

Kyben: ( Very scared. ) Servalan, you can't.

Servalan: I don't want to. Not to you. So make it easy on both of us. Tell me about Blake.

( Norcris starts to fill a syringe with Pylene-100. )

Kyben: ( Shaking with fear. ) I-I... No! Blake is dead.

Servalan: Roj Blake is dead. Tell me about Blake. Tell me about... him. Who is he?

( Norcris finishes filling the syringe and puts the flask aside. )

Servalan: Tell me, Kyben. I must be sure. Tell me now.

Kyben: Please Servalan...

( Norcris brings the syringe forward. )

Kyben: Servalan, stop!

Servalan: Tell me what I want to know.

( Norcris rips open Kybens sleeve and holds the needle poised over his arm. )

Kyben: ( Tears. ) Servalan. Servalan, please, I'm begging you. Don't do this to me! You betrayed me before, don't betray me again! Pleeaaase!!

Servalan: Tell me what I want to know.

( In spite of his terror, Kyben cannot bring himself to reveal that Blake had a son. )

Kyben: I don't know anything. I don't! I don't know!

( Servalan nods to Norcris. )

Kyben: No!

( Norcris starts to push the needle into Kyben's arm. Zoom in on Kyben's eye. )

Kyben: No! Servalan! Servala-a-a-a-a-an!


( Liberator Flight Deck. All the available crew are present. On the main screen, a series of tactical diagrams show the Liberator's orbit around the planet Craeus. )

Avon: Wait a moment. Zen, we received no unidentified sub-beam transmissions during the specified time-period, correct?

Zen: That is correct.

Avon: What about other wave-bands?

Nij Blake: Oh for heaven's sake, Avon, now what are you on about? We've already gone through the communications, we got nothing.

Avon: Wrong. Taking the glories of computer logic into account, we can assume that Zen doesn't have enough initiative to adapt the orders we give him. We only asked him what sub-beam communications the Liberator received. There are a number of other forms of electronic communication.

Nij Blake: Oh.

Avon: Zen?

Zen: The Liberator received two direct sensory feed transmissions from an external source on the sub-etha band approximately four point three zero four minutes before the assumed time of Rak Kyben's disappearance.

( The crew all look up at Zen. )

Avon: Identify the source.

Zen: Rejected.

Avon: What?

Soolin: What do you mean, "Rejected"? Tell us the source of the transmissions now. That's an order!

Zen: Rejected.

Avon: ( Calmly. ) Explain the rejection of that command, Zen.

Zen: The information you have requested has been stored via a coded route. Transmission details were over-ridden by security protocols. Therefore unable to comply with command without necessary recall code.

Soolin: Coded route?

Nij Blake: Direct sensory link? ( Brings his fist down on Orac. ) It must be Orac, the little...!

Vila: ( Drunkenly. ) Waheeeey...! Go for it Blake, me ole' son! Beat the li'l junk pile to bits!

( Blake shapes to thump Orac again. Avon grabs his arm and spins him round. They eyeball each other. )

Avon: That wouldn't be a good move.

Nij Blake: Vila seems to think it would.

Avon: You'd take the advice of a drunken half-wit, would you? The Blake family tradition for sensible calculation rears its head once more.

( Blake shrugs Avon off. )

Nij Blake: Don't push me, Avon. If it weren't for you my father would still be alive. Don't talk to me about judgement...!

Avon: If it weren't for me, your father would have died any one of a dozen times before. ( Blake goes quiet. ) Spare me your mindless emotion. Let us concentrate on the matter at hand, not stupid recriminations. Orac may be our best chance of solving what happened.

Nij Blake: That junk heap? He's probably the one who...

Avon: It wasn't Orac.

Nij Blake: Oh? How do you know?

Avon: Zen said the source of the transmission was external. Presumably he meant external to the Liberator, not just the Liberator's systems. Confirm that, Zen.

Zen: Your clarification is confirmed as accurate.

Avon: Orac was on board the Liberator the whole time we were on Craeus. Therefore it could not have been Orac who operated the teleport. You see? It takes logical, rational thought to make an intelligent point, so from now on, you'd best say nothing.

( Blake is angry but remains silent. He looks humiliated as he realises what a fool he has made of himself. )

Hailee: Zen, repeat the local-range scan records for the designated time.

Zen: Confirmed.

Hailee: If there was another ship in the area there must have been some trace on the scanners.

Avon: Agreed.

( More tactical diagrams scroll down the main screen. More digital information appears with it. )

Hailee: Wait!

( The information stops scrolling. )

Soolin: What is it?

Hailee: Zen, wind back about... er, eight seconds.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The information scrolls back up. )

Hailee: No that's not it...

Soolin: What are you looking for?

Hailee: I saw something wrong.

Soolin: ( Increasingly anxious. ) Like what?

Hailee: Wind back another two seconds, Zen. Slowly.

( More information, diagrams and imaging data scroll up the screen. Suddenly a bright red mark appears in just one frame. )

Hailee: Stop! Stop there!

Zen: Information review ceased.

Hailee: Zen, come on, identify that new contact.

Zen: Specify contact.

Hailee: That one, you data trasher! The one that wasn't in the other frames. Identify.

Zen: Rejected.

( The crew all look at each other. )

Soolin: I think we have a suspect.

Avon: ( Slotting in Orac's key. ) Orac, we need you to override Zen's security programs.

Orac: What for?

Avon: The data we've requested from him has been barred and we don't know the appropriate access code. We need you to circumvent the code.

Orac: I was under the impression that you prided yourself on being able to control all of Zen's programming without hindrance or difficulty. That has always been your claim.

Avon: I could extract the information eventually, but I can't afford the likely delay.

Orac: I recommend that you attempt it. I refuse to belittle my own resources on such a task, showing the disrespect that it would entail to my fellow cybernetic intelligence.

Hailee: ( Suspicious. ) Disrespect? That's never stopped you before.

Orac: Any past overrides I have performed to Zen's data flow controls were entirely necessary due to the circumstances of the moment...

Hailee: You can't do it, can you?

Nij Blake: What do you mean? Orac overrides computers for fun.

Hailee: Come on, Orac, you over wired light bulb, own up. You can't do it.

Orac: ( Acidly. ) Of course I can do it.

Hailee: Well go on then.

Orac: There are... complications.

Avon: You mean you really can't do it?

Orac: No that is not what I mean. I am referring to the issue of Zen and the Liberators unearthly designs. Although I am still able to heavily-influence the computers and systems on this ship, the wholesale absence of tarial cells does cause certain limitations, which no amount of research has been able to remedy.

Avon: And you've encountered such a limitation here, I take it?

Orac: That is so.

Nij Blake: In other words, he can't do it.

Hailee: Him and his ego problems! Why can't he just come out and say it?

Avon: Because of his ego problems. Orac, what exactly is the problem?

Orac: The data you refer to is inaccessible to me. It has been encrypted in a format that appears readable only to Zen, and even my vast powers cannot calculate the correct protocol. No counter-program I use, even a total control bypass, will give me access to the information you require. You will simply have to find the correct security code and allow Zen to decrypt the data for you.

Avon: In short, you can't do it. Can you?

Orac: That is...

Avon: Can you?

Orac: ( Reluctantly. ) No.

( Avon pulls out Orac's key. )

Soolin: What could possibly be accessible to Zen, but not Orac?

Hailee: He did say that it was something unearthly in the Liberator's designs.

Soolin: An alien protocol?

Avon: ( Nodding. ) Zen, give me the energy signature of the unidentified contact.

Zen: Confirmed.

( Yet more information rolls across the screen. )

Nij Blake: ( Blows out his cheeks. ) At least he'll tell us that much.

Avon: Yes, we just have to shape our instructions in a way that doesnt make Zen answer our questions directly.

Vila: ( Hiccups. ) He gets more like Orac every day.

Hailee: I wish you'd follow his example.

Soolin: Yes, even a talking riddle box is better than a drunk with a breath problem.

Vila: I haven't got a breath problem.

Soolin: After what you've been drinking?

( Vila breathes on his hand, then sniffs. He pulls a face. )

Avon: ( Looking at the readouts with increasing alarm. ) Those readings... they're very familiar... ( Narrows eyes. ) Zen. I want you to give me a computer generated image of a ship. Make the projection the closest possible representation you can calculate, based on these figures.

Zen: Your instructions are confirmed. Calculations are in progress. Graphical image being drawn.

Soolin: What are you doing, Avon?

Avon: Outwitting a computer. I think I know what's happening now.

Soolin: What do you mean?

Avon: The picture that Zen gives us should be the confirmation I need. But let's just say that Zen has been over-ridden before and not just by Orac.

Soolin: Well?

Avon: Another ship with a teleport appears to have taken Kyben prisoner right under our noses. Our detectors appear to have picked up that ship, but Zen receives a communication overriding our controls and apparently ordering him to erase all data about its presence. Two questions. How does that ship come to have a teleport? How does it manage to override Zen?

Hailee: Do you have answers?

Avon: I have one answer. And it fits both of the questions very exactly. It is the ONLY answer that makes any sense to me.

Zen: The requested projection has been completed as instructed.

Avon: Transfer to main screen.

Zen: Confirmed.

( A schematic of a vast space cruiser appears on the screen. It is slightly different in shape and appears to have its weight distributed somewhat less evenly. But other than that, it looks all too familiar. )

Nij Blake: It's us.


( Pursuit One. Kreel is in the Command Chair, Kommisar Tarrant stands to his left. The mutoid pilots sit at the controls. The flotilla slows as it heads into the Belquon system. )

Kreel: Position? Answer.

Mutoid 1: We are entering the Belquon system precisely as scheduled, Commander.

Kreel: Speed? Tell me now.

Mutoid 1: Standard by two, and decelerating, Commander.

Kreel: Good. That is good. Precisely as ordered. Good. Give me overview again. You will do that now.

Mutoid 1: As you order, Commander. ( Punches a control. On screen the system overview lights up. It shows a planet, a star and an anomaly. ) The system has one planet, a dusty uninhabited world with little life on its surface. The star is a class four white dwarf. On the furthest rim of the system is a tiny Black Hole. Records estimate it at less less than one quarter of a kilometre in diameter...

Kreel: Enough. You will remain silent.

( The flotilla continues to plow its way into the system. Tarrant steps forward. )

Dev Tarrant: I don't like this.

Kreel: Orders are orders, Kommisar. I maintain, liking them is not a requirement.

Dev Tarrant: That's not what I meant.

Kreel: Interrogative: What did you mean?

Dev Tarrant: I'm talking about where we're headed. Battling a ship like the Liberator in range of a Black Hole? This is military suicide. It doesn't sit right with me.

Kreel: ( Looks at Tarrant sharply. ) I demand, what are you insinuating?

Dev Tarrant: Oh, no insinuation as such. I just feel there's more to this than we understand.

Kreel: ( Into comms. ) All crews will remain on constant visual alert. That is a command. I state in no uncertain terms, radiation interference from that Black Hole is extreme. I repeat, maximum prority to visual scanning. All ships, you will reduce to sub-light speeds.

( The flotilla slows down sharply. )

Dev Tarrant: What output do we have on the scanners?

Mutoid 1: Seventeen point oh-oh-five per cent, Kommisar.

Kreel: ( Into comms. ) All crews, you will begin naked eye scanning of the Belquon system immediately. Repeat, begin scanning immediately. You will set all electronic surveillance to passive scans until further notice to preserve power.

( The ships in the flotilla begin sweeping the local area of the system in a rotating patrol pattern. Hidden from Federation sensors, the Subjugator is maintaining an anti-orbital pattern to remain on the far side of the planet. )

Kreel: And you will all remember. I demand you remain on full alert at all times until we leave the system.


( Subjugator Flight Deck. Norcris and several pirates are at the controls. Servalan is draped lazily on a couch in the seating pit. Kyben stands to one side, an empty, almost sleepy expression on his face. )

Octon: Identity of approaching contacts positive. Federation Pursuit ships approaching.

Servalan: ( Smiles. ) Ah Dev Tarrant. Always so punctual, even for his own funeral. ( Stands. ) Tell me, Doctor, would you like a chance to get revenge as your first service to me?

Kyben: ( Distantly. ) I have no opinions or desires, my Empress.

Servalan: ( Walks over to Kyben. ) Really? None at all?

Kyben: Other than the need to serve you without question.

Servalan: How disappointing. ( Runs her hand along his arm. ) And yet how exhilarating. ( Servalan kisses Kyben. There is scarcely a flicker of response from Kyben, just the same hooded expression. Servalan looks somewhat put out by this. )

Servalan: More effective than I wanted perhaps.

( Servalan regathers herself, returns to the seating pit and reclines again. )

Servalan: Octon, you may proceed.

Octon: Affirmative.

( The lights go dark. There is a brief burst of power from the ships engines, which then shut down again. Subjugator drifts out of orbit. After a while, it moves into view of the Pursuit Ships. )


( On Pursuit Two a Space Major is in the Command seat. )

Mutoid 2: Major?

Space Major: What is it?

Mutoid 2: ( Indicates scanner readout. ) We have a contact on the starboard scanners. It's heavily garbled by static from the Black Hole, but it appears to be a large metallic object. Possibly a space cruiser of some kind.

Space Major: ( Rushing over to the starboard viewport and looking out. ) That's it! That must be it! Patch me through to Pursuit One.


( Pursuit One. )

Mutoid 3: Commander?

Kreel: Speak, Mutoid. Speak now.

Mutoid 3: Communication from Pursuit Two. They have probable visual contact.

( The flotilla heads in toward the planet. On Pursuit One... )

Kreel: Time to intercept? Speak.

Mutoid 1: Four minutes, seventeen seconds.

Kreel: Are we in range of their weapons? Answer.

Mutoid 1: Data suggests that we are.

Dev Tarrant: ( Furrowed brow. ) And yet they do nothing?

Kreel: Your concerns continue, I surmise?

Dev Tarrant: Yes. Could it be a trap?

Mutoid 1: Unclear, Kommisar. Scans confirm only what we already know. That ship is the correct classification. Further details cannot be gleaned in such a high interference zone.

Dev Tarrant: I don't understand. Why would they come here? That planet is a desert, a wasteland. It's not even any use as a hideout, they could die of thirst in a few hours down there.

Kreel: Theory: Maybe that's what's happened. I hypothesise it could explain the lack of activity.

Dev Tarrant: ( Still clearly unconvinced. ) No, Kreel. I'm telling you, none of this makes sense.

Kreel: ( Angered. ) I restate. We have a DUTY, Kommisar. I suggest, there is only one way any of this will make sense to us. Onward, mutoids. I command it.

( The flotilla of Pursuit ships continue to close in. )


( Liberator Flight Deck. The schematic is still on the screen, slowly rotating on a theoretical axis. )

Avon: Zen. Is that unidentified contact an echo trace of the Liberator? A signature from the main drive for instance?

Zen: Negative.

Avon: Is it in any way a by-product of the Liberator or its functions?

Zen: The contact bears no direct relation to the Liberator.

Avon: Does it bear an INdirect relation to the Liberator?

Zen: Rejected.

Avon: I'll take that as a yes.

Nij Blake: Avon, what's going on? That ship is us.

Avon: No it's not.

Nij Blake: Well what is it then?

Avon: That is the ship that has captured Kyben. It is also the ship that over-rode Zens control system. It is a ship that was once destroyed like this one.

Soolin: ( Penny drops. ) Deep Space Vehicle One!

Avon: Correct. The System's primary flagship. It's even faster than this ship, and at least as deadly. It clearly had a security priority above Liberator, allowing its computer to take control over Zen.

Soolin: ( Nodding angrily. ) So whoever's on board could sneak in, capture Kyben and sneak out?

Avon: ( Unsure. ) I'm not sure exactly why they'd do that. The last time the System found us they tried to take the Liberator back and kill us. Why would they just take one of us hostage and then leave?

Hailee: To annoy?

Avon: Not really their style. Besides, they've already met Vila. They'll know that trying to annoy us is a wasted effort with him aboard. Maybe they want to use Kyben as a bargaining tool. Unless... unless the System no longer controls DSV1 either. That would seem logical as... ( Sudden smile. ) Oh yes. ( Looks around at all the others. ) We have to find out where that ship went and follow it. I imagine that we really would be unbeatable if we had both that and the Liberator.

Soolin: Oh? And what about Kyben?

Avon: What about him?

Soolin: Rescue him? I mean we're going to try to rescue him aren't we?

( Substantial silence. )

Avon: Of course. That goes without saying. But first we have to track it.

Nij Blake: Zen must know which way it headed.

Avon: Yes, of course, but without the correct recall code we won't be able to get the answer out of him.

( Hailee heads back to the controls. )

Hailee: Let's see if we can find anything in the system to help us. Ion trail, hydrogen dispersal. There must be something.

Avon: All right. Then we try a few guesses and hope we get lucky?

Hailee: Trusting in luck again?

Vila: ( Now very sozzled. ) I'm happy with that.

Avon: I'll sleep better tonight in that knowledge.

Vila: No, wheelie... uh, really. Your lucky guesses are always right. Your calc-... calcu-... calculash-... you being all clever and shtuff never worksh. Better if you get lucky. ( Sighs. ) My happiest days on this ship are always the lucky ones. When we're behaving ourselves we get into trouble. When we do naughty things we're unstoppabobble.

Avon: You're right.

Hailee: He is?

Avon: Of course. It's better to be happy than lucky. And it's safer to be lucky than right.

Soolin: Only the stupid are happy.

Hailee: Sure? I didn't think Vila was that happy.

Vila: ( Smiling dimly. ) Sure I am!! Didn't I say it?

( Avon and Hailee grin at each other. Soolin is still too worried to smile. )


( The flotilla of Pursuit ships continues to close in on the Subjugator. On the Flight Deck of the Subjugator, the crew are dimly visible in the murk. The back-up screen shows the image of the approaching ships. )

Servalan: ( V.O. in relative darkness. ) Keep all nonessential systems off-line, Octon.

( Octons vocaliser lights dimly illuminate the Flight Deck. )

Octon: Affirmative.

Norcris: ( V.O. ) My Empress, they're in firing range now. I must advise we activate the force wall.

Servalan: ( V.O. ) Remain on standby, Norcris. But I doubt it will be necessary. If I know that idiot Kreel as well as I think I do, he'll think of taking the Liberator intact as the most efficient way of doing his duty.


( Flight deck of Pursuit One. )

Dev Tarrant: Commander Kreel, I insist you abort now.

Kreel: For what reason, I ask? I declare, the Liberator is adrift, ripe for the taking.

Dev Tarrant: Our orders are to kill Avon and his crew, not capture the Liberator! We should destroy it, not take this ludicrous risk with Federation resources...

Kreel: May I remind you, Kommisar, that we are unsure that Avon or his crew are aboard the Liberator at present? Logical recourse: We board the vessel, and head for the planet surface if they are not. Issue: The Liberator intact could help the Federation to break endless new technological ground. Counter-issue: The resources embodied by this flotilla are limited in the extreme. Conclusion: I declare the risk is negligible. I command we continue.

Dev Tarrant: But...

Kreel: I command it!

Dev Tarrant: ( Face flushed with real anger. ) This whole thing doesn't make sense, you fool! It smacks of a trap. We should open fire while we have the chance and fin-...

( Kreel swings his chair round to face Tarrant. He then leaps to his feet and punches him in the face. Tarrant falls into the wall and collapses, out cold. )

Kreel: ( Shakes fist at Tarrant. ) Declaration: No one contradicts me on the Flight Deck of my own ship! No one! Ever!

Mutoid 1: Commander, we are about to dock with the Liberator...

Kreel: ( Agitated. ) You will proceed with greater haste. You will do that.

Mutoid 1: Yes, Commander.

( With the other Pursuit ships circling to form a protective barrier, Pursuit One takes position alongside the Subjugator. A transfer tube slides out and clamps onto the main hatch on the Subjugator's hull. )

Mutoid 1: Cutting engines.


( Entry corridor on the Subjugator. Servalan is here. Kyben, Norcris and the pirates enter. Each of them has a fluid cylinder on his/her back. The cylinders are all connected to jet nozzles in their hands. The clang of the transfer tube adhering to the hull rings out. )

Servalan: Well, ladies and gentlemen, that bell signals the start of today's recruitment drive.

( Servalan steps aside and gestures toward the hatch. Norcris and the Pirates step forward. Kyben quietly shuffles away to the back of the throng. )


( Pursuit One. Kreel and his crew have armed themselves and are attempting to open the Subjugator's hatch with a sonal key. )

Mutoid 1: Now trying circuit three...

Kreel: Hurry. You will hurry. Hurry!

( The hatch slowly starts to grind its way open. )

Kreel: That's it! ( Hurries up to the door and hauls on it. ) We've done it! At last, the Liberator belongs to the Federation...

( On the other side of the opening door, Servalan nods to the pirates. )

Servalan: Let them have it.

( As Kreel and the mutoids start through the door, the pirates raise the jet nozzles and open fire. Streams of liquid Pylene-100 fly into the faces of Kreel and the mutoids, who, gasping in shock and revulsion, raise their weapons and return fire. Servalan backs away up the corridor to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Several pirates fall to the floor under the gunfire. Unseen in the sudden chaos, Kyben suddenly hurls his own cylinder of Pylene-100 aside and retreats down the corridor to the Flight Deck. The exchanges of fire at the hatchway continue for some moments. )

Kyben: ( Whispers. ) Thank you, Heaven and Forbus!

( Kyben leaps down the steps onto the Flight Deck, dashes across to the armoury and draws a handgun and weapon belt, which he puts on. With a look of crazed anger and fear on his face he runs along the other corridor. )

Kyben: Tarrant...


( Back at the entry hatch. The firefight is slowing down as the Pylene-100 begins to take effect on Kreel. Even the mutoids are losing focus as the Pylene starts to block the flow of adrenaline in their central nervous systems. Eventually they all sink to their knees and the battle, such as it is, has ended. Four pirates lie dead on the floor. Servalan walks back, and stands over Kreel. )

Kreel: I... await your bidding... my Empress.

Servalan: ( Amused. ) A good start. We've obtained another ship for my new fleet, and with the help of our latest brother-in-arms here... ( Pats Kreel on the head condescendingly. ) ...we'll soon add the rest of his flotilla. Now do you see what I meant about building an army, Kyben?

( Silence. Servalan looks up sharply. Only now does she finally notice that Kyben is not there. )

Servalan: Kyben? ( Sudden anger and concern. ) Kyben!

Norcris: He is gone, my Empress.

Servalan: ( Rolls eyes. ) Oh you've noticed have you?

Norcris: ( The world of irony an obviously-closed book. ) Indeed yes, my Empress.

Servalan: Would I be hoping for too much if I asked you WHERE he went to?

Norcris: I do not know where he went.

Servalan: What's going on? Why would he leave? I gave him no order to.

Norcris: Perhaps he wanted to?

Servalan: He can't have wanted to. He's not capable of wanting anything any... more. ( Voice tails off as a nasty thought occurs. ) Could the drug have failed? I-... ( Looks at the pirates in sudden fury. ) Well don't just stand there you idiots! Go and find him. Bring him back to me now!

( The surviving pirates turn and shuffle down the corridor in a strange kind of unmotivated urgency. Servalan turns to Kreel and the Mutoids. )

Servalan: You four. On your feet. Now. You have a duty to perform for me.

( Kreel and the mutoids slowly haul themselves to their feet, then follow Servalan to the Flight Deck. After they have gone, Tarrant staggers giddily through the hatch, rubbing his head. )

Dev Tarrant: So. Servalan got here first.


( Liberator Flight Deck. Vila is in the seating pit, bleary-eyed and nursing a sore head. The rest of the crew are at the controls, concentrating intensely. )

Soolin: Co-ordinate one-one-four?

Hailee: ( Maneuvers the helm. ) In position... now. Well, Avon?

Avon: ( Looking at the scanners. ) Negative again.

Soolin: One-one-seven?

Avon: We've already tried that heading. Try another one.

Soolin: Co-ordinate one-two-six?

Avon: That one as well.

Soolin: What? No we haven't.

Avon: We tried it over fifteen minutes ago.

Hailee: I reckon we've tried all the possible trajectories. This isn't going to work.

Avon: I suspect you may be right. We'll have to give up.

Soolin: What do you mean?

Hailee: What do you think we mean, berry-brain? We're wasting our time. There's no particle trail for us to follow, we may as well give up.

Soolin: I'm not giving up! Kyben needs our help, we have to...

Avon: I have no intention of giving up, Soolin. I want to find that ship. I merely meant we should try another way.

Soolin: Oh.

Avon: You're getting agitated too easily, Soolin.

Soolin: Well, it's just...

Avon: We understand your emotional attachment, Soolin. But now is not the time for blind overreactions. You will remain silent and concentrate on the task at hand.

Soolin: Well if it's not searching for a trail, what IS the task at hand?

Avon: We cheat.

Hailee: ( Interest piqued. ) Cheat? How do we do that? It's not a game.

Avon: It's a challenge. That makes it just as amusing.

Soolin: Amusing? Why am I not laughing?

Avon: Because you're not in the mood. With a little work we can do the equivalent of looking at the answers at the back of the book. Zen, the coded route for access to data regarding Deep Space Vehicle One. What format is the code in?

Zen: Access denied.

Avon: Repeat.

Zen: Access denied.

Avon: ( Smiles. ) Ah. Good.

Hailee: It is?

Avon: Yes. He didnt say, "Rejected." Zen wants to tell us, he just can't. It means he's open to carefully structured questions. Zen, index of all data files in Liberator's mainframe which are covered by a security code. Exclude all those files stored by Spaceworld ciphers. Pass code, BL mark one decimal one-five.

Zen: Pass code accepted. Index will follow.

Nij Blake: Now what's he doing?

Hailee: He's going through a list of all the coded files on the ship.

Nij Blake: What for...?

Hailee: Oh shut up, Blake.

( A very long list of filenames scrolls down the screen, each one followed by a two-word description. After a while, file 197 appears. Its name and description are blotted out by question marks. )

Avon: Hold.

( The screen stops scrolling. )

Zen: Holding.

Avon: Why are details about file 197 hidden?

Zen: The file has been stored and coded subject to strict authorisation. No person present on the Flight Deck is authorised to view the file.

Hailee: That's it! Zen. Select file 197. Remove all other information from the screen.

Zen: Confirmed.

( The screen clears, except the index entry 197. )

Avon: Zen, what format is the security code for file 197 stored in?

Zen: Rejected.

( Avon scowls. Soolin looks furious. )

Soolin: Oh for...

Hailee: ( Smiles. ) Zen, is there another file on the list that has a code in the same format as 197?

Zen: There are twenty seven files on record which use the same code.

Hailee: And were any of them programmed by anyone presently on the Flight Deck?

Zen: One file was programmed by Kerr Avon. Indexed at Seven hundred hours on...

Hailee: Which file is that?

Zen: File 421.

Avon: ( Looks pleased when he realises what Hailee is doing. ) Of course! And if I remember rightly I stored it in... Inverse Alphanumeric translation.

Hailee: Ah. How simple.

Nij Blake: Inverse what?

Soolin: ( Excited. ) Zen. Display all data regarding Deep Space Vehicle One at Craeus, security code two-three-eight-five-zeta.

Zen: Code accepted. Data retrieval commences.

( Vila and Blake's jaws drop in astonishment. )

Vila: ( Pained expression. ) How d'you do that?

Soolin: Inverse Alphanumeric. The letters of the Alphabet numbered backwards! Don't you see? ( Vila doesn't have to answer. ) No of course he doesn't.

Avon: Were you to recite the Alphabet backwards, Vila, D would be the twenty third letter, S would be eighth, V would be fifth, and the first would be Z. Thus, two-three-eight-five-zeta - DSV1. An obvious choice of code word, but well hidden. Nicely-reasoned, Soolin. You see what a little concentration can do?

( Lines of fresh data start rolling across the screen. )

Zen: A visual recording is associated with this file. Do you require playback?

Avon: Go ahead.

Zen: Confirmed.

( A familiar face appears on the screen. )

Avon: ( Growls. ) Servalan.


( Corridors of the Subjugator, now lit again. Kyben is running away in panic from armed pirates who are firing on him. )

Kyben: Leave me alone!

( Kyben aims a vague shot over his shoulder. It hits nothing important. )

Kyben: Where can I hide, where can I...? ( Voice tails off into a crazed smile. ) Wait! I know what to do!

( Kyben ducks down a side-corridor and enters the computer room, pirates not far behind him. He hurriedly opens a floor hatch and drops through into the engineering rooms below, pulling the hatch closed behind him. The pirates burst into the computer room, but they can't see him and just look about themselves blankly. )


( Tarrant crouches hidden in the starboard corridor, watching what transpires on the Flight Deck. There Servalan stands barking orders at Kreel, Norcris and the mutoids, who are at the controls. )

Servalan: Well?

Kreel: Frequency isolated.

Servalan: Then begin.

Kreel: ( Into comms. ) This is Space Commander Kreel to all ships. Preliminary investigation checks-out. The Liberator has been abandoned and is now ours. Prepare to board. ( Closes comms. )

Servalan: Good. As soon as you order all of them to accept my command, all that will remain is to sort Kyben out.

Norcris: The time of conquest approaches fast now, my Empress?

Servalan: Indeed, Norcris. All we need avoid is carelessness.

( Tarrant suddenly slips dizzily and falls to the floor. Servalan looks up and sees him slumped in the corridor. )

Servalan: What? Tarrant! Seize him!

( Norcris and the mutoids draw their weapons and head after Tarrant, who leaps to his feet and hurtles up the corridor. Kreel is about to set off as well when Servalan stops him. )

Servalan: Why didn't you tell me he was still on your ship?

Kreel: You didn't tell me to remind you my Empress...

Servalan: ( Looks like she wants to hit him. ) You...? Oooohhh!!! Get after him!

Kreel: ( Draws his gun. ) Yes, my Empress. ( Exits. )

Servalan: ( Hand to head. ) "Avoid carelessness," she says.


( Kyben is crouched by a generator in an engineering room. It is quite dark in here, the only light provided by the machinery. It is also visibly hot. Kyben is tinkering with a panel on the generator. )

Kyben: C'mon, open!

( Kyben fires a small bolt from his eye-patch. The shot burns out a bolt on the panel with a loud hiss. With a powerful tug on the panel it bursts open with a clang and Kyben reaches at the wiring within.

Kyben: Now where are you? Is this the one? Oh God, I really wish Avon was here. ( Strange chuckle. ) Figures I'd only say that when I'm about to die.

( Kyben isolates three insulated wires. )

Kyben: Must be one of these... ( Shrugs and selects at random. ) Eenie... meenie... minie... mo!

( Another shot from his eye-patch and it burns away the wire Kyben selected. He closes his eye and covers his head for a moment. Nothing happens, so he opens his eye and looks about. )

Kyben: Should have shown up on the automatics by now. Nothing. ( Smiles. ) Yes! Auto-repair is shut down!

( Kyben steadies himself again and opens a second panel. He tears a few more wires out and braces himself again. Again nothing happens although a giddy expression crosses his face. He pulls out his gun and throws it upwards. It goes up to the ceiling and rests there. Kyben grins insanely. )

Kyben: Now the fun can start!


( Tarrant races to the lower decks with his pursuers closing in. He leaps down a flight of steps and finds himself on the engineering level. Kreel and the Mutoids leap after him... and crash into the ceiling with grunts of pain and surprise. They find themselves drifting in mid-air out of control flapping their arms and legs in calm confusion. Tarrant looks on in bafflement, but decides it would be best not to waste time. He goes through a door into another bay. Each step becomes progressively more difficult for him. Or is that, more easy? )

Dev Tarrant: What's...?

( He suddenly realises that he's not in contact with the floor anymore. He looks around in panic, flapping his arms this way and that. )

Dev Tarrant: What's going on?!?

( Behind him Kyben drifts lazily into view from directly above. He has his gun trained on Tarrant's back, and an expression of utter loathing in his single eye. )

Kyben: I turned the artificial gravity off, Tarrant.

( Tarrant turns in alarm and sees his archenemy pointing a gun in his face. )

Kyben: With all their initiative taken away, Servalan's little army won't be able to do anything in Zero-G.

Dev Tarrant: Kyben!

Kyben: That's right. I'm Kyben. This is my gun. And you? You're dead!




Kyben faces Servalan and her crew of slaves alone aboard Deep Space Vehicle 1. She has a plan to obtain more craft from her new fleet, but she needs Kreel's and Dev Tarrant's help. Kyben has to stop her. Servalan also reveals how she found DSV1.

The rest of the Liberator crew are perplexed by Kyben's disappearance and have to spend a long time trying to get an explanation from Zen, who knows the truth but cannot tell them.

Jaimee Gavisson and Chaesla's next appearances I have decided to put back to season two for reasons of available episode-time.

This episode may undergo further rewrites in future, as it has a serious padding problem at various stages (see below for the reasons).



Neil Blissett:

An episode in which not much happens until the final few minutes. Avon and co take the entire episode finding increasingly clever ways to get Zen to tell them what happened to Kyben.

Servalan is obviously enjoying her new power but once again is demonstrating the lack of concentration and attention to detail which always leads to her defeat.

The Pylene-50 antidote also works with Pylene-100, a fact that makes Servalan's dream to conquer the Federation and have complete control over everyone within it impossible. Kyben plays along until he has the opportunity to do some real damage.

Shutting down the self-repair system by cutting one wire? Not sure about this one.

Again this is a technicality. If you want to believe it took more than one wire, feel free to just pretend that it did. It makes no difference to the story.

The end of the episode leaves a brilliant set up for the next one (the last of the season). Kyben and Tarrant are loose on the Subjugator, Servalan's army is incapacitated, and the Liberator is on its way with Avon determined to add the Subjugator to his own forces. The stage seems to be set for an episode similar to Resistance from the [Original] Project only with the roles reversed.

Well yes, on reflection episode 16 (A Matter Of Gravity) does bear similarities to Resistance but it's not based on it.


Jane Walton:

After Zealots it seemed a little flat. Not that there was anything wrong with it but it didn't really make much of an impact on me.

On the contrary, there's plenty wrong with it! I had the problem that I knew how to conclude the first season but after Zealots I found that there was too much to fit into one episode, far too much, so I had to extend it into a two-parter. Most of the important stuff happens in episode 16. Unfortunately this meant that there wasn't much depth to Power Untold as I needed to pad it quite a bit. This is why very little seems to happen on the Liberator during the story. I'm working on it.

How does Soolin know about DSV1, she wasn't there when they encountered it originally? Perhaps they've mentioned it to her.

Yes I think they would have done. By all indications Soolin was told a lot about her crewmates and predecessors, so it stands to reason that she'd also know quite a bit about what they'd encountered before she arrived.


Brian McLennan:

Right from the corny, misleading title, to the overlong, tedious number-crunching scenes aboard Liberator, this episode is a big let-down after the high standard of the previous four or five.

The only interesting things that happen are aboard Subjugator (good name by the way, I'll give you that), but happily, they're good enough to make the episode as a whole worth bothering with. But only just.

Hey, say what you think, Brian, don't feel you have to hold back or anything. >Sheesh!< I don't get paid for writing these stories y'know.

Kyben shows that he does have a certain ingenuity to him. If only he could show a little more courage I might even start liking him!

He's not there to be liked, he's there to be part of a story.


My replies are in ORANGE ITALICS


Season One Scripts