To Loose the Fateful Lightning

Original Airdate: 16 Oct, 2000

Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it;
Those who fail to learn history correctly -
Why they are simply doomed

Achem Dro'hm
The Illusion of Historical Fact
CY 4971

[Command]

HUNT: It's called GS92196. It's a Guard station for starship service and repair. A real jewel in the Commonwealth crown.
TYR: Perhaps once, nut it's probably long gone by now.
BEKA: The station's in easy striking distance of the Dyhedra system.
HUNT: The last time I checked, the scariest thing about Dyhedra was the size of the bills at the resort hotels.
HARPER: Yeah, well, those hotels may still be serving lunch, but we'd be the main course.
BEKA: The entire system is infested with Magog. Everyone knows that. Almost everyone.
TYR: The ship's weaponry is severely depleted. We couldn't return fire on a single Magog probe, much less a full assault horde.
ROMMIE: All the more reason to check out the Guard station. If it is still operational, we could stock up on slipfighters, drones, spare parts.
HUNT: Look, I grant you it's a long shot, but maybe we'll get lucky.
(Andromeda moves to within range of the Guard station.)
TYR: Those are Magog assault ships.
HUNT: This is the Commonwealth Starship Andromeda hailing Guard station niner two one niner six. Please respond. Guard station, are you reading me?
BEKA: Whoever's on that drift probably can't even breathe, let alone signal back.
TYR: Nietzschean slavers have been here, too.
HARPER: What a popular destination. It must be on all the tourist maps.
ROMMIE: It looks like the station's still pressurised. The atmosphere is breathable and the AG fields are powered and running.
HUNT: Any life signs?
ROMMIE: There seem to be indications of habitation near the generator complex, but scans are inconclusive.
HUNT: Prepare for docking.
(Andromeda's prow slips neatly into a v-shaped section of the station.)

[Armoury]

(Hunt hands out forcelances to Harper and Beka.)
HUNT: We don't know what we're going to get, so let's put on our game faces. Maybe some of our faces are a little too game. Tyr, Rev Bem, you'd better stay behind.
TYR: We're the best battle gear you've got.
BEM: No offence, Harper.
HARPER: Oh, none taken. In fact, I am so unoffended, allow me to present you with the gifts of forcelance and a gauss gun.
HUNT: Sorry, Harper, but if anyone's down there, they've certainly scrapped with Magog and Nietschzseans.
HARPER: Well, maybe they hate humans, too.
HUNT: I doubt it. They haven't even met you yet. 

[Guard station corridor]

(Forcelances make handy torchs.)
HUNT: Keep an eye out for the Quartermaster's office. And stay alert. We're short-handed enough as it is.
HARPER: Battle damage. It's fresh.
HUNT: A Magog.
HARPER: Don't touch it! It's venom! I heard about a guy touched a fresh kill. Three days later, his guts were teeming with Magog eggs.
HUNT: You can't get infected from a dead Magog. That's a myth.
HARPER: I prefer to think of it as a cautionary tale.
(Someone shoots at them. They hide behind crates.)
BEKA: Gee, I'm glad we left Rev and Tyr behind. I'd hate to tick off the locals.
HUNT: They must think we're more Magog/
BEKA: Or they're more Magog.
HUNT: This is Dylan Hunt, Commander of the High Guard Starship Andromeda! We come in peace.
(The shooting stops.)
BEKA: They've stopped shooting.
HARPER: Yeah, they've probably gone to get bigger guns.
CHILDREN: Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! Hail the High Guard! High Guard! High Guard!
(Some small children come forward to investigate Hunt, while young woman in uniform, who looks very tired and ill, speaks.)
KATE: Is it really you?
HUNT: I'm Captain Dylan Hunt.
KATE: High Guard?
HUNT: I'm a High Guard officer, yes.
KATE: I never thought I'd live to see the coming of the High Guard. I am G Stat Comm Kate Nassan at your service, High Guard.
(She salutes, and coughs.)
HUNT: Are you all right?
KATE: I am old. Don't worry about me.
BEKA: She couldn't be more than twenty.
HUNT: Where are the adults?
KATE: We're right here.
HUNT: No, I mean the people my age.
KATE: High Guard, no one's as old as you.
HUNT: So, you're the oldest one here, and you're in charge.
KATE: For now. When I die, my Onced-Off Hayak will assume command.
(A young man in steps forward and salutes.)
HAYAK: I led the victory this morning. We drove off a Magog assault.
KATE: When Hayak dies in a couple years, my brother Mapes will lead our people.
BEKA: He's gotta be sixteen. Look at the peach fuzz.
KATE: Well, come on. Enough talk. The High Guard is with us. We should be celebrating!
(The children cheer, and start their High Guard chant again.)

[Meeting area]

(A multi-storey area lit by fires. Children line the galleries and look down on the open space.)
KATE: High Guard, we've prepared the Mish Brief. Shall we transmit?
HUNT: By all means.
KATE: Onced-Off, tell the tale!
CHILDREN: Tell the tale! Tell the tale!
HAYAK: Sit. You'll enjoy this. Begin Mish Brief. Transmit. During the fall of the Commonwealth, many of the Guard Station's original crew were killed, wiped out, leaving only us, their children and their children's children. Generation after generation.
(Harper pulls his gun on what he believes is a Magog, but is really part of the play the children are putting on as the mission briefing.)
HARPER: Whoa!
KATE: Don't worry, it's just a costume.
HAYAK: Ever since then, Magog and Nietzscheans have plagued us. Our people have fought off attack wave after attack wave. Friends die. Family members get killed. But we always survive to fight out next enemy because we're Commonwealth. We're Stationeers. We have survived, and we've waited for the Day of Lightning. And now that day has come.
(A boy walks towards Hunt with a model of Andromeda on the end of a pole.)
CHILDREN: High Guard! High Guard! High Guard! High Guard!
HAYAK: End transmit.
(The children all sit down.)
HUNT: That was, er, very nice.
KATE: Bring the offering.
(A little girl pours a collection of bones into Hunt's hand.)
KATE: It's her gift to you, High Guard.
HUNT: What are they?
HAYAK: Cheek-horns she carved out of a Magog.
(They bring forward a box full of them.)
KATE: We collected these for three hundred years, and now they're yours.

[Command]

(Bem takes a clawful of the teeth from the box.)
BEM: These children desperately need spiritual guidance.
(Tyr has found a bone blade like the ones sticking out from his own forearms.)
TYR: It would seem that they're doing just fine without it.
BEKA: Yeah, well, these kids are very in touch with their inner savage.
HUNT: You have to admire them. Everything they've created here, they've done on their own. No one's helped them.
HARPER: Yeah, maybe. But they could use a little help. I thought Triangulum Measles was bad. You hear Nassan's cough?
HUNT: It's probably some kind of radiation poisoning. Beka, find out where the leak's coming from. And you, scavenger hunt. Find out what they've got that's useful. Maybe we can barter.
TYR: Perhaps they've be interested in some training. Improve their tactics against their enemies.
BEM: With guidance, they can overcome their enemies from within.
BEKA: Er, hello? These kids take one look at you two and you'd be sliced, diced, and packed in a crate number five hundred and twenty seven.
HUNT: Beka's right. Undoing three hundred years of hatred and fear will take time.
(Trance enters.)
HUNT: But I think I know how to start.
TRANCE: Why are you smiling at me?

[Meeting area]

(The children don't have a positive response to novelty.)
BOY: What is that?
BOY 2: Shoot it.
BOY 3: I've never seen someone like her before.
HUNT: No, no, no, no, no, no. This is Trance Gemini. She's a good friend of mine.
HAYAK: It's purple.
HUNT: The Commonwealth was an alliance of many types of beings, not just humans.
HAYAK: There's nothing about purple things in the scripture.
TRANCE: And what scripture is that?
KATE: The scripture. All that's contained in the Room of Knowledge.
HUNT: Maybe you can show me that room, but first I want you to get to know Trance.
TRANCE: I promise I don't bite.
(Mapes strokes Trance's hair.)
MAPES: You're pretty.

[Room of Knowledge]

KATE: This is the Room of Knowledge.
(Rows of filing cabinets with Nietzschean skulls lined up on top. Harper opens one drawer.)
HUNT: High Guard blue prints and procedure manuals stored on flexis.
HARPER: Oh, man, I'm dreaming. You know what this is?
KATE: That one's about the ship made flesh. But why am I telling that to the High Guard when you know everything here by heart, like I do.
HARPER: Hey, look, if you don't mind, I'm gonna borrow this for a little while, and see what else I can scrounge.
(Harper leaves with the flexi.)
HUNT: Nassan, there's no way you could've memorised all this.
KATE: But I have, High Guard. It's my duty. And I have to make sure Hayak knows it, too, before I die.
HUNT: All right.
(He takes a flexi at random.)
HUNT: Er, frequency switching must occur how many times a second to avoid external sensor jamming?
KATE: That's not what that says. That volume's about the Free Can See Witches. Our people must remain free in order to recognise the enemy. For fifteen generations now, every G Stat Comm's known that.
HUNT: That's not exactly what it says. Look. Read right here.
KATE: I can't read.

[Cargo hold]

(Harper wheels in a trolley loaded with boxes.)
HARPER: All hail the conquering hero.
ROMMIE: Have fun looting?
HARPER: You know it, baby. I scored you an entire crate of quintiflop logic chips.
ROMMIE: That's quite a bonanza.
HARPER: Hey, you ain't seen nothing yet.
(A crate of beer.)
HARPER: Three hundred year old Neuverin Weisbrau. (drinks) Ah. God is good. You want some? I could pour it into a spectral analyser or something.
ROMMIE: Thanks, but I prefer the logic chips.
HARPER: I can fix that.

[Command]

BEKA: I've tracked the radiation to this area on level nineteen, but they say it can only be entered by the High Guard, using the words of the past.
HUNT: Words of the past? Passwords.
BEKA: Well, whatever it is, you've got to say it if we're gonna get in there and find that rad-leak.
HUNT: Did they say what they were using this room for?
BEKA: Some mumbo-jumbo about a noble shrine.
HUNT: If this were a standard GS, it would probably be a dry dock facility, but you've seen the place. Kids are living in the machine shop, growing food in the armoury
BEKA: Playing basketball in the hydroponics garden.
HUNT: There's nothing wrong with that. Any idea what's causing the radiation?
BEKA: It could be a million different things. A leaky AP valve, a cracked mag-bottle.
HUNT: You're right, it could be anything. But whatever it is, it's robbing these kids of their full lives and we've got to get it off the station.
(Meanwhile, Harper is getting busy in the machine shop.)

[Outside the Noble Shrine]

BEKA: Here it is.
KATE: High Guard, this is the moment. The one every generation's waited for and dreamed about.
HUNT: I understand you need a password. The words of the past.
KATE: Exactly as you said.
HUNT: My High Guard access code generally does the trick.
(Hunt puts his palm on a scanner.)
HUNT: Commonwealth Captain Dylan Hunt, access code lexic dark five two two seven eight alpha seven seven one.
COMPUTER: Checking. Authorised.
(The door opens and the children cheer.)
GIRL: It's the Day of Lightning!

[Noble Shrine]

(It is a bay full of Slipfighters.)
HUNT: Beautiful. Type two arc glide Slipfighters.
KATE: Hayak and Mapes, as you've practiced.
(Hayak and Mapes run to a pair on consoles on the catwalk behind and take key cards from round their necks.)
HAYAK + MAPES: Alert status five. Arm all systems.
HUNT: Wait!
HAYAK + MAPES: Combat readiness factor five five nine one.
(They put their key cards into the consoles.)
HUNT: That radiation. It's from voltarium, isn't it.
BEKA: It's consistent with voltarium, yeah.
HUNT: Do those slipfighters carry Nova Bombs?
KATE: You mean Noble bombs. Of course. And now they're ready to destroy our enemies.
CHILDREN}: Victory! Victory! Victory! Victory!

[Command]

HUNT: Those children now have the ability to destroy two dozen solar systems, and I gave it to them.
BEM: Do not blame yourself. You could not know there were Nova weapons in a docking bay.
HUNT: The last adult commander must've rigged the slipfighters, and before he died he told the kids, wait for the High Guard to return with the password.
BEM: Their interpretations have been wrong, but Dylan, their hearts are good.
TYR: With those bombs, you could have your Commonwealth today.
HUNT: If I use Nova Bombs, I wouldn't be restoring civilisation, I'd be founding an empire.
TYR: If you don't want to get your hands dirty, I know people who would pay dearly for those things. We'd all be as rich as the King of Nightsiders.
HUNT: I won't buy my Commonwealth, either. If it's to mean anything, people have to join voluntarily and with full knowledge.
TYR: Even children?
HUNT: Even children.

[Meeting area]

HUNT: I have a vision. A great vision of a restored Commonwealth.
(Hayak leads a chant of victory, victory.)
HUNT: The victory, the victory is over ourselves. It's over the darkness in each of us which compels us to fight enemies. We need to move forward together, looking for the day when true victory means we have no more enemies.
HAYAK: Death to the enemies!
HUNT: No, no. I mean, death to the enemies inside ourselves. Together, you and I, we can bring unity over revenge, peace over war, civilisation over barbarism.
HAYAK: High Guard, if you want peace, then bless these holy warriors.
(Mapes and another older boy kneel before Hunt.)
HUNT: Right. The High Guard er, blesses you, Mapes, and you
HAYAK: Gando.
HUNT: Gando. Bring us peace.
(The High Guard chant starts up again.)

[Medical]

HUNT: I hope you had more luck treating Nassan than I did in teaching those kids.
TRANCE: Dylan, her condition's incurable. She has a couple months to live at best.
HUNT: What about the others?
TRANCE: Well, the older ones, like Hayak, won't make it either, but Mapes, his generation and anyone younger, I think we can save. I'll just have to inject the nanobots to repair the genetic damage, but we are going to have to get rid of that voltarium.
HUNT: Inject the nanobots. I'll take care of the bombs.

[Room of Knowledge]

TYR: (sotto) I'm in the station. Heading for the fighter deck now.
(Harper is still working on his mysterious something, and smiling.)

[Kate's quarters]

(Kate is in bed, coughing.)
HUNT: Nassan? I need to talk to you.
KATE: Yes?
HUNT: All the information you have, everything is based on what you were told by the previous G Stat Comm, right?
KATE: Yes.
HUNT: And everything the kids know is based on what you tell them. Tell them that peace is the way.
KATE: They know that already. You'll kill our enemies, and then we'll have peace.
HUNT: That's not what I'm talking about. It's
(There's a new noise, then Hayak enters.)
HAYAK: Thank you, High Guard. The Day of Lightning is beginning.
HUNT: The Day of Lightning?
HAYAK: Our two Holy Warriors are on their way to fill the Dyhedra System with Magog blood.
HUNT: Who authorised that?
HAYAK: You did, High Guard, When you blessed Gando and Mapes to carry the Noble Bombs.
HUNT: Nova bombs. They're Nova bombs!
(Two Slipfighters launch.)

[Command]

HUNT: Beka, report to the Station. Help Tyr. Andromeda, prepare for launch.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Yes, sir.
HUNT: Rev, Trance, Harper

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT [OC]: Command.
HARPER: I'm busy.

[Command]

HUNT: Now!

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT [OC]: Get up here.

[Command]

(Harper obeys as Andromeda does a backward flip and leaves the Station. The slipfighters enter slipstream.)
HUNT: Engaging slipstream now. Andromeda?
ROMMIE: The slipfighters have cut all communications. They're not responding to hails.
BEM: They have a twenty minute head start. It's going to be difficult catching them.
HUNT: I'm banking we're better pilots.
ROMMIE: We'd better be. If just one of those slipfighters reaches the Dyhedra sun, it'll destroy the entire solar system.
(Harper enters.)
HARPER: Acting Apostle Harper reporting for duty.
HUNT: Man the First Officer's station. Configure for fire control.
HARPER: Wait a minute, isn't that Tyr's job?
HUNT: Improvise.
HARPER: Where's Tyr?
TRANCE: It's a secret.
HUNT: Prepare harpoons. We've got to intercept them.
(They leave slipstream at a binary system.)
BEM: We can only retrieve one ship at a time. Which one, right or left?
HUNT: Right.
TRANCE: Left!
TRANCE: Er, it's just a choice. You know, fifty fifty?
HUNT: You heard the lady. Move to intercept. Maybe that'll discourage the other one.
HARPER: Harpoons ready.
BEM: First target ship in range.
HUNT: Fire.
(An impossibly long cable whizzes out and grabs onto the first slipfighter.)
HUNT: Got him. Trance, go see to the pilot. Andromeda, move in on target two.
HARPER: He's going too fast. We're losing him!
ROMMIE: He's almost reached the sun.
HUNT: Can we destroy his ship?
ROMMIE: Our missiles'll never catch him in time. The system is doomed, and if we're not careful, the chain reaction will destroy us as well.
HUNT: We have to try. Continue pursuit.
HARPER: We are not gonna make it.
ROMMIE: He's still out of range. We have to turn around.
BEM: Seven seconds to impact.
HUNT: Andromeda, hard one eighty now. Maximum delta field.
(Andromeda does her back flip.)
BEM: Three seconds, two, one.
(KaBOOM! Flash!)
HUNT: Engage slipstream now!
(They escape.)
HUNT: Andromeda, is there any chance anyone survived the Nova?
ROMMIE: I'm sorry, Dylan. All the inhabited planets were incinerated.
BEM: So many lives.
HUNT: A whole solar system of your people, gone.

[Hangar bay]

(Andromeda docks with the Guard Station.)
MAPES: Why did you stop me?
TRANCE: You're welcome.

[Corridor]

BEKA: Okay, so Tyr has most of the equipment in place. We just need your help for a couple seconds.
HARPER: Fine, fine. I'll help you sabotage the kids' Slipfighters. But personally? The kids are not the problem.
BEKA: They committed genocide, that's the problem.
HARPER: Yeah, not when it's justified.
BEKA: There's no justification for genocide.
HARPER: Tell that to the Magog.
BEKA: Harper, I didn't grow up on Earth, but I understand how you must
HARPER: No, you don't. Listen, I had two cousins, Declan and Siobhan. They were twins, actually, about my age. We grew up together, you know? We used to share between us whatever little scraps we could find. And then the Magog came. And these Magog didn't have the courtesy to just kill and eat my cousins. No, my cousins were left alive, paralyzed, to host little Magog eggs that fed on their insides and grew until my family had two choices. Either kill my own cousins, or wait for the Magog to hatch and kill us. So, you know what? I say, good on them! Good on these kids.

[Meeting area]

HAYAK: The Magog of Dyhedra, gone. Their planets, gone. Their solar system, gone. Their killing, murdering ways, gone. Forever! Soon, the High Guard will return to bless more of our holy warriors and to bring more peace to our enemies. Peace to the Neitzcheans of Centauris A! Peace to the Magog of Albadar! Peace to the slavers of Zoran Drift! Peace to all our enemies!
(The children cheer.)

[Kate's quarters]

KATE: High Guard, you really are here. I was afraid I was dreaming.
HUNT: I know all about dreams. I want to share mine. It's about peace.
KATE: Yes, peace. We destroyed our enemies.
HUNT: You destroyed a solar system.
KATE: Filled with Magog.
HUNT: Some of whom may be innocent.
KATE: An innocent Magog? No one's going to cry over their deaths.
BEM: I will.
(A hooded figure enters.)
HUNT: Meet an innocent Magog.
(Bem removes his hood. Kate goes for her gun.)
HUNT: Put away the gun.
KATE: Sound the alert!
BEM: No. I understand her fear. If she feels more comfortable, she can keep the gun trained on me. Let me talk to you. If after one hour, you still want to kill me, I won't stop you.

[Outside Kate's quarters]

(Trance is standing guard.)
HAYAK: Who's in there?
TRANCE: High level High Guard conference.
HAYAK: Then I should be included.
TRANCE: The High Guard wants to talk to the G Stat Comm alone.
HAYAK: Is she near death?
TRANCE: Hayak, the High Guard moves in mysterious ways.
(Hayak leaves, muttering purple something.)

[Kate's quarters]

BEM: Have you ever wished for life without fear? Without enemies? One that wasn't a constant struggle for survival.
KATE: Life is struggle.
BEM: That is what your life has been. But what if everything you knew changed? What if there could be a life of peace?
KATE: It doesn't matter what I think. I'll be dead soon.
HUNT: It matters for your brother, and all the generations after you.
KATE: All my life, I've worshipped you, waited for you. An absolute faith that no matter how horrible our enemies had made our lives, you'd come and save us.
HUNT: I have come to save you. From yourselves.
KATE: We don't live in mortal fear of ourselves. We don't worry about getting eaten or raped by ourselves. We live in fear of Magog. And you, you haven't said anything to change my mind about wanting to kill you right here, right now.
BEM: Very well. But you did go one hour without killing me. And if you can go an hour, maybe you could go a day, then a week. Then maybe, just maybe, a lifetime.

[Meeting area]

(Hayak and others are watching on a hand-held screen.)
CHILDREN: What's she doing? Kill it.

[Outside Kate's quarters]

HAYAK: High Guard. Come immediately to the Noble shrine. Something's leaking.
HUNT: I'll be right there. (sotto) Rev Bem, you're fifty metres from the airlock. Go. I'll meet you ship-side.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: So, are you ever going to tell me what you're doing locked in my ship with all the sensors cut?
HARPER: I can't. It's a secret.
BEKA: Harper, come on. We're friends. We have no secrets.
HARPER: Oh. Okay, what's your natural hair colour?
BEKA: I can't tell you. It's a secret.
HARPER: Hey!
(Beka turns and Harper pulls out one of her hairs.)
BEKA: Ow!
HARPER: Well, then let's find out.

[Meeting area]

KATE: I didn't understand it either, at first, but then I started to think. What if our children could always live here at peace? And every time I would think that way, the next attack would come, and the next. We only survived because we had faith in the High Guard. And now he's here, and he's brought friends. And today I met one of his friends.
(Hayak enters.)
HAYAK: Is that what he is? Friend? Here's High Guard's friend.
(Bem is pushed off an upper catwalk to dangle in mid-air from a rope tied around one ankle. Hayak hits him with a glowing stick.)
BEM: Divine Spirit, forgive these children.
HAYAK: Mia, your turn.
(Hunt enters and takes the stick from Mia.)
HUNT: Cut him down.
HAYAK: But High Guard, how are these kids going to learn if we don't teach them?
HUNT: Nassan's teaching you a new way.
KATE: Hayak, listen to the High Guard.
HAYAK: I've listened enough. The both of you, talking to this Magog, drinking his words like milk. I don't blame you, Nassan. You're dying, you're not thinking clearly. But you. You're the High Guard, yet everything you say spits on our sacred scripture. If you're really our Messiah, you'll beat this Magog to death yourself.
HUNT: I am the High Guard, and I am your Messiah, but my ways are not your ways, and if what I say differs from sacred scripture, then what I say is the truth! And I say, cut him down!
HAYAK: As you wish.
(Bem crashes to the floor.)

[Medical]

TRANCE: Fourteen broken ribs and a ruptured something that only Magog seem to have.
BEM: It's akin to a pancreas.
TRANCE: Oh, I see. Okay. So, er, what's a pancreas?
BEM: It's a argh!
(Trance uses a large syringe to inject Bem.)
TRANCE: Okay. All right. Okay. The nanobots are just fixing your ribs, okay?

[Command]

BEKA: We did it. Twenty two type two Arc Glide Slipfighters rigged for remote control.
TYR: Our control.
BEKA: Once we get out of here, we can remote fly those babies and their nova bombs off of GS nine whatever right into our hangars.
HUNT: Where at least they'll be our problem.
TYR: Or our solution.
HUNT: Only gods should have that much power.
TYR: Funny. Today, that's who you said you were.

[Medical]

TRANCE: I keep picturing you just hanging there. It seems so unforgivable.
BEM: No transgression is unforgivable, except pride.
(Hunt enters.)
BEM: As a humble servant of Providence, I should be working towards releasing any anger I felt towards those children throughout the ordeal. I didn't want my last thoughts in this life to be dark.
HUNT: Even if you can forgive them, I can't. We're leaving.
BEM: Dylan, there's so much more to teach them.
HUNT: They'll have to learn on their own. Trance has injected everyone with nanobots. Once the bombs are off their drift, the kids won't be exposed to radiation and they can live a full life. Hopefully, they'll mature on their own into people we could include into the Commonwealth someday.
TRANCE: Oh, but some of them were coming around, like Mapes.
HUNT: We're leaving. That's final. Now go shut the airlocks and prepare to depart.
(Trance leaves. Hunt sits on the bed next to Bem.)
BEM: What's really bothering you?
HUNT: I want my dream of a restored Commonwealth to come true, but it's no good if it's based on a lie. I am not a Messiah. If there's anyone I've met who could be a Messiah, it's you. It's not me.
BEM: I'm humbled, but please don't tempt me to commit the transgression of pride.
HUNT: That's exactly the transgression I'm worried about committing. My vision is to found a Commonwealth based on the principles of truth. Today I compromised.
BEM: That may be true, but I do believe you are a messenger, of light, of hope, of goodness, of civilisation. I think if you keep this forefront in your mind, you'll make the right compromises.

[Outside an airlock]

MAPES [OC]: Trance! Trance, please let me in. I want to come with you.
TRANCE: Oh, Mapes, you can't. We're leaving. But I will come back. I promise, I will.
MAPES [on monitor]: Don't leave me here with Hayak. He thinks I've been compromised. As soon as Nassan dies, he'll kill me. Please!
(Trance opens the airlock and Hayak walks in.)
HAYAK: All your brains must be in your tail.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Dylan, something strange is happening. I'm getting peripheral sensations. Someone's cut my internal sensors.
HUNT: Contact Harper now.
BEM: Er, Harper has locked himself in the Maru.
(Where Harper hears a strange noise. The children enter Command with Trance as their hostage.)
HAYAK: Hands up! Don't move!
BOY: Nietzschean, freeze!
BOY 2: Move! Everybody get down, right now!
BOY: Move or I'll shoot!
BEM: Suddenly my ribs hurt again.
GIRL: Relax! Stay back!
HUNT: Get off my ship.
HAYAK: You don't have any power over us.
(Hayak pushes Trance over to Hunt.)
HUNT: Actually, I do. From here.
HAYAK: Oh?
HUNT: Soon, I'll launch your Arc Glide fighters and fly them with their noble bombs onto my ship.
HAYAK: Turn on your display.
(The tactical shows three slipfighters leaving the station, then veering off. Hunt presses buttons to no avail.)
HAYAK: We're jamming your data link, Dylan. The real High Guard would know that. That's scripture directive twenty three twenty. But you're not the real High Guard, are you? Maybe there is no High Guard. Or maybe I'm the High Guard, and I've just blessed twenty two holy warriors. Each one of them, right now, is in an Arc Glide slipfighter targeted for a different solar system. The Day of Lightning is now!
CHILDREN: Victory! Victory!
(Shortly after, Beka is brought to Command. Dylan's hands are tied behind his back.)
HAYAK: Look at this. It's not enough that Dylan's friends with Magog. He holds hands with Nietzscheans, too.
TYR: I can assure you, Dylan and I are not friends. Let me join you. I can train your holy warriors to command a galaxy.
(Hayak spits at Tyr.)
HAYAK: Seven of our holy warriors are headed for Nietzschean systems.
MAPES [on screen]: This is Flight Leader Mapes. I know I speak for we holy warriors, every one. We are sad yet proud to give our lives until we are all reunited
HAYAK: Until we are all reunited in the great Commonwealth beyond known space.
(While Hayak is distracted, Dylan uses a console. Little things start flying around Command. One boy collapses in pain.)
HAYAK: Lester, I told you all to take nanobot inhibitors. Get him to Medical.
MAPES [on screen]: Hayak, what's happening down there?
HAYAK: We're fine. They tried nanobot probes to paralyse our neuron systems.
HUNT: You took NI's before you boarded.
HAYAK: We're not children. We're holy warriors. We've been fighting our entire lives. Line them up for execution!
(Harper enters, carrying Kate.)
HARPER: You're not allowed to give that order. At least, not while she's alive.
HAYAK: Nassan, I'm glad you've lived to see the Day of Lightning.
KATE: Tell the Noble Warriors to return. The High Guard's already said he doesn't want the Day of Lightning.
HAYAK: That's when we thought he was our Messiah. But he's not. Ask him.
KATE: Well?
HUNT: I'm sorry, Nassan. I'm not a god. I'm not a Messiah, I'm just a man. I lied because I wanted your help, and I still do.
KATE: Everything I've believed in my whole life. I don't, I don't know what to say, what to do.
HAYAK: You're sick, incapacitated. I proclaim myself G Stat Comm.
KATE: You can't do that.
HAYAK: I can. I have. Tie her up with the others.
(The children do not move.)
HAYAK: This is DefCon One, the Day of Lightning! Now do as I say!
(Some teenagers reluctantly obey. Trance uses her tail to loosen her bonds.
Somewhere a naked woman steps through a doorway. She grabs one on the boys helping Lester to Medical.)
HAYAK: Ready. Aim.
(The naked woman enters Command.)
HAYAK: Who are you?
ROMMIE: I am Andromeda. The ship made flesh.
HAYAK: You're just another liar, like all of them. Kill her!
ROMMIE: I don't think so.
(Hayak and his firing squad are pulled onto the deck.)
HARPER: Oh. Artificial gravity field. Don't it just suck?
(Trance's hands are free. She unties Hunt and the others.)
ROMMIE: Dylan may not be a god, but on this ship, I am.
HUNT: Andromeda. How? Your secret project.
HARPER: That is the Andromeda I know, love, and gave human form to.
HUNT: Okay, let's get those slipfighters.
(The ship undocks.)
HUNT: One minute twenty seven seconds before the fighters hit slipstream. Harper, unjam this thing!
HARPER: Data link unjammed.
HUNT: If one gets through.
BEM: Forty three seconds to slipstream. Forty two.
TYR: We're in range.
ANDROMEDA: Link established.
HUNT: Good. Andromeda, eject pilots.
ANDROMEDA: Ejecting pilots.
HUNT: Give me an Arc Glide self-destruct sequence. Execute.
TYR: What is wrong with you!
HUNT: Take over the fighters. Order them to enter slipstream and self-destruct.
TYR: Those empty fighters are transiting into slipstream with our bombs.
HUNT: They're not our bombs. They're no one's.
(A slipstream window opens and KaBOOM!)
HUNT: There's your Day of Lightning. (to Beka) Take the Maru out. Pick up the kids in the cockpits and return them to the drift.
(Hunt pulls Harper's blue Hawaiian shirt off him.)
HUNT: Tyr and I will escort these kids back.
(Hunt helps Rommie cover up.)
HUNT: Maybe you could help, too, Andromeda. Ah, first restore AG field. Nice work.
HARPER: Hey! Don't forget, I created her. Now who's the god?

[Corridor]

(Docked again at the Guard station. Rommie is wearing the uniform her hologram wears.)
ROMMIE: Captain. It's good to finally meet you face to face.
(They shake hands.)
HUNT: This is strange for me to see you like this.
ROMMIE: Me too. Strange, but nice.
HUNT: I'm er, so used to talking to you on the holo-screen. Waking up in the morning, having breakfast, you seeing me
ROMMIE: Getting out of the shower.
HUNT: Can we just say, on many occasions.
ROMMIE: Of course.
HUNT: So, I, er, hope your new avatar won't change our, er
ROMMIE: Sir, Commonwealth protocol prohibits anything other than a purely professional relationship.
HUNT: Well then, Andromeda. Welcome aboard.

[Hydroponics]

BEM: All those children, the potentiality. Seems such a waste. Do you think we made any difference?
TRANCE: We might have. 

[Meeting area]

MAPES: We have survived and we've waited, but now, Dylan Hunt, the High Guard, has given us a new Mish Brief. Not to prepare for the Day of Lightning, but for membership in the restored Commonwealth. As your new Onced-Off, I proclaim, begin Transmit!

[Bomb storage]

(Hunt pushes a trolley containing one secure box out of the slipfighter bay, through bomb storage. He unlocks an extra-secure safe in the wall.)
HUNT: Captain Dylan Hunt, Commanding officer. Nova containment authorised. Ten break alpha.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Sir? Are you sure you want to retain a Nova bomb on board ship?
HUNT: No. But all the same, Ten Break Alpha.

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