D Minus Zero

Original Airdate: 23 Oct, 2000

Here's everything I know about war: Somebody wins, somebody loses, and nothing is ever the same again.

Admiral Constanza Stark,
CY9784

[Hydroponics]

(In an open space at the entrance to hydroponics, with the tree in the background, Dylan Hunt is demonstrating basket ball to Tyr Anasazi.)
HUNT: Shots from behind this line are worth three. Any questions?
TYR: One. All these rules. What's the point?
HUNT: The rules force you to out-think your opponent, instead of out-muscle him. Now, isn't that a useful lesson for life-or-death situations?
TYR: Certainly. And when the Magog unleash their dreaded bouncing ball attack, we'll make them rue the day.
HUNT: Are we going to talk or play?
(Tyr takes the ball, punches Hunt out of the way, leaps up to the basket and pushes the ball through it.)
TYR: How was that?
HUNT: Maybe we should talk about the personal foul.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan, you'd better come to command. Code Black.
HUNT: I'm on my way. (to Tyr) We'll save that for the next lesson.
(Hunt leaves.)
TYR: I can hardly wait.

[Corridor]

BEM: The signal was very weak, but it appears to be a mission recorder from a High Guard ship. We haven't identified it yet, but it's definitely from around the time of the Fall.

[Command]

(Harper is in the slipstream chair when Dylan enters still wearing his sweats.)
HARPER: Hey, new uniform?
HUNT: I'll put on something more impressive later. Right now I want the data from that recorder. If the ship was destroyed late in the war, it might tell us where to find resupply stations or fuel caches.
ROMMIE: The signal's coming from the center of a debris field.
HUNT: Take us in nice and slow. We don't want to bump into any leftover ordnance.
HARPER: Nice and slow. That I can do.
BEM: From the dispersal of the remains, it looks like someone hit her anti-proton storage and sent her reactors critical.
HUNT: You okay? Rommie?
ROMMIE: I just got a positive ID from the mission recorder. It was the Eightfold Path.
HUNT: A friend of yours.
ROMMIE: We worked together during the famine relief of Sculptor 119. She was a good ship.
BEM: We may have company.
HUNT: Another vessel?
BEM: I can't tell. I'm getting a faint sensor contact at extreme range.
HUNT: Andromeda, keep an eye on it.
ANDROMEDA: Yes, sir.
ROMMIE: This would be a lot easier if my android bodies were back online.
HARPER: Hey, I'm driving here. I only got two hands. Hey, Rommie, what kind of ship was the Eightfold Path?
ANDROMEDA: A Mercy Class medical support ship.
HARPER: Well that's weird, 'cos some of this junk looks like it came from a warship.
HUNT: Rev?
BEM: Harper is correct. There's even unfired missiles in her launch tubes.
ROMMIE: The sensor contact's moving closer. It's definitely another ship.
HUNT: I don't like the smell of this. Astern one quarter.
(Klaxon.)
BEM: Reading targets all around us. The missiles have been activated, and are headed towards us.
HUNT: Harper, get us out of here. Battle stations!
(Andromeda reverses out of the debris field. A missile hits.)
HUNT: Andromeda, report.
ROMMIE: We have minimal structural damage. The point defence lasers repelled most of the missiles, and the ones that got through didn't hurt much. Just a little radioactive residue on my hull.
BEM: The enemy ship's on the move. I'm losing sensor contact.
HUNT: Andromeda, keep your eyes on the bogey. Deploy sensor drones, standard coverage pattern.
HARPER: Is this the part where we bravely run away?
HUNT: Not a chance. Open a comm. channel and head toward the bogey.
HARPER: Toward? They're trying to kill us!
HUNT: Attention, unknown vessel. This is Captain Dylan Hunt, commander of the Commonwealth Starship Andromeda Ascendant. Stand down your attack. Respond. Over.
(Tyr & Beka enter)
BEKA: What'd we miss? Anything good?
HARPER: No. Well, just Dylan running us straight into a missile attack so we can make friends with the nice people who are shooting at us.
(More missiles hit.)
BEKA: Great. I love making new friends.
HUNT: Unknown vessel, I say again, stand down your attack. Respond. Over.
TYR: Well this is pointless. I suggest we kill them and move on.
HUNT: Widen the search pattern on the drones.
ROMMIE: I'm not getting anything on ESM. The bogey's active sensors have gone dark.
HUNT: If they're not targeting us anymore, maybe that means they want to talk.
BEKA: Or they're running away.
BEM: Incoming!
HARPER: Oh, great.
(Lots of missile impacts make Andromeda shake.)
BEM: We've got hull breaches on decks eleven and thirteen. I'm sealing the bulkheads and adjusting pressure to compensate.
ROMMIE: We've lost the slipstream drive. Switching to damage control.
TYR: Starboard point defence stations one, four, and six have been destroyed. Port stations three and six are offline.
HARPER: Their sensors were off. How could they see us?
HUNT: Harper, take evasive manoeuvres. Andromeda, ready smart missiles. Prepare to fire on my command.
BEKA: To hell with that. Harper, plot a course. Get us out of here.
HARPER: Er, some help here?
HUNT: Evasive manoeuvres, Mister Harper.
HARPER: This'll teach me to sit at the helm. Next time I'm all about environmental sciences. Okay, we are evading and maneuvering. Anything else I can do for you?
HUNT: Fire.
TYR: Missiles away. We've lost target lock.
BEM: Reading multiple detonations. Point seven five light seconds from the target.
HARPER: Okay, how come they can hit us and we can't hit them?
TYR: Preparing another salvo.
HUNT: Belay that. Hold your fire. Rev, find us a place to duck and cover.
BEKA: About time.
BEM: The sixth planet in this system is a gas giant.
HUNT: Perfect. Harper, plot a course for the night side and take us into the ionosphere. Tyr, give me a full spread of counter measures to cover our back.
TYR: Counter measures away.
HUNT: All ahead full.
BEKA: Glad you finally came to your senses.
BEM: We're clear of the weapons.
HUNT: Good. Stand down from combat mode. Keep your eyes open. Tyr, you have Command. Beka, walk with me.

[Corridor]

HUNT: If you ever countermand me during a battle again, I will slam you in the brig and leave you there to rot. Understood?
BEKA: I understand perfectly. I understand that those people up there are my crew. Hell, they're my friends, my family, my responsibility! I'm not going to let you gamble with their lives.
HUNT: You want to protect them. I respect that. But when you try to override my decisions in combat, all you do is confuse the issue. You saw Harper in there. He froze up, and that's how people get killed.
BEKA: Dylan, you're not in the Systems Commonwealth anymore. You don't get backup. You don't get second chances. We don't have the luxury of negotiating with people as they shoot at us.
HUNT: In combat, knowledge isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. In the High Guard we called this D Minus Zero, the first day of hostilities. And on D Minus Zero, the first priority is intelligence. Who are we up against? What are their goals?
BEKA: I'm not an idiot, Dylan. I know as much about running a ship as you do. Maybe more.
HUNT: Ten years as captain of a freighter doesn't qualify you to override my commands.
BEKA: So you're saying you're just going to do whatever you want with my crew, and my opinion be damned?
HUNT: Your opinion does matter. But there's a time and a place for everything. If you've got a problem, you bring it up in private. I promise to give you a fair hearing. But when the shooting starts, you're going to have to trust me.
BEKA: I'm not big on trust.
HUNT: Then it's time to learn.

[Hunt's quarters]

(A mini holo-Rommie appears next to the photograph of Hunt and Sarah while he is in the shower. She strokes his face.)
HUNT: Did you hear me?
HOLO-ROMMIE: I'm sorry, I was reviewing tactical scenarios. What did you say?
HUNT: The residue on your hull. That's how they're able to target us without using their active sensors. We need to scrape it off. Any suggestions?
HOLO-ROMMIE: I'll talk to Harper. Maybe I can get him to go out there with an EVA suit and a squeegee.
HUNT: I'm sure you two will come up with something. He's a good kid, you know. He's smart. They all are. Beka, Rev Bem, Trance, Tyr. They're smart, they're talented, and they're totally undisciplined.
ROMMIE: You afraid you can't depend on them?
HUNT: No, no. Not at all. They're not the weak link. For that, we need to look somewhere else.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Oh.
HUNT: The problem isn't them. The problem is me.
ROMMIE: Don't ever think that. You're a fine commander.
HUNT: Three hundred years ago, maybe. But times have changed. Maybe they've passed me by. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of history's greatest strategists, but if you plucked him out of his time and set him down just two hundred years later, would he have any idea how to maneuver a tank brigade or how to use close air support? Of course not. He'd have been a relic, just like me.
ROMMIE: You're not a relic. The Commonwealth may have fallen, but you did not fall with it.
HUNT: Tell that to whoever's out there gunning for us.

[Machine shop]

(Harper is using a welding torch when Beka enters.)
HARPER: Hey!
BEKA: Hey!
HARPER: You should have been here a minute ago. You missed the part where I nano-welded my boot to the deck plate.
BEKA: Well then, you need this more than I do.
(She hands him a thermos-mug of coffee.)
HARPER: Oh, nice.
(Beka spots a lot of Petri dishes.)
BEKA: Hey, what are those?
HARPER: Minibots. I built them to clean that crap off the hull. Man, that stuff was tougher to get rid of than that virus I caught back on Kalderash Five. Not to mention I have to refurbish almost thirty of these AG coils, which is twenty four hours work at least. And that's, you know, as long as I don't get any sleep or anything.
BEKA: Well, if anyone can get this ship up and running, I'm sure it's you.
HARPER: Wait a minute. Aren't you going to chew me out for not siding with you up in Command?
BEKA: It's not you I'm mad at. It's Dylan. He almost got us killed back there.
HARPER: Almost being the operative word.
BEKA: I just don't want to be there when his luck runs out.
HARPER: Where would you rather be? Back on the Maru running cargo? Salvage? What makes you think that'd be any safer?
BEKA: It couldn't be any more dangerous.
HARPER: All right. You want to know what I think?
BEKA: Oh, good. Now for another chapter in The World According to Seamus Harper.
HARPER: Hey, my favourite book. Chapter twelve, paragraph eight, verse three. The universe hates you. Deal with it.
BEKA: That's comforting.
HARPER: All right. Remember when we heisted those grav speeders on Infinity Atoll, took 'em for a spin?
BEKA: Yeah, sure.
HARPER: Well, the thing that I remember most about those eggbeaters was, I'd be whipping along, and every once in a while I'd hit a swarm of bugs. Poor little bastards just minding their own business, not doing anything wrong, a little bit of bad timing on their part, and splat, all over the windshield.
BEKA: Tragic.
HARPER: Damn straight. The thing is, as far as the universe is concerned, we're all bugs, just hopping along, loving life, until one day fate decides to introduce each and every single one of us to our very own, personalised windscreen. So yeah, maybe Dylan is crazy. Maybe he doesn't have a chance in hell of rebuilding the Commonwealth. And maybe one day something'll come along and splat him too. But we're all going to get splat eventually.
BEKA: Yeah, but you forgot one thing. Dylan is not flying around minding his own business. He's looking for windscreens.
HARPER: Right. But with us on his side, he might just be the only bug alive tough enough to blast right through.

[Command]

BEM: More depth charges. You'd think after three hours they'd get a little bored and go home.
HUNT: Patience has its virtues. Few more like that one and they'll get an exact fix on our location. Mister Harper, any news?
HARPER [OC]: Still no slipstream

[Machine shop]

HARPER: But, er, thanks to some hungry little minibots, Rommie's hull is now clean enough to eat off of.
HUNT [OC]: That's a start, anyway.

[Command]

HUNT: Beka, Tyr, report to Command. Andromeda, take us out.
(Andromeda leaves the gas giant. Beka is piloting shortly after.)
HUNT: What have we got?
BEM: The enemy ship is still out there. I think. It's at least two light minutes away. It's difficult to maintain contact.
HUNT: All right, then, let's play. Launch advance sensor drones. Come about to zero four niner and slow to three quarters.
BEKA: Something about zero f
HUNT: Now hard left, ninety degrees positive, all ahead full.
BEKA: This must be the old nauseate your enemy ploy.
HUNT: Keep it up. Random speed, heading, and attitude changes. I want Andromeda bucking like a drunken Vedran with a Nightsider on his back.
BEKA: Sounds like my last date.
HUNT: You can tell us about that later. This is what old Earth's submariners called a Crazy Ivan. Random shifts and lurches designed to throw off a pursuer, maybe force her to do something stupid.
BEKA: Yeah, and what if they don't take the bait?
HUNT: Then we run straight at her, full speed. As soon as we're on top of her, we blow her out of the sky. What's our friend doing?
BEM: Absolutely nothing.
HUNT: They're smart, I'll give them that. Beka, on my mark, turn us around and point us straight at the target, full speed ahead.
BEKA: I take it this is the crazy in Crazy Ivan?
(Trance and Harper enter.)
TRANCE: Life support officer Trance Gemini reporting for duty, sir.
HARPER: Suck up.
HUNT: Andromeda, take the helm.
ANDROMEDA: Assuming helm control.
BEKA: I got it.
HUNT: This isn't a debate. I want you, Trance, Tyr, and Harper to configure stations for remote fighter operations. Give defensive support in four zones, even distribution, three thousand kilometres out.
TYR: Then what?
HUNT: Zone defence, like in basketball. Stick to your assigned area and take everything that comes your way. If something gets by you, let it go. Better to miss one than miss them all.
ANDROMEDA: PDL's armed, missile tubes loaded.
BEM: Fire control sensors on-line. Captain, I, I hope you do not expect me to fire the ship's weapons.
HUNT: This isn't the time, Rev.
BEM: Nevertheless, I will man the sensors, but I will not fire the weapons.
BEKA: I could've told you that.
HUNT: Fine. Andromeda, take over fire control and bring us about hard one eighty.
ANDROMEDA: Yes, sir.
HUNT: Engines at full.
(Andromeda does her trademark back-flip and zooms forward.)
HUNT: Any indication what we're up against?
BEM: I can't tell. It could be anything.
TRANCE: Maybe it's a baby space alien that thinks we're its mother.
HARPER: Come to momma, baby.
BEM: One minute twenty seconds to intercept.
HUNT: Launch fighters.
BEKA: Fighters away.
BEM: She's running!
HUNT: No, she's playing hard to get. Stay alert.
BEM: Oh, my. Incoming missiles, multiple vectors.
HUNT: Who are these guys? Brace for impact.
(Bang! Trance, Tyr and Harper use virtual display goggles to target their fighters.)
HARPER: Come on, get back here.
TYR: Damn it, boy, pay attention!
HARPER: I'm doing the best I can, Mister Will To Power.
TYR: That's not good enough!
BEKA: Harper, behind you.
HARPER: I got it, I got it!
TYR: I've got it.
HUNT: Tyr, back in position now!
(Andromeda takes a big hit and everyone gets thrown around. Consoles explode.)
ANDROMEDA: I've lost my defence. Hull breaches on decks three, five and eight.
HUNT: Recall the fighters and get us out of here!
TYR: No! We can still close!
HUNT: Like hell we can! This round goes to the bad guys.
(Later, things are still going spark! Harper surveys the damage.)
HARPER: Well, we came, we saw, we got spanked. I'd say this was anything but good for my self-esteem.
HUNT: We're not done yet. Beka, plot a course for this system's sun, maximum speed.
BEKA: You want me to set up the slingshot manoeuvre?
HUNT: No, I want you to go straight in.
BEKA: Is this the part where I politely voice my concerns?
HUNT: You ever stare at the sun?
HARPER: Hey, it's all fun and games until somebody burns out his retina.
HUNT: Exactly. The flood of radiation will blind their active and passive sensors. That'll give us the time we need to conduct repairs and plan the endgame.
BEKA: Unless we melt.
HUNT: Believe me, this wasn't on my list of things to try when I woke up this morning, but here we are. Tyr, a word.

[Corridor]

HUNT: Someone lied to me. I was told that all Nietzscheans are perfect physical specimens.
TYR: So?
HUNT: Then I assume your defective hearing is a personal problem. I told you to stay in your zone.
TYR: Harper's zone was saturated with missiles. He was in over his head. I had to act.
HUNT: I'm not interested in your opinion of Harper's condition. You screwed up and we got pasted. As long as you walk my decks and breathe my oxygen, you're a part of my crew and I expect my crew to work together as a team. No exceptions.
TYR: Work as a team? With them? They're amateurs, children. And you? You're an anachronism. You haven't the first idea how unforgiving this universe has become, and I will not allow you to find out at my expense.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: If you're thinking of taking off in the Maru, it won't launch without my authorisation.
TYR: I'm not going anywhere. Yet.
BEKA: So, I take it your conversation with Dylan went well.
TYR: Well enough to realise that I've badly misjudged him.
BEKA: Tyr, why don't you just tell me what you want.
TYR: I think we need to re-examine how things work on board the Andromeda. Perhaps it's time we considered an alternative leadership arrangement.
BEKA: You're looking for a promotion to captain?
TYR: I was thinking more on the lines of First Officer to Captain Valentine.
BEKA: I'm not ready for that yet. But I will talk to Dylan, see what's up.
TYR: And if he doesn't have a good answer?

[Command]

(Hunt is piloting Andromeda towards the sun. Bem touches his shoulder, making him jump.)
HUNT: Oh God! Rev, I er, I wish you wouldn't do that.
BEM: I'm so sorry. Sometimes I forget the effect my appearance has on others.
HUNT: It's not that. It just takes a little getting used to, that's all. I'm sure humans looked strange to you at first.
BEM: Oh, not at all. In fact, I find your people quite attractive. Dylan, have you talked to Harper lately?
HUNT: No, why?
BEM: He's killing himself trying to repair all the damage we've sustained. He blames himself for letting his guard down.
HUNT: It's not his fault. Even an experienced High Guard pilot couldn't have stopped all those missiles.
BEM: And a High Guard pilot would know that. But Harper is not High Guard. None of us are. In fact, we're simply five civilians trying to do the work of four thousand soldiers and feeling, well, quite frankly, a bit overwhelmed.
HUNT: You think I'm expecting you to react under pressure like veterans?
BEM: You tell me.

[Conduit]

(Harper inserts a chip and the panel goes dark. He thumps it and it comes back on.)
HUNT: You're supposed to fix my ship, not beat her to death.
HARPER: Sorry. Sometimes high tech problems demand low tech solutions.
HUNT: Sometimes you deserve a kick in the butt, but you don't see me doing it, now, do you?
HARPER: I guess, er, I guess I did, you know, drop the ball there.
HUNT: No, no. You did your job. If anyone made a mistake, it was me.
HARPER: You?
HUNT: I'm the captain. It's my job to come up with battle plans. Ones that work.
HARPER: Well, it's not so bad. I mean, you know, couple of right hooks, I should have these fire control links back online in a few hours.
HUNT: The nanobots can handle that. I want you to build something for me.
(He gives Harper a flexi.)
HARPER: Nice! What is it?
HUNT: An FMS. Footprint Magnification System. Better known as a f. Well, the polite version is Fire At Me switch. The FMS makes a small vessel look like a big juicy ship of the line. They were used during battles to draw missile fire away from high value assets.
HARPER: Uh-huh. Kinda like a big neon Kick Me in the Assets sign.
HUNT: Exactly.
HARPER: I'm going to have to custom machine some of these parts. The casing looks a little bulky. If you're planning on sticking this on a drone, I'm going to have to build you a smaller version.
HUNT: Size isn't the issue, it's power. Just get it to work. We'll rig it to something.
(Boom.)
HARPER: You know, that is really starting to annoy me.
HUNT: Yeah, join the club.

[Command]

(Andromeda arrives at the sun followed by a load of missiles.)
TRANCE: More paintballs.
BEM: I'm reading multiple sensor contacts at extreme range and closing at seventy five PSL.
TYR: Fire control is still down.
HUNT: How far to the corona?
TRANCE: Less than one minute.
HUNT: Countdown at fifteen second intervals.
BEM: We've lost over half our sensor drones.
TRANCE: Forty five seconds till the sun.
(Boom!)
BEM: That was no paintball.
ANDROMEDA: Hull breach in the starboard propulsion housing. Thruster two is offline.
HUNT: Cut the engines. Inertia will carry us in.
TRANCE: Thirty seconds.
TYR: You can't just let them blast away at us.
HUNT: I can, I will.
BEM: We've lost the remainder of our sensor drones. We're blind.
TYR: Blind and crippled. If Andromeda were my child, I'd drown it.
TRANCE: Fifteen seconds. We're entering the outer corona.
BEKA: Goodbye frying pan, hello fire.
BEM: I'm reading a large swarm of enemies missiles, ten LS away and closing.
HUNT: Beka, first officer's station. Tyr, activate manoeuvring thrusters. I want you to drop us into closer orbit.
TYR: How much closer?
HUNT: We're going to dip inside the lower corona. We use those flares to take out the enemy missiles.
BEKA: You've done this before, right? Right?
HUNT: First time for everything.
BEM: Five LS. Four, three, two, one, zero.
(Andromeda swerves around a solar flare.)
ANDROMEDA: The missiles have impacted on the solar flare. They missed us.
HUNT: Come about to our projected orbit. Deploy bucky cables, bleed off some of this heat. Good job, people.

[Corridor]

HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan, can I talk to you?
HUNT: Always.
HOLO-ROMMIE: You know, there aren't enough cables in the galaxy to bleed off all this heat. When are you going to tell them we can only keep it up for forty eight hours?
HUNT: I'm not. If we're still here in 48 hours, we're already dead.

[Command]

(Hunt is trying to repair a console.)
HUNT: How about when I try this?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Still nothing.
HUNT: There must be one data conduit on this deck that's not fried or severed. Try rerouting from environmental controls.
(Beka enters. The console comes online.)
HUNT: There. Another victory for the good guys.
BEKA: Targeting system's back online.
HUNT: Excellent. Now we just have to restore weapons and slipstream.
BEKA: Andromeda, would you mind giving me and Dylan a moment, please?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Privacy mode engaged. Authorization: Acting First Officer, Beka Valentine.
(Holo-Rommie disappears.)
HUNT: What's wrong?
BEKA: Well, I was just on deck forty two checking the readings. Radiation levels are up twelve percent in the last hour alone.
HUNT: Yeah, I know.
BEKA: So, were you planning on staying here until we're all extra crispy, or could we get out of here while we're still only medium rare?
HUNT: If we leave before weapons and sensors are repaired, we'll get a lot worse than that.
BEKA: Maybe so, but we've been hiding out here and soaking up radiation for the last day. I mean, to be honest, getting shot at is looking more attractive all the time. Anything's better than sitting here and watching my hair and teeth fall out.
HUNT: Don't worry, I don't want to lose my hair either.
BEKA: Dylan, what's your plan? In case you haven't noticed, we're one for three against these guys.
HUNT: Stick around. I'm predicting a knockout in round four.

[Machine shop]

HARPER: Whew! Trance, is it my imagination or is it beginning to get really hot in here?
TRANCE [OC]: Temperature readings are stable, and the bucky cables are still radiating heat perfectly. It's all in your mind.
HARPER: Oh, good. Insanity I can deal with. Maybe I'll go to hydroponics afterward and run through the sprinklers.
(Harper coughs up blood.)
HARPER: Nice.

[Eureka Maru]

TYR: This is a farce. The captain's plan is killing us. I can feel my DNA being shredded molecule by molecule.
BEKA: Well, look on the bright side. Maybe some stray cosmic ray will zap just the right gene and give your children some killer mutation that will make all the other Nietzscheans weep with envy.
TYR: Do you find this amusing? Even if we can repair the slipstream drive, the enemy will destroy us before we can get far enough away from the star's gravity well to use it. And nothing that, nothing Dylan is doing can prevent that.
BEKA: I'll talk to him.
TYR: And what will that accomplish? If the radiation is affecting me, what do you suppose it's doing to Harper? To Trance? And to you?
BEKA: Tyr, I didn't know you cared.
TYR: I care about survival. Do you?

[Command]

HUNT: You know, a person could get a tan this way.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Should I turn down the screen intensity?
HUNT: No, no, no. I like the reminder. I just wish we'd come at night. So, what have you got for me.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Still no slipstream. But fire control and sensors are almost fully operational. Which leaves us right back where we were before.
HUNT: Getting pounded. Which they'll start again as soon as they see us break orbit.
(Harper enters, coughing and carrying the new gizmo.)
HARPER: Dylan, where er, where do you want this?
(Harper collapses.)
HARPER: Okay, I'm just going to lie here right now, if that's okay.
(Hunt gets a first aid kit.)
HUNT: Harper. You all right? Trance, get the medical deck ready.
(Hunt gives Harper an injection.)
HUNT: There you go. The FMS. Come on, Harper, you with me?
HARPER: Did I do it right? What am I saying, of course I did it right.
HUNT: Don't worry, Harper. You did just fine.

[Medical]

(Trance scans Harper with a salt-shaker while Hunt and Bem watch.)
TRANCE: He's dying.
HUNT: Damn. It should've been hours before anyone started feeling the effects.
(Beka and Tyr enter.)
BEKA: If he was a good little citizen of the Commonwealth, I'm sure he'd be fine. Harper was raised in a refugee camp. He's got a dodgy immune system at the best of times. He sure can't stand up to this radiation bath you've got us soaking in.
HUNT: How long before his condition becomes irreversible?
TRANCE: Four hours, maybe less.
HARPER: Ooo, shiny.
HUNT: I'll have us out of here before then. But if we leave before slipstream's back on line, we still won't be able to get out of the system.
TYR: The last thing they saw us do was to fly straight through those solar flares. Perhaps they think we're already dead.
HUNT: Do you honestly think they'd chase us this far and then just leave?
TYR: I don't know. But I'd rather take my chances out there than watch us drop one by one while we wait for you to save us.
HUNT: What about you?
BEKA: I don't see that you've left me much choice. Rev, you and Trance stabilise Harper. Get him to the Maru. We're leaving.
TRANCE: Er, we?
BEKA: You're my crew. I'm not going to let you stay here and die.
TRANCE: Well, yes, but we promised Dylan.
TYR: This isn't about loyalty. It's about being alive tomorrow.
HARPER: Leave. Stay. It's all good.
BEKA: Shush, shush. It's okay. We're going to get you out of here. Let's go.
TRANCE: I don't know. I mean, survival is fine with me, but I like my chances better here. You know, big ship good, little ship bad.
BEKA: We've gotten out of worse scrapes before. Haven't we, Rev?
BEM: Yes. I'm sorry I won't be there to see you get out of this one. The Divine has chosen my path. I must walk it wherever it leads.
BEKA: I'm sorry you feel that way. I can't force either of you to come with me. But you can't make us stay.
HUNT: Not at all. In fact, I encourage you to go. Because when you do, I'm going to light the Maru up like a Christmas tree. I'm going to make that ship out there think that you're me trying to escape, and then, while they're busy reducing you to your constituent atoms, I'll swing around from behind and blow them out of the sky. Now, I might get them before they get you, and I might not, but you've made your choice, so that's not really my problem. My obligation is to protect the lives of the people on this ship, and that's what I intend to do. Which is why Harper stays here, and you'll take him over my dead body.
BEKA: You're bluffing. You can't make the Maru look like the Andromeda.
(Dylan holds up a remote control.)
HARPER: Oops. Sorry, Beka.
HUNT: I never walk into a situation without a plan for getting out in one piece. So make the call, Beka. Do you want to walk with me and live, or walk out on me and die?

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: You wanted to see me?
(Beka hands him the FMS.)
BEKA: Here.
HUNT: Impressive.
BEKA: I've been flying this ship since I could walk. I'm on a first name basis with every bolt and circuit. You had to know I'd find your little toy.
HUNT: Well, I hope you didn't damage this. I'm going to need it when I fly the Maru out of here.
BEKA: When you what?
HUNT: Thanks for the vote of confidence. Until we had that little chat in medical, I'd always planned to fly the Maru myself. But now that you've found this, I don't have much choice.
BEKA: You can't fly the Maru. You wouldn't know how.
HUNT: There's a war on. We work with what we have.
BEKA: Look, Dylan. My crew seems to think that your plan is our best chance of getting out of here alive. Maybe it is, but only if I fly the Maru. I just ask one thing. When our friend up there pops his head up to shoot at me, you chop it off.
HUNT: You've got a deal.
BEKA: Great.

[Command]

HUNT: I'll take weapons, Tyr. I want you to fly fighter support.
TYR: Of course.
ANDROMEDA: The Maru is underway.
(Bem is in the pilot seat.)
BEM: The Eureka Maru has opened a channel.
HUNT: On screen.
BEKA [on viewscreen]: Here we go. You going to be here when I get back?
HUNT: That's the plan.
BEKA: That's all I needed to know. Take care of my crew. Maru out.
HUNT: Our crew. Ready smart missiles. Full battery. Point defence stations online. Attack support stand by for launch.
ANDROMEDA: Missiles ready. Starboard point defence stations two, three, and five, port stations one through six are online.
TYR: Standing by.
BEM: The Maru has passed outside the star's corona.
HUNT: Launch fighter.
TYR: Fighter away.

[Eureka Maru]

(Beka turns on the FMS.)
BEKA: Here goes nothing.

[Command]

BEM: The Maru has activated the FMS. Her sensors are emitting at full power.
ROMMIE: Harper did a great job. If I didn't know better, I would swear she were me.
BEM: Apparently you're not the only one. I'm getting a sensor contact at extreme range and closing fast on the Maru.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Tag, you're it.

[Command]

HUNT: Keep it together, Beka. Don't let him spook you.
BEM: Multiple contacts. Four missiles headed for the Maru.
HUNT: All right, he's taken the bait. All ahead full. Ready missile barrage on my mark.

[Eureka Maru]

COMPUTER: Collision alert. Collision alert.
BEKA: Tell me something I don't know.

[Command]

BEM: She's not going to make it.
HUNT: Covering fire now.
(Tyr takes out the missiles.)

[Eureka Maru]

(A slipstream starts to open, but the mothership is right behind her.)
BEKA: Come on, come on, Dylan. Just one more second.

[Command]

TYR: She's getting hit!
HUNT: Let's bring it.
(Andromeda launches everything at the bad guy.)

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Nice timing. See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.
(The Maru enters slipstream. Andromeda and the unknown fight head on.)

[Command]

ANDROMEDA: We've got them. Their engines are dead. I'm not reading any more enemy missiles.
TYR: We should finish them off.
HUNT: No. Stand down. Maybe now they'll want to talk.
TYR: I don't want to talk.
(Tyr sends the fighter towards the enemy. It goes KaBOOM!)
HUNT: Damn it, Tyr! I said stand down!
TYR: I didn't do it. I didn't get the chance.
ANDROMEDA: The explosion originated inside the enemy ship.
BEM: Some kind of self-destruct mechanism?
TYR: They killed themselves to cheat us of our victory.
HUNT: Or to conceal their identity.

[Medical]

HARPER: Hey, boss bug.
HUNT: You look like hell.
HARPER: Well, I'll be up to the rumba in no time. Did we get them?
HUNT: We got them, thanks to you.
TRANCE: Dylan, the Eureka Maru's back in the hangar.
HUNT: Oh, good. Thanks. Er, you did good. Both of you.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Glad you made it.
BEKA: That makes two of us.
HUNT: Er, you know, you were right. The way you piloted the Maru, I don't know if I'd have gotten away.
BEKA: Oh, well, I saved your cookies, you saved mine. I'd call it even.
HUNT: You know, not completely. I mean, you and Tyr confronted me down in Medical, I pulled a fast one on you, and I'm sorry.
BEKA: Don't apologise. If I would've run without the Andromeda's backup, I might not have made it. You were right.
HUNT: I'm the skipper, I'm always right. Except when I'm wrong.
BEKA: How can you tell the difference?
HUNT: Usually, I wait for my first officer to give me a swift kick in the head.
BEKA: Oh. I might be able to help you there. You know, Dylan, I'm still not a hundred percent convinced about this mission of yours, but, you know, if you ever need a kick in the head, I'm happy to oblige.
HUNT: I'd like that.
BEKA: Don't get too excited. I'm still not calling you sir.
HUNT: Well then, I guess Your Majesty is out of the question?

[Hydroponics]

(Tyr is dribbling the ball very well.)
(He scores a basket. Trance, Bem and Harper are watching.)
TRANCE: Go, Dylan. Take it to the hall.
HARPER: Hole. It's hole.
TRANCE: Whatever.
(Hunt scores a basket.)
TYR: I underestimated you. That won't happen again.
(Tyr scores a basket.)
HARPER: Oh, nice shot! You are the Uber-man.
(Harper gets dizzy and sits down.
BEM: Harper?
HARPER: I'm okay. I'm okay.
TRANCE: So, who's winning, anyway?
BEM: The highest form of competition is that which produces two winners, not one.
HARPER: Yeah, what he said. Koombaya.
(Now it's Dylan's turn. He hits Tyr with the ball and does his own slam-dunk.)
TYR: What happened to playing by the rules?
HUNT: Let's just say I owed you one. Now, you going to take your free throws, or what?
(Tyr throws, and the ball rolls round and round the inside of the hoop.)

<Back to the episode listing

Andromeda and related marks are trademarks of Tribune Company. Copyright 2000 - 2005. The web pages on this site are for educational and entertainment purposes only. All other copyrights property of their respective holders.