Double Helix

Original Airdate: 30 Oct, 2000

Machiavelli's ideas are basically sound ones for the Nietzschean people.
Unfortunately, he was an optimist.

Cerebus Khmer
Aphorisms
CY 8969

[Corridor]

(Andromeda is gathering hydrogen from a star. Tyr is doing one-handed chin-ups. Android Rommie is walking the corridor in a new mini-dress. She stops to study her face in a monitor and purses her lips.)
HARPER: You're welcome.
ROMMIE: For what?
HARPER: The lips. I spent a lot of time getting those just the right shape, right texture.
ROMMIE: Hmm. How very thoughtful of you.
HARPER: What? You don't like them?
ROMMIE: No. No, I do. They're very lip-like.
HARPER: Then why the look? Which, by the way, remember, I programmed into your facial vectors to express displeasure.
ROMMIE: I can't help but notice that you engineered my humanoid form with certain features that, strictly speaking, aren't necessary for my normal operations.
HARPER: Ah.
ROMMIE: I guess I'm wondering, Harper, when you made this body, who did you do it for?
HARPER: Ah, er, well, for you, Rommie. Absolutely, for. Okay, I know that look, too. It means Harper, you're full of it. Er, technically for both of us?
ROMMIE: Oh, really?
HARPER: Okay, Rommie, you're taking this all wrong. I mean, for you, er, because I wanted you to feel the full advantages of being a human woman. You deserve it. And for me in the capacity of an engineer who prides himself on perfectionism, I just wanted everything to be just right.
ROMMIE: So, when you handled certain parts of me, did you wear gloves?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: All hands report to Command.

[Command]

(Hunt and Bem enter.)
HUNT: Status, Rommie.
ROMMIE: I'm detecting signs of combat. Multiple vectors. Mostly in the asteroid belt.
HUNT: Secure from fueling. I thought this system was uninhabited.
BEM: Apparently not as uninhabited as we thought.
(Alien speech over the comm.)
BEKA: They're speaking Than.
HUNT: Translation, please.
BEM: Some sort of confrontation between the Than-Thre-Kull and Nietzscheans.
TYR [on viewscreen]: Nietzscheans?
HUNT: That's strange. The maps don't show any Nietzschean settlements. Do we have visuals?
(Beka puts the display on the viewscreen.)
BEKA: Ah, hit your thrusters! Duke right! Duke right! He's on your six!
(The Than ship goes KaBOOM!)
BEM: Eternal life grant unto them, and may perpetual light shine upon them.
ROMMIE: I'm receiving a distress signal from a crippled Than ship.
HUNT: Establish communications.
(A Than appears on the viewscreen.)
BEM: They've lost all power. She's being targeted by Nietzschean fighters.
HUNT: We can save her. Harper, rig hangar seven for rescue. Beka, plot a course to intercept. Tyr, report to Command.
TYR [on viewscreen]: You don't even know what this conflict is about.
HUNT: I'll sort that out later. Right now, that Than needs our help. Tell the pilot we'll secure her craft inside in ten minutes.
TYR [on viewscreen]: Captain Hunt! Your blind idealism will get us all killed.
HUNT: Idealism's gotten me this far, Tyr. I must be doing something right.
TYR [on viewscreen]: Let's hope you're here to pat yourself on the back tomorrow.
(Tyr's image vanishes. The Andromeda moves forward.)
HUNT: Harper, open the hangar. Prepare for retrieval.
HARPER: Opening the hangar door in the middle of combat. This should be fun.
BEKA: Dylan, as much as I hate to sound like Tyr, how does saving one Than justify risking an entire ship?
HUNT: This is more than just a rescue mission. If we can negotiate a treaty between the Than and the Nietzscheans, we'll put the Commonwealth back on the map.
(Tyr enters.)
HUNT: Decided to join us.
TYR: If you insist upon risking our lives, I intend to see to our survival.
HUNT: By all means. Broadcast on all frequencies. This is the Starship Andromeda Ascendant to all combatants. Cease your hostilities immediately.
BEM: The Than acknowledge the cease-fire.
HUNT: The Nietzscheans?
BEM: No answer.
(A weapon fired from an asteroid destroys a Than ship.)
TYR: I'd call that a definite no.
BEKA: Yeah, that was very bad.
HUNT: Where did that come from?
BEM: It appears to be a plasma cannon from one of the asteroids. Looks like some kind of Nietzschean colony.
TYR: I've got it! Target locked.
HUNT: Hold your fire! There's still a Than ship out there. Save her first, then we can worry about the cannon.
BEKA: Dylan, this is not ship-to-ship weaponry. If they turn their fire on us, it's really going to hurt.
HUNT: I'm betting it takes them a while to reload. Harper, proceed with the rescue.
HARPER: Opening the hangar doors. And deactivating aft point defences. Oh, look, we're a target now.
TYR: They're recharging. They're firing!
(The plasma bolt misses.)
HARPER: Got it! Closing the doors. Come on, come on!
TYR: They're firing again!
(This shot hits, sending energy over Andromeda's hull, knocking everyone about and making consoles explode.)
HUNT: Tyr, return fire hard and fast!
(Tyr launches missiles.)
BEKA: They are not returning fire.
HUNT: Maybe we got their attention. Damage report.
ROMMIE: The hit took out MTP thrusters three and five. Maximum speed is down to thirty nine PSL. I can't take many more hits like that. I'm receiving a hail.
HUNT: Beka, go get Trance and check on our new friend. Andromeda, Rev, Harper.
HARPER: Damage control.
HUNT: You got it.
(Bem, Trance and Harper leave.)
HUNT: On screen.
(A Nietzschean man appears.)
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: I'm Guderian, Alpha of the Orca Pride. Identify yourself.
HUNT: This is Captain Dylan Hunt of the starship Andromeda Ascendant.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: Are you allied with the bugs?
HUNT: No, I represent the Systems Commonwealth.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: The Commonwealth? Why not the Confederate States of America, or the Lost Knights of Teutonia Six?
HUNT: We're here to help.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: Really? To help us? You have a funny way of showing it. 
HUNT: We only fired in self-defence. But we would prefer to mediate, helping negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Than.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: The Than have been attacking my people for over fifty years. Somehow I don't think you can stop that.
HUNT: I'd like to try. Our goal is to restore peace, establish law and order. I think you could use some of each.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: Maybe you're right. If it'll keep the Than from killing my children, then by all means let's talk business. But first, let's end the standoff. If you could redirect your weapons
(Tyr whispers to Hunt.)
TYR: If you lower your guard, he'll have a clean shot and he'll take it.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: I see you have a Nietzschean on board.
HUNT: Yes, he's a good example of the re-established Commonwealth. Nietzscheans and humans working in peaceful co-existence.
GUDERIAN [on viewscreen]: Very well, if it makes him feel more comfortable, let's leave our weapons on. But do come down, Captain, and bring the Nietzschean. Talking is the important thing.
HUNT: We'll see you soon. Andromeda out.
(Transmission ends.)
HUNT: I take it you think that was too easy.
TYR: Much. I don't think you should go.
HUNT: Why not?
TYR: During the uprising, it was a common Nietzschean tactic to capture High Guard officers and use them as human shields against their own ships.
HUNT: And you think that's Guderian's intention?
TYR: I'm certain of it.
HUNT: All right, that explains why he wants me down there. Why does he want you?
TYR: He wants to kill me. I know how he thinks.
HUNT: Then what do you suggest?

[Weapons locker]

TYR: I'll need an armoured vehicle. Something that can take some hits.
HUNT: A Lancer drop-pod should do the trick. I'll have Andromeda get one prepped and ready. If you need all that, maybe you shouldn't go. We can talk from a distance.
TYR: Talking won't accomplish anything. Right now, the only reason we're alive is because of this standoff, and the only way we'll survive it is if I can find out their plans before they destroy us.
HUNT: What if there's a chance, even one in a thousand, that Guderian really does want to talk peace?
TYR: Then I'll come back and get you. If I'm not back in a day, launch everything you've got at them and get out of here. Quickly.

[Colony]

(A hatch in the asteroid opens to let drop-pod 26 inside. It lands in a cargo area. Guderian steps forward. The pod hatch starts to open, and Guderian raises his weapon. Many men appear from behind crates and open fire.)
MAN: It's empty. Where'd he go?
GUDERIAN: It's a diversion.
DIMITRI: Five more pods landed.
GUDERIAN: Aren't we the clever one. Cover all the entrances!
DIMITRI: Blue squad, come with me. Red, this way!
(Tyr abseils down from the rafters once the coast is clear.)

[Medical]

HARPER: How is the bug?
BEKA: The Than. Try to be polite to our guest.
TRANCE: She should be clicking and popping by the end of the week. Why do you ask?
HARPER: Because I got the mission parameters from bug-girl's, the Than's on-board computer. I wanted to get confirmation before I told Dylan.
BEKA: No. We don't have time. We're going to have to take it on faith.

[Corridor]

BEKA: According to the Than's on-board computer, the Nietzscheans we're dealing with are pirates. This Pride has been raiding Than supply routes for over fifty years.
HUNT: Doesn't the Than Empire have one of the largest fleets in the known worlds? So why haven't they caught them by now?
HARPER: Could they, er, I don't know, maybe move the asteroid out of its orbit or something?
HUNT: Maybe with a pulse plasma cannon.
BEKA: That would explain why they don't appear on the Than's asteroid charts.
HUNT: Until now. One of the Than scouts escaped after the Nietzscheans fired their weapon.

[Command]

BEKA: Which means a Than fleet's on its way with blood on its mind.
HUNT: In the old days, we'd arrest the pirates. Huh, in the old days.
BEKA: Yeah. By holding hands with Nietzscheans, we're not exactly on the side of the angels.
HUNT: Well then, we turn them into angels. The Nietzscheans spent centuries as peaceful members of the Commonwealth. They can do it again, if we create the right environment.
HARPER: Hello? They're pirates. They're enemies.
BEM: Do I not destroy my enemy by making him my friend?
HUNT: Thank you.
HARPER: Okay, fine. Trust the mission, trust the mission. I'm with you.
BEKA: On the bright side, we have sent the Nietzscheans our well-known ambassador of friendship, Tyr.

[Colony]

(Guderian and Dimitri lead their groups to where Tyr's actual drop-pod landed. ) 
MAN: Clear!
MAN 2: Clear!
(Tyr grabs Dimitri and puts a knife to his throat.)
TYR: Shall we begin our negotiation?
GUDERIAN: Nicely done. Let him go and we'll give you some of our cargo.
(A blonde woman enters.)
GUDERIAN: Or, we could consider some alternative solutions.
TYR: I've got a suggestion. You turn your cannon away from our ship, and I'll return this potential husband and father.
GUDERIAN: Dimitri would rather die than to have me reveal this, but unfortunately for you, your hostage is sterile and worthless. Let him go. Perhaps I'll let you live.
TYR: Worthless? Is that so? Then why does she look so interested? Go ahead! Shoot us!
GUDERIAN: If you insist.
FREYA: No!
GUDERIAN: Freya, we can bond you with someone better than my brother.
FREYA: I don't care about Dimitri. I want him.
DIMITRI: Freya, he jumped me from behind!
FREYA: Exactly. He outwitted you. Which makes him a better breeding specimen.
DIMITRI: But Freya, I'm fertile. I can father your children.
TYR: Not if you're dead. Now, be quiet. I've got a proposal to consider.
OLMA [OC]: I'll be the one who judges that.
(An older brunette enters and walks around Tyr.)
OLMA: Mmm. Strapping. Strong shoulders, and your calf muscles, very impressive. You might be a good addition to our Pride.
GUDERIAN: Muscles aren't everything.
OLMA: True. So, why don't you release Dimitri and tell me your lineage. What's the matter? Genes inferior? Let him go and talk to me.
TYR: Talk, perhaps. Let him go? I don't think so.
OLMA: Very promising, but I still need to know what Pride you're from.
TYR: I am Kodiak.
GUDERIAN: Kodiak?
DIMITRI: Kodiak? That Pride was destroyed twenty years ago
TYR: Destroyed, yes. Betrayed by our allies. Allies including Orca Pride, if memory serves me. Kodiak is gone, but I survive, and I am Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barbarossa.
FREYA: Barbarossa son of Hannibal, or Barbarossa son of Temujin?
TYR: Temujin.
OLMA: He has good lineage. I approve. If Freya wants him, I have no objections.
TYR: Assuming I accept.
OLMA: A fertile female? An established Pride? You should take her up on it before she changes her mind.
FREYA: And besides, we could use some new DNA.
OLMA: Of course this is all contingent on the one true test. A genetic sample.
(Tyr puts his arm across Dimitri's throat to hold him and uses his knife to cut his palm. He smears the blood onto Dimitri's cheek and pushes him towards Olma. Dimitri mutters something as he wipes his cheek.)
TYR: Help yourself.

[Communal area]

(Some men play drums vigorously. Others use punch-bags. Guderian is handing a knife to a young boy.)
TYR: Guderian seems well-liked.
FREYA: He's the most successful Alpha in our Pride's history. He's a great father and family man. He has twenty two children and a dozen wives.
TYR: You know, you speak as though you admire him. Why haven't you chosen him?
FREYA: And be Guderian's thirteenth wife? Maybe I was thinking I could do better.

[Freya's quarters]

(Freya shows Tyr a hologram of her family tree.)
FREYA: My great-great-grandfather Bolivar was also an Alpha, as was his father's father, all the way back to Saladin.
TYR: Saladin? Saladin Cree?
FREYA: The founder of my line. Olma says that my offspring can't help but be Alpha's. And what about your Pride, the Kodiak?
TYR: My lineage was also proud. The Kodiak were entrusted with the remains of the original Progenitor.
FREYA: You've actually seen the body of Drago Museveni?
TYR: As a child. His mummified remains were enshrined in our fasthold. Nietzscheans from all over the known worlds would make pilgrimages to see it. We lived under a permanent truce, and our allies guaranteed our safety until the Drago-Kasov Pride claimed they were the Progenitor's rightful keepers. We fought so very fiercely. Foolishly, we thought our allies would protect us, but on the day of battle, the other Prides abandoned us. Those of the Kodiak that weren't killed were displaced, exiled. I saw my mother. She was slow. I became a mercenary and I gave up looking for a home.
(Olma enters.)
OLMA: In that case, I have good news. The test is complete. His genes are excellent. Welcome to Orca Pride.
FREYA: Now you have a home.

[Hunt's quarters]

(Hunt is at his desk looking at a flexi of Rhade.)
BEM: You called?
HUNT: People in your faith, do they practice confession?
BEM: If they like. Why?
HUNT: I have something to confess. I'm here to make peace with the Nietzscheans, but inside me I want to kill every single one of them because of him. Gaheris Rhade.
BEM: The first officer of your ship.
HUNT: More than that. My friend. He was supposed to be the best man at my wedding and then he betrayed me. Because I trusted him, the Nietzschean invasion got past my ship and the Commonwealth was destroyed. I lost my crew, my family, my friends, my fiancé. I lost the time and age I belonged to, Rev. Hell, I lost civilisation itself.
BEM: And now you're wondering is it worth reaching out to Nietzscheans?
HUNT: They're genetically engineered to be paranoid and selfish and treacherous. Am I right to be prejudiced?
BEM: As a Magog, my own genes predispose me to slaughter indiscriminately, eat my victims, lay eggs in the paralysed bodies of sentient beings. I think if you were truly prejudiced, you would have shot me on sight.
HUNT: It's not the same. You're a Wayist. You're the most peaceful person I know.
BEM: Ah. Then in each species, no matter how horrible, there's room for improvement. You don't have to forget. You don't even have to forgive. But you must look for the good in the beings you encounter, otherwise your restored Commonwealth will be founded on distrust, and it will be over before it even begins.

[Corridor]

(Tyr and Harper walk out of the cargo hold.)
HARPER: Why didn't they kill you? I mean, not that I'm not glad to see you or anything.
TYR: I got them to accept me into their Pride.
HARPER: Hey, aren't we the smooth talker. So, er, any chance they'll negotiate?
TYR: None. The Than fleet is two days away, and the only way Orca Pride can defeat them is by using the Andromeda and they think I'm going to help deliver it to them.
HARPER: Er, I hate to ask, but
TYR: Am I?
(Tyr growls. Harper retreats and Tyr laughs.)
TYR: Come on, boy. Let's go have a look at this.
HARPER: Funny guy.

[Command]

(The schematics are up on the screen.)
BEKA: Nice. A blaster and a fusion engine, all in one.
TYR: According to the specs, when they open the cannon's bore they can achieve nearly seven million Newton's of thrust.
HUNT: More than enough to alter their orbit.
TYR: Which they do routinely at the first sign of danger. Unfortunately for the Nietzscheans, this little standoff of ours has blocked that option.
HARPER: Okay, I may not be an expert, but this is one hell of a gun, and I do not want to be its target again. So, let's run?
HUNT: We're not going anywhere. We finish what we started.
BEKA: Urgent message for Dylan Hunt. These Nietzscheans don't want to be members of the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Look, these Nietzscheans can't live off of piracy forever. Sooner or later, the Than will crush them. They have no future, unless we help them.
TYR: They won't negotiate so long as they perceive themselves to be in a position of strength.
HUNT: Then we'll have to limit their options.
BEKA: Which means neutralising that gun.
TYR: There may be a way. However, if they catch me, they'll open fire, so you'll need a way to protect yourselves.
HUNT: I'm open to suggestions.
TYR: Well, now that we know how that cannon works, we can reconfigure the ram-scoop to deflect the charged plasma.
HARPER: That would disable our sensors. We'd be blinder than a Nightsider in sunshine.
TYR: Unavoidable, I'm afraid.
HARPER: Don't tell me you're considering this! We may as well poke out our own eyes with knitting needles, or just ram our heads
HUNT: Thank you for your input, Mister Harper.
BEKA: Yeah, but there must be another way. I'm sorry, no offence, Tyr, but you're one of them. How do we know you're not on their side?
TYR: Were I in your position, I would ask the same question. However, you hear this. I am not one of them, and I never will be. They are Orca Pride, I am Kodiak. When my Pride was destroyed, they were among its betrayers, and while they may pretend to make me welcome, I know I am not. Destroy them, convert them, leave them alone. It's all the same to me.

[Drop pod bay]

HUNT: Harper says the ram-scoop deflector will be up in less than an hour.
TYR: Perfect.
HUNT: One thing. In light of our vulnerability to surprise attack, we can't let them know that there are only five of us up here. So as far as they're concerned, we've got a full crew. Four thousand people and a lancer regiment. Clear?

[Colony]

GUDERIAN: I wasn't sure you were coming back.
TYR: I wasn't sure I'd still be welcome.
GUDERIAN: We both got better than we expected. It was a good day.
TYR: I brought you a gift for your collection.
GUDERIAN: A High Guard force lance.
(Guderian takes it and extends it.)
GUDERIAN: Nice balance.
TYR: It's a mere toy, compared to the real prize.
GUDERIAN: Yes. The Andromeda Ascendant.
(Guderian rests the end of the force lance on Tyr's chest and fires. Tyr is thrown back.)
GUDERIAN: You think I'm a fool? You downloaded the schematics of my plasma cannon, didn't you?
TYR: Yes. I gave them to Captain Hunt to win his trust.
GUDERIAN: Is that why you gave this to me? To win my trust? You've given him everything! Now we're helpless against them.
TYR: No! They're helpless against us.
GUDERIAN: Talk fast.
TYR: They've blinded their sensors. Now, instead of listening to their ultimatums from down here, we can approach them undetected, and deliver our ultimatum from inside their Command.
GUDERIAN: You really think I'd walk into such an obvious trap? I have less than three hundred combatants! What good is that against a crew of thousands?
TYR: None. But there are no thousands on the Andromeda.
FREYA: How many?
TYR: Five.

[Plasma cannon]

TYR: This anode plate, it's worn. Replace it.
(The man leaves with the part. Tyr takes out a gizmo. Dimitri and the other guard draw their weapons.)
DIMITRI: Stop right now. What are you doing?
TYR: Dimitri, I haven't the time.
(Dimitri tries to growl and takes the gizmo.)
DIMITRI: Guderian!
(Guderian enters.)
DIMITRI: I caught him with this.
TYR: I have to calibrate the cannon's pulse charge. At worst, we want to disable the ship, not blow it out of the sky.
DIMITRI: How do we know you're not trying to sabotage it?
TYR: You look at me. I'm alone. I'm childless. I've spent my entire life trying to prove myself so that a female would claim me for her own. Freya chose me! Finally, finally, I have a chance to be what every fibre in our being strives to be. A husband and a father. Why should I have to explain this to you, Guderian? You, with your twelve wives. Freya will be my first, but only if I can prevent the Than from destroying this rock. So, you tell me! What's in my best interest?
GUDERIAN: Let him do his job.

[Memory - Hunt's quarters]

(Hunt looks across at a picture of him with Rhade, and remembers a game of 3D Go. Rhade places a black counter. )
RHADE: Your move, Captain. Careful. Ten moves until I win.
HUNT: Do you have to do that? It's incredibly annoying.
RHADE: I just thought you deserved fair warning.
HUNT: Ah ha. Ten moves until I win. I've been playing Go with you for three years now. Why do you still treat winning like it's a matter of life and death?
RHADE: Because it is. You don't really understand Nietzscheans, do you?
HUNT: Enlighten me.
RHADE: To lose is to be proven inferior.
(Down on the asteroid colony, men practice fighting while Dimitri watches Freya with Tyr.)
RHADE [OC]: If I'm inferior, my genes are suspect, and no Nietzschean female will choose me. If no Nietzschean females will choose me, I can't reproduce. Then, when I die, my genes die. But if I win, that indicates my genes must be good. I get chosen by more females. And the more I get chosen, the more I pass on my genes. The more my genes get passed on, the more of me lives, eternally. To a Nietzschean, a game is never just a game.
HUNT: That's a pretty cold way to look at life.
RHADE: Truth is cold.
HUNT: Maybe, but if you ask me, you're missing out on a lot.
RHADE: Like what?
HUNT: Like love.
RHADE: Oh. We have love.
HUNT: I'm not talking about being nice to others. I'm talking about what I feel for Sarah. Love, Rhade. It's like magic.
RHADE: There is no magic. Just science you don't understand.

[Freya's quarters]

(Freya leads Tyr to her bed.)
RHADE [OC]: You may feel intensely attracted to your fiancé. You may feel pleasure when you breed, but this isn't magic. Your DNA has evolved this way so you'll reproduce. Nietzscheans know this explicitly. That is why the most important thing a Nietzschean female can give her chosen male is the double helix.
(Freya puts the armband on and hands the other to Tyr.)
RHADE [OC]: It represents the male and female's DNA, now bound together by metal. It confers the most honored titles a Nietzschean male can hold. Husband and father.
(Freya and Tyr consummate their union.)
RHADE [OC]: You see, it's not that we don't love, it's better, because everything we do furthers our reproduction. Everything in our lives is an intense, sexually charged negotiation.

[Memory - Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: All right, I think we've just reached the, er, too much information stage.
(Hunt stretches back, covering his face. Rhade removes a piece from the board.)
RHADE: Your move.
HUNT: What happened to my five D four?
RHADE: You had no piece there.
HUNT: Yes, I did. Unless you cheated.
RHADE: What do you mean?
(Hunt takes Rhade's wrist. He opens his hand to reveal Hunt's white piece.)
RHADE: It's only cheating if you get caught.

[Memory - Command]

(As Rhade tries to kill Hunt in episode one.)
HUNT: Rhade!
RHADE: I tried to warn you!

[Memory - Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: Three years we've been playing this game. Have you always been cheating?
RHADE: Haven't you?
HUNT: Why would I cheat?
RHADE: The same reason I do. So that you can win.

[Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: Why didn't I listen? You were warning me you'd do anything to win. Even kill me.
(He picks up the picture and remembers when he killed Rhade.)

[Memory - Command]

HUNT: Gaheris, what have you done?
RHADE: I'm proud of you. You should be

[Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: You were proud of me because I won.

[Memory - Hunt's quarters]

RHADE: Another round?

[Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: Yes. Andromeda, gradual adjust AP solenoid valve to increase anti-proton mass by ten percent an hour until my explicit counter-order.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Are you sure, Captain?
HUNT: I've never been more sure.

(Deleted scenes 41 and 42 - best guess as to correct location. If you know better, let me know.)
[Hydroponics]

HUNT: I feel like I'm reliving the worst moments of my life, only three hundred years later. I'm betting everything I've got, everything I believe in, on a Nietzschean.
BEM: The Divine often teaches us in echoes.
HUNT: I just wish the Divine would make things a little easier.
BEM: Has Tyr given you any reason not to trust him? Beyond his being a Nietzschean.
HUNT: No.
BEM: Then you must ask yourself, do you want Tyr to be a member of your crew or do you not? The only way to trust Tyr is to trust him.

[Command]

(Harper is working on a console, with both Rommie and Holo-Rommie present.)
HARPER: Okay, Rommie, now as I increase the power you're skin's going to start to feel a little prickly. You may notice a film come over your eyes. If any of this actually hurts, let me know, okay? I can always disconnect you.
ROMMIE: All right.
HARPER: Okay, how's this?
ROMMIE: Ow, ah!
HARPER: Too much?
ROMMIE: No, no, no, I'm just getting used to it, that's all.
HOLO-ROMMIE: It feels like I'm wearing a Vedran porcupine coat, only inside out.
HARPER: Well, look on the bright side. After I'm done here, you could get hit by a class five ion storm and you wouldn't feel it. Course, you couldn't see it coming, either.
ROMMIE: Well, at least this is only until Tyr can neutralise their pulse cannon, then I get my sight back.
HARPER: Yeah, right, whatever.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan knows what he's doing. He wouldn't go along with Tyr's plan if he didn't think it was safe.
HARPER: Okay, okay. I can't argue with the both of you. Captain knows best. This is really stupid.

[Freya's quarters]

(In the afterglow of ecstasy.)
FREYA: So, now what?
TYR: You want more?
FREYA: I wonder, who are you? Everything deep loves masks. What are you thinking?
TYR: It's complicated.
FREYA: Of course it is. Options, plans, plots. So many things to weigh, so many decisions to consider. The question is, will your final decision include me?
TYR: What if my decision includes you only as first female to an Alpha.
(They kiss. Guderian enters.)
GUDERIAN: Tyr. It's time.

[Colony]

GUDERIAN: I can't believe I'm betting everything on you.
TYR: Were I in your place, I'd say the same thing.
GUDERIAN: Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't, but if you betray me I'll hunt you down and I'll kill you.
TYR: There's no profit in revenge.
GUDERIAN: I've had enough children. I can afford to indulge in my whims.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Tyr's pod is landing in hangar four.
HUNT: Good. What's the status of the Than fleet?
ROMMIE: They've transited to normal space.
HUNT: ETA?
ROMMIE: Less than two hours.
HUNT: Then we'll move to intercept.
(A plasma bolt hits Andromeda.)
ROMMIE: I've been hit by the plasma cannon.
HUNT: Rommie, are you all right?
ROMMIE: I'm barely damaged. Almost all of the plasma stream was deflected. But there's something else. Airlock's opening!
TYR: That's the sound of Nietzscheans boarding, Captain Hunt.
(Tyr points a forcelance at Hunt.)

[Corridor]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: Systems disrupted. Internal defences offline.
(Trance and Harper walk around a corner and meet Guderian and his men.)
HARPER: Hey, if you're looking for the restrooms, they're down the hall and around the corner, back the way you came.
GUDERIAN: Amusing. Split up, we'll meet in Command.
MAN: This way.
MAN 2: Get her.
(Harper and Trance are taken prisoner.)
HARPER: Ow!

[Corridor 2]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: Intruder alert! Intruder alert!
(Beka aims a forcelance at two men.)
BEKA: Tour's over. Go home.
(Another Nietzschean approaches Beka from behind. She fights all three quite well until she gets thrown to the floor, then Bem jumps down a ladder and sprays venom into one man's face. He starts to deal with the others when the rest of the boarders come running.)
BEKA: Rev! They'll kill you!
GUDERIAN: Stop! Don't shoot. Don't kill them. They might turn out to be useful. Bring them.

[Command]

(Guderian enters with his men and captives.)
HUNT: Tyr, you forgot to mention you were bringing guests.
TYR: You can deactivate the ram-scoop deflector, Captain. You'll see you're surrounded.
HUNT: Andromeda, you heard him.
ROMMIE: Ram-scoop deflector deactivated.
HUNT: You like my force lance.
GUDERIAN: I like all of your equipment, Captain, especially Andromeda. Now hand it over to me.
HUNT: Just let me check one thing first. Rommie, what's the status on the AP power converter?
ROMMIE: Currently, anti-proton mass in the combustion chamber is at one hundred and twenty four percent of maximum recommended capacity. The chamber's designed to take one hundred and twenty five percent before complete system failure.
HUNT: How long until the ship explodes?
ROMMIE: Unless I receive your explicit counter-order to begin emergency decompression, three minutes.
HUNT: I'm not inclined to give that order. I was hoping to persuade you to join the Commonwealth. I always knew that was a long shot. But one thing I'm not prepared to do is turn this ship over to pirates, or anyone else, for that matter.
ROMMIE: Two minutes, forty five seconds.
(Klaxons blare.)
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Warning, systems critical. Warning, systems critical.
GUDERIAN: You're bluffing.
ROMMIE: Two minutes, thirty seconds.
HUNT: Anyway, destroying the ship may be a little extreme, but it's the only back-up plan I've got. How about you? None, huh? Then that's too bad. Tyr, call me crazy, but I'm betting you've got a backup plan.
(Tyr takes out the gizmo he was using on the plasma cannon.)
TYR: Always.
(He activates it, and a massive explosion rips across the surface of the asteroid. Tyr looks a little ashamed of himself.)
GUDERIAN: The plasma cannon!
TYR: Gone.
GUDERIAN: But the Than? We're defenceless.
HUNT: No, just disarmed. But we can protect you. Join the Commonwealth. Together, we can negotiate with the Than.
GUDERIAN: You'd die before you'd turn over your ship. Well, I'd die before I'd serve you.
ROMMIE: One minute.
GUDERIAN: Return to the fighters.
TYR: Perhaps now you'll know how my Pride felt after the Orca betrayed them. Wandering the galaxies without a home. Inferior!
GUDERIAN: Your betrayal also betrays Freya.
TYR: You and your people had better collect your things and leave the asteroid before the Than arrive.
GUDERIAN: You're right. I'll save them. My wives, my Pride, my twenty two children, all of whom will seek revenge on you, Kodiak.
(Guderian and his Nietzscheans leave. Tyr throws the gizmo to Hunt.)
HUNT: Andromeda, begin emergency venting.
ROMMIE: Emergency venting, aye.

[Medical]

(Than vessels approach Andromeda. Bem does the translating as usual.)
BEM: My grub farm is not much, but you're more than welcome to visit.
HUNT: Maybe we'll take you up on that.
TRANCE: I think our friend is ready to join her fleet.
BEM: The Than Hegemony also expresses its gratitude to the Commonwealth for ridding its sector of Nietzschean criminals. They respect us as a force for peace in the galaxy.
TRANCE: You got what you wanted.
HUNT: Not really, but it's a start.

[Observation deck]

(Tyr watches as Guderian's Pride evacuate the asteroid and destroy what they've left behind. He removes the double helix armband.)
HUNT: I'm sorry your decision cost you the status of husband and father.
TYR: It was part of the plan. I was always on your side.
HUNT: If it had been necessary, you would have killed me. You played your options right to the end. Guderian was set to kill me.
TYR: I wasn't on Guderian's side.
HUNT: Of course not. You'd never serve Guderian. You'd have turned and killed him, sent for Freya, and used the Andromeda to found your own Pride.
TYR: Really?
HUNT: Isn't that what's best for Tyr?
TYR: I'm proud of you.
HUNT: Why?
TYR: You're thinking like a Nietzschean.
HUNT: If I were thinking like a Nietzschean, I'd kill you.
TYR: Why don't you?
HUNT: Because my mission is to restore civilisation. And if I can't persuade you, a member of my own crew, how can I win over the rest of the galaxy?
TYR: Just when I thought you'd controlled your blind idealism, you say something like that. So, are you endeavouring to trust me, then?
HUNT: I trust Tyr to be Tyr.

[Transport ship]

(In a hold crowded with women, children and bunk beds. Olma is talking to Freya.)
OLMA: On the one hand, he won. He outsmarted us all, including Guderian. He is a worthy father.
(Olma holds up a small bottle of clear liquid.)
OLMA: On the other hand, he betrayed us, he abandoned you, and killing us would be less painful than what we must now endure. He is an unworthy husband.
(Olma holds up a similar bottle of red liquid.)
OLMA: The decision is yours.
(Freya tries to decide whether to keep her baby or not, while Tyr gazes out into space looking for her.)

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