The Banks of the Lethe

Original Airdate: 20 Nov, 2000

We say atoms are bound by
Weak Attractors.
Why not admit the Truth:
The universe is held together by Love.

Michio Von Kerr,
Wayist Physicist
CY 9942

[Command]

(Andromeda is orbiting a black hole.)
(Tyr lounging in the pilot's seat reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Harper enters carrying a piece of equipment and plonks it down on the floor by a pair of grey-skinned, long chinned Perseids.)
HOHNE: Be careful. Do you have any idea how much that piece of equipment costs, hmm?
HARPER: I can tell you how much it weighs.
HOHNE: (To Tyr) You. Help him with that.
TYR: I'm studying.
HOHNE: Studying what?
TYR: How to kill every Perseid on this ship when the Captain decides you're a threat.
HOHNE: Oh. Carry on, then.
ROMMIE: Let's hear it for Nietzschean diplomacy.
(Later, Hunt enters.)
HOHNE: Captain, ah
HUNT: Hang on a second. Rommie, how you holding up?
ROMMIE: As well as can be expected. Believe me, having your brain connected to a black hole is not fun.
HUNT: It'll be over soon.
ROMMIE: I'm counting down the nanoseconds.
HOHNE: I must say, Captain, this ship makes for an extraordinary research platform. The Andromeda Ascendant's quantum computer is a marvel. What a tragedy she's the last of her kind. It would be nice to have an extra to dissect. Perhaps after we're done.
HUNT: Rommie's not a lab rat.
HOHNE: Either way, your assistance here will not go unnoticed by the Xinti Council of Directors. They will be sure to see the advantages of Commonwealth membership knowing that you and your vessel will be at their disposal.
HUNT: Anything to help expand the frontiers of knowledge.
HOHNE: Not expand them, explode them. We are mapping the wave function of the universe, and once we succeed the possibilities will be endless. Faster than light communication, predictable slipstream travel, perhaps even teleportation.
(Andromeda judders, slowly.)
HOHNE: What was that?
HUNT: The tidal forces from the black hole are trickier than we expected.
ROMMIE: And the information exchange with the singularity is taking up a lot of my attention.
HUNT: Which means Andromeda's instantaneous corrections aren't as instantaneous as usual.
HOHNE: We're all painfully aware of your AI's limitations, Captain. That's why we only plan to maintain the quantum interface for another forty eight hours or so. Well within your ship's safety limitations.
ROMMIE: Well, I can't argue with his math.

[Observation deck]

(Beka enters. Hunt is already there, contemplating infinity.)
BEKA: Oh, how do you do it?
HUNT: Do what?
BEKA: Those Perseids have been playing the Sonata in E Major on my nerves, and so far you've managed to not even raise your voice at them. I'm very impressed.
HUNT: The Perseids sponsored humanity's entry into the Commonwealth. They're an important part of the rebuilding process.
BEKA: They're really annoying.
HUNT: I like them.
BEKA: Yeah, but you like everyone. Even people who try to kill you. Especially people who try to kill you. Dylan! Hi, I'm Beka Valentine, your first officer?
HUNT: Sorry. I just want to get Hohne's blessing for the new Commonwealth charter, then go away from here.
BEKA: The black hole.
HUNT: I never want to see it again. That thing didn't just swallow my ship, it swallowed my life.

[Hunt's quarters]

(Hunt picks up the photograph of himself and his fiancée, then looks at the black hole through the porthole.)
HUNT: Sarah. I miss you, Sarah.

Three hundred years earlier.

[Sarah's quarters]

SARAH: Come in.
KHALID: Sarah, we've established orbit. You should come to Command.
SARAH: You didn't have to come down here to tell me that, Ismael. A comm. link would've done the trick nicely.
KHALID: Ah, a comm. link. I wish I'd thought of that before I set out on this long and arduous journey down the corridor.
SARAH: You are a cold, unfeeling beast of a man, Captain Khalid.

[Starry Wisdom command]

(They are also orbiting a black hole.)
KHALID: Marquez did a few tricky turns in slipstream. That seems to have shaken the last enemy patrol, so we've got a little time.
SARAH: Not much. Your people are nothing if not persistent.
KHALID: Those traitors aren't my people. Any Nietzschean who can't figure out that survival depends on the continued existence of the Commonwealth doesn't deserve to carry the name.
SARAH: I didn't mean to say
KHALID: I know.
SARAH: Have I thanked you lately for helping me pull this off?
KHALID: You don't have to.
(A Than speaks.)
TWILIGHT: We've got a contact.
(It is Andromeda.)
TWILIGHT: They must be right on the edge of the event horizon. Time dilation is off the charts.
SARAH: Good work, people. Twilight, plot Andromeda's orbit.
TWILIGHT: Aye.
SARAH: Marquez, prepare the gravity pods for launch. Hold tight, Dylan. We're getting you out of there.
(Later.)
SARAH: The test pods are ready. When can we start?
TWILIGHT: We're still waiting for the data from our long-range drones.
KHALID: Activating the pods will be like sending up a flare. So before we deploy them, we need to make sure there are no hostiles in the system.
SARAH: You know, it's been a year. You'd think I could wait patiently for another few hours.
KHALID: Dylan and I, we shed blood together, so if we can retrieve him, I'm for it. But we can't afford mistakes.
SARAH: I know. It's just, I can't explain it, but I feel him out there, just, just beyond my reach. It's driving me crazy.
KHALID: I know the feeling. If we can reach them, it's worth everything. The waiting, the risks.
SARAH: And if I didn't believe in taking risks, I never would have met Dylan in the first place.

[Sarah's memory - laboratory]

(Fires are burning around her as she packs up a box. Weapons fire outside, then a Magog pushes a guard inside. They struggle and Sarah shoots it. A second Magog rushes her and is shot in the back by - )
HUNT: Doctor Riley, I presume?
SARAH: And you must be Commander Hunt. I am flattered by the attention.
(Khalid was the guard attacked by the Magog.)
KHALID: Thank you.
HUNT: Khalid, you all right?
KHALID: I slipped.
HUNT: Secure the exit.
KHALID: Right away.
(Khalid leaves.)
HUNT: Five thousand people on this research station, and only one stubborn enough to stay around in the middle of a Magog attack.
SARAH: I can't leave, not until my experiment finishes running.
HUNT: You mean this?
SARAH: Yes.
(Dylan shoots the panel with his force lance.)
HUNT: Well, now it's finished. We're leaving.
SARAH: Admiral Stark warned me about you.
HUNT: Really? And what did she say?
SARAH: That if I ever met you, I'd end up either falling in love with you, or killing you.
HUNT: Ah. I have that effect. Stay close.

[Observation deck]

BEM: Strange, isn't it, how something as beautiful as a star could give birth to such ugliness.
HUNT: It's not ugly, it's just hungry. It eats everything that comes near it.
BEM: Including your past. Beka told me you were troubled.
HUNT: Are you here to give me advice, Rev?
BEM: It's what I do. When I was at the Krishna Mirti Novitiate, we had a place we called the Shouting Cliffs. Whenever the Way became too difficult, we would stand at those cliffs and we would shout. Scream out all our frustrations, desires, hungers. All the things that held us back from our chosen course.
HUNT: I'm not one for shouting at rocks.
BEM: So don't shout. Speak softly. Record a message to your fiancée and send it into the singularity. Sometimes it's enough just to write the letter, even when you know no one is going to read it.

[Hangar deck]

(Perseids are milling around. A large contraption has been built here.)
BEKA: Let me guess. A fusion powered still.
HARPER: It's a teleporter. The chin-heads built it, but I made it work.
BEKA: And I'm the Vedran Empress.
HARPER: No, really. It scans you, destroys you, transmits you through the projector, and then rebuilds you from the particles up. Hilarity ensues.
BEKA: I think Mister Heisenberg would object.
HARPER: Hey, you've been doing your homework, but, no, it's not a problem. See, let's say we got two particles, okay? We'll call them Mona and Lisa. And when they hang out, eventually they get to be like twins. And no matter how far apart the twins travel, what's true for one is always true for the other. You got a question about Mona? Just ask Lisa. She'll tell you anything you want to know.
PERSEID: Quantum entanglement.
HARPER: Right. The thing is, Mona and Lisa lie to you seventy five percent of the time, so you got to catch them. But how? Enter the Perseids. Their little experiment here with Rommie and the black hole is building us a cosmic cheat sheet.
PERSEID: The wave function of the universe.
HARPER: So, the analysis module peeks at the cheat sheet, figures out the lies and squeezes out the truth.
PERSEID: In essence, it builds a map.
HARPER: And then it rebuilds you, er, like a piece of cheap furniture, only with better instructions. You don't have to buy now. Wait for the demonstration.
(Harper puts a large Bromeliad plant on a teleportation pedestal.)
BEKA: Careful, Harper. That is one of Trance's plants.
HARPER: I know.
BEKA: She loves them.
HARPER: I know.
BEKA: She gives them names.
HARPER: Trust in the Harper. The Harper is good. It goes in here.
(Harper points his remote control at it, and the plant dematerialises.)
HARPER: And it comes out there.
(The Bromeliad splutters into existence, then goes Splat! Beka gets sprayed with chlorophyll.)
BEKA: I believe she called that one Walter.

[Hunt's quarters]

(Hunt is recording a letter to Sarah.)
HUNT: Dear Sarah. In the past few hours, I've tried, I've tried eleven different ways to say goodbye to you, and in the process I've discovered something. I can't. I miss you, Sarah, and I think of you every day.

[Sarah's quarters]

(Hunt's voice is echoing.)
HUNT [on monitor]: Everything I know about love, I learned from you, and even in my darkest moments, it's your love that gives me the strength to continue. So no matter what happens, or where I go, a part of you will be with me. I love you, Sarah. I'll always love you.
SARAH: Dylan?

[Command]

(Andromeda shakes.)
HARPER: Er, Dylan? We got something freaky going on here.
HUNT: I'm afraid to ask.
HOHNE: It's all very exciting. We seem to be receiving a signal from the black hole.
HUNT: That's impossible. Nothing comes out of a singularity.
HARPER: You want impossible? Listen to this.
SARAH [on viewscreen]: Dylan, I'm receiving your message. What's your status? Can you hear me? Dylan, I'm receiving your message. What's your status? Can you
(Transmission ends.)
HUNT: Sarah. Harper! You get that signal back! You get it back right now!

[Starry Wisdom command]

TWILIGHT: There's no way that signal could have come from Andromeda. She's still frozen in time.
SARAH: That was Dylan, and we all know it.
KHALID: Assuming the signal was genuine and not some kind of trick or trap.
SARAH: We have to re-establish contact. Spread the signal over the entire EM spectrum. Use the communication laser. Hell, send up smoke signals if you have to.
TWILIGHT: It's back.
KHALID: Marquez, clean up the signal.
HUNT [on viewscreen]: Unknown ship, are you receiving? This is Captain Dylan Hunt of the Commonwealth Starship Andromeda Ascendant.
SARAH: Dylan. Dylan, it's Sarah.

[Command]

HUNT: Sarah. My god. It is you.
SARAH [on viewscreen]: I'm on the Starry Wisdom, just outside the singularity, about a quarter light second from your position.
HUNT: What are you doing here?
SARAH [on viewscreen]: We've come to rescue you, you big ape.
HUNT: You're a little late for that, I think. We need to talk. In private.

[Sarah's quarters]

SARAH: So, you're sending me a message from three hundred years in the future?
HUNT [on monitor]: I've been told it's not impossible, it's just mind-staggeringly unlikely.
SARAH: Wow.
HUNT [on monitor]: How'd you get here? What's happened since I've been gone?
SARAH: We evacuated the Institute just before Tarn-Vedra was cut off from the slipstream. Earth's in ruins. Nietzscheans are everywhere. For a while after you disappeared, I was lost, but then I started hearing the stories about how your ship was trapped. You might still be alive. I spent six months putting this crew together. I called in every favour anyone ever owed us, and then some, to make it this far.
HUNT [on monitor]: You mounted this entire rescue operation in the middle of a war.
SARAH: You thought I'd just lay a wreath at the High Guard's Wall of the Fallen and get on with my life? I'm getting you out of there, Dylan, and I'm doing it now.

[Eureka Maru]

(Bem is using fruit to illustrate Sarah's plan to rescue Hunt and the Andromeda.)
BEM: When the pods activate, they'll reduce the attraction between the singularity and the Andromeda. Her own momentum will then nudge her into an escape orbit.
BEKA: That is crazy. When we salvaged the Andromeda, she'd had three hundred years to reach a more favourable orbit. No. For Sarah's plan to work, it would take
BEM: A miracle? Why not? To call a thing a miracle is just another way of saying it's highly improbable.
HARPER: Miracle, shmiracle. All I know is if my main squeeze, assuming I ever get one, wanted to save me from a black hole? Doomed or not, I wouldn't stand in her way.
BEKA: Maybe. But we know Sarah's plan didn't work. If it did, we wouldn't be here right now. What happened in the past happened. Dylan wasn't saved. His ship was still here three hundred years later when we rescued him, and nothing Sarah's planning can change that.
HARPER: All that work, and he's still not going to get to first base. Wait a second. Maybe he can. Call me the love god, baby! Give me an hour, and then tell Dylan to meet me in the hangar deck.

[Hangar deck]

HOHNE: Please, be careful. Those components were hand-machined by one of the finest.
(Harper plonks a component onto a bench.)
HOHNE: I wouldn't do that, if I were you. Those parameters are calibrated precisely
HARPER: Relax. Relax. This is going to be one beautiful mother of a time machine, okay? And besides, blowing up the Captain would not look good on my resume.
ROMMIE: Don't even joke. If you put him through that thing, he'd better come out in one piece.
HARPER: Oh, I'll get him through, all right. The question is, what happens then?
ROMMIE: What do you mean?
HARPER: Well, in the rush of scientific curiosity, there's one fact I actually managed to overlook. When Dylan gets back to his fiancée, what happens if he decided to stay? I'll tell you what. No more glorious mission. No more Commonwealth. Beka will have you running cargo and us hunting for pretty rocks.
ROMMIE: It won't happen. He won't abandon his mission, not for anything.
HARPER: Who are you trying to convince, Rommie, you or me?
(The hour is up.)
HUNT: So, Harper, what did you want to show me?
HARPER: Watch and be amazed. Three. Two. One.
(A large fruit with a face drawn on it materialises in a clear container then explodes.)
HUNT: Okay, you blew up a cali-melon.
HARPER: Yeah. That's not the impressive part. This is.
(Harper selects a new melon and draws a face on it, then puts it on the teleport pad and dematerialises it.)
HARPER: I blew up that cali-melon.
HUNT: You blew up? You sent it into the past.
HARPER: You better believe it, baby. And you were there. Now do I rule, or do I rule?
HUNT: Time travel.
HARPER: Yeah. It's not that hard when you put your mind to it. Just destroy one melon with some neat-o Perseid techo-toys, season liberally with some Earth human genius, shake it up in your friendly neighbourhood singularity and reassemble quark by quark. Serves one.
HUNT: You think you can send me back.
HARPER: Hey, matter, energy? It's all just information in the end. We've already sent back a signal. From there, it's just a matter of scale. Huge scale.
HUNT: You make it sound so simple.
HARPER: Hey, don't knock it till you try it. It's a one way ticket to love, baby.
(Another melon materialises and explodes.)
HUNT: Yeah. One way is right.

[Sarah's quarters]

(A holographic Hunt appears behind her as she is holding a large cup.)
HUNT: That stuff'll stunt your growth, you know?
(Sarah drops her cup.)
HUNT: And make you jumpy. Sorry. I should've warned you before I came. Mea culpa.
SARAH: You're forgiven. Oh, I don't know if this is better or worse than a picture on a vidscreen. Well, I'll have the real thing soon enough.
HUNT: Sarah, you know this isn't going to work.
SARAH: Any reasoning behind that, or are you just going to rest on unbridled optimism?
HUNT: I'm here three hundred years in your future. Doesn't that tell you anything?
SARAH: It tells me that you're alive on that event horizon. It tells me that you can be saved, because you have been saved.
HUNT: This isn't one of those silly holo-dramas where timelines can be altered at will and bad things never happen to good people. The past is the past. It can't be changed.
SARAH: You know as well as I do that the math doesn't completely rule me out. You might be from an alternate future, or maybe I can create a divergent reality, one where we're together. You know, Dylan, I don't care about the physics and I don't care about the math. I just want you back.
HUNT: All right. I know that look. I'm not going to argue with you. But if this doesn't work. Never mind. We'll worry about that when we get to it.

[Starry Wisdom Command]

(Holo-Hunt zaps in. Khalid stares, and comes closer to look.)
KHALID: Captain on deck.
(They salute.)
HUNT: As you were.
TWILIGHT: Good to see you, sir.
MARQUEZ: Welcome back, sir.
KHALID: You heard him, people. We've got a lot of work to do. Let's get to it.
(Sarah enters.)
SARAH: I'll let you two get re-acquainted.
(Sarah goes to a console.)
HUNT: How is she?
KHALID: Surviving, barely. I keep telling her all the constant work and worry are killing her, but she won't hear it. She doesn't care about anything but you.
HUNT: If this plan doesn't work, I'm counting on you to take her someplace safe. I understand the Than homeworld comes through the war more or less in one piece.
KHALID: I'll take care of it.
SARAH: Ready when you are, Captain.
KHALID: Marquez. All ahead slow.
MARQUEZ: Aye.
SARAH: Deploy the pods.
(Anti-grav pods settle around the trapped Andromeda.)
TWILIGHT: The pods are in position.
HUNT: I can't wait to see the look on my face when you pull me out of there.
SARAH: Another Dylan. Whatever would I do with two of you? Energise the anti-grav generators.
KHALID: Prep medical and rescue teams.
TWILIGHT: Generators energised.
MARQUEZ: Teams on standby.
SARAH: Charge the pods, and think good thoughts.
TWILIGHT: She's moving.
SARAH: Prepare pod salvo two, on my mark.
MARQUEZ: Sir, I'm detecting another ship coming around the black hole in a tight orbit.
HUNT: Identity?
MARQUEZ: Nietzscheans. They're firing on us!
(Starry Wisdom takes big hits.)
KHALID: Combat mode! Defensive fire. ECM at maximum.
MARQUEZ: It's a stealth fighter, Drago-Kazov Pride. She's making another run.
TWILIGHT: We've lost contact with the pods. They're slipping back into the singularity.
HUNT: What about the Andromeda?
SARAH: She's settling into a new orbit. Damn them! They waited until the worst possible moment to hit us.
KHALID: Let's see what they've got. Ready missiles.
(Sarah's console begins to overload.)
HUNT: Sarah!
KHALID: Sarah! Sarah, look out!
(Holo-Hunt can't help her, but Khalid pushes her to safety and gets injured by the blast.)
SARAH: Medical team to command now!
Marquez: Fire control is down, slipstream is offline, and we're losing pressure on decks five and six.
HUNT: Marquez, deploy counter-measures fore and aft.
MARQUEZ: Aye, sir.
HUNT: You, administer first aid. Keep the Captain stable until a medical team arrives. Twilight, do we still have control of pods we haven't launched?
TWILIGHT: Yes, sir.
HUNT: Good. Let's bring it. Marquez, can you target those pods to the fighter's position?
MARQUEZ: They're not designed for warfare. Their explosive force would be negligible.
HUNT: I don't need them to explode.
SARAH: Dylan, don't. We need those pods to free the Andromeda.
HUNT: You can't free her if you're dead.
SARAH: I'll reconfigure the fields.
MARQUEZ: Target lock achieved. Pods away.
TWILIGHT: Sir, I don't understand. How can the pods hurt them if our missiles can't?
HUNT: We're about to make our Nietzschean friends
SARAH: Very, very small.
(Medics help Khalid off Command.)
HUNT: Now.
(The pods push the Nietzschean ship into the black hole.)
TWILIGHT: The singularity's got them. They're gone.
MARQUEZ: We've lost the pods.
HUNT: All stations stand down. We'll try again.
SARAH: Andromeda's out of position. It'll be another twelve hours before we can try again.
HUNT: Sarah
SARAH: Don't. Don't tell me it's not my fault. Don't say anything at all, because you can't make this all better.
(Sarah leaves.)
TWILIGHT: Sir, we're picking up a slipstream portal event. A Nietzschean destroyer!
HUNT: ETA?
TWILIGHT: Eleven hours. Maybe less.

[Sarah's quarters]

(Holo-Hunt zaps in.)
SARAH: Oh. I was just thinking about the day we met.
HUNT: The Nietzscheans will be here soon. You know the Starry Wisdom can't handle another fight.
SARAH: You battled a swarm of Magog to save a person you didn't even know. Me.
HUNT: Would you please listen? By the time Andromeda's in position for you to retrieve her, the Nietzscheans will be in firing range.
SARAH: You came after me, even though it might have killed you. So what if I were to come after you.
HUNT: Sarah, it won't work. From where I'm standing, this is ancient history. You can't change it. What just happened proved that.
SARAH: Oh, so because I'm not already there with you, I'm doomed to fail? I'm not convinced! For all we know, I could show up on your ship any day now.
HUNT: And for all we know, you'll die trying. That's a black hole, Sarah. It was a fluke that I made it through. I don't want you taking that risk.
SARAH: Yeah, well, as far as you're concerned, I've been dead for three hundred years.
HUNT: No. As far as I'm concerned, you're still very much alive, and your life can be a good one. You don't have to end it here.
SARAH: I won't grow old without you. I won't become the old woman who lost her one true love and lived out the rest of her days with a broken heart.
HUNT: Then don't be that woman. Choose to be someone else.
SARAH: Oh, I wish I could, but see, all I feel is this hole inside me, and no matter what I do, it just swallows me up.
HUNT: There might be a way. It could kill us both, but at least there's a chance.
SARAH: A good chance?
HUNT: A chance.

[Command]

(Tyr is still lounging and reading.)
HUNT: Tyr, I need to talk to you.
TYR: Rumour has it that you intend to use the little professor's machine. It's suicidal.
HUNT: I take it you don't approve.
TYR: On the contrary. Genetic propagation is one of the few endeavours worth the risk of death. Now, assume that this kills you. What will happen to this ship?
HUNT: Tactful as always. Beka takes command. No question. But a ship like this one, manned by a skeleton crew of cargo-runners and salvagers? I want you to stay. I want you to protect them.
TYR: And what possible reason would I have for doing that?
HUNT: Because they need you.
TYR: You say that as though you actually believe it means something to me.
HUNT: Doesn't it?

[Hangar deck]

(The last melon has the name Trance written on it.)
HARPER: Allow me to introduce myself. Seamus Zelazny Harper, Super Genius!
BEKA: So, one of them made it. Out of how many attempts?
HARPER: Oh, the deck drips with the guts of the unworthy, but behold. I have given life and form to the first time-travelling fruit in the history of the universe!
BEKA: So, what's the plan? We engrave Trance on Dylan's forehead?
HARPER: Couldn't hurt. In fact, he might look kind of cute. Let's see. We send him back into the past. He gives Sarah a signal booster. I lock onto Sarah without losing my bead on him, and I bring them both back. On the one hand, it's no more difficult than teleporting a plant across the room, which, by the way, I can now do with a success rate of one hundred percent. And on the other hand, it's, er. Oh, who am I kidding? I have a fifty percent chance at best of pulling this off.
BEKA: And if it doesn't work?
HARPER: Melon guts.

[Corridor]

ROMMIE: This is not your best idea.
HUNT: I know the odds. Fifty fifty. I can live with that.
ROMMIE: Can your crew live with that? And what about your mission? You're the only hope for bringing the known worlds back from chaos. This is bigger than you, Dylan. You have to be objective.
HUNT: When I touch you, do you feel me? Or do you measure the pressure of my fingers against your skin? When I speak, do you hear my voice, or do you interpret an acoustic wave? I can't be objective about this. I'm not a machine.
ROMMIE: You have to think about the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Sarah is my Commonwealth.
ROMMIE: I can stop you, you know. I can break the connection with the singularity, leave orbit, and cut the cord.
HUNT: Yes, you can. But you won't.

[Hangar deck]

HARPER: This is the signal booster. Give it to Sarah and I should be able to snag her. I mean, bring her back. I hope.
HOHNE: I must say, the prospect of tearing you apart particle by particle and reassembling you on a ship three hundred years in the past is quite exhilarating. We admire your devotion to science.
HUNT: We do what we have to do.
HOHNE: Of course.
(Beka enters.)
BEKA: You have pulled some real knee-slappers before, but this has got to be the Queen Mother.
HUNT: If you want to talk me out of this, take a number. The line starts behind Rommie.
BEKA: Oh, no, that's okay. We both know you're completely impervious to reason. I just wanted to tell you that killing yourself out of some misdirected need to play the love-sick schoolboy is not the kind of thing that impresses people.
HUNT: You know it's not as simple as that.
BEKA: You're right, it isn't. The truth is, you feel guilty. You survived the war, and Sarah didn't. Well, join the club. All of us feel guilty for something, Dylan. It's called life. It hurts. It isn't fair. That's not a reason to die.
HUNT: Let me be clear. I'm coming back!
(Hunt steps between the arms of the main teleportation machine.)
HUNT: Let's do this.
HARPER: Away we go. The betting window is now closed.
(Dylan dematerialises.)

[Starry Wisdom Command]

(A crack forms in the air at the back of Command, and Hunt stumbles through it.)
HUNT: Hi.
SARAH: That was quite an entrance.
HUNT: It's better with a marching band.
(Boom!)
KHALID: Battle stations.
HUNT: How's that for perfect timing?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Dylan, we're taking heavy enemy fire.
HUNT: I'm well aware of that, Rommie.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: No, I mean I'm taking fire here, in the future.
HUNT: You've got to be kidding me.

[Command]

(Harper gets into the pilot's seat. Hunt is on the viewscreen.)
TYR: The Drago-Kazov came out of nowhere. That Magog thinks the Nietzscheans fighting you must have left attack orders for their descendants. Now, I don't know, Dylan. Perhaps they detected the Wisdom's connection to the future, or learned about it later. Either way, they're here.
ROMMIE: And that's not the worst of it.
HUNT [on viewscreen]: Talk to me.
ROMMIE: I can't keep up with it all. That Perseid experiment is still consuming most of my systems' resources.
TYR: It's like we're fighting in quicksand.
(Sparks fly.)
HUNT [on viewscreen]: Then maybe we need to stop the experiment.
ROMMIE: If we do that, you'll be stuck in the past.
HUNT: Tyr, you know what to do. Do it. Out.

[Starry Wisdom Command]

KHALID: We took a direct hit on deck five. The traitors have us outgunned.
HUNT: What about the Andromeda?
SARAH: Oh, there's no way we can free her now. The best we can do is give her a gentle nudge.
HUNT: Maybe that's enough.

[Command]

BEKA: If you're thinking of cutting him off and bugging out, I wouldn't.
(They draw guns on each other. Tyr puts his down first.)
TYR: He's worth more alive than dead to both of us. Can we get to work here?

[Starry Wisdom Command]

HUNT: Ready?
SARAH: We're using the singularity's gravity to warp the transmission. It should make it look like the signal's coming from the Andromeda.
HUNT: Twilight, begin transmission.
TWILIGHT: Yes, sir.
HUNT: Attention hostile vessel. This is Captain Dylan Hunt of the Systems Commonwealth Starship Andromeda Ascendant. Withdraw or be destroyed.
TWILIGHT: Transmission ended.
SARAH: The anti-grav pods are energised. On your mark.
KHALID: Go.

[Command]

(Tyr is busy at weapons control.)
BEKA: Hope he knows what he's doing.
HARPER: Come on, Bek. He's only piloting three fighter squads while we sit here and do nothing. What could be so difficult about that?
BEKA: Okay, let's hit them with a feint and pray they buy it.
TYR: Missiles away.

[Starry Wisdom Command]

TWILIGHT: The Andromeda is moving.
HUNT: Now we see if they take the bait.

[Command]

HARPER: The Nietzscheans took out our entire missile barrage. They're coming right at us!
BEKA: Well, why wouldn't they? We're a sitting duck.
(More consoles explode.)
TYR: And now, so are they. Welcome to my ambush.
(Three slipfighters appear from behind Andromeda and attack the Nietzschean ship. It goes KaBOOM! and breaks apart in slow motion.)

[Starry Wisdom Command]

TWILIGHT: They're buying it. They're vectoring off.
KHALID: Maintain battle stations. Plot a course out of the system.
MARQUEZ: Yes, sir.
SARAH: You got a minute?
HUNT: Sure. What do you
(Sarah kisses him, long and hard.)
HUNT: Hold that thought. Twilight, can you connect me to the Andromeda?
TWILIGHT: Connecting.
HUNT: Harper.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: Yo.
HUNT: Let's do this.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: You got it.
(Hunt gets down on one knee to give her the booster.)
HUNT: I know we've already been through this, but it's been a while.
SARAH: A signal booster? You're taking me with you?
HUNT: I'm thinking we can skip a formal wedding. Let's just elope.
SARAH: It sounds perfect.
HUNT: Khalid, I thank you.
KHALID: No thanks necessary.
HUNT: Harper, now.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: It's magic time.
(Hunt and Sarah dematerialise. Nothing happens on the Andromeda and they reappear on the Starry Wisdom.)
HUNT: Harper.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: I got it, I got it. No problem.
(Same again.)
SARAH: What's happening?
HARPER [on viewscreen]: I don't know. There's too much data. The stupid IS System won't hold it all. I can't do it.
HUNT: You mean we're stuck here?
HARPER [on viewscreen]: Just Sarah. I can pull you back. I stored most of your data, but I can't process the information from the booster. I'll lose her, Dylan. She'll die.
BEKA [OC]: Harper, we've got more Nietzscheans incoming, and the Andromeda's having trouble maintaining connection to the singularity. If you're going to bring Dylan back, it has to be now.
HARPER: I'm sorry, boss.
HUNT: Just give me one minute. If you don't hear from me, you leave.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: Dylan, we don't
HUNT: One minute!
KHALID: Clear the deck.
(Khalid and the crew leave.)
HUNT: Now what?
SARAH: I'm not giving up on this, Dylan. Not when we've come this far. Let's try again. Maybe it'll work.
HUNT: I won't let you die. Not for me, not for anything.
SARAH: But you won't stay with me here, will you?
HUNT: If I go back, I've got a chance to restore the Commonwealth, but if I stay, civilisation will still fall. No matter what I do, the Dark Ages will still last for three hundred years.
SARAH: You won't make a difference to anyone but me.
HUNT: The Commonwealth is more important than either one of us.
SARAH: You can't change the future by living in the past. Although it certainly would be nice to have you around.
HUNT: I wish that were enough.
SARAH: If it were, you wouldn't be the man I fell in love with. You came back for me. You risked everything.
HUNT: But I failed.
SARAH: No. No. No, you saved me. You always do.
(One last kiss.)
SARAH: We had our time together. This isn't your time anymore.
HUNT: I love you. Harper, take me back.
(Hunt dematerialise while he and Sarah are touching palms.)
SARAH: I love you.

[Hangar deck]

(Hunt materialises safely. Harper breathes again.)
BEKA: Welcome back.

[Corridor]

HOHNE: Captain Hunt. Captain, that was incredible. A brilliant advance for science. Yes, the Xinti Council will be very pleased. Very, very pleased.
BEKA: Will you please leave him alone?
TYR [OC]: Harper, I need your status!
HUNT: Tyr, I'm back. Take us out.
(Andromeda leaves the black hole.)

[Observation deck]

ROMMIE: The Xinti government is very pleased with us. They're going to sign the Charter. The first world to agree to a restored Commonwealth.
HUNT: Score one for the good guys.
ROMMIE: Harper wants to throw a party, but I told him it might be inappropriate, given the circumstances.
HUNT: No. No, not at all. The crew's worked hard for this moment. They deserve a little celebration, don't you think?
ROMMIE: Yes. And I'm glad you think so, too. Dylan, about Sarah.
HUNT: You figured out what happened to the Starry Wisdom?
ROMMIE: No, not yet, but I do know this. Sarah may not have been able to pull us from the black hole, but whatever she did changed our orbit enough for the Eureka Maru to finish the job three hundred years later. If she hadn't come along
HUNT: We'd still be stuck inside the event horizon.
ROMMIE: She saved you after all.
(Rommie nearly touches Hunt, but leaves instead.)
HUNT: Isn't that what people who love each other do?

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