A Rose In The Ashes

Original Airdate: 27 Nov, 2000

The truest measure of a society is
how it treats its elderly, its pets,
and its prisoners.

Keeper of the Way Vision of Faith VII
CY 9891

[Command]

(Andromeda is orbiting a planet. Harper is in the pilot's chair, reading from a flexi.)
HARPER: I, Seamus Zelazny Harper, the Exalted Love Machine of the planet Earth, do hereby ordain that when fifty planets have agreed to join the Systems Commonwealth
TRANCE: What are you reading?
HARPER: It's, er, Dylan's fill in the blanks Constitution. I, state name, the, state title, of, enter name of planet here, do hereby ordain that when fifty planets and blah blah blah blah. Kind of lacks the poetry of the Founding Fathers.
TRANCE: Founding Fathers. You know, I've never understood that. If they found it, it was already there, so how could they be its father?
HARPER: It's complicated to explain. Here, we'll do you. I
TRANCE: Trance Gemini.
HARPER: The Sparkly Purple Babe of. I still don't even know what planet you're from.
TRANCE: Oh, really. So, do you think the Arazians were big supporters of the Commonwealth in Dylan's day?
HARPER: What are your people called, Trance?
TRANCE: It's not a secret or anything. It's just I don't think you'd be able to pronounce it.
HARPER: Well, a translation will be just fine.
TRANCE: Okay. Er, it translates as Exalted Love Machines.
HARPER: Why do I even try?
TRANCE: So, what do you think? Will the Arazians sign on?
HARPER: Your guess is as good as mine. Actually it's probably better.

[Council chamber]

(Hunt is at a podium in full uniform. Rommie stands behind and to his right.)
HUNT: My mission is simple. It's to restore the Systems Commonwealth to the glory that it was. It's not for myself. It's not even for you. It's for everyone. For every planet, a voice. For every voice, an ear. A government of the people, by the people and for the people.
(Three beings shrouded in red dustsheets make up the council. The top one gurgles the reply.)
MIN: Pretty words, Captain Hunt, but the Systems Commonwealth is three hundred years gone.
HUNT: To me, it was only yesterday. Yesterday that peace and prosperity were the birthright of all sentient beings. Yesterday that a million worlds were able to
MIN: Now you're exaggerating.
ROMMIE: Actually, Councillor, there were one million, twenty two thousand, three hundred and forty seven member worlds in the Systems Commonwealth. Arazia was inducted in 6740, the seventeenth planet in the local cluster to
HUNT: That's okay, Rommie. I'm sure the High Council is aware of Arazia's long and warm relationship with the Commonwealth.
MIN: Long it may have been. Warm it was not. You've missed a great deal, Captain. You've missed seeing this world plundered by Nietzscheans. You've missed the Magog invasions, the famines, the years when civil war and anarchy raged unchecked. You've slept through it all, but we did not. You've picked the wrong planet. Dylan Hunt, you have agitated against the government of Arazia. This court finds you guilty of sedition. You are hereby sentenced to life in prison.
(Two guards stun Hunt and Rommie.)
MIN: Meeting adjourned.

[Command]

BEKA: What do you mean, you lost them?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The minute they stepped into the Council Chamber, I lost the signal. That was yesterday.
TYR: Sounds like a hostage situation to me. Ship, arm bomb tubes one through twenty for a warning strike outside the Arazian capital.
BEKA: Okay, reality check? What if they're starting a third course of a state dinner? Blowing up the countryside would probably not help our situation.
TYR: Or Dylan is already dead, in which case we haven't a thing to lose.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: In the old days, we had a way of dealing with situations like this. We talked to people.
BEKA: Contact Councillor Min.
(A being wearing a red dust sheet comes onscreen.)
RECEPTIONIST [on viewscreen]: Councillor Min's office. How do you wish to be announced?
BEKA: This is Beka Valentine of the starship Andromeda Ascendant. I'm looking for our captain, Dylan Hunt. He was meeting with the High Council.
RECEPTIONIST [on viewscreen]: I'm sorry I can't help you.
BEKA: Okay, maybe I should speak to the Councillor directly.
RECEPTIONIST [on viewscreen]: Do you have an appointment?
TYR: We don't make appointments.
RECEPTIONIST [on viewscreen]: Councillor Min doesn't talk to anyone without an appointment.
BEKA: I am standing at the helm of a High Guard battleship orbiting your planet. Two words from me and a barrage of kinetic warheads will blast you, Councillor Min, and three generations of Arazians back to the Stone Age.
RECEPTIONIST [on viewscreen]: I think you still need an appointment.
(Transmission ends)
TYR: Now can we blow them up?

[Warden's office]

(A small ship arrives at another planet. Hunt is brought in, shackled, to a bald man standing at a set of consoles. He doesn't look at Hunt.)
WARDEN: This is Re-education Center Helios Nine. I am Sector Three Deputy, this institution's governing artificial intelligence. You will address my avatars as Warden. Your food ration disc
HUNT: Where's Rommie?
(The Warden finally pays him attention.)
WARDEN: Excuse me?
HUNT: The woman who was with me. Where is she?
WARDEN: The women are processed separately from the men.
HUNT: She hasn't done anything wrong. I haven't done anything wrong. We're innocent.
WARDEN: Your food ration disc will activate any of our conveniently located vending machines. You will receive high protein kibble sufficient for twenty four hours and twenty four hours only. Do not attempt to re-use your disc. Do not share it with anyone, and do not lose it. Because without your daily ration, you will die. Any questions?
HUNT: Yes. How do I file an appeal?
WARDEN: You're very funny, prisoner. My only goal is the smooth and efficient operation of this facility. As long as you don't impede that, feel free to amuse the general population.
(The Deputy presses a button and Hunt's shackles drop to the floor. He takes the small disc from the Deputy then prisoner 11-7723 walks through to)

[Compound]

(Bright orange sunshine and a large area. One man draws a sword when he sees Hunt. The various aliens turn to watch, also hefting various weapons, and a pair of automatic machine guns gets the situation in its sights.)
HUNT: Cozy.
ALL: Newbie. Newbie. Newbie. Newbie. Newbie. (etc, etc.)
(Some one whistles and they fall silent. A young woman in a leather mini-dress walks up.)
KAE-LEE: Cork it! The newbie'll think we're savages. Welcome to hell, Mister er
HUNT: You can call me Hunt.
KAE-LEE: Ooo. Tough guy. I'm impressed. How about a traditional inmate greeting for Mister Hunt.
(One inmate grabs Hunt from behind as another approaches from the front. Hunt kicks the second to the floor and headbutts then punches out the first. He stops when someone holds a sharp axe to his throat. Kae-Lee reaches into his overall pocket.)
KAE-LEE: Don't mind me. (takes the ration disc.) Gorgeous, isn't it? I love it when they're new and shiny.
HUNT: The Warden told me not to share that thing. Something about starving to death.
KAE-LEE: Well, sorry, but there isn't enough to go around, and well, some of us want seconds. Tell you what, though. You can try to win it back!
(A big hairy alien comes forward, growling. The inmates all chant fight! fight!)
HUNT: I take it formal debate's not an option.

[Jessa's tent]

(A woman is watching all this on a monitor in a woodland area. She has an electronics workbench.)
JESSA: Uppercut! Uppercut! Come on, he's got a glass jaw! Oh, come on! Pathetic. Xax is going to shred him in a second.

[Command]

BEKA: All in favour of making an appointment with the High Council?
(No one.)
BEKA: That's what I figured.
HARPER: Hey! Maybe we're overreacting. Come on! Okay, look. If I went missing with that fine looking piece of machinery I wouldn't want to be found.
TRANCE: Well, it's not like that with Dylan and Rommie.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Wait. I'm detecting infrared plumes near the equator.
HARPER: Infrared plumes? Like from a missile launch?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Very much like.
(Bang!)
BEKA: Evasive manoeuvres! Andromeda, activate the point defense lasers and get us out of here.
TRANCE: What about Dylan?
TYR: We can't help him if we're dead.
(More bangs.)
HARPER: And Dylan can take care of himself.

[Compound]

(The fight continues, which Dylan being thrown around. He finally lands in a crate of nuts, thinks, then tips them onto the ground.)
HUNT: Hey! Come on, you oversized goat! Take another shot!
(Xax runs at Hunt, who sidesteps and lets Xax skid on the nuts. He falls to his knees and Hunt kicks his back, knocking him out against a handy ladder. The inmates cheer. Kae-Lee whistles for silence.)
KAE-LEE: Nice work. No one's ever taken Xax before.
HUNT: No, really?
KAE-LEE: I think you'll make a nice addition to the inmate community. What do you say, boys?
ALL: Yeah!
KAE-LEE: Come, sit with me.
HUNT: Look, miss, I appreciate
KAE-LEE: Kae-Lee.
HUNT: Kae-Lee. I appreciate the, er, hospitality, but I don't plan on being here long.
KAE-LEE: Hmm. Let me guess. You're innocent.
HUNT: Would it make any difference?
KAE-LEE: Not likely. There are no return tickets from Hell Nine. So sit, eat, and count yourself lucky I favour men with blue eyes.
HUNT: Lucky me. Thanks, but I'll pass.
KAE-LEE: Don't be so hasty. If you're not hungry, at least stick around for the after dinner entertainment.
(A covered cage is wheeled out, then the tarpaulin removed to reveal Rommie. Time passes.)
KAE-LEE: And the clock on the wall says dinner time! Open the doors. Let the outsiders in.
(The gates open and people carrying ration bowls come in.)
KAE-LEE: Hey, single file. You know the drill. How you doing, tough guy?
HUNT: Are they getting enough food? They don't look too healthy.
KAE-LEE: If they were too healthy, they'd be a worse pain than they already are.
HUNT: What gives you the right to treat them like this?
KAE-LEE: I give me the right. Look, around here, there's only three roles you can play. You can be a wolf, you can be a sheep, or you can be a corpse. Which are you?
(A fight breaks out. Kae-Lee goes over to sort it out, leaving Hunt alone.)
KAE-LEE: Hey! You don't want to get on my last nerve, all right?
(Hunt activates his sub-dermal comm. so they can talk without appearing to be in contact.)
HUNT: Rommie, you okay?
ROMMIE: What happened? Where are we?
HUNT: Some kind of correctional facility. Can you get a fix on our position from your astrogation program?
ROMMIE: No. We must not be anywhere near the ship. I can't access any data. I can't contact my mainframe. I can't even recharge my batteries. I'm useless.
HUNT: Don't worry. I'll get us out of here.
ROMMIE: Forget about me. I'll only slow you down.
HUNT: I'm not leaving without you.
ROMMIE: You may not have any choice. With no maintenance and no power, in a few days this body will be nothing but spare parts.

[Command]

TRANCE: We can't just run and hide. Give me a shuttlecraft and send me down to that planet and I will have Dylan and Rommie back here by breakfast.
HARPER: I don't know.
TRANCE: One forcelance, Harper. Come on, you know you can trust me with a forcelance.
HARPER: Trance, the last time I gave you a weapon, you started a chain reaction on Gertrude Elian Drift. Dumped the main power grid.
TRANCE: Well, it was in a good way.
HARPER: It's too risky. If Dylan isn't in trouble, and remember, we don't know that he is, an outright attack could definitely put him in harm's way.
TRANCE: Well then, I'll go undercover. I'll be practically invisible. You know I can.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: It's too late for that.
HARPER: Why do you say that?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I just intercepted a classified transmission in the data stream. Two anti-government activists were shipped off-world at the same time we lost contact. Dylan and my humanoid body aren't on Arazia any more. They've been sent to a prison colony.

[Compound]

(Jessa hands over her bowl for her rations.)
XAX: Hey, Jessa. What's fourteen times thirty two?
JESSA: Same as yesterday, Xax.
XAX: Fifty two times forty seven. Come on. Fifty two times forty seven.
JESSA: Twenty four forty four. Can I have my supper, please, or do you need me to calculate pi for you, too?
(Jessa snatches back her bowl, now half filled with the nuts.)
HUNT: Let the lady have her meal.
JESSA: Who asked you?
HUNT: Just trying to help.
JESSA: Newbie, right? You've been here for, what, five minutes? I've been here my entire life. I can take care of myself.
(Jessa walks off. Later, Kae-Lee is overseeing a knife fight between two women.)
KAE-LEE: Cut her! Cut her! So, what do you think of the floor show?
HUNT: Not much.
KAE-LEE: You know, this whole suffering innocent act is getting kind of boring.
HUNT: That's why I'm not the floor show.
KAE-LEE: No one here is innocent, only justified.
HUNT: What about you?
KAE-LEE: Me?
HUNT: Yeah. What are you guilty of?
KAE-LEE: Oh, I was born guilty. No one leaves Hell, remember? Once you're transported here, you're here for the rest of your life. Mate and reproduce, your kids are here for the rest of their lives, and so on, and so on.
HUNT: There are people here who haven't even committed a crime?
KAE-LEE: Oh, I doubt that. It's hard to go a day without breaking one of the Warden's rules.
HUNT: That's not what I mean.
KAE-LEE: I know what you mean. I'm not stupid. I also know that criminal behaviour's hard-wired. It's diagnosable and inherited. When I said I belonged here, I meant it.
HUNT: Maybe you're not as smart as I though.
KAE-LEE: Excuse me?
HUNT: Your argument is flawed. Speaking French ran in families, too. Does that mean there's a French speaking gene?
KAE-LEE: You've come to the wrong place to argue nature versus nurture, Mister Hunt.
(The knife fight ends.)
TANNOY: Security alert. Security alert. Perimeter integrity has been compromised. Activating auto-defence system.
(A group of little ornithopters fly over the walls and start shooting at barrels. You can tell they are ornithopters because they are flapping four insect wings.)
HUNT: What's going on?
KAE-LEE: We're under attack. Move it! Move it! The food! Guard the food! Move it!
(Kae-Lee leaves Hunt, and Jessa grabs his arm.)
JESSA: Shush. Cork it. I'm going to get you out of here, okay?
HUNT: No, no, not without Rommie.
(He uses his comm.)
HUNT: Are you okay?
ROMMIE: Probably better than you.
JESSA: Implanted sub vocal mike. Cool. Look, tell her to hang back and left.
HUNT: Whoa, what are you doing?
JESSA: I'm not going to hurt your girlfriend.
HUNT: She's not my girlfriend.
(While the ornithopters keep the inmates busy, Jessa throws a smoke grenade next to Rommie's cage. Hunt and Jessa run over, and Jessa unlocks the cage.)
JESSA: This way.
HUNT: All right, Rommie. Let's go.
(Kae-Lee sees the three run out of the gate.)

[Control room]

TRANCE: Andromeda, are you there?
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Of course. You know, you don't have to come to a control room to talk to me. I'm everywhere.
TRANCE: I know. It's just more personal this way.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: You're worried, aren't you? About Dylan?
TRANCE: Not just about Dylan. You too.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Me?
TRANCE: Well, this morning I ordered bacon and eggs for breakfast, and the auto-chef gave me Draconian fish ova. And Beka asked you to play some rock music from her collection, and you played a volcanic eruption on Terra Bella Minor.
(A mini Holo-Rommie appears.)
HOLO-ROMMIE: I have been a little distracted lately.
TRANCE: It's your humanoid body, isn't it?
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: It's just another avatar.
TRANCE: Is it really?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Trance, at any given time, I'm a hundred robots, a dozen androids, a fleet of drones.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: They're peripheral bodies. Useful and disposable. I've sent fighters on kamikaze missions.
HOLO-ROMMIE: And I've had drones melt in planetary cores.
TRANCE: But this is different. You said to Beka that Rommie was more like an extension of yourself.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Like my left hand.
TRANCE: Well, I don't know about you, but if I lost my left hand, I wouldn't be very happy.
HOLO-ROMMIE: No. No, you wouldn't.
TRANCE: Hang in there. It'll be okay.

[Command]

HARPER: Here's the deal. Arazia does not have a lot of interstellar traffic.
TYR: Despite their famous hospitality.
HARPER: Only three ships have gone off-world since we got here. I tracked their navigational signals and extrapolated their destinations. Thank you. One went to a mining colony. Two has already gone back to Arazia. So, the shell with the pea under it is right here.
BEKA: Nice work, Harper. Saddle up, gang, we're doing a jail-break.

[Jessa's tent]

JESSA: It's kibble-porridge. Don't worry, you'll get used to it. For lunch, there's, er, kibble-patties, and for dessert, kibble-cake.
(Hunt drinks from a wooden bowl.)
HUNT: Oh, don't tell me. Er, kibble-vinegar?
JESSA: It's supposed to be wine. Too sour? Well, it'll get better with age.
HUNT: Yeah. Maybe.

[Forest]

(Hunt goes outside, stiff and sore from the recent fights.)
HUNT: I don't get it. Aren't these terraforming pines?
JESSA: If you say so.
HUNT: If this planet was terraformed, there must be something here you can eat.
JESSA: Well, maybe they didn't finish the job. All I know is the soil pH is wrong. There's too much alkali. If you try eating this stuff, it'll burn a hole in your guts. And even if you can stomach it, it's lacking vital nutrients. It's one of the ways they control the prisoners.
HUNT: And the inmates control the food distribution centre.
JESSA: The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker. What about her?
HUNT: She's an android. She doesn't need any food.
JESSA: She's running on fumes, right?
HUNT: She's conserving power. I don't know how much longer she has.
JESSA: Well, all the more reason for you to help me, then.
HUNT: Help you do what?
JESSA: Whip the inmates' butts, of course. Oh, why do you think I helped rescue you?
HUNT: Er, because we're innocent? Because you wanted to help us?
JESSA: You sure do have some warm, fuzzy ideas about convicted felons.
HUNT: You want me to help you fight Kae-Lee's men. I'm sorry, I can't do that.
JESSA: Why not? You've seen them. You know what they're like. Kae-Lee. There's three types of people around here. Wolves, sheep, and corpses. Which one are you?
HUNT: None of the above. Kae-Lee's gang aren't the only inmates on Helios. If I help you run her out, how long would it be before another gang comes along and starts the whole cycle all over again? It's the system that's wrong. You shouldn't even be here. Let me help you leave this place.
JESSA: Leave this place? Yeah, right. Come on.
(Hunt follows Jessa from her tent. She uses a remote control to activate an ornithopter. Once it gets above the trees, something shoots it down.)
JESSA: Smart missiles. The whole planet is circled by an automated defence system. Nothing goes up, nothing comes down. I am not going anywhere, and neither are you.
HUNT: Great.

[Compound]

(Kae-Lee is working on a multi-shot bow when -)
TANNOY: Lock down. Security lock down. All prisoners will await security personnel and maintain passive presence. Return to lock down.
(A Warden walks over to Kae-Lee and holds up the remains of an ornithopter.)
WARDEN: Where did this come from?
KAE-LEE: How should I know?
WARDEN: This technology is illegal. Manufacturing it is a capital offence.
KAE-LEE: Hey, Warden, I'm your biggest fan. If I had a clue, I'd give it to you.
WARDEN: Not good enough.
(It takes her bow and points it at her throat.)
WARDEN: Who made it?
KAE-LEE: Hey, I've got arteries in that neck.
WARDEN: Most organics do. This prison only runs smoothly when we are in accord, when we abide by the rules for our common good.
KAE-LEE: And your point is?
WARDEN: I'm surprised at you, Kae-Lee. The outsiders are no friends of yours. I'm sure I don't have to tell you the consequences for non-cooperation.
TANNOY: Prisoner resistance neutralised.

[Command]

BEKA: I'm transiting into normal space now.
TYR: I thought you said the prison colony would be here.
HARPER: I did. The coordinates led right here.
TYR: I can usually spot a planet. They're large. I have good eyes.
HARPER: I don't know. The navigational data from the colony transport must have been a false signature. Part of the prison security system.
BEKA: Okay, now I'm mad. Andromeda, I want you to access the Maru's databanks. I want all the documentation we have on penal systems in this area. I need lists of mining camps, exile worlds, prison colonies. Anything like that.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Processing. Data retrieved.
(It is a very long list.)
HARPER: Oh, you got to be kidding me.

[Jessa's tent]

HUNT: How are you doing, Rommie?
ROMMIE: Conserving power.
HUNT: Ah. So this is a bad time for the song and dance number.
ROMMIE: Stop. It drains my batteries when I laugh.
JESSA: Sorry, I didn't know you wanted to be alone.
HUNT: Not at all. What's that?
JESSA: Gee, let's see. Dirt? The soil's alkaline. My attempt at making wine, as you noticed, is acid, and I have a workbench full of metal.
ROMMIE: A voltaic battery.
HUNT: That's not bad.
JESSA: Give me a day, and I'll have your robot girlfriend up and running.
HUNT: I'll explain the many ways in which you are wrong while we work.

[Command]

BEKA: That's a lot of jails.
TYR: A lot of worlds, a lot of trash.
HARPER: I never got the whole prison thing. Hey, you have the potential to be a nasty piece of work. Why don't we lock you up with a serious bunch of hard cases and get you really good at it.
TYR: They're sociopaths. It makes sense to remove them from the gene pool.
BEKA: Well, you'd know.
HOLO-ROMMIE: I don't understand. Law enforcement is less effective now than it was in the days of the Commonwealth, and yet, there are more re-education centres, not less.
TYR: Re-education centres.
HARPER: Maybe Commonwealth prisons were really re-education colonies but these places today? It's all private companies now. And the bean-counters have two words for their guests. File and forget.
(Trance enters.)
TRANCE: Hey, did you find them? Can we go get Dylan and Rommie?
HARPER: It's not that easy, Trance. Three spiral galaxies, dozens of galactic clusters. There's got to be hundreds of prison planets.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Three hundred and forty eight, to be exact.
TRANCE: Really. What about that one.
BEKA: Why? Why that one?
TRANCE: Well, it's pretty.
TYR: It's pretty. Now there's a solid reason to risk our lives.
HARPER: You have a better idea?
TYR: No.
HARPER: Well, we have to start somewhere, and it's as good a planet as any.

[Jessa's tent]

JESSA: Can you hand me that scorcher?
HUNT: The what?
JESSA: The scorcher. That metal faceplate thingy. They put it on convicts who act up. It gets real hot real fast.
HUNT: They torture you?
JESSA: We're in hell, remember?
HUNT: Why do you put up with it, Jessa? You're smart, you're resourceful.
JESSA: And I'm a beautiful princess and you're going to take me away from all this, right? What do you know about me? What do you know about my life?
HUNT: I know you didn't do anything to deserve it.
JESSA: Well, let me tell you about this place. They disinfect your arm before they give you a lethal injection, but my mom died in childbirth because there wasn't enough soap to go around. We're not people, we're inventory. They treat us like animals. They set me and my sister at each other's throats. They strip away our humanity every chance they get. So I wish you wouldn't go painting pretty pictures in my head. You stay sane around here by keeping your head down and not keeping your hopes up.
(Guards enter the camp, shooting indiscriminately.)
GUARD: Illegal technology detected. Surrender or be destroyed. Do not interfere.
(A guard throws a person to the ground and shoots them.)
HUNT: Wait here.
(Hunt tries to tackle a guard, but is thrown off. He tries using a tree branch, but it breaks on the guard's armour and he gets tasered.)
GUARD: Resistance is not tolerated. Resister has been subdued.
(A guard grabs Jessa and puts her over his shoulder.)
JESSA: No! No! No! Put me down!
GUARD: Take subject for interrogation.
JESSA: Put me down! Dylan!
(Later)
HUNT: How are you doing on power, Rommie?
ROMMIE: Not so good. How're you doing on my battery?
HUNT: Not so good. You know I have to go get her, right?
ROMMIE: I was afraid of that. It's a high security prison. Automated defence systems, robot guards, lethal force.
HUNT: I need her. Without her help, I'll lose you. Your humanoid body will die.
ROMMIE: My humanoid body is expendable, you aren't. Dylan, you're the only hope for restoring the Systems Commonwealth. This is a suicide mission. In a risk-benefit ratio, there's not one good argument in its favour.
HUNT: I'll give you one. Jessa.
ROMMIE: She's just one person. You can help millions.
HUNT: The greatest good for the greatest number, is that it? It's never that simple.
WARDEN [OC]: It's simple. All I want is the greatest good for the greatest number.

[Interrogation room]

(Jessa is fastened to metal couch.)
WARDEN: The majority of prisoners benefit from the smooth and efficient operation of the system. You are disrupting it. Why can't I make you understand that?
JESSA: Poor communication skills?
WARDEN: Who helped you make the weapons?
JESSA: What do you mean, who helped me?
WARDEN: You are here because you're genetically flawed. You are descended from pirates, thieves, and terrorists. You are incapable of higher thought. An outside agitator must have assisted you. I ask you again: Who?
JESSA: You may torture me if you would like, but please, don't insult me!
WARDEN: If you prefer.
(It slides a control up, and electricity zaps Jessa's head.)

[Command]

HARPER: No way. I think she picked it. Hey, guys, check this out. I got a signal. It's faint, but it's definitely in the EM spectrum of Rommie's locator beacon.
BEKA: Can you intercept their radio traffic? Is Dylan down there with her?
HARPER: I can't. There is a lot of interference in the atmosphere.
TYR: It's a prison. They don't want to hear from the outside.
BEKA: Well, they're going to hear from us. Get us in closer. We're going to broadcast a message they can't ignore.
HARPER: Which is?
BEKA: Let my people go.
HARPER: Hey, catchy. I like it.
TYR: I think it's ridiculous. You trumpet your arrival to your enemies? For what? So they can aim their biggest guns at you?
BEKA: Fine. We'll sneak in. You're a good tactician, Tyr, but one hell of a wet blanket.

[Compound]

(Hunt peers round the gate to see Kay-Lee and Xax playing with knives.)
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Dylan, if you can hear me, we have a fix on my humanoid body. Beka and Tyr are coming down in the Eureka Maru. They should enter atmosphere in approximately fifteen minutes.

[Jessa's tent]

ROMMIE: No. No. Abort mission. Abort mission. Weapons fire at low altitude. Do not approach. Do not approach.

[Compound]

HUNT: No! Don't come down!
XAX: Who are you talking to?
HUNT: You, Xax. I was saying don't come down to me, that I would come to you, ha?
(Hunt dodges Xax's swing.)
KAE-LEE: Cork it! I see you decided to come back.
HUNT: I, I need to talk to you. What's happening here is wrong. We need to work together. You have to help me.
KAE-LEE: Help you what?
HUNT: Rescue Jessa.
KAE-LEE: Why would I risk my life for an outsider?
HUNT: Because the outsiders aren't your enemy. It's the system that needs to be defeated. But most of all, because Jessa is your sister. Isn't she?

[Eureka Maru]

TYR: What's our ETA?
BEKA: Any minute now.

[Jessa's tent]

ROMMIE: They're all going to die. Dylan's going to die.
(The Eureka Maru enters the atmosphere.)
ROMMIE: Please go back. They can't hear me.

[Compound]

HUNT: Kae-Lee, wait.
KAE-LEE: I'm not having this conversation.
HUNT: You can't just let her die.
KAE-LEE: So what if she's my sister? That stuff means jack around here.
HUNT: I don't believe you. You're not that cold, Kae-Lee. I mean this is a hard place, and you've made yourself hard to survive it, but you are not cruel by nature, no matter what the Warden tells you. You're here because the system says you're a criminal even if you never committed a crime. That your genes are bad, you're broken. I mean come on, you believe that? It's the system that's broken.
KAE-LEE: That's where you're wrong. The system's not broken. It's working exactly the way they want it to.
HUNT: Well, in that case, let's break it.
KAE-LEE: Now you're talking my language.

[Eureka Maru]

(Alarms go off.)
TYR: What was that?
BEKA: Could be debris, could be hail, could be somebody shooting at us.

[Compound]

TANNOY: Warning, seditious conversation. Disperse immediately or fatal force will be exercised.
HUNT: Show time.
(The automatic machine guns open fire. The inmates take cover. Meanwhile, Rommie hauls herself over to Jessa's work bench and plunges her hands into the dirt batteries.)
HUNT: You stay here. I'll draw their fire.
(Xax runs out instead. He makes it to the door to the Warden's office and prises it open as a hail of bullets hit his back.)
KAE-LEE: Xax!
TANNOY: Initial incursion terminated.
HUNT: It's now or never.
(Hunt and Kae-Lee run inside, over Xax's dead body.)

[Interrogation room]

HUNT: Jessa!
JESSA: You came.
WARDEN: This area is off-limits.
HUNT: I'll take care of him.
(The warden throws Hunt across the room, knocking him out.)
WARDEN: This avatar is fully equipped to deal with prison riots and other annoyances.

[Eureka Maru]

TYR: That's not debris, that's from weapons fire. Turn around.
BEKA: No, I can handle this. Besides, the vectored thrust engines are offline. Like it or not, we're going in.

[Interrogation room]

WARDEN: You surprise me. You know the consequences for unauthorised entry.
KAE-LEE: I'll show you unauthorised entry.
(Kae-Lee shoots an arrow into the Warden. It breaks it off, strides over to Kae-Lee and snaps her neck.)
JESSA: No! No! No. Kae-Lee!
(Hunt wakes up. The Warden points a gun at him.)
WARDEN: Who do you think you are to come here and upset the efficient operation of my facility. The rules are very specific. The penalty for infraction is death.
(Rommie runs in and leaps onto the Warden, knocking him down. Hunt picks up his gun.)
HUNT: Rommie, the control panel.
ROMMIE: Sorry I'm late.
HUNT: You're forgiven.
WARDEN: Go ahead. Shoot me.
HUNT: You're the Warden.
(The shot has little effect.)
WARDEN: You can't stop me.
HUNT: No, but she can.
ROMMIE: Time for an upgrade.
(The Warden's head explodes. Jessa is freed from the couch.)
TANNOY: Critical systems failure. Critical systems failure.
JESSA: Kae-Lee. Kae-Lee. Oh. She's my sister.
HUNT: I know.
JESSA: I'm so sorry. This is all my fault. I am so sorry.
KAE-LEE: Cork it, kiddo. It's okay. I'm free now.
(Kae-Lee dies.)
JESSA: Kae-Lee.
ROMMIE: Dylan. The air defence system. The Eureka Maru.
(Rommie runs out of power. Hunt goes to the console.)
COMPUTER: Authorisation denied.

[Eureka Maru]

COMPUTER: Alert. Incoming weapons fire.
TYR: All right, what? Should we eject?
BEKA: No. Not in this. Come on, baby, you can do it.

[Warden's office]

HUNT: Come on.
COMPUTER: Authorisation denied.
HUNT: Come on!

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: It stopped. Looks like someone deactivated the defence system.
HUNT [OC]: Eureka Maru, you are clear to land.
TYR: Dylan.
BEKA: You know, I'm starting to like that guy.

[Compound]

HUNT: I meant what I said. You don't have to stay here. We can take you with us.
JESSA: No. I think I'll stay. I mean, for the re-education centre. They don't do a lot of educating around here, you know. Most of the inmates can't even do basic algebra, so
HUNT: I have a feeling you can teach them a lot more than that.
JESSA: Well, check back in a few years. You won't be able to recognise this place. Or me.
(An awkward pause, then Jessa kisses Hunt.)
HUNT: Goodbye.

[Observation deck]

(Dylan is tossing his ration disc when Trance enters.)
TRANCE: You wanted to see me?
HUNT: Yes, I did.
TRANCE: What's that?
HUNT: Oh, this is an old Earth game. This side's heads, this side's tails. I flip it in the air, you call it: Heads or tails.
TRANCE: Tails.
HUNT: Heads. You lose.
TRANCE: What do I lose?
HUNT: Oh, it's just a figure of speech. I understand that you were the one who found us. You know, that's a million to one shot.
TRANCE: No, it was only one in three hundred and forty eight.
HUNT: Is that all it was? A lucky guess.
TRANCE: Exactly. A lucky guess.
HUNT: Yeah. I just wanted to say thanks.
TRANCE: You're welcome.
(Hunt tosses the disc to Trance and leaves. Trance starts tossing the disc.)
TRANCE: Heads. Tails.
(She gets it right every time.)
TRANCE: Heads. Tails. Tails. Heads. Heads.

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