Love? Truth? Beauty?
I prefer negotiable securities.
Doge Miskich Var Miskich,
"All About Me" 301 AFC
is docked at a massive modular space drift.)
ROMMIE: And if this were the old days, I would note this in my
HUNT: So you want to lodge an official protest against inviting Doge
Miskich on board.
ROMMIE: Hosting negotiations between Miskich and Clarion of Loss is
like trying to juggle live plasma grenades.
HUNT: High risk, high reward. If we pull this off, the Than Hegemony
will owe us a huge debt, and if we don't try, they'll destroy Pierpont
ROMMIE: Pierpont Drift is a den of thieves. I say let the Than blow
HUNT: Well, that is why you are not conducting the negotiations.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Doge Miskich boarding.
HUNT: I think I should look a little more official. You too.
I was hoping for a tour of your Command deck, not a view of my own back
(The Doge is non-human, like a non-hairy Lorian.)
HUNT: Command is being retrofitted. We sustained some damage recently.
MISKICH: And you don't want me to see the good toys.
HUNT: That's a nice looking orbital you've got there, Doge Miskich.
It's vibrant and prosperous.
MISKICH: Yes, yes. Flattery aside, Captain, do you expect me to hand
over my most valuable possession to a hive of bugs?
HUNT: The Hegemon's Heart may be a valuable gemstone to you, but to the
Than it's a sacred relic. One that they claim you stole.
MISKICH: Bought, stole. The Than haven't owned that jewel in five
generations. We both know the truth. The Than want to control this
system, and they're using the Heart as an excuse to attack.
HUNT: Sounds to me like a good reason to negotiate.
MISKICH: I've got a better idea. This is a Commonwealth battle cruiser
HOLO-ROMMIE: A Glorious Heritage Class Heavy Cruiser, XMC10-284.
MISKICH: How about I give you forty million Throne, and you fight them
HUNT: Yeah, yeah. You see, I'm not a mercenary. And the Andromeda's
services? They just aren't for sale.
MISKICH: Captain, on Pierpont Drift, everything is for sale.
Look at this scrap heap. No offence. Looks like my toolbox puked.
BEKA: You always say that about orbital habitats. You'd rather walk on
dirt, I suppose?
(Their IDs are checked.)
HARPER: I prefer the term soil. Rich, moist. Visualise, Beka, the green
hills of Earth, purple mountains majesty, and waving fields of grain.
BEKA: Rain, mud, unfiltered air, Magog raids. Thanks, I'll take a nice
artificial gravity field.
HARPER: We have nothing in common. Why do I worship you?
BEKA: Uncharacteristic bout of good taste.
(Beka stops to examine a piece of very fine fabric while Harper walks
HARPER: What I don't get is the Thran Thre Kull outmuscle Doge
Miskich's Rent-an-Army" by at least fifty to one. Why don't they just
carpet bomb this tinker toy and take that Hegemon's Heart with extreme
BEKA: Because the Doge is a thief, not an idiot. He signed on with the
Free Trade Alliance. Mess with him, you mess with the FTA Enforcement
Wing. The next thing you know, you'd be knee deep in an interstellar
(A figure runs by, taking Beka's ID chip.)
BEKA + HARPER: Thief.
HARPER: Got it. Going wide.
(Beka is deliberately tripped by a handsome man drinking at a table.)
(He offers his hand to help her up, and she sends him flying.)
BEKA: So the troll has backup, huh?
(Hawkins dodges her kick and punch, then grabs her foot when she tries
HAWKINS: Look, lady.
BEKA: I'm no lady, I'm a starship pilot.
(He gets her down on the floor.)
HAWKINS: And I'm a cop. Leydon Bryce Hawkins, head of the Doge's
BEKA: In that case, shouldn't you be the one chasing the crooks?
HAWKINS: Handy trading tips for tourists. Stealing's legal here.
BEKA: Hmm. Really.
(They get up.)
BEKA: What a unique and refreshing cultural viewpoint. Now excuse me
while I go steal back my ID.
HAWKINS: It's legal if you're a citizen of Pierpont, which you're not.
But, assaulting a security officer, now there's a felony.
BEKA: I am not the criminal here.
HAWKINS: Okay, we'll see about that.
(He calls her details up on his wrist computer. Harper comes up behind
him and offers to hit Leydon with a large metal bar. Beka gestures no.)
HAWKINS: Rebecca Valentine. Counterfeiting, smuggling, fraud. Known
associates, Seamus Harper. Grand theft spacecraft and interstellar
flight to avoid prosecution, and public lewdness?
HARPER: Only the one time.
HAWKINS: Hmm. Tyr Anasazi. Assault, battery, mayhem, and attempted
murder. Trance Gemini. Petty theft, grand theft, theft, theft, theft.
You know, the only one who's not a criminal in your entire crew is
Dylan Hunt, and I got my eye on him.
(Beka switches his display back to her picture, where she has red
BEKA: What do you think? Better with the blonde or the red?
HAWKINS: In fact, I've got my eye on all of you. Seamus.
BEKA: Lucky us.
Captain Hunt, Doge Miskich, may I introduce Red Glow at Daybreak Hails
a Bloody Shadow, Clarion of Loss.
HUNT: That is a lovely name, General.
CLARION: I've earned it. And I wasn't going for lovely.
MISKICH: Hey, I've got a poem, too. Finders keepers, losers weepers.
CLARION: Chichin scum! Give me one good reason not to call down my task
force right now!
MISKICH: I'll give you three. Free. Trade. Alliance! Mess with me, I'll
be using your exoskeleton as a hat rack.
(Hunt holds Clarion back.)
HUNT: All right, all right. That's enough. You both agreed to a seven
day cease fire while we negotiate the status of the Hegemon's Heart.
ROMMIE: Frankly, I'd destroy you both myself, but he's my Captain and I
listen to him. I suggest you do too.
HUNT: Thank you, Rommie. Now, look, I'm a soldier. Diplomacy's not
exactly my strong suit either, but trust me, it beats interstellar war
any day. So, let's dust off our old copies of Negotiation for Beginners
and see if we can avoid any bloodshed.
MISKICH: Seven days.
CLARION: Not a moment more.
HUNT: (sotto) I love a challenge.
I love a challenge.
(Harper unveils a clear crystal with a splash of red in the middle.)
BEKA: Very. But is it an exact duplicate of the Hegemon's Heart?
HARPER: Are you kidding? Rommie couldn't tell them apart. Not without a
week of lab work.
TRANCE: Well, if they're this easy to make, then why do the Than want
theirs back so badly?
HARPER: Easy? Okay, first I had to synthesise the silicon in the
nanoforge. Then I had to grow five generations of bots to organise the
crystal. Then, I had to modify the AG field to approximate the
pressure, and then I
TRANCE: You're saying it's hard, and you're really amazing?
HARPER: It is hard, and I am really amazing. Beach sand transformed by
the acumen of yours truly. Besides, the real one is the crystallised
ventricle of the first Than bug queen.
TRANCE: That's silly. Than hearts are made of muscle protein. You said
yourself, this is made of silica.
BEKA: Trance, you're getting jaded in your old age.
TRANCE: I'm not old, I'm (pause) young.
HARPER: Trance Gemini in goal. Almost drops the puck, but she regains
control, and save!
TRANCE: Hockey. No one has played hockey in like a thousand years.
HARPER: Oh yeah? How do you know? You ever seen a hockey game? Were you
BEKA: Let's focus, people. We're not going to get past Leydon Bryce
Hawkins with history lessons. He's smart.
TRANCE: And cute.
BEKA: A fact which, like your age and place of origin, has really
nothing to do with the task at hand.
TRANCE: Good point.
BEKA: You know? I'd forgotten how much fun this is.
passes a mummy in its wrappings.)
BEKA: Yuck. Tyr doesn't know what he's missing.
(She stops at the Hegemon's Heart.)
BEKA: Okay, so what have we got?
HARPER: Just your run of the mill security system designed by typically
anal retentive, paranoid Perseid control freaks. You've got pressure
sensitive flooring, micro targeted antigravity fields, infrared
digicams. Zero G security nanobots? That can't be good. Move over Big
(He is by a model of a Perseid, hanged by the neck.)
HARPER: Hey! Just hanging out? Feeling blue?
(A Perseid guard gives him a Look then walks on.)
HARPER: Sorry. Er, Beka? I don't think we heard them right. I don't
think they said stealing is legal. I think they said Stealing is
(Beka strolls past him.)
BEKA: That's only if they catch you.
(She speaks directly to a camera.)
BEKA: Leydon? You in there? Listen, I'm approaching the will kill for
food stage, and, uh, the museum closes in about an hour. What say you
meet me at the Valley Forge gardens. I hear it's got nice, er, soil.
BEKA: She's in?
HARPER: Enjoy. Stay out late.
Silent Running. Love that movie. A geodesic dome filled with tropical
plants and animals. Beka walks along the path wearing what passes for
evening dress in these times.)
BEKA: Why, Tyr. I didn't know you liked gardens.
TYR: New work clothes. This all very good. Increased ease of movement.
ECM grid woven in, I suppose. No place for a sidearm, but I imagine you
could bludgeon someone to death with that purse.
TYR: Of a backwater night watchman?
BEKA: Of what could be the crime of the century. It's not too late to
join in, you know.
TYR: I have methods of my own.
BEKA: Hmm. Your loss.
HAWKINS: Hi. Hey. Am I interrupting anything?
BEKA: Not at all.
HAWKINS: What was that all about?
BEKA: Oh, you know Nietzschean males. Always marking territory. You've
got to be careful, or he sprays the trees.
HAWKINS: Not on my watch. Shall we?
BEKA: So, have you proven that Dylan's the ringleader in a gang of
ruthless criminals yet?
HAWKINS: No, not yet. Your Captain's reputation's rapidly approaching
legendary status. But still, he's not the one the Premier Kwan called
upon when she needed to escape from Blackwell's World, huh? That was a
fancy piece of smuggling, Captain Valentine.
BEKA: Please. I played taxi cab. And anyway, it's nothing compared to
the making off with the Bordeaux Crown of
Holyoake in a beer barrel.
HAWKINS: What do you mean?
BEKA: Leydon, my father read me police blotters for night time stories.
You didn't think I'd make you? I know a bounty hunter on Rough'n'Ready
who has your picture on his dartboard. I like you better without the
goatee, by the way.
HAWKINS: Of course, I have no idea what you mean.
BEKA: Of course. Can I ask you something?
HAWKINS: Mmm hmm.
BEKA: Schrödinger's Cat? What kind of person calls himself that?
HAWKINS: Well, speaking strictly as a security officer, I assure you
that no self-respecting thief would ever, ever, give himself a name
like that. It's too flashy.
BEKA: Well, whoever the Cat really is, he's very good.
HAWKINS: Or, he used to be.
BEKA: Maybe. Too bad, though. I've used the Bordeaux heist in training
HAWKINS: And I've always wanted to listen to the infamous Valentine
BEKA: That wasn't theft. That was archeology. Coming?
alien who stole Beka's ID is continuing to practise his trade.)
BEETLE: Is that fungus you have up there?
(The bartender turns and he steals a red bottle.)
TANNOY: Green Bay Cargo One will be closed due to renovation. Please
redirect your travellers to Red Bay Cargo Four.
(Tyr stops Beetle.)
BEETLE: I have nothing of yours, Nietzschean.
TYR: I imagine you've got something I want.
BEETLE: Maybe I do, maybe I don't.
TYR: I'm rather certain you do. Now tell me, you hideous little
creature, were I endeavouring to purchase something rare and valuable
in this place, with whom would I wish to speak?
BEETLE: Depends. Do you offer a commission for my services?
TYR: Maybe I do. Maybe I don't.
[Valley Forge Gardens]
Hey, come here. I want to show you something.
(It is an observation port looking down on the Drift, and it has no
HAWKINS: Come on. Trust me.
BEKA: Trust you. Couldn't we start with something easier? Perpetual
motion, maybe? Universal translator?
HAWKINS: Come on. Come on.
HAWKINS: Oh, don't tell me.
BEKA: I'm afraid of heights.
HAWKINS: You can't be afraid of heights. You're a pilot. You live in
BEKA: I live in space. You fall in space, you keep falling. There's
nothing to splat on.
HAWKINS: I won't let you splat.
BEKA: It's beautiful.
BEKA: Leydon, what happened to you? What is the best thief in the
galaxy doing guarding a room full of rocks and bones for Miskich?
HAWKINS: Just needed a job. Pierpont's the only place that'd take me.
BEKA: You're telling me you've gone straight. Schrödinger's Cat?
HAWKINS: Oh, man, I loved being a crook, you know? For a long time.
Outlaw, rebel, loner, play by your own rules. It's romantic as hell.
HAWKINS: Anyway, it just, er, it just stopped working for me. I wasn't
getting the buzz anymore, so I decided to stop being on the outside and
come in. So. Hmm. Am I making any sense here? Because
BEKA: More than you know.
(Hawkins kisses Beka, then his wrist comm. beeps.)
GUARD [OC]: We've got a situation in Section Four. Can you handle?
HAWKINS: I'm on my way. Now, one more thing before I go. Miskich is not
a buffoon. He's ruthless, and he's got a nasty temper, so, no matter
how much I love that crooked smile of yours, you are not ripping off my
BEKA: Whatever you say, officer.
(He touches her face and she kisses his palm.)
BEKA: You'd better get going. Section Four.
BEKA: Harper, what do we know?
HARPER: We can pull this off, Beka.
But only if, and it's a big if, I can access the museum's central
clock. I'll need fingerprints and DNA.
peels an egg-shaped piece of plastic from her cheek. It has three
fingerprints on it.)
BEKA: In that case, we're in.
dignitaries are screaming at each other in their native tongues.)
HUNT: Doge. General. Hey! If we could all speak Common, it would be
CLARION: I refuse to argue the legality of this person's theft. The
Hegemon's Heart is a sacred relic. My people have owned it for ten
MISKICH: Ancient history. I have it now. That's all that matters.
ROMMIE: Actually, Commonwealth law has very specific provisions
regarding religious artefacts.
MISKICH: The Commonwealth is gone. The stone is on Pierpont, and
according to our local ordinance, it belongs to me.
CLARION: No one cares about your self-serving apology for law and
HUNT: General, I'd be very interested in learning more about Pierpont
Drift's unusual statutes. I think
CLARION: Fine! But my patience and our cease fire are rapidly reaching
an end. Augh!
(Clarion stalks out.)
Have you met with your principal? And is he amenable to my proposition?
BEETLE: Huh? Him? Oh, yeah, he's fine.
(Beetle takes the credit chip and scans it.)
BEETLE: But this isn't enough.
TYR: That's the amount we agreed on.
BEETLE: Yes, well, finding what you wanted was harder than I thought.
We need a new deal. Make me an offer.
(Tyr leans on Beetle's shoulder and whispers to him.)
TYR: I offer not to pull your heart out through your eye socket and
nail it to your forehead.
BEETLE: That's very reasonable. How's noon tomorrow? My, look at the
(He takes his payment and runs.)
carved face on a mummy case near the Hegemon's Heart pops open and
Trance looks out.)
TRANCE: Harper, can I
[OC]: Come out now, please?
HARPER: Not yet, my purple princess. If I don't disarm those nanobots,
and anything bigger than a housecat moves around in there, it's going
to sound like a
[OC]: Vedran Empress Day parade.
TRANCE: All right, just hurry.
[OC]: It's stuffy in here, all right?
HARPER: I'm hurrying, I'm hurrying.
(Harper puts three plastic fingers over his own.)
HARPER: Hello, Leydon's hand. Add a little DNA courtesy of Mister Kissy
(He puts his hand into the security panel and the nanobots fall to the
HARPER: Yes! It likes me. It really likes me!
opens the mummy case.)
HARPER [OC]: Thank you, Harper. Wow! Have I told you lately how amazing
you are. No, Trance, you haven't. But you're welcome anyway.
plugs himself into the computer system.)
HARPER: Remember not to step on the floor. My cyber patch is useless
[OC]: A spring loaded floor. Just do it like we practiced.
TRANCE: When we practiced
[OC]: We messed up.
[OC]: That part.
TRANCE: Okay. Let's bring it.
(She leaps to grab a handy set of railings running along the ceiling
and works herself along to a dais.)
TRANCE: Hee haw.
(Then she leaps onto a small chandelier above the Hegemon's Heart.
Harper is watching through an observation window.)
Okay. Now when I freeze the security system's internal clock, time will
[OC]: Still for precisely twenty seconds. Is that long enough for you?
TRANCE: Do I have a choice?
All right. Cut the field.
(Harper concentrates, then starts the countdown as Trance uses her tail
to hang from the chandelier and reach down to the Hegemon's Heart.)
HARPER: Eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen,
twelve, er, eleven, ten, nine, eight.
(Trance switches the Heart for their fake.)
the Officer's mess]
and Miskich are screaming at each other again. Hunt leaves the room,
rubbing his temples.)
TYR: Would you like me to kill them for you?
HUNT: Yes. Wait! I'm just kidding. I've got a better idea. Next time I
offer to broker peace talks between a Chichin gangster and a Than
warlord, just kill me.
TYR: All right.
HUNT: Kidding, again.
TYR: Captain, why don't you simply let them fight it out.
HUNT: Because they're potential allies, and we can use all the friends
we can get. How's Plan B coming along?
TYR: On Pierpont, everything is for sale. We should have a new player
on the field tomorrow.
HUNT: Good. I suppose I can stall the negotiations for that long. I
just wish I didn't have to be in the same room with them while I did
(Clarion storms out.)
CLARION: Oh! You are as spineless as you are dishonest! I'll expect the
Heart returned to me within twenty four hours, Captain.
(Clarion leaves. Hunt stops Miskich.)
HUNT: What's going on?
MISKICH: The Free Trade Alliance. They betrayed me, withdrew their
support. I can't hold off a Than attack alone. They'll pay for this, I
swear. No one crosses Miskich Var Miskich and gets away with it!
HUNT: He didn't pay his FTA dues.
ROMMIE: Six months in arrears. I intercepted the message.
HUNT: Damn. I should have anticipated that.
TYR: Perhaps. You've got a contingency plan.
ROMMIE: About that. Beka would like to see you on the Eureka Maru,
HARPER: Hey! Good timing. Champagne flute?
HUNT: Are we celebrating what I think we're celebrating?
BEKA: Hey, catch. Fell off the back of a landing pod.
HUNT: Ah ha. That's, that's, that's, that's great. It's good work,
HUNT: All of you.
HARPER: You know, I'm impressed, boss. You missed your calling. You
would have made one great criminal mastermind.
TRANCE: Hey, we're not criminals. We're a covert operations team.
Besides, it's legal to steal here.
HUNT: Only if you're citizens of Pierpont. Technically, I'm afraid, we
are all thieves. Using a small evil in service to a greater good.
TRANCE: Well, it's not like we're going to keep the Heart.
HARPER: You know, I've been thinking. What if we just got the hell out
of here right now and cashed that puppy in. No one would be the wiser.
BEKA: Some of us are the wiser. Let's just stick to the plan, okay?
HUNT: Yeah, the plan. You know, about that. Unfortunately, there's been
a, er, slight glitch.
HUNT: Doge Miskich lost his fire support. He didn't pay his FTA dues,
which means his only way out is to return the Heart to the Than
HARPER: That's not a glitch. That's a snafu.
BEKA: Harper's copy will never fool the Than. If Miskich gives them a
HUNT: Oh, yeah. They'll kill everyone on Pierpont Drift.
BEKA: So, now we have to put it back.
(He gives the crystal back to Beka.)
(Later, Beka enter the Maru with a flexi.)
BEKA: Trance! Harper! I just got a missive from Rev Bem. He's
converting heathens by the truckload on Quolek. Guys?
(Beka puts the Heart into a vice and scans it.)
and Harper are playing cards. Tyr is watching Harper's hand.)
TYR: That one.
(Harper selects another card to discard.)
TRANCE: Yoshidono. I win.
TYR: Fools rush in.
TRANCE: Now you owe me four million, three hundred and twenty thousand
HARPER: Remember, all debts I incur in this game are dependent upon my
share of the rock. Assuming, of course, we abandon this stupid put it
back where we found it fiasco and sell it at market value.
(Beka enters and puts the crystal on the table.)
HARPER: Now that's an ante. Boss, we were just kidding. We don't want
to sell it.
BEKA: Sell it. Keep it. Throw it away. I don't care. It's not the real
TRANCE: But, but I, I switched it myself.
BEKA: You exchanged our fake for another fake.
HARPER: What do you know. Mine was better.
(Harper tosses it over his shoulder to Tyr.)
BEKA: We got beaten to the punch. Now we have to find the real stone.
TYR: I believe I know where to look.
BEKA: Yeah, so do I.
You know, the more I find out about you, the better this retirement
plan of yours looks. Take your expense reports, for example. Very
HAWKINS: You got hold of my personnel file? How'd you do that?
BEKA: This is Pierpont. Ten guilders buys you a lot of looking the
other way. My favourite was the part where you had to investigate a
lead on Infinity Atoll during fishing season. That was classic. And how
did you ever manage to promote yourself a trip to Shindau?
HAWKINS: Shindau? Oh, that was, er, I was chasing a bail jumper.
HAWKINS: Hey, well, it's not my fault he had a great taste in safe
BEKA: Did you manage to see the Dragan's Tomb? I hear it's incredible.
HAWKINS: Oh, no, I missed that. It was, er, it was looted right before
I got there, so
BEKA: Hmm. Bad luck.
BEKA: Hey, didn't you get to Charo Prime right after that big diamond
heist, too? More bad luck, I suppose.
HAWKINS: Are you accusing me of something?
BEKA: No. I was just thinking you're awfully young to retire.
(Beka reaches towards a giant Venus flytrap, but with teeth instead of
hairs. It snaps shut.)
HAWKINS: Careful. That thing'll take your hand off.
BEKA: Boy Scout.
HAWKINS: Yeah, that's me.
BEKA: So, here we are, just a couple of law abiding folk, just
HAWKINS: In a garden full of man-eating plants.
BEKA: So, what do two normal people on a drift full of criminals do for
(They go to Hawkins' place for a bit of love-making.)
MISKICH: What took you so long? Your ship wouldn't let me call my
office. The General's idea of conversation is reciting her weapons
HUNT: Oh. I'm sorry I missed it. I'm sure it was fascinating. I'm late
because I wanted to consult the Codes.
HUNT: And, er, well, there are still some details we need to work out.
MISKICH: What details? I give the Than their Heart. They leave. The
HUNT: General, you'll want the Heart returned to you on your flagship,
CLARION: That is correct.
HUNT: And you'll want to do it on Pierpont.
MISKICH: Of course.
HUNT: Well, then we still have some negotiating to do. Refreshments?
wakes first, kisses Hawkins's shoulder, fastens a sheet around her and
gets out of bed. She takes a scanner from her handbag and starts
searching. The scanner locates something behind a wall panel, so she
uses an old-fashioned penknife to open it up. It is a flexi. Hawkins
appears with a gun.)
HAWKINS: Find what you were looking for?
BEKA: Actually, I was looking for a hunk of crystallised silicate about
yea big. Seen it?
HAWKINS: It's funny, I was going to ask you the same thing. Play it.
(The flexi shows a purple hand reaching down the take the Heart.)
HAWKINS: Trance Gemini.
BEKA: Hmm. Will you look at that? A video record of Trance swapping a
fake jewel for a fake jewel. What is the penalty for grand theft fake
around here, anyway?
HAWKINS: Death. If you steal from Doge Miskich, the penalty's death.
(He shoots the flexi out of Beka's hand and it bursts into flames.)
BEKA: Okay, now I'm confused.
HAWKINS: Me too. Come here.
cleaning his nails with a very large knife.)
BEETLE: Good, you made it. There's been a slight problem. Let me
(Tyr twirls the blade in front of Beetle's face.)
BEETLE: Follow me.
Okay, so he stole from his museum and set us up to take the fall.
Slick. Despicable, but slick. I can admire that. But when he fried that
thing, I swear, I just don't know which end is up anymore.
HARPER: Well, guys do crazy things when they're in love.
BEKA: You been watching old holo-dramas again?
HARPER: Oh, is it so hard to believe someone could fall for you?
BEKA: Nearly as hard as it is for me to believe that you missed a
HARPER: I know! That is unbelievable!
BEKA: He's good. Quick on the uptake, smart, completely fearless. He
reminds me of
HARPER: You. He reminds you of you.
BEKA: Then I know I can't trust him.
TYR: Outstanding. So, lover boy, how much for the stone?
HAWKINS: I think you got it all wrong here. Beetle said he was bringing
me someone who could tell me about the stone. I'm here to question you.
TYR: Please. You took the Hegemon's Heart and replaced it with a fake.
My colleagues stole the fake. I want the real one. Not for the Than,
not for Captain Hunt's Commonwealth, for me. So, I'll ask again. How
much for the stone?
HAWKINS: Well, if I had it, which of course I don't, it would be, er,
say, fifty million guilders?
(Tyr grabs Hawkins' throat.)
TYR: How are you feeling about my counter-offer?
HAWKINS: You don't think I'd actually come here without security, do
(A klaxon blares. Beetle runs away and Security men come running with
TYR: Can't blame me for trying.
(Tyr throws Hawkins away then leaps for cover. Security runs in. They
fan out to search the maze of containers and get taken out, one by
dangles a chameleon over the feral Venus Flytrap. When it lunges for
the meal, he grabs a crystal with a red heart from in amongst the
BEKA: You know the old saying.
HAWKINS: A leopard never changes his spots?
BEKA: Well, I was thinking it takes a thief to catch a thief. I played
right into your hands, didn't I? What did you do, steal the rock the
day I arrived?
HAWKINS: Legally, I didn't steal anything. But I did put the genuine
Heart in my pocket the day after I became a citizen of Pierpont, six
months ago. It's why I took the security job in the first place. Look
at her. Man, she's flawless. How could I resist this?
BEKA: So, you stayed, collecting a paycheck from Miskich and pulling
outside jobs on the weekend. Isn't that a little dangerous, even for
HAWKINS: It's a lot less dangerous than trying to escape.
BEKA: Unless you pointed him at another target.
HAWKINS: Which is where you and your merry band of thieves came in.
Damn, it was such a good plan. It's too bad it fell apart.
BEKA: Not to admit defeat or anything, but I don't see how it fell
apart. You have the real stone, the cops are after Tyr. What happened?
HAWKINS: You happened. Here. It's worth a Nightsider's ransom. Beka, we
could have it all, a clean slate. All you
got to do is marry me. Become a citizen of Pierpont.
BEKA: A citizen.
HAWKINS: Ah ha.
BEKA: So this would be purely a legal arrangement.
HAWKINS: The fringe benefits aren't lost on me.
(He kisses her as he gives her the Heart.)
HAWKINS: What's it going to be?
BEKA: So, what, we run away together?
HAWKINS: Well, we make a hell of a team.
BEKA: One problem. I already have a team.
HAWKINS: No, no. So what are you saying? Last night was just an excuse
to search my room? Come on, I don't buy that. You could've broken in
any time you wanted to. I'm a way easier mark than the museum.
BEKA: You're hardly easy.
HAWKINS: It's my men. I haven't trained them very well. They could
shoot us, by accident.
BEKA: Meet me on the Eureka Maru in one hour.
HAWKINS: You mean that?
BEKA: Show up and find out.
(She kisses him and leaves.)
Dylan, the Than fleet is moving. They're vectoring toward Pierpont
Drift at thirty five PSL.
HUNT: Maintain scanning and arm defensive missile tubes. Where's Beka?
General, your fleet is on the move. Why?
CLARION: Time's up, Captain.
HUNT: Not according to our agreement. We still have two hours.
CLARION: And in precisely two hours, my fleet will be in position to
It's almost too good to be true.
HAWKINS: Oh, this is real. All of it.
BEKA: Leydon, if something. If it all goes splat.
BEKA: Just trust me, ok?
HAWKINS: Nothing is going to happen, okay?
(He kisses her. Tyr drops in from the ceiling.)
TYR: You might be surprised.
(Beka switches crystals.)
BEKA: Tyr, what the hell are you doing?
TYR: I could ask you the same question. Shall we? There's someone I'd
like you to meet.
(Hawkins takes the crystal that Beka holds out to him. Tyr follows him
out and Beka holds the other crystal.)
pushes Hawkins in.)
HUNT: Good, that's everyone. You may be wondering why I've called you
all here today. It's time to return the Hegemon's Heart to its rightful
CLARION: It's about time.
(Hawkins hands the crystal to Hunt.)
scans the crystal she has just obtained and smiles.)
BEKA: Well done, Valentine.
(The refractions show planetary systems.)
BEKA: Calliope, San Ska Re, Shintaida. One treasure map, no waiting.
Scan and record image.
COMPUTER: Scanning. Recording. Complete.
BEKA: Hope it was worth it.
That's the Heart? The real one?
HUNT: It certainly is.
MISKICH: So, the one in the museum
TYR: Fake. Substituted by a clever thief.
MISKICH}: Ah. And you recovered the genuine Heart.
HAWKINS: You might say that, yes.
TYR: Recovered is certainly a more flattering word than stole.
MISKICH: Hawkins! You stole from me? Do you know what I do to people
who steal from me?
HAWKINS: I didn't steal it.
HUNT: We can worry about that later. Right now, I believe it's time for
that exchange. General, I'm sure the Hegemony will be delighted that
you've achieved a peaceful solution to the stalemate. It might not be
as good as a victory, but hey, it'll have to do.
CLARION: It may suffice, if it's the real Heart.
HAWKINS: It's not. Go ahead, check it. It's a fake. She's the thief. I
was using it to lure her out.
BEKA: Check it, by all means. Boy, am I glad to see you.
(Beka kisses Hunt, and swaps his crystal for hers.)
HUNT: Yeah. Yeah, I'm glad to see you too.
BEKA: It's flawless. Trust me.
(Hunt gives the crystal to Clarion. She checks it with her
multi-faceted insect eyes.)
CLARION: It is the Hegemon's Heart. And I was so looking forward to a
nice little war.
HUNT: You see there? Everybody wins. That's what the Commonwealth
always strives for.
MISKICH: And what do I win?
TYR: No one's blown you out of the sky.
You gave me up, just like that.
HAWKINS: I had no choice. It was the only move I had left.
BEKA: I would have covered for you, told Miskich you were duped. He
would have believed me.
HAWKINS: Why? They already won the game.
BEKA: Is that what it was? A game?
HAWKINS: Wasn't it?
BEKA: Yeah. Sure.
HAWKINS: Smile. Well done.
BEKA: Leydon? Maybe we'll play again some time.
HAWKINS: Yeah, maybe.
(Hawkins leaves. The Andromeda leaves the Drift.)
Triagonal prismatic quartz crystal. Trace elements of vanadium,
chromium, manganese, and cobalt. Eighty two point two five grams. I
wonder how many of these fake Hearts are out there. I lost count at
HUNT: You never lose count of anything. And I assume you could tell the
difference the whole time.
ROMMIE: Of course. Harper is sweet, but he still believes pretty much
anything I tell him. Oh, I'm sorry, I may have a brain the size of a
planet, but I can't tell the difference between one pretty rock and
HUNT: Just as long as the Than got the real one.
ROMMIE: They did.
ROMMIE: I was wrong.
ROMMIE: I didn't think Beka could be trusted to complete the mission.
HUNT: She came through, though, in the end.
ROMMIE: Still, you took a big risk, trusting her.
HUNT: Well, that's the thing. I'm not a computer. I can't do a
spectrographic analysis with my eyes. Sometimes I have to take risks to
be able to tell the real hearts from the fake ones.
(On the Observation deck, Beka watches Pierpont Drift shrink into the