Worlds governed by artificial intelligence
often learned a hard lesson:
Logic Doesn't Care.
Yin Man Wei, "This Present Darkness:
A History of the Interregnum" CY 11956
hope Mobius appreciates this. They just joined the Commonwealth and
we're already fighting their battles for them.
HUNT: We just got an update from Tyr on Machen Alpha. Rommie has
contacted our informant. the Maru will pick her up and they'll be back
with our data in two days as scheduled.
BEKA: As far as I'm concerned, they can take their time. I'm in no rush
to go toe to toe with a ship that can vaporise planets.
HUNT: I wish I could put it off, too, but we've got two weeks at the
most to get ready.
The Machinites have destroyed one world. Two billion people and AI's
gone. I can't let that happen again.
BEKA: Ah, the Basilisk. Funny how no one ever names their planet killer
The Fluffy Bunny.
TRANCE: Captain Hunt, the sensor drones are fully deployed and the
missile launch has just been completed. We're five by five with HTE.
HUNT: Why, thank you, Trance.
BEKA: Five by five?
TRANCE: Military talk.
BEKA: Yeah. Carry on, Ensign Gemini. You know, I still think Mobius
played us. Sure, we'll sign your charter. Have we mentioned that our
next door neighbor is a homicidal maniac?
HUNT: There are four billion people on Mobius, and it's a fledgling
democracy. Exactly the kind of world we need on our side. Commonwealth
charter or no, we'd still be here.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Captain, I've analyzed the preliminary
sensor data. I'm afraid I have bad news.
HUNT: I didn't authorise any bad news.
BEKA: I'll file a reprimand.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Basilisk task force is assembling much
faster than expected. She'll be ready to deploy in forty eight hours.
BEKA: So much for taking our time and doing this right.
TRANCE: That sucks.
I have a ship waiting to extract us.
KIM: Not good enough.
ROMMIE: Mister Kim, I understand that you're scared, but we don't have
time for second thoughts.
KIM: I'm not a traitor. I don't want any part of this.
ROMMIE: Okay. You contacted us. You offered to help.
KIM: For all the good it'll do. If you knew what I know.
ROMMIE: Tell me what's happening, and maybe I can help.
KIM: No. Not until we're as far away from here as you can take me.
You're my only insurance policy. Why is that such a problem for you?
ROMMIE [on monitor] : I don't think he trusts me, Rev.
BEM: Hardly unreasonable for a man in his position. You must assure
Mister Kim of your intentions, Rommie.
HARPER: Yeah, Rom Doll, sweet talk him. Try appealing to his inner
geek. And if that doesn't work, unzip your er
HARPER: What? I'm just saying. It would work on me.
TYR: None of this is helping! We are behind schedule. Knock him
unconscious and drag him to the extraction point. Better yet, take what
he has now and leave before you're discovered.
HARPER: Oh yeah, like Tyr's the answer man.
You're going to take me someplace safe.
[on monitor]: Damn it. I've got company. Security agents in the hall. I
can hear them whispering.
HARPER: Run like hell.
ROMMIE [on monitor] : I didn't come this far to run.
at the door.)
ROMMIE: Shut up and remember how much you love me.
(Rommie pushes Kim down onto a couch and climbs on top for a hot kiss.
The bulkhead-style door opens.)
SECURITY: Planetary security. Nobody move.
ROMMIE: Philip? What is all this?
NGOMI: Philip Kim? I got to tell you, you're in deep. Way deep. So, you
on the Mobius payroll, sweetheart? Or are you more of a free agent?
ROMMIE: Free agent? I don't know what you think this is, but if my
husband every found out
NGOMI: Tell me another one.
ROMMIE: If you insist.
(She takes down two security men, shields Kim from weapons blasts
before pushing him away then takes down more. But yet more enter,
firing. She uses the refridgerator door as a shield for a few moments.)
(She pushes Kim away behind the couch, takes out some more Security
then grabs him again.)
ROMMIE: Don't puke on the way down!
(They leap out of the window. It is a very long way down but they land
Artificial gravity harness.
ROMMIE: Yeah, lucky for you.
(He sees the damage inflicted by the Security men's weapons.)
KIM: My god, you, you're
ROMMIE: Oh, an android. Thanks, I knew that.
KIM: Please, don't kill me.
Dylan, we have a sensor fix on the Basilisk task force.
HUNT: Acknowledged. Move out, maximum stealth mode.
BEKA: Moving out. Clear something up for me. Wasn't Rommie's informant
supposed to give us the data we needed to defeat the Basilisk?
HUNT: Hmm. Now we're moving out before we get it. This is just the
opening round. We're going to harass them, ruin their schedule, and buy
TRANCE: We're going to reject the taxic to synch with our pre-comm op
You're that guy from the Ministry.
CARTER: Yeah. My name's Carter. Your first time fighting a real AI?
NGOMI: You really think she's an AI?
CARTER: She incapacitated four highly trained agents, took a direct
gauss gun hit, survived a forty two story drop, then eluded capture by
twelve more personnel on the ground. Yeah, I pretty much think she's an
all things, why did they have to send an android? I'm probably better
off turning myself in.
ROMMIE: Mister Kim, I don't know what you think you know about AI's,
but I'm here to help. There's no need to be afraid.
KIM: That's what you would say, isn't it? That's how your kind
operates. We're just here to help you, until it comes time to shoot me
in the head.
ROMMIE: Nobody's going to get shot in the head.
TYR [OC]: Security closing in. Take cover.
(They hide by a shop display of goldfish bowls.)
SECURITY: Clear, sir.
KIM: Security. How did you know they were coming?
ROMMIE: Friends in low places.
Turn left and then hide until the next patrol passes. Their units are
searching in a standard grid pattern. Time things right, and eluding
them should be trivial.
ROMMIE [on monitor]: Easy for you to say, you're not the one with a
small army on your tail.
TYR: If I were, I'd have taken our Mister Kim's information by force,
shot him, and been at the evac point by now. As it is, we'll see you in
So, believe me. Nothing is more important to us than your safety.
KIM: As long as I'm useful, right?
Harper, ten minutes to rendezvous. Tell the Magog to prep for launch.
Thus spoke Anasazi.
HARPER: Don't take it personally, Rev. First he figures out you have a
name, then maybe he gets around to using it. It could be worse. He
could call you annoying little man.
(Harper doubles over in pain.)
BEM: Your stomach? The larvae, are they active again?
HARPER: Nah, it's just a little indigestion.
BEM: It's the stress. It makes you vulnerable to them. You must try to
relax, and yes, take your medicine.
HARPER: Right. Medicine.
Hey, genius at work here. And you would be rushing us why?
TYR [OC]: Why?
Because the military just detected your undetectable hack into their
satellite network and they're coming to kill us.
What's going on?
ROMMIE: Change of plans. My friends have been discovered by your
KIM: So you're telling them to come get us, right?
ROMMIE: No. I'm telling them to
[OC]: Get off this planet. We'll hide out until Dylan can extract us.
Tyr, we can't just leave her here. She's saved our asses too many times
TYR [OC]: So did the gauss rifle
left behind on Enga's Redoubt, but you don't see me mounting a rescue
[OC]: To retrieve it.
HARPER: He's un-freaking believable.
(Harper takes a second breath of his medicine inhaler.)
BEM: Harper, you should only be taking that twice a day.
HARPER: Yeah? Tell that to my little people.
TYR [OC]: We're about to breech the surface.
might want to hold on to something.
(Things start to go bang as missiles hit the Maru.)
HARPER [OC]: Thrusters are out. AP systems are unstable. We're going
into the drink. Rommie?
About two blocks from here, there's an entrance to a tunnel system that
runs underneath the city. We can use it for cover and enter the
evacuation point from below.
KIM: So, is that where we sit and wait for your friends to come?
ROMMIE: They aren't coming. Their ship has been crippled. It's sinking
to the bottom of the ocean. If they can't stop it, they'll die.
begins repairs on Rommie.)
KIM: I helped design the Basilisk, did you know that? But I built it to
defend our world, not destroy entire planets. I didn't know.
ROMMIE: That your government would kill two billion people?
KIM: People? You mean AI's and their supporters. Helping Mobius is bad
enough, but if they caught me helping an AI? That's high treason.
ROMMIE: Well, charming as I may find your planet's prejudice toward
artificial life forms, it's only my problem insofar as it affects my
KIM: Prejudice. We're not afraid of AI's because we don't understand
you. We're afraid because we do. After the fall of the Commonwealth, we
turned to AI's to help stave off the chaos. It worked, at first. But
after a while, logic started to take its toll. Is the city endangered
by periodic flooding? No problem. Level the city and relocate the
population. Famine? Cut off the rations to the elderly, the disabled,
and other nonproductive citizens. Plague? Kill the infected. When
humans resisted, the AI's rule grew harsher. Eventually, we rebelled.
The AI's were destroyed or driven off-world.
ROMMIE: And now there are none left to give their side of the story.
Because your people opened up on their new world with god knows what,
and erased them from the universe. How logical.
KIM: We may not have been good subjects, but we were excellent
viewscreen] : We're at two hundred metres and falling. The bulkheads
are holding, but we don't know how long. Please advise. Maru out.
TRANCE: According to the last fix we had on the Maru's position, they
were over a trench that drops nearly five thousand metres.
HOLO-ROMMIE: If they can't stop their descent, they'll pass below the
thermocline layer and then they won't be able to send or receive any
signals at all.
BEKA: And if the AG fields fail, the water pressure will crush them
like a can of Sparky Cola.
HUNT: Andromeda, status on the Basilisk.
HOLO-ROMMIE: They'll be far enough out to slipstream in twenty minutes.
TRANCE: And then it's goodbye Mobius.
BEKA: You're about to say that we have to abandon the Maru.
HUNT: Four billion people, Beka. The Maru's on its own.
is hanging on to the main access ladder.)
ROMMIE [OC] : You have to keep the AG field stable. Hull pressure is
HARPER: I'm working on it! I'm working on it!
(Things go bang.)
HARPER: Oh great, depth charges.
ROMMIE [OC]: Harper, be careful. You won't fix anything with a broken
HARPER: Ah, like it really matters when we're twenty thousand leagues
under the sea and about to be squished into chunky salsa. On the bright
side, at least if I'm going down, I know thirteen little baby Magog who
are going down with me.
ROMMIE [OC]: That's it, Harper. Stay positive.
HARPER: Rommie? Rommie?
ROMMIE [OC]: The density of the water's reflecting my signal, and we've
just entered the tunnels, which can't help. Tell Tyr that
Harper! Rev Bem, can you hear me? Anyone? Maru, please respond.
KIM: What is it? What's wrong?
KIM: You're lying. That look on your face, it's almost
ROMMIE: Sorry. I must not be playing the cold, calculating AI well
enough for you.
KIM: No. You're acting human.
ROMMIE: If I were acting human, we'd both be dead by now.
Still nothing from the Maru.
TRANCE: The Basilisk is nearly at slipstream range.
HUNT: Beka, take us to the Mobius system. When the Basilisk gets there,
I want to be waiting.
BEKA: We're on our way.
got breathing equipment.)
TYR: I say we swim for it now, before we're too deep to make a free
BEM: Too late. We're already at three hundred metres. You and I could
survive the strain, but Harper would surely die.
TYR: If we stay here, we'll all die.
BEM: Not true. Harper can repair the ship, we can escape, and we could
still rescue Rommie.
(More depth charges.)
TYR: The question is, can he repair the ship in time?
BEM: I have the utmost confidence in Harper's ability to repair
HARPER [OC]: Argh!
TYR: What's he done to himself?
BEM: His medication. He's overdosed.
(Tyr lifts Harper off the catwalk and shakes him.)
TYR: Wake up!
(He puts Harper over his shoulder and carries him away.)
Looks like your hunch was right. The military picked up a hack on their
secure network and traced it to a submerged craft hiding offshore.
CARTER: Have they captured the ship?
NGOMI: Not yet, but it's a matter of time.
CARTER: I'll believe that when I see it. If the android's got a ship,
then she must have arranged an extraction point. And if she's got Kim
with her, then it has to be close. I'm going to download a list of
every structure inside five kilometres with a roof big enough to land a
NGOMI: There could be hundreds.
CARTER: Thousands, more likely. But we only have to worry about one.
could you let this happen? You have to get me out of here.
ROMMIE: Mister Kim, you claim to have valuable information on your
planet's weapons technologies. My orders were to protect you and get
that information out safely. But now I have to wonder. Are you worth
KIM: Believe me, if you knew what I know
ROMMIE: But I don't, do I? Because you won't tell me.
KIM: I will tell you everything you need to know after you get me to
ROMMIE: Look, you say I'm an AI and that makes me cold and unfeeling,
but what you don't understand is that I'm trying to be nice. I really
am. But three of my friends may die because of you. For all I know,
they may already be dead. And I really don't feel like being nice any
KIM: Friends? That's crazy. AI's don't have any
ROMMIE: AI's don't have any what? Emotions? You'd be surprised.
(Kim takes a data chip from inside his jacket.)
KIM: There. Look in the VR playback file in the XRC folder. It's the
key to the whole thing. Machen Alpha's entire advanced weapons research
programme traces back to it.
(Rommie enters the file.)
ROMMIE: A Magog swarm ship.
KIM: You have to understand. The Basilisk started as a defensive ship.
But at the end of its design phase, we got new specs for the propulsion
and combat systems. The main weapon. I'd never seen anything like it.
ROMMIE: Let me guess, a point singularity projector.
KIM: It was centuries beyond anything I thought we were capable of. But
breakthroughs happen all the time, and I assumed that we'd never use it
except as a deterrent. But then we used the Basilisk to attack the
AI's. We destroyed their planet. I thought it would stop there.
ROMMIE: Until you found out about the strike on Mobius.
KIM: It doesn't make any sense. Why Mobius? It's not an AI haven. There
had to be a reason. The problem was, I, I'd pulled this string, and it
just kept unraveling until I got to it. The Magog ship. An intact swarm
ship with no signs of battle damage. Almost like a gift.
ROMMIE: From the Magog. Do you think your world is cooperating with
KIM: I don't know. I want to believe we're not capable of it, but my
people have been through a lot. Desperate people do desperate things.
ROMMIE: Desperate? Do you have any idea what the Magog are like? I do.
They take those ships of theirs and they clamp down on your hull like
ticks. And then thousands of them pour inside, and they don't stop
until everyone is dead. Everyone. I need to see that ship for myself.
KIM: I was afraid of that. They're keeping it at the Xenological
Research Centre under heavy guard. I have a security clearance so high
I have to kill myself if I remember that I have it. And I'm not allowed
past the front gate. You'll never get in.
ROMMIE: Oh, you'd be amazed at the things I'm capable of.
Drones and smart missiles are covering most of the likely slip points.
We're ready for them.
BEKA: The Basilisk and her task force are emerging from slipstream.
HUNT: Combat mode.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Combat drones are engaging the Basilisk's
missile defense frigates.
BEKA: Stripping away the Basilisk's protection.
HUNT: Knock out those frigates and she won't close on Mobius.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Two frigates have been neutralised.
TRANCE: Wow, that's weird. The Basilisk looks like it just turned into
a planet. Er, my mistake, it didn't just turn into a planet, it just
fired one. Make that two.
HUNT: Andromeda, report.
TRANCE: Okay, make that lots of planets.
BEKA: Point singularity weapons. They're using Magog technology.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Dylan, our drones have been destroyed.
is laid out on a bed.)
BEM: He's ingested toxic levels of his medication. He's in a coma. He's
stable, but if his condition gets any worse, the only thing I'll be
able to offer him is prayer.
TYR: That's wonderful. What's the bad news?
BEM: To reach the surface, we must repair the ship. To repair the ship,
we must reach the surface. An interesting conundrum.
TYR: Perhaps we should get out and push.
BEM: Perhaps we can.
Point singularity weapons. At least we know how they vaporised a
BEKA: Pint sized black holes. Can't shoot them, can't deflect them, and
the bigger you are, the harder they hit.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan, do you think the Magog gave these people PSP
technology to soften us up?
HUNT: It's what I would do if I were them. War by proxy. Set us against
ourselves and wear us down.
BEKA: And in exchange, the people of Machen Alpha get eaten last?
That's some deal.
HUNT: The important thing is we know what we're up against.
BEKA: So do they. They know we're here.
HUNT: Which means we adjust our plan accordingly. I was hoping to force
them to withdraw, but now, the gloves are off.
That's your plan? You want to fill the ship with water.
BEM: By flooding the cabins, we equalise the pressure, thereby reducing
the strain on the AG fields. Then, we use the air circulation system to
pull the water through the Maru, propelling us forward. Albeit slowly,
but nonetheless, upward.
TYR: Yes. How slowly?
BEM: Er, approximately a metre a second.
TYR: It's suicidal. You might be able to hold your breath that long,
but I probably can't, and Harper would be dead for certain.
BEM: With the proper equipment, there's no need for anyone to hold
their breath at all.
TYR: The EVA suits.
(There is a note on the suits.)
TYR: (reads) Note to Harper. Remember to repair the rest of the EVA
suits before our next mission. Harper. One suit for three people.
BEM: Two people, one Magog. With my physiology, I can live without
oxygen for nearly an hour. I was designed to function in extreme
TYR: So was I, but not for thirty minutes. If we go through with your
plan, either Harper or I will drown.
(Tyr takes the EVA suit.)
TYR: Harper will drown.
We're almost at the evac point, so here's the plan. I'm going to
highjack that swarm ship so we can study it ourselves and so I can get
you off this rock. You wait for me. If someone should find you, I want
you to shoot them, with this.
ROMMIE: I've keyed it to accept you as a user. If things get nasty, set
it to overload. Instant plasma grenade. Any questions?
KIM: Just one. Do you have a name?
ROMMIE: My official designation is High Guard XMC AI Ten Two Eight
Four. My friends call me Rommie.
KIM: And when you're not getting ready to break into secret military
installations, what do you do?
ROMMIE: I'm a warship.
KIM: Really? That's amazing. I've spent my life building starships and
giving them names, talking to them. None of them ever answered back. I
wish, I wish I'd known.
ROMMIE: Would it have made a difference? Shush. They've found us.
(A holo-projector is slid along the floor from around the corner.)
HOLO-CARTER: My name's Carter. I'm here to ruin your day, unless you
surrender right now.
(Security point guns at Kim and Rommie.)
ROMMIE: This is going to get nasty. If you want to give up, I won't
KIM: I'm dead either way. You tell me what's best and I'll do it.
ROMMIE: Putting your trust in an AI?
HOLO-CARTER: You have five seconds. Four.
ROMMIE: I hate ultimatums. Get back!
HOLO-CARTER: Three. Two.
(Rommie disarms and kills a guard, then back flips down the tunnel past
where Kim is hiding behind some barrels. More shooting. Kim comes out
and gets shot.)
ROMMIE: Kim! Big mistake! Because now I have no one to protect.
HOLO-CARTER: Pull back. Pull back!
(She finishes off the guards and zaps the hologram.)
ROMMIE: I thought I told you to stay down.
KIM: You think I'm going to listen to a
ROMMIE: An AI?
KIM: A woman.
(Kim dies. Rommie picks up a guard's radio.)
ROMMIE: Carter? Anyone. If you can hear me, I thought you should know.
You just started a war. One you're going to lose.
[OC]: Accessing XRC Facility schematics. Designing optimal infiltration
route. Calculating probability of success.
ROMMIE: Likelihood of survival, zero. Damn it. Okay, time for some
lateral thinking. How do I get the nice men with guns out of my way?
Got it. Make them run. Accessing XRC Fusion Reactor control.
NGOMI: Unbelievable. How could one android do all this?
CARTER: It's what they do. Whatever she was after, she's got it now.
She just left them.
NGOMI: You expected an AI to shed a tear?
CARTER: I want every piece of equipment accounted for. Now.
NGOMI: What are you thinking?
CARTER: I'm thinking what I'd do if I were a fugitive AI with access to
our computer networks. I'd hurt us.
TYR: Useless entreaties to a dead God. You're wasting our time.
BEM: I ask nothing of the Divine. I am simply emptying my mind that I
might hear more clearly.
TYR: I see. And what did you hear, other than the universe cares not
whether you live or die?
BEM: There is no fear in the Divine's embrace, Tyr. There is only
peace. I can help you find that if you like.
TYR: I don't need your peace, Magog. And if you've got nothing more
constructive to offer, I don't need you either.
BEM: We're losing power. The AG fields are failing. Soon, the weight of
the oceans will reduce this ship to crumpled metal in the shifting
sands, and all you will have left is the peace of the Divine.
TYR: Don't preach at me. Don't you dare preach at me, you
(Tyr powers up a hand weapon.)
TYR: What would you have, creature? Would it please you that I
sacrifice myself for the likes of him? It's not going to happen!
BEM: I ask of you the same thing I would ask of the Divine. Nothing.
But I will not help you knowing that it condemns Harper to a certain
TYR: You'd rather condemn us both?
BEM: I would rather trust in the Divine.
TYR: You're a Magog. You'll survive either way.
BEM: So it would seem.
TYR: He's got Magog larvae in his gut. He's dying, suffering. If I put
him out of his misery now, there'll be nothing to decide.
BEM: Perhaps. But that forces me to wonder why you have not already
Andromeda, prepare missile barrage, tubes one through forty. Twenty
salvos of direct offensive missiles, continuous fire. Twenty salvos of
hunter killer drones.
HOLO-ROMMIE: That's our entire offensive payload.
HUNT: We'll find you a nice asteroid field when we're done so you can
make more. Bring us about, oh niner one by one one four, ahead one
BEKA: Coming about. Range to target, two light minutes.
TRANCE: I've got sensor locks on all primary targets.
HUNT: Bring it.
TRANCE: The missiles, they're dancing.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan, sensor drones report a volley of PSP's on course
HUNT: We're too far out for defensive missile fire.
HOLO-ROMMIE: And offensive missiles are already committed to target.
BEKA: Slipstream. We can outrun the PSPs. Open a portal.
HUNT: And swallow up the PSPs.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: If we open a slip portal that close to
Mobius, it could cause permanent environmental damage.
HUNT: It's better than no planet at all. Do it.
(The slip portal opens and the PSPs are sucked into it.)
TRANCE: We got all of the PSPs, but Mobius's power grid is offline and
I'm detecting volcanic eruptions and earthquakes all along the surface.
HUNT: Yeah, but they'll survive. Good work, Beka.
ANDROMEDA: Dylan, offensive missiles have reached the target.
(Squares disappear from the status screen.)
BEKA: The support ships are gone, but the Basilisk is still
(The remaining missiles reach the big square.)
HUNT: It's already dead.
TRANCE: They never had a chance.
HUNT: No. They didn't.
BEKA: Our crew.
HUNT: Take us to slipstream. Destination Machen Alpha. All ahead full.
taken off the EVA suit.)
TYR: You want him to live? You dress him in that.
BEM: You've found an alternative solution?
TYR: It will depend upon you. And on the cold.
TYR: As a Nietzschean, I can survive maybe twelve minutes without
oxygen, after which I'll allow myself to drown. If the water is cold
enough, hypothermia should preserve my brain functions long enough for
you to revive me once we've reached the surface.
BEM: Tyr, I must warn you. If you go through with this, the margin for
error is infinitesimal.
TYR: Now? Now you're concerned? Spare me. Get the boy in his suit.
Carter, are you sure about this? She's an AI. If you jack in and she's
waiting for you
CARTER: She'll leave me brain fried? Is that what you're afraid of?
NGOMI: Something like that?
CARTER: Have a little faith, Ngomi. I've got an edge.
(Carter plugs into the dataport on his neck.)
Estimated casualties, seven hundred thousand military and civilian. It
could be a lot worse. Initiate reactor overload sequence.
CARTER: I wouldn't.
ROMMIE: Agent Carter. Still trying to ruin my day?
CARTER: If you set off an overload in that reactor, you'll kill
everyone within twenty clicks of the XRC. I can't let that happen.
ROMMIE: But you can let your people ally themselves with the Magog?
Destroy entire planets? You've got no problem with that.
CARTER: My current problem is you.
ROMMIE: In case you're wondering, I've tapped into your civilian
network. It seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties. Oops.
The main power grid for your largest city just went offline. That was
communications. There goes the civil defense system. Water treatment.
CARTER: You're holding an entire population hostage just for your damn
mission. Don't you get it? You're making them right.
ROMMIE: Do you know what happens when a human attacks an AI in the
information universe? Nothing.
(Rommie zaps Carter out of the comms system.)
What in the hell happened?
CARTER: Not enough edge.
Encrypt alpha three one five niner encrypt. Initiate reactor overload.
(Now she is looking at the people working on the swarm ship.)
ROMMIE: Identify potential combatants. Generate threat pacification
TANNOY: Reactor overload. Reactor overload. Evacuate facility
immediately. Repeat. Evacuate facility immediately.
(The people run.)
enters by the door some technicians are running to.)
ROMMIE: Find someplace else to be.
(They do. Carter follows her.)
ROMMIE: Well, I'll give you credit for persistence, but no points at
all for brains.
CARTER: I can't let you do this.
ROMMIE: I can't let you stop me.
strapped onto another bed.)
BEM: Once we are committed, there is no turning back, no second
chances. The lights will die. The ship will fill up with water. It will
take some time before we begin to move.
TYR: Just do it. Something else?
BEM: In some cultures, it is traditional for those who know they are
about to die to express any regrets they may have accumulated in life.
TYR: Perhaps you'd like to measure me for my coffin too, Magog. You
make my skin crawl. Get away from me. Let's do this.
BEM: As you wish. Tyr, in the darkness to come, you are not alone.
TYR: Regrets. Pff.
(Alarms sound, the lights flicker and die, and water pours in. It
quickly covers Tyr's face.)
Matrix-style fight time. Rommie throws her forcelance at Carter, who
catches it and gets zapped. He drops both weapons and does the same
slow, big jumps as Rommie.)
ROMMIE: You're an android. An AI. These people just vaporized a world
populated by AI's.
CARTER: Hardly surprising. Not after what we did to them.
ROMMIE: We? No, you. You were one of the original AI's. You didn't
leave after the human revolution. You stayed. Why?
CARTER: Call it atonement for past sins.
ROMMIE: And atonement includes turning a blind eye to the Magog?
CARTER: The people of Machen Alpha are afraid, and rightfully so.
Working with the Magog is their one chance to keep their heads above
the bloodbath. It's a smart move.
ROMMIE: It's the wrong move. I'm taking that ship. Try and stop me, and
I won't shut down the reactor. I'll turn this place into ground zero.
CARTER: No matter how many people it hurts?
ROMMIE: It's what you'd do if you were in my position.
CARTER: Yes. And if I were in your position, right after the launch I'd
turn that ship's PSP projectors on Machen Alpha, and eliminate that
potential threat forever. That's not going to happen.
ROMMIE: I gave you my best offer. You have seventy three seconds to
change my mind.
CARTER: Seventy three seconds, huh? Sounds about right.
(Another impossible jump, then stiff armed high speed hand to hand
fighting. Carter's reach is longer than Rommie's, but she is just as
strong. She retrieves her forcelance and throws it to Carter again.
This time he is not zapped.)
CARTER: It didn't have to be like this.
(The forcelance explodes, taking him with it.)
ROMMIE: No, it didn't. Access reactor control. Initiate reactor
shutdown. Authorisation Andromeda Ascendant alpha three one five niner.
water is gone and Bem is injecting Tyr. He spits out water and grabs
Bem by the throat.)
BEM: You have experienced an enormous amount of trauma.
TYR: The boy.
BEM: Alive. Alive and well, thanks to you. But the local defense forces
are going to be on top of us at any moment.
TYR: How perfect.
COMPUTER: Alert. Alert. Magog swarm ship approaching. PDL's are
ROMMIE [OC]: Somebody here call for a ride?
TYR: Rescued by a swarm ship.
BEM: You see? Not only is there a Divine, He has a twisted sense of
Thirty two light minutes from Machen Alpha, and still no sign of the
HUNT: Then we do this the hard way.
BEKA: This got way too ugly, too complicated, way too fast.
HUNT: Target Machen Alpha's defense installation and keep scanning for
Rommie and the Maru.
ROMMIE [OC]: Dylan, you're not going to believe this. Requesting
permission to board.
(The Maru being towed by a swarm ship.)
HUNT: Okay, so that's different.
BEKA: What do you know, a happy ending.
HUNT: What do you know.
You're walking. A significant improvement.
HARPER: Yeah, Trance says my boys are napping again, but man, I feel
like I just drank an entire bottle of industrial strength solvent.
TYR: As well you should. You nearly killed yourself and me right along
with you. A little nausea is small payment.
HARPER: I know, I know. I'm sorry. From now on in, I'll be careful guy.
Look, er, I was talking to Rev and he told me
TYR: He no doubt regaled you with touching tales of noble
self-sacrifice. Be assured, it will never happen again.
HARPER: I'll keep it in mind.
Hunt places a medallion on a blue ribbon around Rommie's neck.)
HUNT: For you.
ROMMIE: This is the Order of the Vedran Empress.
HUNT: You earned it.
ROMMIE: But this is yours. You got it for repelling the Magog attack on
HUNT: And now it's yours, for a job well done.
ROMMIE: Dylan, I don't deserve this. The mission went to hell. Kim
died. A lot of people died.
HUNT: Maybe, but you saved the crew of the Maru. Machen Alpha won't be
threatening its neighbours for a long time, and we've got a Magog swarm
ship of our very own to study. You know, besides, I've, er, I haven't
handed out a medal in three hundred and four years. Humour me.
ROMMIE: I don't usually have to make life and death decisions. I just
follow orders. But you do it every day.
HUNT: And you're wondering how. I don't know. And I don't want to know,
because if I really thought about it, I wouldn't be able to do anything
ROMMIE: Then that's my problem. All I do is think.
HUNT: That's not true. You do more than think. A lot more.