The Prince

Original Airdate: 14 Jan, 2002

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Which is a problem.
If you are powerless.

Drago Museveni,
"Manifesto" CY 8433

[Spaceship]

(Lots of explosions, and Hunt killing men in body armour carrying weapons. Tyr is also there with his honking big gun.)
HUNT: Tyr.
(They spot an insignia on a chest plate - double-headed eagle.)
TYR: It's a coat of arms.
HUNT: The distress call said pirates. These guys aren't pirates.
BEKA: So who are we fighting?
COMPUTER: Warning. Reactor overload. Critical function.
HUNT: Andromeda, how long before the ship breaks apart?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Detecting hull breeches on decks four and five. Based on current crack propagation, I estimate eight point two five minutes.
HUNT: We still have time to find the crew.
BEKA: Hold on. That was an estimate.
HUNT: We leave and there are survivors, they'll die.
TYR: If this explodes and we're still on it, we die.
HUNT: Beka, get the ship ready. We'll be back in seven minutes.
BEKA: Just hurry. I hate it when my men are late.
(Hunt and Tyr take out more guards who cannot hit the broadside of a barn at five paces.)
TYR: Clear!
(Wrong.)
HUNT: Tell them that! This is Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascend
(He gets shot at by a young man from the next compartment.)
TYR: Apparently they've heard of you.
HUNT: Hold your fire! We're here to help.
(They step into the next compartment, containing their lone attacker and lots of dead civilians.)
TYR: It appears we're a little late.
ERIK: Get away from us.
HUNT: Put it down. We're here to help. I'm Captain Dylan Hunt.
TYR: I'm Tyr Anasazi.
(One man, propped against the bulkhead and wearing a crown, is still alive.)
FLORIN: Dylan Hunt? Erik, drop the gun.
ERIK: Father, no. We can't trust them.
FLORIN: Do as I say.
(Erik lowers his gun. Hunt goes to Florian while Tyr checks another man.)
TYR: This fellow's alive. Apparently the rest weren't so lucky.
FLORIN: Tell me.
HUNT: You've lost a lot of blood.
(Florian removes his crown.)
FLORIN: For my son. Dylan Hunt, Tyr Anasazi, I appoint, I appoint you Co-regents to my son. Advise him well. Long live
(The king is dead.)
ERIK: Father? Father!

[Maru crew area]

(Trance tends to the other survivor.)
ERIK: We tried to outrun them, but someone sabotaged our slipstream drive. Everyone I knew was on that ship. My father, my brothers and sisters, our servants. Everyone.
TYR: And this would be?
ERIK: Yanos, my family's retainer. My friend. You've got to save him.
TRANCE: We'll do the best we can.
TYR: On the subject of saving, who were your attackers?
ERIK: They were shock troops of the House of Constantijn.
TYR: Your distress call said pirates.
ERIK: Constantijn is a pirate. A traitor! He and the five barons butchered millions of our people during their revolt, and now they've murdered my family, and Yanos is all I have left. 

[Medical]

(Trance uses a defibrillator on Yanos.)
BEKA: He's not responding.
TRANCE: All right, we've got him.
ERIK: He's dying. Please, you have to do something.
BEKA: She's trying her best.
TRANCE: Heart rate stabilising.
BEKA: Great. What'd you do?
TRANCE: You know, a little of this, a little of that.
BEKA: Yeah, I would have tried that next.
TRANCE: Your friend is in a coma, but the nanobots should help keep him stable until he's healthy enough to revive.
BEKA: What about you? You okay?
ERIK: I believe so.
TRANCE: Just a scratch. You're very lucky.
(Erik is holding the crown.)
ERIK: Lucky?

[Command]

ROMMIE: After the fall, Ne'Holland was one of the fist planets invaded by the Magog. They overwhelmed the planet, then marched on. After they left, Ne'Holland experienced almost a century of anarchy and civil war, until Vincent the First.
ERIK: My great-great-great grandfather.
ROMMIE: Declared himself King, conquered his rivals and unified the planet.
ERIK: My family has ruled Ne'Holland for over two hundred years. We made our world stable and prosperous.
TYR: Which is no doubt why House Constantijn wants you dead.
HUNT: What triggered the revolt?
ERIK: Archduke Constantijn and the five barons own most of the land on Ne'Holland. They decided that entitled them to rule, not the King.
HUNT: And a civil war broke out.
ERIK: They caught us by surprise. The Royal Guard tried to fight, but they were slaughtered. Millions of people were killed. When the capital fell, my father tried to evacuate our family, but. My father spent many years preparing my older brothers for the throne. I'm the third son. No one ever thought I'd
TYR: Become King?
ERIK: This wasn't supposed to happen.
ROMMIE: According to their law, the Prince can't officially rule on his own until he's crowned on the throne of Vincent the First.
TYR: Back on Ne'Holland.
HUNT: And until then he needs a Co-regent.
ROMMIE: Two, to be precise.

[Officer's mess]

TYR: According to Ne'Holland law, being's Erik's Co-regents would make us his equals. This means one vote apiece when it comes to major decisions, and one bullet apiece when the assassins arrive.
HUNT: True, but there are other things to consider.
TYR: And they are?
HUNT: There's a reason Ne'Holland's one of the first worlds attacked by the Magog. They're located on a major slipstream nexus, right along the Magog's main invasion route.
TYR: And where the Magog world ship will eventually appear.
HUNT: Win Ne'Holland, and we'll have a strong point we can use to blunt the Magog invasion, if the Co-regent approves.
TYR: Long live King Erik.

[Corridor]

ERIK: I'm honoured that you've decided to be my Co-regents. And I promise you, together, we will restore justice for the people of Ne'Holland.
TYR: Not even crowned and he's already making speeches.
HUNT: Erik, we have practical matters to address before we start restoring justice to anyone.
TYR: Matters like the combined armies of Constantijn and the five barons you've been talking about.
ERIK: The armies are of no consequence. Our King was murdered. The people of Ne'Holland will demand vengeance.
HUNT: Justice and revenge. Those aren't really the same thing, are they?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Captain, I'm detecting a ship emerging from slipstream. It's from Ne'Holland and its hailing us.
TYR: No doubt here to pay their respects to your Royal Highness.
HUNT: Either way it looks like we have our first order of business.
ERIK: Very well. Then we shall address them and make our will known.
HUNT: Erik? This way.

[Command]

TJOE [on viewscreen]: Lieutenant Theodore Tjoe, commanding Alliance War, defence cutter of the Ne'Hollandar Noble Protectorate.
TYR: Noble Protectorate?
TJOE [on viewscreen]: The Noble Protectorate is the legitimate government of the Ne'Hollandar system and its people.
ERIK: That's a lie! You're rebels. Nothing but
HUNT: Your Highness! Let the man talk.
ERIK: But he
TYR: I concur. Motion carries.
HUNT: Lieutenant, you were saying?
TJOE: I'm here under orders from the Protectorate to collect any survivors of the Royal Family.
HUNT: Prince Erik is the only survivor, and he doesn't need any collecting.
TJOE: It's not a request. Price Erik, you have been tried in absentia and have been found guilty for crimes against the Ne'Hollandar people. You are under arrest.

[Officer's mess]

TYR: Corruption, torture, genocide. Serious charges.
HUNT: If they're true, the late King Florin was no saint.
TYR: Hmm. Which would reflect badly on Erik, making it difficult for us to put him in power. Assuming that was still our goal.
ROMMIE: The charges might be exaggerated, but according to the databases that I extracted from the freighter, King Florin didn't exactly tolerate dissent. He imprisoned political rivals and wasn't above the occasional execution.
TYR: I haven't a thing against tyrants, per se, but tyrants who lose? You were looking for an ally, and it's being to seem as though you've found a liability.
HUNT: From all the reports, the nobles are worse.
ROMMIE: Wholesale destruction of the countryside, forces conscription of commoners, biological attacks on cities loyal to the King.
HUNT: Just once I'd like to not have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
TYR: Then perhaps we should choose the greater evil. The Barons are organised. They have the upper hand militarily. Backing them would be our best chance to slow the Magog Worldship.
HUNT: We'd have a much harder time influencing them than Erik. As Erik's Co-regents, you and I can help him become a better ruler than his father was.
TYR: Assuming he'll listen.
ROMMIE: Dylan, I'm receiving a hail from the cutter. They seem pretty insistent.
HUNT: Do they?

[Command]

TJOE [on viewscreen]: Well, that is completely unacceptable! Prince Erik is an indicted criminal, and we demand his immediate return.
HUNT: Your request is completely unacceptable, and I've rejected it.
TJOE [on viewscreen]: Then, then we, we will be forced to fire
HUNT: Lieutenant, a bit of advice. You're on a cutter, I'm on a heavy cruiser. If you insist on pushing this, I could fire a warning shot across your bow. But frankly, the missile plume alone would probably rip you to pieces. So, it isn't all that bright for you to be making threats.
TJOE [on viewscreen]: Point taken. I'll have to confer with my superiors.
HUNT: Yes, you do that.
(Transmission ends.)
ROMMIE: You enjoyed that, didn't you?
HUNT: Yes.

[Observation deck]

(Tyr is giving Erik some martial arts training. Okay, so the boy is learning how to fall.)
TYR: You were out of position. Again.
ERIK: This is a waste of time. You're supposed to be teaching me how to be a king, not a foot soldier.
TYR: Martial arts, politics, war. They're all just ways of bending the universe to your will. All conflicts abide by the same rules. Sun-Tzu, Machiavelli, Heados of Thonia? Read them. You'll be prepared for anything. Now attack.
(Tyr blocks Erik's blows and tosses him on his back, again. Erik curls up and cries.)
TYR: Is that what you did when they came for your father, boy? Cry? I said attack. Come on! Tell me something else. When they killed your mother and sisters, did they take them first?
(Erik grabs a knife from a table and lunges at Tyr. When Tyr grabs his knife arm, Erik punches him with the other one, drawing blood.)
TYR: Well done, my Prince.
(Erik relaxes and Tyr disarms him.)
TYR: You relaxed. Never relent. Always finish your enemy or he will finish you.
ERIK: I'll kill them, you know. The nobles. Whether or not they took my sisters, I'll kill them for what they did.
TYR: Remember that anger. Harness it. Do not let it harness you. You ought to be a king. You haven't the time for petty personal indulgences like vengeance.
ERIK: That's easy for you to say. You didn't watch your family get murdered.
TYR: Young Erik, we have more in common than you know.
(He gives Erik the knife.)
TYR: Come. Watch, learn.
(Erik lunges, Tyr grabs his arm.)
TYR: Cut. Cut. Disarm. Cut. Throw! Remember.

[Officer's mess]

ERIK: Once the Andromeda's in position, we launch a quick strike against the nobles, destroy their strong points and seize power. So, what do you think?
HUNT: I think it's ambitious.
ERIK: You don't approve.
HUNT: Erik, you told me yourself. Your planet lost millions of people in its last civil war.
ERIK: We can't just leave the nobles in control.
HUNT: There are other ways to change the balance of power than war. There's diplomacy, there's economics, public opinion.
ERIK: We don't have time. We need to be swift, decisive. Tyr said
HUNT: I doubt very much Tyr told you to rush into battle unless you absolutely knew you could win.
ERIK: You're my Co-regents. You're supposed to help me.
HUNT: And we will. But I won't help you commit suicide or seize a throne you have no chance of holding.
ERIK: You don't know them like I do. The Barons are ruthless.
HUNT: You're afraid of them. Good. You should be. They're dangerous and if you weren't afraid of them, you'd be a fool.
ERIK: What if I can't do this? My brothers were groomed for the throne the moment they were born. How am I supposed to learn everything I need to know in a few weeks?
HUNT: Erik, the only way to really learn about leadership, is to lead.
ERIK: I don't even know where to start.
HUNT: That part is easy. Find out what the people really need, then look for the safest and best way to get it for them. From there, everything else follows.
ERIK: From there, everything else follows?

[Medical]

(Yanos wakes up and panics.)
TRANCE: Whoa. It's all right. It's all right.
YANOS: The shock troops.
TRANCE: They're gone. They're gone. You're safe. You're aboard the Andromeda Ascendant. We rescued you.
YANOS: The King. Where, where's
TRANCE: I'm afraid he didn't make it.
YANOS: Did anyone survive? Anyone at all?
TRANCE: Only Prince Erik. We were too late to save the others. I am very sorry.
YANOS: I have to speak to the Prince.
TRANCE: You're not ready to leave yet.
YANOS: No, you don't understand. the nobles have taken my wife and daughter hostage. My family! And now only the Prince can save them. Please, you must let me speak to him.

[Observation deck]

YANOS: Prince Erik?
ERIK: Yanos! Oh, God. Thank God you're better.
(Yanos draws a knife and slashes at Erik.)
ERIK: What are you doing? What are you? Help!

[Corridor]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: Security alert, Observation Deck.

[Observation deck]

YANOS: I never wanted it to come to this, but your father wouldn't sign the Grand Compromise. He refused to share power.
ERIK: You sabotaged our slipstream drive.
YANOS: Were you really so blind?
(As Hunt and Tyr run through the corridors, Erik makes use of his recent lessons.)
ERIK: My father trusted you.
YANOS: Your father was a monster. And if I don't stop you, you'll end up just like him.
(Erik disarms Yanos and throws him onto the floor. He puts a knife to his attacker's throat.)
HUNT: Erik, don't! He's more useful to us alive.
TYR: Is he.
ERIK: One vote each way. So I guess it's up to me to decide.
(Yanos gets his dropped knife and tries to slash. Erik reacts.)
HUNT: Erik, no! You killed him.

[Officer's mess]

ERIK: I keep telling myself it was self-defence.
HUNT: In my experience, that's seldom consolation.
ERIK: He was like family. Dylan, I can see his face, his eyes. They were alive, staring at me, and then they just went blank.
HUNT: It's not like in the stories, is it? Taking a man's life.
ERIK: My brothers wouldn't have thought twice about it. They were trained as soldiers, generals. But no one ever trained me.
HUNT: Maybe that's a blessing. Your father didn't shape you in his mould. That means you're free to become a different kind of king.
ERIK: My father was beloved by our people.
HUNT: Which people is that? The ones who died because of him? Or the ones who killed him?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Approaching Ne'Holland slipstream nexus.

[Command]

ERIK: I command all Royal forces on Ne'Holland to cease fire. And I ask that the nobles order their troops to do that same. Our late monarch, my father, was not perfect. But as your new rightful King, I do not intend to make the same mistakes that he did. United, we are a great world. Divided, we shall fall. So let us now work together to restore the peace and unity of Ne'Holland, for out people, our planet and our future.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Message sent. Nicely done, your Highness.
ERIK: I had a good speech writer.
(Tyr enters.)
TYR: I agree. It should serve you well in the court of popular opinion.
HUNT: Yes, we are looking for a peaceful solution.
TYR: And who knows, we may just find one.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Captain, we're being hailed. It's Archduke Constantijn.
ERIK: The man who murdered my family.
TYR: Mask your anger, Erik.
HUNT: I agree. But remember your responsibilities to your people. Put him through.
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: I really enjoyed your speech, your Highness. Especially the part where you ordered the Royal forces to cease fire. Are there any left?
ERIK: Enough. However, in the interest of peace, I've decided to offer you and the five Barons a formal pardon for all your crimes.
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: Oh, thank you.
HUNT: Archduke Constantijn, this is an olive branch to show our willingness to negotiate.
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: We're all anxious to find a peaceful solution to our situation, so I have a counter proposal. If young Erik will endorse the new legitimate government, then we will pardon him. That is, providing of course he agrees to leave Ne'Holland and never return, ever.
TYR: Exile?
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: The charges against him are quite serious, and exile is far preferable to death. Do we have a deal?
ERIK: I'll never endorse you! You traitorous
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: You think you frighten me, boy? Your anger is a pale imitation of your father's.
ERIK: Don't push me, Constantijn. I'm aboard the most powerful warship in the known worlds. I can destroy you with a word.
HUNT: All right, that's enough, both of you. All we want is what's best for the people of Ne'Holland. We don't want a war.
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: Nor do we. Especially now when we have civilian observers stationed aboard each of our defence cutters, and troops are garrisoned in school and hospitals all over Ne'Holland. Well, under these circumstances, were fighting to break out, Captain, I'm sure you can see the problem.
HUNT: Using people as human shields, Constantijn? Not exactly noble.
CONSTANTIJN [on viewscreen]: Well, I'm not the one riding on the most powerful warship in the known worlds, am I?

[Corridor]

TYR: That was unwise, attempting to use the Andromeda as a threat. You may be riding on the most powerful warship in the known worlds, but you don't command it.
ERIK: I know. I just lost my temper.
TYR: You know, my father was fond of telling me, to an Alpha, to a King, words are more precious than bullets. Use them wisely or not at all.
ERIK: My father didn't tell me much of anything. And he used words a lot. Mostly to show to people, to tell them what he wanted them to do.
TYR: And sadly, history will show the sort of example your father provided. You'll find, my Prince, that listening is often a far more powerful tool than speaking.
ERIK: I listened to Constantijn. He insulted me.
TYR: And you responded like a child in a nursery, not a King.
ERIK: What was I supposed to do? Keep my mouth shut and think good thoughts?
TYR: You are supposed to trust your elders. Dylan and I don't always agree, but we both want you on the throne of Ne'Holland, provided you don't prove yourself a fool before we are able to get you there. Am I understood?
ERIK: Understood.

[Eureka Maru]

TYR: The child is an utter fool, of course, but he does cut quite the romantic figure. The exiled Prince, the rightful King, and so forth. We both know that the people will support him in his bid for the throne.
CONSTANTIJN [on monitor]: I have no doubt that he could take the throne, but how long would he hold it? A month, two at best. And then, even I were eliminated, the other nobles would eat him alive.
TYR: So you see my dilemma. On one hand, I have the boy under my control. On the other, human shields. A lovely tactical stroke, I might say. Ruthless.
CONSTANTIJN [on monitor]: I'm glad you approve. But somehow I suspect you didn't contact me just to compliment me on my strategies.
TYR: On the contrary. That was the soul purpose of my call.
CONSTANTIJN [on monitor]: Then you wouldn't be interested in an offer of friendship from the Protectorate?
TYR: Well, that would depend upon the offer.
CONSTANTIJN [on monitor]: Rest assured. I would give you anything it is in my power to give in exchange for one simple gift. It's a small thing, about the size of a ripe calomelon.
TYR: Prince Erik's head.
CONSTANTIJN [on monitor]: Served in the traditional manner, of course, on a platter.
TYR: Hmm.
(Later -)
TYR: All I require is your agreement and you need never worry about Constantijn again.
ERIK: I don't know, Tyr. It's a big decision.
TYR: One you were fully prepared to make a few days ago.
ERIK: But you said I was being rash. And Dylan keeps talking about finding a, a peaceful solution.
TYR: Dylan is an idealist. You and I both know there will be no peace on your world so long as Constantijn and the five Barons are alive. To strike too soon would have been rash. To pass up a genuine opportunity, that's suicide.
ERIK: If you're so confident about your plan, then we should tell it to Dylan.
TYR: Out of the question. Dylan must not know.
ERIK: The rules governing the regency are clear. If we both agree, we can out-vote him no matter what he thinks.
TYR: Do you really believe that he'll let the two of us dictate his actions? Son, the Andromeda is Dylan's ship. He'll do with it what he will. And I guarantee that he will not be an accomplice to the execution of Constantijn and his allies. My Prince, if you rely on people to play by the rules, your reign will be sad, violent and short. Now what will it be? A false peace with the murderers of your family, one that will expire the moment Dylan leaves Ne'Holland, or an unassailable throne?
ERIK: Do it. Kill them.
TYR: Spoken like a King.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Tyr, Erik, report to Command. Code black.

[Command]

(Lots of little ships surround Andromeda.)
ERIK: It's our entire defence fleet.
HUNT: Rommie, how long would it take for you to destroy that fleet?
ROMMIE: Six point two seconds.
HUNT: That long?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: We're being hailed by the flag ship. Someone named Admiral Alexander.
ERIK: Another traitor. He commanded my father's military during the war. And at the very end, while we were evacuating, he went over to the nobles.
HUNT: On screen.
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: Admiral Alexander, commander in chief of the Ne'Holland defence forces.
HUNT: Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascendant.
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: Captain, I have strict orders not to allow you to pass.
ERIK: Whose orders?
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: Your Highness, it's good to see you. I was worried for you.
ERIK: Not enough to stand by my side.
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: Prince Erik, your father and I were like brothers, but all this fighting is, it's destroying us. It's destroying your people. And now that it's over, it has to stay that way.
ERIK: You've been a loyal subject, Admiral, and I appreciate your concerns.
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: In that case, I must admit, I am worried for your Highness' safety, especially among these strangers. Perhaps your Highness would care to join us on my flag ship.
ERIK: I'm not among strangers, Admiral. These are my Co-regents, and the Andromeda is now my flagship.
ALEXANDER [on viewscreen]: Since you choose to remain there, may I offer to send over a Royal guard to see to your security?
ERIK: Perhaps. I will confer with my Co-regents.
ROMMIE: Comm link suspended.
HUNT: You handled that well.
TYR: You listened. What did you hear?
ERIK: His invitation was a trap. He's working for Constantijn now. But he's tired, and all he really wants is peace. Do we let him send over his guards?
HUNT: No, no. We er, we'll invite him over to address his concerns about your safety.

[Maru engine room]

ERIK: But if Dylan can actually persuade Alexander to switch sides, we'll have the fleet and the Andromeda. The nobles will have no choice but to surrender, peacefully.
TYR: Erik, Alexander has no intention of switching sides. He only agreed to meet with Dylan to see if there was a way to get to you. We stick with our original plan, unless you're getting cold feet.
ERIK: You keep telling me not to trust people. Why should I trust you?
TYR: You shouldn't. If you were smart you'd be formulating our own backup plan. One that will work whether you follow Dylan's advice, mine, or strike out on your own, all the while making us both believe you trust us without question. So, do you trust me?
ERIK: The nobles are heavily guarded. How do you plan on getting close to them.
TYR: Ah, well, you see, there again you're disrupting the illusion that you have faith in me, which at this point
ERIK: This is my life on the line! Now I asked you a question.
TY R: A question with an answer that you might rather not hear.
ERIK: Regent, if I'm to be King, I need to be kept informed of what must go on to get me on the throne. How did you get the nobles to trust you?
TYR: By offering them you.

[Officer's mess]

ALEXANDER: I must say, I do find your proposal intriguing.
HUNT: So you'll keep it in mind?
ALEXANDER: You have my word on it.
HUNT: Thank you, sir.
ALEXANDER: So, how many can she fire again?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Forty missile launchers, each firing eight rounds per second.
ALEXANDER: Nineteen thousand, two hundred rounds per minute. At twenty megaton payloads?
HUNT: Well, give or take. A Glorious Heritage class cruiser like the Andromeda could completely depopulate a world like Ne'Holland in under two minutes. More tea?

[Weapons bay?]  
(placing of scene is uncertain. No wonder it was deleted.)

HARPER: Frequency tuner.
BEKA: Frequency tuner.
HARPER: This is going to be sweet.
BEKA: Ah, geeks and their toys. Try not to seem so excited, Harper.
HARPER: Oh, excuse me, Miss fix the Maru blindfold while slipstreaming the fighters on my tail. You're into technology just as much as I am. Don't you even try to deny it. I just wish I could be there to see their freaking faces when
BEKA: Okay, yes. It's pretty cool. But only until you think about all the things that could go wrong.
HARPER: I prefer to think about what's going to happen when things go right. Right up their
BEKA: Harper. You and I have shipped together for how long? And in all that time, when's the last time everything went exactly right?
HARPER: Spandau Drift.
BEKA: The explosion?
HARPER: Oh, yeah. Okay, maybe it's been a while.
BEKA: You see? That's all I'm saying.
HARPER: Okay, okay. But admit it. It is going to be pretty freaking awesome, right?
BEKA: Actually yes, it's going to be pretty cool.
HARPER: Laser torch.
BEKA: Laser torch.

[Observation deck]

ROMMIE: Prince Erik? Dylan would like to see you.
ERIK: About what?
ROMMIE: Are you all right?
ERIK: Oh, I'm fine. I have the choice between running for the rest of my life and starting a war. And the principle goal of my two advisors seems to be making deals behind my back and manipulating the situation to their advantage. Everything's great.
ROMMIE: Dylan isn't trying to take advantage of you.
ERIK: And Tyr?
ROMMIE: Tyr. Tyr tries to take advantage of everyone. It's his nature.
ERIK: I'm seventeen years old. I should be studying with my tutors, finding love, not deciding the fate of my entire world.
ROMMIE: Dylan wanted to tell you this himself but, he, Constantijn and Alexander were able to reach an agreement. If you'll agree to enter formal negotiations to share power with the nobles, they'll agree to a cease fire and to your coronation. The war is over, your Highness. You're going home.

[Ne'Holland]

(Troops stand guard on the steps below the throne.)
ERIK: Where will the Nobles be?
ROMMIE: Below the throne and to the right. Archduke Constantijn will crown you, of course, and Admiral Alexander has provided Royal guards to line your procession route.
ERIK: At my father's coronation, thousand of people lined his route to throw rose petals.
HUNT: Well, this time, let's hope nobody throws any grenades.
ROMMIE: Your coronation will be broadcast by holocam. Your entire world will be watching.
HUNT: Everything seems to be in order. Let's go back and run though this again.
(Hunt sees Tyr heading in another direction.)
TYR: Have we a deal?
CONSTANTIJN: How will you get my snipers past the Royal guards?
TYR: I've left breaks in our security perimeters here, here and here.
CONSTANTIJN: It's unfortunate it's come to this.
TYR: Tragic.
CONSTANTIJN: You may not believe me, but the Barons and I never wished to make war against our King. But someone had to stand up for the people.
TYR: And rule them.
CONSTANTIJN: Well, the people can't rule themselves, this is true. But neither should any King. At least, not without the aristocracy. You have chosen the right side.
TYR: I've chosen the winning side
CONSTANTIJN: Then we have a deal. After Erik is dead, my snipers will kill your Captain Hunt. The Andromeda Ascendant will be yours.
(A short time later, Constantijn confers with the other Barons, and Tyr senses a weapons lock on himself.)

[Erik's tent]

(Erik is being robed. White feathers abound rather than ermine.)
SERVANT: Your Majesty.
(The servant leaves.)
TYR: All is in readiness.
ERIK: I don't understand why you haven't already killed them.
TYR: Attack without provocation, and the people will think you a despot who murders his foes. Allow them to attack you, and you remain a blameless innocent. The people will love you, even as your foes breathe their last. Yes?
HUNT: Tyr.
(Tyr leaves.)
HUNT: So, how are you feeling?
ERIK: Dylan
ROMMIE: Dylan? The guests are ready.
HUNT: All of them?
ROMMIE: VIPs included. My remote sentries are detecting security breaches in the perimeter
ERIK: What's happened?
HUNT: Something you wanted to tell me?
ERIK: I, er, I just wanted to thank you.
HUNT: You're welcome. Rommie.

[Outside Erik's tent]

SOLDIER: Attention!
ROMMIE: Announcing his Royal Highness, Erik Rolandis Hegador. Son of his Royal Majesty King Florin. Prince of the grand system of Ne'Holland
(The snipers on the hill get ready.)
CONSTANTIJN: (into comms) Not until he steps from his tent, I want this on camera for the entire world to see.

[Erik's tent]

ERIK: we have to go
HUNT: I think it's best if we just wait here for a while.
ERIK: For what?
(Whoosh overhead. Two large objects streak through the atmosphere towards the sniper's positions. The Barons look worried.)
ERIK: What is that?
HUNT: I hope you don't mind. I took the liberty of inviting a couple of extra guests.
ROMMIE: Ready.

[Ne'Holland]

(The two large Battlebots, nicknamed Tweedledum and Tweedledee, have flown down from Andromeda.)
CONSTANTIJN: Fire! Open fire now!

[Erik's tent]

(Hunt pushes Erik to the ground as bullets rip through the tent.)
HUNT: Loose weapons. Secure the perimeter.
ROMMIE: Loose weapons, aye.
(The tweedles massacre the snipers.)
ERIK: You're killing them! You're just like Tyr.
ROMMIE: No, I'm better.

[Ne'Holland]

CONSTANTIJN: Tyr, we had a deal.
TYR: Did we?
(Tyr cuts the throat of one Baron.)
CONSTANTIJN: Kill him!
(Tyr does the killing. Constantijn is the last one to make the attempt.)
CONSTANTIJN: You said you were on our side.
(Tyr stabs him.)
TYR: I said the winning side.

[Erik's tent]

ROMMIE: Perimeter's secure, Captain.
HUNT: Thank you.
ROMMIE: You're welcome.
ERIK: What did you do?
HUNT: The same thing everybody else seems to be doing around here. Just making plans. Looks like mine worked.

[Ne'Holland]

(The bodies of the Barons are laid out in a line.)
ERIK: All of this, for me.
HUNT: This is what it costs, the game of Kings. You pay with blood.
ERIK: I had no idea what I was getting myself in to, but you did. You've played this game before.
HUNT: Did you learn anything?
ERIK: Tyr taught me to be ruthless. That was the noble's way. You taught me to try for peace, diplomacy, and to be ruthless only as a last result. I've see enough. I'm ready.
HUNT: Good.
(Shortly after, by the throne.)
ERIK: Though I am my father's son, I am not my father. Where he fought, I will find common ground. Where he commanded, I will listen. And where he seized all the power he could bare, I will share it. A government elected by the people, and for the people. Because I am only one man, and you, you are Ne'Holland. Long live the people!
(The Tweedles tower far above the assemblage, maybe 60 feet tall?)
CROWD: Long live the King!
(Erik takes the proffered crown and puts it on his own head. Cheers.)
TYR: A democracy. How quaint.
HUNT: Yes, Tyr, I know. You would have preferred Erik as a dictator.
TYR: No, sir. I should have very much liked our young Erik to survive. Your way I give him a month. You've won for now, but in the long run, my good Captain, I must believe you've placed the wrong bet.
HUNT: I didn't bet on Erik. I bet on them.
TYR: The people.
HUNT: A vote for everyone, including the soldiers. Especially the soldiers, each of whom will be granted an equal share of the noble's land when they put down their arms.
TYR: Isn't it a lucky thing for you then that Constantijn and the Baron's land has suddenly become available to prop up your new government.
HUNT: Yes. Lucky for me. Tyr, those people you told Erik to study. Sun Tzu, Heados of Thonia, Machiavelli. I've read them too.
TYR: Why, Captain Hunt, I didn't know you could be so literate.
CROWD: Long live the King! Long live the King! Long live the King! Long live the King!

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