The Fair Unknown

Original Airdate: 15 Apr, 2002

To venture in the Fair Unknown,
I must enter as I leave:
A traveller, alone.

Anonymous, CY1917

[Command]

(The scan of a ship is on the viewscreen.)
TYR: No trace of anything. Nothing alive, anyway. Kalderans, humans, nothing.
HARPER: Just tell Rommie to look out for anything cold, slimy, and hostile towards all known forms of life.
HUNT: Rommie, what's your status? Are you inside the ship yet?
ROMMIE [OC]: I'm entering by manual override. There isn't enough power to drive the door.
TYR: Just as well, or you'd set off their internal defence systems.
HUNT: If it's a trap, the Kalderans would've sprung it by now.
TYR: One would hope.
ROMMIE [OC]: Okay, Harper, I'm inside and looking for the power coupling. Got it. All set on this end.
(Harper presses buttons on a wall console.)
HARPER: Let there be light.
(The other ship's interior lights up.)
HARPER: These hands have been touched by God. Not to mention a few other things.
(A Kalderan corpse is now visible on the viewscreen.)
HUNT: Rommie, what the hell happened over there?
ROMMIE [OC]: Small-arms fire, explosive decompression. What didn't happen?
BEKA: Who would be stupid enough to raid a Kalderan ship? Kalderans are vicious, brutal, no sense of humour.
TYR: Stupid, all right. They left the evidence in plain sight instead of dropping it into the nearest star.
BEKA: Which brings me to my next question. Actually, more of a proposition.
HUNT: No.
BEKA: Dylan, we need supplies.
HUNT: It's not salvage with dead aboard.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: My avatar has run a systems diagnostic of the Kalderan ship. It reveals evidence of forced entry and internal damage consistent with a running firefight. In addition, the vessel is missing one slip-pod. It jettisoned just prior to comprehensive systems failure.
HUNT: So there may be survivors. Rommie, download the mission log. It might give us a clue to what happened.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Retrieving mission logs. It was recorded in Kalderan. I'll provide a real time translation.
(Andromeda's image is replaced by a Kalderan.)
ANDROMEDA [OC]: The mission has been of limited success, as the much hated blood enemy refuses to take part.
TYR: The much-hated-blood-enemy?
(Gunfire starts behind the Kalderan, as the crew try to shoot something moving at a blur.)
HUNT: Stop. Andromeda, replay the last two seconds at quarter speed, top right quadrant, centre and zoom.
(It is a four-legged, two armed female being. The rear legs are right up close to the forelegs, no long back between them.)
HARPER: Let me guess. That would be the much hated blood enemy?
HUNT: No, that would be a Vedran.
BEKA: A Vedran? Gone from the universe since the fall of the Commonwealth?
TYR: No one's ever seen a live Vedran.
HUNT: No one but me.

[Corridor]

BEKA: It's not at all what I expected, you know.
HUNT: What's that?
BEKA: The Vedran. When I was little, I used to spend hours tracing them from pictures. I never imagined they could be so brutal.
HUNT: No, they weren't. But they weren't divine, either. They simply prized wisdom and freedom over everything else, and they were willing to do whatever it took to secure that.
BEKA: Including war with the Kalderans?
HUNT: The Vedrans made peace with them, made them part of the Commonwealth. But I suppose, for the Kalderans, old wounds never heal.
BEKA: I know some people like that.
HUNT: Yeah, don't we all. Still, the Vedrans created an egalitarian society that spanned the galaxies, and they gave us twelve centuries of peace.
BEKA: Sounds like paradise.
HUNT: More like civilisation.

[Cargo hold]

(Rommie flies the Eureka Maru back to Andromeda.)
BEKA: I still can't believe we're looking for an actual Vedran. It's been hundreds of years.
ROMMIE: Three hundred and two, to be precise, ever since Tarn Vedra was cut off from the slipstream.

[Corridor]

HUNT: Tarn Vedra, the seat of the Systems Commonwealth, the source of moral authority for the High Guard, and my home.
BEKA: Do you think the Kalderans found a way to slip to Tarn Vedra?
HUNT: Unlikely. Even if they found a way in, I doubt they could find their way back out. The Vedrans are a formidable people.
ROMMIE: According to the logs, the Kalderan ship was returning from Ral Parthia.
BEKA: Ah, Ral Parthia. I've been around the moons of Nibia and through perdition's flame, but I've never heard of the place.
ROMMIE: Ral Parthia was a planetary nature reserve. It was open to visitors from all over the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Some Vedrans, they love it even more than Tarn Vedra itself.
ROMMIE: Maybe a colony of Vedrans was trapped there after the fall with the warders.
BEKA: Warders?
HUNT: They were like caretakers, rangers. Most were human. They're the ones who maintained the planet. Rommie, if the Kalderans stumbled across Ral Parthia and captured a Vedran.
ROMMIE: Well, Vedran or not, it took a slip-pod. Maybe it went back to Ral Parthia.
HUNT: Maybe we should go there and find out.
BEKA: What about the Kalderan ship? If someone comes across it, they'll know just as much as we do.
HUNT: That's a good point.

[Officer's mess]

(The Kalderan ship goes KaBOOM!)
BEKA: Well, that should keep the Kalderans' next of kin wondering.
HUNT: For which I am sorry. But if that was a Vedran, it is my duty as a High Guard officer to find her and protect her.
BEKA: It didn't look like she needed much help from anyone.
HUNT: That's not an assumption I'm willing to make. If the Vedrans are still out there, we need to know.
BEKA: We, huh?

[Command]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: We're ready to transit to slipstream.
HUNT: Wait. Do you mind? The slip to Ral Parthia was always one of my favourites.
BEKA: It's all yours.
HUNT: After you. All right. And here we go.
(Hunt pilots them through slipstream.)
HUNT: Welcome to the Ral system.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I'm picking up several Kalderan ships dispersed throughout the Ral system.
TYR: Cruisers, tenders, even ore processors.
HUNT: Beka.
(Beka takes the helm.)
HUNT: How long until they pick up the slipstream event and come looking?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The nearest ship is a cruiser at one point eight light minutes.
HUNT: Ral Avar's a gas giant, two minutes out. Take us in perpendicular to the elliptic and dash into orbit when we've closed thirty seconds. That'll keep us out of sight. Rommie, get Trance. You're both with me.
BEKA: Another field trip on the Maru?
HUNT: We've got CR codes from the Kalderan ship. With any luck, they'll think we're on a supply run.

[Eureka Maru]

(Rommie is in the pilot's seat.)
TRANCE: I've got the missing slip-pod, but there's a Kalderan outpost about a hundred kilometres away.
HUNT: Tell them we're dropping defoliants and plasma cutters.
TRANCE: Defoliants and plasma cutters it is.
HUNT: Bastards. They're strip-mining the planet and reducing it to ash. Probably just to spite the Vedrans.
TRANCE: Why would they do that?
HUNT: Destroying Ral Parthia is their way of erasing Tarn Vedra forever.
ROMMIE: We're cleared to land, but there's some kind of operation underway. We're to drop our shipment and leave.
HUNT: We will, just as soon as we get what we came for.
(The Eureka Maru lands.)

[Planet surface]

(They find a round object half buried in the mud.)
HUNT: The slip-pod from the Kalderan ship.
ROMMIE: It's been here awhile. The ground's cold.
HUNT: Kalderan sensors aren't as good as ours. Their operation may be a search for this pod.
TRANCE: Or a search and destroy.
HUNT: Something you want to tell me?
TRANCE: Nothing you don't already know.
(A blur whizzes through the nearby trees.)
HUNT: Rommie, does that look like
ROMMIE: Dylan, wait.
(Four people on horseback are galloping towards them.)
ROMMIE: They've got forcelances.
HUNT: So do we.
(The woman in the group starts shooting at them.)
HUNT: Fall back. Defensive fire only.
(They hide behind the slip-pod and start shooting.)
ROMMIE: Do you think they're warders?
HUNT: It's hard to say. The uniform's changed since I was here. Of course, it has been over three hundred years. All right, time to force a surrender.
TRANCE: How do we do that?
HUNT: By drawing a line in the sand.
(They fire into the ground in front of the riders, scaring the horses. The woman is thrown from her steed. Hunt, Trance and Rommie run to her.)
HUNT: Hey!
ROMMIE: Weapons down!
HUNT: Stay where you are. Captain Dylan Hunt of the High Guard. We're on the same side.
(The woman stares at him, then speaks.)
MAIA: High Guard? She didn't mention anything about a High Guard.
HUNT: No, I don't imagine that she did.

[Command]

BEKA: Andromeda?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Kalderans. Six ships headed this way. They may have detected our wake in the atmosphere.
BEKA: Take us deeper. Adjust AG fields to compensate for the pressure.
TYR: Being crushed under the weight of Ral Avar's atmosphere is the least of our worries.
BEKA: We've fought Kalderans before. They're tough, not invincible.
TYR: It's not the Kalderans that have me concerned. It's our Captain Hunt, and his friends the Vedrans.
BEKA: Ah, those guys. News flash, they're on our side.
TYR: Are they? Or would they simply expect us to be on their side?
BEKA: You're splitting hairs.
TYR: Not at all. Dylan is attempting to exert his will on the universe. He doesn't need quasi-mythical creatures to justify his position.
BEKA: They're not mythical anymore.
TYR: If anything, the Vedran presence will weaken him. They'll make him look like a pawn. And before we realise it, he'll be one, and we along with him.
BEKA: So you don't trust the Vedran agenda, even though they're the good guys?
TYR: I don't trust any agenda veiled in secrecy, Vedran or otherwise.
BEKA: Count on you to find the cloud around the silver lining. It's called faith, Tyr. Have some.

[Planet surface]

ROMMIE: Dylan. Kalderans.
(Who start shooting at them.)
HUNT: Take cover. Come on. Move it!
(They get behind a line of trees and take out the enemy who are in the open.)
HUNT: So what do you say, truce? The Kalderans are trying to kill us too.
MAIA: Truce.
HUNT: Rommie!
ROMMIE: I'm on it.

[Command]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: Kalderan depth charges are entering the atmosphere.
HARPER [OC]: Aren't we supposed to be hiding?
BEKA: We are. Proactively.
HARPER [OC]: Oh, and what does that mean, exactly?
TYR: It means we're being pragmatic and refusing to respond to their obvious probes. Shut up, and we'll tell you when to worry.
HARPER [OC]: Okay. Just checking.

[Planet surface]

(Rommie kills lots of Kalderans on her own.)
MAN [OC]: Move!
HUNT: Trance. Make sure she's okay. She took a pretty hard fall.
MAN [OC]: Cover us.
(Hunt mounts Maia's horse.)
MAIA: I'm fine. My team
TRANCE: Sit still. The sooner I give you a clean bill of health, the sooner we can both get out there and fight.
MAN [OC]: This way. (Hunt joins in the cavalry charges.)
MAN [OC]: Through here. Move!
ROMMIE: Dylan, Kalderan reinforcements are inbound. I'm trapped.
HUNT [OC]: Oh no, you're not.
ROMMIE: Nice.
(Rommie swings up behind Hunt and they gallop away. Meanwhile, behind the tree.)
TRANCE: Does that hurt?
MAIA: That's fine. More Kalderans. I've got to
(A blurry figure dashes between the trees.)
MAN [OC]: Over here!
MAIA: By the Empress!
(The Vedran shoots a Kalderan.)
HUNT: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
(Then the Vedran rushes off and kills another.)
HUNT: Rommie, is that a?
ROMMIE: Yes, and she's teleporting somehow.
HUNT: My god, a Vedran. Come on.
(The battle is over.)
HUNT: Whoa, whoa.
(Dead Kalderans litter the ground. Hunt and Rommie meet Trance and Maia at a place with three lumps of blue and silver lying on the grass.)
ROMMIE: That's Vedran blood. Her blood.
MAIA: She saved us.

[Forest]

ROMMIE: Dylan, I can't tell you exactly how the Vedran managed her teleportation trick, but I am picking up residual zero-point energy emanations.
HUNT: Dimensional travel. So she's tesseracting.
ROMMIE: Obviously Tarn Vedra has made significant progress in the last three hundred years.
HUNT: Obviously. Rommie, do you think that's how they cut themselves off from slipstream? A massive tesseract?
ROMMIE: Tarn Vedra hiding in a shadow universe? It's not impossible.
HUNT: We'll worry about that later. Right now, that Vedran is wounded and alone in hostile territory. We need to find her.
MAIA: Hey. What happened to the Kalderan ship?
HUNT: It was destroyed. Don't worry. No one else will come.
MAIA: Thanks.
HUNT: Maia, the Vedran is hurt. Now, we can help her, but only if you take us.
MAIA: Okay. (into comm.) I'm taking them to the caves. Summon reinforcements, and keep the Kalderans at bay.
MAN [OC]: Roger.
MAIA: It's this way.
(Later - )
HUNT: How long has the Vedran been here?
MAIA: Since the fall.
HUNT: The fall of the Commonwealth?
MAIA: Since autumn, nine months ago.
HUNT: So she came from Tarn Vedra?
MAIA: She never said. I never got to know any of the others.
HUNT: There's more than one?
MAIA: Let me show you something.
(Four stone plinths with the Commonwealth symbol, facing inwards in a square.)
MAIA: They were caught in an ambush, killed in battle with the Kalderans.
HUNT: Buried in the traditional circle, female in the centre, the males surrounding her as a symbolic guard force as she passes to the afterlife.
TRANCE: Only there's no grave in the centre.
HUNT: Maia, who is she?
MAIA: Her name is Uxulta. When her herd was killed, she had no choice but to come to us for help to protect her.
HUNT: Just protect her?
MAIA: That's all. She gave us forcelances. She showed us how to use them. We were on patrol when the Kalderans found her, raided our settlement. She tried to stop them, but there were too many of them even for her.
HUNT: So the Kalderans waited for their chance and they took it. Smart.
MAIA: No sooner does she return from that, but she's wounded in another battle with the Kalderans. I've failed her twice.
HUNT: You didn't fail. The job's just not finished. We'll find her, Maia, and we'll help her.

[Outside the cave]

ROMMIE: The Kalderans are on the move. I can hear them. Half a klick away and closing fast.
MAIA: How can you hear that?
ROMMIE: Oh, I'm an android. I'm full of surprises.
HUNT: Rommie, you stay here. Check the first wave and wait for my signal. Let's go.

[Tunnel]

MAIA: After the Fall, most of the tourists managed to get off-world, but some of them stayed, along with the Warders.
HUNT: So you're descendants of the original Warder service?
MAIA: Like my mother and hers before that.
TRANCE: You don't sound very happy about that.
MAIA: When I was young, I wanted other things. The work we were doing here seemed pointless to me, but my family felt otherwise and my options were obviously few. Somehow it's fitting that the Vedrans would decide to emerge on my watch.
HUNT: What's fitting is that they showed up after the Kalderans arrived.
MAIA: We'd been fighting for two years. We'd almost lost before the Vedrans came. Now, for the first time, we've got hope again.
TRANCE: They've just made your hope more realistic.
MAIA: No, it's more than that. It's difficult to explain.
HUNT: You don't have to. I grew up on Tarn Vedra. Yeah, I was surrounded by Vedrans all the time, and I was in awe of them.
TRANCE: The archives say that the Vedrans made gifted High Guard officers.
HUNT: They were more than gifted. They were superior beings.
TRANCE: Superior?
HUNT: They made us believe that we could be better than we were. They made us feel invincible.
TRANCE: It's strange, though. The Vedrans seem to have re-emerged, but they didn't contact you. You found out by accident.
HUNT: They must have had their reasons. They always did before.
TRANCE: Of course. More blood.
HUNT: We're on the right trail.

[Command]

TYR: The Kalderans seem to be pulling back.
BEKA: They've lost us. 
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I'm picking up two dozen inbound missiles, parabolic spread.
TYR: Targeting us?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: No, but the energy release from their passage through the atmosphere will be sufficient to heat localised pockets of free hydrogen to over one hundred million degrees Celsius. Enough to induce a nuclear fusion reaction in the atmosphere.
TYR: And turn Ral Avar into a small sun.
BEKA: Oh, we'll definitely feel that in the morning.
TYR: Andromeda, take us out. Maximum speed.
BEKA: Belay that.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Impact in three minutes forty seconds.
TYR: If we remain, we'll be caught in the exploding planet's shock wave, yes?
BEKA: Exactly. Andromeda, hold for my command.

[Cave]

(A book case, a chess board, a bed.)
MAIA: She has to be here. Maybe she's further inside, toward the
HUNT: Toward what?
MAIA: There's a laboratory of some kind. She forbade us to enter it. I don't know what it's for.
HUNT: Then it's time to find out.
ROMMIE [OC]: Dylan, we've got company.
HUNT: Copy. Fall back to the Maru and prep for evac. Dylan out. The bad guys are closing in. Maia, you find that Vedran. Trance and I will take up defensive positions. Go.

[Command]

(The Kalderan missiles ignite the gas giant.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Ten seconds until contact with the shock wave. Seven, six, five, four.
BEKA: Andromeda, all ahead full.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Three, two, one.
BEKA: Ride that wave.
TYR: Riding the reaction's edge.
BEKA: Where their sensors can't see us.
TYR: You could have told me.
BEKA: What, and ruin the surprise?
TYR: You're picking up some very unamusing habits from Dylan, you do know that? However, if they can't see us run, they can't see us kill them, either.
BEKA: Andromeda, you heard the man. Bring us about and prepare to unload a full missile strike right up the Kalderans' scaly tailpipes.

[Cave]

HUNT: You know what the Vedrans are doing here, don't you? You know if we find Tarn Vedra.
TRANCE: I don't know any more than you do.
HUNT: But you've seen the future.
TRANCE: I've seen a future.
HUNT: Trance, I need to know if I'm doing the right thing pursuing this Vedran. After all, if she had wanted my help, I have to believe she'd ask for it.
TRANCE: We're not just talking about this mission, are we? And you're not just trying to pursue a wounded Vedran. You're on a quest to find a place that you thought remained only in your mind. Home. But that's the thing about quests, they're not always about the destination.
HUNT: That's right. In the big picture, it's always about the journey. But close up, right here, right now, these Vedrans need our help.
TRANCE: So it doesn't matter if they've asked for our help or not.
HUNT: No, it doesn't.
TRANCE: Dylan, a lot changes in three hundred years. There may not be a place for the Vedrans, not anymore.
HUNT: Then I'll make one. Trance! Look out.
(Kalderans have made it into the tunnel and take shots at them. They take cover and return fire.)
MAIA: Dylan!
HUNT: Maia, stay back.
MAIA: She's alive.
HUNT: Huh?
MAIA: She gave me this.
(A grenade.)
HUNT: Run!
(Hunt throws the grenade at the Kalderans and follows Maia down another tunnel.)

[Laboratory]

(Where they find the injured blue lady centaur.)
UXULTA: Help us.
(Hunt steps forward. Trance holds Maia back.)
TRANCE: It's all right.
HUNT: Captain Dylan Hunt, of the Andromeda Ascendant. We're here to help. Rommie, we've got her. Give us an exit thirty metres from my position.

[Eureka Maru]

ROMMIE: On my way.
(The Maru takes off as a bright light flares in the sky.)
ROMMIE: Dylan, something's happening.

[Laboratory]

ROMMIE [OC]: There's been an explosion in the outer system of Ral Avar.
HUNT: Rommie, you're breaking up. Raise the Andromeda if you can, but hurry.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT [OC]: I need you here.
(Kalderans reach the laboratory and start shooting. Trance, Hunt and Maia return fire.)
ROMMIE: I'm so glad we put real weapons on the Maru. Dylan, stand by.

[Laboratory]

ROMMIE [OC]: Fire in the hole.
HUNT: Fire in the hole!
(They all shield Uxulta with their bodies as Rommie fires two missiles at the side of the mountain they are in. Falling rubble crushes the Kalderans.)
UXULTA: Argosy Special Operations Service?
HUNT: Una Salus Victus, ma'am. There's our ride.
(The Eureka Maru lands outside the new cave entrance Rommie has made.)

[Command]

BEKA: We sure stirred up the hornets' nest this time.
TYR: True, but now there are fewer hornets.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Beka, the Maru is hailing us.
BEKA: On screen.
HUNT [on viewscreen]: What are you doing up there? I could see your low profile from the planet. So.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Who made the star?

[Command]

(Tyr points at Beka.)
BEKA: They started it.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA [on monitor]: So, did you find your Vedran?

[Command]

HUNT [on viewscreen]: She's wounded. Stand by to bring us aboard.

[Medical]

(Uxulta is wheeled in on a gurney.)
HUNT: Beka, how long until we make it to slipstream?
BEKA [OC]: We're ten minutes from a good

[Command]

BEKA: Slip point, and there's a lot of Kalderans out there, but what the hell, I'll have us out of here in five.

[Medical]

HUNT: I like that number better. Dylan out. You'll be fine. Trance will take care of you. Rommie, you're with me.

[Hunt's quarters]

(He gets changed.)
HUNT: Almost home.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan? Uxulta's in worse shape than we initially thought. Her equipment's been shattered, and she's badly wounded. We've slowed the bleeding, but we haven't been able to stop it.
HUNT: Why not?
HOLO-ROMMIE: The Kalderan weapons had a biological component. The effects are abhorrent, especially for Vedrans.
HUNT: On my way.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Dylan, we might not be able to save her.
HUNT: I know some people who can.

[Medical]

UXULTA: Are you asking me for the route to Tarn Vedra?
HUNT: I'm asking you to help me save your life, and I know we can do that on Tarn Vedra.
BEKA [OC]: For those of you playing at home, that was a new attack from our old friends, the Kalderans. Fortunately, we're at slipstream distance, but I need a destination.
HUNT: My pilot needs a destination.
UXULTA: Did you think you'd pressure me? You really are Argosy Special Operations.
HUNT: I'm waiting.
UXULTA: Then make it Ral Parthia.
HUNT: That would be suicide.
UXULTA: It's my life, and I'm giving it to save Ral Parthia.
HUNT: Yeah, but you can't do it alone.
UXULTA: No. I also need a Nova bomb.
HUNT: What?
BEKA [OC]: Dylan?
HUNT: Stand by. Why do you need a nova bomb?
UXULTA: The Kalderans destroyed our ship. I need the Voltairium from the Nova bomb to power my equipment.
HUNT: And I need to know what kind of equipment.
UXULTA: You aren't cleared to know.
HUNT: Well then, I'll go see for myself.
UXULTA: There's a self-destruct unit. It's foolproof and it's nuclear.
HUNT: So you're willing to blow up an entire planet?
UXULTA: As I indicated, that's need to know only, Captain.
HUNT: I put my ship and my crew on the line to save your life. In my book, that qualifies as need to know.
UXULTA: And I'm grateful, Captain, but my mission is classified.
HUNT: Then to hell with you.
UXULTA: Captain Hunt, I'm giving you a direct order. Priority omega three one six omega.
HUNT: Code?
UXULTA: Code seven, break seven. Identity, Uxulta, Vice Admiral, Commander In Chief of Argosy Special Operations.
(He hands him a data chip.)
UXULTA: Now you will comply, Captain, or I will assume command of this ship and toss you in the brig. Are we clear?

[Corridor]

HUNT: A Nova bomb, Rommie. How can I do that in good conscience, even if she is who she claims to be? A lot of things can change in three hundred years. Even Tarn Vedra.
ROMMIE: Well, their technology has certainly changed, but her Command authority hasn't.
HUNT: I have the right to refuse a suspect order.
ROMMIE: What's suspect about the order? She's an Admiral, she wants a Nova bomb, and you have one.
HUNT: It is not that simple.
ROMMIE: This isn't about the Nova bomb, and it isn't about Uxulta's legitimacy. This is about you.
HUNT: Excuse me?
ROMMIE: The Vedrans came back and they didn't inform you. Now they want something from you and they won't tell you why. They're leaving you out of the loop, and you think you deserve better. You're angry, you're hurt, and that's okay, because you're human. However, you are still High Guard. These orders are legal, and you must obey.
HUNT: Would you?
ROMMIE: I don't have a choice.
HUNT: That's the problem, Rommie. I do. And I have a responsibility.

[Medical]

HUNT: Give me more, or we're not going anywhere near Ral Parthia.
UXULTA: I told you
HUNT: You've told me nothing, about your intentions, about your mission.
UXULTA: My command code
HUNT: Is from a government that's been gone for over three hundred years. My career, my training, they demand that I follow your orders, but everything else that I am, my experience, my instincts, are screaming at me to refuse until you give me a reason why I shouldn't. And you will forgive me, ma'am, if I have fallen out of the practice of quietly accepting the idea that there are some things that I don't need to know.
UXULTA: Clear this deck, Captain.
HUNT: You heard her. Go.
(Trance and Maia leave.)

[Command]

(Things are going bang.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Three Kalderan attack ships aft, opening fire.
BEKA: Return fire. We're all clear.

[Medical]

BEKA [OC]: Slipstream in two minutes.
UXULTA: How's your military history, Captain?
HUNT: I don't see what that has to
UXULTA: I asked you a very simple question.
HUNT: Excellent.
UXULTA: Do you remember Admiral Munro?
HUNT: Munro was the one of the first humans promoted to Admiral in the High Guard. Acting on orders from the Chief of Argosy Operations, he led four battle groups into a clearly suicidal engagement with a fleet of Pyrian torchships. They all died that day, but we won the battle.
UXULTA: And why was that?
HUNT: Munro was one hell of an Admiral.
UXULTA: Yes, and he trusted his Vedran superiors though it cost him his own life and the lives of thousands under his command. Trust me, Captain. I'm not asking you or your crew to march into a hopeless battle. I'm asking you to let me die to complete my mission.
HUNT: Admiral
UXULTA: It's a sacrifice I've been called upon to make. I promise you, Captain Hunt, there's far more at stake here than a fleet of advancing Pyrians, or the pained desire of one lost son to cling fast to a piece of home.
HUNT: Yeah.

[Command]

BEKA: Sinti, here we come.
HUNT [OC]: Beka, bring us about. Get us in range of Ral Parthia

[Medical]

HUNT: And prepare to deploy a Lancer drop-pod. I want a full load of defensive missiles, all tubes. We'll have to cover her all the way down.
UXULTA: Thank you, Captain.
HUNT: Don't thank me. I might change my mind.

[Corridor]

HUNT: The Admiral needs your help. Harper, meet me in the magazine.
HARPER [OC]: Right, boss.

[Hangar bay]

(The Nova bomb is loaded into the drop-pod.)
HUNT: Relax. It can't go critical.
HARPER: Look, betting my life savings on a game of yesheedono is a chance I'm willing to take, except against Trance. However, accidentally setting off a Nova bomb, and therefore disrupting the gravitational forces that hold together stars and planets, isn't. Boss
HUNT: I know.
HARPER: Okay. But what if she
HUNT: She won't.
HARPER: Okay. You're sure?
HUNT: Yep.
HARPER: Okay.
HUNT: Just like that?
HARPER: Yeah. I trust you.
HUNT: Thanks.
(Maia enters.)
HARPER: Hello, hot backwoods babe. You get all the fun.
(Harper leaves.)
MAIA: Dylan, I wanted to thank you for everything that you've done.
HUNT: You might want to wait on that.
MAIA: I already have. Too long.
(Maia kisses Hunt.)
MAIA: That's goodbye.
HUNT: So you're going with her?
MAIA: Yes.
UXULTA: No. I'm sorry, Maia, there isn't room aboard the drop-pod.
MAIA: But you need help. I won't fail you again.
UXULTA: You've never failed me. You led Captain Hunt to me, and now you're helping me to save more than you can possibly imagine.
MAIA: But Ral Parthia is my home.
UXULTA: And it will live in your heart, even as you discover a new universe. You'll see she finds a home?
HUNT: I will.
UXULTA: Thank you, Captain. I really would appreciate that. I'm sorry you and I didn't have more time together, Dylan Hunt.
HUNT: Under the circumstances, I think that's just as well.
UXULTA: I'll tell you something else. I don't think you need to know, but you should know. You deserve to know. Tarn Vedra's quite aware of you and your efforts to restore the Commonwealth. We're proud of you, Captain, very proud, and we want very much for you to carry on.
(Uxulta salutes Hunt, and he returns the gesture.)

[Command]

HUNT: Status on the drop-pod?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: She's through the outer atmosphere and coming in range of the Kalderan terminal defence batteries.
HUNT: Tyr, suppressing fire. Make sure she gets down safely.
BEKA: Then she's really gone. I never even got a chance to meet her in person.
HUNT: Yes, the Admiral is a remarkable being.
BEKA: Yeah, no kidding. She's a Vedran.
HUNT: She's flesh and blood just like the rest of us.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The drop-pod is down.
(Big bangs.)
HUNT: Beka, increase orbit z plus thirty.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Dylan, I'm receiving a transmission from the surface. It's the Admiral.
HUNT: That was fast.
ROMMIE: She did demonstrate an ability to tesseract over short range, but her equipment was destroyed.
HUNT: Put her on screen.
UXULTA [on viewscreen]: Captain, my final order. Run.
BEKA: Running like hell, aye.
(Shortly afterwards.)
BEKA: We're almost at slipstream range.
ROMMIE: I'm detecting a massive tachyon burst emanating from Ral Parthia.
HUNT: Beka, now!
(They enter slipstream. Back at Ral Parthia, energy emanates from the laboratory out to the other moons in orbit of the planet, then it and they disappear.)
TRANCE: The slipstream is disintegrating.
HARPER: Okay, not good. Not good.
HUNT: Beka!
BEKA: Hey, I didn't turn Ral Avar into a sun, and I sure as hell didn't do this, whatever this is.
(They finally escape the green jagged mess that used to be a slipstream.)
HARPER: Okay, that definitely makes my list of top ten things that aren't fun.
(Later, Beka is studying starcharts.)
BEKA: We could try jumping from Typhon. There has got to be a way to get back to Ral Parthia.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: You've tried six other routes.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: It's safe to say that Ral Parthia has been cut off from the slipstream.
BEKA: Impossible, unless you destroy the entire system, sun, planets, everything.
TYR: Or make them disappear.
BEKA: Just like Tarn Vedra.

[Hunt's quarters]

MAIA: Dylan, you wanted to see me?
HUNT: Yes, please. Come in. I just wanted to make sure that you were comfortable.
MAIA: This ship is amazing. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen, next to Uxulta, of course.
HUNT: Of course. You'll have to excuse me, but you don't seem to be too worried about Ral Parthia.
MAIA: Maybe I should be, but somehow I know it's safe. Uxulta loved Ral Parthia, and she's a Vedran. They always do what's right. Don't you believe that?
HUNT: I want to. I have to.

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