To venture in the Fair Unknown,
I must enter as I leave:
A traveller, alone.
scan of a ship is on the viewscreen.)
TYR: No trace of anything. Nothing alive, anyway. Kalderans, humans,
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
(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
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
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
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
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
TYR: No one's ever seen a live Vedran.
HUNT: No one but me.
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
BEKA: Sounds like paradise.
HUNT: More like civilisation.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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?
[OC]: We're ready to transit to slipstream.
HUNT: Wait. Do you mind? The slip to Ral Parthia was always one of my
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.
(Beka takes the helm.)
HUNT: How long until they pick up the slipstream event and come
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.
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
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.)
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
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
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.
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
BEKA: So you don't trust the Vedran agenda, even though they're the
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.
(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
HUNT: So what do you say, truce? The Kalderans are trying to kill us
ROMMIE: I'm on it.
[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.
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 swings up behind Hunt and they gallop away. Meanwhile, behind
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.
Dylan, I can't tell you exactly how the Vedran managed her
teleportation trick, but I am picking up residual zero-point energy
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.
HUNT: Maia, the Vedran is hurt. Now, we can help her, but only if you
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
MAIA: They were caught in an ambush, killed in battle with the
HUNT: Buried in the traditional circle, female in the centre, the males
surrounding her as a symbolic guard force as she passes to the
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.
The Kalderans are on the move. I can hear them. Half a klick away and
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.
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
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
HUNT: They were more than gifted. They were superior beings.
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.
Kalderans seem to be pulling back.
BEKA: They've lost us.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I'm picking up two dozen inbound missiles,
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
BEKA: Exactly. Andromeda, hold for my command.
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.
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
BEKA: Andromeda, you heard the man. Bring us about and prepare to
unload a full missile strike right up the Kalderans' scaly tailpipes.
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.)
HUNT: Maia, stay back.
MAIA: She's alive.
MAIA: She gave me this.
(Hunt throws the grenade at the Kalderans and follows Maia down another
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
On my way.
(The Maru takes off as a bright light flares in the sky.)
ROMMIE: Dylan, something's happening.
[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
[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.
[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
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.)
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.
Who made the star?
points at Beka.)
BEKA: They started it.
monitor]: So, did you find your Vedran?
viewscreen]: She's wounded. Stand by to bring us aboard.
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
Slip point, and there's a lot of Kalderans out there, but what the
hell, I'll have us out of here in five.
like that number better. Dylan out. You'll be fine. Trance will take
care of you. Rommie, you're with me.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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
UXULTA: Clear this deck, Captain.
HUNT: You heard her. Go.
(Trance and Maia leave.)
are going bang.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Three Kalderan attack ships aft, opening
BEKA: Return fire. We're all clear.
[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.
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.
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
Sinti, here we come.
HUNT [OC]: Beka, bring us about. Get us in range of Ral Parthia
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
UXULTA: Thank you, Captain.
HUNT: Don't thank me. I might change my mind.
The Admiral needs your help. Harper, meet me in the magazine.
HARPER [OC]: Right, boss.
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: Just like that?
HARPER: Yeah. I trust you.
HARPER: Hello, hot backwoods babe. You get all the fun.
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?
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.)
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
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.
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.
BEKA: We're almost at slipstream range.
ROMMIE: I'm detecting a massive tachyon burst emanating from Ral
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
TRANCE: The slipstream is disintegrating.
HARPER: Okay, not good. Not good.
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
HARPER: Okay, that definitely makes my list of top ten things that
(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,
TYR: Or make them disappear.
BEKA: Just like Tarn Vedra.
Dylan, you wanted to see me?
HUNT: Yes, please. Come in. I just wanted to make sure that you were
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
HUNT: I want to. I have to.