The Shards of Rimni

Original Airdate: 7 Oct, 2002

The loyal heart
has hidden treasures.
In secrets kept,
In silence sealed.

Commander Zing Bex,
"The Art of Secrets."
Approx. CY2575

[Command]

ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Incoming courier drone from Singapore Drift. Security code confirmed. Proceed to hangar bay twelve.

[Hangar Bay 12]

(Rommie is handing out the post. Harper has a new toy.)
HARPER: Whoo hoo! Hoverboarding on Mardeeks Four. Oh, baby, oh, baby,
ROMMIE: Dylan, You've got mail.
HARPER: All right, stand back, you land-locked losers. Whoo-hoo! I can feel the wind in my hair And the splattered bugs on my teeth now. Whoo-Hoo. Whoa. Whoo! Look out, sand and chicks, here I come.
(Hunt's mail projects a hologram.)
HARPER: Oh yeah, baby. Whoo! Whoa. All right.
HUNT: That's impossible.
ROMMIE: Beka? Holonovels?
BEKA: What! They're historical novels. You insert yourself into great events.
(Harper reads the titles from his elevated hovering vantage point.)
HARPER: The Amorous Cerilli Beach? What kind of events are we talking about, huh, Beka? What's the matter? Can't reach me? Whoo! Hey, for once in my life, I'm as tall as Tyr! Hey, shorty. Whoo! This is beautiful.
HUNT: Konstantine.
HARPER: Dylan, how's the weather down there? What'd you get, huh? Am I cool, or what?
HUNT: When they ask, I never got this package, okay?
BEKA: When who asks?
ROMMIE: Dylan, what is it? We can help. Whatever it is, we are your best resource.
HUNT: Not this time. Not now. Harper, you're with me.

[Corridor]

HARPER: So, where are we going, boss?
HUNT: The hologram was a map.
HARPER: Not one like I've ever seen.
HUNT: That's the whole idea.
HARPER: Wait a minute, how come I get to go for a change?
HUNT: Because I want you with me.
HARPER: This is something shady, isn't it?
HUNT: Here. We'll take the Maru.
(Hunt hands Harper a flexi.)
HUNT: Chart us to the nearest slippoint.
HARPER: Fellenhoff? More like Fellinhell In a Fellin handbag. Guess I won't be needing this. (the hoverboard) Still, I see this as an opportunity to hone my skills, stay mentally fit, share our similar viewpoints, and achieve something of quality in our time together.
HUNT: Yeah, we'll have fun. I'd like to leave today.

[Fellenhoff Drift]

HARPER: Fellenhoff Drift. What a hole. All right, boss, you don't have to answer this question, but on a scale of one to ten. On a scale of one to ten, how dangerous would this objective be?
(Hunt powers up his forcelance.)
HARPER: Question answered.
(They arrive at locked door number 24, or 29.)
HUNT: All right, Mister Harper, work your magic.
HARPER: Er, let's see. Piece of cake.
(Harper jacks into the locking mechanism.)
HARPER: Ta-dah!
HUNT: Hmm. Very good.
HARPER: Of course.
HUNT: Stay.

[Room]

(Hunt finds a corpse who has drawn a symbol in his own blood.)
HUNT: Nice to meet you, Konstantine.
(He hears an energy weapon powering up in the next corridor, and fires at the door, then looks outside. Harper has been taken by the local police.)
SECURITY: Captain Dylan Hunt. By Commonwealth authority, you're under arrest for murder.

[Cell]

HARPER: So who was that corpse?
HUNT: I have no idea who that guy was, but he's the one who sent me the package.
HARPER: You didn't kill him, did you?
HUNT; What do you think?
HARPER: Well, then who the hell did?
HUNT: Good question. One thing I do know. We've been set up.
HARPER: Set up, huh? Why would somebody set us up?
HUNT: Sorry I got you into this, Harper.
HARPER: Oh, that's all right. I'm already out my two week deposit hoverboarding on Mardeeks Four. Don't worry, we'll think of something.
HUNT: Go ahead. Think away.
HARPER: Hey. No. Oh. No. I got nothing. You?
HUNT: Nothing.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Forced entry, aggravated assault, larceny, and murder.
BEKA: Dylan?
TRANCE: He's Captain Dylan Hunt, restorer of the Systems Commonwealth. A modern day Sani Nax Rifati. Don't they know he doesn't commit murder?
BEKA: Or, if he does, it's usually for a very good reason.
TYR: The evidence would appear incontrovertible. Dylan's prints are on the murder weapon, and he was found standing over the freshly killed body with our little Professor standing guard.
BEKA: I seem to recall someone else on this crew being accused of murder based on exactly the same evidence.
TYR: There's a point.
ROMMIE: You know, he hasn't tried to contact us.
BEKA: He won't.

[Cell]

HUNT: There has got to be a way out of here.
HARPER: I don't know. We've got pressure sensitive walls.
(He hits one and an alarm sounds.)
HARPER: Hidden infrared digicams everywhere. How are you doing? And microtargeted antigrav cell locks.
HUNT: The Commonwealth security force will be here in three days, so we've got that much time to escape and clear our names.
HARPER: Your name.
HUNT: You're in this, too, pal.
HARPER: We couldn't be in a more escape proof box. All we can hope for is some divine intervention, and
(The door opens.)
JAILER: Go. Clear your names. You've got three days.
HUNT: Excuse me?
JAILER: Hey, don't look so surprised. I know who you are, Hunt.
HARPER: Just when you think nobody cares, huh? The universe comes along and surprises you. Some nice jailor comes along and saves your butt. Thanks.
JAILER: The clock's ticking.
HUNT: Yeah.
(Hunt slams the jailer up against the wall.)
HUNT: Who paid you to let us go? This could get very painful.
JAILER: Don't hurt me, please. I don't know who. The offer came anonymously. Lots of money to let you go. And if I didn't. If I didn't, I'd die.
HUNT: I wouldn't count on that money if I were you.

[Eureka Maru]

HARPER: Well, now we can add escaped cons to the galaxy's most wanted gangs list.
HUNT: At least we've got people talking about us.
HARPER: Yeah, when all is said and done, we'll have to go back and thank that jailor. Buy him a beer or something.
HUNT: I don't think he'll be able to enjoy it. He's probably dead.
HARPER: What about the Andromeda, Dylan? Isn't it time we called in the cavalry?
HUNT: It's not a good idea to add Andromeda to the galaxy's most wanted list, is it?
(Beep.)
HARPER: Ah, frigates. Three of them. Commonwealth Fox Craft patrol with subspace acceleration and
(Whoosh, bang.)
HARPER: Extended range missiles, in case you didn't notice. I'm assuming you know where we're going?
HUNT: I'm assuming you know how to hold on.
(He spins the Maru into slipstream.)

[Command]

BEKA: So that's the guy Dylan allegedly murdered.
ROMMIE: According to Mobius intelligence, he was a contract killer. The very best. But, verifying facts about his life is proving to be almost impossible.
BEKA: Recognise him?
TYR: No, but I've known maybe a hundred men like him. They're all dead. He's probably some merc or Special Op.
ROMMIE: I've intercepted a message from Commonwealth security. Dylan and Harper just escaped from the Fellenhoff Drift prison, and according to security cameras, they've killed a jailor. He's now being held responsible for two murders.
BEKA: He's on a roll.
TYR: My money's on that number increasing.

[Eureka Maru]

(In slipstream.)
HUNT: Looks like we lost our parasites.
HARPER: Complete wash. None of the frigates made it through the last gravitational tidal wave. That bloody spiderweb thing. That was dead man talking leaving you a clue where to go, right?
HUNT: Yes, it was.
HARPER: So where're we going?
HUNT: You're about to find out.
HARPER: Great. And while we're on the subject. That ceramic shard he sent you. You've already got one, haven't you.
HUNT: Yep.
HARPER: Did you bring it? Smart answer. Okay. So, we find the spider web, we find the guy who wants to collect all the shards and win some valuable prize, right? So what is the significance of these shards and how the hell did you end up with one in the first place?
HUNT: It's safer you don't know.
(They come out of slipstream near a construct in a purple nebula.)

[Tunnel]

HARPER: Why is it shady people always live in shady places?
HUNT: He doesn't live here. He's hiding here.
(Harper spots a spider web logo on the rock wall.)
HARPER: You know he's watching us.
HUNT: Yeah, like a spider watches his prey.
(A door at the end of the tunnel starts to open and a bot drifts out. Hunt gets to the only available cover.)
HUNT: (sotto) Harper, freeze.
HARPER: It's coming toward me.
HUNT: I think it likes you.
HARPER: Heh, heh, heh. All right, I can't freeze any better and it's still coming for me.
HUNT: But you're doing it brilliantly.
HARPER: Screw it!
HUNT: Harper!
(Harper leaps sideways and they both start shooting. The bot returns fire until it gets destroyed.)
HARPER: Piece of cake.
(The door at the end of the tunnel starts to close.)
BOTH: Door!
(They roll under just before it shuts.)

[Another tunnel]

ABELARD: So it's really you. Captain Dylan Hunt of the vaunted Andromeda Ascendant. Abelard. I find myself oddly flattered. Well, take my shard, and my life, if you must. I'd do the same thing. Either way, I was getting bored sitting and waiting. Now boredom, there's a killer.

[Maru crew area]

(Not the girlie one.)
ABELARD: I don't know who my friends are anymore.
HUNT: Well, we'll be your friends. So if you didn't kill Konstantine, who did?
ABELARD: You've got me. Between the four of us, we thought it was a pretty simple plan. Blackmail you for the shard, maybe kill you, maybe not. No, probably kill you.
HUNT: Oh, and here I thought we were friends. What's with the box?
ABELARD: This? This was at the tunnel when I got there. By that time, I was feeling certifiably edgy.
(Abelard opens the box, Harper uses a wrench to remove the pink object.)
HARPER: It's a finger.
HUNT: Yeah, that would be a finger.
HARPER: So, who's the nine fingered fellow this used to belong to?
ABELARD: Peder.
(Hunt takes a metal square from the box.)
HUNT: Harper.
HARPER: Let me guess. Peder, right? Okay, so who's Peder?
(Harper puts the square into a console and it brings up a video of a frightened man lying on the floor.)
ZEUS [OC]: I have Peder, and I want your shard, Abelard. A trade.

[Command]

(A woman is giving orders.)
LINCOLN [on viewscreen]: Under Commonwealth authority, I demand you relinquish Captain Dylan Hunt and Seamus Harper to my custody immediately.
BEKA: And you are?
LINCOLN [on viewscreen]: First Officer Max Lincoln, Commonwealth Security, Third District, Marinell Division, System nine. Do you people even understand the gravity of the charges?
TYR: No. No, First Officer Max Lincoln, we don't understand.
LINCOLN [on viewscreen]: I'm authorised to give you two days to turn the suspects over to me, or I'll report your insubordination to my superiors and you can deal with the consequences.
BEKA: Look, Officer Max. We don't have Dylan or Harper. We don't even know where they are.
LINCOLN [on viewscreen]: That's unacceptable.
BEKA: Unacceptable?
LINCOLN [on viewscreen]: He's on board, isn't he. Turn yourself in, Captain Hunt.
TYR: Call back in two days.
(Transmission ends.)
TRANCE: So what do we do now?
BEKA: Lose her. Andromeda, hard one eighty. Let's get out of junior's jurisdiction.
ROMMIE: More company. Commonwealth support ships. Cruisers, patrols, even a military destroyer.
TYR: Our Dylan must be a very wanted man.
BEKA: Prepare for slipstream.

[Maru crew area]

ZEUS [on monitor]: Don't disappoint me, Abelard.
ABELARD: Zeus. To think I trusted him like a brother.
HARPER: Oh, yeah. The universe is so unkind to scumbags.
ABELARD: You know, with your limited grasp on seemingly everything, I don't expect you to understand. Zeus, Peder, Konstantine. We were more than partners. We were friends.
HUNT: Yeah, well, right now one's a hostage, one's a corpse, and one's the guy who did it to them.
HARPER: And who framed us. Now, what the hell's going on here?
HUNT: You can't give your shard to Zeus.
ABELARD: Well, at the risk of appearing both mundane and afraid, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to give them the shard and get Peder back safely.
HUNT: It won't work that way. Zeus isn't leaving any witnesses. He'll take your shard, he'll kill you, Peder, and then he'll kill me.
HARPER: Yeah, and most of all, me.
ABELARD: Does this have to be dressed up in such high drama? God, no wonder the theatre's dead.
HARPER: You haven't met Tyr. I've got an idea, boss. Why don't we take a fake? I could whip one up in
HUNT: Harper, you're staying here.
HARPER: What? But I. All right. They also serve, those who stand and wait.
HUNT: I believe this map belongs to you. Lead the way.
ABELARD: A pleasure.

[Jungle]

(Split screen action. While Abelard walks on and puts his shard on a fallen log, Hunt gets waylaid by a really ugly alien.)
ALIEN: Drop your weapon.
HUNT: All right. Just take it easy.
(Then knocks him out with a double-footed back kick.)
HUNT: It's never easy.
(He joins Abelard.)
ABELARD: What was that?
HUNT: I tripped. So when are we going to find this guy?
(Someone grabs the shard.)
HUNT: Hey!
ABELARD: I think we found him.
HUNT: Wait here.
(Hunt chases the man through the jungle, with lots of hurdling over fallen logs. Then he takes a diversion and leaps on the man, knocking him out. He recovers the shard.)
HUNT: Everybody's a thief on this planet.
(The man's comm. unit beeps, and Hunt activates it.)
HOLO-ZEUS: Captain Dylan Hunt.
HUNT: You must be Zeus.
HOLO-ZEUS: I knew you'd come. Hopelessly predictable. Bring the three shards, yours, Konstantine's and Abelard's, to the Goulash Cafe on the Zempf Drift.
HUNT: I'll be there. I never turn down a good meal.

[Command]

(The Andromeda is still being chased by the police.)
ROMMIE: They're threatening to fire on us if we don't turn over Dylan and Harper.
TRANCE: Well, that's a problem, since we have neither Dylan nor Harper. Maybe we should tell them that.
TYR: Again?
BEKA: As long as they think we have Dylan, he's free to do whatever he's out there doing. Rommie, any idea what he's out there doing?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Two incoming missiles. Veering off.
TRANCE: Friendly fire? From our Commonwealth?
TYR: Just a warning shot, for now.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Harper? Approaching the Drift. I'm going on board. Keep our guest company.

[Maru crew area]

ABELARD: Boredom. There's always boredom, even if you don't know how it'll finally end. But for a while there, I thought I was going to die.
HARPER: Yeah, but you didn't. Too bad.
ABELARD: Then again, if it wasn't for Dylan.
HARPER: If it weren't for Dylan, what?
ABELARD: I don't suppose you have something to drink around here? Anything?
HARPER: All right.
ABELARD: You're too kind.
(Harper gets a bottle of Sparky Cola from a locker above his bunk.)
HARPER: If it weren't for Dylan, what?
ABELARD: You're dripping. He led a mission, a highly illegal mission, deep into the Arkland system.
HARPER: What? What in hell? Yeah, and?
ABELARD: Oh, he didn't tell you. He doesn't trust you.
HARPER: What are you talking about? Of course he trusts me.
ABELARD: Well, why didn't he tell you?
HARPER: Shut up.
ABELARD: I know where Dylan's gone. Of course. Zeus!
(Abelard runs out.)
HARPER: Whoa, whoa. Hey! Hey! Come back here, you!

[Command]

ROMMIE: Ten more battle cruisers have joined them from the Castalian Alliance.
BEKA: Great. Now even the fish people are after us.
TYR: The Commonwealth. No doubt attempting to use the growing magnitude of their military to leverage Dylan's surrender.
TRANCE: Why do they want Dylan? What did he do?

[Zempf Drift]

TANNOY: All incoming ships report immediately to customs.

[Goulash Cafe]

MAITRE D: Captain Hunt. Your table is ready.
(The nice alien escorts Hunt to a table, then a middle aged man joins him.)
ZEUS: Welcome, Captain Hunt. I feel good enough to eat. How about you?
MAITRE D: Food? Order?
ZEUS: Let me do this. We'll start with the warm sponge salad, and then we'll have the Flangine Bass.
(The Maitre de table leaves.)
ZEUS: Dylan, I feel like I've known you forever. I've been studying your every move for quite some time.
HUNT: That's good. Then maybe you can tell me what I'm going to do next.
ZEUS: How is my friend Abelard? Chat, chat, chat, right? Do you have the shards on you? Right now, that's my main concern.
HUNT: Well, my concern is that I'm wanted for murder.
ZEUS: You're right, you do have a bigger worry. You know, I have guys here who will react if you start anything.
HUNT: You think I would come here without my people?
ZEUS: Of course you came without them. You're a wanted man, Dylan. But even if you brought them, what difference would it make? My men will react regardless, and you are all done.
HUNT: I'll still get you before your men get me.
ZEUS: But before you do, there'll be carnage in here. Fifteen, twenty innocent deaths on your hands. Aren't you in enough trouble?
HUNT: Who's to say what's enough?
(Hunt's subdermal comm. beeps.)
HUNT: Excuse me. Go ahead.
HARPER [OC]: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Abelard gave me the slip.
HUNT: I'll get back to you. Dylan out.
ZEUS: Bad news? Let me confirm it for you.
(Zeus puts one of those little holo-comms on the table. Abelard has a gun to his head.)
HOLO-ABELARD: Dylan, I'm sorry. I screwed up.
HUNT: Don't worry, Abelard. We'll get you out of here.
HOLO-ABELARD: I was trying to help, but they grabbed me before
(Transmission ends.)
ZEUS: When I saw him with you, I thought we should grab this guy to get to you. But now I've got you. And you've got the shards. We had all of the shards except yours, from your Argosy mission before the Fall, but then you reappeared, and your new Commonwealth led us right to you. We knew you'd still have it. Do you think it's true what they say about the shards?
HUNT: Mythology. Boring.
ZEUS: Oh, I don't know. I think when we put them together, or when I put them together, I'll be the biggest guy in any neighbourhood I choose. Think about it. Me. Power. You've got to love it.
HUNT: And that's why you're killing your partners.
ZEUS: Well, we were partners. And they had a pretty good idea. Blackmail you, get the last shard, payday. But then it occurred to me. This is Dylan Hunt. I mean, he blows up stars. He captains the Andromeda. What's a little blackmail to him?
HUNT: Instead, you frame me for murder.
ZEUS: Yes. And get you to come to me. And it worked.
HUNT: Congratulations.
ZEUS: Thank you. So I have three shards. Mine, Peder's, and Abelard's.
HUNT: Wrong. I've got Abelard's.
ZEUS: Well, either way, I'm going to get them, so why don't you make it easy on yourself? You're going to prison anyway. I've made sure of that.
(The Maitre de table brings their starters.)
HUNT: (speaking in the alien's language.) Beautiful meal. Thank you.
MAITRE D: Thank you. Thank you.
HUNT: (in alien) Anchilligan. A nice corlon cream pie for dessert.
(The Maitre D repeats the order and leaves.)
ZEUS: What'd you say to him?
HUNT: Dessert's on me.
ZEUS: Dylan, it's over. Here and now. You're no match, okay? I want the shards.
HUNT: I don't have the shards with me.
(The Maitre D returns with a waitress, and they are singing. They show Hunt the pie he ordered.)
HUNT: Amor amor.
(Hunt takes the pie as a muscle man walks up.)
HUNT: And you thought I didn't bring my people with me.
(He pushes the cream pie into muscle man's face and throws him over the table. The waitress falls into Zeus' lap. The customers duck and run. Zeus pushes another of his people forward.)
ZEUS: Get him. Get him.
(Then stands back and watches as Hunt takes her and the man out with chairs. A third man grabs a bottle, but ends up smashing it over the first man's head instead. Zeus leaves before Hunt throws the third man through a window.)
HUNT: Sorry about the mess. Put it on Zeus's tab.

[Command]

TYR: How long shall we keep up this low speed cosmic chase?
BEKA: Until we hear from Dylan. Or about Dylan.
TRANCE: Or maybe this all begins and ends with trust. Trusting Dylan and his judgment, and trusting that we will find him when we need to.

[Maru crew area]

HARPER: All right. Abelard's shard, your shard, and Konstantine's shard. Zeus has got what? Two more shards? And he's killing everybody to complete the set.
HUNT: That's about it.
HARPER: No. I don't think it is.
HUNT: Really.
HARPER: I know how you got your shard, Dylan. Abelard told me about your little secret mission into the heart of the evil Arkland system.
HUNT: Then you know everything there is to know.
HARPER: No, I don't think I do. Why didn't you take us?
HUNT: I would have taken you, but I didn't have a choice.
HARPER: Oh no, huh? Why not?
HUNT: Because that mission was three hundred and ten years ago.
HARPER: Okay. I'm feeling a little stupid right now. Thanks for taking me this time.
HUNT: No problem.
HARPER: One more question, though. About these shards
HUNT: All in due time.
(The little holo-comm is beeping.)
HOLO-ZEUS: You made it home okay. So much for that plan. Listen, here's the instructions for the next drop with the three shards.
HUNT: No exchange unless I see Peder and Abelard are alive.
HOLO-ZEUS: I'm in charge of this situation. I'll decide.
HUNT: Zeus. I've got something better than the three shards. I've got the instructions of how to use the finished product, and I'll trade it all for Peder and Abelard.
HOLO-ZEUS: You're bluffing.
HUNT: Does it matter?
HOLO-ZEUS: Bring it to the drop. But just to keep you on the straight and narrow, I'm going to have Abelard give you a play by play now.
HOLO-ABELARD: Don't do it, Dylan. Such an obvious trick.
(Zeus punches Abelard out of the picture.)
HOLO-ZEUS: Bring the instructions and the three shards.
(Transmission ends.)
HUNT: Bring the shards.
HARPER: Er, do you have instructions? What? It's a good question.

[Zampf Drift]

ADVERT [OC]: Take a vacation on Capitol Six but can only afford a simulation? Worry no longer.
HARPER: Hey, I really meant it when I said thanks, by the way. Usually, you go on these missions with Tyr or Beka, or Rommie, or Trance. Basically anybody but me. So thanks. HUNT: Mister Harper. Did your mom ever teach you this rhyme when you were a child? Where are you going, my fine young knight? Where are you going cross land and sea?
HARPER: To fight for what is good, stop what is bad, all for the Vase of Rimni. Yeah, yeah. I know that stupid kids' tale. The Vase of Rimni, crafted by the Knights of Rimneri. Oh, my god. The vase is supposed to bestow upon its possessor the sympathy of the cosmos
HUNT: Victory in all endeavours, riches beyond imagination, yes.
HARPER: Are the shards from the Vase of Rimni?
HUNT: Three hundred and ten years ago, Commander Stark of the old Commonwealth put together a special ops team. I was its leader. We blew into a small planet and took out their dictator. People died. A lot of people.
HARPER: Oh, that's too bad. But you got the Vase of Rimni?
HUNT: It was broken into five pieces when we found it in the Dictator's headquarters, so to keep it out of the wrong hands, we each took a piece. Then we took an oath to keep it a secret.
HARPER: So that's why you couldn't tell me. All this time, you've just been trying to keep an oath.
HUNT: Three hundred and ten years is a long time. I'm sure a lot of people have been looking for it ever since. Chasing the dream of the myth, so to speak. Now, somehow, Zeus and his gang have found four of those shards.
HARPER: Well, when you first found it, you had to know what it was, right? I mean, when I was little, my mom told me it was so powerful that nobody could be trusted with it. Not even Vedrans. Weren't you at least a little tempted to put it together and see what it did?
HUNT: Well, there's something else that my mom taught me. All that glitters is not gold.
(They walk around a corner and see a body. Harper checks its hand. It is missing a finger.)
HARPER: Peder.
HUNT: You know, I'm starting to have a rather large dislike for this Zeus guy.
(Two thugs walk up behind them.)
MAN: You're supposed to be alone.
HUNT: Well, I'm supposed to be a lot of things, but today I have a partner.
HARPER: Hi.
MAN: We'll take you to Zeus.
HARPER: Wait. I don't remember anything about any escorts.
MAN 2: Let me see the three shards.
HUNT: What makes you think I have them on me?
HARPER: So is this when it gets ugly?
MAN: It doesn't have to.
HUNT: Yes, it does.
(Fight. Hunt wins, Harper loses. Hunt draws his forcelance.)
HUNT: All right, That's enough. Where's Zeus?
(The man shakes his head. Harper has drawn his gun.)
HUNT: Harper.
HARPER: Thanks.
(Harper shoots the man in the knee.)
MAN 2: All right. Okay, all right.
HARPER: That's it. Sing like a canary.
MAN 2: All right, I'll tell you.
HUNT: Very good.

[Personal quarters]

(Zeus is trying to contact his men.)
ZEUS: Where the hell are those guys?
(He hears the comm. beeping outside the door and opens it. One of his men is lying there. Hunt and Harper drop down and Harper punches Zeus on the nose.)
HUNT: See? It hurts when people don't answer your call.
(He starts a fight with Zeus and the other two men in the room.)
GUN: Your weapon is empty.
HARPER: Oh, crap.
(Harper jumps on a man's back while Zeus hides under a table. Abelard enters.)
HUNT: Abelard, run.
ABELARD: Ah, trust. such a fragile thing, don't you think?
(Abelard draws a knife. Zeus reaches up for a gun on the table. Abelard runs, Harper trips him up and then kicks the gun out of Zeus's hand. The fight restarts. Zeus retrieves his gun and powers it up.)
ZEUS: Ah, ah, ah. Look at you, Fancy Pants Starship Captain. This would have been so much easier without you, but you had to go and mess things up. You kept screwing things up.
HUNT: Assigning blame. I would have thought you were smarter than that, Zeus.
ZEUS: It's your fault.
(Harper gets between Zeus and Hunt.)
HARPER: No way. Uh, uh, pal. You want a piece of him, you got to get through me first. Come on.
(Abelard knocks Harper out of the way. Hunt rolls forward and tackles Zeus, finally knocking him out. Abelard gets his shard to Harper's throat.)
ABELARD: Give me the shards, or he dies.
HUNT: Release Harper.
ABELARD: Yeah. Give me the shards first. Zeus, get out of here. I'll meet you at the rendezvous point.
(Zeus leaves.)
HUNT: Harper, give him the shards.
HARPER: What? No, Dylan.
ABELARD: Don't make me beg.
(Harper hands over the pieces of orange glass, and Abelard leaves.)

[Command]

ROMMIE: The Commonwealth is still hailing us, and they're mad. They say this is the last warning.
TYR: That's what they said five last warnings ago.
BEKA: They're waiting for authorisation. God bless bureaucracy.
(Suddenly all the blips on the tactical screen turn around and leave.)
TRANCE: Hmm. I'll say. Sinti must be calling them home.
ROMMIE: Not home. Zempf. They've found Dylan's location.
BEKA: We're after them. All ahead full.

[Personal quarters]

(Abelard fits the shards together. Harper has his hands over his ears, but nothing happens.)
ABELARD: No. No. No!
HUNT: It was just a story, Abelard. It always was.
ABELARD: One stinking leap of faith in an entire lifetime of cynicism and hate. There's no justice. You'd think that if I was willing to take a chance one time in my life, that somewhere, somebody, some benevolent deity would cut me some slack!

[Command]

ROMMIE: They're in position to blow up Dylan and Harper's location.
TRANCE: What about innocent until proven guilty?
BEKA: We're a little past that, Trance. Rommie, trace Dylan's position.

[Personal quarters]

(Abelard is still sniveling when Harper gets a beep on his PADD. He shows it to Hunt, who activates his subdermal comm.)
ABELARD: What a waste. Peder. Konstantine. The effort. Blackmail. The murders. For what?

[Command]

ABELARD [on viewscreen]: Still, I can live with this, knowing that for one brief shining moment we had the commonwealth's hero, Dylan Hunt, framed for murder.
BEKA: Are they getting this?
ROMMIE: Every whining word of it relaying to the Commonwealth.
ABELARD [on viewscreen]: Oh, Zeus and me, we were going to be rich, but then Captain Hero and Monkey Boy show up, it all goes to hell.

[Hunt's quarters]

(Andromeda has docked at the Drift, and the Vase has been properly restored.
HARPER: Piece of cake, huh?
HUNT: Piece of cake. Mister Harper, you were willing to take a bullet for me.
HARPER: Well, what else was I supposed to do?
HUNT: Mmm hmm. It was a tradition in the old Commonwealth to award a special medal for rare and unparalleled acts of courage. It was the commanding officer's duty to make sure that those who served under him knew their value. This was the first medal I ever received. I'd like you to have it.
HARPER: Wow, I've never er. I don't deserve this, Dylan.
HUNT: Please, take it. Thank you, Mister Harper.
(They salute.)
HARPER: You're welcome. Does this mean I get to order Rommie around?
HUNT: You can try.
HARPER: So, er, the vase. It doesn't do a thing, does it? It's worthless.
HUNT: It's a symbol. Zeus and Abelard believed that it would bring them power, but to me it represents the highest confidence and faith that we all put in the Commonwealth.
HARPER: Well, that's good, because three people murdered, one in jail collecting dust, another one on the run with his gun in the sun for all eternity. That's a lot of time and energy wasted, and all for a worthless hunk of glass. It is worthless, right?
HUNT: Did I say it was worthless? No, it's priceless, and isn't that the value of all dreams?

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