The Lone and Level Sands

Original Airdate: 28 Oct, 2002

More than a mere ship of exploration,
the Bellerophon embodied humanity's last,
great effort to tame the universe
through our own will alone.


Dr Paul Musevini, father of Drago
Musevini, A Father Shore, CY 8401

[Eureka Maru]

(Under attack.)
HUNT: Tyr, status.
TYR: Two more Ogami fighters on approach.
ROMMIE: Interesting. Orchestrated aggression on our way back from signing a non-aggression pact with the Kalderan Commune.
HUNT: So much for a simple over and back that no one was supposed to know about.
TYR: So much for your Commonwealth security. It would seem we need to have a word with whoever leaked our travel plans.
HARPER: Provided we live long enough.
HUNT: We'll deal with whoever ratted us out later.
(Harper is actually in the engine room.)
HARPER: Well, whoever it is, they're going to have to pay for a new slipstream drive. The freaking Ogami got lucky and took it out. One more jump, and all we're going to do is give them a really good light show.
HUNT: Why the hell is the slipstream drive always breaking down?
ROMMIE: Dylan, on screen.
NADYA [on monitor]: Listen to me. He's insane. He'll kill us all.
HUNT: Rommie, identify.
ROMMIE: Tracing source of transmission.
NADYA [on monitor]: Look, you've got to do something. We can help you.
HUNT: The Ogami must be after them, too. Can we reach them?
ROMMIE: I've got something on tactical coming our way.
(Something very, very big whooshes in and destroys the attacking ships with its engine draft.)
ROMMIE: The ship is essentially one giant engine, which gives her enormous firepower.
HUNT: And excellent taste in enemies.
HARPER: Who are these guys?
HUNT: I think you might get the chance to ask them yourself.
(The Eureka Maru is scooped up into a hangar bay.)

[Command]

TRANCE: What does the Commonwealth say?
BEKA: They can't find them either. Andromeda, sweep the whole system. Active, passive sensors, drones, everything you've got.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I've got something. A debris field and energy signatures from weapons discharges. There's been a battle here.
BEKA: Any sign of the Maru?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: A few hull fragments and missile vapour. Not enough to imply she was destroyed.
BEKA: Okay, so the Maru arrived early, tangled with some unidentified bad guys, which begs the question
TRANCE: Where's Dylan? Where's our crew?
BEKA: Where's my ship?

[Maru crew area]

(Tyr, Rommie and Harper are arming themselves.)
HUNT: Excuse me, but what are you doing? These people just rescued us.
TYR: I'd prefer to make perfectly certain we all understand each other.
ROMMIE: In the event of a total communications breakdown, of course.
HUNT: Of course.
(Rommie puts her three gauss guns back. Harper is toting Tyr's honking big gun.)
HARPER: Man, that ship is familiar. Something about it, I don't know.
HUNT: Rommie.
ROMMIE: The interior is consistent with the outer hull. It looks like it could be a human design, possibly even from Earth.
TYR: Earth? It's a post Apocalyptic wasteland.
NADYA [OC]: Attention, unknown lifeforms. We don't want any trouble, so do us all a favour and don't make any. Stand by to receive our contact team.
HARPER: Well, all right then, Mister No Guns, what's the plan?
HUNT: Let them in. And now we do what unknown lifeforms are supposed to do in situations like this. Tell them we come in peace. Take us to your leader.
(Nadya enters with her troops. They are wearing black jumpsuits with coloured shoulders. Welcome to Deep Space Nine.)
NADYA: I'm Commander Nadya Ratmansky of the Bellerophon.
HUNT: Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascendant.
HARPER: Whoa, whoa. No, no, no. Did you say Bellerophon? No, no, no. Nobody's seen that ship for centuries. Not three thousand years, to be almost exact, if you discount various legends.
NADYA: Forgive our hospitality, Captain, but we've been on our own for a long time. You learn to be cautious. Would you follow me, please?

[Bellerophon hangar bay]

HUNT: Thanks for the rescue. When we got your distress signal
NADYA: That's impossible. We didn't send any signals.
HUNT: Well, of course you did.
NADYA: We didn't send any signals.
HUNT: My mistake.

[Bellerophon corridor]

(Harper, Rommie and Hunt under escort with Nadya. Tyr brings up the rear. For the corridor, think submarine construction.)
HARPER: Hey, I'd ask if you wanted a medal or a chest to pin it on, but I see you've got both. What? I was just admiring her patch next to her chest. We can talk about this later.
NADYA: Who was attacking you? We need to know who we're fighting.
HUNT: They're called the Ogami. Mercenaries and pirates. Commander, I need to see your captain.
NADYA: Well, I'm afraid that's not possible.
METIS [OC]: You heard the man, Commander. Bring Captain Hunt to the bridge alone.
NADYA: Acknowledged.
(More weapons hits.)
HUNT: Wait here.
NADYA: This way, Captain.
(Nadya and Hunt leave Tyr, Harper and Rommie under guard.)
HARPER: The Bellerophon, huh? Very nice. Her mission was to gather knowledge of life and civilisation, to go farther and deeper into space than anyone had ever gone before, and bring that cargo back home to Earth, baby.
ROMMIE: Her chances of survival were nil.
HARPER: Legend has it that the Bellerophon was a freight of ancient riches, disintegrated into a nasty nebula. The whole crew went to their deaths while the Captain sang the Coast of the High Barbary. (sings) With cutlass and gun oh we fought for hours three.
HARPER + ROMMIE: (sings) Blow high, blow low, and so sail we.
HARPER: (sings) I'm a salt sea pirate and looking for my fee.
HARPER + ROMMIE: (sings) Cruising down along the coast of the High Barbary.
HARPER: Rommie.
ROMMIE: The Bellerophon was a pre-slipstream deep space probe capable of speeds close to a millionth percentile of the speed of light. Her crew would have aged at an extremely slow rate.
HARPER: Down along the coast of the High Barbary. Sounds like a familiar tale, doesn't it. Well, it's not. Not quite. While Rommie would have passed hundreds of years perched on the edge of a black hole in the quantum blink of a quark's eye, the crew of the Bellerophon, at speeds that close to light, I'd say you guys aged, what, one year-ish, while a whole century passed for the rest of the universe. Ish.
TYR: Spending year after year in the waste between the stars? Popping into a system then disappearing again for another few decades? That would explain how she's managed to stay hidden for so long.
(Shudder.)
ROMMIE: More Ogami.

[Bridge]

(The Captain's uniform has red shoulders, of course.)
METIS: Right standard rudder, Mister Kemp. We may not have enough fuel to run, but by god, we can stand and fight. These Ogami, I'm interested in their infantry tactics.
HUNT: You seem to be doing just fine.
METIS: Compliment's appreciated, but it's a waste of good oxygen, Oxygen that we'll be completely out of in a short matter of time if we can't refuel.
(A wall monitor shows fighting.)
METIS: We've just been boarded.
MAN [OC]: They're boarding on deck C. They're boarding on deck C.
HUNT: Captain, I recommend caution. The Ogami are brutal and ruthless.
METIS: So subtlety isn't their strong suit.
HUNT: Not exactly. Bad table manners, too.
METIS: Well, what do they want?
HUNT: Anything they can lay their hands on.
META: Nadya, you meet us on the other end. We'll link up in corridor twelve. Kemp, come with me.
KEMP: Yes, sir.
HUNT: Captain, I know the Ogami. Let me get my crew.
METIS: Captain Hunt, this is my ship. You're my guest. You'll stay here out of the way.
(Hunt watches the fighting, then uses his subdermal comm.)
HUNT: Rommie.

[Bellerophon corridor]

(Metis and Kemp use pistols and a machine gun. Someone out of sight kills another Ogami.)
METIS: Nadya!
HUNT: Nope, just me, the oxygen thief.
METIS: Captain Hunt, the next time I order you to stay behind, you tell me to go to hell.
HUNT: Noted. Clear. Go.
(They conduct a running battle, but the Ogami have the upper hand until Rommie enters, followed by Tyr.)
METIS: My god, what is she?
HUNT: A warship. She gets a little cranky sometimes. Harper.
HARPER [OC]: Almost there, boss.

[Eureka Maru]

(Harper is jacked into the computer.)
COMPUTER: Accessing Ogami vessel control.
HARPER: Access faster.
COMPUTER: Ogami vessel control systems online.
HARPER: That's what I'm talking about. Now let's get rid of them.
(An Ogami ship blows up on its own.)
HARPER: No more Ogami ships, boss.

[Bellerophon corridor]

HARPER [OC]: They're history.
HUNT: The Ogami ships are gone.
ROMMIE: The Ogami on this side of the ship have been neutralised.
HUNT: Whatever Ogami are left on your ship, if they can't capture it, they will destroy it.
METIS: Not on my watch.
(And kills an Ogami coming at Hunt from behind.)
HUNT: I owe you one. Look out!
(Hunt returns the favour.)
METIS: You owe me nothing.
HUNT: Let's split up and finish them off.
(Lots of ducking and shooting until the roaring stops.)
HUNT: I hate Ogami.
(The Bellerophon computer sounds like the Babylon 5 one.)
COMPUTER: All hostiles are neutralised. Medical team to deck C.
METIS: Mister Kemp, take us to the red giant's outer corona. We need fuel. You saved my life, all of our lives. Anything you need is yours.
HUNT: Our ship is in need of repair. My engineer could use some help.
METIS: Done.
(He walks away, singing.)
METIS: (sings) With cutlass and gun, we fought for hours three. Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we. For their ship it was their coffin and their grave it was the sea. A sailing on the coast of High Barbary.
NADYA: Another fatal battle. How much more can we take?

[Command]

(Beka pilots the Andromeda through slipstream.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The system is littered with the remains of Ogami fighters and hull fragments from the Maru. There is no sign of Dylan.
BEKA: Could he have doubled back?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: There's no way to know. But if he had, there's a high probability that we would have already encountered him. It is more likely that the Maru has been destroyed.
BEKA: I was kind of hoping for better news.
TRANCE: We don't know that the Maru was destroyed. If and until we do, this is better news. We can find them, Beka, you and I. I know it.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Curious.
BEKA: A little more information, please.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: An ion trail leading out of the system. It could have come from the Maru, but there's no way to be certain.
BEKA: Out of the system? You go out that far and you risk being trapped, never finding a slip point.
TRANCE: Maybe they didn't have a choice.
BEKA: And neither do we.
TRANCE: Let's do it.
BEKA: Okay, deploy sensor drones in the standard cube search pattern. The Maru is here, and so's our crew.

[Maru engine room]

KEMP: Your ship is interesting.
HARPER: If that's a polite way of saying she's a heap of junk, you're right, she's a heap of junk. But, she's a heap of junk close to my heart.
KEMP: Hey, what are we fixing, anyway?
HARPER: The slipstream drive.
KEMP: What's a slipstream drive?
HARPER: A slipstream drive is an engine that can travel faster than light without travelling faster than light. Basically, what we do is we open a hole in space-time and ride strings anywhere we want to go.
KEMP: Right, strings. So, in riding these strings, you age normally?
HARPER: Yeah. We can Merengue between the Milky Way and M31 all day and still be home for dinner, and without the rest of the world going by in that nasty fast forward.
KEMP: Not us.
HARPER: So that's why history took you guys for dead, huh? No one's seen you for centuries. You're so far out here, ships must blow by just thinking you're floating garbage.
KEMP: No kidding, garbage.
HARPER: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, don't get me wrong. Come on, they don't make them like yours anymore. I mean, aside from the time dilation, the strain tears them apart, and did I mention, your engine's a gas hog?
KEMP: Yeah. I mean, that battle with the Ogami consumed our entire reserve. It happens to us all the time.
HARPER: Exactly. That's my point. Hats off to you guys for keeping her flying. Hell, you might even see Earth someday.
KEMP: Man, we've been out here so long, I've almost forgotten what it looks like.
HARPER: Yeah. You can't miss it. It's, uh, you know it, big, blue, kind of egg shaped. Jersey smells funny.
KEMP: Jersey.

[Bellerophon corridor]

METIS: Three hundred years, trapped near the event horizon of a black hole. That's astounding, like something out of a science fiction novel.
HUNT: Well, it was a quick read. One minute I was engaged with ten thousand enemy ships, next minute, three centuries went by.
METIS: And having discovered that your civilisation had fallen apart, you tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again without the king's horses and none of his men.
HUNT: Something like that, yes.
METIS: It's amazing that you're still sane.
HUNT: That's what the voices inside my head keep telling me.
METIS: If you ask me, I think sanity is overrated. I've gone for years, in your time, without seeing another living soul other than the faces of my own crew, and the beings I do see, well, they're dead and gone to me in a matter of months anyway. But I have seen such majestic, eye popping, magnificent things, and I hold on. I hold on to what's here. High hopes, my friend. I seek the dreams of the whole universe. You think I'm crazy?
HUNT: No. In fact, I'm jealous. I'm very jealous.
METIS: You and I are cut from the same silk cloth. Men like you and me have a mission, a purpose, a duty, a chance to be great. Without them, we'd be little more than madmen.
HUNT: Then you can understand why I need to get back to my ship.

[Maru engine room]

HUNT: What are you telling me?
HARPER: The Maru's slipstream drive is officially kaput. Without the Andromeda or a dry dock, We're not going anywhere near the slipstream again. But don't worry, I sent out distress signals.
HUNT: Harper, you know that won't do any good. It'll take almost a century for that to reach Andromeda.
HARPER: Well, the sublight engines are still fine. We could always try the trip in normal space. I mean, it may take a while, but if we start out now
HUNT: If we start right now, we'll make it to the first known world in time to meet Beka's great great great grandchild.
HARPER: Just how far out are we?
HUNT: Trying to shake the Ogami took us clear off the star charts. We're not exactly in the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from here.
METIS: Very nice. I've thought of another option for you. I can transport you to the nearest populated system. At the rate we travel, it shouldn't take more than three months from our perspective.
HUNT: From your perspective?
METIS: At maximum speed, fifty seven years will pass for the rest of the universe.
HUNT: Fifty seven years. There must be something on your ship that can help us.
METIS: I'm sorry your situation is impossible, but as I say, you're welcome to stay here with us.
(Later, after Metis has left.)
HUNT: Fifty seven years, Harper. Fifty seven years.
HARPER: We could think of it as a long vacation.
HUNT: That's not funny. Andromeda has to be out there looking for us. They just have to be.
HARPER: We can't just float around with a broken slipstream drive waiting for them. That could take even longer.
HUNT: Well, it's impossible to think that after three thousand years, Metis hasn't come in contact with something that could help us.

[Bridge]

METIS: The Bellerophon's engine is quite a monster, one that demands respect. Everything onboard experiences quite a jolt when we first accelerate. It's kind of like riding a bucking bronco. If we're not tied down or harnessed in, we get knocked flat on our proverbial asses.
ROMMIE: Oh, I find it hard to imagine you landing on anything but your proverbial feet.
METIS: You know, I've experienced some extraordinary things out here. Sentient microbe colonies the size of the moon that were able to communicate with natural laser beacons. Whole civilisations that sprang up in the space between the stars. But you? Compared to you, it's all hydrogen, space dust.
ROMMIE: I'm not unique. I'm a ship's avatar. There are plenty of androids just like me.
METIS: Like you? Somehow, I doubt it. I don't understand how Dylan gets any work done with you around.
ROMMIE: We have an understanding.
METIS: Hmm. Well, he seems to have less understanding of his current situation here.
ROMMIE: He must complete his mission. Certainly you can see that.
METIS: It's out of my hands.
ROMMIE: Dylan won't rest until he's back with his ship, and you'll pay the consequences if you stand in the way of a solution. You can take that as a warning.
METIS: A warning.
ROMMIE: Dylan is a remarkable man. He has a way of knowing what he has and what he doesn't have, and how to make the most of it. But he's not a superman. The last time the universe passed him by, civilisation fell.
METIS: And he's afraid that it will happen again.
ROMMIE: Only this time, it will be worse, because this time, he'll know what's happening around him, without him.
METIS: It will consume him.
ROMMIE: He won't let that happen.
METIS: I like Dylan. I'd be happy to help him, but morale problems are a fatal virus on a ship such as this one. My crew, my ship, my mission have to come first.

[Command]

(The Andromeda comes out of slipstream.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: We've emerged into interstellar space. The good news is I'm picking up traces of the ion trail.
BEKA: And the bad news?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: This far out in interstellar space, and a good place to open a slipstream portal is almost impossible to find.
BEKA: Stuck in the mud with no one to push.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: With a little luck and a lot of skill, someone might be able to retune the antimatter routing circuits to force open a portal.
TRANCE: Sounds like a job for Harper.
BEKA: How unfortunate Harper isn't here. Can we do this?
TRANCE: We can do this.

[Maru engine room]

HARPER: All right, let's try it again.
(Rumble, grind.)
HARPER: Nah, nah, shut it off.
KEMP: But how do you know it doesn't work? I mean, you didn't even run a diagnostic.
HARPER: Did you hear the thump coming from left to centre of the engine compartment?
KEMP: No.
HARPER: Well, that's how I know it's not working.
KEMP: Hey, so, er, so you're from Boston, huh?

[Maru crew area]

(Harper gets them both drinks from his overhead locker.)
HARPER: Yeah. Born and barely raised.
KEMP: Yeah, I was in Boston the night before we set off on this mission. Baseball game at Fenway Park.
HARPER: A baseball game, huh? Fenway Park. The last time I was at Fenway Park, I watched the Drago-Kazov crucify a guy in the cheap seats.
KEMP: What? What are you talking about?
HARPER: Nothing. Really, it's nothing.
KEMP: No, no, no, no, no. Tell me. Tell me about Earth. What happened after we left?
HARPER: Look, I don't think you really want to
KEMP: Tell me, okay? Tell me.
HARPER: The last three hundred years have pretty much sucked, okay? And for Earth, they've sucked a lot. First there was a war. You know, blew up a lot of stuff, killed a lot of people. Then the Magog came, by the millions. They ate anyone that moved and pretty much infested anyone else with their parasitic eggs. You know how they do that? Through their teeth. The little larvae grow into baby Magog that eat their way out of you alive. Then the Nietzscheans came. The Drago-Kazov. They crushed the entire planet under their jack-booted heels, and they've pretty much been running the place ever since.
KEMP: We've got to go home. We've got to fight them.
HARPER: Hey, I'm with you. But even if we leave now, we won't make Earth for a millennium.
KEMP: No, not if we had your slipstream working.
HARPER: No, but
KEMP: Harper, I want to go home.

[Bridge]

(Hunt and Rommie enter.)
METIS: You heard me. We're done here.
NADYA: No. No, we're not. Not by a long shot.
METIS: Get off my bridge, now.
NADYA: Don't you get it? Your mission is over. Dead. There's no home for us to go back to. No one will give a damn what we've seen or done. It doesn't mean a thing. And you want to keep roaming the stars in this obsolete piece of junk with all of us as your prisoners.
METIS: You were never my prisoner.
NADYA: What choice did you give us? What choice did we ever have?
METIS: Only the ones that you've already made. One god, one captain. Dismissed.
(Nadya leaves.)
HUNT: We need to talk.
METIS: Yes, we do. I may have a solution to your problem.
HUNT: If it's about fixing my slipstream drive, I'm all ears.
METIS: Sorry, but I may be able to save you fifty seven years of lost time. On screen. This planet is in the outer solar system. Inhospitable, but stable enough to support you if you decide to stay there with your ship.
HUNT: Sit and wait for a rescue and risk being stranded until I die? No, that's not my style.
METIS: I'm only offering you the option.
HUNT: That's not an option, it's a life sentence.
METIS: Dylan. I want you to stay.
HUNT: We talked about purpose and madness, and now you want me to miss my life in exchange for what, a trip through the void?
METIS: That void you're talking about? I've seen more wonders and terrors in between the stars than around them. This mission is the voyage of a lifetime. Many lifetimes. Captain, there are regrets to be had no matter how you choose.
HUNT: I know all about regrets, believe me.

[Maru crew area]

ROMMIE: Is staying the worst thing?
HUNT: Er, yes.
HARPER: All right, boss, I know it sucks, but in my humble opinion, it is freaking cold down there. We're talking negative Kelvin's, and my vote is we stay where it's warm.
HUNT: Rommie.
ROMMIE: I'm with Harper. On the Andromeda, I'm just another avatar of the ship's AI. Here I'm unique, and I'd like to see what's out there. But it's your call. Metis is an incredible man, but you are my captain.
TYR: Personally, I don't understand why you're entertaining this discussion when the answer is so obvious.
HUNT: Obviously, it isn't so obvious to everyone.
TYR: There is one sure way for you to fail in your self-imposed mission to restore civilisation. Remain on board. Dangerous as it may seem for you to strand yourself on some strange new world, the fact is, you throw yourself into danger in the service of your mission at every opportunity. Risk is your business.
HARPER: Yeah, and business has been pretty good lately.
TYR: Dylan, if you go with Metis, the years will go by. History will be made without you. If you stay and hope for a rescue, you at least stand a chance of making a difference.
(Nadya enters the Maru.)
HUNT: Commander. If you don't mind, this is a private discussion.
NADYA: Understood, but before you make any decisions about leaving, I think you should know something. I believe we have the means to fix this ship and get you home. We've always had the means. There's just one catch.
HUNT: Well, there's always a catch.
NADYA: Captain Metis would never allow it. The bottom line is if you want to get out of here, you have to help us take control of the Bellerophon.
HUNT: You're talking mutiny.
NADYA: Yes, Captain, I am.

[Conduit]

BEKA: Retuning the antimatter routing circuits and forcing open a portal. What are we thinking? Anything yet?
TRANCE: No. You have to complete the circuit.
BEKA: Okay. What about now?
TRANCE: Still nothing.
(Beka moves her sensor to another circuit. Bang! Flash! Beka jumps back.)
BEKA: Ow! Yes! Ooo!
TRANCE: Well, you had something there.
BEKA: You think?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: This is my thanks for not making Harper rewire me to spec.
TRANCE: I'm going to try Harper's help files again.
BEKA: Harper's help files. What is wrong with this phrase?
HARPER [on monitor]: Retuning the antimatter routing circuits. Try to say that three times. Harper's help file number bing! Thirty two. All right. First, you have to access the secondary bypass systems from the aft conduit on deck fourteen. Ow! But be careful. You've got live wires in here. Very jumpy.
BEKA: Now he tells me.

[Bellerophon corridor]

HUNT: You were planning a mutiny long before we arrived. That message you denied sending, the one that we received on the Maru, it wasn't meant for us.
NADYA: I was using intraship radio to talk to Kemp. There must have been some signal leakage that you picked up.
HUNT: Why don't you tell me what we did pick up?
NADYA: We're prisoners here, Captain Hunt. Metis has become obsessed with his mission. We were supposed to return to Earth years ago.
HUNT: And that qualifies for mutiny.
NADYA: I've been his XO for twenty years. If there were another way, I'd take it, but there's not. As long as you stay here, you're his prisoners as much as we are. Think about that while you decide.
HUNT: I could go to Metis with this.
NADYA: Like I said, we have technology that could repair your ship. Technology that Metis would never give you. We can take control, fix your ship, and fly the hell out of here.

[Maru crew area]

HARPER: I don't know. Twenty years is a long time to live in someone else's shadow.
TYR: She may be telling the truth. It would explain why Captain Metis was suddenly so eager to drop us off.
ROMMIE: Or she just wants the ship herself.
TYR: Either way, it may present us with an opportunity provided we remain cautious, and play the game correctly.
HUNT: We're not taking sides here. We don't want any of these people to get hurt, but we are going home.

[Maru engine room]

(Later -)
HARPER: No offence, Kemp, but you've got a pretty pathetic excuse for a plan to take over a starship. And trust me, I should know. First you've got to deal with the primary and secondary defence sub marine sandwiches. Are you even listening to me?
KEMP: Sorry, man, it's just
HARPER: I know. You don't want to turn against your own Captain.
KEMP: No, I don't. But I don't want to leave Earth to the wolves either.
HARPER: I hear you.
KEMP: Sounds kind of stupid, doesn't it? A few dozen dinosaurs right out of a history book trying to push back an empire.
HARPER: Stupid? Easy there, cowboy. It's the story of my life you're talking about. But I know what you mean. You've been following Metis all these years and you're still alive.
KEMP: You know, he's saved all our asses more times that I can even remember. This one time back in the Grendel system, Lovari raiders tried to board our ship, sell for scrap. Metis held them off with a shotgun in one hand and a sabre in the other. A sabre.
HARPER: So maybe your Captain's doing something right. Tough decision.
KEMP: I hope we're right about this.
HARPER: I know. Right and wrong. I get those two confused all the time too. 

[Metis' quarters]

(Romantic saxophone music, pouring drinks.)
METIS: The universe is a marvellous place, but there are still a few things that I miss about home.
ROMMIE: Such as?
METIS: Sunset in Chapala, the smell of eucalyptus, a saxophone solo that leaps from your throat into your heart, and the company of a beautiful woman.
ROMMIE: Technically, I'm an android.
METIS: Details. You know, I've never met anybody as real as you. Smart, strong, exquisite. If I were a woman like you, I could, I could do such things.
ROMMIE: But you're not a woman. Captain Metis, are you trying to seduce me?
METIS: I seem to recall you inviting yourself into my quarters. Does Dylan know?
ROMMIE: My free time is my own.
METIS: I must admit, I'm pleased that the Captain decided to stay here with us.
ROMMIE: So am I.
METIS: Pleased for him or for yourself?
ROMMIE: Details.
(Metis kisses Rommie long and slow while she palms his access card from the table.)

[Bellerophon corridors]

(A control panel breaks and burns. Rommie is elsewhere.)
TYR: I disabled the motion detectors. The pressure sensors are on another circuit. With a little luck, they'll be in a random pattern.
ROMMIE: Regardless, we have to know what's in there.
(Rommie uses the access card on a door lock.)
ROMMIE: (as Metis) Voiceprint identify Metis, Fehdman, Captain, United Earth Joint Service.
(Rommie stares at the contents of the top secret locked hangar.)

[Maru crew area]

HUNT: It's unbelievable. Metis is hiding a slipfighter.
ROMMIE: Damaged, but not unsalvageable.
HARPER: My guess is when that captain got even an inkling of what a slipfighter could do, he had her locked up tight so he could keep her all to himself.
HUNT: He lied to us. I mean, he had this all along.
TYR: Well, he obviously didn't want his crew entertaining any wild notions about using it to leave his ship and go home.
HARPER: Yeah, and it's not like we can install the slipdrive on the Bellerophon. That would be like strapping a solid fuel rocket to a donkey. Boom! So what else was he going to do?
TYR: Nadya was telling the truth.
HUNT: Will it be enough to fix the Maru?
HARPER: Yeah. All we need is the exotic matter lens, and we are golden. But to get that, we've got to help Nadya so, do we mutiny or not, boss?
HUNT: We'll do both. I'm going to pay a little visit to Captain Metis.

[Bridge]

METIS: Engineering, what's going on?
CREWMAN: Checking, sir.
HUNT: Your crew is attempting a mutiny.
METIS: Nadya, you couldn't wait. Are you a part of it, too?
HUNT: When were you going to
(An armed security guard stops Hunt.)
METIS: Hold it. Stand down, Mister.
GUARD: Yes, sir.
HUNT: When were you going to tell me about the slipfighter locked up in your hold?
METIS: I don't appreciate your tone, Captain Hunt.
HUNT: You lied to me. You pretended to offer help when you were really just trying to get rid of us.
METIS: You're a military man. Certainly you appreciate the difference between a lie and protecting sensitive information.
HUNT: Captain, if you give us the technology we need, we will help you put down this mutiny.
CREWMAN: Mutineers control Engineering and decks A through K.
HUNT: Make up your mind, Metis.

[Eureka Maru]

(Harper has got his tool boxes.)
HARPER: It's getting awfully noisy, boss. What's going on?
(Several people point guns at Harper.)
HARPER: What's with the artillery, Kemp? I told you we're not on Metis' side. Hell, we want to go as bad as you do.
KEMP: Look, sorry, man. We can't take the chance. Just sit tight. This'll all be over soon.
HARPER: Rommie, you getting this?

[Bellerophon corridor]

ROMMIE: I certainly am.
(Three armed guards appear. Rommie flies across the gap and takes two of them out. The third gets kicks into Tyr's arms. He throws it back and she straight-arms him in the throat.)
ROMMIE: Thanks for your help.
TYR: Sure.

[Bridge]

(Nadya and her troops break in.)
NADYA: I tried to warn you, but you wouldn't listen. We can go home. Not in ten years, not while centuries pass, but now.
METIS: We have our mission.
(Metis fires up the engines and everyone not strapped down is pressed up against the rear bulkhead. That would be him and Hunt. He slows it down then does it again.)
HUNT: That's enough. That's enough, Metis. That's enough.
(Hunt unstraps himself.)
HUNT: Up against the wall.
(Metis draws his weapon.)
METIS: Years ago, I watched you pass the time between Algol and the Typhon Expanse with a book. What was it, the Divine Comedy? Do you know where Dante placed traitors who betrayed their leaders? In the outer circle of hell! The quarters we gave them was to sink them in the tide.
HUNT: Metis! No.
METIS: It's my duty to administer justice.
HUNT: You're right, and I believe you're a just man. That's why you're going to let Nadya go with me.
METIS: I have to make an example of her. If I simply let her go, I lose half of my crew along with her.
HUNT: But your mission will continue. I know it will, because I went from a ship of four thousand to a crew of six, and together we changed the universe. From one madman to another.

[Metis' quarters]

METIS: I feel like a fool standing here, but I have to ask. What you said last night.
ROMMIE: Was any of it true? Yes. Being here on your ship with you, alone and away from Dylan, that made me feel very unique.
METIS: You could stay, you know. They could build another android body for the Andromeda while you were exploring the galaxy in the Bellerophon with me.
ROMMIE: No. My place is with Dylan. I am his ship.
METIS: Then I suppose this is goodbye.
ROMMIE: For now. Android bodies last a long time. So, when you make your triumphant return home to Earth in a thousand years, I may just be there to greet you.
METIS: In that case this is for the next thousand years.
(He kisses her.)
ROMMIE: Counting down from a thousand.

[Eureka Maru]

(The Bellerophon fires her engines and flies away.)
KEMP: She won't see Earth for a thousand years.
NADYA: If she makes it at all.
TYR: True. But the Earth she returns to may just be the paradise I'm told it once was.
HUNT: Well, hopefully it will be.
NADYA: So what happens to me and the crew?
HUNT: We'll be glad to take you anywhere you'd like to go.
HARPER: You're more than welcome to stay.
ROMMIE: Dylan, I've got a slipstream event five light minutes out.
HUNT: Oh, come on. Don't tell me more Ogami.
ROMMIE: No, me. The Andromeda has found us.

[Corridor]

BEKA: Thank god you're back.
TRANCE: We have certainly missed you.
(The women greet Harper, not Hunt or Tyr or Rommie.)
BEKA: As First Officer, I proclaim a new rule. Harper never leaves the ship. Ever, for any reason.
HARPER: Please. Ladies, please. Don't stop.

[Observation deck]

(Rommie is gazing at the stars.)
HUNT: Are you thinking about Captain Metis?
ROMMIE: Sort of.
HUNT: I have to admit, I was a little jealous of the man.
ROMMIE: Really?
HUNT: I've been a soldier my entire life, following orders, fighting the good fight, while other people did all the exploring. I used to look down on those guys. I always thought that their jobs were frivolous, but after spending time with Metis and hearing about everything that he has seen and done.
ROMMIE: You see what you've been missing.
HUNT: Yeah. I'll tell you what, Rommie. After we've finally finished building our castle, and all the dragons have been slain, why don't we point ourselves out at the farthest star and see what's out there. You and me.
ROMMIE: You've got a deal.
HUNT: Good.

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