To the question of life after death:
Not whether such a thing exists,
but... What manner of life?
"A Wayist Practicum"
Reverend Bem, CY10090
is piloting the Maru through a fireball storm.)
HUNT: Harper! Beka! Andromeda! Andromeda, do you copy?
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Go ahead.
HUNT: I'm in a solar storm that's headed your way. I've lost contact
with Beka and Harper.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Acknowledged.
craft lifts off in a violent dust storm.)
HARPER: Transport's away!
BEKA: That's the last of them.
HARPER: Finally, this friggin' evacuation's finito. All right, let's
get our butts out of here. Dylan! Dylan! Where the hell is he?
BEKA: This way.
HUNT [OC]: Beka, Harper, come in.
HARPER: Dylan, it would be nice if you could get us off this planet
[OC]: Before we're blown away!
HUNT: No can do, Harper. Not in this storm. You and Beka take cover.
pulls Harper inside. He falls.)
HARPER: Ow. I twisted my foot.
BEKA: Think that's the only thing about you that's twisted?
HARPER: I'd watch it if I were you. I'm not the happy camper I normally
strive to be right now.
(He pulls his boot off and puts it behind him, where we see a bubbling
puddle full of maggots.)
HARPER: I can see why those people wanted off this stupid planet.
BEKA: This place gives me the creeps. It always has.
HARPER: You've been here before?
BEKA: Yeah, when I was a kid. My dad was working it, if you know what I
mean. That's why Dylan volunteered me for this mission.
HARPER: Volunteered us for this mission.
BEKA: Well, into each day some rain must fall.
HARPER: Ha ha. Either way, something about those people didn't seem
BEKA: They were a stranded bunch of creeps. Try putting some weight on
HARPER: Ow. It's all right. Don't worry. I'll be fine.
BEKA: The wind's died down.
HUNT [OC]: Beka, Harper.
I've found a hole in the storm. I'm coming in.
(Harper retrieves his boot from the maggot puddle.)
away from the planet, and resting in their berths.)
HARPER: Boss, where is the Andromeda?
HUNT: Patience, Mister Harper. The Andromeda's riding the storm out.
She'll be here.
(Harper snatches Beka's ebook.)
HARPER: Ah ha. I see you've succumbed to the siren call of fear
BEKA: What's the matter, Harper? You don't like horror stories?
HARPER: No. Pfft. They're stupid. They're not scary. I've got my own
fears to worry about. You didn't go through what I went through on
BEKA: Lighten up, Harper. They're harmless. You should try one.
HARPER: All right. I will.
(Later, an alarm sounds. We are shown maggot slime in the wiring.
Everyone runs to the cockpit.)
What is it? What's going on?
BEKA: We've got a hitchhiker from Virgil Nine. Unidentified lifeform.
HUNT: Harper, tell me you didn't. Not another pet.
HARPER: From Virgil Nine. What, a pet rock?
BEKA: Besides, Harper learned that lesson with the Alduvian Thorac.
HARPER: It looked like a bunny!
BEKA: Atmospheric analysis is coming up. It's metallovoric with strange
metabolic emissions. Good news for you, Harper. It doesn't eat humans.
HARPER: Yeah. Too bad it doesn't eat Nietzscheans.
BEKA: It does, however, seem kind of fond Of some of the Maru's key
components, like the guidance system.
HUNT: So, we're not on the menu, but the Maru is.
BEKA: Yeah, I'm losing steering control. On the positive side, the
Andromeda's off our starboard bow.
HUNT: Andromeda, activate the drones. Bring us in.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Activating.
HUNT: Hold us steady, Beka. Mister Harper, let's find our intruder.
BEKA: I hope they find our hungry houseguest soon.
Do we even know how big this thing is?
HUNT: We're about to find out.
(Harper dodges a shower of sparks, then pulls the box off the bulkhead.)
HARPER: Huh. Whatever it is, it had a hell of a time with this copper
(He throws the box to Hunt, who uses it to trap the slimy thing
pulsating on the next bulkhead.
HUNT: Ha? Piece of cake.
(Then he slowly removes the box to discover that the thing has eaten
through the bulkhead and escaped.)
drones lasso the Maru in a forcefield and send her gliding into the
ANDROMEDA [on screen]: Nicely done.
HUNT: Andromeda, cloak the Maru in an anti-oxidation field. We've got
to keep this creature contained.
ANDROMEDA [on screen]: Dylan, the anti-oxidation field is only
temporary. It will break down rapidly and, at best, will only confuse
HUNT: Well, fine, then depressurise this hangar. I mean, no oxygen
anywhere. Anything that moves on the Maru, exterminate. Anything that
gets off of this ship, then blow it into space. Harper, if all else
fails, what have you got for me?
HARPER: Um, er, Andromeda's skin is made of monocarbide netting. We
could try building a box around the Maru from spare sheets in storage.
HUNT: Sounds good. Do it. Ah, ah. First, decontamination. Let's go.
you'll let me know when you've made that box?
HARPER: I'm going as fast as I can. I've got short legs, you know. I'll
be done before you can say Tyr, Tyr.
(Harper's boot leaves a maggot behind as he climbs a ladder. It
promptly has three babies.)
[OC]: Please initiate access code.
HARPER: Rommie, what's the code? I need to get in here.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Access denied. Harper, you must request the code from
HARPER: What? Why? All right, fine. I've got all the codes I need in
the slipstream core.
(Behind the locked door, a large section has been eaten by maggots.)
starts looking through flexis.)
HARPER: Right, codes.
EBOOK: Resume playback.
HARPER: No, I've got work to do.
HARPER: I said no. Okay, just a quick ten pages.
Any luck getting in touch with our good friends from Virgil Nine?
ROMMIE: No. Apparently, they've vanished.
BEKA: Well, maybe they don't have their communications net up at their
new colony yet.
ROMMIE: Or maybe they just don't want to be found.
BEKA: They wanted to be found when that storm kicked up. Without us,
they'd be dead.
HUNT: That's right. No thank yous, no nothing, just a bunch of bugs.
BEKA: Ick. Is there anyone who might know more about those bugs than we
ROMMIE: Well, I checked the AUS library. There are sixty eight
variations of metallovoric parasites in this galaxy. However, we have
to catch one if we want to classify it.
HUNT: I don't want to classify it, unless we classify it as dead and
off my ship. Excuse me.
is hearing strange noises.)
HARPER: Hello? Good book.
(The lights go out then back on again.)
HARPER: Oh, all right, all right, I get the message, Rommie. I'm headed
straight for parts storage. I'm on it. Okay. All right. All right. Is
there anybody there?
(The lights go out, there is a crash of metal and Harper screams. The
lights come on to reveal that he is clinging to Tyr's boots.)
TYR: What are you trying to do, besides shatter my eardrums?
HARPER: You scared the pistons out of me.
TYR: I came to enquire as to whether ambition had prodded you to make
the box yet.
HARPER: What, are you nuts? It's er, it's late. I was just headed to
parts storage now. Now, please, I'm very, very, very busy.
TYR: Were you sleeping?
HARPER: Yeah, right. Check. Like I can close my eyes with my heart
doing one eighty.
TYR: Call me when it's ready.
BEKA: Shouldn't you be working?
HARPER: Ha! Fingers to the bone. So, where are you headed?
BEKA: Off to my quarters to wash the last bits of Virgil Nine off my
HARPER: What a coincidence. I happen to be headed the same way. We've
just got to make a quick stop down at parts storage, if you don't mind
coming with me.
BEKA: Got to chapter three yet?
(Harper holds up four fingers.)
BEKA: Nice try, Harper, but parts storage is in the opposite direction.
Oh, my god!
(Harper looks over his shoulder.)
BEKA: Boo! Gotcha. Harper, wear garlic and carry a very sharp stick.
(Trance gets an uneasy feeling as she tends her carnivorous pitcher
door closes behind Harper. He opens it again and uses a girder to keep
it open. Then he hears a noise in the dark.)
HARPER: No one's in here, right? Rommie, would it be too much to ask
for a little illumination down here?
(The corridor light brightens.)
HARPER: Thanks. Big help. Tyr's right. I've got to get a grip.
(The maggots are near Trance's plants. Harper finds the sheets he
HARPER: Looks about right.
hears footsteps behind him.)
HOLO-ROMMIE: Are you talking to me, Captain?
(Hunt jumps out of his skin.)
HUNT: No. No, it's nothing. Or it's something.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Perhaps you should get some sleep.
HUNT: Sleep. Yeah. Yeah, like that'll happen. Is there anything else?
(Holo-Rommie vanishes. Hunt turns around and Rommie is there. Another
HUNT: Rommie, would you stop doing that?
ROMMIE: Dylan, are you worried that the antioxidation containment field
around the Maru might be disintegrating?
HUNT: Well, I am now.
ROMMIE: Good thing, because it is. All containment measures have
failed, and the creature is no longer confined.
HUNT: Well, that is just great.
(In his quarters, Tyr puts the weights he has been bench-pressing back
on their stand, and hears a noise. He dismisses it and returns to
pumping iron, when a sinister shadow appears on the screen behind him.
He investigates, and the door opens and closes on its own.
Harper ducks under the brace with the sheeting. The door then fully
opens, the brace falls and the door closes. Harper runs.
When Tyr's door stops moving, he turns around to see that someone or
something has bent his weights bar.)
finds another door opening and closing on its own. He presses the
controls to hold it open and goes inside. There are jagged holes in one
wall and a big hole in another with severed wires. He looks inside.)
HARPER: What is this place? Andromeda, what? Rommie?
(A man's face appears in front of him, snarls, and vanishes. Harper
No, no, no, no, no.
HUNT: Well, there's got to be an explanation, Harper. Maybe it's one of
the new crew members.
BEKA: Why can't it be a crew member?
HARPER: For the tenth time, no.
TYR: That was nine.
HARPER: All right, all right. Now, just listen, okay? It's a face I've
never seen before, nor care to ever see again. Besides, it was in the
wall. New crew members don't hang out in walls. People don't hang out
in walls. You know what hangs out in walls?
HUNT: Mister Harper, you're tired.
HARPER: All right, for the eleventh time, no.
TYR: That was ten.
HARPER: Look, it was real, it was angry, and it was a ghost!
HUNT: Show us.
HARPER: Like that?
HUNT: Not funny, Mister Harper. Show us the ghost.
HARPER: Show yourselves.
have to use flashlights here now.)
BEKA: Right here. This is where Harper said he saw it.
(The door is slightly open. Hunt tries the controls but nothing
happens, so Tyr forces it open then gestures for Hunt to go first.)
see the big hole in the wall.)
BEKA: That can't be good.
TYR: What do you see?
(Hunt puts his hand in something.)
HUNT: Oh. It's er, maggot slime. It's never easy.
Using the same methods employed to detect the presence of these maggots
on the Maru, Rommie has devised us a map. With it, we can locate them
and track their progress.
HUNT: So all these highlighted areas are already infested.
HARPER: I've got a stupid question. Why don't we just bomb the whole
ship stem to stern, kill them all at once?
ROMMIE: Bomb the ship.
HARPER: Not explosion bomb, bug bomb. Insecticide.
ROMMIE: Ah. Metallovores are vulnerable to only one kind of airborne
TYR: Corrosive gases.
HARPER: Oh. That would wipe us out.
HUNT: A bait station.
HARPER: Yes! I could make them out of Rommie's skin.
ROMMIE: Excuse me?
HUNT: Make as many as you can as fast as you can, Harper. Why are you
still standing here?
(Harper runs out.)
HUNT: All right, once Harper builds his traps, we're going to split up
and hunt these things down one by one. Everyone but you, Rommie. Sorry,
these bugs will have you for dessert.
(Harper works to the sound of loud rock music, which is blasting all
over the ship. A piece called Demon Queen written by McCauley and
Eastman specially for the show. Everyone is deployed on trap setting.)
ANDROMEDA [OC]: A little to the left.
(She puts the trap on a table by a bonsai, then hears whispering.)
TRANCE: Who's there? Hello?
ALDRICH [OC]: Get out!
TRANCE: Who are you? I mean you no harm.
(Something snarls at her.)
Oof. That's a lot of traps, Rommie.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Beka, you're going to need them all. Trust me.
(Beka puts her hand into some slime, and starts crying.)
finally puts his feet up, then someone puts their hand on his shoulder.)
TRANCE: I didn't think you could be sleeping with the music so loud.
TRANCE: The music!
HARPER: Hang on.
(He turns the music off.)
HARPER: Right now I could sleep through a Magog picnic. More boxes. I'm
TRANCE: That's not why I'm here. You did not hallucinate. An
hallucination did not bend Tyr's weight bar, and it did not show itself
to me. I didn't want to say anything until I was sure.
HARPER: If you're making fun of me, Trance.
TRANCE: I am not making fun of you.
HARPER: Do you believe in ghosts?
TRANCE: I don't believe that there couldn't be ghosts.
HARPER: Oh, great. In lieu of a parachute, here's a hanky. I was so
much happier when I thought it was my imagination.
TRANCE: Who's to say what your imagination is?
HARPER: Oh, come on, Trance. I saw a ghost.
TRANCE: Yeah, so did I.
HARPER: Okay. All right. So er, so what do we do now? What are the
TRANCE: I guess it depends who it is and where it came from.
(The music starts up again, and refuses to turn off again immediately.)
TRANCE: Do you ever get that feeling, you know, when you think someone
might be staring at you?
(A figure appears on the catwalk.)
ALDRICH: Dylan must abort his mission! Abort or die.
(It vanishes in a shower of sparks.)
ALDRICH [OC]: Mutiny!
TRANCE: We have to follow it. Find out more about it.
HARPER: What, are you on Flash? I'm not going up there. No way. I'm
being haunted, Trance. What did I do? Why would somebody ever haunt me?
You know what? We don't need an exterminator. We need an exorcist.
comes across more slime, then the floor gives way beneath her. She is
dangling from a bunch of wires.)
BEKA: Help! Someone! Anyone!
(A face appears.)
BEKA: Except you.
ALDRICH: You shouldn't be here. You'll be dealt with unless you go!
TYR: You saw something?
BEKA: Oh, yeah.
ghost walks up to Rommie.)
(She is oblivious to him.)
ALDRICH: Ah. Artificial intelligence. Firewalls work, don't they?
HARPER [OC]: Dylan? Yo, boss.
(Harper and Trance enter.)
HARPER: Er, er.
TRANCE: Rommie, did you see that?
HARPER: What? You had to see it. It was right next to you.
ROMMIE: I only see things that are real. Hallucinations brought on by
mass hysteria are not real.
ALDRICH: Leave this ship! Leave!
HARPER: What? You can't. I can't believe you don't see it. I can't
believe you won't believe me.
TRANCE: I saw it.
HARPER: You believe her, right?
ROMMIE: It's not a matter of belief.
HARPER: Well, what is it, then?
ROMMIE: It's a matter of weakness. Not mental or physical, just an
inbred and thin layer of emotion. It could be holding you back.
TRANCE: Holding who back?
ROMMIE: I'm talking to Harper.
TRANCE: But I saw it too. Does that make me inbred and thin?
ROMMIE: No, I was talking to Harper. Hmm. You know, there's something
else that doesn't make any sense. One of the strongest sources of
emissions come from a place that doesn't exist. Now, it's not on my
grid, but I'm sure my sensors aren't wrong. It's active between sectors
four fifty one and four fifty two.
HARPER: It's a hell hole! It's from a flexi I'm reading.
TRANCE: Let's get Dylan.
HARPER: Good idea. Er, I'll stay put.
no lights here.)
HUNT: Sectors four five one and four five two. These were restricted
areas. Top security research.
BEKA: Shouldn't they still show up on Rommie's grid even if they were
HUNT: Yeah, they should, but they don't. Watch out for the slime. Maybe
it's a trojan, or a computer virus triggered by the maggots when they
were eating through the metal circuits.
BEKA: A computer virus caused the hologram?
HUNT: Your guess is as good as mine.
It's a mech lab.
HUNT: It's a mech lab.
BEKA: And they were making?
HUNT: Well, apparently, our ghost.
(Beka gets the lights on.)
(They find a mummified corpse.)
BEKA: That's a High Guard uniform.
HUNT: A mobile com.
BEKA: Looks like he was trying to get a message out.
HUNT: Yeah. He must have died before he could hit send.
(Hunt triggers the message.)
HOLO-ALDRICH: Captain Hunt, I need help. Please, please, Dylan, don't
leave me here. Please, buddy. Buddy, it's me, Eddie. Please.
BEKA: Poor guy.
HUNT: Eddie Aldrich.
BEKA: Friend of yours?
HUNT: I hardly knew him. He was a new crew member.
BEKA: Well, now we know who our ghost is.
HUNT: And why he wants revenge.
Dylan, it probably happened during the Nietzschean attack, when you
gave the order to evacuate.
HUNT: He must've come through the event horizon alive. But I was the
only one left on this ship. I checked. We checked.
ROMMIE: He partitioned off that room's computer from my processors with
a multi-programme rerouting assemblage.
BEKA: Dylan, you never would have found him.
HUNT: I should have.
BEKA: This is not your fault
HUNT: He didn't have to die, Beka. Not like that.
TYR: What did you bait them with, orlock gills?
HARPER: Like it matters. Eddie Aldrich's ghost'll get us if the bugs
BEKA: None of them worked.
HARPER: Huh. I guess they prefer dining al fresco.
BEKA: This is not good.
TYR: Time to call for help?
BEKA: Can't. The bugs have damaged the communications network.
Eddie Aldrich. Third Mechaneer. Quite an impressive resume. He
graduated first in his class, held very advanced theories on slipstream
travel, and had an exceptional aptitude for rapid navigation and
HUNT: A master at misdirection.
ROMMIE: He had also filed numerous complaints against his fellow crew
members, citing harassment.
HUNT: I used to pride myself on knowing the name of every crew member
that served under me.
ROMMIE: You had over four thousand.
HUNT: It doesn't matter.
ROMMIE: He was also diagnosed with a mild case of NPD, narcissistic
personality disorder, although this information was kept classified by
order of the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Did he have any friends?
HUNT: One. Give me the name.
ROMMIE: Dylan Hunt. I've accessed the memory log. Playback Command
deck. Cross-reference Hunt, Dylan, with Aldrich, Eddie. CY 9784.
(A hand is briefly placed on Aldrich's shoulder.)
ALDRICH [on viewscreen]: Dylan! Captain Hunt!
ROMMIE: End of file. Nothing worse than feeling alone.
(Rommie moves away.)
HUNT: Aldrich based our friendship on this?
ALDRICH: Dylan. It's been a long time.
HUNT: Eddie Aldrich, in the so-called flesh.
ALDRICH: It's payback time, Captain.
HUNT: I never meant to leave you in there, Eddie.
ALDRICH: Of course not. You wanted me off like all the rest so you
could betray the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Excuse me?
ALDRICH: Oh, come now, Captain. Do you honestly think that I wouldn't
have figured out what you and your band of pirates are up to?
HUNT: How dare you.
ALDRICH: Getting your Nietzschean friend to help you stage an invasion.
Brilliant. No wonder they made you captain. Wonder what they'll make me
when I bring you in. Your list of crimes is enormous. Treason,
dereliction of duty, embezzlement, embarrassment, murder.
HUNT: There's nowhere left to bring me in to, Eddie. The Commonwealth
ended a long time ago. You and I and the Andromeda were caught on the
edge of a black hole for over three hundred years.
ALDRICH: You are lying!
HUNT: Fine. Don't take my word for it. You have the intelligence,
Eddie. Compare the star charts from the moment the Nietzscheans
attacked us to where they are today.
(Aldrich lifts Hunt off his feet.)
HUNT: You're making a big mistake, Eddie.
(Hunt manages to get to his forcelance and start firing it at the
ceiling. Maggots and slime fall onto Aldrich who starts shorting out
and drops him. Rommie watches, bemused.)
HUNT: Eddie, listen to me. Andromeda's in danger. We need to work
ALDRICH: Important. My friend. You punish. Urgh.
(He electrocutes the maggots, but they have eaten a hole in his body.)
ALDRICH: Dylan, you must die.
HUNT: You are important. I need you.
ALDRICH: I don't need you!
(Aldrich throws Hunt across the room.)
ALDRICH: Because I am less than nothing. I want you to know what it's
like feel emptiness. My emptiness. I have other plans, and they don't
include you anymore.
ROMMIE: That I saw.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Eddie managed to survive the black hole, and somehow he's
integrated my systems as a powerful AI. I'm sorry, Dylan. It's beyond
my control. He's taken over.
COMPUTER [OC]: Five minutes to self destruct.
(A male voice.)
HUNT: Oh, no.
ROMMIE: He's activated Andromeda's self destruct sequence.
ROMMIE: I'm shutting down.
HUNT: Rommie, Rommie, fight him. Don't let him do this! Shipwide. Beka?
[OC]: Four minutes to self-destruct.
HUNT: Oh, Beka.
BEKA: Please tell me that is not the ship's internal detonation alarm.
HUNT: Eddie's AI has taken over Andromeda.
HUNT: That's what he was working on in the mech lab. You have to
evacuate to the Maru. Prepare for launch.
BEKA: But she can't fly.
HUNT: She can't steer, but she can fly. Your only option is to fall
through space right now.
BEKA: What about you?
[OC]: Three minutes to self destruct.
ALDRICH: What are you still doing here?
HUNT: Sorry, Eddie.
ALDRICH: You don't think your mutiny will still work, do you?
HUNT: I don't abandon my crew. And you're part of my crew, Eddie.
ALDRICH: Your betrayal is over.
HUNT: Don't do this. Don't destroy Andromeda.
ALDRICH: I am not destroying Andromeda.
(Aldrich uses a power rod to exterminate some bugs that are eating his
HUNT: Eddie, if you allow this ship to detonate, you'll only be
accomplishing what those parasites were already going to do. You can be
important. You can save your ship. Save the Andromeda.
COMPUTER: Two minutes to self destruct.
ALDRICH: You and I would have been friends had I lived, right?
HUNT: We are friends.
ALDRICH: How can I help, Captain?
HUNT: Electrocute the ship, but keep it safe. You can do this.
ALDRICH: I can?
ALDRICH: What about you, Captain?
HUNT: Don't worry about me. Save the ship. Electrocute it now.
COMPUTER: One minute to self destruct.
Thirty seconds to self destruct.
BEKA: The hangar doors won't open.
plays over the body of Android Aldrich.)
COMPUTER: Twenty seconds to self destruct.
over the skin of the Maru.)
is keeping Hunt unearthed, and safe.)
COMPUTER: Ten seconds to self destruct. Eight, seven, six.
wakes up. There is a dead maggot next to her.)
COMPUTER: Five seconds to self destruct. Three. Self destruct sequence
puts Hunt down.)
ALDRICH: They're all dead, Captain.
HUNT: Thank you, Eddie.
(The android deactivates.)
(A coffin is fired into space.)
HUNT: Godspeed, Eddie Aldrich.
ROMMIE: What's in the box?
HARPER: Beka's novels. Here, take them. I don't want to see them, touch
them, even think about them. I'm quitting before they're a habit.
TYR: I'm so pleased.
HARPER: Hey. What's that noise? No, in the box. What's that noise?
(Beka starts to open the box.)
(Beka leaps out of her skin.)
HARPER: Back at you.
(Slime and smoke comes from the box. Beka and Harper power up their
is ejected from the Andromeda.)
HUNT [OC]: We are never, ever going back to Virgil Nine!