"I've always found a fully deployed
battle group to be the most
Admiral Constanza Stark,
High Guard Chief-of-Staff,
[OC]: Battle stations. All hands on deck. This is not a drill.
HUNT: Andromeda, report.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Pyrians have placed twenty four fusion
powered atmosphere generators across the planet. They're spewing CI2,
methane, and sulphur dioxide, and nothing the colonists have done have
been able to stop them. In a month, Samsarra will no longer be able to
support oxygen breathing life.
BEKA: Perfect, for Pyrians. Bad for colonists, all fifty six thousand
three hundred and twelve of them.
ROMMIE: The colonists claim the Pyrian ships just dropped the
generators and left without saying a word. All attempts to communicate
have been rebuffed.
BEKA: Yeah, well, Pyrians aren't great conversationalists, unless deep
frying your ship is their version of hey, how are you? Let's do lunch.
HUNT: Target those generators with a full barrage of ground attack
missiles. We'll show them lunch. Fire.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Pyrian atmosphere generators have been
destroyed. The climatic effects will begin to reverse themselves in a
matter of days.
ROMMIE: Well, if that doesn't get them to talk, nothing will.
HUNT: Send a courier to High Guard HQ on Mobius. Tell them I need a
fleet to blockade Samsarra. And when the Pyrians show up, we'll tell
them just what we've done to their generators.
Dylan? I thought you should know. I'm detecting multiple slipstream
events across the outer solar system.
HUNT: Our fleet is here, and they're early.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Well, it's definitely a fleet, but it's not ours. As near
as I can tell, it's a full Pyrian task force.
HUNT: They're really early.
HOLO-ROMMIE: And they're headed this way.
HUNT: So much for the blockade. It looks like we'll be dealing with the
Pyrians on our own.
[on viewscreen]: The Pyrian fleet has not yet responded to our hails.
Their position is thirty three light minutes, closing at twenty five
HUNT: That gives us two hours to convince them to come to the table.
TYR: We attacked their installation at Samsarra.
ROMMIE: It was an unmanned installation. An illegal unmanned
TRANCE: Attacking a populated world, refusing to speak with anyone?
They're trying to provoke us, see what we'll do.
HUNT: It's like a test.
ROMMIE: Maybe the Pyrians want more from Samsarra than just pyraforming
it. There are plenty of unpopulated planets that meet their needs.
TYR: May we just review for my benefit? The Pyrians completely outmatch
us. They have no incentive for discussion, and they're possibly
protecting a secret agenda, yet we are to believe we can still convince
them to talk. That's interesting.
TRANCE: The Pyrian fleet is protecting two dropships, which appear to
be carrying fresh atmosphere generators.
HUNT: The Pyrians couldn't have known to come with replacement
ROMMIE: It's unlikely that they'd already be aware that we've destroyed
their equipment on the planet.
TRANCE: Very unlikely.
HUNT: Replacements or not, they're going back to where they came from.
And if we are very lucky, we can convince the Pyrians of that without
firing a single shot.
ROMMIE: And if we're not very lucky?
HUNT: Well then, we'll sharpen our olive branch into the point of a
giving a pep talk to a pair of eager beavers.)
BEKA: The Andromeda is the last line of defence for this entire system.
And when it comes right down to it, the slipfighters are the last line
of defence for the Andromeda.
Am I making myself clear?
BOWLUS + FRYMIRE: Crystal clear, Captain Valentine.
BEKA: Do you always speak in stereo like that?
BOTH: Yes. No.
BEKA: Look, guys, we may be heading into battle with the Pyrians. We
can't afford screw ups. Screw ups equal death, so I need you to get
your butts down to the hangar deck, do your jobs, and don't be late.
(They salute her.)
BEKA: And for god's sake, don't salute me.
HARPER: Never salute.
Boss, don't you think you're being kind of hard on the eager beavers?
(A female crewmember walks past.)
HARPER: Maybe you should take it easy on the spit and polish a little
bit. I mean, come on. When we first got here, it's not exactly like we
were standard military issue. I mean, let's get serious. We still
BEKA: Spit and polish? Even back in the old day, what do you think I
would have done to your scrawny butt if it wasn't where I needed it
when I needed it?
HARPER: You would have kicked it all over the local cluster.
BEKA: Exactly, because my crew is my family. I'll be damned if I lose
even one of them to screw ups.
BEKA: Especially when people keep trying to kill us.
HARPER: I get tired of that.
[OC]: The Pyrians are pelting us with AG mass packets.
HUNT: They're slowing us down.
ROMMIE: All the better for their torchships to come in close and roast
us with plasma. You know, this is getting very annoying. What happened
to the good old days when ships just sat around and fired broadsides at
BEKA: The steam engine was invented?
HUNT: ECM to maximum. Offensive missiles, tubes one through forty. One
shot per tube. Let's show the Pyrians we're taking this personally.
BEKA: Evasive manoeuvres?
HUNT: Oh Beka, you know me so well. Plot a course back to Samsarra's
largest moon. We'll use it for cover while we harass the Pyrian fleet.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Captain, we are receiving a message from the
HUNT: On screen. Now, that is not a Pyrian.
BEKA: Whatever happened to those bulbous, tentacled things floating in
hot gas we were so fond of?
ANDROMEDA: She may be a projection of some sort to make us more
HUNT: Maybe, but we've dealt with Pyrians before, so why start now?
(The female on the viewscreen is rather Trance-like in her colour and
AZAZEL [on viewscreen]: Attention, Andromeda ascendant. The hostilities
you have initiated against this fleet can lead to nothing but your
destruction. We urge you to withdraw from Samsarra before that event
becomes unavoidable. We will not be deterred.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I'm trying to keep the channel open, but the
Pyrians are not responding.
BEKA: Did you hear that? We will not be deterred.
HARPER [on viewscreen]: Did you hear that voice? Oh, did you see those
lips? I'm thinking we offer up the Harper as her hostage and I'll make
this whole ugly situation go away single handedly. Make that double
BEKA: Don't you have something to fix?
I do now.
More AG packets. We're losing speed.
HUNT: Divert power to compensate. Engineering, initialise backup
TRANCE: Dylan? I feel wrong. I feel sick.
(Trance leaves, and a crewman takes her post. Hunt nods to Tyr to
Shouldn't you be headed to Med deck?
TRANCE: Everything I need is on the Maru.
TYR: Would you tell me your symptoms?
TRANCE: Dizziness. Confusion. Nausea.
TYR: Nausea? Trance, you don't have a stomach. In fact, I don't believe
I've ever seen you consume more than an alcoholic beverage.
TRANCE: I'm jittery. I feel cold and prickly all over. I can't think
TYR: Is there anything else?
TRANCE: You can't force me to tell you anything. I don't think it would
be wise for you to try now.
TYR: I'm quite sure you're right. However, I will try, should it ever
come to that. Are we understood?
TRANCE: I'd like to go to my room now, be with my plants.
the Pyrians ignoring us?
ROMMIE: It appears they don't consider us a threat.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Pyrian fleet will be in range of
Samsarra in less than twenty minutes.
ROMMIE: Once they establish position around the planet, they won't
leave it undefended. They'll be dug in.
BEKA: Then we can kiss Samsarra goodbye.
HUNT: Yeah, well, that's not going to happen. Scramble the slipfighters
to blockade the planet. Let's see if we can slow things down a little.
launch. Beka is leading the flight.)
BEKA: Okay, people, Standard distribution, weapons free. This is just
like the drill, only with real explosions. And guys,
anyone who lets a Pyrian within one light second of Samsarra buys the
first round when this is all over. You can make mine a Sparky-cola.
FRYMIRE: Roger that, Captain.
[on viewscreen]: The fighters have taken position and the Pyrians are
redeploying to compensate.
HUNT: Launch combat drones. Disperse them around the fleet perimeter.
ROMMIE: There was a time when people were impressed that I had enough
firepower to decimate a planet in under ten minutes. I miss that.
HUNT: Me too.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: A detachment of torchships is closing to
engagement range with the fighters.
[OC]: Beka, you've got company.
BEKA: Okay, everybody stay in formation.
BOWLUS: We're on it, Captain.
BEKA: So the Pyrians like to play chicken. Too bad. I don't. Ladies and
gentlemen, this is your Wing Commander speaking. The Pyrians don't seem
to get the message. Let's explain it to them. Here we go, folks.
[on viewscreen]: Fighters have engaged the torchships, and our combat
drones have encircled the rest of the enemy armada.
HUNT: Target their flank, randomised firing solutions. Missile tubes
one through forty. Clear the magazines. Fire!
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Sensor drones report minimal combat
ROMMIE: The Pyrians aren't slowing down.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Dylan, the Pyrians have just launched a
barrage of neutron ground attack missiles at Samsarra.
ROMMIE: Neutron warheads only attack living things.
TYR: Like an infestation of colonists.
HUNT: Shoot those warheads down. Raise the colonial government on
ROMMIE: What do you want me to tell them?
HUNT: To pack their things and get the hell off the planet. We can't
protect them and fight the Pyrians at the same time. We have to
(Later, lots of little ships are streaming from Samsarra.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The colonial government reports evacuation
is thirty seven percent complete. Of that, four percent of the
transports have reached slipstream range.
HUNT: Estimated time to mission completion?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Three hours.
TYR: We can't maintain this engagement for three more hours.
HUNT: We don't have a choice.
ROMMIE: More AG mass packets. Dylan, I don't have enough power to
TYR: We are returning fire.
I need some help. Watch your six.
BOWLUS: Bogies six o'clock, nine
BEKA: These guys are everywhere.
FRYMIRE: Receiving heavy fire, all directions.
BOWLUS: I've got your back, Gold Two. I need a little help here.
FRYMIRE: Bowlus, break. Two o'clock. Two o'clock! Bowlus, are you
there? Bowlus, do you read? Wing commander, this is Gold Two. My
wingman is hit bad. His comms are out. Our position is overrun.
Requesting permission to fall back to the Andromeda, ma'am.
BEKA: Keep it together, Gold Two. You need to stick with your wingman.
Watch his six. Keep trying to get him on the horn. And listen, that
goes for all of you. We fight together, we win together. When we go
home, it'll be together, or not at all. Let's move in on the target.
Get in and get out.
FRYMIRE: Roger that, Captain.
[on viewscreen]: Good news, boss. My band of merry monkeys have
scrubbed the hull clean. No more AG mass packets. Plus, we shampooed
the decks, buffed the mirrors, and threw in some air freshener at no
ROMMIE: A pair of torchships have moved away from the main fleet and
are moving to engage us.
TYR: Well, even crippled, I would much prefer to assume the offensive
than instruct the crew to make peace with their various and sundry
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: We are in no position to mount an attack. If
we try, the probability of our destruction is ninety three percent.
HUNT: Damn it! Recall those fighters. I need them back here.
TYR: And the Pyrians?
HUNT: Let those bastards come.
slipfighters are buzzing a Pyrian ship.)
BEKA: Gold Two, we're falling back. Do you copy?
BOWLUS: Gold Two, four o'clock. look out!
BEKA: Gold Two, Gold Two, do you hear me?
BOWLUS: Bogey on your tail, Gold Two. Incoming! Incoming! I repeat.
BEKA: Gold Two. Gold Two, come in. Talk to me.
FRYMIRE: Wingman didn't get the message. I'm trying to. Can't hold it!
(He goes into a spiral then blows up.)
BOWLUS: They got Gold Two.
MAN [OC]: Frymire, no!
HUNT [OC]: We need to fall back.
BEKA: Focus, people. Maintain comms discipline. We're going home. Gold
Two, I'm sorry.
The evacuation of Samsarra is eighty three percent complete.
TYR: Torchships are closing.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: All surviving fighters have returned to base.
HUNT: All right, let's do this. Prep every single missile tube we've
got. Full salvo. Prepare to fire on my mark. Three, two
ROMMIE: I'm detecting multiple slipstream events.
HUNT: Oh, don't tell me more Pyrians.
ROMMIE: No, the cavalry. A High Guard battle group, along with warships
from the Commonwealth member worlds.
HUNT: Ah, what do you know. Some good news for a change. All right,
people. Let's finish this evacuation.
ROMMIE: I hate to spoil the moment, but I've got news from the colonial
HUNT: Now what?
BEKA: What'd I miss?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: One of the transports has experienced a
series of mechanical disasters on the launch pad. It can't leave, and
the passengers can't be transferred.
ROMMIE: It's a medical ship. The passengers are patients.
BEKA: I'll go. Andromeda, tell the flight deck to prep the Maru for
HUNT: Beka, not a good idea.
BEKA: That transport can't leave on its own, and the Maru's a salvage
ship. The math's pretty simple.
TYR: No, no, no. Here's the math. You've been flying under battle
conditions for the past four hours. You're tired, and unless I miss my
guess, we need you rested for the next fighter sortie, yes? So, what.
I'll take the Maru to Samsarra.
is with her plants on the Maru.)
TYR: I'll be needing you in the cockpit right now.
(The Eureka Maru launches.)
Order the fleet to engage the Pyrians.
Distance to the transport ship? Distance. Hey! Wake up and focus! Do
your job, or leave.
TRANCE: Sorry. We're in bucky cable range.
TYR: Deploy bucky cables.
TRANCE: Bucky cables deployed. We've got them. The transport is secure.
TYR: All right, tell that pilot to make sure his patients are strapped
in because we're leaving very, very fast.
TRANCE: AG mass packets slowing us down.
(The Pyrians fire on them.)
TYR: Cook the engines to one hundred and twenty five percent to
TRANCE: If this keeps up, we'll never make it back to the Andromeda.
TYR: Is that transport slip-capable?
TYR: All right. they don't need us to slow them down. I'm going to
point us in the direction of the nearest obvious slip point. As soon as
we're up to speed, I want you to cut the bucky cables. The inertia will
carry them on.
TRANCE: Inertia, right. Good plan.
TYR: Give me one fifty percent on those engines.
TRANCE: One fifty, aye. But we can't burn any hotter than that. We'll
TYR: Cut the cables.
TRANCE: The transport is safely on its way.
TYR: Good. Trance? Whatever your problem is, you've already succeeded
in making it mine as well, and I don't appreciate it at all. Get a
have them on the run.
HUNT: Better than that. We've corralled them. They can't get out of
here unless they come through us. Andromeda, send a message to the
fleet. Tell them we've got one more job to do. We are going to drive
the Pyrians from Samsarra forever.
Maru returns to the Andromeda. A case with three flashing lights is
HOLO-ROMMIE: Welcome back, Tyr.
TYR: What merits your sudden interest in my return?
HOLO-ROMMIE: Our courier returned with a package for you.
TYR: I assume you scanned that?
HOLO-ROMMIE: It's not a bomb, if that's what you're asking.
(Tyr opens the case.)
HOLO-ROMMIE: They're seeds, specifically from the Dragonia vine.
TYR: The Dragonia vine. Drago Musevini's first feat of genetic
HOLO-ROMMIE: Yes. Lush, colourful flowers with an intoxicating scent.
And anything that came close enough to appreciate that was strangled to
death by the vine. Charming.
TYR: Yes. But, you see, the Dragonia vine wasn't just a plant. It was
the physical representation of a philosophy. That the universe is a
beautiful place, full of wonders, and it wants to kill you.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Ironic, considering the Dragonia vine is supposed to be
extinct, wiped out when Fountainhead was destroyed.
TYR: Ironic. yes.
HOLO-ROMMIE: What I want to know, Tyr, is who is sending you Dragonia
vines and why.
Hey, Trance. Just thought I'd check on you. Trance?
TRANCE: Hi. I'm sorry. I'm fine.
BEKA: You don't seem fine.
TRANCE: Neither do you.
BEKA: You're right. I'm not fine.
TRANCE: It's that new crew? The new situation?
BEKA: Yeah, that. Suddenly, I find myself out there playing fighter
jock while Tyr flies my ship on a death defying rescue mission. I mean,
this is not how it's supposed to be, is it? This is not who I am.
TRANCE: It is now.
TRANCE: I understand that you don't really know who you are anymore, or
that you're even cut out to be the person you've become, but Beka,
believe me, you're not alone, and before you know it, the universe is
going to start to make sense again. I can promise you that much.
BEKA: Thanks, Trance.
TRANCE: For what?
This is Captain Dylan Hunt, Commodore of the High Guard fleet. You have
twenty minutes to completely withdraw from Samsarra or I will remove
you myself. Hunt out.
BEKA: Am I the only one who feels it's weird that the Pyrians left
themselves with no way out?
HUNT: Right now, the Pyrians are up against the wall. If we give them
any more time, we lose our advantage.
BEKA: True, but they were playing their hand awfully well up until the
HUNT: Yes, they were, but the ultimatum has been offered. It's their
TYR: And your plan if and when they don't respond?
HUNT: This is our objective. Two Pyrian dropships carrying atmosphere
generators. We destroy them, the Pyrians go home. Phase one, the
fighter wing will engage the torchships, drawing them off, and keep
them at least one light minute away from the main action. The
torchships are effectively knocked out of the battle.
BEKA: Sounds like fun.
HUNT: Phase two, warships from the member worlds will engage the
cruiser escorts, forcing them to reduce their coverage on the
TYR: Leaving the dropships exposed.
HUNT: Correct, which brings us to phase three. Andromeda, play back the
simulation, please. The main element of our fleet will launch a massive
attack on the dropships. Dropships gone. We switch fire to the
remaining cruiser escorts. Our fighter wing falls back, leaving the
torchships, which are now vulnerable to a long range missile attack.
ROMMIE: At which point, we should be able to force a surrender.
HUNT: Oh, at that point, we win. Captain Valentine, scramble your
Okay, folks, here we go. One more time. Stay steady and ready for fun.
It's about to get very hot and busy. Stay alert and hold formation.
Fighters have drawn the torchships to one light minute. They're out.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The Commander of the Commonwealth detachment
reports he has engaged the cruisers. The dropships are undefended.
HUNT: Signal the battle group to initiate phase three.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: All ships report ready.
HUNT: Set an intercept course for those dropships. All ahead, full.
TYR: Are you both listening for it?
ROMMIE: Listening for what?
TYR: The other shoe to drop.
HUNT: Offensive missiles, all tubes. Simultaneous time on target. Fire.
ROMMIE: Five seconds to intercept. Three seconds.
HUNT: Ready salvo two.
ROMMIE: Targets destroyed.
HUNT: Prepare to shift fire to cruisers.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Several Pyrian torchships have engaged the
HUNT: I thought the fighters drew them off.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: They did. These are new torchships.
HUNT: Ping the fleet. I want a status report.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: The detachment's Command ship has been
destroyed. Other ships report that they are taking heavy fire.
HUNT: Damn it. Keep firing. Tell the detachment to pull back and
consolidate on us.
ROMMIE: I don't understand. There were no slipstream events and the
sensor sweeps were all clear.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Yes, but I've traced the Pyrian
reinforcements trajectory back to their point of origin. They came from
the far side of the star.
HUNT: Damn. I walked right into that one.
(When everything has gone quiet again.)
ROMMIE: It doesn't make any sense. This can't be an ambush. The Pyrians
would have had to know that we were going to come to Samsarra, destroy
their atmosphere generators, evacuate the colony, and then go after
their dropships. No one is that good.
TYR: Then that makes two large coincidences in one day.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: We're receiving another message from the
Pyrians. I can't get a fix on the source.
HUNT: On screen.
AZAZEL [on viewscreen]: Captain Hunt, while we admire your audacity,
tactical half measures will not deny us our objective. We strongly
encourage you to rethink your approach to the current crisis. Failure
to do so will be catastrophic.
ROMMIE: Well, that's the friendliest hostile communiqué I've ever
TYR: But no less clear for its tone.
HUNT: It is what it is. We'll withdraw to the outer solar system and
assess our situation. But for now, the Pyrians have taken Samsarra.
got our asses handed to us out there.
ROMMIE: The Pyrian reinforcements must have arrived after we swept the
system, before we could do anything.
HUNT: I've got a ship, a fleet, a planet counting on me to be ready for
curveballs like this.
ROMMIE: Right. So you think you're expected to be omniscient and above
the laws of space and time?
HUNT: Are you implying that I am not?
ROMMIE: You know what bothers me?
ROMMIE: How did the Pyrians react so quickly? It's like they're three
moves ahead of us at every turn.
HUNT: Hmm. It's like someone handed them our playbook before the game
even got started.
There. Do you hear it?
TYR: I hear a great many things. Be specific.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Listen again, in the ultrasonic range, above all the comm
TYR: I don't recognise that comm protocol.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Neither do I, which is strange enough, but what is
stranger still is that that signal is being sent from inside the
TYR: Where inside the Andromeda?
HOLO-ROMMIE: I don't know. Whoever sent it covered their tracks well,
and it's being broadcast omnidirectionally, so it's impossible to
determine who it's being sent to,
TYR: An unauthorised transmission under battle conditions? The why is
immaterial. I have a few thoughts concerning the who.
Dylan, I'm detecting a High Guard courier vessel entering the system.
It's hailing us.
HUNT: I'll take it here.
(An alcove with two crewmen manning a desk.)
HOLO-ROMMIE: It's Admiral Hamsa from the Perseid fleet.
HAMSA [on screen]: Our long range scouts have detected Pyrian battle
fleets assembling across the three galaxies, so it appears Samsarra is
merely the opening salvo with a full-fledged Pyrian campaign against
thousands of oxygen breathing worlds. Most of the threatened planets
are non-aligned or hostile to us, but several are Commonwealth members
and allies. We deployed the Wrath of Achilles and the Twelve Centuries
with task forces to defend Enkindu and the Jaguar homeworld Venceremos.
We've also sent ambassadors to try to negotiate with the Than, the
Kalderans, even the Drago-Kazov, but it doesn't look good. It looks
HOLO-ROMMIE: A war we can't win.
HUNT: They picked Samsarra for a reason. If we stop them here, maybe we
stop them everywhere. Andromeda, get in touch with your AI counterparts
in the fleet. We need to come up with a plan to hold off the Pyrians.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Aye, Captain.
the Eureka Maru, with her bonsai, and a vine up a trellis.)
TYR: Feeling better?
TRANCE: Actually, no. I'm feeling much worse.
TYR: Is your ill health somehow connected to the signals you've been
sending to the Pyrians?
TRANCE: I wasn't talking to the Pyrians.
TYR: Who have you been talking to?
TRANCE: The signals you intercepted were messages home. I was trying to
reach my family.
TYR: And you failed?
TRANCE: No. Worse. I succeeded. What they told me was not good. It's
not good at all.
ROMMIE: Dylan. I've just been in contact with Vice-Admiral Kosugi, the
Commander of the Sabra-Jaguar detachment.
ROMMIE: He got the same report we did about the Pyrian movements
throughout the known worlds, but he's withdrawing his ships to defend
HUNT: And what exactly is he defending against? Oh, Nietzscheans. You
know, surprise, surprise. Running away. All right, get this Admiral
Kosugi on a comm line for me.
ROMMIE: I already told him that you wouldn't approve. Then he quoted me
some obscure paragraph of the mutual defence pact.
HUNT: All right, you know, just get him anyway, and I'll tell him where
he can put his mutual defence pact.
BEKA: The Pyrians are firing low-velocity standoff weapons at us and
the fleet. Not enough to really hurt us.
HUNT: They're probing our defences, looking for weak spots.
ROMMIE: The AIs have been running simulations nonstop, and none of them
are good. All scenarios in which we defeat the Pyrians cost us the
entire battle group, including the Andromeda, and even still that's no
guarantee that Samsarra will stay out of Pyrian control.
BEKA: Dylan, if we roll over here, the Pyrians will see the
Commonwealth as an easy mark.
HUNT: Yeah, I hear you, Beka, but you heard Rommie. If we stay, we kiss
this ship and this fleet goodbye.
ROMMIE: Without these ships, we'll be unable to turn back the larger
HUNT: Rommie, signal the fleet. Tell them to proceed to the nearest
slip-point. We'll regroup in Sinti orbit and plan from there.
TYR: You might want to reconsider that order.
HUNT: There's something you want to tell me, Tyr?
TYR: No. She does.
All right, Trance, What is it this time?
TRANCE: You have to stop the Pyrians here. I do not know how you're
going to do it, but you do not have a choice.
HUNT: Even if it means the death of every crew member in this battle
TRANCE: They want Samsarra. Dylan, you cannot let them have it.
HUNT: That's not good enough, Trance. You know who's backing the
Pyrians. You've been talking to them.
TRANCE: No. One of my people is in this system, watching us, helping
HUNT: That woman. She's been keeping the Pyrians ahead of the game.
TRANCE: Yes. Dylan, there is a war coming, one that is going to make
this battle look like child's play.
HUNT: The Magog Worldship.
TRANCE: My people have come to the conclusion that the Commonwealth
cannot stop the Magog, but they feel that the Pyrians can.
HUNT: You've got to be kidding me. Damn it, Trance, We aren't just
pieces in your private game of Go. Now, you level with me or quit
wasting my time.
TRANCE: Dylan, my people live in a universe where there are no easy
roads to the perfect possible future. A future that is getting harder
to see all the time.
HUNT: We all live in the same universe, Trance. It's just that your
people are cold, calculating sons of bitches.
Okay, people, listen up. New plan. We will not abandon this system to
the Pyrians. Tell them to hold their position, await my instructions.
TYR: So, we fight the Pyrians to the death and add another glorious
defeat to the High Guard honour roll?
HUNT: Tyr, sometimes, winning just means preventing the other guy from
achieving his objective. Beka, prep your fighter wing for launch. If
we're going to have any kind of shot at this, I need you to punch a gap
in the Pyrian line.
BEKA: You're assigning me a hopeless action against overwhelming odds?
HUNT: Yes, I am.
BEKA: I'm all over it.
All right, people, I need you to be sharp out there. Last time around,
we lost a good pilot and a good friend. Now, it's time
to make the bastards pay. This one's for Frymire.
The fighters have created a gap in the Pyrian lines. If we get underway
now, we should be able to reach our objective before the Pyrians can
move back into position and stop us.
HUNT: Signal the fleet. Let's bring it.
ROMMIE: We're through. The fleet has taken minimal damage. Position to
Samsarra, one light minute and closing.
TYR: All ships report full weapons load outs. Missile tubes and AP guns
ready. We are locked on target.
HUNT: Outstanding. Open a channel. Attention, Pyrian fleet. This is
your last chance to resolve this matter peacefully. You started this
conflict, but rest assured, we will end it. We expect an immediate
TRANCE: They're not going to answer. They still don't believe you.
HUNT: Yeah, I know. All right, Let's give them something to believe in.
They want this planet? They can have it. Tyr, send a message to the
(The fleet fires on the planet, turning it into a new asteroid
TYR: They make a desert, and they call it peace.
HUNT: Status on the Pyrians?
ROMMIE: Holding their position. It's as if they're waiting for
something or someone.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: We're receiving a coded message from the
HUNT: On screen.
AZAZEL [on viewscreen]: Captain Hunt, as per the terms of the treaty
with the first Systems Commonwealth, we wish to open negotiations over
the status of all disputed worlds. We await your reply.
TYR: Who'd have thought that blowing up one planet would bring the big,
bad Pyrians to the bargaining table?
HUNT: We sent them a message. We'd rather die on our feet than live on
our knees. Now the Pyrians know that we are not going to back down from
anybody. And I do mean anybody.
Andromeda Ascendant is docked at a space station that looks very like
the Star Trek Earth Spacedock.)
BEKA: Ah. There you are. I wanted to talk to you. New guy. Oh, er, at
ease. This isn't a parade. You, er, you did an outstanding job today. I
just wanted to let you know that I put the entire wing in for the Order
of the Commonwealth.
BOWLUS: Thank you, ma'am.
BEKA: Please. It's Beka. Beka's fine.
BOWLUS: Thank you, Captain Valentine.
BEKA: Good enough.
BOWLUS: Is there anything else the First Officer needs to know?
BEKA: Yeah. What's your name?
BOWLUS: Bowlus. Lieutenant, junior grade.
BEKA: Well. Carry on, then, Lieutenant Bowlus. Keep up the good work.
BOWLUS: Does it ever get any easier? Losing people, I mean. Friends.
BEKA: God, Bowlus. I hope not.
(Tyr plants his vine seed in his quarters.)
waiting for Trance on the Maru.)
HUNT: I don't recognise that one.
TRANCE: That's a climbing fern from Samsarra. Possibly the last one
HUNT: Samsarra. We sacrificed an entire world today, but we saved
thousands in the process.
TRANCE: You're going to be doing a lot of that in the future.
HUNT: You know, you're really not as cryptic as you think you are.
TRANCE: I'll take that as a compliment.
HUNT: What we're doing here, it's bigger than rebuilding the
Commonwealth. It's bigger than the Pyrians, it's bigger than the Magog.
It's about us against the Abyss.
TRANCE: Yes. Dylan, I believe in you. I believe that you can help us
win, against the Pyrians and in the war to come.
HUNT: Tell me that in that fight, you won't run away, hiding behind
your riddles and evasions. If you're with me, you fight with me.
TRANCE: Dylan, we're on the same team. We always have been. I need you
more than you need me. I trust you.
HUNT: It's the other way around, Trance. I need to know I can trust
TRANCE: If you don't trust me, then you can send me away.
HUNT: Send you away. It's all about the fight. The light against the
dark, good against evil. Some people hide from it. Some run away.
TRANCE: Some live with it in fear. Some find solace in knowing they've
done everything they can.
HUNT: Some stay and fight. I fight to win.