Deep Midnight's Voice

Original Airdate: 14 Apr, 2003

"The universe is perfect.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it,
you will ruin it. If you try to hold it,
you will lose it."

Notes to Odo Chan,
CY 9101

[Tyr's quarters]

(Andromeda is escorting a convoy. Tyr is in his quarters, looking at a small bronze leaved plant growing up a support.)
HUNT [OC]: Tyr, Command. Code black.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Multiple fighters, two light-minutes away and closing.
HUNT: Protect that convoy. Prep defensive missiles to cover their transit.
ROMMIE: I'm detecting thirteen battle cruisers and eleven Geruda class fighters.
HUNT: Nietzscheans.
ROMMIE: Drago-Kazov.
HARPER: Whoa! That's my dream. That was my dream! Back when we agreed to escort this lousy Commonwealth convoy deep into the DMZ, we were ambushed by Nietzscheans.
BEKA: Hey, dreamweaver! Before you go all Trance on us, this is not an ambush. That's Nietzschean on Nietzschean action.
HARPER: The Dragans versus the Who Cares Pride.
TYR: Their orphaned children will care.
HUNT: Tell that convoy to go to slipstream now.
HARPER: Boy, doesn't it just warm the heart to see how the Dragans have bounced back from their little slave rebellion, to reach out and touch the whole universe with their charm and good will.
BEKA: If their forces keep growing, pretty soon they'll be reaching out and touching us.
ROMMIE: They may have already started. Three hostile ships vectoring away toward us.
HUNT: On screen. Mister Anasazi, would you like to join our party?
ROMMIE: According to my sensor drones, a Drago-Kazov Geruda class fighter is in pursuit of two other Geruda class fighters from an unknown Pride.
HARPER: Whoa. The Drago just destroyed that ship. Obliterated it. What's going on?
BEKA: Well, one of them is on a collision course with us, while the other keeps chasing.
HUNT: Hail them.
ROMMIE: No response.
HUNT: Plot an intercept course.
HARPER: Er, boss? Isn't that a little dangerous for a good deed?
HUNT: We're on the Andromeda, Mister Harper. I like our odds.
ROMMIE: The Nietzschean fighter is painting us. And now he's firing. Incoming missiles.
HUNT: Engage PDLs. Take him out.
(KaBOOM.)
BEKA: What about the lost sheep? Let him go?
HUNT: No, let's bring him in. I want answers.

[Brig]

GAITON: That spike-haired chip-head of yours called me a rat.
HUNT: Well, he's a charmer. I guess he expected a little more gratitude for saving your life.
GAITON: Yes well, thanks for nothing. You could save my children's lives and I'd still hate the kludge.
HUNT: Even so, I'd still save your children. I'd leave you behind, though.
GAITON: Are you Nietzschean?
TYR: Are you an idiot? Or do you really expect me to believe that you don't know the answer to that question?
HUNT: Tell me why the Dragans attacked you. I'm sorry, I guess you didn't hear me.
(Hunt pokes his forcelance in Gaiton's ear.)
HUNT: Tell me why the Dragans attacked you.
GAITON: They think we have Deep Midnight's Voice.
HUNT: You'll have to be a little clearer than that.
GAITON: It's an old Nietzschean slip-scout.
HUNT: Nietzscheans don't have slip-scouts.
GAITON: Oh, we did before the Fall. A fleet of them. And they mapped out every metre of the slipstream, from the local group to the Virgo cluster, and ten billion transit points between.
HUNT: Ridiculous. You can't map the slipstream.
GAITON: Yet he who maps it, owns it.

[Corridor]

TANNOY: Technical crew to deck seven.
HUNT: Well, what a great guy he is, huh?
TYR: He is what he is. I have often heard a rumour, among my people mostly.
(They climb a ladder to a deck less crowded with crew.)
TYR: This rumour, of an early Nietzschean project to map the cosmos. Prior to the Fall. You couldn't have known. But it is said that their nav-tech was far superior to even that of the High Guard. A rumour.
HUNT: Yeah, it's a three hundred year old rumour. If it's true, we would have heard about it by now.
TYR: Perhaps now we have heard about it.
HUNT: Yeah. That probe will change everything. If the Dragans found it, they would destroy the Sabra-Jaguar.
TYR: No, because if the Sabra-Jaguar even thought that they might have found it, they would have long since allied themselves with their sworn Dragan enemy.
HUNT: Then we'd better find that probe, or we're in for one hell of a fight.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Ladies and gentlemen, and Harper, may I present Deep Midnight's Voice. Now, this is necessarily theoretical, as no one has ever actually seen a slip-scout, nor the probe it carries, except for the Nietzscheans who designed it and the pilots who generated the maps.
BEKA: And it chooses the best sliproutes?
ROMMIE: Well, Beka, as you know, in the slipstream, an AI's ability to guess the correct route is fifty-fifty. Your organic intuition raises that ability to ninety nine point nine seven seven percent. But the navigational chart recorded in the probe takes guessing out of the equation completely. It makes you and I both right one hundred percent of the time.
BEKA: That is possibly the coolest technology in the universe.
HUNT: And possibly the most dangerous.
HARPER: Man, they must have spent years riding the rails, recording every slip-point into that probe. It'd be easier to plot a molecule in a whirlwind.
HUNT: And still, it's so simple and beautiful.
BEKA: You sure the Nietzscheans did this?
HARPER: Yeah, I thought the Dragans fathered bullies, and bandits, and people like Tyr.
HUNT: Drago Musevini created a race of loyal overachievers. They stood among the Commonwealth's greatest poets, artists, mathematicians and architects.
ROMMIE: That's why no one saw their betrayal coming.

[Brig]

GAITON: Smart.
TYR: What's that?
GAITON: Removing your bone blades, so that you can pass as human.
TYR: Bone blades or no bone blades, it is immediately evident that I have more of Drago's blood in my smallest finger than exists in all the line of sorry specimens that might have spawned the likes of you.
GAITON: I couldn't know that, friend. I have yet to dissect your smallest finger, and the Dragans wiped out my entire lineage. I've been solo since, since I shot my mentor's killer in the face and enjoyed his three wives.
TYR: You're a mercenary.
GAITON: Now and then. But this. Oh, I've waited my entire life for a score like this.
TYR: For a score like this?
GAITON: Come now. It's all loot when you work for the kludge.
(Hunt joins them.)
HUNT: Your entire Pride is destroyed. Only you get away. You could have blown up the smaller ships, but we had to save you. Then, well, then you tell us about the Dragan's secret search for Deep Midnight's Voice. It's all too easy.
GAITON: Must be your lucky day.
HUNT: I don't believe in luck.
GAITON: Oh, you're right. I know more than I'm telling. But then again, that's why you won't kill me.
HUNT: Try me. I know you're not working alone. Who sent you?
GAITON: I must really scare you, Captain. An independent Nietzschean.
(Tyr punches Gaiton.)
HUNT: That's enough, Tyr.
(And again.)
HUNT: I said that's enough. Tyr!
TYR: Sorry. I was asserting my independence.
HUNT: You're right. I'm scared because you're such an improvement to the Nietzschean race.
GAITON: Oh, is there really such a difference between my ancestors and me?
HUNT: Yeah. they're dead. Assert your independence.
(Hunt leaves Tyr with Gaiton.)

[Command]

ROMMIE: If the finest minds in the universe have been searching three hundred and five years for Deep Midnight's Voice, then locating it must be extraordinarily difficult.
HUNT: Yes, extraordinarily difficult.
ROMMIE: Well, using regression analysis, stochastic modeling, and quantum theory, I found the system where it's probably located, all in about seven hours and thirty three minutes.
HARPER: It's good to be smart.
HUNT: Yeah, but I noticed she used the word probably.
ROMMIE: Yes. I concentrated my search on remote systems cut off from average nav technology, but still containing the necessary variables to sustain life. that reduced my subset to eleven million three hundred and seventy thousand systems. Additional co-variations reduced it to probably.
HUNT: Works for me.
HARPER: And a system that sustains life is a very good probably. If the pilots ran into engine problems, they'd only dump out of slipstream where they could support repairs.
ROMMIE: It is good to be smart.
HARPER: Not to mention hot.
HUNT: Beka, take us to slipstream.
(She does.)
HUNT: The threads are pretty thin.
BEKA: No one's ridden them in over a hundred years, at least.
ROMMIE: Well, now it's as well traveled as the main expressway on Sinti. We're being followed.
BEKA: Nietzscheans?
ROMMIE: Not sure. I can only read energy signatures. It could be Nietzscheans. It could be anybody.
HUNT: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with our friend in the brig.
HARPER: Good. Let's blow them up with a missile barrage.
HUNT: Harper, you are so spiteful.
BEKA: What's the alternative? We wait for whoever it is to fight us for the probe?
HUNT: Rommie, jettison cargo in bays five through eight.
HARPER: What? No, no, that's my junk collection. And other things.
(The litter in the slipstream makes their pursuers go KaBOOM.)
BEKA: Well, you're welcome to go after it.
HARPER: Never mind.
ROMMIE; Prepare for entry into target system.
(They come out of slipstream alone.)
ROMMIE: Welcome to the system so remote the Perseids forgot to name it.
HUNT: What's in a name anyway? Let's concentrate on finding that probe. Activate long-range sensors.
BEKA: You think it's still floating around out there?
HUNT: Why not? Unless it crashed into that gas giant.
ROMMIE: Oh, it crashed, all right, but not there. Here. The signal's weak, but I'm detecting a pre-fall signature on that planet. It must be from the probe's transponder.
HARPER: My god, it's beautiful.
BEKA: Well, congratulations. Besides the slip-scout pilots, we are the first to lay eyes on it.
ROMMIE: That planet is definitely inhabited, although their technology is quite primitive. I'm detecting short and long range radio transmissions, even general cocktail chatter.
HARPER: I wonder if they still think they're alone in the universe.
HUNT: Well, if they do, then they are very, very lucky. All right, so this planet is inhabited. I need a description of the race.
ROMMIE: You have quite a bit in common. They're human.
BEKA: Excuse me? How?
ROMMIE: According to my archives, it's a colony founded ten thousand years ago by Perseids, seeded with humans from Earth.
HUNT: Good. Then they would know about us.
ROMMIE: No, the Perseids lost contact after a slipstream rupture. The planet's been isolated in a gravity knot ever since.
HUNT: Then that crashed probe would be quite a mystery to them.
ROMMIE: Most likely, although I am detecting historical references to something they call the alien myth. The probe crashed in a remote back-country region on an isolated shelf. They haven't discovered it yet.
HUNT: And they never will. We'll go in, get it, and get out.
HARPER: What if you're discovered? What if they catch you? I mean, sure, yeah, they have immature technology, but they could detect an infrared reflection from the Maru, or a couple of archaeologists could start asking the wrong questions, put things together. At their level of civilisation, then what? No answer? We don't care? Their own damn fault if their in the way, is that it? Yeah, why not. They're just a bunch of humans.

[Machine shop]

HARPER: Before first contact on Earth, long before, they say it was a paradise. Adam and Eve and all that.
TRANCE: Who are Adam and Eve?
HARPER: And then the Perseids came. Our self-appointed sponsors into the Commonwealth's community of civilised races. Yeah, big red letter day in the history books. The beginning of the end.
TRANCE: It wasn't the Perseid's fault.
HARPER: Maybe not. Not directly. Directly, it was the Nietzscheans. Drago wanted to keep up with the interstellar Jones so he fathered a master race, destroyed the Commonwealth in the process. Why not. What the hell. Earth. Shouldn't we just leave them alone, Trance?
TRANCE: You're being naive. You know how the universe works. First contact is inevitable. And if this is indeed a first contact mission, shouldn't it be Dylan and the Andromeda instead of the Nietzscheans or the Magog?

[Maru crew area]

ROMMIE: This is a bad idea.
HUNT: I thought Harper programmed you for optimism.
ROMMIE: I was thinking about the Commonwealth's first contact mission to Jespin-Dover.
HUNT: Like I said, I thought Harper programmed you for optimism?
ROMMIE: One single miscommunication sent that planet into non-stop rioting and chaos. Until, of course, the High Guard managed to subjugate them with the threat of total annihilation.
HUNT: Rommie, Beka, Tyr, and I will be more discreet than to use words that translate into apocalypse.
ROMMIE: Dylan, you just used two words in a sentence that should never be put together.
HUNT: What's that?
ROMMIE: Tyr and discreet.
HUNT: Oh, you see? At least Harper programmed you for a sense of humour.
ROMMIE: That was funny.
HUNT: It was good.
HARPER [on monitor]: They still use paper and plastics, so, thanks to an authentically replicated lamination technique, you're all officially pledged citizens of the obscure and politically isolated country of North Sodzee, not to be confused with Tyr Anasazi.
TYR: It says I'm a common farmer.
ROMMIE: Yes, it does. But remember, if you're discovered, you're a tourist.
HARPER [on monitor]: Yeah, yeah. Specifically, an adventure tourist, discovering the rugged outback of a distant country.
GAITON: I have no need for this cheap mask.
HUNT: Well, I think you do. Especially dressed like that.
TYR: What good are all these papers if we can't even speak their language?
HARPER [on monitor]: Ah, to avoid that nasty embarrassment, I present to you my modified invention for simultaneous translations, the emulator.
(A coin sized universal translator.)
BEKA: Huh? It's an unknown society. What could the emulator possibly emulate?
HARPER [on monitor]: Well, we did a little creative eavesdropping, cross-referenced it with Rommie's language data archives, and voila! Consider it a friendly little tiny robot sitting on your shoulder, whispering sweet little somethings into your ear.
BEKA: You're good.
(They stick the coins behind their right ears.)
HUNT: All right, listen up. This is not a first contact mission. We are covert, with an aim towards minimal interface. Anybody who blows our cover may end up on this planet for good. Understood?
TYR: Absolutely.
HUNT: Let's go.
(The Maru launches.)

[Eureka Maru]

ROMMIE [on monitor]: Their deep space network only consists of thirteen x-ray satellites. The Maru's visual signature is low enough, you can land on the planet undetected.
HUNT: Good. we'll take the Maru down under the cover of darkness. Worst case, they'll think we're a falling star.
ROMMIE [on monitor]: I don't get it.
HUNT: Er, Rommie, a falling star is really a meteorite, burning up as it enters the atmosphere
ROMMIE [on monitor]: No, that I got. What I don't get is if they're such an immature society, why don't we simply re-program them?
BEKA: Re-program them?
ROMMIE [on monitor]: Yes. Within minutes, I could update their technology by at least a thousand years.
HUNT: Yeah, I'm afraid that would be a bit overwhelming. It's a little hard to upgrade their hearts or their minds. Unfortunately, that takes time, and the guidance of an invisible hand.
BEKA: Guidance? Dylan, you make them sound like children.
HUNT: Well, they are children, for the most part. They have no idea how dangerous the universe is.
BEKA: Maybe it's the universe that needs to be re-programmed. Until then, it would be better to leave the Nietzschean behind.
(In the crew area, Gaiton is sharpening his bone blades.)
HUNT: Tyr will keep him on a short leash.
BEKA: Gaiton knows more than he's telling us.
HUNT: Exactly. He'll tell Tyr.

[Forest]

BEKA: The probe's signal is two point three kilometres north northwest from here.
HUNT: Air's wet. Reminds me of a hot summer night on Tarn Vedra.
GAITON: I still find it highly unwise of you, Captain, not to carry your weapon in an unknown environment.
HUNT: Like I said, no weapons. We are going native.
TYR: As loathe as I am to agree with him, I'll have to concur. It is highly imprudent not to carry something
(A rustle in the bushes, and the light of torches.)
BEKA: Great. now what?
HUNT: Well, now we activate our emulators and smile.
TORI [OC]: Hello? Is there someone there?
HUNT: They're coming over here. Find that probe. We'll meet you back at the Maru. We'll keep these guys occupied.
BEKA: (to Gaiton) Oh, and its launch sequence only responds to my DNA, so you will meet us back at the Maru.
HUNT: Nobody gets hurt.
GAITON: This is foolish. Let's just kill them and be done with it.
HUNT: Try it, and only one person will die here.
GAITON: Well, have fun with your new friends, Captain.
(Gaiton and Tyr leave. Shortly after, Beka is lying on the ground and Hunt is fanning her with a fern leaf and talking to a woman.)
HUNT: She was acting kind of strange, and then she got dizzy, so our friends went back to the base camp to get, you know, some help. So I'm just thinking it's the humidity. Maybe you could take a look at her.
TORI: I'm afraid my expertise is limited to the stars and planets. I'm an astronomer. But Doctor Semel might be able to help.
BEKA: You're a doctor?
SEMEL: Of astrophysics, although I am familiar with basic anatomy.
BEKA: I'll bet you are. It all started with a sharp pain right here.
TORI: Are you out here for the meteorite event too? You know, the falling star?
HUNT: Oh, the falling star. Er, no, we're not here for the meteorites.
TORI: Well, I know you're not this far into the back country for the great jazz and gourmet food.
HUNT: Well, we are adventure tourists from North Sodzee.
TORI; North Sodzee?
HUNT: Yes.
TORI: I'm Tori Layton.
HUNT: I'm Cap, er, Dylan Hunt. Nice to meet you.
TORI: You met Henry. We're from Belden. Belden university. Don't tell me you've never heard of Belden university?
HUNT: Sorry.
SEMEL: I keep telling you we still don't know enough about our own world.
BEKA: Hmm. There's so much we could teach each other.
TORI: You know, our observatory's over that hill. We have water and air conditioning.
HUNT: You know, that's not necessary. Our friends are going to bring
SEMEL: If she stays out in this heat much longer, she might dehydrate.
HUNT: No, she'll be fine.
BEKA: Ahem. He is a doctor.
HUNT: Oh, jeez.
(Meanwhile -)
TYR: It's one point seven kilometres through this brush.
GAITON: Your Captain Hunt. He must be a very great man to command the Andromeda.
TYR: He's worthy. Deserving of respect.
GAITON: Is that why you serve him?
TYR: I don't serve anyone.
GAITON: I must have missed that when you obeyed his order not to kill those humans.
TYR: You've missed a great many things. 
(Also walking along - )
TORI; And no one in your country has ever heard of the alien myth?
HUNT: Why chase a myth when there's still so much to learn about our own world?
TORI: But look up there. Isn't the best way to learn about our world understanding its place in the universe?
(Three moons are visible.)
TORI: I mean, we have no idea whether we're alone or part of something too remarkable and vast to even imagine.
HUNT: Maybe we are alone. You know, we still haven't proven that there's life out there.
TORI; I don't need a mathematician to tell me that the universe is designed for life. What?
HUNT: It's nothing. You remind me of someone.
SEMEL: And that's where Tori and I part company. She's a hopeless romantic, believing this myth that we spring from aliens. I rely on what's known.
BEKA: That we're alone?
SEMEL: That we have each other. That's my sense of hopeless romance.
BEKA: Hmm.
TORI: We're home.

[Command]

HARPER: You know, maybe first contact isn't such a bad idea after all. When it comes time to scoot out from behind this gassy giant, maybe I'll get a little first contact of my own.
TRANCE: If that system weren't locked in a slipstream knot, that planet would be a sideshow in a Nightsider theme casino.
HARPER: Yeah, but if this system weren't locked inside a slipstream knot, it also wouldn't be a Garden of Eden with hot babes, cool toys, and beer.
TRANCE: Then they're really, really primitive.
HARPER: Yep. Ignorance is bliss.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Detecting transit entry three light hours away.
TRANCE: But not for long.

[Observatory]

TORI: Say hello to Rigel two eighty five.
HUNT: Hello, Rigel two eighty five. What is it?
TORI: A star about the size of the sun, only no one's ever laid eyes on it until me.
HUNT: I knew there was something I liked about your eyes.
TORI: Okay, maybe I had a little help from the world's most powerful telescope.
HUNT: Keep looking through your telescope. Who knows what you'll find?
TORI: One day, our telescope may even be able to prove the existence of something we call a black hole.
HUNT: Mmm hmm.
(An older man enters.)
SUTTON: It's just so damned hot I can't get a wink of dead man's sleep tonight.
TORI: Good morning, Amory. We ran into some tourists from North Sodzee. Dylan, this is Amory Sutton, our resident government grouch.
SUTTON: Well, we all have our purposes, dear.
(He pours himself a drink from a bottle in his desk drawer.)
TORI: And that ain't coffee. In about two hours, he's going to be under his desk sleeping like a baby.
(Hunt's bracer, which is strapped to his belt, beeps.)
HUNT: Er. I have to go see how Beka is doing. Excuse me.

[Staff lounge]

(Beka is getting a neck massage.)
SEMEL: I still think you need physical therapy. Under my supervision, of course.
BEKA: Doctor, I'll be under whatever you want.
(They kiss. Hunt enters.)
HUNT: Excuse me. I hope I'm interrupting something.

[Computer room]

(Proper computers, with magnetic tape.)
HUNT: Andromeda sent a burst transmission. The Nietzscheans are in the system.
BEKA: Damn. I was looking forward to my therapy. All right. let's go.
HUNT: We have another problem. Tori saw my bracer.
BEKA: All right, so we lie, or do a neural extraction.
HUNT: I was thinking of something a little more low-tech. You know, like the truth?
BEKA: Okay. I just have to say goodbye to my doctor.
HUNT: Oh, jeez. Five minutes.

[Forest]

GAITON: If you're truly your own man, perhaps you'll entertain a proposal. That is, if you're courageous enough to make some money and defy the kludge.
(Tyr attacks Gaiton.)
TYR: I should snap your neck and be done with you. I am so very sick of you and every Nietzschean like you. Sick of your rancid stink of failure and inferiority. Sick of your souls that have grown so stale.
GAITON: It is only a mask to hide a sweeter purpose.
TYR: Oh, truly? And what is that purpose?
GAITON: I'm a spy for the Drago-Kazov. They sent me to find you, and depending upon how I found you, to give you their simple answer.
TYR: And their answer is?
GAITON: Yes.

[Observatory]

HUNT: We travel faster than the speed of light on something called a slipstream. It's a series of gravity strings connecting entire solar systems. You could even say it holds the universe together. You don't believe me, do you?
TORI: Oh, no, that's my problem. I do believe you.
HUNT: And?
TORI: And I want you to tell me everything. I want you to tell me how a ship the size of seven aircraft carriers can shrink its mass to near zero and ride these cosmic strings. I want you to tell me about the races and species and beings that you've encountered and call your friends. I want you to tell my world so that we can finally really belong to the universe, and people like Doctor Semel will realise that I am not some hopeless kook after all, because I am right.
HUNT: No, no, no. You can't tell anyone, ever.
TORI: I'm sorry
HUNT: Tori, you don't know what's out there, and I don't have seven lifetimes to explain it to you, but the future of your world depends on your keeping this secret. I've trusted you. Now you have to trust me.
TORI: My parents would have been so proud.
HUNT: They will be proud.
(Sutton is eavesdropping.)

[Outside the observatory]

(Sutton makes a field telephone call. Two uniformed men peer nervously inside.)
SUTTON: They're real and they're here. Yes, sir, I understand. Containment by any means necessary. Yes, sir.

[Observatory]

HUNT: What?
TORI: Nothing.
HUNT: Oh, come on. You have to tell me.
TORI; Okay. I just always thought that aliens would be two feet tall and green. What?
HUNT: Maybe I am.
SEMEL: This is what we call a hand-held compact field phone. Now, if you feel dizzy or you need me for any reason, all you have to do is press these seven buttons.
BEKA: And if you're ever up in North Sodzee, look me up.
(Sutton enters with the militia men.)
SUTTON: Governmental intelligence. Nobody's going anywhere. I have a few questions to ask you.
HUNT: I'll see if I can answer them.
SUTTON: Cuff him, please.
HUNT: You'd better back up.
(Beka and Hunt take out the two militia men. Sutton somehow gets handcuffed hugging a roof support.)
BEKA: What do you know? I'm all better.
SUTTON: They won't get away, you know. The militia's already after them, and the other two.

[Forest]

TORI [OC]: Dylan!
HUNT: What?
TORI [OC]: Dylan!
(Tori runs up.)
TORI: You'd better go to your spaceplane. They've already got a lot of people on the way, and they'll kill you to keep this secret.
BEKA: Why should this day be any different?
HUNT: We still have something else to find. Come on, let's go. Spaceplane, huh? That's cute.

[Slip-scout]

(Tyr and Gaiton have found the crashed remains of the slip-scout, including two skeletons.)
GAITON: Oh, to be all-powerful. Travelling slipstream in total confidence, no fear of disaster or detection. Remarkable. Our people created this. The detail, the beauty. It's science and art and poetry unified. Our people created this and yet I can't even recognise myself.
TYR: But there you are. There you are, reflected in the mind of Drago Musevini.
GAITON: How could I have convinced myself? How could I have let them convince me that he was just some rich old man?
TYR: He was a poet, a scholar, a magnificent warrior. He was a living god.
GAITON: What happened to us?
TYR: Time happened to us. Time changed the universe. But, Gaiton, if the ancestors could do that, you and I, we can change the universe again, if we will it. Shall we bury these warrior's remains?
GAITON: Aye, brother. We shall.
(After they have finished, they hear voices. They hide as four militia find their shovels and attack them with pleasure.)
TYR: Gaiton!

[Command]

HARPER: How many Nietzschean vessels?
TRANCE: I can't tell. I've got a faint sensor contact at extreme range.
HARPER: But, at seventy five PSL they should have cleared the gas giant by now. Andromeda, you're sure they're still in the system?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I haven't detected any slipstream events.
HARPER: What about long-range drones?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Searching.
HARPER: Okay. All right, where are they?

[Forest]

HUNT: So much for not hurting anybody.
TORI: What could have caused this much destruction?
BEKA: Oh, I've got a pretty good idea. Speaking of which, still no word from Tyr.
HUNT: He'd better be back at the Maru.
TORI: The Maru?
BEKA: Our spaceplane.
(Beka's bracer beeps.)
BEKA: It's the Andromeda. It's confirmed. Nietzscheans headed to the planet.
TORI: Nietzscheans?
HUNT: The bad guys. They're after the same thing we are.
TORI: So it looks like my parents are going to get to be proud of me after all. I mean, when your spaceplane arrives, you're going to need a local to explain everything. I'm assuming that this threat could destroy our world. And I'm also assuming that you intend to protect us.
HUNT: If only I could.
TORI: No. No, no, no, no. You have to help us. You are the only reason those Nietzscheans are even here.
HUNT: They are here because of something that crashed on your planet over three hundred years ago.
TORI: That's not our fault.
HUNT: It's nobody's fault. Just the way the universe works.
TORI: And we have to die because we happen to be in the way?
HUNT: No, you have to fight to live because of this stupid freak accident. You know, it's like a tornado, a flood, a hurricane.
TORI: We would call that an act of god, but maybe, maybe you can change god's mind.
HUNT: Tori, I'm not the angel you think I am.
BEKA: Tyr just sent a coded transmission. They're at the Maru. We've got to go.
HUNT: Okay. I'm sorry.

[Maru crew area]

GAITON: I have worn so many masks, sometimes I think I have forgotten my real face.
TYR: Perhaps this has reminded you.
GAITON: You're right, Tyr. It has. And I believe it is too valuable to belong to anyone who isn't Nietzschean. It belongs to Drago.
TYR: Go on.
GAITON: There is a rumour that geneticists on Desideratum Drift claim to have verified the existence of the genetic reincarnation of Drago himself. It meant so little to me, until today, when I dared to dream. Surely you've thought the same thing? That so long as we continue to fight against each other, we will go on being a barbaric, stupid people. I know you, Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barbarossa. The Dragans had me befriend you so that you would lead me to your son, Tamerlane. But I have discarded my final mask the mask of their loyal spy. Today, I, I have seen my real face. Both of our faces. If we possess the map inside that probe and have your son at our side, every Nietzschean, Dragan and Sabra-Jaguar, will rally behind us. Together, we will conquer the universe. We will be living gods.
(Tyr shoots Gaiton.)
TYR: Yes, brother. Yes.

[Command]

TRANCE: This is Commonwealth controlled territory. The way I see it, you have three options. One, we destroy you where you sit. Two, we become friends. Or three, you turn around and you leave effective immediately. What is it going to be?
HARPER: No answer. They could have at least asked us to repeat the question.
TRANCE: Andromeda, load offensive missiles, all tubes.
ROMMIE: The Nietzschean cruiser is moving toward a transit point.
HARPER: Trance! Have I ever told you you're my golden love goddess?
TRANCE: Only all the time.
ROMMIE: Check that. It's changing course. It's heading back toward the planet.
TRANCE: It must have detected the probe.

[Maru crew area]

TORI: Your ship, it's too remarkable for words.
HUNT: Well, how about these words? Er, bucket of bolts. I just say that to bug her.
BEKA: Stop calling her that.
HUNT: Oops.
BEKA: Speaking of calling, I can't get a response from Tyr.
HUNT: Excuse me?
BEKA: You think he knows something we don't?
(Comms beep.)
HUNT: We're about to find out.
TRANCE [on monitor]: Dylan, the Nietzschean cruisers are closing in on your location.
BEKA: Great. If we leave now, we're toast.
HUNT: We're not going anywhere. Not without Tyr and that probe. We'll sit tight. You do the same.

[Command]

TORI [on viewscreen]: Sit tight? Until when, Dylan? Until those Nietzscheans start blowing up our cities, demanding this probe that nobody's even heard of?

[Maru crew area]

BEKA: She's right. Dylan, we can't avoid first contact. Any minute now, that planet's radar's going to pick up the Andromeda.
HUNT: Unless they can't.
BEKA: Hit them all with an electromagnetic pulse?
HUNT: That's not a bad idea, but I thought I'd try a little more subtle approach. Trance, aim all exotic matter pulsers at the sun. Fire on my command.
TORI; The sun. Dylan, what are you doing?
HUNT: I'm just trying to change god's mind.

[Command]

TRANCE: Pulsers aimed.
HUNT [on viewscreen]: Fire.
(Particles are blasted from the sun. Sparks fly in the Maru.)
TORI: It sounds like power transponders blowing. What's happening?
HUNT: Don't worry. that'll be fine.
BEKA: Subtle, huh? You set off a solar flare.
HUNT: I guess that wasn't very subtle, was it?

[Command]

HARPER: The Nietzschean ship's been destroyed.
TRANCE: Here's plausible deniability.
HARPER: If anyone ever asks, the solar flare incinerated it. I can live with that.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Satellites, communication devices, all knocked out.
TORI: Everyone on this planet's blind.
HUNT: Everyone except you. Here's your first contact.
(The Andromeda Ascendant flies down to go bow to bow with the Eureka Maru. Hunt notices Tyr.)
HUNT: Where's Gaiton?
TYR: He's gone native.
(Tyr has the slip route mapper in his arms.)
HUNT: Andromeda

[Command]

HUNT [on viewscreen]: Prep for retrieval.
TRANCE: Roger that.

[Maru airlock]

HUNT: Now, remember
TORI: Right. This never happened. What about the government guys?
HUNT: Believe me, they want to keep this secret as much as we do. Goodbye, Tori.
TORI: Take me with you. No one will know. And after everything I've seen, I can't go back. I have too many questions.
HUNT: Yeah, but you have the answer to the most important question. Yes.
TORI: Dylan, when we first met, you said I reminded you of someone. Was it a girlfriend or another ambitious scientist?
HUNT: Both.
TORI: Did you also teach her to put the interests of the Commonwealth ahead of her own career?
HUNT: Speaking of career. For you.
(He hands her a flexi.)
TORI; I'm not familiar with this technology.
HUNT: Get familiar. You just invented it.
(He kisses her.)
HUNT: Now that's what I call first contact.

[Observation deck]

(Hunt enters to find Tyr sitting and pondering.)
HUNT: How's your plant growing?
TYR: Quickly. It seems to have added several new leaves while we were down on that planet.
HUNT: I understand when it flowers it's quite deadly.
TYR: Only to those who would fail to respect it.
HUNT: Someone like Gaiton, for example.
TYR: He was a greedy man. He wanted me to help him ambush you so he could keep the probe for himself. I really had no choice.
HUNT: Yes, you did. He may have had other valuable information about the Nietzscheans.
TYR: Any further information we might have extracted from him would have been nothing but subterfuge, half truths. And, Dylan, really. The universe abounds with ten thousand men like Gaiton.
HUNT: But only one man like you, right? Be careful with that plant, Tyr.

[Hunt's quarters]

HOLO-ROMMIE: According to my analysis, we aren't the first ones to make contact with that probe. A copy was made by someone else.
HUNT: Of course.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Captain, according to reports, the Drago-Kazov have already initiated three first contact missions to establish bases in case of war.
HUNT: There's an old saying. The universe is perfect. Interfere with it at your peril. I think it's better if we wait until it reveals itself to us, and after that, adjust accordingly.

[Tyr's quarters]

(Yes, Tyr made the copy.)
HUNT: Hello, Tyr. I believe it's time for a chat.

<Back to the episode listing

Andromeda and related marks are trademarks of Tribune Company. Copyright 2000 - 2005. The web pages on this site are for educational and entertainment purposes only. All other copyrights property of their respective holders.