Pieces of Eight

Original Airdate: 6 Oct, 2003

The tyrant and the rebel hold the
same creed:
to act is to live.

War Heretics of Auden, CY 9015

[Hunt's quarters]

ANDROMEDA [OC]: Incoming message from Triumvir Tri-Jema.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Captain Hunt. I'll get right to the point. There was a no-confidence vote against me in the Senate.
HUNT: Well, at least they're casting votes, not rocks. What counts most is that the citizens trust in you.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Citizens can lose faith more quickly than anything else, especially when their belief is manipulated, when their opinions are shaped through fear, fear for their future. Then they listen to men with quick fixes. You are headed to the Ganglia Drift to improve and update Andromeda Ascendant's systems and weapons.
HUNT: Yes, we are.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: On Ganglia, there is an Augur, one who sees the future and is never wrong.
HUNT: Never wrong. Well, that's a trick I'd like to know.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: It lives on the Drift, owned by a man who named himself Citizen Eight.
HUNT: Ah, yes. We're dealing with him right now. He's rebuilding all our ships. Rebuilding all of your ships.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Correct. His family, as you know, had ties to the Commonwealth from before the Fall, built the fleet lost at Witchhead. The eighth generation is now in control, and the relationship is not as good as it used to be. Citizen Eight plans to replace me, Dylan. He's behind this move against me.
HUNT: I'll help you in any way I can.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: It is the entire Commonwealth that needs your help. Because if Eight supplants me, his first act as Triumvir will be to replace the Captain of Andromeda Ascendant.
HUNT: Okay. We are well into that first act.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Stop him, Captain Hunt. Nullify the Prescient if you must. It foretold of problems on your ship, the destruction of repair workers. There is already alarm spreading on the Drift concerning your arrival.
HUNT: So people believe what it says, and Eight tells it what to say.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: The Prescient says I am corrupted, for sale. That you are even more so. People are believing it. Thousands are on pilgrimage to Ganglia Drift. The Prescient is due to give a prediction to coincide with the next vote. No doubt it will be against me. If Citizen Eight takes advantage of this next prophecy, Dylan, he could not only ruin us, but hold the entire Commonwealth hostage.
(Transmission ends.)
HUNT: From today on, eight is an unlucky number.

[Officer's Mess]

HARPER: Look at this. Look at it. Look. He calls that pay?
BEKA: There's a war on, Harper. Someone's got to pay for it.
HARPER: Not me. I don't do enough already? Sheesh. In Dylan Hunt don't invest your trust fund.
BEKA: You want unfair, how about three hundred and fifty one vector violations on the Maru. I've got seven days to pay or they revoke my license on all Commonwealth flight corridors.
HARPER: I bet half of these are from before there even was a Commonwealth. And we rebuilt the freaking thing. Wait a minute. Three hundred and fifty one?
BEKA: Like it's news I've got a slight authority problem.
HARPER: Well, you're never going to pay it off on these salaries. Hold on. That looks uncomfortably like a Magog Worldship.
ROMMIE: Agreed. And that's unagreeable.
HARPER: You want unagreeable? Taste these eggs.
BEKA: Hey, speaking of. Why are you of all people eating eggs?
ROMMIE: Once we get to Ganglia Drift my retrofit will fix that.
HARPER: And none too soon, let me tell you. No offence. But this whole ship is going to get some much needed corrections. Finally, new food hydrators so things don't taste like a leucoprine variant. 
ROMMIE: Yeah. And I'll have new missiles, lasers, ship armour, energy weapons.
BEKA: New slipstream controls.
HARPER: And your standard AP transfer line solenoid tune up with handy new miniature GFGs thrown in.
BEKA: Gambling. At the Drift. Gambling. The chance to indulge in lots and lots of everything.
ROMMIE: All the no-noes.
BEKA: Big yes yes. To the no-noes.
HARPER: Yes, yes.

[Corridor]

(Alarms.)
ROMMIE: Our shipment of worker droids from Ganglia has gone berserk. I've isolated the sector hanger where the droid workers are attacking.
BEKA: So they just suddenly started tearing the place apart?
ROMMIE: Ah ha.
BEKA: It's so hard to find good help these days.
ROMMIE: No kidding.

[Outside the hangar]

HARPER: Not to worry. I've got their numbers. Resonance frequencies. I'll fry their circuits with the push of a button.
BEKA: Okay, on three. One, two
(Beka opens the door and Harper presses the button on his gizmo. Nothing.)
BEKA; What are the worker droids doing with weapons?
(Rommie gets a throwing star in the shoulder as they all dive for cover.)
BEKA: Those babies explode.
(She gets the door shut again.)
HARPER: They're emitting a jamming frequency. I've got to get closer.
(The throwing stars begin to explode.)
BEKA; That's bad.
ROMMIE: Take it out, take it out now! Take it out, Harper!
HARPER: I got it.
BEKA: Now or sooner, Harper.
(Harper pulls the star from Rommie's back.)
HARPER: Door!
(Beka opens the hangar door and Harper throws it back in.)
HARPER: Clear! It's going to blow.
BEKA: Nice shooting, Tex.
(Hunt comes running through.)
HUNT: Cover me!
(Hunt grabs a little robot. They look like Number 5, but leaner.)
HUNT: Harper.
(Harper puts his resonance gizmo in the robot's mouth, and Hunt throws it back into the hangar.)
HUNT: Door!
(The door closes. A pause then an explosion off. Rommie collapses into Harper's arms.)
HARPER: I think maybe the electromagnetic pulse was an itsy bitsy bit too strong.
ROMMIE: Rebooting.
HUNT: Beka.
(Beka opens the hangar doors. The robots are sparking and smoking.)
HUNT: Well, whatever you did, Mister Harper, it worked. And by the way, you're in charge of cleanup.
(Hunt gazes at the logo on the transport ship - eight stars and a figure eight.)
HUNT: Citizen Eight.

[Command]

(The Andromeda Ascendant arrives at Ganglia Drift.)
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Corporations, subsidiaries, shell companies, and tax havens owned by Citizen Eight. A web of synergistic power across three galaxies. He inherited much of it, though the new buildup of the Commonwealth fleet hasn't hurt.
HUNT: So, my work's directly responsible for his gains. I guess it gives me the right to undo it if I have to.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: His major earnings, however, come from weapon sales and other enterprise related to the ongoing war. He distances himself from these. The money trail has been difficult to follow.
ROMMIE: Incoming message from Ganglia Drift.
HUNT: He's a step ahead. Pretty good.
ROMMIE: It's an invitation to Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascendant.
HUNT: Accept the invitation, Rommie.

[Corridor]

HARPER: Rommie, Andromeda, once this retrofit is complete, I'm going to spend the rest of my life caring for every new system, re-exploring every nook and cranny, from your stem to your stern. Talk about exciting.
ROMMIE: Really? I thought you'd be more excited to be exploring the Drift and all its iniquities.
HARPER: Well, that too. It is famous for its iniquitousness.
ROMMIE: You know, here there really are nooks and crannies. Dangerous ones, and Dylan wants you to stay out of them.
HARPER: I'm a grown man.
ROMMIE: No, you're not.
HARPER: Am too.
ROMMIE: Are not.
(Two blondes in deep plunge silver catsuits walk towards them. One is taller than the other. The shorter one speaks first.)
RON-DAI: We are looking for Captain Hunt. We are supervising your retrofit.
TI-KI: Ti-Ki is my work designate. I will respond to that name. This is Ron-Dai. We were scheduled to meet your captain on Command deck.
HARPER: Well, you're headed the right way. It's just down the. Er, you know, I'm thinking it's a little bit complicated. Maybe I should show you the way. I'm thinking I should stay on board and oversee the retrofit. Make sure Ron-Dai and Ti-Ki have everything they need. Harper. Seamus Harper. Lieutenant Seamus Harper. Sometimes I double as the engineer. It's a medal for bravery.
ROMMIE: Welcome aboard.
(Rommie drags Harper away from the twin cleavages, and the women walk away.)
ROMMIE: Harper, when are you going to realise that your luck, as you would call it, will never change? Although you've become quite a connoisseur of women walking away from you.

[Drift bazaar]

BEKA: So how long will retrofitting the Andromeda take?
HUNT: You have plenty of time to enjoy the sights.
BEKA: Good. It's been a while since we had some good old fashioned fun.
HUNT: Unfortunately, some of us have to work.
BEKA: You know what? I think I'm going to try my luck.
HUNT: Really?
BEKA: I've got debts to pay.
(Beka leaves.)
HUNT: Looks like it's just you and me.
HARPER: Yeah. Maybe somebody should watch her back, boss. Er, we'll be here when you get out?
HUNT: Fine. Just keep your eyes open.
HARPER: Yes! Boss?
(Harper runs after Beka and Hunt goes to the guards on Eight's office door.)
HUNT: Captain Dylan Hunt, Andromeda Ascendant. He's expecting me. He just doesn't know what's coming.

[Eight's office]

(Eight is holding a dark amber crystal. His office has a large Buddha statue and other oriental objects.)
EIGHT: You know, each one of these is worth more than anything should be. How do you suppose they get that way, huh?
HUNT: Pressure.
EIGHT: Oh, yeah, of course, I know that. Pressure, yeah, yeah. Nature, huh? Oh, but then again, I'm not telling you anything, Dylan, that you don't already know.
HUNT: I know more than you'd like, probably. For instance, I know that you didn't finish what you intended to do on my ship.
EIGHT: Oh, you think I was involved with that? Well, you know, coincidences exist, definitely, but conspiracy? No. Workers who I own evidently go berserk on your ship for reasons that are still unclear. The Prescient said that there would be chaos on the Andromeda. Maybe you should cancel your retrofit.
HUNT: No, I think I'll play this one out.
EIGHT: Well, according to my investigations, a young, unrestrained man on board apparently set off some kind of an electric discharge of some sort. Maybe that's to blame. Anyway. Anyway. Regardless of all that, you're here and you're safe.
HUNT: Sounds like a threat.
EIGHT: A threat? Why, are you threatened? Is Tri-Jema threatened? I'm your biggest fan. I'm the Commonwealth's biggest fan. I love the Commonwealth. Why threatened? What, what, for what possible reason? Threatened.
HUNT: Not much reason ever goes into some people's reasons, Eight, except that they just want what they want, and they're willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get it.
EIGHT: Huh. Well, because nature, in all its grandeur, has created a creature that can tell the future, this makes me a bad guy? I can't control the Prescient. The Prescient tells the future of every person without mistake. Can I do that? Why don't we have the Prescient read your future? You know, Dylan, people listen to it, because they need to believe in something. Nobody forces them, least of all me. Now, let's come see for yourself. Come on, it'll be fun!

[Eight's balcony]

(Looking down on a long queue of people.)
EIGHT: So many people with so many questions, all here for answers.

[Temple]

EIGHT: Well, hello there, Arans. It's nice to see you. Beka Valentine. Seamus Harper.
HARPER: Hey, how did he
EIGHT: It's my business to know.
HARPER: Yeah, it's a business we're interested in.
EIGHT: You are in good hands. High priestess Misabo Ahm, meet Dylan Hunt, Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and his officers. Adieu.
(Eight leaves.)
MISABO: Welcome, and be welcomed. Where you have been, where you are going, meets you here.
HUNT: Why don't one of you two go first?
BEKA: I'll go first.
(Misabo gets a ball on a plate from a wall safe and brings it to Beka.)
MISABO: Enable me through what has gone so I may see, so you may see.
BEKA: So I guess I feed it?
(Beka takes the ball and pushes it through a hole in the wall of a large gas-filled tank. Misabo interprets noises.)
MISABO: This is your past, Beka Valentine. Forgotten by your parents, you fought and searched for recognition. You must prove who you really are. In your foretold fate twelve will do to save the day.
(Next - )
MISABO: This is your past, Seamus Harper. In a world gone wrong, then simply gone, your mind was refuge. Your mind has never seen its worth.
HARPER: Hey, flattery'll get you everywhere.
MISABO: In your foretold fate, two women will reveal themselves to you, make you hold them until they are secure.
HARPER: No. And I know exactly which two. Thank you, thank you.
(And finally -)
MISABO: You were dead. Three hundred years dead. Resurrected.
HUNT: I wasn't dead, dead.
MISABO: We feel for you, Captain. You are in our future as well.
HUNT: Okay.
MISABO: Your foretold fate, Dylan Hunt. You will betray the leaders and the people of the Commonwealth.
HUNT: Excuse me?
(The masses waiting for their fortune to be told hear this and don't like it. They start to crowd in.)
HUNT: You know, I really don't. Er, you know, I think we've overstayed our welcome here. Thank you for my fortune. It's lovely. Er, Beka?
(A man grabs Beka's arms.)
BEKA: Whoa.
HARPER: Ti-Ki and Ron-Dai are my destiny, so obviously, we're getting out of this. Or maybe not.
(Hunt breaks free and gets out his forcelance. A few swipes in quarterstaff mode and the crowd backs off.)
HUNT: All right. I think I just changed our fortune.

[Eight's office]

EIGHT: So, how did it go?
HUNT: An attempt on my crew. That's not smart.
EIGHT: You think that's my fault?
HUNT: You have severely miscalculated.
EIGHT: How? By using every bit of influence I have on this Drift to protect you? You know, the word of the prediction has gotten out. Don't tell me. I know. I'm to blame for that, too. You could have been killed. I have to lie down. I'm sorry.
HUNT: Oh, please.
EIGHT: You know, I think, I think that you're unhappy with your fortune. If the Commonwealth doesn't like the Prescient, it's welcome to buy it. It's for sale. Meanwhile, silencing it will cause a lot more trouble for you than if you let it speak.
HUNT: You're forgetting. I'm after who it's speaking for.

[Command]

TRANCE: There's no higher purpose for this Eight than himself.
HUNT: I know.
TRANCE: It's what he's connected to that alarms me.
HUNT: What's he connected to?
TRANCE: Something unholy is coming, and it does not want us to be there when it arrives. The Prescient is tied to it somehow, perhaps against its will.
HUNT: And you believe the Prescient can tell the future, but we're not part of that future.
TRANCE: Not if Eight has his way, and the dark powers he answers to. Powers that would like to see you dead.

[Somewhere on Andromeda]

(Harper is gazing at two pairs of silver clad hemispheres.)
HARPER: Yes, sir. The Andromeda is really going to hum once this retrofit's complete. On the other hand, you're probably asking yourselves, who designed these AP converters? So subtle, yet so complex in their conceptualization? Who could it possibly be?
TI-KI: I need a spanner.
HARPER: Me, that's who. Say, what exactly are you two doing here? I'm not sure I follow. And believe me, I would know, even though I don't. Okay. A spanner, huh? I have my very own personal pocket. Although a spanner will do just fine. Anyhoo.
TI-KI: If you want to help, you could figure out how to reintegrate the cool air in here.
HARPER: Yeah. I talked to the ship's avatar, the one I designed, and she's working on it. I guess sometimes, the simplest things are the hardest.

[Hunt's quarters]

HUNT: Everyone who gets their fortune told touches the food. It's the one thing in common.
ROMMIE: Investigating the food source has revealed yet another link to Eight. He is directly responsible for procuring it and shipping it to the Temple.
HUNT: Where's the food made?
ROMMIE: That information is proving very difficult to locate.
HUNT: Ah, it's definitely its weakness, then. They're hiding it. All right, for now, let's find out what the food is made of.

[Drift bazaar]

ROMMIE: Here comes Beka.
BEKA: I love it here. Can we stay?
(Rommie examines Beka's handful of bank notes.)
HUNT: I'd like it if you could maybe give us fifteen more minutes?
BEKA: Oh. You want a distraction?
HUNT: Yeah.
BEKA: You got it. Hey.
(She takes back her money and goes over to some aliens by a one-armed bandit machine.)
BEKA: Hey there, boys. How you doing? Who wants to play smik-spank? Huh? Who's in, who's out? I don't got all day. Huh? What about you? How much you got there?
GAMBLER: Just throw it down.
BEKA: Ten thousand?
GAMBLER: Yeah.
BEKA: Why don't we double it?
GAMBLER: Yeah.
BEKA: You don't think so? You don't think I can do it? My fellow aliens, it's time to put your money where your eating cavities are. Lay it down.
(One of Temple guards come over to join in the bets.)
GAMBLER: You can do it in ten seconds? Twenty thousand says you can't.
BEKA: Count it down, cowboy.
GAMBLER: Three, two, one.
(Beka puts her left hand on the glass table, fingers spread, then fires her gun rather than using a knife close in between them.)
BEKA: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
HUNT: Come on, buddy.
BEKA: Oh. Oh, wait. I will bet you this gun against that necklace I can steam-clean every one's clothes in here before you get a chance to take it off. Yeah?
GAMBLER: Yeah.
(Beka fires a projectile which ricochets around until it finally hits a steam pipe.)
HUNT: And there goes the guard. Thank you, Beka.
ROMMIE: Now?
HUNT: Oh, yeah.
ALIEN: How many ricochets was that?
GAMBLER: Twelve. Twelve ricochets.
BEKA: Twelve will do to save the day.

[Temple]

HUNT: All right, let's hurry before the guard comes back. It's over here.
(Rommie touches the control and the food safe opens. Hunt takes one of the balls.)
HUNT: I love how you do that.
(The guards walk back in. Hunt tosses the ball to one of them.)
HUNT: Here you go.
(They knock them out and he catches it again.)
HUNT: Ah, thank you.
ROMMIE; You done?
HUNT: Er, yeah.

[Drift bazaar]

HUNT: All right, let's see what's for dinner.

[Command]

TRANCE: Please be careful.

[Drift bazaar]

ROMMIE: I've examined the Prescient's food. It's micro-folded layers of brain tissue, rich with neural chains of g-cells and enteric neurotransmitters.
HUNT: That's something you could grow in replication vats.
ROMMIE: Yes. Glabrous pads in an organic's hands excrete neurons with electrochemical information. There's a piezoelectric charge between the layers, so when an organic touches the food, the energy level jumps. Neural chains relayed by a-beta and delta fibres in the food are then digested and decoded by the Prescient.
HUNT: So to get your fortune told, you feed the alien. To feed the alien, you touch the food, and your strongest emotions and thoughts are transferred to the food.
ROMMIE: It's very convincing.
HUNT: Hmm. And if it knows your secrets, you would believe anything that it says. But somehow Eight is influencing the Prescient. All right, we have to get back to that temple.
ROMMIE: But Dylan, you're not a very popular person down here.
HUNT: Yeah, I know. I feel like a politician.

[Harper's quarters]

(Ron-Dai and Ti-Ki are caressing Harper.)
HARPER: Ladies, ladies, please. There's enough Harper to go around for everyone.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Harper!
(Ron-Dai and Ti-Ki vanish in smoke and Harper grabs his blanket.)
HOLO-ROMMIE: Are you all right?
HARPER: Yeah. Yeah, I guess, if you don't count the total eclipse of my entire life.
HOLO-ROMMIE: What life?
HARPER: Ha.
HOLO-ROMMIE: I found something. Meet me downtown.

[Virtual reality]

HARPER: Greetings, O, Mistress of Material Management. A program code.
ANDROMEDA: Hmm.
(She throws the cube into the virtual air and it breaks into many cubes.)
HARPER: Whoa. Ultra-high density. Ultra-ultra-high density.
ANDROMEDA: I've contained them in a matrix. Otherwise, they'd be travelling to their destinations.
HARPER: Which are?
ANDROMEDA: Every system and sub-system in me.
HARPER: I'm jealous. A slave driver, huh?
ANDROMEDA: Quite a sophisticated one. I'm proud that I found it. I suspect one or more of the workers on board.
HARPER: No. Not Ron-Dai. Not Ti-Ki either?
ANDROMEDA: Harper, why don't you find yourself a nice girlfriend?
HARPER: I tried building one, but she doesn't want me. And because, yes, the universe is big, but finding one Mrs Harper, let alone two
ANDROMEDA: Accessing Harper quote archive. If you're a bad hunter, the woods are always empty.
HARPER: That archive is private.
ANDROMEDA: Not so much.

[Temple]

MISABO: You, Dylan Hunt, are mysterious in ways we have not seen.
HUNT: Really. Well, how can that be? I thought you knew everything.
MISABO: We knew you would come back.
HUNT: Well, then you know why I'm here, don't you? I need to know more about you and the Prescient. Where did you come from?
MISABO: We came from the light. It's a place that no longer exists.
HUNT: No longer exists. This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the Abyss or the Magog, now, would it?
MISABO: They go by many names. We escaped death only to be captured by Nietzscheans. We were passed from hand to hand, planet to planet. At times it was all we could do to keep the darkness at bay. We ended here.
HUNT: I'm sorry.
MISABO: My people valued truth above all things. The pure motivation. Bonded pairs were bred for truth. Together, we see for a lifetime.
(The gas clears to reveal the Prescient, a creature of light.)
HUNT: It's beautiful.
MISABO: And true.
HUNT: So the two of you together, you knew when people were lying.
MISABO: Bonded pairs kept our society free from many ills. The future held few lies and fewer disputes. He says when bad things came, they came unexpectedly from the sky.
HUNT: So you could read everybody else's future, but not your own.
MISABO: We also knew you would understand. We ask you now, Captain Hunt. Where do we find warmth in a cold universe?
HUNT: Well, if you don't know the answer, then how would I? I guess, I guess that's why we have hope.
MISABO: The Commonwealth brings this for you.
HUNT: Yes. Yes, it does. Not all of the universe is dark.
MISABO: We are not free, free to join or be citizens or share. We have been made a commodity. Our skill, it has become grotesque.
HUNT: I'll help you.
MISABO: You cannot. I can tell you of another prediction. The Prescient has foretold that it will be the last thing Eight ever sees. We are linked with him forever. No escape.
HUNT: I need to ask you for a favour.

[Eight's office]

ROMMIE: Misabo's codes are working. And we're in Eight's office. I'm detecting a data port in the bookshelf. Here it is. Accessing.
HUNT: Hurry up, Rommie.
ROMMIE: The Prescient's food is from the Sig Delmond system, fifth planet deep in an eighteen planet system.
EIGHT: Captain Hunt!
(Alone a short time later.)
EIGHT: Would this be an ideal time for me to offer you a new allegiance? To something that will last, unlike the Commonwealth.
HUNT: I have a better idea. I'm going to find the Prescient's food source and destroy it. There will be no more predictions.
EIGHT: Snake. Hostility against a member planet? Congress will never give permission.
HUNT: I'd never ask.
EIGHT: You don't seem to understand what's going on here, Dylan. I'm offering you a position beside me.
HUNT: An allegiance, you said.
EIGHT: Well, it's not like you have a whole bunch of choices, do you? You're in quite a spot. Many on this Drift want you dead.
HUNT: I'm managing.
EIGHT: All right, let me put it this way. Don't join me, and your time here is up.
HUNT: A bit of advice, Eight. Never threaten a man who could cut you in two.
EIGHT: You can't touch me. I'm too important to the Commonwealth. I'm rebuilding all their ships. One of them is yours. There's no one else who can do that as quickly, and well, and cheaply. Across these three galaxies, I am essential, and you're going to stop me? It is your duty to protect me.
HUNT: You know nothing about duty.
EIGHT: I know this. It is the first duty of a person in power to stay in power. You know how I do that, Dylan? Among the many things that I manufacture is consent. The Prescient helps me do that, because it is its nature. You can't stop that, and you can't stop the way people will support it. Captain, history is made at night. The question is, are you going to join the real power of those who will make it?
HUNT: I make history in the light. Here's a future for you, Eight. Next time we meet, it'll be the last.

[Control alcove]

HARPER: This thing is the nastiest, scariest, absolutely coolest bit of programming I have ever seen, next to, of course, my own work.
ROMMIE: It's isolated. It should be removed.
(Ron-Dai and Ti-Ki walk past.)
HARPER: I can't believe those two did this. That is so hot. So, what do we do? What did the boss say?
ROMMIE: Leave it.
HARPER: Leave it? Leave a slave driver?
ROMMIE: Do not touch that device. His words.
HARPER: Well, I mean, he has a plan, right? We're not just going to leave it, leave it.

[Eight's office]

(An evil red wormhole opens and a voice gargles at Eight.)
EIGHT: Dylan Hunt will not leave this Drift alive.

[Command]

HUNT: Prepare to cast off.
TI-KI: Your systems are not fully functional.
HUNT: Escort these women to the brig. Hold them, and make sure they're secure. Beka, plan a course for Sig Delmond. We'll destroy the Prescient's food source and let the future fend for itself.
(The Andromeda undocks from the Drift.)
BEKA: Approaching slipstream point.
ANDROMEDA [OC]: Eight has launched transport ships, and they are following us.
ROMMIE: We're being hailed from the Drift.
HUNT: On screen.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: Leaving? Really?
HUNT: I'm surprised. I didn't expect you would talk before you fight.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: Captain Hunt, if you leave, I will make a case against you for treason.
HUNT: Yeah, right. I'm the traitor. I work against the Commonwealth. And since that is true, load offensive missile tubes one through forty.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: Captain, I'm warning you.
HUNT: Hunt out.
TRANCE: Dylan, a complication. His ships are not transports. They are marking us for weapons fire.
HUNT: Brace for impact. Fire defensive missiles, tubes forty one through sixty. Load AP cannons and close!
TRANCE: No response.
ROMMIE: Automated defences are losing power. The slave driver's been activated.
BEKA: Slipstream drive is off-focus. Rommie, you said you had that slave program under control.
ROMMIE: There must've been another one I missed.
(Rommie slumps over her panel. Eight is watching all this on a holo-screen on his desk.)
TRANCE: Dylan.
BEKA: And we're dead in space. No control over any systems.
TRANCE: Dylan, you have to get Rommie back online.
HUNT: Eight has us backed into a corner. The next move is up to him.
BEKA: Dylan, we better start throwing stones, because that's all we've got left.
TRANCE: Incoming message from the Ganglia Drift.
HUNT: Put it up. You sabotaged my ship.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: You forced my hand, Captain. I tried to explain it to you, but you wouldn't listen. You still can save yourself and your crew. The Commonwealth will not last. Forces beyond it will change the course of all consciousness.
HUNT: It's a very public move for someone who likes to make history at night.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: I saw an opening. I, now I control the fleet, I control the Commonwealth.
HUNT: I hope you don't mind. We've been broadcasting your comments all open Commonwealth channels. Now, Citizen Eight, here's my definition of history. Rommie, full battle blade extension.
ROMMIE: Blades extended.
EIGHT [on viewscreen]: No, wait.
HUNT: Open fire. And so much for Eight's ships. Prep my slipfighter.

[Temple]

MISABO: We have told you all that we can tell you. There is nothing else.
EIGHT: You haven't told me
HUNT: Eight!
EIGHT: Captain. Captain, Captain, Captain. You, you've made things very difficult for me, I'll admit that, but setbacks are just part of a long life.
HUNT: You're under arrest for conspiracy and sabotage against the Commonwealth.
EIGHT: Arrest? I don't believe that anybody told me that you have power over me or over us. No.
(A small baton in Eight's cummerbund turns out to be a weapon, and he shoots Hunt's forcelance out of his hand.)
EIGHT: I am a salesman! A genius at that, and you know what I found? I found that the best product, after all is said and done, is truth.
HUNT: You sell lies. You take advantage of people's hopes and dreams, and that's why they believe you.
EIGHT: People believe, Dylan, because they don't know any better, just like you. You are only as good as the universe allows you to be.
(Eight turns to look at the Prescient. Hunt rolls and gets to his forcelance.)
HUNT: Eight!
(And shoots him. The Prescient reveals itself to Eight.)
HUNT: Luckily, I only have to be better than you.
EIGHT: Two plus two plus.
(And dissolves into black goo.)
HUNT: The last thing you'll ever see. You're free now.
MISABO: This is all we ever wanted, was to have our own future.
HUNT: And now you shall have it. A Commonwealth ship will take you.

[Machine shop]

(The Andromeda enters slipstream. Harper is trimming his eyebrows. He turns on a recording.)
HARPER [OC]: Look at you. Look how good you look, ha? Ladies, the tiger is on the loose. Seamus Zelazny
(He turns it off as Beka enters.)
HARPER: Seamus Zelazny Harper and slipstream core, all dressed up and ready to go.
BEKA: Big date with Ron-Dai and Ti-Ki?
HARPER: Yeah? How do I look for the twin mysteries of love?
BEKA: Right. Well, maybe they'll let them have pen pals in prison. That would be sweet.
HARPER: What?
BEKA: Oh, didn't you hear? They were arrested for sabotage. I believe Dylan said something like, hold them. Make sure they're secure. Sound familiar?
(Beka leaves.)
HARPER: My future. My future.

[Hunt's quarters]

TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Eight had a hand in every corner of the Commonwealth. It won't be easy to unravel his empire.
HUNT: Yes, but in the long run, his industries will benefit us, not our enemies.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Captain Hunt. Dylan. The Commonwealth and I owe you a debt of gratitude.
HUNT: You owe me nothing, Tri-Jema. All my accomplishments I owe to the Commonwealth.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: This is the reason you are an inspiration to so many in these difficult times.
HUNT: Well, thank you, I'm flattered. But you know me. I prefer to stay out of the spotlight.

[Trance's quarters]

(On the Maru.)
HUNT: Hey, there you are. How's our leafy passenger?
TRANCE: Like me, happy to be away from Eight.
HUNT: Well, he was a fool. He saw power as solitary.
TRANCE: Power has to be shared. That is the key to survival. I see many possible futures, and few things are certain, but some are. Dylan, I know you are chosen. You are the one.
HUNT: The one. I don't know what that means.
TRANCE: Give it some time. Ah, I also know that in the future, you will betray the Commonwealth, and I do not know how or why or what will happen, but you will.
HUNT: Really. Well, if I do betray the Commonwealth, I'm sure I'll have a damn good reason.
TRANCE: Dylan, I'm being serious. You do not know what's coming.
HUNT: Well, Trance, life wouldn't mean much without surprises, now would it?

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