Harper / Delete

Original Airdate: 27 Oct, 2003

"And the Prides shall stand as one,
powerful in the light
and supreme among beings."

The Nietzschean Prophecy
Drago Museveni, CY 8424

[Magellan Melro]

(The Eureka Maru has docked with a wrecked High Guard ship in space.)
TRANCE: This could have been us so many times.
BEKA: It still can be.
HUNT: Let's just get what we came for and get out of here.
BEKA: Assuming what we came for survived.
HUNT: Rommie, rom command of the Magellan Melro.
ROMMIE [OC]: Copy that.
TRANCE: These poor people.

[Command]

(The Magellan crew are still there, but not moving.)
HUNT [OC]: Rommie, are you getting all of this?
ROMMIE: Tracking on Command.

[Magellan Melro]

HUNT: Well, lucky for us, zero radiation, and atmosphere is normal.
BEKA: Never occurred to me there'd be crew left. If you call dead being left.
TRANCE: They're not dead. Not physically. But mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, they're gone.
BEKA: Who the hell did this?
HUNT: Beka, play back security file.
BEKA: Check. Command sequence security file, stop. File reverse to last motion detected.
(Holographic replay.)
HUNT: Nietzscheans. Surprise, surprise. Pause playback. Rommie, identify.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Subject's Nietzschean. Alpha's identity Calleb Voth, Rakhshasa Pride.

[Magellan Melro]

HUNT: Resume playback. Well, this explains why we haven't found the weapon.
(The holographic Nietzscheans reverse out of Command but the crew still lie there.)
TRACE: What explains this?
BEKA: They were like this before the Nietzschean pirates got here.
ROMMIE [OC]: Alert.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Magog craft just entered the sector.

[Magellan Melro]

HUNT: Scout ship. Damn.
(The reverse playback continues with the crew getting up and returning to their stations.)
BEKA: Did you see that energy pulse? That's what did it.
TRANCE: It came from something they were transporting. A device. When they were hit in battle, it must have activated.
HUNT: It activated the weapon we were sent here to get. End playback.

[Command]

ROMMIE: Revise. Magog presence has multiplied.

[Magellan Melro]

HUNT: It's a swarm. Let's get these people back to the Maru, fast. Go, go!

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Andromeda, casting off. When you have the Magog in range, take them out.
BEKA: They're coming on fast. I don't know if we'll be able to make it back in time.
TRANCE: One of the moons off starboard. We can take cover there.
HUNT: Take it.
(Andromeda starts shooting, and the Maru shakes.)
ROMMIE [OC]: Firing on the Magog.
BEKA: Tell me that was the last of them.
HUNT: That was just the first wave. We're not the only ones after that weapon.

[Conference room]

HUNT: The weapon you sent us to recover from the Magellan Melro was stolen. Nietzscheans pirated the wreck before we got there.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: Who are the Nietzscheans?
HUNT: Well, their leader is Calleb Voth. Identifies as an Alpha. Turns out that he's the brother of Malea Voth, the Pride's true Alpha.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: The most powerful member of the Rakhshasa military Pride.
HUNT: Yes, but a lousy sister. She banished her brother and his followers to the primitive side of the planet. That's why he scavenges for a living.
TRI-JEMA [on screen]: It is imperative we get the weapon back.
HUNT: Understood. The sooner the better, before the Magog come back. Oh, and Tri-Jema? I'll need every Commonwealth record that you have on that weapon.
(Later, with his senior officers assembled.)
ROMMIE: It's called File D, a planet range sub-theta radiation generator.
ANDROMEDA [on screen]: It deletes consciousness in organic sentients by destroying neuron-linking functions of the brain, leaving the autonomic system intact. 
HARPER: Planet range, huh? That's huge. Gives me a headache just neuron-linking about it.
HUNT: A device that kills the mind but not the body. No wonder the Magog want it.
BEKA: Yeah, it delivers a protein source that won't fight back.
ROMMIE: It was confiscated from a Magog Drift by the Commonwealth, and studied briefly before the decision was made to relocate it.
TRANCE: That is what the Magellan Melro was doing with it.
ANDROMEDA [on screen]: Affirmative. It was being taken to an uninhabited planet for safe keeping.
BEKA: So, sticking it somewhere was supposed to keep it out of the wrong hands?
ROMMIE: No. Sticking it somewhere was supposed to keep it from inadvertently harming anyone else. Since confiscation, it has been activated two times.
HARPER: Another brilliant Commonwealth plan in action. Sticking it somewhere. So what set it off? Scratch that. Dumb question. Whoever pushes the button doesn't remember.
ROMMIE: Well, we do know the first activation was caused by a sudden sharp motion.
HUNT: The missile hit on the Magellan.
ROMMIE: Yes. The cause for the second activation though, remains a mystery.
HARPER: Show me those records. There's got to be some more info on the second activation somewhere.
TRANCE: A tool so irresistible, yet unstable enough to destroy all those who would wield it. A gift to the Magog from the Abyss.
HARPER: Maybe we should just let them have it, and then let them have it again with a missile. Wait a minute. Here's something. It's an unopened file, but passlocked. Andromeda, run sequence tests on it and let us know when you crack the access code.
HUNT: Okay, people. Now we know what it is, let's go get it.
ANDROMEDA [on screen]: Captain, as requested, I've been monitoring all communication on Carva Rakhshasa, and just now have decoded a message sent from a military compound on the opposite hemisphere to Calleb Voth.
HUNT: Project.
(Malea is holding a young man by the hair.)
HOLO-KALLAH: Father, I've been kidnapped by your sister, Malea. The price of my return is a ransom. Something called File D. Please, Father, give it to her. She says it matters not that we're flesh and blood. She will harm me.
HOLO-MALEA: And you, above anyone, know how good I am at harm, dear brother.
HUNT: Makes you glad to be an only child.

[Eureka Maru]

HARPER: Would it be crass if I said I can't wait to get a look at this thing?
BEKA: Yes.
TRANCE: Right now, it's more important that no one gets a look at us.
HUNT: Agreed.
BEKA: Hey, check this out. Cargo transports approaching Carva Rakhshasa.
HUNT: It's perfect. Let's join the convoy.
ROMMIE: Intersecting raider transport vector.

[Planet surface]

(The Maru lands in a clearing. Nice place, trees, sunshine. Slaves are carrying the cargo from camouflage netted areas.)
GUARD: Keep moving.
HUNT: As sensitive as File D is, they wouldn't have moved it far.
BEKA: My guess is it's just past that salvage there.
HARPER: So far, I only count one guard. Sheesh. Peace of cake.
HUNT: Yeah, they weren't expecting company. Not this soon, anyway.
(Beka records a message into her comms.)
BEKA: Hey, big boy.
(Then throws it.)
BEKA [OC]: Hey, big boy.
(The guard goes to investigate.)
BEKA: Oldest trick in the book.
GUARD 2 [OC]: Leave that. Take the other one. You, move. Come on, move!
(Harper reaches for a gizmo lying on a box.)
HUNT: Harper. Souvenirs later.
GUARD 2 [OC]: Faster. Come on, hurry up.
GUARD 3: Stop right there. Drop it. Drop it.
GUARD 2 [OC]: Faster!
(Hunt throws his forcelance to the man, who gets a nasty electric shock.)
HUNT: Now that's the oldest trick in the book. Now, Mister Harper, did you increase the DNA identification charge in my forcelance?
HARPER: Maybe. Just a little.
HUNT: That's what I thought.
(He takes his forcelance back.)
HUNT: Sorry about that.
(And knocks him out.)
HUNT: Let's go.
BEKA: Drone transport. I think we found it.
HARPER: A drone transport's internal gravity can be zeroed out.
BEKA: Right, motion-cancelling vault.
HUNT: Our disinherited Nietzschean may be poor, but he's no dummy.
HARPER: Well, so much for Plan A. Snatch and run is out of the question. How about a Plan B?
BEKA: We've already got a Plan B. Grab the kidnapped kid, use him as a bargaining chip.
HARPER: You're going to kidnap a kidnapped kid?
BEKA: Yeah.
HARPER: How about a Plan C? I got one. I'm getting a little concerned about File D's spotty activation record. With us this close, if that thing goes off? Let's just say for my twilight years, I saw me living out my days on a Pleasure Drift in a hammock built for three, not winding up as a Magog nursery with a head full of liquid brain-o.
HUNT: We're well aware of the risks, Mister Harper.
HARPER: What if I could get inside, boss? Get my hands on File D, see what makes it tick? Maybe I could deactivate it. Come on, once I'm inside the drone, no one's going to come near me. I'll be as safe as can be. Hell, I'll be even safer than out here.
BEKA: Dream on, Harper. One misstep, and your IQ's my ring size. There's no way we're leaving you here.
HARPER: Yes, you are, because you already thought of this, didn't you? You're just waiting to see if I'd volunteer. Because it's so dangerous, you weren't going to make me go in there unless I was willing, right?
BEKA: This is why we brought him?
HARPER: I knew it. As good as he is at everything I can possibly think of, I can always read his bluff. No offense, boss, but when it comes to cards, you're a lousy player.
HUNT: Well, thank you, but what counts right now is how good of an engineer you are. Mister Harper, don't make me regret this.
HARPER: Look at it this way. If I screw up, you won't be able to. I won't. I swear.
BEKA: Famous last words.
HARPER: Who asked you?
BEKA: Cute comeback, Harper. Just make sure you come back. Alive.
HARPER: Piece of cake.
HUNT: Well, if anything goes wrong, you contact us.
HARPER: Nothing's going to go wrong.
HUNT: I know. We'll draw their fire. Good luck.
(Harper leaves.)
BEKA: After you.
HUNT: After you. I insist.
(Beka and Hunt step out of cover and start shooting.)
GUARDS: Hey! Intruders. Return fire.
(They retreat, punching the guard who is just getting to his feet, and running into the trees.)
BEKA: Well, that's one problem taken care of.
HUNT: Now we have to convince Calleb to hand over File D willingly.
BEKA: And how are we going to do that?
HUNT: Outsmart him?
BEKA: I hate it when we have to outsmart Nietzscheans. It's even more exhausting than beating them up.
HUNT: Yeah, but it's a lot less painful.
BEKA: I think we lost them.
HUNT: I think you're right. Phew, I'm out of shape. Rommie, Trance, prep the Maru. Get ready for take off.
BEKA: So what's next on this outsmart them plan?
HUNT: Well, I'll distract Malea while you re-kidnap the kid.
BEKA: Sounds easy enough.
HUNT: In theory.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: We've got guards after us in slipfighters. What do you want to do?
HUNT: You know what I want to do.
BEKA: So much for a stealthy exit.
HUNT: No, no. This might work to our advantage. Good shooting.
BEKA: Thanks.

[Planet surface]

(Harper walks up to the guard by the drone transport, wearing another guard's slightly too large coat.)
HARPER: I have orders to make sure the atmospheric activator is activating. Fine, don't believe me. Call Kalomar yourself. But if the delay makes this thing megatriangulate, it's not my brain that's going to be erased over it. Better give me your name, just in case.
(The guard steps aside.)
HARPER: Thank you. I won't be long. Megatriangulate. How do I think this stuff up?
(Harper gets inside the transport and starts to work, calling a holographic schematic up from the flexi suspended in a null-gravity holder.)

[Eureka Maru]

ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: I have General Malea Voth. Will you accept a forward?
HUNT: On screen.
MALEA [on monitor]: Captain Dylan Hunt. I thought that was a High Guard ship I saw up there.
HUNT: I'm a little busy right now. Came to talk to your brother about his piracy habit, but we didn't exactly get a warm welcome.
MALEA [on monitor]: Why would you? We haven't been part of the Commonwealth in over three centuries.
HUNT: Yes, that's true, but trade relations with homeworlds that are members are important to you. You buy fuel from Casropei. You sell munitions to Lur and Voltaeo.
MALEA [on monitor]: No need to play the boycott card, Captain. Come and talk to me. I'll tell you all about my brother.
(Transmission ends.)
BEKA: And I thought my family was dysfunctional.
ROMMIE: Dylan. This is Malea Voth's main compound. High res imaging shows a large cell block and a sky port. I used deep probe radar to obtain a floor plan of the stronghold. There is one occupied cell in a vacant wing.
HUNT: She's got him in isolation. Beka, take us in.
(The Maru lands at the sky port.)
HUNT: All right. Get in, grab the kid, and get out. I'll keep Malea distracted as long as I can.
TRANCE: Dylan, be careful.
HUNT: What, me be careful? Trance, I'm only the decoy. You three are the main attraction.
TRANCE: Really? I always wanted to be a star.
HUNT: Good luck.

[Malea's office]

WOMAN: In.
(Malea is using a controller to play holo-fighting against a High Guard officer. She wins, of course.)
MALEA: Goodbye, High Guard. Just doing a little reminiscing.
HUNT: Hmm. Let's see how well you do against the real thing.
(Hunt picks up the other controller and plays his hologram against hers.)
MALEA: I'm surprised at your skill, considering you've never played before.
HUNT: Us kludges are good at a lot of things. It's your Nietzschean arrogance that blinds you to that fact.
MALEA: Stop. Off.
(She was about to lose.)
MALEA: This current mission you're on, this attempt to suppress my brother's piracy, seems rather a banal assignment for an officer of your station. What's the real reason you're here?
HUNT: To distract you while my crew penetrates the security of your compound.
MALEA: It's impossible.
HUNT: I'm just doing my Commonwealth duty.
MALEA: Duty. Now that's a quaint concept. It's odd you still cling to it after your exposure to Tyr Anasazi. You are that Dylan Hunt.
HUNT: Well, Tyr's philosophy made an impression. That it failed to influence was probably very frustrating for him.
MALEA: Frustration isn't Nietzschean. It's too exhausting. But then, you wouldn't know anything about exhaustion, would you?
HUNT: Lady, I am ready when you are.

[Outside Kallah's cell]

ROMMIE: Okay, body heat monitor. That must be how they keep track of the prisoners. That means they'll know if the boy's gone.
BEKA: Great. Now we need a Plan D and a File D. We need a decoy.
ROMMIE: I'll stay.
TRANCE: I should. I can regulate my body temperature to match his.
ROMMIE: You can? Well, then, Dylan wouldn't want you alone, and I have almost no body heat, so the sensors wouldn't register me. That is, if you don't mind getting Kallah out all by yourself.
BEKA: I think I can handle him.

[Kallah's cell]

KALLAH: I do not wish to be disturbed.

[Outside Kallah's cell]

BEKA: What about sprung?
(Kallah runs out and Trance and Rommie go inside. Beka lassoes the running boy, then puts a small button on his neck to knock him out.)
BEKA: Ten seconds. I used to do this in five.

[Kallah's cell]

ROMMIE: Well, I have ninety one point five watts, by my count.
(Trance alters her body heat as Beka carries Kallah over her shoulder.)

[Malea's office]

(The holo-fight has resumed.)
HUNT: Explain to me how Nietzschean loyalty lets you treat your brother this way.
MALEA: We're a complex race. We have complex relationships. Besides, he and his followers have come in useful for target practice.
HUNT: Well, if your guys shoot as well as you play, Calleb has nothing to worry about.
MALEA: Oh, really?
(Holo-Hunt throws Holo-Malea out of the 'arena'.)
HUNT: Really. Nice game.
MALEA: I will find out why you're here. And next time we play, I'll win.
HUNT: Next time we play, it'll be for real.

[Maru crew area]

BEKA: Two ampoules of neural suppressant should keep him asleep till the fat lady sings.
HUNT: Make it three. My chat with Malea Voth was a Nietzschean refresher course.
BEKA: Three it is. So now what? We send Calleb a creepy message of our own? File D, or Junior gets it?
HUNT: He'd know damn well we're not good for a threat like that.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Unlike his loving sister.
HUNT: That's for sure. Well, let's get our special guest back to the Andromeda.
BEKA: Check, and lifting off.
HUNT: Full thrust. Malea's patience will be wearing thin.
BEKA: I wonder how Harper's doing.
HUNT: Let's find out. Mister Harper, do you copy?

[Transport]

HARPER: I'm here, boss.
HUNT [OC]: We're assuming no news is good news?
HARPER: Sorry. I lost track of time. You guys should see this thing. File D is like a news flexi with a supersized power source attached. It's so unimpressively simple and inconspicuous, it's a work of art.
HUNT [OC]: Well, just keep us posted.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Any problems, we'll be back in a hurry.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Intercepting a new message from Malea Voth's compound en route to her brother Calleb.
HUNT: Talk about being impatient. Project.
HOLO-MALEA: Stalling isn't going to make this go away, Calleb. Now, I'm giving you until sunset to deliver the ransom to my compound. If you fail, you'll wish he'd never been born.
BEKA: Sunset? That's nothing. Wait till she finds out her nephew's gone.
HUNT: Rommie and Trance have a solid evac plan. The bigger concern is Calleb. If he gives in to his sister before I get to him, it's all over.
BEKA: Especially for Harper.
HUNT: Damn. Change course. We're heading back to Calleb's side of the planet.
BEKA: Vectoring new trajectory.
HUNT: Andromeda, contact Calleb Voth. Tell him I'm on my way to see him about his son.

[Kallah's cell]

TRANCE: One of the sentries.
GUARD [OC]: Get up, boy. Time to eat.
(Rommie hides under a blanket and imitates Kallah's voice while Trance is out of sight by the door.)
ROMMIE: I said do not wish to be disturbed, you damn mechanised bolt module.
GUARD [OC]: Fine. Starve, then.
TRANCE: I love when you do your impressions.
ROMMIE: (as Trance) We should spend more time together.

[Planet surface]

(Beka drops Hunt off and flies away again. He walks on until he meets -)
BALD GUARD: Dylan Hunt.
HUNT: An escort. How thoughtful.

[Eureka Maru]

HARPER [OC]: Anyone there? Hello? Anyone there?

[Transport]

HARPER: I'm not just talking to myself here.
BEKA [OC]: Go ahead, Harper.

[Eureka Maru]

HARPER [OC]: Just checking in.
BEKA: So are you making any progress?

[Transport]

HARPER: Well, I hit it with a neutron ray. I've got to hand it to whoever thought this thing up. I couldn't have done better myself. File D sends out a homing signal when it's activated.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Hmm. I thought you were there to find out what else makes it go off.

[Transport]

HARPER: I'm getting there, I'm getting there. Why the disrespect?

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Because at this point all we know is it could happen at any second.

[Transport]

HARPER: Thanks for the reminder.

[Planet surface]

(By a stream, with guards keeping lookout.)
CALLEB: So, how is it you could possibly know that my son has been kidnapped?
HUNT: My ship intercepted a ransom transmission from your sister.
CALLEB: Hmm. The all powerful Andromeda Ascendant relegated to eavesdropping. How the mighty have fallen.
HUNT: We came here looking for you, about something you borrowed from the Commonwealth.
CALLEB: File D. I was going to use it to help me reclaim everything my sister stole from me. My cities, my armies, history, culture. Now I'm forced to use it to reclaim the one thing I thought she could not take. My flesh and blood.
HUNT: Well, if you believe that then I've got a planet I'd love to sell you with a three moon view.
CALLEB: Meaning?
HUNT: Well, you're fooling yourself if you think Malea will hold up her end of the deal. Hand over File D, then she'll have it and your son.
CALLEB: No. He's a pawn. Once she has what she wants
HUNT: what she wants is to crush you out of existence, starting with banishment, then starvation, then ending with the death of your progeny.
CALLEB: No Nietzschean would ever spill the blood of their own Pride, not even my dear sister. Imprison him. But kill him? Never.
HUNT: Well, then, maybe you'll be dead to him. Months of brainwashing, of being taught to hate you. His every meal and every breath depending on it? The instinct for survival is strong, especially if you're a Nietzschean.
CALLEB: I don't have a choice!
HUNT: Then I'll give you one.
CALLEB: You don't know my sister.
HUNT: Yes, I do. You have to be smarter than Malea. Don't pay the ransom. You broadcast an offer across the galaxy. A substantial reward for the boy's safe return. You'll have every bounty hunter and mercenary this side of the Nullification Point on top of her like Magog on a Medic Drift.
CALLEB: And where in three galaxies do you propose I find this kind of money?
HUNT: Let me put it this way. The Commonwealth is very serious about getting File D back. You want your son, we want the weapon. It's a deal that'll make everyone happy. Well, except for your sister, of course.
CALLEB: I think we both know what would make me happy is having it all. So what is it that makes you think you can trust me?
HUNT: I don't trust you. But right now it's the only plan I've got.
CALLEB: You have my son. That's why you're here. That's why Malea hasn't contacted me. You came here to trick me, Captain. Very good.
HUNT: Your grief is getting the better of you, Calleb. You don't know what you're talking about.
CALLEB: Where is he? On your ship? I know you have him. I want my son, Captain. You can go. We're done talking for now. And, Captain? Don't forget what it is that I have.

[Kallah's cell]

(Rommie hides as a woman enters and powers up a gun.)
TRANCE: You're not a sentry.
WOMAN: And you are not
(Rommie drops on her.)
TRANCE: I think we're finished here.
ROMMIE: Yeah, I'd say the abort mission parameters have been adequately met.
(They shoot two arriving guards and leave, shooting two more.)
ROMMIE: Dylan, you said to evacuate if we had a problem.

[Planet surface]

ROMMIE [OC]: We've had four.
HUNT: Get to the recon as fast as you can. I'll send Beka.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: I'm on my way. What about you and Harper?
HUNT [OC]: I'm picking him up now.
(Hunt runs through the trees.)
HUNT [OC]: Beka, as soon as you have Rommie and Trance, get back here. Fast.
BEKA: Dylan, your timing is perfect. We're headed back now.
TRANCE: Something's very wrong.

[Planet surface]

(Hunt arrives back at Calleb's storage site. The drone transport has gone.)
HUNT: No, my timing is not perfect.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Come on. I've got the drone in sight, but I'm already at max velocity.
HUNT: Faster.
TRANCE: You're sure that Harper's still inside?
HUNT: He'd have told me if he was leaving his post.
BEKA: Does he know where he is?
ROMMIE: It's doubtful. The drone's motion cancelling capabilities prevent him from sensing its movement, and are likely keeping him protected.
HUNT: The problem is there's nothing inside that drone to keep File D from sensing Harper's movement.
TRANCE: If he finds out he's in orbit and he starts to panic, he could set it off.
BEKA: Oh, my god. How do we keep that from happening?
HUNT: We don't tell him.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Are we to withhold all communication from Harper?
HUNT: No, he'd get suspicious.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: I have been able to open the locked file per Harper's request. In it, File D's additional activation parameters are outlined.
BEKA: The secondary trigger.
HUNT: Give it to me.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: In addition to being activated by a disturbance, File D also has a sensor which registers electrochemical signals from the sinoatrial node. It then synchronises a delayed activation sequence to those signals.
HUNT: Sinoatrial node signals. Heartbeats. File D syncs to a heartbeat.
ROMMIE: Then File D will go off after a predetermined number of beats.
BEKA: Does it say what sets off the countdown?
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Exposure to neutron radiation.
BEKA: Harper used an N-ray on it.
HUNT: Then it's already been triggered.
ROMMIE: Well then, it's a wise move not telling him about the danger he's in, now that his life depends on keeping his heart rate down.
HUNT: Okay, listen up. Once we reestablish communication with Harper, remember, we have to keep him calm and relaxed.

[Transport]

HARPER: Yee-haw! This thing makes my heart go pitty-pat. Boss, this is a sweet marvel of design. Hello? Anyone there?

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: We're on our way, Harper. Why don't you just take it easy.
HARPER [OC]: Take it easy? That's unusual.

[Transport]

HARPER: And nice for a change.
HUNT [OC]: Dylan out.
HARPER: Finally, a little respect for the old Harper. Just had to snuggle up to the universe's most dangerous weapon to get it. Ha!

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Trance, anticipate its course.
TRANCE: Anticipating.
BEKA: This thing's got major acceleration. I know, faster, faster.
TRANCE: Dylan, it appears to be vectoring into orbit.
HUNT: Really.
TRANCE: Yeah.
HUNT: Beka, turn us around. We'll catch it on the flip side.
HARPER [OC]: Hey, guys.

[Transport]

HARPER: It's your friendly but freezing engineer here. It's getting a little cold. I think I'll crack the hatch just a little.

[Eureka Maru]

ALL: No!
HUNT: Don't take any risks. We don't want to blow your cover.

[Transport]

HARPER: I just want to open my cover enough to let in a few rays.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Damn it, Harper, I gave you an order!

[Transport]

HARPER: It was nice while it lasted.

[Eureka Maru]

ROMMIE: Dylan? Incoming message from Calleb.
HUNT: On screen.
CALLEB [on monitor]: Captain, have you been avoiding me? I'm anxious to make arrangements regarding my son.
HUNT: Yeah, why don't you send that drone back my way, and then we'll have a discussion.
CALLEB [on monitor]: No discussions, Captain. We play by my rules. I have a transport ship waiting orders to capture the orbiting drone and bring File D to your beloved capital, Terazed, at which point it will be programmed to run into a bit of turbulence and released.

[Planet surface]

CALLEB: I don't think I need to tell you that anyone within planetary range will be killed. And when I go to retrieve my precious device, I do think that I will occupy your capital. It's not as if anyone will be left to stop me.

[Eureka Maru]

CALLEB [on monitor]: I hope we understand each other, Captain.
(Transmission ends.)
ROMMIE: Dylan, we're being tracked by a Magog scout ship.
HUNT: Harper, we have to talk.
HARPER [OC]: Fifty, fifty one. Okay, I'm back.
BEKA: I'm terrified to ask, but Harper, what were you doing?

[Transport]

HARPER: Push ups.

[Eureka Maru]

ALL: No push ups!

[Transport]

HARPER: Enough with the micromanagement.

[Eureka Maru]

ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: Captain, there is a swarm approaching. Their craft are consistent with the Magog.
HUNT: And just when things were going so well.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: They're on an intercept trajectory.
TRANCE: File D has a homing signal. The Magog have picked it up, and they're following it.
BEKA: Dylan, they're targeting the drone.
HUNT: What, they're going to detonate it?
ROMMIE: It's a suicide mission.
HUNT: You know, Magog are the polar opposite of Nietzscheans. Rommie, open a comm channel with Calleb.

[Planet surface]

CALLEB: If you're done licking your wounds, Captain, I'm ready to make those arrangements.
HUNT [on monitor]: Yeah, make the arrangement to have that drone sent back to me, and then we'll discuss your son's future.
CALLEB: Stupid and stubborn. It's time to admit defeat, Captain. You've lost. I've won.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Well, it really depends on how you define winning. You see, at this moment there are a swarm of Magog targeting the drone.
BEKA: I've got them. They're already over the planet.
HUNT: And with that drone still in orbit, its activation will kill everyone, including you, so I would call that a loss.
CALLEB [on monitor]: Another weak bluff.
HUNT: Check for yourself.
(The bald guard whispers in Calleb's ear.)
HUNT: If you'd like, we could keep File D very safe for you.
ANDROMEDA [on monitor]: The drone is turning around.
HUNT: Excellent.
ROMMIE: The Magog ships are already closing in. It won't get here in time.
HUNT: Then we have to get to it first. Faster.
BEKA: I'll get you faster.

[Transport]

HARPER: A little consideration. Is that too much to ask for? Just a little bit of space so I can do my thing. Would it kill anyone? No. Unlike this, if I can't disconnect the theta pulse generator. The sequence has already started? When did that happen?
(Harper checks his pulse against File D's countdown.)
HUNT [OC]: Mister Harper, things have just gotten a little complicated.
HARPER: You're telling me. But nobody said this was going to be a cakewalk, right, boss?

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: Yeah.
HARPER [OC]: Er, without going into details

[Transport]

HARPER: Whatever it is, I'm sure you'll handle it like you always do. I don't mean to cut you off, boss, but I'm kind of in the middle of something here.

[Eureka Maru]

HUNT: He's figured it out.
BEKA: Dylan, I've got the drone, but it's going too fast. It's going to crash into my cargo bay.
HUNT: Target its two GFTs with missiles. The increase in mass will cut its velocity.
(She does, and the transport drone falls back between the two Magog ships to the Maru.)

[Transport]

HARPER: My heartbeat is like the Divine. It is the air, it is the water. My heartbeat is like the Divine. It is the air, it is the water. My heartbeat is like the Divine.

[Eureka Maru]

(The drone vanishes into the Maru's cargo bay and they veer away.)
HUNT: Good work. All right, Andromeda, take them out.

[Transport drone]

HARPER: It is the water.
(The holographic schematic Harper is working on shrinks into 1s and 0s and back into the flexi. He takes it from its null gravity holder)
HARPER: I got it. I got it. I got it! Whoo-hoo! Trust in the Harper. The Harper is good. Whoo. I did it. I deactivated it. I deactivated it.
(He opens the hatch and steps through.)

[Cargo bay]

(To find the group waiting for him.)
HARPER: What the? This is the Maru.
HUNT: He's fine. Let's get back to the Andromeda.

[Conference room]

HUNT: Well, well, if it isn't the happy brother and sister. You two put up a good fight. You know, there's nothing easy about out-manoeuvring Nietzscheans.
MALEA [on screen]: Flattery won't get you anywhere. I want that weapon.
HUNT: File D is safe and sound.
CALLEB [on screen]: Is that why you've called, Captain? To gloat before leaving the system?
HUNT: Don't be such a poor sport. You got your son back, didn't you? And I didn't call to gloat. I called to give you a warning. There's a greater threat out there. It's bigger than this weapon, it's bigger than the Magog. Now, learn to get along or suffer the consequences.
MALEA [on screen]: Another threat?
CALLEB [on screen]: And what happens if we don't?
HUNT: Then you have no chance of surviving. I just thought I'd let you know because I'm one of the good guys. Hunt out.

[Command]

HARPER: I know it seems like a useless application. Attacking the minds of Congress is like squishing ants with a sledgehammer, but
(Hunt enters.)
HUNT: Mission accomplished. Good work, everyone. Oh, er, what's the status on our guest?
BEKA: He's on is way home, which is more than Calleb deserved. Although he'll have to deal with his lovely sister.
HUNT: Oh, what's the status on the crew of the Magellan Melro?
TRANCE: The crew members are being transported to a research facility, and someday perhaps, there will be a way to revive them.
ROMMIE: And Tri-Jema has sent you a message. She will offer her congratulations in person when you bring in File D.
HUNT: Then I'll have to pass. I've decided to keep File D here on Andromeda where I can keep an eye on it.
HARPER: And protect the Commonwealth Congress. That's smart.
BEKA: Ahem. Yeah, Harper has a theory.
HARPER: It's not a theory, it's fact. Based on perfect commonsense culled from a brilliant mind. Hear me out, boss, but File D's secondary function is to wipe out the Senate Congress.
ROMMIE: Harper has it all figured out.
HARPER: Go ahead, laugh it up. You can't always expect to keep up with your maker. Now stay with me. File D looks like an innocent little news flexi, right? Send one off to plant on an unsuspecting Senator, and why a Senator? Because the Commonwealth Congressional Facility uses neutron ray scans at all the entrances. File D is not only undetectable, but is also activated by a neutron ray. Senator's reading the news, carries it right through the front door, it goes off and nobody knows. It synchs to his heart, just enough beats to let the Chamber fill with the heads of all the Commonwealth member worlds and zap! The Congress is a meat locker.
HUNT: Well, that's not bad, Harper. As far as conspiracy theories go.
HARPER: Thank you.
There's just one more thing we don't get.
BEKA: Yeah, Rommie says you told her not to fire on the Magog when you first knew that they were coming.
HUNT: Correct.
HARPER: Well, what if Calleb hadn't buckled?
HUNT: Well, then the Magog would have flown into File D and detonated it.
BEKA: Killing us all.
HARPER: Sheesh. He's graduated from bluffing with our lives. He's moved on to roulette.
HUNT: Well, I had to switch games. You're the one who said I was lousy at playing cards.
HARPER: Me and my big mouth.

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