"Marshall your forces,
O great Generals.
The cost of victory
exceeds the cost of defeat."
Wars of the Ramavin Frontier
is test firing a gun at a bottle.)
HARPER: What did I tell you guys?
RHADE: A usable weapon. Better than most of what this system has to
(More bottles die.)
HUNT: Well, very accurate and very fast.
HARPER: Yeah, that's because it doesn't rely on expanding gas
propulsion, which is like trying to control an explosion.
RHADE: Where did you get it?
HARPER: Got it from a guy who got it from a guy who got it from another
on one of the outer planets. Clever, huh?
RHADE: I'll stick with what I have.
HARPER: All right. I know it's not pretty, Rhade. It doesn't go with
your pants. But it's not the weapon I'm after here, it's the crystal.
Come on, guys, let's face it. If we're ever going to get out of here,
we need two things. Money and power.
HUNT: I take it this crystal provides the power.
HARPER: Yeah, that's the gold mine right there. Now you just witnessed
a demonstration of how much energy a tiny fraction of that crystal can
hold. Now, extrapolate it to a macroscopic scale. (to Rhade) Think
RHADE: So you can convert the ship to operate on this power source.
HUNT: Let's do it.
HARPER: Great! Now, there's just one catch. The crystal comes from a
mine on Seefra Eight, a place called Cutter's Grove. Owner's a guy
named Cutter. Miners are in hock to him so deep they never get out, and
he doesn't like visitors. However, I hear he's always looking for
muscle heads to help keep his workers in line.
(Hunt and Harper look at Rhade.)
shanty town. The people in overalls all have burns or other scarring on
HUNT: Excuse me, I seem to have gotten lost. I was wondering if you
(The man pushes Hunt away, very forcefully.)
HUNT: Okay, don't ask for directions in this town.
(The man comes after him with a shovel.)
HUNT: What the hell is the matter with you? You know, this isn't
(A crowd gathers, then a healthy man approaches with two bodyguards,
who have respirator masks dangling around their necks.)
HUNT: Okay, now you're pissing me off!
(The healthy man shoots Hunt's attacker with the same style gun as
Harper was demonstrating.)
HUNT: I er, have no idea what that was about.
CUTTER: That's the Surog. They don't need a reason.
HUNT: Well, thank you.
CUTTER: Welcome to Cutter's Grove. I'm Cutter. Now get out.
HUNT: I can see why you don't get a lot of visitors.
CUTTER: We're not looking for visitors.
HUNT: Fine, but I'm just here on business. The name's Dylan Hunt.
CUTTER: Dylan Hunt. You don't say? I recently heard about you.
HUNT: Good or bad?
CUTTER: If you have business here, it's with me.
(A guard is using a whip to sort out the workers.)
RHADE: Keep in line! Move! Eyes down. Eyes down!
(He is masquerading as a guard. Their eyes meet as he walks past.)
RHADE: Keep in line!
GUARD: Pick it up!
HUNT: It doesn't seem like your work force is willing to work.
CUTTER: Dylan Hunt, I hear, is always concerned for other people's
well-being. That is a weakness.
HUNT: They'd be more effective if you treated them well.
CUTTER: I count on them to dig. They count on me for food and a decent
place to live. In return I look after their families. It's a perfect
HUNT: Yes, sounds perfect.
CUTTER: The mines are toxic. But not for the Surog. They're born out
there. Toxins in the quartz don't affect them.
HUNT: Don't effect them, huh? How fortunate for you. Anyway, like I
said, I'm here on business for what you've got right there.
is building a still.)
HARPER: The moonshine's connected to the pressure shunt. The pressure
shunt is connected to the synic lead. The synic lead is connected to
the quartz frame. Ha! Ladies and gentlemen! Okay, maybe that's an
overstatement. Honoured guest, may I present a work of subtlety,
beauty, and grace.
DOYLE: Thank you.
HARPER: The still!
HARPER: Never before has an acuity of genius been given to someone so
capable of delivering. Starting from nothing, transforming it into an
ever-changing, once in a lifetime experience.
DOYLE: Better top the buildup.
HARPER: Moonshine, like old Pappy Harper used to make. The old
fashioned kind, but better. The machine shrewdly extracts an adaptable
brew that aligns itself to any palate via sub molecular taste bud
readers. It's a chameleon of flavour,
irresistible to anyone that tries it.
(Sounds like the premise of the Heart of Gold's Nutrimatic Drink's
DOYLE: So the prices are headed up.
HARPER: Way up! With no end in sight.
(But when he turns the quartz frame on, nothing happens.)
DOYLE: And obviously no beginning.
HARPER: Ha, ha, ha. Laugh it up. Too bad for you I made it so you can't
drink, otherwise you'd be the first to see what I'm talking about. All
right, watch, and be humbled.
(He fiddles around with the contraption tries again. The second time it
(Then it explodes, blackening Harper's face.)
DOYLE: Harper! Harper, are you okay?
HARPER: Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. Ow!
(He removes a piece of crystal from his dirty arm.)
DOYLE: Is it getting infected already?
HARPER: Nah, it's fine. Here. This will kill anything.
(He pours alcohol from a bottle onto the wound, then takes a drink.)
You see, most people in this backwater system are afraid of progress,
but this little baby right here is the wave of the future. That's the
HUNT: Yeah. I take it they're selling pretty well?
CUTTER: It sells itself. So once your neighbour has one, you've got to
have one. How many do you need?
HUNT: I'm not here for the weapons. I want the quartz.
CUTTER: Okay. Well, that's not for sale. I don't need competition,
especially from you.
HUNT: I'm not interested in competing with you. I need it to fix my
CUTTER: Well, I told you it's not for sale, but you can earn it.
HUNT: I'm listening.
CUTTER: I want to build this town into something more than a mining
CUTTER: Law and order. Peacekeeping. Bringing a civilization to this
wild frontier, that's a reality, right?
HUNT: You want me to keep the Surog in line.
CUTTER: That's the deal. Or no deal.
miners bring boxes of quartz in return for bags of presumably food and
other goods. Hunt follows one of the miners.)
HUNT: That's a nice necklace. Hey, hey. Relax. I'm not trying to take
your necklace. I just wanted to make a little conversation.
(The miner walks on, hugging his bundle, and stopping once to look back
at Hunt. Hunt follows at a discreet distance.)
is walking along a darkened corridor, activating the lights as she
TRANCE: Dylan sent her?
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: That is correct.
TRANCE: Just because she hasn't been here before, I don't understand
why you feel weird about it.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: I cannot say I do either. But I do sense an
urgency. She's docked and headed to Command.
TRANCE: On screen.
(They both watch Doyle activating the ship's systems as she gestures.)
TRANCE: Oh boy, there's trouble.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: Yes.
TRANCE: I see what you mean.
ANDROMEDA [on viewscreen]: It's not entirely inappropriate. There's
something moving in me which defies explanation. I've never (pause)
(Command powers down.)
still following the miner, ducking out of sight from time to time. Then
he pulls his forcelance on Rhade, who is also following.)
HUNT: You're losing your touch. I heard you.
RHADE: I'll have to keep that in mind. How did negotiations with Cutter
HUNT: Ah, it's kind of what we expected. Won't sell me quartz but hey,
he offered me a job.
RHADE: I assume you accepted.
HUNT: Only way to get in. What did you find out?
RHADE: Well, Cutter's guards are loyal and very nasty. He pays them
well. And they love keeping Surog in submission. We don't talk and
HUNT: Rhade, there's something more to them.
RHADE: Oh, here comes the crusade.
HUNT: We can't just turn a blind eye.
RHADE: You can't, I can. I'm here for one thing the crystal we need to
power up Andromeda. If the Surog miners can't help us out, then we do
it ourselves and forget about them.
HUNT: I can't do that, now that I've seen the Surog. They deserve a
(Some of Cutter's guards approach.)
HUNT: (sotto) We need a new plan.
RHADE: (sotto) Listen, Dylan, be careful. (normal) Don't leave town
without permission. That's an order.
enters and the systems power up.)
DOYLE: Trance. Dylan thought I should help you work on deciphering the
(Doyle taps a panel and Command powers down, then up again. And down
HOLO-ROMMIE: Welcome to the Andromeda Ascendant. I am
DOYLE: a holographic Artificial Intelligence.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Not so artificial that I fail to recognise the tone of
DOYLE: What tone? All I said was holographic Artificial Intelligence.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Tone meaning attitude. The underlying emotion of sarcasm.
TRANCE: There's work that needs to be done here, guys.
HOLO-ROMMIE: I control all functions on this starship. You may access
me at points which I determine and mediate.
DOYLE: On the other hand, I have a body and am free to walk around.
HOLO-ROMMIE: Then you are also free to leave and not come back.
(The two women try to outstare each other.)
TRANCE: Okay, I'm going to the SEC. You can call me when you're
friends, okay? Okay.
DOYLE: I'm Doyle.
HOLO-ROMMIE: And I am the Andromeda Ascendant.
(The power keeps going on and off.)
DOYLE: We must work this out.
HOLO-ROMMIE: At some point, yes.
stops by the miner he had followed previously.)
HUNT: How you doing? Remember me? My name's Dylan.
(The miner looks at Hunt.)
HUNT: Look, I want to help you. Understand? You don't have to be
Cutter's slaves. I can get all of your people out of here. What's your
HUNT: Zeron. See? I knew you could talk.
(Cutter, Rhade and guards come round the corner.)
CUTTER: Some of you didn't bring in your quota. Two will go back to
work until the crates are filled. That one, and that one.
(The indicated miners are grabbed by the guards. Zeron leaps on the
back of one. Rhade punches him in the face. Zeron rushes forward again
and Cutter shoots him. The miners all attack the guards.)
CUTTER: Shoot them!
(Hunt shoots a gun out of a guard's hand.)
HUNT: Not a good idea.
CUTTER: You work for me, and I decide who lives and who dies.
HUNT: Not today.
CUTTER: It's your choice, Dylan Hunt. The Surog or you.
(Rhade aims his gun at Hunt.)
CUTTER: Well, what will it be? Their lives or yours?
HUNT: Mine. Let them go.
CUTTER: I'm a man of my word. Go!
(The miners run away.)
CUTTER: Get his weapon.
(Hunt holds out both his forcelances to the guard, who gets zapped by
them. The same with the next guard who tries to pick them up.)
HUNT: They're a little bit touchy.
(Rhade uses a piece of cloth to pick them up.)
CUTTER: Put him in lockup.
RHADE: (sotto) Pretty good, huh?
HUNT: I wouldn't go into acting if I were you.
(Rhade opens a manhole cover, and three large spiders skitter away from
HUNT: You've got to be kidding me.
RHADE: That's all there is. Sorry.
(Hunt slides down into the hole, and Rhade closes the cover.)
RHADE: Except for the one with the window.
(Later, Rhade is walking with Cutter.)
CUTTER: I could replicate these.
RHADE: Like the man said, but look don't touch.
CUTTER: It's odd, here I am trying to tame a wilderness, improve lives.
I thought Dylan Hunt was the same.
RHADE: Not everyone understands that to build a strong society the
weakest have to be eliminated.
CUTTER: I want Dylan Hunt dead.
RHADE: One problem. His friends. They'll want to know what happened to
CUTTER: I've had enemies before.
RHADE: Well, from what I've seen, I wouldn't recommend going up against
his friends with combustion weapons.
CUTTER: You have a better idea?
RHADE: If Dylan would take one chance too many, odds might catch up
with him. I don't think anyone would be surprised.
CUTTER: You're suggesting an accident.
RHADE: I'm suggesting be patient.
(As a guard walks by Hunt's manhole, the lid flies open and Hunt knocks
him out. Then he drops the hapless man into the hole and shuts the
HUNT: Now I know why they call it a manhole.
(Later, elsewhere -)
GUARD: Hunt escaped. He's gone.
CUTTER: Assemble a team. Make sure he doesn't beat the odds.
is working on his quartz frame, again, this time in full protective
gear. It is still sparking at him. The wound made by the crystal is
BEKA: Harper! What are you hiding there?
HARPER: Nothing. What are you doing here?
BEKA: What do you mean, what am I doing here? We had a date. You were
supposed to do something about the uneven flux resistance on the Maru.
Preferably before I go careening into one of these damn suns.
HARPER: Right. You still owe me for a silicon realign job.
BEKA: Yes. And you will get your money as soon as I get paid for the
Jabox job. Come on, it's the Maru. Do it for sentimental reasons. Do it
for twenty percent interest.
HARPER: Okay! Now you're talking my language. But my still, Model Two,
comes first. As soon as Dylan returns with what I need, I'm back on the
case. I am going to be beating them away.
BEKA: Right. But until then, you owe me a flux job.
(She grabs his injured arm.)
HARPER: Ah! Ooo, ooo, sensitive skin.
BEKA: So, er, what's with the helmet?
HARPER: Long story.
leaves town and walks through a layer of low lying mist. After a few
steps he starts to cough. He carries on, but gets dizzy and finally
passes out. Later, he wakens to find a woman massaging his throat with
oil. The mist is gone.)
TOLEK: Wait. You need rest.
HUNT: Sorry. I, er, I. Who are you?
TOLEK: I am Tolek. This is Lon. We found you in the caves. There is a
force in you to be trusted, protected. Breathe deeply. It will heal the
damage inside. This oil counters the poison from the quartz. You're
lucky you only breathed it. It would have killed you, but slowly.
LON: Tolek's medicine saved you.
HUNT: I hope I can return the favour.
(A figure in a guard's cape approaches.)
RHADE: Thought you might be in need of some assistance. Should have
known you'd make other arrangements.
HUNT: It's all right, Rhade. Rhade's a friend. This is Lon and Tolek.
They saved my life.
RHADE: A gift.
(Rhade throws Hunt a bundle. His forcelances.)
LON: What's that?
HUNT: That's an equalizer.
(Someone shoots at them.)
HUNT: Down. Duck. You stay here.
GUARD: Circle around. That's it. Move in.
GUARD: Keep firing! There! There on the left! I got him. Watch out.
Shoot. Come on! Come on, move. Argh!
(The fight ends. Hunt goes to inspect the carnage. The last guard
appears, then falls with a gurgle . Lon has used a blowpipe.)
HUNT: That's a nice shot.
TOLEK: Instant death. Contains a special poison. Well done, Lon.
HUNT: So much for superior technology.
TOLEK: This way.
HARPER: Okay, what are the readings on the er. The up and down thing?
BEKA: The vertical?
BEKA: Spiking at plus or minus five.
HARPER: Okay, so, er, magnetic interference. We need more magnetic
BEKA: We have plenty of interference, Harper. That's kind of the
HARPER: Right. Of course. Insulation? We need insulation.
BEKA: Did you sleep enough?
HARPER: Yeah! Yeah. Why?
BEKA: I don't know, you're just not your usual quick and quippy self.
HARPER: Oh, I'm just trying to concentrate, you know? Oh! What are the
readings on the vertical?
BEKA: They're spiking! At plus or minus five, I said. Forget this. I'm
going to go get a roll of insulation.
HARPER: Yeah, yeah, good idea. Take your time.
(Beka leaves, and Harper scratches his arm.)
HARPER: Oh, finally.
(Harper takes off his shirt to reveal that his arm and half his back is
covered with the same marks as the Surog miners.)
You're Surog, all of you here.
RHADE: But you have no skin lesions that I can see, and you can speak.
HUNT: So what happened to the others is from mining the quartz.
TOLEK: Those who work in the mines go through drastic changes. First
the skin, finally the mind. The madness takes each in turn.
RHADE: Sounds like radiation poisoning.
HUNT: Sounds like it's time to rethink working the mines.
TOLEK: Food is scarce, Dylan.
LON: Those who go to the mines are our strongest, our bravest.
RHADE: Have any come back?
TOLEK: The miners die, the children live.
HUNT: Not any more. As of today, everyone lives.
It seems to be, I guess I would say, unavoidable.
DOYLE: I'm sure Andromeda and I will work it out.
TRANCE: And what about me?
DOYLE: How do you mean?
TRANCE: Well, Dylan didn't really send you to help me figure out the
Methus diagram. I don't have a clue what it means, and he knows that. I
used to know. I used to know just about everything, apparently, but I
didn't say much about it, and I don't know why.
DOYLE: So why did he send me?
TRANCE: I think it was to see how Andromeda would react, which goes
back to what we were saying before.
DOYLE: Right. So the only unavoidable conclusion to draw is since I'm
built from Rommie, that I am Rommie but not. And what about you?
TRANCE: Well I don't know. Dylan says he thinks that I'm the problem,
but how am I the problem?
DOYLE: I don't know. And that is a problem.
TRANCE: Yes, we're going to have to think about that one.
DOYLE: Or maybe it will all just come clear, like it does sometimes.
TRANCE: Now that sounds like me. But you're Rommie.
DOYLE: Right. But not.
Tolek, I know that this sacrifice is part of your culture, but change
is also part of life.
RHADE: Sorry to interrupt.
HUNT: Excuse us.
RHADE: Been trying to contact Beka, but the atmosphere here is too
charged. Communication is limited to the surface and low orbit.
HUNT: Well we need the Maru, so do what you can. I'm going to try to
convince the Surog that it's time to leave this planet.
RHADE: Actually I do have an idea.
Make sure all the crystal is loaded onto the StreamFan. I'll take it
out to the factory myself, first light.
(The guard leaves Cutter. Rhade follows him.)
It's going to be hard to convince the entire village to leave. This
life is all they know.
HUNT: We need to get somewhere safe.
TOLEK: I feel safe here with you.
HUNT: I can't stay here forever.
TOLEK: Why not?
(Tolek kisses Hunt.)
HUNT: Look, even if I could stay, it doesn't change the fact that you
have to leave this place. You have to get away from these mines.
TOLEK: I was afraid to think of leaving, but you've convinced me. I can
imagine a future, not just for my people, but for myself.
(They kiss again, then go into a tent. Lon watches them, then looks at
his blowpipe and quartz tipped dart.
Later, Hunt leaves the tent and uses his communicator.)
HUNT: Rhade, check in if you're in range.
(Suddenly there is a dart in his chest. Hunt pulls it out and
collapses. He sees Lon approach, arm raised.)
TOLEK: No! What are you doing?
LON: He wanted to take you away.
TOLEK: He wanted to take us all away, to save us.
He did a shameful act. He tried to kill you. I'm sorry. But you are a
lucky man. You have a force of light in you.
HUNT: I think it's the oil that you put on me that saved my life again.
As for Lon? Oh, he's young. He just wanted to protect you.
The StreamFan, gone.
GUARD: Just before dawn.
CUTTER: Rhade never returned from his mission. He's been tricking me
from the start, he and Dylan Hunt working together. That means they're
still out there somewhere, on my land. Somebody's keeping them alive.
Get the men. Put all the Surog into the mines. Anyone who resists,
dies. We're not coming back until Dylan Hunt is dead.
have to make a living, Rhade, and carting refugees around isn't exactly
RHADE: Come on, a one day job, max. Ferry the people from the surface
of the planet to the Andromeda. Then, they're not your problem any
BEKA: They're already not my problem.
RHADE: You can't just turn a blind eye on this.
BEKA: You're starting to sound just like Dylan. Oh my God, you really
RHADE: It's not intentional, believe me.
BEKA: I know. It's just what always happens. He turns everyone into an
idealistic idiot. Including me. All right. One day.
understand that your traditions honour those who give their lives in
the mines so that their families can live. And I applaud their
devotion. But I won't applaud their sacrifice. Not when there are other
options. You've all become slaves to the mines, even those of you who
stay here. It's time to break those chains. My ship can take all of you
to where there are no mines to destroy your families. Free land, where
you can earn a living without sacrificing your health or sanity. Listen
to me. This is the chance to truly honour your fallen ancestors.
Please, let me help you.
TOLEK: I am going with Dylan. Who else will go?
(A long pause.)
LON: I will go. Dylan Hunt faced death to offer us this chance. I was
death's instrument, and death did not take him. Now, I ask his
forgiveness. I offer him my support. We honour the miners who give
everything so that we can survive. Now it's our turn to risk everything
in a new place, for them!
is itching and scratching.)
RHADE: So Beka told you we're going to Seefra Eight.
HARPER: Yeah. She also told me we're picking up a load of refugees? Not
exactly the cargo I had in mind.
RHADE: What can I tell you. We got to improvise.
(Rhade notices Harper's skin.)
RHADE: What the hell happened to you?
HARPER: Nothing. Just a little mishap I had with the project.
RHADE: Maybe you should take a rest.
HARPER: Maybe you should mind your own business. Trying to work here,
looking over my shoulder. Let's see.
RHADE: Dylan, we have a medical alert here on the Maru.
Only what you can carry. We won't have a lot of time once Cutter spots
my friends landing here.
(Hunt picks up the healing oil.)
TOLEK: We won't need that any more.
HUNT: Yeah, but I have a friend who does. Now we're all done.
TOLEK: Will we be able to take everyone?
HUNT: We won't leave anyone behind who wants to come. My concern is the
miners. We have to convince them in a hurry that it's time to leave,
and I've seen what happens when they get angry.
TOLEK: Every one of them has someone they love here. We'll make them
HUNT: I hope so.
Dylan, we're in orbit above you.
Good. Right on time.
Maybe not. There's a mass of armed men heading right for your position.
have to move. Cutter's on the attack.
(A short time later.)
GUARD: Nothing. We searched everywhere.
CUTTER: No one.
GUARD: No. Not a soul.
CUTTER: It's like they knew we were coming.
Leave it. Just leave it.
TOLEK: There's nothing we can do. We're outnumbered
HUNT: We still have the advantage. They have to find us, and we know
exactly where they are. Go on. We'll catch up with you
later. Beka, new pick up location.
BEKA [OC]: I got it.
I had missile power, I'd fire a couple right into that column of men.
HARPER: If we had missile power, I'd rig us a, a, what do you call it?
A resonance thingamajig. Drop it on what's his name's head. KaBOOM!
RHADE: If I had a hold full of charged quartz, could we have missile
HARPER: You got a hold full?
RHADE: About fifteen crates. Can you use it?
HARPER: Try and stop me!
works on the remains of his quartz power unit, originally intended for
RHADE: Now Cutter will know what it's like to be bullied.
HARPER: Come on, focus. I can do this.
(It still won't work.)
HARPER: PE power conversion on the fly. Any old second hand tech can do
this. Why can't I? Why can't I think straight?
RHADE: It's the crystal, Harper. Move away. Let me finish.
HARPER: Back off, Nietzschean.
RHADE: Harper, you're not well. Move away.
HARPER: Get your hands off of that. That's mine!
(Harper breaks a short plank across Rhade's back, then tries punching
him. Rhade grabs his hand and squeezes.)
(Harper bites Rhade and gets a headbutt in return that knocks him out.)
RHADE: Settle down.
Maru has landed and the Surog are boarding.)
BEKA: We've got lots of room for everyone. Move to the back of the
ship. The very back of the ship.
They all left. The Surog, the miners, they're all gone. The whole town
CUTTER: Where did they go?
and Hunt are last to board.)
CUTTER: Hunt! Why are you doing this? I was making a civilized place
HUNT: Civilized for whom? Look, this place is poisonous. I don't
recommend hanging around.
CUTTER: I made my home here. I staked my claim and I'm not going to let
anybody take that from me.
HUNT: No one's trying to take it from you, believe me. It's all yours.
(Hunt turns away so Cutter draws his gun. Hunt spins and shoots him.)
HUNT: It's your choice. You can stay or you can come along.
(The guards put down their weapons.)
HUNT: Good choice.
(The guards enter the Maru, and she lifts off.)
is tied to the catwalk railing while Hunt rubs the oil onto him.)
HARPER: I'm gonna, I'm gonna crush your your skull like a, like a, like
a what do you call it? I'm gonna
(Harper passes out.)
HUNT: He'll be all right now. We just made it. How are we on weapons?
RHADE: We're there. I'm arming.
HUNT: Target the mines.
HUNT: It's the only way.
RHADE: Locking on.
(Five missiles impact the area of the mines, causing massive
Why do you think the Vedrans created those crystals?
BEKA: Maybe it was their version of banking power. Maybe they thought
they'd need it some day.
BEKA: Or, maybe they were using it as some form of toxic waste
HARPER: That stuff would have made me rich.
RHADE: That stuff would have made you a madman, who, thankfully,
wouldn't have been able to talk.
HARPER: All of you, shut up. You're awfully quiet, boss.
HUNT: Back to square one. No crystals, no power source.
HARPER: No power source, no Andromeda.
BEKA: No Andromeda, no way out of this system.
HUNT: Well, we didn't have a choice. We'll bring her back to life