The Test

Original Airdate: 7 Jan, 2005

"If the race goes too swiftly,
victory goes to those
who are willing to fail."

Lambert Krill
Executed
CY 689

[Saloon]

(Hunt is playing cards with a grizzled old timer and a silent younger alien man.)
PRIEUS: No time to waste time, Hunty boy.
HUNT: I'm thinking.
(He shows his cards to Trance.)
TRANCE: Hmm. Beautiful.
HUNT: If you have tears, prepare to shed them. Neutrons over positrons.
(Old Prieus claims the pot.)
HUNT: Hey, hey, hey!
(And displays what looks like five of a kind.)
HUNT: Oh. You said I had beautiful hand.
TRANCE: Well, it just reminded me of the universal constant of change.
HUNT: Well, maybe I didn't explain the concept of gambling clearly enough.
TRANCE: You did. Cyclical random accretions of cards, combined with each player's skill and daring, results in the exchange of money or other things of value. And also, your hand is a winner.
HUNT: Yeah, but not this time.
TRANCE: Obviously.

[Eureka Maru]

VIRGIL [OC]: This is Virgil Vox. Hope in love, joy in music. For all of us who have drifted this far out.
BEKA: Well, he's right about that. I couldn't live without music, especially here on Seefra.
DOYLE: Beka, we're getting an energy reading.
BEKA: Got it. Better not be what I'm hoping it isn't.
(The Route of Ages gateway appears.)
DOYLE: I don't get it. Tremendous energy, but no
BEKA: But no mass, right?
DOYLE: How did you know that?
BEKA: Seen it before. Always means trouble.
(Something streaks out of it, trailing flame and smoke, before the gateway disappears.)
DOYLE: Correction. I get a small mass reading. Intercept course, closing fast.
BEKA: Vectoring.
DOYLE: It's changing course.
BEKA: Is it a missile?
DOYLE: I don't know. Firing.
BEKA: Evading.
DOYLE: Intercept in five, four
(The Maru is struck with a glancing blow, and starts yawing and rolling.)
DOYLE: Beka, we have a visitor. Guided. Some intelligence.
DOYLE: It's almost like it's watching us. Creepy.
(There's a bright light, and Beka remembers her adventures with Flash.)
DOYLE: Are you okay?
BEKA: Yeah. I think so.
(The mystery thing streaks off towards the Seefra system.)

[Saloon]

PRIEUS: You're worse at this than I thought you were. Come on, deal another hand, you big, dumb ox.
HUNT: You know, Prieus, I don't understand why you purposely antagonise people like you do.
PRIEUS: Well, one poke in the eye is worth two in the ribs, Hunty boy.
HUNT: If you're a masochist.
(Comm beep.)
HUNT: Excuse me. I have to take this. Watch my chips. Beka, this better be good. You're interrupting a very big game here. (sotto) Thanks for interrupting. I'm getting my ass kicked.

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: Something's coming your way from deep space.
HUNT [OC]: Yeah, we already heard the weather report.
BEKA: No, not the weather. Something else.

[Saloon]

BEKA [OC]: Courtesy of a timeless path.
HUNT: The Route of Ages. Are you sure?
BEKA [OC]: Well, it's registering little or no mass

[Eureka Maru]

BEKA: And it sucked all of our power there for a second. It has intelligence.

[Saloon]

BEKA [OC]: And, Dylan, it's headed your way.
(Prieus gets up from the table.)

[Eureka Maru]

DOYLE: We've got cargo to move here before the storm makes it impossible, so I'm going to stay here and carry on.
BEKA: I'm going to join you planetside ASAP.

[Saloon]

HUNT: I'll see you when get here. Hunt out.
(Prieus heads for the door, and the storm outside.)
HUNT: Prieus. Prieus!
(The object is burning through the atmosphere.)
HUNT: What are you doing? Get down, get down. Get down!
(The object gets through the doors before they fully close, and hangs in the air for a few moments before punching a hole in the wall and leaving.)
(The rest of the patrons panic and run out. Hunt sees a figure in a long black coat appear as the object vanishes. He runs outside but soon returns. Harper is already patching up the hole. Beka has arrived.)
HUNT: Thanks for the heads up. So, Route of Ages, huh?
BEKA: I don't know. I mean, I thought I. I don't know.
HUNT: Doyle said ultra high energy, small mass.
BEKA: Come on, Dylan, that could be anything. Okay, not anything.
HUNT: There's a stranger in town, and he came in on this storm.
BEKA: Really? The whole universe to choose from, why would someone come here?
HUNT: We did.
BEKA: Not by choice.
HUNT: I'm getting a distinct it was Dylan's fault vibe from you.
BEKA: I wonder why.
HUNT: So do I, Beka. Trance is the one who put you here, after she saved your life.

[Town]

HUNT: Trance, I didn't hear you.
TRANCE: Oh, I know. Sometimes it feels as though my feet never touch the ground. No luck?
HUNT: No luck.
TRANCE: Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
HUNT: Excuse me?
TRANCE: I don't know why I said that.
HUNT: Maybe because there's a stranger in town. Stranger than the usual stranger. I've got to keep looking for this guy.
TRANCE: Hey, Dylan!
HUNT: Huh?
TRANCE: If the stranger used the Route of Ages to get here, maybe we can use it to get out.
HUNT: I was thinking the same, but I want to know why he's here. Of all the Gwaro joints in the universe, why does he pick this one?
TRANCE: Well, I'll give you a reason. It's because you're here.

[Saloon]

(Harper brings two bowls of food to Hunt and Beka.)
HUNT: Thank you.
BEKA: Oh, Harper? If this is the usual roadkill, you can just take it back, okay?
HARPER: Well, pardonnez freaking moi. I'll ask the chef, Beka. I wouldn't want to make you sick.
(Harper sniffs the bowl and leaves with it.)
BEKA: Are you going to eat that?
(Hunt gives her his bowl of food.)
BEKA: So, Dylan, you still think you're going to fix a slip drive with the collection of space junk you find on this planet? Honestly, when are you going to learn to look out for number one?
HUNT: When I'm convinced it won't do to me what it's done to you.
BEKA: Really.
HUNT: Mmm hmm.
BEKA: Let me just remind you that I have a certain history with the Route of Ages.
HUNT: Just you?
BEKA: Yeah, I know, we all do, but I'm talking now about me, Beka, and a certain guy I like to call the Prince of all Evil.
HUNT: I can assure you the Abyss didn't come through. But somehow, someone was in that orb. I saw him, at least for a moment.
BEKA: And did you, er. I had like, feelings of some kind when I first saw the orb. Bad ones. I still feel a little shaky from it.
HUNT: Well, that just gives me one more reason why I want to find this guy.

[Broadcast studio]

VIRGIL [OC]: All storms bring stories, teach lessons.
(His voice is really that of - )
TRANCE 2: In the eye of the storm, there is no way out, no escape.

[Alleyway]

(Beka discovers Harper making a deal.)
HARPER: All right, Prieus, I'm a busy man. Get to it.
PRIEUS: This is your lucky day.
HARPER: Luck is for suckers, Prieus.
PRIEUS: Unless, of course, you get lucky.
(Rhade is nearby, too.)
PRIEUS: Harper, you wouldn't know luck if you saw it.
HARPER: I got eyes, Prieus, and I'm awake.
PRIEUS: You got what it takes to take what I got? Turn us into the most powerful, wealthiest men in Seefra? Do you? Huh?
HARPER: Well, I'd settle for comfortable, in an obscenely rich kind of way, yeah.
PRIEUS: What I have here is the stuff that dreams are made of. Large dreams, Harpie boy. Large indeed.
HARPER: All right, Prieus, save me the pitch. Show me your snake oil.
PRIEUS: Open your hand. Come on, moron, open. Open. Close your fingers.
(Prieus puts a swatch of material into Harper's palm.)
HARPER: Great. Five hundred more of these, we could make a sack big enough to hold your insanity. No thanks.
PRIEUS: Wrong, boy, wrong. Prieus knows. This is what everybody wants, but nobody has. Guess what it is. Go on, guess.
HARPER: Er, tiny magic carpet. An eye patch. er, your skirt.
PRIEUS: Fabric of the universe. Cloth of heaven. Come on. Touch it. With your finger. Touch it.
(Harper presses the piece of cloth, and it turns into liquid.)
HARPER: Water?
PRIEUS: Now he's interested.
(Harper scans it.)
BEKA: Clean water. Prieus, you dirty, lying scum.
HARPER: It's clean. Pure! (drinks it) That is nothing like that radiation rain we get once in a blue moon. I swear that stuff scrubs down to nothing before you can drink it.
PRIEUS: If you say so, boy.
HARPER: All right. All right, you got my interest. Let's make a deal.
PRIEUS: Okey dokey. Back here, same time tomorrow.
HARPER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait. That's some product you got there. Tomorrow? Why not today?
PRIEUS: Patience.
HARPER: Patience, huh? I'll give you patience.
(Harper runs past Hunt.)
HUNT: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Harper!
HARPER: I'd love to chat, Dylan, but I got to run.
HUNT: I'm looking for a stranger. Long black coat.
HARPER: Sort of a tall, short guy, bald with black hair? He went that way. Can you believe this heavy rain? Too bad we can't drink it!
HUNT: Harper!
(Harper runs off. Prieus gasps and slumps to the ground.)
HUNT: Prieus.
PRIEUS: Get them. Get
HUNT: Who did this to you?
PRIEUS: A fellow Paradine from the future. Another time, another place.
HUNT: Wait, wait. Prieus!
(Prieus dies.)
(Rhade, Beka and Harper are watching.)

[Broadcast studio]

VIRGIL/TRANCE 2: Storms bring lessons. They cut like a knife into dreams, into hope, into life.

[Saloon]

(The storm continues, and a meteorite strikes the ground. They lay Prieus out on a table and cover him.)
HUNT: Where the hell is this guy?
BEKA: So, Dylan. I was wondering about, er, when he died. Just before? What did Prieus whisper to you?
HUNT: Hmm. He'd be touched by your interest.
BEKA: Aw, come on, why so cynical? He was a pal. We had history.
HUNT: Last time Prieus hit you up for a drink, you said, get lost, or I'll set your beard on fire.
BEKA: Right. Well, that was, that was a joke between us.
HUNT: He ran away screaming.
BEKA: It's funny stuff.
HUNT: Yeah. Prieus didn't say anything to me, Beka. He was too busy dying.
(Later, Harper brings a lamp to search the corpse.)
HUNT: You missed a pocket.
HARPER: I was just er, just looking for er, his next of kin. You know, it's a very emotional thing. Um by the way, before he kicked it, did he happen to say anything to you? Whisper anything, maybe? Because it kind of looked like he whispered something to you.
HUNT: Can't believe everything you see.
(Beka and Rhade emerge from the shadows.)
HUNT: So, who's going to tell me what Prieus was selling?
HARPER: Er, you know scrimpers, they're
BEKA: Could be anything.
RHADE: Or nothing.
HUNT: Or water. And someone killed him for it.
HARPER: Did he, er, name any names?
BEKA: Why don't you just tell us what he told you, Dylan?
RHADE: And we'll tell you what we know.
HARPER: They'll go first.
HUNT: Yeah, but will they tell me the truth?

[Broadcast studio]

VIRGIL/TRANCE 2: Treachery, betrayal, lies. That's a storm.

[Saloon]

(The mysterious stranger enters.)
HUNT: Let me buy you a drink.
STRANGER: I have a drink.
HUNT: So you do. You're new here.
STRANGER: That interest you?
HUNT: Leaving here interests me.
STRANGER: That can be expensive.
HUNT: Well, name your price. I'll decide what's expensive.
STRANGER: No, in fact, I'll decide. I'm going to be deciding a lot of things before this day is over.

[Broadcast studio]

VIRGIL/TRANCE 2: The storm can hold the stranger. That's where the frolic starts. Where mayhem meets tranquillity. Where hope meets the mirror. Reflections in a storm.

[Saloon]

TRANCE: I'm feeling, I don't know. I don't like it.
HUNT: Tell me.
TRANCE: It's like nothing is going to work out. Like it's all pointless, all of it. It's like, like
HUNT: Despair. You're picking up on my crew's feelings.
TRANCE: You think? But the feelings are, they're boiling, as if something is stirring them up horribly. Beka, Harper, and Rhade are not your crew anymore, Dylan.
HUNT: I think the stranger came here to make that point.
TRANCE: Well, why would he travel all this way to show you what's obvious?
HUNT: If we let him finish what he started, we'll all find out.
TRANCE: He's dangerous, I can tell you that much. In every time, in every future, in every way, I think.
HUNT: Well, maybe it's time to take another gamble. Besides, he travelled the Route of Ages. Trance, this guy knows how to leave.
TRANCE: At what cost? To us? To our friends of so many years?
HUNT: What do you mean, at what cost? If we don't get out of Seefra, our friends will lose themselves altogether.
TRANCE: The old man said something to you before he died, didn't he?
HUNT: There's an old saying. You have to destroy the village to save it.
TRANCE: Oh, that's horrible.
HUNT: I know.
(Another meteorite lands.)
RHADE: The stranger, seen him before?
BEKA: I'd recognise that face.
RHADE: Funny, him arriving on the storm like that. What do you think he wants?
BEKA: I don't know, but I'm getting all kinds of nasty images and feelings since this guy came on the scene.
RHADE: You too, huh?
STRANGER: Who killed Prieus?
RHADE: I think you'd better tell me your name, friend.
STRANGER: I'm not your friend, Telemachus Rhade.
RHADE: You know my name.
STRANGER: And so much more. You smuggled illegal beta locks to the dark quarter. Paid assassin when it's convenient. Cold killer when it's not. You killed Prieus. Maybe.
RHADE: What if I did?
STRANGER: Think of me as your judge, jury, and executioner.
(We fade to black between each set of conversations. The Stranger appears and disappears mysteriously.)
HUNT: If he wanted you dead, you wouldn't be standing.
RHADE: I don't like games.
HUNT: We need him.
RHADE: Why?
HUNT: He can get us out of here.
RHADE: Route of Ages. It's a dream, Dylan, but my eyes are open.
HARPER: This stranger gives me the willies. He's a problem we got to take care of. And if in the process, he should become another tragedy, there would be opportunities.
BEKA: Good plan, Harper. Shoot someone who can disappear any time they want.
HARPER: Ah, the trick is anticipation.
(Harper shoots into the dark.)
STRANGER: Beka Valentine.
(Beka gets her nightmare visions again.)
BEKA: Hey, don't hold back. Give me your best shot.
STRANGER: Trafficked in illegal arms to Second Sun rebels. Plotted to overthrow the tech police. Sold illegal blues to transzoners.
BEKA: What can I say? I've been a bad girl.
HARPER: I'm not afraid of him. I don't feel any threat from him.
TRANCE: But you feel guilty.
HARPER: Guilty? Guilty of what?
TRANCE: You tell me.
HARPER: No, you tell me. My conscience is clear, Trance.
TRANCE: Despair. That is what you feel.
HARPER: I'm going to get some air.
(And walks into the Stranger.)
HARPER: Hey. So, what's the deal?
(Harper briefly relives his Magog encounters.)
STRANGER: No one leaves until I find who killed Prieus.
HUNT: I've been looking for you.
STRANGER: I haven't forgotten you either, Dylan Hunt.
HUNT: I'm flattered. Leave my friends alone.
STRANGER: You insist on calling them friends when they're just a ragged group of individuals. Disintegrating, chaotic, useless.
HUNT: They're just a little lost. Nothing that escaping here won't fix.
STRANGER: If you put such a premium on that, I'll make you a deal.
HUNT: No bargain, I'll bet.
STRANGER: I'll get you what you want. But once I find who murdered Prieus, that person must die.
HUNT: I can live with that.
STRANGER: And you will kill them.
HUNT: Fine, I will be your executioner if you'll be our travel agent.
BEKA: That's the worst deal in town. I can't believe Dylan took him up on it.
HARPER: Dylan gets to escape through the Route of Ages, and all at the price of one of you two.
RHADE: No. Dylan has said time and again, when we leave, we leave together. Or we die together. Besides, none of us killed Prieus. Right?
HARPER: Give me one good reason why any of us would. Never mind.
RHADE: Anyway, I say we take the Stranger out right now.
STRANGER: Try, and you all die.
(Beka, Harper and Rhade all get Flash plus Magog plus Abyss visions.)
BEKA: What is that? It's like my worst fears.
RHADE: Nightmares made real.
HARPER: Maybe we shouldn't, er, so hastily rush into anything.
RHADE: I don't back away from a fight.
BEKA: Yeah? The last time we didn't back away from a fight, we ended up here.
(Trance is playing laying out the cards like a Tarot pack.)
HUNT: You look worried.
TRANCE: They're all coming out upside down.
HUNT: They're cards, Trance. They don't have ups or downs.
TRANCE: Nineteen of moons, upside down. Six of gluons, upside down. This one, this one, and this one. Upside down. The sun.
HUNT: Upside down?
TRANCE: I'd call our chances a definite long shot.
HUNT: We have the chance to put this place behind us. I have to let him play his hand.
TRANCE: This whole place is upside down, Dylan. My advice? Go with your gut.
HUNT: I always do. You make my friends nervous. Do what you came to do, or get out.
STRANGER: If I do, will you pull the trigger? Kill the guilty one?
HUNT: I already agreed to your terms. You just make sure that when it's over, you show us how to get out of Seefra.
STRANGER: Done.
(Another meteorite.)
RHADE: Where've you been? Hiding?
STRANGER: We'll see who's hiding.
RHADE: Let's get on with it. I never had business with the dead guy, so make your case.
STRANGER: Even in death, we all are energy. This is the energy of Prieus.
(The stranger puts a glowing disc on the bar, and a holo-screen appears. Rhade has Prieus by the throat.)
RHADE [on screen]: I thought we had a deal!
PRIEUS [on screen]: I was looking for you.
RHADE [on screen]: Really.
PRIEUS [on screen]: I mean, I looked there and then I looked there. Where were you?
RHADE [on screen]: What you promised. I have the money. Where is it? Where is it!
PRIEUS [on screen]: Er, I, come on.
RHADE [on screen]: Come on, Prieus! Where is it?
(Prieus passes out, and Rhade lets his throat go.)
HARPER: I'm not saying Rhade's guilty. I'm just saying he does have the occasional tendency towards violence. But if he is guilty
BEKA: And Dylan shoots him? Unlikely.
HARPER: Well, whatever Prieus was selling, it's probably valuable. If we find it first, we'd only have to split it two ways.
BEKA: How do I know that you didn't kill Prieus?
HARPER: Same reason I know you didn't. I give you my word.
BEKA: Right.
RHADE [on screen]: But you promised. I have the money. Where is it?
HUNT: I have seen nothing here that proves Rhade killed Prieus.
STRANGER: Are you scared of administering my justice?
HUNT: I'm not convinced it's just.
STRANGER: You've not seen enough.
PRIEUS [on screen]: Come on.
RHADE [on screen]: Where is it?
RHADE: Dylan, you saw it. I didn't kill him.
HUNT: But you cut a deal with him. What was it?
RHADE: It's my business. I didn't kill him is all that matters.
HUNT: Deep in thought?
BEKA: Are you really going to kill whoever killed Prieus?
HUNT: I really am.
BEKA: Why?
HUNT: To save the rest of us.
BEKA: What the hell. No one lives forever, do they. I'm tired of waiting.
STRANGER: All things come to those who wait.
BEKA: I'll save you time. I knew him, had deals with him. I do that with a lot of people. Sometimes I have to threaten. I do what I have to do.
STRANGER: Everyone does what they have to do. It's the choices they make that matter.
BEKA [on screen]: You're late.
PRIEUS [on screen]: Well, you wouldn't believe the day I had. Rush here, rush there, Everybody wants something yesterday.
BEKA [on screen]: You know, I don't really care about your problems. You deliver me what you promised, or next time I'm going to have to use this.
(Beka has drawn a gun on Prieus.)
BEKA: In business you have to bluff.
STRANGER: Like in gambling? Like now?
BEKA: Doesn't prove I killed him.
STRANGER: Maybe it wasn't the last time you saw him.
BEKA: It's the game for you, isn't it? Not so much finding out who killed him, but messing with our heads. Why?
STRANGER: I'm not the one who's playing games, am I?
BEKA: Is that a fact?
STRANGER: We'll leave it there for now.
(Beka fires as the Stranger vanishes.)
HARPER: So if Beka did it
RHADE: Your mind is rotgut.
HARPER: Don't confuse me with my product.
RHADE: Hard to believe Dylan would kill her.
HARPER: To get out of this system? Please, who wouldn't? But if he did, someone, two people even, working as partners, say, could do a lot with an old cargo ship.
RHADE: The Maru.
HARPER: On the house.
RHADE: You and I should make sure
HARPER: If Dylan were to, God forbid.
RHADE: The Maru goes to us.
HARPER: She'd want it that way.
RHADE: After an appropriate period of mourning.
TRANCE: You have to stop this, Dylan. They are sowing the seeds for their own destruction. Who killed Prieus?
HUNT: Let's see.
(He puts a card down.)
TRANCE: Oh, Dylan. This isn't possible.
HUNT: Trey of Nebula, upside down.
TRANCE: You see?
HUNT: Not really, but I'll go with it. What's it mean?
TRANCE: It means you know who killed Prieus. You do, so you already know who's going to die.
HUNT: Yes, Trance. I already do.
(Hunt remembers falling, and seeing himself before he arrived on Seefra. Harper gets his Magog nightmares again.)
STRANGER: Mister Harper, what did Prieus offer you?
HARPER: Nothing. Just the usual space junk. And don't look in here either. All those memories cramped together. What would be the point?
STRANGER: It has its use, Mister Harper.
HARPER: Mister Harper, huh? Sounds like you're reading me a warrant.
STRANGER: A death warrant, but we don't yet know whose name will be on it.
(He holds up the holo-projector.)
HARPER: You don't need that.
PRIEUS [on screen]: Fabric of the universe. Cloth of heaven. Touch it. Touch it with your finger. Come on.
HARPER [on screen]: Water.
STRANGER: The ability to turn solid matter into drinking water. The person who controlled that would be very powerful.
HARPER: Yeah. It was just a little bit of water. A little teardrop. Let's not get hung up on the details. What I did there, my behaviour, it's a long way from being nefarious.
STRANGER: You thought he was going to give it to someone else. That would be a reason to kill.
HARPER: And if reasons were ground for conviction, we'd all be history. But they're not, ergo, you haven't proved I've killed anyone.
STRANGER: We'll leave it at that.
HARPER: I hate him.
RHADE: The technology to turn that cloth into drinkable water, it was supposed to be mine.
BEKA: Lineup begins behind me, pal. And Harper's in it, too.
RHADE: Harper may be dead before too long.
BEKA: Dylan's not killing anyone.
RHADE: Hmm. Dylan has that look in his eyes, A Nietzschean look. He'll do whatever it takes to survive.
BEKA: Well, one thing's for sure. Prieus played us all.
RHADE: I wonder what his connection to the Stranger is?
BEKA: For all we know, the Stranger killed Prieus. Either way, whatever turns matter into clean water is still out there to be found.
RHADE: Two people looking for it will find it quicker than one.
BEKA: But I have the Maru. I'll split it with you, sixty forty.
RHADE: Deal.
STRANGER: I don't know what's worse. Murdering an innocent man, or the three of you, Harper, Valentine, Rhade, plotting to save your own skins at the cost of a friend's life. Maybe none of you deserve to live.
HUNT: That's enough. You know as well as I do who killed Prieus.
STRANGER: I do, yes.
TRANCE: Dylan, don't. Please.
HUNT: I need to know one thing first. Tell me where you came from.
STRANGER: I come from the future.
HUNT: That's what I needed to hear. How's it all turn out? No, don't tell me.
STRANGER: It's time for the final card. Who killed Prieus?
HUNT: I killed him.
BEKA: You?
TRANCE: Rhade, stop him.
STRANGER: That's the way you want it, then?
HUNT: It is the way it is. Now, and in the future.
STRANGER: So be it.
(The Stranger shoots Hunt.)
TRANCE: No! This isn't possible. We have to do something. If it were any one of you, Dylan would have done something. He would have found a way.
STRANGER: His choice had other reasons and objectives.
TRANCE: I don't understand.
STRANGER: Dylan Hunt did. All you need is patience.
TRANCE: Well, I am running out of that, and when I do, not even you will be able to escape it.
RHADE: It's not our fault. It's the Stranger.
BEKA: Yeah? Well, I know I just stood here and watched him kill Dylan. Who else can take the blame for that?
RHADE: We all just stood here. I couldn't move. It was in my mind.
HARPER: It's called saving your own skin. We all did it.
BEKA: It's what we're best at. What we've come to here on Seefra.
HARPER: So what are we going to do about it?
(With one move, all three shoot the Stranger. Outside, the storm stops. Inside, the lights come back on.)
HUNT: Somebody want to help me up?
HARPER: Boss! You're okay.
HUNT: Thank you.
TRANCE: I didn't expect this.
HUNT: Yeah, well, neither did I. I see the Stranger's gone.
BEKA: Er, yeah.
HUNT: Harper, could you check Prieus?
HARPER: Sure thing.
HUNT: Thanks.
BEKA: Do you mind telling us what's going on?
HUNT: We're about to find out.
(Harper turns back the blanket over Prieus, to reveal the Stranger lying there.)
HARPER: Er, guys?
HUNT [memory]: Who did this to you?
PRIEUS [memory]: Fellow Paradine. Fellow Paradine. You, you sent for me. You, from the future. Another time, another place, to help you make them what they were meant to be. The crew. Andromeda's crew. I am the Stranger in each of them.
TRANCE: You sent the Stranger back to this time and place?
HUNT: Apparently. Trance, I had to play this hand all the way out, and er, somehow, in some future, I knew I would need you all more than ever.
BEKA: Does that mean we're getting out of this lovely system any time soon?
RHADE: I have a feeling it's a start.
HUNT: Rhade, that sounded almost optimistic.
RHADE: It's good to have you back, Captain.
HUNT: Captain.
RHADE: Dylan.
HARPER: Hmm. Eek! Now where did he go?
(There is no body on the table, just a glowing cube with a mini Route of Ages gateway inside it.)
TRANCE: So Prieus and the Stranger are the same man?
HUNT: Man. Well, let's just say they were two parts of the same being.
TRANCE; And they left this for us, from the future?
HUNT: Yes. For the future. It's ours together. That's if you all feel we can work together.
HARPER: I'll bet this is what Prieus was using to make water. And if it was, then it's got to be a source of massive power.
RHADE: Harper, could you jury rig that to Andromeda?
HARPER: Does a Nightsider spawn in scum?
BEKA: So, Dylan, you finally got what you've been searching for the whole time we've been here. A way to power the Andromeda.
HUNT: Are you kidding me? I already got what I'm looking for. A team.
(Doyle enters as they all join hands.)
DOYLE: Hey. Storm's over.
HUNT: Doyle.
RHADE: Hey.
BEKA: Hi.
DOYLE: Did I miss anything?
HUNT: No. I'd say you are right on time.
(Doyle adds her hand to everyone else's.)

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