[Kreel, Banks and the troopers stand to one side. Kyben is held by one trooper. Before them, Serrunite bodies are scattered in a heap. Blake is still fighting the surviving ones. He drop kicks one, backhands another, kicks the first one again and decks a third.]
BANKS: We’re running out of trainees, Commander.
KREEL: We can afford to.
[Blake grabs the second Serrunite and snaps his neck. He returns to fending off each Serrunite and killing the one that sags first. Sorlai is watching from the gantry above. He jumps from it, landing on top of Blake and flooring him. Sorlai grabs the back of Blake’s head and slams it against the floor. Kreel leans forward, interested. Blake manages to roll over, only to be punched in the face twice by Sorlai. He blocks the third blow and hurls Sorlai back but the other Serrunites charge him. He manages to hurl one Serrunite into Sorlai, but another grabs his arm and refuses to let go, holding him in place as the others attack. Blake snatches the sword from the belt of the Serrunite restraining him and kills the three remaining Serrunites, before ramming it backwards into the one behind him. Kreel applauds.]
KREEL: Well done, Blake. Now surrender, or your pitiful companion dies.
[Banks aims his gun at Kyben’s head.]
KREEL: Of course, you can replace a medic on your crew easily. Very well, keep fighting. Banks...
BLAKE: [cutting across him] I surrender.
KREEL: Take off your bracelet.
[Eyes locked on Kreel, Blake does so. As he removes it, he presses the signal button, before throwing it at Kreel’s feet.]
KREEL: How many of the others are here on Serrus?
BLAKE: It’s just us.
KREEL: I don’t believe him. Banks...
BLAKE: It’s just us! Vila is on the Liberator, Soolin and Tarrant are on Tarl!
KREEL: And what about Avon?
KYBEN: Avon’s dead!
BLAKE: She’s telling the truth.
KREEL: You can do better than that.
BLAKE: He is. I swear. He is dead.
[Kreel turns and approaches Blake.]
KREEL: Then you will soon be joining him, won’t you, Blake?
[Sevener flight deck.]
ORAC/GAN: [VO] Alert signal detected. Activating teleport.
[Sevener cargo bay. The teleport bay lights up, and a shimmering sphere of white lines appears and vanishes twice before it dies down.]
[Liberator flight deck. Vila is stuffing a shirt into his tool box.]
ORAC: Attention. Blake has used his emergency communication signal, but teleport is not possible as his bracelet and the one coded for Rela Kyben are not operable.
VILA: So they’re not wearing them?
VILA: What’s happened to them, can you tell?
ORAC: There is a high probability they have been attacked by a hostile agency. In order to defeat Blake, they would have to be talented in combat and many in number.
VILA: Chances of survival?
ORAC: Federation presence on the planet indicates there is a one in three chance of them being taken alive for public execution.
VILA: But a two in three chance of them being hacked to pieces by mutant madmen, right?
ORAC: It would seem so.
VILA: Fine. Nij’s not going to get the moral high ground on me. Zen, set a course for the planet Serrus, speed standard by twelve. Get us going on my order.
ZEN: Confirmed. Course laid in.
[Cathedral. Boorva watches from the lectern as Tarrant and Soolin approach.]
BOORVA: Ah, my friends, there you are.
TARRANT: Lord Boorva...
SOOLIN: Tarrant, don’t!
TARRANT: It’s about your offer to stay on Tarl.
[Their bracelets beep.]
VILA: [VO] Sorry about this.
[They teleport out, leaving Boorva startled.]
[Liberator flight deck.]
VILA: Are they aboard?
ORAC: Of course they are!
VILA: Zen, get us moving. And contact Gan and the Sevener, make sure we don’t crash into them.
ZEN: Confirmed. Moving onto new course now.
VILA: How long to arrival time?
ZEN: Two minutes and counting.
[Tarrant and Soolin enter.]
TARRANT: Vila, what the hell are you up to?
VILA: Blake’s in trouble. So’s Kyben. One last rescue mission, for old time’s sake?
SOOLIN: How long ago were they captured?
VILA: Er, dunno. Orac?
ORAC: Blake triggered the emergency pulse one minute and seven seconds ago.
VILA: Well, normally this is when Avon would tell us what to do.
VILA: All right. Who wants to be leader now?
[Liberator flies through space.]
[Warehouse. Blake lies on the floor. Troopers kneel on his arms and legs and have their guns trained at his head. Banks stands behind the group, holding Kyben with one hand and aiming a gun at Blake with another. Kreel is pacing, hands behind his back. Sorlai is sitting on a crate, rubbing his face.]
KREEL: I first went up against the Liberator before the Intergalactic War, under the command of Supreme Commander Servalan. After that fiasco, I was unjustly demoted, arrested and imprisoned. It was the war that saved me. I was released and helped the battle against the aliens. When Servalan made her coup, I kept my head down and survived the civil wars. But I’ve worked my way back to Space Commander, only for Blake and the Liberator to return.
BLAKE: And what a wonderful job you’ve done. No wonder you’ve been left to rot here.
KREEL: Perhaps I have been abandoned. But this assignment, if it succeeds, if the Rebel Alliance is destroyed, then the Federation will have expanded its outer limits for the first time since the New Calendar began.
BLAKE: You won’t succeed. You never do. You’re incompetent. How many ships did you lose at Freedom City? Then you let us escape with all the missiles from Agro 34. And IMIPAK, you made a real mess of that. The ultimate weapon destroyed, the ESD wiped out. You were given the perfect opportunity to stop us on Demos V. And you not only missed us, you showed the planet you couldn’t stop us from saving our allies from under our very noses. Servalan achieved more in a week than you ever have. No wonder the President sent you out here. A situation that could only be improved – either you succeeded or you got eaten. You’re nothing, Kreel.
KREEL: Oh, I’m not nothing Blake. I’m incredibly important. To you.
BLAKE: You flatter yourself.
KREEL: Do I? I’ve achieved quite a lot in a sense. Your father, the late lamented clone. That mutoid you somehow brainwashed. And thanks to me your friend Jenna is now a severed head at Residence One. It was your petty blood vendettas, your useless emotions about a soldier simply following his orders, that let me set up this trap.
BLAKE: Yes. And thanks to you, I went and destroyed the Mutoid Factories. Thanks to you, the new legislation is tugging the Federation apart from within. Thanks to you I have every intention of destroying you and everything you ever stood for.
[Everyone is now so focussed on Blake and Kreel, Kyben is no longer being held tightly. She gently starts to reach round behind Banks.]
KREEL: But you won’t, Blake. Instead, your capture has allowed me to take control of the Liberator. With that, and your missiles, I can destroy Tarl. The Liberator crew prisoner, access to the Liberator, to Orac, and the border systems defenseless. All in one day’s work. President Anders will realize his mistake in underestimating me.
BLAKE: If you were that efficient, you’d be a danger. You’d be killed before the rest of us.
KREEL: That, Blake, remains to be seen.
SORLAI: Enough of this talk! You have him! Don’t waste words. Take this Leebrayta, and let me feast on this creature that has dared killed my best brood!
KREEL: Out of the mouths of barbarians. Very well, Sorlai. Put on the woman’s bracelet.
KREEL: Just do it, you stinking mutant! And you can feast on the rest of this criminal’s gang!
[Sorlai sniffs the bracelet Kreel hands him, then clips it round his wrist.]
SORLAI: I might do the same to you, Space Commander.
KREEL: You and what army? The one this single criminal just wiped out? Shut up, Sorlai. Blake.
[Kreel crosses over to Blake and holds the bracelet above Blake’s head.]
KREEL: Unless you want Miss Kyben to be shot here, you will contact your ship and tell them to teleport you both up to the Liberator. No tricks or she will lose her other eye.
[Blake scowls, then nods.]
[Kreel holds the bracelet closer to Blake for him to speak. At that moment, Kyben jabs a sharp punch into Banks’ spine. Banks moans, gasps and falls onto the group around Blake. Kreel leaps back with surprise as Kyben snatches a Serrunite blade and charges Kreel, knocking him to the floor and scattering the troopers. Blake, freed, snatches up the bracelet. Sorlai whirls to face Kyben and charges towards her.]
BLAKE: I need teleport now!
[Immediately, Blake and Sorlai vanish as Kyben holds the blade to Kreel’s neck.]
[Space. Sorlai snaps into existence to explode into nothingness. Above it is the Liberator.]
[Liberator teleport room. Vila and Soolin are present. Orac sits on the desk, working. Blake materializes and runs over to the console.]
VILA: Blake, where’s Kyben?
BLAKE: Are the missiles prepared?
ZEN: [VO] Confirmed. Missiles are ready for immediate launch.
SOOLIN: Blake, where is Kyben?
BLAKE: Zen, I want a scan made of the planet’s surface...
VILA: He’s left her to die! [Angry] Hasn’t he?
[He snatches two teleport bracelets from the trolley.]
BLAKE: What?! Of course I haven’t!
SOOLIN: Vila, what are you doing?
VILA: Orac, teleport!
[Blake runs into the bay, but Vila dematerializes. Blake remains in the teleport bay.]
[Warehouse. Vila arrives on the other side of the warehouse. Meanwhile, the troopers surround Kyben, who is crouched over Kreel with the scimitar at his throat.]
KYBEN: If any of you... ANY of you... move. He dies.
KREEL: Stay back. All of you.
KYBEN: Thought so. You’re not going to die for the Federation, are you?
KREEL: Not like this.
KYBEN: You’re better than this, I suppose? You deserve to live?
KREEL: I think so.
KYBEN: And what about Poul?
KYBEN: My son. He would have been seven by now.
KREEL: I didn’t kill him.
KYBEN: No, you just had your men kill him! And Renna... and Senna... and Rak. My Rak. They didn’t harm anyone. They didn’t threaten the Federation, they didn’t threaten anything. But you decided they had to die. So, why EXACTLY do YOU deserve to live, after all the lives you’ve ruined? If you hadn’t killed that mutoid, Blake wouldn’t have destroyed them, and those laws wouldn’t have been introduced. You’re the one who caused all this. All of it. So why do you deserve to live when they didn’t?
KREEL: Because unlike you, Rela Kyben, I matter. You, your career, your alliterative family, are nothing. Kill
me and you die here and now. Release me, you’ll be executed as an example to traitors everywhere. No matter what you do, you aren’t important. I am. And I don’t care at all about your shattered life. Unlike you, I have a purpose that can’t be stripped away by a simple death squad.
[Kyben stares at him, suddenly calm.]
KYBEN: You sad little soldier. You’ve got two eyes, and you can’t see anything, can you? You don’t have anything at all. The Federation couldn’t care less about you. You’re nothing to it. And I’m nothing to it either. But I had a family. I had a life. You don’t. You’ve got nothing.
KREEL: Shut up.
KYBEN: [Not listening] Nothing at all.
KREEL: Shut up! Just shut up!
KYBEN: Is there anything even inside that body?
KREEL: Shut up, you stupid little bitch!
KYBEN: If I cut you, do you bleed?
[The knife at his throat draws blood.]
KREEL: [Terrified] KILL HER!
[There is a volley of gunfire – from a Liberator sidearm. The troopers collapse, crying out in pain as Vila emerges from hiding, wielding his gun.]
[Taking the moment of surprise, Kreel headbutts Kyben and knocks her off him. Banks, who has finally recovered, grabs a knife from a dead Serrunite and flings it at Vila. It buries itself in the thief’s leg and he screams and collapses. Kreel darts forward, snatches up a fallen trooper’s sidearm and aims it at the two rebels. There is blood on his throat.]
KREEL: Restal. Fine. It doesn’t matter if I have to get all of you down here by rota. The Liberator is mine. Banks?
BANKS: [Weak] Sir?
KREEL: Keep an eye on them. Execute them if you think it necessary.
[He reaches out with his free hand and snatches up the bracelet.]
KREEL: Liberator. This is Space Commander Kreel. Can you hear me, Blake?
[Liberator flight deck. Blake, Tarrant and Soolin stand by the pit console.]
BLAKE: I hear you, Kreel.
KREEL: Then you will be pleased to know that I am in a no-lose situation. Even if I don’t get you, the Liberator and the Alliance, I can reduce your manpower by two.
BLAKE: [VO] You might already have done so. Prove they’re still alive.
KREEL: How? Kill them now over the audio link?
[Liberator flight deck]
BLAKE: That won’t be necessary. Let them speak. I want to be sure.
[Warehouse. Kreel jabs the bracelet at Vila.]
KREEL: Go on then, Restal. Talk?
VILA: [Dazed] Oh. Help. Someone. Please. Oh God... I think I’m going to faint...
KREEL: And our friend Kyben.
KYBEN: [rubs head] Blake, Vila’s injured. Very badly...
KREEL: And he’ll get worse. Now, Blake, I want you to land both your ships on Serrus and then have Orac teleport all three of you to my location.
[Liberator flight deck. Blake is calmer.]
BLAKE: That would require us to have a precise locator fix on your signal.
[Warehouse. Kreel is angrier.]
KREEL: Then get one!
[Liberator flight deck]
BLAKE: I have one already, Kreel. I know precisely where you are. Vila? Kyben?
KYBEN: Yes, Blake?
BLAKE: [VO] I’m sorry.
[Liberator flight deck]
BLAKE: Zen, fire the missiles!
SOOLIN: No, Blake, you can’t!
ZEN: Missiles launched.
[Space. Two missiles shoot down from the underside of the Liberator and hurtle towards Serrus.]
- to be continued...