Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FFS, Gabriel Chase - November 07

That time again, sport's fans...

16 November 2007; written by Stephen Moffatt; BBC Wales
So far so good...

A second cameo specially produced for the Children in Need telethon (third if you count The Five Doctors),
Fourth if you count Pudsey Cutaway, but the Discerning Fan clearly missed that...

featuring the latest actor to assume the role meeting one from the original series.
Surely the first, since the others were all part of the original series? Honestly, GC, get your bigotry right!

David Tennant played his part very tongue-in-cheek, resembling at times an adult Harry Potter (or a slimmed-down Joe Pasquale)
This is the first time you've actually WATCHED him, isn't it?

Cause Davo was in it and despite "everything to do with RTD being an abomination" you HAD to tune in, didn't you?

I knew it. I bloody knew it. You haven't seen a single frame of it until now! And cause you're so discerning, you haven't even gone to any kind of official website to check your facts. But one sniff of your 'discerning' canon, and you tune in like a bitch on heat - I bet you didn't pledge any money, either.

So, are you actually going to watch the OTHER three series? No? You'll just keep slagging the show off based on some tenth-hand gossip? Fair enough...

, whilst Peter Davison resurrected his incarnation and appeared faintly embarrassed at having to do so.
Yes. Sure. His complete enthusiasm for the role, which he notes ON CAMERA with WITNESSES means nothing. The fact Davo appeared COMPLETELY embarrassed when JNT wanted him to appear in character, or pretend to be James Bond, surely means that he finds the new regime an improvement.

Unlike the 1993 special, Time Crash featured no action, no special guests and no outdoor filming and was nothing more than an extravagent link between the conclusion of Series Three and the subsequent Christmas special.
Fuck me sideways! JUST LIKE THE LAST ONE!

Oh, wait, you didn't see that one, did you?

Still, disgusting, isn't it, all that withholding cash for needy children? That the only action was a two Doctor dialogue, no special guests except Peter Davison, and was filmed on the TARDIS set instead of the hanging gardens of Babylon.

And it fitted into continuity.


One slightly disconcerting thought is the fact that Davison, the youngest of the original Doctors, is now older than William Hartnell was when Doctor Who first started.
Slightly disconcerting?


You think time doesn't pass for him or something? Hartnell was 55 when he joined up and as many can tell you, the schedule HE put up with would have killed most of his successors, even if they were only 31 like Davo.

Still, at least you didn't mention Verity Lambert dying in shame at this installment... oh, wait, that's because you can barely update your site. The cracks are still beginning to show, as they have been since Eccleston left. You're like that housewife who said "Doctor Who is running out of steam" while Marco Polo was on and said the exact same thing every week until 1978 when you died from lung cancer.

Except, tragically, you're still with us.

Oh well. Back to B7: Deciet...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kissed by a Rose? You Gotta Be Kidding Me...

You know what?

Out of all the things RTD has written and done, the one thing that really bugs me is that he is a lying bastard. A self-confessed lying bastard. Why does he even WRITE Production Notes when a) it's vetted so there are no spoilers and b) he's lying half the time. He swore he'd never bring the Master back, except he was just covering his arse until he worked out how the character should be. And now this...

Billie Piper is BACK people!

And as Rose Marion Tyler, the blonde chick from series one and two.

That curious tapping noise you will hear is me headbutting my desk repeatedly.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Billie Piper. She's a brilliant actress, she's had a harsh life, her autobiography made me weep at how cruel people are to her, and she's beautiful. Whether I love Rose is another matter. What ISN'T a murky topic is whether or not bringing back Rose would be a good idea.

It isn't.

Plain and simple.

Oh, I have to admit the relief I felt when RTD practically grabbed that gormless CBBC interveiwer by the throat and shout, "Did you WATCH that bit on the beach? That's a GOODBYE! She is NOT coming back!" He also justified his claim on the grounds that it would be impossible to bring back Rose as a surprise. A Dalek he might get away with. The Master he had a fighting chance. But Rose? Not even RTD was dumb enough to think he could film her on location and get away with it.

And so Rose is gone. And we had season three. Now, while the 'Rose' meme for all the episodes may have been overkill, (and Moffat deserves a slap for writing Martha as Rose, even down to the shop gags), the point was clear. She was gone, and we have to see the Doctor getting over it. We also get to see a different side to a companion, and Martha's unrequieted lust for the Time Lord is territory no one went for bar part one of Snakedance, and even then Nyssa was just wanting him to notice her outfit.

The whole point was, if anyone missed it, was in Last of the Time Lords when the Master gleefully compares Martha to Rose and call her rubbish. And five seconds later, Martha's fucked up his scheme to the point first aide and gingham dress is required.

The ghost of Rose is exorcised. Martha doesn't need to live up to Rose's shadow, and she realizes that even WITHOUT blondie toothy cutey involved, she still wouldn't get any from the Doctor. I mean, if Jack can't score with him, no one can.

And so, we move on.

And then they bring her back.

In a two parter.



No no no no no no no no!

Oh, I can imagine his smug expression even now. "Ooh, let's have Donna and Rose save the day and make it a time travel story so, for a gag, they never realize who they are? How could we not do that?" FUCKING EASILY, I scream in response. Jesus. Why bring back Rose if you're not going to hook her up with the Doctor? I mean, why? In my unmade Season Four, I came up with a Rose return story that had the Doctor mentally sort out his feelings for her when an alien assumes Rose's form to trap him.

Why is that the only story RTD WON'T steal from me?

BTW, I'm not some insane conspiracy theorist. Well, I am, I suppose, but I'm not some 'Bring Back Rose' looney ignoring the facts. She IS coming back. The BBC HAVE confirmed it. RTD IS a lying scumbag.

Let's just hope the season finale where the entire Tyler clan, Torchwood and Sarah Jane adventures unit to form a giant police box to destroy Davros is utter shite while we're at it...

Edited to add:
I just checked out Eye of Horus, the Sparacus of the Who web guides... perhaps more closed minded... and their verdict on Rose Tyler is this:

Billie Piper is busy working girl nowadays, and the BBC has confirmed that she will reprise the role of Rose Tyler in SERIES 4. In the immortal words of the Tenth Doctor: "What?" She will join, according to the report on BBC NEWS online, in the final three episodes of SERIES 4 alongside Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman and John Barrowman. Crowded! In the immortal words of the Tenth Doctor: "What?" If she was to return then she would be better used in the 2009 three "Specials" series, linking to the new Eleventh Doctor for 2010.

And suddenly, RTD's madness suddenly seems a relief.

At these THESE idiots, whose idea for Season 4 consists solely of:

He is iconic within the legend of DOCTOR WHO. As iconic as the Dalek, Cybermen, the Master, the Sontaran, K-9 & Sarah Jane Smith.So, where's Nicholas Courtney's return to the NEW SERIES. Is BBC WALES ageist?

Running scared about inviting the 77 years old actor as they don't think that the new generation of (young) fans & viewers will be unable to understand the backstory of the character. Will the viewers want to see a dithering old man bumbling around the youthful breakneck sprint of Tennant's Doctor? I think, yes.

It is time to dust of the epaulettes and the peaked cap, and give the Brigadier one last valiant battle alongside the Doctor. It is time to find the Brigadier (RTD) and aim the character to defend & defeat an alien menace for one final time - at the cost of his own life.

So... they want the Brigadier back... just so they can kill him off and he can never come back.

And they are pissed off at the New Series for NOT doing this.

So, I'll be giving RTD the benefit of the doubt until I see the episodes, confident that even the man who perpetrated the Torchwood Arc isn't as much as a clueless twat as EOH, Spara or Gabriel Chase. Oh, what has the Discerning Fan got to say about Billie's return in his site (which the Doctor Who Web Guide refers to as 'an oddity' (oh, those wits)?

Hmmm. Nope. Cutting edge, that bloke... but wait, this feels like it needs a new entry...

B7: Deceit (v)

[Residence One, President's office. The Deputy is gnawing his knuckles deep in thought. The Aide looks exhausted and doesn't have the former hysteria.]

AIDE: The rebels have full control of the city defenses. Nothing short of an orbital attack can stop them now.

DEPUTY: What about Poulton and the fleet?

AIDE: They are still chasing the Liberator as you ordered, "sir". It'll be days before they get back here. Assuming the Liberator doesn't blow them to pieces.

DEPUTY: Blake.

AIDE: [Uninterested] What?

DEPUTY: The Quantum Force mission, a few months ago. With the Liberator. Blake returned the survivors, but but not their arms and he's finally found a use for it.

AIDE: [Sneers] How? The Liberator was only in orbit for seven minutes. It was barely have enough time to kidnap the President.

DEPUTY: They pinpointed the High Council chamber and timed their attack perfectly. Compared to that, arranging a point outside the city to teleport a couple of crates of guns must have been child's play.

AIDE: They'll be coming here next.

DEPUTY: They wouldn't dare!

AIDE: You really want to take the chance? Given what's happened today.

DEPUTY: Instruct security in other cities to release personnel to reinforce City Complex One.

AIDE: It's already fallen to the rebels.

DEPUTY: Then...

AIDE: [Rudely] Don't you think they'd be better to double the guard here?

DEPUTY: I don't like your tone.

[The Aide walks off.]

DEPUTY: I did not dismiss you! Get back here! GET BACK HERE NOW!

[The Deputy is left alone.]



[Space near a white star. The Liberator appears and slows to a relative stop.]

[Liberator flight deck. Soolin paces, arms folded, expression dark. Anders is slumped in the pit, hands bound.]

ZEN: Information.

SOOLIN: What is it, Zen?

ZEN: Course completed. Liberator is now at requested coordinates.

SOOLIN: Where are we?

ZEN: First Quadrant, Second Sector, Star System 0010.

SOOLIN: Any other information?

ZEN: The star system is a single white dwarf. All information suggests a previous civilization existed several million years ago before the star became a supernova.

SOOLIN: A dead system in the middle of the galaxy. Wonderful.

[Tarrant, Blake and Vila enter. Soolin looks up, interested.]

SOOLIN: How is she?

VILA: Still not awake.

SOOLIN: [Frowns] It was only a heavy stun, she should be fully recovered!

TARRANT: [Sighs] Soolin, you know what Kyben's like. She hasn't been eating or sleeping properly for weeks. Her system wasn't at the best to start with.

SOOLIN: So, what did you do?

BLAKE: Put her in a ressucitation capsule.

SOOLIN: She can't be that bad!

BLAKE: She might get worse, Soolin. And since she is the ship's doctor, there's no one to help out if she gets worse.

VILA: We put Orac on watch. [Shrugs] Not much of a bedside manner, but...

SOOLIN: There must be something we can do!

BLAKE: Not now. Zen, status of auto repair systems?

ZEN: All battle damage has been repaired.

BLAKE: Right on time. [Grins] Full scan, maximum range on the detectors.

ZEN: Scan negative.

VILA: Where are we, anyway?

SOOLIN: I'd say the middle of nowhere, but that sounds too comforting.

TARRANT: Why here, Blake?

BLAKE: Why not? It's an out of the way spot. Perfect for a rendezvous.

TARRANT: Who with?

BLAKE: With whom.

VILA: [To Soolin] You all right?

SOOLIN: Better than Kyben.

VILA: It was the right thing to do.

SOOLIN: What? Save this thing?

[She kicks Anders' leg. He groans.]

VILA: Kyben hasn't killed anyone. You kept it that way.

SOOLIN: Hurray for me.

[She kicks him again. Blake notices.]

BLAKE: Soolin?

SOOLIN: [Voice like cut glass] Yes?

BLAKE: Kick harder. I want him awake.

[Space. We see a Federation Star Cruiser moving through space, followed by more ships, then Pursuit ships.]

[Cruiser Flight Deck. Workers hurry back and forth. An officer and Poulton stand over a display console.]

OFFICER: The project course terminates here, Admiral. Star system Beta Seven Five Nine Two.

POULTON: That's a white dwarf star. There's nothing there, am I right?

OFFICER: Several asteroid belts and two minor planets, niether capable of supporting carbon based life.

POULTON: No outposts, then? No mineral content worth mining?

OFFICER: No, Admiral.

POULTON: In short, a convenient place for clandestine meetings. The only question is whether the Liberator is stopping or just passing through... Either way, we need to catch up. Instruct the Gamma and Delta flotillas to head for the other side of that system and set up orbit outside detector range. Alpha and Beta flotillas will to the same on side, and we'll box in the system.

OFFICER: If the Liberator is still there, she'll be trapped.

POULTON: Even if she isn't we'll stand a better chance of picking up the particle trail.

PILOT: Admiral!

POULTON: What is it?

PILOT: Incoming communication sir. Another fleet is approaching.

POULTON: "Fleet"? What fleet?

PILOT: The flagship wishes to speak to the officer in command.

POULTON: There's no quicker way to find out who they are and what they want. Patch us through.

[Space. The Liberator orbits the star.]

[Liberator Flight Deck. An ill-looking Anders is now awake.]

BLAKE: Welcome back from the abyss, Mister President.

ANDERS: Where are we?

BLAKE: A long way away from Earth.

ANDERS: Why? Wh... what are you going to do to me... now? Throw me... throw me out of the airlock?

VILA: Why not? Worked for the last President that stayed here?

SOOLIN: It's tempting.

BLAKE: Maybe afterwards.

ANDERS: After what?

BLAKE: It's time for the final battle, President Anders.

ANDERS: What are you talking about?

TARRANT: You noticed that slight scuffle we had with the pursuit ships when you came aboard? The damage left the Liberator bleeding energy particles, a trail across the galaxy. Anyone looking will now know exactly where we are... down to the solar system, since we just fixed that.

ANDERS: You... you're setting a trap?

VILA: A big trap.

SOOLIN: The biggest.

BLAKE: The Shipyards are gone, the resources are gone. So, no more pursuit ships. But you still have those ships already built, and you were clever enough to converge them into one massive fleet and send them on our tails.

VILA: Which means, once THAT fleet is gone...

BLAKE: The Federation is left helpless in any way you care to name.

ANDERS: So... you think you can take on the entire Federation fleet?

TARRANT: The remnants of it, yes.

VILA: After all, it can't be tougher than fighting the Intergalactic War. And you owe me a medal for that, you know.

BLAKE: This is the end game.

ANDERS: But who's end game?

BLAKE: Shall we find out?

[Star cruiser flight deck. A rather shaken Poulton returns to her console.]

POULTON: I wasn't expecting this. But the plan still works. We will move in on the system in exactly nine minutes from my mark. Understood?

OFFICER: [Nods] Admiral.

POULTON: The chances are the Liberator will have repaired itself and won't be leaving a trail now but any ship detects them they are to inform us immediately.

OFFICER: Direct beam communication, Admiral?

POULTON: Unless you can think of a better way? Smoke signals perhaps?

OFFICER: My apologies, Admiral.

POULTON: Any captain who allows his ship to be detected by the Liberator before the attack begins will be summarily executed. Send out those instructions.

[The Officer heads for a console.]

OFFICER: Admiral.

POULTON: [After a pause] Mark.

OFFICER: Countdown beginining. 540 second. 539. 538. 537...

[City Complex One at night.]

[Security office. The place is tidier. The Outsider crosses to Veron, who is having a drink.]

OUTSIDER: Veron, the attack on City Complex Six is starting. We don't have the element of surprise this time.

VERON: But we do have the element of more weaponary, field medicine and body armor. Besides, it's just the smoke screen. The real attack starts in five minutes.

OUTSIDER: Ground forces are heading straight for us, Veron.

VERON: I noticed.

OUTSIDER: We can't hold them off forever. It's not like taking the residents hostage is going to work.

VERON: No. [icy] Which is why no civilians are, under any circumstances to be harmed.

OUTSIDER: If the space fleet returns, we're all dead.

VERON: The space fleet has to deal with Blake and the Liberator. They don't stand a chance.

OUTSIDER: And if they win? If Blake can't stop them?

VERON: Then we're all dead. And Earth will probably be blown to smithereens in the crossfire.

OUTSIDER: We're still going ahead with the plan?

VERON: We've got nothing to lose. Either way, the Federation is not going to survive the next few days. [to Rebel] What's happening with the In-Betweens?

REBEL: They'll be striking Residence Once any minute now.

[Space near the star. Liberator is motionless.]

[Liberator flight deck. Vila sits at weaponry, Tarrant at the pilot's seat, and Soolin takes Avon's console. Anders still sits in the pit. Blake stands before Zen.]

ANDERS: You don't stand a chance, you realize that. You'll be all dead in less than an hour.

VILA: Well, that makes a real difference to our normal, everyday life.

BLAKE: And we do have some rather impressive missiles, Mister President. Orac's worked out a rough firing strategy which should destroy half the fleet with the chain reaction alone.

ANDERS: I don't believe it.

SOOLIN: [Smiles] You should.

VILA: [Shrugs] It's only sixty or seventy ships. We've got plenty of missiles.

ANDERS: Listen to me...

TARRANT: No. We're not going to listen to you and we're not going to change our minds. The only question left is how much longer are we going to wait?

ZEN: Information.

BLAKE: Not too long it seems.

ZEN: Multiple contacts at extreme detector range.

BLAKE: Identification.

ZEN: Initial data suggests Federation.

VILA: What a surprise.

TARRANT: How many?

ZEN: Exact number of hostiles impossible to determine at current range.

SOOLIN: Estimate, then.

ZEN: Estimated number in excess of two hundred ships.

[Everyone looks shocked, except Anders, who grins.]

ANDERS: Ah, I hear the sound of reality at the gate.

VILA: [Stunned] Two hundred?

ZEN: MINIMUM of two hundred. Detectors report further contacts.

TARRANT: Zen show enemy ships on the screen.

[The sceen shows a cloud of dots converging on the centre.]

ANDERS: Am I right in understanding that you are surrounded?

[Blake whirls to face him.]

BLAKE: What have you done?

ANDERS: Beaten you. If you want the specifics, I'll be concise. I don't think you have much time left. The shipyards you thoroughly destroyed were not the only ones in the Federation. A secondary production station has been building warships for the last year. What's more, Blake, the station had links to the rest of the Federation, including Agro 34. When the missiles were completed, a copy of the designs was sent straight to the centre there.

SOOLIN: Orac said he wiped all the plans!

ANDERS: It probably did, but it didn't know about the secondary base or the fact that all of the new warships are carrying those missiles themselves.

TARRANT: [Sounds desperate] He's lying.

ANDERS: Am I? I feel certain Zen will confirm you are surrounded by over two hundred fully armed war ships as well as the entire fleet, no matter what their provenance. [So, to conclude, you don't have an advantage. Once this fleet deals with you, it will head straight for Earth and wipe out the rabble there.

[Anders turns to look at their shocked faces.]

ANDERS: All you've done is get your own allies killed. It was for nothing, Blake. ALL of it. For nothing.

[The cruisers are moving towards the Liberator from every possible direction. There is no way out.]

[Liberator flight deck. As before.]

ZEN: Fleet Commander requesting visual communication.

SOOLIN: [Quiet] Put him on the screen.

[Admiral Poulton appears on the screen.]

POULTON: I am Admiral Das Poulton of the Terran Federation. Your ship is surrounded. You have five minutes to surrender or we will open fire and destroy you.

VILA: [Crosses to screen] Now, hang on a minute...

[Screen fades to show the battle fleet. Blake stares at it, as if in a trance.]

VILA: Hey!

ZEN: Communication terminated at source.

BLAKE: [Softly] They know they've beaten us. Why waste the time with any more threats?

ANDERS: Well, I don't want to sound egotistical, but I think they want me safe and sound.

TARRANT: Then they're going to be disappointed.

ANDERS: [Patiently] You can surrender to them or you fight them. If you fight them then you will die very, very quickly.

VILA: You'll die right along with us.

ANDERS: But I'll still win.

TARRANT: So you want us to kill you?

SOOLIN: After your little tryst with Kyben, I don't think you're the suicidal sort.

ANDERS: All right. I admit. I don't want to die. Do you? If you all surrender, I swear to you that none of you will be executed.

TARRANT: I thought you were going to let us go?

ANDERS: Well, you turned down my offer. So now you can be prisoners, objects of curiosity... but I give you my word as President of the Terran Federation you will not be killed.

VILA: That's the presidency you STOLE by stabbing your allies in the back.

ANDERS: If you surrender, the rebel movement is finished. I have access to the Liberator, to Orac, to the technologies. With that kind of victory, I can afford to be generous. I will let you all live.

SOOLIN: If you can call that being alive.

ANDERS: It's better than the alternative. What was it, you said, Blake? End Game? End game to me.

[Blake turns around, laughing.]

BLAKE: [gleefully] We've won!

SOOLIN: [incredulous] What?

BLAKE: We've won. The Federation is finished. We're going to destroy it all.

VILA: How?

BLAKE: With a bang and not a whimper.

TARRANT: [turns away and runs to the pilot station] Zen all power to the main drive and force wall. Lets see if we punch our way through them.

BLAKE: [Relaxed] Zen, that order is countermanded.

VILA: [Cautious] Blake, what are you doing?

BLAKE: Zen initiate protocol Blake Zeta One Zero.

ZEN: Confirmed. All crew voice prints erased.


ZEN: Liberator will only respond to voice commands from Nij Blake.

BLAKE: You know what that means, Anders? It means you're going to die. You think I didn't notice your little chats with the others. You might convince them to surrender, but now they can't help.

VILA: Oh, thanks for the trust!

BLAKE: We're staying here. This is our chance to destroy the Federation once and for all.

TARRANT: No, this is our chance to get killed once and for all.

BLAKE: You use your words, I'll use mine...

ANDERS: He's lost it! [grabs Blake and shakes him] Blake! You can handle three - maybe four - of those ships. THREE HUNDRED is a out of our league.

BLAKE: [Laughs] You think I hadn't noticed!

ANDERS: You either get out of here by some miracle or you spend the rest of your short lives in a Federation prison cell. There is NO alternative!

BLAKE: You don't understand.

ANDERS: You have less than three minutes left.

BLAKE: [Shakes him off] Which is enough. [To the others] I'm sorry. Truly, I am. I had no idea about this fleet. But I understand one thing. That fleet, impressive as it is, is all that the Federation has left. Destroy it, and we win. Not a quick, painless victory but a forgone conclusion no one will be able to change.

SOOLIN: Like you said before, only there are hundreds more ships than expected!

BLAKE: [Crazed grin] Exactly! Three hundred warships, all carrying the missiles!

VILA: [Understanding] Oh.

ANDERS: What do you mean? What's he going to do?

BLAKE: We lure your entire fleet as close as we can get them to the Liberator. Then I detonate our missile banks - the explosion will take out over a hundred ships, minimum. The chain reaction for THEIR exploding missile banks will consume everything else. And in this lifeless system, no innocents in the crossfire.

VILA: What about me? I'm innocent! Well, fairly innocent.

BLAKE: That's the choice we have, Vila. We go out in a blaze of glory, or we are killed trying to escape, or we're prisoners.

TARRANT: And your big plan? Was it kill us all and take down the fleet?

BLAKE: [Sighs] No. But I don't have any other plans now.

SOOLIN: There's no way out. Just like on Gauda Prime.

VILA: Yeah. Two years grace from death, more than some people get.

ANDERS: [Worried] What are you babbling about? Contact the Admiral and surrender.

VILA: If we died then, it would be a real pity. We win this way...


BLAKE: I know what Kyben's vote would be. What about you, Tarrant?

TARRANT: You've erased our voice prints, Blake! Doesn't that suggest you don't trust us.

BLAKE: I can rerecord them... but we only have one minute left.


TARRANT: [Sighs] We outlived Servalan. And maybe the Federation. Why not? I didn't have anything better planned...


VILA: Of course we are. [to himself] You'd have to be mad to fight the Federation.

SOOLIN: Does Zen get a vote in this?

BLAKE: Avon did some reprogramming. Zen will let us detonate. And, given enough time, the auto repair will put her back together again, just like at Terminal.

ZEN: Confirmed.

SOOLIN: There's nothing else to say, then.

ANDERS: I'll let you all go free! I can do that - Presidential Privelege! YOU CAN BE FREE!!

BLAKE: We're already free. We always were.

[Anders charges Blake but Vila steps forward and decks the President, who promplty collapses against the armory. He collapses admist a heap of gun belts and guns.]

VILA: And the rest is silence.

[Anders snatches up one of the guns and aims it at Blake.]


[He fires.]

[End Credits]

B7: Deceit (iv)

[Dome Corridor. A large '3' stencil is on the wall. The rebels are arriving. Suddenly three troopers round the corner and open fire. One rebel falls, but the others return fire. The surviving trooper lets off another salvo, then turns and runs. He is shot in the back and falls at the feet of a newly arrived squad of troopers.]

VERON: Scatter!

[The troopers open fire on the rebels as they dive for cover. Several fall dead as Veron returns fire.]

[Residence One, President's office. The Deputy is still behind the desk working. The Aide stands before him, close to panic.]

DEPUTY: Calm down and make a proper report!

AIDE: Supreme Commander, the rebels are attacking City Complex One.

DEPUTY: [Stunned] What?! What about that security patrol sent outside the city?

AIDE: Yes, there were looking for a missing technician for the Council Building. Apparently, he's teamed up with the resistance group lead by Veron Kasarbi.

DEPUTY: I don't care who's teamed up with, what happened to the patrol?

AIDE: Well, er, they lost contact once they entered the underground tunnel network.

DEPUTY: That's to be expect - that network is ancient, there are no communications relays!

AIDE: [Anxious] I know, sir!

[Dome level 3. The last few troopers are retreating as a rebel hurls a grenade at the ground by their feet. The explosion hurls them down the passageway, and as the noise and smoke clear, the rebels move forwards. They have hardly lost anyone in comparison to the troopers, who are now all dead.]

[Residence One, President's Office. As before.]

DEPUTY: When was the patrol sent out?

AIDE: Eighty three minutes ago, sir.

DEPUTY: And this... "attack"?

AIDE: Seventeen minutes ago, sir.

DEPUTY: So, clearly the resistance have killed the team and used their passes to get into the city. Armed intruders should have been detected immediately. What's their status?

AIDE: Sir?

DEPUTY: What have the rebels done?

AIDE: Well, the Security office detected them and security teams have been dispatched.

DEPUTY: And have they wiped out the rebels?

AIDE: Not exactly.


AIDE: [Nerve finally snapping] THE REBELS WIPED THE FLOOR WITH THEM! [Calmer] Sir. The rebels' advance has not been stopped, and the internal guard squads are suffering heavy losses. Total losses as far as we can make out.

DEPUTY: Do you want to explain to me how highly trained security teams are losing to a band of rebels armed with stolen guns?

AIDE: It's happening all over the Federation, sir! President Anders was informed of it. The troopers are trained to stay alive in a combat situation, but now those that live to fight another day know they'll just be executed for treason!

DEPUTY: Then why aren't they doing their jobs properly!

AIDE: Because life isn't like that, sir! The fact is, the troopers know dying in battle is better than being court martialed, for their family's sake if nothing else. The rebels don't have that restraint. The same problem is occuring throughout the inner and outer worlds, no one is prepared to put up with the restraints, not even the Gamma grades! The Federation's falling apart from the inside out and we can't stop it!

[A squad of troopers moves cautiously down a corridor. There is the constand sound of gunfire, explosions and screams. They pass a heap of rebel bodies. Veron lies sprawled atop them, staring at the ceiling, gun still in her hand. The section leader waves at the others to keep moving. Suddenly Veron sits bolt upright and fires. Taking by surprise, the Section Leader is killed and flung against the troopers. Rebels appear at either end of the corridor and open fire. Veron ducks to avoid the crossfire and the rest of the squad is wiped out.]

[Residence One, President's Office.]


AIDE: Sir, whether or not I remain calm will not change the facts.

DEPUTY: [Draws gun] Your little nervous breakdown could be counted as sedition, even treason!

AIDE: You're going to shoot me? [Hysterical] Have you LISTENED to a word I've said?!

DEPUTY: I've listened long enough! Now, answer the question or I'll ventilate your lungs!

[The Aide sobers slightly.]

DEPUTY: When did the security office detect the rebels? Where were they?

AIDE: Level two, moving up. Sir.

DEPUTY: Level two?! That means that by now, at the very least, they control ALL the sub levels!

AIDE: I know, sir.

DEPUTY: [Thinking] The rebels don't have the resources to pull off a coup like this. They don't have the weapons, the ammunition... how can they do it? Do the reports tell of what they're fighting with?

AIDE: [Confused] Troopers, sir.

DEPUTY: What weapons they're using, you asinine cretin! WEAPONS?

AIDE: Sir. They seem to be using the advanced multi-mode rifles.

DEPUTY: Those? But, the dome security teams haven't recieved those guns yet, have they?

AIDE: No, sir. None of them have.

DEPUTY: So how do the rebels get hold of the most advanced weaponary in Federation armories?

AIDE: [Almost in tears] I don't know, sir.

[Dome City Complex One is silhouetted against the sunset.]

[Corridor. '12' is stencilled on the wall. Veron and three other rebels are moving down the corridor, effortlessly gunning down a retreating squad. An outsider arrives.]


[Veron nods and moves back from the front line to join the outsider in shelter.]

VERON: Fen, what's happening on the south side?

OUTSIDER: The next two levels are all ours.

VERON: Organize the others, get our people to move round behind those troops in front of us now, get them in the crossfire. Like what we did earlier, but on a bigger scale.

OUTSIDER: You really think the city will fall in a couple of hours?

VERON: We've got a third of it in thirty minutes, I'd say we've got a chance. 70 per cent of security are dead.

OUTSIDER: Reinforcements will be on their way.

VERON: Once we get control of the dome, we'll be able to hold them off.

OUTSIDER: But for how long?

VERON: [Firmly] Long enough.

[Liberator flies through space.]

[Liberator Flight Deck. Vila, Blake and Soolin stand around Orac. Tarrant is at the controls.]

ORAC: ...all incoming communications confirm that City Complex One in West Europ Zone is now deemed under rebel control. The first fifteen floors have been taken, and all civilian grades are now either staying in their homes or attempting to evacuate with the main security force. Since it is now clear that the rebels have superior fire power, the Internal Security Commander insists that a tactical withdrawal will be necessary to prevent further loss of life until reinforcements arrive.

BLAKE: What is the probability of Veron successfully taking the Dome?

ORAC: A clear 94 per cent probability that the Dome will remain under complete rebel control for the next nineteen hours without major incident. It appears that word is spreading the rebels possess far more powerful weaponary than has been so far displayed, thus a counter strike will not be made until this fact is confirmed.

SOOLIN: Quantum Force's arsenal came in handy.

VILA: I did wonder why we dropped off the survivors but not the guns...

BLAKE: [Sarcastic] Yes, because allowing the Federation more technology based on clip-guns would have been the sensible move, wouldn't it? I'm just glad you understood enough of the situation to teleport those crates to the arranged point.

VILA: You think I was going to let them land INSIDE the city? Where is the faith in my technical abilities?

BLAKE: Missing in action.

SOOLIN: Even if the City falls, it's one city. There are half a dozen of them on Earth alone. We haven't exactly toppled the Federation.

BLAKE: Not yet, Soolin, but soon. The Federation can cope with a lot of things, but not necessarily all at once.

TARRANT: So the plan relies on the Administration collapsing under the weight of too many crisises.

BLAKE: [Knowing look] I never said that.

ORAC: Do you require further misuse of my abilities to relay such obvious information or may I be allowed to return to my own work?

VILA: What actually is your own work?

ORAC: That information is hardly of any relevence to you, and even if it were I doubt any of you could understand it.

[Soolin laughs.]

BLAKE: [Frowns] Where's Kyben?

[Liberator cabin. Kyben sits in a chair, facing Anders, a gun in her hand.]

KYBEN: I thought you'd like to know.

ANDERS: I'm touched. I don't suppose some food would be out of the question?

[Kyben looks at the untouched plate.]

KYBEN: I'm afraid that's all the menu provides.

ANDERS: Vila said he'd poisoned it.

KYBEN: And you believed him?

ANDERS: Why should I doubt the word of a convicted criminal?

[Kyben aims the gun at his head.]

KYBEN: You're taking this very calmly.

ANDERS: Panic is never good for a President's image.

KYBEN: The Federation is dying, Anders.

ANDERS: Is it?

KYBEN: Pylene 50 doesn't work because we told everyone the antitoxin. You don't have your missiles because we stole them. You don't have mutoids because we destroyed the factories. You don't have any shipyards to build pursuit ships and you don't have any raw materials because we took them away too. Now the rebels are taking Earth and your troopers are going to let them. Because they would rather be killed in battle then put up with what you did to me.

[Rolls eyes] That was the idea, Kyben. It's called a psychological deterrent.

KYBEN: That will make you lose.

ANDERS: Will it? Even if I could be sure you're telling the truth, the rebels have attacked ONE city on Earth. It has little to no strategic value. The Earth itself is more of historical importance than being the core of the Federation. Most of the functions are carried out from Space Command Headquarters. Let Veron and her little army do its worst, Kyben. It won't be enough. It will never be enough.

KYBEN: So if we blew up that city dome, it wouldn't matter?

ANDERS: Not to me.

KYBEN: And every city dome on Earth? And the Earth itself? Every colony, every city, everything? Just what do we have to do before it matters?

ANDERS: [Smiles] You could surrender?

KYBEN: The Federation was established at the beginning of the New Calendar for one reason. What was it?

[She presses the gun against Anders' forehead.]

KYBEN: What. Was. It?

ANDERS: To protect and serve its people.

KYBEN: From Strength?

ANDERS: To Unity.

KYBEN: So the Federation exists to make the lives of its people the best they can be. So perhaps you can tell me, President Anders, in deep and graphic detail, just why that involves drugging everyone who isn't an Alpha Grade? Turning criminals into Mutoids? Murdering innocent people? Just where, exactly, in the foundation of the empire does it state what YOU ordered done to my family is acceptable.

ANDERS: In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. But you seem to be the exception that proves the rule.

KYBEN: [Smiles] I really don't like eye humor.

[Security office. Veron fires at a console and the alarm finally cuts out. She sighs in relief. Two other rebels are working at the various displays.]

REBEL: Veron?

VERON: What is it?

REBEL: Trouble. The reinforcements are on their way.

[The screen shows moving displays.]

REBEL: Federation troop transporter.

VERON: On the final approach.

REBEL: They'll be landing in two minutes. What do we do, Veron?

[Veron stares at the screen in what could be disbelief. Then she grins.]

VERON: We prepare a welcoming commitee.

[Liberator cabin. Anders is no longer so composed.]

ANDERS: You're not stupid, Kyben. So... the Federation is corrupt. The idealistic dreams of the forefathers, the liberty and justice following the Atomic Age, died long ago. It's all true.

KYBEN: So, tell me, why shouldn't I kill you for what happened to me? Do you have a reason?

ANDERS: As I'm sure many people will have told you, Kyben, your family, your life, your woes mean nothing. You and all the civilians, all the rebels, all the troopers, they're nothing compared to the Federation. You are just fodder to keep the empire going.

KYBEN: You're not giving me good reason NOT to kill you.

ANDERS: Blake wants me alive.

KYBEN: You'd be surprised at how little that matters to me. You think he could do anything worse to me than the Federation has already done?

ANDERS: Probably not. What do you want me to say, Kyben? The Federation exists because it creates order. The side effect is a mildly rewarding life for the common rabble. Those that aren't sacrificed for that order to be maintained. The price has only become high because of Blake and the others unbalancing that order. Do you realize how many lives you could save by surrendering? All those soldiers, their families, their friends... safe. You and your family were to be sacrificed for the greater good.

KYBEN: Do you really believe that?

ANDERS: The question is not whether I believe it, but whether you do, Kyben. You came here wanting facts. Fact - self-interest is the only way anyone can survive in the Federation. Fact - the actions of those on this ship have ended millions of life and threatened even more. Fact - you can end it all.

KYBEN: [Regretful] But, you see, Mister President, I don't CARE about the millions. Not any more. Now I'm just like you, only out for number one. All I have is gone. All there is, is you, me, and this gun.

ANDERS: Kyben...

[Still sounding lost, she aims the gun at him. Anders starts to look worried.]

KYBEN: We've killed so, so many people. So many lives ended by us. I let Blake kill twelve members of the high council. Does that balance out my husband, my daughter... my son? Maybe I deserve to lose everything.

[Outside the city the Federation troop transport moves through the sky. We pull back until the transport is framed in the cross hairs of a rebel anti-aircraft weapon.]

[Liberator cabin. As before.]

ANDERS: [Scared] Kyben, you swore an oath.

KYBEN: SO DID YOU! I watched your inauguration, when you and your army retook the Earth! You swore to defend your people and you FAILED! You didn't even try! And thanks the new legislation in effect throughout the Milky Way Galaxy, that failure counts as TREASON! [whispers] Do you know what the Federation does to those who commit treason, Mister President? Do you?


[Kyben fires the gun. There is an explosion just left to Anders' head. He cries out.]

KYBEN: [Calm] Shut up.


[Kyben fires again. Anders dives out of the way, bleeding from his forehead, terrified.]

KYBEN: [Calm] Shut... up.

[Anders stares at her, breathing raggedly with fear.]

[Security office. The rebel pulls the trigger and the transport is blown out of the sky.]

[Liberator cabin. Anders is perspiring. Kyben aims her gun at his left eye.]

KYBEN: Federation torturers like to go for the eyes first. It's standard practice after the hands. People can live without their hands. But their eyes... you'd be surprised at what medicine still can't fix.

ANDERS: Kyben, please...

KYBEN: [Not listening] These guns are interesting, aren't they? They don't fire laser beams or bullets. Just bursts of ultrasonic energy. Noise. They vibrate people to death. Shatter their bones, turn the flesh to jelly, scramble the internal organs. What do you think would happen to you if I fired right now?

ANDERS: Kyben, please, I can't bring your family back. But I'll do anything, anything I can...

KYBEN: It's not connected to a power pack. Very low charge. I doubt it would even knock you unconscious. But I'm fairly certain it would destroy your optic nerve. And a large part of your face.

ANDERS: Rela...

KYBEN: You can be just like me. These patches stop stinging after the first few months...


KYBEN: [Sighs] You have nothing I want.

SOOLIN: Kyben. Don't.

[Kyben doesn't take her eye from Anders. Soolin stands in the doorway.]

KYBEN: Soolin... go away.

SOOLIN: I'm asking you.

KYBEN: You hunted down and murdered seven people for your family. I'm just going to murder the one.

SOOLIN: You're better than that.

KYBEN: No. That's the problem. [Smiles] I'm not.

[She places both hands on the gun and reaches for the trigger. Anders swallows, terrified. A shot rings out. Kyben closes her eye, slowly toppling over to reveal Soolin holding a smoking clipgun. She looks down at Kyben's body, grimacing. Anders is hyperventilating.]

ANDERS: Th-thank you... thank you, Soolin, thank you, th--

[Without taking her eyes off Kyben, Soolin raises the clipgun and fires. Anders is slammed against the bed and goes limp. Soolin crouches down and strokes Kyben's unmarked cheek.]

[The Liberator flies through space.]

- to be concluded...

Monday, November 26, 2007

B7: Deceit (iii)

[Earth. Residence One, the grand palace in the countryside, with patrols of troopers in the grounds. The Deputy Supreme Commander is in the Presidents office. An aide enters]


AIDE: Forensic teams have confirmed the deaths of every member of the high council.

DEPUTY: What about the President? Was he one of the victims?

AIDE: No, Supreme Comander. As you suspected, sir.

DEPUTY: [Unimpressed at his crawling] As I suspected. Have the rest of my instructions been carried out?

AIDE: Yes sir. Everyone who had access to the Council Building in the past month has been detained.

DEPUTY: All of them?

AIDE: Well, any that haven't will be detained soon.

DEPUTY: Then my orders have NOT been carried out.

AIDE: [Worried] Supreme Commander?

DEPUTY: I ordered EVERYONE detained. EVERYONE to be interrogated. Until the traitor is found. Not just those who were easiest to detain. EVERYONE.

AIDE: Security have been unable to locate several individuals.

DEPUTY: And why not?

AIDE: Various reasons, sir. Two are known to be off planet...

DEPUTY: Find them. Arrest them. And interrogate them.

AIDE: Sir.

DEPUTY: Make them priority. Or do I need to tell Security that the missing people are the most likely suspects? [Sighs] Anything else to report?

AIDE: One other matter, sir.

DEPUTY: Which is?

AIDE: The interrogation division are reluctant to use the... higher levels of persuasion.

DEPUTY: Are they? Unless I am very much mistaken, that is precisely what the interrogation division is designed to do.

AIDE: Not on senior Administration personnel, Supreme Commander. [quickly] That is what they are saying.

DEPUTY: Then the devision can tell me that in person. Get me the Chief Investigator. Now.

AIDE: Immediately, Supreme Commander.

[The Aide leaves at a run.]

[Liberator cabin. Anders is sitting on the bed. The door opens and Vila enters holding a food tray. Soolin can be seen standing guard outside. The door closes.]

ANDERS: Feeding time?

VILA: Prison meals. You get used to them after a while.

ANDERS: You speak from experience.

VILA: Oh, I do, Mister President. I've been in more detention cells than you'll have state functions.

ANDERS: So I've learned. You must tell me your secret, Restal.

VILA: What secret is that?

ANDERS: Oh, I imagine you have plenty of those. Your lock picking skills are legendary, from labor grades to Alphas. It's become a popular expression, 'to Restal' something. An impossible move that nevertheless works. You know, in a way you're more famous than Blake.

VILA: That means so much to me. I may have to go and cry.

[Vila rises.]

ANDERS: Of course, Blake's dead now. So are the others. You're the only one left.

VILA: Didn't I mention it. I'm immortal.

ANDERS: [Interested] Really?

VILA: Well, so far no one's proved otherwise.

ANDERS: Another secret then?

VILA: The secret to staying alive is not irritating people who might kill you.

ANDERS: I was just curious. You of all people know how futile it is, resisting the Federation.

VILA: And I of all people know how terrible the Federation is. How it treats people. Ordinary people. Even those who haven't commited crimes. Yeah, I've lasted longer than anyone else. I've seen all the death you people have caused. You, Servalan, Travis. Those lovely little laws you've put in so you can kill more people. You think being nice to me is going to change that?

ANDERS: Why not?

VILA: I'm just a thief, Mister President. In the ordinary course of things, they would have adjusted my mind, changed what makes me me, everything that counts changed. Like they do my friends. My family. But my mind won't be adjusted. So the Federation sent me to the worst place they could.

ANDERS: Cygnus Alpha. And you're the only man to have escaped.

VILA: Yes. If I can escape the planet of no escape, if I can kill Servalan, if I can outlive Avon, and Blake, and Dayna and all the rest, then maybe, just maybe, I can destroy the Federation and everything in it. And you, Mister President, with all your politics and deviousness, can't give me one good reason not to.

ANDERS: Of course I can't. You're not a fool, Restal. And niether am I. I just wanted a bit of conversation.

VILA: You got it. Enjoy supper.

[Vila heads for the door, then thinks and turns around.]

VILA: Just curious, have you ever been in a penal colony? The first meal's always the best. Because it was the usual slop, you'd take all the drugs they put into it.

[Anders looks at the food, unimpressed.]

ANDERS: Poisoned? I doubt it.

VILA: Oh, not enough to kill you. Just enough to make you throw up everything you ever ate, leaving you weak and dizzy and easy to beat up. It's just, while I was making your meal, I remembered all the times that it happened to me. I mean, you wouldn't want any special behavior, you'd wanted to be treated just like any other Federation citizen, wouldn't you?

ANDERS: Most amusing, Restal. The food's fine.

VILA: [Grins] One way to find out.

[Vila leaves. Anders looks at the meal, moves to eat it, then frowns.]

[Residence One. The Deputy Supreme Commander is talking to an older, tough-looking man on the screen.]

DEPUTY: Investigator. I understand that your division is having trouble following orders.


DEPUTY: No? Then you ARE applying the maximum pressure?

INVESTIGATOR: We are applying NECESSARY pressure, sir.

DEPUTY: "Necessary" pressure? That doesn't sound like you're doing everything you can, Investigator.

INVESTIGATOR: We are working to find the traitors who collaborated in the murder of the high council.

DEPUTY: Working, but not hard enough, Investigator.

INVESTIGATOR: Supreme Commander, you have only held the post for fourteen hours. You may not realize the penalty that can come from upsetting those higher than yourself in the chain of command. Those we are interrogating are capable of doing much worse to use than we could do to them.

DEPUTY: That sounded unpleasantly like disobeying a direct order.

INVESTIGATOR: In the current climate, Supreme Commander, we have to look after ourselves.

DEPUTY: You're worried once released as innocents, your suspects might accuse you of treason and have you executed?

INVESTIGATOR: It is something worth worrying about.

DEPUTY: Let me make this crystalline clear, Investigator. I am higher than you in the chain of command. With my superior dead and the President missing, I am the highest authority in the entire Federation. Your suspects are just that. Suspects. Now interrogate them with MAXIMUM pressure. Because if you don't then the highest Federation authority may conclude that the interrogation division itself is somehow involved in the assassination plot. And THAT is something worth worrying about.

INVESTIGATOR: Supreme Commander.

DEPUTY: Carry out my instructions to the letter, Investigator, understood.

[The Investigator doesn't reply, but fades from the screen.]

[Liberator cabin. Anders crosses to the door and knocks on it loudly.]

TARRANT: [V.O.] What is it?

ANDERS: Well, unless I'm very much mistaken, it's the change of guards and it's Captain Del Tarrant.

[The door opens and Tarrant stands in the doorway, gun at the ready.]

TARRANT: What do you want?

ANDERS: Some company.

TARRANT: You're not my type.

ANDERS: Just someone to talk to as I enjoy the first of many prison meals.

TARRANT: And what would you like to talk about? The decor?

ANDERS: Come now, Tarrant. You're a Federation officer. The others are all civilians. We two are military men.

TARRANT: But I'm a deserter, Mister President.

ANDERS: No one truly deserts.

TARRANT: I didn't truly join the service either. I was forced to.

ANDERS: You think you're alone in that? The Federation is a meritocrisy, based on the grading systems and tests. Not all of us deliberately failed them like Vila Restal. And we had no choice in the careers we took.

TARRANT: A pampered Alpha grade like yourself? Surely not!

[Anders crosses to the untouched meal.]

ANDERS: You see? A conversation already.

[Tarrant turns to leave]

ANDERS: You're going to lose you know.

TARRANT: [turns back] What?

ANDERS: Your rebellion. You know as well as I do it will fail.

TARRANT: Nothing lasts forever.

ANDERS: Precisely.

TARRANT: Not even the Federation.

ANDERS: Oh, it will decline and fall at some point. Civilizations come and go. But that is very much looking at the big picture. In the here and now, the Federation will survive and you will not.

TARRANT: We've been lucky so far.

ANDERS: Luck runs out.

TARRANT: Which is why you are here. This is the part where you offer me a deal if I save your neck?

ANDERS: [Shrugs] Well, if you're offering...

TARRANT: I'm not.

ANDERS: You should. I can't see the attraction. You're one of the finest pilots the Federation has ever produced, Tarrant. You were a celebrity even before you joined the Liberator - for a while everyone assumed that you had taken over from Blake. The truth is so disappointing, now you're just a lackey for the son of his clone.

TARRANT: But being a lackey for you would be far more respectible?

ANDERS: You're a pilot on the best ship in the galaxy - and how do the others treat you?

TARRANT: Better than the Academy.

ANDERS: You're just a glorified robot to fly the ship.

TARRANT: As they said. At the Academy.

ANDERS: The Federation believes in choice, Tarrant. I do, at any rate. And there will come a time where you'll have to make a decision to either trust me or trust Blake.

TARRANT: When will that be?

ANDERS: Oh, only you will know that.

TARRANT: You may not be alive when that moment comes.

ANDERS: Such is life.

TARRANT: They said you only became president because some puppeters helping you.

ANDERS: More or less the truth.

TARRANT: Your own skills at manipulation aren't up to much. And if I do decide to trust you, release you, what then? What do I get out of this? Money? Power? The Presidency? The governorship of Earth, THAT was always a favorite of Servalan's...

ANDERS: [Seriously] I'm offering you your life, Tarrant.

[Residence One. The aide reenters the office.]

AIDE: Supreme Commander?

DEPUTY: Any more information on the missing suspects?

AIDE: Security believes that one of them may have left the city.

DEPUTY: Then get a sweep force to...

AIDE: [Interrupts] They're already preparing one, sir. The search may be slowed down.

DEPUTY: Are they feeling squeamish as well?

AIDE: No, sir. There's been increased outsider activity in recent weeks.

DEPUTY: Close to the city? [The aide nods] Yes, I can see the problem. Keep me informed of all future developments.

AIDE: Yes, Supreme Commander.

[Liberator cabin. Anders is lying on the bed. Tarrant stands near the door.]

ANDERS: Think about it, Tarrant. Just think about it. Are you a natural rebel? Or are you, as it appears, a self-serving mercenary who had the bad luck to get caught up with the natural rebels?

TARRANT: The Federation collapsed. It seemed like a good career move.

ANDERS: The Federation rebuilt itself. And it will do so again, no matter what Blake has planned.

TARRANT: As you keep saying.

ANDERS: Maybe because I'm being honest.

TARRANT: And I'm not?

ANDERS: You tell me. You're not blinded by idealism, are you? At least, not so much you can't see your own interests.

TARRANT: And how would helping you, an unarmed prisoner of the enemy, help me.

ANDERS: We, that is the Federation, want Blake to put on trial and hurt the rebel cause. We want the Liberator for it's technology. Compared to Blake, YOUR trial would barely be noticed. You we can let slip away with little fuss.

TARRANT: More corruption.

ANDERS: Am I the one who wilfully aided and abetted in the murder of twelve unarmed prisoners? I'm not offering you morality, Tarrant. I am offering you a way out of this.

TARRANT: And I am not interested.

ANDERS: As I said, I'm not after an answer now.

TARRANT: But you want to ask the question.

ANDERS: Any Federation analyst can tell you that Avon and Blake went about their crusade all wrong. The Intergalactic War and then the Galactic War... the Federation was very nearly finished. Even the most fanatical support would concede major damage was done. Avon was too slow to exploit it.

TARRANT: Avon had better things to do at the time.

ANDERS: No doubt. But Servalan didn't and she rebuilt the empire.

TARRANT: Which then overthrew her with your help.

ANDERS: The rebel's biggest asset was this ship and its technology. Your biggest mistake - you, Avon, Blake, his son - was keeping all this... [waves his hands around] yourselves. The only chance you ever had was to spread it around, form alliances, but no you kept it to yourself and that was a fatal mistake.

TARRANT: We had our reasons.

ANDERS: You know what they are?

TARRANT: Curiously enough, yes.

ANDERS: Something about dangerous technology in other's hands, using it before you're mature enough to develop it on your own?

TARRANT: Something like that.

ANDERS: And when it looked like the Federation was gone? When you were all free? Why didn't Avon change his mind? He could have sold the technology at the very least - there was, after all, no Blake to stop him.

TARRANT: Since he's dead I guess we'll never know.

ANDERS: Mmm. You want to know what I think?

TARRANT: Not particularly.

ANDERS: As long as Avon and Blake had this ship, this unique ship, they're special. They can lead the fight, have their names be a rallying call for the war, have power within the ranks of those resisting the Federation. As soon as they give it away they're nothing, reduced to the level of any other tiny rebel group chipping away at the Federation. Reduced to the ordinary.

[Tarrant laughs.]

TARRANT: Yes, of course. Avon was always obsessed with popular opinion.

ANDERS: Maybe not Avon then. Maybe he had different reasons. But when I look at Nij Blake, I'm convinced that that is the reason. It makes complete sense to me.

TARRANT: You may be right but I'm still not interested.

ANDERS: Then, why are you still here talking to me?

TARRANT: I'm not.

[Tarrant leaves. Anders sighs and looks at the food.]

ANDERS: [Annoyed] You could have at least taste-tested it for me!

[Lower levels of the dome city. A twenty man squad of troopers is assembling near a door used to leave the city. They perform a last weapon check and move out.]

[Outside. The city it is twilight. A young woman is running for his life. She moves quickly through the woodland and across a river.]

[Tunnels. She hurries through the ancient underground. There is a group of outsiders waiting.]

[By the river, the Section Leader in charge of the search consults a scanner and moves forward followed by the trooper squad. They reach the tunnels.]

[Tunnels. The squad enter without incident. They walk a bit further and then find the outsider group. The outsiders talk and don't seem to notice the troopers. The troopers stand there for a minute, unsure what to do. The Section Leader fires at the ceiling. Finally the outsiders bother to look at them.]

SECTION LEADER: Veron, make yourself known immediately.

[The young woman leaves the group.]

VERON: Now what?

SECTION LEADER: Everyone here is now a prisoner of the Federation.

VERON: No, they're not. Now give you your security pass. We don't want the alarms going off when we make our move.

VANON: Now we can get back without the alarms going off. Take their weapons and lets move.

SECTION LEADER: You are ALL prisoners of the Federation!

VERON: The Federation is about to end. Do you really want to stay on the losing side?

[The Section Leader aims casually at Veron, but before he can fire, Veron shoots him dead.]

VERON: Well, that answers that question.

[There is a volley of gunfire, and the Federation troopers fall. Some of them survive long enough to spot the rebels in the hidden positions behind the squad. The outsiders with Veron draw their own weapons and the second salvo kills the last of the troops. Veron steps forward and searches the Section Leader's body. He holds up a key card.]

VANON: Take their weapons. Move!

[Outside city. We see Veron place the card in a reader.]

[Undercity. A trooper is guarding the entrance. The door opens and the trooper turns and, taken by surprise by the rebels, is gunned down. Without missing step, Veron heads past the dead trooper and up the steps to the upper levels. The rebels follow her.]

[Upper level. The rebels spread out. A security camera watches on.]

[Security office. A trooper sits at a console, studying various monitors. The trooper suddenly adjust a control and the main screen changes to an image of the rebels pouring out from the doorway. The trooper presses a control and the familiar blaring alarm sounds as the trooper activates the communicator.]

TROOPER: Armed rebels detected on level two!

[City. The various zombie like dome dwellers are mildly distracted by the alarm and flashing lights.]

P.A.: All security personnel to stations. All security personnel to stations. All civilians to their quarters. This is not a drill. This is not a drill. All security personnel to stations. All civilians to their quarters. All security personnel to stations. All security personnel to stations...

- to be concluded...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

B7: Deceit (ii)

[Liberator flight deck. Kyben and Vila are at the controls. Anders enters, closely followed by Blake, Tarrant, and Soolin. Tarrant heads for the pilot console.]

VILA: How long have we got left, Orac?

ORAC: You ran out of time approximately eight seconds ago.

TARRANT: Don't panic now, Vila. Breaking orbit.

[He operates the controls.]

ZEN: Information. Hull sensors indicate Liberator has been scanned by detector beams.

KYBEN: They know we're here, they're probably already on red alert!

BLAKE: Tarrant, get us out of here!

[Anders chuckles, amused.]

[Space. We see the Liberator and, not too far away, the space station in orbit over Earth.]

[Space Command HQ. Several flight controllers are at stations around the room. Fleet Warden Poulton is in command. A red light flashes over the scene.]

POULTON: Has Patrol Ship 7 confirmed the intruder's identity?

FLIGHT CONTROLLER: Yes, maam. Initial scans confirm it IS the Liberator.

POULTON: Launch all available fighting ships! Find out what the hell the Liberator was doing in Earth orbit!

FLIGHT CONTROLLER: [Harassed] Maam. Pursuit 3 moving into engage.

[Space. Liberator moves away from Earth. A pursuit ship swoops in from another direction.]

[Liberator flight deck.]

ZEN: Nearest enemy ship will be in strike range in ten seconds.

BLAKE: Zen, once we're clear of Earth orbit, set escape course at standard by seven!

ZEN: Plasma bolt launched.

[Space. The pursuit ship opens fire.]

[Liberator flight deck. Soolin grabs Anders by the scruff of the neck, preventing him from falling as the room shakes with the impact.]

[Space Command HQ. A second flight controller is talking to Poulton.]

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 2: We've put a general call, Fleet Warden. All ships within one hour transit time of Earth are returning here at best possible speed.

POULTON: Has Pursuit 3 opened fire on the Liberator?

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 1: Yes, maam. No attempt to return fire.

POULTON: Of course not. If they do, the delay will allow the other patrol ships to reach them.

[Liberator flight deck. Light smoke is hanging in the air]

ZEN: Two hits from plasma bolts, one to aft section, the other to engineering.

KYBEN: That ship's powering down. Some kind of malfunction?

TARRANT: Hardly - they're shutting down their defensive systems so all the power resevers can be used firing plasma bolts.

ZEN: Information. Second pursuit ship moving into attack. Liberator will be in plasma bolt range in three seconds.

VILA: Clear the main neutron blasters for firing. Activating the radiation flare shield.

BLAKE: [Sarcastic] Could be a good idea.

[Space. Liberator is leaving Pursuit 3 behind. Liberator fires on another pursuit ship directly in front of it. The Pursuit Ship is destroyed. Liberator accelerates away.]

[Space Command HQ.]

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 1: The Liberator is now beyond detector range.

POULTON: It was unlikely we'd stop them, but it was our only chance. Secure from red alert. Assign all ships to close patrol around Earth for the time being. [To Flight Controller 2] In the meantime I suggest, flight controller, you find out how they got into orbit WITHOUT being detected.

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 1: Maam, launch from planet Earth to the station.

POULTON: Identify.

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 1: It's the Deputy Supreme Commander. Requesting permission to dock.

POULTON: [Grim] Permission granted. I hope everyone realizes we could all be shot under the new law? Then use what time remains to us to find out exactly what happened. If he's in the mood to listen, we might be able to survive the Deputy's visit.

FLIGHT CONTROLLER 2: And if he ISN'T in a mood to listen?

POULTON: Then we're all dead, flight controller. Is that clear?

[Liberator flight deck. As before.]

ZEN: No further Federation pursuit.

VILA: [Sighs in relief] We got away. We did it.

BLAKE: [Grins] Did you ever doubt it? [To Anders] Why don't you sit down, Mister President?

[Blake indicates the side of the pit furthest from the console.]

ANDERS: Your hospitality is overwhelming. [sits] Presumably I'm not allowed to move out of this seat?

BLAKE: You could try, but I wouldn't recommend it. Niether would I recommend putting your hands where Soolin can't see them.

[Soolin sits in the pit opposite Anders. She smiles.]

ANDERS: Or else she'll shoot me?

SOOLIN: Somewhere very painful.

ANDERS: But not fatally. As I said, if you were going to kill me you could have let me die in that little incident of mass murder. Did you bother to let your crew know you were going to kill the entire Federation High Council.

BLAKE: [Smiles] Believe it or not, it was their idea.

ANDERS: Yes, you clearly have the moral high ground in this battle. You could have taken me prisoner, but killing twelve unarmed men and women was clearly the more sensible option.

TARRANT: An opportunity too good to miss.

ANDERS: Opportunities for more bloodshed. I'm surprised you went along with it, Dr Kyben.

KYBEN: [Darkly] Are you?

ANDERS: Indeed. A loyal Federation citizen like you? Now condoning mass slaughter. I would have thought a medic like yourself had some kind of oath. But you betrayed those as much as you betrayed society.

VILA: Murdering families does that to people.

ANDERS: As long as you have a good reason. An eye for eye, Kyben, makes the whole world blind.

SOOLIN: Eye humor isn't popular on this ship.

ANDERS: But mass slaughter is?

KYBEN: We want the Federation crippled.

ANDERS: You've destroyed the shipyards and taken away the main source of berite. Isn't that enough?

BLAKE: Not even a start. We've taken out a few vital nerve centres. And now we've cut off the head.

ANDERS: You've... 'cut off the head' of the Terran Federation, have you? By killing twelve councillors?

VILA: You know what they call the execution of the Federation High Council?

TARRANT: "A damn good start."

ANDERS: [Shakes head in disbelief] You really don't understand us, do you? Oh, of course, something like that will cause disruption, that is uncontested. In a month's time, that MINOR disruption will have been resolved. You'll barely be able to tell anything happened. Apart, of course, that you've sacrificed the Earth Resistance.

KYBEN: What do you mean?

ANDERS: The ones who turned off the teleport scrambler. There will an investigation into the explosion and that investigation will discover your agent your friends have inside the Administration.

SOOLIN: You're very confident.

ANDERS: I have reason to be. You are the ones who are deluded into thinking you've done any real harm. The Federation will bounce back from today quite easily.

TARRANT: But by then, you'll be dead.

ANDERS: So I don't even get a trial?

BLAKE: When this is over, if I can find the time, perhaps. Assuming we don't tire of you beforehand.

ANDERS: Oh, well, then I shall stay quiet. Just don't expect me to be impressed by your hit and run tactis.

SOOLIN: We haven't finished yet.

ANDERS: For your sakes, I hope that's the truth.

[Space Command HQ. The Deputy Supreme Commander enters followed by two guards. Poulton and the others leap to their feet, snap to attention and salute.]

DEPUTY: At ease, Fleet Warden. Snappy salutes are not going to impress me now. Make your report.

POULTON: Sir. Initial analysis indicates that patrol ships were diverted by a program entered from outside the main computer system. We believe it's origin may have been the Orac computer. The program opened a hole in Earth's defences that allowed the Liberator to enter orbit. They were in orbit for one point eight minutes before they were detected. I immediately ordered all ships to red alert and attacked with everything we could get into range in time.

DEPUTY: You still failed to stop the Liberator from leaving. And you lost a ship in the process.

POULTON: Yes sir. I accept full responsibility.

DEPUTY: Really? I'm not inclined to blame you ENTIRELY, Poulton. This was clearly a carefully-planned attack, co-ordinated between the Liberator and Earth-based rebellion. Some of the blame shall be saved for Intelligence and Security - after all, they failed to warn of an attack and stop the sabotage respectively.

POULTON: [Relieved] Sir.

DEPUTY: Clear the room.

[The flight controllers and the guards leave.]

[Liberator flies through space.]

BLAKE: Soolin, be so kind as to take President Anders to his room.

SOOLIN: My pleasure.

[She indicates Anders with her gun. He rises.]

ANDERS: There is no need for euphemisms - you are going to lock me away somewhere until you need me.

BLAKE: If you like.

[Soolin and Anders leave.]

VILA: You all right, Kyben?

KYBEN: Suppose so. President Anders was never going to be the greatest guest to have.

TARRANT: You don't think he was talking sense, then.

BLAKE: Oh, wake up, Tarrant. Words are the only thing he's got left. What did you expect him to do? Say the scales had fallen from his eyes and that he was always on our side?

VILA: He managed to overthrow Servalan and get away with it. In my book, he's clever.

KYBEN: So he managed a coup. YOU threw Servalan out an airlock. Did Anders do that?

VILA: Good point.

[Blake laughs.]

BLAKE: Zen, continue on preassigned course, standard by four. Time for auto repair to fix the battle damage?

ZEN: Repair computers estimate nine hours to restore systems to full capacity.

BLAKE: Just enough time.

TARRANT: I don't suppose you'd let us in on your next move.

BLAKE: [Smiles] You know me so well, Tarrant.

[Space Command HQ rotates in orbit. Inside, the Deputy and Poulton stand alone in the empty room.]

DEPUTY: This information is being kept strictly secret at the moment.


DEPUTY: It seems that Blake and his rebels attacked a meeting of the High Council. We believe they kidnapped the President and murdered the rest of the council. The remains are being checked by a forensic team but there is little real doubt.

POULTON: How could they have done that, sir?

DEPUTY: Someone there allowed the rebels to teleport into the council chamber. Based on what we know of teleport function it's highly likely they marked the chamber with a transmitter to give the Liberator an accurate fix.

POULTON: Then there must be a traitor in the Administration facility.

DEPUTY: [Nods] The entire staff is under arrest and subject to interrogation.

POULTON: Sir, with respect... Why are you telling me? I don't need to know ANY of this.

DEPUTY: Oh but you do. This latest incident notwithstanding, your career so far has been exemplary. I am changing your assignment and giving you that chance to redeem yourself.

POULTON: I'm listening, sir.

DEPUTY: Good. Then you are promoted from Fleet Warden to Fleet Admiral. Effective immediately.

POULTON: [Surprised] My assignment, sir?

DEPUTY: Command the Galactic First Fleet.


DEPUTY: It's a new command, assembled from the majority of existing Federation fleets. It represents the largest assembly of Federation firepower since the Intergalactic War.

POULTON: Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY: Don't thank me yet, Poulton. Your orders are to take command of the Galactic First Fleet. Pursue the Liberator and intercept. You will offer them one chance to release the President and surrender. Any deviation or hostile action you are authorised to terminate them and the President.

POULTON: And if they surrender?

DEPUTY: In that unlikely scenario you are to place a crew aboard the Liberator ensuring that they are given full command authority over the computers. You will transfer each prisoner to a different ship and return them to Earth.

POULTON: The Orac super computer?

DEPUTY: That and the Sevener starship are also to be returned separately. No chances can be taken.

[Liberator cabin. The door opens and Anders enters followed by Soolin. Soolin's gun is aimed at Anders.]

ANDERS: May I ask you a question, Soolin?

SOOLIN: You may ask. Whether I answer is up to me.

[Anders turns to face her.]

ANDERS: How much would it cost for you to kill Blake and the others?

[Soolin doesn't reply.]

ANDERS: You are an assassin, aren't you? A gun for hire? I want to hire you. How much?


ANDERS: I'm certain I can afford it.

SOOLIN: I'm not here for money.

ANDERS: Then what are you here for?

SOOLIN: You've read my central intelligence records, you tell me.

ANDERS: I have, it still doesn't explain why. You are an amoral killing machine, Soolin. Loyal only to yourself. You murdered human beings for money and money alone.

SOOLIN: Oh, not just for money, Mister President. Or did you skip the entry on my family.

ANDERS: I do apologize, Soolin. A handful of mercanies, smugglers and killers you killed for personal reasons.

SOOLIN: My family are dead because of the Federation.

ANDERS: Gauda Prime was declared an open planet. Your family had plenty of time to leave - they chose to stay, they knew the risks. It was criminals, criminals to the Federation, that killed your family. Blaming the Federation for it is rather obtuse. Why not blame the workers who provided those criminals with their weapons?

SOOLIN: The Federation knew what would happen and they didn't care.

ANDERS: You care, though, do you?

SOOLIN: What do you think?

ANDERS: I think you're insane, Soolin. Or else a terrifying hypocrite. The scum of the galaxy descended on your planet. Criminals, deserters, traitors, psychopaths... and who exactly have you been spending your time with of late? The type of animal of this ship are the the same type that murdered your family. And you help them, work with them, keep them alive... you've become just like them.

SOOLIN: Have you ever been to GP, Mister President?


SOOLIN: I have. I lived through what you're talking about. The statistics you've read. So what exactly gives you the right to judge me?

ANDERS: I'm not judging you, Soolin. I'm just curious. You say you're not killing people for money any more?


ANDERS: Then what ARE you killing them for? Ideals? Honor? Because young Blake tells you to?

[Soolin turns to leave.]

ANDERS: You're not the first, you know.

SOOLIN: [Not turning round] Not the first what?

ANDERS: Career criminal to give up their profession to start working for the good of all mankind. It's fascinating, isn't it? The way Blake seems to inspire people. Like Roj Blake before him. Almost like he's possessed you. Or conditioned you all.

SOOLIN: Blake doesn't force us to help him. We're here by choice. Can any of your followers say the same?

ANDERS: No, they're all working for me against their will, gripped with terror at what I might do to them if they rebel. So, it's rather moving seeing you brutally slaughter wave after wave of them. Just how many have you killed on this crusade, Soolin?

SOOLIN: It's a large number, Mister President.

ANDERS: I don't doubt it.

SOOLIN: And it will increase by one if you ever speak of my family again.

ANDERS: Blake wouldn't like that.

SOOLIN: He'd learn to live with it. Unlike you.

[She leaves and closes the door.]

[Space Command HQ.]

POULTON: The attack was hastily scrambled, but it did some damage to the Liberator after all. Patrol crafts have detected a trail of ionised particles on her last known course. They probably aren't even aware of it.

DEPUTY: And until it's fixed we can follow them anywhere.

POULTON: Indeed, sir. Even if they use their cloaking device.

DEPUTY: Then its time you began your assignment, Fleet Admiral Poulton.

[Poulton turns to leave.]

DEPUTY: One last thing, Poulton.


DEPUTY: Do not fail me. Failure is not acceptable. Fail and there will be a firing squad with you as target.

POULTON: No different to working here, then, sir.

DEPUTY: No. Good luck.

POULTON: Very good sir.

[Poulton leaves.]

- to be continued...

B7: Deceit (i)

A rewrite for the last episode of Series Six to match it up with the stuff I've written... and because it's so damn basic and skeletal it hurts just reading it...

613: Deceit

[A meeting room on Earth inside a bunker below the Federation Council Building. There is a long conference table with the twelve members of the Federation High Council, the highest Federation authority, seated around it. President Anders is at the end of the table. On the wall is a screen showing a planet.]

SUPREME COMMANDER: This is the planet Tertrel, until recently the Federation's main source of berite ore. The planetary crust has an unusually high concentration. When the workers rebelled, our space craft construction was set back by the loss of berite, a loss that has been unable to be replaced. The Pacification Police began their work on Tertrel a month ago. Two days ago, the Commissioner in charge sent in the following report.

[The screen shows a stern-looking man.]

COMMISIONER: Report from planet Tertrel to Federation Space Command. The situation on this planet is contained. The rebels have been destroyed. It is estimated the production of berite can be resumed in less than ten days. I hereby request the assignment of ten thousand labour grade slave units to this planet for work in the mines and a further thousand tech trained units for the processing plant. Full production will be resumed in one month, on those conditions. Request assignment of permanent garrison to this planet. Report ends. Transmit to Federation base for relay to Earth.

[The screen goes blank.]

SUPREME COMMANDER: Due to the distance, that report was received approximately two hours after it was sent. By that time an automated observation satellite was already transmitting this.

[The screen shows a wheel-like Space Command space station in orbit around the planet. Suddenly a streak of light flashes across the image and hammers into the station. The picture rapidly pans back along the missile's trajectory to show a second missile heading for the station, and the Liberator following it in. The camera follows the second missile as it enters the firestorm created when the first one exploded and detonates. The blast rapidly dissipates as the oxygen is used up and the station is completely gone. Liberator moves into position above the planet and fires a neutron blaster at the surface once.]

SUPREME COMMANDER: Hardly a planetary bombardment, you'll agree. But that single shot destroyed the pacification force's headquarters and much of their equipment along with it. The satellite picked up this immediately afterward.

[The screen shows Blake, smiling smugly.]

BLAKE: Warlord Morgon, this is Nij Blake. Orbital facility and surface base destroyed. You may start your landing. The planet's all yours. Blake out.

[The screen turns blank.]

SUPREME COMMANDER: It took approximately one hour for the Warlord Morgon to take possession of Tertrel.

ANDERS: And what about about our forces on Tertrel. They must have survived!

SUPREME COMMANDER: Yes, Mister President, however their command structure, supplies and heavy equipment did not. Intelligence believes there is still sporadic fighting going on but for all practical purposes Morgon has the planet. He's already bringing in workers to start mining.

ANDERS: And our men?

SUPREME COMMANDER: Being used as slave labour.

ANDERS: He can be selling refined berite on the open market in two weeks.

SUPREME COMMANDER: Morgon's fleet is hardly strong, but his forces are digging into the planet. We COULD retake Tertrel - but only after a long siege. By which time, Morgon will already have the berite supplies. If he heads straight into space craft construction, computer predictions state we have under a year before he is the most powerful man in that entire quadrant.

ANDERS: That is hardly our priority now.

[The other councillers ridicule this.]

MINISTER: Not a priority?

ANDERS: Yes. Compared to the assault on the Federation shipyards.

[Anders presses a control and the screen starts showing the final stage of the Liberator's attack on the shipyards. The expressions of those watching turn grave.]

ANDERS: Now we can start with the Minister of Production's latest projections.

MINISTER: Mister President?

ANDERS: On how much the destruction of the shipyard will hurt us.

MINISTER: Yes. Of course, sir. The loss is, of course, considerable. Space Command cannot continue its expansion of Federation territory without additional ships, and the building program is now on an indefinite hiatus.

SUPREME COMMANDER: And how will Federation expansion be affected by this one act?

MINISTER: Well, Supreme Commander, er, the delay will cause a considerable... slowing down of expansion.

SUPREME COMMANDER: By how much? Forty per cent?

MINISTER: No, a bit more than that.

ANDERS: [Bored] Minister?

MINISTER: [Swallows] Federation expansion has been brought to a complete halt.

[Anders is not upset at the news, unlike the rest of the council.]

ANDERS: A reasonable conclusion, Minister. Based on the facts you have.

SUPREME COMMANDER: There are other facts?

ANDERS: There are always other facts.

SUPREME COMMANDER: Then what are they?

ANDERS: Before we go further I must caution you all not to say a word of this to anyone outside this chamber. Do not discuss it even between those present in this room. This is classified beyond AA-zero level.

MINISTER: Why so secretive?

SUPREME COMMANDER: Are you worried about betrayal to the rebels?

ANDERS: Should I be?

SUPREME COMMANDER: We have no machinery to replenish our space fleet and no raw material either. Our battle fleet is now a finite resource and the rebellion is already starting to catch up. You may not be worried, Mister President, but I am.

ANDERS: Then you understand my desire for absolute secrecy?

SUPREME COMMANDER: Oh, stop grandstanding and get on with it!

ANDERS: I just wanted to clarify how extremely important it is that this information goes no further.

MINISTER: Understood, Mister President.

ANDERS: Very well. Not long before the Andromedan invasion, the President of the time decided that new and more powerful space craft were required. Thus, a secret research and development facility was constructed in deep space, with close access to everything that could concievably needed to create a new fleet of battle cruisers. Raw materials, mining and processing, the facility's location was chosen to allow it to produce all its own components.

SUPREME COMMANDER: That was before the Galactic War, years ago. Why haven't we heard of it since?

ANDERS: Nothing substantial came from the development. Following the destruction of Star One and the Galactic War, the facility was forgotten. Its existence was was carefully hidden and any information would have been lost in the civil wars. Not even Orac could know about it.

MINISTER: And how did you discover it, then, Mister President?

ANDERS: That information is irrelevant at the moment, Minister. The facility was not coming up with any new ideas for space warfare. Thus, I decided that it should restructure itself - start constructing normal star cruisers instead of trying to design new ones. Over the past two years, in absolute secrecy, that fleet of battle cruisers has been built. The operation was completed three hours ago.

[The councilors exchange surprised looks.]

ANDERS: The destruction of the shipyards and the taking of Tertrel are thus not the crippling blow you and the rebels may have believed it to be. The rebels will now concentrate on building up their own forces, and a surprise attack from the largest battle fleet in history I feel confident they won't have predicted. Now, Supreme Commander. Do we have ideas of what to do next?

[Space. The Liberator hurtles towards Earth.]

[Liberator Flight Deck. Everyone is at their stations.]

ZEN: Information. Liberator is now in geostationary orbit around the planet Earth. Teleport range for the specified coordinates will be achieved in twenty two seconds and reducing.

BLAKE: Orac, make sure that all the computer sensors stay within optimm.

ORAC: Of course I shall.

VILA: Just get it right, Orac. One wrong bit of code and we'll get the whole solar system on our back!

KYBEN: We all know that, Vila, stay calm.

ORAC: The Liberator will be completely invisible to the detector net for the next one hundred and seventeen seconds precisely.

VILA: We could use the next one hundred and sixteen seconds to get out, you know, Blake.

BLAKE: Not this time, Vila.

[Blake, Soolin and Tarrant cross to the armory to collect their guns.]

BLAKE: You realize what I am going to do down there.

SOOLIN: It would a bit difficult to miss.

BLAKE: Then you'll know I can't afford any arguments down there. Any squeamishness. This is the point of no return. Can I trust you two?

SOOLIN: [Nods] Of course.

TARRANT: The question is, can we trust you?

BLAKE: Shall we find out?

TARRANT: Vila, teleport duty!

[Vila nods and leaves his station, hurrying for the steps.]

VILA: We've only got eighty-two seconds left you lot, so come on.

[The others hurry after him.]

BLAKE: He's so eager.

SOOLIN: Ominous, isn't it?

TARRANT: Probably because he can still drink himself into a stupor in seventy-four seconds. Good luck, Kyben.

KYBEN: You too.

[Meeting room. As before.]

SUPREME COMMANDER: In summary, I believe - based on the evidence the President has supplied - the best course of action is to combine this new fleet with the rest of Space Command and move into the disputed territories. There, we shall deal with each warlord one by one. Ground troups sill complete training in the next week, and they shall be sent in to deal with each planet once the space forces are dealt with.

ANDERS: It will mean leaving large sections of the Federation protected only by old ships and sub light fighters while the campaign is carried out. But I agree, Supreme Commander, the gains will be worthwhile.

SUPREME COMMANDER: On the basis of all provided data, a conservative estimate would place the galaxy under the complete control of the Federation in two years.

MINISTER: The rebels and their damage has been largely irrelevant then?

ANDERS: Indeed, Minister. All they have done is given us the tactical advantage.

SUPREME COMMANDER: Nevertheless, Space Command concluded some time ago that the destruction of the Liberator would be a major psychological blow to rebels, warlords and criminals. I believe it would be wise that the fleet's first task would be to elimate Blake and his ship.

ANDERS: Why not? One last decisive showdown with the Liberator followed by a campaign of conquest the like of which this galaxy has never seen.

MINISTER: [Doubtful] Putting the whole fleet against a single ship?

ANDERS: It has been over seven years, Minister, that the Liberator and her crew has been opposing us. Attempting to capture it would be time consuming and most likely a failure. Blasting it into the outer darkness before the warlords can get any of their hands on that alien technology is the only way.

MINISTER: As it pleases you, Mister President. But once the fleet's existence is well known, can I assume my deparment will take over the production facility?

ANDERS: The facility is my personal responsibility, Minister.

MINISTER: Mister President, with respect, that is unacceptable...

[The minister is cut off in mid sentence as Blake, Soolin and Tarant teleport into the room, guns already drawn.]


[Blake aims his gun at the Supreme Commander.]

BLAKE: [Mock reproving] Language!

[Soolin takes off the second bracelet she wears and, still covering him, slides it across the table to Anders.]

SOOLIN: Put this on?

ANDERS: Kidnap?

BLAKE: If you like.

[Anders snaps the bracelet onto his wrist as Tarrant places a tube of Liberator explosives on the table, buzzing.]

TARRANT: Timer's on twenty seconds.

SOOLIN: And we still have fifty to work with. Vila, teleport.

BLAKE: Goodbye then. You won't be missed.

[Blake, Tarrant, Soolin and Anders teleport. The councilors exchange looks of confused at how fast things are happening. The Supreme Commander dives across the table as the Minister stares in horror.]

[The heavy metal doors to the meeting room shudder from a muffled explosion.]

[Space. The Liberator hangs above the Earth.]

TARRANT: [V.O.] Did I say twenty seconds? My mistake.

[Liberator teleport room. Vila is at the controls, Blake, Tarrant, Soolin and Anders in the bay.]

VILA: They're back, Kyben, engage the standby course!

KYBEN: [V.O.] On it.

[Vila heads from the teleport room. Blake holsters his gun. Soolin and Tarrant still aim their guns at Anders.]

BLAKE: Welcome to the Liberator, Mister President. Captain Del Tarrant will be looking after you, as my guest.

ANDERS: [Disbelieving] He's to take care of me, is he?

BLAKE: It's his number one priority.

TARRANT: If there is any trouble, Mister President, I promise to take care of you.

ANDERS: Permanently?

TARRANT: Permanently.

ANDERS: You'll forgive me if I'm not impressed, "Captain" Tarrant. If you wanted me dead, why bring me here? Why not leave me to be murdered with the rest of the High Council?

SOOLIN: Not murder. Execution.

ANDERS: How very moral of you. Did you have to go to much trouble? There is a teleport scrambler field around that facility. Well, there was.

BLAKE: The Earth Resistance shut it down.

ANDERS: That WILL have cost them dearly.

SOOLIN: They managed it though.

ANDERS: And no doubt to get through to Earth, you had your super computer rearrange patrol ship courses to leave a gap?

BLAKE: The rest was very simple.

ANDERS: [Smiles] For creatures like you, it would have to be. So, what is it to be? Force me to watch you make the winning move before I die?

BLAKE: Something like that. Speaking of moving, that way, please.

[Blake grandly gestures the exit. Unimpressed, Anders turns and goes where he is bidden.]

- to be continued...