[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.
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.
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.]
DEPUTY: I AM THE SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE FEDERATION!! YOU WILL OBEY ME!
[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.]
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.]
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.
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.]
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?
BLAKE: Not too long it seems.
ZEN: Multiple contacts at extreme detector range.
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.]
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.
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...
ANDERS: You will NOT WIN! I WILL WIN! NOW SURRENDER!
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.
ANDERS: SO SURRENDER!
TARRANT: [Sighs] We outlived Servalan. And maybe the Federation. Why not? I didn't have anything better planned...
ANDERS: YOU'RE INSANE! ALL OF YOU!
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.
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.]
ANDERS: YOU WILL NOT WIN!