Script for Assassin

by Rod Beacham

(c) 1981 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1992 by Frances Teagle, Micky DuPree and Amanda Rothman.

Dramatis Personae:

Kerr AvonPaul Darrow
Vila RestalMichael Keating
ServalanJacqueline Pearce
Del TarrantSteven Pacey
Dayna MellanbyJosette Simon
SoolinGlynis Barber
OracPeter Tuddenham
VerlisBetty Marsden
NebroxRichard Hurndall
PiriCaroline Holdaway
CancerJohn Wyman
BenosPeter Attard
TokAdam Blackwood
Servalan's CaptainMark Barratt

[Scorpio in space - cut to flight deck]

AVON[Approaching Vila's console] I don't know what this is about, Vila, but for your sake I hope it is important.
VILAIt's important, all right. You all quite comfortable?
VILAThen, ladies and gentlemen, for your edification and delight, the voice you all know and love...
AVONVila! [Vila switches on recorder]

SERVALAN[VO] Utilizer to Cancer, Utilizer to Cancer. Domo the ninth, five subjects.
SOOLINAre you sure?
VILAI called you at once.
TARRANTWell now you've had your moment of glory, do you think we could hear what the lady has to say?
VILAOh, right. [switches on again]

SERVALAN[VO] Utilizer to Cancer, Utilizer to Cancer. Domo the ninth, five subjects. Utilizer to Cancer, Utilizer to Cancer. Domo the ninth, five subjects. Utilizer to Cancer... [cut off]
TARRANTIs that it?
VILAThat's it, just the same message over and over again.
DAYNAWell it doesn't mean anything. Utilizer, Cancer, five subjects - it's gibberish.
TARRANTDomo the ninth?
VILASon of Domo the Eighth, presumably.
DAYNAThe ninth must be a date.
SOOLINDomo is a planet.
TARRANTI can't say I've ever heard of it.
SOOLINIt's a hostile planet near the edge of the sixth quadrant. About ten years ago it was colonised by a group of space pirates. They use it as a base to attack any undefended ships, loot them and auction the passengers off as slaves.
VILAAuction! You're joking.
DAYNAAll right, so Domo is a planet, the ninth is a date, but who or what is Cancer?
SOOLINI don't know.
TARRANTHe knows, though, [looking at Avon] don't you? You know about Cancer.
AVONYes, I know about him.
TARRANTSo who is he?
AVONI've no idea. No, I mean it. I don't know who he is, how old he is, what he looks like, or where he comes from, but I do know what he does.
TARRANTAnd what's that?
AVONHe kills people - for a great deal of money.

[Federation cruiser in space - cut to control room]

SERVALANThe communications net is functioning perfectly. All right, Captain, we can get under way now.
CAPTAINBack to headquarters, Commissioner?

SERVALANNo. I want you to lay in a course for the planet Domo.
CAPTAINThat's not a very healthy place to visit, ma'am.

SERVALANI have a robust constitution, Captain.

[Scorpio flight deck]

DAYNAA hired assassin with Servalan as his utilizer - why?
AVONI don't want to seem paranoid, but the tape said five subjects. You may use your fingers, if you like, Vila.
DAYNAWell I suppose it makes sense. Why break her neck chasing us around the galaxy when she can pay a professional to do it for her?
TARRANTYes, but so what? Why should he find us any easier than she can? [To Avon] He's good, is he, this Cancer?
AVONYou can imagine how much it hurts me to use the word infallible.
TARRANTOh, come on. Nobody's infallible.
AVONAll right, then he's not infallible. It's just that up to now, he has never failed.
TARRANTDo you know, I really think you're frightened.
AVONOrac, have you been listening to all this?
ORACWith interest.
AVONWhat do you think?
ORACI think you're quite right. A degree of apprehension is not inappropriate. [Avon smiles slightly.]
TARRANTHe means what do you think we should do?
ORACI would have thought that was self-evident. You must find this Cancer before he finds you.
AVONThat's a splendid theory. Have you any idea how we should set about putting it into practice?
ORACYou have a time and a place.
SOOLINDomo, the ninth.

[Later - Scorpio on the move. Cut to flight deck]

SOOLINAvon, if no one has ever seen the man's face, how will we know him?
AVONPerhaps we won't have to. If we're right and Servalan is going to be on Domo to give him our names and some form of down payment, perhaps we can handle this some other way.
SOOLINWhat other way?
AVONServalan has lived altogether too long. Cancer is a professional. With his paymistress dead, he will pack up his toys and go home.

[Scorpio approaching planet. Cut to surface - desert conditions. Avon and Vila teleport]

AVON[Leading the way up hill] Come on!

[They reach the top of the slope and cautiously look over. A group of pirates are disporting themselves. Benos quarrels with one over a game]

BENOSLook, when I say I win, I win. Right? [Knocks him down and kicks him - cut back to Avon and Vila]
VILAFriendly looking lot aren't they? Are you sure you can manage them on your own? [Avon hands his gun to Vila]
AVONPerhaps you'd better come with me.
VILAOh - well, if you like - but it's bad luck to change your plans, you know. I mean, once you've started.
AVON[smiles] My hero. Just keep your head down and try not to panic. All right?
VILAGood luck! [Avon slides down into a dry gully and walks along it towards the pirates]
BENOSWell, well, well. What's this, a mirage?
AVON[Feigning timid relief] Thank goodness! I'm so glad to see you. My space shuttle crash-landed back there. All my friends were killed. I've been walking all day. I wonder, can you please help me?
BENOSWell - what sort of help were you thinking of?
AVONWell, you know; food, water.
BENOSWell, I think we can manage that, don't you lads? Food, water, nice dry sleeping quarters.
AVONThank you. It'll just be for tonight.
BENOSOh no, no, no, this'll be board and lodging for a lifetime.
AVONI'm sorry, I don't understand.
BENOSHe talks very pretty, doesn't he, lads? That should be worth another thirty vems. Mind you, you're a bit skinny though, aren't you? [pawing Avon's face] I said, you're a bit on the skinny side, aren't you? [Avon knocks him down, then floors another pirate.]
VILA[Watching from cover] Avon, don't make too good a job of it or we'll never get anywhere. [Avon runs away, followed by the group. He is intercepted by another and brought down with a tackle. He kicks the next pursuer away, but the others throw themselves upon him. Vila winces and slips away.]
BENOSSo, you're a fighter as well as a talker, are you? You'll probably fetch the best price of the day. Take him away lads. [sees Avon's bracelet on the ground] Just a minute, what's this then, eh? [puts it on]
AVONIt's nothing, it's of no value.
BENOSOh really? Then you won't be needing it, will you? [holds it up] It suits me, don't you think so? Right, take him to the cells.

[Scorpio flight deck]

DAYNATarrant, come here.
TARRANTWhat is it? [screen shows a black ship leaving Domo]
DAYNAWhat d'you think?
TARRANTHard to tell. Could be a pirate, could be anything.
DAYNAWell, if it was a pirate, I'd have thought he would...
VILA[VO] Tarrant, come in Tarrant.
TARRANTAbout time. Vila, what's happening?
VILAMission accomplished.
TARRANTAny sign of Servalan.
VILALook, just get me up will you? It's a bit uncivilized down here.
TARRANTAll right. Stop quivering. [Vila teleports]
SOOLINSo it all went according to plan, did it?
VILAOh yes, wonderful. First they beat him to a pulp, then they dragged him off.
TARRANT[Slight grin] It was his idea.
SOOLINHe'll be all right. He's got his bracelet, he can get away any time.
DAYNAAh - they did leave the bracelet on him, Vila?
VILAEr - yes, of course they did... I think.

[A cell - an old man is sitting on the bed. Avon is thrown in]

NEBROXAre you all right?
AVONWell I have been better. [looks around] For one thing, the accommodation leaves a lot to be desired.
NEBROXWell, one consolation for you, you won't be here long. The auction - they only hold them once every three months. You've arrived on the very day.
AVONWell, I suppose you could call that a consolation.
NEBROXAnd another thing. A fine, well-set-up young fellow like you, you won't have any trouble in finding a buyer. Whereas an old wreck like me, with no special skills...
AVONI shouldn't think that bothers you too much.
NEBROXYes, but they only - they only put you up twice. Then they decide you're not worth your keep, and ... [makes the cut-throat gesture] This - this will be my second time.
AVONOh - I'm sorry. I wish you luck.
NEBROXThank you. My name is Nebrox, by the way.
AVONTell me, Nebrox, have you noticed any unusual activity on this planet during the last twenty-four hours?
NEBROX[Sharply] Why?
AVONIdle curiosity.
NEBROXI thought so! You're no ordinary prisoner. I knew it the moment you came in. What are you up to? [ingratiatingly] You can tell me, I'm not an informer, I swear it. Have - have you got a way of getting out of here?
AVONWell I did have, until some lout took a fancy to it.
NEBROXWhich lout?
AVONA charmer called Benos. Do you know him?
AVONHe took a bracelet of mine. Without it, I'm as stuck here as you are.
NEBROXMaybe - maybe I could get it back for you.
NEBROXIf I do, you've got to take me with you.
AVONI'll think about that.
NEBROXNo, I mean it, you've got to promise.
AVONAll right. I promise. [sound of footsteps]

[Outdoor slave market - Servalan is sitting with the slavetrader Verlis, a middle-aged woman wearing an elaborate silver headdress]

SERVALANIt doesn't look as though you've attracted many customers for this particular sale, though.
VERLISOh my dear, every one of those men is an agent for at least fifty potential clients. [Laughs] They inspect the merchandize and then report back to the client. [Camera pans across a row of exotically-dressed agents sitting on camp chairs] The client prefers it that way. He can sit safely and snugly at home and enjoy all the excitement of doing something illegal without taking any of the risks.

SERVALANYou mean they put in their bids by communicator?
VERLISYes, sometimes the agents nearly have a stroke trying to keep track of the bids. You watch them, especially when it comes to the entertainers. The nouveau riche, my dear, they nearly fall over themselves bidding for them. Nothing they like more than to impress their noble friends by having tame singers and dancers on tap. [She and Servalan laugh.]

SERVALANYou're obviously fulfilling a deeply felt need, Verlis.
VERLISOh, yes, I am, yes I am. I am a public servant. You didn't do so badly, you know. With a specimen like yours, you got a bargain.

SERVALANIt was a fair price.

[Cell - Avon is inspecting a bowl of mush]

AVONWhat is this exactly?
NEBROX[Eating his] It's mangon. It's a sort of stew made from fungus. It takes some getting used to, but it's really very nourishing. [Hopefully] If you don't want it, I...
AVONOh you have it. [hands it to him] Eat it and good health. You were going to tell me about any unusual activity you'd noticed over the last few days.
NEBROXYes, well, yesterday morning when we were out exercising, a ship arrived. Federation, it looked like, but it couldn't have been, could it? Seemed to be a woman in charge.
AVONWhat was she like, the woman?
NEBROXWell, I didn't really get much of a look at her. She was tall, dark, obviously important and powerful. Why? Do you know her?
AVONOh, yes. I think we may have met.
NEBROXWell then, this morning, another ship arrived, a black ship. But nobody got out of it, and no one was allowed near it, except this woman. She went on board, stayed for about an hour, and then she came back here, went into one of the slave huts, and she made a purchase.
NEBROXYes. You see, a party of traveling entertainers was brought in about two months ago. She bought one and they went back to the ship.
AVONWhy would she do that?
NEBROXI don't know. I don't even know which one it was. I only know that she took one of them back to the black ship and then she came back here alone.
AVONWhat about the ship. Is it still there?
NEBROXUh, no. No, it took off just before you came in. I - I saw it from the window.
AVON[Disgusted] That's wonderful. [Sound of footsteps outside]
NEBROXThey're coming to get us. The auction is starting.
AVONWhatever your plan is to get my bracelet back, now might be a good time to put it into practice.
AVONYou haven't got a plan, have you? [Suspiciously] Or perhaps you have.
NEBROXI'll think of something, I promise. You can trust me, really you can.

[Slave market - Servalan and Verlis eating and drinking together]

BENOS[In background] Go on, move. Move!

SERVALANVerlis! That man.
BENOSStand there!
VERLISWhich man? [Benos brings Avon and Nebrox forward and removes Avon's shackles]

SERVALANThe young one. I want him.
VERLISI'm sorry, Commissioner. I can break the rules in private, not in public.

SERVALANI want him! You can name your price.
VERLISYou'll have to bid for him like anyone else.
BENOSOne moment, gentlemen. A late addition. Perhaps you'd like to send back a few details to your clients, especially the ladies. Now I know he looks soft, and he talks soft, too, but you can tell the ladies he's strong enough to work all day and still have plenty of energy left over for any little chores you might have for him in the evenings. [laughter] Now, what am I bid?
TOKValeria of Prim bids a hundred vems.
BENOSOne hundred! That's very good, but you're going to have to do better than that. Any advance?
TOKNatratof of Gourimpest bids a hundred and fifty.
BENOSA hundred and fifty.
TOKValeria bids two hundred.
BENOSTwo hundred!
TOKNatratof bids two hundred and fifty.
BENOSTwo hundred and fifty. Any advance on two-fifty? Three hundred? Three-fifty? Four hundred? Four-fifty? [agents signal bids]
TOKNatratof bids five hundred.
BENOSFive hundred? He's worth all that for his lovely manners alone. Now will anybody bid me more than five hundred?

SERVALANI will [pause] I bid seven hundred vems.
NEBROXYou don't want him Lady! Take me [rushes forward and kneels in front of her] take me, Lady. I'm strong, I won't let you down.
BENOSSilly old fool. [hauls him to his feet]
NEBROXOh no, take me please. Please, you must - you must.
BENOSWhat are you babbling about? [shoves him away. As Nebrox sits up he shows Avon that he has stolen the bracelet]
BENOSI'm sorry about that interruption, gentlemen. Now Madam, where were we?

SERVALANI bid seven hundred vems.
BENOSSeven hundred vems, that's right. Now, any advance on seven hundred?
TOKNatratof bids eight hundred vems.

SERVALANNine hundred.
TOKOne thousand.

SERVALANTwo thousand.
BENOSTwo thousand vems. It's with you, Agent Tok. Well?
TOKNo further bid, but my client wishes to protest at the irregularity of these proceedings.

[Scorpio flight deck]

AVON[VO] Scorpio, come in Scorpio.
TARRANTAvon, what's happening?
AVON[VO] Never mind what's happening. Just get me up as quickly as you can. [Cut to Domo]
NEBROXYou promised! You promised! [Back to Scorpio]
AVON[VO] Cancel that. Someone get down here with a spare gun and an extra bracelet.
TARRANTDammit, Avon, make up your mind.
DAYNAI'll go.

[Slave market]

BENOSHey, what are you two up to? [rushes over to Avon and Nebrox. Avon knocks him over and floors another guard]
AVON[Into bracelet] Now might be a good time. [To Nebrox] All right, come on, if you're coming. [As they fight their way clear, the other slaves get up and run away]

SERVALANAvon. [Avon is forced onto his knees in front of her]

SERVALANI think, if you don't mind, I would prefer my slave to address me as `mistress'. [Dayna teleports down, gun in hand, and aims at the guards, who back away from Avon.]
DAYNA[Seeing Servalan] You!! [aims at Servalan, but is attacked by a pirate. She clubs him with the gun, then tosses it to Avon] Avon! Here. [As she draws her own gun, Benos charges her and knocks it from her hand. She somersaults away]
AVON[Softly] Benos. [Benos looks round and Avon shoots him. Dayna grabs her gun, they race over to Nebrox] Put this on. Quickly!
DAYNATake us up *now*. [They teleport - Verlis drops her drink in astonishment]

[Scorpio flight deck]

DAYNAI almost had her. [Raging] I almost had her!!
AVONAlmost is never good enough.
SOOLINBut what about Cancer?
AVONCancer came and went, in a black ship.
TARRANTWe saw it.
AVONYou saw it? When?
TARRANTNot long ago. A black ship lifted out of orbit.
AVONDo you think you can plot its exact course?
SOOLINAvon, there's no possible reason to assume he'd still be holding that course.
AVONNo, but we can try a sweep in the general area. That is, unless someone has a better suggestion.
VILAYou want to introduce us to your friend?


DAYNAAvon, look at that. [stationary black ship shows up on screen]
AVONClose scan. What's he playing at? [camera zeros in on crab logo]
VILAWho cares. I never was much for games.
TARRANTDo you think it's a trap?
AVONProbably. But it's just possible that he's having trouble with his power systems, in which case, to coin a phrase, he is at our mercy.

[Cancer's ship - cut to interior - mostly black. Avon and Tarrant teleport in and look around]

TARRANTSo far, so good. [They search the corridors]
TARRANTEmergency lighting. Maybe the main systems *are* out.
AVONMaybe you ought to send in your visiting card.
TARRANTWell, if it's a trap, he knows we're here. What should we do? Split up?
AVONNo. Let's cover each other every step of the way.

[They move cautiously forward to the flight deck door. it slides open slowly - cut to interior. A dummy dressed in black is seated at the controls. Pan round to a man with curly blonde hair and a darker beard. He is wearing black with the crab logo on his chest. Pan round to a woman nearby. She is a small fluffy blonde in blue and she is obviously terrified. Cut to Avon and Tarrant outside the open door]

AVONWell, we have to start somewhere. [they rush in and fire at the dummy]

"CANCER": [Appearing behind them] Gentlemen, please put down your weapons [they drop them] It's a pleasure to welcome you aboard my ship. Please remain perfectly still.

AVONOnly a man. "CANCER": I'm sure you're as disappointed with your performance as I am, Avon.
AVONWell, I've learned to live with disappointment. "CANCER": Never mind, you won't have to live with it any longer. [As he moves forward, Piri strikes him on the wrist and he drops the gun. He lifts her up and throws her away]
AVONDon't worry, I'll cover you. [Tarrant charges to the rescue as Avon picks up a gun. Piri watches the fight in horror as Tarrant gets the worst of it. Avon stands by calmly until he gets the chance to shove the gun in Cancer's face]
AVONAs I was saying, we all have to learn to live with disappointment.


NEBROXI do hope they're all right.
AVON[VO] Cancer to Scorpio, Cancer to Scorpio. Are you there, Vila?
VILAWhere else would I be?
DAYNAAre you all right?
AVON[VO] Fine. We're both fine. I think our friend Cancer has a bit of a headache, though.
VILAYou've got him!
NEBROXOh, he really is *so* very clever. [Wails from Piri]
SOOLINAvon, what *is* that terrible noise?

[Cut to black ship control room]

AVONIt's a little difficult to explain. Perhaps you'd better come and see for yourself.
PIRII'm sorry. I'll be all right in a minute. You must think me very silly.
TARRANTAnyone's entitled to a few tears after what you've been through.
PIRII just didn't know what to do.
TARRANTListen, you saved both our lives.
AVONAnd we're very grateful. Now if you could answer a few questions...
TARRANTLeave her alone for a minute.
PIRINo, it's all right, really. What is it that you want to know?
AVONAnything you can tell us about *him*.
PIRIBut I never saw him before today. This woman came and bought me from the slave compound and gave me to him. He said - he said that he wanted me to help him to celebrate after he'd finished a job that he had to do.
AVONThat's all he said?
PIRIYes. That's what frightened me more than anything. Ever since we left Domo, he hasn't said a single word to me, just stared at me sometimes. Except when a message came through from that woman, then he said `So the prey has come looking for the hunter. How Interesting.' He stopped the ship and waited for you.
AVONDid he say anything about meeting the woman again, for payment after the job was finished?
PIRINo, nothing at all. I'm sorry I can't be of more help to you.
TARRANTLook, do you think she could have a rest now?
AVONI don't see why not.

[Soolin, Vila and Nebrox teleport aboard]

SOOLINYou have been busy.
TARRANTAh, [making introductions] this is Soolin.
PIRIOh, hello.
TARRANTAh yes, and the gentleman with the cough is Vila.
PIRIHello Vila.
VILANice to meet you.
NEBROXAnd I'm Nebrox.
SOOLINAnd this, presumably, is Cancer.
VILADoesn't look so terrifying, does he?
SOOLINSo what are we going to do with him?
AVONWhat do you think?
VILAYou're going to kill an unarmed prisoner?
SOOLINWhen did you get religion?
VILAI'm a thief, not a butcher!
AVONJust at the moment, we need him alive, for purely rational considerations. [to Cancer] Presumably, you have some sort of arrangement with Sleer, for reporting mission accomplished. A signal perhaps, or the time and place for a rendezvous. You wouldn't care to share that information with us? "CANCER": I've never killed for personal pleasure before, but in your case I shall make an exception. [Piri reacts with terror and runs into Nebrox's arms]
AVONAll right, this is what we'll do. Tarrant, Soolin, and I will stay here to wait for a message from Sleer, or the lady in person. Vila, you return to Scorpio and Dayna. Take Piri with you.
PIRIOh, can't I stay here? I just feel much safer somehow.
SOOLINWhat? After our friend's little goodwill message?
TARRANTI'll lock him in the hold and check his ropes personally. She'll be quite safe.

[Scorpio - Dayna is listening to the communicator]

AVON[VO] I'm setting a trap, not holding a convention for liberated slaves. [Cut back to black ship] You could be in my way, Nebrox. On the other hand, you could be useful.
NEBROXThank you Avon. If I stay with you, after you've done what you want, couldn't you possibly take me home? I - I don't want to appear ungrateful. I know you already repaid me for saving your life, amply repaid me.

[External shot of Scorpio leaving black ship behind - Cut to Cancer's control room]

TARRANTHave you always been an entertainer?
PIRIEver since I was a child. My mother was a dancer. My father was manager for the troupe.
TARRANTAh. Are you a good dancer?
PIRIOh. I don't know. Well, I suppose I must be to have lasted so long in the business. It's very competitive, you know.
TARRANTOh I can imagine.
SOOLIN[Sitting apart with Avon] Our little friend seems to be making a big impression on Tarrant.
PIRIYour friend's very clever, isn't he?
PIRIYes. Isn't he? Well, you all seem to do what he says.
TARRANTOh, no, we don't. I mean, if we think he's right, we go along with it, if we don't, we don't. We're all free agents.
PIRIOh. I don't really like clever people anyway. They frighten me rather. Like - like that other one.
TARRANTLook, do you want me to go and take a look at him?
PIRII'm really stupid, aren't I?
TARRANTNo, of course not, but you must promise to wait here until I get back.
PIRIOh I won't move. Promise. [Tarrant leaves]

[The hold - Cancer is tied up with thick ropes - Tarrant enters]

"CANCER": Don't worry, I haven't flown away.

TARRANTI just wanted to be sure you are comfortable. "CANCER": Quite comfortable, for the moment, thank you.
TARRANTBe sure to let us know if there's anything you want. "CANCER": You could give that little bitch a message for me. You can tell her I'll be saving her to the last. [Tarrant leaves]

[Control room]

AVONCome on, woman, come on!
TARRANTThis is crazy. You don't know when she'll get in touch, you don't know what arrangements they made.
AVONYou would prefer trying to beat it out of Cancer, I presume?
TARRANTIt's better than sitting around waiting for something that may never happen.
AVONCancer is not a fool. He knows that once he talks, we will have no further use for him. Whatever you do, I imagine he would find it preferable to suicide.
NEBROXBy the way, what's become of our little friend?
SOOLINShe's found Cancer's cabin and made herself cozy for the duration.
SOOLINWhy? Do you fancy a little chat about the good old days on the chain gang?
NEBROXOh it's terrible to think of a poor little thing like that being a slave, don't you think?
SOOLINNo more terrible than to think of you as one.
NEBROXOh no, no, I'm an old man. She's merely a helpless little child.
SOOLINWell, I expect a little suffering will have helped to make her a better artist. [smiles]

[A cabin. Nebrox enters]

NEBROXOh there you are.
NEBROXYou're looking a bit bored.
PIRIYes, I am rather. How long do you think we're going to have to hang about like this?
NEBROXWell, that's hard to say. Until this woman turns up, I suppose. Or until they get tired of waiting.
PIRIWho is this wretched woman anyway?
NEBROXWell, I don't know really. I only saw her once, on Domo. She looked rather formidable.
PIRIIs she attractive?
NEBROXAttractive? Well, yes, yes, in a hard sort of way. Now look, we must think of it this way. At least we're safe. And it's better than sitting around waiting for them to bring in the mangon. Don't you think?
PIRI[Puzzled] What? Oh, yes, I suppose so. I'm sorry, I just can't stop thinking about that awful man at the end of the corridor.
NEBROXEverything is going to be all right. We're all here to look after you. [Piri sobs] Would you - would you like me to go and take a look at him?
PIRIOh, would you? That would be awfully sweet of you.
NEBROXAnything to bring the colour back to those pretty cheeks. [exits]

[Door to the hold - Nebrox looks through the glass panel. The door opens and he goes in and looks around]


[Control Room]

AVONI can outwait Servalan any day. And I'm prepared to do it now.

[Piri rushes in, gasping incoherently]

TARRANTPiri, what is it? What is it? That's happened?
PIRIThe hold, in the hold!
AVONLet's go. [Avon and Soolin run out - cut to somewhere else, Cancer looks around, then conceals himself.]

[Hold - Nebrox is lying on the floor]

SOOLINHe's dead, I take it?
AVONOh he's dead all right. Question is, how did he die?
SOOLINI should imagine friend Cancer would be a master of unarmed combat. Few seconds pressure at a vital point.
AVONPossibly. What do you make of this?
AVONA red patch on his hand. Hardly a vital point.
SOOLINWhat does it matter how the poor old man died? The question is `where the hell is Cancer?'
AVONWell we know where he isn't. He isn't on the flight deck, he isn't in his cabin and he isn't in here.
SOOLINShall we search the rest of the ship?
AVONOh I imagine he would just love that, wouldn't you?

[Corridor - Cancer steals by]

[Control Room]

AVONIt seems we underestimated Cancer. Somehow he managed to get free.
TARRANT[With his arm round weeping Piri] I tied those ropes myself.
AVONNevertheless... And Nebrox opened the door.
TARRANTNebrox couldn't have opened the door. There's only one key and I've got it.
AVONSo Cancer is a magician into the bargain. The point is that he's loose somewhere on this ship - his ship, and we haven't the vaguest idea how to set about looking for him.
TARRANTSo how do you suggest we go about it?
AVONI suggest we don't even try. I suggest we barricade ourselves in here and fly this ship back to our base. Once we are safely disembarked, Cancer can give himself up, he can or starve, whichever suits him best.
TARRANTThat's the nearest thing you've had to a good idea since this business started.
AVONWell let's put it into practice, shall we?
TARRANTCome on. [moves Piri to a wall seat] Just relax, everything's going to be all right.
SOOLINI've double-locked the hatch. He'd have to be a magician to get in now.

[They sit down at controls]

AVONCheck sequence.
AVONMain power feed one and two.
TARRANTCheck - nothing.
TARRANTNothing. There's no response at all.
AVONTry the auxiliaries.
TARRANTNothing there either.
SOOLINBut there must be. The life support systems are working perfectly.
TARRANTThere's no response from any of the flight systems.
AVONLike I said, this is *his* ship.
TARRANTWe've got to get the others back [tries communicator panel] The communicator's dead. It's stone dead.
SOOLINI wish you could have found a less vivid way of putting that.
PIRI[Hysterically] He's going to kill us. He's going to kill all of us.
SOOLIN[exasperated, gives her a shake] Oh stop it!
PIRIYou heard what he said, you saw the way he looked at me. He's going to kill all of you, one by one, and then come for ME!
SOOLIN[Slaps Piri's face]
TARRANTYou enjoyed that, didn't you?
SOOLINThere are two classic ways of dealing with an hysterical woman. You didn't really expect me to kiss her, did you?
TARRANTOf course, you know what this is about, don't you? It's simple female jealousy.
SOOLINOh, terrific. If two men don't like each other that's a rational judgement. If it's two women what else could it be but jealousy?
TARRANTIf you could see the way you're behaving.
PIRINo, she's right, I deserved it. I'm sorry, sorry for being so silly. It won't happen again.
TARRANTRight, that's it.
AVONWhat does that mean?
TARRANTIf I'm going to die, I'd rather do it with a gun in my hand than sit around here shivering like an old woman.
AVONDon't be a fool, that's exactly what he want.
TARRANTAfter the hash you've made of this business, you're in no position to call anyone a fool. Anyway, if that's what he wants, let him have it.
AVONAll right, you've made your impression. You can sit down now.
TARRANTWhat does that mean?
AVONShe knows that you are very brave. Now sit down.
TARRANT[Temper rising] Avon, you're beginning to get on my nerves.
AVONOh really?
TARRANTYou botched this mission from the start.
AVONYou would have handled it differently.
TARRANTWell, it certainly doesn't speak highly of your much vaunted brains.
AVONNevertheless, your little friend seems to prefer them to your equally vaunted brawn.
TARRANTWhat was that supposed to mean?
TARRANTI said what did you mean?
AVONI meant nothing. Now sit down and stop behaving like a fool.
TARRANTAvon, you're pushing your luck.
SOOLINStop it, you two. You're playing into Cancer's hands. He wants to split us up.
PIRIDon't fight over me, please!
AVON[Rounding on her] Just you remember, you're only a passenger on this ship. Your unnecessary emotion only clouds the issue.
SOOLINAvon! Tarrant!
AVONWhat is it?
SOOLINSee for yourself [they look] He's shut down life support. [Red emergency lighting come on]

[Hold - Piri kneels by Nebrox's body]

AVONPresumably, wherever he is, he has some kind of breathing apparatus.
SOOLINHow long can we last on the air we have now?
TARRANTNot more than two hours. That means we have two hours to find him and undo whatever it is that he has done.
AVONIt looks as if you are going to get your way after all. [To Piri] You stay here.
PIRIDon't - don't leave me alone, please.
TARRANTShe's right, we can't leave her here. What if he doubles round behind us?
SOOLINWe can't cart her around with us, that would reduce our chances of survival to nil.
TARRANTSo why don't you stay with her?
AVONAnd reduce our chances of finding Cancer by a third. Out of the question.
SOOLINWhy don't we lock her in here?
TARRANTHe got out of the hold, he can get into it.
SOOLINThen just hope we can get to him before he gets to her. It's our only chance.
PIRIOh no, please.
AVONShe's right, it's the only way. Let's go.
PIRI[Clutching Soolin] Oh no, no. I know you don't like me, but please don't leave me alone.
SOOLINLook, you'll be perfectly all right, it's a self-locking door and I've got the key.
PIRI[Looking at Nebrox's corpse] Soolin please, don't leave me with him. I can't bear to look at him.
SOOLINLet's go. You can be sure he won't hurt you. [goes out and shuts the door]
PIRISoolin! Please, please!


SOOLINShe'll be all right. [Piri's sobs can be heard]
TARRANTShe'd better be.
SOOLINWell, do we stick together, or what?
AVONGiven the time factor, it might be better if we split up.


PIRIDon't leave me. Please, don't leave me.

[Shots of Tarrant, Soolin and Avon searching, intercut with Cancer prowling. Soolin enters a store full of containers and looks around]

SOOLINThis is ridiculous. I must think. [holsters her gun and sits on a hamper]

[Shot of Tarrant - back to Soolin, a black-gloved hand puts a large electronic `spider' with big fangs on the ground. It moves forward. Shot of Avon searching corridors then Cancer stalking him. Back to Soolin, now sitting on floor, spider approaching her hand. Back to Avon, then Cancer standing by bulkhead. Avon passes by and is stunned by a weapon in a black-clad hand (Cancer's). Back to Soolin, shot of spider approaching her hand and preparing to bite.]

SOOLINOf course! That's it! [jumps up and runs out, the spider stops and deactivates]

[Corridor - Soolin runs into Tarrant]

TARRANTWhat d'you think you're playing at. I might have blown your head off.
SOOLINCome on, let's get to the hold.
SOOLINCome on, quickly.

[Hold - empty]

TARRANTWell, I hope you're satisfied.
SOOLINI'm satisfied.
TARRANTIf anything's happened to her... I thought we'd decided he can't walk through walls.
SOOLINThe door appears to be open.
TARRANTYes, and you've got the key.
SOOLINI had the key. I haven't got it anymore.

[Red-lit control room - Avon's face swims into focus as he comes round. He realizes he is strapped to a couch. He looks round and sees Cancer sitting rigidly nearby. Close-up of Piri, dressed in black, with her hair drawn up tightly into a top-knot. She looks far from fluffy now]

PIRIYou're quite right, he's completely dead. *I* killed him. Pity, in a way. He was a fairly impressive specimen.
AVONYou killed Cancer?
PIRIOh Avon! And you are supposed to be the clever one. I *am* Cancer.


SOOLINShe took the key away from me when she was begging me not to leave her with Nebrox.
TARRANTI don't believe it.
SOOLINIn much the same way I imagine that she got it from you earlier. And when she'd done what she had to do, she put the key back in your pocket, when you were comforting her after she found the body.
TARRANTI don't .... But then who is Cancer?

[Control room]

PIRIAn actor, a professional entertainer. Purchased for me on Domo by our mutual friend Sleer. I thought he put up rather a convincing performance, didn't you?
AVONI'm glad to see that you suitably rewarded him.
PIRIHe really believed that we were going off together when it was all finished. He was getting to be a nuisance, so I simply cleared him out of the way a little earlier than I'd intended.
AVONHow very tidy-minded of you. What about Nebrox, was he a nuisance too?
PIRIHe was becoming one.
AVONWhy didn't you let our "friend" finish off Tarrant and me when we first came aboard this ship?
PIRIOh no, that would never have done. My contract was for all five of you. I had to get you to trust me so that you'd take me back to your base, and I could simply pick you off one by one. Besides, that would have spoilt our fun.
AVONOur fun?
PIRIOh yes. Utilizer, are you hearing all this?

SERVALAN[VO] Every word. I only wish I could see you as well. Congratulations Cancer, you are a credit to our sex.
PIRIWould you like to have a few words with our friend, before he goes?

SERVALAN[VO] Oh yes. I couldn't let him go without saying goodbye. Avon. You're not sulking, I hope.
AVONMmm. I'm full of admiration for your brilliance. This was all a setup from the beginning, I take it.

[Federation ship flight deck]

SERVALANOh, yes. And you cooperated beautifully. Incidentally, the whole ship is bugged. It has been fun listening to all your little plans and squabbles. But I'm surprised at you, Avon. I would have thought you were the last person to be taken in by a pretty face.

[Control room]

AVONI take it this ship is under your control as well.

SERVALAN[VO] Oh, yes. How else could life support have been cut off when Cancer was with you all the time? And of course I can control the flight systems and communications. [Cut to Federation ship] Well, I'd love to stay chatting with you, as you can imagine, but I must let Cancer get on with her business. [Back to Cancer's ship]
PIRIYou're too clever, Avon, you and Soolin. With the pair of you gone, dear sweet Tarrant will escort me back to base and I shall simply pick up where I left off.
AVONWith the pair of us gone?
PIRIOh yes, I should imagine that blonde bitch is probably dead already. In fact, I'm sure of it. [Shot of the spider transforming into Piri's brooch. She shows it to Avon] Pretty, isn't it? I am disappointed in you, Avon. Cancer, the sign of the crab. It's been staring you in the face right from the very beginning. Fortunately, it has an inexhaustible supply ... of venom. Him, Nebrox, Soolin, and still more than enough left over for you. [she puts it on his chest, in transforms again and creeps slowly towards his face] Oh I wish that I could tell you that it's a painless death, but I'm afraid it's very much the reverse. On the other hand, I can assure you that it's quick. A pity Avon. I was looking forward to a real duel between the two of us, but a man's just a man, when all's said and done. Goodbye Avon. [Tarrant and Soolin rush in]
TARRANTHold it! [Piri turns to face him, Soolin rushes to Avon and flicks the spider off with her gun. It lands on Piri's arm and bites her]
PIRIArghhh.... [she writhes noisily on the floor for a few moments then dies in mid-yell. The spider drops off and Tarrant splatters it with his gun]

SERVALAN[VO] Cancer? Are you there? What's happening?
AVONI'm sorry, Servalan, but I'm afraid your friend is feeling the pinch.

[Federation ship - Servalan is listening]

AVON[VO] She just had a fatal argument with her own little pet. Better luck next time.

SERVALANI shouldn't start gloating just yet, if I were you.
AVON[VO] You lost, Servalan.

CAPTAINYes Commissioner?

[Control Room]

AVONShe's left the communication channels open.
SOOLINScorpio, Scorpio, come in Scorpio.
DAYNA[VO] Yes, what is it?
AVONReverse course immediately. Come back here, maximum speed.
DAYNA[VO through lots of static] I can heardly hear you.
VILA[VO] Say again Avon.

[Federation ship]

AVON[VO] Turn round and come back. The second you are in teleport range, get us out of here. [Servalan switches off communicator channel]

SERVALANPrime all weapons systems and get this ship moving.
CAPTAINYes, Commissioner.

[Shot of Federation ship turning]

SERVALAN[VO] How long will it take us to reach attach range? [Shots of Scorpio and Federation ship]
CAPTAIN[VO] We're at full speed, Commissioner.

[Control Room]

AVONAny signal from Scorpio?
SOOLINImpossible to tell, none of the long-range instruments are functioning.
TARRANTThey probably didn't hear you.
AVONServalan did.

SERVALAN[VO] Avon, I've switched on your communicator again, just in case you want to say goodbye to your friends.
AVONI don't think I'll bother just at the moment, thank you.

SERVALANI'm sure you'll wish you hadn't said that. You have one minute.
AVONWell, I don't want to seem pessimistic, but under the circumstances ... [they look at each other]

[Federation ship in space - cut to control room]

SERVALANPrepare to fire.
CAPTAINOn target ma'am.


[Ship fires a plasma bolt - black ship explodes]

SERVALANWell! May I congratulate you on a job well done, Captain.
CAPTAIN[Handing her a glass of wine] You don't seem altogether happy.

SERVALANOh, I'm happy enough. It's just that a universe without Avon and Tarrant will take a certain amount of getting used to.

[Scorpio flight deck - Dayna carries a tray of drinks]

DAYNAFeeling any better now? [she serves Tarrant and Avon, reclining on the loungers, then goes over to Soolin and hands her one]
TARRANTI still think you left it to the last minute on purpose.
DAYNA[Laughing] We weren't even sure we heard you properly.
VILABut it seemed like a good idea to assume that we had.
AVONIt *was* a good idea.
DAYNAWell, aren't you going to tell us what happened? Vila's very worried. He wants to know what became of that sweet little girl.
SOOLINVila, all sweet things have one thing in common: a tendency to make you sick.

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