Script for Breakdown

by Terry Nation

(c) 197? 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 Micky DuPree and Nicole Vifian.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake
Kerr Avon
Jenna Stannis
Vila Restal
Olag Gan


Pursuit Leader
Male voice

ZENAttention. Liberator is entering meteorite storm zone. (Gan exclaims in pain and groans.) Navigation computers propose immediate evasion course. Directive on manual override is now required. Repeat, directive on manual override is now required.
JENNAGan, what are you doing! Manual out, commit full automatics. Navigation computer take emergency evasive action and get us out of it.
ZENFull automatics, confirm.
JENNAIf you couldn't have handled it, why didn't you call one of us? You're not expected to cope yet. (Gan groans in pain.) Gan, what is it? What's the matter?
GANI'm sorry. (groans)
JENNABlake, I think you'd better get down to the flight deck. It's Gan.
BLAKEWhat's wrong with him, Jenna?
JENNAI don't know, he seems to be in some sort of pain. He's obviously got - (Gan attacks Jenna)
BLAKEJenna? (Gan throws Jenna to the floor) Jenna. Jenna! (Gan drags Jenna to front of flight deck)
BLAKEGan! Gan, it's me, Blake. Gan, listen to me. (Gan attacks Blake. Avon, Cally, and Vila run in. Avon and Vila pull Gan off Blake)
BLAKECally, get the medical kit quickly! (Gan fights Avon. Blake hits him on the head, and knocks him out) Tranquilizers, full strength.
CALLY(medkit in hand, pauses by Jenna) Are you all right?
JENNAYes, I think so.
CALLYI'll be back in a minute.
BLAKEPull his sleeve up. (he applies the tranquilizer) Put another one on. (Avon does so) Let it get right through his system. Well, the tranquilizer pad should keep him quiet for a while.
CALLYTwo of them would flatten any one of us for about a hundred hours.
AVONIf he comes round, he'll flatten all of us for a good deal longer than that. He ought to be put under restraint.
VILAOh, my head. What fell on me?
AVONHe did.
JENNAIt all happened so quickly. One minute he was crying with pain, then he went beserk.
VILAI'm glad he's a friend. Could get very painful if he really didn't like you.
AVONIt must have something to do with the limiter implant in his brain.
BLAKEIt's been bothering him for some time. He tried to keep it secret, but I'm sure he was in a lot of pain. Let's get him to the surgical unit. Avon, stay and check for damage, will you? You three, give me a hand.
AVONAll flight deck systems, full status checks. Standard priority listings.
ZENConfirm standard priority listing.
ZENPriority alpha one. Primary computer links are clear and functioning.

(in med unit)

JENNAThere's some inflamation around the implant scar. Look.
BLAKEYeah. No other external sign.
CALLYBlake! Look at his hand.
BLAKEJenna, get the diagnostic analyzer.
BLAKEWe'll run the usual checks. What's the matter?
JENNAI don't think it's going to show us much, though, except that there's a malfunction in the limiter.
BLAKEI hope for his sake you're wrong.
CALLYWhat are you doing?
BLAKEI want him secure.
CALLYSurely that is unnecessary. He's a sick man, those are not going to help him.
BLAKEThe limiter is supposed to cut in when stress drives him to the point where he might kill.
BLAKESo on the flight deck he tried to kill ME. The limiter didn't even slow him down.
CALLYWell, among my people such things are considered barbarous.
BLAKEAll right, just make him comfortable, but I want him secure.

(flight deck)

AVONAll systems clear and functioning.
BLAKEThat's something, anyway.
AVONWhat about Gan?
BLAKEHe's still out. We've run the diagnostic checks, it might show up something.
AVONYes. And that something will tell you what you already know. Why don't you face it?
BLAKEBecause I don't know what to do about it! And if it is the limiter, I don't know how we can help him. Unless neurosurgery is one of your particular talents.
AVONUnfortunately, no.
BLAKESuppose Zen gave us the necessary information and detailed instructions.
AVONOh, come on, Blake! This is not something you do by numbers, not even highly sophisticated ones. This is an area that has remained the exclusive province of specialists.
BLAKEYes, I know, I know.
AVONThere are quicker ways that you could kill him, but there are none more certain.
VILA(V.O.) Blake, Avon. Do you want to come down? Jenna's running the tests now.
AVONWe're on our way. Well, are you coming?
BLAKEI'll be with you in a minute. Zen, reverse thrust and stop.
BLAKEI want a hard print on the following information.

(med unit)

VILAFunny, we're all standing here hoping there's something wrong with him. Something ordinary, a nice straight forward disease.
AVONNothing, so far.
JENNAHere it is.
VOICESevere neurological disturbance centered in the zero three zone sub four section of the cerebrum. Condition must be relieved if permanent brain damage is to be avoided.
VOICERapid deterioration to terminal condition.
VOICEImmediate investagative surgery.
VILASo. If we don't get him treatment, he'll be a vegetable.
JENNAOr die.
AVONSwitch on the voray scan.
BLAKEYou two watch the screen. I'll do the probe.
AVONRight. Bring it directly over the skull. No, that won't do. You'll have to use the radio sensor. Good, that's much better. Yes, there it is. There's the limiter implant, you can see it quite clearly. Give me the side view. Good. Yes, it's in the sub four section all right. Now let's take a look at the limiter itself. Close focus, slowly.
JENNAWell, there's nothing wrong with the connectors.
AVONAll right, deepen the focus. More. That's it. Look at the micro linkages, the fine lines.
BLAKEIs there a fault?
AVONI'm not sure. That section seems to be burned out. That could cause a conductivity loss.
JENNAWould that account for what's happening to him?
AVONIt's not my field, but if I am right, then the limiter is feeding scrambled impulses into his brain.
CALLYCan it be corrected?
AVONYou've got to get into this first.
BLAKEWe need a neurosurgeon.
VILAWhich we haven't got.
JENNABlake, we can't just let him die. If he needs a neurosurgeon, that's what we've got to get.
BLAKEYes, and quickly. Look.(Gan's hands clench spasmodically)

(flight deck)

BLAKEAnd that's all the navigation computers could come up with?
ZENConfirmed. Your print is the full list within the parameters specified.
JENNABlake, what about Kainnessos? An independent Earth colony. Population in excess of seven million. They should have some medical expertise.
BLAKEWhat's the journey time?
JENNASix hundred hours.
AVONToo long. You haven't anything like that much time.
BLAKEWhat about Overon?
JENNAThree hundred and fifty hours. Only third-level technology, though.
AVONWhich means that they won't have the necessary medical expertise.
AVONThat's a Federation stronghold.
BLAKEWe know they can do the surgery.
AVONThere's a price on our heads. We are all under sentence of death.
JENNAThe difference is that Gan's sentence is being carried out right now.
BLAKEAny others with the necessary level of technology?
JENNAOnly Epinal. But the problem there is that they're considered potentially hostile.
BLAKETo the Federation?
JENNATo the species. They don't like humanoids in general, and in particular homo sapiens.
AVONThat puts their intelligence beyond doubt.
BLAKEHow long would it take?
JENNATwo hundred hours.
BLAKETwo hundred hours? That's our best alternative.
AVONThere is another one even closer.
BLAKENot on the listings we've been given.
AVONZen, why is XK seventy two not listed?
ZENXK seventy two is outside listed parameters.
ZENFlight time from this position is in excess of six hundred hours.
AVONConclusion is incorrect. Recompute distance and flight time.
BLAKEWhat is XK seventy two?
AVONIt's a space laboratory. A permanent research facility financed by a consortium of neutral planets. Two specialist fields: weaponry and space medicine. An interesting combination, don't you think?
JENNAHow do you know all this?
AVONI looked it up in the data banks. It was information that I thought might prove useful to me.
VILAA bolt hole. Somewhere to run if things get too hot here.
AVONThe thought had crossed my mind.
JENNAWhy haven't you told us about this station before?
BLAKEPresumably if he goes there with us he'll be identified. (Smiles at Avon)
VILAYou can say goodbye to one bolt hole.
BLAKEHow far is it?
AVONOne hundred and fifty hours. (To Zen) Confirm.
ZENFlight time is six hundred forty three hours.
AVONDirect flight.
ZENDirect flight would necessitate crossing a prohibited space zone.
ZENThe zone has been designated as containing unacceptable danger.
BLAKEWhat sort of danger?
ZENData is not available.
BLAKETo you or just to us?
ZENThere is no data of any kind.
AVONJust the unacceptable risk designation.
BLAKEIf the direct route to XK seventy two is fifty hours shorter than our nearest alternative then that can be the difference between life and death for Gan.
VILAAnd for us.
JENNARealistically, it's his only chance.
AVONI agree with Jenna.
VILAYou do?
AVONI have never taken things on trust. I see no reason to make an exception in the case of a mysterious warning of danger.
JENNANeither do I.
BLAKERight, let's get to it.
VILADon't I get asked?
BLAKEZen. Set navigation computers for direct route to space laboratory XK seventy two. Speed Standard by Six.
AVONYou CANNOT reject a direct command.
BLAKEJustify that rejection, please.
ZENYour command reduces to an order to self-destruct. This runs counter to Prime Directive.
VILAZen obviously believes there's something nasty in that zone.
AVONIt has no data. It is acting upon an instruction, an order not to enter the zone.
BLAKEThen we'll go on manual. Jenna?
JENNAReady. Compute course and let's get started.
BLAKE(Pulling Avon's attention back from Zen) Avon?
VILANow, wait a minute. If it's too difficult for Zen to tackle, what chance have we got?
JENNAGan is dying.
VILAAll right. Well, let's get on with it.

JENNAWe're approaching it now.
ZENAttention. Liberator is entering prohibited zone. All primaries and auxiliary computer functions are now aborted.
JENNABlake, the screen's gone dead.
BLAKEWell, check it.
JENNADefinitely dead.
BLAKESwitch to the secondary.
JENNAOh, thank heaven that works.
BLAKENow we really are on our own.
AVONLet's hope so.
VILAWhat do you suppose it is that's lurking out there?
JENNAMaybe Zen's got it wrong.
AVONZen hasn't got it at all.
JENNAAll right then, whoever programmed him.
AVONOne of these days I intend to find out who that is.
VILAIf you live that long.
BLAKEAnything on the detectors?
VILANot a thing. What you see on the screen is exactly what's there. Absolutely nothing. Why should I find nothing terrifying?
BLAKE(into communicator) How's Gan?
CALLY(V.O.) No change. Blake, what is the flight time across the zone?
AVONThirty hours.
BLAKEThirty hours.
VILAThat gives it plenty of time to leap out on us then.
JENNAMust you keep on about it, Vila?
VILASorry. Just nervous.
BLAKEWe're all nervous.
VILAI thought it was only me.
BLAKEWhat are your readings, Vila?
VILAUh, full range detector, nothing to report.
JENNAAll flight systems normal.
AVONNavigation coordinates set and firm.
BLAKEHmm. Well, presumably Zen will come back to us when we're out of danger.
VILASounds like a good idea. Any chance of joining him?
JENNAZero one surge on primary two. Confirm?
AVONBlake, there's something we haven't thought of.
AVONSystems instability. We have never operated without the auxiliary computers before.
BLAKEYou mean they've been compensating for things like that power surge?
AVONThey've made every minor adjustment that the systems require. And the chances are that they are now going to require a lot.
BLAKEBecause computer control is --
BLAKE(Together) -- part of the basic design -- & AVON:
AVON-- concept.
AVONWe're going to have to turn back. Jenna, stand by to reverse the course.
JENNALook, we've set out to save Gan and that's what we're going to do.
AVONBut you don't understand.
JENNANeither do you. We're committed. I intend to go on flying this ship even if all systems go into a flat spin.
AVON(Grabs her by both arms and pulls her around) But that's exactly what will happen!
BLAKEAll right, Avon, that's enough!
BLAKEThe signal to abort the auxiliary computers came from Zen. Can you override it, bypass Zen, and get them working again?
BLAKEWell, try.
AVONAll right. But I'm telling you, you should turn back.
JENNANot a chance.
VILAWhat was all that about? Everything is running smoothly.
BLAKEThat was because everything was balanced before the computers went off line. Try and adjust something, and you unbalance something else. Try and adjust that, you unbalance two more and before you know what's happened, the ship is out of control.
JENNABlake, we're drifting off course.
BLAKELateral drift on coordinate four.
JENNAGot it. Compensating.
VILAI've just had a comforting thought. We may all be dead before we find out why this is a danger zone.

(computer room)

BLAKE(V.O.)Have you done it, Avon?
BLAKE(V.O.)How soon?
AVONI can talk or I can work, but I can't do both.
BLAKE(V.O.)We're running out of time, Avon.

(flight deck)

VILABlake, we're picking something up on the detectors.
BLAKEWhat is it?
VILAI dunno. The signal's very weak.
BLAKENo telling what it is from here.
JENNAOur speed's increasing slightly.
BLAKEReduce to standard by three, Jenna.
JENNAStandard by three.
BLAKECan we squeeze any more range on the visuals?
VILAIt's at the limit now.
BLAKEWe may have to reverse thrust and run.
JENNAThat would really throw our systems into chaos now.
VILAHurry up, Avon.
JENNAWe're moving off course again.
BLAKELateral drift, coordinate three.
JENNAGot it. Blake!
BLAKEWhat is it?
JENNAOur speed's increasing again. (in surgical unit, Gan is waking and groaning, and looking around slyly)

AVONBlake, I can't do it. You must turn back, before it's too late.
BLAKEWe're already too late. We're in an unstable magnetic field. We can't turn back. Avon, we NEED those computers.
VILACan you stop us, Jenna?
JENNAWithout computers, not a chance.
VILASame signal, getting closer. There's still no telling what it is.
JENNAWe're speeding up again.
BLAKETry and compensate.

(in med unit, Cally listens to earphone)

BLAKE(V.O.)If we get up past Standard by Twenty we'll be out of control.
JENNA(V.O.)I think she's holding. We're leveling off.
BLAKE(V.O.)Keep it steady.
CALLYHow are you feeling?
GANTired. Very tired. What's been happening?
CALLYYou were ill. We're trying to get to a place where you can receive medical treatment.
GANI'm all right. Just that I, I can't remember. Why am I being held down like this?
CALLYWhen the pain was too much for you, you became violent, and we were frightened you might harm yourself.
GANI'm sorry, I just can't remember. I'd like to sit up. Help me, will you, Cally?
CALLYI think you should stay where you are until we can get help.
GANI'm all right. A bit uncomfortable. I'd like to sit up.
CALLYThere is some turbulance. You're safer where you are.
GANPlease. (Cally releases him.)
CALLYIs that better? (Gan coughs. Cally goes to get water. Gan attacks her, then leaves the surgical unit)

AVONBlake, I have managed to bypass Zen. I am now going to see if I can override the command. (Steps away from the intercom, thinks twice, comes back) Blake? Blake!

BLAKEThere must be some way we can avoid it.
JENNAWe can't. We're already too close to pull away. With computer backup, we might have flown through it.
VILASo, without computers?
JENNAWe're dead. It'll tear us to pieces.

BLAKEAre you two ready?
VILAWha--, yes, ready.
BLAKEConcentrate, Vila. When I give the order to reverse thrust you two have gotta stop us from spinning.
VILAI know.
BLAKEWell, if you don't get it right, it'll be the last thing you do know.
BLAKECally! What happened?
CALLYGan has just tried to kill me.
CALLYI thought he was normal again.
BLAKEYou mean you RELEASED him?
CALLYHe's escaped.
BLAKEJenna, you take my place. Brief Cally.

(computer room, Gan tries to pull piping from wall)

AVONGan, no! You'll break the computer links, we'll never get them started. (Avon tries to stop Gan, who thows him off)

JENNACally, reverse thrust in five seconds. On my mark, five four three two one. Thrust.

(Blake hits Gan on head. He collapses)

BLAKEAre you all right?
AVONMore or less.
BLAKEHe got away from Cally. (Blake gets tranquilizer pads)
AVONYes, well, I can see that!
BLAKEWhat about the computers? (ship shudders)
AVONWhat is going on?
BLAKEIt's a gravitational vortex, biggest spiral you've ever seen. We're right on the edge of it.
AVONAuxiliary computers on-line and functioning.
BLAKERight. Give me a hand with him, will you?

JENNAWe've slowed the rate of approach, but we'll be drawn into it sooner or later.
BLAKEThe way we're using power, it'll be sooner.
CALLYWhat will happen to the ship?
AVONThe forces inside that will not merely destroy us, they will annihilate us.
BLAKENow Avon's repaired the computers, what would be the difference if we went straight for the center of the vortex on maximum power?
JENNAWell, it'd be quick, whatever happens.
BLAKEWell, let's take the quick way. Take over, Jenna.
JENNARight, everybody, we're going through the center of the vortex.
AVONBlake, in the unlikely event that we survive this --
AVONI'm finished. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable.
BLAKENo, you're just being modest.
JENNAOn my mark, five four three two one. (they go through the vortex)
JENNAStandard by Twelve, still rising.
BLAKEThe structural distort.
JENNAWe'll never hold her, Blake.
BLAKEThe automatics. Hit the automatics.
JENNABlake, I can't. I must keep a straight heading.
BLAKEJenna, look. Look at the screen. There's nothing there but the stars. We've made it. We are through!

BLAKEYes, Avon.
AVON(V.O.)We're coming in range of XK seventy two. Just had a message from the station administrator. Very polite, but it boils down to who are we and what do we want.
BLAKETell him we're an experimental ship out of Earth on a proving flight. Then tell him what we'll need.
AVON(V.O.)You think he'll believe that?
BLAKEConvince him. Use your charm.
CALLYWhy are you angry with Avon?
BLAKEI'm not.
CALLYYou sound as if you are.
BLAKEHe has a decision to make. If he wants to stay with us, it's got to be for his reasons.
CALLYYou'll do nothing to persuade him?
BLAKENothing at all.

JENNAReverse thrust, and stop. (to Vila) Give me closer vision. I only hope we're not too late.
VILAYou're back, are you?
ZENStatus is firm. All systems are functioning normally.
BLAKEWhere were you when we needed you? (to Avon) What did they say?
AVONThey've invited the commander to go across. I've got a voice fix ... "Commander."
JENNAWhy are we lying to them?
VILAWhy not? No sense in looking for trouble.
JENNAThey're neutral.
BLAKEThat's a term that covers a whole range of attitudes, and some of them not very friendly. What did they say about a doctor?
AVONThere's a neurosurgeon, a Professor Kayn. He'll be waiting for you.
CALLY(V.O.)Blake, it's urgent.
BLAKEWhat is it, Cally?
CALLYGan's life signs are getting very irregular. His time is running out. I think he is beginning to die.
BLAKE(V.O.) I'll be as quick as I can.
BLAKETeleport, Avon.
JENNAI can't see them believing that Liberator is a Federation ship, can you?
VILALet's hope they don't even think about it.

(Farron's office)

FARRONI've never seen a ship remotely like it before. What do you think, Professor Kayn?
KAYNI'm a surgeon. I'm not terribly interested in spaceship design.

FARRONYou're one of our senior men. You share the responsibility for the safety of this station.
KAYNFARRON, I realize there is a place for administrators, but I'd be obliged if you'd remember where it is. Please don't presume to lecture me on my responsibilites.

FARRONSo sorry, Professor. (into com unit) Have a team of engineers standing by to examine the shuttle craft these people send across, will you?.

FARRONSend the commander straight up. Make sure he's not armed.
VOICE(V.O.) Understood. (Blake teleports in)
BLAKEDon't worry, I'm not armed.

FARRONHow did you do that?
BLAKEI'm sorry to be so abrupt, but could I see Professor Kayn now, please.
KAYNI'm Kayn.
BLAKEAh. One of my crewmen is dying. Could you come with me straight away.

FARRONI'm afraid there are a few formalities we must sort out first. You can't just, uh, appear -
KAYNI'll come with you.

FARRONProfessor Kayn, I cannot allow this.
KAYNSend me a memorandum, Farron. Through the usual channels, of course.
BLAKEWould you put this on please?
KAYNWhat is it?
BLAKEIt's a teleport bracelet.

FARRONI warn you, this is most inadvisable.
KAYNI shall need a few things.
BLAKEOur surgical units are very well equipped, but I'll send back somebody for anything else you might need.
KAYNFarron, have Dr. Renor standing by to assist me, he'll know what I need.
BLAKEI'll send someone back for him. Are you ready?
KAYNI am ready.

FARRONKayn, I cannot allow this, it is completely against station policy.
BLAKEBring us across.

FARRONThis behavior will have to be noted down in the station log.

KAYNThat is remarkable.
BLAKEAvon, send someone across to collect Professor Kayn's assistant, will you? (To Kayn) Your bracelet, please.
KAYNI thought the matter transmission project had been abandoned.
BLAKEA temporary setback.
KAYNBut with Federation resources it was just a matter of time, I suppose.
BLAKEThis way, Professor.
KAYNTruly remarkable.
KAYNOh, yes, sorry. One thing I will say for the Federation, when they decide to do a thing, they do it. (Blake and Kayn exit.)
VILAI didn't like the sound of that much.
AVONOne of the many faces of neutrality.
VILAWho's going across to get the assistant? Shall I call Jenna?
AVONNo. I'll go.
VILAOh, good. Good idea, I mean.
AVONWhy do you stay with Blake?
VILAI like him.
AVONThat isn't a good enough reason.
VILAIt is for me. That and the fact I've got nowhere else to go.
AVON(smiles) All right. Put me across.

KAYNJust a minute. This is interesting. What rank do you hold?
BLAKEI'm a civilian.
BLAKEWe tend to be in the majority, even in the Federation.
KAYNI meant this is unusual. What are you up to? Proving flight on a military craft? It is a military craft?
BLAKEExcuse me, it's still experimental. It's classified. Uh, this way.

CALLYWhy were you such a long time?
BLAKECally -
KAYNMy fault, I'm afraid. Needed time to adjust. Can't afford to be disconcerted with this kind of work. Oh, yes, you are right, his condition is critical. Find out where my assistant is, will you please?
BLAKEOf course.
KAYNWhat's your name?
KAYNAll right, Cally, now you tell me why this man has a limiter implant.

BLAKEWhere's Kayn's assistant?
VILAHe'll be arriving any moment.
BLAKEFor the time being, keep him here.
AVON(V.O.) Vila, this is Avon. Dr. Renor is ready to come across. I won't be coming back with him, though.
VILAWhat do you mean, you won't be coming back with him?
AVONI'm staying for a look around. I'll call you when I'm ready.
VILAOh, fine. I'll just hang around here and wait for you.
AVONYou do that.
VILAStand by. (operates teleport) Dr. Renor?

BLAKESo anything you can get from him about this Professor Kayn would be useful.
JENNAI'll try. I might not be his type, though.
BLAKEWe'll just have to take the chance.
BLAKEGo on. Zen, I want a series of projections from the battle computers. Nearest Federation bases, likely flight patterns, flight times, and possiblity of interception.

RENORHello, hello, hello!
VILAAh. Jenna, this is Professor Kayn's assistant, his name is -
RENORRenor. And I had a feeling this was going to be a good day.
JENNAYes, well, don't let your feelings run away with you.
RENOROh, a sense of humor, too. I love girls with a sense of humor.
JENNAYes, I can see where that would be an advantage. This way, please.
RENORDo you believe in love at first sight, Jenna?
JENNANot yet.

FARRONI don't think you realize what you're suggesting.
AVONI am offering you my services, and, among other things, the secret of matter transmission.

FARRONYou are offering me classified Federation material. This is an independent, neutral scientific foundation.
AVONSuppose I tell you that the material does not belong to the Federation, that we are not Federation personnel, and that THAT is not a Federation ship.

FARRONThen who does it belong to?

FARRONWho are you?
AVONBefore I tell you that, I should like your guarantee that the others will be allowed to leave unmolested.

FARRONWell, why should I give you that?
AVONYou and your foundation stand to make a fortune. I'm merely asking for your guarantee that you will maintain your neutrality ... and protect your investment.

FARRONAll right. You have my personal guarantee. Now who are you?

KAYNAt last.
RENORSorry, professor. (to Cally) Hello! This place is full of pretty girls.
KAYNPrepare for immediate surgery, please.
JENNAI'll get out of your way.
KAYNWon't need you either, Cally.
RENORWould have been helpful to have had one of them here.
KAYNDo you know who these people are?
RENORFederation research team?
KAYNIt's Blake and his crew.
RENORTHE Blake? How do you know?
KAYNThey lie badly.
RENORStannis! That's who she is! Jenna Stannis. I've never met a celebrity before.
KAYNCelebrity! These people are maniacs, killers.
RENOROh, come on.
KAYNMindless destroyers.
RENORYou don't know that.
KAYNThey are destroying the greatest force for order in the known universe.
RENOROrder? Well, you've had a change of heart, haven't you? I'm sure poor old Farron would be delighted with your new concern for the rules.
KAYNFarron is a bureaucratic fool. I'm talking about stability, Renor, stability. With no stability there is no progress.
RENORProgress to what? Brain implantation?
KAYNA dangerous psychopath? Certainly. Or would you prefer he'd been executed?
RENORThat's what you intend to do, isn't it? You're going to delay the operation so that Blake and his crew can be captured.
KAYNI haven't decided yet.
RENORWell, delay much longer, and there won't be any decision to make. What are you doing? (Kayn has communicator in his hand)
KAYNNot that it's any business of yours, I'm going to contact the nearest Federation base.
RENORI'll warn Blake.
KAYNAnd lose the chance of working with the greatest surgeon you'll ever see? You're too ambitious for that. Besides, I'm the only one who can save him, if I choose to. (into mic) XK seven two.

(three pursuit ships against starfield)

LEADERPursuit leader to pursuit two and three. Executive order states that damage to Research Station XK seventy two must be avoided if possible. Priority concern is capture of Blake and his crew.

(Farron's office)

FARRONHe did what?
VOICEProfessor Kayn said you knew about it.

FARRONThe communications section is well aware that no one is allowed to send official messages without clearing them first through channels.
VOICEProfessor Kayn said it was a matter of life and death.

FARRONHmm...Ask our visitor to come and see me, will you? I think he's looking around the computer section. His name is Avon.

FARRONDo we know what the Federation's doing?
VOICEThe pursuit ships will be here in three hours.

FARRONThen find Avon quickly.

RENORWe must start the operation.
KAYNNot yet. The Federation ships need time.
RENORBut we're losing him. I mean look at the life signs. He's practically dead now.
KAYNNot yet.

CALLYIt's taking a very long time.
JENNAWell, at least while they're still working, we know that Gan's got a chance. Kayn is supposed to be a genius.
VILAThe trouble with a genius, is you're never too sure what he's up to. Perhaps Zen can tell how long the operation should normally take.
ZENThere is insufficient data for an accurate projection. Within the parameters you have described, the surgeon's skill and operating procedures are unknow variables. (Vila gets gun)
VILAThere you are. Thought not.

FARRONI can only apologize. I'm afraid there's absolutely nothing I can do for your friends now.
AVONIt was naive of me to expect you to keep your word.

FARRONThat is a little unfair. It's just that it's out of my hands. Look, Avon, it is against all the rules, and it's a risk I really shouldn't take, but I am prepared to let you stay here.
AVONWhat about the pursuit ships?

FARRONWhen your friends detect them they will presumably run or fight.
AVONThey will have no other choice.

FARRONIn which case, they may escape or more probably they will be destroyed. Either way, the Federation need never know that you're here on the station. You can work here in peace and safety. (Waits) Well? What do you say?
AVONI shall need to go back to the Liberator to collect a few things.

FARRONGood. You've made the right decision.

LEADERPursuit leader to all crews. Full standby. Check all battle systems. Enemy contact estimated in one hour.

(Renor fastens Kayn's collar)

KAYNThank you.

AVON(V.O.) This is Avon, from XK seventy two. All right, Vila. Bring me across. Vila! Wake up, Vila. Vila! (Cally operates teleport)

RENORI'm going to operate myself.
KAYNYou'll kill him.
RENORWell, at least I'll have tried! You call yourself a doctor? (Vila enters, handgun pointed at the doctors)
VILANo, he calls himself a genius.
VILAAlright, genius, time's up.
KAYNI wondered how long it would take you.
VILAWell, you can stop wondering and start operating.
KAYNWhy didn't Blake come himself?
VILABlake doesn't know anything about it. I thought it was better that way. He's got a conscience. He might not be prepared to kill you.
KAYNAnd you are?
AVONIf he isn't, I am.
VILAHow did you get here?
AVONHe sold us out to the Federation. Pursuit ships are only forty- five minutes away.
VILAYou going to operate or not?
VILAI have a feeling that was too easy.
KAYNAny attempt to move this ship while I'm operating will certainly result in this man's death.
RENORHe's right. Vibration, accelleration, any movement at all, and it's all over.
AVON(into com unit) Hold it, Blake. We can't leave yet.

LEADERPursuit leader to all crews. Thirty minutes to contact.

BLAKEHow soon can you complete?
KAYNThirty-five minutes.
BLAKEDo it in twenty.
KAYNOr you'll kill me.
BLAKEOh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you to your station. If you haven't completed your work --
KAYNYour threats don't bother me in the least, you know.
BLAKE-- I shall destroy your hands. Twenty minutes. (He exits. Avon follows close upon.)
KAYNAnimals! Stupid destructive animals!
RENORTwenty minutes is more than enough time to complete.
KAYNAre you defending their behavior?
RENORI can't defend ours!

(In teleport bay,Kayn shows Blake some pictures of the limiter)

KAYNThat's where the fault was, in the limiter, there. And there it is repaired. If you survive, so should he.
BLAKEIs there any way we can thank you?
KAYNYou could try getting caught.
AVONReady? (He puts them across.) All right, Jenna, get us out of here.

JENNAZen, reverse thrust, Standard point zero-one.
JENNALateral one-eighty.
ZENLateral one eighty.
BLAKEI'll handle this Jenna. You can help Gan.

FERRON(into com unit) They'll take no further action without orders from me!
KAYNYou pathetic feeble-minded little beaurocrat. You going to let them get away?

FERRONYou exceeded your authority, Professor Kayn. It was not your place to inform the Federation of their presence here. You violated the neutrality --
KAYNDamn your neutrality! (into com unit) Get me weaponry!

FERRONHow dare you! I'm in command of this base.
KAYNYou have forfeited that command, Ferron, you gutless nothing.

FERRONStop that, I tell you! Take no orders--
KAYNYou struck my hand! (throttles Ferron, then strikes him with an object)

ZENBattle computers project pursuit ships directly in Liberator's flight path.
BLAKEDown zero one. Maintain heading and speed. Standard by eight.
ZENPlasma bolt launched.
BLAKEActivate the force wall.
AVONActivated. (first bolt shakes them up)
ZENSecond bolt launched and running.
BLAKEBearing directly.
AVONIt missed us, but it's still running.

VOICEFerron! Plasma bolt bearing directly on XK seventy two. It's going to hit us. Instructions, please. Ferron! Ferron! Ferron! (XK seventy two is hit, and explodes)

AVONSay goodbye to one bolt hole.
BLAKEThat's not funny, Avon.
AVONIt wasn't meant to be.
ZENPursuit ships are turning.
BLAKEYou know what to do.
AVONZen, increase speed to Standard by Eight.

BLAKEHow do you feel?
GANI feel as if someone has been poking around inside my head-- with a foot.
VILAWe had to kick your brain a couple of times to get it started.
GANOnly twice? They didn't remove the limiter.
CALLYIt was not possible.
VILAThey've modified it, though. Your ears glow in the dark, now.
BLAKEHey, let me know when you're ready for work.
BLAKEOh, by the way, welcome back. (general laughter)

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