Script for Cygnus Alpha

by Terry Nation

(c)1977 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)1993 by Micky DuPree and Caroljean Hanson.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake
Jenna Stannis
Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Olag Gan


[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Laran is seated by a fire, roasting some meat. He takes it and hacks it in two. He rises as Kara walks by. She studies the sky, then returns to stand beside him.]

LARANThere. There it is. The Federation ship bringing in prisoners.

KARAPrisoners? New souls for the faith.

[Exterior. Civil Administration Ship London passes over planet.]

[Interior. Prison ship London, flight deck. Leylan is completing report. Artix enters.]

LEYLANHow long before we make planet fall, Mr. Artix?

ARTIXI'll run a check.

LEYLANAre the prisoners quiet?

ARTIXYes, sir. (checks console) Forty eight minutes thirty seconds. We're dosing the air supply with suppressant vapor and they're under constant scan. Security have put on double guards and I've armed the crew as well, just as you've instructed.

LEYLANAll a bit late in the day, too.

ARTIX(operates visual screen so that Cygnus Alpha is visible) It doesn't look very hospitable, sir.


ARTIXCygnus Alpha. It doesn't look very hospitable, sir.

LEYLANI want you to send this report. Beam it to the nearest Federation base for relay to Earth.

ARTIXIt's not going to do much for my promotion prospects, sir.

LEYLANYou can live down your part of it. You're young.

[Artix hesitates]

LEYLANSend it, Mr. Artix.

[ARTIX puts the report on the computer]

LEYLAN(v.o. recording of report) This is Civil Administration Ship London in transit from Earth to Cygnus Alpha, transporting prisoners to the penal colony. We have sustained crew casualties during an attempted mutiny by prisoners. (visual of Raiker) Five dead, including Subcommander Raiker. (visual of Blake, Jenna and Avon) Three prisoners escaped in a spacecraft of unknown origin. Prisoners Blake, Stannis, and Avon. The London is again under authorized control and proceeding to destination. Message ends. Retransmit to Earth on priority circuit. Confirm please.

ARTIXWe have confirmation. Will they go after Blake?

LEYLANThey have no choice.

ARTIXThey'll never find him out there. (pause) I said, sir they'll never find him out there.

LEYLANThey won't have too. He'll find them.

[Exterior. Liberator in flight]

[Interior. Liberator flight deck]

BLAKEEverything ok?

JENNAI think so.

BLAKEWhoever they were, they certainly knew something about engineering.

JENNAI'd feel a lot happier if we knew what had happened to them.

AVONBlake, what do you make of this. (Indicates a storage compartment)

BLAKESome sort of storage space.


[Outer cover disappears. Areas of the compartment light up. Blake reaches for one of the guns]


BLAKE(taking one of the guns) Handgun?

AVONIt's a bit elaborate for a toothpick.

BLAKEDepends how elaborate their teeth were. (touches another of the gun handles) Ow. That one's hot.

AVON(takes that weapon) No it isn't. (touches another handle) That one is, though. Jenna.

JENNAWhat is it?

BLAKESeems to be an armory.

AVONTake that one there.

BLAKEBe careful though. It may be hot.

AVONNo, I don't think so.

JENNA(taking the gun) No, it isn't.

AVONSingle function isomorphic response.


BLAKEI think he means it'll only let us have one gun each.

AVONWell, it certainly gives one a feeling of independence.

BLAKEWhat does?

AVONThis. (points gun at Blake)

BLAKEYou're a free man.

AVONThat's right. So I am.

BLAKE(walking away from Avon) How does she handle, Jenna.

JENNAA bit scary. It's almost as if she were alive.

AVONWell, I must say all this technology has an organic feel about it. (drops the gun onto the seat) It's not just advanced. It's ...

BLAKEConceptually alien?


JENNAThere are a lot of controls that I haven't dared touch yet.

BLAKEWell, I doubt whether we'd understand the manuals, so go ahead and try one. Go on.

JENNAWell, don't blame me if it's self-destruct.

BLAKEI doubt if I'll ever speak to you again.

JENNAOk, here we go.

[Jenna pushes button. Liberator undergoes massive acceleration. Crew are subjected to high speed blackout effect.]

[Exterior. View of space during ship's acceleration]

[Interior. Liberator flight deck. Jenna manages to counter the acceleration. Crew recovers]

BLAKEThat was quite a trip.

JENNAThere was certainly a lot of power in it. Did you get a blackout effect?


JENNASo did I.

AVONNegative hyperspace.

BLAKEYou mean we crossed the anti-matter interface?

JENNAThat's impossible.

AVONThat's what they said about the light barrier.

JENNAWell, which one next?

AVON(points to another control) Try that one. (He grabs the back of a seat)

AVON(as no obvious change occurs) Something of an anti- climax.

JENNABlake, I can't move my hand.

[Blake moves to help her]

AVONDon't touch her.

JENNAIt's as though my hand was part of something. It's mixed with something else. It's ... it's in my head. Something in my mind. Asking. Answering. (pause) No. (pause) Ah, it's so peaceful, it's beautiful, (pause) to be completely known. It's like (pause) innocence.

ZENWelcome, Jenna Stannis.

JENNAWho is it?

[Avon picks up Federation handgun from seat]

ZENZen. Welcome, Roj Blake.

BLAKEWhere are you? Show yourself.

ZENYour species requires a visual reference point.


[Lights come on in an oval portion of one bulkhead]

ZENThis is your reference point.

AVONYou're a computer.

ZENAs you say, Kerr Avon.

BLAKEWho owns this ship. Where are they?

ZENThe navigation units will accept your spoken commands. Please state speed and course.

BLAKEI want a course for the Earth Federation penal planet, Cygnus Alpha.

ZENGalactic center coordinates are confirmed.

BLAKE(to Jenna) Speed?


BLAKEStandard speed.


JENNA(looks at controls) That's done it. It seems we're on course now.

AVONIt didn't answer any of your questions. More than that it deliberately ignored them. A computer can't have a will of it's own.

JENNAYou'd better tell Zen that.

BLAKELet's look around the rest of the ship. And find out exactly what it is we've stolen.


AVONWhy don't we just interrogate Zen?

BLAKEEven if he'd answer...

AVONI'll make it answer.

BLAKEI'd still prefer to find out for myself. I'm not sure I entirely trust a computer with a mind of it's own.

JENNAI don't think it means us any harm.

AVONIt has no feelings about us at all. It's just a machine.

JENNAIf you say so.

BLAKEEither way, it'll keep. Come on.

[They exit flight deck]

[Exterior. Civil Administration Ship London in flight]

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Kara and Laran watch the London's approach]

KARAGo to him and tell him new bounty has come from the darkness. I will go to the place of rebirth.

[Laran and Kara exit in different directions]

[Interior. London. Flight deck.]

LEYLANBerthing sequence automatic committed.

ARTIXSeventeen. Sixteen. Fifteen.

LEYLANLanding beam alignment confirmed.

ARTIX Fourteen. Thirteen. Twelve.

LEYLANCheck main retro drive.

ARTIXEleven. Ten.

LEYLANEntering silo.

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. London on final landing approach.]

[Interior. London. Flight Deck]

LEYLANWe have ground zero contact. All off.

ARTIXAll off, sir.

LEYLANRight, disembark the prisoners, Mr. Artix. Maintain full security until they're in the holding bay. I'll program the computer for the return. We lift off in d plus thirty.

ARTIXThirty minutes? (pause) Sir, we've been in space now for eight months. I wouldn't mind stretching my legs a little.

LEYLANNot on this planet, Mr. Artix. Now get the prisoners off and let's go home.

ARTIXYes, sir.

[Artix leaves bridge.]

LEYLAN(v.o. of recorded report) We have sustained crew casualties during attempted mutiny by prisoners. Five dead, including Subcommander Raiker. Three prisoners escaped in a space craft of unknown origin.

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

LEYLAN(v.o. of recorded report) Prisoners Blake, Stannis and Avon.

BLAKEAvon. (walking around in teleport area) What do you think?

AVONBefore I decided to put my talents to more profitable use...

JENNAAnd got arrested.

AVONI handled the computer analysis for a research project into matter transmission. It was based on a new alloy...


AVONThat's right.

BLAKEYes, I worked on that project too.

AVONSmall world.

BLAKELarge project.

JENNAI didn't work on it.

AVONThe molecular structure of Aquatar (picks up teleport bracelet) appeared to contain the key to the reduction and the transmission of matter as pure energy.

JENNAInstant transportation.

BLAKE(picks up bracelet) Send solid objects like radio signals. Trouble was it seldom worked.

AVONAnd on living matter it never worked. Put a living creature into one end, take a dead creature out of the other, or nothing at all.

JENNASo you think that is what all this is for? Matter transmission?

BLAKEThese bracelets contain Aquatar or something very like it.

JENNA(as ship sounds change) What's that?

BLAKE(to Jenna) Check it, would you?

JENNAYes. (exits)

AVONThe question is, have they solved the problem of living matter.

BLAKEAnd if they have, could we teleport down to the surface of the planet without ever having to land the ship.

AVONToo many ifs for my taste.

BLAKE(indicates bracelet) Presumably these are part of the recall system. This looks like a communicator. (into the bracelet) Hello. Testing. One. Two. Three. (to Avon) Seems to work all right.

AVONTuned to transmit directly to the ship. Let's ask the computer how the system works.

[Jenna enters]

JENNABlake. I think you'd better come.

BLAKEWhat's happened?

JENNAWe've stopped. Everything's gone dead.

[All exit teleport area]

[Exterior. Liberator appears stationary]

[Interior. Liberator flight deck. Crew enter]


ZENPlease state speed and course.

BLAKECygnus Alpha, standard speed.

ZENCompleted. The Liberator is in stationary orbit, one thousand spacials above the planet surface.


AVON"The Liberator"?

JENNAHe got that from me. It was something I was thinking.

ZENYour thought was accepted.

AVONShow us the planet.

ZENYou require the remote visualization unit?


ZENPlease look at the screen.

JENNA(Cygnus Alpha appears on main viewscreen) So that's where we would have spent the rest of our lives.

AVONWhat now?

BLAKEWe've got to go down there and rescue the others.

AVONYou're not going to try and land this thing?

BLAKEWhat's the alternative?

AVONLeave. I'm free, and I intend to stay that way.

BLAKEAnd I need a crew. (pause) Zen, how does the teleport system work?

AVONWould its function be injurious to our species? Have you the necessary data?

ZENWisdom must be gathered, it cannot be given.

AVONDon't philosophize with me you electronic moron. Answer the question.



JENNAI don't think he likes you, somehow.

AVONI think I may have to reprogram this machine.

JENNAThat still won't make you likable.

BLAKEAvon's right we can't land the ship. (pause) I'm going to have to risk the teleport system. (pause) Come on.

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Corridor leading to holding cell.]

ARTIXCome on, move it. Hurry. Move it. (Prisoners file in) Guard, make a double check that the rest of the prisoners are secure.

GUARDYes sir.

ARTIXMove it.

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Holding cell. Door shuts behind prisoners]

ARCOWhat happens now, then?

VILAThis is nice, isn't it. What a miserable hole. If we all complained do you think they'd give us a refund.

ARCOShut up.

VILACan't you see the funny side of it? Hey, have you heard this one. There was a young lady from Cygnus, who thought that...

ARCO(grabs Vila) Are you going to shut your mouth or have I got to do it for you.

GAN(separates Arco and Vila) Only if you're lying down, cause if you touch him again, I'm going to break your arms and legs off.

SELMANWhy do you suppose they put us down here.

VILAJust a holding area. They'll release us soon. Don't worry about this place. It's what's on the other side of that that bothers me.

SELMANWhat do you think it will be like, Arco?

ARCOHow should I know. It won't be good will it? They don't put penal colonies on easy living planets.

SELMANWhat about guards, authorities.

VILAWhy should they bother. It's a long walk back.

SELMANWell, why are they keeping us here.


VILAThis is probably the nicest place on the planet. (Sound of the London's engines) Listen.

SELMANThey're getting ready to lift off.

[Wall on one side of holding cell slides back. There are bars beyond it.]

ARCOCan you see anything?

GANSome sort of passage.

VILACold as a corpse's armpit.

ARCOWhat's that smell?

SELMANIt's like something rotting.

VILADinner probably.

[Sound level from London increases.]

VILA(covering his ears) Oh.

[All prisoners cover their ears]

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. London takes off.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Holding cell. The prisoners are covering their ears as the sound gets louder.]

[Interior. London. Flight deck.]

LEYLANRelease prisoners.

[Artix presses button.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Holding cell. The barred gate slides back, giving access to the passageway.]

ARCOWhat now?

GANWhat else is there? I mean we don't have much choice do we? Right.

[They all go down passage and look out onto the planet.

VILA(pointing) There's someone there. Look.



[Across the way Kara beckons them]

VILASomeone beckoning. Do you see it, Gan. (pause) It's gone.

ARCOI didn't see anybody.

VILAYou must have done.

ARCOI tell you I didn't. You're so scared your brain's curdling.

VILA(to Gan) Did you see it?

GANI saw (pause) something.

VILAThere you are.

GANWe're going to have to see what's out there sooner or later.

VILALet's all go. (pause) Uh no, on the other hand, let's all stay.

GANI'll take a look. (walks across the planet surface and disappears from view.)

ARCOGan. You all right.

VILAGan. (Echo) Gan.

ARCOHe might be in trouble. Come on.

VILAShouldn't we wait a bit longer? I mean, he might be all right. And if he isn't, what chance do the rest of us stand?

ARCOCome on.

VILALook, uh... (others all go past him in the direction Gan took across the planet surface) Look wouldn't it be better if we all stay together? (Echo) Together. (Others disappear from view) Arco. (Echo) Arco. Great oaf. Why couldn't he stay here? (Vila looks around. Yells) Arco. (Vila runs to follow them) (Echo) Arco. Arco. Arco. (Echo) Arco.

[Vila catches the group. They walk around and find Gan kneeling in front of some sort of cross with a corpse suspended on it.]

ARCOGan. Gan. What is it?

[Gan stands up]

ARCOWhat is it?

[Gan turns over sign. On it is written, "So perish unbelievers"]

ARCOSo perish unbelievers?

[Gan pulls back the hood from the corpse's face. He steps back with a gasp.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area. Blake puts on bracelet. Avon and Jenna are seated at console.]

BLAKEYou got it worked out yet?

AVONEducated guesses. I can't be certain.

BLAKENow is the time to see how educated your guesses are.

AVONI still think this is a stupid risk.

BLAKEWhich I'm taking. (pause) So let's get on with it. (moves into the teleport) Give me four minutes. After that, start making educated guesses as to how to get me back again.

JENNAGood luck.

BLAKEAll right, Avon. Let's get started.

[Avon presses several buttons> Blake teleports.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake materializes on the planet's surface.]

BLAKE(into communicator) Jenna, it appears to have worked.

[Interior. Liberator teleport area.]

BLAKE(v.o.) Start counting.

JENNAFour minutes.

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake begins exploring. He ducks out of sight as a group of robed figures pass. He rises and moves away. They see him.]

LARANA deserter. Kill him.

[The priests pursue Blake, trying to surround him. He climbs a hill.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area. Avon and Jenna are seated at the teleport console. Avon marks a control.]

JENNAWish we could be sure that's the right one to bring him back.

AVONWe can't be sure, can we.

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake has reached the top of the hill. He is holding an exposed root. Laran is already at the top and cuts through Blake's handhold. Blake rolls down the hill.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

JENNAThirty seconds.

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake is confronted by robed figures at the bottom of the hill. They look up at Laran, who nods. They draw their swords.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

JENNATime's up.

[Avon presses button. Teleport does not operate.]

JENNAKeep it pressed down.

AVONI AM keeping it pressed down.

JENNAWell, it can't be the right one.

AVONThen which one?

JENNAI don't know. Try that one. Here. (She reaches over and presses a different button)

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake dematerializes.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

JENNAWe got you back.

AVONIt works.

JENNA(runs over and hugs Blake) I was so worried.

BLAKEI had a few sweaty moments myself.

JENNAWhat was it like?

BLAKEWell, nothing at all really. It's a bit like your property when Vila's around. (pause) Suddenly it's somewhere else. (Laughs)

AVONThis would be worth a fortune to the Federation.

JENNAIt actually got you down there, onto the surface of Cygnus?

BLAKEWhat do you think this is? (brushes dust from his arm) Moon dust.

AVONDid you see anything while you were down there.

BLAKENot much. And now we know how the system works, I'll go back down and find our people. Bring back anybody who wants to come. From the little I did see, they won't take too much persuading.

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Prisoners are walking when they see a dark shape in the near distance.]

GANWait. There's a building.


GANWhat do you think it is?

VILAThe architectural style is early maniac.

ARCOWe need food and shelter.

VILABut do we need them that badly? (Arco passes him going toward the building)

ARCOListen we....(stops and points)

[Kara and several robed figures approach]

GANWho are you?

KARAI am the servant of your God. Kneel.

[Gan kneels. The others follow his lead. Kara walks over to Gan and kisses him. She takes his hand, indicating he should rise]

KARAWelcome, brothers. Come. Follow us. God has prepared a place for you.

[They follow her toward the building. Vila and Arco pause.]


VILAI like God's taste in servants.

ARCOShut up.

[They follow the others]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

AVONI think we've got it worked out now. Transmit and receive are quite straightforward. All the other controls are directional. A little more practice, we should be able to put you down with precision.

JENNAGot everything?

BLAKEI'm all set.

AVONHow long do you want this time?

BLAKEFour hours should be enough. (into communicator) Testing. (to Avon) Any change and I'll contact you on this.

JENNAIf something happens to you... if we don't hear or we can't get you back?

BLAKEYou must decide for yourselves. But I wouldn't want you to leave too soon.

AVONOh, come on, Blake. Do you really think we'd leave you down there?

JENNANo, we wouldn't.

BLAKENo, I don't think you would. (walks into teleport) Right. Shall we get started.

JENNAAll right. Ready? (pause) Go.

[Avon presses button and teleports Blake.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Exterior. Blake materializes on the planet's surface. He moves toward the building. Blake approaches the main door. A sign with a crude carving of a hand reads "Only from this hand comes life." He enters what appears to be the main room of a church. The sound of chanting can be faintly heard. He explores. There is a rough sculpture of a head above an altar. He conceals himself when he hears someone approach. Kara enters and kneels before the altar. Vargas enters from another door.]

VARGASHis blessings are upon you. Speak and he will hear you.

KARAI am thy true servant. (kisses Vargas' feet)

VARGASThe souls from the outer darkness are amongst us?

KARAThey are in the place of the novices.

VARGASA true bounty. Have they been touched by the death?

KARAThe curse of Cygnus is upon them all.

VARGASThen let them know his mercy. You will teach them the first law. Only from his hand comes life.

KARAOnly from his hand comes life.

VARGASAnd from his wrath comes death.

KARAAnd from his wrath comes death.

VARGASWe obey him and give thanks for his mercy.

KARAWe obey him and give thanks for his mercy.

VARGASHe is the giver of salvation.

[Vargas opens a compartment and places some white tablets on a plate Kara holds.]


VARGASHis power drives out the ravening beast that is death.


VARGASIt is he who must be obeyed.

KARAWe thank you.

[Kara exits in one direction, Vargas in the opposite. Blake makes sure they have gone, then attempts to open the cabinet.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area. Jenna is seated at console. Avon enters]

JENNAIs there a maximum range on this?

AVONOf course. I don't know what it is though.

JENNAWhat would happen if you teleported somebody beyond the maximum range?

AVONI would imagine that they would appear momentarily in space, and then that their atoms would be scattered to the solar winds. Why don't you go and do a little exploring. I'll keep an eye on things here.

JENNAYou wouldn't be trying to get rid of me would you.

AVONI have to get rid of Blake first. You're next on my list.

JENNAThat would have been very disarming, if I didn't know that you meant it.

[Jenna begins to leave. She turns at the bottom of the stairs]



JENNACould you kill someone? Face to face I mean.

AVONI don't know. Could you?

JENNAThere's one sure way of finding out. (She leaves teleport area)

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Blake continues exploring. A noise attracts his attention. He walks up to a door and looks through a sliding section. Laran sits sharpening his knife.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. View from cell holding new arrivals. Kara watches the men, who are obviously ill]

[Interior. Kara moves up the passage and joins Laran]

KARAThe sickness will end soon. When it does, he will come to them.

LARANWith other souls to do his work, there will be a chance for me ... for the ... for the faithful to rise to the priesthood.

KARAHe will not fail you. You will be rewarded. (climbs stairs and exits.)

KARA(from top of stairs) Have faith, Laran. (she crosses room and enters another door)

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. From hiding, Blake watches her leave. He goes to the door and opens it. Laran has resumed sharpening his knife. Blake descends stairs and douses light.]

LARAN: (grumbles)

[Blake runs down the passageway to the cells holding the new arrivals]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Cell. Vila goes and gets some water. Gan is standing with his back to one wall]

BLAKE(whispers) Vila. (pause, then louder) Vila. (pause) Gan.(pause) Gan.

GAN(moves to bars) Blake.

BLAKEWhat is it? What's the matter with everybody?

GANHow did you get here?

BLAKENever mind that now. What's wrong?

GANDisease. Something in the atmosphere. All new arrivals get it.

BLAKEWell, can it be cured?

GANThe priests have given us a drug. They say we'll be over it soon.

BLAKEWhy are they keeping you prisoners?

GANWe're not prisoners. We're just confined 'til we're well again.


GANNo, the priests, they've been very good to us, Blake. They've given us food and drink. Treated us well.

BLAKEListen, I've got a ship. I can take you and the others off this planet.

GANWe can't leave here.

BLAKEWhat are you talking about?

GANThe sickness. We're all infected.

BLAKEYou said you've had the drug.

GANNo, you don't understand, Blake. To survive we have to be treated with the drug every day for the rest of our lives. If we leave here, we die.


GANEverybody. The priests call it the curse of Cygnus, and no one is immune.

BLAKEWell then why haven't I got it?

GANAh, you will have. We all came down with it about two hours after we arrived.

BLAKEBut I've been here for nearly that long.

GANThen it's already in your system. Blake, you can't go back to your ship.

BLAKEI'll talk with the leaders. I'll get them to give us a supply of the drug or at least tell us how it's made. In return I can...I can offer some of them a chance to get off here.

GANThey might agree. It's worth a try.

BLAKEWell, I'll have to persuade them. Now you rest, now. I'll be back. (Gan moves to the interior of the cell)

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Passageway. Blake starts for exit. One of the priests comes up behind him and hits him. He falls to the floor, unconscious]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area. Avon is at the teleport controls. He is examining the circuitry. Jenna enters.]

JENNAAvon. (comes down the stairs and models her new clothes) What do you think?

AVONI'm glad to see you haven't been wasting your time on frivolities.

JENNA(noticing teleport console) What have you done?

AVONJust looking.

JENNAIf we can't get Blake back...

AVONWhere did you get the clothes.

JENNAI found a room full of them down there. Why don't you go and have a look?

AVONPerhaps I will. Just out of curiosity. (Rises) You can take over here, can't you. (gestures to one of the panels) That is the recall button. (starts to leave)



JENNAThere's another room you should see while you're down there. At the far end. You might find it interesting.

[Avon exits teleport area]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Vargas looks out of window at the Liberator]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Main room of the temple. Blake is manacled to a chair. Vargas is watching him.]

VARGASYou are recovered?

BLAKEJust about.

VARGASAn interesting design. (picks up Blake's gun) A hand weapon of some kind. You will instruct me in its use.

BLAKEI'm not too certain about it myself.

VARGASYour possessions are forfeit. (uncovers the teleport bracelets laying on the table) I found these (picks up a bracelet) fascinating. Some sort of body adornment I thought at first. And then I wondered why a man would carry so many. Perhaps to use in trade, in barter. And then I thought again and that didn't seem to be the answer either.

BLAKEThey have no value in themselves.

VARGASAhhh. (crushes a teleport bracelet) How did you get here?

BLAKEI was a prisoner on the Federation ship.

VARGAS(crushes another bracelet) That is untrue. The prisoners were observed from the moment they landed. All are accounted for. So when a new star was in our heavens, then I understood. It is a spacecraft, isn't it? (holds up another bracelet)

BLAKEDon't destroy any more of those.

VARGASAnswer me.

BLAKEIt is a spacecraft. I was a prisoner on the Federation ship. With two others I escaped and we took control of a ship.

VARGASIt seems unlikely, but it has the ring of truth. (puts on teleport bracelet, laughs) I am the supreme power here. (picks up Blake's gun) My word is law. My followers obey without question. (points gun at Blake) They worship me.

BLAKEOr fear you.

VARGASThe two are inseparable.

BLAKEWhy you?

VARGASI am directly descended by the true and chosen line. Mine is the power by right.

BLAKEBut this planet was uninhabited until the Federation brought the first batch of fifty criminals here. Is that the noble line from which you stem.

VARGASMy ancestors came here on that first shipment. They had nothing. The Federation gave them no tools, no supplies. So they worked together. They worked hard. And made a community. There were children born here. They were settlers trying to build a new world on a new planet. Later, more Federation prisoners came. There were disagreements. The community began to break up. They fought and killed. All that they had achieved was being destroyed. And it was my great-great-grandfather who found a way to unit them. (picks up old, rusty revolver from table) He gave them a religion. Brought them together in the love and fear of God. That is the line I stem from. (yells) That is what gives me the right to rule.

BLAKEForgive me for my ignorance. I... I was wrong to question your authority. I apologize.

VARGASYou are wise. Unbelievers perish in his wrath.

BLAKEI came here only to find my friends. They have a disease. I understand you have a drug which will combat it.

VARGASThey will require it each day for the rest of their lives.

BLAKEWell, I ask that they be allowed to choose whether they come with me. I ask that you give me a supply of that drug.


BLAKEI need those men. I must have a crew.

VARGAS(yells) NO! This society needs people. New blood, muscle and sinew to work the land. Human souls are the only currency. Our God is bankrupt without them.

BLAKEWill you trade them then? There must be something on my ship that you need.

VARGASToys like this? (picks up gun) And these. (picks up bracelet) Is that what you offer me.

BLAKEWhat do you want?


BLAKEThat you already have.

VARGASHere, yes. But to take the word beyond, to gather followers in new worlds, new disciples bound together and obeying the one true God. That is what I want. That is what you will give me.


VARGASYour ship. You will give me your ship.


VARGASI command it. You will contact your ship and order it to land.

BLAKEI can't do that.

VARGASYou are mistaken. (to priests) He has defied the word. Teach him what happens to unbelievers. (They grab Blake) Teach him.

[In another part of the room is what looks like a torture area. A priest stands holding a chain. Vargas laughs. OOV Blake screams]

[Exterior. Liberator in stationary orbit.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Vargas' room. Kara looks out window at the sky. Vargas sits reading.]

KARAIs it a sign?

VARGASIt tells us that the time is come to take our truth out into the universe. New worlds shall honor the power of the word.

[Laran enters]

LARANLord Vargas.

VARGASYes, Laran.

LARANThe unbeliever will not submit.

VARGAS(sighs and dismisses Laran with a nod and a wave of the hand) Kara, go to the place of novices. Speak to those who have newly come to us. Tell them what happens to those who disobey.

[Kara exits. Vargas remains seated]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area. Avon enters carrying a sack.]

JENNAYou found it then?

AVON(empties the sack on the table and jewels spill out) Do you know how much is in there? Millions. Millions. And this is just a sample. There must be almost as much wealth in that single room as there is in the entire Federation banking system. Look at it.

JENNAYou could buy a lot of freedom with this.

AVONYou could buy anything with this. Anything at all. Think of it Jenna, there isn't anything you couldn't have.

JENNABut what about Blake?

AVONWhat about him?


AVONWe could own our own planet.

BLAKEWe're not leaving him there.

AVONWe have to. He's a crusader. He'll look upon all this as just one more weapon to use against the Federation. And he can't win. You know he can't win. What do you want to be rich or dead? (picks up necklace) We might never have this opportunity again.

JENNAAn hour. We'll wait an hour. If he's not back by then we'll leave.

AVONWhy? Why wait?

JENNABecause that way I can convince myself that we gave him a fair chance. If he's not back by then.... (walks away)

AVONAll right.

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Cell. Door is opened and Blake is tossed in. Others stand away from him.]

BLAKEGive us a hand, will you?

[No one moves. Finally, Gan helps Blake to his feet]

BLAKEThank you. What's the matter with you. Selman? Arco? Vila?

ARCOYou've got to give them what they want, Blake.

BLAKEOh, really? That madman wants the ship. Give him that and we're finished.

ARCOWe're finished already.

VILAThey're not going to give us the drug unless you do as they order. Without it we die.

SELMANTell him the rest.

VILAIf you delay, one of us will be chosen for sacrifice.

ARCOWe're not going to let that happen, Blake. If they can't convince you then I will. (tries to attack Blake)

BLAKE(sidesteps the attack) You're pathetic. I should leave you to rot. You want to live like slaves? Live or die at the whim of a madman, then fine. But you're not taking me down with you. I'm getting out. I'm better off without you.

VILAEven if we got away, we wouldn't have the drug.

BLAKEI know where it's kept.

ARCOHow long will it last?

BLAKEThat ship up there is the most advanced design I've ever seen. There are medicines on board. There's a laboratory. We can... we can... we can analyze the drug, make it ourselves.

ARCOThat's what YOU say.

BLAKEVery soon now they're going to come and take one of you away and there is nothing you can do to stop that happening, because there is no way I am going to order that ship to land. The choice is very simple. You can either fight or you can die. (pause, looks around at all of them) Well?

GAN(moves to stand beside Blake) Well, I'm with you.

BLAKEAnyone else?

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Main chapel]

VARGAS(standing at the altar) Only from his hand comes life. And from his wrath comes death. We obey him and give him thanks for his blessing. (gong sounds) It is time. Bring the chosen one to the place of sacrifice.

[Laran exits. Vargas picks up Blake's weapon. It accidentally discharges.]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Cell.]

BLAKEThey're coming. Ready?


BLAKE(looks at others crouched on the floor) It's your last chance. (to Gan) All right?


BLAKELet's get down.

[Blake, Gan, Vila, Arco and Selman crouch down among prisoners.]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

AVON(pacing) Oh, come on. There's no point in waiting any longer.

JENNAThere's still six minutes.

AVONWe've made our decision. Let's just get out of here.

JENNASix minutes. We'll wait.

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Main chapel. Robed figures are gathered, kneeling before the altar. Chanting can be heard. Robed figures enter escorting Gan, his hands shackled.]

BLAKE(disguised in robe) The novices made attack on us. We were able to overcome them.

VARGASThey will be punished. Come, prepare the sacrifice.

[Gan walks forward and lays on table.]

VARGAS(to image above the altar) Oh, Lord of our people, in offering up this sacrifice we crave your blessing. (holds knife up)

VARGAS(turns to table and raises knife over Gan) Oh Lord of our people, we dedicate this sacrifice to you.

BLAKENow. (he throws off his robe) Get the bracelets.

[Gan takes of binders. The prisoners fight with the priests. Blake puts on a bracelet.]

BLAKE(into communicator) Get us up, Avon. Quick.

[Interior. Liberator teleport area.]

BLAKE(v.o.) Make it fast.

[Avon does not move. Jenna reaches for the button. Avon grabs her hand.]

AVONWe lose it all.

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Main chapel. The fighting continues. Gan manages to retrieve a bracelet. Vila crawls past the table and gets one.]

BLAKEVila, where's Selman?

VILAHe's dead.

[Fighting continues. Arco is wounded. Gan throws man aside. A priest throws a spear.]


[Gan steps back. The spear misses him and hits Kara. The fight continues. Blake is struggling with one of the priests. Vila stabs the priest.]

BLAKEDon't just stand there Vila. Run.

BLAKEGan, come on.

[They run out door. Gan slams it shut and holds it]

BLAKEGan, can you hold them?

GANAs long as the door doesn't break.

VILADid you see? They killed Arco.

BLAKEI don't understand. There's no response from the ship.

VILAPerhaps these bracelets don't work any more.

BLAKEAnd we can't hold out much longer. That's certain.

VILAAnd they'll be getting reinforcements.

BLAKELook, there's only one way for it. You and Gan run. Out there hide among the rocks. Anywhere. At least in the dark you've got a chance. I'm going back in to get the gun.

VILAThey'll kill you.

BLAKEGan, when I give the word, let go of the door.

VILABlake, we'll all be killed.

BLAKEGan, do as I tell you. Now.

[Gan opens the door. Men come hurtling out.]

GAN(pulls Vila away) Come on.

[ Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Blake grabs gun. Three robed figures attack him. They struggle. The gun goes off, hitting the image above the altar. The others fall to their knees. Blake jumps over crossed lances blocking the door. He rolls over into the next room]


[Blake's bracelet comes off. Vargas closes door and points gun at Blake. He fires and misses. Blake runs but is blocked by the wall. Vargas points gun at Blake and laughs]

[Interior. Liberator teleport area]

JENNAWe've got no choice.

[Jenna presses button]

[Cygnus Alpha. Interior. Vargas is teleported.]

BLAKE(grabs bracelet) Get me up.

[Interior. Liberator teleport area.]

BLAKE(v.o) Make it fast.

JENNA(presses button) Get the ship moving.

[Avon exits. Blake, Vila and Gan materialize. Vargas materializes in another teleport section.]

JENNA(turning to teleport) Blake?

VARGAS(point gun at others) Get over there. All of you. You'll take this ship down to the surface.

JENNAWe're already moving away.

VARGASThen get it back.

BLAKEIf you kill us, there is no way you can run this ship. You're getting further and further away from your precious drug.

VARGAS(Laughs) There is no drug. A simple compound. The disease is a mild poison that clears itself. But for centuries the followers have believed in the disease, believed in the cure just as you have believed.

BLAKESo you and those before you built your power on fear and ruled them with it.

VARGASI ruled. I ruled. A small prison planet with never more than five hundred people. But with this. With this I could rule a thousand planets. For that prize, do you think I would hesitate to kill you? Now take this ship back to Cygnus Alpha.

[He backs up into teleport area]

VARGASNOW. I was their priest. I shall return to them a god... A god...

[Blake teleports him into space where he explodes]

[Exterior. Liberator is under way.]

[Interior. Liberator flight deck. Entire crew is present.]

ZENInformation. Sensors register that Liberator has been scanned by detector beams. A fleet of ships is approaching and has changed course toward this system.

BLAKEPut them on the screen.

[Viewscreen shows star field. Three moving objects can be seen.]

JENNAThere they are.


ZENAvailable data classifies them as Federation pursuit ships.

BLAKESet a course to take us away from them. Maximum speed.

ZENCourse and speed confirmed.

AVONWith our speed we'll probably outrun them. This time. But they'll keep coming. Pushing us, tracking us. They'll never give up.

BLAKENor will we. When we can handle this ship properly, we'll stop running. Then we'll fight.

Script Index

Back to B7 Top