Script for Games

by Bill Lyons

(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.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr AvonPaul Darrow
Vila RestalMichael Keating
ServalanJacqueline Pearce
Del TarrantSteven Pacey
Dayna MellanbyJosette Simon
SoolinGlynis Barber
OracPeter Tuddenham
SlavePeter Tuddenham
BelkovStratford Johns
GambitRosalind Bailey
GerrenDavid Neal
Computer VoiceMichael Gaunt
GuardJames Harvey

[Aboard Scorpio, docked at Xenon Base - Footage of a series of explosions are being shown on the monitor screen]
AVONWell, that's one way of solving your energy crisis.
DAYNAIt's no joke Avon, thousands of people were killed.
AVONThey would have died anyway, Agravo was a worked out planet. The Federation does not spend time and credits for nothing. It would have been uneconomic to transfer anyone but key personnel.
SOOLINDo you think they planned that explosion?
AVONNot this time. This was just a happy accident. But now the Federation is aware of the potential of Feldon power systems. Orac?
ORACFederation plans currently include operations on nine planets previously considered uninhabitable.
TARRANTI've finished those drive modifications, do you want to take her her up for a test flight?
TARRANTPreferably much later. I could do with some rest.
VILAWe all could. Is the lecture over?
ORACFeldon is the hardest known subject in the universe.
AVONAnd currently the most valuable.
VILAGo on, you're just getting interesting.
ORACIt's extremely rare, traces found in the asteroid belt and on a few insignificant planets. Invariably prized as a precious stone until its commercial and industrial uses were discovered. Feldon concentrates energy.
DAYNAWell so does a burning glass. So what?
AVONThat's not a bad analogy, but given the right conditions feldon is infinitely more efficient.
SOOLINInfinitely more efficient?
AVONI use the word deliberately.
TARRANTBut did you use it accurately?
AVONThe Federation is investing two hundred billion credits on the project. For unlimited energy, I would say that that was cheap at the price.
VILASo would I. Where?
AVONWhere what?
VILAWhere do we steal the Federation crystals from? [Avon smiles]

[Belkov's underground living quarters on Mecron Two - he is playing 3D chess (4 boards) with his computer, Gambit]

GAMBITAlarm signal from Orbiter. [Monitor screen shows Orbiter]
BELKOVYes I heard that, thank you Gambit. You really must try and learn that attack is the best method of defence. You've got yourself into a hopeless tangle here again, you know.
GAMBITUnauthorised personnel have entered Orbiter. We have visual contact. [Monitor screen shows Gerren and two companions entering Orbiter's vestibule]
BELKOVI wish you'd concentrate on the game. The security systems are quite capable of coping, in fact, Orbiter's defence is a lot better than yours.

[Aboard Scorpio]

VILAOf course, if this stuff does blow up planets by mistake, we're going to need to be a bit careful. I mean, do we need money that badly? I ask myself.
TARRANTThe crystals themselves are safe enough, I assume.
AVONThe Federation's mistake was to underestimate the system potential. So much energy built up that it became unstable. What you are now looking at is a blueprint of what the Mark Two version will look like. [a blueprint appears on the screen] It's a tiny power station, cheap to produce, small enough to transport in a cargo ship and capable of developing enough power to make a minus two-fifty degree planet workable.
TARRANTWhat? Using energy from fairly distant stars concentrated through the crystals? Could you run a ship on it?
AVONYou could run anything on it in theory. That's why the Federation is staking so heavily. The consignment we are after is worth approximately nine hundred million.
TARRANTLet's get one thing straight. We want it to use, not to sell. We've seen what it can do. We can't risk it getting back to the Federation.
DAYNAYes, agreed.
VILANot by me, it's not. You steal for your reasons, I'll steal for mine.
SOOLINWhy not get it first and quarrel about it later?
AVONThis is not going to be easy. For one thing, the consignment has already been stolen - from the Federation, and they are not going to be pleased about it when they find out. Secondly, it is protected by a security system which is supposed to be impassable.
VILAThey're all supposed to impassable.
AVONAnd thirdly...
ORACAnd thirdly, you may already have missed your chance. The following message has just come in from Sector Nine.
AVONDayna. [she opens channel, message appears on screen]
DAYNA[Reading] "Federation security may reveal target, going in at once."
AVONThe fool! Get the ship ready for launch.
VILAWhat happened to that rest we all needed?
AVONIt just got too damned expensive. [Shot of Scorpio revolving on launch pad]

[Belkov's quarters]

BELKOVEureka! Oh I really will have to reprogram you again, you don't last any time at all these days. Well, are you going to resign on this last one? Or do we have to go through the motions?
GAMBITThere are three hundred and eighty possible endings from this position, defeat is by no means inevitable.
BELKOVHave it your own way. We both know you've lost.

[Orbiter - one of Gerren's men presses a button on the wall, revealing a monitor screen. A message appears on the screen PLAYER ONE COMMENCE IN TWENTY SECONDS. An overhead sign flashes GAME START, then screen displays message ARM YOURSELF. He takes the electronic pistol from its wall holder - cut to Belkov laughing as he watches his monitor - man moves to position and waits. When the monitor shows his opponent, he is taken aback, it is a simulation of himself. The figure on the screen fires faster than he does and he falls dead. Screen display PLAYER ONE SCORE, 00]

COMPUTERNext player please. [Screen display - PLAYER TWO COMMENCE IN - ]
BELKOVObviously not a natural games player. Well you've either got it, or you haven't, I suppose.
GAMBITI suppose.

[Second player takes pistol from first and goes to position. He outshoots the screen simulant on his first shot, but is killed at the second try.

Screen display - PLAYER TWO SCORE, 76


COMPUTERNext player please.

[Gerren makes for the door, his screen simulant tracks him and fires. Gerren falls wounded and crawls out. Overhead sign flashes GAME OVER. Belkov turns his attention to the chess monitors, Gambit has made another move.]

BELKOVOh not bad, not bad at all. You're beginning to get sneaky. I like that.
GAMBITDo you want to resign now? Or shall we go through the motions? [Belkov laughs]

[Scorpio in flight]

DAYNASo, Avon, are you going to tell us what's going on now?
AVONI didn't think we would have to move on this so soon.
SOOLINAnd that made it unnecessary to tell us?
TARRANTAnd in the meantime you were doing deals with outsiders.
AVONThere were no deals and there were no risks.
TARRANTWell, what about the message? The man who sent that knows where the base is, and that's a risk.
AVONHe has no idea where the base is. All messages were beamed via an obsolete communications beacon in Sector Four.
DAYNASo who is he, this partner we didn't know we had?
AVONHis name is Gerren. Academician Gerren.

[Voice over as Gerren's spacecraft is shown on the move]

GERRENSeriously wounded, I need help. I repeat, Gerren calling Scorpio - Avon, if you're coming to the rendezvous, hurry!

[Scorpio. Tarrant materialises in teleport, supporting Gerren]

TARRANTHe's been shot.
SOOLINHe looks bad. [They help Gerren onto a reclining chair and begin first aid]
TARRANTWhy should this middle-aged Federation professor want to help you, Avon?
AVONBecause apart from being a brilliant geologist and an expert in mining techniques he is also greedy, avaricious, and a crook.
VILAHas he got any faults?
SOOLINHow do you know so much about him?
AVONI got Orac to tap the Federation data banks for information concerning the feldon project. Gerren is part of the survey team.
TARRANTIt sounds respectable enough.
AVONHe was working on a deep space project, searching out mining planets. If you run the relevant sets of figures together you will see that he delayed his information just long enough to manipulate the Commodities Market.
VILAThat's not really crooked.
AVONYou tell that to his Federation masters.
SOOLINIs that what you threatened to do?
AVONI merely reminded him that since I got the information from the Federation computers, somebody else might also piece it together, in which case he would find himself in a penal colony.
DAYNASo you blackmailed him.
DAYNAHe's coming round. [Gerren revives]
AVONGerren, that was a damfool thing to do. You could have ruined everything.
GERRENDidn't have much choice. The Federation smelled a rat. I wanted to get the stuff out before their team arrived.
AVONYou should leave that sort of thing to us.
GERRENTold you, there was no time. Besides, from what I've heard, she might be more than a match for you.
AVONWell now. Just who are they sending?

[A quarry on Mecron Two, Mecronians in `monastic habits' and visors are quarrying stone. Servalan arrives with five Federation guards, she detaches two of them to watch the quarry and accompanied by the others, goes to an entrance in the rock face - cut to Belkov's monitor screen tracking her]

GAMBITYour move.
BELKOVOh, I must greet our opponents, Gambit. I'm glad to see they're punctual at least. [Servalan and her guards enter] Oh, we're honoured by your visit, Commissioner Sleer.

SERVALANI wouldn't call it a visit Belkov, that makes it sound like a holiday, which it isn't. And I doubt whether you'll feel honoured by the time I've finished with you. You've been placed under house arrest, pending the results of my investigations.
BELKOVYes, well Mecron Two is a very strange planet. You'll find it difficult to investigate without my help.

SERVALANI could have you executed on the spot, you know.
BELKOVYes, that is true, but that would guarantee you didn't get the feldon crystals and that wouldn't enhance your reputation with the Federation, would it? By the way, what am I being arrested for?

SERVALANProduction has been consistently below target. Your excuses have been, to say the least, evasive. Accidents to members of the previous survey team for which we have yet to receive satisfactory explanations.
BELKOVBut inspector, this is a strange planet, we're working under difficulties.

SERVALANThis isn't a game Belkov. We want those crystals and we want them now.
BELKOVAnd I'm the only one who can get them for you. It is a game Commissioner, and I hold the winning hand.

SERVALANNo hand is a winning hand until it's played, Belkov. You should know that.


SOOLINWe've still got one advantage, she doesn't know about the crystals Belkov has hidden in the Orbiter. We do.
VILAIt didn't do Gerren and his friends much good, did it?
DAYNAWell no, but Soolin's right though, Servalan will be more worried about the mining, the stuff they're digging up now, won't she?
GERRENUnfortunately, they're not digging up anything much. There's virtually no feldon left. Belkov's milked this planet for twelve good years, now he knows the game's up, he wants to use the crystals to buy survival.
AVONSo he'll do a deal.
TARRANTWith Servalan?
GERRENHe'll certainly try.
TARRANTI wish him luck.
VILASo do I. "Why deal when you can steal?" isn't just my motto. [Avon smiles.]
GERRENIt's not that easy, the ship's stacked with booby traps. We couldn't get past the first one.
AVONYes Slave?
SLAVEThere appears to be someone on Mecron Two attempting to make contact with us, Master.
DAYNAThere shouldn't be anyone there who knows we're coming.
SLAVEThey seem to be getting impatient.
AVONWho does?
SLAVEI fear I am unable to identify them Master. I regret this failure most bitterly.
ORACThe message is coming via a Federation class Alpha One Nine Seven computer. It appears to have been modified in rather extraordinary ways.
AVONSpare us the technical details, just give us the message.
ORACIt offers visual contact. Do we accept?
TARRANTWell since they obviously know us and we don't know them...
AVONQuite. All right Dayna. [she makes screen contact, Belkov appears]
BELKOVAh, good day to you.
BELKOVOh, so you survived. Oh, well done! Ah, but no points for you, I fear. I shall have to mark you down as "retired hurt".
AVONCan we get to the point?
BELKOVYes, perhaps you're right. It wouldn't do either of us any good if that Federation squadron picked us up. I have jammed them on this frequency of course.
DAYNAOh, considerate.
SOOLINWhat exactly do you want?
TARRANTFrom whom?
BELKOVWell, I've been placed under house arrest. There are a number of faceless Federation guards marching around my corridors. I want you to get me off this planet safely, before things get worse.
VILAWhat's in it for us?
BELKOVHalf the feldon crystals in my ship Orbiter.
AVONWhat guarantee do we have that you'll give them to us?
BELKOVWell, I imagine you'll kill me if I don't.
AVONWell, we might kill you anyway and take them all.
BELKOVWell, I'll just have to trust you, won't I?
GERRENHe doesn't usually trust anyone.
SOOLINSo what makes us so appealing?
BELKOVWell, I do have one or two good cards to play, I suppose.
AVONFor instance?
BELKOVYou're on an approach which takes you below the Mecron moons and Orbiter.
BELKOVWell, as you probably know, Orbiter is powered through feldon crystals. By using them and reflectors on the moon I could set up a series of force fields. You'd find getting away from this planet a lot harder than getting to it.
AVONMultiple traction beams.
TARRANTPowerful enough to stop a ship leaving orbit? I don't believe it.
BELKOVYour friend Avon does. [an alarm buzzer sounds] Oh, I have a visitor approaching. Don't be too long. [he breaks contact]
VILAWell, what do you think?
DAYNAI wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.
VILAThat wouldn't be far.
GERRENAs I see it, we don't have much choice.
AVONWhich is exactly the way he wants you to see it.

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan enters with guards]

SERVALANFour of my men have been murdered.
BELKOVYes, I did try to warn you, but you didn't give me much opportunity.

SERVALANWhat do you mean?
BELKOVWell, the locals do have some rather nasty habits. Ritual murder is only one of them.

SERVALANYou never mentioned this in your reports. You could have had backup forces.
BELKOVI didn't need backup. I managed things for myself. I came to an agreement with the Mecronians.

SERVALANDid this agreement include the killing of my men?
BELKOVOh of course not.

SERVALANOf course not!
BELKOVLook, d'you realize the problems I had setting up this entire mining operation? Theirs is a very ancient civilization, you know.

SERVALANI didn't come here for a history lesson.
BELKOVIt is relevant! [showing Servalan a crystal necklace in a glass case] The Mecronian high priests used these as a symbol of their power. Now there is a legend about the feldon necklaces. A chief once stole one, the gods became angry and struck him down. Of course, the gods' anger was merely an electrical storm in which a hunk of polished feldon crystals that size would absorb enough energy to blow holes in any number of recalcitrant chiefs.

SERVALANHow fascinating.
BELKOVYes, but you see, the priests have been cashing in on this piece of luck for generations, so I decided to join them. I said their gods had sent me to collect the crystals. Well, not unnaturally, they were not particularly impressed, well not at first anyway.

SERVALANI can imagine.
BELKOVSo I borrowed a necklace. All it needed then was a well-placed remote-controlled laser rifle to ensure that only the chosen one could wear it. After six of them had died in the attempt, they found my survival quite miraculous.

SERVALANYour survival is becoming more miraculous by the moment. Just what sort of swindle are you working?
BELKOVI beg your pardon!

SERVALANOn your own original estimates, you've delivered half the expected yield from this mine. Where's the rest? Either it never existed, which is fraud, or you've stolen it. It's a capital offence either way.

[Dayna, Tarrant, Gerren and Vila materialize on the rim of the quarry and look down on the workers]

TARRANTYou'd better lead the way. Are you up to it?
GERRENI'll be all right.

[They descend. At the bottom they see one of Servalan's guards in the entrance and Dayna fires at him. He collapses slowly and they go across to his body. Vila pulls a trangular knife from the dead man's back]

VILAHave you been improving the guns again?
DAYNAFunny man.
GERRENIt's a Mecronian knife.
VILANot keen on visitors, then.
TARRANTGood shot though. If he hadn't already been dead, you'd have saved our lives for certain.
DAYNAOh, do I get a prize?
TARRANTSorry, disqualified on a technicality.
VILAI'd still rather not meet the owner of this too soon.


AVONHow long can Gerren stay on his feet?
SOOLINThere's no telling - until the drug wears off.
AVONGet ready to leave orbit.
SOOLINLeave orbit?
AVONI don't mind playing games, but I do object when the opposition makes up the rules and decides to be the referee as well. I think we should try and even things up a bit.
AVONBelkov trusts no one, which is a strength, because that means that no one can betray him. But it is also a weakness because it means that he is the only one who can defend what is his.
SOOLINSo, he makes everything self-protecting, the booby traps, the force fields.
AVONExactly, everything automatic and therefore predictable, and therefore vulnerable. Slave!
SLAVEYes master?
AVONI want you to compute a new orbit so that from the planet's surface, Scorpio is constantly eclipsed by the Orbiter.
SLAVEYes master.
SOOLINHe'll be supsicious as soon as we move.
AVONIf we leave our present orbit, as far as he is concerned, we're pulling out - we're cutting our losses and we're running for it. He'll turn his attention to more important matters and leave his automatics to track us. Once we have that moon between us and the scanner, we can start back down again. Since his automatics won't be able to track us, they will merely inform him of what he thinks he already knows - we have gone.
SOOLINWhat happens to Tarrant and the others meantime?
AVONWell, during the manoeuvre they are entirely on their own, but once we are back in our new orbit, the teleport system should function quite normally. Oh, it's a calculated risk. But at least you and I can be certain that we can get away when we want to.

[Mecron II - the quarry and reduction plant. Vila, Gerren and Tarrant are crouching behind a low wall]

VILAWhat's going on?
GERRENHigh pressure reduction process.
VILAYeah, but what's going on?
GERRENThat's the pressure container. An electro-magnetic field produces such high pressure that everything except the feldon crystals is reduced to a fine dust.
TARRANT[into bracelet] Avon - Avon. Avon, come in! It's no good, I still can't raise them. [Vila stands up to get a a better look. A guard sees him]
GUARDPut down your weapons - slowly - in front of you. [they obey]
TARRANTWell done Vila.
GUARDThis is a restricted area.
GERRENI am Academician Gerren doing geological survey work for the Planetary Resources Commission.
GUARDPapers? [Gerren hands them over] That seems to be order. You? [to Vila and Tarrant]
GERRENThey are part of my survey team.
GUARDI still need to see their papers.
VILAI seem to have left mine behind.
GUARDThen I'm sure you wont object to being searched. Search him! [The other guard frisks Vila and finds the Mecronian knife] Four of our men have been killed with a knife like that.
VILAYou don't think - I mean, I'm not the violent type, really I'm not.
GUARDThen why do you carry that?
VILAI found it.
VILAIt was stuck in one of your men.
DAYNA[Popping up from behind a rock] Vila, down!! [she fires, killing the first guard, Tarrant throws the other into the pressure plant, there is an ominous puff of red dust]
VILANasty way to go, all that dust, very bad for the chest.

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan's men are smashing the place up]

BELKOVI really must object. I mean, it's taken me years to get these things together, there's no point in your destroying them.

SERVALANI asked for your co-operation, you wouldn't give it.
BELKOVI'd hardly be stupid enough to hide a consignment of stolen crystals in here, now would I?

SERVALANNo? Where would you put them, then? [Belkov sniggers] Try the computer.
BELKOVI wouldn't do that if I were you.

SERVALANGo ahead. [guard opens a panel and is electrocuted]
BELKOVI did warn him. You see, Gambit is programmed to defend itself. I really think co-operation would be the best idea for both of us.

SERVALANThat's what I've been offering you all along.
BELKOVWell, I didn't find your terms very attractive.

SERVALANWhat do you have in mind?
BELKOVWell, first I think this gentleman should stop threatening me. Then I just want to get away from here safely, to have enough capital to continue my researches in peace, somewhere else.

SERVALANYou mean you expect the Federation to pay you for something you've already stolen from them. I think I'll just turn you over to my interrogation team. You'll give them what they want in the end.
BELKOVI could tell you where you could get your hands on some outlaws, just as a sign of good faith, of course.

SERVALANI'm listening.
BELKOVAvon, Vila, Tarrant. I understand the Federation would like them put of circulation.

SERVALANI don't believe you could deliver.
BELKOVThey're already here on the planet. You'd have them within twenty-four hours.

SERVALANAnd the crystals?
BELKOVOh, they'd be part of the deal. Another triumph for Commissioner Sleer.

SERVALANPerhaps we can do business after all.
BELKOVGood, then without appearing to be greedy, I'd like to discuss the quesion of my payment first.

SERVALANThe Federation's been paying you for twelve years. I'd say you're lucky to get out with your life.
BELKOVOh, I wouldn't. I want Orac, my ship, and enough feldon crystals to negotiate my way round the galaxy.

BELKOVYou're getting a bargain, and you know it.

[Outside the main door - Vila, Gerren and Tarrant are crouched watching Federation guards. Dayna appears on a ledge over the doorway and throws a Mecronian knofe at a guard. The section leader kneels by the body]

S.LEADERGuards! [he waves at the others to search the rocks. They go.]
VILAAh well, I got blamed for one of their killings. [Dayna drops down from the rocks, Tarrant clobbers the section leader. They go to the door]
TARRANTVila! Come on, as fast as you can, there won't be long.
VILAI realize that. [Vila opens the security door]
TARRANTRight! I want you to get into cover and wait.
VILAOut here, alone?!
TARRANTBelkov may double-cross us.
VILAI should think that's highly likely. What d'you expect me to do about it, mount a one-man rescue?
TARRANTSomething like that.
VILAThey're after blood, my blood.
DAYNATell them you've already given.
TARRANTWe need backup Vila. I don't like it any more than you do, but without Scorpio, you're it. Now go! [They enter, Vila closes the door and retreats to cover]
VILA[into bracelet] Avon, come in Avon! Avon, if you're up there, please answer. This is not fun anymore. [Two more guards come by. One of them treads on Vila's hand as he hides]


SLAVEYou have achieved the new orbit with consummate skill, master.
AVONThank you Slave, I am releasing manual control. Watch out for any deviation in the Orbiter.
SLAVEYes, master.
AVONWell, that should keep Belkov guessing. Now let us see if we can do anything about getting those crystals. [activates Orac] Orac!
ORACYes, Avon?
AVONTell me everything you know about Belkov's One Nine Seven computer.
ORACYou suggested I spared you the technical details.
AVONOh, don't sulk, Orac. I have a little more time now.
ORACThe modifications are very extensive. It's inaccurate to call it a One Nine Seven anymore. It's really a sort of hybrid. For example, a whole section of its memory banks are from a PPC class unit.
AVONA pleasure planet computer. That means it plays games.
ORACThe total effect is a system which responds in what I can only describe as an eccentric manner.
SOOLINWhat does that mean?
ORACA computer must, by definition, be logical. But it can also mirror the logic of its creator.
SOOLINYou mean it's an extension of his mind.
ORACNo, that is NOT what I mean.
SOOLINHis personality, then.
ORACA better definition, but still not quite accurate.
AVONWould it know how the booby traps on the orbiter are programed?
ORACAs yet, I don't have enough data to answer that question.
AVONIf it knew, could you extract the information from it? Come on! [Gives Orac a whack out of pique] That's a simple enough question.
ORACThere might be problems.
AVONWhy? You have extracted information from Federation computers before now. This is just a hodgepodge of three or four of them. You have already said that it is inferior to you.
ORACThe difficulty is not technical. It's more one of, uh, attitude.
AVONAh. You mean the logic of its creator.
ORACExactly. Let me remind you of ancient Earth mythology. The Delphic Oracle would answer questions truthfully without giving a true answer.
AVONSo what we need is not the right answer, but the right question.
SOOLINAnd in circumstances where any mistake would prove fatal.

[Belkov's quarters]

BELKOVDo come in. [Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren enter] Your guns are quite unnecessary, unless you've an urgent reason for killing me, that is.
TARRANTOh, that's always a possibility.
BELKOVThere are a lot of Federation troops about, you might have noticed, and I did mention to Commissioner Sleer you might be dropping in.
DAYNAWell that sounds like an urgent reason for killing you.
BELKOVYes, but you see, if you did, Gambit is programmed to raise the alarm. Wouldn't help me, I know, but it would ensure that you were captured and - kkkk - executed. [throat-cutting gesture] Look, I don't care if she gets the crystals or you do, I just want to get safely out of this place.
TARRANTWell, we're not keen on staying here either.
BELKOVOh really? Can you explain why your friend Avon has taken your ship out of orbit?
DAYNAThat's not true.
GERRENYou couldn't raise him on the communicator?
TARRANTAvon wouldn't run out on us.
BELKOVI wish I had your faith in him. Still, whatever the reason, it calls for some slight change of plan. Are you still capable of piloting one of these Federation ships?
TARRANTIt's what I was trained for.
BELKOVGood. Gambit..
GAMBITYes, Belkov.
DAYNAEr, slow down! We'd like to know exactly what you are doing, so there can be no misunderstandings.
BELKOVI was going to instruct Gambit to contact Commissioner Sleer, give her your position and advise her to take her men and arrest you.
DAYNAYou'll be dead before you get the first sentence out.
BELKOVWell that would be a pity, you see, because the place I was going to send her is held to be sacred by the Mecronians. They're a primitive bunch, but they do take their religion rather seriously and if she goes marching in there with her men, she'll have a fight on her hands, at least long enough for us to steal one of her ships.


VILA[Into bracelet] Avon, Avon, are you up there? Avon, come in please.
AVON[Voice over] Avon - go ahead Vila.
VILAWe've been trying to contact you for an hour. What the hell have you been doing, taking a nap?
AVON[V.O.] I've been doing what we came for. How about you?
VILAOh nothing much, I've been shot at, trodden on, nearly captured twice [explosions from back of quarry, a man runs from the doorway with his clothes on fire] and now I think they're trying to blow me up. A fairly average day. You know. [more explosions] What the hell's going on?
AVON[V.O.] They're not aimed at you.
VILAI wish you'd tell them that. Teleport me back up, will you?
AVON[V.O.] Not yet, you've still got work to do. [another explosion]

[Outside a cave entrance]

SERVALANThey're hiding somewhere here. Find out what they know. [Guards enter cave, interrupting the religious ceremony. The Mecronians attack the guards, killing some. Servalan leaves]

[Scorpio - a chess game shows on Avon's monitor]

SOOLINHow long are we going to wait for those two?
AVONAs long as it takes. If Orac is going to get any information out of that machine, this is the way he's going to do it.
SOOLINWho's winning?
ORACWe've both made sacrifices.
AVONHe means that Gambit is.
ORACA temporary advantage.
AVONTo an inferior computer?
ORACWhich merely disguises my long-term strategy.
AVONLet's forget your ego for the moment. Have you extracted any information that could be of use to us yet?
ORACGambit has evolved into its present form over a period of years.
AVONWell, that's true of all computers. You adapt them, you improve them.
ORACBut these adaptations seem entirely haphazard. Some circuits have been added purely for amusement, others, the defence mechanisms for instance, are surprisingly complex.
AVONBut they all perform the same function. Belkov does not trust anyone except that machine. It is his bodyguard, his companion, his playmate... his friend, Orac.
ORACOh! That implies an emotional tie, which is no part of a computer's function.
AVONThese adaptations, if they went in haphazardly, could they be removed the same way?
ORACA lot of them have been. There are circuits in the PPC section which serve no function at all now. It seems that games are added at a whim, and when the adaptor gets bored with them, taken out again.
AVONSo every function can be isolated and removed.

[Outside quarry - explosion, Federation guards run out of doorway]

AVON[V.O.] Vila.
VILALook, if you don't teleport me soon, it'll be too late, there are Federation guards everywhere, bombs going off...
AVON[V.O.] That's just Belkov tidying things before he leaves. I'm going to bring you up.
VILAAbout time.
AVON[V.O.] As soon as you've collected a ciruit from his computer.

[Belkov's quarters - he is watching the destruction on his monitor with Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren ]

GAMBITDetonation series completed.
BELKOVThank you Gambit. It's time we left [they go out]

Outside - Vila stands up and walks to the doorway, passing Mecronian workers stumbling around in confusion. - cut to Belkov and the others in a corridor]

BELKOVIt's a bit longer this way, but it's safer than going above ground. [They enter a room, Belkov stops by the door] Oh, we're right under the takeoff area here. [he points to the ceiling - while they are looking up, he slips out, locking the door]
DAYNATarrant!! [she fires at the door]
TARRANTForget it Dayna, they're blast protection doors, both jammed from the outside. Well, we walked into that with our eyes open.
DAYNA[into bracelet] Avon, this Day...
TARRANTThat won't work either, even if he's there, he couldn't hear us. We're under the launch area, remember? That's what this emergency blast protection's for. There's so much shielding up there, he wouldn't hear us if he was standing immediately overhead.
DAYNAI don't understand. If Belkov wanted to give us to Servalan, why didn't he do it straight away?
GERRENI think I can answer that. I've surveyed the whole of this planet and there's no feldon left. This new mining site was just another way of swindling credits out of the Federation.
DAYNASo those bombs weren't just a diversion.
GERRENNo. He's hoping to destroy the evidence.
TARRANTAnd when the dust settles, we're here to take the blame for sabotage as well as everything else.

[Belkov's quarters - Vila enters, he moves a chess piece on the top board]

VILAGambit? Look, let's get one thing straight from the start, I don't mean you any harm, not personally. I'm sure you're a miracle of engineering and I bet you're not half as bad- tempered as Orac. I just want one of your circuits, that's all. Now you've got plenty to spare, so there's no need for us to get into a fight about it. [Vila ducks behind a cabinet as Belkov enters]
GAMBITYes, Belkov?
BELKOVGive me a security scan.
GAMBITSecurity scan operative.
BELKOVMining area?
GAMBITThree. [monitor shows dust and smoke]
BELKOVMain entrance?
GAMBITEleven. [screen shows closed security door]
BELKOVWhat's Commissioner Sleer doing?
BELKOVTarrant and the others?
GAMBITFourteen. [overhead shot of Tarrant & others trapped in room]
GAMBITTwenty-one. [shot of empty vestibule]
BELKOVGood, that's the lot.
GAMBITSecurity scan completed.
GAMBITYes Belkov?
BELKOVI'm leaving this planet. I have to, there's nothing for me here now. Prepare Alpha Three for takeoff. Start count down as soon as possible.
GAMBITLaunching preparations under way.
BELKOV[He becomes increasingly distressed and hesitant] I can't take you with me. I need you to finish off things here. When I'm clear of Mecron atmosphere, go to Condition Red. When all other tasks have been performed ... [he trails off]
GAMBIT[Anxiously] Yes?
BELKOVLook, I can't take you with me. You can see that, can't you? You're needed here, but you can't be left intact either. With all the trouble I've been to, to destroy the evidence, I can hardly leave you with memory banks full of it, can I?
GAMBITIs there some other function you wish me to carry out?
BELKOVWhen all other tasks have been performed, go to self-destruct sequence as programmed. Gambit...
GAMBITYes, Belkov?
BELKOVI shall miss you. I don't suppose that concept could possibly mean anything to you. I just thought I'd mention it. [he leaves. Vila pops out of hiding]
VILALook, you'll probably say it's none of my business, but if anybody told me to kill myself for them, they'd get a short answer. [No answer] Are you just programmed to respond to Belkov? Can you hear me? Can you talk to me?
GAMBITWould you like to play something? I'm programmed for all games.
VILAAh, that's very kind of you madam, but not at the moment, thanks. Look, if you're programmed to defend yourself, surely you shouldn't self-destruct.
GAMBITThe self-destruct sequence overrides all others.
VILAThat seems a bit of a waste. If you could let me have the circuit I mentioned, it'd be a sort of way for you to live on, wouldn't it? That'd be much better than being blanked out for ever.
GAMBITI must complete all tasks set.
VILAAh yes, of course, but - er - if you could let me have that circuit, and any chance of security scan fourteen again?
GAMBITSecurity scan fourteen [Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren appear on the screen] Do you require voice contact?
VILAThat wouldn't be a bad idea, and if you could open the door, that would be even better. [Gambit opens the blast doors]
VILA[V.O.] Tarrant, this is your one-man backup team. I think it's time we got out of here.
TARRANTWhere are you Vila?
VILA[V.O.] Belkov's living quarters.
TARRANTWe'll be right there.

Belkov's quarters - Vila removes a circuit board safely. Cut to Tarrant, Dayna and Gerren moving cautiously, guards appear and shots are exchanged. Vila shoots a guard from the doorway]

VILA[into bracelet] Avon, can you hear me, Avon? I don't believe this. Gambit!
GAMBITYes, Vila?
VILAIs there another way out of here?
GAMBITScan seventeen [opens a secret door in the wall] This leads to the mining area. There is some damage, it is extensive, but not impassable.
VILAWe'll risk it.

[Dayna, Tarrant and Gerren, running through corridors, a Federation guard fires, bringing down Gerren. Dayna makes as if to help him, Tarrant pulls her away]

TARRANTCome on! Come on! [she runs after Tarrant, leaving Gerren]

[Outside - Vila, Tarrant and Dayna emerge from a cave entrance]

VILAAvon, bring us up quick! [they teleport]

[Belkov's quarters - Servalan and guards are bending over Gerren, who is in a bad way]

SERVALANAre you ready to explain why you betrayed your position of trust, Gerren?
GERRENIt was Belkov, h-he was the one who betrayed the Federation.

SERVALANI see. And you've been associating with rebels in order to expose him, is that it?
GERRENHe didn't send back more than half the feldon that was mined. H-he kept it for himself. H-he's been doing it for years.

SERVALANOdd how you never mentioned that before.
GERRENAll right, I admit I wanted to get in on it myself at first, but now...

SERVALANBut now you're frightened and you need medical help and you think information might save you.
GERRENThe-the crystals are in the orbiter, but Belkov's booby- trapped it so he thinks they're safe. The-There must be a-a a billion in crystals up there, m-m-maybe more.

SERVALANAnything else?

[Orbiter - Avon, Soolin, Tarrant and Vila are in the vestibule, Vila is carrying Orac]

AVONDayna, we're down safe in Orbiter and proceeding.
GAMBIT[V.O.] Countdown twelve minutes twenty seconds and running.
VILAWhat does that mean?
AVONI imagine that if we're not out of here by the time it hits zero, we might regret it. [Soolin presses the button to reveal the screen and start the game. She picks up the electronic pistol]
GAMBITControl system feedback is through the weapon. The game adjusts to meet, and on the last shot, exceed the proficiency of the players.
SOOLINYou have to outshoot yourself.
TARRANTStupid game.
SOOLINNot really. Finally a game worth playing. Stand back. [She takes position and fires successfully]


DAYNAYes, Slave?
SLAVEScan reveals several launchings from the planet's surface. Initial launch, small cargo vessel, Alpha Three. Subsequent launches confirm Federation pursuit ships. Bearings indicate all ships heading in this direction.
DAYNAThank you Slave. [into intercom] Avon!
AVON[V.O.] Yes Dayna?
DAYNAKeep it moving, company on its way.


AVONWe're doing our best.
GAMBITFinal shot. The machine will outdraw you.

[Soolin fires and wins - monitor reads GAME OVER SCORE 100 very good!!! ------------

VILANo prize?
AVONThe prize is survival. [a door opens and they enter an inner cabin full of games machines] Orac, can you find out where we go from here?
ORACSensors indicate that all the other games are laid against the outside hull of the ship, therefore logic suggests that only machine four could give access to any inner chamber.
TARRANTThis is based on an old LSF.
TARRANTYes, launch and flight simulator. I trained on one.
VILASo you've had some practice, then. That's a bit of luck.
TARRANTWell not exactly. These things chuck the lot at you, flying the real thing's nothing after one of these.
GAMBITCountdown eight minutes, still running.
AVONGet on with it, Tarrant.
TARRANTAll right, all right! Taking her up. [he takes the joystick control and concentrates on the screen display]


DAYNASlave, what's the position of those Federation ships now?
SLAVEThe leading ship will be within firing range in one minute, Madam.
DAYNAThank you.
SLAVEDo you wish me to begin evasive or offensive action?
DAYNANo, not yet. [into intercom] Avon!
AVON[V.O.] Yes Dayna?
DAYNAI know you've got problems of your own, but those Federation ships could be firing on us in seconds. Any suggestions?
AVON[V.O.] Just sit tight Dayna. The Orbiter is between you and them. My guess is that they're too interested in what's inside to risk hitting it.

[Orbiter - Tarrant's game is getting hectic, a collision occurs]

TARRANTDamage report.

COMPUTERRetro-stabilizers out of action, slight fracture of radiation skin, reduction in pressure. Damage to energy banks makes landing decision imperative. Successful landing will score thirty percent more than stable orbit. Failure to achieve either forfeits all scores. Decide!

COMPUTEROrbit achieved. Points score, acceptable. [a panel opens revealing another door]
GAMBITCountdown five minutes, ten seconds and running.
AVONVila, what do you make of this?
VILAIt's a fingerprint lock. When it recognizes the print, it opens the door. It looks standard enough.
AVONHow long?
VILAHalf an hour or so and I could bypass it.
AVONWe don't have half an hour!
VILAI know that, but unless you can cut off one of Belkov's fingers for me - just a minute? [he bends down and grabs Tarrant's foot]
TARRANTVila, what are you doing?
VILADust! I need very fine dust [pats it off Tarrant's boot] That's probably half the guard you threw in that machine, Tarrant. In the old days, one of the ways of shifting suspicion, was by lifting fingerprints [he blows dust on table top and presses a piece of plastic on a fingerprint] There! Let's hope one of these is Belkov's. [he applies the piece of plastic to pressure plate on door, the door opens, showing a wall panel with monitor screen and keyboard] It worked! [Avon pushes him aside and gets to work on the keyboard]
SOOLINHow many more of these have we got to go through?
ORACGambit's circuits indicate that this is the final game.
AVONThis is the Orbiter's central guidance system.
DAYNA[V.O.] Avon, if I'm supposed to be using you as a shield, I hope you realize you're moving out of orbit.
AVONWhat?! [Shot of Orbiter moving away, disclosing Scorpio] Orac, what the hell is going on? Guidance system control is not functioning.
ORACThe orbiter is preprogrammed. Flight power depends on the distance and intensity of each star the feldon panels are locked into. The successful completion of a game continues the sequence. To regain control, you must complete the coded sequence of star sources.
VILAWhat about the feldon crystals?
GAMBITThis game will reveal the entrance.
SOOLINAll we have to do is lock on to the right star.
ORACIt is possible that we've just received the right answer to the wrong question.
AVONI calculate that the next star in the sequence is Cygnus XL. That's a black hole.
GAMBITThat is correct.
AVONNot exactly the entrance we were looking for. [Into bracelet] Dayna, we're ready for teleport.
VILAWhat about the crystals?
AVONThere aren't any damned crystals. There never were any damned crystals. They're like everything else on this ship: a game. That's why the last one has to be impassable. We have got to get out of here!
DAYNAStand by.

[Belkov's spacecraft, Alpha Three, aproaching Orbiter, then Belkov's quarters and Gambit]

BELKOV[On monitor screen] Gambit. Can you hear me, Gambit?
GAMBITYes, Belkov.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] Position please.
GAMBITYour orbit is stable, you are approaching optimum departure co-ordinates.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] Fine. Sever guidance links, give me automatic control.
GAMBITBeginning self-destruct sequence.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] I need automatic control first. Gambit!V
GAMBITI am not able to give it to you.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] I'll be killed if you don't.
GAMBITNot willing to give it to you.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] Gambit!!
GAMBITSelf-destruct sequence in progress.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] I'm sorry.
GAMBITGoodbye, Belkov.
BELKOV[O.M.S.] Ah, Gambit, this is no way to end our game. Lock my controls into Cygnus XL and Orbiter's. Please?
GAMBITPanels locked in. [Belkov laughs - screen goes blank as Gambit begins self- destruction sequence.]

[Shot of Belkov's spacecraft, then Scorpio - the crew reel from the shockwaves on an explosion]

GAMBIT[V.O.] Belkov has opened the door.
AVONInto the black hole. That is an infinite power source for the feldon to draw upon. There is nothing that won't be dragged in.
TARRANTOrac, if we pushed everything to the limit, could we raise enough power to pull away from it?
AVONBut a huge negative force a long way off could be balanced by a positive force close to the crystals.
ORACA somewhat simplistic theory.
AVONSlave, I need all the power we can muster. Sacrifice everything except life support. Blast those feldon panels with everything we've got.
VILAFrom this distance? You'll blow us up too!!

[Scorpio blasts Orbiter which disintegrates and disappears]

SOOLINYou've done it.
DAYNAYes, but what have you done?
AVONProved my somewhat simplistic theory, Orac.
ORACApparently so. It would appear that positive and negative inputs were balanced by the feldon crystals. Indeed, the balance was so perfect, that they simply ceased to exist, along with everything in their immediate vicinity.
TARRANTI'm glad we didn't get too close.
DAYNABut after all that, we go home empty-handed.
VILAEr, not entirely empty-handed. [produces Belkov's necklace] Well, I saw it lying about, seemed a pity not to take it. After all, Belkov won't be needing it where he's gone.
AVONLet me see that.
VILAI'd say the last game was mine, wouldn't you?
AVONI have bad news for you, Vila. [smashes crystals with his gun butt] It's a fake. End game to Belkov.
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