Script for Power

by Ben Steed

(c) 1981 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a partial dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Susan Schnitger, Micky DuPree and Frances Teagle.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby
Gunn Sar

Uncredited: Assorted Hommiks

[Corridor near door of landing silo]
VILA[runs instrument along door] Herculanium.
TARRANTSo you can't cut it--
VILACan't cut it, burn it, blast it.
DAYNACan you open it? [Vila shrugs]
TARRANTYou can or you can't.
VILAVery difficult.
DAYNAVery necessary.
TARRANTWhy, unless of course you feel like living on nuts and berries for the rest of your life.
DAYNAFood, Vila. What we've got will last us maybe three weeks if you can't open that door.
TARRANTWe can't get back to Scorpio, and without that ship we're as much prisoners here as we were on Terminal.

[Hillside. Avon is hurrying along a path. He shoots a Hommik who was aiming a crossbow at him. He tries to shoot at two more but is out of ammunition. He runs pursued by them.]

[Corridor near door of landing silo]

VILA[opens box on door] I'm not sure about this. [indicates a mechanism inside] At least I know it's a voice recognition input, but why is it just here?
TARRANTWell, can't you bypass it?
VILANo, they're foolproof.
TARRANTWell, perhaps--
VILAAnd before you say it, they're Avon-proof, too.
DAYNAI'll look for him anyway.

[Hillside. Avon is running from the Hommiks. Three Seskas observe from higher on the hillside. He crouches near a bush to use his communicator as the Hommiks shoot at him.]

AVONOrac! Orac!

[Control room. Orac is sitting on a stand in the teleporter area. Dayna is using a monitor screen. She looks over when Orac begins to speak.]

ORACAt the present stage of development, the chances of achieving critical restructure are less than eleven percent.


AVONNever mind that, Orac, I need teleport NOW. [He looks up to see a crossbow pointed at him within a foot.]

[Control room. Dayna has moved over to Orac.]

ORACGiving due consideration to the probabilities, I must assume that your request is a frivolous one.
DAYNAWhat request? [speaking into bracelet wired to Orac] Avon, where are you? What do you want?


DAYNA[v.o] Avon, can you hear me? [A Hommik pulls the bracelet off Avon's arm and twists and crumples it.] Avon, can you hear-- [the sound breaks off]

[Control room]


[Hillside. Avon is lying there unconscious. The Hommik drops his broken bracelet beside him.]

[Control room. Vila and Tarrant enter, speaking together.]

VILAWell, there's always rodents of one sort or another.
TARRANTI'm a growing lad, Vila. Rats are not the answer to my diet--
DAYNA[Makes a gesture to cut them off] Yes, but Orac, can you get a fix on him?
ORACThe locator fixing device was an integral part of his transceiver which is no longer operating.
DAYNASomething's happened to Avon, and Orac's being difficult.
ORACI am not being difficult, but functioning according to request.
VILAWhat happened to the transceiver?
ORACIt is no longer functioning.
TARRANTYes, but why?
ORACThere is a seventy two percent probability that it was damaged by a hostile agency.
TARRANTWhat was the last thing he said?
ORACHe requested immediate teleportation.
DAYNABut the teleport doesn't work.
TARRANTOrac, give us a fix on Avon's last known position.
ORACGrid two nine zero by four two eight.
DAYNA[Goes to monitor, works controls. The screen shows the empty hillside.] Nothing.
TARRANTThere, zoom in on that. [The screen zooms in on the broken bracelet.] Right, I'm going to take a look.
DAYNAYes, me, too.
VILAWhat about me?
TARRANTThere's a door to open, remember? [exits]
VILAAnd there's a lady with a gun wandering about, remember?
DAYNASoolin's nowhere on the base, Vila. You're safe. [exits]
VILA[calling after them] Hey! If she's out on the surface, maybe she got Avon.

[On hillside. The three Seska watch as Avon is dragged away by some Hommiks.]

LUXIAWho is he, do you think?
PELLAHe must have come in on Scorpio, there's no other way.
KATEShould we check?
PELLAI shall. You follow. [exits]

[Gunn Sar's room. He is lying on a table while Nina massages him.]

CATO[Enters] Sir, we have the intruder. His equipment and gun. [Hands them to Gunn Sar.]
GUNN SAROh, bring him in, bring him in. Let's see what you've got. [Starts to examine Avon's gear.]
CATO[Calls out door] Bring him in. [Two Hommiks bring Avon in.]
GUNN SARWell, don't just stand there, woman. Bring meat! [shoves her] Ale!
AVON[pulls his arms free of the Hommiks grip] You have a fetching way with women.
GUNN SARWho are you to address ME like some joker?
AVONMy name is Avon.
GUNN SARI don't care what you call yourself. I am Gunn Sar, chief of the Hommiks. I rule by right of challenge, which means I'm the biggest, toughest, meanest son of a Seska on this planet.
AVONI believe you.
GUNN SARYou'd better. [To Cato] What's the tally of challenges?
CATOTwenty-five dead and one missing, sir.
GUNN SAR[moves to speak to Cato more directly] Oh, come on, Cato. Don't quibble. Marquin fell backwards off the cliff.
CATOYes, sir.
GUNN SARSo he's dead. Like, you can't say someone's missing as such. Not when they've taken a dive into a bottomless gorge.
CATONo sir.
GUNN SARSo, it's twenty-six dead.
CATOThe council ruled it was twenty-five, sir, and one missing.
GUNN SAR[returns to face Avon] Twenty-five men lie dead who tried to stand against me. And one, if he's not still falling, is no more than a greasy spot on the rocks, right?
GUNN SARYou killed two men.
AVONIf I'd known we were keeping score, I would have brought more ammunition.
GUNN SAR[holds his fist up to Avon's face] What were you doing on my land?
GUNN SARWith instruments and tools, speaking devices. [holds up one of Avon's devices] A petroscope.
AVONYou know what it is?
GUNN SARWhat were you looking for?
AVONSome crystals, nothing of any consequence.
GUNN SARWhat crystals?
GUNN SARDynamon? Dynamon? You look like a man. [Walks around Avon, looking him over] You smell like a man.
GUNN SARSo. What do you want with dynamon?

[On hillside]

DAYNAOrac was right. [picks up the crushed bracelet] I'd say there was a hostile agency, wouldn't you?
TARRANT[Calling loudly] Avon! Avon!

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila is attaching a cable to a device. Pella takes hold of the cable.]

PELLAShall I hold this out of the way?
VILAYes, thank you, If you wouldn't mind. [Realizes that there shouldn't be anyone else and turns to look, dropping the lance on his hand in his surprise] Aaaah!
PELLA[laughs] I am sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.
VILAI thought you were a lady gunfighter. Ohhh. Just a minute, who are you? Where do you come from? Ooohh. [cradles hand, blows on it.]
PELLALet me. [Takes his hand, strokes it] I am Pella, of the Seska people. Does this hurt?
VILAIt did. How did you get in?
PELLAThe secondary hatch was open.
PELLA[takes flat compact from pouch and opens it] Your hand is badly bruised. Here. [rubs ointment on Vila's hand] In ten minutes the pain AND the bruise will be gone.
PELLADo you think you can open the door?
VILAI can open the lock.
PELLAAnd can you break the computer code?
VILANo, but Avon can. [pause] You seem to know a lot about it?
PELLAThe only way off this planet is through that door. Where is Avon?
PELLAAre the others looking for him?
VILAYes, we think he may have had an accident. [pause] How do you know about the others?
PELLAYour friend hasn't had an accident. He's in trouble. The Hommiks have taken him.
VILAHommiks? Is that bad?
PELLAFor Avon, very.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is lounging at the table, eating. Nina kneels to change his boots.]

GUNN SARSo. You want dynamon crystals.
GUNN SARThey're rare.
AVONSo I've been told.
GUNN SARSo rare, there aren't any. What there was have all been dug up. Right?
AVONI'll take YOUR word for it.
GUNN SARAnyway, they're useless. Expensive baubles for the ladies. So, why do you want 'em?
AVONMy computer suggested they might be useful.
GUNN SARHuh! Your computer! Not your books or your mates or your woman or your assistant, but your computer. You talk to computers? You understand computers?
AVON[Glances at instrument panel across the room] Don't you?
GUNN SAR[To Nina] Watch what you're doing, you sniveling sack of offal! [Avon grabs the hand he has raised to strike her.] So. You want to be number twenty-seven.
AVON[smiles] Don't you mean number twenty-six?
GUNN SAR[to the other Hommiks] Go! Make preparation.

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila has mounted the lance on a stand and is adjusting its position.]

VILASo there's two tribes, the Hommiks and the Seskas.
PELLAThe Seska are not a tribe.
VILANot too close. The gap is all connected with the thickness of the door. So what's the difference between Seskas and Hommiks?
PELLAHow do you know how thick it is?
VILABy the stress pattern.
PELLAI don't see anything.
VILANot without this you won't. [Picks up an instrument]
PELLAOh, I see. And what does that tell you?
VILAThe weight of the door. I know the height, the width, what it's made of, how dense it is.
PELLAAnd the computer works it out?
VILAComputer? Who needs computers? I just have to look at it.
PELLAYou must be very clever.
VILAThat's what I keep telling everyone. They even believed me in CF One.
VILAA sort of academy, when I was a boy. They chose me as technical advisor for the escape.
PELLAEscape? From an academy?
VILAPerhaps academy was the wrong word.
PELLA[indicating voice input box] What about this?
PELLADo you know what it is?
VILAOh yes. I just don't know what it's for.
PELLAAnd they didn't teach this in, ah, Academy? [laughs] There's a switch. When the door is closed, every forty-eight hours Dorian must say a code word to reset the timing.
VILAIs that forty-eight hours Standard Time?
PELLAEarth Standard Time. This planet is very like Earth, I think. That is why the Seska came here.
VILAAnd what happens if Dorian doesn't reset the switch?
PELLAThere's a nuclear compression charge.
VILAYes, there would be.
PELLAThe whole base would psyoohh! [makes gesture to indicate an explosion]
VILAOh, well. [turns off the lance] Nuts and berries it is, then.
PELLANuts and berries?
VILAOr rodents.
PELLAYou speak like a Hommik.
VILAWhat do you eat, then?
PELLAWE have a hydroponic dome.
VILAAnd the nutrients?
PELLADorian brings them from Onus Two.
VILAWell, you better start thinking nuts and berries, then. Dorian's dead.
VILATwo hundred years, but he made it in the end. I didn't think anyone would be sorry. Least of all me. [Looks at door] This could go at any time, couldn't it? [jumps as an electronic chime sounds]
PELLA[Takes out an instrument and adjusts it.] I must go.
VILANo, wait, what about this. Pella-- [Catches her by the arm. She stares at him and he gasps with pain and is flung back onto the floor.]
PELLAI'm sorry, Vila, truly, but I must go. [exits]
VILA[to himself] Don't let me stop you.

[Hillside. Kate and Luxia are waiting as Pella joins them.]

KATEPella, quickly, you must hurry. The others are at the main entrance. [All three hurry off.]

[At main hatch. Tarrant and Dayna run up. Tarrant pushes some buttons on the lock.]

TARRANTOrac knows more than he's saying.
DAYNASo what do we do? You can't put thumbscrews on a computer.
TARRANTOh, he'll answer. [The hatch opens] We just have to ask the right questions, that's all. [They enter and the hatch starts to close.]

[Corridor. Vila comes up to join Tarrant and Dayna.]

VILADid you see her?
VILAPella, a young woman. She was here a moment ago. [The next two lines are delivered simultaneously.]
DAYNAWhat are you talking about?
TARRANTNobody just passed us.
VILAWe've got to get out of here, this whole place could, there's a nuclear compression charge, we've got to move--
TARRANTCalm down, Vila, take it easy.
VILAIt could go at any time!
TARRANTLet's just take one thing at a time. This young woman--

[The arena area outside the Hommik building. A group of Hommiks are standing about. There is a stone table with an assortment of bladed weapons laid out on it, and nearby there is a rectangular metal column. Two Hommiks bring in Avon.]

GUNN SARI am Gunn Sar, slayer of Mavarik, Lord of the Hommiks. I rule by the strength of my right arm and by my left arm and by the... [He runs out of arms. He leans over and a Hommik whispers in his ear. Avon smiles broadly.] When Gunn Sar dies in combat, the victor is Lord.
GUNN SAR[Walks over to Avon] I've got to say all that.
GUNN SARWell, old Mavarik was sixty-three. He had it coming anyway. [hands his coat to a Hommik] Gunn Sar will live!
HOMMIKSGunn Sar will live!
GUNN SARPick a weapon.
AVONI'll have a neutron blaster.
GUNN SAR[Looks at an advisor, who shakes his head] No neutron blasters.
AVONIn that case I'll have a glove.
GUNN SARA glove?
AVONA glove. [removes his jacket]
GUNN SAR[gestures to a Hommik] A glove. [The Hommik hands Avon his gloves and Avon puts on the right one. Gunn Sar selects a broadsword. While Avon is still adjusting his glove Gunn Sar shoulders him to the ground and tries to stab him with the sword, but Avon manages to dodge the thrust. They fight, with Avon dodging Gunn Sar's swings and occasionally getting in a karate chop or a blow with his knee. Throughout various Hommiks yell encouragement: "Kill him!", "Get him, Gunn Sar!", and so on. Avon pops open a hatch in the metal column and pulls out a nozzle on a power lead. He fires this at Gunn Sar's weapon and the blade breaks off and lies on the ground burning, to Gunn Sar's amazement.]
AVON[Pointing nozzle at Gunn Sar] An ordinary domestic heliofusion rod. You haven't seen one, have you?
AVONAll that underground heat, light, power ... and you never considered where it came from? [A Hommik sneaks up behind Avon. Gunn Sar gives him the nod and he drops Avon with a blow to the head.]
GUNN SARPut that thing back where it came from. Use his glove.

[On the hillside]

PELLAThe one being held by the Hommiks is called Avon.
KATEWell, does he concern us?
PELLAOur future depends on him. Dorian is dead.
LUXIADead? But the Scorpio...
PELLAWithout Avon, the Scorpio is lost.

[Cell. Avon in dropped there, unconscious.]

GUNN SAR[to a Hommik] Watch him.
HOMMIKRight. [All the Hommiks exit.]

[Control room. Tarrant and Vila are watching the monitor.]

DAYNA[enters] I've checked the secondary hatch. Locked, from the inside.
VILASo she used the main entrance.
DAYNAWE used the main entrance. It was locked. Besides, if she came in that way she would have tripped the surveillance alarm.
VILAThen she's still on the base.
DAYNAI've checked. There's nobody here.
VILAAll right, I'm going mad. Comes of drinking and talking to myself. I could be lying, of course, have you considered that?
TARRANTVila, we're not accusing you of lying or going mad. We just want to know how she got out--
DAYNAIF she was here.
TARRANT--and how she got in.
VILAI told you the secondary hatch was open and she--
DAYNAIt wasn't. I checked them both this morning.
VILA[holds out hand] Well, look at this: I dropped the lance body right across it and the bruise--
TARRANTI can't see any bruise.
VILANo. Must be brain warp. Think I'll just go off and die somewhere. [starts to exit]
TARRANTThe door.
VILAWhich door?
TARRANTThe door to the landing silo, how long before you free the lock?
VILAOh, that. I'll need to switch the lance on. Course we still need Avon. [Starts to exit, turns back] Have you ever seen a nuclear compression charge go off? Everything gets sucked in. It's like a mini black hole. Looks good. From a distance. [Exits slowly]
DAYNADo you think I should go with him in case--
TARRANTIn case what? He has got brain warp?
DAYNAOr a flask of booze.
TARRANTNo, leave him. [Changes monitor controls. The screen shows the three Seskas hurrying along.]
DAYNAThat makes a difference, doesn't it?

[On hillside. The three Seskas stop when they spot a Hommik on the ridge above them, turn to discover three more are behind them. The Hommiks are carrying neck clamps attached to poles.]

PELLAIf you get the chance, Kate, go.

[Corridor outside control room]

DAYNA--it's all right, but I agree with Vila, I think we should get out of here.
TARRANTAbandon Scorpio when there's every chance we can save her? Look, we don't know when the place is going up, we could have hours--
DAYNAOr even minutes.
TARRANTIf we can get through the door we can operate the switch manually--
VILAYou mean pretend it's not there, just walk through it?
TARRANTWell, that's what your Seska friend did with the hatches. Perhaps she can show us how it's done.
DAYNATarrant, it's serious.
TARRANTI'm being serious.

[Control room. Tarrant enters, followed by the other two.]

TARRANTOrac, is it possible for a living person to pass through a solid hatch without there being any material disturbance.
ORACThe process is called teleportation.
DAYNAOh, well, nothing like stating the obvious.
TARRANTCould a person just teleport themselves as an act of will?
ORACNo, unless directed by an outside agency, matter transmuted to energy will merely dissipate at random.
VILA[Indicating teleport area] Could this have done it without us knowing?
ORACI am exploring the possibility. Without a co-radiating crystal to focus the beam, the mechanism will operate at point zero zero one percent efficiency.
TARRANTOrac, a woman was inside this base and she's not inside it now. Given that the hatch remained locked from the inside, how would she get out?
ORACThe logical alternatives are within the bounds of human reasoning. I suggest you consider them and leave me in peace to reflect on those matters which are not.

[Hillside. A Hommik pulls a bag over Pella's head.]

CATOHurry. [Another Hommik slips his clamp about her neck.]
PELLA[muffled cries] No, let me go. No! [muffled cries] [Kate runs off, pausing twice to look back. A Hommik shoots her with a crossbow.]
KATEAiiiee! [The Hommiks lead Pella and Luxia off by their neck restraints.]

[Hillside. Kate pulls the crossbow bolt from her thigh and takes out her container of ointment.]

[Cell. Avon is lying face down, unmoving. Pella is brought in by three Hommiks. One releases her neck clamp and she falls to the floor. Two Hommiks exit.]

CATODon't get too comfortable now, we'll be back for you just as soon as the surgery is free. [Exits]
PELLA[Pulls bag off her head, looks around and sees Avon lying there.] Avon? [When he doesn't react, she moves close to him and he rears up ready to give a karate chop. When he see her he pauses] You are Avon, aren't you?
AVONPerhaps I was somewhere else when they introduced us.
PELLA[Takes out her compact of ointment] You've been hurt.
AVONWell, you could say that.

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Some sensors have been attached to the door and wires lead from them to Orac.]

ORACHowever, the nuclear compression charge is set to detonate in precisely three hours twenty-four minutes.
TARRANT[To Vila] So you've got to get that door open fast. How long?
VILAThe lance will be through in about an hour. But there's still the computer code. We still need Avon.
TARRANTDo we... Orac, can you interpret and break the computer code?
ORACThe code sequence is the numerical value of the letters contained in the word "Narcissus."
TARRANT[to Vila] No problem. [Vila nods, they turn and start to walk away.]
ORACHowever, the device has a secondary trip relay. When the door is opened, the charge will detonate automatically.
TARRANTAre you telling us there's no way to reach that override switch?
ORACOne way. The same way by which a woman passed through a hatch which was later seen to be locked from the inside.
TARRANTHow do we find that woman?
ORACThe information you require is on the chronicle disks in the records locker. Now will you please return me to the control room where I have work to do.

[Cell. Pella is trying vainly to push the door open against the weight of an unconscious guard. She turns towards Avon.]

PELLACan you walk?
AVONVery likely. [stands up] But just at the moment I can't think of too many places to go.
PELLAThere was a girl with me when we were captured. We've got to find her. She's very young. They're going to operate on her. And then on me.
AVONOperate? Why?
PELLASo that we will no longer be Seska. [touches her neckband]
PELLAWhen our spirit is broken, we give THEM sons. The daughters are left to die on the hillside. Sometimes we're unable to find them in time. The Hommiks are regressives. They reverted to primitive tribalism hundreds of years ago. It's all they know. Now please, if you care at all, will you help me with this door?
AVONThere's a large bolt on the other side.
PELLAThe door is open.
AVON[Pushes on door] But there's something blocking it. [Pushes the door open forcing the body of the guard outside to roll aside.] Or should I say someone? [Looks at the unconscious guard and picks up a nearby rock] How do you suppose this happened?
PELLAPlease, we must hurry.

[In control room. A screen displays a still image of a woman.]

VILAHave you notices that they're all women? So far we haven't seen a single men on these disks.
DAYNA[enters from o.o.s.] These all that's left. It's as though history stops twenty years ago. This is the last. [hands disk to Tarrant]
TARRANTHas Orac scanned them?
DAYNAMm, for all the good it does us. The only person he treats with any respect is Avon. [Tarrant inserts a disk.]
NINA[On screen] Interim report concerning the last engagement in the battle for A-X ridge. At oh eight five three nine, defense losses numbered eighteen dead and seven taken. Estimated Hommik losses: zero. At oh eight six one one, a nucleic burster was released in the procreation vault contaminating the Seska seminal stocks. Survival threshold has been passed, with Seska strength now numbering ninety four, which includes fifty two infants. Maravik, conducting the Hommik deployment from the safety of his A-F hill HQ, has called for an unconditional surrender. A rejection is already being drafted, but there is a growing feeling among the Seska remnant that women, even with the power we have could never-- [An axe is chopped into her desk. The record ceases.]
VILAThe Seskas are women. All of them are women.
TARRANTAnd presumably the Hommiks were men. Looks like it was a war between the sexes.
DAYNAAnd the men were winning.
VILAWhat's a nucleic burster?
DAYNAA radiation flare. Very dirty. Last thing you'd want in a procreation chamber.
TARRANTWait a moment. [Rewinds disk for a moment]
NINA[on screen] --conducting the Hommik deployment from the safety of his A-F hill HQ--
TARRANT[turns off recording] A-F hill? A-X ridge?
VILAThat's what the lady said.
TARRANTWell, then we can trace it back, all we need is the original point of reference. One of us will have to ask Orac. [They look at each other. Dayna shakes her head.]

[Operating room. Nina places a Seska neckband in a dish then dabs a small wound on the back of Luxia's neck with a gauze pad. A Hommik guard is standing off to one side.]

NINAI've finished. She'll sleep now. [Pella and Avon look through a window in the door. Nina spots them. Pella rushes in.]
PELLANina, why have you done this? [The Hommik grabs at her but is thrown back by her power. Avon chops him unconscious.] Nina, what have they done to you? How could you be a part of this?
AVONPella, never mind. We're too late. Let's go.
PELLAI can't leave Nina. Nina, come with us. We can escape.
NINAAnd how would I live?
PELLAWe have food. You don't need the Hommiks.
NINANor do I need Dorian.
AVONPella, come on!
PELLADorian's dead.
NINAThen so are you. Gunn Sar feeds me. Why should I leave?
PELLABecause you are Seska. Nina, these people, they're good. We can get off this planet.
NINAI don't want to get off the planet. I don't want to go anywhere.
PELLANina --
NINANow please. I have my duties to attend to.
PELLAI feel sorry for you, Nina. You were a Seska, but more than that, you were a great Seska.
NINAAnd now, I am a woman. [exits] [Pella picks up the discarded neckband.]
AVONI'll take that.
PELLAIt isn't yours.
AVONNor is it yours. But it doesn't really matter whose it is. Give it to me.
AVONThen I'm going to have to take it.
PELLAI don't want to hurt you, Avon.
AVON[Grabs her wrist. The pain starts and he is thrown back a little way against the wall.] Oh, it's good. But it's not good enough.
PELLADon't make me do it again.
AVONYou must, though. Mustn't you? [Grabs her wrist again. After a moment, he lets go and staggers back a little, but he's not thrown back this time.] Oh, it hurts, Pella. But I will win. [Grabs her right wrist and hand in both his hands.] There's not much left, is there?
AVON[Uses his grip on her hand to force her to the ground. Then he takes the neckband from her and puts it aside. He takes her by the shoulders and helps her back up again.] You see, Pella, it's your strength, and however you use it, a man's will always be greater. Unfair, perhaps, but biologically unavoidable. [He kisses her, then lets her go. She drops to the ground. He picks up the neckband.] I'm going now, Pella, before your friend Nina calls out the guard.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is embroidering a shirt. Nina enters.]

GUNN SARIs it done?
NINAYes, she's sleeping.
GUNN SARAny problems?
NINANo. [pause] Oh, except your prisoners escaped.
GUNN SARWHAT? [starts to rise]
NINAIt's all right. They won't go far, I alerted security.
GUNN SAR[contemptuously] Security.
NINAThe Seska's name is Pella.
NINAI remember her being born.
NINAShe asked me to go with them.
GUNN SARGo where?
GUNN SARSo. Why didn't you? [Nina crosses and kisses him on the head.]

[Hillside. Kate hides behind a rock as Tarrant, Dayna and Vila approach.]

VILAHow much further is it?
TARRANTFifteen minutes.
VILAThat'll leave us an hour and a half. And I'm tired already.
DAYNAYou didn't need to come, Vila.
VILAI didn't need to stay. I get lonely, y'know. [They walk on. Kate starts to follow after them but spots a security camera and hides again.]

[Computer room. Cato is watching Tarrant, Dayna and Vila on a screen.]

CATO[into a communicator] Security alert. Intruders at A-F forty-three. Approach and apprehend.
CATO[turns to discover Avon standing there with a crossbow aimed at him.] How did you find this place?
AVONThere had to be a computer room.
CATOBut it's--
AVONConcealed? Yes, but then I've had a little experience in these things. Oh, by the way, I shouldn't rely too heavily on your security. It has ... [gestures with the crossbow] ... weaknesses.
CATOGunn Sar--?
AVONGunn Sar doesn't know. But Gunn Sar doesn't know a lot of things, does he?
CATOHe is our leader.
AVONAnd a very good one, if a little....
AVONWell, I didn't like to say it.
CATOHe thinks we have scouts posted everywhere and runners.
AVONImpractical. So why do YOU keep up the illusion?
CATOFor the Hommiks, the people. If they see this they'll want more. Hydroponic food, machines, neutron blasters.
AVON[Smiles] And you don't have them to give. Because your civilization died a long time ago.
AVONWhat killed it?
CATOA war. [Avon lowers the crossbow.] Everything was lost. Industry, people. Afterwards, the Council of Survivors decreed that we should start again, from the very beginning. Wooden tools, flint arrowheads, the wheel. Ten thousand years advancement destroyed in a day.
AVONAnd this? [Indicates the room]
CATOOverlooked. It's self-maintained. Powered by our sun, it will last forever. This generation, even Gunn Sar, believes it to be some kind of magic that keeps the chambers light and warm. A computer is like some ancient god to them.
AVONWhat about the Seskas?
CATOThe Seskas? Why do you-- [Avon's arms bring the crossbow up and shoot him. Cato falls to the floor. Avon tosses the crossbow aside and kneels beside Cato.]
CATOWhy? [dies]
PELLA[having entered unnoticed] Yes, Avon, why?
AVONI didn't.
PELLAYour finger was on the trigger. YOU killed him.
AVONI didn't, Pella. But YOU did, didn't you?
PELLA[A keyboard rises from the table behind Avon's back.] Yes, if you say so, Avon, I killed him. [The floating keyboard hits Avon on the head and he falls unconscious, dropping the neckband. She picks it up.] You are nothing more than a Hommik, Avon.

[Gunn Sar's room. He is playing with a large 3-D tic-tac-toe game. Nina and a Hommik enter.]

NINAThe guard have brought in some more intruders.
GUNN SARMore? What is this, an invasion? Can't I have a minute's peace and recreation without intruders bursting in all the time? Well, don't just stand there. Bring them in, bring them in.
HOMMIK[calls out door] Bring them in. [More Hommiks lead in Tarrant, Dayna and Vila.]
GUNN SARWhat do you want?
VILAA second chance?
TARRANTWe're from--
GUNN SARI don't care where you're from. I am Gunn Sar, chief of the Hommiks and I'm getting very weary of, of-- [Breaks off, confused.] Nina, where's Cato when I need him?
NINAI'll bring him. [exits]
GUNN SARI am Gunn Sar, chief of all the Hommiks, I rule by right of challenge, and twenty six lie dead--
DAYNASo I challenge you.
DAYNAI challenge you. [pause] You rule by right of challenge. I challenge that rule. [Gunn Sar laughs.]
TARRANTNot one of your better ideas, Dayna.
DAYNADo you accept my challenge?
GUNN SARDon't be foolish. You're, well, you're a--
DAYNAA woman? Yeeesss. Take a GOOD look. [punches him on the jaw.]
GUNN SARAll right, woman, you just made a very big mistake.

[Corridor in Hommik dwelling. Kate grabs Nina, covering her mouth. She lets go when they recognize each other.]

NINAKate! [Pause] But you're so-- You've grown up.
KATEI thought you were dead. [They hug.] What are you doing here?
NINAI'm the wife of Gunn Sar.
KATEWife? But you're a Seska.
NINANo, I'm a woman. [Clanging starts] You must go, quickly. Soon there will be Hommiks everywhere.
KATEWhat is that? What's happening?
NINAIt's a Call to the Arena. Someone has just been stupid enough to challenge my husband. [Both exit as Hommiks rush by.]

[Computer room. Nina finds Cato's body, then rolls the unconscious Avon over.]

[Combat area. The Hommiks are gathered, Vila and Tarrant stand nearby with their hands tied before them.]

GUNN SAR[to Dayna] Choose your weapon. [Dayna scans the weapons and selects a dagger. Gunn Sar takes a dagger and a cudgel. They begin the fight, swinging and dodging each others blows. Throughout the fight the other Hommiks call out encouragement frequently: "Come on, Gun Sar", "Get her, Gun Sar", "Kill her", "Go on, Gunn Sar", "Get in there" and so forth. Kate is watching from the hill above. Pella joins her.]
PELLASssh. I thought you were dead.
KATEI nearly was. [The fight continues.]
PELLAThe black woman must win.
KATEI know. [More shots of the fight. Dayna fights well until Gunn Sar gets her in a hold she is unable to break free of. The Hommiks laugh and cheer on Gunn Sar.]
KATETwo Seskas and a woman against Gunn Sar?
PELLAIt is enough. [Gunn Sar is forcing Dayna to the ground. She is pushing back up at him] Now. [Gunn Sar's body flies backward violently. He hits his head against the metal box and slumps to the ground. As the Hommiks start to gather around him Dayna stares at her hands in disbelief.]
TARRANT[comes up to Dayna] Don't make a fuss, Dayna. Just walk and keep on walking. [She does so, followed by Tarrant and Vila.]

[Computer room. Avon is watching this happen on a screen.]

[Gunn Sar's room. The Hommiks have laid his draped body on the table. Nina uncovers it, then weeps over him.]

NINANow the people shall leave this place, Gunn Sar. We shall seek a new home, far from here, a new way of life. [Continues to weep.]

[Control room. Tarrant, Dayna and Vila enter. Vila holds a timer and checks it continually throughout the scene.]

TARRANTOrac, in sixteen minutes this base will be destroyed and you with it. Is there anything logically more important than trying to stop that happening?
ORACYes. The most logical course of action is to transport me to safety with all due urgency.
VILAHe's groveling!
TARRANTWe're not going anywhere, Orac, until you give me straight answers to two questions. One, how did the Seska woman get out of here? And two, how does that method enable us to deactivate the nuclear compression charge?
ORACAnswers. One, the woman made her exit via the secondary hatch.
TARRANTIt was locked from the inside.
ORACThe hatch was unlocked and locked again from the outside by telekinesis.
TARRANT[disbelieving] Telekinesis?
ORACThe power to move objects at a distance using only the mind--
DAYNA[Cutting him off] Yes, we know what it means.
ORACAnd yet you fail to see it as the only logical explanation and the means by which the manual override switch may be operated to cancel the nuclear compression charge. Now, will you kindly remove me to a place not closer than seven hundred and forty two meters from the launch chamber door.
TARRANTOrac, telekinesis doesn't work, it's a myth. The human brain doesn't generate enough energy.
ORACThe human brain does not need to generate energy. There is adequate energy elsewhere in the body. The brain merely directs it, given the ingrafted co- radiating crystal necessary to focus the beam.
PELLAThat's a very clever machine. [They turn to find Pella and Kate have entered unnoticed.]
TARRANTNo need to ask how you got in.
PELLA[smiles] Telekinesis.
KATEWe apologize for startling you, but there isn't much time.
VILAThirteen minutes.
PELLAShall we go?
TARRANTWait. Why should you care?
DAYNADoes it matter?
PELLAWe care because the Scorpio is our only contact with civilization.
KATEWithout it, we become like the Hommiks. We need nutrients for our food process.
TARRANTNow let's just be clear about this. The Scorpio is our ship.
VILATwelve minutes!
DAYNATarrant, if that charge goes off it won't be anybody's ship.
PELLAIn return for nutrients, we offer what we offered Dorian: technical assistance. The Seska are specialists in tele-ergonomics and energy transference.
TARRANTWhat, a teleport system of point oh oh three --
TARRANT-- percent efficiency?
KATEIt's a matter of time, that's all. The teleport is difficult. The Seska have worked on it for generations.
TARRANTHow many Seska are there?
PELLAWe are the Seska.
VILAEleven minutes!
TARRANTYes, but what about the others?
PELLAThere aren't any others. Last week we were five. This morning, three. And now we are two.
VILATen and three-quarter minutes!
TARRANTLet's go.

[Hillside. Avon runs along.]

[Corridor near door of landing silo. Vila finishes using the lance while still holding the timer and turns to face the others.]

VILAThe lock is free. Nine and a half minutes. Just do your business with your tele-whatever. Have you ever seen a nuclear black hole go off? it's like a mini compression charge. Yes, I know I'm prattling. It's nerves. Nine and a quarter minutes.

[Control room]

AVON[enters] Well, Orac?
ORAC"Well" is not a question.
AVONDon't play games. You know what I'm asking.
ORACThe answer is yes. With qualifications.
AVONThen qualify.
ORACThe feat of calculation was prodigious, the result imperfect.
AVONDegree of imperfection?
ORACVariably low. You will be required to perform circuit adjustments.
AVONOf course. WHERE?

[Corridor near door of landing silo]

PELLA[steps away from door] It's safe.
VILAIs that it?
VILA[touches the input box tentatively] It doesn't feel any different.
PELLATry it.
VILAYou haven't made any mistakes?
VILA[to Tarrant] Try it.
TARRANT[punches a series of keys] Numerical narcissus. [Nothing happens.] That's it.
PELLASo why hasn't it opened?
TARRANTI don't know.
AVONI do. [They turn to find Avon leaning against the wall.]
AVONNarcissus is not the code word. Orac made it up.
AVONBecause that was my instruction.
DAYNAYou told Orac not to crack the code?
TARRANTWhy do that?
AVONFor much the same reason as Dorian. I didn't like the idea of Scorpio taking off without me. I'm sorry to spoil your plan, Pella.
PELLABe careful, Avon. I can very easily reset the detonator switch.
AVONBut you can't change the timing.
TARRANTWhat is all this about?
AVONPella's ambition to take Scorpio.
TARRANTWhat makes you think that?
AVONOn the inside of the landing silo there's a wheel that can be used to crank open this door manually.
VILA[nods] Standard safety precaution.
AVONUse the wheel to open the door, and the nuclear compression charge won't detonate. Unfortunately for Pella, her telekinesis was never powerful enough to turn that wheel and her technical expertise couldn't develop a teleport system.
KATEOh, but she is developing--
PELLAQuiet, Kate!
AVONNo, that's what she told Dorian. That's why he's been feeding you. Dorian believed her too.
VILAWhat about Orac?
AVONOrac has been a little devious on my instruction. Ever since I discovered that Dorian's last attempt at a teleport was really a tele-ergotron.
TARRANTWhat is a tele-ergotron?
AVONThe controlled direction of pure energy, in this case directed by Pella at the wheel inside the landing silo.
PELLAYou've got a good brain, Avon. [Produces a gun and points it at Avon.] So use it. Open the door.
KATEWhat are you doing, Pella? [starts forward]
DAYNA[stops her] No.
PELLAKeep out of this, Kate. That ship is mine.
AVONKill me and you'll never get to it.
PELLA[Points the gun at Dayna] Open the door, Avon.
AVONThat's an interesting choice of hostage.
PELLAThe door! [Avon crosses to the door, punches four keys then shuts the panel door. The door opens.]
KATEStop it, Pella! [Kate rushes at Pella, who shoots her dead. Pella enters the launch silo and the door closes before the others can rush in. Avon takes the crystal from Kate's neckband.]

[Inside silo. The Scorpio's turntable begins to turn and rise.]

[Control room]

AVONAll right, Orac, where does the crystal go?
ORACThere is a cavity immediately behind the forward lens mechanism.
AVON[goes to teleport area] Will it work?
ORACThere is a high probability.
AVONBut you're not prepared to put a figure on it?
ORACNo. [An electronic signal]
VILAThe launch doors are open.
TARRANTDayna, surveillance.
AVONOrac, the coordinates might change suddenly. [Starts to insert the crystal into a small housing box.]
ORACIt is logical to assume so.
DAYNALaunch thrusters are running.
ORACTracking on.
DAYNAI've got the count down. [Slave counts down in the background, from 12.]
TARRANTThat's Slave.
AVONOrac made contact and has overridden the security program. Slave responds to anyone on the flight deck now. [Slips the housing box back into the teleporter.]

[The countdown reaches zero. The Scorpio emerges from the cave mouth.]

[Control room]

AVON[accepts a gun from Tarrant] Still tracking, Orac?
ORACOf course.
AVONAll right, Orac. [Crosses to stand in the teleport area with gun in hand] GO! [He vanishes]

[Flight deck of the Scorpio. Avon materializes. Pella sees him and shoots as he ducks behind a panel. He fires back, hitting her. He crosses to her, aiming his gun at her head]

PELLAThat always was the easy answer for the man -- the Hommik!
AVONIf you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question. [She grimaces with pain and dies.]

[Control room]

AVON[v.o.] Xenon base, this is Scorpio.
DAYNA[into communicator] We hear you, Avon.
AVON[v.o.] Everything's under control. Why don't you join me?
AVON[v.o.] Just tell Orac what you want.
TARRANTThat hasn't done us much good so far.

[Flight deck]

AVON[to himself, looking at Pella] It's a problem, isn't it? You can have war between races, war between cultures, war between planets. But once you have war between the sexes, you eventually run out of people.
SLAVEIt is beyond my humble capacity to offer an opinion, Master.
AVON[smiles broadly] Oh, that's very good. You may turn out to be my kind of computer after all. [Dayna and Tarrant materialize in the teleport area.]

[Control room, Xenon base. Vila is standing alone in the teleport area.]

ORACI did not guarantee one hundred percent success.
VILAWhy is it always me?
SOOLINSeems fairly obvious from where I'm standing. [Vila looks over at Soolin, who has entered unnoticed]

DAYNA[into communicator] Vila, are you all right?
VILA[v.o.] Yes, um, listen, what do you think about having an extra person around for a while, to .... sort of help out, and so on. What do you think?
AVON[reseats ammo clip in his gun] I think Soolin just came out of hiding.
TARRANT[into communicator] Who are you talking about, Vila? [Vila and Soolin materialize in the Scorpio's teleport area.]
SOOLINHe's talking about me.
TARRANTYou want to join us, is that it?
SOOLINWhy not? Dorian's dead.
AVONYou give your allegiance easily?
SOOLINI don't give my allegiance at all. I sell my skill. [She whips out her gun. Avon is holding his aimed at her.]

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